Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A new toy...

A new toy ... and lots of work...  Yesterday I took delivery of a front-mounted auger for my tractor.  This thing is powered by a hydraulic motor that needs 6 gallons per minute (gpm) of hydraulic fluid flow.  My tractor can deliver 7 gpm, so it's just barely big enough to handle this thing.  There was a small problem at first – it was delivered with the wrong hydraulic connectors – but once that was fixed, it worked beautifully.  I dug a few test holes today; all worked just fine (photo at right was taken during the second drilling).  This auger is going to let me plant a bunch of trees, and place a few posts for various things I want to mount in the ground.

My brother Scott has been working at our place for the past two days, and will be putting in roughly half-time for a while.  He's tackling our landscaping (and that's a big job!) as well as some maintenance items like pruning.  He's plenty crazy enough to do this work for free, so I didn't let him start until he agreed to be paid a reasonable amount.  Yesterday he went to work on making measurements for the front of our house, which is his first project.  Today he and I tackled several pruning jobs (and there are lots more remaining!).

The past few mornings I've been moving pipe again, and this time Tim is working right alongside me.  His strength is back enough for him to pick up pipes and move them, but his arthritis is giving him fits.  His hands are the worst affected, swollen so much that he has trouble making a fist, and even more so applying any force.  To shake hands is agony for him; the slightest pressure triggers his arthritis pain.  Our mutual neighbor Nick S. is helping every morning, too.  He's 20 years younger than I am, and can move pipes twice as fast as Tim and I combined.  All Tim and I can do is admire and envy his strength and stamina...

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