Weekly Update

Electricity: We got our first full month post-billing-mixup and it’s actually gone up! Significantly so! We were down around 150kwh, and now we’re at 190. Boo. :-( I might ask the neighbors if they are using the dryer more often, but the fact that we’ve gained several hours of darkness that need to be lit in the past couple of months may have a lot to do with it. I’m going to use the little light instead of the big light in my room as much as possible, try to hang out more in the living room (Colder, but much better natural light, and bundling up in a cold room looking out at the snow while drinking tea is cozy. Really.), and get my darkness phobia under control so that I don’t have to leave the light on at night. Figuring out how to deal with the dark is thematically appropriate for mid-winter, and I don’t have classes adding to my stress and need for a good night’s sleep for the next month.

Transit: Holding steady. Next Saturday we head down to Maryland on Amtrak.

Water: Still doing ok. Came back from a singing event last night to find that the faucet had been dripping all afternoon/evening. Grrrr…

Food: We picked up the second half of our winter CSA share yesterday. It would have been this evening, but they rescheduled it so that nobody had to be out there in the middle of Wintry Mix. They hadn’t gotten it boxed yet, so we got to pick out our own veggies :-) We have a daddy turnip, a mommy turnip, a baby turnip, and an ABOMINABLE TURNIP. (We got three pounds of turnips. Most of that was the abominable turnip.) I will take and post pictures eventually. We also have 10 pounds of wonderfully frost-sweet carrots, an unexpected new batch of garlic — yay! — more sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, onions, squash, tiny little parsnips, leeks, brussels sprouts, beets, and a red cabbage. No kohlrabi or rutabagas or fennel this time, and I assume the non-bok choy greens either didn’t survive or were unreachable under the snow. I’m very happy at the plethora of carrots, though I could have wished for more beets. We brought some carrots to share at the potluck, which met with great enjoyment, especially by the eight-year-old present!

At home, food keeps getting more and more local, but when eating out, I keep slipping, and potlucks keep getting more frequent with the holiday season. So, here are my new resolutions for maximizing local/ethical/low-waste eating at potlucks:

— When possible, I will bring my own washable plate and utensils. If that isn’t possible or I forget, I will try to graze and eat portable things like bagels such that I don’t need a plate.
— I will use my water bottle instead of drinking other beverages. The exception is bulk and/or fair-trade tea or cocoa, in a washable mug, or if someone has made their own rootbeer or apple cider or something, in which case I will empty my water bottle, put some of the homemade beverage in it, and then wash it afterwards.
— I will prioritize homemade dishes over packaged ones…they generally taste better anyway, but then sometimes the only chocolate available is packaged cookies and my self-control goes out the window. Bread from a local bakery or other local semi-packaged things count as homemade.
— I will eat as close to vegan as reasonably possible unless I know and approve of where animal products came from. Much of the time “as close as reasonably possible” will be “not very”, especially if I’m actually getting a meal out of it, but I’ll at least keep it in mind as a goal. I don’t eat actual meat anyway under most circumstances, but potlucks tend to consist of lots of non-vegan baked goods and cheese or egg-based entrees.

When the semester starts up again, I’ll come up with a better strategy for dinners on nights when I have class.

Heating: Still holding steady. Still mooching off the neighbors’ heat despite temperatures in the low teens and then a full-on nor’easter. Score!

Consumer Goods: I bought a pound of worms online. We’ll see if they get here intact. I hope I haven’t just sent them to an icy death.

Trash: Still holding steady.

1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Malva said,

    About the potlucks: Around here, it’s become pretty much standard to have the message “bring your own plates, utensils and (cloth) napkins” on the invitation to potlucks. It’s often “in an effort to not overburden our hosts” or because the potluck is outside in a park or something similar. If some potlucks are recurring events that you know would most likely occur because it’s that time of the year and so-and-so normally hosts a potluck sometime soon, maybe you could ask they add this to the invitation. Or if the invitation is by email, you could reply to all requesting it nicely “in an effort to keep the work to a minimum for our host” or something like that.

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