Monday, October 20, 2008

New Job = Less Car?

I will be starting a new job tomorrow. There were many reasons behind my decision to leave my former job at the Animal Shelter, but among them was a need to feel less spread out. The commute to work had been about 7.5 miles each way, which isn't so bad by car, and doable by bike, but honestly I wasn't able to keep up with biking 15 miles a day. The new job is 2 miles from my new house; I think I might even walk there for my first day. Santa Fe is kind of a spread out city, but I know that I can find everything I need within a 2-3 mile radius. Maybe this new job will be the impetus I need to stay closer to home. Also, I don't have to work weekends anymore, so I can see my boyfriend and go to the Farmer's Market! Yay!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cheese


Tristan made our second attempt at hard cheese. It's been over a month in the making, from the initial clabbering, draining, and pressing, to the aging at a particular temperature, coating it with olive oil to prevent mold...This cheese turned out to be so delicious. It smells like parmesan but tastes like a mild cheddar with a waxier texture. Maybe next we'll make a 5lb wheel and have cheese out the wazoo!

Eggs!



Our chickens have started laying (well, some of them)!!! We've gotten our first dozen eggs at the rate of about two a day, and we had our first homegrown eggs for breakfast yesterday! MMMMMM!!! They don't even taste like eggs to me. Right now they are laying mini-eggs, probably half the size of a regular egg. You can kind of tell in the picture of the frying pan...

Soon we'll be moving the coop and chickens to our new house, and we'll probably experiment with switching them to an organic diet. Yay chickens!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Preparing For Winter

Howdy folks. I have kind of fallen off the wagon with updating this blog.

We just moved into a gorgeous new house, and coinciding with our move has been some pretty cold fall weather. Due to large picture windows and a fireplace sans flue, we're looking to do a lot of winterizing to minimize our heating bill this winter. If you have ideas or suggestions, please comment on this post. Remember, we rent, so all steps taken have to be non-permanent.

We're planning to put that shrinkwrap plastic stuff over all the window, but are looking for a cheap source of the stuff. The flue has to be somehow closed off, preferably in an easy-to-remove way so that we can still have fires once in awhile. The house's heat is gas, and has separate heating units on the walls in each of the rooms. We figure this compartmentalization will be useful. What about the hot water heater? It's in the laundry room, which is likely to be the coldest in the winter months. What can we do to safely insulate it? Has anybody had success making super-insulating curtains on the cheap? And finally, what about a waste vegetable oil space heater of some kind? The designs we've seen look super hot and super dangerous for inside use. Maybe some sort of passive solar system would be more appropriate? Help!