Sunday, March 27, 2011

Date Day

Woodsrunner & I spent Saturday @ the gun show in Rochester. Normally he attends with his friends or in the past he has taken one of the children. This time I had a list of specific items that I wanted to buy and spending a day out of the hood sans teenagers was appealing. Yes, I know sounds like a lead up to a "you know your a red neck if " joke but when your man is a country boy sometimes all a girl from the block can do is follow. 
Interesting and extremely crowded. There was the usual gun toting ZZ Top crew along with a large percentage of Yul Gibbons grandfathers clogging the isles. But occasionally I'd see a more ethnic enthusiast and even a few fellow Puerto Ricans.
I was fascinated that grown men walked around with signs taped to their backs advertising their firearm for sale the majority being rifles. There was even a father son who looked like extras from the Shore, lugging a golf bag filled with rifles and swords to sell.
Visited with the county clerks who were taking a break from registration duties. And the Cowboy action shooters. Picked up a brochure on aftermarket laser sights. Crimson Trace rep was patronizing but the product pretty much sold itself when I could see the red dot 40 feet away without my glasses on.

I know that it seems pretty popular and to some almost mainstream now to talk about survival & medical gear but I had been meaning to do a blog post about our efforts.
In the past I've always kept a medical kit which was a re purposed plastic tool box that contained bandages, ointments, OTC meds like cough syrup and analgesics. A few months ago all that personally changed when our health insurance co-pays especially for an ER visit hit the $750 mark. That's just for walking into the ER. Having an MD touch us is a separate bill as is lab.
So I needed to step up my game as our family's medical & co financial officer.
One way is to provide more of a buffer between when an event happens such as a laceration and automatically utilizing an ER when an urgent care or even our doctor's office will do. Even though I'm a nurse, I can say that I to have to fight the urge to scoop & run to the closest emergency room at the sight of blood coming from a family member. So I'm not talking so much about preforming brain surgery as I am about stabilizing and then obtaining a less expensive medical treatment alternative.
Unless I am that good @ brain surgery and or our co-pay increases.

Survival/Medical Gear
Collapsible canteen - $6, army green, rolls up nicely. Pocket for iodine tablets & rehydration salts.
Emergency blankets - $2 each, provide warmth, shelter, prevent shock & emergency signal.
Hemostats curved - $2.50 each, like having an extra hand.
Dental picks - 4/$5, besides dental applications bullet removal. Or sliver.
Inspection Mirror - part of the 4/$5 deal, paired with temporary dental filling kit when a crown breaks
Disposable Scapel - 3/$1, industrial. Foil packs are all sealed scalpels aren't to be considered sterile.
Parachute Cord - 50' pkg./$2 each. Used to make a splint, elevate a limb or restrain.
P 38 - 2 can openers freebie by the guy who sold me the canteen because in his words "they go together".

I was really hoping to locate gamma lids but none were to be had.
Equally surprising was that only 2 out of 11 vendors I spoke with knew what a gamma lid was.
3 asked me if I was a prepper. Of those 3 one said he was because his wife was from China.
5 vendors on hearing the word gamma tryed to sell me military surplus radiation clothing none of which was complete.
1 pointed out that he had two Geiger Counters for sale unsure if they worked.
He did however hum a few bars of She's got Legs and She knows how to use them ... 

~~ pelenaka ~~
who now has the song Sharp Dressed Man stuck in her head

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Clean Out The Chimney

Apparently in New Zealand the phrase," Clean out the Chimney" refers to meth. 
Here that phrase means that we clean out the pipe much more frequently then the average wood burner due to our burning of less than perfect firewood.
This will make the 3rd chimney cleaning of the Winter heating season.
Hubby refuses to talk cockney to me or wear a top hat made of black construction paper.

If the Ladies Auxiliary of the VLCA stopped in to pay a fine afternoon visit I would certainly be embarrassed by the state of my hearth. Nor would I be able to serve a decent tea. I'd be the subject of neighborhood gossip for weeks. K, not like that's sumting new.
But this is the reality of wood heat. When it's an unusually warm afternoon and all hands are on deck this is what you do before the house chills down below 50.

Stove diff needs a good buffing of stove black. A task better left for another warm afternoon.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Positive Reinforment

One method to keep me/us plugging along on my fugal lifestyle is to have frequent positive reinforcement. Sometimes it's as simple as writing on the lid of a can. Or box or bag.
This is a good method to also encourage family members to lend their hand @ pantry shopping. While my middle daughter would rather do the dishes for me so I have time to clip coupons or make a barter good, my last baby enjoys the actual shopping. It's nice to have that second person to cart watch or crawl around on the supermarket floor checking expiration dates.
Canned Tuna fish was a bonus buck buy (also on sale) @ CVS months ago.

Working on more long term food shortage goals past the normal 3 years that home canned food can be stored. In that category my main concern is meat. Hence the 38 cans of Tuna accumulated in the cellar.
Hope to catch a great deal on SPAM before my coupons expire. Who would have thought that something like canned potted meat would become soo expensive.

Woods was making me lunch, something soft that I could manage since I recently had dental surgery for the 2nd time.
I'm stalked by a dead beat Tooth Fairy.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Monday, March 7, 2011


This is one of my all time favorite books written in by Bolton Hall.
Assisted by R.F. Powell
Superintendent of the Vacant Lot Cultivation in Philadelphia

Published by Grosset & Dunlap - New York
Copyright 1907 March
By the Macmillan Company

Chapter IV 
Vacant City Lot Cultivation
Lessons for the the intensive cultivator - of poor land.
The effect upon physical, mental, moral health - illustrated.
A farm educator - in voluntary co-operation. Appreciation by railroads.
In Europe. In school gardens. Wonderful production. Your opportunity.

In this book, necessarily, we have to take much upon the reports of others checking them only by our own judgement and experience. The following account of what has been done and is being done on plots of about a quarter acre to each family, however can be easily re-verified by anyone who will go or write to Philadelphia, or examine the New York experiment. Both show what can be done even by unskilled labor, with hardly any capital, on small plots of ground where the soil is poor, but which is well situated.
The directors say: "The Philadelphia Vacant Lot Cultivation Association was organized in 1897, when relief agencies were vainly striving to provide adequate assistance for the host of unemployed. The cultivation of vacant city lots had already been tried successfully in other cities. The first year we provided gardens, seeds, tools, and instruction only, for about 100 families on twenty-seven acres of ground. At a total cost to contributors of about $1,800, our gardeners produced $6,000, worth of crops.

"During ten years more than four thousand four hundred families have been assisted, many old people who could no longer keep up the rapid pace of our industrial life, cripples whose physical condition held them back in the race for work, persons who on account of sickness or other misfortunes have been thrown out through sharp competition in modern business, and unfortunate beings who, though clear in mind and strong in muscle, on account of business conditions, have been forced to take the ranks of the unemployed - these have all had the opportunity to enjoy all of the fruits from natures great storehouse which an application of their own labor and skill might secure them.

I would like to extend my apologies to the Dervaes Family of Pasadena, California.
In my mind I firmly believed that Vacant Lot Cultivation was interchangeable with the term urban homesteading, and the term was in use in the late 1890's.
I see now that I was wrong.
That despite a common concept of a homesteading lifestyle in a city,
your copyrighted term shares nothing of the hardships that earlier gardeners faced in both lack of hospitable climate, knowledge, appropriate tools, or ownership of ground to say nothing of the lack of basic capital. These people were cultivators of all that is revered in gardening all that is good.

In short you sir are not worthy to lick the Vacant Lot Cultivation Association's hoes. 

~~ pelenaka ~~
who walks the talk without holding paper