What exactly is involved in Pioneer Week you may ask. Here is how I envision it at our house:
The rules call for making everything from scratch. That shouldn't be too bad. I already do a lot of cooking from scratch. I know I need to bake bread for the Bread for the World service at church on Nov 2 so I will just make enough to get us through the week. As long as I don't need to make my own cheese. Yogurt I can do- although learning to make cheese could be interesting. I'm willing to go to the cheese factory in Kalona to pick up some more cheese to make sure it's local if it becomes necessary but I will need to do that before the week starts.
2. Energy use.
I already reset the thermostat to get ready for the Freeze yer Buns challenge. V lit the pilot light over the weekend but we haven't had to use the furnace yet. Hopefully the weather will hold and we can get through awhile without using it. As far as lighting goes, we've got lots of candles and oil lamps that we can use. We also use the lamps as auxiliary heaters to add a degree or two to the temp in the house.
3. Conserve water.
This will probably be the most difficult. I can be pretty quick in the shower. I learned to be one summer when I was one of 20 dirty archaeologists using the water from a 80 gallon oil barrel that we used for hot water. That's efficiency. J14 will need the most work on this one. She tends to take a long time in the shower. We have a dishwasher but frequently hand wash dishes anyway.
4. Transportation- walk as much as you can.
This one shouldn't be too bad. I have walked to work for the past 14 years. J14 and the boys walk to school. V is the only one who drives to work and that only since he started his new job in August. I think he should be able to ride the bus but he likes to have the car to be able to get to the children quickly in case one of them gets sick or something. (I have a 25 minute walk home. His previous walk was about 10 minutes now he drives about 4 miles). The only driving I do during the week is to take J14 to orchestra rehearsal on Mondays and to pick up I11 from band practice on Wednesdays (their after school program provides transportation there).
5. Rethink entertainment.
Now, with the election on Nov 4, I'm not likely to give up on my TV completely and I'm not going without my computer (or Ipod for walking to work). But we could institute a modified 'No TV Week'. I need to pull out a few projects that need finished so this could be a good opportunity.
6. Watch your Wallet
Now that's a given. Unless V decides to make some more online train purchases ;) we should be pretty well set. We've got plenty of food stored and unless we need milk or eggs (no critters of our own except the dog) we should be set.
Sounds like an adventure. Hope we can follow through. V is actually related to Laura Ingalls Wilder through his mom's side of the family so MAYBE I can use that as a selling point. Or maybe not. Where's my bonnet and shawl...