Friday, February 22, 2013

Chapter 71...How To Start A Lawn From Seed

Off Grid...Chapter 71

Mike has a Doctor's appointment this afternoon. It is nothing serious just some routine "aging" stuff. Anyway, we are trying to get in as much as we can before we have to leave.

We hook up the trailer and drive over to the other property to load up the debris from the fallen tree. This is the last time because there is no more tree.

We are ready to load up.

The tree is loaded onto the trailer.

We strap it all down and take it back home. Then we unload it all into the fire pile.

After we do that we take the empty trailer back up top and load up the trash to go to the dump. On our way we stop at David's to pick up more seed and straw. Mike also orders the metal roof edging that we need to add on.

On our way home we stop off at Jimmy's and talk with some of the guys at the shop. Time is running out so we have to get back home. We get cleaned up and head back out. On our way to the Doctor's we stop at a nursery to look at some plants but there isn't anything that we like. Next we go to Lowe's for more stuff. I think we live at Lowe's, lol. Finally we make it to the Doctor's and miracle of miracles the Doctor is on time. He's a keeper, lol.

We spent all morning on the phone. Yuk. Mike tried to order a battery box vent. Mike called 4 different solar places. One didn't know if they carried it. One said someone will call back because their company policy is for you to talk to the person you spoke to previously. Never mind that we never ordered anything from this company before. What a goofy policy. Maybe they didn't get our order previously because of that salesperson. Sometimes I just don't understand how people run businesses. It's almost like they don't want you to buy anything. The next company doesn't carry it anymore. Finally, as a last resort, Mike called a company whose catalog we almost threw out because of their prices. It turns out this salesperson was very nice, wanted our order, and offered a discount for placing our order with them. Ah, finally a place with good customer service.

Next Mike had to call the Charge Controller company. We had a problem with the one we bought last year. It shorted out and they told us to send it back and they would fix it. Great so we did that. Since that charge controller was just a back up we just left it in the box. When Mike moved our solar set up this time he tried to hook it up and it was dead. Apparently they didn't fix anything. So now another phone call to another company. They were very nice and apologized. They are sending us a brand new charge controller and as long as we send our broken one back with their call ticket it is free.

So after a frustrating morning on the phone we did get some things done. Now we can get back to work. We are really concentrating all the dirt. Anything that looks brown at the top by our house we want covered and hopefully green.

Getting the next section raked out.

Mike puts down the seed and then I put the straw down.

After that section is done Mike puts some water on it.

Then we move onto the next section. We are doing small sections at a time just in case we run out of material which seems to be standard when doing big yards.

We are getting closer to the point where our pavement will begin. Mike has to get rid of the extra dirt that is up top. He is scooping it up with the tractor and taking it down to the pond wall. Then he blades it smooth.

Woo hoo. Now we are getting somewhere. Almost the whole back area is raked, seeded, and strawed. Now we just have to get the grass to grow.

We also have to keep people from driving on our new seed. Mike puts in some t-posts and we put string across to keep any vehicles out.

Mike surveying all of our work.

It poured today which was bad for us but great for the lawn. We were scheduled for the backhoe today to do the backfilling but with this rain it won't happen until next week.

The rain is gone and we need to go to David's to pick up our roofing material and more straw. Here we are loaded up with the metal roof protected by the bales of straw.

We will be putting the metal edging on the corners of the roof to protect it and give it a finished look.

Back to seed and straw. The next section we want to get cleaned up is the back hill behind our fence. Last year I raked, seeded, and curlexed most of it. It was destroyed by the cows so we have to start over. This time we aren't spending the money on the curlex. We will just use straw and hope for no wind, lol.

First we have to tear out the old curlex. Then we will throw out the seed and put straw on top. This time we aren't raking it. It just gets trampled by the cows because this is one of their walking paths.

Getting ready to start the back hill.

We get the seed and a bucket out of the green building. Mike starts throwing bales of straw on the other side of the fence. Mike spreads the seed and I follow him and put the straw out.

Getting the straw down with Nike right in the middle.

Mike is at the top seeding.

And me with more straw.

We are almost done but I ran out of straw. What else is new, lol? It should be enough down to get this back hill started.

Most of the back hill is done.

And the backyard is almost done.


The view of our solar panels from the top.

We went down to the house and Mike helped me defrost the refrigerator. It is a propane refrigerator with no self defrost and it seems to need defrosting once every 2 months. We get the coolers out and load them up. Before we do this I try to run low on food which is really hard for me because I am a stocker. Mike says we might check into an electric refrigerator one of these days as long as we can run it off of our panels. While the refrigerator was open with the fan blowing on it, Mike and I went up to move the metal edging off the trailer and see how it will work on the roof.

Somewhere between the house and the gray building I lost my camera. Oh no that would mean a story with no pictures. Stop working we have to find my camera, lol. My case has a velcro strap and I used to keep it strapped to my pants loop but the velcro doesn't work anymore. I really need to sew on a new piece of velcro. Lately I have been just putting the camera down whenever I am working or Mike needs my help. I look all over the house for it. I look in the gray building. Check the Jeep and the trailer. This time I think I really lost it. I go back down to the house one more time. Nothing. I go back to the building and mike says "do you want your camera?" He's trying to bribe me. I left it on the fender of the Jeep. Well at least we didn't drive anywhere. Ok my world is back to normal and I can take pictures for everyone. I say that because I still haven't developed the majority of these pictures.

After finding my camera I go back down and finish cleaning out and re filling the refrigerator.

It was a good day. We got most of the back yard finished. Now we just have to wait for the grass to grow. We had to leave the section by the well undone and we also had to leave a pathway from the gray building to the green building. When the grass is strong we will finish those sections.

That concludes this week's chapter in the life of Mike and Lisa.


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