Conscious Living – Electricity

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Tuesday night while putting baby D to bed our power went out. Not just ours but the whole village.

Little lady who was downstairs at the time, didn’t seem bothered at all as she was playing on my iPad, which had luckily been charged the night before. The power came back on within 5 minutes and all was well again but, while searching for candles and matches in case of a repeat, it made me think – how reliant are we on electricity?

Say the power cut had lasted the rest of the evening. We have enough candles to give us light but the lighter only had a small amount of gas in it. Little lady and baby D had both had their tea but I had decided to wait til hubby got home. With an induction hob and an electric oven we would have very little meal choice. Microwave meals would be out of the question as would something as simple as toast.

Then what about entertainment? The iPad would only last so long before needing charging, dvd’s or cd’s are a non starter, I wouldn’t even be able to do the ironing (probably not something I would be upset about 😉 )

Our baby monitors are plugged in and using electric, as is the computer. My iPhone needed charging and our landline is also plugged into the wall.

The shower is electric although thankfully if I did manage to wash my hair, the style is not one which needs blow drying and straightening!

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A huge percentage of what we do these days use electricity. It would be a huge lifestyle choice to live without it. So what can we do to reduce the amount we use without going without altogether?

Solar panels offer a way of making your own electricity but are very expensive to install as are windmills, with no guarantee of making enough for what you need. So how can we cut down?

We recently acquired an energy monitor but haven’t used it yet. That would be useful in telling us where we use the most electricity and possibly highlight where we can cut down. Maybe it’s time for it to come out of the box. I’ll keep you posted…

PS I know these pictures aren’t really relevant but the village looked so pretty under all the snow I thought I’d share them with you.

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Dining Chairs

The dining room is probably the best room in the house, condition wise. Apart from the odd bit of peeling paper:

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nothing really needs doing in there.

Apart from our dining furniture that is.

In my wisdom, some years ago I bought a lovely wood dining table and chairs with white seat covers. In my defence there was just the 2 of us. However, since having the kiddies, the chairs are now a grey/off white colour with different food stains on them for good measure.

The table and chairs are in good condition and still suit our lifestyle so recovering the chairs is far more economical than buying new.

Now don’t tell the hubby but I have a HUGE fabric stash in the attic. Okay, so hubby does know but only cos he had to put it up there 😉

While rummaging around in boxes looking for something else (naturally) I found a lovely yellow check cotton which would go well with the decor already in the dining room.

Hubby very bravely, let me play with the staple gun. A decision he probably regretted once I trapped my thumb in the handle!!

Well at least I didn’t staple it to the chair!!!

One bruised thumb and a purple nail later, I had 4 brand new looking dining chairs at no cost to me. I even had enough fabric left over to make a table runner (although the picture below actually shows my christmas tablecloth)

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New year’s Resolutions

I don’t really like the term “new year resolutions”. Resolutions are something you make on the 31st December and have broken by the 31st January. Instead I prefer to make a list of everything I would like to accomplish during the course of that particular year. Last year my list comprised of things like “have a healthy savings pot” (failed) and “buy a new-to-me car” (check!) hmmmm…..I wonder if they could be linked???????

There are a few things on my list already for 2013. A lot of these are things that need doing around the house that have been ignored for the past year or so. These include:

1) finish fireplace

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2) Embroider 2nd curtain (no I still haven’t got round to doing that!)

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3) curtains for baby D’s bedroom. He just has blackout blinds at the minute which we had to cut to size and a sliver of light gets through around the edges.

4) grow more veg than we did last year

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That’s not all we grew mind. This greenhouse was full by the end of summer. 🙂

5) recover both settees. At the minute we have one blue one and one orange one. We would like them to eventually be the same colour.

I do have much much more on my list but I wouldn’t want to bore you lovely people too much in one go. I’m sure you’ll hear about them in posts throughout the coming year.

Happy new year all xx