It's been three weeks since the arrival of the new washing machine and I am still pretty happy with it.
We received our water bill and I was disappointed to note that our water use did not go down -- in fact it was almost exactly the same as last month and slightly more than this month last year. I quickly made two important realizations.
1) Our dishwasher was broken for most of last month. The landlord approved my ordering replacement parts and fixing it myself, but while that was figured out, the parts ordered, and the repair made, we were hand washing everything. As much water as dishwashers use, hand washing tends to use more. I usually use the gathered water from the dehumidifier to rinse dishes and use the water-miser setting on the washer, so I can see how hand washing the dishes may have had an impact here.
2) Also, in our excitement over the added capacity of the washer and it's allergy and sanitizing options, we got a jump on the spring cleaning and have been washing EVERYTHING. Blankets, rugs, pillows, curtains, you name it -- it's been through the wash. While I still doubt we've averaged eight loads a week even in this short, high use time frame, we have been using it a lot more than we normally would. We're also using more intensive cycles than the average day-to-day washing. Having used the machine for a few weeks now, I believe our average use will be about three loads a week -- a load of "normal" wash, a load of pants/jeans, and one other that will vary between whites, towels, the pink/red/purple/ultracoldwaterload, etc.
It's also worth noting that the water bill period was three days longer this year than last. While three days does not make up the difference between 79 gallons a day and 87 gallons a day on average, I think the other factors help to explain the difference. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months (assuming we do not have to relocate).
In other water news, I have started the process of draining the rain barrels and cleaning them out so they can refill with fresh water for the summer. Today I intend to get up on the roof to brush off the moss and fir needles and clean out the gutters.
In gardening news, we have sunflower, green pepper, and yellow pepper sprouts under the grow light! My hops that survived from last year are also making a healthy comeback. The forecast calls for one overnight low of 31 in the next ten days. Between that and ongoing uncertainty over the rent and my job, we are continuing to delay further seed sowing.
I really want to put seeds in the ground...