There are some shelves in the shop that have been used as a catch all for junk. I’m working my way through the stuff I need to keep and throwing away the junk I can’t use. I’m a little surprised how fast the clean up went as I did not have to much left to do over all. The scrap wood went into one of my buckets for kindling this winter so I will get some use out of the clean up. I want to move some of the supplies in the basement that don’t need temperature control into shop. That should free up quite a bit of shelf space in the basement. Things I will be moving will be cleaning supplies, paper products and that sort of thing. My neighbors gave a neat barrel that works perfect for holding chunk charcoal so I got that filled but I think I will give it a paint job to make it look a little nicer sitting on the patio. One of the first back up cooking ideas was to get a bunch of chunk charcoal now I have a several 40 pound bags for cooking but those bags are not the easiest thing to handle when you want to BBQ, so this barrel should work for keeping a supply of charcoal on the patio ready to use without a wrestling match of me vs. a 40 pound bag that is at best messy or at worse I lose the fight against gravity and inertia.
I cooked up the London broil on the gas grill but I have to say I really missed the smokey sweet flavor I get using the mesquite charcoal. I cooked a some of the Patty pan squash on the grill and I love the mild flavor of the white patty pans as it give me a lot of flexibility using it in meals. If you want to plant a summer squash but don’t want to deal with Zucchini that can get large and tough I would recommend the patty pans. I am going to try a few recipes but substitute the patty pan squash instead of zucchini and see how they turn out. A big plus for me is patty pans are small and are perfect for a household of 1-2 people with very little waste when you cook them. Plus these patty pans are all volunteers so they are very easy to grow and save seeds for the next year.
I got one small area of my future “alley” garden covered with cardboard and a few rocks to hold it in place. That area is quite a bit larger than I had anticipated but once I add the mulch and some nice plants that can handle poor soil it will be a big boon to my garden and herb production next year. Wind isn’t to much of a problem around my house but that alley acts as sort of a wind tunnel if the wind direction hits just right. The wood mulch I get has a better chance of staying in place compared to the straw and “compost” I have on hand. I have a couple of neighbors that are bagging and trashing lawn clipping so I might set up my alley way as a dump spot for those organic materials. This could be a big win for me as I get free compost materials for the “alley garden” the neighbor save trash bags and filling their trash bins and if the “Alley Garden” works I bet one or two might join in and make their own alley gardens. The worst thing that can happen is we start killing out weeds and the best thing that can happen is we get a sort of modified community garden along the alley.
Last but not least I added the GHB to the car and I’m very pleased with the low weight of the bag. Even I can lift the bag with one hand and having it on rollers with a tow handle makes it a breeze to maneuver on good terrain. I don’t have quite as much water on hand but the mini- van’s Emergency kit give me some options to add at the last minute if I need to walk to safety rather than driving. If you haven’t done a lot of backpack camping or “ruck marched” via the military I would recommend going with a smaller back pack as your “get home bag” figuring about 20- 25 pounds as your max carry weight until you test how well your strength and endurance. People don’t walk much in the USA and while some hardcore folks may poo-poo my walks in the Mall with my Mom I know I can average 10 miles per day if I do it in small bites. That may not sound like much but some folks haven’t walked 2 miles at one time and are not capable of of even short walking trips without counting extra weight of a back pack. While in the Army my “Battle Rattle” added about 25 pounds to my weight and I carried it day in and day out for weeks and I was in very good shape. I was not carrying a back pack/ruck when weighed for my Battle Rattle when boarding a plane for the NTC. The weight items can add up very fast a few pounds at a time. The M-16 is a very light weapon at about 6.5 pounds it’s ammo is fairly light weight compared to larger calibers and we in the army consider 240 rounds in mags a combat load. Kevlar helmet 3 pounds, NVGs, Gas mask 3.5 pounds heck even combat support troops carry an easy 20-25 pounds on their persons everyday for training, If the are the gunner carrying a M-249 at 25 pounds unloaded, stuff gets heavy fast and that only Signal pukes like I was in the Army. Combat Arms and grunts carry a much heavier load in their rucks 70-110 pounds is fairly normal for those guys depending on the weapon mix. Those grunts can maintain 4-6 mile per hour walk in good terrain for 25-30 miles, set up a perimeter and bring some heat when they are in position. If you can’t do that don’t try! Be as light weight as possible and get to your defensive position. Tactical doctrine in the Army calls for a 3-1 advantage at least, to attack a defensive stronghold and the Military knows they will take casualties. Stay light weight and mobile in your thinking. Don’t get bogged down in thinking you need every new gadget, a paper map and a compass is old tech and so is the wheel , but still works great if you learn how to use it!