Monday, September 28, 2009

I admit that sometimes I'm not the brightest person...

But this was almost plain stupid.
(note: I share some of my stupid mistakes so others can learn from them)
I was down in the woods on Saturday scoping out what logs to cut.
We have (had) a large 4 foot diameter hollow red oak standing right by the trail I drive in on.
I thought I would burn some leaves in it and see if I could smoke a coon out.
After a bit nothing showed so I stomped out the leaves.
Later Saturday I was down there again and noticed it was smoldering so I stomped it some more and buried the coals.
Sunday afternoon a friend calls and says "Where are you?" I said "at home" and he said "well your fence row in on fire."
I took the truck and some shovels plus some jugs of watter and we got it out for good this time.
And where the mighty 40 foot tall by 4 feet around oak once stood is only a pile of ash.
I guess they teach you all that stuff about putting out your fire when you are a kid for a reason.
My kids got to learn that dad makes mistakes sometimes too.

Oh did I mention the fence row was bordering acres and acres of dry unharvested soybeans.
Thank You God for watching over fools.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

They don't make 'em like they used to

Digging through the old workshop here on the homestead I came across a couple hatchet heads.
I showed you a while back the handles I made from some firewood.

If you are like me you have seen endless amounts of the head on the left at garage sales and auctions.
I have come to think of it a the top of the line hatchet just because it is so common.

100 years ago Horace Kephart wrote "The Book of Camping and Woodcraft".
In the "personal kit" section he has this to say about hatchets.

"A woodsman should carry a hatchet, and he should be as critical in selecting it as in buying a gun. The notion that a heavy hunting knife can do the work of a hatchet is a delusion. When it comes to cleaving carcasses, chopping kindling, blazing thick-barked trees, driving tent pegs or trap stakes, and keeping up a bivouac fire, the knife never was made that will compare with a good tomahawk. The common hatchets of the hardware store are unfit for a woodsmans use. They have broad, thin blades with a beveled edge, and they are generally made of poor, brittle stuff."

Seems my great grandpa didn't read Kephart. I found these broken heads in the shop also. They still had handles and my grandpa was still using them for light hammers. If you are planning on using a hatchet as a tool it would be good to avoid the example above since it appears that Kephart was right when he said they were made of poor brittle stuff.

The one on the right (in the first picture) is also brittle but of a thick design so it will be harder to break the steel.
A tomahawk is better for woods running than either of these but beggars can't be choosers.
At least now you and I know the limitations of this type of hatchet.

Still clinging to my God and my guns,

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Swine Flu and you ? Are you prepared for a quarantine?

The .Gov says we will be facing a serious return of the swine flu this fall.
If you have been reading the news you have seen that some people have been quarantined already.
So what will you do if someone in your family (or even kids school) gets sick and the health department parks a police car in front of your house and says "don't go out for two weeks"?
If you are quarantined by the .Gov most likely they will have food on hand to give you if you don't have enough of your own. But why take that chance?

I put together a list of last minute preps you can make in case this fall is your time behind closed doors.

Simple basic foods for when you are sick.

- Ramen- so easy just put some water in your coffee pot and throw the seasoning and noodles in the pot and a few minute later you have hot soup.

- Lemon Jello- A guy I work with swears by hot liquid lemon jello when he is sick. It will keep you hydrated.

-Hot Toddie- If you drink alcohol hot cinnamon tea with honey and a shot of whiskey can make you feel lots better.

-Pedialite- Whoever is sick this stuff will hydrate you when you can't keep anything down. Similar to Gatorade or Powerade.

-Chicken noodle soup- Classic sicky meal

Quick storage foods for non-sick people.

-Peanut butter and crackers - will fill you up and goes a long ways

- MRE's - .Gov may be giving these to you to eat. Designed for soldiers in the field a person under quarantine could stretch one meal for the whole day ( I have done it camping) Coffee and dessert for breakfast/cracker and spread for lunch and entree for supper.

-energy bars - like power bar / clif bar etc. can replace meals

-Sardines and a chocolate bar- old in the field hunters meal.

- canned tuna and veggies- easy and can be eaten without cooking.

-pop tarts- easy meal or snack

These are some ideas that you can pick up at the store tonight.
Just use your imagination and pick up about two weeks worth of simple to prepare food.

One more thing,
Don't forget recreation.
Cards/ books/ videos and games, Being cooped up in your house for two weeks without anything to do can drive you crazy especially if you are not sick.

Most importantly realize it CAN happen to you and think your way through a what if situation.

Still clinging to my God and my guns,