Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Final Prepping Purchases before my self imposed deadline

I had a co-worker over for dinner last night. I was talking to my mother on the phone and said I was making dinner and someone from work was coming over. She got really excited. You have "someone" coming over. Does this someone have a name? What? She's thinking I have a date coming over? Going to impress that person with my great cooking? I suppose the cooking could impress someone but no. Someone that works for me is coming over. I called this person yesterday morning and said they needed to make the 4 hour drive up to my area to do a job for me. Very rarely to I make the people who work for me do anything. They are all professionals who know how to get the job done. I don't tell them what to do. I provide expertise if and when they need it. But yesterday, I made this person drop everything, make the 4 hour drive, stay in a hotel and do a project for me today that I had to take myself off of due to a conflict of interest. So, to make it up to my employee/coworker, I made dinner. It was delicious. Homegrown eggplant sliced and boiled for a few minutes, dipped in home produced eggs, dipped in homemade breadcrumbs seasoned with home grown herbs. Baked for a little bit then topped with home grown spaghetti sauce. Topped with store bought cheese. Home made garlic bread with home grown garlic. Olive oil from an experimental pressing of our own olives. Can't top a meal like that. It was almost worth making the 4 hour drive just for the food.

Before I get into my preps for the week I want to make a comment about the storm Sandy.  I know many blogs are writing about it and everyone does have opinions and tips that we can learn.  I couldn't imagine living somewhere that I would expect once every 10 or 20 years to get flooded.  At least there's warning with most floods.  After all, this storm has been predicted for a few weeks now.  I know in downtown Sacramento the city used to flood most years.  That's why the older houses were built with a semi-subterranean basement.  You had to walk up a flight of a dozen stairs to reach the first floor.  That way, when the city flooded you would need to move your stuff out of the basement but the main part of the house would survive just fine.  When I was in New York I noticed the older homes were built that way too.  Not anymore.   Now there aren't basements and houses are built level with the floodplain. 

The destruction going on due to the fire, where they are now saying 80 homes have burned, is one of the main reasons I will never move back to a city.  If something happens to my home I want it to be from a natural disaster or even something stupid that I may do, not because my neighbor's home is burning.  I never want something from my neighbor's property to spill over to my property.

My plan was to have my preps purchased and sitting there ready for me to get to each project.  I have a good supply of food but the things around the house that need or want to be done still had a list of supplies needed before each of those tasks could be accomplished.  I wanted to have it all by Nov. 1, my self imposed deadline.  (I was figuring there was going to be mass chaos due to the media hype of Dec. 21, 2012, but that has died down due to the election coverage.  Who knows, it may pick up after the elections.  Not that I believe the world is going to end on that date, but if the media pushes it, I expect mass last minute shopping and shortages at the stores.) It's not going to happen.  I've done pretty well on gathering things but then, just like everyone else, the money supply ran out.  I refuse to carry a balance on the charge cards and that would be the only way I'd be able to purchase everything I wanted. 

I was able to pick up some items on my needed/wanted supply list.  The other day I was at Home Depot.  While I was there I looked, and drooled, over their display of a generator. I'd love to have one of those. But then I thought about it. Do I really need one? Sure since we don't have a major solar supply and I'm relying on the electric company. But do I really need one? No. It's for convenience. If the power went out then I'd have to take the meat from the freezer and dehydrate it or can it. It wouldn't all have to be done in an instant. My ice chest will keep things frozen for a week, especially if the weather is cold outside. We have several strings of solar lights that shine all night outside. I could bring them in at night and put them back outside during the day. We could hand pump the water. Wash laundry in a bucket. No, I don't need the generator but it sure would be nice to use it for an hour a day. Get all the laundry, water pumping, and anything else done all at once. But then I'd want a second propane tank so I wouldn't run out. No, the money would be better off spent somewhere else...not that I have any money left in the budget. 

I bought the 10 foot by 100 foot roll of 6 mil. clear plastic sheeting.  It sounds like a lot but I could use that up in a day.  I'm really excited about getting the heavy sheeting.  Hopefully this weekend I'll get the chance to staple it up around the front porch and also in front of the family room area.  The front porch is an area around 6 x 10 that gets afternoon sun.  If I put the plastic in that area it will heat up and then I can open the front door and put that warm air into the house.  Or, if that doesn't work I can just stand out in that spot.  I was in a greenhouse last winter at our local nursery.  It was covered in this same plastic and although it was 40 outside it was about 75 inside the greenhouse.  It was wonderful and I'd like to replicate that here.  In front of the family room is a space around 6 feet deep and 25 feet across.  It's south facing and has sun on it most of the time during the winter...or at least it will once the leaves fall off the trees that provide shade during the summer.  I have high hopes for that area to turn into a warm air trap.  In all, those two projects will use about 65 feet of my plastic.  If I cover one of the garden beds that will use about 25 feet of plastic.  That doesn't leave much left in my 100 foot roll.

I still have 20 trees to trim.  At 20 minutes each, that's 6 hours just for that project.  I have fencing to fix in the front pasture.  There isn't anything wrong with it now, but I want to expand some of the fencing around the young trees so that in the spring when the sheep are in that pasture I don't have to worry about them pushing on the fencing to eat the trees.  Why wait until they make it an emergency?  I should do it now.  I think I could use more t-posts.  I probably could always use more t-posts.  Wish money grew on some of my trees.

Maybe it will.  The job I applied for is finally conducting interviews in the middle of November.  If I get that job I will have a few more expenses here at home, like Internet and gasoline for the family truck (since the state provides Internet for my computer and I have a work vehicle, with taxpayers footing that bill- don't worry California taxpayers, I don't misuse our tax dollars!!!), but I will also have several hundred dollars available for prepping each and every month.  I have the lists ready.  Until then, we scrimp and save and prep as best we can. 



  1. We're looking into a small generator to use for the freezer and maybe the fridge. We decided that was the best for the short term. We probably will convert it to propane. you can run it off the 20 BBQ canisters or get a larger one.

  2. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-lone-woman-cave-20121027,0,3187267,full.story

    I used to teach Island of the Blue Dolphins. Love the book. What is your take on this story?

    1. It looks like they found the right spot. Old surveyor notes, and other notes, are amazingly accurate (well at least the surveyor notes are if the item described is on or near a township or range line). At last years main CA conference they had several presentations on the islands. I didn't attend those talks since they usually don't pertain to me. I'm sure more will be discussed at the conference in April, and I'll sit in on it this time. I'm curious about the photo. That large pile of soil that's not excavated is probably a large feature that they didn't want to disturb. I wonder what it is?

  3. A generator is on my list, but it's hard to fork out the money for it... and yet here I am in Mexico spending 4X the price of a great generator.
    Funny how some things win over others in the battle of money.

    Growing up we covered out entire house with black plastic sheeting, mainly just to keep the house at a livable temperature in the cold NH winters with a wood stove roaring inside.