The Electric Bill

Some of you may think I’m whining incessantly about the charges from our line provider but I feel vindicated. 

Texas Monthly

Texas Monthly

A friend asked me recently if I had seen the article about our line provider in the current Texas Monthly. Even with that yummy burger on the front, I had not opened it but promptly found the article.

Electric Company

Electric Company

It’s an article about our line company and talks about how their rates are the highest in Texas and some of the highest in the nation. I’m hoping this article in one of Texas’ most popular magazines gets results in some scrutiny for this company. This company has only 55,000 customers and if every single customer called the PUC, the Governor, their representatives and anyone else who would listen, it just doesn’t seem to make a difference. 55,000 people in Texas . . a drop in the bucket and no one seems to listen or care. 

I’m thankful (1) that we could afford to put up solar panels and (2) we live in a small, energy efficient house. There are people, some of whom were mentioned in the article, who live in mobile homes with no shade and they are paying $600/month, even without using their electric heat for half the month last January with night temps in the teens. Sad!

Also, even had we known the rates here were outrageous, we would still have bought this place! The worst of all of it is that we live 4 miles from the dividing line where another company provides more reasonable rates. Too bad!

This got me to thinking how often there’s a cause and I can see a problem but it doesn’t affect me so I say nothing. Anyone not stuck with this electric company isn’t going to stick their neck out and complain to anyone so that leaves a handful of us to try to get the attention of someone who can and will work to make a change.

I see reasons why their rates are high. They have no commercial customers to bring in more revenue. Their areas are small, mostly rural with lots of area between customers. It seems someone at PUC (they are supposed to be the experts, right?) should have intervened with our company was buying up smaller companies and they should have realized customers were going to get squeezed pretty thin with the setup they’ve allowed.

Thank you, Texas Monthly, for reporting on this and hopefully you can get a fire going under someone, where our customer complaints haven’t done much.

Now . . I’m going to go figure out how far I am from one of those 50 Best Burgers in Texas!

No Pig! :(

We found out yesterday afternoon that in Texas it’s illegal to transport a feral hog except to an approved/inspected location so we can’t get the pig. Chances are we would never get caught but we’re not willing to break the law. I’m disappointed but . . they might not let me blog from jail so I’d better not get it! 

Vince might let me get a couple of domestic pigs now that he agreed that we could get that one. I’d rather have goats but I know he isn’t going to agree to that either. I guess for now, I’ll be happy with Speck, Boots, Rita and Cat and . . a bunch of chickens.

Eggs

Eggs

Speaking of chickens, they’ve finally started laying again. It got cooler (which is still not cool but it’s August in Texas), the Buckeyes are all laying now and I’m getting 8 – 12 eggs per day.

After this picture was taken, I got one more egg so I got 11 yesterday – one from every hen except one. For the longest time I was getting 2, maybe 3 eggs per day and then all of a sudden, they’ve all kicked into high gear and are laying. What do I do with 10 or more eggs per day? I share with a couple of friends but yesterday – 2 eggs for each of us for breakfast, 1 each for the dogs for breakfast, 1 egg in the corn muffins I made for lunch and 2 egg yolks in the tapioca pudding I made for dessert. That’s 9 eggs. Today I don’t think I’ll use any. We average about 3 dozen eggs per week unless I make a pound cake or something that takes a lot of eggs. That means I have 2 or 3, sometimes 4 dozen eggs to share with friends.

At least I’m not feeding all those chickens and not getting anything in return but with them free ranging, they don’t eat much food so . . I’m not complaining whether they’re laying a few or a lot of eggs. The only time I complain is when I have to buy storebought eggs! Chickens . . you hear that?

A Pig?

Poor Vince. I want everything but it isn’t like I’m asking for diamonds or a new car. I want practical stuff – a root cellar, a smokehouse, a pig! Heck, I want a milk cow, alpacas for fiber, goats for milk. Everything I want is so useful!

Vince just sent me this as part of an email:

             Shelia has a baby pig for you.

Unfortunately, there was more to the email:

              No we don’t need it.

I’ll remind him of that every time we buy pork in the grocery store!

We have enough land that we could easily set the pen up far enough from anyone so no one can smell it and if it’s a big enough spot, it wouldn’t be too bad.

Anyone want to bet on whether or not I can get the pig? My guess . . NO!

I don’t know how long it takes before a baby pig is big enough to butcher. I’ll figure it out. I think Vince’s biggest complaint is that when I’m in MO, that’s another thing he has to deal with. If it doesn’t take forever, maybe I could convince him that I won’t go til the pig is ready to be butchered. Better yet, maybe I could convince my friend here to feed it and water it and do whatever else has to be done while I’m gone and I could give her bacon and pork chops! Maybe I’ll talk to her before I really beg for the pig.