Capitol City Visit

Capitol City Visit
Madison Wisconsin

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Harnessing Energy! We have to do it!

Electricity.......Did you ever really think about it?

Yesterday, we found that we were without power for about 2 hours mid-morning. During that time, I rapidly discovered how much we use it and take it for granted! I must have flicked the light switches in each room I entered as I travelled around my house multiple times! The laundry room switch must have been used 15 times alone! As I began grousing to myself about why I even needed to turn on the lights (there was no was light out and the laundry room has a sky light), I started wondering why the power was off and when it would come back on.

So, I turned on the T.V. ! What a loser! Now, I am an intelligent woman and know the T.V. works on electricity. Then, about 9:30am, I needed my mid-morning coffee break........Well, obviously, the coffee maker works on electricity! No coffee! Now, this whole experience was beginning to make me crabby! Keep in mind, the power has only been out an hour by this time.

I decided to go to the local coffee house to get that caffeine that I seemed to need so badly! And, I thought that maybe, I would find out if the whole town was out or it was just us! Well, the whole town was out! No coffee at the coffee house, just iced tea! Not what I wanted! Home, I went. Oh, and I forgot to tell about trying multiple times to use the garage door opener! Electric, of course! Again, a loser! Again, an electricity junkie! Who knew?!

The power actually came on a short time later. It was really only out for about 2 hours. It felt a lot longer! We really depend on electricity for everything these days! I had done some thinking about electricity earlier this summer. You see, on both of our driving trips this summer, we saw wind turbines. Fasinating, huge, tall, white structures turning gently in the wind........all while generating power! My family thinks they are fabulous! We passed them in Illinois and in Minnesota. Some on our trip back East to visit family and some on our trip West for vacation. Now, I hear there will be a wind farm here in South West Wisconsin!

Interestingly enough, while I was in a waiting room yesterday, right after the power outage, I had the good fortune to read the latest copy of National Geographic Magazine (July 2010). There was a huge article on "The Grid" and our use of energy here in the U.S.. It was an interesting article and I learned a few things. Here's one; the state of Texas is producing far more electricity in wind turbines than can be used, right now! There is not enough "grid" to support it! Wow! I'd highly recommend reading this article if this subject interests you.

Perhaps, all this interest in energy was initiated by a book I read earlier this summer. It is called City of Light by Lauren Belfer, 1999. This is a phenomenal story of turn of the century Buffalo. The genre is historical fiction and the story, although a murder mystery, does involve the harnessing of energy......that of Niagara Falls! It is a fabulous read! Having lived in the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area for some of my adult life, I found this story fascinating! Here is the link to a google review;

So, I'd encourage all of us to think about electricity! How much we use it. How we can conserve it. And how we can harness it! Enjoy the pictures of the wind turbines........if you have a chance to witness these fascinating machines in action; I'm sure it will start you thinking about the power of Electricity!

Have a great week! Carol

All photographs copyrighted by Carols Jewelry Orchard.
No permission to reproduce. Thanks.


  1. Thanks, Steve! I'll check it out! You must have seen this while I was still editing! I was cleaning it up a bit to make it more readable! Thanks for the comment!

  2. Great post! I think wind turbines look so beautiful, but I had actually hard they're not as great for the environment as they seem since they use so much concrete. I was a little disappointed by that.

    It is a little scary how reliant we are on electricity though. I lived once in a house in Mexico that used gas for the fridge and stove, and solar for the few lights, and then a generator for everything else (it was so noisy I hardly used it). It was a great experience though.

    Again, loved the post, and loved that it made me think!

  3. Great post! I live in a country where 97% of electrisity comes from hydro power and feel fortunate for that reason. I have lot's of solar powered lights at my summer cottage and love to see if I can use natures renewable as much as possible!

    Thaks for sharing your power-out experience.

  4. I've been living in the Buffalo area for going on four years now, and have never heard of this book! Niagara Falls is awesome in its power and majesty; I hear that it powers a lot of New York state. Thanks for writing this post and for the head's up on this book. I'll definitely have to look for it!

  5. We've had a huge storms in my area lately. I was house sitting and the power went off at the house for two days. I kept stopping by to check on it and when it finally came back on I gasped out loud, because it was such a delightful relief.

    Then just the other day I read an account of a lady who grew up on a farm during the great-depression. They didn't have electric when she was a child, but she talked about the day the electric came and what a magical day that was.