Two new garden beds are complete!

April 24, 2018

The 10 foot long by 32 in wide and 6 inch tall raised beds are complete. I added 6 cu. ft. of garden soil and 3 cu. ft. of steer manure compost mix to fill the beds.  I need to run the tiller one more time to make sure all of the soil is mixed well and ready to plant.  I added in the wood mulch between the beds so I no longer have to walk in the garden to till or weed the garden.  That should make weeding easier during the season and working the garden in the off-season should be less of a chore.  I have room for one more of the new raised beds but I need to wait until the 1st of May to buy all the materials needed for that bed.

Tucker the peke tilled up the kiddie pool, so it is ready for leaf lettuce/ greens and spinach. I am gifting Mom my small (2 ft x 4 ft.) beds to start a garden at her new place.  This not a perfect solution but it is a good start for her garden area.  Heck if her herb garden does okay and she can make a small salad garden she will save money and eat good food through the summer.  Right now my garden area will be the main focus for growth and harvest.  Mom will be doing  container gardening until she figures out the Micro-climates around her new house.  It looks like I have a few volunteer plants/trees and Mom wants to plant a volunteer maple I found in my yard.  Once the holly bushes start producing seed berries we can get those plant growing to make a wind break around her land.

I’m a bit late starting plants indoors but the weather forecast is looking great so I can start plants like lettuce, carrots, radishes, cauliflower and broccoli by seed in one bed.  I want to add a root crop bed for for beets, parsnips turnips and colarabi.  The last built bed will be the hot loving plants like tomatoes, peppers, onions and such like plants.  I am still trying the 3 sisters garden in my southern exposed beds. I think what the plants need is more soil mounded up and less watering compared to last year.

I love the new little fence posts I got from D&B (local farm store).  These posts are made for an electric fence but they work great with temporary plastic garden fencing. The spike at the bottom of the post is easy to “step” into the ground a couple of zip ties attaches the fence to the post and it easy to use two posts to make a gateway/access to your garden.  Using just a few of these posts made the temp. fence faster and easier to install and has kept Tucker the peke from digging in the new garden beds.  One thing about Tucker, he loves digging in freshly turned beds!  I did leave his digging spot under the walnut trees alone.

I will start plants indoors for a second/fall planting in the beds. I still need a frame for frost protection these beds are designed to work as a cold frame in the future.  That should extend my growing season by a few weeks. Once the backyard area is cleaned up and a little luck,  I might be able to build my hard side green house this fall.

I’m still using containers for several plants like my potatoes, strawberry, raspberries and blackberries.  Some plants spread and some plants take some time to find a happy spot in the yard. Large container plantings work great for plants and if you have limited space for growing.  Comfrey is a great medicinal plant but it can take over a garden.  It really grows great in a kiddie pool with very minimal attention. Sunchokes grow great in poor soil and are great for choking out poor soil weeds.  But they can also spread.  I did not plant the grapes in my yard and it has been a lot of work to learn how to keep them cut back and under some control.  I have literally taken a small chain saw to cut back the grape vines, holly and lilac trees.  It is some work to cut them back so be aware of how much effort you are willing to keep plants cut back and healthy.  If you love those plants you can transplant them from the containers into a spot in your yard.  From my experience those plants will grow the way they want and not the way you want the plants to grow.

The making dog food thing is going well over all thought there has been a glitches.  As I have written before the green bean as vegetable matter in dog food is not a fix for an overweight dog.  I still put down a quality dry dog food kibble so the pups can get basic food basics and vitamins.  The dogs really seem to like the peas & carrot mix for the veggies.  They did eat the green beans when not offer an alternative.  I’m trying out several recipes and ingredient mixes and the dogs preferred the beef, broccoli and barley mix over the chicken, white rice and green beans.  Of course I also have empty doggie food bowls no matter the mix.  Before I had to throw out wet canned dog food that got all crusty and dried out.  While I do have canned dog food as back ups it is nice that I can simply cook up a new batch of dog food from my fridge/pantry and not buy dog food from the local mega-mart.

There is a huge difference between what I want to have and what I need to have.  As money and time allows I’m working on the need to haves first this summer.

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I’m officially tired of stacking wood and I’m only about half done.

April 19, 2018

I’ve spent 4 hours per day for two days with rest breaks, stacking all the new Douglas fir for the upcoming winter and I’m already tired of stacking wood. Gosh, moving and stacking two cords of wood has been a heck of a work out for me and I’m not finished! All of my wood racks are full up to about five and a half feet in high/tall.  I think about 1/3 + of the total wood was dumped close the the carport still needs to be stacked.  I tossed down some old wood shelves over a rock base that should help keep the carport fire wood from soaking up water and will provide some dimensions of the cords/amount of wood I have on hand for the next heating season.  A nice thing about this wood delivery is there was a lot of small wood that is perfect for kindling. Between the mill ends and these smaller pieces of wood I should not have to cut up as much kindling next winter heating season.

Once I finish stacking all this wood, I will make the decision on getting another load of wood delivered around July or August.  Last year I was scrambling to find a wood provider after getting scammed and some of cords of wood delivered were a bit short of a full cord.  The prepper in me wants to stack at least a couple years worth of firewood. As of right now I’d do almost anything not to stack firewood.  That is just my sore muscles talking at the moment.  My carport area is great spot to stack up another couple of cords of wood and it could still be used as a carport or overhead protected work space.  The carport has a motion detector spot light so I’ll get some warning if anyone wants to to liberate some of my firewood.  Overall we had a fairly mild/ not brutally cold winter this last year and I still had some firewood leftover even after giving some fire wood to Mom for her new place.   Adding the new siding and windows really made Casa de Chaos much warmer and easier to heat. It will be interesting to see how the new windows and siding affect the summer energy costs. I’m sure costs will be lower but how much lower is the question to be answered.

FYI: I’m still using tarps to cover the top of my wood pile though they get a lot of wind in the breeze ways to help dry/season the wood.  I think using a tarp over the top of your firewood to protect from rain or snow is good.  Sealing your wood with a tarp is bad as the wood needs to breathe and season.  By adding a tarp that covers the top of the wood both ends of the stacked wood will get dried via the wind yet not soaked by rain.  In the next couple of years I want to build proper overhead protection but for now the tarps and bungie cords are working for firewood protection.

Mom is stopping by the house to get some big planters to start container gardening and offered to help move fire wood.  She is grabbing some chicken wire I was going to trash to wrap around trees to protect them.  I have a few left over wood stakes that might help with that project. I  have to put up at least a temp fence/barrier to keep Tucker the peke from digging in the garden beds.  Tucker is a digging fiend and digs garden beds up great in the spring but he does not take direction well or know when to stop.


Started on the Spring jobs/projects

April 15, 2018

Since  SW Idaho had a couple of mostly dry days this weekend I started the Spring projects.  I roto-tilled the area for two of the new raised beds.  I raked up the soil areas and sort of mounded up the soil  where the new beds will be located. I need to add some more soil and compost but it looks like I will have plenty of additional soil from my last Home Depot shopping run.

One of the things I wanted with the new raised beds is mulched walk ways between the beds to make the garden easier to work. I have about 2 feet between the beds filled with wood mulch so I have a pathway wide enough for my wagon and room to work beside the garden beds.   This year’s focus will be ease of use and food production.  I have proven I can grow plants now I need garden beds that are easy to work and maximize food production in a limited space.  I will have less total garden sq. footage but I hope my production will be the same or higher.  Mom will give me a hand with the construction of the new garden beds.  We will load up some of the planters for her place so she can start growing a few veggies and herbs for her new place.

I finally got the first spring mowing of the front lawn finished up.  It is supposed to be rainy and cool so I’ll get the lawn food, fertilizer added between breaks in the rain over the next couple of days. Next weekend is looking like it will be warming up so I want to to give the lawn a good clean up with the rake then lay down some grass seed and compost to start filling in some bad spots.  It looks like I have to wait a few more days to get the front yard beds tilled and planted with early crops.

Next week will be busy. I have 2 cords of wood to be delivered. Finish up the garden beds and till the old beds.  Finish up the new compost bin.  Top off the shopping needs odds and ends.

Update on the dog food test:  I’m not sure I’m saving any money so far but the dogs and even the cat like the new home made “wet” dog food. It is early days on this test but so far I think it is going well.  The dogs seem to take a bit of time to eat the brown rice and  barley as carbs.  I’m going to try out some mixes adding green beans, white rice and some chicken thigh meat rather than chicken breasts.  I will be making more bone broth of all types.  I don’t have garden fresh veggies so I’m using Frozen veggies at this time.  Peas and carrot mix is a win, chopped broccoli seems a good veggie.  Next is trying out green beans.  From what I have been reading yams/sweet potato or even potatoes may be a good carb mix for a dog.

I’m cooking up a mix of 1/3 veggies, 1/3 carbs and 1/3 protein and about 10% fats.  That is a bit rich in protein as most recipes say about 20-25%  protein for dogs.  Overall I see the dogs eating better and not hungry.  I have less waste compare to canned dog food. This week I’m buying raw bones for bone broth and for the dogs to chew on. Bones should add some minerals to the doggy diet.  After this week I may add in a bit of salmon so the dogs get those healthy fats and Omega-3 oils.  I’m staying away from adding any onion or garlic in the next bone broth batch but the little bit of onion or garlic I added to the last bone broth did not hurt the dogs. While dogs may not complain about the diet, the more variety in a diet the better the dogs get all the nutrition that they need.

Am I ready?  I don’t know,  because I have no idea what will happen in the future.   Do I think you have time to prepare?  Yes,  how much time for prep I have no idea.  Keep on building on your preps and get those soft spots filled in.  If you have been around this website you should have at least a couple of weeks of food and water stored.  A sanitation plan, a bug out bag and tent.  You have learned to bake bread, grow a garden and stored seeds. You have a couple of rain barrels or at least a tarp and buckets to capture rain water.  You have a water filter or 2 and propane or rocket stove and your grill has fuel for cooking. Going a couple of days without water or power is easy because you are ready and have practiced.  You know how turn off the power to your home and turned off all the gas.  You aren’t freaked out by not having city utilities. You have back ups to your back ups.

Heck we saw the Donald tomahawk Syria in 2017, this is another practice run not a time to panic.  I’m putting the last touches on my survival plan.  Trying to max out my cash on hand, topping off my gas tanks and replacing a propane tank.  Plus build food garden beds. Not time to panic but a time to practice.


Bombing Damascus, now what do I do?

April 14, 2018

Think of the kind of preparations you would do if there is a big storm coming and you could lose water, power or the sewer system for at least a couple of weeks and you must stay indoors for 14 days.  Wishing for more time won’t help you today.  You must start working with what you have right now. Now this might blow over like the air strike last year in Syria, so I don’t think you should panic and go max out your credit cards doing last minute shopping or buy excavation equipment for a week end bunker build project.  Now is a good time to look at the state of your preps and make sure everything you already have on hand is ready to use.

Some things you might check:

  1. Do you have a full tank of gas in your vehicle?  Do you have a couple of gas cans full of gas with sta-bil added for storage?  How about a couple of quarts of oil for your generator if you need it for power and it works.  While nukes and/or an EMP would be very bad it sounds like Russia is trying to keep things to conventional warfare strikes.
  2. Water: Do you have all your water containers full?  I have a rainwater collection system that I will top off with City irrigation water then close the water containers to keep out any possible contamination.  How is your (safe drinking) water storage looking? While 1 gallon per day per person for 14 days is consider the standard. I would try for storing 3-5 gallons per day per person and a gallon of water per day for pets.  While the average  water filter will not screen out radioactive particles, having a water filter if your safe water supply system stops working because of supply disruption is a good idea.
  3. Speaking of pets: Do you have 2 weeks worth of food for your pets?  Do you have a way to deal with the poo and pee if your pets must stay inside for 2 weeks?  I have a cat box for the cat, plenty of kitty litter but other than puppy training pads and storing the used pads in heavy duty trash bags,  I don’t have a good solution. At least I have small dogs so one big garbage bag should hold 14 days of poo/pee pads.
  4. Cooking food safely indoors without power:  Do you have butane burner/hot plate + fuel for heating up food. If you can boil water or heat a coffee pot you have a great little cooking system. Having 3-4 cans of butane will last for 14 days worth of meals if you are just a little frugal.  Also these are great for Tailgate parties or camping.
  5. Lights:  The dark can be scary and many people have no experience with no city lights. So test out all those battery powered lamps and flashlights.  In case of an EMP you will have to rely on candles or oil/kerosene lamps.  Make sure those lamps have oil and you have matches, lighter  or another way to light those candles or lamps.  A wooden match or Bic/zippo type lighter will light in spite an EMP as there are no electronics involved for making fire.
  6. Cleanup:  I tend to do most of my household chores on the weekend when power costs are low.  This weekend is a great time to get those chores done as quickly as possible in case the power or water gets cut off.  Get those clothes washed and dried, Clean the kitchen and bathroom while you have hot tap water for ease of cleaning.  Dust every thing and vacuum all the carpets.  If using power or water makes things easy to clean, start cleaning those area now before the (Storm) hits your home.
  7. Having Duct tape and heavy duty staple gun to  secure plastic or tarps over windows, accessible might be worth while.  This might be a good time to practice for a terrorist ‘Dirty bomb’ or chemical attack and you seal your home as much as possible.  I gave Mom most of my clear plastic sheeting but I have a lot of  thick construction grade trash bags and good tarps I could place over the windows to help seal off any dust. .
  8. Entertainment and jobs for 14 days:  Some people get a bit cranky when cut off from TV/internet or social media.  Have dice, card and board games ready for a boredom buster.  I love to read books so I have many books on hand already but I’m a throwback.  That being said I really hope my kindle or laptop survives as I have about 30 books downloaded I want to read.  People that are couped up for a couple of weeks together will get cranky so you need to have some distractions and try and give people a place of sanctuary as much as possible in a limited area.  People will have short tempers and get a bit annoying to each other.  You will have to deal with it, so plan for it.
  9. No one can stay hyper-vigilant  24/7/365 each year.  Disasters, Storms wars give you the opportunity to test your preparations for different types of disasters that may not affect you directly.  See what is happening in the world and ask yourself what would I do in the next 30 minutes if I knew it would happen to me/my family?
  10. Cash on hand: I’m not so sure of the value of cash in any disaster, but I know the value of paper and many others don’t. If you can trade bits of paper for something of value, good on you!

This sucks, as I hope to have 2 cords of wood delivered next week. I would like at least 7 days notice before we start screwing around with a nuclear power!  Perhaps it will be a “nothing burger” here in the west/USA, but we are bombing a Capital city in a country that did nothing to the USA.  We are screwing around with a country allied to Russia and the have nukes and a lot of data about EMPs and stuff.  Hell if the Norks made you edgy why would you screw with Russia?

 


What to prep for WWIII ?

April 12, 2018

Mom asked if there were any additional or special  preps she needs to get done in the next couple of weeks with this Syria/N. Korea/Russia/China fiasco happening right now.  I thought it might be a good time for everyone to make sure they are ready or pick up any last minute items they might need or want to have on hand.

First off nukes create a lot of fear factor when they are not quite as scary as Hollywood have us believe.  For example: Pics of Detroit and Hiroshima as you can see the nuke did not make a 1000 year waste land.

Below is a link that you can use for a simulated nuke at any address. Using this simulator will give you an idea of the effects of a nuke exploding on a target.  Most Nuke targets will be High population areas for example NYC/LA,  Ports or major interstate junctions, military bases or Missile silos with nukes.

https://outrider.org/nuclear-weapons/interactive/bomb-blast

Now if you are at ground zero or within 10-15 miles of a nuke with no protection you will have a very bad day but outside of those targeted areas, surviving a nuke is very doable and you probably have most of what you need already on hand!

After the initial blast of fire and over pressure wind storm the next bomb danger to humans is radiation. There are 3 types of radiation Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation particles.  Alpha and Beta particles while dangerous to ingest and breathe can be blocked by some thing as thin as a piece of paper. Now the Gamma radiation is the what you need lead or a lot of dirt/sand barrier for protection.  As long as your home is not compromised it will provide adequate protection from both Alpha and Beta radiation. For Gamma radiation you will want to have a basement or a bunker for earth to protect you. But if you don’t have a “bunker” move to the interior of your home and make a mini-bunker. Close off all vents and use plastic sheeting to cover windows. Of course it is not perfect but it should give you adequate protection for the first 2 weeks when you need it the most!

The first 2-3 weeks after a blast has the highest radiation sickness danger. So you will need to have plenty of safe water for drinking and cleaning plus sealed food in cans.  Pets can’t go poo outside and every one will need to stay inside for 14 days at a minimum.  Whatever you have stored in your home is what you will have to use to survive.

The additional affects after the nuke drops will probably be more dangerous and longer lasting than the bomb explosion itself.

EMP or Electro-magnetic Pulse might take out the electric grid and most electronics like smart phones, laptops, TVs and tablets.  Many new vehicles are full of electronics and may not start without replacement parts. Generators and pumps may stop working.  Literally everything from hospitals, grocery stores, railroad yards, ocean ports, nuke reactors and power plants sewer treatment plant will stop working.

Disclaimer:  I built PCs back in the early 90’s and you never touched a PC part with out an ESD (Electric Static Discharge) strap.  Now I change out PC parts without an ESD though I make sure I don’t have a static charge and the PC is completely powered down.  No one really knows how today’s technology will handle a Massive EMP blast.  If you have a bit of warning, UNPLUG all electronics before any incoming Solar storm or nuke blast. If you have a Faraday cage get your electronic inside before the blast.

So now that you are not panicked and ready to prepare for a possible nuke strike you will need Two-three weeks:

  1.  Food, water, and sanitation supplies. That means dealing trash and poo.  Construction grade garbage bags are great for handling heavy use.
  2. Shelter in staying safe from radioactive dust.  Plastic sheeting for sealing windows,  doors and vents.  Duct tape and heavy duty staplers are handy tools for this job.
  3. Energy for cooking, and staying warm or cool. Remember the Electricity is off and you can’t open a window to cool down so you will probably need more water to keep hydrated. Butane cookers are safe to use indoors and the fuel is easy to stock up.  4-6 cans of butane fuel should last a couple of weeks if you are frugal.
  4. An out door decon station. I know I said stay indoors for 2 weeks but that may not be possible.  So if you have a covered porch or patio make a small decon station with tubs for cleaning off any dust.  Have some throw away clothing or Tyvex suits that you strip off before entering your living area. Strip, sponge off and put on a robe after getting clean of any dust.  If you must go out before the 2 weeks are up.
  5. Entertainment such as books or non electronic games as there probably won’t be an internet.  Busy work such as knitting,drawing, weaving, painting or whatever can keep a person occupied mentally.
  6. Snacks such as those little fun size candy bars or crackers, chips, popcorn even soda can be a treat. One thing I noticed on Army Field exercises (FTX) people tend to crave a sugar or fat. So  have snacks of good fat like nuts of even a little chocolate can really keep up morale.
  7. Medical supplies should be very basic 1st aid types but if you have a person with a chronic condition you should try and gather extra supplies.  Insulin or someone cut off from anti- depressants could be bad. I don’t care for what I consider the over prescription of SSRIs but it is something people will have to deal with in this situation.  Heck I’m still trying to quit smoking and if I get cut off my nicotine fix I’m sure I’ll get mildly unpleasant.  Overall  if you have about a 2 week supply on hand I would try and get another 30 day supply on hand this month.

Most of this prepping for a basic disaster though the scope of interrupted power and supply lines makes a bit more long term in planning.  If you have been prepping for awhile this is no big deal except for a few tweaks.  If you live in Manhattan or mid town LA  you are probably screwed.  But most preppers don’t live in NYC or LA.

Long term I have no idea how things would work out if the USA and Russia had a nuke exchange. I know people will find away to survive and there will be a lot of empty places to be filled in. While I don’t like the thought of using someone else’s property I know I would bury my trash and sewage on an abandon home on my block before I buried trash on my property. I’m sure I’ll have to deal with some one dumping on my property as well.  It’s not right and it’s not fair but it is reality.

 


Moving wood and garden building supplies bouught

March 31, 2018

Mom and I split another load of mill ends.  So Mom’s truck got loaded yesterday and I finished getting my mill ends stacked today.  I figure another full load of mill ends should give me about 2/3’s of a cord of mill ends.  I’m undecided if I want buy one more full load so I have a full cord  of mill ends on hand.  Last year Mom ended up in charge of the wood stove since she is more sensitive to feeling cold.  She really like starting a little fire of the mill ends when she woke up at 0 dark thirty just to warm the house up in the fall.  I wake up later so the house didn’t seem as cold to me in the AM.  Plus I tend to prefer a cooler house compared to Mom.  I suppose I’ll make that decision in June or July after I get the Doug fir delivered and stacked.

I’m very excited about getting the two cords of wood delivered mid-April.  I have cleared one wood rack and have started clearing out the second rack.  Moving the wood is taking a little longer than I first anticipated because I’m trying to have a good mix of wood accessible in each rack.  I’m cutting  the older wood to size for kindling. I’d like to fill a small rack (6ft. x 4ft.) that is  just kindling. I’m having to cut down or split some of the older chunks that were to big to burn in my wood stove.  Both of these jobs are easier in Spring/Fall when the weather is nice.

I got the lumber for framing the first two garden beds. The 2 x 6 x 10 foot boards cost just under $10.00 each. I was able to save on the 2 x 4  corner post cost, as I have plenty of mill ends that are in the 12 inch to 18 inch range.  If you want to do this sort of raised bed  garden I’d budget at least $100.00 for the cost of  lumber and soil for two raised beds.  I got a few bags of soil and manure to fill up the raised beds as needed.  I have used this mix for other raised beds and last year Mom had it tested via her Master Gardeners course.  I roto-till  this Bagged soil with the natural soil and it test out to be nearly ph neutral with plenty of minerals.  Speaking just for myself, once you get ph neutral then it is easier to add supplements for individual plants.

I still have plenty of yard clean up to get done! from cleaning up deadwood, to pruning my fruit trees.  I think my little roto- tiller has a few hours worth of work on the new garden beds as well as working the “chicken run” crusted chicken residue back into the soil.  Once I remove a small tree, clean up the chicken residue and a small tree I might get the hard side green house set up this summer. The green house might help extend the Fall growing season this year.  Honestly the green house will be next to my shop and I could heat it year round.  I’m not sure about the trade off costs of electricity and vegetables  at this time.  Probably no worse than heating the chicken house for eggs last winter.

Once the dead tree is removed I’ll see about setting up the green house.  I may have to move the compost bins and level the ground.

I’d like to remind you all that have been prepping along with me.  Don’t forget to stock up once things change or settle down in your life.  Having Mom live with me was great but I also used up some prepped items because money was tight.  A few stitches here or a  major surgery for a pet can really hurt your cash flow.  These things happen and you just have to roll with that “Emergency Cash Fund/Savings” getting used from time to time.  I mean that it is why you have an Emergency Cash Fund.  Don’t make the mistake I did. Emergency funds and Savings funds should be kept separate.  I know that is not always possible but I treated Emergency savings and regular saving as the same thing, they are not the same.  When building the emergency fund go heavy starting out but at least put a little bit into your savings fund.  As you build up the Emergency fund start moving more cash into your savings fund.   At least that is what I’m working on.

Last but not least I got my big bathroom shower head working again!  We have very hard water and Lime/hard water scale can build up very quick.  That is not usually a problem with faucets as you work the internal parts regularly.  Well I do not use the big bathroom shower head regularly and the bypass “latch/valve ” froze up because of hard water scale.  A couple of treatments of CLR remover and using pliers to move the shower switch valve. ( Switch/plunger) wrapped in cloth so not to damage the finish and now my shower head works again!  Not to knock plumbers as the ones I have had do jobs are great but I bet they hate doing stupid/simple jobs.  Goodness knows I hated doing PC repairs that took only connecting a cord or updating drivers or restarting a PC/router/printer.  Now that I know the hard water can clog the switch/transfer valve. I’ll go back to using it at least weekly to spray down the tub after cleaning.


Fire wood ordered and Solar energy for Mom’s shops

March 26, 2018

Last years scramble taught me to get my fire wood early. The company that delivered a cord of pine fire wood last November, called back  for two cords of Douglas Fir to be delivered mid April.  I really like this company because they are very honest about the quality of wood plus they deliver a full cord of 4 ft. x 4 ft. by 8 ft. cord! Douglas Fir is a great fire wood to burn as it is easy to split, burns a long time for a soft wood and is available in the Western USA.  We don’t have hardwood forests like the eastern part of the USA but we have a lot of pine and fir forests.

Mom is going to this company and get a 1/2 cord of lodgepole pine she can load in the 1 ton dually rather than have them charge her for delivery.  What is nice is the company will measure out a 1/2 cord and then she hauls it away.  The pine is a cheaper than the Douglas fir and this is a good way for Mom to start building her fire wood stack.  A few months of hot summer weather will season the wood to burn this winter.

I’m still getting small loads the mill ends delivered.  This is great fire wood for starting a fire and building a quick fire to warm up the house in spring and fall.  My plan is to get a full cord of the mill ends bought and stacked by June.  I’ll have another small pickup load of the mill ends coming this week that Mom and I will split between us.  My plan is to make monthly purchases so I have one cord of mill ends before June.  Buying through the spring months will help the cash flow of these wood cutters/businesses and be one less worry for me going into winter.

I’m moving around the older wood to the close to home wood racks.  What I want is empty wood racks where I receive new firewood to stack.  I have quite a bit of wood in the racks that is seasoned ready to burn in the racks. Two cords of Douglass fir will probably max out my wood racks and I’ll have a bit of overflow of wood.  Not a problem as that just gives the wood more time to dry/season.  As a disabled/handicap prepper I can’t just go out and cut wood, so I need to stock up.

I’m not sure I can swing it financially but I want to add some fruit wood and another two cords of Douglas fir to my preps/wood pile. Since Mom moved the “chicken house” to her place.  I have a large carport area for wood storage while still having covered parking available.  If you can’t gather your own firewood start buying fire wood early and beat the crowds that buy firewood in the fall.  Buying wood early gives the wood additional time to season and dry so it burns clean. Get that chimney sweep in during the summer to clean and you might get a discount as summer is the “slow” season for chimney sweeps.

I talked to Mom about going Solar powered for her shops because she can’t afford to put in a power line.  She has a great area for southern exposure and most of the panels and a small solar battery bank/generator to try solar energy.  Perhaps she can only run a few LED lights, but it would be a good test of solar energy potential for the future.  Since Mom can’t afford to run a power pole or electric lines we might as well try out solar energy as she has the panels and a small solar generator.  If it fails we have lost nothing but some time and effort.  If it works we have a great back up energy source.

There is a lot to do. I can’t say it will be fun but it will be interesting.  Stay focused on your goals. Food to eat, warmth in your home, safe water to drink. That is the the basics, after that is about working to be comfortable.

Everything is simple.  It is just the simple thing are hard/ not easy.