Category Archives: Frugal Living
Last fall my electronic transfer case decided not to allow me into 4-Low. Normally this isn’t an issue, but I was needing to pull some trees around after felling them and didn’t want to burn out my clutch. I’ve always hated the electronically activated portion of my 4wd system, so I decided to get rid of it. I installed The Shiftster. A neat little device that takes the place of the electronic shift motor. It is designed and built right here in the USA which is great and only cost me $60, a new shift motor was 2-3 times that. I then disconnected the 4wd controller and made an access panel in my floor so I didn’t have to crawl under the truck during inclimate weather to put the truck into 4wd.
My first attempt at an access panel was quick and dirty. I cut the hole in my floor, then used that piece as the “door”. I siliconed on some rubber fuel line around the hole to “seal” it while closed – it leaked horribly. It stayed closed via 2 eyelets that 2 rods slid into and then a homemade latch using a hitchpin. I had to physically remove the panel to gain access and put the truck into 4wd. It took just under a minute to open the panel, take it in or out of 4wd and remount the panel. Not bad, but pretty bothersome.
Now that better weather is here and I can weld outside again, I’ve fabricated a better solution.
Using 1/8″ thick 1×1 angle iron I made a “frame” for the door, this gave me a flat surface to work with. The hole measures 4″ x 4″. I used a scrap piece of Lexan (polycarbonate sheet) that I picked up from Portland Glass in Farmington for the new door. Then I used a hinge to attatch it, vinyl door seal to seal it and two harddrive magnets to pull the door down and give a positive seal. Works great and now I can check what mode the truck is in just by looking down (dash lights don’t work for 4wd since I disconnected the controller).
* Copied from thatraymond.com
At the beginning of this heating season we received some bad news: the family land where we had been doing our cutting would be sold. We had a feeling that this would happen. Once Joe’s grandfather passed away, it was only a matter of time. The problem with being environmentally minded folks who burn wood but only live on .75 acres is the necessity with being granted access to a woodlot.
The past couple months we’ve been on pins and needles trying to figure something out while not driving ourselves bloody mad over it. Through out meditations and schemes, we finally hit upon something. Being the type to barter our abilities, Joe was talking to a local turkey farmer and family friend that had mentioned a while ago about Joe taking charge of the business’ website. When Joe mentioned our predicament, Bob Neal of The Turkey Farm (this website is the current one – Joe won’t be working on a new one for a month or so) was more than willing to help us out.
While the details still need to be sorted, it’s a huge relief to know that we have a source of warmth for next winter.
I am a very excited girl! Last year, when our hens were producing like mad, I had the forethought to freeze some eggs. They continued to produce over the winter, so we never used them. This winter, however, not only did I not freeze any in advance, but NONE of the three ladies are laying. I was thinking this morning that I should probably throw out the frozen eggs that were never used. But, I came across this piece of information from the USDA:
Freezer Storage Time Because freezing keeps food safe almost indefinitely, recommended storage times are for quality only. Refer to the freezer storage chart at the end of this document, which lists optimum freezing times for best quality.
If a food is not listed on the chart, you may determine its quality after thawing. First check the odor. Some foods will develop a rancid or off odor when frozen too long and should be discarded. Some may not look picture perfect or be of high enough quality to serve alone but may be edible; use them to make soups or stews.
While I’m not a huge USDA fan, they are a great source for information like this and have just made this girl’s day! It looks like we might actually get to have eggs with our turkey sausage patties tonight.
Given that Vaughn is walking and pulling everything over that he can get his hands on (he likes to test to see how things fall…I think he’s part cat), we decided to do something different than a tree this year.
While we get ready to celebrate the yuletide season, we celebrate those that are with us and those that have gone before. We reflect on our lives in only a way that winter can call upon us to do. We also look forward to the days ahead – sowing, planting, growth, and rejuvenation.
Here’s looking toward the future while remembering the past.