Thursday, January 28, 2010

A good day

The cheese arrived today! It’s already been eaten. I remembered to take a picture of the second half of it. Let me tell you,

Kat's marvelous cheddar!

it was some good cheese! Wow! We all enjoyed it a lot. The children made sure they told me more than once that I should be sure to enter every cheese giveaway that mmpaints has. With cheese this good, they don’t have to tell me. I think we’re going to have to give cheese-making another go. We haven’t made any for a while, and it was never this good. Time to learn a bit more and develop a new skill.

Today’s weather was nice: in the lower 40s with sunshine. We’re under a winter storm warning beginning at 6:00 tomorrow morning and continuing until Saturday afternoon. The forecast says 5 to 9 inches of snow is expected here. We haven’t had that much at once in the whole time we’ve lived here. The children are looking forward to it.

Since the weather was nice, I worked on the water heater installation again. I took the heater out and redid the plumbing. The new water heaterMy hunch appears to be correct: Teflon tape doesn’t work well on metal plumbing components. The threads cut the tape and push it mostly out of the way. I put some joint compound on the threads, and there were no more leaks. I cut the CPVC pipe and put in a new coupling. water heater in the closetI let it sit for a few hours to make sure the glue was thoroughly dried before turning the water back on. No leaks there either.

So, I put the water heater back in the closet, hooked up the water lines, and routed the vent pipe through the wall. I’ll check it again tomorrow, but I think it will be fine now. This particular water heater connects to a 20 pound propane cylinder, the kind commonly used with LP grills. It can heat the water hot enough to scald you. I’ve got the adjustment for the flame turned down so that the heat in the shower is just about right. If it’s too hot, you just need to open the hot water side a little more. I think it will work out fine for us since our only hot water from it will be for taking showers.

Kittykins (I call him Puddentaine)While I was testing the water heater, our cat came home. Now, this may not sound like a big deal, but it was. He was missing for two full days. This is very unlike him; he likes to eat too well to miss a meal. We figured he either got himself stuck someplace (he somehow got under the floor in Dad’s barn earlier in the week) or something got him. We were quite concerned (I hadn’t realized how fond I am of that cat). Thankfully, this afternoon he came walking up the hill to the house. We don’t know where he’d been, but he was quite thirsty and hungry and glad to see us.

Later this afternoon it was too early to do chores and I didn’t want to waste the time and nice weather. So, I decided to install some more solar panels. 9 solar panels installed so farI figured there was enough time to get two of them put on. Well, the installation went well enough that I was able to bolt four of them on. So, one frame is complete. Six more panels to go on the other frame. I’ll tackle that next week after the snow is melted.

My dad voiced a concern about the panels acting like sails and catching the wind up there. The roof on our mobile home is basically flat, and the pitch on the back porch roof is very shallow. So, the panels stick up in the air a ways. I do believe that if they blow off, they’re taking the porch roof with them. However, I think I’ll go ahead and put some guy wires on the top corners down to the other side of the house in order to provide a little extra insurance against strong winds.



Hello, I'm new to your blog, your Dad and Mom shared your steer butchering blog with me. I know them from Pioneer Living.

Good for you and getting your solar panels installed, they look so nice, although I know they are expensive, they will pay for themselves in the long run. I agree with your Dad, I think I'd cable them down more on the backside, here it seems the wind blows all the time, thus the reasoning for putting up a windmill( our summer project)

MMpaints cheese looks wonderful, I wish she were closer so I could take a class or something. Our Dexter cow is due to freshen end of April, and I too want to try my hand at making hard cheese again( first try was NOT good) I love yogurt, cottage cheese, farmer cheese curds, cream cheese and butter.

Look forward to reading your blog, so far the articles I've read, are GREAT!


Hi Daryl,

The panels look good however I as well share the same concern as your father. I would opt more for a stable ground installation which offers easy accessbility for movement and maintenance. A single metal post with mounting brackets.

Good luck. Hey, we are heading to your fine country in a week....taking in the sites at Disney!

take care



Kelle, welcome to my blog! Thanks for the nice comments. I'll be reading on your blog, too.


Wade, enjoy Disney.

Regarding a ground installation for the panels, I don't really have a place for that near our current house, and on the new one, I'm planning a roof mount with either a fixed angle or a mechanical adjustment on one axis. The current frames aren't going to break or blow away easily. I'm not sure that a single metal pole mount on the ground would be a lot more secure, but I'm going to use some guy wires from the top corners for added security. I've already added some extra posts to the porch for more stability/strength, and the panel frames are securely attached to the roof. I will only proceed as I'm comfortable -- so I'll be keeping an eye on them and checking them with simulated wind.

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