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THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

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DR's have postponed surgery to 13th...got some things they want to get lined up...more time to "think" and muddle on it...thanks for all the prayers. There were 7 of us (me being oldest) and there's only myself, sissy, and 2 baby bros left. Sort of brings one up short when faced with things like this. Had a great day walking in the state park again, and MM playing leaf diving with Abby. Got more things sorted at the Little House, and MM has another new client he'll start working for a week from tomorrow. God is sooooo good!

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Sunday...just finished up having a batch of homemade tacos, and we're all 3 tuckered out! Took Abby to the state park again and we all took about a 3 1/2 hour hike in the woods. Took our walking sticks this time, it sure helps to stabilize us when we're climbing steep embankments but it's also nice to lean on them a bit just walking...LOL Abby took an accidental plunge down the spillway, but MM was quick enough to get to the bottom to catch her as she came skidding down...we laughed VERY hard! Wish we could post the video because I has my camera ready...thought "auntie Jeepers" would like to see it! She's a bit young and careless and didn't realize until she stepped off the creek path that the only footing was "down"! I'm sure she was a happy Lab to see her human daddy scrambling to catch her at the bottom...LOL She took 2 or 3 swims in the lake and then took a roll in the dirt, and a last "leaf diving" game with MM when we called it a day because the sun was beginning to go down, and went to the Little House to load up some totes to bring to one of our storage sheds at the homestead house. Thought I'd share some pics...although it's been pretty dry here, the scenery is still beautiful.

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Monday...A "slow" day...good! Drug out all the bar soaps I've accumulated and vacume sealed them with my food saver, to save their freshness and scents...especially my Fels Naptha! Also had some more individualized bars, such as Lemon Grass, Eucalyptis, Lavender, etc., that I love. They'll (hopefully) stay scented for a long time. Had to pitch a couple of MM's carpenter work pants last week (worked himself right out of them) because I'd patched, darned & glued about all I could without him looking really "scraggly"...LOL...so we found some really nice work pants at Menard's on sale so we stocked up on 4 new pairs. Our motto...pitch one, buy 2! It makes it easier on our prepping budget if we do it gradually. My jeans seem to last forever because I don't get into the type of work he does...all the bending, stooping, climbing etc. Anyway...he needs to look well groomed when working in other people's homes or for land owners who have tenants and don't want the "boogey man" showing up! LOL Have started mixing Abby's dog food to gradually transition her to a higher grade food, which incidently is less expensive AND we can buy it locally instead of driving 80 miles to find it sold out. Feeling sad for our neighbors grand-daughter. Her boyfriend gave her the prettiest little yellow Lab puppy named "Cooper" about 2 months ago. She's young and in college and had no idea the damage a rawhide could do to a dog's digestive system, and gave him one about the size of her arm, which (like most Lab's) he prompty chewed up and ate within the week. Poor little fella got clogged up and passed away night before last. Only 5 months old...such a short life for a sweetie. We went to the homestead house and gave her a big mil contractor's bag for him because the animal control officer "doesn't work on Sunday" so he had to lay in her shed until today...grrrr! Also got another gripe...son called and said the local pantry was giving away free tomatoes and wanted to know if I wanted some flats...I said sure. But when he saw them they were totally not acceptable for dehydrating etc. We drove by on our way to library and saw tomatoes squished all over the street where people got upset (...figure...why didn they take them?) and threw then down. We also had alot of upset people at our local salvation army pantry because they were giving out free bread (as much as you wanted) and (I won't mention the nationality) a certain population of our city was loading it up and feeding it to their livestock! So...they've been barred (I guess?) from even getting any now...but it doesn't matter because it's all gone for the time being. Panera's, WalMart etc., have been wonderful in donating breads to our pantries so it's sad to think of all the people who could have benefited from it instead of livestock. Even we were privileged to get in on some of the breads. Just venting? Probably the best place in the world to do it ! LOL

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Tuesday...MM's trying to finish a repair on a client's garage door seal, Abby's playing with her yellow squeeky tennis ball (that she snuck from a package that we had left it in to keep it clean!) and I was snooping around on some blogs and found these four downloads. Thought some of you might enjoy them also. I copy, paste, save, whatever...ALOT of "survival articles" and keep them updated on a thumb drive for future use. "One of these days" I want to put together a few binders...but there'd be so many of them, and transporting them would be very labor intense in a get out of dodge situation. Maybe I will, maybe I won't...thumb drives (I only have about 20) are so convenient, and since we have a couple of generators, recharging the ACER's battery for a few minutes would probably be just as easy. Anyway...here's the link to the downloads:

http://seasonedcitizenprepper.com/preparedness-downloads/

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WOW...a local meat locker was clearing things out for this year's venison intake...and we got 1# rolls of ground venison, for (I'm not telling!) but only as much as you could fit into a WalMart bag. Well, here's one lady who can really STUFF! LOL For less than $20 I've got enough ground venison for a long, long, long time! What a blessing FROM those who gave TO those who received!

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Wednesday...looked on the rolls of ground venison and it's from a "sharing the harvest"-type group. Set a tube out, gonna try it for supper. Today Mom called and she'd been given 2 big bags of wonderful, dark red, big apples, so she's forwarding them on to me...along with a bag of sweet little round onions, 3 batches of green onions and a bag of lemons. So...guess what!? Out comes the peeler/corer and out comes the dehydrators! I'll just save the lemons for my citrus water and save the dehydrated ones and frozen ones for later use. I'll also keep a few of the delicious (yep...had to try one!) apples for snacking (with caramel dip of course). The onions will (for the most part) go into a separate dehydrator (smelly!) since I don't want my apples smelling like onions...LOL Mountain Man and I talked this morning about ordering more of the Honeyville whole eggs (not the OvaEasy) and the hamburger for storage and not opening the ones we recently ordered. Just take our chances and eat what we store! Figure we'd get pretty tired of oatmeal, rice or dried cereal in a tough situation & would enjoy some eggs with hamburger and a batch of biscuits...or the dreaded "spam-n-eggs" with biscuits...LOL. The weather has been delightful so won't complain a bit...just enjoy it as it comes. It's not totally "unusual" weather for us (60's during day, 40's during night), but a tad bit warmer during the daylight hours. I figure that's because we haven't had a lot of clouds to block out our sunlight nor high winds. Thankful since MM is working on an outside job and when finished, needs to slap a bit of paint on the finished work. He had to stop to go get our generator since the tenant of the client he's working for, left for work and he has no access to electricity. Kinda getting into practice! He's used our generators more than once on his jobs and never regretted buying them. We were blessed to buy them used so saved ALOT of $$$ and have had them for several years. Main thing is to put fuel stabilizer in them when winter comes and you know they'll be setting for any length of time. Same way with our pressure washers, RV anti-freeze is a must! Fired one up last month and it's leaking where a plastic ring froze (?) and broke...so it's repair it or replace it. We have an older one but can't figure out where we've got it stored! LOL Hugs to my friends, knowing you're all busy beavers also!

ps...changed to google chrome for my browser. Read several places where it's the most secure. Also have read good stuff about foxfire, but chose chrome for the time being.

Edited by Philbe

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THURSDAY...had our first helping of speghetti last night using our newly acquired ground venison! Good stuff! Remarkable what some good spices will do to mask the "wild" taste. It's sort of funny when Abby senses a new smell in the house, she lifts her head and her nose goes almost straight up...we usually tell her "nose down!" so she knows it's not something for her and it's time for her to "go away"...but, she was sure "nose up" for this newly added aroma! LOL Also have 6 trays of apples that are drying, they should be done in a couple more hours...I set them low because I want them to be good for a dried apple pie someday! With the leftover apples (not enough to put on another tray) and scraps, I made a batch of spiced apples to take as a birthday gift to a batchelor friend who several of us are meeting at the Moose to celebrate his 70th! He's been a batch for many years (other than girl friends) so we figure he'll really enjoy some either straight, on ice cream, or...on his slice of birthday cake! LOL Today is a trip for both of us to the hairdresser, MM to get his curls trimmed short so he's not so bushy and me to get my drabs pulled through and lightened. Just aint gonna grow older without a fuss! LOL

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FRIDAY...MtnMn and I talked it over, and with the "cliff" discussions going on in our government and it seeming nobody has any solutions, that we'd better take some $$$ and add stock to our pantry so we spent the morning buying flats of canned goods and stacking them on the shelf unit that's still in the enclosed back porch and had lots of room since it's so big. I think it was CGA that mentioned recently about canned goods having fluids that could being nourishment (which I have wholeheartedly agreed with for a long, long time), we added another flat each of canned potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, roast beef & gravy, chicken breast meat, large cans of pinto beans, chicken broth, peaches in light syrup, and then some odds and ends. MtnMn had planned to work on the soffitt & guttering here at home but it's chilly, overcast and we got a late start, so he'll try to get that started tomorrow. The Little House is on the waiting list...again. I keep telling myself that maybe it's the Lord's way of steering us a different direction momentarily...He's done that so many times. The Word tells us "the steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord". Calming...

Took Abby to the dog park yesterday (since it's close) and wore her fanny out playing fetch with her "squeeky tennis ball" and teaching her to run the ramps etc. We'll probably take her again here shortly...a tired Abby is a good Abby!

 

ps...yes, a tired Abby is a good Abby! Sacked out on her living room blanky, curled up like a perfect baby! Funny what a yellow squeezy tennis ball fetching and some runs up and down the exercise ramps will do... :cheer:

Edited by Philbe

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SATURDAY...still havn't gotten to work on the guttering, facia etc., here at home. Drug out the gas powered weed eater and it wouldn't stay running. Drug out our weed wackers, and they need a sharpening BAD! We've used them several times and guess it dulled them down. Also, need to sharpen our manual push mowers. Posted on Tools of The Trade forum to see if anybody knows how to sharpen these critters! Got it knocked down enough around the kennel, shed etc., for Mtn. Man to go ahead and mow the actual yard with the gas mower. If somebody sees this before they read on the other forum, and you know how to sharpen these tools, all help would be appreciated! Gotta keep our prep tools sharp...it costs alot to take them to shops to have it done. Anyway...knocking things off in a couple of hours to get ready for the birthday dance tonight with our friends. Gonna feel pretty good to meet up with them. Some we haven't seen for weeks, some not for months.

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SUNDAY...Dreary and cloudy and chilly weather, but we still "went to the woods" for a nice walk. Didn't take the hiking trails because we didn't trust the weather not to open the heavens up on us! :grinning-smiley-044: Did get some sorting and packing of totes done at the Little House and Abby-girl got plenty of exercise and so did we. Danced last night with several of our couple friends...was sooo good to see them and learned there's a new restaurant/dance room about 30 miles from us and 3 of us couples are going Saturday night. It used to be a Mennonite restaurant but they just didn't seem to be able to make it work, so these people bought it, put in a dance room/floor with no smoking...none of us smoke (and it's a big issue with all of us!) and we don't want to breath someone elses "exhaust". We all try very hard to stay healthy and aren't very tolerant when we have to be subjected to somebody elses addictions. It's really hard to find a nice place to dance that isn't a smoke filled or drunk filled place. :icon19: Ooops...hope nobody around here takes offense. Heard a preacher once say "smoking won't send you to hell, it just makes ya smell like ya been there". :sigh:

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MONDAY...just tinkering around all day! Learning more about my Kindle so I can make most of it's uses. Being avid readers, we'll have lots of stuff to read. Also figured out how to use my freeby pdf converter to change all the articles I've saved onto my pc, into .pdf files and send them via email to my Kindle. Some of you ladies have wonderful information & tutorials, and sometimes it's hard to remember where I've read them...so, I have copied and pasted them onto my pc. Now...I get to send them to my Kindle where I know exactly where they are at (both on pc and Kindle)! Mtn. Man is working on another project for an office's bathroom, then another one this afternoon that he's meeting with the landlord to see what needs to be done to get the apartment ready for it's next tenant. Worked at the Little House yesterday again, sorting & packing totes...after we took a nice like hike/walk in the state park. Trying to get his work schedule geared for Mon-Thurs so we can work on the Little House etc., Fri-Sun. "Someday" it'll be ready for the market! Told Mountain Main I was going to be on his tail like a duck on a june bug! I'll take my Kindle and read while he sorts through 20 years of his "stuff" (a bachelor collects as much as anybody!) 'cause I don't know what he want to save, sell or pitch...LOL Great to see the shoutbox back up and running, and hearing the "thunks" was a new experience!

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TUESDAY...had to stop and think what day it was...LOL Love retirement! Mtn.Man is working again today but had to put on his "warm" attire...it's under 30 out there! Where'd the sun go? Planning to haul in my tub of "add water only" packets and get them sealed in mylar, and then all of them in a big bag of mylar. Overkill? Probably, but after spending money on them I don't want to even take a chance on losing them to critters! Also planning to go "winter" shopping...then I am fully stocked for the winter and don't need to get out for nothing unless it's some huge, gigantic sale! LOL Also plan to order some more items from Honeyville...whole eggs, sausage crumbles, hamburger crumbles and some powdered cheese. I want to make some "meals in mylar" for future use as well as for traveling etc. I've taken a couple of "winter tumbles" and it's no fun...even with cleats on my boots, the snow or ice is not particular in how it dumps us! So...I don't get on it unless we're going snow shoeing or something. Still, like the idea of not having to grocery shop when weather is on the bum.

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WEDNESDAY...got us a fairly pretty day outside, very chilly but nothing wet. This has actually been a pretty lazy week for Philbe, but isn't that what being retired is for? LOL I try to do "something" every day that relates to our preparedness though. Told Mtn.Man that I thought we should stock a couple more fire extinguishers...to use as weapons. I think a good blast in the face of an attacker would probably make them feel suffocated long enough for us put some distance between us, and give us time to grab our pistol(s). Mine's always loaded and very handy, but bigger stuff is in hiding. Would also make sense to have one in our vehicles and within easy reach. At RV bootcamp, that's one of the items they suggested you carry in your vehicles...for all types of "safety". Do have some packets of grits I want to put in mylar though. Did get all the water only biscuit & cornbread packets sealed in mylar, was able to get 6 packs to a medium sized mylar bag and the food sealer did the rest. Last night we re-opened a chip bag full of popcorn (I re-use them) and the smell that came out was scruptuous! Had popcorn right now! Still have enough for another snack, so...re-sealed the chip bag again! LOL I'm getting really curious just how long they'll stay fresh enough to enjoy so may just go ahead and eat this last batch and pop up another big batch, put it into a new mylar bag, and just leave it for a month or so before opening it. I've told Mtn.Mn I'm just not into these "gourmet" meals that are being sold, but I do think one might enjoy a bag of popcorn that you don't need to use fuel to pop it up. Maybe I'm sort of "over-kill" on some things, but for me the less fuel I have to use to cook the better to have to keep warm in a stuff-hits-the-fan situation. Our travel trailer's frig, water heater & furnace all operate on propane as an alternative so saving our tanks to me is of utmost importance. We've stored up about a dozen or so...but still have several we need to get exchanged for filled ones. We've got a couple of buddy heaters that will work here at the house...and about 25 cannisters for them. Mtn.Mn wants to buy one of those adapters that lets us use the buddy heater with a bigger propane tank, but needs to do some research on the type of nozzle he'll need to convert it. Seen one at the last preppers expo but didn't buy it...figured it could be had cheaper someplace else...:-) Usually is. The only thing we've really been aggrevated about it the scarcity of strike anywhere matches, and the cost of them if you do find them! Told Mtn.Mn we'll just put in a stock of Bic-type lighters. They're pretty much waterproof and with a little strip of inner-tube we can start a fire just about anywhere and any time. We've got alot of different types of fire starters but we'd still need to use a source of ignition...if nothing else, our flint-striker type. Also want to keep looking for some cheap flannel that I can use my pinking shears to cut into healthy squares to save for "butt wipers" along with our stock of baby wipes! LOL Mtn.Mn says he wants TP as long as possible. I say..."OK, but you find some extra money to buy it and store it 'cause my pantry is for food & meds!" I love my TP too, but eating and having water and meds is my first priority...with us being on a fixed income and living in a city environment where we're not able to do some of the things others can do when they live in the country. Oh well, gotta get my laundry started along with the grits...I sure enjoy reading all the different postings from everyone here...makes an interesting way for Philbe to start her day!

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THURSDAY...not a bad day 'tall out there! Today is haircut day for both of us, and I'll get a few more blonde streaks added to blend things out a bit. Was supposed to go last week but beautician was sick w/cold so we're both pretty "long at the ears". Sister is in surgery today and will be most of day, while they cement several of her vertibrae, pull the curviture back into place and pin it so it will stay. She'll be in hospital for awhile and then pretty much bed bound when she gets home for a couple of months. Not much choice...surgery or wheelchair...consequences of a near fatal car accident about 30 years ago. Laundry's done. Dishes done. Bed covers changed. Just need a good shower after I finish my last cup of coffee. Been watching on tv (Discovery?) videos, pics, etc. of Katrina, the Japanese Tsunami, etc. I was again astounded when they re-visited the dome where 20,000 (?) were huddled, waiting for somebody to come bail their fat out of the fire. Sorry to be synical, but some of these people were the very ones that were dancing in the streets, waving their beads & banners proclaiming they had outwitched Katrina. Then watched the horror of the Japanese people...where can you go when you're faced with something like that? Not much warning, and can you load up preps and run like a scalded cat with a water wall like that coming after you? Some things we can "prepare" for...but in all actuality, there's some things we just cannot...and then it's "Lord, have mercy on me until this calamity passes by"...from Psalms someplace.

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FRIDAY...just read the following article on prepping for an ice storm. We had one in our area about 18 years ago and it was absolutely aweful!!!! Had soooo many people (especially elderly) injured in slipping & falling accidents. When I went to work, I had to park behind the office, up on a hill and wearing "gripper" socks I would slide down to the back door of the office (it was down hill). Didn't dare park there or I would have never gotten out. It still took days before the cars etc., could navigate the streets. The 4-wheel drives are not any help on ice. About the only way people could get around was to walk. Here's the article (I just copied & pasted it here)...

 

An Ice Storm is a unique weather phenomenon that immediately paralyzes a region, much more so than a major snow storm. An ice storm is so debilitating that you risk your survival and life simply by walking out your front door.

 

Just prior to nearly any forecast of a major storm, people rush out to the grocery stores, which quickly run out of lots of food and supplies. How does this happen? Its pretty simple really… just think about your own habit of going to the grocery store… you probably go on the same day of the week, right? Lets say you normally go Friday, someone else goes Saturday, yet anther always goes on Tuesday, etc. When a storm is forecast, people disregard their normal schedule and many of them run out to the store during the same day just before the storm. Bingo… the store shelves go empty. The lesson is to NOT have to run out – keep enough at home to begin with. Not only that, but an ice storm will completely prohibit you from running that errand as soon as the fist liquid begins to freeze into ice.

 

EXPECT more dumb decisions. As it is, a certain percentage of people make dumb decisions, but for some reason just prior and during a storm, there are more of them making poor choices. There will be more accidents (automobile and otherwise). People rushing around, nearly panicked. Out for themselves. It’s really quite amazing to witness. So the best advice is to stay out of their way, and better yet, stay at home!

 

If you are stuck at home for days with the rest of your family, it will become increasingly likely that you will all get bored or stressed out. Think ahead of time for things to do. Have books to read. Games to play. Projects to accomplish. Be extra nice so as to reduce the possible stress around everyone.

 

Ice will quickly bring traffic to a crawl or complete halt. Cars may become abandoned and roads completely impassible. Even though you may have a 4×4, keep TIRE CHAINS in your vehicle. A 4-wheel drive will do no good on ice, just like a 2-wheel drive vehicle. Chains however will add biting grip to your tires (even 2-wheel drive vehicles) and may be the difference to get you home. They are easy to get… just ‘size’ them according to the tire model/size that you have. Oh, and once you get them, be sure and familiarize yourself with putting them on one time in your driveway, when the weather is nice, so you know how to do it!

 

One major danger and risk is that the power often goes out during an ice storm. The weight of the build-up of ice on the power lines and tree branches is enormous (more than you may think). Once a critical point is reached, these lines and limbs will start crashing down. Even worse is that it will be nearly impossible for repair crews to do their job until AFTER an ice storm. This means that you may be without power for a LONG TIME.

 

During the winter, being without power is an entirely different deal than a summertime power outage. Even a relatively short term power outage in the winter can be deadly. Your home will likely lose its ability to heat. Pipes may freeze. You may freeze. It is crucial to consider an alternative method for keeping warm. Safe portable indoor heaters are available. Of course a wood stove is a no-brainer.

 

Remember this, whereas during a power outage resulting from a snow storm may allow you to drive to another location which has heat or power, during an ice storm you will NOT be able to safely travel. This makes it all the more important to have a means of keeping warm in your home during a power outage.

 

Plus, there are all of the other aspects that go with getting along without power…

 

For your vehicle, keep tire chains, tow strap, salt/sand, shovel, ice scraper, snow brush, a safe gas can, extra gloves, extra hat, blanket, 72-hour kit with food (or at least some power bars, etc.), road flares, LED flashlight, car charger for cell phone, and whatever else you think may be good to have just in case…

 

A few additional preparedness items for home include LED flashlights, extra batteries, solar battery charger, portable battery powered AM/FM Shortwave radio, a weather radio, a safe indoor cooking stove, enough food, some stored water in case municipal tap water pumps go dead, generator, extra fuel in safe gas cans, car charger for your cell phone, and most important of all… enough hot chocolate!

 

If you have large trees or limbs over or near your home or roof, be very aware of this. A falling tree can easily slice into a house and kill you. Consider trimming large limbs that may be a risk. At the very least, I would not sleep or spend much time in a room underneath such a danger zone.

 

Conserve the power on your cell phone. Shut it off except for when you are going to use it. Cell towers are often repaired well before the power comes back on, so bear that in mind.

 

If you are ‘out’ and you hear a forecast of icing, do your best to get where you are going to go, BEFORE the event. Your ears should perk up when you hear the word, ICE.

 

Be prepared.

 

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SUNDAY...busy day yesterday picking up some things we felt we needed for the pantry.

Wake up call for Philbe...perhaps confirmation? Wanted to add more "add water only" packets from the store for cornbread. NONE to be found. Plenty of biscuit packets but none for corn. We felt corn would be a premium (since the drought) and were almost too late in finding seed packets back in August! All the stores were sold out of the usually "on sale" packets. Ended up having to pay premium price for planting corn at Ace Hardware...and when I say premium price, I mean PREMIUM price! Got a feeling that if it contains corn it will be either highly priced...hard to find...or not to be found. So...guess I'm going to buy some of those Jiffy Mixes and see if I can figure out how to add dehydrated eggs and powdered milk to them, making them "add-water only" mixes. Also going to surf around and see if I can find a good site for the gallon sized mylar bags. Only place we seem to be able to find them (without having to buy packages with mixed sizes) is at expo's. Don't have to pay shipping on them there, but sometimes we just don't have the funds readily available for something that only happens 2 or 3 times a year..."someplace" in the USA. Went dancing last night with our friends...no smoking environment...such a pleasant "get away" for all six of us. One of our like-minded friends owns a large farm, so all six of us are having a lunch Tuesday and then doing some target practice etc. Love going out there...WAY out in the boonies!

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MONDAY...dreary, misty, chilly day. Just sticking around the house and puttering. Finished the last of the shower scrubbies for a Christmas gift for one of our couple friends, blue for him, pink for her. Added a bag of home made cappachino for him, re-packaged some dehydrated orange rings into a vacume sealed bag since they both love citrus waters, found some pretty writing paper in a packet (I'm always on the look out for things like this) for her, and found a beautiful piece of gold mesh that I hemmed for a long scarf (she loves frills etc.) and stuck it all in a nice glittery gift bag...using the scarf as a bow with a card from us. Loaded another gift basket for another couple with two cute coffee cups (she loves cups) with some cappachino in the basket, found 4 table place mats really cheap (so I didn't crochet them this time around) and rolled them into rolls and stuck them in, put in a little "notebook with blank pages" (that I was able to buy bulk a couple of years ago), so she can always have something ready to write on...groceries??? Sent the grandkids their Christmas gifts, but haven't heard anything back from them yet. This will be the last year I send if I don't get a thank you card or call. Still got lunch dishes in the sink that need to be washed up and need to set some sort of meat/fish out for supper. Can't find my other knitting basket that has all my regular crochet hooks etc. in it...last saw it in the camper but MM wasn't able to locate it. So did my shower scrubbies with my afghan hook, but they're done! Even found a tiny little wire-type rose (in some of my craft bags) and was able to stick one in her scrubbie. Feeling peaceful today...and loving it! Abby's even been peaceful!

Edited by Philbe

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Philbe, try Frugal Squrril (???? spelling) for gallon sized mylar bags. I haven't bought any for years but when I did the price was right.

 

From Philbe...

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THURSDAY...Started snowing early, we've got about 2 inches...not much and it's stopped now. Cold and the wind is blowing quite a bit, but the sun's shining so snow probably won't last too long if it continues to shine. Power went off for about 3 hours, probably fried squirrel someplace in town...LOL Anyway we were prepared. We had brought the Buddy Heater, the Cad Cooker/Heater, and the 2-burner Coleman camp stove along with a case of the small sized propane bottles and a larger propane tank...home. Just closed off all bedrooms, put on my heavy thermal shirt, flannel shirt, jeans, warmy socks, fired up the Buddy and grabbed my book along with one of our LED puck light (they stand, lay or hang) and fixed me a cup of "warm" chocolate (from hot tap water) and read some. Did fill my fruit jars with vegetable oil and gave them a try but the wicks burned real nicely for just a bit then charred down & quit. I'm letting them sit and absorb more of the oil...hopefully this is what they need. Or...may need a different type of wick. I'll let ya's know how I fare with them. This is Abby's first "official" snow (her first was when she was only 9 weeks old) and she had a ball! Have a towel on the inside back rail of our enclosed porch to dry her off with, and she enjoys the "rub & tug"...LOL Mtn.Mn is working, but it's inside so he's warm and he went by Homestead House & loaded up the 4 sand bags in his truck bed (under the cap so they stay dry). Mom's tucked in her apartment and warm. Son's tucked in his apartment and warm. Sister is home from hospital and starting her recovery period. All is well for us immediates. Son wasn't real thrilled when I called him at 7 am and said "need to get your drawers on & salt down your grandma's steps & sidewalk." His response..."Now? It's only supposed to snow 1/2 inch!" My response..."We don't trust forecasters and that's part of your rent." He called later & said it was done...and then called again and said "You were right Mom, it has snowed alot more than they were forecasting"! (smile) Jury duty went ok, but had to sit for several hours for selection before I was not selected and could go home. The "onery" part? Had to be there (it was cold outside) by 8:30 am...and then sit shoulder to shoulder with 40 other people and bunches of them were huffing, coughing, blowing, sneezing & nose wiping...grrrr. We all try so hard to stay healthy and then we are forced to this type of exposure. Starting sucking on some Zicam lozenges immediately and will continue for today. They're holistic pretty much so just a precautionary measure that we both take when we're exposed to negative environments. "Peace on earth and goodwill to all men (and women)"...

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FRIDAY...snow has pretty much stayed put. Sunshine melted alot of it but now (as usual) it's re-freezing and making things even more slipply. Put together a couple of Christmas "grab bags" for Mom and son and got them delivered. Address cards, stamped them and they're ready for the post office mail drop tomorrow as we head out for the "big city". With this gun control thing going on, MM wants to update and add to our "stash". Been having some recorrences of "anxiety" episodes...grrrr! Started having them after first husband was diagnosed with brain tumor, and they stayed (off and on) for 26 years of caring for him. Have only had 2 or 3 since I married Mountain Man, so I'm not sure why this episode is so persistent unless it was prompted by the jury duty thing. That's the problem with these things...you never know what provokes them and you never know how long they'll hang around. Have to back off my beloved morning coffee and switch to de-caf or hot chocolate for the time being. Having son without any income in our apartment doesn't help for sure. He's getting real antsy because he doesn't have any income whatsoever yet, and if he can't pay his tv/internet/phone bill he's got nothing other than finding a way to the library's internet and books. Insurance on his truck is expired so he can't do that without taking a chance of getting stopped. BUT...so far, we're all still on earth! PTL!!! Told Mtn.Mn that I wasn't preparing for the end of the world, I prepare for disasters (of any kind) that may easily happen when we least expect it. Went to Dollar Tree and bought a couple boxes of crayons, several coloring books, several word search books, and a couple of little hand games. We've got lots of books to read, our Kindle has books & articles etc., but the Acer will only hold a charge so long without having to be hooked up or charged with generator...so...having things that will relax us is a must. I enjoy crochet but MM's hand are much too big and I don't think he'd even consider learning! LOL A couple of years ago (before I joined like minded people) I sold over 200 skeins of yarn and gave away or sold about 100 balls of crochet threads. Several of my fingers were getting a bit "knotty" so I figured I'd just give it up. Grrrrrrrr...sure wish I had all that yarn and thread now! Oh well, I'll just have to catch it on sale like I did then, and start building up another collection. Stay well friends, stay warm, stay safe, stay prepared for life!

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SATURDAY...Up and at 'em! Drove to big city to a gun/knife show. Found some things we needed to add for our safety. The place was ABSOLUTELY packed...people anticipating and fearing our own government. So sad. Saw men using 2-wheelers to haul out cases of ammo to their vehicles because it was to much and to heavy to carry...again, so sad. We like to go to "looky-looky" and often find things that will be important if we don't have electricity etc...ie: the little can openers that the military carries. We bought five, mainly because they're almost indistructable. Also needed some paracord. I looked and looked and asked "There's got to be a good use for this that you haven't thought of"...and guess what!? The thought came to me that I could crochet a pretty tough hammock (a bit expensive maybe but made tough) for camping! LOL Probably a few other things I could find to do with it "IF" I was willing to buy that much of it. Body is feeling better...perhaps just needed a nice day trip. Did suffer greatly for not wearing either my rocker tennis shoes or my hiking boots...hip was screaming at me so much it felt like I was dragging a stump for a leg...:-( Lesson learned, no loafers when you're going to be on your feet for 5 hours! Not a place to sit anywhere in the building except in the ladies toilet! You can only sit there so long you know! LOL Stopped and had din-din at Arby's...since we hadn't eaten since breakfast and I felt like my throat had been cut. We usually pack a lunch but just flat ran out of time this morning before we needed to get on the road...did grab a couple of granola bars so that took the hungries off for awhile. We did have food for Abby though! LOL

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