16 August 2007

Rioting, week I don't know

So I just posted my non-riot blog post and decided I should post my weekly (yeah, right) rioting update. It has been a busy summer, so I haven't done a lot these last couple of weeks.

Gasoline: I didn't keep track of exactly how much gas we used. It was more than ideal because my husband got pulled over for riding his bike to work before sunup without a headlight, so he had to drive in each morning, then come home at lunch to pick us up so we could drop him back off again, so I could take the kids to the Junior Ranger program run by the Army Corps of Engineers, then pick him up at work, then go back to pick up the kids! Lots of wasted trips. Fortunately, he only works 2 miles from home, so even lots of trips don't take much gas. Needless to say, we are getting him a headlight and tail reflector this weekend.

Electricity: Nothing new in this category.

Heating and cooking: I think I actually increased my usage a bit here. But it was with good reason. I started baking our own bread. I finally found a flour that works. I had tried many times to make whole wheat bread, but it always came out dense and crumbly. It wasn't good for much other than drying out to make bread crumbs. Then I got some very fine whole wheat flour from the food pantry (the local HFS donates there regularly) and tried making a loaf with that. It worked! It turns out that I had been buying Graham flour, which is not good for making a light fluffy bread at all. So now I am getting King Arthur brand whole wheat flour. The package says it is from VT, which is well within my 100-mile area, even if it isn't organic.

Garbage: I learned that I need a smaller trash can for the kitchen because putting all the soda bottles in the recycling makes the trash fill up much more slowly. I took it out only half-full yesterday because it got really stinky. And it was attracting flies. I know that can be remedied by a compost pile, but I don't have one yet. We have talked about converting our current trash can into a compost pile when we get a small trash can. I will keep you posted on that.

Water: I am getting disenchanted with not flushing. Not flushing has taken away my opportunity to clean the toilet. I used to swish it with the brush before I sat down and then just flush it away when I was done doing my business. Now I don't have the chance because I can't see through the yellow water to see if I got it all the way clean or not. On top of that, "letting the yellow mellow" also lets scaly nasty stuff build up at the water line. So I need to figure out that part. I might just find a really big rock and put it in the tank instead so that we use less per flush, but still flush each time.

Consumer Goods: This is so hard. It shouldn't be, which makes me feel guilty about it. I suppose I need to distinguish between investment and spending. I consider many of the books we have started buying to be investments since they are supposed to help us learn skills and techniques to become more independent. But it's not like our spending is high to begin with simply because we don't have much money to spend to begin with. I did buy a huge crochet hook when I bought some fabric for my baby sling business today. It will be much easier to make more rugs when I finish the woven one, which I think will be very soon.

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