Saturday, December 25, 2021

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 66

 Saturday, December 25, 2021, La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 17

The Puzzles

Merry Christmas!

A cooler night at 46°F, made even cooler since the + wire going to my thermostat popped out of the connection, shutting down the furnace. I was fine under the blankets, but when my 7:00AM eye drop alarm went off I noticed that the display on the thermostat was off & the temperature at the head of the bed was 51°F. I reconnected the wire & the heat was back on.

A quiet walk for coffee this morning. Traffic on I 10 (which I cross using the US 95 bridge) was much less than normal. The clerk at the 76 was dressed as Santa, but, unlike a couple of years ago, was not giving away the coffee; $1.53 this morning.

A cloudy, but less windy morning - I thought about putting the longer legs back on the portable solar panel frame which gives it a better angle on the sun, but after going outside, discovered that while there is less wind than yesterday, at 12MPH is is still enough that the shorter legs make more sense. I do need to come up with a method of attaching the outer edges of the panel to the frame. I wish the manufacturer left a wider margin around the outside of the panels; even better, a couple of eyelets. The unit is made up of 4 panels with a 1/2" cloth "hinge" between them and a 1/4" border around the outside. I can shorten the horizontal frame pieces, which would prevent the panel ends from blowing backwards, but still need a way to prevent them from blowing forward (when they do that the outer panels fold over the inner panels, shutting the entire thing down.) 

Around 1:30 I made a bunch of Merry Christmas calls, including a Skype connection that worked well to my grandkids currently at their other grandmother's on Long Island - Oceanside, NY. I opened the presents for my daughter & family - lots of snacks and puzzles including two of the Hanayama cast puzzles that drive me crazy. I also got a 300 piece jigsaw puzzle. I'll have to find a piece of cardboard large enough to assemble it since the only table in the trailer is also my dining table.

Dinner will be early - a pot roast cooked in the Instant Pot. I plan for it around 3:00. I used the saute mode to brown the 1 pound chuck roast for about 10 minutes, then pressure cooked it along with onions, carrots & potatoes for 30 minutes. Used a total of 6 amp hours from the batteries, and one or two directly from the solar panels. I've used the Instant Pot for a bunch of pressure cooked meals & it works well with the inverter. A larger one might be a problem, but this one is a 3 quart version and only draws 700 watts at full load. When pressure cooking, the heating element is only on for 10 - 20 seconds every 3-5 minutes. The biggest problem is getting rid of the left over liquid. I sacrificed a plastic storage container.

As to the pot roast, an excellent piece of chuck from the Coyote Grocery Store. I probably could have added another 10 minutes to make the beef a bit more tender, but that would have overcooked the carrots & potatoes. Since dinner was early, I'll probably snack a bit before bed.

Until Tomorrow - 

1 comment:

  1. Merry Christmas Jon.
    I certainly have enjoyed your blog this year. We will be out there near the end of January, and will certainly look you up Tom Brown, from Michigan