Life on an Arabian breeding farm in Capitan, NM.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

After three years of drought...

After three years of drought the monsoons have finally returned. Yes I’m back or at least I hope I am. I usually write at night, but I have been so tired, that I’ve just been falling asleep on my chair. Well I’m going to try again to be faithful about writing. That means that for tonight at least I have a little energy left. Now the last time I tried to write a post was the end of February. That’s what I’m posting tonight, and then I’m going to try to remember all that has happened since then (like I can remember what I did yesterday). It’s a matter of discipline, a trait that I seem to be sorely lacking. I did pretty well for a while, we’ll see if I can get back into the habit. Enjoy…
It’s my own fault…
I should know better, if you don’t want to jinx something keep your mouth shut! I’m talking about my water situation. The underground river feeding my well is dry again or at least nearly so. I only had about a week hiatus then it was back to hauling water again. That was the beginning of another two weeks of frustration.
Now I’m not sure I have the correct chronological order of everything, but it really doesn’t matter all that much. I’ll start with my father’s jeep. Now it has been making a clunking noise for I don’t know how long.  I hadn’t been driving it, and father assumed the noise was just his license plate holder. I looked underneath, and sure enough I found a broken bracket. I ordered a new one, and of course when I replaced the broken part, the clunk was still there. We took the jeep in, and somehow father managed to crack the cross member in the rear. Now the Compas may be more of a street car, but it’s still a jeep, and according to the salesman quite capable of traversing a rough dirt road. The mechanic insisted that father either had an accident or drove into a ditch. Father’s memory may not be the best, but he would remember driving into a ditch, besides I would have had to rescue him. The long, and short of it was we had to put in a claim to the insurance company. It’s fixed now, and father is happy to have his independence back. That’s what matters most.
In the midst of all this the truck started giving me trouble. Now remember I have to haul water daily or run out. I got stuck in Capitan while getting water. George came over and tried to figure out what the problem was. He was certain it was the solenoid, so we changed that to no avail. I was certain it was the starter, and after a few tests we decided that it was the starter after all. We left it there overnight, and the next morning replaced the starter. It started the first time. I’m getting pretty good at this mechanic business. I thought I was home free, but no the truck started acting up again. Once I was on 48, George pushed me to Laughing Horse. The next morning I went over to the truck, and it started right up. This went on for a couple of days. I replaced the airflow valve to no avail, and then I decided it must be the thermostat. I replaced that, and everything was fine for a couple of days. The housing on the thermostat was pretty messed up, messed up enough to blow the gasket. I think I’ve replaced like five gaskets, and ordered a new housing. I’ve also gone through enough antifreeze to float a boat. The last time I changed the gasket I bought four gaskets, and some black gasket goop. That finally did the trick, and I haven’t blown a gasket since. Even though I got the thermostat housing so it doesn’t leak, I’m still loosing antifreeze. I need a new overflow tank. That will have to wait till I can find one. Meanwhile I continued to use a lot of antifreeze always keeping a gallon in the truck. Finally I found just the right level that won’t bounce out of the tank, and will still keep the trucks engine cool. I can make about three trips back, and forth to Capitan for water before I have to add a little more. Don’t you just love it?
Since we had no vehicle that was running (father’s jeep was in the shop remember) I had Rudy run through what needed to be done to fix the Z. Actually it was his idea. I replaced the fuel pressure regulator, and did an oil, and oil filter change then when I went to start the car, nothing happened. Well not exactly nothing, once the fuel pump stopped I could hear a click. The battery cables are the same ones that were there when Rudy bought the Z. He was restoring it, but our lives got all messed up, and it’s been sitting there, just like my Fiero, and the Jeep. The Fiero needs a starter, and a new battery, the jeep a new head, and valve job. Back to the Z, the battery cables were such a mess I couldn’t see how it ever ran. I went, and bought new cables installed them, and still nothing but a click. We have no Jeep, no car, and no truck, isn’t life wonderful. The Z is really easy to work on, and Rudy said to look for the wire that connects the Solenoid to the starter. The next day I look, and find a loose wire that clips onto something. I finally figure out where, and vavoom the Z roars into life, and purrs like a kitten. Finally we have a vehicle that works. I even cleaned it all out. I filled the antifreeze tank, and went to fill the tires only I couldn’t get the caps off the stems. Why Lord? I have the truck fixed, I have water (George got my pump working so I was able to almost fill our tank) I have propane (after going a week with no water, I ran out of propane wouldn’t you know), and I have a working car that I can’t use because I can’t get the stem caps off to fill the stupid tires. Next day I try using a socket wrench, and I soak the stems with Liquid Wrench. Finally I get the caps off, and fill the tires. Yea for me, I’m not doing too bad as a mechanic. The Z now has insurance again, and is registered. All I have left to do is to get new mirrors. I start to go to town to get the mirrors, and I think about the gas cap, which is a locking one. Naturally I don’t have a key. I go back home all deflated. I talk to Rudy later, and Rudy never locked it.  He doesn’t even think he has a key. I’ve tried everything, and no go. I can’t get the cap off. It will just have to wait.

Now I have my truck, and Father has his jeep. Next George (April’s step-dad) manages to get my water pump started. At first I still couldn’t start it w/o April’s help. With my smaller tank I can now stand on the bed of the truck, and get it started. It may take a while, but hey at least I can start it. It only takes about 15 minutes to empty the water tank so I have been able to actually get the storage tank full (or at least close to it) in a couple of days. Now everything would be good if the village hadn’t decided to fix Dana’s office, and put her desk etc. in the hallway. It’s been two weeks now that she has had to give me water out of the village’s account, and manually track, my water usage. It wouldn’t be a big deal except that they are only there Mon – Thurs. Thursday I get hay, so I have to make sure that I have enough water to get through the weekend, and do all my shopping, then get hay. It’s all good at least I have water, and I can do three loads in one day if need be. It may only take 15 minutes to unload the water tank, but it still takes about an hour to get the water, and bring it back. I’m not complaining. Father has his car, I have my truck, I have water, and all is right with my world for the present (sort of at least).