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?

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. Santa was good to us. We got a Food Saver, so now have to figure out what it is good for. Also a Kindle, into which I have already loaded a few prepper-type books.

    Santa was also good to my DW’s ex, who got a GHB full of stuff, all individually wrapped inside the pack. Much amusement as each had an obscure clue on the card as to what was inside. My step-son got Milwaukee slip joint pliers from the swap, ramps to work under his car, and a set of crescent wrenches. The cats got a bag of nitrogen packed food, and are celebrating by sprawling belly up on the couch and easy chair.

    We are very thankful for a good year, with no major problems in our extended family.

    • Penrod,

      We buy our meat from Zaycon–40 lbs. per case. We get 80 lbs. of chicken and 80 lbs. of hamburger twice a year. We foodsaver it. That extends the shelf life up to nine months. The meat is fresh.

    • We vacuum seal all of our ammo with ours!

      • Depending on the type of bag and type of bullet, vacuum packing loose ammo doesn’t work real well. My SST reloads tear holes in the bags. various companies offer thick plastic for sharp items. Pistol ammo works great or boxed. Mylar with a moisture absorbent can be sealed but not vacuumed sealed. The textured bag allows the air to be withdrawn.

    • a food saver is very high on my list of things i want to get. it will help reduce my food costs if i can by larger cuts of meat when they are on sale ,put them sizes that two could eat and vacuum seal them for the freezer,,,,,, oh yeah,,, need to get a freezer too.

  2. I finished building several wood gasifier stoves that will be given away as door prizes at prepperstock 2014 in march. Then i reviewed a silverfire rocket stove that the former owner of stove tec sent me. I love rocket stoves and wood gasifier stoves and silverfire has found a way to incorporate the best of both stoves into one. I sure wish silverfire would advertise here. this blog and silverfire would be a great match. Here is a link to my video review if anyone cares to see how well it works. ill be bringing this beauty to prepperstock and cooking lots of bacon on it,,,,, and maybe some eggs.

    • BC,

      You are like McGuiver–totally cool.

    • Awesome demo B! I’m adding it to my list of have to haves. I never really looked at rocket stoves before. I figured I’d just be cooking on a wood stove if the SHTF. Your video sold me!

      Speaking of wood stoves….I noticed the claw foot stove in the background of your video. It looks exactly like the one I bought in June. I haven’t set it up yet for testing. Could you tell me how you like it and does it heat up good? I bought it with the idea of putting it in the center of the house. We can block off sections and use it to heat the bedrooms at night and the living areas during the day. It also has built in cooking slots on the top.
      Mine claims to heat up to 1200 sq ft. My house is 1800 sq ft, standard brick ranch with bedrooms at one end and living area at the other. I wanted a stove that included the cooking option.
      I’m definitely going with the rocket stove now, but MD has always said, “Have a back-up for your back-up.” I remember him saying that specifically during a generator conversation a few years ago 🙂 It has stuck with me since….

      If anyone else saw the stove and would like to comment, please do. I love to hear multiple views.

      Thanks B! Love your videos. I have several bookmarked for future projects : )

      • sheri, that little stove heats the single wall shop its in (16×24) plus, since ive cit about a 1 foot square hole in the wall for heated air to enter and another for the cooler air towards the floor to exit, the little stove now heats my other shop as well (24×24,uninsulated) it keeps it at a nice 60 plus on the coldest days and thats just perfect for working without a jacket. it is a very old stove and has a lot of air leaks so controling draft and temp is a little testy but this summer i plan on putting a better damper in the flue and getting some stove calk ,sealing the seams where it leaks and ill be better prepared for next winter.

        • Thanks for the info. I just want something that will keep us from freezing to death should the need arise. As soon as we get this biz up and running, I will have the stove installed so i can test it out. With that and getting the rocket stove, I feel pretty good with our cooking options. I’ve been putting away sterno cans as well.

          Thanks again!

          • sheri,will you be routing the stove pipe into a chimney or out a window? im asking because ill be doing a video on building a small woodstove soon,then a video of removing a window and permanently installing a pipe,following all the safety guidelines for woodstove installs.Ill be doing this for my sunroom,the coldest room in the house,but the room we spend the most time in.

            • BC – I will probably have to vent it through the ceiling. Where I want to put it, my options are limited. I would still love to see the videos as I have 2 sunrooms and wanted to put a 2nd stove in one of those in the near future and would have the option of a fireplace or window.

  3. After trying to recover from my 6 weeks in OK, we only got a little bought but did a lot of organizing, more of which goes on today as we have “small” help (grandsons, no so small anymore).

    We did pick up a few items: Bar soap, Instant Oatmeal, Sm. Red Beans, Emergen-C (2 flavors), and took delivery of our package of 100 4″ padded gauze rolls (ebay). I also found components to load up some JHP rounds for my Charter Arms 44 Spec. Nothing on line and there they were on the shelf at a local store. Only to discover that for some reason I don’t have any 44 dies! It’s always something.

    Started laying out a plan for my 2 prepper areas of concern for 2014 (besides the economy), solar power and communications. I have a small HAM set and a pair of CB’s. I want to get things set up for the house and install radios in our BOV/camper and DW’s GHV.

    Looks like we have a 2 year budget! I’m really surprised at the apparent lack of media coverage on it. Guess that’s good news. Now we’ll see how the credit limit goes, probably up again. All I think I can do is try to reduce my spending/increase my income. There’s too many things we still need. Good luck to the pack for the new year!

    • PS. MD:

      I really enjoyed Nova’s set of books. You have to be a little careful as some of them are published twice under different name. I didn’t particularly care for the way the series ended, but I’m not a literary critic. Still I always had the next book on my “Wish List” with Amazon.

      • I agree with JP on Nova’s books. Read the first two in the original version (maybe self published?) and never bought the new versions. Did like them and as JP said, watched for new ones.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      JP, good to see you back. I sent out a post to you a couple of weeks ago letting you know I finally got my 1894 Marlin in .44 mag. So happy to have gotten it I just had to let you know, you were the guy who inspired me to look long and hard until I found one. Take care.

      • RoR:

        Outstanding! One advantage of the Marlin, short of loading the case with C4, you are not going to overload your cartridge in that rifle. You can make loads to take smaller game (44 Special with Trail Boss) up to some massive bone crushing 300 grainers. It also disassembles better than my M92’s. Aftermarket parts will help the trigger (I just found a kit for my M92, we’ll see).

  4. Not a lot this week, did some research on meds, sausage making, re-loading. I am slowly gathering up the necessary equipment to re-load, and I have a lot of recovered brass, going to get it cleaned. I ant to keep things simple, any suggestions on a single-stage press? I am not looking to process tens of thousands of rounds, just keep me in stock.

    • Rjarena I use a Lee hand press 39.95 on the box so that shows you what inflation will do. you’ll need a box of powder scoops, and a micrometer for bullet size I’ve used mine for years it works good and it makes fine ammo.

    • I use a series of Lee hand presses(3) I can put all the dies in a press and set them up properly, then I just use my butt time when watching tv with family to crank out rounds. I do the factory crimp on all the rounds separately, so I don’t waste money on a fourth press. I love it.No missing family time and I stay stocked up. I also tailor loads to my pistols. I am an accuracy freak. Each pistol eats its favorite ammo, and I have lots at a great price!

  5. That should read “I want to keep” I don’t want those typo-Nazis after me!
    I have never understood why it is so important for people to correct grammar and spelling on sites like this one, all we are trying to do is help one another out, not go to grad school! If you understand what someone is trying to say that should be good enough, comment on their facts or opinions if you like, but leave the spelling alone!

    • riverrider says:

      its kinda like the “clip” / “magazine” nazi’s. i know the dif, but if i wanna call it a clip and the other party understands i mean a magazine, what’s the problem? the purpose of communication is to get a point across to another person. if they get the point, why nit pick?

      • And when you are typing on a device that “auto corrects”some time it doesn’t correct correctly!

      • riverrider, boy oh boy do I agree with you on that!
        And the term “assault rifle” – ask anyone in the US, gun lover or hater, to think of an “assault rifle” and most will, at first, picture an AR-15 or AK47 variant in their mind – which is exactly the image being discussed. No, the term isn’t technically correct, but it has been in use by manufacturers and gun writers since the 1980’s and conveys the idea much better than the current politically correct “modern sporting rifle.” Why do people get so upset about these things?

        • Rider of Rohan says:

          In my opinion, it’s because the gun control freaks have used the term in an effort to have these weapons outlawed. Assault rifle to the uninitiated is a full-auto weapon, and I can’t tell you how many people I come across who claim these weapons are fully automatic. They look up the term assault rifle, and there it is, a fully auto infantry weapon.

        • I haven’t seen a rifle “assault” anyone yet.

          Assault – a : a threat or attempt to inflict offensive physical contact or bodily harm on a person (as by lifting a fist in a threatening manner) that puts the person in immediate danger of or in apprehension of such harm or contact.

          All mine just sit there quietly and don’t threaten anyone.

      • I got jumped on using “clip” when I should have used “magazine”. I was actually glad someone pointed it out–I do want to use the correct terms.

        • Well there are stripper clips and that is a correct term.Has nothing to do with a pole or tuck money iether.

          • Try working for an equipment rental company and looking up a turbo stripper in an attempt to learn the rental price. Add that it is the Sin brand. 🙂

      • RR,
        IMO it depends on whether you’re commenting or writing an article. When writing an article, one should take the time to spell check and be as grammatically correct as possible. Also, nomenclature, such as the difference between magazine and clip is also important, because you’re potentially teaching someone something they didn’t already know, and should make sure they at least get the information correctly presented to them.
        When replying, one should be as careful as possible; however, grammar, spelling, and regional idioms quite often sneak in there, and should for the most part be ignored.

    • +1

  6. Nebraska Woman says:

    As a former teacher, MD, I resist the notion that I need to correct everybody because I make typos and mistakes myself. I am sorry that the person who wrote to you did that.
    Santa was good to me, too. A great day in the weather department, dog and I were able to take lots of walks and get that natural vitamin D.
    I don’t often have cooking/hostessing errors, but on Christmas Day I opened my home-canned applesauce only to find it beautifully molded. Ugh. I did something wrong! I had to throw most of my batch away. I hate wasting food like that.
    Thanks for the tip on antennas. I am thinking of yanking my satellite service–over 500 channels and nothing to watch. Waste of money.
    Take care, Pack, because 2014 will be a rocky climb.

    • Nebraska Woman,

      Typos can be caused by a number of things, like auto correct software, a brain fart, and just hitting the wrong button when typing as you know it doesn’t mean that the person is illiterate, but you would think so after seeing the response from some of those grimmer correctors…

      • i make a lot of mistakes and about half of them come from typing in dimly lit conditions and having at least one dog on my lap. the other mistakes are because im barely literate and consider myself fortunate to just be able to get online.i also have some pretty big mits and often ill think im hitting one key but accident;y hit the one next to it as well and from there its anybodies guess what letter will show up.

        • Lauri no e says:

          M.D and bctruck,

          I feel the same as both of you, I bought a used grammar book and need to sit down with it. I knew in highschool when for English they made us take Greek God’s and Myths which I hated and teenage novels it wasn’t of much use.

          My husband also has a old keyboard attached to the computer because I would rather use the keyboard than the keys on the laptop computer.

        • bc – loved the accident;y!
          But I’m like you – big hands, small keys and an 8th grade education sometimes combine for surprising outcomes. What fascinates me though is that folks get upset when someone points out a mistake – I always think it’s great that someone would read anything I’ve written closely enough to notice them and then take the time to offer corrections.

          • well your one in a million. most folks are like me, baffled at why anyone would have the time to nitpick over accidently hitting ; instead of the L ,which are side by side by the way. your free to feel any way you like k.fields. thanks for your input.

            • bc, I thought you did the accident;y as a joke since you were discussing large fingers hitting the wrong keys. It seemed a perfect example.
              Sorry my comment was taken as a criticism, that was not my intent.

      • patientmomma says:

        When someone else writes something, it is easy to find mistakes. However, when we proof read our own writing, we rarely see the mistakes because our brain supplies the missing words or reads typos as correct. I overcame the desire to correct others’ writing when I ended up spending way too much time rewriting. Now I just look for anything which will get my group into trouble and have the originator fix the problem. I let my team proof anything I write so they can take revenge if they desire.

        • My mom is a former nursing teacher and my great aunt was a former music teacher.My great aunt set herself up as the self appointed grammar and spelling nazi.My mom thought it was not her place to correct other people and rightly so.

        • JeffintheWest says:

          When I was on active duty, I read every message backwards (form the bottom up and right to left) before I released it. It forces your brain to actually LOOK at the words and letters in the sentence instead of merely skimming them (which is what we actually do when we read, for the most part) — you’d be surprised how many typos and errors you catch that way! Mind you, that would be awfully hard to do for a book you wrote (maybe one chapter at a time, over several weeks?), but for an article for the blog here, it would work like a champ.

        • patientmomma,
          I have some vision issues and have some very good TTS (Text to Speech) software. I have the purchased version; however, there’s a free version available (http://www.naturalreaders.com/) which works quite well. You simply highlight a section of text and have it read to you in a clear natural voice. I use it for my work, and for most activities on the web, including reading much of this forum. With a wireless headset, I can even listen to long articles while I’m off doing something else, like sorting preps or cleaning guns. The most important thing I find this useful for is for being the “grammar Nazi”, generally for my own writing. A phrase like, “I received a gift form a friend” might go unnoticed after reading it several times with your eyes, and both form>/b> and from will pass the spelling check; however, hearing the word “form” where you meant “from” really sticks out. In my opinion, anyone who writes a lot would be well served by this extra step. In addition, sometimes you can catch odd grammatical compositions or verb tenses when you hear them, which would otherwise be simply missed. While none of us is perfect, we can all strive to be the best that we can possibly be, especially with free tools to help.

        • Encourager says:

          I had to chuckle at all the comments about grammar. I used to work at a church where the Pastor was dyslexic. He also could not spell and often used the wrong spelling for certain words (there and their or to, two and too, for example). I had to ‘check’ his sermons (which could be downloaded), anything he wrote for the bulletin, and even proof a book he was writing. I basically re-wrote most of it. In the past, I also worked as a proof-reader for the gvmt.

          I do not have the need to correct other people’s grammar unless they ask me to!! Then watch out – lol!

      • Maybe corrections is all they can do. Learning what is offered may be beyond what that person is capable of. Or maybe they are just anal retentive. LOL

      • Lol…The way I type it takes me longer to de-typo than to type the original message. Back in typing class I paid more attention to learning how to fix typewriters than to learning how to type.

        • tommy2rs,

          I’ve never taken a typing class and can’t type worth anything but I do manage to peck at it until I get what I need done…

          • I hunt and peck also but that is what guys do. Then again that is a subject for another day

          • Way back then it was a mandatory class in jr. high, no choice in the matter. So, as was par for the course with me then and now, I learned what I wanted to learn and sweet talked the girls into doing my typing lessons so I wouldn’t have to repeat it. Me, I type like an eagle, two fingers hover above the keyboard and swoop in to hit a key. The other fingers just hang about and get in the way, kind of like Congress….lol

          • Everyone here gets their message across great. Being able to do that is all that’s important! Some folks here really should write books, too. They have so much knowledge to share. Videos are great but some of us “slower” people need it in writing.

            • Aunt B +100

            • Nebraska Woman says:

              +100 Aunt B. When I taught, I was ruthless because that was my job. When I left the building, I left my red pen on my desk. I love people and am more interested in what they say than how they say it.

              • Two of three of our daughters are planning to be teachers and one wants to be an English teacher. The DH and I take some devious delight in correcting the future English teacher’s grammar. I try to refrain from doing it to anyone outside the family though.

          • I took typing TWICE in HS. Once as personal typing (1 semester) and once as typing for vocational uses (2 semesters). I did not get credits for the first semester of the vocational class, because of the personal typing – but took it anyway.

            Long story short – even someone who HAS taken a typing class still makes typos – and a typing class does nothing for misspellings, but since you are getting your point across – just delete the spelling nazi’s email and go on – not worth a second thought.

            Since you write for a living, I’d suggest a typing class – either adult education or one you can take at home. It will make your life easier.

            And a word of warning – don’t cheat by looking at the keys. You’ll make fewer mistakes in the very beginning, but are cheating yourself in the end, and you will learn better and type faster in the end by not looking at your fingers. Take it from a ‘cheater’.

            • I use dragon naturally speaking when there is a lot of “typing” to be done.

            • JeffintheWest says:

              I finally broke down and took typing after I was in the military — I simply couldn’t keep the logs up to date with the two-finger hunt and peck routine. I’ve never regretted it since. I AM glad of computers though, since if I make a typo, it’s easy enough to simply space back and fix it as opposed to playing with whiteout and correction ribbons and all that nonsense. It’s a pain to take the class, but the payoff — especially for someone who does this professionally — is simply enormous!

            • Michelle – I took a typing class in college as an elective but could barely type 30 words per minute to pass the class. Later in my early career days I was given access to a Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing computer program. Between that and college papers, I was able to type more quickly but I still have typos. I do a lot of proof reading of my own stuff and often get other people to proof for me because I can’t always see my own mistakes.

              • Encourager says:

                GA Red, I used the ‘Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing’ for the son I home schooled. He did so well that I went back and used it to brush up on my skills. It was fun and your skills really did get better. I highly recommend it.

      • Babycatcher says:

        My redefinition of a brain fart : Mental Methane Discharge…I was talking with my pastor one day and used the term MMD, and you should have seen the look on his face when he realized what I was talking about! Priceless!

      • Ordinarily, I wouldn’t correct anyone for a couple of typos, however, there are those who really go the distance! If you are going to write a blog or an article that you know a lot of people will be reading…it’s best that you spell most words correctly. No one is perfect but being careless for expedience is not cool….I know one who does that a lot!

        I really don’t like those that use all lowercase – it’s really hard to read. I usually just skip them.

    • Nebraska Woman,

      Losing a whole batch is terrible – like you I hate having to throw away food.

      To your next batch of apple sauce, add either a little lemon or sugar (or both). I know this society has demonized sugar, but the sugar helps to bind the free water, and the lemon helps acidify it and both discourage mold.

  7. Hello to all from the “other” side of Christmas! We did Christmas a bit different this year due to family commitments. It started on the Sunday before Christmas and continued all the way to the 26th. There was much less emphasis than past years on extravagance and expensive presents. It was all about food and wine and being together I enjoyed every minute and was worn out by the time I returned home. We so missed those in the military that could not make it home. Christmas presents included some ammo; a couple of toasty new sweat shirts; some Amazon gift cards and a cool Lodge Griddle.

    In the next county that I have written about before, there was an ugly home invasion/robbery gone bad on Christmas morning. The homeowner shot and killed the intruder but was arrested for 980# of marijuana for sale and being a felon owning a plethora of guns and rifles. No charges on the homeowner regarding the dead thief in his yard yet. The dead guy was 30 with over 10 arrests and convictions over the last 10 years, including one for drug sales the first of November. Every time I read about one of these, I realize once again that there are whole groups of people willing to steal and kill over a simple drug…………what if they were hungry……………..

    We had our usual planning session with calendars in hand to figure out family meetings and times to help out up at the bol. Big push by the daughters now to come and help me get things packed up for an eventual move.

    As for prepping,
     I did my end of the year renewal on prescriptions to avoid a new 2014 deductible for a while.
     Made some dr. appointments.
     Cancelled some wine club memberships since I am not going to be around the house here as much to sign for them.
     Bought a Roku to see if I would be happy with that instead of the DISH, haven’t had time to hook it up or figure it out so we will see.
     Hit an after Christmas sale for yarn. If I settle down enough, several family members will end up with sweaters for next Christmas.
     While in the same town, hit the local beauty supply and stocked up on all the stuff I buy there. Sale was good so I will not need shampoo, conditioner, nail polish, nail polish remover, aloe vera lip balm, for at least two years.
     Paid all the bills so January 1 will start fresh.
     Took Hope in for a grooming while in Napa. She did much better than I thought she would………….and she looks gorgeous. That is just too much dog to do by myself in the bathtub and it is too cold for a bath outside.

    Oh, and while driving home the other night, my headlights caught some eyes looking at me so I slowed down and found a rather large and very lost St Bernard. He had a collar and a name tag, but the phone number was a Texas exchange so I thought I was going to have a visitor for a few days. But his owner was visiting in the area and had been searching for him for hours. He was very well behaved and hung out with me nicely while we waited. But he was over the moon when his owner drove up. All is well that ends well.

    Happy New Year folks, I am praying for a good one for all of us.

    • thats fantastic that you helped the dog get homw! thanks for doing that!

    • Nostalgia & Tradition says:

      Atta girl, Mother of Hope!

    • Lauri no e says:

      Thanks for taking care of the dog and taking the time to find the owner.

    • One very happy owner too, I’ll bet. I love it!

    • I love your lack of emphasis on extravagance for Christmas. We did the same thing and it was great!! Excellent job with the lost pooch!!

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      We made another year, worrisome, thank God for that. Well, as you are well aware, the flu is rampant in Texas, and I’m a victim again. Same as last year. I really thought I could avoid it, but my daughter brought it home with her from college. She was sick for her last day of finals, and rushed home for some care from mom. A few days later I came down with the crap, and have been sick as a dog for over a week. Oh, well, seem to be getting better today, so I think I’ve turned the corner. I did try the Sambucol and cranberry juice, and I believe it helped some. Good luck to the pack, this crap packs a wallop.

      • So sorry to hear Rider. I had it earlier and have some lingering chest congestion still! My preferred treatment is tea made of white willow bark and elderberries, with some lemon and honey. But for this one, I was begging and pleading for “more” as I had it at the same time I had the poison oak……..so the dr. gave me stuff for the cough and some decongestant that seemed to help. Out here in Cal they won’t even test to tell you what you have unless you are in a hospital and have secondary pneumonia going on. I think that just stinks. What I do know is if it is H1N1 and your try to get up and get going too soon, it will just rebound on you……….so stay warm, dry and give yourself a break on the chores until you are sure you can handle them! I will be thinking about y’all. As the rest of the family will probably have a turn at it as well………….My aren’t I just a ray of sunshine? Sorry Rider……………Get well.

      • Nebraska Woman says:

        Take care, RR. Don’t force yourself to get up and at ’em too soon.

    • Uncle Frank says:

      If you bought a Roku 2 or 3, go to Engadget and look for a post about “Roku player software cracked ” from two days ago. Might be able to watch more than you had originally bargained for.

      Uncle Frank

  8. Well wifeyclause was very good to me. She bought me a food dehydrator and I have my first racks of jerky drying now. She also got the jerky pistol for ground meats. Both seem to workl awesome and I cant wait to try my first batch. Gonna get really cold again tomorrow so I think I will thaw out all the left over turkey from the last two holidays and can up some soup tomorrow while I watch football. gonna be in the forties today so I plan on smoking some chickens and pork loin for supper. That’s the one thing I truly miss over the winter months is BBQ. Want to get some more ammo bought this month yet maybe next payday. Shot the BIL’s moisen nagant on Christmas and I was amazed at this old Russian rifles accuracy at 120 or so yards, I am sure that long old barrel helps but for an old military open sights rifle you can buy almost anywhere for a hundred bucks I was impressed.

    • I received a food dehydrator as well, and plan to get started tomorrow. I had bought two three pound bags of carrots for company tonight and only used one! That will be my first attempt! When I opened it and was going through the book, DH saw the jerky recipe and is now going to buy the jerky kit/press.

      DS had a poor BOB, so for Christmas we got him a new to him duffle bag, hand crank emergency radio/flash light and some other BOB essentials.

      Santa also brought me the Survival guide to Emergency Medicine, which I’m going to start reading with a high-lighter in hand.

    • i got a dehydrator in a trade over a year ago and just now got the nerve to try it. i cant afford to waste meat but i had a roast that had a ton of fat on it so i trimmed the fat and sliced it thin and made jerky for the first time. it came out great! ill be using it more often now.

  9. Hello Pack, I got 2 pair of jeans in my size, and guess what I found at my local gun shop- Yep a R.G. revolver in .22 long rifle with a 3 inch barrel very lightly used only 8 more to go. The cree lights were a hit at the family party Dad was playing with his (focusing) said that if he had it his coons wouldn’t have gotten away from him! Well I guess that this will do it for me, Ronald

    • I need to consider getting rid of DISH considering how little I watch TV. No transmitter within 60 mile but 5 channels within 30-45 miles. Will need guidance from the group. I presume for my age (73 young) I will need some younger muscle. On top of a “hill” in Boston mountains in NW Arkansas.

      • I’m in a valley so we never got good reception with an antenna. We’ve been with Dish for a long time. If I knew we would get even OK reception, I’d stick up an antenna in a heartbeat. I seldom watch TV, but I like to get the weather once in a while.

  10. Darn, I’ve been working on such an article (on pandemic viruses) for two weeks now, but it’s far from ready. Hope nobody will accuse me of copying yours, M.D.

    Slow week. DW’s on vacation, and so am I. We’re relaxing with the baby girl, planning to watch Lawrence of Arabia today. Nothing to do with survivalism, I know.

    Pretty much all I did was yesterday : bought 20 wool blankets for 2$ each. 40$ isn’t even the price of a good sheet, and I got 20 for that cost. I’m very happy ^^ Kept one for me, gave one to DW, and one for Rosie. The rest is collecting dust and cats hair in a closet… for now.

  11. Hunker-Down says:

    The Grammar Nazis hit me just after I found this site (when there were less than 3300 subscribers) when I posted something about guns and clips. I still have a knot on the back of my head from their thrashing.

    The Webster dictionary probably doesn’t know this, but eatable and edible define two entirely different concepts to us snow country farm folk. Eatable describes something I would enjoy consuming. Edible is something some nerd scientist claims wont poison me if I eat it. You Grey Caps consider things like boiled peanuts to be eatable. I beg to differ.

    Thank you for the TV antenna review. Inflation is pushing us closer to cancelling our cable service, so I added your recommendation to our Amazon wish list. Does the antenna need to be above tree level?
    We use Netflix and Roku and are currently watching the entire “Lost” series of 120 episodes.

    Santa brought this prepper some nice gifts; a ‘heavy duty ratchet bit brace’ (still need the bits), a paracord bracelet, earplugs for the range, a ‘Sparkle’ fire starter, and two books, ‘Medicinal Herbs’ and ‘Saving Seeds’.

    I stumbled upon an article about Hydrogen Peroxide that I printed for our survival library. Maybe someone would be interested;

    We have one more sprout seed to sample and will stick our discoveries and failures in a small post in a few days.

    We are interested in learning what plants having antibiotic or antifungal properties that will grow in zone 5. If anyone has any info, we could use some help.

    Still praying for everyone with health issues, and their caregivers.

    Don’t forget the IRS is still persecuting political groups that don’t occupy the big-house.
    Don’t forget “Fast and Furious”; Eric Holder is still not in jail.
    Don’t forget Benghazi; Hillary will want your vote.

    • Hunker-Down,

      How high you put the antenna depends on the area, but generally the higher the better within reason. I have mine at 25′ but my place is also on top of a hill. Go to http://www.antennapoint.com/ to see what stations are available and locations of the towers in your area.

      • Hunker-Down says:

        That is an amazing site! I found a transmitter 50.16 miles away in about 3 clicks.

        • Nebraska Woman says:

          Agreed. I found 11 stations which would be 10 more than I would watch. That would give me around $40 a month to buy ammo or aprepper order from ee. Thanks, MD.

        • HD,
          While not absolutely require to be above tree line, you’ll get much better signal strength if you can get above the trees in the direction you’re pointing the antenna, since the leaves (actually the water in the leaves) does absorb some of the RF energy.

          • Hunker-Down says:


            We live in an area of Wisconsin just below the “North Woods” where half of the farms are Christmas tree farms, the other half being corn/beans/potato farms. Our home is surrounded by 100 year old pine trees, and we have many days with 20 MPH winds. We couldn’t erect an antenna high enough to get over the trees, strong enough to handle the wind, or tiny enough to satisfy village laws.
            Thanks for your guidance.

            • HD,
              Do any of these tall pine trees belong to you? If so you could use one as a natural tower, and get above the other trees with little or no notice by anyone, with a little camo of the antenna.

              • My dad is a HAM radio operator, and we rented when I as a little girl. My dad used to use a slingshot to propel a wire antenna into tall trees…instant “tower”! Worked well for him, as I recall.

      • Thanks for that info. I was going to order the antenna but it said there are no transmitters within 60 miles of us.

      • Thanks for that site. I was going to order the antenna but it said there are no transmitters within 60 miles from us. So you saved me the expense of the antenna

    • Thank you for the hydrogen peroxide link, t’s saved to my folders.

    • lurker judith says:

      Hunker down, Google zone 5 medicinal herbs. Lots of info.
      Someone also has a series of zone gardening books can’t remember who. Zone 123, Zone 456 gardening. On amazon

      • Hunker-Down says:

        lurker Judith,

        Thanks for pointing me in that direction. There is a TON of resources using those key-words.

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      My favorite herb is yarrow. You can use it fresh picked to stop bleeding. I made a tincture and it’s great as a wound wash and for drying up rashes. Gave some to a friend and she said it helped a tooth infection until she could get to the dentist. I’m planning on making a salve with some this year.

    • Hyssop, rosemary, and yarrow are the first that come to my mind.

      • what rosemary subspecies is hardy up here? thanks.

        • ladyhawthorne says:

          Check your local gardening center or your county extension office. I don’t know what state/country you are in. I have grown regular rosemary that stands upright like a tree and the prostratus that makes more of a sprawling bush and they have both done well here in Texas. They can take cold winters as they are an evergreen, might need straw mulching in very northern climes. They don’t like to be dug up and moved though. You can grow them in large pots.

        • Encourager says:

          I grow my indoors and set it out once frost is past, bring it back inside in the fall.

      • Hunker-Down says:


        Thanks. I spent about 3 hours on line reading about the 3 you listed. All 3 need to be at our house. So much to learn….

  12. Well my dad got back from the doctor’s yesterday. He has hospital acquired pneumonia. The doctor gave him a breathing treatment, and a couple of shots. He is doing much better today.

    I am still up in Georgia. I got a bow for Christmas. I found out that my mom was the archery champion of her high school. I also got a nice wool blanket. Next time the temperature dips below 60, I am set. I’ve got to go. We are heading to the commissary to do some shopping.

    • Schatzie Ohio says:

      Hey Bam Bam – I gave the DGD one of your tee shirts for Christmas and she was very excited to get it. I gave her the Andy’s Guns one.

      Glad to hear that your dad is doing better.

      • Oh I forgot something major. My little brother and his wife asked my dh and I to be godparents to their two children. We are just so honored.

      • Schatzie,

        Whenever I wear that shirt people stop me and ask my where I got it. It just makes such a statement. I think I am going to get some business cards done and hand them out when folks ask.

        I am glad your granddaughter liked the shirt.

    • That is one thing that scares me about being in a hospital – you go in for one thing and come out with something else. Great that they caught it early and started treatment right away.

      I wonder if this in one reason they are now switching to private rooms in hospitals (besides the HIPPA laws) – it could help prevent the spread of contagious diseases like pneumonia.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        That’s the reason that I took the pneumonia vaccination when I got hospitalized in 2012. The last thing I needed was to come out of the hospital feeling worse than when I went in! Normally I avoid vaccinations (haven’t had a flu shot in years — on Active Duty they were mandatory, and I always used to tell the nurse injecting me that they worked great; every year I got a vaccination, and within a week or two the flu got me) if I can, but this seemed like a good preventive precaution. If bird flu starts crossing species lines more rapidly than it has been, then I suspect it will make me rethink the flu vaccine if they can assure me it works against that kind of flu.

        • Jeff,

          That’s what’s odd–my dad had the flu shot and the pneumonia shot. And he still got pneumonia.

          • Bam Bam, Is your dad taking elderberry? I’m hoping it’s okay to take when prepping for surgery. My MIL says she is taking her’s regularly and is scheduled for surgery in another couple of weeks.

          • JeffintheWest says:

            Pneumonia is absolutely no fun — I’ve had it twice, and I never want to go through that again. Prayers for your dad.

        • I got the flu vaccine this year as normal. My doctor is pretty adamant about it as I’m diabetic. This year I got my shot on a Friday and got sick on the following Tuesday. Three days of the worst flu I’ve ever had in my life. Also it was the first flu I’ve had since taking the shots. If I had a shot I never got the flu. If I missed the shot I got the flu. It never failed until this year.

          • I generally only get the flu shot when I can get the shot at our annual safety meeting at work and don’t normally have a problem. This year I ran a low grade fever for three days then I was fine. I haven’t had a bad episode of the flu in 30 years or more, but the DH and the youngest DD seem to get it every year.

          • Mushroom,

            It takes two weeks after getting the flu shot to build immunity.

            • Encourager says:

              And according to the CDC, it only lasts 3 months. So if you get a flu shot in September, you are now susceptible to getting the flu now as if you had no shot…

            • I didn’t know that. Since I was in the dr. office, I might have picked it up there. It could have just been a coincidence. Do you know which flu it’s supposed to protect against? I didn’t think to ask.

      • suzy q, hospital acquired infections (HAI’s) unfortunately are more common than people think. Several things contribute to the infections;
        1) susceptibility of the host (sick patient)
        2) friends / family not washing their hands when in proximity to the pt., or not following hospital isolation precautions.
        3) Dr.’s, nurses and support personnel not washing their hands while caring for various pt.’s between rooms.
        4) the presence of fomites in the hospital.
        5) concentration of sick people with various pathogens in close proximity to each other.
        6) pt.’s not having had or keeping their vaccinations up to date.

        • Don’t forget inadequate maintenance done to Air handling systems (poor air filtration, Spreading pathogens), Suspect laundry and environmental cleaning techniques, Is the kitchen staff sick or not following proper handwashing procedures, I could continue I work in a major hospital system and I see it everyday. The truth is any place is only as good as it’s staff, and in our area hospitals have not been giving raises the last several years so the pay scale is no longer competitive. You lose competent people and replace with schlubs who do not care and that is when infection rates really soar.

        • buffalo drum says:

          I volunteer in a local hospital sharing Reiki with any and all who want it. Hand washing can’t be overdone. At my hospital the sanitizer dispensers are everywhere and people are using them. I wash before and after each patient and sometimes just for good measure as I travel the halls. I’ve also noticed that patients are becoming proactive and reminding people to wash before treating them. This is a good thing to remember if you are ever hospitalized. Because I choose not to have the flu vaccine, I’m on a special list and will be asked to stay home if the flu becomes an issue.

          A word about the Grammar Nazis – I’ve spent my whole adult life editing and proofreading other people’s work. It is a thankless task and one that should be confined to professional settings. Correcting others when we are all relaxed and sharing our knowledge with each other is unkind and unwelcome.

          It’s hard to believe, but I didn’t do or buy one single thing to prep this week.

        • Some of the worst offenders are the doctors…just last week one of the attending surgeons (who is paid more than God himself) walked right into my contact isolation patient’s room without washing his hands or putting on protective gear (gown and gloves). I kicked him back out of the room until he “gowned up” properly. This is not the 19th century. Germ theory is pretty well founded and he has no excuse. I’ll report him to Infectious Disease if he tries is again. Let him explain to THEM why his convenience is more important than patient safety.

    • Wow, Bam Bam! A bow! When you have a minute, tell us about it!

      This is something I want to get and learn how to do. I am assuming that if I can shoot a handgun accurately at 75 feet, I will be able to learn how to aim an arrow accurately too.

      • Oops! Forgot to add that I am glad your father is getting better!

      • Uncle Frank says:

        Go to the local archery shop and look and ask. There are two basic paths into archery. One is a traditional / recurve type of bow or the newer / more powerful style compound bow. Each has its pluses and minuses. If you decide the recurve is what you would like then I recommend you look at the Samick Sage line. They have swappable limbs so you can start out with a light easy to shoot draw weight and switch to a higher poundage as you gain strength/confidence/skill. The bow should run less than 150 dollars new. Then you need arrows, arm guard, quiver and shooting tab or glove. ( Don’t worry the folks at the archery store will explain all of this.)

        For the compound side I recommend at least looking at the Mission brand. Their three lower end bows are EXTREMELY adjustable. You could reasonably expect to buy one bow and use it for as long as you care to shoot. As with anything complicated it will cost more. List for the least expensive Mission is around $270.00. That is just a bare bow. You will need ranging pins, some type of arrow rest, quiver and peep sight.

        Of course this is assuming you buy new 🙂 Being the diligent deal hounds you are, you can surely find cheaper prices by going with used equipment. BUT please have someone knowledgeable check it over before you use it.

        I have just told you enough to be dangerous. Archery is fun and has a place in the prepper tool kit. Talk to the pros and educate yourself. Then have fun and learn a new skill.

        Uncle Frank

        • One thing to add to Uncle Frank’s excellent information, especially on the compound bow is that there are two release types: finger tip and machanical. You’ll need to play with each and pick one, because the draw length adjustment and possibley the aim point is different for each type.

    • I got pneumonia went I went in to get my knee replaced and they treated me for it after a 48 hr delay, I was passed off to another doctor and he didn’t get the message. Stayed an extra 4 days in the hospital. Good thing I had no scaring from it.

    • Happy Camper says:

      Hospitals are so unhealthy ! It’s a place where all the sick people hang out. I got golden staph from a local hospital and ended up staying in hospital (yes the irony) for 6 months last year.

  13. patientmomma says:

    This Christmas I did things differently. Normally I would have decorated the inside, outside, and the driveway with cheerful symbols of Christmas. I did nothing this year and at first I felt a bit down as I missed the Christmas cheer. However, a simple Christmas brought a perfect peace and assurance of God’s love. This wonderful spirit has enabled me to wade Into the midst of chaos with 7 dogs, 6 puppies and a kitten, along with packing boxes, emptying shelves, disassembling work benches, and shrink wrapping things to go into the POD.

    Thanks MD for the information on the antennas; you have saved me a lot of time and frustration. My place is about 5 miles too far in the country and I have big trouble getting a signal of any kind…cell phone, TV or internet. I am researching satellite internet but everything I read is negative.

    My only after holiday sale binge was at the fabric store; I stocked up on 50 and 60 % off items. All other purchases have been moving related.

    Has anyone heard from Becky about how her husband is?

    I wish everyone a very safe and healthy New Year!

    • JeffintheWest says:

      I got a note that said Becky’s DH seems to be out of the woods for now. They have a long way still to go, but his last tests showed him moving in the right direction. Prayer works, people. On her behalf, please continue to pray for them.

      Oh, she also mentioned that her brother’s latest blood transfusion seems to be working too. All in all, it’s been a scary, but good Christmas for her family’s health, I’d guess.

    • We didn’t do much decorating either – just the stockings on the fireplace, a Frosty the Snowman, and a couple of decorative light glass blocks. We also put up one wreath and our Charlie Brown ornament outside.

    • We live out where we cannot get TV , Cell service and no landline. Our cell carrier now has a new phone that is like a home phone. It has three cordless phones and it resends the signal out on a cell signal. It is the only thing that works for us. It is something new to our area and might be worth looking in to. Our carrier is AT&T. We have one Satellite company for internet and sometimes works for the Roku but is to slow most of the time. The County will not give us a address so we cannot get a TV satellite but that’s ok we are glade we don’t have it.

  14. mom of three says:

    Not much here either, just received our CC statement added $300.00 because of Christmas. I am hoping to get on at our school, working with the food service. I passed my food handlers card with a 100 % I took lots of notes, I could not believe how many times I referred to it as I went along. I just now need a couple of references, as I have been a stay at home mom, for 14 years. Just keeping a list, of what I run out of I added a few cans and a bag of cat food , and bought miss Sophie, 6 cans of soft food this cat, eats but she is a better minder then my kids are:) I bought my husband, a meat grinder for our kitchen -aid, have not tried it yet but another fun attachment, to try.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      School jobs are perfect for mothers! Great hours and holidays off. Prayers that you get it.

    • I requested a meat grinder for my kitchen-aid for next year. The food processor I use for one particular recipe is breaking and the recipe has always worked better with a meat grinder. I’d like to know what y’all think of it.

  15. Besides being ill with bronchitis still, our Christmas was very nice and quiet. We enjoyed the time with our family, especially spending time with our college age kids. Gifts were limited this year, but more thought was put into the gifts that were purchased or made. Looking forward to 2014. Best wishes and prayers for our pack in the new year.

  16. TruthSeeker says:

    rjarena, I can’t speak for anyone else, but several years ago, bought an RCBS rock-chucker kit at a garage sales for about $50 for reloading. The kit looked like it was used very little, and included things like a scale, primer tray, powder measure and other handy items. I’ve used it to reload many calibers, both pistol and rifle and it does a great job. Takes standard dies. One additional item I would recommend is a good loading manual, which can also be found at garage sales or flea markets and such. Good luck, it’s really a lot of fun when you get going!

  17. Stepdaughter arrived and by Christmas night was bored and pushing to visit with “friends” that we’ve declared off limits. After some drama, she went home to her mother on Thursday. After declaring that our “attitude” was why she didn’t live with us any more. Ah… the joys of 15YO teenagers. We stuck to our guns – this “friend” isn’t any such thing. And a bad influence. So I lost a couple of days to dealing with that.

    Truck that was fixed isn’t fixed – they may have not gotten something fastened down right so it’s back in the shop. This is not the time of year to have something in the shop – luckily, we have a loaner.

    My sister is up visiting – she’s also into prepping so we’re getting some good discussions in.

    Not much put away or actually accomplished this week – the family friend that was in the hospital had her surgery on Tuesday and was in the hospital until yesterday afternoon – I was busy with visiting/watching/etc. I have a medical power of attorney for her so I had to be at the hospital for the surgery.

    Listing on ebay – I have my eye on the Springfield Armory 1911 in 9mm for my birthday – gotta pay for that somehow!

    Hope every one has a good new years. And that our preps go well and we never need them.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Congratulations on refusing to let the stepdaughter stick it to you.

    • Lauri no e says:


      Hang in there it will pay off. When my daughter was a teenager I used the strike 3 method on one of her friends because all kids make mistakes but the 3rd time that was it no more. It did pay off and this girl did go in the wrong direction and is still off track. Your husband and you are doing the right thing. It just HELL when you are going through it.

      • Good job! Teen girls are full of drama and KNOW we are wrong at the top of their lungs. You stuck to what is best instead of giving in, which would be so much easier at the time but would not help her at all.

        • I can only hope boys are easier than girls, but if “You Reap What You Sow” then what I did to my folks is coming in spades times 3. I have another few years I hope before they all enter the I am smarter than you stage.

          • hvaczach,
            By their mid teens they’ll all be smarter than you. By their mid to late 20’s, they’ll be amazed at how much smarter you’ve become.

        • My son was not perfect, but we didn’t have any of this sort of drama with him. His problem was being bored in school, not trying to pick the worst possible friends and thinking he was old enough at 15 to live on his own. (Yes, we got that from the stepdaughter … she thought she could live on her own and be fine… this is the girl who has no idea how to shop for groceries…)

          Thanks for the words of encouragement … we will survive her disappointment with us.

    • mom of three says:

      Boy do I understand we raised my husband’s son from 1997 to 2010, it sometimes suck having the other parent around . My stepson, would threatened me to live with his mom. I would open the door and tell him good luck. That is why I would make sure she had him for every holiday and two months in the summer. He would come home thanking me for being a good step mom. Now he is 22, and sees that I’m really his mommy 🙂 He has turned out a productive wonderful young man. Now on to child two and three. Kids are handfuls, step or other wise.

  18. Wdidtptw week of 12/23/13
    Inventoried food storage
    Set up new food storage in basement 3 large salvaged bookshelves with drawers.
    Wrote my January food purchase list. I have around 800 to spend on a years worth of food, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. Will post that list next week

    Purchased a 40# PSE Kingfisher bow, beaver silencers, beaver rest, and a 3 pin sight
    Researched Air rifles. I’m going to start out with a budget model. Any recommendations?

    Got a cyst in my ear, my mother the NP drained it.
    Stocked up on flu meds.
    Found a local store that carries an inexpensive oatmeal soap.

    Was gifted a nice black fleece Balaclava. It can turn into a scarf, bag, beanie, etc, Depending on how how you fold it.

    Started 365 day Journal. Started new bible reading course

    • I have a Gamo Hornet .177 air rifle. Works fine for birds, squirrels, and rabbits. 1200 fps.

      • Got my son a GAMO Silent Cat .117 for Christmas. Some of the guys on this site were discussing it. He loves it!

    • Great minds! I have a gamo Hunter in .177 and it supplements cat food whenever it goes out, Great gun.

      • KR Prepper says:

        So the consensus is pretty much anything gamo. I saw the Big Cat for 120 at Cabelas last week and opted to get a #40 bow for the same price.

    • We bought my 7 yr old a crossmen BB/pellet rifle for his birthday, very inexpensive and built that way I must say. But it has deterred a couple very large dogs from my front yard and at 6 pumps I tatered a cottontail in my garden this summer. But I have decided for serious varmint/ food use I need a much better air rifle. But for forty bucks on sale it is better than nothing.

  19. Haappy New Year to everyone!

    I’ve started accumulating the major components that will be used on the “Inside Power Station” (the other half of my Portable Solar Charger System). Found the key component at a very reasonable price (need three of them) so, although still suffering from Christmas spending shock, I went ahead and ordered them. A few more smaller parts still need to be found and then I’ll start with the layout design and assembly. Once it is completed I will post “how to” info for all to critique.

    Santa brought me a nice little bipod for my S&W M&P 15-22. It’ll work on a pictinny rail or adapt easily to a standard sling swivel fitting. Also got a red dot sight that I’ll mount on the same gun. Got my better half a Schrade “Sharp Finger” knife and companion pocket knife. The sharp finger is one of the best skinning knives I’ve ever used. I’ve had one for 30+ years and she had been carrying it while she hiked. Now I’ve got mine back and she’s got one of her own. Schrade was bought by a Chinese company years ago and there have been some comments online about a reduction in quality. Don’t see much difference between the two we now have ….. very sharp!

    Thank you MD for managing such a good Blog! It’s nice to have access to a clean forum and be able to read the thoughtful comments from the preppers.

    • Big Bear:

      I would be interested if you would post your progress. Solar Power is one of the 2 “prepper” areas of emphasis this year.

      • Will do. At the rate I’m getting things done it’ll probably be sometime late February before I submit my post to MD. Like before it’ll have a schematic, photos, and a write up to help guide those interested in building one for themselves.

        • Thank you , Sir!

          A list of components would also be nice (makes shopping easier).

          • Yep, I’ll include a complete list of the purchased items. My Power Panel is going to be full of features but it is designed so anyone can easily customize it for their own use. Not everyone will want to have the range of voltages and other goodies I’ve included in mine.

  20. Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts last weekend, I know the doctors will be taking great care of me. I won’t take a blood transfusion so that makes things a little more interesting from the doctor’s standpoint but my blood count was up to 12.3 (low normal for hemoglobin but so much better than the 6.0 it was the end of October) when it was tested Tuesday. This last week and a half before surgery is being spent prepping for 6 weeks with no work and making sure there are things in the freezer for me to eat and kitty kibble in the pantry for the four fur babies.

    I used to work in an office as a secretary and I had a grammar/punctuation Nazi in the office. I finally had to talk to a supervisor about it because she was literally penciling in the punctuation on the reading file copies that were circulated to everyone in the office. Obviously, she had too little to do.

    • suzy q, may healing powers surround you and protect you, direct the professionals working on and with you, and send you peace, love and joy.

    • suzy q. I do not like the idea of blood transfusions either. There are better things to use then blood. Also if someone gives you too much blood that is worse then having less blood.

  21. Donna in MN says:

    My trip to my daugter’s house for Christmas took up my prep week . She snuck a video we made playing dulcimers “the Drummer Boy” on her Facebook page and at the time didn’t know I was playing for an audience of 120 people. I realized I had to be careful what I say to her because she tells everything to her friends there.

    I did not get my promised Christmas bonuses from two PT jobs I worked over the past year. Others did get theirs who worked for them. I am disappointed. I will be charging one of the businesses more for my services in the future, and the other will not get my services ever again. I lost 3 phoney friends because of this…lol…who wants phoney friends?

    I did get some canned food on sale for my preps, and bought some for my daughter who is in dire shape for her finances. You’d think she would know how to be frugal growing up that way? No, she went the opposite way, always getting the best that she can’t afford.

    I hope the new year will bring better times for us. 2013 was the worst year of my life losing my mom who was my best friend, teacher, dulcimer partner, TiPi camping friend, fishing buddy and confidant. She went to Jesus so I do my best to be with her again someday.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      Donna, I am so sorry about your mom. Heaven is indeed a good place, but earth can be lonely without them.

    • Donna, we all need a good year in 2014. I am hoping that things get “easier” whatever that may mean in its best light! This part time job thing…………….does that work for you? Or is it a continuing matter of our economy?

      • Donna in MN says:

        Thankyou NW and worri. It does make things lonlier, but I keep busy, and as my mom used to say, ” when we lose people close to us, put your focus on who is left because they need you.”

        I prefer part time jobs because I still do other part time sewing as a job and worked Saturdays at resorts and I have to do the work of two living alone which takes up the rest of my time. Unemployment is 9%, but mostly due to “certain” people who refuse to work and live off entitlements.

  22. Ordered and received gamma lids for my storage buckets; also ordered more colloidal silver and Thieves essential oil for the medical kit. Took inventory and added to our PMs. Silver accumulation is going to be a focus in 2014, now that we’ve established our food and water systems and have a nice stockpile of lead……

  23. Got a tomahawk for a gift. Did no prep. DW has a broken arm and I’ve been taking care of her. Broke it 12/23, follow up 12/24, surgery set for 12/27 which she ended up not needing. They got everything back in place w/o it! Now we have a few weeks of recovery before she can do most stuff on her own again. She will have a cast for 8-10 weeks. I have enjoyed her ‘bath’ times though.

  24. Lauri no e says:

    I have been reading and making comments of other one’s post but not posting what I have done. I have just been stocking up on things that were getting low on. Before the undies post a couple of weeks ago the week before that I had stocked up my husband and I on those and socks.

    One thing I got for Christmas and just love it is a fold up wagon you can get it at Sam’s.

    180 tp
    8 laundry bottles (I have homemade items on hand to make if needed)
    5 downy bottles
    4 Reading glasses
    4 Bottles Eye drops
    Case of Paper Towels
    Paper Plates
    Refilled Prescription before the end of the year.
    Extra Water and Batteries
    Shampoo and Conditioner
    Body Powder

    I also have now gone 2 weeks without diet coke it has been hard.

    Prayers to all especially Becky’s husband and all that are have illness at this time.

    Be safe and watchful in the New Year.

    • mom of three says:

      It’s the aspartame, that stuff is awful, it’s in all the diet foods, drinks, sugar free gum.. It makes you addictive and you eat and drink more, more, more. I would get just awful headaches and as soon as I would chew another piece of gum, my symptoms would go away. I’m going to order PUR Gum, to see how it tastes I just love gum . Keep it up good for you:).

      • Lauri no e says:

        mom of three,

        Thanks for the encouragement also what inspired me was the person that had to quit on this blog, I can’t remember her name. I remember her saying her leg cramps stopped at night time mine have as well.

      • Lurker Judith says:

        You could try Xylitol gum. My dentist likes it and it is supposed to be good for your teeth and gums. Pretty good, just doesn’t last long.

    • buffalo drum says:

      Congratulations Lauri – Diet Coke is almost as hard to give up as smoking, and the benefits almost as good. I’m convinced that my late husband’s peripheral neuropathy was a results of aspartame side effects. I hope you don’t suffer any of the negative consequences.

    • Lauri no e,
      Good girl. Stick with it. I spent 4 days in the hospital for aspartame poisoning from my Diet Pepsi’s. It was the most amazing experience I have ever had. I don’t know what would have happened if my son hadn’t gotten me to the emergency room in time. It was so bad that the doctors thought that I had a stroke. They kicked a guy with a broken leg out of one of the treatment rooms so they could get me in and get to work on me. I didn’t know anything or anyone for 10 hours, couldn’t speak, think, see or hear. The only thing that I knew was confusion and darkness.
      That was 4 months ago; and, I still have the urge to reach for a can; but, there is such a complete difference in me since then. I feel 20 years younger.
      It will be so worth breaking the habit; and, think how much money you will save if you are not buying canned drinks.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        Amen. I used to refer to myself as a “coke addict” as a joke, but there was a lot of truth in it. Since going off of them, I actually CAN’T drink them anymore! A few weeks ago, I ordered a “Dr. Pepper” for the first time in several months and it was so sickeningly sweet, I literally couldn’t drink it. I’m awfully glad I stopped that habit. And the money we’ve saved has been enormous! (My SO was clever enough to not drink sodas already. I could do infinitely worse than follow her lead in most things nutritional and health-related.)

      • Ozarkana,
        How many diet sodas were you drinking each day to get aspartame poisoning? I’d never heard of it before and I drink my share, mostly in the diet powdered drink mixes.

        • Thanks to all of you for you encouragement and advice and experiences. After what some of you have been through I am done! No more diet cokes or aspartame of any kind.

        • Hi OhioPrepper,
          I would drink, at least, 3 or 4 cans a day. To be totally honest about it, it was probably closer to 5 or 6 a day. Check out “aspartame poisoning” or “aspartame overdose” or “aspartame toxicity” on the internet. They all pretty much link to each other.There is a lot of information out there. You just have to search for it. Aspartame is in thousands of other foods that you don’t even realize until you start reading the ingredients really closely. If a can or package says “sugar free”, it most likely will have aspartame in it.

          I still try to figure out if it could have been anything else, sometimes. I would not read or listen to anything that anyone would send to me or tell me about it because I loved my Diet Pepsi. JeffintheWest is right. It really is an addiction.

  25. JeffintheWest says:

    Another week when we’ve been living off our preps. This has set us back to start again, but at the same time, it clearly proves that prepping is a GREAT idea! I’m slowly recovering (had a bit of a setback on Christmas eve when I started bleeding again, but it seems all better now), and the pain has steadily decreased.

    Have been getting a lot of reading done, especially on greenhouses and biodomes and how to build them.

    Christmas was very quiet and calm here — shared a pot of coffee and watched people open the presents I’d managed to scrounge on Christmas eve (that’s actually why I had the setback — overdid it making sure they had something to open), and then just enjoyed a beautiful Christmas morning. I didn’t get anything for Christmas (no one really had much time to do anything, since my medical crisis short circuited everything), but I told my SO that I wanted a puppy and a kitten this year! 😉

    (I figure with any luck the kitten will turn into a mouser and gopher hunter, and the puppy will grow up big and strong and protect the place and the eventual chickens….)

    • patientmomma says:

      Jeff, You can have my barn kitten, she’s a scrapper! Plus, I have a black lab retriever puppy for you! In 4 more weeks they’ll be old enough to go to new homes!!!

      • JeffintheWest says:

        Actually, patientmomma, if there’s anyway we can meet up, I’ll take you up on that offer! I love labs, and if the kitten and puppy are already familiar with each other that would solve a HUGE potential problem!

        How do we make this happen? 😉

    • Jeff, how’s your water holding up? I remember you writing about the low flow rate back earlier in the season. Was Becky able to offer you any alternatives?

      • JeffintheWest says:

        We haven’t had any problems with the water yet, but we do have a 2500 gallon holding tank which helps a lot. Becky hasn’t been able to come out and work with us yet (for obvious reasons) but we are still on the calendar when things get better for her.

    • Hope you are getting well Jeff…………bad health is just no damn fun! Hang in there.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        Slowly but surely. Not much fun, and the 16th promises to be moderately unpleasant (that’s when they’ll take out the stent). But all the prayers and support are really helping. Thanks again to all the Wolfpack!

  26. Non-preppers in the news: A man in SC was beaten and stabbed with a ceramic squirrel because he forgot to bring home the beer.

    The gentleman should be glad that he wasn’t sent out for a case of Scotch.

    If he was a prepper, he would not have run out of beer on Christmas Eve. But if for some reason he had, he would have been able to defend himself from this squirrelous attack.

    More here: http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/24315967/police-no-beer-led-to-ceramic-squirrel-stabbing#ixzz2oie6Ua8p

  27. Oop’s I almost forgot the gunshow is coming up on the [email protected] of Jan. at Kansas City Expo center I’m hoping that dealer shows up with 3 R.G.s Revolvers.

  28. Not much again this week. Stocked up firewood before this rain which has started today dug Some more on the rootceller I am digging .checked washing machine to see what is wrong with it . It is replacement time .a set of windings in the motor are bad,repaired a bad DC light . Replacing another with a 12 volt LED light this afternoon.

  29. Still without water. So far, new pump, fixing the plumbing a “real” plumber set up (priming pipe above my head in the rafters of the cistern house), new foot valve (spring wore out), and today a new pressure switch. The pump would kick on but would not kick off. Research says some dirt inside. A new one is going in but I am going to clean it how the video showed. New skill for this girl.

    Living without running water has not been an issue for me. Nine days and so many trips to town (25 miles). Cats (16), dogs (4), and chickens have also fared well.

    Christmas was great. Daughter bought 2 copies of Essential Document: Grab ‘N Go Organizer. I have her thinking on what to keep near the front door to grab. She has a huge non-fiction library. Got her to think about the 10-15 most important books she has and pot in bookcase near front door. Working with granddaughter on similar plans for her apartment.

    Just put 3 twenty-five pounds of wheat, small red beans, and black turtle beans in tubs with DE. Cannot buy dry ice in Arkansas.

    Update on chickens born 4/1/13. One of the ladies is brooding. Between her own eggs and the ones she swiped when other ladies got in her box with her, she has about 15-18 eggs under her. I am not counting on a bunch of chicks because of the temps and time of year. Closed off the coop. Put in a red heat lamp. Plan to clean out litter ( very loose and easy to work with. The rest of the flock is using the covered/sheltered run with roosts in it. They run all day with the cats and dogs. They will be fine until I see what the little lady does.

    Will not pull and incubate eggs. I chose buff orphingtons because I want breeding chickens when SHTF.

    MD: grammar. In high school I took vocational to be a secretary. Never worked as one but did learn some skills to use at home. I am a lousy speller. Really lousy. At 29, I began college back in the days where women did not do that; very first “non-traditional” students. There were three of us at kent state in ’69. Spelling stayed an issue but I finished 3 degrees in special education. Late hubby gave me smart remarks. One day I responded with “we geniuses are too busy thinking and doing we do not have time to bother with mundane things like spelling.” Yeah, he still had a comeback but ever since I still use the genius remark for smart mouths who flap their jaws too much. Made it to the top in my field and helped a lot of children and adults with severe disabilities along the way. Spelling poorly never held me back. Thanks for letting me sound of about what is important in life.

  30. Grannytraveler says:

    Things are going ok here. We had a quiet Christmas. Maybe that’s because I ate myself into a stupor. LOL. I’ve been recovering from a bad tooth infection and subsequent root canal. Still in some pain. My son is still in remission so we are thankful for that. Right now I am rotating out my beans which means a lot of soup. Too bad the temps are in the 80’s right now. Not exactly soup weather.

    Haven’t made too many additions to my preps. Short on funds. Did order some more fish antibiotics. Just reread the Jakarta pandemic on my kindle to get me into the right prepping mood. Starting to think about my summer garden. Time really flies by when you’re busy.

    • Glad to hear your son is better Grannytraveler. I have him on my prayer list and was going through it the other day and wondered how it was going.

      • Grannytraveler says:

        Thank you so much. We are so thankful that so many people have kept him in their prayers. My big worry now is the flu. He refuses the flu shot and he has a compromised immune system from the chemo so… Just trying to keep him healthy.

  31. lurker judith says:

    I have been intensively studying herbal therapy for venous insufficiently. 2 Herbs in particular. Horse Chestnut and Butchers Broom. I swear though it is so frustrating. In reading through the clinical trials I came across several references to BB that depending on several interactions it may cause an unsafe rise in blood pressure.
    So that one is not for me. Decided to start using the HC because it has been used in many double blind studies and deemed not only safe but as effective or more so than conventional therapy.

    As a side note, this is why I say to do your research before taking anything. Very few of the sites mentioned the potential blood pressure problem.

    Boy M.D. I hear you about the spelling Nazis. I remember too someone on here when you first got started. It seems to me like there is a much nicer group of people now. At least I haven’t been called an atheist since Lint picker left. Lol

    Added 2 quarts of maple syrup . And ordered a bunch of seeds.
    Happy New Year to you all.

  32. Had a quiet Christmas and a quiet week prepping. All I did was get a “tip” from a customer at work. He had 2 propane tanks and only wanted to exchange 1. He gave me the other and I promptly did a Blue Rhino exchange. This is the second time this has happened since May. 20lb propane tanks are hard to find around here so this was greatly appreciated. I am up to 5 filled tanks and 2 others that need to be cleaned up and swapped.

  33. Happy Camper says:

    Best wishes to everyone for the new year 🙂
    This week I decided to put food scraps to waste, so I dehydrated and powdered the left over chicken and fish frames. Also as my worm farm is full and the worms rather over fed at this time of year I used the pulp from my juicer (mostly carrot, sweet potatoe, melon) and created a recipe to make dry dog biscuits- added some activated charcoal I’d made for the benefit of my bull terrier who is very windy (her nick name is egg). Charcoal bikkies and wheat free dog biscuits are very expensive and I’m going to make my own from now on, the only cost being power for the oven.
    Can anyone please help me to know what the acronyms are, I presume DH is ‘dear husband’ or perhaps (pending on behaviours) could be d… Head ??? So I’m thinking I could be reading some articles in completely the wrong context !!!

    • You are right, DH to me is Darling Hubby,,, unless he has done something really off the wall,, I still use DH (but only I know Im thinking dumb husband.
      BOB/GHB are for Bug out Bag and Get Home Bag, depending what you plan to do,, although the bags will probably contain the same items.

    • Encourager says:

      dh = dear hubby or whatever ‘d’ word you wanna put in front of hubby.
      ds = dear son
      dd = dear daughter
      sil = son-in-law; same with mil, fil, don’t know about sister-in-law
      tdl – the dark lord, the dang liar (you can add your own ‘d’ word, lol)
      lol – laugh out loud
      roflol – roll on floor, laughing out loud
      lmbo – laugh my behind off

      many more!

  34. Happy Camper says:

    ***see we all are bad grammar people*** I ment
    Food scraps to USE

    • lurker judith says:

      Happy Camper, I don’t know how many on here are using a tablet, but I been noticing that it the tablet doesn’t like my use of a word it changes it. And I don’t always notice that it makes a change. Go figure.

      • mom of three says:

        Yes, your right I use a tablet and I always have to re read before I post.

      • Happy Camper says:

        Yes, I use an iPad. Funny examples of what they do can be found on a site called ‘damn you auto correct’.

  35. Happy New Year M.D. and the Pack, did a few things this week, had to repair the HVAC system under the house and luckily a friend came with an extra set of hands. I wish contractors would install things properly (not all do). We had to undo what the original contractor did on the ducting, correct it, and replace contaminated flex duct which had become soaked with water.
    Wired up power under the house for a dehumidifier to eliminate the danger of mold formation and dry the crawl space out. Received a Propper International assault pack, it was used with a small repairable tear but still serviceable. The DW is a wonderful seamstress who can fix / make almost anything. Went deer hunting with BIL for the final time this season, he shot another one yesterday. We are done hunting for this season and were blessed with enough meat until next season.
    Got some food items from a family member who lives out west, and got some cocoa mix from a friend which came from the LDS Bishop’s storehouse. Bought some canned hams from Dollar General which taste better than what we typically buy at Walgreen’s.

    • Being an hvac guy myself I hear ya! there are some out there looking for the dollar and not willng to do quality work to get it.

      • Hvaczach. My wife is the office manager for a hv co.Booking is a problem . Everything is fine but when a cold snap comes people find out that there heater is not working or visa versa with cooling.most of the shops in my area are small 1 or 2 man shops.They get overrun easily. Some shops are not that good either.I can think of a couple that I would not let into my home.My wifes boss just hired a man who used to do installs in a union shop and is good. He repaired a unit that was hooked up backwards from another shop.He is learning to diagnose and service now and seems to be dong well at it.

        • The people who installed our HVAC system won’t be allowed back into our house. It took a year and contacting the manufacturer to get the system running properly.

    • Col.D I hope you send a bill to the contractor for you doing the repairs.

    • Happy New Year Col. D.
      What kind of canned hams did you get? I have been looking for something that doesn’t taste like spam.

    • Colo. D. What brand were the hams? Our dollar general has 2 brands.

  36. Santa was good , brought me a Food Saver for Christmas!!!!

  37. I am currently doing some hands on research on Iodine as an alternative to antibiotics. I am also utilizing it as a cancer treatment. As of right now, everything I have read has been accurate, I am responding well and am having no negative side effects. This takes time,but the more research I do…..the more positive I am becoming on the potential of iodine to improve my health.

  38. This week, we finally finished building the grow room in the basement. Can hardly wait to start the garden seedlings, now! Ordered several more heirloom seed catalogs, which should begin arriving any day now. Canned a few jars of turkey meat and turkey broth to avoid the dreaded “leftovers burnout.” Started reading The Survival Medicine Handbook, and so far, I am impressed. Other than that, this week has been pretty much all about staying inside and keeping warm whenever possible.

  39. reading rooikat says:

    Let’s see…
    I renewed several gun mag subscriptions. Bought some MRE’s at a show today. Bought a tiny swiss army champ for $4.00, a US canteen stove that I never saw before.
    My buddy bought an M-65 jacket for $5.00 at a thrift store.

  40. Happy New Year Pack! I wish all of the best to each of you!
    MD, thank you so much for this educational site where we can share with LMI from anywhere/everywhere. I have learned more from the Wolf Pack than any other site.
    This week, I am renewing my herbal medicine research and home study, such as it is. May I pick your brains and learn from your experience? In packing my own capsules with powdered herbs, what size capsules should I use? I have seen 0 and 00, but don’t know which to order. Which capsule machine works best with the least waste/mess? The plan is to start with powders such as turmeric that have the most to offer for our needs/uses. I have begun collecting ingredients for some remedies in Rosemary Gladstar’s book, but it is taking time. So many herbs seem to be out of stock. Are there acceptable substitutes? Please chime in with anything you think I should know. Thank you!

    • Happy Camper says:

      I pack my own capsules. 00 is the standard size. I don’t bother with a machine, it’s way more fiddly and you end up double handling everything. I just fill one capsule at a time and pack it tight with the end of a pencil.

    • I just purchased a Capsule Machine. They are very cheap! I figured it was worth a try for about $17 on Amazon. It had very good reviews. I went with the 0 size. Seemed about standard dose size. I blew thru Practical Herbalism while visiting relatives for the holiday. I love that book! Can’t wait to try a few things. Looking forward to everyone’s replies to you, I want to know too!

      • Daisy, Thank you for your reply. Have you used the machine yet? I am looking for something that will be more efficient and, hopefully, less messy than packing one at a time, if possible.
        Michelle mentioned using capsules in her article in November, but I didn’t see reference to make or other info.

        • fmwb,

          I use a capsule machine to pack mine. Choose your size of capsule ‘0’ of ’00’, and you can buy your capsules and machine at Mountain Rose Herbs, Amazon or Capsule Connection.

          The ‘machines’, are a pretty much a two piece thing with holes for the empty capsules – one for the tops and one for the bottoms. You can see a picture on the website for Capsule Connection along with instructions on using them. They fill 24 capsules at a time and it’s pretty quick.

          The one for the bottom has sides, so you can pour in your herbs and use a card to move it into the capsules. There is also a little packer thing that fits into the bottoms to pack down the herbs inside, so you can add more before you place on the capsule lids.

          After my first purchase from Mountain Rose Herbs, I went to the Capsule Connection and bought the second size machine along with 3,000 capsules in each size and dessicant packets to keep the capsules from absorbing water from the air, and because my order was so big, I got a pretty substantial discount.

          • Michelle, Thank you so much for your reply, your expertise is very much appreciated. I didn’t dare hope that you would have time with moving and all. I don’t look forward to packing everything when/if we actually get out of the suburbs. This helps so much. I hadn’t thought about the dessicants, great idea!

            • Michelle, Could I ask another question? Do you have recommendations for containers? I use various size mason jars where applicable, but also need inexpensive ideas for tins and bottles, etc. when giving or using smaller amounts. Thank you!

        • FMWB, not yet. It should be at the house, along with some new herbs I ordered, after my holiday jaunt. I can’t wait to try it!

          • Daisy, Exciting! I can’t wait to hear how your new experience goes.
            Good luck with your travels. We are lucky, we get to stay home this holiday.

  41. This is really about two weeks worth of preps.

    Got my mom a Ruger LCP. Liked it so much I went and got myself one.
    Picked up a Glock 17 with three mags (I oove Glock’s Blue Program) and bought one more Pro Mag for it.

    Traded an old Colt 1911 and some ammo for:
    A 5×8 wood floored trailer
    Taurus PT 92 with one mag
    Brand new Henry lever action .22lr

    440 rounds of 7.62x54r ina sealed can
    290 5.56 rounds
    20 rounds of 30-06
    20 9mm Hornady Critical Defense
    50 .45 ACP Winchester FMJ
    50 .380 FMJ American Eagles
    530 .22lr

    Got a Baofeng UV-5RA two way radio

  42. Been a slow week here. I was hoping to plant the second wheat field but the lack of rain has put that on hold for a while. It’s been great weather for walking on the beach, etc. though, so I don’t have any complaints.
    Ordered some soursop leaves for tea on Michele’s recommendation – they should arrive in a couple of days.
    Still processing the ham and bacon from the pig slaughtered a couple of weeks back.

  43. ladyhawthorne says:

    With helping Mom get ready for Christmas the only thing I accomplished was to order some more seeds for the garden.

  44. Merry Christmas and happy New year to the pack ! I hurt my right hand at work this week and an learning how to do things with only my left hand. Good practice for bad times in case of a real injury. Shooting with your non dominant hand etc. Have a safe week 🙂

  45. Babycatcher says:

    Well, we discovered a leak in the underground pipe leading from the water meter to the house. When the house was built, they used first generation PEX, and apparently doesn’t hold up as well as the new stuff. Our neighbor works for the local utility and came over after he got off work, it only took him 5 min to find the leak, and a half hour for him to dig down 24 inches, and fix it. A tree root had bent the pipe til it split. The man is a genius. We are replacing all 130 feet of underground pipe with new PEX encased in 1.5 inch conduit so we don’t have this problem again. It’s the last “big” item on my dh’s fix list for this house. The roof was the other, and it got replaced with metal in March.
    Due to the difficulty of finding a job in her area of expertise, my daughter will be moving back home with us next week…I hope to help her redefine her skills set so she will be marketable enough to be self supporting again…we shall see. In the meantime, she wants to help me prep. I could use the help. The greenhouse still isn’t built, and we are building a canning kitchen, that needs extra man/ woman power..:) and I have one Morgan to train to harness and the other one to saddle… Anyone know of a good used walking plow that isn’t 300 dollars? It’s the cheapest I could find!haven’t bought one yet, just looking…happy new year to the pack, keep on prepping, were gonna need it!

  46. PrepperScott says:

    Managed to fill a five gallon bucket each of sugar, salt, rice, pintos, flour, and chicken feed. Sealed in Mylar bags with O2 absorbers and desiccant packs. Also cut and stacked a crap-load of firewood in the last two weeks. That including cutting down a china-berry tree (hated that damn thing). I live in Florida but would rather use the fireplace than that money-hog that is central heating.

  47. Bought myself some more junk silver! Cant go wrong.

  48. Merry Christmas to us. We scraped together every nickel that we could find and paid off the house. This will be our PREP for quite some time to come; but, I really am concerned about what the economy is going to do in 2014.
    Many Blessings to you all in the new year. Stay safe.

    • Great Job Ozarkana! That is a huge step!

      • Thank you, Worrisome. It still hasn’t sunk in, yet, that our home and land will be safe from whatever. I can’t wait to get the deed in my hands.

    • Congratulations Ozarkana! This is a MAJOR accomplishment.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      On the date the next payment would have been due, CELEBRATE!!! (But don’t shop 🙂

      • Lurker Judith says:

        Congratulations Ozarkana
        Now make sure to save 5 years of property taxes somewhere other than a bank and an alternative means of paying them like gold or silver.

        • congratulations on a lien free home. it was a relief when we payed ours of and i dont stop thanking the lord for making it possible.

          • Thank you, Brad. I remember the JOY in your post when you said that you had paid off the mortgage. We were out, yesterday, repairing about 16 feet of fence taken out by the neighbor’s tree during the ice storm; and, I looked up at the house and just sort of had a “Happy Prepper” moment. Our shelter is OURS.

        • Thanks for the advice, Lurker Judith, We will get to work on that right away. If we want 5 years worth, we had best plan on, at least, 7 years worth. Taxes are sure to go up , again and again.

      • LOL, Hunker-Down. SHOP? We will be shopping in our backyard and food storage room for quite some time. We will have an extra jar of green beans to celebrate.

    • Donna in MN says:

      Good for you! Now you can save money to buy things you couldn’t afford and can pay cash.

      • Nebraska Woman says:

        Paying cash is the only way to go! I did put a stipulation, however, on my checking account; if I write a check over a thousand dollars, the bank will call my brother (who is 1 of 2 people I trust) to ok it. I joked with him that I might get in my dotage and start sending all of his inheritance to some goofy TV preacher.
        My MIL taught me this. It’s a good move to make.

    • Encourager says:

      We paid ours off when dh retired. Whew, cannot emphasize the relief of having that mortgage GONE! It is a wonderful feeling, enjoy it Ozarkana!

  49. Well, today I got some paint on sale so I can continue on the few things renovating I ran out of paint for. It seems the new thing in paint is paint mixed with primer (maybe it saves money over using one and then the other?), and the price of paint of all kinds has gone up by around 50% since a couple years ago. I was glad to get the discount, regular paint.

    While I’ve used paint to stretch primer, I’ve never thought it okay to have primer be in the top paint coat. I might just be wrong.

    If you don’t care what color something is exactly you can get “oops” paint which was colored and then someone didn’t like the color and didn’t buy it, or it was colored wrong. You can mix different colors up, too. Just don’t hope to match it after in either case. One thing you can do if you’re trying to make do with the ends of paint cans, is sponge painting of different colors, and then if you need a touch up, just sponge that on too. If it’s all colors that are close, it could look pretty good.

    I saw a full time job opening I want and sent a resume for it. If I get this job I’ll be able to make a decent living again, in a field that interests me, but unfortunately it will probably require me to fly a few times a year. I suppose a “day job” is survival because it’s money.

    I’m also trying to refi my house. I think I found a loan that I qualify for that will save me money.

    I have a canning question. I got some canning jars from Grandma. Several wide mouth jars I used to can food have a white residue near the rim of the jar (but the food looks OK – it’s only the jar with the white). This is in some peach-corn salsa and peach chutney mostly, although it might have been from the decades-old but previously unused lids and not the food. Also it was two totally different batches of food. The vacuum seal is still good. Would the food still be OK, if I cooked it a lot after opening the jar in order to denature whatever it is?

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      First smell it and if it smells ok then just heat to a boiling temp for 10 minutes and you should be good. The white could be a calcium buildup if you have a lot of minerals in your water.

    • mom of three says:

      How long ago did she can the food? I went to a canning class about 5 months ago, and the lady said ” food safely canned in jars, you can use up to two year’s”. If longer I would chuck all the food.

  50. First time I have posted on the site but have followed it for about 2 months now. Santa was also good to us and we received some gun maintenance tools and cleaning as well. I have an “under the steering wheel mount” for my gun in the truck now. We discovered a local pie shop that sells 5 gallon food grade buckets with lids for .50 a piece you just have to clean them up. Today I’m headed out to Sam’s club to boost the food supply. Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

    • Lauri no e says:


      Welcome to the pack!!!

    • Welcome, it is a very good bunch of people here. So don’t be afraid if you have questions or things to add to the conversation.

    • Angel
      Welcome to the pack. Im also new to this sit and to prepping. I have learned so much from everyone here, everyone is super help full.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      Max, Angel…welcome!

    • Angel,


    • Encourager says:

      Angel, welcome to the Wolf Pack! Glad you have started posting! Let us know what you have been up to.

      We pick up buckets from Walmart and Sam’s Club. If we are near Ann Arbor, there is a Walmart that actually WASHES the buckets first! And they are free! Most are not 5 gallons, more like 3. But they are easier for me to lift when full.

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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

  55. 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!

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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!

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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!

  63. 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!

  64. 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.

  65. 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.

  66. 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!

  67. 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.

  68. Happy New Year everyone!!

  69. 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.”

  70. 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.

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