Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Coming Soon to the Entire Western World

Greece and Puerto Rico have been in trouble for years now. Nothing new and nothing anyone couldn't see coming. Financial collapse doomsayers, including myself, have written about them, predicted the eventual outcome, painted the picture for years. There is absolutely no excuse for anyone to be caught off guard. I am still not convinced the Greek tradgi-Comedy is actually hitting the proverbial wall yet. It will not surprise me to see the EU, ECB and IMF extend yet another loan or excuse payments on Greek debt to let them continue to kick the can a bit longer. All that does is assure this scenario will show itself again in a month, a year, two years.

Yet for now we get at least a small glimpse into the inevitable future. Not just of Greece but for all the debt laden Western countries who have been sacrificing their children for their own comfort for decades.

Greece is a small potato in the grand scheme of things. They don't have a continually available printing press to make themselves more zeros to hand out to banks and they don't have the luxury of the Petro Dollar/Reserve currency. So it is coming up to the edge of the cliff first.

As the rains continue to pour down here today I have been catching up on the nuances of this latest chapter in Greek debt and generational theft. What was most telling to me were the demographics of the various Greeks at the various Yes or No referendum protests.

The younger Greeks want out of the EU while by and large the older Greeks want to stay in. This massive retirement debt, a political system ravaged by Feminist, Liberal ideology and Multi-Cult DIE-versity does absolutely nothing for the younger Greeks except hand them the bill and they are sick of it.

The old pensioners and bloated government hold outs of course want to keep the debt piling up and live the comfortable life hoping to push the payback off onto the young. At least in Greece there isn't such a population gap between the Boomer age and the younger Greeks so the younger generations have a chance to save themselves. In the US things are going to have to get much worse before they begin to change.

I am not going to lie nothing would give me more of a smirk than to see some government pensioner who retired at 52 from their cushy government job while complaining they don't get enough and need a cost of living increase as they sail away on their third vacation of the year to have to fight at the bank doors to buy groceries. Anyone who feels it is justified to accept a promise of debt onto another for their own comfort deserves a bit of humility in my opinion.

But let's not gloat.

I suggest anyone who is receiving government benefits open their eyes for a change. If someone else is in charge of or gives you your money then it is not yours until it is in your hand. Period. The politicians promised you something they had no right to promise and the politicians can take it away and surely will once the mood of the masses shifts. Of course that can be said about most everything in today's world but keep in mind land, stored items, foodstuffs and other tangible goods require a bit more work to take away than simply locking a door.

Take this latest quote from the Governor of Puerto Rico for instance:  The governor did not specifically say that debts would be restructured. He did, however, say that he was “guaranteeing our citizens essential services and our pensioners a just income.”

If I was a pensioner that would make me take a long pause for thought.

All of us, whether pensioners or not, better prepare for the day those bank doors are closed. We better have a plan that will allow us to keep ourselves alive that goes beyond some promise of forcing others to pay our way. Money payments and tangibles can be confiscated but skills are forever and nothing short of death or incarceration can keep you from using them.

Like it or not the above picture is our future. It may take a year, five years, ten or more. Perhaps you may not be around for this eventuality. I guess if that is the case you can say you won the game and forced the bill on your children and grand children. Not something I would want haunting me on my deathbed but whatever floats your boat.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Things are Starting to Return to Normal

Believe it or not we are actually beginning to get some dry spots once again. The Alfalfa field is coming back pretty fast and my neighbor was out harvesting his Spring Wheat today.

Mrs. PP got a clean bill of health from her doctor and plans and going back to work part time next Monday. I seriously think this is a mistake but she isn't listening to me once again. She is now off most of her pills and one of them was the agreeable pill that made her say "Whatever you think honey".

I want to figure out which pill that was and make her keep taking it.

She has like, get this, 6 months worth of sick leave even after using up almost 3 weeks already and over 2 years of vacation built up. I pointed out that if she felt well enough to go back to work she had about 3 weeks worth of catch up she could be doing on all the stuff I had to let go around here and I could stop pulling double duties as well. She gave it the old college try today though and refused to take a nap every two hours as well. Which kinda makes me think perhaps it was more a side effect of some of the pills they were making her take. Hard to believe she had brain surgery just a  little over three weeks ago though.

This turn of events allowed me to start catching up on some of the stuff I had been letting go as well.

I threw the 38 bales of Alfalfa I had under the tarp up into the hay loft and stacked it all nice and neat. My son was busy today so I did this all on my own by throwing 3 or 4 bales up then climbing the ladder into the loft, stacking em and going back down for another round. It took a lot longer but they were forecasting rain again for tonight and it had to be done. Only a couple of bales showed any sign of any mold and those were all very minor. For the most part it dried out quite well I must say.

I then had to drive into town and pick up my sister in laws dead cat. She has had this cat for over 20 years and it finally kicked off from old age. Of course she couldn't just toss the body into a dumpster or bury it herself as I think it is against her home owners agreement anyway so I became the cat cadaver funeral director and burial staff. With all the strays we get it isn't like I don't have a place already for that type of thing. Made her feel better about the whole thing so it was worth the trip and effort.

It was then time for me to turn my attention to the riding lawn mowers. You might remember me posting about how everything was working on the Small-Hold not to long ago. Well the grass needed mowing and I had to take Mrs. PP to appointments and my Mother was screaming for a honey pull and I was pressed for time so Mom volunteered to at least mow the grass on the riding lawn mower. I knew this was a big mistake as she never gets close enough to anything to really save me any time and 99 times out of 100 she ends up causing some problem that takes me longer to fix than if I had just done it myself. She refuses to move anything out of the way but just mows around it and by the time she is done it looks like complete crap.

This time was no exception.

When I left she was on the Husqvarna mower. When I got back big orange was stuck in a low wet spot and the Craftsman mower was sitting in the driveway so clogged with grass I think she wore out a belt. Not to mention she left the key turned on and so the battery was dead and only about half the yard was mowed. End result was it took me about twice as much time to actually finish the yard than it would have if I had just done it myself. I had to use the tractor to pull the Husqvarna out and then roll the Craftsman over to where I could put the battery charger on it while I removed the clogged up grass clippings from the under the deck.

The barn is still pretty wet as it rained so hard a couple of times the water over flowed my drainage ditch and ran under the sliding door right into the barn itself. Cleaning all that wet stuff out is a real chore and takes forever so I am putting down some new straw so the ewes have dry spots to lounge on. Luckily there is a high spot behind the barn on one side that is totally dry now as well so the flock is able to lounge in the shade there in between munching sessions. I walked them out to a new part of the pasture to keep them away from any areas that might still have worm egg infestations and am checking them at least twice a day now.  So far no new signs have showed up but the ewe that died didn't really show any outward signs until a few hours before death.

The fly plague is back in full force too.

We are predicted to have thunderstorms for the next three days once again. I seriously hope they pass us by though. We really need about 2 weeks of dry, sunny days to get things back to normal around here.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Whelp It was Barber Pole Worms

The verdict was in today and it was indeed Barber Pole Worms that killed our ewe. We treated every ewe and lamb for this as the lambs turned 4 days old when I tagged and gave them their other shots etc. but apparently there is a time limit to the treatments effectiveness. Why we have never run into a problem before this is easy we have never had a rainy season that lasted this long before in the years we been keeping sheep. Apparently there is also a new strain of it hitting in the super rain soaked region that is resistant to traditional treatments. The vet at the university said our ewe was only one of a long list of carcasses he had identified as barber pole worm death recently.

What this meant was my son, mother and I were in the barn for hours this evening re-worming all 50 odd sheep. Technically we should also change their pasture until these wet conditions can fix itself but there simply is no other pasture to put them out on except where they are at until I get some more fencing finished. On the bright side the field they are in is large enough that they have plenty of room to move into new areas so that should cut down on the danger. It also means we are going to be buying hay over the next Winter though I imagine.

Ya know drought is definitely a terrible thing but this overly rain saturated mess we been dealing with this year sure causes more health problems overall. I can't even properly clean out the barn from the wet creeping into it and a big portion of the back is still a swamp. The perfect breeding grounds for these types of microscopic creepy crawly death dealers.

As I stated above this has never been an issue for us before because by this time the ground is usually so dry people are praying for rain around here. The heat and the dry conditions kill off the larva long before the treatments we give out wear off during normal years.

Chalk this up to another learning experience. Sad it had to cost the life of such a prime productive ewe though.

On the bright-side of things though as we were capturing and shoving worm medicine down each sheep throat I got to inspect all the hooves we been having so many problems with. Since we are running them out into the hay field now the flock is getting to travel about 30 yards or so on gravel I had put down a few years ago and it has done wonders for getting their feet back into good shape.

After this latest loss and now the pasturage/fencing issue I am pretty sure 2015 is going to be another red number year overall. Oh well growing pains are to be expected I guess.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

And the Funnel Cloud Went Right Over Us

Was heading out this evening to put the hay bales I have under the tarp up into the hay loft. I figure they been stacked long enough that any danger of combustion is past. About the minute I yelled up to my son to come help me I started hearing rain drops and small hail stones hitting the wood furnace pipe.

Oh well I guess that ends that plan.

So I waited the fast moving rain storm out. It didn't take very long although it did rain kinda hard for a few minutes and refilled all the puddle spots that had almost dried in the driveway. As soon as the rain slacked off I went out and looked up to see a long white tail/funnel cloud hanging out the bottom of the thunderhead that had just passed over.

I watched the thing come down into the neighbors field about 200 yards away which is planted in Alfalfa this year. Bounce back up into the air over a short line of four or five houses and then extend it's base down once more and apparently touched down in another field and crossed a gravel road about 2 miles East of the Small-Hold.

I stole this picture from a local news agency because by the time I ran in to get my camera and got back out the thing was gone having been sucked back up into the thunder cloud. I doubt it would even classify as an F1 tornado but it was kinda neat to watch. I have never seen one touch down that close before. I think my neighbor suffered a strip of Alfalfa plants ripped out that was maybe 5 feet long. I should call him and suggest he put in for emergency relief or something. Why I bet the loss of those plants will cost him 20 bucks or so in the long run.

The trajectory of the thing means it literally passed right over the house and the barn before touching down in my neighbor's field. I didn't notice it hanging down until it had passed over us heading East  about 100 yards. I doubt it was even strong enough to rip the sheet metal off the roof of the barn had it come down on us but I am happy we didn't test my theory anyway.

Never a dull moment around here I guess.

Keep Prepping Everyone....

And build a storm cellar  :)

Sunday Reading - Lost a Ewe

Got back to the Small-Hold last night after running some errands and noticed the electric fence was down to the unless old nag pasture. The useless old nags were way down in the back and hadn't figured out they could make a break for freedom yet so I hurried on out to get the fence repaired before they figured it out.

I never seem to have very good luck with electric fencing in any important position anyway and this stretch has been up far longer than I planned.

So after running a new top line I was heading back up passed the barn and noticed one of our ewes was down and having death convulsions.

I had noticed she looked like she was forming a bit of a bottle neck and had even planned on giving her a dose of worm medicine at feeding time. She had been acting a bit droopy that morning but nothing I thought was an immediate problem. I have absolutely no clue what did her in at this point. She wasn't bloated, if she was showing the first sign of worms it shouldn't have effected her that fast and she did eat yesterday morning although not with her usual gusto.

Usually I make it a point to spend several minutes or more with the flock each day as they browse around in whatever area I have them in. However for the last month or so I haven't been doing that due to Mrs. PP's  illness and the extra duties I been handed. I guess I missed something important.

No body else seems to be having problems in the flock. I did turn them out into the hayfield and they seem to be mostly going after the Red Clover which shouldn't hurt them as long as we give them a bit of grain each morning. Besides the ewe, Molly, didn't show any signs of bloat just a very slight swelling under the jaw on her neck which is usually an indication of a type of worm they sometimes get but has never been something I couldn't wait until feeding time to treat. I have treated a couple of the lambs for this already this year.

So the son and I loaded the carcass up on the tractor carryall (I never planned on using it for this but it worked) and put her in the truck and took her to the University vet center for an necropsy. I seriously need to know what killed her to protect the rest of the flock.

Always something.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Why Doomers are Optimist

We have been marching steadily towards the final collapse for years now. The first movements towards what we find ourselves in today started centuries ago with political skirmishes that gave the Federal government more and more power with each step.

There have been major leaps that brought us much closer to this end game from time to time. The civil war, universal suffrage, creation of the Federal Reserve, Roe v. Wade, Affirmative Action, Wickard v. Filburn and most recently this latest SCOTUS ruling over Gay Marriage.

Not that I care who buggers who mind you, that really isn't the point nor where the damage has been done. Perhaps in the scheme of things it isn't overall as damaging a ruling as others but it's just another straw added to the camel's back and there isn't much more weight it can take.

The Federal government is totally invested in a course of action that will outwardly harm a very large segment of the citizen's it is suppose to protect. The very nature of the beast and the paths it has followed for centuries has left it no other choice. On a National level there is nothing that can be done at this time to change the path it is on to any great degree. This is why so many feel voting is pointless because it is. No matter how well intentioned a candidate maybe when they get to the Federal Level and see the problem for what it really is they understand they have two choices...

Let the entire thing fall apart now or continue to place it's faith in unicorns and rainbows and hope for an outcome that ignores reality.

This is why immigration, legal or illegal, totally open borders, complete surrender to any and every special interest group and the erosion of individual rights will never end at the Federal Level. It cannot if they have any hope of meeting the fiscal promises it has made. Where their reasoning is flawed however is that they fail to acknowledge that they are changing what they think they are saving to the point they are saving nothing.

It's a game that can never be won. They need what America was as much as they need what they are bringing in and at some point when the balance tips too far they lose one of the parts they need. There is no other outcome possible.

As I pointed out years ago eventually the more rural states and areas will either be forced to declare for themselves. Either as independent or in ways that protect their interests as a delaying action at first. We have seen this over and over already as States pass legislation pertaining to firearms, freedom of speech and now religion over and over. Eventually these moves will be shot down by Federal courts but the sentiment is already there and that will just force the next step.

As we near the end of this tragi-comedy I see three logical conclusions. None of them are particularly attractive mind you but I find myself musing that in this case the theory of a financial collapse and all that it brings is perhaps the brightest future we can hope for.

Certainly a civil war at this time would be more terrible than anything else except maybe a complete fall into a total police state intent on removing us and all our history from the face of the planet.

The fact is a financial collapse and the subsequent loss of Federal power it would bring is about our only chance at survival without a real fight at this point.

On reason I am hoping for that more than the alternatives.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Been A Couple of Bee Days

Sorry I been kinda quiet the last couple days. The extended hospital stay meant I really neglected my hives longer than I should have. That and I now have relatives screaming for honey.

I had some new upper entrance tops to add on here and there, a couple of hives that needed checking for pest problems and about five that I thought might have some honey to harvest this early. As it turns out only one of the five really had any honey frames capped. The others are quite full of honey but due to the rains and humidity they haven't gotten the moisture content down enough to cap it yet. The queens are also way up in the upper supers laying eggs still. Another couple of weeks and I imagine they will be pushed down into the brood chambers once again.

The Sunflowers are now beginning to bloom!!! The working girls LOVE sunflowers so I thought it fitting to snap a picture of one.

Since I managed to harvest six or so frames of honey I will be spinning it out this evening. The heat wave we been having sure has made things uncomfortable but the temps are just about perfect for harvesting a little early honey to satisfy the screamers. I think my Mother has been making some promises of honey as well to all her friends cause she is has been nagging me about making a pull since we got back from the hospital. This means getting all the harvesting equipment out and cleaning it up, then waiting for it to dry before the real work begins.

Reader John Lien made such a wonderful comment on the last post I been chuckling about it all afternoon. He mentioned his wife calling the driveway next to his workshop the "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" due to the equipment and such that sits there needing fixing.

It was just so appropriate I had to go take a picture of my little growing lineup of stuff.

That picture doesn't include the tiller, the homemade carry all or the manure spreader (which is going to require some real work) in fact I didn't count the Manure spreader in my last post either because I forgot about it. I got so tired of mowing around that stuff I let the sheep eat around it, as you can see, to keep the grass down. I just had to take a picture since his phrase kept me so entertained. I guess I lied cause we all have those projects we hope to get done.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tractor Time Part II - A New Experience For the Small Hold

Today's mini-Project was dedicated to working on the Massy Ferguson Dynaflow 70 sickle bar mower. When we bought this old mower last Winter we noticed someone had removed the factory category 1 attachment pin from the left side and replaced it with a category 2 pin that barely fit through the tube frame. The PTO shaft was also so rusted inside that it wouldn't move.

Removing the category 2 pin was a job let me tell you. I soaked and heated that nut up for weeks before I got it removed. Getting the PTO shaft to slide freely took even longer. I finally removed the entire shaft from the mower and soaked it in a vat of penetrating oil for a couple of months.

After the category 2 pin was out I figured out what the problem had been. The tube frame was obviously set up to take various category pins and used a special factory type pin that all had a category 2 thread size. The hole was about the exact size of the category 2 threads and overall it needed to be longer than any standard pin I could pick up at any tractor place. A simple category 1 pin was loose in the hole and no where near long enough either.

While browsing around Tractor Supply I noticed they had category 2 to 1 tube shims and some of those lock rings that are held in place with the hex screws.

So the above was my solution. I used an extra long category 1 top pin in place of a bottom pin, fitted one of the sleeve shims into the tube frame and locked it in place with two of those pressure hex pin lock ring things. I think all the parts cost me about 20 bucks.

The test swath I cut looked pretty good too.  I was actually amazed the entire thing worked to be honest. I was expecting to run into yet another issue that would keep the mower from working. The teeth surprisingly appear to still be sharp and once I got my ground speed/PTO speed worked out it cut really well.

The plan is to use this mower with the 861 diesel actually but the 861 is still trapped inside the barn due to the slowly draining lake in front of it's entrance door. Another couple of days and perhaps I will be able to get it out.

Here's the 8N in sickle mower mode. All I need now is a rake and square baler and I am in business!!!

Oh ya and for the first time that I can remember.......

Every piece of equipment on the Small-Hold actually works. Not one thing is broken or in need of some form of ethnic engineering to work right now.

At the moment I have 2 riding mowers, 3 push mowers, 2 tractors, a 3 point tiller, 2 brush hogs, a sickle mower, 2 generators and a log splitter that all work perfectly.

May not sound like much but to me that is an amazing accomplishment. I don't think I have ever had every piece of equipment all operational at one time before.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!