Fix It!

*More Survival Ideas

For most people, purchasing enough food, water and supplies to get through a major disaster can be very difficult financially. The average person doesn’t have a lot of extra cash to put toward such a big investment. If you’re like most people, paying the bills and keeping a roof over your head is hard enough as it is.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help save a little money to put toward your prepping needs and we’ll discuss some of those things here. Every dollar you can save on household utilities, the grocery bill and so on can be put into your prepping.

Be a MacGyver and become a fix-it guru. Before sending that broken appliance to the garbage heap and replacing it with something new, try to fix it yourself. There are many web sites (www.fixya.com, http://www.instructables.com) that offer lots of how-to’s for fixing everything from your laser printer to your espresso machine. In addition, you can find service manuals for many products on line at the manufacturer’s web site.

Another thing you can do is call the manufacturer’s customer service number. Often the company will guide you through troubleshooting steps or even send you free parts. I have found that this works especially well with plumbing issues.

Move fashion to the bottom of your priorities list. Choose function over fashion. This is difficult, I know. But think about the item you intend to purchase and how it is going to be used. A fancy, Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer may look great on your counter, but if you only cook the basics and bake only simple items, a $15 hand mixer may be all that you need. This same concept applies to lots of things: clothing, TVs, jewelry, you name it. Yes, this even applies to cars.

Do it yourself. Mow your own lawn, clean your own house, give yourself a manicure, wash your own dog. Now if you truly hate to do something, don’t do it if you can afford to hire it out. Or better yet, trade a chore you detest with a chore that someone else dislikes. You both get the job done without spending a dime.

Take advantage of freebies. Use public beaches, parks and trail systems for recreational activities. Use your public library. Go online and download geographically specific recreational guides and even preparedness manuals from your state and county web sites. None of these are technically free because your taxes have paid for them, but they are free in the sense you have no additional out of pocket costs.

Speaking of libraries, have you checked yours out lately? Most libraries now have a robust collection of eBooks, audio books, audio book players, music CDs, DVDs and more. If you don’t have a library with downloadable materials, there are many that will let you purchase an annual non-resident library card. You can do a web search or start here to find a library with a large collection of downloadable materials.

Get out of debt. This is obvious. Sure, you may have a mortgage payment and possibly a car payment. But credit card debt? I hope not, but, if you are saddled with credit card debt, come up with a one or two- year plan to pay them off then toss them in a drawer, never to see daylight again unless there is a dire emergency. The old mantra “use your credit card . . .it is the same as cash” simply does not work anymore. It never did.

Always Safe, Always Prepared

Credit: Frank M.

*Thanks Frank!

Advertisements

Broke Eggs

SHARED STORY

. . . . with my sincere thanks to those late night pranksters!

On a recent Saturday evening at around midnight, my wife and I were just about to turn out the light and go to sleep when we heard the sounds of a group of people talking in the street, outside our home. Then out of the blue came two loud thuds above our bedroom window, followed by the noise of laughter and people running away down our street.

We both jumped out of bed, I turned on the external lights and rushed outside unsure of what had caused the two thuds or what damage I could expect to see. The silence of the night was broken by the distant sound of people laughing and at that moment I was of a mind to chase after them, however, running bare-footed on the road in the dark is not a very wise thing to do.

I could hear dripping noises on the driveway and the flood light above our garage helped me to identify just what had happened. Our home had been the victim of an egg bombing!

Being faced with the prospect of cleaning up this sticky mess in the early hours of the morning was not a pleasing thought, on top of which I was less than impressed that we had been singled out for this annoying prank. I decided that it was too late to clean up the mess, as it would disturb our neighbors, so it could wait to the morning.

Early next morning with a bucket of warm water and scrubbing brush in hand, and with the extension ladder placed on the front wall, I was now ready to wash off what was now two dry yellowish, egg grit impregnated, 1 meter long patches above our front bedroom windows.

My task was made even more challenging by the two large canvas awnings which protect our bedroom windows from the heat and glare of the afternoon sun. My annoyance with the late night pranksters was again building to the level of the night before.

After retracting each of the awnings, something we rarely do except when there is are very high winds, I then climbed the ladder to clean up the first patch of egg stain and then move the ladder to clean the second patch.

As I climbed the ladder for the second time, I noticed that the glass in a small window just under the roof line was very badly cracked. On closer inspection the crack ran around over half of the outer edge of the window pane. As the awning protected the window, it was clear to me that the damage had not been caused by the egg bombing. As I carefully placed my hand on the glass, I discovered that the pane of glass was very loose and had the window been closed with any force, it would have most likely shattered and the glass dropped to the drive way, some seven meters below.

Just a few meters away, we have a basketball ring and on most days of the week there are up to six young people who play in the immediate area, including both my sons. My thoughts immediately turned to what could have happened if the broken glass in the window had gone undetected for much longer and then suddenly shattered. The likelihood of my two sons and their friends being seriously injured was extremely high.

After quickly washing the remaining egg stain off the front wall and with the help of Tom, my youngest son, I got to work with some heavy duty masking tape and secured the cracked window as best I could. Within 24 hours the cracked window had been replaced and all was back to normal, except for the small bits of egg shell I kept finding on the front drive way and stuck to our garage doors.

Over the next few days, I realized that had our home not been bombarded by those eggs late on that Saturday night, I may not have discovered the broken window pane before it shattered and came down all over our drive way.

Even though it had been an annoyance at time, the broken eggs and the stains were cleaned up very quickly, however, the pain that could have been caused by the shattering of glass would never gone away and would have haunted my wife and myself, forever and a day.

The cold shudder that ran down my spine when I first discovered the cracked window and the thought about the consequences of someone being seriously injured or even killed, made me realize just how very lucky we had been.

Frequently in life, the small things that happen to us may have a negative impact and cause some form of pain, sadness, discomfort or personal aggravation. It is often said that we should not ‘sweat the small stuff’ and always look for the positive outcome or the silver lining in those dark clouds of the current circumstance, even though at the time that is not always an easy thing to do.

My personal experience with the egg bombing on that Saturday evening reminded me that in most cases there is always a flip side to everything that happens to us and that often the flip side can provide a positive outcome or an even greater benefit, if not now, then at some time in the future.

From now on whenever I see or break an egg, I will think of the egg bombing incident and say a thank you to those late night pranksters. Equally, I will always be reminded of Jean-Paul Sartre’s quote:

What is important is not what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens to us

Credit: Keith Ready

 
Rom 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Thanks Keith

A Carpenter’s Attitude

carpenter

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer/contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate
way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized, we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.”

Who could say it more clearly? Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.