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I am not ready.


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Usually, I stock up during the summer months and everything is ready. This year I was completely unprepared for the cost of oil and we are in rough situation. We bought two ceramic heaters that are supposed to cost pennies a day. Right, our first electric bill was $480. That as in a month we had a $400 oil bill. we are retired and on a limited income. We have cut down to only necessities for groceries and my cupboard is shrinking. We heated with wood for years and are not able to do that any longer. we have decided to get a coal stove but they are hard to find in our budget. Things will work out with the help of the Lord. I will be more prepared next winter.

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One of the things about being on this board is that we read about others and what they are doing and we figure *EVERYBODY* is better prepared than we are. Or have more money, or are doing more, etc. etc. etc. :(

 

But the reality is that each of us have struggles and are working through things. It could be marriage, kids, money, relatives, health problems, or (all too often) a combination of these and more. And the economic stresses of our times are affecting all of us.

 

I hope we can be a source of inspiration and a help. And we're ready to stand by your side in prayer, too.

 

:hug3: Glad you're back, RenieB.

 

Oh, and if you care to share the info on your ceramic heaters and your experiences, maybe you can save somebody else larger bills, too.

 

Have you checked into the price of coal, and the availability of it in your area? That might be a factor in your choices, too. I know when the pellet stoves came out that could burn corn, some friends of ours got one. Then the price of corn shot up and it got *expensive*!

 

We know people who have used these pressed sawdust blocks and like them. They're *GREAT* unless they get wet... then they're sawdust. :o It can be a nice alternative to cutting wood for older wood stove users. Most of them deliver to your home. http://www.eco-blockfirewood.com/

(Check around for different sources/prices!)

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RenieB, I was talking to DH about someone here wanting to get and use a coal stove. He and his Dad have both used coal at different times.

 

He says that there are some things anyone burning coal should know. When you burn it, it smells sulfurous and can be irritating. (Not necessarily physically, but it doesn't smell good.) It "perfumes" the neighborhood. And it also leaves a fine ash on everything outside.

 

If you live out in the country away from others, you can decide if that's OK for you. But if you live near neighbors, you can start some poor relationships with the neighbors around you unless they *really* like you! :o:

 

The price of coal may have risen substantially; he doesn't know recent pricing. Also, laws curbing coal burning have been enacted in many places.

 

Just so you can make an informed decision.

 

:bighug2:

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(((((RenieB))))))). I too feel unprepared. This year I've been dealing with health issues and our food storage has greatly been depleted. Glad we had the food storage when I couldn't cook or go to the store. I went yesterday to start re-stocking and cannot believe how much everything has gone up.

 

Just do what you can and the Lord will provide. :pray:

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We've had a cornstove for 6 or 7 years. We grow our own corn so that's nice but, even with the much higer prices, it's still cheaper than propane. We have it in our living room so it's nice and toasty, our kitchen is a little cooler and by the time you get back to the bedrooms, if it's really cold outside, they'll be in the low 50's.

 

We like a cold bedroom so it isn't bad but where we spend most of our time, the living room, is very comfortable.

 

Saying a prayer for you RenieB and also thankful that winter will be over pretty soon. Hugs!

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Oh RenieB, I just want to put my arms around you and give you a hug. :hug3: Much the same thing happened to us last year when we decided we just weren't up to the rigors of cutting wood. We have heated with wood for well over 45 years. We had a wood furnace and ended up buying our wood at a lot higher cost than expected. But with my health problems I just couldn't get warm so we bought one of those really nice expensive heaters. Yeah right, same thing happened to us. We not only paid for the wood but for the electric bill too.

 

This year we switched to a hanging garage type heater and a new, supposedly more effecient wood stove. Our house is small. We have beautiful double south facing patio doors that bring in wonderful heat in the winter sun (unfortunately in the summer too :( )but as soon as the sun is down or on cloudy days, BOTH the wood stove and the heater are in opperation. This year we had a wonderful gift from God, and from the man who we got our wood from. He charged us so little it was not even to be believed for several cord of wood. Still, our electric bills are over $300 even with the wood heat.

 

It's really tough as you get older and are on those fixed incomes that hadn't gone up in several years as prices soared. For us it wasn't just the wood we couldn't manage. It was the gardens and the orchard and the livestock also. We are feeling a bit bereft here and are struggling to find a new level in life and preparedness. We have been self reliant for too many years to depend on the vagaries of the economy and still plan to be as prepared as possible for future need. We are just doing it now in different ways.

 

For one thing, we will be putting some of our meager funds into insulated panels/drapes for our windows. We will be looking around for smarter ways to get wood, perhaps even have someone cut wood on our property in return for us getting part of the wood. I have gardened in raised beds for many years due to disabilities but DH has usually handled the bigger garden with help from my DB but last year we were unable to do that so this year we will be putting in more raised beds/tubs near the house. We use old bathtubs, big half barrel-like plastic tubs that mineral for cows comes in, big wooden boxes and anything else we can find/scrounge/build but this year we are also going to be trying to find someone interested in using our garden area for part of their produce or in exchange for food or products we'd have to buy. We realize we'd have to be cautious with who we allow to come on the property but we are well known and know hundreds of people who might be able to vouch for the person.

 

Another idea I had was to teach/mentor someone in the homesteading basics, like bread making, gardening, or prepping and barter for the services. I jokingly refer to the saying that those who can,,,do; those who can't,,, teach! I have taught all the while I was doing in the past but now am facing only the teaching part. It's sad but a fact of life that I accept and work around. There are many such ways to work around old age and fixed incomes. Mrs. S is full of them and I plan to revist some of them just to refresh my memory.

 

So, Renie, don't be too stressed about having to start prepping anew. Just remember that your preps were there for you when you needed them and that is what prepping is all about. It wasn't an EMP, or even a big financial crash but the economy has affected us all. What we need to remember is that we CAN make-do if we need to. At least those of us who have been long time preppers and make-doers have an edge over others. We have already been there, done that, and understand the necessities.

 

Good luck with your new start.

:bighug2:

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Thank you, Denanna. Am I mistaken or has it been a while since we've seen you post? I'm glad you are here at Mrs S. I might not be able to personally help you but there is SO much good help on here. It's a good time for everyone to rethink their prepping with spring coming on. We all need to help each other stay focused in light of the 'information' that the economy is getting better despite the high prices of gas and food! (??)

 

:bighug2:

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