My A to Z line-up schedule:
Every day of the week will have a different theme

A to Z Challenge Line-Up

Monday - Photos, Tuesday - DIY, Wednesday - Fiction, Thursday - Memoirs, Friday - Poetry, Saturday - Food

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Its 19 degrees and I'm Already Thinking About Lawnmowing

Hello and welcome to Sunday,

Today will mark my last post before the A to Z challenge begins on Wednesday.
There is still time to enter the challenge.  Just click on the badge on the right side of the screen!

I have modified the blog look slightly to allow easier reading of the month long challenge posts.
Unfortunately, I can't see it through your computer so if you see any problems with your view please comment and I will correct them.

I have decided not to trade the truck in.  The dealerships will not offer enough for my current truck.  I was a bit appalled at their offer and promptly walked out the door.  I will probably keep this one until the wheels fall off it.  It's a good truck anyways.

On to the next thing - lawnmowers.

The current mower I have is about 25-30 years old.  I know that seems pretty old for a lawnmower but it is a John Deere and back then they were built to last.

Two seasons ago I removed the engine, installed a new piston and rings and cleaned up the valves a little.  It had so much crud in the valves that it was burning a lot of oil.  Also, the rings were shot which didn't help much either.  After replacing all that the engine ran good for the next season but by the second season it was back to its old tricks again.  In order to fix it correctly I would need to have the cylinder bored and an oversize piston installed.  Not a huge deal but the mower is really starting to go downhill.  So I think I will sell it and buy a new one.

Meet my new mower

This is a Cub Cadet with a 54"cutting deck.  It has a 23 HP Kohler engine and will mow the lawn at 7 MPH.  Which is kind of silly because at those speeds you're sure to spill your beer!

I chose this one over the other competitors because of the construction.  It has a fabricated heavy duty steel framework.  The competition has a weak stamped construction and overall seemed a bit wimpy.

The 54" cutting width will be awesome.  They offer a smaller width of 46" but the savings is only $200.  It is the exact same tractor body and engine it just has a skinnier deck.  That's a no-brainer in my book.  

I really enjoy mowing my yard and I take special pains to make it look just right.  It's about time I had a nicer tractor to mow with.  At $2999 it is a pretty good deal.  The dealer is offering 18 months interest-free financing too so that helps when it comes to pulling the trigger.

A photo of my yard after a fresh mowing.

Signing out for now,

Friday, March 27, 2015

March is Winding Down

Well, here it is March 27th, just 4 days away from the beginning of the A to Z challenge.

I have 11 more posts to write and I will have all of my days covered.  Soon they will be loaded in auto post and I will be free to peruse the blogosphere reading everyone else's challenges and going about my daily ambassador duties.

I will be taking  a few days off at the end of April but by those dates the challenge will be almost over anyways.

It is still cold here.  Snow flurries swirled about my head this morning when I was out with the dogs. The wood stove is still cranking away.

The deer are venturing pretty close to the house these days.  Spring green-up needs to hurry so they can get some good stuff to eat.

The vegetables are doing well.  last night I picked out the best ones and discarded the rest.  The little grow house will only hold so many.

Today I am taking my truck in for some recall work.  Nothing major.
While I'm there I am going to see what kind of deal they can give me on a new one.

I know it's not old, it is a 2011, but right now it still holds a lot of value.  Plus there are a few minor quirks that are starting to bother me.

There are a couple tiny rust spots, which on my white truck, stick out like a sore thumb.
I am not a big fan of the engine it has.  It is a flex fuel engine with fuel saver technology.  Which basically means I can use ethanol for fuel (never have) and the fuel saver technology means that while driving it uses 8 cylinders but once I get up to speed it drops down to 4 cylinders.   Yes, it saves gas but I don't really care for the performance while towing or hauling wood and other things.

Not getting white this time!

I have a faithful service record of prompt oil changes.  I do them myself every 5000 miles using premium synthetic oil of the correct viscosity.  I baby my truck a little.  However after the last oil change the engine has developed a bit of a tick or knock.  It goes away once warmed up, but I still don't like it or what it may spell for the future.

A few other things to think about.

It will need new tires before winter.  $1200
It will need new brake pads and rotors  $ 250
The glass is broken on my truck cap.  It will be a few hundred to fix that.

So, before I sink that money into it, I might as well trade it in on a new one and have the dealership put a brand new cap on it and I can sell the old one.

I should end up with the same payment, maybe a few bucks more, but nothing substantial and I'll have a brand new truck.

We shall see.  I am amazed at the price of trucks.  The one I picked out online was around $44,000
That's just under half of what I paid for the house!

As a reminder, I will be updating the look of my page to fit the A to Z challenge so it may look weird for a few days.

I couldn't resist posting my favorite cartoon of all time.

Ciao for now,