Saturday, May 1, 2010
May Day was a semi-waste. I spent four hours this morning driving to Lawrence for their big swap meet. I spent three hours strolling around the fairgrounds looking for bargains. Almost everything was modern. There was one guy who had a a lot of Model T stuff, and he knew what he had and wanted plenty for it. I was looking for T spark plugs and clincher rims, and struck out on both counts. I did see several T wheels, mostly in bad shape or for the wrong years, and mostly with no rims or the wrong rims. I finally left about noon with one Model T wrench I bought for $3. I made it home with enough afternoon left to put the roof tarps back in place after the wind disarranged a couple of them. I need to get busy on that roof soon so I can get it done and not have to bother with tarps.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
This afternoon I put the last of the tree trimmings in the truck and hauled the whole load to the north dump pile. The happy part of that is that the ground is solid enough now that I didn't get stuck.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Mowing season continues. This afternoon I mowed along the road by the west field, then mowed the road to the north dump pile. There's more to mow, but I also have to cut up a lot of branches that are still piled in the yard. Maybe I'll work on the branches tomorrow.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Today I had a roofer out to look at the flat part of the upper roof. I'll do the shingled slopes myself, but I want a pro to handle that upper flat area. He checked that, and also measured the lower flat roof on the living room. He'll mail me an estimate.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
After work this afternoon I went dog shopping at the pound. I brought home Daisy, whose previous people were overdogged and had to downsize. She had a heartworm test and wound up with a bandage on her arm, so here she's trying to get it off. When I brought her home she seemed to get along with the cats OK, so maybe they'll let her stay. We're going for a walk now.
Friday, May 7, 2010
My time for three miles this morning was rather slow (32:47) because Daisy went with me on a leash. I want to make sure she stays with me until she learns the route. When I go out to run before work it's still dark, and this morning I saw the first lightning bugs of the season. There were just a few, but in a week or two there may be a lot. Some years are better than others. Friday is my short day, and Daisy went to work with me. When we got home, she hung around while I did yard work. One of the jobs I did was mowing. Here's a video.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
After doing laundry I checked out an auction in Oxford. There were a couple of interesting items, but I didn't want to spend all day waiting for them to come up, so I came home and did yard work. I finished most of the mowing, and cut some branches to make kindling for next winter. It's been there so many years I don't remember why, but there was a hole in the east lawn that I got tired of stepping in, so I got the wheelbarrow and hauled some dirt to fill it in. One more job was to run some water in front of the house to soften the ground for weeding. Maybe I can get the weeds pulled this week and get some flowers in there.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
This afternoon I finished cutting up small branches for kindling and stacked all the pieces in the garage to dry. I'd show you a picture, but this was one of those times when my wonderful autofocus digital camera automatically shot it out of focus. The immediacy of digital photography is very convenient, but with the old SLR you could see when the image was in sharp focus and it would stay that way unless you changed it. Not all change is unmitigated progress. This was not a wonderful day for yard work. The wind blew and the temperature crawled up to about 61º. I did finish a couple of jobs that have been waiting a long time. One was fixing a leak in the water line to the toilet, and the other was fixing a dripping faucet in the shower. The forecast includes a 30% chance of showers, so I ended the afternoon spending over an hour on the roof getting tarps ready. I'll be glad when I get the roof project finished. This business of trying to fasten tarps in place and laying boards on them to try to prevent their blowing away is really getting tiresome.
Monday, May 10, 2010
The bullet just grazed my skull. A fast moving storm blew in with high winds and ripped the front tarp loose, then the rain started. I dragged the mop bucket upstairs and started mopping up the water that leaked in. But the storm was moving so fast that the rain lasted only a few minutes. As soon as it was over I got up on the roof to assess the situation. The wind had ripped the grommets out of the south end of the tarp, so I laid lath atop the edge and nailed it down. Part of the adventure was a power failure, so I ate dinner by kerosene light.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Sometime after midnight the power came back on, so I was able to set the alarm and get to work on time. After work I went back up to the roof and improved on yesterday's improvisations. Today was clear and dry, but the forecast includes good chances of rain for the next few days. If it's only rain, no problem. If there's strong wind, it could be trouble. As I was driving to work this morning, crews were working to repair power lines that had been hit by a small tornado about a mile from here. When I came home they were working on the same lines a little farther east.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
So far so good. Lots of clouds, a little drizzle, but not much wind. After the moisture ends, maybe I can fire up the WD and level off some of the rough spots in the back yard while the ground is soft. Sometimes May and early June are pretty wet, but perhaps this year we'll get a break or two.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Well, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. About one in the morning I was awakened by the noise of rain and hail on the roof. Water was dripping inside, but only at the north end, so most of the roof tarps were still in place. By the time I had mopped up the water on the floor, the rain was about over. A look at the radar showed a heavy rain cell approaching and passing, with most of it missing me. There was still a little rain when I went to work, but it was finished by six. I thought that when I got home I might do some excavating in the back yard, but when I got here I found that the power company tree trimmers had left me a lot of new firewood where they removed some trees by the west hedge. So I took the truck and brought a load of wood back to the house. I spent the last part of the afternoon rearranging tarps at the north end of the roof to eliminate the leak that I had to mop up this morning.
Friday, May 14, 2010
After getting home from my short workday I spent the afternoon moving out boxes, milk cans, fencing, wash tubs, and other miscellaneous stuff to make room in the garage for firewood. I hope that fresh wood put in there now will be dry enough to burn by the time cold weather returns. It was a bit of a surprise to find a squatter behind some of the boxes I cleaned out. This evening I broke with custom and ate in town, which I usually do on Saturdays. The reason is that mariachis were playing at La Fiesta. It was a small group with guitar, guitarrón, and two trumpets. They catered to the gringo public with Magaritaville and On the Road Again, but they also did some good old Mexican songs like Un Mundo Raro, La Golondrina, and Que Te Vaya Bonito.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
It was cloudy and just wet enough to cancel yard work, so we were inside all day. I wasted too much time net surfing, but I did get a little work done. Some of the baseboard tile in the bathroom has been coming off the wall. Most of it is OK, but on the east wall, where I had to use plywood instead of sheetrock, the tile cement hasn't stayed stuck to the wood. So today I took all the pieces of tile out and wire brushed the grout off of them. I found that the plywood behind the tile had been wet, maybe from mop water, so I'll put some caulk along the bottom before I reinstall the tile. I'll stick the tile on with hot glue and see if that holds it.
I love living far from any major population center, but it does have its costs. One is that some of the best movies never make it to the local theater. We get all the blockbusters and the noisy bombast aimed at teenage boys, but pictures made for grownups about something real often don't have the mass apeal to play in Podunk. So this evening I drove up to Wichita and ate at the highly advertised China Star (it was very good), and went to see Babies. It was worth the trip. Cameras follow the first year of babies in Namibia, Mongolia, Tokyo, and San Francisco. There's no narration. You just see what the babies and their families do. There aren't even any subtitles. You don't have to understand the words to know what's going on. Parts of the film are funny, much of it is beautiful, and some scenes are a little scary. I see an Oscar nomination here.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
After a damp morning the sky started to clear by eleven, and by the time I got back from a visit to the grocery store things were starting to dry a bit. I sanded the plywood where I have to replace the tile baseboard in the bathroom, caulked along the bottom of the plywood, and applied plastic wood to a crack. Tomorrow I'll sand the plastic wood, then I should be ready to glue on the tile. I spent the rest of the afternoon bringing in wood that the electric company crews had cut when they trimmed trees under the power lines. Here's a video of about a minute of it: Daisy Helps.
Monday, May 17, 2010
This afternoon I sanded the plastic wood that I applied to the bathroom wall yesterday. There were a couple of areas that weren't completely filled, so I applied another coat. I'll buy more sandpaper and sand it again tomorrow, then I should be ready to glue on the tiles.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The best-laid plans... I bought sandpaper, took Daisy to the vet for shots, paid a bill, and drove down to the casino to gas up the car. That pretty well shot the afternoon. Maybe I'll get that wall sanded tomorrow.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
No such luck. It turned out the disc on the sander was worn out and I don't have any new ones. The good news is that all the roof tarps are staying put so there are no leaks.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
So on the way home this afternoon I bought sanding discs and finished the sanding in a few minutes. Then I used hot glue and stuck all the tiles back in place. That leaves applying grout and painting, then I can give the room a serious cleaning.
Friday, May 21, 2010
After shopping and doing laundry I went to work on replacing the old temperamental running lights on my trailer. I spent half my time hunting tools. I found the drill, and drilled out the old rivets to remove the lights. But I never did find my rivet gun, so putting on the new lights will have to wait. It was a beautiful warm day, a welcome change from the recent cool and wet weather. Except for the front and back doors, I haven't even taken down storm windows and put up screens. With the warm weather arriving, I'll have to take care of that soon.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
I spent a full day attending an auction up in Linn County. I went to bid on a 1915 Model T touring car. It was a nice old T in good shape. The car sold for more than I was willing to spend, but about four of us fought it out for the tools and parts laid out on a trailer. I did manage to get some good deals.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Three weeks into May, actual warm weather has arrived. So my first chore of the day was taking down storm windows and putting up screens to let some breeze circulate through the house. After burning trash and emptying the garbage pail I went to work in the yard, weeding in front of the house, planting and watering flower seeds, and picking up branches scattered all over the yard by recent storms.
Monday, May 24, 2010
This afternoon I planted sweet peas in front of the house. I didn't plant them yesterday because the seeds have to soak in water for a day before planting. With the planting done, I put a wheel back on the Dixon mower after having a flat fixed. I got tired of blowing the thing up every time I wanted to mow. I did some weeding, then finished the day with folding and putting away all the sox I washed Friday.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Hmmm... Looking back at yesterday's entry shows what an exciting life I lead. Well, the fun continued today. I picked up trash along the road by the west field, getting ready to mow. The battery on the tractor was down so I couldn't get it started. I put a charger on it and went to get the little mower. Its battery was down too. So I put a charger on it, and went back to the tractor. After fifteen minutes of charging, it was able to start. I mowed along the road, west of the west drive, and down the lane to the woodlot. That left just enough time to water the planting I did yesterday and Sunday.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
One day recently I noticed that Miss Kitty was noticeably thinner than the day before, then I caught her trying to move a new offspring into the house. I put a stop to that, so she's been keeping it on the back porch. I don't know if it's a sole survivor, or the only one she had, or if there are others stashed somewhere else.
With the batteries on the mower and the tractor charged, I did more mowing with both this afternoon. I expect I'll get most of the mowing done tomorrow and Friday, then cut up the piles of wood in the yard during the cool of Saturday morning. At least that's the plan at this point.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
The best laid plans... This afternoon the skies opened up and we had a downpour, so there was no mowing today. It was over by the time I got home, so I didn't get to see where the water was leaking into the house. The floor in the northwest room upstairs was wet, and it was dripping down into the kitchen, so apparently I need to get up to the roof tomorrow and do another tarp adjustment.
Friday, May 28, 2010
I got away from work a little late, and with grocery shopping didn't get home until after eleven. I checked email then got busy on a job that's been waiting for weeks. I almost finished installing LED running lights on my trailer. The lights that came on the trailer were always temperamental and unreliable, so last month I bought replacements. I spent most of the afternoon splicing, soldering, and riveting, then backed the Suburban up to the trailer and hooked it up. The new lights worked very nicely, but there are still some wiring splices I need to solder. I ran out and will have to get more to finish up. The last chore of the day was weeding east of the house. The idea occured to me that this year, instead of planting flowers there, I may try tomato plants instead.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
This morning I got out the chain saw and cut up branches I had trimmed and piled in the yard, and had time to get most of the wood hauled in before I took off for another auction. I really didn't intend to stay long. From the advertising I thought there were only a couple of items I'd want. When I first looked at the stuff for sale that seemed right. But as the sale went on I found more. Some items sold a lot higher than I would have paid, but a lot of things went cheap. My bargains included a Model T era running board tool box with no dents for $7.50, a 3/4" socket set for $3, four cans of galvanized nails for 50¢ each, a pile of miscellaneous stuff that included several oil cans for $1, a standing drill press for $25, and two sets of Model T era reamers for $35 each. I watch for galvanized nails, especially roofing nails, at farm sales because the old ones are hot-dipped galvanized. The new ones you get at the hardware store now are electroplated and turn to rust spots in a couple of years. The two sets totaling 17 individual reamers were an especially good buy, as a single new reamer can cost $50 to $100.
The big drawback to auctions is having to buy a pile of stuff to get one item that's in it. I may have to take a year off just to sort through all the miscellaneous items that are piling up.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
This was my day to clear a lot of wood out of the yard. First I finished bringing in three piles with the wheelbarrow and stacking all in the garage, then I went to work with the chain saw and cut up all the wood that was piled in front of the garage. That last pile was all stuff that had been badly cut by electric company tree trimmers, mostly too long and with pieces of branches sticking out. I finished woodcutting in time to take a Decoration Day walk up to the cemetery to visit the oldtimers.
Monday, May 31, 2010
It was a day of catching up on a few chores. In the cool of the morning I stacked yesterday's cut-up firewood in the garage. Then I went to town and got masking tape, a paint brush, and grout for the bathroom. I masked the tile along the east wall and painted the patched and sanded area, and later added a second coat. I'll leave that to dry a day or two, then grout the seams. Next up was taking canned goods and other stuff out of one of the kitchen cabinets, cleaning, installing new shelf paper, and putting everything back in. The day's last chore was more weeding on the east side of the house. I decided that this time instead of trying to dig out all the bermuda grass, I'll leave it and spray some killer on it in hopes of killing all the roots.