Friday, September 21, 2007

What's Up?

So here's what I've been up to lately, besides the usual stuff.

Obviously the weather has changed. This is what the woods out back look like on a misty morning. On days like these, I'm wondering where the "old man clothed all in leather" is. I probably would call the police if he showed up at the door....

This will eventually be a moebius scarf for my mom. It's roman stripe pattern in some yarn whose name has since been lost. It's the first time I have ever 1.) Used lace weight yarn and 2.) used a provisional cast on. It took me a year and at least thirty attempts to finally figure out the cast on, and only because some wonderful person made a video of how to do it. What can I say. I'm a visual learner.

Speaking of learning, my two boys passed their 3rd and 5th grade WASL! Woo-hoo! Not that I like the WASL. As far as I'm concerned, it's just one more stress I don't need to deal with. I can't figure out what they're asking for half the time, especially on the math. "What is 2+2? Use a chart to find your answer. Explain how you got your answer." Hmmm. It just is? Funny thing is, they smoke their levels testing each year.... At least they didn't come home with huge packets of extra work so they can pass the 4th/6th WASL.

In the kitchen, I am trying to deal with a large pile of apples. So I canned 6 pints of Curried Apple Chutney, which used up 10 apples. I'm thinking that Sunday will be Salsa day, and either an apple pie or apple cake to send with Mr. E to work, and Monday or Tuesday I'll be canning pears that were on sale at the store ($0.69/lb).

Of course more bread this week. I was low on milk and used powdered instead, and it didn't come out near as nicely. I'm thinking of making my own hamburger buns. It's got to be cheaper (not to mention better for us) to make my own vs $2.50 for 12? I should do the math one of these days.

Fall is definitely here - I had to turn on the furnace yesterday, as it was 67 degrees and dropping in the house during the day. I'm charting our energy and water usage, trying to see how far I can reduce. I'm doing well, except for natural gas, and I believe the reasons for it are the fact that I have two growing boys whose clothes are getting bigger, and therefore I'm doing more laundry (slightly), and that they are taking more showers than they used to, especially with soccer. The last one is a good thing, though! I'm also canning more, which would use more gas as well. It's not like the amount of gas has gone up a lot, either. A little over 2 therms for the month, but that'd be a 12% increase over the same time last year.

There are some people who are taking the reductions to a totally different level, trying to reduce their use to only 10% of the average American's! I'm not sure that would be possible for me without freezing and using candles for lighting. Currently, our electricity usage is 4.3% less than the average household. Only 18% of our lights are CFL, so I think we can do a lot more there. They have some sort of credit for using hydro, which we do for the most part, but I think that's kind of cheating. Our natural gas usage is 11.7% below the national average, and our water usage is 36% less than average. Of course they go on to other things like gasoline, garbage, food, and "stuff", but that's way too much for my small brain to handle just now. Definitely a worthy goal, however.

Okay, I feel like I've touched briefly on way too many topics today. I'll try to do better in the future.

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