Sunday, January 7, 2018

(Jan 7) Heater Follow-Up and New Cabinet

Happy to report that the new heater (which had been running for about a week) was working fine when we came to check on the place today. The temperature in the house was pleasant and noticeably warmer than outside. Also, checking our electric service, it looks like the heater was costing us about $1/day to run 24 hours. I left the unit on high since outside temps were in the teens and 20s throughout the week. That burned about 10 KWHrs of power per day at 10¢ per KWHr. Very affordable, especially considering that I could add a couple of solar panels to offset this in the future.

To celebrate the new IKEA that opened up close to our Arlington house, we picked up a cabinet for our dishes and glasses. We really haven't been happy with storing the plates and bowls under the Berkey water filter and the glasses in a drawer. This will give them a permanent home. I think it looks pretty nice. :) Kim has always loved the green version of this cabinet but we both agreed that the grey would match the decor better.

IKEA Display Cabinet with dishes

Very happy to report that our bees are surviving the winter. I went out back this past week and checked on them when we had a break in the weather. All of the hives are hunkered down and waiting for Spring. Given that we're on month 10 of our 1st year of beekeeping, I'm just really happy to have any alive this far along. :) I'm already planning to set out traps early this Spring to see if we can catch some wild swarms. They're more aggressive than the European bred bees but they seem to have great production and survival skills.

We will likely also split 1 or 2 of our current hives in early summer, again from the wild caught stock from last year. I will try my hand again at rescuing bees from contacts through the Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association although that venture did not pay off last year. My election to the board as VP of the bee club this year was an unexpected surprise. They really are a great group to be associated with and I'm looking forward to a new year of learning how much I really don't know about bees!

Hoping for better weather in the coming weeks. I like being out here in the winter, I just don't like it rainy and freezing! The birds have seemed extra appreciative of our feeding efforts this winter. A new feeder stocked with finch food has brought in more birds than ever. What a horrible way to spend a winter day - hanging out with your wife in your Tiny House in the woods, drinking hot tea and watching the birds and squirrels play outside your window. It's a hard life but someone's got to suffer through it. :)

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