Friday, March 23, 2012

A week in the life of a modern day pioneer.

Allergy season is now in full effect here in Northern Arizona. Add to that a warning that there is a breakout of influenza running through our State. No wonder I've felt bad the last couple of days. I was down right sick on Wednesday and stayed home from work. I thought it a good idea to suck down some orange juice and sit in the sun and read, a good plan if you put on sun screen first... Bad if you don't. Luckily some work still got done this week.

The wife was able to get her grape vines planted. She also picked up a tomato plant, along with a variety of other garden plants. My biggest concern is the rabbit and rat population. I doubt anything will have a chance with them, but we'll see. Our dogs have finally found the art of rabbit hunting, now if they will only hunt them around the garden that would be great!

I crawled out of bed to work a bit on the new goat pen, and have half of the structure built, enough at least to have them moved in full time. I'm hoping that they create enough motion to keep some of the critters away form our new trees and garden.

The girls also moved everything in the yard, and ran a drag and a blade around to knock down the weeds. It does look good, now we have to put everything back to make it look right again.

I also took advantage of the snow and rain we had last week, and made a couple of passes on the main road with the tractor. The conditions were perfect, and I was able to cut a few inches off two of the bad hills. It doesn't sound like much, but working with a 1948 Ford 8N farm tractor it was a win. In a few places we have lost 8 feet of road to monsoon rains. It is my goal to recover those places this year, I have the sinking feeling that this years monsoon season will be a bad one. If I don't, we might lose the road altogether.

Now for the most entertaining news. I quickly wired up the new inverter Thursday. The one I bought at Harbor Freight a few weeks ago. The wife was called into work and wouldn't be home till after midnight. Last night was the perfect opportunity to get a good test of the batteries. I'm happy to report that the battery bank and new inverter powered our 32" flat screen perfectly with no significant lose of voltage till 12:30! That was 4.5 hours run time while dark! I started the test with 12.7 volts and turned it off when it hit 12.4 The batteries recovered to 12.6 within ten minutes, and stayed that way till sun up. The whole battery bank was recharged within a few hours of sun up. Not bad for a shoe-string Harbor Freight car battery system solar system.

That was a lot of work, while not feeling well; but it explains the sunburn, and sore muscles!

Our little one will be turning ten in two days. Double digits... OMG. We'll celebrate her B-day today with cake and presents, since we both have to work this weekend. I just don't feel old enough to have a daughter who's ten.
My insanity on display