A rack of canned goods

My Year of Eating like the World Ended – August Food Report

In Sports & Outdoors by Consumer Files0 CommentsLast Updated: October 25th, 2019

Another month on the mountaintop. Since July ended on such a strong note, I was determined to make August at least as good, and right from the start, resolved to keep my head down and try to minimize breaks and distractions. As you’ll see in my August food report, I succeeded in that more than I failed, but…

Well, rather than describe it here, let’s just see how the month progressed.

Daily Food Dairy for August 2019

Thurs, 08.01.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of regular oatmeal

360

Lunch

Pork chops and eggs

800

Dinner

Can of tomato soup and two grilled cheese. Adding ice cream here too

700

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

2160

Got up at butt o’clock this morning – the sun just peeking over the mountains and thick fog on the ground. Hit the root cellar hard and busted pallets. Waited over a cup of coffee till there were signs of life at Mike’s house, then took the wood over and took delivery of the trade goods for the month. Mike put in a request for some additional pallets, and I’ve got a few on hand from prior scouting missions, so I’ll bust those tomorrow and get some more supplies (targeting veggies from his garden).

After that, it was a solid day of writing, with an ice cream break in the middle. Gonna try to rein that in some this month and get my weight headed back in the good direction, but for now… ice cream. And writing.

Fri, 08.02.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of regular oatmeal

360

Lunch

Last can of chicken noodle soup

500

Dinner

Steak and veggies

900

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

2060

Another full day of writing, broken up by some time getting sweaty in the root cellar. Happy to report that to this day, still no sign of the nasty spiders that caused me so much trouble at the start of the experiment. Those bug bombs seem to have done the trick!

A sad day though – just ate my last can of chicken noodle soup. Will trade for more if there’s any available – something quick and easy. Still got a few cans of split pea soup tho…

Chicken Noodle Soup Can for August Food Report

Sat, 08.03.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of apple oatmeal

360

Lunch

Veggie stir fry w chicken

700

Dinner

Leftover veggie stir fry with chicken

700

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

2060

Trading day and less writing. Wound up making another batch of ice cream. Got lots of veggies, including six sweet potatoes and the biggest zucchini I’ve ever seen…and some chocolate syrup! Came home for lunch, then went back over to spend the afternoon with Mike and his family and only reluctantly returned to the writing desk in time for leftovers for dinner. 

Not a super productive day, but a good day, and I’m still fundamentally happy with the amount of social interaction I’ve been able to get. Helps ward off the isolation, tho I realize that I’m leaning HEAVILY on my near neighbors on that front. In a real scenario, I’d probably be better off by expanding the pool a bit. Something I’ll consider for the AAR next month. Made a batch of vanilla ice cream. Restocking ice supply.

Sun, 08.04.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of strawberry oatmeal

360

Lunch

Eggs and toast

300

Dinner

Can of split pea soup

360

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1320

Heavy writing day. After a day spent with friends, I’m feeling pretty energized, but – there’s a problem. At some point in the night, the well pump died. I spent a couple hours in the morning trying to revive it but ultimately had to call in the cavalry in the form of my landlady. Unfortunately, being Sunday on the mountain, there’s nothing for it. Made a brief trip into town to pick up ten gallons of water and will minimize its use.

Mon, 08.05.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

Ice cream (vanilla with chocolate syrup)

500

Dinner

Venison and veggies

900

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

2060

Well guys slated to come this afternoon. Continuing to ration my meager supplies of water. Of course, I can always get more, but I’ma try to avoid having to. Used four gallons today, including for flushing toilets. Just going to have to forego a shower till the pump is fixed. Bleh.

No sign of the well guys. 

Tues, 08.06.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of strawberry oatmeal!

360

Lunch

Steak and sweet potato!

900

Dinner

Huge salad with grilled chicken

750

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

2310

Day three without water. Continuing to ration. 4 more gallons used today, and holy HELL I need a shower. Today’s hot, too, which isn’t helping. But – the internet connection is solid, so I just kept my nose down, tried not to think about the fact that I feel grungy, and just got stuff done.

Well guys showed up late afternoon and confirmed what I already knew. Yep. It’s dead. They said they’d be back “in the morning” to fix it. Here we go…

Wed, 08.07.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

2 grilled cheese and a can of tomato soup

480

Dinner

Can of split pea soup

360

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1500

Day four with no water. Used one of my last two gallons to flush the dang toilet. If they don’t get it fixed today, I’m seriously considering getting a room at the Galax Motel in town just so I can get a shower. Damn.

Good writing day though, but another hot day (bearing in mind that “hot” up here is high 80’s…it’s not boiling like it used to be in South Carolina at the beach, but still plenty uncomfortable – especially with no water! Anyway, soldiering on.

“In the morning” turned out to be around noon, and it took them four hours and a party of five to swap the pump out, but by the evening, with my last gallon of water dwindling, the well sprang back into action! I promptly refilled all ten-gallon jugs, made some coffee, took an hour-long shower and started in on some laundry. Medium writing day because I was giddy with the water access and made heavy use of it.

New problem: Since the new pump came back on, the toilet isn’t happy. It’s overflowing. Water just keeps entering the tank. Not sure what’s up. My hunch is that the new pump is more powerful, and the increased pressure means that some kind of adjustment is needed. Don’t know anything about that (but I’m basing the more powerful pump conclusion on the fact that I’ve got BADASS shower pressure now, which I love).

Not an insurmountable issue. Will just have to remember to only turn the water to the toilet tank on when I need to flush it, then power it down until the plumber can arrive to take a look.

Called my landlady again, and she’s making the arrangements.

Thurs, 08.08.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

Milkshake for lunch

500

Dinner

Last two servings of mango madness

1080

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

2240

Another mediocre writing day in the aftermath of the Great Well Disaster of 2019. Caught up on laundry, enjoyed another super long shower, did the foul dishes that had been piling up in the sink and then, continued with general housekeeping duties from there. Plumber arrived and tweaked the guts of the tank. Problem solved. The Well Disaster is officially behind me! Back to smooth sailing, I hope!

Fri, 08.09.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of split pea soup

360

Dinner

Chops and some apple sauce

700

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1720

Have I said how much I enjoy having water again? Another gloriously long, hot shower this morning and a good, productive day. Still need to catch up a bit on the housework, but spent the day scrubbing floors, sinks, fixtures, and counters in the bathroom.

Looking good now! All that and a solid writing day, too – very happy with that. Mike’s wife brought over some homemade apple sauce in the afternoon. Will incorporate that into my dinner plans!

Sat, 08.10.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

French toast!

640

Lunch

2 grilled cheese, tomato soup, ice cream a bit later

750

Dinner

Venison and veggies

900

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

2590

Another week down and despite the fact that the month got off to a bit of a rocky start, things seem to have smoothed out nicely. Solid progress on all fronts and did some more deep cleaning.

How did I accumulate all this crap? When I moved here, everything I owned fit into five plastic tubs. Bleh. Downsizing, in between knocking out the work!

Tomato Soup

Sun, 08.11.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of apple oatmeal

360

Lunch

Ice cream for lunch

500

Dinner

Crockpot stew

800

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1960

Fired up the crockpot this morning. Tossed in some stew meat, assorted veggies, and random seasonings plucked from the spice rack. I’m not much of a cook, but even I can’t screw stew up…just throw a bunch of stuff together, let it get hot, season to taste and go. It certainly won’t win any awards, but it’s edible.

More good progress where key tapping is concerned too. Didn’t do a lot on the housework front, but it’s okay. It’ll keep, and there’s a 100% chance that the cats won’t do it for me, so…it will still be there tomorrow.

Mon, 08.12.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of split pea soup

360

Dinner

More crockpot stew

800

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1820

Quiet day and starting to get cooler. Everybody up here keeps saying that this will be a hard winter. I’ve learned better than to question their wisdom, so will make preparations for that, but only after the experiment formally comes to an end – though I gotta say, my trading has kept the pantry very well stocked though I am running a bit short on canned goods, so at the end of September,

I’ll start looking around for deals to stock back up on that front. For the most part, though, I’m feeling pretty good about things.

Tues, 08.13.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of multigrain cereal

360

Lunch

Steak and a sweet potato

900

Dinner

Last of the crockpot stew

600

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

2160

Helped pick some blackberries and strawberries growing wild between my property and Mike’s. Mike’s kids brought me a strawberry pie later in the evening. Gave them some of the chocolate ice cream I had just finished whipping up in exchange. Trade.

Nothing trumps trade. I’m a firm believer in that. And trade requires relationships. That’s the single biggest lesson I’ve learned over the course of this experiment. And my waistline is proof! After picking, I still got a good bit of writing done, too, so wins all around.

Wed, 08.14.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Back to boring oatmeal (two servings)

360

Lunch

Skipped lunch

0

Dinner

2 PB&J & Pie

900

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1560

Big wind on the mountain top today. All day. Didn’t knock the internet out though, so writing proceeded apace. Good day, if a bit uneventful. Just spent the day enjoying cheesy B movies and getting stuff done.

Split Pea Soup Can for August Food Report

Thurs, 08.15.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

Pie for lunch

500

Dinner

Can of split pea soup

360

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1520

More wind – even stronger than last yesterday, but no power flickers and no problems with net access. Another big movie and writing day. Found a few good ones, including a low budget film called “Find Me,” which was about an accountant who became a full-fledged adventurer on a quest for his missing friend. I dunno – struck a chord in me. Loved it. And more solid progress on the writing front.

Fri, 08.16.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of chili

640

Dinner

Can of split pea soup, Pie for dessert!

860

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

2160

Switched it up. Google home mini provided a day’s worth of good music to go with the writing. Wind finally died down, so a quiet day today. Took frequent breaks to snuggle with the cats and still got a lot done.

Sat, 08.17.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of multigrain cereal

360

Lunch

Eggs and pancakes!

640

Dinner

Pie for dinner!

500

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1800

We’re officially on the downhill side of the month. It’s been strong so far, despite the setbacks and challenges the month has thrown at me so far. If I can keep the momentum going, this month is going to wind up being the second-best month since I’ve been keeping writing stats. We’ll see how it goes! Onward!

Sun, 08.18.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of strawberry oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of beef stew

640

Dinner

Can of chili

640

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1940

Kept things simple today. Didn’t get up from the writing desk except for bathroom breaks, food breaks, and two short kitty breaks to snuggle my felines. Other than that, it was wall to wall writing. More progress! I’m chewing through the remaining outstanding debts at a rapid clip…. on track to be totally debt-free by September or October, which will be AMAZING!

Mon, 08.19.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Back to the boring oatmeal again (two servings)

360

Lunch

Polished off the pie

500

Dinner

Steak and another sweet potato for dinner

900

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

2060

One day is kinda starting to bleed into the next, which happens when things are running smoothly and there are no hiccups or interruptions like, oh, say, the well pump going out or something.

So – onward. Movies were good today, and I got a lot done. Even took some time out to fiddle with more housework for a bit. Place is back to looking pretty good. Not that there’s anyone to see it but me and the cats, but that’s okay too. I’m not really lonely.

Oatmeal Bowl for August Food Report

Tues, 08.20.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

Ice cream!

500

Dinner

Can of split pea soup

360

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1520

Hiked up to the top of one of the peaks today. Patches wanted to come, but I told her no. Took her out in the back yard when I got back, though, and let her get some sun on the top of the root cellar. She enjoyed that, and I needed the break. Other than that, though, it was wall to wall writing.

Wed, 08.21.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

No lunch – out with Mike

0

Dinner

Fish and veggies

750

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1410

Another mixed day. Mike was heading out “on patrol,” and I joined him. Our properties adjoin a much larger estate that’s mostly wildland with steep slopes and lots of ravines. Periodically, Mike acts as caretaker and just does a sweep just to make sure there’s nothing amiss.

While we were hiking, he told me the story of how he took Elizabeth’s boyfriend on patrol with him to give him “the talk” (Elizabeth is his teenage daughter). Made the poor boy carry a shovel the whole time. LOL I’ve heard the story before, but it’s a good one, so I listened attentively. That’s life on the mountain. Anyway, we stopped for some fishing along the way, and I caught enough for dinner, so that’s something.

When I got back, Mike’s kids had left me a present in the form of a tin of peppermint Altoids and a five-pack of Big Red gum. Ahhhh – sweet treats! That’s a treasure indeed. I will savor them!

Thurs, 08.22.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

No Lunch Today

0

Dinner

Can of beef stew, a bowl of ice cream later

1140

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1800

Home invasion! Sort of. LOL – Sometime in the middle of the night, all three felines went berserk – howling and hissing. I got up to investigate to find that a big black tomcat (BMK – Big Mean Kitty, for short), was trying to gain entry via the secret passage on the drawbridge that Bella uses to make her escape. They were all circled around the pet door in the window when I got up, keeping BMK at bay. I closed the window, ending the standoff, and went back to sleep. Poor guy looked thin. He probably wants food.

When I got up, I decided to put some food out for him on the porch (and a little supply of water), hoping that it would be enough to keep him from trying to gain entry into the house at night. Just in case though, once my charges are tucked in for the night, I’ll close the window, cutting off access. Can’t do it if Bella decides to spend the night outside, but as long as she comes in, that will be the plan. Problem more or less solved? We shall see. Anyway, other than that, a quiet day of steady writing progress.

Fri, 08.23.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

Two PB&J Sammiches

400

Dinner

French toast

700

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1760

Big, huge writing day and put some mango habanero chili in the crockpot with some venison for tomorrow. It dawned on me that it had been a while since I incorporated any freeze-dried food into the mix, mostly because the trading has been such a success. But I’ve got it, and I like much of it (and am eating it regularly for breakfast), so – I wanted to be sure to make use of it. It’s all good.

Sat, 08.24.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pancakes

640

Lunch

2 servings of mango habanero chili

1080

Dinner

1 serving of mango habanero chili

540

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

2560

Movies, music, and writing. Another big, good day. I could coast from here, and this would still wind up being my second-best month of all time, where the writing goes, but…I do want to keep tapping those keys!

Sun, 08.25.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

More pancakes

640

Lunch

Can of split pea soup

360

Dinner

Last of the mango habanero chili

1080

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

2380

Steaming ahead! Nothing to report because I basically just wrote all day. Took some breaks for food, and of course, to play with the cats, but other than that, stayed focused. Oh – the experiment with BMK seems to be working, although he has taken to camping out on the front porch near the food supply. At least he’s no longer chasing Bella up the drawbridge and trying to get into the house, so…I’ll call that a win.

pancake

Mon, 08.26.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Slept through breakfast

0

Lunch

Tomato soup and 2 grilled cheese, ice cream later

750

Dinner

2 servings of brown sugar maple oatmeal

360

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1410

Slept late, but still got a lot done today. Shut the movies off and went with the music, took a few breaks to tinker with housework, but nothing dramatic. Just enjoying the smooth sailing.

Tues, 08.27.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

Venison and veggies

900

Dinner

Bowl of ice cream for dinner

500

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

2060

A lighter writing day today. More of a leisurely pace than being hell-bent on maximizing productivity. Still feeling great about the month and making good progress on all fronts. Hammering the CRAP out of the remaining debts! That’s one thing I’m really loving about this experiment. Since I’m not making trips into town for much of anything, I’m able to be a lot more focused on the fundamentals.

Wed, 08.28.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of strawberry oatmeal

360

Lunch

2 PB&J

400

Dinner

Tomato soup and 2 Grilled cheese, ice cream later

750

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1810

Just couldn’t hack another morning of boring oatmeal. And since the experiment is in its waning days, I don’t have to, so I’m going to start enjoying the food, rather than eating my least favorites. Strong writing day and good general progress. Actually managed to do some more housework too. Sweet.

Thurs, 08.29.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of multigrain cereal

360

Lunch

Nothing for lunch

0

Dinner

Pork and veggies

750

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1410

Sat outside for a while today and tried to coax the BMK to come up to the porch and eat some food while I was sitting there, but he was having none of it. He just stared right past me at the food bowl, waiting indignantly for me to leave. I finally relented and went back inside to write. I peeked out the window later, and he was happily munching and crunching away. Guess that’s our arrangement then. I feed him but keep my distance, and he doesn’t try to attack my poor kitties. Okay. I can live with that.

Onward. More key tapping and movies. Monster flicks today. All sorts. Freshwater croc (giant, of course) terrorizing small towns, anacondas, etc. Low budget and cheesy. Yay!

Bowl of Vanilla Ice Cream for August Food Report

Fri, 08.30.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of apple oatmeal

360

Lunch

Ice cream!

500

Dinner

Two grilled cheese, tomato soup, and a smidge of ice cream later

600

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1760

Slept in again and taking it easy. A slower, measured pace today. More smooth sailing. It doesn’t make for anything interesting to write about, but it sure is good progress! Muse and I staying on good terms, and the words continue to flow easily. I’ll take it. Today was virus/infection/pandemic movies. Not as good as the monster flicks, but – it’s background noise.

Sat, 08.31.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Slept through breakfast

0

Lunch

French toast for lunch

700

Dinner

Venison and veggies

900

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1900

Last day of the month! I decided to give myself a treat and took most of the day off. Read a book. Cleaned house. Watched movies. Still got some writing in, but not a ton. Good day. Very relaxing. No idea what the month of September will bring, but whatever comes, I will be ready!

End of Month Summary

As you can see, there were a couple of surprises and disruptions this month, but on the whole, I’d have to call it pretty smooth sailing. The end of the experiment is close now, and I’m not concerned in the least about being able to skate to the finish line. 

The plan will be: I’ll play out the entire month of September, though I may take a “cheat day” on my birthday to enjoy some Mexican food, write up the final report, along with final observations and my checklist for rebuilding my long term food stocks, which I’ll put in spreadsheet form and include with the AAR. The idea will be that anybody who wants to build a viable food supply will be able to just cut and paste the stuff from the spreadsheet into their own lives, modifying it with personal tastes and preferences, of course. 

And that will be that. I’m looking forward to seeing what the final chapter holds, but I also confess that I’ll be glad when the experiment ends. Although I have been coping pretty well with the isolation, I think it will be nice (if perhaps a little jarring) to plug back into the world a little more fully. Even so, knowing that I CAN live pretty well in relative isolation is valuable, and the lessons I’ve learned during the experiment will definitely color and shade my own planning efforts into the future. Anyway, I’m getting a little ahead of myself – still got another month to slog through before I start thinking too much about the next steps, so here goes nothing!

See you in a month.

Month End Stats


Weight: 340
BP: 128/81

(Much better. Weight trending back down a bit and BP right on the money, or…near enough for me!)


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My Year of Eating like the World Ended – August Food Report was last modified: October 25th, 2019 by Consumer Files