Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Reduce Reuse Recycle....Repair!

In my living room I have a pair of table lamps; nothing fancy, but I like them. Last weekend the switch broke off the lamp that gets the most use. After examining it I knew it couldn't be fixed with a dab of superglue so I took it apart to see if there was anything to be saved. The socket was fairly easy to remove and looked like something that would be standardized.

Monday at the store to pick up paint primer, I swung through the lighting section and found replacement sockets. A screwdriver and wire strippers were all the tools needed to finish the repair and bring new life back to the older lamp.

Monday, September 27, 2010!

It sounds funny to be excited about going to work on Monday, but I was so sore from the weekend that it was a relief. I feel much better tonight.

I wanted to start priming this evening, but after getting home and a quick dinner, I only had time to cut out the window opening before darkness fell. Since Tuesday is a work at home day, I won't have to waste time on the commute tomorrow and should accomplish more.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Good night

Tonight I just wanted to relax with something comfortable. It's been such a busy weekend and I needed something to keep me awake until a reasonable hour for bedtime. I pulled out my favorite movie Ghost Town.

It's not particularly deep or thought-provoking; just a fun film with good actors. The music is perfect and, even though I've watched it a dozen times, it still makes me laugh and cry.


I took these pictures mid-afternoon when I had finished the front of the shed. I got the back on today also. I'm pretty freaking proud of myself right now since I was working solo. The wall sheets are 4' x 8' so I had to get that into position and hold it steady while screwing it onto the frame. Then I marked what needed to be cut off, unscrewed the sheet, cut it with a jigsaw, and put it back up (hopefully in the same place!).

Next I'll cut out and mount the window, seal the edges and screw holes, and paint. I'll need help with the roof; that requires 2 people on ladders, beyond my balancing abilities.

I am so very tired. Work tomorrow sounds relaxing.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Where are the women?

There are a lot of websites written by preppers/survivalists. Most are male, every type from camo-clad gun-nuts who are pretty far out there to armchair experts who talk alot but haven't done anything. Fortunately there are a vast range in between the extremes who are interesting and informative.

What I haven't found many of are the women. There are a few, yes, but either they're so busy that they haven't written enough for me to get to know them or they're so close-minded that I'm repulsed and felt a strong need to shower after reading their posts.

Of course, this isn't really a prep blog either. The topic is an important part of my life so gets written about often, but it is just one aspect.

I do love my gardening/farming British lady bloggers. :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Toad's wild ride

At least that's what it felt like. First the clouds loomed in great long waves, then the wind gave my car a shove, the sky went dark and gusts of rain shattered against the windscreen. At times the rain battered down so furiously that I couldn't see the road; with an occasional Crack! of a hailstone joining the fun.

What could I do with my evening once safely home? Watch The Day After Tomorrow of course! The storm raging outside created the perfect backdrop to the movie. I don't like watching it in the winter because it convinces me that I'm colder than I am and I certainly don't need tempting to turn up the heat!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


The weather hasn't been very nice this weekend, rainy and gray and cool, but I feel better so it's all good.

My son was here and has left again. We watched the Bourne trilogy and made cookies. Last night we saw The Expendables. Lots of action (of course!) and pretty much what we expected so enjoyable. We were both very relieved that Mickey Rourke's jeans weren't worn any lower (even that much was disturbing). My favorite bit was when the camera focused on how fast Stallone emptied and reloaded his pistol.

The next movie I want to see is RED (retired, extremely dangerous) which comes out next month.

I made a fresh batch of butter this afternoon and the bread machine is baking up a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread now. Yummy.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Or should that be Urp? I've been sick for the last two days but went to work for a meeting and to finish a project this morning. My boss told me I look like shit (so kind, lol) and I came home, deeply regreting the banana and hoping I could make the drive without throwing up!

Something that's occured to me: often when we think about a pandemic we assume that we will hear about it on the news and make decisions from there. But, what if a family member were one of the first victims? How would that change your plans?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yum posted a delicious looking sandwich that I had to try. Mine doesn't look as photogenic as hers, but tasted lovely. Homemade bread, mayo with a sprinkling of ground mustard (because I don't have any mustard), tomato from the garden and Havarti cheese warmed in the toaster oven. (I forgot about the dill when I made it)

Processing some gifted zucchini (courgettes) to freeze for winter bread.

Cansolidator Giveaway at Modern Survival

Today is the last day to enter to win in ModernSurvivalOnline's Cansolidator Giveaway at It's a rather nifty device for organizing and rotating canned foods in the pantry sold by

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Updates and thinking

What a great weekend! The weather cooperated and the shed is now completely framed in, including the roof trusses. Next step will be walls. It's taken all summer to get to this point but I have no regrets about choosing to build my own instead of buying a complete shed or a kit to put together.

Every time I see my son now it seems as though he's become more mature and settled within himself. Part of it is probably that I really see him after he has been away all week. I'm careful not to become a nagging or busybody mom by giving him his space.

There's something I've been thinking through and I'm going to try to put it down here; some of my thoughts are still a bit tangled. I've spoken to a number of friends, family, and co-workers about the need to prepare for emergencies. Some of the responses are surprising, not at all what I'd expect from that person.

My parents, deeply religious and believing God will stop anything massively cataclysmic before it happens, took right to the idea of prepping, bug out bags, and food stores.

An extremely intelligent co-worker, close to my age with children, is firmly in the 'run to Walmart and buy supplies in a crisis' mindset; although he has jumped on board getting out from under his debt.

Another co-worker, young and free of responsibilities, has started food stockpiling and, even more important, is learning to grow his own. He is also open to making more changes.

My supervisor, young and married, listens and seems to recognise the wisdom behind prepping. Yet, when it comes to taking action, he continues the 'business as usual' consumer lifestyle.

My brother and his partner have begun looking for a new home outside the city and plan on getting out before they lose their options.

So, what conclusions am I considering? I think the older generation has experienced so much that preparing for the worst is simple common sense (wisdom is supposed to accompany age, after all). There are a great many people who are under so much stress in normal life that they can't process the frightening future that is possible; it would just create panic and depression to add to the problems they can't cope with now. Some young people surprised me by being resilient enough to accept a dark future as a challenge to examine and meet. Others aren't ready to imagine a time when the comforts and luxuries they've worked so hard to acquire might disappear and render everything they've achieved as a waste of time.

I believe it's very important not to let fear paralyze you or dictate your life. My son is aware that something could happen at any time to completely alter our lives yet he chooses to pursue his studies of military history. Be prepared for tomorrow and enjoy life today.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Change of plans

The forecast was for today to be sunny and the rest of the week rain so I hoped to come home right after work and do some more on the shed...ah, the best laid plans. The rain began early and the lack of sleep caught up with me; this combination put me in bed as soon as I got home and resulted in four solid hours of sleep. Not exactly restful since I dreamt I was visiting Stonehead's place and working with the pigs!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New blog to check out

I've added Siren Voices to my blogroll. If you enjoy Trauma Queen you will LOVE Siren Voices. After reading a few posts I was compelled to go back to the beginning of his archive and start there.

Warning: these are extremely well written and addictive. Your family may have to pull you away from the computer once you begin to read.

I am filled with awe and admiration for the people in emergency services; I would be a mess if I had to face even a fraction of the traumatic events they encounter daily.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The long holiday weekend

This was a good, busy weekend.

Saturday was a messy day of finishing off the pickle making. After a few weeks to let them develop flavor, I'll have to have a picture post and taste test. I'm not really a huge pickle fan, but when it's a bounty year for cucumbers, what else do you do? After last year, with no cucumbers, this has been fun.

Sunday my dad came over and we worked on the shed. The studs and end roof trusses are up and we've got the spacing in for the recycled window that will go on the south side. Knowing the weather was about to change, I spent part of the evening digging up the potatoes. One had worms and a couple I stabbed with the garden fork, but still a nice haul.

My son came home from his first week at college. He's kept on his old job so will probably be home most weekends to work. When I first asked him to tell me about it he rolled his eyes and declared that it was only 4 days! But then he started talking and it was a floodgate of information. I heard about all his classes and teachers, the good breakfasts and infuriating parking fine, working out and making friends. Mostly good so far!

After bouncing a few ideas back and forth for his first speech assignment, he decided to do it on National Preparedness Month and why everyone should have three months of supplies. The outline covered three main points: it's recommended by the govt. in case of pandemic, it's protection here in case of major blizzards, and in case something interrupted supply deliveries such as trucker strikes because of how little is kept in the stores at any time. He's got a self-confidence that should make him a good speaker. Lucky, I always stuttered.

The first thing I did after he headed back to campus was locking up the house. This aloneness is going to take more getting used to.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


No fun like remembering that the pickles need tending right as I'm getting ready for bed.

Work is definitely cutting into my preserving time!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Babies update

Six chicks left, but doing well.

Wing feathers are starting to come in now.

No garlic

I dug up a few feet of my garlic rows and there is nothing there. I think it might have been too wet and the bulbs rotted in the ground. This means no home-grown garlic this winter. Imagine if I were dependent on the garden for all my food!

The potatoes look good so far though, I dug up one plant and found three large and one medium tuber. Covered in mud of course, thanks to the almost 4 inches we got Monday night! I think I'll wait for it to dry out a bit more before bringing in the rest.

I placed my order for hard neck garlics to plant this fall. These are supposed to be better suited for my climate so maybe I won't have a repeat of this year. I'm also going to get more of the Yukon Gold potatoes for next year. I like the results from planting leftovers from last year, so this is a good variety to be going forward with.