Archive | August, 2012

The Importance of Voting

31 Aug


I found this today and just had to repost it here. In small town America, the local restaurants are meeting places for people to get together and discuss things with friends and acquaintances. Actually, most of these places have groups of people who come in and just sit and drink coffee in the mornings. I don’t know how many times I have sat in on some of these brain trusts and listened to them solve the world’s problems right at that dining table. You can hear ranting and raving about how bad the problems are in this country and what we need to do to solve those problems. After the speaker finishes his rant it is very informative to ask “Who did you vote for last time?” Many times you will hear “Ah, I didn’t vote, they are all the same, just a bunch of crooks.” Well, You’re right. If you don’t vote, all you get are a bunch of crooks. Most of those people sitting at that table think very similar to the way I think. If they would get out and actually vote, we could take over and control this government again instead of the government controlling us! And, if all of us voted, we might get some better candidates running for office. Many people who think like me are discouraged from running because they don’t think they have a chance of winning because people who think like us don’t bother to vote. If you don’t vote, you deserve what you get! Come on America, take back control of your lives. Election day is November 6, 2012, go out and vote!

Land Pride Bucket Forks

30 Aug

The weather finally cooled down enough to do some work around the homestead.



I framed out and insulated some more of the shop/barn this week. I also bought something for my tractor, a set of Land Pride bucket forks.




You clamp these forks onto the bucket of the front end loader and you can use it like a fork lift! I need something like this because I hate to admit it, but I am not as strong and manly as I once was. I need help picking up and moving heavy objects I once could just man-handle and move anywhere I wanted. These forks should just give me the advantage I need to get some heavy objects moved around on the homestead.

Illegal Prepping

29 Aug

Some people think prepping is illegal hoarding, and feel the government has a right to take your prep goods for the good of everyone. More and more people are concerned about the economy and getting prepared. I found this on the Allstate Insurance Blog today. It just goes to show prepping is going mainstream. This is good information for those who are unprepared, by the way.

4 Things to Hoard for an Emergency

Post Type » Article, Expert content

Some people call it hoarding. I just call it smart. Devastating natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, the Asian tsunami, and last year’s catastrophic earthquake in Japan have awakened many to our vulnerabilities. Add to that a spiraling housing market, jittery economic climate, and mounting job losses and it’s no wonder there’s growing interest in emergency preparedness among families.

Here are four emergency disaster supplies you should store up—hoard, if you like—to better face the unexpected:


Whether for cooking, driving or heating, a backup supply of fuel sources is a necessity (if you have a generator, you know how vital a fuel supply can be). Gasoline can be safely housed in 5-gallon containers and rotated through every few months. Diesel fuel is an even safer option when it comes to storage. If you have a propane-powered grill, good news: Propane is one of the easiest and safest fuels to store. A supply of seasoned wood is also a necessity if your emergency plans include the use of a fireplace, wood-burning stove or cooking over a campfire.

No-Cook Foods

Emergencies and gourmet meals aren’t exactly compatible, but you can still eat well when the power goes out or grocery shelves are bare. Just store foods that do not require refrigeration: items like tuna, dried fruit, granola bars, peanut butter, jerky, and V-8 juice provide energy without any preparation. Few people feel up to the challenge of cooking hearty meals when a crisis hits, so the simpler the better.

A few additional items to consider: pudding cups, seeds and nuts, packets of instant milk, and MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), which can be purchased online and in emergency supply stores. By the way, if you store canned food, don’t forget to also keep at least one manual can opener at the ready!

Light Sources and Batteries

It’s surprising how many emergencies bring power outages with them. Earthquakes, thunderstorms, hurricanes and tornadoes are just a few ways that nature can take down power lines, plunging homes and businesses into darkness. Have a supply of flashlights (LEDs provide the longest battery life), headlamps and lanterns along with plenty of batteries.

You can also bring solar pathway lights indoors when the sun goes down. Be careful about using candles with open flames as a light source, though, especially with young children around.


The most basic of the basics, clean water becomes more precious than gold when it’s unavailable. You’ll need stored water for drinking, cooking, sanitation, bathing, and, at some point, laundry. (Yes, neither storm nor sleet nor dark of night will put off the need to do laundry for very long!)

Store plain tap water in cleaned out 2-liter soda bottles and stock up on cases of bottled water. If space allows, larger water containers can be store outdoors.

In addition to water, be sure to also have at least two ways to purify water. Unscented bleach is a good option: it takes just eight drops of bleach to purify a gallon of water, 16 drops if the water is cloudy. But be forewarned: bleach has a shelf life of just one year, and begins to lose potency after just a few months. Buy a new bottle every six months and begin using the old one for laundry and cleaning purposes.

Another easy way to purify water is to boil it, but this requires a fuel source. Plan ahead if you choose this option. A third easy alternative is the SteriPen, which uses UV light to purify water, a system that has long been used in hospitals.

[Editor’s note: For more advice, read our Q&A with Lisa Bedford where we talk about preparing your family for everyday disasters]

Lisa Bedford, author of Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst Case Scenarios, also blogs at She believes there is power and peace in being prepared.

Hurricane Preparedness

28 Aug


I hope all of you are safe and out of harms way of Hurricane Isaac. But you know I just couldn’t let this pass without saying something about preparedness. I have already discussed this basic preparedness several times, and if you are reading this blog you are probably already prepping. But, for those of you unprepared, let’s go over the basics. At a bare minimum, you should be prepared for a 3 day emergency at all times. First, you should have at least 1 gallon of water per person per day. 3 gallons would be better, this would allow for flushing the toilet and taking sponge baths. If you have advance warning like this hurricane, you can fill up all of your bathtubs for extra water. Next, make sure you have a 3 day supply of all you medications, especially the life saving meds. If you are taking allergy pills or pills to lower cholesterol you won’t die if you miss a few days. But, some meds you do have a critical need for, so be sure and have extra. If you have infants, you will need a good supply of food, formula and diapers for them. Next have a source of light; flashlights and plenty of batteries, candles, lanterns, etc. A battery-powered or crank up radio is good for keeping up with the latest news and warnings, as well as entertainment until the crisis passes. Next you need to have food that can be eaten without cooking. If you have a secondary means of cooking, that is great. Otherwise be sure to have canned goods and perishables such as chips, cookies, crackers, and bread. They should stay fresh for several days to get you through. You should also have enough food for your pets, and they will also need water so plan for that as well. Another good idea is to have all your vehicles full of gas in case you have to evacuate. There are a lot of other things you can do to be prepared for an emergency. But, this is just a very, very bare minimum to have on hand, and this can be done without a lot of expense, especially if you build it up over time. ( Not too expensive except for the gas that is. ) The oil companies have used this as an excuse to raise prices 15 cents just in one day, who knows what it will be tomorrow. Be prepared.

Illegal Rainwater Collection

28 Aug

If you don’t believe “Big Brother” doesn’t give a hoot about individual rights, just read this.

An Eagle Point, Ore., man has begun serving a 30-day jail sentence after he built three reservoirs on his property to collect rainwater — an apparent violation of a state law that says all water is publicly owned.

Gary Harrington has collected nearly 13 million gallons of water in his reservoirs (one of which is pictured below). That’s enough to fill 20 Olympic-size swimming pools. But two weeks ago, he was found guilty of breaking the 1925 Oregon law against private water collection. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and issued a $1,500 fine.

AOL Real Estate/

Oregon’s Water Resources Department said that though it is legal to set up rainwater collection barrels on roofs or other artificial surfaces, Harrington’s reservoirs go way beyond that and required permits.

“Mr. Harrington has operated these three reservoirs in flagrant violation of Oregon law for more than a decade,” the department’s deputy director, Tom Paul, told the Medford Mail Tribune.

The state initially approved permits for Harrington’s reservoirs in 2003, but reversed its decision.

“They issued me my permits. I had my permits in hand and they retracted them just arbitrarily, basically,” Harrington told “They took them back and said, ‘No, you can’t have them.’ So I’ve been fighting it ever since.”

Harrington has been ordered to drain his three reservoirs, something that he vows to continue fighting. He said that he is only using the rainwater for personal use and fire suppression and that the state is infringing on his rights.

“The government is bullying,” he told “They’ve just gotten to be big bullies and if you just lay over and die and give up, that just makes them bigger bullies.”

Harrington has set up a website,, to appeal to the public for support. The site includes videos defending his reservoirs and a petition that asks for signatures and donations.

But that doesn’t sway state officials.

“What we’re after is compliance with Oregon water law, regardless of what the public thinks of Mr. Harrington,” Paul told the Mail Tribune.

Read more:

So according to the government, you don’t even own the rain that falls from the sky on your own property. We have to share what we have for the good of everybody. Isn’t that Socialism? Next, they will be putting a tax on the air we breath because that belongs to everybody also!

Tuesday Tunes; Ray Stephens

28 Aug

I ran across this while reading my blog list recently. As we get closer to the election, I won’t be able to stop myself, I will be posting more political entries. I was really surprised Ray would put out something so political, I guess he doesn’t get many Democrats at his shows! Ray Stephens is best known for his novelty songs like the Streak and Ahab the Arab ( I wonder if he still performs that song in his show? ) But Ray can also actually sing. The second one below is one where he is not acting goofy, give it a listen.


Lettuce Recall

27 Aug

Do you ever wonder why many of us go to all the trouble of growing our own food when it is a lot easier to just go to the store and by it? You read articles like this every week, that’s why.

SALINAS, Calif. – A Northern California produce supplier said Sunday it is voluntarily recalling romaine lettuce that was shipped to 19 states, Puerto Rico and Canada over fears about possible E. coli contamination.

Salinas-based Tanimura & Antle said the recall is limited to a single lot of its Field Fresh Wrapped Single Head Romaine that was available at retail stores starting Aug. 2. The lettuce is packed in a plastic bag with the UPC number 0-27918-20314-9, and it may have a “best by” date of Aug. 19.

The company said some 2,095 cases were potentially affected. Of those, 1,969 cases were shipped to Puerto Rico and the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

The product was packed with either 12 or 18 heads per case.

The recall was being conducted in consultation with Food and Drug Administration, and was based on the testing of a random sample by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. There have been no reported illnesses associated with consumption of this product.

Read more:

I am almost afraid to eat anything store bought anymore. A few weeks ago I had a bad case of “stomach problems” and I know it was caused by something I ate. I don’t know what it was, but I was laid low for three days! Be careful out there!

More Fun At The Fair!

26 Aug

We went through the exhibits and checked out the garden and crops displays.



Big melons!


Pumpkins and gourds.




Home caning. I wonder if Aunt Bea had some of her kerosene cucumbers entered? HAHA!


Baked goods like cookies and muffins.


Fresh eggs and canned dried fruit.


This is exactly the three kinds of squash Sweet Thing used to cook her squash casserole.


A big display of corn from the field crops division.


This is a pencil drawing of a rooster which only received Second Prize. I thought it was much better than the First Prize winner but I am just an amateur so what do I know.



And of course, you must have antique tractors at the Fair. If you get a chance go out to your local Fair. There may be more there besides just rides and bad food!

Construction Update 22

25 Aug

The insulation crew finished the insulation this week.


The bricklayers came back and will get serious about this job.


The bricks don’t really look like that checkerboard pattern. The sun was glaring off the camera lens so it just looks funny.


Here is Sweet Thing checking out the bricklayers technique. She found something she didn’t like so she is leaving a sticky note attached to the wall. It said “ I don’t like this, you need to change it before you go any farther. I will be here to discuss this in the morning.” HAHA! I love that woman!


The sheet rock crew is also working. They have been here two days and have all of the ceilings hung and all the upstairs walls hung. They should finish hanging tomorrow and start the finishing work next week. Things are coming along.

Wings Over Halls

24 Aug

Sweet Thing and I attended the airshow at Halls, Tennessee this past weekend. It was quite an event. If you are anywhere near West Tennessee next August, you should plan on attending this show, especially if you have any interest in old WWII airplanes. This is an annual event held in August and the weather could not have been any better than it was this year. Aerial performers slated for the 2012 Wings Over Halls Air Show include the Yankee Air Force (B-17), CAF Missouri Wing (B-25, TBM), Tennessee Museum of Aviation (P-47s, Twin Beech), Team RV (12 airplanes), Valiant Echoes (BT-13), CAF Dixie Wing (P-40 or Corsair, P-51), Charlotte’s Chariot II (P-51), CAF Memphis (Sea Fury), CAF Great Plains Wing (P-51), Gunfighter (P-51), Spooky (AC-47 static), Russian/Czech L-29 Jet, Fly-by and aerobatics (T-6s, Chipmunk). If you want to read more about it you can go here

I searched the internet and found some pictures of these airplanes to give you an idea of what we saw.




P-51 Mustang


Down below are some pictures I took at the show. The pictures are not very good, it is hard to take pictures of fast-moving airplanes with a Wal-Mart camera.













That should give you a little taste of what we saw. Come join us next year!