Monday we took my sister to Smith Rock State Park and the Crooked River Gorge. Tuesday we took a little longer drive and went treasure hunting at the Maury Mountain Agate Beds and had a nice picnic. Wednesday we had a couple of appointments from our weekend Home & Garden Show so we couldn't really go anywhere.
Tuesday evening we decided to redo the macarons. Somehow with two people working together it was a lot easier. It was definitely more fun!
Our first appointment Wednesday was with a solar company. I was very excited about this appointment as I was hoping to do something good for the environment. I was hoping to save some money since there really is a lot of sun in Central Oregon. I really thought it would be fun to be able to say our electric meter was running backwards!
After the man gave us his spiel and left my sister and I sat down to crunch the numbers. Using his figures we were sorely disappointed to figure out that at this point in time it is not financially worthwhile for us to put solar panels on our roof. To make a long story short we would be gaining approximately $350/year but paying out $350/month for five years to pay for the panels. When the guy looked at our utility bill and said we would never make enough electricity to pay for an entire month (in winter) of electric I started thinking it wasn't going to work. And after we did the numbers a couple of times I realized the most we could make was $30 off per month with the minimum package. If we did buy enough panels to make the meter run backwards we worked out that it would take us 50 years to start breaking even!
I think we'll wait until solar becomes much less expensive before we do it. At our age that may be never!
In any case the solar guy kept eying our macarons on the counter while he was giving his spiel. Finally he couldn't take it any longer and asked about them. My sister graciously offered him one after previously making a new pot of coffee for him.
About three hours later it was another salesman's turn. He was from the Filter Queen air cleaner and vacuum cleaner set. He was a very nice young man and I was more impressed with his sales pitch. An hour and a half later we promised him when we had an extra $3000 we would buy his system. Honestly, I was sincere about that!!!
We ended up sending him off with a macaron too. And if we win the $20,000 raffle sponsored by his company I swear the first $3,000 will be spent on the Filter Queen air cleaner and vacuum cleaner!
Then my sister and I decided to play Food Stylist and play with the macarons a bit. She made a chocolate sauce and we drizzled it over the macarons. I have to admit, chocolate did not hurt them at all. ;-)
Yummy! Needless to say they didn't last very long.
One day while we were sitting and admiring the view we suddenly saw a hummingbird whiz by. I found a feeder in the garage and my sister made some hummingbird food real quick. We filled the feeder and hung it up on the eaves.
Since then there have been several hummingbirds feeding from the feeder. I found another feeder and I'll be hanging it up soon. I'll put them in a sunny spot so we can see the colors on the birds. Hooray for hummers!
One of the greatest things was that my sister brought me some citrus trees. I had mentioned a long time ago that if we ever moved I would have an orangery.
So my sister helped me to make that happen. First by bringing me three citrus trees: a Meyer lemon, a Naranja orange; and a Bears lime.
Obviously Central Oregon is not a citrus haven. Just prior to my sister's arrival I put four cattle panel over the greenhouse pit that I was originally going to make a tack room. Together she and I draped several plastic painting drop cloths overtop.
It worked quite well to a certain degree. We put our temperature guage inside and it gets rather warm during the day. It's actually reached 108°. This is now what I call my "hot room". I got cold the other day and took a book and sat in the chair and read for a while. It warmed me up just fine. I felt like I was back in CA! The problem is at night.
|front of greenhouse|
|back side of greenhouse|
I tried putting my chicken warmer light inside but it's not enough to keep the tempurature above freezing at night. It's probably just too big of an area (12' X 16') for that one light.
So until we get that figured out we continue to bring the trees and veggies in and out of the house garage in the morning and evening.
One thing I am not concerned about is pollinators. There are tons of them around. There is a strange bush/tree next to the greenhouse and it is currently in bloom. We don't know what it is yet but it is constantly humming with bees, bumblebees, and other pollinators.
We are still trying to figure out what kind of bush/tree this is. I've ruled out Scotch broom because I don't think the leaves or branches match and it is about 20 feet tall.
And then I took my sister on a ride around the property perimeter. She rode Flora and I rode Star.
Have you ever heard the saying that goes: A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work? Well it was kind of like that. Even though she was riding the pony and it was a bit windy (not ideal for horseback riding) it was a good ride.
She left early the next morning. I tried not to cry.