The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Homesteading and Self Reliant Living => Topic started by: notsofast on March 17, 2012, 12:59:05 PM

Title: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on March 17, 2012, 12:59:05 PM
   We've decided to go ahead and move onto our land. It isn't so much something we WANT to do as it is something we NEED to do. My girlfriend just lost her job so, now we're back to relying on one income. As things sit right now we won't be able to afford to keep living in the hotel, paying for the land and all the other bills, sooooo.... we've decided to go ahead and move. the move will drop almost $1,000 a month off the bills.
   We still have no power and no water on the property, which presents an excellent opportunity to "test our mettle" so to speak. It'll give us a chance to check our preps, know how, and creativity. We should be able to get everything on and in "full grid function" in about two weeks.
   So, here's the deal... I'm gonna post, starting tomorrow, sort of a "play by play." What we've done, how, why etc. and what the outcome is. Maybe it'll give someone an idea on how to do something or help us see where our own ideas and preps have holes. which, as we all know, is something we should all do from time to time.

LIGHTING
   As of now, we have several solar yard lights, the little LED ones, which will be charged during the day and set around the house at night. We also have a couple of oil lamps for the same purpose as well as flashlights, candles etc. i also have some small 12 volt batteries like the ones that come on those small Chinese made four wheelers and some old Christmas lights i might try to rig up some how but, i'm not sure.

COOKING
   We have two small grills and a few bags of charcoal. Also, on the land, we have several good sized trees that are downed which i'll use in lieu of briquettes. we can also use the grills to heat water for bathing as the septic is hooked up but no water was ever run to the property.

WATER
   This is the biggest problem but, we have, of course, several 5 gallon buckets which will be used to store water. The plan is to take three or four to work every day and fill them up while I'm at work. Really not too much of a problem, just a little hassle. plus not too far from the property are several creeks i can use for non potable water.

MISC. ELECTRIC
   I've got the inverter in my van that can be used to charge the cell phones, laptop, and other small things for a little entertainment at night.

 So, there ya have it. Shouldn't be too bad. We pretty much have the basics covered and should be okay... i think. lol
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: cheryl1 on March 17, 2012, 01:15:09 PM
We did much the same thing when we built our cabin. The propane tank where we were living ran dry at the end of February, and we weren't going to have it filled again. We moved with our two small children into a construction zone. We did have lights, heat, and water in place though.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Mr. Bill on March 17, 2012, 01:19:09 PM
Best wishes to you, notsofast.  Looking forward to reading the log of your experiences.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on March 17, 2012, 05:25:24 PM
Well... We took a load of stuff out to the land and had our first "adventure." Had a blow out in the middle of nowhere. Not really the middle of nowhere but, it' about 6 miles to the nearest store. Neither of us had cell reception, which was normal. But, we also didn't have a spare or jack... My fault and a long story. My girlfriend finally got a signal out by walking a half mile or so up a hill, turning on the speaker phone, holding the phone way up and yelling. Lmao. All in all it set us back about 3 hours, which in turn cost us the rest of the day, which means we have to get up extra early in the morning...  fabulous  ::). Plus, we now have to fork out for a tire. Sheeesh.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Cedar on March 17, 2012, 05:55:52 PM
 ;) Welcome to homesteading. The first 3 weeks can be the roughest with sporadic glitches now and then afterwrds. It is well worth it however.

Cedar
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on March 17, 2012, 06:31:27 PM
Cedar, oh, I know... We've "owned" the land since december. And I don't know anyone who's been through as much as we have over it. Lol. It's been a rocky one so far but, I think we've got it licked now. From here we're just camping for a few weeks... basically.

And on a side note, we've been told how stupid it is to do it this way. Goes to show the mentality of some people. If we took a tent and went camping for a few weeks it would be ok. But, to live in your own place without utilities is nuts. Pffft.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: MightyRunt on March 18, 2012, 01:25:07 PM
It actually sounds to me like a wonderful adventure! While we were building our house, we lived almost 2 years without water or electric. We had a little 5kw Coleman generator to run the power tools for the construction and watch some TV at night. Light was several oil lamps. We hauled water from a year-round spring in the National forest. I cooked on a propane camp stove or on the woodstove or charcoal grill.  A cooler for a few non perishable foods, but we mostly ate canned food or stuff that didn't need refregeration, like vegetables and potatoes. The only part that wasn't a wonderful adventure was the Luggable Loo toilet. The sound of a flushing toilet still gives me warm fuzzies 16 years later.   :D
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: BigAl on March 18, 2012, 02:30:43 PM
You might want to get a pair of FRS/MURS radios to keep in contact with each other if you will be separated by any amount of distance.

I really like the TRI-Square XRS radios, they are spread spectrum frequency hopping (enhances privacy/security) and provides good distance, They run about $80/pair with included rechargeable battery module and will operate with regular batteries as well.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Mr. Bill on March 18, 2012, 03:09:40 PM
I really like the TRI-Square XRS radios, they are spread spectrum frequency hopping (enhances privacy/security) and provides good distance, They run about $80/pair with included rechargeable battery module and will operate with regular batteries as well.

See these two old topics for more discussion on these radios:

TriSquare eXRS FHSS ISM HT's (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3602.0)

eXRS radios (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=12135.0)
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: viking on March 18, 2012, 07:38:33 PM
Congrats on getting out and trying!
Truck stops are good places to find 12v items.
The 12v coffe pots don't seem to last long.
I picked up a 12v alarm clock. It works great and doesnt draw much power.
Good luck on your adventure!

Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: pokeshell on March 18, 2012, 08:34:05 PM
Good Luck!
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on March 19, 2012, 01:35:53 PM
First night went fairly well. Grilled some pork steaks and canned veggies from the food stores. Had an issue with some of the solar lights, not sure if it was a problem with the lights themselves or if they just didn't have enough charge but, no problem... Broke out the oil lamps.  Heat wasn't much of an issue either. Didn't really get hot until about 7 o'clock. About 8 I ran an extension cord to the inverter to pull the warm air out, after about 35-40 minutes everything was fine. Around 11 o'clock we had to breal out the blankets. Found out today it's gonna be alot longer on the water than we thought. Oh, well. Lol
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: 16onRockandRoll on March 19, 2012, 04:09:46 PM
That's awesome.  It won't all be warm and fuzzy fun, but it should be a growing/learning experience.  Good luck!
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Cedar on March 19, 2012, 04:16:44 PM
Found out today it's gonna be alot longer on the water than we thought. Oh, well. Lol

Hang in there. Eventually you will get water. My neighbors gave up after three dry wells dug (in an area reknown for not having good wells) and ended up hauling 400 gallons every day for 10 years. Anything is possible with perseverance.

Cedar
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on March 20, 2012, 04:39:46 PM
Last night went well, also. Found out the solar lights that weren't working were defects. This is a good example... I know we have a bunch of new folks, so lesson is this: the more techologicaly adbanced a prep is, the more likely it is to fail. The oil lamps have yet to let us down. Just something to keep in mind.

Found out yesterday we needed almost 4x's as much water line as we thought. That's what tge deal was with that but, called a place today... They're asking a little less than half what the others were so it won't be so bad.

Also, a bonus, and something i'd hoped would happen... My GF has started changing the way she thinks about stuff. A little more "outside of the box" if you will. She's taking the things i've told her or just things i've said in passing and starting to adapt them to the current situation. It's shows she's starting, just after a few days, to develop the "survivor" mindset. So, another lesson for any new people, IMPROVISE, ADAPT, OVERCOME.

as far as coms... Murs or anything... Not really necessary. We're only on two acres, which is well within  yelling distance.

I am going to buy a couple of flashlights today for security purposes.   We know people have been coming to the property while it was empty, "parking", drinking, or smoking dope, whatever. Since we've been out there at night we've neen hearing what sounds like someone walking around. I grew up in the country so, I know it's not leaves or whatnot. It could be dogs or even wildlife, but last night we swore we heard a cell phone ring. With no outside lights it basically me hoping I walk up on who ow whatever it is. On a side note, however... The area has had many sasquatch sightings over the years... ::) lmao
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on March 21, 2012, 04:39:45 PM
Night three went ok. No problems so far. Expecting pretty bad weather tonight. Hope we don't lose power. Lol.

My "stepson" has become quite the little homesteader. He's not even two yet and is following me around handing me tools, taking it upon himself to drag stuff to the burn pile, eating like a "big boy", basically just snatching stuff off the grill and munchin' down.

Even the GF agrees this has been good for him. Were he a little older i'd be afraid of  "culture shock" but, he hasn't even noticed there's no tv or lights. Lol. He's too busy running around like a little backwoods hooligan.

The neighbors came down yesterday, admitted they were just being "nosey." I find it a little odd they came by the day after were heard someone walking around. GF says they seem alright but, I haven't met them and to be honest, don't really think I want to.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on March 23, 2012, 05:11:56 PM
Between work and the pretty bad weather I didn't get a chance to post yesterday... Still going good, so far.

Found out the coyotes are bad in the area, not a surprise, I grew up not too far from where the land is... Not unusual. GF knows to keep a good eye on the baby. Buying a new gun in a week or so, probably just a little .22, but, it's just 'yotes for now.

The baby's appetite has improved 4 fold. I think it's a combination of being a little healthier already, running in the yard all day beats the hell out of walking around a 12x13 hotel room, and different enviroment. He also was waaaaay more energy.

Due to the rain we found all the leaks, not as many as I thought, it's just the two I already new about.

Hoping to get the temporary power on this week, we'll see. We've got another round of bills due already....
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Roundabouts on March 23, 2012, 11:37:10 PM
Don't know if this would help you out or not

Detailed background and instructions on how to make a zeer pot clay refrigerator

http://practicalaction.org/zeerpots
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: FrugalFannie on March 24, 2012, 05:45:16 AM
Sounds like you are having a blast! Hopefully you will be able to get set up before next winter. The little one will definitely be healthier with all that fresh air and exercise and so will the adults.

Enjoy and keep us posted.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on March 26, 2012, 04:46:35 PM
Still good. Don't wanna use up bandwith with "unproductive updates."

Got a sturdier grate for boiling water. The little grate on the grill wasn't handling the extended high temps too well. Four cinder blocks and voila, perfect for bath water.

We're only using about 12 gallons of water a day. May sound gross but, bath water is pulling triple duty. Whichever of us is cleanest goes first, some gets pulled out and reheated, reused, then is poured back into a bucket and used to flush the toilet.

Water is the biggest deal. We're fine without any electricity. In fact, the GF told me this weekend she "doesn't care if we get the power on." She's enjoying the lack of distraction, increased "family time" and, I'm sure, the fact that i'm not yelling at the t.v. nonstop telling people what kind of idiots they are.

So far this had turned out to be more of a "self exploration" thong than I thought." Living this way requires more dedication, drive, discipline than "ordinary" life. I highly recomend it.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: idelphic on March 26, 2012, 06:36:48 PM
I have to say that I am a tad jealous..  With the kids it's difficult to drop the power for any amount of time.  I've kicked them out of the house for part of a weekend to limit my use of power,.. but it's still there...

Best of luck to you,.. hope things continue to improve for you both.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: bigbear on March 27, 2012, 10:32:23 AM
Good luck to you!  It sounds like you have a shelter/cabin of some sort.  Can you set up a basic water encatchment system of some sort to offset some of your water needs?
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on March 27, 2012, 04:37:22 PM
Big bear, we've got several 5 gallon buckets. A couple get left out if it rains, other than that no catchment. I  simply fill up a couple at work every other day or so.   
We've got a mobile home on the property. Just no utilities.

I seem to have been right about not needing a/c in the summer, granted it's still spring but, themps are fine. In fact, with the canoy over the trailer and the "weeping" of the trees it get's ddown right col. I'm talking 40-ish, sleeping with two blankets cold.

Tried to rig some sort of external antenna for the cell phones last night but, alas... Any ideas?
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Roundabouts on March 27, 2012, 04:46:37 PM
Wire coat hanger and tin foil?  ;) Oh no wait that is for the old tv's sorry got nothing.  Sorry couldn't help it.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Cedar on March 27, 2012, 06:20:00 PM
I am going to buy a couple of flashlights today for security purposes.   

Grab an airhorn for $15
(http://www.baitnhook.net/ProductImages/fishaccess/airhorn.jpg)
,  they will chase anything off, even BigFoot (hey, he JUST wanted some coffee). And forget the electric coffeepot. I started making my ex (before he was my ex) coffee on the woodstove and it was easier, and he preferred it. Said it tasted like REAL coffee. $29.

(http://www.rei.com/zoom/q/1096144.jpg/440)

Cedar
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Cedar on March 27, 2012, 06:22:38 PM
I haven't met them and to be honest, don't really think I want to.

ALWAYS meet the neighbors. In case of an emergency, you have someone as a close contact. If you do not meet them and are on a handshaking level, YOU will be the weird unsociable one who everyone should be suspicious of.

Cedar
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Cedar on March 27, 2012, 06:25:44 PM
We're only using about 12 gallons of water a day. May sound gross but, bath water is pulling triple duty. Whichever of us is cleanest goes first, some gets pulled out and reheated, reused, then is poured back into a bucket and used to flush the toilet.

You catching that rainwater?

Cedar
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: FrugalFannie on March 27, 2012, 06:58:41 PM
I am soooooo jealous
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Matglock on March 28, 2012, 08:15:39 AM
If you don't plan on getting power soon, you may want to consider buying a deep cycle marine battery and charging it at work to run your inverter.  I have one rigged up at my barn and can run several cf bulbs, tv, and DVD player for hours.  Mine is rigged up to charge off of a 15 watt panel off the roof.  Bought the panel and charge controller from northern tool.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on March 28, 2012, 03:49:29 PM
Cedar...

 I've got airhorns lol. Bought 'em a while back.

Yep, catching what rainwater we can.

As far as the neighbors go... I've had pretty bad luck with neighbors. To be quite honest they almost always tend to be a burden in one form or another. Or they tend to be drunks, druggies or both and from the looks of the way the keep their yards..... Mehhh. Ya know? Besides, she's met them. That's enough. Lol. I know it sounds counter productive but, if they get comfortable they can be a drain on an already resource scarce situation. I could be wrong, they could be great but, i've thought that about neighbors in the past. Another point... We've been having stuff come up missing. Nothing major, just unopened sodas, bug spray, etc. that is left out when we leave for a little while. Sooooo....

Fannie/idelphic...
don't be jealous. Lol.

Matglock...
 I have several small batteries 12v 2 amp I could use but, I don't know if hooking them up to the smaller batteries will mess up the inverter... ????






Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Cedar on March 28, 2012, 04:16:51 PM
Another point... We've been having stuff come up missing. Nothing major, just unopened sodas, bug spray, etc. that is left out when we leave for a little while. Sooooo....

Just don't be too fast and point your finger at humans. Might get a trail camera or two about the place if you are really worried. $89 http://www.trailcampro.com/wildviewextreme5review.aspx

Cedar
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Matglock on March 28, 2012, 04:57:02 PM
The smaller batteries will probably work with the inverter.  As long as you don't reverse the wires it won't hurt the inverter.  If you put several in parallel (positive to positive, negative to negative). You will be able to run the inverter longer. 

Wish I had done what you are doing when I got out of school.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on April 03, 2012, 10:08:25 AM
Found the best deal yet on waterline. Now it's just a waiting game.

GF had a complication yesterday with the pregnancy. Turned out ok bit, she's done with any yard work or... any work for that matter. So, we're stuck on a single income... Not good.

Lots of rain again last night so I warmed beef stew over an oil lamp. Lol. Whatever works, I guess.

After I left for work saturday, my girlfriend heard a noise in the house. She looked up to see a squirrel  pulling taco shells out of the box and eating them. She yelled at him, he tried to run off, through the hole for the old washer drain... With the taco shell in his mouth. The taco shell was too big to make it through the hole, he backed up, ran around in a circle. Looked at the hole, tried again. Taco shell caught, he backed up, ran in a circle, saw the hole and tried one more time. Backed up, ran in a circle looked, found the bigger hole for the dryer vent and hauled ass. She said she could hear him just under the hole eating taco shells. Lmao. While she was telling me the story all I could see in my head was SCRAT from the ice age flicks...
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Cedar on April 03, 2012, 10:37:29 AM
OK, that is funnier than all get out. Thanks for sharing that. Hope all is well with your gf.

Cedar
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on April 04, 2012, 02:12:35 PM
Reworked my lines on the electrical meter. Hoping it's long enough to hook up. Gonna have to cut the old lugs off with a hacksaw to make sure.

"Redesigned" a bunch of stuff which basically consisted of me looking at the property and saying "No, I don't wanna do it that way anymore." Still trying to decide where I wanna put my outside faucets so I don't have to run 80 ft of hose.

Matglock... We really should've done this before, back when we had two incomes. Just going sloooow. Lol.

I'll try using the small batteries tonight. Maybe see if I can get the t.v. and dvd player or few lights.

Cedar... I'm pretty sure it's people. Actually, I think it's the neighbor's kid. Like I said, nothing major has been taken. The kid is about 4-5, has one of those battery powered cars he drives down our way since we live at the end of a dead end so, there's no traffic.

GF messed up a "round ligament". Whatever the hell that is lol. But, seriously... She's ok, just sore. Actually at the ob/gyn right now hoping to find out the sex of the baby.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: FrugalFannie on April 05, 2012, 05:35:12 AM
hoping all is great with you guys. are you going to share with us the sex of the baby?
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on April 05, 2012, 08:05:30 AM
It's a boy  8)
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: idelphic on April 05, 2012, 08:25:58 AM
It's a boy  8)
Congratulations to you and your GF. 
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Cedar on April 05, 2012, 08:48:57 AM
It's a boy  8)

Yay.. someone else to help chop firewood in a couple years.  ;) Congrats!

Cedar
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: AnonPrepper on April 05, 2012, 11:58:57 AM
The best preps one can have is a "family"
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: charles on April 05, 2012, 02:13:16 PM
Congrats on the boy :clap: What your family is doing is great! Thanks for posting your experience on here, As for the thief/spy problem - I saw somewhere plans for a blank firing noise maker that would work very well. I dont know about this company specifically just did a google search for blank firing trip wire, but you get the idea. probially wouldnt be too hard to make one yourself just an idea,

take care

charles

http://www.warhogoutfitters.com/blankfiringtripalarms.htm
(http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/drunk3nr3dn3k/TWA38.jpg)
(Photo from Warhog outfitters)
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: charles on April 06, 2012, 12:36:19 AM
this is a pic of a more home made looking one,

(http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/drunk3nr3dn3k/shotalarm.gif)
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: charles on April 06, 2012, 12:44:23 AM
this one and a trail cam would be good for some laughs, ge a pic of the guy/gal in action mwahahahahahahaha

(http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/drunk3nr3dn3k/presslandmine_front500.jpg)
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on April 06, 2012, 07:00:44 AM
Charles... I'll gave to look into the paintball landmines. Lmao. That could come in handy for just about anything. Haha.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Mr. Bill on April 06, 2012, 07:35:46 AM
MODERATOR REMINDER on booby traps: Noisemakers and water-sprayers are probably legal in many circumstances.  Booby traps using actual shot shells, pepper spray, etc. are mostly not legal, and will fall under our forum's "no illegal stuff here" rule.

(Just wanted to mention this because we recently had a member get mad and leave after we deleted his DIY plans for a pepper spray landmine!)
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: charles on April 08, 2012, 05:57:06 PM
you guys/gals gotta do what you gotta do to keep this train on the tracks, if anything I put up was too borderline you wont hurt my feelings one bit, thaks for the work y'all do!!!!  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Louisiana Suvivor on April 08, 2012, 07:33:22 PM
so what is the layout of what you got going? you have a mobile home and it sounds like you got the service head up so you have a/c? down here in NOLA it's gonna be getting hot soon. hate for mama to start heating up in her pregnancy. you in North MS? hate to be nosey but i'm just trying to throw out some ideas but first gotta understand everything u got set up :)
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on April 10, 2012, 10:45:00 PM
got the weather head up, water meter in. just waiting to be able to afford to get the power on and lay the water line (800 ft.).  South/central ms. probably an hour and a half, give or take from you (if memory serves).

The canopy keeps the place pretty cool. So, not much worry there. Power  will be the first thing on though. Just a matter of getting a week with no bills lol.

Haven't posted for a few days since we were out of town for easter. She stayed at her mom's place to visit, which is good since i've been working some OT and getting in late. In fact, i'm sleeping in my van in the parking lot at work tonight as there was no sense in driving all the way home and wasting precious gas.

The coyotes are still getting  closer. Swear I heard a couple right out the back door last night. I think the food smell is bringing them in.

During the course of the last week or so of cleaning we discovered a bunch of black berry and muscadibes bushes, hoping to be able to cultivate those into something pretty productive.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on April 14, 2012, 11:47:22 AM
We've decided  even though we can't really afford it right now, to go ahead and get cats and a dog. Cats for the family of apparently large rats that have decided to live in the ceiling and a dog to help with the racoons, squirrels, sasquatch and coyotes.

Came home yesterday to find the grill flipped over. It had apparently just happened as I ended up chasing it through the woods as soon as we got out of the van. Stupid bigfoots... Feet... bigfo... whatever.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Cedar on April 14, 2012, 11:55:24 AM
Came home yesterday to find the grill flipped over. It had apparently just happened as I ended up chasing it through the woods as soon as we got out of the van.

Your grill was RUNNING away from you? Did you not treat it nicely? Is it a teenager, threatened to run away and made good on the threat? Did it find a romance with  Weber?

Cedar
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Cedar on April 14, 2012, 12:07:28 PM
Cats for the family of apparently large rats that have decided to live in the ceiling

The rats need food, water and shelter. Cut off their sources unless you are chucking the cats into the attic. And even then take away their food, water and shelter.

and a dog to help with the racoons, squirrels, sasquatch and coyotes.

Dogs and Sasquatch's generally get along. Do be careful with the dogs and raccoons. Not just Rabies, and you should vaccinate for that. But most vets have not seen this condition and I have three times now by sheer luck. http://www.bobmckee.com/Client%20Info/Neurolog/Polyradiculoneuritis.html
Most people I suspect put their dog down if they have it, as it looks like to be no hope or the dog has had a stroke. And it lasts about three weeks. As long as you can get food and water into them, and carry them outside to go to the bathroom or wash ALOT of towels, your pet will be good as new within a month. I have also had to sew up a couple dogs which got into a raccoon fight.

Cedar
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on April 16, 2012, 07:58:43 AM
Your grill was RUNNING away from you? Did you not treat it nicely? Is it a teenager, threatened to run away and made good on the threat? Did it find a romance with  Weber?

Cedar
haha.

GF saw something jump out from behind the trash can last night, which she swears was about 2 1/2 ft tall and light colored. I told her that would be the biggest opossum in the world. Lol

Trying to get the temporary power on tomorrow. We'll see.

Got two kittens. One peed on the floor, GF was honna wipe it up, I told her not to. Just th SMELL of cats will drive away rats and mice. Didn't hear anything the first night we had them and just a little last night.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Cedar on April 16, 2012, 08:35:50 AM
this is a pic of a more home made looking one,
(http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/drunk3nr3dn3k/shotalarm.gif)

OMG Charles!! When I did Search and Rescue I had to watch out for these things all the time and I actually had an escort at times in 'at more risk' areas with ex-military guys who could apparently smell these things out. While I can see how to make them is a good idea, actually putting it into practice unless it is a war zone is really bad. While I was out there in the field I wanted to rip the entrails out of whomever put them up. There are plenty enough dangerous situations out there to keep an eye out for looking for a lost person without those shannanigans. And OP has small children running around including possibly the neighbors child!

What I hate about these types of devices, is they kill indiscriminately.

Cedar
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: charles on April 16, 2012, 12:22:24 PM
I like the principle of it you could make one any size, 9mm blanks or what not. Im not saying they are a great idea, and you would have to be careful not just because of the kids but in areas prone to fires. My favorite is the paintball landmine, because you would not only scare the crap out of the two legged rat but because you would be able to see who it was (look for the paint) and if it was a kid when they got home there would be some expaining to mom. I know if I went home covered in paint that would be my ass.

  take care and be safe everyone
   Charles
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: sylvan on April 23, 2012, 10:26:25 AM
notsofast, man, I am totally eating this up!  This is better than watching survival shows on TV!  I too am a little bit jealous.  Your stories remind me of when my family moved back to our home state when I was a kid.  It was interesting and a whole lot of fun. 

Congratulations on your son and I hope for the best!  Can't wait for another episode of "Our Experiment".
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Zef_66 on April 23, 2012, 11:33:55 AM
Hope things are going well for you and your family.

I have been following this for awhile as well and just thought I would stop in and drop a line.

Take care out there!  :)
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on April 28, 2012, 03:05:45 PM
well, sorry about the lull in the posts. my phone died so, i have no way to post unless i take my laptop into town or work with me which removes the GF's ability to keep the baby busy while she's trying to clean.

we ended up getting a dog and two cats. the puppy is half border collie and (i believe) half rottweiler. we  named him spartacus. the two kittens are lucy and bella. the girlfriend wanted to call them dumb and not so smart, but i kind of figured the last one was just too long.

went to get the temporary power hooked up only to find out my gf's ex husband left a pretty big power bill that has to be paid before we can do anything. turned around and called to check on mine... my ex fiance left me an even larger bill...  >:(

been looking for some old deep cycle marine batteries and inverters, no luck with the batteries. all i can find a brand new ones that i just can't afford.

we've decided we need to do away with the charcoal and just use wood. i estimate we use over $30 in charcoal and fluid a month (cheapest i can find) and about $30 in ice also per month. the extra gas to go to the grocery store after work is also adding up, somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 just to go from work to the store then back home. the first two are a power bill alone. 

the water line i priced last month has gone up. that's an additional $60 +/-.

i know these prices might not seem like much to some people but, right now they're killing us. baby is due in august, and GF's divorce is almost final. i have to get some power and water on.

have any of you ever dealt with a pregnant woman going through a divorce in the middle of summer?!?!?!?  :o

how ever.. i was challenged to a drinking contest... check for check... beer.. by a guy who makes 3x's what i make. might have to take him up on it. of course... he might end up having to live with me after his wife finds out. lol.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Cedar on April 28, 2012, 03:12:57 PM
have any of you ever dealt with a pregnant woman going through a divorce in the middle of summer?!?!?!?  :o

Does with myself count?  ;)

how ever.. i was challenged to a drinking contest... check for check... beer.. by a guy who makes 3x's what i make. might have to take him up on it. of course... he might end up having to live with me after his wife finds out. lol.

Then he can pay for the water line and get the power in his name?   ;)

Cedar
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: rjfortuna on May 02, 2012, 05:14:30 PM
As for water...I picked up a 600 gallon cistern from a guy that sells plastic barrels and hooked a on demand harbor freight well pressure pump ($80 bucks) to it. I then bought a 360 gallon cube that had soap in it, took it to a car wash and cleaned it real good. I haul water in to my place in my truck and it works out OK till the well is done. Once the well is done I'll pump into the cistern to have water and backup in case of no power. You could conceivably run a generator to pressurize the system when needed. It would be a little of a chore but it would work.

Harbor freight has 45 watt solar panels on sale RIGHT NOW for $159.99 3 of those and a small battery bank would do good stuff.

Good luck and YOU CAN DO IT!!!
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on May 05, 2012, 06:33:39 PM
cedar, i don't know. did you yell at yourself? did you scream at the mirror and tell yourself just how inconsiderate you are and how you don't really care? hahaha....

we put a short piece of pipe to the meter and just walk or drive up to the meter when we need water. much better than trucking it in every other day.

power situation is the same. thought we might get it on this week but, as usual and as per my luck, things have gone south.... AGAIN. oh well, not gonna kill us... at least... i hope not...

we have, however, decided, through all of this, to recycle our grey water. gonna run the drain from the bath tub and bathroom sink to a couple of 55 gallon drums then i'm going to install a hand pump in the bathroom to pull the water from the drums to the toilet. bath water will pull double duty.

getting easier in some aspects... more stressful in others.

if we were living an actual collapse situation, i'd have almost no stress. but, since we're not all of the "day to day" stuff tends to be a little much at times. once again.. not going to kill me.

and our "buddy" came by last night to visit. had the dog cowering under a dresser, both cats under the chair and girlfriend almost had a heart attack...
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on May 11, 2012, 02:21:46 PM
found out my visitor wasn't a sasquatch...  :'( . turns out it's a 99% chance it's a bear. but, we don't eat too much honey so i think we'll be ok.  :rofl: never had bear meat. (i wonder if it tastes like chicken.)

finally met the neighbor. seems like an alright guy. apparently he's bordering on being a prepper/survivalist, he just needs a push in the right direction so, i'm gonna give him a little nudge. he's also a bigfoot enthusiast, said he spends most of his "t.v. time" watching monsterquest and finding bigfoot. lol. talked to him a little bit about vertical gardens and small livestock. he wants us to come hang out some, might have to take him up on it. he offered to let us use his generator. can't afford the gas but, nice of him none the less and appreciated.

went through a whole fiasco this weekend trying to get the other car running. finally got it. the cougar runs like a champ, still has a few small problems but, nothing serious.

paid our first water bill today... $12.00. funny, we don't have water at the trailer but we still have a bill.. **sheesh**

something i wanted to address, not that anyone on tsp has said anything but, i've gotten questions in the "real world."

when we cook, it's not always on the grill over an "open flame" . we use frying pans, pots etc. on a grill top over a fire pit. for example, last night we had hawaiian chicken wraps (chicken, pineapple, bell peppers, and onions) and mac and cheese.

some have asked about cooking over pine. we don't cook over pine when we want a bare flame, meats for example. when we're cooking in a pan the pine doesn't affect the taste AS LONG AS the smoke isn't wafting into the pot or pan. when we want a bare flame for burgers or steaks we're now using hardwoods or still charcoal but, only a little charcoal as the cost is killing me.

as far as the smoke wafting into the pots, i've noticed when we boil water to bathe, sometimes, when the wind is tossing the smoke back into the pot, it takes on a "piney" smell, which is kind of invigorating for bath water. food... not so much.

thought we were gonna be able to get the power on this week, and still might but, doesn't look like it. so, we're looking at another month without electricity. **guuhhhhhhh**
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: FrugalFannie on May 11, 2012, 03:55:49 PM
keep plugging away. sounds likeyou are doing good. when i was little we moved to maine and lived without electricity for 6 years. from the time I was in 2nd grade until just about 8th grade. some days i wish it had never changed.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Bantamfarms on May 11, 2012, 05:22:57 PM
Its encouraging to read your stories. My husband and I have a 2.5 year old and he really adapts, but me being the mom I worry about friends family and neighbors judging us and or calling the SS. We are in a similar situation, just moved from the city and have a camper, no power water septic or cash. Were arent staying there now, my husband has a job traveling and we go with him but i am so homesick i can't wait to get back, the land is paradise. I love living this way and my son is loved fed and comfortable. We are practicing a little civil disobedience but nothing that hurts or bothers anyone. Its disheartening when everyone around is against the way we live, i am just so greatful to hear nothing but positive advice and encouragement from everyone to you. I dont post here much but read all the time and just adore you guys. Thanks
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on May 14, 2012, 08:47:58 AM
GRRRRR... stupid rack-a-frackin' power company. my girlfriend went in a while back and they quoted her a price on the connection. they pulled in my yard (wrong address) and ran over some stuff. NOW, this morning they quoted me a different price, $50 more to connect the power. then just looked at me like I'M an idiot. i had to stop myself from going back in the woman's office and flipping her desk... needless to say, i am NOT friggin' happy.  >:( screw 'em.


**sigh** oh well, just something to make me wanna stay off grid. maybe i'll buy some waterline instead. lol
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: RiskManagement on May 14, 2012, 01:42:02 PM
Just wanted to thank you for posting all of this...  I'm enjoying reading it and wishing you the best.  Hopefully this thread will be around ?? years from now when you turn over your property to your son, so he can read about how you started out there and built it up.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on May 23, 2012, 11:35:40 AM
seems like every week i'm saying "next week" but, "next week" never gets here. HOPEFULLY, this coming week i'll be able to get the power on. **sheesh**

boss had a bunch of oak limbs cut off, he was afaid they'd fall on the house. those limbs and branches are in the back of his truck which i'm taking home today. pretty good size bit of fire wood. even though we should have the power on soon it'll still be easier and faster to boil water on the fire than the hot plate.

haven't heard much out of the bear lately, seems our newest neighbors are pretty loud and annoying so, i figure they've run him off. not sure how i feel about them, lots of carw in and out at all hours, loud, fighting their dogs on our property. i feel like i might have problems in the near future.

like i said, hoping to have the power on come tuesday or so, and maybe a small chest freezer. the water line can wait. we can keep going up to the meter with buckets. but, ice is starting to become a priority. if we get a small freezer we can still keep things refridgerated in a cooler by making our own ice, which will cut another $30-$40 a month off our expenses.

waterline can come later, like i said, not really a priority at the moment.

thinking.. i'm gonna build the chicken yard with pallets, since it's more to keep things out as opposed to keeping the chickens in AND the pallets will probably be FREE, which is always a plus.

should have some goats in another month or so. they too will be free. problem is.... they are some kind of miniature goats with almost no meat, not really sure how that's gonna work. i want MEAT. HA!

i have some pics i've been meaning to post, nothing major but, just haven't really had the time. i might take a weekend and do nothing but try to t them on line.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: charles on May 26, 2012, 01:41:56 AM
seems our newest neighbors are pretty loud and annoying so, i figure they've run him off. not sure how i feel about them, lots of carw in and out at all hours, loud, fighting their dogs on our property. i feel like i might have problems in the near future.

Be really really careful with those dogs, I got bit in December and my hand is still messed up, I go in for surgery in late July/Early August. Check in with your local law enforcment, but if it was me if I saw one that wasnt my dog and it acted a little aggressive and it was on my property I would shoot it. That has the potential to be a very very bad situation. Maybe set up a game camera to catch them fighting the dogs and turn that over to the law so they can do their job.

Take care of yourself and your family
Charles
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Cedar on May 26, 2012, 10:12:00 AM
The goats will be an added attraction to the dogs. Coming home to find livestock dead is not fun. I had it happen once, where a guy got out of prison the day before and moved in with relatives WAY across the fields from me with 2 Huskies. They killed my 300 pound Hampshire ram and a 80 pound Jacob ewe and tore up 3 others in less than 20 minutes time.

If they are truely fighting dogs, that is an illegal activity.

By the way... you will get used to having to say "next week" but, "next week", but you will get to changing it to "this year" but, "this year". A farm is never finished.

Cedar
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: summer98 on May 27, 2012, 06:05:02 AM
I don't recommend shooting the dogs yourself even if they are on your property, unless you have no other choice. That's a way to create a whole lot of other problems with your neighbors, who don't seem like the nicest people to begin with. Call the sheriff's office and report the dogs running loose and tell them you suspect their fighting the dogs. They'll go check it out and no one has to know it was you.

I know from first-hand experience what living next to a crappy neighbor can be like if they form a grudge against you; break-ins, threats and graffiti might be the least of your problems. That was my experiences, but a friend of mine had his house burned down by a neighbor last year after they reported it when the neighbor's son stole his wife's purse out of their car. They had to move because there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute said neighbor and he was threatening to do it again and make sure they didn't get out if they rebuilt. 
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on May 27, 2012, 11:59:55 AM
oh, no. typo, typo, typo!!!!!

didn't catch it. NOT "fighting their dogs..." should be ... "blah blah blah, fighting, their dogs on our property etc..."

i.e. the couple is fighting... not the dogs. sorry for the confusion. was on the office computer when i posted that and was trying to hurry and get off.

i went over and talked to the guy about him putting his trash in my garbage box. talked about an hour or so, he apologized immediately, didn't seem like he was too bad of a guy but, only time will tell.

loaded up some 10 ft. pallets from napa, while i was doing so a supervisor at a local industrial supply company stopped and offered me 6 of the same they had sitting in the yard at the shop. so, i ended up with nine 10 ft pallets which is enough to finish the chicken yard.

stopped by an old friend's house yesterday, found out he has a roll of chicken wire laying in the bushes across the street. i've just got to go cut it out. not sure how long it is but, some is better than none.

the GF's ex father in law gave us a set of nesting boxes. two rows- five boxes per row for ten nests in total. seems like plenty for our needs... maybe a couple or more.

saw the largest friggin' armadillo i've ever seen the other night. tried to sic the puppy on it. spartacus looked at me like... "are you effin' stupid? i'm not going after that thing." i think he even raised an eyebrow and rolled his eyes.

on a serious note, i can NOT get rid of the rat. the SOB has managed to eat all the bait off of the rat trap WITHOUT tripping it. i'll be damned if i know how he's doing it but, he does it every time. he's getting bold as well. coming out in the middle of the day, coming into the living room while we're active. i've never seen anything like it.   guess i'm gonna have to take serious actions and borrow a gun. blast his ass while he's munchin' on my nutty bars.

once again, sorry about the confusion with the "fighting their dogs..." thing.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: viking on May 28, 2012, 09:49:41 AM
oh, no. typo, typo, typo!!!!!

didn't catch it. NOT "fighting their dogs..." should be ... "blah blah blah, fighting, their dogs on our property.
Just glad it was a typo.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: JC2 on May 31, 2012, 01:42:54 AM
On your rat trap - wrap thread around the bait and the trap lever. The rat will put more pressure on the lever as it tries to get to the bait under the thread.
Best of luck
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: charles on June 03, 2012, 03:39:41 PM
Or Trap the rats and make them into mean guard rats who bite first and ask questions later  ;D
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on June 05, 2012, 10:20:55 AM
still no power. yet one more excuse as to why the powere company can;t hook us up. i'm fed up. completely. told the guy yesterday tjey can kiss our asses and we were gonna stay off grid and use alternatives. he smirked... i wanted to punch him in the throat and tell him to get their lines, poles, and transformer off my property... but i refrained. my girlfriend however got pretty irrate. don't mess with a pregnant woman with no a/c when it's 101. lmao. seriously. i found out i have a hook up with a guy that sells remanned batteries, trying to get in touch with him to see if he sells deep cycle marine batteries and found two inverters at a local salvage  place yesterday. about $90 for both. looking at trying to get them this weekend IF i can get the batteries. between the two it's about 2,000 watts which, i believe, should be enough to get us kicked off pretty well.

Or Trap the rats and make them into mean guard rats who bite first and ask questions later  ;D


i've thought about that, especially after i watched him doing wall runs the other night. i've got a friggin ninja rat. it's like he escaped from nimh or something.

a few things i've neglected to mention over the past weeks or things i'd like to bring up...

wehn using oil lamps be careful about using them without the globe. aside from the obvious burn and fire hazards they smoke more without the globes which leads to more carbon monoxide in the air and could lead to suffocation. they also put more heat out into the air, the globes help direct the heat up. without them the airr gets hotter which leads to, obviously, a hotter room. the globes also help refract the light which means without them you need a larger flame to cast the same amout of light which in turn leads to more fuel usage. also, when using oil lamps, try placing them in front of mirrors. it reflects the light from the backside into a larger area which means you can see better on a smaller flame.

when batoning firewood. i've learned it's better to keep your 'chete or knife at about a 45 degree angle with the handle being the low end. i've seen many people try to keep it level but, for me it seems like more work. also, try to hit the blade as close to the wood as possible. it makes for a more solid hit which means less work. i've also found a good, well made, thin machete seems to work best as the blade can bend a little if you hit knots. try not to hit it too hard. personally, once the blade is started i simply flick my wrist. i'm not trying to knock it out of the park.

our fire pit is four cinder blocks with a sturdy, heavy gauge grate. i've got the cinder blocks positioned close together. just wide enough for the pot, i.e. the pot barely touches the edges of the cinder blocke on four sides. this helps to reduce the amount of wasted heat and works kind of like a rocket mass.

on the property there was an old double headed axe head which i bought a handle for. i've been using it to chop the larger firewood into smaller "batonable" pieces i've also decided against trying to fix the old weedeater that was on the property. it would cost me about $50 AND there's no promise it'll work right so, i bought a sling blade and have been using that to cut the grass, weeds, and shrub. guess i've been on the "prepper workout for the last couple of weeks. lol. 

when dealing with no power in the summer, try sleeping closer to the floor (cold air falls). after years of being homeless and having no power i've learned it's a pretty simple fix. doesn't help too much but can mean the difference between being a little uncomfortable and being miserable.

got the chicken yard finished. nothing special, just about 20x20, made from the 10 ft. pallets i got. i used the bottom pieces from an old bunk bed, also left on the property, for the gates and wrapped it in visquene, also left on the property. some people have said "that's not gonna keep anything out." to which i reply "this is mississippi. we have racoons, oppossums, snakes, chicken hawks, bears, bobcats, regular cats, coyotes, dogs, wolves, panthers, sasquatch, zombies and a weird monkey looking thing. if something wants my chickens... it's gonna get them."  i have a friend who spent several hundred dollars on a coop, new wood, new wire, enclosed, nice looking coop... lost all but 2 chickens... i'd rather lose my chickens and NOT be out $300 than lose them and be out $300.



Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: inbox485 on June 05, 2012, 01:16:35 PM
OMG Charles!! When I did Search and Rescue I had to watch out for these things all the time and I actually had an escort at times in 'at more risk' areas with ex-military guys who could apparently smell these things out. While I can see how to make them is a good idea, actually putting it into practice unless it is a war zone is really bad. While I was out there in the field I wanted to rip the entrails out of whomever put them up. There are plenty enough dangerous situations out there to keep an eye out for looking for a lost person without those shannanigans. And OP has small children running around including possibly the neighbors child!

What I hate about these types of devices, is they kill indiscriminately.

Cedar

The only ones I'd consider are the ones hooked up to a primed but otherwise empty shell. No powder even. Just a noise maker about as loud as one of those tiny firecrackers. The point is just to make noise and spook wildlife. And I'd only consider them on my land and relatively close to the house, and I'd probably have to have a reason why a game camera with an email alert wouldn't be a better option. I've seen videos and photos of booby traps people leave out in the woods. I wish them the worst. Anybody that sets live ammo up like that deserves to be disemboweled and left for the crows.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: inbox485 on June 05, 2012, 01:37:09 PM
still no power. yet one more excuse as to why the powere company can;t hook us up. i'm fed up. completely. told the guy yesterday tjey can kiss our asses and we were gonna stay off grid and use alternatives. he smirked... i wanted to punch him in the throat and tell him to get their lines, poles, and transformer off my property... but i refrained. my girlfriend however got pretty irrate. don't mess with a pregnant woman with no a/c when it's 101. lmao. seriously. i found out i have a hook up with a guy that sells remanned batteries, trying to get in touch with him to see if he sells deep cycle marine batteries and found two inverters at a local salvage  place yesterday. about $90 for both. looking at trying to get them this weekend IF i can get the batteries. between the two it's about 2,000 watts which, i believe, should be enough to get us kicked off pretty well.

2000 watts at 110 is only 18 amps combined and unless you know how to synchronize AC lines, you can't just combine them so you have 2 9 amp lines. I'm not sure you can even run a swamp cooler off 9 amps, so you might be SOL for cooling with that approach.

Quote
wehn using oil lamps be careful about using them without the globe. aside from the obvious burn and fire hazards they smoke more without the globes which leads to more carbon monoxide in the air and could lead to suffocation. they also put more heat out into the air, the globes help direct the heat up. without them the airr gets hotter which leads to, obviously, a hotter room. the globes also help refract the light which means without them you need a larger flame to cast the same amout of light which in turn leads to more fuel usage. also, when using oil lamps, try placing them in front of mirrors. it reflects the light from the backside into a larger area which means you can see better on a smaller flame.

I can't recommend CO alarms highly enough. It takes one brain fart to die from something stupid like a smoldering lamp wick or coal chunk.

Quote
when dealing with no power in the summer, try sleeping closer to the floor (cold air falls). after years of being homeless and having no power i've learned it's a pretty simple fix. doesn't help too much but can mean the difference between being a little uncomfortable and being miserable.

I've seen this taken to the extent of digging pits and sleeping in them. Just a thought if you are considering digging something like a cellar, you could sleep in it.

Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on June 05, 2012, 03:08:22 PM
we're not planning on using to much juice... just a fan, a lamp and t.v. and not necessarily at the same time. until we get a good bank built up no large stuff. for example right now we watch movies on the laptop. so, we don't even really need the t.v.

we only run the oil lamps for about an hour or so a night, just long enough to bathe and read a little so, i'm not really concerned personally with poisoning. plus... both doors and the windows stay open all day and night.

ummmm.. i understand what you're saying.. but, right now, i'm not really in the mood to dig anymore holes. lol. which is something i forgot to mention earlier.

started digging a storm shelter...

by hand...

and hauling some of the good dirt up to the chicken yard...

in a five gallon bucket...

i must have lost my friggin' mind...
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on June 25, 2012, 11:51:26 AM
been a while but, that's because nothing interesting or worthwhile has happened.

we've been borrowing my bosses' generator running a gallon a night. just enough to cool the house down enough so the girfriend and baby can get to sleep.

went this morning had ANOTHER go around with the power company. they gave me a different price AGAIN.

the woman reassured me...

"sir, we treat all of our customers the same."
to which i replied "Lady, if you treated all of your customers the way you've been treating me you wouldn't have any customers."
"Yes, we would, IF they wanted power." was her comeback.
so, essentially if you want electricity you WILL do what we tell you. i almost snapped.
the power is supposed to be hooked up today. it better be.

started building a solar oven out of found materials. got a couple of projects i'm calling my "post collapse" projects. essentially building stuff out of found/free materials, reusing nails, cutting with handsaws or in my case a machete since i don't have a handsaw right now. just little things. i consider the chicken yard as one, since i didn't buy anything particularly for it.

i thought we finally got rid of the rat. we broke down and bought poison. the sucker ate an entire box of decon and i thought to myself "finally! victory is mine." until the next night when he showed up... and the next night... and the night after.. and the night... well, you get the point... GRRRRRRR!!!!!!  it's been over a week and he's still kickin'. little....**sigh**
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on July 01, 2012, 02:13:49 PM
thye came out on the monday i posted the last post and refused to connect the power AGAIN. three different excuses, AGAIN, finally came and hooked it up the following morning at about 8:15. now, the only time i wanna see the sob's is when i pay the bill and when they come read the meter. now i've just gotta get the water line laid. that shouldn't be too hard now that we don't have some of the extra bills.

think i've finally gotten rid of the rat. FINALLY.

we had a problem for a week ofr so with the septic. they jack wagons who did it have too large of a drop so the fluids out run the solids so, the solids end up getting trapped and drying which clogs the system. so, i guess we won't be recycling the grey water for a while. gonna need the extra water to fully flush the system.

have a local oilfield supply company guy bringing me 55 gallon drums for my passive solar water heater system it will also double as inline storage. just gotta wait on him.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: charles on July 03, 2012, 08:10:11 AM
Any new pics? I have been watching your project, and I cant wait to go home and start mine!!!!

Take care,

Charles
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on July 03, 2012, 04:05:49 PM
Any new pics? I have been watching your project, and I cant wait to go home and start mine!!!!

Take care,

Charles

yeah, i've got a few. just kind of a PITA to get them uploaded to the comp and then onto the site. but, i'm trying. lol. things have slowed down around the house since we've gotten power. i swore i was taking a week off and not doing anything. but, that week's over so back to work... i guess. lol
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Warpalli on July 06, 2012, 09:26:00 AM
I'd add some board games and cards for entertainment, and it'll be just like long term camping ;-)
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on July 25, 2012, 08:21:47 AM
been a while but, nothing new, really. still waiting on my barrels for the passive solar water heater. still no water line, STILL trucking buckets back and forth. the baby is due in about 4 weeks so, i've been spending a lot of time and money on getting things ready for him so, a lot of things have been put on hold for now. just been trying to keep things running as smoothly as possible, which isn't very smooth at all lol.

a few things i haven't mentioned...

we started teaching the youngest sign language a little while back. not PUSHING him, he's two, i'm sure you can remember what it's like trying to teach a two year old. and i don't teach him every day but, we do re-enforce what he's learned when we talk to him. i've also been able to restart studying languages (russian and japanese), since it's a 20 minute +/- drive to work and i found out the cassette player in the car works.

i've also been able to do more "studying" and reading at night, being as the power is on and it's easier to charge the laptop.

trying to get the group together this weekend for a little grill out and meet and greet as some of them don't know the others, yet, but, some might not be able to make it.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on July 26, 2012, 01:59:02 PM
looks like the baby is gonna be early. she went for a checkup today she's at -2 and dilated 3 cm. so, he's gonna be about 3 weeks early, looks like. she could go the full term but, i doubt it. and it looks like he might have a mohawk, which if you knew me... wouldn't be a surprise....

forgot i've also been working with the dog more. looks like he's not as smart as he should be lol, but, i think he'll be fine.

we got some chickens from my boss... three of them killed the rest, then two killed the third soooo, we only have two left. he says he doesn't want anyu more so he's just gonna keep on giving us the biddies. also says he's probably gonna give us a laying pair. they're bantams so, i'm thinking maybe the slightly more "aggressive nature of the banties might give them a little m"ore of a fighting chance in the woods where we live. also i'm hoping when we introduce the full sized chickens the banties might act as "bodyguards... sort of.. maybe... probably not but, it's a possibility. but, probably not.

group get together this weekend is cancelled. not enough people are gonna be able to make it.

i've posted two days in a row which obviously means we're slow at work... which isn't good.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on August 23, 2012, 10:26:54 AM
still no water line but, i've finally got some of my 50 gallon barrels. four poly (plastic) and one metal. the poly barrels will become  methane digesters and the metal one will be an attempt at a gasifier. if they work like i hope i plan to try and go "back off grid" by the end of the year. i should be getting more barrels in a couple of weeks which will go to the passive solar water heater, barrel ponics, rain catchment, and another set or two of methane digesters. i figure i'll need at LEAST one more digester to run the gasifier.

oh, yeah... we got married and had the baby, sooo...

cleaned up my wife's ipod and put all the pics on the computer so hopefully i'll have the time soon to post some of the projects i've been working on.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: archer on August 23, 2012, 10:29:42 AM
congrats on your marriage and new son!!

how much waste do you have for the digester?
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Zef_66 on August 23, 2012, 10:59:09 AM
Congrats man!
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on August 28, 2012, 08:16:19 AM
congrats on your marriage and new son

how much waste do you have for the digester?

thanks.

ummm... i figure i'll basically have access to all i need. i have a small dairy farm about 2 miles north of me and 4 500ft chicken houses about a mile south. several properties within a four mile radius have either horses or cattle... or both. so i should be good on "organic material" for the digesters.

after production starts i figure i'll have about a gallon of waste per digester per day to have to get rid of but, i'm thinking i might be able to sell it as liquid fertilizer at the local farmer's market or feed stores and maybe make a couple of bucks in the process.

originally the idea was to use one of the digesters to power the burner on a gasifier system to power a generator. BUT... after looking at the "complexities" (filters, shakers, proper fuel for whichever type of gasifier, etc.) of the gasifier i'm been thinking about just buying a propane adapter and trying to run a generator on methane.

i've also got to check into whether or not methane will work in a propane refrigerator and freezer. if it will then i'll end up selling the ones we have and buying propane ones. i'll just need a way to compress the methane into the tanks.

the more i research it the more it seems like methane is the best option as far as "alternative fuels." it can be used to cook directly with an open flame, can be used to power generators and automobiles through "slight" modifications.

the only problems i can forsee are what to do with the waste when you drain the digesters to add new slurry. well, and smell if i have a leak. if it ends up being a problem or i can't get rid of the waste i'll have to look for something else.

ETA

let me clarify. the "SLIGHT" modifications can be expensive. however, i'm positive there are plenty of ways to DIY and i'm still not 100% that you can run a vehicle on methane. i know you can run an ICE on propane and/or from a gasifier. in my head it only makes sense that it SHOULD work. it make just take a little tinkering. hell, it may take a LOT of tinkering.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: archer on August 28, 2012, 09:20:45 AM
I would expect the waste would make good compost for at least trees/non foot shrubs (i you use human waste you should not put it on non-tree food plants).
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on August 28, 2012, 11:39:45 AM
I would expect the waste would make good compost for at least trees/non foot shrubs (i you use human waste you should not put it on non-tree food plants).

when you add new slurry, which you apparently have to do every day, you have to drain some of the old "juices." if you let it sit for a day or two it'll finish digesting and should be a great fertilizer for pretty much anything, i think, being as it'll be nothing but cow, horse, and chicken manure with grass clipping, etc thrown in. and no, no human waste will be used.

however i have kicked around the idea of just taping into my septic tank to vent the methane from it but, that's not really something i'm even close to ready to undertake.

nothing to do at work so i've been able to do some more checking and you can indeed run a car, even fuel injected, off of methane. and i found a web article describing how to DIY the mods for just a few hundred dollars as opposed to a few thousand.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Uncreate on September 05, 2012, 10:57:35 PM
Way to persevere! Really enjoyed reading this all and congratz on the marriage and baby boy! My gf read this with me and made her think a lil more and realized that a prepper mindset maybe isn't such a bad thing. Thanks for your inspiration and best of luck to you!
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: pokeshell on September 17, 2012, 12:34:17 AM
How is the sign language going? We started all the kids at 6 months. Just basic like potty, sleep, milk, more, all done and hurt. If you are consistant, the kids will respond to your signs better than your speaking. When you kid cries, you can sign food, and they will instantly stop crying once they know that you understand their problem. So, keep in mind that the signing is about the kid understanding you as much as it is you understanding them.

The big one is hurt. if you can get them to tell you that a tooth is bugging them, you are way ahead of the game. I think signing is what has made the terrible twos not so bad around our house. We have done lots of foster of infant to 3, and signing helps tons. We make all the family  and sitter do them also. Our oldest, now 8 works with the kids doing signs. He was responding to them at 8 months, just milk and poop. But that is 2/3s of the issues they have at that age.

Can you find some time to post some pictures?
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: hutchsteaders on September 17, 2012, 06:40:39 PM
Very glad to read your posts. My wife and I are moving out onto our "experiment" in about 10 days. Hopefully the yurt will be finished by then. Still, we will not have any running water or electricity when we get there either. While I know we will be fine, it is reassuring to read accounts like yours. Thanks for sharing :)
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on September 18, 2012, 03:00:51 PM
pokeshell...the signing has kind of taken a back burner since the new baby, we're still trying to use what we've taught him but, he spends almost every weekend with his grandparents so it's a little deconstructive. no offense to them or anything.

 i've already started with the new baby, he's only a month old. lol. doing food, drink, mother father, etc.

my oldest, he's thirteen, has started trying to learn russian. he dug out some of my old pimsleur stuff. which is fine with me. lol. he now speaks almost as much russian as i do. kind of scary.

i do have some pics but, two problems... 1) i only have internet at work. 2) the pics are of pieces. i haven't had a chance to actually complete anything yet and i don't wanna post pics of basically a bunch of junk.  i even had to turn my solar oven into a temporary chicken pen, for some stupid reasons.

i can't really concentrate on any ONE thing. i'm one of those types of people who's brain runs 24/7 so lately i've been re writing an old book, trying to start a new band, working on a motion comic on top of all the homestead stuff AND still looking for a second job. i'm just a mess. lol. that's probably why i never accomplish anything. HA!

hutchsteaders.. just do it man, it's gonna seem hard/weird... whatever at first but, it'll be ok. key is to think out of the box... sometimes.... REALLY out of the box.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on October 18, 2012, 10:15:50 PM
well, boys and girls it's with a heavy heart i write this but, our experiment is over. or, at least delayed for a great while. i have, for the past week and a half been in ICU with MRSA. i had both lungs full of staph caused pneumonia, i had an incredibly large knot on my pinkie knuckle which, after they drained was still the size of a small apple. not to mention several enlarged and inflamed joints. i haven't  worked in over a week, and will, at best. be looking at three weeks AFTER i get out of the hospital before i can do anything and that's if we're not talking a worse case scenario. we've already started to the paperwork to jump on and disabilities or other types of payments me might need, better safe than sorry. i still have piles of uncompleted projects laying around, which seem like that's exactly where they're gonna stay for a while.

the hardest thing to get rid of is gonna be the "septic imboli," which is essentially floating clumps of the staph that just float around my body tossing out more infection. sorry if this read's horribly but, i'm tired and really want some sleep but, i know that's not gonna happen.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: archer on October 18, 2012, 10:43:22 PM
damn notsofast, take some time to take it easy and get healthy.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Jeremy Downing on October 19, 2012, 05:19:34 AM
I'll pray for your recovery.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Roundabouts on October 19, 2012, 06:43:13 AM
Sending good thoughts your way.  Get well soon!  Hang in there. 
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: idelphic on October 19, 2012, 07:02:25 AM
Very sorry to hear about your setback.  Hope you are able to recover to full strength and continue with your plans.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: pokeshell on October 19, 2012, 06:16:49 PM
That sucks! Where are you going to be living? Can you be around your kids?

I got really bad pneumonia and Sepsis that I got from one of our foster kid that had grew up in meth lab homes. He had the sh!ts the entire 3 months we had him. It almost killed me. I cleaned up a room he had taken off his diaper during his nap, and pooped everywhere.

That weekend, I was out on a quad in the morning on fresh snow on the lake at 9 am. By 9 Pm I had a fever of 102, midnight was 104.5. 9 AM the next day I was in ICU filling out my "end of life form."

Spent 4ish days in ICU and a few more in a regular room. I was able to go home with a nurse after about 10 days. Luckily, I can do 95% of my work from home. Although, I do need facetime with the clients to keep the relationships. We had the best insurance available in Minnesota at the time. normally I would have been in the hospital for an additional 3-4 weeks. I had to give myself IV for 4 weeks. It was horrible.

After 3 years, my immunity is still low, and I lost about 5-7% of my lung capacity.

But, I am still relatively healthy. Try to stay active, and eat good. I can hunt, fish, hike, all my outdoor stuff. I find my time is now more precious with my family.

I truly hope you get better soon.

PokeShell
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Veritas on October 20, 2012, 12:28:57 AM
Really sorry to hear about your situation. Just remember "the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Don't give up!
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Zip on October 21, 2012, 08:11:19 AM
Wow man, that's terrible.  Take care and hopefully "this too shall pass" sooner rather than later. 
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: oktheniknow on October 21, 2012, 10:21:02 PM
Take care notsofast. Take time and get your strength back and eat lots of good ole Miss. food (in good measure of course). Keep us posted on your progress.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: atherts on October 22, 2012, 07:58:07 AM
You catching that rainwater?

For what it is worth... I have a plastic table on my back deck, the kind with the hole in the middle for an umbrella. I put a 5 gallon bucket underneath the hole and it fills up very quickly every time it rains. The dog likes to drink out of it and it is good for watering plants indoors and other misc. uses.
That extra area really gathers in the rainfall.
I suppose you could do something similar with a plastic rain barrel and some plastic sheeting.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Mr. Bill on October 22, 2012, 11:37:40 AM
Ouch!  Best wishes for a speedy recovery, notsofast!
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on October 22, 2012, 02:30:39 PM
sorry if this contradicts any information i posted before but, my brain and info has been a little jittery lately.

we don't know where it came from. went to the doctor with a problem with my back, she gave me some of the same old stuff i always takes for it, after about four days i was in the e.r. but, got sent home because they didn't "see it as and emergency situation."

finally got another appointment made with the original doctor, when she came in and looked at me she left the room called an ambulance, she didn't know what the problem was but, she knew i needed an e.r. i was pretty bad off when i got in, hallucinations, temporal displacement, all kinds of crazy stuff.

they even ran multiple tests to ensure i didn't have staph in my brain. both lungs were 100% full, the doctor said it was the worst case she's ever seen. both lungs full, nothing in m brain, nothing in my heart.

i was in a room for a day and a half but, to me i had been in that room for almost a week. then, they sent me to icu where i spent 3 days, i believe, in my head i was in there for a week as well, just in and out, talking to people who obviously WERE NOT just hanging out in the icu. and now i'm here in a room again, in total, as far as i can tell i've been in the hospital a total of 10 days.

the lights are about to be turned off, the landowner has tacked a sixty dollar late fee onto the land note. my lung doctor says i'm looking at about another 30 or so days before i'm "useful." at least, that's how i take it. they put my pick stints in, for longer term antibiotics use.

even if we don't lose the land i'm not gonna have the strength and energy to do what needs to be done.

not sure what we're gonna do but, i can promise ya, i'm not gonna sit around and friggin' cry about it. i've been through tougher than this i don't mind tellin' ya.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Nicodemus on October 22, 2012, 05:59:43 PM
I had MRSA about two years ago during the swine flu outbreak. When I looked on the hospital website it said not to go to the emergency room if you thought you had the flu, so I stayed home for a week before I went in, in a moment of lucidity between hallucinations.

I was in the hospital for about a week and it took me about a month to recover to the point where I was capable of getting a decent work day in.

Anyway, you will get better. Hang in there.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Dontforgetyourlipgloss on November 05, 2012, 10:53:11 PM
Damn, Sounds like its been a rough couple weeks. Take care and I'll keep my fingercrossed for a quick recovery for you. Hope the wife and kids are ok.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on November 12, 2012, 01:15:01 PM
had a moment and some wifi so i thought i'd do a little update. got out of the hospital on the 29th spent 18 days in a bed. sheesh. so, i know i posted "what was wrong" before but, some of the info has changed which, happens ALOT at that hospital.

mrsa in both lungs, kidneys, right knee, right hand, septic imboli, and an ileus (which is not fun), and a blood clot trying to make it's way to my heart.

i lost 30 lbs while in the hospital and have lost several more since i've been out. i still have the pneumonia and septic imboli.

they gave me a PICC line so we can do my antibiotics ourselves. they've changed my antibiotic dose twice already and i'm currently waiting to hear what the new dose is, at first it wasn't enough (even though it was the same dose they were giving me in the hospital) NOW, it's too much. grrrrrr....

i haven't worked since october 10 and i was only able to work half weeks for the two weeks prior to that and it will apparently be "weeks and weeks and weeks" (i guess that's doctor's talk) until i'll be close to being able to work again. the wife was gonna try and go to work for a little while but, they changed my dose and there is NO WAY i can chase a two year old while hooked to an iv for nine hours a day. oh well, it is what it is.

thanks for the "well wishes."
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: livinitup0 on November 12, 2012, 03:57:55 PM
notsofast.....bummed to hear about your setback. Hope everything turns out ok.

Would you have any suggestions for people that are interested in doing something like this? Based on your trials since you began this, would there be anything you would do differently if given the chance?

Also... just a thought. I know its not going to help a lot right now, but maybe when you're back on your feet you could start a blog about your experiement. I know i'd subscribe and im sure you'd have a lot of support with this community. Might eventually be a good way to help out with some of those added homesteading costs. If you're interested in that you might want to check out some back episodes of 5 minutes with Jack.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Mr. Bill on November 12, 2012, 07:46:58 PM
Good to hear from you, notsofast -- I only wish your news was better.  Again, best wishes on your recovery.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Adam B. on November 13, 2012, 02:20:05 PM
Quote
he only part that wasn't a wonderful adventure was the Luggable Loo toilet. The sound of a flushing toilet still gives me warm fuzzies 16 years later.

I have a friend who inherited a cabin close to the riverbank up north of here — and while the property has a septic system, it is old and there are some issues. Her problem is that new laws require all kinds of monstrous B.S. to install a septic system on your property up there for environmental reasons, and for her to fix whatever was wrong with hers would have cost a fortune in just permits and all the government hassle alone. In fact, because her property was grandfathered in, it is one of the only properties where her cabin is located where you are even ALLOWED to have one.

Most people around her are using composting toilets for the same reason and you need no permit for them, and it is more environmentally friendly. She can use the compost to keep the trees on the property happy etc.

I would assume a scoop or two of sawdust to cover up your "deuce" and taking it out to the "happy trees" (as Bob Ross would say) is better than dragging out a nasty smelling chemical filled "Luggable Loo" whenever you have to drop a "2."

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Hang in there. Eventually you will get water. My neighbors gave up after three dry wells dug (in an area reknown for not having good wells) and ended up hauling 400 gallons every day for 10 years. Anything is possible with perseverance.

400 gallons a DAY??? WOW, they must have been REALLY THIRSTY. But they say you should drink lots of water to stay healthy! hahaha…

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…the more techologicaly adbanced a prep is, the more likely it is to fail.

Agree 100% — and the more likely it is a "throw away" item vs. something to be fixed. This is why I believe in old vehicles that are reliable vs. a new all-electronic vehicle. I mean, there are SOME vehicles out there RIGHT NOW that the insurance company will TOTAL just because an airbag was deployed because replacing the AIR BAG ALONE would be $20,000 — so vehicles are becoming as disposable as cell phones are.

I personally HATE driving the newer Jeep I bought when my old Cherokee was stolen. It was a bad scenario and we bought the best vehicle for the money and payment etc etc we could get, but I would much rather still have my old Cherokee vs. the new Liberty. I have already had a few electro-doo-dads fail on me that I am really not bothering to replace just yet because they are not mission critical.

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I am going to buy a couple of flashlights today for security purposes.

Sounds like a 4D cell Maglight would be a better "security" flashlight than a new fangled LED if you know what I mean!!! There's a reason cops carry them and it has nothing to do with LIGHT… I keep one in my glovebox for the same reason.

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My "stepson" has become quite the little homesteader. He's not even two yet and is following me around handing me tools, taking it upon himself to drag stuff to the burn pile, eating like a "big boy", basically just snatching stuff off the grill and munchin' down.

If your son is anything like mine he will LOVE it. I have been taking mine camping since he was less than a year old, and he just loves it. If you tell him we are going camping so he can play in the dirt he is pretty much standing at the door waiting to leave 10 seconds later. I am sure my daughter would have been the same way if I got this into her before she became a "princess" and it was too late.

The FUNNY thing is people (who are stupid) always ask me how difficult it must be to have a little baby out in the woods with you — and frankly what is the difference? It is not as if you need a bathroom for a baby that poops and pees in a diaper for one… And those are the types of concerns people have. I guess they could strap one of those plastic changing tables from the public restrooms to a tree if it would make them feel better about it.

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The neighbors came down yesterday, admitted they were just being "nosey." I find it a little odd they came by the day after were heard someone walking around. GF says they seem alright but, I haven't met them and to be honest, don't really think I want to.

Ironic that I would be moving out to the middle of nowhere to get away from having neighbors I can't stand (which describes every single place I've lived in this city in the 18 years I have lived here). Sadly, even moving to a place where my neighbor's house is a corn field away — I am still expecting to not like them. JUST ONCE I would love to have cool neighbors!!!!! JUST ONCE!!!!!

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Found out the coyotes are bad in the area, not a surprise, I grew up not too far from where the land is... Not unusual. GF knows to keep a good eye on the baby. Buying a new gun in a week or so, probably just a little .22, but, it's just 'yotes for now.

Reminds me of my mom's house where I grew up. Seems like everyone everywhere are having coyote problems these days. You see, where I grew up there were NO coyotes, and I never saw one in my entire life up there, and neither had anyone in my family. All of a sudden a few years ago they started popping up EVERYWHERE. They have attacked people's animals where my mom lives — and now that everyone has started picking them off with rifles whenever they come around, they are finding "DEP" game commission tags tagged to the ears of these things, while the DEP DENIES their EXISTENCE. Everyone I know up there keeps a rifle on hand now and are afraid to let the little ones play outside because of this. You can sit on my mom's porch and watch gangs of them working their way across the fields as we sit there picking them off with rifles etc. I would suggest something bigger than a .22 if you are trying to pick them off from across a field.

At the rate everyone is shooting them (according to my family) it should not be long before they are extinct again, regardless of how many the lying DEP introduce into the area.

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The baby's appetite has improved 4 fold. I think it's a combination of being a little healthier already, running in the yard all day beats the hell out of walking around a 12x13 hotel room, and different enviroment. He also was waaaaay more energy.

I bet he sleeps better too! The girl I am dating has a son one year older than mine, and when they are playing together they never want to go to bed at a reasonable hour, so now we MAKE THEM run around non-stop for an hour or two in the evening until they just drop and are ready for bed, and they don't even get up in the middle of the night when we do that.

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Got a sturdier grate for boiling water. The little grate on the grill wasn't handling the extended high temps too well. Four cinder blocks and voila, perfect for bath water.

I took all the baking racks out of an oven that broke on me recently for the same purpose (extra just in case grills). You can ALWAYS find free ovens listed on Craigslist or whatever on the curb, or just see them outside on garbage day. It would totally be worth grabbing them for that purpose, but I have seen people use all kinds of things as a "grill" before including chain link fence, and even a shopping cart turned on its side.

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Water is the biggest deal. We're fine without any electricity. In fact, the GF told me this weekend she "doesn't care if we get the power on." She's enjoying the lack of distraction, increased "family time" and, I'm sure, the fact that i'm not yelling at the t.v. nonstop telling people what kind of idiots they are.

DEFINITELY. Water is always the biggest issue whenever we go camping even. That is my primary concern for whatever "bug out" land I ever get my hands on.

You could easily set up a catchment system with a TARP and those 5 gallon buckets to get them filled quickly in a rainstorm. Just think about how much rain streams off of your tarp if you ever set one up on a camping trip to sit underneath. A few lengths of Paracord, a tarp set up with a "funnel" to force all of the water into a bucket (or series of buckets) and you should be able to get several gallons in a rain event. Much cleaner than whatever you would get off the roof of a building with all of the chemicals involved. I would much rather filter "tarp-bucket" water than "nasty chemical rainbow slick covered roof water" any day.

I am glad I am not the only one who yells at the TV when I see an idiot (which is pretty much every time I turn the stupid thing on).

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Tried to rig some sort of external antenna for the cell phones last night but, alas... Any ideas?

I am not sure what they have for modern phones, but I know a lot of people in Alaska who have high range antennas for their phones for the same reason. I never got to try one out on my phone at the time because the adapters were not the same, but today most phones use a micro USB and I would be shocked if there was NOT some sort of high-range antenna available for the iPhone or Android phones. I am going to google it when I am done reading this thread.

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And forget the electric coffeepot. I started making my ex (before he was my ex) coffee on the woodstove and it was easier, and he preferred it. Said it tasted like REAL coffee. $29.

YUCK!!! FORGET THE PERCOLATOR!!!!

A percolator re-gurgitates your water over the coffee grounds over and over again, and it basically ruins good coffee. A French Press is not only EASIER to brew (put in grounds, dump in boiling water, allow to steep, press screen down before drinking) — but it TASTES 1,000 times better.

In fact, coffee snobs like me will tell you a french press is the BEST way to drink coffee, much better tasting than an auto-drip because it keeps the essential oils etc from the beans intact. Takes up no counter space, and even REI sells some PRETTY BAD ASS aluminum french presses that have storage compartments for extra grounds. I always take mine backpacking with me even though my friends tell me I am silly (until they taste the coffee it makes).




But regardless, that sounds like an AWESOME adventure. I am one of the jealous ones among the crowd here. AND it is good to see people who are essentially starting from almost NOTHING and just nickel-and-diming their way into this lifestyle and doing it as they go vs. someone who is all gung-ho and has enough money to essentially build their ultimate "bunker / retreat" while spending a fortune on it, since most of us don't have that kind of money to spend!

OH WOW, I never noticed there are 3 more pages to this thread until now!
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Adam B. on November 13, 2012, 03:01:08 PM
Quote
After I left for work saturday, my girlfriend heard a noise in the house. She looked up to see a squirrel  pulling taco shells out of the box and eating them. She yelled at him, he tried to run off, through the hole for the old washer drain... With the taco shell in his mouth. The taco shell was too big to make it through the hole, he backed up, ran around in a circle. Looked at the hole, tried again. Taco shell caught, he backed up, ran in a circle, saw the hole and tried one more time. Backed up, ran in a circle looked, found the bigger hole for the dryer vent and hauled ass. She said she could hear him just under the hole eating taco shells. Lmao. While she was telling me the story all I could see in my head was SCRAT from the ice age flicks...

Who needs TV when you live off the grid???

LMFAO!!!

Oh man, the tripwire based blank firing system and the paintball land mine / game camera combo are priceless! I will never forget those ideas when I have my own BOL.

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notsofast, man, I am totally eating this up!  This is better than watching survival shows on TV!  I too am a little bit jealous.  Your stories remind me of when my family moved back to our home state when I was a kid.  It was interesting and a whole lot of fun.

I am enjoying this thread more than the average "survival show" on TV.

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we have, however, decided, through all of this, to recycle our grey water. gonna run the drain from the bath tub and bathroom sink to a couple of 55 gallon drums then i'm going to install a hand pump in the bathroom to pull the water from the drums to the toilet. bath water will pull double duty.

That is a great idea. Why use clean water suitable for drinking or filtering just to go to the bathroom and render it useless? Something else to keep in mind for future reference!

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and our "buddy" came by last night to visit. had the dog cowering under a dresser, both cats under the chair and girlfriend almost had a heart attack...

So much for the "guard dog" concept. It reminds me of a Siberian Husky I had as a child who was afraid of rabbits. Yeah, so much for having a dog the size of a wolf to protect you!

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found out my visitor wasn't a sasquatch...  :'( . turns out it's a 99% chance it's a bear. but, we don't eat too much honey so i think we'll be ok.  :rofl: never had bear meat. (i wonder if it tastes like chicken.)

Bear meat is GOOD. My grandparents tricked me into eating it for the first time as a child when they made cheeseburgers and never told me until I had eaten 2 of them I had just eaten BEAR. I would have not eaten them if they told me before I ate them.

The same tactic applies to small children who are addicted to CHICKEN NUGGETS these days (since lazy parents, or parents like me who 'just don't have time' feed the kids since they clean up easy) — just tell the kids everything they don't like is a chicken nugget (works for Brocoli, ham, and other things) until they are old enough to figure out they've been 'duped'

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said he spends most of his "t.v. time" watching monsterquest and finding bigfoot.

Those are the T.V. shows where they go out looking for Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster, etc etc and never find anything right? Tell Discovery Channel to call me when they actually FIND something and I might watch!!!

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he wants us to come hang out some, might have to take him up on it. he offered to let us use his generator. can't afford the gas but, nice of him none the less and appreciated.

Glad to hear the neighbors are turning out to possibly be cool!

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some have asked about cooking over pine. we don't cook over pine when we want a bare flame, meats for example. when we're cooking in a pan the pine doesn't affect the taste AS LONG AS the smoke isn't wafting into the pot or pan. when we want a bare flame for burgers or steaks we're now using hardwoods or still charcoal but, only a little charcoal as the cost is killing me.

I always cook over wood when I am camping. I think food cooked over a campfire tastes so much better. I only pay attention to the wood I am using in terms of NOT using anything with nasty chemicals in it, just wood from the woods. Also, I pretty much only use cast iron for cooking.

Also, a coleman stove with white gas is about one of the most awesome things to have too. A gallon of coleman fuel will last me at least 2 camping seasons, and I go camping almost every weekend when it is warm outside. They are very efficient.

I got mine for $15 on craigslist and even though it is literally older than ME — it looks brand new. You can find them on there all the time if you have access to that and your area is populated enough for it to be useful (one advantage of living in a big city I suppose).

I literally have bags and bags of charcoal becasuse I hardly ever use it, and the only time I buy it is when I have a coupon or it is on a ridiculous sale. I could imagine that being VERY expensive if you depended on it every day. Wood is free if you live in the woods!

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Its encouraging to read your stories. My husband and I have a 2.5 year old and he really adapts, but me being the mom I worry about friends family and neighbors judging us and or calling the SS.

No kidding. I used to make fun of the few kids who lived this way when I was young and lived out in the country — and now as a grown up I am jealous of them. Funny how age and experience changes your whole perception of everything.

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like i said, hoping to have the power on come tuesday or so, and maybe a small chest freezer. the water line can wait. we can keep going up to the meter with buckets. but, ice is starting to become a priority. if we get a small freezer we can still keep things refridgerated in a cooler by making our own ice, which will cut another $30-$40 a month off our expenses.

Get some rolls of that reflectix bubble wrap insulation from Lowes, it is amazing how much more you can get from your ice if you insulate coolers with that stuff! I bought one roll of it for around $10 a couple of years ago and I believe this to be a lifetime supply for those kinds of needs.

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on a serious note, i can NOT get rid of the rat. the SOB has managed to eat all the bait off of the rat trap WITHOUT tripping it. i'll be damned if i know how he's doing it but, he does it every time.

Time for some poison bait unless it will be an issue with children who may get to it and eat it.

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guess i'm gonna have to take serious actions and borrow a gun. blast his ass while he's munchin' on my nutty bars.

Probably no need to shoot guns in the house over a rat!

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the globes also help refract the light which means without them you need a larger flame to cast the same amout of light which in turn leads to more fuel usage.

We used to have frosted globes for our oil lamps as a kid and they work better than clear glass for diffusion and spreading more even light across a room. The mirror idea is also good!

I will finish reading this thread tomorrow when I return to this job I can't stand and fantasize about my dream of off-grid living!
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: fred.greek on November 13, 2012, 08:08:10 PM
Solar oven for cooking, although the glass, insulation, reflector, etc. may be a product of higher technology, in themselves there is little to go wrong or wear out.  For the times you need to cook sans sun, look up the various approaches to making a “rocket stove”.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Adam B. on November 19, 2012, 12:34:14 PM
Thinking about the "booby trap" idea further…

I remember this personal alarm thing I found that had a "key" that fit in some receptacle, and if you pulled the key out of the device, an extremely high pitched alarm sound would come out of it.

Hooking one of those up to a tripwire, combined with a game camera to catch the looks on people's faces (and a record of) who set them off would be just as funny as "blanks" yet without any dangerous explosives that you are essentially leaving unattended for the possibility of someone getting hurt you never intended to.

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2000 watts at 110 is only 18 amps combined and unless you know how to synchronize AC lines, you can't just combine them so you have 2 9 amp lines. I'm not sure you can even run a swamp cooler off 9 amps, so you might be SOL for cooling with that approach.

I saw an ice maker that plugs into a 12v adapter in a vehicle over the summer. I am not sure how much of a draw it consumes, but it seemed like an interesting idea to avoid constantly buying ice in a situation like yours if it makes enough in a day. I have no experience with one of these, but it has been on my mind to check out if I find the right deal one one.

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the lights are about to be turned off, the landowner has tacked a sixty dollar late fee onto the land note. my lung doctor says i'm looking at about another 30 or so days before i'm "useful." at least, that's how i take it. they put my pick stints in, for longer term antibiotics use.

even if we don't lose the land i'm not gonna have the strength and energy to do what needs to be done.

not sure what we're gonna do but, i can promise ya, i'm not gonna sit around and friggin' cry about it. i've been through tougher than this i don't mind tellin' ya.

I finally got to the end of this thread and saw the setback you are facing. Hopefully you are able to pull out of this soon and get back on your feet! Just goes to show you never know what is going to happen.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on December 09, 2012, 10:12:22 AM
they finally took me off of my vancomycin and removed my PICC line. saved my PICC and put it in a frame lol. the thing's huge, like 18 inches or so, ran in a vein up my arm... behind my heart, my wife freaked out a little when they pulled it out lmao. i figured i had about 131 bags of vanc over the time i was sick plus two injections of lovenox a day, PLUS coumadin.

they never did anything about the nerve damage in my foot or the torn rotator and torn muscles in my shoulder, which i guess i forgot to mention before, i messed up my shoulder one night while trying to sleep, the fever got me and i jerk out of a sleep. apparently, snatched my arm up at on odd angle. anyway, they turned around and gave me a "clean bill of health" even though i still have restricted movement in my shoulder and need to use a cane about 60% of the time still, i tried to go back to work but, the boss doesn't need me. and probably won't.

as far as a blog... my internet is so sporadic, obviously, i couldn't keep content up so, it would probably suck.

talked to a guy the other day who buried one of his good friends last week, died from pneumonia, REGULAR pneumonia, no other complications. the guy was only about 10 years older than me. **shaking head** just... kinda makes ya wonder
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: cheryl1 on December 09, 2012, 11:02:01 AM
It might not feel like it right now, but you are a very, very lucky man. Not many would have survived the infection you've been dealing with. Glad you're still with us! :)
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Mr. Bill on December 09, 2012, 12:17:35 PM
Good to hear from you -- glad you're getting better. :)
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: FrugalFannie on December 13, 2012, 02:40:45 PM
good to hear you are getting better.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on January 04, 2013, 11:29:09 AM
still not able to work. tried to help a buddy of mine the other day with a fairly simple task and it liked to have killed me. wife's still waiting to hear back on a job. christmas friggin' sucked, obviously.

got my hospital bill the other day. $78,500 give or take. and to think... my dad used to tell me i was worthless. HA!
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Mr. Bill on January 04, 2013, 12:11:23 PM
Ugh. :(
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: rikkrack on January 04, 2013, 01:03:45 PM
WOW. You have been through a lot. My daughter was on Vanco and was septic when she was 1YO. She had bacterial meningitis. Vanco is some heavy stuff. I used to work where it is made. I actually went and shook the hands of some of the guys I knew who were on the line that made the stuff. Saved her life. Her bill and helicopter flight before insurance came to $157,480. So I feel ya.

Swift recovery to you.

Her experience put things in perspective for me. Make the most of each day, and with the ones you love. Don't waste precious time on the stuff that really doesn't matter.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on January 17, 2013, 04:08:46 PM
My daughter was on Vanco and was septic when she was 1YO. She had bacterial meningitis. Vanco is some heavy stuff...Saved her life. Her bill and helicopter flight before insurance came to $157,480.



damn man, i could only imagine if it'd been one of my kids in the same boat i was in.

losing our land. been packing and trying to figure stuff out. looks like we're gonna have to move in with the mother in law which, if anyone checked out one of my other threads knows will probably NOT last long. lol.

had a small relapse in/with my kidney which prompted the doctor to do a WHOLE NEW work up on me. she's even going so far as to check my thyroid. **sheesh*

i was thinking the other day.. this thread has been all over the friggin' map.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: cheryl1 on January 17, 2013, 05:53:07 PM
Sorry to hear about your land
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: archer on January 17, 2013, 06:11:23 PM
ah damn, sorry this is happening to you.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: rikkrack on January 17, 2013, 06:12:49 PM
No kidding. Hope things turn for you.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Roundabouts on January 30, 2013, 10:45:03 AM
Hope this spring brings you a new fresh wonderful  beginning.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on March 24, 2013, 08:46:35 PM
so, i know it's been a while, but with good reason i guess, we've essentially sat at the house for weeks with no money. we haven't lost our land, YET. the landowner has been VERY understanding with the situation, plus... he also knows he probably won't be able to sell it if we leave.

as far as the mrsa, i'm almost back to normal, which fascinated my doctor. lol. i'm still not where i was before i got sick, but i'd say in another month or so i should be 100%.

things are starting to look up, we've got some money coming in, i'm pulling odd jobs here and there and the wife just found a part time job. we've both enrolled in school so we've got our fingers crossed that everything works out on that front, plus some other stuff i've had in the works looks like it might start panning out soon. once school starts and we get in a better rhythm, kind of 'in the groove' i guess, things should level off and be ok. at least i'm hoping.

and again, thanks guys for the show of support. this whole thing has left me with quite a few more white hairs than i had before.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: archer on March 24, 2013, 10:30:58 PM
good to hear things are looking up. good luck and good skill going forward!
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: tumtum73 on March 25, 2013, 04:25:16 AM
It's great to see things are turning around.  This really goes to show that our health is our greatest asset.  Glad to see your feeling better and getting back on your feet.

Good Luck and stay healthy.
tumtum
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Mr. Bill on March 25, 2013, 01:41:09 PM
I'm glad to hear a little bit of good news from you -- best wishes!
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Louisiana Suvivor on March 25, 2013, 03:35:13 PM
Glad you're feeling better bro
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Panhead Bill on March 26, 2013, 12:24:12 PM
Just read this entire thread in one shot - wow, you've been through the ringer. It's good to see that there's the potential for light at the end of the tunnel. Just stay positive and keep looking forward. One thing I can say, is that with everything you and the wife have been through in the last year, looks like you'll have a stronger marriage coming out of it.  I wish you guys the best of luck and fortune (not necessarily in the money sense of the word) in your future.

Bill
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Roundabouts on March 27, 2013, 10:28:40 AM
So happy to hear you have some good coming your way.    You know what they say 'out of the ashes'    ;D
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: notsofast on September 30, 2013, 09:10:13 PM
Heeellllloooooo, TSP. LTNS. ya know how they say nothing works out the way you plan? well, i generally adhere to that train of thought. BUT, i do have to say things are a little better.

Got into school, finally. started in the summer and got some of my basics out of the way. right now, i'm about halfway through the EMT program and as long as everything keeps working out i'll pass national registry in december. somehow my schedule got screwy and won't be able to work until after the spring because i won't have technically "passed the required curriculum," i'll still have one or two bs courses to take. finally, bit the bullet and got internet out at the house, otherwise i'd end up failing because everything is online; homework, tests, books, etc. i managed to wing it through summer, but can't do it with the a&p, algebra, and EMT.

We managed to scrape up some animals, but they all keep dying. no idea why. just the way it is. we had a goat, but he got out and since we live right next to the national forest i'm gonna start a legend about an old choctaw shaman who cursed the land and the great white goat spirit is running around the forest. no, not inflatable. (where did that even come from anyway?)  i'm gonna chalk up the dead animals to the curse as well.

projects are still laying around in pieces so nothing on that front is working at the moment. i usually end up cursing myself by getting excited about something and of course it doesn't work out, but i'm use to it lol.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Adam B. on October 01, 2013, 08:53:06 AM
The inflatable goat is the only survival tool that is helpful during a flood AND a severe dry spell.
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: inbox485 on October 01, 2013, 08:59:29 AM
The inflatable goat is the only survival tool that is helpful during a flood AND a severe dry spell.

Also good for parties...
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Mr. Bill on October 01, 2013, 09:42:16 AM
Good to hear from you, notsofast -- I'm glad things are improving for you!
Title: Re: Our "Experiment"
Post by: Datman01 on October 01, 2013, 04:35:06 PM
Glad to hear things are looking up. Best wishes.