While my paternal grandfather and namesake served in the European theater in WWII, my maternal grandfather served in the Pacific theater in WWII, my maternal step-grandfather served in Korea, and my father-in-law served in Vietnam, I was fortunate that none of these brave men lost their lives in war. This Memorial Day, for me, is a day of remembrance for all of the family I’ve lost over the years, including most recently, my mother. I hope that all of my Oppo friends find peace on this day of remembrance, no matter how your loved ones were lost to you.

The long weekend gave me a chance to work on a few problems around the house. I got started with the dogs’ watering hole.

The spigot developed a continuous drip which caused a permanent mud bog below. The plan was to replace the washers inside the spigot, but the parts refused to budge. Instead of risking damage to the interior plumbing by wrenching too hard, I just whipped out the propane torch and sweated off the faucet and soldered on a new one.

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There we go! Nice and shiny and new! You might also notice that we started working on digging out the dirt between the french drain and the house and placing new rock. That should clean up the area by eliminating the weeds that like to grow there and dry up the bog that was partly due to the leak, partly due to the dogs drinking from the bib.

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After a quick mow (still have some weed-eating to do), I dropped the belly-mower and put some of the accessories I inherited with the tractor (thanks, Mom!) to use.

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Pictured here are the box blade and the tiller. Not pictured are the belly mower and spreader. So, what can one do with a tiller and a small box blade? A lot more than I thought possible. After digging out french drains around the house, I had a substantial pile going. I started knocking it down with the tiller and then spread it out with the box blade. We plan to pave this side of the house later this year, but I needed to clear a path for the portable storage building we plan to buy. Why pave it? A lot of people like to store boats beside their houses, so it will be a good spot for my little trailer and should help when we sell the house.

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The pile was over two feet tall when I started. I didn’t get to finish because the fuel pump on the tractor sprung a leak, but the parts are on order and I’ll be able to finish the job in a couple of weeks. My wife is so happy with the results so far that she asked me to till up the garden side of the house and put down crushed granite. That should make maintenance on the other side a bit easier.

With all the work over the weekend, today is a welcome day of rest.