It’s been a while since I’ve written…partly lack of desire, and partly due to concerns of modesty or privacy. It’s hard to give personal updates that involve the positive progress in one’s life without it coming off as a humble-brag, but rest-assured, I don’t like to dwell on negativity nor air dirty laundry, so that’s why you don’t see that here. I have no problem mentioning challenges and obstacles in this blog, but when I do, it’s because I’m thinking about ways to resolve them. If you want bad news, just turn to your favorite mainstream media outlet.
So some good news- Spring has finally arrived. No April showers yet, but the grass is greening up and the temps are warming. That means spring maintenance like taking down the snow fences around the trees, trimming branches, putting away the snow shovels and ice chipper. And a return to fair-weather transportation.
The to-do list is growing and I didn’t accomplish all I wanted to last year on my “break” summer. Still one wall of siding to complete on the Annex, soffits remaining and painting to tackle. I think the secret here is to hit it hard while spring-fever gives me enough drive to do so. And before the heat, bugs and humidity make it unbearable. The picker batts are charged and I have this Friday off so we’ll see how the painting goes on the north side.
There’s also some new construction projects this year, including adding lean-tos to each side of the existing tractor-shed (of course that means geo-textile fabric and gravel $$). I’m also moving full-steam ahead on the 10kW grid-tie solar project. I’ve spec’d out a system and put together a proposal. This week I met with CFU to share my details and was met with a “fine, whatever” response. I was provided a form for Parallel Generation of Power to be completed and submitted, but am waiting on questions regarding credits to make sure this project is worthwhile. Unfortunately, Iowa is not as progressive as other states when it comes to alternative energy, and this utility offers ZERO rebates for installing such a system. If the answers come back favorably, I’ll be pushing this forward hard to take advantage of the summer peak-power producing months. The next obstacle will then be pulling a permit and working with the district inspector for approval.
This is the first year we’ll be ‘farming our own’ and have pulled the land off of cash rent. Seeding is already taking place around us but we’re at the mercy of MidAm to get their equipment and dirt piles cleaned up before that can start (within the next 10 days). This’ll be an interesting experiment as well as it requires a lot more work than just depositing a check once a year, but it does mean no more heavy equipment cross-traffic on our lane. On the upside, with MidAm out of the picture, and potentially the neighbor using his own new-found property, we might just get a real road put in this year.
Plan 2020 is still in effect. We added a camper to the lineup this winter for future endeavors but my engineering side has put together a list of improvements and upgrades that will actually be fun and provide instant gratification (as opposed to multi-year gratification which ain’t so hot). I also brought home a ’66 Toro from MN with Ben’s help…something to tackle later on, after construction projects are wrapped up and the Bluegill Pontoon is restored. And after I figure out what to do with this Touring Sedan. Actually, if it were in better interior shape than I thought it was in, this wouldn’t be a problem. I suppose I could clean it up..after all, the paint and body is excellent, and after some mechanical work it should run like a new car. Hell, with a little elbow grease it’s essentially free transportation.