What did you do to prep this week?

Before we get started today; I would like to give a loud shout out to Kelli M, Paul W, Troy B, Victoria S, Linda S, Nancy Q, Barbara V, Charles P, and Jeff H for their generous donations and support of this blog via PayPal this week. Thank you all.

Dang, it’s cold!

Current temperature reading at my place is 23 degrees, but according to the local news and weather channel it is supposed to be zero or below Monday night. Now to some of you folks up north a zero temperature reading might be seen as an innovation for an outdoor picnic, but down, here in TN it’s considered cold. And I don’t like it, my dog don’t like it (she stays in the house with me), my chickens don’t like it, and neither do the rabbits and goats!

This mornings NBC news headline reads:

Next storm will bring ‘mother lode’ of freezing temps : “Consider Friday’s big chill a mere warm-up act: This weekend will bring a deep freeze that could prove fatal for the ill-equipped. It’s the mother lode of cold air,” said Weather Channel coordinating
meteorologist Tom Moore. On the heels of what will be the coldest air of the season, will be dangerous, life-threatening winds.”

We are all very disappointed and can’t wait till Spring! The warm sunshine, spring showers, trees budding, flowers awakening and pushing up through the dirt to welcome the sunshine, birds singing and everything just coming alive after a long winters sleep.

What’s the temperature where you are? I hope that you have a backup heat source… I have a wall mounted propane heater for backup and supplemental heat when the temperature drops below normal. Spring can’t get here fast enough…

Okay, now let me see what did I do to prep this week…

I’ve been working on a follow-up article, or a part two if you will, to Thursdays article, “Experts warn that “it’s not a matter of if but when” a major pandemic will happen” this one will detail some of my preps and tips for surviving a pandemic virus… A few folks seemed to be disappointed that part one was not a how to piece, but it was never meant to be. It was meant to serve as a warning for the coming pandemic and to that end, I think it served the purpose well…

I’ve also been working on my next book for Paladin Press – unfortunately, it will probably be around August before it is in print and available for purchase, but it will be worth the wait. You are going to love it. I promise…

I’ve been burning brush piles – I have about 25 of those unsightly, piles of brush and limbs scattered around my property, a result of clearing away the underbrush on 5 1/2 acres.

Let’s see what else did I do to prep this week?

Bought two more gallon of Ken’l-Lan 12 – this is a disinfect that is effective against pathogenic bacteria. One gallon of this makes 128 gallons of disinfect cleaner. If you decide to use this stuff be sure to read and follow the directions for safe usage. I now have five gallon of this which should be enough to keep my place pathogenic free when the next pandemic hits…

Well folks that’s it for me – how about you? What did you do to prep this week? Let us know in the comments below…

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. Porch thermometer says 28 and the greenhouse heat lamp has been on since yesterday. We aren’t up north getting all that snow and below zero temps,,,but to me 28 is still cold.
    They reported 14 people died from that storm that swept the north east, but they didn’t specify if they were traffic fatalities or folks stuck in the elements. But as you say, another storm is moving through there will be more deaths.
    I received a dehydrator for Christmas and have tried it out, had 2lbs of left over (uncooked) carrots cut them in quarters let them go for 10 hours,, and WOW carrot chips! Then I heat canned them in the oven,, boy they really shrink down. And you know I had to play and re-hydrate some just to see if it works,, and it does. They plump up to the same size.
    Then I tried bananas, but they weren’t as successful :-(. I don’t think I left them in long enough, I did them for 8 1/2 hours. The direction book is very vague, the time for just about everything it says 6-12 hrs. It also gives a recipe for a marinade for the bananas, but I think that’s would be too sloppy.
    If any one has had success I’d love to hear from you. Next I’m going to try everything for a stew then heat can it all in one jar so all I have to do is add the meat (already canned the pressure canning way) and water!

    • R-Me:

      I got up to 18 this morning, but I think there are people east of me that are really waking up to some low temps.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      We have only dehydrated peas, celery, strawberries, onions, potatoes, bananas and carrots. That said, I’m under the impression that one cant over-dehydrate anything. So we routinely let the dehydrator run as much as a day beyond the instructions, and set the heat about 5 degrees lower than called for. The bananas and strawberries were a disappointment and we wont do those again. The onions, carrots, celery and peas are on our annual to-do list.

      • We have done many strawberries and LOVE them – in fact, I have had someone ask me to sell him a jar of them, but haven’t since it takes SO MANY strawberries to make a jar and I hesitate to ask the price I would need to. 🙂 My family enjoys them (I have to limit the amount eaten at a time) and the strawberries are like a dessert treat for us to snack on – I tucked a little baggie of them in when we took a hike and they were a great “pick me up”…………..I just sliced them from top to bottom and dehydrated. I have some that are 1 1/2 years old right now and they are just in a jar- not sealed and the color, flavor and texture have remained wonderful. I store them in a dry, cool dark place. ………sorry yours didn’t turn out, but they may be worth trying again.

        • Hunker-Down says:

          I go to a pick-your-own farm for strawberries and am fanatical about processing them immediately. That is way too much work for this old geezer in one day so we focus our labor on making strawberry jelly instead of dehydrating.
          I spend 4 days; morning picking before it gets hot and afternoon making jelly. By day 2 the back is out of whack.

          • HD,
            Jelly, Jam, and pie filling is a great way to process strawberries. We’ve done that and dehydrated them in the past, and anyone who has done the dehydrating understands that when you can purchase them on sale, already dehydrated, the price is not at all as high as it appears to be, especially when considering the amount of both product and work involbed.

          • I was wondering about that myself. Given the cost of the produce, especially apples and strawberries, if would seem less expensive to buy them dehydrated in #10 cans.

            The LDS Online Store has a case of apples for $52.72 with free shipping. I can’t buy apples and dehydrate them cheaper.

          • Bam Bam,
            My point exactly. It’s good to do the dehydrating at least once so you know that you have the skill when required; however, taking into account the cost and time involved, purchasing some items like the Applles, Onions, and Carrots is really not a bad deal.
            One word of warning on the LDS apples, they are addictive as a snack, LOL.

      • Donna in MN says:

        I tried bananas and with the lemon juice they turned out sticky and hard, and without lemon, they were very hard and brown. so I won’t be doing them again. i think they do best freeze dried.

        Try sliced apples with lemon juice. they are great and turned out pliable. I dried 6 apples and without realizing it, I ate them all in one sitting.

        • Haha, we do the same thing, Donna regarding the apples. No lemon juice, but they turn out so yummy that I can’t keep them in stock!

        • Do the apples by dipping them in the lemon juice then shaking brown sugar and cinnamon over them. It doesn’t get any better. I also crumble them into oatmeal this way. Again can’t get much better. I have been meaning to try using them to make a pie by re-hydrating them fist but haven’t got to them yet.

      • HD,
        If you can get dehydrated onions and carrots from the LDS, they are well worth the cost when you consider how much they shrink. They also have really good apples.

        • Hunker-Down says:


          We grow almost enough onions and way too many carrots for our needs, so our out of pocket cost is the electricity for the already paid for dehydrator. The only issue is stinking up the garage when doing the onions.
          We get bulk pricing at the strawberry pick-your-own farm.

    • Temp report first seems to be the way to go… This morning it is balmy 18 below and brilliantly sunny. A few days ago, I spotted 1 lb bags of fresh cranberries on sale. I bought 15 lbs and popped them one pound at a time into my food processor for a few seconds and then dumped them onto trays in the dehydrator. Now I have 5 large CheezeWhiz jars of beautiful bright dried cranberry pieces that I can use in muffins, oatmeal, cookies or rehydrate them with sugar and water to make cranberry sauce. Last time, I tried drying them whole. They are fun to eat as they sort of pop in your mouth but take forever to dry. Today’s project? Bake bread. Maybe I’ll add cranberries just for fun.

    • worrisome says:

      I buy bananas on sale, slice them, dip them in some lemon juice, dehydrate them. When they are really dry, I run them through the food processor and then flavor my oatmeal with them. The kids like to eat them dried as banana chips, but to rehydrate them, I don’t think they are very good either.

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      I think most dehydrating times are vague because temperature and humidity levels can alter things so much. As another said, you can’t over-dehydrate.

      • Thanks for the encouragement, I’ll try the bananas again. It was also good to hear I don’t have to heat can them.
        Can’t wait till strawberry season, but for now I’m going to stick to the veggies!
        Thanks pack, this is such a great community, so many offer help when one of us runs into a problem.

      • I concur.

    • Bananas need about 18+ hours some days. Humidity in the air is a factor. Sloppy does not describe what bananas put into liquid are like. Bananas are just fine put in the dehydrator after slicing. I tried dipping them in lemon juice so they would be whiter be whiter. That aspect did not bother me, but this was just an experiment. Don’t pay attention to times for dehydrating. It always takes longer because of humidity.

    • hi r-me,
      daughter and i took an introductory canning class and have been discussing how to do what.
      i’ll still can things but she convinced me that dehydration is the thing.
      lighter to move or to carry in a back pack if necessary.
      what kind of dehydrator did you get?
      people seem to tout the excalibur but the aldi’s grocery here has affordable ones in season.

      • Happy New Year wasp, I got a Gardenmaster by Nesco. It came with 4 trays, a flat sheet for fruit rollups and a pliable sheet for small things. It says it does up to 20 trays.
        I fit the 2lbs of cut up carrots on the 4 trays and the next time I was able to fit 10 sliced bananas.
        It also came with an instruction book, but like we discussed above, the drying times are vague and I guess I didn’t let the bananas go for long enough,, the carrots came out fine.
        Everything is much lighter if you plan to make it for BOB, the 2 lbs of carrots are all in a pint jar (with room for more if I had them)
        I only learned how to can this past summer, and now dehydrating, it’s exciting. There is a site JalopenaGal who gives recipes to put dehydrated items in a jar and it’s ready to make just by adding water.
        Have fun!

    • R-Me,
      28 F here also, up from 3 F yesterday. Weatherman is talking sub zero and -30 or more windchill over the next few days. DD was supposed to fly from Columbus to Boston on Friday, but 12+ inches of snow up there kept her home. Trying again tomorrow (I think).
      Bananas work best with a marinade or coated in sugar (think banana chips from the store), and they also don’t seem to rehydrate as well as things like apples, onions, and carrots.

    • I use less ripe bananas. I also spray them with lemon juice. I have had good results.

    • 38 below at 0800 this morning… high today will be -20 (below zero) or so, according to reports.
      One way to dehydrate bananas is slice them thin, leave them outside overnight in minus 30 temps. If you need a hammer in a hurry and have only banana, leave one outside for an hour and you’ll have ‘instant hammer’ (one reporter did this live a few years back).

    • Encourager says:

      We didn’t have much luck with the bananas either. They were crunchy but the next day softened. Sure wish I knew how the commercial folks do it – dh loves those crunchy banana chips.

      • If I can get bananas dehydrated at home, that would be nice. But right now, It is better to buy them and spend my dehydrator time on other things. Also, during hard times, I don’t expect us to be able to get bananas, so we enjoy them as they are, or frozen for smoothies.

  2. MD, do you feed your chickens hot mash on the the cold mornings. We always make hot mash and changed out there water several times in the really cold season, it seemed to make make them do a lot better.

    This week I repacked the get home bags in the cars with the winter stuff, got the generators out and ran them for about an hour each, and bought and have started playing with candle making gear. Seeing what wax mixture get me the longest burn time in a 8 oz tin. Our temperature got down below 0 (about 3 degrees below) so probably not too much outside stuff this week. Be safe Pack.

  3. It is -14 below zero here in western massachussetts. Stepped out to feed the birds and my fingers were in pain immediately. Brrrr. Dog won’t go out to pee even with his coat on and he is a big boy. Pellet stove is on high and I still have to use the heat. Glad I put the bunnys in the cellar for the winter.

    • Central Ma. here 8 below.

    • Old Alaskan says:

      I just don’t know how you people can stand the cold weather? In Fairbanks last week we had 40 below weather for over a week.

    • Mary in mn says:

      It is -9 with wind chill at -34 right now but, tomorrow will be a -22 with wc at -48. Brr. Glad I have a book to read. We are going nowhere. Too dangerous to be caught outside.

  4. Well we are at another gun show this weekend. Friday turned out the way I like it. I paid for what I bought and my tables, so anything else goes to preps. I did pick up a used 12 ga that had the stock shortened with a hacksaw (so it needs a new stock) and some 357 Mag (the ammo lady’s only box), 44 Spec, and 22 Short ammo. What little 22 LR there was is gone, prices still high. I did walk into a store at the right time Thursday and “caught” the stocker putting up 2 bricks of 22 LR, so one went home for my “needy friends”.

    We had hamburger on sale this week, so after I cooked it up, the DW is running it through the dehydrator now. Looks like we’ll add 8 quarts to the larder. The grocery had Instant Oatmeal on a 1-day sale, 3 boxes of 10 packets for 5 dollars, so I releaved them of a lot of shelf stock. I found some 44 Special brass locally, along with bullets and a set of dies (I couldn’t believe I didn’t have any 44 dies anymore) for my “new to me” Charter Bulldog. We’ll see how it goes to find out if it is a “keeper”.

    I ordered and received some “Creamy Wheat” cereal. We have it every Sunday AM, and it was cheaper at regular price to buy #10 cans, than the box at the store, so when it went on sale I was all over it. The regular grocery store had some Bear Creek Navy Bean and Wild Rice soup mixes in stock and on sale, and since these are staple here, stocked up.

    The DW put her hand into making here 1st batch of Navy Bean soup in the crock pot this week, as we had left over ham. We did use canned beans this time, but it was great! Went very well with my corn bread!

    We did a little more sorting and cleaning in the basement. Now to find “new homes” for some of that “valuable stuff” I’ve been keeping that has not seen daylight for 17 years.

    With everything that has been reported, everything that I’ve read here and around the world, I personally feel very good about our prospects for 2014. Not sure why, but it’s good to feel upbeat for a change.

    • lurker judith says:

      Great Northern Beans, Ham, and Yankee cornbread. (with sugar ) best cure for depression ever.

    • Ya’ll are making me hungry.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      Do you like dehydrated hamburger? I haven;t tried it yet.

      • Nebraska Woman says:

        Oops. This keyboard again. “haven’t”

      • I can use the dehydrated/ rehydrated hamburger for 90% of the stuff we make now. Doesn’t make real good patties for grilling….but.

        We lack the space to add more freezers at our house, only have the fridge and a small upright. Just no space in the house.

        We do the same with chicken. Fillet the breasts, grill them on an indoor grill (think George Foreman type) then split into thirds. 1/3 fozen as paddies, 1/3 dices and frozen, 1/3 diced and dehydrated. When the freezer is full, it all gets diced and dehydrated.

        We seal these up in pint and quart size jars, then vacuum seal them.

    • jp in mt
      does the dehydrated meat have to be pressure canned?

    • Encourager says:

      We also made bean soup with left over Christmas Hambone. It was awesome as my ds smoked the ham for dinner. YUM!

      I have to soak my beans in distilled water and also cook them in distilled water because our well water is so high in calcium, magnesium and iron. It tends to keep the beans hard, no matter how long you cook them; and pea soup ends up with little hard pieces in it…yuk.

      Made ham and potato soup last night. This weather is just plain soup weather! Gonna roast some beef meaty bones and make bone broth so I can use that to make French Onion Soup…

      • Encourager:

        If your water is that hard, you might want to invest in a simple water distillation station. For when you can’t by it.

      • Those soups sound really tasty. Wish the DH liked it as much.

  5. PGCPrepper says:

    Looking for some acres and a home that’s not in the gated community I currently live in. Was afraid to commit due to being ill and my raging high Db tinnitus. I thought I was going to not make it until 2014 but now it seems to be just the ringing in my head that’s left to conquer although I’m not sure what the toll on my body is now. I think training for bike/run races (duathlons) just before whatever attacked me helped in that regard.

    Now, headphones and an IPod with water running or white noise on constantly is saving me. I even sleep with them on. I have to. It’s an excruciating high pitch tinnitus. So-o-o my prepping this wk has been on ensuring I have a way of charging my I-pod without electricity. I have a charger and will likely get the goal-zero solar set up soon. I ordered a crank radio/charger, ambient model, and DW is getting me a backup set of headphones (over ear) today. That’s it for us.

    • PGCPrepper:

      That sucks. There are companies that make custom molded ear plus/head phones that might make it easier at night. If I run across any leads I post them.

      • PGCPrepper says:

        Thanks sir. Just hit me one day outta the blue two years ago. I’ve tried everything I could research. I’ve spent two years devoted to it but would appreciate any help, of course. Being retired Army, I’ve been fortunate enough to even try Johns Hopkins’ specialists with little cost but to no evail. I have an excel spreadsheet tracking all I’ve done and it is one long spreadsheet but I stopped updating six months ago. The white noise has kept me alive if you know what I mean. Tinnitus is a very serious issue with our soldiers returning from the battlefield which, I suspect, you know. It is horrible and of course coupled, normally, with loss of hearing. Well, I had loss of hearing the day I retired from the military 14 years ago but they still only attribute it to loss of hearing. Not logical IMO.

        You can’t see it “on” a person and many have it at lesser Db level so you just can’t talk about it or explain it very well. Mine was so high last year that I went to the emergency room 8 times. “Nothing we can do! It is a common reason for suicide though and hopefully it will be taken more seriousIy. I even give to one “T” organization as one of my charities.

        I went on a 50 mile bike challenge one day and kayaking the next day but the very next day… bam. I mean I’ve done everything, I even tried a human worm cleanse three or four months in and, yep, I had parasites in my stool possibly from stank water from kayaking or bad pork..lol.. but most people do it seems and just don’t know it. My wife did too. I bloated up to 40 pounds over my normal weight just like that. So, you never know what challenges you will need to overcome. Such is life. Thanks for responding.

        • Hi, I was in my early forties and read a Reader’s Digest article and said to myself * you mean everybody does not have this ringing in their ears?” Since then I have found that when I stay away from wheat, it is much milder to almost gone. It does take two to three weeks away from it to make a difference, though, so I have some now due to Christmas indulgences…

          Wishing you relief!!!

          • PGCPrepper says:

            Hi Jan,

            I am a type O blood type and have recently went back to a non-gluten, paleo diet as I knew I should have been all along. It has made a delta. You are correct. I think one day I will write an article on diets. I was a champion “drug-free” bodybuilder and you could find me on the interwebs if I gave you enough info. But you are right about wheat. I want no part of it. I’m bored now but Michelle knows what I’m talking about. There is some truth and some fallacies about the blood type diet

          • Paleo prepper here too. I am a better person all around without the gluten. Now that Jan mentions it, the mild ringing I grew up with isn’t there anymore. Amazing!

          • PGCPrepper, Jan, and Daisy, I am on a combo Paleo/SCD/GAPs diet also, and PGCP…was going to suggest to try a diet along these lines…..and wow, I am type O also, and didn’t realize the gluten free, Paleo diet was for this blood type! ( back to google i go! )
            So glad to read here that you all are doing basically the same diet plan as I am, and I must say eating this way for 6 months now has improved my life in so many ways, however, it does add a new dimension to prepping!
            Hello to all here, also! Been lurking for several months, and decided to make a donation to Mr. M.D. Creekmore for his excellent website, and being its a new year, hope to join you all and converse rather than lurk 🙂

          • k. fields says:

            Glad you’ve come out of the shadows zZ. Welcome.

          • welcome! It sure does make a difference in prepping when you can’t just load up on beans and rice along with everyone else. That’s what first prompted me to start trying to dehydrate and can.

          • PGCPrepper says:

            “It sure does make a difference in prepping when you can’t just load up on beans and rice along with everyone else.”

            Hahaha. It sho nuf do.

          • axelsteve says:

            I may have to look into the bloodtype diet. I need to see the doc anyway, I may as well find out what my bloodtype is. I used to know but I forgot.Not much for preps except for excercise and some small preps.

          • k. fields says:

            ACK! I’m O-neg (another reason it would be good to have me in your group after a collapse) and the guidelines say I should be eating “a high-protein diet heavy on lean meat, poultry, fish…light on grains, beans, and dairy” But I’ve been a lacto-vegetarian all my life! Almost my total diet is made up of grains, beans, and dairy!
            Funny thing, I never get sick – no allergies, no flu. I get vaccinated so I’m sure that helps, but …
            Now that I know I’ve been doing everything wrong though, that will probably all change.

          • axelsteve says:

            K. fields. I do better with lean meats and veggies.I do not do well with carbs and I eat breakfast without fail or have an early lunch if I do not get bfast. K. I will keep you on my list of after shtf contacts so we can do fish and poultry and lean meats.

          • I’m O positive and just naturally gravitated to not eating a lot of wheat compared to most people. My carby staples are more like potatoes and sweet potatoes, wine, oatmeal, turnips, beans and rice. I might eat wheat a couple times a week – I don’t really avoid it, but it just works out to less. Over the holidays I was really bad though.

            Might try a worm cleanse just to see what happens, since many people have worms and don’t know it.

          • “Grain Brain” is a great book, if you decide to try grain free. Great information and recipe/ diet suggestions. Definitely worth a try.

          • Raylene, I’m about half way through that book. Excellent so far.

          • Thank you Raylene for bringing this book to my attention! Am ordering it on Smile.Amazon today!

          • PGCPrepper says:

            I’ve heard about this book but have not read it. When I retired from the Army about 15 years ago, I was reading the blood type diet for the first time while simultaneously helping a friend open a GNC on Fort Lee (Virginia). I managed it for a few months. While assisting with nutritional issues I had the opportunity to query folks about diet issues and it did appear that most lactose intolerant peeps, for example, were blood type O’s as the book stated so there is, IMO, some good info there that might be beneficial. I was also taken aback that there is a lot of “civilians” that had no clue to what their blood type is but that’s an aside.

            On the grain issue, I’ve read for years about the connection between our hunter/gatherer heritage vs. our relatively recent ability to feed the world with bread and corn. No offense to Iowans, but corn is for cattle and petroleum although I would pay up for free range grass fed any animal…and do when I can.

          • Little research on nutrition…beans, especially pinto beans, eaten with corn bread, or corn tortillas, or polenta, or hominy is the perfect balanced meal.
            Beans and corn balanced meal.

          • axelsteve says:

            Pgcprepper. I used to donate blood and I used to know my bloodtype.I just forgot to write it down and forget what it is.I do not donate blood anymore since ther is much better things to use then blood and with the medication that I am on I doubt that they would want it anymore. Corn is also for liquior don`t forget.

          • It depends on the kind of corn. Native Americans especially south of the border have many varieties of corn that most whites have no idea of, and they seemed to do fine with it before we got here to mess with things.

            I’ll be growing Bloody Butcher corn next year as part of a 3 sisters garden. It’s a Virginia heirloom that’s good for corn meal and popcorn and cob eating. Some kinds of corn are better for one thing but this one is an all-around variety. Since corn is a heavy feeder I will have to manure. I need to borrow a truck and get to a horse farm the next time it thaws out a bit.

        • Have you researched Neuromuscular Dentistry?
          You might check it out and see if you can find an NM dentist in your area. We have had varying success with tinnitus.

          • PGCPrepper says:

            A little.

            BTW, I had a filling fall out about one month before my “T” started and refused to go to a dentist for a long while. Anyways, didn’t mean to turn this forum into a discussion on diet, dentistry and tinnitus. Sorry to all.

          • Diet and health are a huge part of prepping! I figured I was in the minority when it came to paleo. Glad you brought it up!

        • PGC Prepper, I really feel for you. Mine is relatively minor, lower Db, but always there. It gets worse every time I take ibuprofen for a headache, or more than one aspirin a day. Sometimes I just choose the tinnitus over the migraines. Good luck. Let us know where you find success.

    • PGCPrepper,

      I would sure like to hear what you think about the Goal Zero. I have been contemplating getting one but so far I’ve heard their batteries won’t last in storage.

      • PGCPrepper says:

        Bam Bam,

        First, I love your alias. I loved the Flintstones.

        Secondly, someone wrote about it here awhile back. I apologize as I don’t recall who(m) wrote on it but it was positive.

        Tertiary, solar seems kinda cool even in the face of the global warming alarmists. Sorry, the Antarctica research “rescue” effort is hilarious. Hat/tip @drudge

      • HI Bam Bam!
        I checked out the Goal Zero products a while back when I was trying to decide whether or not to buy a ready made product or build my own solar charger. Best I can tell they’ve got a very good product that is reliable. Their prices seems high to me but then again their products are really primarily focused on the ease of use and portability (size) of each device. If you’re going to be doing a lot of stuff where you’ll be travelling, overnight camping or away from grid power then they might be just what you need. IF you’re looking for something to use in your home (grid down situation) then I’d suggest that you keep looking. Spend your money on something that will put out more power for the same dollars invested.

        • Big Bear,

          Thank you for the feedback. I am looking for something for at home power. And that was my hesitation–I could probably get more power for my buck with a different system.

          • k. fields says:

            Bam Bam – for any line-voltage back-up power system look first at the amount of continuous AC wattage it can produce and compare that to the needs of the items you wish to power.
            Let’s say you have a newer Mac PowerBook you want to keep charged and you are thinking about purchasing a Zero Goal Escape 150 Solar Kit. The Escape 150 will produce 80 watts AC 110volt. Your PowerBook requires 85 watts AC 110 volt to charge, so the Zero Goal won’t work for you.
            To be safe, find a product that will produce about 150% of your projected needs.

          • k. Fields,

            Thank you for the feedback. And I owe you an apology. I was unfair in my comments to you a few days ago.

    • Pgc prepper,
      Sorry to hear that you are still dealing with the tinnitus….there are some research studies that suggest acupuncture can really help, you might try that if you haven’t already.
      However, I am thrilled to see you posting again and to hear about the improvement you have had to your health otherwise! I know your wife must be so glad to see the improvements, as well.
      Good luck on the property search. God bless you both.

      • I developed severe hearing loss over a few months and have terrible ringing in my ears. My specialist took me off salt and limited me to 1200 mg/day. It is amazing what we intake that has hidden sodium in it.. After the last few years, I am just used to it and i don’t think about it until I read your post, it is still there but not as loud as it used to be. Praying you find an answer that you will be able to live with. I only have 9% hearing in the right ear and 30% in the left.

        • Millie in KY says:

          This is an amazing thread to me. I have it because of years of having a boarding kennel and listening to dogs bark. A couple of weeks ago, I was required to do something at work that made me have my head back and looking nearly straight up. It hurt my neck and I kept stopping every thirty seconds and rubbing my neck because I was afraid I would have a terrible headache from doing it. I guess I did it for about 5 minutes which seemed an eternity. I sleep with the TV on for white noise. That night, the cable shut off and I woke up to complete silence. It took a while for me to realize that…I kept turning my head thinking “why did it stop?”. It was that way for 2 days. Then it gradually came back. I told my chiropractor and the only thing she could think of is that you do have some small crystals in a section of your ear and that I somehow repositioned them. I will see if this happens again and keep you all advised on it. I had never heard of acupuncture for it so may investigate that, too.

          • Millie,

            That is interesting. I wonder if there is a connection between the diet that exacerbates gout and the diet that exacerbates tinnitus. The problem with Western medicine is that they treat the symptoms rather than addressing the underlying cause.

        • My dad has experienced hearing loss that has been slowed considerably by limiting his salt intake. My husband had those crystals inhis ear that came loose and had to be repositioned. His crystal episode caused severe dizziness. Fortunately there is a great ENT in town.

          • I have had that kind of vertigo several times, but it never lasted more than a few days and I can always tell when it is coming.
            The Epley maneuver is awesome. It really works.

      • PGCPrepper says:

        Patti, I tried the needles for about five months or so. It didn’t help at all. My Dr was Chinese and learned her craft in China. I drove for many miles to see he twice a week and I paid up a bit for her service. No help.

        I even drove twice per week to Northern VA, about 100 miles, to a PT that is the awesomest lady ever for my TMJ syndrome issues (jaw clicking is a cause of tinnitus also). She cured me of that but the Tis still there.

        BTW, referring to my wife; she has been through so much. She is an awesome lady and I am fortunate to have her. I pray for her as much as I pray for me, if not more.

        • PGC,
          I am sorry the acupuncture didn’t help. That is too bad. Something to keep in our prayers.
          I remember you talking about how wonderful your wife is…what a blessing. I think you two make a good team!

  6. patientmomma says:

    This past week I have been packing and one of my sons loaded the POD with my preps and we took about a dozen 5 gal buckets and 2 55-gal water containers out to the farm in the truck.
    I repackaged 25 pds of rice in to mylar bags, 15 pds of sugar, 20 pds of whole wheat flour, 25 pds of black beans and 25 pds of baby limas, and 25 pds of 7 whole grains mix. I vacuum packed 5 (Sam-size) spices and transferred bulk herbs to glass jars and vacuum sealed them.
    Based on this past week’s discussion on the coming attractions for America, I ordered Crowley’s book on Prophecy. I just got to chapter 3 and I’m scared to death for this country. I doubt the evil people will repent so there will be a second American revolution.

    Thursday afternoon I caught a chill and could not get warm; ended up on a heating pad with a goose down comforter and a bedspread over me. I got muscle cramps from the chills and then my joints (wrists, ankles, knees, hips, shoulders) began to hurt. When I woke Friday morning I could hardly walk my knees and hips were so painful. As the day wore on, I got better, but my joints are still sore. No stomach ache, no head ache, no vomiting or fever. Anybody know what this might have been or what it was caused by? I was so happy to have the electric heating pad; I thought what if I had to get up and heat up some rocks or bricks to put in bed to warm me?

    Due to the extreme cold, I have allowed my outside dogs/cat to come into the heated porch with my tiny dogs (2-1/2 pound puddle). It is crazy. I don’t know how our cold-weather preppers live up North!

    Have a wonderful week and hunker down for the 2nd American revolution.

    • PM – I must have missed the title and author. Can you share –
      sounds like a needed book, even if it scares the daylights out of one….

      Thanks, granny

      • patientmomma says:

        granny, the book is called Prophecy by Duane S. Crowther. I got it from an amazon, used book dealer.

        • Thank you PM I’ll check it out. Hope you get to feeling better….I know when the temp drops I sometimes ache in every bone in my body…mostly knees, forearms, neck…Ibuprofen works for me – I just assume the osteoarthritis we seem t be prone to as we age kicks in because of the cold. I want to move to a warmer place…….

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      Since moving to where there are below freezing temps I have a horrible time with my knees being painful. For me it seem to be the swing of temps from 24 up to 70 depending on the day. Dry heat helps a lot, like a heating pad and the occasional Aleve.

      • patientmomma says:

        Thanks ladyhawthorne! I made it through today in good shape so what ever it was…it came and went quickly!

    • daughter getting over same bug. doctor says it is going around. get well soon but don’t overdo it too quick.

    • “…It is crazy. I don’t know how our cold-weather preppers live up North! …”
      Well. it helps that we’re crazy.
      You kind of get used to it after a while. You know it’s gonna be cold, so you just put on more clothes and shiver as best you can.

  7. Rob in Ontario says:

    Temp here was down to minus 40 with wind chill this past week , possible colder one night . Hope everyone is prepared for no power and heat in a bad situation like this past week , relatives in Ireland getting hit again with massive storm. This week I bought a flintlock rifle was used but great price, MD your more then welcome to come visit and get used the the COLD usually takes 3 days -lol

  8. It’s pretty brisk here, about 65 degrees. Supposed to get up to 78 or so later on. The political climate is sub-zero, though…

    We got back yesterday from a five day beach camp out where we tested some Mountain House entrees and, thanks to Encourager’s encouraging, some OvaEasy powdered whole eggs.

    The Mountain House got mixed reviews. Instead of rehydrating the 2 packets of Beef Stroganoff in the packets, we boiled the water in a pot and dumped in the food, stirred well, covered and wrapped it in a towel for a couple minutes more than called for. It came out very hot, and all three of us thought it was quite good. An email this morning from the friend who camped with us said, though: ” if you review Mountain House, be sure to mention the minuscule quantity of beef in the Beef Stroganoff. This is supposed to be a beef dish served over pasta, not a noodle dish flavored with bits of hamburger.”

    The Mountain House Pasta Primavera did not turn out so well. We rehydrated in the packets, stirred well, wrapped in a towel for about two minutes more than called for, and the larger lumps of sauce were seriously crunchy. I cut one with a fork and it clearly had not soaked through. We may try again but will not be ordering any cans until we are happy with the results.

    The consensus on the Ova Easy eggs was that they are excellent. When scrambled, the texture, color, and flavor approximated fresh eggs quite closely. Add whatever spices/sauces you like, and I think there is no meaningful difference from fresh eggs. We also used them for French toast, also with good results. They should be fine for omelets, and we saw no reason to think they would not be fine for any other cooking. Thanks, Encourager!

    Mixing OvaEasy was easy. They may produce a few very small orange lumps which are a little work to break up with a spoon (we didn’t have a whisk) but no big deal. I was worried about how thin the mixture was, but when it went in the pan it immediately firmed up into standard scrambled egg.

    Shelf life of Ova Easy: The company website (www.nutriom.com) says “Our OvaEasy Egg Crystals last 7 years and we have the test results to prove it.” They distinguish between foil packets and cans, tho: 7 years in cans, 2 1/2 years in foil packs. They say they are a military supplier and therefore use US Army shelf life tests. We got three foil packets from Amazon in early December, and they are marked Best By August, 2015. For short term emergencies, they would be very nice to have available. They also sell egg whites. If interested, check out the products on their site.

    Price: We paid $21.95 for three packs, equivalent of 36 eggs. About 61 cents per egg or $7.31 per dozen. Cans are a lot cheaper per egg, though, if you can use them all before they go bad after opening.

    Santa also provided two Rayovac 7 Hour Power chargers for anything which has a USB, so we tried them out while camping as well. We used them on cell phones for checking email and messaging, and the Web for news, also with a Kindle, and an iPad.

    They chew up AA batteries four at a time at a pretty good pace, but that is heaps better than being without power for communication and information.

    The chargers do not have to be used as such: You can just plug into one and use it as an auxiliary power source. Rechargeable AA batteries and a solar powered charger would make a great combination during emergencies.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Thanks for the Ova Easy review. Its always good to know where to spend your money effectively.

      • You’re welcome, Hunker-Down. If you use eggs, OvaEasy are definitely something to check out.

        I have no idea how successfully repackaging the cans into smaller quantities would be, but the cans seems to get the cost down to around $5 per dozen. Maybe someone reading this has experience?

        Not real cheap, but given the lack of need for refrigeration, it seems like a good deal for people who don’t keep chickens.

    • Encourager says:

      You are welcome, Penrod!

  9. 20 this morning, that’s about normal for us. We went through the really cold about a month ago. Lots of people had frozen pipes that burst once it warmed a little. We had already doubled our water storage when they said it was going to get that cold so was able to help out those that had froze up. The chickens hated the cold. We have too coups and noticed that all the chickens went to one when it hit -21. We have them insulated but at that temp it is near impossible to keep it warm. I made them mush and rice as a treat to help keep their body temps up and they loved it!
    been trying to get more relish made but my Mom fell and we’ve been meals on wheels for awhile. DH has been working on storage boxes. He only has two more to make so that should help.
    Hope everyone stays warm.

    • VS
      I do a bran mash for my horses as a wintertime treat ,, how do you make your mush and rice for the chickens. I have chicks too and would like to give them something warn in this weather.
      My coop is not insulated but we very rarely get into single digest here. It does get closed up every night and the water in the coop never freezes.

      • Regular oats cooked up, rice cooked too. mix with warm water let cool so it’s warm but not cold. Add a tsp of corn starch and stir. They love it!!! We have to check the water a lot as they drink more in the Winter (strange but true) .

  10. lurker judith says:

    Well the chemtrailers were out in force yesterday ruining the sunshine
    so it warmed up last night. 48 degrees. But a breeze is blowing off the ocean which makes it chilly.
    My preps this week were mostly to do with the flu. Old Indian Wild Cherry Bark Syrup by Planetary Herbals, more Life Extension Curcumin,
    12 labs of bacon. The real smoked kind from Scott Hams. Shelf stable until open but I freeze it.
    8lbs buckwheat flour
    And I am embarrassed to say I bought a whole lot of candy online because it is too dangerous at Rite Aid now.

    The flu finally made mainstream news here behind enemy lines in Kali.
    They are reporting their first death. So it looks like this is going to be a worst case scenario. But we already knew that didn’t we? Now is the time to dig those N95 masks out of your supplies and wear them everywhere you go no matter how dumb you think you look. This flu is the real deal.

    • I just have to ask. If im correct then you dont believe in God,but you do believe in “chemtrails”? Just want to be sure i understand you.

      • lurker judith says:

        Oh for crying out loud. Here we go again. Who ever said i didn’t believe in God. I pray to Jesus every night. the argument used to be over all the Proseliytizing. Standing on street corners and handing out tracks. Like I told Lint Picker one time I am a handshake Methodist. Not all Christians are Sanctimonius jerks.
        By the way, BC I have always watched and admired your You Tube videos. Sorry you feel you have to be a smart ass now.

        • sorry you feel i was being a smartass. I tried to be very careful how how worded my yes or no question. apparently ive failed again. please accept my apology.

        • k. fields says:

          I can remember once you agreed with something I said to the effect that there can be absolute truth, but only if the concept is unfettered by either religion or politics – is that how this started?
          I’m sorry if I inadvertently was the cause. Perhaps there should be poster profiles so personal attacks, if someone feels the need to make them, can at least be based on facts.

          • There was no personal attack here k. Fields. I made an erroneous assumption concerning where she was coming from. You see, I think it takes more of a leap of faith to believe in anything as silly as chemtrails but not GOD. I was wrong. I apologized. Stop being a drama queen. Nothing to see here. Feel free to try again another time.

          • b c truck,
            i thought the chemtrails are from jets. i see them all the time. are you talking about another kind of chemtrail? thanks.

          • What you see coming from jets are called contrails. the tin foil hats think the governmenet is spraying us with some kind of poison,or mood altering chemical,or estrogen to make men feminine and less likely to revolt, or any one of a thousand other nutty possibilties they make claims of.when people buy into silliness,it makes it more diffacult to believe things that are really happening.

          • thanks for the info. never heard of ti.

          • The US Gov has admitted to unauthorized medical experimentation in the past on an unsuspecting populace. The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment is the most famous one but there are hundreds of other instances, including where they allowed radioactive material to be discharged in the air near towns and then followed people’s medical records. I don’t see anything having changed that would stop them from doing it again.

            People want to believe that evil such as Tuskegee is in the past and that our current leaders are now enlightened and wouldn’t do anything bad to their own people. This is a disconnect from reality, as human nature has not changed and there are plenty of examples already where our current leadership has done harm to our country and then lied to cover it up. Also there still exists everywhere in the world the exploitation of people who for whatever reasons have no say-so. The mentally ill, women, children, anyone ethnically different than the rulers, the poor etc.

            I think if “they” are spraying anything it is probably for weather mod or radar experiments for the military. There is a way to spray metal particles and turn a cloud into a big ceiling that you can bounce radar off of. There is also the possibility that the increasing aluminum (and other metals) levels in the soil in some areas may be due to this (but I don’t know how I would prove it).

            Also, the military put out a white paper called “Owning the Weather” that you can just google and find a copy of to read. They are interested in weather as a weapon.

            If our country on the federal level isn’t doing it, it wouldn’t matter because some other country or even a company might do it and air doesn’t stay put, as we all know wind exists.

            As a last note, Monsanto is developing aluminum-resistant seeds. I don’t know why they would bother to spend the money developing something unless they saw a profit in it. The presence of too much aluminum in soil is bad for a lot of crops.

    • axelsteve says:

      Monday I saw what I belive to chemtrails. They were all over the place in Lake and Mendocino counties. Way too many to be normal trails due to the normal airline traffic.It makes me wonder.

      • k. fields says:

        You and judith got me wondering – do you think they have started seeding some if these wimpy clouds floating through in the hopes of producing some rain?

    • mom of three says:

      Where my mother in law, lives she told me they were spraying very hard . She gets very nasty headaches, runny nose, feeling just crummy. I can’t believe that people, are not questioning harder about this garbage they are spraying. We have tried and most people think we are cockcoo. I just don’t get it..

      • Rob Crawford says:

        You mean the water vapor they’re “spraying”? Your mom likely has a cold — they’re common this time of year.

    • lurker judith why is rite aid dangerous there? thanks.

  11. Well,ive already broken a news years resolution to try and be less judgemental. This morning, Fox news did an interview with a guy pimping a book called “grow a pair” by larry Winget. The entire time i was watching the interview, all i could think about was this guy telling folks to grow a pair had a pair of girly freeking earings. Maybe im old school,but i just dont find men wearing womens jewelry to be very manly. I broke down and sent fox and friends live/weekend an email saying just that. the moment i hit send, i realized i went and done it again. Ill keep trying.

    The only real thing i did that was of any preparedness value was build to a water dilstillation unit to be used on a rocket stove,fire,or anywhere that temps needed to boil water can be obtained. I discovered some amazing things about water distillation and i hope to write an article for the blog about what i learned,and the build. I have to change one thing to make it perfectly viable as a long term solution to only having access to water that isnt immediately potable,and that is to aquire a pressure canner to modify permanently for that purpose. Have a great and hopefully warm week yall. BC

    • BC, I don’t care how judgmental you are. You are brilliant and we are very blessed you are here.

      • You had me scrolling up and down to find this other BC on the blog! Being called “brilliant” instantly takes the sting out of being called a “sanctimonius jerk” and “smartass” a couple comments above. Thanks! we sure have all kinds of people on this blog. makes it very interesting. :))

        • bctruck,

          I have your article scheduled for Monday – also one by Bam Bam for the same day…

        • BC,
          You really are brilliant. You also seem pretty kind hearted. None of us are perfect. It is hard to know in this day and age what might offend those around you. All you can do is apologize, just like you did.
          I had to stop asking people about their ethnicity. They always assume I am being racist, when really, I am just being curious (with a southern drawl). I like good people in all colors and I like learning about cultural differences, particularly with other Christians. Apparently that is hard to believe. Not sure why.

          • Any guy who uses the term “furbaby” is okay in my book. I like my pets better than I like most people.

          • +100

          • worrisome says:

            Here is what I know about BC from this blog.
            1. He is so soft hearted that he had to bury a chicken instead of calling it dinner when it died.
            2. He has been through some tough times, but truly is one of the most resourceful souls on the blog.
            3. Loves his wife, that goes along way with me as to character.
            4. Love that he shares his learnings via video.

            Any of us can step in it when we are asking questions, we have all had our turn. I too don’t much get the “chemtrails” issue. Probably because I have never taken an interest in studying it. As far as God goes, well I pray everyday!

            And yes, BC does love his fur babies and has thanked me more than once on here whene I have found a stray and found a home or kept it myself.

            So LJ, don’t be too hard on him, he really is an ok kinda guy 🙂 🙂 Somewhere along the line, it seems that he came to an erroneous conclusion about your beliefs…

          • worrisome,
            I’ve heard it said that if you show me someone who has never made a mistake, I’ll show you someone who has never tried anything. I somehow think that occasionally stepping in it follows the same rule.

        • bctruck,
          I thought your comment was funny.

        • Brad,

          I agree with Aunt B!

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      I’m in the same boat as you BC. But I try not to watch the news as it always annoys me and gets my stress level up.

      • I have a love hate relationship with anything TV. I like to drink my morning coffe and watch the news and after that, the only thing i loike to watch is my neighbors on duck dynasty. if it wasnt for that, i wouldnt own one.

    • Judgmental ?? Hell I just call that having an opinion!!!!

      • maybe I should keep them to myself more! the minute you ask a question around here,you get called names. sheesh! Im going back to my coloring books! I remember a while back when homosexual marriage was the subject, i got chastised by a few on here about my opinion on what the bible calls that. sometimes its very diffacult to be a Christian and be vocal about it without being attacked by loons. Its as though everyone can have an opinion BUT christians. I was threatened recently by several “gays” concerning a video i did in support of phil robertsons right to free speech being usurped by the gay mafia and the looney left. The threats got so real that i took the video down out of concern for my families welfare. i wont be back today, im getting madder and madder at a previous comment and the name calling.i think ill just get a cup a, and go to my shop.

        • Nebraska Woman says:

          bc, stick to your guns, but don’t be offended by harsh words. It’s tough, I know, but you’re doing the right thing.
          It’s also tough not to judge, but I have learned that God is my judge, so I do not judge others. I heard the Larry Wingert segment also, and I respect the man. He’s right more than wrong.
          I was so happy when you started posting again. I also love the videos.
          Hope you had a good day in the shop.

          • Babycatcher says:

            I second that, and having an opinion doesn’t necessarily mean one is judging! We can speak our piece without being chastised, I should hope. It’s OK, LJ, I don’t think any harm was meant by BCT’s comment…:)

          • Donna in MN says:

            I wonder what constitues judging? How do you raise your children without judging them and giving dicipline? How does our court system work without some form of judgement? How can one better himself without judgement of his learning in school? How does MD decide what is appropriate for this board without judgement? Is it wrong to use our best judgement?

            I believe the word judgement in secular ways means arbritrating, refereeing, criticizing, reviewing, moderating, ajudication, and umpiring someone, or something. However, when God tells us not to judge or render judgement on someone it means not to condemn someone to hell, when it is God’s decision, not ours.

        • Funny how the Libtards believe in free speech as long as it is something they agree with, but have your own opinion and you are suddenly racist, homophobic, or the antichrist. I am so sick of the PC mafia and everyone else tramping on others rights to speak their minds. What I have to say to them is , Guess what if you don’t like what I am saying then don’t listen to me!!!

          • Nebraska Woman says:

            I, too, am sooooo tired of the name calling. People have no right to judge others like that. But I have a thick skin, so I just smile at the person. That truly makes them mad!

        • worrisome says:

          Here is kinda my opinion on Phil. Glaad got its a$$ handed to it by trying to force the show off the air. It is insane to think they should be the judge, jury and executioner of the show considering there is probably less than one in the organization that ever watched it. If they don’t want to watch the show, pass it on by. That is what I did when the Cyress weirdoo got strange on that awards show. Still I am embarrassed for her.

          At the present time, due to MD’s list the other day, I have been refining where I intend to spend my $$ as I don’t think those folks have a clue when it comes to gun control and they certainly don’t need my hard earned $$, I would rather go without and donate to the NRA than buy a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for instance.

          Phil was blunt in his conversation, but someone asked him a question about his personal beliefs and he answered honestly. No reason to cancel him for his opinion. This need these days to silence anyone that has a differing point of view is likely to have a bounce back reaction of wrecking ball proportions as people are getting really really tired of it. This is NOT Nazi Germany, Stalin Russia or Mao’s China.

        • JeffintheWest says:

          Reminds me of the old joke used to explain a “leading” question: “When you ask someone if their wife still screams when you beat her, THAT’S a leading question; otherwise you’re just being interested.”

          On the other hand, I do understand why the person got fired up — you sort of presented it as an either/or thing instead of just asking what was the thought process. Sometimes it’s all about how we phrase something instead of what we really MEANT to ask…. 😉

        • axelsteve says:

          How come no one ever berates muslims over there stance on homosexuality or womens rights?How come no one ever questions muslims over ther practice of pedophiles and femaiel genitalia mutilating?Or there practice of honor killings?

        • Encourager says:

          bctruck, I look forward to your posts. I am sick and tired on the liberals thinking that Christians can have no opinion. That we need to be ‘politically correct’ or shut up. I believe what the Bible says, period. And if someone has a problem with that, they can just take it up with God…when they meet him face-to-face that one last time….

        • People get sensitive about religion. No worries BC. Also, tone of voice is hard to discern from typed words on the internet.

    • BC. You probably already know about the used pressure cookers at thrift stores. Good quality for around 5 bucks. I learned the basics from my HS biology instructer about 50 yes ago. I’ve converted a couple over the years with mixed results. I look forward to your article. I have learned a lot from your articles and videos.

    • BC:

      I guess I’m a little too old school too. I used to ask those guys if they had lace on their underwear too. Then there was the guys with only one ear ring. I had to ask them “What are you trying to say…are you a pirate or gay? I can’t remember which ear is which.”

      Now I just wonder to myself, as it is no longer politically acceptable to differentiate gays from politicians.

    • I may have to duck from this one BC but earrings originated with men I am told. Soldiers and pirates wore them made from gold so they would have enough money to be buried on land instead of dumped in the ocean or so the story goes.

    • axelsteve says:

      Bc I am not a fan of men with womens jewelry either. I used to sometimes wear a pink polo shirt at work. I would get razzed by some of the guys sometimes at different shops. I told one guy once that if someone bugs me about my shirt that they better not have a pierced ear Don Johnson used to wear pink shirts all the time on Miami vice but a man with a hole in his ear is gayer than any shirt in my book. I pissed that guy off. I did not care since I am not a quiche eating disco dancing pansy.

      • I don’t have any pink shirts they are all Salmon!!!!

        • PGCPrepper says:

          Lol. That is all.

        • Donna in MN says:

          Funny how fads come and go…pink was common for men to wear in the 17 and 1800’s. being a historial costumer and I cringed to historial fact and reproduction, I even had to make ruffled paisely shirts for a native American tribe who wanted authenticity when they traveled in their dance troop to entertain the heads of Europe. Earings for male adventurers was appropriate for seafairers, travelers, and Native Americans as well as African and mideast peoples.

          My ex and many of our male historical re-inactor friends had a pierced ear. No, they weren’t gay, but my ex did a dressup once of a 16th century aristocrat man with laced shirt, white/silver wescot, and dropfront pants, hose, ballet type slippers, white powered wig, white powdered face with rouge,(and a beard) and a lisp. He got so much attention and laughter he didn’t do it again…then later someone came out with a milk carton picture of him in this outfit titled “have you theen me?”….. My ex was a man’s man, but a good actor who brought this event down to the ground in histerics.

          • axelsteve says:

            I think sailors with earrings meant that they have crossed the equitar. A gay person used to be a happy person.Our language has evolved over the years unlike humans.

  12. Hunker-Down says:

    Our forecast for next Monday morning is a wind chill of minus 52. I hope the fruit trees we planted two years ago and the hazelnut bushes we planted last year are not killed by the low temperatures.

    Back on the farm we depended on heat lamps to save the small livestock from freezing to death. A burnt out bulb meant dead animals.

    We have one faucet (where the pipes are in an outside wall) set on a constant drip so as to avoid frozen plumbing pipes. Moving water will not freeze.

    I have all the ingredients and equipment setting on the counter to make a batch of elderberry tincture. I will start it after reading all of your posts. I just started reading “Medicinal Herbs” and so far added cinnamon tincture to our to-do list. Since the DW is on a blood thinner we have to find other articles about a herb we are interested in because any one document may leave out the important issue of blood thinning.

    There were many references last week to a “Blood Moon” tetrad so I searched the internet to find out more information. This is what I found:
    http://www.bethlehemstarsequel.com/ the introduction (an hour) is at http://www.bethlehemstar.net/ I know a few pack members will find this very, very interesting. Here is another, shorter description; http://survivaljoe.net/blog/four-blood-moons-what-do-they-mean/

    Another Benghazi article is trying to whitewash the issue of Clinton’s placement of a person with a lifestyle that is routinely killed by muslims into a muslim country, pulling military security from the compound then refusing military support while under attack. It is a long article with a focus on everything except the root of the problem. What does she have to hide that justifies a set-up massacre?

    Don’t forget “Fast and Furious”; Eric Holder is still not in jail.
    Don’t forget Benghazi; Hillary will want your vote.

    • Our whole family was hit HARD w/ the flu- we were all exposed at the same time, but didn’t realize it and we all got sick, all at the same time and all down-VERY hard and very sick….high fevers(one daughter had 105.1!), nausea, cough, horrible aches, etc, etc…..too sick for the first 2 days to do anything, but by the end of day 2, I made a batch of elderberry syrup and all started on it and though we were still sick after that, all of us could tell that we started to get well at that point. I would have loved to have had it on day one…I plan to keep some made up for the rest of the winter…..just in case. Elderberry is so good for flu and a tincture is great as it will last longer and be ready when needed…….Also made an onion/brown sugar syrup for cough and it works.

      • Frugal Prepper,

        I have played around a bit and made cough syrup from tincture. (I needed the cough syrup immediately.) It worked perfectly. I added half cup water and simmered cinnamon stick, clove and star anise for 10 minutes. Added 1/2 cup elderberry tincture and 1/2 cup honey. It stopped the cough and put dh to sleep immediately. LOL

        • Bam Bam I ordered 2 packages of freeze dried elder berries to make my own syrup. Is that what you call tincture? This is my first time trying to make my own since I am tired of buying Sambucol for too much money, and I find it too sweet.
          My plan is to boil it down, mash and strain it, and then add honey to sweeten it, and can it if I do it right. I have read conflicting info on the toxicity. First I thought only the stems and leaves need to be avoided, and last night I read the seeds are toxic? How do you avoid that in the cooked down mash? I bought 2 pounds, so if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them

        • LittleAnniePrepper says:


          Will you please give info on the elderberry tincture – dosage/frequency and how long to use it?

          Thank you for you excellent advice. I always learn so much from all of you.

          • LittleAnniePrepper,

            Use the tincture the same way you would use Sambucol. I use a tablespoon every morning in my tea to ward off the flu. (Plus it tastes good and full of vitamin C.) If I came down with symptoms of the flu, I would put two tablespoons in my tea with lemon and honey, and drink that every hour.

            I would also consider making a traditional syrup. I would simmer elderberries, star anise, clove and cinnamon stick gently for about 45 minutes. Strain. Then add a cup of honey. This has to be refrigerated. I would use this like regular cough syrup. (Star anise is the active ingredient in Tamiflu.)

        • Hunker-Down says:

          Bam Bam,

          Please give us kitchen-retards the amount of each ingredient for the cough syrup from tincture; cinnamon stick, clove and star anise.

          Another request: Can you teach us how to make Senna Leaf Tincture?

          • I found a recipe on Mountain Rose Herbs website for the elderberry syrup. (I am going to dose the kids twice a day so I prefer the syrup) The recipe is 1C fresh berries or half a cup dried. 3C of water, a cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, and ginger. (I am going to add star anise based on Bam Bans suggestions) Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool and strain, then add 1C of honey. They state it will keep for 2-3 months in the fridge. I am going to prepare a double batch for us to use and then prepare and can the other batches for storage. I am hopeful it will hold up well.

    • Donna in MN says:

      A dripping faucet won’t freeze but my drain pipes and septic did last year doing that. It allowed water to build up in my drain pipes to close all the way to the tank. It happens a lot this far north when pipes are burried 4 feet deep and the ground freezes 5 feet deep with all kinds of hay, leaves and 2 feet of snow on top of the underground pipes and tank, sometimes it’s just too dag-burn cold.

      Many places have a backup plan–they kept their old outhouses when they upgraded to modern facilities. my place is too new to have that, so in the fall i dig a hole and use a chamber pot to fill it- just in case.

      • Nebraska Woman says:

        It’s cold and windy here, too. My septic has been OK so far, but we put straw bales on top (were you the one who suggested that?) and we are hopeful.

      • patientmomma says:

        This is the first septic system I have ever h and I doubt it will ever get that cold in TN, but,,, How do you know when your septic freezes? When my water pipes freeze no water flows, when the shower drains freeze, nothing goes down. What clue does a frozen septic give? Toilets don’t flush??

        • Rob in Ontario says:

          if septic is frozen the fixture at the lowest point will either overflow or not flush , most times its lack of ground cover to insulate the drain where it meets the tank underground

        • Donna in MN says:

          patientmomma, The drains closest to the main sewer pipe that drains to the septic holding tank will most likely be the first to freeze up if the tank is frozen. Sometimes the field lines freeze up as well. The other drains will back up after that, and nothing goes down. There are septic people who will charge you a lot to heat your tank after it freezes, but it is only a temporary solution if it is the middle of winter.

    • Moving water will freeze. Think of frozen waterfalls and frozen fountains. The pipes will freeze with water running through them unless the water moves faster than a drip. Minus 52 windchill means the actual temperature is very cold. The only place that I fear will freeze will have a hand warmer taped to the pipe. That’s the best I can do since this is the elbow of the washing machine below the floor in a basement, right over a door than won’t close.

  13. Yes its cold but that just means its time to can beans. We use this time of the year to put up canned dried beans for use in the warmer months . Logic? We are using the wood cookstove year around . If we cook and can the beans now while the wood cook stove is needed to keep the Kitchen warm anyway we don’t have to heat up the house this summer when we want beans. We heat with wood and cool with open windows. Ordered Zaycon chicken for February . Thinned the local squirrel population.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      That’s a good idea of canning in the winter. I have to put that in my recall bucket for next year, but it leaks.

      • Encourager says:

        “There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza, there’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, there’s a hole.”

        Sorry. That Harry Belefonte song just popped in my head!!!

        HD, we all have leaky brain syndrome once we get old enuf…

    • i went to zaycons website and they are mentioning something called events. I cant get any further on thier site without registering so im not sure if its worth it. could you tell me what these events are? In feb on the 5th,they have something called a chicken event at 8 am in the little town north of me.

      • patientmomma says:

        The Zaycon “events” are when they are offering a specific type of food at a specific price. For example, they sell 40 pound boxes of chicken and deliver it in a refrigerator truck to different locations. You purchase the chicken online and then go to the place advertised to pick up your purchase. They sell different types of food at different locations and times throughout the year. Their website lets you know the type of food, dates and prices. I bought the chicken breasts a few months ago and was happy with the quality.

      • worrisome says:

        bc, it means if you place an order for chicken on the website, you can pick it up at an event. Bam Bam swears by their products. So far, I haven’t done one of these because their events are quite a drive from where I live.

        • well this explains why i couldnt get a case price on bacon! If im to understand,they only sell one product at each event? there is an event just a few miles from my house and thats kind of amazing because we are just tiny little towns out here. The only price i can find is for the chicken breasts so im assuming that the event coming up,that is all they will be selling and that it why they dont advertise any other price? Thanks for the info,this is right up my alley.

          • worrisome says:

            Yes DC you are correct! 🙂

          • bc,

            I have used Zaycon for about two years now. I buy all my hamburger and chicken from them–excellent price, no growth hormone, no antibiotics, no preservative. The meat comes in a refrigerated truck. You have to take it home and put it in foodsaver bags.

            I just took out 5 lbs. of hamburger to make a huge pot of spaghetti sauce. when you brown the hamburger you have to add some olive oil because the meat is so lean. I don’t like supermarket hamburger any more because when you cook it, it shrinks.

            I highly recommend Zaycon.

          • MO Mama Kat says:

            Love your videos.

            I finally tried Zaycon ground beef and bacon. Awesome meat. It is worth the time to get it. Thanks to Bam Bam for suggesting it. I can’t wait to try the chicken, ham, and sausage.

      • Hunker-Down says:


        We registered about 6months ago and the only effect was that they sent one email advertising an “event” in our area. An “event” is when their truck pulls into a parking lot with a load of product. In our area the parking lot belonged to a church. They do only 2 chicken “events” a year near us, and there is only one product per event, like chicken or hamburger and a few others. Chicken and hamburger are sold in 40 pound minimum lots. We bought the chicken and are completely satisfied (except for the poundage) with it. Bam Bam buys their stuff by the boatload.

      • mom of three says:

        We have had the chicken breast, they are very good. I have a friend, who does the ordering for us. I was impressed with the quality.

      • Yup, I have volunteered once (was too late to order) and it’s a great production line. You order, arrive at the site – stay in your car, pop your trunk, show your receipt so the guy with the IPAD can mark you off, then you drive to the next couple who loads your order. You leave. They place plastic down so your car stays clean in case of leakage (none).

        Next time I ordered 80 lbs, went to sons and we had a chicken party. The breasts were huge! I sliced mine in chunks for stir fry etc before vacuum sealing, and the breasts were so thick, for me being single, I sliced them in half lengthwise so I got two from each one.

        Excellent chicken. I hope I can get in on this one.

        BC, sign up is free – sign up and look around. if you don’t order you don’t order. They have bacon, sausage, burger, chicken and other items in different areas. and you are NOT inundated with emails. Also, volunteering to direct traffic, load, etc gets a discount on your next order. The number of people who show up can be blocks lone, but the whole process doesn’t really take that long. go for it!

      • In December when Zaycon was in our area, we purchased delicious applewood smoked ham. They also had hamburger that time, so sometimes they do have more than one product.

    • I am going to cook a turkey tomorrow for just the same reason, plus can and bake a few things.

  14. Its not so bad in Kansas City maybe about 25 – 30. Well I got my copies of conflicted in the mail that will keep me busy for awhile, Then I put back 21 oz.s black pepper, 2-1.75 litre.s Canadian Club 1858 whiskey, That’s about it for preps. Did everyone get the 411 on O’s. latest “gun control” yesterday, Yep Ex. orders glad I got A gun show next weekend!

  15. Well its currently 25 outside, but Sundays high is supposed to be 10 degrees with the wind chills dropping down to -25. Mondays low is -17 with wind chills to -45 below. Yes it’ll be cold but we live in a northern climate and it does get cold. The wood boiler is packed with wood, keeping the house at 70, we’ve got plenty of wood split and stacked. If need be we can use the wood in our fire place or just turn on the the gas furnace, but the wood just saves a lot of money.
    If your not used to being in the cold one word for you LAYERS, put on multiple layers. If your working outside and you start to get warm strip off a layer so you don’t start to sweat.
    Preps this week consist of ammo and a cleaning kit, purchased a Savage 12 gauge tactical shotgun, not sure if I like that It was made in the PRC (Peoples Republic of China). It’s a backup shotgun and I bought it for 199.00 on sale. I was thinking of running it through it’s paces and i’ll do a little write up on my thoughts of it.
    Need to bore site three other guns and since the weathers going to be on the chilly side it’ll give me something to do inside.
    Speaking of that might need to go out and see how the boilers doing,
    Take care

  16. 18 this morning with light snow. Normally that would be fine but I have this lousy flu. It is different then flu’s I have had in the past- it is dominated with bone crushing bone pain, it feels like someone has worked me over with a sledge hammer.The largest bones hurt the most. I have a very hard cough(ribs hurt when I cough) and a blown up stomach, but it can’t be anything I have eaten, because I have not eaten anything since Tuesday, I made myself some soup, but there wasn’t any way it would go down. I have found out that 10 people I know have this now, it spread very fast. I am in Utah.

    • WYO Ryder says:


      A friend is hurting this way too, sounds very similar. esp. the stomach/gastrointestinal swelling. She is getting better after a a few days of taking antibiotics.

      The clinic doctors are telling all flu patients to quarantine themselves for one week (hmmn…). I am personally glad that my daughter’s basketball game has been cancelled due to inclement weather – the less exposure to people, the better right now. I will hit one of the local doctors up for information after church tomorrow. They are worried that it could be the new norovirus from Australia. I don’t know if it has been reported in our area. Bam Bam is the ‘go to’ gal for that information.

      Btw, we live in N. Wyoming.

      Do warm bathes help your bones? I hope you feel better soon!

      • WYO,

        It sounds like H1N1. I would not be surprised if the CDC announces on Monday that the outbreak has reached epidemic status. If you know anyone who is sick with these symptons (flu but with terrible bone pain and shortness of breath), recommend they go to their doctors (or they start taking antibiotics to ward off pneumonia–that’s the real killer).

        Keep in mind that you can make a cough syrup from elderberry, star anise, cinnamon stick and cloves. (I listed the recipe above.) Star anise is the active ingredient in Tamaflu. In the very least, make star anise tea.

    • Bless your heart! I hope and pray you get better soon. Nothing to eat since Tuesday…..Maybe I should volunteer for this bug.

    • rjarena,

      It’s more than likely H1N1. Be careful that it doesn’t turn into pneumonia. Go to the doctors if you can’t take a full breath.

    • ozhillbilly says:

      rjarena . . . My sympathies are with you. I’ve been sick now since Friday, 27 December p.m. with this very exact stuff you have described. My wife finally hauled me off to urgent care this morning and I was officially diagnosed with pneumonia. We were there when the clinic opened and the place filled up with folks displaying symptoms exactly like mine. Very nasty stuff.

      • ozhillbilly,

        What antibiotics did they give you for pneumonia? I always like to ask this just in case my fishies come down with pneumonia.

        • ozhillbilly says:

          Bam Bam, they gave me an inhaler to ease the urge to cough plus Azithromycin 250 mg tab, one a day for five days and Cefdinir 300 mg twice a day for ten days. Hope your fishies don’t get this stuff. It ain’t no fun.

          • ozhillbilly,

            Thanks for the information. I keep a well stocked supply of fish meds. It’s good to hear what the doctors are prescribing in other parts of the country.

    • I am also from Utah. We are west of Starvation.

    • Rj
      I am in Utah also. We are west of Starvation

  17. Well it was 62 here yesterday, and the dog woke me up to go outside this morning and we wake up to 19 degrees and 3 inches of snow with snow in the forecast for the rest of the day and into tomorrow. By Tuesday all the snow will be gone except for the shaded north sides of the buildings and whatever the snow plows pile up.
    Going through my winter camping gear (again) making sure my layers are properly packed and ready for sub-zero camping later this month.

  18. Freezing temps and winter storms are doing much damage all over the US. Possible freezing temps overnight Monday and maybe Tues here in Florida. That means might do some significant damage to citrus, tomatoes, peppers & strawberries and so higher prices. We’re ready to move our container garden to a sheltered area and cover and hang tarps to protect – it’s our source of fresh veggies.

    To prep – did an inventory of food, garden seeds and supplies and made a list of what needs to be added. Luckily not much but after checking my price book, prices are higher than last year, no surprise.

    • lurker judith says:

      We do that too Bellen. DH moves all the containers in and out of the garage this time of year. We have a beautiful Meyer Lemon in a huge pot. He has it sitting on one of those furniture movers on wheels and pulls it in and out. All the greens and cilantro do really well in pots as do our Swiss Chard. I have seeds from a rare French Green Chard that I save. Wish there was some way to share them.

      • patientmomma says:

        lurker judith, I wish there was a way to share also. I love chard and it is soooo nutritious and good for us.

  19. It’s 51 degrees outside right now. For Florida, that is cold. We are supposed to get down to 28 Monday night. It’s so cold I haven’t been outside in two days. My dh had to bring the plants from the front porch in by himself.

    What did I do this week. I wrote an article on H1N1. The CDC came out with the stats for the last week of 2013. Mortality rate from influenza and pneumonia is 6.5%. Seven percent is the threshold for labeling an outbreak an epidemic–on CDC standards. Texas Health Department is monitoring samples and looking for genetic drift. Do a Google search for “flu related deaths” or “H1N1 deaths” and you will be surprised. We could be at the start of a bad flu season or an H1N1 epidemic.

    I will have to do some research on Ken’l Lan 12. I looked into these disinfectants a while back but concluded they were no more effective than bleach. But I need to look into the shelf life of Ken’l Lan 12. Bleach begins to degrade after six months.

    I have no purchases to report. It’s been so cold I haven’t even gotten a chance to get outside and try my new bow. I did make some more elderberry tincture and some lobelia tincture.

    • lurker judith says:

      Bam Bam, I didn’t know bleach degrades after 6 months. I never even thought about that. I don’t use that much so are you saying it doesn’t work if it has been sitting awhile? About the only thing I use it for is my dish cloth and a weak solution for the bathroom shower and floor. If you find something that lasts longer please let us know.

    • lurker judith says:

      One other question I had. When you wear those masks in to a store what do you do with them when you come out? Do you have to handle them carefully and change them every time?
      Wouldn’t they be covered with the virus?

      • Lurker Judith,

        You have to change the masks every time you come home. If we did have a pandemic, you would probably be wearing gloves as well. You would come home. Take off the mask and the gloves, put them in the trash, bagged. Take off clothes. Wash with a bleach solution outside. Put clothes in washer. Then come inside and wash.

        You have given me an idea for another post. The kind of light they use in the supermarket produce section kills viruses. How effective would it be to get that set up in one’s garage?

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Bam Bam,

      Please let us know what you learn about the shelf life of Ken’l Lan 12.

      Your weather is so terrible!! Maybe you can find ice covered puddles somewhere. They are fun to stomp in and crush the ice. Wear your chicken boots! hehe.

      We bought an orange tree in Orlando about 5 years ago. It spends June thru September outdoors and the rest of the time inside next to a window and under grow lights. In December we ‘harvested’ 3 nice, sweet oranges.

      • H-D,

        When Spring rolls around for you guys, pour some fish emulsion on your orange tree (properly diluted). That will make it grow gang-busters.

        When dh woke up the other morning there was a sheet of ice in the back of the truck. I was a bit disappointed that he opened the tailgate and let it sip out. I wanted to play with it. My dog has never seen freezing temperatures but he lives ice cubes. He will bob for ice cubes in his water dish. LOL He makes a terrible mess of my kitchen floor but he just loves to bob for ice cubes.

        • Hunker-Down says:

          Bam Bam,

          We catch tiny 2-3 inch blue gill (sunfish) and bury a couple of them under each tomato plant. I will do the same with the Orange trees; THANKS for the tip.

          • Hunker-Down says:

            Oh, I forgot about damaging the tree roots. I’ll use the fish emulsion, instead of digging a grave for the sunfish.

          • Or make your own fish emulsion. Just stay upwind as it “cooks”.


          • Hunker-Down says:

            We have a blue barrel like the one in the pictures. I think I’ll forward the link to the DW. She’ll have nightmares!
            As a kid, we made stinky catfish bait from rotten liver. We left it on the fence until the neighbors complained about the stink so much to mom that she made us either go fishing or bury it.

        • Encourager says:

          My dog has been catching packed snow between her pads. When she comes in, I make her ‘dance’ and they all fall off. Then she goes nuts chasing them around and eating them. Crazy dog…cheap entertainment, lol!

      • WYO Ryder says:

        Bam Bam,

        How are you possibly surviving?? :)…my inlaws live down in Florida and called to report they couldn’t play tennis because of the cold – 48 degrees!! hahahaha! I am out in shorts when its 48 degrees 🙂 Still, 28 degrees is very cold for Florida…glad you got your plants in.

        Its the wind that gets me up here – last night we had blowing snow – horizontally blowing snow to be correct – …got down to 15 degrees (w/o wind chill factored)…tonight will be colder. When its this cold, I bring in two of my rooster’s girlfriends (aka less feathered hens). On a happy note, my mini turk laid her first egg!! Will be trying to hatch turk & chick eggs this summer.

        Prepping: still looking for a job. Did some volunteer cleaning last week. Worked out a lot (too much eating on the holidays). Planted some winter greens, tomatoes and tumeric – experimenting with outdoors winter gardening in my new greenhouse. My celery is doing awesome so far. Am experimenting with root cellar type storage in an old fridge in garage (no electricity in there yet). Cleaned all three poultry coops. Gathered up boxes of excess ‘stuff’ for sale on ebay and at our local ‘mart’. Picked up a ‘new in box’ Kaito dynamo/solar radio, can openers, new wool socks and a solid kitchen knife at the ‘mart’ store for $15 – score! Organizing preps and rotating. Need to haul in hay tomorrow (ugh! says the 50++ year old body). OH! Rec’d my Christmas BOB – a 5.11 3 day Rush tactical backpack. It has gobs of pockets and a tier system for all my stuff. Looks very well made too. It is wonderfully smaller at 48 liters so now I can sell my 65 liter giant, which was way too heavy loaded.

        Happy New Year to MD and the Pack 🙂

        • The forecast for Monday night is now 20 degrees. OMG. Our all-time record low is 10 degrees, set 29 years ago. The weather folks are calling it an “arctic vortex” that is settling over most of the country.

          • Rider of Rohan says:

            I’m worried about the citrus crops in Central Florida, Bam Bam. Have you heard anything about them? I can’t do without my Florida’s Natural OJ, I can’t. It’s my fav.

          • There’s enough advanced warning. They will spray the trees with water to cover them with a thin sheet of ice. This helps.

            I have a papaya tree that I fear will be lost. This tree just grew up out of our compost. It has fruit on the tree. I am thinking we will wrap it in blankets and put a heating pad near its base. If we can get it through this winter we will have a great crop next year.

            I fear our banana trees will die back to the ground. When that happens you don’t get bananas the next year.

        • Let us know about the root cellar experiment. I have an old fridge in the garage that I would like to put to good use and I live in an urban area so this would be ideal!

    • I need help. I have been trying to get my dh on board with chickens but he has resisted for the past year, especially after the rooster incident. He is now relenting, saying that having a source of protein might not be a bad idea. Question for the Pack: Is having chickens cost effective? Do you have to purchase chicken feed? I make homemade bread all the time and dh feeds this to the birds. Can bread crusts be fed to chickens?

      How much to chicks cost? How much does it cost per chicken to feed? What is the price of a bag of chicken feed?

      This is so exciting. If keeping chickens for the eggs turns out to be cost effective, I think my dh will let me get a couple. Yea!

      • WYO Ryder says:

        Bam Bam,

        Here is an article regarding the cost of keeping birds:


        I buy non-organic feed (which costs $28/bag) but I offset those costs by feeding bread (my chickens like it dry/soft or with a little milk soaked in – that is my winter mash) and fresh veggies that I get in the reduced bin at the store or fresh veggies in the summer from my garden. I also sell my eggs at the liquor store 🙂 I get $4/doz and they are always sold out.

        You will get an egg every day if you keep lights on them in the winter. So you really only need a couple hens unless you sell eggs.

        My two year old hens have really slowed down on their laying :-(….love my girls and hate to put them in the pot but….

        hope your DH lets you get some hens – can’t beat fresh eggs!

        • WYO,

          Thanks for the link. That was exactly the sort of information I was looking for.

        • I am squealing with delight. I will have to find a design for a chicken tractor, and then get the supplies. I have a friend who is a great woodworker (and who loves to eat my cooking), so I’ll enlist his help with that.

          • Donna in MN says:

            Back in the 70’s I rented a place with chickens in a large 25 x 30 penned in area with plants, grass, wild bird seed plants growing around the area. In the mid to late summer they were given field corn and they ate the bugs and the seeds from the plants which was a savings. Chickens usually don’t harm plants before they seed, it gives them shade and food.

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Snakes like eggs. Alligators like chickens. Hawks like chicks. It’s a developed skill to raise a flock over time.
        If selling eggs is not one of your goals, perhaps your flock can subsist on native bugs and plants, old bread and kitchen scraps. Egg production will be less than if they were fed a commercial feed. There are several directions you can take such a project. Do you or the DH like fried chicken? Ever wacked off a chickens head?

        • I have never wacked off a chicken head but would have no qualms doing so. I didn’t know snakes liked eggs. That is not good. We already have snake problems, as there is a creek behind our house.

        • axelsteve says:

          It is hard to keep the gators from my chickens.I never knew we had gators in California til we had chickens.

      • Kermit5575 says:

        Bam Bam,
        I have been running chickens here in Northwest Fla, for about five years. chicks run $2.00 to $3.00 each, at the feed store or even the TSC store. a 50# bag of laying feed is around $11.00,This will last my 11 girls and 1 rooster about 6 weeks. I let my girls out every morning, they will turn your yard and eat all the bugs they can find. They will eat beans, peas, any greens, rice…. they will eat anything. very easy to care for. I get 8 to 11 eggs everyday even in winter. It takes a little learning but they are easy to run.

        • Millie in KY says:

          I have 54 right now, about half are roosters. These are mostly young ones, about 6 months old, the hens are starting to lay now. so you have to feed them for that long and really, kind of coddle them for the first 8 weeks or so. Then they are good to go. Mine free range, and I hatch most of them out myself, I got a really nice incubator for that. You get about half hens and half roosters. In about another month, most of the roos will be locked in the “roo pen” and fed cracked corn for about 6 weeks, then will go to the Amish lady for processing. I have three older roosters, and Miracle (the white rooster who got trapped under the barn at about 6 weeks old for 3 weeks and no idea how he managed to live except on rain water and tiny bits of food being dropped thru the floor, so he gets to live) and I will likely sort thru the marans boys and pick out three of the handsomest ones to keep to make “purebred” eggs with my marans girls when the time comes for more hatching. I will probably hatch about 4 dozen eggs this summer.
          Mine free range for the most part. We have a 5 quart bucket which is filled with cracked corn twice a day, so basically a handful for each chicken to supplement them. Few bugs now if any here in KY but lots of seeds and vegetation for them. I figure with the excess roos, there is a 50% change of a hawk grabbing one of them instead of a hen, also, the roos will fight the hawk and fight to save the girls. We have seen no foxes the past 9 months or so and few hawks, so no casualties. There is a fenced barnyard, lots of ground cover and a barn that is always open if they need to escape. I find the darker chickens blend in better, the white ones get picked off because they are so visable. I had silver laced wyandottes last year with a couple of barred rocks. The barred rocks are a BIG rooster, but very friendly. The Marans are friendly, too. I have a bunch of mixed roos that are quite pretty but not as friendly. Some of those will go into the roo pen, too. I would like to get my flock up to around 60 hens, 20 babies, 20 yearlings, 20 2 year olds, at 3 they can either go live with someone else or be stewing chickens. 20 will allow for a big loss if it happens with still plenty of hens to produce eggs. I mark them with a loose electrical tie on a leg, different color for each year. I will keep one roo a year, too, those can stick around til they die, one roo for 10 chickens is about right for taking care of things, both reproductively and as guard chickens. I do have one sweet little mixed hen who is producing a green egg each day and I do want to get some more green/blue egg layers. Looks so nice all mixed up in the bowl in the fridge.

          • Hunker-Down says:

            Millie in KY,

            For those who have never experienced it, please describe what a hen does from the time she starts to select a nest site until the chicks become independent.

          • That’s a good question, H-D. Here is the limit of my chicken knowledge: male chickens coo in the morning and wake up you up before dawn. That is annoying. So dh goes out and shoots the male chicken. Animal rights activist calls sheriff. Deputy treads on thin ice, “Well you know your neighbor is one of these PETA people . . .” Male chickens are called roosters.

            I also learned that only female chickens lay eggs. Female chickens are called hens.

            Do you all think Tractor Supply will have sexed chickens?

          • Hunker-Down says:

            Pigeons coo, roosters crow, hens cluck, chicks peep. You gotta learn the lingo, girl.:-)

      • Bam Bam,
        Chickens are really fun. I have found it is cheaper to have chickens that lay eggs than to buy the really good eggs at the store, even though I buy feed. It is less than $20 for 50 pounds.

        We also feed scraps and the occasional cat food when one or more of the chickens is molting. We save our egg shells, clean and dry them and the chickens eat that as well.

        We free range the chickens in the day and our pointer has become a great watch dog. They keep the yard free of bugs and snails, but don’t let them get to you tomato plants. They will eat the whole plant.

        In my area, you can get chickens off craigslist that have already starting laying. I got both my coops there as well. Significantly cheaper than retail.

        Check out the website below. Lots of great info. Take care.

      • I have never bought any kind of chicken feed. Egg shells, crumble substitute for buying oyster shell. I don’t wash the eggs because what you wash out of the eggs is protein. I will only feed whole wheat bread to my hens, bread with no hfcs, no preservatives. They each only get 1/2 slice a day, usually the oldest bread. I buy whole grain oats and feed them that dry or cooked in the winter. A produce stand gives me old produce. The hens eat table scraps. The furiously scratch for worms and bugs or whatever everyday. I got 6 eggs each week from four hens, not enough to sell. I did trade a dozen for a chair at a yard sale. I give some to the guy who gives me produce. I talked to a PhD in the poultry dept at a university. He did not disapprove of my feeding. I asked myself–how did pioneers with no feed store nearby feed their poultry? By the way, corn is not good for chickens. Yes, they love it and I would love to remain healthy eating chocolate candy at will.

        • I meant that I got about six eggs from each of the four hens each week, making me the proud owner of two dozen eggs each week. Some weeks, I got more than two dozen eggs from the four hens.

          Back then, they laid eggs all winter. Now, I must freeze eggs in the summer so I will have eggs in the winter when they slack off due to less light.

          Now that I only have two hens left and one is five years old, I get fewer eggs. This last summer, I got about 9 eggs each week from the hens..

      • Bam Bam,
        We’re planning on chickens this upcoming spring and currently get our eggs from a MAG member. He has 7 chickens, each of which lay about 1 egg per day (occasionally only 6 in a week). He won’t let me pay for eggs, but does allow me to purchase feed from our local Tractor Supply (TSC). A 50# bag of feed runs about $16 and lasts about 3 weeks. By the time you add water and your time, the eggs run something like $0.12-0.15 each. A couple of things to keep in mind are that you’ll feed them less feed if they have a large area to graze, either in the pen or a tractor, and once you eat home grown eggs, you’ll never want another store bought one again. I don’t recall the price of the chicks (also from TSC); but, they’re very inexpensive.

      • Bam Bam, chickens are my dream too–congrats on getting the go ahead to do it!

        Have you considered growing your own fodder? Somewhere, I have a link to a site that offers plans for a kit and an explanation of how many chickens/rabbits/goats/etc. can be fed from one tray a day, but for now, this should give you the gist:


      • Black Rose says:

        My husband never wanted chickens and I had been wanting them for years so last February I brought 2 baby chicks home 🙂

        I spent about 6 on the chicks and about 200 on the coop from Amazon. I buy omega 3 chicken feed that cost 16 for a big bag. It last a long time because I let them roam the yard. I am surprised how yellow the yolk is.

        Maybe if you just bring them home your husband will see how cute they are and not mind having them

    • bm bam what kind of bow did you get?

      • wasp,

        I don’t know. I opened it up at Christmas and the tags and labels got thrown away. It is a compound bow. My dh said that if I actually use it he will get me a nice one. So this is only a training bow.

    • Donna in MN says:

      Here in MN radio reported 70 hospitalizations due to H1N1, no fatalities as of Friday.

  20. worrisome says:

    It was 25 here in Nor. Cal this morning and is supposed to be up in the high 40’s to low 50’s at some point. What is really bad here is that we are missing all the storms and there is no end to the drought in sight. The lakes around here are puddles and most water authorities are already putting out the word that there will be rationing this summer. For those on public water systems there is going to be a “no watering gardens and lawns” summer ahead. Those that draw water along the Russian River will find that their access to water is going to be cut way way down. I am on a well, but since I am moving, we have decided to not put a garden in here this year. And let me say, that it feels so strange not to do so.

    I started the New Year retired! But then spent Jan 2 in the office (ha) going over some things with folks and will be doing that for the next month or so occasionally as things come up that need to be reviewed. No biggy. I have been with this company in one capacity or another since 1981…….pretty much a family.

    As far as preps this week.

    Placed an order with Herb Pharm.
    Bought some more ingredients for Laundry Soap.
    Ordered some antibiotics for the fish
    Did a little target practicing
    Cleaned out a linen closet and have a stack of items to take by the church.
    Filled the latest list from boys for nails, screws, caulk, plumbing items, electrical items, fencing items, etc.

    And pulled up Jakarta Pandemic on my Kindle for a re read. Between the death of our employee due to H1N1, Md and Bam Bam’s articles, I decided to scare myself some more and read some fiction on it.

    A friend gave me some 5 gallon buckets with lids to build some more charity buckets for the church. I am sure that I will find plenty of stuff around here as I start preparing for the move up the mountain.
    Started knitting a sweater for my brother in law. He and my nephew run around in clothes most people wouldn’t even call rags.

    Spent some time across the street with my elderly neighbors. She wanted to do some persimmon cookies and freeze them. He is getting so frail. So when he wasn’t looking I went out and moved some wood from the wood pile to the wood box in the garage and the one in the house. Their daughter is coming in February, thinking that this will be their last winter here. There were lots of questions about realtors when we were talking. After many happy years here, our neighborhood is changing rapidly.

    It looks like my place here is back on track to get completed soon. Things got out of sync over the holidays. They will be in Monday to put the last coat on the floors, then a week to harden off and they will be moving my stuff back in. As soon as they are out of here on Monday, the dogs and I are going up to the bol………..they are about to start rough plumbing and framing on my cabin. I am so excited!

    For those that are optimistic about 2014, well I hope they are right. I can’t see that there is a glimmer of hope for a return to sanity in the stock market or in DC myself. Praying for the best, preparing for the worst and wishing all the best 2014 we can get!

    • WYO Ryder says:

      Congrats on your retirement Worrisome !!! 🙂

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Congratulations on the retirement, worrisome, I know this is something you’ve been planning and looking forward to for a while. This will release you to do the things you love, and I’m expecting you to head to new parts sooner rather than later. I don’t think you will have any problem selling your house now that you have a new kitchen!

      I sure hate to hear about your fellow employee, and like you, I’m very concerned about the rest of the flu season. This thing is just getting started good, we still have a couple of months to go. Other of my family members have been exposed, and I’m really nervous about the younger people.

      Love your prepping stories, and how you are such a blessing to your neighbors. Oh, but that we had so many more like you. I’m afraid the younger generation doesn’t have that ideal of service that many in the mature generation do. I fear much for their future.

      I did note the drought out there, and we are just coming off 2 years of severe drought here in Texas. The public lake near my home is full for the first time in 3 years. Though we didn’t have rationing per se, prices kept usage in check. It would have cost a fortune to water yards. I see the jet stream is still diving to the east of California, so I don’t know when you can expect any real relief. I pray to God it will be soon. Take care.

  21. Rider of Rohan says:

    Good job, MD, on the article about the coming pandemic. I did read it but didn’t get a chance to comment. I, along with many others it seems, have had a nasty bout of the flu. Slept really well the past two nights, feel great today, will still hold off on activities as advised by friends here.

    There is work to do around the house, will wrap my outside pipes against the cold predicted for Monday, gas up all vehicles, and crank the genie and let it run a bit.

    As for as prepping is concerned, got some good stuff from Brownell’s this morning that was in very short supply not long ago, should be able to help friends or make a good profit soon. Folks, seriously, stock up on these items now. They are cheap, and they will be in short supply again. Go to Brownell’s web site, you will see what I mean.

    I also had the chance to buy a used M19 G for $500, and I jumped on it. Looks like brand new even though it’s Gen 3, and had three mags as well. Nice prep.

    For Christmas one of my sons got me a Camelbak UV water purifier. Haven’t tried it yet, but looks good for the BOB. I also got a new down jacket from Browning that looks like a winner. It goes to mid-thigh so it’s longer than most. I really like it. Also got some wool socks and a new pair of boots, so I did very well.

    That’s about it, good luck to the pack, and pray you miss the flu. It ain’t good, folks.

    • riverrider says:

      congrats on the g19! i’m prepping in reverse these days. i sold my beloved m6 scout. hated to let it go but a buddy offered me better than 3 times what i had in it so bye-bye. he mentioned my keltec, might let that go too. i need the cash and i decided before that to lighten the gun load. i found that i have “acquired” too many guns to move if i had to go and couldn’t decide which ones to take/leave. thinking about doing the old caliber reduction again too. i have a couple of 45’s that will never go, so the 9mm’s will likely be hitting the door. i’ll probly put the ammo on hand in storage in case its needed for the coming festivities by others. i would sell some of my ar15s but they are dirt cheap now. i’ll hold them until the next sandy hook. take care rider!

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        I wouldn’t have bought the G had it not been such a great price, it was hard to turn down. Not that I needed it, mind you. But yes, I see the need to downsize myself, and have done so to a certain extent. I gave my oldest son 3 that he wanted, and my youngest son took 1 back to Co. with him this past week. And, like you, I will be ready to make some cash on some accessories in the next crisis, which will come sooner than one would think. Could be any day, but likely after TDL gets back from vacation. I have a feeling he wants to get rid of most older people, along the lines of Oprah’s wishes. But, I digress.

        Did your wife get a job, been worried about that for a few weeks now. I’m worried about Texas as well, we’ve had an influx lately of libs and illegals, and more are sure to come from NYC after the commies took over. Ugh, these people destroy something, and then move on to destroy something else. Take care, man.

        • Nebraska Woman says:

          Texas is one of the states being targeted by the dems to change demographic voting to their side. I once thought I would like to live there, but Nebraska is looking better and better.

          • Rider of Rohan says:

            If Texas falls it will signal the end and we will all be on the California road to ruin. I guess I’ll make my stand here, though I have land in Arkansas I inherited from my mother.

          • Texanadian says:

            Don’t fret about Texas with O’care fiasco and gun control issues we won’t be going democrat for some time. It is the rest of the country I worry about on the federal level. So much so TW and I have decided it is time to return to Canada permanently. I hate the cold with a passion but it will also get us back to the grandkids.

            Anyone in the Houston area looking for 10 acres of self-sustainabilty can contact me.

        • riverrider says:

          no job yet rider, for either of us. and now unemployment office says she might not be eligible for that either. they want to talk next week….texas worries me too. i love their attitude on most things but once in a while they go bonkers on something. hoping the new year brings better things.

    • worrisome says:

      Glad you are up and around Rider, was wondering how it was going.

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        Thank you, worrisome. Feeling much better today. Will fill u in later, trying to catch up has been quite a chore.

    • RoR:

      Glad you got the Glock! I was looking at a Gen 4 and a Gen 3 today. All of the ones I have now are Gen 3’s, so are all my spare parts. Which also work in Gen 1 (17 only) and Gen 2’s. I like what they did to the outside, but the changes internally were totally unnecessary (IMO). Just make things more complicated and repairs more confusing.

      I have had good luck with the KMI (Korean) aftermarket mags, but with factory mags only $25 each (BotachTactical.com has them with no minimum/free shipping) I’d just start ordering 1 or 2 a month until you have all you think you need.

  22. mom of three says:

    I finally cut up a huge squash, it looked like a white pumpkin. I scooped out 9 cups and made a squash soup, with chicken broth, instead of heavy cream. Just bought a lot of fresh vegetables, fruits, bought some bulk teas, and found my favorite tea nutcracker sweet, made by Celestial Seasonings. Planted a ginger root, just keeping all my herbs alive. Not to much in stocking up just keeping everything caught up. It was 30 with frost on the roofs, here in the northwest. We use gas heat, but we do have a fireplace, for back up heat. We have a rotten cough, that were getting rid of very slowly. I have been washing and keeping sinks, floors swept, and mopped, just general cleaning.

  23. Another quiet week.Bought a roll of silver dimes and 2 rolls of those heavy blue shop towels on sale by the pound at Go Grocery. Mid 20s today but a few nights with lows of 10. Very windy too.

  24. 19 degrees and light snow. Got about 4″ overnight and expecting another few inches before it stops for awhile. We’re west of the Rockies in a valley pocket that tends to have moderate weather (even though we’re very close to the Canadain border).

    Was looking for something in our basement and saw a few beans and grains on the floor. Further inspection showed us that mice had gotten into some of the dried grains we had stored in our basement! We spent the entiure day yesterday going through all 18 boxes and found that we’d lost about 50 pounds of what we had stored. These grains were bought already packaged in heavy seal-a-meal type bags and were stored in cardboard “file” boxes on shelving that put them 5+ feet off the floor. The critters helped themselves to a variety of grains ……. Know we know why the traps hadn’t been productive!

    We’ve never had a problem with mice before and have always had several traps set out around the basement. I went to the store and bought a bunch of Sterilite Plastic 56 gallon and 14 gallon boxes with snap lids. After we’d get one filled we sealed the lid with duct tape just to be sure it was closed tightly. I ordered a three pack of sonic type rodent repellers (hope they work). We are reminded that the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray! Lesson learned and paid for!

    Got my bipod installed on the S&W M&P. Very pleased with the fit and function.

    • Big Bear,
      Rodents can chew through plastic. Your beans are still not safe. How do you keep moths out of the beans and rice?

      I read that the sonic repellents work. But, that if there is food, the rodents will overcome their hatred of sonic repellents.

      I made a rat/mouse trap from a five gallon bucket, a wire coat hanger, and short Coke bottle and peanut butter smeared on it. A ramp leads the rats right up to their watery death. I got rid of the rats with poison before I built the trap. So, I am ready for the next rodent!

      • i know it is nasty but someone told me rats love grape soda pop and they cannot burp. it kills them dead.
        they had a terrible rat problem and i think it is cruel generally but they were desperate.

    • Big Bear:

      “Got my bipod installed on the S&W M&P.” Do you have a 9mm, 40 S&W, or a 45 ACP ? Seems like that would make getting it out of the holster awkward.

    • We occasionally have trouble with mice. They haven’t yet chewed through old popcorn tins, which is what we use to store grains. We put the mylar bags in the popcorn tin, fill with corn, rice, or whatever, add 02 absorbers and seal. I’ve used these tins for over 15 years.

  25. 19Pinky67 says:

    4 degrees here this morning when DH left for work. Now it’s broken into double digits at least. LOL (16 degrees)
    I went to town yesterday and purchased this month’s groceries. I picked up an extra 5 lbs of dried beans, which finished filling my bucket. YAY! An extra 2 lb bag of rice, and a few extra canned goods. They’re calling for another 4 to 8 inches of snow here starting this evening, so I’m glad I went yesterday.
    I have all 6 trays on my dehydrator filled with drying produce. Celery and mushrooms. Smells wonderful! I stopped by the clearance aisle of the local super center yesterday, and they had holiday candles for 75% off. I got several jar candles, some pillar candles, some tapers, and some tealights.
    We stopped by one of the home improvement stores a few days ago, and picked up a couple of gas fittings so that we can install a wall-mounted gas heater that’s just been lying around for a couple of years. Planning to install that in our newly-constructed grow room this evening. That should keep those little seedlings warm enough to germinate, by golly!

  26. ladyhawthorne says:

    Got in another batch of seeds I ordered.

    I’ve been pouring over new seed catalogs and will probably order way too many items but I would like to try out a variety of things to see how they do. It’s a different climate for me so I am learning all over again. Thankfully I have friends near that have been gardening here for 9 years.

    Found some plans on Pinterest for an easy to make greenhouse using a cattle panel and plastic. I got the area we are going to put it cleaned and weed whacked it down to the ground this morning. I’m going to soak it with vinegar next to kill off the grass-like stuff. I only need a small greenhouse for the seedlings so it will be 4′ x 7′.

    I’m almost 1/2 done with a quilt top. I’m hand sewing it at night while the TV is on.

    That’s about it for me right now.

  27. Been doing some research and organization. It’s been a might chilly here in Mn. so some of my projects are on hold til it hits the 20’s again.

  28. Been fighting the flu here as well, even with shots. Bleah…and the wind is blowing like crazy making the junipers blow pollen like the trees are in fire. Wearing masks out side is going to be mandatory today!
    got new electric chainsaw for Christmas and need to clean up the windfall for the kindling stack, supposed to be in 30s tomorrow afternoon…laugh if you must, but south central Texas it is not normal! We’ve already had to repair multiple pipes at kennels and horse pens.
    take care pack,

    • mindyinds says:

      Shai, you do know by now that CenTX is expecting hard freezes Sunday night and monday night, right? I will cover my container garden, but mentally, I am saying goodbye to them. The Meyers lemon trees are dragged up to the southside of the house, hope I don’t lose them.
      Hope you are over the flu – it is so hard to do anything productive when you feel you’ve been hit by a Mack truck!
      And for all of the Pack who are suffering flu symptoms, my sympathies are with you and hope you have someone to help you out.

      • Oh, yes indeed. Weatherman just revised the forecast front moving in earlier than expected. Its was in the 70s today, and tomorrow is low 40s with winds gusting out of the north at up 30 mph. Sounds like fire weather to me. Daytimes look ok but cold at night. At least the chill has been fairly consistent this fall and winter. Finally today had a while of actually feeling human. This flu makes your immune system go into overdrive and in my case I get the attacks on various parts of my body. I did get over the initial feeling really crappy 4 days without any secondary infections, wonder if that had to do because of the overactive immune system. DH has bronchitis and DD has a terrible inner ear infection going on that is not responding to anything we’ve thrown at it from prescriptions, OTC, garlic oil, you name it. I’m ready to hibernate until the weather warms up for good! But, you’re right, Mindy, you do feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. I couldn’t even eat any of the prime rib DH cooked on the pit for Christmas dinner.. The fireplace will definitely get use staring in the morning.

  29. JeffintheWest says:

    As previously, not much prep work done around here — we started a list of things we need to get to rebuild our stocks, and we have a list of things we need to do to make next year better, so we at least are doing the planning part of the job! Personally, I’m in a lot less pain than I was last week (I even have to occasional pain-free hour now!) so it’s slowly getting better.

    Still hoping to hear from patientmomma how I can arrange to get her kitten and puppy! 😉

    • worrisome says:

      Hang in there Jeff, one step at a time. You won’t do yourself or your wife any good if you don’t take the time to heal properly.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      Agree with worrisome…don’t take on too much, Jeff.

    • patientmomma says:

      jeffinthewest, I have 6 of the cutest black lab puppies you have ever seen! The 2 pound kitten plays with the 5 pound puppies and wins….. at least for now. They are so fun to watch and make me laugh. Cheap antidepressants!

      • JeffintheWest says:

        They are, aren’t they? I love black labs — the best dog I ever owned was a black lab and such an incredible sweetie. I literally cried when she died.

  30. 10 below this am with fresh snow. Chickens hate it and so dont the rabbits. We havent done to much this week just keeping warm and taking care of the animals more work in the cols weather. Stay warm and safe everyone.

  31. sheeple_no_more says:

    This week was one of those AH-HA! moments. I live Pa and we got hit with the big cold, so I have a few days off. After the snow storm I pulled out my snow blower only to discover it had a flat. Darn checked it a month ago and it was fine. It tool me about a hour to find my compressor, the an air hose, the an air chuck only to find it had popped off it rims. When I got that fixed I discovered only half the blade was spinning because it had a broken shear pin.( Think bobby pin through the axle). And I did not have a spare.
    Anyway that started me on my quest to “tune” or repair my critical items.Generator, hand tools and so on.
    I also inventoried our pantry, labeled all our containers and made up a cheat sheet of what is in what container. Bagged 50 pound of rice I forget had.

    I decided to organize things while I have down time and

    • JeffintheWest says:

      I hope you’re okay! The way that trailed off there at the end makes me think the Apocalypse might have just started up there in PA! 🙂

  32. Not much here but my own personal shtf! Got my water bill for last month and it was 18500 gallons!!! I avg 1500 a month so I have a leak in my main line. So for now water is shut of until I need to turn it on every couple days to take a shower and or do a load of laundry. Have filled all the tubs and have my 300 gal of stored water to use so will have to wait to get some money together to get it fixed.

    35 here this morning but will start raining tonight and then start dropping on sunday till it gets to -3 on Monday morning. Can’t wait for the drive to work tomorrow and Monday morning!!!!

    Well time to put that pot of chili on the stove..

    • Kermit5575 says:

      I’m with you, We are eating chili right now. It’s great on these cold nights.

    • George,
      Is the main line ahead of or after the meter? I would think that it would be ahead of the meter and would not record a basic leak.

    • I kind of get your troubles, George. Our water heater was filling our garage with water and greatly increasing our water bill. Luckily it was a cheap fix. I am so sorry for your giant water bill.

  33. Hey It's Dave says:

    Five-day forecast callin’ for low to mid 60’s here, with it maaaaybe getting down to 40 at night; no precipitation, though. Send us a few truckloads of that white stuff ya got layin’ around.

  34. we bought a small farm. yay!

    • Janeo,

      Wow. That’s great news. Congratulations.

    • Kermit5575 says:

      Outstanding… hope you Love it..

    • Allright I'm Awake says:

      Congratz!!! Hope it works out for you…. but hurry I don’t think there is a lot of time left. I just got an RV and am trying to get it stocked as a bov. Lots to do! I worry about how much time we have left to get things done… But then I realize no matter where I am in my plans it is all up to God to see me through.

      Lots of Flu in the area… Was told by a nurse friend the hospitals in the area a full… not a good sign… Will pray for those with the flu.. take care and don’t jump into doing to much when you start to get better… the second time around is worse.

      Get preping and stay warm…

    • Congratulations!

    • JeffintheWest says:

      That’s amazing news! You have a great time ahead of you! Congratulations!

    • Janeo,
      We love our small farm (27 acres)and I’m sure you will too, it’s such a feeling of independence!

    • PGCPrepper says:

      That was very succinct for such a great What did you do to prep this week LOL. Awesome.

    • Congratulations! Enjoy your new BOL!

    • Outstanding!!

  35. Well, with the big freeze heading our way, we picked up some perishable stuff just to make sure we had plenty to eat.
    Took delivery on six hay bales. Started making our own hard cider from apples we pressed. Sister was here most of the week, so didn’t get a whole lot accomplished.
    Its seed order time – been planning on the garden and what needs to go into it. Made three orders, I’ll probably end up with a couple more before spring.
    Still ebaying, will be for a while. Hubby’s off both days this weekend, so we’re planning on kicking back and ignoring the weather. Herd has hay, shelter, and water. Pups are inside, cats are indoor animals, and we’ve done what we can for the goldfish in the pond. We’re as set as we can be.

  36. Donna in MN says:

    I am having mild weather today–a balmy 5 degrees. BUT Monday, Minnesota has closed all their schools for they are predicting a windchill of 70 below zero up here, 50 below in the twin cities by Monday morning.

    Being that cold, I have some ritual practices to perform so my pipes don’t freeze. Hope it doesn’t get too cold where you all are after this deep freeze passes me..

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Wow, that’s amazingly cold. Is it routine for schools to close for cold? I don’t ever remember hearing that before, but I didn’t have access to such good reporting as yours before now.

      • Babycatcher says:

        I used to live in NC, and in the late spring before all schools had AC, they would let school close early or be closed if the temps were 95 or above..it was just too hot on the third story of some of the older school buildings…this was in the 70’s. But I’ve seen it happen here in TN…

      • Donna in MN says:

        It doesn’t happen much as a statewide closing..mostly local closings happens. Where I live, Monday we are expecting 35 below with winds of 30 to 40 MPH.

      • Hunker-Down says:


        In Green Bay Wisconsin the schools will close if there is a forecast for a wind chill of minus 35 or colder. They will be closed Monday and will decide later about Tuesday.

    • worrisome says:

      Donna what do you do for the pipes when it gets that cold. I use light bulbs in the well houses, wrap my pipes with insulaiton, put on the hose bib covers and stick a small heater under the house when it drops below 32 here………but I have never, ever dealt with what you are dealing with.

      I have friends in Alaska, they have wood and propane heaters in their garages and never leave their cars out, but I have never ever asked them how they handle the plumbing issues.

      • A lot of people in Alaska don’t have plumbing. I know, right?

        • worrisome says:

          Hi Patti, in my case, they do……….going to be writing some emails to find out some stuff that I have never asked them. These friends have all indoor plumbing, but they have an outhouse “for just in case” as well. They also have a huge heater garage……..in it they keep a bunch of firewood; a big diesel generator and a propane heater……tanks just outside the door. They have room for snow gos and such as well. And they buy their vehicles with engine heater on them that they plug in sometimes. Just never asked about how they keep pipes from freezing, how they clean the snow off the roofs, etc.

          • Roof snow removal:
            1) From the ground using a snow rake.
            2) Get up on the roof and shovel. If you need to shovel it’s deep enough not to slide off.
            3) I’ve taken my small snow blower up a ladder and used it on the roof several
            times, but I’m probably to old for that now.
            Keep pipes from freezing:
            Don’t put water pipes in outside walls and they won’t freeze. I can’t figure out why people don’t understand that.

          • Hey Worriesome,
            Sounds like a pretty cool life! Wish I could give it a try, but in this economy I cannot give up my job.
            Hope you are enjoying your retirement. More time for canning and such, I hope!
            Keep us posted on the progress of your cabin. I am a little jealous. Take care.

      • k. fields says:

        worrisome – using heat tape or heat cabling is an easy way to prevent frozen pipes. Think of it as an electric blanket wrapped around your plumbing lines. Comes in both high (110v) or low (12, 24v) configurations to match your electrical system.
        IF installed correctly, it’s safe to use.

      • Donna in MN says:

        I have heat tape around my well pipes to just under the insulation under the home. I have a crawl space somewhat insulated under my double wide. I have to shovel more snow around the foundation of the house today, and pile more snow on the septic tank hay/leaf pile in the back yard.

        My double wide trailer was built for the heat ducts to run along the water pipes to keep them from freezing when the furnace is on. I didn’t know this when I got a wood stove and used it. Now I keep the furnace thermostat on 75-80 degrees when the wood stove is heating the living room, to keep the water pipes from freezing.

        Some parts of Alaska along the coast is not this cold, but the interior is. Most interior Alaskan homes use wood heat, because oil fuel freezes and propane jells at 48-50 below. One night it got to 45 below zero here and didn’t know what temp would jell it, so I put a blanket on my tank. The propane guy said not to put a garbage can lid with charcoal lit under neath the tank but it is the only way to keep it from jelling. I didn’t know if he was telling me to do this but company policy was against this.

        • worrisome says:

          Ha Donna, good point about Alaska. I emailed my friends last night………….the response this morning was…………..silly woman! They live in Sitka………….where while cold, it isn’t as cold as where you are Donna.

          This was the response
          “Silly woman! It never got to freezing last night. It is raining, it is going to be in the 40’s today. When are you coming to see us?”

    • patientmomma says:

      Oh my gosh; minus 70? God bless you and keep you safe. I know you northern folks are very hardy and independent, but that is way too cold for man, woman or beast. On the bright side, I guess Obumer won’t be coming to visit you!

    • We are in the Twin Cities and I was glad the governor cancelled school. My youngest who we adopted from Southern China is so not used to our Midwestern winters. Average winter temps for her Is 60 degrees. We will see what Tuesday brings as well. Not looking forward to.stepping outside Monday morning to warm the car up to go to work. Not expecting to be busy as patients were already cancelling appointments Friday afternoon. I’ll bring a book to read!!!

  37. KR Prepper says:

    Hey All
    75 lbs of rice, 10 lbs pancake mix, 4 gallons vinegar, 
    4lbs Tang, 4lbs Swiss miss, 4lbs lemonade
    My stove broke, so Im grilling daily..

    Purchased Jandao/Chace Wind Crossbow. For those who do archery. It’s similar to the Excalibur Crossbow.

    Reorganized med bag

    Cleaned up house, refusing to worry about the “monster storm” and low temps. 
     After being in MN, nothing fazes me. I prepared. I’m good.

  38. I haven’t posted in a long time. These are a few of my preps…
    I joined the Ga.1122 volunteers. Frontiersman. Got certified in CPR/First Aid and AED, and still certing in CLS (combat life saver) Stocked up on more medical supplies. Purchased two airsoft rifles for training purposes.
    Sold a lot of eggs to supplement prep cost. Added gear to bugout bag, including Cold weather survival equipment. Will attend FTX in January for CLS completion, tactical training and cold weather bugout survival.
    Bought a compound bow and have gotten very accurate with it.
    The most substantial prep is networking and recruiting local trusted people to train for a SHTF event. Also joined The Lamplighter Society.
    Godspeed and never stop prepping.
    Rev. J.M.”Chance”

    • Donna in MN says:

      May God bless your efforts Chance. I trained CPR to bloodborne and being so isolated up here, I may have to do it on the wolves and squirrels in this arctic freeze.

  39. Nebraska Woman says:

    This was the week for finishing!
    I got all my rice and beans repacked with mylar bags and oxygen absorbers.
    I finished a sweater and a pair of socks.
    I finished repainting the kitchen cabinets…saved over a thousand bucks by doing it myself.
    I cannot claim this but the smell from the rat is gone.
    I have the Bible study group lesson plans all finished for Tuesday.
    I spent a lot of time corresponding with old friends I had not heard from in years.
    All bills paid and accounts reconciled. I am finished with tax returns as soon as I get the W2.
    I cooked ahead and have dozens of single serving yummies in the freezer.
    All this and I spent nothing!!!!

  40. Slow week. Received all my results. Failed the Statistics class by 6%, that’s a personal challenge I can’t write off my list =( The other classes went well.

    We had to cope with temperatures as low as -50 here (in Celcius) which means about -60F. Wasn’t that bad, actualy. It’s not the first time, though I’ve never seen the temperature going that low so early before. We broke all records, and winter is FAR from over, up here in Québec city. It’ll last until April.

    Didn’t really prep, actualy, but I measured all my new blankets to see if they would fit to insulate all my windows, and I’m still 4 blankets over what’s required. That’s good news, since the forecast is planning an icestorm tomorrow, and I don’t plan on bugging out if I can avoid it.

    I won a giveaway with SurvivalMom, and I received part of it : the wireless phone charger from Duracell. Doesn’t fit with my old Iphone 3, but I managed to make it work anyway. Cool news is that judging by the meter on the charger after one full 8-hours charge, I could make my phone last for a week, even more, without power.

    Also dug out grandma’s old battery-powered AM/FM radio, in case the hand-crank one would fail (and it will, since it’s rather cheap…).

    Starting the new semester next week, I took some finance, economics and business administration classes. Hope it won’t be too hard =P

    Considering buying a generator soon, but I have no idea how I could manage to use it in an appartment. Maybe I could use my office with a window open and door closed to make it run. Could I? I don’t want to leave it outside, it’s too noisy, it would get stolen in a matter of hours…

    • Schatzie Ohio says:

      My ex husband had to take statistics 3 times before he passed it. He did well on all the other classes. This was all before he ran off with someone who was suppose to be my friend many years ago. All is well that ends well.

      • Nebraska Woman says:

        Hope he paid for both of his failures. I suspect there’s a lot of collective sorrow out there.
        Keep the faith, friend.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Statistics was the hardest course I completed in college. Felt lucky to come out of it with a C, and that came as a result of extra work, bonus points, and butt kissing. Might be a strategy for you as well.

      • Well I won’t try again. After a couple weeks, I took notice of how I didn’t want to study international affairs and laws, and as soon as that happened, stats wasn’t a prerequisite anymore.

        I can use stats pretty much any way I want now, as long as I keep my notes at hand. It’s just that I can’t remember all these formulas. I UNDERSTAND how it works and I can make it work, given enough time AND my note and my books =P

  41. Millie in KY says:

    Goats? When, pray tell? Can you share some photos?
    And they can help with those brush piles, I am amazed at how they just love all kinds of dry leaves, especially oak leaves and acorns!
    And I’ll come and help burn piles of brush. I think in a former life I was a pyromaniac. Just love to burn stuff and can do it for hours… 🙂
    Nothing much for prepping for me this week. Still getting used to the hours of the job, working on re learning to knit decently, helping to take care of a single mom and her three kids (groceries, a little fund raising with friends, Christmas shopping, and we found her a job that she will be starting soon. Also a used fridge….believe me, life appears very good to you when you see what someone does NOT have that you take for granted.) When the job starts, I have enough of a nest egg to help with a down payment on a car. The job is local, just a few miles from her home. Last will be finding a better place to live. But with the job/car comes my freedom because I’ve had to haul them around for nearly everything…
    Mostly catching up with bills after 8 months of not working but we did go to a gun show and I picked out a nice little pistol I like, just a .22 but I wanted it. I will call later this week after I get paid and see if I can put it on layaway.
    I’ve been listening to Stephen King’s “The Stand” on CD back and forth to work. A lot of CDs, like 40 or so of them. A good story about a virus that wipes out most of the USA (and probably other countries but doesn’t go into that in any detail). As I’m listening to it, I’m thinking “I’d do this” or “aren’t they thinking about what that could do in the long run?” So a mental exercise for me, at least.
    That’s about it for now. I haven’t read anyone’s comments so will be catching up with that now. God bless you all! And don’t forget to register and vote this year. It’s going to be a watershed year for us all.

  42. k. fields says:

    It’s sunny and in the low 70’s here right now (around 2pm) on the northern CA coast – nights have been dropping into the high 20’s – low 30’s but no frost due to the effects of the ocean currents. Went ahead and planted the second ¼ acre of wheat this week that I had spoken of earlier (Yamhill this time) even though I had to water it in by hand. Northern CA is dry, dry, dry right now. Small possibilities of sprinkles come Tuesday but I’m not putting much stock into that forecast. Any other crops, except replenishing the small kitchen salad garden, I’m hold off on planting until February – the items I’d normally be putting in now may have to be changed if we get an actual winter drought.
    Livestock all doing well and seem to be thoroughly enjoying this weather. So am I, I must admit. Is that being anti-prepper? Enjoy today for tomorrow we may die? I guess my philosophy this to worry about what you can realistically control but don’t loose the ability to enjoy today due to fear of tomorrow. It seems to have served me well.

    • lurker judith says:

      K Fields, no one talks much about this drought out here and as a prepper I try to project a few years ahead. What I see coming at us is not pretty if we don’t get some rain soon. I thought things were better up in your neck of the woods but I guess not. This is the 3rd. Winter with no rain here in the high desert. This is shaping up to be our own teotwaki.

      • k. fields says:

        Rainfall up here was low the last two years, but tolerable. This year though, there have been NO early rains so everything is drying up quickly. Farmers Almanac is predicting a good amount of rain come February and NOAA is saying rainfall should be normal (whatever that is) but so far it’s not looking good.
        I’ve put back about twice the grain I normally keep on hand and increased the amount of hay by about 50%, but beyond that, there’s not much I can do to offset a drought. My wells and small spring have always provided enough water in the past (knock wood) but that’s no guarantee of their future production. But I’m lucky that I’ve been here for so long and have consistently made changes to conserve water (mostly to save me work if I must be honest), so my usage/need is low already. (and my place is already cleared enough to protect the main buildings from most wildfires)
        Been thinking – maybe it’s time I look into building a desalination plant 😉

        • JeffintheWest says:

          Boy, I sure hope you’re right. We had the one snowstorm here east of you that put six inches down, but there hasn’t been a sign of any precip now in a month, and I was hoping for a wet winter. I’ll be keeping my fingers braided hoping for some decent rains come February!

  43. Looking forward to the cold weather about to hit our area.
    Will see how prepared our family is with the various preps
    we have set aside..

    This weeks preps included using a bread machine for the
    first time. Next up will be to grind wheat with an electric mill then move on up to non electric.
    Split more wood for next years wood supply.
    Ran twice this week to stay in shape.

  44. I hate to say it, but Dianne Feinstein is right – the AK IS an assault weapon. Earlier this week, a gun hating liberal was walking by the house, and the AK snuck out of the bedroom, out the front door – all by itself – and had it’s fist in the air ready to smack that libtard down.

    Gosh, I hate it when I’m wrong.

  45. What did I do to prep this week – moved – to a city of 135 population in a county of 13,000.

    The water take here is high, and good, and the report I read recently is that even with industry and agriculture, the water table seems unaffected and is likely to have no issue in the forseeable future.

    However, I have advice about moving when you are a prepper – either win the lottery so someone else can do all the work for you – or – DON’T. What a chore – and we are still not done. Even with a 27′ truck – packed to the roof, we still need to go back for another load.

    We did get some help, movers to help us pack on the one side, and a bunch of teenagers to unpack at this end, but it was mostly the two of us doing a great deal of the work, and the movers – while instructed to put the mattress and box spring in last – didn’t seem to understand what last meant, and they were packed tightly about 4′ in – behind big shelving units and boxes, and it was after 10 PM when we arrived, packed ice in the driveway, so we ended up “sleeping” on the floor. Or, at least DH slept on the floor – I just laid there in pain all night – AND he gave ME all the padding!

    OK, I’m done whining now.

    • worrisome says:

      Poor Girl. I hate moving! Be glad it is over….

      • Not quite sweetie, one more load.

        • JeffintheWest says:

          i know exactly how you feel — I can hardly wait until spring when we go back to NM finally to get all the stuff we’ve had in storage for years. I keep telling myself that it will be like Christmas, opening all those boxes and finding the stuff that we forgot we even had — but oh, my aching back! 😉 However, having said that — Congratulations on almost being done. It’s awesome for you and the new hubby to finally be setting up in a place where you can really get going!

    • k. fields says:

      Do you still need to head back south and pick up the stuff at your old CA home?
      By the way – congrats on getting the new place!

      • Thanks all.

        Our next trip back (tomorrow) is to Central Oregon again, we still have a lot of stuff there.

        CA is a whole different thing and I’m not even thinking about all that now. Sons and grandsons live there, and maybe my daughter and her kids may be moving in as well soon.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      Moving is horrible, but it feels so good when you’re done! Glad you posted; been praying for you.

  46. ozhillbilly says:

    Hi Pack. Didn’t post last week cause of this stuff going around. My wife finally took me to urgent care this morning and was diagnosed with pneumonia. Others have posted the very same symptoms so no need to repeat. Very nasty stuff.

    My prepping the past two weeks hasn’t been that much due to my sickness. I did purchase a vacuum packer (and some supplies), twelve cans of tuna, twelve cans of chicken, a twelve pack of Ramen Noodles (chicken) and added to my book library.

    That’s it for me Pack. Try to stay well.

  47. NWGhostRider says:

    Hi, I am new to this site, I have visited here in the past and my DW is a member. We are currently relocating from a small town (pop 1500) to a smaller town (pop 135) and ending my commute time of 4hr one way to work, now it is about 15 min.

    • Hi, all – this is Mr. Michele – my DH,

    • Welcome NW Ghostrider,
      I’m sure you have heard a lot about us,, only believe half!

      • Babycatcher says:

        Welcome mr Michele, uh, I mean NWGhostrider! Hope you get settled in your new place quickly..my dh and I have been in our location for 9 years, and he found a box yesterday that’s never been unpacked! Lol

    • k. fields says:

      Welcome NWGhostRider – from what I’ve heard, you’re one lucky man. I hope you’ll always take the time to appreciate what life has given you.

    • JeffintheWest says:

      Welcome aboard! And congrats on marrying Michelle!

    • NWGhostrider,

      Welcome to the pack. I like Mr. Michele better. 🙂

    • Hunker-Down says:


      Welcome!! We are looking forward to your future posts. Your new bride already told us that you know everything about everything.:-)

    • NWGhostRider, Welcome! It’s great to finally “meet” you! Good luck finishing up your move and moving into your new home. Hope to see you back here soon.

    • NWGW,
      So nice to “know” you. You take good care of Michelle and we will get along great.
      Glad you will be able to spend more time together.

    • S'wt Tater says:

      Glad to have you!

  48. We spent most of today making sure we are ready for whatever hits tomorrow night and Monday night – it barely got above freezing today. The DH said the gas cans were empty and asked what kinds of food we have on hand – we just needed some extra beef and bacon. Everything was handled in the food and fuel areas plus we bought a fan that should help reduce our heating bill for our sun porch. I also spent nearly a half hour hauling wood to the house from our woodpile. We had an extremely productive day.

    In other preps, I picked up more lids and rings for canning. I also strained my first ever batch of apple cider vinegar (yum) and started another batch. The DH finally had enough dry days the week of Christmas to get the garden tilled without getting stuck (forgot this last week) and I have continued my exercise program with a goal of at least 10 minutes of cardio per day. Wish I could say my back/hips are better but I’m still having problems, just not always miserable. I also put a gift card to use and bought a sweater, an immersion blender, a coffee grinder and four coffee mugs for $6.39. I know some of these items aren’t true preps but the immersion blender will help me with cooking and canning – the one I have now keeps coming apart while trying to use it. Also, the store where I had to use the gift card doesn’t exactly sell what I’d call prepping supplies so I think I got some things that will be very useful for me – besides the coffee mugs are pretty and colorful. The DH couldn’t believe I bought more mugs, but I say you can never have enough. Coffee is an essential prep (bought 2 more bags this week) and you have to have something to drink it out of.

    Stay warm and safe everyone.

    • GA Red,

      You might want to look at some hip-opening exercises on youtube. One of the main reasons for pain (especially in middle age and older women) is poor muscle tone through the midsection and tight hip and neck muscles. Simple stretches and strength training exercises can eliminate pain and increase flexibility.

  49. Nostalgia & Tradition says:

    This flu is nasty; I haven’t got it and am hoping not to. Y’all take care and do the right things to take care of yourselves.

    Does anyone have an on-line source for strawberry plants? I’ve looked at my favorite non-GMO and heirloom seed catalogs and on-line catalogs a time or two and can’t find any. I want the large, sweet, delicious, red strawberries. Can anyone point me?

    oh, and the happiest thing: after losing my two beloved dogs last year within a short time period (one of illness, one of age) I have a new rescue pup. He’s sweet, he’s loving, he’s learning. For those of you who have Faith, and Hope, and all the other loved critters out there…thanks for taking care of the babies. Keep ’em safe, keep ’em loved. They are a Gift from God and Bless our lives for only a short time.

    Time to go look at the seed catalogs. Hoping to have a good garden this year. Shoot, hope we all have good gardens this year!

  50. My experiment with the distillery was a resounding success!! I followed all rules and recipes to the letter. I don’t touch the stuff but was told it was pretty good. That’ll give me some barter stuff.

    Still working on the sawmill. The availability of the workshop was greatly curtailed, but is easing up to the point where I can make some progress.

    We have another ice storm coming in. I haven’t gotten gas since the last one where we had to break out the generator so I think I’ll go down and do that.

  51. Patriot Farmer says:

    My son graduated from gun smithing school in Colorado last week and got caught in last week’s snow storm coming from Colorado to Michigan. All is well and he made it back after a day delay in Iowa. Since his return he has completed trigger jobs on all my rifles. All my rifles have very crisp and responsive triggers now. He also ordered a replacement trigger for my 1911 that he will install next week. Having a gun smith in the house is working out very well. Not much else was done last week due to the winter storms and we are hunkered down for the next round of storms and cold weather due to hit Michigan tonight. I don’t mind winters but this cold is getting out of hand. I would hate to think where we would be if w didn’t have “global warming”.

  52. Mother Earth says:

    Hi Pack, I haven’t posted much lately as I’ve been going through a rough patch. I lost my mother to cancer unexpectedly. She hid it and we didn’t know until it was too late and spread everywhere. I had just gutted my 45 year old kitchen when I had to fly across country, only to be too late.

    So now I have no kitchen and because I didn’t get cabinets ordered promptly, I have 3 more weeks without a kitchen. And I hate prepared or fast food!

    I guess there are some things you just can’t prepare for in life. Prayers for everyone suffering from the flu and I hope you all remain safe with this cold weather.

    • k. fields says:

      So sorry to hear about your Mom – take care.

    • worrisome says:

      So sorry to hear …

    • Babycatcher says:

      My condolences on the loss of your mother…hugs to you, and I pray for you to have strength to finish the kitchen…

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      I am sorry for your loss, ME. Blessings on you in this time of sorrow.

    • Donna in MN says:

      My sympathies go out for you in your time of loss. I lost my mother last spring, and lost a best friend in her. I pray you will get through your rough patches, as I go through mine.

      • Lauri no e says:

        Mother Earth,

        So sorry to hear about your mother please know you are in our prayers.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Mother Earth,

      I’m sorry for your unexpected loss. Trust in God, take one day at a time, and relax, as in, take care of yourself. The kitchen can wait.

    • So sorry to hear about your mother. It’s so hard to lose your mom. Take care of yourself, remember to eat and sleep. As Hunker-Down said, the kitchen can wait. And until it gets done, slow cookers are great.

    • mom of three says:

      So sorry for your loss, mom’s are more then just mother’s they are our friends. I understand being without a kitchen, the more you gut the kitchen, it seems like the nightmare won’t go away fast enough.

    • My sympathies, Mother Earth.

    • What a terrible shock. I am so sorry for your loss Mother Earth.

  53. Feel sorry for all you folks that are having the minus weather. Here in Northern Calif we are in the 65 degree weather during the day and high 20s at night. I can live with this. ha

    Our problem is rain. Last year we had a total of 33.25 inches, this year a total of 4.35.

    Best wishes to all.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Bill D, are you in one of the Northern Ca. counties that want to secede from the mess to the south?

  54. Hmmm…

    Picked up an older century arms imported Romanian AK-47 with an underfolding stock. Came with two 30 round mags full of Tul-Ammo and an empty 50 round drum. Looks brand new even though its been laying around my uncle’s pawn shop for half a decade. He also had NEWCON DN 140 night vision scope laying around.
    Picked up a “Black Ops” BB gun. Looks like a Colt Python, has six cartridges that hold several BBS apiece and runs off CO2.
    20 rounds of .270 WIN.
    100 rounds of .22lr.
    40 rounds of 9mm Critical Defense.
    50 rounds of .45ACP FMJ.

    Also, I watched the Glock 42 you tube video before typing this.

  55. Babycatcher says:

    Our donkey discovered this week how to crawl on his knees to get into the girls’ pasture. He did it twice. 5 years of being next door he’s never figured it out, but now that he has, we went and bought 5 cattle panels to permanently divide the pastures. We’re hoping to wait til spring and better weather to do it, but oh, well. We,ll get it done. Prayers going out for all the sick folk, and the ones who have lost loved ones….hugs to you all, and those in the Midwest and northeast stay hunkered! Spring will be here before you know it!aren’t you glad you prep?

  56. Well actually temps tonite -25 with wind chills of -48 this morning it is a balmy -4. Well was finally able to fill three deer tags yesterday already skinned and boned gonna start processing today. roughly quessing around 80-100 pounds of meat which will help thru the year with grocery bill. I can already taste the chislic! Also bought a new pair of boots for winter I bought a set of Timberlands and not sure what I think yet. Loaned “One Second After” to a coworker and may have accidently created a prepper.

  57. It was 70 here in San Antonio yesterday but its already down to 45 this morning & supposed to get down to 22 Tuesday. I love South Texas.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Oh, stop complaining 🙂

    • It’s 70 degrees here in sunny Florida. We’ve got all the windows open. When I change out of my pajamas I’ll put in shorts and flip flops–that is if I decided to change out of my pajamas. 🙂 But it is supposed to drop to 20 degrees Monday evening.

  58. Well today we are having a heat wave as the temp reached 32 degrees but tomorrow they are calling for wind chills as low as 45 below. We are fortunate that my hubby the Treeman has access to wood and we have been heating our home with a wood burner for years now. Yes we have a furnace but there is nothing like the heat a wood burner provides.

    I finally received my copy of 31 Days to Survival on Thursday. I have read through chapters 1-3 so far. (Read as fast as molasses in the winter time). Wow! I have really had to take a long look at my personal skills! Treeman has always provided in the hunting end of food provisions but I have never taken part in the actual processing of the meat. I only do the storage and cooking end. I have decided to make myself more involved with the processing part as listed as #1 on page 3. Never know when I may have to do this myself. I am also interested in any suggestions on books on foraging and edible (eatable) plants. Anyway I have a long way to go. I want to thank M.D. for the well written book; it gives me a lot to think about and a guide to go forward with. I am pretty new to the long term prepping and I feel like the rookie.

    Given Treeman’s occupation, we have always done a mild amount of prepping as winter is very skinny for us. I work year round but money for prepping is scarce this time of year. The last 5 years most of our prepping finances have gone to firearms, ammo and training. I had never picked up a firearm prior to that and took every class I could get into on safety and tactical training. Lots of range time as we have a friend with his own shooting range. I feel pretty good about my skills in that area now but never pass up a chance to practice.

    Aside from receiving my copy of 31 Days to Survival, we purchased about 200 yards of Paracord and it arrived Thursday as well. Treeman is learning how to make a rifle sling with it this week.

    • 200 feet of Paracord not yards. Fingers moving faster then the brain.

    • Angel,

      Welcome to the Wolf Pack. Check out some of the money saving ideas here, like making your own medicine and laundry soap. That will save you some money which you can then use for preps.

      • Thank you Bam Bam!
        I Have already added the elderberries to my list on my next trip to the area health food store (if they have them). I appreciate all the advise I can get..like I said I’m still a rookie. 🙂

        • angel,
          much info on laundry soap at the site
          mennonite girls can cook

          they are canadian.

          • You can make your own laundry soap. It’s easy and there are only four ingredients: borox, washing soda, bath soap, Fels Naptha soap. You can get all this in the laundry isle at China Mart.

            Just fill a spaghetti sized pot about half full with water and bring to a boil. Grate the bar of bath soap and the bar of Fels Naptha. Dump grated soap into boiling water. Stir gently until soap melts completely.

            Then pour soapy water into 5 gal. bucket. Add 1 C borox and 1 C washing soda. (If your laundry is really dirty, increase borox and washing soda to a cup and a half). Mix everything. Then add water. Mix. Add more water. Mix. Do this until the bucket is full.

            The laundry soap will be liquid at first. It will turn into a gel overnight.

            I did a cost analysis on this. If you by a box of borox and a box of washing soda and 4 bars bath soap, 4 bars Fels Naptha, you are out about $20. But this $20 in ingredients will make a year’s supply of laundry soap. And you can’t get a gallon of Tide for less than $20.

        • Angel,

          Look to see how much they want to charge you for a cup of elderberries at your local store. You can get 1 lb. which is 3 cups for $20 on Amazon and they are organic.

          I don’t know what part the country you live in. I am in Florida. We have a liquor store called ABC and they have store brand 100 proof vodka for $16 for a half gallon. Get the cheapest 100 proof vodka you can find.

          • Thank you so much! I will do some research on the Elderberries I live in Ohio. I am going to get the items together for the laundry soap too. I really appreciate the advice!

  59. Not much this week. bought some more silver quarters. A few more light bulbs (incandescent). The DW put my email on a site called ‘Rare Seeds’ so I’m hoping to get some emails about their products.That’s it for now.

  60. Old Alaskan says:

    Having moved from Eastern PA to Alaska 40 years ago my wife & I marvel at the preparations you people in the lower 48 go through when you get a little cold or snow. We just had 2 cold snaps here in Anchorage of 10 below, the biggest thing I did was plug my wife’s pickup truck in. It had a block heater to help keep it warm for starting. We had a series of snow falls over a 10 day period the biggest one was 17″ with a total of over 36″ in my front yard right now. It’s business as usual right now.
    For me I scored 100 – 30 RD AR magazines 3 Mini 14 Mags, 3- 92fs mags plus one of the local stores finally got some .22 ammo in I got 3 – 525rd boxes of HP.
    Put a little extra straw in your rabbit boxes and animal stalls, put out extra hay, bring your dogs in and when you go out side remember Loose and in Layers, Avoid overheating and you will survive the cold. For 30 years I worked outside here year round and for me winter was best, You don’t have to worry about the mosquitos.

  61. MentalMatt says:

    Happy New Year Pack
    Did pretty good with the preps this week, went to China mart and stocked up on some canned goods. I found that Keystone now has canned ground beef so I picked up a few cans of that. I was shocked that they had some 223. ammo in stock, however I could only buy 3 boxes, but it is what it is. Here in Michigan 4 deaths due to the H1N1 flu virus, and dozens more on life support. I bought a ton of the Emergen-C packs and take two packets a day myself. I will be ordering Elderberries from Amazon and making the vodka concoction. I am glad I got a flu shot.. I know a lot of people don’t believe in it but I do.. Take care

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Happy New Year, Matt, glad you made it through another year in the D. Getting closer to the magical date every day. Stay safe and warm, my friend.

    • Matt,

      Think about making the syrup as well. That confers even more protection. I wrote up some instructions on how to make both the tincture and the syrup. I am hoping M.D. will post them Monday along with my H1N1 article.

    • axelsteve says:

      MentalMatt. I was able to get 3 boxes of 22 lr today. Unfortunatly they were only 50 round boxes. On the plus side they run well in my marlin and my sons 10/22.It helps since I have been burning up the remington golden smoke bullets lately.

  62. moonstone says:

    Mother Earth, Bless you in the loss of your Mama. She will always be there with you in Spirit.

  63. Wasp from last week’s rosemary ?), I’ve had trouble the last several years with the prostrate varieties as I guess they just can’t handle the cold. I usually grow the regular ole rosemary here is southern NJ which is zone 6-7 depending on weather in any given year. Some years it’ll keep its needles all winter; other years with severe arctic cold, I’ll get the needle drop. Mine just hates being potted up and brought inside, probably because it’s too warm. For named varieties, I’ve grown Arp and it was okay.

    • many thanks. mine have always been potted and always died.
      didn’t know it could weather the winter temps. we are zone 5 on the cusp of zone 4.

  64. Just after a few waves of rain, the north winds arrived in Houston about 9 am today. It’s been cloudy all day and right now it is about 40 degrees outside. When the sun goes down the temp is going to drop like a lead weight and by 6 am tomorrow we are expecting to be in the low 20’s or possibly high teens.

    The RV park will be shutting off the water in about 3 hours and it won’t be back on until the temps are above freezing again.

    Monday eve and Tuesday morning will be a repeat only without the precipitation.

    We took showers early, filled our fresh water tank with 110 gallons of water and just in case the pump doesn’t work we also have 4 gallon jugs as our backup. We also dumped the black water tank so we wont have to mess with it for awhile.

    Our LP level is 1 and 3/4 @ 30 pound tanks plus the 2 @ 20 pound grill tanks.

    We are ready. So what do we do next? We make soup! Mostly from our stores.

    I am fully aware that what we will be experiencing in Houston is nothing compared to what many of you have been going thru for a week now, but we are also in an RV in a place where no one knows what a freeze line is and Lowe’s does not carry snow shovels, and there is a reason we left Wisconsin and came back to Texas.

    BTW: The soup, Beef, Vegi, and Rice, is great!

    • JeffintheWest says:

      Been there and done that, my friend — full time RVers for six years! At least until we bought this place. Sounds like you did everything you possibly could, except maybe run an extra electrical line so you could run an electric heater! 😉 Enjoy the soup.

      • We run an electric heater as well as the LP. It keeps the “garage” area warm. (We have a 42 ft. toy hauler with a 14 ft. garage). We ran the partial 75% LP tank all last night and today. This evening we switched over to the full tank and will refill the still partial tomorrow. We don’t like having to switch over at 3:00 am. Turned out our water pump didn’t work and we could not get it replaced today so the water jugs came in handy and we filled an extra one for tonight.
        Tonight they shut off the water at sunset so we have already gotten things ready for the morning. Water for coffee is ready to pour. Right now we are reheating the soup!

  65. Rob Crawford says:

    Lost power very briefly Friday night — almost thought I imagined it, but the computers caught it — and didn’t want to get caught with no power in this cold, so FINALLY added a “Little Buddy” heater to my preps, along with some 1lb propane cans. Hopefully won’t have to use it, but…

  66. My dh and I went to Sams and Walmart today. It was really strange. Sams was almost completely out of fresh fruits and vegetables. There were empty boxes all over the place. Then we went to Walmart to pick up some OTC meds. It was the same thing–empty shelves. Even spices were empty.

    I am wondering if the storms out west and and up north delayed deliveries. I have never seen shelves that bare.

    I tell you, I am glad we have supplies set in.

    Oh, a major thing–my dh can strike up a conversation with anyone. While in Sam’s he saw a guy with a John Dear Tractor hat. So he asks, “Is that a John Dear Tractor hat?” They end up talking for 20 minutes. It turns out the guy is a “Pick You’re Own” farmer about 20 miles up the road. I can’t grow enough tomatoes for everything I want to can. They have a 10 acre vegetable garden. He and his wife put up. They sell the rest just to re-coup costs. We got his phone number and will call him in June when the tomatoes come in.

  67. so, i was thinkin' says:

    Good morning all,
    Wanted to thank everybody for posting what they are doing to prep and their great ideas- it has been very helpful. This is my first post so, here it goes…

    This week I received our order from Amazon (gift cards for Christmas). Added 2 solar flashlights, a Steripen Sidewinder, rechargable batteries, an AM/FM/SW solar charged radio, assorted books for our library, mylar bags and Survivorman DVDs (family entertainment).

    I bought some Christmas LED lights at 50% off, cheap water purification tablets, found that the local Home Depot carries food grade buckets and Gamma Seal lids- bought a few of those, bought Christmas candy at 75% off and vacuum packed for later.

    Taught my youngest how to make beef jerky. Turned out on the dry side so we chopped some of it up, added some of the vegetables we dehydrated, herbs and seasonings and ended up with what my daughter calls “Dehydrated Soup”. Was surprisingly good. Have a few extra packs for later.

    Began incubating eggs from our flock of chickens.

    Lucked out at the Goodwill- found books on fishing, human anatomy, Krav Maga training, and a field guide to local wildlife.

    Introduced my husband to the 299 Days series. He who never reads is already into book 6- speed reader. Watched Survivorman DVDs for family movie night (always starts good conversations and ideas from the kids). Everybody is deep into a good book.

    My husband re-inventoried ammunition and added a few magazines to our supply.

    Finally, husband and I signed up for the Hunter’s Education course (mandatory in our state) and will be taking it all next weekend. Have been wanting to go hunting for years, but did not have anyone to teach me so it has been on the back burner until now. Not getting any younger. We love to go to the range, but this will be our first year hunting. I am very excited!

    Thanks for listening. Have a good week!

  68. Not much here. Had the flu over New Years, still clearing that up. Was 45 here yesterday, now it’s 23 with a stiff wind so the wind chill is probably -10 and I have to work on my car.

    Picked up a Mossberg 12 gauge from a customer of mine at the bar. He needed to fix his starter on his truck and didn’t have the cash. Anyone think $125 for a shotgun only shot twice good? He threw in a couple boxes of slugs and buckshot and a couple field loads in 7 1/2 too. One of the guys in my club got hold of one of the ammo hoarders and twisted his arm some, so I picked up a brick of WW .22LR for twenty-five bucks.
    While doing laundry, wandered over to the dollar store and found half a box of celery, lettuce, and radish seed in the half-price cart. Ten cents each, I bought them all as well as some US made screw-top plastic containers. Went to Sav-A-Lot and bought a flat of chicken soup two for a dollar, and another five pound bag of rice.
    Fired up my little 2-stroke generator, charged up my combo jump-start/power supply unit.
    Made some ‘ice-fishing heaters’ from a tip I read in Backwoodsman, they work great and are super cheap! Three bucks for a new can from the paint store, 89 cent four pack of TP from Save A Lot, and a couple bottles of dollar store rubbing alcohol and they make a nice warm flame.

  69. Encourager says:

    Gosh, it is c-o-l-d!!! Actual temp right now is -4, it is 5PM and dropping. The wind is rising; we are suppose to have a -35 wind chill tonight. We have so much snow, our poor dog cannot find a spot to do her business. She weighs in at about 62# and breaks through the snow. Adding it all up, we have about 22″ of fresh snow.

    We do have a back up heating plan, two wood stoves: one ancient 33 year old Vermont Castings Defiant and a Vermont Castings smaller one that is about 15 years old on the other end of the house. When the wind gusts up to 40 mph like it is out there, the big one back-blows smoke into the house and we have even had the damper blow open. So we try not to use it in high winds. We have a propane boiler that heats the first floor with under-the-floor heating. And a whole house auto generator.

    DH cleared the driveway 3 times and then gave up. You can’t tell he did it other than the mounds of snow along the edges. Just too dang cold to be out on the tractor clearing snow. So we have hunkered down to wait out this storm with plenty of fresh food so no worries.

    Actually, it has been at least 3 decades since we had a storm of this caliber. We were long overdue. So we have a few generations of folks who do not know the first thing about surviving it. This storm was on top of a major ice storm weekend before Christmas. Some people still do not have power due to that storm. And now this one.

    My mil’s residence was under quarantine at Christmas due to that new superbug Norovirus. Since alcohol does not kill that virus, you must use a bleach solution. And the virus lasts on hard surfaces over two weeks, or so the CDC spokesperson said. We also have a number of teens and adults (30 somethings) on life support at a major University Hospital due to H1N1.

    Me thinks it is a good time to stay home for a few weeks…or months…

    • k. fields says:

      Regarding the stove backdrafting, you should get your local sheet metal shop to make you a wind directional cap for your chimney. Since my place will at times get hit with winds off the ocean, that is what I’ve had to do. Basically, the cap will turn so that the opening is out of the wind and the configuration of the cap will, at the same time, increase the draft.
      I did a quick google search and didn’t see one exactly like mine but the pictures in this link are the closest.
      I think the design is pretty universal so your local shop probably has done them before.

    • when we lived in the middle of pennsylvania we had a thing installed on the chimney of the oil furnace. looks like a little round hat with vanes inside that whirl with the wind and carry away furnace effluent but prevents backblow. don’t know if they make one for woodstoves.

      • Encourager says:

        Thanks k.fields and wasp! We have that on the pipe for our smaller wood stove and have never had a back draft with it. I will talk to my dh about one for the big stove. Right now it has a cap on it with screening to keep critters out. It makes me sick to have to fish out dead bluebirds in the spring. Don’t know why they go down the stovepipe unless they fall down. Many times we have rescued them but they usually die since the fall is two stories down.

        Dh stayed in the living room all night dozing in between re-loading the stove. He didn’t want to load it up and come to bed in case the damper blew open.

  70. MD, my DW has a brush pile in our field that we add to every chance we get. I’ve seen that thing up to 20 feet tall. She calls it her habitat and will not burn it!! Recently I’ve been putting cane stalks upright in the ground along the habitat’s perimeter. The rats come out to feed on the peanut butter I have placed inside the cane. At about 40 yards I take off the heads of those vermin with my .17 HMR. Keeps the rat population under control, keeps me in practice with the rifle and ensures the rifle is ready when I go squirrel or rabbit hunting.

    • Survivor,
      Good for the DD. I have similar habitats around here also. Give the pile a kick in mid summber and you’ll likely have some rabbits on the run and easy to shoot.

  71. S'wt Tater says:

    little done this last two weeks,MOm sick, so few medical preps for maintainenc/ future needs.alcohol.peroxide.cotton balls,blister bandages,bandaids, steri strips,diarhea control, fever and pain control. began with prepping soap for DRY LAUNDRY detergent.(just grind soap,mix ingredients well,(essentially same as Bam Bam posted above) add oxiclean to mix..for bleach.it degrades in liquid,so is not effective in liquid detergents. I dont like shaking the liquid one to mix for each load.

  72. I’m a bit late checking in…
    Last week mostly all I did was continue to renovate. I spent three full days in the tenants’ apartment.
    And I’m still not totally done there, but I’m now working in my own apartment again fixing plaster.
    I did a little bit of PT.
    MD, I just noticed your howling wolf at the bottom of the blog. He’s cute!

  73. Ok, prepping. NOT a darn thing.
    Here is what has been going on and I know many of you are concerned…thank you.
    Dh had emergency surgery twice, it from old wounds from Vietnam. The 40lb charge of T&T that was command detonated under the 2 1/2 deuce truck, apparently damaged more than his back & legs. It damaged his internal organs, being physical fit it kept the problem from manifesting itself until recently. They are hoping that the repairs they made are going to work, it is up to mother nature to provide the blood flow to those organs.
    His body was going down hill since the car accident in 2007, the only saving grace was the antibiotics that they had him on over the years.
    The car accident caused small ruptures which lead to peritonitis, he is still not out of the woods. He has been the hospital since 22nd of December, so they are having to go really slow with the introduction of food.
    I hope makes sense, I have spent nights sleeping there for his peace of mind(recliner chairs are ok, but after two days the body hurts). Many long long hours, I get up between 5am-7am feed the animals, prep what I need for the day and leave, I am there all day I usually leave between 8-11pm to come home with is a 30-45 minute drive. So I am tired and the brain is running a fumes but that is ok. I do not whine as I think of all he has gone through and is still with me, the least I can do is be as strong. Hope this makes sense.

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