June 25, 2020
Finally the front yard got mowed and goodness the grass was tall. I emptied the grass clippings bag four times for a lawn that is not that big. I have one of those big 65 gallon trash bins and I estimate I filled it about 2/3’s full with just grass clippings. I did not anticipate how much faster the grass and other weeds/plants in the front yard would grow after the big tree was cut down. I cleaned up an cut back most of the growth but now I have much more new growth of my pine shrub, a volunteer tree and many weeds. While I anticipated cutting down the tree would change the front yard eco-system/climate. I did not anticipate the how fast I’d see the growth on many plants/weeds. I’m trying to catch up to the massive changes happening on the front yard and plant beds.
I have tested out the “blade cutters” with the Ryobi weed wacker on the weeds in the alley and the grape vines. You don’t want to use the blades around a tree, stone surface or fence but the blades do a good job cutting vines, thistle and “cheat” grass. The blades will send gravel flying and some woody stems might sting/cut you if you are in shorts. I think if you are wearing jeans or heavy cloth pants you would not suffer any minor injuries or notice what materials the blades “kick” up. For a $15.00 purchase I think the cost is okay for the Ryobi weed wacker.
I have started building the Garden Cart and so far so good. I’m not a carpenter by any stretch of the imagination but I have learned is dry fit every bit of wood before you screw and glue. It is also okay to make a mistake, that is how you learn. My “concept” is a small but deep soil bed planter that looks good and will fit on a balcony, on a patio next to BBQ or for a person with limited mobility to have a small “garden bed/planter box” of herbs, flowers or vegetables. Total dimensions of the box are 2 ft wide by 4 feet long and approx. 3 feet tall. The dirt will fill the box will be approx.12-18 inches deep. I’m using basic/cheap 2x4s for the legs, 1/2 inch plywood. My idea for this garden cart is it will be easy to move to a new location and for easy access/easy to work planter beds.
I’m going to paint the plywood with enamel paint to seal it against rot. I’m using cedar fence wood as the side panels and I think finding a window or chunk of glass to add on top of the little garden cart is possible in the future. Once I get the box finished I’ll post pics and you can start your own little garden box. Actually I’m sure many people have made the same sort of garden box, I just have not seen it explained/laid out.
At the end of the day you must do or do not, it is your choice. I can find all sorts of reasons not to do something, but I still have to cut the grass and weed the garden. Golly Jamie you don’t realize how oppressed you are by living in a state that grows food, meat and building products.
I’m trying not to install my small A/C units. I can live with it being up to 80 degrees F. indoors if I can use my window fans to drop the temp. at night. Adding vinyl siding and insulation the house holds heat/cold add more fans to save on electric costs.
You must save you/your family. You are on your own for survival. Get to thinking outside the box…
June 21, 2020
My CIDP flared up and I am way behind on all the stuff I have wanted to get done, or at least get started on some new projects. Don’t get me wrong I’m doing darn good overall. I got the big dying tree cut down. parts of the garden is doing good and I’m lucky on the money situation because of my little payments of SSD and VA disability. I have gone almost 8 months trying to get by on $300.00 per month and face a foreclosure, repos and credit card companies demanding payment when you got no money. If it wasn’t for my parents helping me out I would have lost everything. I really do understand the level of desperation when you can’t physically work, but it seems worse to me that people are not allowed to work by government edict.
I got some new power tools bought and I am excited about using them on a few projects I’m chasing around in my head. I got the Ryobi brad nailer. I’m going to try it out on outdoor projects first. I hope in the long run it will help install “finishing” wood work around the inside of the house. Plus some of the other projects that up to 2 inch nails could speed up building compared to driving screws. Before you say, Jamie just use a nail and hammer. I’ll let you know I have never driven a nail into a chunk of wood. At best I have “scared” some nails into the wood.
I’m testing out a plastic blade cutter for the Ryobi weed wacker and so far it looks okay for what I want to do with the tool. I took down several thistle and some larger weeds. I attacked the grape vines and the blades cut through all of the green vines. I would not say this attachment is a true “bushwacker” but for cutting down thicker weeds or green vines I think it has potential, if you already own a Ryobi weed wacker. I bought the version that had a couple or back up plastic blades and plastic .65 mm weed cutters to replace the blades. Not perfect but at the very least you could replace that nylon twine forever with a spool of .65 line. Though it might get a bit tedious at times.
I got the 4 1/2 inch Ryobi battery powered grinder to play around with the basic grinding /sanding wheel. I have a wood kindling cutting stump that not level and a bit mushy in places. This will be a great test of the sanding ability of the grinder wheel. In time I want to cut off all the rusted screws of the little chicken house and make a template from all the walls of this “cheap” chicken house and make the house out of quality wood materials and not just door skin/cheap laminate wood.
I want to make a bar/counter top in my small kitchen. I have two, 2x12x8ft boards and wood glue. Now do I have to compress the boards for the wood glue to make a tight bond? Or can I just add a couple of 1×2’s to hold the glued boards together. Feedback is appreciated.
June 11, 2020
I got the first garden bed set up with a soaker hose. I’m moving away from using a sprinkler to more water goes into the garden bed and not watering the weeds outside the garden bed. Overall I’m pleased with the results though it is not a true “drip irrigation system” . The first big bonus is 25 foot soaker hoses are relatively cheap and will water my 10 foot long raised garden beds without watering a lot of the ground outside of the garden beds.
Lessons learned : Drilling through 2×4 with the hole drill tool is tough. What I did was start drilling the hole on one side of the 2×4 use a drill bit to mark the center of the hole and then finish drilling out the hole from the other side of the board. I’m sure there are people that will say “any idiot knows…” I am that idiot and I did not know, though it seems apparent after trying to drill a large hole through one side of a 2×4. It can’t work, but if you use a a drill bit to set the same hole from the other side of the 2×4 you can make a hole for the hose.
If I can afford to to put in a drip irrigation system in the future most of the work is done so using the soaker hoses is a “test” or proof of concept of a drip irrigation system done on the cheap!
How are are the garden plants doing? The lettuce, swiss chard and spinach is growing very well. The Bok choy looks like a bust again. My sweet and dent corn seem to be growing but the Squash and pole beans seem to be a bust. The tomitillos and herbs are doing great but the tomatoes and peppers are lagging. I need to get on top of the weeding and make the watering more focused on the plants because the weather is “wonky” with a couple of days of 90 F. degree heat for a couple of days and then dropping into 60 F. degree heat + rain. This is hard for farmers and gardeners because the expected/normal weather is not happening.
I’m going to finish adding the soaker hoses to all my garden beds and get some more winter squash plant starts to fill in my garden beds. Mama nature is fickle you can do everything correct according to the books and get nothing out of your garden. You can do almost everything wrong and get food from your garden. Doing the real work of making soil, weeding and know when and what to plant will matter over a few growing seasons. Any work you do for a garden seems to pay off at least 6-12 months later! Failure is only an opportunity to try new stuff and you will fail, that is how you learn!
June 5, 2020
Both my local Fred Meyer and Albertsons have a Buy 5 items get a lower price. I’m not sure it is all stores but in my area you can mix and match all items that are on buy a mix of any five items and get the lower price. I have been restocking my coffee but it is on that 5 for a good sale price along with peanuts, cheese, butter, milk, marinades etc. As you can imagine you can easily shop those items mix and match some thing like a can of coffee, peanuts, marinades, cheese, a pound of butter and not spend a lot of money. You can get one or more of these items and you can make a more flavorful meal, have a snack bowl of nuts and that is me just doing a quick look at the local ad on the internet. If your stockpile is a little low on an item you can buy a couple of those items and still buy other items that get you the discount.
For example: I bought coffee just to get stocked up but I didn’t buy the coffee I preferred. Now I can add a couple of cans of coffee I like as long as I buy some item on the FAB 5 sale.
- I love snacking on peanuts and I’m trying to build up my “snacking preps” stockpile. I can add 2 jars of peanuts.
- My butter reserves in the freezer got used and needs to be resupplied. So add 2-3 pounds of butter.
- June is “Dairy month” and all sorts of cheeses are on sale. I don’t care what any one says a grilled cheese sandwich, tuna melt or Quesadillas is an awesome quick snack or part of a good meal.
- Marinades and salad dressings be flavor multi-taskers. Almost every cheap cut of meat can benefit from marinade. You can make a good meal/different meal giving chicken an Italian dressing marinade or a London Broil cut of beef a marinade in French dressing and I don’t like French dressing on a salad! Lots of people seem to like bleu cheese with beef. You could make a a meatloaf but rather than adding ketchup or tomato sauce add bleu cheese salad dressing. It is up to you and don’t be afraid to experiment.
- You must have the ingredients on hand before you experiment. If some of your meals fail and that will probably happen to you. Now is the time to learn when food is plentiful and supply chains are working. Experimenting on marinades on a dollar a pound chicken or even a 2 dollar pound pork chop is different to experimenting on a 7-10 dollar a pound rib eye steak.
Onto the Whuflu. I still believe good masking up and sanitation protocols should be every ones default in a pandemic situation. I don’t think I over reacted for myself, but I never claimed shutting down small businesses was a good response. I started wearing a mask around the 2nd week of March because I have an immuno disease and had pneumonia in the past. I was protecting myself and had no affect on other people. Today I walked into a bank and they asked me not to use a mask in the lobby. I was surprised to say the least and all of the banks focus was about security. It is their business and the can set the rules for what is acceptable risk for themselves.
I was an early adopter of wearing a mask about mid March and I was looked at as crazy. I don’t wear mask for status points. I wear a mask because I’m immune compromised. You all should be able to get back to work, back to making money on your businesses. I wear a mask because I’m protecting myself! I didn’t mind shutting down the school system because I think schools are indoctrination stations. Wear a mask, don’t wear mask I don’t care. I wear a mask because I think it will protect myself. You wearing a mask is irrelevant to me. No, I’m not going to shame you if you don’t wear a mask. You do you and you are the one taking the risk not me. That is freedom and it is messy sometimes. If I’m wrong the Wuflu simply becomes another flu/common cold strain and I’m good with that out come.I have not taken a vaccine of any sort since I have had CIDP and I had one very unpleasant cold/flu that put me in bed for about 2-3 days. It might just have been a nasty cold or the flu. Drink liquids, control the fever and wait it out. Most people can give better in home care than most hospitals. If you can’t consume fluids or you get a massive spike in temp go see an emergency room.
Antifa are terrible medics as a small cut on the leg was treated like some one bleeding out, It is bizarre to to see a strap tourniquet to wound that needed only a little direct pressure to stop the bleeding. A little saline solution to clean and a bit of gauze would be all the wound needed. The idiot kid thought he might lose his leg. That sort of thinking is cruel to that person. While I can understand that mocking that person. They truly think that little booboo is equivalent to losing a leg in combat. Nope I bleed more doing garden work around my house. I was a combat medic in the US army and I’d handed you a gauze pad and told you to hold it place until the bleeding stopped and then report back to your company.
I’ve gone off on a tangent. So I will end it here.
June 3, 2020
Idaho is a Constitutional carry state so you can openly carry or conceal carry a firearm without a “Certificate of Mother may I” from the state. Boise had a small protest that went on after BLM bailed and one fire arm discharge that is being treated as a sort of “accident” in Boise. Up north people came out strapped in Ceour ‘D Lane Idaho for some protesters and everyone stayed polite and there were no reports of looting or fires. I was looking at the USA map and Idaho has not had much in the ways of rioting, looting and other mayhem. A couple of small protests and a battery powered candle light vigil for George Lloyd. I myself was outraged by the death of George Lloyd because of what I see is “Police Brutality” and lawless cops. We have seen it in Idaho from cops doing no-knock warrants, to shooting dogs to shooting people with very little cause as I see it. I used to support cops and was totally supportive of following the law. Not any more! If you are a cop and are afraid of getting bit by a dog pick a new line of work. I will no longer give you cops the benefit of doubt because you have proven you don’t deserve it.
I know it is not all cops are bad, but enough are bad and are protect by their peer, unions and the city, counties and states that don’t fire the bad cops, You “GOOD” cops don’t get a pass any more. It was not just one bad cop sitting on that neck for 8+ minutes there were 4-5 other cops that let him commit that brutality. Don’t come at me that being a cop is stressful! Lots of jobs are stressful and you can do the job or not and you don’t get a pass for doing a stressful job.
Enough on covering the rioters. I started cleaning up the Iris plants and the front yard beds a OMG it was a workout. I have cut most of the Iris leaves around 3-6 inches and started cleaning out all the old plant material along with some weeds. From what I have read after the flower stops blooming it is safe to cut the green leaf parts of the Iris between 3-6 inches and then dig up the root/rhizome for replanting. If the root/rhizome is mushy it probably is not going to grow. Have a spot for those new Irises from the old beds or share the Iris Rhizomes with your neighbors. Clean up the root with a sharp knife and wrap in newspaper/craft paper. I have several purple/ lavender and purple/ gold mix Irises. But the real beauty is a pristine white iris that I have no idea how it propagated. Serendipity is a wonderful thing!
I got the tree cut down so a lot more sunlight is hitting the front yard lawn. I treated the lawn for some nasty bugs and I added some lawn “Food”/nutrients and the grass is growing like crazy. It looks like some of the weeds are getting choked via the new grass growth but it is still early days. I really want to create a gazebo seating area with a small fire pit but that will take a bit of study and money to make that happen. For now I will just clean up the area and work on getting it some what level for future projects.
June 1, 2020
It has been almost two weeks since I posted and I apologize for slacking off. While it may sound strange I’ve been examining myself about my reactions to the WuFLU, how the government reactions have played out and now we have riots in many cities all over the USA.
Some impressions about how the front yard is doing since the big tree has been gone:
- Every plant is putting on a lot of growth with the additional sunlight, that includes the weeds! My strawberry garlic and flowers have benefited from more sunlight.
- SW Idaho had a couple of 95+ degree days the new windows, fans and blinds kept the house around 75 degrees. Overall I don’t think losing the big tree will affect my homes’s internal temp. but it will have a huge affect on the plants in the front yard.
- I’m still brainstorming ideas of how to use the area/section of yard but I have not committed to any particular idea other than adding a sitting area of some sort around the the tree stump.
Mom and I had the first steaks grilled on the patio over Memorial day weekend. I wanted to clean up and rearrange the patio area as it was looking a bit shabby. I used one of the pressure water wands on the vinyl siding to clean off a years worth of dust, dirt and cobwebs. The siding still needs a little scrubbing to get it clean, but just using the pressure wand on the garden hose really made that part of the siding look much better and was much less work than dealing with the wood siding!
I have a “vision” of my patio to be an outdoor kitchen as well as sanctuary to sit and just enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning or a beer/glass of wine in the summer evenings. I did a lot of clean up of weeds around the back yard walkways. I mowed the lawn and the grass is doing very well except directly under the apple tree. I trimmed a few branches to let more sunlight hit the problem areas. I know that Spring time is not the optimal time to plant grass seed but using the compost/steer manure mix to augment the soil and cover the grass seed has not only helped the grass fill in the lawn but it seems to keep many weeds from taking root. I cleaned up many thistle, weeds and dandelions in my backyard but in the lawn area there is only one dandelion plant.
I had one lawn spot that got infested with a mint. While I knew mint could invade a spot I did not anticipate how woody the stems got close the the ground or how tough it was to dig up the roots. I doubt I got all the mint roots in this area but I laid down some small pebble/sand mix to give my cats a place to dig/scratch and do all those cat things in a place that is away from my garden beds. While it is early days into this test the cats seem to love having this area to scratch, lounge, play and so far no pooping. I set out an old cat litter box beside the patio to encourage the kitties to practice better sanitation. Results are positive so far, so I will make more little digging areas around the yard that are pet friendly. I am using materials that make it easy to scoop up the poo and it might help keep mice out of the house if they smell predator poo around the house perimeter. I don’t think you can stop animals from following their instincts but you can make places that are easier or more difficult to follow those instincts. Laziness is a survival tool because the animal expends less calories by being lazy. I’m not sure why cutting down that mint seem to open up that section of the patio but the kittens love it and it is a “hoot” to watch the kittens pounce, lounge and generally enjoy this new area of the backyard.
Onto the riots:
- I think these riots/protest are being organised to take advantage of the USA. I don’t think it is a conspiracy per se, but tapping into people’s frustration and anger as an opportunity to create chaos.
- We recently had an SJW mayor elected in Boise and she got slammed about some of her “Studies/suggestions”. A local person was contacted by Black Lives Matter about organizing a protest and then BLM dropped coming to Boise. There was a small multi-racial protest about police brutality on the state house steps. Idaho is a Constitutional carry state! That means if you can legally purchase a gun you can carry it openly or concealed legally any where in public. I doubt BLM wood want a bunch of private citizens legally stopping riots and looting simply by protecting themselves and property.
- Red/conservative states are opening up economically and the Blue/progressive states want to maintain the lockdowns for some reason. It’s not like any governments care about people dying unless it looks bad to the politicians. Let conservatives/libertarians/republicans get back to work! If the virus is so bad those people will get sick/die first!
I don’t know about this virus and if it safe to go back to normal interactions. I think it is probably safe but I can’t say for certain. I’m in a “vulnerable group” of having a immune disorder so I wear a mask because I’m at risk. I wore a mask when the WHO/CDC called me bad names and locals looked at me as a “weirdo” back in March. I wear a mask shopping then and now because I think it is the best thing for me and my health. Wearing a mask was never a political statement or to be trendy and if I think wearing a mask is dumb or unhealthy, I’ll stop wearing a mask.
I was a shut down International travel, close the borders, protect the seniors and wear a mask for 2-4 weeks and perhaps close schools over Spring break up to a month. I was never a shut down all small businesses or hospitals/clinics/dentists type of person.
I hope people will learn after seeing stuff either first hand or on the internet/tv media will learn the the lessons of self reliance and the government won’t protect them. Perhaps kids that want to learn will thrive intellectually being home schooled.