A weekend of small projects

Ben getting ready to pick up a crab at science night at PVMS

We started the weekend off with a Friday night event at the boys’ school.  It was science night.  There were lots of activities for the boys to do, and lots of exhibits to see.  Of course, the most popular event of the night was the soda rockets (drop a couple of Mentos in a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke… and watch the mess – and yes it was done outside).

The weather Saturday was not very nice.  Cold and rainy.  But with a little coaxing (and some help), the boys cleaned their rooms.  And no surprise, the neighbor, Justin, came over to play for most of the afternoon (after rooms were cleaned).  Surprisingly there wasn’t too much conflict…

We also fixed Will’s bicycle on Saturday.  He had gotten the derailleur wrapped up in the rear wheel a week or so ago, and the new one arrived in the mail on Thursday.  It only took one trip to the bike store (we messed up the cable when we were trying to install the new derailleur) – but now seems to be working.  I’m sure it will need adjusting after a day of riding or so.

Today I had hoped to spend time and try to straighten out the barn.  I have borrowed a come-along and chains from a friend – but the weather threatened rain all day – so I didn’t feel like I should start that big of a project (which requires some outside work – I think – though now I mention it, maybe I can get it to work from the inside…. nah.. probably not).

I tried to get the tractor mower started (maybe get some mowing done before the rain).  Nope… battery dead.  So put it on the charger (note to self – take off charger before bedtime – it should be charged).  Couldn’t get the push mower running either.  So changed the spark plug, still didn’t work – next will try draining the gas and refilling.   I’m pretty sure it was a good plan to not try a big project today.  I was a bit frustrated by lunch time by the lawn equipment.   So instead of being frustrated about not working on the barn,  I focused on smaller projects (the never-ending joy of owning an old house).

I did successfully vent the dryer outside (the old vent had gone out the same window the new furnace power vent now occupies).  That project went pretty smoothly.  I replaced a pane of glass in one of the other basement windows with a piece of plywood (with a 4″ hole for the vent).  I even painted the plywood to match the house.

Earlier this week I was going to replace the concrete pad for the front post of the barn.  I got the concrete and post support earlier this week.  Then I started digging to try to dig out the concrete pad.  It is apparently a pretty big pad, and I didn’t feel like digging it out (nor did I have enough concrete to replace it once I dug it out).  So today, I added a 5th slab to support another post for the barn.  This one is pretty close to the front of the barn.  I think the ground is relatively soft near the front of the barn, and the posts have been sinking over time – so I’ll share the weight on an additional post.

The rest of the afternoon was spent working on the workshop.  It is getting closer.   I move some shelves and cleaned out the corner that the new stairs will occupy.  Now to try to straighten the barn.   Maybe that will wait until next weekend.


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