Things are getting crazier!!!

June 1, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Onto the riots:

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

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

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

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


OMG! so much rain! I thought I lived in a desert?

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!

  1. That means food and utilities come first.  Whatever monies are leftover then go for your debts and rent.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!


The big front yard tree is down

May 4, 2020

It took the guys from Tucker’s Timber about 10 hours to cut that big old elm down and they worked hard for all of those 10 hours. I think they did a great job with cleanup but they did have a limb bonk my neighbor’s fence and broke a section of that fence.  I liked how they pointed out this broken section of fence and tried to fix the fence right away rather than try and hide breaking the fence. The tree guys are coming back to my house to repair the neighbors broken fence and do some tree limb clean up on some of my backyard trees.  Based on seeing how full the truck beds are at the end of the day. I think the got about a cord of hard wood from the tree.  I’m getting a discount on the tree cutting service because Tucker’s will have around a cord of hard wood fire wood cut from this one tree.  The guys let me add a couple of my cut  limbs to the Wood chipper pile and gave me a new wood cutting stump that has both a flat cutting surface and a flat bottom for my wood chopping needs.  We had a big thunderstorm and rain about two days after the tree was cut down and I felt much better about cutting down the old tree after seeing the winds blowing through some of the big trees in my neighborhood.

Cutting down the big tree has already affected the “Front yard” ecology dramatically by adding a lot more sunlight.  The kiddy pool strawberry planter has exploded with flowers and the lawn is putting on more green growth in just 2 days.  I treated the lawn for bugs and added some spring feed to the lawn and now the grass is growing like crazy.  It is amazing how one change in your yard can have so many additional changes that can be both positive and negative for your plans.  I’m thinking about adding a couple of dwarf fruit trees  for a little shade or perhaps a shaded seating area with a pergola or patio umbrella/canopy that will make up for the lost shade from the tree.  I am taking this summer to see how much impact the lost of that shade tree will affect the home cooling costs and how it will affect the front yard flower/garden beds.

I attacked the overgrown grape vines so I could get three more raised beds ready for a “Three Sisters” beds of corn, beans and squash.  Cutting out the old grape canes went better than I anticipated.   While I did cut out some new runners and growth, most of the stuff I cut was old dried out canes that was messy and not productive vine growth. The three beds have been fallow for a year and I need to fork it, add some compost/manure but I think the beds will be ready for planting one bed of sweet corn and the other beds of dent corn.  After a couple of weeks  I can add the pole beans and week later the winter squash if I can find seeds for direct sowing. SW Idaho has a fairly long growing season for a northern state.  While we can’t grow citrus fruits on a large scale we have many orchards full of apples, apricots, pears and grow some of the best grapes. Idaho farms also grow a lot of onions, garlic, wheat, oats and corn. So I think I’ll do okay with fresh greens and growing some stuff in my garden beds as I live in a agricultural state. Our weakest link in Idaho is gasoline/ diesel/ fuel and carbon-based fertilizer and chemical pesticides.  While I may not like using chemical based poisons to eliminate insect in a large scale farming operation.  I can’t say the pesticide is ineffective.  I just think the cost/benefit ratio might be problematic.

Anyhoo,  if you are like me on Social Security and file taxes but don’t get a refund or have to pay taxes. The IRS web site now is “Updated” and I got an update on when the check was mailed rather than a webpage of the IRS doesn’t respond with a page of the IRS does not know!   I make under $20 grand a year and supposedly the IRS mailed out the check May 1st.  I don’t know if it is true but at least it is better than the “We don’t know” page.   If you got the IRS “We don’t know” page in the last month you might want to check back and see if the status has changed.  I hate this pittance giver to USA tax payers and the big banks get to hand out government backed grants in the billions of dollars.  Gold/money always runs up hill.  Give the poorest person a  $100-$1000 dollars and they will spend it right away!  I’m doubtful all would spend it wisely, but before a week is out that money will end up in a TBTF bank.  I think giving people “Free Money” is a bad thing but if the government is hell bent on giving away “free money”. They should make that money circulate as effectively as possible.  That means giving that free money to the people of the middle class and poor because they will spend the money to pay rent,mortgages,credit card payments, utilities, groceries, fuel/energy.  An Uber rich person might buy another Picasso.  Hell I love good art but how does that art create demand/growth of the economy?  Honestly how many pairs of pants can Bill Gates buy/own?


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

April 22, 2020

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

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

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

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

 


Front lawn/yard cleanup

April 18, 2020

I can’t believe I got most of the front yard clean up done in one day, though I did take a nap about half way through the work day.

The big tree hasn’t been cut down yet.  The company I use for my firewood is extremely busy and that is great! The owner gave me a call to explain why they did not get to my tree as they cut done one tree, then neighbors asked if they would trim or cut down trees while they were in the neighborhood.  I don’t blame the company for trying to get as much work and cash as possible cutting and trimming trees.  This company has been great letting me make payments as well as being honest and forthright with the quality of firewood.  I get full cords of fire wood and even a little box bonus of kindling every time they deliver fire wood.  It can be brutal for small local companies to keep working so if they get paying jobs that keep them in business this spring that means they will be around to sell me good firewood in the future.

Any hoo, I held off cleaning up the front yard because I anticipated a lot of twigs and  branch clean up from the big tree getting cut down.  The tree might not be cut down for a couple of weeks and my front yard needs some work!  I used the weed eater to knock down most of the weeds.  I was surprised it took 2, 20 volt batteries to get that clean up done. I mowed the grass to a low height and and then raked the lawn.

I don’t like using using pesticides on the lawn but I have a bad grub and bug problem in the front yard.  I spread a bit of granular pesticide to see if it will take care of the nasty lawn eating bugs.  I watered the bug  killing stuff today and Sunday it should be safe for the pets and to water the entire front lawn and give the plants/lawn a good soak.  The back yard lawn area grass is still spotty but I think most of the grass seed added this spring is growing.

I’m using a Fescue mix of drought tolerant grass seeds in soil that needs a lot of improvement in a high desert climate.  So the lawn is taking some time to fill in. I hope in a 2-3 weeks the lawn will have enough growth/germination to stand up to a mowing.

The seed starting beds for the garden are starting to poke up little bits of greenery.  Even the old seed starting beds have a few seeds starting to grow.  The older seed bed was slower than I had anticipated for germination but the new seed starter box has some tomato plants growing. I prefer cooler temps in this part of the house.  Germinating plants need a higher and more consistent temp.  It looks like I need to get a plant warming mat for the starter plant boxes.

I’m working on a small “raised” garden bed that is on wheels and about the same working height of most kitchen counters of 30-36 inches tall but with a 12-18 inch depth of soil for planting a small two foot by four foot kitchen/herb garden that is easy to move around from full sun or to shade on a small patio/deck or balcony.  I want it to be low cost and easy for people to make with small investment of under $50.00 in lumber.  The overall height of the bed should make it easy for all  people to use as this taller raised bed should make gardening easier compared to kneeling on the ground for most raised beds.  Speaking only for myself, I have moved pots, garden beds and tweaked what I plant in my yard all the time.  It would be nice to move even a small garden bed of plants into the shade or into the sun because of the weather or season.

I am sure there are plans already out on the internet for this Raised garden/patio cart idea.  Until I build it my self it is all “theory” not reality for me. Perhaps I make a better raised bed, then again it might be worse, but I will have a real product to test against theory.

I noticed many more people masked up when I was shopping at Fred Meyers last Thursday.  It was Military discount day and Shoppers tend to be older and I hope the Vets are more self aware about a pandemic virus.  If you want to open the the USA economy wear a  mask and limit the spread.  I know wearing a mask properly is annoying.  Don’t go shopping unless you want to wear a mask properly.  Wear a mask, practice social distance of 6-12 feet voluntarily or the government at all levels will shut you down because you are incapable of being smart enough to protect yourself and others around you.

 


Got some plant starts, seeds and shopping

April 12, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Really it should be a simple if not easy process:

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

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

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

 


Seeds !

April 8, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


It is starting to warm up in SW Idaho

April 5, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Can You Do?   What can’t you do?


I got my ramen noodles!

March 24, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

March 22, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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