Although we’ve been somewhat disappointed in our hopes of living on the farm by the end of 2015, things are continuing to move forward and it looks like 2016 may actually be our year to do so. In the meantime, we’ve slowly been progressing towards that goal.
We’ve put some more finishing touches and updates on the barn. Because of the drought we really had very little idea what to expect in wetter weather and discovered that our barn location is a little wetter under heavy rain than we had anticipated. Because of that we’ve had to shore up the base of the barn some as well as add some drainage around it, but we think we’re getting it just about right.
Our little riding lawn mower took a beating this summer. We knew it wasn’t meant for keeping up with the demands of our farm, but we tried to hold off as long as possible. After replacing blades and several sets of bearings and belts we decided enough was enough. In October we bought a 1981 Massey Ferguson 205 Compact Tractor that came with a brush hog and a grading blade. It’s a small 20 HP diesel, but the first time we plowed through some very tall weeds with it I knew it would be the answer to a lot of our problems. Unfortunately it didn’t take long for trouble to show up. At the end of November I tried to start it and it wouldn’t even turn over.
I went to the helpful folks at TractorByNet.com and they graciously helped me diagnose the problem. Water had gotten into the cylinders causing a condition known as hydrolock. The potential causes were a blown head gasket or a cracked cylinder head. I ended up tearing half the motor apart and the cylinder head looked to be in good shape. I replaced the head gasket, put it back together and Lil’ Red is up and running again.
We finally got all the paperwork done to build our house in the middle of October…then the rains came. It was proving impossible for the construction crews to get concrete trucks onto the property to get the foundation poured. We had no idea this would be an issue considering the years of drought we had been in, but when the rain does come it doesn’t take much to make a muddy mess of everything. Last week they were finally able to get enough stable road in and the foundation has finally been poured!