What did you do to prep this week?

Before we get started with this weeks “what did you do to prep this week” segment,  I would like to thank Peter W, Sherry S, Spyder R, Vanessa M,  Charles P and Angela M for their generous donations via Paypal this week. Thank you for your support of this blog, it is greatly appreciated. If you too want to make a donation or sign up for our voluntary $5 per month subscription service you can do that here

Since we started our discussion here about “Militia groups” a lot of readers have sent emails asking for my personal opinion on the subject, so instead of answering each and everyone of those one-hundred or so emails, I’m going to answer that question here today…

It’s my opinion that when it comes to defending the U.S. Constitution from being eroded by the federal government that the “Militia groups” like  that we have been talking about here, are pretty much useless. But if done right they can have a positive effect on on their community and do some good.

Groups should be geared more toward helping their community, at a county level and members should all preferably, live in the county, for example instead of the what ever state Militia, it should be lets say; the “Fentress TN County Militia”  and they should work to help within their county, where they can actually make a difference.

For instance, they could go out and check on the elderly and see if they need any help, maybe even pitch in and mow their yard or repair a leaky roof, they could haul in food, generators and other needed items to people that are in need after an emergency, they could help clear roadways after a tornado or hurricane. They could act as a community watch. Or even pick up and clean up trash from illegal dump sites and from the roadsides.

They should do anything and everything to help within their county and community – and yes the county “Militia” could help defend the county and its resources, from thieves and refuges if needed after a disaster. For example: the Arizona Militia that was on the recent video that I posted are helping their county and local area by patrolling the border.

Have a purpose, and preferably stay at the county level and actually do something good, instead of just showing off your cammies and face paint while shouting don’t thread on me.

You’ll do more good and get more results defending the Constitution by joining the NRA, the Tea Party or other political groups and being active in those. Or better yet form or join a county “Militia” and get to work helping your neighbors, plus join the  the NRAthe Tea Party  or both.

And that’s my opinion, but yours might be different and that’s great – I fully support your right to believe how and what you want…

Okay, now let’s see what did I do to prep this week?

Fenced my garden area - I still have a little work to do, like building a gate.

Fenced my garden area – I still have a little work to do, like building a gate.


Planted grapes - well they will be in a couple of years...

Planted grapes – well they will be in a couple of years…

Planted a bunch of Blackberry plants.

Planted a bunch of Blackberry plants.

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

About M.D. Creekmore

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


  1. I built one of those “clay pot heaters” using a metal bread pan, tea light candles, and a couple of clay pots.

    I found it’s not going to heat your room to gas furnace levels, obviously. But it is actually effective at keeping a small room relatively warm, warm enough to live in, warm enough so that water won’t freeze and neither will you.

    I have stocked up on about 300 tealight candles and will continue to buy a couple of hundred every time I visit Wal Mart or Canadian tire as a standard prep.

    • That would have been a great idea last month when we lost power for the green house. I have a heat lamp out there on a temp cube so the light comes on when it drops below 40, when we lost power in that ice storm it was off for 72 hours, I’m sure a clay pot warmer could have saved my plants.

      How long does the tea lights burn for? Is it slowed down because of less oxygen in the clay pot?

      • I spent last weekend in a 3 man tent (3 midgets) and while I was settling in to sleep at night, I used a propane lantern to illuminate the tent while I unrolled the sleeping bag. I was totally amazed at how quickly it became in bearable hot in there with nothing more than a single mantle lantern on its lowest setting. I’ll be looking into these tea light tarragon cotta lamps/heaters.

        • Hunker-Down says:

          Try to find tea lights made with soy wax instead of paraffin. Some say paraffin is toxic; it gives me headaches after a couple of hours.

          We are going to make soy wax candles in 1/2 pint jelly jars and use the 2 clay pot covers to keep the heat from moving from the candle straight to the top of the room.

        • An old trick I have used is a old metal coffee can(hard to find these days, but you can buy an empty”new” paint can at the home stores) a tea candle and sand. I put the tea candle and some matches in a zip lock bag and put it in the paint can with about 1/3 of the can filled with clean sand.you can then set the candle in the sand lite it and it is amazing how much heat it will put off in only a few minutes. I like using the paint cans because of the handle.

          • Walmart brand coffee still comes in metal cans.

            • And so does Chockfull of Nuts

            • Not in our area in S Okla. The walmart great value coffee comes in container w/ an aluminum? bottom, cardboard sides, & a foil seal & plastic cap on the top. But there are a few off brand coffees at Walmart & Dollar General here, that have all metal cans.

          • Soggy Prepper says:

            #10 can. Eat some freeze dried bananas, stroganoff or use something else from one of you #10 cans stored. The personal sized cans (everyday size) work also. They also work in making a home made rocket stove.

            One of those Christmas popcorn tins with the little cans inside make a fun project with the kids and backyard kid bbq.

          • A #10 can without the sand can also be used. In winter we carry one of these with a plastic lib, can just keep the candles and matches in the can. A row of holes drilled or cut around the base of the can also helps air flow. Simply light a few candles and place them in the bottom of the can, and you can warm up a vehicle rather well..

        • BC,
          I don’t know about a Coleman lantern, but the Aladdin mantle lamp which is similar, outputs about 3000 BTU per hour. Nice white light and heat that you no longer get from a CFL.

      • I find they last between 3 and 4 hours. You could probably use longer burning candles though… It’s just that tealights are dirt cheap.

    • patientmomma says:

      I have used this method also. Good in a small space. Big lots has tea candles in bags of 300 for about $4.

    • I have been seeing this idea foating around the net, glad to know it does work. Thanks for sharing.

      • I have a friend that did the terra cotta thing this winter. She had the temp in her bedroom go up by 5 degrees in just an hour using 4 of the tea lights. I told her to get a long bolt and the accompanying nut and a handful of washers. If you fill the bolt with the washers, it even absorbs and dissipates the heat better.

        • Shai, thanks for the added tip. Since its garden season I will be picking up more of those pots.  

    • I tried this a few weeks ago. It took a little time for the terra cotta pots to heat up, but when they did, they got pretty darn warm and the pots stayed warmed for a while after the candles were out.

    • Bwhntr59 says:


      Can you explain the construction of your heater? Sounds like a great prep. Thanks.

    • Survivor says:

      Mike, how well would this scale up? Bigger candle/pot might last longer and heat more…

      • I’m not sure how well it would scale up, you should have no problem using a longer lasting candle.

        I’d think if you had several of these smaller ones in a room it would work out well though.

    • Mike,
      For those who cook with natural gas or propane, setting a clay pot of the appropriate size upside down over a burner, and adjusting the flame can really heat up the room (generally the kitchen). Keep in mind however, that the pot can get extremely hot, so beware.

  2. Md, my wife and I spent most of the week looking for blackberry plants. We found one but we are looking for dozens. We are going to plant along a fence row that can’t be seen from the house. I can’t plant anything that will grow tall, like cane, because the electric company comes and sprays herbicide on anything they don’t like growing under their power lines which happen to strung along that fence. Blackberry swill be a barrier to both 4 and 2 legged vermin,plus provide some nourishment. Did you have to order yours? They are not to be found here.

    • Bctruck,

      Here they have them by the hundreds at the local Walmart and Farmers Co-Op…

    • Hobbitt of the Shire says:

      Sorry about the report button……….You can check at the feed stores and at the lumber places that carry bedding plants. If nothing else, if you travel about 70 miles east, you can find a lot and i will buy you a cup of joe also……..lol

      • Marshall? I’m there every week! I checked lowes and walmart there. A disabled friend lives in waskom and once a week my wife and I take her to get groceries and feed for her animals.

        • Hobbitt of the Shire says:

          Monroe actually…..I have seen plenty at the local Lowes

          • I was at my pulmonologist on armond st. in monroe on thursday. I went to walmart,but couldnt find lowes.wait,,,,, is it near pecanland mall?

            • Hobbitt of the Shire says:

              lowes and home depot are both near the mall……drop me a line the next time you are out and I will meet you for coffee……may have to put up with me and the kids too though…lol…….heck of a note, 51 and my youngest is 4…….oldest is 8……heehee…..may be snow on the roof but still a fire in the furnace

    • They work well for stopping creatures as you say BC I have my front yard surrounded by them. I keep them trimmed like a hedge in the summer at about 2 ft thick and 5 ft high. It funnels everything to my driveway. Just remember they are a VERY AGGRESSIVE plant and will continue to take over any space you let them ( and some you don’t) you may regret starting this LOL

    • My Great Uncle used to have what we called “Brazos Berries on his place. They looked like black berries and we used them just like them. the main difference was some of them got as big as Silver Dollars. No Joke! I used to love to pick his patch. Don’t know where he got them but it might be worth checking into. The one thing I do remember is that they aren’t quite as sweet as black berries. Unfortunately he and the old home place are both gone and we can’t pick the patch anymore.

  3. hvaczach says:

    Agree with the thought M.D. on many level’s, I feel the more local you keep any organized effort the better. And instead of parade drill take a CPR class. First aid, storm watcher,or search and rescue course. Hone some skills that are valuable to a community before disaster strikes. and just as important after. Then if bad things come down you and your group will be looked at as help and safty, not lunatics.
    Bought 500 rounds of 5.56 this week waiting for the new rifle to get here. Even more excited about the “Dutch Oven” I found on clearence at a local hardware outlet the dutchy and the padded carry case kit was reduced 29 bucks! Found a 3200 watt generator on closeout for 249 dollars, they had several left and have for the last 6 weeks thinking next payday if there are any left I might try and negotiate to 200 in hopes of meeting in the middle.

    • Just a thought . What you are describing is what OATHKEEPERS are doing with these teams they are putting together.

  4. Not much this week, picked up another tomato, a Juliet, and a Tabasco pepper. Also got a new turning fork as mine has gone AWOL. Did some research on trying to identify yarrow in the wild. Not sure I’ve ever seen it around here, but will keep looking.
    Extremely foggy this morning, but going to stop at Feed store when I head in to watch DGS play first t-ball game of the year. Got to find out what came in the delivery yesterday and see if they’ve got an olive tree. DH is once again out of town. He’s still dealing with busted rib, finding out if you turn just right it will pop loose all over again. Yep, then he admits he lifted the massive BBQ pit up on the hitch. I then quit being sympathetic.
    Thinking wtf a lot this week, people are definately cranky all over and how in the world can a 737 just poof. Aliens? Another Lost episode?
    Also praying for the police dog Bruno out in Cali, he got shot by a perp, but is expected to live. From the news I saw, I expect if he hadn’t found the guy, his partner or another Leo would have been shot.
    Take a deep breath, everybody! Now count to one backwards as many times as you need. There’s gardening to be done!!!

    • Out of olive trees, but got a dozen TAM Jalapeño plants, 2 strawberry along with a horehound and tarragon plant. Also got a new outside thermometer that’s made of aluminum and a sturdy trowel. The little crappy trowel I had bent last year.

    • Shai,

      It’s wonderful that you mentioned Bruno. I met him and his handler a few years ago. Isn’t it amazing that people always remember the dog’s name but never the handler’s.

      Channel 7’s (KABC) in Los Angeles’s report last night with pictures showed that Bruno got his jaw shattered and was reconstructed and is now held together with plaster. The bullet passed through his mouth and lodged in his chest. He had to have part of a lung removed. The dog had all of this plaster around his jaw, and all of this crap coming out of his nose (hoses and stuff), and his entire side was wrapped in Vet Wrap.

      The picture of him on the news, He was staring at the camera, tongue out, smiling. That dog is more man than me.

  5. Love the new blog header, it’s gets to the point of what the blog is about and what newbies can expect to find here, and for those of us who have been around awhile, the wolf and the paw print welcome us back to the community we enjoy being part of.

    But I hate the fact that you have to moderate every comment, and I hope in time that will change. It’s almost like we no longer have the right to free speech here. I, for one, am not so narrow-minded that I only want to hear from LMI,, ‘yes men’ telling me everything I say is what they believe too. I’ve learned a lot here from people who do things differently than I do. And if I don’t like someone’s comment I move on to the next one!

    OK, now for the question of the day, WDIDTPTW,,we put in an order for six Guinnes and they should be here the middle of next month. DH read they are good alert birds, letting the girls and rooster know if there are any predators around (which would also alert us to any changes at the homestead).

    Canned five more pounds of chicken, and one recipe we like is asparagus chicken, so I canned four pints of asparagus too. First time for trying that veggie and it worked out well.
    My jerky kit arrived but I haven’t tried it yet. And when we are outrunning errands today we will swing by the StateArmory to p/u ammo.

    Stay safe and prep hard, the world news doesn’t look good!

    • riverrider says:

      lol, guinnies will be watchdogs alright! in a week we’ll be reading how good they taste, after you go mad from their bleating and shotgun them all. they like to run in front of your car too. we had them as a kid. we weren’t too sad when the local hawk got them one by one. good luck, they are good watchdogs.

      • RR,
        I thought they would be watchdogs against the hawks??? And in your area the hawks got the Guinies, doesn’t sound like they wil be very good at protecting the chickens.
        Hmmm, we may need to rethink this!

        Thanks, you may have just saved my sanity.

        • My mil keeps guinies the most irritating bird on earth but they are good for eating ticks.

        • riverrider says:

          i don’t remember them alerting to hawks, or not. they alerted to every leaf turn on the ground tho. like hvac said, they decimate the ticks and insects. grasshoppers don’t stand a chance.. you have to keep them out of the tomatoes tho. we lost more chicks to weasels and foxes and even neighbor’s dogs than the air. once an owl got in with them n made a fuss so we put wire over the pen. they free ranged only when we were around to watch, and close them up at night.

          • seeuncourt says:

            my guineas alert to everything, even a 55 gallon drum that used to be over there and is now over here. They are great sounding the alarm for hawks, cats, dogs, cars, people, coyotes, etc. I only have 2, but between them and the geese, you can’t get within a mile of this place without the “alarms” going off.

            • patientmomma says:

              seeu, when I lived in Asia, we had a breeding pair of giant white geese. They kept everything out of the compound, snakes, rodents, robbers. If they didn’t recognize you they would chase and bite anyone who came in the compound. When we had parties, we had to confine them.

        • Coyotes ate mine

        • Mary in GA says:

          What everyone is saying about them being loud is true, but I love my guineas. I don’t mind their noise, I think you just get used to it. They eat ticks, fire ants and other bugs and are said to chase snakes off. Go for the guineas!

    • Kermit5575 says:

      and they are very good watchdogs, my mil has 20 and nothing come in the yard without H*** being raised. plus they are good to eat.

    • Lol, for a split second when I read “guines” I thought “beer?” Oh well, I’m a newbie. I’m learnin’.

    • Please post your recipe for Asparagus Chicken. Sounds delicious! TY

    • TNfarmer says:

      Guineas are great birds. They do alert on anything that is not “normal” in their range. We don’t cage any of our poultry and they roam everywhere within our electric fence, all except the guineas. Their range is about 3/4 of a mile and they have a specific route that they travel. They eat every tick in their range. It’s wonderful. With only six dogs now we never worry about ticks. Our guineas come back every night for their cracked corn fix and then retire to the maple tree. They only make noise at night if their is a predator in the area, especially if there is a female sitting on a nest on the ground. They really make a racket, but the dogs run out and take care of the intruder unless it is an owl which they scare away. I personally do not like the taste of guinea, but that’s just me. Way too tough to eat also, even if stewed. Love living on a farm!

  6. Listing listing listing on ebay this week. Not just the usual railroad stuff (although I listed plenty of that) but some other junk I’d picked up along the way to resell. Doing pretty good so far, although the first auctions I listed last week are just starting to end. I managed to get 300 some items listed in a bit over a week of listing – averaged about 30 a day, which isn’t bad for vintage items which aren’t identical to each other.
    Got some more medical supplies this week, that’s been the major purchases.
    Did go to the weekly consignment auction. Picked up a floor jack for the hubby that’s capable of lifting our heaviest truck for $19. Also some wood working/carving/lathe tools for $13. And some books to list on Amazon.
    Been thinning tomato and pepper seedlings this week also. Need to repot most of them tomorrow … checked on the garlic we planted and mulched last fall. Some made it some appears not to have. Will do a better check Sunday.
    The big news is that we paid off mom’s credit card debt. (Hubby and I have none). So the household is down to just mortage on the house and one car payment. Yay us.
    Bought three more apple trees for the yard – a macintosh, a winesap and a granny smith. Hubby has been researching cherry trees and peach trees so we’ll get a few of those Sunday (that’s the “run madly around and do errands day” since he’s been working Saturdays for the last month.).
    Thanks to you all for me winning the contest – I was very excited! Already got the ammo gift certificate and the VPN thing (I’m going to have to have the son figure that out). Mill has shipped… can’t wait to see it. It’ll be a backup for us, since we have a Country Living mill, but we might go ahead and get the motorization unit for the Wondermill and use it for smaller runs of odd grains and keep the CM for wheat. We’ll see.
    No idea what I’ll write on next. I had started a “You know you’re a prepper” type article but Bam-Bam beat me to it.
    I’m off to the Amish bulk store today – hubby is out of the old-fashioned soda they carry and mother is out of yogurt-covered pretzels and I need to add some bulk items to our stash. Got paid by a photography client and I get to put some of that into prepping.
    Ordered some books on Amazon (I know long time readers here are all surprised.. me… buy books??) – including one on digging/drilling wells with hand tools.

    • Happy Camper says:

      Wow !! That’s heaps of ebay listing you got through. I’ve listed 17 lots this week, I found that epic ! The photographing, writing etc. I’ve found that cleaning and packaging the items when I list them had the advantage that they are ready to post fast, but the disadvantage that if the item doesn’t sell and gets stored (then it’s identifying tag falls off) it can get confusing as to what is what !!
      I’ve been clearing out craft stuff, in which I have started every hobby known to the crafting woman.
      WDYDTPTW: as above started a mass crafting cull.
      Fine tuning the aquaponics set ups created, I’ve changed one to hydroponic to compare growth rates (identical but separate grow systems)

  7. Tomthetinker says:

    Sir .. the header is a nice combination.

    My preps this week have centered around removing a train load of Ice and Piled hard snow from around my house and repairing the damage it has done. It will take another week of +32 degrees to thaw enough space to put in my ‘beds’ for this season. Today it is going to be a quiet day in the ‘powder room’ doing BoyToy Maint. and prep rotation.


    Prepper Meet and BYOBBQ. July. 12th. (Saturday) Along the Maumee River at the Roush DeBoeu, (Its French and I don’t spell ‘French’ Non Bon but I believe it means ‘Big Rock in River’.) Farnsworth Metro Park. Grills ( Charcoal supplied via my preps), Costco Dogs and ‘bunnage’, I’m bringing my own bacon wrapped filet, restrooms, Lodge building available with 20 confirmed or more, parking, wadding rapids, and a trail (bike or hike) that ends somewhere West of the Grand Rapids Dam. I will supply a large community bean pot so bring a can from your preps.

    Google-Sat the site, North end of Park at trail head. ID via Screen Name only. A meet ‘Shirt’ will be offered to those who confirm. Design is …. Open to the Packs whimsy.. just no Cammo.

    RSVP to [email protected] no later than May 31st.

    If this meet is well received, I will host another this fall along the river so the Pack can enjoy the view, the colors and the conversation. Come and enjoy the river, the woods, the time and maybe some ‘prepper beans’.

    And that’s my Preps for the week……… TTT

    • TTT
      WOW, that is such a great plan. I must let you know now I doubt that we would be able to attend due to dh health. Thank you for the invite, you an pack members have a great time I will be thinking of you all swapping self reliant information and just having a great time.

    • appearantly I missed what state this meeting is in. Can I ask for some relative location Please?

      • Southwest of toledo

      • Ohio, I had to look up the park mentioned on map quest, I wasn’t familia with the area either.

        • I was hoping it was in Michigan near grand rapids..Oh well to far from home…

          • Tomthetinker says:

            Sat Photos don’t do the place any favors. You can’t see the quarry across the Anthony Wayne Trail. There is a slice of the park just down from the parking lot that is right on the water. My Favorite place to sit and watch the rapids.

    • buckeyemedic says:


      I am very familiar with that area (went to BG 2001-2005). I’ll have to check with the boss to see if I’m free that weekend. I do not currently live in NW Ohio anymore, SW Ohio now, but I’ll make the drive if I’m free.

    • Roush DeBoeu would probably mean Roche du Boeuf in old french, which means “Ox Rock”.

    • Jersey Drifter says:

      I like the idea. Sunday I will work out the logistics, then Monday check to see if anyone at work has vacation planned / put in for then. Maybe…just maybe I’ll be on interstate 80w headed for “Big Rock In River” 🙂

      • Jersey Drifter says:

        Looks to be about 550 miles and 8 hrs., rough guess, to get to Waterville. That’s not to bad. Drive out Friday, hotel/motel Friday and Saturday. Drive back Sunday. Piece of cake.
        Now if I can get off from work Friday and Saturday?

    • Babycatcher says:

      Thank you kindly for the invite, but I have a client due then so won’t be able to come. Would love to hear about how it turns out tho. Hiking, BBQ, etc, sounds like you will have a blast!

  8. patientmomma says:

    I didn’t post last week as I left early for the farm, before MD got the blog open. My order of 3 peach trees, 12 raspberry and 2 elderberry plants came in and got those in the ground!! Ordered and received 3 plum trees and 50 strawberry plants and will plant those this afternoon.

    Added to my supply of home health meds, disposable gloves, vitamins, and herbs. Received my order of of chili bean mix and 15-bean mix from bulk foods. Accidentally ran into a grocery store sale so stocked up on TP, paper towels, dog treats, canned goods and of course beans! Found gas containers at Sam’s this morning so bought a few; plus lime for the garden and trash bags. Ordered some fish meds and some boots for my sons.

    Dehydrated sweet peppers I found on sale. Repackaged and froze 12 pds hamburger and 8 pds of pork chops also on sale; as didn’t have time to can them. Picked up 40 pds of thick cut bacon and 20 pds of sausage from Zaycon delivery; yummy!! I did manage to can 14 pints of sausage and 12 quarts of bacon; had to freeze the rest until I get more time. Still working so I can get as much a supply laid in as possible while I can still afford to buy food. I can’t believe how fast food prices are rising. Folks without gardens are really going to suffer this year!

    Bought more fencing, posts and a gate for the farm. One of my neighbors down the road is giving me about a dozen laying hens and a roster, as she is having difficulty getting around now. My son and I made a run to the lumber place about 30 minutes from the farm and got the supplies to build a 8’x12’ chicken coop. When it is done, the chickens get moved!

    I gotta stop reading these survivalist and WW3 books, they are making me paranoid! It’s hard to sleep because there is too much to do! My brain won’t turn off; it keeps running “what if” scenarios!
    May God bless each of you this week with what you stand in need of.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      Patient momma, I took a fast from the doom and gloom this week, rented some comedies, saw old friends, and ate pizza for the first time in over a year. That did me a world of good, and now I can get to sleep!

      • Hiplains says:

        NW – Soooo glad you are taking good care of yerself!!! You get a gold star!!

      • patientmomma says:

        NW, I will follow your lead on the “fast”; and switch to old movies and comedies on my Roku. I have stopped watching news on TV. I can keep caught up on internet news.

    • I have to balance reading the blog with doing less serious stuff too. Otherwise I start getting anxiety attacks.

      • Mary in GA says:

        Absolutely, I spend much time gardening, cooking, canning and livestock tending…..sometimes you can’t beat PJ’s, pizza and a Madea movie.

  9. mindful patriot says:

    Thank you, Pack, for the great insight on Conflicted Tues. It could not have been more timely as I will be training 100 miles from home on Mon&Tues, and needed to prepare to get home in a worse case scenario.

    As a result of your wisdom, I began with a one-shoulder Ameribag acquired from garage sale years ago; cheap, in perfect condition, and nondescript, then went on a mini prep fest at walmart. . .
    -stuffed a water bottle with purification tablets and lifestraw in addition to its own filter
    -small role of Coleman’s campers tp
    -tiny down sleeping bag (on sale!)
    -little can of fix-a-flat for my bicycle
    This was previously my BOB so it already contained essentials such as emergency drinking water packs, 3 fire starting methods, hand warmers, emergency sleeping bag, first aid supplies including those cute little tubes of ibuprofen and allergy tabs from a dollar store (that I opened and topped off), a drawstring bag, military style can opener, pocket knife, Coleman folding saw, pepper spray, maps, mini bug repellent, sunscreen, sharpie marker, freeze-dried 72hr food supply, small folding cook stove with fuel tablets, metal spork, small pan, toothbrush&paste, bath wipes, mini soap, tiny Bible, and few other smallish items such as a hotel mending kit.

    I always have extra drinking water and supplies in the car, but am going to throw in my bicycle and backpack in addition to the GHB for this trip.

    Also this week, while adding to my GHB, I added to my 3 teen son’s bags. We live in tornado country so this is a good time of year to re-assess everyone’s emergency bags.

    In other preps this week, I made a batch of homemade laundry soap- 6 months worth, then checked the stock of ingredients and fabric softener; added 2 boxes Borax & 3 big bottles of fabric softener. Some would not consider laundry soap part of prepping, but I prefer my recipe and clean clothes are important even and especially in TEOTWAWKI so I always make certain I have enough ingredients for another year supply on top of the batch I just made.
    Dated and put up EE order.
    Found a recipe for pumpkin butter, and learned how to make kabobs on a metal spit.
    Added a cheap siphon pump, a pack of 7 needles designed for various tasks, and a new shovel, rake, and garden hoe.
    This is getting long, but I have to go back to the pumpkin butter recipe briefly- a friend asked me why I do not copy&paste recipes to a file on the computer, I replied that I’m a little old-fashioned and prefer to have my hand-written copy in my recipe box, “it worked for grandma”. In a grid-down situation, I fear not having access to info stored on the computer, so I print it or copy by hand.

    Have a great week, Pack!

    • mindful patriot
      Love the paper recipe in the box or binder. Now how in the world do you make Pumpkin Butter? Can you share the recipe with us. 🙂

      • mindful patriot says:

        Hi Becky, ok. . . this recipe is one I have not tried yet. We received commercial-made pumpkin butter as a gift at Christmas and the kids LOVED it. So they asked if I could find a recipe so that this fall we can make some of our own. This is what I found:
        Pumpkin Butter
        2 c or a 29 oz can pumpkin puree
        3/4 c apple juice
        2 t ground ginger
        1/2 t ground cloves
        1 1/2 c white sugar
        2 t ground cinnamon
        1 t ground nutmeg
        Combine all in a large saucepan, bring to boil.
        Reduce heat, simmer 30 mins.
        Transfer to sterile containers and chill until serving.
        *note- I would want to can it instead of chilling in frig, but I have not the experience or knowledge to know if you can can pumpkin in a hot water bath safely, or if it must be pressure canned. (will research more)
        When I made peach butter last time, I used the crock pot method, and it came out delicious. I may do more searching for a pumpkin crock pot recipe.
        Have a great week!

        • tommy2rs says:

          Pumpkin butter is great on a fresh out of the oven biscuit. I add a bit of true maple syrup to mine while it’s cooking down. It gives a just a hint of maple flavor in the background if you like that sort of thing.

        • Mindful patriot, I am no expert on canning, but from what I have gathered any type of pureed pumpkin is unsafe to can due to how thick it is.
          My family loves pumpkin butter, my grandma use to make it. Unfortunately her recipe box disappeared after she passed. I know she made hers from fresh pumpkin that she cooked down and added spices to. Not sure if she added anything else though…

        • If I remember correctly you can pressure can CHUNK pumpkin but it isn’t recommended for the home canner to can pureed pumpkin (I suspect that pumpkin butter would fall into this category). Check with the extension office in your state or county – they should have current information.

        • hvaczach says:

          I would think no on the home canning, not enough sugar to be jam, and to thick to pressure can safely. Just my thoughts first blush. I would thick “Pick-Your-Own.org” may have a section on it if it is possible.

          • mindful patriot says:

            I checked in Ball Blue Book of Preserving and found suggestions for freezing and drying pumpkin, but not canning.
            Thanks everyone for the comments. . . I will keep researching.
            Love to all,

        • One is able to safely can apple butter. I’d think pumpkin butter would fall in the same categories if it were pressure canned. I scored lots of large cans of pumpkin on sale $.25 each and wanted to make butter out of it. Hope someone in the know can clue us in.

        • mp;
          Thank you for the recipe.
          I have several canning books current to WWII, they are in storage I will see if there is anything in there. If not, I will check with the local ag dept. If they do not know I will ask my friend to check with her mom. She is an old hand at canning everything before we had “grocery stores” for every thing. When you live over an hour away from the nearest store you did everything yourself and filled in with what you could not grow or find to can locally. When I get an answer I will post it.

    • I definitely consider laundry soap a prep–making your own saves a lot of money that can be used for other essential items. And you can stock year’s worth of ingredients in a small amount of space.

    • It is not recommended to can any puréed pumpkin including pumpkin butter. However, I use a recipe from my sister and I use home cooked jack-o-lantern pumpkin purée. I would not use store bought purée or pie pumpkin purée – the thickness and texture of the purée is vastly different. My recipe also uses cider vinegar to increase the acidity.

    • patientmomma says:

      Does anyone have an opinion on those collapsible bikes? One of my work associates has some and likes them. Do they hold up?

      • patientmomma- I have always been curious about collapsible bicycles, but have not owned one.
        If I lay the second and third rows of seats down in my vehicle, I can put a bicycle back there on its side.
        A folding style bike would save a lot of space for sure.

  10. The only thing I did this week was attend Prepperstock. It was exciting getting to meet so many people I’ve known through the inter webs but was lacking in constructive learning opportunities. It was worth the time and expense but I doubt I’ll do it again. I did get to sit with Ron foster fir a couple hours and chat. He is an interesting man and his brain doesn’t seem to stop seeing a potential novel around every bend in the road.
    I did realize how much I missed camping and I’ve decided to camp a little thus year. My next DIY project will be a camp kitchen box to keep all my cooking stove/ fuel/pans/utensils, in one place. Even though I was planning months in advance for this trip, I found when I got there that I was woefully unprepared for what should have a fairly simple operation. Thankfully, a friend who shared the space with me was well prepared and made sure the fat guy ( me) didn’t go hungry. In all reality, no matter how prepared I think I am, unless you are using your Oreos under conditions that would mimic an emergency, you will never know what works and what doesn’t. I like to say I’ll never buggout, ever, but the reality is that there is much that is not under our control. The derailed tanker on the railroad tracks near my house is a perfect example of things I can’t control that could force be to evacuate. I’m going to put some serious effort into making sure my portable kitchen is all in one place, stocked,and ready to go. I’ve ordered a another tent ( my other leaked so bad it was useless) and all my camping gear will be stored in one place, together.

    • Oreos? That’s funny right there. It was supposed read “GEAR”.

    • BC, I rarely think about bugging out because with a million or so kids it could be quite impossible. But your so correct in things happening that could force a person out of their home. I will be thinking about this a lot more

      As for the oreos, it made perfect sense…

      • TG, the offer still stands for a place to go if another hurricane haunts your doorstep!

        • Shai, thank you! And I may very well take you up on that since you are way closer than my parents….

    • judy, another one says:

      Brad, Have you considered a topper/shell for your truck? It would give you a place to store your gear and a place to sleep off the ground and dry. The tail-gate makes a great kitchen work surface.

      Here’s another thought, a guy in the UK that goes by the handle of Armouredcockroach has taken a trailer and turned it into a permanent camping/bug-out unit. Might be an interesting idea for a grub-box for you.

      • Judy, I have priced the camper tops and if I can find a used one, I’m going that route. The new ones are way out of my price range though.

        • I had a friend that built a camper shell out of wood for his truck. Worked quite nicely. Since you can weld too I’ll bet you could make one!

        • bc, when I was on my own I bought a twin mattress and threw it in the back of a Toyota 4X2 which had a cap on it- first an aluminum job (GREAT music in the rain) and then a fiberglass one.

          Since I’d noodle around New England spending more than one night in only two spots, it was great not to have to set up and break down a tent every day, and a lot more secure than leaving an unattended camp full of stuff. Gear would go in the spaces in front of and behind the wheel wells at night.

          And the tail gate does make a good work surface. A friend told me a trick which sounds good, tho I haven’t tried it myself. Cut a sheet of plywood to fit under the mattress, between the wheel wells. When you set up camp, just pull the plywood out part way. Big flat work surface.

          • Survivor says:

            My dad and I would sleep like that while in deer camp. He put a sheet of 3/4″ plywood elevated a foot or so. He put in a small bathroom sized propane heater and opened some vents. Very snug!!

        • My brother had a double bed mattress on a platform in the back of his pick-up with a regular-sized truck bed topper on it. It was a slight head knocker but worked great and had storage under the bed.

          • Hi GA Red, the roof of my first cap was in line with the roof of the cab (Toyota 4X2) and was a wee bit low. When I got the fiberglass one, I went for one of the versions which was about 4 inches higher. Didn’t seem like a lot, but it made a huge difference in comfort because I could sit up. It also let me carry things which wouldn’t fit in the aluminum cap.

            In three ways the aluminum cap was better, tho. 1) It was light enough for me to replace and remove by myself. The glass one takes absolute minimum of two strong people, three or four is better/safer. 2) The windows on the first one hinged at the top, so I could leave them open in the rain and not get wet inside. The glass top’s windows are sliders. I knew that would be a problem when I got it, but couldn’t find any with top-hinged windows. 3) The aluminum cap was supported on ribs, and I could slide a thin sheet of metal- a key would work- between a rib and the sheathing and hang a small flashlight or lantern from the ceiling. I could fiberglass a ring or two to the ceiling of the new one, but we don’t sleep in it anymore, and shoving brush and stuff in would likely break off a ring. Good cap, tho, especially with the extra height. No regrets on average.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      Your train derailment reminds me of when I wore the hat of ‘Contingency Planner’. Our company prepared to be forced out and I had to develop plans for offsite supplies ranging from pencils and desks to insurance and T1 telephone lines.
      Some things that may force whole neighborhoods out of their homes are; chemical spill on a nearby highway, fire structure damage where the fire department will not let you back into your home, gas leak, mold, forest fire, bridge out, and the usual things we discuss like tornado, EMP and pandemic.
      And for the region where eating boiled peanuts is common; sink holes.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      BC, oreos and bacon, while on the bottom of Ms. Obama’s list on the healthy eating pan, can be put at the top of my comfort food list! WTSHTF I will double the amount I usually eat.

    • Happy Camper says:

      Hi BC, would you mind showing us your kitchen box build when your done ? I’ve looked at building one (great ideas on youtube) but never have done it. I’ve seen a few campers that have a set of those plastic tote drawers from the cheap shops for food and one for utensils. I use ready to go clip lock tubs, but I’ve often though one of those pull along granny trolleys would work well.
      Get your camp on !!

      • Ditto! I’d love to see this too.

      • Happy Camper, my son and I built a camp kitchen box from plywood and 2X4’s a couple of years ago. It was based on an old Boy Scout set of plans and turned out rather well. Not only do we have 2 fold down work surfaces but it holds our plates, utensils, dutch oven, frying pans, Coleman camp stove and spices.
        It has 2 carry handles so 2 people can tote it, and it has 4 removable legs. There are others on the scoutmasters website but this one serves our needs.

        Here is a link to view the plans.

        • Thanks for the link to those plans, Col. D. That looks like a great set-up…for camping or other uses. I think it would be useful in my storage/panic room. My ex made the camp box I have now, which is basically a large HEAVY box with handles, and it held camp stove, dishes, pans, etc. It also fits perfectly on the back of my 4-wheeler, so I could always throw some preps in it and go if necessary.

        • Happy Camper says:

          Oh that’s very very awesome. I’m thinking of how to make it more woman friendly. Some large wheels and a pull handle (that doubles as legs). Maybe some pull out dowel rails for hanging etc.
          And a secret stash compartment for keys, cash etc.
          Any more ideas pack ?

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      Bc, could you explain the portable camp kitchen?

      • I’ve looked at several camp kitchens and they range from the basic box to keep your stove and fuel in, to an all out kitchen with places to store stove , pits, pans, plates and all the utensils and spices one would need to cook with. Mine will be some where in the middle. I’ll be sure to take pictures of the build as well as video and upload to my channel.

        • Urbancitygirl says:

          That would be great. We tent camp but I don’t have a good kitchen/cooking set up that I like yet. Thank you.

          • patientmomma says:

            I have my camp kitchen in a trash can with a tight lid. Everything I need is in the can, which will fit either in a hatchback sedan or in my truck. I have another one with the tent, sleeping back, air mattress etc., When my husband was alive, we had everything in one large trash can on wheels. I switched to two smaller cans so I could handle them.

            • Urbancitygirl says:

              Patientmomma, the garbage can is an interesting idea. I’ve tried a few things and haven’t been satisfied. I’d like to make this summer my time to be a much more organized and efficient camper.

  11. Good Morning MD & Pack;
    Today is a true beginning of our inventory, the niece is coming over to help me since, it takes two people one calling out the items and one putting it down on paper. As you know the dh was ill for some time, supplies were stacked and packed and inventoried on my brain. It needs a true accounting so we are starting today.
    2 discounted bags of bananas(10lbs)….dehydrated.
    Cash & Carry
    1 case of butter
    1 box frozen strawberries
    1 box frozen marionberries
    3 green Tabasco
    container for artisan bread
    6lbs chef bacon(note=this bacon is not salty tasting)
    2-25lb pearl barley
    1-15lb wild rice
    1-20lb white rice
    Food grade buckets from bakery
    Ordered herb books via MD site by R. Gladstar for myself and a friend.
    Kept dh fed via his feeding tube, ordered more medical supplies and food for him. He sees his specialist come Monday, and we will know the next steps to his full recovery..yahoo!. Thank you one and all for your thoughts and prayers for dh. On a sadder note db’s leukemia is not totally gone, it is so small I was shocked he has 1/10 of 1 percent blast. We thought he had made it free and clear. What a set back for him and his wife, back to the drawing board for them, if you have a chance please send healing prayers to him.
    Time to go feed the girls(cows)who are waiting patiently for breakfast. Have a great day pack!

  12. axelsteve says:

    I signed up for tdl care. Might not sound like a prep though it got my wife off my back and I don`t have to get fined. Tdl care sucks a@@ on ice as far as I am concerned.I told the lady that I had private health care and a full time job and now I have neither thanks to tdl.I told the lady that I am 53 and my wife is 50 so we do not need prenatal care and she told me that it is part of the package.She was nice enough though.I am getting less coverage with higher deductables fo 50 percent more then what I had .

    • JP in MT says:


      What a Deal! But remember, it’s so we can all help those who won’t help themselves. It’s our civic duty (as proposed by those who have and are trying to exempt themselves from it).

      Sorry, woke up wrong. Must have slept on the “Sarcasm” button.

      • JP, I think my “Sarcasm” button got permenantly stuck in the on position.

      • axelsteve says:

        I can not say anything good about government ran healthcare with the nice foks at the I.R.S. overseeing my healthcare.

        • Hunker-Down says:

          I don’t drive much, and sometimes turn on the radio. Today they were talking about one of the many loopholes in obummercare that protects the insurance companies. If you have a pre existing illness, such as cancer it is covered, right? If you develop a heart condition, the cancer is no longer covered.
          The idiots that voted in a bill they never read should be jailed.

  13. Mike and I must’ve been on the same wavelength this past week. I, too, made a clay pot and metal baking pan heater. My DH thought I was nuts (as I dug through the tool box looking for nuts and bolts with which to fasten it together). I used it in my (small) office in our home a couple days and it did warm the room (not as much as the little ceramic electric heater, of course). I’m keeping it and plan to stock up on more tea-lights as well!

    Bought some seeds to start planting & that’s my goal for the day: to get my seedlings started indoors. I have a pepper plant started back in October in a pot that’s flowering right now, so we’ll have hot peppers before summer actually gets here.

    Plan to stock up on more water, and replenish some other goods that I’ve been using and (dumb) not re-stocking as I should.

  14. Still cold and snowy here. Really cannot do much outside. I did get a 500 block of .22 LR from my local gun shop for $30. I do think that is a relatively decent price given todays market. Yesterday my friend and I took a drive looking at the local maple syrup “plantations”. Lots of buckets on trees in anticipation of the season, but the sap isn’t flowing yet because it hasn’t gotten warm enough during the days. Many farmers are using a new system that doesn’t use buckets, but lots of special tubing and a vacumn system to collect the sap. It is interesting to miles and miles of tubing running all over the forest to huge bulk tanks.

    Just waiting for some better weatheer

    • You never know what you might learn here. Carl, thanks for sharing that. I have to admit I’d never given it much thought about where maple syrup comes from and I remember learning in school about the bucket method…. But tubing makes sence ( that’s what dairy farmers do now adays to milk the cows,,, no one sits on a three legged stool any more)

  15. Good Morning all!

    We’ve got the kiddo’s birthday party today so I probably won’t be on much, but wanted to check in before things get crazy….

    This week we managed to:
    ~ get the seeds started in our little portable greenhouse
    ~ get the tiller out and get some beds prepped
    ~ get a bed of onions planted
    ~ organize the laundry room so I can “hide” more things
    ~ pulled out spring/summer clothes and went through winter clothes to get rid of too small stuff
    ~ make a homemade ice cream cake for the kiddo’s party

    I can’t remember anything else, but if I do I’ll add it later.

    Keep on keepin on and have a great week.

    • Great little party yesterday with the ice cream cake and a silly string fight. The kiddo had a blast!

      We added a nectarine tree to the garden area and will probably be adding another so that we have some symmetry. We found a lot of flower seeds and bulbs on sale and are adding those to the front of the rose fence. Many will grow up and cover the bottom half of the fence to provide some screening until the roses start coming in. The flowers are mostly the kiddo’s domain since she loves the colors, shapes, and textures and they were part of her birthday gifts.

  16. My preps will be minimal for the next few weeks, brakes gone out on the truck, I will be trying to fix them tomorrow, I did get some canned butter, shortening, and oats at the local grocery. And I did order some fish meds.
    I have said this before here and on other blogs were I am not so polite, that I believe that we are all the Militia, but the groups out there that draw attention to themselves with the camo, and all tricked out custom trucks, are not doing themselves any favors, they will be the ones that are dealt with first by a harsh government, I have always thought it is much better to appear less of a threat, harmless, and of no consequence if possible.

  17. Jersey Drifter says:

    Not much this week. Did get to put up more rice in Mylar, O2 absorbers and buckets. I used 1 gal. bags and put about 12 cups of rice in each one. That way I can just open the bucket ( gamma Lid ) and take one bag out at a time. This seems to work for me. Also did 12 lbs. of pasta. I left them in the store bags they came in, I just cut off on corner of the bag, put them all in a 6gal. Mylar bag, O2 absorber, and squeezed out as much air I could without busting all the pasta.
    Also found 5.56 at Walmart in the ammo can size. Seems supply is getting better.

  18. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Hey cubbies! Hope all are well and happy.

    MD, your fencing is coming along nicely good luck on the blackberries. Mine seem to have taken over and are now in bloom. It’s a double edged sword.

    Our preps for the week were few but important. We built a bigger coop and run and got the 22 chicks set up inside. They are stepping into the run for the first time today. The adult birds have yet to see them. We have so much spring cleaning inside and outside to do but have at least scratched the surface.
    Made another trip to the doctor. Am finally on the road to getting better. Will have a new procedure in my back next Friday so hope to be back in shape soon.
    DH found a broken salt cell on our pool so ordered the replacement. Found large bottles of Listerine on sale so added 3 bottles. I know I’m missing stuff but have been busy and plus keeping a close eye on what’s going on here. I am tired and sore!

    I really love this blog and if I was MD, I would feel sucker punched. But I believe heated debate can be a good thing.

    And BC, gear is good but Oreos are better!

    Love you guys and have all in my prayers.

  19. Texas Mom says:

    To start off with a question… Has anyone attempted to store cereal in mylar bags with absorbers? That’s my son’s comfort food and I was wondering it if would hold up that way without going stale.

    After asking 2 weeks ago where to begin and hearing everyone’s responses, I took everyone’s advice to heart. Main thing I need to do is relax and not let my anxiety get the best of me. I am much further ahead than I think. I worked in EMS for 11 years so I have a lot of medical training is emergency situations. So I took all of my stuff a had and placed it all in huge duffel bag to set it up the way we would on the truck. Now I need to add some OTC meds and suture kits to it.

    Living in the country I have always had a garden and canned. Later I’m going to build some raised beds and have already ready ordered more seeds. I’m only waiting on the weather to cooperate. Getting my Air Force brother to take me to the range when he comes down.

    Organized everything in the home. Got rid a lot of useless stuff. Cleaned out the shed. Found stashed canning jars and my old wedding dress and donated that to someone who couldn’t afford one.

    Bought more tp and water. Started a bucket of chocolate candy. And started a prep binder to organize all the information I’ve collected so far.

    • T-Mom,
      It does sound like you are much further along than you thought, sometimes you just have to take the time to gather what you have (and think about your skills).
      I don’t have any experience storing cereal, but I’m sure someone here has done it and will report if it was successful. I have all my dried products in Mylar w/o2absorbers.

      There is a bucket full of M&Ms in MT,, I have Hershey bars,,it’s what ever works for you!

    • What region of our generation state you in? I’m in the Hill Country near Austin.

      • Now how in the heck did the auto correct turn great into generation?

        • Texas Mom says:

          Love the Hill Country. Used to go to Leakey all the time. It was beautiful out there.

          • Lol, descended from the Leakey’s… On both sides of my family… Not that part of the HC but still Gods Country! Remember going down there as a kid and camping out on the old homestead before the old aunts died and the land sold off. It’s a subdivision now…sigh. Was down there for my aunts funeral a couple of years ago at the cemetary in Leakey. Love, love, love that area between Con Can and Leakey.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Here is a discussion about storing cereal;

    • JP in MT says:

      When our local “bulk market” (cheaper than the grocery, more than Costco) had the big bags of Malt-O-Meal brand cereal on sale we stocked up. Got 6 gallon buckets w/lids, added oxygen absorbers inside the Mylar bags. After looking on line at an average of $60/bucket we did it for under $20 per bucket. Not too much trouble really.

    • Texas Mom says:

      Thanks for the cereal ideas and links. It seems as though as long as it doesn’t have a high sugar content or is Apple Jacks it seems to do really well.

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      Great job Texas Mom, the medical training is a major plus!

    • sw't tater says:

      I just did a batch of corn flakes this last week.I don’t know for sure how long they will keep, but mine were dated for 2015/May.I put mine in food grade bags, with zipper seal placed an oxygen absorber in each bag and put them down in food grade buckets with three additional absorbers in a five gallon bucket.Those crushed will make coating for chicken.I am thinking at least 9 months past the date on the package…since we don’t eat them often…I wanted to give them the longest date possible. I thought the oils would limit the time they will keep.

  20. Hunker-Down says:

    YEA for the NRA!
    YEA for the Tea Party!
    YEA for Senator Paul, that blond kinky hair senator from Kentucky!

    The DW received an email from one of her LMI friends on the benefits of asparagus. She has stage 3 kidney disease (common for a 70 year old, not serious) and asparagus is supposed to cleanse the kidneys. The article also listed 4 verified cases of different types of cancer being cured by a constant intake of asparagus (no profit here, so it’s probably illegal to even write about). According to the email one is supposed to puree the asparagus and take 4 teaspoons per day. Because she is on blood thinner medication she will start with 1 teaspoon (asparagus is a blood thinner) a day and wait for her weekly INR blood test before increasing the asparagus dose. I’m also taking it.
    From 12 pounds of asparagus we canned 22 pint and 13 half pint jars. The pint jars have the thicker ends of the asparagus shoots to be pureed and the half pint jars have the tips, saved for table use. Hopefully this info will help someone in the Pack having kidney or cancer issues (just Google it).

    While shopping for the asparagus we bought 5 pounds of kidney beans to go with the chili sauce we canned last week, and the hamburger we canned last month. Our local stores don’t carry kidney beans; we have to go to the ‘big town’ for them. Where can we buy online, bulk kidney beans that are grown in the U.S. or Canada?

    I can tell you how to farm corn and soybeans but since we are from the North, don’t know anything about growing or storing peanuts. We would like to make our own peanut butter and am asking what we should buy, where to buy it (25-50 pounds) and how to store it. Also would you share your favorite peanut butter recipe?

    Prayers for the Pack and those they care for. And for bacon eaters also.

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

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

    • H.D.
      Re bulk beans online: North Bay Trading Co
      I’ve ordered beans from them as they have extensive variety of beans. All beans grown in US and are organic and or Kosher. Most beans can be ordered in 25lb boxes …or smaller quantity. Very happy with my orders.
      They also carry Wild Rice which stores great, alternative to regular white rice. Tasty !
      This personal recommendation only.
      As for peanuts and making peanut butter. Suggest you purchase peanuts in person vs ordering. What was advertised as this years crop, ended up being old peanuts. Not worth making butter !
      Peanut butter, after grinding the peanuts, I add either little peanut oil or honey and blend with the butter, prior to storing in jar.
      Hope this helps

    • Hunker-Down,
      I found asparagus powder and kidney beans (red ones and white ones) from bulkfoods.com. They have been one of my best sources for our food storage.

      • mindful patriot says:

        Thank you for the resource!

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Were looking for a U.S. grower, one that advertises that their products are not imported from the Far East.

        • Ozarkana says:

          I was typing away and didn’t realize that somehow I had posted before I finished what I was thinking. Even though,their product is imported, it might be a quick solution until you can find the U.S. version. It feels like we are running out of time to get everything done and imported might be better than nothing.

          I knew a woman who lived years and years with cardboard over the windows instead of curtains, bare bulbs hanging from the ceiling instead of fixtures, and no cabinet doors or drawers because she couldn’t find the “perfect” ones. I just remembered why she stopped speaking to me. I told her that it looked to me like she had a lobster appetite on a crawdad budget.

          • Hunker-Down says:

            Thanks Ozarkana,

            I found more than one nut/grain supplier whose products originate in China. I’m sticking with a crawdad budget but don’t want food that may be coated with insecticide or contain ground metal gear dust. Don’t like lobster but crawdads that don’t get eaten make good fish bait.

            • Bought a large size garlic powder from Sam’s several weeks ago. Not only did it not have much of a smell (this is garlic…it should stink)and when checking it is grown in China. Threw it in the garbage. My husband had to read labels and go to several grocery stores but finally paid $6 for a small bottle. Now I will read all the small print…..it is like seeing the bags of crawfish in our local stores with a Cajun name then reading the small print…..imported and rumored to have chemicals to help preserve them. A crawfish should be eaten near its source, not sent half way around the world. Eat fresh and local!

              • Crawfish should be live when tossed in a large pot. We get them by the gunnysack full and freeze what doesn’t get eaten. I package them up in portions to put in étouffée for everybody else to eat. Developed an allergy to shellfish a while back… Bummer. Love grilled shrimp with cream butter sauce..

              • Encourager says:

                Frontier Natural Products (available in health food stores and food co-ops) has garlic granules that will knock you over the first time you take a sniff. Great stuff…organic, and from USA. If you find a store that carries that braid in bulk, you can buy what you need. Also available in a one pound foil package or small spice bottles.

            • Encourager says:

              Not to freak anybody out but…picked up a container of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder at the store and in small print on the front it said… “Talc manufactured in China”. What?! I am suppose to put that on myself or a baby’s bum? With China’s track record? No Way!!

          • “Lobster appetite on a crawdad budget” lol I used to always tell my DS2 that he has champagne taste on a beer budget!

    • I canned asparagus for the first time this week! I cut the hard ends off just as if I was going to cook them, then cut them in half so I was able to get both the tips and the stalks in the same canning jar all standing in the same direction.

      If you are consistant with your diet it won’t effect your clotting time ,, folks run in to trouble when they eat a big spinach salad then get their INR checked and the doc adjusts their meds based off that inflated value. And they might not eat spinach (or other green leafy veggie for weeks)

      • Hunker-Down says:


        The DW is always on the alert for foods that would alter INR. I’m hoping that if/when she gets up to 4 teaspoons or asparagus daily that her Warfarin (rat poison) can be significantly reduced.

        • Instead of the rat poison see if the doctor will switch her to Xarelto. No testing and green leafy veggies are ok in moderation.

      • Schatzie Ohio says:

        I am taking Warfarin (for my inner rat) for my genetic blood clotting disease. I love all the things like broccoli, asparagus, etc. and it seems that I have to have my INR checked frequently because I don’t eat them on a regular schedule. Recently the doctor said I should balance the blood clotting foods with the blood thinning foods like cranberries, pineapple, etc.

    • H-D,

      I thought you didn’t like boiled peanuts.

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Ban Bam

        Boiled peanuts are only good for patching potholes. OTOH, M&M’s can justify raiding the federal reserve.

        Is there some conspiracy whereby Southern folk refuse to give up their peanut secrets to us Yankees?

        • Bwahahaha….. They’re legumes…. Not nuts.. And if you get the #10 cans at Sam’s the shelf life might be longer, but the oil is what makes them go rancid fast. Try getting raw peanuts, might last longer.

          • Hunker-Down says:

            What’s a raw peanut?

            • One that hasn’t been roasted. Straight up, out of the shell, with those funny little redskins on them. Sometimes you can buy them in bags at the grocery stores around the holidays, because they make the best peanut brittle, and to make those dreaded boiled ones. Here, the produce dept. keeps them rear round, sometimes see them in the bulk section as well.

              • Rear round? Really, autocorrect? Year round…

              • Hunker-Down says:


                I assume those funny little redskins need to come off before squishing into peanut butter, but, do they need to stay on the peanut to get the maximum shelf life? Same question regarding leaving them in the shell.

                • Encourager says:

                  Not necessarily, HD. You can make peanut butter with them on. The PB is actually a bit darker. That ‘fiber’ should be good for ya! But they peanuts need to be roasted for PB, not raw.

              • tommy2rs says:

                And the best peanut patties.

              • Boiled peanuts are best when made from fresh dug peanuts (green), not dried ones. Dried peanuts make tasty peanut butter.

                • recoveringidiot says:

                  Green ones are best for boiling but if all you can find are dried out use a pressure cooker and they turn out passable. I like the Creole seasoning in place of some of the salt.

            • They sell them here at the grocery or the farmers market. It’s peanuts that haven’t been boiled or roasted yet,,,,,au-natual! But I would think it would still have a certain amount of oil in them.

            • What’s a raw peanut? One that has not been cooked. LOL

        • Momma Mc says:

          I have a friend at work whose wife owns a trthen patch and greenhouse here in Missouri (where we don’t eat peanuts boiled). They do peanuts every year. My DH came home with a huge bag last fall. They were salted, still in the Shell like bar peanuts. I’ll ask if they would ship and get back to you. He won’t work back on until next Thursday, but I’ll let you know then.

          • Momma Mc says:

            That should have been truck patch. (Still learning how touchy the keyboard on my new tablet is)

          • Hunker-Down says:

            The DW is on a salt restricted diet. Since dealing with anything having to do with peanuts (except eating them) is new to us, we would prefer to be able to control the amount of salt that goes into our homemade peanut butter. sw’t tater said ‘just peanuts and salt…nothing else’. I’ve seen recipes that use honey, and since Mars Candy Co isn’t volunteering a recipe I guess we need to do some experimentation. Before we get to that point I need to know if we should buy in-shell, shelled, raw, roasted or whatever to answer the question; which state should we buy in bulk in order to get the longest shelf life.
            Please ask your DH if the truck patch folks would ship to a Yankee. Thanks.

            • Encourager says:

              I buy peanut butter made with just peanuts with or without salt. I also like the peanut butter that has a bit of palm oil in it to keep the oil from coming to the top, so it is no-stir. Without all the preservatives and sugar, it has a shorter shelf life. I am currently using one I just opened that expired 6 months ago and it tastes just fine.

    • sw't tater says:

      Peanut butter recipe.. just peanuts and salt…nothing else!

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Sounds very complicated:-). thanks.

        • Hunker-Down
          Occasionally I add honey instead of oil.
          There is a recipe for peanut butter and bacon. Enjoy


          Old Fashion Peanut ButterHomemade peanut butter is easily made with an electric blender or a food processor. The longer you blend or process, the softer the peanut butter will be. Storage: Store in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator. Oil may rise to the top, if this occurs, stir before using.

          Direction for Using an Electric Blender
          1 cup roasted shelled peanuts (with or without red skins)*
          1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil
          1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if salted peanuts are used)
          Place ingredients in blender. With the lid secured, blend until mixture becomes paste-like or spreadable (3 to 4 minutes). If necessary, stop the machine and use a rubber spatula to scrape mixture from the sides of the container and back into contact with the blades. Continue blending until desired consistency is reached.

          Note: For chunky peanut butter stir in 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts after the blending is completed.

          Makes 1/2 cup smooth or 3/4 cup chunky peanut butter.

          Directions for Using a Food Processor:
          2 cups roasted shelled peanuts* (with or without red skins)
          1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if salted peanuts are used)
          Using the metal blade, process ingredients continuously for 2 to 3 minutes. The ground peanuts will form a ball which will slowly disappear. Continue to process until the desired consistency is obtained. If necessary, stop machine and scrape sides of container with a rubber spatula.

          Note: For chunky peanut butter stir in 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts after the processing is completed.

          Makes 1 cup smooth or 1 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter.

          *Peanuts with red skins may be used. (Do not confuse skins with outer shells!)

          • Hunker-Down says:


            Thank you. I printed your instructions and will use them when we order our peanuts.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      I found a source of commercial peanut butter manufacturing. According to the article we can store shelled peanuts in the refrigerator up to 25 months.


      • Hunker-Down says:

        I had the credit card next to the keyboard, ready to order 50 pounds of peanuts. Three vendors charge, including shipping; 2.09 and 2.08 and 2.26 per pound if you buy 50 pounds. Ten pound bags are almost twice as much. I checked Sam’s Club and they sell 40 ounce jars for 2.10 a pound for the finished product.
        Unless the numbers drastically change, we wont be making any peanut butter.

  21. Kermit5575 says:

    Got two more apple and plum trees, two Kiwi vines. 10 Bantam chickens, one new Rooster for the RI Reds hens from last year. Got all my seeds in for the next two years (went overboard buying seeds again this year) got four peach tree cutting, rooting from a peach tree on the side of the road and two more fig trees. now just need to get everything in the ground and growing. I LOVE SPRING!!!

  22. Last weekend we “finished” clearing out another corner of the basement. Sent a p/u truck load of “stuff” to the junk yard, including all the gun boxes I no longer had weapons for. That cleared up about 4 pallets of space t reorganize in. Since the DW was on the road most of this week, we’ll try to get that done.

    It may not happen as a good friend from church is in his final days from cancer. They took him off the feeding tube Friday, as it was not doing anything but prolonging Things. His DW of 50+ years is taking it hard. We had a vigil last night with the Pastor and Asst Pastor and their wives, and several friends and family. I will pick up the SIL Sunday night. As usual flying into the airport 90 miles away is cheaper, this time $900 cheaper.

    As last week was our “major” shopping trip for the quarter, this week was minor, mostly stuff on order coming it. Order of sauce from EE (Cheese and Alfredo), my bullet puller collets from November, a red/green dot scope, batteries and a solar porch light w/motion detector from 1saleaday.

    Locally picket up some pasta, corn bread mix, cheap butane lighters, and hard candies, mostly on sale. I picked up a bag of the new “Mega” M&M’s and found the cost went up 10% as the 12.6 oz bag now has 11.8 oz in it.

    Got given some 12 oz (not 1 pound) bags of premium coffee that were past their “Best if used by” date. Got 5 bags and at $10/bag I’ll drink “stale” coffee. Sent a dozen cans of Pasta meals home with our oldest DD, since the boys don’t eat lunch here much anymore.

    Ordered a Nikon P-22 scope. Been looking for a good one for 22 LR rifles, and found it on sale at Midway.


    Evidently they are dropping that model as it was $110. $150 at Wal-Mart and $180 at Amazon.

    Well friends, I’m glad we got a lot of personal stuff “shaken out” this week. Sometimes a family just has to work out the differences. I spend 42 years not talking to my Father, over something stupid, and learned that he and I would have been pretty good friends if I hadn’t waited so long. I’m had to see someone leave the pack over a comment or two, but that is their choice. I enjoy those that are here and miss those that have moved on. With another “loosely worded” Executive Order having just gone out, we need each other more than ever.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      My neighbor, 89, is in hospice dying. It’s hard, JP, but she is in pain.

    • Nsaneprepper says:

      Glad to hear about you and your dad…brought a tear to my eye…I once went two years not speaking to my parents and now that they are both with the Lord I would give anything to have that time back…sometimes we can just be so stubborn.
      God bless you and your dad.

  23. riverrider says:

    hi pack, not much this week. i had forgotten how much time work takes up,lol. i did buy a h&r survivor rifle in 410/45lc. that was a hole in my arsenal. that’s ’bout it. sic semper tyrannis.

  24. Good morning pack. This week, we found water at 75 feet, 7 gallons per minute. It is such a relief to have our own water source without chlorine and fluoride in it. I am researching solar powered submersible pumps for the next big prep.

    If someone’s hobby is running through the woods, screaming, with a roll of camo toilet paper in their back pocket—that is cool. I don’t expect anyone else to get excited about my hobbies of gardening, canning or sewing either. To Each His Own.

    I have been spending a lot of time praying that we all have the time and strength that we need to get to where we need to be as soon as we can. Time and Life are passing too quickly.

    • mindful patriot says:

      Wait. . . are you serious? There is such a thing as camo tp??
      I have no camo, but running thru woods screaming sure sounds like fun if camo tp is involved! I’M IN!!

      • Ozarkana says:

        mindful patriot, Let me know when. I get to take pictures, right?!

        • mindful patriot says:

          I prefer a video, if you don’t mind. We’ll keep in touch and just as soon as find that camo tp….

      • Uh, my sister gave DH a roll of camo TP for Xmas a couple of years ago… It’s packaged as a joke item. The problem with using regular white TP out in the wild is it resembles the flash of a white tail deer… I’ve seen blaze orange TP as well. Whatever happened to getting colored TP anyway?

      • axelsteve says:

        I always thought tp was camo after it`s used.

    • What method did you use to get to the water?

      • Ozarkana says:

        I had professionals come in and drill it. I looked at your well drilling on youtube; but, I am too old and Arkansas rock is too hard for me to try anything like that. It didn’t cost near as much as I thought it would; but, they didn’t run any pipe to the house for water or lines for electric. I have been reading about the Flojak manual pumps. Has anyone dealt with them or have any other suggestions? The static level is at about 12 feet, or, at least, it was right after they drilled it. It could be less by now. I haven’t waded through the mud to check it out today.

        • k. fields says:

          I’ve used Bison pumps on my wells since they first came out in the late 1990’s and have been very happy with their quality and customer service.

          • Thank you for the suggestion, k. fields. I will check them out.

            • Yeah my method certainly wouldn’t have gotten you through the rock. Glad you found it so shallow and cheap.

  25. Hi Pack! Some of you remember me, some of you have spoken to me and some of you don’t know who I am. I’m Steve. I’ve written an article that was published here before that was so overwhelming it got a whopping 42 responses. Yea pennies!

    Normally I don’t contribute to WDYDTPTW due to OPSEC reasons but I felt that this week I really had to chime in. For me, it’s not going to be just this last week of what I did, but the last two months.

    What I’ve done for the last two months is work on my interpersonal communication skills under REAL WORLD exigent circumstances. When I mean exigent circumstances, I mean I was communicating while under duress. I had to communicate while I couldn’t be understood. I had to communicate to someone who didn’t want to listen. I had to communicate to someone who didn’t care. I had to communicate to someone who was angry. I had to communicate to someone who was obstinate. I had to communicate to someone who was grieving. I had to communicate to someone who was lying (and knew it but thought I didn’t). I had to communicate to someone whom I loved. I had to communicate to someone I hated. I had to communicate to someone I respected. I had to communicate to someone I respected and didn’t want to lie to them but not tell them everything they were asking. The list goes on.

    I know condensing two months into one week of preps is pushing it a bit, but the last two months have felt like a week and here’s why…

    Right in the middle of January I got nailed with that rat bastard flu just like everyone else. It knocked my d!(k in the dirt. My Doc put me on a prophylactic dose of antibiotics (Azithromycin) to prevent Phenomena. I don’t know if it worked. Anyway, I had to communicate to my boss why I couldn’t come into work. He didn’t care that I was sick. Unfortunately I was out for over a week. I started recovering when I got a call from my father. My Step-mother was in the hospital and he thought it was terminal. She got diagnosed with lung cancer about 3 years ago. She went through Chemo and radiation and was declared lung cancer free. Unfortunately it metastasized into her brain. Unfortunately for her the treatment was worse than the disease. She passed two days after my birthday. Out of all this, she was the only one I didn’t get to communicate with. She didn’t even recognize my dad or her dog the last week of her life. My dad went as far as getting her pound puppy pit-mix certified as a “Hospital Therapy Dog” so he could take her into the hospital to visit my step-mom.

    It’s not the first time I’ve had to talk to a grieving parent, but it’s the first time that I’ve had to talk to a stubborn, obstinate, bull-headed grieving parent. I found out the reason that my mom divorced my dad. I don’t love him any less, but F*(k!!!! he’s hard headed. My communication skills got seriously tested. Now I know why the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I guess I’m growing up… Finally. Talking to him and talking to my mom (the two have been divorced for 40 years) was interesting. Talking to my boss was a little more difficult. I had max’d out my leave. I knew my step-mom was passing so I had to tell my boss that I would have to take “leave without pay”. The argument ensued. He told me I couldn’t do that. I told him I could. It is such a pain in the A$$ to have to pull out a regulation, a copy of the Family and Medical Leave Act, and instruct your own supervisor “?” on what is right and proper and legal, it boggles the mind. Especially my mind that was addled with a killer flu. There’s that communication problem that got tested. Anyway, dad didn’t want me to fly up to Oregon. He said it wasn’t necessary and he didn’t want me up there. “It’s not because you’re sick, it’s because there’s not going to be any service and I don’t need any help”. OH SHIT! Now what? Dad’s not a huge church going man, but he can quote chapter and verse. WTF!? Over. That communication challenge then presented itself. I’m still working on it. I’ve managed to pacify his mind that I’m “checking in on him” when I call every week by hammering him over the head with… “I’m ‘Checking IN, not Checking ON’” He’s accepted that. Whew! One communication dilemma solved.

    Now that I’m well enough to go back to work I did. I’m still ill and weak, but not contagious (I hope). The same boss that wanted me to show up while I was hacking and coughing and shaking with fever is now giving me the stink-eye for being in his office with the sniffles. That communication problem presented some problems. Fortunately I haven’t been brought up on any insubordination or assault charges. I properly restrained myself. However, I did come up with some choice ways on insulting one’s supervisor without being insubordinate. Either that or he really is that stupid.

    Now here is where Murphy set his trap. Just when you think you’re done with all this and nothing can go wrong… Mr. Murphy shows up. I had recovered from the flu for maybe a week. Then out of nowhere, I get a cold. A Cold! a cold. Seriously! How does this happen? I know it wasn’t the flu because I wasn’t achy and my skin and hair didn’t hurt. Frankly, absent that, a cold and flu feel the same. Great! Communication time again with the boss. That went well… NOT! I actually had to tell him that I would come in just as long as he would work next to me ALL day. He told me to stay home and get well.

    I know this post is supposed to be about communicating under duress. Hear me out, it gets better. When I talked to my dad I had the flu. It was very hard just to even form cogent sentences. When I had the cold, I was miserable, but I could think. I thought it’s just a cold… lets take some cold remedies. Nyquil and Mucinex do not good speechers make. I got to talk to a lot of people during those few days. I got to talk to a friend from this blog. I got to talk to a couple of Good Men that I have been talking to recently. I got to talk to my mom who was worried about me. I even talked to my dad. They all said, “Wow, you sound like Sh!t” I just hope I held it together while I was on the phone.

    Now I’m back to work. With all the time off, I got a chance to catch up on the blog. I’m not going to rehash the details but I understand Michele got offended and said she left. M.D. has put the blog on 100% moderation. BCtruck still hates cops. MentalMatt claims he’s a police officer. Strife is happening in the world. Some old pack members are back (Hi Schemetti). Don’t forget, I’ve been catching up on a couple of months of blog postings. The last one I read was about beans and how not to fart. I think Michele wrote that.

    I chimed in very recently on the “Comment Moderation” post because, frankly, I missed the interaction. I was sad to see that Michele somehow got so offended that she chose to leave. I read through all of the comments of the posts where this supposedly happened and I didn’t see anything offensive. Now I’m saying this at least two weeks after it happened. I have no idea how many comments have been removed. I have her email and I will be in communication with her. She’s good people and an asset to this blog. If offensive things were being communicated to her or her husband and the “REPORT” button wasn’t being used, that’s on the pack. And if that’s the case, shame on us! If she just got her panties in a wad on a bad day, then that’s on her.
    Somehow, after all she has contributed to this blog, all of the articles, and knowledge that she has so freely shared about food preservation and medicinal herbs, and her general upbeat attitude… I don’t think she just had a bad day and quit.


    I had a bad few weeks with some things that hampered my communication. I tried to overcome it with what I learned in the military. So sit down, and pay attention!


    The SENDER is the one trying to send the message. That means YOU the person typing are the sender.

    The RECEIVER is the person reading (or hearing) the message.

    INTERFERENCE is all of the BS that can get in the way.

    Interference can be the fact that you cannot express yourself well via text. Interference can be cultural differences. Interference can be because you can’t see/hear/recognize the person sending/receiving the message.



    Interference IS going to get in the way.

    If you send the message and the receiver says “WTF”? It is the senders fault for the message not getting through. The receiver must say “I didn’t understand you, say again”.

    If the sender sends the same message again and the receiver “received” him/her correctly but didn't understand, then the receiver needs to ask “What do you mean”?

    At this point, start over until the message is received correctly because there is INTERFERENCE. A message is not being understood as sent.

    Here is an example…

    BCTruck and I had a mild interaction on the “Comment Moderation” article. I called him and MentalMatt out on their spat of a few weeks ago. It was a few days ago for me because of the catching up on the articles I’m doing, but that’s besides the point. I made a very long post about their interaction and expressed my displeasure about both of them. Go read it for the details if you want. I was much harder on MentalMatt than BC, in my opinion. Matt hasn’t responded. That’s my fault. The message wasn’t received. Maybe I should try again.

    BC did respond. Angrily. At least that’s the way I read it. He said that I was telling him that he wasn’t allowed to express himself but I wrote a novel expressing myself. “Irony, no”. NO!

    I sent a wrong/bad/garbled/unintelligible message. OK, that means I needed to send the message again. I did in different words. I didn’t hear back from BC. Having been a regular reader for a long time, I do know that BC does not back down from a fight. My “resending” of the message, must have come through LOUD AND CLEAR. I had meant no offence and he didn’t respond by saying he was done talking to me. He didn’t respond period. I assumed a successful transmission of the message. I couldn’t be completely sure without a “message received” indication, but I do know his writing style. So I was satisfied.

    Sender and receiver did their jobs and the message got through.

    So what did I do this week/month/two months… I tested a very basic communication tool under various types of stressors… Verbal, written, and non-verbal communication.

    I have a lot of work to do.

    • +100! Very good analysis!

    • Perfectly stated! I am sorry you got so sick, I know I was down forever (or at least it seemed so to me) with the flu this year, first time in a ling time I was that sick. Glad you are on the mend.

      • Thanks for the well wishes TG. I need them. For some reason I can’t get this crap out of my chest.

  26. I restocked some ammo–2000 rounds Federal 9mm. We haven’t been shooting much in the past year because of the price of ammo. But Cabelas had a box of 50 for $14.99 with $5 shipping.

    I received an order from EE. It’s still sitting in the hallway waiting to be labeled and put up.

    My dh went to turn on the facet and nothing came out. That left quite an impression on him. So I have the go-ahead to order a 55 gallon water barrel. I tried to order one from Sam’s Club but their website was messed up and wouldn’t let me add anything to my cart.

    I want to ask everyone to pray for the Pack, America at large and Israel. Everyone we know has been under spiritual attack. My dh has been going to daily mass. It seems the stress has gotten to a lot of folks of late. Remember, Satan is a defeated foe.

    • JP in MT says:

      Bam Bam:

      Good point, I forgot about the Old Trickster being behind this.

    • Hi Bam Bam, “order a 55 gallon water barrel. ”

      I cannot tell you how much peace of mind a 55 gallon barrel of water can buy. That and a Family LifeStraw and an AquaPail 1000 make a big difference for us.

    • Bam Bam,

      Check out this site for water storage. www(dot)surewatertanks(dot)com I’m looking at their large one to fit in my garage before the water company turns off my water because of this drought in California.

      I don’t have any affiliation to the company at all. I just like their concept.

  27. M D and Pack
    Thank goodness Spring is here… People are suffering winter fatigue and airplane sickness (Malaysia).

    Spent most of week cleaning mess when the 5yr old fridge decided to quit. Just spent $$$ buying frozen veggies and fruits on sale, to dehydrate and store. Retired repair fella came over to fix the fridge…said a new one would be less $$ than fixing the 5yr old one. Geez. Since I’m moving..decided to live out of ice cooler and eat some my dehydrated food, until I move. Practicing for
    when SHTF… I suppose.

    Picked up some waterless shampoo and body soap to try, before ordering larger quanities. Hopefully the hot water heater doesn’t quit !

    Thanks for the idea of new and improved bacon sandwich…
    Open Oreo, place 1/2 piece bacon ontop of creme filling, add other half Oreo and enjoy !

    M D thanks for your idea years ago ! We all benefit from it.
    People come and go…I’ve seen it for the 4 years of observing.
    Still best site on the net !

    • mindful patriot says:

      Hi Lyn, where did you find the dry shampoo? I found a recipe for it online to make homemade, but with my delicate red hair, the recipe sounded very drying. . .
      Thank you 🙂

      • I bought some waterless shampoo at either Wal-Mart or Rite Aid a couple of years ago.

        • There used to be something called Pssssssst for dry shampooing. Does anyone know if they make it anymore?

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            When I was little, the elderly or sick washed the hair with a combo of corn meal and baby powder or corn starch.

      • mindful patriot
        Walmart, in the camping section. Another redhead here. So far so good on the not too much drying out. When/ if drying occurs, think I’ll try a very little bit of cocoa nut oil and work in hair. Nothing else…maybe the tropical scent of coca nut will keep the mosquitos away.

      • JP in MT says:

        Waterless is not dry….

        I found mine on Amazon, 3 different sizes. The first batch I bought was from a “Survival Store” on line and it was way expensive then.

        We use it when camping. We practice water discipline when out, as there are no services where we go. The stuff works great. DW and I do not have fine hair though.

        • mindful patriot says:

          Thanks for the info.
          The recipe I was referring to calls for baking soda and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. BAD for my hair.
          Did more research and found recipes on Pinterest that include oatmeal, arrowroot, cornstarch, baking soda, and even one that includes cocoa powder (not sure how that would work on red hair).
          It will be fun to experiment, I am all for water discipline.

    • yup,been here for many years myself. Its always the the ones that cry that loudest that eventually leave when everyone wont bend to their whims.I generally just ignore those that i think are nutty,and sure enough,they are eventually gone. bacon oreo sandwich sounds great!

    • Ahhhhhhh…bet candied bacon would be awesome on that sandwich…have to use double stuf Oreo….

  28. Snake Plisken says:

    Not sure if this counts as a prep for the week but I did spread coffee grounds on the raised bed garden. Did you folks know that Starbucks gives used coffee grounds out for free? They package it too! I also did a lay out of the 3 new garden plots around the yard. It’s still crappy and cold here in NW Ohio but you can always begin planning for spring ( if it ever gets here!)

    I really like the idea of organizing a ‘ militia ‘ that helps others. I live in a semi rural area and my neighbors and friends tend to look after one another but I can see where some more organization and cohesive effort could help a lot.

    Snake Plisken

    • Hi Snake ” a ‘ militia ‘ that helps others”

      I like the idea too, and think people might consider the marketing/public image aspect of their name.

      Call a group a County Militia and you get one kind of person, plus the FBI informants drooling over your shoulder.

      Call the same group a Neighborhood Support Group, and you get another type of person, and probably no FBI. People can still practice medical response, search and rescue, clearing roads, and even some target shooting, but keep a way lower profile than a ‘militia’.

  29. Well I just got back from the gun show and it was pretty good! Lots of .22 for sale some of it going for $28.00 a brick but most going for $50.00 – $60.00 a brick all kinds of ammo available not so much reloading stuff however, I got 250 rd.s .12 gauge 00 buck, a kel tec ksg shotgun, a set of MBUS sights, a angled foregrip, 10 lb.s rice, 4 lb.s dehydrated milk I guess that’s all for now so ill shut up for now bye Pack.

    • ooooooohhhhhh that keltec shotgun! Now THAT is a street sweeper.

    • JP in MT says:

      Cheaper than DIrt shows one carrying an additional 14 rounds on the outside. Great load out, but looks heavy.

      The only one I saw was last year and the high bit on it was $1900 then. I didn’t touch it as that was way too much for me. Prices have come down though.

      I was talking to a dealer who was saying that Kel-Tec is the slowest in getting their guns out. But they have a great marketing department! The 22 Mag pistol is still not really out here.

      • Cheaper than dirt? are you sure? I looked in the catalog and online and I can’t find it. Yeah I bought because Russia is getting antsey and I figured I’d get it now(my dad can have my other!) the price was $1100.00 sales tax included but jeez green(I prefer black) but any port right!

        • JP in MT says:


          I understand. There’s an M1A Scout here in town that is just crying to come home with me.

          The picture was on their forum page. I don’t see one on the web site.

          • hvaczach says:

            Someday, I really want an M-1!

          • Patriot Farmer says:

            I finally found a shop that had an M1A Scout and hurried to the shop to buy it only to find that it had just left with its new owner. It seems that all the M1A variants are had to find.

            • axelsteve says:

              There are many variants,the differences are mostly window dressing though from what I could see in some.

              • axel:

                They have really “Barbie’d” some up. The first one I had was the standard 22″ with a black synthetic military stock. The the SOCOM 16″ again with the black synthetic stock. Biggest difference, other than length, is it has a muzzle break THAT WORKS! Ganted it weighs more but the felt recoil was more like a 243 than a 308 (I have gone through several 308 bolt guns). The Scout is a tweener. 18″ barrel with the standard muzzle break. The Scout has a scout scope mount where the Bush is the same except it has the standard sighting set up.

                I’ve taken a liking to the Scout with a 2-7x Burris Pistol scope on it. A great combination.

  30. Only prep this week was mangos . Got 24 of the little bugger to dehydrate . Now back to replacing the head on my truck.

  31. Big Bear says:

    Great choice on the new header and the moderation issue!

    I worked on the power panel for my 12 vdc solar charger/power supply project. Got it 95% wired and it’ll be ready to test out and debug by the end of today. Don’t expect any mistakes in the wiring, but it wouldn’t be the first time I got wires crossed! It has come together nicely and I’m pleased with the finished product. Once its completed I’ll finish the write-up, take some pics and get it all sent to MD for you all to critique.

    This two part project was started late last year with the portable solar battery charger (already posted) and has been fun to design and build. Looking forward to a gun show here on the 28th and some warmer weather ………. it was 16 degrees here this morning with wind. Time for Spring to show up and stick around! DW planted a bunch of seeds to get an early start on the garden. We’ve got them indoors now and they’ll move to the greenhouse once we can get into it ……… there’s still too much snow and ice in front of it to get the door open.

    I’m interested in the clay pot heater. Can anyone provide info or a link? Have a good week everyone.

  32. Well, this week I was able to:
    – purchase some canned vegetables that were on sale
    – organize my food storage
    – picked up 100 rounds of .45 and .40
    – started teaching my 8 and 6 year old sons about the art of the slingshot.
    – did some research on the FloJak emergency hand pump for deep wells.

    That’s about it. The snow is beginning to melt here. I see grass in some spots, so maybe will get to do some outdoor work soon.

    • Tomthetinker says:

      Mkirk .. SLINGING.ORG give it a look. You may have a couple of ‘Davids’ there.

  33. my mom got a lantern because the power went off during spring break and she had to shower in the dark. I`m really glad she’s kind of prepping even though she’s really not on board with prepping. I want to get more of those and more candles.
    I`m worried about world war 3 starting because my teacher told us about something going on with china and japan and a country wants to take over another country. I don’t remember what all he said about it, but he said he`s worried about ww3. it makes me want to stock up on stuff.

    • Hiplains says:

      Hey Madison, it makes all of us want to stock up….you keep right on, gal!

    • madison,

      It’s all real scary.

      Welcome to “Cold War II”

      I’m at least twice your age and old enough to be your dad. The fact that you are so young and yet insightful enough to see what is happening in the world gives me great hope about the youth of this country.

      “Cold War I” scared the SHIT out of me. That’s why I became a Boy Scout, and it’s why I prep now.

      You are one of the good one’s. If you ever need some back-up, ask the blog owner to forward your email to me.

      Stay strong and “Handle It!”

      • thanks Sirius! I wish I knew some preppers in my area to prep with and talk about prepping. if you have any details on the ww3 thing, reply to one of my comments. I would love to know more about it.

        • Madison

          It’s “Cold War II”, not WW3. And there are no details. I came up with that moniker. Email me if you want and I’ll tell you about my theories(send an email to MD and have him forward it to me). I’ll probably put you to sleep since the first Cold War wasn’t that very exciting. It was just really scary.

          It started in the Bay of Pigs in Cuba when Kennedy (US President) and Castro (Cuba) got into a pissing match and ended when Gorbechev, (USSR) and Regan (US President) took down a wall in East Germany.

          My tongue is in my cheek when I ask this, but PACK, am I leaving anything out? I don’t want to scare the begezzus out of this girl, but it sounds like she’s scared already. Let’s teach her some real history so she can learn.

          • Encourager says:

            Well, that is the MOST condensed version I have ever read, lol!

            What was in the middle was the scary part. I remember as a child that my parents were terrified the USA was going to get nuked from Cuba (by the Russians). We had to practice nuclear drills in school by getting under our desks and putting our butts in the air and our arms over our heads…like that would have saved us.

            Madison, it was the constant, unnerving threat of a world gone mad; so many people built bomb shelters in their back yards for protection.

            I remember Khrushchev banging on the table with his shoe, red in the face, and threatening to annihilate the USA. The Soviets had training bases where young people were raised as Americans, and then secretly brought over here as spies, living as us but at a moments notice, willing to do whatever “The Motherland Russia” would ask them to do.

            Can anyone think of a pretty much factual novel for Madison to read? There were many written.

            And Madison? God is our Protector, not man. You should not fear.

            • Sirius and Encourager
              Recall North Korea incident with the U.S.S. Pueblo?


              Exciting times…learning to enjoy spam, collecting gallons of water, residental fall out/ bomb shelters in peoples back yards, not to mention the sudden loud horn alert ! Oh the 60’s !

              • Lyn,
                The capture of the USS Pueblo was done by the North Koreans at the direct behest of the USSR. The Walker spy ring had been turning over classified documentation, including code sheets used to decode our encrypted messages; however, the USSR could not decrypt without the hardware for these sheets, which the North Koreans shipped to them after removing it from the Pueblo, which was a SIGINT and ELINT ship, and was most likely still in international water at the time.

              • Lyn,

                I am couple of years too young to remember the Pueblo. I do remember the U.S.S.; Stark. I actually thought one of my best friends from high school who went in the Navy was the one who blew that ship up.. It’s a long and funny story but his hands shook …ALOT.

            • No, I think that’s it n a nutshell. There’s a scene in the movie Iron Giant, animated set in the early ’60’s, that kid Hogarth is sitting in his classroom and the duck and cover movie was being shown. The Grandkids love that movie, but DD asked me if that really happened, making little kids watch that movie. I cracked up and told her yep, same movie too. Then I told her she was a toddler before I didn’t think at least once a day about being bombed, or wake up in the middle of the night when a thunderstorm was approaching because one of the duck and cover instructions was if you see a bright flash of light. I think it was about 67 or 68 when the drills changed over to tornado drills which wasn’t much more comforting. Oh, and instead of under the desks, we had to go into the hallways.

            • Encourager, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for responding. I didn’t think anyone would.

              We have a young pup in the pack. My nose says :this one is “good people”. We have to give her the latitude to express herself and get hurt. Will you help me to make sure she doesn’t get harmed?

              • And thank you everyone else who responded to this. This should be a question for the weekly “Question for the Pack: i.e. what do you remember about the cold war?

                • Encourager says:

                  Interestingly, when I told dh of this thread, and what I had said about Khrushchev, he immediately said “I Will Bury You!!” and it gave me chills. That is what Khrushchev would scream out as he banged his shoe on the table.

              • Encourager says:

                Yes, I will agree to protect her, Sirius. These idiots lately who have such a passion for hurting, mocking and trying to cause problems/dissension in this Pack are given notice – hands off of the little pups! Let them learn all they can, at their own pace. Come on, Wolf Pack! It is our job to train them up.

          • The Cold War WAS scary. When I was about…oh, I don’t know…six or seven or so…Nikita Khrushchev was on TV saying “We are going to bury you”, and we had air raid practice at school, running into the supply closet to wait for the nuclear bombs to go off overhead.

            There was a Nike missile site in downtown Milwaukee, right on the lake front where the Art Museum addition is now, and another near our school. They carried nuclear war heads, and were planned to be detonated in the air over Wisconsin near Soviet bombers in order to protect the city.

            I was scared enough to swipe the first aid kit from the school bus and hide it in my closet, and filled up empty wine bottles with water and put them in our pump room as that had a cement ceiling. I want to be real definite, though: Stealing supplies is not worth it. At 7 years old or so, I probably would not have suffered serious consequences if I had been caught. Today, someone in high school almost certainly would. A police record is something to seriously avoid. A record can affect the rest of one’s life: ability to get certain jobs, a passport, visas to other countries, college, a security clearance, legal ability to own a gun, all sorts of stuff.

            A friend’s parents built a fallout shelter in their basement, and we used to play down there, cranking the air pump, and ready for the Russian troops to come down the road. Actually, our neighborhood was a tertiary nuclear target as a lot of factory managers and owners lived on the east side of it. In an all out war, our neighborhood probably would not have made it.

            The upside of the Cold War: Despite scaring people silly -and rightly so- it never turned into all out nuclear war. People were right to prepare, but we made it through without 40,000 nuclear weapons going off around the world. There were plenty of people, smart, well informed people, who thought we would have a hot war, and a lot more who understood that we well could have a war.

            Those people were right to prepare for a worst case scenario, and delighted that they never needed their preps.

            One can think about things today and come to a similar conclusion. There are smart, well informed people who think that A, B, and C will happen, and a lot of equally smart, equally well informed people who think that while A, B, and C could happen, D, E, and F are more likely. And we could all be wrong.

            Only you can decide what are the likeliest scenarios to actually occur, and decide what to do to prepare for them. I think the best preps include the best education you can get in a field which will let you make a decent living, staying out of debt, and living life happily.

            Prepare for the likeliest problems you see, but don’t let the worst case scenarios take over your life.

            I think everyone should be reasonably well prepped for a couple weeks to a couple months off grid, but there are plenty of equally smart, equally well informed people who think a year or two is more like it, and still others who think we are all at least mildly loonie. The latter group could well be wrong, but still not need to prep: Our cold war may never happen either.

            It is reassuring though to be prepared. Have some fun with it.

            • axelsteve says:

              I used to live in Santa Rosa calif and Santa Rosa was a nuclear target cause of the telephone company there. It was a big communications center for all of N Calif for some reason. It was a 2 story building but was supposed to go 4 or 5 stories underground.

            • JeffintheWest says:

              My dad served in a Nike-Hercules battery near Pittsburgh in the late 1950’s (that’s where my brother was born), and I grew up with the Cold War in the ’60’s too. In fact, since I was stationed in Berlin Germany the three years before the wall came down, I guess I “FOUGHT” in the Cold War. It took a long time before I got past the mind set of the Soviet Hordes coming across the Inner German Border.

              If this truly does become a second Cold War, it will be a sad commentary on the world, but based on the Neville Chamberlain style response that our Dear Leader is using to Putin’s aggression, I suspect that we’ll be lucky if ALL it does is become a second Cold War.

              As for Madison, the Cold War was a long and dreary annal of events that stretched from roughly 1947 right up to 1992 when the Soviet Union finally collapsed from its own internal contradictions. (Ha! Did you other unreconstructed Cold Warriors see what I just did there?) If you’re truly interested, and don’t want to exchange personal e-mails with us old farts, I’d suggest you write in a letter to M.D. and ask him to post it as a topic asking for information on it. You’ll get short choppy answers, but you’ll get a ton of information from people who actually lived through it, and a lot of time their personal experiences will tell you more about what went on than a hundred history books will.

              Either way, it’s great to see someone with a mind to think and eyes to see at your age. Thanks for re-affirming my faith in youth!

          • Sirius,
            I do love history, but I do not remember anything from this time period as I was too young. Looking forward to what you and the others have to say about it.
            My earliest memory is about Nixon. I was about 6 or 7 when he was elected.

            • Brenda – I believe you and I area about the same age. I voted in the mock election at school in 1st or 2nd grade. I think I voted for Nixon too.

            • Brenda,

              I was two when Nixon got elected. Maybe your parents did a good job of shielding you from all of the fear of the Cold War. I was stationed at Ramstein AB in Germany when the Berlin Wall came down. I remember the West German government evicting all of the legal prostitutes from Anabella’s House (a legal brothel) so they could turn in into housing for the East German refugees. I heard that they did the same thing to most of the legal brothels in Germany.

    • mindful patriot says:


  34. Just4rselves says:

    Named the three deer that have been in the back yard Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

    • mom of three says:

      Ha ha. My parents have deer, going through there property but I don’t think anyone around shoots them.

  35. This weeks conficted has had me thinking most of the week.i have a trip to Minnesota coming up this November and it will more than likely be just me and the kids. I have been really thinking about my packing list.
    I have done some revamping of items I keep in the vehicle. Glad I did as my first aid kit had some missing items and the kids found the glow sticks. It was also time to rotate food and water. I am working on upgrading entertainment kits for the kids to keep in there as well.
    I also restocked my purse. Quite a few things had disappeared out of it. So I feel a bit better knowing I actually have things on hand again while being out and about.

    I bought more bandages, toothbrushes and nail brushes. My favorite flea market has the nail brushes 2/$1 and the toothbrushes 10/$1.
    I also bought more art supplies. Heavy paper, oil pastels, water color pencils, water colors, paint brushes, a drawing compass, and more of my beads.

    My garden is really starting to come back to life after the freezes we’ve had this year. Although, I am thinking I may have lost 2 of my hibuscus as they arent showing any signs of coming back. I will give them a couple more weeks though. Oddly though, I have 2 pepper plants that are coming along nicely after the freezes. Goes to show that nature does what she wants.

    Picked up more blackberries and raspberries, more lemon balm and rosemary.

    Does anyone have any tips for growing grapes in the south? I have a grape ‘vine’ that has been ‘growing’ for 3 or 4 years now. Every spring it sprouts maybe 5 leaves, then mid summer the leaves die off and I have a stick in the ground. That stick stays there until the next spring when it sprouts another 5 leaves.

    Because of BC’s comment above, I think I am going to spend some time thinking about bugging out. I have my evac ‘kit’ for in case of a hurricane, but since I have a place to go, I’ve not spent a lot of time thinking about bugging out. I think that needs to change.

    Thats about it for me. Hope the rest of the pack has had a blessdd week.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      I heard that Bctruck restocked his purse with bacon stuffed Oreos.

      • And that is the idea of all ideas! I am all of a sudden very hungry….

      • No, it was chocolate covered bacon stuffed Oreos.

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          Bam Bam
          I am not a big fan of bacon or oreos but the chocolate covered bacon stuffed oreo sounds pretty good!

        • Mmmmm, chocolate covered bacon…….. is there anything in the world that chocolate and bacon cant fix?

          • Nope. Maybe we should all send Oreos and bacon to DC and Moscow!

            • Hunker-Down says:

              The guy in Moscow that opened the package would eat them and burn the box. As far as DC is concerned, we would need to assemble the parts for them in the proper order or they would assign a select committee to study the need for an additional department with appropriate funding. By the time they held the first committee meeting the bacon would be covered in blue mold and the senders of the package added to the NSA ‘interested individuals’ list. The IRS would be after us for running a business and not filing a tax return, the state would prosecute for not having a sellers permit and the county board would fine us for peddling without a license.

              • HD your probably right that it would be too much trouble to send them bacon- no matter how good our intentions are. I vote we be greedy this time and keep it all to ourselves.

              • hvaczach says:

                Is it not ironic that Russians for the majority are singing their President’s praises for being a strong decisive leader, a calculating symbol of authority. And most Americans are just hoping ours can find his A*& with both hands and a road map! And it shouldn’t be that hard Harry Reid’s head is halfways inside it!

          • OK, Real story….

            Two years ago at the Renaissance Faire in Los Angeles, my friend and I hit one of the food booths.

            They were selling thick cut, smoked bacon, dipped in DARK chocolate. The fat girls in their costumes behind us in line where all GROSSED out as they watched us eat this MAJICAL stuff.

            The following year, last year to be exact, we went back. The booth that sold the magical bacon/chocolate elixir was there. The problem was NO MORE BACON CANDY!!!!

            Apparently, it was selling too well the year before and none of the other things that the booth was offering was selling. So instead of upping the production of bacon candy the next year, they took it off the menu.

            Ren Faire in L.A. starts in two weeks. Who wants to see if they have bacon candy this year?

    • Country Vet says:

      You may have several issues going on with your grapes, the first and most likely is a grape variety not suited for you locale.
      Other issues can be imporper watering and lack of adequate sunshine. You did not say where in the south that you are, but in south Texas 3 very good varieteis are Champanel ( a black seeded grape that is extremely sweet when allowed to ripen completely and is good for wine, Blanc Dubois a white grape and Reliant. These also have the added benfit of being Pierce resistant ( a disease that may wipe out the wine industry in some areas). Plant grapes in a rasied bed 8-10ft apart. (The champanel is a VERY vigrouous grower and if I had only one variety it woul be this one. ) Amend clay soil with peat moss. Plant vines, mulch well, and give at least 1″ water per week. Allow to “sprawl” the first year, year 2, start training to tresllis. Do not allow to set any fruit first year. I am not going into pruning techiniques, but proper pruning is essential as the vine grows to maintain production. I am sure that I have left out something, but my brain is fried, just came in from along day in the garden.

      • Country Vet, I have no clue what type they are. I bought them at the local wally world, but I’ll try adjusting the water and see if that helps. I am in the Houston area so lots of sun, maybe its just too humid… I really dont have a clue.
        Thanks for suggesting a few varieties, I will look into those and see if I can manage to grow another type. I am definitely hit or miss in the garden department. I guess at least my herbs like me.

        • Country Vet says:

          I F purchaed at Wlamart I will almost guarantee that they are the wrong variety for this area. I would try to find the
          appropriate varieties and simply remove the culprit. It will most likely never do anything except take up time and energy and a space where you can plant something useful. Try to find a local nursery and buy a 1 gallon.

  36. mom of three says:

    Bought some asprin, six bars of soap, maxi pads, 2 bottles of shampoo, visine eye drops, 42 cans of soft cat food, several more candles 50 more bags of tea. Found a sturdy plastic container to put several packages of Vermicelli pasta, for homemade rice a roni. I bought several packets of seeds. Hubby, wants to put the greenhouse back up. Found a property, thst has a stream going through it has woods and several fruit trees, on 1.65 acres, but the house looks more like a teardown for 80 Thousand. We may just drive and go look getting any kind of property, under 2 acres is very hard in our area. Take care have a wonderful weekend, and my prayers go out to everyone , you all have become very treasured friends.

  37. Goatlover says:

    Obtained a second one of those nasty, evil AR-15s this week….
    still celebrating! LOL Weeded and mulched the asparagus bed; planted more pole beans; harvested last of the broccoli and the first of the squash and zucchini. Made more soap, and packed up mustard green seeds from the last of this year’s harvest. Helped a neighbor with a sick goat and received fresh-squeezed OJ and a bunch of red kale seed pods as a “Thank You”, so I’ll be de-podding those seeds this afternoon. Gee, I think I just invented a new word…….!
    Keep Preppin…

    • hvaczach says:

      Mine finally shipped! Hoping monday or tuesday! Then just gotta “feed it”.

    • Gasp! You got one of those things that hurt innocent people? How could you? Dont you know that one night while you are asleep it is going to take itself and go victimize an entire civilization?

      ***just in case someone cant tell, read with heavy sarcasm.

      • hvaczach says:

        I ordered the Obama version instead of doing what it is supposed to, it destroys a healthcare system, impinges personal liberty, sends the IRS to do its dirty work, and blames congress when it doesn’t get its way.

    • Goatlover,

      My elderly mom asked me if I had one of those “scary assault guns”. I politely asked her what she meant. She responded, one of those black SCARY assault weapons.

      I asked her, “Mom, aren’t you scared by all weapons?” Her reply was “Yes, I am”. I told her, very matter-of-factly that if anyone was trying to hurt my family, that magazine you are holding in your lap would become an “assault magazine”, should we ban “Home and Garden” now?

  38. Lauri no e says:

    Hi all!!

    Broke, broke, broke we are moving again to a bigger place, expense with MIL 80th birthday and still helping out dd who has been working but is out sick with bronchitis and has it bad.

    My prep is my physical health and when the Dr. mention insulin I have been on a strict diet and have lost 18 pounds. I feel I am now no fun without sugar but I am less congested and I am starting to feel better. I gained all this weight from medical steroids from allergies and asthma.

    Praying for all and when the cop thing came out I thought we were to tell good and bad stories so when things blew up I stayed out of it and learned lessons from both sides of the fence but we all have our own opinions and experiences.

    Take care and even though things are bad in the world have a safe week.

    Also, speaking of Oreo s pleases eat one for me. I sure miss cookies and candy, never been a smoker, drinker or a druggie but realized I am a major foodie and emotional eater.

  39. Yay! Did something this week!

    Hunting and fishing convention in Québec city. Went there, bought stuff, good stuff for cheap prices.

    2x Coldfield sleeping bags (32f) for 10$ each
    2x Polar blankets, red pleaded for 6$ each
    4x pair of thermal socks for 2$ each
    1x Hunting knife, full tang, with sheath, 7$
    1x Knife sharpener, 2$

    40g of Labrador’s tea, 7$
    1 panda airbrush T-shirt for the baby girl, 20$ =P Not related to survival, but awesomely cute!

    • Forgot to mention :

      Mum found my old Coleman propane stove in her basement locker, as well as my “old” fishing rod (used it only 2 times) and my coleman cooler! Old camping gear as survival gear, yay!

      • axelsteve says:

        When I signed up for Obama no care I decided to multitask and stop at the local gunstore in the big city. I saw a very nice custom o3 springfeild rifle. It had a very nice blueing and stock with cut checkering.It also had an old bushnell 3×9 on it.It was 400 dollars. Beautiful rifle ,it must have weighed 10 or 11 lbs. I would love to have that and restock it for harder use with a diferent stock and make a 10 round magazine for it.If I had the money I would have bought it with the ria 45 auto. ZThat would have been a good day with prepping.

  40. I am in a bit of a different place…while I continue to prep food, tools, and other supplies I am also prepping my city home to list it for sale so I can move to a more appropriate location away from the city. So this week for prepping I planted two dozen step stones into the front yard, prepped the soil and planted ground cover. I learned how to remove wrought iron window guards so I can get them prepped and painted, the windows caulked and prepped. I continue my search for a place in the desert as well. Almost forgot this week I prepped by purchasing more antibiotics and medical supplies.

    • Tomthetinker says:

      KATHY!!!!! I had no idea we got credit for that… DW and I want our wdydtptw points for all the lumber, caulk, paint, plaster and plumbing. Lady .. I feel your pain getting a place ready to sell. We are waiting to see what the thaw will bring out in the yard and the pavers we put in last fall. good luck K.C.

  41. The wife and I went to Bass Pro Shops, and got some plastic covers for the dehydrators, 200 rounds of .223 and a scope for one of our AR uppers. We received our order of 25 4 gal square food grade buckets and lids. The wife vacuum sealed beans and salt I picked up at Sam’s Club last week, and packed them in buckets. Also, we got out twice and walked about 3 miles each time. The winter has been so brutal, we just haven’t been outside anymore than we had to be.

  42. Nebraska Woman says:

    Hello, Pack!
    I had totally forgotten the clay pot heating system. Thanks for reminding me.
    I had one bad thing happen. My ex (who is living on my acreage) locked me out of my house and garage. While I have plenty here in my apartment, he has decided to get nasty and bar me from the premises which he cannot do under state law. Oh, well. The divorce will be final on May 8. We’ll see what happens then.

    I ordered 2 bathtub liners to store water from ee.
    I made meals like chili and stew and canned them all.
    I also have been filling my freezer with meat on sale here…last week I found chicken legs on sale for 99 cents a pound. I bought $20 worth and froze them.
    Canned goods were on sale for 50 cents a can. I bought lots of beans, beets, and carrots.
    I also ordered more water bricks. They are great for an apartment as they stack nicely.

    Two good things happened:
    I have been thoroughly enjoying helping the people in Mom’s retirement home with little things ie. cleaning a closet, trips to Goodwill, and taking them to the grocery stores.
    I was offered a part time job as a writer on the newspaper staff. Hooray!

    God bless you all.

  43. Not a busy week. Add 6 D Cell batteries, 4 silver quarters, 2.5G Food grade bucket, 2 3.5G Food grade bucket, and 1 5G Food grade bucket to my stores. Cleaned and organized the basement and garage.

    Been having decent luck getting food grade buckets at Bi-Lo and Ingle’s. All you have to do is ask at the bakery counter.

  44. Sunday, after breakfast with friends, we stopped and picked up 2 each 34 oz cans of house brand coffee, $5 each. 20 AAA and 10 AA 10 year storage batteries, $7 each. Spent some more time updating and reorganizing my spreadsheets.

    I think we are sitting pretty good, between 6 months and a year but, I want to get more canned butter and ghee. Also another 12 can’s of mixed meat. However, We are out of space. Living in a 5th wheel space is limited.

    My beautiful bride JoJo decided to see what she can do there. She started by resizing our shelving units. Cutting the space between the shelves down and adding more shelves. There’s less wasted space and the shelving units are more stable. We took 2 each of our various canned goods, those with the nearest Best By Date, and re-shelved them for use. The rest were boxed by type and labeled. Easier to restock the shelves.

    She also moved things that do not require temperature control and that we have not used in 3 years out to the storage trailer and relocating freeze dried and dehydrated #10 cans into formerly occupied overhead cupboards.

    • JP in MT says:


      Make sure you try your canned butter. Red Feather is very good, Glee is good for cooking but nasty on toast.

      • JP. Don’t worry, we have.
        JoJo and I was just talking about mistakes we have made. For example, two years ago we bought and vac packed 6 lbs of brown rice. We stored it in an ice chest. Most likely we will be tossing it here shortly.

  45. Purchased 6 rock, and 6 reds chicks 3 weeks ago. Along with 5 rosters. (am sure a few will make it to the crock pot. 🙂 along with 7 ducklings that are growing like there in steroids. Lol. Working on prepping the mud room herb garden, and veggie storage fir this years garden. We have 3 ponds one has a natural spring. Been thinking about having it stocked here in a few weeks.

  46. JP in MT says:

    I just found the best appetite suppressant ever!

    My DW is dehydrating Kale. May have to just be cold, cause I’m opening up every window and door.

    • tommy2rs says:

      Lol…been there done that, next try dehydrating turnip and collard greens. That’s an aroma that has staying power.

  47. My order from EE came in yesterday which was mylar bags and O2 absorbers. My order from Amazon also came in yesterday which was rabbit feeders and waterers. I also got a book on Seed Saving and a book on preserving food with out canning or freezing.

    Last weekend I bought quite a bit of extra food, I have extra rice and beans in the freezer waiting for me to get the mylar so that I can put them up for long term.

    My DH got the floor replaced in the master bathroom and closet this week.

    We got part of the yard fenced in for the new goats that just arrived today. We have a buck that is about 5 months old and a doe that is about 3 months old. Now I need to learn about taking care of goats. Their names are Roscoe and Daisy! We also got 2 rabbits yesterday both are does. They are only 3 weeks old. The gd’s named them Rose and Flower! lol.

    I have spent most of the week not being able to do much because my knees have been hurting so much that it made me sick to my stomach. I finally went to the doctor yesterday and she xrayed my knee and gave me steriod shots in both knees. Today has been so much better. I still have some discomfort in my right knee but the left one is great. She also gave me stern warning that I need to lose a lot of weight or my knees will get worse. Of course I already knew that, must work on the weight at least now I can exercise some. 🙂

  48. Patriot Farmer says:

    I picked up a couple boxes of shotgun shells and a few more freeze dried emergency meals. I hit my local grocery store at the right time this week and picked up 45 pounds of reduced beef, and pork for the freezer. I also spent 4 days helping my son move from Michigan to Texas for his new job. We hit a Walmart and Krogers and stocked his cupboards before I left.

  49. Rider of Rohan says:

    WDUDTPTW? The super pails of sugar, rice and beans that I ordered came in. Now I have 2 of each, although these received pretty rough treatment with only 1 left in the original box(thanks Fed Ex). All looked okay so dated them and put them in the man cave. It’s starting to get a little crowded in here. This was the food part. I also bought another magnifying glass, a set of small screwdrivers for close work, some hack saw blades, a Browning lock-back knife, more tie downs, gasoline for my generator(tornado season), 100 rds. of .44 mag am-mo, 120 rds. of .223, and joined the Wounded Warrior Project. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, finally stepped up. That’s it for me.

    • JP in MT says:


      Good job supporting Wounded Warriors!

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        WWP is a worthy cause. Kudos.

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        Thanks, JP. We’ve given them a yearly contribution for a couple of years now, but it’s a lot harder for them to set spending when they only get funds once a year. It’s easier for them if they can count on getting money on a monthly basis. We’re glad to help, we love our vets.

    • Rider, DH is going to participate in the WWP in Port O’Connor this May by being a boat captain there instead of babes on the Bay, DD’s team is in order..pregnant, getting married and too busy. I can’t wait! Best charity to be involved in that I can think of…and I hate to call it charity. Its an honor.

    • riverrider says:

      ror, good week. fed ex is the pits sometimes. i got a call that somebody found my super pails in the middle of the road one day. fedex never got back to me about it either….i’ve been hearing some bad stuff about wwp lately.

    • Thank you Sir for joining the Wounded Warrior Project!

  50. He is gonna fall in love with Texas.

    • Great music, great food, and you can find any sort of terrain/landscape you want. Like the woods? East Texas near BC. High plains? Panhandle. Beach? From Beaumont to Port Isabel… Desert and mountains? Big Bend National park. Tell him to stay away from the border towns… And to definately go to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels! Or at least go tubing on the Guadalupe river there!! Oh yeah, gotta go tubing…

      • Hiplains says:

        Coopers BBQ in Llano & Pie at the Bluebonnet in Marble Falls! 🙂

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        State Park-Garner State Park
        Live Music-Quebe Sisters Band/Purple Hulls
        Food-Cattleman’s Steakhouse at the Stockyards(many, many others, this is my fav)
        Weekend excursion-The Hill Country during Bluebonnet Season(coming soon)
        Beach-So. Padre Island

        Just a few of my favorite things about Texas.

        • Rider, the bluebonnets started showing this week, and I need pie….chocolate cream with whipped cream, not merengue … Actually like the North end of the island myself. You get to the part where there is NO ONE fast, and you don’t have to go thru a multitude of ICE checkpoints on the way. Cooper’s has the best smoked pork chops.. Argh. Need food, but where do YOU think has the best CFS? 😀 BC, ROT rally is fun, but too many riders get killed during that weekend, and you would get along with DH just fine….

          • Rider of Rohan says:

            When in Houston, it’s Goodson’s Café. But my favorite is Radicke’s Bluebonnet Grill in SA.

            • Sniff. I will have you know it’s at my table. I use venison, and make my own gravy… I won’t even order it in restaurants. I get very upset with my hunters if they don’t get at least one deer a year. But always glad to know of new places to try, although I haven’t been to Houston (shudder) in more than 10 years!

              • Rider of Rohan says:

                Shai, if I COULD try yours, I would be able to make an informed decision on the best CFS in Texas. I will give you the benefit of the doubt, however, and by acclimation or until proven otherwise crown you the CFS champ of Texas. That’s saying something!

                • Rider, I will be glad to let you sit down at my table and try my cfs, I will even make a batch of my world famous watermelon jello shots. 😉 I might even put some ribs on the pit. Shiner or Lone Star?

                  • Rider of Rohan says:

                    Shiner Bock for me. Time and place? LOL

                    • Just let me know when you’re going to be hitting the wildflower tour… And good choice on the beer. Already have some in the bar fridge.

                    • Rider of Rohan says:

                      Shai, we’re heading to N. Arkansas tomorrow for some trout fishing on the Spring River near Mammoth Spring. Will have to look at photos this year. My oldest son did a quail hunt in Uvalde last month, and will be returning to the area for an exotic animal hunt soon. How close are you?

                    • Rider of Rohan says:

                      Forgot to mention, Shai, he was hunting on the Monte Cruz Ranch.

          • Best CFS, country fried steak, is at the Broken Spoke, South Lamar Street, Austin Texas.

          • Shai,
            I have not got to see the bluebonnets blooming in a long time. 🙁 I remember seeing huge fields of them when I was little. I miss my home state sometimes, but GA is beautiful in the spring too.

            • We don’t have bluebonnets, but I have tons of bluebells in my back yard. When we sold my mom’s house, I brought a flower pot of them with me. When the flower pot broke, I threw them in a flowerbed and they have come up and multiplied beautifully. I love them and they remind me of her, along with daffodils, day lilies and violets.

      • Shai,

        I like you. I’ve been to Laredo. Texan’s and their friends shouldn’t have to stay away from the border towns. Just say’n.

      • tommy2rs says:

        Best beach in Texas is North Padre Island. From Bob Hall Pier to the Mansfield Cut it’s 90 miles of undeveloped beach, most of it a national seashore.

        And don’t forget Palo Duro, the Grand Canyon of Texas.

        • Nebraska Woman says:

          Tommy, you are right on target. My father is buried in Tulia, so when I go down to visit his grave, I always go to the canyon. The festivals and chuck wagon dinners are fun, and if you like to hike, take bug spray and water. Love that place!

        • Thumbs up, Tommy!

      • JeffintheWest says:

        The Annual Goat Cook-Off near Brady. Never had goat before in my life and frankly wasn’t expecting much, but man! Those guys can COOK!

    • bike week in south padre island.ROT rally in austin. Not to mention austin city limits and threadgills,beer,music,and fist fights,in whatever order you like. i love texas!!!

  51. Really disappointed in my garden this week. The ice storm we had got about 50% of my onion sets! I didn’t know onions would get bit by the cold but I guess with 2 inches of ice its a different animal.
    My wife found a miniature hurricane lamp at a garage sale and I got us some lamp oil at the local True Value hardware. I couldn’t find it at our Walmart.
    Have been continuing with the real estate courses at the local community college. 3 down 3 to go then I can get fingerprinted and take the state test.
    On a positive note in the garden we do have potatoes coming up! I just hope they do good on this red clay dirt. I’ve added compost and will mulch them as they grow.
    Been selling a few things on eBay and that’s always nice. Every little bit helps with the prepping budget. Bought our first Auguson Farms 30-day pail. going to try and get three of these. Two to keep and one to sample to see how we like the food. Made dinner out of our beaqns and canned “Dak” hams with rice this past week. As usual, I put a little to much hot in the beans.
    Other than that not much on the prepping front.
    Gong to refinish my Yugo M57 today and put a video together about it.

  52. Momma Mc says:

    What did I dooooo to prep this week? I will never be able to do this post again without singing that tune.

    DH & I are getting things ready to garden again. We are going to try the rain gutter grow system this year. We’ve been growing in buckets for about 8 years now and keep adding more things every year. Trying this to cut down on the time it takes to water everything. We had three 10′ sections of gutter that were in the shop when we bought the house, so that was the start. We picked up 2 more sections at menard’s today and the 2x4s to support them. Also 10 more buckets. I ordered and received from Amazon, 50 net pots, the 2-7/8 hole saw, and 5 float valves. Next week I’ll pick up the tubing and fittings that we can’t scrounge up to daisy chain them all.

    DH planted 50 sweet onion sets in a raised bed and a bag of seed potatoes in two trash cans. This will be our first attempt at potatoes, keep your fingers crossed for us. He also picked up and planted 6 of those hanging strawberry things this week.

    I picked up 4 grape vines, 4 blackberry vines, and 2 blueberry bushes for DS’s birthday this week. He has a real green thumb for those types of things and loves nurturing them.

    Now, just need to get it all done.

    Prayers going out to those who are sick and those that love and take care of them.

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      Good luck on your potatoes, trying something similar myself. I love my rain catchment, mostly cause it’s free water. My city water bill is $100/ month for 2 of us. Sewer, taxes, etc are added to the bill.

  53. Urbancitygirl says:

    Question: I am looking for a solar powered spotlight. I’ve bought 2 so far and the light is so poor it’s laughable. I want to put them on the back of my shed near the (soon to be installed) chicken coop. I have spotlights that are motion detected and quite powerful but would like to switch to solar if I can find a good one.

  54. Did some work this week on one of our pastures on a property we bought a few years ago to clear away brush from one fence line so we can repair it. We plan on adding one cross fence and repairing another fence line in preparation to begin raising some cattle.
    Still need to repair the electric service after copper thieves stole all of the wires from the pole to the ground and beyond. They even pulled the pump from the well and stole that wire as well! I’ve designed a replacement service and pulled a permit this week to begin replacement and repair of the electrical system.
    We still have a lot to do to prepare for the animals but were looking forward to it finally.
    M.D. Thanks for keeping the blog going, even with the folks who have ruffled feathers.

    • Hiplains says:

      Slow week here. Shoveled more snow. Picked up a couple #10 of dry milk, 25# rice, 10# sugar. Collected the stuff to make another couple dozen fire starters with dryer lint. Did get a rain barrel made for my Mom – she wanted one for her 86th birthday, today! Happy spring everyone!

  55. Week 4-
    Returned all equipment to cable company
    Received “31 Days to Survival” (self assessment was tough)
    Started binder
    Built solar oven and a solar “still” for water purification
    Decluttered bedroom and started organization system under bed
    Added 6 more cases of water (35 bottles each)
    Had a cast iron hibachi – decided to make part of prep – so 5 bags of charcoal in utility room
    Thrift store finds-6 tall pillar candles @25 cents ea, 2 mini muffin tins and 2 merino wool sweaters (which I will pull to get the yarn to knit)
    Gander mountain – scored two cast iron loaf pans for $9 each and a Rome waffle iron for same price
    Lots of food preps gonna try some shelf stable meals for taste; another case of fruit and another of asst veggies, gravy mixes, olive oil, crisco, sugar etc
    Hit the flea markets and picked up a book A man acan aplan- looked like some interesting recipes
    Worked at preparing garden but supposed to get more snow Tues
    Used a gift card at BN to get Dr. Bradley’s “The Disaster Preparedness Handbook”

    • themem,

      Congrats on unplugging. My dh and I turned in our box almost a year ago. We still watch our favorite TV shows–just without the commercials. And we spend our time more productively now.

      • BAM BAM- I have lived w/o tv before- stationed overseas and by choice few times hard part is internet but got this smart phone pay as you go – $100 LESS per month. Now I just need to get back to a less “convenient” lifestyle, feeling good about it all though. Thanks to the pack for the help and info-take care.

  56. We just got back from a camp out with a friend at a beach park on the North Shore of Oahu. Went up Sunday, back Saturday. Part of the fun is in checking out prep supplies for after a hurricane or other disaster.

    We had two of the foil packs of Mountain House Lasagna for dinner one night, and two of the Mexican Style Chicken With Rice on another. Two packs for three people seemed about right, and both were good. They would have benefitted from a can of CostCo chicken or beef, but that would just have been frosting as they were fine as they were.

    We realized that we should have battery adapters for our Rayovac 7 Hour Power Chargers. We were using a Kindle, an iPad, and two iPhones which chewed up all of our AA batteries, while we had a lot of AAA unused. So I ordered some adapters.

    We also had being prepared reinforced by locking both sets of keys in the truck. I have a spare in my wallet, but when getting ready to go to another location for a beach walk I managed to lock both my key ring and my wallet…and my phone…in the truck, and my DW had not brought her spare key for the truck.

    Fortunately she had her phone, and had loaded all our AAA info into it, so she called AAA and 45 minutes later the guy arrived. Took less than 60 seconds to pop the door. He inserted a flat rubber sleeve between the top of the door and the frame, inflated it with a bulb like on a blood pressure cuff, and that flexed the door enough to insert a rod with a noose on the end to grab the door lock button. Presto. So much for security.

    I felt like an idiot for locking both sets of keys in the truck, but finally decided to be pleased that we were at least prepared even for that by having a AAA membership.

    • Penrod,

      Don’t feel stupid. The AAA guy was a locksmith, or at least knew how to be one. Your car didn’t get damaged.

      As far as security goes, a thief would have just broken your window… or worse.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      Penrod, the other day we went to the movies and the same thing happened. I had both sets in the car, locked. We called AAA who came right away. I felt very old when he informed me that my driver’s side door does not lock with keys in the ignition. Didn’t need him after all!

    • Is anyone else jealous of the fact that Penrod can just go camping on the north shore anytime he wants? Lol! Would love to able to visit Hawaii…

  57. I forgot that my dwarf orange tree started blooming. Since it is inside I took a small paintbrush and used that to pollinate the flowers. I hope to get some oranges this year. 🙂

    One other thing while my DH was digging post holes for the new gate going into the goat area he found a spring! We are going to check it out to see if we can get a well there. It would be great if we can especially since it is right next to the house! I would love to be able to get off of county water. Our county has many springs here. The local town and the county water comes from spring water.

  58. I haven’t seen anything that should get anyone upset enough to leave, but maybe that’s just me. Everyone has their own opinions and the right to have them but we all need to be adults and allow others to have theirs and sometimes we have to agree to disagree.
    Thanks MD for allowing us to have a place to learn and grow.

    It’s been a busy week but I feel like I didn’t get much done, mostly it was going places with the parents. I did go to a job fair on Friday and got a couple of leads there. My car now legally belongs to my parents as it has been refinanced through the credit union they use to get the monthly payment down with less interest (their credit score is way better than mine). It will save about $50 a month, though costing more in the long run as sales tax was added again (arrrrghhh).

    As for real prepping, Dad & I started on putting up a gutter to catch rainwater (when & if it rains) for the garden. This house has a metal roof, metal studs and the porch supports are also metal. Not easy to work with but we are making progress.

    My yellow tomato seeds have sprouted and even a couple of the Arkansas Traveler tomatoes have sprouted, they were so slow. No bell peppers yet but a couple of the jalapenos are sprouted. The 4 elderberry bushes have green leaves coming up out of the dirt too.

    I got 1 pkg of aquamira (I ordered 2) so I am waiting to hear back from the supplier as to what happened or when the other will come. This is for treating the water in the 55 gallon drums, it’s what the military uses according to a friend of mine, and is good for 20 years of storage.

    I have one raised bed ready for planting and the other will get done as soon as the gutter is in place. I should be able to plant at the end of the month.

  59. axelsteve says:

    Penrod. I remember in my youth my best friend lost his key at the beach. It started to get dark and we had no luck finding the key. I told my friend. I bet your dad has a hide a key on this somewhere. I told him you have 5 blonde sisters and your dad plans ahead since he worked on a merchant ship. We found the hide a key in less then a minute.

    • Very good.The spare in my wallet has saved me a few times, but this time I had put my wallet in my shoulder pack for the walk, and put the key ring on the seat, and a bag of suntan lotion on top. Dummies deserve what they get. I plead guilty.

      I did replace all the batteries we used this week on the way home. And as I said, ordered AAA to AA and AA to D adapters from Amazon this afternoon. They ought to show up on our Dear Host’s Amazon report this week.

  60. sw't tater says:

    Slow week, haven’t posted in a couple of weeks..
    .it’s still slow going here, steady as she goes… dehydrate ing frozen veggies… packed those together..and checked seals. ..packed a months supply of oats in freezer for de-bugging, bought 10 lbs white rice and 5 lbs of Jasmine.bought different canned foods to which I/we are not accustomed…glad I only bought two cans of one products but the store had a free 2lb bag of rice with two cans…I can add water and other stuff and make them an acceptable extendo meal..recieved packages with suppliments that were ordered last week…. medical supplies are a month ahead..of need. our forsynthia is blooming and the daffodyls are blooming…anxiously awaiting the hawthorne and the leaves.for their properties,..and the sweetgum leaves of spring. for some more tami-flu generic… Take care pack! keep on Keeping on!

    • Encourager says:

      Whaaaaaaaaaa!!! I am gonna be a whiner! Daffodils blooming already?? Mine are still under about a foot of crystallized snow…sigh. South side of property pretty clear but the north side? Still buried!

  61. I canned 11 pints of corned beef and 5 qts of chicken. Got a big order of seeds sent in (we just had more snow today and another storm is coming next week so I don’t think I’m too far behind this year) and received 2 bean poles I ordered. DH and I both read “One Second After”.

  62. added 2 bottles of hydrogen peroxide and a few snacks to the pile
    added some old school papers to my BOB for a fire
    arranged my prepping stuff in the limited spaced cabinet so I can add more things. I added some salt and sugar packets to the pile from restaurants.
    I was going through coupons with my moms boyfriend and we were talking about me using them to prep and buy food for my dorm once im in college and whether or not im taking my preps with me. I said it depends on if my family will actually leave the stuff alone or just use it whenever. I might use my prepping supplies in college if I cant afford my own groceries before I ask my parents to buy me some. I really wish I started this years ago now that I think about it. most of the food I have saved is stuff that I got for free that I would just let my family eat because I wouldn’t unless I`d have to. to me, being a college student is a legit reason to eat and drink stockpiled food and water if theres nothing else in the pantry.

    • Happy Camper says:

      Great work Madison. 🙂
      I love the packets of salt, pepper, sugar, coffee, tea, wipes, sauce etc you get from restaurants. I’m sure the Mcdonalds staff have been onto me before, it’s kind of obvious when I buy a coffee and take 30 sugars. Ha.

      • haha. right now I`m only getting salt and sugar packets. I should branch out to other things. I also got a couple packets of pepper in the salt they had. the best part is its free!

        • I’ve gotten a few salt, pepper, honey, etc. from restaurants, but have also used this Instructable to make my own spice packets. It can be tricky filling the straws if you don’t have a small funnel, and the longer M&M tubes are hard to find lately. I’ve also found some fat, milkshake straws at a dollar store that would work nice for storing various things…spices, ointments, etc.


          • I should have added this link also. One end of the straw is melted closed instead of taped.


            I also just saw a version, where the maker made the straws shorter and stored them in an Altoids tin.

          • JeffintheWest says:

            Those long M&M tubes also make a great storage tube for quarters for laundry machines. You can carry about 20$ worth of quarters in the big ones. I’m always looking for more of them so I can stockpile quarters for the RV, but they’d have been perfect back in my college days! 😉

        • axelsteve says:

          Madison. I hope things go well in college My mom used to teach nursing.I do not think thatit is such a great field now the irs runs it.

        • axelsteve says:

          Free preps are good preps Madison! Don`t forget to ask for matches at the gas station. They normally will give you a free book or 2.

        • Hey Madison, if you have a Chick fil A near, they often have hot sauce and honey packets and single use wet wipes.

          My daughter is in college and currently lives in a dorm. If possjble, find out about the kitchen you will have access to before yoh move in. Last year, my DD’s room was across the hall from the kitchen. This year she is one floor up. But her room came equipped with a microwave and mini fridge. always try to keep some easy to heat and eat like Progresso soups, mac and cheese cups, etc. Also DD may have a small crock pot or hot pot or coffee pot, but nothingwith an exposed element.

          Keep in mind if the school closes due to weather, on-campus food service Is closed also.

    • Madison,

      I know this is not the thing to say to a woman, but it is the thing to say to a SANE person.

      CALM DOWN, take a breath, assess your situation. Make a plan, then make a back-up plan.

      From what I read in your post is that you are getting ready to go to college. Your parents aren’t that on board with your prepping. You are worried about leaving your preps behind.

      The way I see it; you are having to un-ass one situation and get yourself into another. Sometimes un-assing means you have to leave things behind. If there is one person who is a member of this blog who has never had to start over from the beginning, at least once. I challenge them to make themselves known.

      For a further challenge, if there is anyone on this blog who has never had to start over from the beginning at least twice, I challenge you to make yourself known.

      Madison, you are so right minded to be prepared, but don’t let “PREPPING” rule you. If all of your supplies are stored in your dorm room, and SHTF at a fraternity/sorority party, what are you gonna do? Work on your knowledge and your skills. Do your F’n homework too. Don’t fail those classes.

      Trust me, they will be three times as expensive when you have to take them again when you go back.

      I’ll say this again, you’re one of the good ones.

      • Petnumber1 says:

        Amen to everything said already! Another few things (from the mom of two former students:

        1. Try not to go anywhere alone. I know it’s unavoidable sometimes, but if you can possibly get someone to go with you (even in broad daylight), do so. There’s a lot of truth in the “there’s safety in numbers” cliche.
        2. Get into the habit of carrying a backpack everywhere you go. Make yourself a small first aid kit, keep a lifestraw and some bottle or pouched water, a few granola bars and some trail mix. Also, a pocketknife and a paper street map (in a zip-loc bag) of the city or town where your college is. Only you know your resources and situations there, but think about if you were out and about (either on campus or off) and something happened, what are the most portable and useful things you could use?
        3. Don’t trust the boys! LOL 🙂 Seriously, always have a wingman (wing woman?) when going out, especially when alcohol is involved. There have been too many reports of date rape drugs lately – travel in a crowd, and make a commitment that you will all watch each other’s back.
        4. Trust your intuition….always. If you get that weird creepy-crawly sensation, or your hair stands up on end, or you just have a gut feeling that something isn’t right, get the heck out of wherever you are. Don’t worry about missing a class or a good time, don’t tell yourself you’re being silly, and don’t be embarrassed. Just get out of there. You might be wrong, but you might be right, and that intuition just may save your life.

        • Can I repeat #1? Don’t go anywhere alone, ever!

          #3 is a must – from what I hear, the boys are worse now than ever.

          #4 should be part of what I call auto-pilot actions. It should be a part of who you are at all times.

          • Encourager says:

            “from what I hear, the boys are worse now than ever.”

            A young man, who will not be identified ;), told me he overheard a few other young men talking while they watched freshman girls as they came out the dorm:
            “Yeah….fresh meat!”

            That pretty much sums up their attitude, of at least many of them. The young man that overheard was disgusted.

        • Lots of good advice here. ALWAYS listen to your intuition or inner voice, once I did not listen and was deeply embarrassed by a situation but it could have been worse.

          Here in GA in Atlanta several women on campus have been raped. I hope that we are not scaring you too much, just be very aware of your surroundings.

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      Madison, you are doing real good. Since you are going to college, I recommend that you spend time getting extremely knowledgeable about the layout of the dorm/apt, also the student lounges/hangout areas, classroom bldgs, etc. Pay special attention to access and exits. Practice being observant to everyone and everything around you now so that you are able to identify possible threats.

      I had a son who was attacked at campus and jaw broken, and a girl was grabbed right outside of the gym where my daughter attends college, and where she works out each evening.

      Being observant, knowing how to assess a possible threat and identifying ways to retreat are so important, along with prepping.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        Amen — and speaking as a father myself, as a single girl on campus, you need to remember to try and avoid routine movements, especially after dark, as much as possible. Always take a different route from the one you used last time, and if possible take a different route when you leave a place than the one you used to get there in the first place. Don’t always park in the same slot. Also, if you’re doing something routine like working out at the gym, break up the times — don’t always go the same time of day or night. If you run in the park, pick different paths every single day, and vary the time of day you do your running in. In fact, don’t go there every day, just pick a random day to go to the gym instead — that sort of thing. Don’t establish habits that make you easily predictable. I know it sounds sort of ridiculous, but being predictable is the worst mistake anyone can make, and remember when you need the police there in seconds, they’re minutes away. Protecting yourself is your absolute, rock-bottom, number one priority. Once you get in the habit of doing stuff like this (and you’d be surprised how quickly it can become second nature), you won’t even have to think about it.

        Other than that, just start noticing things — what’s out of place here right now? is always a good question to ask yourself. Before you step outside, take a second to scope out the area for anything weird. And trust your instincts. If something says you might not want to walk down that path, then DON’T. Because your mind picks up tons of information that you don’t even realize it’s collecting, and it synthesizes that information as a “hunch” or a “feeling.” So trust yourself and not what someone else says.

        Okay. Fatherly lecture over…. 😉

        • Excellent fatherly lecture. I will add that most college campuses will allow you to carry either mace or pepper spray. The youngest DD is used to handling a gun, so we got her the spray made by Kimber that looks a little like a gun. It’s kinda cool – http://www.amazon.com/Kimber-Pepperblaster-Red-One-Size/dp/B003L75SSI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395686491&sr=8-1&keywords=kimber+pepper+blaster.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            GA Red
            In archives is a recipe for pepper spray by Jarhead. You can make it and carry it in a spritzer bottle and non the wiser but wasp spray is still the best!

        • “And trust your instincts. ”

          Absolutely! If you meet a guy who seems a little off, trust your instinct and don’t go anywhere alone with him. There is a reason he seems off. He may be OK, but trusting a stranger to be friendly is always a danger, because the dangerous ones work at seeming OK until they have you alone. Just ask Jeff Dahmer’s dinner companions. Oh…wait…

          Such people aren’t all that common, but they are looking for the unwary.

        • Encourager says:

          Madison, I can add this: ALWAYS lock your doors. Always.

          • Madison,

            When you go to a party or out with friends, NEVER PUT YOUR DRINK DOWN! I don’t care if you’re drinking alcohol or not. If you put your drink down you’re running the risk of it being doped.

            If you forget and put it down or just can’t avoid it, simply just get another drink. Ketamine is a date rape drug and it’s liquid and from what I hear tasteless. That and it doesn’t take much to knock out a human. Extacy tabs can be ground up and dumped in a drink. GBL is another liquid date rape drug. It has kind of an antiseptic smell to it but could easily be masked by cola or whatever you’re drinking.

        • I love the tips! thanks. im surprised my dad hasn’t talked to me about this yet.
          this is why I want to get my concealed gun license so I can carry. I went on a tour to SFA where I want to go, and they have these emergency or non-emergency call things everywhere. if its dark and you don’t want to walk by yourself, you can use it to call for an officer to walk you to your dorm. I might get some pepper spray and I`ll ask someone from the colleges if I can have it on me.

          • madison,
            While I don’t know how old you are, you appear to be a high school senior ready for college, making you 17 or 18. On the concealed handgun, keep in mind that you may not own a handgun or get a license to carry until you are 21.
            Although you can join the military and fight and die for your country and legally vote at 18, the rules on firearm ownership and possession are still archaic.
            In any case, you sound like you’re rather squared away for your age, and I suspect you’ll do OK. When it comes to prepping or personal safety, a good bit of the task is knowing you have the need and having the mental preparation.

          • Depending on your state, there’s a good chance that even with a CCW, you wouldn’t be able to carry it on campus. Make sure you check out the school’s definition of a weapon. Pepper spray might even be outlawed. When all else fails, carry a big purse with a can of wasp spray.

  63. Good evening M.D. & Pack,
    A couple of weeks of ups & downs. For the second time in two weeks, dehydrating bananas were an epic fail. Came out tasting spoiled and brown. I used pineapple juice instead of lemon juice, so I’ve still got some experimenting to do before I get the hang of it. I may try. A couple of apples this week and see if it goes better.

    Seeds I started a couple of weeks ago are sprouted and I picked up some sweet 100’s, banana pepper and blueberry plants that will go into pots this coming week. Was really hoping for some rain today. It was dark all day but the sky never let go. I do feel like God is judging us. I have really appreciated the comments earlier this week about mulching and drip/soaker watering. I’m going to have to be very diligent about keeping the plants watered with this drought if i want anything to live this year. on the up side, the blue bonnets are blooming and that never fails to cheer me. I do love Spring in Texas!

    A family member nearby is also prepping and I so enjoy sharing with them what I’m doing and getting their advice and ideas. Today they presented me with one of those fancy MOLLE type BOB backpacks. Wow! What a nice gift! And it is huge! I better start working out more so I can carry it with all the stuff it will hold.LOL! I am so blessed!

    My prayers for the pack that have illness and troubles. God bless.

    • Country Vet says:

      I may have mentioned this previously, but shredded paper is the ultimate mulch, especially for tomatoes and peppers.
      Walmart has been carrying a flat black soaker hose that we REALLY like. While I have not found commercial repair splicers for them, the appropriate sized tubing insinde held with a small hose clamp works great. Get them fast though, when I asked here locally when they were going to get in some more (since I bought the majority of what they had) I was told NO MORE till next year. I felt a little bad for taking that many but not bad enought to put any back. I want to be sure that I have PLENTY of these instock. They are FAR superior to anything that we have used and seem to holld up well. WE cover them muclh in beds that is possible, but some have been “in sun” for 2 years and still performing reasonabaly well. Yesterday was a bummer- I just KNEW it had to rain as humid as it was and overcast. The good news it made it a lot easier to get a lot done yesterday in the garden.

      • Country Vet says:

        Sorry- left out that the shredded paper is also amazing wtih all vine crops such as squash, cukes, sweet potatoes. We also use it around the fruit trees and grapevines. Areas in the garden area not under cultivation are covered in cardboard and shredded paper.

        • Thanks CV! I’ve got plenty of shredded paper so I’ll give it a try. And I’m heading to WM this afternoon so I’ll check for the hoses.

    • TexGal
      1) What type of dehydrator are you using?
      2) Are you mixing water in the lemon or pineapple juice?
      3) Are the bananas fresh from the store, not brown and looking like they were beat up?
      4) Are you putting lemon/pineapple juice in a metal container?
      5)Is the knife you are using stainless steel?
      6) Are you using a plastic cutting mat?
      7) The spoon you are using to remove the bananas plastic or metal?
      Let me know which of these apply and we can go from there, had the same thing happen to me. So you are not alone out there. 🙂

    • TexGal,
      I’ve been reading this blog for a couple months but haven’t done much, if any posting.
      I do a lot of dehydrating and I love the banana chips I make.I do not dip or treat mine with anything. They are usually darker than when I start them, but not ugly dark when they are dry. Don’t use bananas that are too green or too ripe. They should be that perfect yellow and firm. It took me a while to get the thickness right. Better to make the slices thin to begin with. Then you end up with a very crunchy/crisp chip. I also over dehydrate. If it says 12 hours, I go 13. You have to test that yourself. Also the humidity in your home will make a difference too. I have to be careful in the summer when it’s so humid. I prefer to do my drying in the fall and winter. When the drying time is up, let your dryer cool down and your product cool down before you store. I don’t ever store in plastic zip bags. They are not air tight. I like to use glass canning jars or seal in a Food Saver. Be careful of sharp edges on your fruits and veggies though, they can poke holes in the bags. Sometimes you have to double bag.
      I wish you luck. You just have to keep trying different things till you find the right way that works for you.

  64. Keep an eye those black berry plants! Those things will take over quick. We have tons of them here. Keeping them under control is a constant battle. Boy that black berry jam sure is good though!!!!!

  65. I should mention one benefit of the growth rate of blackberries is they make good fences. Hedge rows with thorns. Nobody is going to walk through a black berry bush!

  66. k. fields says:

    Ah, blackberries – I wish M.D. that you could come here and take a bunch, I have to constantly battle just to keep the d**n things under some sort of control. Your place is really looking good though, can’t wait to try the Wolf Pack wine once you start bottling.

    So what’s been happening here? Got the new 4,000 gallon water storage tank I spoke of earlier completed and backfilled this morning – I still need to disassemble the internal roof support forms and it still needs to be plumbed but that will be easy even if the rains that are scheduled for Tuesday come ashore early. Just glad I won’t have to be working in a big mud hole to finish it up. Although the February rains certainly helped, water is still going to be short come August here in CA.

    Local news this week focused on the Deputy Sheriff getting killed by some guy on the run from Oregon. Sad for the whole community as Ricky had been working and living on the coast for over 20 years. Unlike other parts of the country I guess, local law enforcement here is still appreciated and respected. I’m sure his memorial next week will be heavily attended. He will be missed.

    • k. fields:

      I sure hope you guys don’t get caught up in that “the rain water is ours” movement. I think it was in CO, but telling people they can’t use the water that falls on their property is so ridiculous that it makes me shudder.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        JP and K — that “rain water belongs to the state” thing is true of quite a few western states — goes back to the big cattle ranching days when they did that so farmers (“sod busters”) couldn’t divert water from cattle for crops. CO is about the worst, but NM, NV, AZ, UT and maybe ID all have similar rules still on the books. I think in CO they can actually arrest you over it, though it’s a stiff fine in the others at least. It’s particularly stupid in that people nowadays can do so much more to use water efficiently and instead it all runs off because of some law put in place in the 1880s.

    • axelsteve says:

      K I have heard talk about that in my area also. I live a county east of them. It is sad.

      • k.fields& axelsteve;
        If you have an opportunity listen to 1460 KCNR(from Redding CA) radio program from 3/23/2014. The water program they are going to push on us via Jerry Brown’s water [czar]will take a hold of the ground water including the water that comes out of your personal well along with the surface water. It will be on page 14 according the man who was being interviewed. You can listen to the archives for the Sunday program thru the 24hr patriots site. Good luck, we are all going to need it. Control the water you control the people, control the food, control the people, control the all money, control the people.
        P. S. Diana Feinstiens husband is buying up all the farms that are going bell up for the Chinese government……no bs.. truth. She will not budge on her saving the delta smelt or some other stupid fish or bird or what ever…..but she knows better than us.

  67. Carolina Blue says:

    It’s been a while since I posted here, but wanted to share some good things. We finally got around to purchasing a 5′ x 8′ utility trailer as we really couldn’t get an 8′ 2″ x 4″ in our Jeep. We picked up a load of lumber for the second raised bed garden, picnic table and some other projects. Also, planted our new fruit trees – 2 plums and 2 apples.

    We started our seedlings for tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and Brussels sprouts a couple of weeks ago and they’re doing just fine. Should be able to get them planted near the end of April/first of May. Peas and other early garden veggies should be going in real soon. Unfortunately, Tuesday’s forecast is calling for snow and freezing rain – it’s been a long winter.

    Be safe out there. . .


  68. Had a good shopping week. Picked up a cast iron frying pan, pressure canner, some more canning jars and lids, and finally got myself a grain mill. Also, I’ve been decluttering, going through old papers and shredding everything… fun fun! Got some more bananas dehydrated, too.

    I, too, make my own laundry detergent. My skin is so sensitive to detergents and the homemade one doesn’t bother me at all. My dh and I figured the cost of Tide vs homemade for over 1 1/2 years saved us well over $100. I’d definitely count that as a prep!

    And where can I sign up for double stuffed chocolate bacon oreos?

    Thanks to everyone for all your great info!

  69. I discovered the trick to dehydrating bananas is to use them before they reach that ripe with spotty skins stage. Maybe just when the stems are still a bit green and the fruit is still firm, slice them just under a 1/4″, lay them out and dehydrate. DD has been my guinea pig on this, and we figured it out when she was about 12. She loved the banana chips at the store until she found out they were fried. I don’t even have to treat them with lemon juice or citric acid. They dry up within a few hours. I jar them up, vacuum seal, and plop them in the freezer for a week or two to pasteurize them. Put them on the shelf and you’re done. I’ve got a jar that’s been in the pantry for a year now, no sign of mold, or discoloration. Was going to use them to make banana bread. Been reading a lot of labels lately, and prepackaged mixes for muffins etc use dried fruit and other stuff that I don’t want like preservatives. I seem to recall someone was having issues with bananas in their dehydrator.

  70. I love reading this post each week and have implemented so many of the things people post. My husband and I are in the process of turning up a big back yard into a garden spot. Bought a nice tiller, had a big pile of compost delivered, and started to work. Never worked so hard in my life! Couldn’t raise my arms for a couple of days. I put out 700 lbs of manure on Saturday. Our goal is to have a large producing garden by the end of summer and maintain the spot for years to come. Next time I go to a Farmer’s Market I am paying whatever price they ask and giving them a big hug. I have a whole new respect for farmers!

  71. Bought a 1 # bag of penne noodles that were imported from Italy to try. Also made 2 quarts of edlerberry tincture. The plan is to shake each quart jar once a day for two weeks then strain out the pulp then store and use as needed. Been real busy with house repairs so not much other prepping done this week.

    • MM,

      Yep, that’s how to make the tincture. I am drinking Earl Gray Tea with some elderberry tincture right now. Yum.

  72. Due to an unexpected addition to our family I haven’t been posting so much lately but have been trying to keep up with the blog.

    Nice work on the header, I think it is a fabulous addition.

    I choose not to weigh in on the drama taking place on the blog in the last few weeks because I just don’t feel I have an educated or informative opinion that would make a difference either way.

    Back to the prepping at hand… We have acquired a new 6 month old German shepherd pup only because she was headed to the pound by a person who had no business taking her in the first place. I lost my furry baby of 17 years back in November and was not looking for another but as fate would have it, she needed me and I couldn’t let her be put down. Unfortunately she needs a lot of “deprogramming” and re-training as she spent the first 6 months of her life locked in a small one bedroom apartment and only was let out once a day. This event of course has opened up a whole new avenue that needs prepping for us. I have been signing up for every pet promotion I can find and have already received a number of free samples that I have added to preps for her and went to the crazy huge pet store and bought two 22lb bags of puppy food to store in her newly appointed food bin. I plan on looking into some training instruction for the home defense part of raising her but I want her to be a family pet as well. Any suggestions would be great! Having a dog for 17 years, I forgot how it was to have a puppy so lots of adjustments for us all.
    I also found a local Health food store that offers an organic herb bar. I had never seen such a thing and I have already been stocking on some of the herbs we use most both medicinal and culinary. I will be growing herbs this spring but needed to get some in stock for immediate use.
    The Treeman also helped move a friend from his home of 30+ years into a small apartment. He gave us a number of items that he didn’t need, have room for or didn’t want. A ton of gardening tools and planter boxes. He also decided he didn’t want to keep a small stash of Ammo and gave us about 1000 rounds of various kinds along with a BB gun and some spare parts.
    I have been picking up extra items on my weekly grocery runs canned goods, Great northern beans, pinto beans and a “small town size” container of Tang I had a coupon for. I just ordered some Mylar bags and O2 absorbers from Amazon. Treeman also found these little plastic whistles with compass and thermometer for .88 and free shipping on some promotional thing so we ordered two. We will see how great they are when they arrive.
    So many terrible things going on in the world, trying to stay focused on what needs to be done but as I have learned as I took on this venture you can never be too prepared. I can’t help but feel we are somehow running out of time and that elevates the stress level. Stay safe pack and many prayers to all of you that are feeling under the weather or have family in need.

    • Country Vet says:

      The best family protection dog is a well trained family member that “know it is a dog.” Start basic training now- sit, come, etc. Keep her with you in and out of the house. If she is stuck in the yard, she can not defend you in the house when she is an adult. ALWAY feed AFTER the family has eaten. Allow the dog in the room while having meals but DO NOT pay any attention to her while you are eating. Save just a few bites from the table, especially from the children’s plates, have her sit, then allow her to eat it. Do not allow her on the bed. Take her for walks with YOU as the leader. Talk to her and explain things around her jsut as you would a child. (I know that most people do not think that she would comprehend, but I STRONGLY disagree on how much they get out of this type of approach. ) I do not know how much of her “innate” GSD inatelligence has been compromised by her early abuse, but you will be amazed at how much she does “get.” Socialize her! kids, adults, etc. – You can take her to Tractor Supply and walk thru- have people give her treats! Do NOT allow her to eat a treat that has been dropped on the floor and give her treats with a closed hand to teach her not to “grab” treats. I know that you are probalby concerned that a dog this social will not defend, but you could not be more wrong. This dog will be able to discern a threat from a “friendly stranger” or a new addition to your group. Under threat she WILL

      • Country Vet says:

        🙂 sorry – computer decided that I was thru before I was…..
        —-defend her family. I have raised and shown GSD’s for MANY years. My dogs follow me every step I make. They are safe with children but allow no threat to me or mine.
        A GSD needs a good “pack leader” and a “job” to do.

        • mindful patriot says:

          Wow, what a world of information right here!
          Not eating a treat that has been on the floor. . . that helps me in training with my big Cat.
          I am interested in GSDs but not until I can get moved.
          Agree, too, they comprehend much more than some give them credit for.
          Thank you for the good info!

        • Encourager says:

          I must add ~~ train your new puppy never to walk through a door before you, never to go down a hallway before you, to sit calmly and wait for permission to eat from food bowl, and most important, to wait at the top/bottom of the stairs until you are down/up. Teach pup it is part of the pack (your family) but NOT the alpha. YOU are the alpha.

          With giving treats, use a closed hand and “take it nice”. They will get it – dogs are incredibly smart. As for talking and explaining stuff to dogs – yep, CV was right. It got to the point where we had to spell words instead of saying them (just like for kids) but now she figures out the spelling. Our dog even knows a lot of American Sign Language. It is easy to teach once YOU know the signs. You say it and sign at same time. Pretty soon, signing alone will work.

          Teach pup to “leave it” about dropped/found treats on ground/floor, other dog’s poop (yeah, they do eat it), shoes, slippers, etc.

          A lot of work, but very important. Nothing is worse than an uncontrollable dog. That is why the pound is full. It is not the dog’s fault but the owner’s.

          • Yes! And if they get out of hand, while playing, flip them on their backs and rub their tummy!

        • Country Vet,
          Thank you sooooo much! Like I said it has been awhile since I had a puppy and never a GSD. She seems to be relatively smart ( I know everyone believes their dog is smart) We have already got sit and “down” for lay down but having a problem with housebreaking since she had a rough 1st 6months in an apartment. the closed hand treat approach is something I never thought off what a great improvement it has been in just one day! Thank you everyone for your help. Just still yet another reason this is such a wonderful blog. Thanks again everyone!

        • Urbancitygirl says:

          Country Vet, my GSD is 1yr old. You mention that they will protect and it’s really my concern because, though she will bark once it’s brought to her attn, she doesn’t seem particularly attentive to noticing strangers. My small dog is much more alert. We have been looking for training but I haven’t found what I’m going for (pet, but will be alert to threats).

      • I love my GSD. I order pet food and supplies online from China Mart–free shipping (on orders over $50) and the prices tend to be better than the pet stores.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        One thing that I found helped with the larger dogs — put a cage or carry box (depending on what you would use to transport the dog) in a corner someplace and cover it with some blankets or old curtains or something to make it nice and dark inside. Then put in the animal’s bedding and maybe a few favorite toys and encourage the animal to think of it as it’s own personal space. Then, when the dog is feeling scared or upset or just tired or not quite the thing, it has a place it can go where it feels like it can be completely safe. I never intruded on that space, and if my dog was sick and sleeping in there, I’d have her move to the entrance so I could feed her or pat her or give her medicine so that no part of my body ever intruded on her space. It really worked surprisingly well. In many ways, dogs are just like people if you think about it….

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      One of the best things I did with my dog was to put an old pillow on the floor and teach her that this was “place.” If someone came in the house or she had muddy paws or she got too rambunctious, etc, we would just say “place” and she would go there. It also became her bed and her comfort place. I put an old pillowcase over it and washed it as needed. She is now staying with friends while I am in town and this pillow went with her giving her comfort in a strange place.
      I only tear up when I think about her, but we will be together again when Mom leaves me.

  73. Not really much this week, been a long work week.
    Made a qucik trip to Harbor Freight so I wouldn’t feel like a total loser:
    Large Hunting Knife
    17″ mini shovel
    100 Nitrlie gloves
    5’6 x 7’6 tarp
    roll of generic duct tape

    And yes, I know what it looks like…

  74. Morning Pack 🙂

    Found a box of 1930-50’s cartoons/comedy including Betty Boop, Mighty Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Popeye, Three Stooges and Woody Woodpecker, at a garage sale. Total costs 10 bucks!

    My goal is to have a portable entertainment system that can play DVDs, VHS tapes, music CDs, old cassette tapes, etc., and a TV/projector/speakers that can connect with a backup variable fuel source generator. Still learning what will work, and am looking at RV equipment. Any ideas the pack can share about that, would be greatly appreciated.

    This way, we can have Friday Night Movies – with or without electricity!

    • Hunker-Down says:

      You may be able to sell those on eBay for a zillion bucks!

    • Nancy,

      You can get just about any movie, TV show or music online. A laptop with a solar recharger would do the job.

  75. axelsteve says:

    Md Creekmore. Your property is going to be really really nice when the trees and etc get established. You are doing a good job with it.

    • axelsteve,

      It’s been a lot of work to get it to this point. I had it all done at my previous location, but decided to buy this one because of the location and 3 and a half more acres, so I had to start over again.

  76. Well, I’m late this week posting because we went plinking yesterday. Spent about three hours practicing with a five target set-up. Got comfortable with the gun and got progressively better at hitting the targets. Aside from that, just bought some replacements for the rotation and will be headed to Kroger shortly for some more. Now it’s time to read the 350 or so other comments that were made before I got here this week. Stay safe all. Prayers for all.

  77. Urbancitygirl says:

    DH is moving my pantry area this weekend to a larger and less conspicuous one in the basement (swapping with his tool/work area). I have these really nice shelving systems from SAMs club, they are super strong. And I’m setting up the pantry to have aisles, so that it’s easier to add newer items to the back and take from the front. I like it better than lining up against the wall.

    In the past year alone we’ve had 3 water/sewer technicians, a gas line tech to move dryer to a more convenient location, block window installers, and 3 kids moving in and out of the home in transition from college to after college digs (and the moving help). Each time there have been questions as they walk by my current area.

    When the pantry wasn’t so full, it was easier to pass it off as coupon shopping and help feeding college kids. But, add in water filtration, buckets of long term storage, a freezer, several back up cooking stoves, oil lamps, several large boxes of medical supplies, a bookcase of “interesting” books, etc., and yikes. Didn’t really think that one thru.

    Did not find good meat prices yet for a big stock up. But still need to read today’s circulars.

    My milk jug greenhouses have been outside for a few days, frozen solid to the patio table. Ice, ice baby! Gonna be an interesting or a flop experiment. Meanwhile, I started a couple of seeds of tomatoes and peppers on my kitchen window sill above my sink.

    My lawn is solid ice and dangerous to walk on. I am craving nice weather so bad that a couple days ago I took a chair outside and sat on the side of my house when the sun was beating down on a heat wave 37degree day. But it’s back to low 20s again (as a high.) hoping the next couple weeks bring a little bit warmer weather.

  78. JeffintheWest says:

    Another fun week. Spent a couple of days (so far) working on the poor, neglected trees in our “orchard” pruning off dead wood and fireblight, and trying to make sure they have at least some chance of surviving this summer and maybe even starting to grow properly again. Two more trees to go.

    Other than that, our leach field line got blocked and the past four days have been a major construction effort in the back yard area, laying a new leach field, and, perforce, re-landscaping large portions of the back yard with a backhoe as we create terraces and stuff to avoid engineering fees for a retaining wall to prevent a recurrence of the problem. The good news is that by the time all of this is done, we should have plenty of firewood for next winter! And a really nice back yard area for relaxation and some gardening (not near the leach field, naturally). All years in advance of our actual plans given that we were forced into all of this by a sewage emergency. Sheesh. I suppose if it ever comes down to selling the place, all of this should significantly increase the value of the property…. So it’s an ill wind, and all that.

  79. Well I got the Yugo M57 refinished with Duracoat in Combat Black. It came out nice and I am pleased with my first attempt at refinishing a weapon. I picked this gun up dirt cheap at a gun show last year and have made a couple of improvements to it including removing the aftermarket safety and putting 1911 style grips on it. I’m looking forward to using this as an everyday carry weapon. I have my CHL and currently carry a Walther PPK knock-off (another eastern-bloc gun). The Yugo is much more powerful being chambered in 7.62×25 Tokarev than my current 9×18 Makarov. Its thin and hold 9+1. Fits in the small-of-the-back well. I made a video of it and am currently putting it up on YouTube. If anyone knows anything about how to change videos to a more compressed file for loading to YouTube, let me know. It takes forever to load them.

  80. Surviving in Ky says:

    Michele, You will be missed. You have a great deal of knowledge that has helped many here. I hope your new business does well and you and your husband have a happy and prosperous future. I will miss your knowledge and big heart. God Bless and take care. And as Rider would say, “Keep stacking it high”!

  81. Curley Bull says:

    Howdy Pack,

    As most of you know, things around here have been in somewhat of turmoil the past three weeks. Did piddle around with an idea though. Took 5 empty cigarette packs (box), filled with dryer lint and a baby bic. Took 5 more and filled with Coleman fire starter (1/2 inch square), cut to length and placed 6 in each pack along with 6 strike anywhere matches and 6 storm proof matches. Used small piece of tape to hold box shut and applied thin coat of paraffin to waterproof. Thought I might hand them out to some folks to get them started thinking.

    Now ya’ll know it’ll take a week for Bc to come down off the arterial clogging high from the deep fired, battered, bacon wrapped Oreo’s and speaks properly again.

    Got the same idea as Bc on the camper shell for my truck. After pricing new, decided to build my own using wood, but was afraid it might be too heavy, so am looking for used one with side openings. May end up building it to get it the way I want it. Got it pictured in my head, and once I get that picture, I can build almost anything.

    May everyone have a blessed week upcoming,


    PS: Gonna miss Michele. Hopefully she’ll mosey back someday.

    • Hobbitt of the Shire says:

      keep an eye out at the local cable companies they usually auction off older equipment every few years and they have some nice shells , at least around here………

      • Curley Bull says:

        Oh, forgot! Put new rubber on the ole truck. The Lord was with me big time! One of my old tires almost blew out as it was being removed. He also helped me get a real bargin on the tires. Gave $400 for takeoffs that would retail for $1,000. Isn’t God a great fella!!!!


  82. Very busy….got the auto all serviced and repaired, way too much of my funds went that way. Canned corned beef brisket. Pressed out my tinctures that were ready, and got some more going. I was very pleased with the press I bought online from Canada for this.
    Signed up for the online herbal studies that have been talked about here.
    I am less than a year from retirement and am trying to prepare as much as possible. The medical care, or lack there of has prompted me to study non-western medicine in earnest. I have purchased over 10 different herbal books, and growing/hunting such along with the course I signed up for.
    I have many other skills to barter, but this will help me and mine with medical issues and allow me to be of more value when SHTF.
    Prayers go out to all those in need.

  83. I am sick at heart. The two baby goats that we just got Saturday have disappeared! 🙁 I am work, but DH, DS and sil have walked all over the woods behind our home and drove around all of the nearby streets but no luck. The doe was so gentle, she loved to be petted. I spent some time with her this morning when I fed them. Lots of acreage with no one living on them.

    • My DH just called me! Those two found their way back to their previous owner. They are OK and DH is reinforcing the fence!

  84. Survivor says:

    Got the sawmill all but finished now. A couple of welds and two things to bolt on and we’re cutting timber.

    Transferred my heirloom tomatoes and watermelons from the seeding bed to potting soil. I’ll start herdening them to plant outdoors in a couple of weeks. I have a bunch more veggies that are coming up so I’ll be busy taking care of them.

    We bought 2 .177 cal air rifles over the weekend. I intend to do a side by side comparison and report in case someone might be interested. They were different models, same make (Gamo). We have several different types of ammo, as well. Both these will definitely take out small game easily. So far one of the rifles has taken out an armadillo and a cat, among other critters. Don’t nobody get up in arms over the cat. It was an evil thing that killed for fun.

  85. Just a quick heads up for those of you who have the Aldi grocery chain in your area. Once per year they have some special purchases. They have had this particular item every year for the last 8-10, right around this time of year (March April) and it is a good deal. What I’m talking about is a heavy duty adjustable wire shelf system. It has five 36 by 18 inch shelves, each capable of holding 350 pounds, which connect to 6 foot poles with about 1-inch incremental spacing, for $40.00, which is a great price. Similar shelves from Home Depot or Lowes are 48 inches wide instead of 36; but, cost $80-90 each. BTW, the screw-in caster wheels to make these racks mobile are available at Home Depot, Lowes, and other hardware and big box stores. We just purchased the last 5 from our local Aldi, and put the last 5 at the Aldi in another town, on hold until tomorrow. Between the 48 inch and this 36 inch shelve; we have about 16 already in use. Here’s the information and a photo:
    These things sell out quickly, and are sold out when gone, and then unavailable until next year.

    • Thanks for the link, OP. How do those shelves hold up to weight? Is there any problem with individual shelves slipping? Hope you don’t mind the questions, but I’m stuck between trying to find shelves that are really heavy-duty or building my own. I currently have a Muscle Rack which is supposed to hold 1,000 lbs. per shelf, but it wasn’t even close. A few cases of water had the chintzy shelf ‘boards’ sagging and cracking. I had to replace each shelf with 3/4-inch plywood.

      • NANN,
        We’ve been using these shelfs for years from both Home Depot and Aldi with no trouble holding hundreds of pounds on each shelf. As for slipping, the pieces that hold the shelf are wedge shaped and wedge in harder as you ad weight, so no issue there either.
        No problem on questions, so ask away.

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