Saturday, July 31, 2010

Vacation Time Coming Up.

August is approaching and that means family reunion and vacation time for us. This year we chose the North East for our Vacation. Our family reunion is in the Erie Area and then it will be a Canadian trip, to see Niagara Falls. After that it is off to the Poconos for some R&R at the Lodge. I will be sharing some details on my At Home blog this next week. Been working on an icon to go with this trip. Had a contest for the name back in May. The name is... Northern Sun Loop, given by Sandy over at Traveling Suitcase.
It will be interesting to learn about the Falls and how the Power of Water is good for the environment.
I read somewhere that the power generated from water is actually better for the planet. The USA is building and using more Hydro-power than ever before. In the past few years we have increased our usage to around 49%( a new 2010 update). We are the fourth leading nation in the usage of Hydroelectricity to date. China being number one, Canada number two and Brazil number three. The total Numbers were reported in April 2010, The United States numbers were 81,636 Thousand Mega watt hours. With Washington State producing the highest amount of 19,001. Hydro-power had been the largest renewable source since 2003 for the US.
Canada's Hydro Plant(Sir Adam Beck) in Niagara Falls area will be one stop for me to see.

Information resources:/eia U.S. Energy Information Administration

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wednesday Wild Wonders-on Friday?

Okay I know it's Friday...why did I post a Wednesday item? I don't know I lost track of the days. It's been a long week, or short week... Maybe I just want to do Wednesday over(grin). Whatever the reasoning I am posting this on a Friday. Be assured you haven't lost days and you are not loosing your minds.

I was Wondering what would happen if everyone decided not to drink bottle water again. Now I heard that a town on the Eastern Sea Board has that on their minds. It is an 80+ year old women(Jean Hill) who thinks that the plastic bottles are an environmental hazard unnecessary to her town. She states that the towns water is perfectly fine and healthy. That there should be no reason for stores to sell the Water. Her feeling is that these plastic containers are thrown on the ground and are causing a pollution problem nation wide. The goal is to make a law in her town prohibiting the selling of bottle water. She seems to be winning that battle. However the Battle is on going in the courts.
My first thought was what about the Cola bottles, milk jugs, juice containers, all are made of the same plastic and all can be found discarded on the ground. Now I still feel that way, there seems to be a two way street on the matter. Not too sure where I stand on this Wonder.
So a couple questions for you;
Can you add to this wonder of mine, convince me not to buy the bottle Water or do you think I still should purchase the Water?
What do you think would happen if everyone stop buying bottle water?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hydoelectricity-A Renewal Energy Source

Hydro-power has been used since the Greek Empire, more than 2,000 years ago. They used it to power wheels for milling grain.
Starting back in the 1700's getting power from water was a good source. A french man by the name of Bernard Forest de Belidor wrote an article called "Architecture Hydraulique". This Article was four-volumes of a description of Vertical and Horizontal axis machines. One that could harvest Water Power. By the 1800's we were using Water turbines to harvest some power needs. Including Lights, street lighting and store front. Even some theater lighting was achieved in Grand Rapids Michigan. Also during that time Power for lights were being provided for New York and Niagara Falls. Now this lighting was using Direct-current technology. Different than we use today.

In 2003 it was calculated we use about 10% of Hydro-power for our electricity. Compared to the 1920's when we used 25% and in the 1940's we used 40% of Hydro-power. What happened?

There are many suggested reason for this. In the 1940's we went into an Industrial/Modern Era. Using more coal and oil for our electrical needs. This made the cost of electric to be more affordable. Also some of the disadvantages like, Ecosystem damage caused by damming the water. Changes in the amount of flow due to Droughts, Methane emissions which our reservoirs produced was more than what a natural forest decay produced. Methane is a Greenhouse gas which is not good for the environment in large amounts. The damming also caused a decrease in fish population. Salmon was one that was effected, the fish could not swim upstream to spawn. Even the Oxygen that was taken from the water during the Energy process and the heat being released was causing some changes in the aquatic populations.
The locating of People caused problems also. Just in 2008 we relocated 40-80 million people worldwide just due to Dam construction. In most case no financial compensation was given.

Although those are some valid reasons, Hydro-power is still a healthy choice for our power needs. Let's take a look at why. there is no lead time for site studies as in Fossil-fulled combustion turbines. Hydroelectricity does not cause Flue gas emissions such as, Sulfur dioxide, nitric oxidem, carbon monoxide, dust and no Mercury( as in the coal usage).T here is no Nuclear waste nor the chance of a nuclear leak. Compared to wind turbine, hydroelectric it is more reliable. If the hydro-plant has a storage area, it will be able to supply more power when needed. Most of all the cost is not effected by the rising cost of Natural gas, Coal and Oil and we do not have a import it! Just think the cost of building just one pant, Three Gorges Dam will be paid off in about 5 to 8 years, if full power from it is used. You can not say that about our other energy sources.

We are planing a trip to Niagara Falls next month. This subject came up in my mind. Remembering years ago when I went and recalling the power aspect of it. Oh the Power of Water. I recently learned that we harvest about 49% Hydro-power. The US has over 2.000 Hydroelectric power plants, this data was from a 2010 update. I think this is good and we should still be working toward more Healthier Renewable electricity. Oh the Power of water!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Weight Scales

Time for a new scale. The old scales just refused to give a weight at times. We would step on it and it would just remain blank. Oh I liked it, that meant I was losing weight right? Whatever number you thought up would be good. Another Problem we had with it was, It weighed us 5 pounds heavier when it did give a number. That drove everyone mad as a Hatter. It made me feel great. I always knew I could deduct the 5 pounds or maybe more,if I had clothes on, from the number. Well to say the least I never really knew my true weight in the buff.
With My daughter having to lose the weight and her working with a nutritionist, it was time for a newer scale. More updated and a better motivator, one that will give more information on our body and can be set to each of us.
So off to the store we went. Oh boy so many types to choose from. There were ones that measure water composition, how do they do that? Another gives you all the facts... Your BMI, Calories and Weight. The one thing that drives me crazy is all these choices. I am never good at too many choices. Therefore we looked and then Walked the Mall. Thought about which one would suit our family's need.

This was our choice:
Health Station Sport Scale by Homedics.

Now this scale has four individual settings. Each one ask for your height, age, gender and athletic status. By inputting this information, it will be able to give a BMI and a suggestive Caloric intake to maintain that weight. If you are working to get to a desired caloric intake, this is a great choice. Even if you want to get to a desired weight with a healthier BMI. It will help one maintain that weight. Just knowing how many calories to consume can stop the Yo-Yo effect of loosing weight.
I have already lost 5 lbs using this scale, you know the five the other scale added. But seriously I have really lost 5 real pounds since using the scale. It was a great choice for the family and hopefully we are on our way to a fitter person. Oh what a new motivator scale can do.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hot or Cold Water?

The other day Hubby was putting water on the stove for Pasta. Noticed he was using Hot water from the faucet . I was taught not to use Hot Faucet Water for cooking. Never told why just not to. Watching several Italian cooking shows they stated the same thing " Always use Cold water for your cooking.". So Why is that?

Well, I looked it up and found out a few things. First off Most homes built before 1986 have copper pipes and lead solder was used to connect the pipes. Some homes in the world still use this kind a piping. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) administration stated that hot water will bring with it the metals from the pipes to your faucet. They recommend that you do not consume Hot water for drink purposes. Always use cold water for food preparation and consumption.

Okay now here is the second reason. It's your Hot Water tank. You realize that the tank has corrosive metals in it. Over time it will weaken and burst. Just think that is where the hot water is coming from. The water sits in the tank for days, so when you call it up, by turning on one of the faucet the water has dissolved metals in it already.

Lead poisoning has been getting a lot of attention lately. Some believing it may be the cause of A.D.D.(Attention Deficit Disorder). Hubby stated he has always used Hot water in cooking. Then stated Maybe that is my Problem, now I have Poisoned by brain.
We laugh about it now, but in reality it could be very unhealthy. I always thought you should use Cold water just to make Good Pasta. However by hubby making me give him a Logical answer I learned a lot.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Completion of the VSR Project.

Now that the Vintage sewing room is competed, it is time to share the numbers. This green project started in April 2010. It took about three months to complete. We had a Budget of 6500.00, most projects calling for a complete room redesign fall in the range of 5,000-10,000. This room called for a new flooring, new closet, some painting designs(one being a mural), a new window covering and not to forget the items needed to make it a sewing room. Of course all had to be Green smart and Healthy for the Home environment.
As you will see the breakdown of cost reflects the things we could do and the thing we had to sub out. Even with the setback cause by my broken arm, we were still able to do the things planed for us to do. It just took a little longer. After each percentage amount will be a note on how the items were done.

Painting was 29% of the budget.

1. We did the room wall painting using a Zero VOC paint.
Repaired and painted all the floor moldings, plus we needed to add shoe molding.
2. a Muralist did a one wall 3D mural as well as some items on a second wall. She used Zero to Low VOC paints. Some paints, due to the color, could not be Zero VOCs.

16% of the budget went toward the flooring.

1.We did all the work on the flooring. From ordering, Picking up the flooring at the warehouse to the install.
To include Tearing out carpet and disposal, sanding, repairing sub-floor and the install of the Striated bamboo flooring and underlayment.
Doing this saved us over 50% on the cost of having it done by a contractor.

The largest percentage 53% went to the closet remake.
1. Hubby and I did the tear out,repairs and painting.
2. Closet America did the install of the Custom designed Closet.
3. We purchased, picked up and installed the Tri- Mirrored sliding Closet doors ourselves.
4. We will also do the framing of the closet door ourselves.

That left about 2% for things like;
A wall photo I purchase from a blogger friend Robin from Israel. Her site is Around the Island.

I decided not to get the new window treatment, due to it was not within the budget. Then Hubby gifted the new blind/shade to me. I was very please with that.

Overall I stayed under budget for this Green project. I am very happy with it and will start working on my quilts and vintage items soon. I have a new Icon(shown above) that will be used for showcasing of items I am working on. Be on the lookout for this icon.
You can also view the project from start to finish. Note that the link(below) will take you to a page that begins with the most recent. Could I suggest you go to the bottom of the page and work up.
Here is your link to the VSR Green Project.

As with all projects there are a few details to finish. We still need to finish the Framing around the closet door and the molding on the closet wall. These will get done in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

When the Power Goes out....

Last night about 10pm we were watching a New TV show and then we had Blackness.... That's right no lights. Well there was lightening outside, however the whole neighborhood was in totally darkness. Our neighbor has a whole house generator but, because of the surges it did not work. Some other neighbors have generators, none of them seem to be working. I wondered Why? Anyhow we have a generator and hubby went to start it up, I ran the lines and we hooked up the power to some things. Daughter kept us apprised on the numbers out and restored from her computer info. We finished watching our show. We were the only house lite in the Neighborhood! We saw folks in the dark frantically trying to find their problem.

Many years ago, about 1999, we purchased a gas generator. it was during the time of the new millennium. Everyone was afraid the power companies and network would go down, due to the year change. It was believed that computers, which we have become accustom to, would not be able to make that date change. So folks started buying the generators and hording gas. Needless to say none of that happened.We went right into the New age with no Power or computer glitches.
One year we had a Hurricane hit and was out of power for a week. We used the Generator and did okay in this household. A few time we have had power outage and it has come in handy.
This is one reason we would love to be solar power self sufficient. having a solar generator backup who be ideal. There are some new technologies in play that will make that more feasible for the standard home. We are looking forward to installing that some day. Until then Our Gas one will have to do.
What do you do during Power outages?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blogging Etiquette

Blogging etiquette can be tricky. Learning to blog in this bloggers world can be a challenge. I have only been at it for about 2 years. Have made some mistakes and folks angry. Have trusted in some things I should not have. Being careful not to post things that would offend folks but, at the same time being me can be mindbogglingly.

I started a Series called Got Evidence, this was to give the evidence I found on a subject. Note it is not to promote my opinion on the subject. Sometimes I just want to know the facts. Guess I should have been a detective, after all my Grandfather was one and I must have it in my blood. As a teen I always wanted to know Why, on just about everything. Oh yes I was a most difficult teen. In my Wiser years I am still the same, always searching for the Whys and Hows. Recently some medical problems have enter the family life. Knowing the facts before going the the doctors are a must. However Posting the Facts on a blog can cause reactions that one was not anticipating.

Back to the Etiquette's of blogging. Somewhere there has to be a List or for a better term an Etiquette book on blogging. Oh there are many bloggers who post their view of what blog Etiquette should be. There are suggestions on commenting, writing article, visiting bloggers, using other folks material and giving credit, emailing, returning visit on those comments, How to spam or not to Spam, you name it it is cover on some folks blogs. They are trying to help Blogger get along in this World of the internet blogs.

Trying to make it easier to visit and manage a blog with out offending fellow bloggers is harder then one can fathom . I would imagine there are also Seminars to attend, and videos to view on Bloggers rules. However are they all on the same path? You see there doesn't seen to be a blogger Etiquette Book or rules that transcends across the Bloggerworld International. Seems to me that anything goes in the bloggers mind set.

Yes each blogger is an individual that created their own blog to suit their needs. Some are not in the taste of certain surfers, while others are very popular in the World of Bloggers. Can there really be Rules of Etiquette for Bloggers around the world? I really do not know that answer. One thing that is important to me is that I respect the visitors to my blogs and that they respect my views. In a way it just like the real world... some folks are friends and some are acquaintances. Some stop by with a mission and some just to say Hi. There are the ones who follow silently and some that are very boastful. Let's not forget the ones who are in this for the money, trying to make a penny and leaving that link to a special item you might want to purchase. How do we handle those folks? Let's call them Solicitors, who know the ones who rings your doorbell.

If I had to make a list for Blogger Etiquette is would be..........
Well I think I will save that for a Got Evidence Post. Need to do more research before I can make an educated decision. Until then I will try my best to use some sort of Etiquette that will be within my moral compass.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Going Green together- Monthly Updates.

Mr sun has been nice to us so far this summer.This stats are:
Our lifetime production (since November16/09) = 4,539 Kilowatt hours
Month production (from June2 -July1) was 798 Kilowatt hours
Our reduced Carbon imprint since the start= 7,533
Emission Reduced Equivalent to:
1.Driving a standard size car 7459 Miles.
2. planting 84 seeding trees.

We did well with the cloth shopping bags. However a few time the Plastic ones snuck by. We recycle them when that happens. Paper bags are used from big grocery days and we do reuse them and recycle them. All the paper bag that are received are recycle paper.

Our Rain barrels are full and being used for Our door Plants, bird baths and topping off fountains when needed.

We decided to only run the pool during the Morning hours when Mr sun is up. that will save on Energy consumption.

Our last energy bill was still under 200.00 and that was great! We will see now the the pool is opened how the bill will be next month.
Still looking into Solar water heating, will keep you informed on that project. We are thinking some time next year. Hopefully by then our state will approve selling RECs(Renewable Energy Credits) in State.

We received our first RECs check last week. It was for 320.00 for approx.two months, November and December 2009. Since the start of the solar Life.

Today is another hot day and Mr Sun will be shinning all day. We are making a difference as a family.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Aloha Friday

It's Friday.. Where did the week ago! There was so many things to do this week around this house. We are having a Fourth of July Family Get together. Opening the Pool was Number one on the list. Cleaning up the yard, Straightening the house, Planing the menu, shopping for the food, and Finding the American Flag.
Among all of this we have Therapy appointments, Dentist appointments, Doctor appointments and let's squeeze in Bathing suit shopping! Oh I am totally ready to relax!!!
So this bring me to Aloha Friday, A day to take it easy and get ready for a fun weekend. Kailani over at An Island life invites all to celebrate this Friday with her. It's easy all you do is Post a simple question ( Nothing to hard )and link up at her site (Blue link above) or just surf to other players and answer their question.

Okay? So here is your Question:

Did you see a movie this week?

Hubby and I went to see Knight and Day. It was a great relief from the hectic life at the home-front. We really like the movie. Daughter saw Toy Story with boyfriend. They said it was good. Daughter and I would love to see Eclipse soon. I hear it is better then to other New Moon and Twilight.

This link will only be open for the weekend. Feel free to leave your weekend link here. The only rule I have is NO SPAM. I will delete it immediately! Have a great weekend and Happy Fourth of July, America!!!!