But all that work and planning has already paid off as the wharf has now received a letter of compliance from Transport Canada, which means that we are in business with receiving commercial vessels at our wharf.
Then there is the yearly chore of producing enough firewood for the next winter.
Since I have been laid up for weeks with various painful foot injuries in February and March, I have not been able to cut down enough trees on our own property, so we ordered cut, but not split, wood from a local supplier. So when ever there has been some extra time, I have been splitting firewood. While I am doing all this, the grass is growing like crazy, and today I had to start the +35-year old riding lawn mower for the second time this spring.
As soon as the motor started Dixie made a beeline for the door. But then curiosity took hold of her, and very cautiously, she looked around the house corner, trying to find out what on earth made all this racket. Well, I have to admit that the old Craftsman isn't the quietest of all lawn mowers. Turning the key, it starts with a big bang, then coughing itself into working mode. Once operating RPM is reached, I hit the gear lever hard with the flat of my right hand, while I have my left foot on the clutch. However, it does happen that I accidentally end up in the wrong gear which means the clutch is not working in that particular gear, which makes the machine jump forward like some crazy billy-goat culminating into a wild ride across the lawn. Eventually, my frantic banging on the gearshift lever brings the gear down to the first, which is the substitute for the missing brake. Once I am rolling along in operating mode I cautiously raise the RPM again and start the mower blades, which causes the noise level to reach far beyond my neighbourhood. It clangs and rattles like one could think the knives are preparing for take-off on their own. Now, that I am actually cutting grass, I have to watch out that I won't maneuver the mower into a space from where I cannot make a turn-around. See, the reverse gear has also quit working, and lately I have even been unsuccessful in finding the neutral position of the gearshift lever, which further reduces the choice of stopping the mower.
Why am I still using this old machine and how did this monster of a lawn mower find its way to us? Well, first I have to say that I am "having a thing for old stuff", so that I have a hard time passing up an opportunity to drag more old machinery into our yard. (remember our 30-year-old Benz?) So this mower was offered to us by a neighbour who found out that time was ripe to drive a John Deere across his lawn. The Craftsman had served already under his father and even though much loved, had to make room for the "Deere". So I guess you can now understand why Dixie is afraid of our lawn mower. Some times I am afraid of it myself....f.ex. when barreling down on one of Bea's beloved ornamental shrubs.