Pulled in with Hannah and a truck full of tools at 5:45. The pooch ran around while I unloaded the truck by the pole barn and grabbed the two empty gas cans to fill up later. I noticed last trip that the big heating oil tank by the power pole seemed to be dripping at a decent pace so I walked over to check it out. This was nearly empty anyway and probably had more water than oil in it over the last few decades. Today it was completely dry.

Another one bites the dust.

For grins, I tried pushing it over. It took a few tries, but I managed to rock three of the four stand legs out of the ground. The remaining leg just bent and the whole thing toppled over. Arrivederci, eyesore! I headed back to the pole barn, returned on the blue ATV, and used a tow strap to tug the tank free and haul it over to the scrap pile. I’ve only been here 20 minutes and already altered the landscape for the better.

I washed up, let Hannah into the keep, and headed to town to top off the gas cans and grab some dinner from A&W. I also got a six packs of cheladas to enhance my mowing experience this weekend. Back at Puckaway, Hannah and I enjoyed our burgers and watched some TV. At 7:30, with plenty of light remaining, I decided to get started taming the lawn. I changed clothes, threw on some 100% DEET to keep the swarms of flies at bay, grabbed a chelada, and started cutting the nearly knee-high grass.

By 9:30 I was losing daylight but had made some real progress on the lawn. I’ve still got to tackle the south lawn and between the shack and marsh entrance, but everything else is clean cut. I headed in for the night, but wasn’t done with projects.

Darkness on-demand.

Red gave me a nice pair of window blinds with matching valances that he took out of a bedroom at home when they redecorated. They were the perfect size for the keep’s bedroom windows, so I got them hung up and trimmed the blinds for height. This is a vast improvement from the oversized drapes I had in here before. Thanks, Red! At this point, it was pretty late, so I showered up and fell asleep watching Archer around midnight.


Got up late around 10:00. It was amazing. I’ve been getting terrible sleep at home lately and it was nice to catch up. I spent the morning in the keep doing some general cleanup. I vacuumed, wiped down the table and all the counters and cabinets, and organized the totes in the closet. After (what I guess you could call) a brunch of some cheddarwurst wraps and chips and salsa, I headed outside for the day at 11:30.

I fired up the pump and started filling the keep’s water tank right away, then hopped back on the mower to handle the rest of the yard. It’s finally dry enough to mow around the marsh entrance. I kept at it for most of the afternoon and was finished around 3:00. I love how this place looks in summer right after the grass gets cut. It’s probably got the best sense-of-accomplishment/effort-involved ratio of anything I do up here.

I parked the mower and realized I had forgotten all about the water tank. It was overflowing, but no harm done. I shut off the pump, rolled up the hose, and hopped on an ATV to check out the deer stand. The battlement stands proud! I hope it stays a little dryer for the rest of the summer than it was last year so we can get that big fallen tree out of the marsh clearing this fall.

I spent some time in the pole barn going through cabinets and shelves and getting things organized for the rest of the afternoon. Hannah was content to lay out in the sun most of the day. I started to get hungry around 7:30 so I headed into town to get some supplies at Pig. Back at the keep, I threw a pizza in the oven and showered up. I spent the rest of my night being wonderfully lazy and fell asleep around 11:00.


Another late morning, today I was out of bed at 9:30. After a questionable breakfast of leftover pizza, I grabbed some tools and dug into a project I’ve wanted to tackle for a while now. The server closet (pantry) tends to run pretty hot with its lack of airflow. I found some mesh-reinforced wall vents in the pole barn a while back, so I figured I could install one in the bottom of the door and one up high on the wall.

That’s exactly what I did for the next hour and a half. I was even able to place the two USB-powered 140mm fans in the wall cavity behind the upper vent. Now the closet can draw in cool air from the floor and exhaust it out the top. The door’s a lot easier to open and close now, too.

I cleaned up after the vent project and went out to the pole barn to test out the UPS that failed earlier this month. I think the batteries are just shot. I packed it up in the back of the truck with my tools and closed things up out there.

Back in the keep, I got my clothes together and took out the trash. I checked the temperature graphs from the weather station and noticed the server temp is now almost exactly the same as the indoor temp, which is over a 10-degree improvement from how it was before. I was very happy to get such immediate results. Hannah and I were on our way out by 2:00 pm.