Quiet/lazy weekend

April 14, 2019

Very rainy day so I did a few basic chores in the house. I sliced up the turkey for the doggies and the bits the slicer could not slice got put in the doggie dishes.  As of Sunday night both dogs are in a Turkey “coma”. I buy Deli Turkey breast (about 10 pounds) slice and use that meat as dog treats.  I pay anywhere from $1.80- 2.30 per pound and  slice the turkey thin at home, then freeze the meat in quart size bags.  I think the deli turkey is better quality than most doggie treats you can and when you compare the per pound price to good quality dog treats, you are saving money.  Plus I can eat this turkey, I’m not quite ready to eat most doggie treats.

Quite a few of the older seeds are starting to sprout up.  I have at least one of the Sun Globe? yellow cherry tomato coming up. A Winter Melon from a seed packet dated 2011 is sprouting and the Bok Choy sprouts are going a bit crazy.  About April 17th I can move the sprouting box into a sunny window/ under a small grow lamp. That will give all the seeds a chance of 10 days to sprout in warm, damp and dark conditions.  Amazon has a small grow lamp for about $18.00 that will keep the light levels up to 8-10 hours needed for the new plants to grow.

This is the first year I have done a good job of starting seeds indoors. I have kept the plant area somewhat warm, in the dark and most importantly damp without over watering.  I have to say the Jiffy staring beds are pretty good for the price of $8.00 if a little “floppy” because of the thin materials used for the kit.  For a cheap $8.00 you get a tray, cover and 72 cells to start seeds indoors.  I hope to get at least two maybe three years of use from the Jiffy seed starting kit. For the investment of money and learning about starting plant indoors for the first time.  I think $8.00 is a cheap price for what I have learned so far.  Plus it has been a big thrill to see those plants sprout from seeds, especially the plants from seed packets that are old or the seeds Mom saved.

This a tray/kit is a good place for any one that wants to start growing garden plants indoors to see if you will care for the sprouting seeds. If this starter kit works for you then you can invest in higher quality starter kits for next garden season. Remember this is only the beginning of the spring garden season.  There is also succession gardening and planting garden veggies for a fall crop of veggies that need a bit of cold weather/frost to bring out the sweetness in some veggies.  I stated I did not care for straw as a mulch in the the garden but I now think straw will be a good mulch in my berry planters.  One of the reasons Straw berries are so named is because people used straw to mulch/protect the plants in cold weather from frosts.  Mom is going to give me some of her straw to add to the berry planters as mulch.

For the city critters I’m going to cut back on the food in the feeders but focus on keeping the water in the birdbaths full of clean drinking water.  There should be plenty of foraging for the critters and clean safe water to drink should keep the wild life healthy.  In the fall I’ll start feeding again. Keep your homestead clear of stagnant water that is a mosquito breeding ground.  You can’t control other people but you can mitigate yourself adding to a problem.

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Feeling good today

December 11, 2018

I had a very good day today!  I got an 18 gallon bucket full of kindling today. I feel it was via improving stamina and working more efficiently.  I’m getting a lot better at picking straight grain chunks of wood for my kindling.  The axe is great for splitting wood into smaller chunks and then using the hatchet to make the actual kindling.  I’m trying to be conservative in my estimate on how much kindling I need to stock up on but I’m feeling very positive about how much kindling I have cut and how long it will last this winter.

Mom says she has plenty of kindling and fire starters. I have found that using a page of news print under the egg carton fire starter as the 1st layer of fire starter and then add kindling, I can start a fire in less than two minutes.  Overall I’m very happy that I could help out Mom with giving her a little kindling and fire starters.  I’m not sure how long the wood in my racks will last during winter and I want to buy  more wood because I want to over prepare for heating over winter.

I still think a Depression/inflation is coming and we have been given a long time to prepare.  That long time to prepare was what I wished for myself.  Trust me I thought the crash would come in 2011 but the power of mass delusion kept the stock market /globalism working.

I can do few jobs around the house but I can’t go and cut wood in the forest.  Hell I’m doing good if I can cut kindling for 30-45 minutes in a day.  How much can people do to prep when they work 40 + per week and try growing a garden or stacking wood just to stay warm or preserve food?  No, I don’t want US government help. I just want everyone to have the option of growing a garden or putting up a greenhouse if they want to grow a few veggies.


Leaves and outdoor clean up

November 14, 2018

This new recovery system is working out better than I originally anticipated.  A huge bonus for me has been getting more stuff cleaned up in the house during my “rest periods” from the outside jobs.  Sometimes it is getting my shopping list and coupons ready to go for the week.  Doing a little dusting or getting the dishes soaking to wash on my next break before going out and doing more physical work outside.

Toady I was a little surprised by how many little jobs I managed to get done today by using the 15 minute mix of outdoor job, rest, indoor job, rest,  routine.  I got the porch wood rack full of a mix of woods. The kitchen got a good wipe down and all the dishes are clean. All the leaves or clear of most of the major path/walkways.

Getting these jobs done today really made me feel productive and I’m setting more little jobs for mowing up leaves in the front yard over the next few days.  My back yard job will be raking up leaves and cutting kindling to break up the hard jobs and easy jobs.  Oh and shopping for the turkey and Thanksgiving meal goodies.  What is great is I have these jobs planned to be worked on for the next 5 days so if it takes a little longer than 15-20 minutes to do a job I can can come back to it another day.

I’m still in the build up stamina mode but in some ways at the end of the day I feel I have been more productive getting all those little jobs done rather than focusing on some of big jobs started but not completed,  or I’m down for several days and all those little jobs pile up again to become big jobs.  I can’t be the only person that loves waking up in the morning to a clean kitchen, the laundry is done or knowing you can have a cup of coffee relax and plan what you want to get done, rather than what you HAVE to get done today.

Anyhoo, Mom dropped off the electric pressure I bought her as it just isn’t some thing she is using to cook right now.  I don’t mind because now I can double up my recipes and even make human food using the insta pots.  Mom also borrowed my Toro leaf mulcher /vacuum for her yard.  The mulcher will help Mom start adding more organic material to her garden area and help keep leaves from being bagged for trash.  I trashing the killer walnut leaves and moving the saver leaves to nulch into the garden beds.  Right now every thing in the gardens is a bit of a mess as I’m still getting the new beds finished up.

There is still a lot on my to do list to get done before spring.  I love my new pole saw and see many uses for it.  I also don’t want to concuss myself playing with the damn tool.  Once the cherry trees are down I’ll have spot for the green house to be built in the spring.  I have a plan I’ll just have to pace myself.


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.

 


Moving to the country will happen, how quickly is up for debate

January 7, 2016

First things first, Casa de Chaos will need a new roof and some minor electrical and plumbing work. If I sell the house or Mom and I need to stay here longer we will need a good solid roof over our heads.  Luckily Nampa City has a 0-3% loan/grant program for those type of repairs and the loan might be deferred until the home is sold. I talked to the city today and it looks good for me as a candidate for a loan. I seem a bit unusual in that I have a good credit rating even though I don’t have a lot of income. Thank goodness I did not over mortgage myself when I bought this house and when I refi-ed the house I just wanted a lower payment and interest rate.  If I get approved for the loan the little house should be in great shape to live in or sell in the next year or two.

I will buy a rigid panel, 6×8 greenhouse at Harbor Freight. The greenhouse can be moved to the new place but it will useful here at Casa de Chaos extending the growing season. The last couple of years I have been a bit late on getting the garden plants started so I end up playing catch up and then getting overwhelmed at harvest time.  For a house in the city, this place does have a good set up of fruit and nut trees, grape vines and several different micro-climate garden beds that do a good job supplementing the food budget/pantry.

I have seen a few Owyhee county small acreages in the $70,000-$100,000 range that might work out for mom and I. Both of us need a place around $80,000 so we can put a 20% down payment to avoid paying mortgage insurance. We also will need to have some cash on hand to buy a couple of used ATVs and pickup trucks for work/farm vehicles.  I have a good set of tools for working the soil here in town but I remember digging post holes for a small horse corral via a post hole digger because the hardpan broke most augers.  I was a lot younger and physically healthy at the time. I sure can’t do that sort of physical work now!   I have aged a bit and I like to think I have learned to work smarter rather than harder, plus I cheat a lot to save my physical energy.

So far what I have come up with as a plan of attack is:

  1. Get a low interest loan or grant via the city of Nampa and fix up my house for the future and or selling it for enough money to pay off the mortgage and have money for a 20% down payment plus a buffer of few grand for any emergencies that will arise.
  2. Buy a used ATV and small pickup for working any future farmland/homestead.
  3. Start checking out properties in Owyhee County and touch base with some of the people we know that remember Mom and are willing to give us a head’s up on any good deals.
  4. Buy a Cistern we can use at my place or move to the new homestead that will hold rain water as a backup to the city water system or well.
  5. If possible start inviting like-minded preppers/starting homesteaders along with working with the local FFA and 4-H groups or trading/renting a bit of land for the physical work we can’t do daily.  It can be terrifying to strike out and become a homesteader and it is not the thing for everyone. Perhaps renting a bit of land with someone you trust might be a good way to get your feet wet on homesteading. Without completely pulling up stakes and moving before you are ready to make that sort of commitment.

The plans are still very preliminary but when I set a goal I tend to make it happen eventually. I only dread draining my water barrels if I have move.


I feel like I am getting caught up on stuff for2015!

January 1, 2016

Don’t get me wrong a prepper’s work is never done, at least for me I see preparing as a way of life. For all of 2015 I felt I was about 2-4 weeks behind schedule all year and most of the year seemed to be an exercise in “Crisis Management”.  I did not anticipate Mom’s divorce or her spending a year living with me. Plus I did not set good goals for 2015. For me having realistic goals set for the year is critical to my mental outlook as well as giving me a feeling of accomplishment. Having Mom around has been great, but I have to say that I did not have a firm grasp on my goals for 2015 so with Mom’s help I did manage to get some other things accomplished.  For other people it might be an adult child moving back home or taking on a grandchild, niece or nephew from parents that need to make sure the child is cared for while they get work/relocate.  I suspect I am not alone getting blind-sided by taking in a relative in today’s economy.

While “Crisis Management” is one thing that is very stressful. Learning to be flexible enough to adapt and go with the flow is a prepping and survival skill you need and practice. I can’t speak for others but I have had a lot of practice on adapting to new situations in 2015.  I don’t mind adjusting my goals when new stuff happens, but I really despise the idea of crisis management.  One of the reasons I think I felt I was always behind in 2015 is that I did not write down goals and check them off when achieved or simply crossed goals when I saw no way to make them happen.  For me, scratching a goal off the list is better than trying to play catch up. Since I did not have a list of goals for 2015 there was nothing to scratch off the “todo” list

I am blessed that Mom and I work and live together very well. I do most of the cooking and Mom does the dishes. I like doing outside work and Mom likes cleaning the house.  There is some overlap on jobs but overall we work well together.  Mom wants to get a place out in the country in Owyhee County. I would like a place out in the country like that,  but have been afraid to try and sell my house and worse actually move all my stuff.  I would not be moving to some third world nation and I generally only shop at the local “mega-marts” twice a month so gas prices should not be a huge problem.  Here in the city I can not get close to any sort of self-sufficiency as I do not have a enough land for critters and large garden.  I’m not sure if I’m physically capable of growing most of my own food in the country, but I know I will never grow enough food on my city lot with all of the zoning restriction.

Nampa Idaho is not a big city, but the whole “Treasure Valley” Corridor from Mountain Home (AFB) to Ontario Oregon is becoming an “Urban Megaplex” along I-84.  Boise Idaho according to the last census has a larger population than Salt Lake City Utah.  While I like the area, I don’t like some of the “big city politics” I am starting to see out of Boise.  Just this fall we had Boise city government bragging about buying (via a bond levy) open spaces and then shut down a local “tent city” because there was not enough money to “police the tent city or provide sanitation”.  I love “greenbelts, parks and bike paths” as well as the next person but if a city is buying up land with taxpayer’s dollars, all they end up doing is drive up housing costs and create more income inequality. The PTBs actually make the urban housing problem worse via zoning regulations and declaring green zones, no development zones. I suppose this works out great for people that have already got their homes, but it really sucks for young people/ families and those folks that live on the fringe.

 


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.