Rode in with the whole family around 2 pm after a Menards supply stop and late lunch at Aunt Judy’s. Hannah couldn’t wait to get out of the truck. It’s 55° and sunny—finally, some nice spring weather! I backed the truck and blue trailer up to the pole barn to load up Dad’s riding mower for him. Josh sat on the seat to keep the engine running while Lyssa held the trailer in tilted position and I steered it on board. We need a loading dock.

Buck came over and gave Hannah some exercise as they chased each other around the yard. I had to shoo him back to Danny’s after a while, though. He’s too rough with the boys and kept jumping on them and knocking them over. Lyssa set up Josh’s new tree swing for the boys while I unloaded some supplies in the pole barn. We brought Jake’s new utility cart, and he was thrilled to put it to use by cleaning up the big pile of sawdust left from Jeremiah’s mill last fall.

I drove the truck around to the garden shed and stocked it with 100 pounds each of black oil sunflower seed and whole-kernel feed corn. We also brought up an 8-pack of suet cakes and a mineral block for the deer. Should be quite a while before we need to restock on wildlife feed. The boys kept themselves busy at their “quarry” of sawdust, and Lyssa took on the task of cleaning up the keep.

Once the truck was unloaded, I turned on the pump and let the water run for a while to clean out the line. I got the leaf blower out and cleared the yard around the keep. The lawn looks pretty brown and bare this spring; I’m hoping it bounces back from our long, weird winter. Lyssa and the boys fed the birds while I finished up.

I brought the hose over to the keep’s water tank and gave it a good rinse before starting the long, slow task of filling it up. I kept busy by hooking up the water pump and heater to the keep. I felt pretty good about getting consistent flow and hot water after cleaning out the filters and rinsing the whole system with vinegar over the winter, but that feeling went away pretty quickly once I actually hooked everything up. I could not bleed the air out of the system for the life of me. I spent the rest of the afternoon troubleshooting the water supply and swearing at it. I finally got the supply line working after back-feeding it with the yard pump to push all the bubbles out. That got the siphon effect going again and the keep’s water pump was finally able to get pressure. Even then, the flow was wildly inconsistent at both sinks and the shower head was leaking. Great.

I’m pretty sure this is all leftover from last year before I started adding pool shock to the water supply. I cleaned out the filters on the faucets and disassembled and cleaned the shower head. The bathroom faucet is still nearly useless and probably has a clogged cartridge, but the shower and kitchen are back in fighting shape. Along with the pool shock, I’m thinking of putting an RV in-line water filter on the supply hose to help keep junk out of the plumbing.

I had the tank a little over a third full by the time I was done fighting with the water flow. It was getting late, too. So around 6:30, I started packing things up. I had promised the boys an ATV ride before we left, so we headed off into the marsh. It’s extremely wet out there and I gave our established trails a wide berth to avoid getting stuck in the muck. This worked well until I nearly tipped us sideways trying to run down some scrub growth. The boys were more excited than scared, at least.

We pulled out of the driveway a little before 7:30. Puckaway is open for the season.