Thursday, September 10, 2009


One thing we know we want to do is get off the grid, at least primarily, for our electricity. I've worked briefly in the wind power field, hydropower won't work on a small scale, geothermal requires a heck of a lot of earth-moving from what I can gather. So solar it is. And I have an acquaintance who did the engineering for a company in New Jersey to outfit a Whole Foods to run on solar power.

The garage/office that we want to build seems like its roof would be situated perfectly for solar panels across one slope.
Walking around the neighborhood I've noticed quite a few homes with solar panels, but usually just 2-4 panels. I'm guessing they're not running off them entirely.
I used to babysit at a home in Vermont that was entirely solar, as solar installation was the father's career. They had low-wattage everything, and the lighting was quite dimmed in the evenings, but otherwise it seemed pretty straightforward. So we might have to outfit the house with all new lighting fixtures and a few other items.

Here's some info I found that might be helpful:
For Massachusetts residents:
Free financial assessment for solar in the home:
A company that supposedly 'does it all' and maintains the installed system for 18 years:

Also, we want to add a small inground pool at some point. We'd like to heat it, and we have friends who have a solar-heated pool that is really cool. So I'm sure I'll be picking their brains about that!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Out & About, Aug '09

I walk a lot in neighborhoods nearby. I try to carry a camera in my pocket when possible. Here is random home/landscaping stuff I liked from the month of August...

I need more mid and late
summer color in our yard.
I keep seeing these big
flowers in many different
hues on my walks. I asked
my neighbor about hers
finally: Rose of Sharon.
Probably explains why my
friend down the street has
a some in front of their
house, I'm guessing it's
because her wife's name is
Sharon. Awww....

I haven't looked up what these dark pink flowers are yet, though they look rather similar to impatiens. I just love the dark foliage...
I love climbing vines that flower. Are these morning glories? I really want a Wysteria vine too.
That's it for August. I'll probably have more in September now that I thought to do this!