The sun came out while I was milking, almost too warm for the jacket I'd put on. The rains had softened the goats' hooves as well as the dirt, so I got a start on trimming toenails (one hoof each per day) and dug up another bucketful to throw into the abyss under the stand. The day was off to a good start.
With the danger of sparks and fire lessened, I thought it would be the perfect day to mow down the patches of persistent star thistle. Ah, well. Going out to the little tractor, the first thing I noticed was the flat rear tire (usually it's the front). Then, although the engine wanted to turn over, it wouldn't start. Check the gas. Not only low, the tank was completely dry. Hmmm. Find the gas can, put some in the tank. Watch it start a fast drip out of a part I can't recognize. (I know about fuel lines and filters, but what is that black thingy there that I can't get off or tighten?) Not wanting to waste what gas I'd put in (not at today's prices!), I backed the tractor around to the barn door, filled the tire with the air compressor, and raced around the yard to cut down the blankety-blank thistle and get back to the shed before running out of fuel.
Had I been able to foresee the future, I wouldn't have wasted time on Home Economics in high school. The only dishes we made in that class (that I remember) were creamed peas and baked Alaska, neither of which I've ever made again. I should have been in Auto Shop where I might have learned something really useful. Auto Shop should be a requirement, not an elective.
When I called for advice (and maybe a little sympathy), Dave suggested I go down to The Pit, otherwise known as Steve's shop downstairs, and see if I can find an owner's manual for the tractor. It took me five years to find where Steve kept the nails. I'm not holding out a lot of hope. Ah, well.