Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Stinging Reality

Since I wrote last, while at my grandparents' cottage, I was stung by a wasp/bee.

It stung me between the forefinger and thumb on my right hand. It happened around four o'clock. By dinner, I had lost my first knuckle to swelling, still painful and had a sausage for a thumb. This continued until my entire had was swollen so fat I couldn't see any knuckles, which is very unusual for me-they're usually very clear to see and I have thin fingers. I had a huge hand, it was red, itchy and painful. I got some benedryl and took a pill every four hours-and it did nothing. So, we left a little earlier than we had planned,the next day. We came home and I went to an urgent care. The dr. said it was normal (my mom now says she's talked to other health professionals and they disagree) and the swelling just seemed like a lot because it was confined to my hand. She said it would go away in a week, but she gave me a tetanus shot-I couldn't remember the last time I'd had one-and a shot of steroids in my keister. It didn't help until the next day, and then the swelling went down and the redness and heat went away, but the itch continued for three more days. I lived. My family was worried because my brother is deathly allergic, must carry an epi-pen to inject immediately in case of a sting. So, my family thought I was developing such an allergy. Hopefully not. I work in my garden with no fear of the many bees who are busy working there. I would like to continue in my blissful ignorance. :)

Speaking of my garden, I had to pull out my large area of daisies. The grubs ate all the roots-I could pull them up with no effort at all and they were all brown and crispy. Grubs are the larvae of the previously mentioned Japanese beetles. I have not sprayed pesticides anymore: they're not good for any of us and they don't do any good after it rains. I also learned (my children love animal planet tv channel and heard that:) a baby hummingbird relies mostly on bugs for its diet, so that's why I hadn't had any in my garden. I have many plants they and butterflies are supposed to like, but the pesticide was keeping them I have the quandry of lovely plants that are bug free, but also butterfly and hummingbird free, or some hideously destroyed plants but more visitors I like, with tagalongs that I don't.

Mom and Dad came over earlier in the week on their way to a sporting event. They stayed overnight, to get some of their drive out of the way. It was nice to have them for a visit.

Well, school starts next week and my now middle-schooler is getting a bit nervous about the changes. My younger daughter is super excited to go back. Can't wait. I want them to slow down in their growing up, but I can't make them. :)

I will be substitute teaching again this year, and am subbing in the kindergarten all week next week. The teacher will be there, and the kids come in small groups each day, but the teacher will be doing assessments, so they need someone to keep an eye on the other kids. I get full time sub pay so that will be really nice.

That's it for now.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Smart Energy Sources

I have been very busy since I last wrote. My husband, kids and I headed down with my in-laws to see my sister in law in a neighboring state. We went to the coutry's largest garage sale, which occurs every year at this time. My sister in law had perused local stops before we had arrived, so she knew which ones were junk and which ones had good stuff we might actually buy. :) We spent some time looking and then headed to a nearby state park, which was very nice. We were only gone from home a total of twenty-four hours, but it was a very nice trip. The car ride down was pleasant visiting time with the in laws, too, as there is always good conversation. We have also been school shopping and had Vacation Bible School this week at our church. We head up to the grandparents' cottage to visit this weekend, as well.

Onto the title. I have been thinking a lot about what I can do to preserve our environment... something President Bush has apparently no interest in. Politics not being my main point, I have been researching other means of energy. A friend of mine and her husband have geothermal heat and it really works for them, so I have been looking around for information to share:
geothermal heat is an environmentally safe and sound, renewable energy. Here is a website with general information
" According to the EPA, geothermal heat pumps can reduce energy consumption—and corresponding emissions—up to 44% compared to air-source heat pumps and up to 72% compared to electric resistance heating with standard air-conditioning equipment. GHPs also improve humidity control by maintaining about 50% relative indoor humidity."

Another reliable energy source is the sun: solar power. There are small solar power kits you can use to work as your energy source which are reliable and pollution free.

Here are some other ways to reduce energy use:

A non-renewable resource we are using at a tremendous rate is oil. Now that artic drilling has stopped...which shouldn't have taken place in the refuge as it was, so a viable renewable resource is ethanol.

Why isn't our government working on these things, making them more available, and cost effective?? Maybe our President likes oil...using up the nonrenewable resources

Speaking of cars and other alternatives, there is a new documentary coming out that sounds interesting, although I have yet to see the trailer all the way through, called "Who killed the electric car?" "Plot Outline: A documentary that investigates the birth and death of the electric car, as well as the role of renewable energy and sustainable living in the future."

A blog I recently found on alternative engery that is pretty interesting, as well.

One last side note, referring to an earlier post and environmental safety, I have gone back to using dishsoap and water sprayed onto the leaves of a plant for the beetles. I have to spray it on after every rain. The pesticide only killed some and others came from around the neighborhood to replace them, so this soap answer isn't perfect, but it's working as well as the other stuff, and it's better for us and the environment.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Welcome Home

My girls are home, which is a very nice. I drove an hour and a half to meet my grandparents halfway to pick them up. The house was far too quiet without them. :) Although, it was nice to clean their rooms without them here: I could throw things away that I knew they didn't use/play with and no one was here to complain. I also did clean out the crawl spaces and rearranged the furniture in their rooms, as well. My husband and I went out for dinner almost everynight and one morning for coffee while we were sans kids, as well, which was wonderful. We rarely get time without the girls, let alone more than one night at a time. It was great to have some date time, and even better not to have to schedule a sitter! :) We just went out to a few dinners, had some beers once, and a glass of wine another night. We went with his parents out and some window shopping, as well. I was at a loss for a moment as to what topic I'd be "informing" on, but then I looked up cheap date night ideas!
Some ideas I found were, not great, or extra creative, but I was on a time limit:
  • zoo
  • museum of fine arts
  • art festivals
  • state park
  • farmer's market
  • pier to feed ducks
  • picnic
My husband is anxious to see the girls and is on his drive from work. Then he will be taking our little beagle to the vet. What a wonderful husband, because I don't want to take him! :) He, the dog, needs his nails cut and refuses to let me do it, as his previous owner didn't do it too often, so he's not used to it or like to have it done.
Hope all is well.