Featured Image - Hodge Podge of family updates

Hodge Podge of updates: Hatch Cover, Applesauce Recipe, Next Project, Kids in Nature…

We were hoping this week to have finished the design on our new bank of batteries for the boats House Bank.  This is going to be a large amp hour bank to support the 3.5K inverter as well as all of the expected use we have on board.  We are going to start small (maybe 430 amp hours, expecting to go to 860 fairly quickly however will do our series on the smaller bank as the concepts will all be the same.

It has just been a crazy week personally so we didn’t have time to dig into any kind of project for more than a few hours here or there.

First update has to do with our wonderful boat neighbor Betty.  She stopped by the other day for a visit and when she was boarding the boat she noticed our companion way hatch cover had a tear in it where the corner of the cover has caught the companionway slide a few too many times and started to tear it.  She offered to take it and do the repair on it.  I am always amazed by the kindness of others and Betty is one of those kind of folks.  Speaking of Boat neighbors, one of the other live aboard couples in the marina had some visitors on their boat this week and each evening would bring out some folding chairs and sit around a little “chiminea” fire pit on a small grass patch near our slips.  Chasity and I joined a couple of those evenings and just relaxed talking story which is always fun.

We also made a bit of one of our favorite snacks to have on board, which is homemade applesauce.  The good thing about this is that you can choose what goes into it.  We do it with no sugar and keep it very cold, and then serve it in small containers that we can store in the freezer for about 20 minutes prior to serving and it makes a great ice cream substitute when we are craving that.

Our recipe is simple

about 6-8 apples (any variety seems to work, I like Granny smiths, but have used just about any kind I could get.  You will also need about a teaspoon or 2 of cinnamon (to taste)

Peel, core and cut the apples into small 1” sized chucks or so. (You can leave the peels on if you prefer to increase the fiber intake, but I don’t care for that much)
Put these pieces on a pan or skillet on low.

 I cover them and add just a few tablespoons of water to keep them from getting browned.  Cook on low until soft.  Add Cinnamon to taste while heating up

Blend together to the consistency you like.  Here is a photo of the blended apples to a pretty smooth consistency.  You can also do this and leave them raw without cooking them and they have a bit more crunch.  The other things I have done is mixed the cooked and raw apples in the blending process so you have a variety of textures when eating it.  We store ours at room temperature overnight before putting them into the fridge to keep from raising the temperature in the fridge and making it draw more power.
We saw a cool posting online in the town near us that they were doing a free art class in the wood at a nature preserve.  I know Chasity likes art so we asked her about it and she wanted to go.  It was really pretty cool.  There were about 10 kids or so aged 8-14 and an art teacher that brought all of the supplies and held about a 2 hours session.

They made their own paper, and some of the kids made wire forms and then paper mache’d over it

While Chasity was in the class, Deb and I took McKinley for a walk in the preserve, which had a bunch of nature trails and stuff like that.  She was intrigued mainly with the stones and pebbles she kept finding on the trail.
This week I finally broke down and bought the Rode Mic that I had been wanting for our videos as well.  I am still working on getting the volume and what not balanced depending on what is being recorded, but it did a great job of catching the sounds from the art teacher and isolating the sound near where I was filming.  This is a shotgun mic so it is very directional.  I was about 30 yards from the instructor, with about 3 people sitting 10 feet to my side talking.  When I aimed the mic toward the teacher and what I was filming, it picked them up really well.  So far, I am very pleased, but still working on how best to keep the audio at a constant level when switching between distance, and close up shooting.
I did a quick video on the topics from this weeks tasks, and added a few funny moments that I saw we had on film as well at the end of the video.  I usually do most of the filming, but Deb was holding the camera and getting video of me and McKinlee walking on the trails, and of course caught me tripping and about busting my tail.
Safe sailing and the next post will likely be focused on the design and research for a new and more efficient house bank of batteries, including modernizing the old Battery combiner switch that has the off, 1, 2 and both settings.  Technology can really help in this area and I will be leveraging some of that in the design.  They options are inexpensive and tremendous value.

If you are receiving this blog via email or on a device that won’t play the embedded video, click this link for the video directly on Youtube.  The link is https://youtu.be/RfjdQULXtPY

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