Well it’s been quite the weekend as my birthday was on Friday. I met Raven at Starbucks Saturday morning for coffee. As she had a phone appointment to keep she headed for the house and I went to the farmers market. The gherkins were on sale a dollar off so I bought all the little ones. Pineapple guavas, among my favorites, throw some of them in too. I’m craving soup, potatoes, green beans, a yellow squash. Off to Shelton’s for tonight’s potato salad, free range chicken broth and a carrot. A stop at the hardware store for a dowel to perhaps plug the gate holes.
Home again, Raven is still on the phone, cool. I load up the car with tools to finish Elliot’s gate while making chicken soup at the same time, garden herbs, thigh meat. Cathy called after Raven finished, expected by 2:00, get charcoal. The soup turned out perfect, not fancy just really good. Raven didn’t try it yet as she has a tuna salad on the way.
We ride my car to Oakland as it’s cheaper than the truck, arriving on time.
I get started on the gate as Raven has last weeks herbal forum to type out. I adjust the two gates using a wrench to get them upright and even. I use a pipe wrench pulling to bend the hinge pin on the left upper side to get that side plumb, it works as I planned it, wow. The right side doesn’t have the room to bend it and needs lower clearance. Raven helps me lift the gate to the garage front saw horses where I cut a half inch off the bottom right side. I have to remove the wheel first, using a skill saw to make the cut, just clipped a screw, but alright. Replace the wheel. I use the pipe wrench to bend the upper right hinge pin while the gate is off, using a nut and piece of string to check for plumb, right on. I attach the lower right hinge plate and torque it, attaching the upper plate with one bolt loose. Raven helps me carry the gate to place and raises it as I use a hammer to get the upper plate attached to the pin, engage the bolt and wrench it home. In the middle, both gates are plumb, in line and not swinging, excellent. The left side wheel engages as it fully opens. The right side wheel hits pavement and lifts the gate as it reaches full open while the gate doesn’t bottom out, this is acceptable and good. I tweak the hinge pins to perfect the center alignment tight, then replace the side board screws.
The gate is in place right. I checked out the combination latch. As I forgot to bring the long extension cord, this will have to wait.
Party time, as the guests arrived I lit the grill. We all assembled kabobs, good fun, cooked to perfection. Dinner served at the outside table with beautiful sunset lighting so tasty.
Birthday banana cake inside with trick candles I recognized by the sparks, pinched out. Hope I still get my wish. Cool presents, book and book mark, a beautiful Sapan boat model and a yodeling pickle, odd that. Not really as I passed out pickle jars for everyone. Home time. Steve arrived after we left in full pirate costume, stuffed parrot stuck on an epee “just resting”, so funny.
Raven in the vardo, awoke me to Turkish coffee with heavy cream, dark chocolate with almonds on the side, exquisite. She worked on more gilding details as I woke up.
We need a new steel cutter blade from Harbor Freight to make the axle spring extensions. The propane gas lines need modifications, I want to convert the leaking iron pipes to brass fittings and rubber hoses. We price the parts at Garrett’s, TBD with what’s on hand. A stop at HF for the steel cutter wheel, Trader Joe’s.
On to Wells Fargo Center as the Gem Show is on, Raven’s treat for my birthday. It’s much bigger than I expected, a decent show. Raven scored a good string of raw amber she wanted at a reasonable price, I got good amethyst beads at a discount.
Back to home base Raven reheated the chicken soup, another perfect meal.
I attached the new grinder wheel, measured the distance between spring centers at 28 inches. I think we’ll need extra length to provide enough clearance for the bolts, I measured and cut two pieces of 2×2 square 1/8 wall tube at 30 inches.
Technical considerations: Just checked, the spring mount bolts are short, I’ll need to secure them inside the tubes. Therefore the second tube set will need to be 28 inches inset an inch at each end. I’ll use 4 bolts each side, two at 2 1/2″, two at 4 1/2″ to secure the tubes to the frame. The spring mounts can be secured inside the tube before mounting the extensions. I’ll temporarily bolt the two together before welding. Number 5 bolts at 1/2 inch diameter.
I figured out to cut the second one on the left with the short piece and chalk line right. That way I’m not in line with the tool. The first one I had to lean over the blade to see the line, scary if the wheel broke. it didn’t, but the short to right is safer.
Raven headed for home early at 4:30 with good soup. I finished the second tube cut and moved to the kitchen busy. I have pickles I salted early to can and Cathy asked for apple butter. I break out the apple tool, cores and peels mostly with a crank, needing an occasional trim of the peels. I start with the outback granny smith wormy apples removing the worms and fall back on the O Galas I bought at TJ’s. Boiled, blendered, spiced, oven cooked down and canned long in the hot water bath. Meanwhile rinsing out some salt from the pickles. Cornichons, herbs from the garden, tarragon and thyme, farmers market garlic and onions, grape leaves from the vines out back. Pretty much local. Vinegar and water. Five pints, plus three and a half cups of apple butter. It’s late, what a weekend, good night.