Ham radios and stocking up some more stuff

Went to the local ham radio club meeting. While I was a little lost on some of the jargon it looks like good group and they do a lot of volunteer work. I think that says good things about them as a group. Dad seem to enjoy the meeting and gave me a hard time about getting him the info for the test and stuff.  I wasn’t sure if he was really interested or just sort of humoring me but he seems kind of excited about doing the Ham stuff.  Dad has a VHF base station for the Coast Guard Axillary so it probably wouldn’t take much for him to get going with the Ham radios. Mom said she had a good time and started remembering some of the radio training from the Coast Gaurd Aux.

Stopped by Albertson’s to get the chicken and the pork country ribs. The store had some nice looking pork steaks for $1.28 a pound so I got a big package each of the ribs and steaks.  Mom wanted one of the 10 pound packages of Chicken quarters I got for under $8.00 so I’m glad I picked up two bags.  If you have someone to split food with when you do your bulk shopping you get the savings, plus not have to store quite as much if space is limited.  Been a bit frustrating gathering the ingredients for the Kimchee. I could have sworn at least on of the stores I shop at regularly had Diakon radishes. No such luck, though I did get a great buy on some garlic.  I’ll swing by the Asian grocery store and see if they have some diakons.  I talked to the produce manager at Paul’s and she said she would add diakons to her produce order.

Paul’s Market had some of the big half gallon canning  jars so I picked up a case of them.  I figured since I want to do some sauerkraut and kimchee I should get a few extras jars for giggles. Plus I like using these jars for dry storage of staples. If you have the jar attachment on your vacuum sealer you can store your dry goods long term and I think they just look nice full of beans, rice and pasta. I have a several boxes of the regular canning lids but I have been adding the Tattler reusable lids since the local farm store and True value hardware store are now carrying them.  There is an Antique sale happening this weekend at the mall and I’d love to pick up an old fashioned crock for fermenting the veggies but they tend to be a little expensive for me. So the big canning jars are the cheap way to go for right now.

The budget is looking pretty good for paying back the cost of the water main, getting money saved as well as the greenhouse I want to purchase in March. Friday, Dad and I will add a load of the apple wood to the wood pile and the next couple of paychecks I can stack a bit more hardwood for the next season.  I wanted to buy a bit of silver but I think it’s best to purchase silver with excess funds and right now I don’t have excess.  Priorities are getting the basics, an emergency fund and paying down debt.  The news isn’t good financially but I think doing those three things is where you have to start. As things change then you adapt.

A big thing about preparing/self reliance is you can always learn all kinds of different skills. Working the brain learning new stuff makes your brain work better, just like exercise makes the muscles work better.  So far I have learned to have confidence that I can hire a contractor and get bids as I think I did pretty good with the wood stove installation. Working on an alternate means of communication, trying out some new recipes for storing veggies and adding some wood for the next winter. Add few jars of canned meats and things are going okay if just a bit different than I had planned back in January.

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13 Responses to Ham radios and stocking up some more stuff

  1. Matt says:

    hey I’m pulling for you on you getting your your ham radio permit. you’ll find that most of these folks are some of the most helpful around.

    • Jamie says:

      Matt I think you are right. I got a very good vibe from the meeting and I very excited to add the Ham Lic. to my set of skills.
      I think it is easy to get a mindset that are either sheep/evil and on average about 80% of all the people are okay about 10% assholes and 10% absolute psychopaths of one bent or another. Just look at some of the morons that think they will turn “raider’ and assume that preppers will keep all goods in an easily transportable, sufficient stockpile and they will have fuel to carry off these raids. Perhaps these wanabees think they will be more ruthless than your average person. But I think someone well prepared will teach them the error of their thought process.

  2. Rob In His Bunker says:

    The problem I have with my supplies is that my family gets into them for baking. It looks like I will have to double my efforts. The old need one buy two. I may have to need 2 by four to get ahead.
    I have been keeping used jars for storage use, again the family gets into them or old grease. We have a shed I guess I need to put a heavy lock on it and turn it into my storage area.

    • Jamie says:

      Rob, It’s not all bad as the family are actually using what you store. You might look at buying whole grains and dried beans that take a little more effort and time to cook if you are building a stockpile. But, I’m a firm believer on eating what you store and storing what you want to eat!

      There is nothing wrong with doing some simple and easy meals unless you cook “only” the simple and easy stuff and don’t learn how to cook the stuff that takes time and effort.

  3. Stephen says:

    You’ve made excellent progress, Jamie. Stay the course. I have a ham set, still in the box, virgin. Shame on me. All the guys in my group push in that direction but I’m the lone holdout. I figure if the poop blows who gives a good flip if I have a license or not.

    • Jamie says:

      Stephen, I sort of agree but I need to know how things work with the Ham operators so I can communicate instead of being lost listening to broadcasts or stomping on the nets. I’m buying up some extra small radios and if the SHTF before I get everyone up to speed, I’ll deal with it. But Hams have invested a lot of time and money and unless it is a SHTF event I think everyone should get some basic knowledge on radio procedure.

      I was Signal in the US Army and I dealt with people afraid to say anything on a radio net and others that treated the net like a talk radio host and would never shut up.

  4. LeeAnn says:

    I have several of the old fashioned crocks but they are too heavy for me to manage. A food grade plastic bucket is much easier to lift and works good in place of a crock.

    • Jamie says:

      LeeAnn Good idea. I love the look of the large crocks but if it’s just sitting in the basement there isn’t much point, especially if it is to heavy to move. I think the 1/2 gallon jars will work starting and trying out recipes.

  5. S.Lynn says:

    Oh, darn. I won’t be up there until last weekend of March. Would have loved to go to the antique sale.

  6. We’ve got Pilgrim’s Pride here and they have a bulk/discount area at their processing plant with great deals. You have anything like that up your way that might sell to the public?

  7. Jamie says:

    rat, The closest thing would be the Mormon cannery about 25 miles away. Simplot’s has some good sales on bulk stuff but it is mostly frozen goods.

    I am doing really good with these sales but I think I am getting the last of the cheap stuff that is in the supply chain.

    Idaho got enough moisture that farmers and ranchers will get the water they need for the season without rationing. So local food production looks good so far.

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