Authentic Compassion

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Oh my stars and garters

What does the phrase Stars and garters mean? Not a clue until I googled - I simply recalled it as a safe exclamation which wouldn't result in getting my ears thumped for being "naughty sounding"when I was a whippersnapper! All that rabbit trail to lead me into ----I realize I have been absent from the bloggoworld for a week now - - very bad - almost like missing church - the next time you think about missing gets easier and easier.
Is it hardening my heart or numbing my conscience? either way I don't want to go there anymore.

Nothing phenomenal going on around here, DH is working far too hard (such a normal situation I wavered about whether to mention). The weather has gone from hot summery to nearly unbearable heat wave - Oh wait - I lie - here is photographic proof it is cooler today (in Texas temperature terms like cooler or HOT are relative not wholly reliable - a little like some of my relatives - but I digress ). You can see - a mere 100.5 degrees fahrenheit on our trusty completely shaded thermometer. We registered 109 the other day but were so heat stunned didn't think to take a picture. So what has this got to do with anything important? At least a little something and definitely not just nothing. (messing with you there - yes that didn't make sense and you are so SMART to notice!)

We are working on getting our place more energy efficient. Both the astounding rise in utility rates and our desire to be good stewards of our resources propelled us into these big projects. Primary goal is to make our home as low cost to maintain and run as we can manage. First act in the project will be having solar screens installed - we did a southern engineer style test. DH made two large window screens for our west facing breakfast room windows - you can see in the picture they aren't pretty but they did prove a point - the temperature inside the breakfast room was lowered about 15 degrees! Woo Hoo. Above the nook is a window in the second story - remember that one 'cause I'll mention it later. Finishing up in the breakfast room/kitchen area we'll be putting a ceiling fan in that bump out area to keep air flow moving - right now I use a fan sitting on the floor and it is unsightly and a hazard. At this time we will also get screens on the window I mentioned on the second story - this side of the house faces literally and totally DUE WEST - as in the sun shines brightly on my beloved Texas home and hotly too!

Now we move around the back - in the left side of the picture you can see a corner of our AC unit - about to be replaced in stage two. But you should pay attention to our stunning view windows - the whole back of our great room looks out into the backyard and woods behind. Unfortunately - they have absolutely NO real protection against heat gain despite being that E glass - DH and I don't care much for curtains so those are some BIG bare windows - good view - big windows. Soon they will be cloaked appropriately in 90% blockingofsun'sdamagingraysscreens.
Total of 15 windows will get the screen treatment.
August 11th we are scheduled to have the new HVAC system installed - a super duper (for our budget) 18 SEER unit with variable speed air handler - don't ask too many questions or I'll have to send you links to what I believe we are buying.
Next stage will include some work around the foundation of our house - laying lines for constant moisture to prevent soil movement hurting the foundation. Also planning on pulling up the carpet at least in our bedroom and staining the concrete then sealing the floors. Even more exciting will be the addition of a HUGE storage space next to our master bedroom - facilitating the total makeover of the master bathroom - yeah we tend to send over the top entire DIY concept.
We have a 6 month plan in the works (Lord willing) and I'll update as we go. Here for my bloggy buddy Paula I'll include two sky pictures and end this rambling. Sunsets can be breathtaking here on Buhlaland - all this and heaven too - we are blessed. BTW please don't call us "green" - not doing our energy saving measures due to political pressures or secular culture's concept of ecologically sound living - more because we believe in being good stewards of our blessings and I'm tired of deciding whether to be comfortable or frugal! It is good in Buhlaland - even better when it isn't sweltering! Oh that last picture - not photoshopped at all - just an alien happy face peering down at sunset - even the aliens are happy in Buhlaland!


Razor Family Farms said...

I love this post! i also really love the expression, "Oh my stars and garters!" which I'd never heard until this very moment and have fully decided to put in use at my own little house.

You are just super. :)

I wanted to say thank you for your kind words.


Farm Chick Paula said...

Thank you for the beautiful pictures, my dear Linda Sue. The only thing better would have been to have seen it in person!!
Our patio doors off our bedroom are facing the evening sun... you can imagine how hot it gets in there. Hubby and I have talked for three years now about building a cover over the porch to shield the sun from coming in (and hopefully keep this end of the house cooler) but the extra money just isn't there right now. Oh well, maybe next year!

Pam said...

It seems that everything I do to be frugal is also "green." They seem to go hand-in-hand. I am no environmentalist wacko, but, like you, I want to be a good steward of all the resources God has given me.

Brandi said...

It is amazing what the solar screens can/will do for you! Our home faces the west also. We added solar screens about ten years ago at a cost of about $60.00. We lowered our electric bill about $35.00 a month! I'll let you do the math on the savings!!!

Love the sunsets, especially the happy alien one! Amazing sunsets - just one more blessing God bestowed on us Texans!

Sand Flat Farm said...

You've got alot going on, girl! I know you'll love all your improvements and be alot more comfortable, too. We've had 100+ temps, too, up here in East Texas and high humidity. It's been like a sauna, but nary a drop of rain - at least at our two places. It's crispy around here. I'm ready for a deluge! Take care - Vickie

Dani said...

I've never heard of solar screens....have to google it and see...sounds like something we might be in need of...we put in a new AC/furnace two years ago and it has helped with the summer electric bill somewhat but the screens might keep it from going on as often...thanks for letting me know about this

KathyB. said...

I am blogger cruising and found your blog tonight ! What a pleasure ....yes, I do see the alien in the clouds.

I read about your MIL and what a blessing of a MIL you have. I read your old blogs and am so thankful for the kind words of love and respect for your MIL in a time when this is not the norm, even for Christians. Thank-you. KathyB. I can tell you are relying on God for the comfort you need during this time of sadness.