The wood is all stacked! HUZZAH

August 22, 2020

It took me about 3 weeks to get all of the wood stacked in 95 degree+ heat this year.  I do not recommend getting a wood delivery in August but I have a full six cords of wood stacked on my property.  This year I took my time stacking the wood and knocking off any “punky” wood and getting rid of most of the bark on the wood chunks.  My hope is I won’t deal with as many insects and all of the wood will dry/season better in the long run.  I have good hardwood stumps in both wood areas for splitting wood into smaller chunks or into kindling.  Starting off the wood heating season with a few weeks of good kindling and some of the split hardwoods chunks of wood feels good!

By taking my time to stack the wood I should not have to re-stack wood like I did in previous years.  Mom jokes that my re-stacking wood is some sort of strange FALL/WINTER  exercise program I do each year.  I had a good size tarp I used on the wood pile that extended past the carport overhead cover and I think the wood will stay dry and season. This year my wood deliverer did not give me box of “kindling”  but I have gathered a couple of good size boxes of “kindling” that should give me about 4-6 weeks worth of kindling to start off the firewood heating season.  In September I’ll start making the paraffin wax/ sawdust fire starters for myself and Mom. While my wax melter does not add a lot of heat. I want to keep all heat sources in the house at a minimum when it is over 90 degrees F. outside.

I used a pressure “wand” to clean of the patio and two sides of the house. In my area the spiders seem to be working overtime setting up webs everywhere.  I don’t mind spiders generally as they generally eat flies and mosquitoes, but the webs have become a bit annoying when walking onto the patio.  I used a broom to clean the screens and it worked great!  no need to remove a window screen, just brush it down outside with a broom!  Fabulously easy job done with little effort.  I’m still working on the glass cleaning with the 20% vinegar as the water rinse I use is full of ” hard water” but the window glass is getting cleaner using 20% vinegar.

Overall stacking the wood was the priority but I’m now free of that job. I got the job done. The wood is stacked and seasoning and that is what matters.  I hit my goal of 6 cords of split ready to burn fire wood.  How long it took me to get to the goal is irrelevant.  Even if having 6 cords of firewood might be considered excessive by some people. It does not matter as I set a goal of 6 cords of firewood and I made it happen!  Set your goals and make them happen.  It’s okay to learn as you make goals happen.  I’m a big believer on  “learning” mile posts rather than time lines.  If I am ignorant on subject? How can I set a time line for learning how to do any project?

For any project it is what works for you. You may have all sorts of limits of physical energy, lack of tools, and perhaps you just need more time to improve your skills and/or buy products or find a good contractor to do the job.  There is nothing wrong with buying all the product you need for a job first and then save up money for a contractor to do the job.

Okay back to my reality.  I got all of the wood stacked and mowed my lawn.  I ordered  a couple of gallons 30% vinegar to kill out the weeds.  I’ll attack the Morning glory. Wish me luck… !


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.

Six potential cases under observation in Idaho and I saw people stocking up!

March 5, 2020

I don’t there is a safe area against the Corona Virus other than trying to make your own safe space.  I did a little shopping for sales and to see how the local Fred Meyers store and how people were reacting.  Over all it seemed business as usual at 11:00 AM and mostly retired/and Moms shopping at the store.  There was a good sale on store brand Toilet Paper (30 rolls for $9.99) and a few people had shopping carts with 2 of those packages. The shelf was about half empty of that TP, but the rest of the aisle was full of National brand toilet paper and paper towels.  I did not see any panic buying like what is happening on the west coast.  No full cart of bottled water nor ravaged meat, dairy or produce departments.  I checked and the  n95 and P100 masks were gone.

Idaho has a historical prepping population among the long time residents.  Some is because of the weather, or religious based like the Mormon’s 1 year of supplies.  While we have a lot of newcomers the concept of preparing does move through communities via osmosis or cultural contamination.

I picked up some petit sirloin steaks for $2.99 a pound, a case of wet cat food,  another can of coffee and snack crackers, Ritz and Triscuits.   I lived on my food storage for about 6-8 weeks and I really missed having salty snacks.  I now have an air popper for popcorn and 10 pounds of popcorn but I really love salty snack crackers.  For you it might be a sugary treat or chocolate that is your little “comfort snack”.   I don’t have a sweet tooth but even I like a Snickers bar or Butterfinger once in awhile.  I have a small bucket full of “fun size” candy bars just for that occasional craving.  Get a few comfort food items for everyone in your family.  While you may not be able to buy soda, chips or chocolate bars while in quarantine.  You can get a small stock pile of snacks that can be special treats. Speaking for myself, just knowing I have a bit of chocolate or popcorn or crackers on hand makes me feel better and less likely to get a little crazy because I have a choice about eating the snack or saving it for later.

I’d say at this point assume you are going to among infected people every time you leave home.  I don’t think you need to go out in the public in a full HAZMAT suit but you will want to create some social distance (personal space) of a a couple of meters or about 6 feet.  Yes washing your hands a lot and being aware how much you touch your face is great advise for even mitigating against the normal FLU/Common cold.  If you have allergies, the sniffles, sneeze or cough wear a mask to contain the droplets! Have Cotton hankies that can be sanitize with washing and bleach if you don’t have masks.  Wear glasses to help protect your eyes from any spray via cough/sneeze.  Is it perfect protection? Of course not but if you keep that 6 foot social distance you should be okay.

PPE or personal Protective equipment is a bit like a locking your home’s door.  It is a second layer of defense against the virus after your personal hand washing, social distancing and building up your immune system. I started topping off my PPE in mid January and it was hit or miss getting stuff by the first of Feb. Don’t panic now as you have missed the best time to buy.  80% of people with corona virus tend to experience the FLU and recover. Supporting the patients with fluids, soup and treat the symptoms is probably good for the WU-FLU and probably better care than you can get in the hospital for mild cases.   We are past implementing the best thing in the USA via the national/federal government, some states are stepping up and doing better than the CDC or HHS.  You are on your own and you must decide what is best for your family and what risks you will take with your health. We will have to watch re-infections and wait and see if there is an auto-immune response like Giulliame-Barre/CIDP.  I have CIDP from a pneumonia infection several years ago and it is chronic condition.  It is not the end of the world as I live a pretty good life despite the fact I have some physical limitations.  I have flares some people never have flares. It’s just a bit hit and miss with an over zealous immune response to any disease.


Added a little more to the preps.

February 21, 2020

I added a bit more bacon and couple more 5 gallon buckets for containing feed or tissues from sneezing.   I’m no expert virologist or microbiologist but I was the Field Sanitation for my Company/platoon.  I worked in food service and understand about cross contamination via you work surface.  I was a NBC/CBR NCO and learned about the possible use of a biological agent as a weapon.  What I think virus released may have happened or how it happened in China is irrelevant.  The virus is going global and you need to protect yourself.   The country (China) has literally placed a quarantine notice for half of China’s population, 10 % of the population on the earth.  Despite the platitudes of it is just the Flu or more people die from cancer.  China knows this virus is hard to contain.

My belief is the “Globalists” want to play down the extent of the virus spread.  I don’t think that is a good plan for most people.  I understand if you don’t work/ you don’t eat or pay the bills.  Few workers at the bottom of the economic chain are given paid “sick days”.  Nor do parents get paid time off for caring for sick family members.  Most people in the USA are still ignorant about this corona virus, how fast it spreads and how it will affect the supply chain/economy.

My recommendations:

  • Get at 2-4 weeks worth of shelf stable food.
  • Be prepared for interruptions of trash pick up.  Rather than once a week, perhaps every two-four weeks.
  • Buy hand sanitizer, bleach, anti-viral cleaners you can afford/find.  A gallon of bleach and couple of bottles Hydrogen Peroxide should cost about $5.00.-10.00.
  • Pay your bills, especially trash/water and electricity.
  • Gas up your vehicles and any gas cans.  Fuel up generators.
  • Pet food for at least a month.
  • Get additional prescription meds for at least 30/60 days if possible.  Research herbal medications as an alternative to chronic illness.
  • Few people in the USA are treating this virus as a BIG DEAL!  Now is the time to get stocked up on meds you need to live.  Nearly 85% of all prescription medications come from China or rely on raw materials from China.

You will be affected by this Corona virus.  The cheap china crap gee-gaws at your local dollar store or Walmart.  You want an Iphone/Ipad  or cheap PC parts.  NOPE, you ain’t getting it.

The tide is going out and we are going to see how many people are swimming nekid!

Overall a good week of getting stuff done

November 19, 2019

I finally got some work done this week!  I got motivated to get some of the “little tasks”completed around my house and got to help out Mom with her house and some tree cutting cleanup.

Mom’s tree cutter did a less than optimal job lifting a tree and leaving debris all over the yard and hanging on the fence.  It’s a bit like claiming I’m barber/hairdresser and then cut only bangs badly!  Well the situation sucked but Mom got a lot of cleanup work done last weekend. So Mom and I jumped in with our little chainsaws and cleared most of the larger branches hanging or laying against the fence.  I know that my B&D 20 volt chainsaw can cut about 3-4 inch diameter log that is wet.  The B&D went through 2-3 inch dry wood branches like butter.  I did change out 20 volt/1.5 amp battery about 20 minutes into the work.  I think the first battery was partially discharged as I add a fully charged battery and it easily cut the 3-4 inch diameter log into 5 or 6 firewood size chunks of wood.

I got a couple of tree stumps  from the job helping Mom for about 45-60 minutes of labor.  The Plum wood stumps are perfect for wood cutting other than not having a level surface.  Having a cutting stump about knee high seems about perfect for splitting wood.  Cutting kindling requires a stump of about 18-24 inches high for me as I’m 5 foot 6 and female.  I had a tall cutting stump that is great for cutting kindling but a shorter stump makes splitting logs easier as you get a gravity assist .  As a 5′ 6” female I know I can generate more cutting energy directed at a stump 24 inches tall rather than 30 inches tall.  OMG that plum wood is hard and dense. I’m still learning how to sharpen an axe and My axe bounced off the Plum stump.  This axe cuts through Doug fir, white maple with no problem.

Speaking of wood. I got a call from a wood supplier that asked for cash upfront for a wood delivery  because his truck needed an engine rebuild and I never got the wood nor any info.  Well this weekend I got a call from this person and said they owed me a load of wood.  My thoughts were less than charitable at first.  He was correct he did owe me a load of firewood.  Perhaps he felt bad and was trying to fix the wrong he had done to me and possibly other people.  I started thinking about the offer of wood that I had pre-paid for wood to help him get cash to rebuild a truck engine.  Perhaps he lied/overstated the issue but he seems to want make thing right.  I’ll call him back and take delivery of the wood or the $250.00 I paid him.  What more could this guy offer to make things right?

I have screwed up with people in my life and have apologized, tried to correct a problem and be met with silence.  As nothing I could do could mitigate the “TRANSGRESSION”.  It really sucks for me to treat another person the same way.   I have room for a cord of good wood and I can always top off Mom’s wood pile.  So at this point it looks like a win/win for everyone.  I/Mom get some fire wood and this person fixes/ makes thing right in his business dealings.  Happy ending for all!

I got the lawnmower out to clean up the leaves and the day was perfect for work.  I filled two 65 gallon trashcans full of yard debris.  The front lawn is cleared of most leaves so no lawn/leaf mold should develop. I filled up the porch wood rack and added a box for firewood that is smaller split firewood size but larger than kindling.  I should be better at maintaining a fire.  Sadly I am not, so I’ll have to open a window of to cool the house and practice my fire building. I have a wood stove rated for a well insulated 2000 sq. ft. home when I bought it I had a poorly insulated 1200 sq. foot home. Now the house has new windows, additional insulation and vinyl siding.  After 2 years  I’m still  not good with maintaining a temp. in the house.  It goes against the grain to open a window to vent heat from the wood stove.


I love/hate the seasons of Spring/Fall

October 21, 2019

I love Spring because of the days getting longer. Actually about January I notice the days getting longer but by about March I have days that I feel, like I can get some outdoor jobs done.   Given my stamina levels I work about the same couple of hour blocks.  But I feel like I can get more work during daylight hours. Now in Fall the hours are shorter but the temperature is dropping and it is a relief from those hot summer days.  So it is easier to work during the “heat” of the day.

One of the biggest reason I hate Spring and Fall is the Weather systems and pressure changes that come from all those weather changes.  I have had quite a few broken bones growing up and smashed my body more when I was in the Army. So needless to say I feel those changes in the weather and my CIDP seems to make me even more sensitive to the pressure change, but not the so much the when “storm” is happening.  It’s the change in weather not the weather itself that cause me a bit of physical discomfort.

By golly we did have a heck of a storm blow through a couple of days ago.  I seldom get a lot of noticeable wind at my house even during high wind watch advisories for my area.  I had a lot of wind despite the fact that my county was not under a weather watch. I think every single Walnut was blown out of my two walnut trees and hit my roof, patio and yard like a bucket of hard ping pong balls.  My apple tree got emptied a bit but there are still a few apple still hanging on the tree.  I had a couple of tree branches fall but they were light weight and I could cut up the branches with a limb lopper so no damage occurred around my place.

These two kittens are wearing me out.  Overall they are not bad but they get in play mode or snuggle mode when I need sleep.  I have set up the front bedroom for the kittens and they will be shut in that room so myself, Tucker the peke and even Smokey the cat will have a kitten-free night.  I have not been sleeping well due the the weather changes and the kittens have made the not sleeping at night or getting my nap almost impossible.  The kittens do love the heat of the wood stove and tend to play around in front part of the house when the wood stove is burning.

The next couple of months will probably be the worst of “kitten mode” and keeping them contained at night in a bedroom with food, water and litter box should work better than just shoving them into a pet crate or pen.  I have a cat/doggie door to the backyard and once the kittens figure that out they will work off some energy.  I want the kittens to discover the doggie door themselves and have the ability to push the door open to give themselves access to the backyard and come inside the house without any input from me.

On to the things that are working out good. While getting a lot wood in May sort of screwed up my concentrating on my garden. I think having the wood stack will be very helpful to myself and Mom this winter.  Mom wants to buy some of my poplar this week and I’m good with that idea.  I’m interested about how much wood in my stack is needed to fill the bed of Mom’s  Dually one ton.  I have stacked my poplar wood in 12 feet long  and 5 feet tall stacks.  Given an 18 inch or 1.5 ft. row of stacked wood that is about 90 cubic feet of fire wood. Or about 3/4ths of a cord of wood.

I can do that for Mom.  I worked very hard this year to get firewood and don’t mind selling Mom a bit of fire wood she can pickup and saves her a  gallon of two of gas for the one ton dually.

If your home does not have an open floor plan and you are using a wood or gas stove for heat and want a fan to push the warm air.  I recommend The Hot point 12 inch and 16 inch oscillating floor fans. I have a few ceiling fans to circulate air and have used 30 inch tilting fans, 20 inch box fans and none of them have worked as well as a small 12 inch oscillating fan behind the wood stove and a 18 inch fan blowing the warm air to the back part of the house.  Last year I used all types of fans to blow warm air into the backside of the house and nothing did a very good job.

I have one 12 inch oscillating fan just behind the wood stove about level with top plate of the wood stove blowing air into the living room.  I have another 18 inch oscillating fan blowing that warm air into the kitchen and  towards the back rooms of the house. This has been much more effective on moving heat through the house than using 30 inch fans or even 20 inch box fans.


Spring and fall sucks if have arthritis of other medical issues.

Kittens will disrupt your life and your sleep cycle.

Buying good fans and working out the placement of fans is a good thing. The placement of fans takes some adjustment.

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.