Monday, January 10, 2011

The Great Winter Migration

When the weather outside is frightful, the fire really is delightful! All of the cats, dogs, and people of the family migrate down to in front of the fire during the winter, because everywhere else you have to bundle up in a hat and heavy sweater!

This is a picture of the typical pile of animals in the living room at winter time, minus one or two of the cats who were in the bathroom on the heated floor...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

We Have The Power!

In November or so we finally got the solar panal hooked up to the grid and generating power! Now it follows the sun most spectacularly, except when it isn't sunny. A.k.a most of December. But that doesn't matter as long as it's up and running and ready for the sun to come out when it gets warmer!

This is the panal just slightly tilted and following the sun near the end of the day

However, this wasn't a smooth road... our solar panal seems to have some personality issues and tried to commit suicide a couple times! The most memorable was when the switch to stop it if it's turning all the way around was broken, and the people installing it didn't put the back-up switch in because "the switch never breaks!". We found it with the cords wrapped all the way around the main shaft of the panal, straining to keep following the sun and bending some of the huge metal bars that hold it together. After at least 8 anxious minutes of steering the panal back to it's upright positioning (it moves very, very slowly) and turning it off of tracking so it wouldn't commit suicide twice in one day we were able to go in and call the repair guys. They came out, appologized perfusely, and fixed the panal, this time installing the back-up switch! Now we're good to go, unless the solar panal finds a new way to break itself....

...And the goats are back!

We thought the goats were gone for winter, but one day we got a call saying that they had to come back. Their winter home was too big for them (so it got cold) and the water wasn't running so carrying water out for them was a big job. Now they're back with us to stay.

We did get the book "Storey's guide to Goats" for Christmas, and it's a great series for people wanting to get livestock of any kind. Now we have some more idea's for forcing the goats to behave, namely making them a big enclosure to play around in!