Back At The Ranch

The wife announced she was going to town, and did I need anything.

Man, that is so loaded with “reading between the lines” and other “subtleties” that I dared not touch it.

My response was to please get some whipping cream for my coffee…note: not whipped cream, whipping cream.

I also volunteered to removed the gates accessing the front yard from the carport.

And haul a bag of mulch from the garden I did not use, for her ‘shell garden’.


I still have yet to change my tire.

The weedeater is not feeding the string as I had hoped…when I ‘tap’ the head on the ground to feed some line, it sucks it all back inside. WTF? I have already reloaded it twice, and then got out the owner’s manual; yeah, I’m doing it right.

I removed the double gate to the front yard. The lag bolts holding the gate hinges pulled right out with some finagling, as the hole in the 4×4 post was rotted.

A friend of ours for many years, brought a spineless prickly pear for us to grow in a bucket, and keep safe here. They live in an apartment in San Antonio.

The spineless prickly pear is also known in the Mexican culture as nopales, which can be prepared and eaten. The nopales are the new growth on the prickly pear; the small ‘pears’ if you will, and are peeled and cooked.

I have never eaten them, but a buddy of mine once said that he thought eating nopales was what the color ‘green’ tasted like.

The nopal plant we kept in the front yard to keep the deer from it. Without the gates, now the front yard is open to the deer, so I moved the plant to the patio.

Prickly pear cactus, if left unattended, will grow into a huge colony. I have seen them the size of a Volkswagen. Ranchers hate them because cattle like them too, and get their mouths full of spines.

There is a tool called a “pear burner” that is basically a propane flame thrower that is used to burn off the spines so the cattle will not get a mouthful. I happen to have one of those…one has to carry the propane tank too whilst burning; depending on how long the hose is.

I next moved a bag of mulch from the garden to the west side garden at the house. The wife gave up planting her mother-in-law-tongues (snake plants) as the deer will pull them up, but not eat them; killing them anyway.

She wants to put her collection of conch shells on the mulch, in the skinny garden.

We have a nice wagon that we use to haul stuff around the ranch grounds; branches, cut firewood, and the like. I hauled the mulch with that.

OK, easy stuff aside. Now for the flattening tire.

I’ve spent so much time on  me knees lately working on the r/o system that the skin on my knees is raw. I have strap on knee pads that I used to work on the truck tire.

I was fully ready to just change out the tire, knowing I have a spare that has never been used.

After digging out the jack and finding out that my impact wrench did not have the correct size for the lugs, I got them off with the one provided with the jack.

After removing the wheel, I studied the tire, and finally found a nail. I poured a little water on it, and sure enough, it was leaking there.

The tubeless tire kit was produced, and I fished out the nail with a pair of dikes. Using the T handle rat tail file, I pushed into the hole and ground it out some.

Then using the T-handle plug tool, forced the plug into the hole with a tad of rubber cement on it.

I got it installed, and just to be sure….just in case…I poured some more water on the plug…damn! still leaking.

I can only surmise that I made a new hole next to the nail hole, and plugged that.


OK, so I plugged the original hole, and it did not leak. I installed the tire, and we’re done..

Or are we? Some of you guys out there have a better long range view of things…should I just replace the tire? now with two plugs literally side by side, I am thinking that it may be a little weak there.

The set of tires is 7 years old, but only has about 30k miles on them.

I am old school and believe that one never replaces just one tire… replace all of them is my thinking, but who’s got $750 lying around?

I would go with Michelin light truck tires, I think. These Wranglers are what the truck came with originally, but are really not very good tires for the price.

After all that, I was done in yesterday…only 92 outside.

I am taking it a little easier today, being Father’s Day and all.

I received texts from my two boys for Father’s Day…better than nothing, I suppose.

I just found out my youngest, who is in the Air Force, is now stationed in Korea. He’s a mechanic, and works on the A-10. Probably more by now, but that was his original training.

The oldest is getting married next month, has just bought a house, and has become a techno wizard in the installation of alarms. He said he’s been working 50-60 hours a week lately. Now he has a contract job working in Colorado Springs for three months.

The forecast tonight is thunderstorms.

When my SS check comes in Tuesday, I’ll be heading to town to stock up the pantry. I’ll also take back my faulty security light to HD. A haircut is in order, and will have to get another next month before we go to Colorado for the wedding…if we go. I have issues with my oldest, but that’s another post.

Happy Father’s Day to all of you dads out there. If your kids live close and want to take you to dinner or bbq for you…do it. Smile a lot, and talk to them. I wish mine were closer.

4 thoughts on “Back At The Ranch

  1. Are you SURE you’re winding the line on the weedeater in the right direction? I had the same problem, and found out I was the problem. I wound the string on the other way; problem solved. The tire; I’m a big fan of those plugs, but not when they’re adjacent to each other. Indeed, that spot is weak now. Unless you’re only using the vehicle for “ranch” use, do yourself a favor; replace the tire. I did the double-plug thing on my truck when I found a hole in my tire while hauling the 5th wheel camper. I made it home, and had the rig parked out front. About an hour afterward, we heard an “Earthshattering kaboom.” It was the tire letting go, right where I had plugged it. The whole side of the tire had ripped open! If that had happened when we were underway, it would have been a hoot! See if the tire place has a used tire they can put on until the rest of the tires catch up in the wear department. At our age, thrift is king!

    We have the “not spineless” nopales here at Rancho Whybother. My wife makes nopales, and they taste pretty good. The secret is rinsing the diced pieces off several times before cooking them. Otherwise they’re slimy to eat. The pears taste kinda like Kiwi fruit. If you want to eat them, wait ’till they’re ripe. Pick them off and hold them over a gas flame for a few seconds to burn off the spines. They’re actually not bad at all! They have a lot of seeds, but they’re small and really smooth. Just eat ’em and sheet ’em. The pears also make good jelly. C’mon! You live in TEXAS and haven’t tried NOPALES or PRICKLY PEARS??? Please… See the man at the door and hand in your hat and boots…

    • Ouch..I tend to agree about the tire, and the winding of the spool definitely needs a closer study.
      Preparing and eating nopales…what’s ripe? when they’re as big as one’s hand? if they’re spineless, why burn off spines? use a potato peeler to peel them? then rinse? and then what…fry them? boil? I know nothing of preparing them.

  2. I believe 7 years old tires to be unsafe for sustained driving at highway speed. The heat of the road and the heat generated by the tire may lead to a blowout, I’ve seen this many times. The driver is just along for the ride after that. I have had good luck with Cooper tires, I think they are a good, long-lasting tire at a fair price. Mine have little to no road noise, handle well and offer a smooth ride.

    Deacon in Louisiana

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