Traveling in Iceland: food, drink and sleep

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One of the guesthouses we stayed at near Budir in western Iceland.

During our one week vacation in Iceland, we only stayed in an actual hotel once.   That was on our first night in the country.  While often spartan and always unique, we enjoyed the diversity of our bed and breakfast choices.  We ate delicious food and drink everywhere, even in the most isolated places.  By the end of our time we came to appreciate the ubiquitous cod and potato meal, and to yearn for Skyr, a yogurt like dairy product made from whey.  Our trusty guide book pointed us to places where we could get a reliable meal in the most out of the way hamlets.  Continue reading

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How does your garden grow?

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Cauliflower in front surrounded by tomatoes plants.

I haven’t written anything about my garden project in a while.  This is part of my push for self-sufficiency and reducing my carbon footprint.  Why drive to the store and buy food that has traveled in a truck or train when you can grow it in the back yard?   Now, if I could only give up chocolate.  Unfortunately you can’t grow that anywhere in my neighborhood.

After weeks of rain, we now have the opposite — long, hot days.  I have to water every evening, carrying my two water cans back and forth to the standpipe to fill them, and then repeat.   I finally got a hose to attach to my existing one to reach the garden, and a spray attachment.  I promised to keep you informed about what was working and what was not.  Mostly, it has been successful, but there have been some challenges and some failures. Continue reading

Energy independence, stage two

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Stacks of solar panels waiting to be installed.

Two weeks ago we had solar panels installed on our south-facing roof.  This is the second stage in our journey towards energy independence.  Last fall we put in a geo-thermal system.  It lowered our electric bills and made our house feel more comfortable with even temperatures throughout.  Next, we replaced all the lightbulbs with energy efficient ones, lowering our utility bill even more.  And now the final chapter:  solar power. Continue reading