Quarantine Day 23: It’s Groundhog Day All Over Again

Groundhog Day
Every day was the same for Phil Connors in the movie Groundhog Day, kind of like quarantine.

Today was, well, kinda like many of the days before it.  Once again, we worked outside, went on a walk, and I read parts of a Daniel Silva novel. (I’ve decided to binge-read read the entire Gabriel Allon series from the beginning since I have missed more than a few over the years.) My wife had a video chat with friends, while I blogged.  Later, we’ll watch some TV. Like I said, Groundhog Day.

I never thought I would say this, but thank goodness for the chores and the walk or I would spend far too much time sitting at my desk or in my easy chair.  It’s easy to get complacent and lazy when you are confined to your quarters.

The next door neighbors, who we can see to our north, had guests again.  I’m sure it’s tough being locked in with kids, but I am losing patience with people who violate the stay-at-home orders.  Three weeks ago, I felt like I knew something they didn’t and was amused by their behavior.  Then I was a little annoyed at all those people who thought rules and viruses didn’t apply to them.  Now, as we pass 300,000 cases in the country and a couple thousand in our state, I’m just pissed.

Prepping Pays Off, Again

My parents were not preppers, per se, but they were self-reliant.  We heated with a wood stove and only turned on the oil furnace when we had company.  They read Mother Earth news,  gardened, hiked, and built a cabin in the mountains.  They just never called it a retreat. I picked up a lot of outdoor skills growing up that have carried over into my prepping lifestyle.

Watching and helping him also taught me how to do auto body work, electrical work, and make plumbing repairs, all of which have come in useful over the years. He never met a hand tool he didn’t like and tended to save every nut, bolt, screw or extra piece of hardware he came across. If he had some extra screws left after he assembled or built something, they went into a glass baby food jar which were carefully lined up on shelves in his workshop. 

Every year from about age 16 on, he gave me a new tool at Christmas, and I still have that very first one, a socket set and ratchet.  Still works great, too.

Yesterday, when my wife was using the garden sprayer, she complained that it was leaking and didn’t give a good spray pattern.  She said she “needed a mechanic” to fix it, so I put on my mechanic’s hat and stepped in to help.  Turned out she had lost an O-ring in the nozzle. 

Now I knew I could probably cut out an O-ring-like gasket out of some rubber material that would get the job done, but I decide to look in my plumbing supplies for a simpler solution.  Sure enough, there was a packet of different size O-rings I had purchase some years back, possibly when fixing the spray attachment on the kitchen faucet.  One of the O-rings was a perfect fit for the garden sprayer.  I installed it and reassembled the nozzle, filled the tank with water for a test, pumped up the pressure and it worked good as new. 

I am once again a hero in my wife’s eyes.  (Isn’t it great when something so simple to you makes such a big impression on someone else?)

The O-rings are not the first time I’ve been able to make a quick fix around the property thanks to a piece of hardware or spare part I just happened to have on hand.  The other day it was replacing a nut on the wheel barrow that had rattled loose and was lost somewhere between the compost pile and the rest of the yard (the bolt was held in by gravity, but you can bet I tightened all of the other nuts).  I’ve fixed shop vacs, power cords, tool handles, electric outlets, flashing on the roof and countless other things with supplies I had on hand. 

I also keep odds and ends of wood, which are useful for all manner of things, like leveling your ladder or finishing a job if you measured wrong.  When something goes wrong in the house or yard, it’s great to be able to snap my fingers, walk into the workshop, and come out with exactly the item I need to fix it.

You may not think about hardware when you make your prepping plans, but having spare parts and the proper tools to use them could be important when you can no longer make a trip to Home Depot or Lowe’s.  And even now, while the stores are open, it saves us time and money.

Remember: There’s more to being a well-rounded prepper than having beans, bullets and Band-Aids. 

Check out this page to get caught up on prior entries in our Quarantine Diary.