Making some beer and new plants from my aunt

August 15, 2014

The wheat beer finally got started and is on the stove.  It has been quite awhile since I made any beer so I figure I should make a couple of batches while it stays cool. Saturday looks good for making up a dark ale.  When the temp. get a bit cooler I ‘ll make a lager but I like ales and there is a lot of ways to make different beers just using hops and roast of barley.  The spent grains will go to my aunt for her goats and chickens, sort of a payback for the plants she gave me this week.

Speaking of plants my aunt gave me three sun chokes in pots but she has some sunchokes in her garden that are about 10 feet tall so it looks like these plants can do just fine in this climate.  I took the smaller plants that she had since these are for next year’s alley garden. I’m not looking for a harvest as much as I want to start  good plants growing in the alley. My aunt gave me some onion sets and three small comfrey plants so I can make up some of Kymber’s healing salve next year.  My aunt wants some starts of holly for a fence line between her and a neighbor. Right now she has some elm trees along the fence but they are a pain and they don’t provide year round green leaves like the holly for privacy. Plus the holly won’t grow so tall as to interfere with power lines! Who knows, if they like the holly I might get some more wood for the wood stove in the future.

The Alpha lipoic acid was delivered and I’m adding a bit more vitamin C to my daily vitamins though I think it was the addition of Magnesium and Zinc minerals that help the most with my recovery time after physical work. I’m ordering from Puritans  pride and I got a 2 for 1 deal on the Alpha lipoic acid for about the same price as I could buy one bottle at the store.  With all of the new diseases coming in I figure now is a good time to kick up my vitamin intake and hopefully build up my resistance since vaccines are contra-indicated with my CIDP.  I need to start adding in a good 6 month supply of the vitamins and minerals that have helped me with my CIDP.  My herb garden has some of the vitamins but the minerals are going to be little harder to replace if the stores get empty.

Been thinking about my cooking setup in the house and ventilation. As far as a “sick room” goes I don’t think sealing the windows is a good idea as fresh air is good for a sick person. In the event of something like ash from a volcanic eruption, a bio/chemical weapon or a “dirty bomb” sealing the windows will be needed and I don’t have a way to cook without ventilation.  To fix this problem I think I will go with a butane burner. I have a small butane cooker but it’s more of a small camping set rather than something I can use with my kitchen cookware in the house.  I found a couple of these at Amazon for less than $20.00 and I already have fuel on hand so this is a cheap fix!

I know it is a bit early to start thinking about but winter is coming and while it has some downsides there are some upsides to winter as well. Most bio/chemical weapons are less effective in cold weather. Riots and looting tend to be short in duration as staying warm becomes first in most people’s minds. Your fresh food can last longer outside using an insulated box or cooler if the power goes out.  Most nasty bugs and critters go dormant. While this might seem that I’m being the optimist again there are always pluses and minuses in every season. Being prepared really helps me to keep things in perspective as well as roll with the changing of the season.

Cleaning the house, Mom home from surgery and first red? tomato

August 13, 2014

Thunderstorm moving through today but this one had some rain with it and cooled things down very nicely.  Most of the yard work was done but I saw one of the Beef steak tomatoes is a nice orange color. It should not be to much longer and I will have a many more of the tomatoes getting ripe.  The outdoor sink and propane burners are ready for the canning season, though I may move the sink around to find the right spot for it. The sink and table are light weight, if just a bit awkward to move around. I haven’t set up any buckets or drainage for the sink until I find the best spot for the sink. One thing I have found true about myself is the first spot I pick for setting things up in the yard is seldom the best spot for it. I’m getting better about leaving things so I can adjust them a bit before I lock them in.

One of the neighbors asked me to check on some water that was left running before the storm hit. I shut off the water at their place and managed to pull a couple more of the goat heads along the alley. The rain loosened up the soil to make it an easy job and I think I got most of the root this time.  I have left a few weeds growing in the alley but these weeds don’t have  stickers or puncture seeds like cheat grass or goat heads and they seem to sort of keep those weeds in check once I get the root of the nasty weeds out.  Since I’m planning to lay out a heavy layer of  mulch this fall I will try sowing the seeds for the native grasses and the sun chokes  in one area and then plant the sun loving herbs and lavender in the small area covered by cardboard and wood mulch in the spring. My aunt is giving me some of her sun chokes for my alley garden and her sun chokes did great this year.

I don’t think of myself as a gardener though I did have a great garden this year. I do get a thrill to see the first growth and the first fruits of my garden.  Perhaps that is what makes a person a gardener is that excitement of growing things and seeing that work an effort bring forth food, flowers and growth.  I’m also a very stubborn and persistent person when I set a goal.  I have to say I spent over 7 years of being a failure with mediocre gardens at best. While I’m no expert yet, I have passed to at least a journeyman gardener and not just a rank tyro without a clue of what to do.

Mom is home from her knee replacement surgery. No wonder she was hurting as she had a partially torn ligament along with the all the stuff going wrong with the hardware. Gosh she is tough, as she was walking about 5 miles a day with me and stretching and doing her exercises every night along with taking care of a small garden and her chickens and dogs!  She will start physical therapy this Friday and was sort of apologetic that she didn’t think she could start our walks again till next Wednesday!  It seems it was Kismet about Mom getting that “new”chair at the yard sale as it is a good height for her with the knee brace she has to wear.

More cleanup and organizing to get done! I have a few cool days coming up and I can get back to beer making as it won’t be long until I’ll have to get busy with canning the harvest. Overall this year has been going pretty good with just a few hiccups for me. Now the rest of the world is going all “higedly pigidly” but all anyone can do is control what they can and make a plan and execute it.

More cleanup of the shop and alley

August 11, 2014

There are  some shelves in the shop that have been used as a catch all for junk. I’m working my way through the stuff I need to keep and throwing away the junk I can’t use. I’m a little surprised how fast the clean up went as I did not have to much left to do over all. The scrap wood went into one of my buckets for kindling this winter so I will get some use out of the clean up. I want to move some of the supplies in the basement that don’t need temperature control into shop. That should free up quite a bit of shelf space in the basement.  Things I will be moving will be cleaning supplies, paper products and that sort of thing.  My neighbors gave a neat barrel that works perfect for holding chunk charcoal so I got that filled but I think I will give it a paint job to make it look a little nicer sitting on the patio. One of the first back up cooking ideas was to get a bunch of chunk charcoal now I have a several 40 pound bags for cooking but those bags are not the easiest thing to handle when you want to BBQ, so this barrel should work for keeping a supply of charcoal on the patio ready to use without a wrestling match of me vs. a 40 pound bag that is at best messy or at worse I lose the fight against gravity and inertia.

I cooked up the London broil on the gas grill but I have to say I really missed the smokey sweet flavor I get using the mesquite charcoal. I cooked a some of the Patty pan squash on the grill and I love the mild flavor of  the white patty pans as it give me a lot of flexibility using it in meals.  If you want to plant a summer squash but don’t want to deal with Zucchini that can get large and tough I would recommend the patty pans.  I am going to try a few recipes but substitute the patty pan squash instead of zucchini and see how they turn out.  A big plus for me is patty pans are small and are  perfect for a household of 1-2 people with very little waste when you cook them.  Plus these patty pans are all volunteers so they are very easy to grow and save seeds for the next year.

I got one small area of my future “alley” garden covered with cardboard and a few rocks to hold it in place. That area is quite a bit larger than I had anticipated but  once I add the mulch and some nice plants that can handle poor soil  it will be a big boon to my garden and herb production next year.  Wind isn’t to much of a problem around my house but that alley acts as sort of a wind tunnel if the wind direction hits just right.  The wood mulch I get has a better chance of staying in place compared to the straw and “compost” I have on hand.  I have a couple of neighbors that are bagging and trashing lawn clipping so I might set up my alley way as a dump spot for those organic materials. This could be a big win for me as I get free compost materials for the “alley garden” the neighbor save trash bags and filling their trash bins and if the “Alley Garden” works I bet one or two might join in and make their own alley gardens.  The worst thing that can happen is we start killing out weeds and the best thing that can happen is we get a sort of modified community garden along the alley.

Last but not least I added the GHB to the car and I’m very pleased with the low weight of the bag. Even I can lift the bag with one hand and having it on rollers with a tow handle makes it a breeze to maneuver on good terrain. I don’t have quite as much water on hand but the mini- van’s Emergency kit give me some options to add at the last minute if I need to walk to safety rather than driving.  If you haven’t done a lot of backpack camping or “ruck marched” via the military I would recommend going with a smaller back pack as your “get home bag” figuring about 20- 25 pounds as your max carry weight until you test how well your strength and endurance.  People don’t walk much in the USA and while some hardcore folks may poo-poo my walks in the Mall with my Mom I know I can average 10 miles per day if I do it in small bites. That may not sound like much but some folks haven’t walked 2 miles at one time and are not capable of  of even short walking trips without counting extra weight of a back pack.  While in the Army my “Battle Rattle” added about 25 pounds to my weight and I carried it day in and day out for weeks and I was in very good shape. I was not carrying a back pack/ruck when weighed for my Battle Rattle when boarding a plane for the NTC. The weight items can add up very fast a few pounds at a time.  The M-16 is a very light weapon at about 6.5 pounds it’s ammo is fairly light weight compared to larger calibers and we in the army consider 240 rounds in mags a combat load. Kevlar helmet 3 pounds, NVGs,  Gas mask 3.5 pounds heck even combat support troops carry an easy 20-25 pounds on their persons everyday for training, If the are the gunner carrying a M-249 at 25 pounds unloaded, stuff gets heavy fast and that only Signal pukes like I was in the Army. Combat Arms and grunts carry a much heavier load in their rucks 70-110 pounds is fairly normal for those guys depending on the weapon mix. Those grunts can maintain 4-6 mile per hour walk in good terrain for 25-30 miles, set up a perimeter and bring some heat when they are in position. If you can’t do that don’t try! Be as light weight as possible and get to your defensive position. Tactical doctrine in the Army calls for a 3-1 advantage at least, to attack a defensive stronghold and the Military knows they will take casualties.  Stay light weight and mobile in your thinking. Don’t get bogged down in thinking you need every new gadget, a paper map and a compass is old tech and so is the wheel , but still works great if you learn how to use it!

Dear Congress critters,

August 9, 2014

While appreciate your effort at playing poor and the hilarity that proves just how out of touch you are via the middle class and poor folks . I would like to take a shot and try to enlighten you about how we live.

  1. The poor and middle class are living paycheck to paycheck.  They can’t sit back and say I can’t live on …$ per hour as they have no choice about the income they bring in or living on less. You want a challenge, live on my income not for a week but for 3-6 months and I will live on your income. There is a hell of a difference between a congress critter’s paycheck of $15,000,00 a month and a person living on 15 grand a year.
  2. You might want talk to a few real poor folk before you decide what we go shopping for each week. I don’t buy canned sardines nor crackers as a cheap meal. I make my own bread and grow a garden and buy only those loss leaders and what is on sale. I buy in bulk and while I have no problem with ramen noodles they are not my first choice for shopping nor making cheap but healthy meals.
  3. You Congress critters have  worked about 100 days so far this year and you are off for3 + weeks  and your reelections campaigns and I ‘m sure you forgot all about your little stunt of living on $7.25 per hour just the same as you did for your little stunt living on EBT after you cranked in the lowest possible numbers and wanted to be something that was a victim to be pitied.  I ain’t impressed!
  4. We don’t have the option of giving up paying our bills simply because we tried really really hard and had a government job that pays over $150,000 per year and perks that we could fall back on.

You Congress critter want to impress me pick a middle class or poor person in your district and give them your paycheck for 3-6 months and you live on what they make in the same time.  You might learn something at best and you will help a poor person or family at worst.  I know you will not do it as power and money is all that gives you meaning in your sad life. I maybe poor but I’m so glad that I am not like you congress critters. I pity you!

Outdoor sink installed, planting more grass seed and a new dog

August 9, 2014

The sink is not going to win any beauty contests but it is all setup for the canning season. I’m still moving around the grills and the double propane burners looking for the best work flow and make sure everything is as safe as possible from any fire hazard. The grills are not on the patio and I have set them up on concrete pavers over sand or rock so I don’t have to worry about any grass or wood siding catching fire easily, though any heat or fire source must be watched carefully.  Now I can return Dad’s jig saw plus I did much better using the battery powered circular saw though the extra weight of the 18 volt battery was a challenge. Most of the battery powered yard tools are easy to use as the battery is sort of a counter weight to the working part of the tool. The battery circular saw and drills tend to need more muscle power to work best.  If you are healthy and have average arm strength you should be fine but if you are disabled with weaker arm strength it is something you should be aware of and take steps to keep from getting fatigued.

Mowed the back yard after increasing the mower height to 3 inches. I was pleased to see my compost/mulch in the water main area is breaking down and is heavy enough that the mower doesn’t suck it up with the grass clippings. I used a garden rake to clean the existing grass area then used the de-thatching rake to get any dead grass as well as cut a bit into the soil for the new grass seed. Gave the grass seed a quick watering and used the garden fork to aerate the soil were water sort of puddled instead of draining.  I have had some folks advising me via the internet and locally on growing the lawn and fixing the soil so I have high hopes that I can get a good lawn + healthy soil by next spring.  While I’m doing a lot more gardening I really like having a green healthy lawn.  Now I’m learning about all the thing I did wrong to make a healthy soil and raised beds I’m seeing some great result though I have to say I’m not good about being patient for the grass to grow after the first burst of growth.  It took a few years of doing the wrong thing and a bit of neglect to get the soil in this condition. It will take more than just a few weeks of work to get it back to growing healthy.

The new owners of a house across the alley want to give me a small dog that is not getting the attention it needs and Diana needs a buddy so we are going to see how they get along. This is a chihuahua mix but did not seem yappy the few times I saw her and it is worth a try to see how Diana feels about a new dog at Casa de Chaos. The new neighbor seems a little overly sensitive to other neighbors that are not quite as out going as me and less able to blow off what people do on their property  and call them on the important stuff. While I don’t agree with all my neighbors do daily. I try to temper any criticism to what I think may be breaking the law and not simply a disagreement on how a person lives their life.   Like many people  she want’s others to reach out to her but she isn’t reaching out nor trying to understand about how others may feel or see things.  I’m not  picking sides but simply trying to see both sides of the issue and be a moderate voice of reason.  Heck I have lived for over 10 years and I still haven’t met all my neighbors as some folks like privacy and to be left alone. Some people are just like that and that is cool with me, but other people may feel a bit defensive if they are not welcomed with “open arms”.

It looks like I fixed the toilet in the big bathroom to flush properly. I raised the flush valve to take advantage of my older and larger toilet tank.  No water leaks I can hear or see and the new flapper seems to be working.  I need to add a bit of dye to the tank to make sure I got all leaks stopped.  With my beer making I use a lot of water compared to most single people. I don’t mind paying for water I use but I hate all leaks as they are just wasted water and money. I have a problem with water in the small bathroom as I have not fixed the leakage from the water pipe to the tank.  The tank does not leak via the toilet valve it is in the feed pipe. I think I have isolated the problem now comes the hard part of fixing it!

Heck if it was easy everyone would play!

Cleanup of the car and garden with a little organizing

August 8, 2014

I got the car washed and gave the interior a good vacuuming to get the rest of the straw out of the cargo area. I have a large beach towel that I use for protecting the carpet but the straw always seems to spread and get in the areas along the edges of the carpets and interior body panels. I like using the vacuum at the car wash rather than drag my house vacuum out to the shop and use it. Plus I have a heck of a time reaching the top of the mini-van to wash it.  I’m switching out the beach towel and replacing it with my canvas drop cloth from my GHB.  I like the canvas drop cloths because they are great for setting up shade here in the desert and it breathes a lot better than your regular poly tarp. If you get it wet and hang it up it works as a cooler via evaporation plus if you need insulation to stay warm or cool you should think in layers and trapping air between them to act as an insulator. While I can’t fit this tarp in the GHB having it in the mini-van at least gives me the option of having it on hand. If I need to hide the off-white color is better here in the desert than a bright blue tarp.  I decided to go with a small camp axe rather than a bow saw for my wood cutting needs.  The axe is better working as a hammer though I think a small bow saw is a great wood cutter, my space and weight is limited so the axe wins as a multi-tasker.

I have nice RV and if I have to bug out I rather take it if I’m ahead of the normal traffic but the  mini-van is a lot less conspicuous in a panic situation so I have staged a few bug out boxes in the shop that I can load quickly if I have to leave via the mini-van or even using my trike depending on the situation. I hope I’m set up well enough to bug in for most disasters but you never know how things will go until the disaster hits so having 2 or 3 backup options I feel is the best way to go.

Harvested a few of the patty pan squash,  a couple of lemon cukes a few strawberries and the very first potato here at Casa de Chaos. I took over some of the squash to the neighbor S. as her garden bit the dust during the heat wave that happen while she was on vacation. She also clipped  some of my basil that is doing so well this year. Dug down a bit and got my first red  tater from one of the buckets. While getting the first potato was nice the soil in the bucket is great after breaking down this year. It seems that my best soil combo is my clay soil, some of the potting soil I got from Home Depot and a healthy mix of straw/manure or my compost. While not perfect and it still needs a few tweaks this fall and winter I believe I’m on the right track.  It’s not exactly cheap or fast to fix abused soil but it seems to be paying off in the long run. After the first bunch of work it becomes more maintenance rather than a lot of hard work that you do at the start of soil prep. At least I hope that by having good soil and using mulch and compost  will lessen my work load over time and get better harvests.

Redoing the GHB and inventories

August 7, 2014

Two thing that has always concerned me with my disability is my BOB (Bug Out Bag) and my Get Home Bag(GHB).   I don’t have the strength or stamina to handle a heavy bag and let’s face it my walker is not exactly setup for rugged terrain. I’m a big believer in doing the best you can with what ever physical limitation you have to work with and try and find ways to make things work.  I was very thrilled to find a rolling back pack at a yard sale for $3.00 and tonight I shifted my stuff from my old bag to the new one. I had to dump the canvas tarp due to space limitations but I kept my nylon tarp as a shelter. I took out the Sterno fuel cans and added the small backpacker stove with a can of fuel.  I got a better stove for about the same weight and space. Actually I’m a little surprised by how much space I have left over in the backpack  after the transfer, as it is a much smaller bag. I have a few items I would like to add but between my the mini-van “emergency box” and this new GHB I think I can handle a minor disaster somewhat close to home.  The GHB setup at this time consists of the following…

  • Shelter: Blue plastic tarp, a Space blanket, Fleece sleeping bag and glove liners. I need to get a good pair of leather gloves for the bag though I have a pair of heavy duty work glove in the car emergency kit. Because my hands don’t always work that great tying knots I’m going with bungee cords instead of rope for setting up a shelter.
  • Water: I have a Sawyer mini-water filter and 3 metal quart water bottles with quick clips I can add to the bag. I like a metal water bottle because you can boil water to sanitize it. I have tested the bottles over the mini-camp stoves and even using a Sterno stove I got a boil in about 10 minutes using these bottles.
  • Food: 2 of the Kraft pasta meals, 1 Top ramen package, 4 packages of instant oatmeal, 10 bullion cubes, 4 packages of hot cocoa mix and 5 packages of cheese and crackers. Many packages of salt & pepper along with some hot sauce, Parmesan cheese and red pepper flake I got at various food joints.  Not exactly a balanced diet but good enough for at least 2 meals a day for 3 days. All sealed in a zip lock bag
  • Heat and cooking: I have a small backpacker stove and a can of fuel which should last 3 days even with heavy use. I have a large 16 oz. metal cup to boil water or cook simple meals and heavy duty plastic fork,knife and spoon for eating. A bic lighter and a small box of wooden matches for starting a fire. My stove has a small sparker for lighting the stove but I like having a backup lighter and matches.  The car’s emergency kit has a Sterno stove fuel and extra metal cup so I think I will have enough stoves and heat for cooking for several days. I keep a small 12 volt therm o-electric cooler/warmer in the mini van at all times.
  • Light: I have a ball cap with a clip on head lamp for hands free work. Three 9 hour emergency candles.
  • Health and sanitation: Comb, small travel toothbrush and toothpaste, Small package of wet wipes, wash cloth and small hand towel, Toilet paper sealed in a zip lock bag, feminine pads and Ibuprofen, 3 pairs of latex gloves and a face mask.  The car has a first aid kit I can add to the bag if needed. Several small kitchen trash bags. 2 Large Construction grade garbage bags.
  • Things I need to add: Detailed local maps. Leather gloves. A heavy Duty Space blanket like the SOL emergency blanket. Ham radio. The Minivan already has a CB radio and small backup solar panels for powering the cell phone and small electronics. Last but not least my German walking stick.

I have a little fanny pack that I use for my Every Day Carry (EDC)  gear that includes my Leatherman multi-tool, a small compass, a small AM/FM radio and flashlight combo, pepper spray, p-38 can opener and a 9mm.  It is strange when I think about my mini-van and GHB combo that those 2 items make me more prepared for a disaster than 95% of all Americans.

That cheap LCD TV is getting more expensive and shopping!

August 5, 2014

I got the power cord for the yard sale LCD TV and it’s only HD ready not a true Digital TV so I needed a digital converter box so the TV picks up over the air signals. I got a digital converter box at amazon for $35.00 but it has a great feature for hooking up a hard drive to record shows and movies.  PC hard drives are cheap and this will be a great way to store shows from Amazon prime as well as instructional videos from Youtube.  I have a older German TV that I can use the converter box with and I think the hard drive recording feature will be great. The little LCD only uses 20 watts of power so that will be my low power entertainment system.

I got the yard sale water misters working but it had a bad part in one of the brass fittings. While I only needed one of the brass misters,  I had to buy a package of 5 for $10.00 to get that needed part. I guess it doesn’t hurt to have a few of the little mister parts for backup since I have 3 family member’s homes that use these type of water misters to cool decks or a patio. In 100 degree weather these little water misters do a great job cooling so if youcan maintain a little water pressure and need to cool a patio, deck or even your animals I think these are great to have on hand.  I would also recommend having a few extra hose O-rings and a hose repair kit on hand to keep water leakage to a minimum. Water can get darn precious in a grid down situation, you don’t want to waste it.

While I was at the farm store I got another bale of straw that should finish up mulching the rest of my garden beds and a 3 pound bag of grass seed made for this area that is drought tolerant and grows in the shade.  I’m a bit impatient about the grass growing even though I’m getting a few sprig of grass from the Scott’s sun & shade mix I think reseeding the whole lawn going into fall with this new grass seed will produce better result next spring.  The gardens are doing well and the straw mulch seems to be helping the front yard beds a lot in this heat. I found a neat website that covers when to plant in your region of the USA.  This site has given me some info about getting multiple harvests from my raised beds.

Looks like I can afford to buy some beef this week. Albertsons has London broil for 2.99 a pound!  I really like this cut of meat because you can do so many things with it from marinating and cooking on the grill to making beef jerky or making fajitas and beef stir fry. I got a rain check for some pork chops at $1.88 per pound and chicken is on sale again for .99 cents per pound. It looks like pork prices might start coming back down a bit at the end of the year according to the futures markets. Though beef prices look to stay high at least through 2015 so when you find a sale on beef you need to stock up.

Some good news on the dog front as the pound has about 3 dogs that may work for Casa de Chaos. Two are German Shepard mix and one is a chow mix. The chow had the “cone of shame” to keep him from attacking his sutures and was more interested about getting rid of the cone rather than getting a good walk but I liked him a lot on the first meeting.  The people at the shelter are getting to know me and I think they appreciate that I’m looking for a dog that is a good match rather than just get the first one that strikes my fancy.

Pandemic follow up

August 3, 2014

Looks like some very nasty diseases may overwhelm western health care systems.  It would not take much as most hospitals can be overwhelmed in a disaster and a lot of what the hospital does is simply support a patient until the body can fight off an infection.

I know there is a recommendation of keeping a victim and care giver isolated for about 2 months total in order for any symptoms to become apparent during the 2-21 day incubation period. Some things you might want to add to your kits you may not of considered.

Extra masks for the patient as well as the care giver: This is one I did not consider about masking the patient, though I do have masks on hand, I was only thinking of masking the care giver for about a week.  I think that might be overly optimistic. I think you could get by with using a cheaper dollar store cloth mask for the patient as they would need changing regularly and N95 mask for the caregiver.

Safety goggles of some sort to protect the eyes from any fluids.

Rubbing alcohol or bleach is spray bottles for disinfecting materials like goggles or protective clothing.

Barrier type clothing that can be disinfected. Even a cheap poncho or large trash bag cut as a poncho that could be trashed after a patient visit would be better than nothing.

Isolating a patient via a tent or a room with plastic tarps or duct tape and plastic. My house could be setup this way fairly easily with a changing area, bathroom and bedroom that could be blocked with a plastic barrier. I would set up a sanitizing bucket of bleach and a trash can with a tight lid for any “contaminated trash” that could be bagged or burned depending on the disease.

Doggie training pads: These are about the same items that hospitals use to catch fluids but are much cheaper. From what I have read about many of these new diseases dealing with fluid loss and cleanliness can be hard to keep up long term. These pads should help at least with keeping things clean as they are easy to change out.

Sheets and blankets: Time to hit the local 2nd hand store and yard sales for cheap cotton or flannel sheets depending on the time of year. These can be soaked in bleach which should kill any bugs/germs. Buckets/lids for used masks and gloves, a sanitizing bucket for protective items and then plain soap and water for cleaning up before and after entering the Isolation area.

Food and water: I’m thinking old fashioned of broths, stocks and even chicken soup. Add in Saltine or soda crackers and dry toast to support a person with diarrhea or nausea. Treat the symptoms, support the patient seems the best anyone can do overall. Adding things like ginger or home made electrolytes  to keep a person hydrated and reduce nausea, Aspirin, cough medicines that keep a patient comfortable is about the best a person can do.

Morale of the patient: Have books, puzzles, knitting ,movies, TV whatever you can do to keep the person’s spirits up. Food can be a big part of this as you give them whatever they can handle. Be honest but don’t let them see you giving up on them. This might be one of the few things I see good about texting as the can communicate though being isolated. This person needs human interaction and a local PC network set up for tablets, laptops and PC’s can make a patient not feel isolated. Give them a shortwave radio receiver or put them on news watch can make them feel valuable to survival and give them motivation to fight any disease. If the patient only see’s themselves as a drain on resources they may give up, simply to stop others from taking care of them!

Pets: From what I have seen most dogs and cats are not vectors of transmission. So allow the pets to see the patient and give them additional motivation of taking care of another creature if they can and let pets visit them.

You have a lot you can do and not be at the mercy of the PTBs or any disease. Now it will take a plan and a few supplies but anyone can take some simple precautions and have a backup plan to treat any disease.  Don’t panic you have time right now to plan ahead and be prepared.

Pandemic! or taking care of the sick

August 3, 2014

I don’t know about your preps but handling the flu and some sanitation type illnesses has always been a part of my preps.  While I hope not to deal with the nasty diseases that have been in the news I am preparing for them.  I have to say I never considered masking a patient to help contain a disease so I’m a bit lower on my masks than I had anticipated. I also did not consider protecting my eyes from fluids from a patient so I need to add a few more items to my basic first aid/supporting an ill person list.  I don’t want anyone to panic, many of the items you stock will become multi-taskers that work for a “Dirty Bomb” or even Bio-terrorism  just like a pandemic which tend to be a bit more common.

Worse case scenario for this new strain of Ebola. The patient and caregiver must be Isolated for about 2 months to make sure both are clean of the bug. That might be a challenge to many people as they may only have 2 weeks- 3 months of food on hand at best and if they are not prepared to deal with any illness it is worse.  I don’t have enough masks on hand to handle both a care giver and patient  for about 6-8 weeks.  I did not think I needed it until the border explosion that Obama invited. Now we can piss, bitch and moan about that or we can get pro-active about helping our families and our local neighborhoods supporting those that get sick and protecting others from a disease spreading.  That means self-quarantine and giving the local health officials a heads up and we may have to watch a love one die at the very worst in order to protect a larger population.  I hope it won’t get that bad, but “hope” is not a strategy.

Isolation: Okay this sucks and most people will only have a cold/flu. But I don’t want infectious TB or Ebola in the general population so suck it up  and do the right thing! Chicken pox is easy for a child to handle,  but has a 20% fatality rate in adults.  Don’t screw around with these illnesses start practicing 1st aid and supporting a patient now! I know most of us can’t afford to create a a bio-containment unit but we can isolate a sick  person in a bedroom and practice good hygiene and sanitary protocols. People that are sick will need food and water taken to them and you will need to remove the waste safely so take that in consideration for your isolation “ward”. You should have a bit of plastic on hand to isolate some sections of your home, a bit of bleach in spray bottles.

I don’t have a warm and fuzzy feeling about opening the southern border nor transporting illegals across the country given a less than complete health check and many of these illegals have scabies,  lice that we can see and goodness knows what we are missing at the border for basic health checks.  About all a person can do is practice basic sanitation and then support anyone that gets sick as best you can because hospitals will become death traps of infection and disease. I don’t know if it will work but I think it is better than doing nothing or counting on the PTBs to save us.

Honestly I consider this a very worst case scenario. It also scares the crap out of me as I’m not up up to shooting germs and bugs and there is not a lot I can do to be pro-active. I’m reactive and probably the worst I will deal with is a bit of flu. If we practice good sanitation and hygiene we should be okay but needless to say I don’t trust many to do the right thing so I must prepare.