Hannah and I got here around 2:30 pm with an empty ATV trailer in tow. I’m done hauling scrap for a while but will be using this tomorrow to help my dad clear out the garage in Mayville. The pooch sniffed around the grounds while I unloaded the back of the truck. I brought a cooler full of frozen pizzas, four 24-packs of bottled water, some seasoning, mixer ingredients, Ty Ku, and three different craft beer six packs. The Puckaweekend prep begins.

Two guys competing to take away these bricks for free was a beautiful thing to watch.

I spent some time putting everything away, then went out back to drain the IBC holding the keep’s water supply. It’s gotten pretty scummy and smelly. This didn’t seem to happen to the 55-gallon tank (that I noticed, at least) but that was drained and filled a lot more often throughout the year due to its smaller size. I brought up some pool shock treatment, figuring that a large tank of water that we’ll never drink but want to be able to use safely on our bodies has a lot in common with a swimming pool. I’m planning to overtreat a full tank, dump it out, clean it out, then refill it, At that point I’ll add the proper amount of pool shock to prevent anything from growing and living in it.

Watching those guys stack bricks wore Hannah right out.

Around 4:00, two trucks pulled in the driveway. Both guys were here in response to my craigslist ad for free bricks. After firing up the pump to refill the IBC, I headed back in the keep with Hannah and let them fight over their prizes. The first guy left after about an hour, but the other fella really wanted some blue bricks in his life and just kept stacking them in his trailer. While he hauled, I worked on a little Puckanet project.

I’ve wanted to boost the WiFi out in the pole barn for a while. Moving the keep’s access point down to the bedroom end certainly helped, but the connection was still spotty. I upgraded my home network to Unifi gear this spring so I had a spare access point to use up here. After a factory reset, I configured it to act as a bridge/repeater. Success! I no longer need to use an external antenna to get signal on the jukebox laptop and I can use more smartplugs in the pole barn without having to worry about maintaining line-of-sight to the keep.

I spent the rest of my night in just relaxing and enjoying the keep, something I haven’t done in a while. The unpaid brick laborer left around 7:00. He texted me his thanks for the bricks and said he’d like to come back for more tomorrow afternoon. Sounds like a plan to me. I made a pizza and binge-watched Community for a while. I headed outside at 10:00 to turn off the pump as the IBC was almost full. Watched some more TV and found my way to bed around 11:00.


Woke up at 7:30 and got myself ready for the day. Cleaning out the Mayville garage is going to take some effort, but it needs to get done if my parents are ever gonna sell the property. Hannah and I left about 8:45 after I dumped a ton of pool shock into the water tank and stirred it in with an old garden hoe. Here’s hoping it does some magic today.

It was in the mid 80s all day, and even hotter in that old garage. At least we made a good dent. I ended up with a truck bed full of goodies from our efforts. I also hauled back the green Craftsman lawn tractor in the trailer. One of the mower deck mandrels had busted off so it wasn’t doing much good in Mayville anymore. I pulled back in at 5:30 pm, absolutely wiped. Yesterday’s brick-hauling MVP was already here and hard at work loading up. I unhooked the trailer and emptied my finds from Mayville into the pole barn.

This guy had the brickthirst something fierce.

On my way back to the keep, I grabbed a length of 4″ sewer pipe I found while tearing down the wood shed foundation and brought it to the water tank. I positioned it by the drain valve and proceeded to dump about 200 gallons of water into the woods behind the keep. While this was draining, I fired up the pump and brought the hose back. I used the spray wand to blast most of the gunk off the walls and floor of the inside of the container. Once I was satisfied that I got most of it, I closed the drain valve, popped the spray wand off the hose, and left it to refill at the glacial pace of 50 gallons per hour.

It was 6:30 and I really wanted a shower. I was out of luck until the tank had some water in it, so I left Hannah in the keep and headed to town to pick up some food. I got some frozen pizzas at Piggly Wiggly (so as not to put a premature dent in the Puckaweekend supplies) along with some chips and snacks. I also grabbed a six-pack of Cheladas at BP. Brick guy was still hard at work when I got back. He left around 7:30, having spent nearly six hours over the last two days getting bricks off the property. I salute this man.

Hard to believe that as recently as April there were over 4,000 bricks stacked here.

I wolfed down my pizza and chased it with a few Cheladas. I let this digest and spent some time doing my best to melt into the recliner. At around 9:30 there was finally enough water in the tank for me to stop the pump and wash up. I did, gladly. Still tired as hell but feeling very refreshed, I watched a few more episodes of Community before passing out on the couch. I found my way back to bed around midnight.


I woke up around 7:00 and stumbled outside to knock some bark off and let Hannah do her thing. I promptly returned to bed and fell back asleep for a few hours. I was finally up for the day by 9:30 and tidied up around the keep for a bit. Lyssa called; she and the boys were on their way back from their camping trip with her folks. After taking time to mix some pool shock into the newly cleaned and refilled water tank, I headed to Aunt Judy’s at 10:45 for a late breakfast/early lunch with my family.

Back at Puckaway, Jake and Josh got a huge greeting from Hannah. They spent their day playing with trucks and building fort walls out of the remaining blue bricks. Lyssa and I went through some of the boxes of my old toys from Mayville to see what the boys might want. I had a huge metal Nylint fire truck with an aerial ladder trailer that Jake absolutely loved. I also found a box of Goosebumps books that he’ll be reading before long.

Lyssa set up the hammocks and relaxed with the boys for a bit while I started a fire to take care of the garbage and some of the Mayville “busts” like a collapsible awning that had a bunch of holes in it and a camping lounger that was destroyed by years of mouse activity. I took Jake and Josh for a meandering ATV ride through the marsh before they left for home with Lyssa around 3:00. I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up in the pole barn and reloading my truck. I limped the Craftsman mower into the side door of the pole barn; hopefully, replacement mandrels are cheap or this thing is headed for the scrap heap. I parked the ATV trailer in the pole barn and locked everything up. Hannah and I were on the road by 5:30.