Things are going great considering I had to change my shopping list.

August 1, 2012

Stop by the Beer lady and  got my 15 gallon water barrel and she is having a sale on the Amber LME 25% off regular price. Called up the neighbor and asked if she wanted me to pick up some for her and the fixings for a batch of beer and she said yes,  so I’ll get some more for her and another so I can start an Amber Lager.  I have wanted to get a few batches brewed and bottled just in case and this is a great buy on LME.  I’ll get a picture up of the 15 gal. water barrel with a 5 gallon camp jug for scale soon. That should give everyone a good idea of the size of the barrel.  If you have limited storage space I think these little 15 gallon barrels are the answer.  I like the portability of the 5 gallon camp jugs, but this 15 gallon barrel would take up a lot less floor space than three of the camp jugs.

I put a few more dollars on the 9mm layaway. I will be able to pay it on the 15th of theis month which is a couple of weeks early.  Never thought I’d  get this excited by a 9mm as I tend to be more of a big bore pistol fan. But this little rascal will be easy to carry all the time. The only weapon left to get is a little .22 rifle which are  low priced and I have the ammo for it already stored.  Over all I’m darned pleased how “Murphy” screwed up my shopping list.

The little SW/multi-band radio Mom gave me is charging via it’s built in solar panel. I think the hand crank generator might be FUBAR or I  just have to be patient as the radio is a few years old and the solar technology is not as efficient as we have today.  This  radio is an extra addition to my preps thought it does have more bands than my other emergency radios. Plus my little power pack will run it easily on DC power.  I wish I could afford a little “Ham radio” setup but I feel  all warm and fuzzy that I can listen to Shortwave,  got a couple of CB’s and a little hand held VHF radio.

Still have a few odds and ends to pick up for my multi-taskers of Dawn dish soap, Borax, lemon juice, baking soda and more Toilet paper.  Those will go for making some homemade cleaning supplies and stuff I will always need. I  have a good price so I can buy up quite a lot for under $15.00.

This check did not go for much on my shopping list.  Of course I’ve been doing this prepping thing for awhile and I can be flexible with the  over all plan, then several small goals to meet it.  After you get 3-6 months of your basics how and when you check off things that make you better prepared is up to you.  Don’t fall in love with your little goals that you can’t be flexible when “reality” screws it up.  Trust me if there is any permanent law it’s Murphy’s Law!

Amber Lager and the latest updates

January 29, 2012

The Amber lager turned out very good even better than the Dark lager. A little lighter and less heavy than the Ales and it looks to be a good Summer beer.  Bottling a wheat beer that I tried a new hops in the recipe and used my Hydrometer to check my progress on fermentation, it  looks good and using the different hops I think is going to give it a more citrus overtone/flavor which I like in a wheat beer. This brewing beer thing is turning out to be a great way to bring the neighborhood together. We have a neighbor who is just starting out but is excited about making his own beer.  I’m gathering info for starting our own  beer club and perhaps we will enter some competitions as we get better at brewing.

I got to show off my little solar oven and hopefully this week I’ll get a sunny day for a test. It was awfully hazy during the morning hours and finally burned off about 2:00 pm.  To late for a good test, but I’m ready to test the water boiling/pasteurization parts of the oven.  I’ll see how that goes then go for beans and rice to give me and idea how to cook with it.  This solar oven will really come into it’s own after we get into spring and summer. I saw a great cookbook for crock pot recipes at the 2nd hand bookstore I think I’ll get. It should give me some great recipes to modify for the solar oven.

I want to go buy that little wood stove so bad I can almost taste it but,  I think I need to hold off for a little bit and see how things shake out with Iran and EU economies and the war drums that the PTBs keep pounding on.  Best to build up my  little cash buffer again and be ready to bounce no matter what they decide to do.  I’ll start buying the cement board, floor protection at first and start getting that in place as that can be bought in sections and is low priced and I will need it no matter what stove I end up buying.  I can get the equivalent of 10 cords of wood in delivered “mill ends” for $350.00 and I have a great spot for the wood I need to cleanup.  I know it’s kind of odd get the wood before you get the stove but by November I want everything in place anyway, so it’s however I can get it done.  If I don’t get the stove the wood won’t rot and I’ll have a good barter item.

I found a little rolling cart that I think will work as my portable solar generator. I’ve been looking for something that I can put the batteries and inverter in that will protect it from the weather as well as be easy for me to move around.  Batteries get heavy fast! and this will give me the option of using it with the house or the RV.  I’m thinking of adding a few more 20 watt panels to get up to 100 watts total that should get the RV off the grid via DC power if I’ve done my figures correctly and have sunny days.

Last but not least the beast of a TV my niece left me finally died. My neighbors moved it out to the garage and I hope my Dad will haul it away.  So I spent the day moving my TV’s around and hooking everything back up again. I don’t know if it’s just me or because I work on computers but I also seem to collect other electronics as well PC parts.  So I’m still an average American with 2 TVs. I may look for a LCD/digital TV later this year, but I can’t justify buying one just because they are in the store!  I have a few odds and ends plus the wood stove to get done this year and a TV of any sort is just not a priority.