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.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Just posting dog pics

In the order they're posted-Hank, Austin,Ace, Copper & Jack. Figured I's share pics of the boys since I've only ever posted Hank on here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Coffee, metal, and random babble

Today was a pretty good day for a lazy holiday. Lisa made a big dinner, like she does on every holiday, and the kids came over to eat. We had both a ham AND a turkey, (her son doesnt care for ham), fresh roll, mashed potato's, corn,stuffing, and for dessert, brownies with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Yep....I'm one FULL guy, but I'll be digging out more to snack on later, lol. What can I say? I'm 6'3 and 220ish, I can pack away some food! hahaha Lisa and her daughter went to her sisters after dinner, her son had to work, (hard to believe they have bowling tournaments on Easter sunday), and I opted to stay home. I love Lisa's family, but I would be the only guy there among her, her daughter, mother, 2 sisters, and neice. I promised to do the dinner dishes, so I was off the hook, LOL.

I did the dishes, went out and covered the chicken tractor where the peeps are, checked everyones water, and headed for my little basement retreat. I sat with a fresh cup of coffee and went through the local craigsist.....drat, nothing today. Yesterday I met someone and got a freebie Coleman inflatable matress. It just has a minor pinhole somewhere and he didnt feel like repairing it. That will be one of the next rainy day projects. That makes 2 of them I have, which is perfect since someone is sharing our tent with us on our weekend trip this year. I planned to start re-skirting the spinnerbaits, but decided to read a bit and write here instead. I've got some Plasmatics playing, (stop rolling your eyes Lisa, lol) fresh coffee, a good pipe of black cavendish, and feelin' pretty relaxed.

The new chicks are all outside now since I made the new run for the other young birds. The 3 barred rocks are bigger than the other 2, so they went out first yesterday. It's warm during the day, but still chilly at night, so I covered the tractor, put in a heat lamp, and rigged up a door to keep them inside. They got through the night just fine, so today I put the Buff and the NH Red out there with them. The 3 older birds were a bit bitchy and looked at them funny, but they are getting along fine. The one Barred is doing the same thing she did inside the house, sitting on top of the waterer, lol silly bird. I took pictures of them all today, but I didnt get to upload them before Lisa left earlier. She wanted to show her mom the chickens. Some people show up with pics of their kids, their flowers, some exotic bird they saw at the feeder......not us, LOL, chickens and dogs.

This week I have quite a few things I want to get done outside, weather permitting of course. The lowboy needs a hose replaced, I have more soil to move into the cold frame, (which will be another herb garden this summer), I want to get the garden tilled and leveled out, I need to fix the fuel leak on the John Deere, fix it's flat tire, put the mowing deck back on, and possible get a battery for it. The garage is going to be a BIG project, it's a mess. I need to get it all cleaned out, put away the tools I have scattered all over, get both tractors in, and still make room for straw bales. I found someone who is only 20 minutes away with straw for $3.50 a bale. It's $7.50 at the garden center and $6 at the feed store, so thats a great price. Hopefully soon I can get 6 or 8 bales from them.Since it's almost that time of year, I have to get a bag of cement and fix the one clothesline pole that somehow never got tight. The strawberries need cleaned out and mulched, the arbor for the grapes needs built, the brush pile needs ran through the chipper I'm borrowing from the neighbor,Lisa's garden pond needs cleaned and put back I SURE this is only an acre?

If I can get either one of the tractors going, I'll need the trailer cleaned out so I can get the trash out of the mud room at Lisa's sewing room to the street, then pick up all the sticks and branches from the yard. (oh yea, more for the chipper) I have to fix or replace the kitchen faucet too, that should be a hoot. Whoever did the plumbing in this house shouldn't have been allowed to run more than a garden hose. I've fixed pipes that were held by bent nails, wire staples, and even a hibachi grill that was jammed over a square heating duct to hold it in place.(no kidding) Some people should never be allowed to do work on a house. I sware, some tools should come with a competncy test!! ( I won't even mention the copper twisted maze I spent 2 days fixing in the basement bathroom a few years ago.) Anyway...the kitchen sink was straight piped and sweated in copper all the way to the top. No flex pipe, no fittings, just straight 1/2 inch copper from the shutoff vales, which are in the BASEMENT rather than under the sink where they should be, arrghhh.
Ah well; I'm thinkin' its time for a turkey sandwich...........................

Happy Easter

Hope everyone's had a great day, I spent mine at a peep show!

Blog Archive