Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘snowplow blade

Status Update

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One week down, seven to go before Cyndie can hope to be allowed to put weight on her right leg. Not that I’m counting. I’m noticing promising progress in her pain control as she is reducing narcotics and replacing them with over-the-counter alternatives.

I wish we could say Delilah is showing as much improvement. Even though she is no longer throwing up like she had been, her energy has dropped and she’s totally rejecting the vet-prescribed food and meds that are intended to help her. We’ve been throwing money at the problem and have learned there is no blockage visible by X-ray and her blood levels all fall within a healthy range.

Taking Delilah for a walk has become an exercise of my patience. Instead of pulling me down the trail like usual, she now trails behind as far as the leash reaches. At one point, as she stood foraging for grass to chew, I hooked her leash to a fence post and continued on to feed horses without her.

Normally, she would bark and bark if we left her behind. This time, she didn’t seem to mind one bit.

I think Cyndie and Delilah are unconsciously in a contest to see who gets better first.

Between my tending to each of them, I have continued to chip away at tasks we had hoped to take care of before snow arrived. Yesterday, I finally retrieved Cyndie’s prized “door-table” that she sets up on two plastic sawhorses in the woods under a big tree. It’s a novelty that she loves having, but it sees little if any use throughout the summer. It is now stored in the barn for winter.

I also pulled out the ATV snowplow from the back of the garage and installed it on the Grizzly. In the morning, it seemed like I was going to have snow to scrape off the driveway but by the time I was ready to plow, the snow had again melted from the pavement.

It looks like we installed heating in the asphalt. I’m pretty sure that residual ground warmth is fading fast. Our temperatures are due to drop for a few days, swinging us from unseasonably warm to colder than normal for mid-November.

Eventually, I will need to plow the driveway. For now, I am more than happy to wait.

It feels strange to walk the snowy trails without Cyndie. Winter will be half over by the time she gets to join me again.

It challenges one’s ability to live in the moment when you can’t put weight on a leg for two months and the immediate moment involves uncomfortable surgery pain. It’s safe to say that both Cyndie and I are setting our sights on a day that is weeks away. For now, that’s the moment we are living in.



Written by johnwhays

November 18, 2022 at 7:00 am

Prudent Preparations

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I did salvage my pride on Sunday by getting out in the warmth to knock off a few more winter preparation steps. After getting the Grizzly back from the shop with fresh fluids and cleaned up brakes, it occurred to me that I had yet to install the new beefier cable on the winch. That’s a chore that would be much nicer to do when it’s not freezing cold outside.

The primary use for that winch is to raise and lower the snowplow blade. That involves a heavy repetition of back and forth on a very short length of the cable. The original was old and brittle which made it susceptible to breaking, which it did, frequently –almost always at an essential time while clearing snow.

Fixing that usually involves working in the cold and after dark. A broken cable is always an unwelcome incident, but at a critical point in plowing, the impact is intensified.

When all else fails, get a bigger cable.

I hadn’t been working long when the chickens showed up to see if my project involved anything they could eat. I’m guessing they were disappointed by not finding anything. I stepped into the shop for a second and when I returned, there was a fresh pile of chicken sh*t on my pliers.

That’s a skill, dropping it so squarely on the tiny surface of the tool. I was duly impressed and totally disgusted.

With the new cable installed and ready to lift the plow, I moved on to the swapping out the summer tires for the winter set. That beast is now ready for the snow season.

Before we even get to that, the ATV and its trailer will be put to use this weekend transporting chainsaws, ropes and gear down by the road. It will also be hauling loads of cut wood back up to the wood shed, and picking up the inevitable forgotten tools that were missed the first and second trips of the day.

If a winch and heavy-duty cable turns out to be needed, it’ll be ready for that, too.

I just hope the more aggressive winter tires don’t completely chew up the not-so-frozen ground. I didn’t think to prepare for top soil that has been re-melting in the late November 60° afternoons.



Written by johnwhays

November 28, 2017 at 7:00 am