Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Week That Was

by Pa Rock
Farmer in Spring

It started a week ago yesterday when my big - and very necessary - riding lawnmower broke down after hitting a rock that wouldn't budge.   The injuries to the mower were so serious that the young man from the repair shop began talking about selling me a new one as he loaded my old one onto his truck.

Wednesday night at pinochle there was some animus in evidence for the second week in a row.  I play to relax and have fun, but some of my fellow senior citizens seem to regard pinochle as a blood sport.  I have now decided to forgo the pleasure of their company for at least the time being.

Friday I had a local company come out to the farm to hookup my two new storage buildings to electricity.  It was a company I have used before - with mixed results.  I had arranged for an estimate before the work was to be done and had the necessary resources budgeted.  Unfortunately things did not go as planned, and the workers ran into trouble.  By the end of the day not only were the two new buildings not hooked to the current, the other outbuildings at the farm had lost their power as well - and the budget was blown.  The workers informed me that, due to the holiday, they would not be able to return until Tuesday.

Friday afternoon I got in my pickup truck to run to the feed store.  The truck, which had just come back from the shop the week before with a new starter, would not start - and my mechanic's shop would not be open until - you guessed it - Tuesday - again because of the holiday.

Friday night, with my outside security light out due to the boondoggle caused by the electricians, a predator, or predators, got into the poultry pen and killed all eighteen of my young pullets and all seven ducks.  The following night one of the six geese also disappeared.  So, if you were counting on farm fresh eggs from Pa Rock this fall - don't.

Saturday night we had a ferocious storm which knocked out the remaining electricity for a couple of hours, and tore down half of a large tree just outside of the back door.  It also managed to blow over a large (and heavy) swing set.

The rest of the weekend was spent picking up tree limbs from the storm, mowing with push mowers, and slowly moving stuff from the garage to the new buildings - the ones with no power.

Tuesday finally arrived and things started getting back to normal.  The electricians came back, and after they still could not diagnose the problem, they called in the company's owner, a smart young fellow, who eventually got the problem solved.   He is also voluntarily fixing a problem caused by the company - before he owned it - and making that repair at the company's expense.  He is a good businessman who will have my future business.

My mechanic sprang for a tow truck to haul the pickup into the shop, so it is being looked at.

Later Tuesday afternoon I drove to Mountain View to check on the repair status of the mower and to look at some new ones.  I didn't commit, but I suspect that I will wind up buying a large, zero-turn, industrial type of mower - a beast - and keeping the old one for a spare.  If I am destined to spend the rest of my life as a groundskeeper, I might as well do it with the best equipment.

Tonight is pinochle, but I will be staying home and working on the never-ending chore of emptying the garage.  As twilight sets, I may even walk the remaining geese down to the pond for an evening frolic with the bullfrogs.  The geese love me, and they are not nearly as cranky as the old farts at the pinochle tables!

Life at the farm is what it is - and I guess it must suit me because I am still here!


Xobekim said...

Something must haunt holiday eves, causing mischief to run amok like unruly brats. Our water heater (note I've dropped the redundant "hot" from the name of that appliance) gave up the ghost last Tuesday.

We have the whole house home warranty which covered its replacement, sort of. On Wednesday a nice plumber came out, for a nominal fee, and certified the heater as not only merely dead but as really most sincerely dead.

But wait! There’s more!

Like persons of advancing years the house also suffers from high pressure, water not blood. The coded cure is a whole house pressure release valve, not just the one on the side of the water heater. Plus a pressurized tank where excess heated water can go on R & R until the tank calms down.

But wait! There’s more!

The warranty doesn’t cover the required valve or tank, nor does it cover the labor to install the water heater. And, there is almost always more, the warranty company warehouses the water heaters somewhere and the unit must be shipped in. The warranty still saved several hundred dollars on the final bill.

Of course had it been any non-holiday week two or three days of cold water is all the inconvenience we would have had. But no, the water heater did not arrive until Tuesday. The family was camping out north of Bennett Springs on the Niangua and had hot water at the campground. I boiled water and did load after load of the dirty dishes left in the sink by my vacation focused family. Of course the dishwasher is plumbed into the hot water line which was turned off so the pressure relief valve on the side of the dearly departed unit would not let water spew like an Ozark spring. Hence, running the dishwasher would have meant making another demand on the warranty!

Ah, but right now this house has hot, not merely hot but really most sincerely hot, water. I overheard the plumber ask his “helper/apprentice” to turn the water to the house back on at the main cut off located in the front yard (where the line from the city meets the line from the house). The young man scurried off & shortly returned and asked “Do I turn it to the right”. Yes the mischief loosed by the curses of a holiday eve had latched onto the young man causing him to forget the first rule of plumbing; Righty tighty – Lefty loosey!

Fortunately the pipes in the house no longer bang, the four tornadoes that hit Laclede County last Saturday did not hit my family and no one died or was seriously injured when my daughter fell out of a canoe leaving Bryce without a paddle (they lost the paddles) floating down the Niangua. Sebastion proved to be a hero in rescuing his brother and mother.

Sorry for your losses I will continue to save egg cartons for future iterations from chicks yet to have hatched. Beware the eves!

Marianne Love said...

Won't go into detail, but the "been there, done that" comment comes to mind. You will LOVE your zero-turn mower, by the way. Life gets better---for a while.