August 4, 2021
I have a lot of wood that needs to be cut because it is a just a few inches to big fit in my wood stove. I really hate cutting wood on the ground because the bending over is hard on my back and having your chainsaw dig into the dirt dulls the chain. I have built a sawbuck but I had some problems getting all the cross braising attached correctly to the X -frames that hold the wood. The saw buck is a little bulky, does not fold flat but it is functional. Cutting wood at waist height rather than at ankle height really saves strain on my back muscles. There are lots of plans on the internet to make a simple saw buck. Don’t do like I did making a saw buck and not consider the 4 inches the X part of the frame adds to the 16 inch cross braces for cutting a 16-18 inch chunk of wood. I can make it work, but I should pull it apart and make the cross braces 4 incher shorter to make cutting the wood stove length simple.
Cut down a lot of weeds and Moring Glory around the garden beds. I then sprayed the area with 30% vinegar. It seems that this method works better than the spray first then weed-wack the area. I have found 4 goat heads plants in my alley way this summer. That is amazing as several of my neighbors are overrun with goat heads. One neighbor has some goathead weeds close to the property line and I sprayed the weeds with the 30% vinegar. The ” goathead runners” did turn brown and seem to die back.
I think using the 30% vinegar works great as a weed killer over time, but it is not the fastest acting weed killer. Over time you can replace those weeds with plants that you prefer to weeds. I live in an area with clay/alkaline soil so adding 30% vinegar to acidic soil might not be the best weed killing solution for you. I like having a weed killer solution that does not kill the soil like Round Up or the the knock off brands. Plus anything that kills off Morning Glory plants is a great thing in my opinion.
Inflation is happening but there is still time to get products before the “Shrink-flation” hits your pocket book/budget even harder. Stores have been selling off full-size products at a lower cost to clear the shelves of the larger products. I have been watching this shrink-flation happen for at least 4 or 5 years. What was a 3 pound, 48 oz. can of of coffee is now a 26-30 oz. can of coffee. A cheap brand of toilet paper that had 350 sheets per roll is now called a MEGA/Double roll at 240 sheets of Toilet paper. It is happening in chips, crackers and soup cans.
I talked about this in the past on this blog. Assume the dollar will lose at least 30% of it’s buying power because inflation always rises faster than wages and the Government COLA increase for SS or VA payments.
I won’t tell you what to do, but I can tell you what I am doing. I’m going to buy some more socks that are on sale at Bi-Mart. As some of my socks are getting holes in them. I want to buy a couple more good bras on sale. I’m buying garden products and working on building my soil. I have bought some Shade cloth to try out as it got bloody hot here at Casa de chaos!
Last but not least I messed up on my milk purchases. I’m ready now to save the milk in the freezer in between my milk purchase travels. I’m starting to figure out a loop driving to get produce milk and the meat I want to buy. Nothing is ever easy, but if you can break it down things can get simple.
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.
June 3, 2020
Idaho is a Constitutional carry state so you can openly carry or conceal carry a firearm without a “Certificate of Mother may I” from the state. Boise had a small protest that went on after BLM bailed and one fire arm discharge that is being treated as a sort of “accident” in Boise. Up north people came out strapped in Ceour ‘D Lane Idaho for some protesters and everyone stayed polite and there were no reports of looting or fires. I was looking at the USA map and Idaho has not had much in the ways of rioting, looting and other mayhem. A couple of small protests and a battery powered candle light vigil for George Lloyd. I myself was outraged by the death of George Lloyd because of what I see is “Police Brutality” and lawless cops. We have seen it in Idaho from cops doing no-knock warrants, to shooting dogs to shooting people with very little cause as I see it. I used to support cops and was totally supportive of following the law. Not any more! If you are a cop and are afraid of getting bit by a dog pick a new line of work. I will no longer give you cops the benefit of doubt because you have proven you don’t deserve it.
I know it is not all cops are bad, but enough are bad and are protect by their peer, unions and the city, counties and states that don’t fire the bad cops, You “GOOD” cops don’t get a pass any more. It was not just one bad cop sitting on that neck for 8+ minutes there were 4-5 other cops that let him commit that brutality. Don’t come at me that being a cop is stressful! Lots of jobs are stressful and you can do the job or not and you don’t get a pass for doing a stressful job.
Enough on covering the rioters. I started cleaning up the Iris plants and the front yard beds a OMG it was a workout. I have cut most of the Iris leaves around 3-6 inches and started cleaning out all the old plant material along with some weeds. From what I have read after the flower stops blooming it is safe to cut the green leaf parts of the Iris between 3-6 inches and then dig up the root/rhizome for replanting. If the root/rhizome is mushy it probably is not going to grow. Have a spot for those new Irises from the old beds or share the Iris Rhizomes with your neighbors. Clean up the root with a sharp knife and wrap in newspaper/craft paper. I have several purple/ lavender and purple/ gold mix Irises. But the real beauty is a pristine white iris that I have no idea how it propagated. Serendipity is a wonderful thing!
I got the tree cut down so a lot more sunlight is hitting the front yard lawn. I treated the lawn for some nasty bugs and I added some lawn “Food”/nutrients and the grass is growing like crazy. It looks like some of the weeds are getting choked via the new grass growth but it is still early days. I really want to create a gazebo seating area with a small fire pit but that will take a bit of study and money to make that happen. For now I will just clean up the area and work on getting it some what level for future projects.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
May 19, 2020
I don’t think we have NORMAL seasons in Idaho. Just statistical averages, stuff happens within most months, with the data spread over a hundred years that pretends to be normal weather. Needless to say getting work done on the garden beds is on hold along with mowing the lawn. There is some good news along with the bad, as the extra rain has saved me from dragging a hose around to water the lawn. The “lawn feed” and compost/fertilizer have had plenty of time to move naturally into the soil so the new grass in the back yard is filling in nicely. The long raised garden bed plants are loving this rain. Even the little celery plants are starting to put on some growth and come back from looking so “sad” after transplanting in the garden bed.
I’m still working the garden fence to make it an effective barrier. Having all of this rain has kept most of the cats and squirrels at home and not digging in my garden. I’ll have few days this week to finish up my gate and add some bottom stakes the the bottom of the fence to limit the critters from crawling under the fence. The rain has made me think and layout how I want to build the 2 ft. by 4 ft. garden cart. One of my biggest faults in building stuff has been slapping stuff together and not taking the time to “dry fit” the parts. I want these elevated garden bed carts to be functional but also to looks decorative.
On too the money and shopping stuff. Prioritize your spending!
- That means food and utilities come first. Whatever monies are leftover then go for your debts and rent.
- Call the companies you owe money too and work on a payment plan even if it is only $5.00 a week or $20.00 a month. Do this on the phone and get a written record via email about what you are paying and receipts of payments made. This will help prove you made a “good faith effort” to pay the debt.
- Don’t agree to a Bubble (3-6 month of payments due in full) for payment of your mortgage or any debt after a 3 month grace period. With a mortgage, ask the bank or company to add the payment be deferred to the end of contract. If you can’t pay your mortgage because you haven’t worked during the LOCK DOWN. You can’t make a bubble payment of your mortgage after 3 months of lock down.
- If you still have an income be it SS, pension, work from home or hustling side jobs start saving cash and keep a some of that cash at home. Keep enough in the bank to pay your monthly bills and work toward that 6 months worth of saving. Also keep some cash at home. Let’s call it recreation money for a pizza, a good sale you find. Perhaps it is just a couple of twenty dollar bills stuffed in your wallet to pay the gas station for gas when the internet or power goes down.
- Buy the thing you want/need to make your life better. It is okay to have a Netflix subscription. Not my thing, I like video games and computers. Heck I just spent almost $90.00 on a new desk chair because my old chair was toast. Sitting in this chair is a joy. It is all about what is valuable to you.
That is the thing about freedom, I may think your priorities are idiotic and you may think the same about my priorities. You do you and I’ll do me and sharing what works and doesn’t work makes everyone’s life potentially better. My gosh if you think making a mistake is bad, you need to practice more at screwing up. The only people that don’t make mistakes are people who do nothing and that in itself is a mistake!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!