Friday, July 9, 2010

Lots of new stuff happening . . .

AIR CONDITIONING THE MILK ROOM. . . We have been experiencing particularly hot weather this year, hot and humid!  The milk room houses a commercial cooler plus two refrigerators.  It is unbearable in there, and on a very hot day, we cannot get the milk cool enough fast enough, IMHO.  I have not noticed any degradation in the milk, and we have not had any complaints from shareholders, but I don't want to wait until the complaints roll in to do something about it.

Moving around a large vent fan and judicious opening and closing of doors has kept the temperature pretty close to where I want it, but we are on the ragged edge some days.  After much investigation of the pros and cons of several options, I bought a portable air conditioner / heater, which is basically a heat pump on wheels.  It's good enough for that size room, and installation is far less costly than putting in a "regular" heat pump.

I just made my first stab at getting it set up, and there are a few small details that will have to be ironed out.  But I turned it on, and it is putting out plenty of cold air!

THE DUMPSTER . . . I have been filling the 8 cu. yd. dumpster to overflowing.  It was supposed to be picked up on Monday.  Here it is Friday, and it is still here.  But that's okay.  I seem to find something or other to throw in there a couple of times a day.  There are still some small corners that aren't totally stuffed.

The place looks so much better.  I can get my car AND the golf cart into the garage now.  All of my canning jars and canning equipment are lined up on shelving that was holding all manner of junk (now in the dumpster).  Garden tools went to the greenhouse or the barn.  Two screen tents went to friends.  Bits and pieces of projects that will never come to fruition are now lying in the dumpster.

It is freeing.  I feel lighter.  And I am reminded of it every time I go out the back door.  :)

PAPERWORK . . . I had not balanced my checkbook or posted the charges from either of my credit card bills since March.  That's right, March!  That is when the greenhouse started cranking up and my life was no longer my own.  In April the calves started arriving, and in May the garden went into overdrive.

Over the last two days, everything is posted and balanced.  One month's bank statement was off by $4, and I just chalked it up as a bank charge and forgot about finding it.  On the other hand, there was an $800 deposit for which I cannot find any paperwork.  I have no idea what it is, and I don't care!  It's just a gift, hey?

I still have to do some filing, but I now know exactly how much money I have (or don't have) and so feel pretty relaxed about that.

BUGS . . . I posted a picture of my potatoes coming up and said soon it would be a sea of green.  But that was not to be.  The bugs ate the leaves, and then most of the stems.  And when the potatoes were gone, they destroyed about half of my 200 heirloom tomato plants, some already heavy with fruit.  It was very depressing.

We hand-picked bugs for days, one of the organic requirements before using certain allowed bug killers.  Neem oil was useless.  The bugs took it in and asked what was for dessert.  So after five days of picking (Androo squished them; I ran them through my garbage disposal), I used the strongest bug killer allowed by the National Organic Standards.  I found one bug a day later, four the following day, and Androo found a few while he was filling in blanks yet again with the few remaining tomato plants from the greenhouse.  Today, I found no bugs.

A friend bought seed potatoes from me, and he didn't have room to plant all of them.  He had started a bunch of plants from the myriad eyes in Peruvian Purple potatoes, and he brought me several plants.  I took them down to the garden and started digging to get them planted.  I found new potatoes!  I can't believe it - underneath those absolutely dead plants, I am finding many, many potatoes!!  I am leaving some that are obviously taking root, because they will grow up again.  So I will be digging "new" potatoes in October!  Or shall I label them "recycled" potatoes?  LOL

Well, I'm going to sit down with the instruction manual now to figure out how to upload the pics from my new camera.  I have some great shots to share with you, including some of the baby swallows in the nest over my front door.  They are flying now, venturing to the garage roof and then back to their nest.  They are so cute!  And the new camera takes videos.  Perhaps you will see them in flight . . .

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