Monday, March 9, 2020

Is this the Black Swan Moment?

Actually I never left. Never stopped prepping and have never stopped watching. There have been a few times I almost started posting again but played the wait and see game. The current state of things has convinced me we are entering a Black Swan period that could in fact historically be remembered as the beginning of a global collapse.

Much as I said years ago we have been in a  long slow slide since 2008. That has not changed but as per my stair step theory it looks like we are approaching a point where we just might be getting ready to jump down an entire flight of those steps in one big leap.

Many Black Swans circling the pond right now. From the latest SAAR's outbreak, Stock market crashing, Europe finally mobilizing at the Greek border claiming to stop the migrant invasion of Europe (we will see). Chinese economic activity still impossibly low for 1 Billion people after claiming only a few thousand dead.

Will this perfect storm peter out or bring on the global crisis we have seen building for over a decade now? The Fed has started pumping again, nothing has really recovered and no matter what this is going to be another step down but will it be THE STEP?

That remains to be seen but it is close enough that it is time to seriously wake up and begin putting the final touches for sustained living in place and prepare yourself to stop living in two worlds and figure on only the one we been preparing for to be our focus. This could be it and I have come back right now to simply give you a wake up call. There maybe more to come the next few days will tell.

Time to Start Prepping again Everyone!!!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Sunday Reading - Dealing with New Allergy Reactions

It's become oppressively hot here again. To top things off my allergies have decided to reach some new heights of discomfort this year.  I don't know if it is because I am getting old and this development has become the new norm or not but I am about a fraction of a millimeter from going to the doctor over it and that is a kin to declaring a nuclear strike for me. I have always had allergies. In some parts of the world they were so bad (I shiver thinking about the Flax harvest in South Dakota while I was constructing grain silos) I had to drug up and couldn't even operate well. Around Missouri my allergies have always been minor with a bit of sneezing in the early morning and some red eyes and very rare itching. Not so this year. Every couple of weeks I am getting allergic reactions the like of which I have never had before.

My eyelids will begin itching and turning red then they swell and eventually after about a day or so it stops but the upper layer of skin will then flake off and the eye area remains kinda puffy for days. Either the front of my neck or the cheek area along the nose will also become itchy and swell at times too. The cheek skin and around my nostrils also dies and flakes off but my neck just turns red and itches to high heaven. Lastly the inside of my wrists or forearms will become itchy and develop little hives.  I will get these symptoms either all at the same time or in various combinations. Sometimes they will rotate, my eyes will itch then stop but my neck starts itching or wrist etc. in differing time slots during the day. Then suddenly it just stops all at once and starts to heal up.

I actually called in to work one day because of these reactions and I haven't missed a day of work in over a year.

I can almost tell you when these symptoms are going to hit now though. I say almost because occasionally it doesn't happen when the circumstances are right and I think it is going to.  Generally speaking though when we get a cool spell followed by or ushered in by rain then a high temperature hot day of humidity that breaks the cool spell then I get hit with the symptoms. Sometimes it takes no more than a cool night with a heavy morning dew and higher temps the next day to set me off. Then sometimes the temperature and weather conditions seem to hit just right and no symptoms show up at all. As I mentioned sometimes I get the symptoms in various combinations and severity as well.

I am betting it has to be some type of mold spore that comes out under those right conditions. Just seems that the conditions I describe are also ideal conditions for lots of fungus growth is the only reason I say that really but it has also been happening off and on since late Winter which tells me whatever is doing it doesn't follow seasons as closely as regular plants. I have varied my diet, made the wife switch laundry detergent, changed soap, stopped wearing some of my different materials for work shirts but the symptoms come back usually after a cool spell.

Finally I broke down and began taking Zyrtec this week. It seemed to make my symptoms go away but that may have been because the temps got high enough to kill off whatever is giving me the reactions.

I sure hope I find a solution though. These new reactions coupled by reduced tolerance to heat I seem to get the older I become has sure slowed me down this year Let me tell ya...

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Still Clucking Along

Yes, Yes I know it's been well over a year since I posted anything. Believe it or not we are still going 100% but as I explained when I decided to mostly quit blogging we spend much much much more time on routine boring chores, upkeep and mundane stuff now than we do on cool new building and the like. I still have an endless list of project I am working on but five or more years ago I got to make blog-worthy progress on a project almost everyday. Now I am lucky if I spend 1 or 2 days a month actually working on projects and I just cannot blog everyday about feeding time or repairing yet another fence.

None-the-less I have finished a few big projects which I hope to post some pictures of and tell you about in a post soon. I honestly was not prepared to make a post today but it ended up raining and driving me inside this afternoon, so I had some time. Rain has been a rare occurrence this year let me tell you.

Just a text post today to tease you that another is coming soon with pictures!!! The hay is baled for the year and it doesn't look like we are going to get another cutting. It was a sad harvest too as I think we only got a little over half what we usually get and I even fertilized the hay field in the Spring. It's just been a bad drought year.

Lambing season was not the greatest. We got some good lambs but we lost more than usual this year. We had one still born. Then another first year ewe had a lamb and I waited with her for over an hour to see if she was going to drop another. Sure enough when I left for not even 15 minutes she had two more and one of them suffocated before I could get it free. The second I managed to save but the ewe would not accept it so we got another bottle baby. We named her Rita and she now lives in my mother's back yard and thinks she is a dog. She also doesn't like other sheep much.

Then Hazel decided to go into labor in the back of the large field and had trouble and before I noticed her and got back to her we had lost another three lambs due to her first being so large. I thought I was going to lose Hazel as well as there was so much blood but we managed to save her. I think we ended up with 33 lambs this year.

I finished the East pasture just in time for the sheep to eat it down to nothing and the drought to hit so it never has grown back worth a damn.

The worms hit us about mid-July so a little later than usual but we were prepared and did not lose any sheep at all to them this year. We did have some frantic individual worming rotation for about two weeks though.

The chickens are still around and we had like 5 hens go broody this year and managed to actually get some 15 or more chicks to survive and become pretty much full grown. It was touch and go there though as the hens are not cooperating when they go broody and it seems every predator for miles likes to eat baby chicks. I couldn't tell you how many chickens we got running around the place but I know several of them are now on pension benefits and have formed their own retirement roost area int he barn.

We had a huge Bald eagle attack one of our lambs. Luckily I needed to check the fence down that way so I did not have to break some stupid federal law that says I cannot interfere with a bald eagle eating my lambs. I just happened to be going that way and it flew off without killing the lamb. the wounds were not serious and the lamb recovered but he still has a scar on the side of his face. That same eagle also tried to snatch one of our buff hens but somehow that hen caught on at the last second and pulled a fake dodge move worthy of an NFL running back and the eagle did a crash and burn through the neighbor's bean field. After that I haven't seen the eagle since. Perhaps she was too embarrassed to come back?

I got 3 of my 5 remaining fencing projects finished and am ready to start on number 4 tomorrow if the weather permits.

Lastly we added yet another group of animals to the Small-Hold population in the form of dwarf goats.....

Ya I know I couldn't believe it either but I finally relented to Mrs. PP's constant begging and we bought three goats. One mother with a baby and another baby that lost her mother. I think that was kind of a mistake because the Mom and daughter pair kinda pick on the orphan but they seem to be slowly getting less mean to her. They are named Nubby, Nugget and Houdini. Houdini being the mother goat. I built them a mobile goat palace with an inside sleeping loft and a deck. I then hook it up to the tractor and move it to whatever field I am keeping them in. Nubby decided I was her human and won't let the other goats near me which is fine because Nugget has become Mrs. PP's special needs goat anyway. They actually are a hoot to watch and much more playful and out going than the lambs and sheep.

Anyway more on them later too.

So yes we are all alive here and still making progress and prepping away. The bees have taken a big hit this year however due to the drought and my lack of time but that is OK as I plan on putting more effort back into them next year again.

Till later...

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Reading - An Act of War in Charlottsville?

I had a couple of other topics to choose from originally for today's post. My progress on the east pasture fence or a quick look at just how close to next week's total eclipse "The Small-Hold" is going to be. In short less than 2 miles from the dead center line as it travels across America. We have even had LEOs and various government officials dropping by warning us to watch out for campers and trespassers next weekend.

After the events in Charlottesville this  weekend however I have decided to go a different route. I typically wait a bit longer before making an opinion post on violent events just to start picking through the facts that come out, usually in comments and not the news articles themselves I might add. I am making an exception this time because one thing seems to be crystal clear to me from eye witness reports I have read, some of them I actually know away from the internet.  The Mayor of Charlottesville and the police there set the Alt-Right, White Men up to be attacked. They enforced rules against the Alt-Right Men that they didn't enforce against the violent thug leftist and then herded the Alt-Right Men into positions and places where they could be attacked. Lastly the cops then did absolutely NOTHING to stop the attacks unless the Alt-Right Men fought back and started winning in which case the cops would then step in and stop it.

This my friends is a direct act of violence by a government against White Men. It is an act of war. A couple of the videos showing the "car attack" are also from an angle that clearly show counter protestor leftist with baseball bats surrounding the car before it rams into the crowd. There is a real possibility in my opinion that whoever the man is who was driving may have just been trying to get away from a violent situation that the Charlottesville mayor and police .... even caused to happen and promoted.

The media of course is all in with the evil White Man Nazi narrative with regards to the Alt-Right demonstrators and they have all been convicted in the media already. I am not convinced however and if things come to light that the Charlottesville officials did knowingly and willingly set this situation up then the opening salvo of Civil War II has been fired in my humble opinion and unless heads roll over it then hostilities will only continue to grow.

Maybe time to start figuring out which side you are going to be on real soon.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

No I am Not Dead...

Yes I am still among the living. No I have not given up on the Small-Hold. No I am not out playing PokemonGo. In fact I haven't even so much as opened that app since like Christmas and I only did it then to catch a pikachu if I remember right.

The truth is the monumental task of keeping everything maintained, chores done, etc. kinda just seemed to explode. Not sure how but I had no time whatsoever to make any progress as I was spending almost everything I had just keeping things where they were. I needed to step away from the internet almost entirely to have any time to get even a few small things done. That included the blog because once I would sit down to make a post my time in front of the computer would just keep growing as I found one thing and then another to peak my interest.

Sorry if I worried anyone. I truly did not mean to do that. Stepping away from email was the easiest actually as I absolutely hate routine email maintenance. I had like over 10K emails waiting for me to clean em out.

To top everything else off if you remember the business I work for was bought by a much larger company over a year ago. The corporate types had bigger fish to fry than us until the new year however but the evil eye of Sauron did turn our way in January and few of my co-workers survived the great purge. In fact my department is sitting at 90% turnover in the last 6 months. I happen to be 50% of the employees that survived.....

So guess who got to pick up all the slack while all this chaos went on?

To sum up. I have done little to nothing with bee keeping this year. I have managed to maintain the hives I had that survived Winter but I attempted no splits nor did I place traps out this season.

The entire family revolted against my benevolent hay tyranny and declared that if I wanted to square bale the big hay field I was on my own as far as getting the "idiot cubes" (their phrase not mine) into the loft. Even my pleas about how I had bought them a used hay elevator and repaired it so it worked fell on deaf ears. I did attempt it solo on the first cutting of the small field but I just never could manage to put the bail on the elevator and then beat it to the hay loft...

I am getting old.

So we compromised.... or rather I surrendered to the ungrateful terrorist and hired my neighbor to round bale the big field. The compromise came in that I had him set the bale size down enough to where I could easily handle them with my old Ford diesel tractor. Therefore I collected them off the field, lined em up and tarped em and I can then move them to feed when needed. No need to rely on someone with a tractor the size of our house to move em and no more pushing the things around with a blade with my little tractor because they didn't show up with the big one.

Actually I must admit I think the terrorist were right on this one. Moving the bales around with the tractor was much easier and faster than square baling it all. I should get enough square bales off the small field to fill our needs and since the large field was mostly Summer grass I rarely got more than one cutting off it anyway.

We now have more chickens than I can count. We had at least one clutch of nuggets born already, another hen is broody right now and I am pretty sure there was a second clutch born right after the first. All I know is I had to put a milk crate over a couple of hens and catch the little nuggets as they ran out the holes so I could move mama's and babies into a safe pen. I am pretty sure both hens were mothers but it was, well, a little confusing at times. I also had no idea there were any broody hens until these two walked up with all these little chicks following them. The barn cats who normally do not even look at the chickens were very interested in getting to know the little nuggets. Eventually things settled down and now we have a buttload of half grown chickens running around and I am betting they are all roosters.

When my neighbor planted his bean field which is about 100 yards away from our barn, he had about 2 dozen chickens following along behind him gobbling up the seeds. I went over and apologized and offered him free eggs for life to make up for it but he just laughed and said they weren't eating any more than the other birds and "He liked watching them in his field". I suspect a fair number of the chickens go visit his place daily.

Recently though we have had our first predator problem. I have dispatched a number of Possums stealing eggs but not two days ago I found one of my favorite hens dead with her head and neck eaten. The craw remained but all the flesh around it was gone. Of course we have so many chickens running around now we have outgrown the coop and several of the birds refuse to go in there anyway but head up to the top rafters of the barn were they know I can't get to them. So looks like it maybe a predator utopia until all the stupid/stubborn birds have been eaten.

I tried counting the chickens the other evening when they started roosting. I lost count at 58 or so and just gave up. I suspect my mother has taken in some old birds that someone she knows wanted to get rid of because the black hen numbers seemed to double one day but she completely denies such activity. Believe it or not we still have some of those old ex-poultry barn Redsexlinks around too. Most of them did not last too long but there is still one who has rebelled against all things chicken and now claims she is a dog. She even sleeps with the dogs under the porch during the day and has her own kennel for night time. During the Winter months she insists her kennel is brought inside at night too. She even started laying eggs again. Only about every three days or so she will lay one but she went months without any eggs that we could tell.

Lastly we had 42 baby lambs this year. We even got a champagne colored ram with white highlights that all the hand spinner women fell in love with. So now guess who is going to build another ram paddock before breeding season? Yep.... Me.

The barberpole worm problem is still here. Been fighting them since June and I thought we had it beat but the temps turned a bit cooler and they came back this week again. As usual only the nursing ewes are getting them but this year I was super prepared for it and haven't lost any ewes at all. A couple of them are not too happy about me catching them every night for the wormer rotation but it has kept them alive.

The lambs are now so numerous that like the chickens I find it impossible to actually do a head count every evening. On paper as I said we have 42 but honestly except for a few that stand out I doubt I would notice if a few went missing. The other night I closed the flock up in the barn lot and there were a couple of stragglers (Ok more like 5) that were hidden on the field edge. I didn't even notice they were missing until morning when they were up at the gate bellowing for their moms..... I didn't feel too bad though because the moms were napping and didn't even seem to care. In fact I think about 75% of the moms have already reached the point they don't care any longer and most of the lambs follow three or four of the ewes that I call super Moms because they try and steal all the lambs for themselves anyway.

Lastly I am still working on fencing. I have made little progress so far to be honest but all the posts are finally in for the third pasture with the supports in place. They should be settled enough to string up the wire this weekend then I can start clearing out the other side and putting the posts in and 99% of the entire fence project will be finished. Once that is done I will have more time to devote to yet more stuff....

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday Reading - The Real Enemy Shows Itself

I been pointing this out for 10 years or so now and although it has always been relatively obvious to me I find most people either are unable or refuse to see it.

The real enemy of freedom, individual rights and our way of life always has been feminist. It's not socialism or fascism, liberalism or anything else at least not in it's true form. Indeed feminism does use all the other isms it can ally with to help with it's cause but the underlying glue that binds them all together is Western Feminism and no where has this fact been shown in such complete clarity as it did in the protests witnessed in Washington D.C. and around the country yesterday.

Here is our enemy..... The real one's, not the poor allies that were brought over to pad the vote and act like patsies and a target for our anger. But the actual perpetrators of our hoped for downfall.

In fact these women are the most dangerous enemy men have ever faced because we cannot see them as the enemy. We can never make ourselves harm them as a group. Collectively they are the Achilles heel that Western Man has absolutely no defense against and no way to directly counter....

And they know it. They even welcome the degenerate Beta Males into their groups.

Their banners and signs claim to protest things that were never said or never threatened to be done. They claim the government has no right to deny them abortion but that has not been threatened by Trump so what they are really screaming about is the possible cutting of funds.

It ain't about their rights it's about their privileged government sanctioned looting of White Men and taxpayer funded, ever growing government debt.

They claim there is no equality. Yet even the local school district I live within has not had a Male Super or Principal in either of the schools for over 20 years. As a group they totally dominate many types of jobs, government employment and bidding processes and get special status while doing so.

What these women are protesting against is the possible end of their gravy train. The bloated government positions, over paid female dominated departments, Billions of tax payer dollars sunk into programs and projects for women, ran by women. They are frightened and like a cornered animal they are lashing out because they know the possible end or shrinking of the daddy state may in fact make them accountable for their own actions and choices in life.

They know that no matter how obvious and hateful they become that most Men will still treat them like a princess and refuse to tell them NO or stand their ground against them and they will continue to run us into the ground until we are so beaten that some other culture can waltz in and take over. Then claim we weren't real men to defend them.

So go ahead continue to place the blame on your mythical "Liberals" or "socialist" and turn a blind eye to the activist Women Feminist. Fall for the feminist trick of dangling a patsy in front of your face while they steal everything in your wallet.

Some of us at least know the truth....

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday Reading - The Alberta Clipper Returns

I had a couple of readers that suggested or asked if I could keep doing Sunday Reading posts and I hafta admit the request seemed reasonable. I may not be doing much except daily chores these days but perhaps a weekly recap is still possible so I will give it a try.

Of course since my last post I haven't made much progress at all on anything. The holiday season means everyone and their mother wants vacation or days off and I been filling in left and right at work. Then my supervisor decides he has had it and resigns which now opens up the question what my job will look like come the new year. Truth is I may not even have one depending on how the new manager views things. The old one tended to over staff and it's entirely possible the new one could decide having an extra fill in/floater like me is overkill.

Who knows?

This weekend of course it was time to dust off the old Alberta Clipper gear. It's been almost two years since this stuff has been needed. Last Winter was mild enough I never put on my Carhart overalls that I can remember, never needed the remote thermometers operating and barely required water tank heaters. I also did not hear Mrs. PP whining about being cold much but this weekend our old friend came a calling like 90% of American's know and brought with it ice and snow as well.

It got cold enough last night and this morning that even the sheep were not too happy about it. When the sheep get a little on the uncomfortably cool side you know it is cold. Each group, of which I have three now, one for each ram being bred and the invalid/slaughter lamb/bachelor-ette group pretty much huddled in their enclosures out of the wind and would only come out for grain.

I did manage to keep the wood furnace blower going even with the cutting North wind but it was all I could do to keep the house temps in the 60's range. Usually when these clippers arrive the wind causes the internal furnace thermometer to stop kicking the blower on but this time that hasn't been the problem it's solidly a lack of sub-zero rated insulation in this old house now. On the plus side the room closest to the furnace is staying relatively warm however so I can banish the wife into that room when her complaining gets to be too much.

As I said other than dealing with extra hours at work and preparing for this latest frigid blast nothign else has been accomplished around here. All the tractors got put away but I never did get the final barn scrapping and manure spreading done nor have a touched the old rotting fence line that remains inside the control paddock.

The control paddock, even still totally uncleared as it is, continues to be to date the most useful bit of new fencing I have done. My mother uses it to feed the useless old nags their geriatric feed mixture of beet pulp and grain because you have to separate the grumpy nags from each other when feeding them. She used to have to catch two of them and lead em into the barn to keep them apart but now she only has to open two gates and they have already learned which one goes where.

With luck I can finish up the last two major fence runs by Spring and be ready to get back to gardening and bee keeping this coming Summer. The last two runs are pretty straight forward affairs that require no gate hanging or any real brush clearing so all it really requires in warm enough temps and unfrozen ground.

Got to get through the coldest part of Winter though yet.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday Reading - First Snow, Last Post?

I think the time has come. We got our first measurable snow of the new Winter this morning which has actually made the day a little less hectic than I had planned it to be. Doesn't mean I don't still have plenty to do around here, just means I don't want to do it in the snow. Especially as it is falling.

When I started this blog, some 8 or 9 years ago I think, it was just my son, a stray cat named Sasha and I moving onto an old property that had been badly neglected for probably 20 years or more. Barely a fence line was serviceable. The barn and out buildings had no paint even clinging to their wooden sides anymore. Brush grew rampantly everywhere and the house was barely livable and only if you had very low standards to begin with.

No heat, barely had running water and a very sub par septic system. Junk piles scattered through out the place made up of broken tractor parts like baler or rake teeth, belts, one door that had once been on the barn, a hay wagon frame that had trees growing through it.

You get the idea....

We brought with us an old 8N tractor with it's only implement a simple grading blade, some hand tools and a couple of sheep. Along with a determination to make this place our own and actually know we could produce for ourselves when the need arose.

The Adventure is by no means complete although we have made so much progress most people would not know the place if they were just revisiting it for the first time in 10 years.

The flock of sheep has grown from 6 ewes and a ram to 30 ewes and 2 rams. In Spring and Summer we end up having 60+ running around with all the lambs born. The old 8N and blade have been joined by and 861 Diesel, baler, rake, tiller, scoops, wagons, post Hole digger, boom lift etc. etc. etc.

We also added a wife in the process too. The Small - Hold started off as a complete bachelor pad project. I kinda think that's why the stray cat was so attracted to the place as we were pretty much estrogen free at the time and that cat prefers men over women hands down. She won't hardly let a Woman pet her either but grudgingly accepted the new Mrs. PP.

Our one stray cat who wouldn't take no for an answer and demanded to be allowed to move in has now become 6 or 8 depending on who decides to stay over. Thanks to heartless idiots who like to drop off unwanted cats into the country we seem to have a never ending supply of them and have raised at least three unwanted litters.

We have managed to find homes for all of them too I think. I must say though there is nothing more amusing than a litter of happy kittens that know they are safe and have a mom that is well fed and able to spend plenty of time with them and who are also comfortable around humans. They just seem to develop much more outgoing personalities and are a constant source of entertainment.

Along with the stray cats came a dog or two. Once one figured out we weren't going to shoot him on site he begged to join the pack. A year later he brought home a friend. I can't complain about them though they are good watch dogs and earn their keep sort of. Only one of the two will come in during bad weather though as the other would rather sleep in the barn.

We added Bees and had many good harvest of not only honey but fruits and vegetables we planted as well....

We added chickens to the growing project and that brought on a whole new level of fun. Chicken drama is a world in and of itself as many of you know first hand. They don't cost much to feed and keep but when circumstances take a turn for the worst they can become very time consuming.

They also like to dig holes. I just spent the last four nights hunting an unwanted visitor to the barn and coop. A possum who took up residence in the hay bales and began eating the eggs and finally moved up to a midnight chicken snack. A couple of the birds refuse to go into the coop/stall at night and try and roost in the barn rafters and he got one. Finally I managed to catch the possum in the act just as he was moving in on one of the roosting hens and dispatched him quickly but it took a lot of time being there for the right opportunity. 

So as I said the journey is nowhere near complete but the circumstances have changed. Slowly, like a frog in a pot of heating water this Homestead has went from 90% labor on projects with about 10% maintenance and chores to the other way around. I now spend most of my time completing mundane tasks that while enjoyable in their own way and necessary also add nothing to the world of blogging or any interesting tidbits to the genre of homesteading and prepping either to be honest.

We may not be done yet. In fact we will never be done but we have come far enough down the road that I believe we can call this experiment a success. We have gotten completely out of debt. The land is now entirely our own as long as we pay the yearly government rent anyway.  We will be starting on our new house come Spring and nearly all my time is now devoted to maintaining what we have built.

I am not planning on taking the blog down. I may in fact make a post here and there from time to time yet but as for daily posts and such I think it is time to officially stop.

Currently we are looking at a time when we may be able to pull ourselves back from the abyss we were staring at. I think things will still get much rougher than anyone can imagine but as a whole we now stand a better chance than we did under the Femocrat/Liberal Progressive rule with a much higher likelihood of keeping many necessary rights along the way. Perhaps on a wide scale things will change and I may come back to blogging but politically I feel my message has gotten out as successfully as the homestead project has as well. There is still a need to prep but we now have some breathing room.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!