Tuesday, February 26, 2013

it's been a pretty gorgeous winter so far!

well...we are in the middle of our winter and have had staying snow for over a week now. it's been really pretty tho!

check out some of these gorgeous and Helga-approved skies!

even when it's cloudy, the sky is still so blue!

our staying snow isn't really the right kind of snow for making snowmen for JUGM and Senior's boys but if we get the right kind of snow, i promise we'll make some for the boys! anyway, we did the next best thing and made snow angels. we made them for Max as he likes snow angels!

and of course, we made snow ice-cream - deelish!


and some yummy chicken teriyaki!

the sauce was divine and was a new recipe for me. after about a week or so i decided to make it again but this time added toasted sesame seeds - it brought the teriyaki to a whole new level of yum!

 here's a beautiful bone-in pork shoulder - the glaze was to die for and the meat just fell right off of the bone. we'll definitely be using this glaze again!

love on a plate i'd say!

which after a couple of days was made into some yummy homemade pork and beans!

do you love roasted artichokes? i do. jambaloney not so much. but he'll let me have a treat every now and then and eat them with me.

i also love quinoa salad - so tasty!

as i mentioned yesterday, i have spent the last several weeks organizing our seeds and getting ready to start seedlings once we get our greenhouse built. it will give us a great early start to our growing season and will also allow us to grow a bunch of our own food over the winter as jambaloney is finaggaling a way to heat the greenhouse during the winter. that means we will be able to grow a ton of fresh herbs even in the winter. can you say 200 pots of parsley, sage, dill, lemongrass, coriander, mint and chammomile? (and just as an aside - have you ever had sage tea? it is the most gorgeous and soothing tea! we love it!). having access to fresh herbs in the winter will take us over the moon.

we are also building a big giant cold frame at the front of the greenhouse to be able to have beet greens, kale, swiss chard, turnip greens and spinach all winter. lots of good food there.

being able to grow our own health-giving food during the winter will really cut down on our food costs and that is always a good thing! we will still can, dry and freeze a bunch of our produce but having greens and herbs fresh from the pot/ground is such a delight! i am so excited!

but alas, we are still in the throes of winter. it has been a nice winter so far - no terrible storms or anything and not much snow that stayed. we still have to get through March though, knock on wood. however, it's hard not to appreciate winter and all of it's beauty when it looks like this:

my sweet Helga will love these pics. i hope that all of you enjoy them too!

time for me to go. jambaloney is out gathering fallen trees with the atv. we will spend the next few sunny days stripping the limbs off of the trees and cutting them to appropriate sizes to make stakes for bean and pea teepees and stakes for peppers and tomatoes. this year we plan to really kick it in the garden. this is going to be so much fun!

(p.s. - PioneerPreppy - i'll send jambaloney down with the atv to get that snow!!!)

Monday, February 25, 2013

sorry guys...but the "vaporizer" dude just won't go away!

hey everybody...sorry for my (kymberz) long radio silence but i have been busy doing what all gardeners, preppers and homesteaders do at this time of year ----- assessing our current seed situation, ordering seeds (very few this year as we saved so many from last year - woohoo!), planning the garden, re-planning the garden and loving every minute of it. jambaloney and i are currently assessing our window situation and planning on the building of a proper greenhouse with the windows - woohoo! we have the spot where it is going to go already marked out but can't do much till the staying snow goes away...which it should do...soon (fingers crossed everyone!).

anyway...next up...obligatory sky pic for my sweetest Helga (also known as my mole sister! teehee!):

isn't that just beautiful? such a pretty site to be looking at, out the window, sitting at the kitchen table and sorting seeds. so many shades of blue and such pretty clouds. not to mention pretty white snow!

anyway - this is just a quick post from me, i'll have a longer one coming tomorrow with lots of sky pics for my mole sister, snow angels for our friend Max, lots of food and lots of seeds!

however, as many of you may have noticed the "vaporizer dude" is doing our head in with his crazy, spam, vaporizing comments. we have been trying to keep up with deleting spam but it is now finding it's way into our older posts as well. not sure what is going on with google as google was doing such a good job detecting the spam for us - we rarely got spam since we started this blog. but that free ride is over and we have finally come to a point where we can no longer accept anonymous comments...and that pains us. some of our dearest friends comment using the anonymous option.

so if you don't have, or don't want, a google account, wordpress account, etc., but still want to leave comments, you can forward your comments to me at kymberzmail@gmail.com or to jambaloney at jambaloney@gmail.com.

we really hate having to do this but we just can't stay on top of deleting the spam. we hope that you understand!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

hand tool restoration - part 2

jambaloney here!

helga - here is your sky pic - i snapped this with my phone returning from sydney one afternoon in december..

hey let's toss some more tools in the vinegar bath!!

 and some more!!!

 a lot of them i found in this free haul last spring !!!

 so you can see the new additions to the vinegar bath and the saw and base i put in a few days prior to this pic.. let's see how it works!!!!

 i must admit, i was a little apprehensive..

and the final unveiling (yeesh, you would think i worked at an art gallery ;-)

 well...lookie lookie.. it appears the rust has lifted off the steel!!

 upon closer inspection, you can really see the flaked rust, on a couple of the instructions i read, i was told you could just wipe the rust off with a cloth, i was skeptical, but here goes - get a rag and...

 look at that - after 3 days in the vinegar bath, almost all the rust has been lifted form the surface of the saw!!!

remarkable - you can clearly see the manufacturing stamp on the spine! 

 and there is a faint visible stamp on the blade itself!!

 now, not ALL the rust was removed and there was some pitting, so the next step is to really get down to the metal. i used steel wool, a steel pot scrubber and wd-40. wd 40 -is great because it helps repel the last bit of water... it's name a derivative of  "Water Displacement, 40th formula,"  which makes it awesome for this task!!

spray the wd-40 liberally and scrub,for the stubborn pitting that remained, i used a metal scraper to finish the  job!!

and here is the finished saw blade - not too shabby!

and the other side

the final step is oiling. i read all kinds of  suggestions on the internet to use mineral oil, the kind that is sold as a laxative in a pharmacy, kept coming up as a good product. i bought some, rubbed the saw blade liberally and wrapped it in another old pillowcase to keep it safe!! all in all VERY successful!  i will post the results of the other tools later. if you have rust tools, here is a way to give them new life without too much elbow grease or abrasive power tool action.

and here is here is the sky pic from the intro, but looking the other way....these sky pics are Helga-approved!

cheers all!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

hand tool restoration - part 1

jambaloney here!

we had a couple of days of real blizzard - yowzah!!! no power loss though - i hope everyone else fared as well!

hey helga - here is a great sky!

okay - on to toady's topic - rusty tools!! i have a pile with the flood 2 years ago, the damp basement and some tools i found in the trash... my most prized tool is this old-fashioned hand mitre box and saw i got from my step-dad, ted:

it goes back to a time when things were made to last...

even through the rust, you can see the quality of the machining in the mitre box..

i FINALLY found blades for this saw - it is a very thin mitre saw that was left here by the previous owner - good for trim..this is an aluminum base, so it was easy to clean up.. not as fine a tool as the big saw, but nice to have for free...

here is the bottom, of the mitre box...

and the saw itself - this a  long box saw - 2 feet overall - i had to remove the handle first..

because the big issue is the rust, i looked and looked on the internet - white vinegar will remove rust, apparently all you need to do is  be patient and soak it - so here is my getup... 4 litres of vinegar, a bin, 2 old pillow cases and a garbage bag..

first off - fill the bin..

as the saw and box are too big for the bin, i had to "bathe them in the vinegar... i also soaked the pillow cases..

here is the mitre box being bathed..

and then wrapped in a vinegar-soaked pillow case, this is to keep the vinegar form drying out

i wrapped the saw in another pillow case and then wrapped it again in a garbage bag... the bin with the mitre box is covered with a garbage bag... the key is, apparently, to wait for the mild acid to do it's work - i left these as-is for 4 days... stay tuned to see what happens!! (i'll give you a hint, go get some vinegar - this is worth doing!!!)

and don't forget to store the pieces you removed from the saw in their own container ;-))

cheers all!!

(kymber edits: sorry i haven't been posting much lately...i've been busy with the super fun jobs of sorting seeds and planning this year's garden! i promise to be back to regular posting shortly.)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

a big shout-out to some of our favourite prepper sites!

i remember when Tom Martin, the Chief Visionary Officer of the American Preppers Network, asked me to take over running the Canadian Preppers Network in February 2009. i remember it very well - seeing as how i had been blogging for the network, and for the first time in my life, for about 2 weeks at the time. i was terrified - but i really believed in the message that the APN and CPN were trying to share - a message to alert as many people as we could to start prepping, to be prepared, to become as self-sufficient as possible for whatever the future might bring, be it man-made or natural. and to build a community - something which would prove to be helpful to so many people, ourselves included.

jambaloney and i really enjoyed writing for the CPN. and we really enjoyed some of the friendships that we made there. in fact, it was by being involved in the 2 networks that prompted us to leave our high-fallutin', high paying jobs in the city and move here on my small pension. a decision we have not regretted yet (okay - to be honest - this cottage is a piece of crap and yes i do miss my floor to ceiling, custom-made, bird's eye maple kitchen cabinets. but enough about that!).

i was just doing some searches on the interwebs and somehow came across this article:

Rise Of The Preppers: 50 Of The Best Prepper Websites And Blogs On The Internet

this article lists the 50 best prepper sites on the internet and the American Preppers Network is listed in second place....after Mr. James Wesley, Rawles of Survivalblog.com. wow - that is a pretty impressive ranking for the APN!!! and i, for one, am very proud for my friend Tom. the APN and CPN were his dream babies and he set out and got both up and running and very successful in only a short period of time. kudos to you, Tom!

in addition - the article notes the CPN in position 36. i am super proud of mine and jambaloney's contribution to the CPN and i was very happy to see denob, the prepared Canadian, take over, as well as being thankful for all of the contributors continuing such great work at the CPN.

next up, jambaloney created and designed all of the functionality of the database behind the website called prepper.org - it's a community-oriented resource site that enables a variety of organizations and/or people to add themselves to the comprehensive resource libraries that the site provides for all states and provinces.  i am glad to say that prepper.org was listed as number 17 - woohoo! way to go jambaloney!

last but not least - my good friend SciFiChick is listed in the 34th postion. wow gurl - i remember when you and me were chatting about being terrified of blowing up 8 litres of tomatoes all over our walls and ceilings when we first started our internet canning course together - bahahahahahah!

again - a big congrats to the APN, the CPN, prepper.org and to SciFiChick! good work getting prepper-related information out there guys!