Beau November 3rd, 2008
Such a busy weekend! We’re still recovering from our sugar highs after a fun Halloween week. After trick or treating we stopped by a local community center where many little games and tables were set up for the kids. It was silly, goofy, dopey and just plain fun. The young one loved it, and all the kids won prizes. Nice lead in to the weekend to get a lot of chores accomplished.
The peak of the leaf color change was a few days ago, and as quickly as the colors peaked, they are fading quickly to browns. But it was just beautiful this past week- here’s a shot of the oak trees on the north side of the pond.
The big agenda was servicing the tractor- it was due for a complete service of the engine and transmission systems. I’d never really done a lot of servicing except for oil before, but after talking with the dealer I realized I could save over $350 by doing it myself! So after getting gallons of fluids and filters, I spent the better part of Saturday on my back turning wrenches. It was kind of fun really, especially with the boy to help and learn too.
I never realized how nice it is to have someone helping, especially when you need that one particular wrench that’s just out of reach. We talked a lot about safety and why certain parts were connected like they were, and about the PTO shafts and other moving parts. I don’t know that he enjoyed it as much as I did, but hopefully he learned something. We finished up, and it felt pretty good to save so much money. I was dreading the cost, but learning a little how-to can go a long way.
It was also time to remove the mower deck from the tractor, and get it cleaned up and put away for the year. These things do a great job, but if you just let them sit they’ll rust out in a few years.
After cleaning the top side, it was time to go underneath with the scraper. After a couple of hours most of the chunks of grass, old paint and a little rust came off. Blades will need sharpened again too.
Then it was time for a fresh coat of paint to protect from rust, and voila! Almost good as new. Here’s my two helpers… one of whom figured out that after sweeping the floor it was a great place to scoot around on a skateboard!
While sitting there scraping away, I realized that it was a better job for the winter if I could heat the barn. Well, our “barn” is really more like a big equipment shed with a concrete floor, but we still call it the barn. I’ve got an old wood stove and I’m thinking of buying stove pipe and such to go through the metal roof. It’s not something you change your mind about half-way through (or after the hole is in the roof!) so I’m still mulling it over. Whatever I do I want to make sure the roof doesn’t leak… But I may just get all the materials this week while the weather’s still nice and try to get it done. Wouldn’t it be great to be out there on a cold, snowy day with a toasty-warm wood stove!?
Not to be outdone for Autumn, here’s my little bonsai maple tree. This little guy is over 4 years old now believe it or not, and that’s a petunia flower growing in the pot. My goal is to shape it like a mature tree eventually, but to keep it about this size. I had two of them, but the other one grew too fast and I didn’t keep up with it. But it’s neat to see how small some of the leaves become (they’re about the size of a nickel), and I enjoy watching it change colors in the fall. We’ll see how long I can keep it growing!