One rain gutter clean and some good deals shopping

I cleaned up my first gutter on my house. It was easier and went more quickly than I had anticipated. I did not climb on the roof, instead I set up the multi-function ladder as an A-frame and my little hand held “Hula Hoe” fit the gutter perfectly to clean out all the old leaves and gunk. The gutter cleaning wand works okay for washing small stuff out of the gutter but if you have a lot of leaves and debris built up you need to clean that stuff out by hand. I’m still glad I bought the gutter wand as the telescoping feature works great for cleaning off tall vehicles like SUV/Mini-vans, plus it develops a respectable amount of pressure considering it is just attached to a garden hose.

I used the little B&D chainsaw to trim back the Lilac bushes that were hanging over the gutters. I did a better job trimming the bushes back and the lilac bush still looks okay, instead of like it was attacked by semi-demented beavers on Meth.  The little saw cut a dead rose bush to ground level and I got a start cutting up some of the fruit wood trimmings my neighbor let me have for the use of the battery powered chainsaw.  Speaking for myself, using the small battery powered chainsaw has reduced my fear-factor of using any chainsaw. While an electric or battery powered chainsaw won’t have the cutting power of a gas saw. They can do a great job on the little jobs you don’t want to break out a gas chainsaw on.  Another bonus is Battery powered chainsaws are relatively quiet compared to a gas saw.

I stopped by the local True value store and picked up some spray paint. Don’t buy the generic “GPM” spray paint as it is awful at any price. I got a can of the new Rustoleum 2 X primer/ paint and it is a bit more expensive but it can be used for wood, metal or plastic.  I sprayed a bit of the 2X paint on the kiddy pool designated for the new, larger Strawberry bed and it was a joy to use, with fast coverage in one sweep of the spray paint can.  Sometimes you can go cheap on price, Paint seems to be an item that “you get what you pay for”.  I know one can of “brand name” white gloss spray paint bought for $3.49  on sale covered  more than 2 cans of the cheap GPM paint bought for $2.99 and I painted the plywood first with paint, before using the cheap spray cans for a 2nd coat of paint.

On to grocery shopping and I got 4 boxes of ritz crackers on sale with a coupon for $1.49 a box. I lived on my preps for two months and my “inner snacker” was sorely challenged by living on rice and beans. I think everyone that preps should add salty and sugar snacks either to their storage or learn to make those snacks/goodies out of their food storage. I got another family pack of sirloin steaks for $3.88 per pound and bacon/pork is finally coming down in price. I got a lovely Rib roast ($1.48 per pound)and a pound of local pepper bacon  for $2.99. If you live in a place that has agricultural you tend to see lower prices. Or that is how it has been working in S.W Idaho so far.

My little moss rose that got the wood mulch treatment finally got a bloom. I think the sun chokes are starting to look a bit more healthy after adding the mulch, along getting some rainstorms and cooler weather.  I moved the strawberry bucket to a new location with a bit more sun and the plant is putting out new growth. I’m still working on the little blackberry plant, trying to find a happy spot and feed it. My golden raspberry is very happy hanging out in the rose bed in it’s pot. I assumed that raspberries and blackberries required the same growing conditions. Raspberries do better with poor soil and a bit of neglect compared to blackberries need more feed and mulch to really get growing. I also learned don’t place Black berries hate being close to strawberries as the plants compete for  the same resources and will share bad bugs.

I got the local chimney sweep coming in to clean the wood stove this weekend. I am planning to start buying wood in August trying to get ahead of the rush this Fall.  I feel like I’m getting started late simply because I am aware of how quickly things can go all “higgely piggley”. I tend to spend a lot of energy trying to get ahead of the “power curve” and I plan for the worst and I’m often wrong about timing. I like being wrong on timing,  though I think I’m right on the basic math, I seldom take in consideration how far/ motivation of the PTBs can keep kicking the can down the road.

I really can’t say when the SHTF. I think it may happen soon based on math and you should get ready and prepare. But I’m not well versed in the can kicking done by the PTBs and how long that can last.

Do your best to cover the basic needs.Start learning  about growing plants, whatever your  “inner voice leads you”. Start practicing cooking out doors and set up an outdoor kitchen. You don’t need much but a basic gas grill a couple of propane tanks or a fire pit and good cast iron cookware to get started. Start small and build up as you learn.

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