Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's Resolution Time -What Will It Be?

Have you made any Resolutions for the New Year? Many people look forward to the New Year by make a promise to themselves. I for one tend not to do this. Every time I made one I had a hard time achieving it. However for this New Year of 2010,I will Make one and put it in writing on this blog. Being very careful with how I word it so to be able to achieve it in the coming year.
For about 5 years I have been on a yo yo pattern with my weight program. This next year I will try to be on that downward slope to a healthier weight for me.
Now it is you turn. Will you put yours in writing? If you wish not to blog it, you can put it here on my blog. Using MckLinky for all to see or my comments for more privacy.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ageless Granny.

Headed back to Maryland now. We have been in the south for a few days. Visiting Family, my Grandmother is 92 years old and still going strong. I wonder what her secret is? How has she made it to this age? She loved to dance in her younger years, worked as a waitress in many places and walked a lot. One thing she told me yesterday was she did not cook, her husband does all the cooking. Her pantry is filled will beans, soups and greens. Maybe that's the key, eat more beans and greens. One thing she told me was that at the doctors office the clerks came to her and said you made a mistake on your form. When were you born? Is this right? Yes, she said, that's correct 1917. she just does not look like that age. But, then again what does 92 look like? In this photo, this is what Granny at 92 looks like! Have a nice day and live long and prosper and Spock would say.

Monday, December 28, 2009

It's Monday - Let's take a break.

Over the river and through the woods to grandfathers house we go.......Traffic was really bad. I guess everyone was headed south by land. At times like these I wish I had the power to Orb! Yes and be there in a blink of an eye. So we sat in the grid lock for hours. Left during the daylight got there at bed time. It is usually not that long of a trip. Thinking of taking a different way back.
Last week I ask a question what to get the men in my life. Well we got my Dad a digital Picture frame. It takes the place of Scrapbooks. One can still arrange the picture in scrapbook style with words and embellishment. Also gave him a flannel jacket. Thank you for all the suggestions they really helped.
How did you travel to love ones, by Air or by Land?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Years Resolutions.....

while Dropping on Christmas Day I found this photo. It was on Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder. Oh she put it simple so I will not go there. Instead I will tell you my story.
I use to smoke years ago. It was hard to stop and at the time I wish I had never started. Now smoke free for 30 years,I am healthier. For medical reason I had to quit. I tried to quit several times before then. However never did succeed at it. Then Thirty years ago I was told I would never have children if I didn't quit. Having had 3 miscarriage by then, my belief was I need to stop smoking. No it was not easy, I gained weight and was very crabby(ask my hubby,he'll tell you).
Now with all the New Years resolutions starting up, many people will make a plan to stop smoking. Here's a little helper for you. click on the photo, save it to your desktop or Photo program, Print it out,several times and place it everywhere you will see it constantly. Maybe even print it small enough to put on the cigarette case. Then think about your loved ones, your life, your grandchildren, great grandchildren and your longevity. I wish for you a long Healthy life.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Christmas Wish for You

Thank you for dropping by. Y'all have a wonderful Christmas Day and don't stop Believing. We can make the world a better place if we just keep believing and look for ways to Live Healthier.
Merry Christmas to All.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Upcycling- New or Old?

I keeping hearing this upcycle term. Oh yes it's making an appearance, but is it new. We have re-gifting and recyling, pack rats and just people who can't get rid of anything. You know the old saying " I might be able to use it again in some other way". Well this term Upcycle is that other way.
Coined by William McDonaugh and Michael Braungart. Upcycle is a process of converting an old material into something of similar or greater value, giving it a second life. By doing this we can reduce the amount of energy used. saving the environment from air and water pollution, and even green house gas emissions. Let's say instead of throwing away those gum wrappers, we create something to use. Remember how we use to fold and make a now named origami type chains. Then turning it into a necklace, bracelet or ring. Yes we never threw away any gum wrappers.(the beginning of the Pack Rat cycle).

How about this.....
for only 113.00 one can buy this purse. made from over 4000 candy wrappers.
Who knew the skill taught to us kids could make us Real money. This trend is getting big now. We are starting to see the Upcycle stuff in the store this season. I found this bag and many more thing on Shopzilla. So let's get started on Upcycling the items we find no longer needed. You just watch it take off. And for heaven sake don't throw out those Gum and Candy wrappers! We need to teach other children the gum wrapper art. so they can support us!
Here's a short video on how to make the Gum Wrapper Chain. Grab the kids and learn the money making art. Who know maybe the TV will be off more, saving even more energy.

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's Monday - Let's take a break.

I want to take a break from the blog theme and take you to The National Christmas Center in Lancaster, Pa. I Love Santa and at the Village they go down Memory Lane. so, Let's look at some things Santa promoted way back when.

Remember those Green Stamps days?
You would collect them from stores when You bought stuff.
Then you could cash them in for Stuff.

Oh the year of the Uncola..Known as 7-Up.

Now we can't forget the Coca Cola
Santa loves it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Big Thank You

I received some really good ideas for the men in my life gifts. I want to thank you all for your suggestions. I would tell you which ones inspired me however, the men in my life read my blogs. So they will have to guess and you will have to wait til next week to hear how they like their gift and what a choose.
It is really snowing now. That means I will not be able to go shopping today. We are expecting 12-18 inches today. Tomorrow and early in the week I will be shopping. That leaves time for you to continue to make suggestions.
Right now I have my Cinnamon Swirl Log cooking. Coffee is on and hot cocoa for my daughter. Our Pellet Stove is fixed and working and the snow is still coming down. Hubby is putting the recycling in the bins. We are enjoying our day at home. Our Daughter will have a lot of shoveling to do when she gets out of bed. The smell of the cinnamon will get her up for sure.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Aloha Friday

I have been having a tough time shopping for the men in my life. In the previous post I needed help with Dad. Still do, I have not done any shopping. I go but leave empty handed. Only a week to Christmas and I need to get going.
Here's the Question:

Can you tell me what you've given your men in the past?

To visit more bloggers with questions,An Island Life Link is in the Button and here

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What To Get Him?

A question : What should I get my Dad for Christmas?
He told me " unless I can eat it or use it up, don't get me anything". Now we find out he has Diabetes and so the Hershey Chocolate he so love, is out. Since the passing of my Mom almost 23 months ago, he really does not want anything. It has been very hard for me. Mom would always give me clues and he liked doing things in the yard. Me being an outdoorsy person could find some yard things. Now he Tells me the only reason he did things in the yard was to please Mom. His whole live was based on Moms likes and desires. Now we need to find something for him to enjoy. You know it is hard having the medical knowledge that most spouses only live a short time after the death of their partner. I want him to have a long life.
So I will be out shopping today with my Blackberry in tow. I will be able to get all the suggestion you leave in my comment section. Please go shopping with me and get me some ideas. One comment might be the thing that lights up his face.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When stuff happens #2......

As I posted yesterday with the Pellet stove, Stuff happens. Yes it is still happening.....To continue my story, we are suppose to have our dishwasher swapped out. So this is Number 4 delivery set up. Each time the delivery company go to pick it up they tell them, tomorrow it will be in. Now I am really getting frustrated with this constantly marking days for set up. I have not done the Holiday shopping I need. Now this time I will not setup a delivery date until they know for sure the dishwasher is in.

This experience has not be good. You see there is a feature that the dishwasher is suppose to have, However,Ours does not have it and the company can not understand it. My take is, it is an older model on the showroom floor and the newer ones do not have the feature. so they are willing to replace it with another one. I was very upset with this process, I was cutoff the phone several times before I got someone to assist me. I can not understand what happened to good service. It seems that the customer service here in the USA stinks. But most of all the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Feeling like I have left something behind.....Now where is that hat?

Monday, December 14, 2009

When stuff happens......

When stuff happens it is usually at and most unfortunate time and it raises my Blood Pressure. Here it was the first night of Chanukah, companies coming over. I needed to start the Latkes and get the table ready. When I notice it was awfully cold in the solarium. checking it out it was the Pellet stove! For some reason the stove had decided to stop working. So I tried to fix it, good clothes on and all. No such Luck! Called the repair man from last years repair, the igniter had gone bad. This time it was acting the same way and it hadn't been a year yet! Randy the repairman said he could not come until the 18th, the last night of Chanukah. Is this and omen? Eight crazy nights and no heat in the solarium, I got out the portable electric/oil heater. Yes I said Oil. Let see... eight nights the temple stay lit with the oil.... eight night my solarium will stay heated with oil, a coincidence ?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Aloha Friday -Parties

Kailani over at An Island life likes to take it easy on this day. We ask a question for our visitor to give their two cents. For more followers click on the Aloha Friday banner.
Today is a very busy day. I have to get ready for a party tonight. Oh of course we will have plenty of food. So, Here is my Question for you:

Are there any parties planned in your home this Holiday Season?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I am getting on the Wii again. Yes it is time to get back in the Wii game. Got a new trainer and now I feel it is time to start back up. Exercising has not be a steady thing for me. It seems like I have all these home helps but finding the time is so hard. Will need to set aside a time for 30 minutes of some sort of exercising. The ice and rain makes it hard to walk out doors but I guess I could use the Wii and treadmill for that. So here I go, I'm adding 30 minutes of aerobic work to my daily routine.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Teen Driving Years-Yikes

(Photo courtesy of Inmagine)
My teen announced yesterday that she is going to be old enough to get a learners permit. Yikes, what to do? Hubby and I were just talking about teen driving. I never had a license til I was out of School. Never owned a car until I was 21. I learned from my Dad and Mom teaching me. Had some friends teach me stick driving. I had no accidents. On the other hand, Hubby drove while in school. Drove his family car and other ones he got. He was a crazy teen driver as a teen and had a lot of accidents.
I do not think teens have changed that much in the driving skills. There are still distractions just some different ones. So what about others riding in the car of a teen driver? Think of it, a Group of teens together in a Moving thing controlled by a teen...Yikes it scares me!!
Not even talking about our Accidents free driving history and great insurance. Add a teen to the mix and what can happen...You loose our insurance or the lower cost and it wasn't even you who had the accident. Just not sure what to do with this teen driving wish. Need to set up some rules and look for another insurance option.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ionized Water- "Good or Not"?

We did well over the weekend. Even with the snow and rain. Today is Sunny and we are delighted, Go solar!Watched "Living With Ed" last night. They were installing a water ionizer. I didn't know the PH of the water really mattered. I will have to look into that. It should make a good post later this week. So here's a question for you. Do you think ionized water is better city or spring water? Love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mr Sun is Shining Down

It's a sunny day today, we love these kind of days. All that solar energy being collected. It is almost High Noon and we have already harvested 10 kwh. We do have some clouds but the wind is moving them quickly through the sky. We are expecting snow this weekend. It will be interesting to see how the Panels do.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

That Sound in your Head.....

Yesterday was a busy day. Ever have one of those days when you hear all kinds of things in your head? Oh yeah..It started Sunday and has been going on since. Now I am not crazy, even though you might think so. It is just that time of the season. I think I should do one thing and then I get this thought that I shouldn't. Well that is just what happened. I was just sitting in church and a thought popped in. So I talked to Hubby about it and we decided to proceed with that thought. Then the next day we called the people and delivered the goods.
I received an e-mail that very same day. I thought That's great, they will be able to do that now.....then...another thought...all night long. So in the morning I called and took all the tags that they had. We went out yesterday and shopped, not for ourselves. Now I think it is a healthy things to listen to ones thoughts. It can cause some endorphins to spread thought your body and give you that wonderful Christmas season feeling. Nowadays recycling is the In-thing, a gift of a used coat, clothing or shoes. however what a joy to give to someone in the community a New gift. Not knowing the person, just buying it, wrapping it, tagging it and dropping it off at a common site. We indeed had fun shopping for the unknown person. Get into the Season Spirit and find a gift tree in your area, pick a few tags and take your family shopping.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's In The Bag-Monthly update #4

It the first and time for an update. We have been doing well with the Cloth/reusable bags. I think it is starting to be a habit. Still working hard on turning the house into a green home. More about that later.
Our solar has been up and running for 12 days. We have saved 564.2 lbs of CO2 and Produced 331.9 kWh in that time. Now we have had some overcast days and the days are getting shorter. This all will effect the amount of kWh produced. As the day start to getting longer, after the December Solstice, we will see a high number. How are you doing?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Santa Goes Green Tree

I managed to get walking in this weekend and a lot a standing. We went to the Festival of Trees. I notice more and more people using the reusable bags. Great for them!

I thought you would love to see a Santa Goes Green tree.
A closer view

I just had to chuckle. Could you imagine getting light bulbs for Christmas from Santa?
Last week I bought some energy saving light bulbs. I was surprise at the cost but, bought them anyway. When I got them home a couple of them would not work. Seems the gas can leek out and they will no longer light. Now I ask, can that gas be bad for the environment? Does any one know?
Hubby bought LED light for the hallway chandelier. They were suppose to last a life time. Who's live time, an aunt? Oh yeah they stopped working after a couple months. All of them stopped. That is why I needed to buy new light bulbs.
I sure hope someone develops one that is energy efficient and doesn't cost 5 to 10 dollars a piece. I can not be paying all this money on them only to last a couple of months! And if the industry is really going to phase out the old type, I'll have to go back to candle light.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to All: A Pardon or Gift?

Here we are the official turkey day. My daughter stated yesterday that she wanted to print out a turkey to pin to your shirt. Hubby said he would go into work early today and she said "No we need to watch the parade". We usually watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade and cook the turkey.
Oh I saw President Obama Pardon the turkey. It will now live at Disney World...What a great life to be with Mickey and all his friends. But, watch out....

They celebrate Thanksgiving also!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Living Healthy Through the Hoildays

Will it be a hard time to stay healthy through the Holidays? In today's Lifestyle that will be the main theme on all the Networks Shows. Every Year about this time people can't wait to have all the comfort Holiday foods.

You know the types;
  • Turkey and Moms Stuffing
  • Ham deck out with pineapple, brown sugar and cloves
  • Lamb for some
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Sweet potatoes with Marshmallow topping
  • Mash potatoes with Gravy
  • Potato cakes with apples sauce and sour cream
  • Green bean casserole
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pecan Pie
  • Apple cranberry Pie
  • Mincemeat Pie
  • chocolate- Any kind
  • Nuts
  • Gingerbread houses
  • Eggnog
All these are high in Fat and Carbs. So what are we to do? You know we will be eating these things. Holidays dictate it and what kind would it be if we did not eat these foods?
I love the holidays and it traditions, just could not enjoy it without them. Sure we can modify them, as seen on some Network shows, but it would not be the same. Let's Face it, this time only come along once a year. If we can manage a little control and not over doing it, we will be fine.
We can exercise a little more in the yard or in the house. Clean out the closets, get rid of the coats (the coat drives are out), do a Winter cleaning verses a spring cleaning of the whole house, Get those decorations up and start to bring in the Holidays with a healthier energy. Yes we can enjoy this seasons Holidays and still keep a Healthy Lifestyle.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Our Solar Project- We are up and running.

The meter has been switched out and the monitoring system installed. Panel array looking good, Mr Sun is shinning and we are helping the environment. Wanted to share the last of the project and the company we used during this process.

We started our project in October. Deciding on what company and product to use. There was a post "We are Going Solar" and "Our Solar Panel Decision" about that process. Next "Why Solar?" was the topic. Once the decision was made we need to find a company that would give us what we wanted and the service we expected. We decided on 21st Century Power Solutions.Then we waited on the Government to update their incentives ("A solar family is about to be Born"). On Friday October the 30th Our Project begin "Our solar project has started". It went smoothly with no problems you can read about it at these links; The Electric Part, The Solar Inverter and Our New Solar Panels. All these links are to previous post on this blog by me, just in case you weren't following or missed one.

On the 12th of November the power company switched out the box. We now have a Digital one. So to see the meter go backwards I will show you the old one in test mode.

Hear is the new Net Meter Box. The numbers can go backwards.

Our days are short now so the Sun power is lower. I will up date you monthly in my "It's in the Bag- Monthly updates". Usually posted around the first of each month.

On Monday this week, the Monitoring system came in. 21st Century Power Solutions Installed it.
It is connected to the Inverter

Then to our Router

This monitoring system will allow us to check the system on line. We also have a read out unit (shown below) that will let us see how our solar system is working anywhere in the house. Of course I have it in the Kitchen, since most of my time is spent there.

So the project took a total of 18 days from the start of 21st Century Power Solutions first home invasion til completed. I have to say here, that I really loved those workers. We had so much fun with them. There was some jokes played on Jack , the director of sales. Knowing how hubby loves to do that kind of things and so did some of the workers. At times I felt bad for Jack... being one who gets the jokes played on me from Hubby. Now that he had others edging him on, you can just imagine and I will let you here. Just to make things clear....
We did not have any problems with the installation. everything went smoothly.
I was very impressed with the way they did their work. Any thing that needed our attention they explained and took care of. Very informative on the work being done. Did whatever we wanted as far as appearances. I was even surprised when they drywall and repainted the den walls. The Master Electrician even came and stayed the whole day waiting on the inspectors. Being sure he would be able to answer or fix any problem on the spot. So not to hold up the passing of the building and electrical inspections. This was a very pleasant experience and I am sure we will have a long relationship with 21st Century Power Solutions.**.

**I have not received any compensation from 21st Century Power Solutions for this post. I am only giving my personal opinion of the company's work and work ethics as I experienced.
This statement is in compliance with the new FTC Blogging regulations put in place on November 1st.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Time to Update to Greener Appliances

Now that we are up and running on the Solar Energy plain, we needed to look at the appliances in our home. Could we be more energy conversing in some areas. Most Refrigerators use a lot of the energy provided to the home. If you have a dishwasher it too can suck up the watts. Maryland has a program running that will pay you for replacing your appliances.

Refrigerators are the most costly appliance in a home. Therefore it was the first thing we looked at. Decided to update to a more efficient one. The one we will get rid of is about 15 years old, not an energy saver at all. It takes 700 to 1600kilowatts-hours to operate it. Therefore by replacing it with an energy star one, we will save half the kilowatts hours saving Money.
What to do with old one? Did you know that 120 pounds of recyclable steel is in the average ten years or older refrigerator? By recycling our refrigerator, we save enough energy to run our new energy star refrigerator for 8 months. Our Power company will give us fifty dollar for the old one and take it off our hands to be recycled.

Next the dishwasher. We have a good one, however because our family is small, we tend to run at half full. Not a wise move, yes I could wash by hand but with the flu and viruses we feel we need the sanitizing of the dishwasher. Also most dishwasher heat their own water saving on the water heaters energy consumption. One more thing, Believe it or not it takes less water to use the dishwasher than to wash by hand. So a dishwasher is a good choice. We decided to get a two drawer one it will save energy and water.

This Going Green is costing us in money however in the long run it will make us better stewards of it. You see when retirement comes we hope to be self sufficient enough to be able to keep our home and pay our daily expenses. I know not many of you younger guys think about that. You should, time goes by so fast and before you know it you will be wondering how you will ever make it without working on Retirement income. We do not want to live on credit cards, like some seniors are today. They never thought the cost would be so high that their retirement income would not be sufficient to live on.

So here we are just starting to figure out how to save the environment as well as ourselves. there are many Incentive's to assist in the paying for some of these upgrades and energy solutions. I will write about those later. For now we are taking every opportunity out there.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Aloha Friday- Home Heating

Kailani over at An Island life likes to take it easy on this day. We ask a question for our visitor to give their two cents. For more followers click on the Aloha Friday banner.

There are all kinds of Home heating in the market today. We are a very diversified world. Some heat with Oil, Gas, Wood , Hot water or Heat Pumps. A newer one on the market, for some years, is GeoThermal. Of course there are some who still use Electric heaters.

Here's Your Question of the Day:

What type of Heat source do you use in your home?

We use a Heat Pump however we are thinking about going GeoThermal. Looking into it now. It is suppose to be a more Greener choice. My parents have had it for some years and their Heating bill has gone down. They use to use Oil. I have lived in homes that have used all the above listed. I really think Gas heat is Warmer. We also have a pellet stove. We use that all winter long. It is also a much warmer heat source. Even though we do have a fireplace,our use of it is limited. I feel too much heat is lost, but it is nice to cozy up by it on a snow blowing day with a cup of Hot chocolate....Oh I must stop now.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our New Solar Panels

The solar project is almost complete. All the panels are on the roof, the Inverter is in and the electric is done. The Electrical and Building Inspector have given their stickers of approval. Today the Power company switched out the meter. Now we are up and running, feeding our home and the grid.
Here are some project photos.

Conduit running from the attic to the power box.
Love that it is painted the house color.

Laying the rails for the Panels.
We will have three rows of Solar panels.

They used guide panels for wire placement.

The first Solar Panels laid out.

First day: half the panels done.

Finally done..It took two days to lay out the panels
Here is the photo of the array on top of our home.

We have 24 panels totaling 54kWh of harvesting sun power. This should reduce our power bill quite a bit. We will need to learn how to change our routines to use the suns energy wisely.
The system we have, has a Monitoring system. We are waiting for that to come in and be hooked up. I will post about that then.

Monday, November 9, 2009

It's In The Bag-Monthly update #3

Now in my third month. doing well,remembering to carry the bag into the stores. I now have clerks asking me if I want a bag! How nice a sound is that? We have three cars at the present time, One of them will be sold next month. I have managed to put green bags in all the cars, now I am not without a bag. I also carry a large bag with some others folded inside them. That way I am reminded to use them. Even carry one when window shopping just in case that unexpected thing spots me eye. When I am with out, which is very seldom, there is always one to pick up for under one dollar. My Family is still not on the green bag issue yet but, I will keep on them. This is an on going mission of mine. How are you doing? Thinking about starting?
Start and take it one day at a time. A habit takes some time to form.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Aloha Friday -TV Shows

Here is the Question:

Have you watched any
Going Green TV shows?

I started about 3 years ago watching "Living with Ed". It was mostly humorous, I love watching Ed Begley Jr in Movies and TV show, but this was truly something different. His wife Rachelle, reminds me of Me! Ed is like my Hubby. He was always trying to save electricity, going behind turning off lights, putting those LED ones in and looking into alternative solutions. Bringing home all kinds of new things he found in the market place, bring people over to talk about alternative solutions. And yes I like Rachelle would just stay in the background, protesting once they left. I Grew to love that show"Living with Ed". Didn't realize I would be joining the Green Nation group!

Join in the fun visit An island life for more Aloha Friday links.