Saturday, April 28, 2007

To Switch or Not to Switch

Here is my question. I have been wondering about this for a while so I decided I needed to do some research on it and let you all know the wisdom I have attained from said research.

Should I replace my regular light bulbs now or wait until they burn out?

This question has been plaguing me for some time. I have bought quite a few of the new compact fluorescent bulbs and have replaced burnt out regular bulbs as they go. Yet it just seems so wasteful to pull a perfectly good bulb and put in one of the new.

I know how good the new bulbs are. I've read several times the fact that :
  • If every household in the U.S. replaced one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL), it would prevent enough pollution to equal removing one million cars from the road. Source:

I'm fully committed to the new lighting. I'm for it. I've also found other interesting information about how long to leave the lights on for. Did you know that if you have a bulb that you leave on a good amount of the time, this fluorescent is the best bet, but if you hardly use a bulb then a regular is probably fine?
The rule of thumb for optimizing the in-use versus turn-on power is:
Knowing that this is the efficient road to travel and that I will save on my bills and the environment, I still can't shake the feeling that it's so very wasteful to throw away half-used bulbs. So, I'm going to start by only replacing those bulbs that get used the most. The lights that get left on for a longer period of time. Any thoughts from the interweb on this? Any advice that you think I should hear on this subject?

A couple final things about the compact fluorescent:
You should avoid contact with the tubes and always handle the bulb from the base only. If you can't avoid touching the tube, use soft gloves. Using gloves is not as critical as with halogen lamps where oils from your hands can dramatically reduce the life of the bulb (something to remember when changing the headlights of your car for example). With some fixtures it is difficult to avoid touching the tube when replacing the bulb, so I usually use gloves just in case. Even if you use gloves, you should still avoid contact with the tube because it is really quite fragile.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Watched Ebay Never Sells

It's so hard to not keep checking! Yesterday was .20 cent listing day so we were going through everything we could possibly find to sell. Three items already went yesterday. The selling is addictive, I think.

Next weekend I am having a garage sale. I'm not sure what all I'll sell yet, though I want to make up a good bunch of hand-sewn stuff along with the junk lying around the house. There is a HUGE carnival at the park at the end of my street so we'll have plenty of street walker traffic. It should be the perfect weekend to do it. Now if we can just keep it from raining....

Monday, April 23, 2007

It's So Easy Being Green

I've always been a pretty good recycle-er. But the more I read and the more I find good ways to take much better care of our planet, the more I want to take much better care of our planet. Not too profound, I know.

There are all kinds of great sites out there that have good information on ways we can help.

Recycling info.

A couple environmental organizations.

Get a free home energy audit!

Utilizing the Farmer's Market.

Getting rid of Yucky Junk Mail that no one wants anyway not to mention the waste of paper.

Recycle your old cell phone, PDA or pager.

Ways to use less electricity thus saving on your bill and the environment.

With all of that, here are a couple that I read recently in Relevant Magazine that I hadn't thought of before but can make such a big difference!!
  • Bring your own coffee mug when you buy from Starbucks, Beaners or wherever. Don't waste that paper cup!
  • Buy a reusable coffee filter. Unfortunately for me, this may mean buying a new coffee maker. But apparently the regular white ones "can contain chlorine and other chemicals that add to landfills." Plus, you can save your coffee grounds--they are a great compost for your plants and give them tons of nutrients!
  • Quit using paper towels! I find myself reverting often and have initiated a rule that they are only to be used when whatever I am wiping up must be thrown away. Like raw chicken juice or something.
  • Use cloth napkins whenever possible. Fortunately, I already have a good amount of these, and since I have plenty, they are so easy to just throw in the wash. For many meals, they can be reused as there is no mess! To think of all the paper napkins I have thrown away because I dabbed my mouth that one time.
  • Turn the water off when you brush your teeth. Seems pretty basic, but it's so easy to just leave it on.
  • Take a canvas bag or reuse grocery bags when shopping. I don't know how many of those plastic bags I have thrown away, but it's truly horrifying when it can be avoided!

There are so many other things that can be done, but any start is a good start.

What are your ideas? Something you have come across lately (or have done for years!) that is a good healthy habit to get into?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Pictures of Things

  • Those fabulous Red Shoes I got for my birthday from my hubby. I adore them. I will be wearing them with EVERYTHING this summer! Maybe even the bbq I'm going to this evening!?

  • The repainting of the spare room/sewing room/office. This is where I write my thoughts, sew new creations and mend old favorites, as well as where I take my naps. This room used to be plain old, boring white. It wasn't even a good white, either. I swear it's at least 10 degrees warmer in here now.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Painting: One Step at a Time

There is nothing more motivating than getting a project done quickly, seeing instant results, and loving a new look. My office/sewing room/spare bedroom is literally 10 degrees warmer with a fresh coat of paint.

We're always so careful to keep the cats out of whatever room is being painted. Though inevitably cat hair will get painted onto the wall at some point.

And maybe, just maybe if we're lucky enough, there will be little kitty prints. Just one, on the window sill. Just a couple smudges on the desk downstairs. Apparently she wants us to paint that room next.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

An Observation...

...Late night painting goes REALLY fast.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Older and Wiser

Thank you all so much for the Birthday Love you sent my way! I got piles of e-cards and regular cards from so many dear friends.

Gifts I received this year were meaningful and perfect.

  • $$ from Grandparents and parents--always very much appreciated!
  • Pink (yes Pink! even though the picture is green!) fish tank from brother bear--best present ever! I still have to pick out some fish for it. I'm thinking little yellows and oranges and an angel fish.

  • Recipe book from in-laws--the hubby needs to eat!

  • Book from Hillary!--completely unexpected and so sweet!! Thank you thank you!

  • Time with hubby (dinner AND lunch out!!) and being allowed to go shopping for the cutest shoes ever! Seriously. Cutest ever. I don't have a picture at the moment because they're a beautiful red and my nail polish just doesn't match. Apparently that means I need a new pedicure. Ahh, what we suffer for fashion.
Now that I am so wise, feel free to ask me anything you can think of. It's been quite a while since the Ask Anne Link has been used. I think it may be feeling neglected. Or I am. Not sure which.

Fun stuff coming up this week. I shall divulge more later as well as add another good book review or two to add to your growing piles.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Yeah, Yeah I Do!

I like birthdays, yes I do!

I like birthdays, how 'bout you!?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Complain, Complain, Complain

It's all I've done for the past week or so. Continually. At least in my head.

I don't mind winter and mounds of snow, but I hate it during my birthday-week. And I especially hate it covering the exposed buds of tree leaves, tulip heads and daffodil flowers. This year I was more than usually excited about my tulips coming up as I had planted two large boxes bought in Amsterdam. I was going to take pictures so I knew where I could plant more in the fall.

Now I just want to hole up inside with my coffee and my near-finished very long novel and not come out until June.

Boo. Hiss.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bad Kitty Mommy

I think it partly has to do with the fact that it is spring. And how everyone wants to play outside.

Calico Kitty has become an Expert escape artist. White Fluffy Kitty used to be the Queen of this gift but has apparently passed the scepter.

This morning we were not greeted by anyone. No sweet rubs around the ankle, no good morning nuzzle, no howling of hunger.

The situation was highly surprising as we slept in quite late after staying up watching movies late last night. The common occurrence is for the meowing to commence as soon as our feet hit the floor. Something obviously wasn't quite right in kitty land.

We stumbled downstairs to feed them and make ourselves coffee when I realize that there is a kitty missing. Hmm.

"I think there is a kitty missing," I say.

We look in every room, behind every door but no sweet kitty face appears. The last resort is to look outside. How could she possibly get outside? Besides, it's yucky and rainy and has been thundering all night.

I'll check just in case. I poke my head out onto the back porch in case she got stuck out there when I hear the cries. Sad, plaintive cries. Wet, terrified cries. I had to call several times before I could coax her out from under the car.

Dirty, wet, and scared to death, she gets carried shaking into the house.

She gets a bath and a blow dry and brush down but she's still going to be licking herself dry for hours. My poor, sweet girl has had a terrifying outdoor adventure and I am wracked with guilt over being such a bad kitty mommy to have let her go through it.

Kitty is going to get extra treats and snuggles today. Maybe even a bit of tuna.

Monday, April 02, 2007

What To Do on a Very Grey Day on a Very Quiet Street

I could sit
I could sew
I could read a book for hours

There are tasks
There are jobs
There are hobbies and fun things

Should I clean
Should I work
Should I just enjoy the time

Maybe all
Maybe none
Maybe just a bit of each