Friday, May 29, 2009

Sydney the Australian Cattle Dog

Well, we thought we were busy enough the few days we have left before we fly out, but when opportunity knocks you have to answer! A few months ago Emily and I thought about the possibility of bringing a dog to Africa with us. I was really interested in a breed called an Australian Cattle Dog because they are great natural herders - so in addition to being a dog, which is already awesome, these can "earn their keep" a little by helping out when we start our farming project and have animals to watch.

We contacted a rescue society for this kind of dog, but then we gave up on the idea when we saw how expensive it is to check a dog on an international flight! Driving to the dentist yesterday, Emily spotted a sign saying that a family near us had Aus. Cattle Dog pups for sale! We talked about it, and in the intervening time I had learned that a couple of dogs per flight can be brought as carry-on luggage for a lot less money. So, we called Delta to find out if either of the two spaces was still available on our flight, and there was one left!

So we headed to Walmart to get a pet carrier and some basics, then to the family's house, and picked out our new pup, Sydney!

Here she is looking at her adopted mom for the week, our family's golden retreiver Anna. (Click here for the bigger version)

The flight over is going to be a rough 10 hours I'm sure, but I think we can manage it as long as we can get her to stop crying in the night, but she seems to be assimilating well, so I think we'll be able to manage it. Then, we'll get her to Africa where she can romp around and chase animals to her heart's content!

Very exciting!

She does seem to be a little confused about the fact that not every dog is available to nurse, but she does drink regular milk and eat food once she's given up on Anna, so at least that's good. :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dun da da dun dun da dun!!!

Finished late last night, it's putting out good voltage and spinning well in a gentle breeze! Today, it will get taken back apart and put in the crate to make it's African debut in mid July. Exciting! So gorgeous... :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

All dressed up and no place to go...

Well, the windmill body is put together and painted (with a paint gun from Gram and Gramp Atkins to take to Africa, thank you very much!)... the powerful magnet plates also got a couple of coats of some hard enamel paint... and if everything is dry this morning, the windmill will be put together by noon, and in the crate to leave by the end of the day! Oh yeah, and I also need to call 100 churches today to see if we can speak some more places. Stand by for more pictures!

The windmill body on it's "paint stand".

The magnet plate sitting on the cement column I used as a paint stand. Does this color say "danger, if you let your finger get between two of these, you won't have a finger anymore"?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Today is the day!

After months and months of researching and working, today looks like it is shaping up to be the day! The day of the first assembled windmill! We've had some windmill blades in testing, spinning away in the back yard for the last six months, but not generating any power. Today I'm hoping to finish and assemble the first prototype that will actually be generating power! Unfortunately, tomorrow it will be taken apart to send over to Africa - but even though I won't be able to play with it right away, having it go to Africa is exciting in its own way as well.

Wish me luck and check back for pictures tomorrow!!