Hello! Sorry for the late check in

it really took forever to get satellite internet set up. I didn’t realize just how much I do on line to manage our lives. I think I need to adjust that somewhat being as far out as we are now.

Anyway we are still unpacking but really enjoying our new location. It’s cold already which is new to us (Atlanta is called Hotlanta for a reason!) The move itself was a total budget buster. No matter how carefully I planned all these unexpected things kept popping up. In the end I decided that I was damn lucky to have dragged 7 kids and 1 neurotic dog to the other side of the country with out illness or injury and I should just be glad for that!

So here I am in the long desired spot, with a really broken budget BUT also a plan. I had a 3 month plan to get us right back to where we were when we left. But then hubby calls and says he thinks it’s time get out NOW. Our income would plummet from 6K to 1K per month. THAT TOTALLY FREAKS ME OUT. I have no idea how to make that adjustment that fast. We are not ready. The plan was to bring him home once we had a second truck and money for tools and then there was a certain mark we wanted to hit on the snowball too. He works as a carpenter so a truck and tools would be essential for him. But he is the one dodging bullets and bombs (not a hyperbole) and so I can’t tell him to stay. I’m glad we are moved already, but ending his overseas contract right now scares the jeepers outta me. Our local is so remote that jobs for me and the kids are not really an option. The nearest grocery store is 79 miles away. I know that sounds nuts, but the plan was to be here in time for spring planting so that we could be self sufficient by next summer. I was counting on the regular and large paychecks for months and months to come. Ending that suddenly is almost like an emergency. But at the same time, IF IF IF he does stay there it will be ending soon anyway (Halliburton’s gonna have to pull their people soon) and I think it’s better to jump now while there is work here for him, even though it’s only going to net us about 1K per month.

He has a reasonable (not awesome) life insurance policy but why do we want a job where the amount of his life insurance is even a factor?!

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Of course I found many conflicting stories, but no straight scoop. One thing I did find, however, is that the CEO that got the 300% pay increase is NOT the one that is now in charge. That was the man in office prior to him a man who is no longer affiliated with Hostess and hasn’t been for a bit. (source Forbes magazine)
I also found out when the current CEO took office he was hired to put Hostess back on his feet and that one of the things he did was declare he and all the top executives would get the salary of $1 (one dollar) for a year in order to bail out the company some. In exchange the unions agreed to the pension cut. The agreement was made and as part of the agreement one year later on January 1 the executives would go back to receiving their normal salary.

The company is billions of dollars in debt, the employees were given the opportunity to take an 8% cut in pay to stay employed, the union bosses lied to them telling them there was a buyer in the wings that would agree to all of their demands—there was no buyer and Hostess told them that prior to Thursday. The union chose not to settle. The lengthy strike had put the company in even further debt than originally listed and the CEO says that even if the union settled now the company could not be saved.

The company that let dh and ds go in 2009 kept a handful of employees after laying off 2/3’s of their staff. Those they kept were given no choice either take a 25% cut in pay or find another job. No negotiation, no would you, just “you will.” Guess what, every single one of them took the pay cut without a grumble. A job is too blessed hard to find in this day and age.
Something to remember here, the union employees are not the only ones that lost their job with this liquidation bankruptcy (their second bankruptcy in less than 10 years). So did the executives. If the company is gone, bankrupt, the executives don’t get paid either. Even if they get a severance pay it will be up to the bankruptcy court as to how much they get, not Hostess, not the executives.

maybe I don’t know what I am talking about

Or maybe I am just paying too much attention to media crap. But I might strike too if I was told that my company wanted me to take a paycut (this after they stopped paying into the employees pension); but the CEO was getting a 300% increase in his salary and 9 other company executives were getting a 60 – 100% salary increase.

I know it’s stupid to leave a job but if this is true it would be very hard for me to stay there, you know?
Just my thoughts.

I think some of you will remember that a few years back

the trucking company I work for was facing a 10% pay cut. We’re a union carrier. It wasn’t long after that we gave 5% more. The union never struck. Non-union office personnel took the pay cuts as well and also had to drop to 35 hours a week for a few months.

2 years later we’re in business and making a great recovery. Many of these guys have no experience other than their truck driving skills. Quite a few carriers over the years have already gone out of business. There’s not a lot of places for these guys to go. Thanks to a clear head and every one giving a little we’ve bounced back and all still have our jobs.

Really sad.

Hostess filed for liquidation this morning as a result of the union strike.

How shortsighted do you have to be, to be one of the 18,500 workers who would rather be out of a job rather than take an 8% paycut.

Get your food storage in. About 30 food products (including breads) will no longer be produced. Sure, most of us can do without a Twinkie. What happens when other bakeries go the same way? They’re all part of the same union.

What idiots.
If my husband was one of the striking workers, he’d be coming home to a lot of grief today.

So, many of you know that we went “off grid”

and disconnected from satellite TV and went over the air antenna with a Roku. We’re a standard def (old school) TV.

About the only thing I wish I had after disconnect was youtube– like you can get on the newer smart or HD tvs. Well, my prayers were answered, and last month I found a list of private channels for Roku, one of which is called videobuzz which creates a portal into youtube.

I found this youtube channel called LDSPrepper. Oh my heck. He’s got like 250 videos uploaded running the gamut from explaining simple to complex gardening, he did this whole live review/show and tell on water filters (6 different kinds), has a series with the Texas Seed Bank owner, did a whole “basic solar energy” video (I actually understand how to use and wire solar panels now…!!)

It has been AMAZING. All of it (so far) has been tilted toward real life, real food, real world applications self reliance stuff vs. dry pack canning kind of stuff (warning: he ends every video with the line “if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear” (it’s an LDS scripture reference.) Not preachy, but when you have watched 25 videos back to back like I’ve done it kind of wears on you..BTW that’s about as Mormon as he gets for those worried by his channel name.

OK, since we’re talking about television options

particularly via broadcast-over-antenna, and life-after-cable, I have a question. We’ve been very happy with our disconnect from cable, but less than pleased with our use of the digital antenna. We just don’t get good reception here, thanks to our geography I think. Being on the other side of a hill sort of limits our options. So now we’re looking into tapping into streaming video over the internet. Kathy, your comments about Roku may have answered some of our questions.

But here’s a very specific question. There’s a series on HBO that we’ve sort of fallen in love with (Game of Thrones, for all you sci-fi/fantasy fans out there), and we just devoured the first season on DVD. The second season’s DVDs aren’t slated to be available until April of 2013, but the third season starts in March. We’ve been trying to figure out how to watch via streaming video. I know that HBO has generally clamped down on such things. We actually looked into buying a membership just to HBO, but geez it’s $18/month which is rather pricey for a single show. And even if we didn’t object to the price, our internet carrier wasn’t listed as one of their options, so we can’t get it anyway.

On having more than one type of tomato plant

she means having slicers, juicers, sauce tomatoes etc. Different tomatoes for different needs. There are also determinate(all ripen at once and they may be one shot wonders, mainly juicers and sauce) and indeterminate(ripening at different times and generally continuously mainly slicers). Some have more Lysine than others, while another one will have more vitamin C. Yellow ones are pretty and tasty, but the deep red ones are better for certain needs, purple and orange ones provide slightly different vitamin contents as well. The ones that are green striped have an entirely different make-up.

That’s sort of a general statement

which could be interpreted in a few ways. First, from the point of view of your diet, it’s best to eat a wide variety of veggie simply because they each provide different nutrients. If we all lived just on tomatoes, we’d get lots of Vit C but not much Vit A and other nutrients. If we all lived on garlic, well we would smell great but we wouldn’t have much Vit C. Etc etc.

Or, she could be talking about rotating veggies through each garden area (either through the beds or through the rows), in subsequent years so that the soil isn’t stripped of one narrow set of nutrients, but rather hosts different plants each following year (and hopefully is replentished with compost and other natural soil amendments in between)
Or she could be talking about different varieties of the same veggie, like Brandywine vs Roma tomatoes, Snow peas vs snap peas, pinto beans vs kidney beans, etc. Growing different varieties of the same veggie can result in a wider range of harvesting times, and sometimes different nutrients (some varieties being selectively bred for richer this-or-that).

I would guess she meant the first interpretation, where a variety of veggies in the diet makes for better nutrient intake overall. But maybe some of the second and third interpretations as well. A diversified farm is generally a healthier place in terms of nutrient cycling, just like a diversified diet is for the individual.