Saturday, July 30, 2005

Ultralight flying

When I returned home from carrying the route today, I immediately noticed the yard had been mowed—by Phillip! What can I say about this neighbor other than he has been a saint on a mower this summer. After Dan’s ATV accident, the broken collarbone kept him off the tractor. I was capable, but Phillip took it upon himself to take care of it for us. The last time he was down, I reluctantly told him Dan was back to work & we could handle the mowing. However, we did not get it done before Phillip rolled in with his gear (he has a lawn mowing business) and made short work of it again today.

Dan and I discussed what we could do for him. He absolutely refuses to take money. Dan said he just happened to ask him today if maybe he would like to take a ride in the ultralight. He said, without hesitation, let’s go now. So, I think we’ve figured out our payback.

It is hard to find words to describe how it feels to go up in the ultralight. I simply love it. We have what is called a trike. With our size delta wing, it will fly around 35 to 40 mph. We affectionately call it Snoopy because you can look straight down & see what people or animals are doing on the ground. There is one problem, Dan and I made the decision we will not fly Snoopy again until we have the engine completely gone through. We have landed it without power, but don’t want to make a practice of it.

We think we have a mechanic located that can work on Rotax engines. Hopefully, we will be back in business by fall—that is a beautiful time to fly. Phillip might have to fight me for that second seat.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Yes, it's a tomato plant.

Dan was browsing in the garden section and noticed a kit for growing an upsidedown tomato. We decided to try our own version.

This is a five gallon paint bucket with a hole in the bottom large enough for the stem of the tomato plant to slip through. We then purchased some of the material that is in the bottom of hanging planters to put around the hole. We figured the mesh would allow the growth expansion while holding in the dirt. It has worked even though the bucket is nearly full of dirt. We put about six inches of the stem up in the bucket, much the same way a tomato is planted in the ground.

It's hard to see, but there are lots of blooms. We are interested in what will happen when the tomatoes set on. The plant has almost totally turned back upward. I suppose the sun must reach the top of the leaves. We have discussed whether we should have some kind of support so the tomatoes don't break the stem. We have a plant that will produce regular sized tomatoes which might be a mistake. Will update when we have production. Our plan is to avoid freezing by hanging it in the sunroom. Will we have fresh tomatoes Christmas Day? We'll see.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Pretty smart

Picture by Linda
The forecast was 40 percent chance of rain last evening and we had about 10 acres of prairie hay down. The fact that rain storms come out of nowhere when we have hay down is a running joke in our family. Last night it worked out well. After supper I jumped on the Allis and raked while Dan ran the John Deere and big round baler right behind. We were finished by dusk and the rain didn't come in until this morning.

This evening I looked out our west window to a beautiful sunset as the rain clouds moved out. We walked up the driveway looking for a good picture. Skye made a run, jump and sat down on top of the bale. She thought she was pretty smart--she is both!

Monday, July 25, 2005

It makes me crazy

We all have our crazy side, and there would be some in my family that would say it is my only side. That being said, it really makes me crazy when things won’t work. I get obsessed with trying to figure out what is wrong and will keep messing even though I know I do not have the knowledge to fix it.

Two days ago, my email quit working. I immediately assumed it was my computer’s problem. Could my email be full? I started cleaning out the old ones. Maybe I had some kind of email virus—I ran every virus check I have, plus Trendmicro from the internet. I logged on to an Outlook Express help site and it suggested I completely reload my email with a new name. Just for good measure, I dumped my temp & cookie files as well as ran the defrag. I was in and out of the office for the better part of two hours and I still didn’t have email.

Finally, it dawned on me that it might not be my computer at all, but the Starband system. I logged on their site and checked the system analysis and, sure enough, it plainly said Starband was having problems with their POP email and it was temporarily down. It was another reminder that I need to practice better critical thinking instead of launching into random solutions.

When I checked my emails after work, I was back in business. Trouble is, after I put a load of clothes in my new front loading washing machine tonight, it wouldn’t spin the water out. I’m trying...