Sunday, May 9, 2010

Big Jobs: Tillers and Power Washers

Last weekend I finally got the garden tilled and planted. Oh, sure, there are more things I want to plant (and will), but I got the "big-job" part done. I have gotten to a point where I don't like big jobs. I prefer several smaller jobs. I can easily mark them off the list and feel like I accomplished something. Big jobs seem to go on forever.

Just as I was finishing up my tilling, the tiller (a Honda Harmony) stopped tilling. The engine ran but the tines refused to turn. Hmmm. Hubby and I cleaned them out, oiled, greased, etc. and then tried again. Nope, they still refused to budge. A little more tinkering and hubby pronounced her broke. The gears that turn the tines appear to be stripped.

I hand dug the rest of the garden bed I had been tilling and finished my planting. A quick trip to my handy-dandy search engine uncovered the fact that stripped transmission gears are a common problem with these tillers. Oh Great! My tiller is about 5 years old, but has been used very little, but it's out of warranty.

My next search was for rebuild kits for the transmission. I found some places that sell them for about $90.00. A new tiller will cost around $350 - $400. I'm thinking over the pros and cons of fix vs. buy. I even told Hubby that I might do neither. My garden beds are small and if I apply a very deep layer of mulch and maintain it I might can just plant through the mulch with no tilling or digging at all, or at least very little. He is skeptical. I am not.

My second big job within a week's time was power-washing our deck. My son built this deck two years ago to replace the 30+ years old original deck. The original deck was about to fall down. That would have been a very bad thing, it it a two story high structure.

I finally got around to giving it a good cleaning yesterday. Hubby talked me into getting a 1700 psi electric power washer. He said washing a deck this size would be too much for me to do via the scrub brush method. After looking at the sorry state of the deck (think 2 years under trees on the north side of our cottage),I agreed.

I had never used a power washer in my life. It made the job so much easier than the mop and scrub method would have been. Don't get me wrong, it was still work and took several hours, but it was easier.

Of course, like any project I undertake, there were mishaps and adventures involved. The first hose I tried to use looked OK. But after getting it all attached to the power washer and the water turned on it sprayed a stream of water that would make Old Faithful proud. Hubby reminded me that hoses should be drained before freezing weather. He said that would have prevented the backyard hose from having such an early death.

I then managed to get the long hose out and hooked up. Yay! It worked, no leaks! All right! I began the power washing adventure. I had planned all week to wash the deck on Saturday and nothing was going to stop me: not work, husbands, critters, or wind.

I did mention that our deck faces the north? On power-washing day we were blessed with a stiff breeze from the north with gusts above 25 mph. My mind was made up to wash the deck, and wash it I did. It felt like white water rafting with the wind blowing all that spray back into my face and soaking my cloths. Luckily, I was not cold. Wet I didn't mind, but I don't do cold. The sunshine kept me warm as I peered through mist covered glasses to try and see what I was doing. I figured if hubby pointed out a spot I missed I could blame it on not being able to see.

The only other problem I had was convincing a carpenter bee that cleaning the deck was not going to interfere with her efforts to drill a hole in the deck rail. Pesky bee. We reached an agreement and she flew off until I could finish washing down her neighborhood.

It took almost the entire afternoon to clean off two years worth of grime. The deck is clean and looks good. I was even able to sit out there and enjoy the fruits of my labor for awhile after I finished and changed into dry clothing.

I have been able to mark two of my "big jobs" off the list for awhile. Now the grass needs cut, the meadow needs a visit from the string trimmer, and there is more planting to do. But today is Mother's Day and I'm not doing any big jobs today.

Be Blessed....and Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on getting such major projects finished! That's a lot of work for such a little lady - I'm darn proud of you! Love the blogs side poem as well, really nice! Leen