September 10 2012
Items we desperately need before winter sets in:
Sugar, Coffee, Salt, Batteries, Cloth, Gas, Diesel, Leather, Lard
That was part of the list I turned into the Captain. While leather and lard may not seem like necessities, we still need to repair shoes and cook. We've attempted our own leather/tanning but we've fallen short on making comparable shoe leather. We really need someone experienced in the art. We've made a few odds and ends from the leather like knife sheaths, scissor pouches, upper body covers, etc.. Making leather is a time consuming and smelly process. The first job is to remove any bits and pieces of meat and fat. To do this the skin is soaked and pounded, then placed over a wooden beam and scraped with a dull knife. The hair and outer part of the skin is then removed by rubbing urine, quicklime or wood ash into the wet surface. This will loosen the hair and allow it to be scraped off. Now its important to keep the hide from rotting. And while this portion sounds disgusting to eventually wear, its a vital step in the tanning process. You could rub it with an oily substance like tallow (animal fat,) egg yolk or “dubbin” (a mixture of fish oil and tallow). It can also be treated by rubbing salt, brain or potash alum into the surface to produce a very pale leather. Yea...YUCK lol
I'll create a more detailed entry later. I hove so much to cover I'd hate to waste batteries.
News from outside our community isn't giving us much hope for a quick end. Rebel uprisings are becoming common nowadays and reinforcements are coming from south of our national borders. Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California are considered the front lines. General news is all these states have lost 150-200 miles inland of their borders. Our Navy is doing a magnificent job of keeping our coastlines secure while our Air Force is having issues keeping our ground teams safe and free from the rebels. Right now the major cities lost are Detroit, Cleveland, Miami, San Diego, Kansas City and Lexington, to name a few. World news is very grim...
Economic collapse all over...gold, silver and copper are the main sources of monies right now. Bartering has replaced selling of goods. News of manufacturing in local areas are starting to surface. The basics are the focus of the manufacturing: hand tools like shovels and picks, toiletries like razors and toilet paper, canning products, cookware, etc.. Of course the military still has its manufacturing requirements but its nice to see basic manufacturing ramping up. Electricity still remains a priority but with manufacturing down, repairs take 5-10 times longer. So far we've been lucky to have electricity most every day for extended periods of time.
Harvest time is quickly approaching! We are set to harvest, stock and produce goods. Our corn and beans are looking good. The weather has been cooperating with temperatures hovering around average of the mid 80's. Rain has been manageable and we continue to use our cistern systems and water storage without any difficulties.
Until next time....