Irrigation water works Huzzah! Taters are planted

April 15, 2014

Been a bit breezy here at Casa de Chaos, looks like some high clouds are moving in which will screw up watching the lunar eclipse tonight. Had to fire up the wood stove this morning as it was a brisk 36 degrees F. outside and about 64degrees inside. I need to move another load of wood to the porch just in case it gets cold again. I have seen in snow as late as the middle of May here in SW Idaho so I need to stop being lazy and get that done. One thing nice about the “mill ends” is a quick, hot fire that is just perfect for taking the chill off in the morning. The navy beans and ham hock turn out to be just perfect for a very “Blustery Day” though I did not get Sci-fi’s bread rolls done the Artisan bread worked just fine. I have some leftovers so I’ll try out Sci’s bread rolls Tuesday.

I have irrigation water! I was starting to get a little punchy with all the water issues and almost afraid to see if the irrigation water would work. I’m not very pleased with the plumber’s attention to detail as my backyard gate is badly out of alignment and nowhere close to being level. It was nice to be able to just run a hose and water the tater buckets after planting. Note to self, label the taters prior to drying as a all dried potatoes look a lot alike. Haven’t setup the green house yet, with all this wind I’m afraid it will act like a sail and while I doubt I’d get lifted off the ground the green house could head for the next county. I used some of the excess dirt from the water main diggings and tossed the dirt into a rolling garbage can and it all looks pretty good and not compacted. I need to get out the rototiller and breakup the soil to start building it up naturally. I got the big Strawberry buckets outside and while one of the bucket’s strawberries are looking very sad the 2 little strawberry plants I got from the neighbor look great and I can transplant them into the bucket. Mom has another raspberry or blackberry plant to give away and I can take it as I’m sure I have a bucket and enough good soil to give it a shot at survival. Not sure if the berries will produce this year but they should do great next year!

Smokey has a new collar and is no longer running around nekid. I can still smell the flea oil on her old collar and don’t want to take the chance of some sort of residual poison from the old collar. I’ll try a little alcohol and another soak in Dawn dish soap and see if it will come clean. I told the people where I bought the flea oil about it being poison and now it is up to them. Been watching the local shelter and they have some really great dogs coming in lately. Saw the pic of a black German Shepard mix female and some nice looking pit/terrier cross puppies that might be a good fit. I wouldn’t mind a pit pup or one that I know is good with other dogs and cats. Sorry to say to many of the stray pits are taught aggression or have not been taught any “social skills” . If I raised them I think they would be fine and some of the sweetest dogs I have met are pits. The local shelter has a couple of specials coming up this month so I think I could get a good bargain or perhaps even a “free dog” depending on what’s available and a good fit.

Over twenty four hours and no disasters!

April 12, 2014

I did get quite a few things done yesterday to include cleaning the bathroom Huzzah!   I’m a little sore but I did get a good night’s sleep as everyone here seemed okay.  Smokey’s collar had a bit of that oil leftover on it so she’s going nekid until I get the collar clean.  My aunt stopped by to pickup the used beer grains for her goats.  The beer grains are a great source of protein for the goats and we think we can store the grains a bit longer by letting them drain in some of the large burlap bags I have and then seal the grains in 2 gallon zip lock bags that have most of the air removed.  My aunt is such a sweet person and doesn’t want me to go to a lot of trouble but I am happy to do some work in order to use those grains as feed.  The goats should eat the feed fast enough that it shouldn’t need to be stored for a long time and develop any mold and that should stretch the regular feed out.

Speaking of my aunt’s goats she had something similar happen to her like I had with Smokey the cat but she used a Prymethrin based flea killer. She got the goats washed down to get that stuff off of them and they are okay now but it really shook her. I gave her one of the small 9 oz. bottles of dawn dish soap to keep out where the animals are kept and told her about the great price of Dawn at the Family Dollar stores for refills. My aunt didn’t want to take the soap but heck it was only a dollar and if it can save an animal’s life it is well worth it. Plus she is always giving us free plants, soap and all kinds of goodies! My aunt tells me that benedryl also works on goats that have an allergic reaction.

Told a couple of neighbors about not using the flea gel on pets as well as all the good stuff DE could do against insects. Oh and one of my neighbors is starting a great paying job but will be working lots of hours so she gave me 2 little strawberry plants as she won’t have much time for gardening this summer. I’m getting a few of the buckets ready for the potatoes but being sore I’m taking it easy today. I tested out using the Burlap for covering the opening of my rain barrels and it seems it will work as a screen to protect against mosquitoes and gunk going into the barrels.  One thing I really try to avoid is any stagnant water around the house that can turn into a insect breeding ground.  Like many things prevention is easier than the cure.

Cash & Carry is now has Coconut oil in a 5-6 gallon metal bucket for about $32.00.  Coconut oil does not go rancid very quickly, is shelf stable and is used in everything from cooking, lamps to soap making and personal care products like lotions or a carrier for essential oils.  I figure one of those buckets c0ntains about 35 pounds of oil/fat for food storage if you are using the pound method to measure you food storage. That would cover a family of four fat/oil needs at least 6 months for cooking for less than $35.00 that has to be one of the best buys I have seen and the oil is also a great multi-tasker.

I am doing okay on most of the 2014 goals though paying down debt got a bit more difficult with the water main. Another month and Les Schwab will be paid off and if there are no more disasters I should be able to get ahead on the bills again though it helped a lot getting me through April. If we get through April and early May without the PTBs doing something incredibly dumb like starting a war or crashing the market, we should be fairly safe until September historically speaking.

Back to work and hoping for no more Chaos

April 11, 2014

I didn’t sleep all that well last night. I was very worried about Smokey the cat. But she seems to be eating and drinking along with moving like herself today. Smokey didn’t lose any hair and it looks like I got the oil off quick enough that it didn’t damage her skin.   Things could be a lot worse and everybody survived this week more or less intact. Lately I feel like I’m the ball in the ping pong match and I’d really like this game to end.

Got started on the cleanup of the house with a little luck and no more water outages  I have a good shot at cleaning the bathtub. Got the floors vacumed, Saturday I’ll lay down a little DE on the carpet,  go putter in the garden and then vacume it up. I ‘ll get the pets outside and my mask on before sprinkling the DE.  I’m not taking any chances wth my pets.

Bought two more packages of bacon ends and pieces along with three pounds of butter. Any foods animal related are going higher and I have seen both pork and beef go up quite a lot in the last couple of weeks. Got to look at getting some pork bellies from Cash and Carry and try  making my own bacon. Found a new butcher shop in Caldwell and they are full sevice with sausage making and the prices are competitive for a full service butcher. The butcher seems to know his stuff and said there will be no Dungeness crabs from the Washington/Oregon coast as the season was canceled. What info he is getting is this is part of a normal 10 year cycle and not related to Fukishima. The butcher hadn’t heard anything about the Alaskan season yet.

Finally got the wheat beer bottled and it’s just about 3% alcohol. I got a higher reading on the Amber ale I’m brewing today.  The brewing went smoothly and I managed to keep the kitchen clean as well as getting all the dishes done. While I am a little tired it felt good to get back to brewing and getting the normal clean up done.  Getting my routine started again should help things feel a little more normal. I’d like to get an English porter going this weekend but the green house and garden beds are the priority on Saturday.

Stopped by Big Lots hoping they had some of Progresso meal starters I have wanted to test but no luck. I did find a dried cheese ravioli made with the basic ingrediants, real ricotta cheese and not a lot of chemicals. $2.00 per one pound package so it is a little on the high side compared to basic pasta and it was little on the bland side though adding a few dried herb during cooking should punch up the flavor a lot.  I’m going to stockup on a few of these bags as something a little different and still easy to cook.  I picked up one more of the folding tomato “trellis” and I think I could use these to support either plastic to make a modified green house or some of my light weight canvas tarps to protect from the heat.

The garden and cool weather plants have to get in the ground this weekend. Mama nature isn’t very impressed that I’m tired or have had a few water issues this month. It’s get those plants in the ground or pay the price.

Flea gel dangerous to pets!

April 11, 2014

These gels have active ingredients of peppermint oil, clove and lemon grass oil and can kill your pet. I used the Sergeant’s version but I see that Sentry also uses this formula. I tried this on Smokey the cat and she started terrible drooling and almost running into walls with in a minute of two.  I covered the oil with dawn dish soap and rinse her for quite awhile in the tub. She seems to have recovered completely and has even forgiven me about the bath, but I tell you it gave me quite a scare.

I had no idea that anything like this could happen and we were lucky I got that crap off her so quickly because many people are losing both  dogs and cats to these flea gels. I will use DE and get rid of these gels, and let every store know this stuff is dangerous to pets.

A sort of normal day

April 9, 2014

Went over to Mom’s place and gave her a block of instruction on moving .pdf files to her kindle.  This is one of the nicest features of the kindle especially if you have a bunch of .pdf files full of information you have collected of the web. I started with the Ham radio course for testing and Dad got a nice book from the Ham radio operators he knows from McCall that signed up with the Coast Guard Auxiliary.  The second book from the ham guys really goes into much more detail explaining how Ham works compared to the test study guide. Any way if you have a kindle and want to move files from your PC to the kindle it is a simple drag and drop operation. Once you plug the kindle into your PC it is recognized as another hard drive. On the kindle you will see a folder called Documents and you simply open the folder on your PC that contains the .pdf file and drag and drop it in the Document folder of the kindle.  I think this is a great way to store knowledge as a backup plus if you have to Bugout it is a lot easier to carry a kindle than a even a laptop or hard copy in your “survival book”.

I finally finished up the laundry I had started. I sort of forgot about the laundry as it got a little sideways here dealing with the water pipes.  I topped off of the 5 gallon camp jugs I used for the water outage and got them stashed back into the closet.  If you are using the larger barrels for water storage like I am, have a few 5 gallon camp jugs to move water. While the 5 gallon water jugs are not light weight they seem to be about right for most daily water needs. Running back and forth from your water supply with a gallon pitcher can get a bit tedious. In case of a disaster you don’t need that aggravation if you can avoid it. Plus I really prefer using the jugs with the spigots. When you get tired the spigots really help not splashing water all over the place.  I have been considering the use of a furniture dolly for the 15 gallon barrels to make the easier to move around. These dollies cost about $20.00 and I could put at least two of the 15 gallon barrels on one dolly. I think this would make moving the water a lot easier physically as well as more efficient. Have one extra dolly for moving 2-3 camp jugs of water or the igloo jugs of hot water from the wood stove to the bathroom or kitchen would save a lot of effort.  I have one of these dolly’s and a couple of 15 gallon barrels I want to fill from runoff of the wort chiller so this weekend will be a good time for a test.

I work very hard at finding ways to save physical energy. One reason is my disability and I simply don’t have the strength and more critically the stamina going without the modern convenience of electricity means to daily life. I over estimated how easy my first water test would be to accomplish and had to quit the test at day 3 of a 5 day test.  I did a lot better on the second 5 day test but I was wore out by day five.  I didn’t have a concept of just how much physical energy it would take to go without tap water and how doing it for many days straight would grind me down.  I doubt I’m all that special in that respect though I do think a non-disabled person would last more days before they needed to rest and recover. Some people may think I’m being lazy trying to make a disaster or emergency as easy as possible and to a certain extent they are correct.  Laziness does save calories and being efficient with your time and energy allows you to get more done.  If you want to spend 20-30 minutes rubbing sticks together for a fire that is on you. I’d prefer to use a lighter or a match and have a good fire in less than 5 minutes and get to work on something else that will need to be done.

I store up the basics ahead of time to give me the most precious of things TIME.  Time to think, plan and then move with a purpose. No panic and to minimize stress. I no longer have to worry about if I will have enough food, water, basic first aid, heat or cooling in the summer. Power goes out I have some basic solar and a plenty alternate lighting. I’m working on 2-3 months worth of getting by with some generators and a few other items as well as augmenting my food supply.  If you are freaking out, worried how you will provide the basics to you and your family. You won’t be effective helping them to survive.

Going to the dogs

April 9, 2014

I stopped by the shelter today and checked out a few dogs for “Casa de Chaos”.  They have some very nice looking dogs including a Shepard/Akita mix with a smooth coat almost like a boxer a couple of Shepard mixes the Chow border collie mix and one that is one of the herding dogs but looks like a miniature German Shepard.  I think I’ll take Diana down and maybe do a meet and greet with some of the animals and see how well they get along.  I really like the dog that looks like a mini shepard but the former owner said the dog was aggressive with other dogs, though I did not see that when the dog saw other dogs at the pound.  Then again I got Smokey the cat from the same shelter and she had been returned three times and I think she is the perfect cat. She doesn’t claw the furniture, but she isn’t a super affectionate type of cat. A leg to rub against and some ear and chin scratches and she is happy.  She patrols the house and yard hunting and will come when called though it took a bit of time to train her to her name.

It might be the person wasn’t very good with dogs or establishing themselves as the pack leader. I think I’m pretty good with dogs and have dealt with all types of breeds but I don’t want to be cocky and assume I can fix/train any dog.  I want a dog that fits in with the animals I already have and not introduce a lot of stress for myself or my pets.  I want a larger dog that is protective but not so large I can’t physically control him, so it’s a bit of a balancing act.  I think a male dog will do better with Diana rather than another female dog but it’s not a deal breaker if a female dog is a good fit.  Some good news though I dropped off a few cans of cat food, Doggie biscuits and the shelter will take the dog food I stored in buckets. Times are tough and the shelter hands out this pet food as sort of a food pantry for pets. People can stop by and get some pet food and that keeps pets with their families and out of the pound.

I got the cheap green house at Big Lot’s rather than hope the semi-rigid wall green house might show up at D & B. It’s not perfect but I can get some of the plants started that I want to grow. Dad stopped by and filled in some of the trench from the water issue along with dropping off the wood from the deck that is already cut to 4 foot for more raised beds. He cleaned up some of the grapes and trimmed a cherry tree so I have a bunch of kindling for next season.  It’s starting to warm up so the wood stove isn’t being used much now, but I want to get things ready for next winter to make using the wood stove a bit easier for me physically. I learned a lot this year on using the wood stove and while I planned ahead some things you just have learn and tweak by doing.

I have enough pallets on hand that I can setup a 3 zone compost bin and for the new raised beds I’m going to dig down a bit via the rototiller  and get rid of the grass and use some of the dirt from the yard as well as augment the soil with a bit of straw and sand  so I don’t have to buy so much dirt/bags of soil from the store.  I’m thinking that buying one of those planting augers that fit in a drill might make turning over the compost a bit easier and work with the new raised beds.  I don’t think I have enough land to raise all my own food but planting a garden will add a lot of fresh food as well as critical vitamins to extend my my long term storage foods.  Who knows?  Maybe going vertical and adding some more raised beds might do better than I think for a harvest.

I need to get the RV solar and my home’s  little solar generator setup to see if I can run a few electric items and the RV is my ultimate backup going for 12 volt energy. Set up the green house, plant the cool weather crops, add more raised beds, get the Ham radio test done, brew some beer. Wow April just got really busy!

I have water again

April 7, 2014

Just the irrigation water line cut to some old/unused sprinklers. Every thing was fixed in a couple of hours so no big loss though  I’m not sure how it will effect my water bill yet,  but all water is fixed at this point. I have to call the city water dept.  because the shut off valve at the meter is failing and not shutting the water completely off.  As tempting as it might be of telling the water dept. to shut off the water and just use the trikle of water, it would not be right.  Plus it is darn important to be able to shut off water in an emergency or disaster. If I had my own septic tank and didn’t use the city sewage system I might think about that option but if I use the sewage system I should pay for it.

It has been interesting seeing how I react now to a lack of  tap water disaster.  I know it will involve more physical work and time  but I almost treat lack of  tap water like a power outage.  Familiarity can breed confidence and not just contempt.  I have about 3  no tap water tests altogether and there has been a huge difference in the way I treated the first test in 2012 to this last test this week.  I already had one of my 5 gallon camp jugs set up in the bathroom, 2 dish washing tubs ready for dishes in the sink along with my 1/2 gallon pitcher to move heated/sanitized water from my stockpots to a thermos or insulated jug. I now have two  1/2 gallon pitchers, one has a green top for “potable water” and one with a yellow top for rinse or slightly used “gray water”.   I have a 3 gallon square bucket to use to flush the toilet with any leftover bath/rinse water. The square bucket works better for scooping out the used bath water compared to a round bucket.  If the sewage system goes down the little square bucket with lid  goes into use dealing with poo from the potty buckets.

I have set up my little Zodi propane camp shower with a couple of feet of food grade water tubing from the “Beer Lady” that can bypass the propane heater and pump hot water from a bucket,  insulated jug or stock pot via the battery powered pump. The little pump has a lot of potential though it only moves water at a rate of 4 gallons per minute.  Adding a few rechargeable Lithium ion batteries via a solar panel is something to add to the shopping list.  I need to add a couple of those solar camp showers to my water prep list.  While some people claim to love cold showers, I ain’t one of them and having the ability to clean up daily is an important part of staying healthy. The water that the sun heats daily might have to go for keeping your food prep areas clean but getting a warm/ hot shower every 3-7 days will help out your morale and  keep you healthy. It takes less energy to heat your water to the boiling point if you start out at 100 degrees F. rather than the ambient temp. of around 65-75 degrees in your house.

I have a few things to get done on Tuesday doing a little shopping for the green house perhaps add a couple of tomato plants and to get growing in the green house. Planting the taters and cold weather crops in the raised beds. Dad has some scrounged redwood decking and is going to cut up a bunch of 4 foot lengths for additional raised beds for me. Dad is also going to give me back a Black & Decker battery powered circular saw I gave him when I was a little less than confident in my tool handling skills. Dad seldom does jobs where he doesn’t have electric power available so I get the battery powered saw back.  I can’t convince him that the world is changing but I will have several battery/electric  powered saws I can share to get work done, so it’s all good.

I have to stop by the county court house to drop off the tax exemption paper work.  Tax paperwork is ready for the mail and I will stop by the animal shelter to check on a couple of potential new dogs for Casa de Chaos.  One that looks good is a chow border collie mix. Black and white just like my little peke Diana and I think might work as a slightly more intimidating guard dog than Diana.  A larger dog and the border collie part of his make up needs a job but I can get a little backpack type harness for him to carry some of the pet supplies for the other pets. Chows tend to be very protective of  territory and their humans and border collies of the critters in the herd so I think this might be a good fit. There is also a smaller German Sheppard/Akita mix that might be okay.

Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)  I don’t think I’m alone in feeling a little stressed. While I’m doing my best to prepare it can get a bit overwhelming at times.  What I get from this passage is though I do the work and I might die a bit earlier than I had planned. God has got this and while I’m not sure about the heaven/ new life on earth thingy I know God is in charge.

Matthew 5: 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 

We are not all that special as believers God want’s to save all he can. The parable of the prodigal son shows the mind of God.  But bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people.  God to me works in a macro and micro scale at the same time. I may die at anytime but God has got that covered and it’s supposed to be okay. God made the universe and sent certain things in motion to play out and all I need to do is play my part and use the life I was given freely to do what I need to do.  Guess what if you love God or are a Satanist or some other belief system when the rain falls we all get damp.

Arrrgh! Yes, the water main is leaking!

April 6, 2014

It just sort of figures.  I get started on my beer making again and topping off my water barrels and the water main is still  bad!  Dad came over and shut off the main at the alley and called the guys that did the work. The plumbers should be here Monday to fix this mess.

I recommend testing out your water preps but this is getting ridiculous. I’m becoming much more proficient at this no tap water thing than I really prefer in such a short time.  I hope that this will only take a day to fix and I won’t have to get out all of the water equipment for this event.  I’m not using any hot water and leaning the power applied, in hopes that I won’t have to start moving all the water by hand right away.  Of course I have a load of laundry just beginning the wash cycle and if water isn’t restored I’ll have to finish filling the rinse water by hand.  As of now the clothes are just getting an extra long soak.  I have built up all my clothing so I can go about 2 weeks without the laundry so not a big deal,  more of an inconvenience than anything else.  Storing extra undies and socks is paying off big time.

I filled my two big stock pots for beer making today but that is a bit of a bust. Instead of heating the water by hand  I can use the remaining water in the hot water tank for cleaning up Monday morning.  If the water main isn’t fixed I can start my water plan again. It is cool enough overnight that firing up the wood stove won’t over heat the house, though I was hoping to us the wood stove for just a little short burst of heat and save some of the wood pile for next winter. Just have to see how much water work gets done and adapt. I’ll be using the portable shower instead of doing a bath if this little outage last more than a day or two.  Moving and heating water for a bath is just too much work when you can stay clean with a quick shower or spit bath.  Heck I was planning  to start using a shower in the AM anyway to save on water use.

Not all bad news, I checked out the local animal shelter and they have some dogs that might work out great and not be to expensive to get if they work out personality wise.  Medium size dogs, one is a black and white chow cross and they have three Akita/Shepard crosses that are all about a one year old.  I’ll check them out this week and see if they might work out.  I’m going to buy the “cheap” green house as growing my own food is very important to me and set up one of the rain barrels for the green house plants.  I hope to minimize the water bill cost but I will use my emergency funds if  I need to got my time-sensitive projects done this month.

2014 looks to be a screwed up year for me. I’ll just roll with the punches as I am confident in my preps and if money gets a little tight?  I  have played that game in the past, except this time I’m ready for it!


Changing some plans and doing some thinking about world events

April 4, 2014

Been thinking about the green house and based on where I want to place it,  I will go with the smaller and cheaper walk in green house at Big Lots. The green house will be protected on two sides by house walls and I think for the winter I could tack up some clear plastic sheeting that would add a layer of protection plus an insulating layer of air that could help make the growing season longer into Fall.  I have some large sheets of light weight canvas that I could add to the shelves during the summer and use the green house as a big solar dehydrator when not growing plants.  I have been looking at straw bale gardening to add a some more plants around the house. I have a couple of old straw bales just sitting around and I think I may have a spot that would work well for a few plants that are climbers. The spot is on the sunny side of the house and has it’s own gutter and downspout that could be directed to keep the bales watered.

Saturday will be a busy day for getting the cool weather crops in the ground.  Plus finishing up the soil for the potato buckets. Tonight I cut the seed potatoes up and I’m letting them dry out overnight. I think it was Sci-fi Chick that recommended doing that to your seed potatoes prior to planting.  Having the potatoes in the party buckets will make them easy to move around if the area around my raised beds get to hot or to much sun.  I’ll be moving the berry buckets out to the front yard. I think one of Strawberry buckets might be a bust but I want to give it a little more time and hope it will come back. These are the berries Mom and I dug up last fall for free so if  3 out of 4 of berries survive it will have been worth the work.  Irrigation water will start flowing next week and temps are supposed to get in to the 70’s so it looks like spring has sprung here.

I got the filtered water in the stock pots to brew up a batch of Amber ale. I want to get several cases of beer done up for this summer plus if I have water problems of any sort,  I want to be ahead of the game.  Beer making for barter is going to be a lot of hard work.  I refilled all of the barrels I used for my water test but I have a few camp jugs and a couple more empty 15 gallon barrels sitting in the shop that need filled up. I think of the 15 gallon barrels as the water I will hand out to the ones I can trust to use water wisely. The filled Soda bottles will go to those that will have to learn to ration and I don’t really trust not to use all the water in a day.

Two big things in the news have been the earthquakes hitting the ring of fire and Russia and neither of them are very good.  Idaho has been hit with a 7+ quake that I went through back in the 80’s. Now most of SW Idaho is fairly safe but the fault lines basically surround us here.  While I’m not too concerned about a big one hitting this area it is possible that we could be isolated because of quakes taking out bridges, dams or overpasses on the main highways and interstates. This area could be isolated very easily and while we are an agricultural state we have no petroleum products or refineries and most of power is generated by dams. Without Rail or road transportation things would not be good here.  If you have taken steps to be ready for any purely local disaster you might want to look at the infrastructure of your local area and what must come in from outside. The Snowstorms back east affected deliveries to the west via Amazon because the roads shut down and propane deliveries got slowed and the costs jumped!

Russia is stating they will go off the Petro-dollar and this is very bad news for the US economy.  If countries can buy oil without using the dollar it will lose it’s reserve currency status and there won’t be a reason to hold dollars or US Treasuries for most countries.  I think the USA has been very foolish to try and push around Russia and China with them holding so much US debt and we managed to piss off the Saudis by not supporting Mubarak in Egypt or getting rid of Assad in  Syria for the Saudis new pipeline. This could end up badly as a currency war or even a real war.  It is something to watch closely though my advise stays the same as far as prepping.  Get real hard goods on hand, get out of debt and be as self-reliant as possible. Oh! you might check out your local True Value Hardware store. They have a 5 gallon gas can on sale for the month of April for $9.99.


Beer going into the fermenting bucket the case lot sale and BBQ?

April 3, 2014

The wheat beer is in the fermenting bucket. It’s been awhile since I made beer so I am glad I had my little recipe book/beer journal to refer to during the process. I had kind of high temp reading on one of my pots so the alcohol content is a little on the low side for home brew.  The wheat beer is a summer beer and a little lower content isn’t such a bad thing as long as it tastes good.  I filled four of my 15 gallon water barrels with the run off from the wort chiller. Beer making is a very water intensive process and now I know why all the big breweries try to setup close to a river for their water supply.  I’ve been thinking how I can use that run off water from the wort chiller for the laundry and perhaps adding water to the rain barrels or lawn. I could also use my spare fridge to cool the wort without using water. This is something I will need to play around with so I don’t waste water, especially if I want to make beer for barter in a grid down situation.  I think that I could add an extra long hose to the wort chiller and fill the washing machine. I’d have to do laundry and beer making the same day but that would not be to difficult.

Stopped by Albertsons and bought 3 cases of the ramen noodles that come in the little Styrofoam cups for $9.00. I’m doing good on the veggies and pasta sauces and needed to pick up some quick and super easy stuff for meals. When my CIDP flares having some easy stuff to heat in the microwave or with just a bit of boiling water makes my life a lot easier. Most of my tests have been done eliminating one major item like water but keeping power on or keeping the water on but eliminating power.  But having both power and water off for a test at the same time is a bit daunting.

I bought a couple of packages of kielbasa sausage on sale. That will give me plenty of meats for the BBQ season.  While you can still get some good buys I’m starting to see consistently higher prices on pork along with beef though chicken is still pretty normal around a $1.25 per pound average.  Mom said Winco (local grocery warehouse store) has the 4 pound lard buckets at $4.98 each and that is a great buy! I’m going to have her pick up a couple of buckets for me, as lard is a great multi-tasker from making soap to cooking and making sure you get enough fats in your diet.  I’m not a big fan of the hydrogenated oils the FDA/USDA pushed so hard for years. I personally think a little of bit of good natural fats and sugars make you less prone to cravings and you don’t take in as many calories compared to using chemical or highly processed substitutes.  Yes I know there is a bit of dichotomy of buying the ramen noodles for a quick meal and then saying go natural but if you use these  foods as a once and while thing instead of  only eating “Processed” foods I think it is okay.  I’m not a dietician or a nutritionist and this is just my opinion.