Friday, September 23, 2016

The Orange Jeep IS BACK! -- (1977 Jeep CJ7)

Happy Days are here again! Next month is the three year anniversary of our house fire that claimed my beloved Orange Jeep. As fate would have it, an advertisement came my way that I couldn't believe.

It was an advertisement for a Jeep in a local Facebook Buy-Sell-Trade type group that I recently joined. I've been watching for a replacement Jeep every since the fire but I had established certain minimums before I would buy another one.

Now that I've had three Jeeps (four if you count my current Cherokee...but we all know those don't count), I know what personally make me happy on a Jeep:

  • a nice, big lift kit. 
  • oversized tires to go with the lift
  • winch
  • and above all else...IT HAS TO BE ORANGE.
Now, back to the Facebook ad. It not only had everything on my Wish had even more BONUS stuff...including:

  • nice, new black leather front bucket seats AND matching rear bench
  • strong eight cylinder motor with a solid clutch
  • four extra WORKING KC lights
  • monster spare tire carrier WITH a full-sized spare mounted
  • brand new 37 inch knobbies (still has the little rubber nipples!)
  • complete, solid no-leak soft top in excellent condition
  • dual batteries under the hood to handle the bonus KC lights
All for only $5,000. FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS! Can you believe that? So, guess how much money I had saved up...

NONE. Dilemma time, right? My brain went into overtime trying to figure out how to acquire this beauty. Because I'm short on time, I'll skip to the end. I ended up not spending a single dime for this purchase. 

Would you believe I BARTERED for the whole thing? If you've read my blog in the past, you'd know I bartered for my Husqurvana tiller and many other things. This Jeep was no different. It did cost me quite a bit more than any other barter from the past. But nothing I couldn't do without.

In the end it cost me my 1981 Chevy longbed (that had a blown motor), my white enclosed trailer (many pics here on the blog) and some of my guns that didn't get used much if at all.

Are you ready to see it?!?

I can't keep the kids out of it. 

Boo says it looks (from the front) like a giant spider. Perhaps we should name it Aragog after the Harry Potter spider?

The fender flares and top soaked up all the Armor-All I had in the garage and came out looking nice.

Even with the big tires it still drives like a dream down the road...nice and straight.

Lots of candy on it but still room for plenty more. I can't wait!
So, there you go. Another example of the old saying "Good things come to those who wait." I can't wait to dig in and start playing with the gauges and adding more doo-dads. This winter I'll be driving around all day in the snow just LOOKING for someone to pull out of the ditch with my winch.

Thanks for stopping by! Let me know what you think of Aragog!


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hello Out There

Just a quick post to dust off the old keyboard.

Things are moving quite quickly around here. Kids are growing up fast. Graduated one from high school already. Another is a senior.

The homestead is still a blank canvas for the most part. We moved here to southern Idaho and engaged in a 3 year 3 month lease to make sure we liked what we picked. So far, this has been the best location for raising our family. So I haven't modified the property much until we determine if we are staying long term.

We've raised chickens and pigs, as you can see from previous posts. We've talked about goats, sheep and cattle. No garden yet to speak of but have planted six fruit trees.

I still haven't replaced my Orange Jeep which is where I got my moniker. A mixture of finances and busy life has side railed that endeavor. I have an alert on my smart phone via a CraigsList app that keeps me informed every time one if offered for sale. I have seen a few but none like the one I planned on keeping.

I have lots going on, some of which I'd like to post about, but haven't quite found the time to sit down and write. I'm considering a post for the monthly SurvivalBlog entry about moving to the American Redoubt and getting settled in. Some of things I've done to acclimate include:

  • settling in with the local church. I'm LDS and have become the President of my Elder's Quorum. This has proven to be a tough calling but lends me the opportunity to meet and get to know scores of families in my community. We have monthly activities including yesterday's fun Date Night Shooting activity which involved running an obstacle course of pistol and long gun targets with our spouses. Last month was BOBCON 2016 (Bug Out Bag Conference) where we had a supply swap, How To session on packing a bag and taste testing about eight different MREs, freeze dried foods from Mountain House, and a 2400 calorie food "bar."
  • joined the local Freemason lodge. I'm an Entered Apprentice at this point so a few more levels to go before I am a Master Mason. If you've been reading my blog, you know my daughters have been in Job's Daughters for several years. That is a group within the Freemason family. I liked the local lodge enough to join now. This has led me to grow my circle of friends throughout the southern Idaho region.
  • join the state society for my craft of Radiology. This has allowed me to again extend my network of friends and associates statewide. I was nominated for President of this organization but was not ultimately selected. It was still an honor to be considered worthy for the title.
  • participating in several of the local "fun runs" for both adults and kids. We participated in a Super Hero race yesterday and Monster won a brand new bicycle. She's thrilled! Macky dressed up like Spiderman and took pictures with the kids.
  • service projects are everywhere and we've done as much as possible: fairgrounds cleanup, helping serve and clean up at the Senior Citizens Center breakfast fundraiser, numerous helping neighbors projects including painting a house for a senior, and lots more.
  • hosting dinner with other families at our home monthly. One weekend we had three sets of people over and it was great. Hosting dinners is a great way to get to know your neighbors.
  • joined as a reserve police office for the local PD. As a level three volunteer, I simply ride along with a patrol one or two nights a month and help by being an extra set of eyes. 
The list of acclimating goes on and on. I'm a firm believer in giving back to the community where you reside. If everyone followed this one rule, our country would be in much better shape.

So that's my update in a nutshell. There are many projects I still would like to attempt but many are waiting to see if we take ownership of the property:

  • geothermal greenhouse like LDSPrepper has on YouTube
  • improve my chicken coop to make it more human friendly (easier access, more automated)
  • add more animal pens
  • add a perimeter fence to the whole property
  • build a workshop into the garage and get out of the 8x10 trailer
  • landscape front and back yard
  • toy with an idea on podcasting that I've been thinking about
  • solar panels to power our home
  • rain barrel water collection system
  • building some cob houses on the property for crafting, music studio, man cave
If you read this, thanks for stopping by. I welcome your comments below. Let's keep in touch.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Best Thanksgiving and Christmas Ever

Sis at her Junior prom in 2015. (Steady boyfriend too!)
I should have been asleep by now but Wifey is watching YouTube videos with Macky in my bed and having a roaring good time. One of those late night guys doing silly skits or something. We killed the cable/satellite years ago in Mesa. It was such a blessing.

Now that we live in southern Idaho and no longer have the mother-in-law living with us (can I get an AMEN?!) we an enjoy our home in its beautiful surroundings. We're in a lovely little town not too far from Twin Falls and are slowly getting used to Idaho weather.

Right now we're in a fog warning and I shared a WeatherChannel warning that says we can expect to see no farther than 100 yards. Snow, fog, rain...I'll take it. That heat back in Mesa, Arizona was such a drain on everything: car batteries, VHS tapes left in the backseat, my behind on a leather driver's seat. No thanks.

Community events every other weekend in rural Idaho 
Bring me the snow and I'm happy. I post pictures of snow and family in Arizona replies with a chuckle as if to say "ha ha, sucker." Joke's on them. I love this stuff. Along with the snow comes low crime, no pollution and a small town atmosphere that boasts of community spirit and knowing your neighbors.

I've taken a small break from blogging even though it is something I love to do. Writing has been enjoyable for me every since I took Writing for the Professions at Arizona State and had a wonderful woman teach me the joys of writing.

These days, along with my 8-5 job in town, I'm keeping my toes in the ecommerce world by dabbling in arbitrage. If you aren't familiar with the word, give it a google. These days it is super easy to sell a widget to any corner of the world. You don't even have to own the widget to sell it. You can post an advertisement about the widget and could end up selling it to someone half way around the globe.

Sister's 18th birthday (+ beau) and all 5 sisters going to lunch.
I'm enjoying eBay and Amazon at the moment. I pick items from Amazon and post them on my eBay account. I mark it up a few percentage points and "dropship" the item straight from Amazon to the eBay buyer. With the right software, you can automate the whole thing. All that is left is responding to customer questions and at the moment, I have that task farmed out to a fella in Bangladesh.

Anyway, I just thought I'd hop on here and drop some thoughts. I don't expect many of my old blogger friends to be around much any more. Not sure if blogger is still something many folks do or if everyone has moved on to new adventures.

Thanksgiving in our new home = best year ever. 
If you do stop by and read a few words, try to leave a comment and say hello. The notification should still go to my cell phone and it would brighten my day to hear from some of my old blogger friends. Let's see who's still out there...


PS. I finally got to play Santa Claus this year. I rented a suit for an employee Christmas meal and handed out trays with a peer at work. Since I had the suit for the whole day, I took it home and had Wifey drive me around to about five neighborhood houses. We stopped at church members' houses who had little children. I don't know who was having more fun...the kids or me.

Parents happily reported that many a chore was completed for the next week thanks to a visit from Santa.