Friday, April 17, 2009

nice weather and a lesson learned

FINALLY, yesterday we had a break in this chilly, rainy weather and I was able to spend a day outside. Of course, this is only supposed to last a few days, then start raining again on Sunday and continue through Tuesday. Ah well, a few days is better than none.

I walked outside early yesterday to feed and water the animals. It was a bit chilly, but still a refreshing warm sun. As I walked around the corner of the dogs fence, I got the sudden smell of burning pine. It's not uncommon, some people around here have woodburners and fireplaces, so I didn't pay any attention to it. I fed and watered the rabbits first, then the hens. I walked over to the converted tractor to feed the chicks, pulled off the tarp I had covering it to retain heat for them, and discovered what that pine smell was......

Yep.....the smell of burning pine was the door frame of the chicken tractor. Apparantly the clamp on heat lamp had shifted and the bulb was right against the wood. Luckily it didn't catch on fire, wow. Sooooooooo........lesson learned for the day? NEVER under estimate what those heat lamps can do!

After I sat down and finished my coffee in a lawn chair, slowly getting over the stroke I had after discovering the little burning mess, I decided it was time to clean out the garage, finally. I pulled out the big metal frame on wheels that was the temporary winter coop, and took it apart. Some of the wood can be scavenged and kept for future projects, and some is going straight to the scrap/burn pile. My friend tammie is coming to look at the frame for possible use as an additional rabbit cage, and she's probably taking most of the scrap lumber to use in their woodburner. Woohoo, there's 2 things out of my way!
I spent the rest of the day putting away tools that were scattered all over the garage, and gathering some things to sell. We have to make a few extra bucks somewhere, and I have things out there that I just don't use, so why not. A few dollars in my pocket and less clutter in the for me.
As I got closer to the back of the garage, I pulled out the tiller. I brought it outside, wiped off the coating of sawdust and chicken feathers, checked the oil, and filled the gas tank. Gas-On, Choke-On.....she fired right up on the second pull. THAT'S a piece of fine machinery. If I still had the old Craftsman, I would have been out there tearing the carb apart by now to get it running, but since I spent the money a few years ago and bought a good Troybuilt, it started without hesitation. I refuse to use second-rate equiptment anymore, I just don't see the point. I had Craftsman mowers at the same time I had one of their tillers, and they're just JUNK. I had 3 of their mowers in the first 3 years we lived here. One blew the motor, one had the rear end go out, and the 3rd had the mowing deck rust apart. It was after I bought the Troybuilt tiller, and I wanted a good mower, so we went to a dealer and bought a John Deere. I sware by their lawn tractors, my dad ran a 1969 110 series Deere till around '96 when the rear end finally gave out. Rather than buy a $700 replacement, they just got a new one after they ran the Lowboy that I have for 4 years. My chainsaws are Poulan and Skil, my tractors are John Deere and International, and the tiller is a Troybuilt. You'll never see a Murray/Craftsman product here again, not no way, not no how. (and you can't see the wizard either! lol)
Today I'm hoping to finish the garage cleanout and get everything organized again. I dispise a messy garage, and I let it go all winter since the chickens were in there. I'm finding things I forgot I had during this cleaning, so some are going up for sale, and others are being put away where they belong. I found 3 tackleboxes that I thought were long lost, and 2 more bass rods that were somehow mixed in with the stash of replacement garden tool handles. Woohoo treasure! (as my Lisa would say) I'll wrestle with the Lowboy a bit more today too. We'll probably growl and curse at each other, but it WILL start, whether it wants to or not.....grumpy 'ole thing. You can sure tell it was my dads, they're just alike, lol. The JD has a flat front tire that needs fixed, so I'll try to get to that too, as well as put the mowing deck back on it and open up even MORE work bench space.
I found more camping gear out there too, which will go down here in my prep room. Two more Coleman lanterns, lol, imagine that. That takes me to FIVE white fuel lanterns, THREE propane lanterns, plus the 15+ oil lamps we have throughout the house. Emergency lighting in something I will definitly not have to worry about! I found the other Coleman heater, so that makes two, and the other dome tent as well. That makes two 4-man tents and the 12-man I got for christmas last year. I'd say I'm pretty well set on camping gear. I found a soft-side tackle box with lots of zipper pockets that I forgot I had, and I plan on making that the new car emergency bag. I still want to find either an a.l.i.c.e. pack or a good metal framed backpack for my own bag, but that has to wait with everything else thanks to this layoff. I just may put that as a possible trade when I post the garage items for sale on Craigslist today.....who knows.


Melonie said...

I'm so glad that lamp issue didn't light everything up before you found it!

Sounds like you got a LOT done. "Woohoo, treasure!" Love it - I may borrow that phrase some time. That's great. :-)

The Coleman lanterns comment gave me a chuckle. Totally coveting your lantern/lamp "stash". Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Chris, you are without a doubt the busiest man I ever saw. Lisa picked out a good man that's for sure. Trying to fry your chicken huh? feathers and all!! Can,t beat a John Deer. We are on our 3rd one in 18 years - We rarely have problems and even Bob can fix it - they are well worth the money. We usually just trad up. We got our newest one last spring...debbie

Bitmap said...

I know someone that did start a fire that way.

Murphy is always on the lookout for a way to start trouble.

Aimee said...

We lived in the city for fifteen years, we never had need of a riding mower and I didn't know what brand to look for. We bought a Murray off Craigslist and that thing is a piece of JUNK. My husband the mechanic has to fix it more or less between every mowing. Funny he won't spring for a better brand of mower/tractor, but when it comes to hand tools it's snap-on and only snap-on.

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