Piecemeal Solar

When the Goal Zero pooped out I bought the above tiny battery/ solar thingie. It was slower than I was hoping for. Could only charge 1 item a day. The batteries and the Kindle and the lights were lined up to be charged.

So I set up the left over panels from the Goal Zero package. That helped by adding one more charge spot. These are very slow, also. The poor panels have been in hail storms and dust storms. But, they still work. Kinda.

The phone’s battery is getting weak, so it has an extra battery attached most of the time. Getting all of these items charged is hard. Thanks to a friend I just unwrapped and set up the Jackery 100 watt solar panel.

Jackery solar panels

Very fast. Only one USB port. But fast. And On sunny days all of the solar panels are out and charging! By tonight I will have 2 full batteries , fully charged phone, fully charged light and a full Kindle.


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Eating in the Truck

Wind or the rain or hail means that outdoor cooking is limited. Food sometimes takes strange turns.

This is a mostly drained can of beans, a can of tomatoes , a can of spicy V-8, 1 big Haas avocado, a toasted thick corn tortilla torn up, a little salt, a little citric acid, a little Siracha and a little salad dressing.

tortilla soup

1/3 of this was lunch. 1/3 for dinner. Then I put the remaining 1/3 in the front seat of the truck (to fool mice).

The breakfast leftover was everything left plus a little Braggs, some dried hash browns, another can of spicy V-8, and an egg on top. This was a winner for all three meals. I will be doing this one again.

I was hankering for some cumin and coriander in this dish, but all I have are whole seeds. I have dentures. Not a good mix. So I made a mortar and pestle. Loved this. Needless to say I left it in Colorado.

The next strange meal was not as successful. Coriander and/or cumin would not have helped.

I bought that bag of biscuit mix. Well, I thought it was biscuit mix. I was planning on trying to make a biscuit. No, it is a mix for gravy that is supposed to go on top of a biscuit. So I made what turned out to be a cold soup. Can of chicken with liquid, container of corn with liquid, some of the gravy mix and a good squirt of Braggs. It was creamy and tasty. It reminded me of vichyssoise. Really. A big, agreeable surprise, but not repeatable.

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Pride Goeth

I have been bragging about how to keep mice out of the vehicle. I was wrong. I apologize.

Yesterday I noticed oil dripping onto the ground underneath the truck bed. No motor smell. I started searching.

The mice chewed through the bottoms of mayonnaise, catsup, honey mustard and a quart of cooking oil. I hadn’t noticed it. I saw only the tops of the containers.

Those sneaky mice. There were globs of catsup, smears of mayo, tiny footprints in oil. They almost got the peanut butter through the lid! I admire them for their focus and “stick-to-it-ness”. But it did mean it was time for a DEEP CLEAN.

Took everything out.

Cleaned the floors (this is a before image), wiped down the walls (extreme layers of dust), lit some incense and let things dry out. The curtains were grimy, actually heavy with grime. Now we have clean bar-towel-curtains.

It was just past sunset when I finished the back. A kind neighbor gave me 4 rechargeable puck lights to put under the truck at night. Light plus cleanliness plus no available edibles might be THE solution to the problems of mice.

Gonna continue the DEEP CLEAN to the front of the truck. Pack away the Colorado maps and uncover the AZ maps.

Am using my “phone” for this post as a trial.

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Gold in the Desert

I love Lilith (2006 Toyota Tacoma 4wd). I drove all over looking for the mining claim that I was authorized to hunt on. She climbed every hill, every wash, rode over rocks like it was nothing. Finally got to where I was supposed to be (thank you phone for the GPS).

Notice that the near ground in this picture is flat, with fire pits already assembled. By December this spot will be filled with huge rvs, barking dogs, friendly people from Montana or Canada or Wyoming. I got to park here and walk just a few yards to a wash, where I was hoping to find gold.

After 4 hours of searching I found this:

A few other bits of wire. Still fun, hiking in the bottom of a tiny wash, crawling over rocks, getting stopped by vicious thorns, eyes peeled for snakes and scorpions, getting the metal detector screaming when I get the shovel (or my ring, or the screw driver) too near the detector’s head, sitting on thorny cactus, adjusting the volume on the detector over and over again. It is all about practice. And attention. I knew this spot was too close to past camp spots to have any real gold, but was so thrilled that I found the claim that I didn’t go further.

The weather was difficult. The wind picked up, blowing grit and more grit. It wore me out. I gave up after 4 hours. Drove back, stopping for a lemonade (with ice!) and a hot dog. Sweet.

The next morning the temperature had dropped and the wind picked up to gusts of 55 mph. No fun to go out. The library is open, so here I sit. Thankful, planning the next outing.

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Tyson Wash

I drove from Flagstaff to Quartzsite, sweating. Arrived and it was 104 degrees. Love the heat, love the desert, love it that I found “my” spot. $180 for 7 months. There is a pit toilet, a dumpster and potable water nearby. I drank all of my LeCroix drinks, all pineapple juices, all but 1 V-8 in first three days. Plus a gallon and a half of water. The water was hot, the drinks were hot. It hurt to pour the water over my head. But I am in the desert and I love it.

Spend most of my days chasing the shade. Moving the chair, moving the books, moving the radio. I have been keeping a very alert eye out for snakes and scorpions. Saw a coyote walking by. The quail sing in the mornings and early evenings as they walk by, looking for food.

I have several nearby spots where I can search for gold. I am so excited. I will post when I go out. The next week or 10 days will be too hot to do anything, so I will load up on books, thanks to the Quartzsite library (thanks especially to Billie, the head librarian, who reads as much as I do!).

I will sit in the shade and read. What luxury. What joy.

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