Observations this week

The six piece set of bamboo wood kitchen utensils I got at Big Lots for $5.00 are great and are much better tools for making 5 minute Artisan bread or cooking up a batch of chorizo without absorbing the the oils or colors.  Also never use a slotted wooden spoon to mix your Artisan bread as the flour sticks in the slots and is difficult to clean!  Bottle brushes are great for cleaning those slots out when you forget and use a slotted spoon.

Driving around town for someone else is tiring, but I don’t mind driving Mom around as she plans thing out so we don’t do a lot of backtracking.  Another plus is she isn’t just my Mom, she is my friend. A few lessons learned:  don’t skip lunch and while Mom bought lunch today I should have enough stuff in my van we could set up a little picnic and practice making a meal with my portable stove and using the 12 volt thermoelectric fridge /warmer. Eating out can get expensive fast and by using the mini-van’s “kit” to make a simple meal will save money and give us a some practice for making meals when bugging out. Breaking down some of your practices and incorporating them daily is something I want to try out, as the simple task can trip you up and sort of build up to a big mess.  I think there is a place for a long term test of your prep as I learned a lot on my first “Five day no tap water test” though I only made it three days I fixed most of  my problems and when my water main went out for five days I could handle that little emergency with less work and stress.  Speaking of Mom, she seemed to be doing a lot better on her walk and in physical therapy today. Between getting her pain meds on a schedule and using the pain salve I think she was able to do more work with less pain.

Both Mom and I are little broke because of some unexpected vet bills but we hit a couple of yard sales and I got one of those “little dipper”  crock pots ($2.00)  and it is perfect for melting the beeswax for the comfrey salve. My small strainer fits perfectly over the jar with the comfrey infused oil and sits on the lip of the little crock pot to drain.  I had been wracking my brain on how I was going to get the beeswax melted and mixed with the comfrey. I got another popcorn tin for storing crackers for a quarter. I like using these tins with just a little DE and found crackers stay fresh tasting as when I bought them even storing them six months plus. When I had to use my food storage because of a large vet bill I really missed having salty snacks. I added a big bag of popcorn and crackers stored in these tins and it has worked out for me.

I haven’t gone through a “major natural disaster” but I have been through some small personal disasters and my preparations, skills and knowledge have really saved my butt a few times.



13 Responses to Observations this week

  1. TOR says:

    The way things worked out vehicle wise for our family the one I use to go to and from work really only gets used for that. I keep a ‘get home bag’ a case of water and some goodies for bad situations. However above that I keep a pretty decent amount of food. I keep food for when I forget to pack meals (I eat breakfast and lunch at wk), do not have time or interest in going out. Off the top of my head I have a box of oatmeal packets, a case of top ramen, a dozen cans of chili/ heavy soups, some tuna and some veggies.

    If need be I could probably sustain out of there for almost a week.

    • Jamie says:

      TOR: I have similar items though not in that quantity! I have added a wide mouth thermos for hot items and I should have a flexible set up for cooking.

      • TOR says:

        I do not keep a thermos in my vehicle though there is usually a (plastic) insulated coffee cup. For heating and cooking I do have a wide mouth steel water bottle (actually it is usually 2, 1x EDC and 1x GHB) plus a steel canteen cup and a spork.

      • Jamie says:

        TOR: I got some great metal water bottles from the Dollar store last year that hold about a quart of water and can be used on a stove for boiling water. If your car/GHB is exposed to cold temps you should fill them about 2/3-3/4 full as Ice will split them if full. I had a “Camel back” in my GHB last year and it did not split in -10 degrees F. when filled to about 3/4th full.
        I have added a Sawyer mini water filter to the smaller GHB and I’m still trying to decide if I need over a gallon of water in a GHB as it is trade off between carried weight and speed of getting home. Being handicapped has made me very aware of my limitations and it can be tough to calculate the tradeoffs of weight and convenience though that is not the correct word. Is having enough water on hand for three days worth the cost in weight in GHB? For me I think I can get home in a couple of hours based on my routine so carrying a gallon + of water is not necessary.

  2. Dannyboy53 says:

    Jamie we finally got all the ingredients for your pain salve except Camphor and Mary had to order it online as no one in this area had it. So I’m hoping after the first of the week we will be able to mix up our first batch and see how it works on Mary.

    • Jamie says:

      Dannyboy: I have seen some of the small 1 quart crock pots at Shopko for about $10.00 and they work great for melting the oil and beeswax on low.

      • Dannyboy53 says:

        Mary has some small ones that she bought at one of those dollar stores she uses for melting scented wax, we are going to use one of those. The camphor should be in by Tuesday and we can get it all together and see how well it works on her.

        Thank you for sharing it Jamie!

      • Jamie says:

        Dannyboy:That is a Brilliant idea and one I never considered. Mary is a goddess of smart and cheap. Darn now I have to adjust the budget and shopping list! LOL

    • Jamie says:

      Dannyboy it could take 24-48 hours to see some major pain relief though I think my formula works faster in 10 minutes to 4 hours but my pain is mostly nerves/muscle cramps and not deeper bone pain that Mary is suffering. If Mary does not get some relief in 3 days I’d stop that essential oil treatment.

      I’m testing the comfrey salve on myself and a couple of other lab rat volunteers and with Mary’s bones getting so busted up the comfrey salve might be a better choice.

  3. Dannyboy53 says:

    Thank you for your kind comments Jamie! My late Dad use to jokingly tell her when the conversation turned to money that she was “as tight as the bark on a tree”.

    Most people have to be in this economy.

    • Jamie says:

      Dannyboy : Well people should be be tight with a dollar but few can follow through long term. I can make a dollar wither in pain by squeezing it for value. I have seen a few folks that are much better than I am for getting value and make Lincoln, Jefferson coins squeal in pain as they have been pinched so hard.

      I’ve been called so tight with a “dollar” I have to screw my shoes on every morning! Very few people seem to get the concept that I’m “cash rich” compared to my income because I save money and buy things of value.

  4. S.Lynn says:

    Can’t beat the local taco wagons. $1 for a taco, $4 for a burrito (order without rice).

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