Speed run part deux! My sinus surgery is tomorrow, so I wanted to get one more haul out of the way before my lifting restrictions kick in. Made it up a little after 9:00 pm with the blue ATV, plow, and drive-up ramps in the back of the truck. I had stopped at Menards earlier as well and bought 50 lbs of sunflower seed and 100 lbs of whole-kernel corn. And finally, I brought up the three 5-gallon jugs of Oshkosh drinking water. All the heavy stuff.
I unloaded and parked the ATV, then put on some music while I stowed the ramps and plow for the summer. Drove the truck over to the keep, powered it up to get the outside lights going, and secured the seed and corn in the sealed bins in the garden shed. Noticed the low-hanging feeder was knocked off the shepherd’s hook—must be turkeys. I’ll have to find a new solution to raise the feeders a bit higher. Hopefully, having corn to thrown down will help keep them out of the feeders, too.
Lugged the water jugs into the keep bathroom and took a moment to enjoy how incredibly easy it’s been to start things out for spring. I don’t track in any dirt now because of the deck, the new lighting makes nighttime hauling a snap, all the linens are clean and folded in vacuum bags, and there are actual beds waiting and ready now. I plopped down in the recliner for a bit and just let it sink in that we’ve finally got a good base of operations up here. I hit the lights, locked up, shut down the pole barn, and was out around 10:30. Can’t wait to get the all-clear from the sinus doc so I can dig into some spring cleaning and yardwork up here.
I Need Never Get Old – Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
This was a big year for Puckaway. Let’s take a look back at it!
On April 15, I finally accepted my responsibility for keeping the logs. But rather than taking pen to paper, I took fingers to keyboard and started a WordPress site. Accounts of the days’ activities are now accompanied by photos and videos, projects can be tracked from start to finish, and even the old notebooks are getting digitized and transcribed. I now have a platform to share my favorite little corner of the globe with the rest of the world.
Spring was greeted with the usual cleaning efforts and the start of some of the most ambitious projects I’ve undertaken. Farmer Joe provided a truckful of fertilized dirt to help rehabilitate the yard and we tamed the area around the brick pile. I jacked up and levelled out the keep in preparation for Sean’s 2014 suggestion, a new deck. With a little help from Jake, I was able to frame out the platform, lay the boards, and install the stairs in just two short trips. While this construction was underway, the keep got a much-needed new recliner, the pole barn got some new all-weather outdoor speakers, and I built a full/twin trundle bed for the keep’s bedroom. No more air mattresses.
Red and I got things ready for summer by installing the A/C into the wall of the keep, giving us our kitchen window back. We also tore out the stove, which Red hauled away for scrap along with his extensive collection of aluminum cans. More spring cleaning was done around the yard as I cut trees and cleared out the LP tanks and scrap from the end of the driveway. The place was looking better than ever.
Rolled in around 11:00 am with a new riding mower on the back of the truck. It’s an early-2000s Sabre (budget John Deere) model with a 48″ deck. Dad bought it from Linda and Dennis now that they’ve sold their house in Campbellsport. I had taken it home, washed it up, and given it a tune-up. I was also going to get new mulching blades for it but ended up ordering the wrong fitment; I’ll have to bring them up another time. The mower itself is in great shape but the bagging accessories look like they’ve been through hell and back. The bag unit itself is completely unsalvageable and the chute and blower assembly will require a lot of creative patching to get up and running again. But at least it cuts. I used the ATV ramps to unload the mower and decided to try it out by trimming the areas of the yard I had mowed/mulched last month. Even with dull, worn blades, it made quick work of cutting. I even tried a few areas with a lot of leaves and it never bogged down once. I can only imagine how well it’ll do when it’s got proper, sharp, mulching blades.
I was just finishing up cutting around 12:45 when Red and Gunner pulled in, trailer in tow. Red’s mission this weekend is to gather up the aluminum cans he stored here several years back and cash them in. It didn’t take Gunner long to go into “Puckaway mode” and start sprinting huge laps around the yard. He’ll sleep well.
Jake and I came up around 11:30. Sunny but cool, mid 50s. We had stopped in town for some housekeeping and storage supplies and Princeton was packed with people. Didn’t realize it at the time, but it was the opening weekend for the Princeton Flea Market. I pulled Jake’s PowerWheels ATV out of the back of the truck and he set off to explore the yard.
I set up the new outdoor speakers for the pole barn. For now, they’ll just sit out, but I want to make some sort of mini-roof for them and mount them on the side of the building. They’re water-resistant but probably don’t need direct exposure to the elements. Got some tunes going and moved the truck over to my trailer where the rest of the day’s activities would take place.