Sunday, January 31, 2010

Second Fridge, First Spa

In January my family made two appliance purchases.

We bought a fridge for the garage.

Because of my wife's extreme gluten intolerance we need to prepare a lot of meals, and it really helps to do the bulk of that cooking on the weekends. Having both leftovers and food for later in the week really uses up fridge space.

We also enjoy participating in a CSA. That means for many months of the year we get a week's worth of produce on a certain day of the week, no matter what our fridge space looks like that day.

Also, I'm terrible at "fridge tetris". If a container is not easily visible when I glance into the fridge then I don't see it.

So for all three reasons we decided the cost of a second fridge is quite worthwhile for our family. For some reason this never occurred to us until we had spent a few weeks away from home (in December).

Long before CSA seasons begin, the extra fridge has provided an unexpected benefit. Tillamook is currently selling a special 100th anniversary extra-sharp 3-year cheddar. It's an amazingly good cheese for $7 per pound, and will not be available long. So I stocked up by buying four. With only one fridge we would never have had room for such a purchase.

We picked a well-ranked model that "converts" between refrigerator and freezer because our garage stand-up freezer gets packed each summer with u-pick berries. It might be nice to have two garage freezers at the height of u-pick season. And if the freezer ever breaks we can rescue its contents.

We also bought a Reward model Marquis Spa.

My wife has been wanting a spa for many years. She really enjoys relaxing in a hot bath, but standard home bathtubs are only luxurious if you are child-sized.

So we looked at our finances last Spring and figured out that if I taught two classes during Summer term (normally I teach none Summer term) our year's earnings would exceed our expenses by enough to by a spa. As things turned out we did spend somewhat from our savings. My sister invited the family to her home in Denver for Thanksgiving; the airfare and hotel cost used up an amount equal to the cost of the electrical work needed to install and permit a spa.

Since I like a hot shower more than a hot bath, I thought the spa would mostly be a nice thing for my wife. But I think I am benefiting more.

I have mild case of lax ligaments all over my body. I'm not double jointed at all, nor is the condition extreme enough that I dislocate joints by normal use. But more than usually I am held together by muscle tone. The vicious cycle of "sore muscles, so poor posture, so sorer muscles..." is especially steep for me.

Most days I can use the spa twice: while Smiley naps and after he goes to bed. I have been amazed at how better I feel with two 15-minute massages each day.

Now I need to be responsible and work on improving my posture and doing abdominal exercises, to best retain and enhance the massage benefit.

Smiley has not been in the spa yet. We have invited him, but he is afraid. He is well-trained from the kitchen to not touch steaming water. We cannot convince him that the steam is because the outside air is cold instead of the water boiling.

If any of our local friends want to visit and try the spa, let me know. I suppose you could also try the refrigerator but that is not nearly as relaxing.

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