Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Solar For The Yard

Still staying with the solar frame of mind, we purchased a solar umbrella.The umbrella is for our outside table. We put it up on our stone patio in the morning. We get a lot of sun there so, the solar panel will receive a good charge. Later on at night the family sat out on the stone patio,turned on the umbrella lights and we enjoy a great time. The lights are very bright, we where able the turn off the outside lights. There was still enough light to see and talk. So my daughter said "Where's the wine" and we all laughed. I think tonight we will set out and have some Hot Tea and Crumpets.
We are still doing our part to conserve electricity. Working on Going Green for Good. One Step at a Time.

We purchase it from Home depot: This is their write up on it.

"Light up your patio party with this energy efficient solar powered umbrella. Thirty super bright white LEDs line the ribs of the 9ft. x 7ft. rectangular shade. Constructed with steel ribs to bring extra durability and strength to this stylish addition to your patio decor."

* Energy efficient solar panel included
* Includes 30 pcs of pre-installed super bright white LEDs
* Powder coated finish on pole and ribs
* Lightweight, weatherproof polyester cover
* Crank and tilt mechanism included
* MFG Model # : 50400046
* MFG Part # : 50400046

Disclaimer: this is only my opinion, have not received any compensation from Home Depot.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Greener Windows-So Let The Sun Shine!

I know you are not a Monday person. I am , you see it's the day I start to share my weekend activities on my blogs. Over the weekend Hubby the I went to a Home Show, so many vendors were there. Green living has taking over the Home Show in this area.
Lets talk windows, so many to choose from.... double pane, triple pane, coated, how they open for cleaning. Then add in the energy Star rating.With all the window to choose from how does one make that choice?

A few years back we decided to buy new windows. The windows we had were double pane and about 30 years old. The efficiency of them were not good. You could feel the heat and cold coming in, causing our utility bill to be high. We began to look around, at that time we had just had a Hurricane and so had a mindset of sturdy as well as efficiency. Triple pane had just come into our area. We were one of the first homes to install them in our region. I will tell you they did reduce our utility bill as well as help maintained the temps on all floors in the house. The second floor south side was no longer so hot you couldn't stand to sleep there in the summer months.
They open out for easy cleaning, reduced the outside sounds and reduce the heat and cold transfer from inside and outside. During the day one can not see into the home due to the reflected covering. All the windows came with a life time replacement warranty. So let the light shine in and might I say the light only!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday follows & Aloha fridays- Painting

Yesterday I posted about how I started on the Green trail. So, today I thought of asking a question about Painting. One of my Nephews bought a New home recently and the painting process has started. First thing what Color then the trusty paint.

Your questions:

1.How do you decide color?
2.What brand of paint do you use?
3.Did you ever think about the ingredients in the paint product?

Start Thinking Green, it's good for the Mind.

Follow these links to visit more Friday bloggers

Visit One 2 Try, Hearts Make Family or Midday Escapades for Friday Follow

Visit An Island Life for more Aloha Friday

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Start Living Greener--- How?

Want to jump on the green Scene but not sure how to start living Green? I found just starting with one item will begin the process. Let's look at an easy place to start.... where you shop. Most Store are taking the green turn nowadays, you can see the be greener sign all around. Choosing one item that is greener can be a beginning. Perhaps you can replace one product with an greener version. That's all it takes to begin the greener journey.
I would like to tell you how I started. Two years ago, after my Mom died of cancer, we needed to repaint some rooms. Cancer had been a large part of my life for about 2 years prior. I never thought about the environment and cancer as being connected. After learning that Environmental things are the cause for some cancers, I got to thinking about my home environment. The products we put on the walls, are they healthy?
Searching for the answers, I learn that Paint has additives that are known to cause cancer. We spend more time in our home with our children, shouldn't it be a healthy place. We changed our regular paint brand choice with one that had none of the cancer causing additives. Yes I was skeptic at first, Will it cover the wall and be durable. Well it has been two years and the paint is still on the walls, the color has not changed and most importantly there are no cancer causing additives airborne is the home.
Now I know you want to ask how I know the color is the same. Well, a few months ago I needed to do some touch up around a new thermostat that replaced our old one. I had to buy some new paint, same color. I painted it and no one could tell I did. Hubby didn't even know the thermostat was even smaller. I had to point it out to him, he was amazed that the color blending into the whole wall. He didn't even know I painted cause there was no smell.
I started with the paint and move on to more greener products. In two year I now wash, bath, and shop with a greener view.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Laughter Good for your Health.

Laughter is one thing that helps a body stay healthy. Sometime we do not laugh at things, because we see no humor in them. Jeanne Robertson is a comedian from North Carolina. Has been on 60 minutes, featured in many magazine, has several awards and travels throughout the country.
So In order to give you a great healthier start, increase your endorphins and brighten your day...I present to you "Don't send a man to the grocery store!"

Info and photo courtesy of Jeanne Robertson

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Post It

I am always writing on Post it notes. I have a few in my house scattered around in rooms. Supahmommy thought it would be fun to do a post using the Post-It Notes. Supahmommy has a neat link system on her blog go check it out Here.

I have been working on the New Fitness Log blog for a week now. Posting food and exercise logs, as well as sharing some information I learn along the way. After much consideration decided to open it up to all. The process to invite and have people log in seemed too time consuming. My hubby helped me look into the process of someone visiting the page. I did not like the setup. So I will open it up, take a look see if it is something you would like to visit. I do post daily and some times more than once.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Collecting Natures' Water

With the Rainy season upon us here in the western hemisphere, We can collect the water for later use. There are many ways to do this, Barrels left open, a pond, an unused fountain, an underground tank and a vessel attached to your Gutters.
I have wanted for some time a Rain Barrel. Hubby got me one this year, so we will be installing it today between the rain.

For centuries people have been collecting water from nature to use. Using it for irrigation , washing clothes and items, bathing and for simple drinking use. Although I would boil before using it for drinking. Third world countries still collect water from roof tops and other vessels for all of their needs. Some companies are installing Underground tanks to store large amounts for these countries.

However here in the western hemisphere, the home owner wants to collect for outside use. To be Greener in thought, using less of the reservoir water. It not only saved on the cost of water use, It also saving on the environmental waste. Collection of water helps prevent run off and allow us to use the water during the drier months. I know here on the east coast we have had water restrictions in place for a few years now, making it hard to grow vegetables or flowers. In collecting the rain water we can still water those things and not be in violation of the restrictions.

I saw a program on Green Nation that profiled a home owner who collects water through their driveway. It was sent to a collection reservoir, by collection pipes and drains . Then process for in home use. Now how self sufficient is that?

No matter how you look at it, nature provide water in the spring season, and usually plenty of it. By collecting it we will save on conservation as well as our pockets. Any vessel can be used and the best place is from your roof. Did you know the 1 inch of rain fall on a 2,000 square foot roof will yield 1,250 gallons of water. The ground can only hold so much, so let's start collecting the access for later use. There are many different vessel out there on the market, thought I would give you a link to one, to get you started. Woodland Direct I have used them a few times and have been very pleased with them.

Disclaimer: I have not received any compensation or free products from Woodland Direct, this is just my experience with them.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Answer to friday's Question

Yes, everyone was right! One should weight Weekly. The Calorie intake varies from day to day. At the end of the week one will loose about 1.5 lbs. Now with that said a better way is to step on the scales every two weeks. I know when we are trying to loose the weight we want to step on more. However, the real measurement is your clothes. One will notice that those pants feel better or your arm fell great not to tight in that shirt.
What is the desired method of loosing weight and inches? Take the weight goal you have, let's say 140 lbs, multiply that by ten. That will give you 1400, this is the amount of calories you should consume in one day.
The next thing to do is Log the calories you intake each day. If you are not eating that many calories in a day, you will need to get there. This is the key, one must eat the caloric amount to get the body out of the starvation mode. This will take about a week or two. At that time the brain will reprogram itself and stop storing fat, for that raining day it thinks you will have (no food). Our body is programed that way to get us through famines.
So the reprogramming of the mind and our changing in the thoughts of dieting will help one to succeed in our weight lose. Now one must continue to eat their caloric amount forever. Once you are doing that, when you get to your desired weight, and you will, you will be able to maintain it.
Next weeks Friday question will be on exercising.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday's Question-Weighing Much?

Visit One 2 Try, Hearts Make Family or Midday Escapades to link up for Friday Follow

Visit An Island Life for more Aloha Friday

Here's your Question:

Do you think one who is trying to lose weight, should weigh them themselves every day?
Include why or why not in your answer?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fitness Log- A Good Idea

I started a Fitness Log Blog. Decided to make it an invite only blog. One thing I like to share on "Living healthy with Auntie E" is the how tos' on getting healthy. Trying to change the pattern of eating habits and over all unhealthier ones is a personal thing. I have all the knowledge one needs to get on the wagon, however getting on and staying on is not easy.

Starting a Fitness log and daily logging your food and exercise can be a good start to changing patterns. If you want to support and follow my journey to a healthier me, E-mail me with your request. I will be glad to give you access to my Fitness Log Blog. All I need is your e-mail address and I will send you an invite.

However I want to make this clear, this invite is only for those who want to give support and advice to me in comments. Those who want to have a personal health relationship with me, who want to see someone succeed in getting healthier. If you are ready to get on the wagon, I also invited you to join me. This is a real struggle for many and it is not easy to do it alone. Who likes going to those meeting where you say " Hi I'm Auntie E and I have an eating problem".... I really do not like that kind of thing, too public for me.
However with that said.. I would love to step out of this house one day and have folks to say " Who is that".. A new healthier me that's who.

I little about Auntie E's Fitness Log. On the blog you will find, the stats on what my intake should be and how much exercising I need. There will be Daily food and exercise logging. I will journal about my ups and downs, new things that help me and my thoughts on daily struggles. Being honest is the key to getting healthy and some times the honesty is not pretty. I do want to be more open on the Log blog and share more of my struggles and how I think I got here.

So, Let me know if you want an invite. Leave your e-mail in the comments and your request. Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Where It's Always Green

A trip for you today
Where to? you may say
Where you'll always think Green.
While watching these scenes
Wishing you a Happy St.Patty's Day

Monday, March 15, 2010

Can You Afford Solar?

It's Monday, the start of a new week. Over the weekend we got our Electric bill and I was very pleased. For the first time since we have lived in this house, Our bill was under 175.00. We are very pleased with the solar system.
I read an article talking about the affordability of Solar. So I thought today I would share some information with you. Between the incentive credits and grants, we were able to get a system installed at a most reasonable rate.
The United State tax incentive program will credit you 30% of the cost. This credit is given to you through your income taxes. Your credit will carry over to the next tax year until you receive the full credit. Let's say you owe 7,000.00 in income taxes and your solar credit is 14,000.00. If you have paid 7,000.00 in taxes through your monthly deductions, you will get that money back in your tax refund. The remaining 7,000.00 will be credited on your next years taxes. Now you can do several things here, Increase your deductions so you will not pay in much for the next year taxes. Or you can continue paying taxes in as usual and receive the money back at the tax time. We opt to increase the dependent number that way we have the money to pay for the solar. But remember you need to pay in some in order to get some back and not get hit with fees. It is goof to check with your tax person on how to manage this credit.
Many States have solar grants. Grant work differently, this money is sent to you or your bank account. Each state is different, so check with yours. Maryland has a good one, we will be getting a pretty good sum. There is a link to Maryland's grant program on my lower right sidebar.
Some counties have property tax credit, Ours do, so we will get a credit on our property tax and will not have to pay property tax for over a year.
Lastly there are Renewable Energy Credits known as RECs. These are sold on the market to the highest bidder yearly. The earnings are sent to you by whatever company you choose to manage it. These RECs are based on the solar system size you get. Also you need to shop around to get a good company that pays well.
By the time you add all the grants and credits up, the cost is affordable and less than buying a new car.
The amount you start saving on your electric bill is instant. We have had ours Solar system for almost four months now. We have had Two blizzards, arctic temps and the coldest winter on record and our Electric bill has been lower than any other winter on our records.
Is solar affordable... If you can buy a new car with a loan, or with cash then yes it is. Not only will you save on the amount of CO2 that car puts out, you will also save the hard earned money in your pocket.
I will tell you I was a skeptic at first, However I am getting more Excited about the summer months when the sun is up longer and we will save even more money. My family wants to go to England and Ireland. We might just be able to do that now. One more thing, we have our Solar feeding back into the grid, that means when we are on vacation we will be making money at home! Now I like that.
The company we used was 21st Century Power Solution. Jack Copus is very good at explaining the systems. Give him a Call and tell him Auntie E and Steve sent you. Their workers were great, all trained by the company and all licensed to do the work needed. We went with SunPower for our panels of choice and really enjoy their online services. We can check on solar from anywhere via computer and they Monitor the system to make sure it is running well.

The Photo Icon is of my Home and it's solar panels. I think they look good and are pleasing to the eye. Most folks do not even notice them. You can read more about the solar project in the side bar, under the archives is a solar project link.

disclaimer: We have no received any compensation at this time form 21st Century Power Solution or Sun Power Corp.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Maxine on Saturday- New Doctor Service?

click on the Maxine badge to see more of Maxine or follow the link to today's Maxine at
Work of the Poet.

I set this as my screen saver, that way I can remind myself, Don't be frightened they have better health care..... when the time comes.........

What more can we say.....

c John Wagner
Hallmark Inc.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday's Words-Drink Soda or Not?

I have been under the weather for about two weeks. It started out with a cold and then it went into my head and sinuses. I do not seemed to be able to shake it off, no I know it is not an infection. Just a miserable head cold. We seem to be passing it back and forth in this household.. I will need to start that spring cleaning now! I am starting to feel better and now my daughter is getting it. Hubby is getting better also.
I heard a statement on the News that children are getting the flu shot and now the Swine flu (H1N1) is on the decline. They believe by giving the vaccine to the children the spreading of the H1Ni flu has been effected. I guess that is good, however usually the kids bring the viruses home from school. So this is no big surprise to me.
I also heard a study on drinking wine instead of soda pop can help one loose weight.... Oh, now that was interesting. Let see if you replace the once a day soda with a glass of wine you will have cut you calorie intake down. Most people drink about 2 to 3 (12oz) sodas a day. Just having one can per day for 1 year a person will gain ten pounds and that was with exercise. Now if that won't get you to stop consuming soda how about this; soda has been linked to Pancreatic cancer. A new study has linked the drinking of 2 or more(12 oz) per day of the sugary drink to an 87% change of getting pancreatic cancer. It seems the sugar is the blame, since the pancreas work on supplying the body with the insulin. The sugar is thought to increase the cancer cell production in the pancreas.
Now we know that our children are the ones who consume the most sodas. Some time ago I stop buying soda and opt to drink water instead. It saved on money and now it seems to have saved on Health. The government is deciding whether to tax soda now. Their belief is if they tax it like tobacco then less people will buy it.
What do you think? Should soda pop be taxed, what about the cancer link and weight gain.
Info resources, Reuters , My Fox,

Monday, March 8, 2010

Getting Fit with the Wii.

Here we are after Two weekends of Pizza and Birthday cake....I think that Wii board is calling me.
We purchased the board last year. Have to admit I like it. It's the only way I can skateboard, snowboard and skiing downhill with out being killed or breaking bones. I really love the balance games. My favorite is the one where you balance the balls and move slightly to drop them through the holes to different levels. with each level you get more balls added. the music makes it more intense with each level. Just don't be standing by me when I get to the higher levels, it can get wild!

While out shopping for presents we spotted a riser for the board. Thinking of getting one, anyone have a riser? I like doing stepping with the board. Jillian Michaels has a fitness Wii DVD. She is the trainer on The Biggest Loser. Notice she uses the step riser in her program. I think I'll get a better workout with the stepper riser. Now I do not have her DVD. Have Wii Fit, Wii fit plus and EA-Active. These keep me busy. Does any one have Jillian's DVD?

I like to use the Wii to exercise because you never get bored, there are always different mimis helping you along. I have several, Jesus (He keeps me honest), Chuck Norris( Oh he's the Guru of fitness), My Dad (you know when dad's there,it must be done), and my family and their friends (now that is just to feel young again). I need to add some more, Who do you have on your Wii team? Or who would you like to have on that team?
Photo courtesy of goggle products

Sunday, March 7, 2010

How do they do that?-Leaving Links in Comments.

Ever wonder how someone can leave a true link in a comment? I had several folks do this, so one day I tried a few things and came up with a way. Now I know some blogger have that Comment Luv program. However I have not been able to enable it on my blogs. This is the next better thing.
  • First copy your post link to your clipboard
  • Then open a New posting window.
  • Once in the window. Type your link title; ie: "My Friday link for You"
  • Next highlight your link title and click on insert link. I have an icon in bloggers tool bar.
  • Right click in the box and click Paste.
  • Now save the post. I have a post date of some year like 2017, that way it is always on the top of my post list. If I accidentally click post and it does post on the blog, I can fix it to save again.
  • Open the post up in the Edit Html mode. Highlight the entire link. and when you visit other blogs you can, after typing your comment, right click and paste in their comment box underneath your comment.
I found it easier to do than always typing in the html. This way I leave my photo icon plus a way for someone to visit if they wish. You can continue to use this link by return to it and changing the link when needed. Have fun commenting today.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Maxine on Saturday- Forever Young?

click on the Maxine badge to see more of Maxine over at
Work of the Poet.

Isn't it Preservatives that kept this generation looking young?

c John Wagner
Hallmark Inc.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Oh, Mr Sun Came Out-Solar update

Today our solar production was 32Kwh. We haven't seen numbers like that since the Blizzards. We had eight day of no productivity. It is great to be back on the grid. The panels are still receiving some however , the sunset is about to take place. I just can't wait til the summer months. The Numbers will probably be higher.
Total Lifetime energy is 1,478 Kwh. We reduced the Carbon footprint by 2,453 pounds of CO2. Saved enough emissions equivalent to driving a standard car 2,429 miles and planting 27 seeding for 10 years. Not bad for going green. Our start date was in the month of November 2009. Still going strong. Next update will be in April.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blogger Visitor- Dropping by or Commenting

When I first started blogging I did not understand why so many would visit and yet not comment. I thought it was the material. Then once I started visiting more sites I realized that some folks just visit for Money, not really interesting in the blog. Another thing I noticed was that other blogs did not have comments either. I think it is important to comment when you like something. However the blogger community isn't always what one thinks. My visits to blogs grew to about 900 a day. I found myself not commenting as much, but yet reading some of the blog I visited. So there I was reading an not commenting! Oh that was so easy to do. That really opened my eyes. I also thought if I comment they would return the favor, not so. Oh yes I got emails, thanks for visiting my blog messages. Wow that was different, never thought of doing that. Would it make bloggers visit more. Well I will never know. For a long time I would do Memes and visit all 159 plus links and commented on all them, but only a fraction would leave a comment on my Meme Link Post. I learned how to leave a meme link in their comments, did that help? Not really. All these tools and ideas just to get some communication on a blog....Is it worth the time and energy? That is still open to see. Anyhow you look at it, I enjoy visiting blogs and reading them and commenting when I can. As well as I enjoy the comments I receive on my blogs.
I have all different types of blogs, some are more family based and receive more comments. Then there are the ones that have a lot of followers and hopefully they read the text. I have only been at the blogging thing for a little over a year. Learning all the time. How to get more traffic, comments, and make the blog more appealing. I love learning new things. I enjoy every visitor to my blogs, whether they leave a comment or not. You see I have grown in my blogger minded view. I will continue leaving comments on the blogs I visit that make me think or brighten my day. Thanks for visiting and reading my blogs. Have a great day.

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's In The Bag Monthly Update.#6

We are greening along just fine. Still using our greener bags when we shop. I do still use paper bags at the commissary. It is very hard to use the green cloth bags when we purchase our Monthly groceries. I would go more during the month, but with gas prices it is not economical. However on the local grocery pick up during the month, we use the cloth ones.
I got a new bag that fits in the side pocket of my purse. I used it a lot last month.
I really like it, as you can see it rolls up small making it easy to always with you.

Open..It is large and straps are very comfortable.

So how are you doing?

Envirosax photos Courtesy of Envirosax
Disclaimer:I received no compensation from Envirosax, This is my independent opinion.