I need to do some painting. Not the creative kind, but the Hut is showing wear, and the Scope Shed is still wearing its original brown. This occurred to me at maybe 4:30 am after getting up to pee, and before falling back to sleep. So it made sense to get the painting stuff laid out this morning. Thinking about painting reminded me I have a window to replace in the barn, which has been boarded up since winter, and I should really paint the window before replacing it. It would be best to lay it out on the picnic table. The picnic table is currently loaded up with a pretty cool, very heavy cast iron sink that until we re-did the kitchen last year was, in fact, our kitchen sink, since probably about 1924. It’s something that is actually desirable for a person wanting a funky antique update to a modern kitchen, but whatever, it’s a cragslist thing as far as I’m concerned. And it’s tying up the picnic table. So I’m going to hook up the trailer to our Craftsman garden tractor and move the sink to the barn with other flea market stuff. The trailer is pretty old, and the tires don’t hold air. I have some Green Slime — you know Green Slime? It’s an eponymous product that you pump into iffy tires and it generally plugs up slow leaks. I pump slime into the trailer tires, and pump them up. The tiller also has a leaker tire, so I slimed it as well. I get the sink loaded; it’s about 120 pounds of cast iron, but I can horse it around and get it loaded. Ollie, the labrador interrupts, demanding a Frisbee break. The sink accumulated a lot of debris sitting there for months, so I run it over to the hydrant, and see the tire looks low, but the sink cleans up okay, and I run it to the comoressor and put some more air in. Meanwhile the male alpacas are mowing the back yard, and Express, who seems to have more testosterone than he strictly needs, is running down Ferb, biting and generally harassing him. Ferb is making an alarming noise that is unequivocably a scream. You can’t really separate them when they’re doing this; you just end up chasing them around uselessly. But they react well to being hosed down. It distracts them, cools them off, and they forget they’re mad. In fact they love being hosed down. They’re like city kids on a hot day; cracking a hydrant does wonders for everybody’s attitude. I got pretty hot too, and take a break for a dip.
It looks like the tires are holding air, and the sink is put away. I’m ready to put the tractor away, but it doesn’t start, it makes an alarming grinding noise but doesn’t turn over. The solenoid? I am constantly struggling with the various small motors that run things around here. I get the cover off the engine; need to replace the air filter, how does this poor thing breathe? And, um, it’s way overdue for an oil change….
Once I get it opened up, there’s an obviously broken bendix gear, at least I think it’s a bendix…. Bendix? Nope, I think it’s broke-ixs. So now I’m inside surfing for parts. PartsTree is my friend. But I have to go back out to get the model number off the engine. I get the number, but it doesn’t come up!
I dig thru the yellowed pages of the tractor manual, and get an entirely different model number, which does come up in PartsTree, and I will be trying to install this thing in 3 to 5 business days.
Meantime I need to put the dead tractor away. It’s 3:30 now. I rig a tow strap to the zero turn mower, and drag its ass to the barn . On the way, I see some mulberries coming on. They’re not quite there yet, but actually mulberries are best when they’re almost but not quite ripe. In the barn, I lay out the covers and bolts so they’re ready to go when I get the parts.
It’s time to get a brief dip in before the afternoon thunder storm arrives.
I need to do some painting.