No...even though that was the plan. I put the Kubota on the charger this morning, then spent the majority of the day doing something else.
The most exciting thing was cutting some plastic panels to go up in the kitchen. We replaced the old yellowed plastic cover over the florescent bulbs along the length of the kitchen ceiling.
Mama had bought some supposedly 24x24 inch panels at Lowe's last night, but they turned out a couple inches shorter than that each side. So...we went to Do it Best where they had some that only needed to be cut in half. As we walked in, I looked up to see a familiar face! "Hello, Mr. Ricky!"
While Mama went on about the shopping, I stood and talked to Mr. Ricky about cows for a few minutes. It's pretty cool to go to town and run into people you actually know...it's something of a new experience for me.
When checking out, the lady behind the counter addressed me by my first name. That too was kind of funny. I guess I've used the credit card in there enough that they know my name! :D
We got home and I cut the panels and Mama put them up. Then we went back over to our place. I attempted to crank the tractor. Nothin'. Didn't even turn over. So...I got the car, hooked it up, and tried that way. No go.
I ended up removing the battery (that was a rather interesting job--I couldn't find the right sized wrench for the longest time.) Tomorrow, I will get a new one--and hopefully, a roll of hay for my cows.
I have supper going in the kitchen...I wish that ol' HP laptop worked; that way I could cook, type, and watch 'Emergency!' all at once. :)
After getting the soup started this morning, I headed for town...first stop Beall's. I got some nice socks and some Christmas presents--it is getting to be that time of year you know.
From there I popped over to Bryan's. "I'd like to get a roll of hay; you think it will go in the back of my pick-up?" "Sure." And it did. They picked the hay up with a fork-lift and set it in the back of the truck. The suspension got visibly lower.... I got in the truck, then decided to strap the roll down. I'm actually glad I did because I felt safer like that. So I crawled around like a very non-limble creature and strapped it down.
I took the hay down the back-roads for the most part (I normally go down the non-main-highways anyway) and soon arrived at our place. Abe was in the east pasture and he watched me very carefully as I unlocked the gate. I pulled into the west side of the pasture, cut the netting off the hay, and rolled it off the back of the truck. That took a small amount of grunting; after all, that roll of hay weighs over twice as much as me. I attempted to push it over so it wasn't sitting on a rounded side, but just ended up snorting at my own foolishness. I was actually out of the pasture before Abe and his horns showed up.
I ransaked the honey house for trims that Savannah might find useful and then left--going BACK to town--this time to Smith's. I walk in there, lean on the counter, and told the lady I wanted 4 bags of pellets. "Oh, 20 or 14%." Oh boy. "I don't know what Daddy usually gets." This is where it gets funny. The owner's son, busy taking care of somebody else, with his back towards us says the following: "She gets 14."
I just laughed...then I laughed some more when I told the lady whose account to put it on and she basically said, "Duh! I should have know that....I can see the family resemblence now that you say that." I often have people know who I am because they know Granddaddy...it can be quite funny sometimes.
Then I had the following exchange with Drummer-dude out in the back while he loaded my pellets. "Wow. That's a big cat!" "Yeah, it is..." "I thought my uncle had a big cat, but that one is bigger!" "You been to Fenton's?" "Uh, no." "Well, in the shop they have this big orange cat with feet this size [holding his fingers up to describe a two-inch diameter cat's paw]." "Wow...Thanks!" (For loading the pellets.)
I came home for lunch....the rest of my day between then and trapping the cows is rather insignificant. I took pellets to our place after lunch and feed a few to my cows...I couldn't NOT after they had seen them and started being all excited.
Savannah and I trapped the cows for tomorrow's work. I shut all the gates after trolling out a bag of pellets. We have three cows outside of the trap, but since we're doing nothing but parting calves out tomorrow, it isn't a big deal. At the gate into the woods, I jumped out of the back of the truck and fell down. I had landed kind of funny on my right foot and so the whole leg just turned under me. It didn't hurt at all and was actually kind of funny.
Now, I'd better get that food on the table and Granddaddy fed!
One of the first things I figured out this morning was I had bought the wrong kinds of connectors...so, off I went to Wal-Mart after a Skype briefing with Daddy. Skype sure makes mechanic's lessons easier. I came home and connected wires...I didn't see a yellow wire on the truck, so I attached the yellow wire on the pig-tail to a light green wire. As I found out later that really was the wrong wire.
After lunch, Savannah and I went over to our place to test it and bring the pop-up back. Everything worked except for the left turn light. When we got home, after a brief stop at Wal-Mart, I crawled back under and actually located the yellow wire this time. See, most of the wiring harness only contained four wires: black, brown, light green, and dark green. However, way over in the left, where some other thing are wired in, there is a yellow wire.
The following are pictures taken during my second and more sucessful attempt.
I was bracing with my feet because I had to lift my upper body off the ground to reach the wires!
The mineral sacks did help with the height problem a little bit.
Striping wire. The second attempt at the yellow wire required striping and wraping.
Electrians tape is great stuff! (And those are Savannah's flip-flops. She was helping me out by sticking her legs under and letting me lean on them. It REALLY helped.)
I enjoyed this job pretty well...I got to get greasy and make something work :)
However, right about now, I'm really feeling rather ticked off at myself. The cows were cut off from their water (or a lot of it) all day! I didn't open the gates into the trap and woods yesterday when I rotated them (maybe partly because I got the truck stuck in the mud and by the time we got it out I had forgotten), and I didn't do it today either when I noticed--TWICE--that the cows were meandering along thataway with a purpose. [Just glanced out the window--it looks like they may be headed that way again! Good.] It was when I had half a dozen come over the wire and run toward the water trough on this side that I realized how serious it was. (I thought they could get to the one in the run from the farthest north chunk of pasture.) Anyway, I immediately headed out--on foot (because the truck is still hooked to the pop-up)--in my knee length skirt through shin and knee-deep grass (serves me right that my legs got all itchy and bug bit)--and got those gates open. I was steaming in more than one fashion when I got back to the house. I deserve to be horse-whipped...I KNOW better than to not have water for my cows...particularly when I have even the slightest doubts. So, suffice to say, I am mad at myself because I was being lazy and/or otherwise occupied.
I'm hungry...that beef in the oven smells awful good.
Okay, so 'razy' isn't a word...but it suits. I started the day out, after briefly peeking at my e-mail and Google+ page, by demanding the "five-pounds" of keys from Savannah. She willingly handed them over to me and I headed out on the first part of my day. After, that is, I fed the critters.
I hopped in the pick-up and took off across the creek. I would have preped to mow, only I had a chiropractor's appointment at 3, so I wouldn't have had time to mow. As is, I decended upon the pole shed and located the trailer I was in search of--behind a couple slabs of sheetrock (which is molding by the way). I moved the sheetrock, glared at the screws holding the licence plate on, and headed off to unlock the barn. After poking around in there, only finding a flat head screwdriver (I needed a phillips), I suddenly slapped myself (figuratively). I should have started in the house! I know where to find a screwdriver in there! Within minutes, I had a screwdriver safely between my fingers and after just a few more minutes, I had the licence plate removed and tossed in the truck. I returned the screwdriver to the house, talking to the cows at the same time. They were up bawling something crazy--the reason being last time I was over there I gave them pellets....
I took off for Smiths. I walked in an asked the owner's son about the electric fence boxes and he led me to them. I got a different kind that what usually is used...it was $3 cheaper and he said basically if it quits you just get another in exchange. I'm wondering if I shouldn't have gone with the old kind...at least I could test it with the PVC pile pole... I also got four more bags of mineral.
On my way home, I decided to swing by Wally-world and see about getting wiring for the truck. As I was standing there, I suddenly realized, "I should have looked at the connection on the pop-up!" Brilliant...I returned to our place, looked at the wiring, called Daddy, got some instructions, called Savannah to tell her I was going back to town, and then went to Auto-Zone. I had to get help there too...I was looking at wiring, but none of the trailer "piggy-tails". They were all the way in the back of the store! Obviously, I don't know how auto-parts stores are set-up :)
I came home and started putting mineral out. I decided on the spur of the moment to go ahead and attempt to rotate the cows. All went well, until I came back the second time to try to push the few remaining cows out. Great...I got my truck stuck in the beautiful loamy dirt under the oaks!! I spun and spun and thought I was going to get out and didn't. Then Savannah came out to tell me lunch was ready. We walked the last half dozen cows to the gate. Then we went in for lunch.
After lunch, I had about 35 minutes before I had to come in and get cleaned up so I could go to my chiropractor appointment. First, I hooked up the new electric fence box and then headed out to try again to get the truck unstuck. I used a couple boards, but still couldn't get it out. Granddaddy came out and hollered at me to get the tractor. I told him I'd go get Savannah to help me (because I think he was going to try walking out there--with his balance he has no business walking through that rutted pasture--even with the walker), so he went back in. I got my ear-plugs (I won't run the tractor without them) and started the thing up. I didn't take the bush-hog off; the chains were long enough to go under it. We got the truck hooked up and in seconds the truck was free. Believe me, I don't think I'll be taking the truck through that particular area again anytime soon....
I put the tractor away and came in to shower. By that point I needed it. My arms were orange from the rust on the chains and I had some on my face. I also had dirt all over me...the dent in my chin was definitely more pronounced :D
Soon I was driving down the road headed for P. C. I arrived at the chiropractor's to find the office locked up and Dr. K.'s car not there--the note on the door said "@ lunch; will be back at 1:30". At this point it was practically 3:00.
While I was standing there wondering what to do, an older gentleman pulled up and got out of his car. I figured I might as well pass my observations on to him. So I walked over and we started talking. He thought I was 28. I told him my actual age and remarked that people always seem to think I'm either 18 or 25. Then he asked me a question..."Your young and your female...would you mind telling me what you think about the elections?" I think I grinned. I do know I rubbed my palms on my pants. Then I stated my views, "I don't really like either candidate, but I'm voting for Romney." His smile got wider and he said, "Thank-you."
I thought that was kind of neat.
Shortly thereafter, one of the ladies who works at the place showed up. So, both the old gentleman and I got our chiropractoring afterall :)
From there I bounced over to the health food store to get Savannah some more brewer's yeast (I HATE that stuff...); then I came home.
Now I'm ready for supper :)
I got to play lawn mower mechanic again this afternoon. The deck belt came off when I was about half way done with the yard. So I stopped, turned the engine off and put the belt back on (which is very stretched out.) After that the mower wouldn't crank. (I mean, it spun like crazy, but didn't actually take.) So, I took the thing down--all the way down to removing the starter. Then I put it back together. (You do know I like to disassemble and reassemble things by now, don't you?)
At one point I rolled the thing up the ramps so I could check the drive belt--which was nice and tight. I wasn't sure I was going to get the thing up there, but subbornness overcame gravity.
I got on the mower again and it started. All of sudden it puttered out on me again. I realized after a moment of frenzied 'trying-to-keep-this-thing-running' activity, that I had forgotten to turn that little knob on the fuel line back on!! I felt kind of stupid, but afterall, I've never used a mower that has a fuel line cut off like this before.
I finished the yard and started on the driveway. The belt came off again...so I put it back on. This time I got the engine cranked without taking it down :D Minutes later, the belt came off again. WAH! My "brand new" old mower needs a belt!!
Oh well, at least I did get the yard itself mowed; although I didn't get the driveway done. I certainly had fun getting nasty with mower grease. You should have seen my face when I came in! I have no idea how I got that much smut on it! (Actually I do...it probably came off my gloves--which were on and off ((because the engine was hot))--and my hair kept getting in my eyes; which of course means I kept shoving it out of my face. I assure you, I removed my hat early on--no use getting it any dirtier than it is. It's already beat up and bent up and gray-ish from dirt, but I still try to keep it looking half-way decent!)
Ah! The joys of life! ; D
Unfortunately, none of the above happen to be dishwashers :D
The day really started at about 8:30. I was running my mouth to Savannah about the upcoming SCV cross dedication (I had a flash of inspriation which turns out was unnecessary) when the telephone rang. I heard Granddaddy say, "I don't know, Lee." I poked my head around the corner and met Granddaddy's eyes. He smiled and kind of held the phone out toward me. "Does she want to talk to me?" Yup. Okay...so...yes....I'm planning on mowing today...okay, yeah....I think Daddy was going to call about those mowers (in the local 'shopper' ad)...did she really say that?? Yes, she did...she told me not to mow until the grass dried up some! Huh...since when do that side of the family care whether the grass is dry or not? Anyway, I told Savannah that tidbit and we had a laugh over it.
I went to go get breakfast and I looked out the window to see two white cows in the yard! I let out some exclaimation about 'stinkers'...spun around and dashed to the dryer, yanked the laundry out (I needed some socks!), grabbed the first matching set of socks I found, shoved them on my feet, followed quickly by my boots. Then I had to get my pant legs over the top of them. I shot out the door and around to corner, only to find out that while I was sock, boot, and jean wrastling, those ol' cows had high-tailed it out of there! They just knew I was on my way out to shout at them and wave my arms like a regular windmill...I could still see them making a break for the rest of the herd out in the east pasture. I had to laugh...it was soo funny!
I got started mowing somewhere around 10:00 and finished about 1:00. I did the yard and the driveway. I did a better job on it than last time...I wasn't hurrying to make it to a chiropractor appointment this time :) In addition to that I did something Daddy would be proud of me for--I listened to the engine and belt and was able to determine when it had to much load on it. I moved very, very slowly up and down the south side of the driveway so I didn't overload the engine...this resulted in a much better mowing job to boot. (And happily, the number of spiders and webs were greatly dimished since last time. *Laughing grin*)
After lunch and some wasted time on the internet--not overmuch--I got started on the dishes. That didn't take any longer than usual. Once I finished that I set up the food processer and grabbed the cabbages out of the box on the floor and made a lot of noise making kraut. Granddaddy got up at one point, "to see what you were doin'." It was at this point I bumped a bananna and commented on how squishy it was. He decided to check it out; then we both decided that it was too soft to eat and that I ought to make some 'nanner bread out of it.
I got the cabbage all shreaded and then got Savannah to 'doctor' it. She does it by eye...which doesn't exactly help me figure out the salt and whey amount...but hey, I don't suppose that's any different than me eye-balling the amount of honey I put in my breads :D I mixed the stuff up with my hands--in the long run a whole lot less messy (at least for me; I can spill anything with a spoon).
I started washing up and the sink backed up. Savannah and I got that running freely again. By the way, about the time I started in on the cabbage, the sky let loose and it poured rain. It continued to rain for several hours. Once I finished cleaning up my cabbage mess, I made the bananna bread. More mess :) I took the slop out--by now it wasn't raining--and finished cleaning up the kitchen. Then I went to practice my guitar. Savannah came and we played some stuff together for bit, then I fed the critters. Nellie Gray (the gray kitten) likes to follow me around. Then was supper. Then yet another batch of dishes...and finally I packed the kraut into jars. Yehaw...was that a mess! I had to clean the kitchen up yet again. And now...I can be done for the day :)
So, Night ya'll! (Even though I'm not going to bed yet ;D)
P.S. Can you believe it? I'm actually listening to opera (which I don't usually like) on WCPE and enjoying it! Maybe because it's just background noise. Somehow I think it's Spanish--but it could be Italian--probably is at that.
I mowed our place yesterday....As usual, I dashed over first thing in the morning and hooked the Kubota up to the battery charger (I need a new battery!). I rotated the cows after I came home.
After lunch and watching 'Hawaii Five-O' (the orginial) with Granddaddy, I went back to our place. I tried to start the Kubota and it just grunted at me. Humph. Well...I jumped it with the pick-up and it roared to life with a little subtle choke action. Then, with that right-rear tire flat as usual, I limped it over to the front of the barn, aired up the tires and greased it.
Thankfully, the grass wasn't as soppy as the last time I mowed, so it didn't threaten to bog down as much as it did last time. I got done with the back yard and headed to the front yard, and was in practically the same spot where I ran out of fuel last time, when I felt a bump, heard a rattle as something banged into the blades, and despite my efforts, the engine puttered out.
I figured I might have had the deck too low (that is pretty deep grass right there) and hit a stick--though there usually aren't sticks right there. Um, well...
I cranked the Kubota back up (yay! It started without having to be jumped!) and backed it up a couple feet. That's when I realized the truth of the matter. There, laying over on it's side, dug into a small hole was none other than the left caster-wheel off the mower deck!! "Oh great! Now, I've broken the wheel off!!"
I hopped off, collected the wheel, pulled my cellphone out of my back pocket and called Daddy. He told me to go ahead and keep mowing, just when lowering the deck be more careful. I think, though I don't know for sure, (hands and knees still hurts my left shoulder some), that the wheel is held on by a sort of big snap ring. That's what came off and no way I was going to find that in think eight-inch grasss! Maybe if it had been another color than dark gray....
Anyway, the grass got mowed...and the cows didn't get any of it thrown over the fence to them--they could use it, but I didn't think I needed to stress my shoulder yet. Poor Abe looked me straight in the face and went: "Mahoo!" I have to get those animals wormed sooner than later--they look horrid!
And that was my day...basically.
The Murry mower actually ran today...as you may know, that mower doesn't like running. I tried to start it last week and it didn't even grunt. After talking a walk through the heifer patch and horse lot this morning, soaking my jeans up past my knees and my boots and socks straight through, looking for Snip's wayward halter (which I did not find), I went to the barn.
I first took the cover off the Murry and eyeballed the engine--nothing looked wrong (like I would know anyway!), so I called Daddy and then I proceeded to take his advice. Once I put the cover back on and some gas in, I pushed the Murry out, ran to the house and got my keys, and brought the pick-up over. Then I hooked the jumper cables up. My attempt at grounding the negative cable was not sucessful at first because I hooked it to the mower deck. I called Daddy again and hooked it to the battery. Then, I took the positive jumper cable and put it to the bolt holding the cable into the starter, sparks flew and the engine started roaring to life. I jumped back and it puttered out. I am SO very thankful that I moved when I did, because my left foot was partially under the mower deck--and the blades were engaged!!! For some reason (providence!), I decided to check whether the blades were engaged before I tried starting the mower again...and I was horrified to see that they were! (You can tell by looking at the belt.) Anyway, I tried again, messing with that oh-so-stiff choke, and this time it stayed on!
I jumped on and started mowing. Shortly thereafter, I ran the deck into part of the fallen tree's root and it bent it under. The blade was rubbing on the deck so I disengaged the blades, dashed back to the barn, grabbed a pair of pliers and dashed back. I ended up actually using my hands more than the pliers to bend the deck back out, but I'm glad I had them anyway. I stuffed them into my back pocket and went back to mowing.
I didn't completely finish around the downed tree, but I did get behind the barn done before moving off to take care of the driveway--which REALLY needed mowing. By the time I got done with the north side, I had what I call 'the spider-creeps'. I confess, I did yell a couple times when colliding with spider webs. I didn't have my hat on (it would have been raked off even if I had) and I didn't even have my bandana on, so I was really rather paranoid about getting those ugly eight-legged critters in my hair.
I was almost done mowing (by now on the south side of the drive) when I ran out of gas. (I had put some in before I tried starting the machine and was going to finish filling the tank if I got it started, but what with the sparks flying and the excitment of getting it going, I forgot...) I pulled my cellphone out of my back pocket and called Savannah. "I'm out of gas! Will you bring some down to me in the truck?" Of course and she did.
While pouring gas into the mower, the UPS man drove by and we waved and he honked...we rather know who each other are a little better now after finding each other attending last weeks SCV meeting :D
Anyway, I got the mower running again, using the jumper cables and the starter (bypassing the ignition switch--which apparently is bad). I finished mowing shortly thereafter. Because the yard itself doesn't need to be mowed I went ahead and put the mower away. (Besides, with the way the deck is broken and tied up, attempting to mow the yard would rather be a waste of gas...it just reaches the tops of the seed heads.)
As soon as I got the mower shut off, I rushed into the house and showered--we needed to be out the door headed for my chiropractor appointment--fast! Savannah fixed me a plate and I ate lunch on the way down. Thankfully, we weren't late. I got cracked and now we're home...and it still feels/looks like it is going to rain.
Now...it's time to go pick and grin :) See ya later!
Today was my second appointment at the chiropractor's...and the first time I got 'cracked'. I had a 10:30 appointment so we kind of had to run out the door, but we got there on time. Dr. K showed us my x-rays and now I know that half-a-dozen of my vertebrea are twisted to the left. (I just about said the 'west' for some reason.) Anyway, Dr. K gave me my first adjustment--complete with a neck-cracking. That felt kind of weird. Savannah said she couldn't hear it, but it sure sounded loud to me! :)
We were going to go to the Goodwill before lunch, but driving by they were closed--probably because of this storm that has been totally hyped for the last week. Instead, we just went to lunch at our usual place whenever we go to P.C. I had grouper, as usual, and ended up feeling kind of strange--the green beans had something on them, I'm positive. I hate eating out...even if I like the food I almost always come away with a strange feeling...
Then came the real adventure...the car wouldn't start. In other words the ignition switch was not responding. After several phone calls to different people, Savannah called a tow-truck and in the process found out that there is a Saturn place just around the corner and the owner could probably replace our ignition switch 'right now'. The tow-truck showed up and soon had our poor car up on the bed. Our driver was real friendly (I guess you have to be if you're a tow-truck driver and get strange people in your cab with you on a daily basis) and soon established that we were sisters...he found out that no, I'm not the older one :D It was hilarious really--he said that Savannah had a more 'secretrial' appearence (secretaries are 'more fun') and I had a 'teacherly' appearence (teachers are more welcoming). Then he added something like, "I'd better stop before I dig myself into a hole."
He deposited us at the Saturn place and then, of course, the car cranked up immediately--several times. Anyway, we went ahead and got the switch replaced and he even replaced our back-up light that was out. (I don't think he charged for that...)
From there we went to the health food store so Savannah could get some more suppliments. Then we came home. Then we played some music...I have no idea how many times we played 'The Girl I Left Behind Me' (one of my all-time favorites), but we were working on my main trouble spot. Now I have it figured out, I just need to spend some more time on the jump half-way through. That is still clunky. We also sang a little and I sounded awful by the time we were done :) I won't tell you what we did next--or you really might think we are CRAZY. (Okay, okay! We took a 'boom-box' outside and danced around in the wet-grass! Exercise you know....)
Then dinner...then dishes...then "The Rifleman"...then blogging....and I can't go any further...I don't know what's next ;D
SO...hopefully, this is the last installment on a certain John Deere tractor in a while. I FINISHED TODAY! However, before I finished, I had an adventureous morning...
First thing after breakfast I went out and got to work. I don't know how long I'd been out--under an hour I'm pretty sure, when all of sudden I realize something isn't right. I glance over my shoulder to see the left (depending on how you're looking at it of course) hydraulic arm, along with the sway bar, floating and dragging! "Great...I lost the pin."
I hopped off and retraced my steps (ahem, tracks), but didn't find the pin. I didn't really think I would...try finding a metal ring about an inch and a half in diameter with a small metal bar through it in tall grass, weeds, and clippings. Maybe if you had a metal dector :)
Since I couldn't find it, I went to the 'tool-box' attached to the side of the tractor and grubbed around in there. Thankfully, there was another pin--somewhat rusty and certainly a lot stiffer than the other one. Next, 'all I have to do is put the hydraulic arm and sway bar back on and--once I get the stupid pin open--put the pin in and I'll be ready!'
Well, folkies...that was easier said than done. I pushed and shoved and banged the bar with first a wrench, then piece of steel. I managed at some point to bash the knuckles of my right hand...I took my glove off a bit later to call Savannah (I'll get to that) and I thought it looked like a blood blister. It was and I busted it later...but I'll get to that too :D
Anyway, I was beginning to be desperately in need of water, so I called Savannah. It seemed like it took her FOREVER to come with the water...I'm afeared that in my over-wrought state I was rather snappy and unkind when she did get there. Once I slugged down three plastic cups full of water and finished hyper-ventilating and shaking like a lawn mower, I got back up and we got the bar on. We filled up a water bottle and I stuck it on the floor board where it wouldn't roll away. I did eventually drink it all over the course of the afternoon, but by that time it was about the temperture I like to drink my hot tea...
After getting the mower back into commission, I mowed for another hour (or so) before coming back to the house at 11. I then went to town and got diesel--I didn't want to run out again. While there I also got gas for the pick-up. It was also on the diesel can that I busted the blood blister on my knuckle. I bleed all the way home, driving with that finger stuck straight up into the air. I wonder how many people though I was waving at them?
The afternoon was uneventful...I mean, other than the fact that I furthered my farmer's (or in this case rancher's) tan and got my face somewhat sunburned. (I took my hat off while operating around the trees.) Anyhow, I'm done! And my nose is sore...not just sun either...I sneezed and blew and sneezed and blew--on top of the sunburn :D
That's my day...how was yours?