Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A day off from summer break

It's been nearly a week since our summer break began. What did we do with all that "free time"?

Well, we looked after our kid. Played with her, fed her, bathed her, put her down for naps. All that good stuff. Here she is. having discovered that fun stuff comes in packages, she decided to try to open one with a table knife. Luckily, not only are our knives blunt, but we caught her in time.

We also bought a new livestock trailer, to replace our old home-made one (pictured above). I have to restore the body and frame of the new one. No welding needed, just mild rust abatement, but if it's done now, it should last for twenty more years at least.

There was a gale last weekend that took out our greenhouse. Repeated gusts pulled the anchors out of the ground and bent the frame. I was able to square it up again and re-position it, but a proper repair must wait for replacement rafter tubes. Since then the weather has been better and we now have the garden planted.

Aimee made more of the new design wooden tomato cages.

Finally, we've done a lot of work on the VW project and started the repairs to the Bale House.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Nearly done -- crack that nut

Our summer break has nearly begun, but you wouldn't know it from the weather. Graduation was Saturday, and that day was nice and warm, but then some cold air spilled in and we even had snow in northern and eastern parts of Maine.

I enjoyed the commencement ceremony, mostly because of all the students and their families and how happy they were. I'm not fond of dressing up, nor of anything really that gives people the impression they are better than other people, and so I don't enjoy all the robes and pomp and circumstance. But I like seeing the smiles on all the students and parents and grandparents.

I also like the bagpipes.

We have our requisite period of "professional development" this week, our mandatory in-service teacher training, and then we're officially off work for the summer.

My grading done, I've been dividing my time between jobs around the house and farm and making progress on my Volksproject. The interesting rig you see above is my solution to the difficulty that ensues when you remove a VW engine before you crack the large nuts on the rear stub axles. Normally, you'd do this procedure with the engine in, using the engine's compression to lock the gearbox and prevent the wheels from turning. But I had removed the engine before I realized I had to remove the axle nut. I used an old clutch plate placed over the gearbox input shaft, attached to a long bar,  to make a jamming rig.

Our kid is thriving with the (mostly) warmer weather, and spends a lot of time running around the yard. We now have our feeder pigs in the barn, and with the lambs running around and baby chicks in the kitchen, there's lots to see and do if you're a few months shy of two whole years old.

The garden is about half-planted, just waiting for some warmer weather and for the risk of frost to pass. We managed to find a horse trailer to replace our pathetic home-built animal trailer, something we've complained about for years. It needs to be restored, although it's not as much work as the VW.

Mostly, this particular season of the year, I'm just anxious to get started and get some of this work done. I'll be glad when these two training days are done.