Tuesday, 20 April 2010


I did a much better job at stick shift today. I've done it off and on, and the problem is, each time is so far a part I forget exactaly how I did it last. But I finally have it down pretty well. I started out by stalling out on Union street with cars coming. They very graciously went around while I started the car (It takes some practice since it tends not to hold, as soon as you let the key fall into place it will stop running). And on the way back from choir I stalled through one green light (didn't make it through, but didn't get out in the road and stall so that was good), every one behind me was honking. :) And I finally realized I was trying to start up in 2nd. So the next green light I go it. Though the guy right be hind me tailgated me, wanting to go 45mph in a 25 mile zone. And finally passed me (I was happy to have him past me) and turned south on 485. I got through both lights and did well. I figured out that the trick is to stay calm and do it easy. Trying to ram the gas and jump off the clutch just won't work. But, God has been good and I think I have it down.

I am looking forward to tomorrow. Not only because fresh coffee and biscotti. (I only drink coffee 3-4 times a week, partly cause I don't want to get addicted, partly cause I have to roast it and don't have it readily at all times) :). My cousin Jether is coming tomorrow bringing all the fruit and stuff to plant! Also, my friend, Powel Andrews who wants to start up the beekeeping business is coming over! We will more than likely be figuring out if we need to order bees from the place in Texas, or getting them from someone in Albermarle over Craig's list (don't you love craigs list?). We will also be ordering bee equipment. We are looking at spending about $1000 for start up (though about 1/3 of that is for his hive alone. Basically he supplies the initial money to get it started and I am supplieng the labor. And when we start selling honey we will put it back into the hives so that eventually we will have paid off it and are getting a little income from it. If we go for the bees from craig's list we might get enough for four hives. I don't want to do more than four this year. But it will be nice to have more than one to compare the other hives too. Plus it means more honey overall that we can get. This year we might only get a gallon two. But next year we should get a lot more. I am looking into other things as well such as, propolis and pollen traps. I have not decided what we should do with the wax from when we harvest the honey. It saves quite a bit of money to ship it to a place and have them make it into foundation and ship it back than buying foundation. I have looked into getting a mold for foundation, but it was $300+ just for a small plastic mold!

I have been looking and doing research on how to use my creek water in a way to pump water from the creek for my garden. Right now I am doing it manually with 5 gal. buckets. And when it rains (like it is doing now) it gives me a break. But not only do I want to pump up the water, but I want to build a fairly good size dam. Just enough to have a foot or two deep of water in it. But enough so that I still have some during the summer months when this part of the creek dries up. I made a dam with the help of my younger siblings and dad. Mostly mud and sand, with some 100lb rocks thrown in. I have a pvc 3" pipe that is the drain to keep the dam from over flowing and ruining the dam. But I would like something bigger than that eventually.

I have been doing research and am very interested in solar, wind, and water power. Water power is the most reliable source of power from those three. Sun being next. Wind is good if you live in a windy place, but still it is not as consistant as water. And, since I have water a plenty (most of the time) I thought that would be the most useful. Plus, solar energy usually is complex in the way you harvest it to make electricity or heat water. So, I have been looking for something that does not require electricity. The best thing would be to have water pumping water. And you don't see a whole lot of stuff on that. I have looked into a manual pump, and I am open to it (looks easier than hauling water), but the best thing I am looking for is water pumping water.

I just recently came upon something that looks like it might be promising. What I orginally had in mind was a water wheel But a water wheel turns something, and doesn't really pump, plus they have to be quite big. So, next I am/was looking at water turbines. I saw one where a guy got his bodies together and they built one from scaps they had around. They hooked it up to his trailer and provides all the electricity that he needs (3 light bulbs and a radio). :) But still, it was from a creek a little bigger than mine!

I will probably not post much for the next week as my cousin will be here. We will probably either working for my dad delivering bread, or working down in the garden planting and organizing and such! :) So, I guess I leave you with this.

Bread is like a good book. While some breads look like they are good the inside is just white fluff, like some books. But the good ones are the ones that have a dusty cover, the ones baked in a brick oven. They might not appear at first to be good, but once you get into them, you wont put it down. :)

So, cheers to you all! God bless you!
English Vintner