Our 'Free' Time Goes To Reparing The Farm.
Saturday... I already knew from Brian that the tippy-tonka needed front end work and today I set out to round up the parts. I was actually surprised how easy it went. Aside from the fact that there was NO traffic (it is primarily a farm village after all) I only had to go to two places to order ball and socket joints (tie rods) axle seals and bearings, brake pads, the core-member (radiator-support) and of course the hydraulic fluid.
As I mentioned earlier... The kitchen is not accessible (to much horsey clutter). There is also a small shed on the property (8 by 8 by 8 ft.) but it is in terrible disrepair and totally unusable. All the siding has shrunk in width and it is not water tight (nor insect tight for that matter). So it occurred to me that if the shed was repaired, and the tack was moved to the shed, that we could clear the kitchen and then finally be self-sufficient (except for the shower). After a little discussion on the matter Irene and I set out for the local builders supply company to purchase lumber and nails. We got back to the farm, unloaded the materials, and began removing the old siding. Just then cousin's Sean and Justine stopped by. I was content to rebuild the shed however Sean was only interested in why the tippy was tip-less. I had told him what had happened at the dump and that I bought new fluid. Sean came up with a reason to connect the truck with the work we were doing to the shed (it has drop down sides which when propped up make an excellent scaffold). Since we had to wait for the diesel to warm up it gave us an opportunity to look into the hydraulics. Since the dump bed was lowered we decided to top off the reservoir (the cylinder should have been empty) and proceeded to tip the bed. Nothing. Meanwhile Sean was beating on the solenoid. It is an electric pump driven by a starter motor and solenoid. Sure enough it began to tip. After a few tries to confirm the behavior we concluded that the solenoid was in fact the culprit. Oh yeah... When the tipper lowered the reservoir flooded where we learned (from the ensuing flood) that the last filling was not hydraulic fluid but instead someone used transmission fluid (cheap bastards). Now I have to learn how to completely evacuate and replace the current fluid. Has the world always been one big kludge.
Anyway... With the tippy no longer flaccid we relocated it next to the shed as a scaffold and returned to removing the siding. When we finished removing one entire face we attempted to put up the new siding when we quickly realized that the nails we bought were too small. It was getting late, the bugs were coming out (the air here is carnivorous), and we were all tired.
Sunday... We had one more tree we wanted to harvest (recently dead) and Myles agreed he could do it and came over in the morning. Earlier I had gone to Irene's house to shop the shop for tools, materials, etc... for the shed. There were no suitable nails (we had none and I was roaring to go) and being Sunday there is only one store open and not until 11:00. I went to back to the farm and waited for Myles and then Irene (who was waiting for nails). Finally we got started. There was only one tree we wanted. A medium tree over two hundred feet up on the back mountain. It was a lot of work just getting there (at the south end of the property on a 65+ degree grade). It fell easily. One of the other obstacles we had was that the remaining felled trees we hadn't skidded were big and had large branches that needed to be removed before the logs could be moved. So we headed over to the north end of the property and trimmed them up. It's funny how it doesn't sound like a lot of work but muscling tools, chains, and just yourself on a steep grade like that can wear one out rather quickly. We went back to the little house and rested for a while. Last time we did this we had to sit on the lawn but since that I had moved the patio furniture here so we had a great place to relax. Everyone seemed to enjoy just sitting and drinking beer (it is Canada after all).
After a few hours rest it was back to the shed. We had the siding, the correct nails and some additional inside shelf material (2x4 framing and 3/4 in. plywood) so we started pounding nails. Part of the original innards of the shed consisted of a very cheap and old dresser unit which like the shed exterior was about to fall apart (it is what gave me the idea of putting in a shelf and work bench top). In fact, it broke into many small pieces, with little difficulty, and was part of the load we took to the dump. I framed the shelving and cut the plywood bench-top first. That went quickly. Then onto the siding. We bought 3/4 in. Tongue-and-Groove (T and G) pine siding in 16-ft. lengths. The front of the shed (the first side we tackled) had a door so it required a lot of cuts. It basically went well. We were about two thirds done and it was supper time (dinner for those people still stuck in the old country). After supper (still at Irene's of course) we came back to finish all but one row on the bottom. Not a bad day's work total.
Monday... Worked all morning. I have been averaging a starting time of about 7:00 AM. A little unusual for me but my workday is so much more pleasant since my commute went from 30-miles in L.A. traffic to 6-ft from the bed to the computer. I worked until the afternoon. Participated in a teleconference with a customer then back to the shed. I put up half a side before supper. After supper Irene and I finished up the side. Two down.
Tuesday... Worked a long day. Participated in another customer teleconference. Meanwhile Irene and another friend Joanne continued on the third side of the shed. After supper we finished the third side.
Wednesday... Worked all morning then had a phone conference with my development team back in California. We ironed out the details of the next phase. After work continued on with the shed. After supper we finished the siding portion of the shed repair. Woohoo!