another goal zero

Know there are all kinds of opinions about alternate power sources, and I’m not going to get into that conversation other than to say have considered my capabilities and have gone with the Goal Zero.

Not too long ago bought their Yeti 1000 Lithium at Costco – where it is just $999.99 vs the $1250 Goal Zero sells it for.

Meanwhile, my old Goal Zero with the lead acid battery, the battery had died. Gave it to a friend, who only has to replace the battery, which gives him a short term power option for his very limited needs.

Keep the Yeti1000 in a cooler to help keep its temperature moderated, cause I’m not too keen about having the big lithium battery in the house.

And have been thinking of getting another and had been debating between another 400, or just going for another 1000.  Then thought about replacing the 400 with the lead acid one, as it can be chained, unlike the Lithium.  And then there is the question of disposal of Lithium batteries . . .

So, Goal Zero has “open box” items discounted.  new items but not in the original packing; like used for displays at shows, etc.   Had been looking for the Yeti400 in the open box (almost 1/2 the full retail!) but they didn’t have any.

So today, bit the bullet and bought a yeti 1250, lead acid, open box for less than $1000.  Heavy thing, comes with a roller cart.  Went with the lead acid because it is chainable, which means I can increase the total power by just adding in a battery of the appropriate strength – or two!  The max draw remains the same, the ohms and amp remain the same, but the total wattage is increased.

Sometimes it seems like a total waste to spend so much money on this stuff, but then again, if you start adding up the money you spent on water storage, food stocks, etc. it comes to a lot of money, doesn’t it?  and actually, I’m hoping to start switching over some of the household electric needs to these goal zero’s before we get to a “have to” situation!!

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concerned

was never a conspiracy theorist until 9/11/2001.  And to this day, find it inconceivable that our supposed excellent intelligence system missed that event!  and either that’s true, in which case, our country is far from being as safe as we all hope we are.  OR  they allowed it to happen so “they” could begin to clamp down on civil liberties.

and with what has been happening since, the latter is looking more and more like the reality.

Having been a stupid, know it all, liberal anti-war protestor in the 60’s, I have room in my thinking to give the kids protesting today some slack.  Like us, they find themselves in a situation that they have no control of, and which no one seems to give a damn.

What I don’t understand, is the total support of media with unfactual information.  Am not going to say Fake News, but will say highly edited presentation of stories.  Like, Columbine will be brought up as an example of an AR being used in a school shooting – but not the fact that it happened during a ban on the guns!  Nor will instances of an armed person stopping a shooting from becoming a massacre.  Or the lack of reporting on a shooting involving a basic 10-22 rifle, used by a young man to kill his mother and friend because he wanted to see what it was like to kill someone!  The NRA is criticized, even condemned, but no one deems it necessary to point out that the NRA is the one that lobbied FOR the current background check system. but that the military and local municipalities are the ones failing to report people into it!

and so I’m left with the feeling, that once again, things are being manipulated to give the government more power over us, and the people less civil rights.  In this case, to truly try to disarm the populace.

I certainly do not NEED to own a gun.  I’m not using it in my work.  I’m not using it as part of my livelihood.  I don’t live in a crime ridden area.  Its not how I put food on the table.

But I lock my doors, have a smoke detector, an alarm system, a fire extinguisher, insurance, carry a spare tire.  Not because I intend to use them, but JUST IN CASE I ever need them.  My neighborhood would be considered upper middle class with a few homes being only part time residents.  We’re private.  and we’ve had break ins.  More than a couple.  We have coyotes, bobcats, and rabies in our wild animal population.  We’ve had mountain lions move through regularly on their way to water, and we’ve had bears foraging in the back yard.  We have homeless people camping in the forest regularly.  And the police, unless we are very lucky, are at least 20 minutes away and we no longer have an animal control officer.

So, while I don’t need a gun, I carry one, JUST IN CASE.  And I don’t think its appropriate for someone who lives in the urban environment, who has never been robbed, attacked, or otherwise threatened (over my almost 70 years have been more than once), tell me what I need to be safe.  And until they can answer the question as to how my giving up my right to security and safety is going to keep someone else from breaking the law, in such a way as to demonstrate its necessity, I’m going to argue against this direction of society.

water

How much water is enough?

Unless you are right on a creek, lake, or marsh, there isn’t enough.

Right now, I have 3000 gallons of water storage – not full.  Accidently left one 350gallon tank open and thoroughly watered a couple of trees, but left nothing else for later.

We’ve had no rain for a few weeks and none of any quantity is expected until July.  That’s right, its April and I’m talking July before we get rain.  It is the beginning of a drought cycle, and if we see major rains once or twice through out the year, we’ll be lucky.

Saturday I prepared one 3.5′ x 15′ planting bed.  This bed is completely lined with pavers to hold moisture and keep the digging creatures out.  dug into the soil a lot of organic matter including some manure (store bought, no horses nearby that we know) as well as some fine coconut fibre.  Buried 4 ollas in the bed, each intended to water an area of 2 feet around the olla.  Then I planted some chard seedlings, some eggplants and some tomatoes, leaving plenty of room for more plants.  The ollas were filled, the ground watered thoroughly, the plants drenched.  That was Saturday.  Today, Monday, the Ollas were empty.  As the ground is really dry, it will take awhile for that to balance out and today filled the Ollas and drenched the ground again.  Plus did another bed with ollas, and squash, plus a planter with small ollas and pea seeds.

I use Ollas, mulch, and shade cloths.  and my 3000 gallons will water my entire garden, for 30 days with care.  That’s it.  Just 30 days, the garden only.  My food source.

This year am cutting back on the garden some due to personal time restraints.  But SHTF, I will need every calorie that garden can produce!

and that requires water whether or not it rains!

unexpected benefits

Prepping has had unexpected benefits of all kinds.  Am sure others have found the same, each of us depending on our lifestyles.

We work from home, so it would seem that I have plenty of time to do routine things. But that’s not always the case.  Of course, working from home means I’m trying to do inside things like housework, cooking, along with my office work, as well as give time to the garden, etc.  In other words, finding the balance any working woman struggles to achieve.  The big difference, I don’t lose travel time from my life – BUT – am expected to cook 3 meals a day!!!

And this is where prepping has exposed me to knew ideas.  Like cooking in advance (not new), and DEHYDRATING the results.  Butternut squash, brown rice, chilli,  even home made soups!

One of the prepper forums asked me why I would want to dehydrate cooked rice, after all, rice only takes 20 minutes, right?   But we want BROWN RICE and that’s 45 minutes minimum.  So a cooked portion just has to be thrown in water and rehydrated.  When the day is busy, and it’s suddenly 1/2 an hour before lunch, throw a steak on the grill, some rice in the water, heat up some veggies, and that long cooking lunch is ready in less time!

One day I’ll have enough cooked rice to set some aside for an experiment in rancidity.  Raw brown rice going rancid where white rice does not.   But what about cooked brown rice?

and bulk buying!!!!   Not everything, but we’ve discovered that freeze dried blueberries are a great snack food, as well as rehydrate nicely for making other things.  Husband loves dehydrated apples.  Powdered/dehydrated cheese.  You will never look at mac and cheese or cheese soups the same!  Bulk soup mixes and bullion.   I repack them into smaller quantities and vac seal them, but they do indeed get used up.  price is absolutely cheaper per/oz or serving than smaller supermarket packaging. sometimes the quality is better!

So the S may never HTF, but I’m glad I’ve been exposed to all these new things, new foods, new techniques.

New Magazine

For those of you who know Jim Cobb, he has taken on the role of editor for a new survival magazine, Prepper Survival Guide.  Issue one is out and he has probably written at least 1/2 if not more of the articles.  So far so good.  Dealing with real life possibilities – not what would happen on a cruise around the world.  Who knows where it will go, but, so far so good.  There really is only a limited amount of stuff one can cover, the rest IS personal experience and situations.

But in case you want to check it out . . . Magazine has a facebook page as does Jim Cobb.

getting better all the time

It has taken awhile, but am almost healed from my great Tricycle Fall.  The left arm was sprained from wrist through the elbow and the muscle badly bruised.  It is still sore, especially today as it got worked out.

While I’m not going to make this a health and fitness or diet blog, as age has become such a factor in life, its importance in being able to do all the things we may or might need to do is paramount.  Even riding the Trike, if I had been lighter and/or stronger, that accident probably wouldn’t have happened.  Being able to move large containers of soil, mulch or manure is easier.  Being able to work for extended periods of time doing manual / heavy work is easier.

So I’ve begun weight watchers new program, which really isn’t bad.

Can already conceal my revolver better, always a plus!

And am looking forward to being able to use my Trike as I had originally intended; running errands, shopping, as well as pure enjoyment.

unexpected consequences

Yesterday fell off my Trike.  and it hurt!

Bought my Trike for several reasons, but one of them was because we live a little more than a mile UPHILL from a year round creek, which would be our only water source when the storage tanks run out, SHTF.  and our 3000 gallons of water storage would only last about a month of garden watering alone if there’s no rain.  Humping gallons of water from the tank would not be fun, but hauling a few gallons at a time with a vehicle would make it all so much easier.

Hence, the Trike.

So yesterday went over that way to see how steep that hill really is and can I get up it with a loaded Trike!

and the short answer is NO

As mentioned in another post gained 25 lbs last year and that puts me close to the max weight allowance for the Trike.  and I don’t have the leg power to assist the motor.  Ended up running backwards, one wheel went off the pavement, swung the bike across the slope and there was no place to go but tip over!

And when I hit the ground, my gun, which is in a belly band off to the side for cross draw, slammed into my arm with all my body weight.  It took me awhile to realize why my arm hurt so much as I don’t think about the gun in that way.

Being 68, am really lucky that I was able to pick the trike up, put the chain back on it, and pedal home, instead of ending up in the hospital with broken bones.  Seem to have just sprained my forearm.  Although last night was wondering if I didn’t need the ER!

So besides having to lose weight, have to get stronger leg muscles, and keep doing those exercises that keep my bones strong!

Which is why prepping is about our health and strength as much as it is about canned goods, dried rice, and water!!