Monday, November 8, 2010

Smoking in Frigid Temperatures

It's Monday and chilly.  It seems like just yesterday that I was in short sleeves and the weather was warm.  Now I'm in long sleeves, fluffy socks, and won't go outside without an overcoat, scarf and something on my head.  I am wearing the fingerless arm warmers from last year.  Those things do the trick.  At times, I need my fingers covered and warm but if I'm going to pick up something or hold something, going fingerless is a real plus.  Not to mention that I love making those things.

I was looking at the scarves in the Etsy Shop and realized those are all warm weather, light weight scarves.  I need to make something a bit more substantial for the cooler months.  Ideas are flowing.

Remember my neighbor in the Air Force?  I saw him yesterday and chided him for not wearing his cell phone holder.  He forgot it at work.  He says he took it off because several of the guys were looking at it and he forgot to put it back on.  Now that's a compliment.  Wish I could get some of the military as customers.

This weekend I began embroidery on webbing in earnest.  I made a design of fleur de lis and began making wristlets to hold keys.  They are looking better and better each time I make them.  In fact, that's why my Air Force neighbor was over here yesterday.  I made him and his wife each a fleur de lis wristlet for their keys.  They are huge Saints fans.  They loved them.

About a week or two ago, a friend of mine mentioned that as beautiful as our work is, it tends to smell of cigarette smoke.  You know that is a good friend who can tell you those things.  Maybe a day or two later, another friend mentioned the same thing.  Poo yie!  That is not good.  We usually do spray everything with Febreze.  So, we decided that we would no longer be smoking in the house.  As of that day, this house has become smoke free.  Of course, that puts us outside in the inclimate weather with our cigarettes.  I know it's a nasty habit and with God's help, someday we will quit.  Of course, all of this happens when we have the first freeze of the year.  We are spending a lot of time outside and communing with nature.  We can see our neighbors coming and going.  It's always good to get outside, but late at night with the frigid wind blowing and we are all bundled up in overcoats by the fire, it gets past the romantic and all you want is warmth.

All of this led me to remember something that I dream about each winter.  Ever since I first read an article about a heat grabber back in the 1970's in Mother Earth News, I have wanted one.  We were in Orlando and it almost didn't seem worth the effort since winter in Orlando lasts maybe a month.  Now that we are in Pensacola we enjoy all four seasons and I sure could use a heat grabber now.  What is a heat grabber, you might ask?  It is a very old concept and apparently simple to do.  It follows the theory of heat rises.  You make a box out of scrap materials (no, not fabric), like wood.  It has a bottom and 3 sides.  The top is glass.  The box is about 6-8 inches tall.  The open end of the box fits into your window and the box should be as wide as your window.  In the middle of the box you place something that you paint black.  The idea is this: the cool air of the room flows into the lower opening of the box in the window.  The heat of the sun shines on the glass on top of the box and as the cool air goes into the box, and around the black painted object, it warms.  Since heat rises, the warm air goes out of the top slot in the window and into the room, thus replacing the cool air with the warm air.  No moveable parts.  You put it in a sunny southern window.  Everything can be made of scrap but the more efficient the materials, the better it warms your room.  For instance, if you insulate the box, it will not lose so much of the warmth and thus your room gets warmer, quicker.  Copper is a good conductor to use in the center by painting it black.

Of course, the heat grabber only works during the day on sunny days.  But just imagine the electricity you would save.  Frankly, I don't know why this isn't used in schools and other public buildings that are occupied only during the day.

Enough of my eco ranting and raving.  I have to get back to work.  Have a great day.
Bon jour, mes amis.

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