Warm Weather Brings Family, Gardening, and Target Practice

Four separate groups as we sighted in a red-dot optic on a 9mm pistol.

We just spend the better part of a week with my daughter, her fiancé, and our new granddaughter. It was the first time we met the baby, and the first time they had been to our new house. My future son-in-law helped a great deal with the fence post installation. Being young and strong is a big help, of course, but having a strong work ethic is just as important.

It’s been more than 25 years since I last spent any significant time around a baby. I am amazed at how much stuff you “need” today to have for your baby. It’s clear consumerism gone crazy, spurred on by supposed experts and Instagram moms marketing the latest “must have” products. For example, today there is something called “tummy time” where you stick your baby on their belly and let them squirm to strengthen their neck muscles. But to do it correctly, you apparently need special tummy time pads. In the old days, we just stuck them on the floor, carpeted or not. If they bonked their little heads, well, that would teach them to keep their head up.

I have to admit that the Keurig-like device that dispenses warm water to mix with formula is pretty neat. And the new bottles that have some interior mechanism designed to prevent babies from sucking in air seems to minimize burping. Toys controlled by apps on your phone seems a bit much to me. Must we computerize everything?

Back in the day, we managed to raise kids without home electronics. We fed babies when they cried and when they were full, they stopped eating. Now parents measure and track every ounce and mark when it is consumed. Just another example of how trying to control everything just results in added anxiety.

Prepping for Babies

I won’t pretend to be an expert on prepping for babies. When my kids were young, we were just setting out on our prepping journey. I still have some old bottles packed away and a few sippy cups. My guess is that the nipples have deteriorated by now. I have patterns to sew cloth diapers, but no actual diapers.

My advice to preppers who are or plan to be new parents: Store plenty of re-usable cloth diapers, the water-proof covers, bottles, formula, sleepers, baby blankets, and a few old books on childhood diseases and midwifing. Don’t worry about the fancy new-fangled electrical stuff—it won’t work in a post SHTF event. It will be back to basics, meaning warming water for the bottle over a fire and hand washing cloth diapers.

If you aren’t planning to have babies after a TEOTWAWKI event, then make sure you have your birth control stocked up. Otherwise you may get a surprise.

Fence Update

Plumbing a fence post
We used a level to help make sure our fence posts were straight up and down.

We could not set the remaining fence posts in concrete last week because it got colder and concrete won’t cure well below 40 degrees. Things warmed up enough yesterday that we got the job done. Next step: Build the chicken coop. That means I get to see first-hand how much the price of lumber has increased.

When we experience a burst of warm weather in the fall, it’s called Indian Summer. I don’t know what they call it when you get an early warm up. We are expecting temps to be above normal for the next few days and then a return to more seasonal weather. There are plusses and minuses to the burst of warm weather. A plus is that annoying and damaging bugs may emerge and then get killed by the cold snap. A minus is that plants bloom and the blooms are killed by the coming cold snap. This sometimes happens to apple trees.

Target Practice

We also took advantage of the warmer weather to do some shooting. One thing I wanted when looking for our perfect prepper property was to be able to shoot in my yard. So while my daughter was here, we did just that.

I used the opportunity to sight in a gun on which I had recently mounted a red dot optic. The gun, a 9mm pistol, was shooting low and a little to the left. I adjusted it and then it was shooting just a little high and still to the left. I dialed it back down, and it was right on height wise at 40 feet, but even further to the left. Duh! We were turning the windage knob the wrong way. We started cranking it in the correct direction and after over compensating we brought the groups back on target.

The older I get, the more I like red dot sights! And the ability to go shooting just a few feet from your back door is as much fun as I expected it to be.

That afternoon, three of us sat in the basement listing to music while we cleaned our guns. My daughter told me that she has never met anyone who cleans their guns as much as I do. (My motto is that you should never let the sun set on a dirty gun.) I explained that this just meant she hadn’t met any serious shooters. Anyone who depends on their gun knows regular cleaning, lubricating and maintenance is critical to ensuring it runs smoothly when you need it most. It also preserves the value of your gun.

Warm Weather Brings Family, Gardening, and Target Practice