Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Some years, I think we have made significant steps forward, and others, it's clear we have lost ground. Usually, the latter happens due to circumstances beyond our control. Unexpected events occur that take precedent over your plan for the year and that causes missed goals. Life has a way of changing your priorities.
This year, we've done fairly well. Despite having given away a significant amount of food to our guests in October, and transferring still more up to the kids in the form of long term storage items, we have more in our supply rooms, and of better quality, than we started the year with. I am particularly pleased with the fact that we utilized a lot of the canned goods and replaced them with new supplies. We added large quantities of dried fruit, spices, butter and cheese to the stored supplies and now I feel like we have close to what we really need.
The situation on arms and ammunition is very good. I was not much affected by the great panic that ensued when Obama went back on his word not to try to take people's guns away. Although I've bought some ammunition during the shortage, I already had plenty and the means to make more, so that is not a problem for me.
All of the vehicles are in good condition, though my daughters Commander needs some cosmetic work. Her proclivity for running into things in parking lots makes that a normal state of affairs.
The house and outbuildings are in good shape. Log buildings always require maintenance but there are no major jobs pending and everything is in good condition.
We have paid off a significant amount of debt this year. Largely this was related to my daughters medical expenses. Even though we had fair insurance, her medical costs were high and will continue to be so. Even more now that Obama has caused us to lose our HMO and we have been dumped into a Health Expense Reimbursement Account that is worse than useless. I did not worry about debt to any great extent in years past, because I figured if things got really bad nobody was going to be coming around asking about payments. But I've learned that it's the grey times, in between all's well and total calamity, where you need to be cautious about debt. So we've launched a program to get out of debt as much as possible , as quickly as possible.
The damage from the wood burning stove chimney fire has been repaired and the stove is back in order.
On the debit side, I have not replaced the electric fence that was destroyed in a big storm last Spring. I will have to completely replace it, down to the last insulator and pole. If I had done so, this big storm last week would have torn it to bits with trees coming down and limbs falling out of trees. I am not sure it is cost effect or practical to rebuild the fence, though it is nice to be able to look out from the porch and see the red light on the energizer which tells me nothing has broken through the fence. I don't think it ever kept anything out, but it did let me know, before I walked out in the dark to the barn or shop, if something was inside that perimeter.
I have not replaced the security camera system. The one we had worked well for many years, but when it failed, the cost of replacing it was , by my standards, exorbitant. Some friends sent me specs on nice systems, but they obviously had more in their operating budget for security than I did. I'll have to address this though, because the camera system was a great boon on dark nights when the motion detectors started going off.
I know more people via the internet than I did a year ago, and that's a positive thing. Not only can I learn a lot from others with similar interests, but I get a better feel for conditions around the country, and even in foreign countries. It's a much more reliable way of keeping a finger on the pulse of things than listening to the bleating of the talking heads on television.
All in all, I 'd be inclined to put this down as a good year. I feel like we are going into 2014 with a good handle on all these issues, and if nothing dreadful and unexpected happens, I think next year will be even better.