Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Life of an Old Farm Tractor

~~Every time I use Dad’s old tractor, I am confronted with one thing or another that has the indelible fingerprint of our father….. one of the three point hitch arms is held on with the correct type of standard farm lynch pin…. the other is held on with a bent over 9/16” bolt. The list goes on….. I smile, every time. Dang, that guy knew how to improvise.

There has been a somewhat leaky fuel line on the thing, and I made the mistake of touching it a few days ago…. at which point it disintegrated. At least the end that fragmented was at the ‘high’ end of the line, and I could keep from flowing all of the fuel in the tank onto the ground while I had to run to town to find a piece of fuel line that would fit. I know this piece of line had been replaced at some point in the last 30 years, because the hose clamps used to attach it were not of the same type as on the OEM connections.
Managed to replace the line, and took a few minutes to hose all of the dust off the motor, and that led to spraying the grass seed, etc. out of the radiator fins. Less than 70% of them would flow water, so I took a nylon zip tie, and poked all of the slots between the cooling fins to remove the deibrus. Every 20 minutes or so, I would take the garden hose and check to see how much more of the radiator would flow water front to back…. after an hour, I must now have nearly 95% of the fins working as designed…....
Now that we have the fuel line fixed, and the radiator cleaned out, it’s time to do some mowing. except the battery is now flat.
How could that be? I replaced the battery 2 years ago! That led me to looking at the fan belt…... here’s the alternator, all the way to the end of it’s adjustment, the inside edge of the belt looks like rats died from gnawing on it sometime in the 1980’s, everything’s rusty…. the fan and alternator both would spin with pressure of one finger on them, without the belt moving. Did I mention this is a diesel, and it only uses the electricity to heat the glow plugs, and start the motor? No wonder there were no working light bulbs when I got this thing!
Had to go to town today anyway, to get ready for the interview tomorrow, so we picked up a new belt from NAPA. the looked it up in their ancient tractor catalog, and pulled the correct heavy duty belt out of whatever storage it was in.
Took it home, and took off the guards blocking access to the pulley locations….. (took the time to flatten said guards, and return them to the OEM shape, and used the correct nuts bolts etc to remount them) Had to snake the belt into place, and couldn’t get it on all three pulleys at the same time. Even with the alternator fully compressed, I could not get the new belt to migrate into the grove on the crank pulley, until I applied a squirt of Murphy’s oil soap for lubricant. Between that and a pry bar for the ‘proper application of leverage’ it all came together….. the alternator is now less than mid way through it’s adjustment range, I cannot budge either the fan or the alternator with any amount of pressure I can apply by hand, and after using my trusty echo to jump start it, I mowed in the heaviest grass on the place for over an hour…. and the tractor runs cooler than I have ever had it run in those conditions. 80 degrees F and I was in the sweet spot for most of the hour.

And there is more story to come, as Robert trys to fix the battery cable!
Life is never boring on a small farm with an old Tractor!!

The Human Ladder

~~The other morning I heard one of the cats scratching at my bedroom door. Up I get all blurry eyed and not fully awake, to see which cat it was and what she wanted. Turned out to be our Orange cat Sadie, who promptly started to dance around my legs asking to be picked up. This a normal ritual in the morning but this time she was a bit more pushy about it.
Little did I know at the time what her devious mind was plotting.
So I picked her up and she gave me her little morning thank you Meow..and started her purring but instead of wanted the itching she likes..she started walking up the front of me.. Meowing little orders to," stand still" and "I am doing good, hold steady", that she just needed to reach.......... then she was heading to the top of my head, so I bellowed at my son to come get the silly cat off me.

You should of seen the look I got...Classic cat,,,telling the uncorporative human,, that she was only," going to get the spider on the ceiling for me and I was the easiest route up"!

Of course this is the same smart wee orange Cat, that doesn't seem to want me to take nice pictures of her. The above photo is the more typical pose I get. There is no way anyone can tell me a cat doesn't have a sense of humor!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Garden is growing~

Abet...slowly but have to admit, it is doing better than I thought it would. Photo was taken fairly late one evening, hence the odd coloring.
Have gotten quite a few peas stored but little else at this point. Carrots are starting to come on strong and might even get some greenbeans. Can only cross my fingers for everything else but the garden looks pretty in a rustic kind'a way.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

DH Birthday Drive

I wanted to do something for DH BD, even though we do not have the money. I sold a piece of my horse tack and that with the BD gift my parents sent him, we were able to take a drive.
First we went to the Free county fair but got bored with that pretty fast.
So we decided to go to the Tillamook Coast to look at the Ocean yesterday for his BDay.
The weather were we live was in the mid 70’s and sunny but as we headed closer to the coast, through the impressive coastal range, it became more cloudy.
The more we drove on, we saw the drifts of fog and heavy mist. By the time we arrived at the coast was only 51*, misting heavily and the fog was thick as pea soup in most places.
Hubby really wanted to picnic so we found an nice PT , just near an impressive cliff over looking the Ocean and sat down...and no sooner than we got lunch ready.. the mosquitoes were having a snack of their own and DH wasn't impressed.
But even with the weather, I managed to get a few good pictures of Waves and Rocks and we had a good time.

Caves in the Cliff side.
Photo DH took for me... he and DS had to walk quite a distances to see this stubby working Lighthouse.
One of my photos.
Photo taken by DH.
My photo.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What we see on the Drives into Town

Thought I would share some of the things we see on the way to town.
This years Fawn.. had to shoot the photo through the Van's window.
Came upon a new born Baby Alpaca.... something I would love to have one of these days.
Some Polled Herefords grazing in a field.
Old Red Barn.... would love to have one of theses. :O)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Old Family photos

This is Dad, as a dashing young man living in TN and going to family farms in NC.

Mom as a beautiful young teen growing up in MA.
Grammy, Mom's Mom as a young child snug as a bug in her winter clothes.
Great grandmother B.E Amireau to the right and GG Grand-Mere LeBlanc to the left.
GG Grand-Mere Josephine Leblanc
GG Grand-Pere Pierre-rene Amireau/Amirault

I had my mtDNA tested, which only follows the direct female line. So all the females in my family originated from ..
Renee Breau
Born:abt 1620
La Chaussée,Loudon, Poitou. France
There is Church records in Loudon that show she, her husband and first two children were born in France. They came to Acadia, Canada in 1648.
To check out more info on our Acadian French mtDNA on "mtDNA proven origins" to the left.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

For Lucy Two Feathers~

Have some photos for you! Ella is doing better, can hardly see her stitches now. She is fat and Happy.

The Kittens say Hi.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Shelling Peas and a Cats Help~

~~Today I picked about a quart of Pea pods from the Kitchen garden. First big batch of veggies for this season.
Decided to shell them once I got back in. So found a bowl to put the shelled peas in and a towel to put the pods on and a small bucket to put the leavings in.
Figured the sofa would be a nice comfy place to do this, so set things up there.
I started to pop the pods, scoop the peas out of their shells and as they hit the bowl they make a neat little bell like tinkling sound.
Which, after cleaning out a couple of pods, the sound attracted Nari, our 9 month old Maine Coon old cat. Nari moseys over, hops up on the sofa and she sat down just on the other side of the bucket, staring at me, then stared at the bucket and then at the spent pods being thrown in the bucket.
After a few moments of her trying to decide what I could be doing with those weird green things, she decided to stick her head in the bucket. She sniffed and looked at me again,, could almost see her thoughts.
I tossed another spent pod into the bucket and she jumped a bit. So her response to that, was to stick her head in the bucket again..adding one paw to bat the things in the bucket for good measure. Again I tossed a spent pod in the bucket and again she jumped a bit.
Bet she was thinking what a great game this could be!
As I am shelling peas,, I see a gleem enter her eyes... and a second later,,she trys to steal a spent pea pod. Most likely to add to the collection of odds and ends she puts behind DH bedroom door.
I took it back from her before she could get very far and gave her a big fat shelled Pea. Figured that would keep her busy while I continued to shell peas.
She looked, she sniffed, batted it a bit with a paw..... then it was major play time with a pea on the sofa, right next to me. As I am still shelling, I watch her bat, jump and play with the pea.....until she looses it. Most likely in the cushions of the sofa, but darned if I can find it.
By now she has draped herself over my legs, along with the pea pods in my lap, am pretty much pinned down.
During much of the time I kept shelling peas. Then I see a not so small paw reach out and touch one of the pods waiting to be shelled. I give her that look and I get her answering look back as if to say.... I wasn't doing any thing!
Like I do not know what wee thoughts are dancing around in her head.
I pretend not to watch..... still shelling peas.. and she carefully grabs the stem end of the pod and moves it a bit....keeping an eye on me to see if I notice. I smile to myself. By now I am almost done shelling the peas....finally. Nice to know I have help when I need it.
And I bet if I look,, there will be a pea pod added to her collection behind the door.

Am sorry I do not have a photo today. But I can offer one of the kittens helping DS with his Drivers Ed work, awhile back.
Nari is the brown mackrel colored tabby on the farside.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Evening Visitors~

I have been sitting out in the evenings the last couple of nights because of the beautiful Sunsets. My camera doesn't have a powerful enough telephoto lense but I took a chance with the birds anyway. These are Cedar Waxwings, not something we see too often around here.
And the next evening, these visitors were "Wild canarys". Which is the local name for them. Bird scare tape doesn't seem to worry the birds at all. Sigh ~~
One of the beautiful Sunsets I have been sitting outside to watch.