Open Thread

We found an open thread format over on Western Rifle Shooters Association that generates some interesting conversations and thought we would give it a try here.

Topics of discussion are yours to determine. Remember, keep it respectable. Avoid personal data, location, etc. All comments will be moderated before publishing. After all these years, we have only blocked two or three comments.

Disagreements are fine as long as they create a constructive dialogue and free sharing of thoughts. It’s something that appears to be repressed more and more these days – free sharing of thoughts. Let’s see what we can do to encourage instead of suppress them.

What’s on your mind?
What are you working on?
What’s sticking in your craw about the doings in our country, locally and nationally? You know, like these people.

Topics might include different garden varieties, cooking techniques, recipes, your favorite radio – any type, guns of all makes, how is your health, surviving the collapse, politics, the economy, employment or unemployment, weather, climate, race relations, being politically correct (maybe I should stop here), or anything else that comes to mind.

We look forward to hearing from you and entertaining some lively conversations.

Frank & Fern

34 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. I love your blog,,, That picture up above that shows the typical polluted city is spot on.I live in a rural area and constantly hear people who live in a crowded semi urban setting telling us how we are responsible for polluting the ocean and reefs. Just cant make this stuff up.

  2. Fern, thank you for the update. I was watching the Weather Channel and was concerned that things might have gotten pretty wild down in your area. I certainly do feel badly for those who have had lots of damage do due wind and flooding. Very cold, windy, and wet in our area. Starting the day off with coffee is almost a necessity so I will remember your method. I am making good use of my indoor time putting lots of rhubarb in the freezer and canning pickled asparagus. Tell Frank, planting is much behind schedule in the Midwest, therefore prices have begun to improve for those who still have grain to sell. Farmers will have many difficult decisions to make in the next few weeks. Take care and prepare, CWfromIowa

  3. Well, CW, the tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings are gone for now, along with most of the rain. We had 0.9\” of rain in a few hours this morning, but no significant wind. We still have more rain heading this way, so we'll probably end up with over an inch. Hope all is well with everyone else this stormy spring day.Be safe and be ready for whatever comes your way.FernP.S. We did lose power for a couple of hours this morning. It gave us another chance to practice making coffee in a saucepan on our propane stove. It's the same stove we use everyday, the igniters are battery operated, so it always works. The coffee tastes fine, not much different than the everyday Mr. Coffee version. We use the same amount of water and coffee, put it all in a saucepan, let it come to a boil, turn it off and let the grounds settle, then pour. Works great.

  4. Frank and Fern, you seem to be right in the center of the storm warned area. So sorry to hear about the wind damage and \”stuck tractor\” fiasco. No fun but I'm happy to know there were no injuries. You two stay safe. I've been saying prayers for all of you in the affected area. We are to receive more rain tonight…ugh. CWfromIowa

  5. 5G is China's latest \”spying\” technology. They will be able to see and hear \”everything\” going on in this country. It is very dangerous for that reason alone, but I am unsure what impact will be felt on crops and pollinators. That is a great question. I better get busy looking into that. Thanks, Red! CWfromIowa

  6. I've asked how the roll out of 5G is going to affect the Pollinators and the impact on Crops. No one seems to know or they aren't saying. Red

  7. Hi Frank, Health and aging are things that will affect everyone's journey through life. Being a guy , I was always stubborn, didn't need help doing things. 4 years ago I developed high risk prostrate cancer. After completing 9 weeks of daily radiation treatments I was through with that. Well, that radiation treatment completely sapped my strength and stamina and it has never returned to a pre cancer state. Maybe it has returned to 50% of what it was before. It has been a real challenge learning to pace myself doing physical things. I really plan out physical tasks now and I am not afraid to ask someone for help in doing tasks. We try and plan things toward a future of being limited doing physical tasks like gardening , weed trimming and wood splitting, etc . As we age ,our body parts wear out, we cannot change that. We have the choice to either do it gracefully or grumpily. We try and stay away from grocery store food and we grow as much as we can at home. We buy beef and pork from neighbors. I believe we are what we eat and most store food is designed to taste good , not necessarily be good for us. Over time we all get into our own little comfort ruts and it can be very difficult to make changes in our lives. If we are to make changes we need to do it with a plan and determination . In our case we do a lot of prayer as well. Prayer has been a big comfort in our lives . I highly recommend it . Blessings,Bluesman

  8. Mary, thank you for the information. I am very concerned for all in the severe weather warned areas today. We did manage to get into our fields to plant our crops on the few days where the soil had dried enough. Of couse that is top priority. We are still waiting to plant our gardens as they were too wet to clean up last fall and too soggy to work this spring. Yes, Mother Nature sometimes makes things a bit challenging. Stay safe and best of luck with your gardening efforts, CWfromIowa

  9. CW, Here in TX we're having storms, wind, rain and flooding weekly. I can barely get things done in the gardens and fields before another round begins. It has not completely dried out in a month. The plus: we have had sunshine and I haven't had to water. We've discovered low areas in our new garden plot, where water doesn't run off as well, and those 6 planted rows have suffered. Unfortunately, this problem can't be corrected right away. I'm sure in a month or two, we'll be wishing for rain, but for now, we're hoping for a week or two without it. Our lovely old oak trees have limbs almost touching the ground; our pond is overflowing; the hay is high, but bowing under the wind and rain; and the insects love it. Such is the case of working with Mother Nature.

  10. We used frost cloth a few times last winter. It lets the sun in and retains the heat, but it also breathes. I got the idea from Coleman's book or another on year round greenhouse gardening. Works great in the greenhouse or in the garden. I would highly recommend it.Fern

  11. I agree with morning sun, Tim. Afternoon shade could help alleviate the intense heat. That would be interesting. We don't have any western shade and our greenhouse is on the south side of the house.Fern

  12. Thank you for the recommendations. I will look into them. I followed Chris Martenson for years and was a paid subscriber. We just kind of grew apart. Overall, Chris Martenson has a pretty good site, though.Thank you again for the recommendations. If others have recommendations or comments, please share them. We're all in this together.Frank

  13. Bluesman, thank you for sharing.I don't have a site that I can recommend for responsible financial news. When I say watch, I mean on the computer. I like Fox News, but they're extremely biased. The other news medias I don't follow at all. I can't say that. If there is a natural disaster, I'll read ABC News. But the financial world, I don't find anybody out there that has an accurate assessment, even if it's just a bad opinion, I find no one.Any other folks out there have a good source for financial news?Thank you, Bluesman. Frank

  14. Hi, CW. In our area, in southeastern Oklahoma, last week and a couple of nights back, there was a lot of wind damage around here. Some roof damage, but mostly trees blown down. I have heard of no injuries in our area and the flooding is being contained due to rivers and reservoirs. We had our first power outage that lasted about 12 hours. First time that's happened in our 11 years here. All is well, the ground is soft, I got severely stuck in my tractor. Had to take the brush hog off while I was stuck in the mud and pull it out of the way with my Jeep. Then I used the Jeep to pull the tractor far enough where I could reach semi dry ground. What's the old saying? When you're in a hole, quit digging. But we're out and clear, the tractor has had a bath, and I'll correct the ground damage later. We've got more rain scheduled a couple of days this coming week. I know water is good, so there must be a reason for it. Hope things are going well in your area. Thanks for sharing.Anybody else having flooding problems or weather related issues? If you are, how are you coping?Frank

  15. P.S. How are others out there dealing with life changing events? What have you tried that has worked and not worked? Moves you've made? And overall, how has it affected your outlook on life? If you need, remain anonymous.Thank you in advance, Frank

  16. Hi, Mandy. Interesting question.In the very near future, I will answer that in an article. There have been several changes. One, and not necessarily the biggest, is dealing with mortality. Two, is dealing with my age. I'm not getting younger, and this is sometimes hard to accept, it is for me anyway. Probably most importantly, was downsizing. Less responsibilities, realistic dreams and fewer animals.I'll got into detail in an article soon. Your question is timely. I've never actually written about the experience. A learning experience to say the least.Thank you for the question. I'll respond soon. Frank

  17. This may be off topic, but I would love to hear more about how you are adjusting your preps after Frank's bypass surgery. I had this same surgery a couple of years ago and I'm always interested in how others with health issues to take into account are preparing.

  18. It is difficult to find unbiased financial information on the MSM news (snooze) sites anymore.Many financial info and blog sites also offer opinions which often have to be sifted out of the mix to get a fair picture of events and data. I feel that financial info is important because our country appears to be headed into a financial abyss. The more we can get a handle on financial understanding the better we can navigate the waterfall ahead. I am not familiar with X22 but it looks and appears pretty fair in their assessments. I'll watch more.I like to watch . They offer short 5 minute videos on a variety of subjects that are very well done and informative. I like the open thread concept you are doing.Blessings to all,Bluesman

  19. Lots of threats for bad weather covering the areas from Texas to the Central Plains and Great Lakes areas. Have any of you been in the path of damaging storms and suffered damage? So far we have had heavy rains and are expecting 2-3 more inches. Praying that all are able to be safe…CWfromIowa

  20. I will check these out this evening if storms don't redirect my attention. Thank you, CWfromIowa

  21. Grammy, we find that our greenhouse heats up quickly in the sunshine regardless of the outside temperature. We are in Zone 7 and after about mid March, we move all plants outside because it is too hot in the greenhouse even with the door open and a vent fan blowing in outside air. We start moving plants back in mid to late October when the weather is cool.In the winter it can be 20* outside, and with sunshine, it will easily reach 60-80* in the greenhouse quickly. We have ten 55 gallon drums of water for a heat source during the winter and think this makes a difference. This last winter we used frost cloth twice when the overnight temperatures reached the low 20's. The plants we had – lettuce, spinach, kale, pak choy, beets, herbs – weren't affected, which was a pleasant surprise.Good luck with your greenhouse, I hope you are able to grow lots of food! Fern

  22. I listen to X22 Report Spotlight, Reluctant Prepper, occasionally Bear Independent and Chris Martenson for news/prepping stuff. For gardening-related, there a many excellent \”allotment\” channels from across the pond. Check out Cumbrian Homestead, Michael Hurdiss, or just type \”allotment\” in youtube and you'll find some amazing channels with gardeners doing a whole lot in tiny plots.

  23. We recently ran across a couple of YouTube channels that we find very interesting and now watch daily. Watching YouTubes is not something we have ever done on a regular basis, but we find these two gentlemen informative and intriguing. Black Conservative Patriot – Talks about current events happening in Washington. Report – Talks about finances and current events. us know what you think.Fern

  24. I'm also in zone 6 and while I had every intention of getting a fall/winter crop of spinach, kale, and hearty lettuce going last year it never happened! Hopefully this year. I'm not planning on heating my greenhouse but do plan on covering the plants with an extra layer of clear plastic or row cover. In Elliot Coleman's book, \”Four Season Harvest\”, he describes that every layer of plastic or covering is equivalent to moving one gardening zone south (Mr. Coleman runs a very successfully CSA year round in …. Maine). I like the greenhouse thread! Everyone, have a nice evening! Tim

  25. Hi Prepared Grammy, I have a question for you. Since you are in zone 6, I am wondering if you are planning to raise greens/veggies year around? Are you thinking you will need supplemental heat during the colder months of the year? The sunshine would help during those months. Tim, great tips! CWfromIowa

  26. I have a greenhouse on a deck and have found that afternoon sun is what will really drive the max temp. a greenhouse experiences. If I had a choice, I'd prefer morning sun, afternoon more shady. Even with a roof vent and door both open, it can get surprising warm inside the greenhouse during sunny hours. Make sure you have the greenhouse well anchored and able to withstand wind gusts and if windy day is forecast, be prepared to move delicate seedlings or plants elsewhere if doors/vents must be closed to withstand wind. Best of luck! Tim

  27. I live in zone 6. I’m planning a greenhouse and need advice on where to put it. I already have a concrete pad where my (now adult) kids’ basketball court is. This area is fairly close to trees and wouldn’t get sunlight until about 11:00 in the morning when there are leaves on the trees. Would this be a problem, or should I put it where it would get sunshine all day? (I am wondering if shade in the morning during hot weather would help keep it from getting too hot inside. I’m also planning for ventilation in the greenhouse.)

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