Monday, November 7, 2016

Boycot Black Friday


#OPTOUTSIDE!

This Black Friday as with last year, I am opting out of shopping and going outside.  It's a fitting gesture for me and a smart one.  We consume far too much stuff at an alarming rate!  I am slowing that down and promoting "less stuff".  It's easier to manage less stuff, costs less and allows me more free time.  Now that's smart.

Thank you #REI for this splendid image that encourages us to Opt Outside.  (Even they will close for Black Friday.)

Will you join us??

And speaking of STUFF, here is a great video from Woody on the subject:

https://youtu.be/jwJMy9PleXg

Friday, November 4, 2016

Indoor Projects

After a myriad of outdoor projects and the eminent arrival of Fall rains, I moved my motivation indoors at the beginning of October.  This next project was already brewing in my mind while I was working outside.

I had a plan to caulk the remaining seams in two of the bedrooms and repaint.  I had such good success in the bathroom from earlier this year that I was eager to get started.

I don't have any photos of this project because honestly, seams of walls and ceilings just don't translate well in a photo.  If you've ever done any caulking work you know what I mean.

One of the biggest problems I ran into was an old patch / fix from the former tenant.  I'm still not exactly sure how to make a permanent fix, but for now I have at least made it look better and used a small piece of sheetrock to patch a hole in the ceiling.  Originally there was a really long piece screwed to the ceiling tile that also covered an old water stain.
I just put a few coats of Kilz paint over the stain and it was fine.  (Reminder:  this mobile had previously been rescued from Mt. St. Helen's).  Now of course it has a full roof-over structure, so these water stains were quite old.

The overall goal here is to eliminate the need for trim and give it a more finished look.  I did indeed accomplish this!  Floor trim, of course, remaining.

There's nothing like a fresh coat of paint!  Both bedrooms got a country white which will be greatly appreciated come the long dark winter here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Winter Readiness

I like to repost this one every year as we head into winter.  I have had a lot of experience by trial and error on what to do or not do during storms.  The last thing we want is to already be in one unprepared, whether at home or away from home.

I've added two great new gizmos to my arsenal of supplies.  Actually one was a gift from my brother this year.  It's a battery operated light switch.

Don't let this thing fool you!  It's incredibly bright and only needs two AAA batteries.  It can mount via sticky pads or magnets.


 Is that crazy or what?  I love it!

Next up is my go to tool when the lights go out and it's dark.  It's a headlamp.  Hands free light wherever I need it.


This has three settings, two for brightness and one blinks.  I imagine the blinking option would come in handy should I somehow get trapped in a snow bank, lol.

 More tips follow from this archived post:


  While it's a little early to be thinking about snow here in the Pacific Northwest, it is not too early to prepare for it!
Women on their own must look out for themselves and be prepared for anything - because anything can happen.  I have been through many major storms here and been trapped for weeks, both at home and away from home.

I now have a preparation ritual.  In the Fall (sometimes sooner) I start thinking about what I need to do, from gathering supplies to making preparations.
Supplies always include extra canned and dry goods, anything I can cook or prepare on a camp stove should the power be out.
Preparations include winterizing the house.  Wrapping outside pipes, putting up heavier curtains inside.
I even pack an overnight bag that I keep in my car should I get stuck away from home.

I always make sure I have a flashlight and extra batteries, several small propane tanks, lanterns and oil, matches and ground coffee!  Until they design a battery operated coffee grinder, this is a staple for me!  Of course a small drip coffee one-cupper and cone shaped filters must be included.
[ update:  I found a hand grinder!  No batteries or electricity required!)

Other useful things would be a couple of bags of ice in the freezer, so when the power goes out it keeps the food cold.  One year it was so cold outside that I just put the food out in the mudroom.
Extra containers of water may be necessary if your water comes from an electric pump,  and did I mention candles?  Lots of them.

Obviously I have a back up heating system that doesn't require electricity.  I have a wonderful wood stove.  It is actually my primary heat source. I get my fire wood in the summer, stacked, cured and covered by Sept.

Keep the gas tank full in the car and the snow shovel by the front door.  Have a corded phone to plug in to the jack should the power go out.  Cordless phones are useless without power.
Up until about a year ago I didn't even have a cell phone, but now that I do, I keep that charged up.  While I don't get service here at my house, at least I can use it in the car if need be.

So these are some of the things we can do to be prepared for a long winter living alone.
If you're on a budget like me, or just like to conserve your resources, we have to think outside of the box a little more, get creative and work with the resources you have.

I'm really quite content with my independent life, and grateful to have a sharp mind and willing spirit.  It just makes life so much more interesting.

If you have any tips you'd like to share on winter preparedness, please leave a comment!  I look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Winter Wren





Winter Wren has returned.  He shows up every year about this time.  He makes himself known by flying up to me, jumping around and making cute little peeping sounds.  I'm not sure exactly what this behavior is, but I'd like to think he is just letting me know he has returned and is happy to be here.

I keep a year round supply of fresh water for all the birds and my lush, mostly untouched habitat is perfect for foraging and nesting.

He will stay throughout the winter and then head off to wherever he goes for Spring and Summer.