Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Howdy X 2

Here is a double Howdy and a welcome to MammawB and MysticMud
Thank y'all for hitting the follow button and being a part of the Modern Day Redneck Family. If you need anything just let me know.
Thank you and again, welcome

After looking through the members of MysticMud I saw I was one of the last ones to hit the join button. I don't know how her blog slipped through.
If you have not checked it out yet, I encourage you to do so.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Another Finished Book

I thought I would share the latest book I just got through. Sorry for the bad pic. It was taken from my phone in the truck.

This book was a little different read for me.
With only about 100 pages, it still gets you to thinking about the politicians and how they lie to you.  The end result is control without and an uprising.

My dad and I were just talking about this very thing this weekend. How do you kill 6 million Jews? This book explains it.

It even goes as far as comparing some of the speeches made to us today by our own elected officials to the same thing past dictators said to their people.
Scary stuff. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Potato Bin

Another crazy and busy weekend has come and gone.

Just a quick update on the bathhouse signs. I got them all finished but after glossing them, some turned out too dark to read so I am needing to redo three.

As far as today, the preacher was really wound up this morning and ran us over so I had a late start. Don't get me wrong, his message was great and it kinda hit me right in the forehead. I think he plans his sermons around my life, or at least it seams that way. 
We didn't get home till almost 1:00 and had to be gone again by 2:30. Luckily the wife had some people over buying books so that bought me about another hour to build on the potato bins.
I took 2x6 boards and cut them to make a three foot square. I then nailed in a 4x4 at opposite corners on the first rung up high enough to accommodate the 2x6 squares to be stacked five high.
The idea is the same as the tires. The plants grow and you add the next tier with compost and straw.
I should be able to plant 6 to 8 plants in each bin.
I am only starting off with two for the Feb 15th planting and if the are any good then I will make more for the fall planting.

At 3:00 we finally had to git. My buddy Dave and his wife were cooking liver and gizzards with mashed potatoes and gravy. They invited the whole family over and I was not going to miss out on this one. Being there was not anything healthy about that meal I was not about to go half way. I figured if I am going to do it then I am going to jump in with both feet and make it worth my while.
Man did I tear up some of that.  

Y'all have a great week and be safe.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Custom Lighting

I spent the day running. I did everything from teaching the middle girl how to parallel park to watching the Evens fight over at my buddy's house plus everything in between.

Even though I was busier than a one armed paper hanger, I still had the time to get my Solar Lighting installed in the Bathhouse.

 I took a normal 20 ounce coke bottle, washed it out and filled it with water. I then added a cap full of bleach and filled it to the top leaving no room for air. Then I removed the label.
 I drilled a three inch hole in the top of the bathhouse, stuck the bottle in it and siliconed the crap out of it.
 I had to put a strap on the bottom to keep the bottle in place while the silicone dried for about four hours.
 And there it is, a true solar light that is the equal to about a forty watt soft light bulb.

Tomorrow after church I plan to start on the stackable, wooden potato beds. I am done with tires, time to move on to something else.

Friday, January 27, 2012

For All You Book Lovers Out There

"Ring, Ring, "Ring, Ring" my cell phone was going off. I picked it up and saw the wife was calling. Nothing out of the norm because she calls me several times a day.

I hit the answer button and said "Hey babe, what's up?"

A frantic voice was on the other end and it said, "I need forty dollars right now!"

Without blinking an eye I said, "Okay"

"Really!" Now her voice sounded like a kid who was just given a piece of candy.

"Sure, I will work it in the budget somehow." I said back being the supportive husband that I am.

"Do you even want to know what it is for?" She asked.

"Nope, I trust you and if you need it that bad you didn't even need to ask." I wanted to keep the best husband thing going for as long as I could and if forty bucks bought me a your the best attitude then I will gladly pay.

She ended the conversation with, "Well okay, I will see you when you get home."

This is what $40.00 bought.

 60 boxes of books. Each box has around 25 books in it. That is around 1500 books.
Some are classic first additions from 1907 and some are those kind of books you would not know who in the world would ever buy.
The wife is going to go through and catalog each book.
My thought is to take them to the half price book store and make a deal at fifty cents a book takes the whole thing.
Until then, my living room is filled with boxes and boxes of books.


Here is a howdy and a welcome to 1mohandyman 
Thank you for hitting the little join button and becoming the newest member of the Modern Day Redneck family. If you need anything just let me know.
Thanks again,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Neighbor I Never Knew

I had been going to my wife's parents house all the way back to when I was around six years old. They lived in a small lake community on the edge of town and I always thought the place was oddly developed with houses being built anywhere they would fit. The whole place is filled with thick wooded rolling hills finally making it's way down to the waters edge. The pot hole filled gravel roads wind their way through trees and around houses giving you the feeling of being completely lost until it emerges back on the main paved road and once again civilization. In the community's heyday it was a 60's weekend fishing retreat with Quonset huts dotting the landscape. I am sure the stories it could tell would be something.     

Practically growing up over there and later when the wife and I started dating, I spent most of my free time just hanging out with her at her house. I always noticed her neighbors but never paid much attention to what they did. One neighbor in particular that lived directly behind her house stood out the most. The guy was always out and building odd looking structures. I guess at that point in my life I was not interested in anything but the reason why I was there so I would shrug it off and not think twice about this guy or his projects. Even if I was interested I am sure the man would not waste his time on a punk kid with mullet styled hair asking him questions, so I never did.

Twenty one years later, I can't remember where, I ran into his wife. She came out to the house a year or so ago and was surprised to see some of the solar builds and other projects I was doing. She told me to get with her husband because he was doing all the same stuff. She then started to send me pictures of some of the projects they had done and told me about some of the concepts. I started to get interested and at the same time kicking myself for not sticking my nose in his business earlier on to learn some of this.

Deciding I needed to see some of his work I invited myself to his house last weekend and was given the grand tour.
One of the first things I was interested in was his gardens. He built Chinampa  which is a rectangular shaped area of fertile arable land used for crops during the Mesoamerica era. Though labor intensive to build, they give off a more abundant yield than a traditional garden.

"I like to think outside the box" he added while giving me detailed instructions on how he placed the blocks and bamboo to construct his own.

I stood taking notes and patiently listening while looking around his place. He must have noticed my focus was now on to the next item and he quickly changed gears and walked me over to the Dome while talking the whole time. He called it his Geodesics Dome. The 9x16 hex growing house was built out of crisscrossing PVC pipes and covered with a twenty foot Chinese Military Parachute. A hole in the top and a reflective emergency blanked directs the the sunlight onto the plants and wherever else it is needed.
"This is the prototype of what I want to start selling and custom building for customers" he stated.
His goal on the growing houses it to expand his business and sell the pre-made kits plus install them for people who like the design and want them in their back yards.
I personally liked the fact you could have a garden bed all the way around the inside plus hang all your Herbs or other plants from the supports. If built right, this could be a self contained Terrarium.

I asked him what his main goals for building all this and why he is doing what he does.

"I want to be able to eat out of what I build for a least a year", he added "and I really want to be a resource to the solution of the growing problems we face."

Now the conversation was getting into some deep thought so I had to put on my "A" game and listen.
He continued, "I want to be able to influence schools to teach these types of programs to the students so they can learn to be more self sufficient"
All I could do was stand there and shake my head in agreement while trying to write this stuff down.

"People will get tired of eating the poisons the government is feeding us one day."

With that he spun around and took off walking yelling back "Watch your step and follow me, you will like this"
Down and around we came to a traditional hoop house where inside he was building a Aquaponics system. This system uses nutrient filled water from fish to flood the garden beds every so often and then drain back into the fish tank. You do not use traditional soil but a mixture of pea gravel and clay balls also know as Hydroton. His plan is to also build these as a package where anyone can buy one already made with easy assembly and have it in their backyard. This really got my attention because I have been designing my own for a while now. This was the first time I had actually seen one in person and in the process of being built was a added bonus for me.

Needless to say I stayed in there so long studying every aspect of the design he got bored, left and was now showing the wife some more stuff. Having my questions ready to be answered, I went out and found them at what he calls his Saxophone. It is the Hydroponics system.
This is a closed system pumping nutrient filled water constantly through the plants roots. For the water he soaks a bag of compost in a bucket making a compost tea and then pumps the water through the pipes to later return to the holding tank, mix with more nutrients and off again. The cups have holes in the bottoms for the water to soak the roots. After the plants have started and gain a root system they are then transplanted into foam and the roots hang free into the flowing water.

Both of these systems are great and produce around four times the plant yield normal garden soils do. It is like steroids for plants but it is all safe and organic.

"What are you going to do with all the extra produce you grow?" I asked.

"I have had a good life so I want to give something back. I want to donate the food to soup kitchens and homeless shelters."

My meeting ended with a handshake and a promise to be back in a couple of weeks to see the progress. I am shocked at the fact all this was going on so close to me all those years and I never knew it. Like I said, I am sure age had a lot to do with not knowing or even caring as far as that goes, but I can't stop thinking only if I would have thought to stop and see what all that building was about then I might be a lot further along than where I am today on my knowledge of all this.
It just goes to show, one day you might learn something from the neighbors you might not know.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Here is a Howdy to Lana over at http://www.farmlifelessons.blogspot.com/ for becoming the newest member of the Modern Day Redneck family. Thank you for hitting the little button and being part of this train wreck. If you need anything just let me know. My email is on the right side of the blog.
Thank you and Welcome

Lana writes a real nice blog and just posted about her camera on an acid trip. You should check out her pics, it's like groovy man!. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Everyone Should Have One

I don't think you would be honked at but once if you were riding around on this.


This is a welcome to my new friend and Modern Day Redneck family member
Odysseus. Thank you my friend for hitting the join button and becoming a member.
If you need anything you can comment of email me anytime.

I checked out his blog hit the join button myself. Odysseus writes a very well written and informative blog you might want to check out for yourself.   

Sunday, January 22, 2012

This Way And That

All I can say is, "Wow what a weekend." I was all over the place.

I crammed in so many things in such a short amount of time this weekend even I am amazed. I won't go into everything because you will just get bored, but I will hit the highlights.

Yesterday the "Junkin" did not go as planned. Fist off I did not have any money to do anything too serious even if I wanted to. I did find a old wire vegetable holder for a dollar I hung up in the bathhouse for the soaps and shampoos.
I also finished decorating around the sink area. The one thing I was looking for yesterday was antique signs that promoted bathroom products. I did not find even one. I never do find what I am looking for when I am looking for it. I am not worried, I will run across some one of these days.

After all the running around we ended up over a guy's house that thinks along the same lines as I do. I got to tour his facilities taking many notes and pictures. I do not want to say too much about it because I am going to do a piece solely about what he is doing but I will say this is some really cool stuff. 
We spent the remainder of Saturday night visiting friends that we have not seen in a while and enjoying good company. It was fun.

Today did not look like is was going to turn out with drizzling rain, high winds and cold temps. As a matter of fact I almost turned around and went back in the house saying just to heck with it, but was met at the door by the youngest. She said before I got busy she needed me for an hour in the rabbit area, so that is just what I did. She has some rabbits fixin to have babies and we had to move some around and hang more cages. I took the opportunity to reorganize the area and do some cleaning. I could not pass it up.

The sun finally broke out and then it was the wife's turn. I got the youngest started on the bathhouse signs and helped the wife plant all the onions.
"It is good to finally see some green out there", she said smiling at me.
We planted enough onions to do several cases of salsa this year. I also got her herb beds ready for planting in March.
After I was done with the herb beds I told her, "See what a little smile will do"

I stuck my foot in my mouth because she reminded me a promise is a promise while still smiling so I got busy on her screen door. It is not pretty but it's up.
The sliding door still shuts and now during the day she can open it and leave the screen door closed keeping the flies out.
This is the door I got from a Lowe's sidewalk sale a few months back. It was listed for I think $80.00 but I am not sure (I can't remember) and I got it for $7.00
While I worked on the door, I got the youngest started on the art work for the North side of the bath house. I ain't gunna show it till she is done, but it is really looking good so far.
I picked up the lumber for her from a friend of mine last night who was just storing it and not using it. He said he did not need it but did not want it going to waste. I told him I had the perfect project for it.

There are many more little details I could add but you would just get bored so I will save you from having to make that face and the signing sound as you hit the little X in the upper corner just to shut me up.  

Friday, January 20, 2012

Weekend Adventures

Come to think of it, I can't remember when it was 80 degrees in January. I know Texas weather has it's own mind but wow. I am thinking on turning the AC on tonight, how crazy is that. 

The good thing about all this sun is I am having some really good FREE showers at night.
Come on, be honest. I bet you have never read a blog where anyone else tells you when they shower. I'm just saying, there is something special about it when it's free.
It seams like the water is better, the heat soothes these sore muscles better, the oil lamp lighting is better, it makes me in a better mood and I can't stop grinning the whole time I am lathering up. I know it is all in my head but I'm telling ya, there might be something to this.  

Another busy weekend is in store for the next two days. I have to find time for the kids, the animals, the projects and the wife, with all four being very demanding.

Tomorrow morning me and the wife are doing "Junkin". That is where we hit salvage places, antique malls and every place else that might look like they are willing to deal. I also have to stop by the lumber store for a couple of things for Sunday.
After our running around most of the day we are scheduled to meet with a guy who I will do a post on in the near future. I kinda invited myself to his place to take a tour and interview him and his projects. I think y'all will enjoy it.

Sunday is of course church and then that leaves only six hours left in the weekend for everything else.
While the youngest and middle girls are working on the bathhouse signs, I will be hanging the screen door. Normally just hanging the door is not at all hard, but this one needs to be framed in and installed over the sliding glass door. It will take some engineering to get this right.

I might not post till Sunday night, so y'all have a great weekend and be safe out there.

I wonder how hot my water is right now.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

After looking for a day or two through hundreds of designs and ideas, I have settled on a design for one of my next builds.
You can find the all the info out at http://www.edibleplanet.org/pdf/Clothing/Building%20Your%20Own%20Washing%20Machine.pdf

I tried to get a picture of it but for some reason it would not let me, but if you click on the link and scroll half way down, there is a great pic of a home made, hand operated Washing machine.
I have it all figured out, It will sit near the solar batch water heater so I can fill it with hot water. The ringer will go between the washer and the rinse tub and then be able to swing around and be used from the rinse tub to the finished clothes basket where the clothes will be then be hung on the line.

I already have some design changes to be made to the washer. I plan to add springs so the work load will not be as hard as if you did all the pushing and pulling by hand.

The wife is not to thrilled by all this and is worried I will get busy on the laundry area build before I get her screen door up. The screen door will be put on this weekend I promise, plus the bath house signs will start being made.
The girls are looking forward in helping out on the signs.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Howdy X 2

I want to give a big welcome to Cheryl and Kelly for becoming the newest members of the Modern Day Redneck family.
Thank y'all for hitting the join button on this little blog and please feel free to leave some comments. You can also email me if you need anything.
Thank you and again, Welcome.

To all my other friends, Kelly has a real nice website with a huge following at http://mysimplewalk.com/ full of some real good information that will interest most of you. So please check it out.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Is This In The Urban Dictionary?

How to speak Texan

I found this on Facebook and thought I would share. 
I don't think this one is in the urban dictionary Kymber (inside joke).

Oh by the way, I took my first shower in the solar bathhouse tonight. 43 degrees outside with a water temp of 110. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Proud Owner

I was impressed with the wife a couple of days ago when she sent me this picture and simply asked,
"You want it"

Well you bet I did but from my research they are going between 60 and 100 bucks. So I asked how much.

She text back "$20.00"

The next question from me was obvious, "Does it work"

"Yup, it sure does"

"Then git it"

I am the proud owner of a clothes wringer, finally. I have been looking for one of these things for several years now.  

A Double Howdy

I would like to introduce the two newest members of the MDR family. Thank y'all for hitting the join button and becoming a part of this train wreck. Please feel free to comment or email at any time.

Ron over at http://theoldgeezerblog.blogspot.com/ writes a great blog with some deep insight and very inspiring. You should check out his testimony.  
Terria at http://dogoodanddowell.blogspot.com/ writes a real nice blog covering several different topics ranging from survival prepping to Frugal living. Why don't you stop on by.

Thank y'all again and welcome to Modern Day Redneck.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Solar Bathhouse Continued

 This weekend I got most of what was planned accomplished.
The focus was all on the Solar Bathhouse and getting it so close to being done I could almost stick a fork in it.

The first and most important thing to do was pressurize the system and check for leaks. Being that I am a better plumber than I thought, no leaks were found and we were good to go. 

 The bathhouse was already close to being done but the weather and work has kept me from doing the finishing touches to it I was wanting.

I finally got the sink all finished and it works like a dream. Yes that is a salad bowl I am using for a sink.

The two lanterns were hung and the toilet paper holder was built.
The composting toilet to done and ready to be used.

After this picture I also hung the mirror and put up the curtains. 

I could not find any re-bar to make a shower curtain with so the youngest suggested we use the last stick of PVC and some left over fittings. It worked great and now she is going around bragging that she is smarter than me.
It took three shower curtains but that baby is now wrapped and ready for use.

After the picture I installed towel and cloths hangers using old horse shoes and placed towels on the shelves. It looks better than the bathroom that is in the house now.

I took advantage of the oldest being here one more day before she went back to college and put the stain sprayer in her hand. I think she enjoyed it and I know I sure enjoyed working side beside all three of my girls.
The wall that BEB is staining right there is the wall where the middle girl is going to do her art work for me (I think it has something to do with a Rattle snake).

I put a new pane of glass in the window and scraped off all the over spray so now it is a real pretty window looking out over the gardens.

The youngest painted the solar water heater box black for me to help adsorb some more heat.
The high for the day was 65 and I measured the temp on the water at 115 degrees.  

The signs for all who helped sponsor the bathhouse  will be going to the right of the door. Those will start being made next weekend.

Tonight I lit the lanterns and tested the water for my first shower. It was cloudy all day in the upper 50's and the water temp was only 90 degrees. I was a little disappointed but I will get plenty of use out of it this summer.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Weekend Adventures

First off I want to say thank you to all who supported and left comments on DFW's guest post. It was fun and I have invited her to do it again anytime. 

This last month the oldest has been home from college and it has gone by really quick. We were so busy with work and living we did not get the chance to hang out have fun together as much as I wanted. Plus the weather was really bad for most of the month making it where we couldn't do anything even if we wanted to.  
Several times we did get to sit down at the supper table together as a family and once or twice she did get the chance to come outside and help me on the projects. She even completed one of my projects herself while I worked beside her on another. That's good memories right there.
I think it will be just as hard to say goodby this Sunday as it was the first time I did it a few months ago, but she will be back for the summer and I already have some fun things planned (I've got a few camping sites and fishing holes I have been wanting to try out).
Anyway I am sure your tired of hearing about it so I will get off the pity bus and pull my big girl panties up and get on with the post.

If the weather holds and the wind dies down I plan to stain the Bathhouse Saturday afternoon.
I am also wanting to plumb in the sink and pressurize the system so I can check for any mishaps I might have done.
I still need to paint the water heater box, hang the lanterns, install the solar lighting, make a round curtain rod, make the name plates, fix the window and a few more other things I hope to get to this weekend. I also have a little added something the middle girl is going to paint for me on one of the outside walls, I think y'all will really like it.  
I still have a lot to do on it before I can call it complete but maybe, just maybe I can take my first shower in it Sunday night depending on if it is sunny or not.    


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Outdoor Oven (Guest Post) Updated

I have the pleasure of posting a Guest Post of an Outdoor Oven build from DFW, a good friend of mine and a fellow MDR member.

Show her some love and please comment.

Outdoor Oven
by DFW

Like MDR, we want to build an outdoor kitchen. However, with both of us working full-time and taking care of two houses, we just aren’t ready to commit to the whole thing yet. We have an area that we know where it will eventually be but the parameters aren’t quite defined.

We know what we want in it (sink, grill, stove/oven & possibly a fry area). I had been researching a lot of things on the internet and ran across a plan for an outdoor wood burning oven/stove/grill and was intrigued. I clicked the link and hurrah! I found what I thought would work great, on the Mother Earth News website. Printed the whole article along with the diagrams & pictures and brought them home to the husband. http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/Build-An-All-In-One-Outdoor-Oven-Stove-Grill-And-Smoker.aspx

Instead of saying - “Oh no, not another project for me.” He loved the idea and wanted to go ahead and build it now, because doing so in the future may not be possible. We decided to go ahead and spend the money to get it put in place now.
Of course, after studying the plans he wanted to make some adjustments, typical him. Basically it was a fire brick oven with a removable steel top & door, set as high as you need and then surrounded by concrete block with space in between fire box & outside walls, for insulation (which will consist of a concrete & perlite mix).

Well, the husband thought that building a steel box and then lining that with fire brick would make things easier. He ordered the sheets of steel and had one of his employees, who is a genius with welding, make the box. We had old firebrick that we were going to use but after further research found that the old brick might have been made with asbestos and thought better of using for food stuff. He found a local company that makes and sells fire bricks so he broke down & purchased enough to do the job.

He started building and adjusting as the month wore on. Then, the box was finished, we decided to go ahead and move it to our 2nd location, which will eventually be where we retire.
We still couldn’t decide on a permanent spot so we decided on a temporary one and put it in. Lit it and lo and behold it worked!

In order to test it for real, we decided to make New Year’s cornbread in it. Fired it up and got the cast iron skillet ready.
It was getting late in the day and the chops, greens, black eyed peas were moving along so we decided to go ahead and bake the bread. Figured it could ‘set’ for awhile, while everything else was finishing up. Put the skillet in to ‘heat’ up. Mixed the batter and took it out to the oven. Took the heated skillet out of the oven and let it cool for a few. Put the batter in and boy did it sizzle! Put it back in the oven and continued to watch carefully.

Original recipe called for baking 30-45 min. It wasn’t ready after 45 so let it go a little longer, just under an hour. The cornbread finally set up. Once we took it out, we realized we didn’t let the skillet cool enough when we initially put the batter in, so the outside was kinda brown, well it was actually burnt. That didn’t stop us though because it smelled so good, we ate the inside; it was very similar to spoon bread and very tasty.

So overall, very happy with the results. I think we’ll try pizza this weekend!

Here’s a full photo of the semi-finished product:


1      ¼”  sheet steel (4x8)
53   Fire Brick
3     Welders chipping hammers (cut heads off to use as handles)
15’  ¾” High temp stove gasket
1         High temp gasket cement
2         High temp paint
1         Porcelain coated booking grid
Stove top pipe – depends on how high you need to make it. We used 3 ft for the temporary location.
Hinges. Husband made his own from bushings and bolts.
                Various concrete blocks – depends on how wide and how tall you are going to make it. We used 39 full blocks, 20 solid blocks.
                Pavers – totally optional. We put nine in front just to keep dust down.
                Will eventually need secrete to insulate – see directions in link below.

Paint, gaskets & glue purchased online – cjshomedecor.com
Chipping hammers from Northern Tool (cut heads off)

May need extra brick for insulation on top of stove box.
Stove Gasket is woven fiberglass – purchase extra as it has a tendency to be hard to stick. Maybe not using enough glue?

We spent around $325, more than we intended. But if you were going to insulate right away you could use lesser thick steel or none at all. And, we thought we could use the leftover fire brick we have stowed but couldn’t verify that it didn’t have asbestos, so decided to go the safe route. Not using the steel and new brick would decrease the cost by about $220. If you already have enough blocks laying around, the savings is even greater.

We felt that since we didn’t have a permanent spot yet, we needed an actual box for the oven itself. Still haven’t put insulation between box and concrete block but it’s pretty good at keeping temp, unless it’s really windy. We really should have put it on the east side of that building, the wind is a bear on the west side in the winter time. Maybe it will be just the opposite in the summer time.

All directions, except for making the actual steel oven box, are here:

It takes a bit longer to heat up than we originally thought but we just light a small fire, open the flue a bit and check on it occasionally. About an hour later and we add wood or not, depending on what we are going to cook and how high a temp we need.

Will eventually add a thermostat to the front door but it works well enough for novelty cooking right now.

Book List

This list was emailed to me from my good friend Shar. I was asked to share it so others could add to their lists and collections. These are her ratings and so far she has been dead on.

I have only began to scratch the surface on these kind of books and this list will keep me busy for at least two years.

Shar is a active member of MDR so if you have any questions for her leave a comment and I am sure she will respond.                                                      

Book List  
                Rating – One Star (not so good) to Five Stars (Awesome)
Patriots   By James Wesley, Rawles  ****
Survivor   By James Wesley, Rawles  ***
Lucifers Hammer   By Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle  *****
One Second After   By William Forstchen  *****
Anthem    By Ayn Rand  *****
1984   By George Orwell  *****
Atlas Shrugged   By Ayn Rand  ****
Alas, Babylon   By Pat Frank  ****
Wolf & Iron   By Gordon R Dickson  *****
Earth Abides   By George R Stewart  ****
No Blade of Grass   By John Christopher  *****
World Made By Hand   By James Howard Kunstler  ****
On The Beach   By Nevil Shute  ***
Day of the Triffids   By John Wyndham  **
The Stand   By Stephen King  ****
Stacey’s Quest   By AK Steele  ****
Survivors   By Terry Nation  ****
Lights Out   By David Crawford  *****
The Walk   By Lee Goldberg  ****
Into The Forest   By Jean Heglund  ***
Life as We Knew It   By Susan Beth Pfeffer ****
         The Dead and Gone   By Susan Beth Pfeffer  ****
         This World We Live In   By  Susan Beth Pfeffer  ****
Hunger Game Series   By Suzanne Collins  ****
          Catching Fire    By Suzanne Collins  ****
          Mocking Jay    By Suzanne Collins  ****
The Maze Runner Series   By James Dashner  ***
           The Scorch Trials   By James Dashner  ***
           The Death Cure   By James Dashner  ***
Left Behind Series   By Jerry B Jenkins & Tim LaHaye  ****
Left Behind Kids Series   By Jerry B Jenkins & Tim LaHaye  ***
The Overton Window   By Glen Beck  ****
Grapes of Wrath   By John Steinbeck  ***

NON-FICTION  -  These are the best of my non-fiction/self help books
How to Survive TEOTWAWKI   By James Wesley, Rawles
Encyclopedia of Country Living   By Carla Emery
Where There is No Doctor   By David Wemer
The Complete Medicinal Herbal   By Penelope Ody
10 Essential Herbs   By Lalitha Thomas
Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook   By Peggy Layton
The American Red Cross First Aid & Safety Handbook
The Simplicity Primer    By Patrice Lewis


Being in the construction field and operating big equipment I can appreciate these videos. I thought you might get a kick out of them as well.
I can't understand a word they are saying but it is well worth it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rednecks and Laundry

 What a boring day, I have not gotten out of my lounging pants all day (That is what the high class people call pajamas).

I took the opportunity of not being able to do anything because it rained again all day to take a stab at making my own laundry soap. Mandy over at thefarmerscompound has put up some real good posts on how to make all your household cleaning supplies yourself and even priced it out so I thought why not.

The one thing I found is that even though a lot of people know how to do this, nobody puts up any pictures of the finished product. I don't have a clue if I did it right or not.
I have also found that for every person out there that makes their own laundry soap there are that many if not more recipes for it.

Let me tell you what I did and like I said, I do not have a clue.
I took one cut up 14.1 oz laundry soap bar made from Mexico and put it in my food processor (I will never do that again). When it was shredded up pretty fine I dumped it in a bucket and added 1 1/2 cups of Washing soda and 1 1/2 cups of Borax.
The recipe I followed told me to keep it in powder form and only use 3 table spoons per load.        
One batch mixed up
I don't know if this is right or not but I'm going with it. I have an HE washer and this I guess is a concentrate. 
I talked with Mandy and she said it might leave white stuff all over my clothes and the only way to find out is just do it. 

I put a bunch of black shirts in to make sure I could see any left over soap and I added plain Vinegar for the fabric softener. 
I just pulled them out of the washer and they are clean and actually smell good. I did cheat a little on this load by hitting extra rinse button, but on the next one I won't.   

During our emailing back and forth I asked her if she thought it was weird that she was talking a big dumb redneck through doing laundry. She simply said, "I have talked them through worse" 

Well, The wife is hollering supper is ready and I am not going to miss out on Chicken and Dumplings.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hey Dummy

We had one heck of a storm blow through last night.
The thunder and lightning were awful. All I can remember is the bed shaking so bad it  woke me up and with one of those thunderous dooms and I thought I was under attack. I jumped from the bed, grabbed my shirt and was reaching for my firearm when the wife snapped me out of it by saying "hey, Hey, HEY DUMB A**! It was just thunder". I looked at her in one of those sleepy dazes until it finally sunk in. I just walked back to bed and grumbled something about not being a dumb butt and was just trying to protect the family and then quickly fell back to sleep.
At least that is how I remember it, she might tell you something completely different though.

In my business when it rains it means there is no work. So I drove the little over an hour drive into work today just to be turned right back around and headed home.
For the first hour or so at home I stared out the back door at the rain and the increasing amount of the water running through the back yard trying to think of something to do. Coming up with absolutely nothing I settled for the couch and to read the rest of Lights Out . It seems that every time I read one of these kind of books they get better and better. I know a bunch of y'all have read it or is in the process of reading it so I will not give out any spoilers. I will say even though it kept me at the edge of my seat, the end was a little predictable and it left some questions unanswered, but still well worth the read. I rank it right up there beside One Second After.

Shar, one of the members of MDR and a friend of mine, sent me her reading list. There will not be any shortage of books to read with that list, it will take me years to read them all. I will let you know which one is next.

I have already gotten word to not come to work tomorrow as well. I will tell you right now it already hard to pay bills and not working doesn't make it any easier. This year is not starting off all that great.  


Here is a howdy to Liesl for being the newest person to hit the join button and become family here at MDR.
Liesl I encourage you to leave as many comments as you like and if you need anything else my email is on the right of this blog.
Thank you and welcome to the family.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

All Over The Place

This post will be kinda all over the place so here we go.

 First thing is I added another raised bed to the garden area this weekend. I built it last week and have been filling it up with that pile of compost my dad delivered to me a couple of months ago one wheel barrow at a time.
Onions have to go in at the end of the month and I needed another bed to dedicate for just onions because the wife plans to make several cases of salsa this year.
I am also trying to figure out a cheap way to put up some sun screens so the summer sun will not have such a devastating effect like it did last summer.   
I got the plumbing just about done in the solar bathhouse. It is not how I really wanted to do it but it was the cheapest way.
I also went ahead and built the shelves for the towels and other things I will have to have in there.
I have not had the chance to stain the outside yet due to the weather. We have not had but a couple of days where the sun has been out and the wind has not blown a hundred miles an hour. As soon as I get it stained I will make the signs and hang them on the bathroom wall.
In the mean time the virtual wall can be found at the top of the this blog and has the names of everyone who helped out so it is not too late if you are still wanting to participate.    

I also scored a free hot tub this weekend. I had to get three guys and drive almost to the Red River but it's mine now.

Being that is was free I did not expect it to work and after closer examination I noticed the wiring had been really butchered and would take a lot to repair.
I got the thing because I need the parts in it. It has two big filters that will go on the outside of the bathhouse to filter the rain water.
It also has a big pump that will be used for the Aquaponics system to be built later this year. The control panel has two different timers in it that can be salvaged to use on the same system.
The tub was a nice one in it's day. There are four low voltage lights I can use and several different valves, pipes and various plumbing parts. The tub itself will be used as a minnow hatchery for this springs fishing season.  

So there you have it. A weekend of doing this and that. The weather man said it was going to be in the 70's and sunny but it ended up being cloudy and nasty. I had such high hopes too.


This Howdy is for Patti for hitting the join button and becoming the newest member of the MDR family.
Please feel free to leave a comment when you want too. I will always try and reply. My email is on the right of the blog if you need anything.

Thank you and welcome.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Secret Society Of Preppers

A guy at work came up to me the other day and asked if I was a prepper. I asked him to define the word prepper and he defined it as "Someone who prepares for what is to come".

Being a little put off by his untimely and bold approach I asked what was to come and why he would ask me that.
His said the reason he asked me was because he saw an Emergency Essentials catalog on the dashboard of my truck and the answer to what was to come, he said whatever it is you are prepping for.
Cursed, I need to be more careful with what I leave laying around.

We should have a secret handshake or a safe word we communicate to one another so we can weed out the riffraff and the nonbelievers.

I still hesitated to confirm his beliefs about me so I asked him why he wanted to know. That is all it took because he spilled his guts.

The guy introduced me to a company he uses for all his food storage needs and said he will not use any other. They are located at http://wisefoodstorage.com/long-term-food-supply.html?ref=cj
 Being I have never heard of them I looked the name up and gave my information for a free sample.

A short while later a Wise Company sales rep called my cell. Yea, I was as surprised as you are. I sure didn't like him calling me but used the opportunity to ask him some questions.
I asked if the company gave out it's customer list to anyone including any government agencies. His exact words were "Absolutely not, but if they had a warrant I would have no choice" and went on to explain. He said the Mormon deal a month or so ago turned out to be not true (I guess he has had a few people ask the same question) and went on to say he does know that the state of Tennessee was going door to door asking if people stored food so they could get it and use it for the flood victims.

I checked out the rest of the web site and do like some of the already made packs they have for sell. When I decide to make a purchase, I think I will start off with the 72 hour pack so I can restock my BOB.

They are not endorsing me in anyway. I just like sharing this info on what I find plus it does not hurt to buy from many different sources because you never know who is keeping track.