I am so excited!  This morning, I got our Civic Hybrid up to 40.1 mpg.  And, I did it with my right foot.  Just easing up on the gas pedal has brought us up from 38.0 mpg to 40.1.  That’s right!  The right foot is the culprit and the hero.  Both Paul and I have been deliberately driving slightly below the speed limit, not accelerating on hills or when the light turns green.  Just easy does it and we made a 2 mpg improvement.  Turns out to be a lot of fun, watching the display that shows when we are getting 100 mpg or less, watching it change as we guide the gas pedal.  I drove 55 mph this morning and felt very good about it.  The car ahead of me, also driving 55, was a Prius.  We were being passed by pickups and suburbans, but I just drove on and enjoyed the ride.  Turns out to be a beautiful day.

Maybe there is a connection between driving slower and the book I am reading, recommended by Sheri Shumacher.  The book is “In Praise of Slowness” and it is full of common sense ideas for relief from the stress of our multi-tracking high speed life.  The author is evocative as a philosopher.  I became aware that even though we are now 80 years old and counting, we can stress ourselves just as we did years ago when life was really, really crowded.

More about Sheri:  She is a wonderful woman, a professor at Auburn University, a designer and artist.  She and her husband are on twin sabbaticals from Auburn and they chose Austin for their time away to replenish their creative storehouses.  I am so glad she has come this way, for we have become good friends and are enjoying places like the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center.  She has been delightful!!

Back to going green.  We are moving into our greenbuilt cottage soon.  Yes, we have a tankless water heater, all energy saving appliances, wired for solar (later), xerascaped yard, and have a great wine cask barrel to catch the rain, if it ever rains again here in Austin.  I am pleased and happy that we chose this area and we are working hard going through all our “stuff” with a new goal of living simply and lightly.  Paul and I tell people that we will be here 10 years and then we will move to “the Home” where they will cook for us.  Meanwhile, I am looking for the right clothesline and finding sustainable ways to fight the fire ants who think they have “eminent domain” rights.  Our Neighbors are young and helpful, with great ideas to share.  So, 2009 promises to be a great new beginning here in Elm Grove, on Clear Springs Hollow, in Buda, TX.  We will be completely moved by our 45th wedding anniversary, June 8.