Busy and still at the same time

Whew, what a last week of school. Aside from the usual stress of unknown final grades and cramming, there’s always one wrench in the works. My last final was a critique of two possible articles and we wouldn’t know which until the night of the final. The semester went well, though, and my 3.3 GPA is still intact.

But on to more interesting things; rest and work and scooter rallies. Oh, and dog training.

We’ve put in a rather large garden out at the Farm. 25′ x 80′ and we’ve pretty much everything in the ground ‘cept potatoes. Thanks to spectacularly soggy and cool spring weather for the past couple of weeks the garden is growing by leaps and bounds, albeit too wet to plant any additional veggies. Tomatoes are flourishing, broccoli is growing sturdy, sunflowers are seeking the sunlight. Which, for a while there, it felt as if sunshine would never be seen again. Yet the sun is shining once again and temps have climbed into the low 90*s. Only in Missouri do you come home from a wet and cold scooter rally one weekend to seek the warmth of a hot shower and then a scant two weekends later seek the same shower for relief from the heat.

Speaking of the garden, it’s locale on the Farm leaves it entirely dependent upon Mother Nature for water. Of course, this being the northern Ozarks, we may well have seen the last of good rain last night. So, we’ve devised a clever plan for bringing water to the garden. How about portable, potable water?

We purchased a 550 gallon potable water tank from Plastic-Mart. Not only do they have an incredible selection, they ship quickly and, upon my rather cursory initial inspection of the tank, the build quality is excellent. I then found an old truck bed that had been converted to a trailer at a neighbor’s and for the hefty fee of $50 towed it home. Then plan is to frame up a platform on the inside of the truck bed to accommodate the water tank. Which is trickier than it sounds as the tank will weigh over 4000 lbs. when filled.

To get water into the tank we purchased a Simer blue water pump; a 12v DC wonder. The pump will be powered by a marine battery wired into a small solar panel. The idea is to drag then entire shebang down to the river whenever it needs filling and pump river water into the tank.

Watering the garden, on the other hand, will be a simple matter of gravity. I intend to plumb in a quick disconnect and two shut-off valves. One shut-off at the tank outlet and another at the watering manifold I’ve devised. In this way we’ll be able to feed water into several soaker hoses (or drip hoses) at a time.

I’ll be starting in on framing up the truck bed later today. Yes, it’s hotter later in the afternoon, but the truck bed will be in shade in another hour or so making the work a bit cooler.

In the meantime, I have a scooter rally to prep for.

Tornado R’Alley VI in Kansas City, KS. Essentially it’s the most scooter fun I have all year. I’ve been attending the rally since TR II and simply can’t stand to miss such a great time cruising all over KC and the surrounding areas with a herd of like-minded lunatics. The prep work involves plotting the most circuitous route from the HT Ranch to ScooterWorld in Overland Park, KS. I abhor 4-lane highways. I was a truck driver, I’ve seen enough concrete slab to last the rest of my lifetime, so I avoid them at all costs. Basically I turn a 3.5 hour drive into a 5 hour trek via the smallest roads I can find.

Last but not least, dog training. My redneck golf buddy, Jim brought home a puppy a month or so ago. Between him, his wife, their daughter, and her 8-year-old son, no one can control the dog. Too many chiefs, not enough consistency. Jim asked me if I could perhaps get her trained a bit and I’m working on that now, as well. Sissy, the pup, has the potential to be a great dog. She’s just full of puppy and is incredibly stubborn. My efforts aren’t helped by our terrier, either. Since I’ve spent the past 3 years in two places I’ve never had much of a chance to get his mind right. He is entirely the better half’s dog. That, however, is changing as we speak. Amidst all the work I’m having to do with Sissy, Duke is right there nipping at her heels. I got that stopped this morning. Now to put the both of them on leads and stick them together under my control. The evening should prove interesting, to say the least.

That’s about all for now. I’ll work up something about my trip to Mimi and Ron’s wonderful off-grid home and Mimi’s incredible garden later.

Thanks for reading.

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