Our Cold Weather Solutions

For those of us living in the areas where the weather is getting colder, I’m always reminded of an item we use that I have a love hate relationship with. Mainly, I guess I really hate winter. I love the sun! I can already feel my lack of Vit D from my weekly dates with JOHN….JOHN DEERE! Four hours of sunshine 1x week was too good to be true…although at the time, I’d rather of been doing something else than cutting 5 acres!

My Honey and I have been “green” before it was cool to be “green”. In fact, lots of Becca’s friends and a few of my readers, think I’m an “old” hippy. In some ways I am. I was a flower child when I was a teen…flowers every where in my room. But Honey doesn’t think we’re hippies. We just live a simple life. One way to live simply is to keep what $$$ you can so you can use it as you like or need. And so you can give!!!! (one of my favorites!)

I love these panels because they keep our house warm. I hate them because I think they are ugly and because they close up the rooms from day light. If the sun is shining however we take them out of the windows and allow for passive solar. This post is for my new friend Paula, who lives in Alaska! Woo, talk about cold! Too bad we can’t get a little global warming on some of those frigid days!!!!! (I haven’t fallen for that one!)

I do care about the earth. But not in ways that others might. I don’t worship the earth, but I do worship the ONE who made the earth. It’s not that we think it’s better to be “green”. We care about our electric bill. I hate mailing a check to our electric company in the winter. It’s painful. Since our kids have moved out, our usage has dropped in HALF!!!

This is our new alternative to cutting back on our electric bill this winter.

We bought the 1,000 sq ft model with a blower. This is a much less expensive alternative to a wood stove and wood. It is suppose to cut our electric usage in half. That’s a big deal. Our electric bill currently is around $100/month, but come winter and since we only have electric heat, our bill goes over $500/month!!!!!!!!!!! BGE is warning us, our rates will increase……Really????

Now for the Insulated Window Panels

OK, now these things are ugly. I haven’t recovered them in years. I’ve got new fabric, but I just haven’t done it. You can see how tight it fits. There is quite a bit of sun today and there isn’t any coming in around the edges. Honey put some of that window sealer stuff around the edges to get a really tight fit.

Basically, the supplies are that blue building insulation…you can get it at a hardware store. Then we covered only one side (the side facing in), with insulated bubble wrap….we got this stuff back in the early 8o’s when no one but us were into solar or being “green”. It’s basically foil covered bubble wrap.

We don’t know what the R factor is on the panel, and I would really be stretching my memory to be correct on remembering the foil bubbles….it was a good R factor though. Or we wouldn’t have bought it!!!!!

I made a slip cover that fits tightly. Sew up three sides so you can take it off to wash.

You can see how tight it fits. It was a pretty sunny day and no light is coming in.

Then to cover all the ugliness, I pull down the mini-blind.

Man, does the room warm up in a hurry when these things go in the window.

Hopefully the new infrared heater will keep our feet a lot warmer.  Having an unfinished basement sure makes for cold floors, even though they have a lot of insulation in them as well.  Hey, if Honey can insulate it, then it’s insulated!!!

Like I said before, we are Mr & Mrs Frugal!!!


Celebrate Tasha Day!!!

Today we are remembering Tasha Tudor’s birthday. She was an incredible woman who touched many lives. Sadly Tasha died this summer leaving behind a legacy of beauty.

This is my tribute to Tasha and the things that remind me of her life and her passions.

I could go on and on.

Thank you Tasha for touching my life and influencing my love for life, my love for simplicity, my love for living purposefully.

Photo Credit: Flickr-each photo is linked to the original artist.

Can You Feel It?

I love this time of year when the mornings are crisp with the smell and feel of autumn. We’ve been so fortunate in Maryland this year. We had just the right amount of rain and for the first time that I can remember, no Dog Days of Summer. Usually August carries the 3 H’s. Hazzy, Hot, and Humid! But not this August. This AM it was in the 50’s. I’ve hung the sheets out to dry and can’t wait to sink my body into the crispness of them tonight.

Mornings like this that are Fall like also remind me of the day I brought home my first born. She was so tiny only weighing in at 5.15 lbs and short as a peanut. I remember how she disappeared in every piece of clothing I had for her and when we placed her in the car seat, well, she nearly fell out. We packed towels all around her just to keep her from slipping out. Thus was born her business, web, blog….name: CrispSeptember!

In many ways, I’ve been anticipating these great Fall days with mixed feelings. Our first born, Becca, is leaving for her big adventure in Germany the day before her 24th birthday. It’s a sweet sorrow that we’re feeling. These babies are given to us by our Abba Father, to raise up in the Lord and then to release them like arrows. She’s so ready to fly. Help us Father, to let her go. To do as we’ve always done. Place her in Your loving care.


I’ve also been contemplating a hoop house. As the seasons are changing, I can feel it in my body as well. I don’t have the cravings for greens and fresh foods as I did in the Spring. I am looking more towards the foods that warm and nourish the bones. I just don’t have the drive to be in the garden. It’s time for cleaning, and settling in for the winter. Although I love the heat of summer, I’m ready for a rest. For the hibernation that comes so easily. Time for knitting, sewing, cooking and creating.

My ferments are put up for the winter. No need for fresh since the natural preservation of fermenting gives us all we need. I really can’t see myself running out in the snow for a bunch of greens. Learning to eat in season takes a special awareness. Living simply takes thought and preparation.

It’s time to pack food in the freezer for winter. The chickens will be ready in October and there will not be more until Spring. The goats and lambs will also be ready soon. Apples will be on and sauces and pies will be on my agenda.

I’m feeling tired. It’s a good tired. After living for so long in a “coma” from Lyme Disease, this has been my first spring and summer fully alive! I’ve lived life to the fullest. And now I can feel it in the air. It’s time to start unwinding for a long winter. Time to refresh and nurture myself and my family.

Time to rest.

Photo credit: Flickr