“I don’t think I could have done this 20 years ago.”

By happy coincidence, Tobie just finished destroying his last dollar store chew rope a couple of days ago. So while I was at the big town about 50 miles away I stopped at the Tractor Supply store and bought him a nice new one.


It didn’t smell right and he wasn’t entirely sure he thought it was a good idea, but he’ll get over that quick. I forgot it in the back seat of Neighbor L’s truck yesterday and picked it up this afternoon after chicken chores, which gave me just enough time to cut the tag off and give it to Tobie before I had to go to today’s Big Chore…


…stacking yet another pallet of wood pellets for D&L’s very hungry and expensive pellet stove. And this time I had to do all the back-and-forth solo, because D is so banged up even he had to admit he needed to sit this one out. So instead he hovered on the boundaries grumbling, same as I would have.

Got’er done, too…


50 40-pound sacks, a chore that would have given me a hard time when I was a tech writer in my 40’s. As it is, it wasn’t really any serious trouble at all.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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13 Responses to “I don’t think I could have done this 20 years ago.”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Agreed, I’m 68 yo female. Started keeping chickens ten years ago. Carrying the 50lb feed sacks keeps me in great shape. At the feed store, middle aged men at the register, always say “I’ll get someone to get that for you (meaning a younger guy”. They are always surprised when I say, it’s alright I’ve got it.

  2. JC says:

    50x40lb? Ton of a bitch!

  3. Ben says:

    Just to state the painfully obvious…

    However impressive the overall condition of your manly body, that job didn’t do your stump any favors, and I’ll bet you are feeling it about now.

  4. Joel says:

    Well, yeah. But that stump turns 50 this coming spring, and if it can’t take a joke by now I don’t know what to tell it.

  5. Mark Matis says:

    How are you doing for stump socks these days?

  6. Joel says:

    Most of mine are getting kind of thin and sad.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Would you post a link to the stump socks you prefer please

  8. doubletrouble says:

    Hey Joel-
    Not to be an alarmist or whatever, but I’ve heard (on the internet, so it MUST be true) that some dog toys from China have made animals sick. Your comment that “it didn’t smell right” prompted this comment. I/we wouldn’t want to see a sick Tobie out there… FWIW.

  9. Joel says:

    Yes I know, and in fact Chineseum rawhide bones are the reason I’m approaching that subject so cautiously. Tobie would love him some rawhide bones, but the first one (dollar store, made in China) gave him the squirts.

    Haven’t had any problem with chew ropes (yet) but this one didn’t spend any time in a cargo container on the Pacific.

  10. Joel says:

    “Would you post a link to the stump socks you prefer please”

    This is one source;
    http://www.amputeesupply.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4&products_id=114

    Here’s another;
    https://www.mmarmedical.com/Comfort-ComforGel-Gel-Socks-p/cgelag-cgelya14.htm

    There are probably other brands of 5-ply gel sock with which I’m not familiar.

    have you considered adding to your solar array?

    No, not seriously. The array I have is well balanced to the battery bank I have, and more would only charge the batteries faster. I will at some point need to replace the panels in my ground mount, because they’re salvaged and really old – but they still seem to work great so I’m not worried about it.

    As to increasing the battery bank: That would make a lot of sense in a more conventional household, but batteries have a much shorter lifespan than solar panels. They’re best considered consumable commodities, which means that whatever you acquire you must be prepared to replace. I purchased my current batteries in August 2019 for a total cost of $650ish. They should be good till 2025 minimum, maybe a lot longer since I baby them, but when I do they’re guaranteed to cost a lot more than that. Cost is the big issue that keeps me staying with golfcart batteries and away from the big solar storage batteries.

    Have you tried baking bread in a dutch oven on the wood stove?

    Hell no. It’s a small cabin: My woodstove doesn’t stay hot enough long enough to cook on, I can barely use it to boil water. I have baked dutch oven bread before, though on a charcoal grill rather than a wood fire. Works, but it works a lot better in an oven.

  11. Mark Matis says:

    What size liner? AK? BK?

    3 ply? 5 ply?

  12. Joel says:

    BK (below knee), 5-ply.

    And thanks to you and Anon!

To the stake with the heretic!