Saturday, June 19, 2010

Work, Work, Work!!!--June 18, 2010

Woke up at 7:30 A.M.  Ate a fiber bar for breakfast.  I am now officially completely and totally out of food in my house!!!  Agh!  I drank some water to wash it down!  ha!  Called Dad and told him to bring all kinds of garden tools.  Then hopped in the shower.

He showed up aroud 8:15, and we went straight to work.  I dug up ALL the rock around my mailbox.  It was a pain in the butt!!!  I had had a serious problem of clovers growing up through the rocks, but Dad had sprayed them a couple of weeks ago, and they were mostly dead.  But the roots were there, other green weeds were there, and it was just a lot of rock!  We certainly had our work cut out for us.  We made a large pile right there on my driveway.  I would hoe, and Dad would scoop.  We were just dripping sweat...and it was early!!!

We decided to take a little break and make a run to the hardware store and Mom and Dad's house.  I needed fuel line for a weed trimmer, and we also needed to pick up a small tiller so that we could loosen up the rocks that had sunk in the dirt around my mailbox.  There had been weed barrier put down YEARS ago to hold the rocks, but it was basically worthless.  There was so much dirt on top of it mixed in with the rocks.  So after coming back to my house, I tilled it up, and we were ready to filter out the rocks from the soft dirt.  Only one problem.  We had forgot the sifter back at Dad's house.  So he left to pick it up while I tackled the weed trimmer.

I replaced all of the fuel lines, and I tried it out.  It ran PERFECT.  So I went ahead and trimmed my entire yard!  I was filthy afterwards, but it sure needed it.  Plus I wanted to try it out.  It seriously runs perfect.  I'm thrilled.  Amazing what a little know-how and work can do.  Dad came back, and I showed him the beautiful running trimmer and attachments!  I was excited!  We then went to sifting the rocks and dirt.  That was work, too!  Dad would shovel large piles of rock and dirt into my box, and I would shake it up and let the dirt fall to the earth.  We ended up getting the area looking very nice.  It's now just fine dirt.  And it looks so good that I am not fully convinced that I want rock back in that place!  What to do, what to do.

We headed to Subway for lunch, and I took time to drive around the neighborhood and look at everyone else's mailboxes!  Some are just downright ugly, some are somewhat nice.  But the ruling is official:  NO ONE KNOWS WHAT TO DO WITH THE AREA AROUND THEIR MAILBOX.  Well, you can add another one to that list.  I don't have a clue.

After Subway, we headed to Wal-Mart and picked up four quarts of oil for three lawnmowers.  We came back and started with the riding lawn mower.  It wasn't too hard.  I also took time to grease up the wheels and steering column...who knows how many years it's been since that has been done.  Routine maintenance can be a life-saver!  I'm just trying to get it in tip-top shape.

We then changed the oil on one of the push mowers...a "new" one that I had bought through my parents weeks ago.  It's from craigslist, but it's a beaut.  It's a VERY nice Craftsman...I had paid $40 for it not running.  Well, we changed the oil on that, but in doing so, we accidentally broke one of the rear wheels.  I was disappointed in that, but not much ya can do!  Life happens.  So that one would have to wait.  It starts and runs great without the air filter, but once you put it on, it dies immediately.  The previous owner had put WAY too much oil in the mower causing it to spill out.  But it's an easy fix.  I drained the oil, put new in, and will replace the filter (and now tire).  But that's it.  Then it's ready to sell.  I'll have about $60 in it.  $20 more than planned, but meh, again, what are ya going to do?

After that was done, we loaded up the riding mower, MY push mower (since this "new" one was now broke), and headed over to my sister's house to mow her yard for her and her husband.  But it was just BLAZING hot.  With THICK humidity.  I had been sweating all day, and I was actually not very comfortable with the idea of push-mowing a yard.  I mean, I LOVE hot weather...but this was just...dangerous.  Well, Dad took the rider, and I begrudgingly took the push-mower.  Before I started, I took a drink out of the spigot (my sister wasn't home).  And about every 10 minutes, I would have to go back for more.  I took my shirt off.  The air was just saturated with water.  It was 95 degrees with a head index around 106.  It was nasty.

I ended up just doing the necessary edging parts.  Then I took a break in the shade.  But I just wasn't feeling well at all.  I was pouring out sweat, and I was completely and totally exhausted.  My sister pulled in the drive, and she said I looked real bad.  Dad came around to the front yard on the rider, and I watched him pass by.  And that's when I saw the engine bog down and TONS of blue smoke come pouring out.  Oh crap.

I just watched emotionless, though.  I was seriously out of it.  Completely and totally out of it.  Just sitting there on the porch pouring out sweat.  It wasn't good.  At Dad's command, Erica brought me some water, and I downed it.  I didn't have much to say about the mower, though, but I was afraid it had thrown a rod or something.  Who knew.  Dad was eager to finish the yard, but I was just...lifeless!!!  It was so hot.  I was ordered to go inside to the air-conditioning, and frankly, stubbornnness just wasn't an option.  I realized I wasn't doing so hot (poor pun, I know).  I NEEDED to cool down.  My body was just in overload trying to keep me cool.  Dad went to push-mow the yard, and I pretty much him NO.  It was seriously too hot.  I mean, I was born and raised here, and I know hot summers, but just did something to me!  It was dangerously hot outside.  I didn't want the same to happen to him.

While inside, he went back outside and jumped the mower with my sister's car.  It started right up, and he finished the yard.  About 15 minutes later, I went outside as he pulled around back.  The engine sputtered and died.  And it would NOT start up at all.  Agh, I was frustrated!  This mower was supposed to last for years!!!  What is it doing?!  I was just frustrated.  It wouldn't start.

Well, we loaded up both mowers and headed back to my house.  We unloaded them, and I was eager to figure out what was going on with this riding mower.  Dad was hot, though, and tired.  He headed for home.  But I just HAD to figure this thing out!  It was spinning over freely...and I would see some smoke come out of the carburetor.  But it wouldn't fire.  Everything SEEMED to be right.  It was all doing as it should.  Hmm.  Go for the simple things, Andy.  So I pulled off the spark plug, and I was thrilled to find it all crappy!!!  It had huge chunks of black goo spanning the gap.  Yup, that would certainly make an engine not run!

I wire-brushed it, picked it, and screw-drivered the black carbon and goo off of it.  I think it probably happened when Dad got into that crazy tall grass.  A huge shot of oil was sent into the firing room!  At least that's what I'm hoping.  That explains the black smoke, and that explains this mess of goo.  I put it back in, all clean, and it fired instantly.  That's a relief.  I'm just hoping it's not bad rings...but it runs so good, so I don't think it is.  I pulled a big chunk of rubber or plastic out of the gas tank, threw some Sea Foam into the tank, and found a loose bolt on the gear shifter.  I'm just trying to get everything in perfect working order!!!

But I was exhausted.  I was ready to call it a day.  Mom asked if I wanted to go out for pizza, so I couldn't refuse that.  I put everything away, showered, and waited for them to come over.  We went to Godfather's.  I honestly can't remember the last time I had pizza.  It was pretty good, if I do say so myself.  We swung by my aunt's house for a short bit, then headed to Wal-Mart where I bought an air filter.

We headed over to their house since I locked myself out of my house on accident!  I grabbed their car and headed home.  I installed the new air filter, and the "new" mower runs like a champ.  Just needs a new wheel now.  Sigh.  I called Sears, and they may have one in stock.  $14.00.

I took the rest of the night off.  Just chilled inside.

And chilled is what I needed.  A sign on the way home tonight said 89 degrees at 8:16 P.M.  Even now at 11:03 P.M., it's still 82 degrees with a heat index of 88.  At 11:00 P.M.!!!  It is just nasty to be outside.  The humidity is so thick.

But that won't stop me!!!  I'm hoping to garage sale tomorrow morning with Mom...then get a few items all ready to go!  I want to clean up the weed trimmer, clean up the riding mower, and fix the "new" push mower.

All in all, a very productive day.  A hot one.  An exhausting one.  But a good one.

Was in bed at a comfortable 11:15 P.M.  Alarm is set for 7:30 A.M.

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