Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Winter is here.

12/12/07 Wednesday
I guess winter is here now. It’s another cold morning where the temperatures dropped below freezing. The forecast shows several days where the temperature goes down into the twenties. It’s a good thing I cut and split a lot of firewood. We’ve kept the fire going for days now and that has made a dent in it. I’ve used up the wood on the veranda and am now burning the elm wood that is stacked out by the trailer. It burns just fine and makes plenty of heat, just leaves more ash requiring a little more clean up. I really like all of this. There is something I can’t quite put my fingers on, a satisfaction? a feeling of accomplishment? a connection with the pioneers of old? I don’t know but even getting up at three in the morning to put some more wood on the fire doesn’t bother me in the least. And I seem to wake up automatically to do it every night the fire is going.

There was a chance we would get freezing rain last night but it doesn’t appear that we got any moisture at all. I called the seed company to get some advice on the wildflower seeds. They should have been planted in November but the lady said they will probably be OK. If not we would have to wait till next fall as they need to be planted then and not in the spring. I’ve got enough seed to cover an acre of ground. If it all works out next year will be an awesome improvement for this land. It will be our second year here and just a start as we work to tame and shape this land, to create our outdoor environment. All nine of the near dead apple trees we picked up at Ace Hardware have survived. That surprised me. I figured we would lose one or two of them if lucky. I’ll be pruning them soon and tying the branches back to train them.

We’ve had some donations now through the PayPal button that’s on the right hand column of this blog. It all helps. In a conversation I had regarding this tractor a point was correctly made that it is not a need but a business venture. Needs are important things such as bills to be paid or repairs required to maintain a house or vehicle. On my disability check and even with the extra money Cherie makes as a personal assistant we are well below the poverty level as determined by the federal government. At this level we will always have “needs” as we don’t have much to spare so any financial surprise will be hard to reach. Getting the tractor is a start to financial independence where we can take care of these things our selves without having to depend on the generosity of others. Not that that is wrong but the tractor is a long term solution versus constantly plugging holes in a dam that is deteriorating. We can get siding, replace windows, and do so many other things like make the bathroom something we are not ashamed to have others see. Plus we can grow a business that will not just provide that financial independence but allow us to help others as well.

Cherie is heading into Midland to do laundry. I’ll be starting on getting the wildflower seeds sowed after finishing the last small area of rye seed. The wildflowers I will use my imagination on, be creative in how I place them with a vision for how they will look next year when they bloom. There are twenty six different kinds of flowers in this mix, most of them annuals but some perennial. There will be something blooming all year long. Plus I harvested seeds from the two types of wild sunflowers that came up here along with a gallon jug full of regular sunflower seeds from the ones we planted at the side of the house. I will plant those on the borders of this property. Time to get warm clothes on and get started.
I had no sooner than posted this when the phone rang. It was Cherie. She was getting on the highway at an entrance ramp she was unfamiliar with and hit the curb. It blew out the front drivers side tire and she wasn’t sure about the rear one. “I picked up the hubcaps” she said. I was upset because it was a careless mistake and told her she needed to learn to drive and that I would be right there.

When I got there the rim of the front tire had a dent in it the size of a small cup saucer. The rear rim was also dented but not as bad and the tire still had air in it. The little jack that comes with her car didn’t do well on the soft ground. The car fell off of it three times. That was a little dangerous. I finally got the little donut tire on but it was half flat so we limped the car to a safe place to park it. Then we went down 80 where I remember seeing some used tire places. The first was closed. At the second one they did not have a rim to replace ours. He suggested a junk yard we had passed so we went there. Nope, they don’t have that wheel and the guy said it’s hard to find them. Both of these places had recommended a place called Discount Tire.

I had brought the puppies with me thinking this would be an easy tire change and they were rambunctious so we took them home. Once there I looked up Discount Tire and gave them a call. The guy was rambling on about how he would have to look at the old wheel. I asked if he could even give me a ballpark price and it was the same “I’ll have to see the wheel” thing I’d already heard four times now. I know that’s crap. The junk yard looked it right up on the computer and told me the same wheel fits from 1993 to 2002. I hung up on the guy before I cussed him out. I called another junk yard. They had the wheel but it would be fifty bucks. Yikes, fifty bucks for a used wheel and I’ll certainly need a new tire as well. I just talked about “needs” that come up such as car repairs and here we are. Fifty bucks is a lot of money for us and add the cost of a tire it’s going to be over a hundred dollars.

I went out and got the splitting maul that has a sledge hammer end and started hammering on the rim. After a while I found the sledge hammer head I picked up for a buck fifty at old sorehead days. This I could set against the dent in the rim and hammered it with the splitting maul, thus more accurately directing the blows. I hammered away for a good half hour before it looked like it might work. Then I took the tire into town and aired it up. Nope, the rim leaked cause I could hear it. I took it into the place I’d had the truck tires patched. He pulled the tire from the rim and checked it out. It didn’t look that bad he said and put the tire back on the rim. It held air. We got lucky. It only cost seventeen dollars.

I picked up Cherie and we went back to her car where I put the tire back on. It fell off the jack two more times. Not the most fun I’ve ever had. When Cherie drove off I followed her to make sure it was alright. It wasn’t. In the process of the car falling off the jack the metal shield around the brake disk was buckled into the brake. I got the crowbar out of my truck and hammered it out of the way.

Now Cherie is doing laundry and I am home. Haven’t gotten a thing done around here and I’m already tired. Go figure.

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