What Does It Cost

Every once in a while, I stop and ask myself just what does the entire process cost when I am fixing something for the second or third time in a year.  This year has been the year when the Troy Built Mower has come up on the list of needed repairs more than normal.  It started early this year with the drive belt needing replaced.  I hate to think what that job would have cost if I had taken it to the shop.  The belts alone were the better part of $100.00.  There are several small keepers that hold the belt in place when it is slack and it took me the better part of a day to replace the drive belt alone.  A good part of that is the learning process but counting the cost of the band aids to keep blood out of the way while I put belts in places was more than I wanted.  Turn around and there was a $38.00 tire that needed replaced.  Finally this year was the new blades and a blade tower at $150.00.  They are still in the trunk of the car and that will be today's task to finish.  Not counting gas, the mower has cost about $300 this year alone.  It mostly cuts the 3 acres at Dave's house and I am still using the old clunker here at Rabbit Run.  Don't get me started on what I have spent keeping it running.  Do you have any projects that you keep track of in your mind. 

I think I have mentioned that I am a fan of Dave Ramsey from time to time.  Even though I am not currently heavily involved in  the financial plans and the conduct thereof.  I am pretty much in the mode of let the Master Gardener handle it.  I am trying to be a cash and carry kind of guy right now and am only charging the things I deduct as the cost of maintaining the rental houses.    With our debts all paid off, there isn't much decision making in the conduct of our financial matters right now.  It is pretty much get a bill, pay it.  Barb is really watching the debit and credit card statements right now after getting hacked.  Home Depot got my business card and we really don't know who got the credit card other than twice some outfit tried to apply a $49.95 charge for some kind of Pomegranate power aid powder.   Had they actually sent the powder, it might not have been such a scam but we only got the bill.   The fall is the time of the year when both of the rental houses insurance comes due.  Throw in the property taxes, and it is a good time to have a little reserve in the account.  I do need to call one of the renters and get her on the stick about this month's rent.  She mentioned that she is looking for a house in Silver Lake to be closer to her family.  I hope she does get out soon so I can have some good weather to do some renovations on the place before the snow flies.  I really don't want to have to heat that house on my dime all winter. 

I went up stairs yesterday and Barbara was watching the same program I watched early yesterday.  It was called Hacking my Brain.  A young man was doing as much as he could to increase his creativity.  We agreed that we are at the opposite end of the scale in that area.  Barb keeps things smooth and on track and I am the idea man.  I do have the ability to fix things if I have the right tools, a roll of duct tape and  roll of bailing wire.  Barb has said many times that I am the guy she would want to be stranded with because I have a lot of survival ideas and abilities.  I tend to be kind of expensive as I am an impulse buyer but I like to get things done and not to have to shop for hours to get the things to fix problems. 

The weather here in the Heartland is cool with rain yesterday and today.  I have to use the overhead lights here in the computer room where I normally can open the curtain and use the desk lamp.  We haven't kicked back over to non Day Light Saving time yet but all that will do is keep me in the dark later in the day.  Oh well, I'm not in charge of anything but me right now so I'll keep my complaints in check.

One of the Robo Call places that is looking for support for a Politician in his running for office had a new tactic.  They somehow hit my answering machine that I use to screen the calls and can hang up while leaving my phone on line.  The Telephone company then sends their tone down the line and the answering machine acts like a speaker and makes that loud noise until I hit the delete button.  So far that has not happened while we were gone but now days if I get a call from an unknown number I just pick up the handset and then hang it up.  It is my phone and I refuse to get involved in the process of paying for a politician to run a campaign.  I am sure there are a lot of people that send money but I am not one of them. 

A lot of people here in Kansas are hoping that the Royals and the St Louis team will play an I-70 world series.  I keep telling them that both teams have an opponent to play through prior to that happening.  Me, I really don't care except that it would make a lot of people here in the Heartland happy.  Right prior to the election we need a lot of that.

Do what you can to have a great weekend.



  1. Maybe its time to buy a decent riding mower. My John Deere is going on 14 years and still on original blades and tires. yeah, it cost more to buy but it is built for heavy service and long life. Older people need all the help they can get. You may want to re-evaluate owning rental properties too. Stress can shorten your life, who needs more stress?

  2. The Troy Built mower was fairly near the top of the line when it was new. Most of the flats are due to the times I bring it to rabbit run and pick up those thorns from all the trees here. The blade and tower was due to hitting a piece of wood and not getting the blades stopped soon enough. I am ready to put new roofs on the rentals and getting near the time I don't want to do the upkeep.