Saturday, March 31, 2007

Spring Has Sprung Indeed

I fired up the lawn mower and changed the oil. Sounds simple, but like many chores around the homestead it was anything but simple. First, the mower wouldn't start, the battery was low, so I had to push it over to the shop and put the battery charger on it. Finally got it to start and let it run awhile to warm the oil up. Then I had to remove the grass catcher to get to the oil plug. The grass catcher is a strange thing that allows you to dump the grass clippings in a pile on the back of the estate...I don't have an estate, and have to haul my clippings to a friend's place and give the clippings to the horses next door. The whole apparatus attaches to the back of the mower with a large plate that the basket hooks to so that it can pivot to empty the grass. The plate didn't want to come loose, but after an hour and some determined tugging and grunting it came loose. Draining the oil was then a snap, except that it did not drain into the bucket I had placed under it and instead ran onto the ground. For once I had been smart enough to place so that any spilled oil would go onto the ground instead of onto the floor of the shop. It was fairly easy to shovel up the oiled soil (or soiled oil or perhaps oil soiled soil?) and put it into the garbage. By this time it was lunch time so I quit for a while. After lunch it was nap time so I didn't get back to it until about 3 pm. I mowed Our yard and neighbor Paul's yard and took to clippings over to Char's. The horses came running, but it was such nasty looking stuff that I just put it in the compost heap rather than giving it to them. They were not happy, but I pointed out that they have several months of grass clippings to look forward to. I had planned to start Paul's pump and mine as well so we could get some water on the yards, but the mower took so long that I didn't have time to do it. Maybe Monday after taxes.

By the way, if you would like help with your taxes, check out the local AARP Tax Aid program in your area. There is a cadre of well trained volunteers who will do your taxes for free and in many sites e-file them as well. They are trained to do the usual returns and won't do business returns or those complicated returns involving capital gains (losses). Check them out, our little group will do around 600+ returns before we quit on April 15.

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