Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Nothin' But Questions

It's a busy week for me here. There is plenty to get me up early in the morning and keep me going late into the night, but most of it is simple busy work, cleaning, cooking, weeding, etc. That leaves plenty of time to ponder questions and no time to seek answers or find solutions. Instead, I'm putting the questions here, throwing them into the cyber ether, in the hopes that tomorrow my mind might settle just a bit...

First, where the garden is concerned...

1. Should I break down and buy this garden arbor or wait until I can afford one a little more like this? Even building it myself, it looks like it would cost around $300-350. That's beyond my budget right now. Do I wait, save, and buy the arbor that matches my home's architecture (hoping all the while that my potted grapevine will make it until that point) or do I buy what I can afford now (hoping all the while that aforementioned grapevine grows like hell and covers that cheapo thing in record time)? Do I even really need an arbor? Could I possibly build something more rustic, something more along the second one on this page for really cheap and have the best of both worlds?

2. Will the herb garden I have planned for the front yard next year even grow there? Is there too much shade from the maple? Will I be able to afford all the transplants I need, or will I be forced to grow everything from seed and have a yardful of dirt and mulch all of next year?

3. Should I remove the white mulberry tree growing in the back corner of the yard? If it were outside the fence line, I would leave it, but, alas! It's inside the fence, taking up probably 6' of gardening space, casting shade for parts of the day, and not really doing anything as of yet since it isn't fruiting.

4. Should I remove the Spirea in front of the house, which look untidy as a houseside hedge and are used solely for attracting beneficials, and replace them with something edible? It's a pretty shady area of the yard. Will anything even grow well there?

5. Can I grow Camellia here? Should I take the risk of investing in a plant that really isn't meant to be grown this far north?

In regards to energy...

1. Should we break down and buy the REC's offered by AEP, or should the $17.00 or so a month that we would spend on those go towards solar panels?

2. How do I convince The Husband that we don't need to run the air conditioner all day long with the thermostat set on 74?

3. What sort of attic insulation would be the best, both in regards to energy conservation and biodegradability? What about the manufacturing process? Do we actually need more attic insulation?

4. Can we convert our currently non-working gas fireplace into a woodburning one for winter heat? Will that save us money? Will it be better for the planet? Will it be safe for the children?

In regards to transportation...

1. Will The Husband be able to get a job here in Marion rather than driving all the way to Columbus?

2. Why isn't there any affordable public transportation from here into the city? Is there something we're overlooking? Should we perhaps start the ball rolling on getting something set up?

3. Will I ever find a working, affordable bicycle for myself? Can I convince The Husband that biking around town with the kids in tow is safe? More importantly, is it safe?

In regards to homestead animals...

1. Should we perhaps get a rabbit or two? Which breed? Which sex? Will the kids like a bunny? Will I like a bunny? Where will it be housed in the winter? Can we provide it enough food without having to rely on outside sources? Is all that free manure really worth the shelter, feed, medical care?

2. Can I fit a chicken coop in our very tiny backyard? Would chickens just send The Husband right over the edge he is already very precariously perched upon? Would the kids be afraid of them? Would they be eaten by raccoons or the neighbor's dog? Could I keep them clean and healthy? Could we provide enough food for them without having to rely on outside sources if neccessary? Would they wreak havoc on my garden if allowed to free range a little? Is all that free manure and pest control really worth the shelter, food, and medical care?

In regards to waste reduction...

1. How in the world do I get The Husband to give up his beloved paper towels?

2. Should I switch The Bean to cloth diapers, even as close as she is to potty training?

3. Should I cancel Airius's Lego magazine subscription, even though he loves it, in order to reduce the amount of paper waste we have here? Would that also reduce the amount of Legos we buy-- you know, out of sight, out of mind?

4. Where in the world am I going to hang the clothes line that I bought forever ago and still don't have mounted?

In regards to water conservation...

1. To buy rain barrels or to make rain barrels, that is the question. What is the best placement for them after I have them in hand?

2. I have so many questions about greywater reclamation, I don't even know where to begin...

In regards to working at home...

1. Can it be done?

2. What should I do when the amount of junk I have to sell on eBay runs out? Should I pick up the habit of my aunt and uncle and start garage saleing, buying things I think might sell for a better price on eBay? Is eBay even worth it considering that I have to ship things all over the country? What's that doing to my carbon footprint? Can I make my packing supplies even more eco-friendly?

3. Should I opt out of eBay and into Etsy? What should I put in my future Etsy shop? Pre-made scrapbook pages? Crazy quilted items? Herbs/herbal products? Am I even good enough at those things to sell them? Will anyone want them badly enough to buy them? I run into the same problem with shipping with this one, so is it worth it? Will customers be okay with eco-friendly packaging?

4. Should I look instead into the possibility of a booth at a local venue? The farmer's market perhaps? What will the cost of that be? Would I sell anything? Again, what would I sell? How would I spend time at a booth when I have three kids to take care of?

In regards to bungalow restoration...

1. Should we replace the current non-original roof with something historically accurate or with the "green" metal roof option?

2. Should we expand the bathroom into the room behind it that is not original to the house or keep the bathroom as it was originally and use the addition room for storage (as is the current case)?

3. Did our house have picture rails?

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