Friday, October 26, 2012



Got both kids home from school today.
Both are complaining of an upset stomach.
So much for going to Habitat today.
Would rather they both just rest for the day
and take it easy.  I do have $20 set aside
for any more supplies needed for the solar heater.
Maybe we can go tomorrow to Habitat.
I would prefer not to have to use the entire $20
and will look hard for supplies that are the cheapest!
They are open Mon-Fri 9:00 to 6:00pm
Sundays 12:00 to 5:00pm

I still took the neighbor boy to the bus stop
this morning.  While waiting on the bus I was
listening to the news on the radio
talking about Hurricane Sandy now being
nicknamed Frankenstorm.  They say the 
East/Northeast coast has never seen a storm
of this intensity.  It is what they call a hybrid 
hurricane meaning it's a hurricane that will
combine with another Winter storm which will intensify.
They expect this storm to cause
billions of dollars in damages and are 
calling it the storm of the century
or the 100 year storm meaning the chances
of getting these devastating storms
are very rare and have a chance of
1 out of 100% of happening.

I'm broker than broke at the moment.
It was true that the bonus was only 1/4
of what it was supposed to of been.
I had been counting on it being what it normally
is to help us out lots.  It sucks that 
a billion dollar company is being stingy
to it's employees.  I hope like heck
the big wigs all have very good holidays
while the rest of us go without things!!
I haven't had to struggle this bad
in about 10 years due to the high cost
of things like insurance, doctors, medicines, gas, utilities and
other items.  Now I gotta figure out how
in the world to renew two vehicle tags
at $110.  Mom is going to give me a little money
for my birthday.  I was going to get a new
house phone with some of it because it's
not holding a charge very well and making it to the point
I can't receive some calls because of it dying so much.
  I think I will put
that off and put the money towards car tags
as that's more important at the moment.
I hate this crap of juggling money, watching every penny
spent, and trying to figure out what bills to pay
and which ones I can cut back on.
Grocery shopping is cut back to slim to nothing
and will only have to be necessity items like
bread, milk, eggs, you get the idea, the basic stuff.
Gonna have to eat the best we can from 
anything in the pantry and freezers
even if it means bologna, hot dogs, eggs and
peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. 
2-3 months til tax time seems like an eternity
to be able to crawl out of this hole we're in.

9:00am - 8:30am

Got a bunch of morning glories that came out this morning.
These are the flying saucer kind, as big as a hand.

Now compare that morning glory above
to a typical one.

I even have a few mini morning glories 
smaller than the one above.

My hands look like shriveled up raisins!
I started cleaning out pop and beer cans
that we had been saving the past 2-3
months to recycle.  These are going to be
used for the solar heater.
This solar heater HERE has 240 cans.
He has pretty good pictures of his design.
I wonder if he has his fans running through
the electric in his home because I don't
see where he is running a solar panel.
So far I've gotten 86 regular cans 
and 5 tall cans rinsed out.  It's a very important
step.  You don't want the smell of skank
beer or pop entering your home!
I'm using my $3.00 changing table to set the cans on.
I still have a very large trash bag of cans
I'm weeding through to find ones that aren't crushed.

I'm gonna try to find some downspout pieces
at Habitat.  If I can't find any for cheap then I will
resort to using the tall cans for the headers
on the solar heater.

And to think I still have to puncture holes
in all the bottoms, spray paint every can
and glue all the rows of cans together.
This is gonna be awhile, ahhh.


Boo Boo must of slipped outside when I was getting cans.
We noticed him on the security camera, lol.
Brought him back inside and Mow Mow could
smell the outside air on him and was pissed about it.
Ding, ding and the fight was on just because
Boo Boo was outside a couple minutes.
Oh yeah they were putting on a good show
in the front room window for everyone to see!

Then it moved into the hallway.

And then into the kitchen.

I watched to make sure it didn't get out of hand.
Now Mow Mow is locked in the bedroom
bellowing and meowing like a broken record.


Hubby always refers to me as Gloomy Gus
because I always ask the question, What if?
I don't assume anything and try my hardest to 
prepare for unexpected things.
Notice I said try, whether I am able
to accomplish it or not. 

So this morning I started gathering ice

from the ice maker.  I put it in double Kroger bags
and will keep adding more and more bags to
our big freezer.  First of all I don't have extra money
for expenses like bags of ice if the power goes out
and second of all I'm sure Ohians know how hard
it is to even find bags of ice during a power outage.  
Like I said I don't have much money
but will start taking inventory of what food
we have and make a written list of foods
to eat during a power outage and take it
with me to probably Aldis.

I might throw a few more blankets in the
washer today and have a good stockpile
on hand should the heat go out.
I can't assume that Tony's work will
have power like last time so have to plan ahead just in case.
Usually they do because their power lines
are buried underground rather than on poles.
We can always go there if they do and stay in a vacant apartment
to keep warm and store food in the fridge
and freezer if need be. 

I already have a drawer specifically for candles
along with a lighter for emergencies.
Plus I have all outdoor solar lights that I can use.


I have packed a tote with food items that
don't require cooking.  I put them all in a tote
because if we had to get up and leave it would
be easier to carry and plus to try and find
all this food in a dark basement without power
would be a little hard along with carrying it all upstairs.
I am also working on a first aid/toiletry kit and will have
those supplies in a large insulated zippered lunch bag.
I used to carry something like this in the backend
of the Suburban for road trips and when my child
had baseball games.
Stuff like- tylenol, ibuprofen, bandaids,
peroxide, alcohol, wash cloths, bug spray, zip baggies,
aloe vera gel, prescriptions can be thrown in last minute,
thermometer, vitamin C, vitamin D, multi vitamins, 
fish oil capsules, ice pack,  toothbrush, toothpaste,
deodorant, comb/brush, shampoo, soap/body wash,
toilet paper/tissues, any glasses for reading, list of phone numbers,
cell phone & car charger, if you have a jump box
for air, jumper cables and light- be sure it is charged up,
extra clothes- shoes, boots, socks, undies, thermal undies,
pants, shirts and jackets.

I need a bigger tote!

You should always have something like this packed
at all times and ready for use.  
Put things in it that won't go bad so soon and have
a long shelf life.  Have these things handy
so that you have the ability to grab them and
go at a moments notice should you have to leave
your home.  Be sure to have a stock of blankets/pillows
in your vehicle.

Some people may think I'm crazy for trying to be 
prepared for worst case scenarios.
We'll see who's laughing last when 
crap does hit the fan and you have to do without.
We've had power outages last a week or two around here.
So at least prepare for that amount of time.

This is the food I have packed in my tote so far.
Still need some canned meat like tuna fish and
loaves of bread.

3 cans spaghettios, 2 boxes instant mashed potatoes,
box of saltine crackers, box of wheat thin crackers,
box of splenda, jar of instant coffee, powdered non dairy creamer,
2 squeeze bottles of mayo, 1 squeeze bottle of mustard,
1 bottle of hot sauce, crystal light drink mix,
2 canisters of kool aid and country time lemonade
powder with sugar,  lipton cold brew tea bags,
hawaiian punch powdered drink singles,  
fruit & cream instant oatmeal, honey bunches of oats cereal,
brown sugar oatmeal squares cereal, honey nut cheerios cereal,
canister of french fried onions, salt & pepper, 
swiss miss hot chocolate packets, boxes of raisins,
fruit roll ups, can of black bean chili, box of 16 poptarts,
peanut butter, jelly, 6 packages of ramen noodles,
4 cans chicken noodle soup, 3 cans mandarine oranges,
2 cans fruit cocktail, 3 jars applesauce, 2 cans pears.


Well I gotta go make some lunch for everyone.
Good ole creamy chicken ramen noodles.


Two and a half hours since the cats started having their
spats.  I put one in the bedroom to separate them.
We let him out a little bit ago and they are still
going rounds because the one cat snuck outside
and has outside smell on him.
Back in to the bedroom he goes.
I got a nice claw gouge in my neck now.
I don't know how much more I can take
of the meowing!!  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!
It's almost non stop!  Either I listen to him
meow or listen to them fight.  I'm hoping he wears
down soon and takes a nap because he is
testing my patience at the moment.
This is only a minutes worth.  Try listening
to it for a couple of hours!!!  It's like sending
a kid to their room and hearing them have
a temper tantrum with screaming and crying fits.

 I've been working more on cleaning cans.
I now have a total of 120 cleaned and drying.


150 cans cleaned, 150 cans, take one down
and wash it around.....
This better be worth it!
I'm not sure how many I will actually need til
I find a piece of glass and make the box.  So for now I just
keep scrubbing and rinsing away. 
And believe me they didn't smell too good before hand
after sitting outside for awhile in a bag.

 I did see good news today.
I told y'all my electric bill has been crazy.
Last month it was $181.49 and I about flipped out.
I started running around unplugging things and turning
off each and every light that would be left on, sometimes
sitting in the dark in the mornings and evenings
with only the light from the windows coming in the rooms.
I'm hanging some laundry on the line and
even reducing my laundry loads by hanging
up school clothes that aren't that dirty.
Today's bill came and it was $99.57.
That's a significant drop in one month's time
with a difference of $81.92!!!
Went from 1,300 kwh to 888 kwh.
I still have a stupid electric bill though
because I only paid half of it last month.
With the furnace now running sometimes
I have reduced the temperature to 
69 degrees during the day while everyone is
up and moving about creating their own
warm energy and turn it up to 72 degrees at night.

Tony is bringing me home a hole cutter for the drill
and we're gonna try to get over to Habitat tonight
before they close at 6:00pm.
Tony is also bringing home a little more
scrap metal that he's been collecting at work.
Something is better than nothing at this time.

Every penny counts and even $20 sounds
like a lot to me if that's all we were to
make off scrap metal.


I took a pair of needle nose pliers
to the tops and bottoms of some of the cans
to puncture holes for air flow through them.
I then strung a line of cans through some
1/2" PVC pipe and hung them on my clothesline
with some string and started to spray 
paint them until it started spitting rain.
I'm not worried about spray painting the tops
and bottoms of the cans as that's where
they will be glued together.

For supper tonight I took a homemade lasagna
out of the freezer and let it thaw out.
We won't eat til we get back from Habitat this
evening so about 6:30 or so.
Got my fingers crossed that I can
find some cheap supplies.


We're still 4-5 days away from seeing
winds, rain and/or snow from Hurricane Sandy.
For now I am reading we could have
4-5 inches or more of snow Monday night and Tuesday
with 40-50 mile per hour winds with 
possible power outages.  The reason being is any snow
or wet snow that falls onto trees that have yet to
shed its leaves can cause it to become too heavy
and topple over.
I'm still finding it hard to believe we could be
getting snow in October.  Usually we don't get
our first flakes of snow til around my birthday
in mid November.  Beggar's night could have snow on
the ground.  I don't believe I've ever seen that before!!

Went to Habitat earlier this evening.
I am so disappointed with their high prices.
I'm not paying $35-$65++ for an old window,
$20 for a smallish one pane of glass
from sliding tub/shower doors nor am I willing to
pay $25 for a storm door window insert.
I am so bummed as I wanted to work
on this solar heater this weekend and I can't
really do anything other than wash the cans and
put holes in them.  I don't think I will meet
my deadline before this storm gets here at this rate.
But that doesn't mean I won't stop looking
for a piece of glass.
Now I did splurge and buy two dryer vents
with a pipe attached to them.  I thought
this would work well to run the dryer hoses from the
solar heater to the window, one venting out to the
solar heater and one venting the heat from the solar heater 
to the inside.
They look similar to the one below
which can be bought new at Lowes for $8.48. 

I got two from habitat for $5 each and splurged
because I thought they would fit nicely in the
sideways window and you could close them
when the solar furnace wasn't running
and keep out the cold air. I can also run
some weather striping around them for a good
seal when in the window.

Just getting flustered trying to find 
a piece of glass or plexiglass.
I didn't think it would be this hard.
I checked craigslist but anything of interest
is too far away.

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