Sunday, January 24, 2010

Slow daze for Haggis and I

It's been a slow week, helped along by a bout with a cold, ongoing, a holiday on Monday, and a snow day on Wednesday. I've been trying to get those lingering vehicle projects finished -- Aimee's truck now has a state safety inspection sticker, the refurbished rear brakes and emergency brake having done the trick -- it passed first time. The Escort wagon, which is in the best shape by far, failed inspection the first time, and is waiting to return to the inspectors, having received the required new tie rod end. The old one refused to part company with the car, which required me to go buy a new tool -- not usually something to upset me, but this time the unexpected expense did tick me off a bit. The old tie rod end had a severely rusted nut, which required a new angle grinder, my 15-year old one having died a couple years ago, and not having yet been replaced.

So I trekked into town and got a new grinder, as well as a half a ton of oats for the sheep, and four bags of sweet feed. Then, having first shoveled the oats into the grain crib, not a fun job if you have a cold because oats can be dusty, I ground off the rusty nut, hammered out the old tie rod end, and fitted the new one. Twenty minutes with the proper tool. It had taken me thirty minutes of messing about earlier to completely round off that rusty nut. Messing about being the nice way of saying it. My supervising NCOs from the RAF would have used a different word, beginning with "f."

Despite my incompetent blundering early on, and the new tool, I expect we still saved money on the job. Fifteen bucks for the part and forty for the new tool probably compares well to the hundred or hundred-fifty we would have been charged by a shop to replace the tie rod end.

By the time all this was done I was feeling pretty knackered. My nose had itched and run and sneezed constantly the entire time I was working, despite the antihistamine tablet I had taken. Not even bothering to put my tools away, I ate a quick cheese sandwich for lunch and headed to the couch to sleep it all off, sneezing a bit as I went.

What a way to spend a Saturday.

So the lingering cold goes away only slowly, as do the lingering car jobs. Wifie of course has no sympathy for me. Colds are self-inflicted injuries, as far as husbands are concerned, and if you give an inch, they take a mile, so there'll be no whinging about here! Haggis the dog, recently returned from the vets where he was diagnosed with Lyme Disease, a nasty little fact o' life here in Maine, received far more solicitous care.

Oh well. Only another two weeks until the Rugby internationals. Saturdays around here will pick up then, as long as this bl**dy cold goes away. And Lyme Disease is objectively worse than any cold.

Poor dog. But he's already looking much better, and the swelling he developed in his paw has gone down. On Thursday he could hardly walk, and he actually fell out of the car in the vet's parking lot. Normally we protect the dogs and cats against this disease with applications of long-lasting insect repellent every spring and summer, into the late fall, but we pulled some ticks off of Haggis as late as Christmas time this year. They must have been the ones to carry the disease.

Where he could find a live tick to pick up when there was already snow on the ground and there had been a month of hard frost already is a mystery of the first order. But he did. And it made him sick.

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Welcome to our Farm Blog.
The purpose of this blog is for Aimee and I to communicate with friends and family, with those of our students, and other folks in general who are interested in homesteading and farming activities.

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