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Preparedness/Survival Skills/BOBs/Kits/Gear If it will help keep you going when TSHTF, talk about it here.

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  #81  
Old 07-19-2014, 10:19 AM
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We thank you for your prayers Txanne!

I read many years ago that someone did a research project and PROVED that patients who are prayed for get better faster, have fewer complications and have more complete recovery than those who aren't prayed for. "When science finally peers over the mountain of knowledge, it will find that religion has been sitting there all along." Don't remember who said that, but I think it was a scientist.

We are respecting our grief and trauma. I'm starting to dream about it. Working it out on the subconscious level I guess. We need more sleep than usual, maybe that's why.

We keep choosing to view this as an adventure, an opportunity to improve our selves and our shared life. It's not always easy but what we think does determine how we feel so we keep on choosing to think positive thoughts!

We've both lived in small spaces before and that's huge in getting it together right now. Living right on top of each other isn't new to us and we sure do like each other so it's going pretty well. We're going to leave our camp all set up. Everyone who has been so helpful will be invited to come stay in it for a vacation!



Renee
Renee,
Indeed you need more rest.
The mind is on over-load and the body need time to over-come and understand.
We each process such things differently.
In reading your post---I liken your situation to a SHTF--literally what most here are preparing for.

Many here pray for others on this forum----it wont hurt and we never know the out-come,
many times.

One step at a time.

annie
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:41 PM
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So right Txanne! We're not exactly preppers, we just try to live as independently as we can. It's such a fragile system out there!

We figure by the time we're done we'll BE prepped. Little things make a big difference. Fly strips, simple systems to power a water pump, lights and a fan, communications and such are helping us to be a lot more comfortable.

Getting from our first response outdoor setup


to a fully-functional living arrangement took a LOT of work!



First we had to do a lot of fun stuff like moving the pile of wood we had stored right where we needed to put a dryer vent and LP tank. We thought we were all done moving everything we owned once a month, apparently not...


Since we took most all our tools to the shop for storage, projects involve multiple trips to town of course. Brian got a special surprise when he started drilling the metal lining the sides of the milk truck box... Metal hardness varies in a given grade but this stuff was HARD beyond that! They probably ran out of the usual stuff and used something they had laying around to finish the unit. It took him several hours to get that vent hole done, of course the 4" hole saw he was able to find was a bit short on teeth to begin with.



He did get the hole through, chain drilling (drill small holes close together, if you're good & a bit lucky you can get the holes almost touching. Wallowing the drill around in the holes works to get the strips between holes chewed out.) so the hole saw had less to cut. Nothing like pure pig-headed stubborness to get ya through in the end! I've played that game before so I asked helpful questions like "Think a hammer and chisel would help you yet?" and "Ready for a pair of pliers yet?"
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:46 PM
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The salvaged vent pipe we used to save another trip to town was not in great shape to begin with and wasn't improved by stuffing it through the knawed out hole... Hard to work on something you can't see but I flared the end with some improvised dollies (hint ladies, you have most of what you need to do household sheet-metal work right in your kitchen! Your meat hammer can be used for added encouragement on stubborn areas, hit the spoon with it!)




It didn't help because there was a BIG ding I couldn't see on the bottom of the pipe and it's a tight fit to slip the pipe over the dryer outlet. Cut a section off the vent pipe, installed the nicer portion through the hole and shoved the vent with pipe over the crimped section on the new pipe. We've got hand pipe-crimpers here, glad we didn't have to use them!!!



The little rivets holding the vent on the mangled sectioin of pipe could have been removed by filing the heads off and then punching the stem through. Glad we didn't have to do THAT! It's slow going even with aluminum. It's even harder to drill itty-bitty rivets with a BIG power drill. Sometimes you can cut the back of the rivet off with side-cutters or a hammer and chisel if you're careful. That didn't work... I had most of what we needed for the job in my little tacklebox toolbox I keep in the car.





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Old 07-20-2014, 12:49 PM
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We got some nice units and a great deal from "Used Treasures" in Pekin IN. We're regulars there and they knocked $45 off on a set for us. Finding an LP dryer was an adventure of it's own. The gas dryers we found were all natural gas that lived in town. Our pals in Pekin took this dryer out of a home with an LP tank in the yard and assured us there wasn't even any natural gas in the area. Works great! Dries FAST!





The washer is awfully spiffy too. We appreciate good machinery and take good care of it. We'll check and see what fails most on our new (to us) units and just order those parts to keep on hand while we can still get them. Since we aren't excited about computer controls on our laundry machines we are very happy with the older models.



The washer, dryer AND big battery charger ran our generator at 20%. Probly kicked it up to 30% when it hit the spin cycle on the washer.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:54 PM
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I sent this out on our family email group:
We are looking for something - ANYTHING we can sit comfortably on... We need about loveseat size, not a bitty one as it has to seat Brain and me. We do not want anything with a huge frame/footprint since our space is so limited. We'd like something I can move in and out by myself.
Yard furniture with removable cushions would be great for us. We'd use it on our new 'redneck patio' shown in the updated pics on the backwoods home forum, drag it in the kitchen box for wet weather storage and also use it where our queen size bed sits. We can tip the bed on it's side to get floor space but then we don't have anyplace to sit. The bed is not comfy for us to sit on... After a month of miserable seating we're willing to spend some bucks on this! Probably not over $100, we're cheap by nature We let the big dogs sit on our laps so that's always a consideration.
Any ideas?

This arrived about 7 hours later:




HUGE "Thank You's" to my uncle Pat and Aunt Cindy for gifting us with the set, and to my folks for getting it picked up AND delivered to us!!!

We sat on the loveseat watching the washer and dryer chunk out a load of laundery every 40 minutes or so until 11pm
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:59 PM
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We've strung hoses from the house to provide water for now.



Brian has pointed out this won't work with the on-demand hot water while construction is underway. Hmmm. Problem for another day. Might have to get the horse washer after all? Hope we don't end up having to trench water down here before it's all said and done! It's looking like a possibility since we may be here for cold weather. Sigh.
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:02 PM
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The reason the laundry deal is so big is that we are living in our clothes dryer:-O In cold weather we have lines in the house near the wood stove and we can dry laundry in a hurry! In nice summer weather we hang it outside. If it rains for a week we have lines in the ice-cream truck box to hang laundry. We set a portable propane "buddy heater" at one end, running on a 20lb LP tank. When we fill it completely with wet laundry it might take up to 20 hours to dry that way but at 17cents an hour we're great with that!

So here we are living in our rainy-day clothes dryer, can't hang it in the house for quite some time. And we've GOT to have clean clothes... A trip to Salem is 10 miles and we have to pay to do it at the laundromat. I hate going there EVERYONE uses scented stuff in laundry it seems and it always stinks though we use unscented products. If we pay them to do it it runs a dollar a pound and we generate 60+ pounds a week. Washing everything we own defies calculation right now but the washer and dryer for $300 will be cheaper by far any way we add it up!

I love my wringer washer! We almost moved it down here but floor space for it and wash tubs for rinsing and the time involved in using it are all big problems right now. We'll probably keep the automatic stuff but I doubt they'll see a lot of use after we're through this and we get our clothes dryer back. Gotta get on that foam dome with a Mother Earth "Heat Grabber" clothes dryer project! It's looking like next year at this point though.

We're taking the "day off" today so I've got a load of laundry running, some to hang out from last night and Brian's off to town to get a hot water hose for our sink. We'll run hot from the house, cold from our barrel system with the RV water pump and once I get the mouse nests pressure-washed out of the old gas stove + a fridge in we'll be back up to normal speed!!! Hate that we can't run our bitty fridge on the little battery system we're on now, we sure loved it! It would cost more to buy enough batteries and solar to run it than the gas fridge does

Can't wait to get our big battery system back, (and I'm worried about the battery being affected by all the heat, we won't know about that until after the 30th) but of course we won't be able to do much in the house until that's all done...


We washed Syd's binkie second load yesterday. Worried the first run might smell. I keep a spare blanket for her, it's always traumatic for her to give it up to be washed! I can't believe she accepted an old tablecloth and a beach towel without complaint. She sure was THRILLED to get that binkie back! I may try running her teddy bear and stuffed McCaw through today.
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Old 07-21-2014, 05:11 PM
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The documents Servpro asked us to sign two weeks after the fire, and well after our insurance adjuster told them they required an estimate to pay for work done.

Recall I was pressed to sign these so they could "Start loading our stuff" before I even had a chance to even look at the MSDS sheets referenced in the document - always supposing they brought them along as promised...

I'm not sure the bit about how I can sign to accept full financial liability on behalf of my SPOUSE is even legal?







I was not happy to be bullied by the Servpro rep to sign these, Nathan was pretty nasty about my request for the MSDS and questions about an estimate. When I called the national Servpro number they took my complaint but assured me there was "Nothing you can do since no contract was signed."

I'm hoping they were wrong. I've complained to the Better Business Bureau and the Consumer Protection Division of the Indiana Attorney General's Office. I am being processed...

This cost us a week and a half while mold and mildew were growing, larger soft items like our couch probably won't survive the delay. It's added to our cleanup cost and lost us a week and a half on the time we'll be moved back in and back in business at the shop. VERY expensive overall for us and they just keep saying "We never signed a contract with these people so they don't have a complaint." The company line I bet...

Buyer beware!
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:34 PM
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Our propane refrigerator has SHIPPED!!! We are so excited - we'll be able to keep cold food again! Heat index of 100* today, Brian's tired of hauling ice... We'll just pet it for the first 24 hours after it gets here. It has to sit after shipping to let the ammonia settle maybe?

I'll post pics of it and the solar water heater box we'll put our water barrels into so we'll have warm running water soon as we get that going.
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:56 PM
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Congratulations RJ !!

Losing something like a fridge really makes us appreciate them whe we do without for a while.
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  #91  
Old 07-23-2014, 10:31 AM
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Our propane refrigerator has SHIPPED!!! We are so excited - we'll be able to keep cold food again! Heat index of 100* today, Brian's tired of hauling ice... We'll just pet it for the first 24 hours after it gets here. It has to sit after shipping to let the ammonia settle maybe?

I'll post pics of it and the solar water heater box we'll put our water barrels into so we'll have warm running water soon as we get that going.
I would put it in its spot and let her sit(at least 24 hrs)-- and they need to be kept level.)I have a propane frig.
And a heads-up--if you ever smell ammonia---thats trouble.

I lived with ice hauling for years----what a relief it was too have refrigeration.

Doing happy dance for you. :
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:10 PM
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Boy that's the truth Ozarkslady! We feel very fortunate overall...

We can wait Texanne, we sent them a bank check to save the credit card fee for our wonderful insurance company, Indiana Farmers has been unbelievable great! Leveling is a good point, I usually set a level on everything but we're still not thinking real clear!

Fridge will be here TOMORROW!!! Wow that's fast. It will be all set when the work crews start early next month
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:14 PM
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Yesterday:

After a humid, HOT day yesterday it looks like we'll get our 70% chance of rain today. Much cooler so it wasn't too bad running around and gathering up everything I hosed and scrubbed yesterday. I'm washing stuff close to the frost-free hydrant for convenience, plus it's in the shade, so I hauled everything UP the hill to the hose to wash it. Of course there isn't any place to PUT clean stuff yet, we're stuffed full in our little truck boxes and our house is only 24' X 36'... Even with part of the loft area complete we live tidily as a necessity, have to put stuff in it's place or we're piled up in a hurry in there. It's depressing to see the house all piled up with stuff that doesn't even belong in the house, on top of a filthy mess. I had really spiffed it all up while the generator was running right before the fire...

Trying to get a plan going to deal with it in an orderly fashion. Yesterday I got the big folding plastic table we'd used in our emergency kitchen hauled back up the hill and cleaned. It's HEAVY and I ran out of steam at the end of the day so I asked Brian to carry it up the steep hill into the house. It also got cooked some, little too close to the fire so while it more or less works, it no longer latches open. Every time I try to move it, it folds up on me.

I got some dishes started and planned to put a freshly washed towel and the newly washed dish drainer on the now-clean table. Want to sweep the floor first, of course the broom is in our little box... I forgot to get a towel, another trip. I've made multiple trips back and forth just trying to get ready for rain. Syd's little day cage has been sitting in the driveway awaiting storage. I got it clean and dry, another trip to the kitchen box to fetch a big trash bag to cover it - and it won't quite fit in the bag. Hauled it back in the house to keep it dry, it will have to be washed AGAIN before use.

It's dark in the house without our lights, think I forgot to mention those in a post about our electrical setup. We're running super-efficient 12 volt fluorescent bulbs for ordinary use and have super bright, 12 volt incandescent bulbs to supplement lighting if needed. I don't recall what they draw but the everyday fluorescents draw very little. Small things like unplugging charging devices when we're not using them further reduce our needs, we've carried those habits with us and even unplug the TV and antenna at night. We're awfully close to balancing solar production with our draw in nice weather at this point but we're used to making far more solar than we need and only running a generator for big appliances like the washer. Glad Brian found a really efficient generator, even happier it's a quiet model! We love the quiet and don't like to run a generator at all.

I'm trying not to feel overwhelmed by the mess in the house. Getting things from the house that we need to use now meant stacking stuff they ordinarily held on every available surface, including the floor. Since it all has to be cleaned anyhow it's not a big deal but I hate clutter... Bad for mental health! Brian picked up a big load of cardboard moving boxes and trash bags. They're piled on the couch, which probably needs replaced though we may try cleaning it first. We'll put bags in the boxes to keep everything dry and load stuff in them for storage. Once I get the dishes I piled on our second large plastic table washed I'll have a work surface to get started!

Triage is getting to be an issue. Large, soft items are probably trash now but there weren't too many of those. The cast-iron ware needs treatment for rust before storage or it will be a LOT more work to clean. I'm hoping we can sandblast it, oil it lightly and just stow it. We usually season our cast-iron in the summer kitchen and I'm NOT stinking that up right now! Anything that got wet will have to be dealt with before we store it I think.

I can just bag laundry and stack it in a corner to wash whenever we need to run the generator. I always try to schedule activities like that to get the most from our run-time and keep the hours down on the generator. We'll be running it regularly so it should work out. I'm not real excited about running a HOT dryer in our little kitchen box right now so the weather is a consideration. I hate using a conventional dryer! I have clothes my MOTHER wore in high school, and some I wore in high school too! Line drying doesn't eat clothes like modern dryers do... That's why I've been interested in the dome structure with a heat box and small heater on it, no wear on clothes at all and it can be used in any weather. Think everything needs at least a short trip through though, to kill anything ammonia doesn't get in the wash and sunshine doesn't get on the line.

We've got a lot of stuff we can take to the storage at Brian's shop - and an S-10 to get it there... Might need to borrow Brian's Dad Larry's truck, he's got a full-size model and with some staging and planning we can cut the time we spend running back and forth. We've accepted that everything we do will require multiple trips to town since we just can't keep all our tools and supplies here but we hope to improve that soon. Brian's shopping for that 40+ foot shipping container and anything that isn't temperature sensitive can go right into it. We'll probably spend another couple days hauling the tools and supplies BACK and putting them in the shipping container once we get the house emptied for repair. Since we're contracting the structural repair work out we'll have time to run back and forth

I like the idea of having most of our household stuff HERE, where I can get to it without going to town. I can get a lot more cleaned if it's close by. Having a place to PUT it when it's clean is the second half of the equation so it's worth waiting a bit to get started. It won't be able to go back in the house for some time.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:21 PM
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Yesterday:

With all the cloud cover there was no internet of course. I knew it had become a big thing for me since I very rarely get out lately, but am surprised how depressing it is that I can't even check my email. We just reloaded our Wal-Mart internet and phone accounts, hope it's just the weather and not a problem with the account that could be a real pain to fix.




I've watched with interest as my mental state changes over time. At first I couldn't really focus on anything except the basic stuff, getting positioned to live in relative comfort consumed my attention. I'm not sure how I managed to post stuff but am glad I did! Once we had our most basic needs met I began to take an interest in other folks again. I still couldn't focus well enough to read and I did try.

Reading has been a very important part of my life for as long as I can remember though lately I tend to read fun stuff like "Welding Today" instead of entertainment material. I had been reading history and was nearly finished with a text found at the Goodwill, haven't been able to get anywhere with it since the fire. In the last week I've been able to attend well enough to read "Not Quite Eden" during short breaks and enjoy it too! I remember when Dad first started with computers and the internet he wanted EVERYTHING printed out, I still do! It's a lot harder for me to read stuff on a computer with only a laptop that has to be put away immediately after use, so I hadn't read much of Dad's recent work.

I haven't been writing much either, and I've missed that. Mostly I've been writing notes for our shop class, letters to my senators and representatives, and letters to local business owners explaining broad points of the law regarding women in the workforce and outlining steps I'll take if they continue to ignore these laws. Sigh. Not near as fun as recreational writing for sure but someone has to do it. Somehow that always seems to end up being me when no one else will... One of these days we'll get an office set up in the loft area where we can run a desktop that is actually comfortable for me to type AND read at the same time Maybe a keyboard plugged into a laptop would work without increasing power needs? Need a set up that allows me to use good posture, my reading range is NOT in my typing range!

I haven't even had the heart to play my flute since the fire though I've tried a couple times. That's never a good sign. There have been long periods of time when I wasn't able to enjoy playing due to circumstances. A good friend died years ago, asked me to play his favorite song for him, walked out while I was playing and was dead within a couple hours. I never figured out if he or his ex-wife pulled the trigger, I KNOW she was stalking him. That was bad. I finally found the joy again but it took a couple years. It's an autistic behavior, it's self-stimulating, comforting, an escape for me. I know all that. It's also the best thing I can do for my allergy-induced asthma and I try to at least play exercises if I can't do anything else.

If I can focus on music, I can play pretty much anything I hear. I don't even have to know it, it's a mathematical progression that is easy to follow once you find the key and rhythm. Think that's left-brain? It feels like dancing with God when I really enter into it. I could do that as soon as they showed me how to make the notes on my flute and I keep trying to get better at it.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:25 PM
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Brian told me last night his old friend / our new contractor, Matt had asked him how WE were doing. Brian said he told Matt that a fire is a major life event and how folks choose to handle the stress and problems shows what they're made of, defines who they ARE. He said he told Matt how we'd talked about the stress and pressures and decided we needed to be extra kind to each other and make plenty of allowances for the stress-induced stupidity and forgetfulness. He assured Matt we were doing great together, getting it done and even enjoying it as much as possible. Seems Matt felt better.

I'm slow on the uptake. I have to think things through and may be days catching up on stuff people say. No quick comebacks here! The more I think about what Brian said the more amazed I am. He's pretty happy-go-lucky, brings a good attitude and he is quick with a comeback, though he's always kind about it. He can be serious of course but I sure enjoy his fun nature and it's easy to take things as they appear to be. I was really touched by what he said - and what he implied without saying it. It wasn't his thought process that surprised me, it was his sharing it with another guy.

Relationships are complicated, lots going on under the surface that only the participants understand. I've had some bad experiences with men professionally and Brian knows I'm not thrilled to have a gang of guys in my house. He was really telling me that Matt cares, that I can trust him and need not worry about anyone he chooses to bring to our home. I knew that. Matt LOVES Brian, and me because Brian does. Some things are simple like that. I liked how Brian chose to make his point about Matt, and how he shares who he is and what he stands for without embarrassment.

I think we may just fall in love all over again through this, instead of tearing each other apart like some couples we've seen. No matter how well you know someone they can still surprise you if you give them your full confidence and trust. Hope I'm good for that too. At least I try not to miss the ball when I see it coming, though I may be slow and have to run after it instead of catching it...
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:16 PM
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Brian got some nice shots recently.





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Old 07-25-2014, 01:49 AM
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Brian told me last night his old friend / our new contractor, Matt had asked him how WE were doing. Brian said he told Matt that a fire is a major life event and how folks choose to handle the stress and problems shows what they're made of, defines who they ARE. He said he told Matt how we'd talked about the stress and pressures and decided we needed to be extra kind to each other and make plenty of allowances for the stress-induced stupidity and forgetfulness. He assured Matt we were doing great together, getting it done and even enjoying it as much as possible. Seems Matt felt better.

I'm slow on the uptake. I have to think things through and may be days catching up on stuff people say. No quick comebacks here! The more I think about what Brian said the more amazed I am. He's pretty happy-go-lucky, brings a good attitude and he is quick with a comeback, though he's always kind about it. He can be serious of course but I sure enjoy his fun nature and it's easy to take things as they appear to be. I was really touched by what he said - and what he implied without saying it. It wasn't his thought process that surprised me, it was his sharing it with another guy.

Relationships are complicated, lots going on under the surface that only the participants understand. I've had some bad experiences with men professionally and Brian knows I'm not thrilled to have a gang of guys in my house. He was really telling me that Matt cares, that I can trust him and need not worry about anyone he chooses to bring to our home. I knew that. Matt LOVES Brian, and me because Brian does. Some things are simple like that. I liked how Brian chose to make his point about Matt, and how he shares who he is and what he stands for without embarrassment.

I think we may just fall in love all over again through this, instead of tearing each other apart like some couples we've seen. No matter how well you know someone they can still surprise you if you give them your full confidence and trust. Hope I'm good for that too. At least I try not to miss the ball when I see it coming, though I may be slow and have to run after it instead of catching it...


Beautiful. I am glad you have such good people around you.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:14 AM
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I have to smile looking at your pics----seeing the ice chest brings back memories.
For those of us(and you) that have Had to live out of the things,know they are either a blessing or a curse. :
Ice runs are a pain,but I was able at times to get dry ice.

I had found some heavy duty packing quilts I kept mine covered with--helped save the ice longer.

Let us know when the fridge gets there---Mine isnt as large as a regular fridge but it gets
the job done.

I was thinking about your plight and blue tarps---tarps of any kind for that matter.
They come in so handy but are a pain.
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Old 07-26-2014, 02:08 PM
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Remarkable things happen. We were sure stressing about short-term storage. We work hard to think long-term. Nobody has anything like what we really want for a storage unit, they all say "Oh yeah, we usually have lots of those. We don't even have one right now..." This morning Brian's Mom, Jane texted him to remind him they have a trailer right next door to us. Not sure how we overlooked that. Still pretty slow mentally and likely will be for some time to come. Another reason we aren't excited about doing short-term stuff. Our storage problems are solved! We can put the things we will need short-term at Brian's folks place. Our dogs tell us if anything is going on there, and it's well-secured, and dry. Once the house is done we can put them back in the loft. When we get moved back in the house we can use our ice-cream truck box as a place to clean things that need it before unpacking. The logistics were scaring us but it's all worked out!

I was trying to keep that in mind this morning. I was trying to get started work in the house, cleaning and boxing stuff. Couldn't find the tape gun. Nothing in the house to cut tape. I was sure it was in plain sight but I couldn't FIND the tape gun anyplace. Just felt overwhelmed, everything is so much WORK! I got another cup of coffee and thought about it, then Brian found the tape gun in plain sight and I was moving again.
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Old 07-26-2014, 02:13 PM
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rj5156 rj5156 is offline
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Trial by fire OzarksLady! We are learning our "independence" is something of an illusion. We are also learning how very much we are loved

Right Texanne, I always used a quilt on the cooler before. We're STILL stupid! Looking like it will take us a while to get our mental faculties collected... I'll cover it now, makes a big difference. Thank you!!

Brian is back. He's LIGHTING THE FRIDGE!!!!!!!! Probly be tomorrow before it's stabilized and ready for food. I can be thrilled while I wait!!!

Getting more pictures, they really do tell the story. I'll have before and "on-the-way" to after in the kitchen. It isn't getting worse any more. It's started to get better.
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