Preparedness Items to Buy at End of Winter Sales

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Preparedness Items to Buy at End of Winter Sales The end of the years sales are great times to get tons of items. One of the things my wife and I enjoy shopping for Christmas decorations. When we are out together we like to comb the 75% off racks for these items. Of course, there …

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12 Reasons Why You Should Be Thrift Shopping!

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12 Reasons Why You Should Be Thrift Shopping! Frugality is a very important part of preparedness. This is one of those efforts that allows you to save money which allows you to store cash. Frugality also allows you to keep your debt in check. Running up excessive debt trying to buy the latest and the …

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New slippers and a sled

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One thing nice about the end of the year is almost everything goes on sale.  I have been stocking up on small fans that are battery rechargeable via a USB port as that is a power port on my 15 watt solar panel.   The fans I have been getting are cheap but several of the fans move a lot of air for the power and size.  These little fans will be great to add to my Mr. Buddy Heater to move the heat around camping or in the RV.  I think using a small rechargeable power packs that can be recharged via solar is better than buying lots of small batteries.   A great thing about these fans having a USB port for charging is that I can use an small power bank and recharge via solar  or use a USB plug into an electrical socket or generator socket.  I picked a couple more solar powered blow up lights for $3.00 each.  The lights don’t have a red blinking  light the $10.00 models have but over all I think they will work out well for camping and storm prep. Now I can add the small solar light to my vehicle preps that is much safer than using candles.

I love a good pair of slippers as much as I love a good pair of gloves.  If you have sweaty feet  like I do you will need at least two pairs of slippers so one pair dries while you wear the other pair.  I was never one to go “bare foot” even in warm weather and dealing with CIDP I need my feet to stay warm so I feel warm.  On my snow-blowing adventure that I started in sneakers I found having warm water proof boots out side is a plus and having warm and dry slippers was even more important to warming up.  I have found if you can can keep your feet and hands warm you will feel warm.  While I have not put in place a switch winter boots to house slipper or “indoor” shoes I think it could help not tracking in dirt and stuff from the out doors.  That would save clean up time!

I got a small sled to haul wood to the front porch and not use the garden wagon in the snow. I bought 10 feet of line and added a piece of hose for grip so the rope won’t dig into your palm while hauling wood.

Mom looked at purchasing a wood stove and getting it installed and it is not cheap.  For a good efficient wood stove that will give yo at least a 6 hour burn time is energy efficient and safe you are looking at a cost of 4 grand if installing a wood stove from nothing.   Oh sure you can go with a cheap stove to start. But it pays long term to get the best stove you can buy even if the upfront costs seem a little steep. There are bonuses investing in a higher cost stove.

  • These are efficient stoves.
  • Most of the stoves have cool to touch sides.
  • These stoves don’t need to be stoked every 4 hours

While the back part of my house gets cold over night.  Cold means about 60  degrees F.  Pipes are not freezing and the dogs get snuggled  into pet beds.   Mom did not feel good today so she worked hard to makes sure her chicks were comfy.  I’m not going to complain as the chicks are keeping her in eggs.  I I need to look at a few dead heaters and see if they are fixable via attaching a wire along with a good clean out via air compressor.

Such is life, most things are simple.  That does not mean they are easy.

 

 

Hoop jumping and more finishing up STUFF

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My mortgage guy stopped by today and checked my paint job and recommended a couple of touch ups to the paint.  Over all he thought my job would probably work out okay with the VA Appraiser and the loan should get done after the re-appraisal.  The first coat Kill-Z is added to the bad spots and I’ll add another coat along with the touch ups for the appraiser who should show up around the first week in September.

FYI: if you are a veteran and want a cash out you will need a new appraisal.  If you are doing a straight re-fi for a lower payments, chances are you won’t need an appraisal.  Also the appraiser can not move stuff around, so it might be possible to “hide” some suspected problem areas with boards or things  laid against the sides of the house.

In a way everything is sort of working out as my “contractor” suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital over the weekend.  I got a call from him apologizing for not keeping in touch on the “potential” job.   I added a little extra cash to my loan just in case some thing goes wrong and needs some fixing.  I’m hoping not to use that money on the siding project and it will go straight into the “Emergency fund” for other projects/emergencies.

Carpets got cleaned, finally!  This was a tough job as the living room carpet was difficult.  The cleaning solution set on top of the deep pile carpet and never penetrated the fibers before the carpet cleaner pulled up the cleaning solution.  It took a little finagling but I got the soap solution on the carpet, and vacuumed up on the first try then the next day the carpet cleaner did a great job scrubbing the living room carpet.  Now on my low pile carpet the carpet cleaner did a pretty good job on the first try.  I’m glad I went to the extra effort on the carpet carpet cleaner as Mom was so peeved she wanted to chuck the machine into the trash after fighting with it on the first day.  FYI: Bissel carpet cleaner’s vacuum and spray pumps are connected and work in tandem. When pet hair gets up into the internal machine belts “slip” and can keep the machine from working.  It is a bit of a pain but always clean all hair from the beater brushes and around the spray nozzles.  Trust me it makes using a cheap carpet cleaner much easier to use the next time.

Did some shopping and have been adding to my hard liquor stock pile.  This will last a long time for me as I prefer beer for drinking but it is always  nice to have the option for a Margarita night.  I focused on whiskeys and vodka to begin with and now I want to stock up gin, rum and tequila mid-range of quality.  I figure get the booze for a “basic bar” at a reasonable price and then add in any Premium stuff as money allows.  Idaho has state liquor stores so there is no competition on price.  I don’t know what your priorities are for stocking up but hard liquor for any sort of barter should probably be bought is small quantities and for personal use in the bigger bottles.  Do not discount getting schnapps or flavored liquors as many people like a sweet flavor, especially women.  I’m not a big fan of sweet flavor alcohol but a bottle of Kahlua or peach/mint schnapps might make a good barter item.  If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody is happy!  You might also try out some cooking wines and sherries to cook with as they add lots of flavor to meals and marinades but are not so good to drink.  That will save your stockpile for barter.

I have bitched and moaned enough and have done a few things to make my life better for the future.  I need to add a few more 18 inch plywood boards and some additional Ideas but over all Mom and I are doing good though a bit stressed.  With a little luck we will clean up the garden and start on building the boardwalk.

 

Psychological Preparedness and Shopping Tactics!

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Psychological Preparedness and Shopping Tactics Host: Gary & GGsBoo “The Road Less Traveled” Welcome to this outing on “The Road Less Traveled.” On this excursion we’ll focus on some of the intricacies of Prepping from our perspectives with an emphasis on psychological preparedness being quite important to our overall efforts. Learning exactly who and what … Continue reading Psychological Preparedness and Shopping Tactics!

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No go shopping

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no go shopping

Are you ready for no go shopping? What is no go shopping you ask? It’s when you live out in the boonies and there isn’t a place to go shopping within a reasonable distance. Where I live, it’s 20+ miles into the nearest town, takes about a half hour if everything is going right, of course there is the stopping to chat with a neighbor on the road, then the stopping to chat with a neighbor at the mailboxes… then when you get to town, you are likely to find someone to chat with, and at the store, no getting around the fact that you will most likely find someone to chat with there, so going to town for a quick trip to the grocery store isn’t going to be quick after all.

Where I live, if you want to go anywhere with real shopping, I’m talking malls, big chain grocery stores, WalMart, Sam’s Club, real restaurants and the such, it’s a good 3 hour drive at highway speeds. It’s something we don’t do very often, maybe a monthly thing at best, it’s usually more a quarterly thing, well planned and executed, it’s at least a day trip and sometimes requires an overnight stay.

What do we get in return for no go shopping? Well, living where there aren’t many other people for one, it’s nice to not hear or see your closer neighbors most of the time. It’s quiet, dark at night, and private.

We have come to rely on delivery services for many of our purchases, besides groceries (I wish we could order more grocery items) we can order just about anything we could want out here. I am an Amazon Prime member, it’s paid for itself many times over, it’s something I pay for each year without fail. I know my UPS delivery driver by name, I know the FedEx drivers too, though they seem to go through many more of them than the UPS company. Of course there is also USPS, we all know our postal workers, the only problem is our mailboxes are some 6 miles from my home, so for me, it’s more convenient to order things that will come UPS or FedEx so it gets delivered directly to my home.

I don’t even mind the few day wait, I know if I were to go to the closer town to buy what I would order, first if it was even available, it would be very expensive, taxed and I’d still have to wait a day or two before I’d be able to go there. If I planned to go to the bigger farther town, it might be a week or more before I could get out there, so it’s better for me to order through Amazon Prime and get it in 2 days, delivered to my door.

I just ordered a pair of boots, some socks (gotta have new socks to go with the new boots LOL), and some 200 clear plastic 5X7 sleeves. The boots and socks are obvious, but what’s up with 200 clear plastic sleeves? I’m finally getting my photos printed up to sell in one of the shops in town, actually several shops, I need to protect the prints, I can’t imagine where all I would have to go to pick up just those 3 things in a physical store.

So what do you prefer, shopping in a brick and mortar store or shopping online? Let me know below 🙂

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Black Friday Show!

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Black Friday Show! Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Listen in player below! The holiday chaos, food, family, road rage, and the one question that plagues us all: what do you buy for the Prepper who has everything? How ’bout some tips from Kyle on how to survive the holiday madness? It’s incredibly difficult shopping for … Continue reading Black Friday Show!

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Hours In Line And Then An ID And Fingerprint Scan — Just To BUY GROCERIES

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Hours In Line And Then An ID And Fingerprint Scan -- Just To BUY GROCERIES

Grocery shopping has become a nightmare for citizens in Venezuela, as consumers have to stand in line for hours to get into government-controlled markets, simply to buy small amounts of rationed goods on certain days.

Citizens even have to use their IDs — and are limited to how many times they can visit the store each week.

“There’s just unplugged display cases, flies and a bad odor,” Caracas resident Anny Valero said of her neighborhood supermarket.

The only food Valero could find was three cans of sardines, and she needed to present a government ID card and submit to a fingerprint scan to get that, National Public Radio (NPR) reported

The clerk made Valero put one can of sardines back due to rationing. Valero also had to present her son’s birth certificate to buy Pampers diapers.

The Quickest And Easiest Way To Store A Month’s Worth Of Emergency Food!

Venezuela now has the world’s highest rate of inflation (180 percent) and shortages of basic goods and electricity. The situation is made worse by low oil prices, as well as a drought that has led to a scarcity of electricity. Venezuela relies on dams for its power.

“This is such a waste of time, and we have to do it every week,” Valero told NPR. “My husband risks losing his job, because he’s here with me shopping, and on top of that we can only buy two of each item.”

Valero’s husband, Yossmy Benaventi, accompanies her to keep thieves from stealing her groceries. The only alternative to the supermarket is the black market, where gangsters charge a fortune for food.

Looting and Pillaging Replace Shopping

The streets outside of Valero’s supermarket were filled with black marketers selling eggs, fish and meat. Valero and Benaventi could have bought meat from them, but it would have cost one-fourth of his monthly salary as a mechanic.

Story continues below video

Many Venezuelans have found an alternative to supermarkets in the form of looting. In the city of Guarenas, a mob pillaged the Paga Poco market because of rumors there was food hidden it. There have been 166 reports of looting in Guarenas this year alone.

The Panama Post reported that mobs of people with sticks were roaming through the streets of Guarenas, trying to break into stores and steal food. Some of the rioters were chanting, “we’re hungry.”

The World’s Healthiest Survival Food — And It Stores For YEARS and YEARS!

The rioting began after no food was delivered to markets for several days. President Nicolas Maduro responded to the violence by declaring a “state of emergency” and calling out the National Guard.

As part of the emergency, the government seized control of the Dia supermarket in Gueranas. No food has been delivered to the market for a week.

Even worse violence is now occurring in Caracas, where opposition parties organized mass rallies to protest Maduro’s socialist government. Police and soldiers closed off streets and shut down the subway to keep protestors away from the capitol building.

Instead of restoring order, the crackdown led to chaos, with protestors throwing rocks at police and troops teargassing protestors. The protestors are demanding a recall election to get rid of Maduro.

Do you think something like this could happen in the U.S.? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Discover The Secret To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

The Woman’s Jargon-Free Guide To Buying Your First Gun

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The Woman’s Jargon-Free Guide To Buying Your First Gun

Image source: Bloomberg

The man sat on a chair across the table from me, a phone cradled to his ear, hunched over the clipboard in front of him in an effort to block out the din of the packed arena. He carefully spelled out the letters of my name and address to someone on the other end of the line, and went on to fill in other details.

He was reading the words off a federal form 4473 which I had just filled out and handed back to him. I stood waiting in nervous and happy anticipation while the gun dealer ran my information through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.

It wasn’t that I was afraid of anything bad turning up. My background is about as squeaky clean as they come. It wasn’t that I am anti-government, either. It is indeed true that I would rather not share any more information with the government than I have to, including whether or not I drink raw milk or keep farm animals and whether or not I own a gun, but had already resigned myself to the fact that this is the way it’s done.

It was that it was my first-ever gun purchase. Although I am not new to guns — not brand new, anyway — I had never shopped for and purchased one for my own use.

Do You Know The Best Way To Hide Your Guns?

I am not really a “gun person.” But when my husband and I took up homesteading I began to see the usefulness of gun ownership in a whole new light. My husband taught me the basics on his hunting gun — just enough that I might be able to defend myself and my barnyard if I absolutely had to — but I recently began to consider taking it a step further.

The idea of having my own gun crept up on me. It seemed preposterous at first. I mean — me?!  Owning a gun?! My husband and I discussed it, and the conversation got serious last summer when livestock predation was on the rise. The firearms available to me were not adequate — they were either too big for my comfort or not accurate enough for the job at hand.

And it wasn’t just the animals that I became concerned about protecting. The world is changing, even way out in rural America where I live. It is becoming the kind of world where we hear about meth labs and opiate addictions in communities startlingly near to us. Violent crimes, home invasions, and robberies are no longer restricted to metropolitan areas.

An elderly lady was beaten in her own home in the next village over from me. Another neighbor had a man walk right into her house — and when confronted, he pretended to have mistaken it for someone else’s home and left. These are anomalies, but that may not always be the case.

I walked into a gun shop one day and began my education. My husband is savvy about guns, but I wanted to learn on my own.

I had done enough research to know I wanted a small shotgun. Between the two generally standard sizes — 12-gauge and 20-gauge — I knew I would prefer the smaller 20-gauge. Shotguns come in an even smaller “410 bore” as well, and I asked some questions that would help me compare and contrast the two smaller options.

Gun aficionados had advised me that a multiple shot is a better choice than single, and that a pump action is best.

The Woman’s Jargon-Free Guide To Buying Your First Gun

Image source: Pixabay.com

What I learned at that first gun shop is that 20-gauges are a lot more common and only slightly more expensive than 410s, but ammo for the smaller gun is a lot more expensive.

“A lot depends on what you’re going to use it for,” the guy explained. If I was going to do a lot of target shooting, cost of ammo was a factor. If it was strictly for the occasional varmint or for self-defense, or “for the house,” as the salesman phrased it, cost of ammo was irrelevant.

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The way he talked so casually about a woman owning a gun for self-defense, as if it were the most normal thing in the world, made me feel less self-conscious about it.

He had a wide variety of actions on hand to show me, as well. The “action” of a gun is basically how the shell — in a shotgun — or the bullet — in a rifle or handgun — gets into the chamber. There was a “break action,” where the end of the barrel snaps open and the shells are loaded into side-by-side chambers, and a “lever action” which loads the shell when a handle under the barrel is flipped forward and back. He also showed me pump action guns, which are generally able to store four or five shells in the magazine and load them one by one when an outer casing on the barrel is slid forward and back. There were single shots as well, which is just like it sounds — one shell is loaded right into the chamber.

There are also bolt actions made, but they don’t appear to be common. There are also semi-automatics, but the guy could tell I wasn’t ready to look at or pay for anything like that. Later in my shopping experience, I did consider the merits of semi-automatics. These are firearms which, once the first shell or bullet is loaded, the next one pops into the chamber automatically as soon as the first is shot out. I found a lot of them on the market, which may be because they are popular, or possibly because they are significantly more expensive — usually about twice the price — and the cheaper choices get snapped up first.

I had to chuckle at the pink camo 20-gauge pump shotgun he showed me, regarding it as a novelty. Little did I know in those early shopping stages that — pardon the pun — targeting women is a burgeoning trend. Pink is in!

As a busy homesteader who rarely leaves the farm, there wasn’t much time to focus on gun shopping. In the eight months that slipped past between the time I first made the decision to purchase a firearm and finally doing so, it seemed to me that the selection diminished and the prices rose a bit.

The Woman’s Jargon-Free Guide To Buying Your First Gun

Image source: Pixabay.com

Wandering in and out of gun shops intermittently throughout that period of time, I felt that as a woman shopping alone for a gun, I was mostly treated courteously. I did encounter one gun shop owner who got pretty overbearing and pedantic when I told him I was new to guns. Later, when I went back to the same shop with my very knowledgeable husband, the man was less obnoxious.

I live in a state where guns are easily and legally sold between individuals, and I spent some time exploring that option. By the time I started looking at online classifieds, however, I had come to the realization that a regular-sized gun would not suit me. After handling dozens of guns at shops and a few friends’ guns, it was clear that I needed a short stock at the very least, and perhaps the whole firearm needed to be small.

My Personal Defender: Low Cost Way To Defend Yourself Against Lowlife Criminal Scum!

My husband advised me against a couple of brands — not because there’s anything wrong with them, but just not ones he likes. Factoring that into my search for a youth sized model 20-gauge pump action at a reasonable price, within a reasonable driving distance, made for slim pickings in the personal sales realm.

I ended up finding what I wanted at a gun show. I walked a little taller as I carried my purchase out of the arena, my receipt handy in case security had any questions at the door and almost a little crestfallen when they didn’t.

It can be intimidating to consider buying a gun if you are new to them, and difficult to know where to begin. Based on my experience, I would encourage anyone in that situation to give it a try. Do not be afraid to shop on your own, and treat each encounter as an opportunity to learn, but follow up with your own common sense research and evaluation. Give yourself permission to be new, and do not accept being judged for inexperience or trepidation. No one has the right to treat you as if being uncomfortable around guns is a character flaw — we all start somewhere. If you do have someone in your life whom you trust and is comfortable with guns, get that person’s advice before you make your final choice if you can.

And above all, be safe, and get trained. This article is a about the fun and challenges of buying a gun, and not about safety and training. But please don’t interpret that to mean that those things are not important — they are absolutely crucial and should not be dismissed or minimized.

Whatever your style and whatever your choice, may your journey into gun ownership be fun, productive, and safe.

What advice would you add for women shopping for a gun? Share it in the section below:

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns. Read More Here.

Working on loan paperwork, plumbing and a carpet cleaner

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Things got off to a good start this Friday, first stop was Harbor Freight buying the green house.I was a little surprised that they only had four in stock for the sale. I am glad I got there early as I have missed out on several greenhouses “selling out” before I got to the store.  We now have two walk-in greenhouse though one of the “houses” is one of the cheap plastic over a metal frame type of greenhouse.  The two walk-in greenhouses should give us plenty of space to start plants for the garden this year. This will save us a lot of money compared to buying plant “starts” at the local farm store.

I need to add a four more heavy duty tomato/potato cages for my growing vertical experiment. These cages should also work for any garden out in the alkali/hard pan soil of Owyhee county.  Based on trying to grow stuff on Mom’s first place, it will much easier to start with raised bed gardens and then work the slow process of improving soil naturally.  One of the big reasons I need a pickup and ATV is to haul a lot of compost and mulch around any future homestead. Trying out a few hugel-culture raised beds could be a worthwhile experiment to direct water as well as add more growing spaces.

About the March time frame a 300-500 gallon cistern should be do able. I already have several rain barrels, though my water delivery system needs work.  Now theoretically a 1000-1200 square foot roof should “capture” nearly 3000 gallons of water per year based on average rainfall here in SW Idaho.  The problem is not lack of water, but getting water at the right time and having a way to store it safely until needed. Stagnant pools or ponds are a no-go because of insects breeding and West Nile virus in the area.  The only solution I see is a rain catchment system that can be closed to prevent any insect breeding. Especially since many of the properties I have looked share a well and drilling my own well would break my budget.

That is a start on the food and water problems my homestead will face. By starting small, making effective use of my city lot, I am gaining equipment and skills that will transfer to the new homestead.

I had to fix a leaking bathroom drain. I had installed a “modern” drain and plug, what was needed was old school plumbing.  I still don’t trust the concept of compression fittings, but so far so good. No leaks and I think the old fashion type drain and plug will be much easier to keep clean.

Mom’s Bissel carpet shampooer died but I was able to fix it.  The problem was the water pump stopped working, it seems the belts that move the beater bar also help pump the cleaning solution. Once we cleaned out all of the hair on the pulleys the belts attach the pump started working again.  It seems the hair allowed the belts to slip.  When things break I try and fix them. Since I can’t really break it more, I might as try to fix it. I can always throw it away if I can’t figure out how to fix it.

 

Last minute Christmas shopping solutions…..

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This is the weekend before Christmas and when most of us should be relaxing the reality for most of it is pure craziness. I imagine Panhandle Rancher sitting in front of a fire, reading a book, just enjoying being alive. I envy that. My wife is working on some craft projects she has been doing selling online to make extra money. The kids are sleeping in till noontime since they are out of school. My oldest – Jonathan – just failed his American History exam yesterday and likely the class. MY KID FAILED AMERICAN HISTORY!!

But wait…..’tis the season to be merry. Right?

Time is ticking down and if Christmas shopping is not complete don’t stress out. There IS time. Here are a few ideas:

  • If shopping for someone you are close to – a spouse, parent, grandparent, or son or daughter – write them a letter. Tell them about special memories you have of them and how glad you are to have them in your life. How I wish I had received something like this from either one of my parents. This would likely mean more than anything to them.
  • A similar idea as above is to use modern technology to put together a video for that special person. You do not have to be a multimedia guru to accomplish this. Most any laptop, tablet, or smartphone has the software/app to add pictures, words, and music to create a meaningful masterpiece.
  • Amazon has most anything you can imagine to complete your Christmas shopping – with extremely fast shipping. I just ordered a tiny 32gb USB drive for my Chromebook and it will be delivered on Sunday. If you are a Prime member there is free 2-day shipping as well as discounted overnight shipping. Expedited shipping for non-Prime members is available as well.
  • For that special someone – a candlelit dinner for two serving the others favorite meal, massage,……..etc. I wouldn’t mind that at all.

candle-light-dinner (1)

  • Gift cards are always a decent gift. The receiver can go pick out what they want. Amazon even offers gift certificates and they and be delivered via email.
  • If you have friends with kids give them a coupon for free babysitting.

 

Hopefully these few ideas will be of some help. Regardless of all the presents, get togethers, and sales at the stores – let’s remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Rourke

 

 

Returning To The True Meaning Of Christmas

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Returning To The True Meaning Of Christmas

Image source: Pixabay.com

Christmas tree lots and stores open weeks prior to Thanksgiving. Then we get Black Friday, and then Cyber Monday. In the midst of it all, people get pushed and trampled for chasing deals. Then there’s the balloon yard decorations that get bigger every year. And the aisles and aisles of ornaments and decorations. But what is it all for? The celebration of Christmas?

For Christians, hopefully, the celebration of Christmas is focused on Christ — the Savior of the world who came to us in the humble beginnings of a manger filled with hay. Who grew as a boy in wisdom of both his parents and his Heavenly Father’s teachings. The Savior, who as a man, chose to bare our sins past, present and future and endure the excruciating beatings and humiliating death upon the cross.

It is so easy to get swept up into the holiday clamor, the spending, the buying, and all of the deals. But do you ever find yourself running out of ideas, running out of things to buy and give? I know that I have. In fact, for the last few years I have been finding myself losing my Christmas spirit as I walk into all the stores.

Where I have found my renewed spirit of the season is in my home, my creativity and time spent with family. And it is this that I offer to you as my first gift this season: a homemade, Christ-filled Christmas.

Returning To The True Meaning Of Christmas

Image source: Pixabay.com

Now you may be thinking, “Sure that’s okay for women, but what’s a guy to do?” Don’t worry, I’ve got everyone covered! Take a look at this list of ideas and see how you could change your shop-aholic season into a heart-aholic season of giving:

  • Return to handmade gifts! If you have a talent such as crochet, painting, drawing, woodworking or other crafty ideas, make a personalized gift for everyone on your list. Best of all, make a family night of it and spread the goodwill of doing for others, with each other.
  • Bake it up! Do you have a special holiday recipe that everyone loves? A favorite cookie or cake? Bake a special dish or dessert for those on your list. Who wouldn’t love a night with a homemade dinner on the table that someone else took the time to prepare? Think what that might mean to a hard-working single mom or dad in your family.
  • Family photos! Make a special collage for your parents, grandparents or new parents with pictures from the past and recent present! Memories are a wonderful gift to give. They are also great for college students who are away from home for the holidays.
  • Travel! Make it a special trip to see someone you haven’t seen in years! No wrapping required! What a wonderful sentiment that you would give up your local celebration to spend it with someone else in their hometown or state.
  • Charity! If you absolutely have money to spend and feel led to make those purchases, why not make donations to each person’s favorite charitable cause this holiday in their name? Just think: You’ll be saving them a Saturday spent having a garage sale with all the needless junk they didn’t need!

Above all, the old adage holds true: It’s the thought that counts. How much thought will you be putting into your gifts this Christmas? I know I’m glad that my Savior, my Lord, gave so much consideration to my ultimate gift that it is indescribable. When was the last time you received a gift that was indescribable? Jesus did that for us, by choice and obedience. What an amazing thought.

Lastly, take a moment to pull up this song on iTunes or YouTube this Christmas and consider the lyrics:

How Many Kings

By Downhere

Follow the star to a place unexpected

Would you believe after all we’ve projected,

Image source: Pixabay.com

Image source: Pixabay.com

A child in a manager?

Lowly and small, the weakest of all

Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother’s shawl

Just a child

Is this who we’ve waited for?

 

How many kings stepped down from their thrones?

How many lords have abandoned their homes?

How many greats have become the least for me?

And how many gods have poured out their hearts

To romance a world that is torn all apart?

And how many fathers gave up their son for me?

 

Bringing our gifts for the newborn Savior

All that we have, whether costly or meek

Because we believe.

Gold for his honor and frankincense for his pleasure

And myrrh for the cross he will suffer

Do you believe?

Is this who we’ve waited for?

Finished up insulating the chicken shed.

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I noticed some very significant drafts while installing the radiant insulating barrier.  One draft was along the bottom wall and close to the laying boxes and the other drafts were high, along where the roof/walls meet. It seems that the shed was water proof but not wind proof.  The shed seems a lot less damp feeling and drafty since we installed the radiant barrier.  My hope is the birds will be more comfortable and will lay more eggs as they are no longer fighting drafts and the shed is a snug place for the birds.  We left the high vent exposed as well as the chicken door open during daylight hours so the shed can breathe and not build up moisture.  It has been warm with lots of rain but next week it will get cold and we will have a good test on how well the radiant barrier works on keeping the chicken house warm this winter. Yes, we are that anal-retentive enough to put a thermometer and test our theories, even if we are talking about a chicken shed.

Lessons learned: It hurts a lot when you shoot a 5/16ths staple into the palm of your hand.  I encouraged bleeding , washed with soap & water for a minute and then rinsed the hand in antiseptic. I did not bandage the puncture wounds  but placed a medic type glove on so I could work and the glove would contain most excess bleeding.  I need to get a tetanus shot from the VA.  The pain relief salve did great relieving pain as well as most of the swelling from the staple. Being smart on how to treat small wounds should be a big deal for most preppers and survivalist types.  I was a bit surprised that after stapling in the middle of my palm, my middle finger from the 1st to 2nd knuckle got swollen and very sore, though not the palm.  I must have caught a nerve or tendon with the staple.  I’m fine now and finger is working good enough to cut up 5 buckets of mill ends and the last of the panels for the chicken house.

Having a good working staple gun makes installing any roll or bat insulation very quick.  Mom and I worked about 7-8 hours over 2 days on installing the radiant insulation and putting up underlayment  board.  Insulating a shed over a weekend should be doable for most people. Total cost around $200.00 we have left over radiant barrier and two new staple guns purchased, that can be used for other project.

I have learned a lot about adding insulation/ foam and caulk by just doing these jobs. The chicken house is the first time I did insulating and adding panels from start to finish.   The chickens haven’t complained about the the “house” walls having a bit of a rough finish, but I have learned the value of using molding and caulk to give a nice clean finish. I can’t say we are close to the professional type contractors but overall I think we are doing a good on most simple jobs.

Albertson’s is having a great sale on snacks. 16 oz. Planters peanuts $1.49.  I know that peanut butter is one of the prepper shelf stable proteins.  I don’t care for the taste commercial peanut butter. I love salted peanuts as a quick snack or to add flavor to meals and deserts.  This a great time to add snack cracker, popcorn, chocolate, hard candies and nuts to your stock pile. I know I really missed having those snacks when I lived off my pantry foods.  I like to store snacks in metal popcorn tins with just a dusting of DE in the bottom to keep the snacks fresh.

I think for December all we have left is putting up/replacing the tape and plastic on the house windows. I want to add a few Xmas lights to the house to feel a bit festive.

Oh my gosh!  We found a house for Mom!  Just under a .25 of an acre on the edge of Nampa and shelves that would make any prepper drool. It has a city hook up for water and sewer, plus a  working well and septic tank.  It would need a wood stove but otherwise it is a prepper’s dream home.  Darn it, Mom has another divorce court date  in March of next year and she can’t do anything until the Divorce is settled. The house is $104 grand and she must have at least 20% down, to have equity and not pay mortgage insurance.  I would love for Mom to have this home and I can’t help make it happen!  Just a bit frustrated, I have gained so much by having Mom around. While at times things seem a touch difficult, mostly it is a good thing for me.  I think Mom deserves a home of her own and I will admit I’m biased.  I want Mom to have her own place, not because I want to kick her out, but because I want her happy in a home that she can do her own thing that makes her happy.  It is not easy for Mom being in one bedroom for “her” stuff and sharing other parts of my house that we can fit in. Please excuse the whine as we are fortunate in life. Just needed to work it out of my system.

 

 

 

Black Friday Boycott 2015

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As usual we are opting to not join in the sadness and are participating in a Black Friday Boycott! Fortunately it appears the trend is starting to reverse itself and more and more stores are seeing the light.

I believe REI has done a great job in espousing their values and have closed all their stores for today. Instead they are encouraging their employee’s and customers instead to opt for outside activities. That is a beautiful thing. More and more stores are opening up the shopping on e-commerce and less on a brick and mortar store.

cliffsoftheneuse_riverI will take it one step further and say stop buying so much crap and engage in life. No one needs a discount smart television or another game system no matter the cost savings. Instead follow the steps that we have presented before.

  1. Do not do any shopping at all.
  2. Watch or attend a sporting event or go hunting
  3. Spend time with your family and friends

Now excuse me I have some leftover ham and turkey sandwiches to make a snack during the hike. Join us on our Black Friday Boycott. Enjoy the day outside doing whatever makes you happy!

More Fall work done and a couple of new toys to try out.

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While I don’t care much for strong winds, the black walnut trees and lilac bush leaves finally dropped to the ground today.  I got a bit frustrated by all the leaves and sticks the pekes always drag into the house via their “fluffy butts” so I got out the leaf blower and the leaf rake to try and stop all the tracking in of leaves.  My apple tree leaves are still green but by raking up the last of the walnut and lilac leaves we won’t have the pekes, or ourselves dragging in so many leaves and twigs coated with a sticky sap that clings to everything!  I don’t consider myself some sort of “neatnik” but I’m tired of vacuuming up leaves inside the house and combing or cutting leaves and twigs out of my peke’s fur.

I loaded up the wood rick today. This damp, windy weather has myself and Mom feeling a bit “chilled” and we used up a bit more wood out of the front porch rick this week than I had anticipated.  I filled the little garden cart with wood this last weekend so it was easy to top off the porch wood pile.  With this CIDP when and how much I can do physical labor can be a bit iffy at times. I was wiped out after stacking up the last cord of wood and filling up the wood buckets, but after a couple of days of rest I could get some chores done around the house.

Everyone has limits! Those limits might consist of time, physical energy or money but they are very real to each individual. I have lots of time because I’m disabled and SSD and VA provide my income. I’m not getting rich but I live a good life and can afford to buy a few gadgets and tools because I’m mostly debt free. I got a good deal on my house and my mortgage payment is lower than  most rent payments for an 3 bd. 1 3/4 bath home.

New Toy first impressions: Mom is really having a bad reaction to my cigarette smoke since we are starting to close off all windows, leaks and drafts. I will not stop smoking in my house, even for my Mom. You can call me names, trust me it won’t be the first time.  Now I am taking steps to “mitigate” my cigarette smoke. Holmes smoke grabber ashtray $10.44 on Amazon. Upside of the ashtray is does grab smoke and run it through a small filter. Mom says my smoking area seems to lack a smoke cloud.  Downside it only grabs the smoke from a cigar or cigarette while it sits in the ashtray.  The ashtray I bought is only battery powered and has no A/C backup or recharging function.

On the Holmes smoke grabber ash tray. Many complain that the ashtray is small. The tray is a bit small but is larger than most bar ashtrays that get dumped by bartenders. The ashtray is about 4 inches  square and about an 3/4inch deep. This ash tray will not hold more 10 cigarette butts or 2-5 cigars before you have to dump the ash tray but that should not be a problem for most people. I don’t get folks complaining about the size of the tray if what they want to get rid of smoke and odors. It is not all that difficult to dump the small ashtray in the trash when full.  My wish would have Holmes/Amazon offer a battery powered smokeless ashtray that is rechargeable via both 12 volts or 110 volts AC.

The little air ionizer for a car runs  on 12 volts and has an electrical 120-240 volt adapter/converter. The specs on this little air cleaner is for only 12 square feet, or about a sedan. I have plugged the little ionizer next to my computer desk and the air feels a bit different, though I’m not sure it is working to eliminate smoke from the room. I bought a Holmes air purifier with optional Ionizer and it seems that the air is getting better/cleaner. Mom says she is starting to feel better,  even my sinuses are finally starting to drain/clear out and the air is less stuffy /feels better and the house smells cleaner.

A great thing about the Holmes HEPA type air purifier as it will accept a replacement of a true HEPA filter. On the Amazon reviews of the Holmes air purifier for $34.99, many  people complained it was loud. I have been running the air purifier on high for several hours and it’s about as loud as your basic 20 inch box fan on medium setting. The low setting on the  air purifier is very quiet, about “white noise” level. For a great bargain I would buy the discontinued Holmes HEPA type air purifier for $34.99 and install a true HEPA filter and not buy the new/ improved air purifier that is a HEPA type and costs  about $10.00 more at Amazon.

I know the “air purifier” is not equal to an over-pressure type air-exchanger but I hope to cut down on air borne type viruses, bacteria along with allergens and smoke in the house.

 

 

Help support ModernSurvivalOnline when shopping online

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If you enjoy this website and would like to support it – it is very simple and easy: Often articles will have links pointing to products over at Amazon.com. If you click on any of these links and make a purchase – any purchase – ModernSurvivalOnline will receive a small percentage of the sale.

This purchase costs absolutely no more – zero – zilch – nada – than if you went to Amazon directly rather than entering via MSO.

Amazon has excellent selection, prices, and customer service.  I order from Amazon at least monthly and purchase things like CR123 batteries, books, knives, firearm accessories, and even vacuum cleaner bags.

So – if you are buying stuff online this Holiday season and you plan to visit Amazon – I would appreciate it if you would click on an Amazon.com link here first and help support our efforts.

 I will post up a reminder in a couple weeks. Thanks!!

Rourke

 

 

Cutting up wood for the fireplace. Shopping some good and some bad

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It has not been all that cold yet, but both Mom and I like using the “mill ends”/box wood for a hot, fast fire that takes the chill off in the house. I filled up the porch small wood rick/wood pile with a mix of the old and new wood. I cut down a few older chunks of wood that were a bit large for the wood stove using the electric chain saw. I replaced the old circular saw blade on the Black and Decker circular saw and it work darn good on the “mill ends” filling up the 18 gallon buckets of wood.  Your saw should cut wood without a lot of pressure applied.  If you are forcing the cut it is time to buy a new blade or sharpen the blade. I filled 2 of the 18 gallon buckets, but I’m feeling the extra effort using the circular saw compared to a table saw.

I used the electric chain saw to cut down a few over sized chunks of wood.  I filled the little wood rick/ holder to the top and then some as well as two 18 gallon buckets of cut mill ends. Mom makes the fire first in the morning.  I tend to top off the fire at night if needed. But I need to find the “sweet spot” on burning wood.

Dad gave me a great Hobart table saw from his Dad.  It is great, but I’m having a   heck of a time finding any info, about proper blade  replacement. I can’t find a model number because of age. The blade is a circular 8 1/4 inch blade but the arbor is well above the  standard5/8ths arbor. My guesstimate on the arbor is in the 3/4 or 7/8″ range.  I know it might seem another “duh” moment but a sharp blade/chainsaw is something you need on hand to make quick work of your cutting jobs.  I really want to get a good miter/table saw for cutting the box wood quickly and for my future wood building projects.

I stopped by the local Ross store to see what they have and I was a bit surprised by how they have expanded from just clothing.  I picked up a set of those little doggie steps ($10.00) that help older dogs get up on beds or a couch as they get older and less mobile. I did not find the flat sheets I wanted, but Ross did have some nice sheet and blanket sets for a good price.  I found a couple of the larger jute/rubber door mats I  I got a jute/rubber mat for the backdoor and a rubber sort of an open mesh mat that I placed over the sand area in front of the chicken gate so the area drains. Each mat cost about $7.00, which is a pretty good price. Getting the door mats should give us a place to get rid of most the leaves,  dirt and other unpleasant items without having to “deface” some of my big decorative rocks by the back door. I don’t have pics but I think one of the bigger rocks shuddered with revulsion when we used it to scrape our boots.

The $4.99 can of coffee at Fred Meyer’s was a bust as they have shrunk the cans again, this time down to 24 oz. I’m so peeved by this nonsense, as a big can of coffee used to be a full 36 oz.  I had a feeling that last month’s sale of coffee was a setup/clear out of old cans to introduce “a new and improved” smaller can of coffee.   I understand grocery stores operate with razor thin margins but this sort of pricing irks me and it feeds into the US government paradigm that there is no inflation because a can a coffee only costs $4.99 yet that can of coffee is less than 2 pounds now compared to 2.5-3 pounds back 2-4 years ago.  Yes, I am that anal-retentive that I notice how all the packaging has shrunk, then we get a “sale price” on the new and improved item and in about the month the price will hike again to the “new” normal price.

I’m starting to get ahead of the power curve on the house payment and having a bit of cash on hand. Mom has been great for motivation on saving money for the “emergency fund.  I’m buying  $10.00 rolls of 50 cent  coins as my cash savings and hoping for a silver coin year of 40-90% silver.  So far no luck on silver but saving the coins is helping me to save cash for the future.

Great news Smokey the cat is coming  out more and Tucker the peke is starting to follow verbal commands. It’s not perfect yet but things are getting better via the pets behaving.

 

Big score at the thrift shop and shopping this week’s ads

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The local thrift store did not have any sheets, but I finally bought a Romertopf, terracotta casserole dish/cooker.  The Romertopf is a an unglazed terracotta cooker that sort of recreates cooking foods wrapped in clay and tossed on hot coals of a fire. It is a slow cooker that works in an oven. What is great about using a romertopf is most meals require very little oil or water to make a dish and a make and forget sort of meal that can cook slowly in an oven.  You have to heat the terracotta slowly but the energy use should be very low for the pot.

I got a Magic Chef  dehydrator and need to get busy on drying the tomatoes and other veggies.  Mom did not have much luck dehydrating tomatoes.  With the new “Magic Chef” fan driven dehydrators, drying  the harvest should work faster/ better for storage.  I am learning and sometimes that includes wasted food as I learn.  Since I grew the plants,  I don’t have a big problem with it getting “wasted” and chucked in the trash/ compost bin if I screw up on preserving it. I screw up a lot and that is how I learn.

Albertsons has some great buys this week.  I picked up some shrimp, two pound bag for $10.00 and I had a coupon for butter $1.88 per pound with a limit of 2 pounds per coupon.  I have to make a few more trips to Albertsons to stock up on butter at this price. I’m not sure of why, but wholesale butter prices are starting to spike up.  Last week,  zerohedge.com reported that butter “futures” were up to $3.10 per pound. I think that butter is a great prep item to stock up. You can freeze it, bottle/can it for longer storage. Butter is natural fat plus a little bit of butter adds a lot of flavor to meals or bake goods.  Albertsons now has the tall bic lighters 5 for $5.00. I love bic lighters and from what I have read from  Selco (Survivor of the 1993 Bosnian war) and ferfal (surviving the economic collapse in Argentina) good lighters tend to be a great barter item.  I want to stock up on the lighters just for my own use and have plenty of extras for possible barter.

My sister loaned me a super sized tarp to cover the wood pile this winter. The tarp covers the wood pile area and will give me time to buy all the materials to replace the roof properly for a long term fix. I complain about how the roof was installed but it did an okay job protecting the area from rain for almost 10 years. Once I get the new roof installed it should last for another 15-20 years.  I am looking at adding a rain gutter system to keep the water run off out of my neighbor’s yard and should  re direct water part of my alley garden I have been working on this year. I ordered one more cord of wood to be delivered next week since I’m not sure how much I will use of this new wood if the winter gets cold.   Worse thing that could happen, is I have enough wood for a cold winter. Best outcome is I have a nice stock of seasoned wood for next winter. One of the things I did not think about heating with my wood stove is how much stacked wood I need to have on hand for a cold winter because I went cheap to start with the mill ends, augmented that with buying a quarter cord “box” of fruit wood and last year my aunt gave me free elm wood that Dad cut and split but I got a literal wood pile and I did not make a good stack of wood to estimate my usage over the winter months.

I got Mom’s laptop loaded with a nice bit of anti-virus software from Comodo , updated her  email contact list and updated to Service pack 1 finally on both laptops without a glitch.  So far, I really like Windows 7 OS as it seems to work well with my old Office 2003 install. Plus the desktop is not all that different compared to Windows XP. As far as I know I can’t create my own restore point in  Windows 7 like I did in Win XP. But the Win 7 software seems to create restore points that are solid. After using the laptops for a couple of weeks I would recommend both as good buys as a laptop for prepping/survival as well as a basic PC for most people.

 

Wood delivered today!! Huzzah

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I am so glad that I got the wood area cleaned up last week!  Off loading the wood and getting it stacked only took about 2 and half hours with Mom and I working.  A huge bonus, I did a lot better job stacking the wood correctly this year. Last year Dad chucked in the wood and I had to burn, then  I stack the wood as space became available. I might order another cord of wood to finish filling up the wood area since I’m not sure how this wood will burn in my fireplace.  I have never started a winter with a neatly stacked wood pile so I’m not sure how much “neatly stacked” wood I will burn over the winter.   Over all Mom and I have done most of the winter prep, though we need to caulk the windows in October and will put up plastic to seal the windows and then all winter prep will be done.

I did not have much of a “last minute shopping list” for the Government  budget shutdown as I stocked up last week via sales.  I added a few items to this week’s shopping list as I had the cash on hand and a bit more motivation to stock up on some trade goods.  I had to ration myself as I have sister on EBT and she might need a “care package” if the government shuts down. Luckily I have several types/ levels of care packages on hand. I think the PTBs will pass a CR or Continuing Resolution and we can face this again in December. Just so we know how much we need those “Congress critters” and government workers.

I don’t suggest anyone panic, as I see the point of prepping is to avoid any panic. If you prep you should be ready for not shopping for at least a couple of weeks or more.  You have nearly a week to add a few last minute items if the government shuts down and EBT cards are  not refilled October 1st.  An event that probably won’t happen in October, but some day soon I think if “SHTF”  happens and you should be ready to stay home and to protect you and yours.  I got a couple of bottle of booze today at the liquor store and I had no idea about prices, because I seldom buy liquor.  I got couple of a pints/fifths and saw the prices for stocking up on booze. Whining about the price of stuff is not helpful. Get the stuff stored and then complain about the cost of stuff!

What I recommend is you keep stacking and learning new skills as many of my readers have already built a good stockpile of the basics , before I got a clue about prepping.  If you are prone to panic, stash away any credit cards and go to cash or stack more PMs (Precious Metals).  Have cash/emergency fund on hand to pay the bills for 1-3 months at a min. Get into a local bank or Credit union for any “direct deposit”  money and keep cash on hand for any small bills or basic shopping.

I think you should protect yourself buying goods with no counter-party risk.  You will always need food, water, energy and security.  Get out of all debt other than your mortgage if you have low interest rate first and do not take an interest only ARM/ HELOC.  All credit/debt must evaluated critically if it is the right move for you.  Debt can make slaves of us all, but you can use a bit of debt to improve your economic position. By used cars for cash, don’t pay interest on credit cards and pay all bills monthly.

I bought two refurb. laptops on credit and it is so tempting to get stuff now and pay later but I can’t call the economy in 2 weeks little lone in 2 months.  I’ll pay off  debt as quickly as possible (October) and if the stars align I’ll buy a bit more on “credit if I don’t pay interest.

Overall we have a great setup going into winter.

Warning !! Food stamps may not get paid Oct. 1st if the government shutsdown

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A government shutdown Oct. 1 could immediately suspend or delay food stamp payments to some of the 46 million Americans who receive the food aid.

The Agriculture Department said Tuesday that it will stop providing benefits at the beginning of October if Congress does not pass legislation to keep government agencies open.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CONGRESS_BUDGET_FOOD_STAMPS?SITE=DMN&SECTION=HOME

We had a trial run of this October of 2013 What did you do during the great ebt blackout . People were very upset and a lot of food got wasted as shopping carts full of food were abandoned and people just left the stores.

I will be finishing up my shopping and getting my gas in the next couple of days. But I’m not taking any other special precautions at this time. If the government shuts down I’ll probably just stay home and see how things work out.

 

Busy weekend organizing stuff and deliveries of rock, wood and shopping

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I was very surprised to get another load of rock delivered via good neighbor N.  The good neighbors are moving and made the “rock” offer before they got a such a quick offer to buy their house. Mom’s parking area is completely covered in rock and should make getting around this winter easier and safer with her bad knee.  We put down a thick layer of the rock. Hopefully between the rock, wood ash and the  homemade vinegar weed killer, the weeds  in the alley will finally die off!   I made a lot of progress on the alley way garden this year.  I want to add more plants that do well in poor soil, love lots of sun and are drought tolerant. I have seen sunflowers do well in the alley so I might add a few plants as a border and next year add a bit of shade for plant that need a bit less sun.

I got a lot of the wood area cleanup done. I pulled down the make shift plastic and got a good look at the construction of the roof.  It is worse than I thought and needs to be torn down and completely rebuilt. I will need to get a few more treated 4×4 posts and  a couple of 2x6s to frame the roof correctly. I’m not sure I will get all of the work done this fall so I will cover the wood with tarps a quick fix and start buying up more lumber as I can afford it. While things are not quite the way I planned, I don’t mind doing some quick fixes until I can afford to put up a proper roof. Plus once the roof is built I will have extra tarps, which are great to have on hand for quick repairs due to storm damage and making shelter from the elements.

The $100.00 cord of wood arrived this weekend.  Well it wasn’t a cord of wood nor was it regular firewood, it was all mill ends and I already have plenty of mill ends on hand. I had a bad feeling about ordering this wood as it seemed to good to be true. I did not take delivery, though I felt a little bad that the guy did all that work for no pay off. Perhaps they will be more forth coming on what the wood is and how much the they are really giving people for the money.

Albertson’s had a great sale on Quilted Northern toilet paper, Brawny paper towels and MJB coffee for $4.99 each. 12 packs of the toilet paper, 8 packs of paper towels and the 26 oz. can of coffee.  The “catch” is you had to buy at least 6 on sale items total to get that price  though you could mix it up buying 3 of one item and 3 of another.  While I don’t mind buying store brands but, many have gotten very cheap as far as quality. Getting a good name brand product I like is worth spending the money when it goes on sale as you tend to get a “good bang for your buck” it seems you use less product for the same results.

One of the things I love about preparing is once you get your basics stockpiled you can shop only the sales/loss leaders and you save a lot of money! I just spent about $75 dollars at Albertsons and all I got was 72 rolls of good quality toilet paper, 18 rolls of great paper towels plus increased my stock pile of coffee.  I don’t feel the need to grocery shop weekly as I’m good on my other food/ household items though Cash & Carry had chicken quarters for .39 cents a pound if you buy 40 pounds. The chicken is packed in 10 pound bags so you don’t have to store the whole boxed case if you have a small freezer. I have plenty of chicken on hand now!

I can’t speak for all preppers but for me, what I consider a six month supply on hand for any item means I should start looking for sales. A three month supply of an item means I need to shop and build up my supply even if the items I want are not on sale but can be had for a good price. I’m doing all of my prep on a fixed income so I have to work sales.

Tagged: cord of wood