I haven't posted for quite a while. In the past month I've had three days off. Wait! I thought this new job was going to give me more time off by working longer hours. That's true except I had a conference which was not only the work week but over my three day weekend as well. Then I taught a class up near the state capitol for two of my last three days off. Somehow, I'm working more and sleeping a lot less.
One of the pluses of all this work is I am making quite a bit more money. Since I don't have any bills other than the house I've put some away and some I've spent. I wrote about buying the Prius. It's not bad for a car, especially considering I haven't driven a car in almost 30 years. First it was a van, then a suburban, then truck. I still have the truck but it spends most of its time in the garage. Getting 50 mpg is great as long as their isn't an EMP. Then I'll be praying I'm not too far from home!
Last year I made my own solar oven. It worked pretty well. Then the glass broke. It was supposed to be safety glass but it wasn't. Little shards of glass were everywhere. I'm glad the grandkids weren't around. I'm going to built a better one. GI Jim told me about one he built. He used an old stereo cabinet. What a great idea! I just bought a real Sun Oven. It finally came today after ordering it over two weeks ago. I have not been very patient. I had never seen one up close until GI Jim had his seminar up in Prather. That one worked so much better than mine so it convinced me to buy one. After all, if I'm going to spend money on preps then I should spend it on a variety of things. I like the look of the Sun Oven. I don't know if the actual oven area is really big enough for a crowd of people or just a family. I will experiment and let you all know. Just not right now. I'm tired!
I was not happy with the packaging. It had Sun Oven written all over the box. While I know they want to get some advertising, how much advertising are they getting inside a FedEx truck? The advertising comes when it sits on my front porch waiting for me to get home or from the busted down box in the trash. Instead, I'm pissed off that they put prepping info on the outside of the box. That's not much different than some of the food storage companies whose boxes scream emergency storage supplies. Who'd want to buy from them?
Being in the car for a couple hours every day gives me the opportunity to listen to the news. First thing this morning was about people in another country getting taxed on their savings to pay for their government bailout. Makes me want to pull most of my money out of the bank. I'm not getting much interest on it anyway. I also keep hearing about how the stock market keeps reaching record highs. I don't understand this. There is nothing going on that should warrant that. A couple weeks ago, when at that time it was at a record high I pulled my money out of the stock market and put it into cash. Sure I won't be riding this wave of high earnings. At this point I really don't care. I think it's fake. I wish I was old enough to pull it all out without being gouged by huge penalties. I'd pull it out and stick it in the safe at home.
Or maybe I'd spend it all...
I went to the grocery store the other day. One of the grocers asked if I was finding everything alright. I said I was finding everything that I couldn't afford to buy. I was amazed at the high prices. I really didn't buy much of anything because I couldn't bring myself to spend my money that way. It's a good thing we have a full pantry and there's fruit on the trees. We are eating oranges and grapefruit right now. And lots of eggs. 18 very happy hens are laying way more than three people could ever dream of eating.
I also heard about a family who shuts off all their electricity every day except for their refrigerator. I like that idea. Actually, I'd prefer to keep the washing machine over the fridge. But I like my freezer.
I have some goals that must be accomplished by the end of the summer. I will have enough solar to run my necessities at the house. I will have a 3000 gallon or larger water tank in the yard and a way to fill it that doesn't include the 220 v pump. I have a small hand pump but that would be used for emergency 1 gallon a day type of living. I want something to fill the tank. I still want to get the talapia. Every time I'm in San Diego, where the one fish store sells the fingerlings, the store is out of stock. Every time! I want to get the fish. If I have to go to the Salton Sea and scoop them out myself I may end up doing that!
The raspberries are growing exactly like I planned. They have spread out and in another year or so will completely cover my brush pile. I don't know if we are going to get any raspberries this year. That's OK if we don't. I just want the plants to get big and strong.
Finally, the grandkids... I feel bad for them at the moment because they don't get enough of my time. They will starting this weekend since I'm not traveling or working weekends for the foreseeable future. Boy pulled a fast one, or so he thought. I told him if he got all As and Bs for grades and all satisfactories and outstandings for behavior I'd get him a phone. The grades he can do without much effort. He's a real smart one. The behavior, now that's a little harder. OK a lot harder. I haven't had too many complaints from the teacher lately other than missing homework assignments. Sorry, the kids are now in the after school program where they are supposed to have an hour for homework that is being supervised. I expect the homework to get done at school. If Boy doesn't do it then keep him in for recess. Whatever it takes.
Anyway, I came home from work last night right before dinner just like I normally do. Boy comes running into the dining room, report card in hand. I Get A Phone! When are we going to go get a phone? I looked at the report card. A, A, A, B, A, all looks good there. O, S, S, O, S, S, S...Wait a minute. Boy it all looks good except this S...it looks like the grade has been changed. Perhaps it was an N - needs improvement? Who changed the grade? Believe it or not, Boy actually told me he did! The truth instantly? I was shocked. Then, of course, he said it was all the teachers fault. That's my grandson. Why is it the teachers fault? You only have missing assignments from days I bring you to religious school? All the rest of the assignments are in on time? I don't believe that. "It's true," he said, "everything has been turned in on time except for that." I came up with a great idea. Since I am off on Friday I will go to your classroom and have a chat with the teacher. If you are right then I will get you a phone. If you are not telling me the truth then I will give you a spanking then and there, in front of everyone. I will not stand for you wasting my time or your teachers time. He told me that I shouldn't come to the school on Friday after all. I reminded him that every time he doesn't do his homework he's pushing that phone away. If he wants the phone then he does the work. It's not a hard goal to reach.
Oldest Grandson went into the Army this week. I got the privilege of dropping him off at the recruiters for his van ride to the airport then his first airplane ride to Ft. Sill. He will learn some wonderful skills. I'm very proud of him.
We are going to visit my brothers and sisters next week. I'm actually taking some time off work. I'm going to tell them about my new Sun Oven. Imagine baking without any wood, charcoal, electricity, or propane? It's the way of the future and a huge leap in self sufficiency.