"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Scratch One Project off the List

 I've had a project on my "to do" list for several years.  Unfortunately, it required the cooperation of my Clark Y-40 forklift, the last piece of heavy equipment left in my arsenal.

Unfortunately also, the forklift required more TLC than I was capable of giving it, that TLC requiring stronger hands than mine to reattach a hose and mend a fuel leak.  The spark plugs I could change, but I know better than to mess with carburetors, so that meant someone else had to be involved.

This corner is the sled dog whelping pen where many generations of moms and pups learned how to escape this kennel.  Plus, Old Ed backed his snowplow into the corner post.

Enter my cousin Bud, whom I've seen twice since my family left Detroit in 1948.  Bud came to visit for a few days and Bud knows how to make recalcitrant machinery behave.  Machinery doesn't confound him, as it does me.  Nor does he take it personally when something won't start, as do I.

Another view of the no longer used sled dog pen.  The six foot high fence meant I never had porcupine problems, but how one of my dogs caught a snowshoe hare in there is beyond me.  The fence is pulled aside so I could mow in the pen with my John Deere riding mower, rather than do it with a push mower.

Bud put a new cord on the wood splitter's recoil starter, and started my ancient MTD push mower and DR weed whacker with one pull each.  I won't go into how many times I'd pulled the starter cords on those two!  I will say, in my defense, that I put new spark plugs in those machines BEFORE Bud pulled each rope ONCE.

And then, God bless him, Bud got the forklift running.  I was ecstatic.  The forklift used to be my best friend.  It's almost as old as I am, and I love it to death. 

Pulling one of the cemented-in fence posts.

 So Tuesday, I gathered up a handful of wrenches, hoping that somewhere in the pile were the sizes I needed, and started my long-delayed project:  removing the front ten feet of the 50x40 foot pen.  Not only would that clean up what had become a junky looking pen, but it will make snow-plowing and grass-mowing easier.

Hopefully, the right size is in this pile.

 Then, after I'd finally located wrenches in the correct sizes, Eric came home from fishing and helped me.  Eric is the young fellow who lives on my property and helps get me out of the messes I cause myself.  He is also tall enough to reach over the fence; I am not. 

Eric removing the fencing.

With Eric's help...   Wait.  By this time I was helping Eric.  Anyway, a couple hours later, the fence was down and the posts were pulled.

The DR weed whacker started (after Eric pulled the starter rope) and I cut down the tall grass that had grown up along the fence line. 

 Once we got that far, we called it quits for the day.  Wednesday I removed some miscellaneous things from the pen, did some mowing, and hauled off the fencing.  I worked ten hours on this project that day.

Off to the dump.

The final touch was to cut down a lot of willows that had grown up and through the back of the fence.  That meant starting a chain saw.  My Easy-Start Stihl wouldn't.  I finally got my almost-worn-out 024 running and cut down a pile of brush.

Transfer this to a road legal trailer and off to the brush dump.

And the almost-final project:

The scars in the grass will heal soon.  Already it looks hundred percent better.

Next, my neighbor will come over with a BIG fork lift and move my gas tank.  Then, if it ever stops raining, I will pressure-wash the wood shed and repaint it.

Today though,  it's raining and I'm tired.

Guess I'll stay inside and clean windows.

(NOTE TO BUD:  If you're reading this, fall silver salmon fishing is terrific.  And by the way, I have this Easy-Start Stihl that won't.)


  1. Wow! I hope you're sitting with your feet up, relishing all that you've accomplished. It didn't happen by itself. Hard work is how it got done.

    Way to go, Gully!!

  2. And the final door closes on the "dog years"..... I bet youre ecstatic over the new mowing area!