A good day a bad day then a very productive day!

June 21, 2021

I went out to Mom’s place to install her little window A/C unit. Mom’s house A/C is pretty good but her bedroom never gets cooled when it gets up into the 100 Degree F. range. Installing the A/C unit is easy but it takes time to add some thermal barrier and make sure no blood sucking bugs can come in the window that no longer has a screen.

Mom asked me to bring out a small bookcase I had stored for her as she is starting to get her books organized and while I was there we moved a few pieces of furniture to be a bit more functional and I have to say the floor space seems more open, efficient and flows s much better. Mom’s home is small and fitting furniture is a challenge.

I put together Mom’s new B&D weed wacker, that consisted of adding the protective/safety shield over the cutting head. The weed wacker looks/feels solid and has a very nice and edging wheel to clean up borders and sidewalks. I gave my old weed wacker to Mom but it is getting a little old and is developing an unpleasant whine that suggests it could stop working at any time.

I had a bit of a bad day Saturday though it started off on a positive note getting some puttering around the garden beds replacing a bad soaker hose with a much better soaker hose. A little shopping that went fast and easy. About noon I started feeling “punky” then I felt the beginnings of a headache/migraine. I seldom get headaches and I’m the biggest wimp in world as even a minor headache can shut me down. It wasn’t all bad as I gave my sore knee almost a full day of rest and it is feeling much better compared to last week.

Sunday was a much better day. No “big” projects got done but I got a lot of small projects done that I have wanted to to do but always seemed to get pushed aside because “______” has to be done right now!

I finally got my chest freezers a bit more organized and repacked the frozen meats and veggies with the oldest meats on top and newest meats at the bottom. I’m using plastic crates in the larger chest freezer as it is much easier to remove and restack a crate compared to to shifting through random packages of frozen meats and vegies tossed into the freezer. I bought four blocks of ice for my chest freezer as a backup for keeping food cold and take space in the freezer because a full freezer is a power efficient freezer. I can always remove the extra blocks of Ice if I need more space and the bags of Ice can serve as a backup and warning if I have power outage. The Ice blocks will help keep food frozen but if the Ice blocks melt due to lack of power I will know that my frozen food probably also thawed and might be unsafe to eat depending on how fast I can react to a long term power outage. A bag of Ice will no longer be cube like if it melts. So it will be easy to tell if your freezer stopped keeping food frozen.

My raspberries are not looking so good but I think my problem is not enough water for the new plants to get established. I gave the berries a really deep water to get the soil saturated to the roots and I’m adding a 1 1/2 inch deep can to one of the containers so I can make sure I give the new berry bushes at least 1 inch of water per week.

My 3 sisters garden bed has not worked as well as I had hoped. I have only one stalk of corn but the squash and pole beans are growing. The little melon bed looked sad but the some of the melon plants are starting to put out some leaves. My raised bed are not producing as I would like but I ignored weeding them while working on other projects. After weeding one bed several plants started producing so I’ll work towards the second harvest while encouraging the transplants.

Failure is a teacher as long as you don’t let failure stop you and you learn from it. This year’s garden has a had challenges. From keeping pets and pest out of the garden to watering and starting my own plants. Some of those things did not go well but some of things are getting better as I learn more. I have found learning what not to do is more valuable compared to what you “should” do.


The Apartment dwellers prepping list Part 6 Mental

November 16, 2012

Things will be a lot slower and take more physical work on your part.  You will be both bored and exhausted,  nothing will work the way it does normally and you will get frustrated and cranky. So will everyone around you so understand it will happen and have ways of dealing with it.  While I love the PC and the internet I also love to read and can do so for an entire day. Cards, dominos, dice games can help keep you entertained and take up very little space.  I like painting with water colors and though I have no special talent it makes me happy. So I have a little travel setup for the painting with some paints and little canvasses that I can work on when I want to do some painting.

You will feel to tired to eat or cleanup, but you must force yourself to do theese things to stay healthy. Try to let everyone have as much privacy and personal space as you are able. Sometimes a little alone time can help a person deal with the disaster. But also insure no one isolates themselves so much that they are not helping themselves and others.  You never know how people can react in a crisis some get stronger and some get weaker but you just have to focus on taking one day at a time. It’s not forever and things will get better or you can leave and get to a better place.  You are not powerless unless you let yourself be powerless. You can make your life a little better each day or get to a spot where you can make things better! Throw your food bins, stove, tents  in the car and leave. If you don’t have a car, get a bike with one of those little buggies on the back and go. Even if you got a wagon and a backpack,  you can walk your way out of the disaster area.  If you can’t do that you need to leave before the storms hit!

You can choose to be a victim or a survivor. Everyday you must work at making  progress at making your life better and sometimes that might be walking away and starting again. Yes that can be terrifying but you and yours came to America and took that risk once you can do it again!  It ‘s very easy to give up and it’s not noble or self sacrificing. It’s darn hard to say to yoursef that this really sucks and I don’t care if it starts sucking worse,  I’m going to make it.  You talk to any person that survives a hard situation and it’s always mental toughness that wins, not physical strength or intellect. Sure those thing help but if you can’t be mentally tough enough to say I’m going to survive the next minute or hour or day you won’t make it.

Two months to go for my gut check and I’m not feeling all warm and fuzzy!

July 24, 2012

riverrider has a guest post up at http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/test-your-preps/  It covers some of the things he went through going 10 days without power after the big wind storm that hit the east.  river comments on my little blog quite a bit and he’s got some cool pics of his setup for water collection and his little solar array. It’s nice of  him to take the time and write out the story of his “little adventure” and add in helpful hints of what went right and what went wrong. I know I’ll never look at extension cords the same way again!

We are a couple of months into my 4 month gut check and it looks as if things are getting worse in the economies of the world not better!  No I’m not in a panic, I did that already last year around October and the PTBs managed to keep things going.  I think I got my panic out during that time and now I can concentrate on what is happening being proactive rather than reactive.  I’m a bit concerned that some folks are starting to wake up and they are in a dither as well  a little prone to panic, they are not making good choices.  I know I was that way when I started prepping!  In a strange way not having a lot of cash was a big help as I had to sit and think about what and how I was going to spend my money on.  It would have been all to easy to max out a credit card trying to buy everything at once and end up paying interest on things bought in panic mode.

We are looking at nasty rise in food prices in the future but we might get a little break on meat prices in the short term.  If you have a pressure canner make sure you have plenty of jars and lids and look to clean out your freezer now by canning meat and stuff for meals. Then if you do get some good buys your freezer will have some space for that meat. I found a site for Tatler lids, these are reusable lids for canning and the cost is $9.50 for 12 on both wide mouth and regular size lids. I do have a few boxes of the one use  Ball lids having some reusable would save money in the long run as well as not being dependent on the supply chain.

If you can,  get all your physicals and screenings done and make sure you are good to go for the future.  I’m getting mine done and so far they say I’m normal for the female stuff though I need to lose some weight. Heck, I knew about the weight thing, but I restarted taking some drugs and pain meds for my CIDP so I can do more stuff,  I hope!   I know I can get by without the drugs if I have too but it can be kind of  miserable some days. Bad thing is one of the drugs can lead to weight gain.  I’m hoping that it help my symptoms enough that I can do more physical work to burn a few extra calories.  I’m still walking with my walker and my Mom about 4-5 miles a day. WE are a bit battered (she had knee replacement in March) but we keep going.  Just think of us as the Energizer bunny that was a chew toy of a pit bull.  Everything mostly works though a bit slower!  This getting old stuff ain’t for sissies.

Remember don’t freak out and keep working your plan.  I will cover security, safety and guns in the next post and I think after that is will be about saving your energy.  I know this is a scary time but people have managed to survive so far I think we will make it!

First aid

July 20, 2012

Get some basic first aid kits and books and read them! Many are free over the internet especially those from the military.  Get to your local dollar stores or Family Dollar and Big lots for cheap OTC drugs and build your stash.  A few Items that I think are must haves…..

  1. Benadryl or any good generic anti-histamine. These are great not only for allergies and colds but as a sleeping pill and for anaphalactic shock reactions in humans and dogs.  Split a a tablet for every 20 pounds of dog.
  2. Aspirin: A blood thinner, anti-inflammatory as well as reducing fever in adults. Can be used to ease pain and swelling from a toothache when held against a tooth or gum line.  Don’t use in children under 12!  Keep 81 mg for blood thinner and heart attack/stroke maintenance and for dogs dosage 81 mg for about every 15-20 pounds of dog
  3. Tylenol/Acetaminophen: Helps with pain and fever in children under 12. Watch dosage and don’t exceed 4000 mg per day in adult as it’s hard on your liver.
  4. Ibuprofen:  Is a NASID but is also a great pain killer without being a blood thinner like aspirin. Works great for menstrual cramps. But tend to be a bit hard on the tummy take with milk or food.
  5. Hot and cold chemical packs and patches are super cheap at the dollar stores as well as muscle creams. While they won’t fix an injury they will be great relief for sore and aching muscles.
  6. Stomach upset treat with Pepto, baking soda. Stay low key and try the least hard core medicine first.
  7. Compression bandages and gauze of all kinds as well as any craft/Popsicle sticks for small breaks for splinting fingers or toes.  Add extra tape.
  8. Buy as much extra meds as your prescription  will allow. Talk to your doctor about a 90 day supply if possible. Most docs can’t give out more than a 30 day supply on some drugs because of regulations.  Check out if some herbals or alternatives exist for your condition. Heck you are in a survival situation and can’t get the meds you need you might as well give some of the backups a shot!
  9. Do not take anti-bacterial, anti viral and other drugs unless under the care of a doctor or you have no other choice.  Support the patient with fluids, rest and treat the symptoms first!  If that doesn’t work then you can try a few items if there is no doctor around.
  10. Brushes, combs and pets. Cats and dogs are great for sick folks to visit and most human diseases don’t jump to cats and dogs so the will have a good bit of entertainment of brushing critters, running a little laser or play toy for the pets.  While you may have to keep a sick person isolated for safety, they will need books, games and pets to keep them entertained

You don’t need to be a doctor or a paramedic to deal with most injuries, but you do need some basic medical knowledge and be willing to let the body heal itself with a little support. Remember protect your self and have plenty of gloves, masks and cleanup after visiting a sick person.  A little bit of bleach for washing sheets and a spray bottle.  A little basin/tub for wash ups,  Glasses and pitchers and all dishes should be sanitized as quickly as possible after use or sealed in plastic bags if using disposable products.  Make your sickroom as complete as possible as you may end up there. A little chair for poo bucket and make it easy to reach for a sick person.  A little tub for a sponge bath, brush comb and tooth brush, good simple clothes, colorful t shirts, shorts or sweats or nice jammies if they must stay in bed.  Books, cards, notebooks,  painting whatever staying occupied and not focusing on you sickness will aid in healing.

Prepping interupted for tooth ache!

July 16, 2012

I’m not telling you to avoid the dentist when you have an infection or sore tooth. In fact,  get all that stuff taken care of now while they are available. I know in the Army before any deployment we had to have our dental records updated and take care of anything that may cause a problem from a cleaning, a cavity to a root canal. For the very good reason that a bad toothache can stop you in your tracks!

Anyway back to me! LOL  I had a little tooth infection blowup almost over night on a Friday evening.  I have no dental insurance and there isn’t a 24/7 dental emergency room, so I figured I better try and do a little self treatment to get me through the week end!  It felt like it was just the gum that got inflamed and not a broken tooth or anything severe like that but any infection of the mouth can turn ugly quick so you will want to be pro-active. Plus with all the nerves you have in your head it will hurt like “HELL!”

  1. Give you mouth a good salt water rinse and see if that won’t help clean the area that hurts. Stay away from rinses like Scope for your breath and try to keep your cleaning mild.  A gentle scrub with a little baking soda of the gums and teeth. Baking soda is usually less abrasive than most commercial toothpastes. 3 times a day and immediately after every meal so you don’t introduce any new debris to the infection.
  2. Have teething gel, Adult oral pain relief and or oil of cloves. The store bought gels use  benzocaine in 7.5%-20% strength as the active ingredient. Oil of cloves is a multi-tasker for flavoring in the kitchen but will work for reducing the pain of a tooth ache.
  3. Take aspirin, if you can, as it will reduce the swelling and can assist with thinning the blood a bit and get those blood vessels working to help kill the infection.  A crushed up tablet or some thing like BC powders you can place directly on the area of pain will speed up reducing the pain and swelling. It will taste terrible but it does help a lot.
  4. Hold or gargle with a bit of  vodka to reduce pain in adults. I doubt any kids will be able to do this without swallowing  or spitting it out.
  5. Rinse your mouth with a little Hydrogen peroxide. Yes the bubbles will feel odd bit it does a great job on cleaning infections.
  6. A little icepack over the general area along the cheekbone or jawbone  can also reduce the pain and swelling. Remember with ice packs never place directly on the skin, wrap it in a cloth and time ice as 10 minutes on and 20 minutes off.  You don’t want to cause an additional injury to your skin.

DISCLAIMER NOTICE:  I’m not a doctor or a nurse!  This is info that you use at your own risk and to get you by, until you can see trained medical personnel. Do not take any anti-viral or anti-bacterial drugs  unless under the care of a doctor.

Quality of life

April 20, 2012

I think I’ve become more sensitive to the term “Quality of Life” since becoming disabled.  I’m not talking about your own choices you make for yourself but many of the so called liberals that want to make for other people.  I believe life has value outside of the idea of cost consideration and inconvience to others.  I believe we show the best part of ourselves when we care for for others that cannot care forthemselves.

I have found being disabled has changed my attitude. Or better to say that I always found value in folks but by becoming disabled it made it personal.  I find it Ironic that no one uses Stephen Hawkings as a good case for “Quality of Life” and by his own addmision the diagnosis of “Lou Gherig’s”/ALS  disease made him stop cruising through school but to actually work hard at his studies.  Good, bad or indifferent Hawkings is about the best example of a a scientific rock star we have today.  He was diagnosed at 22 years old and now he is 67, a grandfather and a person that has inpired millions. We get the story of his ALS has progressed very slowly, but he could have believed the “Establishment” and chewed a bullet or simply ended it because “He didn’t want to be a burden” .

I don’t think of myself as a burden and I do my best, but I’m am what would be considered a useless eater by the “statist”  and I would at best be left to die , or worse simply eliminated,  because my “Quality of Life” can’t be all that good.  I’m poor and physically handicap along with my medical issues.  I maybe facing ALS as there is some correlation between ALS and CIDP if not cuasation.  I’ ve been a survial situation for years.

I’m not trying to bring folks down nor gain “pity points”.  Life is dangerous, she is trying to kill you everyday,  eventually she will win and you will die.  I want folks to wake up to the fact that some things can be controlled and some things can’t.  Even so you can’t give up because of some arbitrary pinhead expert decides if you don’t live his way you are worthless.  I truly believe this disease has saved my life. Becoming a prepper has given me purpose.  I have stored boxes of 3 weeks worth of goods for family members that mock me. At least 1 will probably die within a couple of weeks of any SHTF event because of health problems and a total lack of touch of that little world we call reality.  I can’t save her as she will not even try to save herself.

Control your own ground: Mentally,  physically. It might be a house, and apartment or a tent. But start there as you have about 3 feet around you you can say you truely control.  Please do not play the PTBs hype of collectivism and shared sacrifice. Especially the inside traders, Gov’t workers, Corperations, banks or unions.

It starts with you!  How would you fight the PTBs?  Don’t grow a  a garden or have few shotgun shells full of salt? Learn who you can trust among neighbors  and have some fun and not develope a bunker mentality.  Gosh do you think “Flash Robs”  hit local mini-marts cause they have high quality food? Whole grains hell I can leave detailed instructions and most folks can’t even soak beans.

We all owe a death and your alive now and you can make a choice!  Will it matter? probaly not how many deaths do you know about from Revolution?  Screw it they won and we can too if we work at it.

Water test days 3 and 4 ending a day early

March 8, 2012

   I am just wore out, and I have not able to rebound this week. I don’t think it’s all due to the five day water test. I worked very hard the last month on getting my barrels filled and my stamina is sadly lacking due to my CIDP. I don’t want to have a physical crash just when things seem to be getting sporty.  I am taking this into consideration on my planning.

Even though I only did three days I did learn a lot:

  • I got a good handle on saving “hot water” for the next day using my insulated jugs and thermoses.
  • One of my 20 quart stock pots could provide all the hot water that was needed for the day.
  • Use several pitchers in the 1/2 gallon size made it easy to move water around.
  • Each toilet needs 1.5-3 gallons of water to flush once daily.  Have a bottle of bleach and add a cap ful after urinating to hold down odors. Yellow is mellow, Brown it goes down.
  • Get good qualty  paper plates and plastic ware to use and have enough for 3 meals a day for at least two weeks.
  • Use dish tubs to wash and recycle for flushing the toilet. Skim grease off  before dumping and don’t use it for flushing as it will build up and clog your pipes.
  • Be ready to fill every extra container you have with water every chance you can. Buckets in rainstorms, Using rain barrels and fill your tub even if you don’t have a water bob. This water is not for drinking and cooking but for keeping the house clean and it’s systems working.
  • Everything takes more work and planning until you get a system down of thinking how much water will you need takes a couple of days to become a habit.
  • I think a shower or bath once a week is needed and will be crucial to your morale as well as staying clean. Save the water in the tub for flushing.

I see now that 1 gallon a day might be okay for short term 3 day thing.  3-5 gallons per person per day I think is a more realistic number for planning long-term. You will eventually need to do laundry,  dishes and all of those other chores for staying healthy.  It takes a lot of energy to heat and move water to where you need it, compared to turning on the tap.  This was water that did not have to be filtered or treated in any way so if you are thinking of doing that you will need to add more time and energy costs to your water plan.