Joseph Herrin (05-31-2015)
The Clean Dreamer
If you did not read the first part of this series, you can find it at the link below:
Sensing that the Spirit is directing me to get all things in a good state of repair so that I can drive my bus down the road when needed, and to attend to a number of other repairs related to daily living, I have been steadily checking items off of my to-do-list.
I had been hindered in this task due to an injury sustained to my right knee in early April. I was practically bedridden for about a month, but have been able to progress from crutches to limping along. Something is still amiss in my knee. I experience sharp pains with each step and it likely needs more rest to fully recover. At the same time, I have felt a pressing desire to get things done, including mowing the yard with my walk behind push mower. I got the front yard mowed yesterday, but it was painful to complete and today I had to retrieve my crutches from my trailer again as I found walking quite painful.
In the earlier post in this series I mentioned a number of items that needed repair or upgrading. Some of them seemed more pressing than others. At the top of the list was getting my bus (The Dreamer) where it would crank again. I had not cranked the bus since I returned to Middle Georgia from Jekyll Island in February of 2014. I should have been cranking the bus routinely to burn up the old gas in the tank and to keep the motor working properly, but I let it sit for about 10 months without starting the motor. The cranking battery stays charged up because I have it hooked to some small solar panels on the roof at the front of the bus. However, when I tried cranking the bus back around December it would not start.
It appeared there was no fire getting to the spark plugs. I began looking for someone who is a mechanic to come out and look at it. A few weeks ago I mentioned my need of a mechanic to a friend I met at an RV park a few years back. This friend is now staying in another location about a 90 minute drive north of me. He mentioned that there is a mechanic who lives in a motorhome at the RV park he is staying at. He volunteered to ask the man if he would drive down and look at my bus. The next day the man was here and quickly diagnosed that the points and condenser inside the distributor cap needed replacing. Power was getting to the distributor, but it was not getting passed it to travel to the spark plugs. We drove to Perry, a town about 15 miles away, and picked up the necessary items at a local auto parts store. When they were replaced the bus cranked up fine.
Getting the bus to start was a great source of relief. That it was a relatively minor repair was a blessing. Next on my list was getting the large propane tank mounted under my bus refilled. I use this tank for cooking only. It supplies the gas for my oven and stove top. The gauge was showing that the tank was nearly empty. I was surprised it had lasted as long as it had, for I had last filled it up when I returned to Middle Georgia 15 months earlier. Normally, I have to refill the tank once a year. For the last 6 months I had Nicholas staying with me, so I was doing more than my normal amount of cooking. Nevertheless, the tank did not run out.
I had planned to drive the bus to town to refill the propane as soon as I got the bus to crank, but my knee was still giving me problems, and unhooking the bus from utilities, the trailer I pull behind it, and packing everything away so things don’t come crashing down when I am driving, is a large task that requires a couple hours of work. It would take even longer since my knee was not fully cooperating. In the end, I decided to call around and see if there was a local propane company that would fill the tank on site. I was blessed to find a service provider who would do the job at a reasonable cost. There is a small propane service company in Marshallville, only 5 miles away. They sent a truck out and refilled my tank. It required 12.1 gallons of propane and the total charge was $39.40. Many companies charge a premium to do RV fill-ups on site, usually charging $20 on top of the cost of the propane, but this company did not do so. Thank you Father.
Although the next job from my to-do-list is not in the order that I completed it, I will mention it as it also pertains to the bus. There are nine windows out of about 34 total (not including the windshield) that I painted over to provide privacy and reflect heat. Most of the bus windows I intentionally left accessible so that they can be opened to allow a breeze to blow through. These windows that open all have screens on them and have reflective tinting applied on the inside. The other nine windows are sealed up behind walls, or are in the bathroom where you would not typically be letting the windows down. Since they cannot let light through they are painted over.
The spray paint had not adhered very well to the glass. Although they had been painted just three years ago, they were needing to be scraped and painted again. I generally wash my bus outside twice a year. I had begun washing the bus, and had gotten all but the passenger side complete before I injured my knee. I needed to complete the wash job, and scrape and paint the windows. This required that I move the canopy on the passenger side of the bus.
In the photo above I have the canopy moved back. The bus has been completely washed, and four sets of windows toward the back of the bus have had the paint scraped from them readying them to be repainted. There were an additional two windows at the back and three on the other side that had to be scraped and painted.
I only lack painting the two back windows now and I will be through with this item from my to-do-list. I also ordered two replacement lens covers for lights on the back of the bus which were cracked. One broke in pieces as I was washing the bus.
Another major item on my list was getting the repairs and upgrades completed on my recumbent trike. I had purchased the trike while on Jekyll Island a year and a half ago after having taken a spill from my bicycle and breaking some ribs while taking Champ on a run. Because I pull a trailer behind my bus, I am unable to tow a car. Consequently, I have used a bicycle, and now a trike for all my local transportation needs. I ride it to the post office and to the grocery store. I generally do this once a week as it is a round trip of approximately thirty miles. I also chose this mode of transportation, because I enjoy riding, I need the exercise, and it helps me to live a minimalist lifestyle without the added expense and responsibility that comes with having a car.
After purchasing the trike, I added an electric motor to help out on those long trips to town. I currently have over 2,500 miles on the trike and it was time for some maintenance and upgrades.
I purchased a 5 year old unused Nuvinci N171 internally geared hub to replace the rear wheel and hub that had broken. The trike came with an entry level geared rear hub, but it could not handle the torque of the electric motor. The Nuvinci is built more sturdily and is used by many people who have electric motors on their bikes and trikes.
You can see that the chain is broken in the image above. This occurred yesterday as I was heading to town. The master link on the chain came apart. This was the original chain that came with the trike. It is suggested by bike shops that a chain be replaced every 1,000 miles as they tend to stretch over time. I had just purchased a replacement chain, but had not yet installed it. It actually requires three regular length bike chains hooked end to end to complete a circuit from the front sprocket near the pedals to the sprocket on the rear wheel on my trike.
I was blessed in that someone came along with a pick-up truck right after my chain broke and offered me a ride home. I was about 5-6 miles from home, so it could have been a very long walk with my injured knee. Pedaling my trike does not cause me any discomfort, but the act of walking does.
You can see in the image above that there is only a single 16 tooth sprocket at the rear hub. All the gears are contained inside the hub. The single sprocket replaced a 9 sprocket cassette that was mounted on my previous rear wheel. Nuvinci recommends that an owner use a front sprocket that is no more than a 2 to 1 ratio to the rear sprocket. In other words, since the rear sprocket has 16 teeth, the front sprocket should have no more than 32 teeth. Anything higher and the torque might be too great for the rear hub and the speed range would be very high with little on the low end.
30 Tooth Race Face Sprocket
My electric motor came with a 48 tooth front sprocket, so I removed it and replaced it with a 30 tooth red sprocket by Race Face. The gearing seems just about perfect. I actually have access to lower gears for hill climbing, while still being able to attain a good cruising speed of 20-25 mph on the flats. The bash guard from the 48 tooth sprocket would not mount to the new sprocket, so I tried riding without a bash guard (chain guard). Although I am not concerned with bashing the sprocket on anything since the trike is not used for rough terrain and downhill racing, the guards also serve to keep one’s pants’ legs out of the chain.
After mounting the new rear hub and front sprocket I decided to try out the trike close to home. That little voice inside told me to put my pants’ leg clips on. These clips keep my pants from billowing out at the bottom and keep them away from the chain. I always wear the clips when riding to town, but since I was just going a short distance I decided not to put them on. I was out on the road in front of the neighbor’s house when my pants got caught in the chain. Right at that moment my neighbor, a young man in his twenties, drove up. He pulled alongside me and rolled his window down to chat. It is hard to look nonchalant when your leg is stuck straight out and you cannot move it because your pants are in the chain. Mine were stuck good, too. I could not go forward or backward. So, laying aside all attempts to save face, my first words to my neighbor were, “Would you mind helping me get my pants out of my chain?” I figured I might as well laugh at myself. No sense in taking appearances too seriously.
Arriving back home, the first thing I did was order a bash guard, and I will make sure I also wear my pants clips when on my trike.
Bash Guard Installed
One thing led to another once I changed out my rear hub and got rid of the 9 gear rear derailleur. Because I was using a small sprocket on front and back, my chain had a much narrower circuit to travel. This required that I install new chain tubes to guide the chain around metal parts to keep the chain from rubbing. I went to the local Ace Hardware store and purchased a couple pieces of PVC tubing with flared ends (about $2 each). I cut it to size and mounted it on the trike. Although this kept the chain from rubbing on the trike’s cross member, there was a pinch point where the chain met on its forward and return runs. The bottom chain rubbed on the idler pulley that routed the chain on its top run.
You can see where the chains are coming together just under the idler pulley. This was a problem which was solved by purchasing a second idler pulley (a return idler pulley) that was made specifically for this manufacturer of recumbent trikes.
The image above shows the second idler pulley installed. Now the chain does not rub where it is not supposed to. One thing I am not satisfied with is that the chain lacks a chain tensioner. A chain tensioner typically uses a strong spring to keep a steady tension on the chain so that it will not become loose and begin to slip on the front or rear sprockets, or come off the sprockets. They sell chain tensioners that mount where the rear derailleur would have mounted before I removed it. Following are two types of chain tensioners available.
4-Jeri SS Tensioner
I purchased one of each type of tensioner, but neither one would mount up correctly on my trike. The Nuvinci Hub has a cable adapter that mounts outside the wheel frame and it interferes with the tensioner. If the tensioner is mounted the rear wheel will not slide into its mounting channel. I am going to have to put on my thinking cap and come up with some way to mount a chain tensioner because slipped chains can be a real problem when using an electric motor.
Anyway, after 6 weeks of not being able to ride my trike due to my knee injury and the repairs and upgrades on the trike, I was able to get it back on the road a few days ago. The only one happier than myself about this development is Champ. He is ecstatic whenever I pull out the trike and ask him if he wants to go on a run.
For my birthday back on May 7th, Nicholas and my daughter Kristin got together and purchased me a GoPro Hero action camera so that I can take videos when riding my trike. I have some footage now of taking Champ on a run as well as a full one hour of video that shows the journey from my rural location where my bus is parked into the town of Montezuma, GA ending at the post office. I am in the process of editing the videos now and should have them available for posting in coming days.
My next project on my list is to add a switch to my electrical set-up in my bus so that I can choose to charge my battery bank from either the solar panels, or from shore power.
I have the switch sitting inside my bus ready for me to mount it and do all the hook-ups. It may be a few days before I begin that project, however, as I have a stack of letters from men in prison to answer, and another batch of newsletters to print and mail out to them. As important as I believe it is that we use this time of grace Yahweh has given to us to prepare for troublous days ahead and to get all things in readiness, it should be a priority that we not neglect the spiritual and physical needs of those whom the Lord gives us opportunity to minister unto every day.
Please pray that my knee might be healthy enough for me to be able to keep the yard mowed. I have come to understand that part of the reason for this knee injury is as a divine goad to get me to bring one other area of my life into a state of readiness. As I have prayed and sought the Father about the matter I have sensed that He is using it to encourage me to stay focused on losing weight so that I will get to the 165 pound weight goal He has set for me. The adage has repeatedly come to mind that states “the larger they are, the harder they fall.” Carrying excess weight on our bodies not only causes us to be less nimble and less capable of avoiding injury, it acts to magnify injury when accidents do occur.
I purchased a set of scales so that I can regularly check my progress in attaining to the goal the Father has set for me. I have 35 pounds to lose, and three months to do so. By the first of September my goal is to be at 165 lbs. and to remain below that weight. The pain in my knee will certainly help me to stay mindful of this aspect of my life that needs to be brought to a state of readiness. Yahweh is gracious and loving, even in discipline. My heart’s desire is to respond as a humble and obedient son to His chastisement that the discipline might be lifted. Your prayers are appreciated.
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063
When simply walking, the amount of pressure within the knee joint is 4 to 6 times your weight. Using "five" as an average, when you lose your 35 pounds, you will reduce the pressure within your "bad knee," by about 175 pounds, with each step. Losing a little weight results in a noticeable and significant improvement in the knee symptoms.
John, PA – C
I have been in the preparation mindset for many decades, and have finished many of the tasks years ago. But I have always thought that I would end up on my own plot of land. Things opened up at the end of December for the purchase of an almost perfect acre/mobile home. Toward the end of escrow some chicanery took place, and the Lord had me let go of that "opportunity." Even though I could easily have weathered the "worst case scenario." There were many things I have put off until I reached "the land." In early May the Lord indicated to me that I was not to put off doing those tasks any longer. I was to start initiating "almost" everything where I was in this rental home. I have definitely aged over these decades, and most tasks take greater time and result in greater aches and pains. I believe that the Lord is either having me hone my skills in preparation for future use, or this is my starting point in the chastening that is on our doorsteps.
I have already assembled much of the immediate gear, and I am laying out a plan. Many of the planters around this house came with significant overgrowth and dead or dying ornamental vegetation. I will be replacing them with edible perennials. These will probably not bear fruit this year, but will many years thereafter, for either myself or someone else's benefit. One side of the house is shaded with empty planters. Perfect for shade seeking vegetables. The back of the house is usually in full sunlight, and without planters. My landlord would appreciate raised planters for tomatoes, melons and the sun loving foods. I share well water and must trust the Lord regarding the electric pump. Last week my solar oven arrived. Etc.. A significant miracle would be if my landlord allowed me to have chickens. (I wanted them to be free range, but there isn't enough room.).
But as I began my final assembly, the Lord has directed me to fast intermittently between Passover and the Fourth of July. This naturally slows me down for about a month, primarily due to the heat and experience (common sense) when fasting. I should have greater understanding by Midsummer. We're definitely living in interesting times.
Thanks John. That is great encouragement about the knee. I am also glad to hear that you are, and have been, in preparation mode. I assume that means spiritual as well as physical preparation. None of us will get very far if we are not spiritually ready for the hour and the experiences which are near at hand. We must know what it is to hear Yahweh's voice, to exercise faith in His care for us, and to be ready to cast our lives wholeheartedly into His care. I also would like some chickens so that I can have fresh eggs. After I clear my to-do-list I will be seeking the Father to know if the chickens are in His will. I have had a thought to turn an old pop-up tent camper into a mobile chicken coop.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days,
Joseph, I have just recently started reading your blogs. I have started seeking what Yahweh wants my family and I to do. I have had dreams /visions in the past or a feeling in my stomach but after not listening (i thought I was it was myself thinking to simplify our life not God at the time) I haven't sensed what to do. Please be praying for my husband (to truly seek God) and f to know when He is speaking to me and us. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom.
Yahweh has been leading us to learn about the local plants that grow wild in our area and that can be used for food and/or medicine. Many plants, such as dandelion, clover, or plantain (the herb, not a banana plant)are considered weeds but are actually nutritious and medicinal. People don't realize that they are a gift from the Father and that it is wise to learn how to use them. We have started planting some medicinal herbs in addition to the vegetables that we are growing in our garden. We purchased a book, "Medicinal Plants of the American Southwest" by Charles Kane, to help us identify local plants and their uses. Most people who live in the southwest desert are familiar with the Creosote bush (also known as Chaparral). Many would be surprised to learn that it is a medicinal powerhouse. It is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and an antimicrobial agent.
When we consider that access to medical care and standard medications may be interrupted in the near future, it is prudent to remember that Yahweh is our Healer and that He has provided the herbs of the field for a reason.
She's a beaut! Here and there a big blue bus.
Yes mice will crawl up the wheels and into the understructure and chew your wiring and insulation. For nests. That they then make in the vehicle ducts. I thought you lived in the country?
Have the neighbors been complaining that your grass isn't mowed enough? Your knees tho.
Anyway, happy trails.
Thank you for writing. I do find the bus to be a beaut. She has served my needs very well. Although I did initially suspect that some rodent might have chewed on an engine wire, preventing the bus from cranking, this turned out to not be the case. I don't really have any ducts for them to get into, but they do get inside, especially when it starts to turn cold, and I have to set out traps or rat poison to get rid of them. That is all part of living in the country.
Regarding neighbors, you cannot see any from the yard where I am parked and they in turn cannot see the yard, so there are no complaints on the grass getting too tall, not that there has been an occasion for complaint, for the grass has never been allowed to get too high.
I am parked on property my daughter rents and she resides in a manufactured home nearby. It is technically her yard since she pays the rent. Kristin does not like the grass to get tall, so if I am ever not able to mow it she rents or borrows a big ZTR riding mower from her landlords and uses it to cut the yard.
Kristin has never asked me to mow the yard. I have chosen to do it because I enjoy grass cutting and find the exercise beneficial. My knee has caused that to be difficult of late, however.
Yahweh has prompted us to learn about the edible and medicinal plants that grow wild in our area. As medical care and medications may become less accessible, it is good to have a working knowledge of the common herbs and how to use them. We are now growing some of those along with our vegetables.
We purchased a book called "Medicinal Plants of the American Southwest" by Charles Kane. There are other books available that focus on the plants that are native to different regions of the country. Many people living in the southwest deserts are familiar with the plant known as the Creosote Bush (or Chaparral). Most would be surprised to know that both tradition and science recognize it as a medicinal powerhouse. It is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant.
Common weeds like the dandelion, clover, mullein and plantain (an herb, totally unrelated to the banana plant by the same common name) are found growing wild all over the country. Yahweh is restoring an understanding of the purpose and value of all those lowly weeds.
Genesis 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
I am posting the following comment for John.
Yes, the spiritual preparation must always be first followed by the physical preparation. To work it the other way around, only leads to separation between you and the will of the Father. I learned that lesson the hard way back in the early 1970s.
I have no desire to place any burdens on anyone, but I find that fasting greatly enhances your spiritual preparation, while also enhances you psychologically and puts you in a better perspective with regards to your flesh.
Last August/September, I was guided into a significant "fast," that not only gave me deep insight into the abomination that makes desolate, and what is in store for the various believers in Yeshua. I ended up writing 14 teachings, only covering Daniel chapter 8, on this topic. As a side note, when I finished I landed an excellent job after being out of work for seven months and seven days. And this was when no one is hiring someone over 65 years old, when they can hire someone much younger for $20-$25 less an hour. I lost over 40 pounds, and was able to wean myself off of four different medications. (I call this a "partial fast," because I am taking some herbs and supplements which may equal 100 to 200 cal a day.).
Back in the mid-1970s, the Lord had me living on faith in a very rural mountain valley. I had moved there with many families from our home fellowship group from the cities of Southern California. After about one year, everyone else had culture shock, along with other stressors that caused them all to move back to the cities. I was the only one that stayed, and I happen to be the only one who didn't have the skills that were available for the local jobs. I stayed because I knew that that was where the Lord wanted me, at that time. I was living in a 20 foot travel trailer (that 20 foot includes the bumper and a 3 foot tongue), using a chemical toilet, carrying water, kerosene lamps and propane for heating and cooking. I had to heat water to bathe. I eventually was down to my last two dollars. Seeing that I had fasted in the past, my mind simply determined that the Lord must want me to start fasting. I had no fear because I had fasted up to three weeks on only water in the past, and I knew that I would not die. My main concern was that I was going to run out of dog food that day, and I could not make my dog fast. He was my responsibility. And two dollars would not get me a small bag of kibble. I had some water for breakfast and then went down to the local church. As I walked in through the back, the ushers were passing through that area with the collection plates. They naturally presented one to me. I opened my wallet and would usually give them one dollar. But I thought, what the heck, one dollar wouldn't have helped me. So I gave them all that I had. Two dollars.
Part Two of Comment from John
I went home and was praying, primarily to get some food for my dog, when my neighbor started calling out to me. I tried to pretend that I wasn't home because this guy always was taking advantage of my generosity. He eventually sent his son over to knock on my door, and I reluctantly answered. He wanted me to haul his trash to the dump. I went out to talk to him and told him that I did not have enough gas in my truck to make the trip. He stated that he just got some money and that he will buy me some gas. I was stuck, so I had to load my truck with garbage and him, and go to the nearest gas station about two blocks away. He almost gave me a full tank and we were off to the garbage dump about a mile away. I completed that chore and took him home, hoping to continue my prayers, which to me were more important. To my surprise, he handed me a $20 bill and for one of the first times said thanks. I immediately went back to the grocery/gas store and bought a big bag of kibble and macaroni and cheese was on sale for either three or four boxes for a dollar. (Didn't know about that sale. I would have experimented to see if dogs eat Kraft macaroni and cheese, if I had.).
Despite having the Kraft, I decided to carry on with my fast. A couple of days later a friend came over and reported that a man did not show up to help an elderly widow stack her firewood. I volunteered and the widow did insist on giving me a little money. A couple days later another man came to me and wanted to know if I would help at the elementary school in preparations for the school year. The man who owned the land that I had my trailer parked on, surprisingly refused the work, even though he was presently unemployed. When I started that job, I ended my fast which was about two weeks in duration. It's a long and exciting story, but from that day of putting two dollars in the collection plate, the Lord has taken me from my desire of living on a homestead and possibly a sheep and hay ranch; to over 30 years of practicing medicine as a physician assistant, working from about 20 miles north of the Mexican border, all away up to 20 miles north of the Alaskan border. I still believe that the Lord has future plans for me along with my "homesteading skills," learned way back in the 20th century.
Hi Joseph, I see you plan to lose 35 pounds in 3 months time. That's quite a pace. I have had success using something called The Fast Diet. I recommend you take a look at that. There is a book out on it. It can also be incorporated into a faith endeavor. God speed to you Joseph.
Thank you Dave. I am not familiar with The Fast Diet, but I do plan on incorporating fasting into my weight loss plan. Thank you for the recommendation and the blessing.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
'I still believe that the Lord has future plans for me along with my "homesteading skills," learned way back in the 20th century.'
Hi brother Joseph, I have no doubt that the King gradually prepared you for present/future service to him, here and in his established kingdom.
He often reserves persons until middle or even old age, as he did with me, ignorant even of Scripture until my late forties. Earlier years are often for preparation to do the later 'mature' work that he already had in mind for us. By this method, also, he permits us maximum latitude to choose him by free-will.