Wood report

January 26, 2018

So far we have used about a cord of wood this winter.  The pine is seasoning very well and burns well in the wood stove.  My wood pile area is protected against rain/snow but gets all the breezes that helps dry wood.  My wood seems to dry/season better on my simple wood racks and Tarps as a cover, compared to having a roof over the wood.

Now it has been warm this winter and dry compared to last year.  So I consider this year’s wood use atypical for a normal winter.  Feb. and March can be cold and blustery but I’m sure my wood pile will last through this winter.

Moving Mom’s stuff: We got a few more boxes and some of the bigger pieces of furniture moved out of the rental storage sheds.  Moving heavy furniture is very tough for us and now we are passed the light stuff and have boxes of books to move along with the bookcases.  We are still painting and cleaning  and getting inspections done on the house.  While I complain about moving this winter, the weather has been very mild during the move.  Our biggest problem has been cleaning out the storage sheds so there is not another monthly storage fee.  As long as we clear out the rental storage units this week we should be good to go on the stuff Mom stored for free at my house.

Had a bit of an issue with the Chevy sputtering but we think it is old gas from the fuel tank that may have a bit of water in the fuel tank that may have set for a few months.  We added some gas and the Chevy made it home no problems.  The air cleaner is very dirty so that need to be changed out but it does not look like a problem with the fuel pump. We think it might be a bit of water in the fuel lines or gas tank.  Both Mom and I are buying non-ethanol gas for our vehicles so this problem should go away in time.

Great news the Garbage truck guys picked up all the chunks of carpet and bathroom vanities and stuff.  The driveway is cleared and we did not have to haul away that trash.

The weather is supposed to be a bit snowy, rainy and damp so we will focus on painting and cleanup this weekend.  Monday the 29th the movers will clean out the rental sheds and move the fridge. It’s all do able but it ain’t easy. Mom says if she has a fridge and a bed she can adapt but I’d like her to have a kitchen table and a sofa in the living room.

It should be simple to paint the walls and set stuff up for the last items to be moved into Mom’s house.  Simple does not mean easy and we are both tired so we have take that in consideration.  Gosh we have not even touched on moving the stuff I stored in my house.

If it was easy everyone would play the game.


Mom’s Moving update

January 24, 2018

Most of the contractor install jobs and painting are complete. Mom had a couple of ceiling fans installed to circulate the air.  New bathroom and kitchen vent fans installed and last but not least a wood stove and the chimney is lined with pipe for safe wood heat.

Ugh! oil based Kill-z is brutal to use in enclosed places.  I donated a water based Kill-Z paint for covering the Sheet rock  walls but Mom got some of the oil based stuff for the paneling.  Use two coats of the water based Kill-Z as the oil based stuff is horrible, semi-toxic to use indoors.

We are in a bit of a time crunch as we want to empty both of Mom’s storage sheds before she has to pay another month’s rent.  Stuff stored here at my house can wait as it costs nothing to store until Mom is ready for it.  Good news is Mom hired movers to get the heavy furniture and appliances moved and most of the painting is done so the house is ready for the big items to be set in place.  According to the weather guru’s we should have a dry 50 degree day for getting all that heavy furniture moved.

FYI for cleaning wax of a carpet:  Using an iron and some news paper to cleanup wax from a small spill should work great.  Cleaning up a large candle spill of several ounces of candle wax  is a bit of a lost cause.  I have to say I’m more impressed with my little Hoover carpet cleaner with the rotating brushes than ever, especially compared to using the Bissel carpet cleaners that use beater bars.  Home Depot is running a flooring “sale” right now and if you are looking for a basic carpet cleaner I’d recommend the Hoover cleaner with rotating brushes for $99.00 rather than the most expensive Bissel with a beater bar and all the “bells and whistles”.   The Hoover is simple to clean and has easy to replace parts.

Most of the painting is done though Mom needs to go over the Kill-Z paint with the Semi-gloss paint in her bedroom.  We are ready to start moving in Mom’s furniture and appliances from the shed.  What we are going to do is get all the small stuff and boxed up items out to the place and out of the storage sheds. If we are successful all the mover’s will have to move will be the heavy items that Mom and I can’t move ourselves.

Mom has spent a good chunk of money to make things easier for her in the long run but cash is a bit tight in the short term.  Such is life, when you got the money you don’t have the time and when you got the time, you don’t have the money to get things done!

Some good news for Spring is we may have the use of a back hoe to cleanup a few areas around Mom’s place!  While it is a mad dash right now getting Mom moved in this month. I’m looking forward to having the Chevy 1 ton for getting drive way rock and getting fruit wood for firewood from the local orchards.

What to do if you think you are getting NUKED!

January 20, 2018

First thing to remember is if you are outside of the blast zone area you have a great chance at survival!

Worst case scenario you are caught in the open during the blast.  You need to get below grade to protect yourself from the fire blast and then the back blast winds.  A nuke will create a huge heat wave at first and then all the air rush back to equalize the pressure.  So the first you will need to do is find protection from the blast waves.  Depending on where you are it might be the core of a sky scraper or an internal room of a home or even the shoulder of a road you are driving along.  Get low and get small in any area that offers protection in that first 10-15 minutes warning.   Think about the Nuke warning like folks think about tornado warnings.  You don’t have a lot of time but there are ways you can protect yourself.

A standing stick frame home can protect you against Alpha or Beta particles/waves.  Hell even a piece of paper will stop Alpha waves.  The Gamma rays/particles is what requires a lot of  air space or dirt/sand bags or lead.  The biggest danger of radiation is that it will rest on your skin for some time or that you will breathe it in or ingest it via food.  So if you are a prepper you have already stored non-nuked water and food so now all you need to do is clean off any fallout that has landed on your skin before you enter your shelter.  All that takes is you disrobing, using some clean non-nuked water and soap. outside your shelter and have clean non-nuke clothes to change into in your shelter.

Stay inside for about 14 days to wait for the radiation to mitigate and then clean up stuff after suiting up to protect against any fall out dust.  I know this is not an Apocalyptic scenario so loved by Hollywood but it is much closer to reality.  2 cities that where hit by small nukes.

Nagasaki Japan

Hiroshima Japan

These places don’t look like Nuclear waste lands. You should take precautions and get prepared for getting nuked.  Just like you plan for sort of disasters.

Personally I don’t think Hawaii would get nuked at this time.  Really people don’t care about the Fukishima melt down. So how much would they care about Hawaii getting bombed.  I think the Norks would try to do a high altitude EMP burst to take out the grid or hit a major city like Seattle, LA or Chicago so the USA is busy with cleanup.  I think little Kim is crazy but he isn’t stupid.  The Norks can’t take out a USA retaliatory  nuke strike so most of this is bluff and bluster from Kim.   That is not to say that Russia or China or any other nuke powers could not send over a missile if they think it is a good play.  Or even some terrorists could set off a “dirty bomb” but not a nuke strike.  I think Japan would be hit before Hawaii and I think the Norks would try and hit the Continental USA before nuking Hawaii.

Stop beating up the Dems in Hawaii over this drill.  Yes it sucked but it did wake people up about getting prepared.  I’m more peeved that people did not know what to do if a ballistic missile was inbound.  Can you imagine if the same warning was given to the West coast of the USA?

I don’t require the “button pusher” to be fired.  It was a mistake but a good test for the people.  Damn you dropped your kids in the sewers!  What would they eat and drink if the alert was real!






Camper is off the truck

January 15, 2018

Thank you Randy the youtube links helped a lot.  Unloading the camper took all morning as we were learning and could only lower one jack at a time.  Plus we were also dealing with slightly sloped ground.   I have to say lowering the jacks was a bit nerve racking as I was afraid I drop the camper on her “nose”.  The camper is down resting on wood pallets and I put the camper jacks down so they help stabilize the camper but the jacks are not holding the weight of the camper.

Mom got a great deal on her wood stove but the existing chimney needs a new liner to be safe and to code.  I don’t knock those that DIY chimney installs when they know what they are doing.  Speaking for myself I know enough to know I don’t know enough to install a chimney. Mom has a smoke alarm/ carbon monoxide alarm along with a mounted fire extinguisher in the kitchen to deal with any small fires.

It has been a little pricey for mom to relocate the  house water main shut off in the utility closet. As Mom is not physically able to jump in the crawl space and turn off the water main the valve needed to be moved for her.  I have never heard any one complain that the water main, gas main or breaker boxes are too easy to access.

Some good news I may have the materials to donate to Mom for making her shop a bit more weather resistant.  I forgot that I had aluminum fascia in my shop.  While this fix will not be weather proof it should be much more weather resistant than a hole in the shop roof.

The new wood floor should be finished so we can start moving in furniture. I need to make the shop semi secured, clean up the wax on the bedroom carpet.  Finish scrubbing the bedroom carpet.  Tape off the the interior for painting with Kill-Z and start painting the interior walls.  We want to empty Mom’s storage units before another monthly fee is charged.

Things are a bit crazy at the moment but it will all work out in time.

Uhg! the camper

January 13, 2018

Mom has an old 93 Chevy 1 ton dually and an Arctic fox camper on it.  Unloading that camper is becoming a major hassle.  Big problem is the camper jacks are motorized and have not been serviced, there is no documentation on how to lower the jacks and Mom used the jacks 5-6 years ago.  Needless to say there has been a bit of a learning curve and a lot of frustration trying to unload the camper!  I think I have a fix for lowering the jacks even if I have to disconnect the electric motors to drop the jacks manually.

The valves under the bathroom vanity leaked and the house shut off valve was in a crawl space that Mom would have a hell of time getting turned off.  While a bit expensive to re-route the turn off valve. Mom hired a plumber to replace the bathroom valves, install a new 24 inch bathroom vanity and new faucet.  The plumber also  installed new valves for the washer area.  There is a whole house water shut off valve in the utility closet next to the heater and hot water heater.  Mom has spent a good amount of money to get the the plumbing usable for her.  I get a bit manic about good plumbing because I have fought so many battles of bad plumbing runs in my house.

I went through and did some dry wall repairs on Mom’s house.  I added a mesh tape, a little spackle to cracks and tried out some of the dry wall texture in a can.  Not sure how it will turn out until we get some paint on the “repaired” areas.  Mom bought new chrome bathroom light fixtures, toilet paper holder and a towel rack that I need to install. Actually Mom has an electrician coming to install the new ceiling fans and new bathroom fan.  But I have been tagged to install the bathroom towel rack, ring and toilet paper holder.

Some good news, while Mom is replacing most of the carpet in the house she chose not to replace the carpet in “her bedroom”.  I ran my little carpet scrubber over some of the rug and used a bit of sudsy ammonia on some of the stains and the beige color carpet is really starting to look pretty good!   There is a spot that seems to be candle wax that was dropped on the carpet. Mom brought an clothes iron and I brought a heat gun along with paper towels and news paper to draw up the candle wax.  I’ll let you all know how that works out.   Using the sudsy ammonia on carpet stains along with a carpet cleaner seems to be working.  I have cleaned up several “rust” and spill sort of stains but I am still working on the high traffic area dirt.  My little carpet cleaner literally had a quarter inch of clay in the tank that was pulled out of the bedroom carpet.  The bedroom carpet is looking much better on this first run of using the carpet cleaner.  Oh, using sudsy ammonia and a scrub brush on pre-treating the  really dirty and stained areas is making a huge difference cleaning the stained parts of the carpet.   I think we might save the carpet via cleaning but I think we might have to deal with some dingy high traffic areas.  It is still early days and I was surprised about how well the carpet stains came up.

The Shop needs the gap in the roof closed off but we can start moving Moms stuff from my shop to hers and tarp the areas that might get damp.  Goodness knows my shop is not water tight.  I have a couple of ply wood sheets I could use to re-enforce Mom’s shop doors once cut to size.  This would be a great opportunity to test the ease of use of the Ryobi battery power circular saw.

Mom wants to move into her home and I want to help her as I’ll get most of my shop area back.  It seems or physical limitations are biting us in the butt.  not only that all the contractors are screwing with our time lines.  Not a bad thing unless you are counting on lag time for jobs getting done in a certain order.  Gosh I had a week or to to splash paint willy-nilly.  Nope, Mom is having new flooring installed.  Damn! got to rethink this paint walls attack. LOL

The weather has been glorious.  50 degrees F. in the daytime and above freezing at night here in the valley.  Next week might bet a bit cooler/damp with rain I can work through that kind of weather.

Our biggest problems right now is we need the floor finished before we move stuff in the house.  We want to paint before the furniture is in the house and we have to drop the camper off the pickup so we can start moving stuff into the house.

I have been thinking about things wrong.  I have the materials to make stuff at least safe and semi strong.  I can cut boards and plywood on hand to fix stuff.  It won’t be pretty but it should work short term.  Gosh I’m rambling on a bit.  I think there is potential but it will take some work.  What else is new?

Just an update on Mom’s house and I still need to explore the bunker….


Things are looking awesome for Mom’s home.

January 8, 2018

We are going to have to do a lot of cleanup, painting and fixing odds and ends, but it looks very doable!  We found a small wood stove that should heat the house safely and it will be delivered on the 10th.  Mom is getting the flooring  guys in for replacing the bad flooring.  Mom and I bought a new bathroom vanity and faucet for just over $100.00.  I donated a 2 gallon bucket of Kill Z to start the paint job on the house.  I see the tar and smoking stains on the walls  and while cleaning helps you need to seal the dry wall before you paint or those stains will bleed through the paint.

Speaking of paint True Value hardware stores have semi-gloss paint for sale this month at $20.99 per gallon.  This is great paint that is easy to clean.  Many latex paints tend rub off  dry wall when they are cleaned.  More good news is some of the blinds will fit the windows of the new house.  While Mom’s house windows seem to be air tight I have a lot of weather proof plastic and tape that will make all those windows air tight this winter.

On the vanity in Mom’s bathroom, I think it came from a RV salvage yard.  The good news is they installed all new plumbing hardware to make the RV vanity work.  So it should be dead simple to replace the vanity and the faucet to give Mom a great little sink, faucet and a small vanity for storage.  I’m no plumber but I can do some simple DIY jobs around the house.

We need to install a doggie door and Mom got a very nice doggie door on sale.  Also we need to start adding gutters to the roof to move the water dripping so close to the foundation.  I think I can install a gutter so that it feeds water to the stone planter beds in the front of the house.

I loaded the Kia Mini-van with 2 pallets for the camper to rest on and now the mini van is semi full of bathroom vanity and ceiling fans that need to be installed.  Once we drop the Arctic Fox Camper, we will have the 1 ton dually pickup to start moving stuff.  If we can unload stuff we are good to go!  Unloading a 400 pound stove is a bit beyond us but once it is at ground level we can maneuver that sucker into place.  Once the wood stove is in place Mom can get get plenty of dry fruit wood to burn via the orchards.

I do not recommend buying “kiln dried wood” as a replacement for seasoned wood.  Kiln dried wood simply opens up the pores of the wood while in the oven and when stored out doors that wood soaks up any and all moisture.  The pine is seasoning/drying after 2 months in the wood racks and seems to burn well after seasoning.  I will use about half of my wood stack on racks this winter.    It will be interesting  to see how Mom stacks her wood.

While I won’t claim success.  I think things are looking semi-positive. Now it is just doing the work and adapting.


Mom got her house!

January 6, 2018

We delivered the new 7.2 freezer (fits in a Kia mini-van) to Mom’s new house. Both out buildings need some work but look somewhat square. though not water tight.   There is a lot of lot of work to be done but the potential pay off is huge!  One  of the bedroom’s carpets is trash as it smelled strongly of urine. The kitchen needs a replacement floor covering.  The out buildings look much better than I suspected.  We can work with that easily. I need to walk Mom’s property and see what needs to be done.

I’m no land guru but I have learned how to make do with what you have on site.  I want to be focused but Mom does not know what she wants to do with the property.  In time I think we will figure it out.  Gosh mom can drop the Arctic Fox camper and we will have a ton dually truck to haul stuff.

I’ll give Mom my little shop vac to clean the fans.  I have compressed air, WD 40 and silicon spray to help restore fans or at least clean them up for the electricians to replace.  My cheap dead bolt locks did not fit so we will go to home depot for replacements of door knobs and dead bolts.

It was a “mixed bag” of stuff.  Mom tends  to be negative  and I tend to be Hyper-positive.  Give me a big pile of manure and I will start looking for a pony!  Or start I’ll start planting rose bushes.

I did my first batch of “bone broth”  Actually the broth is a lot like making stock to the next level. Make a stock using bones/carcass  and double the time until the bones literally crumble when pinched .  The broth liquid for beef broth should look at least “coffee” level dark.  A crock pot might be slower and you will need to make smaller batches it is very doable to make “bone broth” in a crock pot in 48 hours.

Good news on the fire wood the pine wood is drying naturally and burning better in  the wood stove.  I don’t think Kiln dried wood is good for a wood pile as the heat opens up the wood pores to dry and that wood is open to moisture out side the kiln.  So far it has been relatively warm this winter.  35-40 degrees F. is very comfortable in SW Idaho in January. At this point “if the weather stays the same” my wood stack will be good into next winter.  I was terrified I did not have enough wood going into this winter.   Now I think I’m good.  I have the old dry hard wood accessible and the drying pine working so life is good.

S. Lynn I owe you a phone call as Mom is getting close to your location.  How is the learning welding going?