It’s almost May, and most of the Country is still on lockdown in some capacity. Either a “stay-at-home” order, or an all out restriction of travel and non-essential trips.
What should we do while our government is paying people to stay home?
1. General upkeep/maintenance on any equipment you have
If you’re the type of person who typically pays someone to take care of your equipment, then this is the perfect opportunity to learn how to do it yourself! – Unless you’re scared, or something?
Did you know that tractor service kits are available from your servicing dealer? For example, if you have a John Deere tractor, you can go to John Deere’s website here: John Deere Parts Finder.
It’s super easy to service a tractor, and you’ll save a bunch of money doing it yourself this year (even if you choose to have someone else do it again next year).
Simply type in the model of your machine, then in the “Search Parts List” type in Maintenance Kit to get the part number. From there you can buy online, or call the dealer and ask to get the kit part number. Pick it up, and it’s straight forward [it comes with everything you see here].
If you don’t know how to perform the maintenance, hop on YouTube for 20 minutes [tops] and watch a video or two. You only need basic hand tools, and about an hour or less.
If you can’t sharpen blades, then you could at least take them off, buy a new set (and drop off the old set to get sharpened by your usual repair shop for a few dollars). Swap the blades every year and have them re-sharpen your spares.
The same goes for any trimmers, blowers, push mowers or any other portable power equipment. Just call your servicing dealer to get all of the parts you’d need for a tune-up.
Not only will it give you something to do, but you’ll get a sense of pride by taking care of your own things [and you just might enjoy it]. But, if it’s not your cup of tea, you can always get someone else to do the next service – at least you experienced what the technicians do every day.
When was the last time your garage door was greased? You may not even realize garage doors need to be serviced every year or two.
A quick google search will give you a good overview of how to do the task, and what you’ll need depending on your particular application.
I know that my tools (wrenches, ratchets, saws, drills, etc) can get dirty, and I don’t always have the time to clean them up perfectly after a project.
Right now is the perfect time to take everything out, wipe it down and just check on the status of it all. Charge up the batteries to tools you don’t use regularly.
Getting everything in order will give you peace of mind (if not only distracting your mind from the current situation).
2. Make Something
This one should go without saying, after all this is The Handy Writer. What is life without little projects to keep us going?
Right now what I’ve been working on is little modifications to a new (to me) pickup truck that traded my SUV in on to be able to do larger projects and side work.
Simple little things just to keep me busy. Things like:
- New exhaust. Having a V8 is cool, but it’s cooler if you can hear it every second of the drive (if you enjoy that kind of noise).
- Rain guards. Every vehicle deserves these, because cracking the window open while driving for a little fresh air is a luxury I can’t live without.
- Wash and Wax. It’s relaxing, really. Even though the temperature hasn’t been ‘up there’ in the North East, it’s a good habit to hand wash a vehicle from time to time. This way you get familiar with the imperfections, and keep track of the body panels.
Such a big category, but I’m just going to say one thing:
Find your kids, find your wife, and find your husband, ’cause we’re painting everything out there.
Get supplies (or even a pre-made kit) to build birdhouses with your family. It’s a great activity to get everyone involved; it’s a good way to spend a couple of hours on a day stuck at home. You’ll need:
- Wood [of varying sizes depending on your design]
- Maybe a couple of wooden dowels, or a 12″ length to cut down for perches
- Wood glue
- Finishing nails
- Paint or stain (your preference)
- Hand saw [everyone can use it]
Try to find a tenon saw, or similar style that does not flex when used.
Get to work. Projects make memories!
Make a Blog!
Woah. Didn’t see that one coming, did you?
Absolutely make a blog! You can start one up for free with WordPress. It’s a great way to express yourself, or maybe start a business.
You don’t need any special skills. You don’t need to be the most interesting person on the planet either, you just need to have time and enjoy writing at least a little bit.
I enjoy stopping in here regularly to post content for others to read, and to be able to share my perspective, knowledge or experience with others.
Not only that, it’s a portal to creativity. By writing regularly, you’re stretching your mind to work differently and view from a creationist point, rather than a moving cog in an otherwise “average” machine that we call society.
Free thinkers are rare, and we all have the capacity to create freely.
Take this time to learn something new, whether it’s about something external (the world, society, art, history, etc), or something internal (yourself, your passion, drive, intelligence, strengths, weaknesses).
Never stop learning!
Everyone be safe, stay healthy, read plenty of books, and I’ll see you on the other side of this worldwide shutdown when we’re all more humble and prepared for the future.