Thursday, June 30, 2011

Join the Contest, Win Great Prizes!

To CELEBRATE the posting of my first guest post at Rural-Revolution, I'm starting our contest about 18 hours early! Welcome to all of you coming from Patrice's wonderful blog!

Oh snap! Another guest post of mine popped up today at! Perfect timing! Welcome readers!

The time has come for our FIRST EVER BLOG CONTEST! We've gathered some great prizes that everyone is sure to enjoy. Let's face it, who wouldn't enjoy:

  • 6,000 open-pollinated seeds from fifteen heirloom varieties that are included in the Super Survival Pack from Seed For Security!

  • An AUTOGRAPHED copy of The Simplicity Primer: 365 Ideas for Making Life More Livable from Patrice Lewis (!) 

  • A $10 gift card from Home Depot!

Are you excited yet? I know, I know...let's get started! Since this is our first contest, I'll keep the rules simple. Each of the following actions will earn ONE (1) entry into the contest drawing:
  1. Follow this blog. (link to Follow)
  2. Like our Facebook Page AND leave a comment.
  3. Post a message about this contest on your Facebook wall with a link to this contest page.
  4. Use our Official Contest banner on YOUR blog or website homepage and hyperlink it to this page.
    Once you’ve done each of these things, leave a comment here on this blog post telling us what you did.  Leave a comment for each of these things that you choose to do (not just one comment saying you did all of them) and each comment will be treated as an entry into the contest.  Don’t worry if they don’t show up immediately (we might have to turn the filtering on if we start to get spam).

    The Fine Print:
    • If you have already "Liked" us on Facebook or are already a "Follower", leave a comment and it will still count. 
    • All entries from each action listed above will be tallied up for each person. If has 3 entries (or 3 completed actions from above), her name will go into the Random Winner Generator 3 times. The first name drawn will receive the Seed For Security prize, second name receives The Simplicity Primer, etc etc.
    • The contest will run from July 1st until July 15th.  Any submissions/actions will not be accepted after midnight on July 15th, 2011 (MST).  I will diligently read through the comments under this post to tally up the number of entries per person.  I will verify all actions claimed and will be announcing the winners of the randomized drawing no later than July 17th.
    • All winners will be contacted via the provided email address you leave when you comment.
    • For posting our Official Contest Banner, use the following logo (alter size if you need to):
    220x220 size

    Good luck to everyone!


    SeedForSecurity Indian Corn: Quick Update

    Saving kernels from Indian Corn
    Part of growing your own food in your garden includes harvesting seeds for the next season. It is perpetual self sufficiency. Grow it, harvest some for food and some for seed, start over next season. I sat down this weekend and picked ONE corn cob apart.

    I wondered how many kernels I would yield from one cob (or ear, which is it?) So, I counted the kernels. From one cob I harvested 243 kernels. Keep in mind that EACH corn stalk provides anywhere from 2-6 ears (in my short-lived experience.)

    In my late night estimation, I bet I used around 50 kernels for my garden this season. I planted around five rows with ten seeds per row.  So with one ear of corn, I am able to quintuple the stock of corn seed from which I started my season. We've already eaten 16 ears with dinner. Another four or five were lost from drying experimentation.  There's still several out in the garden.  Not bad for 50 seeds.

    Piles of 10, one ear of corn netted 243 kernels for next season.
    How's THAT for an ROI (return on investment)!
    Speaking of which, you must wait until the corn is matured before you should harvest for seed. . After you pick the corn from the stalk and shuck it, you have to let it sit out and dry (if you are saving the kernels for seed.) Beware not to dry it in temperatures over 100 degrees or you will damage the seeds (read Anne's comment below this post).   The stalks should be brown. Any trace of green and you need to leave it a bit longer. Often, ears that are ready to be picked will turn upside down.

     I can tell when it is done drying by how easily (or not) it is to pick one kernel from the cob. If it sort of tears where the kernel meets the cob, leaving a small portion on the cob, then it is not quite dry enough. When it is properly dried, I can pry a kernel away from the cob and the whole kernel will "pop" off the cob leaving no parts behind.

    It is exciting to think we can grow our OWN food and collect MORE seed than we had to start.  This gardening thing has turned out to be a great experiment! You should try it. I recommend starting your seed collection from Seed For Security, like I did.  OBTW, here is how Seed For Security harvests this same corn.

    Don't forget to check out our contest starting July 1st. One of the prizes is a complete seed kit from Seed For Security! A $75 value. It is the one we bought last year to start our garden.

    Share YOUR knowledge of corn in the comment section below.


    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    Attack of the Tazmanian Night Gnomes

    Dang Tazmanian Night Gnomes. Wifey tries SO hard to keep our home clean but after she goes to bed, that's when they strike. Nothing is safe and no barriers nor locks will stop them.  I came home from a usual night shift this morning with thoughts of soft pillows and relaxing, monotonous fan sounds whirring quietly at my bedside. I unlocked the front door and walked in through the living room. That's when I began to see traces that they had been there. Curious yet destructive little critters.

    Here lies the remnants of an important letter. Scissors visible on the edge of the counter. A Gnome boot lays cold and abandoned. 

    They got hungry, left the cabinet open, and left evidence of a sugary preference.

    I'm guessing there's a shortage of gnome painters in Tazmania, so they used Wifey's craft resources wisely. Why worry about foam green overspray when you have tile floor to catch it?

    A bloated super mega mega toilet paper roll was victim of an apparent walk-by toilet clogging.

    A slap in the face: the DP was returned to the fridge with one... gulp... left. Doh!

    Poor Ramen, never saw it coming. Bits of noodle still strewn about.

    They sneak in at night, when no one is the wiser. No sounds of doors creaking open, no slamming cabinets. They quietly glide about the house, leaving destruction in their wake with no witnesses to call them out.  Besides, who in their right mind would be awake at the wee hours of the morn to catch such dastardly deeds? I'm surprised the kids haven't seen them. Being on summer break and all. I mean, they're up til 4am...and sleep til noon...and...hey, wait a minute!

    Dang kids. Welp, gotta hurry up and get to sleep...before mom wakes up ;-)

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    Contest Coming Soon! Great Prizes Too!

    I'm SO excited to announce that I'll be having MY FIRST CONTEST! Why am I SO excited? Check out these sponsored prizes:

    • Seed For Security is sponsoring a Super Survival Pack with a retail value of $75 + s&h! Suh-weet!

    From SFS's website: "The fifteen heirloom varieties that are included in this Super Survival Pack will not cross-pollinate in your garden. This will enable you to save seeds from year to year. There are over 6,000 open-pollinated seeds PLUS a pint each of Hulless Oats and Winter Rye." I have blogged numerous times about how awesome these seeds are. Check my posts for proof!

    • Rural Revolution is sponsoring an AUTOGRAPHED copy of The Simplicity Primer!  Retail value (autograph=priceless) + s&h. Awesome!

    From The Simplicity Primer website: "The Simplicity Primer: 365 Ideas for Making Life More Livable addresses simplicity from a concrete, no-nonsense, realistic standpoint. It offers guidelines for family life, finances, the workplace, health, relationships, spiritual life, home, recreational activities, and much much more." I personally own this book and it IS TERRIFIC! (No, you can't have mine. Besides, mine isn't autographed <sniff>.)

    From the Directive21 website: "The Sport Berkey Portable Water Purifier Eliminates or Reduces up to 99.9% of:
    • Unpleasant taste and odors, cloudiness, silt, sediment and chlorine.
    • Toxic chemicals: Trihalomethanes, VOCs, detergents, pesticides, etc.
    • Harmful microscopic pathogens: Cryptosporidium, Giardia, E-coli 99.99999% and other pathogenic bacteria.
    • Heavy metals: Aluminum, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Lead, and Mercury.
    • Radiologicals: Radon 222

    • ONE (1)  Home Depot card worth $10! Who can't use that?!?

    From the Home Depot website: "It's a card...worth $10."  Okay, maybe that isn't on their website but it IS true!

    The contest will start July 1st, so set your calendar reminders. The Rules and Regulations will be posted at that time (July 1st.)  There's lots of ways to win with activities for writers, Facebookers, Tweeters and more! All shipping and handling will be covered. It is FREE to you, the lucky winners!

    Hooray for contests!

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    Lessons Learned Staying At Home

    You used my WHAT?! a WHAT?!
    (Image courtesy of Warner Bros.)
    Wifey has our three oldest daughters on a weekend Grand Session retreat and I, lucky soul that I am, get the pleasure of spending a few days at  home with our three toddlers. Although I am getting an increasingly stronger knot up the right side of my neck, I am learning some very valuable lessons. Why not share?

    Lesson #1: Diversity.
    There is NO way, at ANY given time, that ALL three girls will agree on the same activity. Luckily for me, the two year old will agree with anything upon receiving Cheetos. Majority rules!

    Lesson #2: Tolerance
    After hugging his neck in a choke hold fashion, tugging his leg when he tries to sneak away, or being cornered by three squealing little girls, our newly adopted eight year old Cocker Spaniel has yet to even act like it bothers him.

    Lesson #3: Think before you, make an offer.
    On day two of our "what are we going to do now" fun-athon, I offered to load everyone up in the Orange Jeep and hit the local Sonic. Sounded easy my head...without REALLY thinking about. The girls were excited about it as well and quickly ran about looking for shoes and scrunchies.   It wasn't until AFTER I let the excitement build that I realized I had to hook in car seats...during a heat advisory. So, not only was it 105 degrees outside, it was also a seemingly 200 degrees INSIDE the Jeep where my big six foot three self had to climb in and lock the seats in place. Oh, and air conditioning helps little with a soft top. I won't be doing THAT again.

    Lesson 4: Possibilities are endless.
    It is, to my amazement, possible to forget to wipe, flush, and/or turn the light off...27 times in ONE day. Heck, I didn't even know it was possible to waddle from couch to toilet with pants dropped to the ankles THAT fast. These kids are adaptable!

    Lesson 5: Security can be thwarted...and sometimes WAY too easily.
    Even if the door is locked, with the key on TOP of the door jamb, a determined three year old can still open the adjoining window and climb into mom's craft room (we added onto the house, so once "outside" windows are now "inside" windows.) You'd be amazed at how much floor space unwound ribbon can fill.

    Lesson 6: Limitations are only bound by imagination.
    Just because you block off or lock up most of the house and anything that you THINK may become a huge mess doesn't mean that your toddler won't find something seemingly harmless and simple (TOOTHPASTE) and resurface your bathroom sink with it. At least my little Rembrandt left a little in the tube.

    Lesson 7: You can be anything you want to be.
    You can be a mermaid, Rapunzel, an Island Princess, a fairy, a Musketeer, or Thumbelina. Especially if you are Barbie. Oh, and you can have a Diamond Castle AND a Pegasus.

    Lesson 8: Schedule schmedule.
    Your schedule is just that...YOUR schedule. Just because it is 3am and MOST people are sleeping doesn't mean that you won't wake to a two year old needing to go potty (yay for potty training, boo for doing it at 3am.) Sleep is now considered a privilege.

    I'll have to stop there. Not because the lessons have stopped but because my concentration on this posting have been interrupted for a billionth time. Now, first things first, where's that Advil...

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    Please Post a Comment Today

    Me, trying to fix blog.
    Well, Grrrr. I've been mucking around with this comment system for hours. I changed the layout of the IntenseDebate pluggin. Then I deleted it out of frustration. Now I've re-installed it again.

    Can you guys help me out and post a comment. Any comment. Just let me know if it was difficult or easy to use. Slow or fast to load.

    Thanks a bunch!

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Jerk of the Day: Road Hog

    We should have just carpooled.
    I was sitting at a stop light on my way home from work this morning. It was around 7:30am and still cool enough to have the windows down. I was staring off to my left thinking about grabbing Wifey's Nikon when I get home and sneaking some pictures of the pumpkin flowers that bloom for one day before they die.

    That's when I heard what sounded like... someone talking?  I reached for my radio to turn it off. It wasn't on. The voice was clear as a it was IN the Jeep with me. I looked to my right and my jaw hit the floor!  There, almost touching my passenger mirror, was a big rig. A big, shiny red 18 wheeler with a driver chatting away on his cell phone. I could hear him clear as a bell, complete with lip smacking (gum?)

    Now, I'm happy to share the road with any vehicle. But my idea of sharing the road means we each get our own lane. I snapped a quick picture with my Droid to see if I could capture how ridiculously close he had stopped next to me at the stop light. To REALLY appreciate it, click on the image, then click to magnify it to normal size..

    Lord, just get me home in one piece.

    SeedForSecurity Sugar Pumpkin Seed Garden Upate

    Flowers on our front garden pumpkins.
    Man oh man are the pumpkin seeds taking off! We chose to plant them in the front of the house in anticipation that they would not only make great decorations come Halloween time but would also utilize an otherwise UNDERutilized garden area. Sure, we could have planted flowers. That's what we usually do. But since one of our new family goals is to become more self sufficient in supplying our own food, we opted OUT on the pretty flowers and IN with the edibles.

    This is our first season growing pumpkins. We're trying to grow only things that we will eat. Now, I've eaten plenty of pumpkin pie (especially with whipped cream on top) but I can't say it is something I think about if I go grocery shopping. Our hope is that we'll be able to use the pumpkins for Halloween jack-o-lanterns, pies, bread and gift giving (another goal this year is to give handmade gifts only.)

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    SeedForSecurity Indian Corn Garden Harvest Update

    Indian Corn grown of seed from
    Quick update on the Indian Corn we are growing in one of our gardens. As previously mentioned, this is our second season at trying to grow corn. First season we planted too late. This season looks like a winner. Our first cob picked revealed "kernal gap" was occuring in our garden. With the help of some readers here and Google searching, I learned how to hand pollinate. This is a picture of some ears we picked yesterday. Not very much kernal gap on these. What a relief!

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    Father's Day Gift Ideas (Great Stuff They Gave Me!)

    Boy, did I have a GREAT Father's Day yesterday! I had the right mixture of relaxation, thoughtful gifts, and family time. Wifey and the girls all worked together to make a terrific breakfast. The table was adorned with numerous goodies. I post this not only as a memoir but to help others who might be looking for ideas. I'll start with what was on the table.

    Recognition Buttons: All six daughters wore hand printed buttons on their shirts that displayed different phrases. Lily's says "I have one fabulous Dad!" The girls wore them the entire time we were at church. Each was cut out of card stock and taped to an existing button.

    Personalized Rootbeer: I was given some IBC Rootbeer and Cream Soda in glass bottles. The bottles AND the six pack holder were custom decorated with homemade labels. This bottle pictured below says "Pops, you are one suh-weet dude!"

    Facebook Page For Orange Jeep Dad

    I'm hoping to improve my blogging skills. So, like any other college (over)educated Dad, I'm studying how to be a better blogger. It serves as a great thought release on my LONG night shifts and gives me some really good feedback from visitors that are generous enough to leave their comments.

    Some folks have been so helpful, I added a Top Commentator widget to the sidebar as a way of giving them recognition (besides my heartfelt thanks, of course.)  Like Anne, PioneerPreppy, Arsenius the Hermit, Kris, Ollamha Anne, Nancy, LyndaKay, and naturegirl...THANKS!

    I'm not sure what difference it will make but a lot of  the "how to" blogs that I read on being a good blogger say I need a Facebook page. I'm just trying to provide a clean, updated blog that talks about survival, parenting, DIY Dad stuff, medicine and a few other random thoughts. I'm not sure yet how I'll utilize the FB page...or the Twitter page, nevertheless, they're up.

    We'll see if it makes any difference in my Klout scores... Ha Ha. That's a joke, since I have no Klout score. In fact, as I elude to in the prior linked Klout post, it sounds like a ton of people aren't too happy with the Klout system. Like here, here, and here. But what do I know? I'm just a Dad who blogs.

    So, Like me, Follow me, Add me. At some point, if I pick up enough readers, I'll be able to have some contests and giveaways. You want that...don't ya?

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    Southern Border Compromised & On Fire

    Living in Arizona during the largest fire in Arizonan history has me looking at fire maps lately. Now, I know we have dry spells and specific No Burn days to help quelch would-be fires from starting and/or spreading. But my latest peek at InciWeb reveals a large majority of our southern border states are now engulfed in flames.
    Courtesy of InciWeb June 20, 2011
      The survivalist in me immediately recognizes that our southern border is compromised. Arizona has it's largest fire ever along with four others within our borders.  The Wallow fire, the largest, has spread into New Mexico and is now posing threats to communities there. New Mexico also has two other fires spreading up into Colorado.  Texas is riddled with around THIRTY fires right now. Florida has it's hands full with two fires and California has one as well.

    Saturday, June 18, 2011

    Happy Father's Day from Orange Jeep Dad

    Image courtesy of Google, Inc.
    I just did a quick Google search and their daily image is a crooked Father's Day sign. There's a neck tie used to symbolize the "L" in the word Google. Wifey is herding the girls down the hall to add the finishing touches on some lucky Dad's Father's Day gifts (just a hunch.) :-)

    So, I'm posting a quick HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all you Dads out there! If you're here searching for some last minute gift ideas, see my post earlier this month on my Top 10 Father's Day Wish List or inspirational Father's Day quotes.

    Happy Father's Day!

    Weekend Projects and Lessons

    Ribbon wall project for Wifey's craft room.
    I have several projects planned this weekend. As usual, not everything goes as planned, which is why I have backup plans (hello redundancy.)

    Having a four day weekend helps. Sure, co-workers called and asked for help covering shifts. I've been working a "regular shift" since the beginning of May (three 12 hour shifts per week instead of six 12 hour shifts per week) and not a week has gone by that my co-workers haven't called and asked me to pick up more shifts. Don't get me wrong, in an emergency I'll do my part. But if I'm being asked to cover someone's shift so THEY can have the day off...what's the point? I want days off too.

    So back to what I do on MY days off.

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    How To Back Up Your Blog

    As discussed previously, redundancy is your friend. If you only have one copy of ANYTHING, rest assured something will happen to it. Do you have ONE set of car keys? Probably not. How about your house keys? I doubt it. Why? Because we've all "misplaced" them at one point or another. I told a story about a person who "lost" her keys at a gas station, somewhere between Phoenix and San Diego...with three toddlers in tow. Frantic!

    Nosebleeds in the Emergency Room

    This could be you...SERIOUSLY.
    I am without words, once again, at the number of people that come to the EMERGENCY Room for a common nosebleed. We're not talking about trauma to the face like getting a line drive to the schnoz or a car accident.  These are simple "Oh look, my nose is bleeding. Better go to the Emergency Room" nosebleeds.  Call me cranky (and I am working more night shifts than usual this week,) but if you can't handle a nose bleed....puhleeeze!

    Let's go over some basics:

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Homemade Dutch Oven Cornbread Recipe

    Cornbread is in back, to the right. Also pictured is
    our dutch oven ribs, homemade pumpkin muffins with
    icing and tator tots in the oven.
    Cornbread is one of our favorite side dishes. It compliments everything, tastes delicious and is very filling. It only takes about 30 minutes to make in a dutch oven (and ten minutes of that is just mixing the ingredients in a bowl.) Very inexpensive for so much food!

    What you'll need to make cornbread in a dutch oven:

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    How to Hand Pollinate Corn - Prevent Kernal Gap

    The dreaded "kernel gap" on my unpollinated corn.

    Guide to Easy Corn Growing

    I got anxious enough to pick an ear of corn today. Not good. It appears I have unpollinated corn as indicated by the bare patches on the cob (kernel-gap.)  I've researched some hand pollination techniques. Some gardeners on GardenWeb say just to walk around and shake the stalks, allowing pollen to flow from the tassels down to the silks. They mention doing this when the plants are dry. If they are wet, the pollen may clump or the silks may stick together which might cause a problem.

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Wallow Fire: What's YOUR Disaster Plan?

    Image courtesy of
    Tornadoes are devastating Oklahoma, but I don't live there anymore. Riots are breaking out in some locations, but not where I live. Hurricanes hit the coasts annually, but I don't live by the water either. Actually, we're known for not having much water at all where I Arizona.

    So what natural disaster do I have to worry about? I thought it would be running out of water, due to a crazed city employee  trying to get some attention by blowing up the water treatment plant. Or a massive power outage, caused by any number of things, shutting off the public water system.

    Sunday, June 12, 2011

    OJD's Hero of the Month: Richard (Dick) Proenneke

    Dick lived in this handmade cabin in Alaska for 30 years.
    Survivalism, preparedness, self's all over the internet today. There are scores of survival podcasts, youtube channels and blogs available at your fingertips 24 hours a day.

    You wanna talk about self sufficiency and survival? Let me introduce you to Dick Proenneke. He was born in 1916 in Lee County Iowa. He served in the United States Navy as a carpenter during World War II and worked as a diesel mechanic most of his first 50 years.

    What makes him a hero from my point of view?  Around age 52, he moved to a remote part of Alaska, Twin Lakes, and with only a handful of tools, built everything he needed to survive...for the next 30 years. He built a cabin by hand from local trees. He built his food storage on 20 foot stilts so animals couldn't get to it and used a removeable ladder for access. He either grew or caught everything he ate with  few exceptions. Alaskan winters came and went, but he handled it all by himself.

    Saturday, June 11, 2011

    Half Boy...Half Girl

    Are they called tights? Stockings? Not sure

    Time for Dad to get a haircut. As with any chore "away from home," I chose one child to go with me. Wifey and I do this in an attempt to get some one-on-one time with each of our six girls.

    I finally figured out a way to be "fair" and avoid the dreaded argument "...but SHE got to go LAST time!" I use a Droid app called COLORNOTE. I created a list with each daughter's name. Each time a daughter goes with me on an errand, a quick click on her name marks it with a strike-through mark. Done! One less drama in a house FULL of drama (sometimes.)

    Anyway, back to the reason for the post.

    A Real Dad Buys Tampons

    Been there, done that. Hit a big sale at Walgreen's one time. Came home with about 40 packages of different pads. Meh, six happens.

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Focus on Beneficial LIFE Skills

    5 of 6 daughters were in cheer or tumbling
    and we were WAY too busy running around.
    This summer, our family is focusing more on basic skills like gardening, sewing, canning, dutch oven cooking, and shooting and less on activities that might not be of much use later in life...specifically...Competitive and Performance Cheer.

     While our girls DID enjoy the activity of cheer practice with all the cartwheels, front walkovers, backhand springs and the such, what wasn't enjoyed was the snottiness of the spoiled teammates, the overpriced add-ons (hair bows, makeup kits, shoes, cheer uniforms...and on and on and on), and the price tag waiting at the end of the season if you wanted to travel to another state to watch them compete in Nationals. Did they get exercise...yes. Did they learn a skill that would help them as adults...hardly. Don't even get me started on how much time and gas we spent driving back and forth to practice (two girls on one Competitive Cheer team, eldest on another Competitive Cheer team, 5 year old in Performance Cheer, 3 year old in tumbling).

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    Jerk of the Day: Parking Hog

    Ran to my busy local Walgreens for some Mucinex-D. I'm done trying to ride out this chest cold. I was a little surprised when I had to show my drivers license to make the purchase. Apparently, my chest decongestant can be used to make meth.

    But even more shocking was when Super Jerk pulled up beside me and covered FOUR PARKING SPOTS with his little truck! Not even what I would consider a real expensive truck and the parking lot was about 75% occupied. We're not talking about parking crooked out in the far corner, this was right in front of the entrance.

    Wall Air Conditioner Install and Trim

    New unit, smaller but more efficient, filled in with foam filler.
    Dad Fix Tip #8: Wall A/C Installation

    Several years ago we had our extended back patio framed in and drywalled into a 400 sq ft usable indoor space.

      Three-quarters of the space is an elongated game room and the other quarter was supposed to be a bedroom for one of our girls. 

    Since construction, it served as a bedroom (which never got used because we can't get the kids out of OUR room), a workout room complete with treadmill (didn't last long, the walls are all painted PINK and I can't stand working out in a pink room), and finally Wifey's craft room.

    Well, sometime last year our little wall unit air conditioner quit working and we let it slide all winter. The air conditioner was installed at the far end of the game room and positioned so that it blows across the room, aimed directly at the craft room. 

    Since Wifey has recently acquired FOUR sewing machines, she has been sewing her brains out. Summer out here in the Arizona desert gets VERY hot VERY fast and while the thought of the craft room becoming a little sewing sweat shop made me smirk, I'm sure it would lead to one irritable I set out to replace the air conditioner. 

    Something, like most home repairs, I'm about to learn how to do on my own...for the first time.

    First thing I discovered was that the screws holding the A/C unit to the frame box were buried BEHIND the drywall. I had to cut out holes on both sides of the unit (as you can see in the picture) to get to the screws.  

    Once I got these screws out, it was a long tug and pull match to slide it out. Up and down, side to side. You'd think I was trying to pull a Mac truck out of a gopher hole. Turns out, when the builders installed the original unit, they stucco'd the outside of the room addition after the A/C install. 

    Which means they stucco'd up underneath the darn thing to fill in gaps. I had to go outside and knock some stucco off from underneath the unit to allow it to finally slip out of the sleeve.

    There, in all its glory, was now a HUGE gaping hole in my wall and nothing to cover it with. 

    Images of birds, wasps, and bees entering at will filled my head. What have I done? 

    Crap, Crap, Crap. 

    And of course, I started this project about four hours before I had to go to work at my night shift job. 

    I mentioned to Wifey that I'd pick up a new unit on the way home in the which she quickly replied "I'm not so sure I'm comfortable with leaving a big, gaping hole in the house all night.".

    I had not even thought that far in advance. Doh! I quickly cover the massive hole with cardboard and tape. 

    Once secure, I bolted off to Lowes for a wall unit.  $299 on sale, 10,000 btu's. I was happy to bring it home and take it out of the box. Its always worth more manly points if you can carry the big appliance in by yourself. 

    I make sure to grunt here and there in front of the kids.

    I made a few minor adjustments to change it from a window unit to a wall mount unit by removing some slide rails meant to butt up against a window ledge. 

    I slid the unit back into the frame and added a little plank of wood in the back to make sure all the back end was supported. 

    Once appropriated placed, I used a can of foam filler.  It sealed the gaps nicely and quickly. Give yourself a little leeway. 

    It does continue to expand a little after you're done spraying. But it breaks off super easy if you need to chisel a little away like I did.

    To cover up the exposed area now, I built a little frame from pinewood. You might be able to see where the drywall was patched up. 

    I had the drywaller who was here doing the arched bathroom door project slap a little mud in those holes real quick. Took him all of three minutes. Wouldn't have taken me an hour.

    Anyway, not too sure I'm happy with the frame yet. I'm gonna try a different pattern a little wider. It needs a coat or two of paint as well. 

    Altogether though, the bottom line is: Wifey has ice cold A/C while she's sewing and crafting and that makes her happy...which makes me happy. That's what it ALLLLLL about.

    CommentLuv Added to Orange Jeep

    One feature that has been bugging me on these Blogger blogs is the INability to receive notifications if you leave a comment on a blog. By that I mean, receive a notification if someone REPLIES to your comment or comments AFTER you comment. I haven't seen a way to subscribe to comments like you can on WordPress and other sites.

    I visit several blogs each day and comment fairly often. Many times I've left questions but then can't remember which blogs I've left questions on (yes, I'm getting old.) In order to fix this solution, on my own blog at least, I've installed a new commenting feature: Intense Debate's CommentLuv.

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Settling In and (Another) New Sewing Machine

    Kohl is plum tuckered out. Eyes open but he
    won't even raise his head.
    Kohl seems to be settling in nicely. He's VERY mellow which is a nice attribute in a family dog. Well, it is for us anyway. We've got enough energy screaming through the house with six girls running amok. I previously blogged how we adopted him at the age of eight (a few weeks ago). His previous family didn't think he was getting enough attention after a family member passed away. Well, he gets SO much now, occasionally I find him hiding under my bed. My three little girls LOVE to hug him around his neck. Doesn't matter what I say about giving the dog a break. They chase him everywhere.

    The older three daughters are becoming more and more interested in sewing. They see mommy making all the skirts, bags, and shirts and want to join in. Naturally, Wifey explained to me that this is the perfect and logical reason why she NEEDS more sewing machines. Of course CraigsList has them listed ALL THE TIME. Grrr.

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    Seed For Security Update: Jacob's Cattle Beans and French Horticulture Beans

    Purple carrots comparing size to a dime coin.
    If you read my previous post about how excited I got planting purple carrots, you'll also know that they failed miserably. I can't remember where, for sure, I got them but it was NOT inside the United States. Needless to say, out of two 3'x3' raised garden boxes, I've grown maybe six carrots. The tops were deceptively large, or so I thought (as a novice gardener) so I picked a few. They were miserably small and scrawny. Smaller in diameter than a pencil and less than half the length. That was over a month ago.

    I picked two more just the other day. You can see by the picture that they are still pathetic. I only have two left growing and they're staying in the soil until they say FEED ME SEYMOUR! Maybe I'm just being too impatient. I want this stuff to be ready to eat in under four months. Is that SO unreasonable?

    Seed For Security: Corn and Squash Update

    Indian Corn from
    I'm happy to report that our seeds purchased from are growing very well. This is our second time to plant the Indian Corn and it has done superb. Last season we planted it a little late and didn't get the joy of seeing it reach full size before the winter frost set in. We also discovered little grubs had eaten into the cobs once the ears were peeled back. The grubs didn't matter much since our corn hadn't been planted early enough to mature before the frost (there just wasn't much corn ON the cob yet.)

    Needless to say, Wifey and I have pulled a few ears here and there and they look terrific. The SFS website says to harvest when the ears turn brown and/or start to flip upside down. I pulled one yesterday and tasted it raw. It was sweet and yummy. I can't wait until they are fully grown. I'm guessing about one more month. We've planted several rows, around seven or so. Each row has around 10 stalks. Each stalk looks to be growing anywhere from 2-5 ears of corn. We should have a terrific feast ahead of us!

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    Book Bomb Reminder: The Simplicity Primer June 7 Release

    Just a Reminder!

    Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 7th is Book Bomb Day for the new book The Simplicity Primer, by Patrice Lewis. You'll probably recognize Patrice's name from either her excellent Rural Revolution blog, or from her WorldNet Daily columns. Please wait until June 7th to order the book, to create the maximum media buzz.

    The above was copied from

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    How to Install a Door to Our Bathroom Archway: Part II

    How to Install a Door to a Bathroom Archway: Part 2

    Updated May 2019

    Continued from Part One of my post about installing a door to an arched bathroom entrance. In Part One, a friend from church used his nail gun to place a frame inside our archway (pictures of installing the framing in Part One.)

    A list of all the supplies needed for this project are listed at the bottom of this page. 

    Our drywall installer came over yesterday to drywall the arched doorway frame. We've been waiting for about a month for this particular installer because he comes highly recommended AND he only charged us $50! I could have nailed the drywall to the frame myself but if I had attempted the taping, applying putty and texturizing, it would NOT have looked nearly as nice. Plus, I figure, for $50 I get a one-on-one lesson from a professional on how to do this stuff :-)

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Book Bomb June 7th: The Simplicity Primer by Patrice Lewis

    A BOOK BOMB is an event where buyers coordinate an effort to buy an item on the EXACT same day. When a majority of purchases of an Amazon sold book are done with this effort, it drives up the popularity of the book. Please support Patrice Lewis and purchase her book The Simplicity Primer on June 7 with the link provided below. (Only $10 to support an American Mom, Homeschooler, Writer & Homesteader, do it!)

    365 Ways To Simplify Your Life

    List Price: $15.95
    Your Price: $10.85 
    You Save: $5.10 (32%)
     (FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25.)

    Jeep Quotes for my Jeep Bretheren

    Here's some Jeep quotes I've pulled from around the 'net. I need to post more Jeep stuff. Its in the blog title 'cause I've always found peace and solitude riding around in a Jeep.

    Now, on with the Jeep quotes:

    JEEP: The dirtiest of the four-letter words

    Jeep: Just Everyone Else's Parts

    When I Die, Bury me in my JEEP. 'Cause it's never been in a hole it couldn't get out of!

    JEEP - Jumps Everything Except Payments

    JEEP = Just Empty Every Pocket!

    Real Jeeps are built, not bought.

    If its not leaking, it must be empty!

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    My Top Ten Dad Gifts for Father's Day

    I have six daughers, ranging from age 13 (almost 14) down to 2 years of age. This list is meant, in one way or another, to include all of them.

    10. For one day, as hard as it may seem, can you please put things back where you got it...for me?

    9.  A tie is always welcome. How about having one made with photos of you and your sisters on it?

    8.  Play me a beautiful song on the piano using the skills you learned from all those piano lessons.

    7.  Help me wash the cars in the driveway and don't storm off if I accidentally spray you.

    6.  Work with your sisters to cook a wonderful dinner that we can all sit down together and enjoy.

    5.  A big, heaping plate of warm, gooey, super-dee-dooper chocolate chip cookies.

    4.  Take a pencil and paper, a book, anything...that helps you be completely quiet one Sunday in church.

    3.  Before Father's Day, without any stomping, grunting, or ALL of your normal, daily chores.

    2.  Hug me randomly, talk with me quietly, and offer to hold my hand or sit in my lap.

    1.  Just spend Father's Day with me and casually mention "Happy Father's Day"...about 80 times.

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    Dad Quotes for Father's Day

    Father's Day is coming and I'll soon be getting the annual question: "What do you want for Father's Day Dad?" Its not an easy question because I'm not used to thinking about what I want. I'm usually thinking about who needs school lunch money, is the back gate secure so the dog doesn't get out, where is my darn shoe?

    So, during my late night google searching, I came across some great quotes. Some by famous people, some anonymous, some just about dads in general. They made me smile so I'm sharing them here.

    A father carries pictures where his money used to be.
    ~Author Unknown

    There are three stages of a man’s life: He believes in Santa Claus, he doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus.
    ~Author Unknown

    XP Anti Virus and Vista Total Security Virus Removal (Trend Micro Housecall vs Malwarebyte Anti-Malware)

    XP Total Security, Vista Total Security Virus
    Dad Fix Tip #5: How to Remove a Google Redirect Virus

    As previously blogged, this is a quick tutorial on how I removed a virus I found on my home computer. Turns out, there were over 27 viruses on my little Dell PC. For the record, I've found NONE on Wifey's Mac but we also don't let our teen and pre-teen daughters use the Mac (I'm sure that's just a coincidence WINK WINK.)

    So, the symptoms were simple. I couldn't get any of my browsers to surf the web. Not Safari, Chrome, Maxthon, IE or Firefox. Any URL I typed in showed me a page that warned of an unsafe destination and that I should use the XP Total Security program to get me there safely. Right.

    A quick google search for "XP Total Security virus" fetched me several results. I found the one HERE (thanks to Bleeping Computer) to be 100% effective. Follow the directions step-by-step and it should work for you too. NOTE: if you have this virus, you might need to visit my blog on your smart phone, secondary laptop, work computer or something other than the infected computer. I used my Droid Incredible.

    Either read through the instructions and follow along on a second sytem or print out the instructions. HOWEVER, you will need to download some programs. There are instructions on how to download the necessary files onto your phone and then transfer. That is exactly how I did it. If you have to use a secondary computer, just download to a thumb drive or equivalent.

    Before downloading these, read the directions eluded to HERE.

    FixNCR.reg (

    RKill Download Link - (Download page will open in a new tab or browser window.)

    Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Download Link (Download page will open in a new window)

    FixNCR will fix your registry. RKill will stop the virus from running. Malwarebyte will find and remove the virus completely. NOTE: it took over an hour for Malwarebyte to completely search my C: drive and turned up with 27 viruses (all of which it fixed).

    Prior to this method of fixing the virus, I ran Trend Micro's Housecall twice. It found 6 bugs the first run and two bugs the second run. Even after deleting or fixing the bugs, I STILL had the XP Total Security virus. I had also ran HiJackthis and did everything it recommended but still had the viruses. Both of these programs are free and USED TO BE fairly successful. Not so much anymore.

    So there ya go. That should help you rid your computer of the XP Total Security virus, or for Vista users its the Vista Total Security 2011 virus. Either way, good riddens!

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Only in America: Transgendered Prom Queen, Gay Prom King

    Florida Tech: He/She Prom Queen, Gay Prom King
    Its no wonder fellow Americans like PioneerPreppy think our current and future generations of young males are doomed. He blogged about the United Kingdom parents who felt it was in their child's best interest to keep it's gender a secret. He paraphrased the idiot parents:  "...gender stereotypes are society based and have no real bearing on the child's personality. They feel the child should be whatever he or she wishes or wants to be and come to it naturally with no societal pressure."

    Yeah, that won't lead to confusion for the child...right.

    Now, we have a technical school in Florida where a transgendered male who calls himself "Andii" has won the school title of Prom Queen. Not surprisingly, the nominated Prom King is a gay male. Andrew Viveros and Juan Macias couldn't appear more gay (don't forget, gay means happy too) in their prom photo.

    Ed Harris portrays a gay teacher.
    I'm reminded of a movie my family just watched the other night titled That's What I Am. Part of the storyline involves a reknown local teacher (Ed Harris) who, despite having won Teacher of the Year, is suspected of being gay. Since this movie was set back in the 1950's, before America's huge moral backslide, one set of concerned parents were able to have the teacher removed from the classroom. The concerned parents argued that a teacher is a role model for our children. If the children suspect the teacher is gay, they will deduce that gay behaviour is acceptible and perhaps even desireable. After all, the teacher was awarded top honors. After confrontation, the teacher opts to quit his job and move to another teach there. Why? Gay lifestyles weren't something that Americans used to promote publicly AND the teacher had enough DIGNITY to remove his personal sexual preferences from the students' learning environment after it had gone public.

    Times have certainly changed. Even the Prom Queen's mom sounds exhausted (perhaps even disappointed) with the situation her transgendered son has put her in. In the article about the gay prom couple, the Prom Queen's mother, Bernadette Viveros said "He's my child and I'm going to love him no matter what." Read between the lines. She didn't say "I'm so proud of him" or "He has a right to be who he wants to be." Nope. She basically says 'He is who he is and I have to love him no matter what...because I am his mother.'

    How sad. I'd be interested in knowing how much time Andii spends in church?