Wednesday, June 10, 2015

1-10 June, 2015 Big lawns, vehicle repairs, playgrounds and more...

We are still in Kansas and still keeping busy.  After my stepfather died I stayed here to help my mother go through his stuff and sort it out for an auction to be held this fall.  He was a journeyman electrician and a jack of all other trades.  They had several rental properties at one time and he  was always willing to lend a hand anywhere it was needed.  On top of that he was somewhat of a scrounger and never threw anything away. It appears he also changed out the lock sets on several apartment buildings since he had several boxes of used lock sets.  If he'd have been a good organizer the "after" part would have been a breeze.  But he wasn't a good organizer and that's why my mother needed the help.  He had stacks of plumbing and electrical supplies (new and used) for those times when he needed parts.  He also had a layer of small fasteners in almost every box he used for storage.  On top of that he had a good supply of tools for automotive, electrical, plumbing and general home repairs scattered about in boxes, crates, tables and floors.  It took about three days to just get the stuff sorted out in major categories (tools, plumbing and electrical) and I still have hours of work left to sort the tools out even more.  When I come back prior to the auction I plan on sorting out the electrical and plumbing supplies into more refined categories.  There are also some shop tools like a bandsaw, drill press, electric jig saw, and more) in new condition (boxes never opened). Anyway, it should make a great auction this fall for anyone who is handy with tools.

In the "tween times" we did some mowing over at my sister's house.  She has seven acres with about two of them in yard space.  She has two riding mowers and one walking mower.  Susan and I took turns on one of the riders.

It's been a rainy spring so when the grass finally dried enough to mow there were people everywhere cutting grass.  Here Susan is mowing the back yard after I did the front yard.  I'm finished mowing for the rest of my life.  It took a couple of days to recover from the asthma problems associated with mowing!  I had the same problem last year at home after returning from our spring journey across the US.  That time I nearly ended up in the hospital.

Scott used the time to try out some new toys he doesn't have at home.

This is one of his favorite cousins.

He alternated with his glove on both left and right hands but usually threw the ball with his left hand.

Susan took Scott to an event at the library and nearly froze in the air-conditioning.  I rode down with a jacket after finishing up tool sorting for the day.  My mother is an early riser and we usually sorted stuff in the basement from about 6:15 to noon.

Scott was a perpetual motion machine outside, making probably a hundred laps back and forth on the brick retaining wall!

The train at the park opened up the first week in June so Scott was there to help them start the season.  That's his great-grandma (my mother) seated behind him.

Emporia, Kansas is a city rich in parks.  I'd be willing to bet that they have more parks per-capita than 90 percent of the cities in the US.  Scott does his best to hit them all every time we come!

When we need internet access we usually end up at either McDonalds or Hardees for their free wifi.  Here Scott watches a movie on his tablet while Susan and I work on blogs at Hardees.

When my mother got out her riding mower it had a flat tire that wouldn't hold air.  I took the tube out and checked for leaks.

It was torn at the base of the valve stem.  this type of damage is usually due to driving it with the tire flat.  The tire slips on the rim and tears the rubber around the base of the valve stem.

Our vehicle saga isn't over yet.  I replaced the left front wheel bearing assembly because it was making noise.  After replacing it it was still making the same noise.  So I swapped it with the right front wheel bearing assembly.

After getting the bearing out I noticed it had evidence of rust in the bearings.  I hoped that would take care of the noise but it didn't.

We took it out again and I drove it hard.  I was going to be sure the bad part was going to be "findable" by the time I stopped.  It took us a while (thought we were going to need a tow truck to get back to base!) even then to determine that the noise was coming from the left rear wheel and not from a front wheel.  So we bought a new rear bearing assembly and I put it in.  When I took the old one out it was obviously bad so I put the new one in and the noise was eliminated.  To be fair I found evidence that the right front bearing assembly was going bad when I took it apart too (evidence of rust in the bearings)and the wire for the ABS sensor had rubbed through the insulation and was grounding against the frame.  So, in the last three weeks we've had $250 in brakes and $450 in bearings and another $20 for a 36 mm axle nut socket plus $340 in property taxes (6 months) and a $250 penalty from the IRS for a form I didn't get filed on time and a 25 dollar filing fee for an annual report due the state of Montana and about $700 in gasoline for our round trip from MT to KS.  Then there was the $400 for my new bicycle! It's been an expensive month!  I'm glad they aren't all like that.  

Anyway, the Expedition is good to go again and we'll be heading back to Montana soon.  But we are taking our time going home and seeing some sights along the way!  If the Expedition gives us any more grief I will junk it out and we'll ride bicycles the rest of the way home.  Should take us about a month but we have nothing pressing on the schedule anyway.

Scott kind of wore himself out for the day and drifted off to sleep while wearing a shopping bag for a hat.

A toy fire engine at one of the parks.

Our time here is almost over.  We'll be back for the auction this fall and bring the U-Haul camper that time so we can stay with the comforts of home before heading south for the winter.  It'll be nice to escape the heat and humidity.

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