Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, Permaculture, DIYing, organic gardening, food preservation, chicken keeping, cookery, crafts, thrifting and more...

Sep 10, 2022

September National Preparedness Month/Is This Redundant? Autumn's Almost Here


September National Preparedness Month/Is This Redundant?
On some level I almost don't feel like even posting this. But since it is National Preparedness Month I thought I'd add just a good few reminders and links... Be Informed Emergency Preparedness Checklist  You can check out my previous posts on this topic under the "topics" tab on the right side. Don't forget to prep for your pets!!! Pets

If you've been watching the national and international news you know that there have been major catastrophic crop failures, livestock failures, floods, fires, fuel shut offs, war, it's the perfect storm. Everyone should be really preparing for food shortages, exorbitant fuel charges and/or shortages. This news is from this week, time to stock up and maybe buy a turkey for the holidays-

 I recently came into a small amount of money and instead of putting it into my retirement account I cashed it out to buy hard goods. I bought about 6 months worth of chicken feed (now $25 a bag up from $12.99 a while back) to get us all the way through the winter and more pine shavings for the coop. Ditto for the cat food. I also bought more things to stash like OTC meds.  I saw a really great deal for a Food Saver vacuum system at Costco for only $75! It came with a starter kit of bags, a really great deal! My old pressure bag system was on its way out, not a surprise since it was pretty cheap. It's good to invest in those kind of food preservation items. I have had ZERO freezer burn with those bags!!! I felt it was a better $ investment than sitting gathering little to no interest for a while. In some ways I feel like cashing it all out and doing something different but I am hopeful that I will still be able to retire someday. If you've seen anything lately about people's thermostats getting locked up by the utilities- I think this is a preview of things to come. I know our local power company asked us to voluntarily sign up to have our power lowered during the hottest part of the summer days. In return they would give us a little bit of money at the end of the summer. We passed. We try to be conscious of our energy and water use. We do a lot of mulching, planting trees on our lot, but we still use/need the AC.  Having said that fuel charges are looking really gruesome in Europe. I think this is also a preview of things to come in the states. I bought some flannel sheets to stash and we have tons of bedding, kerosene and propane heaters. Some people still think that nothing will change, they may have something called normalcy bias. Everything will be fine because it always has been

From Wiki- Normalcy bias, or normality bias, is a cognitive bias which leads people to disbelieve or minimize threat warnings. Consequently, individuals underestimate the likelihood of a disaster, when it might affect them, and its potential adverse effects. The normalcy bias causes many people to not adequately prepare for natural disasters, market crashes, and calamities caused by human error. About 70% of people reportedly display normalcy bias during a disaster. The normalcy bias can manifest in response to warnings about disasters and actual catastrophes. Such disasters include market crashes, motor vehicle accidents, natural disasters like a tsunami, and war. Normalcy bias has also been called analysis paralysis, the ostrich effect, and by first responders, the negative panic. The opposite of normalcy bias is overreaction, or worst-case scenario bias, in which small deviations from normality are dealt with as signals of an impending catastrophe.

A classic example was Ukraine. People were warned to leave, Russia was surrounding the country for months and months, and most stayed. They really never thought Russia would invade, despite the obvious signs. The very wealthy never worry either. I heard this quote two days ago and it really stuck with me-

People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right- John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian Economist.

Autumn's Almost Here-
We have been under a Heat Dome like a lot of the West the last few months, with many many weeks and weeks of over 100° weather. It's been very smoky here the last week with multiple fires in Eastern Oregon and here in Idaho. We definitely had a much smaller crop of tomatoes, but green ones are still on the vine. Tomatoes won't set fruit when it's over 80 or 85°. I don't have enough to can this year but will freeze some. I already made some wonderful salsa. Not many apples at all, luckily I canned a lot and froze some last year! Lots of pears on the tree, probably ready to can next weekend. We hit our 43° morning yesterday! Finally getting down into the 80s this week and the 70s late next week. May be some rain, which we desperately need. We're fortunate we had plenty of water for crops and our animals, some are not so lucky. We'll be stashing some mulch and other gardening needs for next year. Those things are easy to store. I'm packing up the summer decor and almost ready to put out pumpkins! 

Aug 27, 2022

Why I Closed My Amazon Affiliate Account


Why I Closed My Amazon Affiliate Account-
I have closed my Amazon affiliate account. You will see my links on the left side bar be replaced with photos of recommended books, etc.  I never made money off Amazon, I actually made a couple hundred $$$ over the years doing the Hometalk posts instead. Amazon has also become the giant, not treating their employees well, and I suspect they sell their data to whoever. I also suspect they will go out of business in the not-too-distant future. If China goes into Taiwan, and I think they will, a major cut off of Chinese goods may hit the U.S. right away. Time will tell. When fuel goes back up (and I think it will), the prices will soar as well affecting consumers. I never started blogging to make money, just to document our journey and share it. I have made some great friends online and read their journeys too. And congrats if you still actually READ!!!  Some just looks at photos and move on. It's sad to see some of the dumbing down in social media. I miss people who can write well, for more than a short paragraph. So there you go, that's the skinny. I will be rearranging the look of the blog a bit. Stay tuned!                     

Aug 23, 2022

Costco Shortages/ Prepping Deals! Harvest Time, 2023 Winter Forecast?

Costco Shortages/ Prepping Deals!
We're still in the 100s/upper 90's and the heat dome will be moving on soon. It's been a cooker! I am very grateful that we have air conditioning and well air-conditioned workplaces. I feel sorry for some of my co-workers who don't have central air. I grew up in Southern California, never had air conditioning though and we survived. Just keeping everything well-watered has been a daily project. We have mulched even more this summer. The chickens are doing well but are not laying as much as usual. They just get over heated, nature's response. We're making sure they have plenty of water, cool treats, they have already lots of shade, and keep wetting things down. Was 55 this week which was a nice change and days getting shorter! I made a nice summer dinner this weekend, spicy fried chicken (great cold!), potato salad, fresh homegrown organic tomatoes and green onions. Yum! 

We went to Costco recently and they were out of their famous apple pies. NO APPLE PIES! Staff told us they were out of apples. Dave mentioned that this last spring a huge apple storage facility in Washington state was hit with ants. They lost their entire facility. Good reminder to not assume anything nowadays with perfect storm of supply issues. The good news is they had bags of unbleached bread flour $9 for 25 lbs. Since I've started making homemade bread regularly, I bought one bag and then went back and bought two more. It's Turkey Brand from Lehi Mills in Utah-

           25 Lbs for $8.99!

I also bought more local honey, a bottle of vanilla, raisins, not only for winter baking but just food in general. Our summer garden has finally kicked in! 
The "before" picture-


Cukes, kale and collard green


Peppers and tomatoes

Strawberries still alive!

A pot of color on the deck

As far as harvesting we're getting a regular supply of blackberries, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, Kale and Collard greens. We also harvested all of our peaches! I canned about 12 quarts, froze about five and we have more in the kitchen that are ripening. Most of those I will probably bake with soon or eat fresh. If that's too many I will freeze the rest. I love the Red Haven variety, amazing color and flavor-

Liquid sunshine! 

Ready for winter

Rack ready for canned pears soon!

Ripening in the kitchen, or squirrels will eat!

Nice pears soon and lots of them! 

2023 Winter Forecast?
Interesting forecast! Any signs of Autumn in your next of the woods???

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