Monday, July 30, 2018

Sunday: Daughter Goes Back

I woke up at 9:00 a.m., this morning, when the alarm went off, fed the cats, refilled the outside cats' water bowl, turned off the porch lights, etc.  I had planned to get up and cook the salmon steaks so daughter could take some back with her.  But I felt very tired, after yesterday's wedding, so, I went back to sleep and slept until 10:30 a.m., when daughter came for a cuddle.  By the time I had coffee, got dressed, and had my Sunday morning chat with my neighbor T who called, it was already past 11:00 a.m. and too late to cook the fish.

Daughter finished packing the last bits, which included the food I gave her to take back - the last of the rotisserie chicken, half of the fruits and vegetable I bought on Friday, the rest of the mung beans I had cooked, etc.  I put the cooked food in containers and put the containers in gallon sized zippered bags.  She is able to take food like that, in her carry on luggage, without any problems.

I dropped daughter off at the airport at noon and came home.  She called to let me know when she boarded the plane, when she landed at Oakland airport, and, again, when she reached her apartment (she has an hour-long subway ride from the airport to Berkeley, and then, she walks the mile or so from the subway station to her apartment).  She said she planned to unpack and do a load of laundry and get ready for next week.  She has a course of Statistics seminars and work shops to attend, at UC-Berkeley, next week, 8:30 to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  She says she's excited about it and is looking forward to it!

I spent the afternoon writing the wedding blog post.  One of my cousins sent me some pictures she had taken at the wedding, and we texted back and forth about it.  Later, after trying the tea cousin P had given me, I called her to thank her, again, for the ride, to ask after her daughter's feet (she said they were OK), and to tell her that I tried the tea and it was good.  She brought up the subject of the wedding and we discussed it a bit more!

By the way, daughter says she is unable to upload the videos she took of the wedding dancers without uploading them to YouTube, first, and we don't want to do that.  Does anyone know of another way to upload videos from a cell phone to a blog post?

Later in the evening, once it had cooled off a bit, I watered the front garden with the garden hose and the back yard with the sprinklers.  I might need to cut back a bit on my watering, though!  I received my water and electric (and other municipal services, such as sewer and trash collection) bill, earlier in the week, and it showed that I had gone over my Tier 1 limit of 16 hundred cubic feet (hcf) of water during the billing period (two months: 5/17/18 - 7/18/18) and used another 2 hcf of Tier 2 water.  Tier 1 water is billed at the rate of $6.23/hcf; Tier 2 water is billed at the rate of $8.35/hcf.  My water bill is $116.43.  The electricity portion was $52.64 and I had used 283 kiloWatt-hours of the 1,000 kWh of the Tier 1 electricity that I am allowed; I have never gone over my Tier 1 electricity.  Sewer charges came to another $26.55 and the solid waste removal fees came to $74.03.  The combined total of my bill for water, electricity, sewer and solid waste amounted to $269.65; I allocate $150/month in my budget for this combined bill (or $300 for the 2-months billing period), so I am under budget.  However, I had gone over the Tier 1 water allocation.

About a day after I received my water/electric bill, I received a call from someone, claiming to call on behalf of the Department of Water and Power, doing an energy audit, stating they showed me in the Tier 2 category and asking about my electricity usage.  I knew the call was not from the Department of Water and Power, itself, but one of the many companies looking to sell various products designed to help with energy conservation.  Their first question was, "Do you use over 1,000 kWh of electricity?" and my answer to that would be a "No, I used a little more than one quarter of that amount".  Because my Tier 2 usage was in water and not electricity, I declined to participate, said, "No, thank you", and hung up.

I already do many of the things we are urged to do to conserve water.  The only way I could conserve additional water usage is by watering my garden even less than I currently do.  As it is, I have no lawn in the front and I've planted succulents and other drought tolerant plants.  This is the middle of summer and I live in one of the hotter areas of the city; we've had no rain since the end of May and we are not likely to get any rain until the rainy season starts again in October.  I expect my water usage to go up a bit in the summer, and, as long as we are not in a drought and under mandatory water restrictions, I think it is OK to do so.  However, I shall try to keep below my 16 hcf for the rest of the summer (in winter, my allocation is reduced to 13 hcf, or is it 11?  I can't remember, without looking it up.)

After I watered the garden, I called friend R and chatted with her for a bit.  Then, I finally cooked the fish!  I had some of it for dinner, but I will freeze the rest.

Still later, I video chatted with daughter. 

Monday's To Do List:
- Do the dishes/run dishwasher
- Call to schedule a maintenance service for the car (maintenance required light has come one)
- Do a load or two of laundry
- Do some paperwork (pay bills, etc.)
- Take the trash cans to the curb
- Cook the ground beef
- Grocery shop for bread

How was your Sunday?  What are some of the ways in which you conserve water?


  1. I have some water butts in the garden and collect rain water. This helps out but was used up very quickly during the heatwave we've just had. Yesterdays rain has refilled them but with hot dry weather due again next week, I''ll be using mains water again. I live alone so tend to keep my bill very low. I wait to wash clothes etc until I have a full load and have one of those clever washing machine which adjusts the amount of water it uses based on the weight of the load. Also, I don't have a dishwasher which save a lot of water.

    1. I am thinking of getting a rain water barrel, but, as one of my friends said, "to collect what rain water?" LOL. We are lucky to get 15 inches of rain a year! Our average annual rainfall is 14.93 inches; some years, we've had as little as 3.2 inches of rain!

  2. The whole southwest has a very serious water problem that is not going to be solved anytime soon. Every time I hear about the big water picture, I get stressed even though I don't live there, but millions of other people do. I guess that is the problem--millions of people living in a semiarid climate. Anyway, kudos to you for being a concerned citizen with your water usage.

    1. Millions of people living in a semiarid climate is definitely one of the problems, Live and Learn; factor in expectations of green lawns, plants other than cacti, flushing toilets, daily showers, laundering clothes after a single wear, etc., and we have compounded problems! I think we'd all be a lot more conserving of water if we had to walk a mile to the communal well or public water faucet and haul the water home in a pail!

  3. You have had a very busy weekend! I'm glad you got to go to the wedding and spend the time with your daughter.

    Your grocery budget stayed nice and low, as well, even with extra cooking.

    I spent a lot of time canning and preserving this past week. The garden is exploding, and I've been happy to get it preserved. It sure has kept me busy, and I haven't had much time to read blogs, though.

    I hope you are enjoying your new normal of retirement. You have been so busy! I'm glad you have the time to enjoy yourself at the activities without the pressure of work the next morning.

    1. I've been reading about your zucchini pickles and canning, Becky! You've definitely been busy!

      The first week of my retirement has been wonderful, with daughter at home for the duration and the two weddings to attend. This week will be a bit slower, but I still have several errands to run.

  4. If you try to post a video from your cell phone directly into Blogger, the only option you are presented with is to select YouTube videos. However, you can post videos from your computer directly onto your blog. Your Daughter should either save the video to Google Drive or equivalent so you can download it to your computer from there and then insert it in your blog yourself, or save it to her own computer, and then access your blog with your credentials and upload the video as follows:

    When you/your daughter compose the post, there is an icon with a movie clapboard on it which is to insert a video. So you need to have the video on your computer (like you do your pictures) and then you click on the icon and go find the file on your computer. However, that works best for short videos. I think the file cannot be larger than 100 MB. So if it's longer, you should cut it into smaller chunks with help of a video editing software and then insert the chunks one at a time into your post. The video screen looks very small but once your post is published, viewers are able to make the video go full screen.

    I hope this helped a little!

    1. Thank you, Nathalie! I am going to forward this info to my daughter.

  5. I got a bit concerned about water the other week when we had a lengthy dry period and the maple trees were wilting! We have a well and usually it is great, but one never knows what will happen if there is a prolonged drought. So all the rain we had last week was very much appreciated. I try not to waste water, but when our water tank leaked and we had to shut it off, I realized just how much we take water for granted. It always bothers me when the hot water runs cold and I feel guilty if I run it for a while to warm up! But I'm not into cold showers!

    There has been some excitement on the Monarch butterfly scene. We found two newly emerged ones resting and alternately trying their wings to strengthen them. One eventually flew away, the other clung to the iris leaves and stayed all night. I was quite concerned as we had wind and some heavy rain, but in the morning it was moving its wings and eventually flew away. Meanwhile a caterpillar formed the "J" shape hanging from the garage siding, but didn't do anything for 24 hours. Today I just missed seeing it turn into a chrysalis. I also just missed seeing another butterfly emerge from a chrysalis that I had noticed was turning dark, obviously ready any time. This year has been very encouraging for the number of caterpillars and adults seen.

    1. We do take having enough water for granted, don't we? Today, for example, I ran the dishwasher, did two loads of laundry, washed a few dishes by hand, and had a shower! All that requires water. I have a bucket in the shower to catch the water while it warms up. I use that water to water some of the potted plants.

      How wonderful to be able to see the Monarch butterflies go from caterpillar to butterfly! So glad that both newly hatched butterflies eventually flew! It sounds like you have quite a productive butterfly nursery!

  6. I know you are going to miss your daughter after having her at home. Next week we are having the entire crew here so I am very excited and looking forward to the controlled chaos!

    1. It was a lot of fun having her home, but I'll be seeing her again in about 3 weeks; she's coming down to be with me when I go for my endoscopy and colonoscopy. I know you'll have a wonderful time when your family comes to visit! Enjoy!


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