I’ve been looking at the calendar a lot lately.  Coming up sooner than ever, it seems, on “the holidays.”

In Texas, holidays include the opener of the bow season for deer, opening of the youth season for deer (where an amazing number of 6-7 year olds are leased and immediately become expert shots with a .308), the regular deer season, any day it snows, and when the bass start biting in the spring.

More than astronomical data, or church tradition, Texas Parks and Wildlife runs the real holidays here.

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You don’t want to plan any important business the first week of deer season; most folks will be missing from their duty stations.

Since I don’t hunt, the coming replay of the Tet Offensive provides acoustical cover from my penchant to kill targets on the range out back.

If I were to be a hunter, the local herd comes through twice a day (around dawn and again in the evening) so there are 6-10 whitetails as a back-up food source on the hoof.

Planning for the rest of the holidays is simple enough:

  • Order any organic big  turkey.
  • Stock up on extra-big oven bags.
  • Figure who to invite over from Thanksgiving libations.

Christmas is even easier; Amazon has made the “opening packages” tradition an all-year even.  So a Danish dinner (leg of pork and high-calorie sides) and then all that’s left for planning is New Years.

Rock Salt

One of the to-do tasks on the list today is “Get 50-pounds of rock salt.”

No, we’re not getting pickled.

But there’s a good bit of discussion in organic bug-killing circles about how 50-pounds of rock salt, spread as a good line around your foundation, will keep termites away.

Theory is that the salt makes in-ground insects need water like mad and they essentially blow-up.  There’s a five-dollar word for it, but I can’t remember it at this hour.  Coffee hasn’t kicked in, yet.

No, we don’t have termites, but I figure a 50-pound sack of rock salt is pretty cheap insurance.  My plan is to sprinkle it around the shop (a pole building with cedar poles) around the foundation, especially near the doors since there’s lots of wood in the shop.

While I was at it, I reckoned it wouldn’t hurt to pour a couple of cups around the screen porch footings and around our three power poles that bring the feeder to a meter pole between the house and the shop.

Friends from back in my sailing days insisted that a boat, kept in saltwater its whole life, was not particularly more maintenance-intensive than fiberglass.  Both hulls needed annual bottom paint.

Unless, of course, you know the yards (in B.C. and Mexico mainly) that were still putting on high tin content paint.  No such places left – on environmental grounds.  But there is always a trade-off.

Back on point: I don’t know if termites would like iodized, or not.  Himalayan pink?  No thanks…

Prepping Note

I was going through our “seed vault” Wednesday.  Needed to free up some storage space and I noticed we had a lot of seeds.

Many seeds aren’t good more than a season, or three.   Most of ours were past their “used-by’s.”

We also did some reading trying to discover if hermetically sealed cans of seeds were worth the extra dough.  Jury is still out on that.

We’ve got some 5-year old canned seeds and it might be an interesting home science project to see what kind of germination rate (not to be confused with German Nation rates on the economic side of the house),

Glamping or Prepping?

My buddy Gaye and Survival Hubby are on their first expedition into the wilds of upland Arizona in their new bumper-pull.

Gaye’s got an article on her site about the 10-benefits of “Me Time.”  Glamping is the hybridization of glamor and camping.

Elaine and I have talked about camping.

Every time I broach the subject she reminds me on what it was like living in the mountains of Utah, running a water-drilling rig, welding pipe, cooking on a wood stove, and washing the diapers for two of her boys in a cold-water creek.

Hard to fathom, I know.  She also doesn’t look like she was in the Army and can field-strip an M-16, either.

Point is, we have these discussions and she’ll ask pertinent questions.

How much a night for a decent hotel…like that Hilton in Grand Junction, Colorado with the great views?”

I have to think back, since I used some points on that one.  “I dunno…less than $200 a night for sure.”

And the cost of a camping trailer, new, with the options, cookware, glamping stuff?

Again, I was stumped.  “I dunno, maybe $25K?”

“And for those people high-end Monaco-type diesel pushers?”

“Jeez…I dunno. $400K, maybe?

“So, 125-room nights in a good hotel.  Or, if we’re talking high-end RV 2,000 room-nights…”

Sure enough, she had a point.  “But what about the view and camping right on the edge of the lake?”

What about room service, movies, full bar downstairs, no dishes, and the golf course outside the lobby?

Seeing her point, I quickly changed topics.

But as a follow-up point to Irma and Harvey, I’d sure be interested to here first-hand reports of how the camper and RV crowd fared.

Especially with the power still out for so many.

Back-up, portable, well-stocked housing actually makes sense.

Especially if you can drive it to somewhere cooler like the Arizona uplands.

And double-especially if the fish are biting…  which, for Mrs. and Mr. Strategic, I hope they are.

The closest I’m likely to get is my outdoor cooking center on the deck.  One of our prepping items I’ve been saving for nuclear winter is about to come out of the box: A Camp Chef Camping Outdoor Oven with 2 Burner Camping Stove.

One of the best reasons for glamping, RV’ing, or even going fishing is that food tastes so much better outside. I don’t know what it is, but outside in the 50-70 temp range, something magical happens to taste.

Elaine acknowledges that, too.  Just so long as I clean up my mess and put things in the dishwasher when done.

And that gets us to the real question du jour:  How much of camping and RV’ing is driven by this food taste-change? Or is there a point to communing with Nature once in a while, to remember what it was like back in cave times?

Write when you get rich,

George@ure.net

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