Thursday, April 05, 2007

Flowering Cactus




Kayzie & Lynn are still in the Phoenix area and sent me these pictures. It is a prime example of why one should never judge a book by its cover.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Electricity

Tonight was the annual Kaw Valley Electric Cooperative annual meeting. We try to attend each year for several reasons, the most important being the great “picnic” dinner provided. One of the best caterers in the city does the food and it is set out to take as much as you like.

It is quite the community event. I would estimate there were more than 500 people there and we enjoyed visiting with many friends and neighbors.

It was interesting to hear an explanation of how Kaw Valley handled a very large power outage this past winter. For most of us, our lights go out, we call and our lights come back on. What happens in the meantime is a mystery. I won’t try to explain the whole thing, but it sounded as if when one power station “blows” they can run power backward from other stations to service customers until the problem is fixed. Who knew.

A good deal of time was spent telling us why our rates just went up 10 percent and why they will probably go up again in the next four or five years. As I understood the explanation, a new coal power plant is or will be built near Emporia to service Kansas customers. The clean air act raised the price of these power plants considerably. Not a surprise that the cost is passed on to us. I am willing to pay for clean air. All of this together will be millions of dollars and another raise in rates for us.


Another term we heard this evening was “renewable energy” which would include wind or water power. There are mandates by the Federal Government to get renewable energy plans in place. None of the speakers thought too much of wind farms. One interesting fact is that if an individual customer has a private wind generator, Kaw valley would have to pay that person 150% per kilowatt-hour back—somewhat of an incentive.

At the end of the meeting they give away at least ten $25 cash, two $50 cash and one $100 cash as well as a television and BBQ grill. Guess who won the $100!!!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Old Farmstead

It is finally a sunny day. The valley has spots of green here and there, the early Elm and Cottonwood trees. A group of green Elm trees off to the southeast I recognize as The Old Farmstead. There are several beautiful big oak trees there also. They always stand out in the fall.

The Corp of Engineers demolished The Old Farmstead to establish flood easement area for the lake. The farm land became the Wildlife and Parks hunting area. The trees still indicate something special was there from a distance as well as up close. The windbreak is easy to identify because of the red cedars planted in rows. There are a few clumps of iris and daffodils here and there as well as overgrown lilacs. We always call this place The Old Farmstead as if that was its name. The driveway crosses our land. When the kids were young, our family would often go down there. It was a destination, as if we were friends stopping by for a visit.

One day a young lady asked if she could walk down as it was her parent’s farm. She could remember living there when was very young. She didn’t stay long.

There are several such sites within a short distance of us. Many of the families who lived and farmed in the valley have died. The lake changes how we perceive the land and soon there will be few who remember how it was before. However, our family will remember The Old Farmstead as a special place, not yet ready to send it back to the land forgotten.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

1961 Corvettes


My friend Kathy in Wichita and her husband Carl, the talent behind the restoration of Corvettes, are featured in the Wichita Eagle today. Click here to read the article. Be sure to check the gallery. These cars beautiful.