Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘to do list

Small Projects

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The weekend just passed consisted of many small tasks chipped off the ol’ to-do list, primarily addressing the first-impression appearance of the place. After getting the grass mowed and the landscape pond fixed my attention shifted to whatever miscellaneous project caught my eye, particularly if they had been staring me in the face for more than a year.

I finally got up on the roof to address the wind vane that came apart so long ago I’ve forgotten when. I ended up removing the base entirely to see if repairs on the ground are possible. I may, or may not, put it back up someday.

The kids stopped by on Saturday and Julian helped me quickly dispatch a dead pine tree located right in front of the approach to the house garage doors. Yesterday, I pulled out the chainsaw again and removed dead limbs from the next tree over, some version of a flowering decorative. I think that one is a form of lilac, but seems to have climbed to heights that exceed my perceptions of lilac.

While the chainsaw was out, I hoofed my way down to the woods behind the labyrinth to cut up a dead tree that fell across one of our small side trails. At the labyrinth, I removed the stakes that secured the transplanted maple now that it seems to have established itself. There, I discovered the deer have been feasting on the hostas by the peace pole.

I hope they had a very peaceful meal there while the angel’s back was turned.

The driveway got some attention in the form of lime screenings packed into a low dip that was becoming quite a bump in the road. The last time a UPS truck delivered a package, I heard everything bounce in his truck when passing over that spot a little too quickly.

Julian and I started removing anything attached to the side of the house in preparation for a resealing of the logs that will hopefully happen sooner than later. We have enlisted the services of professionals and they have teased us that we are next in line when they finish the current customer.

That’s another one of those weather-dependent projects that end up being hard to plan start and finish dates.

That brings to mind the hay fields. Things are growing so fast right now that our fields look ripe for the mowing. I don’t know what the farmer who is renting our fields this summer is planning, but I hope he is able to get enough dry days in a row to be successful this year.

The only thing I didn’t get to before time ran out last night was in fulfilling Cyndie’s wish to get the hammocks up.

That’s a good task to look forward to for starting my next spurt of knocking off small projects, whenever that moment comes.

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Written by johnwhays

June 8, 2020 at 6:00 am

Foreign Body

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I have done it again. This time, I was wearing my safety glasses, but somehow it happened again anyway. A metal fragment lodged in my eye and in time began to rust, just as happened to me 30 years ago.

I knew that debris had gotten around my safety glasses while I was using a grinding stone with a Dremel tool to smooth sharp prongs of the grates I made for the slow-feeder boxes. When I showered afterward, I rinsed my eyes thoroughly.

The next day, both eyes felt a bit irritated, but I figured that was a normal reaction to the abuse of grit followed by the water-washing. Yesterday, when I woke up, my right eye was enough worse that I suspected I had more trouble brewing. Cyndie told me she could see a spot in my eye.

I couldn’t see it, but since I now need correction to see up close, I was trying to look through the lens of my glasses. It didn’t matter. I made an appointment to have it examined at our eye clinic.

First, the doctor checked my distance vision. Still 20/20. That was the good news. Then she immediately identified the foreign body that was indeed beginning to rust. I never expected to suffer that fate twice. It is time for me to buy a face shield that I can wear over the goggles that I will have over my safety glasses.

Yeah, that won’t fog up and make it hard to see what I am trying to do. I should get a welding helmet, and in place of the dark glass window I can put a x1000 magnifying lens so what I am looking at will be in focus.

After the sting of a drop of numbing potion, the tweezers came out and in less than a blink, the sliver was removed. Then came the interesting part. With a miniaturized version of the Dremel tool that caused my problem, she worked to “grind” off the rust in my eye. It took several passes, between which she had me blinking several times.

Finally, she needed to use a Q-tip to retrieve the remnants of floating rust that were left behind.

Walking out into daylight caused pain in the entire eye, which radiated all the way to the back of my head, but it was a relief to know the irritant had been removed. I could live with the discomfort.

The night before, I had created a list of things I hoped to address over my 3-day weekend. By the end of the day yesterday, I had almost finished one of the dozen tasks. That wasn’t the progress I was hoping for.

Shortly after returning from our foray to the eye doctor, George called to check if we were home because he was pulling in our driveway for an appointment to trim our horses and it didn’t look like we were around. Usually, we are waiting for him with the horses haltered and all ready to go. He could see them all grazing in the far side of the hay-field.

Oops. We forgot.

That wasn’t one of the tasks on my list. I suppose I should add it, after the fact, so I could then say I got two things done by the end of the day.

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Written by johnwhays

October 31, 2015 at 9:08 am

No Matter

with 2 comments

No matter how much preparation I have done for the onset of the snow season, the first significant accumulation seems to always burst on the scene when I still have too much to do. This morning I discovered news of a likely accumulating snowfall anticipated for Monday. I better get after a few things, especially moving the rest of that fresh pile of split firewood into the shed.

I had hoped to get the round pen surface of lime screenings sufficiently packed so we could order dump truck loads of sand for the finishing touch. I was allowing time —as in, the passing of days— to aid in the settling. I also drove around in there on the 4-wheeler, pulled an arena drag across it, and re-raked it prior to a final packing with a tamper. I’m not confident I’ll get that done now, although it doesn’t matter so much if, with a new snow covering, we wouldn’t be able to get a truck in there to dump the sand anyway.

Suddenly, this weekend I need to:

  • Move the pile of left-over pea gravel that came with the drain tile installation. I have several potential uses for the pea gravel. Just need to commit to one.
  • Finish the ends of small berms that were started around the paddocks when the drain tile was installed.
  • Move two piles of dirt that linger. One is left from the rock pile and one is from the excavation of our drainage swale through the pasture. I now have a place they can go:
  • Add dirt to the high spot I’m creating in the paddock around the hay feeder. I need to get that done and packed so I can:
  • Use up the left-over pile of lime screenings that were spread in the round pen, by packing them on the new high-spot around the hay feeder.
  • Pull out the snow tires for Cyndie’s Audi.
  • Re-arrange the shop garage to get the plow blades out from storage.
  • Change the tires on the Grizzly ATV to the more aggressive winter tires.
  • Move the deck furniture into storage.
  • Hopefully, get that pile of split firewood moved and stacked in the woodshed.

On the bright side, we are more than content about the major accomplishments we have achieved in preparation for the winter snows. With the drainage swale and drain tile in place, the spring runoff should be much improved. Also the south drainage ditch is cleared wide open for the full distance of our property. There is a fresh application of lime screenings on the slopes in the paddock, a new high spot for horses to stand on, and berms around the upper perimeters. Plus, we buried the drain of the barn gutter downspout so it will dump its water directly into the drainage swale beyond the paddock fence. With the back pasture properly fenced, we will now be able to turn them out on some higher ground, earlier in the season than we were able last year.

I better get to work on the other things. That is, after I go downstairs and replace the battery in the smoke detector that has been chirping since the godawful early hours of this morning. It caused some crazy avoidance/anxiety dreams for hours this morning as I repeatedly tried to fall back asleep so as to delay dealing with it until daytime.

It’s all good!

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Written by johnwhays

November 8, 2014 at 9:26 am