Monday, January 29, 2007

Lye water

Bear and I have been discussing the issue of "stumps" and what we will have to deal with once there pulled out of the ground. We spent out first 2 year after we moved here cutting into piles of trees and stumps that the bulldozers left behind. I used to compare it to untangling a huge knot of Christmas lights. Its not going to be as bad this time. I keep reminding myself of that. First of all these trees are much smaller and will have much smaller root balls. There won't be any large heavy tree trunks to deal with because we have cut those down and chopped them into firewood already. I mentioned last night I though it might we wise to start a fire before the bulldozer gets there and start working on them as he digs them out. I guess I could go back there and count how many stumps will be pulled out. That big ash tree we cut down a couple of weeks ago is really the only big one we will have to deal with and we cut through half of its root ball when we dug the foundation by hand (And that was such a bitch. Ash tree roots are close to the surface).

I just had to wake Bear up to get ready for work. He was all pissy with me. He is a real bitch to get up in the morning. But then again so am I when I wake up in the morning. Mouse is too. Coyote iS the only morning person her and he can't understand why everyone else is in such a bad mood when they get up. I will never forget the first time I had to wake mouse up early for anything. She rolled over in her bed and punched me in the face without even opening her eyes. I think she was 4 at the time.

I don't know if Coyote is doing school work or playing on World of Warcraft. I suspect its the later. I know he already read the national geographic news page, but he still has a program on TV to watch and he is going to work on one of those English websites today. bear is supposed to be taking care of the math end of his work. I'm terrible with numbers and didn't think it was wise to teach him those. The only problem is bear is not doing it. I guess I can go over some things in my head that I can teach him. I can show him how to write a check (not sure if that's a good thing) and how to keep a check register in order and explain why that's necessary. I guess I can also show him how interest and escrow on a mortgage loan or on a credit card works.

We watched that Moon Landing Conspiracy Theory thing today and let me tell you guys. What a weak bunch of theories. I was able to point out the holes in each and every theory they came up with before the narrator pointed out the holes themselves. Coyote has learned two things from this. #1, we really did land on the moon, #2 get all of the facts before you go around spouting theories about something that someone else has told you.

My lye water experiment is going really well. I am not using the method that I have read about. I'm using my own. I fill a cleaned apple sauce jar with hardwood ashes from my fireplace and then fill the jar with water. I let it soak for 24 hours and then strain the water from the ashes. I can't use a coffee filter for this, the particles in the ashes are to small. Instead I took my large glass mixing bowl and put it in the sink, then I lined it with a thick dishrag and dumped the ashes and water and all into that. Then I gathered the ends of the rag and held them together and then squeezed the water out of the ashes by wringing them in the rag. This method worked yesterday and the day before. However yesterday the lye water was so strong it sucked a lot of the moisture out of my hands and caused my skin to pucker almost instantly (like it does when your in a bathtub for a long time) . Today is stings my skin so much that I can't handle it comfortably. I will have to get some gloves to squeeze the water out of the ashes. I recently read that if you use heat to evaporate some of the liquid in the lye water you can make it even stronger.

I found a lot of information on this website http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_ashlye.html . Whats interesting is they actually recommend that you use this type of lye for making bio diesel rather than using the kind Red Devil used to sell (sodium hydroxide). I also learned that the best type of ashes to use are the ones that are really really white. If you have lit enough fires then you know that not all ashes are equal. But I didn't find this out until day 2. it didn't seem to change the results a whole lot, but I might have gotten a stronger lye if I had only used white ashes.

2 Comments:

Blogger Redneck Nerdboy! said...

Interesting post!

The only thing I know about stumps, is that life's a whole lot easier if you just mow around 'em!

10:56 AM  
Blogger dragonfly183 said...

Ha haha ha ha.

11:54 AM  

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