Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gotta Be One in Every Crowd

It rained off and on all day again today. Of course it had to rain because I didn't have to go to work today. Somehow Mother Nature knows this and chooses to send rain down on the days I am able to actually get out and do something thereby putting an end to that nonsense.

At one point I looked out the window and noticed Lilly was out. Lilly is the short plump White Ewe in the picture above. The handsome looking taller Blackfaced Ewe is Seven. Seven never causes a problem and is just the happiest Sheep on the place.

Lilly not so much.

I have managed to get the fences and everything set up to where none of the Sheep get out anymore. Except Lilly. Some days it seems every time I look out the window or go outside Lilly is out of the Cutting Crew browsing area.

I am not sure how old Lilly is but she is getting up there for a Ewe. Two years ago she got a case of Mastitis in one of her udders pretty bad but she recovered with a vet visit and some antibiotics. Even though she seemed fine and the vet said we could breed her we decided to let her have a year off without having lambs to take care of, so she joined the Cutting Crew.

I have no idea how she is getting out for sure but I suspect she is simply jumping over the fence. She really wants the green grass out in the yard and she is a good jumper so she just hops over. The problem is she is a Sheep and she gets over there and then is all upset that none of the others come with her. This really stresses her out and you can hear her bleating her encouragement to try and get someone to join her and partake in her freedom.

There other Sheep just look at her like she is insane.

For a while I would freak out and go get her and put her back in. Then finally I got tired of doing it every couple of hours and just let her go. She never goes far and is always just across the fence from the others. Eventually a loud truck or one pulling a trailer goes by out on the road (Which is almost 100 yards away) and she get's spooked and goes right back into the fenced in area. Lately she is getting out and then going back in with me totally unaware she was ever out except for the tell tale droppings I notice on the wrong side of the fence.

Since the road is so far away and no one wants to join her I have just come to accept the fact that she is going to do what she wants. If I ever see her wandering too far away from the rest of the Crew I might add another line on top of the fence but so far everything seems to be working out just fine. She'll be moving in with her ram soon anyway.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

People Are Fed Up

Interesting after a day of driving around shuttling cars and listening to my co-worker explain to me how the entire world is about to fall apart I get home and come across this article over at Zero-Hedge.

This Seems to be Going Well

No doubt about it people are beginning to get totally fed up and more to the point they are starting to get worried about the future.

The co-worker in question is certainly one of the more level headed guys I work with too. He retired from the prison system where he worked as a guard for decades not only for the Male facilities but also at a couple of the Female ones too. Let me tell you he knows how Women can be just as bad, and in many cases worse than the Men and he has a pretty good understanding of base human violence and Bull shit too.

As a matter of fact he told me something the other day that was very profound. He said that he discovered early on most prisoners are complete tough guys until you open the cage door.

He certainly sees the problems. I would say his predictions were pretty spot on as well but he just cannot grasp the real cause. He looks at society as a whole and then judges it according to his own upbringing and culture and just cannot comprehend how that culture has been mixed and watered down to where it matters not one bit as far as the whole goes these days.

He mentioned how his 10 year old grandson has been forced on drugs by the school but when I pointed out how the school systems were totally dominated by Feminist he seemed surprised. I am not sure he believed me until I asked him to try one simple test.

Go and ask the school if you can sit in on a class or two and see if they let you. They won't and he knew they wouldn't and he also knew when he went to school they would have been delighted to. You cannot judge a changing system by decades old experience.

The alternative is home schooling and he claimed that was not going to be good enough. My reply was that these days a White Boy could be taken completely out of school and simply allowed to play video games their entire lives and still come out better psychologically and more than likely academically than undergoing 12 years of indoctrination.

Oh ya the chart above speaks volumes. People are fed up, worried, scared but as usual due to political misdirection and propaganda they have no clue where all these problems really stem from. Most cannot look deeper than their own needs or motivations to truly understand those of others and this causes mass confusion and even greater anger.

For most it's like looking at something so horrible you cannot conceive of the evil behind it having any kind of logic at all. It is just so alien.

In the end that kind of anger and confusion is going to make things all that much worse before it straightens itself out. Only common ground and the satisfaction of knowing most all of our enemies are totally dependent on the taxes we pay and the debt the government generates to survive, will bring people together. No matter how strong the enemy appears to be they cannot operate without our support. From ISIS to Feminist, Open border Activists, Climate change loons or Socialist Democrats they all require our money to operate and without it they entire thing comes crashing down.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


Monday, September 15, 2014

The Long Term Effects of Drought

I know it's been two years since the horrible Summer of 2012 when just about everything around here dried up and died from the drought. This year has been an amazing growing year with bumper corn and soybean crops in Missouri. We had one dry spell in July and August but luckily it wasn't exceptionally hot so there were very little casualties. The grass has kept growing, the weeds have been especially out of control and in some places like here at the Small-Hold we have managed to get four or even five cuttings on Alfalfa and other hay crops.

Yet the scars of 2012 still remain believe it or not.

Dutch clover was hit especially hard in 2012. As widespread as it seems to be in yards and other areas that get mowed often it really does require at least an average rainfall to stay alive. Mix the dryness in with some high temps and the stuff dies quickly. My own acreage of Dutch clover I had been carefully allowing to grow over about a 3 acre area has taken two years to begin to creep back into some parts of the yard and is no where near as thick as it was back in 2011. The same thing can be said for Dandelions as well they only just managed to come back this year and fell far short of their 2011 glory.

Recently I mentioned hauling some downed Oak trees for some friends. The drought of 2012 allowed a fungus that effects Oak trees to spread and is still claiming victims two years after the drought. In some ways this is good for me but Oaks are just one variety of tree that are still feeling the effects of 2012. Many trees of all types were stressed from dry, hot conditions and have yet to bounce back fully. Hickory trees in particular have yet to foliate out as fully as they used to and I have seen several Walnuts that still look rather stressed as well.

Drought is certainly nothing to make light of. While annual crops and some species can thrive during periods of drought and bounce back quickly other aspects of a drought can continue to manifest themselves for years. Despite rainfall that has at least hit the average mark this year, most of Missouri is still rated as exceptionally dry due to lower moisture content in the middle layers of the soil. While this typically doesn't effect crops and small plants it is still a major issue for trees.

Some fruit and Nut trees actually produce in much greater amounts during dry or drought spells. Pecans and Persimmons especially are known around here for high production during dry spells and due to the conditions I mentioned above this year looks like it is going to be a good year for them.

The Persimmon trees especially are so over weighted with fruit that most of the lower branches are on the ground right now  and many of the upper branches have broken off.

Maybe it's just natures way of making up for the horrible drought conditions that were sent our way.

My guess is that this year's crop is going to be sufficiently large enough to allow the scavenging racoons, deer and possums to get their share and leave enough for those of us who want to experiment and add some foraging to our normal Sustainer activities. A Winter of enjoying some Persimmon preserves while basking in the heat of an Oak fire from the wood furnace might be just what the doctor ordered.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


Why I LOVE Rural Revolution

Waaaay back when I first started blogging one of the first blogs I hooked up with was Patrice's Rural Revolution. I think all the others from back then have come and gone but not her's.

Of course the very first thing that attracted me to her blog was Patrice's stance on Feminism. Back then to see a Woman write about the horrors and destruction Feminism has done and is doing was a very rare thing let me tell you. Since those days I have seen a few other talented Women speak out against Feminism but never in the style Patrice manages.

I would venture to say Patrice has done more good in striking a blow against Feminism than any other personality I know of. She does it well and she does it in a way only a Woman can. Patrice writes from a Woman's perspective and over the years I have watched as her talent, skills and experience brought in the followers like wildfire.

Not just the level headed true homestead types either. At first glance her blog appeals to all the dried up old feminist that grow three tomato plants and keep a chicken and want to float around on blogs discussing knick knacks and Wymminz issues. Not that Patrice ever stoops to such things but the fact that she is a Woman writer attracts those types (and some Beta Men who follow em for conversation and pandering as well)  like moths to a flame.

So Patrice writes about the cows getting out, canning or growing Strawberries in her raised bed, mucking out a stall or whatever and the Greenie, Bad Old Dayz, We are More equal Feminist types eat it up.

Then every couple of weeks or so Patrice drops the Blogging equivalent of an Anti-Feminist Atom Bomb on these unsuspecting shrews and the sparks fly.

Her recent WND article Feminism has Slain Our Protectors certainly didn't disappoint even though the good discussion was over on the WND site and not her own blog this time. However, if you go back and check her archives you can find many such anti-Feminist posts she has made and some quite lively and annoyed comments from disillusioned  readers who thought Patrice was goign to be the Estrogen Messiah come to save them all. They usually start off with the standard Feminist talking points about the Bad Old Days and how all Women were treated as cattle and enslaved for nothing more than a Man's will or some such gibberish. Then the long time readers and followers begin to slap em into place and you can just feel the wind leaving their sails as the replies dwindle.

Why some of the most memorable trolls I ever had here have come from arguments on Patrice's posts. There was the Greenie Puerto Riccan Woman who declared her wrought iron fence was carbon neutral and because it was pretty was more ecologically sound than saving grass clippings as mulch and decided I was Timothy McVeah reanimated. The Womynz Studies PHD who claimed Women were used as draft animals in the Middle Ages by the domineering Men who enslaved them. Or my personal favorite some guy who declared all Women should be revered for no other reason than one gave birth to you.

Sorry I don't think giving birth is a transferable commodity although I am certainly glad of one instance of it :)

I have to say reading one of Patrice's anti-Feminist posts is always the highlight of my day because I know the discussions are going to be good. Click on the WND link to her article and check it out if you don't believe me.

And Keep Prepping Everyone!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Reading - The Wood Cutting Season Begins

Sorry I didn't have a regular Sunday Reading post up for today. I had one in mind and started when I got a call from a co-worker who had a family problem involving the sudden Oak tree death disease that's been killing all the Oaks around here and about a dozen trees that were threatening to fall on their buildings.

To make a long story short they been cutting and hauling and cutting these trees from around their buildings and simply have no more room or time to get em all in before Winter and asked me if I wanted in on the action.  It was a bit of a drive but I am not turning down free firewood, especially Oak and ones that are already felled and the thin branches removed besides no fighting through brush to get to em.

In fact for the first time I can remember I already have enough firewood lined up from people begging me to come get it to last all Winter and then some. I shouldn't have to even touch my own wood lot this year at all.

As much as I hate to see all these magnificent old Oak trees dying I have to admit it's been a blessing in the wood cutting department. Every where I drive South of the Missouri river the landscape is dotted with dead Oak trees with their bare branches sticking up from among the green canopy. In all the years I have been burning my stoves and furnaces I have never had so much Oak to choose from. In fact Oak used to be a rare treat because the trees lived so long and if I had any I saved it for those really cold nights when I needed a slow burning hot fire all night.

Looks like this year is going to be almost exclusively Oak though except for the two cords of left over Locust I have from last year.

So anyway I brought a truck and trailer load home with me today and cut at least another load ready for next weekend and there is still ten or more trees left for me. By the time I got it home and unloaded dinner was ready and I am too beat to do a real post this evening.

I did get to try out my new saw though :)

Picked up a Jonsered 20 inch saw last weekend. I have owned a Jonsered 16 inch saw for almost 30 years now and the only thing that has ever went wrong on it was a pull rope breaking and a new spark plug and it still runs like a top and starts almost on the first pull. So I splurged a bit and bought this one in the hopes they are still made to the same quality. I am getting tired of wearing out a cheap saw every year. Of course this one better last three years to be more economical than replacing a cheap one every year if you get my meaning.

I must say though that the new saw cut like a dream. Started right up and felt good in the hands although it is a bit heavy but that extra two inches sure made a difference.

Anyway off to bed and not looking forward to the muscle aches I know are going to greet me in the morning.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Still in the Squash Business

I noticed a few weeks ago one of the rams was growing his own garden. I actually figured it wouldn't take him long before he ate the plant I saw sprouting out there but he didn't.

It turned into a perfect Pattipan Squash plant and has actually been producing squash. I also kinda figured the ram would begin eating said Squash before I got out there and picked any but believe it or not, for whatever reason he hasn't touched it. The Squash bugs never found it either as a matter of fact and it's a damned healthy looking plant.

This afternoon I went out there and the blooms were being worked by the bees and I also discovered a watermelon had come up along with some new Cucumber shoots. I am now interested to see how long the ram let's these plants grow and if he decides to eat the fruit if they ever produce.

The Wife seems to think the ram just decided to grow his own snacks :)

We began the big garden tear down this afternoon as well. I am still harvesting Cow Peas, Tomatoes, Peppers and have a row of Potatoes and bed of Sweet Potatoes going but I am kinda in a hurry to get the cutting crew out into the garden. The weeds really got out of control while the rains started back up and I got caught up working four days in a row. As late as it was I just didn't care really but I would like to get the crew out there while the weeds are tasty for them.

We have a major grasshopper plague going on that are eating the remaining Tomatoes up pretty fast now. They are taking huge chunks out of the green ones long before they ripen. If we weren;t already stuffed full of Tomatoes I would stress over it and try to kill em off but at this stage in the game who cares. We still pulled over a bushel of Tomatoes out of there this morning for the Mrs. to make some more sauce with.

I figure I will continue to harvest and take down the garden this week and hope to get some new fence run before we start weaning this year's lambs. Once we bring em up here and separate them into the three over Winter flocks (Two breeding groups and the yearling horde) I will allow the yearlings to graze the garden remains all Winter. By December we will have the slaughter lambs removed then the ones we are selling and all that will remain will be the young ewes that need to grow up some more before breeding and a couple of whethers.

They should do a good job of cleaning out the garden area before the cold really hits and kills off all the weeds. Or that's the plan anyway. The Cutting Crew has done such a fine job in the other overgrown areas I am now just going to start using em in this manner all the time. If I leave em in a space long enough they even kill off the thrice damned Morning Glory believe it or not.

Gonna go check on the Pumpkins and Persimmons to see if this cold snap ripened any up.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Craziness of Decline

As I travel around America's heartland traversing large interstates and small two lane highways spanning the Great Plains over to the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys, down into the Ozark Highlands and even into cotton country a bit or up through Amish land into Iowa I have been getting a real feel for just how this decline is playing out.

Growth is localized into a few key areas especially business growth. While it is not uncommon to see the occasional government construction or the new house/line of duplexes going up no matter where you are seeing actual business growth is a rare thing indeed and almost always is limited to those areas with a high concentration of public colleges and universities nearby.

Having routinely traveled most of these roads a decade or more ago then hitting them again now also gives me an almost time capsule quality of observation.

Recently I have begun seeing comments on articles and forums that support claims I have been making for months now.

People are not driving like they used to.

Highways that used to fill me with dread knowing I was going to be stuck behind some  commercial vehicle going 20 miles under the speed limit for miles with no way to pass are now a breeze. I still hit the occasional semi or grain truck but before oncoming traffic meant I was stuck I now have frequent breaks where I can get around them.

Just yesterday I delivered a 2014 F450 diesel to a 16 year old kid.

I drove this truck some 220 miles down Ozark Highland two lane highways. Up and down hills so steep you could literally watch the fuel gauge drop as the pedal went to the floor. I pulled up to a small two bedroom house in a subdivision that was thrown together in the last 10 years or so. Nothing fancy just one of thousands of the lower end middle class subdivisions that went up everywhere in the late 90's and early 2000's.

The driveway was so small and the garage filled with stuff that I got to listen to the discussion this young man was having with his parents about who's vehicle was now going to be forced to street parking since they now had three. I couldn't tell you what reasoning they had for thinking a 16 year old kid needed a truck of this size as it isn't my business but I must admit I did wonder about it a bit.

The newly licensed young man then drove me over to a local dealership where I picked up a brand new Mustang to take back North up the same roads I just came down.

The dealerships up North are buying up left over 2014 Mustangs as fast as possible right now because there is a serious run on em as people try and buy em at what they believe is a discount before the 2015's come out.

People may not be driving like they used to but let me tell you new vehicle sales are proceeding at a record pace. It's almost like those guys you see who buy a new firearm and then never have more than 1 box of ammo for the thing.  I guess they look good sitting in the driveway or something.

People can talk themselves into any thing. I have heard so many excuses from buyers when I deliver their vehicles nothing surprises me anymore. I just nod my head and tell them how right they are or of course I see their point. I don't ask and only agree with their opinions when they voluntarily give them unasked but the levels of denial some must be in leave me shaking my head for hours on the return trip.

To me it's like they have this NEED to buy things but now can not afford to go shopping anymore so they resort to credit and the way things are structured it's easier to buy a new car on credit than it is to fund a shopping spree. If you get my meaning. How many times I have heard the words "I can't really afford this but..."

It's just crazy.

I wonder how long it's going to be before I start seeing the car repossession trucks out all over again like I did in 2009?

Got to make you wonder.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Utopia II - I am Dying Here

So the reports this show got on it's second episode were anything but favorable. Looks like it captured less than 20 Million viewers and is already looking like it will suffer a quick run to the chopping block. Really that's too bad because there are some very interesting things to be learned from the interactions here.

As I stated in the first post the sad part is they are not in a separate land and they know it. The crazy chicken tractor lady knows if there was no daddy state protection she would be put down faster than a sick cow and she has been playing the victim to the big White Boy hoping to keep him around as her protection.

In this second episode some of the Women did step up a bit and start doing something at least although not much beyond standing around. Of course I didn't see the Men doing much either except arguing with each other.

There was a big argument about the food situation and the ex-con Black guy allied up with the toothless Hillbilly and although they didn't even have an IQ score high enough to open a safe they knew the combination to when their combined intellect was focused on it, they did have a very good point. The yuppy types had no clue how to live frugally and were wasting the groups money on low calorie rabbit food.

Finally Hillbilly Boy managed to concentrate so hard it looked like he was in the outhouse but he did manage to get the safe opened and the two allied compatriots took out their share of the cash. They then put in their own food order and kinda went to the other extreme of the spectrum and got in a bunch of junk food.

I will say that when they shared the junk and grilled the burgers it seemed like many of the group who had written them off as crazy did begin to come around a bit.

Apparently there are going to be some new arrivals and departures each month. Not sure how they are going to manage that one but I guess the overall average is still suppose to be 15 people for a year. They cannot leave the compound but they can have stuff delivered and they can attempt to sell items or make money in some way. Not sure what they can do since they can't leave though.

Now what they should have done in my humble opinion is to immediately order a year's supply of beans and rice for 15 people, along with the storage pails. I didn't do the math but I am guessing they  could easily manage that with 5 grand to spend. Once the food needs we taken care of then they could build from there and if they started getting sick of just beans and rice well more incentive to try and do something to make some money.

I am assuming forming their own "Chicken" ranch is out of the question although a couple of them (both Male and Female) seem like they would take a few for the team. If they found someone to deliver more live chickens they could possibly even try and form their own organic egg market and have locals come by and pick em up. Perhaps even adding in veggies down the line.

Anyway this dysfunctional group is never going to be able to work together and since they know they are well protected there is no fear of reality going to force them to either. It's going to come down to how fast they spend their money and then individuals will begin bailing left and right. I am guessing 3 months tops. Perhaps we will see a very few die hard individuals stick it out but I doubt the ratings keep the show going that long.

I will say the final scene did show the crazy Chicken tractor lady eating Dandelions so perhaps she might be able to rough it enough until the end since no one is going to murder her in her sleep like they want to.

I tell ya I was laughing so hard I about keeled over a few times though.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!