Back To Reality

Xworld (the place where X goes when not at home), always crashes to a halt when he returns home to wife. At this time, Xworld is a lonely one with only a metal chair to sit at a small bistro table in the kitchen, and patio furniture. The auction did not sell Pop’s radio, and X has been listening to KTSA talk radio out of San Antone.

The auction went well, although there were several boxes that did not sell. I made a deposit in Pop’s account for $5800 and change. Pretty sad that his life was rolled up into $5800 worth of stuff. Included was his car and the golf cart. Between those two they brought $3400.

The riding lawn mower that I bought broke down before we closed. I did not work on fixing anything until after we closed…just in case.

The lawn mower blew a rod. I  never saw a rod break into that many pieces. The crankshaft journal was scored, but probably would have sanded out since the journals are case hardened. One of the rings was seized on the piston. With  new seals and the crankcase gasket, it would have cost about $350. I ordered a new engine for $469. The hired man and I installed it on Thursday and got it running.

The local lawn mower shops only are open M-F 8-5. What the hell? I worked several years fixing lawn mowers and Saturday was the biggest day. Pop had his fixed at the “other” shop and they stung him for $600. I am still unclear as to what they did as it blew the engine a few months later…they didn’t even change the oil. I made a strong suggestion to the yard guy about keeping the oil full and checking it frequently.

A huge load off.

My Mantis tiller came in and I have assembled that.

I have been feeling kinda puny, and have attributed it to my going back to smoking. I have stopped again, and have improved a little.

My brother has been sick now for almost three months. Low grade fever and body aches. He lives on Tylenol. The irony is that his wife is an RN. Anyone remember that movie “Murder in Texas“?

Pop is doing well. He still refuses to get out of bed for therapy. They do  manage to get him to the shower a few days a week and hose him down.

My wife went back to work to teach summer school on the 31st. She’s still a bit tender but has been letting the students help her with lifting. She works half day, four days a week.

There is no TV in Xworld, just talk radio.

I have been doing a little work starting on the raised gardens, hereinafter referred to the gardens. There are five of them about three railroad ties long. The aisles were knee deep with what I call ‘side oats’ so I attacked the aisles with Roundup. The oats were affected quickly but others were not so I Rounduped them again with some Dawn to help it stick.

I decided not to Roundup the gardens themselves, as I  have heard bad things about what Roundup can do long term in the soil.

My plan is to cover the gardens this summer with black plastic to kill off the weeds. I have a  source for  unlimited horse manure and plan to pile loads of the stuff on all the gardens as well as some bales of peat moss. With the Mantis, it should till up into some great compost by next spring.

Looks good on paper, but it will be a tall order to fill. Baby steps.

Before I can haul the manure however, I’ll need a utility trailer in which to haul said manure; at least $1300. It won’t be a big one, a 5×8 would be about right. I’ll need to put some short walls on it as well. Hopefully, I can find one with a wooden floor. That will be my next experience at the ranch as my sister in law is planning to come down next month and she’s dying to get her hands on my gardens.

The ‘big garden’ or the Corn Field as I call it is 2500 sq foot of decent, plantable earth that right now is nothing but a thistle patch. I’ll need to purchase a large rototiller to  tear up that when I get ready.

I replaced the pressure switch on the air compressor, a 5 gallon Campbell Hausfeld. My brother hotwired it, then we had to unplug it when it reached 125 psi.

I had to do this before I tore the mower down, as I could not removed the belt pulley bolt on the crankshaft. So I bought a set of pneumatic impact wrenches. That did the trick.

I had to buy a come-a-long to hoist the mower off the ground high enough so as to reach the underside of the mower. It probably wasn’t OSHA but it certainly worked.

I have killed two scorpions in the house in a week; a personal record. The second one was at three in the morning when I went to the RR room to pee. I don’t think I got to sleep until five, as every sound was a scorpion coming after me. From what I read, they are stubborn bastards to kill with insecticides.

While I was away this time, the air conditioner went out at home…4 grand.

One of the air conditioners at the ranch went out…struck by lightning…fried a board…$320.

My wife called the other night saying the roof was leaking in the bathroom. I asked her “is it raining?”

“No”

“Then it’s not the roof…it’s the plumbing above the vanity in the bath. Call a plumber, he’ll know what to do. Meanwhile, you must turn off the water when you are done using the toilet or shower, as the pipes could burst while you’re away.”

“K”.

$300 and the plumber said the rest of the joints were not going to last forever. Apparently, in the eighties when the house was built, a few local contractors bought cheap copper pipe from Mexico that was thin walled and consequently, inferior.

More? Here ya go.

I was heating up some dinner the other day, and the microwave quit suddenly quit; along with the fridge. The breaker did not trip either. WTF?

I turned off the breaker and plugged the appliances back in…turned breaker on and same…dead.

Called electrician and found wire came out of fridge receptacle that fed m/w. $35…cheap.

Tomorrow X turns the big 60.

Will be home a few days; at least until Wednesday as I have to pay the yard guy here for a few more visits as it seems no one else can meet him to do this.

I did lose 14 pounds during my last trip away.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Back To Reality

  1. Good to see you back.
    Man, when it rains, it pours!
    I understand 100% about the smoking. I’ve quit 3 or 4 times in the last couple of years. The last time my doctor put me on Chantix, and it helped. I had no cravings at all, and none of the nasty side-effects until I quit taking it. A day or two after I stopped I noticed I didn’t feel quite right. I had no patience, and doing something like dropping a tool when I was working on something got me really upset, almost to tears. Plus the cravings returned. It got bad enough that I bought a pack of smokes.

    Hang in there, you’re in the home stretch!

  2. Good to see you back.
    Man, when it rains, it pours!
    I understand 100% about the smoking. I’ve quit 3 or 4 times in the last couple of years. The last time my doctor put me on Chantix, and it helped. I had no cravings at all, and none of the nasty side-effects until I quit taking it. A day or two after I stopped I noticed I didn’t feel quite right. I had no patience, and doing something like dropping a tool when I was working on something got me really upset, almost to tears. Plus the cravings returned. It got bad enough that I bought a pack of smokes.

    Hang in there, you’re in the home stretch!

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