Sunday, June 26, 2022

"AND THEY RAN THROUGH THE BUSHES...."

 WHERE A RABBIT COULDN'T GO."

 

Most mornings now, the cats will find their way to the acre of brambles and bushes they used to roam freely just a couple months ago. Evenings, they would return with cockleburs wound in their fur, and meowing from the discomfort. Her would carefully brush them out and back they would go, next day. But as the heat and sun of the season have come on, their acre is no longer as user-friendly. 

So, they sit at the edge and look. I wonder what goes through their cat minds? Do they sit and ponder? Do they long for days past? Eventually, a flying bug will distract them and they will ninja air-jump and chase off. 

I better appreciate the lyrics in the song by Johnny Horton.

"Yeah they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles
And they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go"

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Friday afternoon starting a hot weekend.

Yes, I know the humidity is low. But I am good for 10 minutes outside in the shade before I am wringing wet. 

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Just finished the new compost bin yesterday. 


110 gallon plastic bin from Tractor Supply, a few pine boards and hinges make up the lid. Top is double-coated with weather sealant and rests against a "T" post when opened. 



With questionable cost and availability of garden/potting soil and additives next season, best I be better prepared with building nutrients in a compost bin. Scraps that can are now walked to the bin every day.  

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Temperature's triple digits for a good part of the days now. Mornings cooler but with humidity. The heat in the afternoon is impossible to work in.  

We are awake at 3:30, up at 04:00 and outside working at daybreak. By 9:30, our days are done. We can hear lawn mowers and other machinery start up about the same time.

Just one one-hour thunderstorm a week would be welcome and would be enough to keep East Texas growing fields of hay for harvest. But many worry about getting in enough hay for this coming winter.


The tomato plants love the heat. They are watered twice a day and on the lunch/dinner table every day in some fashion. Peppers are doing fine, zucchini and yellow squash have slowed down, string beans have quit as have the cucumbers. Half the garden is taken down now. 

Thanks for the visit and have a blessed week.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

FIGHTING HIGH PRICES - MILK IN A BOX - FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS - MESSAGE FOR ALL AMERICANS

EXTENDING A BOX MEAL



Today, the price of Rice a Roni (like everything else) has or soon will be twice the price. The box may get smaller along with the flavor packet. Profit is profit and companies will always adjust accordingly. So how can we fight back?

Add more rice from our home shelf items. This box of Rice a Roni is one of my favorites, but the quantity inside lacks.

My wife keeps saying our mothers were queens at building meals out of very little. 

Folks feeding a large family already know how to extend meal size and bulk.
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Visited mid-week with a good friend in NH. He said that his extended family always has joked that if the going gets tough, they are just going to all come to his house in the country.  The scary part about this is that "they" already expect him (his duty) to step up and take care of their needs/wants when those hard times come knocking. 

He has told them that is not going to happen, but they laugh and shrug that advice/warning off. 

His relatives are serious as a heart attack about coming to his home when SHTF. 
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I have written here about the gallons of raw milk we get from local dairies. We have been paying $8 a gallon. Now, the price is up to $10 and $12 per gallon. I am surprised that it is not higher given the cost of farming and taking care of animals and land. Cost of travel to the dairy farm to purchase a gallon of milk is now $20. 

MILK IN A BOX


Half and half coffee cream is a must have item in our home. For well over a month, it has been almost impossible to find at our large chain store. Local, yes, but wife will not spend: Yet!! 

I learned of milk in a box stored in pantry shelves while we lived in South Africa a few years ago. This food item is meant for folks without access to reliable refrigeration.  

Buck and a quarter for a quart and the ones pictured above are good until March of next year. Find at your local markets and dollar stores. 

Given the speed at which everything is declining/failing and falling apart, March expiration date is now long-term planning. Presently, I have a difficult time seeing beyond September.
 
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North Carolina Renegades   spend time with these two videos below. 

Message for Americans  An absolutely must watch.

Boots on the Ground   June 18 

None of us get a pass from what is coming. 
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 FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS

Triple-digit temperatures hitting now every day through early July. I see some forecast days as high as 105 degrees. "Feels-like" will most likely be fifteen to 20 degrees higher. This is new territory for my wife and me. "Feels-like" temperature here hit 119 degrees when I posted last Sunday. 

I have taken down half the garden as it has already produced and is waning in this heat. Tomatoes, string beans and peppers still on. No second planting till this hot spell breaks. 

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Son sent from NH


Mom and fawn roam the woods there.


I like this photo. Yard clean up. 

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For years, The After has been talk of history and planning for down times. Now we are in it. Maybe should re-name this blog to; YOUMEANDTHETODAY. 

Appreciate the visit. Keep adding to your supplies and skill sets. Have a blessed week.






Sunday, June 12, 2022

THE GREAT DEPRESSION AHEAD - SAVING BABY TURTLES - DEHYDRDATING - CANNED SQUIRREL - BOOTS ON THE GROUND


THOUGHTS ON SURVIVIG THE GREAT DEPRESSION AHEAD 

An in-your-face talk about folks who may or may not make it through what is coming. 

I/we will survive w/o ever having to eat a can of tuna. Tuna in oil, pouch is perfect.  "Beanee Wienees" yes. SPAM, absolutely.

SAVING BABY TURTLES 

From southern Mexico, she does a good job of sharing how the current state of affairs impact these species of ocean-going turtles. Wonderful photography. 

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MORE BABY DUCKLINGS HATCHING


From friends up north. 
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    DEHYDRATING

We try to harvest every other day. The larger zucchinis below are what happens when we miss one of the harvest days. 


Filled all but one tray.


Ten hours later.


More options for extending the use of everything we grow into the winter months. Wife keeps saying "waste nothing."

Dehydrated vegetables will rehydrate within 30 minutes and come back to their original shape. Stored in air-tight containers, we will use mostly in soups and stews.

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ZUCCHINI BOATS



Recipes choices all over YouTube. Wide open for personal tweaking. Excellent meal, filling, full of flavor, quick and easy. A great way to enjoy summer zucchini. 

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Found this on The Feral Irishman


This made me laugh. Folks who think these things up and share!!
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BOOTS ON THE GROUND from NC Renegades blog

June 7   June 8  June 9  June 10  June 11

Daily trainwrecks from across the nation. One of the best up-to-the-minute reporting of how folks across the country are experiencing the higher prices of goods and/or lack thereof.  

If you take the time with these reports, you will realize how important each day is now. No more procrastinating or putting off the work to get ready till next week. 

Get with it. Thanks for the visit. God bless.



Sunday, June 5, 2022

ANOTHER WEEK, SAME STORY



 Watch quick easy video in the link above. Follow directions.

Conversions below

1-1/4 cup  AP flour
1/2 T baking powder
Salt
8-1/2 T milk
3.3 T vegetable oil 




These are quick, easy and zero mess. I used a low/medium heat.

8-10 minutes total cook time for me. 

I fixed these from this video for the sole purpose to have quick, easy bread for any meal. 

If for no other reason than these, it is worth my time to have the basic ingredients on hand and convenient to find. EOW-worthy for consideration.

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CATILLAC 

Still a kitten, he is providing overwatch for neighbor while she gardens. 


Our very own Louise riding the side-by-side. Regal as Cleopatra.

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REPAIR

Bailing wire, duct tape, super glue, 2-part epoxy, chewing gum. 


Thunderstorm knocked this roof light off a week ago. A little CA glue to refit plastic to plastic. Two coats of two-part epoxy and good as new. Actually, stronger. 

Best to have some of these repair type items tucked away to help keep the wheels turning.

Take the time to listen. Learn. Adapting. 
Here1 and Here2 


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Picked the big tomato two weeks ago while it was still green. The other large one next to it had a worm hole and I was not going to lose both of them. 

Sliced the large tomato for lunch. A little 1000 Island dressing and what a meal. My wife loves the small ones. These little tomatoes do not squirt all over the place when bitten into. A plus!
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First String Beans


All indications since these sprouted from beans in the dirt indicate a bumper crop. They will come on fast now and I need to be ready with all the ingredients for canning pickled string beans and string beans for dinner with butter, salt and pepper. Maybe some bacon. Chopped onions. These, too, can be a dinner in of themselves. 

The season's second planting has just sprouted. 
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How many kids these day know the item next to the Jet Boil?


As good as the day they were stamped out.
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SIDE DISH
 


Chopped tomatoes, cucumber, 2 garlic cloves, green pepper, red onion and one hot banana pepper.

Some salt and turn with a spoon several times. Chill a few hours and serve as it. Add to table for most any meal as a fresh side dish.

I remember dishes like this my grandmother used to set on the table. Filler, fresh, and added flavor pop. The men especially enjoyed these.  
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FIRST CANNING AND BREAD AND BUTTER PICKLES
 

My favorite.

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Birthday week.

Cake and happy happy.  Where in the hell did 77 years go? How fast they went!  

Her has been a queen this week. A happy birthday week with lots of extra TLC. 

Starting year 78. So much closer to 80. Crap!!

Get over it!! I know, I know. 

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Some rain and storms this past week. Much needed. 

Neighbor says he still needs to get in 150 more bales of hay to get through the winter. Ninety dollars an acre for fertilizer times large acreage. Add the cost of diesel to apply. 

We go to the store once a week now. Basics. Using from the garden daily in every daily meal. Body is noticeably happier with fresh greens in the diet. 

Baby formula aisle bare, prices higher, yes, but I have yet to see major lack of goods. Several instances of missing chicken parts and pieces stock with staff not knowing what is on the next arriving truck. 

Big cities are going to get slammed overnight. That moment when folks realize "it" has arrived and there is no going back. 

Weekly store runs will find more "empty/gone" occupying shelves. One of these days this will hit me hard. The realization that much more of what is promised in the coming collapse has arrived. 

More scare tactics and threats from our government leadership to folks who are just living, loving, working, raising a family and taking care of business. The very common core of all peoples around the world. 

A very close friend and I visited a few days ago and he says he feels like the walls and ceiling are closing in on him and his family. Every day from every direction. 

A common thread amongst those I visit with is getting things in order. Extra parts on hand, tools, nuts bolts, grease, oil and replacing things to make sure that when the equipment is needed it will not fail in its use and intended purpose. A realization of how important it will be when one's life and livelihood become dependent on a piece of machinery, vehicle or tool. 

The planning and preparing is forefront amongst all with whom I visit.

One thing I/we have noticed here is the lack of people showing up for or wanting to work. My wife even left her phone number at a local business letting them know she is willing to come in and help on a part-time basis.

Watching one or two people trying to keep their business up and running is heartbreaking. Eight people standing in line, one cashier running the aisles (yes running) and her mom cooking because the cook did not show up. 

And in all of this, not one customer pissy, nasty or acting out. Patience and always a yes sir, yes ma'am and have a blessed day. I do not care how difficult a day may be, someone working their fingers to the bone and taking moments to tell you to have a blessed day is the good Lord at work. 

I do appreciate your visit this week. I really do. Keep getting up with head high and work the day for you and yours. God bless.


Monday, May 30, 2022

NOT OUR MISSION TODAY - a short story

 Fifty-three years ago in a land far away. 

Two LOCH's and,




and two AH-1G Cobras fully armed and fueled were on a search and destroy mission. Find the enemy, get shot at to confirm and eliminate as needed. Call in extra assists as required. Back home for lunch, rearm and back to the flight line. We were very, very good at our job. Very good!

That day, the team leader was in the lead Cobra and called for us to land to further discuss our mission. 

The two LOCHs and his Cobra landed and, as I circled to final approach, I got a call from a small team of grunts in a fire-fight ten minutes away. A call for help. This was what we always trained for. Even looked forward to. Did it on a daily/nightly basis. Run into a gun fight to save the boys on the ground.

Arrive on target, get the bad guy positions in relationship to our boys and fucking remove the problem.

This was why I lived and flew during this second tour in the central highlands of Vietnam. This was how I spent my entire first year with the 1st Air Cav based out of An Khe. Nine hundred and ninety six logged combat missions when all was said and done. This was how every helicopter pilot and fixed-wing pilot operated during that first year. This was how the leadership operated. 

I set my Cobra down, set the engine to idle, threw open the canopy, jumped to the ground and ran to the team lead. I told him we had boys in a fire-fight about 10 minutes away and that I had told them we had a team of little birds and Cobras and would be soon on our way. 

"That is not our mission today," said the team lead.

I could not compute. I argued but to no avail. Court martial behavior and all of that. And it was at the moment that I knew the war had changed. Something had changed that went against the grain of all I stood for. Flying as a member of a fire team that gave no quarters to anyone. But leadership and the higher-ups did not, would not clear us that day. Our boys in a fire-fight and we were ordered NOT go to their aid. "That was not our mission" that day.

That was the day I walked away from flying combat missions in Vietnam. There was not any objective of flying into that kind of a gun fight I (we) could not have accomplished with that fire team. 

Add to this that we no longer even had the option to shoot back if shot at. We had to get clearance/permission to do so. The only thing I understood on that day was that I could no longer be a part of that part of the war machine. I offered up my wings, "flying" then into uncharted territory.  From that moment on, the only life I was willing to risk was my own.

Just a few days ago America's (unarmed school teachers and officials) children were in a fire-fight they could not win and the on-station LEO's mission, fully-equipped and trained, was to run into that school to save them.  Seems it wasn't their mission that day either.

So, nothing has really changed. When our children - 53 years ago, 200 years ago, or today - become expendable, there is clear and present danger in our lands, charting the days ahead for each and every citizen

 




Sunday, May 29, 2022

YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN - GARDENS - NAAN BREAD - CUCUMBERS - ZUCCHINI RELISH - POTATO SALAD - EOW EATS

Mourning this weekend for all of the U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the USA armed forces. 

Also a special place in my heart this weekend goes to all my brothers and sisters who gave their lives fighting the Vietnam War.  


CWO-1, Arnie Nakkerud, you are not forgotten.



Graduation day for ARMY HELICOPTER PILOT WOC Class 66-17
Ft. Rucker, Alabama 

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FIRST CAT SHOT.  Love the breathing. Three minutes.

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Pickling cucumbers, zucchini and a few yellow peppers


NAAN BREAD EXPERIMENTS



Great flavor and texture. High yield of bread using less flour. 

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Fresh Cucumbers


Pulled from the vine, wiped off. Top cut off and then eaten with a dash of salt on each bite. Much like a corn dog with a topping of mustard on each bite. Earthly fresh flavor and crunch.

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FRESH ZUCCHINI RELISH


Above jars just pulled out of the 10 minute hot water bath. Ten jars this day. 

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FRESH GARDEN POTATO SALAD


Red potatoes, red onions, fresh parsley, fresh farm hard boiled eggs. Sweet pickles, olives, celery, mayo and a shot of mustard. S & P.

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DILL PICKLE CHIPS



Hot water bath and done!


Thyme trimmed to dry. Will take a few weeks to dry. 
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EOW eats.

Just-add-water pancakes.


Local honey, Aunt J's syrup and butter. Add water to the dry mix and a smidgen of oil to the pan. Quick, tasty and filling.


Again, not promoting. 

Today, these quick-eat items are still on the shelves and fairly cheap. Not the beans, but I bought this can over a year ago and thought it costly then for the amount. But out of the can, quick, easy and good eats for one person. Campers and backpackers know the ease of use of these examples. 

And who has not spent time with Ramen Noodles. I notice now that the Ramen Noodle aisles in the local markets are mostly bare. "Sign, sign, everywhere a sign..."

If we go full-tilt Venezuela in the months ahead, these food group items will have been long gone.

Get 'em now, follow the directions, good eats and they add bulk at the meal table. I use a medium-sized skillet with a glass lid. Always yummy!!

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World has 10 week supply of wheat

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Texas elementary school shooting. Questions. 

Read and ask yourself similar questions. 

And a real-hero emerges. One man alone gets the job done.

Parents held back by heavily armed local police.

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Big rains and storms this week followed by sun days and warmth. Local gardens are producing. We are canning as much as we can and sharing. 

A large package delivery carrier dropped off two cardboard boxes in torrential rainfall after dark last night and outside the fence. Nope, not wrapped in a plastic bag. 

My wife was just told over the phone that she, "is over-thinking her complaint." To which my wife laughed out loud, one of those laughs from deep inside and then politely thanked the gal on the other end of the line for her time. Complete incompetence. 

It would have taken one full minute for the delivery person to wrap the two boxes in one of the plastic bags they have for these kinds of weather deliveries and then gently drop the boxes over the fence. One minute. 

Wrong think on our part? 

Not going without a fight!!

Have a blessed week and thank you for the visit. 








Sunday, May 22, 2022

JUST ADD WATER - NO DIESEL NEEDED - WASTE NOT WANT NOT - FIRE ANTS

Just add water bulk pepper gravy mix for EOW.

This was a morning breakfast test of bulk (just add water) gravy mix her picked up a week ago locally. Two bags @$3 a bag. Not a food photo but a simple test for finding quick easy flavor in down times

The mix was very good. Served here with biscuits and chunks of sausage. Filling. Comfort flavors. Will work over most meats, potatoes, pasta, rice and even veggies.

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 BABY REDS

 
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GETTING THE JOB DONE WITHOUT DIESEL

I see memes and articles indicating, "no diesel, no food." These photos were pre-diesel work days. The fields were cut by hand using scythes. Horses worked. The whole family worked. Neighbors helped. 







During "these" work days, grandma was in the kitchen cooking the crew breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sunrise to sunset till all the hay was in the barn.

Extra foods produced were canned and pickled for winter use. 

The hayfields were then scattered with manure. Cattle by-product. And the seasons' growing cycles repeated.



This is one of my favorite photos of my grandfather. I edited for a closer view.

Just prior to posting this morning, my wife noticed that his right sleeve is shorter and appears to be repaired/hemmed compared to his left sleeve. 

On purpose or in keeping with nothing thrown away? My guess is that grandma repaired so the work shirt was still a good work shirt. Waste not want not!

Yet, the working of horses, hay wagons and tools working the fields, just maybe the sleeve would get in the way of a right handed person. Would not be out of the question for grandpa to tell grandma to cut the damn sleeve off. 

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ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF BABY FORMULA   April 1960


Do your homework and research. 
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Front lawn stump pull:


Neighbor brought over his big boy tractor and yanked out the last of the small stumps in our front yard. Turns out the Cub Cadet cannot mow stumps and is currently in the lawnmower hospital getting new blades and an overdue tune-up, oil, greasing thing. 

This stump residue was home to thousands and thousands of those little ******* red ants. Boom!!!
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I see "5 months" kicked around here and there. Five months till the final fall. Just before elections. Not too difficult to understand this timeline. June, July, August, September and October. We are in it now!!

Whatever any of wants or needs you have to get done, best to do all of that now. Same song and dance here. Week after week. 

Harvesting last of the onions today. Digging bucket 3 (of 5) potatoes and up-planting pepper starts. Pickling cucumbers soon. Cabbage a failure. 

We are murdering red fire ant hills on a daily basis. The little bastards have bitten me again, this time on my hands. One bite on my finger has been draining for 4 days now. The itch and irritation pushes me to my limits of wanting to dig holes in my infected areas just to reduce the itch for a few minutes. I learned that applying underarm deodorant fixes the itch problem immediately. Who knew?

Locals know this.

Have a great week. Appreciate the visit and God Bless.