Monday, June 18, 2007

Other Miscellaneous Info About Me

Besides sewing and embroidery, I also have a passion for westies . . . West Highland Terriers. We currently share our home with a precocious 5 year old pestie westie named Keli Angel. She is our second westie; our first was Wyndi who lived to the age of almost 13, was blind and deaf in one ear and was still the smartest dog I ever knew.

The room in our house that most people would consider their "formal living room" is our "Westie Wing". It is decorated with all things westie -- plates, prints, figures, even the throw pillows and blanket have westie dogs on them. It is a westie-friendly room, and is meant to be lived in daily, not just formally. I often find Keli in there taking a snooze (or maybe hiding to see how long it will take for me to wonder where she is and decide look for her). One of the reasons I invested in design software was so that I can someday create my own westie embroidery designs. I have a plan to make westie finials for the drapery rod in that room one of these days . . . but they can't look cheesy, they have to be sophisticated, but whimsical . . .

I am a backyard gardener -- each year I plant tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, various herbs and a few "experiments". Last year I tried sugar pumpkins, with minor success. I try to be as organic as possible, so we compost our vegetable peels, coffee grounds and other kitchen scraps all year round. One year I had so many tomatoes, I canned well over 12 pints! I make refrigerator pickles all summer long from my own cucumbers and dill . . . I can't keep the refrigerator stocked, they are so popular.

A few years ago, while I was out in my garden walking my westie (probably listening to the Mets on the radio), I had a thought that our southern exposed roof would be an excellent place for solar panels . . . well, it took a few years and some research, but in late 2005 we had those solar panels installed. Currently, we are looking into adding a solar water heater to reduce our use of natural gas for hot water. Hopefully this will be installed before the end of 2007. I highly recommend to anyone who is considering improving their energy efficiency or reducing your "carbon footprint" to look into solar energy. It is such a simple technology and would benefit us all so much, as our homes become more and more automated and our demand for power increases (especially if I keep buying sewing machines!).

Read this recent article from The Bergen Record for more info on green power in northern New Jersey or go to: linktothesun.com or capturethesun.com

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