We are on independent solar electric on the farm. We prefer it and have no intentions of hooking into the grid. But for the past 26 days, our back up generator has seen a lot of work. I've avoided projects that require electric power, such as using power tools, the vacuum cleaner, the washer and dryer. So instead of working on house projects, I'm focusing on farm work and other non-power jobs. So with lots of wet and little sun, I've come to realize that I've had to change how I go about living. I've gotten use to this over time, to the point that I don't even notice it. But my routine changes.....how so?
1- Gasoline. I'm careful to maintain a back up supply of gasoline at all times for the generator.
2- Electric power tools. I time their use for late morning in hopes that there will be sun long enough to recharge the batteries. That's when I'll use the vacuum cleaner, washer & dryer, saws, and recharge handtool batteries. But if it looks grey by 11 or noon, I skip using anything that eats electricity.
Speaking of the washer & dryer. These past two weeks have seen us switch into another mode.....clothes conservation. While I have lots of water (the catchment tank is overflowing), I don't want to run the generator constantly just to do laundry. And the dryer is a big no-no right now. Without the sun or the dryer, the washed clothes won't dry. Oooo, that's a problem. I'm adverse to running into town to use the laundromat. That uses up a full morning of my time, precious money, and besides, it's not a pleasant way to spend time. So how do I handle it?
... Hang up clean, worn clothing out on the rain protected lanai to air out. That way I can wear them again. Thus I can get 3-4 days use out of my going-to-town clothes if I'm careful. I'm seeing other people wearing the same go-to-town clothes day after day too, so I'm not the only one who has come up with this idea during cloudy spells.
... Maintain a large supply of farm work clothes. I have taken advantage of the local rummage sales where t-shirts and shirts go for under a dollar each. I now have great stores of suitable farm clothes, enough to easily outlast 40 straight days of rain (yes, that happened once already). Wearing a set of work clothes 2 days in arow is pretty much impossible (besides smelling like a feral critter, they're usually caked with dirt and damp with sweat). Gosh, I've never owned so many changes of clothes in my life before. I feel that I must be rich!
With the lack of good sun, I light up the wood stove each morning in order to drive the dampness out of the house. A half hour fire usually does the trick.....plus it heats up the water for our morning coffee at the same time.