Some shopping, some Xmas lights are up and shopping for Xmas dinner is done.

December 17, 2021

I know it can be hard to feel festive for the holidays.  Things are getting more expensive and just making a living is getting a lot tougher. But, it is not all bad as the tougher things get, the more people wake up.  Simply because the day to day reality of living does not match up with what is spewed via the media and politicians.  You are not alone in questioning the propaganda. Many people are growing food, shopping local and becoming more self-reliant.  I see 3 pounds of bacon in my local mega-mart is (on sale?)  for $16.00 for 3 pounds or I can visit a local butcher and buy 3 pounds of locally produced bacon for about $16.00 for 3 pounds.  Buying locally is getting close to the same price of what is offered in most mega-marts and you usually get better quality.

I had a bad week feeling a bit punky. I wasn’t sick.  My body just was not willing to get stuff done for a few days.  I think I might be having a CIDP flare or it might be stress and dealing with the changing weather going into winter.  Perhaps I got the “Coof”.  Nope, when I start catching a cold my immune system sort of revs up and I feel good a few days before the cold smacks me down.

I finally got the Xmas tree and some Xmas lights up today.  I’m not going all “Griswold” with Xmas lights that can be seen from space.  I still like putting up a tree and a few lights in the windows and around the yard.  I think about years ago some news outlet said it was “insensitive” to put up Xmas lights because some people are poor or some people don’t celebrate Xmas.  Putting up Xmas decorations makes me happy and any one that does not like it can get bent.  Your issues are not my problem.

Everything is simple that does not make it easy. You don’t want trangenders competing in female sports do a DNA test.  I don’t know why females in sport even give a male transgender the time of day in the sport. Refuse to compete with males, and they are males.  Let this idiot male compete alone and then he hits the finish line then you girls compete.

I played Little league baseball, flag football  in Idaho back in the 1970’s and I did not ask for any special treatment because I was female. The Coach loved me because I worked harder than many males and I was good enough that many of the boys liked me.  I did not whine about stuff being unfair.  I simply did leg presses of of 800+ pounds.  I had the leaping ability of a safe and was slow as a stone toad in any sort of sprint.

I never worried about strength or weakness as an NCO in the Army because I saw women be the most nasty creatures protecting their positions and the boys.  I saw all to many women use men because they were to physically weak to do a job.

Any time you go to a range you are given several magazine full of ammo and you create a lot of havoc if you were so incline.  Heck the US army assigned M60’s and belts of ammo to females and no woman turned that M60 or M249 against their squad leaders.

I’ve seen the same for gamers. If you are good and win male or female is irrelevant.  Good for you!  Why would any person give trolls any power that hope to bring you down to their level.

It’s called a block button and all of social media sites have it.  All of social media is not reality any more than TV or cable new is reality.  Get local folks and theat any and all Social media with a big grain of salt.


Repaired and re-installed old shop door

December 15, 2021

The recycled door did not work out because the hinge area wood was so stripped out from the screws that the weight of the door pulled the hinges out of the door and the frame.  I tried using some wood putty to fill in the old screw holes but there was not enough wood left for the screws to hold the heavier door. 

 I repaired the old door by adding new door skin pieces I had on hand.  I added a metal kick plate so my doggo won’t have an easy time trying to chew or dig his way through the door. Last but not least I added some longer screws to secure the framing wood of the door to make the door a little more rigid.  Hopefully this should keep the doggo out of the shop until I can buy a better door. 

I learned a lot trying to hang a door. I bought one of those hinge templates for doors that come with a router bit. I got to use my new little router cutting the hinge area and suffered no casualties. I repaired the old door and got it in place using materials I had on hand.  While the (new) door did not work out for the shop, I’m glad I got to practice using new tools on a $30.00 used door rather than a new door that can cost $150.00 and up.  I think I may find a use for this door at Mom’s place. 

Mom has a couple of places she needs a door with a window.  One is a shop door that had busted glass window and we covered the window opening with a metal sheet to keep out most of the weather and larger critters. She also has a root cellar that could use a door that has a window to let in a little bit of light but not direct sunlight. So the recycle door may find a new home in the future. 

Mom returned a little cat tree I loaned for her kitties and I added it to Smokey the cat’s room and she is using the little cat tree.  Smokey the cat is old and has been a great cat.  Her using the cat box has been a bit hit or miss and she piddles on piddle pads.  But she is a great cat and just because she is a bit inconvenient and needs a bit more work/effort does not mean she isn’t valued. I added a little cat tower to Smokey’s room and she is using the tower.  We know cats can be a bit hit or miss adding toys.  In the couple of days I noticed that Smokey is moving around a lot more.  I had a day of her not pooing outside the cat litter box though she is still peeing on the bed.  Not a problem as I added a water proof mattress cover and with the pet piddle pads the piddle is much easier to clean up. 

A bit sad Smokey is not good about using the litter box and peed on some of the blankets.  I think I’m getting on top of the kitty  piddle and poo problem. Plus all the blankets and sheets got cleaned up this weekend so permanent damage has been done. 

I don’t think pets should be accessories or a way to flex. My doggo ate or scratch through a door to get to me in his small little brain.  I had to to repair the door and that is okay.  Pets are random creatures. Not good nor bad just something to deal with and train.  I have left the house since installing the repaired door.  I see a few wet nose marks on the new door skin but no scratches or teeth marks trying to get through the door.  I think Boomer the dog has a separation anxiety issue and because of that he was not properly socialized.  I think he might have been neglected because of him being a little destructive when left alone.  While I’m not condoning isolating a dog because they are destructive I can understand why it could happen.  I’m on disability and sort of a home body so Boomer almost always has his person around and is not destructive while I’m around.  We are working on his socialization but it will take some time to overcome his early learning/reaction of his former home. 

I have an old cat that is losing some of her training and a young dog that never got some basic training.  Over all I can handle both issues.  Boomer is smart as he learned to go potty outside in a couple of weeks.  Smokey the cat probably won’t get better at some things but she is pooing in the cat box and using the new cat tree and moving around more eating food and getting a bit more physical movement and mental stimulation eating with the new cats. 

I checked out the new Habitat Restore and they have some 2×10, 2 x8 and 2×12 in 8-12 foot lengths.  Some boards have some small 1-2 inch notches cut out but these boards will make great garden beds. I picked up a couple of small items and talked to the gal about some LVP or Luxury Vinyl Planking that is at the store and she says she has a warehouse full of the planking but it is in darker colors.  I want to replace/cover up the linoleum in my  5×7  foot small bathroom and at $2.79 a square foot I could replace the floor for about $100.00 in materials.  While I’m no expert this looks like a good quality product that would cost about $4.00 per sq.ft. new.  I also saw some folding and accordion door/ closet doors I’d like to replace at a lower cost than the big box stores. 

With the inflation we are seeing very few items will be cheap.  I will admit I tried to prepare buying the cheapest item that was functional.  Now I can afford to buy better products or by more of some used products because I’m not desperate to buy what I don’t have on hand. 

When you feel you have nothing on hand and feel desperate that you are exposed to hunger,  freezing in winter or overheating in summer.  That feeling is terrifying especially if it your kids and family that could suffer. It’s okay to feel afraid that is normal. I can still find Store coffee for about $4.00 for a small can. I got a turkey for about $.70 cent per pound and found a small turkey.  Prime rib is about $ 6.00 per pound in stores and a 3-4 pound prime rib will feed 6-8 people.  It is a special meal so if it costs a few dollars more you pay it.  Or you find a different meal plan. 

Speaking for myself you need to change your mindset. From Consumer to how you buy products. Make your garden a lifestyle you want for yourself.  If I had kids I would never send then to public schools as I think public schools are evil. But I don’t have kids so my opinion does not carry  much weight as parents deal a lot of issues that I don’t deal with about the school system. 

Does your local government make your life better or worse is a question we should ask our selves. We have no control of the federal government but we might push local government. 


My Dog ate my Shop door and replacing the door

December 9, 2021

The previous owners of my house often made some odd and very cheap choices for the projects they did around the house.  They installed a cheap interior hollow core door for the shop door.  My new doggo (a very stout terrier) shredded the door and the light weight skin of that door when he decided he could not find me when I went shopping.

New doors cost at least $150.00 and go up in price very quickly and finding doors in stock is hit or miss no matter the price.  Just to add a little more challenge the door measures a non-standard 32 inches wide rather than the standard 36 inch wide exterior door. 

I found a door at the local “Restore outlet” that carries new and used construction supplies that contractors and DIY homeowners donate. The door was only $30.00 has a  frosted glass window but is a little short to fit the door frame.  Add a couple of 2x4s at the top and bottom and the door will fit the existing door frame fairly close.  A little trim and some new thick weather stripping and the door should work better than the old door.  I’m going to add a metal “kickplate” to the door so my doggo won’t have an easy job of tearing up the door when I leave him to go shopping. 

My shop is not insulated so it won’t make a difference if the door is not air tight. I figure the door will cost about $50.00 after adding in the new metal kick plate.  The 2x4s I already had on hand.  The proper way to fix that door would be reframe the door and install a 36 inch exterior door but that would cost me a lot more money.  I have plans for making the shop better for year round use.  Adding insulation, adding a few walls to make better work areas.  Right now it is a storage area with a few work spaces. 

I was surprised the little store I went to had so much stuff for sale. Sure some of the stuff ere things removed for renovations but most items are physically sound and simply are not considered of the current decorating style. What you like and what I like for decorating styles/eras is probably very different.  I really like the Craftsman type house and more of a 1920’s/30s look of camel back sofas and tall wing back chairs. You might like a mix of Art Deco and the 1980’s look of black furniture with a mix of greys and white with splashes of colors as contrast.  What you like is what you like.  I sort of knew the look I wanted for my furniture but until I found THE chair I loved at a yard sale I could not find the style for the rest of the furniture I wanted to have in my house.  

This might seem a little bit off-topic for a self reliant/prepping web blog.  Your home is your castle/sanctuary, a school and a workspace.  Not many houses are set up to meet all those needs in a pandemic controlled USA.  Most new homes have glass top stoves that you can’t use a canner or stock pot because you will crack the glass top of the stove. Oh the stoves look pretty and they are easy to clean but those stoves are not made for cooking, they are made for looking pretty!  Granite/marble/ stone counter tops are the “trend” and you still have to add wood or plastic butcher blocks or cutting boards to cook a simple meal of real food and not a micro-wave meal. I will admit those kitchens look pretty.  I just don’t think they are very functional as a cooking/baking kitchen.  Stainless steel counters are more functional and I hate the look of stainless steel counter tops!  Good news Butcher block counter tops are starting to come back into the Big Block stores.  

Make your space work for you.  I don’t have kids to educate but I think adding a cork board frame for art work or good report cards or homeschooling achievements would be great for any kid.  A wall painted with Chalkboard paint and a bunch of colors of chalk a kid could draw on but learn there are some boundaries about where they can use chalk would be great.   Side walks and patios could be free range for a child’s artistic endeavors.  Don’t like it get a hose to wash it away or the water just creates a new canvas for the child’s artistic endeavors.  Save the sidewalk child’s art with a digital pic before you wash it away and post it on the fridge or the art chalk board.  Think outside the box people!  I don’t even have kids and I can think of ways to use a simple game of Hopscotch using simple multiplication tables one dice and the kid has to figure what square the have to jump to win.  You tube has School House Rock that taught all sort of easy lessons of multiplication tables, the preamble of the Constitution and basic English grammar and it is all free to download. 

There are tons of Educational resources online that span all of politics. MIT and Hilldale college both offer Free college level courses for free. While you won’t get a Diploma you can educate yourself and offer a good start for home schooling course.

Want to learn to build something? There is a youtube video for that. Build a birdhouse if you have the tools and teach your kids how to use tools. Don’t have the tools or wood. Go to Joanne’s Home depot Lowes or another local

craft store and buy premade bird houses that kids can paint and observe. Add a few bird feeders and kids start learning about preferences. What some birds prefer for feeders and squirrels are really the commandos of the urban back yard. I know many people hate squirrels. I’m impressed with how quickly they adapt. I saved some of my Black walnuts in a bucket to let the husk dry and drop off. The squirrels cleaned out the bucket. I’m not mad it is fascinating how nature finds a way to survive by putting in minimal work.

I know it will astound some people how we learned to bake bread. I tried and fail a lot before succeeded and I tried making other breads by persistence of wanting to learn to make good bread. I have a mix of success. The more I try making different bread types the better I get at making all types of bread.

Failure is learning and that is a good thing! Embrace failure as learning and paying for baking supplies or a few building supplies is your tuition. It is still cheap compared to a college education.

Ivy league colleges cost a lot of money. $40,000-80,000 per year. Let’s low ball the estimate of a four year Ivy league education at a cost $150,000 per year per degree if you get a degree in 2-4 years that most people don’t meet that standard. That is not counting the interest of most student loans that is about 6.75% or higher. It would be cheaper to finance a home loan and send your kid to a tech school for electrician, plumbing, Hvac Tech, welding or a trucker after putting a down payment for a home and pay for technical schooling for a job that can never be out sourced or sent over seas. Even if your kid does not get a job in the new economy he/she will have skill to make his parts of his own home.

There are companies that are paying a premium wage for people that know how to read a tape measure and can add/substract fractions. Cut metal, cut wood with precision.

This country does not need any more gender study idiots. Nor Diversity Inclusion and Equity officials bureaucrats. California has broken the supply chain in the ports and by denying independent truckers with older trucks no licenses in the stated. The Federal government could nullify California’s laws for 180 days to clear the ports under the Interstate Commerce Act. Why won’t DC exert Federal supremacy clause against California ports unless the feds want a supply chain crisis?

You can make yourself crazy following the actions of the Federal government. I recommend you find ways not work with the Feds or major corporations and get local. You pay more now or you pay more later. It cost more money to add ethanol to gas. But adding ethanol to gas is tax payer subsidized and buying ethanol free gas is more costly than “normal” gas.

Snow incoming next week

December 3, 2021

This area tends to have a lot of fog when the weather shifts from warm to cold or warm to hot.  I live in a valley so air can get trapped and get stagnant when the weather shifts.  While I may hate the fog it does mean the weather pattern is changing and all the fog/stagnant air will get blown away with the “storm front” moving into the valley. 

I much prefer snow to a cold or Icy rain but I stocked up the front porch rack with wood for the wood stove.  My kindling box is getting low after stocking up Mom and my own indoor kindling box.  I’m cutting Doug fir into kindling from the Spring delivery.  The wood is dry if not seasoned but after the wood is cut into small kindling size and dries another week or two those little chunks of wood make fine kindling. 

My process for cutting kindling is fine chunks of wood without knots and split that into smaller chunks.  It seems it is easier to split those smaller chunks into kindling after the split wood rests for a couple of days.  There are a few knots that can be hidden in the split wood so I just toss those chunks to the side and add them to the porch wood pile rather than put in the effort to split knotty wood. Almost all of Doug fir I get delivered will fit in my wood stove so it is a bit silly to try and split a knotty chunk of wood for kindling if you can grab another chunk of wood that is easy to split and use the knotty chunk of wood as a normal chunk of fire wood. 

Cutting kindling should be an easy job. If you are working hard to make kindling you should find ways to make the job easier because all you are making is a fire starter.  I have seen some youtube vids that have a different way of starting a fire. I have seen people use no kindling and use a propane torch to start a fire.  One gal uses sawdust/wood chips that are wetted down with diesel and kept in a bucket that she adds a some to start a fire in a small stove in a tiny house she has heated for 7+ years.  While I may not use these methods for starting a fire they could be options if you know what you are doing.  

I would recommend a fire extinguisher in every area that you have a fire alarm. You might not be able to save the house in a fire but having a fire extinguisher to knock down flames so you can escape a fire seems like a good thing to have on hand.  Also if the “Riot Mobs” get a frisky with arson a good ABC quality Fire extinguisher will probably work better than water for putting out a Molotov cocktail compared to water.  

It is sad but very predictable.  The elites don’t care that your local pharmacy or store are burned and looted.  If the stores of the upper middle class like Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom’s and other more expensive/exclusive stores are looted in a smash and grab.  Now it is a problem that needs attention.   

This is not a Democrat vs Republican issue.  It is an elitist against the poor and middle class issue.  I’m no socialist and think communism is evil.  But if cooperate types want people to work for you.  You have to offer better benefits and pay.  That is the Free Market of supply and demand!  

I think the covid-19 and  economic inflation is the silver lining of the cloud that the elites have hung over western Civilization pushed by the elites. People can’t ignore inflation now.  Even though many of us preppers have complained for years about the shrinkage of every thing from Ice cream buckets to soup cans getting smaller. Inflation has been getting worse for at least 5 years and the Covid pandemic madness only made it worse. 

I have cheap tissue paper I bought in year 2010-12 range and it is better quality than most high cost tissue paper sold today.  Inflation has been happening for almost a decade it has just been slow enough you did not notice the value of money evaporating. 

What can you do?  No politician will save you.  You will have to save your self and your family. You already survived the Pandemic panic of 2020 and did not die.  Good for you now you just have to deal with the idiots and inflation.  While not easy, it is doable.  Turn all your money into basic needs first.  I don’t know your prep level but get the basics first of simple to store dry goods like beans and rice, flour for bread and find away to cook off grid that is not dependent on public utilities. 

If I was still working  I would look at what it costs to work your job.  You might love your job but how much time is your commute? I might be odd but I never found rush hour calming and less than stress full despite the fact you are moving at low speed and stop and go all the time. 

Why do you work? Unlike the elites I think most people work enough to buy a house have food. Own a descent car and have few other hobbies they enjoy. Are you working for yourself? Or are you working for the elite?

Making a leather protector for the axes and setting up a sewing workspace.

December 1, 2021

You can not buy a leather axe protector unless you spend some bucks via store fronts like Amazon that choose not to patronize.  I want to simply protect the axe head from bumps and rust. 

I found some thick leather for a sheath but I would have to make that sheath.  I got the thick leather cheap now I had to cut the leather. I used a simple rotary cutter and it cut through the thick leather.  I could not believe  what a great cutter this tool was in comparison to scissors.  I’m terrible cutting a strait line using scissors.  Using a rotary cutter using on very thick leather proves it will cut most cloth. 

I’m going to fix/replace a zipper in a jacket I like.  I may fail but I will learn. I have set up a small work stable for the sewing machine.  One thing I have learned the more effort you put into prep the better results you tend to have on your project. 

I have some wood chunks that are less than optimal sized for my wood stove. Time to split some of the dry wood.  Just because you order split wood does not mean all fire wood is optimally sized for a wood stove. 

Many people want a wood stove as a heat source and wood to feed that wood stove.  I suspect they are a bit to late if their home could have a place for a wood stove.  I feel for the people that can’t find an alternative heat source and are at the mercy of power companies or states. 

I know it is a bit difficult, but what would you do to make yourself and your family safe?  Many of us preppers have the basics on hand and don’t care about the political situation.  Things get scary when you live in an urban environment and you can’t say no to mandates.  

I am not afraid going local, adding more garden beds and my compost pile. 

Burn down cities shopping districts.  We don’t shop those shopping districts.  Cali voted for DA’s that don’t prosecute shoplifters and made it a misdemeanor if you don’t steal at least $ 950.00 of product.  You get what you encourage. 

Now Nordstrom’s, Louie Vuitton and higher end stores in the good neighbor hoods are getting hit. The city councils will get motivated to make the police arrest people.  It is different when poor people suffer but if rich people suffer. Then some thing must be done