Friday, June 2, 2017

One Step Forward - Two Steps Back

My wife's grandfather used to have a collection of bells - farm bells, schoolhouse bells, even a locomotive bell. He passed away quite some time ago and his collection went around the family intact but now it's being split up among a few of the relatives. The bell in the photo is one from his collection. It's a pretty big bell as you can see from how the parts fit in the back of a full size pickup. So my job is to get it cleaned up and painted and make some kind of stand for it so it can be displayed here at the shack. I dropped it off last evening with a former student who does a little sandblasting on the side. He cut me a decent price, so that'll make the clean-up go much faster and easier. I'll design some kind of stand while it's out so I can get it on display without too much of a lag.

Along with the bell came some hostas, which also required the installation of some edging, skimming off the sod, etc. That job's almost finished. I need to get some type of edging along the other side that will lay flush when installed so I can run the mower over the top of them rather than having to trim around them. I'll pick something up soon so I can be done with it.

Here's the real doozy. My driveway/lane is about 1000 ft long. It was getting pretty rough so I talked to the young man who farms my place and he agreed to bring the tractor over and give the lane a good going over. After he scraped it down a bit we agreed it could use some more stone so I hopped on the bicycle and went over to the hot-mix plant and ordered up a load. Normally the drivers are very good at tail-gating the load. This time, not so much. He managed to only get about 50 feet before he'd dropped the whole 20 ton load. In for a penny, in for a pound as they say, so I had him bring a second load. He did a fine job spreading that one. However, between the big tri-axle leaking some stone out the sides, and the farmer having to move quite a bit of stone with the bucket and the normal amount that escapes around the edges of the grader blade, I have quite a bit of stone I need to rake back out of the yard and into the lane where it belongs. 

You can see in the photo that there's about a foot that needs to be raked back in so it looks like the edge of the lane in the top of the photo. The far end of the lane, maybe 200' or so, doesn't need the raking, and since we didn't do all the way around the barn, when you figure in both sides needing to be raked, I've only got about a 1/4 mile that needs to be raked. Actually, I've got the majority of it done already. I'll go back out this evening after the sun goes down a bit and hit it again - might be able to finish today. Part of that depends on if my back holds out.

So, just about the time I'm ready to hit it hard on my own projects, something else comes along. Nothing new there. However, the old homestead is looking a bit nicer now. So that's good. And the lane shouldn't need much attention for a couple of more years. That's even better. It's back to work next week. Not so crazy about that but that'll pay for the stone and the trees I need to have taken down. Moving into a little condo is looking better all the time.

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