Soda Maker

I have been wanting to purchase a counter top carbonation machine for a while.  These jobbers take tap water and add carbonation.  Voila!  Seltzer made at home.  You can also add whatever flavoring you want to make soda or spritzer or what have you.  Problem:  they require a big investment.  OK, we’re not talking solar panels, which are even better an idea but cost what some might literally call a fortune, but still, these babies are pricey.

How pricey?  Well, I have pretty much decided that Sodastream is the brand to get.  The entry level model cost a hundred clams.  That gets you what you need to get started, including the replaceable carbonating cartridges.  Once you use up the carbonation you can send them back and get more (for a fee, of course).  The top of the line model cost twice that for the basic package.  Of course, you can also buy extra bottles, extra carbonators, flavor mixes, what have you.  They make four models of increasing sleekness, although they all do pretty much the same thing.  The one I want, of course, is the top of the line model.  I would be happy to settle for a “lesser” one but that one contains less plastic and uses glass (instead of BPA free plastic) bottles.  Go figure.

I placed a few bids on the classy one on eBay but the bids went too high.  Not worth it.  Then I found a mid-range model on eBay and bid on that, but got outbid.  It is hard to find a bargain on these things apparently.  I will get one at some point.  I have some cash set aside from my birthday and other events.  I’d rather spend less if I can.  Duh.  The thing is, it pays off in the long run.  We got through spurts of drinking seltzer but that gets expensive and there are lots of plastic bottles.  Not only do the bottles get created in the first place but I have to deal with recycling, and that chore is a big fat hassle.  I’d like to leave that one behind.  And save money.  They estimate a liter of seltzer costs about 20 cents with this thing.  I guess that depends on how you factor in the original purchase price but still, it will save money.

And we will drink more seltzer and other fizzy drinks if we have one of these on the counter.  I love to drink the bubbly stuff, but I often don’t, either because we are out or because I can’t bring myself to buy any more.  This would alleviate both of those issues.  A carbonating cartridge makes about 60 liters so if we had a couple of those we could make a lot.  And we could have soda parties, just for fun.  We could make tonic water for summer beverages.  We could go places with this thing, be popular, make a name for ourselves.

Or we could just enjoy some fizzy drinks.  Either way.  I just need to get the best price I can and make the plunge.  Soon.  Soon.

Getting Muddy and Gathering Trash

Those were the two highlights of the day.  My wife went skiing for most of the day.   I stayed home with the children.  We stayed inside for a bit to let them get their craziness and creative play out.  Then we had lunch of tortillas and cucumbers.  Then we headed outside.

We took a walk down the road.  We spent a good deal of time exploring the ditch that runs along our road.  The town road crew has spent lots of time over the past couple of years clearing and improving road drainage in town.  Last year they got by our way.  The ditch is filled with ice, which is covered in sand and dirt, which is mostly just under the surface of the flowing melting snow.  I was cautious about letting the children walk on it at first but it was solid and we hopped back and forth all down the road.

We also picked up trash which consisted mainly of discarded beer cans and bottles.  There were many.  The children had fun both spotting them (“I see one under that bush!” “That one is buried in the sand!”) and fishing them from their various hiding places.  We couldn’t carry them all so we set up stations of them along the roadside.  We wouldn’t have been able to carry them back either so we left them to pick up later, cairns of aluminum and glass for drivers to wonder about.

We cut across the field to get back home.  It was rutted and frozen and muddy and wet.  Not all in the same place, of course, but we found some mixed terrain.  By the time we made it back, the children were wet and muddy.  “My feet are chilly,” explained the boy child.  His boots were soaked through.  Plus, he hadn’t bothered to wear socks.  Despite this, they stayed outside for a while before heading in to clean up.

They played outside together for a good chunk of time after they did get cleaned up.  Then they had to clean up again.  They each went through three sets of clothes today, not including the pajamas they wore this morning.  They got wet and muddy more than once.

Last summer I bought a pair of tall rubber boots.  They were one of the best purchases I have ever made.  Those things can take me anywhere and I am confident going.  Hike across a wet muddy field?  No probs, babe.  Step in a ditch of meltwater?  Easy.  Hike to meet the bus in the rain?  You bet.  Those puppies served me well today.

Tomorrow I will need to head down the road and collect those bottles and cans.  I hate seeing all that garbage on my road.  What gives with someone who will toss their empties for someone else to clean up?  That’s crap, if you ask me.  Heck, even if you don’t ask me, it’s still crap.  In any case it will give me a good excuse to take the kids for another walk.  Maybe we can see if the spiders are still crawling all over the grass by the big culvert.  And if they don’t want to come with me, it will feel good to gather the refuse and see that it makes it to the recycling bin.

Somebody’s got to take care of the empties.  If the end user won’t do it, that selfish butt, I will take it on myself.