Good shopping today

April 16, 2019

I have been a little sore with the spring weather but I got all the shopping done!  I’m  stocking up on as much beef at good prices before the midwest flood loses start to affect the price of beef.  Plus with the Easter holiday things like Prime Rib/Rib eye steaks are  a good price under $5.00 per pound.  My guess is this is a “loss leader” at most grocery stores at this price.  I’m seeing the beef costs starting to spike at Cash and Carry Food service store so I think rising beef costs will start hitting the grocery stores around mid May or Memorial day weekend. While I have focused on beef, it looks like pork might also see a rise in price.  Though there is a quicker turn around in raising a pig compared to raising a steer, stocking up on low cost pork might be a good idea this Spring/early Summer.  Albertson’s was out of the chicken thighs at $.77 per pound but I got a rain check to get some family paks later this week.

Mom and I used her Senior discount at the local farm store to add a few more bags of the steer manure/compost mix for the raised beds. I added a few starter plant to get in the ground this week.  I got a 4 pak of broccoli and cauliflower to plant this week along with some Sweet globe cherry tomatoes that did not sprout as well from out saved seeds.

My hope is the broccoli and cauliflower starts will put out a good early crop this spring and not bolt right away as it is still cool this spring.  I know that planting those crops  in late May or early June cause the them to bolt fast in the heat of a SW Idaho summer.

Update on my starts:  Overall I’m pleased with the progress of most of the seeds.  I did have some of the older seeds not produce but I sort of expected that to happen.  I have moved the starter pak to the south facing window and we will see if any of the non-sprouting seeds decide to sprout.  The new starts will get a bit of sun and hopefully put on new growth.  My little Kitchen herbs have done darn good and I only have a couple of the little “jiffy” pods that have no sprouts.  Overall, for my first serious try at starter plants I have about a 60-80% sprout rate which is good considering some of the seeds I used are 4-7 years old and were not stored in optimal conditions.  FYI: one of the best tools I found for starting seeds is a wooden Kebab skewer.  The skewer works great for poking the potting soil to place the seed and the rounded end is great to push the soil over the seeds.  While I have bought some plant stakes for my raised beds I think I’ll mark the skewers for the correct seed depth and then place the skewers to mark were my plants are in my raised beds to better differentiate between garden plants and any new weeds.

Weeding the garden has been one of my weak points as I don’t know what my garden plants look like in the early stages of growth.  Hopefully with the skewers and perhaps a toothpick besides each starting plant/seed I can do a better job weeding out weeds and not my garden plants.

I’m going to try using straw as a mulch again but only in my berry planter pots.  When I first tried straw as a mulch I did not consider how little of it broke down over the winter and tried to Roto-till it into the garden soil.  What I’m doing this year is adding straw in bunches but removing it to weed and using it as protective cover.  Most of the straw will be removed from the pots before the soil is worked.  My little electric rototiller does not cut straw and tilling straw just become a big wad of straw around the dirt cutting wheels/tines.  It was great today that Mom brought over a bag of straw to fill up the berry planter pots/beds.  Good news the berry plant pots are looking much better with the addition of new soil/compost and a bit of water.

The shop now looks like Home depot vomited garden products in it!  I want to get one more 10 bag load of mulch while the prices are so low.  It is a little problematic as having all the garden materials in the shop make it darn difficult to move the old box springs and mattress to removed to the trash area pick up point.  Some way I’ll make it happen because getting rid of these things will give me more room to work in the shop.

The old Chinese curse of “May you live in interesting times”. Seems to be in full affect.  We are not the first to see things change and we won’t be the last.  It is not all bad. We can buy little 15-60 watt fold able solar panels for under $50.00-$100.00.  While social networks usually sucks they can be great for getting out info early in a disaster.

Don’t get downhearted because life does not work out as you think it should work.  Life just is…and you can take that as positive or negative. Idaho seems to be going all California retard politically. But you have power about how you live and vote.  Will it make a difference?  I have no idea, but I know doing nothing is a surrender to the “Powers That Be”.



Quiet/lazy weekend

April 14, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

I got very lucky shopping this week and that always tends to make me a bit nervous.

September 6, 2015

I added three of two packs of LED light bulbs to my stash via lowes sale of a package of 2 pack LED bulbs for $3.98.  I love the LED type light bulbs as they have a lower energy cost compared to CFL bulbs and they last longer, don’t flicker or need to “warm” up and if LEDs break, no risk of mercury poisoning or calling a Hazmat team.  If you want save money on electric costs you need to go to LED bulbs ASAP. Everyone needs to get their energy costs as low as possible now, as I expect electric power cost to rise quickly in the near future.  I went shopping for a sale at Home Depot and got two new  Kitchen light fixtures for about $20.00 much better than the flyer sale price for different light fixture. Plus the style and color matches my ceiling fan, now I just need to save some money for installation.  If things don’t break down my hope is I will have all of the major kitchen work done by mid-October. After that, it is just detail work(patches and paint) to finish up the kitchen.

I got a nice sliding three shelf unit that fit an open area under my kitchen counter but it was a return without screws, yet I had screws that fit and now I have use of a dead space area in my kitchen.  So was I lucky finding a shelf the right size? Or unlucky not having screws or lucky having screws on hand the correct size? I’m going with lucky, as the more prepared I get, the luckier I seem to be with little projects.

I got Neighbor M’s lawn mowed, weed whacked and tried the vinegar/salt and dish soap weed killer a try on her goat heads/puncture vine. I used a gallon of white vinegar, 8-10 oz. of salt and a couple of squeezes of Dawn dish soap in my pump sprayer in the heat of the day. The plants took on a bit of gray color so perhaps the concoction is working. If you try this mixture assume you will be killing all plants so keep this mix away from any plants you want to grow!

Don’t get in a panic about the Doom and Gloomers talking about the “Shemitah” of the Jewish calendar. I look at the “collapse” as a good thing. Oh it will suck for most of us especially for us at the lower end of the Economic scale, but a major collapse will wipe out a quite few of .o1 of the 1%. I do not see that as a bad thing.

Getting out of the “rat race” learning practical skills you need daily, adding silver and or gold to build generational wealth and for barter is a good thing.  Getting off the consumer driven economy will make your life simple, if not easy. Deflation is happening now especially in Lumber, many home improvement items like tools. Silver is super cheap for a store of wealth.  Solar energy is relatively cheap and you could add a couple of 100 watt panels and an AGM 100+ amp hour battery and 1000 watt+ power inverter for under $500.00. You won’t run you home on that energy level of solar/battery power but you can run a couple of  lights,  perhaps a LCD TV and a laptop/tablet.  Plus you will have a great camping/tailgating setup that is portable.

You should start moving away from dependence the grid and status quo/monetary system with a quickness, as those systems will collapse first in any emergency/disaster. Stop listening to Main stream Media and the (PTB) Powers that Be,  and listen to that tiny voice that says thing are not good and you need to get ready for the GREAT RESET of life.  While I would not want to see anyone get crushed in a stock market crash. What is coming will be epic, close to the Renaissance and rise of the Mercantile class of the 1400-1500’s or the shift of the Industrial age  from the agrarian age of the 1800’s.

While prefer the study of history with a bit more “temporal”  displacement. We are all living in historic times! What we do and how we react, will effect generations that follow us.


First part of the chicken fence installed, cleaned up the PC desk areas

May 24, 2015

Mom’s chickens are a bit older and sort of lazy so I cut the 40 inch plastic fence in half, bought a few 24 inch wood garden stakes and I got 3 of the raised beds enclosed and no chickens went over the “wall”. I used 24 inch garden stake with the cut down 20 inch fence. That gave me about 4 inches of stake to pound into the ground without binding the fence.  Though a couple of the chickens did eyeball the garden fence and saw it as a change, none of the birds jumped the fence,  so far so good!  I set the wood garden stakes and then used my staple gun to attach the fence and one 25 foot roll of of the plastic fence enclosed 2 of my small 4′ x 4′ and the big 8′ x 8′ garden bed. I really over-estimated the amount of fence materials, but I got a few ideas on using the fencing on building defensive barriers.  I think the plastic fence may work to protect your windows in an average wind storm and might be helpful repelling riot type weapons away from your windows.  Used with chicken wire, plastic fencing might work even better than either alone.  Kids and critters could have a somewhat safe area marked off with the fence and while most chicken tractors use chicken wire there is no reason not to use some of this plastic fence in place of chicken wire!  I think this fencing might work for climbing plants or re-enforce your cages.   Thinking out side of the box is a critical skill for all preppers.

I cleaned up my PC desk area and it was pretty nasty. I did not have just webs and dust bunnies but actual Spiders that died of old age.  My keyboard was very nasty and the keys got a good scrub down via rubbing alcohol, gauze pads and medical Q-tips.  I cleaned up the PC desk and printer area and added my SW radio charging stations.  Some good ways to clean key boards.  Q-tips and alcohol from the dollar store, add a few gauze pads and you have at least some basic clean up tools.  Post it notes do a great job cleaning out your key board. A post-it note run down the space between keys does a great job collecting debris. You can run most keyboards and laser mice though a dishwasher’s upper rack and let it fully dry before attaching to a computer. If you can afford it, have a have a backup mouse and keyboard before cleaning!

All to often we forget that most people are living paycheck  to paycheck. With so many people running at the ragged edge of their budget or going into debt, hoping things will get better. Things can get very un-good very quickly. If you depend on a pension or SS for your basic cost of living you will be crushed either negative interest rated or Hyper inflation. Don’t think you can pay off debts cheaply in a hyper-inflation scenario as all your basic living cost will go up measured in multiplication tables at best and exponential units at worst.  Remember it is about value and what you can trade. If gold goes to $64,000 per oz. what does that mean to Joe sixpack? He has no gold and is probably in debt to his eyeballs.  A new gold standard means nothing to him! Hell he was born in 1970 and never new anything but paper Fiat currency.

The PTBs are idiots to think they can make any fiat currency hold value over 2 + decades. I do not care if Cash paper currncy is outlawed. I will spend all digital cash for other goods I need. Oh we will spend those “credits”/ digital money.  I’m guessing most will spend it ways the PTB’s hate.

My Gosh, what a not so good week!

April 30, 2015

It’s been an emotional exhausting week for Mom and I.  It started on with the Mom getting every “button” pushed by Dad’s Lawyer. I have to say she was madder than a wet hen when she got home and really got motivated to finish up some paperwork and tracking down records. I suppose some people get angry, do nothing and just sort of chew on that anger. Mom and I tend to re-direct that anger into proving the person wrong about what they have said about us. Questioning our honesty, integrity or honor is a great way to get both of us “fired up”! We don’t have much so that personal integrity think is very important to both of us and we will fight to protect it.

I got very emotional about Diana the peke getting hurt by Samson the pit bull as well as having to return the pit to the pound. There is some good new though as the pit bull is available for adoption again and Diana the peke seems to be feeling better but is still a little gimpy. I tried a small amount of the “essential oil” pain relief salve on her sore spots and it seems to help and she did not have any negative reaction.  I did a lot of research and you can use some essential oils on dogs safely. My hope is after testing a little bit of the pain salve on Diana the peke and it works we can use the salve on the other dogs.  Cat’s don’t handle essential oils at all as it acts like a liver poison. I tried a commercial “natural flea killer” made with essential oil on my cat and she had a very bad reaction almost instantly, so I would never use any essential oils on my cat. When my cat had the reaction to the oils I washed her down with Dawn Dish soap to get rid of the oil and the Dawn worked great!  I would recommend if you are using essential oils that you keep a small bottle of Dawn dish soap handy just in case you need to wash off the oil because of a negative reaction!

Of course not everything was bad this week! I had a good day shopping at the local dollar store and stocked up on several of the magic eraser type sponges, got several cans of wet dog food and three bags of those heat-shrink plastic window insulation kits for next winter.  I was amazed by how well those plastic window kits did on eliminating drafts and retaining heat this last winter.  Replacing your windows is sort of expensive and stocking up on these kits is a good idea. I like this plastic as it is clear and lets in sunlight and you can see out your windows. Plus these kits can help seal your windows in case of a NBC/Nuclear, Biological or Chemical accidents or attacks, dust storms, volcanic ash depending on your location and threat level.  I got hit with Tear gas several times in the Army as a part of my training and you do not want that stuff coming into your home.  I will do a post about protecting against riot control agents this weekend!

It has been tad difficult this week but we are still standing.  Actually I learned quite a lot though I did not care for the emotional roller coaster. If the SHTF we will look back at weeks like these fondly. While things are tough they really are not that tough yet.


Back to work, I figured out the new clothes line for outside and drying racks for inside

February 9, 2015

The weather has been affecting my pain level but I finally got off my butt and got the Xmas lights down.  Mom gave me a hand with the lights along with sweeping some loose straw out to the muddy drive way areas where water is puddling. I need to add a bit of sand and gravel when I can afford it but overall the alleyway is getting better with what we can use that is alrerady on hand.  Bear the peke’s paw is looking great after a couple of days of using the Curad “colloidal silver” cream. I’m a bit scared to use the comfrey salve as it can heal the skin cuts so well as it does not drain. While pus looks nasty it is the body’s way of building up white blood cells to fight an infection and it needs to drain away. You don’t want to block all the drainage in most wounds normally. Using the Band-aid anti-septic with Lidocaine along with the Curad colloidal silver cream I think you could safely handle most minor infections and cuts for humans and pets.  Many preppers and self-reliant type focus on human 1st aid we may need animals to survive so learning some basic pet 1st aid and doctoring skills might be something to research.

Matt, one of the commenters on my site found a great video about Mesh networks and using wireless routers. Linksys  54B/G/N routers are very common at yard sales as well as  being very programmable and you might want to check out Matt’s comment in the previous post. If you can run an e-mail server you can run any type of data server. While I’m a bit leery of running unencrypted traffic to comply with the rules.  I wonder if the router might be consider a repeater via Ham radio rules? If the router is considered a repeater, my Ham license should cover those without a license. I don’t know all of the aspects legally but in an “emergency” most rules get very flexible.   What I do know is the VHF and UHF band is available to any one with a basic Technician Lic. if you don’t stomp o the freq. and let others talk.

I looked up the cost for a clothes line pulley and was a bit surprised the cost was only $5.50 each at Truvalue. Add 50 feet of clothes line and a bracket to support the pulley, the total cost is under $20.00 for the setup. Going with a pulley system should make hanging the clothes to dry, physically easier compared to a traditional clothes line as well as a bit cheaper than I had imagined. I know it might seem a bit odd setting up the clothes line on a covered patio but it will protect the clothes some what from the elements and easy to use.

For the indoor drying rack I will use a shelf bracket that come with a hook for a dowel that you see in many closet organizers. The brackets are $3.69 each and I could setup four brackets behind the wood stove and get some shelf space as well as drying space behind the wood stove. The wood stove is does not need much clearance for safety and I don’t think anything could catch on fire since the wood stove does not require an insulated fire barrier to protect ordinary walls.

Think about what you can give up and what you need to have on hand. I hate having all the payments and bills of a car! While I love my Kia mini-van it is very expensive to drive via gas, insurance, registration and the environmental  check via the local auto garages.

What if you ride a bike? no taxes, no driver’s license or Real ID via the Feds. No Concealed Carry Weapons permit tied into a database via your driver lic. Inconvenient, Hell yes doable definitely!

If you want to play the game and get counted as a good little sheep that is your choice. If you want to go “grey man” and stay under the radar. I understand your choice. I think I  may sound nasty because I want people to survive and thrive.  Think about your line in the sand. It does not have to rational, but you must be willing to pay the price for your stand. You have seen how “preppers and survivalist” are treated in the media for the last few years.

Your choice! Depend on FEMA and the PTBs or depend on yourself and what you can do.

2015 started off kicking my butt and I’m trying to catch up

January 12, 2015

I have been less than impressed with how 2015 has started off and I had set  pretty “low expectations” for the year. Diana the peke is out of pain mostly but she will need more treatment as she drops back down quickly after the pain killer/anti-inflamitory wears off. I think she may have a bulging disc in her spine and we should try a steroid injection and a course of pills to shrink the swelling. I hope we can get this taken care of as I can’t afford surgery for her and I will have to have her put down if she is in pain and can’t have a somewhat decent quality of life. It does not have to be perfect as long as she can get around and be happy I’ll keep trying with her!

Between the weather, inversions and getting Mom moved I have just felt terrible.  So I have not tackled the new faucet in the big bathroom. I added a copper pipe cutter just in case the valves are soldered rather than compression fittings.  As long as I have the right sized valves every thing should go together easily.  That has not happened on most of my plumbing jobs so I’m a bit skittish about turning off the water main because I know living without tap water is a lot of work. I went to Lowes last week and the guy working plumbing spent over an hour with me trying to make sure I had everything I may need to fix the pipes. He was great and told me to check out some other stores as he did n’t have some of the stuff I needed in stock. I stopped by my local True Value store and right in front in the valves was the part I needed and in the size I wanted.  I am having better luck getting what I need and assitance at my local True Value than the big box stores.

I tried out a modified recipe for shrimp gumbo using dehydrated onion, garlic, red pepper flake and dehydrated celery rather than fresh veggies and it turned out pretty good.  I did much better at making the roux and letting the flour cook enough rather than having that sort of pasty flavor if you under cook it. I got a great deal on some large 16/20 count raw shrimp though you could use canned shrimp, chicken or even fresh fish for the dish. I cooked up a bunch of rice the night before to use so it was a quick one pan meal when I made it.

Prepper Gumbo:

  • 2 Tbsp of butter or oil
  • Approx: 1/4  cup of flour
  • 1 Tbsp of dried onion
  • 2 tsp of dried garlic
  • 1 tsp of dried red pepper flake
  • 1/2 tsp. of celery seed or a 1 Tbsp of dried celery
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Hot sauce or seasoning of your choice
  • 1 14-15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of vegetable, fish or chicken broth
  • 2 cups of precooked rice
  • Approx. 1 pound of shrimp, crayfish, chicken or fish depending on what you have on hand

Melt the butter/oil over med. heat and slowly sprinkle the flour stirring constantly to make the roux. Add the dry garlic, onion, red pepper flake and celery. The butter/oil will rehydrate the dried veggies some in the oil so be aware you may have to add a bit more fat/oil if it gets dry after you add the flour. You will want a med. brown color approx. 4-5 minutes.  When the roux is cooked add the can of diced tomatoes and bay leaf along with your hot sauce and or additional spices. I get a great New Orleans chicken and seafood spice from the local dollar store I like to add at this point. Add your stock, cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the cooked rice let it simmer about 3 minutes then add the raw shrimp and cook until raw shrimp are pink or cooked shrimp is heated thoroughly, approx. 3-5 minutes. About 4 servings depending on your appetite.

This is a modified “yankee/prepper” gumbo as I don’t add okra. I like cooking rice ahead of time as it makes a good accompaniment to meals from a quick stir-fry to beans and rice. If you don’t care for white rice because it get a gluey/gummy texture, rinse it a few times in cold water before cooking and I think you might be amazed how much better your rice tastes.  If you store white rice, now is the time to learn to make good rice that you want to eat!  Add your own spices and don’t be afraid to experiment with the basic recipe. You might make a few mistakes but you probably won’t make anything so vile tasting it won’t be eaten if you test as you cook. There is always the compost pile or trash can if you really screw up a recipe. I have “screwed the pooch” on some recipes from making bread that could be used for bricks, and BBQed severely scorched meats to spices I have added that were just wrong and quite possibly a crime against nature.  Live and learn, and as you learn more, you do tend to get better at baking and cooking from scratch. My Thanksgiving Turkey was by far one of the best chunks of meat I have ever BBQ-ed. But it took a bit of practice on the creating the recipe for the brine as well as basting it with beer or wine and trying out new things.

I know it can be scary to try out new things, as you can create a monstrosity and end up dumping the whole thing in the trash.  It is best to learn now while things are still economically okay and you can replace any bad experiments. Rather than waiting when the SHTF and try to figure out how to cook on a grill or with all those grain and bean buckets. Food fatigue is very real and while you may think you will eat anything if you are hungry enough. It is best to learn to make good and tasty meals now with your food storage rather than try and learn things at the last minute when the SHTF. Life has a enough stress already, no reason to add in a lack of skill in cooking with your food storage!