Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Terry Did WHAT in December???

This one will be a pretty simple one to come up with. As we were driving home from work, I was kidding Jo that I didn’t have anything to do tonight as I had dumped the black and grey tanks yesterday.

To that comment, she answered, “Well, you could always mow.”

So, I mowed.

Before you think I’m slightly nuts to be mowing the yard on December 30, let me explain. We have two Oak trees in our yard and another, BIGGER one just to the south of our mobile home site. The two trees in the yard are of that variety that seems to keep their leaves all winter long. But, the BIGGER one has gotten rid of all of its leaves….right into and next to our yard.

Since we bought a mower to mow our teeny-weeny yard, we bought one that mulches because I refuse to bag leaves. So, I got out the mower and began to mulch Oak leaves. Because of the number of the leaves and the need to go slow to allow a good mulching process, it took quite a while to do what little yard I did tonight.

Normally, mowing that part of the yard is a 20 minute job at the most, and if I want to mow the yard immediately to the south of us, that is another 20 minutes at the most. However, the inside yard took about 1 ½ to 2 hours to mow because of the slow pace. So, guess what Terry will be doing tomorrow.

I really don’t want the leaves from the south of me to be blowing into our yard, so I need to get all around our coach and then mow some of the area to the south of us. The north side of us is protected by a chain link fence, so I doubt there will be much blow in, even with the northerly winter winds.

In addition to the mowing, I also need to do some measuring so we can build a platform with steps right outside our door instead of always using our metal steps. Because of the cement platform that runs the length of the lot just to the north of the coach, we can’t extend the 4th step, and since we will be living here for a while, we figured it would be easier for us and for the dogs.

In our case, I am not trusted very well with a tape measure. I can cut boards good, but I sometimes get the measurements wrong. So, I will get the basic measurements of how big we want the top platform to be and a rough figure of the length of legs for that and we’ll then buy the lumber we need for the job.

What will make this one interesting is that the two legs closest to the coach will need to be longer than the two furthest away. That is because of that long concrete pad again. So, it will be interesting as to how this process works out. We considered having someone build it for us, but those folks want too much of our money.

Then, I need to take in our Honda EU3000IS generator and get it serviced, tuned up, and get the battery replaced. For about the last year, each time I’ve started it to “exercise” it, I’ve had to use the pull rope to start it. However, that may need to wait until next month. I will need to roll it out and “exercise” it again before winter comes. If we lose power and we need it, I need it to be fairly easy to start.

We are just about at the point that we have all that we need for our stay in this location. Early in the month, they delivered a 120 gallon LP tank that we are leasing from American Propane. I think all we need now to be finished with everything is the platform and steps at the door and a pressure regulator for the water supply.

It is about time. For the last few months, there seems to be an endless supply of things that needed to be bought, and most of those have to be done at the first of the month so we can budget the rest of the month. Since we are only paid once a month with our employer, we have to watch things pretty closely.

I haven’t calculated in the amount of Propane we have used this month, but Jo says the electric bill isn’t all that big considering we were running the fireplace and two Lasko electric heaters for most every evening of the month. Don’t hold me to it, but I think Jo said the electric bill was only about $130. Considering we used to pay roughly $200 a month for a 2250 square foot house with 6” walls and insulation, I don’t think that is too bad for a month in the Mobile Suites.

Now, the real test will be January and February because those months tend to be the coldest ones. Here is hoping that the next few years will have mild winters so we aren’t tested to the extreme.

For a closing, here are two pictures of the area where I mulched the leaves today. In the photos, you can see the long concrete pad that I have to deal with in regards to building the platform and steps.

Looking from the west towards the coach and yard.


Looking from the east towards the west.  The metal structures you see beyond our site are actually three sites that are covered.  While one of them is empty right at the moment, we can’t use it.  The entry area is limited to something less than 12’ 9” in height.


The final picture is of the area on the south side of the Mobile Suites.  The area within and outside of the fence is what I need to mulch tomorrow.


Just think of all that area there covered with large oak leaves.

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