A weekend away from the intertubes might have done me some good. I’ll make up for the long delay on this episode by putting up the next one (mostly written already) later this week.
Monday, June 17, 2013
So Far So Good
The rolling blackouts of summer have started, but so far they only last for a couple hours as intended. That means my home-grown electricity is enough to run a fan or three plus the computer and network while I’m working at home. Now if I could get a wireless signal to the creek, and a waterproof laptop, I’d be set!
Speaking of laptops, I’m drooling over Apple’s new MacBook Sunlight. Nice commercial, naturally, with the guy using one in front of a window all day, then winding up the (optional) charger when evening comes. The entire lid is covered with solar cells — great move for anyone working at home. If my job continues to hold up, I’d love to get one for myself. But even if I can’t get a new laptop, I can be really happy. The chicken houses are, now and forever, past tense. They’re already becoming hay barns and storage for various junk that accumulates on a farm. Even better, Daughter Dearest is home for the summer. Her latest online beau is a little closer to home this time — he works on one of the new Auto-Sail freighters out of Savannah. She told us about their meetup, and how it went well, even if she didn’t get a chance to bring him here. She said he’ll be back in late July and maybe we’ll get to meet him then.
Plenty of sun so far this summer — good for solar panels, not so good for gardens (lack of rain). I sure hope we’re not going back into another drought cycle. We did pretty well rain-wise last year, but that doesn’t do much for us now. The really amazing thing is how this border dispute with Tennessee has gone on for so long… I figured it would die years ago. But the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case last week(!) — so one way or another, that should be over with next month.
But I digress. The libraries have gone back to summer hours, of course — and the right people are making sure the lights (and A/C) stay on all day. The only complaint was from parents who wonder why they didn’t go to summer hours as soon as school let out.
The local library is presenting an “Energy Saving Tips for the Family” series that’s been well-attended. I had to slip away from work for a couple of hours to check out the presentation last week, on “comfortable outdoor summer spaces.” It was sponsored by Home Depot, which made sense, but the presenter did a pretty good job of keeping the “new stuff” pitch to a minimum. There was a lot of focus on selecting the site — shade, breeze, soft ground cover, furniture, view — all that stuff. They suggested getting a neighborhood together to plan either a community space or ways to connect individual spaces, and offered a break on delivery charges for group orders, yadda yadda. :-) She had to put in one plug, anyway!
I asked about creek sites, and she suggested that a neighborhood group might be the way to go there. There are special considerations, she said, for creekside sites: depending on the slope of the bank, you may need to do some earth-moving. Erosion control is a big deal, too, especially when you have people tromping around it all summer. There aren’t too many neighbors in the pasture, unless you count the cows, so I guess we’ll stick with the lawn chairs and plastic table. When it really starts getting hot (like next week), I have some ballast to hold down the table and we can sit in the creek and still have our magazines and lemonade.
Someone else brought up the idea of integrating a “space” with a garden. She laughed and asked if there were any kids involved — a kid taking a tumble in the wrong place could wipe out a lot of your crop! But there are ways to do it — waist-high beds (which reduce bending and squatting anyway) are one possibility.
I should have asked about moss… it’s soft and it likes shade, after all. And I have a bunch of it growing in half of the front yard. Maybe I should just put some furniture out there and call it good enough.
Nah. I’d rather have it down at the creek.