Not to Breezy but it did get cold! Mom bought a load of wood from me. Kittens!

November 2, 2019

The wind storm wasn’t that bad and it the winds died down quickly after the early morning blow.  I had a couple of large branches come down but nothing was damaged around the house.  It did get into the low teens some where around 10-14 degrees F, a couple of nights this week.  It was a nice little cold snap that got me motivated to fill up the porch wood rack and get both Mom’s and my own kindling boxes filled up for the week of cold weather.  I had one night of a successful “banking” of the fire and one night that I smothered the fire in ash with very few coals alive in the morning.  I know the theory of how to “bank” a fire overnight.  The practice of banking the fire, needs more practice by me.  It is early in the fire wood season so I have plenty of time to perfect my “banking” the fire overnight technique.  Plus every fire I can start from coals means I use one less fire starter.

Mom bought a load of poplar wood from me.  We loaded up the Chevy one ton dually in about an hour with Mom stacking in the truck bed and me using the garden wagon to move the wood from stack to truck.  We stacked a little more than a 1/2 cord of wood up to the top of the bed and all the way to the end of the truck bed.  This is a guesstimate based on the dimensions of the truck bed, we probably loaded about 70 sq.ft. of split fire wood, or about .55 of a cord of wood.

Mom and split the cost on a load of fire wood in June. I never felt confident that Mom got her moneys worth from that load because the wood was dumped rather than stacked in my carport.  So I tried to pick out smaller chunks/rounds of that wood  pile so Mom would not have to split that wood in order to burn it.  Now I feel confident that Mom has in the two loads of wood she has bought from me, she got a true 128 square foot cord of fire wood from me.  A bonus for me is I’m getting much better at seeing how much wood is a true cord of fire wood.  Over all I think I’ve broke about even of being “played” and a few giving a cheap price for a “cord” of fire wood.  If you are in the Treasure Valley of SW Idaho Tuckers Timbers has always given me a full cord of fire wood at the price agreed.  Heck the first year I bought wood from Tucker’s in late Oct.-Nov. the told me the was still green and asked if I wanted to buy a load of wood.  This summer Tucker’s Timbers asked if I’d take a load of fire wood early as they needed to get more room for new wood.  Well I paid for half of the load of firewood and paid off the rest the next month.  That is the best example of how customers and businesses work in a symbiotic relationship.

The Kittens have figured out how to use the doggie door to the back yard.  The kittens are exploring around the yard but they seem to prefer staying indoors during cold weather.  Tege, the dark striped kitten loves climbing the fruit trees and the more adventurous kitten.  Ash tend to stay close to Tucker the peke or myself in loose sort of definition of close.  This month the kittens will be getting “fixed” and start getting the shots they need.  It’s a little iffy that the kittens will get the rabies shot as they need to be over 6 pounds to receive the rabies shot.  The kittens are eating more of the dry cat food, more of Tucker’s wet food and less of the wet cat food.  FYI: non clumping cat litter is not the thing for a cat litter box.  I’m not sure how a company can claim that clumping cat litter has more “dust” than non-clumping cat litter.  Trust me it is much easier to scoop clumping cat litter daily into a trash bag than the non-clumping litter.  Plus I tend to dump the all the non-clumping cat litter in the trash bin.  With the clumping cat litter I only dump the poo and urine clumps in the trash.  Is this a Marketing ploy?  Hell I have sandbags, I could use that sand as cat litter and it is not dusty.

The local Pet Haven will be doing my kitty’s shots and fixing.  I dropped off 2/ 20 pound bags of kitty litter and about 16 cans of wet cat food.  My cats don’t like the pate and prefer a more meat like looking product.  It is tough as an animal lover not to help animals in the day to day lives. I think that Nampa has good plan of trapping feral cats by the community and then spay/neuter those cat and inoculate the cats and then let the community release the cats as barn/outdoor cats.   Of course it is not perfect, but it will help stop feral cats over breeding and vaccinate the feral cat population against the worst spreading of disease.  It is not a perfect solution but it is a good solution.

I don’t have a good answer to so many feral cats and dogs.  I wish many of the Humane Societies did not treat puppies as a commodity and make them more expensive to adopt.  I could see paying up to $100.00 per pup for shots, Spay/neuter but if you are charging $300.00 + for adoption of a puppy you are looking for profit,  not giving a puppy a home.


Catching up this weekend

August 24, 2019

I catching up on my weekly household clean up schedule that went to crap when I hurt my back.  I still have to get the kitchen mopped and cupboards wiped done Sunday.  Overall it feels like I’m back on my house cleaning schedule.

Using the new washer is strange because I’m washing relatively small loads in a huge tub.  I doubt I have washed a load of laundry that fills the new washer tub more than 1/3 full.  That feels odd because I was taught to do full loads of laundry so you did not waste water.  Now I cant even set the water level on the new washer!  I know there can be a lot of hate for new appliances.  Gosh I was one of haters or at least darn dubious about most of the new technology but after using the washer the last couple of weeks I do have a few good things to say about this washer.

  1. My clothes are cleaner:  I had a few color t-shirts that had grease stains that did not get pre-treated and got “set” via the dryer.  Most of those stains have disappeared.
  2. The fabrics feel softer:  I don’t use a fabric softener or dryer sheets. Using the new washer my clothing feels softer to the touch.
  3. My old dryer drys fabrics faster:  With my old washer the spin cycle was okay but was getting less efficient.  It took the dryer about 60-70 minutes to dry a full load of laundry.  With the new washer my old dryer drys the load in about 50 minutes and I’m going to a test setting the dryer at 40 minutes to see if a load of laundry is dry.

So far I’m getting a little pay back with the new washer.  Clear/ stain free clothes. I think I’m using less water but I need a couple of bills to see if the water use has changed.  Big energy impact is less drying time.  An Electric dryer is one of, if not the biggest “energy hogs” in your home.  If you cut your dryers use by 10-20 minutes each week.  That could have a significant impact  on your monthly electric costs.

I’m not sure this was the best choice going in debt for a washer. I could have used a laundry mat for a couple of months and bought an older refurb washer  for about $300.00 installed debt free.  So far I think I made the correct choice for me. I have already started paying off the debt but I’m sure I’m going to hates seeing the debt bill in the mail. I can pay off the debt in about 6 months so by next year the debt will be gone from the budget.

Debt/credit in and of itself is not evil.  If you use it wisely.  I knew my appliances were getting old and I should have set aside an emergency fund for replacing appliances.  I’m doing that now as some appliances have failed. Do you pay off the debt as quickly as possible or start saving for the “Emergency Fund”?  I don’t have the answers for that question.  All I can provide is what is working for me.

Honestly replacing a large appliance is a bit annoying and takes bit of shuffling money around but it is no hardship for me.  I bought the washer from on credit  because I found a sale and I don’t like going to a Laundromat to wash clothes.  So far I’m liking this washer!

The washer has a little problem but good news Mom is doing good after the day surgery

July 27, 2019

The washer will not pump out water!  I have it level and that was a pain because most of the top of the washer has curves.  One of the plastic adjustment/leveling legs snapped so that made the task a challenge.  I will say that Samsung was very helpful online and via the phone on troubleshooting the washer, getting the machine registered for warranty and contacting a local repair company with a good reputation to service the washer.

I’m a little disappointed that I can’t use the washer this weekend.  I understand with an “Old Model”/ new machine that these issues can happen and it is not necessarily the fault of the machine, manufacturer or the shipper, especially if they all have good reviews.  Hopefully the tech will come and fix/replace the pump and the washer will be good to go.  I did not empty all of the water out of the washer. I left about 1-2 inches of water in the tub so the tech can see what I am dealing with as the problem.  I think I will get the big shop vac ready, just in case I need to remove that last bit of water in order to work on the machine.  The 6 gallon shop vac should be able to empty the washer in 1 or 2 fill ups.

Mom is doing good after last weeks day surgery.  She is mostly out of pain for her back though she says she is being careful not to re-injure that area.

Mom is keeping up with the housework, mowing the lawn with the riding mower and keeping the weeds whacked and under control. Her church is going to do some yard work and Mom is really trying to set up the Ryobi weed wacker work for her as well as the old B&D weed wacker.  This might sound a bit sexist and I don’t mean it that way, but I think the Ryobi tools are set up for a male to use.  That is not a criticism but an observation.

Men are taller on average than women and most of their strength/ Center of Gravity is in the upper body. Women on average are shorter, have less upper  body strength and the Center of Gravity is the hips.  That makes a huge difference between how a man or woman uses a tool or how comfortable it is to use a tool.  Do I expect companies to change how they make yard tools?  Nope, because most yard work is done by men and that is a tool maker’s primary customer.  Some tools will fit women better and we need to let those manufacturers know us women appreciate those tools that we like and work well for women.  Please no more slapping a bit of pink plastic or paint on a  “Womans” tool.  Women tool users is an under served  market plus those tools that cater to smaller body frames and hands, opens up that market to young people in their teens just starting out DIYing.  Most guys go for the most powerful they can handle/ afford.  Most women want a light weight and simple tool that handles simple jobs like hanging curtain rods of building a small shelf.

Speaking only for myself and I am a “Tomboy” I always grab my little 9.6 volt drill first on any job and only get the big drill after the 9.6 volt proves inadequate. Now I’m female and I’m disabled so my strengths are not top notch, but I don’t think that is an issue.  Using a small light weight drill for a small job is smart.  Sorry for the rant as the 3rd wave feminazis just annoy me.  I was the first girl to play flag football in Idaho in 1977/1978.  I think I was the second girl to play in Little league baseball the same year.  I wasn’t striking some blow for feminism I just wanted to play the game.  I was on the team because I was as good the boys, I started because I was better than some boys.  Did I work hard or harder to get on the team?  Of course I did. Males have more muscle mass than females. I lifted weights and could leg press almost 900 pound as a 14-16 girl.  I was also a slow runner and the had the leaping ability of a safe.  I had stamina and was strong but not really talented for sports ball.

A couple things I learned about sports is all the hard work in the world would never get me to slam dunk a basketball. As my physical attributes mean I have no “hops”.  It did not matter, if I could shoot 3 pointers.  It does not matter that I’m disabled doing a job “living” .  I fail/ succeed on my own.

The wood pile is almost finished.  I have another 3 garden wagon loads of poplar to stack.  I have to finish up the “kindling” wood rack and start filling it.  I have been waiting for paraffin wax to go on sale to start making fire starters.  Some Greenies might attack me for using a renewable source for heat and using a petroleum product to create fire starters. Despite the fact I use far less paper to start my fires.

It is simple for the left.  Use a wood stove and you hate the earth and you are a Nazi/racist scum.  For gosh sake an article said White people like having dogs because they miss having slaves.  I would never speak for any other ethnic group but who does not like dogs or cats?  I don’t think love of animals is just a white thing.


Sorry long post and I’m all over the place.  I’ll try to clean it up.

Adding in new clothing items…. and I repaired a bird feeder.

February 14, 2019

I’m a firm believer in prepping/storing clothes especially underwear, socks and basic work clothing.  One Item I seldom read about storing is foot wear.  Many people talk about buying, care of good work/cold weather boots and I’m not knocking that as good foot gear makes doing out door jobs safer and more comfortable.  But what about people like me that wear sneakers most of the time or prefer a pair sturdy sandals in summer. I’m am biased about garden working foot wear as I hate Uggs or any sort of enclosed clog-like shoe.  If you like them great but (My) feet get all sweaty feeling and the clog slips around… So let me say I won’t be covering any clogs.

I have needed to replace my sneakers for awhile and I’ve been wanting to get a little higher quality shoe rather than the $25-$35 dollar special of the week.  Well today I had great luck as Fred Meyer had a 50% sale on marked down $70.00 sneakers I picked up for about $32.00 per pair.  Now I have big foot for a women so I can usually get the men’s small sneaker or the women’s large sneaker on sale as those are the leftovers.  Are Men’s feet shrinking in the USA?  I used to get a 7 size men’s shoe and now I need a 8 1/2.  I’m in my 50’s so I think my feet have stopped growing and I have not outgrown any of my old boots and shoes. I got a nice pair of light weight Asics running shoes and New Balance sort of cross training/walking shoes for about $65.00 total for both pairs.  The trick of wearing sneakers or any shoe you wear regularly is to trade off wear of the shoe daily.  That way the two pairs of shoes will last as long as if you bought 3 pairs of shoes in succession.  For example: If one pair of sneakers lasts you 3 months.  If you buy 2 pair of sneakers and wear them on alternating days those two pair of sneakers will last 9 months.  It’s the same thing for Boots but the timeline is usually a bit longer.

Sandals:  I’m not a big fan of flip-flops or light weight sandals.  I have a pair of Columbia “River Sandal”s that are in great shape after 5 years of limited wear.  I really like the thick Vibram sole and the velcro tabs for securing the sandal.  My feet don’t get as sweaty compared to clogs and it super easy to spray off the dirt gathered when gardening.

That is the footwear I use.  Yes,  I also have boots and slippers but what I’m saying is many people do most of their prepping in sneakers and don’t always need specialized foot wear. They do need to have a good fitting pair of sneakers and know how to make them last and what sort of sneaker to store for the future.

Buying/storing footwear:

  1. When you find comfortable and sturdy  footwear buy at least 2-3 pairs of what fits you and what you are doing.
  2. If you like that foot wear buy more pairs to have in your storage.
  3. Always buy the best foot wear you can afford!  An ill fitting shoe or boot can give you blisters and even affect your foot bones after a long time.
  4. Take off your shoes and walk around barefoot or in slippers when at home.  Try on shoes late in the day to see how your foot fit in the shoe
  5. Care for your footwear, leather needs oil, waterproofing and find a local guy/cobbler that can replace a heel or sole. Twenty or thirty dollars is cheap to refurbish a pair of $200.00+ boots.

I have to say that Army combat boots are one of the greatest work boots ever.  The Gore tex winter boot sucks if you have to work at doing anything.  Don’t get me wrong the Gore tex boot is great.  If you are sitting for hours in the cold.  I stayed warmer by using my galoshes over my sneakers when I had to work. When I bought the first generation Army Gortex boot.  I would often patrol, help dig a foxhole and then sit and when I sat those boots felt like an Ice block enclosing my feet.  I’m not knocking Goretex as a product.  It just is not the solution for every environment.

Don’t preppers have access to gloves? I have seen many preppers on youtube get sliced and diced by just not having a pair of good leather gloves. I’m reminded of a old story that a man says his scars means he lived life dangerously and his wife says his scars means he led his life stupidly.

Get good gloves of leather gloves.  Hell I’ve bonk my hand with my hatchet cutting kindling and it is no big deal.  If I had not used leather gloves, I’d have a deep flesh cut to deal with if not worse.  Hell I don’t even go into Homedepot  of Lowes without at least a Jersey gloves to handle the wood. You ain’t tough dealing with splinters, you are an unprepared idiot.   Also good to know Scotch tape is great at removing small wood splinters.   Just an FYI!

End of rant.

Gosh I did not cover the bird feeder repair. I used a couple of larger tongue depressors to support the repair.  I got a little bit better at using the glue gun.  It was not a big deal as I glued a couple of tongue depressors to support  the roof of the bird feeder and it worked.  I’m glad I’m getting better using the glue gun and not a complete spaz job I did at first. The roof did end up with a bit of a flare rather compared to the barn  outline. If this repair lasts the roof line on the feeder should protect the feed/seed much better than the original design.