Finally got most of Mom’s blinds done!

July 6, 2019

I have been adding/replacing Mom’s old blinds with my somewhat better shape old blinds.  I bought a couple of packages for universal fit blind brackets for Mom’s 47 inch blind.  The old blind brackets are so old the brackets are very brittle and tend to crack into non-functional pieces. While the new brackets are cheap at least they are made of a flexible, yet rigid material not prone the cracking under a little bit of pressure.  Mom’s windows are all dry wall casements not wood framed.  That adds another challenge installing blinds that fit within the dry wall window casement.  I think the correct long term solution for Mom’s windows would be a window casement that frames the windows, but that would probably require a custom built window blind to fit the new interior dimensions.  The windows sort of suck for installing blinds easily but the window casement dimensions currently can be fitted with standard blinds available at most Big Box stores at low cost.

I added one of those sort of cheap roller sunshade blinds to the outside of a small window that has the portable A/C unit. It took a little cussing but over all the blind seemed to cut the heat on that window with out blocking the light for that corner of the room.  You can see through the gaps of the blind from inside but you can’t really see into the house from the outside.  We added new curtains and curtain rod to the “big” kitchen window. The new thermal curtains in place of the short half window curtain rod seems to make that area feel bigger.  The new thermal curtains are a light color and I think having the half window curtains broke up the flow of the window and wall by divided the window in half.  I felt as if that side of the house and window were cooler.  That might have been a reaction to make my work feel worthwhile but Mom said she thought the rooms looked and felt “better”, more like it was her home and not just a house.

I did a bunch of little jobs around Mom’s house but those little jobs really made a big impact on the look and feel of her home.  I need to help Mom replace the guts of her toilet. Now that she has bought tools for the job it should be simple if not easy.  Mom wants to do the work and I’ll be offering “helpful advice” as she does the job.  This will be great for Mom to use her own tools to fix her own toilet.

I have great news!  My peke Tucker seems to adjusting/feeling more secure about load noises like thunder or fire works. He only freaked out during the 4th for about an hour and I gave him tight hugs.  On the 5th it only took about 15-20 minutes of hugging to get him to calm down. Tonight the 6th we had a bit of thunder and fire works and Tucker found his quiet spot.   Just having the little pup feel secure and safe is wonderful!

Next week moving and stacking wood, Huzzah??!!!  Also I got another new/used coffee pot and hopefully it it will work more than 3 days!



Holly bushes trimmed up and the movers dropped off Mom’s stuff

November 11, 2014

Good neighbor N. and I attacked the rest of the holly bushes and got them trimmed down.  The area looks a little rough right now but by next summer the bushes should  put on new growth and get more bush like rather than growing up in height.  I really like how cutting down the holly opens up the front yard to more sunlight during the early part of the day. Between N. and having two small chainsaws and a bow saw the job went very fast.  N. borrowed my leaf blower with the vacuum attachment to get his yard clear of leaves. The good neighbors have helped me so much just because they are “good people”. I have no problem with helping them with tools in return of the work they have done for me. I don’t know if all preppers think about stocking up on tools that use muscle, battery, electric and gas power but it has sure made doing the jobs around Casa de Chaos a lot easier.   I have more work to be done trimming and cleaning up, but trimming the holly  was one of the big jobs I wanted to get done this week.  The snow that is forecasted probably won’t stick so I should be able to get a few more cleanup  jobs done before winter hits.

Mom and the movers stopped by with a few of her dressers and a few of the bigger items we put in the shop. I couldn’t fit her chair through the guest room door but I managed to rearrange the chairs so she has one of my chairs in her room and put her big chair next to the wood stove in the living room.  It doesn’t look too bad and we can still walk through the house without tripping over stuff.  I’m really glad I cleaned up the catch all room as we put several items in there until we can arrange her room so it works for her. While Mom and I get along, as she is not just not my Mom but a friend. People need a bit of privacy and personal space where they can get away from others, no matter how well they like each other in general.

Mom is trying very hard not to be an inconvenience, and while this is a little inconvenient I have been motivated to get a lot of stuff done, cleaning up and organizing my stuff.  I have cleared out most of the mill end wood from the future chicken coop area.  I have a wood table that was left in the shop when I moved in over 10 years ago that should work in the chicken coop/shed for nesting boxes. This table is a homemade one by the previous owners and I really don’t care if it is destroyed. I have a big sheet of peg board that should work with the wall hanging system of the Rubbermaid shed, so adding roosts and other equipment the chickens need should be simple once we have set up the shed.  I’m very excited to have the chickens here and letting them free range in my yards. My hope is Mom’s chickens will work the soil a bit and I will get plenty of organic matter for my compost pile.

I know Mom wants to have her own place and I hope we can find a nice little house for her so she can putter around the yard and do what she wants with her place. But we both know the economy is “iffy” what with the rising cost of the things you need to live and all. I don’t want Mom to feel she needs to move out as soon as possible. I want her to move out,  if she finds a good little home and she has a solid emergency fund to take care of any issues that always happen when moving into a home. There will always be issues when moving into a new place, getting things as squared away as possible before any little disasters happen, is what I want for her.  While she has a few health problems with her knee replacement and her Fybro, the women in this family tend to live a long time.  Late 80’s and 90 + years of age is not unusual, so she might as well plan on getting a place where she is happy!



Hit Big Lots, the dollar store and a local farm today

September 18, 2014

I used up the magic eraser type sponges I like using for cleanup in the bathroom as they are awesome for cleaning any bathtub ring. Big Lot’s has the sponges $1.80 for 4 sponges and they last for a couple of months of cleaning the bathroom or kitchen areas.  I got a pack of 7 sponge/green scratch pads at the dollar store so I think I’m in good shape for sponges at least!  The local Dollar Tree had a great buy on Progresso soup 18 oz. cans so I got 5 for making  a quick meal. At Big Lot’s they had some of the Jello and pudding snack packs for a dollar and I added a couple of those to the Mini-van quick and easy meals. I was very surprised that these little snack packs have a best used by date of over 12 months without refrigeration.  These items could  be a great morale booster if you have to bugout quickly as well as a snack when caught in traffic or your car gets stuck. I also added a small packet of “dry toast” and left some room in the little 12 volt therm o-electric fridge/warmer to add some protien and dried fruit and veggies. It’s a little crazy at times to realize that with my GHB and my “emergency car kit”  my mini-van, I carry every day,  is actually better prepared for a disaster than at least 50%-75 % of most folks in the USA.

I  found this local farm while looking for an organic seed provider here in Canyon county and these guys have couple of green houses and have done great produce for reasonable prices.  The farm did not have the little Sugar baby watermelons but Mom and I got some nice large melons for about $3.00 each. Mom grabbed some Eggplants and I got some peppers and since we have become somewhat regular customers and pay cash we got a heck of a deal of $4.00 dollars each. I like growing a garden and I think it is a great thing to do in spite of the costs but I love that Idaho is an agricultural state and you can get plenty of bargains if you are willing to shop.

My timing is off a bit this year because I was worried about cash on hand for Diana.  While I”m saving cash it’s darn tough when you think something will bite ” you in the butt”. Stay calm and evaluate your position without being emotional if you can and make a plan for your money.  I know it is darn hard to stand back and be logical when folks are hurting, but it is critical you learn that skill now as things probably will  get harder emotionally. At least think about what you can do, what you will do and what you can’t do in a disaster situation.

In Sierra Leone they are shutting done for 3 days and all people must stay at home and be inspected for harboring any Ebola victims. That means all markets will be shut down and since these folks live on about $2.00 per day and lack refrigeration to store any food this is a big deal as  local markets will lose income that supports their families so they can buy the basics.  How would you do if you lost 3 days of wages or could not shop at your local mega-mart until next Monday?

Pressure washed the house and some water heating ideas for a red neck hot tub

June 9, 2014

The neighbors and I were chit chatting and they had a power washer so they recommended that I power wash my place while they had it on loan. I can’t believe it, I can see out my windows again! Much less tedious work cleaning the screens in place rather than taking them all down to wash. I need to re-paint and caulk a few places but the house does look clean. I wish I could afford to re-side the house and replace all the wood with metal or that concrete siding but that is just not in the budget this year.

Any way the neighbors have a stock tank they use as a pool but it is just a bit to cool even with the the summer temps so far. I think digging under concrete slab to make a fire pit/ Roman Hypocaust is a “neat” idea historically/theoretically speaking but probably not that practical. Then I remembered I have the propane camp shower and my little wood camp stove and they might work to heat the water a few degrees with a couple of modifications.  I’m not used to taking all of the gadgets I have bought into consideration when problem solving.   I would be doing something helpful plus get an idea about how much water could be heated and pumped especially with the Zodi propane camp shower.  I think with the addition of metal/copper pipe the little wood camp stove could also heat and move water by convection.  My “out of the box” thinking sometimes  takes a bit of time to kick in when working with new gadgets.

Talked to neighbor S. about the kiddie pool and the family is still using it plus now S. wants to do a kiddie pool garden bed after seeing mine. No worries as the hops on her place are growing like mad and she offered me unlimited access to the hops plants.  I suppose it is the way things can go sometimes, I’m trying to grow hops without much luck so far and S. wants to stop all the hops growth or see it put to use.  Working on building the “community” has really paid off this year for me. I don’t want to be the Gladys Kravitz of the neighborhood but only want to help but it is a balancing act of respecting people’s privacy and trying to help out especially if they don’t want your help!  The road to hell is  paved with good “intentions”. The government in my life has helped quite enough and I often wish the PTBs would just leave me alone!

For a women without kids I do tend to be a “mother hen”.  While not the same I do think it is somewhat similar to what parent’s go through with adult children and it’s tough to accept some people don’t want your “help”.  I hope I’m getting better at not giving help when it is not wanted.  But I’m not sure I’m succeeding at that task.


A visit to the Asian grocery store

December 3, 2013

I didn’t have a shopping list as I was looking at costs and selection at the new Asian grocery store. Gosh it was fun seeing all the new (to me)  products and they are still putting in more shelves more stuff. I wasn’t complete lost because I have been reading up on Asian cooking and how they use ingredients.  Just the different types of rice and different noodles is staggering. Heck they had canned beef from Australia to big chunks of fresh taro. Korean spices for kim chee and a lot of Thai specialties. The had a lot of frozen meats from Asia but I’m a little concerned about trying some of them until I have little more knowledge, besides I’d much rather make my own if possible.   I did get a small package of rice noodles and a char sui powdered marinate mix.

Rice is such a huge part of most prepper’s food storage, learning how to make a lot of different ethnic meals would help avoid food fatigue. Rice is a staple of 50% of meals world wide so you have a lot of variety you can add to your meals by using different spices and techniques if you are willing to invest the time to learn. Plus many folks in the world tend to use a lot less processed food and use either fresh ingredients or foods that are canned, dried, smoked, pickled or fermented it can help a prepper move away from reliance on a freezer or fridge.

I finished up the last two party buckets of wood. It wasn’t too cold today hovered just above freezing, there was a feeling in the wind that more cold weather is coming this week.  Plenty of motivation to get the wood cut and I hope to get a good stack of the mill ends in the shop for cutting up later this week. Still learning how to use the wood but I think I’m getting on top of it. If I use the mill ends for a hot fast fire to warm the house and then the apple wood for a longer overnight burn I think the wood stove will work well for my heating needs this winter.  I want to get another load of the apple wood with my next check and now that Dad and I did one load it is easy to load the truck and unload it at the house.

I’ve been kicking around the idea of making an small ice house and the box the apple wood comes in would be just about perfect for holding my collapsible rain barrels and I could insulate them with the wood chips/saw dust from cutting the wood.  I have no idea how long the ice could last in 100 degree heat in the summer.  But I would think a couple hundred pounds of ice that is well insulated  might be of some use if the grid goes down. If it melts I will have water for the lawn and garden.  The boxes will also be a form of camouflage if the local PTBs get crazy about using rain rain barrels for water collection.  I will be completely honest in saying I have those boxes for storage!

Wandering down the rabbit hole

June 16, 2013

I suppose all these scandals are shocking to those who have been asleep for the last 10 years or so, speaking for myself the IRS, NSA, Benghazi and other assorted scandals have all the impact of a scientist confirming “water is wet”.  I’m not blaming you if you have been asleep, a few years ago I was asleep just like you until I got a severe wake up call in my life.  What I did is different then most people of declaring it bad luck or whatever.  I got to work on making sure I would never be in that position again. I would have plenty of the basics on hand so that I could live no matter what happened in the future.  I really learned about the economy and how money works, actually buying food in bulk and cooking from scratch and started a garden and added rain barrels for some sustainability.  Sadly, the more I learned the worse the system looked.

If you are just waking up don’t panic!  I know you are going to see just how bad stuff is and you will feel the need to get ready as quickly as possible.  I think you have some time to be smart and prioritize what you buy, learn and practice for being self-reliant.  I would not procrastinate, but I would not go out and buy everything on a credit card either.  What you gain in peace of mind on the stuff you have on hand will be off set by the credit card bill. Think like the turtle in the “race” rather than the hare. While PMs (silver & gold) might be valuable in the future. Food, water, sanitation, heat/energy, security and first aid will be valuable from day one and used daily. I have not used a credit card in years and I slowly built my preps over time and using just cash.

I just refi’ed my house and was shocked to find my credit score was in the low 700’s. My credit took a severe beating when I got disabled. I had repositions, very late payments and Wells Fargo was darn nasty about wanting to start a foreclosure on my home.  My parents saved my house and car. We couldn’t save the Softail that I could not safely ride after I got sick.  That was about 5 years ago and I got out of debt and got smart about savings and paying cash.  I don’t like debt and use it very sparingly for any purchase.  If you have a home on a low fixed interest rate and you can make the payments,  I would not worry about paying it off early unless you want too and you have the basics already on hand.

I’m terrible at saving FRN’s in my house. I know it’s smart thing to do,  but it is all to easy for me to find some way to spend it. I suck at credit cards for the same reason that it is just to easy to justify any purchase.  For people like me, I think paying a month ahead on most bills is a good way to get ahead on the FRN game.  It’s not like you are making money on any interest on a savings account as the rates are so low. Paying a month ahead will give you time to adjust if the banks go on “Holiday”.

Most of the professional  Doom & Gloomers think we have 12-48 months before things get nasty in the US economy. I would get out of “paper assets”  just like most of the “smart money” is doing now. Prioritize and get your basics on hand, then you can start worrying about having assets when things change economically. A “Black Swan” could happen any day, they are called black swan events because no one can predict when they will happen. When the US economy crashes and it will it won’t be a Black Swan event. It will be math and compound interest that kills the economy!

Feeling agitated Update

August 21, 2012

I don’t know why  I’m feeling agitated and jumpy. It could be the weather as we have thunder storms moving through  the area, the smoke from all the fires  or this Brandom Raub case struck me kinda hard.  Perhaps  it’s because the whole world has decided to get all Higley-Pigley and feels like we are rushing into a disaster, but I’m feeling as nervous as a cat in a rocking chair factory.

Brandon Raub’s story so far:

This is starting to get very scary

Brandon was Detained for some Facebook posts that were supposedly private. He was questioned by both the Secret Service and FBI before being taking by the county cops to a Psych Hospital for evaluation then ordered held another 30 days by a judge

Original story/links…..ook-posts/

The Rutherford Institute’s information on Raub’s case is available at

Latest updates

I was figuring this was just a quick nudge but it is starting to look like the PTBs are going to test the indefinite detention of  the NDAA.

I feel this is something that everyone should be concerned about because this is tyranny!  It doesn’t matter your politics as we have seen both Republicans and Democrats have used the “Patriot act” to do as they wish to protect their power and to hell with the American people and the Constitution.

Get off facebook, get out of the system as much as you can and be self reliant as possible. Whoever controls your or your familie’s food and water will eventually control you.  With what has happened in MF Global and especially the Sentinel fund your money is not safe in any institution from a Credit Union to the big hedge funds, 401 k or IRAs.  Sorry to say this, but Anne Barnhardt is right, ” if you can’t touch it, hold it in your hand or stand in front of it and protect it”. “It’s not yours!”  Get those little green bits of paper turned into something real you can use today or you will need in the future.

Never speak to the police without a lawyer and never consent to a search, make them produce a warrant and read it carefully.  I’m no legal expert but the internet has many sites to educate you about your rights.

I’m  probably on many lists because I scored perfectly on the “Classified Mo. Police/DHS Report” on domestic extremist  back in 2009. that was accidentally released.  What’s ironic with several congress critters and Obama wanting to give aid to syrian rebels they are actually in direct violation of NDAA and the support of Al Qaeda fighting with the rebels.

Update  Brandon has been released

Doomsday prepper and Opsec

February 8, 2012

There has been a lot of talk about how dumb it is to talk about your prepping and your survival supplies.  I’m pretty out there about my info on this blog.  I feel you need to know my story to know where I’m coming from and if my info will have any value to you.   I do this blog to educate and hopefully motivate folks to prepare as every person that prepares is one less person I have to worry about in a disaster.  There is a risk to be so open and out going but its a risk I’m willing to take to show folks they can do what I do to prepare.

I’m not attacking any who chooses not share and believe in good Opsec but you can’t teach others effectively unless you are willing to take that risk. Most of the Doomsday preppers are already “out” in the community teaching the How’s and why’s of prepping/survival. I think it takes a lot of courage to expose themselves to the ridicule and perhaps danger that going on this  show.  I don’t know all these folks but I have worked and corresponded with Kellene Bishop for years and she has been teaching via her Blog and classes for years.  She understands what she is doing and is trying to reach a larger audience not just get 15 minutes in the spot light.

I think the PTBs want us fearful and to shut us up for whatever we are preparing for as far as disasters.  I have told my own story about my own disability disaster and how it evolved into an overall plan that takes in everything from a snow storm to an economic collapse.  Some of the ideas might be unlikely but they have all happened in the past and if they are ready for the big one they should be ready for any small problems.  I do have a problem with the folks who think they can go mobile and live off the land.  Lots of other folks will have the same idea and no choice and there will be a lot of competition. Your competitors are going to be gangs and street people and they have the training for day to day living on the street. Plus they already have a tribe that will offer protection and a base of operations.

Being a refugee of any sort is just about the worse option you can choose. Look at any refugee camp at say you want to be there and remember these people had a choice to walk to the camp and it was better than being “outside the wire”.  Look at Haiti 2 years after the earthquake the place that is making a recovery is a barrio that was a den of criminals. They have the tribe that will work together and means to enforce a little safety, food and water. There may not be law but there is order!

I know some folks will not be able to handle a disaster and some will choose to give up. I’d rather try and put as many factors as I can in my favor and if I have to die at least I’ll die trying and not because I just gave up.