Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another Great Year

It has been another eventful year for us, with lots of projects in progress and completed.  Our favorite project was getting married, but solar and home improvements close behind.

We have expanded our homestead with a new shop/garage building, a storage shed, our bathroom, and the second version of our chicken coop/run. 

We look forward to even more interesting projects in 2012, including a live video monitor of our animals, and starting a miniature dairy with Nigerian dwarf goats.

Happy New Year, everyone. 

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Solitario Solar

We recently completed a couple of solar racks using the Version 1.3 of our design, which works great. The new design uses grease-able pillow block bearings at the pivot points. 




So this past Friday and Saturday, Arick and I set up two more PV arrays in the Solitario.  They look even better with panels on them!  Shouldn't be very long now until all six are up and pumping current.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Four wheel drives

We were finally able to spend some time on the Geo Tracker. We cut off the damaged parts and stripped the interior. Then we installed the roll bar, which we bought in a junkyard in El Paso. After several hours of cutting and trimming, we were able to test fit, adjust, and weld it in place.

The project turned out great, plus it stiffened up the whole vehicle.  Next, on to fabricating a front windshield glass frame for the auto safety glass we bought in El Paso.

We recently acquired a 1985 Toyota 4Runner (a 4WD early SUV) that needs its engine rebuilt -- but that's the kind of thing I enjoy. 

It's a unique one, as it seems to have every possible option, including an altimeter and second fuel tank. Sometime in January I will pull the engine (the famous Toyota 2.2RE), and post updates on the progress. 

The DJ Fell Asleep ...

I'd like to apologize to anyone who has been having trouble with the blog lately (including my dear husband)!  Due to some technical difficulties (me trying to do an easy fix for one problem, which turned into a different and bigger problem in an unforeseen [but really, I should have foreseen it] way), the backend of the blog software developed a path error.  If any one on the web was experiencing problems with the frontend, it was undoubtedly caused by this path error, also.

But the good news is that the immediate crisis has been resolved.  I really appreciate everyone's input on the websites, and I plan on doing some bigger upgrades very soon!

In summary:  My bad, sorry.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cold as Ice

We are experiencing a pretty bad cold snap right now, a little earlier than anticipated.  The weather has been almost totally unreliable for forecasts extending beyond five minutes from now.  But where once they said 'slight chance of rain' and 'snow north of I-20', now NOAA predicts freezing rain, and ice where clouds touch ground.  

But alas, it's snowing!  

Just flurries, but certainly no ice storms, or freeing rain/drizzle, or sleet.  The flurries seem to be mainly occuring inside the clouds.  That is, the heavy clouds that have been lingering overhead for the past couple of days now are sinking closer to the ground (as they tend to do at night) and as we drove up over the tops of hills and into the clouds, we would find ourselves inside a swirling tantrum of flakes.  Then, descending down the other side, they would dissipate. 

But as the clouds continue to sink lower and encapsulate our homestead, I am hopeful we may have a dusting of snow tomorrow morning.  Casey's mom Kathie departs for Florida tomorrow, and while she may not have gotten to experience a bed-wetting thunderstorm, perhaps she may hit the road with the surreal images of a snowy desert fresh in her mind's eye.

In other news, my beautiful sister recently underwent spinal surgery to relieve strain on a strangled nerve within a herniated disc.  Despite the initial postoperative agony, she seems to be recovering very well, and is actually in less pain than before the surgery.  I am dedicating this post to her and hope that our wel-wishes help her along the path to recovery.  We love you, Sis!

I hope all of our readers are enjoying a healthy and happy holiday season as well, and please keep warm and safe, everyone!