Saturday, August 10, 2019

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Always something new to learn

I learned more about doing without water yesterday, without ever intending to at the start of the adventure.  Our well filter was months overdue from being changed so finally yesterday was the day to get it over with.

It is not my husband's favorite chore but it is made (supposedly) easier since the pipes were rerouted to the garage instead of the crawl space.  This was the first time he changed the filter at its' current location in the garage.

As I always do before changing the filter, I filled my two Rubbermaid pitchers with filtered water and filled the stainless steel pitcher I use to both water plants and serve water on the deck with filtered water.  That pretty much emptied the filtered water available (it filters through the reverse osmosis device under the sink).

I didn't have time to wash the breakfast and lunch dishes but I set them soaking in hot sudsy water and filled one of my dishpans with hot water that I could use to rinse the dishes.  All was ready, or so I thought.

The first realization that I wasn't as ready as I thought came when my husband used the hot water I had planned for rinsing dishes to clean the inside of the container that had held the dirty filter.  Blech.  Can't use that water.  He also used two of the pitchers of water to get it rinsed and clean.

The second realization came when he could not get the outer casing back on without it leaking just a little.  Back off went the water in the house.  Let's try it again.  Turn the water on to the house.  Still leaking too much.  Turn off the water to the house.  At this time, he had to leave for an appointment and after that one, he had another appointment to get our van repaired.

I removed the dishes from the now room temperature water and set them carefully in the right hand sink where they seemed to reproduce on their own.  I kept the now icky water in the left hand sink, though.  After all... it is water.  I used it for slightly dirty plates, just to soak enough that I could then shift them to the right hand sink.  I did empty that water before going to bed.

I will save you the rest of the story except to say by the time he arrived home, neither of us wanted to deal with the filter again so we waited until this morning.  I was pleasantly surprised (okay, really really happy) that he awakened early this morning with the realization that the filter casing may just need to be tweaked more to get it to stop leaking... it worked... I awoke to indoor plumbing again.

What did I learn in yet another water emergency?

1)  We use a lot more water than we think we do (I learn that every time).

2)  The next time we change the well filter, do the dishes before we begin.  Don't assume the water will be turned back on in an hour.

3)  The next time we change the well filter, have the sink full of hot sudsy water to clean the filter case before we begin.  Ditto with hot, clean water for rinsing.

4)  Hide my pitchers of filtered water from anyone else in the house.

5)  My Rubbermaid pitchers are worth their weight in gold even if they are plastic. It is easy to store them until needed in the back of my bottom cabinet where I cannot reach them but the household help has long enough arms to find them when needed.  Ditto my two molded plastic dishpans, except I store them on a shelf in the garage where I can reach them.

6)  Having individual plastic bottles of water stored is actually a good thing, in addition to the larger gallon and half gallon sizes.

I am quite happy that there is a new filter now for water coming in from the well.  Honestly, every time that well filter is changed and I see how horrible it looks, I am glad there is additional filtering with the reverse osmosis contraption under the sink for drinking and cooking water.

On a happier note, I found some great clearance items in the last ten days or so.  I'm finding that seasonal changes make for great clearance opportunities for stores like Meijers (as it does earlier for places like Michaels).

I always check the clearance shelves and the week they started displaying the Fall Mrs. Meijer scents, I happened to be walking by the clearance table near the back of the store when they had just put the Spring/Summer Mrs. Meyer scents on clearance for $1.00 each.  I bought two Lilac dish soaps and two Lilac hand soap dispensers.  For sales like these, you have to be there at the right time.

I have purchased very good quality candles on the clearance table in past years.  I stock up usually for about $2.50 each.  I didn't buy any Spring scents this year, even for that small of a price.  Sometimes you have enough, you know.  You don't save money when you buy something you don't need (ask me how I know, or maybe not).

I was shopping for just a few grocery items (Friday?) when I found bottles of spices and herbs on clearance, mostly for about $1.50 a bottle.  I only bought those I knew I would use and a bottle of whole cloves (thinking of Christmas projects with them).  Great price!!!

My grocery store recently changed around complete aisles so I'm pretty sure there were so many spice bottles on clearance just because of space limitations.  I noticed a lot of other similar items on the clearance shelves... like various kinds of salt and spice blends.

I then passed the area where they have clearance items that are refrigerated and found free range brown eggs for .39 cents a dozen (bought three dozen) and a favorite yogurt on clearance.  Both eggs and yogurt are good far beyond their Use By dates.

After the Holidays last year, I found cream cheese being sold for a dollar each in that display and stocked up at that time (I think the Use By date was June).  I don't know why the Use By date is always so far out on cream cheese.

Moral of that story... I may go awhile without finding good clearance items but by always checking, I do find great prices more often than if I don't.  I know many blog friends are great at knowing just when to begin checking for seasonal clearances.  Part of the fun is the hunt for bargains.

I only have one interesting how-to link for you today but I will do more research.

How to Make a Rain Barrel... here.  (Especially good for providing sources of water for outdoor plants, veggies, etc.)

I loved this blog post by Annabel of The Bluebirds are Nesting... here.  There is a reason she is one of my favorite bloggers.

Image:  Vintage photo


Vee said...

Sorry that you had to learn another water lesson the hard way. Even though the hot water wasn’t used for the dishes, I am sure that Mr. Coffee (😁) appreciated its being there. How wonderful to wake and find the water back.

I have always wanted to have rain barrel here...I have the perfect spot for it. John felt it would be a mosquito magnet. I remember we had one at camp for a long time and we all washed our hair using that rain water and it seemed our hair was improved for it.

Deanna Rabe said...

Did you know the British don't rinse their dishes? Just wash up in soapy water and let them dry. I found that interesting when I learned that from my British friends. Thank you for the link to Annabel's post. I follow her but hadn't read that post yet. It opened my eyes. Wow. I know about the crops here in the states but not about the situation with prices in Australia. Lots to think about and more work needs to be done on my pantry. We have a good well here at our home, and we are thankful. We installed propane when we bough our home 18 years ago, and then changed the water heater, dryer, and stove to gas from electric. It saves us so much money, and last week when we lost power for a little while during a thunderstorm, we were able to light our stove and cook easily.

mdoe37 said...

And it never fails. When the water goes off...the well doesn't work....and you immediately have to use the bathroom. Always. Lol

Annabel said...

Thank you so much Brenda for mentioning Bluebirds. I am sorry to be slow to thank you but I got this surprising large response and then had to get busy working on the next post.
Now as for rain barrels. Everyone needs back up water. And a way to get it to the house even if it is a bucket. Here on the farm we have underground water that is pumped up by electricity but also solar pumps and we have rain water that will feed into the house (albeit slower) via gravity. We have no mains water at all. I feel MUCh more secure as we are water independent and have many tanks fed by many roofs i.e. the house and garage, a workers cottage, an implement shed, the shearing shed.... it is so good as even if a tank sprung leak we would just switch to another. Of all things water security might be the undoing of many people in a power outage or crisis. Thank you again and for your thoughtful posts. xxx