During this entire time it was snowy, bitter cold and very windy and we are drained. I also started my Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) certification training which runs through the first week of May and to be honest I was really not feeling like going to class after the services but its good training and if your a prepper at all you can never have too much medical training. I have given CPR numerous times (over a dozen), used an AED several times, sewn stitches (mostly on myself), given IVs (any Army Vets remember Combat Live Savers?), delivered 3 babies (including our youngest son and most recently last year on a back road in the front seat of a Ford F-150), pulled teeth, bandaged several gun shot wounds, and did the Heimlich maneuver last year (it works...ask Judy!). If you live remote or travel to remote areas its just good planning in my opinion to have some basic medical training and I plan on continuing my formal training and certification and to get Holly and Judy through at least CPR.
So after all that, yesterday we got a flat on the car...you know, blowing a right front tire on a front wheel drive car while driving down a narrow country two lane road coming out of the apex of an off camber downhill curve and heading for a narrow bridge....one of those butt clenching deals. We put the spare on and limped to the next town that sold tires (24 miles) and found out that the wheel was cracked and besides the $500 for four new tires the Ford dealer said a new wheel was $300. We needed the new tires but the wheel was unexpected and we aren't talking about fancy aftermarket wheels here, that was $300 for a factory wheel and I bet somewhere on it will be "made in China". Since we were at the dealer I just told them to replace the throttle body and install new struts...what the heck is another $1200 at that point eh? Actually we like the car, its paid for, and its so smooth and quiet we cant hear it running at idle but with 103,000 miles on it it needs some service. Once we get it back it should be good for our trip to NC for youngest son Al's graduation from UNC and for our trip to Minnesota for daughter Jenny's marriage, it just seemed that the timing couldn't have been worse.
But life goes on and its not all doom and gloom. I think its easy to read some of these blogs and get the impression that life is pretty easy or that some people are just lucky and never have bad things happen but of course everyone has their ups and downs; its how you react and deal with the bad that differentiates happy people I think.
We have now filed for and been granted our standing as a Licensed Limited Corporation and our farm is now officially "Stonehouse Farm, LLC". Its a big step for us and at least we have made our CPA happy!
Its a relatively simple procedure...if the tractor were new, but its old, all the bolts were rusted and hard to get off and the admonition in the shop manual to take off the fan blades and pulley prior to pulling the water pump was a "yea, right" deal.
The fan assembly was rusted on (almost welded) to the water pump so I had to remove the fan shroud, part of the governor, and the alternator and do some acrobatics to get it out as one unit. Then I still couldn't get the fan assembly off the water pump and since I could not find a replacement anywhere on the magic Internet I was afraid of bending or breaking it. Tonnes of PB Blaster and judicious use of a hammer on the impeller finally broke it free but I was sweating it for a bit.
The new cast water pump has an extra intake port (its the slightly larger port on the top right in this picture) that my tractor doesn't require so it has to be plugged and the other top port needs a new overflow tube so there is another bit of fabrication but I'll make it work.
I couldn't resist this picture of my buddy Bandit, he likes to hang out in the shop with me and if there is a spot of light he will find it. I have to say, when I get stressed or down I can go up to the upper shop and just work on stuff and it puts things into perspective. I kind of needed that this week.
This is the old water pump that was giving me so many problems. The round piece with the four bolt holes was what the pulley hub and fan was rusted to but it doesn't look that bad now that its all apart.
I ended the day sanding and painting the various parts IH Red using Valspar tractor and implement paint which is excellent if you can get it. I got it at Tractor Supply Company last year but they have now switched to Majjic brand paint and I don't like it as much.
The gals have been busy too.
Holly and Judy have so far started 16 different vegetables, flowers, and herbs and they are anxiously awaiting the installation of the two new green houses...patience ladies.
At the end of the day today, we fed the cattle and rode out to the back pasture and saw 4 deer, then on the way back a rabbit darted in front of the four wheeler and stopped about 5 feet away and just let us watch her and finally tonight we watched a couple crows chase a hawk all around our barnyard. Spring just has to be near!!