Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The truck has to get an oil change first thing in the morning. Then I have to run a few errands. I need to pick up two two gallon containers of vegetation killer for friends down there. It's cheaper where I live. Down south if you want anything in more than a ready to go quart spray container then you are looked at suspiciously. Me, I'll spray out four or five gallons (mixed from concentrate) in my backpack sprayer each week if I had the time. I read the directions. Of the type I use you are not supposed to use more than 1/2 gallon (concentrate, prior to mixing) per acre per year. I don't use that much.
I have to run to the bank. I have several checks that I've accumulated over the past few weeks. I also want to get some more cash. Remember, I like to have four times as much as I think I need. I don't want to take my home stash with me. I do have a pouch of silver coins that I keep in my bag.
Since I'm in the work truck I don't need gas money but I will make sure I have gas money with me. I also have my gas cans that I carry in the back of the truck. I just emptied them today so they will need to be filled before I leave town. The fourteen gallon portable gas tank from Costco wasn't able to be properly fixed. The handle leaked gas all over the place. I improvised with the repair but I won't be bringing that tank with me. The gas cans that I will bring will provide 15 gallons. That's about 200 miles with really lousy mileage. Not enough to get me back home but if I keep the tank full I will be ok. I have the ability to get fuel at places other than just the gas station if need be.
I'm bringing grandkids with me on this trip. I'll probably also bring the dog. Because of this I need to pack the shell differently. Normally the work truck has a bug-out bag, a two week bag (14 changes of clothes), several pairs of boots, the sleeping bag, a week or two of food, water, fuel, sleeping bag and extra blanket, tools, and many more items. Having the kids with me means more food, more sleeping bags, more bug-out bags, and some additional cold weather gear (it's raining again). One of the grandkids that's coming is a 16 year old. He doesn't live with me so he isn't quite use to my teaching map reading, directions, or answering many of the what if questions that I ask the grandkids who do live with me. He's going to get a good dose this trip.
The last trip I brought him on I made him look out the window instead of turning into a zombie listening to his music on his headphones. I pointed out types of vegetation, geology, and such. This trip I'm going to make it a little more difficult. I'm going to have him think about a What If situation on the way home. I will pose it to him on the way down.
This is something we should all be thinking about when we travel. Last time I traveled I was in Sacramento and there was a gunman hiding in a parking garage less than 1/2 mile away. What about an earthquake? Riot? Dirty bomb? There are many possibilities. Ok, not a wildfire this trip! He's going to have to figure out how to get us home with some of the freeways closed, and not bringing us through inner city streets. He's going to have to look at the map and try to come up with other routes.
Perhaps we'll play the UTM game. I provide a coordinate, the kids have to figure out where it is, and then they direct me to it. I prefer UTMs rather than Lat/Long. It's easier and doesn't deal with the curvature of the earth. Everything is in a straight line from the point that you are at. I put together a good training class on UTMs. Perhaps when I return I'll incorporate it into a post.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
We moved the dining room table to one corner of the dining room. We emptied the top of the cabinet putting everything on the dining room table. Then we pulled the top off the bottom, and positioned it in the middle of the room. We got to painting. A piece of baseboard was missing so I found some extra in the barn and brought it into the garage and cut it to size on the table saw.
We got it all put back together and decided that some of the wood around the door frame needed to be caulked. Not a problem. I told son-in-law that in the garage on the shelf next to the trash bags was a box with a dozen tubes of caulking. He went out there to get the caulking and asked where the caulking gun was. There's one right next to the box. No, it wasn't there. There's one under the bathroom sink. No, it wasn't there. There's one in the barn. No it wasn't there. How could three caulking guns go awol? I searched the barn, the garage, and even the grandkids rooms. No caulking guns.
My friend called from Oklahoma today. I said I had to go to Tractor Supply because I couldn't find the caulking guns. The friend said you have one in the barn and one in the garage next to the box of caulking (this friend helped me rebuild the kitchen a couple of years ago and remembered where things were).
I haven't asked my kids who all live local and seem to think that my house is their shopping center. If they didn't take them then where are they? It's a minor thing to lose but as usual, when I was at the store buying a new one I reminded myself that if TSHTF, I wouldn't be able to just run into town to buy one.
The other thing that crossed my mind is just how much minor stuff needs to be done around here. It's easy enough to do and it doesn't really take much time. We just never seem to get around to them. Do I have all the right equipment for each job? I have lots of caulk but no gun. My nail supply of heavy duty nails is good but I was in short supply for the smaller finishing nails. I need to do another garage inventory of small items. I also need to lock even these little things up from family members. That's a shame...
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
I said it's because you are the one on the phone that's acting hysterically. What did you do?
It all started with someone rolling through the stop sign at their corner. The spouse yelled at the driver who provided a hand gesture in return. The driver then drove off. The hysterical one then let into the spouse because "they live in gang territory" and is going to get shot someday because they can't keep their comments to themselves (The entire country is gang territory as far as I'm concerned, but if you don't join in you don't usually have as much to worry about - at least on a normal day to day basis, but I do believe that much of the ruin of cities is gang related). The two started arguing about it and the eight year old took off instead of listening to the parents scream at each other.
I tried to calmly talk to the person on the phone. A gang member isn't going to shoot your spouse. Now, if your spouse was a gang member of a different gang then perhaps you would have something to worry about. Call the county sheriff or the local police. Ask them how many non gang members the gang members shoot. I'm sure it's none, or very, very few. I said that their fear was irrational. Then the person on the phone said all they do is worry...about the spouse losing their job, about kids getting hurt (they aren't allowed to climb trees or swing too high), about gangs, about everything. Again I said it's irrational.
We can get into a debate here about gangs because they are something to rationally fear but our behavior towards anything that happens is either rational or irrational. We get into trouble when we behave irrationally.
The body has physical reactions to fear, both rational and irrational, and the two kinds of fear cause different physical reactions. Just a couple of examples are that rational fear diverts blood flow from your digestive tract to your muscles as well as sending nutrients to your muscles. Irrational fear makes you nauseous, lightheaded and you think you are going to faint, lose control, or go crazy.
Irrational fears are a waste of your time and can really affect your psyche. What's the difference? Rational fears are healthy and can protect you from danger. These are the types of fears that I believe I have. They are the kind of fears that make me live the lifestyle that I do and are the reason that you are reading my blog. (I'm sure it's not just because you like my writing style). These fears protect you. Irrational fears don't have history or sense behind them yet they stop you from doing something or behaving in a way that brings you happiness and peace.
Make sure the preparing you do is out of rational fear. What are your reasons for becoming a survivalist or a prepper or whatever term you want to think of yourself? Having rational fear will lead you to making wiser choices.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
It's time to assess any real damage caused by the rain. We have a mud soaked barn. Some of the young fruit trees are in several inches of standing water. That's about all that I've found so far. I need to walk the fence line to see if the posts are still all upright. I may need to pull some posts and pound them in straight.
Today we will drain the water around those trees again. The grand kids are carrying buckets of rock from the rock pile into the barn. They are just adding to the short area between the barn door and where the buckets of chicken food are. It's a 40X60 foot barn so we aren't going to be able to rock everything. I do have some scrap wood that I can't use to build anything. It's sitting in the wood pile to someday be cut up into firewood. I think we will bring it into the barn to use as walking planks.
I also need to think about keeping the barn dry in future years. Perhaps putting rain gutters on and diverting the water into the pasture. Remember for every inch of rain you get over a 1000 square foot surface (and the barn is 2400 square feet) it's equivalent to 600 gallons of water so the barn collects 1540 gallons of water for every inch of rain. This means that about 10,000 gallons of water has been dumped over the sides of the barn over the past week. No wonder it's a muddy mess.
This afternoon I promised the kids we would set up the targets in the back yard and do some target shooting. They have a daisy bb gun, some air gun pistols, and we will also shoot the .22. It will be a fun afternoon.
Tonight we are going to have a fire drill. After last nights discussion of the lights going out, and they didn't, I think we will turn off the circuits to the lights when we have the drill. More house fires happen during the holidays, so it's an appropriate time to do this.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I made sure that my hand held radio was is good working order and had it tuned to the correct channel and tone. I also let "my rescuer" know where I was going and when I expected to be out, just in case. After we left the paved road, I opened the locked gate, drove through and closed and locked the gate behind me. I was able to drive about a mile before I needed to engage the four wheel drive. That was a good sign since the road was along the edge of a meadow and lots of water was coming onto the road. Things were holding up well.
I was only able to drive another mile when I decided that we weren't driving any further. People often get into trouble when they drive where they shouldn't because they are relying too much on their four wheel drive and not on the stability of the road they are on. We got out and walked. We donned our rain gear; we already had our boots on. I was wearing heavy duty work boots. The boy was wearing knee high rubber farm boots. I was equipped with my radio, he with his whistle. He is allowed to go ahead of me as long as he can see me. He's also not allowed to venture too far off the road and has to stop when the road forks.
Before I left the office yesterday I took the quad map for where I was going to be today and blew up the couple of sections that we were going to be in. I used a rite-in-the-rain 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper so it would be useable in the bad weather. This way I can mark where we are and use a pencil to follow us as we go. There's space on the enlarged map to make notes on. I got out the quad map and tried to orient him to where we were. I showed my grandson the creeks, hill tops, and even the truck trail that we were on. He is to pick out landmarks. These can be rocks, trees, bird nests, etc. We mark them on the map.
The rain started coming down harder. After I worked for about an hour or so I decided it was time to turn around and head back to the truck. We walked back the same way we came in. Normally I would just cut straight through but I wanted to do some more map work.
I let the eight year old take the lead. I stopped him every few minutes to see if he knew where we were. We were trying to find his landmarks. At one point we came to a fork in the road. He couldn't remember which fork was the way to go. He was a little confused with the map. Remember, he's only 8. I let him figure out which way to go. He choose wrong. We walked about 10 minutes before he realized that we should have come to one of his mapped landmarks by then. He was not lost, but he was misplaced. We sat down on a rock and tried to figure out what went wrong. He couldn't quite figure it out so I had to step in and explain that he turned the wrong way at the fork.
I realize that the error was mine. We were using the map and the topography but I neglected to bring a compass with us. I didn't need it for this project. I did bring my GPS because I track everything that I do, but otherwise we didn't look at it. When we came to the fork, if he had a compass he would have perhaps been able to make the correct choice of which direction to take. We should have also observed some better landmarks.
The nice part was he didn't get panicky when he realized he didn't know where he was. I'm sure the main reason was because I was with him and he assumed that I'd get him out of there. Another reason was that he is not afraid of being out in the woods. That's important to teach not only kids but adults as well.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
If you think you’ve come across a “bad guy” make eye contact. (I like doing this behind my sunglasses (I always wear sunglasses when I’m outside) – but they still know (or think) I’m looking at them.) Making eye contact may make them pick another victim.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Typical symptoms of hypothermia are shivering, impaired judgment, clumsiness and loss of dexterity, slurred speech, inward behavior, shivering stops, muscle rigidity, loss of consciousness, death.
The grand kids want to go play in the pond over on the neighbors property that has been created from the rain. It's 50° outside so the water is about 50° also. That equals 100, which means that they shouldn't play for too long but sure, they can go play in the water. I just have to watch and have them come in before or when they start shivering. I shouldn't wait for impaired judgement...they are kids, their judgement is usually impaired!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
The rain is here. In the first three days we've gotten 3 inches. That's more than ¼ of our yearly total. There have been no issues with the rain here at home. The bug-out place has received about a foot of rain with these series of storms so far. I had no idea what would happen there with lots of rain since I bought it last February, after we had received most of the rain. My friends are living on the property now and are cleaning up the very neglected property. They've sent me pictures and provided me with updates on how the land is holding up to the rain.
You can't cross the main creek and have to walk in the last mile to the property. I did know this about the property when I bought it and that was actually one of the things that I liked about it. I know that you can get to the back of the property going through a couple of private ranches but that's something that I'm going to deal with next summer.
Once you've crossed the main creek, there is a small creek that has to be crossed about ½ mile from the house. It has a 12 inch culvert and appears in good condition. When I had my friend out there who was the dozer/grader operator, I had asked about pulling the culvert and putting in a rocked ford. I'd rather not have culverts because they are always subject to plugging and blowing out. He said he thought the culvert was the way to go and instead I should widen the road there. The culvert stuck out about two or three feet from the edge of the road so there was room to widen the road. Today the normally dry creek is flowing over the road. I'm sure water is flowing through the culvert but more is flowing over the road. This explains why the culvert is sticking so far out over the edge of the road. The water is downcutting the road there. It looks like the rocked ford is the way to go here after all.
There is a pond ¼ mile away from the property that our dry creek empties into. This pond at one point had an overflow culvert. It too blew out a few years ago, I was told, and instead has a 15 foot gape at that road. This road leads to the back side of my property. It's really better that the road doesn't go through there because it would be a huge security gap if it did. This "dry pond" did have about three feet of water in it last February. Right now it is full, about 20 feet deep, with water ready to overflow through the blowout. If it does blow out again, that pond will no longer be a pond. That's ok with me.
The house itself is doing fine. The outbuildings are all holding up. There is no movement of the soil on the property. Most of the buildings are raised up a foot but the shop/garage has a cement foundation straight on the ground. I need to make sure that the water doesn't seep into the building. In a bug-out situation, most of the reserves would be stored in this building. This building is really sturdy. Two of the walls are built directly into the edge of the hill. Those walls are made of cement. The floor is cement. There is an inner room that's made of brick. The building has a wrought iron gate across the area you drive into and also a 10' tall roll up door.
I also want to put a conex on the property. There is one area which was previously dug out from the side of the hill. It looks like it was going to be a pad for a motor home or trailer. It would be a perfect location for the conex, and it would be easily buried all the way to the door. I could put an outbuilding in front of the door and have a door from the outbuilding go into the conex. For now I need to check to see how much water comes out of the hillside where this conex will be placed.
I need to assess where the fruit trees are going to be planted next spring. So far, I haven't seen any areas where water is pooling and would drown young trees.
Overall, I'm pleased with how things are turning out with this storm. We are only half way through so things may get worse. I don't know what to expect with the bug-out place. I'm just glad that I have the opportunity to deal with anything that comes up prior to a TEOTWAWKI situation arising.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
What does it take to get a license? It's a long process but not a difficult one. First you call the sheriff's department and tell them you are interested. They send you a package in the mail that you have to fill out. As soon as you fill it out (it took about 10 minutes) you call them back and make an appointment. The appointment took four months.
You show up to their office a few minutes early...if you are late you lose. You have to start the process all over. You meet with an investigator. You hand over your paperwork and talk for about an hour. You get finger printed. Then you wait.
After about a month they send you a letter telling you that you are approved. Then you have to pay about $250. At that point to take a weapons course with one of their approved instructors. After that you turn in the certificate and you will receive the permit.
All in all it takes over half a year from start to finish.
I'll go over the list of questions.
1. You have to provide your name, and any other name you've used (maiden names, married names), date of birth, place of birth, height, weight, etc.
2. Have you ever had a CCW permit or have you ever been denied one?
3.Have you renounced your citizenship, received anything other than honorable discharge if you served in the military, been party to a lawsuit, been under a restraining order, on probation or parole?
4. List your traffic violations and accidents in the past five years.
5. Ever been convicted of any criminal offense?
6. My favorite...Have you withheld any fact that might affect the decision to approve this license?
7. List the weapons you wish to carry under your CCW.
The interviewer has additional questions.
1. Ever been treated for mental illness or been found not-guilty by reason of insanity?
2. Addicted to drugs or alcohol?
3. Involved in a firearms accident or domestic violence incident?
4. List your arrests or formal charges.
5. Why do you want a CCW?
That's all there is to it. I am waiting for approval, then have to take my class, then have to wait for approval. I figure by February or March I should have my CCW.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I'm not taking grandkids with me as this is a business trip. Daughter called me up today to tell me one of her kids school was in lockdown today. Apparently she saw the police at the school this morning (they live within sight of the school) and sent her daughter merrily on her way anyway. About a half hour later she went to talk to the ladies in the office and the door was locked. They let her in and told her that the classes were all locked down. She couldn't get her daughter back if she wanted. The police standoff that was a half mile away is over now and all is well.
This of course got me to thinking about the grandkids I have at home. Their school is five miles from home. They are dependent on the school bus. What about a lockdown there? How do I get them back? I need to check to see if I can legally get them out during a lockdown. It's another reason to home school your kids. Unfortunately at this point in time I can't because I have to work. They can't come with me to work and I can't leave them home on their own.
If I retired I could home school them. I could retire today, but if I did we would have to move because I couldn't afford to stay in our home. I could move to town. I could move somewhere else with a lower housing cost and still have some property. I think this takes me back to conversations that I will be having with my friends tonight about leaving the state and moving to a place with snow and cold weather. We could move to our bug-out place - no snow. It's not ready to permanently support us.
Perhaps the temporary solution to worrying about a school lockdown is to pray that TSHTF doesn't happen while they are in school.
We complain about our national census. If we don't send in the paperwork they send workers out to count us. Many people don't participate, or don't fully participate. It's too personal with the information they want to collect and it's supposedly illegal to not participate. Could you imagine a system like
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Rourke, over at http://modernsurvivalonline.com/ put up a post about a contest at PreparingYourFamily.com website. They, http://preparingyourfamily.com/food-production-systems-for-a-backyard-or-small-farm/, are holding a give away of a course from Rooster Crows Productions on DVD called 'Food Production Systems For a Backyard or Small Farm' . This DVD is broken down into 10 different modules. It looks like it would provide quite a bit of information, and video is great for showing how it's done. It's one thing to read about how to do something, it's even better to see it in action - even if that action is on the screen.
This would be an asset to us as we try to be self sufficient with our food. We aren't self sufficient enough at the moment but getting closer each year. I hope I win the contest. If I do, I'll report on what I've learned and applied to our lives. I'm new to their website but it's one that I'm going to continue reading. Check it out.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
California Forests: Trends, Problems, and Opportunities - I like the chapter on Forest Damaging Agents: fire, insects, diseases, weather damage, animal damage, people caused damage. Those topics give you things to think about even in your own orchard. How can you prevent damage?
Pruning Trees: I can't remember the title but I think that was it. It was a good book because it showed lots of color photos. It also provided photos of damage caused to trees by improperly pruning, but then showed ways to try to correct the damage.
Preliminary Guidelines for Managing California's Hardwood Rangelands: - This one is my favorite. Contents includes Ways to regenerate oaks, Conducting a firewood operation, Is hardwood range management profitable, All about acorns. There's also really good information on the carrying capacity of the land to support cattle and other animals.
While these may not be the exact types of reference materials you are looking for, they provide a good deal of knowledge. Although I can tell you things from my experiences it is nice to be able to get other points of view from subject matter experts.
This morning I got a call asking if I wanted the chicken. The other person wanted to keep it in the house but her husband said no, he didn't want it at all. So now it's mine. It isn't fully feathered and needs to be kept warm for another week. After that it will be able to go out into the coop. I will make an area it can run and hide in as it's not going to be accepted by the others for quite a while. I certainly don't mind getting free chickens. This one even came with five pounds of food.
Monday, December 6, 2010
I thought that was a great idea but instead of spending the $4.99 on a fake one this is something that can easily be done using the real stuff. Depending on the size pipe you could put in keys, coins, or anything you could think of. If you put a real sprinkler head on to match the real ones it would be easy enough to plug it up so no liquid would get inside.
I do know of a crew who was working in the state park clearing trails. They found a metal pipe that was capped at both ends. They opened the cap and found 10 gold coins from the 1800s. Obviously this story wasn't advertised because the park personnel didn't want the general public to tear apart their park looking for more capped pipes.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Brother brought gifts. All the girls got jewelry and shawls. The shawls were handmade that he picked up while in Afganistan. The jewelry was a bit over the top. I'm still scratching my head as to what granddaughter needs with a string of pearls, but I know I'll look spiffy in mine while I'm cleaning out the chicken coop or something of that sort! Seriously, I'll figure out some time to wear them.
I gave people a list of gifts I'd like this year. A 100' hose, a hula hoe, candles, a good pencil sharpener that can be screwed into the wall, and other very practicle items. I got just about everything on my list and received some gift cards too.
What gifts did I give? All practical stuff to put them on the path of preparedness, even if they don't know that's what I had in mind.My niece got a first aid kit. I told her to keep it in her car. I gave one to son and to brother-in-law. Another niece got an exercise ball. Their entire family is very athletic but this one would rather do indoor activities, so the ball seemed to be the perfect choice. Grandsons all got sling shots. I think my daughter is going to kill me! Mom got a raised garden bed. Sister got a fruit tree. Other sister and brother-in-law were commenting on our sleeping bags and blanket liners when they were over at Thanksgiving. I ordered two of the sleeping bags and liners for them from the same place I got mine: Major Surplus and Supply in Gardenia. http://www.majorsurplus.com/Army-Digital-Fleece-Sleeping-Bag-P14011.aspx and http://www.majorsurplus.com/Mil-Spec-Oversized-Double-Layer-Sleeping-Bag-P14019C1957.aspx. The sleeping bag is rated to 10 degrees. Last winter when we traveled to Colorado and Oklahoma and didn't run the heat in the trailer we slept perfectly using both the fleece as a liner and then the sleeping bag. This was the most expensive of all the gifts I gave anyone, but these two are the most likely family members that I'm going to be able to convince that they need to prepare for when TSHTF.
This morning, sister, brother-in-law, and I were sitting around the breakfast table talking politics. Brother-in-law is totally fed up with San Diego. Sister said when she brought her son to Children's Hospital last week for some treatment that she was in the extreme minority. She spoke english. She said most of the signage was in Spanish and she didn't hear anyone speaking english, including staff. It was almost like she was in a foreign country. We were discussing how the state can get out of the financial trouble it is in. Of course, listening to the politicians it's all the fault of the government employees. We came to a different conclusion. If the state would stop providing benefits to illegal immigrants, and if they'd require receipts for food purchases on food stamps and outlaw purchases of soda, chips, cookies, etc. the state would be in much better shape. They are getting very fed up with their living situation. Good.
I still have gifts to make and give. Towels, hats, gloves, and other useful items. One friend wants me to teach her how to make bread. Great gift. Another wants some of my soup recipes. I'm going to make some recipe cards for her. 4X6 index cards are inexpensive and make great gifts when you write down recipes and include little stories about how the recipe came into the family. Granddaughter added more to her list today. She requested buckets, a mop, and dust rags. Much more practical than her pearls.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
For the last couple of days I've had him tag along with me on my travels (except during the time I wrote about on Thursday). He's seen farms and foothills. He hasn't been to the timber yet. That'll come another day. Yesterday after we left the bug-out-place, where he didn't come walking with me or the equipment operator, we had another prep talk.
We have had several talks and I keep bringing up things like my storage of supplies. They don't know about all of it but they think I'm just a hoarder of stuff. Today I said I just don't like shopping. I will go to the store once a month or so other than to get fresh milk and bananas. Otherwise, I have it on hand. Same goes with other supplies. Having spent his adulthood in apartments, they've never had more than a couple of days worth of anything on hand. When I was visiting them right after the baby was born I ended up stocking several weeks worth of food. They ended up packing it all up and brought it with them when they moved in here.
Son-in-law said that he likes to go out shopping each day. If he stays home he feels like a hermit. I told him I'd rather stay home and would prefer to never shop. After our stop at the fire station I said that we needed to head home because I was hungry and it was almost lunch time. He noted there was a restaurant (the only one for 15 miles) next to the fire station. I said yes there is and it's a nice little steak house. I eat at home. I've had to explain to daughter and son-in-law that I don't pick up fast food and bring it home for dinner, nor do I eat out very often. When we travel we will eat out as a treat for the kids, but not every meal. Son-in-law said they'd rather eat out every day for at least one meal so they can just relax. I don't get it.
They also like to shop. They go to the mall almost daily. We went to the mall last August for granddaughter to get her ears pierced. Completely different lifestyles are happening in this house! They bought bottles for the baby. Baby didn't like those nipples so instead of buying one or two of a different kind they bought a large set of another type of bottle. They probably spent thirty dollars on it. Baby didn't like that one either. They bought yet another full set of bottles. No, baby still didn't like what they were offering. (I know you are thinking that the baby will get hungry enough and will eat, but not this baby. This is the one that was in ICU for her first seven weeks.) I suggested they warm her bottle a little bit warmer than they have been. Wow, baby likes the first type after all. Every day they come back with a new outfit for the baby. Sure they are cute outfits but so very unnecessary. I tried to tell them that grandson that I raised for his first four months had half a dozen outfits. I washed clothes often enough. So does daughter but they like to buy baby things anyway. They just like to shop and spend money. I watch them waste it and dream of all the prep items I could be buying instead.
I am trying to convince them to spend on something of value to the future. I'm just not getting through. Their habits are going to be hard for me to change since they don't think they need to change them. I'm trying to lead by example because I'm wise enough to know that advice offered when it's not wanted is certainly not going to be heeded.
Friday, December 3, 2010
The property can be accessed from two different roads. The main road is the one that crosses the creek so this road can't be used for a couple of months out of the year. Actually, you can park the car on the opposite side of the creek and cross the footbridge. Then you can drive out. It does mean a mile long walk from the property to the creek crossing but if you don't mind leaving the vehicle unattended in an area where local ner-do-wells hang out, then you are set. The bug-out place is really in a perfect location if you are well prepared. You'd have very few visitors during the winter.
There is a second way to get to the property. It's through a couple of ranches. I haven't contacted any of those ranchers but may be able to use those roads in an emergency situation. The second road doesn't come to the front of the property. It goes to the back end of the property. This road used to intersect with the main road until a pond overflowed and blew out the culvert. There's now a hole at the end of that road about 20 feet wide and 10 feet deep. Therefore the two roads don't intersect. I was told that it wouldn't be too hard of a fix. It would cost about two or three hundred dollars for the 36 inch culvert that would need to be 50 or 60 feet long. I don't know if I want to spend that kind of money doing a major repair on someone else's property. I'll have to think about it.
Much of the main road needs to be graded. The slope of the road in most places is exactly opposite of what is needed. Where it should slope in it slopes out. Where it should slope out it slopes in. There is down cutting on both sides of the road, in some places the road is getting so narrow that you worry the truck may slip off into the ditch. In other places the road is flat through a meadow. Here, if water does pool, it can't be directed off the road because the entire road is downcut into the meadow by six inches. There is a twelve inch culvert that appears to be working well to direct flow of a seasonal creek. First I was thinking about pulling the culvert and installing a rolling dip. This would work but the culvert is doing a good job and is well rocked. It's just the road is too narrow so in this spot it will need to be widened.
I asked his opinion on this and he said he could clean it all up with a grader. He busy until after the first of the year, and hopefully we won't have too much more rain until then. If the road gets too wet he won't be able to work the soil well. If it's too dry it won't hold. I am thinking about having him grade a road through the property to go from the back to the front. It would be good for convenience but on the other hand it would open up the property and make it much less defensible.
I then went to the local fire station and talked to them about the road. I was hoping that they could possibly help with some of the road repair...wishful thinking since the property isn't on a major fuel break... Anyway, their engine could easily cross the creek even at its highest flow. Their issue would be at this culvert because the engine will not fit on the road. If they went off the road they'd smash the culvert. That's not their problem as they would be able to make it to any of the back properties.
I know I have to balance keeping the place private but still making it accessible. It's a fine line between the two.