the Trash vitae

Trash is the editor-in-chief of an independent Colorado micro-publisher/ design studio. I dabble in digital photography, the lost art of film image making, and guerilla digital video. DrMAC Studios specializes in books and videos on self-reliance, gardening, dumpster diving, urban foraging and living off the excesses of others.
This blog documents my daily experiences with the rest of the world

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Heatring with wood

bfast- oatmeal and grain combo, toast, coffee
lunch- fruit sandie, waster
dinner- hoagies and chips form rthe Wallie.
I found this article on one of the sites I read regularly and thought to pass it on. I picked up a ben Frankilin wood stove a few months ago for a 6 pack of beer and it is ready for use.

There you go scratching your head, trying to figure out how you are going to stay warm during the cold winter months after the Saudi's import sanctions against the U.S., preferring to sell their oil to China. After all the Chinese produce over ten percent of the world’s consumer goods and they are ready, willing and able to sell or trade military secrets and technology to countries hostel toward the America.

There is no easy answer, at least long term. I think the problem will be more a lack of funds rather then of supply. Those holding the wealth will control whatever resources left. As usual the poor will be hit hardest, while the rich will continue on as usual, at least until actual Peak Oil happens and the oil flow decreases to a dribble.

The availability of wood for heating will depend on your location more then anything else. Someone hidden away in the deserts of Nevada would have a harder time heating with wood then the hermit secluded in the hills of Tennessee.

Only a few years ago just about everyone in my area heated with wood, now only a small number own a wood stove. It seems the ease of natural gas drove the final nail in the coffin of the wood burner.

I can heat my trailer all winter with three pickup loads of wood or less depending on how cold it gets and how long the cold snaps last. In the south our winters are fairly mild, rarely falling below twenty degrees, up north it may get minus twenty or lower requiring much more wood to stay warm.

Post Peak Oil, cutting the wood and getting it from woodlot to woodpile may present the most difficult challenge for the survivor, rather then a lack of supply. A crosscut saw and an ax would be worth there weight in gold after the chainsaw sucks the last drop of fuel from the tank.

Sleeping bags rated at -10 or better, thermal socks and underwear are a must for colder parts of the country. I can remember as a child of maybe eight or ten, my mother lost her job and we were forced to stay in an old abandoned barn. I recall waking to a bed full of snow that had blown in through the cracks in the walls. We survived only because we had those sleeping bags and thermal socks and underwear.

Do everything you can to make your dwelling more energy efficient. Plastic over the windows, blankets hung over the doors, skirting around trailers etc,. Little things can make a big difference, saving a lot of resources making your supplies last much longer then normal.

Wood heat may not be the perfect solution against the cold but it maybe the best option available for most of us at the moment. It sure beats propane post peak-oil or dying of CO poisoning while trying to feed a Sierra Stove with bags of wood pellets.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

50 degrees an 60 mile winds

bfast- oatmeal, toast and coffee
lunch- chips and dip fruit and water
dinner pasta and turkey sausage, bread and water

as the title says its 50 degrees outside and winds have been howling at the stead all night. Supposed to wind down later this morning. Then will assess the damage. Right now cant see any but you never know. Anyhow I went and picked up about 200 leftover candles from a church nearby who was giving them away. Now I should have enough to keep the house lit in case of another power outage.
Also stopped by SPROUTS on the way back ( i took the dumpe bike) and loaded up on oats and grain cereal at 2 lbs for a $1. Checked the back door and grabbed a 5 lb bag of onions.On the way back I rode behind the Safie way and grabbed some oranges, pckged blueberries and a bag of cashews. gotta love the after Xmas snacks that didnt sell..
Spent the afternoon playing board games with the kidlets and havein a beer or 2. Learning alot during this time of reflection.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday morning meanderings

bfast- leftover ham burritos, coffee
lunch- doritos and dip, oragne, water
dinner- roast chicken, yams, green bean casserole leftovers.

Hangin out at the stead yesterday working the CL for money makin opps I was catchin up on the TCM channel and am noticing the move towards Depression era offerings. Yesterday alone I caught Grapes of Wrath and Bound for Glory. The ideas of tent cities and Hoovervilles are rearing there heads again. More and more people are beginning to make attempts at self reliance and sufficiency. Something the missus and I have been doing for most of ourt lives. Welcome aboard.

Livi off the excess of others is something I profess to all. There is so much waste out there you only need to search locally to take advantage. Frsh dates and bags of Spanish peanuts were the fids of yesterday. Greast snacks and healthy too.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

the day after xmas

bfast- holiday cheese ball quesadilla, fruit and coffee
lunch- ham sandies with catsup on wheat bread, fruit, water
dinnere fried ham, mashed taters, and doritos and dip.

yesterday was not m,uch fun. the kids were all snug in their roooms with the new games while wife was in bed in pain after throwing out the back. OUCH. pain meds and sleep for her. poor kid

did some front f door shopping for bread and chips (buy 2 get 2free) and some leftover pudding cakes (from the Safieway back door) yumyum. Anyhow it warmed up to about 40 yesterday so spent some time out of doors. the snow is melting and gaterhing in my tanks for later use.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

happy Xttianmas

bfast- cheddar roll burrito, banana coffee
lunch- leftover homemade enchiladas- water
xmas eve dinner- hot wings, hot ribs, chips and beef stick cold beer

hohoho it was fun this morning and now the kids are playing with the board games and dvd games we gottem. Along with necessities. socks, gloves sweats and boots and coats.
got the missus some bath stuff and nail stuff on clearance at the Wally. She also loved her new crucifix and chain. She had tears of happiness. That makes it all worth while. Its hard livin with Trash. And i appreciate her.
Anyhow gonna have ham and scalloped taters and more cold beer later. And get ready to hit the dumpies tomorrow and the next week to see the goodies come out.

luv the holidays. free stuff good food and family dumpieing. Loadin up just in case times get tough, or even if they dont.

Monday, December 22, 2008

a Survivalist Night before Xmas

Twas the month before ChristmasAnd all through the houseThe storage was lowHardly a crumb for a mouse.
The shelves were about empty,Oh, what a plight!The wolf’s at the door,And no money in sight.
All the children were nestledTo keep warm in their bed,Hoping that before longThey surely would be fed.
The prophet had counseled“Each one be prepared,”We had procrastinated the day,Why hadn’t we cared?
ALAS! “Twas only a dream”,But that didn’t’ matterI jumped from my bedMaking a loud awful clatter.
Away to the basementI flew like a flash,Stumbling over boxes and bottles,Along with some trash.
As I surveyed my storage,With eyes all aglowThe security of filled bottlesAll straight in a row
Filled my heart with a warmthAnd my eyes with a tearTo think I had foodto last us a year.
This feeling of warmthAnd security too,Is what we as your friendsWish for you.
So put gifts of storageUnder each Christmas treeFor those on your list,Is our warmest plea,
Give honey, give sugar,Give flour or wheat.Give milk, give salt,Give something to eat.
And you’ll hear them exclaim,When Christmas is here,“Thank-you so much,It will be a good year.”
Author unknown (If you know, tell me )

monday monday

bfast- oatmeal toast and coffee
lunch- fruit and toast w/jelly coffee
dinner- homemade bean and cheese burritos with chips and juice

We spent most of yesterday watching the TV and taking it easy..
Came back to Babylon this morning with its bribery of sweets and the like.

A Jewish colleague of mine invited me to lunch so we went to an authentic Vietnamese cafe for a noodle soup bowl. I had the chicken one as I am not a big beef eater.. I ordered a medium one and it was way too much to finish.. But darn good. I will have to go back there. Also had some hot green tea . It was very pleasant.

One more day and the the holiday break from Babylon begins. A time to enjoy my family and the opportunity to gorge on holiday treats and dumpsterdiving finds. funfunfun

Sunday, December 21, 2008

twas the weekend before Xtianmas

bfast- oatmeal, and toast coffee
lunch- assorted snacks from Babylon week
dinner- tuna sandies, chips and water

I havent had much time to post tis past week as Babylon been keepin me busy with end of year buying spree and the annual eating of goodies at the assorted gatherings.. Been bringin home bags of leftovers and stray food all week. Really saves on the grocery bill.
Anyhow went front dooring again to Wallie yesterday for more commercial goodies . But only after I was able to backdoor some fresh green and fruit for de critters and us. Also picked up some kindling (romance paperbacks for the fire). Pickins are real slim this holiday. Of course wife went overboard in Babylon but that is to be expected.
The coldfront that ws supposed to come in did and dropped us to almost 18 degrees for a high yesterday. Supposed to warm up for the week into the 30-s . Hope so as there is just so much TV you can watch. GOing outside is a job as you spend time putting the layers on to go out.

Monday, December 15, 2008

-18 last night and it hasnt reached +10 today

bfast- bacon and brown eggs with tortillas, OJ, and coffee
lunch- bologna sandies, chips and water
dinner spanish rice and foccaccia

the storm came in overnight Saturday dropping another 3-4 inches of snow but also brought brrrr weather. Spent most of the day watching tv and playing around with the kids. But did have to get out for a while to go to Wallyworld. Man oh man it is cold. As of now it is not even 10 degrees outside with ful sunshine.
Looks like Rosie made it thru her trauma of being left out overnight. Only time will tell.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

-3 degrees at 5 am this morning

bfast- toast and pb with coffee
lunch-- found bologna sandies and juice
dinner- we splurged and had the family pack from Long John Silvers

the snow came in overnight and dumped another few inches (looks like about 4 outside). Dont know if Rosie will make it though as I forgot her last night and she spent the night outside. I notice her at 3am and resuced her from the cold. Time will tell if she makes it.

Anyhow we went front door shopping at the Wallie world last night anf got the kids most of their xmas stuff. Board games , perfumes and a r/c car ore the biggie stuff for them this year and lots of necessities too.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

the warm before the storm

bfast- grits and donuts and coffee
lunch- leftover pork roast, taters and water (still enough for Monday
dinner-- leftovers from hoiday gathering in Babylon. (assorted meaballs, pastry puffs, beef tenders, etc and a crapload of brownis, lemon cakes and desserts)

went over to the Bubby after work as she had had gotten some stuff for the kiddos and some freezer stuff for the whole of us. When she finds good deal at the local Whole Paycheck market she buys em up .. got a cuppla whole chickens, day old focaccias, bacon bacon and more bacon , sausage etc. She also had gotten a mis-delivery from Swiss Colony and she stocked us up on that crap too.

I filled up 4 shopping bags to bring home on the bus. Then the bike.
This morning I took a ride over behind the Safieway and had gotten some overrip citru for the birs, the boxes of Hollywood diet cookies and some just expired bologna and salami.. lunch was good today.

Anyhow since we are expecting an arctic mass to drop I double checked the heat stick, the tape and the heater filter and all is well. You wouldnt know given it is almost 60 right now but tomorrw high is supposed to be around 30. and cold lasting all week. feels like Xmas.
anyhow hohoho

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Its almost the weekend...

bfast- oatmeal with clover honey, onion bagel, coffee
lunch- old tyme boloney and cheese with tomato soup
dinner- McDonnies dollar menu ($12 fed 5 of us) and a 2liter bottle of pop (81cents)

cheap evening last night. kids watched You tube videos of Xmas light shows and want to do something like that at the stead.. Will see. Got in the dumpiemobile about 8 and drove around the neighborhood nearby gawking at the displays between the empty repossessed houses. It was fun. Got to be about 11 and awoke at 6am to begin the trip to Babylon..

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

gotta love the wannabes

bfast -grits and coffee with freebie pumpkin bread
lunch- boloney burrito, water
dinner- chicken alfredo- the way wife makes it only need 2 chicken breast diced to feed 6.

left Babylon to hit up the republic of Boulder. Once biz done went over to Naropa to get freebies. nothing anymore they shut down the sharestation. So came on home. Just in time before the snow hit again. 4 more inches (but not as cold). Hankered down the stead to go another round and all went well.

Gotta love the wannabe survivalists over at my daily listen must listen to podcast ( They complain about cold when the overnight hits 32 degrees,, We here in Zone 7 heaven could teach them a bit.. And then they whine about not scaring junior about the DEPRESSION we are in. If you lose your house and have to move to an apt , make it an adventure.. hahaha ROFL. If you lose your house, you got shit for credit, you aint getting an apt..they do credit checks. you get to live in car.. Adventure my ars. Shelters are too crowded as it is so the possibilities for roof over head are relatives, friends or car. Dumpster diving for survival.. is a crucial skill that must be taught to all people.. America is the land of waste. Grab some waste for yourself.

Remember these are kids of the new gen with cells and laptops and ipods.. Anything less is considered child abuse and Social Services will get called.. Wake up. My kids are told the truth. And we are prepped for it should it happen that SHTF. No humbleness here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

today is Monday

bfast- apple butter burrito coffee
lunch- bologna and cheese sandies, water
dinner- stir fried rice and veggies with chunks of the roast we havew had for 4 meals now. water

the snow that came on Thursday in with a wallup. is non-existent today. Except for about 40 gallons of meltoff that I willl now use for the yard and the indoor plants for a few weeks. It hit 55 on Saturday and almost 50+ yesterday. Was able to do a doggie poop roundup- turn some soils in the compost bin and fill the squirrrel and bird feeders for our out door frineds. By the looks of it outside they are enjoying the treats.
Rosie and herbal friends got a tad of sunshine on Saturday (they were put in the sun outside)and they appear to have liked the experience. Rosie sure smells good while la cuppla sprigs of her went into the stuffing on Thanksgiving and also on the roast this past weekend.
Picked up a tole angel (about 3 foot tall) and a new bird feeder stand from behind the Safieway. Not much in the way of produce yesterday. Also picked up some Dickies overall winter suit and a flannel shirt with sweatshirt yesterday from the dumpies.
watm clothes for free is good.
Enjoyin the rest of the warmth before another little snow shows up later into tomorrow. And I head back to Babylon.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow

bfast- grits-fruit and coffee
lunch- pasta w/ jalapeno turkey tomato sauce
dinner- Wallieworld chicken and mac/cheese water

4-6 inches and counting..

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

baby its cold outside

bfast- grits and coffee
lunch- pasta with turkey jalapeno tomato sauce, veggies and water
dinner- homemade hamburgers with dumpie green salad and onions.

been talkin survival methods and practice with the head of the Survival Podcast ( thru email over the past days and am beginning to wonder just how serious he is. First he worries about life insurance over actual money onhand and then talks up stockpiling 90 days worth of grubbings while not hiding about 6 months worth of cash and barter materials on the stead JIC..

He also worries about the debt to the corporate man as NEEDING to be paid to be honorable. BS, debt to family paid is honorable. Debt to a corporation is like debt to noone.. Paper debt.
If you cant pay. feel no guilt as they will write it off. You cant bleed turnips. They bleed us constantly and care not the consequences this may cause. Gotta love these old military guys and their loyalty to the corporate nation they fight to perpetuate.

Anyhow off the soapbox for a tad as I am needing to make sure the stead is toasty for the current cold snap..

Monday, December 1, 2008


Bfast-- leftover baked apples with cinnamon, freebie slice of pumpkin pie and cream ( from Babylon)
lunch- turkey wings, hard cheese (from dumpie), strawberry cream pie, water bottle
dinner ( last night)- BBQ sandies, leftover stuffing, and water.

Saw this pic on one of my daily reads and thought it was good. Considering this is being seen more and more out here in CO. Affordable food is becoming a scarce commodity as we saw last night in our monthly front door shopping trip. The majority of the plain label, no brand food was empty on the shelves. Milk is pricing itself cheap again but bread and butter prices are going thru the roof. $2 for a loaf of bread is ridiculous.
Fresh produce (greens and citrus amongst others ) prices are up up.. Hard to find afforadble alternatives.. But thank goodness for the back door shopping of expired and overripe stuff to keep us going.. Greens and citrus abounded this weekend as well as some higher end deli stuff we found..

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Just a few more turkey day notes

Breakfast toast with butter coffee
Lunch turkey sandies with dumpie found cheese, water
dinner- frozen burritos, chili, dumpie cheese, water

Reminded the kids that Thanxgiving was alot of pumpie produce and sale items. WE ARE IN A DEPRESSION.
And that Xmas was not supposed to be gimme gimme days. small and quaint is what want. Saved about 4 ppunds of produce leftovers and coffee grounds for the compost bin. Stirred it in on Friday before the snow. Also picked up a few gallons of saved snow melt for the yard and indoor plants. snow water warmed to room temp is jusat as good as the tap if not better.
Back to BAbylon tomorrow

Saturday, November 29, 2008

4 inches of snow overnight

bfast toast butter jelly, coffee
lunch- turkey burrito
dinner--leftover turkey and taters, bread and butter

grabbed the xmas stuff out of storage yesterday. lots of stuff.
gonna set stuff up this weekend. been enjoying the time away from Babylon but it will be soon enough that I have to go back.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

the day before Thanksgiving

bfast- grits, freebie donuts and fudge from Babylon, coffee
lunch- leftover pasta and turkey sauce. water bottle
dinner, chili burritos, water

....or as I like to call it, Bountiful Harvest day.
The original price $30 turkey was harvested from a clearance rack at the grocers last July (for $7) and stored in the deep freeze. The veggies were brought home from the Sprouts a few weeks ago ($15) and stored in the indoor/outdoor root cellar. The onions, beets, and other disposable veggies were scavenged from the excess bins (FREE) at the back door of Safieway. The herbs for the meal are being grown organically at the 'stead and are doing just fine.

Yes we did have to make a run to the front door market last night for a few essentials. 5 dozen eggs, day old bread for stuffing, assorted dairy products, etc. But the cost for it all came to less than 70 bucks. And that is with some essential stuff for the animals (parrot seed, dog food, hot cheetos).
I will be off from Babylon the next cuppla days so will prob post more..

Sunday, November 23, 2008

100th post

bfast- PB and C sandies, coffee, fruit
lunch-- PB burrito-beer
dinner-- Jambalayah, veggies, dumpie found cuke salad, water, fried apples and cinnamon

Who would have guessed I could make it to 100 posts. Worked around the stead yesterday turnig the compost bin, adding leaves to the mix and some coffee grounds and greens. Gave Rosie and her herbal friends a chance to get some sun during the day. Mid 60s and sunny.

One of the dumpie mobiles tire apparently the stem broke loose so had to realign and fix. Holding air now. Dumpie Bike needed some adjustments to the kick stand and the derailleur so handled that. General dumpie maintenance. Always a good time for a beer (or 2).

Also took the turkey out of the deep freeze to get it started on return to life for Thursday eats. Only 3 days in Babylon this week and then a 4 day weekend.. AMEN.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

what a week

bfast-freebie yogurt, bagels, danish, coffee and juice
lunch- freebie roast beef and cheese, rosemary potato salad, arugula salad, juice and water
dinner-- McDonnies dollar menu (wife not feeling well)

spent the week dealing with Laurel and Hardy in Babylon. Trying to stay ahead of them and the comic relief. Not much time left for the blog and the life. This has gotta change. I need to spend more time on Prepping and reliance.

Yesterday was a relief. Took an annual leave day from Babylon to go to a techie seminar. Very refreshing. Brought home some schwag and enjoyed the free grubbings I mentioned in the lead. It was a great way to start the weekend.. Hopefully I will begin having more time to continue my work.

Monday, November 17, 2008

books books and more books

bfast- toast with butter and brie, coffee
lunch- leftover salad- bread- water bottle
dinner- roast chicken, mashed taters, veggies gravy and water bottle

picked up some new books at the bookie trash .. He is so darn dum for throwing away literature. Went over to Wallie- thru the front door for some goodies. came home and took it easy. allergies acting up so not feeling the greatest. Anyhow the sune is good for the Rosie and her herb friends. Gotta see if we can find some more

Saturday, November 15, 2008

one family, one trashcan for the week

bfast-- oatmeal, fruit, coffee
lunch-- free from babylon roast beef sandie, chips, apple, cookies, 2 water bottles and salad.. enough salad leftovers to take home for bird treat and dinner accompaniement
dinner-tuna sandies, salad, bbq chips and water

I was really happy on Friday morning as I only had 1 30 gallon trashcan to put out this week. It says something about the clan and this 'stead becoming more conscious. The old dumpie mobile I statred before the cold front but didnt drive it. Last night I needed to hit up the front door store but I walked over and back. "live what you preach". And I try.

Rosie and the herbs seem to have made it ok and the scent in the dining room is wonderful. Even wifey said so over dinner. We are also talking about how we can make more room in the garage for setting up an all year growing area.. hmmm. I can always develop some hair brained ideas for expansion.. Oh my she even brought up the notion of CANNING.. hot dam. gotta love the missus. Anyhow it is Saturday morning , the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and its a wonderful day. ENJOY.

Friday, November 14, 2008

1st snow

bfast- apple, toast, coffee (scrounged and free)
lunch- leftover pasta and turkey meat sauce, green beans, water bottle
dinner- pork chop, noodles and sauce, veggies, water bottle

got up at midnight to the pitter patter of a light drizzle. woke up again at 515 to a light dusting of snow on the ground. brought the Rosie and her garden inside while covering up the mint. But its wonderful. I always like the first snow of the year. The white dusting on the grass gives hope for a better today. And what a better way to start a FRiday. It was almost 70 yesterday and its supposed to be in the 60s all weekend. So this truly is a treat.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Bfast- oatmeal, bagel and coffee
lunch- cream of celery soup with leftover frozen veggies mixed in. Dumpster found caesar salad with provolone cheese and French dressing. water bottle
Dinner- chicken strips, taters, veggies and water.

Having disassociated myself from the politik game and focussing in on improving my self-reliance skills and reading has made me a more content person. The world in Washington DC can go to hell in a handbasket but my 'stead needs to prosper and begin "working" for me. Simplicity should be a way of life.. Devoid of Drama along issues out of our control.

Monday, November 10, 2008

DIY root cellar

bfast- hot cereal, toast, coffee

lunch- BLT, chips, juice

dinner--leftover BLT, water

Found this on the net this morning so I thought I would pass it on. I prefer rubbermaid baskets with covers under the double wide but this would work also.. Great for holding about 50 lbs of potatoes, etc.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

some postive news from Elizabeth B on surviving and making due

I found this on another blog i frequent this morning and it contains some eall good info..

The coming bad times will also be a war, or likened to a war. It will be a war for your personal survival, a war for our future, and a war that determines the path humanity will take on our planet. Global warming, acid rain, rampant species extinction, and the collapse of fish populations and pollinators are in our immediate future.

What does the food of struggling people around the world have in common? Peppers! Think about food from India, Thailand, Mexico, China. All these cultures have developed foods spiced up with native peppers. In a survival situation, it will take about one nanosecond to get tired of beans, rice, pulses, corn, and potatoes on a daily basis. However, with the use of peppers and a couple of herbs and spices, you can spice up your daily fare.

Fortunately, peppers are among the easiest of all plants to grow. Nothing is much more forgiving than a pepper. Pepper plants are actually perennials, not annuals as they are sold in the stores. Where I live in south central Texas, a pepper plant can live for years. If the winter is mild, there is no problem. If the winter is a bit more severe, just place some rags around the roots, cover with some plastic and weight the entire thing down. In the spring, you will be rewarded with a delightful blooming pepper bush that will supply until the next winter arrives.
Right now, I have Big Jim, jalapeño, serrano, and ancho growing. But the king of my garden is the lovely volunteer chile pequin that sprang up from the forest behind my house. Chile Pequin is a native of south central Texas. Interestingly, this is a pepper well known by Hispanics in Texas. Most families have their stories of growing up with mother making very hot chile from the abundant chile pequin, a free gift from nature. However, huge numbers of the rest of the population have lived alongside chile pequin growing wild without ever knowing how delicious this little spicy number is.
Chile Pequin is a tiny little pepper, often no larger than an apple or orange seed, although mine can grow larger than that. Due to the fact that I live in San Antonio and peppers are called “chiles,” that is how I will refer to them from this point forward.

Confusion abounds as to what is the difference between chile, chili, chile con queso, salsa, and pico de gallo. Pico de gallo means “rooster’s beak.” It is tomatoes and chile plus onions, garlic, and cilantro. Chili is the saucy meat stew which may or may not contain beans. This is also called chili con carne. I prefer no beans, but for survival, of course I would opt for beans. Pinto beans, never those tasteless little pieces of chalk: red kidney beans. Salsa means any type of hot sauce made with tomatoes or corn or fruit such as mango and chile such as chipotle (dried, smoked jalapeños) or fresh jalapeno. Chile con queso is a melted cheese sauce cooked with chile peppers. If sausage is added, it is called “flameado.”

Every kitchen needs a stone mocajete or molcajete, not a fru-fru ceramic item bought at a gourmet kitchen store. This should be a workhorse in your kitchen. In traditional Mexican families, the mocajete sits on the table so mother can concoct the chile to specifications or requests from the family according to what is being served. In English, it is called mortar and pestle and is used for classic hand grinding. Decades of grinding will smooth the mocajete out. Chile is served with every meal. Today Hispanics do not cook this way so much, but it is how many were brought up. Times have changed all around and the family sit-down meal is ebbing away into memory in many cultures.
Depending on how much chile goes into the mocajete influences how “pico” or hot and spicy the chile turns out to be. One chile pequin is enough for one

The comal is a flat cast iron griddle that goes on the stovetop. You can grill (blister or blacken) chile or more commonly, cook fajita meat and its veggies such as onions, bell pepper, and tomatoes. Americans have gotten out of the habit of using cast iron to cook, but it can’t be beaten. I grew up with cast iron, but my children are ignorant of its use and care. Cast iron is also a source of iron in the diet. Jalapeños can be grilled to produce chipotle, if you like that flavor. Tortillas can be re-heated.


  • Basic chile: Grind one pepper and one tomato, salt and pepper only if desired.
  • Pico de gallo: Grind one diced pepper, one diced tomato, add by stirring in some chopped onion, garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper
  • Pinto Beans (charro beans or borracho beans): Add a jalapeño, one diced tomato, one bay leaf, and one onion while cooking
  • Rice: Sprinkle freshly diced tiny pieces of chile when serving or cook with tiny pieces incorporated into the raw rice before cooking
  • Pepper sauce: wash peppers, stack in a bottle, pour boiled vinegar over and cork, store in refrigerator. Fabulous over black-eyes peas, pinto beans, white beans, navy beans, or any other food that needs kick

If you prefer no skin, briefly boil the larger chiles and tomatoes to slip off the skin. Grind as usual. If you are lacking enough fresh tomatoes, add a little tomato sauce or canned tomatoes. Rinse the mocajete well with water after each use, checking the crevasses for lingering pieces.

Your garden needs to be growing parsley, cilantro, and various peppers. I have not mentioned bell peppers because they are not my favorites, but they deserve a place in any garden for ease of growing, beauty, and flavor. Chile gardeners are known for sharing peppers in order to share the seeds. If you meet a pepper you like, save some seeds or ask for some. People are unfailingly willing to share.

More Food for Bad Times
Greens are making a culinary comeback. One hundred years ago they were a staple. Now you find chard in many restaurants. The taste is acquired, so now is the time to begin to learn to cook and enjoy greens and teach your family to eat them. My family ate spinach and mustard greens when I was growing up. Kale, beet, and collard greens will supply vital nutrients to your diet and are easy growers in the home garden. The addition of bacon or bacon grease, red pepper flakes, vinegar, garlic, or sugar can add kick to a bland food. Experiment until you find the taste you and your family prefer.Okra has earned a bad rap due to bad cooking. As a child, I would not touch okra as it was often simply boiled and it became very slimy. Due to the proliferation of fast food fried chicken eateries, many people now know that okra is delicious served fried. Okra is a vital ingredient of seafood gumbos. I don’t eat seafood, but you make gumbo with sausage and rice and it’s wonderful. With my family roots going back to Civil War days and all the privations involved, we had many poor people food recipes handed down. Tomatoes and okra was a favorite of both of my parents. You can lay a piece of soft bread down first in a bowl as a sop and add the cooked okra and tomatoes. Naturally, sprinkling cheese of any type such as parmesan, romano, or cheddar would greatly enhance this humble dish.

Succotash is a vegetable concoction that is rather like a kitchen sink recipe. If it grows in the garden, add it in. Succotash traditionally utilizes corn and lima beans. Depending on the cook, you can add tomatoes and okra. Just don’t forget the herbs and chile to make it edible.

Use it All: Chicken
A whole rotisserie chicken will last for a week at my house.
Day 1: warm sliced chicken served as main entrée with skin and fat pulled off and fed to the dog who loves chicken day
Day 2: cold chicken pasta salad with finely diced/shredded broccoli, carrots, mayonnaise, ranch dry dressing (available in a big plastic container from Sam’s Club), and cayenne pepper, salt, pepper
Day 3: cold chicken salad with plenty of fruit such as raisins or currants, apples or grapes, toasted almonds, celery including the tops, a little onion, curry powder; use mayo as a binder
Day 4: baked chicken spaghetti topped with cheese
Day 5: boil bones and veggies for soup, add rice or noodles
This seems like a lot of meals for just one chicken, right? It’s because you are basically using the chicken as a flavoring. Americans eat way too much meat, so you’ll be doing just fine. Focus on flavors and carbs.

More Use it All: Ham
Buy an uncooked ham, cook it, and it lasts seemingly forever.
Day 1: warm sliced ham for entrée; delight clever dog by sharing scraps.
Day 2: ham sandwich
Day 3: omelet with ham and chile
Day 4: add diced ham fat cooked into your beans or peas or lentils
Day 5: fried ham for breakfast
Continue this way until meat is all used up.
Boil the ham bone for cooking beans or peas or lentils

Grease, Fat & Butter
In the old rural days, there was never a shortage of grease or fats. If you have ever read Poland by James Michener or The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder, you will remember a recurrent theme was the lack of and longing for fat in the diet during the lean times.

If you have backyard chickens or a source of eggs, you’ll be fine. However, even a steady diet of lean rabbit meat can lead to “rabbit starvation” as the human body requires a small but steady input of fats for proper metabolism.

In my childhood home, bacon grease was kept in a special closed can for flavoring beans and corn. All other grease was put into a separate can for disposal. Just keep in mind if the bad times arrive, you will need to be mindful of your fat intake.

Finally, remember, everything is better with chile. If you don’t like spicy, it’s time to learn and develop your palate. A daily dose of beans and rice will get old very fast if you don’t do something different. If you really can’t go “pico,” then opt for bell peppers. They are in the same dependable plant family and won’t let you down. They dry easily in a food dehydrator and keep and reuse well.
I advocate growing your own chiles, since it is so easily done. Try different varieties from different regions. See what works well in your garden, zone, climate, and soil. Chiles grow well in containers,too. .

Recommended "Easy Growers"

  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • All kinds of peppers
  • Greens
  • Potatoes (grown in alternating years with corn if space is an issue.)

In conclusion, a great variety of vegetables exits that can be grown in your area. I have listed a few I know from personal experience and find foolproof. Many, many foods await your experimentation. Try something new today. Compost your fruit and vegetable scraps to improve the soil. In fact, don’t let any biomass go into the waste stream. You do have permission to toss out bones and meat scraps. Use everything for compost and mulch. Harvest your rainwater. You will feel very good about this, I promise.

Just remember: buy heirloom seed only, avoid the hybrids, and diversify, diversify, diversify. Change your eating habits. Picky eaters are not survivors. Complainers are not survivors. Survival will depend on your head, hands, and heart. There is no time like now before the Stuff Hits the Fan to change. We don’t want to awake to find a changed world that could be likened to the war times of the past. Later, it could be a misery, today it can be an adventure.

Sunday morning funnies

bfast- slab bacon, eggs, chiabatta toast, juice ,coffee
lunch--cheese sandie, water bottle
dinner-- pork chops, salad, noodles,fresh veggies, juice

If it looks like we are eating better than most. dont grin . wife has been finding deals and stockin up the 'stead. She got 10 pounds of bacon for 9 bucks.. 3 dozen eggs for $2. the veggies are all coming from the market and the chiabatta is $1 a bread at wholey paycheck market. She really knows how to get the most bang for what few bucks we have. She buys in bulk and makes good use of the clearance items to further save us money. Plus my gallavants thru the dumpies add in greens, veggies, assorted goodies but due to the economy and others hittin the dumpies to survive my back door shopping has been facing dwindling rewards.

Spent yesterday rakin and compostin the leaves turning the soil in the new bed , adding nutrients etc in the other beds and doin some general housekeeping around the yards. The Rosemary and transplanted mint are still thriving in the pots as long as we move em around as it gets cold.. What a great scent as you enter the porch due to the scent of Rosemary as the breeze blows thru. The little herb garden we acquired is still going goo out on the porch, though pretty sooon we will have to move it inside.

I have been thinking again about the shed project that has lay dormant in my mind and unaccomplished over the last 2 summers. Maybe this year.. We def could use the extra protected room. Both for projects , works in progress, cold storage and also for plant protection during the coming winter..

Friday, November 7, 2008

some interesting news

bfast-- oatmeal- bagel and jelly coffee
lunch --bologna and cheese sandies, chili, apple
dinner --tacos, refrieds, water bottle

I have a good friend who is an executive in the "food distribution business". They supply restaurants, schools, hospitals, day care centers, nursing homes,,,,,the large quantity food purchasers.This past week at their annual sales meeting, they were informed of coming changes.
#1--Most food has been delivered in #10 [96-ounce] or one gallon size cans. [The rolled steel for] most of these cans[is] made in China and the cost has increased dramatically in the past several months because of rising steel prices. Effective December 1, the price on an individual empty #10 can is increasing by about 75 cents per can. This means that whatever is in a case of food (six cans) the price will be going up by about $4.50 per case just because of the can price. On some products, the price increase will be as much as 25% because of the can price increase.

#2 In an effort to offset the rising price of cans, many food distributors are making a concentrated effort to switch customers over to buying frozen foods instead of canned foods. The big move is for customers to install commercial food freezers (costing between $3,500-to-$7,000 per location) where they can store frozen food instead of canned foods. The feeling is that with increasing prices on "canned" goods, there will be a long term savings by going to frozen products.This could have a major impact on the folks that wish to store or stockpile "survival" supplies in cans if emphasis moves to frozen foods. It will also present an interesting situation if we have a major problem with the grid, tons of food would go bad in a very short order.

#3 Small customers and customers in remote locations will be gradually phased out of the delivery system. Delivery costs and diesel prices have made it impractical to service this type of account. I wonder if the same decision will be made about small rural and remote general grocery stores.

#4 Sales people were told to inform their customers that they need to plan and be ready to deal with rapid and un-expected price increases on food products, this is going to become a way of life. Please pass this on to your readers.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

boo hoo

Bfast- grits and sugar, toast, coffee
lunch-- leftie pasta and sauce-crackers, water
dinner- chinese chicken, rice bread, juice

the election is over and nothing is changed. Still gonna keep preppin for the worst. 
workin round the 'stead.

Monday, November 3, 2008

leaf compost on the cheap

bfast- carrots, quesadilla,coffee
lunch- tortilla w butter and cheese, water
dinner- leftover $5 pizza, cut up cukes and trashcan maters water

Forget raking up your leaves. A lawnmower fitted with a bag quickly sucks up leaves off the lawn, chops them up into small pieces that decompose fast and mixes them with grass clippings, which also aid the decomposition process.
Take a large, heavy-duty black plasticcontractor bag and poke several holes into it with a knife. Dump the leaves out of your mower bag and into the black plastic bag. Fill the plastic bag ¾ of the way full. Add a shovel full of garden soil (or finished compost if you have it).
The leaves and grass clippings will decompose best if they are slightly damp (they should feel like a wrung-out sponge). Check the leaves' moisture level and then add water to the bag (if needed). Give the leaves a good shake and then check the moisture level again. Continue to add water until the leaves reach the correct moisture level.
Loosely tie the top of the bag and stick it in a spot in your yard that is convenient, but out of sight. Every couple of weeks pick up the bag and give it a good shake. After about 6 months, open up the bag and check on the leaf compost. If it is dark, crumbly and you can’t see any leaf particles, it’s finished. If you can still identify leaves, tie the bag up again, give it a good shake and wait a few more months.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

time change and global warming

bfast- quesadilla, carrot sticks, coffee
lunch-- orange and water
dinner-- tuna sandies, chips and water

the time change took place and I fell asleep at 2am , 1am. spent the morning working on the raised bed for the spouses uses next spring. cleaned up the beds and the containers. Composted what I can and recycled the rest. As the leaves fall with greater and greater density My compost material becomes cheaper and cheaper.
Present planning for future implementations.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

good news for a depressed world

bfast-bagel and butter. fruit coffee
lunch-- assorted junque for Babylon party nachos,candy cakes etc and water bottle
dinner-- pizza ($5 specials for Halloween , doritos( 2fer $3 with coupon and $10 purchase, the 2 $5 pizzas) and assorted candies. water and then tea before bed.

Trash is finally back up and running on the COMACAST beast. paid the bill (youch) and spent an hour getting the lab back up.. funfun
This morning went on a dumpie run ans snagged 2 boxes of books from behind the bookie store.. some good reads for me and the family and some resellables on the CL.. have made a tentative decision to have the COMACAST beast paid for with resale finds , dumpie overages and services rendered.. Instead of counting on the donation from Babylon job.. Will see how it works.
Anyhow while I was gone the country appears to be sinking deeper and deeper as more and more people are losing money./ homes/ jobs etc.. ALAS, I have neither. No money, we own the double wide and my retreat villa (the POP-up camper) , the cheeseball Babyolon gig, which for now is stable. While internet was down we got back to the DVD collection and the VHS collection for entertainment as well as those things that the birds like to nibble on, our books.
Reading is such a cheap habit and it is extremely addictive. Been finishing about 2 books a week.. Vision is going but can still focus in fairly well.

Sorry for the absence, will continue to advise on work at the 'stead in the days to follow.

Monday, October 27, 2008

We are worse off now then in 1929.. some things to consider

bfast-sliced apple, chiabatta bread and brie, dumpie found dates, coffee

lunch- cheese and jalapeno quesadilla, orange,  water bottle

dinner- bbq chicken,stuffing (from eviction take),mashed taters, water

There are some substantial differences between our society in the early 21st Century, and America in the 1930s. With these differences, our society is now much more fragile and vulnerable to collapse. Here are a few that come immediately to mind:

Consider the Attributes of America in the 1930s :

A largely agrarian and self-sufficient society. (Now, just 1% of the population operating farms and ranches feed the other 99%.)

Not heavily dependent on computing and communications, technology, grid power, and petroleum-based fuels.

Shorter chains of supply. Most food was grown within 100 miles of where people lived.

A very small underclass that was dependent on charity or public welfare.

Lower property tax rates and lower (or nonexistent) license fees, vehicle registration fees, et cetera.

The majority of workers lived near their work.

Most displaced workers were willing to accept lower-paying jobs--even doing hard physical labor.

The entire nation was economically self-sufficient and could carry on without many imports.

Far greater self-sufficiency at the household level (domestic water wells, windmills, wood burning stoves, home vegetable gardens, home canning, and so forth)

A much lower level of indebtedness (public and private). At the outset of the Depression most families had cash savings. (We are now a nation of debtors.)

A sound currency, still backed by specie. (Although FDR's administration seized most privately-held gold in 1933, the currency was at least still fully redeemable in silver coinage until 1964.)

Lower percentage of corporate employment--so there were less risk of huge layoffs that would devastate communities

A significantly more moral society that still had compunctions and a prevalently law-abiding attitude.

A homogeneous population that largely shared common Judeo-Christian values. A much larger portion of society attended church regularly

A simpler, less extravagant lifestyle, with tastes in cooking and entertainment that did not require large outlays of cash.

Most families owned only one car (with proportionately lower registration and insurance costs), and they lived in smaller homes that were less expensive to heat.

In summary, in the 1930s it cost a lot less to live (as a percentage of income) and people were willing, able, and accustomed to "making do" without. When people lost their jobs, in many cases they didn't lose their homes because they were paid for. Many folks could simply revert to a self-sufficient lifestyle and earn enough with odd jobs to pay their property taxes. What fraction of

The bottom line: If America were to experience a Second Great Depression, given the high level of debt and systems dependence, there would be enormous rates of dislocation and homelessness. And with modern-day immorality and the prevalent "me first " attitude, I have no doubt that riots and looting would absolutely explode.

Friday, October 24, 2008

fall is all around

bfast--pancakes leftover, coffee
lunch-- pasta and dumpie found sauce doctored with meat ans stewed tomatoes
dinner chili from scratch and cornbread

As you might have guessesd posting here as been slim as of late. Due to health and the losss of internet at home caused by the economic downturn and my reluctance to kiss the ass of comcast and fork over 200 plus a month for services when I can use it to eat and for the foraging endeavors needed to get thru this crises.

So for now I will post from free web areas or at the office place when time permits. But realize that I have not given up the fight .

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

lessons to be learned

Great Depression holds lessons for surviving tough economy (CNN)

Memories of salvaging and stealing to avoid going hungry are part of the legacy of the Great Depression. Some iReporters say they can’t help but look at the current economy and feel the past holds lessons for the present.

Donna LeBlanc of Waxia, Louisiana, says she carries no credit to this day as a result of the frugality and self-reliance instilled in her by her family. Her husband keeps the couple’s credit card and maintains a zero balance.

The Great Depression meant scary times for many households as a period of economic downturn spread throughout the world. Historians trace its start to the “Black Tuesday” stock crash on October 29, 1929, and argue that the resulting global desperation set the stage for World War II.

LeBlanc said her grandparents were fortunate that they didn’t have investments and could grow — or catch — their own food during the Depression years.

read the whole story here

Friday, October 10, 2008

10 ways to survive the Depression of 2008....

1. Don’t worry that your savings and checking account will disappear. FDIC banks are guaranteed for $100.000 per person. Pulling all your savings out will hasten the fall of a bank.

2. If a bank does collapse you may have to wait a few weeks or 
months to get your money so have enough cash on hand to get you by 
for at least 1 month.

3. If your food storage is in good order thats great but spend a 
little more now on essentials that may go up in cost soon. Toilet 
paper, feminine supplies, canned goods, dry milk, etc.

4. If you have necessary prescriptions get them filled and keep a 
months supply on hand for backup. medicines will stay good longer if 
stored in the fridge.

5. Keep your gas tank full and fill at least a 5 gallon can in case 
prices skyrocket or supplies get limited. Only drive if absolutely 
necessary and car pool as much as possible.

6. Get a bike.

7. If you live where hunting and fishing are plentiful you may want 
to invest in a 22 rifle and a fishing pole.

8. Its too late to garden this year but get your seeds early and 
plan for next year.

9. It is cheaper for families to pool resources and live 
together than try to keep multiple houses if you are struggling with 
house payments. Kids can share rooms and adults can sleep on floors 
and couches.

10. DON’T PANIC! the great depression didn’t last forever and 
neither will this economic trouble. Simplify your life, share, and 
keep your family and friends close.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

TEOTWAWKI on Saturday morning

Bfast- sausage and eggs with hash brown
lunch-- chunk of bread
dinner-- homemade burger night w fixins

The time to prepare is now..... Its gonna get worse. While the writings have gone from simplistic to drastic in their concerns I tend to go by the "Prepare for the worst either way".. Winter is coming so dont take it lightly. I found this list of prep ideas on one of my fav blogs and am sharing it for my readers..

All of the recent economic news may be overwhelming to some. This has left many people virtually petrified by Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD). Don't be a proverbial "deer in the headlights." I strongly encourage you get past your anxiety uncertainty and instead of sitting around glued to CNN, wringing your hands and saying "ain't it awful". Replace that angst with action. Get busy preparing. Here is my suggested Crash Countdown "D" List, for folks that are already fairly well-prepared:

1.) De-Hummelize

Sell off any collectibles that are not family heirlooms. The worst offenders here are the mass produced "limited edition" Hummel figurines, Beanie Babies and those collector plates from umpteen artists. Because I've mentioned this, please don't think that I'm a misogynist. Men can be just as bad about acquiring trinkets! They are just manly trinkets. Far too many men have gun vaults chock full of "commemorative edition" guns with engraving and gold inlay that they would never dream of shOoting, for fear that their collector value would be diminished. I most strongly recommend that you sell off those guns and replace them with truly practical ones .These days, I lean toward stainless steel guns with synthetic stocks, because of their tremendous longevity.and resistance to corrosion. By selling off your toys and trinkets, you will be A.) clearing space for important logistics, and B.) generating cash to help purchase those same logistics. Trinket items have a ready market with eBay, especially this time of year, as people are shopping for Christmas gifts. Take nice crisp photos, start most of your items at a penny, and make sure that you charge enough to cover your postage and tracking costs.

2.) Dumpster Dive

Watch your local Craig's List like a hawk. It is not unusual to find people giving away or selling a ridiculously low prices dozens of heavy duty canning jars, hand-crank meat grinders, chest freezers, shelving, and poultry brooder, horse tack, and so forth. I've even found running generators available free for the asking. (You haul.)

Mark your calendar for both community yard sales and the next time that your garbage collection service offers an "unlimited curbside pickup" day. Hook up your trailer the evening before, and see what you can find that is free for the taking. (Consult your local ordinances first, of course.) We've found lots of practical items that were still perfectly serviceable, such as rabbit cages, brooms, canes, geriatric walkers, and galvanized wash tubs ("gut buckets") set out on the curb. It would be a shame to see useful item send up in a landfill.

3.) De-Procrastinate.

If you have been putting off any dental work, elective surgery, or getting new lenses for your eyeglasses, then start making appointments!

4.) Dump Your Dollars

Roll over your 401(k) and/or IRA into a gold IRA, available from through Swiss America Trading Company.

5.) Double-Up Your Staple Goods Shopping

Double up your staple groceries shopping. By doing so consistently, you will rapidly build up a supply of canned good. Make sure you mark the date of purchase on the top of each can with a permanent marker (such as a Sharpie pen), and put the most recently purchased cans at the back of the shelf . These are the essential points of "first-in, first-out" (FIFO) rotation.

6.) Divert Your Expenses

Cut out needless expenses, so that you can divert that cash into preparedness. Pare down your expenditures on movies and eating out. But don't go overboard and make yourself (or your spouse and kids) miserable. OBTW, here is an example: The Memsahib's sister found that she could skip Starbucks, and make herself an awesome Vanilla Latte at a 7-11 store, for less than half the price. Do comparison pricing. Is a NetFlix subscription less expensive than a cable movie package? Do you really have the time to watch that much television, anyway? I'm not say to do without life's little pleasures. I'm just saying that there are some less expensive alternatives.

7.) Door-to-Door Introductions

Get to know your neighbors. Go door to door, if need be. Remind folks who you are. Connect names to faces. Make a list of phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Without being too pushy, quiz them a bit if they are "ready fort he next big storm". Find out if any of them have prior military experience, or advanced medical skills. But of course don't volunteer too much information about yourself. It is not wise to brand yourself at he neighborhood Whackamo.

8.) Drums, Cans, and Fuel Tanks

Top off your supplies of gasoline, diesel, and kerosene. Add fuel stabilizer and antibacterials (such as Pri-G and Pri-D), as needed.

9.) Detailed Contingency Plans and Packing Lists

Contact family and friends, and agree on contingency plans that you'll follow, even if the telephone system and e-mail become inoperative. If any relatives are planning to join you at your retreat when TSHTF, then make sure they know exactly what they will need to pack. They may be able to make only one trip there, so they'll have to make it count. (they need to have appropriate winter clothing, gloves, boots, gardening tools, bedding, and so forth to be productive at your retreat.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday fun

bfast--sauasage and fried eggs with hash browns, OJ and coffee
lunch-- Quesadilla with dumpie found cheese andwater bottle
dinner-- still too early for dinner

Well Friday has finally made its way and the staycation is almost over.. Oh well . I got some of the things I wanted to get done done. Others are going to have to be ongoing. I cleaned out the yard of overgrowth in weeds and am starting to reclaim the raised bed I started on. It will prob begin to get soil, compost and coffee grounds as the fall wears on and then covered for the winter.
The stove is in the garage and I will be cleaning it tomorrow. Mrs Trash is already fearing the worst of the coming economic crises ands is talking about bringing it indoors in case of power outage. She also wants a set of cast iron cookware to use (namely a skillet and a dutch oven.. ). If you bring it home they will use it. I will do my best to accomodate her as I make room in the garage for it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

a working staycation

After the time off during the DNC a few weeks ago I am now taking a real staycation inorder to get some stuff done around the 'stead in preparation for the coming cold months and the inevitablility of the glkoom of the Depression upon us. America is ripe for the coming times ahead both economically and socially. For a long time now the dividing line between the rich and poor has been expanding. The middle of the road is leaning more and more towards empathy towards the poor as more and more of the used to be middle are swinging our way and spiralling down to join us.

This past weekend we at the 'stead have become the proud owners of a recycled wood stove and accessories. One of my cohorts in Babylon had been storing it for years in his garage as it was freebied to him. And his wife didnt like it. SO as of now I have an alternative heating method for the house in case of power outage during the winter. The cost to me.. as usual a barter for a 6 pack of good beer. I HATE CASH..
All it needs is a good cleaning to remove the dust,obtain a grate for cooking, the hook is already there to place a dutch oven in for meals, and a flue pipe to lead the smoke up and away.. As with all good comes a not so good.. The digital camera I use for pics suddenly doesnt work any more so I must scavenge another.
My next goal is two-fold. First and foremost I am in want of a portable gas generator to supplant electrical needs on a short term basis. And a couple of guns both for hunting and protection in these coming times. I figure a good 12-gauge, a 22 rifle and a 9mm ought to suffice. I will be scavenging the dumpies and the CL for these items in the near future.

Lastly , since my goal of building the pallet shed fell thru I must now figure a way to creat a small green house able to withstand the CO winter and provide alternative sustenance of goodies for the coming months. I have a few ideas roaming thru my head as I write but nothing substatnive as of yet.

As I go thru this week I will prob be posting more so enjoy

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday catch-up

Last weekend I met up with one of my cohorts at the local overpriced coffee house and picked up some freebie clutter for the wife. An old workable sewing machine. a birdcage, which is making a nice new home for Taz ( a rescued parrot) that we took in about a year ago. She was living in a parakeet cage when we got her. And a whole lot of fabrics and craft stuff that should make the winter more tolerable this year. As we enter the Depression in full force homemade goods and survival skills are the thrust to make it thru.

Took a ride thru the Safieway lot this morning and found 2 boxes of decent books, some bread and some greens for the birds. yumyum. Supposed to be in the 80s all week so it looks like I might be able to dumpie find some more stuff needed to make this winter joyous and merry.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

the dawg days of summer

Summer is coming to a closae and the Depression era is upon us. Trash is in the midst of winter prep around the stead but there is alwas time for a smoke and a Pepsi

Sunday, September 7, 2008

manic depression

bfast-- tomato sandies (dumpie find behind the Safieway) grapefruit, coffee
lunch-- 2 hot dogs and a water bottle at the skate park
dinner-- wendys 99 cent burgers fries and a soda.

The U.S. economy is showing clear signs of disintegration, as the global credit collapse continues to take its toll. The once bountiful Lake of Liquidity has dried up to now resemble the Owens Valley. Corporations are screaming for cash, banks are failing, the real estate market is in freefall, and hedge funds are desperately clinging to the edge of the abyss. The proposed "solution"--The Mother of All Bailouts (MOAB)-- keeps growing, with no end in sight. It is actually part of the problem rather than the solution. If you haven't done so already, prepare yourself for a long term layoff, loss of equity in your home, and and possible relocation under duress. A major depression now looks very likely.

And oh yes winter is on its way... hohoho

Saturday, September 6, 2008

garden and the welcome visitors

Occasionally seeds fall into the yard and garden in unexpected places and we get to enjoy their visit. The sunflower showed up near the birdfeeder so its arrival was probably a fallen seed that took root. This wonderful vine though must have been seeded in the compost I put in with the flowers. I just let it grow and enjoy its visit.

Saturday after staycation

bfast- donuts and coffee (free)
lunch-- ramen soup/ salad (leftover catering)
dinner-- salad, tuna sandies, chips/dip

took some pics of the 'stead this morning as wallie had batteries on closeout for 94 cents for 4. Bought a cuppla packs to power the dijjie. So over the next few posts I will be adding some pics to the site along with my daily meandering.
Anyhow this patio set was a mish mash of garage sale and freebie finds. Paid $20 for the patio table and the 2 cafe chairs. The wicker chairs and the linens were dumpie finds. The plants hanging were rescued from the dumpie last week. Stupid people.. With care the plants will live thru winter. in the house window. Picked up a bunch more clay pots , plastic pots etc. Gotta love the dumpies.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dont buy boxed steaks....

bfast- leftover egg roll, cheddar/jalapeno baquette, grapefruit, coffee
lunch- 2 hot dogs in bread, salad, mtn dew
dinner-- bbq steaks, corn on the cob, sweet peas, water and ice cream for dessert

Twas a wonderous laborless day. worked around the 'stead. made a few bucks from the CL and took the kids over to the pool on its final day. I got myself my second bath in 2 days. Dam I am good. Anyhow I have to take gettin the "stead ready for winter more seriously. The gutter replacement and downspout repair/repalce is going to cost me about 50 bucks. The caulking shouldnt cost but a few bucks more.

Time to get serious about stocking up on staples in the pantry. Who knows what winter will bring. I want to pick up a spare heat tape and some connectors and jojnts for the pipes. Better to have them then to have to run to Lowies to gettem .

The printer we found in the dumpie is working fine. While I wouldnt use it for photos due to its lack of quality its good for everyday printing. Anyhow since this is the last day of my staycation I will be putting the last of the summer beers in the fridge and will imbibe after my errands this morning.

The weather changed a bit last night after 4-5. The wind picked up and for a while we didnt think the bbq was going to happen. But I kept some water around just in case the fire in the grill got out of control. It didnt. But last night the weather dropped below 60 for the first time in the last few months. Its almost 50 right now and wont get warmer than the 70s today. Was able to turn the swamper off late last night but the fan which keeps my airwaves open is still on.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Quote of the week.....

I will not cede more power to the state. I will not willingly cede more power to anyone, not to the state, not to General Motors, not to the CIO. I will hoard my power like a miser, resisting every effort to drain it away from me. I will then use my power, as I see fit. I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth. -- William F. Buckley Jr.

Labor (less) day at the 'stead

bfast- bean/cheese burrito, cole slaw, coffee
lunch- chips and fruit
dinner- eggrolls fried rice and sushi. water bottle

Well I did hit behind the Safieway and snagged about 5-6 bags of greens and cauliflower/broccoli combos. Also dug up 3 grapfruits a tangerine a lime and a box of organic Mac and cheese. good stuff. Also snagged a few books from the booksellers dumpie.
Spent the day recuperating from the cold that has plagues me these past few days. Feeling a lot better and hoping to get some more work on the 'stead done. I went out yesterday looking for some lettuce and greens seeds to no avail. Taint none to be found.
Late afternoon the kid wanted to take a dip so we went over to the pool and as he jumped in the pool the rain and thunder began. Quick bath but he enjoyed playing in the nice rain.
It didnt hurt my maters and zuchs any either. Took the dumpie mobile over to Wallies as the wifey needed some stuff for schooling and a new iron.. All those new features. Whatever happened to a plain iron. Gets hot and flattens clothes and linens.. My oh my have times changed .
Anyhow supposed to make a few bucks off the CL today and the youngins want to BBQ some steaks and corn later so I guess we might. And the pool is open today so at least Trash can get a final free bath before winter.. haha ROFL.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Urban Gardening

There’s been a lot of discussion lately in the news about urban gardening (Trash is a big proponent of it as well as a beginning practitioner) and I see more and more discussion about it in blogs and other types of media. (In fact, click here and you’ll go to some Google results for Urban Farming)

It’s hard to find a shorter trip to your consumer than to growing food in the neighborhood it will be consumed in. Along that line the NY Times has a slide show of different community gardens in NY and Detroit that have taken formerly vacant space and turned it into productive land. They are putting teenagers to work, selling fresh produce to people who might not have had it available before, generating some cash and making land that was formerly an eyesore into land that is useful and attractive to the neighborhood.

Along those lines, Time had an article recently discussing urban farming. They discussed both standard gardens and also skyscraper gardens, which could be the farms of the future. (My tongue is securely in my cheek at this point) Within the article they discussed a farmer in Milwaukee who raises chickens, tilapia and produce on a 2 acre plot in the city. (You can read more about him here) It’s amazing what people are doing with some ingenuity and creativity.

Maybe I’m off base, but I think just about every city in our country probably has at least a few empty lots that would be good options to turn into community gardens. Can you think of a few around you that might work? If so maybe you can become an urban gardener.

With the fall coming in short time and our wonderful weather here at the 'stead viable alternatives have got to be created and implemented in order to survive the coming "depression"..

under the weather.. but its was almost 90 here

bfast- leftover chili refired beans and melted cheese, coffee
lunch- leftover pasta with nacho sauce and melted cheese. water bottle
dinner- pulled chicken sandies, kool-aid
a rather light day as I was feeling under the weather ( a small cold and a little congestion) I believe its cause is from swimming on Friday in the underheated pool. Anyhow hung out at the stead, watered the veggies a bit, clipped som dead stems and then the big thrill of the day.
I dropped the wife and kid off at the Wallimart to do the monthly front door grocery shopping. I hate front door stores. And I had been telling the wife for months how much easier it would be if I just dropped them off and picked them up later. After dropping them off I came back to the stead and setup the new printer we picked up from a dumpie a few weeks ago. It needed print cartridges. Which I was luck enough to find from a buddy who ridded himself of his old printer. It worked perfectly.
Today feel better and will prob get off my butt here in a few and go check out some dumpies. Knowing that this is the last weekend of the month many moves are taking place and who knows what we will find.

Friday, August 29, 2008

the week thus far

bfast-leftover pizza coffee
lunch- pb and J burritos, fuit, water bottle
dinner-chicke tenders, green beans, mashes taters, soda ( I dont drink soda very often as it irritates Trashs tummy)

It has been a dumpie finders glutony this last few days Lots of garden things(pots, planters, yard art), landscape stuff and the piece de resistence (an antique white wrought iron cafe set) all have been recycled for use on the 'stead. Have also set up a few more beds that I hope to be able to get some greens and carrots in for the late fall harvest. Cleaning out the garage and trying to increase the real estate out there is a goalof mine. More room for food storage and necessities, less room for accumulated finds.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

quote of the day

"We are not only headed for a Depression, but a violent Depression that will be far worse than 1929. Some experts believe the United States will fall into the chaos, bedlam and anarchy that tore apart Yugoslovia. I am not going that far, but I know our morals and ethics are not the same as they were in 1929. Moreover, we are a far more violent society and totally dependent upon a well oiled system for delivery of food and basic services." Mike Morgan

At least 3 banks a week are failling and closing down. The big 3 automakers are asking the Feds for bail out. Home in the neighborhoods are being foreclosed on because people cant make the mortgage. Yet our friendly politicians are having big ole parties (this week Denver, next in MN) while the country blows up. Why are they celebrating?

I think I will hit the dumpsters. I am depressed now....

Tuesday morning

Bfast- jalapeno and cheddar baquette (dumpie find), coffee
lunch-- fruit cup(also dumpie found) and water bottle
dinner-- nachos and lemonade

started working around the 'stead . putting some collectibles and finds up out of the way. cleaned the garage some. made a minor repair to the garage entry door. (Apparently the yungins have been a little rough on the hinges so i replaced with intensified wood gate hinges.. Look ugly but sold reinforcement for now. Got several more projects to work on this week. Been using the bike for alot of the trips.. It is holding up up well and the baskets I put on are solid.
Yesterday it held a 12 pack of pop, a gallon of milk, can of coffee, a bag of assorted hardware and bungie corded on top was a 20 lb bag of catfood.
Not a problem. Then this morning I decided I needed a long ride so went out to see the caravan of delegat busses at the Ramada on 120th and Grant. Lots of security even 20 miles from downtown..Kept on riding. All told about 15 miles this morning. A tad rough on the old bones but alas it was a good ride.

Glad I am staying close to the homestead this week.

Monday, August 25, 2008

MOnday morning on Staycation

'The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The shivering grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold."

This is an old fable that warrants a revisit given our current social situation.

bfast- a fresh tomato, celery w/ peanut butter dip (both dumpie found), coffee and a water bottle
lunch- leftover chili w/melted cheese. dumpied mini carrots, water bottle
dinner a SONIC treat for the whole family paid for with CL profits.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday musings

Bfast- hot cereal-orange- coffee
midmorning snack--donuts, chunk of cheese, peanuts, more coffee
Lunch-- chili-mac (home-made), chips and a flavored water bottle
Dinner- BBQ chicken tenders, caulflower and creamed corn, water

Well the week is over and Stay-cation begins this morning. haha ROFL. Lots to do in this 10 days around the stead. Besides dumpieing, gathering and foraging, I gotta get the stead ready for the onslaught of the winter months. What with the coolness of the mornings and the rising of the dewpoint I think we may be in for an early one this year. So I got some work to do.

As many of you who know me personally occasionally I go off on tangents regarding people to whom I look up to and call an icon. Scott Nearing, Edward Abbey, HST, Albert Camus, Hemingway are amongst the top list. Milton Saier was amongst the newer icons to join my list and now I add Malcolm Wells.

Malcolm is an architect by trade and has brought forth over the last 20 plus years the concepts of living within the soil of nature and not building against it. Whilst I am not in favor of living in a cave, I do believe his designs and his attitudes on life warrants his addition. It is Trash's personal belief that to live simply and in harmony with the natural elements and then to pass that wisdom down to the next generation by example is the greatest gift you can give to the planet.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dumpie mobility

Bfast- bean/cheese burrito leftover with dumpie salad greens
Lunch-- Gatorade and ciabbata and butter
Dinner-- soft turkey tacos, tortilla chips, juice

Sitting here reading an article about how the "thems" are upset that the cities need to do more to stop the stealing of bicycles around the country. Of the solutions that were suggested are better locks or to camouflage your bike (thru the use of sticker removal, black spray paint and yes even duct tape the frame to make it ugly). Better locks and their proper useage I can understand (Mine is now a u-shaped metal tube with a keyed connection end on both sides ($10 AT WALLIE)

But to cammie the bike.. These people spend $500 to $3000 (choke choke) on the state of the art 2-wheeler to show off just how green they are and that they ride the same bike Lance (330,000 gallons a monthe water use for his "little" home in Austin) Armstrong or others ride.. Hey guys its not the price of the bike that matters its what you do with it..

Trash had dumpie bike 1 (ol' blue) a few years ago. She had a cheap frame and was an original components bike that I had pieced together in the side yard of the old 'stead. It had some solid rubber inserts, in stead of tubes, in the tires (flat-proof) that I had found and a very dependable gear shift (only 2 gears of the 18 worked). The seat was a fat-ass seat I had found on the curb of another house and the baskets, similar to what are on the current dumpie-bike, were also pulled from another trash find. That bike was uglier than hell but it accompanied me well on many a dumpie diving jaunt, as well as bein a good commuter bike for the daily 14 mile trip (28 miles round trip)to the babylon work place. Good memories indeed.
Until one day I took the bike down to Babylon, LOCKED IT UP with a cable lock in front of the office with all the "spensive bikes " . The bike was there at 1130 lunch and 2pm smoke. When I came down at 430 to ride home the bike was gone.. STOLEN.. The joking persisted for weeks about how the ugliest bike in the rack was stolen. And the "spensive ones" remained. I just figured someone needed her more than me.

Maybe someone else knew the story about riding UGLY so it wont get stolen. I sure hope they are taking care of "ol Blue" as we all called her..

Saturday, August 16, 2008

the rain barrels are half full

I just went outside to dump the trash and while I was outside anyway I went and checked on my 2 rain barrels that before this rain were empty and gathering dust. Well after a day and half of light rain they are half full (about 15 gallons each). And the rain is still falling. By the end I should have a full 60 gallons of garden water available for the veggies. NOt that I will have to water right away, but glad to know I will be able to do it for free.

them and us 2: the homegrown Xtracycle grocery carrier

I saw the Xtra cycle attachment on a bike this week on campus.. Typical yuppie. SAid he bought it to carry groceries on the bike to conserve gas.. His cost $399 for the kit and about 2-3 hours of work.

Mine on the other hand came off of a dumpie Schwinn bike (circa 1967) that I brought home to part out. Attached with about 15=20 minutes of work (as all hardware fit nicely) on the dumpie bike.Mine has held bags of groceries, dumpie finds, and even transported Junior dumpie boy (about 65 -70 pounds) with nary a struggle. You can see from the pic (taken at the beginning of the summer) that my version of the $11 water bottle is sitting right there in the basket waiting for me to satisfy some thirst.. I still am using it.

I wish he would have come to me first . He could have paid me $399 for the whole dumpie bike and I could have gone out and found another one and pocketed at least $350. Darn

them and us ( how to save $125) and still be green

I had to post this . With all respect to my green friends I still can believe the prices of this stuff. I definitely am in the wrong biz. Whilst our friends they yuppie greens wont be able to afford thjis stuff for long let me give them and you all a few hints to get this stuff on the cheap..

1. the $11 water bottle-- made out of stainless steel (YUK) the tast of metallic water.. I prefer the tough as nails Power- Ade plastic bottle with the labe removed and my own sticker added. It cost me $1.50 a year ago and it still works well. Goes into the bag, on the bike and into the office with nary a strange look.

2. $35 for a wire harvest basket-- Trash got a plastic one with a SAfieway logo on it from the dumpie for free. sturdier and can be bungied on the dumpiebike for hauling.

3. the assorted cotton bags ($8, $6, $4 and $3) If you dont mind having logos on your stuff, which I dont I got all the same bags for free from the dumpies for free. My large ones were from wholey foods, my lunch bag was from the boulder bolder (found in trashie trashie in Boulder), my mesh bags are old onion and orange bags found , some with fruit still in them in the trashie.

4. My favorite is the $49 counter top composter.. Does anyone remember tin and plastic coffee cans.. I do and I use them for compst collection and trasferrance to the heap. Spending $50 on something to move rot around is downright silly..

What do you guys think.These are only a few absurdities that I see.

Homegrown economy..a barterin we will go

bfast- hot cereal w strawberry jam, orange, coffee
snack- donuts and fruit (meeting leftovers)
lunch chicken strips, taters, corn and pasta (leftovers) water bottle
dinner chicken strips, fries and juice.

Apparently this is an old term and an older practice, which Trash has lived by for years, is being reborn.. BARTER.

As an economist, money is nothing more than the means we use to transact an exchange. But what if you dont have any, cant get any, and dont feel the moral obligation to acquire any.. Well then bartering is an option.

For years Trash has used bartering to get alot of things. I work on computers for people, in exchange I get a check for my services. But what if I take part of my price for labor in acquiring the old machine or some other device or asset that I want more than money. Then the exchange becomes a legit barter. Or as occurred a few months ago when Trash picked up the vacation villa, the ol pop-upcamper, for a 6 pack of beer. Another successful barter.

Free market at its finest.
Apparently the practice is catching on with the yuppies also.. SInce they have no money, credit cards are maxed out, the jobs are gone, etc. yet they still need to get stuff. SO where do they turn.

The same markets Trash has been goiong to for years. The local freecycle site, the local dumpie diver exchange boards, the Craigslist free stuff or barter stuff etc. . Man oh man it takes them awhile to catch on .. And they have good stuff.

Part of old Trash philosophy would like to just hang out and wait for the economy to really take a crapper and the stuff is out on the sidewalk for the dumpster divers to pick thru after the repossession and foreclosure takes place. But I am not that callous. For I know but for the grace of G-d and my constant finnagling, I too could be out of luck and my stuff would be in the front yard..

Anyhow the rain is falling nicely since yesterday.. A welcome relief for my empty rain barrels and my drier than usual, not very productive veggie garden,. I love it. The rain had been teasing us for a week now. A sprinkle here and there and then gone. Now its been raining since yesterday pretty much constantly. A joyous relief.. It hampers dumpstering but it gains in insightful time on my blog and catching up with the other bloggers and sites I visit frequently.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

2 more weeks until a well deserved Staycation

bfast- hot cereal, fruit, toast and coffee.
lunch- ramen noodle soup, fritos (wal-mart buy at a buck a bag) and a juice bottle ( water bottle filled with freebie packet of juice mix that was freecycled to me)
dinner $1 hot and spicey chicken sandies and $1 double cheeseburgers from McD's (gather them up while you can cause apparently McD's is going to take them the double cheeseburgers off the dollar menu due to cost..), another juice bottle and a cold beer to top it off.

What is stay-cation you may ask. It is a newer term to describe a vacation where one doesnt vacate their home and go somewhere else. Instead of vacating one stays home. Thereby a staycation.
Now the reason for the time off is obvious. Where Trash works is shutting down for the entire week of the Dem convention and noone is allowed into the plant. Therefore we are on forced staycation. That ok as I need sometime off to dumpie and build some stuff for the fall projects.

So alas, Trash will be busy that week.