Puttering in the house.

I got a little bit of clean up done in the house yesterday. The carpets have been hard to keep clean what with the dirt from the trench and wet weather.  Since it dried out a bit the carpets stayed fairly clean for a day. The weather is supposed to be dry for the next couple of days if I’m lucky I may make it till Thursday before I have to vacuum again. With the weather being nice I should get another bunch of the grape vines cleaned up. I’d like to finish cleaning up the area that I use to stack the apple wood. It still has a few items leftover from other projects and I want to use it for stacking more of the hardwood pile for next season.

Speaking of energy, I looked at my projected electric bill for March. I think I need to take back what I said about the water heater being a big energy hog.  It is a hog but not nearly as bad as I thought. Actually the Dish Sat. box seemed to draw a lot of power (heat) and I haven’t been watching as much TV lately, so the forecasted bill is looking about the same as February’s bill. All of those gadget that we use in our so called “modern life” add a lot to the electric bill. The electric bill will go up some this summer but using the small window air conditioner from last year the bill should be a lot lower compared to using the Central A/C unit. This summer I hope to use the solar generator to power some items to reduce electric costs.

I got a few good buys today that were not meat related.  Family Dollar has the Maxwell House Wake Up Blend $4.99 for a 30 oz. can.With the drought in Brazil and other civil unrest in Latin America if you drink coffee you need to stock up while the prices are low. Roasted coffee does not have a long shelf life compared to some other dry goods but I have used coffee from the pantry that was almost 2 years old and it still tasted good. My pantry area is just about optimal for storage so your coffee may not last that long, but even 6-12 months of coffee could really help out the food budget.  Family Dollar has the big 56 oz. bottle of Dawn dish soap for $3.75. Dawn is a great multi-tasker from doing dishes to treating grease stains on clothes or using it in a spray bottle for insect control on your roses or tomato plants. I will pay extra to get Dawn but it is nice to get a great price.

Only a small order for Amazon but I found a great price on the connectors for the solar panels and I want to check out the smaller Baofeng SW radio that is on sale for about $20.00. The radio does not have quite the range and freqs available to the Baofeng 5 series but I think they would make a good radio for neighborhood communications if the SHTF.  It’s hard to find a descent GRMS radio for that price and the little Baofeng can listen to SW 2 meter for info.  It seems like a lot of the prepping and survival websites are starting to focus on Ham radios lately. I think that  many have got a good handle on the basics on hand and realize just how dependent we are on the main stream media or government for information. With the talk of cell phone and internet kill switches the government wants to put in place people want a backup information and communication source that can’t be blocked so easily. Also these radios would be a handy means of communication in a natural disaster.

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