Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hurray! We got rain.

6/14/08 Saturday
Hurray!!! We got rain!!! Not a whole lot but it was enough to soak the ground a bit and it came after the sun set so didn’t all evaporate out in a few minutes. This morning I need to get out there with the tiller while it is still wet. There is a whole lot of tilling that I’ve been waiting for some rain to do. Yesterday I had to where a handkerchief over my face as I tilled for, without much wind, the dust just billowed around me like a cloud. I don’t know how long it will take the sun to dry everything out but it won’t be long. I hope this was enough rain for the cotton farmers. If not they could have their worst year ever.

Anyway, times a wastin so I got to get out there.
Sure wish I could last longer out there. The tiller wasn’t running real smooth so I got out the manual to see what it said. It pretty much said “We don’t want you to work on it. Take it to the shop” but in not so many words. So I cleaned the air filter again and took the spark plug out to see what it said. It said the motor was running a little rich because of the black carbon deposits on it. I cleaned that and looking at the carburetor made an educated guess on which screw adjusted the fuel mixture. Then I made another guess on which way to turn it. Must have guessed right cause the tiller runs much better.

I forgot how much running that tiller brings out the back pain but was reminded in no uncertain terms. Now I remember writing how much better it would be if I could raise the handle a little. No biggie. No matter what the tiller saves me a ton of work and hurts a whole lot less than doing all of this by hand would. The garden looks a lot better with it tilled up where I had let the rye grow. This is all part of my playing with different ideas of how to do things, all part of my education. What I think I’ll do next year is to plant the rye but keep mowing it down. Where I mowed it this year the rye stayed green longer and kept growing, almost like a grass. When it went to seed it dried out. Of course the drought contributed to that too. Regardless, where the rye is there are far fewer weeds. The weeds are still there but not nearly as bad as other areas. I’m going to till the areas where I mowed the rye under just a few inches. My hope is this will help the seed that is in the rye heads germinate into a new crop of grain. I’ll run the sprinklers to help out. It will sure be nice when I can do something about this water system, like put in a new well up here near the house.

Boy am I tired. Keep almost falling asleep when I close my eyes just for a second. But it’s 2:00 and that’s when I often must take a nap. It’s just not convenient to need to do this when there is so much I want to do. But an hour’s nap does wonders to refresh me so I guess it would be a good idea. Cherie gave me my haircut this afternoon. She’s gotten real good at that and it saves us a lot of money. It’s ten dollars worth of gas to go to Midland and a cheap hair cut costs about ten bucks if I remember right.

Well that was demoralizing. I went out at 3:00 and started the tiller up again. It’s running crappy again. I really don’t want to take it into a shop because that always costs money. I’ll have Cherie dig up the invoice to see when we bought it. If it wasn’t too long ago maybe Tractor Supply will adjust whatever needs adjusting. It’s worth a shot. So it’s only 4:20 and feels like a hundred degrees already. The ground is dry now. That didn’t take long. It was nice and moist even several inches deep but now the tiller was just kicking up clouds of dust like before the rain. I’m wiped already. An hour out in this heat kicks my butt. I need to build terraces for the tomato and other plants out there. First I must drink two large glasses of green tea and cool off in front of the fan. Cherie ran into Midland to pick up her pay for the housekeeping she does. I think maybe I should work on the business plan that Texas Rehab needs and wait till it begins to cool off before I do any more outside work.

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