Onion Bulb in Bloom...
Our life got a bit confusing the last few weeks but we are getting somewhat in a better routine.
Our move to a more "Vintarian life", our Sensible Vintage makes us keep moving backwards and backwards for us is good since we are not moving forward. At least we are moving. :)
We are trying to get a more settled life and one that draws minimal outside resources. In the past people lived minimal because the use of electricity was quite different than what it is today. In the past it was to turn on a few lamps in the house or possibly a few ceiling lights. Houses had to be wired first for the families to receive the new electricity.
This toaster is too modern to use as an example of the first electric toaster but it is still very vintage and by the way works very well.
Households did not have electric cords all over the place as we have today. There were no televisions, refrigerators, washers and dryers of today and if we went around unplugging everything in our house that was not around in the 1920s to the 1940s would be shocking. We would have very few things to plug in.
We have been unplugging quite a bit since January and we have seen our electric bill dropping quite a bit. That is a good thing.
We have found out that our stove is quite a power drain but we have to cook so we are finding ways to reduce the use of the stove. One way is to eat more salads and cook stir fry where we are cooking things together.
We are changing over to more flat breads that can be cooked in a skillet instead of heating up the oven.
Remember my last post when I mentioned I like to name things. Well meet Windsor and Lady Enid.
We decided to do something very different. Our family was a little bit surprised but knowing us not shocked. We gave away our refrigerator. Yes our large side by side refrigerator. As we are trying to cut our kilowatts we decided to start taking drastic measures.
Meet Windsor. Charles and I have always had a dream of building a small off the grid cabin and throughout our marriage we have purchased items for our little cabin but the cabin never happened. So we have decided to use our items we have. We have a two burner wood burning stove and we are considering having it installed in our home or building an outdoor kitchen. We found our Windsor in a little shop and brought him home. He is happy to be doing what he was built to do and that is being a 1920s icebox in our home now.
There is one problem, there are no block ice men driving around our neighborhood anymore, that stopped about 50 years ago. So we had to adjust a few things. We did some kilowatts thinking and studying and knowing what our refrigerator pulled and finding out what a small chest freezer pulls we gave away our refrigerator and purchased a small chest freezer to make ice for Windsor. Saving at least half the kilowatts.
For the last several weeks we have been doing studies on what is the best way to keep Windsor cold. We froze milk jugs. We made ice, we bought ice and we emptied our drain pan twice a day and for right now we are doing the frozen 2 liter bottles and this is working well. We have to rotate them every 2 or three days. This study has taken great patience because we have to wait for everything to freeze.
One very good thing here is it is keeping us very concentrated on what we are buying, how much we are buying and this has led to less waste. I feel we will be eating much better now.
We are still doing our study so I will have to update this when we know for sure because we are going to do one more study of freezing thicker ice by layering the ice by adding water a few inches at a time in a couple of dishpans, let them freeze then more water. I feel that these 2 liter bottles are going to work the best. If we had a bigger freezer we would have more options but we are trying to go with what pulls the least kilowatts.
Just a personal note here, Evelyn, if you are reading this, I am sure you are not surprised Lol And I think Floyd would have loved Windsor. :)
Cold air sinks so the coldest place in the ice box is under the ice storage. So this is where the milk, butter, cheese etc is stored. Since we do not have chickens we have to refrigerate our eggs, if we find a source of fresh eggs and can get them unwashed we can leave them out on the counter.
We keep our vegetables on the upper section, asparagus, squash, lettuce carrots etc because this the least cool area. The air circulates itself inside the icebox. Cold air goes down through the air chamber in the ice section and over and up. Even though there is no real air vent or moving air it is cold air moving about.
Under Windsor there is a drain and we keep a pan to catch the water drippings. We shortened this drain so we could put a larger pan. Charles added a pvc pipe. If we go back to blocked ice this will work especially well.
I had read that the ice delivery men had routes and people had different ways of working out when they needed ice. Some had some type of small flag and when it was out the route delivery man knew to stop and deliver ice. These little iceboxes hold an shockingly amount of ice, 50 to 75 pounds!
Then comes Lady Enid. We used Lady Enid for over a year when our old refrigerator stopped working. We kept her and now have put her back to work too. We are using her for backup until we are certain that we have all the cooling issues worked out with Windsor. I really do like Lady Enid she does a remarkable job and she has been running out in Charles work shop all this time so there will be no change in our Kilowatts use by letting her run.
This is my new laundry soap mixture. One bar of grated kirks castile soap, two cups of washing soda and 20 drops of essential oil. I use either lavender or Eucalyptus oil and either smell so very good. :) I started leaving off the borax just because and this is working very good. Remember I am mostly hand washing.
Now our HE washer and dryer look like Elephants in the room since they are in our kitchen and we do not have a laundry room like many houses do. We are not sure what we are going to do. Right now I am mostly hand washing our clothes and hanging them on the line. I have used the washer off and on because sometime I need to. I do feel these new HE machines pull more power than the old washers. Sooooo, who knows what we will do.
I know that our life is more interesting than it has ever been. Even though we are getting older we know that it is not time to stop trying to better ourselves by finding ways to depend less on the grid.
We all can do this, we can read and learn how to make sensible changes and what we have found is go back to our roots. We all should take a good look at our ancestors because this world is getting a bit crazy and if we focus on what is going on it can depress us.
If we take charge of the things that we can do then we can make a difference. We may be upset by what we hear on the news but really we cannot do anything about this other than make a difference where we are. That is a good thing.
When we started cutting back such as dropping our television cable and subscriptions and paying off our bills we thought there were no other areas we could make changes but we keep finding ways.
We stopped drinking sodas and buying junk food and reducing our grocery bill, we started conserving water and yet we still keep finding ways. Each dollar we do not spend is a dollar saved. The strangest thing happened, we are enjoying ourselves and we have never been so focused. This is not about being frugal it truly is an empowering experience.
Where we are moving next is we have to learn to cook only the amount we eat. Now this will be quite a challenge. Grandma Donna