Shopping opportunities in sales and I’m getting a little tired of the BS in the USA

June 5, 2020

Both my local Fred Meyer and Albertsons have a Buy 5 items get a lower price. I’m not sure it is all stores but in my area you can mix and match all items that are on buy a mix of any five items and get the lower price.  I have been restocking my coffee but it is on that 5 for a good sale price along with peanuts, cheese, butter, milk, marinades etc.  As you can imagine you can easily shop those items mix and match some thing like a can of coffee, peanuts, marinades, cheese, a pound of butter and not spend a lot of money.  You can get one or more of these items and you can make a more flavorful meal, have a snack bowl of nuts and that is me just doing a quick look at the local ad on the internet.  If your stockpile is a little low on an item you can buy  a couple of those items and still buy other items that get you the discount.

For example: I bought coffee just to get stocked up but I didn’t buy the coffee I preferred. Now I can add a couple of cans of coffee I like as long as I buy some item on the FAB 5 sale.

  • I love snacking on peanuts and I’m trying to build up my “snacking preps” stockpile. I can add 2 jars of peanuts.
  • My butter reserves in the freezer got used and needs to be resupplied.  So add 2-3 pounds of butter.
  • June is “Dairy month” and all sorts of cheeses are on sale.  I don’t care what any one says a grilled cheese sandwich, tuna melt or Quesadillas is an awesome quick snack or part of a good meal.
  • Marinades and salad dressings be flavor multi-taskers.  Almost every cheap cut of meat can benefit from marinade. You can make a good meal/different meal giving chicken an Italian dressing marinade or a London Broil cut of beef a marinade in French dressing and I don’t like French dressing on a salad!  Lots of people seem to like bleu cheese with beef. You could make a a meatloaf but rather than adding ketchup or tomato sauce add bleu cheese salad dressing.  It is up to you and don’t be afraid to experiment.
  • You must have the ingredients on hand before you experiment.  If some of your meals fail and that will probably happen to you. Now is the time to learn when food is plentiful and supply chains are working.  Experimenting on marinades on a dollar a pound chicken or even a 2 dollar pound pork chop is different to experimenting on a 7-10 dollar a pound rib eye steak.

Onto the Whuflu. I still believe good masking up and sanitation protocols should be every ones default in a pandemic situation.  I don’t think I over reacted for myself, but I never claimed shutting down small businesses was a good response. I started wearing a mask around the 2nd week of March because I have an immuno disease and had pneumonia in the past. I was protecting myself and had no affect on other people.  Today I walked into a bank and they asked me not to use a mask in the lobby.  I was surprised to say the least and all of the banks focus was about security.  It is their business and the can set the rules for what is acceptable risk for themselves.

I was an early adopter of wearing a mask about mid March and I was looked at as crazy. I don’t wear mask for status points. I wear a mask because I’m immune compromised.  You all should be able to get back to work, back to making money on your businesses. I wear a mask because I’m protecting myself! I didn’t mind shutting down the school system because I think schools are indoctrination stations.  Wear a mask, don’t wear mask I don’t care. I wear a mask because I think it will protect myself.  You wearing a mask is irrelevant to me.  No, I’m not going to shame you if you don’t wear a mask.  You do you and you are the one taking the risk not me. That is freedom and it is messy sometimes.  If I’m wrong the Wuflu simply becomes another flu/common cold strain and I’m good with that out come.I have not taken a vaccine of any sort  since I have had CIDP and I had one very unpleasant cold/flu that put me in bed for about 2-3 days.  It might just have been a nasty cold or the flu.  Drink liquids, control the fever and wait it out.  Most people can give better in home care than most hospitals.  If you can’t consume fluids or you get a massive spike in temp go see an emergency room.

Antifa are terrible medics as a small cut on the leg was treated like some one bleeding out,  It is bizarre to to see a strap tourniquet to wound that needed only a little direct pressure to stop the bleeding.  A little saline solution to clean and a bit of gauze would be all the wound needed.  The idiot kid thought he might lose his leg.   That sort of thinking is cruel to that person.  While I can understand that mocking that person. They truly think that little booboo is equivalent to losing a leg in combat.  Nope I bleed more doing garden work around my house.  I was a combat medic in the US army and I’d handed you a gauze pad and told you to hold it place until the bleeding stopped and then report back to your company.

I’ve gone off on a tangent. So I will end it here.

 


Things are getting crazier!!!

June 1, 2020

It has been almost two weeks since I posted and I apologize for slacking off.  While it may sound strange I’ve been examining myself about my reactions to the WuFLU, how the government reactions have played out and now we have riots in many cities all over the USA.

Some impressions about how the front yard is doing since the big tree has been gone:

  1. Every plant is putting on a lot of growth with the additional sunlight, that includes the weeds!  My strawberry garlic and flowers have benefited from more sunlight.
  2. SW Idaho had a couple of 95+ degree days the new windows, fans and blinds kept the house around 75 degrees.  Overall I don’t think losing the big tree will affect my homes’s internal temp. but it will have a huge affect on the plants in the front yard.
  3. I’m still brainstorming ideas of how to use the area/section of yard but I have not committed to any particular idea other than adding a sitting area of some sort around the the tree stump.

Mom and I had the first steaks grilled on the patio over Memorial day weekend.  I wanted to clean up and rearrange the patio area as it was looking a bit shabby.  I used one of the pressure water wands  on the vinyl siding to clean off a years worth of dust, dirt and cobwebs.  The siding still needs a little scrubbing to get it clean, but just using the pressure wand on the garden hose really made that part of the siding look much better and was much less work than dealing with the wood siding!

I have a “vision” of my patio to be an outdoor kitchen as well as sanctuary to sit and just enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning or a beer/glass of wine in the summer evenings.  I  did a lot of clean up of weeds around the back yard walkways.  I mowed the lawn and the grass is doing very well except directly under the apple tree.  I trimmed a few branches to let more sunlight hit the problem areas.  I know that Spring time is not the optimal time to plant grass seed but using the compost/steer manure mix to augment the soil and cover the grass seed has not only helped the grass fill in the lawn but it seems to keep many weeds from taking root.  I cleaned up many thistle, weeds and dandelions in my backyard but in the lawn area there is only one dandelion plant.

I had one lawn spot that got infested with a mint.  While I knew mint could invade a spot I did not anticipate how woody the stems got close the the ground or how tough it was to dig up the roots.  I doubt I got all the mint roots in this area but I laid down some small pebble/sand mix to give my cats a place to dig/scratch and do all those cat things in a place that is away from my garden beds. While it is early days into this test the cats seem to love having this area to scratch, lounge, play and so far no pooping.  I set out an old cat litter box beside the patio to encourage the kitties to practice better sanitation.  Results are positive so far, so I will make more little digging areas  around the yard that are pet friendly.  I am using materials that make it easy to scoop up the poo and it might help keep mice out of the house if they smell predator poo around the house perimeter.  I don’t think you can stop animals from following their instincts but you can make places that are easier or more difficult to follow those instincts.  Laziness is a survival tool because the animal expends less calories by being lazy.  I’m not sure why cutting down that mint seem to open up that section of the patio but the kittens love it and it is a “hoot” to watch the kittens pounce, lounge and generally enjoy this new area of the backyard.

Onto the riots:

  1. I think these riots/protest are being organised to take advantage of the USA. I don’t think it is a conspiracy per se, but tapping into people’s frustration and anger as an opportunity to create chaos.
  2. We recently had an SJW mayor elected in Boise and she got slammed about some of her “Studies/suggestions”.  A local person was contacted by Black Lives Matter about organizing a protest and then BLM dropped coming to Boise.  There was a small multi-racial protest about police brutality on the state house steps. Idaho is a Constitutional carry state! That means if you can legally purchase a gun you can carry it openly or concealed legally any where in public.  I doubt BLM wood want a bunch of private citizens legally stopping riots and looting simply by protecting themselves and property.
  3. Red/conservative states are opening up economically and the Blue/progressive states want to maintain the lockdowns for some reason.  It’s not like any governments care about people dying unless it looks bad to the politicians.  Let conservatives/libertarians/republicans get back to work!  If the virus is so bad those people will get sick/die first!

I don’t know about this virus and if it safe to go back to normal interactions.  I think it is probably safe but I can’t say for certain.  I’m in a “vulnerable group” of having a immune disorder so I wear a mask because I’m at risk.  I wore a mask when the WHO/CDC called me bad names and locals looked at me as a “weirdo” back in March. I wear a mask shopping then and now because I think it is the best thing for me and my health.  Wearing a mask was never a political statement or to be trendy and if I think wearing a mask is dumb or unhealthy,  I’ll stop wearing a mask.

I was a shut down International travel, close the borders, protect the seniors and wear a mask for 2-4 weeks and perhaps close schools over Spring break up to a month.  I was never a shut down all small businesses or hospitals/clinics/dentists type of person.

I hope people will learn after seeing stuff either first hand or on the internet/tv media will learn the the lessons of self reliance and the government won’t protect them. Perhaps kids that want to learn will thrive intellectually being home schooled.


Plants in the garden beds

May 16, 2020

I started seeds indoors but many of the seeds were old and the sprouting took longer than I thought this spring.  I added in a plant light but I need to add a warming pad to help accelerate the seeds sprouting.  Now the room I started the plants was cool and it took longer for the seeds to sprout than I anticipated but when they started sprouting it was very thrilling.   I bought a few plants locally just in case my plant starts were a “bust”. Welp,  my plant starts are still small but the bought plants are in the raised bed right now and I can start a “succession” planting of the raised beds.   While I have planted the store bought plants in the raised beds. I have also sown seeds for some plants and I have my small starter plants.. I hope to keep planting either plant starts and seeds through out this summer to maximize garden production.  There is something that is so satisfying about growing a plant and seeing that plant grow.

I know Spring is not the best time to grow lawn grass but my back yard lawn patch is doing very good this spring. After scratching up the soil, adding the grass seed and covering the grass seed/lawn in a thin layer of compost plus adding in daily watering. The grass is growing and the older grass is starting to spread out and fill in the lawn area.  This area will never be golf course quality but my pets love the area and the lawn helps cool the the backyard.  Once the grass is established it will be drought resistant.  Early days yet for backyard lawn/garden but overall things are going better than I expected.

I have been asking folks to prepare for hard times.  I faced losing my house because I became disabled and had no income for several months and not being able to pay your bills is terrifying. Especially if you were not the one that screwed up!  The government faces a simple choice. Either pay people a monthly stipend for the basics of living or get people back to work.  Why are people heading to parks, beaches and not bars and cafes?  The people have been out of work for 2 months and spending their savings/credit cards keeping food on the table and paying only the bills they need  to survive!

I have been a big fan of buying up food you want to eat on sale and finding a way to store it for a year or two at a minimum.  So I have been focusing on buying meats, beef,pork and chicken because I don’t have enough land to grow my own meat and the city has code restrictions about agricultural animals in the city.  While it great that some people can raise their own meat animals.  Most city dwellers are dependent on what the local grocery stores offer for sale.  There are few tips for buying meat I will offer.

  1. Buy meat you want to eat and know how to cook: I despise the taste of liver but I like the taste of heart or gizzards. It does not matter to me that liver is chock full of vitamins. The smell of it cooking just to much for me.  Buy and store foods you want to eat and don’t waste your money on any food storage that is cheap, you think you will eat if “you are hungry enough”.  That can be said of cannibalism.
  2. You can’t keep city animals out of your garden.  You have put up barriers to protect your garden. Whining about critters in your garden does not help grow a garden.  Plus if you think anyone other than a wizard can control cats. You are deluding yourself.  My cats stay close to my home and they dig in my garden beds. I have neighbor cats that cross my backyard and probably dig in my garden beds.  Those cats also catch mice, rats and other garden destroying rodents.  Welcome to gardening with always imperfect solutions to mama nature.
  3. Keep starting plants indoors and in your garden to create a continual harvest.  Some plants like tomatoes and peppers need a long grow time but lettuce, radishes need a much shorter growth period of 2-4 weeks till harvest. I’m using some of the green plastic snow/garden fencing with the cheap plastic fence posts made for electric mesh fences and it works for a temporary fence.  I’ll add some cheap low garden fence to stop the critters from pushing underneath the plastic fence.  I’m going to make a cheap little gate and add some 1×2 inch boards that will stop most of the critters digging in my garden beds.
  4. I’ve been a little late getting three of my small beds growing the 3 sisters garden.  I planted a new sweet corn called “Bantam Early” that produces ears in 60-90 days so I should get some corn production from the small 3 sister beds.
  5. Get planting in small plastic kiddie pools as planter beds.  I have grown herbs, lettuce/greens and small watermelons in these small pools of dirt.  You don’t need to buy lumber for raised beds.  These are not good for most root crops but even small radish plants can grow in a small kiddie pool planter.  Plus the cost is cheap for a kiddie pool of $7.00-10.00 compared to the cost of lumber for a raised bed or the cost of most flower/plant pots.
  6. I know I can’t grow all the food I will need in a year in my small garden.  But I can grow some, perhaps a majority of fresh veggies I need and get my food costs a bit lower on the monthly budget.  Just because I can’t grow all of my food does not mean I should not try and grow some of my food.

I’m immuno- comprised and I have only two choices.  Stay at home or wear a mask and get the things I need to survive.  I see many idiots wearing masks wrong or not wearing masks at all.  My life is in my hands and what other people do is not my problem, because I can’t change what other people do.  All I can control is what I do daily.  If you are worried about Corona virus stay home or mask up when going out in the public shopping or whatever task you need to get done.  Don’t snitch on people that don’t follow some government mandated or your own KAREN  protocol.  Your life is in your hands and you must make that risk assessment for yourself! No one should be required to change their life so you can pretend to be safe.  Are many people idiots?  Yep! that does not mean you have to behave idiotically.  Your safety depends only upon you and not anyone else!

This post is getting a bit long, but no one is obligated to make you feel safe.  You are responsible for yourself, that is what we call being an adult.  Make yourself as resilient as possible and don’t ask the government to save you because that price can be very high!

 


I saw Toilet Paper in Fred Meyer today and rain in the valley!

April 22, 2020

There was some Quilted Northern TP in Fred Meyers today.  About 10- 20 of box cases of the 4 packs but it is the first time in a few weeks I saw toilet paper on the shelves.  The facial tissue area was better stocked and there was even an “end cap” full of the facial tissue boxes.  Perhaps the run on Tissue paper is starting to slow down or at least people have enough TP already on hand they no longer feel the need to buy/store more Tissue paper at home.  Bottled water shelves also seem to be returning to pre-Wuflu levels and that is all to the good!  People need to return to buying stuff they need, rather than following the “herd” and buying items based on panic and fear.    I’m seeing food prices start to go up and it will probably get worse over the summer. It is a double whammy to people out of work that right at the time they have very little money on hand the food and products they need to live are in the store but have start going up in price. Me telling some one they can save money baking bread at home does not help if they can’t buy yeast because all the stores are sold out of yeast.  I don’t have a sourdough starter to share but I was able to give Mom a small 4 oz jar of some yeast I have stored in the freezer.  Baking bread takes a little bit of practice and add in trying to make a sourdough starter for a new baker really increases the learning curve.

I am seeing more people wearing masks, scarf and bandannas here in SW Idaho.  I’m guessing about 40-50% range.  Not everyone but it is much better than I saw on a shopping trip a couple of weeks ago!  Wearing a mask is irritating to me even though I advocate it being the easy/simplest method to help stop the spread of the virus.  I now have a weird feeling of something coating my face and when I get home I have to wash my face along with my hands.  I’m packing my own groceries in the new reusable plastic coated bags I sanitize before I shop and again before the bags get loaded in the mini-van.  I understand stores not trusting customer’s reusable bags.  I don’t trust store’s plastic bags because those bags are probably made in China.  For now I can use a Lysol type spray, but I may have to move to a diluted bleach spray bottle to disinfect my bags before the come into the house.  Yep, I’m being a little OCD but I’d rather get a small dose of any virus and give my body more time to build a good immuno-response to this virus rather than deal with a huge viral load.  I shop at stores where I have a good relationship with the cashiers, butchers and deli and I don’t want them to get sick and hopefully me wearing a mask will reduce their stress level about catching the virus.

Some of the starting plants are growing and I had to take off the cover as the plants are getting to tall.  The starter plants are still a bit too delicate to transplant but the stuff that is growing is growing great. The tomitillos I bought are growing like crazy and I still need to add fences around my garden beds to try and stop the cats doing the cat things to my garden beds.  Mom is now fully cleared to lift more than 15 pounds from her surgery recovery limitation.  She is ready to do some raised beds and I suggested she get the local big box store cut the lumber to size for her raised beds.  I prefer raised beds to be 3 foot or under in width but Mom want’s to go with 4 feet of width.  It should not make that much difference if you can reach all of the bed from both sides. Speaking only for myself I think a raised bed garden should be 3 foot or less wide.

I don’t know if you feel it but I feel planting a home garden of any sort is critical this year. My long term food storage is pretty good but having those fresh herbs, greens and crops that add not only calories, vitamins and variety of vegetables/herbs can’t buy in stores for any price. Buy the things the USA can not grow such as coffee, chocolate and the things you want to have for yourself.

 


Got some plant starts, seeds and shopping

April 12, 2020

I cant start all of the plants I want to have from seed as many of my seeds are a lot older than I thought and are not germinating. If you have gone to many seed suppliers you know they have sold out of many of the seeds or the shipping time is so long you will miss the “Prime Time” of planting or starting seeds. Two or three weeks in Spring time planting season can be critical to starting your garden.

I got Sun gold cherry tomato and early red tomato.  Most of my pepper seeds seemed to be old so I got a yellow and red bell pepper along with two tomitillo plants.  If you want tomitillos you must have at least 2 plants for cross pollination.  I have bought new seeds and have started them but those seeds are still waiting to germinate so I’m adding more store bought plants just in case my starters are a bust.

I was a little disappointed in people I saw shopping in Fred Meyer’s today.  I’m guessing about 10% of the people I saw had on masks of any sort and very few were wearing any kind of protective eye wear. Many people seemed to be browsing the store rather than having a list of items to get and get out as quickly as possible.  The parking lot seemed about average for a Saturday and while people were not panic shopping they did seem complacent about the Wu-Flu.  There was no tissue paper or paper towels but plenty of hand sanitizer in small 2-4 oz bottles.  Pet supply shelves were hit hard but it looked like most people were buying mostly mid quality/cost pet foods.  There was plenty of the very cheap and more expensive wet and dry pet food on the selves.  I bought the last bag of 12 pound store brand of dry cat food that is 38% protein. My cats are doing great with cat food and I mix it with a 31% protein mix I get from the local farm store.  My cats also get a half a can of wet cat food every night.

A new thing at my local Fred Meyer is cashiers not handling reusable bags.  I love reusable shopping bags when I use my walker shopping but I know those cloth bags could hold bacteria and viruses so I shifted over to the more rigid plastic coated bags because I could spray (Lysol) sanitize the bag. This bag is coming into my home so I’ll do everything I can to keep the virus outside my home.

I asked the cashier if she could handle the bag and the store policy was no.  Okay can you let me bag my stuff after you ring it up?  YES!  Great, the cashier follows store policy and I can use my easy to sanitize bag for groceries.  I don’t know where the plastic bags most stores use are made but it is probably China or a place whit with WU-Flu so this is a win-win for stopping extra contamination.  Cashiers should not need to be the experts about the virus or be attacked by customers that feel a mild inconvenience is an assault on their rights as a consumer. 

I know wearing a mask properly is annoying it feels like breathing into a very sauna at best. You have to adjust your googles or glasses from fogging up. Putting on gloves and using hand sanitizer is not fun and all that hand washing can dry and crack your skin.  Don’t go out shopping unless you want to put up with masking up, wearing gloves and sanitizing everything when you get home.  I’m not telling you not to go shopping but the cashiers and workers in stores deserve customers that are willing to mask up in the stores. Even if wearing a mask is annoying to you.

Get over what other people do, you can be the little hero the wears a mask out shopping! Be nice to the cashier and people keeping stores open and relatively safe with extra cleaning. It is those cashiers, truckers, janitors along with doctors nurses, CNA and cleaning staff that are heroes.  Farmers, gardeners and handyman of all sorts are the heroes keeping this economy going.

The elites hate that they are behind the power curve and are not all that important to peoples daily lives and the people are starting to realize it. I like to think that people given good info will do the right thing.  But most people don’t get good info and don’t do much research on there own.  I’m not an expert, just a former Army Field Sanitation NCO that learned a bit about the spread of disease. The answers are simple for a pandemic.  They just are not easy for people.

Really it should be a simple if not easy process:

  1. Isolate all countries and stop travel and shipping.  This is brutal to trade but a 1-2 week level of stoppage should be enough to mitigate the virus.
  2. Stop all flights for 1-2 weeks. All nations take the hit equally and then slowly open flights to those countries that get control of the amount of people using hospital’s care.
  3. Give a USA open for business order but allow states and cities to modify that order locally.
  4. This is crazy but give people good info and let them decide the level of risk they will accept.  I know this idea will drive the state and local governments crazy to let people decide risk/reward.
  5. I think most people are ignorant about this virus. The Government at all levels has failed to educate the people.  Getting a cold or the normal flu does not make you a bad person. Most likely you will get the Wuflu and have flu like symptoms.  The pneumonia  part of the Wu flu is when stuff gets scary.

Bend the curve stop the spread of the flu and that is easy:

  1. Wear a mask and glasses to stop the spread.
  2. Social distancing will help
  3. Add a few vitamins and mineral to your diet. Vitamin C and Zinc, D3 seem to help fighting all flu viruses.
  4. Stay on your property and work on that garden. I’m sorry for folks that live in High- Density areas and are dependent on mass transit. This should show you the government won’t save you and you are on your own.
  5. You better hope those farmers have a good harvest and plenty of farm animals are grown for meat and the truckers are allowed into cities to feed you.
  6. Nine meals from anarchy…

 


Seeds !

April 8, 2020

I started a bunch of old seeds in a Jiffy Starter box about 3 weeks ago and I’m not seeing any sprouts. I knew I was using old seeds but I was hoping for a few seeds to germinate but it looks like that box of starter plants is a bust.  Since those old seeds are not sprouting I figured I should clean out my seed box of all of the older seed packets.  OMG! I had seeds that dated back to 2007,  many of the seeds dated back to 2012 and  2016. I kept any seed  packet  dated 2017 and newer and toss any packets of older seeds.  I know the germination rates of seeds drop a lot after a couple of years but I figure seeds up to  three years old are worth planting this year.  After cleaning out the old seed packets I found many packets that were dated for 2019.  Those are the seeds I’ll be planting/starting in the first  starter box or in the raised bed if they are cool weather crops.

I bought some seeds in April and got many started in my second Jiffy box.  Lots of warm weather stuff like melons, tomatoes, peppers and that type of plant.  As I went though my seed box I found many Greens like lettuces, swiss chard,  bok choy, and broccoli I can plant now during the cool Spring.  Getting the raised beds ready for the seeds took a little bit of work.  I’m rotating the crops in my raised beds and last years “tomato” bed soil was not good.  The soil had compacted and had a lot of weed growth.  I had to take the tiller to the soil and then augment it with compost. The soil looks better, but I may need to add more manure/compost to get the plants good growth in May.

I’m going to direct sow the greens on cool weather crops in the raised beds.  I have added “Frost” cloth over the PVC frames I made last year.  While the frost cloth protects the plants from weather it also seems effective in protecting the beds from my little digger dog and my kittens messing with my garden beds.  I have other digging areas and places  in the back yard for the cats to do what cats do/poo.  I was surprised that putting up the frost cloth stopped the cats getting into the raised bed (so far).  The little green plastic barrier fence has stopped the cats from digging and leaving “deposits” in the deep raised bed.  I understand peoples frustration with cats in their yard and garden but I think it mostly FERAL cats that do the most damage and not pet cats.  I have cats and they will do unspeakable things in my garden beds. How can I stop that from happening?  It seems a little bit of temp. green plastic fencing and frost cloth will stop most pets digging.  Now stopping squirrels is the next order of protection.  Probably impossible!

I’m sure folks that deal with wild life i.e. geese,ducks, bears,elk, deer, moles, gophers and other assorted critters eating their gardens and crops will mock us city folk that are so worried about cats popping in garden dirt!

Growing a garden takes some time everyday.  I still don’t know if it is  a weed or a plant without using a marker in my garden rows.  FYI Toothpicks by your planted seeds helps with weeding in my garden. For me it is tough to “thin out plants” I know it has to be done in a garden, but those little plants are so inspiring  it’s tough for me to thin out the rows of excessive growth.

Jamie, you will never eat or preserve over 20 plants of bok choy no matter how much effort you put into growing the plant!  Of course I must grow bok choy first before I can preserve it. 

I cleaned up my black berry pots, One pot did not look good and I cut it back last fall.  The other plant had a lot of growth and I cut it back this spring.  I added some compost, cleaned out the old straw mulch and added some compost to the pots.  My goodness the plants are adding many new leaves and growth.  I added a burlap bag to keep the cats out of the pots and a thick layer of compost. I think I may get a few black berries this year!

The back yard lawn are is looking better. I added seed but I had some new grass growth. I hope the new grass seed/ additional compost and soil will start to fill in the lawn area.

You are on your own, $1200.00 is not going to save you. I’m not referring just to the Wu-Flu. The Economy is going to tank into recession levels if we are lucky.  If you are new to prepping and late to getting prepared I have a few suggestions

  1. Buy seeds and have a way to grow some fresh food from a garden or even a pot full of herbs.
  2. Buy flour, whole wheat grains, whole or steel cut oats and learn to bake your own bread.  I have a simple bread on “recipe page” that takes only flour,salt, water and yeast and it is great bread.
  3. You will probably make a few bread bricks learning to make bread.  That is part of the learning process. Don’t give up if your bread loaves end up exceptionally dense.  Heck I screwed up my own recipe and added an extra table spoon of salt.  The bread is a bit salty but I think adding a “Heaping tablespoon” of salt to the recipe would make the bread loafs less bland.
  4. Get a pressure cooker of some sort.  The Insta-pot brand cooker is poplar but most electric pressure cooker will be great for cooking beans and rice quickly.  You bought all those dried beans and did not realize it takes about 12- 24 hours to cook those beans in a crock pot or on a stove.  A pressure cooker can cook the same beans in about 2 hours.

I have rambled on far to long on this “stream of  ideas”.  You will do you and hopefully you will be safe and grow food for yourself.  That is optimistic on my part but all I can do is give out info I think is solid and report what I am doing.  I might be wrong but I’m growing a garden and not trusting the government.


A good day working on the yard and raised beds

April 7, 2020

The irrigation water is slowly starting to run to my house, so I added some grass seed and compost/soil mix to the ” grass lawn” section of my back yard.  I know Spring time is not the best time for growing a lawn but I want to start filling in that lawn area and I have the seed and cheap irrigation water available now to keep adding lawn seed with compost/soil that should help the grass seed take root and grow!  I want a section of healthy lawn around my home as it seems to keep the back yard much cooler in the summer.  A bonus on a grass lawn is my pets love laying down and even eating grass on occasion and I know the grass is grown without nasty chemicals. Just a little bit of manure/compost, a little garden soil and a whole lot of water!  The pressure from the irrigation water is minimal. I’m watering about a three foot square  for now, but the irrigation water will get more pressure in a few days.

I got my deep raised bed cleaned out.  Gosh that bed had a bunch of nasty roots that needed the garden fork to bring up to the surface.  Overall I’m pleased as the soil is almost black and rich in nutrients.  I think this deep raised bed will be my root crop garden of parsnips, turnips, and carrots this year.  I added some of the green plastic fence to cover most of the bed, because my cats and Tucker the peke love to dig and or poo in the freshly dug garden beds. I have neighborhood full of cats and my own cats, that will leave some unwelcome deposits in my yard and garden and the local squirrels don’t seem to pay much attention to my instructions on good neighbor behavior.  Critters will do what they do based on nature.  The critters are not evil they just do what they do by instinct.

I filled a large trash bin with grape vines to clean up a couple of beds and  I’m not going to finish cleaning up the Grape vines this Spring.  I have to clear out the grape vines from my other raise beds for plants in May and then keep cleaning the older growth of vines.  Ironically cleaning out those old grape vines/ canes  will make the grape vines go crazy with new growth.  I know I’m making progress cleaning up the grape vines but today it did not look like I cleaned up, despite the fact I filled a 65 gallon trash bin of old grape vines/canes.

Good news I can get the old/sick Elm tree cut down next week thanks to the Trump bux.  This will help my local wood supplier keep working, they get fire wood and I get rid of an old diseased tree.  That BOOM from the earthquake made me think the old tree landed on my neighbors home or dropped a large limb on my roof.  Best to take care of the tree now rather than deal with it if  comes down in a storm.

I lost track of time getting the berry plants cleaned up, another raised bed ready for planting and planting some grass seed in the backyard.  It felt good to get more of the raised beds ready for planting, adding grass seed to my backyard and cleaning up the old grape vines.  Working outside getting some jobs done feels good to me and makes me happy!

If you are like me living in the city on a small plot of land you probably can’t grow enough food to feed yourself year round. You can grow enough food via a garden to grow some fresh food to your diet. Every little thing you can do will help even if it is growing herbs in a kitchen window.  That is one less thing you buy in the store!   It is so easy to buy bread in a store compared to making it at home.  I bought store bread though I have all the ingredients for my home made bread.  Making my bread at home is now easier than masking up to go shopping in the public.

I don’t think the shut down can last much longer as people are getting a bit stir crazy and small business must get back to work.  It might be unpleasant but people like me must isolate/self quarantine as much as possible and wear protective gear to be safe from other people.  I’m immune-compromised , I have had pneumonia and some lung damage. That is my problem to deal with this Wu-Flu that kills people like me.  I don’t demand the rest of the country make things safe for me. I’m handing out masks to my neighbors and telling them how to sanitize them for re-use. That makes me safer in my neighborhood.

Life is dangerous and it can kill you at any time!  There is no reason I have to do stupid stuff to tempt the reaper.

 


It is starting to warm up in SW Idaho

April 5, 2020

The weather is getting warmer!  Forecast are for a week of 65-70 degree F. days and the night time temps dropping only to the low 40 degree F. range.  Today was cloudy with some rain but it was warm enough for me to open a couple of windows and get some fresh air in the house.  Nothing like a warm spring rain to bring out all the plant growing aromas and wash the dust, dirt and  smoke out of the atmosphere.

I got most of my basic cleaning done of the bathrooms, vacuum the carpets and change and wash bedding and wash towels.  I got a little “burned out” trying to keep everything clean and slacked off on some of the daily/weekly cleaning chores. I have read about the cleaning chores of people in the 1800’s doing laundry by hand, sweeping floors and beating rugs. Rather than dumping clothes in a washing machine or dryer.  Having a vacuum to clean carpets or a quick mop to clean floors.  Plus I have hot water on tap at my sink to help with my cleaning!  It is not the end of the world if you don’t dust but you want to make your home a virus-free safe zone. Being human you may slack off a bit on cleaning. I know I did after 3 weeks. That is okay as long as you get back to work keeping your home a “Safe Zone”

Get those gardens and pots planting started!  My garden seeds seemed to have failed to germinate.  These were old seeds and if anything had germinated I would be ahead of the game.  Unlike some people think that think starting a garden only requires a bit of digging dirt, dropping a seed and some water.  A productive garden needs a little more effort, experience and knowledge.  Baking bread for the first time may result in flour bricks suitable for use as a door stop.  It is okay to screw up while you are learning stuff!  If you want to bake Whole Wheat flour bread for the first time after eating store bought bread.  Please mix white flour 1/2 with whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour can mess up your guts for several days if your guts are not ready for all that additional fiber.  It may seem counter-intuitive but moving to a non-processed food diet “might” mess with your digestive track until it learns to deal with your new diet.

I’m getting a local business to cut down my less than healthy elm tree.  This will be my use of the Trump bux coming in a month or two.  I’m going to ask my local hair dresser if she has a gift card option for hair cuts in the future? Paying a few dollars now for a “gift card/gift certificate might keep her business going during the “lock down”.  Small businesses need cash flow now!  Not two months from now, if/when the government decides to cancel it’s “shelter-in-place order”.  I’m not a fan of the “Lock Downs” though I understand the orders because many people are idiots.  The government can’t protect you from idiots.  You must protect yourself from idiots.

Wear a mask of some sort, protect your eyes from the coofers of all sorts. Make your home a Sanctuary/Safe place from the virus.  Stay at home and mask up when shopping isn’t hard it’s just inconvenient.

I’m having a great time playing Fortnite video game though I suck at it.  Play a video game, read a book, paint a room, learn sewing, plant a garden.  My gosh there is so much you can do if you think “outside the box”.

What Can You Do?   What can’t you do?


I got my ramen noodles!

March 24, 2020

This is a big deal because I got the “rain check” for a case lot sale and this small country grocery store got hammered by people coming from the “big city” to grab/buy everything  for the Wu-flu virus.  Small stores/small towns don’t have the basic infrastructure to deal with a lot of people descending on them via this flu.

Folks in the cities, you are not going to escape this virus as it is every where.  You could be bringing that virus with you because it has a several days of being infectious though you feel fine.  Please stay at home as big cities have larger hospitals to deal with this infection.  Most small towns have a health clinic or very small hospital at best.  Most small towns depend on big city hospitals for trauma/emergency rooms or ICU beds.

I understand the feelings of fear and uncertainty with this virus.  It is a bit of the “fight or flight” syndrome that us human have and it’s tough to stay home and do almost nothing for days or  a couple of weeks. Staying home, social distancing and going out to stores only when you need something is exactly the best thing you can be doing.  How many hospitals have ICU beds/ ventilators do you think are in Idaho or in any other flyover states?

The Midwest grows food and drills for oil.  I’ll agree shipping all manufacturing of critical goods Overseas was a bad choice but the USA makes food, paper products, lumber and has oil along with a lot of basic machinery for mining, timber and other materials to make potential products once factories get up and running in about 3-18 months depending on how much retro-fitting or building factories from the ground up is required.

Despite what the “Elites” believe you can not conjure food nor factories with a “Thanos” snap   If we could start up factories yesterday. It will take at least 3-6 months for those factories to produce a large enough amount of products to be put on store shelves.  That is a very optimistic forecast  in the USA Factories.

Many stores like Dollar tree/Family dollar are hiring.  Or other companies that are considered essential TODAY!  You probably won’t replace all of your income but if you can pay utilities and have food in the house that is a start.  You can work on the bigger bills like, credit cards, rent and mortgages later in 30 days or in May.  Mortgage companies and banks are facing huge margin calls, so foreclosure notices should be slow for home owners and landlords.  Courts are shutting down and that should limit evictions for 30-90 days.

I’m not saying you should not pay your debts/bills.  This is an Emergency and food, fuel and utilities for your family comes first then rent, credit card bills, and the mortgage payment can be put off for a month or two.

Being fearful, scared or feeling a little bit panic is not only normal. It is a rational response as long as you don’t “Freeze” or get overwhelmed and do nothing.  Stop your panic, know what you have, know what you need and slowly get those things you need to live.  It might be cash to pay your bills. Heck I’ve prepping for almost a decade and while I feel confident in my preps, I feel a bit worn out with the washing my hands, getting the garden ready as quickly as possible rather than enjoying my time in my yard puttering around I’m focused at growing as much food as possible as quickly as possible.

Those tomatoes aren’t going to grow any faster because I’m in a PANIC!  This virus panic will take some time to show how bad it will be in the next few weeks.  Plan for the worst, hope for the best.  Get plenty of sleep, take your vitamins, putter around your garden, even if it a few pots of herbs on your balcony or in a window.  Clean your house and make it your sanctuary/safe space. This situation is going  to suck!  This situation will also pass. Humanity won’t die, the earth will be fine and with a little luck all people will realize Globalism sucks!


Dry skin from hand washing and cleaning up garden beds for planting.

March 22, 2020

I’m not all that invested on having skin soft to touch and usually my skin does not dry out or get scaly /cracked.  With all this additional hand washing the skin on my arms is starting to get very dry.  I’m not one to use lotions on my skin, but dry and cracking skin is a possible entry point for a virus.

I used my aunt’s home made lotion and it worked pretty good but it washed off every time I washed my hands.  I’m trying out my skin cream made with essential oils, rice bran oil and beeswax.  The beeswax in the skin cream is holding up against a few hand washings.  I think I’m seeing some healing/less cracking of the skin using this cream.  It is only the first day so I’ll need a couple of more days to see how effective this cream is for drying skin.  Mom really likes a Suave lotion hand cream with aloe to keep her skin from drying out and cracking.

I think that unprocessed real beeswax has some of the anti-viral, anti- bacterial properties of honey. That might be the difference between my aunt’s lotion and my skin salve/cream.  This is my opinion and what seems to work for me and is not backed up by any medical studies.

I had a good day cleaning up my  large raised garden beds.  One bed laid fallow last summer so I cleaned up a few weeds and that will be the bed for tomato and pepper starts. I cleaned another bed and that will be for root crops. Parsnips, carrots, radishes, turnips and some beets.  This bed has a frame work for Frost cloth to be added to the bed but the weather looks good for planting root/cole crops.

I have a bed that has reseeded onions.  I cleaned around the onions and want to add greens/lettuce via seeds and see how that works out. I have not started many plants from seed in my garden beds so it is a bit new to me and may fail.  I have plant starts as a backup but this gardening thing seems new to me though I have had a garden for over 10 years.   I can’t speak for others, but I still think of myself as a newbie growing a garden.

I cleaned up another section of grape vines/canes.  Grape vines need air to reach the ground but the grow in such a mess of attaching vines to everything.  Cut any grape vines back to the original plant. This is task is much easier in Spring when you don’t have to fight new vines or the leaves that make cleaning up the old canes difficult.

Sometimes less is more as new growth makes up for cleaning out old growth that does not produce.  I have a small city lot and I use raised beds to grow a garden.  I also started out growing plants in pots, buckets and kiddie pools.  If you have yard grow some food!  If you have a balcony grow a tomato or pepper plant in a bucket.  Grow some herbs in a small pot in your kitchen window.  Or any window that gets some sun!  Heck buy a LED plant light and start growing plants in your home.

Don’t let yourself not try something because you don’t know enough or you don’t have a perfect set up.   You will never have a perfect set up for any task.  This how you learn how to do things!  You will fail at stuff, that is how you learn.  Seek out others that have failed and then succeeded.  Fail early and fail often is a good thing because you learn fast!

It is very scary to think your garden is all the fresh veggies your family might have on hand.  That is not reality as the USA is a Food making powerhouse.  There will be food in stores given a few days to restock.  This is your chance to learn growing and preserving food for your future.   You will probably screw up, I know I did with my first garden.  My problem last year is I had more produce that I knew how to preserve.   Not a bad problem to have as you can give excess produce to your neighbors.

There is never a downside to a problem without a fix.  The USA can bring all medical manufacturing back to the USA.   All those USA companies want a bail out but don’t have factories in the USA need to bring back those factories the the USA.  US companies that use Foreign countries to Flag their ships.  Do any Cruise ships register/flag their ship as USA?  Nope the Cruise ship are flagged/based in Panama or other countries other than the USA.  But they want the USA to make good their losses.

We are starting to see the companies that have been “swimming nekid” using the USA when convenient for them.  But not paying taxes for that protection.  F* the Diamond Princess whining about the US government not helping them.  What Country did you register your boat.  Was it the USA?  Nope, go figure out yourself and whine to the country that registered your boat.

We can longer afford ships that use  other countries registration of convenience.  Not pay out as we have a bottomless money pit for people that can afford cruises.  Oh you were an idiot and put your cruise on your credit card or took out a vacation loan.  I’m not feeling you were cheated, nor much sympathy for your situation.  Oh I don’t  feel anger at you alone.  I also hate the idiots that buy ocean front property and expect the government to pay off when you get slammed by a storm or Hurricane.  This is a disaster but it is also a disaster made worse because of greed and Bail out US Federal economics.