Saturday, February 5, 2011

5 February, 2011 Another day closer to a snow free zone.

The last couple of days have been ... interesting.  We've been going at it with our insurance company about insuring the Uhaul.  We finally found someone who will insure it at an affordable rate.  Our own company will do it for about half that rate after we finish it so we insured it for the time we'll be on the road to, in, and back from Nevada.  So we're back to taking the Uhaul. 

A friend on another preparedness board bought some seeds that were packed for long term storage since around 1977 (he was told by the seller).  He asked if we'd be interested in seeing how well they held up so we jumped on that opportunity.  We'll do a germination test by sprouting a selectd number of seeds to see the germination rate then we have some avid gardeners selected from different parts of the US to plant some of the seeds to see how they do in different gardening zones.  We'll compare notes during the season to see how productive they were.  Opportunities to test seed this old don't come often and it will be the first time we've been able to evaluate seed packed for survival reasons.

The unvailing...

I've never heard of the company.  The label is not impressive but then we didn't plan on planting the label.

Looking at the amounts of each type of seed it would have been interesting to see what they advertised these as accomplishing. Were they suppposed to be suitable for a family of two?  Four? or???

We shall see if they are correct!

More work on the Uhaul.

More measuring and fitting...

Almost finished with the left-rear corner.  I still need to finish the right rear corner but it will be quick job.  We are going to put a wood-burning stove in that corner so all I need to do now is slap some paneling on to keep the insulation in place for the next couple of months.  I have some other material to use in that corner for permanent installation when I run the stove pipe through the wall, etc.

I had to replace some of the marker lights.  Fortunately, the wiring to them was in good shape.  I was dreading the though of running new wire to each one.  Now every light on it is in place and functioning.

I wired in a four-wire trailer connector and took the 2 inch ball off and put a 1 7/8 in. ball on the hitch.  Of course I had to take the 1 7/8 in. ball off of my S-10 first.

I had to build a platform out about 16 inches from the front overhang to have room for a double mattress.  The area underneath is for storage (obviously).  This is about two month's worth of food in addition to some other items in the buckets.

Finished with this part anyway.

What it looks like with the mattress on, the bed made and the curtain over the storage area.  I still need to put a board across the front of the mattress and across the floor to keep the buckets from sliding back.

Susan tested the bed before she loaded it down with stuff.  She said it was nice and com ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Susan had to hand sew the fleece sleeping bag liner she made.  She said it really makes you appreciate whoever invented the sewing machine.

Repacking ... Susan took the dired food out of the jars and put it in plastic bags.  She was able to eliminate a couple of buckets afterward because the plastic bags packed in tighter and she eliminated some weight also.

Susan has lettuce peeking through.  It will be a challenge to keep the plants warm as we drive down to Nevada.  We're supposed to get hit with another cold snap with lows around zero forecast by Tuesday/Wednesday until the end of the week.  But by then we should be in a warmer place!  We aren't going to rush on the trip there or back.  With the Uhaul we can stop at rest areas and get a good night's sleep and we plan on doing it!

I made popcorn Wednesday.  The way we do it is to put enough oil in to just cover the bottom of the skillet then add just enough popcorn to cover the bottom of the skillet then cover it and pop it on high heat.  Add salt, butter or whatever as needed.  You may have to experiment some as results will vary according to how good your popcorn is, skillet size, lid size, etc.  Experiment with different oils to get a variety of tastes.

This was the last batch so I didn't put as much corn in the skillet.

Now it's movie time.  We rented the movies Salt and Red this week.  Both were excellent!

We had several cloudy days when the solar panels just didn't generate much electricity.  Our battereis are stored outside so we don't like running them too low in sub-zero temperatures so I got out a kerosene lantern for early morning use when writing.  I wasn't on the internet and the netbook computer is running on the battery so there was no draw from the batteries.  Once it got light I blew out the lamp then when the sun came out later it charged the battery bank back up.  Note the shade on top of the lamp's chimney.  We cut a hole in a disposable aluminum pie plate and slipped it over the chimney to direct the light down instead of up into your eyes.  There are ways to increase the light output about 40 percent but I've got a query out to do an article on it so I can't post it here yet.  Susan took the picture with the camera on a tripod, the flash turned off and the ASA set at 100.

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