Monday, February 29, 2016

Gifts from the earth and sky!

After a couple hiccups and false starts, I now have pressurized well water powered by the sun!  I can turn it on and off at will.  No more walking out to the generator, cranking it up, walking back to the trailer to fill the tank, then running back out to shut it off.  With the pressure pump now in the system, I can just turn on and off the tap like a normal person. And, although only one outlet in the house is active so far, I have round-the clock electricity too.

To quote my old friend Randy, "Just think: you are now at a level of development on par with an advanced third world village. Electric power, running water, and cooking on a stove."

I almost feel like those villagers must feel when a single electrical outlet appears in the village... and a well! No more fetching water! Nowadays we in the US joke that our problems are "First World problems" - (my X-Box won't talk to my 52" flat screen...) but not me, boy... I have Third World problems!  And I'm loving every one of 'em!

Bet your outhouse doesn't have this!

My setup does look pretty high-teck to me.  Lots of big pipes and boxes.  Those things growing out of the sides of the solar panel are surge protectors, and they glow an eerie blue...

Not exactly Third World, I guess, because I now get to run the air conditioner in the trailer! Yes, I'm aware that it's February, but this is Campo.  Snow one day and 80 degrees the next.

In other developments, Miss Molly now has her loins girded for battle with the local predators.  She's sporting a Kevlar vest (like cops and soldiers wear) with nasty looking spikes around the neck and some  (somewhat ridiculous looking)  bristles on her back, designed to annoy coyotes by poking them in the eye.

Hey... if it saves one life....

Doesn't keep her from her work hunting other unprotected critters further down the food chain. Of course when rattlesnake season rolls around, we'll have a different set of Third World problems...

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Gentleman Farmer

It's Sunday and I'm supposed to be resting, but I'll rest when I'm dead. It's true I'm not really a farmer, (or a gentleman for that matter), but I did a few semi-agricultural chores today, including but not pictured an hour or two of weed whacking to try to knock down some of the foxtail grass that produces a crop of dog-deadly burrs every year.

Two plowed* fields

I probably won't actually plant a crop (since I'm not a real farmer) but wanted to turn under some of the wild grass and give the gophers something to think about.

That's the full moon coming up over the hill.

*I only have the ripper shanks on the old Ford's drag, but they stir up this sandy soil.

One Stuck Tractor

Did I mention the soil is really sandy?
Luckily the floor jack was handy.

Hearty Farmhand Lunch

Awesome flapjacks.

Two Actual Plantings (rose bushes)

Complete with home-made gopher shields.

About 20" in the ground, closed bottoms of course, and about 4" above ground.

Maybe some day they'll partially block the view of the propane tank

Friday, February 19, 2016

Yer barn doors are open!

They weigh a ton, but they're up, and they work!

My good friends at The Judson Studios are making windows for the doors
 out of some really cool "antique" glass.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

What a difference a few days can make

If you read my last post, you'll recall that the house and ground were covered with snow.  Today, February 13, it was 106 degrees.  Highest temp since 1972!

It was also the day my intrepid volunteers, Alex the contractor, Tim the roofer, and bro-in-law Danny got the solar panels on the roof! The new roof itself was hot enough to fry an egg, and Alex and Tim spent the day crawling around on it.

At the end of a long hot day, an exhausted but happy crew.

You'll notice we also have windows now, and the buildings are wrapped with waterproofing house wrap.  Progress!

Monday, February 1, 2016


Well, the luxury of electric heat is to blame for the fact that I didn't get better pictures of the first snow day of the year in Campo.  I awoke about sunup, but just reached down and flipped on the magic heater and rolled over with my arm around a warm dog for probably at least an hour.

When I finally decided to get up, I saw the snow through a crack in the curtains.  Threw on some clothes and grabbed the camera.  Within a few hours it was gone, but it sure was fun while it lasted.

Last year, I think we only got one snow day here.

The two lines in the snow are my water hose and electrical cord.

Got outside just as the trash truck pulled through to empty the dumpster. spoiling the white.