What did you do to prep this week?

Good morning Wolf Pack and welcome to another addition of “what did you do to prep this week” the blog segmented where you get to talk about yourself and what you’ve done to prepare for the next natural disaster, economic collapse, pandemic, martial law and any other SHTF event.

But before we get started with today’s post, I would like to thank Victoria S, Linda S, Tonya V, Nanci Q, Linda C, Jana M and Josh B for their generous donations this week via our voluntary subscription service. If you would like to participate in that or make a one time monetary contribution you can do that by clicking this link

Some of you’ve probably noticed that there has been some heated debate in the comments section recently, as to whether or not the police want to bring you greetings and good cheer with a cub-cake on top or if they want to harass, beat, entrap and frame you. Well the true answer is probably somewhere in the middle most of the time.

But to tell you the truth, I’m getting tired of moderating those comments especially when one of the commentators, likes to comment under several different names to try and prove their point, while attempting to look like several different people in the conversation.

One of the comments regarding this issue, asked what the topic had to do with prepping… really.

Folks, prepping is more than just storing canned food and the threats go far beyond your neighbors wanting to take that canned food away from you. If people are being harassed, framed, entrapped, pepper sprayed and kicked while handcuffed and face down on the ground, shot and killed while unarmed and posing no threat, and when they are shooting caged and chained dogs and even chihuahuas to death and worse and getting away with it – we will have an even greater problem after the balloon goes up.

If this type of thing is happening now during “good times”  how bad do you think it will be after a SHTF event – for an example; look at the reported of police conduct after Katrina hit New Orleans

And who do you think enforced those unconstitutional laws (just following orders – Befehl ist Befehl) that we’ve talked about here so often? Who will enforce martial law when it is declared by our dear leader (the military and federal police forces will take the lead here but will have help and support from most local departments)?

Yes, police abuse, brutality and misconduct have a lot to do with our lives now and will be a huge contributing factor as to how any disaster or collapse will play out and sadly, we don’t know if they’re going to help us or send a SWAT to our retreat to raid your organic produce, or take us off to prison for defending our family, retreat and preps from looters and thieves…

Am I saying that there are no good cops or that police aren’t needed… no not at all, but unfortunately, the good ones are getting more difficult to find and I wonder how many of the good ones will turn to the “dark side” when the chips are down?

Anyways, I’m tired of the crap and bickering in the comments about this and will delete further comments on this subject when they are brought to my attention.

If you want to keep up with reported police misconduct continually updated lists are, provided by the CATO Institute’s Police Misconduct report website and the YouTube channel “Cop Block” has 100’s of cases of misconduct, harassment and beating by police that have been caught on video.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let me see what did I do to prep this week?

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

Comments

  1. Hunker-Down says:

    Not much this week, we bought some local honey and canning lids for our stash.

    I have a question for our kitchen experts. We have about 50 tomatoes in the freezer and want to use them to make chili sauce. How do we get those cold, cold frozen balls in shape to take off the skins?

    The DW had a stomach virus, 60 hours of vomiting every 15 minutes, then finally to the emergency room. Everything is fine now but 4 days after that episode she complained about a rough throat and slight chest congestion. I brought out the magic elderberry tincture (thanks Bam Bam) and expected her to refuse anything not prescribed by a doctor. To my surprise she tried it (with warmed water and honey) and about 4 hours later said her symptoms were better. After 2 days of a dose of magic every 4 hours, SHE FEELS FINE. This is a major mental step for our family in becoming independent of our dollar denominated society. I have another 2 pints that are a week past due to be strained and put away.

    The IRS Lois Learner circus is another example that this is a lawless country if you are plugged into the regime. The rest of us live under the ‘protection’ of the law.

    Don’t forget “Fast and Furious”; Eric Holder is still not in jail.

    Don’t forget Benghazi; Hillary will want your vote.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      H-D,
      Hey cubby. Good to hear DW was able to get thru that flu.

      I’m sick at heart over the crap going on in the federal government. DH sits in the living room screaming at the TV while watching the news. It’s a mess.

      But, about your tomatoes. Although, I have never frozen them first, I do make spaghetti sauce. I would just put them in a pot with a tiny bit of water on med low heat. Periodically use a potato masher to split open the tomatoes. I put my tomatoes thru a Foley Mill, the skins and seeds will stay in the mill

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Hey, we have one of those gadgets. Its nice to know I don’t have to peel the dang frozen things. I hate cold.

        Thank you.

      • Buckwheat says:

        Hi G-Ma, do you have some recommendations on food strainers. I was just looking on Amazon and it seems that the OXO and the Victorio are the better ones. I do not yest have one in my preps. thank you for your great pointers.

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          Buckwheat,
          I can’t speak to the Victorio. I have a couple food processors, a couple of fine mesh strainers, a chinoise, a couple of Weston foley mills with accessories, a ball jelly sock and stand, potato mashers, pastry cutters. After the first time you make something you will find what works best for you. I remember mother using a pillow case for the finest straining of juices. Whatever works. Try to find some of these at yard sales and thrift shops. Some of the stuff I only use once a year.

        • plantlady says:

          I’m not T G-ma, but I think the Squeezo Strainer is the best food strainer….and my grandma thought so, too. All metal construction and very sturdy. I have…ummm…3 of them now. Two are living at my brother’s and almost got another at an auction. My LDS prepping buddy & I were checking it out and discussing it. I mentioned I had 3 but still “needed” another for after tshtf, then she trumped me with only having two and having 3 girls who would need one. About then, three other ladies laid a guilt trip on us saying none of them even had one…so we didn’t bid against them. If I had only had 1-2, I would have bid against them!
          Perfect for pureeing and straining homemade baby food!

          • plantlady,
            You didn’t bid because of a guilt trip? You don’t want to go to an auction against me. I attended auctions with my parents as a kid, and my father taught me well. When I see an item I already know my maximum price, and will not go over it by a single penny. If you and I want something at an auction, you’d have to outbid me past that point.

            • plantlady says:

              Just sort of an impulsive random act of kindness tht we turned into a teaching opportunity. While talking with them, gave them the standard prepper 101 intro and info on the food storage classes my buddy teaches at her LDS church.
              Definitely not my usual auction behavior! You should have seen me the day I won the big cider/crusher press. That I REALLY needed since I now have over 50 fruit trees. Or the day I got the singer treadle sewing machine with every attachment known. My husband just looked at me and said – you know, you can get sort of scary when you put your mind to it (HEHE)

        • Buckwheat,
          I’ve been using the Victorio off and on for more than 30 years and is still works fine. It generally only gets used for perhaps 2 weeks per year, but has done tomatoes (primary), apples, squash and pumpkins over the years.

      • tommy2rs says:

        I’ve got both the mill and a chinois with a stand and pestle. While both work equally well, I tend to use the chinois more than the mill as it’s easier to clean up, for me anyways.

      • TGMa,
        Thanks for reminding me of a forgotten hand tool for my amazon wish list!

      • Tactical G-Ma,
        We use a Squeezo Strainer for the same and I’d never heard of a Foley Mill. Although the Squeezo will probably do fruits and vegetables that the Foley mill won’t do, the Foley has been added to the list of things that look like they would be very handy to have in the kitchen tool chest. They also appear to be in the $20 range, so very affordable.

    • axelsteve says:

      Don`t forget that the lovely people of the irs are now involved with another part of our life,our medical care. Who could have been stupid enough to vote for that is beyond me.

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Well don’t blame congress, they didn’t read the bill. How would they have possibly have known that the IRS was involved? Why would they care? Their status exempts them from uncomfortable law.
        What happened to the ruckus a few months ago about congress critters having to obey obummercare?

      • wolfwalker says:

        New to the pack from the glorious but idiotic state of Illinois.

        What I did to prep this week…

        Got my first deck of Conflicted cards this week and been going through them with my brother .

        Found a Smith and Wesson 4506 for my brother to use for CCW here in Illinois once we qualify. He’s had multiple strokes but can still shoot

        Added a laser/flashlight combo and red dot scope to my 10-22 tactical but still have to sight it in.

    • mom of three says:

      Put them in warm water, the skins will slide off or sit them in the sink over night to thaw, but I put them in the sink.

      • mom of three says:

        I put mine in the warm water, my brain was getting ahead of my fingers.

      • Mom of Three – “Put them in warm water, the skins will slide off” Bahahaha – at first I thought you were talking about congress!!!!

    • Some church ladies in San Diego used to freeze their tomatoes, and I watched with dropped jaw when they took those hard balls out of the freezer, ran them under running hot water (it was steaming hot) and then they peeled the skins right off.

    • Bam Bam says:

      H-D,

      Good for you winning over your dw. If I had those tomatoes in the freezer, I would let them thaw enough to break them apart. Then I will get on a large pot of boiling water and another pot of cool water. Then put a couple of tomatoes in the boiling water. When the skins start to split, put them in the cold water and then remove to a cutting board. Do this for all the tomatoes.

    • I’ve done this before with tomatoes and found that the skins will just slip off once you start heating them. Thaw them out first.

    • Happy Camper says:

      Correct if I’m wrong, but it think the skins contain a high amount of nutrients. Could you thaw and blend them, or perhaps blend some and dice some if you after a particulars texture ?
      Best of luck.

      • Put your tomato skins into a dehydrator. Once try, grind them up into tomato powder for use in soups and stews.

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          Now that!s clever!

        • I like that idea!! Something else not going to the compost pile.

        • Hunker-Down says:

          We have 3 quarts of dehydrated skins from last fall, still waiting to be ground into tomato powder. This is the first time we put excess tomatoes in the freezer and didn’t know how to get those frozen balls ready to make a sauce. Good pack members taught us last summer that we could do some canning in the winter, an idea that never had entered my head. I very much like the idea, it moves canning labor away from the labor of harvesting and really helps with boredom through long Wisconsin winters.

    • Once frozen, tomato skins usually peel off easily by hand. You can then dehydrate them then run them through a blender to make tomato powder for extra zap in flavour in many dishes.

    • Hunker-Down:
      My mom use to dip the tomatoes into boiling water to slip the skins of the fruit when she was making sauces for canning. It might work for the frozen tomatoes, try a few to see if works for you.

    • mindful patriot says:

      Greetings H-D,
      If your tomatoes were frozen on a cookie sheet then placed in a ziploc bag to keep in the freezer, this method will be easier: remove the desired number of tomatoes, while still frozen, dip them in warm water. Skins will slip right off.
      Happy trails!

    • Encourager says:

      Hi HD! About those tomatoes…when you thaw them out, the skins will slip right off. Just grab the thawed tomaters in your hand and gently squeeze. Off slips the skin.

      At the end of the season, when I cannot stand the thought of canning.one.more.jar of tomatoes, I wash them and toss them into a large Ziploc bag and put in the freezer. Done.

    • when frozen tomatoes defrost the skin falls off. and they are practically sauce already because they defrost into mush.

  2. For the first time in several weeks I did all right at the swap meet on Wednesday. A fellow had cleaned out an estate and had some bits and pieces and tools for 1911 .45ACPs. I got a flat mainspring housing, a brass cleaning rod, and a bore brush for three dollars.

    The flat mainspring housing makes a huge difference in pointability for me. With the arched housing the gun points to the right. With the flat one it points wherever I am looking. They seem to run mostly around $40-50 on Amazon, and the old brass cleaning rods are priced all over the place from around $25+ (they’re collectible) so I came home happy.

    Also ordered some Mountain House foil packs to test on our next camping expedition to the North Shore: Lasagna with meat sauce, and Mexican Style Rice and Chicken. We already tried that last one and liked it a lot, but have a friend going with us this time and promised to give him a taste. It is one of the few which we think doesn’t need to be spiced up a bit.

    I had tried to get the Mountain House at the local Sports Authority on Tuesday, but they had a nearly empty rack. Mostly granola left. The ammo supply was nearly empty: No .22, no .38 Special, two boxes of .357 110 grain hollow points, no .45, no shotgun ammo in slugs or buck shot. Most of the camping gear I looked at had remarkably high prices: I wonder who shops there. From looking around the store I have to say: Not many.

    There is a North Shore Disaster Preparedness Fair from 9:00 to 1:00 today at the Waialua Elementary School Cafeteria which I plan to go to. I wonder what they have to say about the Board of Water Supply disaster preps: “We don’t have enough generators to run the system, neither the pumps nor the generators we do have are in hurricane proof buildings, and we won’t be able to refuel any surviving generators until the roads are cleared. And let’s not discuss the problems from hundreds of snapped off laterals draining the system after a hurricane.” Yikes!

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Well, Penrod, how was the Disaster Preparedness Fair? I figured you would give us a report from paradise.

      • Hi Rider, I did go, and it was worthwhile but nothing to get excited about.

        We had a friend over for dinner last night and more work today, so I’ll have to make a bigger report next week.

    • SoCalPrepper says:

      I was just in your neck of the woods for a week – took my youngest sister in law to Oahu for her birthday. Spent a lot of time hiking around, and rented a kayak and paddled quite a bit one day around Kailua bay. I SO want to move there…unfortunately my + my husband’s work is all here! I’ll have to settle for visiting.

      We noticed all of the things you are talking about re: the state of preparedness over there. Leaves something to be desired…then again, here in SoCal, it isn’t much better!

  3. worrisome says:

    Hi Wolfpack. What a week! Saw your very vigorous debate going on over LE. MD, your comments above make sense. People that are commenting as different people are not genuine and not helpful and do nothing to add to the base of knowledge and concern your blog is dedicated to.

    I had another hectic week. I am still waiting for the truck repairs to get finished. I have been promised this coming Monday. So I spent a few days in the Bay Area. Helped re organize one of my daughter’s garages. SIL wanted to put up more/better shelves, so we repackaged stuff, bought a bunch of new totes, inventoried everything, threw away stuff. ‘Twas fun.

    We also went back pack shopping for grandchildren that have outgrown theirs and in the process purchased socks and new hiking boots for them as well. They are going to be with us up at the bol over Easter week……….we are gonna take some time wandering around in the hills. And we went through what is in the car bags and did a practice run on loading up and getting out in a hurry. That was fun as well. And the topper of the trip was an emergency drill. I wonder what the neighbors thought when they saw kids flinging screens off the upstairs windows, dropping the fire ladders, throwing out the backpacks and then skidding on down to meet on the front lawn. It went well.

    On the way home, I stopped in at a feed store and picked up some baby chicks. Cute lil guys! I doubt they will ever make it to a dinner table. Looked at rabbits, but until I find myself more permanently planted up at the bol, I am going to wait on that.

    Stopped by my favorite gun shop and dropped off one that seems to be in need of some work, it sticks. Talked to them about ammo and they are still running short most of the time. They seem to think that this thing with Russia will tighten the supply even more. So folks, you may want to be careful about how much you use up practicing.

    Also went by a nursery and looked at berry bushes and rose bushes, got a few things to add to the load for the truck.

    Canned up a bunch of California Mandarins and found another deal on some more so will can them this week along with more lemon curd, orange jelly, and pineapples.

    And for more on the California Drought, here is a WSJ op ed on how water works in California. This farmer has a few points to make………….please read the very last line……….

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303775504579396093119215448?mod=hp_opinion&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303775504579396093119215448.html%3Fmod%3Dhp_opinion

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Wow, worrisome, that was quite the story. I’m sure the coastal elites will disagree with everything in it. For some reason these people have no idea that farming requires land, water, and work. And if we have no farming, we have no food.

      What this really shows is the contempt the elites have for people who make a living in rural settings. Actually, it’s contempt for anyone who doesn’t think exactly like them, owns any amount of private property, or seeks to use their property in a way that benefits themselves. Might as well call them what they really are, and that’s communists. They want everyone clustered in tightly controlled urban zones, with all other land use controlled by the government. They call it sustainability, it’s just a coincidence how all aspects of it are fascist, socialist or communist. Agenda 21 tyranny? You betcha, as Sarah Palin would say. As for sustainable, it will be sustainable just like Stalin sustained the kulaks in the Ukraine(which is the root of the problem today).

    • nwsenior says:

      That last line. The idiots….

    • worrisome;
      Thank you for the recipe for the lemon curd. The only problem, wow, I was given lemons. Then the husband decided he did not want the rest of the bag…..rough estimate about 40lb’s +. I spent all day peeling, juicing those buggers, and I am still not done…….whew! The nice thing the house smells wonderful! Glad to hear you are advancing on your dream of self sufficiency.
      If the neighbors thought your grand children were doing something strange, simple they were practicing for an emergency on how to leave the house with necessities. You live in an area known for earthquakes, leave it at that.
      On the water issue……for those do not know this bit of history the “delta smelt” is NOT a native fish to the state of California. It is an illegal alien brought in a cargo container and dump when the bilge water was released. If more people knew that may be they would go hug a barge!

      • Becky,

        you can also dehydrate them – then make lemonade when you want, etc. http://www.dehydrate2store.com has a video with that in it.

        And, dehydrating the rinds that may be left ,grind into powder, you know the drill.

        wish someone would give me 40 lbs of lemons…..I love them!

        • grannyj;
          If you were close enough I would share with you!!
          I smell like a lemon…….now I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. ??

          • grannyj says:

            lol well maybe a little sweet and tart? a little lemon – AIDE – I’d say a good thing- there’s sure a lotta stuff out there I wouldn’t WANT to smell like….

            thanks for sharing – I’m enjoying my virtual lemons….

      • worrisome says:

        Hi Becky, you are right, it never came up but that is what we called it………..an earthquake drill.

        Good info on the smelt. I am very dismissive of all things Boxer/Pelosi/Feinstein………..so even without knowing what you just told me about the Delta Smelt, I believe it should be farmers water over theirs……..especially when they are flushing water at a time like this.

        Have fun with the lemons. I find canning almost anything a big ol messy time consuming task, but I sure do love the finished projects! :_)

        • worrisome
          HI, found a sign to hang in my kitchen here is the quote.
          “A messy KITCHEN is a sign of HAPPINESS”, sums up what mine looks like now a days. My niece started laughing as she knows I am always putting something up, and getting interrupted in the middle of the process….:-), then trying to remember where in the world did I leave off.

    • Encourager says:

      Wow, that report blew my mind. What idiots the govt is out in CA! Instead of directing the latest deluge to the farmers, they flushed all that water out into the ocean??? What?!

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        If it were just being idiotic, then the people could just put a more intelligent person in charge. But when it’s an ideology, then it doesn’t matter whether the person in charge is intelligent or not, they believe flushing all that water out to the ocean was good. It’s the cause that is important, they don’t give a crap how many people are hurt in the process.

  4. Planted some potatoes and onions this week. They were from my co-op haul and ended up sprouting, so I planted them in an effort not to waste.

    Dehydrated some onions, leeks, and a pineapple. Dehydrated onions smell amazing! Not so much while they are drying though…

    Finally strained the rest of my herb tinctures. Been experimenting with them and mixing tea blends. I highly recommend Practical Herbalism, especially if you are new to herbs like me. The layout of the book is fantastic. I’m wondering if anyone has any recommendations for online herb courses?

    Ordered the wide mouth jar sealer for my foodsaver. I don’t know why I even bothered putting it off. Also ordered Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners, 2nd Edition and 31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness. I can’t wait to read M.D.’s book and yet another purchase I put off for no good reason.

  5. Just a few things this week as we’ve been working outside as much as possible to get the garden ready. Received our heirloom seeds so feel really good about that. Everything we grow this year we’ll be able to save the seeds and build our own seed bank. So awesome. I’ve been growing wheat sprouts for the chickens and they love them. Extra goodies make for more eggs as winter has been hard on them. With more daylight now and the sprouts egg production is back up to a dozen a day.
    I’ve been using the volcanoe stove a lot so that I can get use to timing and trying new recipes using what we store. Fun and learning at the same time!!!
    Stocking up on canned goods that are on sale and finally received the gun clips we order 6 months ago.
    So glad it is warming up, lots to do, little time to do it!!

    • Wish I could work on the garden but would have to shovel 3 inches of sleet and snow that remains. Out of town next week to visit the sister so I will be late with my garden this year. Just hope we get a decent spring and not to hot summer.

      • Exile1981 says:

        I wish we only had 3 inches; the temp finally went over freezing today so it started to melt but I still have drifts tall enough to walk over the 6 foot chain link fence around my property. Two sheds have finally emerged from under the snow but just the peaks of the roofs.

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      We still have up to 2 feet of snow on the ground still. So jealous of those who already are planting.

  6. riverrider says:

    nada this week unless you count working. well i guess that means earning more prep money:) i did redo my ghb for the hike over the mountain should i be stranded over there. added more mre entrees and more warm clothing to it. still working on the premiss of fast and light…anyway that’s it other than busting butt at work. its good to be a productive citizen again and not dependent on uncle sugar for my pension, and its a good workout to boot… looks like the winter has finally broken and spring is around the corner. lots to do. sic semper tyrannis

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Glad you enjoyed your first week at work, rr. And I thank God the weather has finally broken here, too. The temp was in the 50s yesterday, will be in 60s today, I’m loving it.

      If you get a chance I would appreciate your thoughts on NBC, esp. the N, as it’s something I’ve made virtually no plans for previous to this week. I got a few things which I reported in my comment, but would love to get your feedback.

    • JP in MT says:

      RR:

      Glad you are back to working. Having a limited income because of something you did not choose isn’t fun. After our shopping trip today, I’m wishing I was adding a little extra income. Only spent $750 that I wasn’t planning! But they had the stuff I wanted (not just some of it) and I bought it.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      riverrider,
      I too would like your thoughts on NBC.

    • axelsteve says:

      Riverrider. Nothing wrong with having a pension. You earned it ,you did your time.

      • riverrider says:

        axel, true but i get tired of sweating it every time the govt talks about a shutdown and the dems keep cutting vet benefits. its already hard to live off the pension with inflation, then harry reid cut what little cola we got. i don’t like being dependent on the govt whether i earned it or not. they have a history of taking what we earned.

  7. Hunker-down,
    Just let those tomatoes warm up a little, the skins will start to crack and will come right off with just a squeeze.

    This week DH and I decided to get real serious about our health. We bought a juicer and started juicing fresh fruits and veggies. After just a few days we started to feel better. We started small this week and will be expanding it this next week. BC, I hate to say it but we have been eating too much bacon! lol We have to get in better shape in order to do all of the garden work and taking care of the animals.

    MD, thanks for the pictures on the chicken coop it helped us with planning to redo our coop. We hope to get started on that by the end of this month. We are starting over with our chicks, we had two old hens and one flighty rooster. We decided to let them free range to help get the bugs under control. They are still around foraging on their own. All we provide is water.

    We are making plans for our bath remodel. It will expand the bath and closet area with some hidden storage. I am always looking for ways to add more storage and I want some of it hidden from prying eyes. :)

    I plan to do some major shopping this afternoon. Oh yeah by the way did anyone else catch the article that was posted on aol about the 9 disgusting things that are in your food? I will no longer eat anything that has artificial vanilla flavoring in it!!!

    • Bam Bam says:

      It’s so easy to make your own vanilla extract–just buy vanilla beans and dump 100 proof vodka over them. Yum. I gave pints of vanilla as gifts for Christmas last year. They were well appreciated.

    • Nsaneprepper says:

      Can you post a link to the article on 9 foods? I can’t seem to find it. Thanks.

      • http://www.buzzfeed.com/hunterschwarz/disgusting-things-the-government-allows-in-your-fo-6zgv

        I’m not sure this is the exact article – this is from 2012….but this is disgusting enough.

        I want to detox my body of all disgusting creatures, and never eat again! lol

        • tommy2rs says:

          I remember when Consumer Reports came out with a report on the allowable percentage of rodent hairs and insect parts in commercial baby food back in the 70’s. We quit buying baby food and made our own with the blender from fresh ingredients out of the garden, no salt, yada yada. Kids turned out ok, no psychos, jailbirds, cops, politicians or lawyers and most importantly no tell all books.

  8. Rider of Rohan says:

    For prepping this week I received my super pails of rice and sugar, and ordered a super pail of beans. I’ve decided I want a 2 year supply of food. I also received a large Southern variety garden pack from Baker Seed Co. for long-term storage. I now have 2 of those.

    And for fun this week I reread Hiero’s Journey, a book I read back in the 1970s. My oldest son got it for my birthday after hearing me speak highly of it. My other son gave me a copy of the Ranger Handbook. Nice to have it for consultative purposes.

    Though I looked everywhere, there was no .22 am-mo to be found for a decent price, so nothing in that area. My daughter, a friend of hers, and I are going to the range this afternoon. Before we go, I will be spending a couple of hours with my daughter’s friend getting her familiar with loading and unloading both a revolver and a pistol, proper aiming techniques, and above all the rules of safety. This young lady has shot before, but she is sorely lacking both in safe handling of firearms and accuracy, according to my DD. We shall seek to rectify these problems.

    Now, the big prep of the week had to do with nuclear. I ordered and received some radiation monitors, potassium iodide tablets, and a couple of NBC suits. I already have some respirators. But, no shelter, so looking at alternatives. If anyone knows of alternatives, I would be interested in hearing about them.

    That’s about it for me. Have a great week, Pack.

    • What kind of shelter are you looking for?

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        One that doesn’t have to be underground. That may be the only option, I just wondered if there were others. I seem to remember a gov’t publication back in the day that showed how to modify a room in your dwelling to get you through the 2-weeks necessary to survive. But I might have dreamed it, my memory sure isn’t what it used to be.

        • I take it your not interested in blast shielding but only in fall-out. there are several, geometric space if you have a large building say 10 stories you go to the 5th floor and be safe. I’ll get my books and review and see. My memory isn’t what it used to be either!

        • Hunker-Down says:
          • Rider of Rohan says:

            Yes, this is exactly what I had on my mind. I have no concerns about blast protection, but only protection from residual radiation. Thanks, H-D.

            • riverrider says:

              rider, that pic is in several books and pamphlets. if you notice its a basement wall. nuke stuff is a huge subject but one many get wrapped around the axle about needlessly. main thing is get dirt or water between you and the main direction of fallout, more the better but any will help. fallout is mainly alpha particles attached to dust. no need for a gas mask, just dust masks/bandanas. their are instructions online ref sealing up the home with plastic etc. main thing on that is to have clothes, tyvek suit even better, that you put on and take off in a separate area and rinse off with lots of h2o before entering the sealed off living space. alpha enters the body by respiration, drink or food. it attaches itself to water in the body so copious amounts of water/urination is the antidote. the rest of it, beta particles are more problematic but are stopped by anything dense, hence the dirt/water. the potassium iodide has shown to be of little use except for the very young. the risk in older people was also overstated back in the day and its hard to change minds once they hear something for years. the good news is fallout doesn’t last that long, at dangerous levels anyway. if you can hunker down for two weeks or so you can make it unless you’re near ground zero. then, well your issue isn’t fallout. any specific questions?

              • Rider of Rohan says:

                Thanks, riverrider, that is basically what I wanted to know for now. I’ve got to get this old brain working and see where it leads me on this subject. I have never given it much thought in my preps, until now.

                • Tactical G-Ma says:

                  I have a decontamination plan and tons of 6 mil plastic and duct tape. If Naptha Fels soap washes off poison ivy, I think it would be a good soap for decontamination unless a contagion then probably betadyne or some surgical soap. And of course, lots of clean water.

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      Rider, in regards to shelter… I have been also doing some research and considering a spot in my basement. The attached may be of interest. They also have additional links to more specific areas. http://www.ki4u.com/guide.htm

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        Thanks, Urbancitygirl, that’s great info. Now I have more reading to do.

        • Encourager says:

          We have a room under our “solar collector” (passive solar house). The floor of the solar collecting room is 4 inches thick concrete, so the room below has a 4″ thick concrete ceiling and the walls are 8″ thick: concrete block filled with pea gravel. Would this be sufficient as a shelter from fallout?? There are no windows in that room downstairs.

          Dh took it over as a workshop when we first built the house but since he has also taken over the basement addition, we could use that room as a shelter and storage…I can hear him yelling “N-O-O-O-O!!!” now! LOL

          • Encourager,
            you asked, “Would this be sufficient as a shelter from fallout”? To answer that is impossible because of the word sufficient. That really depends on what the outside radiation level reaches and what the real PF (Protection Factor) of this shelter is.
            The only way to tell for sure is to monitor actual radiation outside and inside. Divide the outside rate by the inside rate. That gives us the actual PF.
            From the sound of it, you should have a pretty good PF.

            • Encourager says:

              When I accidentally spill water in the greenhouse, it does leak down where the brick wall meets the floor. Should I be worried about that??

              • Encourager says:

                For radiation seeping in, I mean…lol. Yeah, dh doesn’t appreciate the water leaking down his wall…

                • Nothing major. Some expansion foam topped with rubber silicone should keep the water, mice, and fallout out.

      • Urbancitygirl, that is an excellent source of information. As a prior NBC NCO for 14 years, and a certified Radiological Safety Officer, I will vouch for it.
        Distance, Time, and Mass, are our options in a fallout environment.

    • What kind of monitors did you get?

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        Nuk Alert. You can wear them and an alarm will go off if radiation levels rise above a certain point.

  9. Registered my business name with the State of Oregon, Serenity Herbal Gardens. We are going out with a RE agent today to look at some properties to make the gardens part a reality.

    DH said as long as we can pay the bills, I don’t have to get another job, so need to make this work. To that end, ordered the paper delivered, and cut coupons. My Safeway trip yesterday was only things on sale, or that I had a coupon for (I know prices, so don’t buy any of their expensive stuff, and only stuff that is REALLY a good price). I saved over $81 and 47% off my bill.

    They had – Asparagus on sale for $.99. So I bought about 12 lbs of it and canned 20 pints with enough left over for 2 more pints and dinner tonight, so must go back and get more. Still waiting on my cabbage to be on sale.

    Chicks come in on Friday – I’m excited, still looking for bunnies for my 3 cages.

    Got in a BIG order from Mountain Rose Herbs, started work on part 2 of common weeds as medicine.

    Discovered quinoa and I do NOT get along well in more than small amounts. Had some for breakfast and spent several hours throwing it all up – last time this happened I blamed it on the chocolate I ate after breakfast, but both times was a big bowl of cooked Quinoa for breakfast. Does not bother DH at all – thankfully.

    Questions for the other herbalists out there, I have some friends who want to be off meds and switch to herbs so they will be OK after TSHTF. She is on Ritalin for ADD (not ADHD) and meds for depression. I’m cool with the depression, but ADD and depression have me a bit stymied. Suggestions?

    • Quinoa has a soaplike coating that needs to be soaked off and the water changed before you cook and eat it. I wonder if you got some that wasn’t pre-soaked. This coating keeps the bugs off naturally but I imagine it would wreak havoc with one’s stomach.

    • Hey Michele just thought I’d say thanks again for the recipe it’s better now (if you can get over the taste!)

      • mom of three says:

        Michelle, that is a tricky question. My step son, was on ADHD medicine, and depression meds too. He was 19, he did go to councilor for 6 months to help him deal with his mother, the councilor was the one who put him zolof , and back on concerta . After the six months he made the decision to get both medication and just move on with life. He has been off both for four year’s, now and is very happy. I realize some people, can do that has your friend gone to counseling to help her? Both of my kids 14 and 10, take concerta, & methylphenidate, to deal with the ADD. I don’t medicate them on the weekends, or summers and any other breaks. Living with ADD, and depression can be difficult. Caffeine, can help slow them down that is the only remedy I have heard of.

        • mom of three says:

          Boy my fingers, are slow today so is my brain. I meant some people can’t be off medicine for depression.

          • sw't tater says:

            might try adding large doses of vitamin D, .. vitamin D has been proven to help with depression and most ppl are deficient.

    • Big Bear says:

      Do you have, or will you have, a website we can visit to buy your herbs?

      • Yes, will be working on it, but likely a bit out.

        Once the herbs are combined for the cytokine storm/flu stuff, I’ll let you all know how much of it I have, and what the cost is. If there are more orders than I can fill, and there are enough to order a whole new batch of powdered herbs, I will purchase more.

        But remember, it is likely to be expensive, and if you need a lot I will be glad to send you the lists of where I got the herbs and you can order them yourselves.

    • Asparagus here is on special for $2.49 a pound! No question, we’re enlarging the garden.

    • Bam Bam says:

      Michele,

      I have not researched this so I am only giving you my uneducated opinion. I would look for the cause of ADD and I suspect that in the vast majority of cases you are going to find food allergies. I would recommend cutting all soda and heavily processed foods. Do this for two weeks and see if there’s a difference.

      • mom of three says:

        I will agree with you on taking out soda, to much process foods. I try and feed my kids healthy foods and keep sugar low too. It can be challenging, I’m hoping with my dehydrator I’ll be able to make more snacks for all of us. Fruit leather, is going to be my first try.

    • Bam Bam says:

      Michele,

      Were you able to calculate cost of herbs to make a quart of flu tincture?

      • Not yet, and haven’t been able to mix them because the red root came in chunks and totally defied my attempts to turn it into powder (they should call it iron root), and for my own use, that would work, but I’d be hesitant to send it our to anyone else, as I could not be sure there was a sufficient amount in the mix. I will get more red root – powdered this time, and mix it in with the rest then figure it out. Sorry.

    • Michele, if the ritalin helps, look into ‘uppers,’ caffine, dark chocolate, kava, and theres a few more but this is off the top of my head, but there are a few more.
      Have you looked into crystal therapy? Maybe have MD send me your email addy…

    • Donna in MN says:

      Sometimes depression is from a lack of Vitamin D (the happy vitamin) or sunshine. Here in Mn it is a problem in winter and people tend to drink booze instead which makes it worse.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        Donna,
        They call some SADS. A UV lamp helps. I took D3 and went to the tanning salon for 10 mins once a week back before we realized how dangerous tanning Is. Living in low sunshine is tough on some of us. Another reason I moved back to the South.

    • Michelle,
      I think Bam Bam is on to something.
      My son has ADHD and depression. He took meds for some years, but as a teen we decided together to try it without meds. He really struggled and had to work much harder.
      After he had mono, we discovered he had Celiac. Once he was off gluten and added more fresh food to his diet, it really helped manage the ADHD. He still struggles with the depression, however.

    • Suburban Housewife says:

      I’d like to know too! I don’t take meds, but I have ADHD and some depression too. I manage OK but I’d take any help I can get ;-)

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      Michele, my son is ADHD and was medicated as a child. He’s grown now and we took him off meds at his request in his early teens. We realize now in looking back that he also suffered from depression. After a lot of experimentation, we found that healthy eating and a LOT of exercise really helped. I got him a trampoline and he used it religiously.

      He now lives several states away and tells me that his exercise of choice is running and also finds he craves “sunshine”. He does not medicate, but he pays attention to eating and sleeping patterns and makes adjustments as necessary. And vitamins. Not sure how much help this is, but it sure does seem that many of our ailments can be linked back to how well we treat our bodies.

    • patientmomma says:

      Michele and Bam Bam,
      Question for you on treatment of something called gradnuloma annulare. A lady at the office has it and says there are no prescription meds to heal it, only to treat the symptoms. I read on the internet that it may eventually go away (2-3 years). In the mean time I thought I’d ask you if you had any herbal or natural solutions for it. Thanks!

      • patientmomma,

        I looked it up and have several suggestions for your coworker.

        First of all diet – although most are not willing to adjust that. Non-gluten. There is some research that glutens may cause or aggrevate the symptoms.

        Turmeric tea, green tea, 1 oz apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water with honey to taste 2x daily (although this could damage the enamel on her teeth over the long term, so tell her to swish out her mouth afterward) and Rhodiola as an immune modulator. Elderberry is an immune modulator as well.

        • Nsaneprepper says:

          What part of this damages your teeth?

          • The acid in the apple cider vinegar could eventually eat away the enamel. Just tell her to swish out her mouth with water afterward.

            • patientmomma says:

              Thank you Michele, I will tell her on Monday. I appreciate your taking the time to research!

            • Momma Mc says:

              Never thought about the vinegar removing enamel, but I remember the science experiment where it softened the chicken bone so I could see that.

            • Nsaneprepper & Michelle,
              A little baking soda in water would be better than just plain water, since it neutralizes the acid.

    • One of my former students had ADHD, and his mother used St. Johnswort with him. I did not see great changes, but in a SHTF situation, it might be worth a try.

    • cannot afford daughter’s ADD meds. she uses a mix of omega 6 3 and 9 fatty acids derived from plants to control it.

      i am manic-depressive and i use st. john’s wort. be careful of sun exposure when using it as skin becomes more sensitive. it works for depression,too.
      very simple and readily available.

  10. My prep was standing up for my right to free speech for the week. Right now I’m sitting in the concealed carry class while the smokers force another delay in getting through this and getting back home to my wife,dogs and chickens. I had to erase that last sentence and put my wife first. Just want to say,no hard feelings to those that grew tired of me and my comments,even mental Matt! It would take more than heated debate to make me dislike anyone or have and lasting resentment. Smokers are back. Back to school.

    • Glad to see your getting your CHL! My wife and I both got our Texas CHL about 4 years ago and they are good until birthday in 2015. Have to take a renewal course to keep it in effect.
      I appreciated the lively devate generated by your article. Have a friend that was a LEO and sent to NO during Katrina. He wasn’t happy about it.

    • Bam Bam says:

      BC,

      You know it’s healthy to pray for those you resent, right? Pray for the Holy Spirit to go to those cops. Bind all evil to the cross of Christ.

    • MentalMatt says:

      I’m with you BC

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        Looks like I won that dribbling contest and will get to go to the beer summit. Should be fun.

  11. grandma bear says:

    The snow is finally melting so we got to work around the property. Getting more fence up around the raspberry plants to keep deer out. Rethinking hoop garden, may want to make it larger, and stronger. Found some meat on sale so in the jars it went. Will be looking for fruit trees to get planted this spring. Leaning towards apple and cherry trees. Want to get some spearmint to plant that it can go wild up the mountain. Itching for planting season!

    I also used Elderberry to help with the cold comming on and it nipped it in the bud! Many thanks!

    Have a great week, MD you are right on!

    Remember we are all in this together!

  12. JP in MT says:

    MD: I looked at those new Ruger rifles at the last show. I’d like a second 22 Mag and with the adjustable (?) stock, I think one of these may make it home one day.

    Thanks for the comments on the “issue of the week”. And the link to the window film. My south facing (street) side of the house is all glass. It needs some help.

    We have been busily cleaning, clearing out, and disposing of excess stuff we’ve accumulated in 17+ years of being in this house. Our last 2 moves in the Army with a combined allowance of 11,000 pounds meant we didn’t bother to have the mandatory garage sale that most military couples have when they move. During the recent “decent into the depths” we found a case of MRE’s that got buried. On it was out food prep inventory from 1999:

    26 #10 cans of food items
    4 #10 cans of “cooking” items (salt, sugar, shortening)
    1 #10 can of seeds
    2 cases of MRE’s (12/cs)
    5 cases of “off the shelf” foods (soup, chili, stew, etc)

    We’ve come a long way baby…..

    This week I have been under the weather with a sinus attack so I didn’t get out much, and when I did it took me out of it for a couple of hours afterward. But, Chicken and hamburger went on sale so I cooked up about 12 & 10 lbs of each for the dehydrator. Frozen vegetable too. Added some pudding, jello, and hard candies to the desert locker. Sorted through our MRE supplies and ordered some replacement entrees and sides as many were getting to the rotation point.

    I picked up a little ammo, no 22 LR this week, but some 20 ga shot and slugs, and another box of 357’s. I also got my sale AR magazines in, since I’m close to good on these they may go to the next show. Also ordered a little in PM’s as some extra money came in without a tag.

    With the Ukraine thing going full steam ahead (I think it might move a couple of other provinces into Russia with it), I can’t help but think how ineffective we would be when China decides to bring Taiwan back into the fold. The, of course, North Korean will move South, even though that will be seriously contested, but that kook won’t see the difference. Things are sliding down hill. As someone said “the door on the Ark is closing” (or words to that effect). We all need to focus on getting ready for this “brave new world”.

    • I would like to see the kook try so he comes out from his fortress and gives people an excuse to wack him.

      • Hi Penny Pincher, Are you trying to get a personal visit from the Secret Service? And move this blog a few notches up on their “Pay Attention To” list?

        • JP in MT says:

          Renrod:

          I think the kook we are both talking about is in N. Korea.

          • Ah, thanks, JP. I guess my mind is off kilter today.

            My apologies, Penny Pincher! You are likely safe from the North Korean Secret Service.

            At least, I hope you are.

            • Rider of Rohan says:

              Hahahah…since she was talking about kooks, it was easy to see how you could make that mistake, Penrod

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Well, JP, Obama got what he and Soros wanted, which is for the US to take its place among the lesser nations of the world, with no more military ability than Russia or China, perhaps less in many areas. China and Russia get way more for their military expenditures, so it’s impossible to compare defense budgets. One has to look at numbers of planes, tanks, etc., and even more into strategic forces, which Obama is gutting.

      As you say, the challenges will come, first in Taiwan, then Japan. Relative to the success there, I expect China to move on Australia and New Zealand. A Chinese general warned Australia a couple of years ago that America wouldn’t be able to defend them. I wonder if he had inside info, or if he was just able to see Obama for what he is. In any event, the sun has set on America as we knew it. That’s why we prep, I keep telling myself.

      • axelsteve says:

        Australia was disarmed by the uk guncommie masterplan several years ago so they will be s.o.l. If china decides to invade.

      • I’d say ole George Soros (and ilk) humming right along in his promise to take down the US. Obummer (and HIS ilk) playing right along. Lefties shrieking to go faster. Liberals singing Kumbaya. And those on the right shaking their heads in disbelief and asking “what, are you freaking stupid?”

        The Chinese have been making overtures to the small island nations for quite some time; apparently our feds forgot about those islands. No, I don’t have the figures for what China already bought up or is in control of in Australia and New Zealand. (I do have in some paperwork, somewhere on my DR table.) Never mind how much of Vancouver the city that they control, well over 50% as I recall.

        Gun control here? The feds trying to ensure that ex-military barred from owning or buying firearms. NJ (and I’m sure other states) trying to ban heavier calibers such as on sniper rifles, and anything over 10 rounds. Somebody wants us defenseless and they’ll do anything to achieve it. Pretty obvious that the Dems down at the county level are getting orders from high up on the food chain.

  13. axelsteve says:

    For the add maybe the diagnosis is b.s. and the problem is elswhere like a food allergy .I have a nephew that has ahdd or whatever they call it this week and he was diagnosed and medicated over the phone. Maybe a blood workup is in order.

    • riverrider says:

      why would china want australia? are they in need of kangaroo foo young?

      • tommy2rs says:

        Thar’s gold in them thar kangyroo pouches! China’s been trying to buy into the Australian gold mine business for while. Haven’t paid enough attention to know if they succeeded or not.

        • axelsteve says:

          Also if they took ausieland and new zeland they would have more land for there population. There sphere of influence would be greater and they would be closer to world domination whitch is part of there long range plan.

          • riverrider says:

            i don’t think they want world domination just yet, but they do have old axes to grind with japan, taiwan, russia, and others in their local area. they will take these places first. australia would be more of a liability than an asset to them. follow the money is my mantra.

            • Rider of Rohan says:

              It’s the natural resources in Australia that the Chicomms seek, riverrider. It’s bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, zinc, etc. The continent is rich in minerals, and now possibly nat gas and oil. The Chinese look at the long term, unlike the stupid DC crowd of idiots. The only long-term plan they have is turning the US into a 3rd world sewer.

              • I think you have the resources issue right, Rider.

                Just as it was during the Second World War, Australia would also be seen as a potential staging site for military counter attack against whoever (ahem) occupied New Guinea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Borneo, the other islands, and SE Asia. All resource rich areas. Just breaking even on occupying Australia would neutralize it as a potential threat.

                Back in the early 1980s I spent a month in Truk Lagoon (now Chuuk) in Micronesia. It had been Japan’s biggest naval base outside of Japan, and the site of the biggest fleet of sunken ships in the world, courtesy of Uncle Sam in 1944. Anyone who scuba dives likely knows about the fleet.

                We got control of Micronesia after the war, and paid, IIRC, $80,000,000 every year for the privilege of the 100,000 Micronesians, who mostly lived in a subsistence economy, denying naval use to all other countries. We definitely did not break even on that deal, but it apparently was seen as cheap enough means of keeping the USSR and China out during the Cold War.

                • invading nz and oz would not be cost effective even if china did not have other fish to fry. once they are really dominant they will trade with oz for what they want.
                  the Bible indicates that china’s fish-fry will be closer to their home on the same land mass.
                  their economic power will be enough to keep the rest of the world quiet.

  14. Nebraska Woman says:

    Hi, Pack. It’s good to be back.
    Mom was diagnosed with cancer, so I took an apartment to be with her. She has decided that 94 is too old to take treatment. I respect this and will try to make her days happy and comfortable.
    I do miss my farmette and my dog!
    I took an apartment on the 1st floor as Mom cannot do steps.
    My preps are these:
    1. I have enough food stored now for 3 months for 2 adults.
    2. My water bricks are filled and in the front closet. I will have enough for 2 weeks.
    3. I have pepper spray and my Glock ready.
    4. My brother and I have made a bug out plan where we can take Mom, his family, and my older brother and sil. It’s pretty solid.
    5. I am using this spare time to study online courses in herbology and first aid. I am also reading the Bible from Genesis to Revalations.
    6. Since the yard-sale shopping here is terrific, I am spending time finding non-electric items that can be used in an emp. So far I have found a hand tiller and lots of rope.
    Michele and Bam Bam, any advice on how to help Mom? My sickroom is set up nicely, but are there any herbs etc. that will help lessening her suffering? She does not want large doses of pain pills nor medicine.
    Bless you all…I have read your comments on the library computer but now have my own internet.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Nebraska Woman, I’m sorry to hear that, but as one whose mother is 96 I certainly respect and understand her decision. I’m happy you are able to spend time with her.

      Not any of my business, but Michele had a recipe for cancer treatment a few weeks back, I’m hoping she will link to it, or repost it.

    • Graviola tea. Cured Don’s cancer and made him feel good. It’s cheap – will cost you about $15 a month INCLUDING shipping. It’s really a decoction more than a tea, takes about 20 minutes to steep, and tastes very good. If you want a link, email me at Prettiis@aol.com and I’ll send it to you. She’ll never even know she’s being treated for the cancer.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Nebraska Woman,

      While taking care of mom, also take care of yourself. Prayers.

    • Prayers for your mother. I just recently was the caretaker of a dear friend during his last days. I know how taxing it can be on the caretaker.

    • mom of three says:

      I will be praying for your mom, I do love to hear she is 94, what a wonderful long life and to be able to be there for her.

    • tommy2rs says:

      Try passion flower tea, it helped my mom in her fight. She hated meds of any kind.

    • Nw – So very sorry to hear about your mother. Don’t know but maybe what we did with my grandma could help. Get a school bell, one with a handle, of a size she can hold (not too heavy) so she can ring it when she needs help as her voice will get weak (or put some jingle bells on a rope). Please take care of yourself too.

    • Nebraska Woman, may I ask the type of cancer, and I could give you more of a focused idea of herbs.
      Check into the one Michele mentioned, but if we are just looking into pain management look into valarian, hops, st. Johns wort, and passion flower. They help with relaxation and thru that can help ease pain. They work better when blended together. Also, look into kraton. I have a friend who just detoxed off some heavy opiates used for pain management and she is having success with the kraton, but please look into the side effects.
      Of course a healthy diet and gentle exercise is beneficial.
      But I would say (and if I am overstepping I’m truly sorry), to just spend as much time loving her as you possibly can.

      • DesertDiva says:

        TG,

        Kraton? I think I remember a post on this months ago but you can only get it on a certain site? I didn’t save that one. Can you send a link please? Thank you.

    • Sorry to hear about your mother. This is a wonderful opportunity though for you and your siblings to spend some quality time with her – it is one of the things I’ll never regret about being there for both my parents – just wish I had asked them all the questions I would like answers to now (things I didn’t even know I wanted the answers to).

    • Donna in MN says:

      May God bless you and your mom. You for being there for her illness and time of need and your mom for raising a great daughter.

      My ex has prostrate cancer for two years now and has been treating it with essential oils called NingXia Red. When he was taking it I thought he was smokin something, but it just set him in a very good mood. Last time he called, he said thankyou for showing me how to love my dogs…. he was such as a** before.

    • Suburban Housewife says:

      Nebraska Woman –
      So sorry about your Mother. Just recently went through it with my mom, and now my FIL. I have not tried this – as I just found out about it. It’s called a “morphine bomb”. Put 6 drops of high quality Frankincense essential oil plus 6 drops of either marjoram or oregano essential oil in a capsule and take it with water. It’s supposed to work as well as morphine without any side effects.

      My mom didn’t have a lot of pain and she was OK with the morphine at the very end – but I sure could’ve used this as I got a lot of stress and tension and fatigue headaches and shoulder/neck pain. Here is info for this http://www.miracleoils.ca/2013/08/essential-oil-blend-for-pain-morphine.html If you google “morphine bomb” there are other essential oil recipes from Young Living. I am not a distributor of anything – but I’ve been getting some pretty remarkable results with essential oils, so maybe this would help.(I ordered the oils to try it out. I order from Mountain Rose or Native American Nutritionals)

      • Nebraska Woman says:

        Thanks to everyone…I know as if I have lots of friends on this site. Blessings to all of you.
        Mom has breast cancer. Her doctor has been very understanding about the no chemo, no surgery, and no radiation. He has, however, offered me lots of morphine, as much as it takes. She doesn’t want this, so thanks to all who have offered me help and suggestions. I do have some nursing experience with my first husband who was ever so sick.

        • Nebraska Woman says:

          Excuse all my typos and some of my syntax is not good. I am having a hard time talking about this.

      • Suburban Housewife,

        My son has debilitating pain from a pinched nerve that was caused by a botched surgery to correct a hernia. I am going to take these with me at Easter, and give it a try.

        Thank you so much for that information!

      • DesertDiva says:

        Help, Anyone out there who know about essential oils. I did go to the link and was ready to order from Mountain Rose but they state DO NOT to take oils internally. I looked at the website for doTERRA and they want $93 for Frankincense. I have some I got on Amazon for $10. Does it make a difference how much you pay (quality) to determine if you can ingest them? They also had a “recipe” for people that have thyroid problems which I do and it has been discussed here on how to deal with that issue. This would be a God send for both after TSHTF but I want to be safe.

        I have started using eo’s after the many uses for them I learned from this blog. I have made many salves but have not use them internally. Anyone?

        • Encourager says:

          DD, I am able to get Aura Cacia essential oils through our food buying club. They are also available at health food stores, Whole Foods, and other high end grocery stores. They are all edible, as far as I know.

      • nebraska woman,
        God bless your mom and you.
        get an Eastern Orthodox Bible ,or maybe it is on the internet, and read the Book of Esdras. it is as fascinating as the Book of Daniel.

    • NW, Tough news…you are a wonderful daughter to step up like this….take care of yourself, too.

      • hiplains says:

        Be generous with yourself, NW! I read once that during tough times, we should allow ourselves an 80% mess up rule….good advice. Prayers for your family – you are not alone.

    • patientmomma says:

      NW, I am so sorry to learn your mom has cancer, but thank you for respecting her non-treatment wishes. The treatment is actually worse than the disease in older patients. Almost everyone in my husband’s family has died of cancer and both my husbands died of cancer. You and your mom are in my prayers.

      • Nebraska Woman says:

        I totally agree with the no treatment…the whole family’s goal is to keep her as pain free as possible. Cancer is not in my family at all, but I heard from others that at her age the treatment would probably not only make her very ill but also might kill her. I am so sorry about your 2 husbands. You must be one strong woman.

    • NW, sorry to hear about your mom. Having you there will be the best medicine of all. Will be praying for you both.

      • Schametti says:

        NW.. soo sorry to hear about your mom. I’ll be adding you both to my prayers as well. I hope the herbs help, and she has many more good months. even years ahead of her. *Hugs*

    • Country Vet says:

      If the turmor type is in the carcinoma family there is a natural treatment that is SAFE and HIGHLY effective.
      I have personally seen it bring two people back from the very brink of death- metastatiac liver cancer and breast cancer- both are completely CLEAR now. It is graviola (soursop)- Order the tincture from Amazon Products on Amazon. Directions and dosage for Stage 4 cancer below:
      GRAVIOLA RECIPE
      8 OUNCES organic TARTE CHERRY JUICE, HEB
      24 OUNCES ALOE VERA JUICE, WALMART, ETC
      1/2 CUP OF STEVIA IN THE RAW SWEETNER. (DO NOT USE SUGAR OR ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER) OR, SWEETEN TO TASTE
      10.5 CC GRAVIOLA, ( ANNONA MURICATA) THIS COMES FROM AMAZON.COM. (AMAZONA PRODUCTS) IT COMES IN 2 & 4 OUNCE BOTTLES. THERE ARE 30 CC IN AN OUNCE. FOUR OUNCES WILL MAKE ABOUT 11 QUARTS OF PRODUCT. SOMETIMES IT IS ON BACK ORDER SO ORDER SEVERAL BOTTLES AT A TIME. IT IS ABOUT $ 30 OR SO A BOTTLE FOR 4 OUNCES. THIS WAY, WHEN YOU GET TO LOW ON THE LAST BOTTLE, YOU CAN REODER AND GET MORE PRODUCT BEFORE YOU RUN OUT.- USE THE TINCTURE, NOT THE CAPSULES. Refrigerate tincture after opening.
      Store in glass container. Refrigerate.
      Take 2 tbsp 4 times daily for stage 4 cancer.

    • Encourager says:

      Nebraska Woman, will be praying for your mother and you. My mil is 96 and has dementia. The last time we visited with her, she knew us but she deteriorated very quickly and started worrying about her (imaginary) children lost in the snow.

      It is hard taking care of an elderly parent. God bless you for what you are doing!

      • it is painful as if the children were lost. the agony is great for the demented one. we pray over them that God put happy thoughts in place of the agonizing ones.
        my mom is beginning to fixate on imagined things. she now says she must go to a nursing home [ totally unaffordable] in order not to be a burden. she is no burden at all, it is all in her imagination. that is just one of the fixations. she will be 89 next month.

        • Encourager says:

          Every time mom had to be in the hospital, her hallucinations became so bad they had to sedate her. She would see children playing on the hospital roof (they were vents that turn in the wind) or that a man was coming in and using her bathroom, or the staff were walking around at night in short nighties and having sex with each other (the staff loved that one…)

          After hospital stays, the assisted living place she is in would make her go to rehabilitation to get her strength back up…until we finally said NO! One time she was there, she started to hallucinate that the staff was trying to steal her rings. So…she took off the rings, wrapped them in bits of newspaper, and put them in various trash containers…and told no one. So when she went back later the baskets were empty and she became absolutely overwhelmed. She lost her wedding and engagement ring, her mother’s engagement ring and a lovely ring given to her 70 years before by her aunt. They called us to come help them as she was hysterical but wouldn’t tell them why. It broke my heart and I felt sick. Poor Mom; to this day she thinks they were stolen. I have no idea how she got them off; even when she had surgery, they had to tape them on because they would not go pass her swollen knuckles.

  15. Tomato seedlings started, at least some of them. Still need to plant more, but at least a start has been made.
    Busy week with doing photography for clients. Not a lot of time for prepping but did pick up some canned goods.
    We’ve been dehydrating like mad here – pineapple has been on sale so we’ve done a lot of pineapple bits. Also I bought a bushel of apples from a local orchard so did some of those.
    Going to take today easy – just going to hit the library’s book sale and then sit back and be lazy. I deserve a day off!

    • LittleAnniePrepper says:

      If I buy pineapple in the can and dehydrate it, should I rinse off the syrup before putting it in the dehydrator? I’m wondering if not rinsing it off will cause it to NOT last as long because of all the sugar. Thanks so much for your advice.

      • I just drain the pineapple and put it right into the dehydrator. Works great.

      • Don’t know … we’ve been buying the actual fruits instead of the canned stuff. Not sure why Kroger is running a never ending sale on real pineapple, but I’m pretty sure the dehydrator would love it if they stopped…

  16. Well lets see I put away 5 pacs of beef gravy, 10 pacs of country, 3-1.75 litre bottles of rum,vodka,whiskey, 8 lb.s dried milk, 14 boxes chicken helper and I’m letting you know I am available for gun show duty if your looking for ammo! The next gun show is coming up 3/22/14.

    • Rosanne Dover says:

      I need 22…can u help…thanks

      • Yeah I can, just have MD leave me your address and we’ll go from there. The last time I bought they cost $48.00 for 525 rounds H.P. Remmington golden bullet if you want something different tell me and state your specs as far price (I don’t mind shopping).

        • Bwhntr57 says:

          Ronald

          cabelas has had, in the last 2 weeks ( Richfiled, WI ) Blazer .22 LR, 500 rds for 27.99. They get about 20-30 bricks on the shelf. limit one per customer. Gone by days end though. Just sayin they get it here and there.

          • Bwhntr57 Thanks for the info the people I buy for don’t always have one of cabellas or dicks closeby so I appreciate the info. Rosanne Dover you want blazers?(I wonder how big a shortage there would be if we all had people out there looking).

  17. This week I stocked up on some meds.

    Also arranged to use someone’s mill to mill my 80% AR lower later today into a usable one. I’ll follow up with how that went. Been poring over the instructions and watching the how-to video. Their instructions are for a drill press but I think it’s about the same with a mill only fewer passes perhaps. I’ll bring a dremel type tool and some hand files along. I find it irritating that you have to destroy the jig in order to mill out the lower. I would rather have a jig I can re-use for more lowers. Maybe if I make another lower I will find one that has a reusable jig.

    I also got advice from a gunny friend and priced AR parts. I’m thinking a BCM 5.56 SOCOM 16″ upper, a Spikes hard chrome bolt carrier assembly, and BCM furniture, with the lower parts kit maybe DPMS. This is better quality but maybe a couple hundred more than the cheapest thing I could slap together. I’ll have to piecemeal it as I get money from selling other things off. I decided that 7.62×39 is okay for under 200 yards but I’d rather be able to reach out accurately further and have a rifle more in keeping with my wimpy female upper body strength. (Or I could say “But in Soviet Russia no plastic rifle for girls, only MORE PUSHUPS!”)

    I have been having fun messing around with baking yeast risen bread. I moved around some of my storage food and made room for plant pots to start potatoes. The eggplants I started seem to be duds but the taters are sprouting. I haven’t started any tomatoes yet. Last year I had so many volunteer tomatoes it saved my butt from not starting any. In a week I’ll put the potatoes out and start some peas this week too. This year I want to devote most of my garden space to staple foods – corn squash and beans, with a few corners and raised beds for salad, cilantro, hot peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes, and I want to put some blackberry bushes in as a natural fence. I am going to grow my brassicas indoors with the exception of the swiss chard, because the stink bugs ate the Brussels sprouts up last year.

    I think I will grow black eyed peas again as a pole bean, bloody butcher corn, and Hubbard squash or sweet taters if I can get slips. Hubbards keep the longest and were the last to die of the white mildew, and I got sick of zucchini last year. I don’t think the other garden plot I planted last year will be available to me this year. I should find another place, maybe get space at the community garden this year or try to grow the salad on my roof.

    Finally the snow all melted and I can start working on my house. Whoopie!

    • Well, I didn’t get to use the mill yet. But I got to watch someone else use it and now I remember how to use a mill, I have access to another mill anyway and I will eventually do my lower one way or another. You can use a drill press too, it just is not as nice of a finish.

      Got some paint prep work done on my house. I’m hoping for good weather tomorrow and I need to find the wood hardener and the putty.

    • patientmomma says:

      PP, This year I ordered from Jebediahseeds and got the blue maiden assortment, which is based on the 3 sisters planting methods (corn, beans, squash) etc.. I am excited to try it and see how it does this year!

    • Uncle Frank says:

      As a general purpose round the 5.56 is fine. It is a good varmint round and will take out larger game with good shot placement. When you get ready for more ooomphf at greater distance, look into the SPC 6.8.

      It is the equivalent of the .270 which will take down deer sized game out at 400 to 500 yards. Coyote and smaller, well past what most folks can shoot. On the AR platform it is just another upper, two pins and you have changed caliber.

      Once you get your rifle operational I suggest your next investment be a quality .22 conversion kit. Marksmanship is the same for all calibers. The larger ones just add in recoil management. The conversion kit allows you to shoot more for less and will often show up operator errors you miss during regular shooting.

      Good luck on your build!

      Uncle Frank

      • PP & Uncle Frank,
        Our entire MAG has CMMG conversion kits and they work well, even with subsonic ammunition. Beyond the marksmanship of this rifle or any other, the additional thing is smooth operation of the controls with muscle memory and not having to look at the controls to perform actions. A magazine swap while you keep eyes on target can be as important a skill as hitting said target. The conversion allows you to practice both marksmanship and operation, both of which are skills you need to keep equally honed.

      • JP in MT says:

        Uncle Frank:

        I got a catalog from CDNN (CDNNInvestments.com) today and they are now selling the complete upper in 22 LR for #239.99. I’ve used the “bolt replacement type” and although they work if cleaned properly, I’ve spend the little extra and get the whole upper. Then the sights are set for the 22 LR vs. 5.56.

  18. I like the window film, I have used it in Fla. for secondary storm protection, works well. I think I will add it to the shopping list, several windows are quite large and would be hard to secure even if an accident of weather broke them. I have a nasty(drops leaves and branches) tree on the south side of the house that gives good shade, so I don’t want to cut it down, but the windows could use another layer of protection.
    I did the usual, picked up more can goods, water and one more time found cheap .223 ammo, this time at Wally world, picked up what they would let me, 3 boxes, better than nothing. The re-loading station is coming along, have de-primed and cleaned a bunch of brass, next have cases to trim, am going to try to rig up my own power trimmer, I have a dremel and a drill-press stand for it, lets see how creative I can be.
    that is about it for this week.

  19. Good Morning!

    We didn’t get a whole lot done this week, but we did manage to buy 10 straight run chicks in a couple different breeds. We’re hoping to be able to get 2 small flocks out of them.

    I wasn’t able to add much to preps beyond that except for replacing some of the things we’ve been using, although I did add 24 cans of tuna to the pantry. Found a great deal at Kroger and hit the limit on both days I went in.

    My DH’s truck died and the flywheel and starter need replacing so what little money we had saved up is going to have that towed and fixed. It’s a 1985 Chevy C-10 and the guy we’re having do the work is very reasonable, but he’s leaving on his honeymoon today and the work won’t get done until next weekend so my DH is having to get a ride from a friend next week.

    That’s about it for us… I’ll probably remember more as the day goes on, but my insomnia is back and I am exhausted :(

    Y’all have a great week!

    • JP in MT says:

      Shandi:

      I don’t know much about live chickens so….do straight run chickens do well on an oval track of do you have to go out and manually turn them around to get them back in the coop?

  20. Bought #10 cans of Freeze dried Roast Beef, Sausage, and Banana. Ordered more .223 and .22 LR. Checking into a .380 with laser for my daughter. Gave a presentation to a group Wed morning, will most likely result in either some planning to help them or some sales. Going out in about 1/2 hour – an Army/Navy store is going under and everything is 1/2 off. Go see if there is anything I might put to good use.

  21. Mother Earth says:

    Wow MD, I am so surprised someone would use different screen names just to get their point across. Whomever you are…you are taking advantage of MD’s time and that’s just rude!

    As for prepping, I did a costco run and I can’t believe how much food prices are increasing! Peanut butter was over $10 for two jars. I remember complaining when it was $8 for two jars. Looks like I will need to plant my own damn peanuts from now on.

    Hunker Down,
    About 10 years ago my dh bought me a kitchen aid mixer for Christmas. And it is worth every penny (as long as I have electric). Anyway, my point is, there are some nifty attachments one of them is a purée type gizmo. So If you are making tomato or apple sauce, it will separate the seeds and skin and you just get the pulp. While a Foley mill works well, the machine makes quick work of the vegetables. Another plus is the meat grinder and slicer if you are dehydrating fruits and vegetables. All this comes in handy if you have “old” hands like me.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Mother Earth,

      What fruits and veggies do you process with a meat grinder? We don’t have one yet and using one for several jobs makes getting one more important.

      • Mother Earth says:

        I use the meat grinder to make sausage, I haven’t used it for any fruits or vegetables, sorry about the confusion. I find the purée attachment the most helpful. You can put berries through it for jams but the little seeds causes you to clean it often. My main use is tomatoes.

        I like to take pork and run it through the grinder the night before I’m using sausage, add the herbs/spices and in the morning it’s good to go.

  22. Got ein for business. Make and mend for our relocation to Maine in spring. Worked on incorporation papers so we can sell at farmers market. All paperwork till we get there and start the gardrn and “Tiny House, ” contruction.

    • hiplains says:

      Jane, would love to know more about your tiny house plan!

    • I would love to hear more about this too. I have an in-law wanting to start his own business to do these and do one for his family, so I would love to hear/see how yours goes.

  23. Just finished up the test fry of some home cured Canadian bacon I started last week. Extremely easy, used a pork loin I picked up on sale. Trim the fat off, and rub it down with a combo of Morton’s quick cure (1 T. Cure +1 t. Sugar per pound of meat) I then wrapped it up in a ziplock, then in a handy plastic container. Shoved it into the back of the fridge and promptly forgot about it. It cured nicely, only was a week over what the recipe called for. Next step is slicing chunks and hauling out ye old food saver.. I didn’t soak it in clean water for 30 minutes as recipe said, but I will upon thawing out the individual chunks. May try smoking some if DD cranks up her smaller pit this weekend. I also have a corned beef in the freezer that becomes pastrami once it’s smoked. Oh, and the CB was awesome! It reminded me of true Virginia ham, but not as salty.
    DH has been out of town all week and of course he calls yesterday… The one thing he did to himself I couldn’t possibly prep for via first aid kit. Horse reared up and fell back on him. Told him I was going to leave him to the mercies of his back surgeon, who will rip him a new one. He said fine, but did admit that she needs to be sold to someone younger. Nothing wrong with her that some riding time will take care of, and the admission contained a reluctant I’m not an indestructible cowboy anymore. Yay!
    Waiting for this not quite a drizzle, more of a light rain to stop so I can get these elderberry bushes planted. Trying to figure out where to plant the horseradish roots I found.
    But the best prep I can report is DD starts nursing school a week from Monday!
    We had ice again on Tuesday, but it didn’t last long. I can hear the grumbles from most of you, but it’s unheard of in our neck of the Texas woods! And in March! Peach trees are blooming, redbuds too. Horses and dogs are shedding like crazy. I’m thinking next weekend will be time to get the tomatoes planted, and maybe first round of pepper plants. Asparagus started to sprout nicely, but leaving it alone as its only been a year since I planted the crowns. What was up froze last week, but still more spears are showing. Watching for the passion flower vines to emerge, have a trade arraigned with a neighbor who a variety that blooms red, mine is purple. The sustainability center nearby wants some cuttings as well. Have been adding new potting soil into the houseplant pots, got a couple that need to be transplanted into bigger pots.
    Also did a test on the roses from Valentines day, trying to root them with root hormone vs cinnamon. Well, the cinnamon has won that debate. I crushed the stems, dipped in cinnamon and into potting soil. I will be very pleased if they do make bushes, because they were purple!
    NW, please accept my heartfelt prayers for your mom, may her journey to the next realm be peaceful, and you and your brother to be at peace with it as well. My heart aches for you, but she is blessed that you are by her side.

    • mindyinds says:

      Good to know about the cinnamon – we recently bought a pineapple guava with the thought of dividing it when it gets bigger, and were told that you cannot use root hormone on anything you want to eat.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      Shai, thanks.
      I have never had a horse go backwards on me but one did buck me off…sold her immediately. No time for scatterbrained horses and sore backs!!

      • NW, he said he was trying to get her to cross a puddle of water and she wanted nothing to do with it. She’s fairly small and DH is fairly large, as in 6’4″, so I’m thinking when she was trying to avoid the water he just carried her on over. Never has been one to bail off, stubborn male ego. He will be home tonight so I can assess the damage. He told me last night he’s pretty sure he cracked a rib, and considering the amount of titanium in his back already, I think I will call and go ahead and get him in to his back dr. ASAP well, as soon as I find out when he will actually be home, as he flies out again first thing tomorrow am, then will be back on horses later in the week. The reason he has all that titanium in the first place was due to undetected damage to his spine from a spill off a horse when the teeny tiny strip of leather that holds the girth strap to the saddle broke. Yes, I do inspect those girth straps a couple of times a year now!

      • Most of my bad experiences were years ago on livery stable horses. Some had the trick of suddenly dropping onto their sides and trying to crunch me. Good thing my dd had warned me about livery stable horses, so I generally rode with only my toes in the stirrups.

    • Shai, where did u get your elderberry bush from?

      • Urbancitygirl says:

        TexGal, not Shai, but I placed my order for Elderberry bush here…http://www.prairiemoon.com

      • TexGal, I got mine at Starkbros.com. Out of Missouri. They advised getting both varieties they had in their online catalog for pollenation, so I got two of the Adams variety and one of the Jones. They had options on the age of the bushes to decrease the wait time for berries. I got the two year old bushes, they were already sprouting leaves, and should be planted today as it never stopped raining yesterday! I have to go out and see if there was any damage from 2 lightning strikes that were very, very close last night. I was still about six inches off the ground from the flash when the thunder hit. And I’m not afraid of storms!
        Gah, I hate the spring time change…

  24. Not much for preps this week. bought a few PM’s. We had an ice storm Sunday night and that lasted until Tuesday. Hoping the onion sets I had put out the week prior will do ok. dince the freeze. Not sure if our two volunteer cabage that are in the garden will make it. They got frost bite quite a bit.
    Still studying for the RE license. I consider that a prep couase it will add to the income for now.
    Haven’t been able to close on our BOL land yet. Title company is dragging their feet. maby this coming week we hope.
    That’s all for my part of East Texas this week. Thanks for the forum MD.

  25. Florida Gal says:

    Great week around here at our new place, things are coming together. The new well has been completed and the wood burning stove is being done as I write. Got a rototiller so we can give the garden thing a try. My seed order arrived and I have little tomato plants starting inside. Hit some local sales and added to the can goods. Have Zaycon bacon and sausage coming next week. Made an April order for hamburger and hams. We secured some medical coverage such as it is.
    This week I read One Second After and the first book of the 299 day series, both good reads. Next focus will be on natural remedies, I want to learn about the fish antibiotics and a possible help for the DH when he has kidney stone issues, any suggestions there greatly appreciated. Love hearing everyone comments and the encouragement you share, be blessed this week!

    • IndianaAli says:

      I have used the “fish” antibiotics two times (of course for my fish ;) Once time for a urinary infection (ciprofloxacin) and once for a dental infection (amoxicillin). no problems with either one, seemed to work just fine. I have no drug allergies. Do your own research, get a medical/drug book, etc. I’m not a doctor or nurse but have worked in the medical field so have some knowledge of dosing etc, but this can all be found either online in in a medical drug reference book.

    • Bam Bam says:

      Florida Gal,

      Google Patriot Nurse and Fish Antibiotics. Dr. Bloom also has a good series on antibiotics.

  26. To Bam Bam or Michaelle,
    I can’t remember which of you are into Herbs, so will direct this question to you both.
    What herb or herbs would be best for an enlarged prostate?
    Thank you kindly,
    Bill

  27. Texas Mom says:

    Hi everyone!
    I am new here and I’m very new to prepping, but I definitely see the importance in it. I am 32 and a single mom. I would do anything to protect my son. All this prepping seems so overwhelming that I feel paralyzed my all the lists. My question is after doing to 10 things to do now and next, where do I start from there? Also, the only guns I have are glocks 21 and 27 which I got for free. I have handled guns before just never had to do any purchasing so I’m not sure what is the best ammo to buy for them. Any information anyone could give me about anything I would be extremely grateful for! Thanks

    • One of our local gun stores offers a beginner class for new gun owners for free. It might be worth looking into something like that in your area to help you know what you need.

    • Starting as much food to your preps as is financially viable for you. Beans and rice are cheap, as long as you know how to cook them, and are a fast way to see your food pile grow. Do NOT store brown rice, even though more nutritious, it only stores for 6-8 months before going rancid.

      Other than that, buy an extra can/bag/whatever or two of anything you normally eat. Make a list of your favorite recipes, find long term storage replacements and buy extras of those.

      The major thing is – you are doing it!

      You are probably far more prepared than most people, and don’t let the vast amount of stuff you must do overwhelm you – just keep hacking away at it.

      There are other articles on this site from people who write for beginners – two of mine were, last time I looked, still on the favorites list.

      If you have the ammo, go somewhere and practice. Bet you can find a friend who will go over safety procedures with you and stand by and make sure you are doing the right stuff.

      Just keep at it!

      • Donna in MN says:

        I keep my brown rice refrigerated now for 1 1/2 years, still tastes great. I cooked some up for my sick dog and ate some myself.

    • Bam Bam says:

      Texas Mom,

      Take a women’s only pistol class. That will make you feel much more comfortable with the pistols you already own. They will show you what kind of ammo to get. Beyond that, look at stocking up a three month supply of food that you and your son already eat–just buy what you normally buy, but buy more of it. At the same time, make sure your first aid kit is well stocked. If you drink soda in the 2 liter bottles, rinse the bottles and fill with water. Or pick up several cases of water each week. Priorities should be food, water, first aid and protection.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Wow, that was quite a gift. As for am-no, hollow points are standard for self-defense, and full metal jackets are best for practice, as they cost much less. In my .45s I prefer the 185 gr. jacketed hollow points for defense, and the 230 gr. full metal jackets for practice, though they will work fine for self-defense. I don’t shoot a .40 S&W, so I can’t say. At some point I would add a shotgun, then a .22, but I’m getting the cart before the horse here. Good shooting.

      • JP in MT says:

        RoR and Texasmom:

        I like 165 gr FMJ and JHP for the 40 S&W. Seems to work well in any of the 4 I’ve gone through.

        • I like the 165 grain .40 cal S&W too. The FMJ (full metal jacket) round is good target practice ammo. I also shoot with the 180 grain .40 cal S&W. Sometimes it just depends on your gun and what ammo performs best with your weapon. Law enforcement agencies that require their officers to carry a .40 caliber handgun tend to require 180 grain JHP (jacketed hollow point) ammo as duty ammunition. Federal, Speer Gold Dot, and Hornady are 3 “brands” of ammo that tend to be used quite a bit.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Texas Mom,

      Learn about operational security OPSEC. Teach your son the same, and be able to tell him why it is important.
      Find out how much drinking water you need to store, and how much household water is needed.
      Learn how to store long term foods in Mylar with O2 absorbers.
      Learn why backup items to your important tools are necessary.
      Study non lethal weapons and decide what is right for you.
      Develop a plan that allows you to survive if there is no electricity. Develop a plan if hyperinflation happens. Decide what emergencies will affect you, and those you can ignore.

      When I started I thought I had only a week to get prepared or we would be blown into deep space. Folks here taught me to exhale and that an extra can of beans in the basement put us in a better position than we were in last week. Since we cant buy a Home Depot and Walmart we take it one item at a time.

    • riverrider says:

      buy m.d.’s books! both are full of next step info. what we did was lay in beans, rice and wheat in mass quantity and then fill in with the stuff that makes those edible and tasty. lastly started adding in a few luxury items to break the cycle. and asked lots of questions, so don’t be shy, ask away.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        Hey Texas Mom. Welcome to the pack. We each have our own stories and reasons for prepping.
        I think riverrider is correct when it comes to MD’s books especially “31 Days to Survival”. It’s not literally 31 days but a systematic process to preparing. Just like the others said, air, water, food, shelter, medicine, security, education, and faith. It’s like eating an elephant. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Good prepping!

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      Texas Mom. welcome. I have learned so much from this site that I can live off grid at my bol.

      My mistake at first was not rotating my storage. I wound up throwing too much away.

      I read lots of books on growing and storing food with Jackie Clay’s books as a good starting point. EE has some good bookis also, and read MD’s 2 books. I can say that he and my old farmer friends got me into prepping. Once you are in it, you’re hooked.

      Anytime I am in a store I think “What will I need more of wtshtf?” and buy accordingly. Thrift stores are great for this as are fabric/notion stores.

      Good luck and God bless. There is nothing better than helping the next generation of survivalists.

      • hiplains says:

        Welcome Texas Mom! I recently started posting here too….you will learn so very much here! One of the nicest places around.

    • sw't tater says:

      Learn …learn…learn. Try to learn about one thing a week and practice it the end of week or next week.
      .as much as possible about different areas of prepping…get an old scout manual, practice tying knots., camp in the back yard, or in a friends back yard with other little ones, practice your camp cooking skills…making pan bread, baking potatoes in foil…just keep on plugging
      .. as many ways to secure your food supply as possible…canning, dehydrating, packing in oxygen free enviroment and proper treatments of grains/mixes.Dry canning is especially useful for smaller amounts of Instant rice and cereals.( grits )and crackers

    • worrisome says:

      Texas Mom, you are in the right place! Welcome! Use MD’s site and visit all of the topics he has available. There is much to learn. Start simple. Shelter, food, water, protection. Add things as you go.

      MD has an article on basic guns based upon your budget. It is a great place to start. Take the guns you have in to a gunsmith and have him help you with making sure that they are working right and give you tips on how to maintain them.

      Teach your child well. Make sure that you follow all advice on keeping guns safely stored so there is no danger for your child.

      Just start… any day thereafter you are better prepared than you were before you started.

    • Full metal jacket or FMJ is cheapest if you want to practice at the range. Hollow point (HP or JHP for jacketed hollow point) is more expensive, is good for self-defense but FMJ works too. They shoot kind of different. The number of “grains” is the weight of the bullet, by the way. Heavier bullets are slower ones in the same caliber, all other things being equal.

      The kind of hollow point that has a little rubber stopper in the tip will penetrate more layers of clothing better without bits of the clothes getting stuck in the hole in the tip and turning it essentially into a FMJ. That’s even more expensive than regular hollow point. An example is Hornady “critical defense” or “zombie” ammo and the difference there is the color of the rubber stopper is green in the “zombie” ammo. No other difference save the packaging.

      Frangible ammo is for places that you don’t dare break anything hard or have a lot of ricochets, like if you were patrolling a boiler room, or even if you really wanted to make sure your bullets didn’t go through the wall into the next room. It’s kind of hard to find retail. That bullet breaks into a lot of pieces once it hits something hard.

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      Texas Mom,
      I’m pretty new in commenting, but prepping for 2 years. Maybe you can learn from some of my mishaps.

      1. Too much food items stocked that we do NOT eat. Reason I did that was I followed someone’s “list” (not from this site) and literally bought what they told me to. Don’t do that. I later decided that in order to be cost effective, I need to adapt meals to shelf stable items, and learn some more recipes. Then, when I found a recipe we liked, I bought 3 months worth of just those items needed for that recipe. Then, moved on to another recipe. Worked for me and we rotate thru the food much better (nothing wasted).

      2. Letting myself get unorganized. Gee, we lose power every winter and I could have hit my head on a wall for not knowing where certain items were. I was just purchasing and stacking into my basement with no method of tracking. My solution was to get boxes and totes, with like items stored together and clearly labeled on the outside what items were in each box. Really helped with my “medical” stores.

      3. Don’t rush, oh my gosh this is a biggie. Read a lot. Take your time. I personally decided to stop what I was doing. Slow down. Don’t panic. Then, for myself, once I had 3 months of food and water stored, I then switched my attention to one area at a time. For example: medical- this winter I focused on flu prevention, how to properly wash hands, cold remedies, elderberry tincture, gloves, masks and so on. With my attention focused, I felt more in control and a sense of satisfaction once I had a nice set up.

      4. OPSEC. I screwed up. I bet many newbies do in this area because your concern grows to a point where you feel obliged to warn everyone you care about. Now my panic has switched over to “how many people think they know what I have?” Aaaagggghhhh! Don’t share too much. It’s difficult, but if it’s just you for defense, try to keep things quiet.

      5. Take a hunting safety class with your child. Take a concealed carry class. Even just visit a gun store or the gun counter in sporting stores (when not busy) and they can help you with some questions. I am finding that “gun” guys LOVE to help the ladies. There are tactical sites that run blogs that can be very helpful. I also get the “concealed carry” magazine subscription that usually always has articles related to women and self defense, conceal carry, etc.

    • grannyj says:

      Texas mom –

      look at all the excellent advice you’ve just gotten! All great stuff…love it.

      there is another idea for learning to shoot well, etc. there is a new “gun club” geared to women. The Well Armed Woman. they have chapters springing up all over.

      there is one in my area, and since I’m kinda shy when I enter a “man’s world” – tongue in cheek here lol – I wanted to learn with women, so I wouldn’t be as self conscious.

      It’s a newer concept but it works. There are several retired sheriffs in our area who help with the training, one active female sheriff who volunteers her time (shot her glock – niiiiiicccceeee) and she is sooo encouraging, they all are, and several of the newbie women’s husbands have volunteered to help teach as well, in the off times.

      But the program is FOR WOMEN, BY WOMEN – these “guys” love the fact that women are taking their safety into their own hands…..because they are not around every second.

      It’s a great program (from what I see when I am able make the monthly meetings). It’s at least worth a try.

      has anyone else been to any of the chapter meetings?

      Good luck and welcome to all the newbies!

      • I understand grannyj’s advice, but if a women’s only class is not available, don’t worry about taking classes with men – women seem to be naturals when learning to shoot. The men in the group will be impressed!

    • Welcome, Texas Mom. All the advice above is good. You just need to adapt it to your own situation.

      If you ask yourself “What are the likeliest short term problems which may hit us, here?” then “What do I want/need for the first three days?’ and get that stuff, then “What do I want/need for the next week?”, and then “What do I want/need for a month?” you will be able to prioritize well.

      My inclination, would be to make sure you have a supply of drinkable water which will last for as long you envision a short term disaster lasting. You can add more later, but without water for short term you don’t need to worry about long term.

      You can accomplish the water goal by storing water, by having the means to store water (like in collapsible jugs or WaterBobs which you fill if you have warning) and by the ability to filter/purify water from nearby swimming pools, creaks, rivers, lakes, or even ditches. You can start with the cheapest: filling juice jugs and making sure you have some fresh Clorox, then add collapsible jugs (or rigid ones if you have room- you can keep them full), then a filter, and so on. That gives you a layered approach and as they are all useful you aren’t wasting any money.

      Everyday foods: canned goods, rice, pasta, whatever you normally eat, just stock more of it, and always put the new batch under/behind the second to last batch. That way you never have to throw out anything, and you don’t have to worry about a major change of diet in a short term emergency: you just continue eating your everyday stuff. All that kind of stuff is good for at least a year shelf life. Again, get stuff for short term taken care of before you worry about long term.

      You already have some serious defensive weaponry, so that saves some big bucks. You can always add to it later, but becoming familiar with what you already have is important. After you do, you might even decide you would prefer something else instead, and do a trade in. Up to you: Only you can decide what is appropriate for you in your situation. Until you are familiar with what you already have, tho, it is hard to make an informed decision.

      If you don’t already have one or more spare magazines and a holster for your guns, you might think about adding those fairly soon. Even if you don’t have a carry license, if things fall apart (short or long term) you might want to at least be able to wear the gun while at home. You do not have to have super duper extra great (expensive) holsters, just something which will allow you to carry securely. The padded nylon ones are fine to start. You can always upgrade, and keep the cheaper as a backup.

      A camp stove is really nice for cooking for heating food. A single burner stove works just fine, and you can gradually buy extra canisters of fuel, then at some time you might add a double burner stove and one of the big white canisters. The single burner stove then becomes a back up, so again you haven’t wasted any money.

      So, if you decide what events you are preparing for, then what you need to deal with them, then gradually build up the preps for longer and longer terms until you are comfortable, you will be better off than 98% of the people.

      Have some fun with it, too. No need for a grim, clench jawed life style :-)

      • dear texas mom,
        to keep boxed and bagged goods safe in storage, aside from keeping away from moisture, freezing it for 72 hours should prevent infestation by moths, tiny brown beetles, or tiny black beetles plus whatever insects you delight in in texas. then i put the boxes or bags in a plastic bag and tie shut.
        inevitably a bug will come in from a store so they are unavoidable but if they have nothing to eat they will not survive. recently got moths upstairs. apparently a pregnant moth came in on cat food bag. seems they like the cat litter but are now on the way out. all it takes is one fecund bug and you are infested before you know it.
        also oven canning [oven sealing] is good for ,say, 20 pounds of rice or other dry goods like pasta. we don’t have a food saver [$$$] and oven sealing is the cheap way to do it.
        by the way, for those of you near a city, the chinese grocery store has rice consistently the cheapest i have seen.

  28. Teresa Farrow says:

    I bought several packs of waterproof matches and storm proof matches ( not sure if one is better than the other but…).

    I bought 8 12 packs of canning jars and utinsels. Had to buy the how to books at Half-price books.
    While at Half price books bought a book on bee keeping and raising chickens.

    Bought a beautiful Capela’s commercial grade food dehydrator ( I know we may not have electric but for now…) and a jerky pistol. Craig’s list find.

    Did all the mending that had accumulated.

    Really started to think about guns…to date I cannot touch one without getting sick, but I am trying.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Try to look at guns just as you would a knife. They can be dangerous if not handled and used properly, and can be abused, as can a knife. But a gun is a tool, that’s all it is. No gun has ever jumped up of its own volition and shot anyone, and guns are not in themselves inherently dangerous.

      But, the one caveat: once a gun is fired, you can’t get a bullet back. Never. Ever. So gun safety is profound.
      1. Learn all aspects of the operation of the weapon, including loading and unloading, manual safety location, trigger, taking apart for cleaning and maintenance, etc.
      2. Practice trigger discipline. Never place your finger inside the trigger guard or on the trigger until you’re ready to fire.
      3. Always point your weapon in a safe direction, the ground or the sky, as my dad said. Most prefer the ground these days. I grew up in W. Texas, the sky was fine there, but not in urban areas.
      4. Once you’re ready to shoot, know your target, and what is behind your target as well before you fire your weapon.
      5. Did I say to know your target? Well, I’m saying it again. Do not shoot at a noise, or anything you do not see with your own eyes. You must identify your target before you ever shoot.

      There are other common sense rules such as using proper ear and eye protection, the correct ammo for your weapon, checking the barrel of your weapon for obstructions, failure to fire, clearing the chamber if you have a misfire, etc. Bottom line, do your research and practice, and you can be confident and safe using your weapon. Good shooting.

    • JP in MT says:

      Teresa:

      Water proof will (supposedly) light when wet. Storm proof in wet and blowing weather. The storm proof’s usually have a linger “head”, about an inch long.

      I get waterproof for the camper, storm proof for the GHB.

      Hope that helps.

    • Have you considered archery or a crossbow? The rules about owning or using them change from state to state. You’d have to do research about that, but its a viable weapon alternative to a gun. You can make a 300 yard shot with a 180 lb crossbow. You could even put a scope on it if you want.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Teresa, look at Urbancitygirl’s advice to TexasMom just above your comment, it’s a great how-to for new preppers.

  29. JeffintheWest says:

    Attended a seminar on planting bare root fruit trees last weekend, but it’s rained every day since and given our soil I can’t really dig the holes for the trees until the ground dries a bit — otherwise all I get is a smooth bowl that will effectively restrict the roots — even forking up the ground only goes so far! Yesterday we actually saw the sun though, and today is sunny too, so I’m hoping to get some holes dug this week.

    Today there is a water conservation seminar being given and I will be attending that to see if they have any ideas that we haven’t already thought of….

    That’s about it, though I did manage to increase our stock of canned soup a bit, but money is tight right now, so not much in the way of stocking or equipment buying going on.

  30. please give your elderberry tincture again. I lost mine.

    • Bam Bam says:

      Take a quart jar, dump in a cup of dried elderberries and cover with 100 proof vodka. Shake every day. Two weeks later strain spent herb.

      • mindyinds says:

        Bam Bam, I sent my son to fetch vodka for my next little project (elderberry tincture), and he brought back 80 proof. He was concentrating in finding gluten-free, organic, which he did, but I forgot to caution him to get 100 proof. Is it worth a gamble to make the tincture with the 80 proof, or do I need to go get the 100 proof ,and do something celebratory with the 80 proof, Texas made honey vodka?

        • Bam Bam says:

          mindyinds,

          The only difference between 80 proof and 100 proof is water content. Since this isn’t a tincture that is going to sit around for a long time (it tastes good in tea) and you are using dried elderberries, I think you will be fine.

          • DesertDiva says:

            BamBam,

            The first time I made the elderberry tincture I used dried ones from Mountain House. I then collected fresh ones and tried a quart with those. I threw it out last week as I read they were poison if not “cooked”. I also dehydrated many of my own and used a steam juicer on the rest (for my jelly) and now have a gallon of each. (dried berries and juice) So…my questions are:

            Can I make tincture with fresh berries? Or do I need to dehydrate first?

            Can I use the juice and just add vodka to make it shelf stable when needed?

            Thanks a bunch!

            • Bam Bam says:

              DesertDiva,

              I have never made it with fresh elderberries. Maybe Michele can answer your question.

              • DesertDiva says:

                Thanks Bam Bam,

                I may have asked you this question in the past, sorry to bug you. And I meant to say Mountain Rose Herbs. I just ordered more Mountain House on EE and I have my Mountain Rose order form opened and ordering. Geez, I need to get off this computer. Reading all this today has cost me.

            • DesertDiva,

              So sorry you threw out that tincture. Normally you would cook elderberries before eating them. That is why when making elderberry syrup you cook it for 20 minutes. However, tincturing them seems to be the exception. For tincturing with fresh berries, use twice as many berries.

              No you do not have to dehydrate them first. I’m not sure if using the fresh juice and adding vodka would be the same thing – but probably close.

              The fresh berries won’t hurt you in small amounts, and really not in larger doses either, but from what I understand, could give you a good bellyache. The stems are poisonous though.

              • DesertDiva says:

                Michele,

                Thank you so much! Yes, too bad. I am learning so I am very cautious.

                We have a ton of natural elderberry bushes so this fall I will save myself the trouble and use the fresh berries for tincture.

          • mindyinds says:

            Thanks! We live in a small town but have an excellent little herb shop, so I will go there today and get the elderberries.

  31. mom of three says:

    Started my first week at the donut shop. They only have me working Wed-Friday. I have four day’s off to be mom, and take care of my home needs. My dehydrator, came in I will start off with bananas, and start a batch of fruit leather, with my applesause. Added more TP, another box of canning salt, some boxed mac&cheese, bought three more boxes of ceral on sale. 6 more cans of soup, vegetables.
    Going back, to get, peanut butter, mac &cheese, frozen vegetables, and a flat of water. I want to get more herbs going, and put in an order at mountain rose herbs. We are going to wait until spring break to buy vodka, at Costco, when we visit my MIL. That is it for me. Take care everyone:)

  32. Can anyone give me feedback on Auguson Farm products which Sam’s Club sells on line?

    I started asking for food grade buckets at local grocery stores. I am 3 for 3 so far and got 4 buckets. 3 of the buckets have black rubber seals that were easy to remove, clean and reinstall. It is OK to reuse the tops or should I replace the tops?

    I also bought an Anchor Hocking dish with blue plastic top and
    Pyrex casserole dish from thrift store. Added 10 Silver Quarters to my PMs.

    • riverrider says:

      the bucket is just protection for the mylar bag so reuse the tops.

    • Suburban Housewife says:

      I have never purchased their buckets but I have purchased individual products like minced onion, honey powder, etc directly from them – not from Sam’s club. Their product are fine, their service is fine, I would expect their buckets to be fine also. (I did get one shipment that was poorly packed and the cans were dented – but I didn’t complain.)

  33. This week, I managed to get some more firewood cut. Cleared out an area that deer congrigate during hunting season.

    Got the garden area tilled. I had to repair a large crack (3″) in the fuel tank of the tiller. A couple years ago I bought a plastic welder off of ebay. It has paid for itself many times over repairing vracks in stock tanks, fuel tanks, even a tank on a fire truck for the volunteer fire dept.

    On December 6th an epic ice storm hit that had me without electricity 10 days. Loggers had finished up on my place the day before. Every tree they didn’t cut sustauned damage from the storm. I have years of firewood available now, getting it all put up seems to be unending.

  34. This week has been busy with work and was feeling a bit rundown the last couple of days. I replaced some canned chicken that I’ve used and added a couple extras. Added some more chicken stock and toilet paper to the rotation. I’m enjoying today’s gorgeous weather and am just about watching the plants bud out with leaves. Daffodils are blooming – our first sign of Spring. My lemon tree and a few other plants are outside for a few days. Some of the seeds I planted two weeks ago are beginning to sprout. I’m hoping the squash, pumpkin and zucchini sprout soon too. Spring feels good after the cold winter we’ve had.

    My 21-year-old daughter applied for her concealed carry permit and was told it would be two to three weeks. They even said they’d mail it to her at college. She lives in a different county, so her’s will arrive more quickly. She is the child who waited until she was 19 to get a driver’s license but applied for her gun permit within months of turning 21. Hmmmmmm…

    Time to go read all the other comments and remember everything I’ve forgotten I did this week.

  35. Bam Bam says:

    I ordered the book The Harbinger. Thanks to all who responded to my question about Four Blood Moons. I am in research mode.

    This week I put in an order with EE for a case of stew veggies and several cans on onion, green pepper and celery. I have a lot of beans and rice stored. I need more ingredients to make the beans and rice tasty. I have been picking up extra spices every time I go to Sams.

    I have a question for the Pack: I assume that everyone has hundreds of pounds of beans and rice–cheap, complete protein, etc. What to you stock to make them eatable?

    • Big Bear says:

      By “eatable” I assume you mean adding flavor for variety? Aside from adding the obvious meat and vegetables, you might want to consider packaged mixes. I’m talking about the kind found in the grocery store for making sauces and gravy’s. There is a wide variety of these and they are cheap. Quite a few use water instead of milk as the additive but even the ones that use milk can be used with water. I watch for the sales and then buy 20-30+ packets at a time. They keep forever and can be used for seasoning in a lot of ways. Another flavor addition is pre-packaged game sausage & jerky mixes. Again, most all of these use water and the package has a long shelf life. These mixes are relatively more expensive than the other type I mentioned but usually go on sale after hunting season ends in your area.

      • Grandma Gracie says:

        Bam Bam, Thank you for all the information you share with the us. I finally decided to try my hand at making some elderberry tincture. As to what we store for adding variety to our beans and rice….. cases and cases of canned tomatoe products: Sauce, Paste, Diced, Whole, and Seasoned. Also Canned roasted peppers, Soy sauces, hot sauces, and soups ( cream of chicken and mushroom). We use lots of spices and dried herbs. Here are some of our favorites: Salt, Pepper ( we buy the whole corns because they last much longer than the ground) ; Italian, Cajun, Greek and Mexican seasonings ; Chili and Taco mixes; Cumin & Curry powders; Vanilla & Maple, extracts (for rice desserts); Crushed red peppers; Garlic & Onion powders; Dried soup mixes; Dried Onions; Chili powder & Dried Crushed Chili; Dill weed & seeds; Caraway, Mustard, Fennel & Coriander seeds; Basil, Terragon, Oregano, Paprika (reg. & smoked & Hungarian); Ground cinnamon & Cloves (great in chili/w beans; ” Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme” and Lemon thyme (for rice with chicken). We also stock up on the Amish brands of canned chicken, pork, and roast beef. They are all tasty with rice and I make chili and beans with the pork. We do not , however, like their canned ground beef.

        ” Stay Calm and Carry On “

    • Chicken broth and jalapeños are a couple of ideas.

      • I have both beef and chicken bouillon cubes and where I shop put those packets on sale for0.29 each, some are gravy packets either beef or sausage.
        I store them in Mylar w/O2 absorbers. I cut a small slit in each packet so ALLthe O2 gets sucked out.
        Rice is in a big air tight bucket, but the different types of beans/pasta is divided into a months provisions with the different flavor packets.
        Each bucket also has6 Hershey bars, the buckets should last a month before I have to open a new one, so they all stay air tight until needed.

    • Ozarkana says:

      BamBam,
      I order loads of spices,couscous,baking ingredients and DE from BulkFoods.com. They have good prices and ship quickly.

    • For beans…Chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, ginger, broth, wine, tomato sauce, dehydrated spinach, peppers and onions, salsa, canned bacon, ham, and their drippings, canned chicken, corn or corn meal to make tortillas and corn bread, canned cheese ( so you can make nachos with the beans and any veggies).
      For rice… Honey and canned butter turn it into a great breakfast, powdered milk, eggs and sugar for rice pudding, powdered or pastured eggs, beef broth and dehydrated veggies for fried rice, home canned chicken with peppers and pineapple for Chinese, home canned spaghetti sauce, home canned beef stroganoff, canned hearty style soups and stews.

    • tommy2rs says:

      5 spice powder or soy or teriyaki sauce, garlic and ginger if you want a chinese flavor. A little 5 spice goes a very long way.

      If want a little thai, coconut milk, lime leaf (or juice if you can’t find the leaf) and cilantro.

      Curry powder if you a want bit of an Indian flavor. Though curry powder is better if you dry fry it first.

      Annato seed is a cheaper way of making yellow rice as opposed to saffron.

      And of course you can always use tomato sauce, oregano, cumin and garlic to make the red rice found in Mexican restaurants. It’s a natural when paired with pintos and wrapped in a tortilla.

    • JP in MT says:

      Amen on the gravy and sauces! I just added a new page to my food prep spread sheet just for gravy. I buy the jars of Brown and Poultry gravy, usually at Costco, so the sale packages have to be cheaper than $.38 for 4 servings. I just put the packages in a bucket with the counts and types on lid. With the sales up here, I usually put up a bucket full each year.

      Another thing I am working on is packages of instant (dehydrated/cooked) rice, with dehydrated chicken, peas, and carrots in side. Once I get the “cooking” down, I’ll work on a spice blend I like. I’ve found granulated brown sugar, maple sugar, and powdered molasses for sweat, plus a few other things I like for flavor. My plan is to make a vacuum sealed pouch for the GHB that is enough for a good solid dinner for one. Since we already dehydrate the main components, this has got to be better than the FD packages.

    • Bam Bam says:

      I am going to make a shopping list from the comments here. Thanks guys.

      • sw't tater says:

        I had the same issue, and my DH has a few spices that he doesn’t tolerate and I do as well, some of which are named above..
        The more variety you have, the less problem you will have with food fatigue….
        .I use the gravy/spice mixes, bullion powders in tomato, beef and chicken.(.a 2 lb jar costs about 4.50, in the big box stores.and keeps years past the two year date usually on them without any extra preps.)spaghetti sauce and chili mixes I pack with pasta, with the onion and garlic powders. add worcheschire sauce, and cheese sauces/dips,( buy a dozen and rotate them.).. and dry cheese powder.
        For beans,..Green chili and salsa’s of several kinds, depending on your family preferences.tomato powder would be a nice addition, cinnamon sticks,baking soda..
        For rice, a sweetner of choice, powdered milk, olive oil or coconut oil..any dehydrated veggies carrots, celery, sweet peas, mixed veggies….any kind of dehydrated meat or jerky..all will make rice into a main entree.

        • LittleAnniePrepper says:

          Thanks so much for the spice advice! All of you are the best, really. MD, I’m so grateful I found this site.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        Was just thinking … how much will saffron be worth in a new world situation?

        • Encourager says:

          TGM, probably nothing as no one would be able to afford to buy it. You going to grow it?? If so, tell me how!! lol

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            If non-GMO saffron is $40 an ounce…don’t know if I can grow it but can stock some McCormick’s!

    • plantlady says:

      Chickens (eggs & meat for current eating along with manure that they will work into your soil for you while eating insects and weed seeds – allowing you to grow more food), goats (meat, milk & cheese plus manure/bedding for the garden, feeding on brush to lessen fire danger and draft animal duties), pigs (BACON and other yummy meat and lard plus they will work in their manure while replacing a rototiller). And best of all? THEY REPRODUCE! Do any of your other preps increase on their own? The few you get now will be many more fairly quickly and their offspring will be feeding your descendents forever with proper management.
      While storing food is a great plan for the short term…unless you (or your animals) are “creating” food to replace your stored food you will be SOL once it is gone.

    • worrisome says:

      Ham is very easy to dehydrate Bam Bam. Can I suggest you buy one or two at Easter when they are readily available? They are great with beans and rice.

      Another choice is Ortega minced chilis… they add a little spice, but not a great deal, along with a jar of pimentos for color and and a little chili powder. For color smoked paprika.

      Beans and rice cold can be made into a salad with some fresh mint leaves, a touch of fresh basil and some seasoned rice wind vinegar believe it or not. And here is one of my favs…

      Ingredients
      1/4 cup olive oil
      2 onions, finely chopped or dehydrated equivalent
      2 green bell peppers, chopped or dehydrated equivalent
      2-3 stalks of celery or dehydrated equivalent
      3 garlic cloves, chopped
      4 bay leaves
      1 tablespoon ground cumin
      2 cups long-grain white rice
      4 (14-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
      2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles drained
      Three to four good size cloves of garlic finely chopped.
      2 cups water
      1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
      Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

      Using the oil, cook the onions and bell pepper til tender, add the rest of the ingredients, simmer for an hour or until rice is done and beans are tender and well heated. Scoop out 1/3-1/2 of the beans into a blender. Swirl them until smooth, add them back to the soup…. Adds some thickening to the soup if you like it that way.

      I usually serve this with cornbread made with canned corn, about 1/4 c chopped red or green pepper (for some color) and cheddar cheese. In my house, there is usually a salad of vegies like cukes & tomatoes in a little vinagrette as well.

      • DesertDiva says:

        Worrisome,
        Finally, a comment about dehydrating ham. When I first started a year ago, and got my Excalibur, I tried the hamburger. Turned out great. I wanted to try ham as we get a pig every year that includes a few hams. I cooked it, dehydrated, put in mylar with the o2 absorbers. It has been 6 months in buckets. I just told my DH that I should throw it away. Is it still good? Help! I have several more hams in the freezer that I would like to dehydrate. Thanks!

        Great spice info too. I love cilantro and found it in cubes like bullion. I think it’s made by Knorr.

        • Yes, for ham, as long as you dehydrated the meaty parts and took off the fat and dehydrated it until it was crunchy, it will be good for a long time to come. The fat is what makes it go rancid.

          Even if you did dehydrate the fatty parts, you can use it, but do it soon, as the fats are just about at the end of their life before going rancid. Be sure to see if it has any ‘off’ smells and if it does throw it out.

          • DesertDiva says:

            Thanks Michelle!

            Did cook it, even though it was smoked, and cut off all fat and it was really crunchy. The mylar sucked down and it is still holding the seal. I will do the “smell” test before eating.

            I also want to try the chicken and I think I got advice from JPMT on grilling it first and then putting in jars with sealer. Mylar would work as well I would think? Meat just scares me and I have not tried my canner yet. Dehydrating is easy.

            So time frame on the hamburger crumbles, ham and chicken at least a year? Thanks again.

            • worrisome says:

              Dessert Diva. I dehydrate it until crunchy and usually package mine in small batches (enough for one pot of soup for instance) and use the food saver to save the ham in. I cook it in a couple of different ways. In both ways, I cut as much fat off as I possibly can, bake it or boil it. Then cut it in uniform sizes and dehydrate it.

    • patientmomma says:

      Spices, all kinds; hot peppers, onions, garlic. For rice, sauce mixes, chinese herbs and sauces, cook it in beef and chicken broths, add powdered ranch dressing mix, add FD sausage, mexican spices.

    • Hi Bam Bam, like lots of others, we have Cumin, Chili powder, crushed pepper flakes, garlic powder, and canned tomatoes. All from CostCo and Sam’s. I have to use a mortar and pestle to re-powder the garlic as it turns into a brick out here.

      I suspect Pickapepper and Worchestershire sauce would be good, but I don’t remember trying them.

      We also use frozen Portuguese sausage, but that has a kinda short shelf life if the power goes out… Sure does help make a nice chili tho.

    • i use tamari sauce or liquid aminos. we use anything chinese, such as hoi sin sauce ,duck sauce [vinegar and apricot preserves mixed], sweet chili sauce, szechuan sauce, thai peanut sauce[easily home made], from india tamarind sauce is delicious, and of course mexican spices and sauces.
      daughter loves hindu and thai but the hindu took me some getting used to.
      we don’t eat much meat so the legumes are a big part of our diet. we use a lot of parsley, dried and fresh, and lots of celery, daikon, and water chestnuts. if you have a water feature you can grow water chestnuts. there is a book in the library about growing chinese veggies.
      hope this gives ideas for flavor. and sesame oil and rice vinegar and balsamic vinegar.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        Ya’ll consider making chow chow, piccalilli, chutney, pepper jelly, other condiments. They are added to beans or meats or foods on the plate to the individual taste. Easy to make and have a long shelf life with hot bath canning.

  36. Michele, thank you very much.
    Bill

  37. This week I’ve replaced a few things, food, toilet paper, water… the basics.
    Did some more planting, and am watching other plants spring back to life after a couple of freezes.

    Got a few tinctures going, made a few more items for my shop, and did some things around the house.

    So nothing spectacular for me, but it all goes to the whole…
    Here’s hoping everyone had a blessed week.

  38. Preps this week: Weather turned nice, did some burning. Getting the garden space ready to go. Cleaned the chicken coop, washed eggs for market.
    Ordered some 1lb bags for freezing ground beef. We got the 1hp grinder from Cabela’s…. (yeah!)
    Will be starting the tomato’s, melons, and cantaloupe seeds this week hopefully indoors.

  39. Got a soviet cleaning tube kit , a front sight adjustment tool , and sling for my AK .

  40. Really enjoyed some of the sale items at Safeway this week. By checking for coupons on their site was able to score .20 off a gallon of gas for spending $20 – bought the cats their treats and dry food – came to just over $20 and then put gas in the car for $3.37 a gallon instead of $3.57. Went later picked up the yogurt, an 8 pound bag of oranges and some bell peppers and received a bonus for buying the fruit and vegetables. Will dehydrate some of the oranges and then there is some pepper jelly in my future.

    • LittleAnniePrepper says:

      Suzy Q, do you slice the oranges and dehydrate them for tea, etc? I thought I read somewhere they don’t dehydrate well. Thanks.

      • DesertDiva says:

        I’d like to know too. I had left over oranges, lemons and limes, sliced and dehydrated. Didn’t know how to store or use? Just threw them in a bowl on the kitchen table as they smell good and add essential oils once a week so they smell sweet. This is nice but a waste.

      • I’ve dehydrated oranges and lemons in the way distant past. They dehydrate like most high moisture fruits and take a while to get done, but they will dehydrate. I used mine in teas, marinades, ground and used as a zest in recipes and as a seasoning (think lemon pepper).

        • DesertDiva says:

          Thanks Shandi!

          Of course, zest and tea! No more bowls of useless fruit for decoration. I would pull all those out and grind but I am sure they have dust in them now and not to mention the essential oils I drizzled on them. Bleh! Next time!

  41. sam koger says:

    I have worked on my barn, roof and tightened, an screwed down some metal, patches some nail holes with tar. I also screwed some side boards down, fertilized some pasture. Killed some young roosters that were a late fall hatch and canned them. Cleaned up debris a around the barn and house, burnt that. Loaded a batch of 9mm. I shot and checked the sights on my .357 and .44 mag Marlin 1894’s, redneck assault rifles they are. Getting ready for spring gardening, cleaning off beds, garden spots. Got several new batteries for my ND3 Zubzero laser that works as an a illuminator for a scope on my .223, that is about it!

  42. Lets lighten up with an end of the world story.
    This is the story of Nate the snake.
    So one day, a cross country truck driver was in the middle of the desert on the old route 66 and he stopped to take a leak.
    At he was finishing up, he noticed this big lever sticking up out of the ground. When he reached out to touch it he heard a voice say, “don’t pull that lever or it will be the end of the world!”
    The truck driver looked around and to his surprise, the voice was coming from a large rattlesnake. “Hi, I am Nate the snake, please don’t pull that lever or the world will end and I am here to see that doesn’t happen.”
    So time goes on and every week the driver would stop in and chat with Nate.
    One day the driver was running 4 hours late and he had the pedal to the metal, topped out at 80 mph. As he approached his usual stopping place, there was Nate crossing the road ! With a mountain on one side and the level on the other, not enough time to stop, his only option was run over Nate. The driver downshifted and that was the end of Nate the snake.
    Do you know the moral of this story?







    Better Nate than lever.
    And that my friends is a good lesson for all of us!

  43. Thanks Bama Bama.
    Just lost my husband, and need to start thinking about taking care of my life.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      Prayers for you, Mary. It will take time, but you will come through this.

    • Mary, My sincere condolences on your Husband. I lost my wife 18 months ago and I am not 100 sure I have recovered from the loss. May I suggest a book that helped me greatly to understand the many stages of grief. It is called ” Don’t take my grief from me”. Your local Funeral Director should be able to connect you with a copy.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      I’m sorry to hear that. But starting prepping will open your life to a whole new set of experiences. I sincerely believe it will help you. My condolences.

    • patientmomma says:

      Mary, I am sorry for your loss. Good friends, staying busy and time all help. God be with you.

    • So sorry to hear of your loss. I have been a widow for almost 14 years now…left with three boys to raise. I found that preparing for those unforeseen events gave me confidence to endure most anything.

      Take your time, no need to make big decisions…i found that after two years i was able to think more clearly and focus on those things that were truly important.

      My heartfelt prayers go out to you…you can get through this loss..not saying it will be easy, but keeping yourself busy is an excellent start. i have found i was much stronger that i thought and hope you will, too. Praying for you tonight and every night.

  44. OwlCreekObserver says:

    Kind of a slow week. I did order an Augason Farms 30-Day Food Storage Emergency All-in-One Pail from Sam’s. If it checks out well, I plan to buy a few more. They come complete with a water filter, which could be pretty handy.

    Did the TurboTax thing and got our tax return submitted. Can anyone tell me why something like 80% of Americans feel that they either have to pay a tax preparer or buy software just to be able to figure out their taxes? I’d vote for most anyone who would promise to demolish the 90,000+ pages of the current tax code and replace it with about a 12 page version in plain English. Tax returns should be about four lines :
    — How much did you make?
    — Multiply that by 15% (or probably something close to that)
    — Here’s how much you owe.
    — Sign here and thanks for playing.
    No deductions (including businesses and homeowners), no exemptions and everybody pays the same rate, including churches and non-profits. Get rid of all the phony 501xxx categories. If you take in money, you owe tax on it. Period. Problem solved. You’re welcome.

    • riverrider says:

      several have proposed just that, but 600,000 irs employees, countless tax lawyers, accountants, and h&r block would be out of business overnight. i’d still vote for it :)

      • JP in MT says:

        RR:

        The loss of jobs in the vinyl record industry didn’t stop CD’s and later MP3’s. Some thing just got to go. It’s really time for the IRS, before they get more enforcement people!

      • LittleAnniePrepper says:

        I’d vote for it, too!

    • How about doing away with federal income taxes altogether, since they’re illegal and were never ratified to begin with!

  45. Curley Bull says:

    Well, another week with no prepps. My DD has what Hunker-Down’s wife had. She got in from church Wed night sick. Threw up all night. I’ve never seen anyone throw up so hard that blood vessels in their face would burst. I got over there Thur morning, took GD to school, came back and played nurse. I prayed over her and the fever subsided and the vomiting stopped. She is still feeling too bad to get out and will not cotton to my home remedies. She is a youth pastor and will only use doctor and prayer. No problem with the prayer, but she needs more. Therefore I’m requesting all the support prayer the pack can give and ask you to stand in agreement with me on her healing.

    With a Brother’s Love,
    Bull

    • Suburban Housewife says:

      It’s hard enough being a mom without having to be sick too! My DD is going through the same thing – husband is deployed, 2 toddlers, she’s on the east coast – I’m on the west – so she is on her own. I’ll add your girl to my prayers too.

      • LittleAnniePrepper says:

        Suburban Housewife, Your DD was me about 13 years ago. Husband was in the Navy and they were gone more times than not. I had absolutely no family anywhere close to help me. I’m sure it’s frustrating, but DD will be a better women for it. I know I am. And I was 40 years old at the time (married and had kids VERY late). God Bless all of you.

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          LAP,
          DH was at sea 20 of 25 years. We joke about how that’s how we stayed married so long (43 yrs). DH new every bulkhead on an aircraft carrier but never knew about taking care of the home. Retirement was sometimes challenging. But I learned how to do a lot of things and faced challenges just like a single mom. Makes or breaks a woman.

          • Encourager says:

            TGM, thank you for YOUR service! You served our country right along side your husband as far as I am concerned. Most folks do not realize the sacrifices the wife (or husband) and children make, right along with who is serving.

            • Tactical G-Ma says:

              Encourager,
              You are most welcome. But I also worked 5 years as a civilian, then 8 years of active duty, before deciding to have a family and be a “dependent”. I’m not sure it was the best life but our children turned out very well and we had some wonderful times. But a supportive spouse is beneficial regardless of career choice. I believe in gender equality but I really don’t think there is an adequate substitute for the two parent household with a stay at home mom.

    • You got it, take care of yourself, too.

    • hiplains says:

      CB, standing in agreement for healing!

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Prayers said!

  46. Of all the seeds I started, the radishes are up! Yeah!

    One big thing happened this week. I was at our local tiny Walmart and saw 55 gallon water barrels for $50. When I came home I asked Mom if we could get one (we had a day with no water recently due to work being done). Before she could say anything Dad popped up and said ‘Two”! Mom said ok so after dinner we went to pick them up since they only had 8 in stock. I am thrilled that my parents who think preppers are nutty agreed to this. Now I just need a bung wrench so I can open them……..

    • LH,
      That is awesome! Water makes almost every potential disaster survivable…I think many people were freaked out by that water that was poisoned for day before anyone figured it out. God can turn anything to good if we let him. Take care.

    • patientmomma says:

      EE has bung wrenches for about $6 or $7 (beprepared dot com)

  47. Hello pack, M.D. sorry to hear that people are posting under several different avatars. My gut tells me they do this to create trouble for you and anyone who chooses to read this blog.
    Not a new tactic, several groups in our country regularly do this and many of them work in Washington D.C. need I say more?
    Tactics are as old communism itself, first ignore what you don’t agree with or like, second, condemn and vilify what you don’t like or agree with and third attack to destroy it.
    Keep up the good work, I really enjoy reading the posts on your site each week. I especially appreciate the knowledge some folks have on basic remedies using natural products and the many anecdotes here are wonderful.

    • Ditto. Methinks perhaps the “hosts” and left-wingers from msnbc.com are out and about on other sites now. Several weeks ago, msnbc.com suddenly stopped comment sections on just about everything on their front page, especially after so many conservatives (and anyone with brains) were whipping back. Can’t have that going on for so many folks to see.

  48. This week the herbal medicine books I ordered arrived. Ordered 1 gallon size mylar bags, more mylar emergency blankets and an extra ‘escape tool’ for the vehicle.

    I also hit Salvation Army and picked up several books and extra clothing. They didn’t have a good selection at all of decent blankets. I plan to stock up on several, preferably wool.

    Shopped a few dollar stores and Super ChinaMart. Found a new display of emergency ponchos at 97¢ each, so bought the entire box. Got a couple inexpensive oil lanterns that take kerosene or lamp oil, several bottles of various vitamins and supplements, cotton balls, allergy and anti-diarrhea meds, a couple large packages of paper towels, 2 more manual can openers, several food items, 3 packages of latex-free gloves, and a space heater. I also picked up 2 of those rubber shower hoses that fit over faucets. I plan to remove the shower head off one of them and use it for filling water bottles and jugs, and maybe keep the other for shower purposes. I’m thinking I might be able to warm a 2-liter bottle of water in the sun and attach the hose to it for a quick shower or various other purposes.

    • Nann,
      I really like that shower idea. Back when DH and I were young and tent camped we had a solar shower,, all it was was a large heavy plastic bag that you let sit in the sun then hang it from a tree limb and gravity would provide the water pressure.

      • Hi R-Me, I have a couple of the solar showers, but I had read an article about hooking up those faucet shower tubes to outdoor spigots at businesses, etc to refill your water bottles. I hadn’t seen them in years, but I saw them at Family Dollar, so got a couple because you never know what uses you’ll find for things. If my solar shower bag springs a leak I can’t fix, the bottle is an option.

        I just did some digging through old email and found the website with the info.

        http://www.survivalresources.com/Articles/BugOut_Water_Option.html

    • JP in MT says:

      NANN!

      We have those $.97 ponchos EVERYWHERE. We used to have the Grandson’s with us and they never brought rain gear to the woods in Montana! Be advised, they are basically single use items, but for what we intended them for….great!

    • riverrider says:

      nann, keepshooting.com for wool blankets. watch closely because on type is only cot sized, while the others are larger. cheapest place i’ve found real wool blankets.

  49. tommy2rs says:

    Got my Kodiak mustard seed order in from Territorial so next week, if the weather warms as predicted I get to give the big garden the once over with the tiller, then seed the mustard and disc it in. Had a bunch of root veggies munched on while they were in the ground so I’m using the mustard as a cover crop that I’ll end up tilling in. It’ll fumigate the grubs, provide organic matter and fix nitrogen, gotta love a three fer.

    • Good going. I usually order too late on the mustard seed and I lose out. It’s great stuff.

  50. Local BiLo had boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.99 PP, I p/u 12 lbs. And canned a little each night this week. Since I haven’t canned much since Christmas (been playing with new dehydrator) I wanted to rotate the canned stock getting all the older cans in front, so that is how I spent my morning,,,cause one thing leads to another, but now the whole pantry is reorganized!

    Finished our taxes, the solar package has helped in more than providing power, good savings from Uncle Sam. DH and I are two of the people keeping H&RBlock in business! Sometime it’s just to complicated to do it yourself. I would vote for the 1-2-3-4 method of tax returns,,, same for all.

    Tomorrow is suppose to be another nice weather day, we will have to get out and start cleaning up the pasture, lots of downed trees/limbs from the two ice storms.
    Hope everyone has a good/safe week.

  51. Urbancitygirl says:

    Organizing. Also went thru stored root crops ( my first year attempt) and I have been pretty successful in finding a cool place to store potatoes, in a box layered with newspaper. I grew 30lbs in my first gardening attempt last year and am shooting for 100 lbs this summer. I supplemented by buying additional 10lbs bags of potatoes for 99cents last fall and stored them.

    Firehouse subs has 5gallon buckets with lids (used pickle) for $2.00.

    I found 4 stainless steel canisters with lids cheap. Will be additional storage in the kitchen. And a led flashlight at ABC Warehouse.

    Harbor freight had a sale so I used my25percent off coupon and picked up gloves, pkg 50 face masks for sickies to use, and a free cheap flashlight. I keep little flashlights all around the house. Took a look at the tarps, I think I will be making a more determined effort to stock up on the heavy duty tarps. Can you believe I had to explain to DH why they would be useful to have?? And he is on board! Haha

  52. Urbancitygirl says:

    DH also picked up a torch that attaches to 20lb propane tank to have handy for icy patches, etc. I don’t put salt down by my back door because of my pooches paws.

  53. MD, I’m curious about the Dakota Alert Transmitter. How long have u used them? Can u, w/out violating opsec, tell us how u use them? I’m not familiar w/ passive infrared sensor technology -does it sense any motion or what? Can it discern between a human being, large animal, small animal or wind-blown tree branch? I’m thinking of including a few in my security plan.

    • RedC,

      The Dakota alert works on the Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) and the sensors have a range of a couple of miles depending on the terrain and transmit when movement man, animal or automobile passes by. The sensors have a detection range of 70 to 100 feet. The base station can also be used to communicate with the handheld murs radios and the radios to each other – these are good for group communications. The two way radios can also be used to monitor the sensors for alarms and warning of trespassers.

  54. -packed some more food stores.
    -continued reading this & a couple other prepping blogs.
    -am shopping for dehyrated food.

  55. Suburban Housewife says:

    I so admire all of you – so busy prepping and remembering what you did so you can tell us all about it. Very inspirational! I know I did stuff this week – but I’ll be darned if I can remember much of it!

    We picked up our new S&W SD9 VE and took it to the range. I did fair with it, but my DH who is an EXCELLENT shot did horrible! Probably the only time in my life that I will ever out shoot him. You have to pull the trigger forever before it fires. It was an inexpensive second gun and it fits my hand much better than the Glock – exactly what we wanted, so I’m happy.

    Did some dehydrating, worked on food inventory, ordered some essential oils, ordered a couple of EZ Armor kits for our doors. Had the permaculture consultant come and give us advice on our yard. At his suggestion I bought a 3 in1 tree – it has plum, apricot and nectarines all on the same tree. He’s coming tomorrow to help us take down the mimosa in the front yard and plant the 3 in 1 tree. Still have a peach, pomegranate, and elderberry sitting on the patio waiting to be planted somewhere in our ridiculously tiny yard. I can’t seem to make up my mind – containers or in ground. Containers because I want to take them with me when we move and it feels so hopeful – or in the ground and hope it helps resale.

    Went to my new plot at the community garden and measured everything – making plans to reconfigure the beds to be more efficient. I will be late getting stuff planted but at least I have someplace to plant and grow. I am so excited about it! Got some german chamomile, horsetail, and thyme already to put in the herb section of it.

    Well I remembered a bit more once I got started. I have ADD – which I have recently decided to call Parkour Brain – it sounds more interesting and athletic :-) And I have a bit of depression now and then – so I am really looking forward to see what herbs and remedies Michele and Bam Bam come up with. I don’t take meds, too much of a hassle to get them, and I don’t want to support big pharma anymore than I have to. I manage. I have used Focus Factor in the past and find it kind of helpful. Have been researching essential oils for depression just recently. I’d prefer herbal remedies – you can at least grow and replenish some of those in a grid down situation – you’re just out of luck if you run out of oils. On the other hand they’ve been working for me so I’ll use them while I can I guess.

    Oh yes – and this is a biggie too! We bought classes at Front Sight in Las Vegas! now we just need to schedule the time and go. Very exciting!

    One more thing and this might seem silly however…I want a shotgun and a rifle. DH has several shotguns, no rifles. Problem is I don’t have the strength to hold them up long enough to aim and shoot. I’m shocked at how weak and wimpy I’ve become in my “old age” – I need to fix this before I enter the feeble range.

    Do any of you have strength building exercise recommendations for building the arm and shoulder strength I need?

    • hiplains says:

      SH have you considered a shooting sling? I have just used my regular carry sling for stability in rough terrain/wind for support. An overall smaller size may be better for you (410 and maybe a 30-30?) Of course, choose what suits you – the more comfortable you are, the easier accuracy will be, The whole point is that you have a tool that is efficient for you. Just my 2 cents.
      Start lifting soup cans, then work up to more repetitions and then a heavier can, etc.

      • Suburban Housewife says:

        I have never heard of a shooting sling. I will be looking into that. Thanks for the suggestion.

        • axelsteve says:

          A good sling is very usefull accesory.Nowdays they have a so called tacticle thing that slings around your torso. I prefer the good ol cary strap type, I do not wanna look like a mall ninja. Besides you can carry ammo attached to your sling also.

    • Try some simple arm lifts w/ dumb-bells or soup cans. With ur arms down at ur sides, put your palms to the front & lift -this works ur bicep. Then holding the soup cans at should-height, lift them straight up -this works ur shoulder. Then hold one up & point ur elbow as straight up as possible, which results in ur hand & the weight back a bit, & lift ur hand up. Do each about 10 times. After u’ve done each set 10 times, repeat each set. & if u search, u can find more online.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Suburban Housewife,
      I wrote an article a while ago “A Shotgun Just For Me”. You can read it here in archives. I also now shoot a junior compound bow. I’m not as strong as I once was but I’m still dangerous. Good luck.

    • SH, if you have access to a pool, swimming is excellent for those arms and overall cardio/fitness.

      • Suburban Housewife says:

        Hiplains, RedC, Tactical Gma and Texgal – thank you for the suggestions – I will be trying them out. I’m in the kitchen a lot and soup cans are handy. I don’t have access to a pool though – and there is NO way I’m going in the ocean! Brrrr.

        About 30 minutes after posting I thought- what a dummy! I can just go get one of the shotguns and lift it and practice holding it up – that ought to build the needed muscle! DUH!

        T-Gma – I think I remember your article about the jr shotgun you got – I think I’ll hunt the article down and re-read it. Thanks for the reminder.

        • seeuncourt says:

          Buy a cheap bowflex from the goodwill or off of craigslist, best thing I ever did.

    • I suggest you get a GI web sling like Project Appleseed uses. You might need studs and sling swivels too. The GI web sling costs around $15 and makes it very stable to shoot, the sling takes the weight off your arms and puts it on the sling.

      A note: You need 1.25 inch swivels. You might have to order them online because gun shops often only have 1 inch ones.

      The GI web sling can be bought off the Appleseed site (appleseedinfo.org) or you can get them online other places like MidwayUSA.com. It is sometimes called an M1 Garand web sling. I suggest you get the cotton one rather than the nylon one. The cotton one has more traction and the nylon one can slip down your arm because it’s slick.

      Here is a video showing a tube fed rifle with the GI sling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWglhSa81PY
      The guy doesn’t show you how to use the sling, but he does show how to make a loop in it using the H-buckle.

      Here is a guy putting on the loop sling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRPfj-6bRZM

      Here is the hasty sling. We use this when shooting standing.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gAso3l7UCU

    • SH, your best bet is (silly as it sounds) just build up using the shotgun. Even if it’s one repetition at a time. You need to build muscle memory as to your shooting form. There’s no better substitute than practicing with your gun. If you can only do one up and down then so be it. Just build from there. Eventually you’ll work up to more. You got this!

    • Harry the hat says:

      I have one idea, take lip balm when you go to Front Sight. I wish I had brought the lip balm as my lips were hurting after 5 days.

      • DesertDiva says:

        Suburban Housewife and Harry the Hat,

        First Harry, it is so great to see your post. You sound fantastic!

        What is Front Sight? I live about 5 hours away from Vegas. I need much more needed range practice if it has to do with that. As much as I love my DH (after 30 years) he has no patience to teach me. Reminds me of my Dad teaching me to drive. I would love to get away by myself and learn.

    • Donna in MN says:

      I use 2 pop/water bottles filled with water for weights. I use them starting out at 10 lifts in front a day and work up to 50 a day, lifting them slowly. Then cut the amount of lifts in half, then do holding the shotgun for 25 seconds at a time until your arms are tired.

      What you are doing is building muscle in your arms. When your arms are tired, you are causing a breakdown in muscle tissue so it can be built up more for the next time. Doing it at a slow pace is the way weight lifters gain muscle. Good luck!

  56. Happy Camper says:

    Firstly I need to express my gratitude to this site, topic and the contributors. I look forward to hearing what everyone has prepped.
    Your ideas and preps give me so much inspiration, and might I say I am sometimes getting twisted up in my own feet through having several things on the go at the same time ! Lol, I’m sure the chaos means ‘creativity and things in progress’, well that’s what I tell myself anyways.
    Some things you guys talk about, are foreign to me as I’m in Australia- northern NSW on the East coast of Aus.
    For example we have just finished a long very humid summer here, the humidity has been over 90% during the day for over three months. I’ve been at war with the resulting mold and insects in my house!
    Also there is no gun culture here, I in my entire 38 years have known of two individuals that had their gun licence and weapons (clay target related), the gun culture here changed after the ‘port Arthur Massacre’, I won’t detail the massacre, you can look it up online if you want. The government banned hand guns and automatic weapons after the massacre. Again details online.
    I’m not wanting to debate any gun culture, but I feel blessed knowing it’s not an issue here. (Again debatable as there are shootings in Aus).
    I’m not sure, even after much reading and reflection what I’m prepping for. I just know I have to up skill in this area and change the way that I run things in my house. About me, I’m female, 38, two teenagers (one with type 1 diabetes and the other is autistic), I no longer work due to having rheumatoid arthritis) but we have a family fishing business. I’m proudly a very happy person who is very satisfied with my life, no negativity allowed around here. Fortunately we are blessed with a great health system here (I dread to think of how we would pay the thousands a month for diabetes supplies otherwise)
    The Australian economy is underpinned by the USA economy and I do see us as a terror target and there’s possibility of many natural disasters.
    I’ve found so much information in my grandmothers note books, they are from when she was in her late teens in 1920s through to her fourties in the 1940s. I love so much I have a direct link on paper to a genuine homesteaders recipes and ideas !
    I’m currently trialling recipes used with a common list of products, I’ve been making cheese (hard and soft), yogurt, bread. I am waiting on the cheeses to age so as I can fairly offer the recipes with confidence that they will be edible.
    But I’m creating a spreadsheet, that I’m aiming to contain about 5-8 ingredients that can be used for food, medicinal, cleaning recipes.
    I’ve been focusing on: powdered milk, vinegar, bicarbonate soda, colloidal silver.
    I plan on sharing this info in an article with the spreadsheet. My main focus is multi use items, and practice skill sets for benefit today and in case of a SHTF scenario. I am also trying to take my house off grid (I have 6kw of solar panels, but they are tied to the grid), rain water is prolific where I live as it’s a rainforest like sub tropic environment.
    This week, I’ve had a busy week with preps !
    I’m so pleased and proud as I made a aquaculture set up from start to finish and it’s up and running like a dream.
    I put forward an article to this site for consideration (SHTF and mental health)
    I put all my winter veg and herb seeds to start in my terrariums.
    If anyone has any questions on our systems here in Aus please ask !
    Have a great week guys :)

    • That sounds awesome.

    • Would love to see some transcripts of those journals!!

      • Happy Camper says:

        For sure ! I plan on getting all the info into a book of sorts to give to the descendants. I will post it online when it’s done and link it here, but it will take me maybe a month.
        I’ve also got a few books, one is from 1910 “everything a lady should know”, and a recipe book from 1895 “Presbyterian Tried and True Recipes”.
        There’s some great info in the books, also some very funny info, eg. For a fractured skull, lie the patient down, give brandy, put mustard on the stomach and feed the patient a fish.
        But the books are the go to guide for many products from a basic set of ingredients.
        My Nanna gave me so many skill sets in life and she continues in her death :) 1908-2007 =98 years of wisdom.

  57. patientmomma says:

    Monday and Tuesday my office was closed due to ice and no power, so I stayed home and packed stuff. Got one of my sons to help to move the dozen or so large branches which broke due to ice. But the nice thing about this area is snow or ice doesn’t stay long and today we had 65 degree temperatures.

    I picked up some wide mouth canning jars to do the zaycon bacon coming in next week. Ordered some essential oils and for the dogs to fight the flea and tick season coming. I did research the garlic for dogs and it is highly recommended by naturalists. There are some commercial products available but I think I’ll try making my own and see how it goes. My dogs range from 2-1/2 pds to 50 pds so I have to figure the right amount for each of them.

    Found some ammo in stock so bought the limit, but still no 22LR at a reasonable price. Other blogs are saying that ammo is about to get very tight again. Anyone have accurate news on that?

    On the way to the farm stopped at a “junk store” and picked up a 300 gallon liquid storage container (like they use to ship coca syrup in) for $65. I saw them on ebay for $125, so I feel pretty good about that purchase. I got one last year for $60, so everything is going up. The 2 pd bag of sliced cheese at Sam’s has gone up $2 a bag. I have got to learn to make cheese!

    My son put up a 5’ welded wire fence in the front yard to keep the dogs in. I still have to get a couple of small gates and a large gate for the driveway. Nothing fancy, don’t want to draw attention to the house. Put in an order for fruit trees, elderberry bushes and raspberry stalks. The raspberry I will start on the fencing. Thinking about getting some grapes to start as the climate is right.

    Began installation of the security system and it is going well. Need to order extra cables for the video cameras and put the driveway warning system in. Everything takes time!

    Started reading the book which was recommended, Discovery to Catastrophe. Also, someone recommended the informedchristians dot com site. I downloaded the two charts: Signs in the Heavens and The Last Generation. I had a good discussion with a friend at work about them.

    I pray you will all have a safe week!

    • hiplains says:

      Well, have made the decision to go totally gluten-free. Both DD and their families are due to health issues and I stopped eating wheat a while back. Will have grandchildren to feed so the consistency is important. Got a good size order of GF flours via walmart with free shipping (was less than ordering direct from Bob’s Red Mill!) Amazingly fast arrival. Now I am trying to get my brain wrapped around all prep modifications for GF. If any of you are gluten free too, please give me pointers as this is a real challenge.
      Have to share a laugh with you – my DH not so much into preparing for “the end of the world” as he puts it – but this week he brought home and enormous supply of toilet paper, chocolate chip cookies, cat litter and some silver. Not a word, mind you. Just did it. Several months ago, I told him V. Putin would chew up our fearless leader and spit him out before breakfast – he was so out of his league. Then recent events brought that up again in addition to rapidly it all could implode. Could it be he thinks I’m not so crazy? Ha! He is getting on board! The man can build anything stout as a brick – you-know-what, is the best out-of-the-box thinker and superb marksman. Oh this wasn’t supposed to be an ode to him but…I kinda like him ;)
      Thanks so much to all of you for your wisdom! Blessings for the coming week!

      • patientmomma says:

        I have heard so many comments about Putin outclassing Obama, I think if Putin ran for President here, he might actually get elected! (hahahahaha)

      • LittleAnniePrepper says:

        My husband just told me he read Putin’s up for the Noble Peace prize! We were in the floor laughing at the absurdity of it all.

        • grandma bear says:

          Same laugh when O got it before he was even in office. And Al Gore! This is now a joke in my humble opion!

      • Suburban Housewife says:

        I do a lot of gluten free stuff. I feel better if I minimize gluten, and one of my daughters doesn’t tolerate it well at all – but she recently tested neg for Celiac (Yay). For convenience – Auguson Farms has quite a few gluten free mixes that are pretty decent. Brownies and blueberry muffins are good – as well as SW Chili mix Honeyville is increasing their gluten-free options too, at least in their baking supplies. If you can order from Azure Standard – they have Einkorn and Emmer wheat. Both of those are low in gluten and have a different molecular structure than our common wheat and are often tolerated well by those who are gluten sensitive. Amy’s has GF frozen entrees that are decent too. Also – soaking your wheat over night helps too. Going completely GF is basically pretty miserable – we’ve done it and it certainly is unbelievably better now and easier now than even 5 or 10 years ago! 15 years ago it was a nightmare. It is different and challenging to keep calories and nutrition balanced. Just because it’s GF doesn’t make it healthy! I have stored a variety of flours – and starches – like tapioca, corn (organic only – to avoid GMO) potato – you’ll use those. Then find your recipes and make up all the dry mixes you can. GF baking usually has a lot of ingredients and it’s easier to mix up as much as you can while it’s all out. I’m no expert at this – just been at it on and off for a very long time. Also the Big Lots here often has Bob’s Red Mill gluten free products and mixes and I snatch those up and vacuum pack them every chance I get. Hope that helps a little. Let me know if there’s anything specific I can help you with.

        • Hiplains says:

          Thanks, SH!
          There is so much more vailable now for GF folks which makes life easier. But you are right, a lot is not healthy food. I am getting the hang of baking but it sure is different! How long the different flours can be safely stored is one of my concerns. (without counting on freezer) I can make oat flour from stored oats very easily but some of the others, I just haven’t quite got that light bulb over my head moment yet! Heck yes, when we add in the non-GMO factor, it gets harder still. Trying to stay away from corn as well and that is used a great deal in GF items. I did learn that the gums (xanthan & guar) can be replaced with flax seed meal!
          I haven’t heard about the Einkorn or Emmer wheats – will look into them. Haven’t done anything with Honeyville, will look into that as well!

          • honeyville almond FLOUR, not meal. makes the most delicious [and nutritious] cookies i have ever eaten. so simple to make.
            favorite GF flour is sweet sorghum.
            mennonite girls can cook website has GF recipes. we got several cookbooks for totally GF recipes.
            thank God it is more available than before. but it is expensive. got teff flour but not tried it yet. know ethiopians make a flat bread with it.
            thanks for flax meal hint as xanthan gum is outrageously $$$.
            since we cannot count on wheat as a staple we have lots of rice and are starting quinoa, which we have eaten with no ill effects.
            daughter lives on garbanzos so got some garbanzo flour but haven’t tried it yet, either.
            cooking GF takes some getting used to for sure.
            i suggest looking on amazon for GF cookbooks, possibly after getting them from the library to see which ones are worth your dollars.

            • Hiplains says:

              Wasp, Thanks! Instead of thinking how litmited, I am trying to see it as a way to simplify more.

  58. I am so jealous of you folks who are able to work in your gardens. It actually got up to 20 degrees today and very sunny all day long. Some of the 3 feet deep snow is starting to melt a little. It is supposed to be in the 40’s next week. Gosh I hope so.

    Went to a gun show this morning. It was OK. No 22’s of any kind, but lots of 223. Interesting enough there was vendor selling Maple syrup and honey, so I picked up some Locally made Maple Syrup. It is good natural Product that tastes awesome.

    I also canned up some boneless skinless Chicken Breast. It is on sale this coming week for $1.99/lb so I might get 25 pounds to can.

    I went to a restaurant supply store in the “big” town 40 miles away and got some #10 cans of various stuff. I think it is a good idea to have extra supplies to help my adopted/extended family here, even though I am sure they are all prepping.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      carl,

      We are in the same situation; 3 feet of snow, big town 40 miles away. AND gritting my teeth every time I read that someone is planting and watching things grow and bloom.

  59. Bought 1,000 rounds non-milsurp of both 7.62×39 and 5.45×39 each.

  60. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Hey cubbies. It is I.
    I am only known as Tactical G-ma. I do just fine sticking my foot in my mouth without having another alter-ego.

    I’m still spending too much time on the computer because I still have not recovered and still can barely walk or use my left arm after having the flu and pneumonia. But I am getting better slowly.

    For all of you, the pack, the sick, the troubled- you are always in my prayers.

    But DH helped me bathe and dress and took me out to the doctors and shopping.

    I added a few things to my preps this week.

    Took the dogs to the vets for check-ups and shots.

    Hatched 6 new chicks for a total of 22 in the brooder. The other 16 are a week older. Picked up more feed and DE.

    Added another 25# rice, a few cases of vegetables, oats, coffee, and paper goods.

    I picked up a new respirator pump, mask and tubing to hook up to machinery, ammonia inhalers, vitamins, acetaminophen, blood clot sponges, another whistle and 3 new insulated bags so I can better organize my medical supplies. I ordered some more supplies I’ll tell you about next week.

    Bought one of those fancy new mini-pry bars with a bottle opener, nail puller, and pry for my ghb. Renewed my CCL for another 4 years.

    Cancelled my plans for PrepperStock, just too sick to make it. That means bctruck and Curley Bull have to give a good accounting of the event.

    Found some new boat shoes, clothes, and soup bowls at Goodwill.

    Have planned to make salsa all week using canned and frozen vegies from last year. But just haven’t had the energy.

    I have the most wonderful husband in the world. He is taking such care of me. This is why we hold to our oath to one another. In sickness and health.

    MD, Good preps. Hope ya’ll are about to thaw out and I hope you will reconsider and not ban any subject. You may have to say stop from time to time but I learned that there will be tough times ahead and détente is an art to be learned!

    There are subjects I don’t discuss here as you old timers know since the boat accident but am continuing to prep for life and the new normal.

    Love you guys. Take care and have a great week!

    • axelsteve says:

      tgma I am sad to hear that you are so sick.

    • Lauri no e says:

      tgma,

      I hope you get to feeling better.

    • worrisome says:

      Feel better soon T GMA……………praying for you.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      You’re one of my favs, Tac G-Ma, please don’t never ever change.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes. This is just a small glitch and I’m sure I will be better soon. I get to spend time with you guys instead of putting in a garden, so it’s not all bad!

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Wow. I cant do that much work when feeling good. REST!

    • riverrider says:

      tgm, i have missed you around here and i hope you don’t have to be sick to hang with us in the future ;) get well!

  61. Bam Bam
    Thank you for your reply.
    Bill

  62. axelsteve says:

    Not much this week. I gave my son 100 rounds of 22 lr. 50 rounds of stingers and 50 rounds of standard velocity blazers. He lives in the big city so I do not want him un armed by not having ammo. I bought a bit of food for later and my wife made a b day cake for our niece. It is a girly camo pattern with pink and red and white and black frosting.I think that she will like it.It is a suprise so opsec please.

  63. Inventoried about 30 jars of dehydrated and vac sealed veggies. Got carried away and forgot to write down what I did. Now they’re recorded in a white binder. Noticed I only had 2 packages of napkins in storage, added 3 more. That’s all for this week.

  64. sw't tater says:

    Just keeping on…
    .buy what we can and put back as much as we can out of that. .pasta, beans, rice , gravy packs, seasoning packs, worcheschire sauce. soy sauce.mac and cheese, tuna, 5 oz ham and chicken.. canned vegetables., jar’d cheese sauce,green chili, and salsa..TP.,
    standard medical needs..acetaminophen, jet alert,stomach meds assortment. ASA 81 mg and 5 grain,.bandaids,azo standard urinary and yeast control, vitamin C and D, E, betadyne wash.prid, 4 x 4s sterile and clean. Finally ordered the allergy natural that is supposed to end allergic reactions…gonna try it and see what results we get…sure be nice to get a one year” re-set” on sinus and food allergies.
    Had a conversation with a family member re;reparedness for “unscheduled events”..ice storm near brought up conversation for us…g
    Family continues in slow healing mode,from stroke , bronchial issues, ..exposure to various viral issues and resistant bacterium, all prayers coveted and appreciated.
    I Enjoy reading the blog and many personalities..but less frequency than I prefer…due to time.Many thanks to the regulars who write, respond and to the new ones who are finally getting their families goals set and in motion to filling those.
    Time changes tonight gotta get things together and hit the hay…have a good week, Pack..Keep on keeping on. Know where you are and where you are going. Read the Book!

    • worrisome says:

      +100 on the Book!

    • DesertDiva says:

      Sw’t Tater,

      Thanks for mentioning the AZO. Just discovered it as I woke up a few weeks ago with the horrible signs of a uti and we live very far from a doctor. My neighbor who is a retired nurse brought me this magic. Worked great and I am stocking up. I also read rose hip tincture works. I made a ton of this (for the vitamin c) and the elderberry as we have a ton of both plants natural to the area. I did dehydrate both before making the tincture. Before I knew better I made elderberry tincture from the fresh berries but I tossed it. I was afraid to poison everyone.

      P.S. What is ASA?

  65. Well, I guess ya’ll should move to the sunshine state…..We like guns here! Now, you may have guessed by the name I am a LEO. FYI, all the Sheriff’s in this state have published and swore they will not allow their deputies to take your guns and ammo if a law is enacted by the government. This is documented in press releases! Like every profession, a few bad apples spoil it for the rest of us! I can say that the majority of deputies and officers in my county are honest and hard working people….Like all professions there are slackers, some over zealous, and most are out to make some sort of difference. Eventually, most of us become jerks to some extent…..we get lied to constantly (which I kind of enjoy the game), screamed at, cursed at, etc… We are the people you love to hate, you hate us until you need us! I’ve had a doctor die after I cut her down to begin cpr, she hung herself just as I was arriving at the scene. I’ve also had a 2 year old die in my arms, as she was crying for her mommy….who was in pieces (this is a long story, and it got alot worse, after I had to tell the father/husband that his family wasn’t coming home again after a drunk t-boned the mini van). She was going to die due to the head trauma she received when she was ejected out of her car seat onto the pavement. So if I give someone lecture about what happens when someone runs a red light vs. a ticket so be it! I do enjoy alot of what I read and learn from this site, but do find the cop bashing….well, BS! If you’re surrounded by good ole boys or over zealous young bloods, then either move or file complaints! The squeaky wheel gets the grease! The ironic part is that I grew up in a neighborhood that the cops screwed with us, now you can’t get them to come into that neighborhood (my mom still lives there). This is why I don’t screw with people, unless I need to (druggies, dealers, sex offenders, etc). I’ve made my share of mistakes, and have apologized to those that I’ve wronged (they’re now some of my best snitches because I earned their respect). I’ve had my life saved by a drug dealer out on my bond, because I treated him with respect (he was looking at 20+ years with my charges). I’ve watched the countless LEO’s that I’ve trained continue doing this job the way that I taught them, as well as their trainees doing it the same way, and now their trainees doing the same. You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution, you have to choose.

    • worrisome says:

      Nice perspective!

    • axelsteve says:

      I prefer too be a law abiding citizen and I prefer to be treated like one by the police. I also will not let the police search my vehicle just cause they want to.

    • Snitch, I live in the Sunshine State and did not know about the sheriffs’ oaths. Good to know. Without blowing OPSEC, what part of the state are you in? My ex is a deputy. Haven’t spoken in years. Although he made a lousy husband, he made a great cop – honorable, respectful, helpful, trustworthy. There definitely are some good ones out there.

  66. Good Evening Pack,
    I have enjoyed reading everyone’s posts this evening. I can identify with others who are just getting started with their prepping about feeling overwhelmed. Taking a deep breath as someone mentioned helps a lot and I will echo another comment about how informative and inspirational the people and articles here have been for me.

    One recent article was about using a spreadsheet for tracking ammo, so I took that suggestion and for my prepping this week got my own spreadsheet set up. I’ve got lists broken down into categories and I can look at one sheet and see what I’ve got, where I’ve got holes, and highlight what I want to work on this week or month. That helps me know how much to budget for as well. Being organized has really helped ease off the panicked feeling. In addition, I found that I actually had some preparation already started. I just didn’t realize it because I wasn’t focused on it in an organized way. So I was also able to set up a 7-day food, fuel and water supply. Now I can start working on the longer term.

    In addition, I also picked up 2 Sawyer Mini water filters and sillcock keys, some medical supplies for the kit, and got some seeds started. Started studying for my ham radio technician license for the exam in April. I used to have a license and radio years ago and think its a good time to come out of retirement on that hobby.

    Since I am still so new to all this, I’m still in what I call learnin’ mode – learnin’ about dehydration, learnin about canning, learnin how to grow micro greens. Today I learned how to put together the lower to a little “project” a friend is helping me with. Now if I could just learn how to get to the store in time to buy some ammo, maybe I’ll be able to shoot it when we’re done. I concluded today that I may never see 22 shells in the store ever again. So I’m failing on that task, but I’m going to keep trying.

    A question for the wolf pack. I wondered if it would be worth it to get a 100-dollar pellet gun from Wally World, just to have something to use for target practice? I’m Johnny Cashin my “project” so I won’t have anything finished to use for a while. I’d be interested in some opinions/advice.

    Thanks for mention on the window film M.D. I have some vulnerable places and was just wondering how to deal with them yesterday. Your post today was very helpful and timely.

    Have a great week everyone. God bless and be safe out there.

    • In answer to your Airgun question I would say yes it is worth it. I would however suggest spending a little more and get a Gamo or similar pellet rifle. They can shoot in the 1200 FPS range and can take out small game later. Plinking with one is great inexpensive practice and fun.

    • Texican says:

      Yes, we all should have an air rifle or two. IMHO, the Wally World ones would be fine. When I purchased mine a few years ago I was amazed at the cost of the high-end air rifles.

  67. Week 2 – Added 3 more cases of water, case of asst veggies, case of asst fruits/pie fillings some more cans of tuna, chicken, turkey and ham. Went thrifting with sil – fondue pot, box of votive candles and eddie bauer rain jacket and huge bag of guest soaps – less than $10 for all. Some more paper products. Also DB made a fireplace (canned fuel) using a firebox that was given to me and an antique oak china cabinet that I could no longer use. Oh and a halfgallon of organic maple syrup. Still playing catch up. Thank you for the great ideas and info.

    NW-prayers sent.

  68. Schametti says:

    Sorry I’m late, Pack-O-Mine. :):) Was at my Aunt’s 50th birthday bash tonight. I sweeeear, those fiftyyear old ladies are hipper and fitter than I will EVER be.. lol.

    WHAT did I do to prep this week…??

    Hubby and I spent almost $150 bucks on canned meat, beef sticks, powdered mashed potatoes, and chocolate for the prepping pantry. My shelves are pretty much full in the walk-in closet turned prepper pantry.. So now I’m going to have to start being creative on how, and where I squirrel things away.

    Spent another $50 on various prepping sundries.. notebooks, pens, (I imagine I’ll be an avid journaler if there ever happens to be no more internet), handkerchiefs, deodorant, tampons, soap, chewing gum.. another book to add to my grid-down entertainment library. (Heaven is For Real).

    I was SUPER stoked to buy an amazing red leather conceal and carry purse, from a company called Gun Totin Mamas. :D Haha.. I love it. It has zip down sides for a righty OR a lefty, and my Beretta Nano fits in a universal holster in there A-Perfecto. While we were at the gun shop we bought 400 12g shells. Man, these are big. Not used to prepping for a shotgun. I need a bigger house.

    We bought and got our new mono burial vault to stuff some back-up preps in and bury out in the yard.. along with element bags, and some dry packets. I’m still nervous about this, but I know it’s a good idea. I still have scary marshal law paranoia.. lol. I’m not sure WHAT we’ll put out there. I’m like.. emotionally attached to all of our food, guns and supplies, so it’ll be a struggle to part with any, because I KNOW we’ll only dig them up in an extreme emergency situation.

    I bought a Walther machete. I didn’t even know they MADE knives. And a diamond dust sharpener.. and a couple other small tactical knives, just to have them on hand. I mean, once I run out of bullets, and the zombies keep coming.. we’re going to need them. ;);) Right?

    Pricey, but I picked up three 8 ounce bottles of Sambucol Elderberry Syrup for the medical preps, and a bottle of (Pet) Rescue Remedy. I should probably get more of both. But especially extra of the latter. My youngest son, (Finnley, a ShihTzu) is a nervous barker when he hears things outside, and there might come a point and time when I’m going to need him calm, cool, collected, and QUIET.. It’s completely organic, thankfully.. and just makes them groggy, so I don’t have to feel TOO bad, about drugging my dogs, but guard dogs they are not..

    I bought about fifteen skeins of yarn. I started crocheting a blanket a couple nights ago. I consider yarn, and crocheting a prep, since I’ll need both a hobby AND sources of warmth in a possible unpleasant future. I’m trying to put skeins here and there away too, in case I need to learn how to make scarves to possibly barter with one day. I’m doing this darn blanket in single/back stitch, much to my mom and aunt’s horror, they tell me it’ll take years. Oh well.. haha.. It’ll be pretty at least. And WARM.

    My husband wanted to go to a prepping expo in April, and he thought he found one in our state, and my two best girlfriends, and him and I, all decided we would go. But turns out it was in a city by the same name of one in our state, but several states away. After we all got done making fun of him, we were disappointed to not be able to go to the prepping expo, so now my girlfriends and I are having a prepping expo slumber party the same weekend. We’re going to cook on our solar oven, crochete wash cloths, make paracord survival bracelets.. put up the greenhouse, and play conflicted; deck two.. :):) It’s not for a month yet, but we’re all getting REALLY excited about it.. except possibly my husband, haha. But it’s his fault, right?? Anyway, I bought four little drawstring bags, glowsticks, waterproof matches, paracord and whistle clips, emergency chocolate, yarn and crochete hooks.. and mini first aid kits.. I’m giving Hubby and the girls goody bags at our prepping expo. I’m even going to make them wear namtags. Won’t they be surprised??

    I think that’s about it for me this week. I can’t wait to read up and see what everyone else has been up to. Much Love to You All. ~A.

    • You are such a nut, and I love you girl.

      • DesertDiva says:

        I am with you Michele, what a riot.

        I started here a year ago exactly and what a year it has been. This is the only site I go to. Thank you, really, all of you!

        Schametti, I always wanted to tell you, you have made me laugh and I am glad to see you back. You remind me of ME, only many moons ago during 1999, Y2K. I was your same age and was going full speed ahead. A year ago I started again, only slower, with the first 10 things and have not looked back. I felt included as Mama J left me a reply “We like you here as you like herbs and can shoot!”

        To all that are new, keep at it. I can’t believe all I have done in the past year with the help of these awesome folks. Keep reading and while you do open an Amazon window and keep adding to your wish list.

      • Schametti says:

        Haha Michelle and DD. Hello Ladies. I’m not sure what it is about the way I do/think and talk, but there’s always an air of comedy in it that I can’t seem to help. My friends on facebook MIGHT get tired of my incessant puppy pictures, but they keep me around for the giggles, lol.

        I’m two years in to prepping, but STILL TRYing to go full speed ahead. Every time I think I have enough, I realize that I have no where NEAR enough, and keep on trucking, lol. Unfortunately, we’re on a pretty strict budget, and get paid once a month, so I head into every new month full steam ahead, and debit card blazing, but then sit and twiddle my thumbs for the last two weeks of every month because I’m broke and waiting until payday again, haha…

        Of course, I put myself on prepping probation through December and January since Christmas is crazy expensive, and I was busy spoiling all my loves instead of filling out my coffers. All in good balance, I guess.. right? :/ lol.

        DD.. It’s an amazing feeling to accomplish a lot preparedness wise, isn’t it? I’m sure I’m MORE prepared than some people will think I ever need to be, but for me, since I don’t know what I’m prepping for, what will happen, or how long it will take to be resolved, I don’t think there’s ever.. “enough.” So I just keep adding and adding. I figure.. worst case scenario, nothing happens for the next thirty years.. (or is that BEST case scenario, lol.. I don’t know), my husband and I will retire and eat freeze dried dinners til we die.. haha.

        Shai, don’t be silly, you’re perfectly ramblie just like me. I love wordy ramblie, hehe. It’s a great idea to collect Crown Royal bags, I never even thought of how useable they could be. Lord knows, between my dad, and one set of my aunt and uncle.. I could probably have an unlimited supply of the bags just in what they go through.. haha.

        • Schametti,

          “worst case scenario, nothing happens for the next thirty years.. (or is that BEST case scenario, lol.. I don’t know), my husband and I will retire and eat freeze dried dinners til we die”

          – and at today’s prices – we’re all pretty smart cookies – what a savings plan!

    • A, if you can find a liquor store that will save them for you, ask about Crown Royal bags for your goody packages. My husband was asked by one store if he wanted them to remove the bag, evidently people don’t want them, and he told them I was saving them to make a quilt. Well, he was told just wait a minute, and from the store room a large box full of them was given to him. Each time one of us stopped in there, we were given at least a bag full. DH uses them for gun cleaning, and I keep a couple of the larger ones in our bob’s. Stuffed with a couple of tshirts they make great pillows, will hold a multitude of things and I am making that quilt for my next project. I quit counting at 400, but after washing them all, and packing into boxes, yes, boxes, I’ve got to cut them all to size and start sewing. I also figured out how to make “koozies” out of them. Have some friends who are sponsored by CR for bar-b-que cook offs and they wanted some. Unfortunately CR nixed that idea as they must have approval rights and they didn’t want to start a precident for “home crafters”. Seems drug users use them for deliveries, and storage. Whatever. The newer ones are flimsy compared to older ones and there is occaisionally cool designs like digital camo put out. Anyway, have fun! I have a couple of totes full of yarn, a bunch full of fabric and a couple of boxes of patterns, books and magazines all with useful directions. Not to mention the binder of simple patterns printed out from the yarn company websites; scarves, hats, socks, mittens and sweaters. I have also most of the knitting needles, regular, double points, and circular, and crochet hooks. I really need to make a list of the ones I don’t have in my phone, so next time I’m at Hobby Lobby I can fill out the remainder. I usually use the 40% coupon on things like that. Ahhhhghhhh! I have got to stop commenting when my meds are kicked in….

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Amy, I responded to your post, but I guess it headed out to the Twilight Zone and never made it back. In any event, how are you? I see you’ve been busy. By the way, I love the idea of the sleepover/slumber party prepping expo. That’s got to be the event of the year. LOL. I can’t wait to hear about it.

      • Schametti says:

        RoR.. it’s going to be epic. I’m sure when we get drunk on homemade moonshine, and play conflicted.. all the answers are gonna be.. “JUST KILL Em.” lol.. But we’re sure to have a great time. It’s the 3-5th of April, and I’ll be sure to tell you ALL the highlights.. if we survive.. haha.

    • what a lot of fun!! have a great time.

  69. Marianne says:

    This week? I’ve only just started to look into survivalism, but I need to admit I’m starting to realize how stupid of me it was to just leave things to chance. I am a single mom of two living in TO, Canada, and the state of affairs in the city and my home after the December ice storm made me realize how much easier we could have gotten through the whole thing. At first, I would just look for some basic tips and articles, like how to survive a long-term power outage , or how to begin storing food and supplies, but I see there is so much more to preparedness than just a couple of cans of soup and stocking up on batteries. I found your blog in one of the best 50 preparedness and survivalist sites, and I can already say I have learnt a lot from its content. What I found extremely helpful was the article on prepping for vegans, since we are a strictly non-meat non-dairy eating family. I’ve already started stocking up on oats, rice and beans.
    Have a great weekend and stay safe!

    • Welcome Marianne, You will definitely find a lot of useful info here and not just from the articles. :)

  70. Allright I'm Awake says:

    Hi all, as usual I have learned some new things from the blog. Always thrilled with new info. Never heard of a sill cock key and its uses. Good Info.

    One piece of good news…. I found 4- 55 gal food quality plastic drums for $10.00 a piece (they have more available) and DD3 is cleaning them out for me tomorrow. They had soy sauce and steak marinade in them. I will have them filled and get a pump until i can have a frame made for them that links 2 to 3 barrels together. I have been worried about water for so long this is a real blessing.

    One question for the pack… i will have 220 gal in the barrels and a Bob with about 100 gal, a 40 gal hot water tank and a 110 gal fish tank that could be used for gray water. How long will that last for 3 adults? Should I get some more barrels? Our nearest water supply is a spring surrounded by apartments about 1 mile away. It will not be a good place to go for quite a while. There are warehouses near by. They may have some water left in their pipes that could be accessible with the sill cock key but that is just a guess.

    Thanks for all your help.
    AIA

    • riverrider says:

      depends on how you use it. we lived in an off grid cabin while we built our “big house”. we used about 5 gals a day each counting showers. the shower water was captured and used to flush the toilet. we had rainwater catchment to replenish the shower/wash water. we did however use bottled water for drinking. we could have used a berkey filter on the rainwater instead tho, but we didn’t know about it at the time. we used a coleman hot -water-to-go for the showers and dishwater.

      • DesertDiva says:

        Riverrider,

        I just made a comment to open an Amazon wish list window while you read this blog and I came across this lovely tidbit for a hot water on demand system! Thank you!

        I have a Hillbilly Hot Tub by my creek and my system scared me. I have installed an old clawfoot tub on brick risers and put a big two burner coleman stove underneath. I’d fill it up with the hose and light the burners. It took about two hours to heat up enough to sit in. I was so worried about an open flame and would run down to the creek every few minutes to make sure I don’t catch anything on fire. I have not used it in the past two years as we are so dry out here.

        This is PERFECT!! Thank you. I will also be clean when SHTF as I will pump creek water and then use this. I will be saving up.

        • Hiplains says:

          Awake, I think for drinking per adult: figure 1 gallon to start and add 16 -32 ounces for every hour of strenous activity (higher amount for hot environs).

          • Yep. A gallon per person per day is the rule of thumb, but you need to add a lot for hot weather and/or strenuous exercise.

            It is important to realize that the tub liners, no matter what their gallon rating, will only hold as much water as your tub. Modern tubs may only hold 20-25 gallons, so that is all a 100 gallon rated liner will hold. The old fashioned claw foot tubs will hold more, but nothing like 100 gallons.

  71. Potassium iodine was my only buy this week. My old stock was going out of date this year . It’s one of those items you hope you never need.

  72. Tactical G-Ma says:

    OMG! I just turned on Fox news and heard TDL has ordered Border Patrol to stand down and even retreat if border jumpers start throwing things at the LE. This comes as a result of complaints by the Mexican government. What?????

    • riverrider says:

      that jackwagon needs to be stopped and soon. i just can’t beleive he gets away with this crap. at what point does his incompetence over come the race card?

    • Oh, great. Another huge infux. There are classes held in the border towns on how to use the services the US government provides. More cartel thugs causing problems. I have GOT to get my ccl.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Paying for that fence, road, cameras and drones was for what?????????????

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Yeah, I just saw this myself, Tac G-Ma. This order was given over the protests of the border patrol agents, who say retreating will just encourage the attackers even more. Agents were even ordered to not fire at vehicles trying to run them over. The US Senate is at fault for confirming the nut now running HS. Now you know why Dingy Harry Reid reduced the confirmation number of Senators to 51 from 60. The guy would have never been confirmed.

      • Hiplains says:

        TDL is certainly on task with his mission, isn’t he?

        • It appears to me that the speed is being ratcheted up.

          • Donna in MN says:

            Yep, more terrorists to cross the border. It was reported a few years ago 12% of those they caught along the Mexican border were from the middle east.

            I wish they would proclaim insanity and keep that hand with the pen in a straight jacket.

            • why don’t the border guards ignore the ‘executive order’ and just do their jobs. if they 100% stick together it will work.
              none of this foolishness can happen without compliance. like the gun owners who actually registered. the compliers make the holes in the dike.

  73. Only prepped a little this week… picked up peppermint and rosemary essential oils, pint canning jars, and rennet. One of the things I want to learn is how to make cheese so I started looking into that. I did get 2 pints of chicken breasts dehydrated. We’re going to use one soon just to see how best to use them afterwards before I do more.

    The biggest thing was I read One Second After and talked the book up so much my DH read it too. When he finished I asked him what he thought we should stock up on first. His response… “Guns!” So maybe he was more on board than I thought!

    My first aid supplies were taking over the box I had them in so I picked up an under the bed storage box for the excess. Still have to organize them better, guess that will be next week’s prep.

    I also finally started working on a long overdue inventory spreadsheet. We spent yesterday painting the last room in the house that was never painted. While I put the room back together I’ll be sending DH out for the week’s final prep. Cream for my coffee! If that’s not a prep I don’t know what is!

  74. Not much this week. I moved some bean plants from the jar they were in to a container with soil. When it gets warmer, ill start planting carrots and watermelon.
    Added a couple alcohol wipes and some pads to my BOB
    thats about it. When i get the chance, ill add some free food i got to the stockpile.

  75. Black Rose says:

    I’m working on my health. I did a 1/2 mile walk jog and want to eventually build up to 6 miles. I also got on the scale and found I have lost 8 pnd this year.

    I’ve given up my Friday happy hours, gmo products and no more suger in my coffee. ( I won’t give up my coffee ) My poor meat and potatoes husband is now only getting chicken and veggies.

    A friend of mine was able to find me some bullets so I was able to get some 38’s Now I just have to shoot to see if I like the 38 befor I buy it.

    Michele or Bam Bam or anyone else. Will the gaviola leaves work as a prevent or lessen the risk of cancer? And will this help my FIL liver cancer?

    Other than that not much food storage for me this week

  76. Hunker-Down says:

    Propane alert.

    I assumed that the $5 per gal. propane price would revert back below $2 this summer but it looks like it wont. Here is part of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walkers weekly e-mail:

    “This week, it was announced that a bipartisan group of Midwestern Governors selected me to serve as 2014 Chair of the Midwestern Governors Association (MGA), and I’m honored to take on the role. My primary focus in this role will be working to strengthen the propane supply chain.

    The propane shortage is very difficult for many Wisconsin families who are struggling to get propane, as well as to pay the unexpected rising cost, just to heat their homes and businesses. For some, this shortage creates critical safety issues and cripples spending, and it’s not over yet. Many predict next year’s propane supply and demand issues will be just as challenging.”

    • Schametti says:

      Yikes.. :( Better get a couple more 15 gallon cannisters asap then. Thanks for the heads up.

  77. 1) Ammo box.
    2) 3 food buckets from Wally’s bakery, but 2 are cracked. I’ve been everywhere and nobody has flour buckets, just those darn icing buckets at Wally’s.
    3) Battery charger, electric for AA & AAA.
    4) Another 4-pack each of rechargeable AA & AAA.
    5) Got everything readied for last Monday’s storm, and we were lucky in not losing power.
    6) Tried to get cotton bandanas, but nothing in local stores yet.
    7) Got Comcast WiFi and phone fixed — oh wait, that was this morning. Seems that the last snow/ice storm fried things on the pole and to the house. The TV was okay as different band.
    8) Skim read this site from internet at work.
    9 Kept at it in contacting NJ senate and assembly re nasty gun control laws they’re trying to pass.
    10) Bought other things but I’ll be darned if I can remember what they were. See what too much work and stress does?

  78. mindful patriot says:

    This week I purchased my first firearm. It was a big step for me. I am appreciative of my 2nd amendment rights, however, it took awhile to wrap my head around the consequences of gun ownership. Am signed up for CC class next month.

    Finished up pre-employment red tape (fingerprinted, etc) for my new job which will allow me additional prepping due to additional funds.

    Cannot figure out how to keep enough freeze-dried bananas on hand for shtf…I keep getting into them. lol

    Today it’s supposed to be 60 out so heading out to see about the garden.

    I want to encourage all to take a moment to look around and give thanks for what you have been blessed with. From my own experience, I know I can get so bogged down with everyday life and uncertainty in the world that I forget to appreciate the amazing people around me, and the majestic beauty of the Creator.

    My prayers go out to those who have requested them here, and for those who are facing difficult circumstances.

    • Hiplains says:

      Just wanted to say, good for you on all counts!

    • Congratulations, mindful, on the gun. It is indeed an important decision. And double congratulations on taking classes. A lot of people have trouble wrapping their minds around the idea of spending money on instruction, but it should be money well spent.

      Good going!

  79. AIA, The best way to figure your water use is to shut off your water for a day or two, and trying to conserve on water use only a few five gallon jugs. Buy (and use) dish pans so you can reuse the dish water for flush water, etc. Catch and reuse shower water, by having every one pour water over their head and body to get wet, then soap up without water and rinse off by again pouring water over themselves. These “showers” are only for the very dirty, otherwise wash up in a basin. Doing this will bring to everyones attention how very valuable water is.

    • I agree… we lost water in the “Polar Vortex” a few weeks ago (in Jan.) and were without water for 3 days… we’re talking nada! My DH did his business outside while us girls peed in the tub and then washed it down with a cup of water. The toilet was for poo only and no tp was put in it (all tp was put in a bag and tied up). The toilet was flushed once a day from saved 2 liter bottles. We went thru about 5 gallons of drinking/cooking water and about 3 cleaning… we’re not even gonna try and count the gallons for toilet-ing. None of us showered during that time, but we all washed off with nightly with a wet washcloth… none of us stank too bad afterwards (we rarely shower everyday anyway unless we’re extremely dirty – like working in the garden/buildig a chicken coop/run dirty… plus we all have pretty sensitive skin and daily showers kills it)..

      This gave me a pretty good idea of how much water we’d use and made me realize we have no where near enough!

      My question— we have access to a local hot spring and a filling station from the same. We fill up bottles and drink the water as regular drinking water. I also have used this water as part of our preps to fill 5 gallon bottles – how long do y’all think I could store it without treatment?

      • Shandi:

        It just about kills me when I read that water should be cycled thru about every 6 months – just dumping the old and refilling. I encourage people to take the water that is deemed “too old” for drinking/cooking (as long as it is still clear) and recycle it to secondary storage. Use the older water for things like flushing toilets, cleaning, watering plants. As long as you have the space setup two storage systems. Water can be expensive and there should be almost no reason to dump it out. Just get a little creative in its use.

        • Excellent point – especially for areas hit by drought. I used to live on a well and my MIL would carry water outside to water plants after using a pan of it in the kitchen sink to rinse veggies. I did that last summer when I would wash apples or tomatoes before processing them, even though we had enough rain for a few years last year. I’ll use it on houseplants too.

  80. This week I bought more herb books. Made more tincture, and strained some tincture and bottled. Made labels for said tincture. I used a potato ricer to try and press out the last little bit of liquid and came to the conclusion that I really could use a herb press. So I ordered up one on line from Consiglio’s Kitchenware and Gift for around $86. I hope it comes soon as I have 3 more half gallon jars of tincture to strain next weekend.
    I am looking into herbal medicine for my dogs but info seems hard to find.
    I have been very busy with preps as I hope to retire by the end of the year.

  81. This week I stored a few more OTC meds. Also some disposable bed pads and adult (large size) diapers. I figure they would make a good back-up for the washable ones. You know that every one will get sick at the same time and it will most likely be cold and rainy. ha,ha!! I also figured the diapers could be made custom fit with duct tape. Can’t have too much duct tape.

  82. Add 12 more # 10 Can from mountain House to my stores. Bought 4 more Nokaro Solar powered light. Bought some replacement filters for my Big Berkley water Filter. And got 4 / 33 rd mag for my Glock 19. And last of all a Galaxy DX959 Flamethrower SSB/AM CB Radio.

  83. Wow, dh needs me everyday so that has been my preparedness for the past 3 weeks. Anything else I have had to fit in between his feedings etc so on! Then the niece came to our rescue.
    Our niece(my sisters youngest one)comes and takes over for me when I have to take care of business in town. What is so wonderful about this young lady she does not shy away from the special needs her uncle requires. It gives her practice for the medical field she is planning to take at OTI, in a year or two. The wonderful thing is I feel comfortable leaving her uncle in her care.
    Now to the normal business, as stated before I am knee deep into making lemon curd….or as I refer to it ‘lemon-d-lite’. Ordered herbal books for myself and a friend so we can being the learning process, received the medical supplies, water filtration parts ordered. Then trying to teach newbies the art of shopping for food storage etc without breaking the budget via email an phone when I have time, and learning that sleep is now set to an alarm clock.
    Self reliance is not just food it also encompasses adaptation to life changes around you at the drop of hat.
    Hope all are doing well, and putting up supplies as the putin-in-tate, is going to make our lives even more unstable.

    • worrisome says:

      Wow Becky, the load is heavy and it sounds like you are accepting it willingly and with grace. Hope your husband gets better soon. The fact that you are getting as much done as you are is amazing! Hang in there girl!

  84. Dog Log says:

    Received an instructors belt, and a holster to fit my P345PR. :)
    Also have been to the grocery almost every night this week buying canned veggies, fruit, and meat. Also beans, rice, flour, and bottled water. We also bought a shelf to put the stuff on in our basement. Also went to pharmacy chain and have bought five bottles of Sambucol syrup, and three boxes of the tablets. Told my wife about it, she was sick with fever, sore throat, and stopped up sinuses. She tried it and was better by next day! Highly recommend!
    My wife is fully on board now, I have been telling her things I read on here,and how everyone generously shares to help teach newcomers like me. Thank You to everyone here, and to MD for this awesome blog. I think all of you would make good neighbors, and friends. It’s people like you that have made this a great nation. I still have hope.
    Now if I can talk my wife into that Mini-14! :)

  85. Spent the week continuing to declutter, and we’re making good headway. 30 years in one place just allows too much crap to pile up, but at this point sorting and tossing is easier than moving. For anyone interested in an investment, the folks who make the Bankers Boxes should have a great quarter, just based on the number of boxes we’re buying, LOL.
    Temperatures got into the low 50’s and I was able to check on the bees, and unfortunately, nothing wintered over this year. I suspect the 20 below zero (actual) and the 40 below zero (wind-chill) didn’t help that at all.
    We have the chicken coop and fenced area all measured and have a list of materials we’ll need to convert back to chickens from dogs. Also have 6 chicks ordered for the trial year. Baby steps.

  86. Overhill says:

    Not much this week, really. Decided to sample two of the stored Mountain House meals. They were all right. Reminded me of the chow we had back in those long-ago, western hiking trips with the Boy Scouts. … Like Uncle Charlie, above, I too added some more 7.62 x 39 mm. … Rotated some “Sta-bil-ized” gas into some vehicles, bought more and “Sta-bil-ized” that as well, which I do monthly here. … As usual, did a lot of reading. … Finally looking like spring outside. At last.

  87. Hi everyone
    Another week went by, I feel time go by fast…I always look forward to this part of the blog, what did u do for prep this week. I pick up so many value added tips and ideas.
    So, what did I do this week;
    -added 50 lb of rice to long term storage.
    -added another 25 mixed canes of shelf food.
    -bought a new rechargeable LED lantern lamp.
    -3 gallon of bleach and 1gallon of vinegar
    Received my first 55 gallon water storage barrel from augason farms, for more water storage.

    My weekly question to the pack :), can I keep this barrel of water in my garage again I live in Arizona gets pretty hot in the summer time, can I add some treatment? Should I replace the water every x year…I’m start to run out of space inside so I hope that I can do this .

    Bless you all

    • Hiplains says:

      Max, if your water is from a source that is chlorinated,you don’t have to add anything. Everything I have read says best to change out your water every 6 to 12 months especially if it goes through temperature changes.

    • Hi Max, We keep a 55 in our carport in Honolulu so not so hot as you get, and out of the direct sunlight, but just in case, I covered it with two black garden trash bags to minimize sunlight and keep the barrel clean.

      As I recall I added 3 tablespoons of fresh Clorox (chlorine bleach loses potency over a year or so- it still works, but as it ages you need more). I also got a drinking water quality hose, like motor home people use, from Amazon to fill it.

      In a garage you should be fine if you filled it with municipal water. A little bleach, a lot of dark. Sniff it next year: if you can’t smell the chlorine, you might replace the water or at least add fresh bleach. I’d probably switch it out and use more bleach than the first time, but if you have enough chlorine to kill the bugs, they’re gone. If new ones can’t get in, you should be fine.

      You can get water treatment drops though Amazon, but so far as I can tell from the specs provided, they consist of nothing at all but chlorine laundry bleach in the same concentration as the bleach you use in the clothes washer. At about 15 bucks per ounce. If you consider them, check out the one star comments before buying, then decide for yourself.

      We have some commercially bottled water fountain 5 gallon plastic jugs from Home Depot. I opened one that was 5 years old and it was fine. Kept it in the dark the whole time.

      • Hi Penrod.

        Thank you so much for your respond to my water question. I like the suggestion to pull a black trash back over the barrel.
        I also have lots of the 5 gallon jugs that I keep inside behind so great to hear that it will last.

        Thank u again and good bless

  88. DesertDiva says:

    Wanted to pass this along. If my memory serves me correctly, I did get this off another web site and not here. If this is a duplicate post, please excuse me.

    I bought a case of the OvaEasy Egg crystals from Amazon in the middle of January. I just pulled it out and the Inspection Plant No. matches that on this list as well as the lot number. I am confused but plan on calling the help line tomorrow.

    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2014/recall-015-2014-release

    • JP in MT says:

      I got a recall letter from a place I ordered some of the OvaEasy eggs. Lot numbers are:

      B1913-B
      E2913-A

      I can email or call the sales company for a pre-paid return label.

      The reason for the recall, a voluntary one, is possible salmonella contaimination.

  89. seeuncourt says:

    Picked up 47 meat Bird chicks and 8 new laying hen chicks. Wired the shop with outlets and lights. Took a horseback riding lesson.

  90. Just found your wonderful site and was reading some of the comments,so what did I do to prep will something I already did do is add recharge-able batteries to my stash as well as a charger that I can plug into the cig. Lighter in my 86 ranger to recharge my apple. iPod and my phone.really helps to have those in case of a power outage.
    And will have to get a bigger notebook to add all the good ideas I am picking up.thanks

  91. Papabear says:

    Hi Folks,

    Not much here. Just not enough time this week to do anything.

    Repacked the GHB. The EDC had to move to a larger bag, then a few more things added. The wife was watching this and asking questions. She still thinks that I’m going overboard. Picked up 2 books to add to the library.

    Had a long talk with someone at work who was unconcerned about prepping. Now he is thinking seriously of how he would bug out if it had to be done.

  92. nick flandrey says:

    Hit a couple of good sales this weekend.

    At an estate sale I almost missed, I got a small coffee percolator, a small enamel coffee pot, and the milk steamer for camping. Score. Also got a Deitz oil lamp and bottle of oil, a large cast iron pot, some nice snap on mechanics tools, and a bunch of other (non-prep) stuff for $60 total.

    Picked up another CB radio for a dollar at a yard sale.

    Been working on the rent house, so haven’t got my plants in the ground. Only lost a couple to our latest freeze. I’m thinking about putting some grapes and blackberries in at the rent house as “landscaping.” I can show up around harvest time, and take my “toll.” Not really a prep, but good practice?

    Working on selling excess stuff and buying toys and metal.

    Bought some more bulk food at Costco. Ate some of my shelf stable “medium term” preps. I really like some of the indian pouch meals from our local asian market. They are a nice change of pace.

    Any finally a question. My google-fu is not up to this challenge. SOMEWHERE, someone in the prepping community posted a link to a survival library organized in 5 gal buckets. It was a “rebuild civilization” type post. I can’t find the link and would REALLY like to. Anyone bookmark it?

    Keep up the good works,

    nick

  93. Curley Bull says:

    Howdy Fellas,

    Over the past couple of years I’ve read/heard a lot about rotating drinking water every six months to a year. I’m no expert, and I welcome advice from experienced/knowledgeable folks.

    During the Y2K scare in 1999 after listening to a late night radio talk show, I started my own experiment. I took freshly empted 2 liter drink bottles, rinsed them with hot tap water, filled them with cool tap water, dated them and stored them in the bottom of a closet. At six months I poured myself a glass and drank it. I could tell no difference than when I put it in the closet. I repeated this 8oz taste test at 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, & 20 months with no change. About that time we moved and I left the water behind.

    Tomorrow I’ll get the 5gal GI water can that’s been behind the driver’s seat of my truck for about 2 ½ years now and do a taste test to see how well it has stored. I’ll let you know the results.

    Bull

  94. SOOOO nothing =) Enjoyed my free time out of school for the class-free week. I did work a lot, though, on my ECN-2060 History of economics science project. It’s a biography about Thorstein Veblen, 10 pages, nothing to rant about, but still, requires a lot of researching. That project counts for 20% so it’s a no-botch. Managed to get 96% on my 5-pages project on universal income, last semester, so I guess I can do good on this one. Writing is my forte, after all.

  95. Axelrod, I accidentally hit the wrong link and I apologize (I hit the report comment vs. reply). I wouldn’t let them search my car either, and I’ve taught my family the same. I had an incident in NJ, with a trooper, not someone I’d like to see in my profession. I had great interaction in PA state police.

  96. Encourager says:

    I have quit procrastinating about cleaning out our storage of food stuffs and am almost finished. Have printed out new inventory sheets. I need to get everything inventoried before next Monday when a huge food order (almost $400 worth) will be here. Our focus has changed as we are giving up modern day wheat and all GMO grain. We quit buying processed food off the shelf because of the GMO issue and the fact that most everything it seems comes from China!

    I ordered and received many dried herbs from Amazon, Starwest Botanicals and Mountain Rose herbs. I am still missing some from the list that was in the last herbal med article but am in better shape than before.

    The rise in beef, chicken and other meats is shocking. It makes me wonder if I should get a few yearling beeves, fence off a field and raise them for the freezer. I am sure I could sell the extra beef. I would buy two, so they won’t be lonely. (I know, I know, they are going in the freezer so DON’T name them!!!) Dh not too happy with this plan…but we have new neighbors up front that have already raised a bunch of pigs for butcher; maybe I can talk them into helping out for some freezer beef. Neighbors don’t have the property without doing major work pulling out thorny Russian olive trees. Dh wants to do some traveling this summer (me too…)

    Dh had a tooth pulled. He had a root canal done on it two years ago, then a crown. The tooth cracked horizontally and there was no saving it. He already lost a tooth two teeth down from this one that cracked vertically right down the root. He had a ‘regeneration’ treatment in the socket so that in four months or so he can get an implant. He can’t get a bridge because the tooth in between the two pulled already has a bridge on it from the loss of the first tooth. So the implant is the only way to go. All this with no insurance.

    All this is prepping; can’t have teeth pulled easily if SHTF; I would not be able to do that for him, especially with no Novocaine. Can you buy Novocaine online???

    I started praying about his teeth cracking; he does not grind his teeth at all. I realized he rarely drinks milk so I have started him on calcium with Vit D. Hopefully, this will strengthen the teeth he has left. And he will drink milk!!! He just never thinks to do it.

    • Encourager says:

      Oh, I forgot! We are going to be taking a CERT class this coming weekend. Our oldest son will be coming, too. Then I mentioned it to two friends (who know we prep but they don’t…yet) and now they are coming.

      The class was limited to 12 people. Boy, has that changed. Now there are about 35 taking the class, they had to move it to a bigger facility.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        Encourager,
        Congrats on good week. Am excited you are doing CERT training. DH and I are scheduled for May 1- June 15. Are you also a ham? We are tech class and have finished skywarn. Were you the one talking about learning flags?

        But my primary reason for commenting is that you commented that you couldn’t extract DH’s tooth. That kinda stuff worries me. I may never have to do dental work but teotwawki would mean very little drilling and filling and a whole lot more pulling. I have “Where There is No Dentist” and temp fillings, dental tools and lidocaine .Antibiotics and an anesthetic will be good. Booze and ether were used in the old days. Guess I should put back a few gallons of original Listerine, hydrogen peroxide, and even camphor just for teeth. You know if you say you could never do something, you are likely to have to do it!

        • Clove oil used to be used for tooth pain. I think you can still buy it too.

        • Encourager says:

          TGM, I meant I doubt I could bring myself to pull his tooth or anyone else. But like you say, if you must, somehow you would be able to. Back in the days, people died from abscessed teeth. I also have that book.

          Where could we buy lidocaine? That would also be good if we had to stitch someone up!

          And no, I am not a ham (but am interested) and was not the one about the flags.

          I have looked and looked for a CERT class and tried to talk our local fire/emergency chief into having a class, to no avail. Now there are two classes offered, back to back, lol. (But they are an hour away). I am going to check into the one being held the week after ours, as I think it will be on other training, not just the first CERT training class.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            Enc,
            I just asked for a script cause it is topical. But it’s been a few years.

            Ask your pharmacist if there are some comparable OTC.

            Also I got into CERT because I wanted to help in our community. But, our EMA and DHS are combined. I want to be on the inside if stuff happens. I can always quit, and except for ham radio and ccl weapon, OPSEC is essential.

  97. I came across a couple of interesting articles that I thought some of the pack might like.

    First is an article in Mother Earth News about Roundup being the cause of gluten intolerance. The main ingredient is glyphosate herbicide which many farmers are using to dry their crops before harvest.

    Second is something going around on Facebook:

    Texas A&M Study call Obama 5th best President in America

    Obama rated 5th best President in our History:

    From a total of 44 Presidents, Obama has been rated as 5th best according to a study completed at Texas A&M University. The public relations office at A&M released this statement: “After only 5 years in office Americans have rated Obama the 5th best President in U.S. History.

    These are the results according to Texas A&M.

    1. Reagan and Lincoln tied for first.
    2. Seventeen presidents tied for second.
    3. Twenty three other presidents tied for third.
    4. Jimmy Carter came in fourth.
    5. Obama was fifth.

    • LOL on the 5th best president article! A perfect example of how numbers can be skewed to make things look better.

    • Encourager says:

      ROFLOL! When I first read that, I was incensed – until I read the last line. Does he get a reward???LOL I could think of a few rewards I would like to give him….

  98. Chris Clark says:

    After being a cop for almost 5 yrs before going back over seas, I read the article on the cop stuff.

    And have to say, that trying to be a “good cop” and just doing your job in a world full of cops trying to just screw everybody over is a very difficult job. If you walk a straight line and don’t play in the gray area of the law to “get people” you are often made fun of and often not trusted unless you are dirty.

    True not all cops are bad, but the laws are not for the people anymore and there are few and far between good cops.

    • Encourager says:

      Chris Clark, how very sad that if you are upright, honest, and trying to do right, that the evil screw-ups don’t ‘trust’ you.

      Thank you for your service.

  99. Curley Bull says:

    Bctruck,

    I recon you’ll be on your own over in that foreign land. Something here has changed and I need to be here. Sorry bout that . . .

    Bull