More break downs

We’re having company on Sunday so I had a few things to do to get ready. According to my bride, the porch needed power washing and the yard (notice I didn’t say lawn) needed mowing. I stopped doing both a month ago since it seemed pretty much a lost cause with all the rain we were having. About an hour into the power washing the machine died. I borrowed my neighbor’s and finished up. I think this one was 10 years old with a fair amount of use so it was time. Next day I cranked up the lawnmower only to find that the driven wheels were locked up. I was doing my best to fix it but to no avail until George showed up. We worked on it for a couple hours and found that one of the wheels had internal stripped gears. Nonetheless, we (he) managed to get it all back together and working reasonably well. I’ll buy a new wheel and can change it myself. The moral to this story is “don’t have company”.

And to emphasize what a roll I’m on, when we came home from the airport the other night, just as we pulled in the car started making an evil noise. I tried to mentally convince myself that I had run over a branch in the driveway and would be able to remove it the next day. No such luck. I lifted the hood and realized quickly that it was a bearing or something in a pump or the alternator but not something that was going to fix easily or cheaply. I asked George to listen to it to determine if it was too bad to drive it to a mechanic. He pulled out a stethoscope and listened to various parts of the engine. I told him my guess was it was something to do with the power steering pump since it started making the noise when I was turning a corner. He asked if I had checked the power steering fluid – nope. We found the reservoir that the Ford folks had located in a perfectly visible, easily accessible spot and immediately saw that it was down below the correct level. I happened to have a bottle of power steering fluid and with just a few ounces, problem solved. So I dodged two (out of three) bullets – the lawn mower and the car. Unfortunately I suspect the power washer is history.

Lest you think that George gets little or nothing in return for his repair work, I have the duty today- watching Harley, their dog. Any time they get hung up or have a social conflict that doesn’t include Harley, I volunteer to take him out for a “walk” every few hours. If they go away for a long stay, I also feed the fish. We both think it balances out pretty well for both of us.

Pretty much resigned to the fact that i’m going to have to restart all my winter stuff and resigned myself to converting the corn patch into compost. We’ve had soo much rain that all the plants are trying (unsuccessfully) to grow with roots in water. I had started everything earlier than normal so no question I’ll have plenty of time for a good winter crop but it’s discouraging none the less. The only good news is that the spinach seems, so far, to be handling the heat fairly well. Based on that I planted some lettuce seed, a variety called summer crisp, and it germinated well. Way too soon to say it will survive but so far, so good.

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