The electric lawnmower arrived Friday and other stuff

I played around with the mower and cut about half of the back yard’s grass and weeds 😉   It was very nice not to fuss with gas, oil or priming the old mower not to mention tugging the cord many times to get it started.  Just push a button and engage the safety handle and away we go.  I love how easy it is to raise and lower the deck for cutting,  just one easy to move handle raises it up and down.  No more fussing with setting  each wheel  and those little handles were very difficult for me to move with my lack of strength.  I also screwed up my courage and used my small chain saw on a couple of limbs. I was kind of afraid with my lack of strength that I would not be able to control the saw, but it is so lightweight and small it was much easier to use than I thought it would be on the small limbs I cut.  I’m no lumberjack and I don’t for see me taking on any trees, but I can handle the little saw on smaller projects.

The neighbors are coming over Sunday to help with some backyard clean up.  With all of the hand and electric tools I have got over the last few months it sure makes all the work go faster and it is easier. I still have to remind myself that I have the cultivator and rototiller to get  jobs done.  I have always dreamed of having a small rototiller and I guess it does not seem quite real to me that I have one of my very own.  My little strawberry plants have put on the first berry and I’m just tickled pink about seeing that little flash of pale red.  It looks like we will have good weather and hopefully no more frosts  are on the schedule.  So this week I want to buy a few plants and get those berries growing and the Hops need to get into my little “beer garden” spot in the front yard. Last week I bought extra work gloves to have on for my minions. So I’m ready to get this garden and yard work done.

Stop by the beer lady to use her mill and get some hops and yeast for brewing up a little wheat beer next week.  I showed her my page of my beer recipes and she will be adding it to her all grain recipe page. I figure I owe her a little something for the use of her grain mill and it’s nice to help out a local shop owner. She has had a sample of my brewing and she really liked how they turned out. So this will give others a start on a German type Wheat beer and Dark ale and I will be adding a simple all-grain  Amber ale. Once you have those basic types you can change up the beers by using different hops or yeasts and make just about every beer type you can imagine.  It’s kind of like how you can do very different types of BBQ based on how you use spices and sauces once you get the low and slow method of cooking down.

I did find some ammo to buy, 7.62 x39 at $6.00 per 20 which is the pre- Newtown/confiscate your guns price. No,  I’m not sharing where till I add another $60.00 worth to my stash on Wed.  I’ll tell you, my jaw just about dropped when I saw a box of fifty .22 lr going for about $10.00 when you could get them for about $2.00-$2.50 per box.  The owner had his racks filled up once again even if the prices were a little high. He said some of the panic buying seem to be easing off though not completely back to normal.  I think we will start seeing more ammo and guns on the selves this summer simply because most people can’t sustain panic all that long or they have got what they need and can’t afford to buy more until the price starts coming down.  Just use this an example of panic buying and how people will react. You can adjust how you buy according to what you have on hand and your budget.

I will be adding another 15 pound propane tank on Wed. when I go get gas for the mini-van.  Not the cheapest way to buy propane but the smaller tanks give you a lot of flexibility for helping out friends and family as well as a barter item. The smaller tanks are a lot easier to handle if you have a disability. From all of the test I have done so far the best/cheapest way to go for an average person prepping would be propane for heat and cooking backup, Kerosene for lighting backup and then adding in solar for a little electricity for some lighting, TVs,  radios and recharging batteries.  A wood stove or oven is great if you already have one and can get a good stockpile of wood but wood stoves are not exactly cheap to install in a home. The stove itself is probably the cheapest item you will buy and installing it safely will be the highest cost item.  Don’t go cheap installing a wood stove of any kind, get the proper permits  and over engineer it for safety as burning your home down or getting carbon monoxide poisoning  is contraindicated for survival.  Take the time and spend the money to make sure the stove is installed correctly and is as safe as possible.

So far so good. I don’t  think we can afford to sit back and relax or just get by, but we do have more time to get those gardens in, shop a few yard sales and keep on stocking up at okay prices. Check out the beans, rice even Masa harina for Cinco de Mayo as well as the BBQ, patio or camping sales in May.  Get those gas cans filled before the Memorial day holiday and get Mom a nice gift for Mother’s day. Start thinking about those Xmas gifts and setting aside either money to buy them or time to make them.  Try to have about 75% of all your gift shopping done by July. Trust me it will make your holiday season a lot less stressful and can really boost your morale and mental state to know you are ready for the holidays.

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