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P.S. With the drought here in California, it might be prudent to stock up on a few things NOW while they are still affordable. If we don't get rain here, you will definitely see a huge price increase in things like: tomato products, raisins, tree nuts (especially almonds and walnuts), wine, and dairy products. I would also recommend figuring out how to grow your own greens if you don't currently do so. Things like lettuce, spinach, and kale are going to skyrocket if we don't get rain.


I'm actually doing a bit a research on an indoor hydroponics system for lettuce. Not sure I'll get to it, but we REALLY love our salad and it's so hard to grow lettuce here for much of the year.

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Tennis balls?

I second that.. How well does that work?


My allergies are extreme when it comes to commercial products. We once got a box of unscented bounce sheets that had been shelved next to the scented products at the store, that box never lost the perfume smell it had absorbed. :yuk:


Andrea, have you tried drying your re-fried beans? Re-fries do not last long enough in our house, lol.


Yep, tennis balls work just fine. I kept "losing" one of my dryer balls (dd would do a load of laundry and regularly cart off at least one of the dryer balls in her basket). I would throw a tennis ball in as a replacement and it worked great. Now? I don't even bother with tennis or dryer balls, unless I'm washing something made mostly from polyester. Cotton jeans and t-shirts don't seem to get as much static.


I've also heard that you can use wadded up pieces of foil, but I've never tried this.


As for drying my refried beans, I haven't bothered. While cleaning out a closet, I found 12 - #10 cans of refried beans. I have NO idea when I ordered them and have no recollection of stashing them there. AUGHHH! I am so unorganized. I'm hoping they'll last a few more years 'til I can work our way through the whole beans I've stored. I'm really trying to get our food storage down to a more manageable level. Yes, we regularly eat 95% (I do have those Coast Guard bars and a small amount of MRE's) of what we store but I went a little overboard on quantities, especially since I've developed a sensitivity to commercially used food additives and preservatives. I'm trying to be better about using at least 2-5 cans of food a week, but we really prefer fresh cooked foods.


My goal is to limit our food storage to no more than a years worth at any time or any one item, and focus more on turning every inch of yard space into perennial food production, using my raised beds for annuals (tomatoes, potatoes, onions, etc.)


Which reminds me, I need to go soak some wheat berries and get them sprouted. Trying to work through some of that as well!



My mother has severe COPD, asthma & allergies...I make 3 large foil balls and toss them into her dryer when I'm doing her laundry...so, yes they work...and wonderfully.

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I used the same recipe I used a year or so ago, Fels Naptha, Washing soda, and borax. Only thing I did different was add some lemongrass essential oils. I'm still using it because I have 5 gallons of it...lol but I'm gonna try ivory or castile soap next time!

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1) I just made a double batch [around 100 loads] of my dry laundry recipe.


one bar laundry soap [Zote, Fels Napha, Ivory, etc]

one cup each of Borax, Oxiclean, Washing Soda, and Biz


Grate soap bar in the 'salad shooter' attachment for my grain grinder. Mix..... :curtsey:



I've made one alteration due to our water. I double the amount of Washing Soda. Much happier with it now. :happy0203:



2) FOUND A NEIGHBOR TO HIRE for plowing our driveway!!!!! :amen::cele::woohoo:


DH and I are SOOOOO tired!!!!! Muscles just quivering and limp. Shoveling for days and days. Snowing for days and days. :puzzledsmile: Neighbor comes and whiff-bang, he's done. And he took half of his payment in promised duck eggs!!!!! :D He's actually had my duck eggs cuz I gave some to a mutual friend and she gave some to him. So I'm officially "the duck lady" in his book. :lol:



Happy-Happy-Happy! Junquer-the-Wonder-Van growled it's way back up the hill. Without chains there would be no way. :)



Thank YOU, God! Finally someone called me back with a recommendation for snowplowing.



3 ) Had long conversation with someone who knows areas in a couple of western states. Climate-high/low temps; what grows in gardens, orchards, fields; total number of RATTLESNAKES in the state..... things like that. :animal0017:



MtRider -- gonna take a rest for a while now...... :unsure: ....mebbe?

Edited by Mt_Rider
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I'm using the same ingredients I've used for years in my soap and the ingredients all came from my stash so they weren't bought recently. It maybe the dryer sheets from WalMart. I switched to store bought laundry soap and snuggle dryer sheets to see if it helps. I don't know if I posted this or not but I ordered 2 heaters that go on top of the coleman fuel in the canisters and they are safe to use indoors.

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My Mum gave us one of her fridges. I love being able to see everything we have. Nothing will go to waste! It's nice when I do a farm run that I don't have to fight to fit all the milk & eggs in one either :)


I've also been canning again. Bought a new freezer in Dec (don't know if I mentioned that before), & we've filled it up already! Yay!

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I don't know how to post pics, sorry. Its the round cylinders of gas. I went to WalMart and bought 6 today. Feb. 21 - 23 we are going to have tax free day for emergency preps like batteries, camp stoves, tarps, etc. things you need in case of a tornado or something like that.

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I don't know if I posted this or not but I ordered 2 heaters that go on top of the coleman fuel in the canisters and they are safe to use indoors.




Kelly, I'm not sure you saw [cuz of the page change] that ArmyOf5 posted three pics. I think you're referring to the FIRST PICTURE which is PROPANE in a small forest green canister with a screw on top. Is that correct? A device like this, maybe?






OK........I'd like to take this opportunity to get very VERY specific about options with fuel. There are VASTLY different properties and using the wrong kind for the wrong use ..... :o would not be good.


The reason I asked which DEVICE, Kelly had purchased, is because I had forgotten that Coleman now produces those small propane canisters. That was my error and I couldn't imagine what Coleman had invented as a heater to "screw on the fuel bottle" ...if it was white gas. When I saw the third picture of the propane, that confusion cleared up for me. Thanks, ArmyOf5! :thumbs:



But in case anyone else is thinking of alternative heat sources, let's go thru some of the varieties:



Coleman is historically known for it's WHITE GAS fuel used in their famous camp cooking stoves and lanterns. The fuel has to poured in the fuel chambers of those devices, then pumped up to be pressurized. The fuel for those is pictured in ArmyOf5's THIRD PICTURE LINK....although that is a newer BLEND MIX.


The SECOND PICTURE LINK ...this is a fuel bottle I'm not familiar with and I can't read the label so I have no way to know WHICH FUEL is currently sold in that packaging.



The FIRST PICTURE LINK http://www.gattusodi... 2pk 3.2.12.JPG

is the propane fuel which is already under pressure and very easy to operate. I have some of these for a table top BBQ grill and my Mr. Heater [indoor capable if you take the precautions] small heating device. Not all small green pressurized canisters are Coleman brand.


Mr.Heater pic:





This Coleman site gives a listing of a variety of fuel products. They're talking about fuel for a cooking stove but it gives data on fuel types:





What type of fuel is right for you?

How do you know if you should buy a propane stove or a Dual Fuel™ model? A liquid fuel lantern or a canister style? The first question that you have to answer is what type of fuel to use. There are differences in cost, convenience and performance with each fuel type. We'll walk you through the respective advantages so that you can make an educated purchase decision. But the most important consideration is how you'll be using the appliance you're thinking of buying. Will you be heading into remote high country? Pitching a tent at a campground in a national park? Or just heading out for the weekend on a local trail? To a certain extent, how you'll use the appliance will dictate which you should buy.


More campers use this fuel than any other, probably because of convenience and ease of use. No pouring. No priming. Just attach the fuel cylinder to the appliance and you're in business. Coleman equipment is pressure-regulated at 15 psi (pounds per square inch) to ensure steady output throughout the life of the cylinder. Propane offers great overall reliability, but be aware that it operates less effectively at subfreezing temperatures than liquid fuels. Cold will cause a pressure drop in the cylinder and output will diminish as a result. Cylinders weigh two or three pounds, so propane isn't the lightest weight option. Nor is it the least expensive. However, if you tend to set up camp and stay for days or weeks, investing in a refillable bulk tank will significantly reduce the overall cost of fuel.

Main advantages: convenience and availability.

Coleman® Fuel

Also called white gas or camping fuel, you can't beat it for camping in the winter or at high altitude. Burns hot even at subzero temperatures. And unlike butane and propane, output doesn't falter as temperatures drop. Coleman® Fuel is very refined, and burns hotter and cleaner than other liquid fuels. It's relatively inexpensive and not difficult to come by. By carrying the fuel in small refillable fuel bottles, you don't have the disposal considerations you do with empty propane or butane cylinders. But unlike appliances that use those fuels, you do need to fill liquid-fuel appliances. And for steady output, they need to be pumped occasionally to maintain pressure within the fuel tank.

Main advantages: heat output and economy.

Butane/Propane Fuel

Butane/Propane mix canisters are lightweight, resealable, and easily connect to stoves and lanterns. Most canister appliances are lightweight and simple to use, so if you are a backpacker who counts ounces and appreciates convenience this fuel is for you. Downsides are that canisters can't be recycled, and in subfreezing temperatures, the fuel does not perform well. Or at all. Cold temperatures affect the pressure in the canister, so performance is best in mild to moderate conditions, You'll find this fuel in specialty and sporting goods stores under several brand names.

Main advantages: convenience and light weight.

Unleaded Gasoline

Our DualFuel™ appliances are made to accommodate automobile fuel. Coleman's modified valving even allows for differences between summer and winter blends. At 1/10 of the cost of propane, unleaded gas is the cheapest of all appliance fuels. And it's available everywhere, of course. In an emergency, you can siphon gas from the tank of your RV or car to use in a DualFuel lantern or stove. Although it's the most economical fuel to use, you'll extend the life of your appliance by using purer Coleman™ Fuel most of the time.

Main advantages: availability and low cost.


Used less now that other fuel options are available, kerosene is economical to use, readily accessible and dependable. Disadvantages are that it's smoky and has a strong smell. Also, kerosene appliances do require priming with a preheat fuel.

Main advantage: low cost.




Sorry to divert the What Have You Done... thread but.....fuel issues make me nervous! :campfire:


MtRider ....now back to our usual thread.... :wave:

Edited by Mt_Rider
1st pic is propane
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Decided to rotate out my older chickens from the freezer and can them. I needed more shelf room in the freezer for quicker rotation. I HATE opening the freezer door and having to dance around all the frozen food falling out onto the floor. :hapydancsmil:

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Mt Rider the heaters are called "Mr. Heater, Little Buddy" indoor safe propane heater. A can of the propane is suppose to last 5 1/2 hrs. and its suppose to heat up to 100 sq feet. I needed something to use if my DH isn't here to get the generator out of the shop or something like that. When we had that ice here a couple weeks ago my DH was at work so if the power would have went out I would have been in trouble. The weather is so goofy right now that the weather men can't even tell whats gonna happen. My heaters did come yesterday along with my other LED lantern that is hand crank,battery, electis charge and solar. Makes me feel a lot better now that I have these.

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:lol: CGA. This is my freezer on top of my fridge. I use wire basket [office supply] to hold back the tide and organize. So much now is packaged in SLIPPERY plastic containers. I love the newer fridge/freezers with a freezer drawer! In my small chest freezer, I leave things in the plastic grocery sacks...especially turkeys or hams. Otherwise, I'd never be able to get a hold on the slippery, heavy things.


Kelly...so you have the device in the second picture on my post? For the same reason [DH being gone and me without a non-electric option for ANY heat in extreme subzero] we got a Lil' Buddy -Mr. Heater. I've had it on once, just to try it. I read all instructions and have it placed it near a window [can be cracked open for replenishment of oxygen]. All burnable stuff within required limits are cleared away. ...... at this point, 4 yrs later, I'd have to blow the dust out of it. The good news is.....I haven't had a crisis where I needed to use it. :cheer: But it certainly feels better than just relying completely on warm, XXL dog. :lol:



MtRider.....I still think my upstairs fridge is leaning!.....the whole cabin leans.... :unsure:

Edited by Mt_Rider
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Yeah, my top of the fridge freezer tends to be a 'shove it in here and take care of it later' mess. I'm working on it.


Just finally got a case of plastic shoe boxes I ordered weeks ago so I can organize stuff better in the drawers and keep the mice out of my stuff. Don't know why I can't keep the mice out of the house, much less out of the drawers.

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Yea Rider they are the little buddy ones. I hope to only need them if DH is at work because we have 2 generators so as long as he makes sure we have gas we will be ok. Now to figure out some fans for cooling this summer if a tornado goes through and the power goes out and we can't use our heat pump for air.

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To address the cooling issue, I have solar panels and a 12vdc automotive cooling fan that is about 18 inches in diameter. The panels will also run my small chest freezer to make ice which I can put in a 7day cooler to keep food cool but not frozen and some large cooling pads that can be rotated thru the cooler, with one keeping me cool while the other is chilling in the cooler next to the ice. Still need a battery bank since I didn't bring batteries with me when I moved.

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I'm going to get box fans that we can plug to the generator but I don't know if they have anything I could use if DH isn't here to pull out the generator. I may just have to stay on him to be sure the generator is where I can get to it. I had him put our generator (the biggest one) on one of those heavy duty wagons and he hooked it up to a battery with key start but if he doesn't run it every so often the battery goes dead and he keeps it in his shop and keeps parking his motorcycle and stuff in front of it.

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Yea Rider they are the little buddy ones. I hope to only need them if DH is at work because we have 2 generators so as long as he makes sure we have gas we will be ok. Now to figure out some fans for cooling this summer if a tornado goes through and the power goes out and we can't use our heat pump for air.


Our "quickie" solution...fill a cooler with ice, cover it with a wet dish towel, and sit it behind a box fan. Plug into your generator just long enough to cool a room to a tolerable temp, then shut generator off. You'll only be able to keep one room "conditioned" but that's okay with us.

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