Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Came Early!

Each year, my family gets together before the actual Christmas holiday to have dinner and exchange gifts. This year, I received a lot of nice gifts that really showed that my family knows me very well. I received two gifts that are sort of homesteady in nature. My dad bought me this food dehydrator, so I hurried home to try it out:

I also received this really cool hydroponic kit. Next year, we hope to add an outdoor hydroponic setup. This will allow me to practice on herbs during the long cold winter. Mmmm...we love fresh herbs!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

But the Fire is So Delightful...

A lot of people like the warm glow of a fireplace when the temperatures dip low. In our house, we like the low numbers on our heating bill even better! Though we have had many a cold night, we have not used our furnace much at all this season. When we do use it, we just turn it up to a reasonable temperature and then turn it off. Our fireplace insert burns hot enough to maintain the temperatures the rest of the time.

We had it installed years ago after a major electrical and wind storm moved through our area. We were without power for more than a week and the nights were very cool. Though our house has a regular brick fireplace, we didn't really have any firewood to burn to keep warm. We vowed that we would never allow that to happen again! That storm taught us quite a few lessons about being prepared and though we know that there is no way to be prepared for EVERY event, we try to be ready for the one thing that we know will happen: WINTER!!! It arrived today in the form of snow, sleet, slush and (later tonight) wind.

For now, we are comfy and warm by the fire.