Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Write your state congressmen

I just wrote a letter to my state congressman asking that he introduce legislation to require the Secretary of State to investigate all presidential candidates.  I urge you all to do the same.  We need to get this into law before 2012.
Here's what I wrote: (feel free to copy)  Also, you can go to www.congress.org to mail your congressmen.

March 30, 2010

[recipient address was inserted here]

[recipient name was inserted here],

I urge you to write and/or  support a bill requiring the Secretary of State to verify the eligibility of all presidential candidates.

This legislation should include verifying birth certificates and other such documentation as necessary to determine if the candidate is a natural-born citizen, among other requirements for eligibility.

If the Secretary finds that the candidate is not eligible, then the candidate's name should be removed from Texas ballots.

Thank you.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Apple Trees

I purchased three apple trees today.  I picked up a Gala, a Red Delicious, and a Fuji.  All three will cross-pollinate and should provide apples from early to mid-season.  These trees are about 2 years old and should start producing in a year or two.  I'll plant them 10 feet apart with the Red Delicious in the middle.  The red is my least favorite of the three, but it is a good pollinator and hopefully will encourage the other trees to produce.  I purchased the semi-dwarf varieties.  They will grow 10-20 feet tall.  I'm excited about the trees, but I'm worried that I won't be able to give away enough apples- each will supposedly produce 500 apples/season!  Good thing I have my solar dehydrator.

I also picked up another blueberry bush at the nursery-  my single bush didn't produce more than a handful last year, I'm hoping that with a friend they will pollinate each other and start producing.  I was looking at fertilizer for the blueberries, but the gardener told me that I could apply cedar mulch and that would impart the acidity required by the bushes.  I'm also going to plant them both in the ground (last year I kept the one in a five gallon planter.

My seedlings are doing so well and I'm excited to look at them everyday when I come home from work to see how much they've grown.  For some reason spinach is taking MUCH longer to sprout than any of the other plants.  This is my first time with spinach, so I hope this is normal.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Book Review "How to Survive TEOTWAWKI"

I finally finished Rawles's lastest book.  Pretty much if you have been reading his blog for the past year or more, you know what is in the book.  He has some original info in there, but most of it is re-posts from his blog.  Not that that's a bad thing.  I really enjoy http://www.survivalblog.com/ .  It's good info and it's nice to have it in book form, should the Internet ever go away.  He also has a good number of links in there to some of his advertisers.  It's a good primer for those just getting started and for those who may have hit a plateau as far as prepping goes.  It covers so much ground, it's sure to remind you of some areas you've neglected.  On the other hand, it covers so much ground that its almost useless because he can't get into specifics.
I am always suprized when I see his recomendations for night-vision gear.  Given the cost, I believe that the money could go to lots of other preparation areas instead.  Another suprize is his recommendation to store 10% of your networth in silver!  That's a lot of silver. 

I didn't enjoy the book nearly as much as his novel "Patriots."  But, that was a different type of book.  I bought this one with the intent of adding it to my collection of survival books on the shelf.  It will probably stay there or be loaned out to those looking to get started in prepping.

I did like the ideas about camp kitchen, food and shelter kits.  Right now, I have my BOBs and a big tote full of camp stuff.  These will all go into my truck should I have to G.O.O.D in a hurry.  On his advice I believe I will make a few more special totes with more stuff in them.  For instance, my BOBs have camping mess kits, but in a camp kitchen kit, I could have a cast iron skillet, more food supplies, cups and bowls, more soap, lighters, plates, spices....  The camping kit will have a tent, rope, tarps, hatchets...  Everything will be modular and each kit will have some food, knives and lighters should I lose one.

I also learned that water does not have to be boiled for a 10 min to kill bacteria.  It only has to reach 149 degrees F.  You can use a roasting thermometer or a dairy thermometer- but he warns that the roasting  variety are inaccurate and to add 10 degrees to be safe.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

photo of the garden (from cell phone)

Better than nothing.  But as you can see they look pretty nice.  I'm hoping for a bumper crop!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Square foot Garden update

Okay... sorry no pics...still need to get another camera as the kiddos broke mine.

The frames were completed last weekend.  I filled them with a truck load of compost from the City of Mesquite recycling.  I got more than a cubic yard for $10 of really nice compost this past weekend.  Hint- use an empty trash can with wheels to transport your stuff to the backyard- WAY more efficient than a wheelbarrow.

Today, I stopped by Lowes (I am boycotting Home Depot cause they suck) and bought some peat moss @ $9/3.78 cubic feet minus my 10% military discount.  :) thanks Lowes.  I mixed that with the compost this afternoon with the kids.  I put in WAY more than I needed and now I have no room at all for vermiculite.  So, this year I will forgo that part of the mixture and see what compost and peat bring me.  I think the result will be tolerable. :)

The seedlings are doing awesome and will be ready to go into the garden just as soon as I finish marking off the grid pattern.  I'm pretty excited for the garden this year and hope to have a really good yield.  I have decided to do one 18 foot box by the fence instead of two smaller ones.  That gives me a total of 88 square feet this year!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Molle pack and more

I just receive a MOLLE II pack that I purchased new on E-bay today.  (pronounced MOLLY).  It didn't come assembled but there was a good youtube video on how to assemble it.  Took about 1.5 hrs though.  I'm impressed with the design and the simplicity of it.  I've done some extensive backpacking and I believe this pack will be as comfortable as any.  I especially like the modular design in that you can add or subtract compartments as needed.  I also picked up the Army sleep system.  I got the patrol bag and the bivy.  The bags were clean and looked to be used VERY little if any.

For anyone who is interested, here is a link to my square foot garden plans.  I did a lot of research to find out what plants are compatible with others and which are not.  Also, many are climbing plants and I decided to add some additional garden space along my fence so that they will have something to climb on.