A new, old place

Well, the new “bug-in location” has officially been purchased, which has given me somewhat mixed feelings.  On the one hand, we have the room now to make ourselves much more secure, in more of a “prepper” sense (garden, future livestock, etc.).  On the other hand, we’re back up to our eyeballs with the bank; combined with the Herculean efforts we’ll be putting forth to fix the parts of the house that have fallen into disrepair, there will be no rest for the weary in the forseeable future.

(I would detail some of the aforementioned “broken” parts, but–well, let’s just say it’s an old farmhouse, fast approaching its 150th birthday, and its most recent owners didn’t/wouldn’t/couldn’t keep up with it as well as they might have.)

In the meantime, the weather has continued fluctuating between “sweltering” and merely “hot.”  While in our previous location, we could (and often did) use the technique mentioned by Wyndwalkr to keep cool–open the windows at night, to take advantage of the cool air, then button down for the heat of the day with all of the “cool” inside–the new place has a number of windows that won’t open.  It’s not that they’re painted shut, or that they’re stuck (although there are some of those, too); no, these are large, plate-glass windows that are designed not to move.  They’re all on the west side of the house, as well, looking right at the setting sun.  (Who in their wrong mind plans that one?)  So, that end of the house in the afternoon becomes a practical demonstration of how greenhouses work.  We’ll scrape together our pennies and replace them, one at a time.  We’ve identified one (the first one to be replaced) that will provide lovely airflow, and allow the chimney effect to start.

DemLib mentioned the importance of staying hydrated.  We’re doing the bottled water thing at the moment, until we can replace some of the lead pipes (no, really–lead), and re-treat the well to be certain it’s “clean.”  I fully anticipate that to be done by the end of next week.  Being in the East, as we are, I like to joke that hydration is a simple matter of breathing (75% humidity or higher has been de rigueur for weeks, and is typical of local summers).  Still, proper hydration is a must.  My wife’s quick hydration test: drink a Gatorade.  If it tastes good, drink more…

One other interesting bit of the new place–we’ve “inherited” about 300 or so canning jars of various sizes (mostly in the 1 to 2 pint Mason variety).  Again, it’s a mixed blessing: it’s nice to have them for putting up food (we’ve depleted our normal 3-month minimum supply in preparation for the move), but they’re already full, and whoever put them up before didn’t do such a great job.  So, we’ve got 300 or so jars of bad food and not-quite-preserved preserves to dispose of.  It looks to be a longer process than you might think.  Just dumping them isn’t an option–if there’s botulism, we don’t necessarily want to put that in our compost pile.  So we’ll probably run them (full) through the pressure canner. The toxin denatures at 176 degrees F, but the bugs (the botulinum spores) need 250 degrees F, and thus the pressure canner.

Next week, barring anything truly memorable in the political world, I’d like to talk a bit more about putting up food.  Also, if anyone would like to see a post on a particular subject, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll see what I can do…  Keep cool, out there!

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About leftwingsurvivalist

I'm a survivalist and prepper with a difference!
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2 Responses to A new, old place

  1. wyndwalkr says:

    Egad! I am too parsimonious to waste all that gas or electricity ($$) on pressurizing BAD food. I realize you don’t want it in your compost, but dig a hole, open and empty the jars and bury the mess!

    As this hot summer continues, I find the latest hot days easier to tolerate than I did the first ones. Could it be that I am acclimating? When was house air conditioning invented anyway? Did masses of people didn’t DIE before home AC became in general use? And that was back in the day when people (especially women) HAD TO wear respectable coverage clothing!

    I lived for a short time in a house that the previous owner/builder had built a large deck in the west side of the home. Of course that is because that side faced the lake. Most people only find time for relaxing outdoors in the evenings and that deck was beyond intolerable at that time of the day. Yep, the HUGE windows also facing the lake/west were non-opening. Having other more pressing home improvements to do at the time, a deep porch roof over the 8 ft wide deck was not financially feasible. Did manage a Sunsetter awning. So when my present home/retirement cottage was built ( forget the lake, I look at meadow and woods now) the big covered porch was put on the east side. I do take my morning coffee, radio (liberal talk!) and currant needlework out there and have to drop a bamboo blind down to block the sunrise, but at that time it is not yet wretchedly hot. My 2 west windows, 3 ft by 5 ft each, are a mixed blessing. They open to let in a nice breeze, but late in the day when the house temperature has climbed significantly, then the sun hits those windows and even with the drapes closed, heat radiates off them.

    Well, everything is a compromise…

    • I can see how it could be considered a waste. On the other hand, botulinum is something I have experience with (one episode of my work history included demilitarization of biological weapons–fit *that* one on a resume!); I’m willing to spend the time and effort to do away with it.

      There’s much to be said for acclimitization. After spending the weekend working on the new house–still without AC–my wife and I both found ourselves quite comfortable in this morning’s 85 degrees/60% humidity. Our neighbor at the “old” place, however, was practically melting onto her front porch. We’ve put some reflective window-film on the west windows, which even by itself has done wonders for bringing those rooms’ temperatures in-line with the rest of the house. We’re still scraping together a pile of pennies to replace at least one of them with a window that will open, so we can get air flow in the evenings.

      Your porch sounds like ours, right down to the bamboo blind. Ours blocks the sunset, but the principle remains. And yes, relaxing with coffee and a book or other small handwork project on the porch is wonderful–or rather, it will be, once the major renovations are done.

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