Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wally the Rambler

What does it take to house and protect our chickens living on the edge of a jungle?  A lot of sewing!

Farming is all about giving yourself over to serving members of the plant and animal kingdoms.  In turn they feed us, love us, entertain us and teach us all about life and living.   Our days here on the farm are never boring and at the end of each day we feel fulfilled and satisfied.  Each day is different from the one just past.  There a lot of chores that have to be done daily like feeding the creatures and watering the plants. Mixed in with these chores are lots of interesting projects and things to challenge your mind.  Sometimes nature pops up with a surprise like a storm or a hungry critter hoping for a chicken dinner and we set aside the other projects till we've come up with a solution. 

Today, I worked on stitching together lengths of fine mesh chicken wire to keep the iguanas out of the area where the baby chickens are.  There was already a larger mesh wire but the iguanas were able to squirm through.  We lost one little baby but there are still 4 more and more on the way.  Chickens are food to lots of other animals.  We understand that but at the same time we love our chickens and do our best to help them live a long happy life.  We don't eat our chickens.  We coexist with them and share.  We feed them good food and give them lovely housing and they give us eggs and allow us to hang around and experience their unique world.  It's a fair trade and never gets old.

Another project I'm working on is converting a 1995 Land Rover out of it's computerized zombiehood to a genuine, old fashioned car with lots of user-serviceable parts.  I got the car for free cause it was not running and was going to cost a fortune to repair.  I got rid of the computerized fuel injection system and installed a carburetor.  I also adapted a Chevrolet distributor to replace the hard-to-find parts for a Land Rover one.  After I got it running the brakes quit.  I needed a new master cylinder:  $675.00 from Land Rover in Tucson, Arizona.  I replaced it with an 81 Dodge master cylinder and power booster that I adapted.   Cost for the 81 Dodge master cylinder:  $21.00.  Much better and easy to find replacements down here in Mexico.  I also got rid of the computerized brake system (anti-lock).  We won't be going over 35 mph.  I also replaced the electric window switches that needed a $350.00 control unit with some switches off my 1990 mini van.  We're out in the country here and we have to be able to keep our things running.  We do just fine. 

Among our other vehicles are a 1979 Porsche 924 that has 1990 Suzuki sidekick (4x4) running gear.  I bought the Suzuki wrecked and found the Porsche body in a field.  I bought the Suzuki for $500 and the Porsche body for $100.  I also have a 1990 Plymouth mini van with a 1990 Toyota 4x4 truck running gear.  Recycling at its best.  I also have an electric wheel barrow I made out of 2 salvaged wheel chairs.  This is one wheelbarrow you can ride.  I have a wonderfully messy shop to support all my daydreams. 

One of my favorite fixer upper projects is Moochie.  He was definitely in need of repair when we got him but he's turned into a magnificent little boy.  When the vet gave us his prognosis we decided  to try for a different outcome.  We came up with our own regimen of physical therapy and nutrition and look at the results.  Moochie has no memory of anything but a sweet life surrounded by us and 3 brothers and 3 sisters.    It's amazing how similar he is to a human child.  He likes to spread his toys all over the yard and he's joyously curious about everything.  I watched him chasing a butterfly the other day.  Something good happens when we stop to watch him or when we lay down on the grass and tussle with him for a while.  You just have to smile.

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