I missed adding adding the Sterno stoves and fuel for a cooking option that is safe to use indoors. The stove uses an alcohol based gel that is cheap, easy to store and I was surprised that they can boil water in 5-10 minutes depending on the shape of pan you use. The fuel can be scooped from the can and used as an aid to starting a fire. Each can of fuel should burn for 1-2 hours and I have seen the cans for sale at dollar stores. You should always keep the lid handy after opening as it is the best way to put the flame out and if you don’t reseal the can after use the alcohol will evaporate and the gel won’t burn. I don’t know if Sterno still sells the little “emergency kit” but they had a small box with a folding stove that held the can of fuel, 2 cans of fuel along with a large 27 hour candle and a 6 pack of 9 hour candles for around $15.00. I think these are a great stove to send with your college student or have in the car in case you get stuck for several hours because of weather/ traffic or add to your barter box. Remember you will be dealing with an “open flame” so you will have to be careful, but overall these stoves are an inexpensive setup that offer about 3 days of light and cooking in a neat little package.
I made up a small batch of the pain salve but this time I used some small cap and bail jars I found at Joann’s in the craft section for a dollar each. These are the square bottles and it looks like the will hold about 3 oz. each and for the price I’m doing about as well as what I could get from Amazon but I get to support the local economy. This pain salve I make is very popular and at the very least I think you should have some on hand for your 1st aid kit and it works great as a barter item. My hope is to do a little selling of my “home remedies” at a local farmers market or bazaar as an income stream not dependent on the government.
Speaking of home remedies I found that Preparation H has helped Diana the peke’s cyst irritation and it seems to have helped a little with the swelling/inflammation of the skin around the cyst. This is not a cure but it has made Diana more comfortable until her surgery to remove the cyst this week. I have used Preparation H on my dogs for things like swelling and pain around the anal area, it works well and the dogs don’t care to lick that area after I apply it. Another product I like is Zymox for bacterial/yeast ear infections in floppy eared dogs. Diana has had problems with yeast infections in her ears and this clears it up within about 5 days. I picked up the Zymox at the local farm store at a cost of $16.00 for 1.25 oz. and while that may seem a little expensive, it is cheap compared to most pet prescriptions. I would have your vet check your animal first if it is having ear problems but if your dog is prone to bacterial/yeast infections of the ear this stuff works great and a little bit goes a long way. I see pets and animals that help you survive as family members and you should build a 1st aid kit as well as learn some basic care for whatever animal you have. While you may not be able to cure some illnesses you can at least do your utmost to keep the animal comfortable. I have been hearing the term “disposable pets” lately and it makes me very uncomfortable. It’s a life and I think you should do all in your power to make it a good life no matter if it is inconvenient. Perhaps it is because I’m 100% disabled but I have gotten damn sensitive when some idiot tries to justify “eliminating” creatures because they are no longer useful. I believe the mark of a truly great people or civilization is how they treat the weakest members. I mean doing the actual work not pretending you care as you sit in a highrise/estate and have a limo/jet that takes you about where you proclaim you really care.
Sorry to wax philosophical so lets get into some other things I got done. The goat’s milk yogurt seems to be okay given to one of my local testers. I don’t eat a lot of yogurt and I like to get others opinions on my little experiments. I like to think I won’t let any personal bias affect what I do but I’m only human and after doing the work I think there is a natural tendency to look for the best. The amber ale is bottled and the flavor seems very good overall and it has a nice little kick of 6% alcohol.
Money will be a little tight as I have to pay for Diana’s surgery and get the chimney cleaned before the wood stove is needed for heat this winter. I still suck at saving cash for an emergency fund! It seems for me it’s those dang paper dollars that seem so easy to spend. Maybe coins might be a better option for me to save as my emergency fund. More complicated and less convenient but that is a feature and not a bug for me at least. If I have to start buying rolls of coins so be it, as long as I have saved up enough for a good emergency fund. It’s dumb, but if it’s dumb and it works it ain’t dumb!