Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Energy Efficient Stuff...

So when you spend a gazillion dollars on something it seems like you should get more satisfaction from it than merely being comfortable. I mean, shouldn't you be able to drive it or something? I have realized in the last couple of days that we are willing to spend big bucks in order to not be miserable. And even more to be healthy. We're having the ducts cleaned on Thursday- I'm pretty sure that's *never* been done and we had this UV thing installed too. Travis has suspected for a while that the dirty air ducts were at least contributing to my feeling crummy, so we'll see what happens. Oh and I thought that being energy efficient and all that this unit would be smaller. Not so. This thing is *huge*. It's actually bigger than the behemoth it replaced. But it qualifies for the $1,500 tax credit. That made the price a bit easier to swallow. Couple that with the energy efficient windows and we will hopefully see a decrease in our electric bill.
And see the cool new thermostat-thingy? I don't know about you guys but there is always a fight at the Button house over this thing. I like it colder because I get hot, Amanda likes it warmer because she gets cold and Travis likes it warmer because he has to pay for it. I'm always accusing him of pushing it up to 78 and he's always accusing me of pulling it down to 70 because well, those things are hard to read. But no more! The a/c guy said that we should leave it within 3 degrees constantly and it will automatically switch to heat if the temp gets to be below 69- pretty cool. Or warm, as the case may be.

And here's a little thing I meant to show you guys months ago and then it just seemed lame after we installed it. I tried to find a picture on the internet since this one just looks kind of creepy (yes, we need a new tub). Anyway, we installed this one after our other shower head broke off- seriously. We were kind of panicked thinking we were going to have to hire a plumber. But after talking to my mom (who does *all* of the home repairs at their house) she said it was easy-peasy to replace. And she was right. The previous arm for the shower head was plastic. Not sure what brainiac thought that one up but it was. We replaced it with a metal one that was really inexpensive and this eco-flow shower head. Ours does not have 3 modes like the one in the link. But it was only $20 at Target and has paid for itself several times over since we purchased it. I really think we're saving that much per month. How? Well the kiddos like to take really long showers and Amanda takes really long showers and well, it just adds up. It also conserves hot water. It used to be that in the winter time we'd get through 1 1/2 showers on a Sunday morning before all the hot water ran out. So two people always ended up really unhappy. We had this thing for the whole winter and we never ran out of hot water. I also love that it's hand held so it's much easier to wash the kids hair. Eco friendly or not, I wished we'd purchased one years ago for that alone. And for those of you (Mary) that noticed how low the shower head was before it added a few inches so I no longer have to bend over backwards to wash my hair.

OK, so I'm done with that. But it wouldn't be summertime if I didn't incessantly show you things that I'm growing. I get frustrated sometimes because things don't turn out the way I want to and by the end of the summer I'm tired of watering stuff and I think that I'm just not growing anything next year. And then I see the seeds in the store and I'm like a junkie. I cannot pass them by. My carrots were pretty much a bust. I think there were just too many carrots in that pot and apparently they like elbow room. We did eat some and I have a picture but I think I'll try them again next year. The only thing is that you only get 1 carrot per plant. Which means if you want a lot of carrots then it takes a lot of space. I'm not really into the whole one and done thing. But they are fun.
This is an updated picture of my yellow pear tomatoes. See? They are really not a one and done sort of plant. And apparently they take a while to ripen. I thought we'd get back from vacation and the ones I was watching so carefully would be rotten- but not so. I have noticed that some blooms aren't fruiting and are falling off. Not sure what's causing that. And I am going to have to stake them. If I could only kick the flu and get to the store. There are some blooms at the top that will take the plant out once those tomatoes get bigger. And these guys are way bigger than I thought they would be. I was thinking grape tomato size but these are bigger. And I'm still hoping I'll like them.
Oh, and the grubby looking orange thing is the kids wading pool. Last year I paid Grant to water my flowers but that's a lot to ask of a friend- coming over every-single-day. I also thought of a water timer but it was nearly $30 so I filled the kids wading pool with water and stuck the plants in it. They all have drainage holes in the bottom or on the sides so my thought was that they would suck up the water as they needed it. And it worked because they were all alive when I got home. I do wonder if too much moisture was the tomato blossoms problem though. We'll see. And here's my sunflower patch this year courtesy of the neighborhood birds. Oh and my new roof- just noticed that. I only had 3 plants last year and this year I have no idea how many there are. It looks kind of pitiful right now but in a couple of weeks I'm going to have a lot more flowers. I really love them. I wouldn't say that they're my favorite flower- I don't think I have a favorite- but they're so easy to grow. And they're so low maintenance, I just really love growing them.


Mary said...

Since marrying Kris I am so much more aware of the height of shower heads.

Love all the stuff that's growing. Wish I had as much success. Pretty smart using the wading pool as a watering can.

Can't wait to hear what all that cool clean air does for your health.

Christy said...

I have a yellow pear tomato plant too! It did OK until it just got too steamy around here. Pretty much all of my tomatoes are so full of mildew and blight - they're pathetic. But I can't bring myself to rip them out just yet as they are all squeezing out one tomato here or there.