Sunday, September 29, 2013

Practice what you preach

Last weekend I was plowing up the back pasture and all of a sudden the ripper was cockeyed and I was done.  I unhooked the implement and left it out in the field.  The tractor went back in the garage.  Yes, I keep the tractor in the garage.  It holds four vehicles so why keep it in the barn?  And there it sat for a couple of days.  I didn't really have a clear view of the problem area.  All I knew was the right side wasn't broken and the left side was.  So I took photos of both sides.  I then put them onto the computer and was able to see what the problem was.  A split ring had come off.  That should be an easy fix, or so I thought.

First I went to Lowe's, then Tractor Supply, then Home Depot, then O'Reilly's, the Pep Boys.  They all carried split rings, just not that size.  Pep Boys suggest I go to the local Ag Hardware.  That's a store that  is similar to Tractor Supply but twice the size.  That was a good suggestion because I didn't want to drive another 15 miles to get to the John Deere dealer to pay 10 times the price.  Of course Ag Hardware had it there.  1 1/8" split ring - 69 cents. 

The grandkids had a birthday party to go to today so I didn't get home in time to put it on.  That's OK.  I'll get to it next weekend and then finish ripping that pasture.  It's something that I can fix myself.  I just had to figure out what was wrong.  Because this had the same item on the other side it was pretty easy to figure out.  If I didn't figure it out it would have cost $50 to have JD come over to pick up the tractor and although they would have probably charged $5 for the part they would have charged another $50 minimum for labor.  The .69 fix would have cost over $100.  I bought four split rings.  Sure the first one lasted for 10 years.  I'm sure the other side will break soon.  Now I have extra because I don't believe that they are made as well as they were even 10 years ago.  I doubt that these will last another 10 years.  We will see.

Oklahoma friend called me up a couple of days ago.  Friend knows that I am prepared. Friend is as well, even if I did make remarks about how they had to buy firewood because they never bucked up any of the downed logs on their 87 acres.  Or at least friend is trying to be prepared.  Friend called to ask my opinion.  The question was prefaced with "Don't think I'm one of those crazy people".  Friend told me how most of their neighbors are thinking the country is going to fall apart and they are preparing big time.  Friend said that because of what everyone else is doing that they are going to seriously prepare as well.  If you can't beat them then join them.  And what did I think about that?  Crazy? 

Not in the least.  I then went through a bunch of scenarios.  Loss of power for several weeks...oh yeah, like every winter where they live.  Since they've lived in Oklahoma, the winter with the shortest outage was 15 days!  How about a freak snowstorm?  Tornado? That's their normal life.  Of course they need to be prepared.  Country collapse?  You know, I just don't know if that will happen.  Who can predict that?  Take 9/11.  While it was a horrible attack on our country, unless you lived where the attack occurred or you had friends or loved ones who perished, or you were part of the rescue effort or clean up effort, it didn't really affect you.  Well, sure it did, emotionally.  But we aren't talking emotionally.  When bad things happen in this country it is usually a regional problem.  There may be shortages of things due to that ragionality but life will pretty much go on for the rest of us.  Unless of course, we have an entire country collapse. 

I told friend that I think preparing is great.  After all, if all of your neighbors are prepared then there is less risk to you that they will be coming after your stuff.  Friend should keep talking with these neighbors.  Ask them questions.  Even if friend doesn't want to believe that there could be a full collapse connections can be made and neighbors can meet to figure out how they can all cooperate.  Some raise milk goats and cows, some chickens, some fish, some garden, some love hunting.  Friend is a trauma nurse.  Can't get a better person than that in a group. 

We moved the sheep to the front yard yesterday.  They will be eating the little bit of grass and all the leaves that will fall from the mulberry trees.  I have to get the seed still but my plan is to plant one pasture in wheat, one in oat, and one in barley.  Since I have six separate pastures I may plant two of each type of grain.  I've planted the pastures before but with last years 5 inches of rain for the entire season, just about nothing came up.  I want to plant it again, just to make sure I get a good crop this year. 


  1. It's always good to prepare for the future. The problem now is to figure out what to prepare for. In OK you point out some natural disaster type scenarios. Here in CA it will be different in different parts of the state. General preparedness is good.

  2. The little parts, that cost next to nothing, are the things that cause the most havoc.
    We did some trim work on the house yesterday and had to go buy nails. We have a ton of nails and screws, but no 1.5" nails. Always the little things.