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Carol in Cal.

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About Carol in Cal.

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  • Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
  • Interests
    Lutheran theology and hymns, world history, chemistry, knitting, weaving, literature, reading
  • Occupation
    Homeschooling and also working fulltime

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  1. Carol in Cal.

    If we leave California... where to?

    Well, great! My husband is 10 years older than I am, and statistically women live longer than men. So I'll just use his water until he dies, and then when I'm all alone, and our household social security income drops by 1/3 to 1/2, and I jump into the 'single' tax bracket rather than the lower 'married' one, I'll be happy to also absorb a $1000/month increase in expenses so I can take a bath and wash my clothes. Riiiiight.
  2. Carol in Cal.

    If we leave California... where to?

    It's not ignored. It's DISPUTED. There is a big difference between the two. This source says that the average bath uses 35-50 gallons of water: People like me that are dependent on a daily bath for various health reasons are going to be hit very hard by the new law, a point that has been made by several folks on this thread. Low flow toilet standards are currently 1.6 gallons per flush. 10 per day is 16 gallons total. Energy star dishwashers use about 4 gallons per cycle. Even assuming no landscaping use, 50 gallons per day is pretty hard to stay under with these figures, and they don't include any cooking or clothes washing use.
  3. Carol in Cal.

    If we leave California... where to?

    Really, it's not an obsession. It's an observation to illustrate a point. 50 gallons is not very much more than normal daily low flow toilet flushing, cooking use, low water dishwasher use, and a bath. Doing laundry, even though it's not daily, would push a lot of people over the limit for the month. That means big charges, and it's a draconian change to an existing population that is already conserving, while doing nothing to prevent the massive number of new housing starts that are popping up all over the place, or the incredibly wasteful water transportation systems that have as much leakage and evaporation as they do successful transport, or to fix the poorly maintained, poorly designed dams and levees that we already depend on. That's quite oppressive.
  4. Carol in Cal.

    I feel lost

    I have heard good things about this book--maybe you would glean some good ideas from it?,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch
  5. Right, that is why DH also wants a couch. I would be fine with the 'also' being a loveseat, but I can't curl up in a recliner.
  6. Something else to consider--the reclining sofas pretty militate toward only sitting upright or recline. I tend to curl up in a corner of the couch, and that is really not comfortable with the reclining ones. So if we got recliners, they would be individual, and we would still have a couch or loveseat.
  7. There IS reclining furniture without the need for the power. Last summer DH and I were in a furniture store, and I absent mindedly sat down for a minute on a really ugly chair to make a note. And I was absolutely amazed at how unbelievably comfortable it was. It was a Norwegian brand called Ekornes, and the line was called Stressless. I grabbed DH and said, you are the one with the bad back--sit on this and see what you think. He was amazed, too. At this point we didn't even know that these reclined. We asked the sales person about them, and found out that they come in custom sizes for different builds (S, M, L), they come in high and low backed chairs, loveseats, and couches, and they recline without the need for power. There are also some that are not ugly, LOL. If we were seriously considering a recliner, no question about it, that is the brand we would buy. Worth looking into for sure.
  8. Carol in Cal.

    Current house options...

    Regarding your comment that you're just meh about the first house for some reason, I wonder whether it is the proportions? It took me a long time to realize that I'm very sensitive to proportions. Ceilings that are too high or too low for the rest of the room depress me quite a bit. I can't numerically express this, but I know it when I see it. We actually put an offer on a house where that was barely not an issue, and I was pretty relieved when it didn't get accepted. (It turned out to be a strangely noisy house, too, due to some weird echoing between the hillside behind it and a hill rather far away that acted like a whispering gallery. We would have heard a TON of screaming play noise from tobaggoning in the winter and water play in the river all summer long. Ugh.) Anyway, once I was tuned in to this, I started to watch for it. And I'm really glad that I did, because the last thing I need in a house is not to ever want to be in the living room, for instance.
  9. Carol in Cal.

    If we leave California... where to?

    I have to take a bath or I don't really get clean, and also I would miss out on seriously therapeutic soaking, steaming, and stretching that is physically very helpful to me. I don't think I'm alone in that. The new standards will mean I won't be able to clean myself and I can wash my clothes on the same day. That's unreasonable for someone who has always conserved, who has taken out their lawns, who has no pool and no hot tub, and who has a low flow newish dishwasher, whose only outdoor water use is sparingly watering fruit trees which provide shade (energy savings!) and fresh, organic food (energy and money savings for us and our neighbors). If the state were in parallel cleaning up the massive water transport inefficiencies in our socalled system, fixing our existing dams so that they are reliable and not so wasteful, and repairing and shading our dangerous levees, as well as putting regs in place to discourage continued new housing starts and massively inefficient water use by businesses, I would have a lot more sympathy for the need for the new regs. As it is, I resent them tremendously. And, ironically, I'm now seriously considering putting a hot tub in the back yard, because at least that water can be systematically reused a bunch of times. But that means inefficient energy use to keep it hot all the time; something I have always tried to avoid.
  10. Carol in Cal.

    Current house options...

    One nice thing about the woods is that that becomes an outdoor area that is accessible but doesn't need weekly maintenance. And you can live there for a while and then judiciously decide which trees to take it. It's good to see a place through all the seasons before you start changing things too much. I would go for 3. With a house that big, you can do all the things inside, and if the woods are too buggy, you still have a great big house to be in.
  11. Carol in Cal.

    Basic smoothie recipe- no banana or avocado

    I use frozen berries and frozen OJ concentrate and ice cubes. If I use blueberries, which are tart, I tend to add a little honey. I use a banana if I have one, but the use of all frozen stuff gives me a thickish slushy smoothie even without it. If I don't have a banana and I want it creamy, I add either a little vanilla yogurt or some nonfat vanilla ice cream, whichever I have around. I buy bags of mixed frozen berries or frozen strawberries at Costco, where they are very reasonably priced and often are organic.
  12. Carol in Cal.

    I just need a hug.

    We are here for you.
  13. Carol in Cal.

    I feel lost

    You know, it is your job to make sure they learn both academics and character. This is a BIG job. It is a fulltime and more time kind of responsibility. Stepping back from the fray, I think I would focus on the character issues a great deal at this point. Allowing the NT kids to parrot the 'hating reading' or whatever attitudes that your 14 year old models is the first thing to work on. They have to learn to have good attitudes despite their brother not being able to be their good example, and as an outsider, that looks like job one. They need to be caught up, and caught up NOW, and their resistance is extreme and unacceptable. Regarding teaching writing to the 10 year old, I would use the WTM discussion questions and writing teaching guidelines for the logic stage from the FIRST EDITION of WTM to teach this, and to incorporate subject area writing into her schooling. I think you can catch her up without much difficulty. For the 13 year old, I'd be inclined to try Memoria Press, and possible to add Jenson's Format Writing salted in. I'd also sign him up for a "Help For High School" class with Bravewriter ASAP--it's a short, intense writing class that teaches two kinds of essays with a lot of external feedback. That would be a leg up for him. But I'd sit each of them down and have a serious talk about how voicing bad attitudes is an example of bad character, and about how to show good character in everyday life. I'd work very hard on modelling it as well. That's job 1 right now.
  14. Carol in Cal.

    If we leave California... where to?

    Oh nonsense. They did know that the population growth and inefficient business use were creating a disaster, decades ago, in the 1970s. Actually the present drought is not that bad, although the last one before this was horrendous and arguably made more severe by the factors you mention. But the Oroville failure, for instance, was of our newest and I think our biggest dam, and it was entirely preventable and foreseeable. That is nuts. And the levees in the central valley are a mess--identified as one of the top three most probable natural disaster issues in the country (another was the New Orleans hurricane) long since, with nothing serious done to fix this. Our state government is absolutely terrible at preventative maintenance and proactive infrastructure work. It's horrible.
  15. Carol in Cal.

    If we leave California... where to?

    They are treating it like it is an infinite supply resource for businesses, and only going after homeowners while transporting water in open, sundrenched, leaky, evaporative, state-subsidized systems for the businesses. They aren't doing anything to increase the supply or improve water storage or deter new home starts/overpopulation. They aren't even properly maintaining the dams and levees that we already have, not even enough to prevent major safety issues. Incompetent? You bet. Criminally incompetent? Arguably. Read up on the Oroville Dam situation for instance. Completely preventable, foresawn even. More than 100,000 people had to evacuate for this last year, and the downstream river banks collapsed and so its capacity is severely hurt for the future. Crazy stupid stuff.
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