Good morning! Happy Soon-To-Be-Summer Solstice!
I'm in a bit of a slow-down where work is concerned, and I just came in from the garden, so I thought I'd take a few minutes to write you a note.
So how are you all doing?
Thank you all for your donations to my recent fundraising runs! They were a great success, and very much appreciated for all concerned. In the last few hours before the race for the Champlain Islands Parent Child Center a week ago Saturday, I made a Facebook challenge to my friends that if someone would donate, I'd wear my SL,UT t-shirt (You may remember when I got that.) to the race. Some people did, and so:
I haven't learned how much we raised for that little organization yet, but I know we did pretty well. So thank you again! I ran a respectable 30:39 5K. (Man, it was hot!) But there was a woman in my class (50-59 female) who beat me by quite a bit. David and I had to do a lot of explaining about the t-shirt all morning. But everyone agreed: Hey, if it brought in a few extra dollars, it was well worth it.
Then this past Saturday I did the Run For Empowerment in support of Women Helping Battered Women. I thought I was gonna smoke that thing, and I did shave 30 seconds off my 5K time from the week before:
But holy crap, we have some fast friggin' over-50 women around here! Look at the No. 1 female finisher! In all classes! 57! And she was ahead of me by the proverbial (nope, literal, now that I think about it) mile.
But anyway, we did a fabulous job with the fundraising for that; and they do such good work, they deserve it. So thank you again!
So by my count, that is 9 5K runs in the can toward my goal of 12 in 12 months. I fell a little behind in the spring, so I'm playing catchup. I'm thinking of signing up for another one this coming Saturday. I'm enjoying these things. (Did I just say that out loud?)
We got our first electric bill since installing our solar panels:
This reflects the first three WEEKS! So the way it works here is we have net metering. We don't get any actual cash. Credits are built up. And we are given credit by our utility for an extra 6 cents per kilowatt hour that we produce as well, because, you know: Vermont.
Our system was designed to meet our established prior usage (in our case, average $91/month). So in the summer we are cranking out that extra power (probably 130% or so of our actual simultaneous usage) and getting credit for it. Then, in the dreary winter months when we don't produce as much solar electricity up here, we draw down on the credits we built up in the happy sunny summer. So from now on, we should have a zero electric bill. Forever. Well, for the life of the panels anyway, which is about 20 years.
The credits have to be used up within one year of creating them, and if we have any left over at the end of the one-year period, we can donate them to another person on the same utility -- a family member or friend or neighbor -- or to a nonprofit or whatever.
Is that cool or WHAT?
The garden is going strong. Big parts of it are a bit unkempt at the moment, but that is just about par for the course, innit?
Yesterday when I was doing the heavy lifting of cleaning out and relayering the compost bins (my favorite garden thing!!!), I opened the door to one of them to be surprised by one of these guys chilling out (or warming up, more accurately) in there.
After my initial EEK! startled moment that I always have with snakes, I gently urged him to go find another place to hang out while I cleaned the bins and took care of the compost. I hope he didn't go too far, though, because according to Wikipedia, "Young milk snakes typically eat slugs, insects, crickets, and earthworms." I have had no slugs in my garden this year so far. Coincidence? I hope I did not push him too far away, though the environment in the bin is no longer the same since I cleaned it out. I hope he finds another suitable close-by home.
This morning's harvest included beet thinnings, spinach, parsley, thyme, and summer savory.