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Bitterroot Bugle post categories

Bitterroot Bugle archives

plan to celebrate Winter Solstice tomorrow

Connect with the natural world for a day. This year our calendar day of December 21st will be the shortest. From this day forward the days will grow longer and longer until the turnaround at the summer solstice. Montana sunrise will be 8:11 am; sunset 4:44 pm; length of day 8 hours 33 minutes; night 15 hours 27 minutes The sun’s steady disappearance from our world will make a turnaround. This is worth celebrating, marking in some way big or small. I plan to work in my greenhouse, perhaps put some seeds into pots and onto a germinating heat mat (that we have yet to dig out of whatever clever storage site we found for it). Maybe you can […]

my toothbrushing compound recipe

I used Tom’s of Maine for many years until the business was sold and went mainstream. The current corporation and its recipes deserve no support. So I went shopping … for my own recipe. Having tripped over the value of essential oils, they are integral to this. I will make no claims for any of the ingredients, choosing instead to send you off to your own research to discover what led me to these, or to decide for yourself that some other combination works for you. My essential oil source is Eden’s Garden, but I am not recommending for or against, nor do I have any fiscal connection with them. My essential oil purveyor research has been modest. They […]

simple pleasures in the workshop

Once in a while I simply get lucky as a photographer. I suppose as a modestly inspired amateur, that will be the only way I get a photo that really tickles me. Below is one of them. At my skill level, getting the lighting just right to comfortably light the background while focusing attention, and projecting a welcoming feeling has to be totally a lucky shot, but this one speaks volumes for the shop guy, and the car guy in me. I briefly opened the bay doors to admit the Honda for its overdue wheel swap from summer to winter. The woodburner in the far corner got the shop heat back up to a workspace comfortable 45-60 in no time. […]

supply chain strategies

Even lamestream media is talking about potential supply chain breakdown. Of course they are blaming everybody but the people causing it; pointing fingers outward instead of inward. Nevertheless, the message should be reaching most of us that between now and absolutely empty shelves lies a large field of stuff getting hard to get. A friend scheduled a brake job on his late model, plain-Jane car three weeks ago. I helped him deliver it to the tech priests for the repair. He came out of the office muttering a blue streak. The parts for a job scheduled well in advance were going to be weeks from arrival. He was ranting at the repair shop before I ‘splained it to him. Automotive […]

white stuff getting in the way

Through the spring, summer, fall, I was prioritizing having our homestead prepared for the snow management season. Strangely, I was simultaneously putting off all those interesting, rewarding projects “that could be done indoors during winter”. We are there. I am there. Meanwhile, that quality time in my wood-heated, well-outfitted cozy shop keeps getting kicked to the curb by mandatory snow management around the castle. The university of hard knocks taught me that snow sheets and drifts allowed to set into glaciers and sheet ice are quite unpleasant around the farm. Some things absolutely MUST be done on their schedule, not mine. Count me in on Montanans For Global Warming… Though I keep missing the meetings because I am either […]

shop heat

One of the real treats in my life is a heated shop. I have a lovely collection of tools and workspaces enabling me to putter with woodwork, metalwork and a bit of mechanical maintenance. I am not great at any of it, but pretty darn good at solving the little challenges and opportunities life sends my way. I have spent some time turning my Jack-of-all-Trades persona into a way to make an honest living, but only at the wrong place at the wrong time. The Fixer business did not blossom, but my website The Fixer.biz is still kicking around as a place where I document some of my creations and share ideas I have come up with. I wish I […]

time off for winter preps

I have visions of snowflakes dancing in my head. I also have quite a few things I want to do differently in my yard before that happens in any significant quantity. As long as Ma Nature keeps holding off the arrival of my winter white stuff management, I will keep on polishing the estate winter preps. I will be snowed in and posting here more regularly soon enough. TTFN

settled in to my domain

A main driver of my life is gaining control of my homestead, estate, working spaces and equipment. After each move from one to another, the list of urgent/critical projects is immediately followed by the crucial, then important and so on until I reach the settled in phase. In each case there is some marker that gives me the feeling I have arrived. Seven years into our Bunkhouse occupancy, I finally hit what I think is that marker. I am comfortable that I know what spaces I want to irrigate, have them relatively easy to wet and no longer have to disconnect hoses, move pipes and reconnect to run my mower around the yard. This evolved irrigation system will be reasonably […]

Hospice is far more than I thought

Without any experience, we think of hospice as someone who will hold the patient’s hands in their last few days of life on Earth. We just learned how much more our local hospice service is, and how wonderful the providers are. I suspect it is much like that everywhere. The quality, knowledge, skills and nature of people who go into that line of work is likely quite similar – that is to say incredibly caring, helpful and considerate. They have tremendous experience with the final phases of life as it effects the main person and all those around them. In our case they helped us understand what Mom was likely feeling and what we could do to make her last […]

my pillow

I am playing that phrase two ways, but mostly talking about the pillow where I rest my head every night. A couple months ago, Mike Lindell, the founder, owner, operator of the hugely successful company MY PILLOW became newsworthy for his open confrontations with the election fraud, and great public support for the massive demonstration surrounding the Freedom Convoys, or Trucker Convoys. My tiny contribution to all of that was to purchase a pillow from them/him. It was a pillow I did not need as I was quite happy with my “relatively new” one I found at Bed, Bath & Beyond a few years ago. It was shapeable to accomodate my various sleeping positions and quite affordable. A few […]

Farming Insider Warns The Coming Food Shortages Are Going To Be Far Worse Than We’re Being Told

by Tyler Durden Authored by Michael Snyder via TheMostImportantNews.com, The information that I am about to share with you is extremely alarming, but I have always endeavored to never sugarcoat things for my readers. Right now, there are shortages of certain items in grocery stores across the United States, and food supplies have gotten very tight all over the globe. I have repeatedly warned that this is just the beginning, but I didn’t realize how dire things have already gotten until I received an email from a farming insider that I have corresponded with over the years. I asked him if I could publicly share some of the information that he was sharing with me, and he said that […]

the barter/exchange economy

The fiat currencies of the world are all on the last pages of their run. This is no accident, but regardless of cause we get to figure out life in the next phase. For our entire lives we used the USofA dollar to denominate our transactions. Groceries, clothing, energy, labor, housing, luxuries, savings, retirement needs, investments … every transaction and resource decision was measured in dollars. That system is about to seize up. Dystopian books and movies have all shown us how the banksters intend the next phase to look. Your electronic currency will be transacted via subcutaneous RFID, retina scans, facial recognition devices or others. In all cases, the controllers turn off the protagonist’s money supply with the […]

seasoning cast iron cookware

Knowledgeable people run full-speed away from aluminum, teflon-coated and similar cookware that imparts toxins into their food. Cast iron is a well-known, tried-and-true, old-time alternative, but it does require a bit more knowledge and effort to use successfully. The article excerpted and linked below covers nearly all you need to know about successfully using it. I only put the first bit here. Her website deserves a visit. The headline below will take you there and to the full article. – Ted – How to Season Cast Iron Pan (New and Rusty) The logic of seasoning cast iron pan is heating up some oils at a very high temperature in it. The oils would transform into molecules absorbed on the surface […]

clearing the air

For the last few days, the wildfire smoke around here has been rated “UNHEALTHY”. I use the site AirNow to verify. Click the link to see any city. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality and relatives offer this advice: People with heart or lung disease, older adults, children and teens – take any of these steps to reduce your exposure: Avoid strenuous outdoor activities. Keep outdoor activities short. Consider moving physical activities indoors or rescheduling them. Everyone else – take any of these steps to reduce your exposure: Choose less strenuous activities (like walking instead of running) so you don’t breathe as hard. Shorten the amount of time you are active outdoors. Be active outdoors when air quality is better. […]