Friday, October 31, 2008

Today's To-Do (and some ramblings)

Nothing political or much gloom today. I just don't have the energy for it AND I'm sure there are better blogs for that anyway. Deep thoughts and all. Just some meandering thoughts about my day and the plans I have. Not that many will be fulfilled. The screamers are in rare form today, as if they actually sense something.

After using up a bit of the 4 sugar pumpkins I roasted up in pancakes this am, I decided to finish the mush off. Today's to-do:

~Roast the last pumpkin
~Bake up some pumpkin bread
~Can the mush that is left (there is sure to be a bunch)
~Dress the screamers and take them outside to run off some of this killer energy that I've not yet figured out how to bottle and sell.

We won't be doing any of the Halloween type stuff, the oldest screamer is a little jumpy AND it tends to set back all my teachings of don't take things from strangers. We won't be missing much I think, we haven't in the past 5 years. That's fine by me, to darn chilly out there at night!

Secondary to-do:

~Dishes from breakfast (I'm slacking)
~Finish picking persimmons
~Pull out all the outgrown summer/spring clothes, box them up for the nephew
~Check sizing on all the winter stuff
~Finish up the youngest screamer's mittens, start the oldest screamer's mittens
~Final pre-shopping check of the preps

I got 5 buy one get one free coupons in the mail yesterday for those Starkist tuna bet your sweet bippy those things are going straight to the preps. No can opener needed (unlike the other 10 cans we have, lol). The spouse is bringing home the paper today, I'll be hitting the sale bills to see what could be worth buying and adding to the preps. All the shopping is gonna be done on Sunday...couldn't pay me to do it any later in the week for obvious reasons. I've got the sinking feeling that Wednesday is going to be more than many are betting on. Should be interesting to say the very least.

I do all of our shopping once a month. If we run out, we make due (this very rarely happens, btw). This month is no exception. The only exceptions, things that aren't a normal monthly purchase, are a couple of turkeys. I usually only grab one every few months, but I think I've finally made enough room in the freezer for two this month...if not, I will. Besides, never hurts to have an extra bird or two, right?

I look forward to the day that we can "grow our own" birds. Something other than a garden (with too many tomatoes) to fill the pantry. Not that a garden is a bad thing, but you hopefully see what I'm getting at.

Just trying to stay at a comfortable pace today, especially since I had to force myself out of bed this morning. A sign of the times I suppose. Sigh...gotta get thinking and working on Christmas too. Thankfully I have enough fabric and yarn stuffs here to get through a nice homemade/handmade holiday without much fuss. Now I just have to get the motivation to actually do something!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our United States of Voting Fiascoes

I’ve spent a good chunk of today thinking this post over. It may not mean much to many, it isn’t really uber survival. It is opinion sprinkled with fact and personal experience. We’re talkin’ about the election/voting fiasco going on right now. It is a repeat of sorts of the 2000 election. It is beginning to show exactly how little your vote, and mine, actually count. CNN ran a story (probably still is given the repeat factor) today on “The Fight to Vote”.

First, the troubles of registered voters in Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Georgia (I’m sure, POSITIVE, that there are more). How many are being turned away, purged from the system or not even IN the system? The numbers are staggering thus far.

Then you factor in the absentee ballots of our fighting men and women overseas. Many didn’t get counted in 2000, many won’t get counted this year either. Who else deserves the right to vote more than those that lay their lives on the line daily protecting our country, our rights and way of life (all of which are being washed down the drain, dictated to death by an elitist group of overpaid negotiators)? This is where my personal experience comes in to play.

November 2000: We, the spouse and myself, were stationed in Germany. We NEVER received our absentee ballots to vote, not that it mattered much as from what we could tell from the coverage in Germany…our votes most likely wouldn’t have been counted anyway.

So why the post? Because I see the vote of 2000 happening all over again. Only worse. A re-count fight, court battle and other little tricks that both sides ALREADY have up their long sleeves will be the straw on the camel. If you thought there was nasty back then, just hold your breath…it’s going to be total chaos. It’s likely to be chaos to an extent anyway, neither side will concede easily. Not necessarily the candidates, the voters/supporters of the candidates are the ones that will make it chaos.

We’ve already seen the power that each candidate holds over his supporters, sheeple will follow the voice most soothing it seems and devote everything they have. Kinda like religious zealots. Frightening, is it not?

Me and mine will do as much as possible to stay out of the way next week. I'm hitting the early voting on Thursday (3rd party, my vote and I'll "waste" it however I want thank you very much) then it's home as much as possible. The spouse will still go to work, life will go on...we can't not go on but we can stay out of hot zones. There will be no going to the City, we'll stick to our small town.

Monday, October 27, 2008

For Pete's Sake...

a quickie for now, maybe more later. I just had to share this:

You KNOW you are watching entirely too much election coverage and news when your five (5) year old son sees a certain person on TV and says "I'm Barrack Obama and I approve this message".

Scary, eh? He does. Every single freakin' time he sees the man. I'm either paying too close attention to the world around me or Obama is spending way too much money on press. I tend to think the latter but know both are true. I think that this election needs to go on and get good and done already.

Oh well, off to put the screamers down for a nap and finish up my shopping list for topping off the supplies...just in case the world goes to hell in a hand basket shortly after the 4th.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A few little things

Going through the pantry and supplies, I stumbled on a few things that aren't biggies or must-haves, but are nice to haves that I don't have or am almost out of. Whew! How'd ya like that fun little sentence?

At any rate, I figured I would add them here as they may be a jolty kinda reminder to someone else that hadn't really thought about them. If you have plenty, yay...if you are like me and keep forgetting to pick them up and your supplies are dwindling then darn it, get them before it's too late!

Baking cocoa (how in the world would the oldest screamer survive without hot chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate anything...really I'm kidding, he doesn't get that much's for me)
Cooking wine and sherry (plus it's good to have if you run outta the good stuff)
Sesame oil (adds that extra umphf to chinese dishes, not a must-have of course)
Irish Breakfast and Spiced Chai Tea (my own personal treats)
Odds and ends spices and herbs (I like to have plenty on hand, some I'm down to one unopened bottle on and I don't like

I've got to pick up some extra sugar and flour while the prices are below $3 for 5lbs (ridiculous, btw), more olive oil, more shortening...and on and on. I keep adding bits to the list for getting more supplies in the pantry. This winter is shaping up to be ugly in more ways than just the weather. The more foodstuffs I have on hand, the happier I will be. If the spouse happens to get his hours cut, then we'll not starve. That is where I think everyone should be, but alas so many are not.

Oh...I almost forgot. Went to visit with my aunt tonight and found a whole new treasure trove of hickory nuts. Gotta take the screamers up (they are the nut gatherers in the family) and let them have at it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Now what?

Proof positive that if "they" want it done, it will be matter the cost or what you as a voter may want. Just in case the whole bailout thing didn't bother to get your attention:

AP: Bloomberg wins

Just a little quote from the article:

During the debate on Thursday, Councilman Charles Barron, who voted against the bill, urged his colleagues to say "no to bullying, no to billions of dollars and yes to the people." And Councilman Tony Avella said: "You should all be voted out of office for voting for this."

Opponents argued that the mayor was going over the heads of voters, who approved term limits twice in the 1990s. Many critics said they did not disagree with Bloomberg's goal of adding a third-term option but faulted the way he went about it.

"Everything has been wrong with this process, and we should not be party to it," said Councilman Bill de Blasio.

A trial run for something in the future perhaps? I know, so paranoid. But really it's not the first time this year that voters have been ignored (see bailout). If it doesn't bother you, it should.

On the home front, the heat is on. Literally. It's darn nippy this evening, so the heat has been set and turned on. Not ready for that yet, but can't have the screamers getting sicker than they are. Oh and a friend from church gave us more apples today. I think, seriously think, that we may just be good for apples for a good long while! lmbo

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

phhhbbbtttt (or blowing raspberries)

The phrase of the day: Economic Stimulus

How we say it in the USA: San Fransico, Bernanke & Bush, Bernake & Bush part 2 and last but not least Pelosi

How they say it in Germany and Japan.

I'm so excited I can hardly breathe, wait maybe that's me holding my breath in anticipation...nope, I just remembered...I'm holding it to keep from smelling the stink.

I can't imagine that a second "stimulus" would do much to stimulate. But then again, if they time it right every Tom, Dick and Jane would be out blowing it on overly extravagant holiday gifts just in case this is "the last good Christmas" they have for a long time. You know who they are, the ones with iPods, iPhones and whatever other new gadget there is out there permanently glued to them. I have none of the above, matter of fact the 'puter I'm clunking this out on is about 6yrs old. Still works fine, so I keep it around.

My real thoughts on a "stimulus" are fine, go ahead...the hole has been dug, time to toss in the body of work now. I can use it to shore up preps, pay on the land, get a few tools (hand powered kind) and numerous other things to get us on the path to "getting the bejesus outta here" to our own place when it all comes crashing down. Stimulate me! LOL

The news around here: We are currently in the throes of potty learning...not me I learned years and years ago, the youngest screamer is. It has been interesting to say the least to revisit this fun little trip. Not doing to shabby for a tiny fella but man I sure wish there was a switch/button that I could hit to just do an instant switch. I really dislike playing "where's the poop?"!

Also had a nice long talk with the realtor today about the bungalow. Um, no thanks! She was nice, honest and very refreshing! Turns out that the guy is only selling for the cost of the lot (btw, that is for a 50x100 foot lot) because the house has been gutted by fire. Little too much work and no thanks that is too much to ask for that little bit of land, not when we are paying $3k less for nearly 4 acres. Don't think so.

A few headlines that grabbed my attention this morning:

Well crap, what am I going to do with the huge set of tusks I have sitting in the kitchen now!?!

What an interesting way to say thanks for the one night stand.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Opine with me for a bit, will ya?

Background: The spouse informed me the other day that the landlord is fighting with the homeowners' association over some fishing nonsense and is refusing to pay his dues. Not something you want to do with a HOA, they can be real bitches.

I hopped online, did a little realty research and found something that would benefit us in more ways than one (I think at least, this is where your opines come in). I found a little 2bdrm, 1bth bungalow/cottage that needs work of course but is nothing that we can't handle. The big draw, it's $9k. Something that we can handle even if the spouse gets cut back to part-time hours (not that he would, I hope). I was thinking of proposing to the owner/agent the following...tell me what you down, 12% interest for 5 years. That would put our monthly at $200, less than half of what we pay here. I know the interest is high, but honestly our credit sucks so we have to deal with what we can.

Second bonus, the extra saved could be put toward our OUT OF TOWN land purchase thereby paying it off sooner so we could work on building AND we would have an in-town residence that we could be in further saving money by walking to where we need/want to go. It's only a few blocks from the spouse's job, the store and the library. We also wouldn't be caught in the middle of something as stupid as we are in right now with the HOA and the landlord.

There is also a yard, something we don't really have here in the sense that the entire rental is surrounded by gravel and the screamers can't just go out front and play (main road through the subdivision is less than 50ft away). We have woods aplenty but technically they belong to someone else as we are renters here.

Am I just trying to talk myself into this? A good idea, a bad idea? Whatcha think?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Oh the Trauma (and the "waste" posted I promised)

Oh, I am such a terrible, horrible mother. The worst in the world. I took the screamers in to the Doc (nice fella that's just 2yrs older than myself, therefore not entirely set in his doctoring ways...damn I got lucky) for a checkup and to get the oldest checked over for a possible chest infection (I DO NOT want a repeat of last winter's fun of being stuck inside with all the lovely snow outside). All is good, just snot. Go figure. Not that I wanted more, just that dang, that was a waste of time. At any rate, it gave me time to reflect while the screamers were chatting up the Doc for some flavored tongue depressors (yes, my children are strange creatures...I admit it).

I ran over the "waste" post in my mind. It was a gripe, it still is. I probably should have written it when I was full of angry indignation, but I didn't. So here goes, slightly less angry but still pretty ticked.

Our impromptu trip to KY gave me insight on how folks are doing with gardens and such. I gotta tell you, I wasn't impressed. I know, I's late, gardens are done, blah, blah, blah. The unimpressed comes from seeing tree after tree still so loaded down with apples, pears and rotting peaches. Yep, virtual orchards going to rot, with no one planning to glean that plentiful harvest. I stopped at THREE different houses, knocked on the door and asked if they would mind the screamers and myself picking some apples. After initial looks of "this chick is nuts", I got the go ahead at all three places followed by "they're just going to rot anyway". Bet you can't guess what everyone I know is getting for Christmas!?! Heck, maybe even apple butter for the next 3 years for done, check.

But it was that waste, the blatant disregard for the HUGE bounty sitting in the front yard that they had to do NOTHING for but pull it off the tree, that made me ill. I would give my left pinky toe for an apple tree in the front yard. Well, maybe not. Those are the ones you need for balance, right? Anyway, you see what I'm getting at here (I hope), the prepper in me wanted to yank them off their overly large rears and put them to work relieving those trees of their burdens. All of them, the trees that is, were so full the branches just hung there, like a 2 year old pouting...all limp and unable to do a thing to help themselves (though that could also describe the people who were all fairly young and looked very capable of picking an apple). It pissed me off I tell ya. The good news is that when things go good and south I know that yes...there are people out there that will not be doing anything to help themselves, therefore leaving me and mine with more of nature's bounty to fill our tables.

Morbid, yes. True, yes. How can I say that's good news? Because it means that some of the poison that has entered into mankind (extreme lazy, letting the boob tube rule ya and "I don't have to do that" attitudes that I see everywhere) will (hopefully) slowly begin to leech out. Survivor on a large scale. Survival of the fittest, smartest and those most willing to do for themselves.

Okay, gripe done. Off to mix up some buttermilk pancake batter for the screamers' breakfast tomorrow...little snotheads!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sorry 'bout that!

I headed down to KY on a kinda spur of the moment trip with the parental figures to visit with the sister and BIL. Have a nice little post planned out for later this evening or early tomorrow, when the screamers are more calmed down (we got back at 11pm last night...after a 6hr road trip they are a little on the wild side) and I've got order back to the house.

A hint: it's about waste...not the poo kind or the political kind. The kind that riles me just as bad though.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

An example of what's to come?

just a really brief one for tonight.

Just heard on CNN that the Ruskies market is set to be closed until Friday. Should be interesting, no? Ours is next. That bank holiday that has been buzzing about on the blogs looks to be getting all geared up for the grand ol' USA. I mean heck, if Vlad will do it, why wouldn't our esteemed Prez?

Put on your waders folks

I am fortunate enough, or perhaps unfortunate enough, to be able to listen to any mid-day bullshit spreading by the government as it happens. Today was one of those days. Enter Treasury Sec. Paulson, with his hip high bullshit boots on, telling the "details" of the "rescue". I understood what he was saying for the most part, but it still pisses me off. The court of public opinion was disregarded, I believe, in the passing of this plan. Many politicians have said the negative opinions of the public were due to the public not understanding.

Perhaps that is so. But did they bother to educate those that didn't understand? Um, nope! They just pushed it through, despite the unhappiness of the public, trying to save their own asses in the process while only slowing the pace of the strangulation that we, the American public, face. This "plan" won't do what so many ferverantly hope it will. With not only OUR economy crashing, but the rest of the world feeling the pinch, this "rescue" will only prolong the pain. It's already been said that the effects of the plan won't even begin to be felt until early next year and the housing issues will continue to flounder about until late next year.

So why the pushing and the speed of the plan getting signed into action? So that His Highness Bush can leave office with a clear (or somewhat so) conscience. Yes, I realize that all of the mess is not his making, but he pee'd on the same spot on the carpet as the rest of the dogs making the stench and staining even worse.

I am beginning to fall into the catagory of those that believe that our government, as it exists now, will fail. Think Rome or Ancient Egypt. Perhaps even Imperial Britian. While Britian didn't fail completely, it is by no means the powerful, far reaching empire it once was. Rome and Egypt? Well, they spiralled into darkness and history much the way our current form of government is beginning to spiral. The main difference is no invading hordes...yet.

Perhaps we've had a good run as a country in the form that we are currently in. 200+ years. Not too shabby, not the longest run, but not to bad.

What am I getting at? A nice return to the principals that this country was founded on. As they were written. A total call of the public for politicians, our ELECTED officials, to be held accountable for every vote, bill or proposal they present. For the House and Senate to vote on ONE thing at a time with no goodies thrown in the mix. No more of the "I'll add this in if you give me that". Those little clandestine acts and additions have slowly made our country the mess that it is today. It is time to get back to the basics folks. In more ways than most think.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Back from the Trenches

A nice little self-imposed vacation from the net and I'm set good. Not that I was able to avoid the news, of course, but I was able to reset my center and get a clearer perspective of where we, as a family, stand right this moment in the current situations that have the rest of the world in a tizzy.

We're lucky in ways that didn't seem lucky a few months ago. We currently rent the place we are living, we don't have a traditional bank loan for the land we are buying (ie cash/money order payments directly to the seller), no money in investments since last November when the spouse lost his job and we pulled the 401k, we've been living paycheck to paycheck for ages so we know how to keep the wants in balance with the needs and the what-can-we-gets (a trick that many, many an American will soon be re-learning or learning for the first time in the coming months/years).

I never, ever thought that we would be celebrating our knowledge of lean times. But lately, they seem to be a boon and we enjoy that. For once, we are in more control of our situation than we have been in a long time, while so many others sit biting their nails wondering about what will happen. We don't. Well, we do wonder but we don't worry anymore.

No, we aren't so comfortable that we can blithely go on with our lives with no consequences. We do have to worry about job loss, getting the land set to build and building as we go. Food, of course, will always be a worry even though we are fully prepped now for at least 6mths if need be.

On a less about the "crisis" note, we spent the last two weeks happily plunking walnuts and hickory nuts in buckets (btw, any idea of what to do with hickory nuts? cookies? muffins?), hunting turkey (got two so far) and watching the persimmons closely for ripening. The screamers are enjoying the cool fall days and woodland wanderings.

Off to watch the debates folks...later!
The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. --Edmund Burke