Progress in Paradise... Debbie continues to improve every day, though that dang knee still can't hold any weight. Just two days until her surgical evaluation. She's backed way off on the pain medication, which I'll take as a very good sign!
Lots of little things got done the past couple of days. I finished mounting my shaper to its mobile base. This was a little complicated by the fact that I needed to raise it a couple inches. I used 4 x 6 lumber, resawn (on the band saw) down to an actual 2" x 5.25". I cut it to the right length and mounted it in the bottom of the mobile base, and the shaper is attached to the wood from the top. Works great! Then I assembled and tested my new log splitter; it worked just fine.
I've been waiting for several months now for a ballast box to go on the three point hitch of my tractor. This counterbalances a load in the front loader when I don't have the backhoe attached. My workaround was to leave the backhoe attached all the time :) Yesterday evening Lawrence W. from Agri-Service delivered it, finally. It's basically just a big steel box with the right bits on it to mount onto my tractor's three point hitch. I fill it with something heavy (dirt or stones will do fine) and I'm good to go. I'll be taking the backhoe off shortly to test this out.
I've set up all the 3" aluminum hand line in our yard now, so we're ready for the irrigation season. We have two lines, with 12 and 7 sprinklers respectively. Today I bought three more sprinklers and risers so that I can extend that to 14 and 8 sprinklers. This is so that I can irrigate two areas that we're converting from weed patch to lawn. Naturally, just as I finished all this setup our Paradise Irrigation pressurized water lost all pressure. I suspect a filter is clogged badly somewhere...
This morning I walked the dogs before dawn, at about 5 am with the sky just beginning to lighten in the east. It was a crisp, cool morning and the dogs all reveled in it. Miki and Race bounded through the alfalfa, which is now about 3' tall. I'm sure they'll be mowing it very soon now, as it's in full bloom.
My neighbor Tim D. came over around 7 am to move his three strings of hand line. I gave him a hand (as he's done for me many times), and we had a fun conversation the whole time we were working. Neighbors driving or walking by stopped to say hello and shoot the breeze for a few minutes. We found a tequila bottle out in our field (where Tim is running alfalfa), and we both marveled at the unlikeliness of that artifact showing up there! I noted on one of his hand line strings, Tim has a 15' long section of 3" hose (allowing him to bend at any angle) that was old and full of holes. I picked up a new piece today and replaced it. Fitting that new hose up would be hard for him, as he's got pretty bad arthritis in his hands. It felt good to be able to help a bit. I haven't told him what I've done (and he doesn't know about this blog), so I'm anticipating him trying to figure out how his old hose magically got renewed :)
Yesterday I heard from LeGrand Johnson company that they're going to have a big loader out our way next Tuesday, and that I can have some of its time. I'm going to get them to do some cut-and-fill work on the southeast corner of our property, between the irrigation canal and the highway. There's a section of old irrigation canal there. I'm going to have them fill that in and make a gentler, consistent slope in that whole area. The goal is to get a slope that I can mow easily. Once I have the right slope, I'll start spraying it a few times a year with 2,4-D, and pretty soon I'll have grass there.
Now I'm trying to get myself motivated to clean up the shed. It's full of packing material and dirt that need to be dealt with. But it's hot and I'm feeling lazy :)