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Energy

Read all the posts written about energy.

  • Live blogging a snowstorm With the best will in the world, there is not much Aunt Toby can do this morning about the weather in the eastern US. I’m frankly hunkered down in a motel room near an airport, lighting candles and hoping for a break in the weather in time for the DH and I to take a ...
  • Insulating Basement Floor Joists And..back to cold floors and a cold house and what to do about that. But first, as is my wont, a little story. A couple of years ago, we had a huge flood in our area. Chez Siberia, being on a hill and not near the rivers involved, was not hit, but many people were and ...
  • Bits and Pieces Sigh. It’s been one of those weeks (and weekends), my little wombats. So you get odds and ends, bits and pieces, random thoughts, and whatever I’ve cleaned out of the fridge. Lucky you. If you are from the Southern Hemisphere, them please forgive the following statement which is on the one hand, one of those obvious items ...
  • Timely suggestions OK, folks, sometimes it is good to, as they say in the classical music biz, ‘recapitulate the theme’ before we go on to the ‘variations.’ In your Aunty’s case this weekend, it hit me (literally; the calendar fell off the fridge) that we are now half-way through August, which means many things to many families: 1. ...
  • Fast and Furious: Are you ready for Sandy? This is a quick and dirty post, pulling up several of what I think are the most useful of my prior posts of being ready for weather related emergencies. For readers living between about North Carolina and Maine, I think you need to think seriously about what will hit late in the weekend up through ...
  • Saving Energy: Basement Windows Depending on the age of your home and your location, you might have windows in your basement. Frankly, for most people, windows in the basement are an after-thought unless someone locks himself out of the house or there’s an accident with a baseball or you have a flood and need to get ventilation into the ...
  • Safety First For those of us who have ever had babies and toddlers in the home (or the “soon to be” or ‘brand new” moms and dads), the whole world of ‘kid safe’ or ‘baby proofing’ a home is a whole lot different than it was for parents from the 1950s and early 60s. Between ‘plug ...
  • The Gift of Warm Feet – Part 2 – Fiberglass What you choose to do insulating with depends, to a large extent, on the conditions you’ve got to work with in the area that you are insulating. The DH also wants to do the ‘old/old’ part of the basement, which was built in 1939, has a positive jungle of electric wiring, ductwork, and water pipes ...
  • Give the gift of warm feet – part 1 No, this is not a post about wool socks (though goodness knows I love ‘em). This is about an odd bit of house anatomy that many times get forgotten in the insulating operation. People at this point are very familiar with insulating attics, walls, around windows and so on, but if you live in an ...
  • Flood Remediation If you have a serious flood, hurricane or other related event in your area, you might be faced with having to do remediation on your own home, or that of a neighbor, friend or family member. Or, you just might do what the DH and I did yesterday; we traveled to a nearby village ...
  • Flood, Paint, and Honey OK, we’re back. Actually, Aunt Toby never left, but things both here at Chez Siberia and in our area have been, shall we say, challenging for the past couple of weeks. Hurricane, tropical storm, biggest flood ever recorded (at least locally), and DOG help us, FROST IN THE GARDEN. I’m amazed I’m still standing straight ...
  • It’s That Time of the Year OK, folks — we have a window of opportunity here; let’s not waste it. Right now, in a lot of the US, it feels like the picture at the top. Even at Chez Siberia today in Upstate New York, it feels like this. We had taken the awnings (curtains, deck drapes?) down for hurricane ...
  • Good Morning, Irene UPDATE THREE: Sunday, 7:30 a.m.: 71 degrees F, 75% humidity, winds, 6 mph with gusts in the 10 mph range, foggy, raining hard and steadily, Barometric Pressure 28.20. When I went to sleep last night, it had not started raining yet but it’s obviously been raining for most of the midnight-7:00 period because we have a pretty ...
  • In…..coming! For anyone out there who is still thinking that anyone off the Atlantic shoreline does not have to worry about the current, ahem, weather situation (we can all start singing “Good Night Irene” now), I’ll be posting about the effects here at Chez Siberia over the next 48-72 hours. We are located on the ...
  • Are you ready? Yes, I’m ready… This week so far has been one for the books: Multiple earthquakes, on the west coast, the Rockies, and on the east coast. A hurricane that threatens to hit the coast of North Carolina by the end of the week and make landfall in New England by the end of the weekend. So, as a ‘just in case’ ...
  • Every Month is Skin Cancer Awareness Month Well, next month is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, so I’m getting the jump on everyone here to talk about skin cancer. Part of this is that I feel that EVERY month should be one where we remind ourselves that we can get skin cancer, not only during the spring, summer and early fall. Temperature has ...
  • Oh to live in the country, now that septic system season is here Aunt Toby knows that a lot of people feel positively romantic about living in ‘the country’. Grow your own food, sunset cocktails on the patio or deck, a few chickens yammering around in the yard while you, in your large straw hat with the artistically tied gingham ribbon… Well, it’s not. One of the major downsides ...
  • What to look for at end-of-winter sales It’s time for end of the winter sales – here are some items to look out for and which ones are the most valuable.
  • Throw a little science into the garden mix OK, so Aunt Toby just knows that you’ve got this gargantuan pile of seed catalogs next to the chair or on your night stand and the color photos are just amazing. And your list is growing longer and longer and you are just going crazy with the thoughts of the snow off the ground ...
  • More Appliance Fixing: Humidifier More appliance repair!
  • How to get warm and stay warm (Truth in advertising: This is not a shot of any of our sheep; this photo is courtesy of North Devon Farmer) Everyone cozy? All settled in? (given the amount of snow and cold out there right now, Aunt Toby certainly hopes wherever you are is cozy) Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, ...
  • Winter Driving Disaster can strike at any time when you are on the road in the winter – even a couple of miles from home. So be prepared.
  • Worth The Fixing There are a lot of small repairs that even the most fumble fingered of us can undertake and successfully complete. Here are two.
  • Books Worth Having: General Self-Sufficiency Sometimes gaining knowledge is just a case of having the right book and knowing how to use it.
  • More Wool: A Prince of an Idea It’s time to ‘fess’ up, as they say. Aunt Toby has never..ever…met HRH Charles Philip Arthur George, the Prince of Wales. Never. We just don’t move in the same, as we might say, circles. But on the other hand, if we did meet, we’d have a lot to talk about. He’s a organic gardener. Aunt Toby’s an organic gardener. He ...
  • 55: Keep Your Eyes on the Thermometer I know for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s still summer (for my readers fro the Southern Hemi- file this away) and it’s rather difficult, especially given the temperatures experienced this summer, to think about winter, but it’s out there. And for those of us for whom winter has, ahem, a ‘special meaning’ ...
  • Curtain(s) Up! There are probably as many ways to install shades and curtains on a deck or pergola as people can dream up. The basic making directions are here : I’m going to go over some ideas that I got AFTER I made the decisions that I did: Adjustable shower curtain rods. You can find these to ...
  • More Shady Doings at Chez Siberia I did not describe the process by which Aunt Toby came to the conclusion that making shades for the pergola was the way to go. Actually, I did not describe the process by which the decision to put a pergola on the deck was made either. But, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it. There ...
  • My Kingdom For Some Shade Aunt Toby is not sure exactly when decks replaced porches but somewhere in the not so distant past, people got all hot and bothered to have a place to sit outside that wasn’t a patio and didn’t have a roof. And not being immune to this, when we did “the first big dig” on Chez ...
  • On Vinegar (Ha – you thought I was going to go with a photo of bottles of vinegar or something, right? Fooled you. Photo courtesy of Casch52) Housekeeping: Vinegar comes from the Old French, “vin aigre”, meaning ‘sour wine’. Vinegar has the taste and the pH that it does because of the action of acetal bacteria which turns ...
  • Snow Bound Some things to think about in terms of ‘carrying on’ for the next time a snow storm hits.
  • Magic Marmots or, It’s Still Winter Enough with the dueling ground hogs. And wishful thinking as well. It’s still winter. It’s the beginning of February and climate change notwithstanding, in Upstate New York, it’s still in the ‘damn cold’ range. Versus last weekend, when it was in the single digits during the day (without wind chill factor) and in the minus ...
  • Coat Test How I tested the warmth of my new coat.
  • Personal Warmth Systems Picking clothing fiber content to keep you warm.
  • Stucco Repair With Caulk How to repair stucco and get an almost invisible result.
  • To Do List: Caulk. Now. Caulking the outsides of windows and doors is one of the best energy investments you can make, but it only works at the time of the year when the temperatures are not too cold.
  • Update on the House Rehab The last little bit of rehab in our house.
  • Information: The Tool You Have In Your Hands to Help Others in this Economy Getting information to help us through the economic slump.
  • DIY: Sometimes Saving $$ Means Doing What You Are Good At – Not Trying to Do What You Are NOT Good At Sometimes, to save money on a DIY project, it’s better to be honest with yourself about what you are good at doing (and will turn out well) and what you are not good at doing. Then find someone who will do the ‘not good’ stuff for you.
  • Too Darned Hot. Low tech ways to stay cool when it is too hot.
  • Aunt Toby explains investments What really is an investment? Here are some guidelines in terms of how to evaluate.
  • Cheap and Good: No Excuses Weightlifting Want to lift weights for health but don’t have a set of weights at home? Here are some ideas.
  • Urban Gardening, or, How to Survive When You Aren’t a Homeowner and Don’t Have a Lawn to Rip Up Growing your own, making your shelter more energy efficient – these things are not just for homeowners. Renters can take some control too.

One Comment

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