Making extra pain relief and dry skin cream for winter.

December 16, 2015

Between the weather changes, and my body’s evidence of how slow I was to learn the laws of gravity and inertia. I am adding more jars of the pain relief cream to my medical pantry. After I shot the staple into my palm I found my middle finger was very sore and swollen. Using the pain cream helped relieve the pain but I was very surprised that is also reduced the swelling in the finger.  This not the first time I have had a foreign object puncture my skin but it is the first time I used the pain relief cream and noticed how it reduced swelling and seem to reduce the ordinary heat and redness you get from any sort of deep wound.  Plus it took less than two days for all of the swelling to go down and never had much redness or hot spot with this puncture wound once I used the pain relief salve on it.  In less than a week  the puncture wound from the staple is pain free and I have had no problems with any sort of infection.

The dry skin salve is similar to the pain salve but I use Rice bran oil (naturally high in vitamin E) rather than the Coconut oil. I avoid using most citrus essential oils as my Mom and sister have a sensitivity to vitamin C/ascorbic acid.  I think that using the natural beeswax adds a protective layer to the skin which helps the oil penetrate as well as keep the skin from drying out due to wind. Most commercial products seem to use petroleum based wax (paraffin) since it is relatively cheap, but I prefer the feel of beeswax on my skin. Another advantage of beeswax is I can buy it locally, rather than depend on store bought paraffin wax.

To make the salve rather than use just a carrier oil adding the 1-1.5 oz. of beeswax for every 8 oz. of oil is a good ratio that has worked well with Coconut, Grape seed and Rice Bran oils.  Beeswax can be flammable so it is best to melt it slowly.  To melt/blend all the oils and beeswax I use a small 1.5 qt. crock pot on low, but to make my comfrey salve I use one of the “little dipper” crock pots to keep from any cross contamination of medical salves. Crock pots are cheap at thrift stores and yard sales so I buy different sizes/colored crock pots for my different salves.

A jar of salve last me a couple of months and I use it daily on my multiple pain areas. I like using 1/2 pint wide mouth jars to hold the salves. If you use a regular pint jar it can be difficult to get to the salve in the bottom of the jar.  I don’t  seal the jars but wait for the salve to cool and solidify before I add the lid. What is great is the jars are reusable and you can leave a little salve in the jar you can just refill it!

If you can find a bee keeper willing to sell beeswax and you are willing to clean it, you will save a lot of money on your salves and you might even bring in a few dollars selling “clean” beeswax at the local farmer’s market. Cleaning beeswax is easy and all you need to do is setup the double boiler, keep the heat just high enough to melt the wax and keep an eye on it so the double boiler does not run out of water and the heat stays low enough not to ignite the wax.  Keeping an eye on the wax melting is sort of like keeping an eye on your pressure canner. You want to keep a close eye on it to start so the temp. is correct but after that you just need to check it every 3-5 minutes to make sure everything is staying in the safe zone for heat.  I use a single burner hot plate I set on low with a double boiler but a crock/slow cooker on low would probably work just as well.

I don’t use any chemicals to “bleach” or clean the wax other than the strainers. I pour the wax into silicone pans for candy size molds but small metal bread loaf pans work well if you want larger chunks of wax.  After the cleaning the beeswax will be a dull amber color and have very mild, sort of sweet floral aroma.  I get my beeswax for about $6.00-$8.00 per pound if I buy 10-20 pounds.  I often see natural beeswax go for $4.00-$8.00 per oz. so you can see how much money you can save if you are willing to clean the wax yourself.

Quite a few people want both a side project  of making some medicines via essential oils or herbs. Some are getting into beekeeping or need a way to use all that natural beeswax. It is amazing how people used beeswax before petroleum products became cheaply available.  Real beeswax candles last longer than most commercially produce candles and the are simple to make at home.  Do a search on the internet on the uses of beeswax and I bet you will be stunned that natural beeswax is a great multi-tasker.

 


Cold weather insulation and an update on the air purifiers.

December 2, 2015

Mom wants to start insulating the chicken house.While Mom was looking at some of the foam insulating panel at first. We are going to try out some reflective sort of insulation to start with on the chicken shed.  We want a bit of insulation, but what we are more interested in is eliminating any drafts. We bought a few rolls of a “radiant barrier” type product via Home depot.  The product is basically 2 layers of bubble wrap encased in a reflective cover and has about an R-6 rating on exposed walls.  We don’t expect the shed to become warm but we hope that the insulation will reflect out heat in summer and retain heat inside the shed in winter.  All of the reviews seem to think this insulated roll is great as a moisture barrier as well as a good insulator for summer and winter.  This is a small test project for on insulation, we can always add more insulation once  the basic barrier is up on the walls.

I added a new doggie door and caulked around the seams indoors and out. There is just a bit of cool air coming through if it is breezy but over all things are much better. I just bought a 4×6 throw rug with a rubberized type backing  on the back porch entry way, and I can’t believe how much difference that rug made cutting down the cold from the entry area.  I always thought it was the doggie door that caused the cold (draft) feeling, but it seems the tile floor laid almost directly on concrete acts like a huge stone radiating out the cold in winter. I don’t think the previous owners of the house spent a lot of money on insulation and making sure all those air gaps are filled or using caulk to finish up the add- on to the house.  Mom and I got the plastic up on windows but the dollar store plastic window tape sucks. I bought a roll of the Frost King tape $2.68 at Home Depot and we are going to re tape the windows. Now the dollar store window plastic seems to work very well and holds up to the heat of the hair dryer when the tape holds the plastic in place. My back up plan is to buy extras of the Frost King tape and the dollar store plastic for next year.  I really like the idea of  building interior storm windows, but that will take a bit of time as well as some trial and error, as my carpentry skills are rudimentary at best.

On how the Holmes  air purifiers and smokeless ashtrays are working out.  One of the three air purifiers seems to have a bit of rattle/noise. It is not bad I just move one of the quiet purifiers to Mom’s room and set the “noisy” air purifier in the computer room.  I don’t think even the  noisy air purifier is all that loud.  While I’m a smoker I have to say I think even my sniffer is coming back and my sinuses are starting to clear up.  A few small room air purifiers can make such a big difference in such a short time in my home that has a smoker.  Those little air purifiers seem to make a great difference  in “quality of life” for those that suffer from smoke, smog, asthma or allergies. I want to add a true HEPA filter around February or March of next year to see how well the air purifiers handle spring time allergens.

Firewood indoors: I have noticed the new firewood (fir) leaks sap when stacked close to the fireplace. The apple and elm did not leak out sap so I was not prepared for this bit about the new wood.  I bought a small log bin $19.95  from True Value that holds the logs and all sap and pitch will leak on the “bin” rather than stove’s  expensive stone pad.  I ran all of the out door grills through an oven cleaning cycle and it got a bit smokier than I anticipated.  Great news the air purifiers and the vent did a good job clearing out the smoke in the house , plus the oven and grills are all clean.

 


I added an air purifier to Mom’s room today for air improvement.

November 22, 2015

Still early days for the “cleaning the air” test but the air seem to be to be improving for the dogs and us humans in the house. Some of the improvements I have noticed so far…

  • Mom does not seem to be snoring as much late at night and her sense of smell seems to be coming back. Mom has not had a good sniffer for years so she does not blame my smoking.  She was quite surprised that she started smelling the chlorine that is used to treat Nampa city water.  Mom stated today’s nap was the best nap she’s had in several weeks after adding the purifier to her room.
  • My sinuses seem to be draining.  While my nose is a leaky at times I find my sniffer is getting better especially about the smells of ashtrays and eliminating that odor.
  • The pekes seem to be breathing easier. Brodie the peke would do a sort of cough/hacking sort of like a cat with a hair ball.  A couple of the pekes would have something like an asthma attack though that is not a good description of the heavy snorting/breathing the pekes went through trying to catch a breath.  It was almost like a cross of irritation and over- excitement. Great news, we have not seen any sort of breathing problems or attacks since we have added the air purifiers.

Good news, Sadie the miniature schnauzer is doing much better about going potty outside though she’s still working on using the doggie door.  Sadie adores my Mom and sleeps in her room or on the couch in front of the fireplace. I think Sadie has been very good for Mom as Tucker and Brodie tend to hang out with me and Diana the peke. Sadie is becoming Mom’s most devoted companion.  I have never been married though I was in a long-term relationship and I know I was very hurt when things did not work out.  I can imagine a person could feel unloved or even unlovable. Most pets will love unconditionally and that can be a great ego boost as well as a reason that a person goes on making a life.  Having an animal that adores you and or depends on you can make a big difference in your mental attitude. I think with Mom’s divorce thing going over a year that having a devoted lil dog will will be very good for Mom and Sadie will do well with Mom taking care of her.

I got the front porch filled with wood. The wood rick is topped off and I filled 3 of the 18 gallon bucket with mill-ends. I hope Monday I can run the mower over the front yard and pick up/mulch the leaves that are dropping since it turned cold. I’ll need to move Smokey the cat out of the basement and do a little patrol while the weather is good. The weather man says don’t worry about the high clouds and the storm will hit the day before Thanksgiving.  Well, I worry as the weatherman’s timing has been a bit off this year.

So far adding the air purifiers has made life a lot better.  While we (preppers/survivalist) types tend to  plan for the worst case scenario. I see no reason why should not make our day to day living the best it can be at all times including today, or in a disaster.


The house feels different after caulking the windows

October 21, 2015

Perhaps there is a “placebo” effect, that the house feels warmer after caulk and foaming all the gaps.  Mom stated that the house feels less damp and the backrooms are much warmer via thermometer Mom installed last year and I’m not seeing as much sweating/moisture around the windows in the back part of my house. I know it is early days yet for this little test/maintenance job.  But I feel like an “acid minded moron” for not caulking and sealing up holes around the house when those products are so cheap.

Mom and I still need to finish caulking all of the south side windows and put up the window insulation kits/plastic. I think we have eliminated much of the moisture and drafts coming through the windows. I managed to get the ladder setup and we have some sunny days coming up this week so we might be able to finish up the last three windows.

Bad news I think I need a new roof and new siding because many of the cheap lap panels are pulling loose from the basic structure of the house.  I figure it will take about $15 grand in repairs to make the house right long term. I can’t complain as this is a house built in 1940 and I ignored a few problems due to a lack of money to fix thing properly. So far I am doing stop-gap repairs to keep things from getting worse. The financial plan of attack is to keep working on the “emergency fund” and then take out a short term loan next year for each job. The roof should cost about $4-6 grand and I hope the siding will be about the same cost wise.  I’ll get one job done and paid off then get started on the next job. Nampa city has a low interest loan program that might be a good option for getting the jobs done.  Right now I am just doing research on the total cost of the repairs and the best way to pay for them. I really hate the idea of going into more debt on the house.

Gosh Jamie what if the “Zombie” Apocalypse happens while you are in debt?  Well, if it happens it happens and perhaps those contractors will work for beer, bread and silver.  I can’t stop taking care of stuff/ planning for the future just because I think an Economic collapse “might” happen in the near future.  I try to use debt in small chunks and get the best deal possible. But if a repair job costs over 5-9 months of your yearly income you almost have to go into debt to make the repairs.  It’s just another one of those thing that proves that being poor in the USSA can be darn expensive.

Something will always go wrong in your planning and you will have to deal with it. It might be an appliance that dies, a tooth ache or vet bill that blindsides you. That is why building that “emergency fund” is so critical to your preps.

Good news!  Smokey the cat is moving about the house and is not treating all dogs as evil incarnate.

 

 


Busy yard work day

June 15, 2015

Mom got out early to weed the garden beds and a couple of her plants to the “sunny” raised bed.  Mom sprayed down the plants with a mix of Dawn dish soap and water. The bugs are really bad this year, I think letting Mom’s chickens free-range has helped. . I usually cut my lawn for the last time around Thanksgiving. In 2014 we had very cold weather in early November and a relativly warm winter. Back in the early 1980’s, 10- 20 below zero F. was the norm in January.  It is weather and climate and these things move in cycles. I wonder what the PTBs think is a “perfect” temperature? While an average of 75- 80 degrees  F. works well for humans it is not great for all plants and animals.

I started installing the borders and got 1/2 of the  front yard Rose beds done. Added weed & feed to the front lawn  and watered the lawn. I’m not sure how I want to add the wildflowers in the front yard.  I can add the flowers along the fence line but I’m not a big fan of squares and rectangles. The rose and holly beds are established so I don’t have a lot of options on borders.  The wild flower bed is limited by my imagination, cost of borders and fence line.

Mixing up another batch of the essential oil pain relief salve.  I know many people won’t believe an essential oil salve can work almost as good as Oxycodone or Vicodine for pain relief without the side effects. It works for me and I have not used Hydrocodone/Vicodine for 24 months to control my pain.  Using the pain relief salve does not stop all pain and it does not work for all people, but for me it works good enough.

Mom’s little wood camp stove arrived and I got a start on burning off the cheap paint.  I forgot just how much heat that small stove can put out but it nice sitting in the back yard with the little stove burning even if it smoked a bit.  Mom got the wood stove and little water heater for the stove for $90.00 at Amazon which I thought was a pretty good deal. On the little kettle/hot water tank you get two washers, one flexible plastic/rubber and a metal washer for the tap. Place the Plastic washer in the nut on the tank and the metal washer between the tap and nut of the tank spigot.  I did not get a perfect seal and there is a very slow drip at the nut, but it was the best I could get without any instructions and breaking out my plumbing tools. I saw no leaks at the tank seams and I think better quality washers would stop all leaks at the tap!

Getting the stove got us thinking about doing some car/ tent camping plus do some testing our bugout setup this summer.  I have few more items I want to add to my setup. Amazon has a very nice folding 14 watt solar panel for $65.99 with lots of connectors for cell phones, tablets, laptops and a 12 volt battery. I want to add a couple of small power sticks to take advantage of that solar power to recharge my gadgets and those cost about $6.00-$30.00 depending on stored amperage.  Home depot has a neat little fan and mister that has a small pump and runs on Ryobi 18 volt Lithium batteries and cost $80.00.  The reports on both items are very positive though the solar panel is a little “iffy” charging Ipads. I figure if you can charge a small battery unit and then charge an Ipad you should be okay.  I don’t own an Ipad or Iphone but I have read they are very particular about using any sort of  backup power.

Out and about committing random acts of kindness and senseless beauty!  I picked up a few little plastic storage cups. Nothing fancy though you might store some dried herbs or small nut/bolts.  Any how I filled the small container with my essential pain salve and handed it out to a few neighbors that have been doing hard work and might need a bit of pain relief.  Now I bet a few folks think I am being a bit foolish giving stuff away for free. But all of these people are young and are willing to work to make their lives better. Those are the sort of people I want to have around me.

I get so pissed off at all congress critters and our so called elite wishing they could change the system yet find excuses not to do a damn thing.  My answer to them is “you are part of the PTBs” and you really don’t give a damn about the common people.  All Senators have the power to introduce all sorts of laws and you still pander to the corporations and other ruling elite. The Republicans told the Tea party give us the House and we will de-fund Obamacare, oh wait give us the senate and we can override any Obama veto.  Who is working with Obama with TISA and the TPP it is Republicans!

So all you Presidential hopefuls need to act now to get my vote. I don’t give a damn about what you will do as President. Other than Hillary and Perry you are are all in elected offices and may introduce bills at any time.  So you can introduce legislation to limit SSD/ EBT, revoke both the 1968 and 1934 acts against firearms.  If a female can invoke my body my choice for abortion why can’t a person invoke my body my choice for drugs?  Presidential hopefuls want to play it safe. I don’t want that,  I want some one that will take stand  and find a hill they will die on in the literal sense.  If you can not do those those things I will not vote for you! I’ll vote democrat and give them all they want and more so we crash the system and a folks may wake up.  I’m prepared for that are you?

 

 

 


Puttering around the house, trike maintenance and dealing with Riot control agents

May 3, 2015

I finally got started cleaning up and organizing the basement. The basement is sort of a catch all for all the items that need to be in a temprature controlled enviroment and can not be stored in my shop. I got the paint and cleaning supplies awawy from the food supplies and stacked on shelves just for those sort of items. In general you want to store cleaning/home improvement (paint, caulk etc.) supplies away from your food supplies. Any how I got a few items organized, so I could walk easily  and swept the small carpet and the concrete floor to clean up dust and trash.  While my basement isn’t “all that” I  think of it as my little bunker. Keeping it clean and organized is a challenge.  I’m not one of those people that does “A place for everything and everything in it’s place.  Quite often I get stuff I think I might need/want on hand, find a place to put it and then figure out how to organize it later…  Not such a good plan if you are just starting to prep as you can miss getting items you need and get overly redundant on some items.  I thought I had plenty of both C and AAA type batteries. Nope! I have lots of AA and D batteries. Don’t stress out just fix it as soon as you can afford to stockup again.  I try to think positive on all I do to prep. While I may miss a few small items, in genearal I am well prepeared to handle a minor disaster.  When I screw up I don’t beat myself up, I simply adjust my shopping list and top off those missing items.

I got my adult trike out and cleaned it up, aired up the tires and added a headlight and break light along with a little bell. Bikes and adult trikes don’t get much love or notice in the prepping community and I think a bike or trike is something all preppers should have on hand and practice everything from bugging out to daily shopping.  If you are semi-healthy and walk a couple of mile per day,  a bike/trike would get you about 6 miles away from ground zero. Let’s say you are physically capable of walking 5 miles per day. A bike/trike would probably triple that mileage and weight you could carry more stuff means give you better chance at survival.  Practice using a bike/ trike and have a plan for bugging out. It might be using a backpack and a basket or using a child trailer but get your bike setup ready and practice shopping, riding around and setting up your  bug out routes now!

I have been Teared gassed and while very unpleasant, there is a lot you can do to adapt to being gassed. # 1. Don’t freak out or panic. Getting gassed is very unpleasant but it is not the “end of the world”! #2.  Do not rub your eyes or mouth or your skin.  As quickly as possible rinse your skin  and face with cool water for at least 5-10 minutes and strip off all contamimated clothing.  Have a basic mask, bandana and safety goggles at all times when entering a potential riot area.  For tear gas “sip your air” through your mouth.  Getting tear gassed is very unpleasant your first time. You ever wonder why anarchists go into the fog of tear gas. They have a bit of protection and have leared to deal with gas. Tear gas is pretty unpleasent at first, but with a bit of practice it isn’t that bad to deal with if you are prepared.  I would recommend any one going into a possible riot zone wear a long sleaves and be ready to strip to shorts and a t-shirt.  Thinking in layers is just not for winter.  While a gas mask on hand is great, it will be easier to stash a couple of masks and goggles in your jockey box and add a bandana to your every day carry gear.

While I give you some ideas. Be aware and prepare, so you don’t have to go through riot areas. That means you must keep your vehicle topped off.  You need to plan your routes to avoid any “potential riots or bad areas”.   Be polite and respectful to all and have a plan to kill all around you.  I did not choose this option I’m simply taking measures to protect myself.


My Gosh, what a not so good week!

April 30, 2015

It’s been an emotional exhausting week for Mom and I.  It started on with the Mom getting every “button” pushed by Dad’s Lawyer. I have to say she was madder than a wet hen when she got home and really got motivated to finish up some paperwork and tracking down records. I suppose some people get angry, do nothing and just sort of chew on that anger. Mom and I tend to re-direct that anger into proving the person wrong about what they have said about us. Questioning our honesty, integrity or honor is a great way to get both of us “fired up”! We don’t have much so that personal integrity think is very important to both of us and we will fight to protect it.

I got very emotional about Diana the peke getting hurt by Samson the pit bull as well as having to return the pit to the pound. There is some good new though as the pit bull is available for adoption again and Diana the peke seems to be feeling better but is still a little gimpy. I tried a small amount of the “essential oil” pain relief salve on her sore spots and it seems to help and she did not have any negative reaction.  I did a lot of research and you can use some essential oils on dogs safely. My hope is after testing a little bit of the pain salve on Diana the peke and it works we can use the salve on the other dogs.  Cat’s don’t handle essential oils at all as it acts like a liver poison. I tried a commercial “natural flea killer” made with essential oil on my cat and she had a very bad reaction almost instantly, so I would never use any essential oils on my cat. When my cat had the reaction to the oils I washed her down with Dawn Dish soap to get rid of the oil and the Dawn worked great!  I would recommend if you are using essential oils that you keep a small bottle of Dawn dish soap handy just in case you need to wash off the oil because of a negative reaction!

Of course not everything was bad this week! I had a good day shopping at the local dollar store and stocked up on several of the magic eraser type sponges, got several cans of wet dog food and three bags of those heat-shrink plastic window insulation kits for next winter.  I was amazed by how well those plastic window kits did on eliminating drafts and retaining heat this last winter.  Replacing your windows is sort of expensive and stocking up on these kits is a good idea. I like this plastic as it is clear and lets in sunlight and you can see out your windows. Plus these kits can help seal your windows in case of a NBC/Nuclear, Biological or Chemical accidents or attacks, dust storms, volcanic ash depending on your location and threat level.  I got hit with Tear gas several times in the Army as a part of my training and you do not want that stuff coming into your home.  I will do a post about protecting against riot control agents this weekend!

It has been tad difficult this week but we are still standing.  Actually I learned quite a lot though I did not care for the emotional roller coaster. If the SHTF we will look back at weeks like these fondly. While things are tough they really are not that tough yet.