All charged up

How weird it’s been lately!

A couple of nights ago, it got cold enough overnight for the furnace to turn on, only to hit highs in the 20’s, half a day later!

Yesterday was supposed to be my day to finally get the mower out – which required taking the snow blowers out first, taking out the riding mower, then moving the snow blowers to the back of the shed until winter. I also made room by taking out the two broken push mowers my brother had tested. I stuck them in another shed at the old hay yard. There used to be a tractor in there, but that is one of the things that disappeared before we moved in.

Once the mower was cleared, I topped up the oil, filled the gas tank, checked it over and…

… it wouldn’t start.

*sigh*

After trying a few times, I figured the battery was dead. So I went looking for our battery charger, but couldn’t find it. Instead, I found a charger my brother and his wife had passed on to us, along with other wonderful tools that used to belong to his late MIL.

This is the first riding mower I’ve ever had, so I wasn’t sure a car battery charger would even be the right tool for the job, so I did a bit of research once inside. I did have my phone with me, but the garage is too far away for a wifi signal, so I couldn’t do it there. After verifying a few things, I hooked the charger up.

My research told me it could take 4-8 hours for the battery to fully charge. Given my lack of trust for our electrical (too many sparks when we plug things in!), I didn’t want to leave it unattended. So I puttered around a bit, then tested it. It didn’t start, nor even seem to be turning over better, so I charged it some more. The gauge on the charger wasn’t moving, so I couldn’t even tell if it was working, even though I could hear it humming.

My research also brought up the possibility that, if the battery had frozen, which is most certainly did, it might be toast. So after a while, I unplugged the charger to go inside and email my brother that bought us the mower. He ended up phoning me and while we were chatting, I looked again for our own charger. I found it, right where it was supposed to be – just buried enough for me to have things falling on me as I dug it out! LOL After confirming a few things with my brother, I brought out the other charger and hooked it up.

This one, I could at least tell was doing something!

I still didn’t want to leave it unattended, so I took the opportunity to do some clean up in the garage by our van. There’s a space that used to have a refrigerator and some other stuff that belonged to my other brother, who took them back last summer. There was a whole mess of stuff left behind, plus we’ve been leaving our bags of recyclables from the van there. I finally went through and sorted the recycling, cleared out some garbage… then cleared out some more garbage… then moved some things out. I finally got to the point where I could take a rake to the dirt floor. I’d done that in the section my mother’s car is parked in and had found things like broken pieces of plates and whatnot, so I’m really looking forward to being able to do that same to the entire floor where we park the van! As it was, I was able to reach under the van a bit. Once that was raked up, I jerry rigged a narrow piece of plywood that was leaning against a wall into a sort of shelf. That gave me the chance to put more of our own supplies out where they are handy, as well as the recycling bags that still had room in them, out.

Working on the garage is something I have on the list to do after I’ve finished the spruce grove, but getting just that space cleaned up sure made a big difference!

By the time I was done, however, it was getting really hot out. Charged or not, I was not going to be mowing in that heat, so I decided to unplug the charger and go back to it today.

Turns out, it was fully charged by then! I tested it out and the mower started just fine. I wasn’t able to accomplish the one goal I had for yesterday, but got other stuff accomplished, instead. So I’m happy.

I’m also happy with something else.

While I was working on the garage, my older daughter came out to check if I needed anything. We ended up going into the barn to see if there was some sort of shelf we could use. There wasn’t, but I did remember to look in the separator room and sure enough, I found the key for the separator, hanging on the wall, right where I remember it hanging when I was a kid!

That thing must have been hanging there for probably more than 50 years – untouched, I’m estimating more than 30 years, after my parents stopped milking cows.

It is now with the separator pieces in the old kitchen.

As pleased as I am about getting the section in the garage cleared, it was hot, dusty and disgusting work, so I was basically done for the day! At least for outside stuff.

I did make sure to spend time getting some kitten therapy that evening, of course.

This tabby just loves to climb people!

Today was supposed to be even hotter than yesterday, so I made sure to start mowing as soon as the grass was dry, after I did my morning rounds. I’m pleased to say that it started right away, and I was able to not only mow all of the inner yard, but most of the outer yard, too! I even widened the mowed area towards the barn a bit, and the area in front of the storage shed. I didn’t mow to the back gate, though. I didn’t think I’d have enough gas for that. I had just enough to do what a needed, and then some, so I’m good with that.

Normally, today would have been our day to go into the city for our monthly shop, but I’m getting that noise in the back of our van checked out tomorrow, so the big shopping is going to wait until Friday. With that in mind, one of my daughters and I made a trip into town to pick up a few things we are running out of – like cat kibble for the outside cats. We considered getting kitten food, too, but after discussing it, we decided it would be better to give the kittens and their mamas some of the wet cat food we still have plenty of. If we were able to let the moms out without the kittens also getting out, they would be hunting and bringing back meat for their babies. It’s not good for cats to eat just dry kibble all the time. The question then became, how do we give the kittens a chance to eat the wet cat food before the moms eat it all?

I remembered finding a plastic party tray jammed between the fridge and the wall. I dug that out and it was just the perfect size. I could spread the cat food around the edge of it in 10 little piles (one for each kitten, plus their moms). I wasn’t able to get a picture, but it was hilarious to see. Once we put it down, the mamas came right over, of course. One of my daughters helped me grab kittens and bring them over to check it out. I could even put some right in the middle of the tray. LOL Beep Beep’s litter is a bit young for solid food, yet, but they did get a chance to check it out before going back to their box nest. Of the older kittens, only the one tabby seemed to actually eat any of it. The others, at most, just licked the tray. 😀

The mamas, meanwhile, were just scarfing it down!

I think this will work out. We’ll just have to make sure to load the tray outside the sun room, first. 🙂

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get good pictures of each individual kitten, plus their moms, so I can start putting the word out that they will be available for adoption fairly soon. With how active they are, I’m thinking of using some kind of decorative bowl or something. 😀

Meanwhile, I leave you with one more adorable photo.

This is what I found on my bed this morning.

A furry heart!

It wasn’t all that long ago that these two wouldn’t go near each other! So glad they’re getting along well, now. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

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