Saturday, July 9, 2011

Finally ate a good dinner and my purchase of the day

Around here Army daughter likes to do the cooking.  Since they live here almost for free (they paid their share of the bills and also they buy most of the "food") she likes to think that her cooking is part of their share of doing things around here.  Her cooking is awful.  When she was a kid I used to tease her that she liked putting a little bit of peanut butter in her salt cookies and she liked putting a little bit of tomatoes into her salt sauce for spaghetti.  She hasn't improved much.  Yesterday she was coughing and looking absolutely terrible.  She said that she was going to the store in the morning and wanted to know what I wanted for dinner.  I told her that even if she was going shopping don't worry about dinner on Saturday night.  I'll do the cooking. 

Ah, real food for dinner tonight.  Before I get into what I cooked I need to tell a little story about her grocery shopping.  Remember, she doesn't help in the garden because they'd rather shop at the store.  On her last shopping trip she brought home a jar of jam and a lemon for the salmon they were going to make for dinner.  What about the 50 jars of jam in the cabinet?  Or the lemon tree in the back yard?  Nope, not as good as store bought.  With this in mind, let me tell you about dinner tonight. 

We had a deer roast, given to us by a friend of mine who hunts.  I made scalloped potatoes using potatoes from the garden, powdered milk, cheese powder, and a tablespoon of butter.  I also made a vegetable medley all from the garden of yellow and green zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, onion, and garlic.  I threw in some Italian seasoning that I buy in bulk at Winco.  I made bread using flour, yeast, salt, garlic, a little sugar, and water.  I spread about a tablespoon of melted butter on top just prior to baking it.  We ate it plain without adding any more butter or oil to it.  The grandkids (five of them tonight) had a juice mixture of peaches, plums, and apples just blended together in the blender with some crushed ice and water.  Yes, we had real food tonight.  I am one content person.  Son-in-law likes my cooking; I think Army daughter would prefer store bought preservative filled fake food.  I fed eight of us for a grand total of less than one dollar - the cost of my stored food plus the butter.

I researched some whole house fans and picked one that I purchased today from Home Depot.  It's a Master Flow 30" belt drive unit that's supposed to move 6000 cu. ft. per minute.  That's enough to knock me off my feet if I'm not careful.  The plan is to only have to run this thing for about 10 minutes in the early morning.  I figure if it's in the high 60s or low 70s first thing in the morning I can cool the house down to about that temperature and then close up the house for the rest of the day.  It should keep the house no hotter than 80 if I do it right.  The electrician friend is supposed to come help tomorrow but since this is not just going to be put right in since it's wider than the joists I'm going to have to do a little bit of framing first.  I'll see if he's willing to help with that or if he just wants to make sure the wiring is done right.  If he's not up for actual physical labor the project may not get completed until next weekend. 

I haven't spoken to anyone yet about the wind turbine.   Since there's a dealer a few hours from here there should be someone who has one that I can take a look at and interview them to see how happy they are with it.  I like that it's advertised to be either grid-tied or off grid.  You can have it set up to charge your batteries off grid then when the batteries are charged tie it back to the grid and turn the meter backwards. 

Today a friend of mine gave us a 52" TV.  Army daughter also went to her storage unit to pick up her 52" TV.  We were all scratching our heads at dinner tonight wondering why we got either.  We now have 5 TVs in the house.  The grandkids only watch if I'm watching with them.  We watched High School Musical last weekend.  The TV hasn't been on since.   I think I'll give one of the TVs to oldest daughter and her family.  The rest can collect dust. 

Bug-out renter's chicken is broody again.  I'm going to bring some of our fertilized eggs up there for the hen to set.  She hatched two of the four eggs I brought last time.  The chickens run loose up there.  One of the things that struck me about Hawaii was all the wild chickens.  I'd like to get a lot of wild chickens running loose at the bug-out place.  

Granddaughter decided she didn't want to wash her clothes in a bucket this week.  She was perfectly happy with me putting them in the washing machine.  They are getting hung up on the clothes line although Army daughter and son-in-law keep offering to take their clothes out of the drier so I can put ours in.  Do you know where the lint comes from that you collect in the drier vent?  That's from your clothes falling apart.  No thanks.  I'll let the sun do the drying. 


  1. I really enjoy reading your posts - you have a great style and you tell a good story while also educating the reader! I'm curious - does Army daughter read what you write? And if so, has her thinking changed any during the time you've been documenting your journey?

  2. We've had a whole house fan for over 15 years. Great things to have. We're actually on our second, the first's motor burned out. I've replaced the pull on switches on both also. If I was more electrical, I'd hook it up to a switch instead of the pull string.

    Our house is small, so the 24" unit works for us. We usually try to not run the AC until we have to, then around dusk when the temperature starts dropping is when we turn off the AC and turn on the fan. When the outside air is cooler than the inside. We also have a shallow pitched roof, so the attic space is small and heat builds up there. The fan blows this hot air out, that is supposed to be the principle behind the fan.

    The placement of the fan is important, they are loud and strong. They will shut doors. We knew we would run them at night so they needed to be away from bedrooms. We didn't have much choice and ours is in the kitchen. Ours is an older long house with bedrooms/bath on one side and living/dining/kitchen lining the length of the other side of the house. The fan easily pulls air from the front of the house through multiple windows.

    Most fans I've seen are in hallways, a couple in hallway closets so they are out of sight if wanted. An electrician friend put his on a thermostat. He said he's always have to pull on a blanket in the middle of the night because he was cold. The thermostat shuts off the fan about 2-3 in the morning.

    I think you will like the fan. Keep us posted on the results.

    We also use a clothes line when possible, but the lint gets recycled into fire starters. Put some lint in a cardboard egg carton and will with melted wax. When you want to start afire tear off one or two "cups" and use them to start the fire.

  3. Army daughter doesn’t read my blog. She thinks it’s funny that I write anything about a subject so ridiculous. Son-in-law has said they do like my way of grocery shopping, which is going two or three times per year other than picking up fresh milk. They may like it but they still go shopping every day or two.