Monday, December 31, 2012

Kitchen, food storage and the great panic

We ordered the counter top yesterday. Smokey quartz, a great darker color that will bring out the wood grain in the cabinets as well as the rust look we have in the pendant lights and knobs (to be installed soon). The top will take about 3 weeks to be produced and then installed. We will wait for that to be finished and then we can trim in the windows and pick out a paint color.

Right above my new awesome stove is a breaker box. Once the kitchen is completely done this will be moved. It means busting out some drywall, but it requires a permit so we will just deal with it. I'll cut the drywall out nice so I can replace it really easy. This will also prevent some breakers from tripping when we run a lot of things in the house at once. The breakers will go in the basement and an on/off switch will be placed outside the house (right behind where the box currently sits). We have all the wire pulled in the basement for it, the electrician staged it to save some labor for us. Once the box is moved I think I'll hang some stainless rods in that space (for large serving utensils on hooks) and a couple of knife magnets.

The new cabinets next to the fridge are over twice as deep as the old ones. I spent a few hours bringing food storage supplies upstairs to fill them up. I have a couple more hours of work on this small project, I'm amazed how much stuff I can hold in the cabinets now. I also spent time writing down things I need to restock on to replace what we've used and what I'm pulling upstairs. BBQ sauce, mayo, syrup, pickles, canned chicken, deodorant, shampoo, hair gel, chocolate syrup, peas, corn, green beans, soup, neosporin, soap bars, etc. I'm predicting a Costco trip this weekend.

The state of 'the great panic' locally is like this:
2500 people are currently in the waiting list for background checks.
Concealed carry and firearms classes are booked out for a few months.
The large gun show in Denver had a line of about 150 people waiting to get in for most of the day on Saturday and Sunday (I'm glad I didn't drive up north for it).
Sportsmans Warehouse had about 5 pistols on display, and of course zero 'assault weapons' and 40% of the normal rifles on display.
The only handgun/rifle ammo you can get locally is .45, .38, .10 and some odd calibers. Anything else is pure luck based on restocking. We found 10 boxes of 9mm hollow points and picked up 4, the rest were gone in a few second (not that we stalked the guy who was restocking or anything).
The only magazine we found was for a buckmark.
Colorado is working to pass restrictions so you can't order ammo via the internet (this is all based on the Aurora theater shooting, but we all know this ammo could have been purchased locally without any problem, at the time).

The order from Brownells for pmags is being prepared for shipping. I wasn't optimistic at all but it just took a few weeks. Once they show up I might trade some out for a few AK mags that I could use. I could trade for some ammo or cash.

My Banshee plate carrier finally showed up and as I was expecting it's way too small for me. It fits the other half just perfectly so we ordered some rifle plates (front, back and sides). It seems I've spent a small fortune lately on armor and ammo, but if I tried the same today it would cost 8x as much IF we could even find it available. These purchases weren't panic driven but they all happened close together.

Luke dog is completely blind now, it was super fast going from bad to complete. Nothing can be done but continue to be patient and understanding. This morning at 4 after I let him out I had to walk out in the yard and rescue him from the fence, he couldn't figure out where the house was. Lucky I was hot like usual so I didn't mind being outside in the 12 degree weather in my boxers... it was the snow on my bare feet that wasn't fun.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A long day of cabinets

If we didn't live in a barn I would be upset that nothing is level. Since we do live in one, I expect things to be a little wonky. From the sink to the back wall cabinet it's a 1 inch drop in the floor level. I spent a lot of time on the floor shimming and leveling and moving and shuffling. Good lord.
The dishwasher and stove showed up and we ended up having enough room to add a 12 inch cabinet on the close side (where you can't see). We didn't think we would have room for a 9 inch, so more space is always welcome. We think it's will seem smaller once it's done, the stove and the wall cabinets will stick out more than before but it's a better stove and deeper (yet narrower) cabinets.
New ammo safe photo; filled up all the new magazines I picked up yesterday, some 5.56, .38 and .22 showed up today. That's what I get for ordering right before the panic, everything was delayed. I think the rifle notches need to be taken out and shelving added. Over 17,000 rounds of ammo now and I'm still waiting for some 9mm to show up.
Raptor charging handle was a surprise Christmas gift that arrived tonight. It's really nice, ambidextrous and super smooth. I have some handle ends to swap on the other carbines but they are not this nice. I never liked the one sided operation when I was in the military so I'm glad there are options out there.
I'm exhausted and have an early meeting tomorrow, can't wait to cook this weekend and stop eating out.

Install part 1

This is the cabinet type we selected. The rustic look fits well with our barn and they were 20% off. A lot of people don't like the grain, knots, etc. but we think it will work out great. The ammo can withe the dremel was my Dad's, I have a lot of his tools but my Brother sold just about everything I didn't take.. see what happens when you try to be fair.

This morning I screwed in most of the floor boards, raising the height of everything once it's done. I found my handy hole saw and cut out the pipe holes for the water and the radiant heat toe kick heater. I don't have a lot of hole saw sizes but the one I used for my water barrel PVC piping was perfect.

The stove is due between 10 and 2. Thanks for the good timing! They were the only thing we purchased at Home Depot and they had the best price. Everything else we wanted Home Depot doesn't carry, can't do or is special order with a minimum quantity. That's ok, Lowes has always seemed better quality and selection.

I did get 5 pmags last night, the soldier I got them from asked if I had just got an AR or was just getting more magazines. I told him they were a gift for someone (that someone just happens to be me). I checked and ebay has some for $60+ and a lot of bids on some for $85+. We shall see what happens, maybe I'll be over stocked with magazines if everything comes in, eventually. I certainly don't regret picking up a few here or there for at or close to original retail prices.

Back to kitchen slavery.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Finally it's a normal day

I don't mind the holidays, the holiday cheer, nor each employee asking how my Christmas was. I sucked up repeating myself 100 times this morning just knowing it's was over. No more luxury car commercials with Santa, no more 50 emails a day from vendors with last minute gift ideas, and finally my prime country XM station has returned to prime country.

Christmas eve was spent pulling tile up and then half of the in laws went to Macaroni Grill for dinner. We tagged along to help mother in law keep from being depressed and I did my part to smile a lot. Nephew was sucking his spaghetti out of the bowl so I asked him if he was the lady or the tramp. Instead of stopping the activity (he is 12) he said he was done eating and pushed his food away. Good, stop being a brat.
The kitchen will be assembled tomorrow once the stove and dishwasher are delivered. 3 Cheers for being able to cook this weekend.

Christmas day was spent shoveling some and we all met up at the in laws for breakfast. Pancakes and bacon while everyone opened presents. Technically not everyone, we didn't get anything and didn't give anything. We are 40+ years old and unless someone want's to spend a lot of money on us, there isn't anything we need. Things we want cost a lot too. That's prefect, I don't need a holiday to buy something for someone, and I don't need a holiday to not feel appreciated as a person by the nephews and nieces.

We did have a nice day off, and being super bored without the ability to bake made us hit the movies. Jack Reacher was actually a great movie, I wasn't expecting too much since all the headlines were about the Hobbit and whatever movie Jamie Foxx is in that I won't watch.

The great panic seems to be in full swing still, but as expected people are already starting to dump items in the classified websites. I'm picking up some pmags tonight locally from someone who already needs money for bills. Classified websites are nice since private parties don't take credit cards, this will help keep prices in line. People spent a lot of money on plastic in the last month (well really since the election) and the bills are coming in. Might be a great time to pick some stuff up for those who still need it... and not even feel bad about it.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a great evening and day. Spend some time with your family, friends, pets, etc.

We are cooking dinner for the in-laws tomorrow, steak and taters', and if they are lucky I'll make a pie on the spot. The entire family isn't getting together for the first time in... maybe ever... so we will hang out all day watching football and conversing. I had a nice phone call with my brother, he is trying really hard to be a better communicator and I'm trying real hard to forgive him for selling Dad's property and house. Small steps, but as long as I am working towards it, I feel better each time we talk.

Work is having a pot luck with some Popeyes chicken catering. I'll hit the chicken then it's off to the gym. Today is an hour on chest, not sure if I can do it all since they gym is closing at 2. My piss poor planning around a holiday schedule. Tomorrow I'll get a nice run in as long as the incoming storm doesn't ice anything up.

Someone clicked follow, that was kind. I don't keep track of names, but I saw the number bump up by one. Thanks for (hopefully) finding these ramblings useful once in a while!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Progress and inventory

The drywall is done, the texture is done, the mess has been cleaned up. Tomorrow morning we will paint the ceiling and start the cabinet install.
 The walls shall remain plain until the counter top is done. We don't want to pick just plain white, we figure waiting until the kitchen is almost done will let us play with some colors to see how they really look compared with the tile, top, lights, etc. The stove and dishwasher arrive on Thursday, I'm planning on cooking a nice meal next weekend, even if I have to make temporary counter tops!

Rock decided to stand guard over some ammo that arrived. "The great panic" was in full swing and we were still able to get whatever we wanted earlier this week, at regular prices. The magazines I've had on order still aren't here, I don't really think we are short on them, but more would be favorable. Having 6 per person is a big load out in standard combat, that's what we go with here on the edge of town. We have 2 a couple of 40 round magazines, I prefer those instead of the 2 mag coupler to keep the rifle balanced.

This is a photo of a gun store who carries the largest selection of rifles and pistols in the entire state. What you see over along the wall are a lot of missing rifles. What they usually have on the wall they also have 1 or 2 in the back. The ones there are .22's or more of a normal rifle. They had plenty of shotguns and you could get a .50 cal rifle. The pistol selection was a little thin.
I had been over there on Monday, this picture was from Friday and I was shocked. I'm not usually shocked, but I didn't think "The great panic" was really this bad. In books there is 'the crash', 'the happening', 'the eruption', 'the collapse'... so I am calling it 'The great panic'.
Many shops are completely sold out all over town, backordering isn't a possibility, nobody knows when things like 'assault type' rifles, ammo or magazines will show up. The market will be flooded with very expensive stuff for those who can afford it. If things settle down or stay as they have been, the market will be flooded with people needing money to pay for the stuff they are using credit cards for right now..

I was bored waiting for the texture to dry so I got the new safe moved into position. The furniture dolly wasn't working and I couldn't move it much on my own. I could tilt it around but there wasn't enough room to spin it on the corners. I grabbed a 2 foot section of 1 inch wooden dowel and set it under the far edge. This let the safe slide right across it, much like the Egyptians would do with logs to move stone blocks. Once the safe was close to where I wanted to place it, I removed the dowel and repositioned it on the back corner, letting me turn the safe right into place. I used a small board as a temporary shim so I could get the dowel out and was done.
Moving all the ammo in let me take an inventory. We have about 12,000 rounds in the various calibers, the only surprise I found was there is only 50 rounds in .38 special. I know a wheel gun isn't something you need thousands of rounds for, but I suspect we just forget to replace a couple hundred rounds from the last time we shot our revolvers. I prefer .38 instead of .357, even in the big Python. It's a comforting picture in case 'The big panic' doesn't subside for a while, or if the government places limitations or controls.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The icebox that used to be a kitchen

The poor kitchen has no heat, we pulled that out on Tuesday so we could start the drywall. It was too windy and too cold to get any done today, have to cut it on the porch so we will wait for better weather this weekend. The walls are well insulated but it's 10x15 and the cold seeps in no matter what. No drywall yet and half of the kitchen in above ground with a crawlspace underneath.With wind chill it's about 5 degrees outside right now.

That seemed like -50 when I stepped outside of the gym in my wet swim trunks. I've changed my training once a week to swimming, being coached by someone who works at USA Swimming. Tonight I did the hardest parts of the workout with 1 breath per 5 strokes.

breathe and left
breath and left

I'm a sucker for cardio now that I've switched from a lot of running and this was a super hard hour session. I have to keep the cardio and endurance up so I can get back into running this spring, so it's either swimming or the dreadmill.

I had 3 buckets of powdered milk show up today. 1311 servings (cups) of milk, bringing my total milk servings to about 3000. Not that 1 cup of milk means anything unless you are rationing, but I'm not the big milk drinker like someone else in the house. Sometimes it's a gallon a week and I don't know where it goes.

I also got 3 boxes of these:
They are cool little hockey pucks made of cedar and paraffin wax, 90 per box, 30 minute burn time (at my altitude). I found an awesome deal on them and plan on giving some to the in-laws to help them start the fireplace. Father in law with a hatchet trying to make kindling is not a pretty sight, he bleeds at the slightest bump into anything and I don't like sharp objects around him. Besides, it's a sort of holiday gift thing I suppose.

All the hustle and bustle over ammo, guns and magazines in the last few days made me glad I didn't need anything. Sure I would have loved to get a SCAR or some other high end fancy black shooting thing, but I've been a prepper on and off my whole life so we were already set. It's a very good feeling to be set for a lot of things, even cold weather we could manage with propane and heaters (but it wouldn't be fun). I realize that we have a lot of stuff that is simply nice to have so it's not such a hardship right away if something were to happen.
Sometimes we feel silly for buying more of anything... why get fuel pucks when you can make your own fire with fire starters. I like to think of it as comfort, convenience, ease. It doesn't mean we cant do without, it's just nice to have and we are very fortunate to be able to get this kind of thing while we are able.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Busiest CBI day on record

I happen to wander to both large gun stores today. I had picked up a polymer magazine for my .308 and it fit/worked great, I thought I would get a few more. I also need a blackhawk shotgun stock for our new mossberg. My mind doesn't work like most, I didn't think the stores would be empty.

Sportsmans had 3 AR type rifles (compared to the usual 45 or so), about 50% inventory on everything else. There were only a couple boxes of 9mm, zero .223, zero 5.56 (unless you wanted tracer rounds), 4 boxes of .308

The other store (Specialty sports) had a lot of bulk ammo in all calibers but .223 and 5.56. This store had over 300 pistols and rifles put aside awaiting background checks. They had about 70% of the usual inventory and that's a lot of inventory missing considering they have the largest inventory in the state. I said hello to the owners and picked up a case of .308 that I had been planning on buying to replace what I shot last month.

Colorado background office said this was the busiest day on record, black Friday being the 2nd. If you purchased something today, the pickup was Wednesday afternoon, moving into Thursday.

Panic buying has it's place, if it's stuff you need. After hearing what the POTUS had to say last night, and all of the other gun control statements on top of the election... what a fantastic time to sell guns and ammo. Sure, in a few months you could be selling tents and coolers, but take what you can get.

I ordered some more pmag's for our carbines a few days ago, now I'm wondering if they will show up. It's serious panic buying again for most people, I think anything available over the next 60 days could easily double in price. My timing on buying the ammo and mags was pre-planned and while I looked at some rifles across the counter, I never touched any. The kitchen comes first and we only have 2 hands each.

It always takes a tragedy to unite people, unfortunately. It's also unfortunate that uniting people isn't always in the best interest of the things we like to do.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

More armor? Yes!

Normally I'm never in the right place, or more often than not I'm in the wrong place. A coworker friend mentioned he had a friend who wanted to sell some body armor but didn't want to list it on craigslist, did I have any suggestions. The young man was fresh out of the Army and in need of some cash.

I am now the owner of the 2 items above. The top one is a multi cam Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV). The lower one is a digital camo Interceptor. Both have throat protectors and all of the soft armor. There were enough ceramic plates for 1 vest including side protection. The IOTV had the lower back and groin protection as well, neither had deltoid armor.

Prices on this stuff are down right now but I'm comfortable with saying I have about $1500+ worth of stuff in the package. The IOTV is brand new, the plates were all inspected and passed in 05/2011.
Considering I just paid $500 for a basic armor carrier and 4 soft armor inserts, I'm happy at paying $600 for this, it's a much better protective package.

Maybe it's just the holidays but Sportsmans Warehouse was down to about 10 AR type (evil black) rifles this afternoon. Most of the ones left were the $1500+ kind, all the talk of new gun control measures (on top of the election) is making people whip out some plastic. I picked up a p-mag for my .308,  hopefully it will work fine and I can reduce some weight by using those instead of the metal ones.

My doc told me I tore some cartilage and it's going to take a while to heal. but otherwise I'm gtg... don't do anything that hurts and get lots of rest. Good advice for someone else, I'm too busy working hard at the gym to relax. Last night my trainer had me use the pool so there wasn't a lot of impact, but she teaches Olympic athletes so it was very hard. I actually thought I was going to drown a few times, funny how your body needs all of that air all the damn time.

My dog Luke is almost completely blind. I'm adding night lights all over, leaving lights on, making sure nothing is in the normal paths around the house. It's a challenge in patience but we will take care of him. I told him I'm sad he can't see the sunsets and mountains anymore but I will describe them to him. I'll probably cry when I do it, each time, but he has been a great friend to me and I wont let him down. This is just the standard cycle of dog's for us, it's never easy even when they are healthy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cheating the system

First off, I looked at blogger stats. I've gotten a lot of visits from people typing this in the search engines: why isn't there money on my ebt card.

That sure gave me a chuckle.

The electrician is coming back out tomorrow to do his work including adding more outlets as required by code (like people can't move the coffee maker 2 feet, have to plug it in wherever it sits?). Tuesday the heating company is going to cut and cap the lines for the baseboard heater and service the boiler. This means we can start the drywall and texture and with any luck start installing the cabinets and such next weekend.

We found out that we should have pulled a permit for the kitchen. We should pull a permit for the electrical. We aren't swapping our hot water heater out for one a friend gave us until the kitchen is done... that requires a permit. Get one permit, get them all, then have someone snooping around. We should have pulled a permit when we replaced some deck boards this past spring. I suppose it means we are cheating the system, but the system is jacked up. If we replace the cabinets... no problem. Stove replaced... no problem. Replace stove and cabinets = permit.

I'm just a country boy from the woods. We had to make out own power pole when we finally got electricity growing up.

We decided to get a toe kick heater for the kitchen. It puts out more heat with the electric fan and costs 40% less than a new baseboard heater. It's also 70% less labor and that will save some money. We will spend more than we planned, but at least the electrical and heating will be correct. We anticipate $9000 for the whole project and that should give us a $30,000 kitchen.

My ribs are back to about 70% of normal. My gym workouts are great, I just can't do situps or pullups yet. If I didn't know better (and i probably don't) there is something seriously wrong with me, but I'm going to hang in there a few more days before I get an xray. I can reach under my left lower ribcage and push and prod.... nothing. If I push on my ribs on the left middle side I see stars. I do know it's better than this past weekend, but I also know I have a extreme tolerance for pain.

The powdered milk we ordered should be showing up real soon, just simply nowhere to put it right now. What we couldn't fit in the dining room is sitting in the basement, and the basement was already tight on space. It's temporary at least and since it's winter the upstairs rooms stay very cool so I'll put the new food storage items up here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Is everything to code?

We pulled down all of the r11 insulation in the kitchen, I would have rather been handling snakes. There were a couple sections of r19 that we left up, but 4 rolls later the kitchen is insulated. We used 2 cans of foam insulation in all the little crack and seams that we could see light coming in. Total time in the project is around 20 hours, we figure each hour we do ourselves is saving us $100.

The siding was directly installed on the studs, one of the biggest wtf moments so far. I would use wood boards vertically, then the horizontal siding. Using press board will work and it's cheaper, but I don't like it. I don't want to rebuild the entire house so we aren't messing with the siding anytime soon.
The electric needed some work, and we decided to leave this to the professionals. They are there right now installing some junction boxes and an outlet. We can install lights and replace things but we've never done junction boxes or added an outlet. Sometimes it's worth paying to have it done correctly when you aren't sure.
Unfortunately, if the plumber has to pull a permit to move the baseboard heater, the electrician needs a permit as well. This means all of the kitchen wiring and the panel will need to be replaced to current code. It also means we will have to add MORE outlets. That's right, new code means adding things that aren't necessary or wanted. I don't care if the breaker box is old and above the stove, it works and I don't need anyone coming into the house inspecting anything.

The work around is doing the drywall first, then the heater moved and then having the heater inspected.... then doing what we want with the electric. I don't think moving a baseboard heater unit will require a permit, but it depends on how much the city needs tax revenue. It's highly annoying to try and live right, debt free, prepared, etc. and still be over regulated by the government when you just want to upgrade your kitchen. We don't want a crap-built new house, we don't want an electrical outlet every 5 feet. I just want a new stove.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

It only hurts to breathe.

I forgot to take some motrin this morning, trying to gimp my way along until my chiropractor is in town on Monday. Everything I did hurt, but damned if that was going to stop me. It wouldn't have been my first brush with death (maybe my 6th, lost count), but since there aren't ribs poking into my lung or out of my chest I had to carry on.

I dropped 6 hours into the kitchen today. This included fixing the plumbing in the basement with new shutoff valves going to the kitchen sink (thank you inventor of sharkbite fittings!). The old ones were knob type, on galvanized pipe, and of course wouldn't work. I wanted to put more time in but need to get ready for the employee appreciation holiday dinner.... I'm somehow in charge of the entire evening and yet didn't help plan or put it together.

 The old plumbing for the original kitchen is behind the newer looking 2x4 section. Always interesting what you find. We left the baseboard heater hooked up, I want that moved by professionals since the system is pressurized and I want it to work. It's going to be 22 degrees tomorrow and I didn't want the entire system down just in case there was an issue. The area showing subfloor will be built up to the same level as the tile (of course they don't make the tile we have) so there wont be any removing or adding of tile.
 Fortunately only one spot lacked insulation. The old stuff will be pulled out (the really old stuff) and replaced. The windows will be foam sealed where applicable. I'm debating if we should put more insulation under the newer 2x4 section. I don't know if it will make a difference, but I'm sure it won't hurt anything. It depends on the price at home depot tomorrow.
The studs are so far apart, it's no wonder we had a hard time ever finding one to screw or drill into. I might add some cross braces in the large above counter level areas. The upper left is missing insulation, I tore it down to check the water damage. There are some boards with damage but since the roof is fine, and the boards are still sound, we won't worry about it (now that it doesn't leak).

The good thing is now that it's stripped we can move light fixtures around, add outlets, whatever we feel like doing. Since we won't start drywalling for a few days, we have some time to decide on anything else. I pulled 8 trash bags of drywall and all kinds of wood scraps out and into my wagon and into a pile in the garden area. I'm going to borrow a friends dump truck when we are done, it will be cheaper for one big load to the dump.

It was a great day of work, especially when the motrin kicked in. I think the shop vac worked harder than I did.

Friday, December 7, 2012

6 Hours of kitchen work

I never realized I could pop a front rib out of place from bench pressing, but guess what I did...

It's like having a broken rib, it's hurts all the time but you have to breathe still. If SHTF I would have to continue on and just suck up the pain, so I did just that. We spent a total of 6 hours in the kitchen yesterday, here are the results so far:
 You can see the baseboard heater behind the shop vac. The copper is routed in the cabinets, behind the stove and under the sink. We decided to move the heater entirely, this will give us another 3 feet of cabinet space and help heat the kitchen better. Since there is a crawlspace under that end of the floor, it's almost all wasted heat and I loathe heaters directly under windows. I don't understand the thinking of your heat going out the glass. When we redid the heating system 16 years ago we couldn't afford to change anything and had to use the original steam radiator holes to save money. This is why there isn't heat upstairs.
The original house sink drained right into the sewage line grease trap (that was located outside the window). You can see the large drain pipe that is still there for no reason. Once the sink is out tonight I'm going to saws-all the shit out of everything, hopefully by tomorrow morning everything will be out.
We put a couple holes in the drywall, as expected, pulling the tile off. The hole behind the fire extinguisher was my oops, but it showed me there isn't any insulation in the wall right there. WHAT! Yes, no insulation where the 2 additions meet, that will be fixed with some pink roll type once I cut the drywall out. I also discovered there isn't a turn off for the kitchen sink water, only the main line off and on lever. That will be fixed along with removing the final few feet of galvanized pipe (I think that's what it's made of).

So far we have an extra days worth of work, but so far it's not frustrating us. It does suck living out of boxes, not knowing where the spoons are, debating pouring milk into the cereal box instead of trying to get a bowl at 6am. We have saved about $500 in labor.

We went to a work related party last night, I busted some moves on the dance floor (in between gasping for air over my rib pain) and I was happy my pistol didn't fly out. I was jumping around like a white guy on the dance floor and it held just fine. It's good to be armed and goofy on the dance floor! I also photo-bombed my face in about 10 random photo's, sometimes I get to act like I'm 15 again and not get in trouble for it!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Before. and it's raining.

Apparently the wishing for moisture thing worked. It was raining when I left the house this morning, reminding me of a cool spring morning. It wasn't a downpour, but in the winter even a little moisture is a big bonus to the yard. Hopefully the mountains are getting a lot, won't be able to tell until the clouds burn off around noon.
Perhaps this whole wishing thing works, but I'll just say it's the weather being unpredictable like always.

Here are two before pictures from last night in the kitchen.

The only things in the kitchen are pictured. Some dishes, protein powder, chicken TVP, etc. Yes, the empty booze bottle on the floor was puzzling to me as well.
We have to get the wallpaper backing down and just start to remove everything. The far upper left corner of the bottom picture has some water damage from this past spring, otherwise it's going to be fairly simple. The tile on the wall started popping off last night with no fuss, it's around 30 years old.

The original structure was a barn built around 1888. The first addition was added and extended the kitchen to the middle of the stove, as well as adding a bedroom downstairs. The second addition pushed the kitchen all the way out and made the downstairs bedroom twice as large with a bathroom and walk in closet. Whomever did the 2nd addition didn't dig the basement out, causing the house to droop a little in the back. The basement doesn't extend to the house edge in any spot, creating a droop in other spots. In the next 5 years or so we will need to spend about $50k to have the house jacked up and the basement redone (including dug deeper).

Everyone says old houses have character. I didn't realize character caused my ass to hurt. Perhaps it's the charm that's causing it.

Since I won't be cooking for a few weeks, have a picture of meatloaf.
I'll be cooking at the in-laws and our boss/friends house from time to time. But meatloaf with large onion chunks and (don't ask me why) bright red ketchup.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Moisture please.

I don't know when winter officially started, or if it even has. I can't think of any moisture in the last 90+ days, it's going to be another drought type year ahead. It's December 5th and I will water the yard again today, tomorrow, Friday and probably Saturday. They are predicting highs in the 20's for Sunday, and if we are lucky some snow. I'm already starting to plan my garden based on using less water.
I can't remember ever watering the grass and tree's in December, it's usually Thanksgiving that signals the snow to come in. Sure, it's nice on the utility bill to keep the heat off during the day, but I worry about water tables, stream runoff and reservoir levels. I have to be selfish and think about my water sources. If the world doesn't end before we get the kitchen done, I'm going to add two 55 gallon water barrels to the supplies.

No moisture doesn't help my rain water collection in the spring and of course makes us very nervous about forest fires. The other day a vehicle went off a dirt road above the house and started a grass fire. Luckily it was out fast but the scanner was blowing up with panic from all of the departments. The plates were missing from the car but the idiot who drove it.. yes, get ready.... dropped his license as he fled the scene.

I watched Doomsday Preppers last night, they had another rich guy on there who thought he had better protection than he really did. He said there was only one way in, one way out. However the 'cliffside' on the back wasn't tall and the tree's growing right next to the house made an obvious approach angle. It seemed he was relying on power without a backup system to run it during a grid down scenario. I did like the .50 he was using, but the beowulf (alexander arms .50 beowulf)ammo isn't easy to find and I don't see it being much better than a .308. The recoil is nasty on a short barrel .50, how can you keep it on target for semi-rapid fire?

The kitchen is /12 empty, tonight the rest of it will be boxed up. Demo will start on Thursday so we are already ahead of schedule. Saturday will be redoing the baseboard copper piping, then drywall repair. The baseboard heater routing is top priority, I'm frail and get cold easily.
We think that 20% of the stuff we removed from the kitchen will get donated/tossed out when we move it back in. It's a perfect time to get rid of excess or never used items.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

New safe, go bucket and inventory check

Today was a full day and I was moving like a slug. I had a great gym session on Friday night, squats, deadlifts, leg presses and leg extensions. I piled on more weight than I have ever done and have made some amazing progress in 60 days. I had never done squats before, and didn't know how to do them so I'm happy to be hitting 225 pounds, same for deadlifts at 275. The downside to this is I'm in serious muscle recovery mode today, more so than yesterday.

Hard work can kill you and it can make you sore. However, if SHTF I would have to drive on and continue, so that's exactly what I did today. The cabinets were ordered for the kitchen remodel, they will be picked up Thursday. The issue we ran into is timing, the counter top will take 4 weeks to be built and installed once it's ordered. This means no kitchen during the whole time, since we won't have a sink. The stove will work so we can help cook the Christmas dinner, but all cleanup has to be done in the master bathroom, in the bathtub.

We might hold off and start the remodel after Christmas dinner. The deciding factor will be if we can get the new sink installed before the counter top measure, or does it need to be done when the counter top is installed. We are going for a large stainless divided sink, similar to what we have now but under counter. I have to ask around, I don't know the step order for that.

Go buckets go opened today and checked out. There was some food that is coming up on expiration so we swapped that out and sealed everything back up. The buckets are 3 home depot buckets that will carry us and the 2 dogs for 1 week, including hygiene and gas masks. These are the no notice evacuation buckets since we are in an area where a forest fire can rush down the mountain. We wanted everything in them checked and to make sure the water requirements written on each bucket was still accurate. We have a pull wagon we keep at the back door that can hold all the buckets and water for one trip to the vehicles. While one person does this, the other grabs the combat load out and dogs. Out of the house in under 10 minutes easy, including extra clothes if it's winter.

We finally got our second gun safe delivered. It's been our fault in combination with it being locked in a warehouse that we don't have keys to. This second safe is for ammo and the seldom used rifles. The ammo will stay dry and moisture controlled and allow us to have more room in safe #1. The new safe is used but it was free once we paid for the heavy duty movers. It's in the middle of the basement until we figure out exactly where it should go. I think safe #1 needs to be unbolted and moved so we have room for them side by side and still be able to put a freezer where I want.

We also went over the inventory list and decided it's low on black beans and powdered milk. I can get and store the beans myself but the milk I need to order in. 25 year shelf life, 20 lb. bucket, 648 servings per bucket. I will get 3 buckets and add make 3 buckets of beans. We are adding more potatoes to storage while the holidays are here, 15lb.s of large Idaho's for $1.99, hard to pass up.

1.5lbs ground beef, 1 egg, 1 C bread crumbs (I prefer fine crushed), 1/2 white onion chopped. Mix, coat with ketchup (or BBQ sauce if you are a communist) and cook 1 hour @ 350 degrees.
93% lean ground beef works the best but I got the 85% on sale. Just pull the loaf out of the pan and let it drain on some paper towels and it's perfect.
I took a picture but my stupid technology won't email it for some reason. I'm 2 feet from the router, phone and computer.... maybe an emp hit my phone!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Kitchen remodel.

We measure tomorrow, then it's demolish time.

The new stove has been decided on and is going to be awesome, here is a link to it. With some gift cards we have been hoarding, we will end up getting it for half price. It has a downdraft as an added bonus! The dual ovens will be really handy, the small over will be used 90% of the time and will save a bit on the electric bill.
You can get the options of dehydrator and bread proofer but I like my bread to rise in a bowl, like the olden days. Some of the reviews on it make me chuckle how much people rely on some things:
'the timer needs to be louder'
'pizza setting doesn't work right'
'everything must be manually set
'have to clean the glasstop each time to keep it clean'
I have manual timers, can set a temperature and check on food, clean a stove, etc. Sometimes technology is too much of a crutch.

More exciting new is we are going to redo the cabinets, sink and counter top. I helped build my house growing up, and while I'm not making new cabinets, we are going to do everything on our own until it's time for the counter to be installed. There will be a lot of work to be done, we are hoping 2 weeks from start to counter top order. Since we have very little time in the evenings, it's going to be a little bit here and a little bit there. It will save us about $3k in labor and of course it's a nice feeling to do it yourself.

We will gain  about 4 feet (length) of cabinet space, that will be perfect for storing the mason jars and such. We contemplated a large cabinet where most of the dishes are but I prefer the deep shelves instead of opening a cabinet door when I need a plate or bowl. This and the silverware drawer are the most used so convenience over looks.

My cereal was empty this morning so I went into storage and grabbed some more. I noticed I have a lot of stuff that is expiring soon in the cereal bins. I'm not eating as much as during the summer, I don't need the massive calorie and carb load when I'm not running. I set aside what we will eat before the end of the year and dropped  14 boxes off to the Mormon neighbors. I think it was 14 anyhow, it will probably last them 2 weeks with 4 kids. I'm eating cereal that expired in July, it's fine, but I don't want things getting stale and being tosses when I can donate it to someone.

I resisted buying cereal at the grocery store tonight, it was even on sale. I picked up a couple of items for storage that were on the list and some fruits and veggies for the week.