Archives for May 2010

A Can of Seeds

Canned Garden Seeds

I purchased a can of non-hybrid garden seeds. They are a good item to store for a time when seeds may be hard to obtain or become very expensive.

Why Non-Hybrids?

If you are trying to be self-sufficient, using hybrid seeds is not a good idea. The seed of hybrid vegetables does not grow true — you may not get taste, productivity, or even appearance. Only open pollinated, or “heirloom”, or “traditional” varieties will produce seed which, when saved and planted next year, will give you the same results as the parent plant.

Save your own seeds. This cuts gardening costs by 25% to 50%. Non-hybrids taste better. Many hybrids are now selling for high prices. When you save your own seeds, you only buy once.

A Can of Seeds

There are enough seeds to plant more than 3/4 acres. The varieties have been recommended by Utah State University for short season climates; with excellent adaptability for most regions. Complete instructions for planting are included. There are 16 varieties:

  • Sweet Corn, Golden Bantam, 5 oz
  • Spinach, Bloomsdale Longstanding, 10 gr
  • Pepper, Yolo Wonder, 5 gr
  • Peas, Lincoln, 5 oz
  • Cabbage, Golden Acre, 10 gr
  • Winter Squash, Waltham Butternut, 10 gr
  • Swiss Chard, Lucullus, 10 gr
  • Cucumber, Straight Eight, 10 gr
  • Radish Champion , 10 gr
  • Onion, Utah Yellow Sweet Spanish, 10 gr
  • Lettuce, Romaine Paris Island Cos, 5 gr
  • Pole Bean, Kentucky Wonder Brown, 5 oz
  • Beet, Detroit Dark Red, 10 gr
  • Carrot, Scarlet Nantes, 10 gr
  • Squash Zucchini, Black Beauty, 10 gr
  • Tomato, Rutgers PS, 5 gr

The unopened seeds should store for four years or more depending on storage temperature. The seeds have been carefully dried to their optimum moisture content to increase their storage life. The cooler the storage temperature, the longer the storage life of your seeds.

This can of seeds is ideal for emergency and preparedness storage. The best place to store your seed would be in a cool, dry, dark location such as a basement. For best results store unopened can in a refrigerator or freezer. You can replant the seeds of these non-hybrid varieties for future harvests.

Now all I have to do is to figure out how to grow them. :)
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Unloading the U-Haul and Loading Up on Pizza

Derek and Sarah arrived Saturday afternoon and both their families moved quickly to unload. Four of Derek’s brothers and three of Sarah’s helped along with parents and other family. While the bulk of their possessions are stored with Steven and Adelaide they will be staying with Kari and Linda.

After all was safely gathered in we went to work eating pizza and dessert. It is surprising how much pizza one has to eat after unloading a U-Haul. It must be directly proportional to the amount one unloads. When we were done there wasn’t much left of the eight boxes of pizza and bread sticks.

Contrary to our usual practice, we didn’t have time to take many photographs. However, Kari mentioned that he expected to see a blog post about the event so here it is.

Derek's family helping to unload the U-Haul.

Derek's family helping to unload the U-Haul

Sarah's family also helped unload.

Sarah's family also helped unload

Large items were stored in Steven and Adelaide's cavernous garage

Large items were stored in Steven and Adelaide's cavernous garage

It's hard work eating pizza...

It's hard work eating pizza...

...but someone has to do it

...but someone has to do it

Even the little ones helped

Even the little ones helped


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Green Jell-O Pineapple Rings

Green Jello Pineapple Rings

Paul spends a portion of his time constructing arc-welders from microwaves and making green Jell-O treats. Jell-O pineapple rings are easy to make:

  1. Empty juice from a can of pineapple rings.
  2. Mix the Jell-O (use green if you live in Utah), substituting juice for water.
  3. Use the can as a mold, moving the pineapple rings around to allow the Jell-O to get in between.
  4. When set, open the remaining end of the can and push the Jello-O and rings out onto a plate.
  5. Slice between the rings.

Jell-O is the official state snack food of Utah and Utahns have the highest per capita consumption of Jell-O in the world.

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A Kaysville City Annoyance

Kaysville City bannerThere are some annoyances in life that are minor enough to be ignored. They don’t bother me at all unless I am reminded of them, and even then I forget about them quickly. One such annoyance is my Kaysville City Utilities Service Bill.

Although my utility bill arrives promptly each month it is just four times a year that the aggravation arises. To be specific it is the billing for the December, June, July and August electricity use that is the source of irritation. Not the cost of the power but the way the power is billed.

I will explain.

The first 1,000 kilowatt hours of residential electricity is priced at 9 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh). Thereafter the price rises to 10.85 cents per kwh. That is an increase of 20.6% in the unit price cost. Take a look at my January bill:

Kaysville City meter readings

There is no indication that the usage of 1,265 kilowatt hours for a cost of $118.75 is any different than last month, except it is higher. Yet the numbers do not add up, unless you know of the two-tier rate. To demonstrate:

Kaysville City Residential Energy Rates
Single tier — 1,265 x $0.09 = $113.85
Two-tier — 1,000 x $0.09 + 265 x $0.1085 =  $90.00 + $28.75 = $118.75

Perhaps the biggest disapprobation is that there is no indication on the bill that an additional charge is being added.

In a Good Cause

Well, you say, the additional fee is for a good cause. Probably to reduce global warming by encouraging conservation. Or perhaps to offset the same tiered charges the city pays on the open market. Very unlikely I reply. This is because the commercial rates are tiered, but in reverse. In other words, commercial users obtain a discount the more energy they use, which of course is how many products are sold. Consider:

Kaysville City Commercial Energy Rates
First 1,000 kwh — 9 cents per kwh.
Next 9,000 kwh — 6.5 cents per kwh.
All additional kwh — 4.75 cents per kwh.

Perhaps I am missing something here and my readers have an explanation. In the meantime Kaysville City has proposed an increase to power rates of around 7.5 to 8 percent. The last increase was 7.5% in May 2007.

These increases cause me no irascibility. But the hidden tier is reason for vexation. But only a little, and not for long — and soon forgotten.

Electricity rate source: Consolidated Fee Schedule 2009 (PDF), see page 8. If no longer available at the source, try this link.
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Bryson Returns to Utah

Bryson with toys

Bryson rolls his truck down the hill

Bryson returns to Utah. Sarah flew from Texas and dropped him off with Jill in Salt Lake City. She then got back on a plane and flew back to Texas. Tomorrow she leaves Texas again to drive one of her cars to Utah.

Just to put Sarah’s mind at ease I am showing these photographs and videos of Bryson playing in the driveway and rolling his truck into the street.

Bryson toys

Bryson carries his truck up the hill

If you cannot see the videos click here.




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Missionary Dan Email #7 from Vancouver, Washington

Daniel looks for a sign

Daniel seeks for a sign

Today we are planning on going on a hike, so I don’t have much time to write. The garage and the wedding looked like they went well. The beans looked good too, Dad. There is a lot of changes going on.

We had a great work week, finished off with two investigators coming to church. One stayed for the full three hours and she had a lesson on the Priesthood in Relief Society. Probably the best place for her to hear about it. It was awesome. We are hoping for her to be baptized soon. Transfer calls are this Saturday, so you can never predict what is going to happen. I would really like to stay where I am.

I received a letter from Otgon Bat. She was an investigator that my companion and I found and taught in Mongolia for about a month then I was transfered. She was baptized after I left and wrote to me how she was planning on going to the temple. She was way excited about all aspects of the church and how her youngest son is now in kindergarten. She had been paying her tithing faithfully and now has a job where she doesn’t have to work on Sunday and can attend regularly. Her testimony has grown so much it was a wonderful blessing to hear from her.

Well, got to get going, I’ll send some pictures of the hike next week.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.

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Reception in Honor of Jacob and Brittney

Jake and Britt (click for high resolution)

Jake and Britt (click for high resolution)

Even though it was Father’s Day today, Jill and I and the boys went to Jake and Britt’s reception at the Main Street Chapel. Their wedding was last week.

Jake is the son of my good friend Brian. To illustrate: Brian was walking his dog this morning and saw Jill and I working (the boys were not awake yet). It must have surprised him to see me working so he investigated. When he saw that I needed panels for the shelf he offered to give me one he had spare. He also loaned me his hammer drill, compressor, and nail gun, as well as the staples.

But back to Jake. A few months ago when he came by my home he saw that I was cleaning my garage so he started to help and didn’t leave until it was all done two hours later.

I am fortunate to have neighbors like these.

JoDee and Brian (click for high resolution)

JoDee and Brian (click for high resolution)

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Father’s Day Comes Early

Paul and Jake install the first plywood sheet for the garage shelves

Paul and Jake install the first plywood sheet for the garage shelves

This year Father’s Day came early. No, I’ve not moved to Romania, Tonga, or Germany (they all celebrate Father’s Day in May). It is just that Paul and Jake decided to move up Father’s Day a whole month. I needed help installing shelves in my garage so Paul and Jake decided to give me an early Father’s Day present by helping me all day.

Jake helps to secure the center post

Jake helps to secure the center post

Last week Paul and I had made our 23 foot beam out of nine 2×4’s, glued and screwed together. We also constructed the needed supports at opposite ends of the garage. Today Jake joined us to install a 4×4 center post for support. We went shopping for plywood for the shelves. Home Depot cut the panels for us 3 foot wide.

Rick installing the 2x4 shelf support

Rick installing the 2x4 shelf support

While the boys were attaching the first panel, I was installing 2×4’s as supports for the shelves. We are making this up as we go along and we ran into a problem later on. The damaged sheetrock happened when I removed the old shelving.

Jake cuts away some of the beam so the door will open

Jake cuts away some of the beam so the door will open

The idea behind this particular garage shelf is that it is above head height. It is 23 feet long and three feet wide but not quite high enough so that the door will open all the way. Oops. Jake cut away half an inch of one of the 2×4’s in the beam to allow the door to open.

Storing all the Christmas trimmings

Storing all the Christmas trimmings

The Christmas trimmings had to be relocated to the garage when new attic insulation was installed. I didn’t want a lot of boxes (there really are a lot of boxes) compressing the insulation. Hence the need for new storage. I would like to compress all these trimmings into one small box but that is another story.

The car top carrier fits just right

The car top carrier fits just right

One thing I did plan for was for the car top carrier. It is not used very often so storing it up out of the way was my plan. I will mention here that building the shelves didn’t take up all of the day. So Paul and Jake continued working by cleaning up the whole garage, which needed it.

New tool holder

One of the new tool holders

Jill contributed to the early Father’s Day by buying me three Rubbermaid FastTrack tool holders. The idea is that the attachments can be moved around as needed. I was planning on building my own but then I would have been in the garage until midnight.

The completed shelf, full already

The completed shelf, full already

This is the best Father’s Day present that a Dad could receive. Instead of a gift that I already have or do not really need, I get to be with my boys all day constructing something that I do not have and really want.

Happy Father’s Day,

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Japanese LDS Membership 1930 to 2009

Japanese family
I had a number of requests to include Japanese LDS membership data. I have added a chart that gives a visual indication of the growth of the Church in Japan. The membership numbers were gathered from 36 years of Deseret News Church Almanacs.

To see the chart and the accompanying data table, go the the Japan LDS page.

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