Reclaiming Air Conditioning Condensate

Water is very expensive where we live.  I estimate our cost per gallon to be about twice that of my parents that only live about an hour away.  So naturally anything I can think up that could save a significant amount of water is worth looking into.

It’s summer here, and it’s hot.  Hot and muggy.  If you’ve ever lived somewhere that the humidity levels frequently ping 100%, you know that humidity is actually what makes you sluggish, angry, and terribly uncomfortable, not necessarily the heat itself.  We upgraded our entire HVAC system a few years ago, and one of the improvements is a humidity sensor built into the thermostat.  So not only is it attempting to control the indoor temperature, but also periodically pulling moisture put of the air.


My previous solution was to put a gallon sized container underneath the condensation drip outside the house. I usually used this water to water the garden. However, I would often come outside to find that the container had overflowed. I was not sure exactly how much water I was losing, so I wondered, what would happen if I tried to use a larger container to catch the water? Unfortunately, there was no way to do this outside. So, the solution was to add a t-fitting to the pipe on the inside in the laundry room and capture the water there.


I think it took my husband all of three minutes (with our handy dandy PVC pipe cutter) to attach the fitting to the pipe. We also made sure to keep a plug nearby in case we will leave the house for a while and can’t empty it.  I estimate in this weather we’re getting about 6 gallons a day, which of course means we have to empty this 5 gallon bucket multiple times.  To give you an idea of just how fast this system is accumulating water, I shot a short video of it running at full tilt:

It’s hard to see, but definitely not hard to hear.  Just the other day I offset the entire first fill of my top loading washing machine, so I know it was worth it.  Now to see how that water bill comes out…

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Not Buying It Anymore

Morgan water

It’s been my repeated experience that for those who already feel the new sensibility, the old promises haven’t just lost their plausibility; they’ve lost their emotional appeal. It’s one thing to proclaim salvation from nature, history, and the human condition to those who want that salvation but no longer believe that the ideology you’re offering can provide it. It’s quite another to do the same thing to people who no longer want the salvation you’re offering—people for whom nature, history, and the human condition aren’t a trap to escape, as they have been for most people in the western world for the last two millennia, but a reality to embrace in delight and wonder.

Credit John Michael Greer, from The Arhdruid Report

So much has changed in the last 10 years. Much of it is obvious: jobs, children, houses, the everyday hustle of life. But there is more than that.

I have changed.

Once upon a time, I wanted success.  I’m not even sure I knew what that meant.  Maybe a nice job with good pay, a house, lots of travel?  I don’t think I thought about it much.

Now, I know what I want.

I want to wake up happy and well rested.  I want to go outside.  I want to feel connected.  To people I love.  To nature.  To the community.  I want to be satisfied with the work that I do.  That it’s good enough.  Nourishes.  I want to go to bed at peace.

Life’s not perfect, but if I look around, I already have many of these things.

I just have to look.

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Still At It

Hello friends.  It’s been too long.  Things have been busy around here, for sure, but I’m happy to report that we’re still at it.

The garden is mostly tapped out, but I still managed to harvest a ton of basil:


Also, there are still chickens around these parts. Fresh eggs are just starting to roll in from the new ladies:


And I’m happy to report that the baby loves tomatoes.


Pesto anyone?

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I Miss You All!


Yes, I’m still here. And yes, I’m still fighting the good fight, although it’s a bit slower going these days. Probably has something to do with the two small people featured above….ahem. 🙂 In any case, the things we need to talk about are piling up, so I am going to have to get my thoughts out sooner than later. It feels good to be back here!

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30 Days of Thanks – 2: Friends

‘Tis the season here in the States, the season for giving thanks.  Both an an exercise in happiness, and to get me back in the habit of blogging daily, I’m going to post one thing I’m thankful for in the month of November.  It might not always be a full sized post, but I’m going to do my best to keep it up.

Day 2: Friends

I’d like to give a little shout-out today to all the people in my life that have stuck with me all these years, even when I’m incredibly busy and don’t ever call.  You know a true friend when you can fall back in effortlessly, even if it’s been months.

Always up for a little silliness, even if we’re getting a bit old…

And always there to help, and to celebrate the special moments in each other’s lives.  Thanks everyone!


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30 Days of Thanks – 1: Family

‘Tis the season here in the States, the season for giving thanks.  Both an an exercise in happiness, and to get me back in the habit of blogging daily, I’m going to post one thing I’m thankful for in the month of November.  It might not always be a full sized post, but I’m going to do my best to keep it up.

Day 1: Family

Giving thanks for your family may be old hat, but it’s still where most of us go to first.  My family is always here, in the good times and in the bad.  My husband of over 8 years, my soulmate, going along with my crazy most of the time while keeping at least one of my feet on the ground.

My older daughter – strong-willed, assertive, heart on her sleeve.  She loves to help, loves babies, and says the most amazing things.

My younger daughter, just starting out on her life journey but already putting a smile on for us.

And extended family of course, always eager to help, love, and share.  Feel free to share something wonderful about your family in the comments!


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Looking for Easy

I was watching Alaska: The Last Frontier on the Discovery Channel (a show I *highly* recommend, and I watch very little television), and a neighbor of the Kilcher family talked about moving his family to the Alaska wilderness.

“It’s not easy, but I’m not looking for easy.”

Sometimes it’s the simplest quote that stops me in my tracks.  So much of what we spend our time and money on is for the sake of convenience.  A car to get us places quickly and easily, prepared meals so we don’t have to cook or clean up the kitchen, washers and dryers to clean our clothes.  And yet at the same time, we work 40, 50, sometimes 60 hours a week to make all this happen.  Sometimes these jobs provide satisfaction, many times they don’t.  We work extra on a job we might not like to gain conveniences to make up for the time lost to that very job.

So in light of this, why do I do what I do?  Don’t get me wrong, I still have that car, depend on prepared food from time to time, and do use my dryer most of the time.  But I also keep a large garden, chickens, make laundry and dishwasher detergent, cloth diaper, and probably a myriad of other things I can’t even think of that laugh in the face of convenience.  Of course I have reasons for all of these things, but I think I realized what underlies it all.  I’m the happiest when I’m self sufficient.  I enjoy the satisfaction of doing something for myself.  I’m not looking for easy.  Are you?

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Takes a lickin’

After a month (or more) of neglect, I’m happy to report that it’s not dead!

And now I’m armed with this…

So lets make some bread!!!

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Finally!  I found eggs!!

Seriously, my chickens are over seven months old, and these are the first eggs that I’ve found.  I wasn’t quite sure I was going to make it… 😉

I guess you ladies are moochers no more…

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A Fresh Start

I feel like I’m waking up from a fog.

Everyone is healthy and we were never in any serious danger, but I’d be lying if I said the last month of my pregnancy was easy.  All I could really focus on was being, waiting until the day, trying to stay healthy, rested, and unstressed.  Now that she’s here, and I’m well on my way to recovery, I feel a sense of renewal.  I’ve opened the doors and come outside, figuratively and in many ways, literally.

The garden is showing signs of neglect…

… and the signs of unfinished projects are all around…

But there are some signs of life, even now…

… and an always eager helper just waiting to get started.

It’s time to wake up, and I’m ready.

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