Weekend ramblings and random thoughts.

We got a bit of snow, melting as it hits the roads and sidewalks. But it sure feels good to have all my winter preps in place and I don’t have to buy anything.  I drained the Rain barrels to about 2/3-3/4 full so if a freeze comes the barrels won’t burst or break. I need to do more yard cleanup but all the major items are put to bed for the winter.  Smokey the Cat is most displeased about the snow but Diana the peke is having a great time.The pekes decided it really is winter and are shedding with a vengeance. So I got some brushing and combing done and trimed a few mats they picked up. I tried out the dollar store pet wipes as well and I think they are a great addition to your pet preps.  Not the same as a bath but they are much better than I expected for cleaning without water.  I try to stay low cost for everything but if you have animals you need to prepare them just like you would any family member. That includes stored food, water, collars, leashes, medicine/first and all the brushes combs and stuff to keep them happy.

I was a good girl and got the anti-freeze added, though I do need to get more oil for the car.  Tires are working great and I’m trying Six Bears Diesel additive and see if that will turn off the check engine light on the Kia. More fuel and stuff to add but I’m feeling positive that couple more checks will let me get the fuel I need to top off the RV and for my backup propane heaters.  I just used up the last of my gallon jug of oil so I need a couple of gallons on hand to get ready for maintenance of all engine types and add in some basic parts like spark plugs, filters and belts to get the vehicles prepped.  The little portable propane water heater just went on sale at Sportsmansguide.com for $85.00 so I know what I’m getting me for Xmas.  I found a couple of businesses that want to get rid of pallets so I should be able to collect enough for all of my projects for free.  I prefer to avoid any fireballs or any blowing myself up!  So  I will be taking the extra steps to avoid that nastiness.  The house has 2 brand new smoke detectors and I will add a carbon monoxide detector when I find a good one that works on AC/battery power.

I took my sister shopping because she just had a knee replacement and isn’t allowed to drive.   Well she got to see just how well my Mini van works for that job. She has always kind of poo-pooed a mini van as a “Mom/Grandma vehicle” but she seemed impressed how easy it was to load and how much space it had available.  The Kia isn’t the sexiest car on the road but I would not trade her for any other car.  If I have to use a wheel chair in the future the Kia will need only minimal modifications via the VA.  I hate wasting money and some folks using VA need all the help they can get, if I lower my cost and buy what I can that will leave more money for others that need more help.

Look at all you have done! heck if you just followed the $125. 00 shopping list you probably have a few months of food depending on family size. A little bit of water, sanitation, first aid and backups for heating, cooking and cooling.  Celebrate how far you have come and how much you have learned.  We all have more work we want to get done, but if you have done the work celebrate it!  Enjoy the holidays and give yourself a cookie.  I’ve been darn lucky as no big disasters but some of my commenters have been tested for real and they are all still standing.

Buckle up,  Buttercup cause it’s about to get interesting.

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4 Responses to Weekend ramblings and random thoughts.

  1. riverrider says:

    hey j, great job. any ideas on how to keep the water barrels from freezing? i could heat tape the faucet but it requires electricity, which will be off when i need the water in the first place. thought about moving the 550 gal tank into a little room i built for the genny, but you know, water and electricity don’t get along. plus, it would preclude detailed cleaning of the tank. last year i wrapped the tank w/ foam that goes on under house siding, but it still froze. i’m putting in a hand pump, maybe the middle will stay liquid, if i can keep the pump from freezing….just thinking out loud here, but what if i drain the tanks until a storm is coming, then let the storm fill them up? it would take a while for the water to freeze that way, meanwhile i fill up all my 5g cans and set them by the wood stove? anywho, great job again on the posts. take care.

    • Jamie says:

      river, I just have 50 gallon rain barrels and my drinking water is in the basement so I don’t worry about freezing. You might check out Modernday Redneck’s blog. He has done several Solar projects from an outdoor Bathhouse to a Beercan Solar collector. You might check out your local fam store for those heaters that go into Animal stock tanks.

      Added: river I have read about people building a box around the tanks of straw and/or sawdust. On the web I saw a stock tank water heater based on 12-24 volts and draws 600 watts. If you can keep the water moving via a small solar power pump that might keep it from freezing (that’s how the old water towers worked). Compost piles can generate heat up to 120-160 degrees if you can move the heat to your tank or you might consider a Greenhouse just for the tank to keep it somewhat warm via the sun in winter. I don’t know what your winter temps look to hit but 20 below zero is not all that strange where I’m at and we hit 0 degrees F. regularly in winter.
      I’m trying to store the water via a modified Icehouse and see how long it lasts into the spring and summer for smaller barrels.

  2. Craig Cavanaugh says:

    It is nice to step back and see that you are well prepared. On a side note, I was surprised to hear the instructor at trucking company orientation recommend we all put together a “survival bag” to keep in our trucks, with food, water, extra clothing, and “additional items” which he was not allowed to mention 🙂

    • Jamie says:

      Craig, My Dad sometimes drive Semis for extra cash and I gave him my Arctic weight sleeping bag just in case it cold and he could not run the truck for stay warm. I have seen it get so cold around here that diesel fuel gelled in the tank and stops that semi in it’s tracks. He said he didn’t need the bag , but I told him the bag was to make me feel better and not about him!

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