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Fall Already!

Well I guess it’s officially Fall, or is it winter? Last night we had our first snowfall, just a light dusting but it came with 65 mph wind gusts (40 mph sustained) so it was memorable. My little house was really shuddering in the wind blasts! Tonight’s low is going to be only 24. I’m ready for winter though, I bought two nice coats at thrift shops for $2.50 each, and I’m already armed with my snow shovel and snow boots. Uggggh!

Sorry there’s been such a lull between posts. I actually thought about not doing the blog anymore since it’s so difficult for me to figure WordPress out, but friends say they miss it. So I’ll try to do better. We had extremely hot temperatures in June, near 100, but the rest of the summer was not too bad. In mid-July we had some torrential rains, one 4″ in 2.5 hours and two days later, 2″ in one hour. These rains caused big lakes to form, unfortunately, right across some of our roads. The largest one was chest-high when a neighbor walked along the road through it! These are not your usual mudpuddles after a rain, in fact they are STILL HERE three months later! We are still having to take a long detour up & over a nearby mountain, which I’m thoroughly tired of doing. When we get snow in earnest, most of us will not be able to get up those long hills. The big lake is still waist-deep for about 100′ of the main road heading to the pavement, and apparently the county has no good ideas for getting rid of it. Condensation is very slow on that big a body of water!

Two of the lakes, 3 months later!

After the big rains everything turned green and beautiful! There were volunteer sunflowers, Morning Glorys, Amaranth, Purslane, and all manner of other little weeds and flowers. Then it got dry again and all those darn things turned into stickers and pickers, including the dreaded Goat Heads. Oh my, they are evil! Little tiny 1/4″ instruments of hell, which I regularly step on in my bare feet. They come in stuck to the soles of my shoes, and even though I try to wipe by feet and take my shoes off at the door, they still find their way in. I’ve never stepped on a Lego but folks say these are worse! So now I’m trying to pull all the weeds up out of the yard. Here’s a photo of a Goat Head, greatly enlarged.

The Big Flood washed away most of the gravel from my driveway and left big ruts. Mike came from California to help do some ditching and we (he) laid 73 bags of mulch down to try and divert the water. It’s streaming down from the 4 lots above me, all on a slight slope. The mulch was a lot easier than filling sandbags, though not as effective. There’s still some leakage but not as bad as it was, plus I think the torrential rains are done for this year. I’m reluctant to replace the gravel in the driveway though! Mike’s recent thought is to build a berm above the bags to divert the water from ever getting to my property. (Sounds like an awful lot of work!)

Mike and the mulch

I’ve been feeling great but still having medical tests anyway. Ain’t that the way! But hey, it could be a lot worse, I could feel bad too! My new brain MRI is tomorrow. I think the tumor must have grown in the two years since the first MRI, as my speech is bad most all of the time now. I can’t say S, R or L. I sound like a toddler, or perhaps dim in the brain. A woman at a thrift shop a couple weeks clearly thought I was “slow”, as she spoke loudly and enunciated each word clearly, like people do when they encounter foreigners or the deaf. As though talking louder will help them understand! I’m also wearing a heart monitor for a couple weeks but I’m almost positive it’s not going to turn up anything ugly. I’ve had echocardiograms, leg ultrasounds, and an unsuccessful MRI lately. And yet for the most part, they’re finding nothing really wrong. Except for the brain tumor, that’s obviously still hanging around feeling frisky!

Mike and Raquel were just here for a week. Boy we got a lot of good projects done while they were here! Last time he was here, we got the 6 volt battery bank set up with the big 250 watt solar panel, and that’s been running the fridge electronics all summer……all 100 watts a day! This time we put the electrical cables through the house wall and hooked up a 600 watt inverter, so I can now run small appliances like a crock pot, vacuum, etc. Nothing over 500 watts though, no hair dryers or air fryers! Still, a huge improvement! He installed a new small 55 amp AGM battery in my camper to run lights and the roof vent fan, and had problems with that because apparently they switched the positive & negative leads in the factory! Black was Positive!! It took a little while and some blown fuses to figure that out. He took the door threshold out and put it back where it belongs and installed door sweeps inside and out, hoping to keep water from flooding when it rains and runs down the door. It got tested last night and was much better than before, but I still had water coming in under the door. It’s very frustrating, I don’t know HOW it’s getting in! He put more tape on my camper bubble window that leaks, even though we can’t find where it’s getting in! That helped but also did not solve the problem. These leaks are so frustrating! We stacked cement blocks up 3 high and set the new 250 gallon water tank up, and covered both tanks with silver tarps to keep the sunlight off (it lets algae grow!). The nice thing is, filling both tanks costs the same as one tank! It’s $30 for up to 500 gallons of water. I think there were a few more projects finished but I can’t remember them. Anyway he really accomplished a lot this trip! Poor Raquel spent most of her time at the library, taking on-line classes and/or studying. Here’s a beautiful sunrise photo they took from their campsite.

4 replies on “Fall Already!”

It’s great to hear from you! Thanks for dealing with the WordPress issues to post again.I hope your road is passable this winter.In case it isn’t I hope you can really stock up soon on food as the mountain road will be all but impossible to use. Sending hugs to you and Roxie.
-Mary

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Thanks Mary! Yes, I expect that mountain road detour will definitely get impassable whenever it snows. Even the 4wd’s will have a lot of trouble. BTW I’m alone in the world now, Princess Roxie passed back in April.

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With DC power (battery) there is no real standard for colors like there is for AC, tho I have found the following to be the case most of the time…

Black & Red wires as a pair will have the Black as negative, Red positive.

Black & White as a pair will have the Black as positive, White negative.

Also, look for colored tape near the ends and maybe every few feet for longer runs. Black or Red will usually mean positive with white signifying negative – the tape designation is intended to override the insulation color.

To be sure either trace them back to the battery or use a voltage meter using a known ground (negative) to determine actual polarity.

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