New Van (not really farm related, but the family wants to know, again)

As a follow up to the van-almost-made-it-to-the-cottage story, my Aunt and Uncle from Kingston (who are part of that family who wants to know these things!) just happened to have an older van that they were trying to sell.  Not getting any offers on it, they were willing to donate it to the cause! (that would be us). 

We drove over to pick it up from them, and had a visit with cousin Brenda and Steve as well. Turns out, they were given an older jeep he didn’t need anymore as well. 

I’m think’n there needs to be more Uncles and Aunts like them in the world!

Van in the tractor parking

Van’s last run to the cottage? (not really farm related, but the family want’s to know!)

Leaving Grandpa in charge of the sheep and pigs, we headed up to the family cottage for the weekend, Friday after school.  With the kid’s each bringing a girlfriend, we had 6 people and a dog, and luggage, which required a rather full van and a roof rack!

Just as we were taking the last few curves towards Dorset, the van engine started to rev, and the van seemed to lose speed, but only on the left curves.  Thinking this was strange, and maybe we should stop and check it out, we pulled into Dorset, and almost didn’t make it down the road to the store.  As soon as we stopped, the incredibly large puddle of oil pooling under the van made us realize this was not good!

Unsure whether to try and make it the last few miles into the marina or not, we bought all the transmission fluid the store had (4 L) poured in 2, and set off. (’cause what else are you gonna do at 7:00 on a Friday nite?)  We made it about half way before we added the 3rd litre, and then got stopped half way up the hill between Mt. Trout House and Old Mill.  This time, we added the last litre we had, and had everybody out to give a push to start, and made it up the hill.  Then I made the mistake of waiting for everyone to get back in the van (apparently it leaks out just as fast not running!) So another push was needed to get it going, and down the hill it coasted into a (conveniently) empty parking space!

We spent a few hours trying to figure out how to get 6 people (2 of who aren’t even our kids!), 1 dog, and too much luggage, with or without a broken down van, back home again.

Knowing Steve and Joanne where coming up the next morning, we gave them a call, left a message, and asked if maybe they could rent us a van and bring it up with them.  Steve being the excellent guy he is, did one better, and brought his truck and car trailer with him.  So Sunday afternoon, (after a surprisingly relaxing and excellent time at the cottage) we unloaded Joanne’s car from the trailer, and loaded up the van, and the two of them drove us all home!  The perfect solution, with much too little inconvenience on our part at all!  After unloading the van again at our place, (and a quick visit to see the little lambs) they put their car back on  the trailer, and Steve and Jo headed back.

So once again, Thanks Steve and Jo,  you gotta love cousins with car trailers!!

Bloody Renovations

I alluded to the barn renovations we worked at for a week or more in anticipation of the new sheep arriving.  We had some old cement pig troughs and cattle mangers that need to be broken out, as well as changing the whole layout of the old barn.  One of the changes was moving the old set of stairs that go up to the hay loft.  Having the relatives home over Easter seemed like the perfect time to move those hefty old stairs.  (Thanks John, who ended up doing most of the work, and Ed who did a bit of heavy lifting for us too.)

Unfortunately, I hit my head over the eye on the handle of the dolly we were using, (straw is NOT a stable surface)  So while I am at the house, trying to get the bleeding to stop, Kevin comes hopping up with his foot gushing blood.  Apparently he had stepped on a nail sticking out of the stairs, and it had gone right through his shoe!  (It didn’t quite go right through his foot)

Luckily, neither were quite bad enough injuries to warrant a trip to the emergency dept.  (although there was some debate on the subject) 

The stairs are now moved, (again, Thanks John, the ‘city’ relative who was the  one who didn’t get hurt!) and now that we are healed, we can look back and laugh!

Dad’s Back

So Dad was back in the barn on Friday nite, and back to doing his normal chores by Sunday.  The wrist is healing well, and he feels pretty good!  Guess they did a good job!

Into the big city

Dad is off to St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto today to get an angiogram. (dye in the arteries around the heart to look for constrictions)  I think the whole getting there/getting home is a bigger deal than the procedure!  Mom is going with them, and Dr. Deckert is meeting them there, so he’ll be in good hands.

Van hijinks

Our old van is still useful to have around, especially when the car goes in for oil change etc.  Last nite when we came to a stop sign, all of a sudden the dash lights kind of went dim.  On closer inspection, the dash lights still worked, just dimmer, however, the radio was blank, the digital odometer was off, the ABS light was on, as was the air bag light.  The windshield wipers didn’t work, and the fan didn’t either.  The signals, and headlights wouldn’t come on, but the daytime running lights were on.  Needless to say, we drove straight home. (luckily it seemed to drive fine!)  When we shut off the engine and removed the key, nothing changed!  The engine was off, but the running lights and dash lights were still on, and the chime was “dinging” to let me know the key was still in (it wasn’t)

At this point I disconnected the battery!

The next morning we boosted it, at let it charge for a little bit, and everything worked as usual.  But since Karen didn’t want to drive to work and have it die when she got there, I drove her.  Sure enough, on the way there, everything went screwy again one by one.  I made it home in the rain with no wipers!  Hopefully it is something simple like the generator or something.

Have to see if we can get it to the garage in one piece.