Response to Kaleva (Original post)
Wed Sep 19, 2012, 10:59 PM
Kaleva (14,144 posts)
23. An update
It must be well over a month now when I turned the gas valve on the water heater to pilot only and I haven't run out of hot water yet.
The water I capture after taking a shower has been enough to flush the toilet and I haven't needed any fresh water to flush the toilet since I began doing this. And I've been saving the rinse water from washing the clothes to use as wash water the next time zi do laundry.
I continue to cut up into small pieces cardboard, heavy brown paper, and other non-glossy paper products to put into my compost bin. I'm filling up my 4th 20" wide x 18" deep by 16" box now. If anyone wants to do a job that requires no thinking; this is it! The compost pile is doing quite nicely as I turned it over today and the stuff is decomposing rapidly. The urine I've been capturing is dumped on the compost pile every night.
I mentioned in an earlier post that one of the windows in the living room was broken. I have some old storm windows in the garage and I measured them and with a some careful cutting with my circular saw, I was able to replace the broken out window with one of them. i also replaced tow other cracked windows the same way. The only thing this cost me was the tubes of silicone I bought on sale to caulk the windows.
Speaking of windows, I not only replaced the completely broken out window and replaced two cracked windows but I've recaulked, where needed, all the other old windows and the windows on the living room door and wooden storm door. I also scrapped, cleaned, primed and painted where needed and did adjustments so all shut nice and tight. Today, I put plastic on 8 of the windows and have three left to do but one of the boxes of 3-M window insulator kits was missing a roll of double sided tape so I'll have to go to the hardware store to get a roll so I can finish the last three windows. Other then the tape which I'll have to get, the only thing I've had to buy for this project is 5 tubes of general purpose silicone at $1.99 a tube (it was on sale).
Hanging my clothes to dry on the clothes lines I put up in the basement has worked very well but the clothes were stiff. Yesterday I made a batch of homemade liquid fabric softener and washed a load. The clothes are soft and have a nice fragrance to them! Here is the recipe:
6 cups of water
3 cups of white vinegar
2 cups of hair conditioner (the conditioner was left here by the person who lived here before)
Next time I make a batch, I'll put the hair conditioner in the container first and then heat up the water and vinegar in a pot on the stove and then slowly add that as I stir so it all mixes good. I had added the conditioner last yesterday to cold water and vinegar and it took some time stirring before it was well mixed.
After making the fabric softener, I made some antiseptic mouthwash with water and apple cider vinegar which I have in a Planters Peanuts glass container in my bathroom. I did not bookmark the website where I got the recipe from but there are numerous sites that give such directions with various ingredients. As I had apple cider vinegar on hand, I used that recipe.
I'm getting alot of apples now so this weekend I'll begin making my own apple cider vinegar. I should have a few gallons of the stuff by spring.
A couple of days ago, my former father-in-law came and got me and we went thru his garden to pick what he didn't need. i got 4 heads of cabbage which must weight about 20 lbs. each and I'll make sauerkraut with that. I also filled two milk crates heaping with tomatoes. He also gave me 5 1 gallon size glass containers. I worked late into the night cleaning and sorting the tomatoes. The good ones I put into the glass containers and filled with a brine solution to preserve them. The instructions I got for that was from this site. The rest of the good ones I'll freeze. A number of the tomatoes had bad parts and I thought I'd make homemade V-8 juice out of them by with the good parts of those tomatoes. But it looked so good as it was cooking on the stove as per directions that I decided to make a soup out of it instead by adding several cups of long grain brown rice that I had cooked last week and was in the fridge. With crackers, this turned out quite delicious and quite filling! This is going to last me for a few days as I can only eat one bowl before feeling very full.
I've been keeping the thermostat set at 55 and it's been down to 57 in the house with the cooler weather we've been having and during the day when I'm active and at night when asleep, that temp has been fine. But during the evening such as now, I've found that 62-63 is my minimum comfort level. So in the evening, I turn up the temp on the thermostat to 63 and when it gets to that temp, then I set it back down to 55. An electric space heater I have maintains that temp in the living room by coming on once in a great while. When I go to bed, I turn off the space heater and unplug it. I imagine come winter, the space heater will run steady in order to maintain that temp and with electricity costing 19 cents a kilowatt where I live, that'll add about $18.00 to my monthly electric bill if it where to run continuously for 4 hours every night at its low setting which consumes 750 watts per hour. I'm going to do some more research on this as it may be cheaper to just leave the thermostat at 63 during the evening and turn it down to 55 when I do go to bed.
If I understand my gas bill correctly, my furnace will burn up about 47 cents of natural gas in a little over one hour of operation (this doesn't include the cost of electricity to operate the furnace blower). The space heater will cost 57 cents to run for 4 hours steady at 750 watts an hour. I may have to adjust what I use according to outside conditions. The space heater may not be able to maintain temp when it gets very cold outside unless I set it to high. Right now it's 48 degrees outside and the space heater hasn't come on for some time and the temp in the living room is 62.
There's much more I've been doing but I'm very tired right now and it's time to watch some Netflix while I snack on apples. I'll add more to this update at a later time. And the space heater just kicked in so I'll be feeling some nice heat directed my way as I sit in the big, comfy chair watching tv!
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