Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Weathering the Weather

    This afternoon's thunderstorm and yesterday's trip to the beach have gotten me charged up to type.
     We were at the beach when we saw clouds gathering in the distance.  As the weather got closer, we prepared to leave noting that over half the people there were prepared to stay with thunder in the background and lightning on the horizon.
Just another day at the beach

     Today, the weather bucked up again, as it does this time of year.  With moisture off the coast and the interior of the peninsula heating up, the two systems collide to create sudden onset thunderstorms.  People scurry to avoid cold wet water drops.  BUt, they scurry into their cars and forget how to drive.  they skid and slide home and complain about the rain.
MIR3 issues Hurricane Business Continuity checklist

     I had a manager I worked with who moved here from Wisconsin.  One morning while she was pacing back and forth, shaking in her boots, I asked what was wrong.  She asked, you don't see that?  I looked out the window.  It was raining.  I said, yes, I saw the rain and she told me how frightened she was of thunderstorms.  oops.  In the course of the conversation I asked if she had ever heard of hurricanes because this was Florida and that days' rain storm was fairly mild.  She moved.  
Safe Driving in Heavy Rain | CARCHEX Blog

     Well, this is Florida.  Stuff is green here.  It rains here.  The roads get wet, it is not always a good idea to drive in  a torrential downpour.  Soooo, get some skills.  Learn to drive in the rain.  Slow down.  Hydroplaning occurs at speeds as low as 38 mph and even sooner on bad tires.  Stay out of the ditches.  If you begin to skid, fight the urge to fight the skid and turn your wheels into it as you tap your brakes. 

Milk in a box, no refrigerator required - Detroit Stay-at-Home ...
     Stock your shelves so you don't have to go out last minute.  There is no gallon of milk worth your life.  Stock dry milk or milk that stores on the shelf, and stay indoors.  Substitute crackers for bread.  Do without the desire to run out every time you need just one thing, especially in foul weather.

     Weathering any weather requires some preps inside the home as well.  Every layer you add to your home adds a layer of protection.  Just attaching a shower curtain to a suspension rod and hanging it in the window between the glass and curtain, can add a layer of sunscreen, cold block and slow down glass shattering.  
Weather fatalities in one chart - The Washington Post

     Preparing for foul weather starts with knowing more about what to expect in the area you live, making a list of ideas or projects and then following through.  I am personally comfortable living under the threat of a hurricane watch.  I know what to expect, what to do, where to go if needed and I am ready to act.  

      I am sure, even if I have no proof, some of the fatalities from this chart could have been prevented with knowledge and preparedness.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Creating Storage Space from items you may already own

     I have been shifting and sorting things in the spare room.  I wondered when I came across a box of shower curtain rings, why I had an extra box.  I believe I have all I should need hanging the curtain from the rod in the bathroom, so, why, I wondered did I have an extra?    

     I know I often say one is none and two are one, meaning to always have a backup, but shower curtain rings?  Then, later I sorted the hall closet next to the bathroom and found I owned yet another box of curtain rings.  So, I either had to come up with a good use for the 'extra' rings or I had to donate them to charity before I turn into my grandmother with a case and a half of A-1 steak sauce stored in three different cabinets throughout her house.  Yikes!
     I came up with some ideas for shower curtain rings.  Then, I found some great sites with even better ideas.  Apparently, I am not the only one with extra shower curtain rings!

     Open the rings and attach them to a single heavy duty clothes hanger.
     Use the ringed hanger to sort and organize belts, ties, scarves, handbags, and bulky jewelry that doesn't fit in the standard jewelry box.
My mother came up with this next tip.  We had towel racks, long after we had a real need for them.  She folded a half inch wide piece of velvet ribbon over the arms, she whip stitched it shut around each arm and used the towel racks for a jewelry display.  Her clip on earrings were on the top arm, bracelets on the second arm and necklaces on the bottom arm.  Clip on earrings are out of style, but it still works for for the kidney wire earrings.  If you use a large needle to punch holes in the ribbon, you can affix post style earrings.  These racks are available on Ebay and ETSY, also, yard sales and brand new at your hardware store.

     These are two good ideas to organize the bulky accessories that tend to clutter up drawers or dresser tops.

     Pants hangers are great for pressed pants but you can also use them to double up on space in the closet.  They tend to hang one from the other, literally stacking your clothes.  In the space you can hang a single dress you can hang six pairs of pants.  The type of hanger, above, will allow you to hang a pair of pants folded over the bottom while using the clips to hang a matching belt and/or tie.  The type pictured here at the left allows for use as not only a pants hanger, but, a way to stack any hanging prep supply.  If you are organizing a surgery, four sheets or table covers can be hung.  If you have cammo netting that needs to be deployed quickly, take it out of it's packaging, and re fold to hang making it easy to grab and go.   The same can be done with plastic sheeting.  No time to wrestle with static and peeling layers apart in an emergency.  have it ready to use and easily stored in layers.
     Utilize your closet space better by installing expandable tension poles.  These rods shown are curtain rods and can be placed in the closet, behind your hanging street clothes to hang folded items, concealed from view.  they may be used in the space inside the windows to hang blackout curtains or insulating plastic.  Use larger rods to hang bags and heavier items as well as drapes.

     Use that bathroom shower organizer in the corner of a closet to store the easy grab weapon out of sight of children or invaders.  Use the dark empty space in the corner of closets for storing foods and other supplies.
     Attach spice racks inside closets to continue making use of empty spaces in cool dark places.  Spice racks are designed for storing small bottles and would be great for an additional med station.  Door mounted spice racks take spices out of sight while keeping them nearby.  The door mounted spice rack can give you the same out of sight remedy for every door in your home.   

     Small devices like these solve huge problems throughout the prepared home.  Use what you have, then get more !

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Gifts in a Cup

     First, I would like to take you by the shoulders (gently, but firmly), look you in the eye and scream...."Get yourself to a charity thrift store!  Stop buying new trinkets and make something thoughtful!  Thrift store!!  Go!"

     But, that's just me.  I was at my favorite thrift store today.  I saw a huge new collection of coffee cups, coffee mugs and what I like to call the cappuccino vat with the handle on it, those things are huge!  I thought what a great way to wrap up a gift for a grownup.  And, because I tend to think prep, what a great way to wrap up a prepper's gift this gift giving season!
the hershey's s'mores cup
gift cup.
     Sure, gift baskets are fine, but, a gift cup or a gift mug is easier to fill at a lower cost and just as good as a basket.  We have all been shopping and seen the new in the box cocoa cup gift sets.  In a huge box with a lot of raffia comes two cups, several packs of cocoa flavored or plain cocoa powder and maybe a small pack of marshmallows.  The last minute gift shelf at the pharmacy sells a single cup wrapped in cellophane and a bow with a couple packs of Swiss Miss cocoa and a peppermint stick.  So, why not prep it up a bit for a fun gift?

     Find a cup.  Try to make it fit the person you are giving it to.  If your recipient is a big coffee drinker, get a big mug.  If your recipient is a real joker, get a funny cup.  I am always seeing those joke cups with the handle on the inside or a pig at the bottom of the cup.  I saw one that had the head of a cow on the outside and the back side of the cow on the inside.  And if your recipient is a cappuccino drinker, get the fat squat cappuccino vat.

     Fill a cammo colored cup with ammo.
     Fill the hunting themed cup with a folding knife, an emergency fishing kit(hooks, stren a bobber), waterproof matches, and a small field guide for survival.  
     For the sweet girl in the family, fill the cappuccino cup with the girlie gel eye mask, moisturizing socks, a fine brand name moisturizer, a soft scrubbie sponge for the bath and maybe a couple packs of instant cappuccino mix or some bubble bath....your choice. 
     For the hand sew-er pack in some needle threaders, a pack of fine embroidery needles, some embroidery floss, some cross stitch fabric and some thimbles.  
     For the seamstress, pack white, black and clear thread spools, needles, a pair of scissors, needle threaders, thimble, a leather quilter's finger protector, 

     I put the credit for the website where the pictures of the cups came from because well, credit where credit is due and all that!  But, for cryin' out loud, get out to a charity thrift shop and pick up some gift cups.  Check them for cracks, stains, or chips.  There should be NONE!  think it over, who do I know?  What do they like?  What can I stuff it with?  
End of Year Teacher Gifts | Felt So Cute

       To finish off the cup for giving, you can use regular plastic wrap to wrap it.  Pull off about two feet of plastic wrap and lay it down on a table or counter.  Place the cup in the center.  pull up the corners toward the center of the cup.  Gather all the plastic wrap together and secure it with a saved bread tie, zip tie or tape.  Cut the edges all even and put a ribbon bow over the gathered tie.