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Showing posts from August, 2011

August in Pictures

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Our August in pictures - we had a lot going on and not nearly enough pictures taken!

Family Reunion in Storm Lake at the end of July
Paige's early birthday present! She was ecstatic!
Vacation Bible School Program! 

First Day of School!

Storm that came through and did a lot of damage! Others had it worse though. We were so lucky!


Dane's Birthday Party with his classmates!
Dane with his birthday cake that Grandma Anne made!
Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

Preparedness Monday - Slightly Off Track

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Preparedness Monday is slightly off-track seeing that today is Tuesday and what I had planned to blog about is going to wait until next week. I had planned on starting to talk about the ways I have started and added to my food storage as well as what I would like to do.

We are switching directions this week because I have felt guided towards this direction by our personal experiences at home. The feeling is strong enough now that I can not ignore it.

As most of you know, we lost our computer three weeks ago. What I didn't say is that we lost the computer very suddenly. Something "flashed" the hard drive and the motherboard. We did not have any bad weather that day nor any noticeable power surges in the house. I had just used the computer twenty minutes earlier with no problems. I had left the office to start supper and came back in to finish what I was reading on the computer. I noticed the computer was on the log-in screen and thought that was odd. I couldn't log in…

Meal Planning

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Have you ever heard the saying you can not plan too much? I didn't believe that saying either until 2-3 years ago.  When Shali went to high school, I suddenly understood this saying in all its glory. One of the areas I knew I had to get my act together in was meal planning.

Meal planning is extremely important! I pride myself on having a thorough pantry that I can pull a lot of meals from, but when the clock says 5:30 pm I am just like anyone else. "What am I making for dinner?!? Ahhh!!!" I like having a plan and following, somewhat closely, the plan. Meal planning also helps with my food storage and building my food storage. How do I plan meals?

I know how you should do the meal planning. You should make a list of meals that your family eats and make a monthly meal plan according to the list of meals you made. You should then stick to the plan as closely as possible accounting for leftovers and whatnot.

I do not do that. I should. I really should, but I have a huge pil…

Cleaning House Guilt

I have Cleaning House Guilt (CHG). Does anyone else ever get this? I think it should classified as an illness, but I doubt any doctor would take me seriously. I just know that when I get CHG, it takes over my life. I start to view myself as lazy and undisciplined. I come home from work, sit down for a few minutes and...see a mess. I see everything I promised myself I would get done. Yesterday. Three weeks ago. Last year.

The best way I can describe CHG is nesting for the unpregnant and unexpecting. I start feeling like my house has to be clean. My house needs to be in order and organized. My projects need to be done before summer is done and fall gets too chilly. Everything needs to be done before I contract Cold Weather Syndrome (CWS). Again, this is another "illness" that no doctor will take me seriously on. With CWS, I just want to hunker down under a blanket with my books, notebooks, laptop, and a TV remote. I don't want to move or go anywhere unless more of the same…

The Weekend Update

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(9 qts. dill pickles and one broken jar!)
This weekend went by fast, didn't it? Wow! I got a lot done though so that is good! I did get though a lot of my goals for the week and weekend. Last Monday, I posted this:

1. More blog posts than last week! -DONE-
2. To find a car for Shali! 
3. Cultivating and harvesting in my garden! -DONE-
4. Canning/drying/perserving! -DONE-

I also posted on Preparedness Monday that I wanted to build up my water storage. -CLOSER-

Last Thursday I posted this:

1. Dill pickes using this recipe: Dill Pickles-DONE-
2. Peaches using the recipe from the Ball Canning Book -DONE-
3. Dehydrating more onions out in the garage -DONE-
4. Possibly dehydrating green peppers too - just to try it!

As you can tell, I got a lot done on my goals for the week and weekend! Woo hoo! I feel good! (You can sing the song in your head too!)  I got 9 qts. of dill pickles done and 10 qts. of peaches. I will have more about both in another blog posts this week. I wished I would have take…

No Spend Update #2

This whole no spend thing has been very hard to maintain these last 6 weeks. We have been more creative in finding no-money solutions, but we have had a series of mishaps that has made the no spend months almost null and void. The series of mishaps and forced spending has included:

1. The air conditioning in my van ceased to exist due to leaks in two lines. No this has not been fixed yet, but I have already spent $160 trying to figure out the problem.

2. The brakes in my van needed to be replaced. The parts costs $175 and at least Rob is doing the work. Many, many thanks to him because I know he was very frustrated with the back brakes!

3. Jordan's room project is to the point of needing carpet. At least I had money to set aside for that, but the cost of the carpet is giving me a lot of stress. That will go in on August 17th!

4. Two screens in our house needed to be replaced due to circumstances beyond my control. The front door screen was due to the dog trying to go through the f…

Canning Update

***Just a note of warning: Blog posts will be a bit irregular because our home computer crashed last night. It will be going to the repair shop and get fixed or rebuilt. Either way, hopefully soon!

Anyhoo...back to the regular post for today! The canning update! I will laugh because I don't have a lot to update you on. The very intense heat of the last few weeks has all but killed my garden. Half a row of beautifully producing green beans? Gone. The peas? Gone (but will be replanted). Onions, zucchini, summer squash, garlic? Suffering greatly, but still alive. Tomatoes? Gone. Green peppers? The jury is still out on these. Potatoes? Can you actually kill these? They are still alive and kicking!

I am sure some of you are even asking now: what canning? Thank goodness for Farmers Markets!!! The one in Algona rocks! I bought 8 lbs of beautiful pickling cucumbers for dill pickles. (They come in handy for pickle wraps in which we have a great affinity for!) I also got three onions becaus…

Preparedness Mondays: Water

Water is extremely important in preparedness and self-sufficiency. A person can only live three days without water.

How much water does a person need to store? Ideally, a gallon a day per person for drinking water. For non-drinking water, I don't think you can have enough water stored.

How many days of water storage do you need? This would depend on what you are preparing for. Right now, I am planning and buying three days' worth of gallon size containers of drinking water. I also have six cases of bottled water on hand. I hope to increase the amount of water I have stored to seven days' worth of water. I do know that we do not drink a gallon of water everyday, but I also need to factor in our cooking needs and teeth brushing.

When I figure out our water needs, I am doing so with the impression that our power will be gone. Our water pump is electric. No power, no water pump, no water. I am considering a generator and/or solar panels for back up to run our water system. Unt…

This Last Week

Ugh. That is really all I can say about this last week. No blog posts since last Monday. I feel terribly guilty about that!

I had a somewhat easy week too! I only had Paige at home Monday and Tuesday nights although she had a friend sleep over on Tuesday night. Shali, Jordan and Dane took up residence at the UMC Camp Okoboji for a week. Shali was a junior staff counselor for the week. Jordan went to Teen Week Camp. Dane went to the Short Stacks Camp Monday - Wednesday. I had a very tired boy when he came home! Shali and Jordan came home Saturday and I think Shali is still recovering.

The focus of last week and this week too has been and will be finding Shali a car!!! This has to be the most frustrating task I have ever undertaken! I am just blown away by the dishonesty of sellers - professional or private. I also now recommend running a Carfax report for any car you are considering. I have been enlightened more than once about a vehicle's history due to the information on that rep…

Preparedness Monday - What About The Cost of Preparedness?

What about the cost of preparedness? Well, what about the cost? I think of the costs of preparedness in a few different ways.

The monetary costs of preparedness can be a lot or a little, depending on what you are preparing for. You have to decide on what you can afford and what you can't afford to live without. Most of what you buy and stockpile can be done cheaply and over time. You have to think about your priorities though: water, food, shelter, security, transportation, medical, and heat.

Only you can decide what you can afford to spend and how you will spend your money. I know for us, right now, having drinkable and usable water on hand is a top priority. If we lose power, we will not have any water because our well pump is electric. I don't have a generator to keep the well pump running so I need to have an adequate supply of water on hand which is, at minimum, one gallon of drinkable water per person per day. I am aiming for at least a three to seven day storage on the …