Life has changed

Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:51 am

I'm filling you guys in on what I've been doing lately since I haven't been on the board as much as I've been in the past.

First of all, we certainly appreciate the prayers since our daughter passed away back in January. I can not begin to express how much this means to us. We have been overwhelmed with the support from this fine group of folks along with our family, friends and co-workers. Thank you all so very much.

Cathy and I now have custody of our 2 year old granddaughter, this is something we neither expected or planned for. Our SIL isn't able to care for the two youngest kids, Cathy's youngest sister currently has our 5 year old granddaughter, but still has the three older children. The little monster has been keeping us plenty busy for the past several months, a toddler requires ALL of your time. But she is the light of our lives and insists on helping with all things. She has been afraid of tractors but got up enough nerve for her first Cub tractor ride this past week, the Gravely, JD and MH are still objects to avoid when running. Fear of such stuff is good as little kids can do some really bad things with such machines when adults aren't close enough to stop them. She climbs like a monkey and runs like a rabbit. So I'm back to removing keys, disconnecting batteries and various other measures to prevent mishaps. Other than that, I'm working on tool identification to convert her from a regular monkey into a grease monkey, so far I've been successful with some basic hand tools from some easy jobs - building cabinets, brake jobs, tuning up tractors, household electrical and plumbing repairs thus far. But only in two minute increments if I ever expect to actually get anything done.

Cathy and I both had 11 days off from work and we spent them up in PA to get some work done on the retirement home. The weather this week has been perfect to get some stuff done here. Time sure is fleeting when you have a little one to manage, limited time and everything is far away. I'm still planning on retiring in 2 1/2 years, selling the house in Baltimore and settling into a slower pace of life in south central PA.

Reality is, I didn't get the laundry room finished. I have to replace another 40 feet of sewer line with 4 cut-ins and the necessary vents to stop drains from gurgling. My brother bought the place next door last fall, he currently shares our well and they are up this week to do some much needed cleaning up and clearing out. I need to cut off the water supply for at least a full day to do some much needed repairs to the water system and untangle some previous "repairs", it's easier to shut off the water supply when they aren't here. I need to replace the current tiny pressure tank with a larger unit, the previous owners did some really stupid stuff to save some money for themselves but not for me. We also procured lumber for finishing off the basement and some new appliances while the Independance Day sales were in effect. Prices are way down from last year. I'll wait until fall for the insulation when Owens Corning has incentives for purchasing their products. Home Depot and Lowes is about one hour away, the local hardware folks don't carry the stuff I need. Peaceful country living comes with a price that my city home doesn't have, everything other than necessities takes up the better half of a day to acquire. Oh well, it's like when I was a kid growing up when my parents ordered from Sears or Wards and we waited a week or two for it to be shipped from Chicago or whereever.

With my brother available, we did get the camper ready for Cub Tub and the truck loaded with stuff for the Cub Express. When I picked up the appliances and lumber, he also had an order of lumber to add to the trailer. These old building need a generous transfusion of building materials to keep going into future generations. Wood, plumbing and electrical upgrades, doors, windows - the parade never ends. It's not like we haven't gone this route in the past, our houses in Baltimore are at or over 100 years old and we have gone through several decades of TLC with them as well. But I feel as though I wasted two days just to procure building materials.

I did manage to get all the Cubs running along with Miss Edith (a Massey Harris rescued from the home place) and a full cutting of the grass. We use Gravelys for the general yard mowing and a Cub and LoBoy for cutting all the grass in the back. I like walking a Gravely to get some exercise but Cathy would rather use a Cub for mowing. I think a Gravely is a bit too much for her to handle although she seems to manuver them just fine in open areas. They aren't for the weak or faint-of-heart to operate. Oh well, we still have a Crapsman push mower, just in case. My SIL wanted a plot of ground for her nursery plants so I fired up the '51 Cub with a fast hitch and plowed/disked up a quarter acre for her. She has a green thumb and is experimenting with plants that grow well in Baltimore but may be marginal here in PA. I managed to get some Crepe Myrtles to winter over up here but I'm not so sure if they will ever thrive this far north. I have two Southern Magnolias that have lasted three years here, variety "Bracken's Brown Beauty", and they are now growing and blooming prolifically. We have several river birches that are dying and I hope to replace them as they expire with more of these hardy magnolias or myrtles if they can survive here.

What my brother forgot to tell me, the ground I plowed and disked was loaded with poison ivy. He mowed it close and I couldn't tell it was there. So I have been suffering on both hands, my left arm, both feet and assorted dots and spots everywhere with the ichy rash all week long. And I mean everywhere.

I still need to bring two tractors up here from Baltimore and a slew of implements - plows, cultivators and lots of Gravely stuff. A neighbor in Baltimore wants drawbar mounted implements so I'm going to make some trades with him, he has some 3 point stuff to get rid of in order to make better use of his Cub. The MH and JD will come in handy with those items when we're getting the big field up here ready for something other than wild flowers. In the meantime, Cubs will work just fine.

It's funny, when I have a Cub out by the road, folks driving along stop to talk. Mostly something about some ancestor who has/had a Cub or the desire to acquire old iron to avoid the steep price of new equipment. The roadside chats are typically weekenders here camping or fboating and out for a trip to the store for food. If I have the Gravely out mowing or blowing snow, the neighbors wander over on their tractors to swap stories or gossip. Cub = strangers, Gravley = friends.

Tomorrow (Sunday) is our last day here before a short return to our regular life of work/daycare, eat and sleep for three days. Then we're coming back up here Wednesday night to pick up the camper and leave for the Cub Tug!

Re: Life has changed

Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:19 am

Sounds like you all are doing fine. The little one will keep you busy, but, as a side benefit, they will keep you young. Sounds like you will soon have an extra (experienced) hand in the shop and to help preserve the tractor heritage. Wish you and yours the best on your new adventures.

Re: Life has changed

Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:39 am

God bless you and cathy. The little one will keep you hopping yet young.

Re: Life has changed

Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:33 am

Carl - Sounds like you are busy! A Cub Tug vacation is just what you need! See you soon!

Re: Life has changed

Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:49 am

Nice to hear how things are going Carl. my wife runs a daycare and I can only imagine how acyion packed your days are. Life sure can throw you some curves and you are taking them head on. Hope to see you at Cecil's this fall. Have fun at the tug.

Re: Life has changed

Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:49 am

Wow Carl, what do you do in your spare time? I was wondering how things were going with you lately.

I wish I was closer to give a helping hand, but I know you and Cathy can handle what life has dealt to you and your family.

I too remember those days of hiding keys, disconnecting batteries and locking doors behind me. Out of habit I still do it, but after looking back at those years of my life, it was some the best years my wife and I had... With most of my family gone to school now, it’s a little too quiet around here.

May God bless your Grandchildren, Cathy and you! I hope to see you again soon.

Jack Fowler

Re: Life has changed

Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:44 am

WOW, i needed a nap just reading your post. Just keep your eyes on the prize, and sounds like you are. That is Kool your brother will be able to move close to you. I also love living in the country, but if i require anything, and dont want to pay that high price, have to plan at least the morning (and lunch) wasted running after it.

Have a great vacation.

Re: Life has changed

Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:34 am

Gee Carl, with all that going on I can see why you haven't had time to get a hair cut.

I hope you plan to share the ice cream shop story you have about the little one when we meet up again at the Tug.

Re: Life has changed

Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:49 am


I'm exhausted!! :) :) Thanks for sharing and God bless you and Cathy and the job you have undertaken.


Re: Life has changed

Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:12 am

Carl, my hat is off to you for taking the grand daughter in. We have some 50 year old neighbors who have just adopted a 5 year old boy and 8 year girl that were friends of the family.

As to the poison ivy, I no longer have a problem wiht it, but when I did, the best thing I found was the liquid version of Ivy Dri. I don't know if they still mkae it, but it sure worked good. Came in a very small bottle, and was a clear liquid, but worked better than anything else I ever tried.

Re: Life has changed

Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:01 am

Poison Ivy. The local farm store and one local hardware store sells poison ivy soap. Advertisement is good - don't know about the soap.

I emphasize with your situation. Wife and I are babysitting 6 year old grandson 2 or 3 days a week. The babysitting really cuts down on other activities.

Re: Life has changed

Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:13 am

John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:As to the poison ivy, I no longer have a problem wiht it, but when I did, the best thing I found was the liquid version of Ivy Dri.

I don't use Ivy Dri but there is another liquid I take that relieves the itch. Well, that is if you take enough of it. It comes in a twelve ounce brown bottles and there are several varieties. After using enough of this you forget all about the itch. Although to much of this can cause frequent trips to the bathroom.

Re: Life has changed

Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:14 pm

Wow !! IAnd I thought I was busy.You have taken on a lot.Good luck!!! Fixing up others mistakes usally takes twice as long.I'm doing the same thing here at home.Do it right the first time.Posion Ivy,yea,I have my rotating 10 spots till fall.Might have to agree with Bill on this one.I use a little anti itch stuff.Don't dry it up but don't keep me up all night either.Glad to hear you'll bew at the tug.See Ya There!!! Kevin ps remember to relax once in a while :shock: :shock:

Re: Life has changed

Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:28 pm

Carl, thanks for the wonderful update. Sounds like there is no grass (or poison ivy) growing under your feet. That little one will be driving a Cub before you know it. God bless and stay strong. :D :D