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I try not to talk about politics much, but it’s been eating at me for a while now. I am not well versed in political jargon, and I don’t watch the news on a regular basis. However, I do try to pay attention to what is going on in the social media, as I trust word of mouth (vetted, of course) more than journalistic spin.
Last week, I received a message from a good friend that works as a government contractor. He was being furloughed “for thirty days, or until further notice”. No work, no pay, no relief in sight. He is fortunate in two factors, his wife works, and he is retired Air Force, so they won’t starve. (A good thing, I’ve seen him deer hunt… :P)
We spoke for a bit about his plans, and we agreed that no politician should be re-elected. None of them. This is not a new idea for me, I feel politics should be more like jury duty, serve your time, and get back to your real job. But what do I know? I’m just some hillbilly living in town, trying to make ends meet.
And with the government shutdown about to run slap into another fiscal cliff, I’m starting to fell a little unsettled, more than usual. So today, I have made some plans to shore up my situation a bit. I wanted to share my plans, and the reasons why I am doing these things. I also want to show how if things get worse, I’m sitting better, and if they don’t, it still won’t hurt me.
First, I’m going to pick up 100 pounds of quail feed from a local feed store. It was a special order item, and just happens to have arrived yesterday. I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason, and the timing of thin caught my attention.
And if I ramp up production right now, I can have more quail to add to the freezer or producing eggs before Christmas.
While I am at the feed store, I will pick up and additional 50 pounds of rabbit feed for my expanding winter herd (see below). This will bring my rabbit feed stockpile to around 120 pounds, and should last into December.
It just so happens that I also need dog food. A 50 pound bag will last me through the end of the year as well. Having a dog, in our case a Pitbull, is an excellent “early warning” system that can think for itself, and adds a layer of protection you just don’t get with an alarm system. Alarms don’t bite intruders.
The next thing I will have done by the end of the day is to have all of my does bred. By breeding today, they will all kindle (the rabbit term for giving birth) on November 15th. My typical grow out rate should have harvest size rabbits by the second week in January. With four does, and an average litter size of six, that gives me 24 rabbits of about 3 pounds per carcass.
Add this to the litter born last month, that will be ready in early December, and we will have plenty of rabbit meat for the foreseeable future.
I will also be doing some grocery shopping today. It turns out that there is a sale on canned chicken, a regular stocked item that we use often. I will be purchasing enough to get us through a couple months. By buying on sale today, I’ll be saving a measly 16% off my normal discounted price, and 50% off normal list price. Now I wouldn’t pay full retail, and only saving 15% doesn’t seem like much, but the way I look t it, saving 15% is the same as making 15% return. When was the last time you had an investment that made 15%?
I’ll also be picking up a few other long term storable items, rice, pasta, and olive oil, all on sale. Again, just in case.
The End Result
By tomorrow, I will have in place everything I need to squeeze by, if things get ugly(er). We have food for our animals, production from those animals in the form of meat and eggs (renewable too!) . The cost for today will be less than it would be if we were to buy things as needed, and not on sale, so this is an investment guaranteed to pay off.
Even if things make a drastic turn for the better, none of what I have done or purchased will go to waste. We will still be eating, the animals will still be producing, and the dog will still be patrolling. Everything I do today will be consumed eventually. And by doing it all today, I’ll be better able to sleep tonight, and many nights to come.
What value do YOU place on peace of mind?
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