Monthly Archives: November 2014

Things You Don’t Really Want To Know

Someone close to me called yesterday with a concern. They had read a symptom-cause anecdote on the Internet. Worried if the report was as bad as they feared, their question to me was, “Should I stop looking things up on the Internet?”  

Do you really want to know how turkey ham is made? What happens to the frozen fries dropped on the restaurant’s kitchen floor? How is the turkey you ate a couple of days ago killed, cleaned, and packaged? It might be information that neither makes you healthier nor feel better. Some things, I think, might make you feel worse for learning. When should you defer from looking up the answer to that meaningless query?

I said, “Yes!”

Here I go with something I read on the Internet. We found this week a critical report about one kind of coffee machine. As it turns out, the scathing article may have some truths, and some not-so-solid information. We found this linked report from Snopes.

The whole truth seems to indict most equipment with cool water reservoirs or with residual moisture (which pretty well includes all typical coffee makers). Okay, let’s check the two coffee machines in mom’s house.

I checked and found mold on the inside walls of the cool water reservoir. Yeah, makes sense that something that stays wet and between 45 and 100 degrees can grow mold. I cleaned the parts I could reach and researched how to clean the hard-to-reach parts. Here’s a link to an article on cleaning the coffee makers. Y’all probably already do all this. It was new to us. We’re going to pick up white vinegar to run through both of the coffeemakers.

If someone offers me a cup of coffee, I’ll probably accept. I won’t ask about the machine or cool water reservoirs. Not only shouldn’t I ask, it’s something I’d just rather not know.

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It’s 75 After All

Look what we found yesterday.  75 degrees!  Just right. And all from passive solar gain on a very beautiful sunny day in NC’s mountains. Kind of makes everything good again. We were ready for it.

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Sunday rained all day. We both already felt terrible, fighting head colds (probably exacerbated by the Wx changes). We never stepped foot outside the camper, not once.  I thought of our readers whom I’ve told, “The camper is large enough because Debbie lets me know when I should find something to do outside. ”

We stayed in all day. And we got along famously.  Granted, we neither one felt well enough to start any horseplay. Still, plenty of room for each to do what they wanted.  We stayed dry, consumed pots of green tea, caught up on reading, planned work days, and rested.

We still find the 25′ camper plenty big enough for both of us, even when one of us can’t get outta here. Luckily, it’s a rare day we’re confined to indoors. It wasn’t 75 degrees outside, but felt good enough to stay outside all day yesterday.

Jim and Debbie
dreamstreamr odyssey™, Chasing 75 (again)
©2007-2014 Dreamstreamr

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Great Point of the Day

Sunset has been my favorite time of day since decades ago. I remember the day I 1st realized it. Do you remember the big vinyl covered bean bag chairs? I had one in front of a west-facing window in my house in Fall 1975. Like todsy, the sky was colorful. While the sun was dipping below the horizon, everything just seemed alright for a few minutes.

Today we almost finished clearing the right-of-way for the trench for our u.g. electrical power primary cable. We’ve removed more than a dozen trees and a few mountain laurels. Eleven of the trees are oak, locust or maple, the other one was white pine. Cutting with only a bow saw is a great work-out, and moving all the trunks, tops and brush adds to the job.

Sunset from Woodland Ridge

We’re properly worn out from today’s adventure. The sunset was a perfect reward!

Jim and Debbie
dreamstreamr odyssey™, Chasing “45” (for a little while)
©2007-2014 Dreamstreamr

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Chasing 45 Degrees

These are two of my best friends, these last few days. Warmest things I have

Know where we are? Know just how cold it is here? If you follow us then you may know we claim to “chase 75 degrees” and you might have clicked on our location icon (links to findu.com or aprs.fi to show Google map of N5RTG location).

Well heck, I was talking yesterday to Wag W9WAG, a friend who wishes he had already left Kenosha WI. His current outdoor temp was 8, well colder than our much more comfortable 28 and low of 18. Brr.

What are Debbie and Jim doing in these cold, for them, places? Why haven’t they already fled to warmer climes? We mentioned the wooded acreage we purchased earlier this year. If it was in a much warmer place, then we wouldn’t be running both the furnace and the catalytic just to keep the trailer interior at barely warm enough.

Ashe County is very heavily populated with Christmas trees, and not so much with people. The population swells in the summer, and so might be heading for a sudden drop after the past week’s chilling weather. We stayed through the recent snow. Made nice pictures, a snow person, but didn’t really get very cold.

Our friend Carolyn recommended we spend as much time as we can watching the seasonal changes on our land before we commit to building anything. I hope she remembers to tell us when we can leave. My pile-lined slippers and toque are warm but tend to fall off in bed.

If We’d Known It Would Be This Cold . . .

An oft touted benefit of full time RVing (or, full timing) is the freedom to go where you want, when you want, for as long as you want. We asked some friends in Minnesota why they stay there in the winter. “Winter sports!” Well, sure.

We haven’t carefully investigated how we fell into “Chasing 75 Degrees”. We could burn 7 gallons of propane daily and still stay in cold weather cheaper than paying $25/night or more for a sunny, warm, inviting, recreational campground. The sunny, warm, inviting venues in southern and southwestern USA are beckoning nonetheless.

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We’ve been enjoying staying as often and as many days as we can on our small acreage in Ashe County. We’re at 3,500 feet. Views to the west and north open with leaf fall. This very quiet section has long been held within one family, and remains largely owned by that family’s members. The weather and atmosphere has been perfectly enjoyable for the past month.

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Enjoyment turned to a little something else — perhaps chill — with the sudden onset of wintry weather two days ago. We received over 4″ snowfall, considerably less than the 24″ measured in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains. Startling how rapidly the air can cool and, without sunshine, stay cold. Last night the outside temperature dropped to 25 degrees. The furnace seemed to run constantly to keep the inside above 44 degrees.

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Our hillside was pretty with snow on the sides of the driveway and the forest floor carpeted in white. Snow on the driveway melted away early, but with only slight sunshine peaking through it didn’t have as great an impact upon solar charging our batteries. And who knew you can’t fully charge batteries under 41 degrees Farenheit?

In four weeks we’ve loaded our portable 1kw generator more than in the previous seven years. It’s worked well with a two-three hour run on some cloudy days. I started the generator this morning and the batteries were registering only 1 to 2 amps of charge, instead of the normal 20 amps initial charging rate. Gradually the batteries warmed from the slow charging and started taking more. By noon the sun broke through, the temperature is up to 40, and the solar panels have taken over to a rate of over 11 amps charging.

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The snowy and cold weather didn’t keep us inside. We walked to the bottom of the hill and up again several times throughout the day. Sneakers sufficed since the driveway’s snow had already melted. The cold air still braced us and, you can see, caused at least one of us to bundle up well.

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If we’d known it would be this cold, we might have built a house instead of a road!

See you down the road!

Jim and Debbie
dreamstreamr odyssey™
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©2007-2014 Dreamstreamr