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TinLizzy
  • Rank:Diamond Member
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  • From:Canada
  • Register:11/07/2008 01:17 AM

Date Posted:04/10/2009 17:31 PMCopy HTML

COPING PART 1

INTRODUCTORY EXAMPLES
 
MY STORY
 
DISCONNECTIONS & REPERCUSSIONS
 
COPING
  • Attitude
  • Stress
  • Honesty
  • Being resourceful
  • Getting help
  • Asking for advice
  • Networking
  • Dealing with collections
ENJOYING WHAT YOU HAVE
 
MOVING ON
 



 
HOW TO SURVIVE 'NO' MONEY
 
  • Attitude
  • Getting the perspective 
  • Resources
  • Using what you have
  • Bill Collectors
 
The first defence to get through financially tough times is to keep your sense of humour and stay positive! Don't take the 'poor me' attitude although you may be very justified in doing so...much better to consider everyday a 'challenge' This way you build on your accomplishments...
 
Each time you have successfully dealt with another stumbling block, view it with a sense of achievement, knowing that if you managed that then you can deal with the next problem also..
 
Before long, you realise that each situation you have managed to overcome is another reason to feel proud of yourself...Keep aiming to pass the test...The test of 'life'.
 
 
*********************
 
Eventually, whether weeks or years later, you will recognise that the adversities you dealt with have built your character.  It becomes more apparent when you see others 'stressing' over minor difficulties...What seems like a mountain to them is, in reality, just a little 'blip' that does not warrant risking health because of worry...
 
Getting the perspective is important and once you have been through, and successfully emerged from chronic financial pressure, many of the problems you deal with later seem almost irrellevant.  You have a huge appreciation of life and because you have achieved control over all the problems you have faced you are free to have empathy for others.  You are free to help others....
 
Thats what keeps the world turning....
 
Getting the perspective.
 
Nothing is going to change if you spend the day walking around with a cloud above your head....in fact it can hinder.  No-one wants to be around someone who is constantly complaining...
 
My 'lightbulb' moment was when I was stood outside the emergency department at the hospital...
 
Money was, as usual, very tight...I didn't know how I was going to get through the barrage of 'people' demanding money and the looming possibility of losing utilities...again!
 
An ambulance drew up to the front doors...There were several family members bustling around the man who had apparently suffered a heart attack...He was taken in, and the family waited in anticipation.
 
I watched as one of the doctors called the family into one of the private rooms in the emergency department. A short while later they emerged, sobbing and distressed....
 
It was obvious that they had just been told that their loved one had passed away....Their life would never be the same again...No turning back..No chance to try to make things better....He was gone and there was nothing they could do about it....
 
I realised at that moment that regardless of all my problems they would have given ANYTHING to be in my position.. I realised at that moment how fortunate I was to only have money problems and that nothing I was dealing with was about life and death....I could deal with it.
 
To this day, whenever I feel that things are getting beyond the point I can cope, I remember that man and his family....They will never know how much they have influenced my life.  I learned a very important lesson that day.
 
We are all familiar with  the words 'Theres always others worse off than you'..but until you truly recognise and get to 'feel' what those words mean, its too easy to shrug off those words with thoughts of 'Well, noone knows what I'm going through...Noone knows how I feel right now'.  In reality, that is probably true.  Unless someone has been through similar times they are oblivious to how it feels. Thats why its important to take control on your own feelings.
 
Don't wait for someone to come along and tell you it will all be fine...you will get through it...You have to do that yourself!
 
Take a look at your life....Sure...there are pressures that are so overwhelming you don't know how you will ever manage but then stop and think about the REALLY important things and people in your life.
 
Things that could happen that you would have no control over...Things that would be devastating and irreversable.
 
A call to say one of your children were critically ill...Your parents had been in an accident and were fighting for their lives....Your best friend had passed away.
 
Stop and think how important your 'money' issues would be at that moment....Would you give them a second thought?  I doubt it!
 
If everyone was given the opportunity of 'near death' maybe they would change their perspective on life and recognise what is truly important and what are the little blips that, with tenacity can be overcome.
 
Don't wait for that near death experience....Stop and think about what you couldn't bear to happen and then, when you look at how the pressure of paying the bills is so superficial in comparrison you can start to move on a cope with whatever is thrown your way!
 
 
*********************************
 
Attitude
 
Name me one person who enjoys the comapny of a negative, depressing person?
 
Are you that person?  Do you enjoy your own company?  Do you think walking around all day with a 'poor me' attitude will help with your problems?
 
Of course not....
 
Take a look at how lucky you are...Recognise what you DO have.
 
Maybe you have precious children...a great best friend..a trusting dog...a loving family...etc
 
Do you have a place to live? A phone? Hydro? Water? A car? $5 on your pocket? etc..
 
Are you in good health? Do you still have the use of all your limbs? Can you still walk? etc
 
Any or all of the above are things to feel fortunate about...
 
Once you realise that you can move on....Nothing is impossible...A smile is free and makes you feel better...
 
 
Honesty
 
Nothing is more important in life than honesty.  Consider it a gift to yourself.
 
Money cannot buy honesty ...How can you expect others to respect you if you don't respect yourself?
 
When dealing with those around you during the time you are trying to overcome your difficulties you will find it impportant to feel that others 'care'...They may not be able to help directly, but to know someone feels empathy for your situation and supports you is a great motivator.
 
Many people are wary of others 'exaggerrating' their circumstances....you wont need to....The effects and repercussions of struggling to pay the monthly bills is far worse than most people realise.  If they feel that you are 'creating' circumstances to enlist sympathy they won't question you...they will just consider your 'lies' as tiresome and gradually find excuses to not be available when you need them.
 
Honesty, when it comes to talking to bill collectors is also of prime importance.
 
You cant always prove that someone is telling a lie...but its very easy to know when someone is telling the truth,
 
REMEMBER THAT!
 
None of us are perfect....
 
Never be ashamed if you made a mistake...At the time you did the best you could...You didn't do anything on purpose and as long as you did your best there is nothing to be ashamed of.
 
Mistakes are a gift for learning.
 
As long as you remain truthful about everything, you don't need to remember what you have spoken about before.  There is a 'peace' in not having to create circumstances to cover previous lies.
 
Your credibilty when it comes to dealing with people is the deciding factor as to whether they will help you or create new problems...They will never tell you why...
 
You cant blame someone for not wanting to help if you are disrespecting them with lies! 
 

 
 
Coping with stress
 
Everyone gets stress...Its how you deal with it that decides whether you will crumble under pressure or rise above the toughest of adversities maintaining the motivation to keep going.
 
I have found one of the most important techniques is to allow yourself 'down time'.
 
Weekdays, 8:00am until 9:00pm is when those 'calls' will be hounding you...(Thats presuming you still have a phone to receive them...which is a bonus in itself!)
 
Make every attempt to deal with the issues during the week but its important to allow yourself a time when you put your problems on hold and take time to relax and enjoy yourself.
 
For myself, Friday night until Sunday  was precious to me. As long as there was nothing that could be accomplished over the weekend I was always able to take that time to rejuvenate. Of course, by Sunday afternoon the weeks issues that I knew I was going to have to face started to create that 'knot' in my stomache...but at least I had enjoyed two days of 'happy'.
 
Depending on your circumstance and desires you can achieve that 'happy' feeling in whatever way suits you.....
 
  • Snuggling down to watch TV or a movie with a cheap bottle of wine may do the trick....
  • A visit to the local pub to chat with the regulars (water is free...well it used to be!).  Just have a coffee....Many people are sensitive to drinking and driving so coffee is accepted.(just dont tell them you don't have a car!)..If its a hot day just breathe a sigh and say "Boy! I'm thirsty...Could I please have a big drink of ice cold water please....Then just take your time drinking it!  Of course if you can afford to leave a tip that will show your appreciation next time, whether the barmaid knows your situation or not!
  • Karaoke on a Saturday night is a great 'free' night out.  Have a word with the bartender, tell her your circumstances..ask if its OK to just drink water and very often they will add ice , a lemon slice and a straw and noone will know you aren't drinking.  Karaoke allows you to converse with the singers..you get to know their names and can comment on their singing (nicely of course...from experience even the worst of singers are under the illusion they are good even if they say they aren't!)  Have a go yourself...If you are not sure of your own singing abilities, ask the host to sing along with you...or another person...They will welcome the extra opportunity to get up on stage and even if you don't sing a note...just 'mouth' the songs..No-one will care!  Free fun and a great way to socialise (and maybe 'network')
  • Clean yur house/apartment top to bottom..open the windows, put the radio on and sing your way through all the chores.  With all the chronic stress, motivation for housework is at a minimum and very often the chores can build up.  Even without some utilities you can still manage to make your place comfy cozy.
  • If you have scented candles..Light them!  You'd be amazed at how a wonderful scent wafting through the house can help to make you feel better...Once you start to feel relaxed, your motivation level rises.  If you don't have candles use some fabric softener in a tin foil container on your coffee maker burner.....Pour some nutmeg or cinnamon (I hate cinnamon!) and sugar into a foil container and place on a very low stove element.
  • If you are so depressed that you cannot bring yourself to do anything...or you are without any utilities to enable you to function, just try to find a way to release yourself from the weekly worries.  Find a spot to snuggle and read a book...(during daylight hours if you have no electric)...Dream about what it will be like when you finally get through all this...What will you be doing? etc.
Time out is of prime importance...If you cant manage to occupy yourself in any way, enlist the help of a friend....Go visit them or have them visit you....Borrow a battery powered radio if you don't have one...
 
Friends love to help but remember to not 'burden' them with complaints....There is nothing wrong with telling them the circumstances but never put them in the position where they feel 'guilted' into helping you.  You don't need their help....you can deal with everything on your own, but if there is something, like a radio or rabbit ears for your TV, that they may not be using, its ok to ask.
 
Never underestimate the power of suggestion to change how you feel.
 
A good frind can be the difference between you drowning in your sorrows or giving you enough 'lift' to help you deal with the week ahead.
 
I remember being so beaten down with the pressure of everything...Who to pay first?   What was going to be turned off next?  How could I get money?  In reality that particular week was one of the worst.
 
I remember my friend telling me that by the next weekend I would have got through it... N matter what happened during the week I could cope with it and next weekend the problems of the week would be history.
 
I remember thinking that the challenges of the week were far greater than what I could manage, but somehow her words helped give me hope...Sure enough, the following weekend we reflected on that comment...and whatever had happened during the week was history and I was still alive and ready to face another week.
 
You get through it no matter what you are faced with.  Walking around with a sense of 'doom' does nothing to improve the situation.  Be concerned about the situation and do all you can, but at the end of the day it's pointless worrying about what will happen....It will happen regardless, and, as always, you will find a way to deal with it.
 
Surprisingly there is initial anger and upset when a utility is turned off, but at the same time there is a sense of relief.....One more bill you dont have to worry about for a while  Its relatively 'easy' to readjust to your new situation.
 
Worrying about a problem happening is harder than dealing with it once its happened!
 
Remember...Its a challenge and you gradually become adept at overcoming challenges, you get a sense of achievement each time you do....
 
You need to be resourceful and find alternatives
 

 
Being Resourceful
 
Hydro
 
You arrive home one day to find the electric has been turned off.  Its a devastating feling and its OK to be upset and angry, but after giving yourself time to 'grieve' you have to look ahead and find ways to invent alternatives.
 
Its dependant also on what is available to you....
 
I have created my own 'coping' versions but use your imagination to create alternatives that can help make your life as easy as possible.
 
Here is a list of what you will no longer have available to you..the things most people take for granted and never think about when you tell them you dont have electric...I'll never forget chatting to some friends telling them that , at that point, I had been without electric for 5 months...One bright spark (bless her) proceeded to infer that her experience was far more traumatic...Her fridge didnt work for TWO DAYS!  Noone had the heart to remind her that it was run by electric.  Its a human condition to not 'see' all the consequenses of a situation...I recall a power cut one christmas...I wasn't concerned as I was thinking we could use the Christmas tree lights...silly how the mind works!
 
For those trhat have never experienced disconnection of utilities they immediately think of lighting...maybe recognise you will have no TV or computer but rarely think about all the repercussions...
 
Lights
  • You can't see to read
  • You can't see to walk around the house
Stove
  • You can't cook
  • You cant boil a kettle for a cup of tea or coffee
Fridge
  • You can't have cold drinks
  • You can't keep food or milk for more than a day
  • Everything on your freezer will melt but you don't have a stove to cook it!
  • You have to buy food every day and without a car you have to add bus fare to the prices
Heating
  • Heating requires the 'forced air' system to work, the gas may keep the chill off the air but it will not heat the house satisfactory (sic)
Microwave
  • No need for microwave defrosting...Without the fridge working, nothing is frozen!
Fish Tank
  • If you have fish, the water pump no longer will be giving oxygen to the water.  If possible, add some aquarium plants and keep a big container of water..let it rest a few days (maybe add some water conditioner especially made to reduce chlorine levels for fish) and add some to your tank every few days.  Bottled water may be able to be used immediately but make sure you let it 'warm' to room temperature. (of course this isn't a problem if you have no electric as your fridge isnt working anyway!)....Goldfish can survive forever using this method and can tolerate different temperatures.  I'm not sure about tropical fish, although I was surprised that they can survive even without the heater element.  I would never guarantee that though. ...Maybe place in a sunny window making sure that you cover enough of the tank to avoid overheating and to give your little friends a place to hide from the sunlight.
Small Appliances
  • Hair dryer...We are so used to how long it takes to get ready for work in the morning or going out for a night on the town (yeah right!) we sometimes forget that you need to allow more time. Hair dryers are taken for granted and without one, and no heater sit beside, it could take a long time....
Lights
 
This one is easy!
 
CANDLES... (but there are still other alternatives...some more creative than others!)
 
First and foremost is safety....
  • NEVER put a candle in a place that something could drop on it...If the door is open and the wind blows a piece of paper close to the flame a fire is inevitable.
  • NEVER place a candle in anything other than a SAFE container....Even the big block candles will burn down eventually and if not placed in a container may burn the furniture it is placed on.
  • NEVER place a candle 'leaning' in a glass container...eventually the flame will reach the rim and may crack the glass causing it to break and ultimately falling down possibly causing a fire.
  • NEVER leave the room, for any length of time, without  blowing out the candle or taking it with you...You never know if your cat may brush up against it and burn their tail (yes...cats can sometimes be that dumb!)
If you can buy a quantity of cheap candles (often found 4 for $1) and can use safe containers..placed in safe areas, you would be surprised how efficient they are. You would barely recognise there was no electric lamp and there is something about candle lighting that is not only flattering whilst eating a posh supper but creates a very 'comfy cozy' light.
 
Strategically placed,  they are sufficient to read by, but make sure there are no drafts...Trying to read by flickering candles is very distracting! 
 
 
BATTERY OPERATED LIGHTING
 
There are many options available.  I used to buy several options at garage sales or the thrift stores 'just in case'....never more than a $1 or two, but lots are available in local stores or you could elicit the help of your friends to snaggle any they may have.  
 
Its always helpfu to have friends that have enjoyed 'camping'...They will have a plethora of substitutes to help you and as long as you haven't alienated them with complaints and lies you are free to ask them if there is a chance that you may borrow them.
 
Make it clear to them that if its not possible, thats OK...They may cherish their equipment and not want to loan it out....or it may be stuffed away, stored in boxes in the basement causing too much disruption.  Always give people an 'out' so they don't feel guilty, otherwise you may find them trying to avoid you.
 
  • Torches...Handy for direct lighting, maybe reading, but batteries burn out very quickly
  • Coleman type Hurricane lamps...Need a supply of kerosene but give enough light to perform general tasks..Rather smelly and not a 'comfy cozy' light by any stretch of the imagination!
  • 'Task' lighting...Magnified lights suspended on a 'bendy' pole that can be attached to a bedhead or while reading a book.
  • Solar lights....Grab the 'moonlights' from the garden...They emit a vague light but enough to be able to 'see'.
  • Portable lamps....They look similar to a regular lamp but use  the big square battery...a little more expensive than others but a nice light.
  • Oil lamps....Once again, STRICT safety rules when using them but a good altenative to candles and a few of them placed around the room (preferable in places where noone could brush up against them) they produce a very acceptable light.
  • Car battery lighting...I have never used this myself but I'm sure would produce a light that is similar to regular low wattage, electric lighting
If you have no alternative form of lighting...try to reflect the streetlights or the neighbours porch light by using a mirror....Won't help much but worth a try!
 
If all else fails...sleep!
 

 
COOKING ALTERNATIVES
 
Candles
 
Believe it or not you can cook a very substantial meal using candles!
 
A friend of mine, compassionate to my lack of electric, gave me a punchbowl, some tea lights and a bottle of atificial food colouring...She thought it would be a nice form of lighting.
 
She was correct...Its a good safe way of lighting for a coffee table but I discovered it had a dual purpose.
 
I took the wire insert out of a toaster pan and laid it across the bowl filled with lit candles (floating in very attractive blue water!)
 
I used tin foil containers, saucepans will not work over candlelight and I managed to cook fried rice, grilled cheese sarnie, and another 'delight' that escapes my mind right now.
 
I remember asking my daughter t turn the 'stove' down...she gave me one of those weird looks that daughters tend to do when they think their mum is 'losing it'.....She chuckled when I asked her to blow out the candles!
 
Coleman Stove
 
If you have a Coleman stove or know someone you can borrow one from then you have it made! Its preferable to use the 'thin' saucepans especially made for use on the stove but regular ones work also.
 
Once again its important to follow all the safety rules...Never take a chance on using the stove in any way that the manufacturer doesnt recommend....Its never worth compromising safety!
 
I remember back to around 2003 when there was a major power cut in our province. Everyone was panicking because they didn't know how to cope.
 
When we heard it on the radio, my daughter and I looked at each other and laughed...We didn't have electric anyway so it made no difference to us...in fact we had everything already in place to cope with day to day alternatives!
 
I remember going to work at a little old lady's house...Her husband had died a few years earlier and she had a Coleman stove that she didn't know how to use.  I took it to her front lawn and showed her...She was in awe that I could manipulate and get it to work so easily and quickly.
 
Little did she know I used one every day!
 
I was concerned about my friend coping with no electric...The next day I collected some of the things that she may need to get by...a torch a tiny $$store battery radio...the stove and a few other odds and ends...
 
I packed them into my car and drove down to her...only to find that our area  had already been connected...Well..How was I to know? Our hydro was disconnected so I wouldn't have known when it was turned on!
 
I remember hearing all the stories from everyone about how they had lost all the food in their freezer...It had defrosted so they threw it away!
 
Frozen food left in a freezer will take days to defrost completely if unopened and as long as its still cold can be refrozen.  There seems to be a general belief that once meat defrosts it has to be eaten immediately.  Just refreeze it!
 
Maybe it loses some flavour, I'm not sure but as long as its cooked properly I can never understand what the problem is!
 
Anyway...Back to the cooking alternatives....
 
BARBECUE
 
No need to explain that one!  As long as you have some propane in the tank then cooking is not a problem  (unless you have to do it in three foot of snow or -30c temperatures...in which case you have the option of starving!....Just remember you don't have to just 'barbecue' everything...You can use it as a heat source and boil potatoes and vegetables as well or steam in foil paper...Use a frying pan etc etc
 
Kerosene heater
 
These are great in an emergency, not just for keeping warm, but for cooking, heating up water etc.
 
Never , of course, use the heater for anything other than water based cooking...NEVER try to fry on a kerosene heater, of course the splatters could cause a major fire!  Its just never worth frying an egg if you are not alive to eat it!
 
 

 
ELECTRICAL APPLIANCE ALTERNATIVES
 
 
Hair Dryers
 
If you have a car, as long as you have enough gas you have an alternative way of drying your hair. Start it up, put it on 'vent', crank it to the highest heat and with both front vents pointing in your direction you can successfully dry your hair in a short period of time.  You will however 'die' from the heat...a small price to pay for freshly washed and dried hair!
 
In summer, a quick drive round the block a few times with the window open can achieve the same a little more comfortably!
 
I have tried to use my daughters battery operated Barbie hair dryer....It doesn't work!
 
Electric Rollers
 
Hair rollers are filled with wax (usually) so  plunging them in hot (preferably boiling but the hottest possible) water is a great alternative. I tried wrapping them in tin foil and placing them on the barbecue, they were hot enough to partly do the job, but I didn't have time to see how they would work if left in there longer....Im also not sure if there is a point they would melt over burning coals..(best to test that one for yourself!)
 
Ironing
 
Without a washer and dryer any clothes washed by hand will have wrinkles.  Even light materials tend to get wrinkles if dried after a hand wringing.
 
Try hanging them on the line on a clothes hanger and rinsing with a hose, pulling the wrinkles out and allowing them to dry slowly.  Of course itf it is winter this wont work...Your clothes will become solidly frozen...and though fun to play with a shirt that stands up on its own, it doesnt help the cause of drying it and trying to get the wrinkles out.
 
There is not much alternative except to use the clothes that have fewer wrinkles.
 
You can try wrapping the iron with tin foil and placing it on the barbecue (being careful to keep the electric cord away from the heat) although it worked in an emergency for me, I wouldnt recommend it.
 
Another way is to carefull fold the article as neatly as possible and sit on it for an hour or two!  The difficulty here is that with no electric you probably have no TV and so that hour or two may be very boring...Try singing to yourself, or, if that doesn't keep you occupied...phone a friend...Just dont get up and let the article go cold until you have successfully flattened the wrinkles..(this is where those of us with more weight than others will benefit!)
 
Failing all of that, there is always the cleaners or the local laundromat...but of course...When money is tight even the smallest of charges eats intro the money for things that are more of a  priority...like food and petrol or bus fare to get to work!
 
 
For those that are comfortable letting the neighbour know about your difficulties, you can ask if there is a possiblility you could use an extension cord plugged into their exterior outlet and run into your house, giving you the opportunity of using many of the appliances (sparingly).
 
You can enjoy TV and a lamp and occasionally a hair dryer, microwave, coffe maker etc.
 
Assure them you will give them some money for the usage, and make sure that you MORE than cover the cost, depending on what you are using and for how long.
 
$50 a month I would estimate is sufficient.
 
Its worth the effort of asking them and, dependant upon your prior relationship with them, its very probable that they will be agreeable...especially if you pay upfront!

 
GAS DISCONNECTION
 
This one's a breeze....Well...in the summer anyway!
 
Basically you have no hot water for showers, washing up  etc and no heating in winter.
 
Hot water
 
If you can afford to get disposable plates and cutlery , do so at the first opportunity!  Pretend every mealtime is a picnic and then throw all the dirty dishes away afterwards!
 
For most of us, once you are down to the point of having your gas disconnected you do not have much 'flippant' money...so its back to doing things the same as they did in the good old days!
 
Try to get  the biggest pot possible from the local thrift store...or borrow from a friend.
 
This will be your new 'hot water tank' for the next little while.
 
Fill it up and keep it on a very low heat if you are around during the day and likely to need war/hot fresh water.
 
Washing up
 
First...Soak all the dishes in cold water to remove all the food residue....Use a steel pad to make sure everything is as 'clean' as possible.
 
Fill a plastic basin with some of the hot water and add the washing up liquid (if you don't have washing up liquid you can use washing powder or hair shampoo, liquid soap etc but be very sure to rinse well).
 
Add a little bleach to the water...always a good bacteria fighter.
 
Wash and rinse all the glasseware and leave to drain.
 
Wash and rinse all the 'clean' cups and dishes and leave to drain.
 
Replace the dish water as soon as you feel its necessary, if possible having an extra saucepan boiling also.
 
Continue with the remainder of the washing up leaving saucepans and any 'dirty' dishes and cutlery until last.
 
Soak all the cutlery and rinse with cold water, then carefully place them in any water still on the stove and boil them with a capful of bleach added.
 
Be sure you have regular quality cutlery as some of the cheaper knives, forks and spoons will turn black with the bleach.
 
Once boiled you can leave them to darin knowing that you can use them comfortable knowing they are clean.
 
You can also dip the cups into hot water, but be careful  with glasses ...dont use boiling water or they will shatter!
 
Dishwasher
 
Believe it or not you CAN use a dishwasher but you have to work it manually...It will never clean your cutlery and plates but as long as they are washed beforehand, even in cold water, you can run it through some of the wash/rinse cycles by pouring in a pot of hot water, using dishwasher soap on the first wash...then relace with fresh hot water for two more rinse cycles.
 
The best one to use is the last rinse cycle....As you turn the knob you can hear the 'click' where the water is eliminated through the hose....The last rinse seems to be the longest duration, so using it three times, once for the wash and twice for the rinse seems to give that nice squeaky feel to glasses, cutlery and dishes.
 
Using a portable dishwasher be sure to put the hose into the sink so you dont end up with a flooded floor and, until you are familiar with the rinse cycles stay close so the water is not eliminated before it has done its job!
 
Showers/baths
 
Taking a bath
 
This can be the most dangerous so try to use any method that you are comfortable with, leaving the 'hot bath' as the final alternative.
 
Filling a bath and adding enough hot water to relax in luxury sounds like heaven, but carrying the hot water to the bath can be almost life threatening!
 
Once the big sucepan is hot you have to use EXTREME CAUTION in taking it up the stairs to the bath.
 
Turn off the stove....Place a lid on top, rechecking that the heating element is no longer on or radiant, take a thick bathtowel and drape it over the lid and handles.
 
Make sure the pathway upstairs to the bath is clear of any obstacles and there are no pets or children around.
 
VERY VERY CAREFULLY carry the pot upstairs using the towel as a buffer for the hot handles but also to prevent any splashes.
 
If ANY hot water splash should drop onto your skin, your immediate response would be to jump causing more hot water to splash onto you or causing you to drop the pot with horrendous consequenses, ultimately burning you severely.
 
Concentrate intently until you reach the bathroom remembering that once you pour the water into the bath you may get burned with the steam, so find a way of dropping the lid but keeping the towel in place over the saucepan in the areas not used for pouring the water.
 
Its safer to make many trips with water that is hot but not boiling.
 
Only have a hot bath if there is no other alternative!
 
Showers and alternatives
 
There are many options for taking a 'shower'.
 
Summertime
 
Hose Method
 
Keep a long hose filled with water using a closed watering nozzle.  Keep it in the sun and before long you have enough water to wash your hair OR take a quick shower.
 
Admittedly, its in the garden so you may have to find a little spot away from the neighbours view but wearing your swimming cozzie you can get wet, soap up and then rinse off in no time, shutting off the nozzle each time.
 
If you have a very long hose that doesnt leak and unobservant neighbours, you can run the hose in through the bathroom window and have your quick shower in peace!
 
Coke Bottle Method
 
Fill a 2 litre coke bottle with warm water then attach a plastic (tap) shower nozzle to the end of it...Stand in the bath and although you have to use it sparingly its a good method of an all over wash...Maybe have a supply of bottles with warm water handy.  Add a nice smelling body wash to one...but be careful to never use that bottle for anything else!
 
Technically Innovative Method.
 
Now this method is almost as good as the real thing and surprisingly easy to make but there is a cos incurred getting the stuff you need to make it, although mabe you already have some.
 
Its based on using a pond pump, emerged in a container of warm water with a hose attached, a shut off valve and a shower head.
 
You use it in the bath by attaching the shower head to the existing one or over the shower curtain bar and directed into the bath behind the closed plastic curtain.
 
Depending on the pump size this is a very effective way of showering....Using a big plastic container bin filled with warm water (usually only one big pot of boiling water will be sufficient added to cold water) it is enough for three people to have a reasonably comfortable shower.
 
Both the kids and I used this method every morning...of course anyone who sleeps in misses out on the hot water!
 
To make it you will need...
  • A pond pump (around $75 or borrow one from a friend)
  • Approx 7' Hot water plastic hose (although Im sure regular transparent plastic pond hose will suffice with temperatures that are comfortable for the body to endure)
  • A flat screwdriver
  • A few hose clamps sized to fit the hose that will need to fit the pond pump.
  • A shut off valve tap...the kind used for water shut off outside. It will need two inlets.
  • (Female)Hose ends . (the part with a screw end that attaches to nozzles and taps.)
  • (Male) hose ends with the screw threads that will accept the shower head
  • A simple shower head
  • Duct tape!
  1. -Connect the length of hose to the output of the pond pump.
  2. -Close to the end cut 6" off and attach a screw connector
  3. -Screw onto one inlet for the tap valve.
  4. -Attach another screw connector to the short piece of hose ready to attach to the other tap valve inlet when you have finished putting the shower head on.
  5. -Attach the (male) screw end to the short piece of hose and then screw the shower head on.
  6. Finish by attching the shower head to the tap valve.
Fill a container with warm water...Hang the hose on the existing showerhead or on the shower curtain bar behind closed plastic curtains...Plug in and you are ready to go!
 
While soaping up you can shut off the valve so as not to waste water but you wuld be surprised how efficient this method is...While in use even the kids agreed there was barely any difference than having a regular shower...Just not as much pressure for heair washing, but certainly acceptable!
 
Flannel and basin of water technique
 
Needs no explanation!
 
Cold Water Shower Technique
 
Doesn't bear thinking about although my son used this method every day before school! Brrrrrrr!
 
Paddling Pool Technique
 
Great if you have kids...Jump in...soap up and rinse off before the neighbours see you.
 
This is a lot easier if you have one of the bigger pools but best to ue in conjunction with a plastic jug for rinsing off outside of the pool or you may have to explain the bubbles to nosy neighbours!
 
Using 'other' resources.
 
This can include 'borrowing' their shower....Being invited up to their cottage by the lake.....Joining a gym and using the shower facilities...YMCA and YWCA...costs $1!
 
If all else fails...keep a flannel and small towel in your purse and when you visit someone, use their washroom and have a quick wash using the sink and their hot water!
 
Remember..there advantages to having your gas disconnected
 and having to heat your water manually...
 
At least you have water!
 
WATER
 
Its a very odd feeling to arrive home one day to find your water is shut off.
 
Hopefully it will only be a short while before its turned n again, but in the meantime you realise how you take fresh running water for granted!
 
Toilets no longer 'work'
Cooking relies on bottled water or, in my case, I cooked with wine due to  an abundance of my dads home made variety!
 
That precious cup of coffee relies on water
 
Washing and brushing your teeth become a chore.
 
Washing clothes is almost an impossibility with the small amounts you can transport into the house manually.
 
Washing up is not much of an option...Disposable plates and cutlery are almost a necessity!
 
I managed without water (though its hard to believe, for something like 2 years...
 
We lived in a farmhouse with a well and a septic tank. It took electricity to work the pump and we were disconnected because of what was one of those 'repercussion' issues referred to elsewhere in my story.
 
Water became precious and I used it to its full value.
 
I brought in water from the neighbours house (Living in the country this was across a 4 lane highway!)
 
Special containers were used for water that was going to be consumed...Other large open containers were used for general purpose and filling the toilet tanks.
 
Wintertime was a little different....Piles of snow outside meant there wasnt always a need to travel to get water....
 
Cooking with snow was quite a  unique experience!
 
The difficulty was finding that one big pot of snow produced less than 1/2 inch of water!
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Re:Beginnings of my 'Book' CAN YOU AFFORD TO BE POOR (Unedited)

Date Posted:04/10/2009 17:35 PMCopy HTML

Lights
 
This one is easy!
 
CANDLES... (but there are still other alternatives...some more creative than others!)
 
First and foremost is safety....
  • NEVER put a candle in a place that something could drop on it...If the door is open and the wind blows a piece of paper close to the flame a fire is inevitable.
  • NEVER place a candle in anything other than a SAFE container....Even the big block candles will burn down eventually and if not placed in a container may burn the furniture it is placed on.
  • NEVER place a candle 'leaning' in a glass container...eventually the flame will reach the rim and may crack the glass causing it to break and ultimately falling down possibly causing a fire.
  • NEVER leave the room, for any length of time, without  blowing out the candle or taking it with you...You never know if your cat may brush up against it and burn their tail (yes...cats can sometimes be that dumb!)
If you can buy a quantity of cheap candles (often found 4 for $1) and can use safe containers..placed in safe areas, you would be surprised how efficient they are. You would barely recognise there was no electric lamp and there is something about candle lighting that is not only flattering whilst eating a posh supper but creates a very 'comfy cozy' light.
 
Strategically placed,  they are sufficient to read by, but make sure there are no drafts...Trying to read by flickering candles is very distracting! 
 
 
BATTERY OPERATED LIGHTING
 
There are many options available.  I used to buy several options at garage sales or the thrift stores 'just in case'....never more than a $1 or two, but lots are available in local stores or you could elicit the help of your friends to snaggle any they may have.  
 
Its always helpfu to have friends that have enjoyed 'camping'...They will have a plethora of substitutes to help you and as long as you haven't alienated them with complaints and lies you are free to ask them if there is a chance that you may borrow them.
 
Make it clear to them that if its not possible, thats OK...They may cherish their equipment and not want to loan it out....or it may be stuffed away, stored in boxes in the basement causing too much disruption.  Always give people an 'out' so they don't feel guilty, otherwise you may find them trying to avoid you.
 
  • Torches...Handy for direct lighting, maybe reading, but batteries burn out very quickly
  • Coleman type Hurricane lamps...Need a supply of kerosene but give enough light to perform general tasks..Rather smelly and not a 'comfy cozy' light by any stretch of the imagination!
  • 'Task' lighting...Magnified lights suspended on a 'bendy' pole that can be attached to a bedhead or while reading a book.
  • Solar lights....Grab the 'moonlights' from the garden...They emit a vague light but enough to be able to 'see'.
  • Portable lamps....They look similar to a regular lamp but use  the big square battery...a little more expensive than others but a nice light.
  • Oil lamps....Once again, STRICT safety rules when using them but a good altenative to candles and a few of them placed around the room (preferable in places where noone could brush up against them) they produce a very acceptable light.
  • Car battery lighting...I have never used this myself but I'm sure would produce a light that is similar to regular low wattage, electric lighting
If you have no alternative form of lighting...try to reflect the streetlights or the neighbours porch light by using a mirror....Won't help much but worth a try!
 
If all else fails...sleep!
 

 
COOKING ALTERNATIVES
 
Candles
 
Believe it or not you can cook a very substantial meal using candles!
 
A friend of mine, compassionate to my lack of electric, gave me a punchbowl, some tea lights and a bottle of atificial food colouring...She thought it would be a nice form of lighting.
 
She was correct...Its a good safe way of lighting for a coffee table but I discovered it had a dual purpose.
 
I took the wire insert out of a toaster pan and laid it across the bowl filled with lit candles (floating in very attractive blue water!)
 
I used tin foil containers, saucepans will not work over candlelight and I managed to cook fried rice, grilled cheese sarnie, and another 'delight' that escapes my mind right now.
 
I remember asking my daughter t turn the 'stove' down...she gave me one of those weird looks that daughters tend to do when they think their mum is 'losing it'.....She chuckled when I asked her to blow out the candles!
 
Coleman Stove
 
If you have a Coleman stove or know someone you can borrow one from then you have it made! Its preferable to use the 'thin' saucepans especially made for use on the stove but regular ones work also.
 
Once again its important to follow all the safety rules...Never take a chance on using the stove in any way that the manufacturer doesnt recommend....Its never worth compromising safety!
 
I remember back to around 2003 when there was a major power cut in our province. Everyone was panicking because they didn't know how to cope.
 
When we heard it on the radio, my daughter and I looked at each other and laughed...We didn't have electric anyway so it made no difference to us...in fact we had everything already in place to cope with day to day alternatives!
 
I remember going to work at a little old lady's house...Her husband had died a few years earlier and she had a Coleman stove that she didn't know how to use.  I took it to her front lawn and showed her...She was in awe that I could manipulate and get it to work so easily and quickly.
 
Little did she know I used one every day!
 
I was concerned about my friend coping with no electric...The next day I collected some of the things that she may need to get by...a torch a tiny $$store battery radio...the stove and a few other odds and ends...
 
I packed them into my car and drove down to her...only to find that our area  had already been connected...Well..How was I to know? Our hydro was disconnected so I wouldn't have known when it was turned on!
 
I remember hearing all the stories from everyone about how they had lost all the food in their freezer...It had defrosted so they threw it away!
 
Frozen food left in a freezer will take days to defrost completely if unopened and as long as its still cold can be refrozen.  There seems to be a general belief that once meat defrosts it has to be eaten immediately.  Just refreeze it!
 
Maybe it loses some flavour, I'm not sure but as long as its cooked properly I can never understand what the problem is!
 
Anyway...Back to the cooking alternatives....
 
BARBECUE
 
No need to explain that one!  As long as you have some propane in the tank then cooking is not a problem  (unless you have to do it in three foot of snow or -30c temperatures...in which case you have the option of starving!....Just remember you don't have to just 'barbecue' everything...You can use it as a heat source and boil potatoes and vegetables as well or steam in foil paper...Use a frying pan etc etc
 
Kerosene heater
 
These are great in an emergency, not just for keeping warm, but for cooking, heating up water etc.
 
Never , of course, use the heater for anything other than water based cooking...NEVER try to fry on a kerosene heater, of course the splatters could cause a major fire!  Its just never worth frying an egg if you are not alive to eat it!
 
 

 
ELECTRICAL APPLIANCE ALTERNATIVES
 
 
Hair Dryers
 
If you have a car, as long as you have enough gas you have an alternative way of drying your hair. Start it up, put it on 'vent', crank it to the highest heat and with both front vents pointing in your direction you can successfully dry your hair in a short period of time.  You will however 'die' from the heat...a small price to pay for freshly washed and dried hair!
 
In summer, a quick drive round the block a few times with the window open can achieve the same a little more comfortably!
 
I have tried to use my daughters battery operated Barbie hair dryer....It doesn't work!
 
Electric Rollers
 
Hair rollers are filled with wax (usually) so  plunging them in hot (preferably boiling but the hottest possible) water is a great alternative. I tried wrapping them in tin foil and placing them on the barbecue, they were hot enough to partly do the job, but I didn't have time to see how they would work if left in there longer....Im also not sure if there is a point they would melt over burning coals..(best to test that one for yourself!)
 
Ironing
 
Without a washer and dryer any clothes washed by hand will have wrinkles.  Even light materials tend to get wrinkles if dried after a hand wringing.
 
Try hanging them on the line on a clothes hanger and rinsing with a hose, pulling the wrinkles out and allowing them to dry slowly.  Of course itf it is winter this wont work...Your clothes will become solidly frozen...and though fun to play with a shirt that stands up on its own, it doesnt help the cause of drying it and trying to get the wrinkles out.
 
There is not much alternative except to use the clothes that have fewer wrinkles.
 
You can try wrapping the iron with tin foil and placing it on the barbecue (being careful to keep the electric cord away from the heat) although it worked in an emergency for me, I wouldnt recommend it.
 
Another way is to carefull fold the article as neatly as possible and sit on it for an hour or two!  The difficulty here is that with no electric you probably have no TV and so that hour or two may be very boring...Try singing to yourself, or, if that doesn't keep you occupied...phone a friend...Just dont get up and let the article go cold until you have successfully flattened the wrinkles..(this is where those of us with more weight than others will benefit!)
 
Failing all of that, there is always the cleaners or the local laundromat...but of course...When money is tight even the smallest of charges eats intro the money for things that are more of a  priority...like food and petrol or bus fare to get to work!
 
 
For those that are comfortable letting the neighbour know about your difficulties, you can ask if there is a possiblility you could use an extension cord plugged into their exterior outlet and run into your house, giving you the opportunity of using many of the appliances (sparingly).
 
You can enjoy TV and a lamp and occasionally a hair dryer, microwave, coffe maker etc.
 
Assure them you will give them some money for the usage, and make sure that you MORE than cover the cost, depending on what you are using and for how long.
 
$50 a month I would estimate is sufficient.
 
Its worth the effort of asking them and, dependant upon your prior relationship with them, its very probable that they will be agreeable...especially if you pay upfront!

 
GAS DISCONNECTION
 
This one's a breeze....Well...in the summer anyway!
 
Basically you have no hot water for showers, washing up  etc and no heating in winter.
 
Hot water
 
If you can afford to get disposable plates and cutlery , do so at the first opportunity!  Pretend every mealtime is a picnic and then throw all the dirty dishes away afterwards!
 
For most of us, once you are down to the point of having your gas disconnected you do not have much 'flippant' money...so its back to doing things the same as they did in the good old days!
 
Try to get  the biggest pot possible from the local thrift store...or borrow from a friend.
 
This will be your new 'hot water tank' for the next little while.
 
Fill it up and keep it on a very low heat if you are around during the day and likely to need war/hot fresh water.
 
Washing up
 
First...Soak all the dishes in cold water to remove all the food residue....Use a steel pad to make sure everything is as 'clean' as possible.
 
Fill a plastic basin with some of the hot water and add the washing up liquid (if you don't have washing up liquid you can use washing powder or hair shampoo, liquid soap etc but be very sure to rinse well).
 
Add a little bleach to the water...always a good bacteria fighter.
 
Wash and rinse all the glasseware and leave to drain.
 
Wash and rinse all the 'clean' cups and dishes and leave to drain.
 
Replace the dish water as soon as you feel its necessary, if possible having an extra saucepan boiling also.
 
Continue with the remainder of the washing up leaving saucepans and any 'dirty' dishes and cutlery until last.
 
Soak all the cutlery and rinse with cold water, then carefully place them in any water still on the stove and boil them with a capful of bleach added.
 
Be sure you have regular quality cutlery as some of the cheaper knives, forks and spoons will turn black with the bleach.
 
Once boiled you can leave them to darin knowing that you can use them comfortable knowing they are clean.
 
You can also dip the cups into hot water, but be careful  with glasses ...dont use boiling water or they will shatter!
 
Dishwasher
 
Believe it or not you CAN use a dishwasher but you have to work it manually...It will never clean your cutlery and plates but as long as they are washed beforehand, even in cold water, you can run it through some of the wash/rinse cycles by pouring in a pot of hot water, using dishwasher soap on the first wash...then relace with fresh hot water for two more rinse cycles.
 
The best one to use is the last rinse cycle....As you turn the knob you can hear the 'click' where the water is eliminated through the hose....The last rinse seems to be the longest duration, so using it three times, once for the wash and twice for the rinse seems to give that nice squeaky feel to glasses, cutlery and dishes.
 
Using a portable dishwasher be sure to put the hose into the sink so you dont end up with a flooded floor and, until you are familiar with the rinse cycles stay close so the water is not eliminated before it has done its job!
 
Showers/baths
 
Taking a bath
 
This can be the most dangerous so try to use any method that you are comfortable with, leaving the 'hot bath' as the final alternative.
 
Filling a bath and adding enough hot water to relax in luxury sounds like heaven, but carrying the hot water to the bath can be almost life threatening!
 
Once the big sucepan is hot you have to use EXTREME CAUTION in taking it up the stairs to the bath.
 
Turn off the stove....Place a lid on top, rechecking that the heating element is no longer on or radiant, take a thick bathtowel and drape it over the lid and handles.
 
Make sure the pathway upstairs to the bath is clear of any obstacles and there are no pets or children around.
 
VERY VERY CAREFULLY carry the pot upstairs using the towel as a buffer for the hot handles but also to prevent any splashes.
 
If ANY hot water splash should drop onto your skin, your immediate response would be to jump causing more hot water to splash onto you or causing you to drop the pot with horrendous consequenses, ultimately burning you severely.
 
Concentrate intently until you reach the bathroom remembering that once you pour the water into the bath you may get burned with the steam, so find a way of dropping the lid but keeping the towel in place over the saucepan in the areas not used for pouring the water.
 
Its safer to make many trips with water that is hot but not boiling.
 
Only have a hot bath if there is no other alternative!
 
Showers and alternatives
 
There are many options for taking a 'shower'.
 
Summertime
 
Hose Method
 
Keep a long hose filled with water using a closed watering nozzle.  Keep it in the sun and before long you have enough water to wash your hair OR take a quick shower.
 
Admittedly, its in the garden so you may have to find a little spot away from the neighbours view but wearing your swimming cozzie you can get wet, soap up and then rinse off in no time, shutting off the nozzle each time.
 
If you have a very long hose that doesnt leak and unobservant neighbours, you can run the hose in through the bathroom window and have your quick shower in peace!
 
Coke Bottle Method
 
Fill a 2 litre coke bottle with warm water then attach a plastic (tap) shower nozzle to the end of it...Stand in the bath and although you have to use it sparingly its a good method of an all over wash...Maybe have a supply of bottles with warm water handy.  Add a nice smelling body wash to one...but be careful to never use that bottle for anything else!
 
Technically Innovative Method.
 
Now this method is almost as good as the real thing and surprisingly easy to make but there is a cos incurred getting the stuff you need to make it, although mabe you already have some.
 
Its based on using a pond pump, emerged in a container of warm water with a hose attached, a shut off valve and a shower head.
 
You use it in the bath by attaching the shower head to the existing one or over the shower curtain bar and directed into the bath behind the closed plastic curtain.
 
Depending on the pump size this is a very effective way of showering....Using a big plastic container bin filled with warm water (usually only one big pot of boiling water will be sufficient added to cold water) it is enough for three people to have a reasonably comfortable shower.
 
Both the kids and I used this method every morning...of course anyone who sleeps in misses out on the hot water!
 
To make it you will need...
  • A pond pump (around $75 or borrow one from a friend)
  • Approx 7' Hot water plastic hose (although Im sure regular transparent plastic pond hose will suffice with temperatures that are comfortable for the body to endure)
  • A flat screwdriver
  • A few hose clamps sized to fit the hose that will need to fit the pond pump.
  • A shut off valve tap...the kind used for water shut off outside. It will need two inlets.
  • (Female)Hose ends . (the part with a screw end that attaches to nozzles and taps.)
  • (Male) hose ends with the screw threads that will accept the shower head
  • A simple shower head
  • Duct tape!
  1. -Connect the length of hose to the output of the pond pump.
  2. -Close to the end cut 6" off and attach a screw connector
  3. -Screw onto one inlet for the tap valve.
  4. -Attach another screw connector to the short piece of hose ready to attach to the other tap valve inlet when you have finished putting the shower head on.
  5. -Attach the (male) screw end to the short piece of hose and then screw the shower head on.
  6. Finish by attching the shower head to the tap valve.
Fill a container with warm water...Hang the hose on the existing showerhead or on the shower curtain bar behind closed plastic curtains...Plug in and you are ready to go!
 
While soaping up you can shut off the valve so as not to waste water but you wuld be surprised how efficient this method is...While in use even the kids agreed there was barely any difference than having a regular shower...Just not as much pressure for heair washing, but certainly acceptable!
 
Flannel and basin of water technique
 
Needs no explanation!
 
Cold Water Shower Technique
 
Doesn't bear thinking about although my son used this method every day before school! Brrrrrrr!
 
Paddling Pool Technique
 
Great if you have kids...Jump in...soap up and rinse off before the neighbours see you.
 
This is a lot easier if you have one of the bigger pools but best to ue in conjunction with a plastic jug for rinsing off outside of the pool or you may have to explain the bubbles to nosy neighbours!
 
Using 'other' resources.
 
This can include 'borrowing' their shower....Being invited up to their cottage by the lake.....Joining a gym and using the shower facilities...YMCA and YWCA...costs $1!
 
If all else fails...keep a flannel and small towel in your purse and when you visit someone, use their washroom and have a quick wash using the sink and their hot water!
 
Remember..there advantages to having your gas disconnected
 and having to heat your water manually...
 
At least you have water!
 
WATER
 
Its a very odd feeling to arrive home one day to find your water is shut off.
 
Hopefully it will only be a short while before its turned n again, but in the meantime you realise how you take fresh running water for granted!
 
Toilets no longer 'work'
Cooking relies on bottled water or, in my case, I cooked with wine due to  an abundance of my dads home made variety!
 
That precious cup of coffee relies on water
 
Washing and brushing your teeth become a chore.
 
Washing clothes is almost an impossibility with the small amounts you can transport into the house manually.
 
Washing up is not much of an option...Disposable plates and cutlery are almost a necessity!
 
I managed without water (though its hard to believe, for something like 2 years...
 
We lived in a farmhouse with a well and a septic tank. It took electricity to work the pump and we were disconnected because of what was one of those 'repercussion' issues referred to elsewhere in my story.
 
Water became precious and I used it to its full value.
 
I brought in water from the neighbours house (Living in the country this was across a 4 lane highway!)
 
Special containers were used for water that was going to be consumed...Other large open containers were used for general purpose and filling the toilet tanks.
 
Wintertime was a little different....Piles of snow outside meant there wasnt always a need to travel to get water....
 
Cooking with snow was quite a  unique experience!
 
The difficulty was finding that one big pot of snow produced less than 1/2 inch of water!
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Re:Beginnings of my 'Book' CAN YOU AFFORD TO BE POOR (Unedited)

Date Posted:04/10/2009 17:39 PMCopy HTML

Coke Bottle Method
 
Fill a 2 litre coke bottle with warm water then attach a plastic (tap) shower nozzle to the end of it...Stand in the bath and although you have to use it sparingly its a good method of an all over wash...Maybe have a supply of bottles with warm water handy.  Add a nice smelling body wash to one...but be careful to never use that bottle for anything else!
 
Technically Innovative Method.
 
Now this method is almost as good as the real thing and surprisingly easy to make but there is a cos incurred getting the stuff you need to make it, although mabe you already have some.
 
Its based on using a pond pump, emerged in a container of warm water with a hose attached, a shut off valve and a shower head.
 
You use it in the bath by attaching the shower head to the existing one or over the shower curtain bar and directed into the bath behind the closed plastic curtain.
 
Depending on the pump size this is a very effective way of showering....Using a big plastic container bin filled with warm water (usually only one big pot of boiling water will be sufficient added to cold water) it is enough for three people to have a reasonably comfortable shower.
 
Both the kids and I used this method every morning...of course anyone who sleeps in misses out on the hot water!
 
To make it you will need...
  • A pond pump (around $75 or borrow one from a friend)
  • Approx 7' Hot water plastic hose (although Im sure regular transparent plastic pond hose will suffice with temperatures that are comfortable for the body to endure)
  • A flat screwdriver
  • A few hose clamps sized to fit the hose that will need to fit the pond pump.
  • A shut off valve tap...the kind used for water shut off outside. It will need two inlets.
  • (Female)Hose ends . (the part with a screw end that attaches to nozzles and taps.)
  • (Male) hose ends with the screw threads that will accept the shower head
  • A simple shower head
  • Duct tape!
  1. -Connect the length of hose to the output of the pond pump.
  2. -Close to the end cut 6" off and attach a screw connector
  3. -Screw onto one inlet for the tap valve.
  4. -Attach another screw connector to the short piece of hose ready to attach to the other tap valve inlet when you have finished putting the shower head on.
  5. -Attach the (male) screw end to the short piece of hose and then screw the shower head on.
  6. Finish by attching the shower head to the tap valve.
Fill a container with warm water...Hang the hose on the existing showerhead or on the shower curtain bar behind closed plastic curtains...Plug in and you are ready to go!
 
While soaping up you can shut off the valve so as not to waste water but you wuld be surprised how efficient this method is...While in use even the kids agreed there was barely any difference than having a regular shower...Just not as much pressure for heair washing, but certainly acceptable!
 
Flannel and basin of water technique
 
Needs no explanation!
 
Cold Water Shower Technique
 
Doesn't bear thinking about although my son used this method every day before school! Brrrrrrr!
 
Paddling Pool Technique
 
Great if you have kids...Jump in...soap up and rinse off before the neighbours see you.
 
This is a lot easier if you have one of the bigger pools but best to ue in conjunction with a plastic jug for rinsing off outside of the pool or you may have to explain the bubbles to nosy neighbours!
 
Using 'other' resources.
 
This can include 'borrowing' their shower....Being invited up to their cottage by the lake.....Joining a gym and using the shower facilities...YMCA and YWCA...costs $1!
 
If all else fails...keep a flannel and small towel in your purse and when you visit someone, use their washroom and have a quick wash using the sink and their hot water!
 
Remember..there advantages to having your gas disconnected
 and having to heat your water manually...
 
At least you have water!
 
WATER
 
Its a very odd feeling to arrive home one day to find your water is shut off.
 
Hopefully it will only be a short while before its turned n again, but in the meantime you realise how you take fresh running water for granted!
 
Toilets no longer 'work'
Cooking relies on bottled water or, in my case, I cooked with wine due to  an abundance of my dads home made variety!
 
That precious cup of coffee relies on water
 
Washing and brushing your teeth become a chore.
 
Washing clothes is almost an impossibility with the small amounts you can transport into the house manually.
 
Washing up is not much of an option...Disposable plates and cutlery are almost a necessity!
 
I managed without water (though its hard to believe, for something like 2 years...
 
We lived in a farmhouse with a well and a septic tank. It took electricity to work the pump and we were disconnected because of what was one of those 'repercussion' issues referred to elsewhere in my story.
 
Water became precious and I used it to its full value.
 
I brought in water from the neighbours house (Living in the country this was across a 4 lane highway!)
 
Special containers were used for water that was going to be consumed...Other large open containers were used for general purpose and filling the toilet tanks.
 
Wintertime was a little different....Piles of snow outside meant there wasnt always a need to travel to get water....
 
Cooking with snow was quite a  unique experience!
 
The difficulty was finding that one big pot of snow produced less than 1/2 inch of water!

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