Sunday, March 2, 2014

What a Steel!

In the Land of Ongoing Projects, what's one more? Or three?

The jacking up of the slightly droopy side of my house is a priority.  But, I've put it off because the days that I've been home have been too beautiful to spend as a troll under the house. 

I've wandered afar on those glorious days to keep from thinking of that most important project.  Last weekend, I wandered over to the neighbor's place.  He gave me permission to run on his land (alright!), to pick as many rocks as I want for my garden (1.5 mile walk to and fro with a wheelbarrow, my kind of exercise) and he gave me a big steel container that will become my tornado shelter.

Dr. P and I hooked up the front end loader to his tractor and we went to collect my prize. 

Large enough for two people AND a few dogs. 
It already has a hinged trap door.
What a cool gift... thanks, Hugh!
Some girls like silver or gold.  I prefer steel, so much more practical.

Now, if my pectoral muscles can get over the insult of being mauled by a steer, I will start digging the hole to bury my storm capsule.

I may have brought 500 lbs of junk steel onto the farm, but in exchange, I took about the same off.

I've had a bee in my bonnet about some of the rusty, buried barbed wire that's resurfaced.  Three Christmases ago, my dad was left to his own devices for an afternoon.


He filled up the back of the utility vehicle with old wire.  A pair of pliers is all I'd given him.  Industrious, isn't he?

Last Sunday, avoiding the important project, I wandered to one corner of the farm where a bumper crop of tangled wire was coming out of the ground.  I struggled with my dinky pliers to fill a couple wheelbarrows.  When Dr. P offered to help with the tractor's bucket, I didn't refuse!

Loading the trailer was a long and painful project.  I tore my second favorite pyjamas in several places.  Two more hours the next day of running a magnet board over the ground yielded about 50 more lbs. 
How to unload it without poking out an eye and getting tetanus?  I had a devious plan, but Dr. P preferred delivering it to Waste Recycling Inc. in Opelika.
15 years ago, I'd been to a nasty scrap yard, with nastier people in Salem, AL.  They dented my trailer and sent me home with two nails in my tires. I was not eager to go back to a scrap yard!

Pleasant surprise and huge relief:  Waste Recycling is staffed with friendly folks...

...careful operator took his time getting into position.

Three bites and it was all gone.

They helped me sweep out my trailer, I drove around the debris-free roads (take note nasty people in Salem) and was given $35 for the weight of the steel.

What a great field trip!  Cole tried to sleep through most of it as squirrels and birds aren't the usual fauna at junk yards.  Pity this place only resells wholesale compacted chunks.  What I could do with all the wheels, metal bars and plates... enough projects for the next 10 years!

This past weekend, I worked Saturday and Sunday evening and the rest of the time I avoided that important house jacking job again.
A few hours were spent evicting the chipmunk living in the recesses of my truck's hood.  One year -- that's how long I've battled this 4 oz devil.  Today, I pulled the insulation off the underside of the hood and worked with a small stick to spoon feed leaves, fluff and pecan shells from a quarter size hole in the hood, into my vacuum nozzle. It filled the vacuum bag. 

I don't think chipmunks are cute anymore.
To get my mind off destructive rodents, I took an hour to pay tribute to insane Winter Olympians.
My Ode to the Sledding Sports.
Skeleton racers go down the course head first.
I tried to get Cole to pull me down the driveway on a furniture dolly.  He kept going off into the grass and it occurred to me that this wasn't what his surgeon has in mind when he told me to keep him under house arrest.  Oops.  So, I added Bishop to the team.  He's far too polite of a dog to tug on the leash, but at least he kept us on the pavement, mostly.
The seasoned veterans reading the terrain before taking off in opposite directions.
Obviously, skeleton racing is much harder than I thought, so back to the drawing board (house).  Cole allowed me to push his sled half way back down the drive.
OK, it may have been a retarded idea, but we had fun.
...not as nutty an idea as double luge.
Who came up with this sport?  Did some poor, misguided luge coach simply have too many kids show up at once and he didn't have enough sleds for everybody?
I had to try it.
Another bad idea.

If I put my mind to it, how many other sports can we misrepresent?