So, Earth Day was over a week ago and what do I have to show for it? Have I made any changes? Have I learned any lessons? Have I lost my mind? The answers are "Sorta", "Yes", and "quite possibly!"
You see, last week was (how shall I put this?) interesting. We had a lovely Earth Day which included mass, time in nature working on our veggie garden and a trip to the organic garden store to find out how to gently handle whatever has been eating said garden. I made a decision to put up a clothesline and spent a moment at the hardware store researching.
Then the week really started...Monday I spent the day at our elementary school planting the wildflower seeds that were supposed to have been planted the previous Friday. Rain had stopped us from planting then but Monday everything went well. The students seemed to learn a little and I was dog-tired at the end of the day. So far, so good.
Tuesday, my 15 year old came up with a fever and stayed home from school. What we thought might be a 24 hour bug turned into five days of fever around 102 and as high as 103.5. She has now missed five days of high school which, as those of you with teenagers know, means mountains of work to catch up on when she returns.
Wednesday, after a busy day of caring for my suffering daughter, I began a load of laundry only to come back about 10 minutes later to a flooded laundry room and hallway. A flood recovery team was called and our formerly quiet home turned into a wind tunnel full of commercial blowers and a refrigerator-sized dehumidifier. Keep in mind that I still have a sick child...
But wait, there's more! Thursday evening, our air conditioner went out which, even in April, is not a good thing in Texas. Add to that the fact that the blowers and dehumidifier produce a surprising amount of heat and you get an idea of how unpleasant things were in my house.
Luckily, Friday brought no more issues but we still had 1)a feverish child, 2)a broken washing machine, 3)blowers and a dehumidifier in the house and 4) no A/C!
By Saturday things were starting to get back to normal. The blowers were picked up and the new washer was delivered (love it by the way!). We borrowed an A/C window unit from our generous neighbors and the fever started coming down. Now, with the exception of the air conditioning, we're almost back where we started. Our daughter is home today just to make sure she doesn't get feverish again this afternoon but it looks like we're on the road back to normalcy.
So, to revisit the questions that I asked earlier--
What change have I made? I bought a high-efficiency top-loading washing machine that totally rocks as far as I can tell from using it for about 48 hours. It's much quieter than our last washer and holds more clothes but it also uses less water and energy and spins out the water in the clothes really well.
What have I learned? I've learned that I really need to get that clothes line installed. In the midst of cleaning up the flood from the broken washer, we used lots of bath towels to soak up the mess. After the initial panic subsided, I laid the wet towels on the back patio and was amazed at how quickly they dried. Of course, we do live in Texas where we get a lot of sun and heat, so it may not be a success for everyone but I'm pretty jazzed about using the dryer less and, as a result, using less energy.
Have I lost my mind? The jury's still out on that one but compared to where I was several days ago, I think I'm still safe. But maybe I'm not the best judge....