Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pigments were a flyin'

I'm on a total Painter's high. Probably should clarify that a bit least someone gets the wrong idea. Flying pigments NOT sniffing pigments. It's like a Runner's high. You know, a natural high. Anyway, I'm still too wound up to write so here's the visual scoop.

Art Cart locked and loaded.

5 foot by 12 foot canvas stapled in place. Art Cart in position.

Breaking the ice. No more dreaded blank canvas. Plus I got to try out my new paint marker.

Oops. Pigments miss their approach during landing attempt.
 (Why yes, that's some Air Traffic Controller Speak I picked up from The Husband.)

Hi!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Proper working setup and ....

.... a peek into my journal.


Brushes, paint, water jars, journal, and feLION Studio Assistant. Why yes, there were tiny little black hairs in my watercolors. Why do you ask? 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Virtual Studio Shopping Saturday

Saturday is an excellent day for a little shopping. Because I've got the love for all things Studio going on, let's shop for Studios. Please fasten your seatbelt, keep your hands in the vehicle at all times, no screaming, no crying, and remain seated until the ride comes to a complete stop. Wheeeee! Okay, we're here at Kanga Room Systems. Enjoy! I found the kitchenette and bathroom layouts and all the pricing information very interesting and helpful.  

Modern style. Photo "borrowed" from Kanga Room Systems' website.

Country Cottage style. Also borrowed from Kanga's website.





Friday, August 17, 2012

Presenting The Ultimate Lady Cave/Studio

I mentioned that I've learned a lot in the first thirty days of having a studio.  What I really need and want in a studio is slowly unfolding and revealing itself to me. One of the biggest surprises has been how much space is enough space for me. Studio 319 is HUGE. I'm only using the front half of the building. I hung the canvases on the wall, parked my painting cart within easy, convenient reach; and the area just swallowed them. Space is good though. I feel like I need space to think, create. I especially appreciate space above my head as if that's where the ideas are all floating around. Studio 319 has tall walls. Every studio is unique to each individual artist. Studios are VERY personal. If you ever have the privilege of being invited in to see an artist's work space, you should proceed as if you are peeking into a boudoir. I'll be sharing more of my discoveries, but for now, I present The Ultimate Lady Cave/Studio.





Big, happy gasp. Girly squeal. Ooooooooo. All that's missing is the little cardboard sign with "No Boyz Allowed" scrawled in black crayon.

Photo: Martha Garstang Hill

Gasp. Ooooooo. LOVE this layout.


Kitchen! Nap spot! Pigments could really fly in the Studio area. For my needs, the back wall would be my painting wall; no desk; no book shelves and put the windows up higher where the shelves are currently pictured. 


Indoor facilities! The Husband would never see me again. Yes, I realize this makes me the perfect wife. There is a loft over the bathroom too. I would use this for finished works storage. I'd be tempted to add a little green house room off the bathroom for a claw foot tub. Sigh. I'm in love. Totally.


For the full article in Fine Home Building Ultimate Lady Cave/Studio

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

NEVER pull a loose thread and....

Isaac Newton's First Law (of three) of Motion. The Laws of Motion describe the effects of forces on the movement of common objects. Every woman being a force to be reckoned with is familiar with these laws. The first law, which takes Galileo's inertia concept further, states that an object at rest, remains at rest unless it experiences a net external force. In other words, don't pull the loose thread on your sweater and it won't unravel. This also apparently applies to string that one might find laying amongst the weeds while spiffying up one's studio. I was pulling weeds like a machine and then, I found a string. Pause. Look around. Don't be obvious about it. Make sure no one is looking. Pull the string anyway. Pause. Look around some more. Still, trying not to be obvious. Schew. Everything seems fine. The Thurners Building, which my studio is in, is for sale and gets a little more attention. That's good motion. But then, about a week later....


CRASH! The roof of the beautiful and historic sandstone building next to the studio caves in and takes the second floor, first floor, and the facing on a small section of the sandstone down with it. Oops. Kind of feeling a teensy bit like Cat Woman where the building is blowing up behind her. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? Anyway, in all seriousness, it's terrible. Calumet has these beautiful, historic, architecturally significant sandstone buildings. The tourists go nuts over them. They stop, get out of their cars, almost get hit by traffic as they are drawn in for a closer look at these buildings, snapping picture after picture of them. And then there's the memories. As I was weeding, quite a few people stopped to chat and I was privy to the stories of this particular building. It used to have a bowling alley in the basement. A lot of the locals used to bowl there or worked there as kids. Unfortunately, this is just one of quite a few of these buildings that are in serious need of hitting the lottery. The Husband and I looked at what seems like all of the buildings that are available on 5th Street. Nothing is within my budget. By the grace of our Main Street organization, I was able to rent the north garage of the Thurner's Bakery Building. I'm coming up on having had the studio for a month. This whole first month has been about creating the space for me to paint. I can NOT believe how much I've learned in just a month. It's been amazing. I'm beginning a project in the studio on August 26th. I've got a couple more things to do to prepare. Definitely nothing that involves string.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Evolution of Studio 319 Where Pigments Fly

Once Upon a Time, in a land way Up North, there was a sad and lonely building. The Thurners Bakery Building to be exact. 

"Boo hoo, nobody loves me. I'm weedy and trashy," said the sad and lonely building. 

Then one sunny, cloudless day, a sad Artist with no place to paint waved her magic paint brush around and knighted the North garage of the Thurners Bakery Building as Studio 319 Where Pigments Fly. Cue the Angels on High track.

"Cripes, seriously, somebody hug me," cried the sad, lonely building.

"You see a wall, I see a CANVAS," said the Artist.

"Huh?" said the sad, lonely, now worried building.

"NO!" said the Artist's stick-in-the-mud Husband.

"Oh. Feeling a little less lonely," smiled the still worried building.

"OMG! THAT'S UGLY! We have to cut the weeds down from the side of the other building," said the aesthetically offended Artist.

"NO!" said the Artist's stick-in-the-mud Husband.

"Dang, I'm looking good," said the happy building.

"Definitely a CANVAS," said the happy, excited Artist.

"NO!" said the Artist's stick-in-the-mud Husband.



"Flowers! I'm totally styling," said the happy, loved building.

"Ah, color," said the happy Artist with a place to paint.

"You were right about the weeds on the other building," said the Artist's stick-in-the-mud Husband.

And despite the Artist's stick-in-the-mud Husband, the Artist painted happily ever after in the styling, smiling building knighted Studio 319 Where Pigments Fly.

The Beginning....


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Adam approximately 2007 - August 4, 2012

Adam was humanely euthanized last night due to a sudden, shocking, and very brief illness that turned out to be FIP. Adam is believed to have been born in Gibsonburg, Ohio. He was discovered just hanging around Mike and Bheki’s Gibsonburg farm in 2008. Adam was named after Ansel Adams the black and white photographer because of his black and white fur coat. Adam had a definite "cool cat" vibe and was a complete joy to be around with his amusement and delight with the whole "house cat" concept. He looked to his fellow FRAT Roommates whenever in doubt about proper "house cat" protocol. He also spent time admiring the beautiful Sissy. Adam was estimated to be 5 years old and is survived by his humans, Mike and Bheki, his best feLION friend, PHIL!; and his FRAT Roommates. He will be sorely missed.











Saturday, August 4, 2012

Like cool colors

When The Husband and I were discussing the whole mixing my Art adventures with The Secret Cabin blog thing, where we're at with living off-grid came up in the conversation. It reminded me of when I'm splashing colors around on the canvas. On a very basic, general level, warm colors appear to advance and cool colors recede. That's what's happened with the alternative energy we live with here at The Secret Cabin. We're to the point where it's receded into the background. It's all become a routine we don't even think about. It feels like we've reached another milestone in living off-grid.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Another strike against wind

More accurately and specifically, against spending our hard earned money on a wind turbine. That whole economic principle of opportunity cost where if resources are put into one area (wind), the resources aren't there for another area (food, art studio). Anyway, the neighbor's turbine that I covet is not spinning. I don't remember when we noticed but it's just been a yard sculpture for what seems like a month. Who knows with the way Summer is blazing by. A bearing is out so there she sits NOT feeding the grid. At least, they're grid tied so they're not sitting there like a spent RV after a two week vacation of partying like rock stars.

Zxeres is allegedly standing behind their turbine and has sent the replacement parts. However, there's the issue of actually repairing it. You know, someone coming waaay out here to the UP and climbing Mt. Tower. That's the problem we had with the Loewen windows and doors. They didn't want to pay for someone to come waaay out here and do the work. I want to emphasize that was our experience and NOT, to my knowledge, what is going on with the Zxeres. Tower height and parts availability has been something The Husband and I have discussed. Bergey has a reputation for getting the parts to you ASAP. The Husband and I have discussed at great length, tower height and aesthetics. This Zxeres is a big bird. We're looking at a much smaller turbine. Is it going to get it's turbine ass kicked in the winds here? It's like pulling teeth to get anybody out here to do anything. We've been bantering around the words "tilt-down" tower. We're not in any position right now to add wind so we've got plenty of time to think about it. But, if Bergey wanted to ship one here out of the kindness of their hearts in exchange for undying gratitude and some heavy duty publicity, we'll I'm not ashamed to admit that this girl does love gifts!

We received a somewhat juicy tidbit of info that's worth passing on. A meter reader reported to a mutual acquaintance that people that have solar are happy with their solar and people with wind turbines are not happy with them. More pause for thought.

However, when you're off-grid and "need more power, Scotty," what are your options? The Husband and I have thrown on the table the possibility of tying into the grid and planting some more sunflowers (PV arrays). We'd still have our batteries in the cabin so we could keep going when the grid goes down which it's always doing out here. I fired the first electricians/company we had out here at the cabin and those people do work for the electric company so we'd definitely want to be able to stand alone when the grid goes down. We make solar power hand over fist in the Summer. We dump power after 10:30/11:00 am every day in the Summer. Could we produce and feed the grid enough in the Summer via solar to still have a zero electric bill in the Winter? Hmmm?

On another note, kind of a fair warning, I will be doing my Studio adventure posts here on this blog. I have been hesitant to include much of my art life here but I've found that trying to segregate my art life from The Secret Cabin blog doesn't work for me. I will clearly mark my Studio/Art posts as such so you may skip them if you wish. Hopefully, it won't be too inconvenient or bothersome for anyone.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer So Far

In mostly pictures and a few words:

Still not in? No. Cold showers? Yes. Oh well.

Um, there's two racks? Isn't there only supposed to be one? Worry about it later.

Breaking ground on the garden. 
First garden in almost twenty years. Third garden ever. 
First time using the tiller.

Poop for you. Three front end loader buckets of aged manure applied and then tilled in.

Garden shoes.

Rainbow at sunset.

Eating raw now.

Mostly. Gotta have real cake for the Birthday!

Fruits of the garden labor.

Studio 319 - mine for three months so....

I can paint.

Hope everyone is having a healthy, safe, and fun summer!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

We have lift-off

And so the Honey Do Dammit List receives a got 'er done check-mark for the first step in the quest for a hot shower in the Summertime. Roll the visuals please.

Shiny, shiney. Note: Three different kinds of bolts in the box. We liked how they were all assembled versus a bag of nuts, a bag of washer, etc.

Oooo. The Husband's tools. I will have to get into these when he's not around to watch me.



The Husband out in the Machine Shed putting together the frame. 



Proposed location, location, location.


The Husband adding the top piece.The top piece is a bit heavy and even though The Husband's soul purpose in life is to bug me, he chose to go with just having me help him move the rack from the Machine Shed to the location in the rain and not in the rain and heavy. How sweet.

Okay, after we know everything is together correctly, there will be a "owner addendum" to the instructions provided by the manufacturer post. The instructions provided weren't completely hideous just unclear. They were printed off on an ink jet printer that looked as if it needed new cartridges and cleaning so the pictures did not provide the necessary visual detail to clarify the written instructions. There were several un-assemble and reassemble moments because of this. 

We have three more things to do before final positioning and getting out that really fun marker spray paint to mark the spots for drilling the ground mount holes:

Move the dirt pile;

Get out the squeegee and pretend to knock snow off the PV array to make sure the hot water system is out of the way; and

Put the PV array in it's Summertime position to confirm clearance for tilting and check for shadows on the hot water system.

Another note: This is going to be pretty slow going. Our schedule (The Husband's swing shifts, two houses 650 miles apart, one house getting ready for market, two lawns, blah, blah...) has got us stretched a little thin but we'll peck away at it. The tortoise wins the race. Or in this case, a hot shower.








Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nice, neat, tidy little solutions all wrapped up with a bow

The Husband and I have had a few discussions lately on THE PERFECT SOLUTION. It's like this whole off-grid dream/adventure has been a big flaming question, a wondering, a searching, if it really is possible. And if so, what's THE BEST-est, EASIEST, MOST BUDGET FRIENDLIEST, PERFECT-est way to go. I feel this overwhelming urge to resolve the off-grid, non-petrol-as-possible puzzle. No, not just an overwhelming urge, but more like an insatiable craving. Man, some good chocolate sounds divine. Anyway. I feel like anyone should be able to walk into to her local net-zero home dealer and check off the weather zone, number of family members, and ba-zzz, ba-zzz, ba-zzz, there you go, a nice, neat, tidy little solution all tied up with a bow: the net-zero of all net-zero buildings with non-toxic sealants and adhesives and the most budget-friendly, convenient, meeting all of your off-grid energy needs, including indulgent soaks in a tub of hot water topped off with a thick layer of soft, silky bubbles scented with natural plant essences, homes one could ever be comfortable in til the day she dies. And nary a firewood hauling broken nail and draft to suffer. Well, as they say, hindsight is 20/20, and I've been seeing different off-grid, non-petrol solutions.

What we would have done differently system wise and why?

#1 - Insulation, insulation, insulation, and sealing. I mention it here because it affects the systems performance.

#2 - Outdoor Boiler in lieu of the Masonry Heaters. Pause for Startled Gasp! Shocking, scandalous. I LOVE my heaters. My heater mason was a dream to work with. The heaters do what they are supposed and do it well. You absolutely can heat a house with them. BUT, here's why I'd go with the Outdoor Boiler instead:

a - Hot water and convenience. With an Outdoor Boiler, I could heat both the cabin AND the garden shed AND have PLENTY of hot water AND only deal with firing just the Outdoor Boiler.

That said, the Outdoor Boilers are not as efficient and are nasty, smokey, dirty. My sister and brother-in-law have their outdoor boiler banked into the ground. Love that idea as a solution to make it more efficient. I don't know if there's a cleaner burning option available, but I would opt for that.

b - Wood stove. The only thing that the Masonry Heater isn't good at is a cold night out of the blue. They're like a big ship and it takes time to heat up the mass before it starts heating the space. So, maybe I'd want a wood stove to handle the chillies that pop up now and then.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Remember, during the cabin remodel, things didn't get taken care of the way they should have, specifically, insulation and sealing. (Yes, I already mentioned that but I canNOT stress the importance of a good envelope.)

#3 - Solar hot water for the Summer. This is assuming the system will work. This would give me the Summer off from messing around with firewood. AND with outdoor boilers being nasty, smokey, dirty - in the Summer the windows are open. (Well, at least we try to keep them open. That's another post.)

#4 - Solar - yes. I'd keep that the way we've got it.

#5 - Wind turbine. Again assuming this would work as advertised.

And there you have it. The nice, neat, tidy, little solution all wrapped up with a bow. Of course, results may vary. Wink. UHG. Sorry. This is based on two people in a location where Winter can be mean and the remodel was botched.

Monday, May 21, 2012

From the Dept. of Homeland Security


Diesel. Sigh. I'm almost at a loss for words. Diesel is truly the oddest horse I have ever known and I've had horses pretty much all my life. He appears more comfortable here now that this has been his home for a little over a year. He's grazing more of the acreage this Spring. Last year, with the exception of finding a trail to the neighbors and performing a free, organic mowing and fertilization service; he stayed pretty close to the cabin, barn, and garden shed. I see him becoming more territorial and aggressive with offending wildlife and the few incoming vehicles that dare pull back here. He charges the vehicles just like your dog would. Only, it's 17 hands and 1200 pounds of charging animal. I really don't like that he does this because it's irresponsible and rude to let your animals do something like that. But, it's his yard. If I know someone is coming over, I put him up. The deer come out of the woods to browse our Diesel's clearing after Diesel has been put up for the night. We have pretty much daily visits of coyote. Diesel runs them off. Ears forward, he does an easy jog in their direction and they scoot back into the woods with tails between their legs. Everyone always asks me, "coyote or wolf." I always tell them I don't know the difference. "Oh, you'll know." I never really gave it much thought until this past week. OMG, they weren't kidding. Remember when you were a young child reading Little Red Riding Hood, and seeing the picture of the scary big, bad wolf. Yep. They've got huge paws. They have a distinct body shape. They carry their heads low like they're going to eat you. Crap, they are scary. We aren't sure if they were eyeing up Pumpkin (Diesel's bad little donkey friend) or the compost pile Pumpkin was near. Diesel chased them off once. They came right back. Cripes, I thought I didn't like having to tell somebody more than once. Twelve hundred pissed off pounds of "I said this is my yard Dawg" tore after them again. Diesel isn't usually that aggressive and it concerns me that he felt the need to be that aggressive. They ducked into the woods and haven't come back.Yet. Meanwhile, Beware of the Guard Horse.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A modge podge of updates

First up:


Ah, our Garden Shed, retirement home of f-RAT (feLION Rodent Annihilation Team). Built by LR Contracting. I have always coveted the Sheds on the covers of the gardening magazines. Lonnie and his crew did an outstanding job. I just absolutely love this building. To the left of the building is a pile of fencing. In front is all our garden accents and f-RAT training equipment: stairs to scale, tiles to crawl through on one's feLION elbows. We also see that I've got a little blue board insulation that I have yet to cover up and put in the catnip bed. 

So, The Husband has been taking down the f-Rat pen from the Gibsonburg Farm and moving it up here. He's got one more load of fencing to bring up. This is pretty amazing as the pen is 60 x 130 and he's been bringing it all up in the Prius. The Prius is quite cavernous in addition to being able to put $6 worth of gas in it and go 80 or more miles. It's looking like four Prius loads brought all that up here. 

This weekend (remember our weekends are not on THE weekend i.e. Saturday and Sunday) The Husband will be finished taking down the pen in Ohio and bringing it home. WHICH MEANS, that we'll be done with that project and we will be putting together the frame for the EOS and getting the tractor out to drill some holes for the mount and getting all the mount lumber and hardware ordered. While the tractor is out, we'll be covering up the blue board and getting the Garden Shed and surrounding area ready for the f-RAT training ground and garden. Next, will be getting the mount all built and sunk and digging the 50 feet of trench for the loop and then we'll call in Roger.

The EOS is much needed as I officially declared the heating season over around May 12th. I've had a couple of tepid showers and one WHOO-HOO THAT'S COLD! shower and it is going to be WHOO-HOO THAT'S COLD! showers until the EOS is up and running. 

And then we have this:

Reference this post towards the bottom. You're looking for NEWSFLASH.

My first clue, exposed fabric with the underlying stone, that we may have yet another problem with another contractor's work.

My second clue, an exposed pipe that The Husband stuck his nose to, gave a whiff and then reeled back so fast he nearly broke the sound barrier. Note the cut on the right. (You should be able to click the pic for an enlargement.)

I'm going to stop here for now. 


Sunday, May 13, 2012

In keeping with our Green theme

Last, but definitely not least, we have the feLION Green Report:






I will interpret this for you, "We, the Naylor-Kohler Exceptional feLIONs, exuberantly support green issues." There you have it and yes, that would be little bits of green catnip in the fur and all over the floor, hence, the word, exuberant.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Support Green and all it's tints and shades

Yes, my fingers are blue but blue and yellow make green so we'll go with it.

Because it's nice to be nice.

And now an Artist's perspective, warning, and sort of parable:

I am painfully aware that I live in a society and time that doesn't necessarily see the value of Art or Artists. The Husband was actually one of those members of society. Pause for shocked gasps of horror and a brief moment of disbelief. True story: BB (before Bheki) he actually said, to an Artist's face, that he didn't think any public funds should go to support the Arts. And look at what happened to him (the warning part). He now has his very own Artist, slopping paint everywhere, to support. Luckily, this provides for him a tour guide that sees and points out that which goes unnoticed by someone, well, normal, for lack of a better word. Now, The Husband, admittedly has had his mind blown wide open and lives in a richer, more colorful world. You're certainly welcome and I need another tube of Magenta.

In the magical, colorful, fun, and exciting cloud that my right brain prefers to hang out in, a color plus white is a tint and a color plus black is a shade. Value refers to lights and darks. Little color theory for you there. Anyway, as an Artist, I love all colors and their tints and shades.

It has come to my attention that there is a "Dirty Secret of Off-Grid Living" and there are dark green and light green individuals.

I thought the above article and it's comments were interesting and that the atmosphere was supportive regardless of whether someone was dark green or light green which does this Artist's heart good. I like to see human beings being nice, supportive of each other, and thinking/working together. And, Artistically speaking,  a successful painting has various colors and their tints and shades and balanced values. Something to consider on-canvas as well as off-canvas and off-grid.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Another kind of Green

Gardening! I have been wanting to garden forever. One would think that someone who grew up in the country would have a lot of gardens and gardening experience under her belt. Especially, someone who grew her own hay. Not so. Shocking but true. This is my third garden ever. I'm off to a late start which eliminated the need for grow lights back when we were still having shorter day light hours. So, here's what I've got so far.

A shelf in the Garden Level next to the sliding patio door on the South side of the cabin.

The seeds require warm water. Note the water bottles on the lower shelf of the masonry heater. This keeps the water warm enough without cutting into my limited hot water supply especially now that I'm  firing the Garden Level heater only once a day as it seems Spring is really here and temperatures are warming up to where it's almost time to quit firing the heaters all together.


Of course, I get feLION assistance with ALL of my endeavors.


Here's flat number one at one week old. I'm starting another flat this week and trying the whole succession planting thing so we don't have 3000 pounds of veggies all at once. I'm particularly excited at the variety of plants in this flat as I had a bit of a problem in my very first garden. I was doing time in the city and had a tiny little, hand dug garden. I accidentally spilled an entire packet of cucumber seeds. I almost didn't plant cucumbers for this garden because what followed traumatized me. It was the monster cucumber patch that nearly took over Columbus, Ohio. I was hauling grocery sacks of cucumbers around and giving them away to everyone. The vines took over the lot and were headed for all the surrounding neighbors. Fall couldn't come quick enough. So far the three cucumber seeds that I planted this time are behaving themselves. 

I have more seeds that I will direct sow after the threat of frost which is May 30th here in the UP.

Overall, I'm pleased so far. Now I need to prepare the raised beds. Yes, and install the solar thermal hot water system. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

OMG! THAT'S UGLY!

Pause for The Husband to recover from my outburst. We'll talk amongst ourselves while his heart rate returns to normal: You'd think he'd be use to my sensitive aesthetic sense and it's resultant outbursts by now. He's been dealing with airplanes flying at each other for almost 25 years and my gasps of horror at something ugly are what freaks him out. Sigh. I don't understand it. Anyway, I think he's okay now.

We are NOT doing that. That's for dang sure. Here's what I'm talking about:

Click on pic to see all those guy wires.
Sudden, loud gasp of horror on the inhale....and OMG! LOOK AT ALL THOSE F'ING WIRES! THAT'S UGLY! THEY COVER HOW MANY FOOTBALL FIELDS? WE ARE NOT DOING THAT! DID YOU KNOW IT LOOKED LIKE THAT?! I MIGHT HAVE TO HURT YOU RIGHT NOW! on the exhale.

Oh, I can't even stand to look at that picture. Hang on please while I scroll so I can write.

Okay. So this turbine is in Ohio on the way home from The Husband's work to the Gibsonburg Farm (which will be officially on the market with an agent and all within the next couple of weeks). Now, the turbine itself is lovely. It is a Bergey XL1. Mike had the opportunity to stop and stand near it and hear it. Barely hear it that is. The wind was blowing at 13 mph and he could barely hear it. He did get to talk to the owner who said it does get louder when the wind picks up. I find it promising though that it's quiet at some point that it's turning. It's been in service for 5 (five) years. You'll notice that the tower towards the top is shinier than the rest of the tower. That's because one of the wires snapped and the tower twisted. That was the only time in 5 years the turbine was taken out of service. Being familiar with this area of Ohio and knowing that our site here at the cabin is at least as windy as that area of Ohio, Mike asked the owner how much power it is generating. And here is the classic answer we get whenever we ask a question so specific, "I don't know." The owner did know that the electric bill is half what it used to be and that it spins more in the Winter than in the Summer. Now we know this is a grid-tied application too.

So, again, not a lot of technical information that we can use for a well-informed decision making process but we know the Bergey XL1 is pretty quiet at 13 mph, and that there's at least this one that's been trouble free for five years now, and that when the time comes, we will not be getting that tower and all those wires.








Sunday, April 29, 2012

Quickie update and (more) off topic stuff

While the weather has still been mild, we're rapidly approaching mid-May and this is usually when we have evening temps in the 40's. This is too warm to fire the downstairs heater at all. We all know what that means: YIKES! COLD showers for Bheki. So, it's time for Bheki and The Husband to move their butts and get the solar hot water system project started AND finished AND working. Either The Husband will work on his "Honey Do Dammit" List and Roger will be out to get the frame or whatever you call the thing that the tubes sit in (I'm not sure because honestly something else shinier had my attention when The Husband was talking to me) assembled OR The Husband will ditch his multi-volume, encyclopedic "Honey Do Dammit" list and assemble it. He mentioned something about WANTING to assemble it but he's been very busy disrupting electronic communications and whatever else I've blocked from my awareness so he hasn't locked in his final answer yet. Once the frame is together, we'll finalize the location and game plan for "planting" it in the ground. So that's the Hot Water Dept. update.

I never came out and directly said this but ALL other projects have been placed on the back burner indefinitely. Yes, the wind turbine. Oh. I know. Let's all pause in the air of disappointment for a moment here.

Okay, moving right along. NEWSFLASH: More from the "You've got to be f'ing kidding me department." I'm getting ready to get the tractor out and do some more cleaning so I was looking at the septic system drain field. I've never been impressed with the finish grading and there's all these rocks laying around at the one end where I was going to work on blending the grade into the surrounding area. Why yes, it's that bad that even I can do better. Then I noticed something. At first I thought, "more shit laying around from the previous owners to clean up." Wait a minute. That's fabric. Oh crap. (Look at all those puns.) What the f...A PIPE! COLORFUL METAPHOR! COLORFUL METAPHOR! There's a drain field pipe and it's COLORFUL METAPHOR! gouged. Sarcasm approaching. And yet, more impressive work. Disgusted sigh. So, now that's on my "More stupid shit to deal with list." (That pun is actually kind of funny. I just love words.)

And now for some kind of exciting, albeit, off topic news:


OH SQUEAL OF UTTER DELIGHT! I'm just one of the many contributors in this recently released book. I'm on Page 127 and 162. Page 162 is kind of my secret so my secret is out now. Just a little excited so let me read it to you: "I can treat anything in my life as art, including time." That was from page 162. The interesting thing is I feel all, "Oh, my writing in print; big, long sniff to take in the smell of my copy of the book (as apposed to sniffing my iPad); my name in print with oh, my writing, oh cool, I like it." Now I really, really want to write my own book so I can have my name on the cover and have all the words be mine and read it and sniff it.

I just realized that we talked of septic system issues and sniffing books in the same blog post. Hmm?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

EOS is here

Wow, not sure what is going on but somehow the calendar went from my last post to two weeks later. Roger came out as scheduled back on the 9th. We talked about location, location, location, the run into the cabin, and the mounting system.

Clean, shiny Bob's (http://www.bobssheetmetal.biz) truck with the goods in the back.



Hot water in a box(es-6 to be exact) kit. Stashed in the barn.


Ooooo.




Oh. Glass. Yikes.