Sunday, April 12, 2020

We Interrupt This Quarantine to Bring You the Red-Breasted Nuthatch?

Sell, Rent, Lease Purchase - I Don't Care, Just Do Something!

Part 8

So, I'm bogged down in the middle of this moving process. The coronavirus has brought home sales almost to a halt. At least as far as my house is concerned.

We only had the house up for sale in south Idaho for two weeks when the craziness started. We went from multiple inquiries per week to zero in the first month.

Now being on month two, I'm not too happy about it. 


That unsold house holds the downpayment I need to purchase a home up north. And if I do find a rental, and believe me they are few and far between, how am I going to pay for a rental and a home?

"Don't wish life was easier, wish you were better." - Jim Rohn

I know Jim...I'll stop complaining.

What a wonderful time to pick for a bug out relocation, right?

Along Comes a Quarantine

While down south over Spring Break, packing up the last few things, my company up north held a meeting.

In that meeting, they decided that any employee who goes out of town will have a mandatory two-week quarantine upon their return.

When was this new ruling to take effect? That very day it was discussed in the meeting, of course.

So, I've had two weeks of quarantine in perfectly good health. This has allowed me even MORE time to do my office reports because I had much less human intervention slowing me down.

After 5pm, I  have been working on getting my garden starts going and checking out a few national trails for exercise.

The key right now is to keep things portable. Garden in buckets that can be relocated when we find our final destination.


With many of my supplies still down south, I looked around for things to improvise a garden. I found this long, white trough in the back of my company rental.

I dragged it into the back porch room (screen room, mud room?) and put some cardboard under in case I over water it.

I used my diet Rootbeer cans for starters. Sprinkled in a couple of soup cans and one heavy cream carton.

My seed stash is from many years ago and still seems to be viable. They are all from Seeds for Security who used to sponsor some contests on this blog years ago.

My cabbage sprouted after only a handful of days. I may have dumped too many seeds together in each can. Not sure how I'll separate those little fellers out.

The rest are beans and potatoes. Oh, except for the white trough. In it, I planted some medicinal yet beautiful Calendulas. I can't wait to see how pretty those are when in bloom.

Getting to Know the Town on Lockdown

Since it is hard to start meeting people during a nationwide lockdown, I did the next best thing I could think of...listen to the police scanner.

Nothing lets you know what's going on in a new town better than listening to their local police channels.

So at breakfast each morning, I turn on my Baofeng UV-5R and let it scan the six local channels in my area.

Breakfast and my Baofeng UV-5R

I now know the local nursing home has a resident with a high fever. Remember I work in healthcare so this catches my attention, especially during the corona mess.

Which, by the way, this whole county still has zero cases of the virus. Another sign that I've landed in the right place to escape the plagues of the big cities.

I know where the dogs like to run amok. I have an overall sense of just how busy our officers are in this town and the severity of the issues.

Pretty quiet, just what I had hoped for in this little town.

I'm pretty impressed with these Baofeng units. I purchased them in 2013 during my Gathering of the Preps back in Mesa, Arizona and they are still going like brand new!

I had to watch a YouTube video on how to use them again but that took all of ten minutes.

Now they have all the local police, fire & rescue, and weather programmed in and stored.

I push one button and it says "Scanning Begin" which starts a repeating scan of my saved channels. Whenever activity sparks, it stops on that channel.

What a great purchase for such a low price. I fully intend to sit for my ham radio license by the end of this year.

Exploring the Local Trails

I visited the Heyburn State Park to get my allowed quarantined exercise (cough, cough.) It was rated as an "Easy" trail and I found it using my newly downloaded AllTrails app on my phone.

It was the closest to me and the first on my list to explore.

And since gas was only $1.79 per gallon, I was actually happy to fill up the tank and go for a little drive.

The Heyburn State Park building is closed due to the coronavirus but all the trails are still open. I was above impressed with the park building.

If I could build my home right now, I would love for it to have this type of look:

The rock and wood mixture soothes my soul. In my mind, this structure is the epitome of living in the woods. Of course, I have no idea how much it would cost to build something like this...and right now, I don't want to know.

I just want to enjoy the splendor.

The trail I took was over two miles in length. It basically took me along the edge of the marsh and allowed me to explore a little.

Even though I am not a big fan of scouting marshlands, this trail still provided ample outdoor air and beautiful scenery of water, mountains, and sky.

A few places revealed floating docks that jutted out into the lake. It was a bit windy but I still enjoyed walking out to the edge of the docks.

As far as wildlife goes, I saw a few waterfowl, a red-breasted nuthatch and this thing:

 Joking aside, the red-breasted nuthatch is actually a thing. I didn't get any decent pictures but here's a little more information on the bird.

The Downer for the Week

I video called home to virtually participate in my youngest daughter's birthday. During the call, I must have pulled something that was plugged into my computer system.

Out of nowhere, my two dual-curved computer monitors lunged forward on my desk. I thought I had caught them both with my hands since I was leaned in to see the video.

But when I put them both back up, there was a huge damage area on the right screen. I was so bummed. This "home office" was the first I had ever bought for myself and I really liked using it.

I took full advantage of sales before Christmas and got some really great deals. But, that doesn't matter now because one screen is trashed.

Unfortunately, I did not buy any extended warranty and this is not a factory default. I have learned to minimize the window on the right monitor and simply set the left margin at the margin of the damaged area of the screen.

There are too many other things to focus on financially right now to worry about replacing this monitor.

The lesson learned here is to secure monitors down to the table regardless of how sturdy the stands seem.

Ending on Gratitude

Lastly, I'll just mention how grateful I am that we were able to get our missionary daughter home. Things have become ten-fold worse in Ecuador since she left.

Here is a picture of a truck full of coffins in Guayaquil, the town where she was staying.

 We continue to pray for the people of Ecuador and those affected around the world.

I'm off now to go walk the neighborhood. Another way to learn the local streets and do some recon.

Take care and stay safe.


  1. Glad to hear that your daughter made it back ok. When we built our retirement home I owned two houses for awhile. My old home closed 1 week before the 08 crash. Whew


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