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

July 27, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Advertisements

Plants are going into beds. Huzzah!

May 18, 2019

I think I suffered a bit of a CIDP flare this last week and did not get much done as I felt less than chipper, during the good outside working days last week.  I was able to run my errands and get a bit of shopping done but until today I was down, and in recovery mode.

I did get a lot of great buys via Fred Meyer’s Founder’s sale this week as  Pet-it Sirloin steaks are $2.69 per pound and 70/30 Hamburger is only $1.79 per pound.  With all the flooding in the midwest and the crazy trade war talk, Stocking up on beef/meats  is one of my missions this spring.  Getting the freezer full is high on my to do list this spring.

We got snow in the mountains around the Treasure Valley and the weather went from 85 degrees F. for a high to 55 degrees for a high in less than 24 hours.  Saturday the 18th was about the only dry day to get much work done in the garden or on the yard.  I finished mowing the front lawn about 9:15 pm while my solar lights were on.  Thankfully my electric mower is somewhat quiet and I did not disturb anyone partying on a Saturday night.  I normally would not mow so late but this is the last dry day for the next 7-10 days.  May tends to be a “wonky” weather month around here,  as I have seen 100 degree days as well as snow in the valley as late as May 18th.

I did get one of my garden beds full.  I added two types of romaine lettuce and Napa Cabbage starter plants to my “Cole crop” raised bed.  The broccoli and cauliflower plants that have been under the Agri-born frost cloth are growing very slowly and may need a little more sun though the onions seem to be to be doing well  for “scallion” type growth.  The Agri- born cloth seems to inhibit sunlight a bit more than I anticipated so I have cut the cloth in the middle to allow more mid-day sunlight to hit the crops in the raised beds.  One of my biggest problems with my past gardens is crops bolting, if the Agri-born cloth helps mitigate that issue I will be extremely happy.

I finally figured out what to grow in the former tomitillo raised bed.  I’m going with melons and flowers like marigolds and nasturtiums.  I want to play around with natural bug control and edible flowers/landscape plants.  Plus I’m growing a very  different plant/rotating the crops so that should help mitigate any bug or soil problems.  While I want to go vertical via trellis with the small melons,  this bed has the most area for plants that tend to spread out.

Great news my blue potato buckets have a few plants are starting to come up and put on some greenery.  I was about to give up on those plants but that is the best thing about using big planter buckets/pots as you can try new stuff and give the plants time to grow or fail, without affecting your main garden.  City gardeners like myself that use raised beds or containers always seem to find others that want to know how plant experiments work out.  It’s not snark when some people have great success or another person has a less successful growing of a plant.  It is about finding what worked, and did not work for each individual garden.

Last but not least I had some quail wander through my backyard and it was wonderful watching those little birds check out the backyard.  I’d love to expand my backyard into an urban wildlife habitat. Yeah, some critters are annoying, but there are many bonuses to having wild critters around to eat insects and such.  Never discount a potential protein source in your preps.


I’m so excited for spring and getting the garden started. Building the erector set green house not so much…

March 14, 2019

I’ve several posts done but they all seem to degenerate in to some sort of rant.  While there is plenty of things happening to be pissed off about in the world. I don’t think those posts show the best way forward. It becomes to easy to hit a feed back loop that everything sucks and why should you try to make a a better life for yourself.  Perhaps it is being in that space between seasons that brings out the cynic/pessimist in a person.  Life does not seem all that bad as long as you disconnect from the media for awhile and get to work on your little area of the world you can control.

I started on grape vine clean up. What I want to do is clean out all the old grape vines/cans and get everything pruned back to the original plants.  This job is taking awhile because I let the grape vines go crazy for years without taking care of the properly.  This also a much easier job to do after all the leaves fall off the vines.  I figure filling a large garbage can per week of grape vines/canes will go along way to make my grapes healthy and more manageable.  Pruning back the grape vines is not as bad as I anticipated. It’s not exactly easy, but it is amazing how much you can clean up if you work in sections going back to the original plant.

The new pole saw is a bit scary.  Not the saw itself, but the dropping tree branches. I have a hard head but dropping large branches on my head is not the way I want to add random stimuli to my thought process! I will use the ladder to get up above the branch drop and Mom says she will play “spotter” to call 911 if I get injured.  I do have safety goggles and hard hat but I doubt that will help if a tree limb “sweeps” me off the ladder.  I’m a little scared but I’ll use this tool in less “dire” circumstances cleaning up tall shrubs until I’m more confident of using the tool.

Onto the spring has sprung and gardening stuff!  I have about 3 yards of good garden/topsoil that I got for over 50% off regular price. Raised bed gardening has many positives going for those beds but they are not cheap to build and add good growing soil to fill those garden beds will cost you. Filling a garden bed or three that is 12 inches deep 8-12 feet long with garden soil can get very expensive, very fast! I ‘m holding back about putting plants in the ground but Around April 1st I ‘ll start plants in the house. Test out few cold weather crop seed starts under a frost cover. I want to start some Cole crops like broccoli or some root veggies a bit early and see if the cover protects the veggies.

Lots’s of new stuff and experiments this year! We will see how it works out.


Huzzah!I got the house cleaned up (mostly)

November 11, 2018

One thing about this flare has been bothering about the flare is I was doing just the minimal housework to keep things going.  Using my limited energy levels for wood cutting and hauling sort of was the priority with temps dropping into the 20’s at night.

Needless to say the basic cleanliness of the house dropped of rather significantly overall and having furry doggies dragging in leaves and stuff from the yard made my floors/carpets a disaster!   But in the last few days I have been able to catch up on most of the household stuff.

I went a little bit crazy and got a lot of the homemade dog food made up and stored in the freezer. My fridge is finally emptied of all the meats I got on sale. I finally got it packed/wrapped and stored in the freezer.  The floors are swept or vacuumed and I even got a little bit of dusting done in the living room and kitchen.

I ignored the wood pile and focused on just getting the the house back to clean livability levels.  This has helped me feel better mentally because a dirty house just is not a happy place to live!

The plan for next week is to keep working on the kindling buckets, cutting some of the bigger chunks of wood to fire wood size.  I will mix in raking leaves and yard cleanup as I can mix up those tasks when I get tired of doing one thing I can use a different muscle group on different tasks.  It’s getting a bit cool overnight but it is dry and the wind is supposed to be calm this next week, so yard work should be easier to accomplish.

Next week schedule will probably look like … 15-20 minutes work on raking leaves, watch a you tube video.  15-20 minutes stacking wood on the porch play some easy video games or read some news. 15-20 minutes of mowing the lawn/sucking up leaves, have lunch and take a nap.   Then repeat for about 5 days as I slowly build up stamina.

Actually I’ve done this sort of schedule when I came home after becoming disabled.  What is great now is I have better tools to get stuff done in that 15-20 minutes worth of work.   While cutting kindling still takes an axe I have a hatchet, axe, spitting maul and different weight sledge hammers to get the job done.  I have a couple of light weight chainsaws I’m comfortable using to cut wood.  Now I have a little battery power leaf blower to blow stuff into small piles and then I use the leaf rake to finish collecting the leaves.

While it has been a bit humbling to myself to have to rebuild my stamina.  It has also been a bit of a boost to know that I have the tools to do the work even if it is in 20 minute blocks after a rest/recovery period.  I prepped good to build all those tools up just in case I had a flare and could not work very hard because of a lack of stamina.

I was a little bummed out because I did not bounce back physically but finally I did back to that Idea of do just 5 minutes of work.  Heck, in just five minutes I could fill my little wagon with wood or add 2 arm loads of wood to the porch wood rack.  Sure I had to sit and rest for a bit but I could get those jobs done.  A few 5 minutes a couple of times a day of moving wood filled the porch wood rack.  A few 5-15 minutes of cutting kindling will fill that kindling box.

I know there were many jobs I don’t start because I think it my take hours of work to accomplish.   But if you break the job down into smaller sections it become very doable.   Okay concrete is a time critical job but there are many small jobs that have to be done first before you bring in concrete.  Most big jobs are actually made up of a bunch of small jobs.

I guess that is about it on my little rant.  Overall things are a difficult, but I’m getting on top of the jobs. I’m building up my stamina, I can still keep my self warm and fed until I recover some what physically.  Overall life is good if not perfect.

 


New door knob and dead bolt installed

December 9, 2017

I have never changed a door knob or dead bolt before today.  Installing the new lever type door knob and dead bolt lock on the back door was a simple replacement job.  Changing from a standard twist knob to a lever type is easy just make sure you buy a handle that can be switched from left to right so you don’t get bound up by the door jamb/frame.  The door should be more secure as I replaced the 1/2 inch long strike plate screws with much longer screws that are screwed into the actual wood studs that frame the door and not just into finish wood around the door.

I did not lock the dead bolt at night on this door as the old lock was a key open system on both sides of the lock.  With the new dead bolt we have a simple knob we can turn on the inside of the door.  This dead bolt knob makes it much easier to get out the door in case of a house fire.

I know operating a door knob is not a big deal for most people.  Now I can grab that lever and give it a 90 degree twist/push to open the door.  The simple mechanics of a lever compared to gripping and twisting a standard round door knob is incredibly easier for me to use multiple times a day.  Plus the the new door hardware looks great on the newly painted doors and fits the new exterior very nicely.

One thing I noticed with hardware that is retro looking, such as the door levers rather that twist knobs or sink hardware levers/star type faucet fixtures is that hardware is more “Handicap Compliant/ ADA approved” compared to the average hardware around in many homes.  It is so much easier to push a lever open or close with an elbow or a hand that can’t grip as good as you age or get disabled.  Big plus is the hardware looks great in any type “look” you want in your home.  I know  now replacing a door knob is not a big deal.  Trust me getting your door open to get inside where it is warm and not fighting to get a grip on a round door knob can really cut down on the cussing!

Had an inversion in the valley this week and while it hasn’t been very cold, 30’s during the day and high teens at night the moisture of the fog  gives us chilly feeling.  The inversion has had an impact on how well the wood stoves burn and Mom and I are still trying to figure out how to use the wood stove since the house is better insulated and we have added more ceiling fans to move the air around.  I thought it would be simple this winter.  Nope, just different.

I need some help/info from you all if you make your own soft/wet dog food.  Mom and I want to make wet dog food and move the doggies off canned dog food.  I have a general idea of the grain to protein mix but I’m unsure of the vegetable matter that needs to be added and in what proportions.  Rice will be our primary grain and we will not use any sort of wheat products as our dogs do terrible on that grain.  We would be open to corn meal as a grain if you have used it for your dogs.  I also want to add fats like lard or beef tallow as I don’t have a warm a fuzzy feeling about most vegetable oils.

 


House is holding heat great and a stitches update

November 11, 2017

I have been blown away by how well the house holds heat since the windows and siding are complete.  My computer room now gets into the mid-70’s F. and retains the heat even after the wood stove burns out.  Of course it has not turned to cold in the valley since all the work was done but with the old windows heat would just leak out if we did not have plastic on the windows.  Mom and I are using a lot of the mill ends and smaller limbs for small fires and just to keep the firebox going through the day.  The only problem with that sort of fire is I’ll need to buy more of the mill ends for the rest of winter (for kindling) and too use next spring.  I have the materials for another wood rack and one more load of wood ordered for delivery this month.  That last load should fill up the main wood storage area and I’m storing the mill ends in a separate area that is easy access for adding more wood if needed this winter of spring.

I started painting the front door a grey semi-gloss that matches the color of the gables and frame work around the windows.  It is going to take a couple of coats of paint to cover up the old red door.  The worst part is the old door hardware looks kind of terrible against the new paint.  I have been looking at new locks and door levers rather than just the standard knobs.  Eventually I’d like to change all the doors to the lever type handles as they look great and are much easier for me to operate with my CIDP.  One thing I have become aware of since getting disabled is how much easier life can be if you retro fit faucets, door handles and other (ADA approved) hardware.  What is great is most of the hardware has a retro-look that fits with me going back to the original look of a 1910-20’s Craftsman House.

Update on the stitches: Every thing is looking good according to the doc in a box.  In a week I’ll get the stitches removed though it may take up to 6 weeks the cut to fully heal and give me another interesting scar.  The Doc in a box even asked where I got the bandage I was using to cover the cut.  The Walgreen’s brand of 3 inch x 4 inch knee/elbow bandage works great for covering a large cut and is very easy to apply.  I’m not sure if this is correlation or causation but when I started using Curad’s Anti-microbial silver solution  I noticed a significant reduction of pain around the injury site compared to using the little packets of anti- Bacterial cream I got from Doc in a box.  I believe but can not prove that the silver solution gel made a huge difference on how quickly this cut started healing.

Not to much more to add other than I got some tree limbs to cut up, more leaves to clean up and I have to install all of my solar motion lights.


Tools and stuff I using for cleanup. Another cheap solar solution

June 12, 2017

This winter I bought a large 5 gallon shop vac for dealing with the flooding in my shop.  With the addition of some bags and some brush tools the vac works great for getting up the mouse droppings, plus we don’t have to worry about the dust or spreading anything via the shop vac exhaust.  I have a small 1.5 gallon Shop vac that has worked out great cleaning the laundry area and closets where the big shop vac is difficult to maneuver around in tight quarters.  My only complaint about the Shop vacs is the power cords are too short and I have to use an extension cord for almost every job. I don’t think using your regular vacuum to clean up a vermin infestation is a good idea.  Save that house vacuum for your everyday cleaning chores and get a cheap shop vac for around $20.00-$60.00 depending on the size and features.

Cleaning off the existing shelves I have been using a “Shop brush” ($2.00 Harbor Freight) and an oversized dust pan ($1.00) Dollar Tree.  These tools work great for cleaning  shelves that have open areas between the slats.  You can place some newspaper below the shelf and just sweep everything onto the paper or into the oversized dust pan.   I am looking into building some of my shelves with smaller 1×2 or 1×3 and painting all shelves with a semi-gloss paint so they will not absorb odors and will be easy to clean in the future.

Cleaning solutions:  The Clorox urine remover is working out great! I bought a spray bottle to try it out ($5.00 Lowe’s)  but I will be buying the large jug ($13.00 Lowe’s) for my cleaning supply.  What I like most is this cleaner works on all surfaces and has not bleached or discolored my furniture or carpets.  I’m using a mild bleach solution to clean the cement/concrete wall of my basement area. The mice don’t seem to care for bleach solution or it disrupts the scent pathways they establish.   Mom and I are cleaning the buckets with the mild bleach solution and so far we have not found any mouse dropping on those cleaned buckets.  The basement is smelling better overall and in the area we have cleaned still smells clean after 5 days.

Traps:  Tom, I have added one of those Victor Tin cat traps in the basement and using a bit of grain rather than peanut butter as bait. In the last four days we have caught 10 adult mice.  I’m using a lot of sticky traps in the house as Snap traps are difficult for me to set and use.  Heck even the local Dollar store has those sticky traps though it may take laying out the traps in groups of 2 or 3  traps to catch the mice, they do work.  One thing I have learned about sticky traps the more surface area the trap has the better it works for catching mice.   Over all I think the Tomcat metal re-usable traps are a better solution for a prepper.  I think adding sticky traps when you find them on sale are great and should be added to preps.

Last but not least clean up item, construction grade trash bags.  These bags have a heavy mil of 2-6 depending on on what you buy and are great multi-taskers.  This last winter we did not have trash pickup for over 6 weeks.   I do have a bit of an advantage with the wood stove to burn most paper trash.  While I had extra cans on hand for trash I was ready with those super thick bags to hold trash. I live in a small city and if my neighbors don’t contain trash properly the vermin will affect me and not just them.

Okay now the fun shopping stuff for the day.  I bought a small under counter LED light that runs on rechargeable batteries for $20.00 at Home Depot.  What is great,  is the light is recharged via a USB cable and all of my power packs and my fold able 15 watt solar panel has USB connection for power.  This a great way for me to start a solar powered light system for the kitchen via a solar panel/ power pack but still can be recharged via the electric company’s outlets.  No direct wiring is need to install  this little LED lamp. You don’t need a large solar array to take advantage of solar energy.  A small solar panel system that charges a small battery bank can be a great start.   I have a small power pack that that can jump a dead car battery though I have not tested it for charging via my little solar panel.  As soon as the sun comes out in SW Idaho I will test it out.

I forgot I’m adding a bug barrier insecticide as we clean the basement.  I’m not sure how the insecticide is working but I do have a great system of battery powered pump sprayer now. I think it is helping but it is early days of testing.