Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Back to dinner. Since it was me doing the cooking I was going to use food that I like. This means food that I either grew or is part of my food storage program. Tonight it was mainly food that I grew.
I called the grandkids outside and taught them how to dig up potatoes. I told them that you can get a little shovel to help but that you have to go slow so you don't slice up potatoes as you go. Granddaughter went into the barn and got a square headed shovel. One with a handle that was about three feet in length. It's a small shovel. No, that's not what I mean. One of your toy shovels. Of course they can't find any of their toy shovels and they weren't getting one of my Marshalltown's. I found a piece of hard plastic laying on the ground that would work. I showed them how to dig up about a half inch of soil at a time while searching for potatoes. They thought it was great fun and each dug up one potato plant. Fortunately for us we aren't going to live or die by the quantity of potatoes from each of those two plants. Normally a plant can produce 6-10 potatoes. We got about ten total and only three or four were decent size. It was enough for each of us to have one good sized serving but no seconds.
We also picked some eggplant. I just cut it into strips, cooked it in juice from a couple of tomatoes that I smashed, added Italian seasoning (my favorite with eggplant) and garlic. I only cooked up two eggplants. Should have cooked up three.
We had home made grape juice to drink. I'm trying my hand at turning some of the juice into an alcoholic beverage from the kit I got at Think Geek. The last one I made out of apple juice was good but rather dry. When the sugar in the juice turns to alcohol the juice gets less sweet. Maybe I should add sugar or honey? We'll see how this turns out. If TSHTF having alcohol may not be such a good idea. Still, I don't mind having a drink with dinner some nights.
The boy wanted more. Sorry, eat an apple if you are hungry. Funny, he didn't pick one of the store bought apples that Army daughter bought. He picked home grown. Army daughter told her husband that I should cook more often since I cook healthy. What does that mean? That I don't make enough for seconds? No, that it tastes good and it's good for you. That's because it's home grown.
Have to write about breakfast this morning. I cut up four apples. Fried them in a teaspoon of butter, then added some walnuts and a little cinnamon sugar. It was delicious.
We have so many eggs that we are going to have to make noodles and angel food cake. The two go hand in hand. We use yolks when making noodles and whites when making the cake.
I have a bunch of thoughts going through my head but too tired to write anything else. Have a great night!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I spent hours on the maps. I learned the names of the roads and I learned the distances between the main roads. Around here the roads may stop and start but most are from one end to the other about 20 miles in length. This goes for the main north/south roads and the main east/west roads. I can name each road that runs on the section lines. These are the main roads through the city and of course are one mile apart. There are also main roads bisecting the sections too, which is the half mile mark. There are also main roads on the 1/4 mile. Many or most of these intersections have signals once you get in the city limits. Out in the country the stop signs are usually at the section corners.
By learning the roads, and the order they go in, it's about impossible to get lost. This is something that I'm teaching the grandkids. We make it into a game. Army daughter doesn't want to learn that way. She wants to be given specific directions. Drive to this road, turn right, drive to that road, turn left, drive to this road turn left. The problem is if she misses a this or that road she will be completely lost. Now with work often I'm given directions such as drive down the road till it forks, keep left, turn right past the turkey ranch, follow that around the bend, etc. But that's with country roads, not in the middle of the city.
Two examples happened this past week of Army daughter not knowing where she was going. She's been here for 8 months and the grandkids really noticed her confusion. Army daughter didn't know how to get to her new house. Her new street is parallel to our street. In fact, it's only 1/2 mile north of our street. We live on a section line, her new home bisects the same section. Her house is about 17 miles away but it shouldn't matter. It's only 1/2 mile north of our street. Although I told her once you get into town turn right for 1/2 mile. Then just turn left. It won't matter which street you turn right on. Any will do. This wouldn't work for her. She was in a panic. She had to get to her new house. Give her street names so she could turn right or left. Do not give her a map. Do not draw it out. Just street names with right or left. I could see the 10 year old looking at her aunt in amazement. Girl said just go down the street and turn right anywhere you want. Then turn left. Nothing doing. I had to give her a street name to turn right on.
The second example was finding the babysitter's house. Baby granddaughter goes to a sitter once or twice a week because of Army daughter going to school. Army daughter wanted me to meet the sitter and know how to get there in case I was able to pick up the baby. Ok, I'll follow you but where does the sitter live? She couldn't give me an address. She did tell me that it was off a certain street and since we had just left Costco she didn't know how to get to that certain street from where we were at. We needed to go two miles north and 2 miles east. Instead we drove in circles. We drove in more circles. Finally she got back on to our road and drove toward home then turned around and drove to the sitters house. Why did she do this? Because she could only get there if she drove coming from the street and direction that she knew by heart. On the way home from the sitters I drove ahead of her this time. I had never been on the sitter's street but instead of backtracking I continued driving down that street, knew the direction to get me home, and drove down several streets I'd never been on. Funny, I made it home without a problem.
The entire county is set out in a grid. And, the addresses are all equivalent to where the parcel is. Everything is listed as either east or west. If the address is 13000 E. Whatever Road then it's 13 miles east of the north/south line. If the address is 7500 S. Whichever then the property you are looking for is 7 1/2 miles south of the east/west line. It's very easy.
Back to our game. Girl was making maps. She said she was teaching her cousin how to get to school. Never mind that her cousin is 10 months old! So she drew the map from our house to the school which is five miles away. The map looked great. Then I said what if the road is closed at the main corner? She drew the map going down a side road. What if the road is closed just past our house and you can't go that way? She then went the opposite direction down our street and drew the map adding an extra mile but still making it to the school. Oh no! Now that road is closed! What are you going to do? I don't know was her reply. Not good enough. What if I'm out of town and something happens and Great grandma is here watching you. What if she has to get to the school and all these roads are closed? How are you going to direct her to your school? Girl then figured out another way. What if that road was closed? She figured out yet another. All told, she was able to come up with enough different routes to school to get past any emergency that may block roads. Her final map took a route about 10 miles in length to get to school. I was impressed.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
I will never understand people who permanently reside in areas such as New Orleans that is below sea level and being protected by sea walls, or New York City with an average elevation of 33 feet. The areas of 33 feet are fine, it's those less than 15-20. Same with many of the islands off the eastern seaboard. It's like asking for trouble.
As with Katrina, the poor will not have the means to leave. I'd also be interested in hearing how many people's homes were burgarized because the bad guys knew that entire neighborhoods were going to be empty.
Friday, August 26, 2011
A lot of people died even though that didn’t appear to be their motive. What happened? When the yelling, then explosions started people hid in the bathrooms and offices instead of trying to get out. They ended up getting trapped by the flames and died of smoke inhalation.
It’s all about situational awareness. There is a color code system that describes your awareness. White means you are oblivious to your surroundings. If something happens you are in the middle of it before you even realize it is happening. Yellow means that you are more aware. It is still a relaxed state but this is where you should be. You are paying attention to your surroundings but not really focusing on any one thing in particular. You aren't really going to be surprised by anything because you are continuously looking around and taking it all in. Orange is when you are aware of a threat. You are focused on that threat. You are starting to get a flow of adrenaline which elevates your blood pressure, pumps more oxygen through your system, and other physiologic reactions. You aren't in the fight or flight mode, just still taking it in. You don't want to be in an orange situation because it may escalate into a fight or flight. Then there's condition red. The threat is real and has to be dealt with. Your reaction can be a matter of life or death.
There is more than one way in and one way out. Usually there’re more than two ways in and out. Know where those routes are. Whether you are at a restaurant, a hospital, a school, the theater, or driving down a road know how to get away from where you are at. At the first sign of trouble do you freeze up? Do you watch what’s going on? Do you try to retreat? If people are shooting do you run into the bathroom or out the building? Do you know if the bad guys all came in one entrance or several? Do you know how many there are?
I was threatened at my job yesterday. Somebody didn’t like a decision I made. The threat was not a physical threat but an "I’m telling the higher authorities." Not a problem, I forwarded his email to the higher authorities. The higher authorities not only told me that my decision was correct but that this person has been a thorn in their side. And now I am on his list of people that he is not happy with.
Should I be worried? Should I be more alert? No. From my assessment of the person he isn’t at the point of exploding or doing anything irrational. I do a lot of "what if" scenarios throughout the day: as I drive, as I work, even at home if I'm cooking or hanging up laundry on the clothes line. As long as I live in a condition of Yellow all will be fine.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
I did have a concern about the power plants. The news stated that the plants automatically shut down when the earthquake happened, which is appropriate. They also said that the plants were built to withstand 6.2 magnitude earthquakes. Although a 6 is ten times more powerful than a 5, the 5.8 earthquake was pretty close to the top end of the power plant's design to withstand earthquakes. Has anyone discussed this at all or are they just amazed that it's the largest quake in over 60 years? No body is alive to remember the 7.3 magnitude quake in South Carolina in 1886. I'm not saying that we shouldn't have nuclear power, I'm just wondering if people around the plants have good bug-out plans.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Army daughter blew a gasket. Of all the people in this room you are saying that I'd be the first to go? I'm a staff sergeant in the Army. I'm trained to do things you'll never dream off. And off in a huff she went. She then scooped up granddaughter and went outside. Granddaughter wanted a nap but Army daughter would have no part of it. They were staying outside until the Bug-outs left. Unfortunately for Army daughter the Bug-out renters were not leaving. Mr. Bug-out was heading into town but Mrs. Bug-out was staying for a couple hours.
I went outside and told Army daughter to go pull weeds if she was going to be spending time outside. She may as well make herself useful. Army daughter came inside, told Mr. Bug-out that he was out of line because she is so well trained. Then she and granddaughter drove off. She called a while later to tell me that granddaughter was sleeping and she was sitting in her car with the air conditioning on reading her school book. She said that she was not mad at me and after the baby woke up she was going to run some errands then go to the gym. Yep, all's back to normal with her.
The bug-out renters and I had a conversation about how sensitive Army daughter is. She takes everything wrong. Every once in a while each of us needs to sit back and laugh at ourselves. There are all kinds of things that each and every one of us does that others will find absolutely hilarious. Army daughter likes the convenience and can afford to pay for it. Fine. But people like that are going to be the first to go, no matter how well trained they are.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
I will miss them and I will miss the ridiculousness of my daughter's shopping habits. Today she went to the grocery store. She asked me to pick up cheese from Costco but everything else she planned on buying. When she came home I helped put the food away. She bought asparagus. What about the asparagus plants in the garden? But these are ready. If you wanted asparagus you just let me know and I'd cut back one of the plants and in a week we'd have asparagus. For free! Then my jaw dropped to see her next purchase. Actually I've never seen it in the store, although I heard that it existed. She bought a quart sized carton of....egg whites! Yes, we have about 30 chickens that like to lay eggs and she bought egg whites. Why? So she could just open the carton and pour out the whites in the morning to make an omelet. This way she didn't have to separate out the egg whites from the yolks AND she wouldn't have to use our supply. I think she failed her logic class because I got an A in mine and even though it's been a million years since I took that class in college I think my logic is still pretty good. This is illogical. Yes, it may take an extra fifteen seconds to separate the whites from the yolks. If her life is that rushed that she can't take the extra 15 minutes then I feel sorry for her.
Our dinner was delicious. I took six eggplants and sliced them into 1/2 inch thick slices. I dipped them in egg (from our freshly laid eggs) then in breadcrumbs (that I make from leftover pieces of bread, toast, or any other baked goods). The breadcrumbs were seasoned with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder. I greased four baking sheets and laid the eggplant slices on the baking sheets. I baked them for an hour at 350. I took them out, poured on some homemade spaghetti sauce, sprinkled on some Parmesan cheese then some mozzarella cheese. I put them back in the oven and turned the oven off. When everyone got home about 45 minutes later I took them out of the oven and we had a delicious dinner. Even the baby ate eggplant. We cut up a cabbage (homegrown, of course) and sprinkled it with Italian seasoning. For dessert we had watermelon that grew in the front pasture. Dinner for five plus the baby cost less than two dollars.
Of the food we ate tonight, the only thing that wasn't home grown or out of the food storage was the mozzarella cheese. Mozzarella cheese can be purchased freeze dried. It is pretty expensive when compared to under three dollars per pound for the shredded mozzarella from Costco but it sure made the dinner more tasty having it on the eggplant than not. I'll think about purchasing some cans. I wonder if you can dry the cheese just by leaving it out on the counter to air dry?
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Work called me at 3:00 in the morning California time (6 in Atlanta) on my last day of vacation. They wanted me to show up for work at 7:00. Not happening, call someone else. Oh well, the overtime would have been nice to put the money back into savings that was spent on this trip.
We made it home last night. It was a good trip but I am so very glad to be back in my home territory. Everything from the roads, signs, vegetation, the mountains and flatlands, even the clouds are familiar. I would really be in trouble if TSHTF when I was on the east coast. The only thing I had going for me was a car with good gas mileage and a bunch of cash.
I never turned on the GPS and only got completely misplaced once. I missed a freeway onramp but noticed a sign that stood for highway. It said the highway number and South. I stupidly assumed the road would go south. I followed the thing for fifteen miles. I had no clue where I was other than somewhere in North Carolina. I didn't bother looking at the map when the town names came up, I just kept driving. Something didn't feel right. I wasn't going south. I decided to stop and the next gas station to fill up. Low and behold this was at a freeway off ramp. I had paralleled Interstate 40 for 15 miles going west. Not south like the road said…west. It made no sense to me but I figured out where I was and got back on the interstate to catch the road to South Carolina and then back to Georgia.
We did pack jam, beef jerky, and fruit rollups for the trip and ate out less than one time per day. I had enough food to last the 9 days we were gone but the kids did have fun eating out since that is something that we never do.
Daughter-in-law picked us up from the airport last night and brought us home. When we got home Army daughter and her family were all sleeping.
This morning I got the grandkids off to school and I started looking around to see if all was well around the house and property. Before we left Army daughter followed me around as I did my chores. She had notebook in hand and took lots of notes. There are four faucets she needed to turn on. Three just needed a turn of the wrist. The fourth includes picking up the hose and watering some plants in planters. If she turned the faucets on then fed the sheep and chickens and collected the eggs, she could turn the water off immediately after finishing these easy tasks.
Somehow turning the water on and off didn't quite compute. She did a great job turning the water on. Nothing was dead. She didn't quite do so well turning the water off. In the front where I have the strawberries and grapes if I forget to turn off the water for an hour or two I will get seepage of three or four feet of wet soil coming out of the planter into the lawn area. She left the water on for such a long time the ground was soaked about 30 or 40 feet away. This happened in the front, in the fruit tree orchards, and in the garden. The only thing she didn't flood was the animal waterers. The dog's pool was dry. The hose that goes into the sheep water tank got knocked to the ground. They did have water left in their tank, they just couldn't reach it.
That's all ok. The animals survived. The plants survived. The only thing that didn't was the soap dispenser at the kitchen sink. It ran out of soap but instead of pulling the lid off to refill it Army daughter unscrewed it from under the counter and behind the sink. She broke it. It's an easy fix other than having to make a trip to Home Depot or Lowes. I don't think I'm going to pick up a spare part for this. I don't think anyone else in the world would try to fill it by taking it all apart.
Oldest daughter usually comes over to check on things while I'm gone. This time she decided not to. She got an ear full from Army daughter about how impossible the list of chores was to do. Oldest daughter said she was just laughing as Army daughter complained. After all, if I go slowly it takes ½ hour to do these chores. If I'm really poking along, because I get side tracked pulling weeds or picking fruit or vegetables, then it could take an hour. I wish the outdoor chores were the only thing I have to do each day. I also have stuff to do in the house (laundry, cooking, cleaning) and hold down a full time job outside the house. She didn't have to do anything extra other than take care of the baby. If she hurried through my chores it could take 10-15 minutes…as long as she'd remember to turn the water back off.
The green gage plums are still on the tree and they are ripe. I was expecting them to all have fallen onto the ground before I got home. I'm going to do some canning this weekend. The apples and pears are ripe too. I'll leave plenty on the tree because the crop is so good I will have too many to can. Normally I cut the apples or pears into chunks and can them as pie filling. I can easily make a cobbler, crisp, or quickly blend them up into applesauce or pear sauce. Other than the persimmons, which ripen in October and November, this is the last canning of fruits for the season. I'll still have tomatoes and peppers to can. Other than that, it will all be eaten fresh.
Tomorrow we are going to have eggplant for dinner. There are dozens on the plants that are ready to pick. Right before I left we picked all that were larger than an egg. I'm still running on empty a bit from the trip. Things will get back to normal in a day or two.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
The farm was 40 acres in size which means about 10 goats per acre. I asked if the goats were pastured or what they were fed. The lady said that they won't eat grass (mine did). Instead they were fed hay and also an alfalfa/goat food pellet. I asked how much food per goat per day and didn't get a real answer. When it's hot or raining they don't eat much. That doesn't tell me anything. I'd like to know numbers to figure out how much hay and pellets I'd need to keep on hand for a six month or year supply.
The farm I was at today had a staff of a couple high school kids plus an adult supervisor. I think one of the kids lived there but the others were hired in. They also had an outbuilding little cabin that was a second hand store. For someone who didn't care about their privacy it was a great little set-up. I'm not sure I'd want a dozen strangers coming to my property each day to check out my goat operation. On the other hand, if you want to get income from your land, the best way to do it is to sell straight off the land and not rent space somewhere else or have to sell it wholesale.
The baby goats were kept separate. I asked one of the workers how they were fed. They are offered the hay and pellets but also twice a day they are offered a milk bucket. The bucket has between five and nine nipples sticking out about three or four inches from the top of the bucket. Each nipple had a tube attached like a straw so the bucket could be filled with several gallons of milk and none of it would drip out because the nipples were above the milk line. That was very smart. It may be the normal way it's done but I'd never seen it like that before. Anytime I've had to feed baby goats they were all individually hand fed with the nipple attached to a soda bottle. The worker said they do individually feed for a couple of days but then the kids figure out how to use the bucket. That is sure a time saver.
Goats are a really great animal if you want milk, cheese, and meat. Instead of getting gallons per day from a cow you can get quarts per day from a goat. One or two goats will provide all the dairy you will need. Any more than that can provide an income - if you have the time to spend. Right now I don't but when I retire from the job I have in five or six years I'd like to make money off my property. Doing so and keeping privacy will have to be worked out.
Monday, August 15, 2011
This included a trip to the kitchen garden, the animal petting area, the winery for wine tasting, gift shops, and the viewing of a collection of Tiffany lamps. My favorite was the kitchen garden although the wine tasting came in a close second! The kids had a great time in the gift shop figuring out how much money we saved by canning our own food. You see, they had really cool canned goods like a quart jar of pitted cherries in a light syrup for twenty two dollars! They also had little jars of jam for five dollars. The kids figured that we made over one hundred dollars worth of blackberry jam. Boy kept saying how people like to waste their money buying things when they could just make them! He's learning.
The kids each earned five dollars yesterday. While some of the other kids at the wedding were running around, boy and girl were so well behaved that people commented to me how good they were. They get three dollars per day for spending money while we are on the trip but if they are perfectly behaved then they get five. So this morning they got five. Boy has decided that he's saving his money for something big. One of the first days he bought a little airplane toy but otherwise hasn't really spent much money. Girl likes to spend more but she also shares some of what she buys. Both kids have done a good job with sharing.
I told the kids they can't buy candy or anything that's normal for everywhere. They need to use the money to buy something special. Today girl was in one of the gift shops and she came out very proudly showing off her brand new pocketknife. It has about ten different implements, some she doesn't know what they are for. I told her that she has to make sure it's in the checked luggage on our way home or the inspectors will take it and throw it away. She is so excited that she has this knife and pulled it out of her pocket to cut a tag off something.
The garden tour was great because they had banana plants. Why does this make the tour great? It gets cold in Asheville during the winter. Much colder than where I live. If banana plants can grow here then they can grow where I live. This was almost like the revelation I had a couple years ago when I was in New York and I got a container of blueberries which came from a farm about 30 miles from my house. I never knew I could grow blueberries where I lived either. I now own a dozen blueberry plants. I will go to the nursery and get a banana plant when I return.
Bananas are interesting plants. One stalk grows on the plant and will have a banana bunch on it. That bunch may contain fifty pounds of bananas. When that bunch gets picked that stem will die off. New stems will grow from the plant and the plant will live a long time. I have no idea what their actual needs are. I've always been under the impression that you needed a climate that was frost free. Perhaps there's a type that grows well in colder climates. I'll find out.
I'll get them planted at my house and also at the bug-out place. If each pound of bananas has two or three bananas and each banana is 100 calories then each bunch will have around 10,000 calories. Bananas are easy to dry or jam. They are a great food if you have a sweet tooth. They are definitely worth having in the garden.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
My sister used the internet to get us a hotel. She isn't here yet so it's just me and the grandkids tonight. Now normally when I travel since I never know where I will end up at the end of the day I don't make any advance reservations. That has come back to bite me at times when I've shown up in towns that had all reasonably priced lodging booked up. But, have sleeping bag will sleep in the car at a truck stop or Walmart parking lot in the middle of the $200,000 motorhomes. Unfortunately this is prepaid. So here we are. Of course I could just get someplace else and eat the cost of this but I'm using it as an adventure. The kids and I are having great fun.
How do I describe this motel? If you've ever been in Hollister CA and stayed at the Cinderella Motel then you know exactly what I'm talking about. Think 1950s neon sign, 3x3 shower stall with green tile, 50 year old curtains, and my favorite the 19" Zenith color tv with push button technology. I remember my parents having this same color tv in the late 60s. Our family was really ahead of the times because we had three color tvs when most people didn't even have one!
The door has a push button lock and the little chain that's attached to the trim of the door. Anyone can break in if they wanted to. Fortunately, I don't think anyone is going to want to. Nevertheless, my knife is next to my bed. Grandson came up with a good idea for extra protection at the door. He used paracord and strapped it to the door knob and then to the dresser. If someone wants to break in they will have to use enough force to move the dresser, which is extra heavy because the tv is sitting on it.
There isn't anything in the rental car so if it's broken into there isn't anything to get. This isn't a bad location, just a really old motel. For the price my sister paid I'm sure I could have done better. Their free breakfast better be good. I'm not holding out much hope for it. Perhaps I'll raid one of the hotels that my brother or my other sister are staying at. At least I have the kids thinking about security.
On a side note, today we went to the Titanic museum in Pigeon Forge TN. It's the largest display of Titanic artifacts. The museum is owned by the person who funded the Titanic discovery and recovery. It's a kid friendly museum and has lots for a history buff like myself. And we have a family reason to love the Titanic.
I am here today because of the Titanic.
That sounds like a much better thing to say than I am here today because of headlice. Either way is correct. You see, my great grandmother and her sister were traveling from England to America to meet up with their husbands. They were traveling with their children. All passengers had to go through a medical exam before getting on board. Great grandmothers sister's children had headlice. They would not be allowed to board the ship. My great grandmother said she did not want to travel without her sister so she and my grandfather (who was five at that time) and his two other siblings stayed in England until their cousins headlice cleared up. They couldn't travel on the Titanic after all. Good for me!
Thursday, August 11, 2011
We walked to dinner and after dinner stopped over a bridge that crossed the French Broad River. Looking over the railing I could see a huge fish several feet long. There were many other fish and a turtle was floating down the river! What a sight! So I asked the question, "how can we catch fish?"
Girl answered with our fishing poles. Those are in California. How are we going to catch the fish? Boy said we could use a fishing line. That sounds good. Where would we get fishing line? After a few long seconds he shouted with our paracord! Wow, I think he's got it. OK, we've figured out how to make the fishing line, what about a hook?
Boy said we could buy one. No, how do we make one? Girl wanted to know if we could make a hook out of leaves. No but there are many ways we can make hooks. You can take a piece of barbed wire and use the barb for making a hook. You need a pair of needle nose pliers but if you have your Leatherman or other handy tool on you that won't be an issue. What if you don't see any nearby barbed wire fences? You can bend small nails or pins. You can take a piece of flint or chert rock and knap it into a fishhook. Too hard for me to do, I'm not a flintnapper.
Are there any thorny plants nearby? If so you can cut the stem of the plant and the thorn and use that as your hook. I think my favorite though is the carved wooden gorge. You take a small piece of wood and make it sharp on both ends. You make a small notch in the middle for your line. You cover the whole thing with your bait going lengthwise. This way the bait covers the wood gorge and your line. Once the fish swallows the bait the gorge will hook itself into the mouth or throat of the fish.
I've made a gorge and also a barbed wire hook. Both have caught fish for me. Of course I'd rather just gill net the fish. Easier! And another good use for paracord.
What do you put on your hooks? You don't really have to dig up your garden and get those valuable earthworms. Grubs that you find around rotten logs and under rocks make delicious fish bait. So do grasshoppers, crickets, and other creatures you can catch.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
One of the things that I've noticed about the grandkids I'm raising rather than my oldest daughter's kids is that mine are not apprehensive about new things. I realized last night in the middle of their first flight, that when the pilot said we may be experiencing turbulence the kids were not panicking. Not one time during the flight, not take off, landing, bumpy turbulence, or watching lightening in the distance did they utter one bit of apprehensiveness. Not one I'm nervous or scared. I got "I'm excited" and "I can't wait to be above the clouds" and "cars look like ants". Why is their reaction so different than my other grandkids? They follow my lead. It's that simple.
Oldest daughter was on a plane once when she was younger and I put her and daughter #2 on an hour flight to visit their grandmother. They liked the flight but that was her only time flying. I like to drive and I thought nothing of packing up the kids and driving for 10-15 hours to visit friends or relatives as a vacation. Oldest daughter's husband has never been on a plane and has announced that he will never go on a plane. Oldest daughter, following her husbands lead, has said she will never go on a plane again. All four of their kids have expressed fears of flying. It certainly doesn't make me want to take any on a trip!
The two grandkids that I have have never heard me say that it's scary. I did tell them the story about the TWA plane that great grandpa was on that crashed in Missouri. Obviously this was a long time ago since it was TWA. The plane broke into three pieces. Great grandpa walked away without a scratch.
Once we got into Atlanta I got a rental car- something non-descript and got out of the city for the night. But this morning we headed back into the city. When I travel I like to do things that are unique to that area and also teach us something. We went to the state capitol, where Governor Deal's wife had a nice chat with the kids about school since she used to be a teacher. Then we went to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site on Auburn Ave. It was really interesting because the children had no clue about racism, segregation, or any such unkind ways. I had to explain things in a very simple manner since they just couldn't fathom these concepts. The little country school that they go to has Caucasian, African-American, Hispanics, Hmong, and other nationalities and races. There are also rich and poor. A parent or grandparent has no idea what race or wealth any of the kids are until they meet them and stop by their homes. Of course, there was the one time the kids came home and told me how to say "you are an ugly stupid idiot" in Vietnamese. After that we went to the Carter Presidential Library. As far as I'm concerned, the children need to be taught to respect the president...after all the country did elect the person, whether I voted for that person or not. And if you look hard enough you can find some great accomplishments by each either during their presidency or after. For example, the Camp David peace agreement between Egypt and Israel was a definite highlight of President Carter's career. So are the campaigns to eradicate the Guinea worm and trachoma prevention!
Then we got out of the city. There's no way at night I would want to be anywhere in the areas we were at during the day. Carefully planning our route didn't help since I missed some turns and ended up in some really bad areas (or perhaps they weren't the REALLY BAD areas, I don't really have any idea). Windows locked, knife handy, drive without offending, not looking like wealthy tourists. Oh yeah, we aren't wealthy, just tourists.
One of the things that I noticed while driving is that you can't see past the trees on both sides of the freeway. Every once in a while I can see through the gaps and there is a lot of civilization but it's very deceptive while driving through. I was thinking that it would be a terrible place to be caught during a SHTF situation. I wouldn't want to travel that road because you can't see anything. It's pretty dangerous if you are on the defensive side rather than the offensive side of things. Also, I'm much more used to the openness of farmland, which does put offensive and defensive on a more level playing field. There is a lot of water though. I was researching that during the terrible drought a couple years ago Atlanta still received 30 inches of rain. And they called that a drought! Where I live we average 11. This year we got 18! There is definitely a water management issue if people can't manage with 30 inches of rain.
We are in a much smaller town for the night and plan on touring some battlefields and just looking at the scenery. Boy wants to go to the towing museum. Perhaps...
After hearing about the riots in England I know that those types of behaviors can break out anywhere. It may have started as a protest of the death of someone by the authorities but it's not about that anymore. It's a time to steal and destroy from those who have by those who don't have. It's the mentality that they shouldn't have to work for what they have but that if someone else has it then they deserve it more. Riots like that can happen at any time in any place. So even though we are "on vacation" my need to keep alert can never be.
Monday, August 8, 2011
This is the first trip I've taken with them that we haven't been in our own vehicle. When we travel further than six or seven hours from home I usually pull the trailer. For this trip we are flying, changing planes once then arriving at our destination around midnight. I'll pick up the rental car and then drive as far as possible away from the city. I'm sure hoping that our luggage doesn't get lost but if it does, it doesn't matter...other than we won't have the right clothes for the wedding we are attending.
What am I carrying? I've got my computer...sure wish I had one of those really small ones. I have a camera, two cell phones, a gps, a kestrel, lots of cash, two changes of clothes, a toothbrush, a notebook and pencils, map, a sewing kit, a whistle, permanent marker, duct tape (used as strapping for one of the backpacks), lots of food, including high calorie homemade granola bars and fruit rolls. We each have water bottles, although they have to be empty when we go through security.
The checked bag has enough supplies to get us home (other than gas) if I use the rental car. I have enough cash to buy a good used car if I need to also. I just remember 10 years ago, just after 9/11. People were stuck when all flights were cancelled. I'm not expecting a disaster like that but it's still in the back of my mind since we are going to be clear across the country. I also need a different mindset since I'm traveling with an 8 and 10 year old.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina here we come!
When we took the freezer out of the box (ok, I brought it home in my truck but Army daughter and son-in-law took it out of the truck and got it set up -they think I'm too old to do such physical labor) it had four bolts on the bottom that needed to be undone. Where are the ratchets? In the toolbox drawer that says ratchets. What about a chisel? In the toolbox drawer that says chisels. I need a hammer...I know, in the drawer that says hammer. Army daughter said I was probably the only person in the world that has their tools so well organized that anyone can find anything. I hope this is not the case and that preppers are more organized than most people. Otherwise how do you know that the item you bought and its backup aren't really the third and fourth of that item because you don't know where the others are?
I won't be satisfied with my organization until someone can ask me about anything at all that is in my possession and I can tell them exactly where it is located and how many I have. Believe me, I am not completely organized, especially with slobs (I mean Army daughter and son-in-law) living here. But I keep putting things away and throwing things away and someday, I will be satisfied with my organization.
Army daughter and son-in-law put another offer on a house today. Hopefully they will get this house. It's about 15 miles away, close to son-in-law's work, and it has a pool. They should know in about a week whether their offer is accepted. They decided if they can't get into a house they will be with me for no more than six more months. At that time they'll move into an apartment. While I'll miss them, their room is actually supposed to be my "hidden" storage room in the house. I'm looking forward to transforming it back into storage.