Hillbilly ‘Lectricity


That’s my big old Ford charging my laptop battery for me.

Tangent: I love Apple, I am a diehard Mac user, but I swear they program their computers to break the day after Apple Care runs out.  A year or two ago, my laptop, which is about five years old, stopped being able to gain a charge when plugged into the wall.  The little port on the side of the laptop finked out.  But I refused to get a new laptop, primarily because of this:


Those are Charlie’s baby teeth marks.  When Charlie was a tiny pup, I left both him and my open laptop on my bed and caught him teething on the corner.

When the charging issue began, I searched high and low and finally found an external battery charger on ebay for about $30.  This means I have to take the battery out to charge it, which is kind of a pain, but it’s way better than buying a new computer and the system is perfect for the mountain.


I got a nifty power inverter (pictured above, found here) which connects the laptop battery charger to my truck battery.  My camera battery chargers plug into the power inverter as well.  Then I run my truck every now and then to keep my truck battery charged.


So, technically, my laptop has been powered by gasoline, but you do what you gotta do.

For Charlie’s fence, I have a marine battery + solar panel connected to the fence.  Charlie’s fence uses a very small amount of electricity so I could get away with using a little 1.5 watt solar panel that Mike had sitting in his basement.  The solar panel slowly charges the battery all day as the fence slowly draws energy.


A larger solar panel would allow me to use the power inverter with the marine battery to charge my laptop and camera batteries (instead of using my truck battery), but the bottom line was the bottom line ~ I didn’t want to shell out for a larger solar panel.  But if I lived like this permanently, I would.

Adventures In Milk





In case you missed the first announcement, text versions of my handwritten posts can be found at Paper Route Designs.

Living Like A Nymph


I’ve alluded to big summer plans and it’s time to share details!
I’m spending the summer on the mountain, camping at 7500 feet.
And the entire Farmily is coming with me!

Last week, I shared photos of the spring pasture Mike and I lease for the cows.  We lease another 1000 acres of private mountain land for the cows’ summer pasture.  This land happens to rest smack in the middle of 10,000 private acres, grazing land for a handful of ranchers.  Being there is like living in a dream, living like a nymph.  I’m moving up this week, and will be there through September.

I actually thought I’d be up there by now ~ usually the snow has melted by the end of May and we trail the cows up the third week of June.  But since it was still snowing in June, it wasn’t until last week that we could even drive in!  There are still scattered snowdrifts, but that didn’t keep me from diving into a mountain pond after spending the day working in the sun :)

I’ve rigged up a hillbilly solar setup to keep my laptop and camera batteries charged and, while I will be offline 99% of the time for the next three months, I will continue to post here multiple times a week, and the daily photos for the Daily Coyote and the email subscription list will continue uninterrupted.

Steamed Milkbath


It’s no secret I love my milk baths ~ a gallon or two of surplus Daisy milk dumped into steaming water in my outdoor cast iron tub with a few drops of lavender oil and aahhhhhhhhh under the stars.

But the other evening was windy (not to be confused with breezy, which is quite lovely during an outdoor soak), too windy for a comfortable bath outside, so I grabbed a gallon o’ milk and trekked to Mike’s house.


I was having a nice mellow soak, but then thought, why not put the jets on for a moment? An innocent whim that turned into a PARTAY, party in the bathtub.

The milk began to froth and grow and soon I was swirling in several inches of FOAM!

When I turned the jets off, the noise was deafening: the sound of a million tiny milk bubbles popping.  Within minutes, the water was back to its glassy state.
And with another press of the jets, it frothed back up into foam!
Like bathing in a giant cappuccino.  I’m easily amused.


An Anniversary


What are your thoughts on death?

I’d love to know.

Here is a passage from my book:

“We romanticize that wild animals enjoy an idyllic life of freedom, when really, they are fighting to survive, for food and shelter and safety and against the infringements of man.  Death serves in nature.  The soil is fortified by the bones; animals and birds and bugs live off the carcass.  In nature, there is honor in being eaten.  To me, the [dead] deer was beautiful in providing its body to the living animals that were trying to survive.  And I believe this works on a human level as well, although it is somewhat taboo in our society.  I believe we can learn to use death, and let the gifts of the dead help us to become stronger.  Our society responds to death by mourning, and usually, mourning is the stopping place.  It is not the stopping place.  I believe there is nourishment and strength to be found, if only we were not so afraid of it.”

What about you?

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