According to my desk calendar we are officially two days in to the Autumnal Calendar. In other words … it’s Fall.
What? Oh, did you say you missed it?
I wouldn’t say I’d be surprised; it is still a nice balmy 90 after all. It’s weather which is hardly indicative of breaking out our chunky sweaters, jeans and boots. My children are even complaining. Yes, they’ve actually grown tired of their Spring/Summer wardrobe. In all fairness I do believe they started wearing it in late February or early March.
Then there’s also the issue of allergies. For those of us who suffer the effects of hay fever, we have yet to have a reprieve. Earlier this summer during a doctor visit it was discovered I had a ‘severe’ sinus infection. My doc quickly asked, haven’t you felt uncomfortable? How did you not notice? My reply was simple: I haven’t breathed through my nose since January. How should I know?
The issue of rain is a beast unto itself, now being complicated by our late in the year fires. As a Californian, a consumer and a lover of all things fresh from the farm … these are some truly scary times.
Counties in other parts of the state have embraced the drought with creative and consumer friendly approaches. One of my girlfriends in Santa Clara County was encouraged to create a drought tolerant landscape at her home and receive a financial kick back as an incentive. The property is inspected before and after the landscape improvement and as a result she receives a rebate. It’s brilliant and ultimately a win/win.
When we spoke about it she said simply that she’d do the work herself. The change will require less upkeep from the homeowner perspective and reduce her water bill long term.
I haven’t yet heard of any cutting edge opportunities being offered by our County or City for that matter. I have had a few ‘close’ calls in the wee hours while running, however (in the way of slippage). Some parts of the City are still receiving ample watering, which is concerning and yes, I’ve made a phone call or two. Watching water float down gutters at 6 a.m. as I face a fixed water bill for minimal usage is just plain heartbreaking.
My hope of course is that other community members are not counting on the City or County to solve problems for contributions we can simply make on our own, in the way we live. It really boils down to awareness.
A co-worker and I have taken to discussing ‘savings’ opportunities. It’s actually a bit of a fun challenge, thinking up new ways to conserve and save. One example would be my recent boiling water dilemma. I was making pot stickers for my kids and noticed the amount I had placed in boiling water would not be enough. Instead of dumping the water from the first batch and starting again, I simply strained the used water into a bowl and reused it. Plus it was already hot, so took half the amount of time to reheat the next batch.
In turn she shared some ways she and her boyfriend were reusing water in the way of caring for their plants and landscape. Opportunities are really all around us. The challenge comes in seeing differently and acknowledgment.
If nothing else, it is an interesting topic with opportunity for sharing ideas which ultimately help in the way of reducing a plaguing problem.
Personally, I’d love to hear from our readers. Complaints can be reserved for the City, thank you. I’d like to hear and possibly share some of your unique ideas, inventions, challenges overcome. You name it. You can reach me at 847-3021 or shoot an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at email@example.com or by calling 847-3021.