There Are No Shortages of Problems in Life — Deal With It!

The lift pin on my Kubota backhoe broke while digging (Photo by Blaine Howerton).

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By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

I’m a problem solver and a fixer for those who know me. That’s one of the big reasons North Forty News drew me in – in the first place. It needed to survive (after the previous owner announced he was shutting it down). There were many problems to solve. I’m proud of North Forty News and the issues I have solved with my team over the years. While North Forty News is about to celebrate 30 years, we have surpassed 2 million unique visits on our website and unprecedented growth overall. We keep going!

Over the past few weeks, there has been no shortage of problems to solve. The latest big problem is our delivery vehicle. The transmission died, and it’s way too expensive to fix it. I would work on it myself — even teach myself how to re-build a transmission, but I simply can’t wait for the weeks it will take me while trying to run the business. There is a shortage of affordable cars on the market, and now we are faced with replacing a vehicle purchased only a few months ago. If any of you have a fuel-efficient delivery vehicle, please get in touch! Let’s solve this problem together.

It doesn’t stop there. I was clearing the spot for my future cabin up on my property. The backhoe on my tractor broke. Things happen; I’m using these tools to their limit! But, when I ordered the part, the wrong one came. So, I had to order it again. This led to two weeks of delays.

The lift pin on my Kubota
backhoe broke while digging (Photo by Blaine Howerton).

While problems like these are super stressful, create delays, and prevent jobs and daily life from happening, I have found the best way to deal with them is to be as positive as possible. I usually find myself upset and stressed initially, but I solve the problem by going through my options, taking them one at a time. I typically plan for backup possibilities while working on the initial ones.

I think while walking, or sitting and enjoying a view outdoors. While planning for these latest problems, I recently witnessed the very first Crocus of the season! It’s my favorite spring flower because it’s usually one of the first to pop out. It was a nice distraction, and it helped me focus less on the stress of the problem.

The first crocuses I saw in 2022 (Photo by Blaine Howerton).

I will eventually work out these problems and many others. I have to! I’m learning that significant portions of the communities we serve are super supportive, and it never hurts to ask.

So — anyone?

Does anyone out there have a fuel-efficient vehicle that you’re willing to give up? Send us an email –, or call us at 970-221-0213.