Sep 232023

As I said in yesterday’s blog, while I was mowing in the back part of our property on Friday, I had what I thought was a blowout on the right rear tire of my Kubota tractor. I was hoping the tire could be repaired instead of having to buy a new one. But as it turned out, things were not as bad as I originally thought.

When I went to bed that night, I was thinking that those tractor tires are really heavy duty and I didn’t see anything big enough that I might have run over to cause a blowout. But I was operating in some pretty heavy brush and I wondered if I might have actually damaged the valve stem. And sure enough, yesterday morning when I went out to check, the entire valve stem was missing. You can see where it used to be in this hole in the top of the rim. That’s good news because it’s a lot cheaper to replace a valve stem than it is to replace a tire.

Well, it is, assuming you have the proper equipment to remove a tractor tire in the first place. Which of course, I didn’t. So I went to Harbor Freight in Northport and purchased a three ton floor jack. I’m sure I could have gotten the job done with a lighter weight jack, but for the extra money I prefer to have something that I know will do just about any job I need it to.

According to the label, the jack in its box weighed 104 pounds, and I was glad that somebody at the store helped me load it into the back of the truck. They had a nifty little hydraulic cart on wheels that they put it on, and it was a simple matter of sliding it off the cart and into the truck.

Of course, I don’t have one of those carts at home, and I’m long past the age I can manage something that heavy by myself. Usually between Miss Terry and I we could have gotten it done, but she still doesn’t have all of her energy back from her recent bout of illness, so I had to improvise. I lowered the tailgate on the truck and on the Kawasaki Mule and backed it up to where the two tailgates were almost touching. Then it didn’t take a whole lot of work to slide it from the truck into the Mule. When I got to the barn, I backed the Mule in pretty close to the where the tractor was parked and used the dump bed to slide the jack out and onto the floor.

Then it was a simple matter of loosening the lug nuts, which was no problem at all because they weren’t very tight. In fact, none of the lug nuts were tight on any of the tractor’s wheels. Note to self – check the tightness of the tractor’s lug nuts on a regular basis. The jack slid perfectly underneath the rear of the tractor and I was able to get the tire off the ground and remove it.

I took the tire to Gordo Tire Center, and because it was a Friday afternoon and they were busy, I had to wait an hour or so before they could get to me. But once they did it only took a few minutes to replace the valve stem and I was on my way back home. It was actually harder to get the wheel back onto the tractor and the lugs lined up than anything else. But after a few attempts, with the help of a long pry bar to lift it and hold it in place, I managed to get it done. Then I went around the tractor tightening all of the lug nuts.

So there we are, another problem taken care of. I’m getting a bit handy at this stuff, and I don’t like that at all! Who knows what I’ll have to do next?

While I was doing that Terry was busy changing out the cabinet hardware in the kitchen, replacing the old gold colored drawer knobs with nice looking brushed nickel ones. It’s a small change but it makes a big difference in the way things look. I like it!

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of my friend Suzie O’Connell’s Starlight Magic, from her popular Northstar romance series. Can the magic of the stars heal a tormented soul? Single father Brodie Dunn aims to find out by putting his heart on the line. Recently widowed artist Celeste Dawson desperately needs a tranquil place where she can rebuild herself. Two months after her husband’s violent death her career is in jeopardy and she can’t engage in the art that was once her escape from the world. She hopes a trip to Northstar will help her find peace. There’s no place better for healing, especially after she meets her charming new neighbor, ski hill owner Brodie. He suspects Celeste is going to be trouble right from the start, but he can’t ignore the pain in her eyes. On the saddest night of his life, he made a promise under the stars to laugh instead of cry and to help any wounded heart he comes across. He’s sure that philosophy and maybe a little starlight magic will do wonders for Celeste…if his apparent inability to take anything seriously doesn’t drive her mad first. A tale of forgiveness and hope, Starlight Magic will grab you by the heart.

To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books and audiobooks to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed. After 90 days, unclaimed prizes revert back to the drawing pool for a future contest.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. When I saw this septic tank pump truck in Gordo I had to take a picture.

Thought For The Day – Dreams come true when you decide not to give up.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “Not As Bad As I Thought”

  1. i love this ‘nixsters mixters’ –

    so hows the box blade story coming?

  2. Next time you go to Farm and Fleet or Harbor freight purchase a (Google it ). farm jack they work a lot better than your floor jack… second thing instead of getting rubber valve stems. Make sure they put smaller stubby size metal valve stems. It won’t tear off if you do blow another valve, stem jack the tractor up, Rotate the tire to top height. Let jack down will give you access to the valve stem hole , replace it with a stubby metal valve stem. Jack the tractor back up blow the tire up That is something that you would have no issue or problem installing The farm jack is also good for getting metal posts out of the ground and a lot more other uses

  3. Good job Nick! Soon you’ll be getting a Battery Powered Impact Gun. Not only will it make you into a Do-It Yourselfer, but you’ll have Terry borrowing it.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

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