Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ya Gotta Be Tough

Last Tuesday (I think it was . . . that was so long ago), we had the day of terrific winds when everything that wasn't battened down ended up somewhere in Canada.

We always worry about our solar panels on top of the tracker pole out in the field when high winds are howling.  We've been having some trouble with the connections out there and have been waiting for our solar energy guru guy to stop by and check out the situation the next time he's working in our area.

Looking out at the panels during the windstorm, we saw some temporary repairs Papa Pea had made weren't holding and the whole grid on which the panels are mounted was wobbling.  Wobbling was not a good thing.

So my intrepid homesteader husband suited up and bravely went out in the 56 mph gusting winds with a wind chill factor of 20 below zero to make sure we didn't lose the whole kit 'n caboodle.


Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work I go.


Ladder's too short?


Good thing he brought the big extension ladder.


Hope he also brought the right tools.


Whoa, that was a big gust of wind!


He did all he could do.


Having experienced all the fresh air he wanted, he returned to the warmth and safety of the house.  As fast as he could.  Whew!

27 comments:

Tombstone Livestock said...

Thst's one of the problems of being self sufficient, got to get out and make repairs yourself instead of calling the utility company, good thing Papa Pea doesn't mind climbing a ladder in the wind and doing repairs, think you need to buy him a safety harness so he doens't blow off the ladder.

tpals said...

Brrrr. That is a brave man.

nancy said...

I've never seen one that TALL for a home!

Akannie said...

...and people think this homesteading stuff is all fresh eggs and rainbows...lol

Sparkless said...

Man that is one brave man. And why were you not out there holding the ladder for him? I guess taking pictures to document is good too.

Mama Pea said...

Tombstone Livestock - We've tried to be self-sufficient (to the extent we can) for so many years that we don't even think of calling a professional for help unless we're in over our heads. (Or planted head-first in the snow under a ladder!) Thankfully, it's not too many times one has to climb a ladder outside in those not-nice conditions.

Mama Pea said...

tpals - I never cease to marvel at what he can do (or will attempt to do), because he didn't have a male role model in his life who taught him any of these things.

Mama Pea said...

Well, our little homestead is carved out of the woods and we're surrounded by very tall trees so we needed to get up fairly high to catch as many of the sun's rays (at all times of the year) as we could.

Mama Pea said...

Akannie - Yep. But unless you've "been there" it's hard to imagine all the hard work that goes into making those fresh eggs. And when you stop to look at the rainbow, you're probably standing in manure, drenched in sweat from physical labor, sunburned and have a couple of new blisters on your hands! But it's all worth it, isn't it?

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Hey, somebody had to be the documenter! (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.) Hee-hee. And the thought of losing the solar panels to the wind made him very brave! And careful.

Erin said...

I'm laughing getting a visual of you inside a warm and toasty house documenting it all on camera! Glad he got it secured.

Katidids said...

Oh my gosh..that would be Fr.Fix-It..."Well, I had to fix it or loose it" All thei while my heart would be somewhere around my toes till he came down..What a blood pressure check!

Mama Pea said...

Erin - Well, the way I figured it, I stayed inside for HIS safety. I mean if we had both been out there and he had fallen off the ladder on top of me or we'd both been instantly frozen by that horrible wind, who could call for help? (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Mama Pea said...

Katidids - I was more worried about him getting frostbite than falling off the ladder. I wanted him to put on a full face mask but he said he wouldn't be able to see well enough to get the job done then. But believe me, he made a pretty speedy trip of it! No dawdling out there in that weather. (Luckily, he's never been bothered by heights so that wasn't an issue. Well, except for the gusts of wind that about blew him over.)

Simply Scaife Family said...

Wow..I would not be on a ladder in a windstorm..no way. That man is awesome!

LindaCO said...

Tough indeed! Intrepid, stalwart, fortitude-ridden, even. Hope the repair held and the solar panels are OK.

Mama Pea said...

Simply Scaife Family - He just knew he'd be mad at himself for-EVER if the whole unit holding the solar panels came crashing down. The grid holding the panels can take 20 of them. We only have 10 mounted (which is about half of what we need and would like to have) because of the cost of the other ten. If we had lost those first ten, it would have been very upsetting!

Mama Pea said...

LindaCO - Yep, all seems to be holding okay. Not only was the whole thing wobbling, but there were some wires that somehow (the wind?) got tangled and he was afraid they were going to get pinched and damaged. But I think we've got things under control now until our expert solar guy gets here.

FNT Web School said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carolyn said...

Tough, indeed.

Or is it just "nuts"?

Or how about "Tough as Nuts"? :)

Lisa said...

Wow, is all I can say. Ya' know Mama Pea, your 'documenting' days like this in yours and your husband's life, is one of the reasons I enjoy your blog, (and your friendship!), so much as I love learning about how you hardy Minnesota folks 'live'. I agree with Akannie's comment, 'it's not all fresh eggs and rainbows' and we don't homestead near as much at the levels as most of your readers, but have been a part of this lifestyle long enough to understand it's a lot of diy hard work; yet, somehow, the end result is always worth it, even if it's just a pretty sunset after a sweaty garden day. Thank you for sharing and hope all is well your way today.

Susan said...

So, what are you going to do when you retire? It's really something that you two forged a life for yourself outside the mainstream. This homesteading life sure ain't for sissies. Wind, I think, is the worst! Hope Papa Pea's repairs held - and thank goodness you were there, lending support, documenting his brave deeds, and making sure CM would retain one parent - just in case PP blew to OZ....

Mama Pea said...

Carolyn - All of the above. ;o}

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - Awww, you're so sweet! The thing with the self-sufficiency is that it's such a good feeling knowing that come he** or high water, we have a chance of taking care of ourselves. Talk about a form of insurance that is worth something! When I realize how many people can barely change a light bulb in their houses, let alone do any real repairs, it's scary. What about people today who (literally!) don't know how to cook if it doesn't involve placing a frozen dinner in the microwave? The feeling of being able to care for your own is soooo worth it! Hugs.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Of course, there are people who think we are nuts for living the way we do. Wouldn't we rather go on a cruise? How 'bout a long weekend in Las Vegas? Don't we want to go south for the winter months? No, no and no. We're right where we want to be doing what we want to be doing. The only thing with "retirement" is that it gives us so much more time to work hard! ;o}

gld said...

Looks like that pole should have had some side struts for support?

You need to get it stabilized before you get too old to climb that ladder (like we are!).

We are not self-sufficient when it comes to power but sure try to be when it comes to food.

You all be careful out there.

Mama Pea said...

gld - Ha! Now that I look back at the pictures, it does look like the pole is leaning! But rest assured, it's not. It's firmly "planted" and levelly (a word?) upright. It was the grid work holding the panels that was coming loose from the pole.

You and your hubby do a darn good job of being self-sufficient in raising your food. Wouldn't it be wonderful is more people could/would do that?