Nine Lives Before Christmas

A catastrophe.

Nine lives before Christmas and in the RV, two felines were climbing up my Christmas tree

The lights and the baubles I’d hung up with care, strewn wall to wall not a single one spared

Shredded remains of my prized Christmas cactus, total destruction they’ve had lots of practice

They found the pine cones left a trail of debris, nothing was spared in the wake of their spree

Forget wrapping presents dispense with the bows, the effort is useless the gifts they’ll expose

I tried hanging garland, Oh what was I thinking, my light strings are broken they’re no longer blinking

cat ornament

I chased them outside tried to clear out my head, they came back in soaking wet jumped on my bed

What if St. Nick dares to come bearing gifts, they’ll ambush his sleigh from behind the snow drifts

Busting cat Kung Fu they’ll knock him out cold, one tailbone broken a fright to behold

Flat on his back splayed out under the trees, cookies and milk won’t fix his injuries

Journey cut short by two renegade cats, no toys for the children no balls and no bats

Packages strewn from his sleigh to the house, next year he’s packing a catnip stuffed mousecriminals

Gobbler Bullet List

Questions, facts, observations, and our personal experiences with they who are ridiculous: The Turkey.

turkey bird feeder

  • What is their purpose besides being delicious?
  • We call their young Gobblets.
  • How is that weird looking wobbly red thing on the males supposed to intrigue females? I get the feathers but that?
  • They speak Gobbletygook.
  • What is a herd or flock of them called?
  • How can they fly so gracefully with those fat torsos? Imagine trying to throw a turkey across your yard.
  • What makes them look as if they’ve just gone through a wind tunnel?
  • What’s with the beady little black eyes?
  • Why did the turkey cross the road…today, yesterday, the day before, the week before, tomorrow most likely, every time we drive into town.
  • They like bird seed and cat food.
  • Why do my cats think they have a chance at bagging one of these?
  • We have one in a tub outside our front door right now. It was too big for us to eat on Thanksgiving. We bought it at the store BTW. Last one. The glares of the people behind us……
  • My husband is very good at mimicking their call. I told him to be careful around the ladies.
  • What do you call a lone female? Hen Solo! My husband made that one up. 🙂
  • We saw a male proudly displaying his feathers in all their glory standing amongst a bunch of hens who seemed completely oblivious to his presence. Our 15 year old said “Day 47 and they still haven’t noticed me”.
  • If a Tom turkey fluffs up in the forest and no one is there to see him, is he still impressive?

Here are some trail cam videos. Enjoy!

Ode To A Power Inverter

The usual disclaimer that I love my solar power system but my power inverter seems to have fallen victim to either myself or the elements and it just makes for good material. The metering is confusing so I’ve underlined the syllables you put emphasis on.

You once sat so proud upon the top shelf of the rack

Your spot above the batteries the leader of the pack

Then one fateful rainy night I went out to go ground you

I raised the lid and God forbid a drop of water found you

I flipped your switch there was a glitch as I dealt the death blow

That was the end can’t comprehend Be missed more than you know

You failed the test you weren’t the best now all I have is scrap

To Amazon where you belong you sorry piece of crap

I bid adieu I feel for you it just might be my fault

Made a mistake you I did break was a form of assault

Now I’m stuck and out of luck no microwave, TV

Back to the gen where I began for electricity

Rant Poem On DIY Solar

A venting I must go

Bought a freakin’ solar kit

Thought it’d really be a hit

Catch the sun rays from the sky

Found out different tell you why

First you have to wire it right

Clamp them hard and do it tight

If you don’t they break in two

When you strike them with your shoe

Get it all set up and goin’

Plug it in and nothin’s showin’

Check it all with a volt meter

Skip a wire and you’re a cheater

And when you still don’t get power

Throw a wrench go take a shower

Next day when you’re at it still

Find out your controller’s ill

Then redo it put together

Hope that rain’s not in the weather

Find out that your cable’s wrong

Wow this’ now taking too long

All I want is my TV

Tools all over skinned my knee

Cables came redid them all

Will my power come on at all

No of course not that’s too easy

Batteries fried and I’m uneasy

Check the RV for the problem

Breakers sockets test all of ’em

Turns out that we’ll be just fine

Only use it at night time

What to do now what is next

Send the comp’ny email text

Hit the troubleshooting checklist

At the bottom and now I’m pissed

What the fuck did I do wrong

That I can’t turn my lights on

Feel so mad like I’ve been jerked

Bought a gas gen cause it works!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween On The Range

It’s not the same anymore.

Keep in mind that Halloween is my absolute FAVORITE holiday ever, when reading the following poem. It’s just not the same without the trick or treaters and the huge display we used to have.

Last year I had the bright idea to light torches and walk down our driveway past the neighbor’s house in celebration. They called the sheriff.

Then, because the real estate agent had given them the code to our section of the larger property, they opened up OUR private gate and trespassed onto our land with the sheriff. He found nothing amiss. She claimed her “children’ had been frightened by the torches. They were teenagers. The same ones who almost shot us. Poor poor babies.

When the real estate agent found out, she was livid and they paid a little visit to the neighbors. I paid them a little visit also. 🙂

With that said……

Halloween on the range

Where the trick or treaters stay far away

No sweets handed out

Ain’t that what it’s about

No decs to put out on display

Halloween on the range

Where the generator stays on all day

Where we don’t decorate

None can see for God’s sake

What’s the point with the dust and decay

Halloween on the range

Where we tried to partake our own way

We lit up a torch

“Scared” the teens on their porch

Called the law trespassed our property

Halloween on the range

To us it’s just another day

Where we don’t celebrate

Cause who’d participate

We just wait for the next holiday

 

 

 

How Many Is Enough?

A solar poem.

One two three four five six seven eight

How many solar panels does it take?

Nine and ten and eleven and twelve

Now you’ll have to buy some shelves

Thirteen fourteen fifteen sixteen

This is really getting extreme

Seventeen eighteen nineteen twenty

Quick the generator’s empty

 

 

The Rainbow Connection

The solar battery bank can be so confusing.

Five o’clock this afternoon, we get home in overcast weather and I, as usual, check the status of our new solar power system.

To my dismay, the voltage is only showing 11.9. Definitely not any sort of a charge. In fact, that’s about a 40 percent state of charge (SAC) of the batteries. Great big sigh. We thought we had everything up and running smoothly as of the other day; but not so fast.

Unless you have a professional or someone who’s experienced in solar technology do the job for you, be prepared for an onslaught of information in setting up your battery bank.

The battery bank or array is the place where all of that free energy will be stored until you use it. If it isn’t working properly, all of that sunshine is going somewhere besides your refrigerator. Setting it up and diagnosing problems can be overwhelming and confusing.

In my quest for guidance online, I’ve learned that the most talked about and hotly debated subject is the battery bank or array. I think it’s the Achilles Heel of most systems.

There is an overwhelming list of variables to consider and possible issues that may come up such as:

  • How to wire the batteries correctly
  • How many solar panels at how many watts are needed to recharge the bank in a day?
  • How many batteries will you need to meet your power needs?
  • How to calculate your power needs
  • How to equalize the batteries in your array or does your controller do that for you?
  • What type of battery is best and how much of it’s charge can you use to prevent rendering it useless?
  • How to tell if it’s useless (If even one battery is toast, you’ll have to go out and buy another four or eight, or however many all at once because they need to be put into commission at roughly the same time)
  • The energy losses inherent in the system also need to be factored in when either calculating your usage or production of electricity.
john-daines-1104736-unsplash (1)
Photo by John Daines on Unsplash

Try browsing any forum with a question and you’ll most likely discover that for every one asked you’ll find multiple answers from varying personality types such as:

  • The guy with the overly scientific approach who posts mathematical formulas broken down into several categories depending on the type battery, panel, geographical location and whether or not you like peanuts
  • The guy who just slams in a one-liner that “your batteries are dead, done, depleted, sulfated” (death sentence for a battery).

Which answer is right?

Since it appears we aren’t able to maintain a charge once we plug in, our next step is to check the batteries themselves to see if they are only carrying a surface charge. That is a temporary false state of charge that quickly diminishes after either a pull is introduced or it just sits for an hour at which point a second reading reveals a significant drop in voltage.

We’ve had batteries tested at various dealers while still carrying a surface charge and were told the battery was good. Then, upon asking for them to be retested later, they were found to be bad.

A properly working battery bank is crucial to a solar power system. They hold the juice until you need it but they can be complicated. Learn all you can about them and how to take care of them if you want to get the most efficient use of your solar setup.

Where does the rainbow connection come in? An old RV repairman recently barked at me after I asked how him how to do the wiring on a water pump. He snapped “red is red and black is black”. My ass it’s that simple. Electrical wiring might as well be rainbow colored.

 

 

 

Why Am I Blogging?

More reflections on blogging two weeks in.

Lately, I’ve been asking myself exactly why I started a blog. Just a searching query of myself to help define my position as a blogger and to clarify present and future goals. This is what I came up with:

  • I love to write
  • I feel compelled to write
  • I want to chronicle my life’s history and events for my future progeny and anyone else who might give a shit
  • My life has been very interesting and quirky and I want to share that with others
  • I need a job
  • It’s the perfect way to avoid folding my laundry and doing other things I don’t want to do but should do
  • I love humor and want to make others laugh in the hopes of becoming popular (to be cross referenced to the “popular” bullet item down the list
  • I hope to make money eventually (refer back to the “I need a job”) bullet
  • I’m an artist and I want to also share that with people on a totally unrelated blog
  • I’ve been told I should write a book God knows how many times so this is my compromise
  • I want to connect to others in my predicament….er, life situation so I don’t feel so alone
  • I want to be popular (who doesn’t?).
  • I want to be very honest about my life, myself and my problems in the hopes of making others realize it’s OK to be flawed=human
  • It’s good therapy because I suffer from depression and “getting it out” helps and writing distracts my mind
  • I like to write poetry. Never thought I’d see the day
  • Sometimes living off the grid can be lonely and this is my way of connecting outside of my world

Touching base on a few things. Humor: I like to try to emulate the guy who wrote A Christmas Story. The way the story is narrated in that movie is hilarious. And it’s a classic. That type of storytelling resonates with me. Taking every day events and describing them in comedic terms. I’m going for that sort of approach in my more humorous posts. I don’t know if I’m being successful.

Honesty:  I’ve been in jail, but not for long but I wrote that poem about my stay at the Issaquah Hilton (as it’s affectionately called) while I was there. That was one way I coped during my five day stint.

That’s an example of just being straight forward with people about my life. I’ve learned from past experience that honesty tends to help people feel more comfortable in opening up. A means to connect in our humanness. Kind of like swearing (in my case) immediately tells you a person is cool. I believe most of us tend to hide those skeleton in the closet aspects of our lives. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. I think it must be a relief to some to just be able to talk about it. I really hope that being honest with (most) of my life will help others to be more “OK” with themselves.

Story telling. Boy do I have some whoppers! I used to live next to Sonny Bono in Palm Springs. I was walking a dog one day when she got bit by a rattlesnake at Sonny’s front gate and I had to take care of her nine puppies while she successfully recovered at the vet. That was a few weeks before our house burned to the ground.

That’s just one example of what I have to tell.  The unbelievability factor is strong with this one. I’ve debated with broadening the scope of my blog because I have so many stories not just off the grid but from my life. Still considering.

I started out with a little traffic with my blog and then it tanked. Of course I asked myself what happened and have been reading the “how to get more traffic” and doing some research. I need to promote. Been busy; working on that one. I made a “Stories” Facebook page. I need to learn  more about the advertising thing. I don’t want to turn people off with a bunch of ads on my blog but that’s the way things are. Ads make money for people including myself.

I looked at some other homesteading/off-grid blogs to see what others are writing. I think I’m hoping to set myself apart with the eccentricity. Off-grid stories with a twisted. 🙂

I come up with all sorts of random thoughts throughout the day that I think will make good topics. I know a little bit about writing but I mostly write based on my experience as a reader. That and just throwing whatever is on my mind as it flows into my posts.

Well, I’m yawning again. Time to go back to bed. I woke up super early when I heard a sound outside. We never knew what was out there at any given moment while we slumbered – until recently.

We got a super cheap but really cool surveillance system the other day. We want to keep and eye on what kinds of wildlife are active around here, including Asshole, our cat. Or what was getting into the occasional bag of garbage we carelessly left outside the front door at night. Last night we saw a stray cat come around on the surveillance monitor after we went to bed. It played with Asshole! We never would have guessed.

There are wolves in the area too that left paw prints in the snow last winter around our trailer. We’re hoping to get those on surveillance too and post it on Youtube and make a million bucks. 🙂

Good night and good morning to you.

Another Dirty Poem

A different point of view.

As much as dirt gets in my house

On the boots o’my lovely spouse

It really is so magical

I can make a shiny ball

Holds my maters fast in place

Is my cats main bathroom space

Chocolate topping on the earth

To our food it does give birth

Holds our metals gems and rock

Guards the gold I must unlock

Is the perfect playground toy

Whether you’re a girl or boy

Gives your lawn a place so sit

And your house and other shit

And there is no doubt about it

Really just can’t live without it

Although in it I must dig

Keep it out of my new rig!

Dirt

Yet another poem inspired by my circumstances.

Dirt it has an evil soil

Dirt it really make you toil

Vacuum sweep and wipe it out

Pour hot water from a spout

Add some dish soap and it’s gone

Put it out onto the lawn

Comes in from your boots and shoes

Inside outside you must choose

Creeps up on the window sill

Full of germs that make you ill

Clogs the vacuum’s filter bad

Makes you wish you never had

Way too much dirt comes in here

Wipe those boots off will you dear?