Tag Archives: survival

Life and Death in Southwest Oklahoma

The months of June and the first 15 days of July, (45 days), has seen 2.47 inches (6.27cm) of rain fall. All but the hardiest plant life is dieing or going dormant waiting for the fall rains to bring it back to life. Even the heat loving drought resistant Sun Flowers are needing a drink of cool water.
The soil is hot, dry and hard as sun baked adobe bricks.

Those boys and girls at the National Weather Service located in Norman, Oklahoma say I can expect to see more of the same for the next 10 days or so. No rain and temperatures at or very near 100 degrees with low or very low humidity and high to very high UV index.

All and all about normal June – July weather for my little part of Southwest Oklahoma.

About the only thing not showing signs of drought stress is my Mesquite trees. Those boys at Texas A and M University tell me mesquite trees have been known to extend their root system 200 feet below ground and horizontally far beyond the plants canopy.

I have started using tap water delivered via water hose to keep my newer planted trees from dieing from lack of water. I water slowly and deeply putting out about 3 to 5 gallons per hour of water targeted at the trees active root zone.

On the bright side we have had very few 100+(37.8C) degree days so far this season. That translates to money saved by needing to run the AC fewer hours each day to keep my living space cool.

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A Walk Down Memory Lane

Looking back it seems that I made my first Word Press blog post in June 2009. Wow 10 years and 1,145,766 hits later I am now moving into my 11th year on Word Press.

I have made over 1,400 postings. Covering most things vegetable and fruit gardeners seem to need or at least want a bit of helpful hints on.

Search my blog for everything from Asparagus to Zucchini. Apples to Raspberries.

Composting seems to be a favored subject for many bloggers.

You may have an interest in chicken coops, sexing day old chicks or maybe raising rabbits for pets or as a food source.

There is even a good starter recipe for a good beginners Rumtopf (rum pot).

Give my blog a search for area(s) that interest you. Grin, all you have to lose in a few minutes of your time.

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Summer High Pressure Heat Dome

Summer High Pressure Dome is forming over Oklahoma Kansas, and west Texas and will likely stay in place for the next 8 or 9 weeks. This dome prevents moist air from being drawn in off of the gulf of Mexico setting us up for long hot days ranging in the mid to upper 90’s (34.4 – 36.6C) for the next 10 day weather forecast with no rain being predicted.

Most gardens will quickly wither away in the dry heat. Few of us can afford to apply 1 inch of tap water 3 days a week for the next 6 or 9 weeks.

Only the most drought tolerant native plants can survive our normal, July and August hot rain less days.
Native grasses are turning brown and will conserve soil moisture by going dormant until our fall season rains and cooler weather returns. Then all of the dormant plants will burst into bloom to make seed before the first killing frost. Here first killing frost is most generally the 2 or even 3rd week of November.

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Five Year House Project

Grandsons house project is quickly coming to an end and move in day is near. I’m hoping to see an announcement for open house sometime near the 4th of July this year.

Summer 2015 concrete slab was poured and ruff in plumbing is finished.

Spring / Summer 2016 In the beginning red iron was purchased, trusses custom constructed and house framing was welded up waiting dry in day.

Summer 2017 House dry in.
Exterior doors, windows, insulation, wall and roof sheet was in place before our fall rain season and the first cold weather arrived.

Summer, Fall, Winter 2018 Interior room framing, plumbing, electrical wiring and drywall in nearing completion.
Most of the detail time consuming projects are underway. Drywall taping and bedding, painting, wall outlets and light fixtures, ceiling fans are being installed. Much of the trim work still needs doing.

Winter / Summer 2019 There’s daylight at the end of the tunnel. Tile flooring has been installed. Kitchen is in it’s final phase, appliances are being installed.
Water, sewer plumbing electrical service are all installed.
Grin what else does a grandson and grand daughter in law, great grand son and great grand daughter need?

Grandson may forget to say thank you for all the help and encouragement but I won’t forget. Had it not been for Mom, dad, uncle’s, aunt’s and many others this house would still be nothing more than a few grand plans on scraps of paper.

The best and most important part of this 5 year project is he owns his house free and clear without the need for a 30 or 40 year mortgage. Has no bankers or loans to contend with .

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U.S. Army 244th Birthday / Flag Day

Pacific Paratrooper

244 Years Strong

THE U.S. ARMY

AMERICA’S FIRST NATIONAL INSTITUTION

Since its official establishment, June 14, 1775 — more than a year before the Declaration of Independence — the U.S. Army has played a vital role in the growth and development of the American nation. Drawing on both long-standing militia traditions and recently introduced professional standards, it won the new republic’s independence in an arduous eight-year struggle against Great Britain. At times, the Army provided the lone symbol of nationhood around which patriots rallied.

PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO VIEW THESE TWO (2) VERY SHORT VIDEOS.  THANK YOU

*****          *****          *****

Tomorrow is also Flag Day, an annual observance of the Second Continental Congress’ official adoption of the stars and stripes in 1777. At the time, they “resolved that the flag of the 13 United States” be represented by 13 alternating red and white stripes and the union…

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Cinnamon flavored adult beverage

This only works if you like the flavor of Cinnamon.

1 – 750 ml bottle of Gin, Vodka or white(clear) Rum 86 or 90 proof
3 or 4 sticks Cinnamon
1 cup cane sugar
1 cup distilled water
1 clean, sterilized quart canning jar with tight fitting lid

Variations or additions to this drink: Add few Clove seeds or fresh Vanilla seeds

* Bring 1 cup water and sugar to near boiling point. Stir sugar water until sugar is dissolved and clear until no hint of undissolved sugar remains

Put Cinnamon sticks and sugar syrup into quart jar

Pour 750 ml bottle of rum, vodka or gin into quart jar secure lid tightly

Refrigerate for 15 days or more, more is better

Carefully remove Cinnamon sticks, strain (I use a coffee filter) any Cinnamon bits left behind and bottle.

Serve cold with or without ice

** Warning this recipe makes a very, very sweet drink.
You may want to consider making your first bottle using 1/2 as much sugar and water.
Grin, you can always add a bit more sugar, but it’s really difficult to take sugar out of your adult beverage.

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Magnesium and Phosphorous deficiency

Magnesium and Phosphorous deficiency in your garden. Millennial Green Thumb blog pointed out how to identify Magnesium and Phosphorous deficiency in your vegetable patch and how to correct this nutrient deficiency problem.

This spotlighted the fact that I also sometimes suffer from mineral and vitamin deficiency. As I get older I have at times suffered from leg and hand cramps.

After a bit of research I discovered that often leg cramping can be cured by a daily dose of potassium supplement. Even though bananas and potato’s are good food based sources of potassium sometimes I still do not eat as well as I should and suffer from my poor diet choices.

I was suffering from hand cramps a few months back and discovered that a daily dose of Magnesium supplement mostly resolved my hand cramping problem.

If you are over 50 it would be a good idea to speak to your doctor about adding a daily dose of mineral supplements and you may want to consider supplementing your diet with iron and vitamin D.

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International Nude Gardening Day – An Event To Celebrate Gardening And Good Health

Nude (Naked) Gardening Day is 14 years old.
Happy birthday to all those brave soles that go nude in their gardens around the world on Nude Gardening Day, Saturday May 4, 2019.

Caution: Nude gardening is addictive and may be transmitted to other family members and close friends.

Status Active since 2005
Genre Annual naturism/nudism, gardening, guerilla gardening, permaculture event
Date(s) First Saturday of May
Frequency Annually, first Saturday of May
Location(s) International
Inaugurated Saturday, September 10, 2005
Most recent Saturday, May 5, 2018
* Next event Saturday, May 4, 2019
Website http://WNGD.org

Be brave, just do it.

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Flower in my weed patch

Little Bluestem grass photo @ Wikipedia.
This is year 3 on my go native project. So far it seems to be working out fairly well. During spring and summer I see a lot of Hummingbirds, bees, wasp and butterfly’s visiting the flowers and in the fall and winter I have a lot of cardinals”red birds’, doves, quail, finches and wrens that take advantage of flower and grass seed that remained after frost.

I have an area that covers about 10,000 square feet on the north side of my house/yard that I am allowing to reestablish it’s self in ‘mostly’ little bluestem, native grasses, wildflowers and a lot of just common weeds. It is a no mow area. Last fall I over seeded that area with some purple cone flower and Mexican hat flower seeds, but truth be know I really don’t know how much of that seed actually came into direct contact with bare soil or how much germinated. I will have a better idea later this summer when the flowers have had time to out grow the grass so I can get a idea what I should do this fall in my over seeding project.

I have another space only about 10 feet wide and 50 feet long on the west side of my chicken pen that I will over seed with purple cone flower and what the seed seller is calling ‘Long Headed Coneflower’ just before our next rain storm is forecast to pass over my tiny spot of Southwest Oklahoma.
FYI – Long Headed Coneflower, to me looks just like Mexican hat but with all the flower peddles colored yellow.

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Spring prepping for summer wildlife viewing

Hummingbirds will soon be returning to my tiny garden. Black-chinned and Ruby-throat hummingbirds have been sighted by bird spotters not more than 50 or 75 miles south of my tiny garden. 2019 spring hummingbird migration map

Today is forecast to be around 70%F, so, I’m making up a batch of sugar water and sterilizing hummingbird feeders. I want to be sure when birds arrive I have food out for them. After their long migration flights from central Mexico they will be tired and hungry in need of a high sugar, high energy food source.

The worst thing that can happen is I will need to dump and putout fresh food in 3 – 5 days should the birds fail to arrive this week.

FYI- To make your own sugar water, use 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. 1 cup water with 1/4 cup sugar, 2 cups water with 1/2 cup sugar, anyway your get it 4 to 1 ratio.
Bring water to a boil, add sugar and remove from heat source. Stir until sugar is dissolved in your hot water.
Do not boil your sugar water, you want sugar water not syrup.
Adding red food coloring to your sugar water is not necessary and in some cases can be harmful to hummingbirds.
Hint: Use pure cane sugar not beet sugar.

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