The heading should have been written in December. I really enjoy my new job and am getting used to the hours and the distance traveled. It's only four days per week but unfortunately for me my Friday's have been filled with appointments and such so I haven't gotten to just relax on that extra day. This past Friday I didn't have to leave the house until 2:45 so I actually wore sweats until about 2:00. I still accomplished things, I just looked like a slob. And it was so well deserved!
We had a meeting on Thursday and prior to the meeting I was briefed about how this group doesn't want to cooperate with that group and nobody talks to each other and on and on. It's not a good way to get the job done, especially since it's all the same company and it's contractors. I suppose I'm too new to understand the stupidity of it all. Anyway, I'm not putting up with that. If I need to know something I will get the information and I will also go straight to the people who don't like to share. They WILL share. So the meeting starts..the tables are set out in a U. Our side sits on one side, the other group on the other side. Gee, if I knew that was how it was going to be I would have taken a seat in the middle of "their" side. Instead, I took a seat facing the door rather than my back to the door. This put me in with my own group but also in a safer position, since I sat there for safety reasons rather than grouping reasons. The meeting drags on and on. At the end I asked THEM if I had to go through THEM to talk with one of their contractors or could I talk straight to the person. After all, in my previous job I knew this person. Of course they said go straight to the person and they were glad we had a working relationship. OK, it's on record. I don't have to follow their stupidity of nobody talking to each other. After the meeting was over I had a quiet moment with my supervisor. "See", I said, "that's why you hired me!" I will cut through this government regulation crap. I was from the government. I'm here to help.
I decided to buy a Prius. It hasn't been delivered yet, the dealer is bringing it to my house next week. Why a Prius? It won't help me in any way if we have an EMP, that's for certain. But, barring that disaster, it will pay for itself in about 6 years. After that, it will be a free car. How? With the amount of miles I'm driving just in my commute I'm using 7 gallons of gas each day. That comes to 28 gallons a week just to get me back and forth to work; never mind the extra driving I do to bring the grand kids to their religious training a couple times a week or the trips to southern CA. The 28 gallons at four bucks a gallon...sure it's only $3.59 today... would be $112 a week. In the Prius, I will use 2 gallons per day. That's 8 gallons a week. Or an $80 difference each and every week. In a year that comes to $4160 in gas savings. In six years the car, insurance, and registration will have all been paid for by the savings in gas. As long as an EMP doesn't take it out before then. I hate Prius's. They are ugly. But at this point in time I don't care. I was thinking about getting a Subaru and a friend of mine works at a dealer, but since I was going just for fuel economy, Subaru couldn't come close to the 50 mpg that I'm going to get. I am focused and that focus means that I will be driving the most ugly small vehicle I've ever sat in. I like my truck. I want my truck to last for a lot longer than the 12 years I've had it and making this commute in it isn't going to keep it healthy. On the other hand, if the weather is bad, I'll drive the truck.
My focus for the year is to get the house and our life in ship-shape, tip-top order. I have my list of lists. Each month I am trying to purchase or complete on of the topics. If I only focus on food, then I will fall short on everything else. Same goes with ammunition, clothing, water, self sufficiency, etc. Right now, we are good for over a year with everything...even enough in the savings to pay mortgage and taxes. Then it goes to two years, then three, etc. Again, my goal is that five or six years from now we will be 100% self sufficient. That doesn't mean that I'll be spinning my own wool or cotton to make material for our clothes but it does mean that I will have enough supplies on hand to make what we need if we don't have those items in storage.
Since I don't seem to ever get anything right the first time around, this weekend we pulled up some of the t-posts and fencing panels around the fruit trees in the front pasture. Since the sheep won't be placed into the front pasture for several more months we have plenty of time to go our typical snails pace at getting this project done. We have about a dozen trees in the front. First I put in four t-posts in corners about 8 feet apart. The tree was in the middle. This meant that the tree was 4 feet from any fence. Sounds fine until the sheep started pushing in the middle of the panel. Also, they'd climb up on their hind legs and eat whatever they could reach of the branches hanging out. After all, the truck may be 4 feet from the fence but none of the branches were! Last year I got this brilliant idea to add a fifth panel and a 5th t-post. This gave a little more stability to the panels but the sheep still ate everything that got close to the edges. Three of the trees had full 16 foot panels. Those trees had a span of 8 feet from trunk to edge where the sheep could get to. Any you know what? They were able to get to some of the branches! Whatever! 16 foot panels is good. I really don't want those fruit trees to have that wide of a spread. Also, instead of putting the t-posts in the corners I've put them in the middle of the panel. That way the animals can't push in the middle It works. The 16 foot panels are only on three of the trees. We have a lot more to do. Soon...at least before we put the animals back into the front. One of the problems with trying to save money, especially when I didn't have much, was that I just Micky-mouse the project and it isn't done well enough to last forever, or as close to forever as I want these projects to last.
I found that our local Target is now selling freeze dried fruit in bags for $2.99 for anywhere from 1 to 1 3/4 ounces. I checked on a large company's site to see their prices. This company has freeze dried strawberries on sale in #10 cans. Their prices are about $3 an ounce if you buy the case. This means Target is cheaper, except you are buying in bags rather than in the cans. I'd rather buy them cheaper and package them up myself. Target has strawberry, mango, pineapple, mixed berry (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry), apple, and others in stock. The other week I bought some that were marked down for even cheaper.
Nothing so far has had anything to do with my Making a List and Checking it Twice. I am making a small goal each week that is a subset of my larger goal of total self sufficiency. I have my notebook that includes my list of lists. This week, I'm getting out my list of lists that I compiled and also Rawles's list in his book How to Survive TEOTWAWKI. I want to see how I'm doing when comparing it to the list. That way I will stay on track to accomplish my goals. It's worth going over again.