Monday, January 31, 2011
Of course this is going to be appealed. If that doesn't work, then those wanting to restrict guns and ammunition will just go back to the drawing board and write up another bill that will be more clear. Thank goodness this state does have some law enforcement officials with some good sense who oppose these restrictions.
One good thing to come out of this for me was that I've purchased quite a lot of ammunition in the last couple of months. I even purchased 500 rounds of 9mm even though I don't have a gun that uses 9mm yet. I went to the gun store on Sunday and asked about the Glock 26. I used that at CCW class and liked it. They didn't have one in stock but the dealer said that's just used for people with CCWs, you should get this other model instead. I said I am getting the CCW. OK, then he showed me a Smith and Wesson M&P 9c which he said he liked better than the 26. It's a newer model and had a longer grip but still not too big for concealment. It felt good in my hand. He then said the Springfield was another good gun. Not for me. That was the one that I couldn't pull the slide. I need to go back to the range and try out the 9c but from what I've heard from others who've reviewed it on the internet, it will probably be the one to get.
CCW exam, fingerprints, and paying the money on Wednesday!
Sunday, January 30, 2011
I had some ideas of my own. Number one idea was to pay down the mortgage. It would make a small dent in the mortgage but it would mean that I'd owe for less. Second idea was to put in solar power. I would like to get a stand alone system, but sometimes wonder if it's worth the effort. Sure I won't be tied to the grid but would I be better off just going non-electric? The third idea was to finish the front fencing. Right now I have a wrought iron gate but cattle panels across the property. After deciding to build the hedgerow putting in the wrought iron fence would be a waste of money. The fourth idea was to make more improvements to my bugout property. It needs fruit trees, fencing, and just about everything. The renters are cleaning the place up but I am going to have to spring for the price of the fruit trees. I will be doing this because every property should have fruit and nut trees. I'm also going to put in more trees here at home. I'm planting a date tree for a source of sugar plus more trees although I don't know what kind yet.
1. My thought is to put it into the solar power. The more independent you are the better off you will be. If you have solar then you won't need to worry about your well or the refrigerator or the washing machine. You can even have enough power to run the air conditioner some of the time. You'll be able to grow as big as a garden as you'll need without worry about water.
2. If you don't have a year or two supply of food you need to do this. Do you have enough weapons and ammunition? You should also look at Rawles Gets You Ready and head to Costco. Then buy silver coins. Then finish fortifying your property.
3. You've said that you have kids there. Do you have clothes, shoes, and other necessary items for them for all of the sizes that they will be growing into in the future?
I can discuss each of these three suggestions:
I still don't know about the solar. I'd like to get a solar backup to the well. One reader sent me specific information on how to do this. There's a good probability that I will do this. I'd much rather have the water on solar than anything else.
I have a good handle on the supply of food. There's never too much saved, but if the stores stopped selling today we'd be ok. I have the skills to feed us. I have been focusing on buying ammunition. I bought between 100 and 500 rounds for each of the weapons just this past month. I have between 500 and 5000 rounds for each. I never bought the Rawles Gets You Ready course. I figured I'd rather spend the money on stuff than spend it on the course. I was hoping to find a friend who had bought it and would let me read it. That never happened. It's now out of print but I'm sure it would have been a good investment.
I spent one weeks salary buying silver coins when they were $14 an ounce. I haven't bought any since. Wish I bought more then. I don't know how much is enough when it comes to silver coins. Are you better off investing in your living situation if you don't think you will be bugging out or should you invest it in coins? Am I better off buying a fruit tree or an ounce of silver? When buying silver, California has a stupid rule. If you spend over $1500 then you don't have to pay tax of almost 9%. If you spend less you have to pay tax. Is it worth saving the money then purchasing them? Depends on if they are going to go up that 9% while you are saving.
Keeping stuff for the kids. I can buy clothes for myself and they can last ten years. This doesn't work with the kids. I do have bins in the garage with shirts, pants, jackets, undergarments, and shoes for each size 0-16. There's the minimum amount needed for each size. I do let the kids buy new things each year and we add that to what's in the bin. When they outgrow that size I save the minimum amount in case it's needed by someone else in the family. All the rest gets donated. Once the kids reach adult size I can sew or rework other clothing I have.
The question is, if you had a spare $10-20,000 (probably closer to the $10,000) how would you spend it? No trips to Disneyworld as the kids and grandkids suggested...
Friday, January 28, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
I really messed up a couple of months ago and because of this I'm now responsible for putting my friend and her entire family into the public eye of this blog (somewhere between 50-75 people per day). I'm writing this on my blog to openly apologize and to also ask the readers of this blog to please remove some information from their files if they saved some of those specific blogs into individual files. I can explain better when I go back to the beginning.
My friend talked me into starting this blog. She's known me for many years (we met when I tutored her in statistics in college) and has observed my evolution from wanting to "emulate Mormons" in their food storage ways to becoming more and more of a survivalist. She set up the blog for me and used her email address when setting it up. She also set up the remote blogging where you can email in your blog; you don't actually have to be on the blog to post something. The remote blog address was a combination of her email and my email. We both had access to it and every once in a while I'd write something and have her edit it and then post it for me.
One of the early posts was done at her mother's house while we were both there visiting her mom. We were on her mom's computer. Her mom asked for a copy of the post and since we really didn't want her mom to read the blog (sometimes I'm not too polite about the doings of family and friends) I emailed the post to her mom. Unfortunately, the way I did it was to blindcopy her mom when I emailed the post to the blog. What ended up happening is her mom then saved the "secret" blog posting address for my site as one of her contacts. Since the email address to the blog looks like her daughter's email address she assumed it was just that…her daughter's email.
So, what happened last week on my blog was "mom" posted some family emails. Anyone who read that post got to hear that my friends work email address wasn't accepting her email so mom decided to send it to her personal email. She just couldn't remember which of those email addresses in her contact list was the right one so she forwarded her original email to both email addresses. Voila, two emails, including the email about her fallen bladder got posted! It would have been funny but this email provided many names and email addresses of my friend's mom and her family members!
This was the third time she has posted something accidently. I thought that my blog posting email address was removed from her moms contacts, but I thought wrong. It never occurred to me that I should just change the secret posting email address. After being horrified by what was posted on my blog on Monday, and not noticing until Tuesday, I spent a bit of time trying to figure out how to change the posting address. It's changed! The invasion of privacy that I caused my friends family by sending her mother an email which also had my blog posting address for my site was blameworthy. And for that I am truly sorry.
I'll be back to writing my blog once again. I've missed it!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
We are finishing up the chores from last weekend. Last week I told them to pile all the brush up into a large pile in the middle of the garden. I had them tarp it to dry it out a little bit and I figured that we'd burn it all in another week or so. Last week the neighbor came over to tell us that air quality control board just popped him with a $500 ticket for having a burn pile. You see in this part of California you can't burn. Very few of the farmers are allowed to burn either. You have to hire a chipper to come in. We don't have enough brush to hire a chipper but the amount we do have is too much for the little Craftsman chipper that I bought 15 years ago. We usually pick a good foggy day and light the pile. By the time the fog lifts the air pollution patrol can't catch us because it's all burned up.
The other day I was on the web and one survival site led to another which led to another and I found one called Survival Thoughts by Survival Chic.
Now I'm having the grandkids pick up the branches and other cuttings that are piled in the garden and move them to the front of the property. They are being placed on the street side of the fence. We have cattle panels going across the front with t-posts every 8 feet. This only makes the fence 4 1/2 feet high and the front of the property is very open to the road. Once the berries start growing they won't overtake my pasture because the animals will eat it down from the inside of the fence. The berries can grow out towards the road and all I'll need to do is mow some of the new growth down each year if it's blocking my view of leaving the driveway. On the other hand, if we get into a SHTF scenario, the berries can overgrow easily and block much of the driveway as well.
Kaiser has a unique program. You can email your doctor and include pictures when you have an ailment. The doctor can diagnose and prescribe stuff for you and you don't have to have an office visit. I'm trying it here. I am taking this opportunity to see if my doctor will write me a prescription for something. I don't know he will come up with but whatever it is, I can store it for the future.
Friday, January 21, 2011
I decided it's time to be responsible. I bought a gun safe. Before shelling out my hard earned cash I figured I'd look for one that was used. I scoured Craig's list. I also looked on the local auction site. Nothing. Actually Craig's list did have some safes but there's no way I'd ever buy any of those as they were junkier than junk. I ended up buying a Liberty Safe, http://www.tntlibertysafe.com/safe_franklin.php?tab=specs, the Franklin model.
It will be a good place to store all my guns, ammunition, and even my silver coins. It's larger than I need at the moment, but I hope to fill it in the future. I will share the combination to the safe. Not with any of my kids though. Some of my sisters and brothers will be given the combination.
By putting the guns in the safe, I will not have to worry about my son getting into them. He has a tendency to get into my stuff and use them inappropriately. For example, one year I wasn't home and he got into the fireworks and lit them off. Now, these are the safe and sane kind that aren't supposed to be too dangerous. Somehow, one of them went sideways and burned the trim to my patio door. Another time he came over and got into my shotgun. He decided it would be fun to target shoot with my gun. I didn't find out about it for a while. He thought it was funny. I told him I'd call the sheriff if he ever did it again.
One of the things I had to do was figure out where the safe is going to go. The dealer said that many people just keep them out in plain view in the house as a piece of decoration. He also said that many people put them into the garage so they don't take up space in the house. I didn't like either of those ideas. I think just the opposite about having the safe as what the dealer suggested. I don't want to announce it to the world, I want it to be my secret.
In my bedroom, I have a closet within my closet. My closet is L shaped, and I've got the rack going straight, so unless you know the back part of the closet is there, it's a pretty hidden spot. Right now I have some of my food storage in that space. I decided I want to put the safe into this space. There's still room for food buckets. The store has their own delivery and installers, they don't hire it out. It's taking a chance by having someone come to the house to install it, but it's a chance I'll willing to take. It weighs almost 700 pounds. I have cement floor and subfloor and the installers are going to bolt it to the floor. They are scheduled to come this Thursday.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Deadly force? What someone is trying to inflict on you which is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury, you can inflict on them. Serious bodily injury - death; extreme physical pain; unconsciousness; protracted and obvious disfigurement; or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ or faculty.
When do you know reasonable fear? When the assailant has the ability - physical power or a weapon, opportunity - close enough to attack, and intent - either verbally or with actions. What about the unarmed assailant? Look at disparity of force - male vs. female, multiple assailants, their skills in unarmed combat.
What if the assailant has a knife. How close is too close? The mythical number is 21 feet. This accounts for 1 1/2 seconds for the assailant to reach you, and 1 1/2 seconds for you to pull the weapon and fire a shot. Why is this mythical? Just because you fire a shot doesn't mean the assailant will instantly drop. An assailant may not even realise he's been shot because he's so pumped up on adrenalin, or drugs. Even if a person is shot in the heart they may have from 8 to 10 seconds before the brain doesn't get the blood it needs and they drop. That person can do a lot of damage in 8-10 seconds of slashing you. So how close is too close? It depends on your training ability.
Visualize winning the fight but don't paint yourself into a corner. Be able to change. Don't get freaked out if something you did didn't work out. Visualize 5 shots not one.
Are you shooting too much gun? If you can't shoot and quickly bring it back on target then it's too much. Try something else. Bigger doesn't always mean better. Check out the penetration testing and ammo characteristics, especially when going through a layer of denim.
The criminals practice! For many criminals it's their job. It's their lifestyle. They are either victims or victimizing everyday. They practice shooting, disarming, and keeping fit. They go to the gym. They are serious about their training. You need to be as serious about yours or you will lose.
Lastly, if you are involved in a shooting and you survive the encounter there are two things that are guaranteed. First, you will go to jail. It may not be for long, but you will be brought in. Second, you will be sued by the criminal or his family. If you are involved in a shooting you need to contact the police first. Call them. Tell them who you are, where you are. Make the statement that you've been involved in a shooting and you had no choice as you thought the person was going to kill you. Then HANG UP. Don't stay on the line. When the cops come don't say anything other than your name and your statement that you had no choice as you thought the person was going to kill you. And, you want to speak to your attorney. Don't talk to anyone in the jail cell, they will testify against you in court and lie about what you said. Don't talk to your neighbors once you get out. Don't talk about it to anyone other than your spouse, your clergy (make sure they are actual clergy and not associates), or your attorney.
I pray that I never have to use deadly force but if it is justified and it's him or me that survives, it's going to be me.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Four safety rules:
1. Assume all weapons are loaded. You need to check when you pick up your weapon or when someone hands you one. Just because they said it isn't loaded doesn't mean it isn't loaded.
2. Don't point at what you don't want to destroy. Muzzle awareness! Most of the time you will point down.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the guard until you have your sites over the target and have made a conscious decision to shoot.
4. Always be sure of the target and backstop. You are responsible for every bullet you shoot.
Store your weapons unloaded, but if it's for self defense then it's not stored!
What if your kids come across weapons? The NRA teaches them to stop, don't touch, leave, and tell an adult. No matter what, if another kid picks up the found weapon do not ever have your kid try to take it away. Remember their four rules. Stop, don't touch, leave, and tell an adult.
Situational Awareness: This is something that we talk about a lot. It's noticing things and forming a plan to what you notice. Some examples here...You are going to Walmart to do some shopping. Think about the parking lot. What do people do in the parking lot? You get out of your car and you walk into the store. Or you come out of the store and you walk to your car. Be aware of people sitting in their cars. Why are they just sitting there? Are they watching people? Are they scanning vehicles? Be aware of people walking through the parking lot but not going into the store. Are they looking at vehicles? Are they looking for people? What are they doing with their hands? Can you see their eyes? What kind of shoes are they wearing?
Your two best friends - Deterrence and Avoidance. Your best day is when nobody notices you. Don't look like a threat to anybody in your dress or your actions. Go out of your way to stay inconspicuous. Don't dress tactical - your looks should come as a complete surprise that you are CCW.
Don't dress tactical? Lots of people like to. What if you are in a bank or a store and a group comes in to rob it? They make take down the few people who look like they are a threat to them...like the guy in camo.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The other person was a very good shot and every shot was within about a six inch circle. Not me. I never missed the target and the instructor was impressed that I did as well as I did considering I've never been formally instructed how to shoot. For the permit I had to shoot my weapon with my right hand with the left bracing it (the normal stance), with my right hand but my left in a fist and clinched against my chest, then with my left hand and my right in a fist and clinched against my chest. As I said, I never missed the target but my spread was about a foot.
I was using my .38 Special. The instructor then let me use some of his handguns just so I could try out a variety. With one I was an utter failure! The XD, which many of my coworkers just rave about, was impossible for me to operate. I couldn't pull the slide. The instructor said to hold it one way, no, I couldn't pull, try it this way, still no. Failure. Good thing I didn't buy that kind. Then I tried a Glock 26. This was really easy to shoot. I used another that shot .22s. I don't remember the brand of that pistol. Being a .22 means it's really inexpensive to shoot. I also had a three inch spread using this one. Wow, it made me look like I was quite a talented shooter! I think I liked the Glock the best of the four I used today.
I passed the written test, which I could have passed even before the 2 1/2 hours of lecture, although the lecture was great. Tomorrow I contact the Sheriff's Department to bring them a copy of the certificate, fingerprints, and pay the fee.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
I'm amazed that the good job the eight year old did on trimming the roses. He was equipped with loppers and a pair of hand clippers. And eventually he got a pair of gloves. Here were the instructions: Cut every stem to the height of your hips. Once that is done pick the best five stems that are growing. Cut everything else down to the ground level.
The 13 year old pounded in about 20 t-posts. When I was talking to his mother on the phone this morning she said that he wasn't big enough or strong enough to do t-posts. I'm sure glad I didn't pass on that message. I made his mom look at the good work that he did when she picked him up this afternoon.
Clip the base of the olive tree (suckers)
Trim fruit trees by lawn
Cut firewood from some large trimmings
Dig up some asparagus to transplant
Open the pen on the side of barn for the sheep
Put up fence panels in pasture two and three
Oil kitchen counters (the counters are all butcher block)
Straighten the tool shed
Take the pile of branches from the front into the back
Wash doors and door frames
Wash family room floor
Clean family room bookshelves
Dust dining room shelves
Prepare Income Taxes
I'm not going to do the spraying because the humidity is going to be around 90%. The spray doesn't soak into the plant if it's too cool or wet. It can wait for another week or two.
Spray along the road
Spray around blueberries
We do things about the same around here. There's always a time for training, even when they don't know it's training.
Just this morning boy was outside trimming the roses. He wasn't wearing gloves. I told him to go into the garage to get a pair. We were racing, then he decided to take a short cut. The roll-up garage door was open about a foot high. He decided to go under the door. I laughed and said now that you've gone under the door you need to crawl under the truck. He laughed and did so while I ran around the back of the house to get into the garage through the man-door. I got there first.
I watched his crawling technique. It wasn't great because his rear was up in the air. I told him the proper way and told him to get his aunt, who has spent the last 17 years in the army. She can show him the proper technique. So, aunt and boy got under the truck and crawled to the other end. Boy thought it was fun. My daughter thought I was nuts.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Since we haven't been home on Saturday for the last several weeks none of the Saturday chores have been done. This week, I was determined to make up for it. After all, it's a three day weekend and we aren't going anywhere! There isn't any Sunday School. We can have some good family together time by doing chores. We got even luckier because the oldest grandson came over last night and traded a couple of hours playing on the Wii for six hours of chores. Tonight grandson number three is over with the same bargain. He's not as good of a worker and I expect that he will give me about two or three hours of chores. An extra granddaughter is over as well. She doesn't do well with outside chores but will find some "fun" things to do like dusting. Tomorrow night the oldest grandson and grandson number two are coming over. Good. Monday they will give me lots of work time. The grandkids that live here were told three chores today, and two on Sunday and Monday. We should pretty well tackle the list.
Here's my list for this three day weekend.
T-posts around the front pasture trees to hold the fencing in place
Spray along the road
Clip the base of the olive tree
Trim fruit trees by lawn
Cut firewood from some large trimmings
Pull weeds around the asparagus
Dig up some asparagus to transplant
Open the pen on the side of barn for the sheep
Put up fence panels in pasture two and three
Spray around blueberries
Wash doors and door frames
Wash family room floor
Clean family room bookshelves
Dust dining room shelves
Oil kitchen counters (the counters are all butcher block)
Straighten the tool shed
Rebuild the fourth stall
We got 16 of the 36 items done. If it doesn't warm up a little more I won't be able to spray, which is three tasks. I'm really fortunate that the grandkids all have a good work ethic and want to come work on the farm. OK, they really want to play the Wii and drink Gaterade! What a deal for me!
Friday, January 14, 2011
My blog has been viewed over 5000 times, lately about 50-60 times per day...I'm not really clicking on my own site 45 of those times! Writing this blog has helped me with my survival preparations. It's kept me focused.
Just yesterday one of the grandkids was complaining that a girl at school was making fun of her new shoes. This girl said that her shoes were better and granddaughter's. The snob also bragged that they cost more. Granddaughter was complaining and said that she made some snotty comment to the girl. OK, I have to respond properly...always the lesson to be taught and learned. First I said that the girls shoes may have cost more but they didn't cover her feet any better. I also told her that I felt sorry for the girl who felt it necessary to point out her shoes.
Some responses granddaughter could have made...1. Your shoes are really nice! 2. You are lucky to have such parents who can afford to buy you something so expensive. 3. How pretty.
What went through her head...1. Those are hideous (which is what she said). 2. Don't you realize that what's in style doesn't really look good? 3. Your parents spend lots of money on you, my family spends lots of time with me.
What did I tell her? Before anything comes out of your mouth pretend it's not a two way conversation with the snobby girl. Pretend that it's a one-way conversation. The only thing that matters is what comes out of your mouth...and by the way...God is listening to you and judging you on what you are saying.
Why am I retelling this story? I'm not quite sure other than it's my blog and while I'm very focused on keeping my family safe and sound no matter what, which is why I choose to be a survivalist, I'm also aware that our everyday trials and tribulations are very similar to what others are going through.
I will learn the rules about what is defense of yourself and your family. After all, that's the reason I'm getting the CCW permit. I got lectured by a friend of mine that I'd better watch out who I shoot once I get the permit. I'm not planning on shooting anyone but then again, the sheriff doesn't plan on shooting anyone either. I guess the only ones who plan on shooting anyone are the bad guys. The others do so because they are forced into it. If I am forced, I will. As with anything else, I will practice on the range and in the backyard.
This instructor usually teaches group classes on weekends or evenings. I asked for a class during the weekday. After all, I have a flexible work schedule at times and I'd rather have my evenings and weekends at home with the family. Tuesday morning we will be at the range. I'm very excited.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
I bought a $9.99 crock pot from Walmart that holds 1 1/2 quarts. It has three settings, off, low, high. I put two cups of beans in the crock pot in the morning, fill the thing with water, put the lid on and turn it on low. By the time I'm ready to make dinner they are done cooking.
Tonight I didn't get home until 9:00 since I had to work out of town. My daughter and son-in-law made dinner for themselves and the grandkids. Usually what they cook isn't edible, which explains why they go out to eat at least once a day. Tonight they made Tuna Helper. Daughter said it's pretty good and I should try it. She said they also had cornbread. I looked on the counter and there was a package from the bakery. They spent four dollars on a small little loaf of cornbread. They could have bought a Jiffy brand box of cornbread mix, added water, and it would have been the same as what they bought. Yuck...
Daughter complained that I wasn't home to show her how to make cornbread. I guess reading a cookbook, of which we have over 100 would have been too hard.
She didn't use the beans. I pointed out that my food bill is usually low because we use "non-instant" food like dried beans. I asked how much beans cost when you buy them in the cans. Son-in-law said $1.69 a can. Well, I just cooked up three cans worth of beans. It would cost them over five dollars to buy the beans. It cost me under seventy five cents. It's really a good way to stretch your food storage dollar.
Daughter said we can have chili tomorrow and cornbread. It's a three day weekend for the grandkids. I think we will probably have about six or seven grandkids over this weekend. Good, I'll swap chores for all the delicious chili they can eat. I need to cook up another pot of beans. Perhaps I'll make daughter finish her Tuna Helper.
On Tuesday I've got the CCW class. I am supposed to bring extra ammunition. I have the recommended amount but sure would like to find some more. I know I can buy it at the range but the cost is a whole lot more. If I can't find what I'm looking for I'll buy it online. I only have a week to do that, as after that, the companies are going to stop taking orders for us Californians.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I will be back in town next week. I'm taking my six hour training class for the CCW permit on Tuesday. The instructor is supposed to email me a list of what I need to bring to class. The weapon, ammunition, and money too. The class costs $90. I wonder what else I will need.
I'm sure I have enough ammunition for the class but if not, I'll stop by a local gun shop. Their prices are higher than Walmart but at least I know they will have what I need in stock.
By putting the two birds together for the five days (I'm sure glad to have my shower back!) the banty was able to get used to the pullet. When I put the banty back into the coop the first thing he did was cockadoodledo. I'm back he screamed. Because he made "friends" with the pullet, none of the other hens dared pick on the pullet. It sure was a good way to add one chicken to the flock.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The story discussed the upcoming snowstorm that is predicted to drop a couple of inches of snow. People made a run on the grocery stores to stock up at the last minute to prepare. Fox reported that the grocery store opened at 6 in the morning and people were lined up waiting for them to open. Bread, milk, and eggs were flying off the shelves. The reported interviewed a couple of people who sounded stupid.
The reported then started ridiculing people. These people just went through a huge storm and this storm is only supposed to drop a couple of inches. Why are they rushing to the store? You'd think that these people think they won't be able to get to the store and buy food. It's like there isn't going to be any more. People were even filling up their carts with food! Filling their carts! Some people went in for a second cart. The reporter ended up making the comment "just how much food does someone need to have on hand anyway?"
This would have been the perfect opportunity to state that if these people had a food storage program at home they wouldn't have to worry about rushing to the store to stock up right before a storm. Fox, you blew it.
This second item is an odd one. In the state of California you can get a doctor's prescription for "medical" marijuana for any reason: no appetite, too much appetite, can't sleep, can't stay awake, backache, headache, finger or toe ache. Any reason is a good enough reason. For this prescription you are allowed to grow your own marijuana plants. There is a limit of the number of plants. I think it's somewhere like 100 plants if you say that you want to use the leaves in your cooking but a lot less if you say you want to smoke it. I don't know the actual numbers, but nobody needs to correct me because it doesn't really matter.
Getting on with the story... one of the problems is that thieves are now seeing these plants growing in people's back yards since the plants get really tall. As soon as the plants are ready for harvest the thieves are breaking down the fences, pulling plants out of the ground, loading them into their vehicles and driving away. There have been lots of gun fights over this.
In the one case that caught my attention the story was about a man on trial for shooting a thief. He had almost 400 pot plants in his backyard. All legal. Four bad guys came and broke down the fence and started stealing the plants. The homeowner fought back by shooting at them. He killed one. (good shot!) He was on trial and was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter. He may get over 20 years.
Now, don't get me wrong. I think these pot laws are a joke. I'm sure there are viable alternatives for medical use, although this may be the cheapest alternative. I don't use the stuff. Never have, never will. I don't hang out with people who openly use drugs. I don't hang out with people who use drugs (or at least I am not aware of it). That's not the point. At what point is it ok to defend your property? Or can you not defend your property? Can you only defend people? And, at what point can you defend people? How close does the bad guy have to be? In your yard? In your house? Brandishing a weapon?
In Texas I've heard you can defend your property using a gun. What about in Arizona? Two bystanders "heros" tackled the shooter. What would the story have been if the "hero" was carrying and shot the shooter? Would the "hero" be prosecuted if the shooter wasn't pointing the gun directly at the "hero"?
It's a crazy world. Go buy your ammunition...before the end of the month.
Monday, January 10, 2011
My friend bought it for about $80 dollars at Orchard Supply and decided it wasn't what he wanted. It was too small, the battery didn't last long enough, although I think mainly because it looks like a chain saw for sissies. I'm not a sissy but I do have to say that the thing is very light weight and worked perfectly well. It was offered to me for $35 and I'm going to buy it. Even the $80 would be a good price if you had some money to spare.
As I said yesterday, most of my tree trimming is able to be done with a hand lopper, although some is done with a pruning saw. This sure goes quicker than the pruning saw. If I was cutting trees in my orchard down then I'd need a larger bar but for the tree trimming (which did mean cutting some three and four inch branches) this worked great. It was also quiet.
When the grand kids left for school I had about 15 minutes to do a little yard work. I actually trimmed - ok more like whacked three of the trees. Several of my trees need radical trimming and I finished a peach, a nectarine, and started on the Chinese Jujube. With the pruning saw it would have taken quite a bit more time. I still need to get out the loppers and trim some of the smaller branches because as those of you with chain saw experience know, you don't cut small things with the saw. They will whip all over and hurt someone.
I don't know how long this saw will last, or what type of maintenance it needs. The directions weren't clear about needing to put in oil. Once I got through the middle of the booklet it said, caution, don't run without oil. It should have been one of the first things listed. Charge the battery, put in oil. The battery looks like a common style battery. I haven't researched whether it is interchangeable with other brands. I also don't know how long the battery will run without draining since I only used it for 15 minutes.
I'll know more this weekend, but I do like it. And it's not just for sissies.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Another granddaughter was with us today...the whiner. She had a little scratch on her leg. You would have thought she was dying. After I bought the plant I broke off a little piece and rubbed the gel on her leg. That got her to be quiet. So did my telling her that I didn't want to hear her screaming unless she was dying and since I didn't see any blood gushing out of her leg she'd better knock it off.
It's about time to get the garden started. While I was at the store I was looking at all the cool stuff in the garden department (although not quite as much fun as going to Armstrong Nursery the day before). I looked at where the stuff was manufactured. Mostly China. Didn't buy anything in the gardening section other than the planting mix.
I did notice that they had premixed Roundup. 1/2 gallon for about $5. Lately I've been buying Buckeneer, which is the same stuff only costs less. I also don't buy it with a surfactant (just squirt some liquid dishsoap into the sprayer). I just bought 2 1/2 gallons of the 41% concentrate for $55. That will make 160 gallons using 2 ounces per gallon of water, which is the way I usually mix it. Let's see. Thirty four CENTS per gallon if I mix it myself or ten DOLLARS per gallon already mixed.
After we got home I went out to the barn and got my planting pots and shelf unit and brought it up to the back patio. Tomorrow the kids go back to school so I'll be starting work early and will be able to have time at the end of the day to put the shelf unit together and get it covered with the plastic. I don't think I'm going to plant the seeds yet. I'll wait another month. It's still foggy and cold around here but I may as well get part of it ready.
I'm looking forward to this coming weekend. It's a three day weekend here in California and I've got tons of work to do in the garden. Not having been home for the last three weekends has really gotten me behind on my work. I need to get the trees all pruned. It takes about an hour per tree and I've got about 15 that need heavy pruning. One of the things I've done is watch the local fruit farmers pruning methods. It's so different than the way you learn in a book or even on the internet. We are always taught to have the trunk come up to at least waist high, sometimes even shoulder high. Most of the fruit trees in my area branch out around a foot off the ground. They have five or six branches coming off this spot in all different directions. Others come up two feet. Very few of the farm trees look the way most people grow their trees.
When the trees start getting older the farmers will revise the tree. They will cut off all the branches but one. Then the next spring a bunch of new branches grow. The farmer will then train those new branches. In a couple of years the one old branch that was left will be cut off. It will be a completely new tree on the old established rootstock.
I have a couple of peach and nectarine trees and one prune plum tree that I am not at all happy with. Their structure is terrible and each year branches break off no matter how well they are propped up. The plum tree looks like it is going to fall over and pull all the roots up. This year I'm going to try to revise those trees like they do at the local farms. The trees are going to be cut almost completely down with the exception of one branch. This will probably lead to a lousy crop this year but I've got over a years worth of jam and jelly put up as well as canned and frozen fruit. We won't feel the pain of not having these trees produce much. I still have a peach tree that will give us plenty of fresh fruit. It will mainly be not having those fruits to put up for winter and spring.
Usually I do my pruning with a little handsaw and loppers. I have chainsaws but have never used them for pruning the trees. A friend of mine had a battery operated pruning chain saw with an 8 inch bar. He bought a large gas powered saw and asked if I wanted to buy the battery saw. I said sure as long as I could use it first and if I liked it I'd buy it. If I didn't like it then I'd give it back and owe nothing otherwise $35 which was a little less than half of what it cost him. I'll report on it next week.
It's going to be a good year for the olives with all this rain. Half of the olive trees get watered. Not on purpose but because they are near some of the roses which are on a drip. The rest of the olives are never watered. One of my neighbors processes olives. Each year he comes and picks my olives and brings me a couple of jars of processed olives in exchange. This year he's going to show me how to process them. With the dozen trees we have there will be plenty for both of us. At some point I'd like to try making olive oil. I haven't found anyone who makes it at home using simple methods. I knew someone in Northern California who makes it but they have very expensive equipment. Olives were processed into oil thousands of years ago. Did everyone go to the olive presser or did they grind them at home?
I know in Israel they have bedrock mortars in which olives were processed just like the Indians processed acorns in them here in California. Did they just grind them then float the grindings in water to separate the oil from the pulp? I don't know. Anyone have any experience in this?
Saturday, January 8, 2011
We walked up and down the rows of plants. I explained the different types of vegetables and fruits that they had available. For example, she has a strawberry pot with some strawberry plants. She wanted more plants. Do you want June bearing that give you a heavy crop at once or do you like the plants you have that give you three or four strawberries a month. She got the June bearing so she can have a handful in June and then one each week the rest of the year.
She also wants an artichoke plant. There is room for one of those in the yard. It will grow year round where she lives but she should cut it down to the ground in the winter for it to refresh itself in the spring. She also wants to plant asparagus. That won't go well in her raised planter either but I will give her some starter plants when mine start growing in the spring.
She did pick out several types of lettuce, kale, and sugar peas. She's going to have a great time with her garden. It's not going to sustain her in any crisis but it makes her feel good. That's about as much as she is capable of.
Me on the other hand. Going to a nursery is like taking a drunk to a bar. I love looking at plants and buying them if I had enough money. I buy new fruit trees each year. I have over forty here. It's still not enough. I will never have enough! I need to buy several for the bug-out place. It doesn't have any fruit trees at all. It's not quite bare root season here or there. Give it another month.
I am just about ready to start planting the survival seeds I got from the contest I won at http://modernsurvivalonline.com/ . Although they are supposed to be for a future emergency, I'm planning on planting them now. I have a shelf unit that I'm going to put in the front yard on a south facing wall. I'll cover the unit with plastic to make a small "greenhouse". I've seen these with zip up plastic covers for way too much money.
If you need large pieces of plastic for your own greenhouse, you can buy a drop cloth, or if you want thicker plastic you can use some heavy duty clear trash bags. Or, for those of you who want to make it cheap or free, go to Lowe's or Home Depot and right by the door they have a roll of plastic that you can tear as many sheets off as you want and it's free. So's the twine right next to the plastic.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
The banty rooster is doing a bit better. At least he didn't look half dead when I got home. Checked everything else around here. All is well after a week of not being around.
The kids get to spend the next couple of days at the bug-out place. I'm jealous. Well sorry about not writing much today. I need to leave before it gets too foggy.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
I just went out to take care of the chickens and found the banty caught in a chain link fence. Somehow he got his foot into it and his spur is so long that he couldn't get his foot back out. He was laying on the ground with a bloody leg. I got him unstuck. With the bloody leg, I know the the other chickens will at some point attack him and kill him. Chickens are cannibals. I picked him up and he doesn't appear to have anything wrong other than scraping his leg trying to free himself.
I brought him into the house and had to figure out what to do with him. I'm leaving again today. I'll return tomorrow but am leaving again tomorrow evening or Friday morning for another overnight trip. I have the baby chicken that's been in a plastic bin in the house since we brought it home a couple of weeks ago. It's about ready to go out to the coop. I decided to put both the baby chicken and the rooster into my shower. After all, I won't be here to use it for a couple of days. The baby chicken shouldn't harass the rooster. When I return after the second trip I'll be able to put both birds into the coop. I'm hoping that the rooster likes the chick enough that when they go into the coop the chick won't get picked on by the other hens. It'll be a good experiment.
Hopefully the rooster will heal and I won't come back to a dead chicken in my shower.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
It's almost dinner. The grand kids were famished but I was too tired to be hungry. What should they be fed? I have to remember that kids have a different feeding schedule than adults. We often put off eating until a project is done. Just another hour before I come in for lunch. Not with kids. They want their food and they want it NOW!!!!!
They wake up in the morning starving. They want a snack an hour after breakfast. They can't wait for lunch. They want a snack right after and another right before dinner. Then when they are done with dinner they want to know if there's more. What's for dessert?
When I don't go to the office I am a spectacular cook in my own mind. I will make fresh bread daily. I'll make just about everything from scratch, including noodles. Most of the vegetables come from the garden. Same with the fruit.
So at 18:00 they wanted to eat. NOW, if I want to live! What's quick, nutritious, cheap, and filling? Just about everything I make, that's for sure.
Last night I even amazed myself. I still had half a loaf of bread that was put into the freezer before we left for San Diego. I took a small piece of beef (about 1/4 pound) out of the freezer, threw it into a pot of boiling water, took an ear of corn (frozen from last summer) and threw that in. Took tomatoes off the vines (cut the plants off at the base and threw the entire tomato plants into a bin in the garage before the first frost) and cut them up and put them into the pot. Took one carrot, one onion, equivalent to a stalk of celery (dried cut up pieces left over at Thanksgiving) and threw it all into the pot. I took one jar of homemade "V-8" juice and a handful of elbow noodles. I boiled it for about 15 minutes. I took the chunk of meat (now thawed and partially cooked) out and cut it up into small bite sized pieces. I cut the corn into 1 inch slices. I put it all back into the pot for another 10 minutes. Added a little salt and pepper. In less than 30 minutes I had a very good beef noodle vegetable soup.
But for tonight, I mean really quick. I'm tired.
I always have bread dough starter on the counter. If I don't make bread today, then tomorrow, or the next day. If we go through a streak of not making bread then the next loaf is a really sour dough loaf. I love sour dough with olive oil...
I made tortillas tonight. Did I mention the other day I put a bunch of pinto beans into the crock pot then when they were cooked blended them up and put them into the refrigerator? (Not quite refried, but close). I put a scoop of beans into the tortillas, added a bit of cheese, rolled them up and baked them. Easy, quick, and so good for you. They topped these burritos with a jar of homemade salsa. Tonight's dinner took 15 minutes. It may have cost seventy-five cents. Their glasses of milk probably cost as much as the rest of the dinner. Dessert, an orange.
Easy, hardy, almost all from stored staples or the yard. The beef could be canned or dried rather than frozen, same with the corn. The cheese is a five pound bag from Costco. That's the only thing that I don't have in my storage program. I have cheddar cheese mix to make a sauce but don't yet have shredded cheese. I've seen it advertised, I just haven't tried it.
Monday, January 3, 2011
I read blog after blog after blog. I spend about an hour a night on the internet. I'm trying to get more hints about what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong. Some blogs are great. Some are so riddled with profanity that even if there is good stuff in it I'm turned off by the words. When I read a blog, my mind imagines that the writer is reading it to me. It's like we are sitting at a table and the person is telling me their story. With every other word being profane I just think that's not someone I want sitting around our kitchen table. I don't want that language coming out of the grandkids. They'd get their mouths washed out with soap. Once again, I digress...
I want fellow preppers that I "associate" with to believe in God and if that's part of their writing, that's fine with me. The other day I thought I found a good blog only after reading additional articles I realized that one article may be good but they had a Jew is bad, skinhead is good attitude. Not what I'm looking for. I don't want to read hate blogs. I don't believe that one race or one religion is the cause of all the problems in the world. There are a lot of problems and a lot of causes of those problems. There are good and bad people associated with every religion. Whether one believes that their religion is the only right religion or not, doesn't mean they should be blaming everything that has gone wrong in their life to another race or religion. After all, just because you got an F in algebra doesn't mean it's because Lincoln abolished slavery.
I'd really like to meet more survival minded people. I'd like to go to their homes and see what they've done to prep. I don't know if I want anyone to come to my house. How do you decide who is honest and who isn't? Who has good intentions and who doesn't. I do know that I will not ever put pictures of my family or the location of our home (or even the street name) on this site. What are preppers thinking when they post pictures of the wife (or husband) and kids? I just saw one that has pictures of the front yard garden, and there's the address on the mailbox and the car with the license plate visible.
That's not to say that I'm invisible on the internet. I'm not. My name and work phone number are listed. There are many reports I've written for work that are on line. There's even some pictures of me on the internet. They just aren't associated with this site.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
With all the rain we've received and the mild weather, the weeds are taking off. I have a garlic patch that grows year round. Right now it's hard to tell the difference between the garlic and the wayward grass that's growing there. It's going to be a quick job to weed this, but the rain hasn't stopped. I'll wait for a break in the rain.
I have to work every day this week although the kids are off school for another week. They are going to the bug-out-place later this week to hang out with our friends who are renting the place. I have to go out of town for work once again. I'll be back on Sunday but I think Sunday school is going to get back into session so I think that day will be shot for yard work once again. Maybe I'll take some time off the next week on a sunny day. Otherwise I'm going to be so far behind on work once spring comes.
I made another resolution. As far as the exercise resolution from the other day goes, that's an easy one to do. A few extra exercises in the morning, eating less cookies (I was really good at the party today) and parking the car at the end of the parking lot and walking, all add to the exercise. Of course, this isn't enough to successfully operate in hard times but I'm in better shape than most even when out of shape.
The new resolution has to do with debt.
Being successful in prepping can't really be complete when you have debt. I'm speaking monetary debt. There's all kinds. Mortgage, student loans, car loans, credit cards, and big bills from lots of "necessities" of life. We are better off than most, I think. We have a mortgage on the main property. The bug-out place is paid for. Our monthly necessities bills are rather low. I do have some extra money each month to buy prep items or to make improvements to the property, usually.
I was listening to a radio money show the other day. I can't remember if it was Dave Ramsey or Howard Clark. Either way, they both harp on paying cash, getting out of debt, and living below your means. Some months we are successful at living below our income, some months we are not. We've had several major things happen to family members over the last couple of years - major car accidents (and a life flight), sick newborns, and a handful of grandkids permanently moving in - and the savings account is just about nil. But there're no credit card bills, no student loans (there used to be though), and no car payments. Mortgage only.
I do have silver put away. I can't imagine using it to pay some bills. To me, that purchase was to be put away for TEOTWAWKI not because grandkid needs braces. That needs to come from saved money now, not the put away money.
Paying off the mortgage is the issue. You've heard about how your mortgage should be 1/4 of your income. I've also heard that your total bills should be about 1/3 of your income. Well, that's not happening here. Due to cutting my income in order to have time at home with the grandkids who now live with me my mortgage is around half of my income (if I include taxes and insurance it's definitely over 1/2). Fortunately the rest of the bills are low. Is it possible to get rid of the mortgage? In the radio show that I was listening to they said that people who are diligent about it get rid of all their debt, mortgage included, in about 7 1/2 years. Can we do this? Doubt it. I'm not willing to stop prepping in order to pay off the house.
When are you done prepping? I'm not talking practicing skills, I'm talking about buying stuff. What is enough prepping? How much ammo is enough? How much food is enough? How much material to make clothes is enough? How many spare tools? How many fruit trees? How much stuff?
I suppose when I figure out these answers then I can finish up my prepping by paying off the house.