This is a week on the farm post with no photos. It was a holiday weekend, but ended as a work weekend. Eldest son and his family arrived late Saturday afternoon in time for a homemade Mexican feast for them and the 5 of us living here. They took a leisurely scenic route from their new residence out of the cities of Northern Virginia. This makes for a much more comfortable living space for them with a yard, creek, and storage shed for bicycles and gardening tools. Though the square footage is probably about the same as their condo/apartment in Northern Virginia, it is a better layout with a bigger kitchen and more room to spread out a bit. Grandson got a bear den of a loft that he claimed as his room. Back to their place in a minute.
Saturday evening after our dinner settled a bit, we went out to see the chicks and son and I spent a little while surveying what needed to be done with my garden and pulled some weeds. Sunday, after everyone was up and a country breakfast made and fed, we tackled the garden in earnest. Between us and grandson, I think about 15 hours were spent weeding, tying up tomato plants, taking down the failed idea of low chicken barriers so they could forage the garden for weed seed and bugs in the unplanted areas (the chickens are confined again to the three runs all open to each other until we need to start sorting out keepers and culls). Grandson gave up first but gave us several good hours of work. I quit about 6 p.m. to go in prep and cook dinner for the crowd, and son didn’t quit until just before I was going to call him in to eat. The garden is looking much better.
Monday, dawned rainy with rain and thunderstorms expected all day. We just hung out indoors until time to go into town as a family to lunch. During the hang out time, son spent some time on the internet looking for a good used wood stove for the new place. We planned to leave mid afternoon with our daughter in law driving their car home with grandson, and son and I following in our Xterra pulling our trailer with the furniture that we picked up in Norfolk two weeks ago, along with a recliner that we offered them. When he found a wood stove just an hour round trip off the route home, we managed to pack the table disassembled, the 4 chairs, recliner, and necessary yard and garden tools in the back of the Xterra bed and left the trailer unencumbered to pick up the wood stove. While out for lunch, he bought an appliance hand truck because we couldn’t find one to rent on July 4th. We left our house for the 2 1/2 hour trip to the stove. The stove is just like one that we bought for our basement and needed very little to make it like new, but the sucker weighs 400 pounds. He and I with minimal help from the guy he purchased it from, got it up onto our tilt bed trailer, anchored it down, tarped it to protect it from the rain and headed for his house, arriving sometime after 10 p.m. We unloaded the furniture and garden tools and set about trying to get the stove into the house. The porches, both front and back are about 4 feet off the ground and after much effort and every idea he could come up with, we just couldn’t get it into the house. It is temporarily living in the shed until a solution is found. The one that had been in the house, was stolen by the last tenant when they moved out. By the time we quit, it was past midnight and well after 1 a.m. by the time we had a cot for me set up, settled a bit and got ready for bed. To make their commute, right now, they are having to leave home at 5:15 a.m., so it was an early start. I got up before they left, but didn’t want to back the trailer up until it was light enough to see the driveway, so I reassembled the table and set it up with the chairs. By leaving at 6:00 a.m., even taking a slower route most of the way home because of pulling the empty trailer, I was back in town by 10:30 a,m. About an hour from home, I had a car pull up beside me and hold a sign in the window. It looked like it said I had a taillight out. I acknowledged the message and kept going. Almost immediately, a lawn service truck pull up beside me and waved and pointed back frantically and again, I acknowledged, but it wasn’t a good place to stop. I stopped as soon as I could safely pull off the road and realized that the sign and frantic gesturing was because the trailer tailgate which is removable had hopped out of it’s track and one corner was dragging the interstate, the gate being held on only by the plastic covered wire with a sturdy leash type clip. Though a corner was a bit worn, it still fit in the track and so I re-anchored it with the wire but added a ratchet tie down to prevent it from hopping out again. When we had the tailgate made for the trailer, we suggested to the guy that he drill for cotter pins to hold it in place and he assured us it was heavy enough to not hop out. I guess we are going to have to put the pins in somehow before we use it again.
The other excitement of the trip yesterday, while hauling the empty trailer to pick up the stove, we got in stop and go traffic on the interstate due to a minor accident that had been pulled to the shoulder. We had a semi truck come up behind us on an on ramp and get so close that son was afraid that when he started forward in the manual transmission, that we would slip back just enough to bump the truck. This happened several times before we got to the top of the ramp. Once on the merge lane, still in stop and inch forward traffic, the danged semi rear ended us. Fortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any damage, but he didn’t seem to learn from having to stop and deal with us, because once we got going again, two cars were between us and him and he was tailgating the one closest to him. Then he passed us and several other trucks in front of us. That is another reason why I try to stay off of Interstate 81, it is a major north south truck route and some of them are just plain rude and crazy drivers.
For now, I think I will just rest a bit and spin a little.