Radically Cheap: The Story of Pat Delany, Open Source Machine Tools Advocate

Well, this is not only a story after my own heart but the main site?  I could get lost in it for days (if not months)!


The MultiMachine

About 13 years ago, Delany decided to build himself a horizontal milling machine on the cheap.”

Homemade Corned Beef

I can’t believe I didn’t post about this!  I made homemade corned beef last year, leaving out the sugar and the pink salt, and it was fantastic!  I thought, well, I could make this, then can it so I know exactly where it came from and what was in it.  I haven’t gotten around to canning this because it usually doesn’t last that long!

Anyway, if you are interested (I wanted to see if I could and I did), here is how I did it:


And here is how to can it (ever since I canned that chicken, I prefer raw canning meats):


There you go!  Give it a shot (even if you only do one).  It really wasn’t as difficult as my brain said it would be!

Water Storage

I can’t believe I never made a post about water storage (unless I did and just can’t find it).  I will include several links from various sources describing the various methods of water storage and how to ensure the safety of the water.   Of everything we think we “need” to survive in the event of some sort of event, too many do not include water as their number 1 priority.  It’s always food, shelter, clothing, etc. but with all of that, if we do not have access to water (either already clean or have the ability to clean it) we will not survive long enough to enjoy that food and the other supplies we have stored.

The first link I will share is to a water filter that looks like it is by far the best one out there.  It’s to a forum (disclosure here) that I am a moderator/administrator for (you can view this post without being a member) and my dear friend has researched the heck out of this filter. It’s for the water filters made by www.justwater.me.

Survivalistssite Forum: Water filter comparison

There are other links/discussions on the survivalistssite forum discussing water treatment options. Please check them out.

And here’s how to make a *Home Made Berkey Water Filter* which is helpful for those people like me (if there are any others out there because California is so whacky) who are unable to purchase the Big Berkeys due to state regulations. I don’t see why, if you account for flow rate, this setup can’t be used for other brands of large water filters.

Here’s an article from the CDC:

Personal Preparation and Storage of Safe Water

Here’s a simple article from the University of Colorado Extension:

Water Storage

And here’s an even more basic article from the LDS church:

Drinking Water Guidelines

Now, for cisterns, which I think is ultimately be best way to go, if you have the space for them:

This first article is from the University of Florida extension (there’s a link to a .pdf of this article on the upper left side of their web page):

Cisterns To Collect Non-Potable Water For Domestic Use

And this one, by far, is my favorite, since I truly love Mother Earth News:

The Homestead Cistern

So, if you haven’t already begun you water storage project, you have some reading to do. It’s never too late to get started, even if the positive results may not be seen this year (since I do not expect California to get anywhere near the rain that is needed this year).

Core Motivation

I am posting this on both blogs because I think this is one of the most profound videos I have seen.  Frank Kern gave this address back in 2008(?) at an Internet Marketing seminar.  It’s roughly 2 hours long (that’s my disclosure, there) but the first hour and a half is spent on you and how you can learn who you truly want to be (what you truly want out of life).  Well, at least that’s how I saw it.

Video pulled for copyright infringement.

So, you want to lose weight?  Why?  Do you think you’ll be happy once you lose the weight?  That’s what a lot of people think: I’ll be happy if or when.  Those are the people who, once they reach their goal and find out they are still the same person, just in a skinny body, end up putting on not only the weight they had originally lost but more!  Those are the people who win the lottery (literally) yet wind up penniless and miserable, with no friends or family.

Before we begin any journey in life, we need to really take a look at who we really are and what we truly want out of life.  The exercise that Frank walks them (us) through is: What would be your perfect average day?  Not a day when you are doing something special (like taking a trip) but your perfect normal average day.  What time would you wake up?  Who would you be with?  What would you have for breakfast?  That sort of thing.

Think about it.  If your dream is to never have to work again, what would you do to occupy your time?  If your dream is to lose 100 pounds, what would you do next?  How would that change your life?  Let’s say you want to run marathons.  O.k.  So, how would you spend your day if you were snowed in?

Once you do this exercise per Frank’s description, take a good honest look at it.  You need to take action now to become happy with your life.  After watching this video, I realized that I’ve been doing this for a number of years without consciously realizing it.  I have let friends go (some of my oldest friends) because they were not conducive with my happiness.  I’ve done the same thing with family members.  My attitude about life and circumstances has changed dramatically, all for the better.  I used to be angry and ready for a fight.  I was very active in the political arena (you can see some of that on my sustainablehome blog and especially on my You Tube channel) with my primary focus on the injustices of this or that.  While that is alright, I never truly focused on how I could turn that around to make my (or anyone else’s) life better.  I was extremely negative, spending the majority of my time just bitching, ranting, and buying more ammunition (it’s like food or money or air … or happiness.  You can never have enough). 🙂

Now, I’m doing my best to improve my life and sharing it with you along the way, in the hope that it may help you, too.  I haven’t sat down and officially done the exercise mentioned above yet (I will in a little bit) but I have been thinking about it a lot.  My perfect, average day would pretty much be my life now (just in a location where I can smell pine trees when I open the front door and not hear sirens and police helicopters for hours at a time, like this morning … 4 hours!).  I would have the strength to split wood or hand-turn soil all day long if need be.  I wouldn’t have neighbors that I can hear cough (it’s not that bad but you know what I mean) and I can raise any animal I damn well please!

So, what about you?

Using Every Bit Of The Carcass After Home Butchering

I have always thought, if/when we get to the point where we are butchering our own meat, it’s best to use as much of the animal as possible. Here’s a podcast discussing how to use every bit of a carcass.


Last Crocheted Gifts

They should arrive any day, so here’s the post.

I used the same pattern for the hat as before but added two rows of puff stitches and girly ruffle edge:


The scarf is this same pattern as before but with the fringe:


And these are new! Brooklyn Fingerless Mitts!  I loved making these (I tried one but good Lord I couldn’t get it right).  The only thing I did different was less rows between the cuff and the thumb plus sewed on the flowers.  I preferred the cuff hitting right where my hand begins.


Now, I’m off to try to finish that afghan I started a year ago!  🙂

MY Hat and Scarf

I decided it was my turn to get a gift from me … and, of course, I got distracted making gifts for someone else.  🙂

My hat was made with the same basic pattern but it was only one strand of yarn (and it was thin-ish … still can’t just look at yarn that doesn’t have a label and know what it is).  It’s too long but at least it’s not too short!  I also discovered a new to me stitch (puff stitch), so that is around the edge.  I like it … still look like a weeble but my head will be warm!


My scarf, as you can see, is a work in progress but I wanted to share this pattern with you (before I post the pictures of my latest gifts).  I just love it!  It helps that I love the colors in the yarn, too, but I really love the way the pattern looks.  I DO have to pay more attention because a small mistake can mess up the progress of the scarf (hence why this has been torn out three times already).

Here’s a link to the pattern (I’m using the same size hook and I think yarn but it still doesn’t quite feel long enough to me):


I won’t post the pictures/patterns of my latest gifts until they arrive (being sent to Arizona as soon as I’m done) so, maybe a week?  Now to finish up my scarf, make another hat for my adopted son, then take pictures of that one, plus the other three I made.  🙂

Crocheted Scarf and Slippers

O.k.  This is the latest round of gifts (actually, one of the gifts was shown in my last post).

This scarf is for my other sister:


Due to the color of the yarn (Navy) it’s kinda hard to see the pattern but here’s a link to it.  I really like how dense the pattern is without being bulky or heavy.


And here are the slippers.  These are for my brother-in-law so I’m not sure if they will fit.  His foot is two sizes larger than mine and two sizes smaller than hubby’s so I just kinda guessed.  After putting these on with socks (on my feet) I think they will be too small).


And here’s the pattern.  I REALLY tried to do the design on top.  After counting and counting and no matter what I did it kept going crooked, I just left that part out and crocheted straight across (I ripped these out 5 times, trying to get that design to be straight).  It’s not the pattern designer’s fault, it’s mine.  I’ve never done anything like that design before so I should try on something bigger (and flat).


By the way, that blog right there is fantastic!  She has some really nice basic crochet (and a little more advanced) video tutorials there.  You should check her out!

O.k.  Now that I’m done with those … hats!  Same pattern I posted before but different colors.  I’ll post those when I’m done.

Crocheted Hat and 2 Scarves

So, these are my latest.  Since it’s a gift for my sister, and it has already left my house to be given to her, there’s nothing she can say about it!  LOL!  So, I’m posting the pictures with links to the patterns so I can finally close those tabs in my browser.


I know the hat is kinda fuzzy (out of focus) but I used this pattern, which I will pretty much stick with for all the hats I do (just make them longer or whatever).  I used 2 strands of yarn and then added scallops (shells, whatever they are called) to the bottom edge to make a bit more “girly”.I also added a few more rows, so the brim could be folded up.


The scarf is this pattern but I made it more narrow.  I am not good a gauging how much yarn I have and some of these patterns say stuff like, “2 balls of …” How much is a ball?  So, this was a smaller skein of yarn and I didn’t have enough but loved the color.


Then, since I had already made one in the wrong color for my intended recipient, she gets this scarf too (since the other one really isn’t long enough and this one is warmer).  I took this picture to show the how the difference in yarn for the same pattern looks.  I did it a little wider than the pattern called for but you can get the idea (she gets the scarf on the right).  First, the link:


Now the picture:


I’m working on one more scarf, then I get to slog my way through some slippers, then 4 hats to make from the pattern above but these are for adult males and the colors are dark grey, black, green, yellow, and red.  I’ll post those pictures (and patterns) when I’m done.