Category Archives: General

Best shoe tying knot

Best shoe tying knot

Today I would like to share with you the best shoe tying knot. For about a decade I have been using this amazing little knot for tying my boots called a turquoise turtle.  It may be known by different names, but it was introduced to me as the turquoise turtle.  This knot is simple to tie, simple to untie.   A simple tug on the tag end of a lace and the knot easily comes undone.

Before I learned of this simple knot I could expect my boot laces to come untied several times a day.  It was irritating and a nuisance for me, but it could be a trip hazard for the children.  Now my boots are only tied once a day and the no longer come untied.

At the bottom of this post I will share a video so you can see how to tie the turquoise turtle knot.

Why is it the best shoe tying knot?

The double knot works to keep laces from coming untied.  Unfortunately they can be a real pain to untie and isn’t the best shoe tying knot.  When the double knot is used on children’s shoes they generally aren’t able to remove the knot so that their shoes can be removed.

Once tied properly this knot won’t come untied on its own.  Once you want to untie it a simple pull on the tag end of the lace and the knot easily comes undone.

Watch the knot being tied on YouTube

For those like me who are visual learners, here is a short video where I use a piece of rope to demonstrate the how to tie the best shoe tying knot.  Watch the video and then try it yourself and see if you don’t prefer this knot.  Teach your children how to tie it and they’ll stop tripping on their laces.

Tomato juicer attachment

Tomato juicer attachment for Cabela’s grinder

When it comes to juicing tomatoes, our Cabela’s tomato juicer attachment is a real time saver.  Yes, it will juice other things such as grapes as well, but we use it almost exclusively for tomatoes.

Yesterday we had another small harvest, around 30 pounds, of tomatoes that needed put up.  We setup the grinder, foot control and connected the tomato juicer attachment and got to work.  If you have a large amount of tomatoes to do each year this is the only way to go.

The only place I’ve found this juicer attachment is at Cabela’s.  Our juicer is an older model and doesn’t include a splash guard.  You can see our improvised one made from foil in this picture below.

Tomato juicer attachment on Cabela's grinder
Tomato juicer attachment on Cabela’s grinder

The newer models of the tomato juicer attachment will run you around $100 at Cabela’s and is designed to be mounted to their grinder.  It is a big investment, but it saves a lot of time on large jobs.  We already owned a grinder so it was an easy decision when we can put up 200 pounds or more of tomatoes annually.

What if you wont be doing large batches?

If you are going to juice tomatoes on a much smaller scale then an old fashioned food mill will work.  It is time consuming but is much cheaper.  There are hand crank operated juicers out there work well but cost more money than the food mill.  One such product is the Weston strainer and sauce maker for around 60 dollars.

Foot control switch for the grinder

The first year we ran the grinder manually by turning the switch on and off by hand.  It works but can make a real mess at the end of the day.

One day while browsing the camping and hunting section in a BassPro Shop I noticed a foot control switch.  It is designed to power the grinder while your foot is depressing the switch.  As soon as your foot comes off the switch the grinder stops.  Amazing!  It was a solution to our messy grinder and we decided to buy it and try it out.

It works wonderfully and powers the grinder so long as your foot is on the switch.  As soon as you release the switch the grinder powers off.  No more messy switches and it gives us the ability to shut down quickly if something goes wrong.

It is carried at BassPro and Cabela’s, with the former having the best price if you have one of their stores near you. Amazon had the best price by a few pennies and offers from shipping to Amazon Prime members.


LEM Products Meat Grinder Foot Switch
LEM Products Meat Grinder Foot Switch

Watch the tomato juicer attachment in action

We made a short video of our grinder attachment making juice.  You can watch the video below.

Repairing wind damage to metal roof on barn

We had a bad mess of wind that blew through and did a little damage to the roof on our old barn.   It didn’t rip the roofing off entirely but did pull most of the nails out of it.  A ladder, impact driver and metal roofing screws had those two pieces re-secured.  Many others had nails nearly pulled free.   

And here is the roof after a half pound of roofing screws had been driven into place.  The screws should hold up to the wind better than the roofing nails.  

Time to plan the 2017 garden!

I had an order of seeds from Mountain Valley seeds arrive recently.  This weekend we will be sitting down and planning our garden for this year.  Once we have decided what we will plant I’ll begin setting up the grow lights and getting everything ready to start seedlings.  

We are going to plant less of everything this year.  We had too much and couldn’t keep up with everything which made the garden suffer as a whole.  Much of what we plant will be a 1/3 to 1/2 of what we had last year.  

Sew Awl boot repair

Sew Awl boot repair

A recent project here was a little Sew Awl boot repair.  My boots had the toe area of the sole coming off and in need of repair.  A Shoe Goo repair worked temporarily for a week or so but is coming apart.  I’ve finally broke out the Sew Awl kit and made a more permanent repair.   In retrospect I should have used the glue and made the repair.  Next time I will do both.

It doesn’t look like professional work, but my little home repair saved me a trip to the city and dropping them off and waiting a few days for them to get fixed.  We shall see how well, and how long, my repair holds up.

Self reliance at home

Being able to repair our own items, such as this boot, is an example of skill set I think is worth having.  I’m far from skilled at it, but stuff like this isn’t difficult to learn.    The ability to do simple repairs like this makes one self reliant and saves them money.

I’m not one of the doomsday preppers, but far too many people have become dependent on others.  Being able to make simple repairs like to is a skill set I want to have.  It is also a terrific skill in a society where barter became the normal way of life for acquiring what we need.

Sew Awl boot repair -Sole repair needed on this boot

Sew Awl boot repair
Sew Awl boot repair

Other tools used

The only other tool I used or even really needed was my handy Leatherman Wave.  The blade was sharp enough to give me a clean cut on the thread.  That clean cut is necessary to allow the needle to be threaded easily.  The rounded outside portion of the needle nose pliers helped with pulling the thread when needed.  Simply place the point of the pliers into a loop and pull.  If you use the inside of the pliers the jaws the sharp jaws will fray the thread and weaken or cause it to break.

Sew Awl boot repair
boot repair completed with Sew Awl boot repair kit

Tree frog in our cauliflower 

I was in the garden last night pulling weeds, squishing bugs and pruning leaves touching the ground when I came this little guy.  They camouflage so well and have the coolest song.  No idea how many insects it will eat, but any help is more than welcome.  I’ve found a few toads as well since the garden starred to really grow.

green tree frog in cauliflower
green tree frog in cauliflower