Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life



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Little past middle age

At 46 years old I consider myself a little past middle age. That is unless I live to be at least 92 years old. So who knows, I might not even be at middle age yet.

Even at such a young age I look back and realize how much water has gone under the bridge. I wonder how I will feel when I am in my 60s or even 70s, that is if I live that long.

I often wonder how my mom and dad feel about how much things have changed in their lifetime? My dad did not get electricity and running water until he was somewhere around 6 years old. What is it like going from kerosene lamps and an outhouse to computers and the internet?

The past 19 years, from 1995 – 2014, humanity has made leaps and bounds with technology. We went from dial-up internet to smart phones in less than a generation. I look forward to what scientist will develop in the next 20 years.

Support for gun control fading

Good news ladies and gentlemen.  The Independent Journal Review posted an article detailing how Americans are Getting Tired of Gun Control Pushes. Support for more gun control is waning across all political parties, including liberals and democrats.  This should be common sense, gun control does not reduce violent crime. Criminals do not care about laws. […]

Start of the Toyota Tacoma project

I have always wanted a truck project. Something that I could rebuild, add some custom features, fix up and call my own. When friends and family members come over I would tell them all about the truck, what I did to it, the attention to detail, and just brag on my accomplishment.

There is just something about working with my hands, getting sweating, dirty, greasy, and even bleed a little that makes me feel more like a man.

A few years ago I bought a 1981 Jeep CJ-5 that was supposed to be my project. The Jeep was parked near a creek, there were some strong rains, the creek rose and water got into the motor and transmission. Realizing that the jeep was going to need a complete new power train kinda bummed me out.

I pulled the jeep into a field and parked it there. The plan is to build a pole barn over the Jeep and my wifes 1981 Toyota truck. Then when the pole barn is built, maybe then continue working on it.

In April 2014 I ran across a great deal on a 1999 Toyota Tacoma 4×4. The truck had been abused like a redheaded step child. A tree limb had gone through the front windshield, a front tire was off the rim, gears stripped in the rear end and a front end hub was stripped. In short, the truck was going to take a “lot” of time and effort. It just so happened time was something the previous owner was short on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tkd3LCv-WLo

Took a look in the mirror

I took a long look in the mirror and did not like what I saw. What bothers me the most is how I have let myself go physically. Being overweight was never in my life plan. I never thought I would be out of shape and sitting at a desk job.

The sedentary lifestyle is one of the main reasons why I am looking for a new job. I am tired of sitting here.

In a way I am disgusted with myself. I put on so much weight and I feel like a pig.

Another reason I put on so much weight is I have a couple of beers before bedtime. The empty calories goes to the waistline.

Drinking was never in my life plan. I never drank when I was a teenager. I did not even drink in my early-20s. I did not start drinking until I was in my mid-20s. Why did I start drinking? I honestly do not know. What I do know is I regret the decision to start.

Good guy with a gun

Remember when The NRA said ‘Only Thing That Stops A Bad Guy With A Gun Is A Good Guy With A Gun’ and the left we bat crap crazy?

The shooting in Canada proves just that. A good guy with a gun stopped a bad guy with minimal loss of life.

What is the left doing? They pretty much ignored how to stop mass shootings. Someone terrorist starts shooting, have a few armed good guys around to put a swift end to the rampage.

It is evident the leftist news sites are not interested in reporting the news. All they wish to do is push an agenda.

Mr Man has passed away

Kristy and I knew it was just a matter of time, but we held out hope. We hoped that somehow Mr Man, Kristys Buff Orpington rooster would recover from his stroke. We held out hope that one day he would be back on his feet protecting his girls.

That day will never come.

It started the morning of Sunday, July 27th. Kristy and I walked out to the chicken yard to check on the flock. We found Mr. Man laying on his side unable to walk. We thought that he was suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke. He was brought inside to cool off. By Monday morning he had not improved.

He was not eating or drinking on his own. So Kristy and I started giving him pedialyte, gerber baby food and water with a syringe, but with no needle.

After a few days of force feeding Mr Man seemed to regain some of his strength. He was kept in the bathtub so his poop was easy to clean up. By the end of the first week he started growing, however so weak he was.

Farm update October 19 2014

Things are moving along nicely, but there is always some kind of setback.

When my wife and I moved to the farm I seriously underestimated the time and effort needed to get things up and running. When we moved here in August of 2013 my main goal was to get the small chicken yard built, get the septic system put down, get the water working, then get ready for winter. Winter of 2013 – 2014 here in southeast Texas was rather harsh, by our standards anyway.

Spring 2014 started out with around 18 – 20 new chicks. Things were looking up, then then it went to hell. My wife and I moved to the farm with 13 hens. We lost all of the new chicks to various predators. When the new chickens were moved to the new chicken yard, a couple of Rhode Island Reds kept jumping the fence. My dogs ended up killing those two Rhode Island Reds.

Thoughts on ebola

As Bane said in Dark Knight Rises, “Now is not the time for fear, that comes later.”

There have been two cases in Texas and as of this posting there have been reports of possible cases at LAX and Boston. Unless you have face-to-face contact with someone with ebola, chances are you have nothing to worry about.

The problem is we as a nation have forgot what it is like to have an infectious agent in our mist. Small pox, measles, mumps and polio are a thing of the past. For the most part diseases like ebola a problem for the rest of the world, but not anymore. Ebola is here and now, and we have to deal with it.

Time will tell if ebola can get a foothold in the United States. Due to our healthcare protocols the cards are stacked against ebola. The United States with localized health departments and the CDC are an uphill battle for the disease. South and central America is another story. Worse case situation, ebola gets a foothold in Central America, mutates, becomes airborne and moves across the border into one of the border states.

Feeling down

I am feeling really down. It seems like no matter what I do something goes wrong. Take 1 step forward, and take 10 steps backwards.

For the past 4 – 5 months I have been looking for a new job. Only landed 1 interview. Went for a job interview, did not get the position. I have a proven employment history, skills, but yet nobody is calling.

One of the dogs I rescued killed one of my chickens last weekend, then mauled another one yesterday. My wife and I got the chicken, separated her from the flock, sprayed her wounds down with antibiotic spray and have her in a cage in the house. She will probably be ok. I have seen wounds like this before. There is a good chance she will recover. Chickens have a wonderful immune system.

All of the new chickens are gone

I need to explain the title in a little more detail. When my wife and I moved to the farm in July – August 2013 we brought with us 13 hens. These hens were a year and a half old.

Between February – March 2014 my wife and I bought around 20 chicks. These chicks were only a day or two old and were bought from local farm supply stores here in Jasper Texas.

We are back to 13 hens and one rooster. Some of the original chickens disappeared, and the new ones took their place. But we are back to the original number we started with.

Between a chicken hawk, fox or coyote, and my dogs killing the chickens, the ratio of new chickens that have died sits at 100 percent.

Update on the new chicken house

Awhile back I started building a new chicken yard. Now that the yard is pretty much complete (for now), the time has come to build the new chicken house.

The size I decided on was 16 feet by 16 feet. 16 X 16 = 256 square feet. I figured 256 square feet was enough to accommodate roost, laying boxes, storage cabinet, water barrels and batteries for the solar power.

The laying boxes will take up 6 feet on one wall, and the roost takes up around 12 feet on another wall. The laying boxes in the new chicken house will be modeled after the laying boxes of the old chicken house.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSOqedj4eKQ

Looking for a career change

For the past 9 years I have been stuck at an office job working on computer related stuff. Just the typical stuff like unlocking users accounts, maintaining the company website, trouble shooting VPNs, just your usual tech related stuff.

When I was going to college I would have never guessed tech related stuff would suck so bad.

From 1986 to 1999 and again in 2003 – 2005 I worked in welding shops across southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana. The pay and benefits were pretty bad. But at least at the end of the day I had something to show for my hard work. Whether it was fitting a 2:1 elliptical head on a pressure vessel or heat exchanger, building some nozzles, fitting a pass plate, building a shell cover or floating head,,,, there was something at the end of the day to see. Being able to see your work at the end of the creates a sense of accomplishment.

Buying chicks in the summer

For the most part buying chicks is a springtime activity. The local farm supply stores start getting their chicks in around early to mid February. Then there are the Easter colored chicks. Please do not buy colored chicks for Easter. You do not know what breeds you are getting, what sex, and the “new” quickly wears off.

You may think that after the feed stores stop selling chicks in the spring that there are no more on the market. That is simply not true. Some hatcheries sell chicks all year long. Where do you find these hatcheries? On the internet.

My wife and I had never bought chicks over the internet. We had always gone down to the local feed store, bought whatever chicks they had in stock, then went home. After buying our first set of chicks over the internet, I doubt we will ever buy from a feed store again. The process was easy and straight forward.

Monkey Meat and the Ebola Outbreak

On June 26, 2014 Vice posted a video on youtube about the Ebola outbreak in Africa. Little did we know the outbreak was going to get much worse. It is kinda scary that in just six or so weeks the Ebola outbreak went from barley making the news to getting worldwide attention.

There are a several important points in this video:

1. As the population of Africa expands into jungle, the indigenous people will be exposed to viral infections never seen before.

2. We share around 99% of our DNA with primates. When humans keep primates as pets and eat meat from primates, there is an increased risk of exposure.

3. With modern transportation Ebola and other diseases are just a plane ride away from the rest of the world.

Next chick order August 2014

My wife and I are planning on ordering some chicks Friday August 1st.

Breed / Quantity

Australorp – 5
Barred Rock – 5
Buff Orpington – 10
Dominicker – 5
Rhode Island Red – 5

Plus the 17 or so we have left after the dogs, fox and chicken hawk got finished.

47 hens with 3 roosters.

My Rhode Island Red rooster is on loan to my cousin right now.

Barred rocks and Rhode Island Reds are, but I have not seen a single one go broody. The instinct to sit on eggs has been bred out of certain breeds. When a hen sits on eggs, companies lose production, which means they are losing money.

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