Sunday, January 6, 2013


I had a productive weekend. The weather was nice yesterday, sunny and temperatures in the 40s. Today it was in the 40s again, but overcast and windy, so felt much cooler. Regardless, since there was no rain, it was good weather for getting out and getting a few things accomplished.

Yesterday morning I got up early and headed to London. After grabbing some breakfast I dropped by the farm supply store to pick up a few items for the tractor. After getting my new plow home Thursday night I realized I didn't have everything I needed to attach it. I should have picked up what I needed when I bought the plow, but since I had never used a three point implement I had no idea what I needed. After a bit of online research, Youtube is great for this stuff by the way, I knew what to get.

After buying the parts I needed for the tractor I went on to my next stop, which was the primary reason for the trip, and bought gravel. The path from our parking area to the back porch is very muddy, and has been in need of regravelling for a while. I bought a half ton #57 gravel, which is pretty much the limit of what I could haul in the truck without going over its rated hauling capacity.

Once I got home, I unloaded the gravel and spread them over the walkway. I was able to apply a good layer, approximately 2 inches thick, which should get us through the winter at the very least. It was a quick job, taking maybe an hour total. There are a couple of other spots where I could use some gravel, so will probably stop by and get another load the next time I am in London with the truck.

Saturday afternoon I got the tractor out and mounted the plow. I had Andrea come out to help me, since I wasn't sure how well I'd be able to see how well I was aligned with the ditch I wanted to clean out. I had a bit of trouble keeping the plow where I wanted, because the mud was making the front end of the trailer slide downhill. Also, the plow wasn't digging quite as deep as I had hoped, but it got the job done well enough. After looking everything over later in the day I realized that I could have lowered the lift arms on the tractor a bit, which would have given me a little more depth. The next time I clean the ditch out I'll try that.

Since I had the tractor out I decided to use the front end loader to move a bit of dirt. There was a hump of dirt alongside the driveway, directly next to a low spot. It only took a few minutes to knock down the hump and fill in the low spot. I also removed some dirt in front of the steps to the shed. When I installed the steps I had to dig down, which caused water to pool at their base. So far it hasn't caused a problem, but I'm sure will start causing them to rot soon enough. I used the tractor to remove enough dirt that the water should, hopefully, drain away from the steps now. I'll find out for sure after the next good rain.

I slept in today, which was very nice. I waited until after lunch to go outside. My first project was to move the dirt I had piled up in front of the shed yesterday. If I had known what I was going to do with it, I could have just moved it with the tractor. In hindsight I probably should have at least used the tractor to load it into the bed of the RTV, but I didn't think of that until I had already parked the tractor. I certainly thought of it today, though, as I was loading it into the RTV with a shovel. I used the dirt to fill in a low spot at the edge of the driveway that fills with water when it rains.

After moving the pile of dirt I started working on the ditch. As I mentioned before, the plow did a pretty good job. However, it left dirt piled up on either side of the ditch. Normally that would be no problem, but in this case I didn't want dirt on the uphill side of the ditch, as I knew it would eventually just get washed back into the ditch by runoff. I used a shovel to move the dirt from the upper side, adding it to what was already piled up on the lower side, which I'm hoping will make the ditch less likely to overflow. That section of ditch is looking pretty good at the moment, although I still need to work on a couple of other sections sometime.

This evening, I had one task inside to do for Andrea. She found that there was mold growing on the inside of our dishwasher, and wanted me to clean it since she's allergic to mold. I was shocked to see how much mold there was. We hadn't noticed it before, because it was on the top, which you never really see. A mixture of hot water and bleach made the mold scrub away easily. Normally we do not use the heated dry mode when we wash dishes, which we believed to be the cause of the mold formation. Even after Andrea ran it this evening, using heated dry, however, we noticed quite a bit of moisture was present. I suggested that we might need to open the lid a few inches after the dishwasher finishes, to provide some airflow to help dry out the inside. This seems to have helped this time, although there is still a small amount of moisture present. I'm sure it will be gone by tomorrow morning, though.

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