Thursday, November 12, 2009

Things around here have been a little dull lately. Lisa came down with a nasty cold last Sunday after the party, and of course I ended up with it. I fully admit it, I'm a big baby when I get a bad cold. I just want to sit around. I've kept up with what needed done and caught up on a bunch of reading, but thats been about it. Finally 2 days ago, I started feeling good enough to get some things done.

I finally decided to get out of the rabbit business until next year. While my buck fathered a few litters for my friend tammie, my does have had ONE litter in the year I've had them. With winter just around the corner, and the thought of frozen water bottles and feeding something that wasn't paying back, I figured it was time. All three are now in the freezer, along with 4 of the 7 roosters I got a few months ago. I planned to get to all 7, but I made my cleaning station a bit too low, and after 3 rabbits and 4 birds, my back was killing me from stooping over. I'll get to the other 3 either today or tomorrow, depending on weather. (yesterday was just too cold and horribly windy) The plan for all of them is 2-3 giant batches of chicken soup in the canner, though it's all pieced and in the freezer for now.

Tomorrow we are going out for groceries. Some will be for stock/storage, and others will be to make meals and things to freeze and can. A while back we tried canning meatloaf. Neither of us had ever canned meatloaf before, let alone ate any home-canned. It was delicious! So, we plan to make a good sized batch to can this weekend as well. Other plans are for casseroles to put together and freeze, along with some meatballs. It's nice having some things pre-prepared and ready for those days when neither of us really feel like cooking.

Already we're working on plans for next years garden. Since we grew so many onions and potato's, we've been eating more of each. Well.....thanks to that, we won't have enough to get us through till spring, which was the plan the whole time. Next year, I'll double each so this won't happen again. The same will go for carrots. I planted some just for the hell of it, we don't eat many carrots, but now that we've decided to can more soup to store, yea, we need more carrots, lol. Ah well, live and learn right?? We'll work on more of next years list this weekend while we're in the kitchen, then start picking through the seed catalogs soon after.

Every year our garden gets bigger, and next year will be no exception. Every year we make mistakes, major and minor, but we learn from them and re-plan for the following season. Again, next year will be no exception. We'll base more planting on more than just the basic things we usually can. (peppers, tomatos, beans, etc) and plan more on things for soups and such. (celery, carrots, etc) Each year as our garden and knowledge grows, so does our list of things we make for ourselves. As a perfect example, I'm EXTREMELY happy to say that we haven't had any store-bought canned soup in a very very long time. Between Lisa's chicken soup and my chili, we haven't had to. Yep, the garden '10 notebook will be chock full of new things and new items. (we also seriously plan on more meat birds next year, though where they will be is still up in the air)

Later today, I'll be working on cleaning and re-organizing my room downstairs. I need to rearrange all of my camping gear, and go through my checklist of things to keep on hand. More and more as I hear and read of things to come, I think about the things I keep there and want to make sure I have all that I need. No, I'm not one to prepare for WW3/SHTF or some other things that so many conspiracy people continuiosuly think about, but I do think of other things. Snowstorms, power outages, etc are my main concerns. A few days ago we had electrical problems at the main pole connection. The power was off not quite an hour while the worker re-wired and changed the connections. Some people I know would have been in a tissy, but we lit a couple oil lamps and grabbed a book. No big deal at all. We've dealt with an hour, we've dealt with a few hours, and a year ago we made it through a few days without a worry. I want to make sure we STAY that way.

There are a few things I want to work on in this small preparadness list though, mainly things we didn't think about before. We need water storage for sure. In case of emergency, we'll need water for cooking and for toilet flushing. (unless I get the camp toilet that I want) I'd love to have some 55 gallon drums of drinking water on hand, but we simply can't afford any right now. I think what I will end up doing is cutting the power line to the well pump and putting plugs at either end. This way in case of power outage, I can run a cord from the generator to the pump and we'll have water. I'll still want some sort of storage on hand though, maybe just 5 gallon "camp" containers for now. Hmm....I see my xmas list being mostly "survival" stuff, lol.

Other things I need to concentrate on checking stock are basic items I should be checking more regularly-first aid, meds, TP, batteries, lamp oil, gasoline, propane, spare flashlight bulbs, generator plugs, etc. My plan is to at first base the entire storage on a possible month-long power outage, then continue from there. Crazy? maybe. But I'll tell ya, I'd rather have these things and never use them, then need them and not have it. I know people that don't have something as simple as a basic flashlight in their homes. I don't want to be them.

As I've said, I don't sit around and worry about what *might* happen. I don't think of many things that I see on the internet. I don't want to be one of these people that constantly talk of the government taking over and forcing martial law. I don't want to be one of these people that talk about invasions and possible wars. And I'm surely not one of those guys with a basement full of guns and ammo waiting patiently for WW3 to break out or the police to knock on my door to take everything I own. (where do the get this stuff???) I just want to be prepared. I think about storms, power outages, and everything else I have said over and over. I refuse to be one of those people who packs up and leaves just because they can't watch television or turn on a light. I'll start the generator, light a few oil lamps, make some coffee on the campstove, and watch the people run like ants.


Anonymous said...

For being dull around there, it seems like you have been very busy thinking about planning the '10 garden, and filling up the freezer with rabbits and roosters! Maybe it's dull but you are accomplishing SOMETHING!! Where do you put all the items that you are keeping for future use? in your basement? Probably not a bad idea but I don't think we would do that. Don't have a basement for one thing! lol...debbie

Chris W said...

Debbie, we store all the food upstairs in three pantries, the bulk onions and potato's are downstairs.
We have one basement room set aside thats strictly for prep items, camping, hunting, and fishing gear, plus it's my office/getaway space. We have a table in there too, thats where we spend a lot of winter evenings together talking, reading, playing board games, or planning various things. We keep the thermostat down to save on the gas bill but run a small electric heater in there while we're in it. Nice cozy evenings together....maybe I should make a blog entry about that room and how it's set up, hmmmm.

Guntard said...

I've been enjoying your blog! It's been on the list of myself and several friends. All of us have found you to be an example for becoming self sufficient! Keep up the good work.

TheMartianChick said...

I did a little analyzing of the pantry yesterday. I cleared some more room and then spent time figuring out what I want to fill it with. Like you, I'm no survivalist with a cache of weapons hiding in an undisclosed bunker, but I do try to be prepared for the things that are likely to happen.

In the northeast, that means blizzards, ice storms and freezing temperatures. It feels so good to not have to go buy things when Mother Nature tests us!

Chris W said...

Guntard-thanks for the comments and howdy neighbor!

MartianChick-I know freezing temps and ice storms all too well! '78 or '79 was the worst I've ever seen. I remember 2" of ice hanging from trees and powerlines. It got so heavy that winter, it pulled down a 40+ foot pinetree at my folks place.

Chris Allen said...

Regarding 55 gallon drums, I have seen them for sale from free to $5 each, you'll have to go pick them up, and then clean them, the ones (10) I got were food grade, and they had strawberries or sprite syrup, or some other food product in them. After a good cleaning job, they have been used for water storage.

I would check in the craigslist for your area, or on freecycle for your area, or even call a local food processing plant or restaurant, they are always using large containers. Good luck in your preparedness.

Chris Allen

Aaron said...

I read in one book that you could take old hot water heaters, strip them down and put them up on stands so that you can access the bottom drain. Then you just hook it into your main water line. Once they are full, the water flowing through would just keep the water circulated and fresh for when you need it. This auther recommended at least one tank per individual that lives in the house. And these can usually be gotten for free on craigslist or freecycle. Hope this helps.

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