What are YOU doing to 'batten down the hatches'?

Naked Strat Brat

Squier-Meister
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2022
419
North, Snow, UFO Ville!
That's a good reminder, Beagle. I've been reading that as well and the concerns spoken locally that as things tighten donations to those food banks is not keeping up with needs.

As critical, I think, and less easy to correct, will be this coming Winter's heating costs.

Heating oil is essentially diesel fuel. People who struggle to keep their home warm with fuel at a dollar something a gallon will simply not be able to when the fuel is six dollars per gallon.

In my community there are programs that give a little bit of help to truly "low income" families. But average, working, home owners do not qualify for any such help. How will such cope?

American industry can likely solve this in months if allowed to. But just this past week further steps were taken by the current DC 'controllers' to prevent their doing so. And thus even a total change in DC thinking will, I expect, be too late to help this Winter. And we won't be able to leave an "extra gallon of heating oil" in any basket near the exit of a local shop.

Personal creative thought is, I fear, the sole answer. And for many few possibilities will be found to exist.

Here we'll be carefully and thoughtfully felling some chosen trees --those at the end of the life cycle -- and, perhaps, making some available to neighbors who provide the equipment, skills and personal energy needed to help us cut and split them. But what about urban people? Or, even locally, older folks such as Jan and I who have no forest of their own to include in such a 'work for wood' tradeoff?

This concerns me greatly.

-don
Old school sort of heat help. You can buy candles that are most likely called tea candles and you can also find small glass bowls for those candles to fit in. Some of the candles (the ones you want to buy) burn for over 4 hours time. Lastly you need to find real flowering pots made from terra cotta material that have a real hole in the bottom of the pots. Light your candle in the bowl, cover with the flower pot you can adjust the height on the flower pot to help allow the candle to burn clean and also help how long it will burn. The flower pot will get hot after a short amount of time so be careful. Allow enough air to get to the candle by how much you might need to adjust the height of that as it sits over the candle and bowl the candle is in. In less then no time at all, you will master this and you will have very non expensive heat for any room you need it in. Only takes about three or four of these set up to heat a fairly large room, one or two in a bathroom, four or so in a basement. Keep your pipes from freezing and heat rises to help the rest of the home. buy emergency crank radio, as they have a light no batteries needed. Solar powered cell phone charger works.
 

RegularJim

Squier-holic
Dec 30, 2017
1,384
Illiconsin, Wisinois
They're not new or fancy, but all the cars are paid off and running. Our humble house is paid off. Been living debt-free for a few years. Got an emergency fund in the bank. We could live off my military/VA pension if necessary, but I still work my engineering job, and save/invest almost all of that salary.

This has been possible due to not overspending and overbuying over the course of the past several years. Buying on sale items, store brand groceries, not being a coffee/beer/wine snob. Wearing Levis and tee-shirts. Setting the thermostat high in the summer, low in the winter. Only occasionally doing something nice for ourselves. The same stuff many people are just starting to have to do.

I've been working from home since 2016, and my wife stopped working earlier this year, so I hardly buy gasoline. I walk to/from lunch, the covenience store, and the VFW in the summer.

At the current pace of things, I might end up saving a little less than I had planned this year, but I should be able to buy anything I need, unless there is nothing to buy.
 

Beagle

Squier-holic
Nov 19, 2017
2,717
Yorkshire
That's a good reminder, Beagle. I've been reading that as well and the concerns spoken locally that as things tighten donations to those food banks is not keeping up with needs.

As critical, I think, and less easy to correct, will be this coming Winter's heating costs.

Heating oil is essentially diesel fuel. People who struggle to keep their home warm with fuel at a dollar something a gallon will simply not be able to when the fuel is six dollars per gallon.

In my community there are programs that give a little bit of help to truly "low income" families. But average, working, home owners do not qualify for any such help. How will such cope?

American industry can likely solve this in months if allowed to. But just this past week further steps were taken by the current DC 'controllers' to prevent their doing so. And thus even a total change in DC thinking will, I expect, be too late to help this Winter. And we won't be able to leave an "extra gallon of heating oil" in any basket near the exit of a local shop.

Personal creative thought is, I fear, the sole answer. And for many few possibilities will be found to exist.

Here we'll be carefully and thoughtfully felling some chosen trees --those at the end of the life cycle -- and, perhaps, making some available to neighbors who provide the equipment, skills and personal energy needed to help us cut and split them. But what about urban people? Or, even locally, older folks such as Jan and I who have no forest of their own to include in such a 'work for wood' tradeoff?

This concerns me greatly.

-don
The situation here is pretty dire. Most heating is fuelled by natural gas ad that is now in short supply and now very expensive. Inflation is the worst it's been since around 1970, but we're also getting food shortages. My fuel bill has doubled already, I don't know how long I'll be able to keep up. At least I don't have any debts yet...
 

duceditor

Squier-Axpert
May 29, 2014
15,091
The Monadnocks, NH USA
I started building a green house last week. And I'm exploring solar power too. View attachment 233868 View attachment 233869 View attachment 233870 View attachment 233871

That’s great work, and hopefully a truly useful ‘add on.’

I looked into doing something similar. In my case s pre-fabricated unit as I lack building skills and have physical limitations. But we get very powerful wind gusts here so such were not recommended.

We also had a solar power study done but at the time (about 3 years ago) the solar power company said we’d need serious modernizing of our home’s electrical system first. -That has now been done, but the costs of a solar install is now way higher.

There is no ‘easy’ answer. But thoughtful inquiries into every possibility will - must! - continue.

We are dealing with food shortages with creative flexibility. Looking for and trying healthy (always!) alternatives. Collards as salad greens for instance. Cucumber-based salads when leafy greens are in short supply. And making more and more truly “from scratch” - Jan’s contribution.

Flexibility. Willingness to try. A smile on one’s face. Looking for the good as best able. And laughter at the growing insanity.

That along with art and music. That’s where my focus increasingly is. And on family and friends. :)

-don
 

Naked Strat Brat

Squier-Meister
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2022
419
North, Snow, UFO Ville!
The situation here is pretty dire. Most heating is fuelled by natural gas ad that is now in short supply and now very expensive. Inflation is the worst it's been since around 1970, but we're also getting food shortages. My fuel bill has doubled already, I don't know how long I'll be able to keep up. At least I don't have any debts yet...
It is all rather sad how things have gotten to be. Best of luck to you and your family not only to survive but to thrive in the given situation. God bless.
 

Naked Strat Brat

Squier-Meister
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2022
419
North, Snow, UFO Ville!
And your car gets GREAT gas mileage :)

View attachment 233875
Was thinkng the same thing! It come in a 4 door model yet? LO)L!
That’s great work, and hopefully a truly useful ‘add on.’

I looked into doing something similar. In my case s pre-fabricated unit as I lack building skills and have physical limitations. But we get very powerful wind gusts here so such were not recommended.

We also had a solar power study done but at the time (about 3 years ago) the solar power company said we’d need serious modernizing of our home’s electrical system first. -That has now been done, but the costs of a solar install is now way higher.

There is no ‘easy’ answer. But thoughtful inquiries into every possibility will - must! - continue.

We are dealing with food shortages with creative flexibility. Looking for and trying healthy (always!) alternatives. Collards as salad greens for instance. Cucumber-based salads when leafy greens are in short supply. And making more and more truly “from scratch” - Jan’s contribution.

Flexibility. Willingness to try. A smile on one’s face. Looking for the good as best able. And laughter at the growing insanity.

That along with art and music. That’s where my focus increasingly is. And on family and friends. :)

-don
Cucumbers are really great. Love them. Adaptabilty!
 

duceditor

Squier-Axpert
May 29, 2014
15,091
The Monadnocks, NH USA
One more key thought... Something that comes natural to Jan (always my inspiration, and quite often my guide in life) ... tuning out the world more and more.

It is not, for either of us, a matter of not caring. No, it is the opposite -- caring too much. And that for people we can do nothing to help. Not just materially (that is often the easier part -- just drop some groceries in a box), but with thought and growth and personal responsibility. And more than ever, rejecting the total madness that seems to have somehow saturated people's minds.

We got some good news yesterday, re Jan's health.

Just a year ago things were not looking to good for her. I'll skip the details and get to the more important thing: That, despite our living now away from a key center of advanced medicine, Jan has gotten, and in her case truly benefited from, the very most advanced treatment for what had threatened to end our dreams.

Yesterday, when we heard the latest 'news' re what I can now say "was" her condition, I said "today we celebrate Jan." We thus dedicated the evening to things dearest to her heart. Including viewing two absolutely wonderful episodes of Scott Yoo's "Now Hear This." -Programs that explored the works of Scarlotti ("Man Out of Time") and Handel ("Italian Style").

We interrupted the so wonderful programs again and again to share thoughts on what we were seeing and hearing.

THIS, we said to one-another, is what we must focus on. (Something that Jan has been saying for some time.)

If others "choose" (or allow such to be chosen for them) what to us is totally foreign and... mad. Hate, for instance. Vileness. Then let them go their way and we will go ours.

Science. Art. Music. The world of beauty, ideas and ideals.

If we need to do with less materially, then so be it. (Should such really be the center of our lives?)

If we need to make "choices" then let us make them according to what WE value.

In short: That this is "their world" -- those who buy into and/or believe (even if they do not actually 'believe in') the nonsense. It is NOT ours. And what is we will decide for ourselves, with or without popular concurrence.

What's funny to me is how my past is becoming my present.

Once when I was just entering "adulthood" my dad asked me what my goals were regarding a future home. My answer -- so clear even now in my memory! -- was "To have a home with one room for a TV and newspaper and magazine. And on the inside of the door to that room there is to be a sign -- a reminder -- that says "Remember: The World Ends Here."

Yes, even then... "Keep it out."

Now that is true for me more than ever. But I now need no sign as a reminder.

Art. Music. Ideas. Ideals. BEAUTY.

Those things and, to the extent possible, nothing more.

Jan is my soul partner is that. Has been for now nearly 54 year. My lovely 'young rocker' of a wife. With both of us now in our 70s! :)

This is our time.

Funny how ones thinking is reflected in one's 'art.' Thus my Image of the Day, taken just minutes after my awakening...

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 8.09.42 AM.png

-don
 
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Naked Strat Brat

Squier-Meister
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2022
419
North, Snow, UFO Ville!
One more key thought... Something that comes natural to Jan (always my inspiration, and quite often my guide in life ... tuning out the world more and more.

It is not, for either of us, a matter of not caring. No, it is the opposite -- caring too much. And that for people we can do nothing to help. Not just materially (that is often the easier part -- just drop some groceries in a box), but with thought and growth and personal responsibility. And more than ever, rejecting the total madness that seems to have somehow saturated people's minds.

We got some good news yesterday, re Jan's health.

Just a year ago things were not looking to good for her. I'll skip the details and get to the more important thing: That, despite out living now away from a key center of advanced medicine, Jan has gotten, and in her case truly benefited, from the very most advanced treatment for what had threatened to end both our dreams.

Yesterday, when we heard the latest 'news' re what I can now say "was" her condition, I said "today we celebrate Jan." We dedicated the evening to things dear to her heaart. Including viewing two absolutely wonderful episodes of Scott Yoo's "Now Hear This." -Programs that explored the works of Scarlotti ("
Man Out of Time") and Handel ("Italian Style").

We interrupted the so wonderful program again and again to share thoughts on what we were seeing and hearing.

THIS is what we must focus on. -Something that Jan has been saying for some time.

If others "choose" (or allow such to be chosen) for them what to us is totally foreign and... mad. Hate, for instance. Vileness. Then let them go their waay and we will go ours.

Science. Art. Music. The world of beauty, ideas and ideals.

If we need to do with less materially, then so be it. (Should such really be the center of our lives?)

If we need to make "choices" then let us make them according to what WE value.

In short: That this is "their world" -- those who buy into and/or believe (even if they do not actually 'believe in') the nonsense. It is NOT ours. And what is we will decide for ourselves, with or without popular concurrence.

What's funny to me is how my past is becoming my present.

Once when I was just entering "adulthood" my dad asked me what my goals were regarding a future home. My answer -- so clear even now in my memory! -- was "To have a home with one room for a TV and newspaper and magazine. And on the inside of the door to that room there is to be a sign -- a reminder -- that says "Remember: The World Ends Here."

Yes, even then... "Keep it out."

Now that s true for me more than ever. But I now need no sign as a reminder.

Art. Music. Ideas. Ideals. BEAUTY.

Those things and, to the extent possible, nothing more.

Jan is my soul partner is that. Has been for now nearly 54 year. My lovely 'young rocker' of a wife. With both of us now in our 70s! :)

-don
That is beautiful! Thank you so much. My Wife and I sit and talk like that as well.

Looking at how badly things have even gone on in our life, we pick the good and happy over the sad and doom! Honestly everyone will always have problems, but when you can laugh and hug and relax and feel goodness, it makes love so much dear to the soul.

Wisdom does come with age, but I tell much younger people the wisdom never comes if you do not allow it. That positive view never comes along if there is a wall of negative.

My Wife and I have people all the time ask us how we met and also about our age difference as I am more than 20 years older then my Wife. It is simple, we met by chance and have been together ever since due to love.
 

Naked Strat Brat

Squier-Meister
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2022
419
North, Snow, UFO Ville!
They're not new or fancy, but all the cars are paid off and running. Our humble house is paid off. Been living debt-free for a few years. Got an emergency fund in the bank. We could live off my military/VA pension if necessary, but I still work my engineering job, and save/invest almost all of that salary.

This has been possible due to not overspending and overbuying over the course of the past several years. Buying on sale items, store brand groceries, not being a coffee/beer/wine snob. Wearing Levis and tee-shirts. Setting the thermostat high in the summer, low in the winter. Only occasionally doing something nice for ourselves. The same stuff many people are just starting to have to do.

I've been working from home since 2016, and my wife stopped working earlier this year, so I hardly buy gasoline. I walk to/from lunch, the covenience store, and the VFW in the summer.

At the current pace of things, I might end up saving a little less than I had planned this year, but I should be able to buy anything I need, unless there is nothing to buy.
Great planning on your part. It is amazing how much not having many car payments can add relief to the financial part of life.

If I was in better shape, I would be building those little homes you see that are only 200-350 sq.ft in size. I have been thinking it could certainly help others that have no home, or want a smaller home. Tint house is what these homes ae called. They say these homes are expensive due to material cost being made almost entirely from wood. I've been looking into other materials that could replace wood. If I cannot actually build them, I could at least design and instruct someone how to do a build. I would have a blast doing that!
 

duceditor

Squier-Axpert
May 29, 2014
15,091
The Monadnocks, NH USA
If I was in better shape, I would be building those little homes you see that are only 200-350 sq.ft in size. I have been thinking it could certainly help others that have no home, or want a smaller home.

I see those homes as a viable answer for some people.

What does though trouble me is that forces are being put into play to force people to live that way. "Small." -Fine, if its the person's choice, not so fine when outside forces are the driver.

Still, creativity can turn "small" into wonderful. Here's to hoping and to working for our dreams! :)

Our newest cottage being made ready for a tenant (who has already verbally reserved it) in only 335 square feet in size.

Jan is doing the design and layout work, patterned somewhat after the design she made for the other, somewhat larger cottage. -That of making all space truly functional, and in a very social way. Allowing for mixing.

As seen here in a pano distorted photo of that cottages living/kitchen combined space...

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 9.44.13 AM.png

Could I love there full time?

Yup. I did for almost two years whilst Jan stayed in Boston caring for her ailing parents. (She'd come north only on weekends when other family members could help her folks.)

-don
 
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Powerstroke

Squier-holic
Feb 18, 2021
2,848
Usa
That’s great work, and hopefully a truly useful ‘add on.’

I looked into doing something similar. In my case s pre-fabricated unit as I lack building skills and have physical limitations. But we get very powerful wind gusts here so such were not recommended.

We also had a solar power study done but at the time (about 3 years ago) the solar power company said we’d need serious modernizing of our home’s electrical system first. -That has now been done, but the costs of a solar install is now way higher.

There is no ‘easy’ answer. But thoughtful inquiries into every possibility will - must! - continue.

We are dealing with food shortages with creative flexibility. Looking for and trying healthy (always!) alternatives. Collards as salad greens for instance. Cucumber-based salads when leafy greens are in short supply. And making more and more truly “from scratch” - Jan’s contribution.

Flexibility. Willingness to try. A smile on one’s face. Looking for the good as best able. And laughter at the growing insanity.

That along with art and music. That’s where my focus increasingly is. And on family and friends. :)

-don
Not really seeing shortages in Arizona yet. Often the top Ramen and noodles are unavailable and sometimes milk and hotdogs but in a day or so they are back.

The wind is terrible here. I had to get creative. I've leaned a fire door (metal) up against the wind beaten side.
I'm not sure I need the plants in here so far. More for when it gets cold again I guess. I really dont know what I'm doing. I never paid attention to my father when he was farming. He was kinda a jerk. Learn nothing good from him. So Google is my friend haha. Trial and error.
I purchased two 100w monocrystyline solar panels from harbor freight on sale w coupons $99 and a 2000w inverter and the 2ga 6 foot cables. And few charge controllers later. I can run my ac in the shop for 10 mins off just my old truck battery alone. I think during the day I should do better. I have a "ham shack" here so if power was out I certainly could use my radios and make contacts like normal. I have portable "go box radio setups" for portable. I'm not a prepper. But i enjoy going and setting up quickly portable and making contacts all over the usa and world.
To be off grid or back up your house I'm guessing you will need 5-15kw of power. I've worked as a electrician briefly. And have a background in electronics. I think they could be bs ING you. If your house was that bad it wouldn't be safe. Solar doesn't require much but a tie in to your existing system. It's 2 separate things. 20220521_183526.jpg 20220521_183344.jpg 20220521_203606.jpg
 

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duceditor

Squier-Axpert
May 29, 2014
15,091
The Monadnocks, NH USA
To be off grid or back up your house I'm guessing you will need 5-15kw of power. I've worked as a electrician briefly. And have a background in electronics. I think they could be bs ING you. If your house was that bad it wouldn't be safe. Solar doesn't require much but a tie in to your existing system.

The systems they were installing -- and encouraging people to install -- were for "green' focused purposes, not survival tools. Indeed, if the grid went down the systems they install automatically disconnect and stop producing power. They are grid integrated.

A separate system could, of course, be built -- one to do smaller operations. Keep the well pump running, power the refrigerator, freezer and and some basic things like lighting. But that was not what they were offering.

At this point the well is to me A#1. I am thinking of looking into adding an old-fashioned hand pump. -Integrating it into the current 600ft deep well. Doable? I have no idea. But walking down to the brook to bring back water in quantity is beyond my capability today.

I suppose if things go dark we would/could use our property as a tradeoff with younger people. Offering place in exchange for their energy and abilities.

My doing political/philosophical writing for some years provided friends -- high (Pentagon and command) level retired military for instance -- outside of my regular kin and circle. Such have expressed interest and encouraged me in that later direction. Not cult survivalists, but truly knowledgeable and capable individuals who know things (and have various skills) beyond my own.

Jan and I being in our 70s are sort of in the 'watch and see' catagory. Not fooled by the nonsense, but not driven either.

Such is a pleasnt (well, for now at least!) position to be in.

Glad I am not today raising a family. That'd up the responsibilities and need for decision making to a much higher level.

:)

-don
 
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Powerstroke

Squier-holic
Feb 18, 2021
2,848
Usa
The systems they were installing -- and encouraging people to install -- were for "green' focused purposes, not survival tools. Indeed, if the grid went down the systems they install automatically disconnect and stop producing power. They are grid integrated.

A separate system could, of course, be built -- one to do smaller operations. Keep the well pump running, power the refrigerator, freezer and and some basic things like lighting. But that was not what they were offering.

At this point the well is to me A#1. I am thinking of looking into adding an old-fashioned hand pump. -Integrating it into the current 600ft deep well. Doable? I have no idea. But walking down to the brook to bring back water in quantity is beyond my capability today.

I suppose if things go dark we would/could use our property as a tradeoff with younger people. Offering place in exchange for their energy and abilities.

My doing political/philosophical writing for some years provided friends -- high (Pentagon and command) level retired military for instance -- outside of my regular kin and circle. Such have expressed interest and encouraged me in that later direction. Not cult survivalists, but truly knowledgeable and capable individuals who know things (and have various skills) beyond my own.

Jan and I being in our 70s are sort of in the 'watch and see' catagory. Not fooled by the nonsense, but not driven either.

Such is a pleasnt (well, for now at least!) position to be in.

Glad I am not today raising a family. That'd up the responsibilities and need for decision making to a much higher level.

:)

-don
I'm not really up on things. But grid tie should still power up what it can directly produce if power is out.
The solar panels are dc feeding a grid tie inverter that produces 120v 240v ac . If your not using more that it produces instantaneously the extra flows backwards to the meter to the existing grid. They then pay you based on your agreement. The issue is over zealous companies are selling solar installations that don't have the capability to supply the house, or even half that.
Let's say you have room for 30 300w panels,that's 9kw possible. It certainly would run the house basics. But 15kw is what would be ideal. And a battery bank capability of the same or more. But normally what I see here is a bunch of show. And no go crap. 20 panels or less.
You need 10-15kw worth of panels otherwise it's a waste as far as I'm concerned.
You Definitely can get a renogy 200w kit that will run your well for less than $500
Its a dependable brand. You can also get a 200w kit for less.
Find out how many amps the pump draws and size the appropriate battery and inverter and you'll be golden.
 

duceditor

Squier-Axpert
May 29, 2014
15,091
The Monadnocks, NH USA
I'm not really up on things. But grid tie should still power up what it can directly produce if power is out.

We asked about this and got a long answer as to 'why' the solar system then turned off.

Part of that had to do with safety for the electrical owrkers called into to make repairs of small, local, failures. (A downed line, etc.) -That current coming the other way tat they cold nt turn off with their system would be a potential poblem.

I have friends who installed their own backup systems that automatically disconnect from the grid to avoid this -- but such do not sell power back as the soal systems are designed to do.

You Definitely can get a renogy 200w kit that will run your well for less than $500
Its a dependable brand. You can also get a 200w kit for less.
Find out how many amps the pump draws and size the appropriate battery and inverter and you'll be golden.

Thanks for this! I'd not even considered it. And a manual switch-over from the main system to this one would not, I'd expect, be difficult to wire in. :)

-don
 


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