Thursday, June 30, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Now I know that this book is a "starter" for people new to prepping and I don't expect that I will learn a lot from it. What I am expecting is to find a lot of sensible information in it that is written in a way to attract people who have heard of preparing but don't really know what it means, other than as Bernie put it, "Myth 5: preparing will turn me into one of those crackpots living in a cabin in the woods, dressed in military gear and threatening people with explosives...like "Unabomer" Ted Kaczynski." (whose last victim, Gil Murry, was a friend of mine) What I'm hoping is this book will be this years gift that I give to my family and friends when holidays roll around.
I'm looking forward to receiving the book and if you have a spare ten dollars, buy one for yourself or a family member.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
After being away from the house for 10 days there were a lot of weeds to pull. I spent about two hours on the raised beds and got them all cleared of weeds. Around the trees are a different story. I will tackle them this weekend. I ate my first tomato today. It was almost ripe. I was showing boy the red tomato and I knocked it off the vine. Sure I could have put in on the kitchen counter for a couple of days to finish ripening it up but couldn't resist popping it into my mouth instead.
Got the grandkids signed up for two more weeks of summer camp. I gave the deposit and said I'd pay the rest as soon as there was a fire. That brought protests of "this is a religious camp, we shouldn't be praying for fire...isn't that the opposite of what we pray for?" OK, I had to clarify...May no homes burn, may no people get hurt, may brush be removed by fire, provided by God during a lightening strike (as compared to an arsonist), as an improvement to the environment. They were happy with that.
Son and family called and said they wanted to come over for dinner. So with them, Army daughter's family, grandkids and me we had a full table. I let them all know that I am going to have a garage sale in the next few weeks and if they had anything they wanted to get rid of just bring it over. They all said no, they don't have anything to part with. Grandkids have stuff they are going to part with; they just don't know it yet.
This weekend is a holiday weekend. Nobody extra is coming over. Oldest daughter's block is having a block party and everyone wants to go there. I don't feel like spending the money on fireworks for the backyard this year. I think the grandkids and I will hike up the nearest hill and watch about five or six different sets of fireworks, which will be visible from there. Because it's going to be Independence Day I think we will have a little
I read the blog about the family who went hiking to try "bugging-out". For them it was a very challenging experience and they learned quite a lot. If I have time to pack even a small pack for hiking I could stay out for a week without any issues at all. It's sort of second nature, and I also don't need a lot. It would be different having to deal with the grandkids though. Just me, simple. Them, more issues. Right now there is a radio commercial about a girl who goes into a sporting goods store to buy dad some camping supplies. The store lists everything that dad desires, including a three room tent, a reclining chair, and other luxuries usually only found in some ridiculous fantasy wish list that makes camping no different than hanging out in your living room.
The thing that drives me crazy about this ad is it's such a big deal for most people to live without their everyday luxuries for even just a weekend. No electricity, no running water, no roof over your head. Pick your challenge and just make due without. Even for one or two days of the three day weekend.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Life would be much more quiet without the phone. I know the new phones have all kinds of applications that make them even more useful than using them to call people. How many of us don't call people anymore. We just text. What if you stopped?
I've always wanted the work cell phone to be a simple cell phone. No Blackberries or I-phone. No checking email or surfing the web. No apps. Just make phone calls and send a text every once in a while. I'd even snap a picture or two each month. But mostly, the phone is used for talking. It's an older phone that folds in half, has a very tiny screen, and has a little antenna sticking up. That was until last Tuesday when I pulled the phone out of my back pocket and broke the antenna off. Brother-in-law superglued it back on. It works better than without the external antenna but at my house there's no signal. None!
That is not a good thing when I have all my office calls transfer to this cell phone and I like to work at my home office. I can pick up office calls anywhere...except at my house. I contacted the IT person, who just happens to work 4 hours away, and he said he'll see what he has in his inventory. I told him I don't need anything special, just something that works. Ah, this is a perfect time for the governor to get up and say there is one less cell phone being used by those wasteful government employees. Of course, I'm not wasteful. The government is sure getting their money's worth out of me. Except I can't answer the phone.
It was suggested that I forward my office cell phone to my personal cell phone. That won't work because my personal phone only has 400 minutes per month on the plan. Sure, we only use about 100 minutes a month at most but I use 300 minutes a week on my work phone. I don't think work would be happy if I billed them the difference. I would too!
OK I'll stop complaining about the work cell being broken. They'll get me a new one by next week, maybe. My question is, what if we just stopped using the phone? I'm not saying to revert to email. I'm saying what if we stopped with all forms of instant communication? What if someone had to figure it out for themselves rather than call me up to explain some governmental policy? What if they had to send me a letter? That would put the post office back in business! But what if the phone system didn't work for a day, or a week, or a month, or a year?
I hate using the phone. I purposely don't have a little bluetooth device that I hang from my ear so I can talk all day long as I do my other things. I couldn't imagine working in the garden and having to hold a conversation with someone. Working in the garden is a good place to clear your mind or work through some problem or something of that nature. I have a list of about 10 people that I call at least once a week. There are some that want to hear from me daily. I had one friend who almost called the sheriff because I hadn't answered the phone in a week. It's nice that people care but come on!
If I don't hear anything about my cell phone replacement tomorrow then I'm going to change my voice mail to "Sorry I can't answer. The cell phone is broken. When the state economy gets better they'll get me another phone. Until then, send me an email and I'll respond when my computer gets repaired." I wish my personal cell phone had an antenna. I could break that one too. Then I'd get lots of gardening done. Seriously, how would you communicate without your cell phone? Would you need to rethink how many people you communicate with? Would once or twice a year letters work? Do you even remember how to write a letter?
Sunday, June 26, 2011
We also returned from our trip with 9 new chickens. They were hatched in my nephew’s preschool class. They are about a month old. We didn't get into the heat until the early evening so they too made the trip without problems. They are in their cage in the middle of the lawn today and tomorrow morning I'm going to transfer them into the chicken coop. Since they are a lot smaller than the rest of my chickens they will have their own space to run in and out of. They will have a water source and food source without having to hang around the big chickens. After a few days they will all get to know each other and will live peacefully together. I hope none of the new chickens are cockerels but if any are I'll deal with it.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Today we weren't quite in the desert but still hiking in an area without any trees and lots of heat. It was close to 100 degrees. In the afternoon the wind picked up so our sweat was able to cool us down very well. I'm glad I don't live down here but working in weather like this is a good reminder that we may be put into a situation that we are not familiar with or that we truly don't like!
I don't mind the heat but wearing a couple layers of clothing and carrying my pack wasn't the way I'd like to spend it. Sitting around a swimming pool would be more like it! But work had to be done. Since we were never going to be further than a mile and a half from our trucks we didn't worry too much about overheating. We were away from the trucks for four hours. During this time we walked four miles. We also drank a lot. I was hydrated prior to starting the hike. I didn't carry my camel pack today, instead opting for plastic bottles. During my four hours I drank 5 -20 ounce bottles of water and three 20 ounce Gatorades. 160 ounces total. This is five quarts of liquid or more than one quart per hour. That's less than I should have had but still not too bad.
One of the members of our group bragged that he hydrated himself up and drank five bottles of water prior to heading out to the field. It took us over an hour driving just to get to the project. When we were out there he drank two bottles of water. He was worried that we weren't drinking enough but that he was fine. After we completed the project we drove the hour back to their office. When he got out of the truck both legs cramped. I guess he wasn't so hydrated after all. The rest of us were fine.
We are repeating this trek tomorrow. We will be hiking about a mile away from this project and the weather is supposed to be a little cooler. I'll make sure I drink enough. We talk about needing to store a gallon of water per day for drinking and cooking and a gallon for other needs. That may be fine if we aren’t doing anything but hanging around. Today we didn’t do any real physical work other than walk around in hot weather carrying heavy equipment. In four hours I drank more than a gallon. I wonder how much I would have needed if I was working in the garden or fixing fences or doing other heavy physical activity?
There were no metal detectors. I could have carried in lots of weapons, both legal and illegal. The security lady had me open the backpack, she pushed the sandwiches around, felt the outside and bottom of the pack and said have a great day. We did.
It was pretty crowded and I know we won't go during the summer again. I was way past my comfort level in the parking garage, prior to even getting into the park. I did see one homeless person sleeping on the bench. Saw many people arguing about how they were supposed to be having fun. Overall, the tension level of the people was pretty mild. That's good because I would hate to know just how many others brought weapons into Disneyland that weren't upstanding.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
We are staying in my childhood home. The entire town is etched in my mind as well as the hiking trails, caves, and all kinds of get away spots when you just don't want anyone to bug you. The grandkids don't know this area very well. They do know how to get from the house to the park. They do know some hiking trails and the creek where I used to catch turtles. What they missed was how to get from the park to the house. I'm not quite sure how they missed that but they did.
They wanted to go to the park and like a good grandparent trying to put a presentation together and not really having time for them I said sure. Just be home for dinner. Three hours later, and about an hour after I figured they'd be beating down the door for food, they hadn't shown back up. I'm getting hungry so I figured I'd go get them. I drove to the park, not feeling like walking the couple of blocks. They weren't where I expected them to be. I drove to other parts of the park. No kids.
The only thing that crossed my mind is they took a wrong turn home. It never crossed my mind that something bad had happened. Nothing bad happened. They took a wrong turn home. Actually, they went a couple of streets too far. Each street has a street sign and they walked right past the street we are staying at. They knew the name so they were probably messing around when they walked right by.
What they did to correct their error is where they need additional training. Boy and girl split up to find their way back to Great grandma's house. That was the wrong thing to do. I found girl around the corner. She had come to the busy main street and knew she had gone too far. Instead of walking back to the park to try it again, she walked down a different street that she hadn't been on at all. When I found her she was directly behind mom's house. I pointed her in the right direction and drove away. You didn't think I was going to pick her up, did you?
Then I found boy. He had made it back to the house but then decided to go search for his sister. This was also the wrong thing to do. After I left girl I saw him running down at the other end of this street that was directly around the corner from mom's. I caught up to him. He said he'd been home but was going to go for a run and get his sister. I told him she was on her way home and now he could runback the other way to the house . He said he wanted a ride. Nothing doing. Run. So he turned around and we raced. He in his bare feet and I in my Ford F250 4x4 pick up. Amazing runner he is. He beat me in the 1/4 mile. Of course I was pretty much coasting...
Dinner conversation included what you do when you get yourself misplaced. In a case like this, their biggest error was splitting up. Then granddaughter made the next error. She could get herself back to where she started but instead went in a way that she knew she hadn't been before. They need to pay more attention to their surroundings, but all in all did pretty well for being 8 and 9 and four hours from home.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Since I'm finishing working next Friday and the kids don't start summer camp until the following Monday we have the entire weekend to get home. Although I'm "on the clock" when I'm driving, I don't get overtime, so if I take 10 hours to get home plus an extra day rather than 6 1/2 hours it won't be a big deal.
Here's a couple of scenarios.
1. I'm thinking about telling Interstate 5 is closed in LA. I'll hand them the map and have them figure out the best way to get home. I can get from San Diego to Central California without ever getting on a freeway but I don't want to take that long.
2. I can tell them I lost my money so we can't go out to eat. If I have a stomach ache then I won't be in the mood to make them anything to eat. They will have to get into the food container and figure out how to make two meals for the three of us.
3. I want some hot tea for my stomach ache. Make it for me. (Take a bottle of water from the back of the truck, stick a tea bag in the bottle, put it on the dash.)
4. The power is out in the city so the gas stations don't work. How can we get fuel? (Full gas cans are in the back of the truck)
5. I lost the key to the truck. (Do they know where the spare key is?)
6. Where did I park the truck when we go to Disneyland? How good is their sense of direction? Can they talk it out to backtrack their steps?
7. If the freeway is closed and with my lost money we may have to stay the night somewhere. Where should we park the truck that is safe? Can we sleep in the truck?
8. Anything else? They are 8 and 9, so I can't have them drive...
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
While others may think my job is interesting, it is my job so it's only interesting when I get to get away from the office. When I tell people what I do they are really impressed. They want to hear all about it. I tell them it's mostly paperwork... On the other hand, the trip to Antarctica was fantastic. I'm even going to include a few pictures that I took, and you know I rarely include pictures on this blog.
I will have the extra fuel and food, we always have sleeping bags, bug-out bags, money, weapons, and just about anything needed for any situation. I will have the computer but may not be posting each day.
It is supposed to be hot and being away from the garden and animals is always a concern during the summer. Army daughter is here at home but I have no confidence in her ability to water the garden or make sure the animals are doing ok. Daughter-in-law was over for dinner tonight and she and I picked the entire apricot tree although the fruit won't be ripe for a few more days. I figured if I left it on the tree and told Army daughter to pick it when it was ripe it would have all gone to the birds or the ants. This way, we will be able to eat fruit the entire trip.
Son said that he'd come over to water the garden and also make sure the animals had food and water. I told them they could have the eggs in exchange. I still worry about everything. Usually the garden and animals are fine but things just seem to go wrong when we aren't home. I remember one time when I was about 5 hours from home and a neighbor called and left a message telling me that my back fence had been broken and the steer was walking away. Thanks for watching him go and not doing anything other than calling and leaving a message. I got home a couple days later and put fliers up all over the neighborhood, "missing steer". We got him back. We are taking two 10 day trips this summer, this one and the one to North Carolina in August. Hopefully the garden will come through this trip and I'll have a lot picked and preserved before the next trip.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Lightning strikes fast, usually in just a few milliseconds, so you can't escape once it is in process. If you are in a thunderstorm the safest thing to do is to get into a building. Unfortunately, it's not always possible. If you are near a car or truck get into that. If you are not near either then you may be in trouble! Here are some things that you can do to minimize your risk when working in areas prone to lightning.
If possible you should move indoors. I love to stand on my back patio to watch the lightning show. I thought I'd be ok because I wasn't out in the open. What I didn't realize was if the patio cover was hit, instead of the lightning stopping there it would continue towards the ground, using me to conduct the current. You see, the lightning will travel down a vertical surface to get to the ground. When there is a gap that the lightning needs to jump, any object, including a person would bridge that gap to help conduct the current to the ground.
Check the forecasted weather before you start your day. Know what the local weather patterns are and work around them. For example, if you know that the thunderstorms hit at noon be done with your outside activity before then. Pay attention to the weather. If you are working with others, have one person's main responsibility to be the weather. In my line of work we have lookouts. Their entire job is to keep everyone else safe. They pay attention to the surroundings.
As soon as you hear any thunder you need to get yourself immediately off exposed ground by moving to safer ground. Get into a ravine or depression - but also be aware of flash flooding. Avoid peaks, ridges, and higher terrain. Avoid open spaces. Avoid tall trees and other objects and even bushes if they are in the middle of an open area. If the storm is coming towards a hill or mountain your best bet is on the opposite side that the storm will initially hit. Get as far down the mountain as you can since lightning is more likely to strike at higher elevations.
When you've blown it and you can't get to safety you will need to get into what is known as the lightning position. Put your feet together. This will significantly reduce the effects of ground current, the leading cause (almost half) of lightning fatalities. Crouch to try to reduce the effect of side flash and upward leaders which together cause almost the rest of the lightning fatalities. Wrap your arms around your legs and close your eyes. If you have anything with you that can insulate you from the ground sit on them. This can include a jacket, foam pad, or anything else. Don't sit on a backpack with a metal frame! Don't touch any metal. Take off your rings and other jewelry.
When the lightning hits the ground the current spreads and dissipates as it spreads. If you are in that dissipation area, this causes a problem when one part of your body has one voltage and another part has a different voltage. If there is a difference in voltage then this will push the electric current through you. That's why you try to keep your feet as close together as possible.
Side flash is when the lightning hits something tall, such as a tree, and on the way down to the ground a portion of the current shoots out the side toward something adjacent to the tall object: another tree or a person. This is why you don't want to be around the tallest of trees or other tall objects.
Currents will pass through long conductors such as railroad tracks, fences, corded telephones, computers, etc. and can also cause injury or death. Fencing should have the occasional steel post to ground the fence rather than all wooden posts.
The article that I got this information was written by John Gookin and can be found at
Monday, June 13, 2011
On the Wallow fire, the biggest fire that's happening in Arizona now (and it's looking pretty good although the report says 10% contained). Not including the land and trees that have burned, the fire put about 4500 buildings (commercial, homes, outbuildings) at risk. They have less than 350 engines on that fire. There are about 4000 people assigned to the fire, but only 350 engines. Normally you'd want one engine per house. That's not happening.
They do draw a really big circle around the fire and projected fire perimeter and add up all the structures to give a threatened number. In the past few years the agencies have all done that. In that way they can say yes the fire cost $10,000,000 to fight but if you add up the value of the structures saved it was well worth the cost. The same is done with timberland. They add up the value of the commercial timber to give a comparison of how much was saved vs how much was lost.
So if a fire is coming your way, should you stay or should you go? That will all depend on what is surrounding your home and property and what materials your home is constructed with. Is your home worth protecting or should you just evacuate and take some of your stuff? This question does not have anything to do with the value of the home. If you think about it, someone in a million dollar home probably has good insurance but someone in a broken down motor home on an acre in the middle of nowhere may have nothing but what's in that motorhome. In the fire department's view, is it worth protecting? It depends on how safe it can be for the firefighters to protect it. That's the question that needs to be answered.
How do they figure out where they can protect and where they can't? There are never enough fire engines to put one engine per house for protection on anything other than the smallest incident. We all know that we need to keep the area around the house clear of "ladder" fuels which will carry fire up to the treetops and keep flammable items away from the buildings. But there is so much more to evaluating which home is protected and which isn't.
Unfortunately, for those who want to keep their homes invisible from the road, this may be the exact reason why your home will not be protected. I just read on Survivalblog that the best way to keep your house looking like nobody is there is to keep the brush not cleared, to have junk laying around, and to not have the roof cleared of debris, stuff like that. That's great if the SHTF in some governmental breakdown and mobs of people are coming your way. It's the worst possible thing if you want to protect your house from wildfire.
What is the road like to your house? It's not just getting an engine down your road or down the driveway but is there turn around space? Is the road more than one vehicle wide? How steep is the road or even the driveway?
Are trees overhanging your house? Do you have a wood deck surrounding your house? What's the roof made of? Are brush and plants growing near the house? What's the topography of the area? Are you in an area where a fire can come roaring up a chimney? Are you in a box canyon? What's the slope? Are the winds going to be erratic or will the heat be overwhelming due to your location?
Do you have a water source that the engine can use? During the Jesusita fire in Santa Barbara I told my brother to put a big sign in front of his property: 50,000 gallon water source behind the fence. Having a pool of that size will ensure that engines and water tankers will pump from the pool. More protection for his house!
Remember, the firefighters are going to put their safety first. It's more important than your property.
I've seen plenty of burned homes. I've seen metal sheds melt. I've also seen plenty that have weathered the firestorm. I've seen rock homes with metal roofs survive. Most likely if you've prepared your property to make it firesafe, the fire isn't going to come right up to your house. It will probably be set afire by cinders flying through the air like rain. When these land on your roof, your wood patio, or get sucked up into your attic you are in trouble. If you have water available, even without power and you keep your roof watered with sprinklers then it will have a chance.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Saturday, June 11, 2011
The fascia was prepped yesterday and half the fascia was painted yesterday. The rest was completed today. It sure is nice having a professional painter stay for a few days. He started caulking around some of the doors and windows. We had 12 tubes of caulk, which surprised the painter. "You really do have everything. My parents said you would." Tomorrow he's going to touch up around the doors and windows. Then he's back to the bug-out place for the rest of the week. Maybe I'll send him up there with a tube of caulking.
Last night Army daughter had a scare. We were all up and doing our own things when she called out for her husband. He didn't respond. She called again. Nothing. She looked for him in the house. Checked the bathroom, bedrooms, garage. No husband. She went outside and called for him. No response. She came in the house. I can't find my husband. He's not responding to my calls. He didn't go anywhere, his car is still here. We went searching for him. Perhaps he fell and hit his head. Perhaps something sinister? I had my weapon out. I noticed the neighbor's back light was on. I went through the gate. There was son-in-law retrieving his two yip-yip dogs who ran next door when he let them out of their kennel to put them in the garage for the night.
Saturday is chore day around here. The grandkids have to clean their rooms: dust, sweep, wash the floor, and put their laundry away. Their shelves are supposed to be neat, but my version of neat and their version of neat aren't quite the same. Usually their version of neat prevails. They also have two extra chores to do. Girl raked the front yard and brought branches that the sheep had eaten the leaves off to the front of the property to continue with the branch and brush along the front fence project. Boy raked the back yard and washed out the 3 foot plastic swimming pool that the dog and ducks share.
My chores seemed to go on and on and on. First I mowed the front and back yards. Fortunately for me I have a little JD tractor. It's the smallest real tractor that JD makes. It's a step up from a riding lawn mower. When I bought the tractor 10 years ago I decided that I didn't need their 4000 series and the 2000 series would work. Since I have 5 level acres I didn't think it was necessary to spend the extra money on the larger tractor. If I had was to do it all over again, I would have bought the larger tractor, but I am happy with the baby tractor. This tractor has a 52 inch mower deck. It made easy work of the lawn. It's not really lawn anyway. It's green weeds that are starting to turn brown. It may be the last mowing of the summer. The grandkids hope so! Army daughter came out when I was mowing and said that she doesn't understand why I had a gun in my pocket. After all, I was just mowing the yard. Nothing is going to happen where I'd need a gun. I just told her that I hope so but it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. I'll just carry it around...even when I'm mowing the lawn.
Then I hooked the small open trailer up to the pickup. The trailer is a 5x8 foot trailer. It has welded sides and a back panel drop down gate. On the inside of the trailer I've wired hog panels that have been cut to fit. I brought the trailer up to the front pasture and coaxed the sheep into the back of the trailer. I closed it up and drove to the back yard. I made a small enclosed area between the side of the barns and the property line. This area is about 25x100. The older grandsons have their project trucks parked over there but the weeks are waist high now. The sheep should be happy in the area for a couple of weeks. I need to set up a good water tub for them over there because right now I just have a small bucket that needed to be filled twice in the day. That's too much effort and I don't want them to run out of water. There is very little shade in this area. This took about two hours to get them moved.
Then I had laundry to do. It was a nice day out and each load dried faster hanging on the clothesline than it took the next load to wash.
Lunch time...left overs from the last couple of days. This is something that we typically do on Saturdays since we usually spend the morning on chores. We don't have a lot of time to prepare a good lunch and dinner left overs are always fun. Boy came in and exclaimed that it looked like we had a buffet (all you can eat and a big variety) lunch. He was very happy.
After lunch I swept the house and washed the wood floors. Since dog likes to lay in her little swimming pool then roll around on the ground and then come in the house, the floors get really dirty. The kids played in our new "pool", which is the cattle waterer. We cover it up with a tarp when they aren't in it to keep the bugs out.
Each of the adults, Army daughter, son-in-law, and friend's son have complained that the hall bathroom's shower isn't working well. There's almost no water pressure. I told them all that the shower head needed to be taken off because the water saver piece in it must be clogged. It just needs to be cleaned. They keep complaining. I told all three that it's not my responsibility to fix it. If they want a decent shower they need to fix it. It will take two minutes to fix. My shower works fine. Fix it yourself. Nobody has fixed it yet. Boy and girl got their showers tonight and neither had good water pressure.
I took two 25 pound bags of rice and a 25 pound bag of flour out of the freezer. I have several empty five gallon buckets in the closet. I had just emptied a 5 gallon bucket of rice into the rice can and 2-2 gallon buckets. It's my version of rice rotation. I put the rice into 5 gallon buckets, then transfer it into to the smaller buckets and the can. I put the flour into a mylar bag into the bucket, pushed out air, and ironed the bag shut. I then put the lid on the bucket. I got a new mylar bag out for one of the rice buckets and was hoping to reuse the other mylar bag from the rice bucket that I had just rotated. I looked into the bag and saw little bits of light shining through. The rice had punched a bunch of holes in the mylar bag. I couldn't reuse the mylar bag but it got me to thinking. How many tiny pin holes are in mylar bags? I checked the five new bags I still had. They all were fine. I doubt it was defective prior to use. It must just have been caused by the rice. I don't know if it's because the buckets got moved from place to place and this jarring caused the holes. Using the mylar is supposed to be an additional protection for the stored food. As long as the buckets have their lids on, even if the bag does get a hole it will still be protected. But using the dry ice, moisture protection, etc. isn't going to work if the food itself puts holes in the mylar. Perhaps putting it into ziplocks and then the mylar. I don't know. Perhaps someone else has more experience with this?
Friday, June 10, 2011
I had everything else that he needed except the mesh for inside the bucket which he needed to take paint off the roller. Sticking to the not spending money mode that I was in (other than for the paint) we decided to improvise with what we had here at the house. I have several different types of wire and he was able to take 1/2 inch gridded wire and cut it to fit the two gallon bucket that he was going to use for the roller. It worked great. So, no money spent...sort of.
I was asked why I wanted to grow cotton plants. I've always found lots of uses for cotton. I've never tried to spin it but it would be an interesting craft to take up. It's more for small projects and tasks. They are disposable, which is something that I like. Best of all, it's something that can be grown and my attitude has always been that if I can provide for myself there no reason to spend money on it.
There's several first aid uses for cotton balls.
1. One that we all know is if you get a shot or have blood drawn a cotton ball is placed under the bandage to help soak up blood and also to put a little more pressure on the puncture.
2. It's also good if you have athlete's foot or something like that. Dilute some rubbing alcohol and soak a cotton ball with it. Dab that on to the affected areas. Then throw it away.
3. If you have pills or vitamins, once you open the container you want to make sure that moisture doesn't ruin the pills. If you keep a cotton ball in the bottle it will help absorb any small bits of moisture.
4. It's also useful for cleaning small cuts or abrasions or applying salves or creams.
There are other, not medical uses too:
1. You can wipe your glasses or a scope with a cotton ball and a drop of water for scratch free clean.
2. Cotton is good when soaked in vinegar. You can use it to freshen a room, the refrigerator, or trash can.
3. Tinder for a fire, especially when used with vaseline or other grease.
4. Cleaning a baby bottom if they have a rash. It's softer than using a rag.
5. When using your vacuum cleaner, if you take a cotton ball and soak it in something, either vinegar or a perfume, it will scent the room as you vacuum.
6. If you are wearing rubber gloves the gloves will last longer if you throw a cotton ball in the end of each finger tip.
7. They make great shot for using slingshots in the house.
8. Cotton balls can be used in art projects.
9. If you need to soak a small area with something, such as a stain with a little bleach, a cotton ball works perfectly.
10. They are good for putting on and removing makeup, nail polish, etc.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
The back patio had a pile of droppings on it last week or perhaps the week before. I looked around and didn't see anything but then saw up on the fascia that there were a couple of droppings up there too. I decided that denial of this problem was the best way to handle it. After all, I didn't see any mice.
When I was working in the front yard there was a mouse in the weeds. The cat with the broken pelvis was within a foot of it but didn't bother to pounce. What a worthless cat…but if I was still recovering from a pelvis broken in three places I suppose I wouldn't pounce either. That got me to thinking perhaps we are being inundated by mice. I haven't seen any evidence in the house and I keep mouse bait in the garage. Very little of the bait has been nibbled on.
Today I woke up and walked outside and saw a huge pile of droppings in the same corner on the patio. I looked up and about fifty pieces were stuck to the fascia. This is not good. I called the pest control service. I have mice or rats or something in the attic. They need to send someone out today.
I guess the good thing about that is they said sometime between 1 and 4, which meant only ½ day in the office and ½ day working at home. Clark Pest Control showed up at 3:30 and the inspector told me that it wasn't mice or rats. What then? Well he'd have to look under a magnifying glass to tell me for sure but it was either lizards or bats. Great! Both of those creatures are excellent to have around. Right now we have so many frogs and lizards in the yard and coming into the house that we don't have much of a bug problem. We've had bats in the barn but very few. I'm happy no matter if it's lizards or bats. Make more piles. I'll be happy to clean up your mess!
I did get a tick on me two nights ago. I've never had ticks here, just like I've never had fleas. But a tick was on my back nevertheless. I had walked from the house to the barn and back to the house. I picked it up somewhere. Since pest control was here I told him about the tick. He has some sort of rosemary oil organic pellets that he spread on the back lawn. It smelled great. He said we could use it for dinner seasoning, although he'd rather use it on the lawn.
I need to get flea and tick collars for the animals. I've never needed them before but I suppose we do now. I'll check into organic, home made as that's better for long term storage. I suppose we can sew them up something nice that can hold rosemary and other plants on their collar and let them eat brewers yeast.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The grandkids worked on the chicken coop, putting up some solid walls. They didn't use up all my nails, although I don't have a five or ten year supply of them here at home. The wood was from the old fence panels I picked up from the junk pile at work.
I'd love to find some cotton seeds to buy and plant a couple of cotton plants. I haven't had any luck finding this locally, which is odd since so many large farms within two hours of here plant cotton. They must order seeds from some large company.
I'm not looking at the store ads, so that way I don't know what good deals I'm missing. I did buy Royal gelatin from Walgreens last week at 5 for a dollar before I stopped shopping. I saw Weber bbqs on sale just in time for Father's Day. I'll wait.
Grandson came in asking if he can paint his bike. He also wants new handles for it. I wonder what the condition of the seat is? I have lots of the green slime to keep the tires from going flat but I don't have a lot of other parts or accessories for the bikes. Now if we were in a hunker down situation the children wouldn't be out riding on their bikes. But if it's anything less than that, having their bikes is a good way to burn some energy. I think I will make a list of bike parts they can break. There are also solid tires which would be so much better than tube tires. Money to spend...just not now.
The grandkids came to the office with me on Monday. Most people left between 4:30 and 5:00. We stayed until 5:30. Prior to heading out we decided to have timed races in the parking lot. Run from my truck to that red truck parked at the other building. They are so competitive that it's easy for me to get them to do something active. I got out my GPS which had a stopwatch. They ran a couple of times against each other then I had them run individually but against the clock. They kept running trying to improve their times. Then they ran around my building. In all, they ran a little over a mile. Just for fun. They weren't even winded. I ran it once. They smoked me. I'm getting old...