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- July 2011
exhaustion, stress and falling apart
   Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:53 am

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New home, new light bulbs, new clothesline, new garden area

Permanent Linkby strider3700 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:39 am

I've moved. I got the keys 5 days ago and thanks to some last minute legal issues on the move this is easily the most stressful thing I've ever gone through. Getting married and the birth of my daughter aren't even close to comparing to what happened Friday.

Anyways I have done a few things that some of you may find interesting. Out front of the house is a pretty typical little garden. A few crappy bushes and a bunch of very dry and silty soil. Since that area gets sun from 10:30 till 6:30 or so I figured it might as well have something useful growing there. A quick trip to the local nursery got me a couple of massively over grown tomato plants in 1 gallon containers for $5. They threw in a sickly but may make it with some babying cucumber and I picked up a few bags of mushroom manure since they are out of steer manure. I added a couple of pumpkins that I had in pots and then threw in a row of peas along the back, some carrots, onions, beets, and salad greens filled most the rest of the area. I dragged out an old soakerhose and hooked it up to my little automatic watering system. Here's the result.

I still intend to do some serious gardening in the yard but that will require more then the 30 minutes I took out of unpacking to get this going.

My washer was delivered yesterday but the dryer is delayed until next thursday so I've also put up a temporary clothesline. I'm looking for a 6" piece of pipe to fit around an old pipe that is sticking up in the back yard. That will be one end of the new clothes line but until I find that pipe I went to a tree in the backyard. The other end is a 10' piece of 2" conduit U bolted to the side of my garage. Quick simple and effective. 3 loads dried today.

In the background you can see a patch of dirt with the branches, paving stones and other crap on it. I don't know what used to be there but I'm hoping to get a garden going there in the next couple of weeks. It's got lots of small rock in it though and the soil is crappy so it will be a fair amount of work. That tree's days are numbered.

The only other thing I've done of interest has been changing the light bulbs. I've pulled 1525 watts of old bulbs out and replaced it with 300 watts worth. Total cost for new bulbs was just shy of $80 but $60 of that is from expensive dimmable flood bulbs. If I had gone with regular CF bulbs everywhere it would have been about $30. At roughly 7 cents/kwh If i left every light on 24 hours a day I'd save $2 a day. So if my math isn't way off I'd have a pay back period of 40 days. Of course I don't actually use the lights very often at all this time of year never mind leaving every one on all day and electric is a tiered system based on usage making it complicated to work out exactly what it costs so the actual pay back is far from easy to calculate.
There are still more lights to change but they aren't simple bulbs. The dinning room has a chandelier that takes those small skinny bulbs but the real bad one is the main bathroom. It has two lights on the wall that I assumed had 2 100 watt bulbs in each. In reality they are halogen, 150 watts each. So they will be changed out soon enough. Even if I didn't care about the energy they are blinding in the middle of the night.

I also did a quick test and found that the old owners had set the hotwater tank at 150 degrees. I'm really not sure why since I don't think anyone can shower in that. Anyways with a 14 month old in the house I've now turned it down to 110. When I get around to the solar hotwater I'll be adding a tempering valve and doing a bunch more to improve the system but that will have to wait awhile.

Well that's it for now. Hopefully I'll complete unpacking soon and can get started on the big garden in the next couple of weeks. I'm hoping to garden year round here. I've also done a quick drawing and gotten sign off from the wife of a some lean to greenhouse that I'd like to put up over that front yard garden. I'll rip out those crappy bushes if I get around to it.

Lots to do

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