Thursday, January 13, 2005

Snow, Power Failures and How did I run out of matches?

Well yesterday was another snow day for my middle schoolers and my kindergartener. Despite this, my preschooler had school and three senior citizens did show up for my 10:45 exercise class. Hmm, that should give you an idea of how "bad" the weather really was.

Despite the cold rain that fell most of the day, my kids and a bunch of neighbor's kids spent four hours sledding. They were soaking wet when they finally came in and I did an extremely unfrugal thing. I put their wet clothes in the dryer. I'm hanging my head in shame. Using my dryer less dropped our last electric bill about $20 from the same time last year. I've gotten in the habit of letting jeans and other heavy things hang on a drying rack overnight before putting them in the dryer. It works well, especially if we have a fire going.

Speaking of fires, did you ever notice all the pallets lying around behind businesses with signs that say free? Did you ever wonder what people do with these? Well there is a gentleman far more creative than myself who makes furniture out of them. His company is called Pallet Art. Someday, when I have time, I'd love to give that a try. Currently my hubby brings home pallets to use in our fireplace. They burn quickly but being that they are free, who cares. We use a mix of the pallet wood and our normal wood pile and it works great.

I don't think you could run a fireplace solely on pallets because of the quick burn time but by combining regular split wood and pallets you could certainly make your cord of wood last twice as long. For anyone interested in giving it a try, we've found sawing the pallets down the middle works better than using a sledgehammer to break apart.

We had a power failure yesterday, which is pretty rare around here. It only lasted an hour or two but it caused me to discover that not a radio in the house had batteries and although I did have batteries, I did not have the right combination to run any of the radios. This increased the challenge of figuring out who had school and who didn't. Last year for Christmas, I got my parents a solar/crank radio for camping and I'm kicking myself for not getting us one. I like the idea of never thinking about batteries again. Besides, if I can convince my kids that turning the handle on an old fashioned bread bucket is fun, surely I can convince them that cranking a radio is a blast:-)

Speaking of bread buckets reminds me of bread machines. They're tempermental little buggers aren't they? I have one and I do use it but I use it less and less since I got the bread bucket. More on that tomorrow (with recipes).

As for the matches, I don't know how you run out but I did and the cigarette lighter is almost out of fluid.

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