Thursday, April 10, 2008

Week of the Water Heater

I guess we were just not destined for school this week. The solar guys came on Tuesday to install our super cool new solar water heating system and that not only took all day, but it took two days. And the second day we had no water at all because they were working on plumbing the system. Blech. If I had known how that second day was going to go, I would have either planned to be gone (but I just don't feel right about leaving a crew in the house alone) or at least bought us a case of bottled water. Can you believe we had no bottled water at all and no pitchers of it or anything in the fridge? We ended up microwaving glasses of ice cubes by the end of the day, lol. We're a big water family. There was a gallon of juice in the fridge, but it's just not the same. At least that meant that we weren't needing the bathroom too much - toilets don't work without water either, you know. ;)

They finally got out of here at about 7pm on the second day but they left us with piping hot water and a beautiful new tubular skylight in the kitchen. The skylight is the coolest thing ever. We had this dark little kitchen and almost always had the lights on in there. Now the skylight lights it up whenever Mr. Sun is in the sky. It's nice too because it starts out low when you first wake up and then by 10 or 11 it is brighter than the lights ever were. Around sunset it glows this beautiful blue color and Dave the Solar Guy said that it does that during a full moon too. I highly recommend them for all the dark corners of your house!

So we never got any schoolwork done. The crew on the roof was just too interesting. We did go to a 4-H meeting on Tuesday afternoon though. It started with a silverware stuffing party as we filled little baggies with plastic utensils for the Chickenque coming up in a few weeks. Then there was "the boring meeting" and I think Cameron volunteered for a committee or two. After the meeting was chocolate cake to wish bon voyage to one of the former leaders and her family before they make their move to Alaska. OMG, that was the best chocolate cake ever. They should've put a warning label on it

Warning: Consumption of this cake can cause greedy overindulgence in pregnant women and incredibly long-lasting hyperactivity in children.
LOL, it was that good. So anyway, after the children were all hyped up they had pet show and tell day. Lots of happy dogs and several terrified cats and guinea pigs. We decided not to actually bring out pets (I was wondering how I was going to handle three children through all that much less a pet or two!) so Cameron brought pictures instead. Unfortunately, he didn't quite get the concept that the audience couldn't see the pictures while he was looking at them. ;) See Greyson the Blur in this one? LOL, he loved all the pets and couldn't get enough of them.

I guess 4-H always counts as school to me. It's definitely the most schooly atmosphere they are ever in. Wednesday I kept saying, let's just wait for the workmen to finish up before we start school. I don't want to be interrupted. LOL. Yeah, well that plan didn't work. ;) We did get some good lessons in stuff like tools, reflection (the tubular skylight), and career choices. Cassia says she wants to be a worker when she grows up now. We also got a great lesson in patience.

Today was supposed to be catch up day but now everyone is sick. Cassia was actually more sick yesterday but it hit Cameron hard today and he is currently napping on the couch. Greyson has a bit of a cough too but it hasn't slowed him down any. We won't get any school done tomorrow because if the kids are well then we are going to Science class and then the park and then baseball! Actually, I'm hoping we can just go to Science Class, come home to rest, and then go to baseball. I have a feeling though that we're going to be laying on the couch all day watching movies.

I spent the day finally planting my seeds for our vegetable garden. I'm actually doing it a few weeks too late but I really wanted to do it right this time. I ordered a starter kit so that I could do everything "by the book" as told by this fabulous sustainable gardening book that I got from the library last year. Anyway, I forgot that you're supposed to start the seedlings several weeks before the last frost so I'm a little behind but hopefully we'll still have a bountiful vegetable garden to enjoy. It won't have quite as much variety as my mix and match garden from last year but it will be much cheaper and much more salad ready. We're even growing watermelons and Haogen melons! That will be a blast to have fresh watermelons. The starter kit also included seeds for a Calorie Crop (in other words, food like wheat, potatoes, and onions that give your diet a lot of calories for the space they take up in the garden) but I don't really have a place to plant them. The starter garden is supposed to be 100 square feet but we only have a 7' x 10' plot. I really want to dig up another little section somewhere but I doubt that it's going to happen this year. Hopefully the seeds will keep until next year. (Freezer?)

Oh, and one more thing... taking away tv is a really bad punishment to dole out. Cassia's entire class was misbehaving this morning in ballet and so they didn't get their usual stickers for the second week in a row. She was not happy at all and when I handed her her shoes and said "let's go" she threw them at me, crossed her arms defiantly, and said, "No!" Well that lost her her tv for the day but it also gave her opportunity to just get into more trouble!! She and Greyson have been up to no good all day. I miss my tv babysitter/child soother!! I hope I don't have to do that one again. ;)

And that's the news from Bermland. One more quick plug for Dave and the guys at the Sun Connection. The were really, really fabulous. They worked hard and did not skimp a single corner even though the entire process took much longer than they expected. They are currently the only Northern California suppliers of this solar water heating system, so give them a call if you want one or for an amazing tubular skylight if you live in Sonoma or Marin county. Thanks, Dave!!!

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