GARDEN REPORT

More rain showers yesterday left us with a lovely sunset to enjoy.

The tomatoes are slow growing this year compared to last season, probably as a result of the cool weather. We have a good idea of the weather and plant growth of prior years since JD religiously keeps a daily garden/homestead log. It comes in handy and is priceless for comparing years and techniques. He writes down what was planted, temps, what and when we fertilize and so forth.

Sunset last night

We should be getting our annual shipment of organic fertilizer fromPeaceful Valleysometime this week.

SPRING RUSH

There’s gold in them thar hills… Count down to spring….

COUNT DOWN TO B-DAY

Since the week’s main topic round here at PTF is the ‘new’ car, this diary post is going to reflect the subject of the recent dinner table conversations.

I took my first ride yesterday in the ‘burban. Needless to say, an outing in a diesel vehicle is a different and rrrrrrr-rumbling experience from the ‘putt-putt’ rubberband-like engine of a VW bus.

It’s embarrassing to admit that we do have to run the suburban on fossil fuel diesel for the time being. But in this “tween-time” we keep the trips to a short minimum and try to avoid using the car too much before we can fill it up with biodiesel.

We do have thirty gallons of biodiesel ready to use but we need to test it for quality. Even though it does look good and clear, we definitely do not want to risk gunking up the engine. It does pay to be careful and thorough, especially after such a large purchase.

JM and JD are working on the ways to “advertise” that our car is (well, will be!) fueled by biodiesel. JD came up with some really neat “jingles” and there are a lot of cool options to consider for displaying the ads on the car.

After two days of ownership, we still can’t get over how well this car has been taken care of for the past 16 years. It was also a real blessing that this car had the relatively low mileage of 126,000 (20,000 on the new engine!!) and brand new tires!

Since we won’t be parking it in our garage (and the guys haven’t had a chance to build the driveway arbor off the side of the house) we will have to find some sort of car cover as we don’t want to waste water in washing the car. The cover will be an investment, but well worth it if we can save precious water use for the plants.

So you’re probably wondering with the glowing review of this car, what in the dickens were the minuses that kept us from buying it earlier?

Weeeeell, it’s “hot” looking – in two ways.  It’s black and silver (Raider Nation anyone?) , which gives it a flashy ‘hot’ look (as opposed to the simple, basic look we’d prefer) and the dark color will definitely attract the sun’s heat! We don’t like using air condition and for all the years we’ve owned cars we never used AC. In fact, the cars we did have over time were too old to have AC capabilities.   So to remedy the heat attracting black paint, JC is looking at a solar car fan to keep the car cool in the hot summer months.

Another minus was that it’s a 4WD, which we really don’t need.

Although the price was reasonable for its quality, we were hoping to spend much less than this particular car’s asking price. But after searching around the used car market and after seeing this car in person, we knew it was worth the money. So we offered a bit less than the asking price which was accepted. Every little bit of money saved helps out with the fees that come later.

In the end, many cars that we had looked at and were considering didn’t come close to the value of this one. We just needed to do a little shopping around to realize that….

Now, we can go somewhere!!!!!!! We have places to go, things to see. For over 5 years we’ve practically stayed close to home as we often joked that the VW couldn’t be trusted outside a 5 mile radius from home so if it broke down we could walk home or call one of the others left at home to ride their bikes to give those of us stuck in the stalled car a hand.

SOLAR ERRORS

Ah…. not all is hunky dory here at PTF – there seems to be a problem with the PV solar panels, again. URGH!!!!!! 

We’re thinking it has something to do with all the rain we’ve had. The Sunny Boy inverter is once again giving us error messages even on clear days. We are a bit worried because we don’t have a clue what’s wrong or how to fix it. We are hoping that Allan from Energy Efficiency solar will stop by today to see if he can pinpoint the problem. Just when we thought the solar woes were behind us – this blip turns up. I hope it isn’t anything serious.

Weather Report: Bit warmer

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