Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Energy Usage Progress

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I sat down to pay bills this morning and, while I'm out on the power company's website, I like to pull down our latest usage numbers and see how we're doing.  With all of our efforts toward swapping out our light bulbs for LEDs and using smart outlet strips like this one, we should be seeing it pay off. 
Those numbers above are comparing the month of September from 2013 and 2014.  A 31% decrease from this time last year is not bad, but the weather has been pretty temperate as we're enjoying a prolonged Indian summer.  But an average of 60 kWh is still way too high.  What's interesting is that I also pulled the daily usage numbers for this month and the average is just over 25.  The difference?
We turned off the air conditioner in late September.  Using the air conditioner more than doubles our usage! 
The average monthly usage for folks in Missouri is 1060 kWh per month, or just over 35 kWh per day.  So we're not doing too bad.  But we've still got more bulbs to swap out for LEDs and more stuff to unplug, so I bet we can get our average usage under the roughly 45 kWh that our solar array is going to generate every day.  We'll get credits for what we don't use, so maybe that will help pay for the air conditioner that I'm just not willing to give up on those hot summer days!
Have you come up with some creative ways to save power?  I'd love to hear about them!

I've Been Summoned

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Tucked in between the chiropractor bills and catalogs was this little nugget from the mailman.  We were originally told that the hearing to finalize the sale of the $1400 house wouldn't be until December.  But apparently Jackson County is in a toot to get their back tax money as quickly as possible and now the hearing is scheduled for early November. 
Maybe if we're lucky we'll still have this Indian summer weather then.  A girl can hope, right?  We've got several trees that need to be cleaned up and, even though the front porch floor needs to be demolished and replaced, that will probably have to wait until Spring.
In other news, we've got a neighbor who is willing to help us out with cleaning out the house.  Charles has been helping Dave and Christine (of TheDeadlyNightshade fame) with cleaning out the cottage that they're working on. I think that is winding down, so the timing on our project is perfect.  When I first met Charles, I thought he was such a nice guy and a great father to a beautiful little boy.  He told me this weekend that he was blessed and given a second chance at life.  Apparently he used to be a gangbanger and he said, during that time of his life, he didn't think people could be good.  He said he's just trying to make a life for his kids and make them happy. 
He went on to say that, even if we couldn't afford to pay him, he would help us.  Well, I believe a man should be paid for a good day's work. I'd rather give the money to Charles, a neighbor and really hard worker, than to a big company. 
We've got quite a nice little community shaping up here.  And we need more people like Charles in this world.

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