Energy Audit, February 2009

Submitted by Ben on Tue, 02/10/2009 - 09:17

Last Thursday we got a home energy audit from a service called IAQ Solutions, part of Blue Dot Kansas.  It would have been good to get the audit last fall, but the waiting list was quite long.  The fees were also quite reasonable: the cost of the audit itself is paid by a grant, so we just have to pay for the auditor's transportation from Topeka, which will be about $125, but we haven't got the bill yet.  In any case, the recommendations he made should pay for themselves in a year or two.

100% post-consumer recycled wedding invitations

Submitted by Ben on Fri, 01/16/2009 - 16:41

What my sister calls the "marital industrial complex" has been rightly criticized for its environmental impact.  When you're planning a wedding, there are simply too many things to think about without worrying about ecology as well.  I'm sure my college friends would be shocked to find that Jessie and I will be using disposable dishes, for example.

Wholesome Monster Cookies

Submitted by Ben on Sun, 01/11/2009 - 17:23

People keep asking for this recipe, so I'm going to post it here...

I used to really love "monster cookies" -- that is, oatmeal-M&M-peanut butter cookies -- but then peanuts stopped agreeing with me, and I learned that most chocolate is made by child slaves, and I was living around a bunch of health-food enthusiasts, so I needed a wholesome substitute.  I started from this basic oatmeal cookie recipe, which I found online somewhere:

Tags

Top ten reasons to use a reel mower

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 01/08/2009 - 21:23

My landlady in Fairfield had an old rusty reel mower in the garage, and I tried using it once before giving up -- it just wouldn't cut worth a darn, so I assumed it was dull, and I asked around to see if anyone would sharpen it, but no one would.  But then just before I left Fairfield, a friend told me that he used a reel mower, and he was the first person I'd ever met who did, so I asked him how he sharpened it.  He said, "You don't need to sharpen it.  You just adjust it right, and it sharpens itself."  Well, that got me intrigued, so I tinkered with the thing until I fig

Fulfilling childhood dreams

Submitted by Jessie on Sat, 12/27/2008 - 23:42

Earlier this year Ben and I listened to the book The last lecture by Randy Pausch. In this book the professor, who was dying of cancer, talks a lot about the importance of fulfilling childhood dreams, no matter how big or small. I can certainly say that having Ben in my life and planning the rest of our lives together has fulfilled and is fulfilling many dreams for me but recently I fulfilled a childhood dream without him. In November, my friend Dareth and I went to the New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) concert in Kansas City, Missouri.

Happy 2009 from Ben and Jessie!

Submitted by Ben on Wed, 12/24/2008 - 09:40

I traditionally call my holiday letter a "newyearsletter" because I rarely have it in the mail before Christmas, and this year is no exception.  However, if you don't mind viewing it online, you have that option!  See Jessie's beautiful photo collage and read about our 2008!  Note that our street address and phone numbers have been removed from the online version.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and a happy new year!

Conservation (is how green living) begins at home

Submitted by Ben on Mon, 12/22/2008 - 09:31

A friend of mine was looking at this site a few days ago and commented that while the back yard is torn up, it would be an ideal time to install "geothermal" -- a ground-source heat pump.  I see where he's coming from: he's had his house for years and has probably already done all he can with insulation and so forth.  But we're not there yet... we're still at the efficiency stage.