Long Overdue Letter

That’s what this post feels like.

Where to begin?  Well, we wound up having to order parts to get the truck fixed. Don went and picked them up yesterday so today I will start putting everything back together. As you read this the back end of the truck is basically in pieces in the barn. It’s been a real learning experience. YouTube has been a surprisingly great help. You can find out just about anything there.

As if we didn’t have enough mechanical challenges I broke the tractor this week.  Hahaha, well, just a belt. I was mowing in the woods and managed to poke a stick up into the fan belt which immediately broke. Then while I was moving the generator/alternator (whatever) to get the new belt on I managed to short the circuit and blow a fuse. (I know, I should’ve disconnected the battery but… ugh.) But it’s back together and we overcame. Yes, we overcame.

We also increased the farm family last week by 10.

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Unfortunately, one of them didn’t last long – not because of their living arrangements I must hasten to point out! They only stayed in the purple tote for the first day while I set up  the brooder on the back porch.

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I’m pretty proud of this brooder. It’s a repurposed shipping container from work. I cut out the lid and added hardware cloth and a lip so it would sit securely on the box. That’s it. It was seriously close to free which tickles me almost as pink as that radiant heat lamp thingy. Here it is without the top.

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Since we decided to get some use out of the back porch until it’s remodel, which honestly may be years away :), I made use of some of the other goodies from the woodlot at work to make these:

IMG_2369Yes, boring old shelves or as I like to call it, The Wall O’Food. As a side note that bag of round things is the walnuts we were able to save last fall. We picked up about five times this amount but didn’t clean them correctly and they wound up molding. There seems to be a lesson everywhere around here.

Anyway, it’s been a productive couple of weeks. All in all I’m satisfied with our output and overwhelmed with what’s left to do as spring comes along. It’s not been all drudgery though, Don figured out how to duplicate the mexican pizza from Taco Bell.

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OMG, this was good!! 🙂

Hope you are doing well.

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Farm Truck Fights Back

Ah my friends what a day it has been.

As you know from my last post the farm truck has been on sabbatical for the last few weeks. Well, this morning as I was speaking to my father on the phone I happened to glance out the window and see my dear husband pulling the truck toward the barn with the tractor. I immediately realized that the situation had gotten completely out of hand so I used my secret weapon – dad’s automobile advice.

It turns out that we didn’t have to replace the starter. In fact the fix, while not permanent, was obscenely simple. “It’s the solenoid,” said he, “the contacts are stuck together, maybe welded together. It’s not your starter… although you might want to replace that too by the sound of it.”

I went out and found Don and the truck, stationary, halfway between the house and the barn. I tapped the solenoid a few times with a small ball peen hammer and voila, running truck. Oh how happy we were. Until Don pointed out the reason he was only halfway to the barn. A distance that I should point out is not very far.

The left rear wheel was not turning. Behind the truck was a long, ugly scar in the earth.

<Insert entirely inappropriate and vulgar words here.>

This is entirely my fault. While trying in vain to remove the starter last weekend I decided to be safe and so engaged the parking brake – not an unreasonable decision I think. However, I didn’t fully comprehend, yes even given it’s taciturn history, the true recalcitrance of this cobbled together off-road beast. The brake engaged perfectly. It just won’t disengage now.

<More dirty language.>

Luckily while forward was not an option, reverse was free for the taking so Don ignored my suggestion of a blowtorch and backed the truck between the fence and an apple tree, through the pasture, between the scrap-metal pile and the burn pile, and into one of the bays in the barn. It really was inspiring to watch.

Only once we had the truck inside the building did we realize that we now have no choice but to fix it right away. There is no way to get it out otherwise.