7.7 kwh was produced from the sun yesterday! Still is amazing to us to “produce” our own electricity from the sun and we are like little kids! Checking the meter often during the day and taking friendly bets on how much the pv panels will produce. As it is, from now on, we will be banking extra kwh. Hip, hip hooray!

It was so great to get the friendly and knowledgeable assistance from Allan ofEnergy Efficiency Solarwho provided advice and instruction for our DIY solar project — you don’t get that kind of friendly service much any more.

There’s an article in CSM aboutSOLAR COMING TO SUBURBIA


JC has been busy planting mushrooms and it looks like he’s figured out the problem he had with the other batch last year – too much water. When it comes to overwatering plants, JC has more than killed his fair share and we often raz him about it. Meanwhile, JR has been busy cleaning, dividing, repotting and mulching potted plants. And JD is busy transplanting and planting annual veggie throughout the front yard and ( not to mention reading about building sheds, plumbing and electricity).

We wanted to order some wholesale self-watering containers to re-pot the dwarf citrus to place on the back porch (where we hope to one day build a wood deck/patio, instead of those monstrously ugly concrete stairs.. but that’s another a whoooole ‘nother story!)but the supplier doesn’t make them anymore. We were so disappointed.

Now JD’sgoing to see if he can make his own, which needs to be done in a hurry to get those root-bound plants out of the pots and put in a permanent place.


We salvaged some great junk these past couple weeks: metal cabinets and cart, a cute wood table, a 5 gal sapote fruit tree, two plastic patio chairs, some Rain Drip pieces and more! All of that was being thrown away and boy, we sure packedit into the VW.

Sad to say, though we couldn’t fit everything in.   We had to leave behind a huge smoky skylight and a 10 foot high banana (ouch that hurts) and some other items.


Over1,000,000 hits in January means that we overextended our web service plan (again) and were penalized with bandwidth charges.  

So we aregrateful to some generous offers to take the pressure off our site and perhaps movethe PTF forum along with photos onto another server.

So if you are wondering ( besides being busy ) why I haven’t updated the site with new pics in the photo gallery it’s because we would are exceeding our plan.


A Soapmaking 101 workshop is in the preliminary stages!

WANTED: If someone knows of a place where we can purchase at a reasonable price or perhaps (free??) some folding (preferably wood ) chairs? They guys are going to try at whip out a couple of benches, but it looks like we are going to need some folding chairs also.


It may be that we figured out why the oil didn’theat for the batch of biodiesel.

The 220 water heater was altered to 110 to save electricity. Someone said using a 110 waterheater is like heating 40 gallons of water with a coffee maker.

So, we are going to have to put back the 220 element if we want too heat any amount of wvo over 10 gallons. But there’s a problem — garage and our home (being old) was not wired for 220 and JD’ll have to figure that out too!


Kalib brought by a hand pump which will be most helpful to get the wvo (waste vegetable oil) out of the metal drums. Means no more smelly oil running down my arm as I use a pitcher to scoop it out.

Of course, we have to be considerate and ask if we can take a few gallons of grease from the oil bins and so far the response has been positive at the places we’ve asked.

The restaurants and caterers have contracts on such disposals. I had to explain that we didn’t want to take all of the grease, just a couple of gallons, and they were fine with that.


On Monday JM and I went over to help friend clean out her garage. Upon seeing the garage for the first time we couldn’t believe our eyes! She opened the door, and I uttered a shocked “holy cow!”   We hadn’tever seen that much STUFF!

That afternoon, we spent a dusty four hours cleaning and organizing only a 4 x 4 corner and the garage is at least 20 x 30.

Sheesh, what the heck did we get ourselves into? How did we get into such a predicament? Well, the lady’s sister passed away recently and our friend was left with all her craft and personal items that spanned decades. Her sister was very artistic and crafty with forays into woodworking, leatherwork, painting, ceramics, knitting, crocheting, sewing and more. She was such a talented woman. So, our friend wanted to donate most of her sister’s stuff and give JM and I some of the crafty items.  

That afternoon we sorted the stuff into boxes – keep, donate, sell, and “for us.” We uncovered some real finds, like a coin collection, old books and a large green pitcher that had aBLENKO GLASS stamp (thanks PBS! As we wouldn’t have a clue otherwise! *grin*) It was found in an old box that was so old, the plastic bubble wrapping had totally disintegrated.   I don’t know what she will do with the treasures that are found.

All I know is that there’s going to be quite a few Monday afternoons spent there’till we finally finish. Anyhow, it was sort of sad (especially when coming upon personal items), and JM and I wondered aloud  “what would our stuff look like in 40 years? ” All this stuff that she accumulatedand treasures over a lifetime simply gets divided and given away as she has no family to pass it onto. A shame.


Every week we get bags of fresh baked white bread from a local and famous tea house that would otherwise be thrown away into the trash! The owner savesit for us every week and yesterday, he brought us three bags stuffed with bread. Some ofit goes to feed the worms, ducks, chickens and is broken up to feed the wild birdsbut there is still a lot left. So we occasionally make croutons and now have French toast as a Saturday morning treat. But there’s still so much left! We’ll be making some bread pudding today with some fresh chicken eggs.

Hmmm, maybe we can sell homemade croutons? Don’t know if anyone would buy any? Have to send out some feelers.


Our emails are still not coming in and there’s some crazy “bouncing” and blocking of emails going on.

JM did some calling and it looks as if our email account had been blocked because some spammer has hijacked it or something like that.   So now it has been “blacklisted” by our internet service provider. *urgh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*

Weird, I don’t know if my replies are going through?  Now what do we do… just another problem to tackle. This is really frustrating.

This has been one heck of a post so I will stop for now!

Weather Report: Warm but extremely dry and everything’s soooo static-y

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