Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tom's Face on a Billboard...and 2" of SNOW

The kids love to drive by and say "hello" to Tommy. He'd rather be pushing solar power for the "go green" bit...he's not 100% convinced on the geothermal...it uses a lot of electricity.

Can you believe we had 2 inches of snow here yesterday? I put away all the snow pants! We all had to wear our thermals again yesterday.

I think my Irises (thanks Mom) will survive.

It's a good thing these guys are still indoors...

you can't see it very well, but my parsley did germinate (YAY!) and it's little seedlings are looking strong now. I went and checked on my outdoor spinach last night (it likes a little frost) and they looked teeny, but healthy. The seeds I used were old, so I'm just thrilled some spinach came up. I planted about a 10' row and I saw only 4 little plants pop up...hopefully there will be more. We're so desparate for some dark greens that we've taken to eating dandelion greens with our supper. They're actually pretty good right now, and the kids get a kick out of eating them. Our staple meal this past week has been Quinoa with Kidney Beans and Dandelion Greens...the kids made up a cute little catchy song about them...kinda gets stuck in your head.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Reeve's Solar kit & Lego Creations

Like father, like son... Reeve was super stoked to get a solar experiments kit for his birthday.

It coincided with Tom's recent Solar class beautifully. He ripped the box open, looked at the wiring diagram, and had a little solar operated fan working in no time.

It also runs a small radio and a 7watt light. One of the first things he did with the fan was to carry it outside and blow it on the clothes hanging from the clothes line to help them dry.

He likes to have it handy now in case he gets too hot...that kid is always hot!
Reeve also had some lego creations that he wanted me to post...here is his solar electric car...

and a motor boat...

and a little horse and rider...

They love to play with those legos. Always building, tearing down, and re-building.
We had a productive weekend. The snow has melted, the temps are warming, and it was the perfect time to go and clean the yard...before the weeds and haygrass become too overwhelming. How on earth did we accumulate so much stuff?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Tom's Solar Electric Class

This past week Tom spent in Marshfield, WI taking an Advanced II Photovoltaic Class provided by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association.
Tom was really inspired by the class. He said there were people there as far away as Massachusetts. There were 8 people in his class including the instructor.

It was a great way to celebrate Earth Day.

The class learned how to install two different types of PV panels...a fixed panel (above pic) and a tracking panel.

They installed these panels at the Marshfield Technical College.

This is a pic of a combining box...Tom says it's the PV electrical disconnect.

His teacher liked to call this the battery coffin...

He came home stoked and ready to install a couple of these in our backyard.