Off-Grid Solar and
P Topic: Lifestyle P 3
Below, is the workhorse that was
utilized to dig the Catch-Basin.
(the tractor, not my mom)
However the tractor is by the Grace of MOM, so I let her drive every
now and then...
vroom vroom, look at her go! (it's not actually running
Okay, my turn mom. Look, No hands! vroom vrooom.
The tractor sure has made work easier around here.
Broken wheelbarrows and broken riding lawn mowers were wearing me out.
As for cooking, except during special occasions (such as the
availablilty of another source of fuel), the firewood stove is the
preferred means. The unit is incredible because it utilizes the thermal
mass of the concrete pad that lies above an even greater thermal mass
(the earth). The benefit from not having legs on the stove has proven
to be beneficial in so many regards that I wouldn't even consider going
back to stoves with legs. It's just no contest whether for heat or
Heat transfers to the pad offering a different experience in perfect
outdoor comfort. The concrete is not cold anywhere within the 3 car
building due to the stove never turning off in the colder months of the
year. If you haven't tried this, do. Simply find an old fireplace
insert, the type that is actually a box in a box (the type that usually
has fans blowing the cool air of the room under the firebox, up the
back, and over the top of the firebox where it's now hot air).
The previous stoves had legs, cooking was more of a challenge, if you
can call it that.
The benefit of a box in a box fireplace insert stove set directly on
the concrete floor worked out perfectly. My old stove (with legs) was
only an inch higher than the present stove, but the area above this
steel monstrosity allows for more cooking space.
Neighborhood Jimmy dropped off Sternos!
Recently there was a bad month with virtually no sun here in Ohio.
Ohio, where the sun doesn't shine, most of the time.
Dark and rainy, and not enough wind has left the battery banks with
some rather deep sighs (low voltage draws, my present panic-zone
Aside from turning off everything that is not entirely essential,
there's little else you can do other than relax and wait for the sun to
come back into vogue and count the pennies saved toward another battery
or solar panel.
During this time though, one of the battery banks was drawn
exceptionally low. I couldn't figure out why since almost everything
other than the server, modem/router, the security system, and a few
lights were all that remained, everything else had been disconnected
pending sunnier days for that particular battery bank. The other
battery banks were still functioning as expected so I knew it was not a
solar issue. I checked each battery's cells for specific gravity, and
all looked fine. Yet it appeared that the bank was not taking a full
charge as it did normally. It appeared to be expending the incomplete
charge beyond its norm. When all the electrical comforts operate off
your own power station, you tend to become familiar with the
predictable nature and condition of the batteries. It was decided that
one-by-one the remaining items would be removed to another battery bank
to enable troubleshooting of the problem.
AS IT TURNED OUT, the batteries were NOT the problem.
One of the pure sine-wave inverters appeared to be sucking power.
Following its removal from the batteries, the batteries almost
instantly sprung back to life.
THIS IS WHY I SAY: just keep it simple. If you have a 12v battery bank,
buy 12v appliances. Having an inverter is just another thing that could
go wrong, since the inverter contains a slew of components, and each
one of them just itching to fail.
If you're planning on going off-grid, plan on getting a few of these
babies. Motion Switches. Automation is key to preserving power, and
using your best abilities to focus on more pressing areas of life.
Motion Switches coupled with Photo-sensors help save your sanity and
battery bank by automatically turning your appliances on and off
without your manual efforts.
With the advantage of modern-day weather forecasts, planning which days
to make bread or do the laundry is easy. When it's not sunny, do
It is May 2018 and Raspberries aren't near ready yet.
However, the Strawberries are starting to produce already!
Now let's talk bugs.
Firstly, the Bible says that Fear is Not of God.
Secondly, the Bible says that Thou Shalt Not Kill (no specification
indicates that humans were the only items not to kill).
Yes, there's plenty of bugs out here. At first it was nerve wracking
trying to relocate them back outside, I'm well over that now (there's
more important things to be consumed about).
Spookily, it appears that it is intrinsic in the bug-mind that humans
are worth staying away from. It's almost as if the bugs know to either
run away upon the sight of us, or freeze-frame hoping we don't notice
The flies and mosquitos are an exeption to the rule.
I totally ignore the flies these days. My mind has been conditioned
that they are nothing more than God's little ticklers, and no fly will
be distracting me from whatever is being focused on. Mosquitos are dead
just on G.P.
One bug I really get a kick out of is the "stink bug" which I'm not
certain why that bug would earn that name. How close does a nose have
to be to smell it? But really, just watch one of those things. It can
barely function. It's not much at flight and even worse at walking. If
you see one, put your finger in front of it. Invariably it will stop at
your finger for a moment, turn completely around, and amble away.
Like flies, stink bugs, and crickets, I don't kill the spiders either.
We have a relatively understood territory. I know where they
predominantly are, and as luck would have it, their areas of domain are
of little interest to me.
Only one time in all the time I've been in Ohio have I been bit by a
spider (when I first moved to the great outdoors), so it can't
constitute as being an epidemic worthy of blowing the minutes God
allows me to live here.
In fact, when I first moved out here, there was an EXTREME flying ant
emergence. Luckily, any creature that wills can walk right past or over
the doors and into the garage, and in marched the spiders (and these
other ant, fly, and mosquito killers that I don't know the name of).
The mysterious huge beatle/ant/rhino/crab thing only comes out at
night. This is a strange bug. It ambles when it walks because it's
ill-proportioned, and will for no apparent reason freeze-frame for
mintues before seemingly waking up, only to continue ambling forgetting
its original path. Sadly it prefers the undersides of shoes as a
pitstop. Only on one occasion did one venture higher up (and even
nipped me lightly). That bug is so large that its explainable why they
stay with all 6 or 8's on the floor (after 4 legs, who's really
Anybody will quickly learn the mating seasons, the birthing habits, the
seasons in which the various species become most intolerable, and
invariably learn how to properly protect food. Don't get me wrong, it
is not needful to OVER protect the food generally, for instance most
fruits, eggs, and fresh vegetables are left right on the concrete (or
placed in the freezer if not expected to be consumed readily).
As luck would have it, not having a preponderence of store-bought food
allows for the natural food (that usually comes with it's own
protective packaging. i.e.: eggs have shells, apples and potatoes have
Besides, how much can a bug actually eat anyway? I certainly cannot be
deemed as anal about "my" food. Most of what I eat either fell out of a
hen's multi-purpose hole or straight off the ground!
*Disclaimer: I usually wash the stuff before consuming it.
As a final note of the day, I'm going for no-till gardening starting
yesterday! Rye and wheat will be planted as a cover-crop and that only
the tops will be harvested leaving the rest to decay naturally for the
most part. The tops of the rye and wheat cover-crops will produce the
home-grown flours replacing the store-bought flours for the breads. I'm
saving up to buy another solar panel, wind generator, a bigger battery,
a 48volt inverter, and a legitimate government that can turn our http://usdebtclock.org
Well, time to go (jack's calling me again).
P 3 of the Off-Grid
Continue to Lifestyle 1
or Lifestyle 2
Lifestyle 3 or Lifestyle 4
of the off-grid Lifestyle
Our Nation CAN
Batteries 1 Batteries 2 Batteries 3 Batteries 4 Batteries 5
Batteries 6 Batteries 7 Batteries 8 Batteries 9 Batteries 10