check this out

these are not cheap, by any stretch, but its a good idea and combined with their waterbrick, make a good storable alternative. Have 2 of the waterbrick to try, so far so good


Another FINALLY!

after hemming and hawing, we have made a move on starting our rain water harvesting. Of course, we’ve missed the record breaking rains of 2014, but late is better than never . . .
We had decided to go with the product made by a company called Poly-mart; their tanks are about the cheapest we’ve found, even with the freight costs, but as we looked at their size and getting them into places on the property, hooking them up, etc. we were hesitating. As much as collecting rain water is important, we wanted to keep the property looking up to community standards too! So we are trying one of the horizontal leg storage tanks.
this will be a much lower profile tank than their regular rain water harvesting tank of the same volume, if they had a 350 gallon rain water harvesting tank, here is their 250 gallon
With the small one we can study its construction, how it is to handle, and getting it hooked up for harvesting – like putting in an overflow outlet.
There are other less expensive versions of this horizontal leg tank on the market, but this one is designed for liquids heavier than water, so it should stand up to water storage quite well. Am not getting the stainless straps for this one, but if we go for anything over 500 gallons, we will add that to the order.
We do have 5000 square foot peaked roof. The long runs are so long that one gutter cannot handle the total rainfall from one slope, and are designed to run off both to the east and west. and then there is the space between gables, which is where this tank will go.

holster review SUCCESS!

First and foremost, understand that this is strictly from a woman’s viewpoint AND that I do not carry a concealable weapon! I carry a Ruger GP141; a 4″ barrel, 357 revolver. It is huge! and the weight and shape of revolvers is an entirely different issue than with pistols.
For women, I’d recommend above all else, a shoulder holster. Unfortunately, the best and most stable ones require anchoring both the holster and the opposite side to one’s belt or pants. I don’t wear pants, and belts, without pants, just tend to slide up under my armpits and don’t do anything for stabilizing the harness. But with a shoulder harness, a light jacket or sweater conceals the weapon beautifully.
So I’ve experimented with belly bands. And they also work, to a point! They also slide up, which isn’t really an issue, BUT the size of my gun means cross draw works better than strong side, especially when the grip is up in my armpit to start! So cross draw works, but the weight of the gun pulls the band around and it keeps slipping to my front. Back to the drawing board!
Enter the Lotus
got mine in black

VERY comfortable, although had to alter the holster for my Ruger, it is secure, the weight is evenly distributed. it does not cut, does not bind. The manufacturer claims it is designed to be worn against the skin comfortably. It feels okay to me.
From the same company is the Deep Conceal shoulder holster
again, required modification to the holster, but again, comfortable and secure with the weight well distributed.

As you can see, I’m not a skinny waif! and this hoslter holds the gun tighter, lower, and conceals even better than the Lotus, but would not be as comfortable against the skin. now, as I would wear it, with a black tank
as you see, it nearly disappears! and with a shirt over it
hardly any printing. For the summer, am knitting up loose shells that will add little weight, but just conceal
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My one recommendation with these designs is they tell you to measure at your bra band. But if you are like me and EXPAND from there, go the next size up and tighten down. Otherwise you are at the bare minimum of the band’s holding power, and if you are puffy one day, you have no room to expand! PLUS, with the chest band, you can’t go with an open jacket or sweater as you could with a standard design shoulder holster, unless you are under it all.
As far as I’m concerned these holsters are AWESOME! If they can hold and conceal my monster of a gun, how much easier and more comfortable they would be for a 1911, or full size glock?!

are you really prepared?

Like most people, I work Monday- Friday. Actually, since we work from home, I work pretty much seven days a week, and our staff come in Tuesday – Friday. This is both an advantage as well as a disadvantage. It is a plus in that since I am home, I can schedule my time as I choose and do not have to worry about my commute. So if there is work to be done in the garden, I can be out there with the phone and get the job done. On the down side is the tendency to keep on working until everything is taken care of, only to have the phone ring the next day and I’m still tied to my desk.
This weekend was a take it easy weekend. and looking at what I was, and am, doing, it brought to mind how much work we will have to do when the SHTF.
Saturday started with the usual dog walk, working in the garden (watering, picking beans, etc), cooking breakfast, and several hours at my desk. Made lunch (our main meal). Then sat down to do some knitting, finishing a pair of socks.
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New remember, if we are in a true EOTWAWKI situation, there will be no going to the mall to buy clothes. Maybe you will live in an area where something will still be available, but maybe not. So making socks might be really important! Anyway, since neither of us had slept well the night before, we ended up taking a nap. This IS an easy weekend!! After nap finished off those socks. Made Ghee, and made an experimental GF peach cobbler. Worked on the batch of chili that was started on Friday. There were also dog walks, phone calls, and just some casual time on the computer too, before dinner. Late in the day began working out the gauge for my next knitting project, and got that started. Oh yeah, frenched the greenbeans and got them into the freezer.
Sunday was similar. garden work; water, picking tomatoes, beans, pulling up old zucchini plants and getting them into the composter, filling one of the water barrels from the water storage, dog walks, breakfast, knitting, laundry, seeding-roasting-skinning-freezing the tomatoes, lunch, watching a movie, having some popcorn, canning up that chili, knitting, and thinking that its almost time for supper and I’ve not done much!
If this were a real post disaster situation, I’d be doing the laundry by hand instead of sitting here typing this while the machine does the work. I’d have to be out gathering wood; for the immediate cooking and getting the winter wood put away. Doing the dishes would not be just dropping them into the dishwasher.
unfortunately, some of you will get real life practice at this stuff because of hurricane, tornado, flood, fire, or blizzard. But even then, its short term and you can move sideways to civilization. As I get older, I realize how little skills I have, how lacking in body conditioning I am, and much strength I DON’T have, and what would really be necessary each and every day to survive. And while we talk a good talk, or we really ready to walk the walk?


As I was unloading yesterdays groceries – my usual, every trip a few items for the stash, a few items for us to eat now – realized how thankful I am that I can actually go out and buy commercially canned goods and bottled water, plus the other items that are available for assisting us. I do not have to grow and can everything we need in life for NOW and to have something put away for just in case.

Am looking at (finally) rainwater harvesting. Of course we’ve missed this year’s monsoon which would have given us nearly 5000 gallons of water . . but that’s past. there will be more rain. Financially, we couldn’t move earlier in the year and we were also looking at buying the number of tanks we need. Now, we’re just going to buy them one at a time.

Waterbricks! What an amazing invention. So much better than having to store water in a wooden keg! of sheep stomach bladder.

Of course, all these things are contributing to the downfall of civilization as we know it. But I’ll use them anyway.

cast iron cookware update

thanks to a friend and neighbor (thank you Sunday!), plus a fortuitous purchase at the thrift shop, have been able to return to cast iron from that non-stick stuff. Even though it was “ceramic”, it was still soft, pots were thin, the stuff chipped and scratched, and mostly the pots were aluminum, thin, and did not distribute heat evenly. Eventually, am sure the ceramic finish would wear off and become useless too.
Why and how did Lodge become THE name in cast iron cookware? At least its the one I hear the most. My recent acquirements, and my best old time stuff, has either no name on the bottom; only the initials SK and a number. OR, they say Griswald. It is all lighter weight than the Lodge, all has the smooth polished interior, and is all heavier in weight than that Chinese crap that’s coming around. Although, to be honest, do have a couple of 4 or 5″ Lodge pans that are pretty smooth finish and perfect for that fried egg or two for breakfast.
anyway, we had pancakes this morning on my “new to me” griddle, and what a delight. Unlike my old Lodge griddle they were easy to pick up and flip. They griddle cleaned beautifully, the pancakes were perfect!
I know cast iron is soft, when its really thin like the Chinese stuff, it is also fragile and could actually break if dropped on a tile or concrete. The iron can chip and if it does, that stop will never be “non stick”, because what ever you are cooking will dip down into that divet and hangs one. Although it will always be better than trying to fry something on stainless or aluminum! and we know what iron is! We know what it does to our system. and best off all, we know the stuff will last, and last, and last. No need to replace it every few years.