Adding in some work arounds and more cleanup but inside the house.

August 27, 2021

My Raw milk provider cow can’t provide milk for sale.  I can’t complain as the gal has been outstanding and it is Mama Nature that is control of any milk production.  I found another couple of Raw milk producers to use while my primary supplier is working on  “production issues”.  

I have checked out some new suppliers of local produce and other products to help fill up the freezer or can with local produce and meats. While not as  cheap as buying stuff at your local mega-mart, I think the quality and taste makes buying local a good buy.  If the state or Federal government decide to lock down stores I have local suppliers that might keep me supplied and not make unpleasant demands just to buy their products. 

I finally put together the daybed I brought home from Germany back in 2003.  I lost some of the hardware but found a small work around to get the day bed built and ready to go.  I have a bedroom that Mom used while she was going through her divorce but My old cat has taken over that bedroom and the cat does not use the cat box all the time and has peed on the mattress.  While I have added some water resistant materials to protect the mattress it has not been 100% effective and I would not expect anyone to sleep on a mattress that a cat peed on even after trying to clean up the mess. 

The cat is getting old and has been a great cat.  I will keep cleaning up after the cat as she ages as long as she is comfy and shows no sign of pain.  Of course I’m not going to make my Mom sleep on a bed that has a cat peed on and the mattress was getting a bit old and less than comfortable. I moved most of the beer bottles into the basement and I’ll move the beer making buckets into the basement to free up some shelving in the bedrooms.  While not perfect, I have been amazed how moving stuff around with a plan has made the living quarters nicer in the short-term. 

I still need one more good bra so I can get to the 2 weeks/14 days without using the washer.  Sure I could wash my undies in a sink but if I can avoid that issue, why wouldn’t I try and avoid it?  I’m just one person.  I can’t imagine how tough it would be going with out a washing machine or detergent if you have kids.  I spent a  little over a week without running water and it was tough moving  and heating  5 gallons + of water  by hand.  Every thing is Simple but it is the simple things that are hard. 



Adding more little things to get ahead of the inflation curve.

August 23, 2021

I’m noticing a lot of items going on sale at crazy low prices. What I suspect will happen is we are going to see a lot more packages getting smaller and by clearing out the old larger packages the stores don’t want people seeing the new smaller packaging at the same or higher prices as inflation starts making itself felt everyday.  A week ago I bought some coffee  at $2.99 a can and the shelves were cleaned out very quickly at that price.  I suspect we will see that the cans of coffee have shrunk again but the price will be back to the normal price of $5.00-$6.00 per can of coffee. 

You can’t do much about inflation except by getting those cheap items as they go on sale and sort of ease your way into paying higher prices at a slower rate. 

I have been buying up basic clothing items like sweats, t-shirts, shorts. Nothing fancy just some basic functional clothing that can be worn year round when puttering around the house and yard. I recently noticed some of my socks are getting a little worn out so I picked up a dozen socks on sale for $10.00. I added a few new undies this spring but adding I just started adding bras to my clothing replacement list. I want to have enough undies and basic clothing items that I could go at least 2 weeks without washing clothes but have clean clothes to wear everyday. Clean clothes are much more hygienic than wearing the same clothing several days in a row. Plus with the supply chains so wonky you might not be able to buy new clothes you like to wear. Second hand stores can be great for higher end lightly used clothing but I don’t feel right buying or wearing second hand undies or shoes.

It seems to be a good time to stock up on those basic clothing items while you can get some good sale prices on the Summer stuff as well as some of the back to school/ fall clothing items that are on sale. 

I’m feeling pretty good about my winter heating plan.  I have been surprised by how much wood I can turn into usable firewood since I have started cutting up all of the oversized chunks of wood. While the tree trimming my neighbor did this last spring was not cutting down trees for firewood.  Those large limbs and branches could fill a wood rack for a at least a week or two, once cut to wood stove length chunks. Mom is going to take a couple of wheel barrows worth of the wood once it is cut to size. I figure it will equal about 1/4th of a cord of wood but it is all hardwood that will add a nice mix to the softwood she is getting delivered this month.

I have about a cord of mixed hardwood that is seasoned but needs to be cut to fit my wood stove. I have bought mostly fir for my wood stove.  Adding in some long burning hardwoods like apple, cherry, a little bit of elm, white oak and maple will really help making a fire that burns overnight. I have a few more chunks of wood to cut down to size in the yard and then I can move the saw buck and start cutting the older seasoned wood for the wood stove. 

I need to get a bit more proactive filling up the kindling box. The weather is much cooler so it will be easier to start filling up the box.  I haven’t been totally lazy as I gave Mom a couple of boxes of kindling and split fir for her winter firewood starter pack. I have learned it is much easier and more comfortable to cut kindling in August and September compared to cutting kindling in January. 

This has been a bit of a rambling post because there is so much a person wants to get down this time of year.  If you had a successful garden you need to harvest, use and preserve that harvest. If your garden was less than stellar you have to find other folks that sell produce you can buy and preserve. Prepping for winter and hope you guess correctly about what you need on hand.  It can make anyone just a little bit nutty. 

Stretch out your arms and turn in a circle.  That is what you can control at best in this world.  I can’t save the world at best I can replace a toilet seat and then replace the flush arm on a toilet that has rusted out. It will not fixed will not fix the city waste water.  It will cost me more money on my water bill. The new toilet seat is nice.  LOL

Adding in REAL food and some tummy troubles.

August 14, 2021

I have been focusing on adding food of all sorts from local suppliers.  I think adding in Raw milk and using a local butcher shop with less processed meats might have led to my tummy “troubles”.   I did not try to change my diet. I just wanted to add some REAL foods that I could not buy at the local Mega-mart but I could buy locally.  

All I can say is my tummy and digestive track was not happy with me changing my diet from Supermarket foods to locally grown, grass fed meats, some fresh veggies and raw milk.  I think a person that suddenly decided to use only whole wheat after only using white processed flour products might have a good idea of the unpleasant cramps and lower bowel movement issues.  So I had about 3 very uncomfortable and unpleasant days as my body started adjusting to natural foods. 

A good Ginger ale made with natural ingredients really helped dealing with the bloating, cramps and mitigate the tummy troubles but drinking soda almost makes my teeth ache with all the sugar sweetness.  I did not anticipate any tummy troubles from just adding a large glass of raw milk per day or adding in grass fed meats and buying fresh vegies at a local farmer’s market stand. 

No I did not get sick from E.coli, Salmonella or some sort of infection.  My body just was not used to to dealing with unprocessed/overly processed foods.  I’m just letting folks know that a few “tummy troubles” might happen if you change your diet to locally grown products or starting to drink raw milk.

Okay now for the good news about drinking raw milk!  Both myself and my Mom have noticed we don’t feel the need to munch or snack after having a glass of milk with our breakfast.  Mom as more of a “sweet tooth” and I tend to prefer salty snacks.  Both of have noticed since we started drinking Raw milk those snack cravings have eased/ gone away.   I think it is because the milk fat in whole milk satisfies much of the body’s cravings for “fat” but in a way that is healthy for the body. 

My garden has not done well in the heat we got in SW Idaho except for my squash plants that have gone insane.   I had one corn stalk survive but I have a pole bean climbing it so the 3 sister garden is a success as a (proof of concept). I found some Baby bok choy in a garden bed  I sort of wrote off from the summer heat. 

30% vinegar will kill off goathead/puncture vines directly. Spraying alkali soil that support goat heads with vinegar will limit the production of goathead weeds. I worked on the Morning Glory weeds and it seems weed wacking the Morning glory first and then spraying the vinegar works the best for me. the morning glory is trying to come back so it will take some more spray downs with vinegar. I won’t use any sort of Round up sort of product as it kills not only the weeds but the soil and in the Spring you have to spray again to keep the weeds away. You are better off to to mulch amend soil and find plant you want on hand rather than give money to a mega-corp that destroys plant ecosystems as much as the might help cooperate/ Big-Agri companies.

Don’t go to any mega-mart but find folk local to you that grow food. Check out if they are clean and practice basic sanitation protocols. Grow what you can in your own garden but also buy from local suppliers what you can’t grow. Don’t assume you have been infected because your are eating real natural foods and you have a bit of tummy trouble as your body gets used to a new diet. We mix new foods that we introduce to our pets to mitigate any problems. You should mitigate the issues of introducing new foods to your diet. I had a a bit of a bad time with this but 3 days of being uncomfortable is worth my new diet to me.

Saw buck finished and works for cutting wood!

August 4, 2021

I have a lot of wood that needs to be cut because it is a just a few inches to big fit in my wood stove.  I really hate cutting wood on the ground because the bending over is hard on my back and having your chainsaw dig into the dirt dulls the chain.  I have built a sawbuck but I had some problems getting all the cross braising attached correctly to the X -frames that hold the wood.  The saw buck is a little bulky, does not fold flat but it is functional.  Cutting wood at waist height rather than at ankle height really saves strain on my back muscles.  There are lots of plans on the internet to make a simple saw buck.  Don’t do like I did making a saw buck and not consider the 4  inches the X part of the frame adds to the 16 inch cross braces for cutting a 16-18 inch chunk of wood.  I can make it work, but I should pull it apart and make the cross braces 4 incher shorter to make cutting the wood stove length simple. 

Cut down a lot of weeds and Moring Glory around the garden beds.  I then sprayed the area with 30% vinegar.  It seems that this method works better than the spray first then weed-wack the area.  I have found 4 goat heads plants in my alley way this summer.  That is amazing as several of my neighbors are overrun with goat heads.  One neighbor has some goathead weeds close to the property line and I sprayed the weeds with the 30% vinegar.  The ” goathead runners” did turn brown and seem to die back.  

I think using the 30% vinegar works great as a weed killer over time, but it is not the fastest acting weed killer.  Over time you can replace those weeds with plants that you prefer to weeds.  I live in an area with clay/alkaline soil so adding 30% vinegar to acidic soil might not be the best weed killing solution for you.  I like having a weed killer solution that does not kill the soil like Round Up or the the knock off brands.  Plus anything that kills off Morning Glory plants is a great thing in my opinion.  

Inflation is happening but there is still time to get products before the “Shrink-flation” hits your pocket book/budget even harder.  Stores have been selling off full-size products at a lower cost to clear the shelves of the larger products.  I have been watching this shrink-flation happen for at least 4 or 5 years. What was a 3 pound, 48 oz. can of of coffee is now a 26-30 oz. can of coffee.  A cheap brand of toilet paper that had 350 sheets per roll is now called a MEGA/Double roll at 240 sheets of Toilet paper.  It is happening in chips, crackers and soup cans.  

I talked about this in the past on this blog.  Assume the dollar will lose at least 30% of it’s buying power because inflation always rises faster than wages and the Government COLA increase for SS or VA payments.  

I won’t tell you what to do, but I can tell you what I am doing. I’m going to buy some more socks that are on sale at Bi-Mart. As some of my socks are getting holes in them.  I want to buy a couple more good bras on sale.  I’m buying garden products and working on building my soil.  I have bought some Shade cloth to try out as it got bloody hot here at Casa de chaos! 

Last but not least I messed up on my milk purchases. I’m ready now to save the milk in the freezer in between my milk purchase travels. I’m starting to figure out a loop driving to get produce milk and the meat I want to buy.  Nothing is ever easy, but if you can break it down things can get simple.