What did you do to prep this week?

Before we get started with this weeks “what did you do to prep this week”, I would like to give a shout-out and say thank you to Bill D, Brenda C, and Peter W for their generous donations this week. Thank you. Details about donations and our voluntary subscription service can be found here. Remember; all donations and monthly subscription payments are voluntary, but greatly appreciated.

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

Received my two 100 gallon  Poly-Mart rain harvesting tanks from Prepper Water Storage.

Received my two 100 gallon Poly-Mart rain harvesting tanks from Prepper Water Storage.

Built a loft into my barn - still need to add more bracing to hold up heavy weight.

Built a loft into my barn – still need to add more bracing to hold up heavy weight.

Dug holes and concreted 4×4 posts in the ground for my soon to be completed fence around my garden area.

Received my new favorite flashlight the ExtremeBeam M4 Scirrako Tactical.

Received my new favorite flashlight the ExtremeBeam M4 Scirrako Tactical.

Added a Glock Tac Light to my bedside sweetheart... It also has night sites and extended slide release.

Added a Glock Tac Light to my bedside sweetheart… It also has night sites and extended slide release.

Added a speedfed stock to the bedside 12 gauge...

Added a speedfed stock to the bedside 12 gauge…

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

p.s. I hope you all like the pics – I decided to start posting photos in this segment after reading all of the comments and concerns about some other survival blogs that write a bunch of stuff but refuse to take or post photos to show how or that they have actually done it and to prove that they are who they say they are.

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  1. Put in two potato towers, one in Russets, and the other in Red potatoes. I plan to plant carrots on the top, although I won’t get those in for a couple of weeks.

    We’ve got a bit of a swale in the back yard that tends to pond when we get a heavy rain. I’ve spent several hours over the last week digging a trench in our rocky clay soil to put in a drain so I can use the area for something other than a bird bath.

    I had a couple of dozen blocks (Castle style) that I previously used in landscaping elsewhere. I am using these to build some raised planters along the side of the house. Once the first one is finished, I will transplant some strawberry plants from my main garden bed (the darn things refuse to die when I plow them under!). When I get the other two (raised planters) done, I will be adding additional strawberries (later this month).

    Finally, I have ordered some blackberries from Starks, and have prepped a section in another part of the yard to plant these. Holes dug… need to test the pH and get the appropriate additives and fertilizer before the plants come in.

  2. Yikes, I forgot the goji berry plant. It’s only 6″ tall, but I am patient. And the new elderberry plant is already showing flower buds.

  3. ozhillbilly says:

    Hi Pack. Been very busy lately. The garden is officially started for the year. I’ve started a bunch of tomato, peppers, cabbage, etc. in my little greenhouse. Best thing I ever did building my little 6 X 8 foot greenhouse. Only thing is it’s not big enough.

    Went to our local gun show today. Bought the last of the stuff I needed for my Johnny Cash AR. I’ll try to finish that project fairly quick. Didn’t see any real bargains today and noticed the crowd wasn’t anything to write home about. The ammo selection was respectable with acceptable prices. What surprised me most was all of the .22 caliber ammo for sale for a change! I literally saw cases of it. The prices were $8.00 for a 50 round box to $65.00 for a brick. Just wondering out loud here but with the availability of it seemingly improving, will the prices get back to “normal?” One vendor did tell me that his supplier told him that they weren’t manufacturing as much .22 caliber ammo versus other calibers? Just repeating what he told me. Don’t know if it was just a sales pitch to sell his inventory or the truth.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      ozhillbilly, a couple of things. First, I’ve been buying .22lr a couple of times lately for $3.50 a box, and one time for $25 or so a brick. I don’t think .22 will ever get back to normal, and if I could get it for $30 or under, I would buy if I were you. I still see it sitting on store shelves in a couple of gun stores here for $60 a brick, which I refuse to buy at that price, and so does everyone it seems.

      Two, look for a story I linked under your comment to riverrider. Very important.

      • ozhillbilly says:

        Thanks Rider of Rohan. Did see the link you mentioned. Talked to a fellow at the gun show yesterday about the 80% receivers. He was thinking of getting one. Also believe (hope) that seeing .22 caliber inventory seemingly improving that prices will start to be more reasonable?

    • Seeing more .22 available in WNC. Prices vary widely from $4 to $10 for 50 rounds, depending on the shop. Bricks of varying sizes can be found, sometimes, for $40 and up. Went to a small gun auction last night and all the ammo was snapped up but at lower prices than in the past. In almost all instances for less than store prices, usually people over bid.

  4. Worked a bit on a guest post. Got my taxes done, and wrote a check to the IRS for the balance we owed beyond our withholdings. Also did some internet sleuthing, then went to the Minnesota Fraud Hotline site (https://fraudhotline.dhs.mn.gov/) and put in a tip on a suspected SNAP benefit fraud case I heard about recently.

  5. Urbancitygirl says:

    Maybe I’m overreacting, but the Russia/Crimea/USA thing has been under my skin. And with Sunday and Monday deadlines, I’m concerned things could escalate for us. So, instead of being a scared baby, I talked it over with DH and we decided to get some things done now.

    Tractor Supply: picked up everything for the baby chick’s needs to prepare for them to arrive in April. DH got me a large wagon/yard cart with1400 lb capacity that was on sale. Grabbed (2 ea) 40 gal propane tanks and filled em to add to our collection. 2 lighters, several very large packs of seeds (can’t have too many right?). Seed potatoes. A book that caught my eye- Free Range Chicken Gardens, by Jessi Bloom.

    Target: several toys for our Shephard, she’s spoiled. Sweatpants/shirts on clearance.

    Bass Pro Shops: redhead brand fleece jacket on clearance for DH. The last pair of cold gear infrared undergarments on clearance for DH. I’ve been focusing on finding clearance winter wear since we have pretty brutal weather and DH works outdoors quite a bit.

    SAMs Club: 4 ea of 55lbs bags of dog food. So 220 lbs of dog food. We decided that we are now going to buy 2 of the 55lb bags every 2 weeks. 25 lbs of rice, rotated into freezer. 3 tshirts and capris for myself. Large box granola bars, 2 huge canisters of lemonade, 1 ice tea. Large packages of batteries AA and D. On hand we stored a very large assortment of rechargeable batteries.

    Tomorrow we may hit up harbor freight. I’ve been procrastinating about solar. But, just to have something on hand, we may grab those and get batteries. We already have several inverters of varying sizes.

    We also paid all of our utility bills 2 months in advance. Just in case there is a banking issue. Pay checks and pension are auto deposited into our account.

    Paid off my car (1 1/2 yrs early). We still have 1 credit card and house pmts (but ramped up the house pmts to have it pd off in under 5 yrs, hoping we have the time.)

    I need to amp up water storage. And finish the 2nd rain gutter/collection system. But need the ice and snow to melt to make the job safer to do.

    The snow this year has been a bear. I really cannot wait to get out there to garden.

    For fun, my regrowing of celery is a success. It was old celery way past it’s prime. Made a batch of stock and was gonna compost the bottom, but instead put it in a coffee cup with water.

    Been sick, bad cold, cough, and congestion. So after all the running around, I took a hot bath and hubby picked up take-out. Yeah, I’m spoiled. Taking advantage while I can. Hot baths ooh la la.

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      Harbor Freight: didn’t get the solar panels. Of course, when I finally make up my mind they are $60 more than they have been. So, I will hold my breadth and wait for a sale.

      But, I did pick up several tarps in varying sizes in lightweight and heavier duty. 3 pairs of work gloves, more flashlights, a Jerry can for additional 5 gal of gas storage, a pkg of razor blades, duct tape, masking tape, more rechargeable batteries (I need to do an inventory on batteries cause I have quite a large bin full and want to make sure I am rotating).

      Tractor Supply: made another trip as they are giving military discount at our location. Drooling over the chicks, they’ve discounted their prices, but I can’t buy as I’ve ordered mine from a hatchery and I’m limited to number allowed in the city.

      Purchased “the complete book of butchering, smoking, curing, and sausage making. How to harvest your livestock & wild game” by Philip Hasheider. Also the urban farm magazine. Meat bones for the Shephard and my 2 ankle biters, flea preventative, sure hope I have a better control on the fleas. Couldn’t find DE, so I will prob order online. Took a look at the rabbit cages, but want to do more research and get acclimated with raising chicks first.

      I’m hoping there are some good sales this coming week because I want to completely fill my freezer ASAP.

      • Schametti says:

        Heya UCG. :):) Sounds like the trouble with Russia has kicked you into a higher prepping gear. I have surges like that too, where I’m like OMG MUST GET STUFF NOW. And then I ease back a little, then I do it all over again, haha.. It’s a little stressful, but I can’t help but feel it’s ALL going to be worthwhile. I still don’t know what, or when.. but it seems bad, and it seems like it will be soon. I guess we’ll see, hmm? You got a LOT bought though. I’m jealous. I can’t afford another big surge right now.. I’m forcing myself to leave my savings (the cash half), alone.. But then I go through periods when I’m like.. but.. what if the dollar collapses, and the paper half of my money goes worthless?? Maybe I should spend it while it has value?! But then I talk myself out of it again. Ack, I wish I had a crystal ball, or that God would talk to me a little bit louder, so I knew what I should do……

        PS, I am soooo jealous of your coming chicks. I want them so bad, but our town ordinances say NO). So I can get them, and wait to be reported, or I can wait until TSHTF but by then, it might be too late, and too hard to collect them, and their supplies, so.. it’s a holding pattern for me. :/ Boo, lol).

        • Urbancitygirl says:

          Yep, the news seems to often dictate my prepping. Flu season…hmmm…. Better stock up for that! Winter…oh yeah, it’s time to stock up! It’s that time of the month omg-have to STOCK UP! What? A potential war!? What do I stockpile?! Aaaggghhhh….

          My DH just asks me to review my preps and he patiently carries all the supplies and pushes the carts while I throw items in. Then he lugs it all into the house and asks if I feel better. Yup. Haha

          We don’t have a big enough savings, but we are almost debt free, especially when the last of my kids is off the payroll (graduation). At first I felt guilty spending the money, but I really don’t buy big ticket items on a whim without research. Won’t go into debt to do it either.

          Can’t wait for the chicks myself. DH says they will be the best kept chicks around.

          • Schametti says:

            Aww haha UCG.. you and your DH sound so much like mine. My guy is so patient and understanding when I make him list after list after LIST of things I NEED him to bring home to add to my supplies. He doesn’t STAY patient if I’m out there in the stores with him though, because I have a tendency to not be able to control myself, and then I’d go broke and we wouldn’t eat for half the month, lol.. So I try to plan, and make my lists, and only get so much every month, until we have another payday roll around. It’s brutal….

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        Tractor Supply has the DE, diaotomaceous earth, on the shelf over the chicken feed. It is great for mite control.

        I also have the complete book on butchering, smoking,curing and sausage making. I learned a lot from it.

        You are wise to do one project at a time. I wound up selling my rabbits and cages. They are really labor intensive and we like being able to camp at the lake and travel a bit. The chickens can be left for a few days but the rabbits need constant attention and of course they can produce a heavy amount of meat.

        • Urbancitygirl says:

          Oh my TG, I could not find the DE. Bought some last year and I was stumped. Two trips to the store even. I’ve been sick and I’ve lost my voice so I didn’t ask for help (I can be stubborn). But, I love that store so I will get back there some time this week.

          I did not realize that the rabbits were that consuming. Oh boy good to know. Thank you. Although DH is quite helpful, he works long hours and also has to go out of town on assignments so I assume responsibility of all “projects”.

          • UCG, you want to buy food grade DE. Those little bags are a rip-off. Go to a feed store, or call ahead, and get it in 50# bags. After I clean my chicken coop I cover everything with DE, and also spread it in the run, so a 50# bag is cost-effective. You will LOVE having chickens!

      • UCG,
        My prepping spurts are usually a reaction to current events as well. At some point you will start to feel more calm, knowing the items you collected can get you through a real bad situation.
        After you get that freezer filled you can start pressure canning! It is so much easier than it sounds and the home canned soups, stews, and other miscellaneous entrees are delicious!

        • Urbancitygirl says:

          Patti, although I’ve only had the freezer for 3 months. I filled it quickly with hams and meats I got good deals on. And also rice. With the freezer I was excited that I could buy larger bags of rice because they could fit. I also keep several jugs of water in there as well, just in case of a power failure (we have them often, more so in the summer though). We have a generator.

          I grew up water bath canning and freezing food, but never pressure canned. I do have the supplies (just acquired) for pressure canning, but haven’t taken the leap. Nervous I guess. So, I decided that I could at least fill up on meat and worse case scenario, start pressure canning if things go sour. Although, I’d be much smarter to just get over myself and plunge in so that I could really get more on hand.

          We are serious about our meat, big time carnivores. I would also like to learn to smoke meats, dehydrate, jerky. We have a dehydrator but I haven’t progressed past fruit and herbs.

          • This is an excellent opportunity to buy corned beef because stores stock it for St. Paddy’s Day. I’ll be shopping for mark-downs so as to stock the freezer. If you just purchased 12 packages you could have corned beef monthly, and make reuben sandwiches with leftovers.

  6. I love this website for ideas and motivation. As previously mentioned, I love to check in several times a day when possible.
    For the last month or so, I have felt a strong need to greatly expand my food prep and made significant progress this last week. At local Schuncks, found 4 lb bags of a discontinued white rice, black beans, and pinto beans for only $1. What a preppers bargain! Bought 32 lbs of both beans and 16 lbs of rice. Sealed them up in Mylar bags, along with additional bags of Mac noodles, potato flakes, and pancake mix. Called several other prepper friends and they two stocked up. Topped it off with an order to EE for their 6 #10 cans of dehyd meats in their 24 hour sale. Will split order with sister. They are running a good sale on canned
    dehyd vegt if anyone is interested.
    Also added another 7 gal water jug for basement. I immediately criticized my self once I got home, for not buying more because this is a weakness area for me.
    Last week, made a trip to Chicago. For work, will need to make this trip 1-2 times a month and haven’t created a BOB to travel with. My country mouse self hates going in there and I can’t see why anyone would want to live there. To each his own but I pray I never get caught in there and have to get out quick. I need to really focus on that this week.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Chicago is bad, we used to live in one of the suburbs. If I had to go there I would try to learn the neighborhoods I had to travel in, and the neighborhood on either side. Things change quickly from block to block. There are clusters of blocks where English is not spoken. Watch your comfort factor as you drive through different areas, and find an alternate route you may need to use in an emergency. It will take several trips to get a feel for the safety factor of each area and decide where you need to find alternate paths of escape. After dark, especially in the summer there are areas where cops didn’t stop us as we slowly ran red lights, knowing thugs would come out from between buildings if we stopped the car.
      This was 25 years ago when things were still relative civilized. Now, crooks know its illegal for you to carry a gun.

    • Schametti says:

      I hit my two year prepping anniversary when I realized that my husband takes busy trips all over town, and that surely, he would be out when and if TSHTF for real, so it was just two weeks ago that I got his get home bag all set up with ration bars, and a first aid kit, space blankets, hothands, etc.. I need to get him a new knife to put in there, and maybe some pocket money, in case he needs it to help get him home.. But don’t feel too bad about not having your bag yet, you’ll get it. Chicago.. *Shudder* We live a few hours outside there, and I’ve been a few times, but not by choice. Terrifying on it’s own in regular times, I cannot imagine it in a disaster situation. Be safe.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        Was talking with #1 son this morning about prepping . He lives north of Milwaukee in God’s country. He said he and kids would head to Alabama, where we are, if SHTF. But we, DH and I, told him he would be safer to stay there simply because of good food and water supply and he would never make it past Milwaukee, much less, Chicago, Indianapolis, Louisville, Nashville or Birmingham. We have family in the country there who are quite resourceful.
        Big cities give me the creeps in the best of times.

        One thing I added to GHB that some don’t think about was a cheap hearing aide/ amplifier. If I am going to be on the ground, I want every advantage.

        • Schametti says:

          I’m sure it’s lovely up there. Sometimes I wish I were in a more rural area. We are in a pretty good mid-size city, but on the outskirts. So there are still entirely too many people around me, but not mass droves of them, at least. We can’t really afford to pick up and move, and our family is scattered around here, so I’m not sure we’d want to, even if we could. I’m hoping all the same though, that my mom (and her husband), will head my way when TSHTF though.. I worry about her, and aside from the preps I’ve given her, they’re definitely not ready for anything major happening, and I’m sure I could always use the hands in the garden at that point in time, if we’re pretty much living off of it. The future sounds scary no matter where we are though, I guess. Here’s hoping we all make it through ok.

        • Tactical G-ma, I grew up in Milwaukee and there is no way I would leave anywhere north of the city in SHTF if it meant going around Chicago. 294 80, etc are dead stand stills on normal days and nites. Those roads would be cemeteries in a disaster. For anyone prepared, the North
          Shore of Milwaukee on north should be fine. Especially compared to bugging out past Chicago.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            Son is just outside of Appleton. Plenty of dairy and cattle and corn and wild life. I think it will be a good place.

  7. Urbancitygirl says:

    I like the pictures. Not only motivating, but sometimes eye candy too

  8. Having mixed feelings of envy and anger that so many people are able to work in their gardens already. LOL. We still have snow everywhere and I can’t wait to start working more outside

    • Hiplains says:

      I’m with ya, TRfire! Snowed again this am but now blue sky is showing thru. Re-reviewed my garden plans but that’s as far as it goes.
      Good news is that I can start seeds indoors the last week of this month.

    • TRfire, I thoroughly understand. We, too, had snow again this morning. Spring arrives, winter returns, spring, winter, …. We can see the overall warming effect, though. My MIL even has some flowers poking their heads up through the ground. Hopefully you will have fewer bugs with so much cold/snow this year. We can use this time to plan what to put in and where.

  9. Wild Weasel says:

    Economy has been tough and had to take on a part time job. Starting working at a friends LGS selling parts and offering gun services. Help him out with sales also so it’s a win win for both of us. Have talked him into starting to be more than just a gun store and start leaning towards more prepping items, we will see how it goes. He did make some changes adding shelving and also expanding the showroom. Had to scale back preps do to financial stress but continue to be diligent in everything we can. Garden may have to go on hold this year we will see how the next few weeks pan out. Everyone keep a watchful eye out there is change in the air.

    • Hiplains says:

      Not much this week here. Made a week’s worth of bread for 3 households – I’m getting this gluten free thing down. Stocked up some essential oils and inventoried wound care stuff. Thanks to this board sourced some cheap water barrels to store & make rain barrels out of next week.
      Question: I have a shed out back that I want to keep some of the 55 gal water barrels in. I can insulate the heck out of it but winter temps will freeze the water for sure….If I fill only 3/4 full and set up a heat lamp (chicken coop type) for really cold nights, do you all think it’s possible to keep the barels from being damaged? There is some passive solar gain during the day. Thanks for your thoughts! Curly Bull, still prayin’ for ya’ll. Blessings to everyone!

      • Hiplains:

        I got introduced to gluten free home made English Muffins this week. I need to find the form she used, as my Spring project is to start baking with real wheat (I finally got an electric mill). They tasted a little heavy, and needed a little help from some creamery butter, but were otherwise quite good.

        • Jp – I think tuna fish cans cut out both top and bottom on cookie sheet might work

        • Hiplains says:

          Gad Zooks, I love english muffins!! Would appreciate the recipe! I’ll try real hard not to keep them all to myself 😉

      • Hiplains,

        I wonder if you can’t get one of those bubble makers you use in 5 gallon buckets for shrimping.

        • Fishing supply houses have the bubblers, DH has them for the bait tanks on his boat. He also has a full size medical oxygen tank to refill the smaller ones. Aquarium supplies too.

        • Hiplains says:

          BB- Huh? land-lubber here. I don’t know what you mean

          • Hiplains,

            There these little things you can get at Walmart to add oxygen to buckets so shrimp can breath. They are cheap and they would keep the water moving slightly so it would be less likely to freeze.

      • I also live in a frigid climate. Last year I put 4 55 gallon plastic barrels in the garage. I filled then to about 50 gallons or about 4 inches from the top. I also tried the coop lamp in hopes of keeping them from freezing solid. Well they did freeze solid but the ice never reached all the to the bungs. The heat lamp did nothing. It did take until May for the barrels to thaw completely. While it was nice to have 200 gallons of water in reserve, I question the worth of having 200 gallon ice cubes. I changed over to bottled water cases.

        • Donna in MN says:

          Using smaller bottles or freezing ice cubes to store in cold winter climates are better than a 55 gallon ice chunk. The bottles and cubs can be thawed inside easily as long as your home is heated when SHTF.

          My winter BOB has a couple bottles of water, but it would be kept in my coat pocket next to my body to keep from freezing. My car winter BOB has a pot and small cooker, since kept in freezing weather, I have ice and snow everywhere to melt.

    • Schametti says:

      I wondered about this too. My spring plans.. include getting a corner of the garage cleaned out for our (currently single), but hopefully soon, a second.. 55 gallon water drum. Our garage is attached, and I plan on putting them against the shared wall of the kitchen, so I’ve been wondering myself, if I would get giant blocks of ice. I mean, I suppose, even if we did, we’d be able to use the water eventually.. I can’t put two giant water drums in my house… already hubby has our two steel trahcan made faraday cages in the house, which drives me crazy, because he’s worried about his generator getting too cold in the garage, lol… Oi. Men and their babies, lol.

      • Schametti says:

        Do you think my barrels might have a CHANCE of not freezing through the winter though, if they’re against a semi-warm-ish wall in an attached garage? I can’t decide if this is a good idea, or a terrible one, lol…. I hate making mistakes, but I don’t know where else I could put them.

        I have 60 gallons of 7x each jugs in my prepping pantry as it is, so that wouldn’t be our only water or anything. I have a katadyn pocket filter, four water straws.. about a hundred packs of 4 ounce water pouches..

        Water makes me nervous. I KNOW it’s the one thing we’re all going to HAVE to have.. fret fret fret, lol.

        • I know my concrete brick wall retains a tremendous amount of heat. Then again, I am in so cal, so it never gets all that cold.

          • Hiplains says:

            Thanks for your thoughts. Water is a real concern for me as town water availability is a risk (plus I use a berkey everyday to make it drinkable now) and out of town the well is so deep that I have yet to find a hand pump that will work. Water takes up a lot of space! Argh. I melted snow a plenty before but summers here anymore are very, very dry.
            patti – oh yeah! I use my concrete block walls for a heat sink for my heat-loving veggies. It cools off here a lot at night in summer so the heat radiates back out onto them. Funny how you look at everything differently – and see multiple uses of common things!

      • Urbancitygirl says:

        S, I recall, or I’m making this up, not too sure which, but don’t you have an underground shelter for storms? That should be below freezing. Water definitely freezes in the garage for us here. And this winter there is no getting around it. I empty my rain barrels late fall, and my winter water plans are to use what I have stored in the house and melting snow. But I do want to get a couple barrels filled and put in my basement. I’ve earmarked that job and expense for this spring or early summer.

        For our cars, I have water stored in a medium size cooler. I recheck my car emergency stash spring and fall. The cooler
        also holds several other emergency items, including a small stove.

        • Hiplains says:

          UCG, just a suggestion – make sure you have a drain in the basement you can drain the barrels into if you need to move them or change out the water.

          • Urbancitygirl says:

            Good suggestion! Crud, just took a look down there. Will have some reorganization to do, but would totally make sense. Sometimes my eyes just don’t see the obvious!

        • Schametti says:

          UCG, Yup! I have the storm shelter. Unfortunately, it’s pretty small, just a little circular hole really. My DH and our boys, (two small shihtzu dogs, lol), will fit comfortably, should a tornado come through, and force us down there for some time, but it’s not really big enough to store things in. I have an emergency backpack down there, with a couple days of food, water, and supplies for the four of us, in case, as bad luck sometimes dictates.. something heavy falls on the door, and we can’t get out for a little while.. (and don’t worry, the fire department knows we have the shelter, and are meant to check, if there is damage, yadda yadda.. Not that my mom wouldn’t come after me first if something like that happened). ANYWAY, wow, I’m talkative today, lol… the shelter is only big enough for our bodies, in an emergency and not for water storage, though I sooooo wish I had a bunker for storing supplies, etc. I know bunkers have their reputations, but I don’t care, I want one, haha… Alas.. maybe one day…

  10. Week 3-thanks to the pack for all the info
    4 more cases of water and a rain barrel-need to get a purification system-river is VERY close-any suggestions would be appreciated
    Lots of asst candles from thrift store at a nickel a piece
    Dozen asst spices
    5 more Bear Creek soups
    3 more peanut butter and jams
    5 pounds pasta
    5 jars tomato sauces
    3 more each canned tuna chicken turkey and ham
    8 bread mixes
    6 cans pie fillings
    Case of asst veggies
    Case of asst fruits
    2 buckwheat pancake mixes from the Amish
    Maple syrup
    5 boxes cream of wheat
    2 boxes crackers
    Toilet paper kleenex plastic utensils
    2 cast iron frying pans- griddle-fried chicken pan-and a Dutch ovenfor $10 each
    Also picked up latex gloves and two more cashmere sweaters at thrift store and a book “1001all natural secrets to a pest free property”

    • themem:

      Looks like a great week!

      If you can get some Augason Farms Creamy Wheat cereal you might want to try it. We found we like it better than boxes Cream of Wheat from the grocery, and if my math was right, cheaper. And it is already in #10 cans for putting up.

      • JP -thank you – I’m prepping for one and still new to this. Three weeks ago I didn’t have a week of food in the house. Let alone more than a case of water. Have to say a HUGE thank you to MD and the pack – wish I started so much sooner.

    • themem,

      You might look into getting a Berkey water filter. You can also check the Texas Baptist Men’s Association filter–they send them to villages in developing countries and bring them in after hurricanes and such.

      • BamBam
        Will do – Berkeley looks good but I read some problems with filters, will check out the other. Thanks.

        • theme,
          The other one is the just water filter. You can buy them at cheaper than dirt or amazon in the 30-40 dollar range (complete with a spigot), so much cheaper than Berkey.
          All you need to make a Berkey type system is two plastic food grade buckets, which are usually available locally at Home Depot.

        • rthemem,

          Get one from a reputable source like Jeff the Berkey Guy. His ad should be somewhere on this site.

    • Schametti says:

      Aww a baby-prepper. *Pinches your cheek*
      :):) I am proud of you, and welcome to the pack.

      I didn’t see you the first two weeks, or I would have said sooner.

      I love crackers, and I always want to buy them to add to my preps. I have a couple boxes in there, but worry about getting too many.. Have you ever had stale crackers? (Not the kind that are just chewy, but the kind where something goes horribly, chemically wrong?! 🙁 Where it tastes like bitter rubbing alcohol?). I don’t know what happens to crackers sometimes, but they can go NASTY and much sooner than I ever thought they could. I’ve had cheese crackers go bad in my regular kitchen pantry, that were only.. maaaaybe six months old. So strange. I wonder what happens to them sometimes. I’m rambling… Sorry, haha. :):)

      • Schametti,
        The prudent homemaker has lot of frugal recipes, including ones for crackers. You might just store ingredients and make them from scratch if you are a cracker fiend. 😉

      • Hiplains says:

        Yes, yes! I had some crackers that the whole family agreed tasted like diesel fuel! What in the world?! DH doesn’t buy so many boxes at a whack since then, ha! Not enough cheese or peanut butter in the world to cover THAT up :0

        • Hiplains says:

          Oh dear, not that we all have been drinking diesel now….I mean they tasted like it smells. Ah you know what I mean , right?

        • Schametti says:

          Hiplains! I’m so glad you know what I’m talking about!!! LOL. I thought for sure people would be like.. WHAT?! Haha.. I’m not sure what kind of chemical break down happens in old(er) crackers, but yeah, they’re isn’t any spread int he world that can even make that tolerable! OMG, so gross…

          Patti, I shall have to google that. It never occured to me to try making crackers from scratch, but now I am intrigued.. :):) Thanks. I’ll look and try it.

      • Eat them too fast to go bad but didi notice very short shelf.life -thanks for the welcome

      • Thanks for the welcome -even if it is two weeks late LOL and for it I offer some gardening advice.-for you potatoes dig aditch and coverup potato vine as it grows be careful sunlight on tuber will make it turn green AND POISONOUS cucumber s sound like powdery mildew recommend hog wire fencing and soaker hose or punch some holes in 2 liter and bury next to plants fill through the top sticking up out of ground. Learning bunches here-but I do know gardening. Have a great day/night

    • mindful patriot says:

      themem, I could sure use that book “…pest free”. Worked in my garden, ended up with lots of itchy red bites. Think I have chiggars(?)

      • MP -great book so far -added some to what I know. IF chiggers clear nail polish dab on and take some benadryl- will see if it says anything about how to get rid of them and will post if it does.

      • MP -great book so far -added some to what I know. IF chiggers clear nail polish dab on and take some benadryl- will see if it says anything about how to get rid of them and will post if it does.

        PF – ok here’s the recipe. 4 tablespoons of liquid dish soap , 4 teaspoons of canola oil to 1 gallon cold water spray entire area. Recommend that you do in morning and then change clothes and shower – the chiggers like to crawl up.

        • mindful patriot says:

          Thank you themem for the chigger-gitter! Funny thing…I do not know what they look like. As many bites as I have, never have seen a chigger.

  11. Patriot Farmer says:

    I added two boxes of shotgun shells and a few more freeze dried emergency meals. I am getting ready to help my son move to Texas this week. He landed a gunsmith job with an up and coming firearms manufacturer in Texas.

    While shopping this week I noticed several people with multiple shopping carts filled with cases of bottled water. I overheard one of them saying she was hoping to get 100 cases that day. It seemed pretty odd that I would see so many people buying so much bottled water on the same day. Did I miss some event?

    • PF:

      Understanding OPSEC, I would say it sounds like something regional or local, rather than national.

    • Donna in MN says:

      Weddings?—many people prefer bottled water than drinks these days. You could be seeing prepping taking off in your area too. My daugter used to be a Mtdew addict, now it’s bottled water and that takes several cases a week for her and she is one person.

  12. Started an article and hope to be able to share with you all shortly. MD’s approval of course.
    Picked up 2 bottles of Olive oil, two cans of Sausage Gravy, another can of Menudo, and a can of Baking Powder at one of those dollar stores.
    Cleaned up our pantry spreadsheet. Now instead of Green Beans, or Black Beans, or Lima Bean, all of the entries read Bean, Butter, or Bean, Navy, or Bean, Ranch with Brand names. Followed with columns for size and best buy date.
    As mentioned in an earlier post I was rear ended monday and got a check friday. Just sheet metal damage to a 16 year old truck. I have beeter uses for that money.

  13. JP in MT says:

    For those inclined to reload and would like a manual on PDF…


    It’s from 1967 but the loads are viable, although you may want to adjust for newer powders, but the price is right. It’s also the only one I’ve got on PDF so it’s now stored with those files.

  14. Snow everywhere still! Am working on ordering seeds. Got 50 # of short grain brown rice which I have maneuvered into the freezer. DH brought home 16# of corned beef and 8 # of chicken to can. He passed his general ham radio test last week and our new Baofeng radio has arrived. I will now have to start studying! Turns out many folks up here use ham instead of cell phone, and at least one of the ham frequencies connects to a phone line – holdover from the time before cell phones. We’re planning on getting rid of those expensive game boys.
    Both of us finished “One Second After” this week and talked about it. Enjoyed it immensely, mostly because I went to school in the area about 40 years ago. Oh boy, though, it really does make you think, doesn’t it?! Among other things, I realized I’ve been using our freezer incorrectly – using it as storage instead of as swing space for foods before processing. For example, the brown rice I put into it this week needs to be cooked and then dehydrated. Will have to begin working on that. Best wishes to the pack for a good week!

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      I never thought of cooking and dehydrating brown rice. How much longer will it last?

    • Jeanne,
      Welcome to the amateur radio fraternity. It’s a useful skill and fun hobby. Keep in mind however, that the phone patch may not be used for business purposes, so completely ridding yourselves of cell phones or landline needs to take that into account.
      Also, you’re freezer should be used for both short term storage and for food prep storage. Sometimes frozen items like meat, are better when thawed, cooked, and eaten, without the canning step in between. Also, buying some things in quantity, like bread, and freezing it, can save you money on sales or discount purchases, for food you will be eating in a normal rotation.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        OP et al.
        I buy meats when prices are good and repackage and freeze. Same with the fresh vegies we grow…into the freezer. But just before harvest each year, we go thru the freezers and cook up and can or eat all the older stuff so it doesn’t go bad. Then the process starts all over again. There are lots of dishes that canned goods taste good in. Or when last minute guests drop in, canned goods work well to stretch the meal.

        • Tactical G-Ma,
          Having to preserve food from the last harvest at the next harvest would mean that you are actually producing a surplus of at least some items, which is good news. We should all be in that position on an ongoing basis.

    • Schametti says:

      I try to suggest One Second After to all my friends. It’s a good way to try and make them think without saying, hey, you should prep. lol. I love love love the book. I read it almost a year ago, and I STILL think about it from time to time. It’s a book that really stays with you, that’s for sure.

  15. worrisome says:

    Just got off the phone with the boys at the bol. I was telling them that TG and I had a conversation on the blog about Hope and I was saying that Hope has pretty much decided that she owns the pond. So now, the official name of the pond is forever Hope’s Pond. BIL wrote it right on the map we keep in the shop.

  16. midnight1st says:

    This week I ordered, got in, and read the two books that Michelle suggested in her last article. They are fabulous and will be so much help in fighting the diseases we are up against now that will be even worse in the future. Those books are fabulous! Thanks so much Michelle for sharing them with us. Thanks also to MD for running such a helpful site and to all the members of the Pack who are so generous with their knowledge.

    After reading the books I got busy and ordered all the bulk herbs for making the recommended tinctures and the extracts for the ones I could not find in bulk. I started a bunch of new tinctures from the last herb order that I got. I also started a big batch of the herbal insect repellent made with yarrow and catnip. It’s hard to believe that the mosquitoes will soon be toting us off again after having been through the coldest winter ever.

    Cleaned off the garden and the yard beds some. Cleaned out the pond. The parrot feather had just about taken it over. Planted two kinds of lettuce, cabbage, beets, sugar snap peas, and horseradish. Also planted three nanking cherries. Pruned the plum trees and peach trees.

    In part of the house I hung blackout drapes that I bought at a hotel liquidation store. They are gorgeous. They came out of the Ritz Carlton and were probably only a year old. Each window was only $39. They were pinch pleated and were decorator fabric and when closed do not show any light from outside. I really think that I got a steal on those. I could not have made them for anywhere close to that. If you live anywhere close to one of those stores, they are really worth checking out. I intend to return and buy more for every window in the house.

    I ordered two more filters (this time the white ones) for my Berkey. I also got a great weeder from a guy that makes them. They have tines with holes drilled in them through which he put several strands of heavy duty wire. It works great and without bending to weed. The suckers just pull up by their roots.

    That’s it for the week. Prep on, Pack!

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      I’ve never been to a hotel liquidation store. It sounds like something I could have fun doing. Will need to see if I can find a location around here. I have long ago installed blackout curtains in the bedrooms that work great. But, after my wake up call to prepare, I haven’t found any that are heavy enough for my living room. I bought a pair, but they just don’t do the trick. I’ve had my eyes open to finding some for a year now without luck.

    • Schametti says:

      It seems I missed a great article by Michelle. I’m going to have to try to find it. That’s what I get for only participating in the WDYDTPTW thread, and not peeking my head outside for the rest of the articles, lol.

      • Hiplains says:

        Sch – def! Sooo much info to learn and it is um, shall we say, “lively” at times!

        • Schametti says:

          Haha I have seen mention of the… fighting that’s been going on. So in THOSE cases, I’m glad to be well out of it. I don’t handle confrontation well, and like the kiddie pool version of skirmishes, thanks…. But don’t want to miss out on good herb and tincture info, so Imma have to go timidly forth and try to find them, lol.

          • midnight1st says:

            That article was about two weeks ago – maybe not quite that long. or maybe just a bit longer. It was an article that was addressing the flu, particularly the cytokine storm. It was written by Michelle and edited by Bam Bam.

  17. Spinach coming up. Cabbage, cauliflower, and brocolli in along with a long list of other plants in the cole family. Bought more potatoes than I have even planted at one time and plan to buy some and plant some more closer to June for winter storage.

    Neighbor and I are working together to prepare present gardens for both properties and layout what needs done to greatly expand garden area ASAP. Crops will feed his two families on his land and a total of 7 family members of mine living in town. Still adding more trees and berries to the orchard. To cover what I have, I am getting my nursery up and running on top of prepping. Everyone around here knows I propagate landscaping plants in the summer and broker berry plants this time of year. You would be amazed at how many fruit producing plants I can intermingle with my saleable stock. Retiring is no excuse to rock all day on the porch or watch TV for hours. 74 coming up first week in April. I have a lot of upper back pain, but moving helps. Getting out of bed in the morning can be a real pain in every sense of the word.

    Completed 4 annual checkups of late; 3 just this week. Diabetes still very much controlled. A1C dropped again to 5.6. If you can get your chronic conditions under control and reduce or be able to quit taking meds, you will be much better off when the SHTF. After having controlled diabetes (oral meds and an A1C of 6.4) for 15 years, it is good knowing I have been in the normal range for 2 years now. Getting healthy is important. Also had eyes and feet checked. Both are doing great even with the diabetes.

    The neighbors are a young couple with 2 little boys and a girl on the way. The couple always helped in his mom’s garden. She left the state with a new friend and a new lady, friend of the family for 30 years, has moved into mom’s house. She is a city girl wanting to be a real country girl. Spent this week teaching how to plant seeds and walking her through the old garden giving her ideas. The neighbors, both houses, are young people with strong backs and owners of big equipment useful in clearing new garden areas on both of our properties. Our trade offs are my skills; garden and food prep and their physical and mechanical help. With the probability of food shortages later this summer, I told them to let me know what food they still had to buy even with his mother’s big garden. Top of the list was celery. Ask youself the same question for your garden this year. BTW: Michelle and Bam Bam, the new lady is interested in herbology. I have gotten her into some books. Looking around for some formal classes.

    I agree on world situation. Do what you can. Garden this year with CA being in a drought. Put back what you can. Learn new ways to grow things; raised beds, intensive, vertical, container, etc. Look at ways to have produce 12 months a year. Read Carol Depp’s book on Sustainable Gardeners. Grow storable staples with lots of calories.

    Take care, one and all. Do not stress but keep your goals in sight.

    • Right now, Rosemary Gladstar is selling her herbal classes for $275. I bought both on line and printed, as I wanted the printed for – forever, and the Internet one in case there is something in it that is not in the printed version. Both classes were $425, but so far, reading the printed one while waiting for new tires to be installed on the car, and waiting at the laundry mat for a king sized quilt to dry, the printed course is very good.

      If you want the link, I’ll send it to you.

      I also have an Ayurvedic and herbal class I am taking from Evergreen Herb gardens. That one is about $400. You can find a bunch of classes on the Mountain Rose Herb site under herbal education, and MRH give herbal students a 25% discount.

      For Californians, if you are planning to grow any grains, consider Sorghum/Milo. It is very drought tolerant, and the left over leaves can be used for animal feed. Come to think of it, Amaranth (a kissing cousin of pigweed) is also very drought tolerant and it’s leaves also good for both pets and people. I threw out a bunch 2 years ago, and the ones I thinned out were either used as a potherb or given to the chickens.

  18. Curley Bull says:

    Howdy Pack,

    TGMa, Sis hasn’t passed yet. Monday she will be unplugged if there has been no change. She’s a tough ole gal and it’s all up to her and the Good Lord. She may make the journey home or she may do like a friend of mine did in 1968, spit in the doctor’s face and stay around for a while.

    Visited with Sis a little while this morning, then Jack and I went to the Gun Show in Longview. All prices were high. Saw plenty of 22LR. The cheapest was $60 for the 525 box of Remington Thunderbolt.

    Ya’ll remember the GI water can that has been behind the driver’s seat of my old truck for 2 ½ years. I promised a taste test. Well, day-before-yesterday I drank about 12oz of it. Had a wee bit of what I would call a plastic taste, but otherwise ok. Hasn’t made me sick yet, therefore I believe it to be good. I will, however, empty, rinse, and refill all 6 (H2O in the other 5 is only a year old). Tap water has chlorine in it and the OD green container prevents sunlight from getting to the water.

    OH, I did pick up a clamp-on bipod and butt pad for my AR. The pad isn’t for recoil; it’s to add a little length.

    That’s it for the week. Sure wish I could’ve made it to Deer Lick Creek, but maybe next time. Besides, my translator wouldn’t have been there.

    Be Blessed and Keep Prepping,

  19. Heads Up: Cabelas has 50 rounds Federal 9 mm for $14.99. I just ordered 1000 rounds. This is the best price I’ve seen in a while.

  20. hello everyone,
    This week I decided that I need my own tractor. Planning to make a “hobbit hole” by using a big culvert that would be placed on the ground and then covered with dirt. Depending on who is asking, it will be the kids’ play place, a root cellar or fallout shelter. Can’t dig down as there is just too much water down there. With my tractor, I would also like to push snow, push in and pull out fence posts (depending on my mood), cut grass, pull the kids in a big wagon out to our cabin, move fire wood, and so much more. Every time I hire someone to do work, I feel uncomfortable with their presence in my house/yard. Op-sec is my biggest challenge so I’m looking to create a bit of privacy by doing more for myself. Been thinking that a Kubota B series might do the trick – any advice from people who have small tractors?


    • Surviving in Ky says:

      B, Not sure what you are looking for but I have a New Holland. It is 30 horse and 4 wheel drive. It’s good tractor for a do it yourselfer. I’ve used it to move snow, plow the garden with a roda hole and bush hawg about 8 acres. I would like to get a bucket attachment for the front end but those are kindly pricey. Hope this helps.

      • Thank you Surviving in Ky, I’m in research mode so every bit of information helps.

        • Donna in MN says:

          I had a Simplicity mower with a plow attachment. You will need chains for your wheels to plow snow if you have a lot of it, especially if there is ice.

    • Texanadian says:

      I have a John Deere 2520 4×4 25 horse that works great on my place. It has a front end loader box blade and post hole digger. I bought it as a package and it is a life saver. Also happens to be for sale if you are near Houston. We have sold our property and are moving back to Canada.

    • We have a John Deere 4720 and it’s a real good size for our 27 acres. We have the bush hog, hay spear,front bucket, disk harrow, box blade. and hole auger. We had the back hoe and had no use for it until we sold it (always the case).
      With it we have taken our 27 acres of Forrest and turned it into a small farm w/gardens, pastures and riding arena.

      DH hasn’t had any trouble with it and says the maintenance is easy,, he does it all himself. Some of the attachments we bought used and the only thing a pain in the butt to get on is the bush hog, that takes two of us.

      Hope this helps your research and doesn’t just muddy the water,

    • Granny Em says:

      We have a Kubota B2920 with a tiller and bucket, new last Spring. It has worked well for us and we plan to get a backhoe and snow blower as money allows. We used it all summer and haven’t quite used up the diesel that it came with. Wish there was a way to convert it to natural gas, though !

    • Babycatcher says:

      We bought a Kubota 3300 series when we moved here 9 yrs ago. Bought the trailer to haul it on, got the front end loader, and a Woods 3pt boom and 9 inch auger and a yard box(in case we needed to make a driveway) and a renovator. We have used the heck out of it and it’s still going strong. It needs some hydraulic work now, but we would not have this farm where it is today without it! In the first six weeks, we planted 20 fruit trees, several hundred perennial and bulb holes( we brought 300 varieties of plants with us from Virginia and only had 6 weeks before cold set in), blackberry bed, raspberries, blueberries, and a number of trees and shrubs. It’s also our lawn mower. Like I said, a real workhorse. We have also plowed the garden with it using the renovator, because it has turf tires on it and it’s too expensive for the tractor tires and wheels. I’ll use the money I would have spent on that for a walking plow and work harness for the Morgans. They can do it…

  21. Cytokine herb mixture.

    I have 16 bags of the herb mixture I can sell over and above what I need for my family.

    By the time I added it all up, it comes to $15 per bag, including shipping in the US. If you are somewhere other than the US, you’ll need to contact me for shipping rates.

    Each bag of powdered herbs would make 1 quart of tincture once you add your alcohol. It will be slightly stronger than a usual tincture, because there are so many herbs in the mixture instead of 1 cup for a quart, I put 1-1/4 cups.

    I will include an instruction sheet and a list of the herbs. All the herbs are roughly the same amount – I mixed 1 lb of each of the herbs – it was a huge batch. If you’d like to make your own, you can get the list from the flu article from a couple weeks ago.

    If you are interested, or want more information, contact me at [email protected], and I’ll get your address and tell you how to pay me.

    If there are more people interested than I have herbs, and I get enough additional requests, I can order more herbs, but there would be an extra week or two lead time for me to order the herbs and get them in.

    • Dibs on two. Michele, I just emailed you.

    • Dibs on two for me, please. I will email now.

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      Emailing you right now

    • OK guys, I’m getting close to out of this batch. I will fill them first come first served (except for one person who asked not to use paypal, and I’m holding his order) If you are still interested in ordering, be sure you put your address in the email, so I can send you an invoice via paypal (you can use it to pay whether or not you have a paypal account) and how many you’d like. The $15 is inclusive of both tax (there is no tax – I live in Oregon) and shipping is included.

      Also be sure you let me know if I run out if you want to be put on the waiting list, and if you do, I’ll keep you informed.

      • Schametti says:

        What is this tincture for, Michelle? I needs to read your article STAT. Do you have the link handy by chance? :):)

        • Hiplains says:

          Sch – put Cytokine in search in the upper corner and it will take you to the article!

      • I just paid. Thanks so much!

      • I have two invoices out that are not paid yet, but essentially, all herb packets are gone.

        I will re-order right away, since there does seem to be interest, so let me know if you are interested in being on the waiting list.

        Right now, since I’m just starting out, I will keep your names and addresses, but will NOT send an invoice for payment until I have the herbs in. Last time, it did not take long, but I’ll keep anyone who wants to be on the wait list informed.

    • I want two bags. Email me please for address and paypal info. Many,. many thanks for all your hard work and great information.

  22. huckleberrylady says:

    DH and I went through and inventoried our ammo and figured out what we needed to get more of. Lots of some, not enough of others, but a good idea of what to focus on in the coming months.
    Ordered 3 bottles of antibiotics, hopefully will get those this week. Talked to a friend of mine who is a pharmacist and was told I could call in my prescriptions on the 21st day after my last refill to have my scripts refilled. So I marked out my calendar of when to call in the refills. Within 4 months I will have an extra months worth.
    That was it for the week, have a great week pack!

  23. Survivor says:

    Got the 20 HP engine for the sawmill mounted last night. Have about 2 more hours of welding and then we go operational. First thing to build are solar kilns. Trying to work out of town and get stuff accomplished really puts a damper on preps….

  24. Surviving in Ky says:

    Hello MD and Pack, Nice pics MD! Hope everyone is doing well. Made a run to Sam’s and the Container Store. Picked up 4 more ammo boxes but was disappointed they were out of the olive oil barrels. They said to check back in three to four weeks. They were also out of the steel 55 gal. barrels. I guess my cache project will have to wait. Stocked up at Sam’s
    15 lbs. hamburger- repackaged and put in freezer
    15 lbs. pork chops- repackaged and put in freezer
    10 lbs. baby back ribs- repackaged and put in freezer
    80 count of swiffer
    pods for dish washer
    12 cans of coffee- Love Coffee!
    8 cans of chilies and peppers for chili
    Kitchen garbage bags
    Large lawn garbage bags
    Poured part of the concrete piers to redo handy port in order to park camper and tractor in. Cut down an old apple tree and some bushes that had got out of hand for DM. Ordered an adjustable stock and single point sling attachment for the sks I picked up. Got this after I lost all my other guns in a boating accident. Weather was great yesterday! Getting set for more of ol man winter. Sleet and 3 inches of snow predicted for tonight and tomorrow. Did I tell you all, I hate winter! That’s about it from here Pack. Take care and God Bless. And as RR would say, keep stacking it high.

    • riverrider says:

      ribs, chops, burgers? yum, when’s the cook out?

      • Surviving in Ky says:

        Good to hear from you River. Come on down, I’m partial to the ribs. DGF believes that is all I want when we go out. Can’t help it, love them baby backs! lol

  25. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Ok, let’s get this straight! I never called MD a poser. I said that there are posers with websites, blogs, etc., who are scammers. In a SHTF scenario they would be outed immediately.


    • Tactical G-Ma,

      I don’t know–he did write an article on cross dressing. 🙂

    • JP in MT says:


      I just don’t see him in poofy pants, knee highs, and a skinny sword.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        JP in MT
        I know that even the Air Force taught you how to use a dictionary. Would it have sounded better if I said M D was a true Polymath?

        I may be a hillbilly but I know a few 25 cent words. So cut me some slack ok? Sheesh!

        • JP in MT says:


          That dictionary thing might be true, but when would a grunt (especially a REMF grunt like me) take educational advise from a Zoomie? I usually had to strain my eyes real good to see one.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            I thought you were AF. You were Army? I was Navy. But you worked in the elephant cage right?

            • Curley Bull says:

              JP, back off on my translator. I don’t care if she was a swabie. She’s OK in my book. You get her all upset and I’ll never learn Bammy Talk.

              BTW, what unit were you with and when? If you’re an old guy we might have crossed paths.


  26. Nothing added this week. I did work on my prepping binder though. There were so many things printed out and sitting here waiting for the hole punch. Now the binder is finally organized! Also reorganized my prep closet. Have to add one more set of shelves and then there’ll be another reorganizing party. Sometimes I get in there and feel just a bit overwhelmed. I seriously need to work more on my inventory spreadsheet. Once that’s done I think that will help.

    And if I didn’t have that Klondike song in my head before… it’s there now! Thanks! LOL!

    • Schametti says:

      Baahahaha.. What did you doooOOOoooo to prep this week. :):) I have infected everyone like a virus. You.. are.. welcome.. lol.

      I need to get more ink, asap.. so I can print more things. I got suckered into buying a couple ebooks, by a guy named Frank Mitchell, called “Family Survival System” and “Advanced Water Survival System.” He made it sound like the info was better and more fabulous than anything you can find free on the internet already.. haha. I fall for those every time… lol.

      Anyway.. I always feel like I got more for my money if I print them out. So I need to get a hole punch, and a binder too, so I can put these in there. PRIMARILY.. these books are just about skills skills skills. Knowledge and Skills are better than any prep or tool you can put away. I agree with that, buuuut I still think the food I put away, and the tools will be invaluable. So.. yeah. I wish I had people’s email addresses here. I would just email this to everyone, so I REALLY felt that I got my money’s worth from them, haha.

      • JP in MT says:


        Binders are great, but if you have a lot of documents, we went with a spiral binder. The machine punches rectangular hole along the spine, you put heavy clear plastic covers on front and back, that the circular plastic binding holds the pages together. Our Staples store will also bind thing that way for you.

        • Hiplains says:

          I have so much info it’s overwhelming. Do you all have a method for putting it all into hard copy that doesn’t make you crazy??

          • Schametti says:

            About this time last year I though, spontaneously, HEY, I want to build an aquaponics farm. So I bought an Ebook on it, printed all 100+ pages of it out, took one look at it, got overwhelmed and stuck the whole darn stack of paper into the closet. I still don’t know what I was thinking, lol.. I hate ebooks. I want REAL books. I wish the people who sold you EBooks, at least had an OPTION for a cheaply made, printed version.. even if it’s just a print out that’s been bound, hey I’m okay with that. Ink is darn expensive. :/ lol…..

        • You do know that Office Depot, Staples, etc..will take the reams of paper you purchase and drill holes in them with out even removing the wrappers for a small fee. That’s what it’s called when doing it in bulk like that. If you must buy a 3 hole punch, get one that handles more than just a couple of pages at a time. You can also get file folders with metal thingies at the top, like what some doctors use, those work well with recipes. I have a Holiday recipe file, a canning recipe file (with notes for changes in seasonings, etc, and for what I call my go-to recipes), and most important of all, one for the instruction books for pressure canner, the electric turkey fryer, and other assorted small appliance manuals. I also keep a binder with the large appliances, hvac, aw heck, anything to do with the house INCLUDING paint chips, name of color and the formula for the paint, interiors especially. Most of the retailers change the names on their colors every couple of years. Generally the retailer puts a label on the can with the info in it. I write it on the back of the paint chip immediately so it’s not obliterated by paint. I also make sure I have at least a quart made up to stash as well. Came in handy when the DGS decided to use the wall to practice writing his H’s with a black Sharpie. Yes, I am a hardware brat. My DH still is astounded when I ask him, fine thread or coarse when he sends me to pick up nuts and bolts… Daddy was a hardware salesman for a wholesale company and then bought his own store. Anyway, keeping all that stuff with dates purchased and receipts makes it easy to figure out the customer service numbers, etc, like when my 4 yr old fridge went out last month…and had to get a new one because the one part that went out was not being made anymore, and was not going to be again. Soooo, lesson learned, buy from companies based in the US!

          • Shai – I have a side-by-side refrigerator/freezer from 1971 or 1972 and a freezer from 1970 – both are by Kenmore. When we had the repair/maintenance guy out to work on something else from Sears, he said we should keep the 40+ year old appliances because they are repairable and made better than the new stuff.

            • Older is always better. I use to tell my husband that all the time— but I really don’t think he believed me.

          • Petnumber1 says:

            Shai, you and I must be twins! 🙂 I, too, put all my electronics/appliance/home decor/software/hardware/etc. instruction manuals and receipts in binders. When I bought my house, the previous owner had done that, and left the binder on the counter with a sweet note. Best idea ever!

            Also, you can buy paper already 3-hole-punched and print stuff out on it already punched. Staples has it, and I’m sure Office Max/Office Depot do too. Here is Staples’ selection: http://www.staples.com/hole+punched+paper/directory_hole+punched+paper

            • Petnumber1,
              Along with stashing the instruction booklets an receipts for new items, I always find the pdf version, download it, and store on a computer that gets backed up frequently. Unless something catastrophic happens, we should all have some kind of computer or ebook reader still working if we can manage enough power to keep it charged. Even an alternater on a bicycle could potentially do this.

      • I’ve downloaded a couple free ebooks, they’ve all been nothing I couldn’t have found online, too. And I can’t print off my kindle so they may be of no use in a SHTF situation. Hence, the binders. I seem to have binders for everything. Only remember buying two. I put them in a dark closet and the dang things multiplied! Hahaha!

      • Babycatcher says:

        Because we didn’t have TV then, I had no idea what you guys were talking about with the Klondike song. Just watched the commercial (1983) on YouTube…now I’m hooked. Thanks! 😉

        • Schametti says:

          Wow, 1983, I couldn’t remember what year it was. OMG I’m older than I thought.. haha..

  27. Howdy Pack!

    This week I was able to do quite a bit of exterior scraping and painting on my house trim and did one coat on one side of it. This is so I can re-fi and spend my money on prepping and living instead of stupidly high bank interest. The alternative if I can’t refi is to put the house up for sale, and use whatever profit there might be from selling it to get out of the city. I might be looking for a 1031 exchange property to buy if I decide to do that, so the IRS doesn’t recapture my depreciation. I’m hoping for mixed use so I can have business zoning, and owner financing with no underlying mortgages so I don’t have a bank involved. Sometimes people with these kind of properties get old and need to sell, but face a big depreciation recapture or estate taxes/new basis and you can help them not have a giant tax bill if you structure it right. The downside is then you’re stuck in their shoes, so you want to make sure you’ll make money off it and not end up trapped in that town forever. The difference is often just health and knowledge.

    My taters I started indoors are all around 9 inches tall now. Soon I’ll put them outside. I saw a scheme to get a lot of potatoes in 4 sq. feet and I’m going to try it this year along with the usual thing I do. You build a bin 2×2 feet and add boards to it and fill with dirt as the plants get taller, burying half the plants every time they get a foot tall. I’ve always just stuck them in the ground and got 3-4 taters or so off each plant, so this will be different. If it works, then I have more square feet to plant corn or tomatoes or whatever. I have some rough on one side cedar planks I scored out of a dumpster last year, that I might use for that.

    All that ladder time is making my legs sore, so I guess I’m getting PT in without really thinking about PT.

    I just heard about a decluttering challenge called 40 bags in 40 days. You clean one little area of your house up per day and try to get a bag worth of stuff you don’t want from it, for 40 days. I think I will try it.

    Otherwise, I’ve just been getting my books ready for tax prep. I’m reconciling now, so almost done. Today it is supposed to snow so I am not going to be painting outdoors. Perfect for paperwork and decluttering. If it warms up past freezing later in the day I’ll do some cement repair.

    I think that’s it.

    • Schametti says:

      Hey PP. I’ve seen that Potato Tower method, I want to try it, but I’m not too overly skilled with wood, so I’m not sure I’d be able to pull it off. But it looks awesome. I would love to get triple the potatoes out of the same amount of space.

      I have to figure out what to do with my cucmbers this year. They did terrible last year. I tried putting them in a pallete container garden, and I don’t know if they got too much water, or not enough water, or if I didn’t have the kind of trellis they liked, but it went all wrong, so I’m going to have to google something better for them this year.. lol. I love cucumbers, so it made me super sad last year. They got this powdery mildew looking stuff ALL over their leaves, and the cucs were white and like.. hollow almost? :/ It was bad.

      I’ve been doing the UNOFFICIAL decluttering challenge. I didn’t have a plan, or a method, but I’ve been getting stuff out of my house for months, taking loads to goodwill, and the trash, and the attic, all in the name of having more nooks and crannies to stuff preps, so I hope you do well on your 40 bag challenge, good luck. 🙂

    • Hiplains says:

      Penny P – I may have misunderstood you but in case I didn’t; you can identify a 1031 replacement anywhere in the US – you are not stuck to one town. Just like for like property and you can defer for a bit if you need to so if you find a buyer for your property, you can tie it up and then go find your replacemnt property. 1031 are a very powerful tool we still have. Best of luck to you!

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      Penny Pincher,
      I started saving my large, 55lb bags from dog food to grow potatoes. Want to increase my yield and gonna roll the bags down, put in a little dirt and raise them and add dirt as the plants grow, until they reach the top. Not sure how successful I will be, but figure it’s worth a shot, plus it gives me more freedom on where to stash them.

  28. Hi everyone.
    M.D I like that you post photos and share all the great preps that you do.
    My week of prepping was mainly focused on getting organized I’m my garage. I did inventory over what I have and what I need over the next few weeks.
    I did get a few items;
    Put away 110 gallon of water in 2 EE 55 g barrels.
    Canned 14 lb of ground beef
    Pick up a real nice led flashlight
    Added mixed items to my first aid kit.
    Pick up a truck load of scrap wood from new home build sites dumpster. I chop it to fire wood PC for out door use of my solo stow.
    Added two more 30 g propane tanks to my preps , feels real good that I now have one year worth of propane for my 5th wheel in case we have to get of the grid.
    Hope everyone is well and safe

  29. 5 rounds for my flare gun
    5 Marine Flares
    2 gallon plastic gas can
    20 rounds of .270 WIN Hornady American Whitetail
    5 rounds of .410 slugs
    100 rounds of .22lr CCI
    50 rounds of 9mm 115 grain Tul Ammo FMJ
    2 15 round M1 Carbine mags
    3 ( centerfire systems sent an extra one) Belgian shelter halves
    3 20 round Sten mags
    1 15 round PT 92 mag

    I picked up almost a thousand rounds the week before, Until I buy a house I’m going to back off on everything for a bit. There’s no reason to put everything in the house I’m renting and fix it up for someone else.

  30. IndianaAli says:

    Picked up the usual few cans to the pantry, some more toilet paper and paper towels. Saturday was so nice, spend most of the day cleaning up around the place and getting a few of the raised beds ready… but unfortunately more winter is on the way here. I did plant some lettuce and onions in the cold frame planters and picked up more onion sets. We lost a hive of bees so today we cleaned that up to prepare for the new swarm we will get in the spring. Have been having very fierce winds over the past week which blew down thousands of pinecones from the tops of our trees. I’m collecting them to use as fire starters in the wood stove, just got to find a place to store them dry and keep the mice out of them.. challenge for sure. Getting a truck load of scrap together to cash in for more money toward preps maybe next week. Turned an old shed into a dedicated garden/fishing storage bld so I can finally find all the rakes, hoes, shovels, etc. Just finished gathering and hanging up the tools today. The winds blew our floating dock free of the mooring on the bank so had to drag that back and re-anchor it. Cleared out flower beds around the house, perennials are starting to come through the ground. Going to try adding some vegetables amongst the decorative plants this year as an experiment. Need to order a few more raspberry and blackberry bushes and possibly another cherry tree or plum tree. Will be getting my seed order together this week, don’t need much this time as I have some seeds saved from last year. Dehydrated some carrots I got on sale also this week. Placed an order for some essential herb oils again and some dried olive leaf after reading a blog talking about the multiple benefits. Also ordered the leaves Michelle recommended for cancer, just cannot remember the name right now. That’s about it, other than keeping an eye on the national and world events, does not look promising.
    Love this site and love the pictures MD. You are the real deal.

    • Schametti says:

      The winds have been TERRIBLE in Indiana, haven’t they? Parts of my provacy fence, (albeit not built well by the previous owners), has been blown down three times this spring already. At the moment, my stepfather has ratchet strapped it together in FIVE places, to get us through the windiest parts of the season, and hopefully this summer when they ground gets a little harder.. we can get a few panels replaced. But it’s been terrible. I would kill for a brand new fence all the way around, but when they quoted me at eleven grand, I just couldn’t manage it all at once. Oi, lol.

      • IndianaAli says:

        I am so tired of this winter weather. Sunday seemed like the worst day ever after such a nice Saturday here in Indiana. Those cold winds blowing Sunday went right through my bones. This week is looking better but going to get cold again where I am this weekend again.. BLEH! I can’t wait to get my hands into the dirt again and get to planting the garden. Come on Spring!

  31. k. fields says:

    Been making use of this fine sunny weather to construct another underground water tank before the ground gets too hard to work – drought here in CA looks to continue as the winter rains here in the north now seem to be over.
    Other than that, not a lot has been going on.
    Oh, did finally get my system cleared enough to start the graviola tea that Michele recommended. CT scan didn’t look good so it will be interesting to see what, if any, affect the graviola will have – I’ll let everyone know 6 months from now when I’ll get another set of scans and compare the rate of growth or reduction. So far, for me at least, other “natural cures” such as the turmeric M.D. recommended has had no positive effect. Hoping this one will be different.

    • Hiplains says:

      KF my heart goes out to you. Congratulations on your forward going spirit! Prayers of encouragement and healing for you.

    • I vote for GONE in 6 months! Should be close at least.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Best wishes for a complete recovery, k. fields. Stay strong.

    • mindful patriot says:

      k. fields, you are on my prayer list. I wonder if the book “Eat Right for Your Type” would be of any help.

      • k. fields says:

        Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve looked into that but for my blood type, O-, the recommendations are a diet heavy on lean meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables, and light on grains, beans, and dairy.

        All my life I’ve been an ovo-lacto vegetarian (eggs, diary and vegetables), so though my diet is heavy on vegetables my main foods are grains, beans and diary – just the opposite of the diet’s recommendations.

        I think trying to radically change my diet as an experiment after living this way for 64 years would have more negative effects than positive (I doubt my body can even process meat at this point). I’ve always been healthy till this cancer popped up, so I feel continuing my present diet is my best course.

  32. tommy2rs says:

    Saw this on Simply Recipes and while I detest slimy green stuff (aka vegetables) I thought someone here might be able to use it.

    Nettle Soup


    1/2 large shopping bag of fresh nettle tops
    1 Tbsp olive oil
    1 teaspoon butter
    1/2 cup chopped shallots
    1/2 cup chopped celery
    1 pound of yukon gold or russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
    4 cups chicken stock
    1 to 2 cups of water
    1 bay leaf
    1 teaspoon dried thyme (or a couple sprigs of fresh thyme)
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
    2 to 3 Tbsp of heavy whipping cream


    1 Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Wearing protective gloves, transfer the nettle tops into the boiling water. Blanch for 2 minutes. Use tongs to lift the wilted blanched nettles out of the pot and transfer to the bowl of ice water to shock them. Strain in a colander. Cut away and discard any large stems from the nettles. (This should be easier to do now that the nettle stingers have lost their sting due to the blanching.) You should have 3 to 4 cups of blanched tender nettle tops and leaves for this recipe. Any blanched nettles not used at this point can be frozen for future use.

    2 In a 6 quart soup pot, heat the olive oil and butter on medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

    3 Add the chopped potatoes, the chicken stock, bay leaf, and thyme. If using unsalted or low sodium stock, add one teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes.

    4 Roughly chop the blanched nettles. Add 3 to 4 cups of the chopped blanched nettles to the pot. Add enough water to just cover the nettles and potatoes, 1 to 2 cups. Return to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and the nettles tender.

    5 Remove the bay leaves (and thyme sprigs if using) from the pot. Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a standing blender, purée. Return to the pot and take off the heat.

    6 Add salt to taste. Depending on the saltiness of the stock you are using, you may need to add at least a teaspoon or more to the soup. Add 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Add lemon juice. Right before serving, swirl in the cream. Adjust seasonings to taste.

    Sprinkle with black pepper and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint to serve.

  33. Hi pack

    Any one have a suggestion for a good quality manual grain mill?

    • Hi Max

      There are lot of them out there sized for different budgets.

      The Cadillac of grain mills is the Country living mill
      http://countrylivinggrainmills.com/ has videos, can be “motorized” – check the site and you can see how.

      http://www.thewondermill.com/ a lot of folks buy this one

      http://www.grainmaker.com/ I have seen this one in action and tried it – very easy to use, made in Montana. If you have a Mother Earth News Fair around you, they might be there. Have models setup so you can try the different ones….and can be “motorized” – bright red

      Emergency Essentials sells several hand ones that are less
      than a 100. They are small, but good for just starting out.

      Lehman Bros (east coast) has several that you might look at. The Diamant (about 1000$)

      http://retsel.com/ made in America

      The websites have good info, videos. I know the pack has lots of info on their individual choices as well.

      Personally, I look for ease of use, ie changing stones for different grains, ability to grind different grains including oily seeds, ability to grind fine, medium, etc……and cost.

      Hope this gives you some info to start searching. Look for the TMEN fair nearest you- good info- there are other sustainability fairs all over as well.

      Good luck

  34. Petnumber1 says:

    Hi all 🙂

    I’m so disappointed bctruck hasn’t posted yet. He is the highlight of my Sundays! 🙂

    This week was all about first aid. I had spent years putting together the ultimate first aid kit to keep in my car, travel with, etc. Except now it is gone. I don’t remember the last time I saw it, so I can’t even begin to backtrack to figure out where it might be. I have a really sinking feeling that when my SIL built shelves and re-organized my garage, it might have gotten thrown away – that project took days, and towards the end, we were both just chucking stuff into the dumpster right and left.

    So I bought all the supplies to replace it (along with a few more things I didn’t have in the old one. I’m taking my best friend on a cruise next month to celebrate her retirement, which is what made me start looking for it. Oh well, this new one will be bigger and fresher than the old one….but egads, first aid stuff is expensive!

    Did a little more cleaning/re-organizing downstairs to get the storage rooms in shape. Mice got into the one storage room and decimated a big bag of rice I hadn’t sealed/bucketed yet. They also chewed through another bucket containing bags of beans. So that’s it for me and buckets. From now on, if it doesn’t come in or can be put in a #10 can or jar, I ain’t stocking it! 🙂

    Lots more to do downstairs (including deep cleaning and mouse warfare) before I’ll feel comfortable enough to start inventorying and moving stuff around. I hope SHTF waits a few more months, at least!

    Besides the first aid stuff, I stocked up on household cleaning supplies, etc. and picked up a few more cases of stuff at the LDS cannery. I love, love, LOVE that place. Also ordered chicks to arrive in early June – mostly bantams this time, but a couple of Auracanas as well.

    Still too cold to do any gardening, but next weekend, I’m going to clean out the raised beds, turn the compost-pile-on-steroids over, and pick up some more dirt to refill the beds. Studying up on the potato tower idea and trying to figure out a way to build vertical supports for the climbing veggies. The ground is so hard and clay-ey that digging holes for posts is almost impossible, so I need something that can go in the raised beds and support itself. I’m thinking of getting long, thin, PVC pipe to bend over one of the beds. Not sure – I have to figure it out in my head first and then spend some time in the PVC aisle at Home Depot. 🙂

    Hope everyone has a terrific week – praying for the ill and infirm, and heck, for all of us!

    • PetNumber1,
      I too have heavy clay soil. We are constantly adding more raised beds to grow in. As far as vertical supports goes that is something that we are working on too. If you go with the pvc get some rebar and pound that into the ground and the pvc will slide right over the rebar to help hold it in. We have part of our garden fenced in (need to finish the fence) I am building narrow raised beds on each side of the fence flowers will go on the outside and climbing veggies on the inside.

      We have a place that we can go and cut down as much bamboo as we want. We plan to use that also for climbers. Good luck and let us know about your progress.

  35. Exile1981 says:

    My oldest is doing a survival course through school so I offered to help the kids put together first aid kits for there camping weekend coming up. This gave me a good excuse to go through a lot of my supplies again and look at what I may be short on.

    Added more vitamin E, more bandages (large ones), and vics vapour rub.

    I was sick most of last week and it was a really bad chest cold with lots of coughing and weakness in muscles. It’s been doing the rounds of our community so no surprise I caught it.

  36. Babycatcher says:

    Got three of the raised beds turned over and planted with the oldest child’s help, got new locks for the lower house door, and working on some comm stuff. Next major step is rebuilding the donkey’s shelter into a 12 x 16 shed with tin roof. He’s had a 12x 24 tent for 5 years now…then we have 770 feet of fencing to replace…hyacinths are up and daffodils are going nuts! I love spring!

  37. texmexmix says:

    This may sound off but I won 60 vintage working lighters at an auction. I figured they would be a good bartering item if need be.

  38. Curley Bull says:

    Howdy Pack,

    Sis passed on at 2pm today. They unplugged her and two minutes later she was gone. I got called in to sub today so Joey waited till we were both home to call. Said it looked as if she tried to smile. She was a prepper in more ways than one and was ready. There will not be a funeral as she had given her body to science. Soon as Joey gets things squared away, every one will meet at her house for a farewell dinner. It was her wish that when her ashes are returned to Joey (could be six months, could be ten years) that he take them to a wilderness area near the Canadian border that she loved and spread them out.

    We want to thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes.

    With a Brother’s Love,

  39. Encourager says:

    Dh and I (and oldest son and two friends) completed the CERT basic training this past weekend. Now we have to decide on what group to join for further training. It was held in another county about 40 minutes from us. The head of the EMS there has been pushing our nearest EMS/Fire to offer the class and get a group going (they cover each other). He said he would work with me to put a bit of pressure on. It cost them nothing, everything is reimbursed through FEMA.

    Received a large order through our food buying club. I am replacing all GMO stuff and buying more gluten free stuff. I will be donating canned veggies and pasta to our food bank. I am not sure where to donate the organic wheat berries, if a food bank would take them?

    Interesting info on the Yellowstone caldera rising 10 inches in one week and releasing Helium-4 (found when a volcano is about to erupt); then it came out the obum admin wants to keep that info out of the public eye. Apparently those that monitor seismic activity were told to turn down the seismic recorders so they would not ‘alarm’ the public. geesh.

  40. Pacific N.W. Son says:

    We’ll Folks been very busy lately, I have got me some property with 42 Acres, a Fresh Creek run’s threw it, wooded area, Pasture with stock pond and its a Prepper’s Paradise, know its time to get settled in, start the garden, build a chick coop. Start doing some fence repair work. In the last few months I have gotten Ammo, Dry Food Goods, a picked up another Rottweiler….