Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall Maintenance

            With haying and irrigating behind us, we can now work on all those projects for which we don’t have the time during the rest of the year.  One project that finally hit the top of the priority list was re-staining the house. 

We got shingle oil on the roof a couple of years ago, but the deck and siding were desperate for some protection from the elements.  As with any painting job, preparation is the key.  We’ve spent a lot of time in the last week applying various solutions to accomplish whatever results were necessary in each particular area, and applying plenty of elbow grease with a scrub brush.  Then we sprayed on a fresh coat of stain.

The baler got a once-over before being put away for winter.  The accumulated dust and chaff were scraped and blown off, the chains were all oiled, and the rig was greased. The bale wagon got an oil change.

Irrigation has accomplished all it can for this year so we shut down the headgate at the river and opened the spill-gate to divert any water in the ditch back to the river.  We discovered a leak in the ditch, however, which we will need to address yet this fall. 

I would have liked to have made one pass with my newly-acquired big gun sprinkler, and finally had it running after numerous false starts.  But I found one more problem that required removing the gun from the carriage and taking it to someone with the capacity to weld on aluminum. I will have to drain everything soon, as frosty mornings are becoming more frequent.

One morning this week, in fact, was cold enough to leave a big circle of ice on the lawn where the sprinkler ran all night.  Yet we were sweating in the sun as we stained the deck, and it is forecast to be 85o tomorrow!

Does horseshoeing fall under maintenance?  It has to be done every couple months on the horses we are using.  This week it was Buddy’s turn.

It was plenty hot while I was shoeing him but it is that time of year, so I put snowball pads under the shoes.  I always build up the shoes at the toes and heels with hard-surface rod to give extra wear and traction.  The rubber rim pads keep snow from balling up under their feet – and it is sure to snow in the next two months that this set of shoes is on!

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