09:19 – It was 67.3F (19.5C) when I took Colin out at 0710, hazy and bright. Barbara is off to help the Friends of the Library haul a bunch of books.
Justin showed up yesterday morning to install the downstairs floor. He spent hours doing prep work and then hours more actually installing the floor. As with many jobs, the key is to prep well. He just showed up a couple of minutes ago to finish up downstairs and then get started on the master bathroom upstairs, where he’ll be laying ceramic tile.
Barbara will be delighted to hear that I’m going to start using most of our stock of 2-liter soft drink bottles to store water instead of food. I’m not sure how many we have on-hand, but it should be enough to store another few hundred liters of drinking water. I’ll continue using some 2-liter bottles to store sugar, rice, and other dry bulk foods that fit into them easily, but we’ll use most of them for water storage.
I debated between storing untreated well water, which of course we drink routinely now, and chlorinating the water as we fill the bottles. I’ll probably just store raw well water, since we’ll continue to store commercial bottled water as well. In a long-term emergency, we could drink the commercial bottled water and use the raw well water for flushing toilets (or, for that matter, in cooking where the water would be boiled). And if worse comes to horrible, we could chlorinate the raw well water for drinking.
I’ll fill the 2-liter bottles just full enough that they can freeze without bursting the bottles. That way, we could even store them under a tarp outdoors if we want to. A 2-liter bottle is just under 13″ (33 cm) tall and about 4″ (10 cm) in diameter, so a space 80″ (2 meters) square by 40″ (1 meter) tall would be enough space to store 1,200 2-liter bottles, holding 2,400 liters (600 gallons) of water. In terms of space efficiency that’d be 2,400/4,000 or 60% efficient. Pretty darned good.
Email from Kathy. She and Mike took some of the Nestle Nido that they’d made up according to instructions, which was too rich for them, and tried diluting it with more water. To make a long story short, they decided that using 1.5 times the amount of water specified (which yields five gallons per can of Nido) was pretty close to the 2% fresh milk they ordinarily use, perhaps a bit richer. It’s not homogenized, of course, so you have to give it a good shake, but it tastes fine.
With four of them, including two teenagers, they normally go through a couple of gallons per week. Call it 100 gallons per year. That’s 20 cans at the dilution they prefer. She’s still a bit concerned about best-by dates, so she decided to order five of the large cans–a three-month supply–as well as four of the small cans, which she’ll date and taste-test 12, 18, 24, and 36 months out to see how well they store. After they have some long-term experience drinking the stuff, assuming they’re still happy with it, she plans to order 20 more large cans to give them their year’s supply. But she’s reasonably satisfied that she’s found a solution to their LTS milk needs.
She also intends to do some testing with Nido to see if it will also satisfy their other dairy needs/wants. She plans to try using Nido to make up cream, buttermilk, yogurt, and possibly butter and cheese. She promises to keep me posted. I appreciate that, because I don’t have time to test everything I’d like to test.
And I sent Kathy’s email address to the Prepper Girls, so my guess is that they’ll be scheming together before long. In fact, they may end up doing a face-to-face meetup, since several of them live in Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, and Kentucky, all within a couple or three hours’ drive of Kathy.