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Tough it out? Not so much.....

Mexican Chicken Leg Quarters from the Dutch Oven and scratch made Mexican Rice.   Spicy!

Mexican Chicken Leg Quarters from the Dutch Oven and scratch made Mexican Rice. Spicy!

I lurk in an internet forum where the topics are focused on preparing for some epic fiasco of the world. Some of it gets a little farther out there than my antenna can pick up. Know what I’m sayin’? Seems like the majority of the contributors are young fellas, full of piss and vinegar, ready to go all Rambo on somebody’s butt at the drop of a hat. So mostly I just read and stay quiet and do my best to separate the fly shit from the pepper. One of those young fellas started a thread a month or so back about how him and his wife were going to do a ‘dry run’ and live off what they had on hand for 30 days.  No trips to the store for nada.  Now, mind you, he wasn’t going to flip the main breaker and go without electricity or turn off the water out at the meter or put police tape across the toilet bowl.  Just he wasn’t going to go to the store.  I filed his project away as mildly interesting and was floored when responses to his endeavor started flooding in.  You woulda thought he discovered penicillin or somesuch.  I grabbed some popcorn and settled in for some infotainment.  He posted just about every day about warming up his MREs in the microwave or grabbing some steaks  out of the freezer and how bland canned food was yada yada yada.  He was one tough sumbitch you know and they was sure nuff roughing it.  Little Wifey started complaining on Day Two seems like and she was progressively amping up the volume. Poor fella.

I guess it was Day 6 when he came online and said they had just got back from the store.  Him and Little Wifey had a kitchen table discussion the previous night about how unhealthy it was to NOT be eating fresh food.  His shopping list at the store was fresh vegetables and fruit, milk, eggs ……. and yogurt.  Yogurt was important!  Oh BEER!  They were out of beer.    His Scenario played out for the full 30 days and all the internet fanboys were piling on talking about what a ‘learning experience’  it was and how ‘hardcore’  him and Little Wifey were. The weekly trips to the store continued the full 30 days. I had to set back at that point and figure out everything I knew about this little dealio.

I am no handsomer nor smarter than the average guy but I stamped the project ‘Epic Fail’ at Day 6 when he went to the Super Saver!  Come on dude!   If Katrina just wiped your ass out or the zombie horde swept up your driveway, you seriously going to pressurize and fall apart over yogurt and beer?  I been living pretty much his scenario real life since July 5th when Little Blondie blew off down South.  So looks like I am about 48 days in to my little lifestyle change  — except I ain’t playing.  I knew she was leaving before I went to Tucson for the week.  I expected her to stick around long enough for one of us to make a supply run to town plus I was beat down from driving 900 miles non-stop.  Didn’t happen that way;  she headed South a little more than an hour after I pulled in.  She had been to the store 10 days previous so supplies were pretty low on most perishables.  My first supply run was 23 days later.  And you know what,   I made it pretty good.   I was out of charcoal for the Volcano Collapsible Cook Stove but some chunks of mesquite out of the right of way worked just fine.   The pantries were deep and the freezer was full.  My  supply runs are now set at 30 day intervals and the grocery list and pen live right beside the lap top all the time.

025

Long hair hippie man

I preach all the time about buying goods and equipment and then leaving it sit until you are in the middle of an emergency to drag it out.  That just will not work I am tellin’ ya!  There is always something else you need to go with it or the learning curve is too steep to do it on the fly.  That means I had to make adjustments to my plan and I am still tweaking it.  When I go to the HEB up at Pearsall, they generally have some sort of family pack meat on sale.  I load up and when I get back to the Princess Palace, out comes the FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System and I portion the big packs out and then right to the freezer.  Doing it versus talking it to death showed me I had to do something about dirty laundry and haircuts.  I solved the laundry problem real handy with the Panda Compact Washing Machine which continues to do a great job.

The hair cuttin’ was something else altogether.  Little Blondie steadfastly refused to cut my hair and with good reason I reckon.  She knew I would be a whiny little bitch if she messed it up but this long hair curling over my collar was driving me bat shit crazy not to mention it being hotter than 5 kinds of hell these days. Somethin’ just had to give.  Well, I figured one of those hair clippers with the cutting attachments was the way go but I wasn’t all that sure I could contortion up enough to cut my own hair.  I got an empty water bottle I figured was about the same same size as a set of clippers and run it all over my head just to see if it was doable.

They call me MISTER Buzz Cut dammit!

They call me MISTER Buzz Cut dammit!

Well, it seemed so anyway and Amazon Prime came through with a Wahl Hair Clipper-26 Piece Kit that looked pretty good to me PLUS it is Made in the USA. I read the little pamphlet that guaranteed me to cut hair like a pro in 10 easy steps.  They said nothing about the hair cut being self inflicted.   I waited till the gate slowed to nothing and stepped in the bathroom to get it done.   When that first double hand full of hair fell in the sink, I knew I was all in.  About the only part I couldn’t see really good was the backside down at the bottom.  It may be as curvy as a county road in West Virginia;  I couldn’t tell you.  Wouldn’t be exactly manly to ask one of these roughnecks if I cut my hair straight in the back so I reckon I will just live with it however. The waste basket in the bathroom ended up being over half full of hair.  Lord help, no wonder I was overheating!

So life goes on and it is always worth getting up each morning. Labor Day will mark our my two year anniversary here on the same ranch.  It sure is a good gig.

Colonel Cooper says

Having been mildly annoyed by the commonplace salutation, “Have a nice day!” for some years now, we were delighted recently when, after filling our tank and taking our money, our local friendly fuel dealer waved at us and said, “Shoot straight!” We intend to adopt that expression, and we hope that our friends will too.

End Note:  Keep On Keepin’ On by Jack Ingram from the Electric cd  —  Last one before Nashville ruint a good man

 

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9 comments to Tough it out? Not so much…..

  • Joel

    ” but I stamped the project ‘Epic Fail’ at Day 6 when he went to the Super Saver!”

    Heh. This story tickled me.

    There have been online articles for a long time about people living “off the grid.” In most cases it boils down to “somewhat less on the grid than thou.”

    The first humans lived “off the grid.” They ate insects and carrion, lived in caves or in the open, never bathed or washed their “clothing,” and died young. It’s particularly funny to read of someone in the US living “off the grid,” what with all their taxpayer-funded military and police protection. A real “off the grid” experience would include a move to Somalia.

    Life is nasty, brutish and short when you really, truly live “off the grid.” Nothing to be proud of or to admire.

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    • Andrew

      Our perception of reality has certainly shifted over the years.

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  • Garry

    As real as it gets. I love the way you just put it our there. Me and the missus hope to join you in the oil patch next spring. Love your posts pls keep them coming.

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  • Nancy Klune

    Well you sure can’t be talking about the thrifty tree rat web site. They’d eat him alive over there.
    I visit a lot of “those” kinda sites but haven’t seen anyone posting anything like that. Sure would appreciate the web address.

    Have you ever been to The Campfire? http://www.northlandphoto.com/campfire
    Bunch a layed back old codgers or as I call ’em GOM = Grumpy Old Men. Love evey one of ’em.

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  • Only thing better than a crew cut in hot weather is a shaved head, though that takes some effort to DIY. Shoot straight! Heh. I’m going to steal that one.

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    • Andrew

      Good to hear from ya Dick. As thin as I am getting on top, a shaved head is most likely not too far in the future.

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  • Richard Boyd

    Mr., that sure looks like some mighty fine eatin’s. I see sweat and thought on that plate. No doubt in my mind you’ll be makein’ some lady a happy wife real soon…..

    My Pop used to say, “Someone did a good job on lowering your ears.” I’d say, “Good job on that two-mirror clippin’.

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    • Andrew

      Thank you Richard.

      Life goes on and I love it.

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  • Bryan

    I did the crew cut thing a few weeks back and the relief was immediate, I’m so glad we are coming to the end of sunburn season.

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