Things just never slow down on the homestead. While I have been building breakfast nooks and hutches, starting a new dining nook, planting transplants into the garden, double digging the tomato bed, weeding, and getting ready for chicks, Steve has been getting estimates on a new metal roof.
We don't need a new roof yet, but he's decided that getting the metal roof that we want makes more sense now, especially if it will help with how hot the house gets in the summer. We simply refuse to get an air conditioner for the house. Not gonna do it. But we will replace the roof. I'm honestly thrilled that he's decided to do it sooner than later, because I really, really want to put together a rainwater harvesting system. We're fortunate that we don't have a long dry season, but I'd rather be watering with saved water. I can't describe to you how depressing it is to stand at the window during a relentless spate of rain and think about all that wasted water that I could be saving. Plus, having a rainwater system does bring you a little closer to more complete self-reliance, which I am all for. I also want to have a good system in place in case we need to supplement (or even replace) our reliance on city water as old folks on a fixed income.
So I was really happy to hear Steve say that as soon as we had the new roof on, he was going to start looking into leasing a solar system. It will be interesting to see how much electricity we can actually generate in the cloudy pacific northwest, but something is better than nothing. Plus, I've already figured out how much electricity we use a day, so we know that whatever we do, we need to make sure that we don't exceed our current use. The freezer and fridge use the most energy in the house, and they are both energy star units, brand new last year. Since starting to eat our meals in the kitchen, we're not watching as much TV, either; it'll be interesting to see how that translates on the electric bill.
You may be wondering how we can do all this with me out of work. We are rabid savers of money. We tend to live way beneath our means. Don't get me wrong- there have been times when I've tried to contribute to the economy by buying something, but the Stern Voice Of Reason (STEVOR) has always stopped me. So lately it seems that we've been spending a lot of money, but they're all investments. Hopefully they're investments into a comfortable, low carbon future.
That's the plan, anyway.