The building department returned my call of yesterday and gave us the OK to move into our house! We are still working on water issues – namely filling the cistern, completing the waterline, installing the pressure tank and pump and the water heater. We won’t have whole house heat, just 2 small space heaters and we will be cooking on a single electric burner but that’s all minor stuff.
We plan on hosting Thanksgiving for relatives and my grad school buddy and her daughter.
This will be short as I’m supposed to be working on a lesson plan for the lecture I’m giving on Wednesday in the AP Environmental Studies class at the high school but I wanted to let you know what progress we are making.
Our cistern – a big blue plastic tank – was ordered and arrived a week or so ago. It will hold 1,000 gallons of potable water. We’ll have to have it filled initially but we hope to be able to top it off via our rain water collection system. It will go into the ground this week and we are working on getting the waterline plumbed in so that the water in the tank can get to the house! At that point we will have the basic suite of utilities – septic, electricity and water!
I found a nice, clean basic refrigerator on Craigslist and the seller delivered it for a small fee so now we just need a new water heater. The one in the house is set for natural gas and is about 15 years old so I’m looking to replace it with an electric version. We are foregoing the addition of propane at this time even though we need it for cooking (stove/oven) and heating as we cannot afford to have the 200 gallon tank filled (the cost of providing the service). We can get by for awhile on space heaters and the electric skillet/microwave.
I’m hoping (but certainly not counting on) moving in by Thanksgiving. We have moved in our belongings, have the fundamental furniture (thanks to Habitat ReStore) and are very anxious to get settled!
I’m in the middle of my classroom observation at the high school, and am busy working on final papers and projects for my classes at IU. After winter break I will return to the middle school for my student teaching. I’m happy about that as I feel more comfortable with that age group. The teacher I will be working with is retiring at the end of the year and I’m hoping I’ll be in a good position to apply for his job.
I am more than a little concerned about our upcoming financial situation as I will be teaching 5 days a week for 10 weeks with no pay. I will have to quit my job as there is no way to fit it into the teaching schedule. In addition I will be making a 55 mile round trip drive every day of the week – just hope the old car can make it!
I’m squirreling away food for what will probably be a hard winter and looking around for things to list on eBay so that we’ll be able to pay our new electric bill. If you plan on doing any holiday shopping at Amazon we’d appreciate it if you’d click through one of our links – that commission will come in at the end of January and February – just when we will need it!
I feel a little bit like the Little Engine – heading for one last big hill before hopefully reaching a plateau, trying to get up the energy needed for this last push. “I hope I can, I hope I can….”
Some of you are probably wondering if I’m still on my diet. The answer is a qualified yes! I have found it much easier than I anticipated in terms of cravings or missing certain foods and a little harder than anticipated in terms of preparation and expense. After the initial strict 6-week phase during which I lost about 16 pounds I happily entered into the more relaxed stage of the diet. This stage allows some small amounts of meat protein (not a big problem with me) and you can add back in a few treats like a cup of coffee or glass of wine. Although at times I’ve allowed myself to relax a little too much, in general I’ve kept to the overall diet. I decided to try to stick with the whole raw foods, no oils, sugar and salt at least 80% of the time and to not beat myself up if I sometimes indulge in a butter croissant and latte on the way to class or the glass of wine and cheese and crackers on Friday evening to celebrate surviving another week. I’ve now lost more than 20 pounds and dropped from a Large in tops to a small/medium and am in one size small pants. For the most part my blood pressure hovers around normal or below. In general I find I sleep better at night which is a big plus for me as I’ve dealt with a lot of insomnia over the past four or five years. I recently read a study that says sleep allows the brain to clear out toxic waste including proteins linked to Alzheimer’s so I’m really happy that I’m getting more of it!
As I mentioned the issues for me are preparation – salads take longer, as does the preparation of fresh vegetables. Salad is also not as attractive as a cold weather dinner as it is in the summertime. I load mine with black beans, tomatoes, cut corn, and other veggies to make it hardier but there are cold evenings when I give in and have a baked potato topped with lentil soup instead of a big bowl of leafy greens. I appreciate the soup recipes you have shared – I am enjoying them. Eating this way requires more trips to the store to keep fresh raw foods in stock and I’m pretty sure it is more expensive (although that might just be me picking up other things every time I go to the store for more lettuce)! If any of you have given this food regimen a try I’d love to hear how it is working out for you.