Tuesday, January 6, 2009

If it can go wrong, it will !!

Well it's been one thing after another today here on the Johnson Family Farm. I had hoped to start work on the milking stand today but the rain kept me from that one. Ok, I'll go down to the clubhouse to work on some renewable energy projects that I have had in mind for some time now. Walked in the door to find that the chimney was leaking like crazy, water all over the floor and all. Ok, I'll work on that and get it fixed. After climbing the ladder in the pouring rain I finally got the pipe sealed off pretty good. Or so I thought. Went back inside and got a fire started in the wood stove. After a few minutes I began to hear drip, drip, drip. Once the stove pipe had heated up it must have melted the sealer a little and began to let more water in. At this point I'm out of sealer. I put a pot near the stove to catch the water and let the fire die down some. Nothing else I can do at this point, I'm not going back to town to get more sealer today. I had to leave the farm 3 days in a row and that's about it for me for a while. I'm a home body to the 10th power.
I did check to see what I had available to me for my off grid projects and was pleased with what I had. 2 cordless drill motors that will work as 12 volt DC generators. 1 24 volt permanent magnet motor from an old electric scooter that will act as a DC generator also. 1 small solar panel that I took of off a solar fence charger that works as well. I hooked up the new volt meter to each of the cordless drill motors and gave each a spin. Each showed voltage while being spun. Same with the Scooter motor. Hooked the leads to the solar panel and even with it raining like crazy outside and me being inside with just the light from the door window the meter read 8.2 volts. I have some goodies to play with for sure. Now just decide how to turn the motors, wind turbine or hydro (homade of course). I do have 2 12 volt rechargeable batteries from the scooter that are in working order. I gave them a full charge here in the house with the adapter that came with them. Rather than use an inverter to change this 12 dc power to 120 ac power, I want to have a complete 12 volt dc system. You can get some nice lights that run off of 12 dc and many other useful things too. Still looking into all that. At least I got some idea of what I have and what can be done with it. The first thing that has went right today, I'm feeling better now.
I made a big pot of chicken vegetable soup on Monday. Today we had left overs and that was about all the soup that we wanted for a while. I have been having canning withdraws for weeks now so I thought I would can what we had left. Got my jars out and cleaned and put them in the oven at 220 degrees to keep them good and hot. Got my caner out and noticed that the dial gauge was reading 11lbs. Wait, that's not right, it should be on zero. I gave it a shake or two, smacked it against my hand a few times and then it was back to zero. I'll still keep a watchful eye on the caner just to make sure. After I put the hot soup in the hot jars and place the lids on I put the jars in the caner. Let it steam for 10 minutes and then put the weight on. Everything seems to be ok. After about 5 minutes the dial was on 5 lbs. mmmmmm. Should be a little more than that by now I though, I'll keep watching. After 2 or 3 minutes more the weight began to rock, this is one of the many safety features on this caner. The thing is that is doesn't begin to rock until the caner is up to 15 lbs. and my gauge is reading about 6lbs at this time. Oh well, turn the burner off and set the caner to the side to cool. Once the jars cool I'll put them in the fridge where they will keep for a week or 2 no problem. I have read somewhere that the County Extension office will check your caner gauge and recalibrate it if need be. I'll have to look into that and see.
Well, if it could go wrong today, it did. But on the bright side, I'm warm, I'm dry and my belly is full. I'll make it 'til bedtime. Tomorrows another day, a better one I hope.

9 comments:

Christy said...

I hope so too!

Wretha said...

Hey, how are the smokes & cokes derby coming along? I see that you haven't posted an update in a few days...

My hubby said something the other day that made me very happy, he smokes a pack a day, that's down from 2-3 packs a day. He previously told me the last time he tried to quit, that he considered suicide, so quitting isn't something he wants to do... anyhoo, he said the other day that he wanted me to look up smokeless cigarettes, WOO HOO there is only one reason he would even be thinking about those, he is thinking about quitting!!! Now if we can just do it without the wanting to die thing...

How are you doing? Good I hope. :)

Wretha

HermitJim said...

Hope your next day is a better one, my friend! Just keep on plugging!

Good luck...

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

Oh,Chris! I'm sorry about your day! I hate when stuff like that happens! Well, it's a new day now, so it's GOT to be better than yesterday! (at least your 'electric' stuff turned out good!) Gen

TEAM HALL said...

You lost me right after: "2 cordless drill motors that will work as"....but I think it's time to go to town again! lol
Better days ahead my friend...

warren said...

I think a 12v system is worth looking into also. I have been tinkering some and I would rather not lose anything in the conversion to ac. Can't wait to see what you have going!

Anonymous said...

If you ever have the extra $ you might look into a Mirro canner. They are weighted and you don't have to deal with recalibrating a guage each year.

Today will be a better day. :o)

Marie said...

Your canner is messing around? That sounds like treason... :) I hate it when everything goes wrong--hope things go better today, and good luck with that canner!

The Scavenger said...

Christy, thank you, so do I.

Wretha, Smokes and Cokes are still battle. New plan tomorrow though. I have seen those electric cigs before, let me know how that goes. I wish him (and you too) the best of luck.

Jim, thanks brother. One day at a time sweet Jesus.

Gen, things are a lot better today. Thank you so much.


Team Hall, the motor in a cordless drill can be used as a generator. You just need to find a way to keep it turning on it's own, wind or hydro. Working on that one.



Warren, I thought this may iterest you, you being a tinker and all. 12 volt is by far the best way to go for me. Think of all the stuff that you have in your car, lights,heater fan, radio, power windows and mirrors, all powered by 12 volt dc power from your battery. Pretty cool.


Anonymous, thanks, I may have to check into that. But I just love my canner. lol

Marie, I can't belive it either, after all we've been through together. I want her back. hehe!!
Thank you and things are a little better today.

Thank you all so much for your comments and encouragement, much appreciated.

Your friend,

Chris