Archive for the ‘repairs’ Tag

03-9-2016 Journal – Return to the Garden!   Leave a comment

It’s 4am and my insomnia has me sitting in a comfortable chair, drinking a hot coffee, and reading one of my favorite authors, John Sanford, and enjoying his finest character, Lucas Davenport. The Prey series is 25 novels that are as well written as any I’ve ever read. If you like murder mysteries you should pick up some of these and just sit back and enjoy.

For the first time I finally have the complete series on my Kindle and I’m reading them in the order they were written. It’s now 730am and I just finished "Certain Prey", book number 10 in the series. I’m still not sleepy but I think it might be the four cups of coffee I’ve already had today. I’ll read one chapter of the next book “Easy Prey” and then I’ll get my day started.

The weather forecast is for warmer than usual temps with some sunshine thrown in for good measure. I’ll be outside in the garden shortly to begin the winter cleanup of my garden. I need to repair some minor damage to the fence which I caused last Fall and then a remodel of the frames surrounding the rhubarb patch.

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‘Remove the old frame.’

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‘Discard the old wood.’

I made my first Lowe’s trip for 2016 yesterday to pickup some pressure treated lumber. This was the first of many more trips I’m anticipating.  I ‘ll take a few photos today just to begin the documentation of  the garden for this year. I keep good records of all of my mistakes and failures so I never repeat them again accidently.

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‘Replace with the new lumber.’

It’s now 900am and my main chore has been completed. I tore out the old nasty lumber, expanded the rhubarb area , and rebuilt it with new PT lumber.  The job was much easier than expected because I happily discovered that the ground had thawed during the last few weeks of warmer weather. Hooray for me.

I know I’m jumping the gun a little with this garden work but it just feels so good to breath some fresh air and to get my hands a little dirty.

04-18-2015 Journal – Lawn Tractors & Cuss Words!   Leave a comment

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I decided to do that one big job I had scheduled for today before I blogged anything.  That may have been a huge mistake.  I’ve been putting off doing some repair work to my lawn tractor that  still refuses to start.  I knew it would be a frustration for me because I hate doing things mechanical.  The only mechanical person in my entire  family was my late father who maintained a large float-glass factory for PPG for more than forty years.  He knew everything about machines and he taught me only enough to get me into trouble.  He also over the years taught me how to really and truly cuss.  I was never aware of how many cuss words could be strung together until I worked with him on a few of his projects.

Pop was a professional  cusser and damn proud of it.  I ‘m more like him than I care to admit and if  today was any example I may be better now than he was then.  This effing tractor is driving me insane.  I  was tempted today to just drive it out into the middle of the back yard, douse it with gasoline, and a have a freaking bonfire.

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After I thought about it a while I decided that doing that would then turn into something else entirely. With my luck some A-Hole from the town might ride by, check to see if I had a burn permit, and then call the cops when they found out I didn’t.  Then the cops would have appeared and issued me a citation which would have sent me right over the edge. That combined with my pissed off attitude over this tractor would have assured me of a ride to the county jail for some sort of disorderly conduct charge.  I know for a fact I’d have used a lot of those good old cuss words my father taught me and then the cop would have cuffed me and dragged me away.

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If all that had actually occurred it would have cost me a few hundred dollars in fines, a few hours in the jail, and a somewhat questionable relationship with the local police.  Then I would have come home and the real punishment would have started.  I’d have heard each and every one of my father’s favorite cuss words all over again from my petit but really loud better-half. Nothing on earth is worth sitting through that tirade.

With my common sense keeping me from a trip to the jail I ended up saving a few hundred dollars today.  Now if I take that money and hire a real mechanic to fix this damn tractor I just might break even. 

It’s funny how things just keep snowballing along whether we like it or not.

04-13-15 Journal – So It Begins for 2015!   Leave a comment

My bout with Spring Fever continues  at a clip.  It happens like this every year and every year I tell myself I’ll keep things under control. I’m afraid this will be the year that convinces me I don’t have a prayer of keeping things under control.  I will probably continue to overwork and overspend like I do every Spring. 

Yesterday the sun came out, the air was warm, and I was fired up after a few cups of ever-so-strong coffee. It was time to get out the old jeans and boots and get down and dirty in the garden.  As I do every Spring I begin my chores in my herb garden.  Pulling out those dead plants that didn’t survive the Winter, cleaning up debris, and preparing the soil for replanting.  It appears that my normal winter losses were much less this year than in the past. Having that three feet of snow cover for most of the winter offered the plants a great deal of protection.

It felt good to be outside working and after a couple of hours I had a huge amount of dead plants and debris to dispose of.  I had lunch and then decided to just keep on going.  I use cold frames in the Spring to start a lot of plants to help increase the length of the short growing season. I’ve discovered over the last few years that certain plants like jalapeños will produce almost twice as much due in a large part to those three extra weeks spent in the cold frames.

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‘This one lasted five years but is now on it’s way to the bonfire.’

One of my older cold frames was badly damaged by the heavy snow this year.  It was crushed under the weight of the snow which completely shattered the glass cover. I was forced to remove it from the garden and discard it.  Then it was off to Lowe’s to purchase some pressure treated lumber and hardware so I could begin construction of a new cold frame.

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‘The required hole was dug and I was ready for installation.’

An hour later I had the cold frame completed and installed and with just a little landscaping and digging to finish the job. I was pleased with the results and I look forward to at least a minimum of five years of use.

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“Ready for the plants.’

Another hour of cleaning the other parts of the garden and I was getting tired.  It was time to take a hot shower, pour myself a brandy, and relax on the deck.  The cat and I got seriously lazy awaiting  the arrival of my better-half from work. 

It was a great start for 2015 but a lot of work remains to be done.  I’m really looking forward to getting the garden  preparation completed and to begin planting.  If today was was any indication I know one thing for certain, I’m going to be more than a little sore in the morning.

I may need to restock my Tylenol supply very soon.

04-06-2015 Journal – One of Those Days!   Leave a comment

I’m posting late today because it’s just been one of “those” days.  I had the day planned out and thought I’d be free and clear of all my chores before noon.  Boy was I ever mistaken.

You need to understand one important thing when you listen to me whine about my day.  I may be the clumsiest person you’ve ever heard about.  I walk into things, fall over things, slip and fall on ice, and also slip and fall on dry pavement.  It’s a curse but after so many years I’ve made a number of adjustments in my behavior to protect myself.  I forgot to pay attention today and the day was one damn thing after another.

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I planned on changing the oil in my lawn tractor today and after reading the users manual I was filled with confidence and sure it would be an easy fix. I entered my work area and fired up the mower to pull it outside. Who forgot that a large window was leaning against the front of the mower.  I traveled no more than six inches when I heard the loud crash.  Glass everywhere and that special window I’d been saving for more than a year for another project was destroyed.  Ten wasted minutes doing the cleanup and I suffered only a minor cut on my hand which bled for twenty minutes.

Back to the mower.  I jumped back on to move it outside the house and the stupid thing wouldn’t start.  I was forced to push the damn thing out of the shop and ended up tearing the leg of my jeans on a protruding screw. I then was on my hands and knees under a workbench looking for a can of oil and as  I grabbed the can and stood up I hit the top of my head on the workbench. Nothing serious, I saw a few stars and continued on. That kind of thing doesn’t bother me at all any more. It happens all the time.   Swearing at the top of my lungs I quickly stood up and discovered the lid on the oil container hadn’t been tightened and I spilled oil all over my shirt, on the work bench, and onto the floor.  Twenty more minutes to clean up that mess and I was ready to begin actual work on the mower.

Now it’s noon time and I haven’t accomplished much of anything.  At one in the afternoon I finished the oil change without further incident.  I was intending to replace a damaged part on the grass collection system and after two additional minor cuts, a sore finger pinched by a pair of dangerous pliers, I had the old piece removed and the new piece installed.

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All in all my day was a total waste of time.  I never was able to get the damn mower restarted because I came to find out the battery needs replacing.  Off to Lowe’s to drop another $40.00 bucks on a new freaking battery,  a quick stop at Rite-Aid for more band aids, and a third stop for an emergency bottle of brandy.

Tomorrow is another day and I’ll try again to accomplish something that won’t require bandages or hospital visits.  I can deal with a minor blood loss but anything more serious than that will just piss me off all the more.

So I ‘m posting late this evening and it’s a miracle I didn’t trip over something while walking over to the computer and break a bone or two.

Wish me luck.