Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What On Earth is a Swamp Cooler?

A swamp cooler is an ingenious invention which, unlike air conditioning, cools a house without refrigeration.  Working on the same principle that perspiration does, it works well in very dry climates like ours where the children won't go swimming unless the temp is at least 105 degrees.  A dry breeze blowing over a wet body makes that wet body COLD!  This is what a swamp cooler looks like:

Ours is on the roof.  Air is pulled into the box through wet pads that line the inside.  A small motor turns a fan that blows the cooled air into the house. There is also a pump in there, that circulates water over the tops of those pads to keep them wet. Hence, the air is continually cooled and so is the house. Keeping the windows open makes it more efficient and keeps the house from feeling damp.  It doesn't cost much more to run than a fan does, but it is somewhat noisy, and there is the dust. Probably if we would turn it on once a week through the winter, we would not have the dust problem from my last post.  Now why didn't we think of that seven years ago??? Merlynn, add this to your list of weekly jobs!

For those of you who are mechanically inclined, here's what the inside looks like:

Our swamp cooler (or evaporative cooler) can keep the house about 20 degrees cooler than the outside temp, so we run it until it is about 105 out.  After that we turn on the AC!  

You will not find a swamp cooler in Georgia or in Alaska.  :) 

One Thing I Am Not Going to Miss

Swamp cooler dust.  It is getting warm enough that by late afternoon the house needs cooling, especially if I am going to turn on the oven.  The first time the swamp cooler is turned on each spring, the house is filled with a white cloud -- kind of makes me think of the tabernacle being filled with the glory of the Lord, only he did not leave a holy residue on all the furniture!  

Yesterday the girls washed the car; ironically their daddy was probably scraping ice off of his at the same time.  The man of the house departed at noon on Sunday for Minnesota. After 32 hours of driving, one hour of sleep, and a quick stop for breakfast with our pastor in Kansas, he made it to his brother's place south of the Twin Cities. We are hearing reports of 8' drifts and 15' mountains of plowed snow.  I sure am glad THIS was a record snowfall year.  Next year isn't likely to be one, especially with global warming.  Right, Jane? :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Seven Random Wonderings

1.  I wonder where we are going to end up living.  The area we are going has lots of foreclosures, but the people moving out of those homes are looking for rentals.  There's not much out there in rentals for us, except for one big 5-bedroom, 3 bath house with a great big yard. And a pool!  A pool.  I'm laughing. :)  And it's got a deck, and woods, and it's on the river. It's perfect. And it's for sale, and we'd move into it and two weeks later it would be sold, lol.  We'll keep trying.

2.  Aside from the fact that he is God, I wonder how Jesus endured forty days of Satan's temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4).  I can withstand about ten seconds and I'm done for.  Depending what it is. Adultery doesn't tempt me in the least.  But chocolate?  I'm dead.  Not that eating chocolate, in itself, is a sin. But it is tempting.

3.  I wonder how long it is going to take us to unpack all these unorganized boxes. Oh Jenn, I hear you every day, telling me to throw this stuff away!

4.  I wonder what the purpose of this blog is.  ??

5.  I wonder if anyone is going to bid on my eBay stuff.  Two days to go.

6.  I wonder what's for supper tonight.

7.  I just remembered that Lynn Marie tagged me, and I wonder what seven things about me would be interesting to you. For the time being, here's an old "seven random things" tag from my previous blog, c. 2007. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In Which the Urgent Takes a Back Seat to the Important

Betsy is my blossoming adventurous cook.  Unfortunately this interest is blossoming just at a time when I have a jillion things on my mind.  While my brain goes over what all needs to be done before we move, I prefer to keep my body on standby just in case it is needed.  So I am not busy every moment; I just feel like I am, or like I should be.  When Betz asked me to forge with her into uncharted territory in the kitchen, the words, "I can't right now.  I'm busy," were right on the tip of my tongue.  The problem was, I didn't look busy.  When you say, "I'm busy," but you don't look busy, a kid knows she is being put off. 

The old man and the new man had it out for a few moments.  The old man hollered, "ME, ME, ME!" while the new man pummeled him, shouting, "OTHERS! OTHERS! OTHERS!"  The old man was not annihilated, just knocked out long enough for the new man to bake donuts with Betsy. 

In short time the kitchen was declared a major disaster area, what with butter and flour and sugar everywhere, in addition to a multitude of  greasy bowls and utensils and cookie sheets. Remember, the kitchen is already a minor disaster area.  Being a horizontal surface, the counter is being taken over by items that love a resting place before they are committed to a moving box.

But we did it!  Three hours later we were all fat and happy.  Happy is the important thing. :)  Sometimes the urgent stuff has to move over for the important stuff.  I sure am glad that new man won.  Betsy told me this was one of her best days ever. :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ole and Lena

Two government surveyors asked Ole if they could survey his farm. Ole agreed, and his wife Lena served them coffee.

The next fall they stopped by and told Ole that they came to personally tell him that they discovered his farm was not located in Minnesota but in North Dakota.....

Ole turned to Lena and said, "That's the best news I have heard in a long time! Why, I just said this morning, I don't think I can stand another cold winter in Minnesota."

Photo from Nature's Desktop
We are going to have to introduce our kids to Ole and Lena. :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

2 Timothy 1:7

Claiming this verse for the next six to eight weeks:

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; 
but of power, 
and of love, 
and of a sound mind.

I am slooping around the horn, but holding on to this promise. :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Quick Report

This is supposed to be a quick report.  First, let me thank you all for your sweet comments, which I have not taken the time to respond to.  Oh my, if I only felt like I had the time!  

Second, I want to report what God has done for us recently!   A few weeks ago we began asking God for a car to replace our aging van, which has been our only vehicle for some time now.  We were not specific, just praying for a future need.  Three days later the phone rang and a very dear person offered us their Camry, which has lots of miles left and is in very nice condition.  :)   This is the second time God has given us a car outright.  No, it doesn't fit everyone at once, but it will be a good second car, and it might be needed where we are going.  It is nice to live out of the city, but that also means more driving.  With gas as high as it is now (and still going higher), we are very grateful to have a gas sipper for running around!! In addition, people who KNOW winter have donated real winter clothes to our worthy cause (my family is a worthy cause, don't you think?).  God is good.  We should never be surprised to see him answer prayer!

Next in the report (this is to make up for the abandoned month in review post for February), we enjoyed a very quick trip to the Grand Canyon.  The girls had more fun crunching the snow than they did looking at the scenery!  Just wait til next year at this time. They'll be wishing they could get away to view the scenery. :)

At the request of the children, my dear husband and I enjoyed a romantic second or two.  He's a good man, even if he does move me to places with extreme temperatures!  :)

Last week we made one last quick trip to my mom and dad's in California. Dear husband and I got to have an anniversary date at Ruby's on the pier, one of our favorite places.  See it waaay down there?  There's a red sign, barely visible in the dusk.  Sorry about the SOOC photos.  I'm not going to bother wowing you with my editing skills.

We made a mental list of all the things we wanted to do for the "last" time.  The girls wanted to skate at the beach.  We fit right in.  There are just ALL kinds of  strange people hanging around there!  

And a trip to the mall, of course.  I had let the girls go off on their own for a bit ("Stay TOGETHER, girls!"), and at our appointed meeting time I came upon this sight, in which three sisters were happily sharing a treat. :)

Last on the list was a  real picnic at the ocean and subsequent trip to the Long Beach Aquarium.

Who would have dreamed an aquarium could double as a petting zoo?  Would you like to pet a shark?  How about a stingray?

This guy was quite friendly!

To their temporary dismay, the mother of the family agreed, without asking them, to bring the girls to play a Telemann concerti with some older lady friends the other night. Dismay gave way to smiles in rapid fashion.  It is just FUN to play music with other people! And besides, this might have been the last time.  (Turns out we get to do this again before we go, yay!)

Other than than, I have been collecting boxes, packing stuff no one ever looks at (so why don't I throw it out??), making dental and eye appointments, and arranging for last-chance get-togethers with friends.  The blog will be neglected in the coming weeks, as will my feed reader.  Please forgive me!  I'll be in touch occasionally.

A man's heart deviseth his way:
but the LORD directeth his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

(That explains why we are going to Minnesota!)  :)

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