Category Archives: work

Showing signs of life

Russell asked me if I had gotten the cart going. When he first asked, I hadn’t even tried turning the key to our maintenance golf cart. Well, yesterday I turned the key.

There was nothing. No buzz, no gage movement, not a flicker of light. The directional signal had been on all winter, sucking power.

The battery was drained. It was time for a charger.

I took my time connecting the charger to the terminals. First, I made sure which was positive and which was the ground. Once the positive and negative signs were visible it was easy to snap on the charger clamps.

After a couple of hours charging this old battery, the cart did buzz. After a few more hours, it almost acted like it wanted to start–that made me happy but not excited.

I’m still scratching my head, trying to get it to pop.

What I think is the best thing to do now is to get a new battery.

The new addition will come in the near future, but until then I’ll keep trying to encourage the cart to roll again.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Getting out of doors

A farmyard is larger than most yards in town, times ten. So far I’ve raked about one percent of the lawn around my house. Yesterday, I raked and moved three wheelbarrows full of fallen sticks and last year’s leaves.

The day wasn’t as pretty as the day before, which took away the ‘fun’ of raking. I kept Sunny outside with me. After taking him for a potty walk, I slipped his lead over a heavy wooden chair and let him watch me work.

The soft soil makes pushing the wheelbarrow work, too, but it seems the best way I can move things right now.

See Sunny watching me from a distance through the glider.

I took a timeout from work on the glider. It needs oil as it squeaks. Bob hated its squeak. The squeak doesn’t bother me much. It actually reminds me of Bob. My husband couldn’t use the glider much as his bad hip made it difficult for him to get in and out of it.

This is just another day on Sunnybook Farm where I am self-isolating. This isn’t as bad as it sounds as I live in the best place on earth and Bob continues to be with me, even if in spirit.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Yard work on the farm

I’m a writer, so when I pick up a rake or shovel it is usually grudgingly. Still, work has to be done.

Last year, autumn changed into winter too soon. A lot of fall yard work was left until spring. Now besides fallen leaves, I have fallen branches to pick up. Those chores aren’t too bad, but raking has added issues.

With a gravel driveway, a lot of the stones were picked up when winter snow was plowed. Every spring raking that gravel adds to the work. Stones are much harder and heavier to rake.

Getting as much gravel out of the grass as possible is important. Hitting rocks would be hard on the mower, besides they can go flying and hurt someone.

Raking is good exercise. It also wears a person out.

After two hours of work, I was pooped.

Warm enough to roll up my sleeves.

It doesn’t help that there’s a lot more to rake. So this afternoon I’ll be out in the yard raking again. Good thing the weather will be in the 50s after lunch.

Writing is so much easier. At least it is when I have something to write about.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Five jobs I’ve had

I saw a post on Facebook, suggesting people list five jobs they have had. I think they said five so we wouldn’t have a list an arms-length long. I just started thinking about my list of jobs and definitely had more than five.

Of course, I’m a writer and a speaker. That leads me to being a fur trader….

at least as a speaker telling about Wisconsin’s past.

as a writer

I’ve also been a mechanic…

under Bob’s tutelage.

Right out of high school I worked in a grocery store lugging boxes and stocking shelves. After that, I was a bookkeeper/clerk at Frankfort Grain in Lumber in Frankfort, Illinois and then came the time I was a receptionist for a Dr. Polito DDS. (All Illinois jobs)

While in Wisconsin I worked as a secretary for the religious education department at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. I also was an activity assistant at a nursing home and an elementary school teacher’s assistant.

Somewhere along the way in the 90s, I had a short-lived job working for Budget Rental at the airport. (Too high pressure for me.)

The longest-lasting job (besides writing) was farming. I was Bob’s partner and right-hand-woman, especially when he needed someone to hold something or reach into a small place to turn a wrench.

I drove tractor, pulling implements: baler, cultivator, disk.

I was always on call when Bob got stuck and needed a pull.

During haying season

after a long hot day farming

I even moved bales (in the 1990s).

This is beginning to sound long enough to be a column. I just may expand this job thing in the future. Stay tuned.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Technological advancement

Two weeks ago I arranged for a new router. The box came in two days and has been sitting on the counter ever since.

I thought I could hook it up. Plugging in all the wires wouldn’t be too bad. What worried me was all the things that need WIFI here. They would all need to be reconnected with the new router number.

The tangle of wires and the router

Halfway through setup I ran into a problem and called for help from my provider, CenturyLink–DSl is the cheapest option I can get in the country.

A woman, far away, helped me through all the things I had to do to get my new router working. All the wires were hooked in the right places. I just had to click the right things on the website to get everything working with the router.

I listened to her. She waited for me to do as directed–she was very nice. It took a little time but


Still, I wasn’t finished. I had to get my TV to recognize the WIFI and my Echo and my cellphone.

The phone was easy. The TV took a little time, but I didn’t have to Google an answer.

The Echo/Alexa was different. I Googled my problem, found someone who had answers on youtube. It was easy after following his step-by-step directions.

Everything seems to be going well, or else I wouldn’t be able to post this blog.

One more big step for me!

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved