Friday, June 27, 2014

Thrift Store Finds

I do a lot of our clothes shopping at thrift stores, and you might be surprised at what you can find.

1) A pair of Levi jeans, and camo pants for Row.
2) Another pair of Levi jeans, and camo pants for Red Ant.
3) Woodland camo shorts, and desert camo fatigues for Daddy.
4) An M-65 Desert camo field jacket for $12.00

The total cost for all of the pants, shorts, and jacket was about $30.00. I'll probably do some garage sales and see if I can stretch our clothing allowance even more.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Proposal & Results

In the previous post, I commented that I had a plan in the works for some additional income while I finished out my Bachelor Degree In MRI. Well, here are the details of the situation...My Father-in-law is a hoarder with OCD tendencies. He will tell you that he has an "acquisition and storage problem", which boils down to that he is in denial.  He moved to an assisted living apartment so that he would get some human interaction, and help, so that he could maintain his independence. Here's the problem, the facility has decided that his living condition(s) posed a health risk after several warnings. He is to vacate by July 20th. If you remember, this is the same man that my wife found on the bathroom floor of his house. He was severely dehydrated, and if he had been there for a few more hours, probably his place of death.

Hoarding issues.
@Kelly at Happy Hollow: Whenever you think your house is dirty or a mess. Look at this picture.

My proposal was that I would check up on him on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for about 3 1/2 hours each day. I would clean the house, provide transportation, and general maintenance around the house for $180 a week. Anything over that would be an additional charge. I could also provide additional services,like mowing the yard, etc... My goals were to keep him in his house, even though all of the children have told him that he not making good decisions. While I also don't agree with his decision, he is a grown man (chronologically) and able to make his own decision about his life. He is also my father-in-law. So....

I picked him up outside his apartment, and took him to the local bookstore, where he spent about $150 on magazines and DVDs. After that, we went to the post office to mail a check for the accident that totaled his car. He was adjusting his milkshake, and swerved into the oncoming traffic, and hit another car head on. All while he had let his insurance lapse because he was unable to find the bill or remember that it was due. After a couple of hours, we went to lunch at Burger King, which is his favorite, and talked about my proposal for employment.

He told me that he would only need me for one hour a week. Baloney. I told him that he was wrong, and that a local housekeeping service charges $75/ hour. Anyways, he proceeded to tell me that he didn't have any money, and couldn't afford it. When November rolls around, and he has destroyed his house, once again, he will call me and ask if I'm still available. By that time, the ship would have sailed, and I'll be working full time at another place.

My decision for working for him:
  • He is my father-in-law.
  • I can finish school within a year instead of two years.
  • We'll be able to save a little bit of money and pay our bills.
  • I'll have greater freedom in my schedule.
Like I said, he doesn't make good decision, but he is a grown adult, and can choose the bed he wants to lay in.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I got the call today about my MRI interview, and they decided to go with someone else. I'm sure that my lack of experience was a huge factor in the decision, but she really didn't go into too much detail. While I'm a little disappointed, I know that there is something else for me to do in the world. I'm currently working on that this week. More to be discussed about this at a later time.

If my current job hunt doesn't pan out, then I'll work at McDonalds. Okay, not really, but you get the idea. I'd rather work at minimum wage than take any kind of public assistance. Heck, we probably wouldn't qualify anyways...I guess that kinda makes me an uncommon variety.

Row and Red Ant have been keeping the secret a secret. I thought Red Ant had let it slip, by saying that next Father's Day we would have four Dads in the house. That night at prayers, he referred to the baby as a "she". So, I don't have a clue. Obviously, he is either toying with us or forgotten the sex of our third child.

The projects around the house have been slowly, and steadily getting done. The limiting factor has been money to purchase materials for some of the remaining projects. Hence, the hurry up for getting a J-O-B.

My senior level classes will be beginning in August, and I've been enjoying the down time. I'm hoping that it will be a smooth transition back into student mode when my classes start back in the fall.

The rent house has been rented to a nice single mother, and she is loving our old home. We are getting the last of our utility bills this month from our old house, and it'll take a lot of stress off of our budget. We need to save at least a few grand for repairs, just in case anything happens when something breaks.

Overall, things are going well. I'm hustling for work and Sweetheart is constantly hot and sweating. Her due date is August 14th, and she made the comment that she was happy the last two were due in the winter. Red Ant and Row are enjoying the Summer Camp at their elementary school, taking some pretty cool classes, and trekking to interesting places for field trips.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Nerf Gun Camo: DIY Project

Red Ant has been all about some Army stuff, so I thought we might have some fun. I bought three "Army Men Colors", as Red Ant calls them, and had Red Ant pick out his favorite Nerf gun that he wanted us to paint.

The Nerf double barrel shotgun, the preferred weapon for all urban and jungle warfare.

First, we had to really clean the weapon, meaning that we remove all the decals.

I picked up two small flashlights for $1.00 each (with batteries) for a surprise. I covered the lens with frog tape. The end of the Nerf gun was also covered with frog tape to ensure that it still had an orange tip. Safety first.

I had Red Ant help spray the first base coat onto the weapon. 

About this time, our lovely neighbor, the Baptist children's ministry director, came out of her back door, and saw us working on our project. She asked, "Oh, what are you guys working on?" Red Ant stood up, "We are painting our guns," while beaming with pride. Her eyes got as big as dinner plates, and she scurried back into the house. I shrugged my shoulders, and let her think that they were real guns. I'm sure that she'll see the finished work before too much longer anyways. Might as well have her think the wrong assumption for a few days.

For a real weapon, I would have chosen a black flashlight, just in case the paint started to flake off.

Of course, Row wanted to have his centurion helmet painted the same color. Everything dried for a day in the garage.

The second color, flat olive drab, was added this morning. We clipped a few bush branches, and monkey grass to lay a pattern onto the shotgun. A word of caution: If you leave the zip ties in a five year olds hands, then the odds are extremely high that they will be rendered unusable.

Thankfully, I had purchased a small package of these and had a few more to use on the shotgun.

I had Red Ant show me which side he wanted the flashlight on, and before I attached it, he let me know that it was facing the wrong way. "I don't want the light in MY eyes!" Like I said before, smart fella!

Red Ant and I will finish the other side late tonight, or tomorrow afternoon. I'll post a picture of Red Ant in full combat gear in a few days. I also happened to find a pair of camo pants at the local thrift shop that were his size. He is super excited.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thursday Tidbits

I thought that the interview went well. It lasts about 40-50 minutes, and involved myself, the senior MRI tech, and the office manager. I reworked my resume, and added some additional information, and had it in a report folder. I had three of them, so that I looked well prepared. I say that the interview went well because the office manager, towards the end of the session, let me know about vacation time and PTO. The senior tech also gave me a tour of the MRI machine, and work space, which I also took as a good sign.

The senior tech had also done some inquiring about me from one of the teachers at school that was a classmate about 10 years ago. I did find out that the imaging office is corporate owned, and the big boss had given the green light for me to be interviewed. I was told that if they liked me, that he would fly in for a second interview, or do a phone interview.

One of my questions was if they would let me know if I was still in the running or not. They said they would.  Oh yeah, the report folder included some new information, such as proof of my high honors status at graduation, four clinical rotation sheets that included favorable comments from the techs, three personal references, and copies of my BLS and ACLS certifications.

On the home front, I have been working off my nervous energy by clearing out the backyard, and organizing a few things. Mostly it has involved projects that require little money, and a lot of patience. I dug up two dead Crepe Myrtle trees, and a Holly bush. The Holly bush was in the middle of the yard for some reason, and I hated mowing around it. It'll probably save me a few minutes every time I mow, which is a huge plus in my book. 

Probably about the size of a minivan.

I've also cleared out a bug chunk of the back corner where bamboo has taken root. My neighbor, who has lived in the house for 30+ years, made the comment that he has never actually seen that corner of my yard cleared. I'm still in the process of observing the back yard for a garden area. I just might end up with a bunch of 5 gallon buckets from work, and a huge container garden for next year. At least I'll be able to move them around in the yard as the sun moves through the growing season.

Keep Right On Prepping - K 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Study Guide Mania & Job Hunting

Our study group decided to work on a study guide for the national registry, and we have been working on it for about 2 weeks. It has blown into a 110 page 1.2 MB monster, and we are about 75% done. One of our classmates has his test on the 26th, so I'll spend a lot of time this weekend working on getting it completed. We will have it professionally printed and bound at our local copy shop. It's looking like it might cost about $25 per copy. Ideally, our plans are to have it as a reference guide for our ten year board recertification.

I got a call from a job contact that wanted to know more information me. The MRI position is strictly Monday through Friday with no weekends or call. I'm hoping that God has plans for me at this job,because it sounds perfect.

Gotta get back to the books...

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Update: I have an interview on Wednesday at 8:00am :-)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Never Too Young To Start Training

Red Ant and I were talking about his Nerf guns. I think he probably has about 10 or far. I was kidding him since I have a few guns myself.

K - "Don't you think you have too many guns. You only have two hands."
Red Ant - "Nope, I just pick them up one at a time."

Smart fella. It's hard to argue with that kind of logic. He also informed me that when he grows up, he wants to be an Army man to fight  the bad guys.

Here he is ready for Nerf Wars at our house.

You'll notice the recoil from the sniper rifle...powerful stuff.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Friday, June 6, 2014

Lest We Forget, 70 years later

I'd like to thank "The Greatest Generation" for their courage, especially to Granddad James (my Mom's Dad). My Grandfather-in-law (my Sweetheart's Grandad) gave his live after D-day on or around July 4th,1944. The events surrounding his death are still cloudy and inconsistent.

The following was taken from the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. I have personally been there and highly, very highly recommend it as a New Orleans must-see.

The D-Day Invasion at Normandy – June 6, 1944
 Invasion Date
June 6, 1944 – The D in D-Day stands for “day” since the final invasion date was unknown and weather dependent 
 Allied Forces
156,000 Allied troops  from The United States, The United Kingdom, Canada,Free France and Norway
 Areas of Invasion
The Allied code names for the beaches along the 50-mile stretch of Normandy coast targeted for landing were Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. Omaha was the costliest beach in terms of Allied casualties.
 The Armada
5,000 ships and landing craft
50,000 vehicles
11,000 planes
United States – Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar Bradley
The United Kingdom – Bernard Law Montgomery, Trafford Leigh-Mallory, Arthur Tedder, Miles Dempsey, Bertram Ramsay
Germany – Erwin Rommel, Gerd von Rundstedt, Friedrich Dollmann
Numbers represent total killed, wounded, missing or captured
United States – 6,603 (1,465 killed)
United Kingdom – 2,700
Canada – 1,074 (359 fatal)Germany – Estimated between 4,000 – 9,000
 The Outcome
By June 11, with the beachheads firmly secured, more than 326,000 troops had crossed with more than 100,000 tons of military equipment. Paris was liberated on August 25. Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945.
 Veterans Today
The number of remaining D-Day vets is estimated anywhere between 8,000 and 60,000. The Veterans Administration has detailed numbers on total WWII vets remaining available at

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Cool Clouds

I took this cloud pciture after stepping out of a shop this afternoon. It was just too cool to not put on the blog.

"Known as mammatus clouds, these strange, pouchy formations often occur in association with a thunderstorm. They have been seen in lots of places, including the midwestern United States.
“They are some seriously weird looking clouds,” said cloud physicist Patrick Chuang.
But scientists do have some theories about mammutus clouds. Another cloud physicist, Daniel Breed of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, says buoyancy and convection of air is the key.
“They’re kind of like upside-down convection,” Breed said.
Convection is like a buoyant bubble, he said. In mammutus clouds, evaporation causes pockets of negative buoyancy as it cools the air inside the cloud. This makes the clouds puff downward instead of up like cumulus clouds, and they end up being like upside-down bubbles." (source:wired)

Keep Right On Prepping- K