What did you do to prep this week?

Good morning!

It’s a cold 19 degrees here, and to be honest I don’t like it and I’m ready for summer… Ah the warm weather, the sun, the green vegetation, gardening, the pretty women in their summer cloths and just relaxing on the porch. Ah summer. :sun:

Anyway, before we start with this weeks “What did you do to prep this week?” segment, I would like to thank Brad C for his donation this week. Thank you sir – it is appreciated and has already been used to pay a subscription payment for a premium plugin for the blog.

Let’s see what else before we get started with the segment…

Yes, all copies of my “ITEOTWAWKI – And I Feel Fine” CD have been mailed and everyone should get their copy by the first part of next week. Sorry, for the delay, but a couple of things came up that threw me off-schedule and my getting all the orders out on time.

Now lets see… what did I do to prep this week… ?:-) Unfortunately, not a lot… mostly planning for spring and drawing diagrams of my garden layout and making a list some other stuff that I plan to get done in a couple of months – like painting my chicken coop, covering my storage building with vinyl siding, putting in more shelving, hooking up solar lighting inside that building, finish fencing my property, building a better rabbit hutch etc…

Remember the proverb: “He who fails to plan, plans to fail” read this post “Survival Planning For Smart People” average Wolf Pack member IQ 150+ 8-).

I also subscribed to Urban Farm magazine, I’m not urban but I’m sure there the articles will pertain to rural areas as well.

That’s it for me this week – I would have liked to have been able to tell you that I had build a fortified survival bunker, with an anti-aircraft gun on top and a two mile long escape tunnel that leads out to my bug out plane, that’s ready to fly to my personal bug out location on my personally owned island retreat…

Oh well…

Well come on let’s get started… What did you do to prep this week?  (By the way; this is post number 130 of this segment!)

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  1. ozhillbilly says:

    Hi friends. My prepping this week has been limited due to spending time getting paperwork ready to go see the tax guy tomorrow. Don’t want to go but don’t need the government knocking on my door either. I also listed a vintage car on eBay. I like the old car but it’s time to let someone else enjoy it. I plan on replacing it with a more reliable pre computer model. Suggestions are welcome. On the fun side I started a homemade forge project. I saw a YouTube video recently of a fellow making one out of a large truck brake drum. The next day I started scrounging parts. It’s coming together nicely. I hope to have it done this week. Now I just have to figure out how to sneak my wife’s hairdryer out of the house without her noticing it. I plan on using it for the blower on the forge.

    On an encouraging note; I talked to a neighbor, a couple of doors to my east, yesterday and the subject of prepping came up. His son works security at our local gun show and I always greet him when I see him. Apparently he and his father (my neighbor) discuss this stuff so he knows my interests. Seems he is starting to see the writing on the wall and is starting to prep himself. At least it seems he is. He mentioned his first project is building a rocket stove out of an ammo can. I immediately came home and fetched him a 1500 round 7.62 can and donated it to his project. He also asked for suggestions about long term food storage, etc. Folks as much as I’ve knocked my head against the wall trying to discuss this stuff with people, this is real encouraging. Also, my wife told me our neighbor immediately to our west told her that they just purchased $500.00 worth of ammunition. Hee Haw, life is good!

  2. MENTALMATT says:

    What up pack! Picked up a gun safe today as it has really been overdue. I didnt get a fire proof one as I figure all the extra money and it will only last for 30 minutes in extream heat. Not to mention it killed me and my buddy hauling this thing into my house and upstairs, the insulated ones way a ton more. Any thoughts? I was able to pick up 5 30 round mags for $20.00 apiece, lucky deal, I dont think I will see that again… A few cans of Keystone turkey meat… Thats all

  3. Pretty cold here, too…I’m looking forward to Spring! This week, I added a few cans of fruit, 5 cans of crushed tomatoes, and added to my supply of feminine products. Bought ingredients to make vegetable soup for pressure canning this week. OH! I snagged three food grade buckets for FREE from Chick-fil-A this week…need to air them out a bit to get rid of the pickle smell (although I don’t mind it). Apparently, they throw them out every day! God bless you all..have a great week!

    • HomeINsteader says:

      U2, I’ve had a real challenge with the dill pickle buckets, as well. I finally just left mine outdoors, let them fill with rainwater, and left them sitting for several days, as nothing else actually removed the dill pickle odor. Being a severe asthmatic, all odors are problematic. So, free is good – but that dill pickle odor? Not so much.

      • I have been snagging free 5 gallon pickle buckets from a local restaurant; and, have decided that the best thing so far is to put charcoal briquettes in them and put the lid on tight for a few days. It has done surprisingly well at removing the pickle sting. The latest thing I have tried is filling it with fresh cat litter. Keeps the litter dry: and, I will check in a couple of days to see how good it is at odor control. I also have a problem with strong smells aggravating my asthma.

    • U2redneck, we had luck getting rid of the pickle smell by washing the buckets in very hot water with lots of soap and some bleach. Let it sit full of that solution over night then rinse well, dry the bucket well and stuff full of newspapers and seal. Leave it for a few days or even a week. It was amazing how well it worked!

  4. We’ve had a pretty busy week here. I spent all week studying for my Ham radio technician’s license. I passed that test Saturday! So excited. Can’t wait to get my call sign within a few days.My DH took his test last month and passed. Next month we will both test for our General license. There is only a handful of local Ham operators, but they have been so helpful in getting us started! In the last few days we have been given a CB base station, 2 car mount CB units, a tripod for the antennae, a 6 meter radio, a power supply, 100 ft of RG-213 coax, adapters for our hand talkies, and lots of info! My DH and I both have the Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band portable radios. We ordered the extended batteries for them. My DH has been working on getting all of the different types of antennae mounted on the roof. He’s also mounting our solar panel while he’s up there. However, we may not be able to leave it up there for very long. This past week our wonderful City Inspector tried to make a man remove his solar panels. He told him to either get on city power or get out of town. He is now working on getting a city ordinance passed so that we cannot use solar power. We will be at that City meeting to protest.

    Today, we slaughtered our first chicken. It took team work from our whole family. My DH chopped the roosters head off, my oldest son plucked the feathers, and I gutted and cleaned him. I was really proud of us. This may not be a big deal for most of ya’ll, but we’ve NEVER been exposed to it, and it was a learning experience. I didn’t really feel any remorse over killing the rooster i’ve raised for the last year cuz he was meaner than a hornet. He’s left so many knots and bruises on me I lost count. Tomorrow, roasted chicken for dinner!

    I’ve been making homemade Artisan bread. It is so easy and so wonderful. I found the recipe and instructions on Mother Earth News: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/Artisan-Bread-In-Five-Minutes-A-Day.aspx#axzz2LCyHmIEw
    I just love how this dough stays good in the frig for up to 2 weeks. You just pull out the amount you need, let it rise 40 minutes, bake 30 minutes, and viola! And NO kneading! Tonight I used it to make homemade buns for our pulled pork sandwiches!

    Received a dozen new pint jars from my brother. Dad gave us 35 gallons of milo for the chickens. Lookin to buy another 10 chicks but trying to decide which type of chickens I want.

    That’s about it this week. Hope everyone has a great week.

  5. For the Pack members in VA…. ya might want to give this place some business.

    Got a gun? If so, All Around Pizza and Deli will take 15 percent off your order, local news outlet WTKR NewsChannel 3 reported.

    Jay Laze, owner of the Virginia Beach, Va., shop, is offering a special pizza discount to gun owners who come in carrying a weapon or furnish their concealed carry permit.


    • Hunker-Down says:


      That business now has a buffer zone of CC customers. The bad guys will leave that business alone. I hope they get maximum publicity.

      Shop owners….are you listening?

  6. scott kittle says:

    Its pretty cold here in savannah ga but I still managed to go get some sheets of 1 inch plywood and build the window coverings for my home. I cut each one to fit and then mounted a steel grate on each one. I also built the base to my homemade generator and mounted the engine to it. My wife and I know that we cannot bug out, so we have made the decision to fortify the brick home we live in and be prepared to defend our home as best as possible. We dont live in a major city but do live in a neighborhood so home defense is vital to us.

  7. Wow, late to posting tonight. *Yawns* I spent the day today making a 55 gallon barrel drum garden planter. It took a lot longer than I expected it too, but I got the hang of the heat gun and wood wedge system eventually, lol.. The 55 gallon one is finished, and on Thursday I’ll be working on the two thirty gallon drums I bought.

    I got all three barrels from a truck driver who delivers for a Mexican restaurant. They had lime juice in them. He sold them to me for ten bucks a piece though.. I found him on craigslist, and was super excited to find them for such a deal. He had TONS of them, so I might have to go back and get a few more, next payday. .

    I’ve been diligently tending to my little seedlings. My cherry tomato plants and green onions are adorable little baby plants now. I’m still waiting for my strawberries to poke their heads up. No sign of my sweet and spicy mesclun, or the beef steak tomatoes, but I just planted those in their starter planters, so I’m sure it’ll be a little while yet. I’m still REALLY new to this gardening thing, but hopefully, as the spring marches on, I’ll get better at it. When we get a little more pocket money, I’m going to get another self-watering tray, and plant some radish.

    If anyone knows which plants you CAN NOT plant together, pretty please let me know? I’m getting conflicting reports from google, and since I’ll be planting in barrels, I don’t want my plants not getting along, lol. I’m planting cherry tomato, regular tomato, strawberries, green onions, Mesclun lettuce, radish.. and I think that’s all in the workd at the moment.

    The Sprouting has been going great. This was the first week that we got to add them to our salads and sandwiches, and we love them. I ordered more clover, radish, mustard and alfalfa, and a second four tray sprouter.. and it’s going phenomenally. I figure, even if I fall flat on my face with the OUTdoor gardening, I’ll at least have sprouts to keep me healthy(ish), lol.

    I dehydrated another batch of mango and pears, and added strawberries to the mix this week. I cut them, and dried them, and vacuum sealed them in their little jars, and my hand took one, and my MOM wanted one, and my husband wanted some, and now there isn’t any left. *Sigh* HOW am I supposed to accumulate a stash of dried fruits for my prepping pantry, if there isn’t any leftover when I’m finished? There’s ONE lone jar on my shelves from LAST week that I was able to hide away, and that’s all I’ve accomplished as far as dehydrating goes, lol.

    More doing for prepping this week, than buying. My 35th birthday, and my husband’s and my 13th wedding anniversary were both this week, so the free spending money went on a new computer for me, and a new fancy Keurig coffee pot for him.. and a nice dinner out on the town for Valentine’s Day. The second week of February is our week to celebrate and spoil each other, so we didn’t buy any preps this week. Hopefully next week, we can get back on the wagon.

    Off to read what YOU guys have been up to this week. 🙂 Take care Wolflets.

    • SCPrepperPoppa says:

      Congrats Amy on number 13! My wife and I just celebrated our 33rd Valentine’s Day ( and anniversary BTW) on a lamb farm in NC! She is finally onboard with prepping and agreed to get her CWP! I am so elated and relieved about this “normalcy bias” change of heart!
      You are doing the right thing, and sometimes, it IS hard to do the “right thing”

      • Mmmm, Michael, I can’t think of a better place to spend a 33rd Valentine’s Day than someplace with mutton chops on the menu, hehe. Happy Anniversary to you and yours!!

      • HomeINsteader says:

        Happy Anniversary, M, and Happy DW on Board!

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        Congrats on the 33rd Anniversery, SCPP. And for having your wife on board. I wish mine would do more than tolerate an old guy’s passion.

        • SCPrepperPoppa says:

          Thanks to all for the congrats! Really doesn’t seem like it should be 33 years, amazing to contemplate. Getting ready to make deer jerky out of 11-12 lbs of venison cube steak. Gonna keep that dehydrator going this week! A good week to all the Pack!

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      LOL, I blew 50 bucks on steaks and truffles, Amy, but count it well spent. This will be our anniversery number 32 in October, and I had a birthday on Valentine’s Day myself. It doesn’t hurt to take a week for building relationships as that’s awesome prepping in itself, so don’t feel bad. Have a great rest of the week.

      • Hehe.. RoR, since I started prepping, ANY money that I spend, (our steak dinner, our presents.. fixing the water heater last week, when some idiot bird decided to lay a nest and get stuck and die in the flue, *sigh* lol), EVERYTHING is weighed in prepping money terms. How much could I buy to prep with this money!? Ugh, lol. I am trying to find a nice balance between living ‘regular’ life and prepping, but with time getting short, prepping stays priority one right now.. (learning as much as buying. I know now that it’s not enough to store and stash, I have to teach myself valuable survival skills while I’m at this, thus the sprouting, the gardening.. the reading, and researching, etc). I have so far to go, but I know that I’M SO much more prepared than I was six months ago, and that is something. So when is dinner, those truffles are calling my name. :):)

    • HomeINsteader says:

      Good morning, Schametti! You might want to invest in a good gardener’s book, hard copy – you can’t go wrong with any Rodale’s book; meanwhile, there are online sites that DO give good advice on gardening based on Rodale’s (organic) gardening, for example.

      Don’t “google” – “duck” – http://www.duckduckgo.com

      Duck does not collect, sell, or give your info to the gubment; google has always done all of that.

      Here are your search parameters: Rodale companion planting

      Here’s one to get you started: http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/companion-planting

      Also, many of the better seed sites provide excellent information: Baker Creek Farms, Seed Savers Exchange, etc.

      Hope this helps.

      Happy Monday!

    • Amy, had to laugh about the disappearing dried fruit. The first time we dried apples, they were all gone in a week. We gorged on them! The next batch I was able to tuck away in the freezer behind some meat so it is still there.

      • Encourager.. omg, I’m glad it’s not just me haha.. Between the familial vultures, and my OWN addiction to the dried mango, I still just have that one lonely jar for my pantry, LOL. I’m hoping that eventually, we’ll all get tired of nomming on it, and be able to put a little back, but I’m not holding my breath, haha!!

        HOME: Thanks so much for the links, I will most definitely check those out!! I really appreciate it!

    • Schametti,

      I will be happy to give advice about companion planting. I need a few details about what you want to place together – but I will be happy to help.

      BTW, sometimes strawberry seeds are a little stubborn and take a long time to germinate. Don’t give up! Make sure they are in a sunny window.

      • Hi Kate! 😀 Thanks I’ve definitely been trying to read your replies to other folks carefully, and not get overwhelmed. This is my very first adventure in gardening, and I’m bracing myself for complete and utter failure the first time around, but hoping for the best, LOL.

        I am beginning my first season into planting with one 55 gallon drum, ( with 35 side holes, and the open top ), and two 30 gallon drums with the open top, and PROBABLY 28ish side holes. I have to say probably because I’m not doing them until Thursday night, when my stepfather comes back with his reciprocating saw, to make sure I don’t dismember myself, LOL.

        On my kitchen table right now, I have.. five spicy mesclun plants, five sweet mesclun plants.. about 20 cherry tomato plants, (way more than I need, I know, lol), and about ten green onion plants, all already popping through their germination stations…. Planted, but NOT sprouting yet.. are a few beefsteak tomato plants, a few radish plants, and several strawberry plants.. of at least a couple different types.. Alpine and Wonder, or something like that.. no sign of them, and I planted them first, and with the most excitement, isn’t that always the way it goes.. lol. I read a little bit about their stubborness. I’m keeping their soil very moist, but not wet.. and they’re in a very sunny kitchen, (on my table, but just two feet from the giant window), so I’m hoping they’ll make an appearance.. at some point. I HAVE cucumber and sweet corn seeds, but have no planted them yet, because, I’m not too sure they’ll container appropriate, so they might not get planted. But that’s what I have going so far.. I would like to plant some more radish, and probabaly some more green onion and mesclun when I am able to get another starter set.

        • HomeINsteader says:

          Some varieties of corn transplant just fine, and others will not survive the transplant. Might want to check with your seed provider as to which variety you have and whether it will transplant well. Cukes will be just fine.

          • My brother transplanted Golden Bantam when we were kids. My mom kept telling him it wouldn’t work but he did it anyway and it grew really well.

      • Hey Kate.. when/if you come back to reply, (or someone who might know), I have another question.. I just harvested my first bit of wheatgrass, that I sprouted in my sprouter, (a rough draft, so to speak, before I tried planting it in thin soil, like it recommended on the bag of seed), well we just ate the first batch in a salad, and it looked great and tasted great, sweet, and crisp.. and quite nice, nothing like the horror stories that I had heard on it’s taste, lol..

        Unfortunately, within minutes of eating it, my face and scalp started tingling, and my my mouth is itchy. I did some googling and read that some people who have allergies to grasses and molds, (which I do, naturally, lol), can sometimes have a reaction to eating wheatgrass. Buuut, I also read that eating wheatgrass can relieve/cure some allergies, so now I’m confused.

        Clearly, I’m having a reaction to the wheatgrass. (I have this same reaction to mushrooms). But my QUESTION is.. Do you/someone/anyone think that if I keep eating the wheatgrass regularly.. might this reaction fade, with time>? Or am I doomed to be smacking myself in the face to relieve the tingles for the rest of my days?? LOL. If anyone has any feedback, I would be most appreciative..

        I have this large bag of hard red wheat seeds, and just put on a new large batch to soak.. so Imma be mad if I can’t eat it……

        • HomeINsteader says:

          Morning, Schametti!

          Do you have any reason to believe you have a known gluten intolerance? This COULD be a culprit, according to some things I’ve read, but, then again…wheat grass is 70% chlorophyll and has high concentrations of things like magnesium.

          I think the problem is most likely the Phytic Acid (phytates), and that means the wheat seeds need longer soaking and more rinsing. Wheat has the largest concentration of phytates; try spelt, which does not have phytates at all.It was spelt that saved the Roman legions (they carried it as food).

          Another thought: wheat seed is good for about 5 years, unless prepared for long-term storage (such as professionally done using professional-quality vacuum-pack equipment, then mylar bags and sufficient OAs). After 5 years, more or less, the seed will be rancid. Are you sure the seed was not rancid?

          Also, most seeds contain toxins ranging in concentration from “trace” to “significant” amounts of these toxins per seed; this is a defense mechanism built-in by our Creator/G-d in His wisdom, to be sure the species goes on…controlling how much gets eaten by the critters who eat them. So, if you’re directly sprouting and then eating or juicing, you’re swallowing these toxins. Thus, the need to soak for hours and rinse repeatedly in the sprouting process.

          So, the seed toxins could very well be the problem.

          If you’re going to persist in the wheat grass sprouts experiment (given your reaction), try first soaking them for several hours (not less than 8, according to some sources); pour this water off; rinse them thoroughly, and now sprout them, continuing to rinse and change out the water at least once a day. Eat only a small amount and see what happens before you eat more (crawl before walking!).

          You might want to read this:

          Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/547662-can-i-eat-wheat-grass-from-wheat-berry-sprouts/#ixzz2LRdpXGHe

          Hard red wheat is suggested as best for sprouting. I get my wheat from http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com, and it arrives ready for 25-30 year storage.

          By the way, sprouts CAN be cooked, though you will lose nutritional value when heat is applied. But the cooking does kill these toxins, if the heat is applied for at least 10 minutes of cooking time.

          You might look here for more sprouting info, as well:


          Hope this helps!

          • HI – your information triggered another thought with me on the allergic reaction – magnesium. I tried taking a magnesium supplement a while back and my face started flushing. When I quit taking the supplement, my face returned to normal. I tried it again to make sure it wasn’t something else with no luck. Looks like I have a problem with high concentrates of magnesium.

            • HomeINsteader says:

              Well, dadgum it! I had a comment in the above on magnesium…wonder what I did with it?!! Oh, well…yes, wheat grass is very high in magnesium, so, this could be the culprit, as well. Thank you for pointing that out, GA Red.

            • Tactical G-Ma says:

              GA Red,
              I took glucosamine with chondroitin and my hair fell out in handsfull. I’m allergic to chondroitin.

              • HomeINsteader says:

                Wow. First time I’ve heard this one, TGMa. You obviously had a SERIOUS reaction to the combination. Either that, or some of the other meds you take didn’t play nicely with one or both of these! Either way, glad you stopped taking them! I’m sure you look right purdy, bald, however… : )

              • Oh my! I’d be mortified if my hair fell out.

                • Tactical G-Ma says:

                  I am highly allergic to shellfish and chondroitin is made out of shrimp shells or something like that but instead of breaking out in hives my hair fell out and when I read possible side effects, it lists hair loss.

          • Heya Home! Wow, thanks for all of the info!! 🙂

            I can’t recall ever having a reaction to gluten in the past.

            The hard red wheat seed I’m using came from Handy Pantry, and isn’t old, and came in a mylar bag, prepared for long storage, but I started using it right away, so I don’t believe it’s old/bad or rancid seed.

            I followed the directions more from the sprouter tray(s), more so than the seed directions, (the first time, so I could see how it grew, and how long it took, etc). It was about two inches tall in a week, with 2-3 rinses a day, and I harvested it then, instead of letting it grow a: in dirt, and b: to it’s full 6-8 inches recommended harvesting point.

            I had PLANNED to put this second batch on a thin level of soil, like the seed directions recommend, but I was reading that apparently, when grown indoors, and on soil, you have a high risk of developing mold, and aside from my GRASS allergies, the only thing I’m MORE allergic too.. would be horses, and MOLD, lol.. so I definitely don’t want to encounter mold on top of grass.. It would probably kill me for all I know, haha. (I’m mostly kidding there, but I’m sure I would be pretty uncomfortable).

            ANYWAY.. On the batch I have going now, I soaked it for about ten hours over night, rinsed it VERY well, this afternoon, put it back on the tray, and not in dirt, like the directions recommended.. and covered it with the paper towel (for three days, starting now), like the directions said, but I’m not sure what to do after that. Like I said, I definitely don’t want to be growing mold, so maybe I won’t add it to the soil. I’m just not sure if it’ll grow to it’s full height like it’s supposed to if it just gets water rinses every day, and no soil….?? I have no idea.

            Thank You for the links, I will try and read up. I really hope the tingles and itching goes away though. I hate wasting time and money on things that don’t work out. Darn it, lol.

            • Wheat meant for planting could be treated with fertilizer and fungicides. I only use food grade seeds for sprouting.
              re: magnesium the OTC ACID blocker Omeprazole citrate, can cause a loss of magnesium, either by blocking it’s absorption or binding with byproducts. If you need take this long term consider the omeprazole magnesium variety.

  8. Bought some food and plan on selling a couple of tools for prep money.I am working more on spiritual preps then physical.looking for a good deal on a 22 and a gi spec 45.

  9. Scarecrow1989 says:

    As well, cold here too. I’ve started my cabbage plants for this spring, ordered a cherry tree, & bought some peat moss for starting other plants. One large package usually lasts me three or four years for starting plants. Also picked up a used Mossberg 500 at a local pawn shop fairly cheap – came with an extra barrel, so I may finally try to build a tactical shotgun for home defense. Picked up another 20lb bag of rice, but still have to get some buckets for putting it up.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      SCORE! on the Mossberg, Scarecrow! Good job!

    • Surviving in Ky. says:

      Scarecrow1989, I would recommend a military style safety button for the Mossberg. I’ve had one for years and recently added the new safety button. Works alot smoother than the original and is a little taller. This allows for easier grip to push it forward. In a crisis, it might make the difference. It might bag that next rabbit on the jump as well. lol You can get them at Midway USA. Great gun!

  10. Here’s a question for all of you “gunnies” out there. What kind of gun should a 73 year old female get, one who has never touched a gun before? My current defense weapons are a baseball bat at each door and a can of wasp spray at my bedside. I live alone and use a walker outside. I have no neighbors within shouting distance and no dog, but 4 “watch” cats. Whenever a strange car pulls in or someone comes to the door they scatter in four directions. I know that I’ll need lessons and hope that I can find something without a lot of kick, that I can use in an emergency without shooting off my big toe.

    • GrannyEm,

      If possible get an alarm system such as ADT installed, have good locks, with deadbolts installed. Motion lights would be good around your house and are only around $25 each at Wal-Mart. As for guns take a look at the Kel-Tec PMR-30 .22 Magnum Pistol it’s light weight, low recoil, has a 30 round magazine and will put a good hole in an intruder.

      • I agree w/M.D.

        First you secure your house, then a way to call for help. Then a gun. The PMR should cost you under $450. But they are a little hard to come by. If you end up going with a 22 LR, I’d make sure they handle the 60 gr Agulila Sub Sonics. The Walther P22 and the Ruger SR22 both do.

        • Thanks, JP.
          I keep my keys with car alarm and my cell phone near me at night. I figure that the alarm might wake a neighbor or not, but an intruder wouldn’t know that and, hopefully, would flee. I don’t know what a “60gr Agulila Sub Sonics ” is, but it’s on my shopping list and I’m sure the gun shop owner will know.

      • M.D.
        Thanks for the ideas. Can’t afford ADT, but will get the deadbolts and motion lights. I’d thought of the lights before, but was afraid they’d be flashing all night, with the deer and ‘coons around, not to mention the neighborhood bear. I have to bring in my bird feeders every night in the spring and summer. Will look for that gun and some classes.

        • Granny
          If you have the resources, try guinea hens. They pretty much fend for themselves, sleep in the trees around your property and raise the roof if anyone gets near, even at night. Just a handful of feed a day keeps them tied to the home grounds. They eat ticks, small snakes and all kinds of nasties that attempt to creep up to the house.
          Geese will do the same thing.

          • Granny, when we moved here over 30 years ago, someone nearby had peacocks. They were great alarm birds. My city born-and-raised in-laws were very leery about being out in the country; we had no curtains and were in the middle of no-where but they put up black garbage bags on all the windows for privacy in the upstairs bedroom. During the night, they woke us up and said somebody was prowling about outside – they could hear them in the tall grasses. We got up, used the spot light, to find a herd of deer. Then the peacocks started at dawn. Oh my goodness, my MIL freaked out. She said it sounded like a Tarzan movie and they were thinking of finding a hotel to stay in. We laughed for years about that. Welcome to the country!

        • sw't tater says:

          Check out one of the fall alert companies…their services can also be used to call police and fire…in addition to medical cal assistance…some of them are as cheap as 19$ a month, attach to a phone line, they will mail equipment to you, and you plug it in. Pull up search bar and search for first alert companies…you should be able to get info on several different ones to compare services, billing…just tell them you are trying to gather information for a possible purchase. Be sure to ask each company the same questions, so you can adequately compare. I did this for MIL. some companies offer discounts that are substantial for yearly or bi-yearly billing options, and some offer monthly billing only.Most come with a necklace or bracelet that will give you assistance even if you are out of ear-shot of your receiver. So if you fell going to get the mail you would be able to call.

    • GrannyEm,

      I took a female only gun class with a female instructor–and that made the intro to guns easier. There was another class where you get to shoot a number of different guns to see what feels right to you. I was going to take that class but then I picked up my brother’s Glock 19.

      • Bam Bam,
        I hope that I find an all female class, and will ask to handle the Glock 19 as well as the one M.D. mentioned when I shop. I can’t believe I’m contemplating this at my age, but it’s a whole new world today. God help us all !

        • Encourager says:

          GrannyEm, I took an all female class taught by a man. He was great. By the time the class was over, I could shoot straight and had confidence I could take care of myself. He invited me and two other women to come have an afternoon of shooting at the range. He brought every gun he owned – I think there was over 15. We tried every one. He would stand at your shoulder and quietly talk to you, correcting poor stance, fingers in the wrong place, whatever was needed. I have recommended him a dozen times over to other women.

          He won’t teach men because them come with an ‘attitude’ of already ‘knowing it all’. He said more accidents happen with men who ‘think’ they know it all then the same number of women who show up scared and shaky.

          Have you thought about getting one of those Life Alert buttons on a chain for your neck that connects you to help instantly? They would be cheaper than an alarm system. I am not sure, but check to see if Medicare covers them, if your doctor would write a Rx for one.

          We also bought a 20 gauge shotgun. I have arthritis in my shoulders and can shoot that 20 gauge with no problem.

  11. Spent the week dealing with medical issues. Will share some learning experiences.
    1 – Always get a leaflet on medication description when picking up a prescription. Pharmacy didn’t want to give me one until I insisted. Glad I did as no grapefruit products can be used while on this medication.
    2- Review with the doctor your diagnosis and meds that are being prescribed before leaving his/her office. Due to a busy schedule, doctor forgot to tell me about one lab result, yet the pharmacy had an anticibiotic waiting for me with the rest of my scripts. Had to call dr. back and get the real scoop.
    3- One new med was incompatibable with another. The pharmacist is generally the one to catch this and not the doctor. Pharmacists love to educate patients and not just “dispense pills”, so tap into their knowledge. Make sure to read all accompanying literature before starting a new med as the info just may save your life.

  12. Hello and Prayers for the Pack!
    U2, If you bag the food you put in those buckets..it’ll be ok…especially if you get hungry!
    It’s been a slow two weeks here due to the cool temps and illness.
    I have been having withdrawals from lack of computer time, but have survived with re-runs from Andy and the Waltons…from tv.(On borrowed unit tonight) read the comments am looking forward to reading the posts I have missed the last two weeks.
    The Pneumonia got me on the 4th and is just now letting me go. The cold with us enough to keep me in all but a few minutes each day.Lows running mid 20’s and some highs around 38, every few days we’ll get a 58…enough to make me want to garden!.
    .We both have been thinking about crops we deem absolutely necessary,…and planning how we can get it all in the area we have allotted, with the soils needed… and devising methods to enhance our deer resistant ability. .don’t want to interfere too much with the fall crop…but keep the veggies safe.. The electric fence worked somewhat, but still not to the effectiveness we need.( Deer small enough they went thru the fence..or under it..) I used a commercial spray repellant around the fence. It helped… but those deer love our key crops of squash, okra and beans.
    My blackberry plants are beginning to give me a few leaves, and most stems are green- this is due in part to our crazy weather of 23 at night,40 during day and some lows of 46 and highs of 62 in alternating patterns.
    We have gotten lots of moisture, which we needed due to a deficit last year. Mulching is in the plans, but Oh, so carefully due to the presence of cotton mouths, copperheads and two different rattle snakes being present in the immediate area.Am searching for some rotted/ partially rotted hardwood sawdust.
    .Gathering more materials for raised beds, closer to the house.easier/quicker access.
    Managed to replace most items used last two weeks and have made priority lists for next months needs . and repair purchases for necessary repairs on housing and transportation.
    . We have done some improvising with temporary heaters -#3 rule applicable,- heaters since our #1 and our #2 back up failed…about a month ago, too sick to do all the plumbing and moving necessary to hook up #4 back-up.
    I have been watching the events in news as reported by MSM, not so impressed with their coverage of events, nor the events that received coverage.
    Noted same old info being reported as it is new…Folic acid reports have been reported as being necessary for infant growth and development for 20+ years- why would it not assist in nerve and brain development…sure it will prevent autism.. and…who did they with-hold it from to document this “find”?
    Computers have taken a dive from various electrical events over past two weeks…the laptop and the desktop, with different issues.
    Someone has dropped a really pretty male pup ..? heredity..on us this week, He came to us with each rib visible, and is quickly getting a bit of coverage…we are calling him Winston Churchill. If we can get him to take to training he may be a keeper, even tho we weren’t wanting another mouth to feed-that can’t feed us..Protection and warning activities are acceptable reasons to keep rambunctious critter..If we can’t keep him, we’ll find him a home. Have a good week.take care..

  13. This week: plans to leave Chicagoland area; wife has job opportunity in Naples, FL… exciting to think about getting out of the Soviet State of IL but – based on past posts about where to relocate – not sure if extreme SW FL is ideal, although for other hopefully obvious reasons. Hope it’s not off-topic. Long time reader, 1st time poster. Thanks for all the great ideas/advice on multiple topics this past year.

    • Get a metal detector and do Palm Beach area with it. I hear the rich there are always losing their diamond studded dog collars on the beach. Well, maybe not, but it’s a fun idea.

      • Exothermic says:

        If correct, your idea could go a fairly long ways towards funding additional preps! My dad used to do that at TWU in Denton. We found lots of Mercury Dimes, lost class rings, pennies, etc. I was about 3rd grade. Good times.

  14. Rod Zeigler says:

    Stocked up on a few items. (Found 4 cell MagLight flashlights with non-LED bulbs and GOOD batteries for a GREAT price!) Finished my bug-out bag and have it in my vehicle. Also work was completed on my families bug-to facility. Now to start stocking it…

  15. re: The Deuce, not going to bob it, love it just like it is, although those bobbed units are sweet. If I had a lot more money then I would buy one to modify, bobbed, super singles, ooh-la-la! My daughter is begging to be picked up from school ASAP in that unit. Will be working towards the PTO, winch, and Arctic Heater. In local parades it will be filled with kids and vets I hope. There is a hooch up in Laramie for sale, good price, I need to make some more money quick. I find myself out in the yard just staring at it, wife has not gotten jealous, yet.

  16. Finished the bat-utility-belt, although it was mostly finished for a week.

    I have had some misfortune: my brand new homeowners insurance got snotty and dropped me over peeling paint, no warning, no chance to cure anything, and it’s winter so how can I cure peeling paint? Tell me, what the heck does paint have to do with fire insurance? This is the 3rd insurance co in almost as many years that has gotten cute with me, am I redlined?

    Came home tonight to discover the furnace has died for the third time this winter. Tried to drain out the exhaust pipe and reboot it but it’s deader than a doornail this time. The other apt.’s furnace exhaust was full of water, which I emptied, hopefully averting a second conked out furnace.

    Other than the debacles, I bought a 16 oz wide mouth thermos at the thrift for a buck, and cooked lentils in it by pouring boiling water over dry lentils in it, screwing the cap on, and waiting 4 to 8 hours. If you do that, go back and reboil the contents for a couple minutes then put it back another 4 to 8 hrs, or boil the lentils for a few minutes first them put them in the thermos.

    Without a re-cook they were a little crunchy but still edible.

    • Furnace is back on. Furnace man said:

      With a hi-eff furnace one expects condensation water in the exhaust pipe, it is supposed to drain into a pump, so no worries there.

      I just didn’t wait long enough to reboot the thing, it sometimes takes 15-20 minutes. I am assuming this means with the power to it cut off for 15-20, because I tried several times by shutting the power off and back on right away. Some models you even have to wait 24 hours (that’s stupid design there).

    • My insurance company that charges a membership fee to use it dropped me because of “condition of property”. The weeds in my raised veggie beds were too high when they came and INSPECTED the place. They even took pictures of it. Needless to say, they lost all of my auto and business policies as well. Something must be up. I think they want to raise the rates quite a bit and have to get rid of customers with lower premiums.

  17. Let’s see, put together a small cache of clothes, 3 liters n 16oz of water, MRE’s, knives, blanket and a few other supplies in an old igloo cooler. Still looking for a place to bury it, probably 3 – 7 miles from my house.
    Put away 5 more liters of water and a pound of pinto beans.
    A friend of mine’s father passed away a few weeks ago and among hs thinks he found an old revolver chambered in .32 S&W with only two rounds. I had one, it was stolen a few years ago. Trading my two boxes of ammo for some .223 and .22lr.
    Put a second BoG/Get Home bag in the Explorer. I figure either a passenger or a coworker can use it.

  18. AZ Rookie Prepper says:

    The DW and I built two more raised garden beds, lots of work but worth every drop of sweat. Sorry M.D., but the temp here was 69 yesterday….hope those of you in the northern states get a break from old man winter soon. Obtained some more seeds for this years garden, sweet corn, okra and watermelon. Planned for the garden, and that is very important. Remember the 5 “P”s…Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance (sometimes known as the 6 P’s…). The wife is fully on board with preps although sometimes wonders how we’ll ever “use” all that food…:). Keep on prepping folks, prayers to all who need em.

  19. Orwellian States says:

    Purchased an assortment of canned food to add to the growing stash. Picked up some more .40 hollow point and .357 hollowpoint. I intend to do an ammo inventory this week. I should have enough for a decade or two. This weekend I purchased a big cub Cadet front tine tiller. I am ready for spring. I wanted to buy some onion sets, but the wife reminded me that we still have snow on our East TN mountain. We are planning a trip to the prepper store in Waynesville, NC.

  20. mountain lady says:

    Not too much to report here. Did stock up on spaghetti sauce, 48 cents a can sale. Also bought 4 lbs of spaghetti pasta. Wanted to get a few cans of corned beef hash, but thought the cans were too small at the dollar store, only to find out that the grocery store cans are now the same size, but cost 2.48 a can. Gasoline up here on the hill is now $4.00/gal. That really forces me to stay home most of the time.

    • Mountain lady, are you planting a garden this year?

      • mountain lady says:

        Yes, I am planning to have some garden. I would like to have a large one, but not sure if we can pull it off. I have some half wine barrels ready to put in lettuce, chard, and one other green, but have not decided on which one. The big garden needs a ton of work. Maybe we can get at least half of it done.

  21. Hi all – it’s been a while since I posted much and even longer for WDYDTPTW. Since the beginning of the year, we have paid off the hubby’s car and another loan. We are currently working on refinancing our house and combining it with the home equity line to reduce our total monthly payments and set the payoff of both in 15 years. The interest rate is about half what we have now on the home loan, so ultimately we will be saving a lot of cash out of our pockets.

    In other prepping, I keep reading and keep buying what I can store easily when I find it at a really good price.

    On Saturday, one daughter and I spent much of the afternoon cleaning out freezers and making stew. I freeze leftovers when I don’t get to eat them for lunch then make stew later. I found leftover pot roast from 3 or 4 different times, plus all kinds of other stuff like beans, peas, chicken, sausage patties, etc. I had some for lunch today and it is quite tasty with a bit of a kick. Since I used my 21-quart water-bath canner, I had plenty of stew to put back in the freezer (no pressure canner yet).

    On Sunday, we baked gluten-free goodies that we can eat for breakfast – brownies, blueberry muffins, blackberry-mango muffins and banana bread. Again, I used things from the freezer (all the fruit).

    All the baking and cooking gave me a good chance to clean some things out of the freezer that should have gone to the outdoor critters a long time ago. Now I’ll have room for freezing squash over the summer.

    The weather here has been wet and cold or dry and even colder. I’m also working on planning my garden and we may be doing the majority of our planting in early April, as long as the weather cooperates.

    I hope everyone has a great week. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge and experiences!

    • GA Red,

      I know you live near me. You can start your seeds (tomato and such) indoors now if you want to. Also, if you want to plant cool season crops like carrots, spinach or peas, now is the time to plant the seeds in the garden.

  22. Hello Pack.

    Someone told me today that a friend of his who works at Federal Cartridge, which is right up the road from me, told him that the company has quit making “sporting rounds” (aka .223 and 7.62, etc.). Been trying to confirm it. He didn’t know the reason.

    Seems odd to me that they would quit making them at this time when they could be making !!$$$$$!!. Maybe they know something we don’t? Or maybe someone had a “friendly talk” with them? Or maybe it’s just a rumor. But this guy doesn’t seem the type – if he said it’s his friend, I tend to believe him.

    There’s a guy at work who’s daughter works there. I’ll ask him & try to get back to ya.

    – Received and mounted a laser sight on my Sig P250. So far seems OK. We’ll see if it stays zeroed. Adjusting screws seem kind of loose.
    – Bought 100 more .40S&W rounds for above. So far, that’s still easy to get around here.
    – Did a recon at Fleet Farm. No “sporting ammo” to be had there, of course. A lot of other stuff missing, too.
    – Went to the gun show up the street from Federal Cartridge. Nothing that I needed. Packed full of people. Un-Godly prices, of course. Bought my daughter a spring-assisted knife and that was it.
    Interesting note: women seemed to be buying many more guns than men.
    – Stopped at the discount grocery store. Picked up 3 bags of long-term stuff for $25. Would have cost me $75 at normal grocer.
    – Signed my daughter up for gun safety course in April. She’s hyped.

    Think that’s about it. Good luck and God Bless Pack.

    • Oh…forgot to ask: anyone know where to get SKS parts? Looking for replacement springs and I’d like to rebuild the gas system.

      Surfed for hours and couldn’t find more than one here and one there…and some of the sites looked pretty shady.

  23. SurvivorDan says:

    Re-thinking retiring to a banana republic. There might be some advantages in terms of what kind of retreat I can set up for the money. (not to mention the little brown girls), but the thought of being stuck in a Third World country when the balloon goes up….gives me pause. As I would have to acquire firearms “discretely”, they and the ammo would be limited. Don’t like that much. Also, escape from such a locale might not be easy in a total TEOTWAWKI scenario. I am in a quandary. I have slowed the prepping pace in anticipation of vamoosing to the tropics. Starting to worry that I may regret my vanishing act to the Third World. Just sharing , in case anyone else is pondering such a move. Any thoughts?

    • SurvivorDan. I gave a serious look at Belize. The love of my life actually bought a farm in Chile and was improving it for all of us. Bottom line? I couldn’t do either as long as I had family responsibilities here in the states. 4 children, multiple and high paying careers with children of their own mean that I will stay here, somewhere in the US as long as I can. There is always the issue too,that these United States have given us a lot in our lifetimes, is it not worth fighting for? And here is my other question, if the balloon does go up? Wouldn’t it make a third world country poorer still? Because of those questions, I am concentrating on the BOL we, as a family are creating as a family trust. On it is a well; a stream and a couple of small ponds, there is a nice meadow to plow a garden, plenty of room for chickens, rabbits and perhaps a cow, maybe two and room for a couple more buildings. Just on the Nevada side of the California Nevada border. 1/2 half my family is in California, 1/2 of my family is close to DC. There we bought land 4 hours due west of DC and had a cabin built. There is a big basement, a well, a large garage/storage building with a lake nearby. That cabin is all stocked up and ready and is presently used by family for recreation. Getting out of DC if the balloon does go up will be crazy for them and some might not make it. I worry about that daily. We are additionally looking at getting something going up along the US/Canada border. I bought Joel Skouson’s book for help on that issue. I am very very blessed. Despite the economy, despite lots problems we have a solid family; everyone works hard; everyone is very thrifty and we have managed to do a lot with the idea in mind that the future looks dicey. I think the urge to run, is driven by all of the crap we are facing. I know that I fight that feeling all of the time now, sometimes I don’t even sleep well because of it. So we are preparing ourselves to be as self sufficient as we possibly can get and hoping that if we do buy property up along the border, we really never have to use it.

  24. Bought more canning jars, lids and rings for dry canning baking mixes and dehydrated or freeze-dried bulk fruits and vegetables. Also bought the jar sealer lid and hose for my Food Saver machine so I can vacuum seal the dry goods in the canning jars rather than using oxygen absorbers. Buying cake mixes, biscuit mixes, pancake mixes, instant dried milk, instant mashed potatoes, instant rice, etc. in the usual pasteboard boxes and plastic bags at the local supermarket and then doing my own dry canning is so much cheaper than buying the same stuff commercially packaged in #10 cans by mail order.