Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Duhhh! I had a Moment.

So this time of year sometimes presents a conundrum at our house. First off let me explain that in my not too distant past before I knew better, I was the type of person who always either ran the heat or air. I loathe being hot. That is when I am my crankiest, and so I often set the thermostat really low. Now over the years I have really worked at acclimating myself to being comfortable in warmer temperatures. Each year we are able to put off turning the air on longer and longer. Other than being environmental conscious, with the rising cost of electricity, I haven't really had a choice. But I have to admit that this is hardest for me at night. Ever since I had my daughter two years ago, I have found that I sweat horrible at night. Maybe from hormonal changes? I don't know, but I do know it makes me miserable! This time of year is usually great because It's really cool at night and I can leave the windows open and I sleep great. Last night, however, we had torrential rains, strong winds, and thunder and lighting. (So of course Andrew slept like a rock). On nights like this I can't leave the window open and it gets really really stuffy in our house if the windows are closed and the air is off. And I was laying there in be, staring up at the ceiling fan, thinking about how it stays so much cooler in my daughters room, and seriously considering going to sleep on her floor when it happened. Duh! In the entire time we have lived in our house we have never switched the direction of the ceiling fans. If they turn clockwise, they push warm air down (so this is the direction they should go in the winter) and when they turn counterclockwise, they keep the warm air up at the ceiling ( for summer). I've know all this for a while, but for some reason never actually put my knowledge into practice. So I climbed on top of the bed and when I still couldn't reach, woke up Andrew and had him switch the fan. Let me tell you the cool down was immediate. I finally fell asleep and didn't wake up hot once.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Regina...You Talked Me into It

Okay, so someone named Regina left a comment on my post Radishes Again. I don't get very many comments, and so anytime someone leaves one I go check out their blog if they have one. Well, upon visiting Regina at her blog, Regina's Cottage, I saw she was the proud owner of a new dehydrator. And she had dehydrated some carrots and they looked lovely. And I really really wanted one. Andrew and I have been discussing this purchase for about a year now, but we always decide to wait. I especially wish for one when I am drying something in my oven like apple rings that takes several hours. I know that it is a big part of my energy usage. Well, after seeing Regina's post I went out (not immediately, but a few days later) and purchased one of my own. I don't have too many kitchen gadgets, but this is one that I really have enjoyed. My dehydrator uses 500 watts, which in comparison most electric ovens use between 2000 and 4000. Also, it doesn't heat up the house like drying with the oven does. It came with this tray to make fruit rolls with. I am really excited about this, because that is a great way to preserve fruits and you can use overripe and damaged fruits you usually wouldn't can with. As I type I have my first batch going. I mixed up some organic raspberries, overripe organic strawberries, and one soft pear. I will report back on how it turned out.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Radishes Again

Radishes are such a quick crop, and we really like them, so we grow them twice a year. In the early spring and late summer/early fall. This weekend we harvested them along with some other garden goodies. The weather was so so beautiful. Also good for attacking some weeds and mowing the yard (obviously done after the pics were taken.) The best part was seeing what fun Isabelle had helping. Each Radish I pulled was handed to her and gently placed in the basket. Then she carried the basket to the back porch. She also halped me gather a bunch of collard greens to have with dinner that night. I was also really surprised to see how many peppers we had still growing. They quit for a while, probably because it was so hot, but have recently started cranking them out again. Isabelle had fun carrying them one at at time and placing them in a chair we have sitting on the back porch. It is such a pleasure having her help, even if it is a little slow going. I can't wait to let her help me in the spring!