Plants are starting to recover from the cold spell we had a few weeks back. What’s unusual is that the apple trees are blossoming due to the warm weather we’ve been having. It’s been dry–we need rain desperately. We hope that now that the plants are starting to grow, we won’t have a damaging late freeze. Speaking of rain, the weather has been tempting us with chances of rain, but no measurable drops have fallen. Already we are 4 inches behind normal and slowly the deficit continues to grow as days go by without any measurable perception. Flowering quince


It’s been insanely busy this past couple weeks and I have been derelict in my website duties. I’ve hardly have time to update the website and I continue to fall behind as personal and business duties weigh heavily on my (our) mind(s).

Things haven’t been running smoothly; we keep hitting roadblocks. For instance, our solar pv system was having some problems and we found out why (confirming our suspicion)… Guess what? We hadn’t been getting all the watts the solar panels were producing… Why? Well, for quite sometime the inverter wasn’t registering correctly (giving lots of error readings, especially in the afternoon at peak production) The sunnier the day was, the less the pv panels produced (crazy)… something was definitely amiss. We were concerned…

We contacted the city and told them that it didn’t seem like the city was receiving our extra power that the pv panels were producing during the day to save up for our nighttime use. We were told that it was probably a problem on our end. And yes, there was a slight problem with the use of incorrect wires (coming to that part soon), but the bigger problem was, we found out, that they didn’t give us the meter we needed. We just got the correct netmeter on Thursday.   Imagine that!

We should have stuck to our guns and with our gut feeling and persisted in pestering that something was WRONG – really wrong. Sometimes, we are just too tired to argue, and it’s hard to argue intelligently when one is just a newbie. You just take someone’s word, thinking they must know what they are talking about… So, for two months we lost wattage… and to make matters worse the wires running underground need to be replaced (this from the Sunny Boy inverter official we talked with and from the calculation chart on their website) — changed from a 10 to a 6 because of the large distance from the panels on top of the garage to the meter panel near the front of the house. The guy who helped with the wiring put in a 10 instead, said it would suffice. It would have sufficed had the pv panels been on top of the house. So, when time permits, the guys will have to dig a trench again and lay the correct wires. Live and learn.

Oh, yeah, and the plumbing mishap still isn’t fixed – the prices are outrageous! We even asked what if we dug the trench from the sidewalk to the house and all the plumber would have to do is lay the pipe in and solder in three places. We thought that would bring the price down some. It did, but only by a little. Lots of projects left unfinished and hanging–it is getting a bit frustrating and nerve-wracking having to take two steps forward, three (or six) steps back.

Oh, and the car we were looking at, sold. So, the car search continues.

JM’s dinosaur Compaq laptop gave up the ghost, so it will be hard for her to help with re-vamping the PTF site, answering emails and moderating the forum. So, the much needed PTF re-vamp will have to wait, along with the seed site she had been working on.

There’s Spring planting that is a bit behind schedule, due to searching for the parts and equipment needed to run the water-heater fuel processor. Ordered some wrong items, had to re-order and hope they come in time. Still have yet to purchase a filter, another pump and some metal drums. Details, details, details.

Orders from the caterers have slowed down considerably. We really could use some of their orders right about now. Even their checks are slow in coming, many are weeks behind schedule. One client, when asked where our check was, told me that he had sent it weeks ago. I kept telling him we hadn’t got it. Well, finally we did get it and found it to be postmarked the day before! HmmmmmI guess businesses are trying to hold on to the cash as long as they can, saying “the check is in the mail” – money must be tight for them also. I’ll  have to send out reminders again of what’s due.That’s just the tip of the iceberg….

Been that type of week, we are all worn out. Sheesh, what a downer entry. 

But, we had some progress today on the homebrew biodiesel…. details coming tomorrow!

Weather Report: Sunny, nice & pleasant.

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