What did you do to prep this week?

Before we get started with this weeks “what did you do to prep this week” blog segment, I would like to thank Laurie R, Laurie S, Patrick B, Michael B, Willard N, Donna S, and Kelli M for their generous donations this week via PayPal. Thank you all.

Anyone wanting to show support via a momentary donation can do that here – but please only consider doing so if you can truly afford to do so.

Okay, now lets see… what did I do to prep this week?

This week, I wrote an article on “the threat of pandemic viruses”, but I need to go back over it and “proof read” the text because I don’t want the “Grammar Nazis” finding that I made a typo, or that I wrote “to” when it should have been “too”  or anything of that nature. They like doing this because they’re trying to make themselves feel smarter than the person that has actually put in the time to write something.

There was one “Grammar Nazis” a few months ago who send me an email correcting something that I had written in a blog post, I had said “eatable plants” and he insisted that the correct word should have been “edible” both terms were technically correct, and I was using the word eatable to let my Appalachian dialect show in the post (one of the reasons that this blog is the most popular site for southern preppers.

I politely, thanked him for his email and let him know that even with my grammatical errors and Appalachian dialect, I’ve still managed to write hundreds of articles on prepping and survival topics and have had two books published by Paladin Press, and that, I make a full-time living writing, consulting and helping others to be better prepared by learning skills that make them more self-reliant. Then I asked him what he was doing to help others… he never responded, so I assume that he has and is doing nothing, but correcting grammar…

Anyways, the article on the threat of pandemic viruses will be posted next week…

Now lets see what else did I do to prep this week… unfortunately not a lot.

I finished reading the book Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-Resistant Bacteria and started reading American Apocalypse: The Collapse Begins. I also had my truck worked on (brakes) and serviced (oil changed, wipers filters etc.) and ordered this bull bar, I know it isn’t good for a whole lot but it sure does look cool…

Also while technically not a prep, I’ve been working on my TV reception here at “The Last Stand” (what I call my place), no cable TV  here, and I don’t want to pay for a satellite subscription, so it’s Netflix and a TV antenna. My old antenna was a Winegard HD7694P High Definition VHF/UHF Antenna, with which I was receiving signals from the two closest towers about 30 miles away. But I knew that the towers for CBS, ABC, FOX and other were just over 50 miles away, so I decided to upgrade in an attempt to receive those free signals.

So I ordered two antennas and a signal booster – a Antennas Direct DB4E Antenna and a Channel Master 4228HD Extremetenna UHF/HDTV 8-Bay Outdoor Antenna and  an Audiovox TVPRAMP1R Out Antenna PreAmp signal booster. I bought two antennas because I wasn’t sure which would work best, and wanted to test each.

I was not impressed with the Channel Master antennas performance – It only received the same signals that my old antenna did even after adding the signal booster, however the Antennas  Direct DB4E pulled in the signals from over 50 miles away in clear high-definition. This is a very good TV antenna and recommended if you’re far from signal towers.

If I were doing it again and knew what I know now I would have purchased the Antennas Direct, DB8e Extreme Range Multi-Directional Bowtie UHF Antenna – I hope that this helps someone avoid wasting money and time when trying to receive free over the air television – add a Netflix subscription ($7.99 per month) and a Roku 3 Streaming Media Player and you can save hundreds of dollars per year.

Well that’s it for me… what did you do to prep this week?

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  1. Good morning all! I hope everyone has been enjoying the holidays and able to prep as well. A few days ago, I had a few things for this segment but can’t really remember them now. I did make apple butter and apple-pear butter the day after Christmas.

    I gave each daughter a 12v air compressor for each of their cars along with their Christmas presents.

    I may have already mentioned it, but we kicked the cable company to the curb and will be saving almost $37 a month. MD – your antenna experience may become helpful. The DH has rigged an antenna from stuff around the house for now, but there are times when we need something better and there are two channels that we should be able to receive that aren’t coming through.

    Our fireplace has been used a lot this week and the heat hasn’t run as much. It will be nice when we aren’t burning sweet gum and I have split wood to burn, but I’m happy to burn what’s available (and free). I’m so thrilled that we got the gas logs out and put in a real grate. It’s a great way to get rid of the boxes that really shouldn’t be put out with the trash since they let everyone know what you’ve bought.

    One thing I’ve been wanting for my GHB is a poncho and I finally found the one I already had when I was looking for something else. My GHB isn’t perfect but it is pretty good.

    Oh, the big prep of the week – I applied for my concealed carry permit! The hubby and I should be on the same schedule for renewal once mine comes through.

  2. PGCPrepper says:

    First, MD is not talking about me. Now…

    * received two water bricks and a spigot from Amazon. Will get better water storage soon but like the ability to transport with these. We have a couple of ponds in the old “active” adult community and I have a berkey and method to purify.

    * ordered and received three ammo cans and some silica gel dessicant thingies for the lead and Ag that I would like to replace due to these not infrequent boating accidents we seem to be cursed with on this board.

    *still looking at land and I’m seriously considering an underground shipping container. To whomever provided the links, thank you.

    *read Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, M.D. Yes, he apparently passed into our promise and returned. Fascinating.

  3. Got a Nesco dehydrator to go along with the Waring Pro I have.

    Angel, welcome aboard!

    If TSHTF in 014 I wish the pack a successful and happy survival.

  4. Happy new year everyone.

    My main prep for the week was canning of meat and chicken, just about 20lbs of each.
    Got my self a nice new holster for my s&w revolver.
    Looking at buying property up in the mountains 3 hours from Phoenix where I live, will be my bug out place and my future place to live when I retire from work.

    That’s all I have, happy new year and god bless

  5. well I took the boys plinking Christmas day and had a good time. This weekend I changed the oil in the truck.I plan on lubing all the zerk fittings when I get my greasegun back.stupid autocorrect redlined the word zerk. Zerk is a recognized and patented word for fittings.I guess autonazi is not that smart of a nazi. I found a hide a key when I did the oil change.I wonder if the previous owner knew about it. Last night I took the dogs out for excercise and heard some shots.Lots of shots ,I guess some pot grower decided to defend there crop or something. I heard sirens after that.

    • Night before last, I heard a lot of loud bangs from next door. Then some really loud booms. After several minutes of this, I went to the door and looked out—the neighbors were shooting some beautiful fireworks. We got a good laugh at our perceived “war” next door!

  6. Finally got to the store for a few things: OTC med stuff (lens solution, bandages, gauze roll, tape), to put on my Taxsaver, Polident for the dp, deodorant, small plastic box, cheapo tight-knit hats, two backpacker type small lanterns that take AA, rechargeable AA batteries, lightbulbs (yeah, the old kind so I can see to read), 60-light string of mini LED, soaps and detergents, enamel coffeepot, dishcloths, a few cans of soup. Next up will be stuff I couldn’t find on that trip, i.e. boot laces, reading glasses, shampoo.

    Couldn’t get more of my can’t-do-without med from the doc. Seems like I wasn’t so “dumb” after all to start a stockpile of it because now a lot of folks are scared silly that they won’t be able to get or afford in 2014 and bought it all up and now the doc having trouble getting more. Last I saw, the price had doubled; bet it goes up another 50% in Jan. Ordered a year’s supply of contact lenses, and, yes, they went up in cost 50% from last time but my price was up 2.5x even tho insurance paid the same. I’m betting that cost will be way up when I order new lenses for my older glasses, that price was already way up a year ago. I keep two prescription glasses and alternate getting new lenses, that way I always have something recent to fall back on.

  7. My preps this week were only an herb order that is going to the new address.

    I have been making batches of Elderberry tincture for DH’s daughter and family, and the neighbors and printing off info on swine flu and elderberry tincture to go along with the bottles of tincture. On each of the bottles is Mountain Rose Herbs website and the recipe for making it.

    In addition to the elderberry tincture, I also sent over a bundle of 200 graviola leaves, 8 oz bottle of hawthorn tincture and a 4 oz bottle of lobelia tincture for Don. They are such good people, wish we could take them with us to our new location. They are not technically preppers or survivalists, but both lived through some very hard/lean times, so have a good supply of food and have all the necessary skills to keep them in good stead.

    I’m not buying any food preps right now – enough to pack out at the moment, and I’m just eating up the refrigerator to empty it while DH is on the coast for the last time. Some interesting meals, let me tell you. I’ve packed all the pans and dishes, eating weird refrigerator combinations and microwaving them on paper plates and bowls.

    Being in our mid-50’s, we’ve decided to pay some young strong men to haul all the boxes and pack them into the truck. My back is getting to the point of having to take my herbal mixture for sleep/sore muscles/stress, along with aspirin and a heating pad to be able to sleep.

    OK, enough complaining, and a BIG WISH for a great New Year for my beloved family the Wolf Pack and to our big “Daddy” Wolf as well.

    • Michele, What are the best books in your opinion on herbal medicine and making tinctures.

      • Sadja49,

        Too many great herb books to list. My advice, go to a book store an browse through a few and see which ones speak to you, or spend some time on Amazon and look through the ones that allow you a quick look inside.

        Also check out some of the articles on this site, and print them (nice to have in the event of an EMP). Look on the web and when you find something that explains things to you in a way that is easy for you to understand – print it as well. Make up a binder for your herbal medicine information.

        Tinctures are easy. Fill a mason jar with 1/3-1/2 dried herb or 2/3 – 3/4 full of fresh herb, and fill with alcohol to the top. You may need to add more alcohol in a day or two as the herb absorbs some of the water from the alcohol. Shake daily and you can decant the herbs in 2-6 weeks (depends on the strength you want – I wait at least 6 weeks, and sometimes never bother to decant when it is for my own use – although after about 6 weeks there is nothing left in the herbs – so it doesn’t get any stronger).

        Some herbs need a different solvent – lobelia for example does best in apple cider vinegar.

        If you don’t want to use alcohol, you can also use glycerine.

        Anyway – that is the basics, and it is as easy as it sounds.

        • Thank You Michelle

        • lurker judith says:

          Michelle, I found a terrific book a few months ago called ” 300 Herbs, their indications and contraindications” plus A Material Medica and a Conditions-to-Herbs. By Matthew Alfs

          This book tells not only Ayurvedic uses but TCM use.

        • Michele, Where do you get your graviola leaves, I cannot seem to find them.
          Thank you for all the information you provide.

          • lurker judith says:

            It is available on Amazon. Called Soursop another name for Graviola. Michelle may have a better source though.

  8. huckleberrylady says:

    I have read and followed the blog for a year, but have only posted a comment once. So here it goes;
    This week I canned 7 quarts of turkey meat while also introducing my stepdaughter to canning. I picked up 2 bags of chicken feed to seal in buckets and bought another 50 rounds of .357.
    That is it for me this week, I hope everyone has a great week!

  9. We didn’t do much to prep this week since it was a holiday week spent with the relatives and friends. Back on my head next week.

    I have one comment on your antennas and TV reception. When dealing with radio (TV) antennas for the VHF and UHF bands, one of the most important things is height. Getting an antenna up as high as reasonably possible can give more gain for potentially less cost, than anything you can do with the antennas and electronics.
    How high is your antenna installation, and can you easily and inexpensively make it higher? If so, this can also improve the reception.

    • OhioPrepper,

      Right now I’m getting every station that is available in my viewing area, so no matter what I do now I’m not going to get anymore because no more are available (besides NBC which is still vhf). As for height, I’m on the plateau with a average height of 1,000 feet high and the broadcast towers are in the valley toward Knoxville. My place also is up on top of a hill (I have the high ground – one of the reasons I bought the property) and my antenna pole is 25 feet.

  10. Hey ya’ll, I am in Southern California and my water heater is leaking. It is a 75 gallon heater. Any idea what a new one should cost me installed? Not what I want to spend my money on….but we need hot water!

    • mom of three says:

      Look at a on demand water tank, ( noritz) is the brand we bought. It can cost a bit more then traditional but well worth it. Sometimes the power company, have rebates to use towards the cost of it.

  11. This week was devoted to organizing. Need to clean up the storage areas and the basement. It had gotten really bad, so we’re busy with sorting, straightening, and throwing out. We rented a dumpster for this, as we have a bunch of trash near the barn that also needs removing. We like to welcome 2014 fresh and clean.

  12. Feels like we’ve done a lot and nothing for the past couple weeks. I’m sure to forget most of what we did. The holidays made me lazy.

    Tried the sauerkraut recipe someone posted a couple weeks ago. Can’t wait to try it! Should be ready soon.
    Planted carrots from seed. This is my first time gardening. The seedlings I planted of broccoli and romaine lettuce are doing well, so I decided to give something else a try.
    Made a compost bin and started that.
    Gave my sister and BIL a bunch of preps for Christmas. They were so excited. We also gave them shooting lessons on an array of guns. They had never really touched a gun before so this was a big deal. They were both excellent students and eager to continue training (and acquiring their own guns).
    Gave the SO a sonic cleaner for Christmas for his reloading.
    Received a buttstock for my 12 gauge from the SO. Sis gave me an aerogarden with an herb starter kit. Very excited about both!
    Acquired some odds and ends from the sales. Little knives, axes, flashlights, etc. These “stocking stuffers” were perfectly priced to add to the collection. Now to organize…
    Dehydrated a bunch of fruit which the BF promptly ate (I helped, it was too good to resist).
    Ordered a couple new books on herbalism.
    Study study study! I’m a prolific reader, including every article and comment I can get to on this blog. Thanks for sharing, everyone!

  13. WV Mt. Momma says:

    Hi Pack! Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and hope the New Year brings GOOD changes! I am so excited – since we do not have a basement here in the south, we decided to build a canning/prep room in the double garage. Work should start on it in the next 2 weeks and when finished, I can put my shelving up and get all the canned goods,buckets, and all the prepping stuff into one room and out of the other bedrooms. Can I tell you how wonderful this is going to be?!?!? Can’t wait!

    Funny, but the older I get, the more I have this urgent need to simplify and clean up and throw out useless “stuff”, because that’s what it is! As I read all these wonderful posts, I guess I’m not the only one. The only thing I want more of, seems to be canning jars and lids! 🙂 Tomorrow, I get to work from home and when I have some down time, I will can some Zaycon hamburger and make some spaghetti sauce as well. Happy New Year and thanks, MD, for having such a great blog for us to gather and learn. We all ‘preciate it!

  14. I went hunting for the first time, hogs in Florida where I live. Never hunted anything larger than a pheasant. Decided I needed to step into this critical survival skill. Although it was in a controlled 200 acre environment, it was important that I take down an animal and get the feel for killing something that I could sustain my family with. Success. an 80 pound female hog. Helped skin and gut the hog. Took it to a butcher since it is my first kill. Wanted some sausage. But a great experience. Going on a night hunt next with IR laser and NVG.

  15. NinetyNine says:

    MD, I’d love to hear more about the Herbal Antibiotics book. It’s on my wishlist but I haven’t got it yet.

    Haven’t posted for a few weeks as I seem to have been much busier than usual, but like many others, Santa was good to me and brought me a dehydrator and a bunch of useful books (mainly gardening and permaculture related) and I’ve increased my collection of essential oils too. Can’t wait to get started with the dehydrator!

    Had a mini preparedness fail on Christmas eve, when I tried to call up the Christmas recipes I needed to start cooking online, and found the internet was down after a big storm the night before! I should have printed them out! I got them back in time though and some people had it much worse – there were 20,000 folk or more without power on Christmas day not too far from me. All the food that must have gone to waste…

    I’m very aware that some of my stocks are getting low, so the priority in the new year is going to be to take stock and top everything up again. Also must buy some new glasses and some walking boots.

    Peace, love and joy to everyone here this Christmastime, and a blessed new year.

  16. Christmas was a time for reflection for us. So happy to be “upright.” My DH had to work so it was me and Sis to do the cooking. It seems the bad health bug hit us this year and we are praying for relief in 2014. We are stressing about the costs associated with medication. thanks to the pack for the website on the glasses. Eye exam in the New Year forthcoming. It should save some major coin in the glasses cost. Thank you.

    I bought my DH a wind up emergency radio and a K-Bar knife. He was so happy as he has been wanting the K Bar for a long time. It went in the GHB. Found some friends who are reloading and plan to look for brass for my 223 and 45. Still have been unable to find 22LR of any quantity anywhere.

    There is a promotional opp at work that would provide a decent living. It would require travel so am praying on it. I am more than capable of doing the job, just not sure I want to spend that much time away from the home. It would be unrealistic to walk home from there if SHTF.

    FLU hit Eastern WA. Lots of folks down for the count right now. Am anal about handwashing so am still hopeful I am spared. No flu shot for this gal.

    Blessings for the Wolf Pack. Happy New Year!

  17. Encourager says:

    We didn’t do much to prep this past week! But we sure had fun! It was WONDERFUL to have both our sons home with us. Didn’t think the youngest would make it by Christmas, thanks to a nasty ice storm that dumped 2″ of ice, then snow. His flight Saturday was cancelled as was Sunday’s flight. Then they bumped him on Monday’s flight. He got on Tuesday’s flight only to sit over two hours on the tarmac waiting to have his plane de-iced. We picked him up just past midnight Christmas day.

    Oldest son smoked two beautiful sugar cured hams on Christmas. I made all the trimmings to go with them. We feasted, and are still feasting on the ham!

    The youngest son, who has never seen the need to prep, asked for stuff for a “Get Home Bag” for Christmas. His brother made up a trauma kit for him – it was packed to the gills with goodies, every thing he could possibly need for a medical emergency on the road. I had fun buying a good water filter, freeze dried meals, a small pan to heat water in, emergency tarps and sleeping bag, a survival kit in a pouch, and tons more.

    It was my dh’s turn for the big Christmas this year. He got a router and a set of cutting tools for his lathe. Also received a special air filter for the wood shop to remove all that fine, fine wood dust you suck up into your lungs.

    Youngest ds also helped clean both wood stoves and we got the big one going this morning. The other needs a bit of work, soon, I hope. It gets cold in that section of the house! Had the propane tank filled to the tune of over $600. Glad I paid ahead, but that fund is going to run dry really quick. So back to the wood stoves!

    Tore down my hydroponics and used up the basil that was growing and made pesto. I am going back to good ol’ dirt and will be planting lettuces and spinach this week for salads. Harvested the peas I have growing and discovered a whitish film that looks like a mildew or fungus on the leaves. I am wondering if I should have a fan rotating in there to keep the air moving. Pack????

    I wish each of the Wolf Pack a very Happy New Year. Yeah, I know, I know. But I can wish, right?? Seriously, blessings to all of you. May the good Lord keep you in the palm of His hand. May He give you wisdom, discernment and health.

  18. Happy New Year everyone!!

  19. Encourager says:

    Happy New Year to all my fellow Wolfies (and visitors)!!

    Today I made a Blessings Jar. My dh and I will fill out small slips of paper and fill the jar as we need. We will read them on next Thanksgiving, or whenever we are down in the dumps and need a lift. Here is what was written on a paper on the outside of the jar. BTW, make it at least a quart canning jar and fill it up!

    “The Blessing Jar
    Starting January 1st, write good things that happen to you on pieces of paper and put in jar:
    Surprise gifts
    Accomplished goals
    The beauty of nature
    Memories worth saving
    Moments of Joy
    Daily blessings
    Unexpected blessings from God
    Answered prayers
    Something that caused a good laugh…
    And whatever else you want to add.
    Open and read at Thanksgiving or on December 31st.”

  20. Thanks MD for the antenna information. I have a question about the stations that are available using this type of set up. How do I find out what stations are available in my area? Are you able to get many channels or just the main ones? I live in an area that only has satellite availability. I don’t watch much T.V. but I do still have 4 kids at home and am wondering what kind of reception would still be available without the satellite. When putting up the antenna, did you put it by itself or attach it to something like a roof top? I also live in an area that gets heavy winds. I was wondering if the antennas would need to be sheltered some way. I love this site. I love reading all of the great advice and the friendships that have been formed. Thanks.