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Archive for March, 2008

This site says that the average US household uses 25kwh per day. Since we began recording our daily usage on February 12th, our average daily usage is ~18kw/day, with a range from 9 kwh to 28 kwh. We are now able to tell when our usage is going to be high by what we have done/used that day.

March Energy Usage

It’s been a fascinating exercise that we plan to continue into the future. For example, when I bake bread our usage goes up a little, but when we use the dryer it goes up significantly. And when I do all of that in the same day and use the dishwasher too? The 28 kwh day we had recently! Now that we are getting a good idea of our energy consumption we continue to think about how we can reduce our consumption. In some ways it will be easier because of the warming season. We’ll be able to hang our clothing outside to dry, it is light longer so we won’t be needing electric lighting as much, and hopefully we’ll be outside more and using electronics inside less. (Which means I need to curb my internet addiction. *ahem*)

If you take a closer look at the above graph you’ll notice that we have been tracking our gas and water usage as well. We expect to see significant drops in our natural gas consumption over the next month to 1.5 months. (Good-bye, Freeze Your Buns Off Challenge, Hello Spring and Summer!) Water usage will depend on if we have another dry summer or not. We are hoping to install a drip irrigation system in our raised beds this summer which will be better for the plants and use significantly less water than our overhead watering method of years past.

What do you do to consume less energy (any of the above mentioned forms?) I would love to hear what you do! You may inspire me or another reader.

Lastly, because I’m not really into “April Fools,” may you all have gentle rains and beautiful flowers in the month of April.

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Really, I love to make things for little ones in general. But I happen to have a beautiful little girl in my life for whom I can make things that are met with smiles. I am hoping this turns out to be the same:
Ballet Top for L4

(more…)

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Spring in upstate NY is such a fickle thing, and often quite ugly, to be honest. Lots of brown and not much color. But when the sun is shining, even when it is barely into the 40s, it’s blissful. L4 wanted to be out in the world with this beautiful weather (and who could blame her?) yesterday afternoon. She has a large pile of sticks she’s been creating over the past few days and likes going out so she can add more to it. I took the opportunity to bring some of my projects to the porch where I could watch her play, be in the sunshine and cut fabric. (The bonus was that I could work on L4’s birthday present without her knowing it while she was awake!)

L2 works on the porch

Our porch is hideous to behold, but oh-so-practical. And with its green plastic roof, it gets very toasty in there since it is on the south side of the house. Today, of course, we’re back to cold, gloom, and potential snow in the mix. But at least we were able to savor some beautiful moments yesterday.

Crocus loves sun

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Apple Days

Blue skies, crisp apples, nubby bark under my finger tips: those are all images in my head when I look at these pants. This pair is the prototype that I made for L4, but will be putting them up in my shop, too. If only I could get her to put them on so I could get some action shots! Currently she is more interested in building bridges and mountains out of her collapsible tunnel that came out of the closet recently (it gets put away for weeks or months at a time).
Apple Sky Pants for L4 Apple Sky Pants Close-up
I’ll be offering the pants in the shop in sizes 2T – 5T until the fabric runs out. I’ll also be offering either apples appliquéd on to the pockets or pears. The fabric comes from this skirt I made L4 awhile back. Until I get an action shot of little miss, I did just add a whole crunchy set, at long last. Check it out here.

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Spring Mudprints Muck boots!

Welcome, mud!
Leftover leaves Rake
Welcome leaves hidden under snows! You were a warm blanket for many during the winter cold.
Onions, celery, leeks, and basil for 2008 Broccoli for 2008

Welcome garden beginnings!
Spring sunshine in the kitchen Book on Spring

Welcome warm sunlight and books for the season!
First crocus of 2008
Welcome, Hope!

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Tuesday was a rough afternoon and evening for L3 and I. The weather was not-so-pleasant and so he couldn’t be outside to run off some of his mega-watt energy. Daddy was only home for a short time before heading back to work for the Science Fair, which created more trouble. L3 desperately wanted to go to it, but his behavior all afternoon was not indicative of his ability to control himself in a public venue. To try to calm him and engage him, we made oatmeal cookies with his sister (sans raisins, as mama says yuck!). That put him in a good mood. As I was putting cookies on the cooling racks, he came into the kitchen like this:
Better Listening Ears 2 Better Listening Ears 1
L3 then said, “Mama, these are to make me have better listening ears!” How could I not melt/laugh/take several pictures? Then he noticed the cookies cooling on the counter:
Cookies overpower the Listening Ears!

When he was in bed that night he discovered his first wiggly tooth. The boy is so excited! He keeps telling me, “Mama, I think it’s almost ready to come out!” Not yet, my love, but we’ll enjoy the journey of this new “first” in the meantime.

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Welcome to Knitting Country

For those of you avidly watching my Homemade week last week you probably noticed that I didn’t post a Day 5. I did end up sewing the neckline of the lemon shirt and a button on the dress, but that’s it. As I said before, I was ready for some knitting. Here are some shots of all that I’ve been working on over the past few days:
My creation

(I also have been working on a hat, but the picture doesn’t do much for it. You can see it on flickr if you really want.)

What you’re looking at (l to r, t to b): Lacy Ribbon Scarf from Spring 2008 Knitty, new socks for L3, just in time to give him for the equinox later in the week, my Tangled Yoke Sweater, and L4’s Ballet T-Shirt sweater for her birthday. Huh–as usual it doesn’t look like as much as it felt working on all of them!

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