I get nostalgic in the fall; I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the approaching holidays that remind me of my childhood, or maybe it's the cooler weather that makes me yearn for comfort foods, which in turn reminds me of times gone by. But every fall, I find myself wanting to do things differently, to return to the simple traditions I knew as a child: making jam, canning vegetables, baking, knitting, sewing.

Last night we had fried chicken and collard greens for dinner. How southern is that? :-D I wasn't happy with how my greens turned out, and I am going to work on that. I have some ideas for replicating the unbelievably yummy collards at Stubbs BBQ. Anyway, I also made some cornbread to go with those dishes. I don't have the right sized cast iron killet, but I do have a bunch of mini iron skillets. And so I present: mini-corn pones. :-D )

Another thing I've been thinking about in the last six months or so is how to cut back on my energy use. It seems like a no-brainer for someone like me, but I'd gotten lazy. I'd stopped thinking about switching off lights or turning up the thermostat. We've been much better about those things since Carter was born.

But one we hadn't thought much about was laundry. We have an HE washer and dryer, and the dryer is natural gas-powered, so we haven't thought much about energy or water use with laundry. We cloth diaper, though, and so that means a few more loads of laundry every week than we would do otherwise. I feel fine about the water use -- what we really need to do is change out our toilets to double-flush ones. But those diapers take a looong time to dry, at least two cycles on high. And geez, that's crazy!

So a couple of weeks ago, I decided to start line drying my diapers. I put some of the natural fiber ones in the dryer for a short cycle to soften them up (they are pretty crunchy otherwise), and then hang them outside, but the fleece pockets and microfiber inserts go straight on the drying rack. Wipes (which I had stupidly been drying and then re-wetting to go back in the warmer!) get folded, wet a little more, and put in the warmer again.

This has benefits other than saving energy, I've found. Sunlight is an amazing disinfectant and bleach. Stains just disappear, like magic. My diapers have smelled a lot cleaner, to my surprise. And there's just something cool about hanging them out to dry. )
Have you seen the ad for the "Listenup" hearing amplifier thingie? If you haven't, you can see it here. It starts with an older couple in bed watching TV. She bitches at him about how loud it is, and he looks deflated and turns the volume down. In the next scene, she's on the phone and he's listening to music. She gets a look of utter disgust on her face and yells, "Turn that down!" The ad goes on to show him looking much happier once he has the advertised product. Oddly enough, there is a scene of both of them using one in church.

Which leads me to think that the poor guy's problem is not that he can't hear, but that he married a spiteful bitch. :-P

March 2013

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