Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's been a few days

Smoke from one of the recent grass fires

3/19/08 Wednesday
I know it’s been a few days. Things have been busy with lots going on. I just got done with lunch so will take this time to write. You’ve probably noticed how short the posts have been lately compared to the wordy entries I usually have. Part of that is due to how difficult and frustrating going online has become but mostly it’s because there is so much going on. So let me try to fill that in though it will be hard to remember some of it.

Let’s see…I took the tiller to Small Engine Repair (I think that’s the name) to get their advice on fixing it. Cherie had to help me load it on the truck. When the guy came out and saw what I had he flatly told me it’s not a good idea to sink more money into it. Just the carburetor and electrical would cost two hundred dollars and it needs more than that. Plus gas tanks are not available but mostly it’s because of the clutch. They commonly wear out and they don’t make that one anymore. What a bummer. Other than that it’s a rock solid piece of equipment made back when things were made good.

The Blackberries and their new trellis

Even doing half of what we plan will require a tremendous amount of tilling, at least by our standards. Nothing compared to what farmers do but a whole lot for my weak damaged body to do by hand. So a tiller is important. From the small engine place I went looking at what was available. Lowe’s has a little rinky dink thing for $680.00. Not an option. Home Depot didn’t have anything better when I stopped by so the next place was Tractor Supply. Now we’re talking. They advertised a Cub Cadet tiller for $679.00 but didn’t have any put together when I dropped by. They had just came in and were still on the truck or something. The lady said they have been selling them as fast as they come in. There was a White brand tiller there that looks pretty good. It is priced at six hundred dollars ($599.00, same difference). That looks good.

I stopped by Home Depot a little later to talk to the Garden center manager about getting their broken bags of material. She said that they were no longer allowed to give that stuff out. Seems that some of the venders had complained about it so now the policy is to throw it in the dumpster. “I don’t suppose the back of my truck could be considered a dumpster” I jokingly asked. The answer was no. What a shame and what a waste but that’s the American way isn’t it? Throw it away before you give it to someone in need.

Where some of the raspberries are

But while there I saw they had just brought in some Cub Cadet tillers like the one Tractor Supply advertised. They wanted four dollars less so that’s not a big deal. I spent the last couple of days going online to learn about the White machine so I could compare it to the Cub. It didn’t show up on Tractor Supply’s website or even on White’s. That got me worried. The Tractor Supply manager told me that they had just started carrying the White brand of products so that’s why it wasn’t on their site. Even typing in the model number didn’t bring it up on White’s site. Come to find out the same manufacturer makes both White and Cub Cadet so I called their customer service number. The tiller that was listed White’s site was listed at $900.00 and was a hair larger that the Cub. But that’s not what was on the floor at Tractor Supply. After going through the “if you want…push two” maze I got a human. He let me know that this was the new 08 model so wasn’t online yet and switched me to the White products guy. He told me that the White tiller uses the same drive train as the Cub. The only difference was a few bells and whistles (his terminology) and the motor on the White was a Brigg’s and Stratton versus a Honda on the Cub. For eighty bucks less I think it’s a no brainer. The warranty is only two years versus three on the Cub but I’ll take good care of it.

So I went back to Tractor Supply. I got a hold of the manager and asked if they could hold the machine for us. It’s the only one they have in the store. Let me tell y’all how things fell into place on this. Seems that Jen and Wally had donated some money Sunday or so through the PayPal donation button on the blog, then Don called yesterday to say he’d like to contribute. Amazingly enough it came out to the exact price of the tiller. Is that another “Godcidence”? (I made up that word a few years back after I woke from the coma to explain the many things that seem to fall into place since then.)

So it looks like we will have a tiller soon. It’s a rear tine model with a reversible drive so even Cherie can operate it. The front tine type like the old Sears I read are not at all recommended for hard dirt like we have. I would like to get it today, mostly for the 150 strawberry plants that have been sitting and probably dying for nearly a week now, but must wait till the funds are there. PayPal takes four plus days to get to the bank. We are so under the gun. Mother Nature doesn’t wait till we are ready. It just doesn’t work that way. So every day counts. Our seeds arrived Monday. I don’t even have the seed starting room done or the greenhouse put together.

So I probably won’t be making too many posts. I picked up two of these workbenches at the landfill today. They are made of pressure treated lumber so will be great outdoors and real handy when we start doing all this stuff. Looking at the pictures I have I see the ones I took of the raspberry and blackberry plants I put in. The blackberries I made this trellis for and put out by the mesquite patch. They grow pretty tall, about ten foot high if I remember right. The raspberries need shade so they are under the mulberry.

Enough prater. Got to go. Hope the stupid PC card works so I can post this in under an hour.

Ok, it took thirty five minutes

No, fifty four minutes so far. Uploading the pictures
I was digging a trench across the driveway to bury a garden hose that will lead to the back of the house where our evaporative air conditioner is. The hose currently runs on the surface where I must walk and run over it daily. That isn’t good so I figured on putting the hose Wally gave us inside some pvc pipe to keep it from getting squeezed and cutting off the water flow. So as I dug I hit something solid. The first thing I uncovered was a metal strip. Then as I dug farther I saw it was embedded in some concrete. Now it’s a mystery. What could it be? Time for an archeological excavation to see what we have. It is a big block of concrete that is at least a foot and half thick. I haven’t finished uncovering it because Cherie and I needed to plot out where we are planting the Afghan pines. I’ve got ninety things to build that will protect the trees from the wind and heat.

In thinking about it I believe this block is a cover for the old water well. When Charles Lewis visited he told me that an old windmill had originally been in that area. The well had evidently gone dry so was replaced with the current well that is a half mile away. I wonder if this well is still dry. It would be real convenient if it now had water in it. That will be something to investigate later. Just moving this hunk of concrete will be a chore.

It’s a shame that my cousin, Daryl, has been so cold and not even accepted my repeated invitations to come and visit. What a hypocrite he is, an elder or deacon in the church but he can’t even show the love that Jesus said to show to strangers. He knows much about this place and could help us learn about what is where. But when I revealed we not only knew but had taken pictures and documented how things were being taken out of the house both before and after my grandmother died, Daryl really distanced himself. Actually he was never open and when we first showed up at the church he was transparent as he tried to avoid us, speeding up and keeping his head down when he had no choice but walk past us in the hall. I had watched him down the hall talking to others and making furtive glances to see if we were still standing there, so purposely stayed put instead of going into the sanctuary for the service. When he walked by I said “Hi Daryl” in a loud voice he couldn’t help but hear. He kept hurrying by so I repeated my greeting so he had no choice but acknowledge my greeting. That’s the kind of behavior that raises some questions. Makes me wonder if he knows about things stolen from here.

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