Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Horribly Erratic Updates

On the gardening front--rodents got my meager plantings. The dogs were no help.
I have traded around for an old rototiller and a chipper shredder. I am also still composting.

On the real estate front, I keep seeing lots of businesses close and think we're going to see more.
This the day after the "budget deal" I can only think that our country is going the way of Zimbabwe and the Weimar Republic. There is only one way for the US to "borrow" money. We are going to have to get it from the Federal Reserve, which will print up money--money that has no basis in wealth--just an IOU backed by the labor of the American people. So, the politicians have sold our children and grandchildren into indentured servitude for a bit of comfort in the here and now that is bound to be short-lived.
All the more reason for me to get my fall crops planted.

If I could give any real estate advice to you right now it would be:
0. Have a plan. Almost any plan is better than no plan.
1. Plant a garden. We had "victory gardens" during WWII, and farmers did well during the days of the Weimar Republic. Hand tools are really cheap at garage sales these days.
2. Be utility self-sufficient. If you can afford to move to a place with your own well, septic, electric, heating (wood stove and trees), and propane, do it. Otherwise, make your own home as self sufficient as possible.
2A. Learn to reuse as much as possible--Using dishpans and dumping the water on trees, or finding creative reuse ideas for things you might normally throw away.
3. Start storing food and seeds. You may want to store in a few different places as these will become valuable commodities worth killing for and stealing.
4. Prepare you friends and relatives. If your place has enough room, it would be better to have extra people to lighten the load of labor and defense. You'll have to choose whether or not you'll help those that you know are lazy.  If you are lazy yourself, you'll have to push yourself. (see frequency of my blogs)
5. Lighten your load.
If you are in the city, you are in the most danger, sell extraneous items in your life and have a car, truck, or van ready to go to your friends in the country. Have this vehicle's fuel tank full every night. Garage it if you can. If you have too much garbage in your garage, sell it or give it away, so that you can park this car inside. It may save your life and the lives of your loved ones.
You car should have some camping gear or other "survival" equipment, and I would suggest over the counter drugs, organic seeds, ammunition in 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, 12 guage (or whatever it is you need for your personal firearm) and tobacco as trade goods. Don't forget a package of toilet paper. Things that are light and valuable if you can't get them at the store.
Even if I'm wrong, you'll be (more) prepared for the next Katrina, Fukushima, Northridge, LA Riot situation than the next person.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

More Gardening and Herding Cats

This was originally written last summer. I even have a picture of that poppy...on my friends computer.
So, despite going to bed around midnight, I woke up around five, watered the garden and checked my email. I think my cat, Ripley woke me up, wanting to go out.
We normally leave the window open for her to come and go as she pleases, but lately another cat has been coming in and eating her food. We thought that perhaps the cat was fighting with ours. This morning after letting Ripley out, I tried to go to bed, then heard mewing outside the bedroom window. I opened it up to let her in and there she is with the orange and white cat I chased off the other night. I called Ripley in--hoping to save her from a catfight--and she jumped to the window sill. Then the other cat just looked at me pitifully, hoping that I'd let it in too. Poor thing looked skinny and gave me the big eyes treatment (imagine Puss & Boots from Shrek), but I was unmoved by the kibble poacher (I hadn't had my coffee yet).
As I was up, I decided to get some more gardening done. I got dressed and drove out to the site that I've written about before. I started coffee at that location and placed some more screening on the ground, put more dirt in the tire wall, placed some railroad ties, and built a double compost bin. I moved some weeds, dirt, and organic (organically fed, no hormone/antibiotics for the horses on a holistic rescue shelter) manure into the bin. Then I moistened it up with the hose and moved it around with the hay fork.
All that took from about 6:45am to around 10:00am. That's when it started getting a bit too warm and bright to be out in the sun any longer. I chose to use that time to do some running around.
I paid some bills, posted a notice, picked up some items from storage, made some phone calls, and fueled the old 4runner.
I took siesta when I got home, then went to do some work in that vacant rental. It's mostly clean now. I need to vacuum again, then steam clean. I also like to wipe the kitchen and bathroom down with bleach, before showing a unit. Some people like pine scented cleaners, but the oils leave a film. Bleach just smells cleaner too me. I also need to wash the windows. I use soap and water. It doesn't harm any of the plexi-glass windows like an ammonia based cleaner would.
Even with the evaporative cooler it's just too hot. So I'm using time to write and do some reading rather than maintenance. So I'm cooling down with hefeweizen beer that I picked up at Big Lots (also a good place for cleaning and some gardening supplies). The beer is Carmel Wheat Beer, and is pretty good. It's better than Widmere (sp?)
Oh! And I was thinking of planting California poppies on the tire wall because they are so hardy and used to the soil up here. When I was out there I discovered a poppy had come up behind the wall. I'm taking this as a good sign.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gardening Update

No pictures today.
I find myself apologizing for my lack of diligence to this blog.
Anyway. I drilled some holes in the bottom of the spa for drainage. I intend to put some block, brick and stone in the bottom to improve drainage, and then put in some soil and compost. I was motivated by a neighbor to one of my rentals. I've been over working on a vacant unit and he's been rototilling his front yard for a garden. He's made me feel like a slacker, as he is on disability.
So I went back to my place and started some small projects. I leveled out the spa using a demo bar and a railroad tie as a lever and fulcrum while I shoveled some dirt under one of the corners. Then I drilled some holes into the bottom or the spa and the low spots on the seats. I had to find my bit extension due to water being in the spa from the recent rain.
Once my battery ran out, I removed the wheel from my wheel barrow and then took the wire wheel to the axle.
I'm kind of glad there's no pictures. All the rain has sprouted tons of weeds. They'll go into the compost (and probably the spa) but I don't want anyone seeing how remiss I've been.
The long and short of things was that I had all my rentals full, then 3 vacancies happened abruptly. And I've been looking for something other than real estate.
Hope you're having a good day.