Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Right Tool For the Job

Last fall I did a stupid thing. I didn't mean too. I tried to avoid it. I was doing pasture stuff. Cleaning up, working on fence and mowing the fence line so I wouldn't get covered in ticks and to protect the electric fence from tall weeds that could short it out. There was an area where I had been stacking my old wire. It was rolled into balls like yarn. When it came time to mow that section, I walked the area. Walked it again. Raked over it with the shovel listening for the metallic "ting" sound that would tell me that I had hit a ball of wire. I walked it again. By this time I considered myself safe to mow that section. So, I mowed. All was well. Then I decided that I needed to get a little closer to the one post. A whirring noise. CHUNK!! The engine died, "Dammit anyway!!!!" The rest of the fall, I planned on getting the mower up on a ramp and cutting the wire out. It did not happen. The mower sat there until spring. It would not start. Mac jumped it and we got it driven up by the house where it was a little easier to work on it. We lifted the front end but there was no way I could get under there and get the wire out. Plus I was worried about injury if the blade would recoil when the wire was free. Then the other night we made the decision to pull the mowing housing out from under the mower. The next day I flipped it over and started removing the wire. It could have been worse. Nothing was bent or broken and it took about a half an hour to get the wire off. Then I decided to try sharpening the blades. I did okay. I will do better next time. They could certainly be sharper. Last night we flipped the housing back over and got it back onto the mower. The battery was dead again. It was again jumped and the tires aired up and Mac did a little mowing. Not a lot. Enough, hopefully, to charge up the battery and enough that he managed to cut off one of my young crabapple trees. There is something meditative about mowing... it makes him completely unaware of his surroundings. He gets stupid. Today's goal is to get the green slime stuff into the mower tires so they will hold air. I'll try to get the tires fixed today and get the mowing done. Then I want to get the INCREDIBLY tall grass raked up and served to the horses. It will help make the pasture last longer. All of the rakes, well, all except the kids' rakes, have broken handles. It would be nice to have a rake with a handle longer then a foot and a half that doesn't end in a broken shard of wood. I think I will have to go to town and find a rake. It will have to do. Of course, the right tool for the job would be a lawn sweeper that I could pull behind a lawn tractor, the mower, or an ATV. We also need a dethatcher tool that is also a pull behind..... and an aerator. Grass handling tools are some of our most important tools right now and what do I have? I have a mower with flat tires and a broken rake. Oh well, we will hope that once the chickens get old enough to be out that they will go into a chicken tractor and take care of this problem. Hopefully, chickens won't get flats. Hopefully, chickens will be the right tool for the job. Louie

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