Yesterday my dad and Jason started the job of putting the newly cleaned and re-sealed fuel tank back in the tractor, and then re-assembling the tractor. They worked away for hours. I will say my dad spent a lot of time in a lawn chair supervising while Jason crawled around and shimmied all over the tractor like a monkey. At one point the fuel tank was in, everything was re-assembled, and the tractor supposedly even started. But then they realized they had forgotten a crucial step (something to do with a valve in the fuel tank??) and had to take it all apart again.
I came back by late in the day as they were getting ready to wrap things up for the day. I asked how things were going and was told of the assembly, success in starting, and then realizing they had to disassemble again to do something to the valve in the fuel tank.
Me: So you worked on this all day and started where you finished? Everything completely disassembled??
Dad: (in a somewhat defensive tone) Well we aren't exactly where we started this morning.
Me: So what exactly is different from this morning?
Jason: (also in a somewhat defensive tone) Well, we learned some stuff that will make it easier when we put it back together again.
Me: So one full day of labor later we can sum up the progress as you learned some stuff? Okaaaay. Oh, and by the way Jason why do you reek of diesel fuel.
Jason: I had to drain the fuel tank again.
Me: Again? Why?
Jason: (in a somewhat sheepish voice) When I was putting diesel fuel in it the spout from the diesel can fell into the tank. I had to drain the tank and then fish it out. (at this point my dad is laughing pretty hard while Jason tells me this)
Me: I still think it would have been easier to just take the tractor to a mechanic but as long as you two are happy . . .
Jason has started his own blog in addition to being a "contributing blogger" on this blog. As many of you know Jason grew up on a working farm in Canada. He has a lot of thoughts on agriculture, and likes to talk a lot about conventional agriculture, sustainable agriculture, the treatment of animals, and generally anything to do with agriculture. If you are interested in our food supply and where it comes from you will probably enjoy reading his blog, Random Musings of a Farmer. There is a link to it in my blog roll to the right.
In the same blog I mentioned at the beginning of this post Jason told you we were planning to stop by a roadside attraction in Cullman, Alabama on our way to look at a tractor. We've seen the signs for it for years, a Catholic grotto. It is a collection of miniature replicas built by a monk that was a resident of the monastery in Cullman. Most of them are replicas of Catholic churches, monasteries, and other spiritual scenes and some were just replicas of historical sites such as the Roman Aqueducts. Jason and I are not Catholic but we were very curious to see this after seeing the signs for many years. Although it was neat, and were both impressed by the fact that the monk who made all of these had no training whatsoever and just somehow taught himself how to do all of this, we were both a bit underwhelmed. On the other hand many of our fellow tourists seemed to almost be having a religious experience of sorts as they looked at all of the miniatures!
The Ave Maria Grotto has a website if you would like to learn more about it. Click here to visit the website.
Since I know everyone is anxious to see them (hah!) I posted a few pictures from the Grotto below. I hope everyone has a great weekend!
Ever since I was a little kid every time we cross the state line into Alabama we stopped at the welcome center to see the rocket. I always make Jason stop and we walk over to see the rocket. I don't feel like I've really left Tennessee and entered Alabama without a visit to the rocket!
As the sign says this is a miniature replica of the ruins of the Roman Aqueducts
Some of them were pretty neat looking
There were 4 acres of miniatures
Jason's favorite part of the whole thing . . . the Chipmunk Crossing; somehow I think we missed the point of the Catholic Grotto if this was our favorite part.
Jason giving Chili a nice cool hosing one afternoon. Chili has anhydrosis (he doesn't sweat) so he has to be watched closely in the summer. Lately he's been coming in the barn to stand under a fan during the day. Some days he doesn't need to come in or even need to be sprayed down in the afternoon, he doesn't really have a solid pattern. We just have to watch him closely. Chili strongly prefers to NOT come in the barn if at all possible!
Chili looking satisfied after being sprayed off
Spike and Snappy grazing