Moving wood, cutting grape vines, baking bread and pondering…

March 29, 2022

I got started on moving my woodpile so I will have access to all of last year’s wood and have a clear space for this year’s wood delivery.  This year I’m paying to have the wood delivery people stack the wood rather than stacking it myself. Honestly they can get down in 3-4 hours what takes me 3-4 weeks and I do most of that wood stacking work in prime time gardening season.  This year I want to have access to all of the older wood that was buried in last years stack and not very accessible.  I made the mistake of just stacking wood without thinking about how to rotate and use older season first and give this year’s wood time to season.

The wood I’m moving around is a lot of poplar and I think white maple. There is a little bit of fruit wood in the mix that needs to split or cut down into more woodstove friendly sized chunks. Luckily it is not the the poplar that needs to be split as that wood has a very twisty grain.  I know some people don’t like burning poplar but if you get it cut and split it makes a fast hot fire for those mornings you want a fast hot fire just to take the chill off the house.  Poplar is not a sappy as pine so you get a more even fire without the flare ups of pine.  There are some other chunks of wood I can’t Identify but they split mostly in straight grain but they are hard to split even after a couple of years of drying.  I did a quick measurement of the first stack and guestimated how the remaining wood would stack up and I have at least 2-3 cords of this seasoned wood. That is not counting the red fir I have on hand from last year and the year before that is in the kennel wood stack.

For the couple of winters I have used about 2 cords of well seasoned Doug/Red fir to heat my my home in the winter.  With this last wood delivery I should have about 4-5 years worth of wood for an average wood heating year and at least 2 -3 years worth of wood in very cold years. I don’t want to get to cocky but I might have a enough wood stockpile to take a 1-2 years off of buying wood and put that money into getting a mini-split system for cooling the house in summer.

I have cleared out most of the old grape vine canes and debris from the green house area. I’m keeping the grape vines but it is amazing how much space the old grapevine canes and leaf debris took up in the yard.  It will be interesting to see how the grapes produce this year after the clean up.

I’m about 50% done with the grape vine cleanup.  The next section will be the 3 sisters garden area. While this area looks gnarly right now I have done some cleanup of the vines for the last couple of years.  The canes are smaller, less over grown and there is not as much leaf debris in this area.  A big job but I’m hopping I can finish it up by the end of April when I need to start direct sowing the corn for the beds.

I baked some more artisan bread.  Super easy bread to make and I think I might add baking/freezing bread into my Spring time preps.  You don’t want to heat up your home in summer baking bread if given a choice.  In Spring time the heat of the oven is okay and bread is easy to freeze and good for several months. Now is the time to learn to bake bread if you have not already started.  Wheat harvests are not looking good and store bought pastry and bread prices are jumping up.  I shop the bulk store prices of wheat flour and 50 pounds of flour have doubled in price from last fall. From about $12.50 for 50 pounds of flour to $25.00 for 50 pounds of flour.  That price hike will will hit your grocery store soon. I’m guessing within the next month.

Cooking oils are jumping price even lard has gone up in price because of raising costs.  Eggs in my area have jumped 40 cents for a dozen of eggs because of the Avian Flu hitting the Eastern section of the USA and the culling of flocks.  The west has safe eggs chicken and eggs so far but this what you get in a global economy.  Corporations compete globally and you have to compete globally on food prices.  I would recommend that if you serve turkey for the holidays you get that bird now if the price is under $2.00 per pound.  I don’t think we will see low prices for turkeys this fall even as a loss leader.

Last but not least you need to stop and think about how you prep and react to what is happening and what you need to to do going forward. Take a time out and think about what you will do now and don’t go blasting off in a panic. If you feel a bit of panic that is normal, but it may not be helpful to you.

You have to start!  What ever you must start and not care about failure because you will have failures.  Be it baking bread or growing a garden or woodworking or whatever skill you want to learn.  Failure teaches much more than success.  So go out and be bold and embrace the fail!  Learn from other peoples mistakes.  I thought I was so smart not spending money on a Food saver vacuum sealer and I had several pound of unusable meat. Live and learn!

It is okay to have a bit of ice cream, go out for burgers and cook a microwave meal.  You won’t get kicked out of the preppers club.


Added another plant starting spot in the house

March 26, 2022

The computer room shelf got a heat mat, Full spectrum light and a reused Jiffy box seed starter. I want to add more seed starts to share with Mom and the neighbors. While it takes a bit of time and effort to start seeds you can save a lot of money compared to buying plants at the local mega-mart or nursery. Don’t get me wrong, A tomato plant can produce several pounds of tomatoes and are a much better product compared to the average tomato sold in a store. My investment in planting boxes heat pads and LED plant lights have improved my seed starts and is starting to pay off getting plants a good start. I set up a couple of plants to see how starts do in an enclosed box and open pots. The pots need a little more water but having the pots under the lights and on the heating mats I had good plant starts.

The cost of heating mats is about $20.00-30.00 depending on size. Most mats will fit a Jiffy 72 cell seed starting box. LED lights can cost from $17.00-$100.00 but I have good luck using the the $30.00 and under full spectrum lamps. Jiffy boxes for starting seedling is fine and you should get at least 2-3 years of use of those boxes. Like anything higher quality seedling start cells will cost more money but you get more years of use. I don’t care for the small 72 cell planting cells as I can’t get the plant out without damaging the cell and the plant. This year I’m using recycled plant pots from starters I got at the local mega marts saved from the last few years.

I have noticed my shop blocks a lot of early morning sun that will affect my green house placement. So I need to move one of my raised beds to get enough room for the green house and have room to work around the greenhouse. One mistake I made with my first garden was not look at how I would physically work around and with the garden. 18 inches between raised beds works for my garden cart and gives me enough physical room to work cutting, pruning and weeding. Your future self will thank you leaving enough space for wagons, trash bins or a wheelbarrow between beds.

A little more cleanup and organizing in the shop. The 5 gallon bins are mostly successful for storing my battery powered tools. I can make bins for each tool and then add all the accessories and and attachments that correspond to the tool and place it in the bin. I have had many tools that need a specific tool that is required to attach/fix a tool and after you unbox and use the tool the thing you need is lost somewhere in the “shop”. It is not perfect but I have a box for each tool and as I find the attachments for that tool I add it to that tool “box”. It is stressful to me when I know I have bought something and then I can’t find it to use. I know I have it but I just can’t find it! My hope is to get all relevant accessories in individual boxes. It is like “prep porn” of people that have everything labeled and organized so there is no rummaging around or physically rotating stored items as the system does that organically.

You can’t control what is happening, all you can control is yourself. Some of you are learning baby steps and others are much better at preps than me. I like to think I’m an okay prepper but I don’t know everything.

Ask yourself if things go “sideways” do you have food you can cook and eat? Can you provide back up electricity if a brown/blackout happens? Do you have fuel to cook or bake if an electrical outage happens. Do you have water on hand if the city water lines stop working? Do you have enough flour and yeast on hand to bake bread for 3-12 months? Do you have meat stored and seeds for veggies. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to eat bugs nor live in a pod.

Food production is kicking up a notch.

March 19, 2022

I got some more of the the tomato and pepper plants started indoors this week. It’s about 7 weeks out from the last frost date in May and some of the pepper and tomatoes are already sprouting up from last weeks planting.  It is almost magical to see those little sprouts come up and know you made a place for that seed to grow.  I had a small broccoli seed start disaster when a bunch of seeds fell into the planting pot.  Those seeds all sprouted and the small pot looked like I was starting sod for lawn.  😉   I moved some of the sprouts to some other pots but I don’t think those plants will do very well.  But it cost nothing to try and salvage some of those starts to give to other people for their gardens.

I started some of my seeds for Mom and my neighbors.  Mom just does not have the indoor space for starting plants in her small home. My neighbors are interest in trying a few varieties of plants like the no heat jalapeno pepper,  mini bell pepper and some of the mini plants that can add some fresh veggies but can grow in pots and don’t need a full garden to grow.  The mini plants don’t have any veggies go bad in the fridge because they don’t need that much to cook up a meal for 2 people.  These are folks that hate wasting any sort of food and the mini-plants provide fresh veggies for cooking small meals without waste.

I want to have mini veggies year round but I also want to preserve veggies long term and have time to garden,  harvest, clean and the space to store preserve veggies.  These folks don’t have time so mini veggie plants are a great compromise.

The mini-garden plants got started in some larger pots that are much larger than the plants started for the raised garden beds.  I would like to have some mini garden plants that I can keep growing for fresh veggies year round.  I have the mini bell peppers, 2 types of baby bok choy, a small lettuce that looks like a small romaine head, 2 types of gold cherry tomatoes Idagold and Orange high hat and a mini egg plant that are about size of eggs when fully grown.   I’m not sure how big all of the plants will get on these mini vegetables but I figure I’ll start the plants in pots and if they grow too large I can add them to the raised garden beds or transplant them into larger pots after the growing season if they don’t get to large for the indoor garden space.

I got more of the back yard cleanup done. You know your grape vines are over grown when you have to use a chainsaw to cut up some of the dead vines.  It did not look like I made a lot of progress on the grape vines but I cut out a lot of really old dead stuff.  Cutting up the grape vines should start getting easier in the future as the next section is mostly just overgrown small grape vines.  I cut out a small volunteer tree close to the foundation and the old A/C box and sprayed the stomp with some full strength vinegar that I hope will kill out that tree. This is the area I’ll be doing the 3 sisters garden beds and I need to do a lot more cleanup to get this area ready for planting.  I still have time to get this area cleaned up and ready before I direct seed this area.

I was able to move my little “kitchen garden cart ” raised bed but adding a couple of wheels will make moving this cart much easier.  You can’t really call it a garden cart if it does not have wheels.  I have ordered an axel/bar so I can wheels and make the bed easy to move.  I’m adding another lamp, heat pad and box for starting plants indoors that should arrive by the end of March.  That will give me six weeks for starting more plants for the expanded raised bed gardens.

For starting plants indoors the plant heating pads and full spectrum have made a huge difference in my plant starts. I think investing in those items will improve your gardening as my plant starts did not do well relying on sunlight throw the window or lack of heat warming the soil of the seed starting pots.  Most of these are not expensive if you get them over time.  I would suggest you get the heat mats first and then add the lighting after if you are on a budget.  Plan for $30.00 per heat mat and lighting each but you don’t need to add everything at once.  Enclosed Jiffy boxes work great for starting plants and they cost under $10.00.  You have time to try things out and find what works for you.  I can’t manipulate the seedlings out of those small 72 cell stating plant cells.  If you can use those plant cells good for you!

Food production at a local level is going to be a critical thing this year.  You have to start even if it just a planter full of herbs or growing sprouts in the kitchen.  You have to start planting and learning as it is not always easy to grow stuff because Mama nature gets a vote and she is not always nice to your plans.  Every dollar you don’t spend at the local mega-mart stays in your pocket.  Only a few seeds of  a lot lettuce heads for  $2.00 for a packet that is less heads of lettuce you buy at Wal-mart at $2.00 per head.  What is the cost of herbs in a store compared to the cost of a packet of seed, and herbs are very easy to grow in pots.

Few of us can grow everything we will need.  You can’t grow coffee in a garden in Idaho, but you can grow a lot of stuff for minimal input of cash and buy/stockup on those imported things like coffee that you can’t buy locally.

Garage/Shop cleanup today

March 15, 2022

I started the cleanup in Mom’s storage area in my shop.  Mom has about 2 pallets worth of items now instead of a terrible mess of boxes and other items stored in an area that took up at least an extra 32  sq.ft of  disorganized jumble.  Now we can reach every thing and know what Mom has stored in the shop!

Found some great items to move Mom’s house for prep. Some camping stuff that includes one of those potty lids that fit on a 5 gallon jug.  This could be used short term as a potty for camping or long term as part of a composting toilet system if the sewer system goes out.  We now have easy access to three 15 gallon water barrels and I thing a rolling water container that Mom got at a yard sale for $7.00.  I think if a tank is colored blue that it is for potable water and if it is black it is a Black/grey water tank.  You could use the tank as you wish but you don’t want to switch back and forth between hauling water or poo!

Mom has plenty of charcoal for out door cooking, an extra tank of propane and a couple of extra empty gas cans for testing out the “fuel filter funnel” from some older gas cans.  There were several cans of kerosene that were half empty and I’m guessing the Kerosene evaporated from those cans.  There were a couple of clear jugs of kerosene and the color of that fuel was still clear so I think that fuel is still okay to use.  I don’t think kerosene goes bad quickly like gasoline.

I did not stop at cleaning and organizing Mom’s stuff.  I started on my stuff and the first job was breaking down some old particle board lockers that had rotted out and were worse than useless. I did find buckets that I forgot I had on hand in one of the lockers, so I can give Mom a couple of 5 gallon buckets for her porta-potty and still have plenty of buckets for myself.

I broke down the lockers after saving some of door hinge hardware. It’s amazing how quickly a 6 pound maul can break down some item that is already starting to rot. These lockers were all particle board and 20 years old so I got my money’s worth of use but now it is time to send them to the dump.  I replaced the wood lockers with two plastic storage shelves and I am starting to get items stored and cleaning up and getting usable floor space.  I bought twenty 5 gallon square shop storage containers to start organizing tools, parts and garden products in the shop. One of the things I hate is when a place becomes a “catch-all” and things are set down because there is room but you have know idea where you set something because you have no designated place for that item!  I hate hunting for something I know I have but I can’t find it.

So far cleaning the shop I have filled four 42 gallon construction grade bags of trash not counting filling a large 65 gallon trash container full of cardboard boxes to be recycled. Lucky for me the city has a Spring cleanup week at the end of April.  The trash guys will pick up extra items for free and haul it to the dump for free as long as I give them a heads up on the amount of trash at my place.  I think I might have 1-2 more bags worth of trash in the shop.  I don’t fill  the Trash bags full because I don’t want the bags to break if tossed into the truck.

I have a lot more yard and garden clean up get done and construction grade bags contain grape and rose vines much better than thin regular trash bags.   I don’t want to piss off my garbage guys especially when the haul away trash on a “free” Spring cleaning week.  While cleanliness might not be next to Godliness in the dictionary. Having a free week of trash removal might be close overall.

I have at least a couple more days of work to finish cleaning up the shop. I think the guy that owned the shop before me loved nails for tool storage as he pounded pounds of nails into wall 2x4s and never installed a peg board.  Any woman that worked in a kitchen would have told him setting a work table at 36 inches was a bad idea especially if you want to work with table top tools like a grinder, table saw etc.

I hate pulling nails especially a lot of them that are driven into boards higgledy-piggledy.  I’m sure it made sense to him at the time, but it is making my life a small taste of hell.  I think the fella that owned the house before me was a DIY’er but not a very good one.  He quite often stepped over a dollar to pick up a dime.  I’m not a great DIY’er. I don’t know anything I am learning as I go but even I know something are just wrong looking at them.  I may not know how to fix some things but I can start pulling all those nails he nailed randomly in the shop 2x4s.  There are no walls, or insulation and the idiot did not drill a hole for wire.  Perhaps he was afraid he’d hit a nail.  😉

I want space to work in my shop.  Store a few materials have a few tools setup to be useable. Know what I have on hand and its location .I’m not there yet but I have made a lot of progress.

You can’t control what other people do in life.  Vermin, bugs don’t care about your property lines. It’s Spring cleaning time so get started on those organizing jobs around the house.  It will suck if you have freezer burnt food but now is the time to get rid of the bad and replace it with the good and stop storing stuff in the freezer that gets burnt.  Get a Food saver and extra bags and start saving food that will last.  I doubled wrapped meat and it got burned.  I have pulled a food saver bag of steaks that was 2years old and it tasted fresh after grilling.  Invest in a vacuumed pack system of some sort if you are freezing meat fruits or vegetables.  I made the mistake of of double wrapping using saran wrap and food grade freezer bags being good enough for storing meat long term.  Double wrap freezer/butcher paper seems to hold up fore at least 8 months.

I don’t think it is time to panic buy to build up your preps. I think it is great time to assess your preps and find your weak points and correct those points.  You won’t get cheap prices but if you will get cheaper prices and be ahead of the mob trying to catch up.

Higher prices are bad but imagine there is nothing to buy at any price.  It could be global shortages or government price fixing that always leads to shortages. Back in the 70’s we had odd/even days you could buy gas based on the last digit of your lic. plate. While I hate high prices. Government price fixing/ controls always lead to shortages.  I can choose to pay a high price for something but with price fixing there always shortages.  If you were a business and you got hit by the government by a fixed price and it was below your cost of providing the product.  Why would you provide a product with at no profit margin or you are mandated to sell at a loss?

I think Biden is an idiot and think we will see price fixing by govt. mandate.  I didn’t work under Nixon in the 70’s But the Politicians are looking for some sort of Win to placate the public.  Then will come the shortages and nothing available at any price.

I bought gasoline today YIKES!

March 11, 2022

I have been rotating the fuel I bought last fall so the Kia only needed about 5 gallons worth of fuel.  Refilling those cans with fuel is what really hurt. I paid $71.00 for about 15 gallons of fuel, but I buy ethanol free gas and that is $4.69 per gallon.  I think REAL gas is worth the extra cost for my car and for gas storage.

Ethanol gas is awful for absorbing water if it is stored for any length of time.  Buying real gas for storage and using a product like Sta-bil will give you more safe storage time for your fuel.  I picked up a fuel filter funnel that is supposed to clean your fuel and remove water. It’s called Mr. Funnel and it is washable/reusable and cost about $14.00 at the local auto part store.  I’m going to try out the funnel with some older gas and see how well it cleans up old gas.  I hop it works but if not the local trash guys are having a Spring clean up and I can dispose of any bad gas for minimal cost.

I don’t think fuel prices will drop in the next few months.  I really expect all sort of energy costs to keep rising. A generator can be a temp. solution and help with brown and blackouts.  I’m not against using solar energy to augment your electric usage. Having Grills/BBQ’er and charcoal to cook on that keeps heat build up low in your home in summer time will help with cooling costs.  Fuel/energy won’t be cheap but the more energy production you control the better off you will be.

Stocking up on clothing and outerwear is a prep area that does not get a lot of attention.  Your clothing is really your first layer of protection from the elements and there are still some good buys/sales that you can stock up on. This area has been hit hard by the supply chain crisis and I believe it will get worse with inflation, so start restocking basic clothing items.  I just bought Fruit of Loom cotton t-shirts 3 for $5.00 at Bi-mart.  Honestly the t-shirt fabric is the best feeling fabric quality I have seen in years.  I added eight of these shirts not because I needed them but because they were a great buy and I will use them in the future. Clothing does not spoil so invest in good quality and take advantage of sales.

We are entering a very strange economic time with inflation of basic goods, Stagflation with wages and changes of how people see cost vs. value.  Don’t think going into debt via credit card is a good choice as most of those cards have a floating rate that go up in bad times. It does no good to buy some thing on sale on credit if interest costs negate what you saved on sale.

Cash will be king at least in the early days/weeks of any sort of crash.  Yes it is dumb but most people think cash has intrinsic value and is not just bits of paper.  Trade those bits of paper for stuff you need for survival long term.  That is all cash is is just bits of paper.

Take a moment and imagine how you would pay your bills, shop for groceries, buy gas if your bank account was frozen by the government?  Do you have enough cash on hand to pay for a month’s worth of bills? Could you pay that bill locally or have cash for a money order to mail to cover that bill?  The bills don’t stop if your account is frozen and your debit card does not work.  Barter might work for local goods but I doubt your bank is interested in bartering goods for your house payment or the local utility for water or electrical service.

It is early days of things starting to go side ways.  Keep working your plan but know you can be cut off at any moment from your Government approved economic life.

Starting plants indoors and Staying ahead of inflation.

March 7, 2022

The last frost date here is May 8-10 so we are now 8 weeks out from that date.  This is the time to start those plants indoors if you want to get a jump on the growing season.  I held myself back a bit on starting plants because last year I had plants I started die off in wonky spring weather and then in very hot summer weather.  I was surprised by getting some plants that grew into fall after I kind of gave up on the garden because of the Summer heat die off.

I got some great plant starting boxes via Home depot last year for $30.00-$55.00 depending on the size. I added two full spectrum clip on lights for about $20.00 each and some plant heat beds for about $30.00.  I set this all up on a  small kitchen table.  Yes $100.00 seems costly compared to the little Jiffy plant boxes but my plants did much better having  higher quality boxes, the heat pads and lighting.  My starter plants grew thick stems and not those stringy stems I dealt with in prior years.

I’m trying a couple of different ways of growing plants.  I’m trying out a lot of mini plants for smaller planting boxes and pots.  Plants that grow in small spaces, salad leaf mixes, small tomato plants, egg plants and plants that can grow vertically.  I’m starting a large bed that is more traditional  using mounds or soil for 3 sisters and growing melons that are not in raised beds.  I am keeping most of my raised beds and adding more to my back yard.  I want to add some variety and I think the 3 sisters mounds will work better in my yard if they are not confined in raised beds.

I got some more of the old grape vines cleaned out this week.  The folks that pick up the trash are getting more stringent about how much trash you can put in trash cans and are charging more if you have more trash.  Hard to blame them with fuel  and employee costs going up. I don’t blame companies for raising costs because of inflation.  I blame the government for creating inflation.

I have added a lot more tools like shade cloths for hot summers.  More frost cloth to protect the [plants from heat cold and bugs and gone to a better quality soaker hose for the beds to make the most of my irrigation.  My water barrels are filling up though we have not got a lot of rain/snow the last 4 weeks.  Of my 3 water barrels 2 of the barrels are about 1/2 full and one barrel is about 3/4 full.   A good result considering that my gutters use chains in place of down spouts and the low rainfall amounts we have had since I set up the barrels.  I have a few smaller quick set up rain containers that are not barrels but I can add if my rain barrels get full.  Not perfect but more stored (free) water is always a good thing.  If you want to buy some shade clothe or frost fabric at a good price I recommend Agfabric for good costs and shipping.

Staying ahead of inflation creates more inflation as you trade inflating dollars for products you need to live and you have to buy as quickly as possible.  Inflation and Hyper inflation events are created via Fiat currencies that have no asset backing that currency.  Gold just hit $2000.00 per ounce if the US dollar was back by gold it would be a strong currency and would not be inflating.  Since no currency in the world is not backed by gold or silver all currencies are inflating in the “West”  or losing buying power in 3rd world nations.  Food prices are skyrocketing in the 3rd world similar to the 2011-2013 Arab spring.  We in the USA were affected by those food prices as Costco and other stores put limits on buying rice, corn meal and flour.

We live in a global economy. Love it or hate it you will compete with everyone in the world to buy the stuff you want and need. A local restaurant supply store is now selling 50 pounds unbleached white flour for $25.00. That is .50 cents per pound for flour if you buy in bulk.  A loaf of bread costs $3.00-$5.00 depending on your location.  You all know gas prices are $4.00 + per gallon and only going up.

Don’t try to buy everything but buy any thing that gives you the most bang for your dollar spent.  Seeds for gardening.  I can’t grow enough garden to feed myself for year , but I can grow a garden that will feed myself for some of the year.  A wood stove and wood so you control the heat in your home.  You could choose propane for heating and cooking.  I think small scale solar for residential area has a lot of potential.  Industrialized Solar/wind energy is not ready to be a player.  Nothing wrong buying a small 15 watt solar panel that can charge your phone, kindle/tablet or a laptop. If you want a heat a buddy type heater and couple of propane tanks can keep you warm and you can cook on a cheap propane stove.  Buy a Mr. buddy heater, an adapter for a 15-20 pound propane tank and a couple of of propane tanks and you will have at least a couple of weeks of heat in cold weather if you don’t run the heater at night for about $200.00.

Even with the current inflation you can still take steps to mitigate your cost of inflation.  If flour costs 50 cents per pound and assume all ingredient and energy to bake bread cost another dollar per loaf.  You make one a loaf of bread that costs you $1.50 and the same loaf cost $4-5.00 a loaf in stores.  Most of time needed for baking bread require no effort on your part as the bread rises without any input from you.

Life looks a bit rugged right now.  It is not all bad news and there are ways you can help yourself and others to mitigate problem.  Take time to assess your needs and focus on your priorities.  Go back and read my post around 2011-2012dwhen I was blasting off in every direction and had no focus other than trying to get everything at once.  You don’t want to do that in your preps.

I think prepping is a way of life and there is more for me to learn.  I can’t say what will happen in the future but how much time do you have to prep is the “rest of your life” however long that may be.

It’s warming up and I’m not just talking about the weather!

March 4, 2022

First thing first. Ash the cat got his checkup, shots and has a bacterial infection in the ears that we got medicine to correct.  The vet agreed with me that it was probably a urinary issue but Ash seems to be recovering from that problem. I will keep an eye out for any reoccurrence of the symptoms and get Ash tested if the issue happens again.   Ash did have mites but got a broad spectrum treatment for mites, fleas and all those other little critters pets can pick up.  Tege the cat got the same treatment for mites/fleas as the mites can spread between animals.  Tege is going in for all his shots and a general checkup though he has not been ill.  I also used some ear cleaner on Tege just to clean up his ears a week before the vet visit so the vet can get a good look in his ears.  That will get the cats all up to date for preventive care in case things get even more crazy in the future.

I will schedule Boomer the dog for his annual shot and check up in April or May. He is doing good over all other than his nails grow like crazy.  I cut his nails once but I drew blood and made a mess of it in general.  Last week I cut his nails again after reading up how to use the nail clippers properly. I trimmed the hair around the nails first and trimmed just a little bit off most nail except one nail that was get close to curving into the pad and I took off a bit more of that nail.  The nail cutting went great, no blood was spilled and Boomer got a peanut butter as a treat. Early days for the nail trimming but it is looking positive for the future.

A couple of  cloudy days of 60+ degrees F. and back down to 50 degrees for a high but after 0 degrees F. 50 degrees is almost t-shirt weather for working.  The barometer is bouncing up and down and my broken bones and joints are a bit painful.  Mama nature I have a request if you are going to tease rainy weather and set off my arthritis, please send some rain to help with the drought.  The warmer weather has lowered my firewood usage.  I can start a small fire in the AM and another in the evening that keeps the house warm all day.  I think Spring and Fall show that a quick burning fire/fire wood is a good addition to anyone’s wood pile.

I have set up my wood delivery of 3 cords of Red fir for the end of April. I’m paying to have the wood stacked at delivery for a nominal cost.  It takes me 2-4 weeks to stack 3 cords of wood with my disability.  The folks that deliver my fire wood can stack that wood it in 2-3 hours and they do a good job stacking the wood so it dries and seasons properly.  I have six weeks to re-stack the old wood for easy access and make space for the wood delivery. I’ll move the old wood and those young kids will have a place for this year’s firewood delivery that will be easy for me to access.

I’m ordering another 1/4 beef but the place I order beef gives me a mix of cuts that are not literally from the front quarter of a cow.  I can get Rib eyes, steaks, roasts as the 1/4 of a cow is really a mix of the whole cow when butchered.  That is not how all farm to fork or all butchers work.  Make sure you know what sort of beef cuts you will get before you order a big chunk of cow!  Prices are going up and it is not the local suppliers fault because inflation.  I recommend you lock in a price via deposit as early as possible and have a good relationship with your supplier and the won’t increase price on delivery and leave you with a “take it or I’ll leave” delivery.

The last winter saw many wood burning stoves manufacturers ran out of all stoves because of demand in cold weather in 2021. I doubt many people thought about stacking wood for those wood stoves at the time.  Not everyone is an idiot and many people will want that wood stove/fireplace installed and they know the need firewood for that stove. Order your wood as soon as you can afford it and lock in the price ASAP.  I suspect some people ordered fire wood stoves and firewood with short term thinking wanting immediate results. Perhaps they have put themselves in a bind financially.  There is nothing wrong with getting a discount buying from folks that got overextended and want to recoup what they see as a loss.  Paying cash to someone who thinks the made a mistake is not a bad thing.  I may think they are idiots for selling stuff like wood stoves, generators, water collection barrels, water pumps or whatever.  I’m not twisting anyone’s arm to sell stuff.

I may think people are wrong selling off stuff, but paying cash money to them helps yourself and gives them cash to buy what they want.  I may think what they want  it is silly but it is their money.

I’ve been a prepper since 2008 and I have heard and read many people call me silly and worse words for prepping.  The thing that really boggles my mind is how my prepping affects anyone else in the world but me?

If I buy 50 pounds of flour to make bread for myself for a year how does that affect anyone.  Is buying 5/  10 pound bags of flour any different?  If I buy yeast by the pound is that different than people that buy yeast in small packets?  Any one can go to the same stores I go to shop.

I’m so tired of the “equity” people. There whole “gig” is why aren’t you as miserable as I am and give me stuff. I’m a disable vet and on a limited income, but I don’t get food stamps, energy assistance and pay my mortgage and all my bills without government assistance.  A significant portion of people that think what I have prepared is impossible on my budget of under 20 grand a year.  It is possible if you have time.  I started a decade ago but you never know what little bit of wood, fuel for vehicle, propane for your grill or a heater or the stockpile will save you.  It is all one day at a time in a survival situation.

I suppose if you want to lose weight and make life difficult for yourself that is a thing.  I have been miserable and I have never found that being miserable is a thing to practice.  Being miserable always comes in hard times.