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.

 


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.


Earthquake, snow and new seeds to start

April 1, 2020

It has been wild the last couple of days here at Casa de Chaos!  A 6.5 earthquake hit about 120 miles from my place the other day and I had no idea what had happened.  All I heard was a very loud bang/boom noise and my flat screen TV was wobbling a little bit.  I though for a moment that the big elm tree in my yard had hit my neighbor’s house or a large branch had hit my roof.  I did not know that some earthquakes have a booming sound that accompanies the quake.

The tree is fine for the moment but I called up Tucker’s Timbers my local wood supplier to have them come and cut down that old elm.  It’s been a good tree but she is dying and splitting through the trunk.  The tree roots are starting to come through the lawn and not holding the tree strong with a deep root system.  I want to keep the stump and make a flower planting area in the middle of the stump and leave a border area of wood for something like a patio table/bar for sitting around this summer.  Perhaps add a large shade umbrella to help with the loss of that big shade tree.

It is Spring time in Idaho and we got some of that pellet/”corn” snow today.  It is over 43 degrees F. so the snow can’t stick but it adds to my feeling of a long winter if not a cold winter for SW Idaho.  We have had snowfall every month this 2019/2020 winter going back to Sept. of 2019!  Thank goodness it was not a cold winter.

I have trying to start plants indoors using some older seeds and it does not seem to be working out well. I’m new at doing this and my spot could use a heat mat to maintain a consistent warm temperature.  I bought a lot of new seeds to try in another starting box this week.  I have time as the frost date here is about May 10th.  That will give the older starts more time to grow and the new plant startsshould be ready to plant in about 6 weeks.

I have some root crops to plant next week in two of the raised beds.  One bed will get covered with frost cloth and the other bed in clear poly sheeting like a mini-green house. That should give me a good idea what bed works best for early cool weather crops.

Last but not least I took a couple of n95 masks over to a few neighbors that were at home.  I explained how to sanitize them in a low heat oven of at least 167 degrees F. for 30 minutes.  Now that I can safely and easily sanitize my masks for the Wu-Flu/Covid 19 virus. I can safely share out a few masks with my neighbors.

I’m don’t have enough masks to give away to first responders.  I do have a few masks to share with my local network of people that may have missed getting masks in January.  I think everyone must start wearing masks of some sort even a bandana and sunglasses will protect you and the people around you better than nothing.  Canyon county now has community spread infections and this flu spreads even if you don’t feel sick.  So that means you assume everyone is infected including yourself.  Allergy season is starting and you can have both allergies and the flu. Without a mask you are potentially spreading  those tiny flu virus particles with every sniffle, sneeze and cough!

I gave myself a rule:  If I go out in public, I have to wear my mask and glasses/goggles. Wearing a N95 mask is annoying and bit unpleasant, so it is very easy for me to find a reason not to go out in the public or shopping unless I  must get something I need like seeds for the garden.  Goodness knows I have plenty of jobs that need to get done inside and outside of my house that I don’t need to wear a mask!

 


A little snow today and a cold spell. Scored on some good FLU preps

February 3, 2020

We are having  “cold snap” at least in comparison to most of winter this year.  Got a little snow and Freezing temps with gusty winds to start off February.  I got out today and cut a box of kindling for Mom and a sweatshirt was all additional protection that was needed to stay warm.  25-30 degrees F. feels cold after a week of 50-55 degree F. temps last week.  It has been a long winter but it has not been a cold winter here in the Treasure valley.  I have used about 1/3-1/2 of my wood pile so far and that is with Mom buying a couple of pick up loads of wood from me.  I figure about 2-4 cords of wood will be the average wood use for winter heating.  Even the bad winter of 2016-17 wasn’t that bad except my wood was wet and did not have time to season/dry properly.   This will probably be the last month of winter weather, though March will have some damp chilly weather. I’ll be starting the fire just to take the chill off the house rather than starting a fire to warm the house.   Mom is having a problem keeping her wood dry so this summer we need to build a few wood racks and hopefully start stacking wood early to give it the maximal time to dry.  Rather than just buying buying wood to burn in the fall to burn that winter heating season.  It takes a bit of time to build up a  seasoned wood pile on a fixed income.

I’m splitting my Doug Fir for kindling and split a good size box of kindling for Mom but I’m now splitting and filling up a box of those split doug fir to go with the kindling as the in between size of chunks of firewood and kindling.  Of course it is logical how to make a good easy to start fire! It took me a couple of years to actually set aside and split wood to that in between size of kindling and normal firewood!  I think my idea of the kindling wood box was correct but I’ll be splitting most of the firewood and letting it dry for a bit and then split that wood into kindling.

I think both Mom and I are ready for the WUFLU.  I gave Mom some Tyvek suits, masks and a box of gloves that she was a little lacking on for her supplies.   I bought a few bottles of Hydrogen peroxide as most of bottles were older and probably not as effective.  I shopped Family Dollar and they had a store brand concentrated bleach in the 6% range.  Since unsealed bleach will lose effectiveness in 6-12 months I bought a couple of smaller bottles to make sanitizer.  Remember when using a hard surface sanitizer you want to spritz and don’t wipe it off the surface for at least a minute or two and give the sanitizer time to kill the virus/bacteria/bugs.  Let the sanitizer dry naturally if at all possible.   I’m a big fan of liquid soap pump bottles and washing your hands often.  I don’t care for anti-bacterial soaps or hand sanitizer as I think create super bugs.  I still carry and have started using hand sanitizer outside my home as a precaution.

You are the first aid/medical for a cold/flu or any illness.  You want to prevent infections if possible and if someone gets sick you want to support the patient’s immune system to get better.  I’ve made bone broth, I’ll be making Chicken soup.  You can add vitamins, essential oils, colloidal silver to help support a person’s immune system.  You can put yourself into a quarantine against the WUFLU if you see an outbreak within 100 miles of your home town.  You will have to decide the risk level you will accept,  While the number coming out of China is suspect I’m glad that the recovered now outnumber the dead.

FYI: I got the flu/cold and it developed into pneumonia and then it developed into my immune system attacking nervous system.  Guillaume Barre/CIDP.  I spent over 4 months in a VA Extended Care Unit. I was so weak I could not put on socks or lift cup of water.  You don’t want that to happen to you.  Don’t panic, just buy the basics of food cold medicine if you are low make some bone broth, real chicken soup and stay away from crowds.  Once the “Panic Buying” is over in 2-4 weeks, then start stocking up on masks and goggles and other Protective gear.  Protective gear does not spoil, so once you have the basics on hand you are good to go.

Don’t panic and don’t buy gear at the highest price.  Most likely you will “quarantine” yourself. So have your home self care maxed out with food, basic cold medicines. Stay safe and just wait for the Flu of any sort, burn itself out.  Already more people in China are being declared recovered than those that have died.  I know it is tough to wait and see what happens with this flu.  Heck I don’t trust the US government numbers little lone the Chi-coms info/numbers.  But look at what you can do with the info you have already on hand.

  1. Treat the symptoms of the flu.
  2. Stay away from crowds.
  3. Wash your hands.
  4. Sanitize work spaces or yourself.
  5. Build up your immune system.

Nothing new with dealing with colds or the flu, except this flu seems to have a nasty pneumonia/bronchitis component as standard. It is a nasty flu bug but with good supportive health care in the home, it should not be as bad as what is happening in China.  Now if you are treating the flu and it gets worse as the patient is having problems breathing of can’t take fluids/food.  Call the hospital and let them know the symptoms before you self transport.  At that point it is best to be overly safe rather than sorry.

This post is getting into the TLDR territory but I don’t think anyone that has prepared should “freak out”.  It is just a cold, or just the flu until it is pneumonia and you need some additional health care.  300 people sick in a country of 330 million is not an epidemic.

 


Broken PC and The Wuhan Flu/ global epidemic?

January 26, 2020

My PC has been down but I’m still alive!

I’m building a new PC and things are not working out the way I had anticipated.  I’m sorry to say I went OS 10 to get my PC hardware working.  Some good news is Office 2003 still works for Windows 10. I used a demo version of Windows 10 downloaded from Microsoft website.  FYI  don’t pick the N version of MS10.  If you do down load the Media center update.  You will need that software to get your AMD video drivers to work.

If you have upgraded to an AMD Ryzen capable mother board.  Windows 7 will not work, as all mother board USB ports won’t work.  AMD and Win 7 have not done any thing about backward compatibility.  I’m upgrading to about 2015 tech and Win 7 does not support my new mother board.  Windows 10 GUI is awful to use.  No program drop down via the start menu.  Evey thing is treated as an APP rather than a program.  I’m a geek and I don’t like windows 10.  If you prefer a PC that seems to act like a tablet or a smart phone, this could be the OS for you!

I’m a little concerned about this “FLU” coming out of the Wuhan province, but I’m not panicked, despite the symptoms seem to settle down into bronchitis/pneumonia in a couple of weeks. The Chinese government seems to be downplaying the illness, yet the government is being very heavy handed with “Quarantine Zones”.

What I suspect is a “Flu virus” escaped the level 4 bio-contain facility and mutated.  This might seem a bit contradictory to that theory as the pork prices have skyrocketed due to the “pig flu” going on in China.  People can’t afford pork, so they buy bats,rats and less costly protein.  You have a population struggling to buy safe/good protein that is no longer available  and a level 4 bio-containment lab working and living in this city.

I don’t think any of this is the result of a pre-planned idea.  Just a muddle that blows up with us humans that think we are super smart!

What should you do?  If you have been following this blog for awhile, not much!  I did a lot or prepping for any sort of Ebola outbreak coming to the USA a few years ago.  I have plenty of bunnysuits, masks, face masks, goggles and face shields  to protect from spewing blood rather than a cough or a sneeze. Keep clean, stop touching your face and treat this as flu/cold until the person has bronchitis/pneumonia.  Perhaps then take the person to the hospital.  I don’t have much confidence in hospitals treating people with diseases with simple support they could get at home.  Sure they have IV’s but hospitals don’t make a good Bone broth or Chicken soup!   What I’m talking about is supporting a patient, treating the symptoms at home. Be it a basic cold or the new WU FLU.  The medical community has not been a shining light.  The latest Flu vaccine is less than 40% effective combating this years flu in the USA.  The vaccine makers do their best, but it it is not a get out of being sick shot.

If you are wondering what you need to have on hand?  The list is very simple. I’d say you should focus on getting items for any very bad flu season.

  1. Bleach and other anti-viral cleaning agents
  2. Protective gear like masks but don’t forget protective goggles as this virus can infect via the eyes as well as nose and mouth.
  3. It might be to late to get protective respirators or masks unless you buy high end $75.00+ full face respirator masks.
  4. I have not check out protective “Bunny Suits” like Tyvek/Tychem but I expect those are in as low supply as protective masks.
  5. Treat the symptoms and support the patient with good foods, liquids, OTC medicines and good care.
  6. If things get out of hand with the WU Flu. Have the ability to stay at home for 2-3 weeks.

The odds are that you won’t see or treat the corona virus in the USA.  Use this as a test about the supplies you have on hand.  One thing I never anticipated is family members buying up medical supplies  in the USA and shipping those products to China.  People doing this makes a lot sense, though I’m not sure how the supplies will get delivered in cities that are quarantined.

I know Information is lacking but we need to watch how this works out.  Declaring a quarantine in a city of 11 million people in China is easy but how can that city function without food and energy deliveries?  Who is picking up the trash, maintaining the water and sewage systems?  Unless the population is prepared for an emergency, a couple of breaks in the “supply chain” could be catastrophic.

New York City has a population of 8.5 million.  Can you imagine the US government trying to close down all deliveries of food, fuel and people moving in and out of that city?  China is trying to do that for several cities with a total population of 56 million.  The corona virus will spread because the Chinese lost control and the ability to hide the spread.  How bad the spread and death count is yet to be seen.

Don’t panic!  Just use this time to fix any areas of preparations you are lacking.  Remember when Fukishima Melted down and Iodine tablets sold out and no one really needed to take Iodine tablets because the radiation level dropped quickly a couple of hundred miles outside of the Fukishima zone?  I think concern is warranted, panic seems unwarranted at this time. You don’t have to build a Biological containment lab, just take a few simple precautions.


Kitten update, wood stacking and bacon

November 8, 2019

I’m on my way to become a “crazy cat lady”  though I have not bought or invested in a stock pile of boxed wine.  I bought a cat “tree/kitty condo” from Amazon.  I was surprised that by the low cost and what seems to be a great quality cat condo.  I did a lot compare a lot of different cat condos based on price, dimensions and customer ratings and went with the Go Petclub condo for about $48.00.  The cat condo fits well in corner but was stable sitting in the middle of the room without wall support.  The platforms and boxes are 3/8-1/2 inch thick particle board and the support pillars are probably thick cardboard tubes with fairly thick plastic end caps to accept the screws to build the condo. The total height is a little over 4 foot tall.  You get the basic type Ikea sort of pictograph building instructions.  I made a couple of mistakes with using the wrong screw in a couple of spots.  Over all it was a simple 30 minute job to build the cat condo.

The “condo” is covered with a plush “fabric” rather than a thick carpet, but I priced all of the pet/farm stores and to get the about the same size cat condo locally would have cost around $90.00-130.00.  I will admit that some of the more expensive local products used a plush carpet on the platforms rather than a plush fabric.  But none of more expensive condos used quality plywood rather than OSB or particle board for the boxes/platforms or solid wood for the pillars under those platforms. When the fabric gets worn in a few years I can replace the fabric with carpet if I choose or I can just add more plush fabric.  One thing I have to say is all of the posts and the ladder of this cat tower has sisal rope for cat scratching and that will help save my furniture.  Not a big deal as the kittens don’t really scratch up my furniture. Always good to give kittens another safe outlet.

I’m new to using a lot of kitty litter and cleaning a litter box more often as my Smokey cat tended to go poo outside most of the time.  The kittens use the litter box a lot and clumping kitty litter is easy to scoop and clean daily.  Non-clumping kitty litter is hard to scoop daily, smells worse and it seems as equal too or no more dusty compared to clumping kitty litter.  Get a covered kitty litter box and scoop out the clumps at least every 1-2  days and the aroma of having a kitty litter box is very minimal.

I have been trying to gauge my fire wood usage in comparison to previous year’s wood heating and I got nothing!  That is not exactly true as I think I need about 4 cords of soft woods to heat all winter.  Winter in SW Idaho can be all over the place.  Will this winter be like the snowpocolypse of 2016/2017?  or will it be a throwback of 1982/1983 of six weeks of -20 degree F. in late January-February.  I think we will get a cold winter but not a wet winter.  I  think it will be a “deep freeze” of -10 or -20 degrees as the high temp of the day with little snow.  I do think the winter temps night time temps will be cold.  I still suck at banking a fire.

If you like eating pork get stocked up now!  Bacon freezes well and you can use a pressure canner to preserve bacon.  Though my canned bacon has been flavorless.  This is a global porcine black plague. This pork flu spreading through China is like a pork Ebola.  There is no vaccine, no treatment.  Other than the animals must be culled.  That means all animals killed if they discover this disease anywhere!  China is recommending to eat dogs again to get through this pork shortage.   I don’t blame the Chinese people doing what they have to survive. That is socialism!

Kroger/Fred Meyer has 3 pounds of bacon on sale for less than $9.00.   Your choice to buy ahead.

 

 


Sorry about not posting….

August 20, 2019

I seem to have pulled a muscle in my back and gosh it hurt!  If your back is hurt everything you do becomes a challenge. Heck, just finding a comfortable potion to sleep is a challenge.  I spent some time in bed laying on the heating pad, putting on a lot of the essential oil pain cream and using the TENS device “electric muscle stimulation” to help clean out the “waste” that causes muscle ache as well as keeping the muscle moving despite me resting in bed.  Movement is critical to healing the back/muscles as not moving makes your body weaker and it hurts a lot.

I did not get a lot done for about 48 hours.  I vacuumed my carpet, washed dishes and mowed my lawn. There were a lot of other projects that did not get done because my pain level was to high for me to do the work.  One of the things I learned about becoming disabled is:  Some times you can’t do the work because your body can’t do the work.  This is not about using an injury or handicap to excuse you not working.  I know the difference between being lazy and being hurt.

Anyhoo, I got some jobs done by working up to each job and taking rest breaks to see how the injury reacted.  There were some major twinges but I did get a couple of easy jobs done.  It is okay to take time to heal and test out that healing in stages.  Trying to do much to quickly often bites me in the butt, so I have to remember remember slow and steady wins the race.  Learning what does not work for you is just as important as learning what works for you.  Failure is just a way to learn about what does not work.   I’m still in recovery mode with the pulled/sprained muscle but the pain cream is doing great but it’s tough to rub cream on your back yourself.

Mom got the rope and PVC tube secured under the tarp to help prevent the tarp from being lifted by the wind.   One thing I have learned about working with chicken wire is I hate it!  Yes, I know it is cheap, but that is the only positive attribute to using chicken wire fence rolls.   Chicken wire shred protective tarps and leave anyone working with it battered and bloody.

I have more shopping to finish up and overall I’m feeling a lot better. I have a few yard jobs waiting like cutting back the grape vines and weeds.  I need to start filling up my kindling wood box.  Filling the box is a challenge but I would not be surprised that filling that box full would give me 6-8 weeks worth of kindling this winter. I’m buying paraffin wax for the “fire starters” and last but not least looking for a Chimney sweep to clean the wood stove by the middle of September.  My goal is to have all of the jobs for heating with wood this winter will be complete by the end of September.