… by WordPress eating the last third of this morning’s blog, I thought I’d quickly check back in for a little catching up.
It’s definitely looking more and more like batten-down-the-hatches time for tomorrow. Aside from winds gusting into the 70s and 80s, it’s wet, wet, wet and about to get wetter. This afternoon I took a drive outside of town and at high tide (we’re heavy on salt marsh and tidal estuary hereabouts) the water was already only inches from rising over the roadway. By tomorrow’s high tides, things could get messy.
The windows of my house overlook a wetland that in winter usually has small channels of water running through it. It’s a solid lake now, broken only by a few grassy hummocks. Another inch or two of rain will make it a solid river.
Yeah, definitely battening time. It feels great to know I’ve got heat, food, light, and water on hand. As long as the trees and the hill behind the house stay put, what more could a body need?
I was nearly done with this morning’s maundering when WordPress gobbled it, anyhow. So I’ll let that go for a while.
And on the subject of Amazon links, because Karen and Ellendra asked, I tried to find that bounty program I thought I’d seen for those of you who sign up for that flat-rate $10/month plan for Kindle books. But either I imagined it or it’s gone now. So for heaven’s sake, if you’re thinking of signing up for that, just do it. It’s great of you to think of me, but it’s not a biggie.
However, if anybody downloads the free Kindle Cloud Reader (for non-Kindle devices) using this link, it’s a $1 bounty credited to my associates account.
If you give Amazon Prime as a gift this Christmas using this link I’ll receive a $10 bounty. (This is strictly for gift purchases, not your own Prime memberships.)
Sign up for your own 30-day free trial of Prime membership using this link and I’ll receive a $3 bounty even if you cancel.
Now, if all you need from Amazon is a little holiday fantasy and humor, check out the links Dana dropped into comments the other day. Don’t miss the hilarious product reviews.
On a more practical note, if you’re still looking for the perfect gift for the freedomista-survivalist-gun-owning-pet-loving-bacon-consuming-book-reading person on your list, last year’s seven-part gift series might offer inspiration. (The link goes to part VII; scroll down for links to earlier installments. Probably a few broken links by now, but you’ll find what you’re looking for.)
I’ve already had a couple of readers ask what I’d like for Christmas. And my answer is: You already gave me fabulous presents.
Last summer’s roof-raiser was all I could ask for — and more. You bestowed such bounty on me that I’m still struggling to feel worthy.
Been a weird year. One thing after another went wrong, but no sooner had it gone than somebody would pop up with a helping hand. It’s been really amazing.
So no. I don’t need anything for Christmas. I had Christmas already.
If you’re in a giving mood may I suggest again this year that you send a little something to Joel over at TUAK. His eyeballs are working again now, thanks to last year’s generosity. But he’s got that broken-down Jeep and … well, he just works his tail off and never has much. So think of Joel, not me.
Or drop a few coins into the tip jar over at Rational Review. Or at Carl-Bear’s blog. Or another favorite freedom site. Oh. The Zelman Partisans has a donation button, too (and may soon be offering a few special gun-related deals to contributors). Right now, no TZP people are paid, but someday we’d like to see all the writers — and what a fine bunch they are — getting a little something.
That said, however, you can help rescue my Amazon links if you’re shopping online.
Suddenly, my Amazon commissions have cratered. Seriously. Cratered. Collapsed. Imploded. Fallen into a black hole. I’m in shock.
I assume my hermitting (even though it’s turned out to be only quasi-pseudo hermitting) triggered the downfall. OTOH, maybe the economy’s collapsed and the rest of the world doesn’t know it yet. Or you’re all on the outs with your relatives and not buying them anything for Christmas this year. Or you’ve all taken a no-spending pledge. (I can sympathize with that.)
In any case, we’re not just talking “a little bit off.” We’re talking bottomless pit.
November is usually very strong. This time it scraped bottom, coming in well below a typical month. December is always a barn-burner — generally bringing in three to four times the commissions of an average month. I’ve never seen it fail. Now? Sales are below average, and I don’t mean “below average for December.” I mean … 75 to 80 percent off a normal December.
So no, I don’t want gifts (though thank you very much). But IF you’re buying at Amazon anyhow, please use those links.
P.S. Before I could protest, one Santa already dropped a very welcome present down the chimney. While I was grousing in the cold, a big, beautiful kerosene heater arrived. That thing is capable of warming the whole house! Like my smaller, less powerful, Buddy-type propane heaters, it’ll be used only for emergencies. But it sure did warm my heart.
Thank you (once again), Family A. I know you just went through a long, stormy power outage and are very aware of how useful a powerful heater like that one can be.
Before I shut down for the day to return to hermitting, here are some links I’ve been collecting for you.
Never mind that this prepper is living in New York City (whotta place to be in a crunch!). Never mind that he’s going public with exactly what ought to be most private. He’s right about a lot. For the rest of us if not for himself.
Local cranberry growers who lost their contract with Ocean Spray landed 20 pounds of their harvest on furrydoc the other day. What do you do with 20 pounds of cranberries? Furrydoc shared the bounty and instructions for drying.
I took a couple of pounds and they’re in the drier now, some unsweetened and some drizzled with honey.
I’m not so big on cranberries, but I do like the dried ones in salads and trail mixes. Good to have a few locally grown superfoods among the preps, too.
Knitting today. Not only for the soul but this time, the body, too. Ready to start cabling.
Just as soon as I find those wandering third needles.
I was surprised and gratified the other day to realize quite a few guys hereabouts had knitted or crocheted. I am at this moment wearing fingerless gloves (aka arm warmers or better yet gauntlets) I made with wool gifted to me by one of those knitting guys.
(Pattern for that particular glove here. Many others here.)
Finally, some things not so mundane
Saturday, December 13. Washington gun owners rally: We Will Not Comply with I-594. Over 6,000 already signed up.
Emory Hospital, which has successfully treated four U.S. Ebola sufferers, shares its learnings and its protocols. (Tip o’ hat to PT)
Obamacare and the part-time workforce. I know this isn’t a good thing for people who want full-time work or for people who prefer honesty and small government. But in the long run, one of the best things that could happen to health insurance is to break its artificial link to employers. Maybe O’care will eventually do that.
GOA alert to gun owners about our status as “domestic terrorists.” Nothing new or surprising; just lays a lot out in one place.
Yes, the “greatest orator of his generation” has truly lost his mojo. (Never did understand where that “greatest orator” thing came from, anyhow. Just because the man speaks English better than “Mumbler” Bush? But then, some border collies have a better grasp of language than both Bush presidents.)
Even with Ebola having turned up in the U.S., I’m with those who resolutely say don’t panic.
Okay, so some guy who knew he’d been exposed to Ebola decided to get on a plane to the U.S. and he probably won’t be the last. That’s bad, though unsurprising. (If you thought you might come down with a deadly disease, where would you rather be?)
And hospital personnel who knew he’d been in Liberia sent him away to expose more people. Because of “poor communication” or “a computer glitch” or some other bureaucratic buck-passing. (And this just after the staff did Ebola training!) That’s bad and slightly more surprising.
And Our Glorious Leader was proven wrong faster than you could say “hope and change.” That’s … um, not surprising at all.
But as some of you folks have already pointed out, we’re dealing with an illness that’s not spread through casual contact and isn’t contagious until symptoms show. And so far Obama and bureaucrats haven’t managed to reduce the U.S. medical system to African levels. That’s good. So … caution, preparedness, but no panic.
One Faithful Reader and sometime contributor to the blog says he’s more concerned about how to handle friends and relatives who might panic if the virus gets loose here. He writes:
Several times this week I’ve seen breathless warnings to get my preps in order because Ebola. Meh. It’s not that I don’t think Ebola is a threat. I’m prepped. It’s not a goal, but how I live my life.
Could I live through a 3-week quarantine? Yep.
Do I need more fuel, food, toilet paper, ammo, cash, bread whatever? Always, but I’m OK.
Do I expect JBTs or zombie hordes trying to batter down my doors? No more than every day. We’re long past the point where they need an excuse.
What will I do when my free-loading brother-in-law pulls into the driveway?
Drink a half a cup of maple syrup, then vomit all over him and enjoy watching him scream like a little girl and run away.
I’ve linked recently to Ryochiji’s posts about his Serenity Valley cabin’s very, very — VERY — close call with a wildfire.
Lots of other worthwhile stuff at his site, Laptop and a Rifle. Back in the winter of 2011, when his property was less developed than it is now, he vowed to spend 31 days there under a strict set of rules. He called his experiment Project 31 & despite the rigor of his terms, it was a success. Here are all his posts about it
Today is fall. Tomorrow, summer comes creeping back and by Friday it’s expected to be mid-July again. But today is fall — mild, gray, and showery — and I feel ready for it.
We’ve had a glorious summer. A rare treat for this part of the world. And I’ve been dreading the end of long, warm days and the inevitable closing-in of winter.
But no more. After the JPFO debacle and months of hard work (both work-work and house projects), I’m ready to hibernate. Ready to draw within, be idle, read books, eat soups and stews, do little, and be beholden to nobody.
Fall is history’s time for preparedness. And just in time, the fedgov (without which we could, of course, do nothing) decrees preparedness upon us. Yes, we now have National Preparedness Month.
The irony is strong with this one. Do we prepare and be good, responsible citizens as Our Glorious Leader urges? Or do we prepare and become terrorist suspects as the FBI sees us? Decisions, decisions …
But prepare we do.
Part of my preparedness this fall (thanks to you!) is preparing a solid roof overhead. Another part is adding alternative, non-electric heat — nothing fancy, just useful. Another is laying in extra food for the critters.
Yet another involves stocking a couple of treats. Because in the darkest, coldest of winter, treats make the difference between mere Stygian gloom and Stygian gloom to the point of wanting to put your head in an oven.
Some friends and I went to a presentation on the Thrive brand of freeze-dried foods early last week and while we all agreed that multi-level marketing (the main way Thrive foods are sold) is a tool of the devil, we also agreed that was some of the finest storage food we’d ever tasted. So my friends set up a Thrive “Q” for monthly orders. In August, blackberries, pineapple chunks, and real sausage bits were all on sale. So using their “Q” and without getting on anybody’s damnable List, I indulged.
I’ve never had actual meat in my long-term storage larder before. If it’s good, I expect the small can of sausage I bought won’t turn out to be so long term. :-)
My friends, lucky them, have a super-dooper packaging machine (a chamber sealer) that can not only do regular vacuum packs of food, but also easily make last-not-quite-forever retort pouches. Since they fish, hunt, garden, gather, and scout, that machine gets a lot of use. I have a standing invitation to try it. Haven’t yet, but it’s a good answer to the question, “What’s a single woman with a small appetite supposed to do with an opened #10 can o’ stuff?”
So … you’re already prepared. I know it. But are you upping your preps this fall? And if so, are you doing it just because it’s fall and that’s a good time? Or are you doing it because this year seems more ominous, more dangerous, than most?
What are your best prep ideas for this year and this season?
Here, BTW, is Survival Mom’s list of lists for preppers. Some useful, some less so. Decent read in any case.
Now I’m going to go don my furry slippers and have a nice, hot cup of tea.
I know a lot of you have said your own goodbyes to dogs and cats. I still miss my heart-dog Jasmine after nine years. I can’t imagine how it tore Commentariat member Karen up to lose three in the first half of this year.
They break your heart. Every damn time. But life without them feels … heartless.
Short version: nope. Everything normal. He’s in great shape for an old guy. The only thing she discovered is that he has a urinary tract infection. (And who knows how long he’s had that? He never gave a sign.) So he’s on antibiotics.
That’s good news. Looks like no goodbyes to Robbie for a while. Still, I almost wish she’d found something … something that could be treated. Or at least understood.
She recommended melatonin and fish oil to improve his sleep, but I sure wish there was a way to get into that little bully head of his and find out what’s going on in there that has him so suddenly scared in the dark.
Robbie-Bobbie, what are you thinking? What are you feeling, my old baby boy?
That picture is three years old. He’s so much more gray now. Sigh.
It was an interesting trip down memory lane to visit the archives of the old blog (2003 to 2007) looking for Jasmine’s obituary. Once again I have reason to thank Bill St. Clair for being the archive maven.
And odd how the seventeenth century keeps popping up, lately. In the archives, just a few days from Jasmine’s story, I found lessons for gulchers from that century.
I had partner bloggers back in those days. Not everything in those archives is mine. Ian’s post on tactical hand signals was pretty good, too. :-) So glad that first link still works.
Now I’ll go and pet the pooches and mourn the lost ones, including so many, so loved that I never knew but who warmed — and broke — somebody else’s heart. And even more, the ones who could have lived and loved but never got the chance.
If you haven’t visited Earthineer in a while, you might want to take a new look.
Dan Adams has recently added the long-awaited marketplace and barter sections where members can trade with each other. Though they’re still new and smallish, he’s got something quite promising there both for “rural engineers” and for foodies. Earthineer is a labor of love for Dan and it shows in the quality of the presentation.
Among other things, he’s planning to build privacy into the trades, so only the parties involved will have long-term records of their transactions.
Also, Dave Duffy has assigned me an article on Earthineer and I’d love to hear some opinions and questions other than my own.
Carl-Bear observes what he thinks may be a new trend: stockpiling building materials. He’s not sure whether this is a real thing (your opinions requested). But if it is, he’s pretty sure it’s an ominous one.
I was just about to write one of my long, rambly posts about having too much freaking stuff! Among other things, I’m tripping over the boxes of flooring sitting next to the kitchen table. And there’s an old door rescued from a Craftsman house lying smack across the center of the storeroom. The shed in my yard does contain several rolls of tarpaper. Not hoarding, though. I have Actual Uses for these things as soon as I can pull together the time and money. I expect others hereabouts could say the same
But if others are stocking up on 2x4s, insulation, and nails with no near-future plans for such, what do you think’s going on?