JaimieB at http://anamericanhomestead.com was talking about how she loved her wood stove for heat but she doesn’t have a water heater in her off-grid home. I shared my trick of using “Igloo” water jugs to hold hot water overnight and she was intrigued with the idea. I don’t see many prepper blogs recommend the Igloo jugs as a part of a water plan but those jugs made my 5 day no tap water test much easier. Most people don’t think of a these insulated jugs or even camp coolers for keeping stuff hot as well as cold. Perhaps it the cost of the insulated jugs compared to a plastic camp jug, but I figure you get a lot more use from the insulated jug compared to a plastic camp jug. These jugs can be filled when you get a “Storm warning” with either hot or cold water and even ice as part of your last minute storm preps. I have two of the five gallon Igloo jugs and a smaller 2.5 gallon jug I use in the bathroom for washing hands and stuff. The smaller jug fits on the counter much better than one of the big jugs.
Speaking of wood stoves I got a chimney sweep coming next week to clean and inspect my stove/chimney for the season. The estimate was only $85.00 for my straight shot chimney which seems to be a very good price. I will have to see what kind of job they do before I recommend them to any one else. Two things that seem positive is the company was ready to get to work quickly but they were also somewhat busy getting chimneys cleaned here in the valley. Big Lot’s has a wood rack for only $20.00 that should work great for holding wood on my front porch. With that wood rack I should have a week or more of wood on hand that is easy to use. Though it’s not like I have to hike to the “back 40” to load up my cart with wood. I have a lot of kindling stored this year as I have been picking up all the small sticks my trees shed and put them in a rolling garbage can to use this winter.
Diana the peke seems to have mellowed out and is much less anxious. I’m not sure why but I think because her teeth were a little sore she needed more of the soft/wet dog food to keep her full and the dry dog food was painful to eat. She is still getting some of the harder snacks to help clean her teeth but I have to stock up on the wet dog food because of her age. Her cyst seems to have stabilized though I still want it removed, it seems it is not bothering her. I’m saving a bit more money on the chimney cleaning I can go ahead and schedule her surgery and be able to pay for it.
I found some very good buys for the sick room and on bacon. Mom and I are getting a six pack of the XL Tyrex haz-mat suits and a few of the oxygen respirators to support breathing at Amazon.com. The basic medical supplies you can get for a good price at Amazon is amazing. While I hope we won’t have to use these items they will add some peace of mind having them on hand. The bacon I found is at Cash & Carry but it is in the freezer section so I missed it on my shopping trips. It is called Sugar Hill and it is 15 pounds for $22.73 so just over $1.51 per pound cost. At that price I figure it is worth a test of taste and appearance. One other great sale is Big 5 sporting goods has New Balance sneakers on sale for $30.00 a pair. It’s been about 10 years since I have seen NB shoes for that price. Adding good shoes is part of your preps especially when you find a good buy. If you can afford it buy two pairs of a shoe or boot you like and rotate them daily. You will save money, as the shoes will last as long as 3 pair of shoes replaced as they wear out.
Things have been a little crazy this year and sometimes it seems we take two steps forward and one step back, but all a person can do is try and stay focused and keep working on being prepared. These little emergencies will happen and for me it is more of an annoyance rather than a OMG moment of how will I eat or pay the bills.