May 18, 2013
This should be the week when all of the refi and boat selling is done. While I had not anticipated either thing happening about a month ago I really hate waiting for the last little bits to get done. I want to finalize my new monthly budget, and I think I have mentally spent any excess monies about 42 different times in anticipation of the little windfall coming my way. I have learned the hard way until I get paperwork or money in hand, never count on it. One major screw up on the monthly budget seems to take about 3 months to fix and it’s just not worth the stress.
I do have a few little purchases I want to make besides the stuff for the wood stove. I have been adding solar lights around the house to replace some of the older out side lights. Amazon has a couple of motion detector solar lights that should work as a porch light up front and a good light for the backyard that covers from the shop to the house. With the improvements in solar lights in the last few years I see no reason to pay the electric company monthly for any new lights I want to install. Amazon has a small GRMS radio base station for a great price. I am the most centrally located and probably the best prepared of all of my family and this would give us another form of communication not dependent on any company or infrastructure. With the little base station we should have plenty of redundant commo for everything outside of an EMP or Carrington type solar flare!
For my Beer making I want to get a grain crusher. Grains for beer need to be crushed to release all those sugars not ground like flour. Plus grinding 4-5 pounds of flour with a small grinder is a lot of work and not fun. Most of these crushers are setup to use a hand crank or a drill to make fast work of a lot grain.
I also want to get started on my third barrel of my seven year food plan that will hold my Rice. Between the buckets on hand and the 55 gallon drum, seven years of rice should be one of the fastest and easiest to reach that goal. As I read the Bible I am starting to understand there is very little that is not applicable to life. The seven years of famine, drought, disasters of all sorts can happen to us at any time and is not just an arbitrary number to tell a story. Many cycles in nature happen in seven year patterns and having that much food on hand gives you time for options to adapt, move or wait it out. You can survive on the food and remain healthy but you will probably want a bit more variety over that many years so you will have to do something to make your life better!
I’m not getting all that much money and I know the average tax return for most people will be about 3 times as much and that they count on that every year for stuff. That couple of grand you get back can go a long way on making sure you have food to eat, water to drink as well as improve your security and shelter! Better to be years early than 1 minute to late on preparing.
May 15, 2013
I haven’t seen a prices like this in many years and you know I shop hard for bargains. Paul’s’ Market has sugar 25 pounds for $9.96 and Albertson’s has Pork chops for $.99 a pound. I’ll be spending just under $100.00 on this shopping list but I will be getting a huge amount of food:
- White Rice 50 pounds
- Steel cut oats 25 pounds
- Vinegar 4/1 gallon bottles
- Mozzarella shredded 5 pounds
- Eye of round Beef 5 pounds
- Sugar 25 pounds
- Pork chops 10 pounds
You can make a heck of a lot of different meals with just the meats, rice and cheese. Add in the oats for breakfast and baking you add variety to your pantry very quickly as well as eating healthy meals. The vinegar and sugar will be used for preserving and of course baking from scratch. With summer coming I have been wanting to try cooking oats overnight in both a crock pot and thermos so I can wake up, breakfast is done and the house is cool by keeping the use of the big stove to a min.
I picked up four, one oz. coins at the local coin shop and one American Silver Eagle at my pawn shop for a great price just a couple dollars over spot price. Physical silver at spot price is getting almost as hard to find as Ammo. I got another couple of boxes of ammo at $8.00 each for Sasha at the pawn shop. I don’t have as much ammo as I want, I’m slowly building up by buying at a good price. This method of waiting and buying only when I find a good price seems to be working out and I have read a couple of stories about people that panic bought with credit cards or their emergency stash and now it’s starting to bite them on the butt financially.
Called up the mortgage people on the refi and it looks like a go! All we are waiting is the payoff paper work on the old loan and we will finish in a couple of days. Once that is done I’ll change over my insurance for both the car and house for a total savings of $140.00 per month on those bills. That is going to be a huge help on getting my emergency fund finished up and get to work on the stuff for installing the wood stove. I’d love to have the wood stove finished up this summer when I can get off season prices as well as having it installed before fall arrives.
If you can stay calm and focused you can get yourself prepared without spending a lot of money. In this age of instant gratification most of us don’t have much practice at discipline financial or otherwise, but for me it has been worth the effort to get free of debt and working toward being self-reliant. As my refi proves you don’t need to get credit cards or take on debt to improve your credit rating even after you have screwed up your credit. I know every time I think about getting some high ticket item on credit and have to make a monthly payment I get a shiver down my back! Don’t compete with anyone but yourself and how you will make your life better for yourself and your family in the future. Remember you are not your car and you are not your house, but a divinely created creature made by God and for a purpose that you must find and fulfill.
Last but not least I made up a batch of my Amber Ale trying out a new hops called Bellma and using an English ale type yeast and I’m not sure what I’m doing but this batch is packing a punch of almost 8% potential alcohol which is high for beer. The yeast are very happy and I had to add a blow off tube to the fermenting bucket as the brew kept filling my little airlock. I tasted a bit of the wort and I think it will be a good tasting batch of beer. For kymber and jambolney
- 10 pounds of pale malt 2 Row
- 3/4 of a pound of 80L Crystal
- 1 pound of 40 L Crystal
- 1 oz. of Bellma Hops (pellets)
- 1 package of Safale #04 Dry yeast
I split all the grains and hop in half and use 2 five gallon stock pots with my Boil In A Bag (BIAB) method. I steep the grains at 154 degrees F. for 90 minutes and them boil the wort with the Bellma for 90 minutes. This will make 5-6 gallons of beer or 48-52 , 12 oz. bottles of beer. I found if I just barely boil the wort I get a better product and I don’t release as much steam in the house or lose much to evaporation. Get a couple of heavy duty cooling racks or a small grills to set on top of your pots to let the grain in your bags drain as much as possible. I find going with 2 pots and bags easier to do becuse of the weight of the soaked grains in the bags. Remember the biggest ingredient of your beer is the water you use so start with good tasting water!
May 12, 2013
Or some other nonsense that “I’m not like you” like I’m special for reading a recipe for baking bread. You know what you are right you are not like me. I figure out a way to get stuff done and you want a hero to save you like some idiotic Disney princess. You are right you are not like me as I’m 100% disabled and live on less than 20 grand a year. Or you get food stamps, energy or housing assistance and a free Obama phone.
No you are not like me! I think there is no harder job than raising a child into a good and descent human being. I did not think I would be good at that so I had no children. I didn’t see children as a punishment to spoil my selfish plans nor as a raise in my welfare benefits. I just didn’t think I would be a good parent and since I have not married I did not see a reason I should possibly hurt a child by not raising them in the absolutely best environment of a two parent family. My job in the military ask me to deploy for training, wars and other time away from home. Not to mention I was running herd on a bunch of 18-20 year children and trying to square them away and dealing with all that stuff of being out in the big world with no mom or dad and very few societal brakes.
I’m not mad at the preppers or survivalist that grace my blog from time to time. I’m angry at the people who some how think what we do is easy and they can roll up to your house with no skills, no food, guns and ammo and think you should take them in just because you did the hard work of going without to prepare and they didn’t. You did the hard work but they do not value that work. I think the cost of entry for folks showing up at your house, all preppers to charge should be two oz. of gold for each person or 60 oz. of silver per person. The next person that says they will just go to your house tell them there is a cover charge of two oz. of gold or 60 oz. of silver per person and see what they say? Ask for the silver or gold up front, and while I doubt few will pay you will know how they value survival. Perhaps they might prefer getting ready themselve rather than paying you!
May 9, 2013
If you are starting raised garden beds I would recommend you make them no more than 3-4 feet wide. My big bed is 8 foot x 8 foot and working that bed is a real pain. I got the big bed finished planting this bed has the cabbage/ Bok choy, three types of squash, water melon and cantaloupe and some cucumbers off in one corner. I still have a bit of room for adding one more big square of plants but I’m not sure what I want to add in that area. I added a little bit of leaf lettuce to one of the small bed and I still need to pick up a little oregano for the other small bed. But I think you can say I got the garden planted.
I have been looking for a new spot for my compost pile and I think I finally found a good spot in the back yard that will get some good morning sun but and is accessible to the yard without a lot of work. If I ever get to the point of raising chickens the compost pile will be close to the chicken pen and they will be able to scratch through the pile with just a small addition of fencing or a chicken tractor. I still need to pick up a few more soaker hoses but I can get those on the 15th and once I have those laid out I can start planting the beds in the front yard with decorative/edible plants. Looks like water is going to be cut by about 30% and the irrigation district is already talking about doing odd/even days of watering based on your address.
The books I got are cook books but a couple are fun as one is about tail gating/camping and has many ways of cooking via charcoal to using a thermos for making meals. I have a couple of cook books like this for camping and they offer a lot of great ideas for off the grid cooking. One book is how to use a food processor for all kinds of work. I had no idea you could use a food processor to knead bread. I don’t know about you but I don’t always take advantage of all of those things those kitchen gadgets can do to save time and physical energy. The last 3 books are cookbooks of Chinese food , Dog food for your pup and vegetables as meals. I have become one of those people that read cookbooks for fun as well as ideas for different meals.
C & C has some additional good deals on food so I’m adding in some shredded whole milk shredded Mozzarella cheese for the freezer, five pounds for $10.98. A case (4/1 gallon bottles) of distilled vinegar for $9.98 and some Eye of round beef for $2.44 per pound package size is about 5 pounds. That brings next weeks shopping list up to $63.00 before sales tax including the 50 pounds of rice and 25 pounds of steel cut oats. As you can see once you get your basics you can shop only bargains and have a little cash leftover. Spending $150.00 per month is a big shopping list for me as I usually stay under $100.00 for food. I don’t consider things like laundry soap, pet food, even TP or health and sanitation items as part of my grocery list. Those items are part of my budget but I shop for them separate from my food budget because of how sales hit and where I do my shopping at drug stores or a farm store or Big Lots. While I may buy a bag of charcoal or even a five gallon igloo water jug at C & C that is part of my prepping budget of energy or water storage not part my food budget.
Breaking things down on my budget works for example; I plan to spend $40.00 for energy per month but based on sales and need I can choose to get propane, charcoal or gasoline yet stay on budget overall. This gives me a lot of flexibility within my overall budget. We have all seen how things can change very fast depending if folks get in a panic over an item like rice in 2008 or ammo in 2013.
May 7, 2013
I got the two smaller beds planted. I’m trying very hard with my square foot garden to do companion planting. I think I missed the “special note” in the book that some plants don’t play well with others if they are planted to close together when I started out gardening a couple of years ago. I might have hurt a couple of my tomato plants when I grabbed them as they react very badly to the residue from tobacco on my hands. I used gloves when I planted the new plants and they look good. If you are a tobacco user you need to rinse your hands in a light bleach solution at home but if you are buying plants and handling them while you are out and about take a pair of surgical or plastic gloves with you or stash a few pairs in your car.
I’m excited to try out a couple of squash that are bush type of plants. Heck I did not know those types of squash plants even existed and they are perfect for a single person or couple to use in a square foot garden or container garden. I was surprised how long sqaush could be stored in my basement (not a proper root cellar) after a rinse of a mild bleach solution. I’m still working on the setup of the “Lasagna garden” and that should be good to go next spring for potatoes and a modified “3 sisters” garden idea I want to try out. I got the 2 smaller beds planted but I ran out of energy and we have some thunder bumpers moving in tonight so it was a good time to take a break.
Cash & Carry has a couple of good sales on rice 50 pounds for $16.75. Bob’s Red mill Oats Steel cut 25 pounds for $12.75. The media are starting to wake up to the fact that beef prices are going higher because of the drought in the Midwest last year and ranchers culling the herds. You can still find some good buys but you have to be patient, have a bit of mad money to take advantage of any dip in price and last but not least a way to preserve that meat. The price of feed was very hard on all producers and while I thought we should see the first hike in price in chicken and pork it seems to be hitting beef and turkey first this time. You still have time to stock up but you may have to hunt a bit harder for bargains, perhaps adjust your price points up a little higher or adjust your diet. Right now in the USA food is an incredible bargain as most Americans spend about 10-20 % on food (or get free food stamps) and in most places in the world it is 50-80% of their daily income is spent on food.
I piss and bitch and moan about rising costs of the stuff you need to live here in the good old USA because of the banksters and PTBs but even a poor person can afford to stock up and get prepared if they work a little bit on research and learn scratch cooking. Many people in the world can’t do that as the price or culture prevents it. This stuff is simple that does not mean it is easy. Don’t panic, be flexible to take advantage of sales and work your plan.
May 5, 2013
Driving around with Mom going to yard sales I made the statement that ” I have never felt more confident or more in control of my life than I do now.” That’s a very profound statement to make and it is very true for me. I have changed a lot in both political and mental outlook on life and while I do get worked up at times by the utter stupidity and ignorance, I usually come back down and ask what can I control and can I change it? The answer beyond my own reactions is that I can do nothing! I’m not talking about disegageing from life, but we have seen the PTBs really don’t care what we think. They have enough folks from the FSA to counter us or the simply change the rules mid game if they don’t like the outcome and they get away with it. I always felt if you can’t win there is no reason to play the game. So I quit! I got my ball and I’m going home.
The PTBs can’t handle it if you don’t play the game. Just like any bully they will call you names, spread lies about you and threaten you physically. They really have not evolved into adults and revert into childish attitudes and reactions when you don’t play the game. Sometimes I expect them to call someone a poo-poo- head. But the are much more vulgar than that and not nearly as creative with insults. I think that is why the anti-bully campaigns that they so love to show off, ring so false as they are the bullies but they refuse to see it in themselves. Watch the body language and not what they say or how they say it and then compare it to a 2 year old child or even a teenager when they are throwing a tantrum. Listen to how they phrase all of their arguments and what the boil down to is a bit like arguing with a child.
- Every body does it….
- That’s the past can’t we move on…
- I didn’t mean to hurt anyone…..
- I’m sorry if I offended you… (if you were smart like me you would be on my side)
- We should be able to do what feels good…. (I wonder if you are potty trained?)
- Everyone I know thinks…… (Both right and left are very guilty of this in the bubble thinking)
People are not interchangable cogs in the machine called life. For myself I am much happier and less stressed day to day since I got mostly out of debt. The things I buy now are things I buy with cash and I own them when I bring them home. I do have a little debt with my little revolving credit account at Les schwab but that’s me trying to look normal and stay off the radar of the PTBs. Same thing with the refi of the house as I don’t want to look to odd and if the PTBs want to let me save a bit of money to finish up my preps this year. Double down on physical silver and gold next year then double up on home payments in 2015 to pay off my home in 10 years I will do it.
I’d like you take a good hard look at yourself and at the PTBs and if you are still playing the game ask yourself why? Unless you enjoy the game I can’t see any reason to play.
May 4, 2013
One of the sales we stopped at had a fella with his Bug out trailer sort of displayed. It kind of looked like a junkyard special but that may have been the look he wanted. Not shy about calling it a bug out trailer and I think he is helping people setup their own or it is a business he is starting. Mom asked if he was selling a 5 gallon igloo jug strapped to the trailer and that’s when he said it was his bugout rig. I told him about Cash & Carry selling the igloo jugs for $23.00 and he said he’d been looking for a bargain like that for people.
Stop by another place more of a back storage area for a small business and they had some really neat books. Like commentaries on all the books of the old testament and a English/Hebrew bible. It was really cool when the owner started reading in Hebrew then translating the first verse of Genesis and explaining some of the nuances of the translation. I wish I could have afforded to buy the books, they would have been fascinating to study. I did pickup a nice little French press coffee maker, so now I have 2 percolators and 2 french press type coffee makers.
Nothing else to big but I got one of those pushup measuring cups for the RV and a real wind up alarm clock from the antique store. It turned out the antique store was much bigger inside than I thought, with several rooms just full of stuff , the prices were reasonable for most items plus layaway. There were several nice pieces of furniture at really good prices and I don’t mind spending some money for real wood furniture. Both Mom and I passed up some white gas heaters and stoves as both of us don’t like white gas and can never seem to get the pumping up, lighting them done correctly.
It was a little strange how many things we are now passing on. Either we have it already or it’s not worth it to us to pay the price people are asking as we have a work around in place. We may have spent $10.00 each for everything we got and we have a very specific job or place for each item. That’s a far cry from how we used to go yard selling even a couple of years ago. Having a shopping list and budget helps a lot to get the most bang for you buck.
I took it a little easy today but I feel pretty good overall. I setup the collapsible rain barrels on a pallet. Hopefully the legs will stand up a little better since they are no longer sinking in to wet dirt. It does not look like I’ll need a hose to connect them all together with this set up I can just move the decorative chain to each barrel. I will keep the hose for when I add more barrels to my setup. It might even work better as an ice box setup with all of the barrels closer together and less materials needed for building the insulating box.