As mentioned before, I've been having a serious lack of motivation this winter season. You might imagine, then, how nice it felt to kick the new year off with a day outside working. Wednesday was a happy coincidence of a day I had off of work when the weather was actually fairly nice, sunny and temperatures in the 40s.
Andrea was attending an event with her quilt club that day, so I had the place to myself. Once it warmed up I decided to hook to the mower and do some clearing work I had been wanting to do. I had tried this once before, on a particularly cold day, only to find the mower would not start. It was stubborn again this time, but finally started for me.
After a couple of hours of mowing I started seeing smoke. When I went to see what was going on, I realized it wasn't just smoke, but also a liquid spraying out of the mower. After getting it shut down, I realized that the oil fill cap had been torn off by some briars, allowing oil to spray all over the mower. The smoke was from the oil hitting the hot engine. I covered the opening left by the missing cap, and pulled the mower home and parked it. I'll need to get a replacement cap, and change the oil before using it again.
With my mowing brought to an end for the day I decided to run into town and pick up lunch. I also used it as an opportunity to fill up a can with diesel, since the last time I used the tractor I very nearly ran it out of fuel, thinking I had a full can back at the shed.
After having lunch I went ahead and fueled up the tractor, and then greased the front end loader. The manual suggests greasing it after every 10 hours of use, but with the way I use the tractor its impossible to know how many hours of use are actually on the loader. I've been trying to grease it every 15 to 20 hours, depending on what I've been doing. Its a quick job, and doing it too often is definitely better than not often enough.
I'm hoping that my productive first day of the year is a sign of what is in store for 2014. Unfortunately today I woke to find the furnace not working, which is really bad since we're going into the coldest temperatures of the year so far. I'm hoping I can get it to fire up on my own, otherwise we'll either have to get someone out here to look at it quickly, or resort to using the portable propane heater. Andrea and I both have electric space heaters running in our bedrooms this morning, which work well for small rooms, but not the entire house.