Monday, October 12, 2015

Yard Clean Up - Preparing for Winter and Preparing to Move

I spoke with a realtor and was told to clean up the yard to make it presentable.  In other words, make it look empty, sanitized, open.  Never mind that I had cords and cords worth of firewood rounds.  They weren't split, but they were cut to size.  Much of it was eucalyptus which burns nice and hot.  I also had oak plus other some other nicely burning wood.  There was also the scrap wood pile.  I did give some of that away so an acquaintance could build a shelter for her lamb.  I have about 3/4 of a cord of wood that we will use for the winter.  I'm sure if there's some wood in the shed the realtor won't have a fit about that. 
Last Friday morning I had a 30 yard dumpster delivered to the house.  When the guy delivered it he said that along with the rental price for the dumpster it's $50 a ton to dump it if it's mixed items but it's $60 to dump the entire 30 yard dumpster if it was all wood products.  All wood products it will be! I started filling the dumpster on Friday and decided that since I was going to save so much money by not having to pay the $50 a ton that I'd hire someone to come and help load it.  I have grandsons who could use extra money but they certainly don't work hard.  Boy and Girl were at school.  I called Labor Ready.  I used them many years ago and at that time the price was $15 an hour.  Now it's $20.99 per hour with a four hour minimum.  They sent someone over within the hour but he was only able to work for five hours.  Since I had to let him have a lunch break if he worked over 4, I knew I'd get 4 1/2 hour of work out of him.  We filled over 20 yards in that time.  OK, he filled 15 or 16 yards.  I filled the other 4 or 5, maybe.  I was home but also working from home that day, so I would do some office work and go out side for my break and load wood. I was able to get my eight hours of work in plus those few yards.  I felt pretty good about that.   
This same person came back yesterday morning and worked for another 3 hours.  I paid him cash rather than going through the labor company and he earned $15 an hour rather than the $10 the company gave him.  Saved me money and he got more.  The dumpster was completely filled with wood product and there's still more in the yard.  It is really frustrating to know that people want to buy a place that looks perfect and then they will just turn around and buy their own cords of wood.  Stupid.  Since he was here I picked up 15 bales of hay and had him stack it.  I had to show him how I wanted it since he'd never done that job before.  It's not hard as long as you can handle the 100-120 pound bales.  You just have to offset them when you stack so they don't fall over.   He was happy to learn a new skill and I didn't mind not having to deal with 3/4 ton of hay!

I'm off today for Columbus Day.  It's the last time the company is giving this  holiday.  Starting next year they are giving MLK Day instead.  Works for me! I'll take another holiday in January since I won't be with the company to get next October's holiday.  It was really nice to be off during the week and the grandkids were in school. 

Early this morning I had the dumpster picked up and emptied and then had it brought back.  I still have stuff in the barn that I am getting rid of.  It's cheaper to get rid of some of it and repurchase it used once we get to Colorado.  Boy has decided that he wants to earn money so as soon as he got home from school today he went outside to do yard work and fill the dumpster.  I went to check on him and he's not filling it right.  You have to start at one end and work your way to the other.  Otherwise it will be full of empty spaces, and we can use all the space there is.  You want to get paid, do it right.  It's a lesson he needs to learn now.  There are so many people who think that just because they show up they should be paid.  Or if they do the job but not right, they should be paid.  According to our labor laws they have to be paid whether they do the job right or not.  Show up, get paid.  He needs to learn to do it right. 

He gave me the excuse that he was just dumping it at the door end and once that area was full he was going to move it to where it was supposed to be.  No.  Do it right every time.  You never know when you are going to have to stop and I don't want a pile at the wrong end when you leave.  He had a little bit of attitude and told me that he was going to do it.  Then about 30 minutes later he came in the house.  Is it done?  No, I have a splinter.  See, you are stopping and you left it wrong.  Let's get the splinter out but if you don't have it done right you don't get paid.  Tough grandparent!

I moved the trailer into the front yard.  We are having company at the end of the month and one is allergic to cats.  This person usually sleeps in the trailer.  So I'll get it cleaned up for the company before it's sold. 

We are finally going to have a garage sale next weekend.  I've always had sets of everything, especially because of owning the bugout place, the travel trailer, and our house.  I'm selling the trailer because future spouse already has one.  Bugout place is on the market so it's empty of my stuff.  FS isn't quite as redundant as I am but we really could just pack a clothes bag (and the electric, with a hand crank, wheat grinder, and canning jars, and...we've got lots to bring!).  Is anyone going to buy any of this stuff?  I have no idea. 

I was given a five gallon can of linseed oil - over $100 worth.  Work was going to throw it away because it didn't have the right coding on it.  I don't know what I'll do with five gallons but I knew what I wanted 1/2 gallon for.  I put a nice coat of linseed oil on the oak floor in the dining room.  It's a 40 year old oak plank floor.  About twice a year I oil or wax it.  Linseed oil is perfect for it.  The rest of the year I wash it with a mop and Murphy's Oil Soap in a bucket of water.  It's certainly not the way I treat the finished wood floors in the rest of the house!  I have another 4 1/2 gallons of oil.  The wood furniture is going to get coated.  The floor is going to look great by the time the house is ready to sell! 

I picked the last of the persimmons from the tree.  The bees are desperate for food this year.  They normally go after the persimmons once they are bright orange and starting to soften, around Thanksgiving.  This time of year they are hard as a rock and green with a tint of light orange.  This past week the bees ate them all, except four!  I've never seen anything like it in the 15 years or so that I've had the persimmon tree. 

We still have pears and apples on the trees.  I wasn't going to can any more pears and I canned lots of apples.  I may can some pears anyway.  We had people over yesterday so I offered them pears.  Take as many as you want.  They took six.  Take apples as well.  They took four.  That's not what I meant.  Take 100! 


Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Interesting that my last post I wrote about how brother analyzes evil in the world.  Then not long after that I saw an article that the DIA analyst reports were being changed and sugar coated prior to being handed out to the important government officials.  I guess the picture wasn’t rosy enough, so it’s better to just make it all up.  The country is too interested in seeing who Trump is going to insult next or what some tv star is wearing so that story didn’t last long on any news program.  It then popped up again just yesterday.  I guess it was a slow political day.  This topic worries me and brother can’t say anything.  I just remember that his wife said he insists on them keeping lots of extra food.

Future Spouse’s son passed away a last month.  Obviously it’s affecting FS.  Makes me wish I lived closer than 1500 miles away.  I can hear the improvement in FS’s mood each day, which is good.  I went to Oregon for FS’s son’s memorial service.  I drove the 750 miles each way without trouble.  I didn’t get out of my hometown until 5:30 in the evening so I ended up at the rest stop at the top of the state. I had my weapon with me, as well as a full tank of gas (about 500 miles worth) and a fully provisioned car.  The plan was to only be away from home for 2 ½ days, but I always have to plan for the worst.  Especially in this area, where roads can be closed due to earthquakes or wildfires.  Around 1 in the morning I folded the back seat down and was able to sleep in the back of the Prius.  I wouldn’t recommend it for two people, but for just me, it worked fine. 

Like California, Oregon doesn’t recognize other state’s concealed handgun licenses so sleeping on the California side was more comforting.  I was able to legally keep the weapon by my side while I was sleeping.  I wouldn’t mind being the one to challenge that decision of non-reciprocity, bringing it all the way to the Supreme Court, if I had an attorney who wanted to volunteer their time.   Each year Congress puts forward a bill for federal constitutional concealed carry reciprocity but it never goes anywhere.  The Act of 2015’s latest action occurred on 2/12.  It was read twice and sent to the Committee on the Judiciary.  This isn’t new.  Someone puts out this bill each year and same old nothing happens. 

While I was driving up the 5 in Roseburg I was listening to local radio.  They were talking about their wonderful program for disenfranchised youth and how they are able to help them and keep them in school, including college.  And once again there’s another school shooting. I don’t think their program is working very well.  Last night Girl was singing praises about herself.  She is perfect just the way she is.  Really?  She rarely does anything to help anyone other than herself.  I don’t believe her D average is perfect, and yes, I told her so.  She wants to be a forensic pathologist, at least this month.  Darling Girl, you do know in order to do that job you have to have a Masters or Doctorate. Ds aren’t going to cut it.  Girl got suspended from school for tomorrow for calling a substitute teacher a name in her English class today. Yet, all she does is complain that life isn’t fair.  As long as she has it in her head that she is perfect, the fault will lie with everyone else.  It is an attitude that breeds discontent.  Like the shooter in Oregon who complained that he had a lousy job, no life, no girlfriend, and was not successful, their attitude is a big reason they have no life and no success. 

FS’s son’s passing has slowed down the new house building, as FS took a three week break.  Now FS is trying to beat the weather, which is coming quickly.  We have the electricity in, the well in, the road and house pad.  FS is trying to get someone to come and help set up the forms for the stem walls.  In this area it’s just about impossible to find people willing to work.  It’s not that everyone is employed, it’s just that they don’t want to work when looking for a job.  I don’t think FS will be able to get the building framed with a roof on by the end of November, which was the initial plan (or was it by the end of October?). If it can’t get built until next spring that will be ok.  It will put off the next set of projects which is the chicken coop and garden, but I am patient, after all, we aren’t moving to Colorado until next summer. 

This past week I was up in Washington State for a conference.  I was in the area described in The Road Home by Andrew Baze.  It’s one of Boy’s favorite books so I spent a lot of time thinking about what if scenarios while I was there.  It wasn’t hard to daydream about this, especially since my drive from Seattle airport (point A) to point B included rush hour traffic getting out of the city plus a very slow stretch on Interstate 90.  The state was conducting nightly blasting along the side of the road, which meant closing the freeway for an hour or two each evening.  I could have gotten off a few miles before the stoppage but I was hoping to beat the 6:00 road closure.  I didn’t.  I sat on a closed freeway for an hour. But it was a fun use of my imagination and made a good story to tell the grandkids.

While I was at my conference interesting things were going on back at the office.  After three months of company indecision and the boss on leave, the boss was able to retire rather than get fired.  Our section at work really hasn’t noticed any difference having a supervisor there or not.  We believe his job entailed more than just supervising us, although we don’t know what else he was supposed to do, nor do we see that anything has been dropped.  At least we haven’t gotten any citations by the state or feds, so we must be doing something right. 

Today I was asked by someone if I had heard the latest work rumor of buy-outs if we retire or leave the company.  No I hadn’t heard.  In January, supposedly they are going to be asking for volunteers to leave or retire.  Two years ago the package was severance pay plus up to $10,000 for two years of additional education.  For my age and so very few years of company seniority, I would receive almost six months of pay!  Just because one volunteers for the buyout doesn’t mean the company will accept it from everyone who volunteers.  If they do conduct the buy-out I will definitely put my name into the hat.  After all, I'm leaving next summer anyway.  I wouldn't mind leaving several months early but still get paid.  Since it sounds too good to be true, either they won't be doing another company reduction or they will be but will decide that my position is too valuable and not give me the buy-out.

I’m buying a new breeding goat from one of the FFA kids.  I bought a goat from her last year.  She does a really good job working with the goats and has produced some very well behaved critters.  Unfortunately for me, I haven’t put in the same kind of time with our baby goats and they are more on the wild side.  I’ll probably end up selling this years baby goats and well as next spring babies.  My plan is to move one buck and four does with us to Colorado.

Boy and I read Curtain Fall and I read Lamp Black, which was the second of The Gatekeeper series written by Kenneth Cary.  It’s an interesting combination of massive volcanic eruption, earthquakes, and a not yet revealed surprise…a nuclear explosion.  The main character has visions and is given help by his not yet born grandson.  The visions and dreams confused Boy, who then didn’t enjoy the book as much as he otherwise would have.  Curtain Fall takes place in three days (plus some flashbacks of previous dreams).  John, the husband/father, has a vision plus he sees a quick news story that disappears after one airing.  He believes that a major natural disaster is going to happen soon.  He decides to act immediately to bolster his preps.  Lamp Black is the second of the series. The ash starts to fall and chaos isn’t far behind.  The second book is a little more graphic, although still mild.  Boy hasn’t read it, but his still young and mostly childish mind would be rather disturbed by some of the detail (one woman is found bound to her bed naked and spread eagle, other women are naked and tied up in a trailer used for men’s folly).  The books are supposed to be for ages 8-18.  I guess I’m just old fashioned because I wasn’t reading about naked ladies spread eagle when I was eight.   I’ve read reviews on the third book and although the actual survival story line is good the main character spends a little too much time on the supernatural side – including deciding he doesn’t need a gun since he can foretell the future. 
Since I like to pick apart the preparedness part of books, I was able to overlook some of the grammar and misspelled words (e.g. plane instead of plain) but I wasn’t happy about his comment on the propane tank.  The family had a little more than half a tank of propane, I’d guessing around 300 gallons.  The author then states that this will last a couple of months if they are careful.  Really?  In Texas? If they are using the propane to cook and for a very short shower every few days but not heating the house they should be able to make 300 gallons stretch for an entire year.  Perhaps the author hasn’t ever used propane.