August 14, 2007

What's up?

So here's what's up.  Our house is almost finished being framed and we're starting to make lots of decisions about this and that and the other.  It's kind of getting crazy.  Anyway, the big decision we made was to go with a geothermal heating and cooling system.  It sounds really crazy but it is actually pretty simple.  Basically it is a heat pump, but instead of an air to air heat pump, it actually works with hundreds of feet of pipe buried below the frost line.  The basic idea is that the temperature of the ground deeper than about 5 feet is pretty much constant throughout the year.  Fluid in the pipe is heated by the ground in the winter, cooled in the summer.  the fluid then runs through a compressor and heat exchanger where air is heated and pumped throughout the house.  It is a good bit more expensive to install, but the savings over time are extraordinary.  It is touted to have a 300 to 400% efficiency, meaning that for every one unit of energy that is put in, 4-5 units are produced.  Amazing.  It's basically a giant refrigerator that heats and cools your house.  Plus it is super clean, there's no burning of anything, no natural gas or anything else.  Anyway, obviously I'm excited enough about this to actually blog about it, so I guess it's a big deal to me.  But alas, probably not very interesting to anyone else.

So between house decisions and work, things have been pretty busy lately.  Tonight I am watching "Night at the Museum" with the girls.  Schmoopie is feeling a little sick so it's a good night to take it easy.  The girls have gotten used to very late nights now that it is summer, so we'll have to get them back on track soon.  Sal is doing well too.  Last weekend we took the kids down to the big city park and let them play in the big new fountain they have for kids, ate shaved ice, and picked a bowl full of blackberries from a bush along the river side (enough to make a few quarts of jam).  Picking blackberries is a strange sort of pain.  While you are constantly geting poked by the prickers and thorns, you can't stop picking.  Your hands turn purple from the over ripe berries that squish, but you still don't stop.  For me it's the thought of more jam, for Schmoopie it's the thought of a pie.  For Veep it's just eating more fresh berries.  We definitely need to plant blackberries and raspberries at our new house. 

So I was supposed to work in Seattle next week at a new women's imaging center, but there were some delays with the opening so now I'm not.  We had planned to go to Victoria and then the San Juans for the following week.  We're still going to go to the San Juans, and may still go to Victoria, but it may be too much for one trip.  I'm not trying to brag, but there is something really magical about summer in the northwest.  85 degrees, sunny, trees, islands.  It should be a good trip.  I'm planning on bringing my road bike.  Apparently there are pleinty of nice rides on the island.

The girls are still constantly playing with their friend who lives across the street, so we seldom see them apart.  Sal gets really frustrated when they go to her house because he wants to go too but can't.  His latest thing is rolling his matchbox cars down a ramp on the back steps made each morning with a scrap of plastic corrugated roofing from the side yard.  He has spent literally hours rolling car after car.

Well, Boofis is telling me it is time for bed.  Wow, not even 10pm and she's asking to go to bed.  Well, that's what's up for now.


  1. Your heating/cooling system sounds great! Can't wait to see the new house.

  2. I must say I'm very interested to hear how the geothermal heat pump works out. We heard about those when we built but haven't installed A/C yet.
    Congrats on the house progress. I agree, building a house is more hectic than most realize.