Day 10508

On a very short two day weekend (how do people live like this?) I spent a morning with the pooch up at the land. While we were down in the city, I got the 444 tractor's front wheels gooped up so the tires would hold air, and had a braided hydraulic line made to replace the solid steel line that had broken. I also had the bushings for the lift piston (the piston's holes are 3/4", and the pins and mount holes are 1/2".) The bushings would take the space between the lift cylinder mounts and the tractor's hardpoints, so that the mounting pins won't be deformed over time. I installed these parts (the hydraulic line was a small struggle) and cranked the machine over.

Not having a good way of disposing of oil, and knowing the hydraulic fluid I drained out is relatively fresh, and also knowing that a '70's tractor is mostly indestructible, I zip-tied a scrap of t-shirt to the drip pan and returned the hydraulic fluid to the tractor. It's not a helicopter, I can do this and not even feel guilty. Cheap, maybe.

Running again, I used the tractor to pull the mower deck and the reclaimed trailer out of the field, and back into the treeline.

I have designs for this trailer frame...

Zeke and I brought leftovers up for the day, which we heated on the bus's woodstove. To do dishes, we heated water on the stove in the coffee percolator. The compost pile gets the scraps, and Zeke does the pre-cleaning. Dirty dishes and pots get a cup of hot water and a dash of dish soap. I clean the dishes with the scrubby pad, then rinse off the suds with the last of the hot water. It would be nice to do this inside of the bus! I'll have to figure out a woodstove-powered hot water delivery system for the sink... copper pipe around the chimney, then down into the pump? We shall see.

I stacked up some more split wood, and used some of the old plastic sheet pulled from the woods to cover the outdoor piles. The southern side of the wood piles was left exposed, in an attempt to optimize heat coming in, and keeping rain water out.

The bus has a pair of succulents from John & Robyn's wedding, which are both doing well just sitting in the cockpit, in coffee mugs filled with North country soil. 

I accomplished a lot of small projects in the North Country on day 10507. One of these days maybe I'll go up just to chill out. A novel idea.

Back down in the city, Iain and Darcy offered me their small flock of laying hens, and all the infrastructure to support them. A very generous offer, which I accepted. I'm familiar with these chickens from house-sitting this spring. This isn't the first donation from Iain and Darcy, either; the astute reader will recall that I also got the couch in the bus from them! Thanks again!

The morning of Day 10508, trying to stay ahead of the weather, we took the run and the coop apart, and loaded them into the trailer for the drive down the road. This is actually the second time these chickens have gone for a truck ride with me, the first being almost a year ago, helping Iain and Darcy move just down the road to their present location. Hopefully the next road trip for these hens is up to the North country!

Kia helped me unload the run, which was on the edge of falling apart after multiple moves and lots of twisting of wet wood. As it continued to rain, I sloppily screwed the loose corners back together, and stapled the chicken wire back to the frame. It will hold... maybe... for a bit longer.

Working alone, I used a ratchet strap and the tractor to gently lift the coop off the trailer, drove the trailed out from under it, then drove the tractor as smoothly as I could over to the corner of the barn. The hens didn't seem to mind!

With everything back together, I let the patient ladies out of their house. They took in the change of scenery, curious dogs, and fresh selection of bugs and worms. Elsa and Anna are the black & white Plymouth Rocks, or Barred Rocks, and Sofia is the (currently molting) gray/brown Ameraucana.

I want to make that trailer up North into a chicken tractor.

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