What did you do to prep this week?

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been a week already since our last “what did you do to prep this week’ blog segment… Well one this is for sure, and that is that we are a week closer to disaster than we were then. I think that is the most depressing thing that I’ve ever said here, but true nonetheless…

Okay, before we get started today, I would like to give a shout out and a big thank you to Melody H, Joe D, Pamela T, Richard G, Jeff B, Brad C, Tactical G-ma, Michael B, Kelli M, Willard N, and Donna S for their generous donations this week and for their support of this blog and what we do here.

You folks are at the top of the pack…

I’m happy to announce that our Alexa Traffic Rank is now at 33,038 – the only other prepper type blog that I know of, with a better traffic ranking is SHTF Plan at 18,308. Thank you for making TheSurvivalistBlog.net the most read how-to-do-it prepper blog currently on line.

Now let me see… what did I do to prep this week?

Added organic material to my raised beds, to give the soil a boost for the coming growing season.

Added organic material to my raised beds, to give the soil a boost for the coming growing season.

Added a Stanley FatMax drill and some bits to my tool kit.

Added a Stanley FatMax drill and some bits to my tool kit.

And I started reading A Government of Wolves.

And I started reading A Government of Wolves.

trust government

Well folks thats it for me this week… what about you? Yes 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. 5 rounds of .410 000 Buckshot
    4 cans of spaghetti and meatballs
    Switched my Get Home Bag and Car gun from my Glcok 21 to my 17. I usually carry a 26 so it makes more sense to use the same ammo and mags between guns. Eventually my Kel-Tec Sub-2000 will get here and replace the Ruger 10/22 take down in the bag. Also tossed a case fo water in the back of my vehicle.

  2. spent a muddy couple of days doing a thourough cleaning of my henhouse and their runs. remodeled a little by removing a door and widening the doorway so i can get my chicken poop wheelbarrow through it.Got a cord of firewood for 50 bucks delivered,,,, somewhat. its so muddy that the closest they could get to the area i store my wood is about 150 feet. when it dries,ill move it and satck it. still need two more cord. Spent two days trying to get youtube,googleplus,twitter,facebook,pintrest,to honor my copyroights bt removing 5 of my videos from a place called chicken tractor plans.com (now shut down) They took my videos,removed my channel icon,and were selling the info as if it were their own. Not only did i not charge for these plans,but i gave the chicken tractyor to an elderly couple who wanted chickens but couldnt afford to build or buy a henhouse. I gave them the chihicken tractor,some feed buckets and two nesting boxes. It just freaked me out to know their are those that would profit from something i was giving away,and call it thier own. They are gone now. I have my videos back home,safe and sound and FREE! Then,,,,, i found a cop on youtube,,,,,, that i like! will wonders never cease? his youtube name is lms tactical. have great week yall.

    • bctruck,

      I’ve had my content stolen so many times that I’m starting to expect it. It’s sad, that’s one reason that I was forced to go to a partial RSS and email feed because thieves were “scraping” every post from the feed and republishing on their own sites automatically.

      • I hate a thief,but i hate even more a thoief that would take something i was giving away, and profit from it.If this link isnt ok with you,please feel free to delete it. its just that since ive been so hard on bad cops,i thought i should share a good one.

        • Just Brad says:

          Had a buddy I gave 200 rds of .308 to since he said he couldn’t afford any ammo, I then find out he sold it to a gun shop for $150. I told him I was pissed and if he needed the money I would have given him the $150! He then said he was mistaken that the rifle wasn’t a .308 and sold the ammo. Not like he couldn’t have given it back! Needless to say, no longer a friend.

          • JP in MT says:

            I’ve had a couple of guns go that way. “Please sell it to me, please, it’s for my wife!” 4 weeks later it’s on his table at a show for twice what I sold it to him for! I really didn’t want to sell it in the first place. I also no longer do that. I do shows, so if it is something I no longer want it goes on my table. If he wants it he can pay fair market value for it.

        • Whenever I write a really good article I have to email M.D. about a dozen times about websites that copy the material without proper attribution. That irritates the hell out of me.

        • Hey bc, thanks for balancing the cop thing out. I think it shows what what good character u have, to link that after all the bad experiences u’ve had w/ cops. If I’d had that many bad experiences w/ law enforcement, I’d probably think bad stuff of them too.

          BTW, what’s a chicken tractor? Does it have some features unique for chickens?
          (Having grown up on a sm farm & spent my college summers on a field crew of a canning factory, I’ve driven my share of tractors, but have never heard of a chicken tractor.)

          • A chicken tractor is just a wheeled , moveable enclosure that the chickens go in during the day. It can be moved to places you want the chickens to poop like a garden. It also allows them to get bugs and nutrients they wouldn’t normally get from feed and it also protects them from predators.

          • BC,
            That works for rabbits too! When I was 14 my father made a pen out of: (wait for it), CHICKEN WIRE, that was just a rectangle box made of 2X4 uprights and 2X2 lateral pieces covered by CHICKEN WIRE but no wheels.
            We would pick up the cage, rabbits and all, and set it down over new lush grass, in a short time, it was mowed to the ground. (we had too many rabbits in the cage) We then picked it up and moved it over new grass. The rabbits loved it and we had a little less grass to mow.

    • Jersey Drifter says:

      Not in my list of things done this week,……but last night I got off work at 9:30 pm and didn’t feel like going home and fixing something to eat. So I bought a box of the NEW Ritz Bacon Flavored Crackers and a package of Colby & Monterey Jack cheese. That along with a package of extra sharp cheddar cheese I had at home made me smile and think of you. BACON,BACON,BACON. Sure was good!.

    • I ran across that too. There I’d a guy on ecorenovator dot org who is doing a geothermal project on his house. He’s basically written “The Geothermal Bible” and some thief took all his content and was selling it on one of those websites with the 15 minute video before they hit you with the 100 dollar price tag. I told the content owner about it. His attitude was pretty altruistic. He didn’t care as long as the info was getting out.

      • There is a guy, not There I’d a guy. Posting from a tiny cell phone with fat fingers is hard.

  3. Well lets see, I went too the gunshow again sunday and I bought 10 oz.s silver, wonder of wonders a rohm mod. 14 .22 cal. revolver, got a free box of shells and a holster with it, 30 rd.s 12 gauge slugs, 1000 rd.s no.4 buck and oo buck, a case of assorted medicinal,tea,salsa seeds, a case of chicken helper, a case of navy beans, 3 large jars grape jelly, 12 packages beef gravy, 2 case’s roast beef I think that’s it. Till next time!

    • No that’s not all, I forgot the 55 round bandolier for the 12 gauge, the 20 lb.s rice, and the 8 lb.s dehydrated milk.

  4. Nothing really this week. We did watch a show called “Bomb Girls” set in Canada during WWII. Mostly fluff but some good info on rationing and making do with what you have – ground cow tongue in place of ground beef for meatloaf. Also some mention of the importance of Victory gardens during that time. There was a lot of discussion about how different groups of people were discriminated against (those of Italian and German descent), making them more susceptible to turning against the country.

    • Hi GA Red, Without making any particular excuses for how we treated enemy aliens and their children during the world wars, I LOVE to see a documentary juxtaposing how we treated enemy alines and how the Japanese treated enemy aliens. And how they treated women in occupied territories like Korea and China. And how they treated captured American and British military nurses.

      Barracks in Idaho vs Korean Comfort Women.

      Now THAT would be an educational documentary.

      • Penrod,

        If we could bring truth and realism to history, kids and teens wouldn’t be so bored in school. I don’t teach history but I can destroy everything young adults have “learned” about history in public schools in just about 10 minutes. Students are only ready to learn when they are shown they don’t know what they think they know.

        • The DH says he has learned more about history by watching documentaries than he ever did in school. Not everyone learns well in the same way. I do ok reading, but not long articles and definitely not books unless they are written more like a romance novel. The DH has read only one book that didn’t put him to sleep – God, Guns and Rock n Roll. He does best with visual learning which is why he does well with documentaries. I can listen and retain info, but I can’t sit still for long like lectures. Learning for me almost has to be quick bites of info. I was only able to finish college because I could do it online.

        • survivor says:

          They don’t teach history…they teach propaganda

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        The atrocities perpetrated on mainland Asians and adjacent Islanders by the Japanese are more horrific than one would think. It was like thousands of Dr. Mengeles.

        • Tactical G-Ma, the Japanese excesses pale into insignificance compare to the atrocities committed against the Japanese immigrants and US born children forced to live in Idaho.

          Ask any qualified school teacher or college professor.

          • Snark alert, BTW.

          • axelsteve says:

            I highly doubt that Idaho people put Japaneese children into slave labor camps or used them for prostitution or for medical experiments.

          • axelsteve,
            Place your tongue firmly in your cheek and re-read Penrods post.

          • axelsteve says:

            thank you ohio I got it backwards.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            I was about to ask Penrod what he’d been drinking cause I want some too!

          • Oh, thanks! I live almost on the Idaho border. We seem to be mostly good people. I was about to lose my faith. Thanks for the snark alert!

          • JeffintheWest says:

            Whew! for a split second there Penrod, I thought you’d been taken over by aliens or maybe Man/Bear/Pig or something!

          • HiJeffintheWest, “taken over by aliens or maybe Man/Bear/Pig or something!”

            Well, you never can tell. I’m glad I added the snark alert.

            It is a funny thing, tho, that the people who love to hate America, and love to bring up events like the internment of AJAs and their non-American immigrant parents, hate to be reminded that in wartime, all countries intern enemy aliens.

            There was a huge internment camp on the Isle of Man in WWI, just for German civilians who were either resident in Britain when the war broke out, or were traveling there on business or pleasure. They spent from 1914 to 1918 in the camp.

            The Dutch had a big internment camp for foriegners in WWI. I’m not sure that we did, because there were too many German immigrants to make it possible. Wisconsin did issue a map of the “Suspect Counties”, tho, based on the percentage of German surnames in the census.

            Everybody interned enemy civilians. Who in their right mind would allow citizens of a country one is at war with run around free if one can lock them up? They are the enemy!

            The difference is that while we hardly set them up in the Hilton, we did not beat them to death, rape them multiple times a day, behead them, or any of the other charming cultural practices of the Army of Japan.

            For which we are supposed to be deeply ashamed.

        • As the DH recently told our youngest, the Geneva Convention wasn’t really followed by the Japanese.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            The Japanese may not have invented racism but they certainly perfected it!

          • axelsteve says:

            the only people that the Japanese like is the Japanese.

          • JeffintheWest says:

            That was certainly a polite way to phrase it.

            My father served in the USN during World War II. Was in when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He once told some long-haired hippy dippy type in the 1970s who asked him what he thought of the US dropping nukes on the “defenceless Japanese” that he and every other member of the United States Navy thought that if there had been a single button they could have pushed to exterminate the entire population of Japan, they would have eagerly volunteered to push it.

            I suspect most Koreans and Chinese, as well as any Europeans or Americans caught in their path, would have cheerfully done the same.

          • JeffintheWest says:

            Filipinos too. One of my best friend’s dads was in the Filipino resistance in World War II — fought as a guerrilla on Luzon. He hated all Japanese with a passion.

          • axelsteve says:

            I have a Chinees customer at work who is from the s.f. bay area and you do not call him Japanees if you are smart. He can`t stand iether and he is in his 40`s.

        • A very good book is “UNBREAKABLE”. I think everyone here will enjoy it.

  5. Nebraska Woman says:

    Moving to the city is the pits!
    I love being back with my old friends and my family, but I too, feel the pull to be back at my farmhouse.
    For op sec reasons, I cannot say too much, but an old friend and I are in the process of making a safe room in her house. I can get Mom there in a heartbeat, and the 3 of us should be OK for about 3 months in an emergency. She is happy for the help and I am happy for the safety.
    I am broke after paying my taxes, so I did not do too much in prepping. I did, however, get more ammo for my Glock, went to the dollar store to get cereal, condensed milk, and more plastic tubs to store food, and to the bakery to get food grade buckets for free.
    I passed on Cindy Crawford’s assurance that I would be more beautiful if I had her product or a cruise to Italy for only $8,000.
    BC, I had the neighbors over for bacon, eggs, and pancakes this am. I am glad your videos are again in your possession and your hens are happy!!!

    • nothing says “I care” like sharing bacon!! good on you!

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Yesterday we saw 6 gallon white buckets at chinamart for 4.98 each.

      • I have had very good luck getting 3.5g and 5g food grade buckets at Bi-Lo, Food Lion and Ingles. Usually free, sometimes $1 each. Just ask at the bakery counter.

        • Babycatcher says:

          There must be a few others hitting the bakery depts at the stores here. I’ve only managed to score 6 buckets with lids over the past 1.5 years! Might be the times I’m asking, but there are more preppers out here than I think there are! 🙂

          • LittleAnniePrepper says:

            I can’t get free buckets at Wal Mart any more. Some lady puts her dog food in them and she always manages to get there before I do. 🙁

          • Paylie Roberts says:

            Babycatcher, just keep trying. When I used to live in the city, I went to one bakery and asked if they would be willing to recycle their buckets, and they told me that no, they wouldn’t because they need them to catch the water from the roof leaking. But I kept going back, and kept asking. Finally I talked to the manager and mentioned they should hire a repairman for their roof, since they must have over a 100 leaks. They finally let me have as many buckets as I wanted.

          • Babycatcher
            I found calling the store you are wishing to acquire fg buckets from before you go shopping helps. Ask for the bakery, and tell them you are interested in picking up their fg buckets with the lids. Ask do they have any available, if they do, then tell them you are coming into shop at their store would they hold them for you. Give them your name and about how long it will take you to arrive at their store. If you are unable to pick the buckets up call them back and inform that something came up and you will not be coming. It sets a presence that you are a responsible person, one they will remember the next time you call.
            I found by calling ahead of time I get the buckets before anyone else, and sometimes they will let me know when they will have quite a few available. If they give you that information, make sure you are the first caller that morning. Good luck with your search.

          • I found a local bakery that specializes in just pies here and I get the 5 gal. buckets and lids for .50 a piece. Apparently all the fruit filling comes in these buckets. Don’t know if you have that kind of thing where you are but I happened on it by accident.

          • nightshiftsucks says:

            I used to manage a sandwich shop,try them.We used to have a bunch of pickle and pepper buckets.

          • survivor says:

            Go to bakeries or donut shops, nursing homes, hospitals…

  6. A disappointing trip last week to the State Armory, nothing I could use, will try again when out running errands today.
    Decided to be a little more open minded,, and open-mouthed to try and find LMI in my area. After reading yesterday’s topic about forming a group I decided to follow some advice and just toss some comments out and then LISTEN. We had a bad ice storm last month so that will be a good place to start “Did you loose heat last month,, what did you do to stay warm?”. For water” etc.

    To actual preps,, DH made Taco Soup always more than we need since it’s only the two of us so I was able to can 4qts,, bought extra when grocery shopping as always. And will check at our local Aldies for those shelf units, they sound very strong and that’s what we need.

    DH and I have a dinner date w/a college friend of mine and her DH, haven’t seen her in years but now they have retired to one state over, we plan to meet at a restaurant in the middle. We have kept in touch and seen each other sporaticly ,,, this will be fun.

    After the low-down on Guinees we cancelled our order,, the rooster is noisy enough! Thanks for everyone’s input.

    This week at work was a bear, hope I accomplish more preps in the next 7 days,, it looks like we are all in for a bumpy ride, pack!

    • Sorry! I didn’t mean to report. I meant to comment. Last Thursday we had our own little local shtf event. Our great water district found e-coli in our drinking water. We couldn’t drink it, brush our teeth, make coffee, cook, or wash dishes with it. We could only wash white laundry, they said, because they were over-chlorinating the water for a few days to solve the problem.
      We sort of looked at it as a trial run for the real thing, and, having lived out in the middle of nowhere for two years, (what a great BOL that would be now!) we well know how to function without running water.
      We kept two big pots boiled to use for the above functions, and mostly drank bottled water. It was only a semi-waterless situation, as we could still shower and run the dishwasher. Even at that, it was eye-opening to see how fast we used up the water! I think the worst part for me was worrying about getting some tap water either in food, on a sponge, or by forgetting not to brush my teeth with it. I constantly wanted to wash my hands and gargle!
      When we received notice yesterday that our water was safe to drink, it felt good to get back to normal. Overall, however, I think it was a good “dry” run, and gave us a fairly realistic picture of what could happen.
      Part of our preps this week was to get six more cases of bottled water!
      Also, we went to the shooting range, and I got a schedule of classes on gun safety, so I can get my CCP. I really need more experience with my little Ruger 380, as it seems very stiff.
      I checked out the dollar store, thanks to reading about it so frequently here, and found great prices on canned meat, like vienna sausages. Will revisit when I have more time, and compare prices with our Winco, which beats every other store in the area.

      • Desert Fox says:

        Have you looked into getting a water filter? Bottle water wouldn’t last very long. A Sawyer filter boasts of filtering 100,000 gallons at a very economical price!.

        • We do have a 55 gallon sealed water barrel which came with two or three filters and a hand pump. We didn’t get into that. But I think you’re right. A Sawyer filter is going on our priority list. Thanks.

  7. Putting together the components for my stand alone solar power station. Received Power Bright 2300 watt MSW inverter and 30 Amp MPPT charge controller. Just ordered from AttBatt (10 % off sale ) 4 Interstate marine batteries. If any in the pack, or you MD, knows of a good price on solar panels please let me know.

    I have to agree MD things are starting to escalate downhill, not only US, but worldwide. Never has prepping taken on such urgency as right now. God Bless all Pack, and any in need of such.

    • riverrider says:

      harbor freight, on sale for 144.00 now. some talk crap about them but i have several sets running 5 years now w/ no problems. they are not the most efficient in full sun but they continue to charge even in overcast/cloudy conditions. looks like you have been doing your homework on the components. good job.

      • Bwhntr59 says:


        Thanks for the tips on solar panels. I just looked at Hrabor Freigght and wondered about the quality. My only issue is can you just buy the panel, or what I saw was the whole kit? How many watts per panel are they putting out, in good sun? looks like you have the solar gig down pretty pat. Nicely done yourself.

        • They come in a set of three for that price, test them before install, sometimes we had bad batches, never ever take home a box that looks like it has been opened, people with open the boxes and go through them, sometimes innocently but most of the time to steal parts. Keep your receipt, return policy is good.

          • Bwhntr59 says:


            Thanks for the warning. I am usually wary of anything open in stores like that.

        • riverrider says:

          b59, 15 wattsx3=45 watts each set. i’ve measured as high a 20 volts in full summer sun but 18 is normal. they are sold separately also but the per panel is higher that way. the lights are okay and i use the little box as a charging station as it has 3,6,9 and 12v outputs. i hard wired 12v led lights in my basement and a 110v plug off the inverter upstairs for the puter, tv, and dish box.

    • Calidreamer says:

      Try Solar Electric. They often have sales for 60 – 70 cents a watt in larger quantities.

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      Solar is what I consider our weakness. I too am hoping to have a set up by end of summer. Enough to run lights, a fan, and a fridge or freezer. We have a giant fridge so I guess I will also look at smaller fridges for emergency use.

      I passed on harbor freight a couple weeks ago cause the prices were much higher than in recent times. I’ve been hesitant to jump on this because of my lack of knowledge. Trying to push DH into this area as he is good with electrical. But I’m sure I will have to be the one to make the purchase, THEN he will jump in.

      • Schametti says:

        I’m with you UCG. This seems to be an area of weakness for us as well, because my brain can’t seem to wrap around the specifics, and I don’t want to buy something I don’t understand and can’t make use of. We have ONE solar panel, that came with a solar powered generator that my DH bought this time last year, and he keeps it charged, but I have no idea how to use it. I worry that when and if we do lose power for an extended period of time, I won’t have a clue what to do. And as for big whole-house systems.. part of me is concerned that our lights, etc will be a major target if things go very badly. I would still love to have a full-home system, but.. I fear that I’m no where near there.

        I also have a small gadgets solar panel charger.. for phones, etc if things go down for ice storms and things…. But I know we have a lot of room to improve in this area. :/

    • axelsteve says:

      Interstate makes good batteries. I would recommend not skimping on them.

      • You can get really good deals on Interstate batteries if you have one of their warehouses in your area.

        • Bwhntr59 says:

          Thanks to you all Pack, for those suggestions.

          Axelsteve- I bought 4 of them rated 84AH/battery. AttBatt had free shipping and a 10% off the entire order plus a pack of rechargeable AA free. Came to 371.00 shipped. Closest I could get locally ( in WI ) was 103.00 per batt and then plus tax.

    • I really like the Renogy 100 watt mono panels off ebay. Around 130$bucks delivered. I have 4 of them for my place and I never have to ration my power usage. I love those harbor freight amorphous panels, they produce even in the thickest overcast.

      • riverrider says:

        thats why i stick with them. it seems the grid goes out only during cloudy weeks, lol.

        • Been off grid for over a year now. 2400 Sq ft house purpose built for solar. Doing most of the work myself I have about 40 000 invested in the system. Xantrex 6048 invertor fm 80 outback charge controller 4000 watt aray 1600 amp hour at 48 volt battery bank. with that set up we run the house which uses about 4 to 5 kw a day average. It’s nice to always have the lights and what not work and no hydro bill…….well except for that first big one.

          • One of these days I should send in a blurb about the homestead. So others can learn from my mistakes and there’s been a few…

          • Petticoat Prepper says:

            You should send in a post! I know many would be interested in what you’ve done.

          • Donna in MN says:

            Catfish, I would love to learn more about Solar. I have a 1200 sq ft home and estimated the cost of setting up power off grid would cost me $20,000. I would really want to cut that down. If you can give us some options, please do!

          • I’d be happy to help. I’ll see if i can cobble together a proper post but it will be a little bit. All my free time this week will be devoted to boiling sap. What i will say is retrofitting a old house to solar may be hard. Some of the items we put in to reduce usage were 1 in floor heat fired by propane using a direct vent ( non fan) exhaust with a circulating pump. The pump draws 6 watts. All LED lights. Wood stove. High efficiency washer dryer. We looked at the fancy fridges but with the new “normal” fridges some use very little power. Ours is a full size LG stainless bottom freezer and it only draws 120 watts when it runs . One annoying feature with it is the defrost cycle that pulls 500 watts for about 15 min. I’m eventually going to pull the board out of it and put a manual switch in or maybe a timer to have it run at noon instead of randomly. We have a propane cook stove. Propane dryer but use the clothes line a lot. The biggest draw in the house is the well pump. It takes a huge surge to start it and then pulls 2200 was running. I planned the homestead for years before breaking ground. The solar was the most finniky thing to get right. Not because it’s complicated there are just so many options out there. I plan on putting up another 4000 watt array once the shop is built. The current size works but November December up here there is little sun and we had to run the generator every couple days for a couple hours to top up. I have to get back to bed. Just between night shifts and need some more sleep. Take care all.

          • I put this in a separate reply incase MD needs to delete it but type northern arizona wind sun forum into Google the four there will keep you reading for months about solar. If you have a question use the search ffeature someone has asked it already . 🙂

          • Desert Fox says:

            I have a small solar system with one panel, however, my yard has so many trees that I have to move the panel to catch the sun! Haven’t really used it properly either!. The cord is 50 ft and would like to get an extension cord but don’t know where to get one. Anyone know of a fix? I ain’t solar smart either but always willing to learn.

          • Assuming it’s12 volts 50 feet of wire you are already loosing alot of power. But if ihad to eextend it and wwanted to be able to plug and unplug I’d use a flat four wire trailer plug and wire.

          • What are the specs on the panel btw?

  8. Jersey Drifter says:

    Not a lot this week. Packed up in Mylar and buckets 20 lbs. of rice, 10 lbs. of green split peas, 10 lbs. of lentils, and started transplanting tomato seedling that I stared in small cells into large peat moss pots. I did 30 so far and have a bunch more to due.

  9. Donna in MN says:

    I am getting the new male pup from my Bighorn Shepherd line this week and now puppy proofing the home. Besides being my buddy on fishing trips, he is the security system I am installing.

  10. Hunker-Down says:

    It’s been a slow week, moving almost as fast as the snow melt. We squeezed our elderberry vodka mixture we put together 1-04-14 into almost 4 pints of tincture. It should be potent!
    We purchased more cheesecloth and a box of Dulcolax for our stash.

    The cheapest we can get bulk peanuts delivered to our house is within two cents of Jif sold at Sam’s, so we are abandoning our project of making homemade peanut butter. The local bulk food store charges 8 percent more for raw peanuts than Jif at Sams.

    Food is being priced out of reach. Check this out: http://www.blacklistednews.com/The_Real_Inflation_Fear_%E2%80%93_US_Food_Prices_Are_Up_19%25_In_2014/34028/0/0/0/Y/M.html

    I found a recipe on uTube for homemade potting soil:
    Two 5 gallon buckets of Peat Moss
    One 5 gallon bucket of compost or well rotted manure
    One gallon of Perlite
    1 1/2 cups Garden Lime
    A handful of Epsom Salts

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

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

    Pray for peace in the world.

    • H-D,

      I must have been too busy picking at you last week to realize you were looking to make your own peanut butter. Please note that not all kinds of peanuts are good for making butter. Also note that homemade peanut butter does not have a long shelf life. If you are growing peanuts and want them as a source of protein, learn to cook with them–put ground peanuts in oatmeal and if you make stir fry, put in peanuts.

      Do a google search for preserving peanuts. I imagine roasting, drying and salting is the best method of preservation.

      • Oh, one more thing–I assume you have lots of LDS rice stored up in #10 cans. This is a staple. If you learn to identify a couple of edible plants in your area and you stock up on or grow your own herbs, and you have peanuts, this is good eating. You can even add squirrel or snake to said dish and it’s good. (I have had this dish with rabbit and snake.)

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Bam Bam,

        The shelf life issue is our only consolation when buying Jif instead of raising peanuts (wont grow in Wisconsin) and making our own butter. At least, during the project, I learned what a raw peanut is. I remember you telling us 2 years ago to stock up on peanut butter because of the coming price increases. We did, but then, I ate it all.

      • I just heard on the radio today (KNX 1070) that limes are jumping in price from $14.00 a crate to $100.00 a crate. They said it was due to weather conditions in Mexico and because of cartel activity.

        Regarding Jiff (or Skippy) shelf life, as long as the seal hasn’t been broken it will last for years. I have opened a three year old jar and it was fine. After the seal is broken, I can only get about six months before it starts going rancid. I didn’t like it but the dogs didn’t care.

        • on the price of food read
          Conservative Black Woman weblog.
          the last entry is about 2 yrs. old.
          go to september 14, 2011 about somalia.
          the whole thing is the problem in a nutshell.

          i always think your property can be taken from you in an instant no matter what safeguards we think are ours in law.
          again, what most amazes me is not that there are evil-to-the-marrow people but that they can so easily find many ordinary folks to go along with them whole-heartedly.

        • Sirus
          I have found putting it into the refrigerator after opening and keeping it cold until it is all used up it will be just fine.

      • Desert Fox says:

        We used to grind raw peanuts to add to chicken soup base…delish! or roast them, grind and add a little sugar…form them into “kisses”

  11. Not much. Out of the country for a few months so planning and plotting and reading is the most I can do. I already warned my BF to expect mail order shipments and to just store it away til I get back. My personal SHTF challenge will be if something happens while I’m so far away! Better make friends with a pilot or two…

  12. seeuncourt says:

    purchased a “Bacon Factory”…a heritage breed Large Black boar. He and my sow are becoming cozy. Looking forward to July piglets. I will set up a “piggie cam” (bacon cam) for all to tune in.

    • Petticoat Prepper says:

      Having grown up on a beef and pork place I have fond memories of piglets! I loved it when you cleaned the stalls and fluffed out some new straw; must tickle their feet as they would dance around squealing!

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Back in the day before I escaped the farm as a teenager my pop had 18 sows and 2 boars. He sold feeder pigs. I had the sole honor of holding those 300-400 pound porkies with a short steel cable within a piece of pipe while dad rung their noses. Before he built the farrowing barn (and ramped up to 18 sows), we had baby piggies in the dining room on very cold nights. My mom was a RN and had raging arguments with herself over our sanitation versus loss of income due to frozen piggies.

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          There are few things sweeter than a baby piglet!

        • I wish once a week we could have a bio post–nothing that would violate OPSEC. I would like to get to know more folks here. And I nominate H-D to write the first post. My brother has a farm. But I didn’t grow up on a farm.

          In truth, I don’t know anything about farming. We could have a post question: Who are you? Where did you come from? What skills could you offer a survival group?

          Personally, I am most interested in folks whose parents grew up during the depression and passed on their wisdom to their kids.

          Wouldn’t you all like to know a little more about the Pack’s contributors? Wouldn’t it be interesting to see where folks come from and how they got into prepping?

          What do you think?

          • Nebraska Woman says:

            Great idea, Bam Bam. As I have said before, this site and my older neighbors in NE were my best source of prepping.

          • I like the way you think Bam Bam…

          • Bwhntr59 says:

            Sure that sounds good Bam-Bam. Get MD to agree.

          • bam bam, I like ur idea of having a thread where we could each share (as much as is comfortable here) about where we grew up, maybe a little about our families, how we got started in prepping, skills to offer, etc.
            I figured that w/ ur name, ur parents must have like “The Flintstones” or maybe they were neighbors. 🙂

          • I really like the idea. I came from NE but after my folks moved to the west, they did not practice the old ways. I seemed to miss that and am a natural born self reliant person.

          • Donna in MN says:

            I love to read stories of farming/ranching, and home-spun pioneer days and depression survival, and what people learned from it to pass on….

          • Desert Fox says:

            I already have a problem reading replies on these topics…I don’t think I could handle more reading! Don’t have the time! Having said that…everyone is invited to add whatever background they have in answering questions posted here. Please do!

        • Petticoat Prepper says:


          We had a few more sows than you did and we sold them as feeders. I had one sow that always had between 18-22 piglets. I also had one really mean old gal that almost got my leg (had me by the jean leg) and would have gotten me were it not for the hammers by each pen. Hurts a lot when you pound them in the nose!

          • Hunker-Down says:

            Petticoat Prepper,

            Each animal has a distinctive personality, it just takes time to be able to see it, as you obviously know. We had one sow that desperately needed a psychiatrist. She would have 16-18 piglets and would eat one every 2-3 days if we kept her in the barn. Left to run loose, she was fine and would come back to nurse. Some were mellow, some afraid, some mean but all were always hungry. Some wanted scratched and some would panic if you touched them. I know you know all this but maybe some townsfolk might find it interesting.

          • Sw't tater says:

            Dad bought an old Sow named Joan, who dropped 12-15 each time.. we named them, scratched their backs and each one came to it’s name.We spent a lot of time playing with the pigs, when the weather was good, didn’t have to do as many other chores…and it made it easier to load them when they left.

          • HD, we had an English pointer that would eat her puppies. Took us a while to figure out what was happening to the puppies, shudder.

        • seeuncourt says:

          HD, i have had many many farm animals in the coveted spot in the kitchen, next to the cook stove. Its when they recover and you find them in the middle of the kitchen table, eating the butter and sugar alternately, that you quickly move them back to the barn! (goats!)

        • HD,
          I remember my aunt and uncle building a “maternity ward” barn for the piglets and their mamas.

      • Melody Habeeb says:

        Some of my worst memories on our dairy farm was chasing pigs that figured out how to escape. I think anything but guinea hens are easier to herd back into captivity (all our guinea hens escaped to the woods and probably eaten) Cows are much easier to round up!

        • seeuncourt says:

          I love the piggies. I had a barrow, named “fatty” that i recently butchered. I made the mistake of really naming “princess” the sow…and she lets me scratch her ears and comes when i call her…so i got her a mate because I couldn’t bear to butcher her too. Lefty, the large black, is as docile as a lamb, so I predict their longevity. We raise all of our own meat on a small 4 acre homestead. We raise beef cows from bottle babies, our own pigs, chickens for eggs and meat, turkeys, geese and ducks. We don’t buy meat from retail markets. I hope be able to get back into dairy goats in the next year or so. I also raise several large gardens, 2 for humans, and 2 for animal feed (turnips, cabbage, buckwheat, clover). I glean a lot of apples in the fall, and pea middlings. I feed all the garden and kitchen waste to the pigs, chickens and turkeys. Anyone who wildly claims that when the SHTF they are going to “live off the land” has never tried to eat self-sufficiently. it is WORK!

          • k. fields says:

            Wow seeuncourt, my hat is truly off to you for doing so much on such a small plot. Sounds like your family will be in good shape no matter what the future may bring.

          • seeuncourt says:

            Strategic placement is the key. I finally figured out this year that the long chicken/quail hoop houses can be alternated each season and then covered with plastic and used as a green house. Run one year, green house next. all that mulch the poultry makes is GREAT for nitrogen loving plants!

    • seeuncourt,
      If you’d like to do some of your own meat processing using the old ways where the meat doesn’t have to be refrigerated, take a look at: http://www.farmsteadmeatsmith.com. This guy was interviewed last fall on The Survival Podcast and has some great information. Our plan this fall is to try and do some processing like he discusses, initially with meat bought from the local butcher, and eventually from our own livestock.

      • Seeuncourt
        Commend you for raising meat. Nothing better.
        From my personal experience, goats love to chase and butt
        folks with red or auburn hair, especially youngsters !

        • seeuncourt says:

          I loved my goaties. They are like misbehaving children most of the time, though, and the dh has a low tolerance for goats trap trapping over his truck hood…. 🙂 I on the other hand, laughed like Tom Hanks in the Money Pit when the tub fell through the floor….
          I enjoyed dairying, but i work full time plus away from the homestead and can’t find the time to be a responsible dairy goat owner. Plus, I have a rule at the homestead for now that we have nothing, besides the bloodhound, that we feed but can’t eat.

  13. Just Brad says:

    I actually got to spend some time with a friend and her mom. Her mom survived the Blitz in London in WW II. She knows i am into preparedness and the first thing she mentioned is have a bag packed and be ready to leave with only a few minutes notice because things can change so fast in a heart beat. She kept her gas mask from the war, it is a child size since she was only 12 in 1941. She has such vivid memories of getting into their home made bomb shelter in the back yard which was made from a hole dug 4 feet deep with think lumber as overhead cover then covered with the dirt that was excavated. To this day she cans and jars food to keep for the long haul! She is a wealth of knowledge but getting up there in her years. I suggested to my friend that she video her mom telling stories for posterity. Stay safe all!

    • Just Brad,

      Why don’t you interview her and write up the interview as a post?

      • Granny Em says:

        Great idea !

        • TrailGuide says:

          Agreed. Some might think – Oh heck, that was so back then… but I gleam all I can from those who know stuff. Not only am I enriched by their stories, they get to share a piece of a past that few care about.

  14. Petticoat Prepper says:

    Still trying to slog my way through the big D so my preps are not increasing by much. I did manage to add more TP, coffee and cereal. The first few months of the D I really relied on my preps and I can say that for me, learning to make potato chips is on my list of skills to learn! I had no idea I’d want salty so badly!

    I’m going to send MD a soap recipe for those with dry skin. Using Bam Bam’s post on soap making and the online lye calculator last fall I made a ‘super fatted’ soap. This is the first winter I’ve gone through in decades that I haven’t had what I call winter skin. Dry, red, itchy, flakey. Thankfully, I’ve some revenue generating work today but hopefully I’ll be able to get if off this afternoon.

    • Looking forward to that! I have problems with dry skin all year round due to medications I have to take.

    • PP,

      I can’t wait to read your post. I have never superfatted soap. Have you made any salve yet? This stuff is the bomb. Just take a half pint jar and fill with oils (I like a mixture of olive, coconut and shea butter), add a heaping TBS of beeswax pellets and microwave. Then add essential oils. My favorite right now is rosemary lavender.

      I have a friend going through radiation for breast cancer. I gave her a jar of this. Her doctor said she had never seen someone handle radiation this well.

      This recipe also cured my nieces and nephew’s eczema. Tea tree for open wounds and lavender for maintaining skin integrity.

      • Petticoat Prepper says:

        Bam Bam,
        No I’ve not tried salves. Yours sounds really good I love both rosemary and lavender. Side note: my new favorite drink is a lavender cosmopolitan.

        I did your original soap in your post and didn’t goof it up. So I got really brave and made up my own. A 7 pound batch. I’ve been really happy with it. I’ll try to get it together this week.

        • PP,

          I love all my homemade soaps and salves. They make wonderful gifts for family and friends. And they have therapeutic value. I tell everyone I know who has skin issues, especially eczema, to make the salve. Thus far every single person I have told about the salves has come back stunned that they work.

      • Umm, yes! Made your salve a way back, even to the point of making small containers (2 oz.) that I picked up at Dollar Tree. Put a little bit more beeswax and made lotion bars that pop out of the containers and back in. I rub myself down before bathing and after. Would love some soap that was contribution to more oil in my skin. Wish I had felt that way when I was younger!

    • PP,

      Making potato chips is pretty easy. I use canola oil in a deep fryer, but you can use a heavy pot just as easy. I set mone to 310 degrees. Just slice your potatoes consistently. I use a mandolin. Put the slices in a bowl of water for an hour or so to leech off some starch. Rinse. Pat them dry (very important to prevent splattering) and drop them in the hot oil. Stir gently with a wooden spoon to prevent them from sticking. Remove them to paper towel when they are a light golden brown. They will continue to cook for a tiny bit due to the carryover heat. Season while they are hot.

      I’ve found that Idaho and Russets work best for me.


      • petticoat p,
        i am dry as a desert and have wanted to make soap for long. looking forward to your recipe.

      • Petticoat Prepper says:

        Thanks Sirius,
        Will try this out! I had the ‘sweet’ preps covered but didn’t think about the salty stuff. It was weird to crave potato chips.

  15. canadagal says:

    This past week was spent deep cleaning & making food ahead as I get total hip replacement on Mon March 31. I won’t be able to bend futher than the sitting position for 3 mo. So no gardening till July. DH will have to do that & a lot more. Prayers would be appreciated for fast recovery.

    • Saying a prayer for you now. I’m praying you have an easy surgery, and a fast, pain free recovery.

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      Good job with planning things ahead of time. And good luck with your recovery.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Prayers and thoughts are with you. My 67yo sis just had one replaced in November and has made an amazing recovery. So hope you heal in a hurry!

      • axelsteve says:

        Hip replacement is not as invasive as it was years ago however, under tdl care that might go away. Do not expect many medical advancements with government controlled health care. No way it can get better with the irs in charge.

    • patientmomma says:

      canadagal, God bless you. I have 2 friends who had hip replacements. While they were off work for 8 weeks, both healed faster than doctors anticipated. Praying for your quick and safe recovery.

    • Prayers for a quick and easy surgery as well as a rapid and
      comfortable follow-up. From what I keep hearing, you will be amazed a how great you feel post-operatively.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      Prayer sent for you and DH.

    • Prayers for your speedy recovery. Be sure to do your physical therapy too.

      • Kat's Tale says:

        Will pray for your speedy recovery. Sounds like you are prepared for it. When ever I feel myself getting sick I always try to get my house cleaned. I can’t stand being down & out in a messy house. Just makes me feel worse. It will be a good time to catch up on any reading you’ve wanted to do. Best of luck.

        • Prayers for your speedy recovery and for your family.

          • HiPlains says:

            May all go well this day for your surgery! I have a titanium hip and it’s the best thing ever! Let us know how you are pretty soon!
            GA Red is right on – do your PT like your life depends on it!!

  16. Um, let’s see. Picked up a bottle of Everclear to make extracts and tinctures with.
    Got the really hot pepper plants into pots on the front porch to keep them isolated from the milder peppers.
    Was surprised to find tarragon planted last year is sprouting anew in herb bed! Yay! Love tarragon with chicken.
    Identified some more of the “weeds” in the yard, milk weed (leaving some for the Monarch butterflies), red clover (blooming already), and the dew berries are blooming like crazy! Been flagging several areas with those little flags surveyors use, hopefully the tree rats, birds and deer will avoid them. Should have some picking to do in about 6 weeks or so. They’ve been pretty scarce last few years due to the drought. Going to water the ones nearest the house to see if it makes a difference in the size of the berries.
    Picked up a huge roll of landscape fabric last time I was at Sam’s. Figure that’s going to be the only way to keep the Bermuda grass in my garden at bay. I’ve sprayed it multiple times with 20% vinegar and dawn and it’s just laughing at me. If I can get DH to stay at home long enough this week to till, I’m going to cover the whole garden, then plant along the seams. Will mulch heavily as well. I have a fairly large roll of brown paper left over from when we had the Sheetrock in house textured, used it to cover the windows and floors, but will run it along where the fabric overlaps. I also am thinking about cutting the bottoms out of the pots transplants come in to allow cucumbers to sprout unemcumbered. Also going to try using tomato cages to run squash up vertically. It always takes up so much room!
    Walgreens had some inexpensive sunscreens for vehicle windshields 2 for $10. Grabbed a couple of those, gives me all I need to put together a solar oven. Am looking for an old beanbag chair for the stuffing to make a wonder cooker. Alternatively I may just buy a bag of that stuff but it’s worse than regular shredded foam for getting everywhere. Wonder if packing peanuts would work for that purpose. I always am taking bags of those things to the local shipping store to get rid of them.
    Next door neighbor has been having trouble with people breaking into his barn and shop at night, he finally put up some video cameras and called last night to ask if we’d come over and see if we recognized the guy he caught on tape. going to walk over there now.
    Talk to y’all soon, Pack. Have a great day!

    • Oh, and saw a post on Facebook about using the food saver jar sealers on regular jar lids, like pickle and salsa jars. I’m going to try that in a little while as I have several things in the pantry that need to be moved out of boxes and pouches. Went to Lowes and got myself a Myers lemon tree. Will get that transplanted into a large pot. Need to figure out if it needs to stay inside for a while longer, supposed to be in lower 40’s tonight. Hey! Stop throwing snowballs at me! If you don’t like the weather there, move here! Everybody else seems to be… 😉

      • Shai,

        It’s cold here too. We have the windows open but dh is freezing–it’s 70 degrees. It got down to 38 degrees the night before last. We should have highs in the low 90s by now. Strange weather.

        • Bam bam, it got up to 90 here yesterday, I thought I was going to fry. If the oak pollen count wasn’t so high, I would open my windows up. Don’t want that in the house.

          • Yep, we have to hose off the vehicles every morning because they are covered in green pollen–so think you can see out the windows.

          • Bam bam, the metal roof on my house is slowly turning neon green. Hopefully we will get some good rains here in a month or so to wash it off or it will stay that way all summer. Oak pollen is my bane, and we’re surrounded by them. Won’t give them up though. At least this year seems to not be a banner year for the web worms. Those years the trees have to repollenate because the worms eat the new leaves. Makes it hard to sit on the porch and watch the hummingbird games!

      • Donna in MN says:

        Yum, I use to pick and make dewberry cobbler when I lived in La. I have a funny but frightening memory of it though. I asked a man across the Toledo Bend lake bay if I could pick them on his property, and he said okay. Little did I know later he was watching me skinney dip at night with night vision, and he was the brother of the Texas Chainsaw murderer.

        • mom of three says:

          I went to fresh preserving.com
          That should take you to the ball home page.
          I went to the bottom of the page to contact us.
          I was having problem’s with the newer jars cracking, and the bottoms breaking off. So they sent me two coupons, for $5.00 each off. But if you just ask them, I bet they would do it for you. Also start checking your Sunday papers, for the coupon inserts last year. Ball, put out two coupons one for $1.00 off pectin in the jar, & one buy two lids get one free. I believe it came out in June. Hope this helps.

        • Donna, I know that sick feeling. I had a short bout with a stalker. He just couldn’t understand I was already in a relationship, but he finally lost interest. Imagine my shock a few months later that a couple I knew were murdered and that guy was arrested. I had only been married to DH a few months when the creep was executed.

    • Hi Shai, I think packing peanuts should work fine.

      I was simmering chili a couple days ago -almost full 8 qt pot- with about two hours to go, when I had to leave unexpectedly. I turned off the heat, wrapped the pot in a huge beach towel, including the bottom, put a couple kitchen towels on top and put it on the counter. Left the house at 3:30, home at 6:30, and it was still just barely cooled enough to eat at 7:00.

      My guess is that you could wrap a pot in a towel and lots of bubble pack and do even better. Anything which insulates should do the trick, even a comforter. Wonder Cookers are mostly just more convenient.

      • I use towels in a cardboard box all the time!

      • Penrod, I have some smallish fleece so called blankets that I’m going to sew into a tube, fill up with some sort of insulation, ie the peanuts, and make it where it can wrap around a least my cast iron Dutch oven. I think that might work if I can fit it inside one of the Yeti coolers. Thanks for the input….

        • That sounds perfect, Shai. And lot cheaper than the store bought type.

          I bet a foot of dry sawdust all around would do the trick, too.

    • Shai,

      I don’t want to discourage you but in my experience landscape cloth will not do what you are wanting it to do with the Bermuda grass. Bermuda grass has runners anywhere from 3 to 5 feet long and will go under sidewalks to the other side and come up. The only thing I’ve seen more tenacious than Bermuda is Johnson grass. The only way I’ve ever controlled Bermuda or Johnson grass is to keep the area weeded.

      Understand roto-tilling just cuts and mixes the little root pieces in more soil, so you have a bigger mess. Sad to say, but turning a clump of dirt with a shovel and shaking the root ball lose of the dirt and burning everything is the only way I found to get a spot reasonably clear of either grass, organically. And then you want to be diligent with weeding. I’ve even tried Round-up, once, and was unimpressed with the results.

      • Hi KS Judy, “turning a clump of dirt with a shovel and shaking the root ball lose of the dirt ”

        That’s what I did when digging up lawn to replant as gardens. It is labor intensive, and I had to keep weeding the grass out for about six weeks as I didn’t get it all the first time through, but it does definitely work.

      • Oh, don’t I know it.. But the fabric cloth and mulch along with each plant having its own individual dripped will starve it out. I spent 2 hours digging out a patch by hand that’s a little over 5′ x 6′ and the grass is still coming up… If it had been warmer this past winter, I would have covered it with heavy clear plastic and let it solarize. I may still cover part of the garden and use that section for the fall. The problem was the..now picture me holding up both hands and making bunny ear quote marks…the “sandy loam” DH brought in for the garden. It was full of sticker burs and Bermuda grass. It needs about 4 or 5 yards of compost and humus to make it happening as a garden. Already burned it off a couple of times with a pear burner, Texas speak for a propane torch. This is the third year for it and the part I focused on improving has way less of the grass growing in it. I also covered it with newspaper and mulched it heavier there as well. I just don’t have the strength to spend all day in the garden then all night in the kitchen doing the preserving. Autoimmune disease sucks.

      • riverrider says:

        put your chicken run over the garden spot for a spell. you’ll never have another weed, or need fertilizer.

        • All the more reason for getting the coop restocked. Coons were ripping them apart for the unlaid eggs last time we had some.

      • The DH has tried round-up with little to no success. He has better luck with weed-be-gone but I have banned it from use around the garden.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      Our garden is small, so we use tomato cages to grow Delacota squash. It’s a small vine and the tasty fruit is a good keeper.

      • Schametti says:

        Hey you guyyyys. I had a bad time of planting cucumbers last year, while we’re all talking planting, can I ask for some advice on how to make my cucumbers not die a horrible death by powdery mildew this year? We’re doing a raised pallet bed, (again, like last year), but stacking them higher.. What can I add to the soil, and what should I avoid, and most importantly, what kind of fencing./trellis should I try so they don’t have to grow so far out, but ….UP, a little. I would be most appreciative of any advice. I loooove cucumbers, and they did so bad last year.. :(:(

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          I now grow mine on trellises and if the leaves get too thick then prune the leaves for airflow. We had to break down and dust them last year with 7 because we had a huge infestation of kudzu bugs that layed eggs in them and the larvae ate the cukes from the inside out.

          • Schametti says:

            TG-Ma, What kind/shape/etc material are your trellises? I can’t quite get a grasp on how best to help them grow and climb.

          • Schametti
            If TG-Ma does not mind, I will answer this question for you. The vines have a string like curly que that comes of the main vine. You use that to wrap around the trellis, it will grab a hold an attach itself to the trellis. You can also use the plastic ties that you find in small garbage bags to tie the vines to the trellis or plastic zip lines(not to tight though). As the plant grows you keep attaching it to the trellis, upward and so on.
            Now about the egg shells they help keep the cut worms off your tomatoes and they put calcium into your soil which it needs. Most sites say to wash the egg shells, but I just crush them and put into an empty coffee can with the left over coffee grounds for the garden. Hope this helps.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            Yea, what Becky said.

            My trellis is an old metal bakers rack. Then I’ve leaned the heavy gauge tomatoe trellis against the front and rear. So it’s an A-frame with the bakers rack as a center leg. But just about anything to get them off the ground will work.

        • Schametti
          A gardener with years of experience told me she used cut banana peels in her garden for rust, mildew, powdery mildew, white flies, scabe, it works wonders. Why this item can due such wonders is beyond me. I just know it works. Good luck with the garden.

          • Schametti says:

            I just read something about that in my composting book, Becky.. I think I might just have to try it this year. I also might have to try breaking up eggshells in the soil, to help keep the slugs at bay. Thanks for the tip!!

          • I compost as much of my kitchen scraps as I possibly can but have started keeping my eggshells separate so I can put them directly around my tomatoes. Since I go through probably at least a dozen eggs a week, I’m collecting quite the pile. I plan to crush them and sprinkle them around the tomatoes once planted.

            Another thing I’ve heard about and my mom used to do is to “plant” your compost next to your garden plants. My mom would dig a hole next to a rose bush and put the scraps in the ground. A friend suggests digging a trench next to a row of veggies then burying the scraps in the trench.

        • Powdery Mildew can be stopped with a spray of powdered milk and baking soda.

          • Schametti says:

            Kate, great to know. How do I PREVENT it though. I’m hoping to not have to deal with it at all this year, lol.

    • Shai,

      I can’t stand packing peanuts so I’m going to try this: I got the idea from the way I got something shipped to me. I’m going to take a cardboard box and put my pot in it upside down with the lid on. I’ll use a couple of pieces of wood to steady it and give it some headspace. Then I’m going to put a garbage bag over the pot. I have several cans of spray foam insulation that I’m going to fill in the gaps of the box with. When it dries, I’ll level it off with a hand saw. Tape up that end of the box. Turn it over and open it up. Viola! Remove the pot and I have a custom made wonder cooker.

      When I use it, I’ll fill the headspace with a towel for extra insulation

      • Hi Sirius, “put my pot in it upside down with the lid on”

        For a minute there I was thinking “Wouldn’t that be awfully messy?”

        • Penrod,

          Haha, yea I can see where I left room for confusion. My bad. I should have mentioned that this is for making the wonder cooker, not using it. I do hope the got the idea of constructing it clearly across.

    • Sw't tater says:

      If you are in an area that has snakes, be careful about the mulch you use…amount etc…it can make a dandy place to stay cool if you are a snake, and those moist garden areas where you put the water for those thirsty plants are right cool for them as well…I saw our first cotton mouth this week, it was about 5 inches long and about pencil size, in the flower bed.it came close to getting a shower..but, I did not fertilize the snake! :>)

      • Venomous snakes are not too much of an issue here, not to mention the cats like to hang out in the garden during the day. We’ve only killed two “bad” snakes in 30 years, a rattler, and a coral snake. Still have the skin of the rattlesnake. Rest are good at controlling rodents, but DH gets mad when the bull snakes get in the pigeon coop and eats eggs and babies. He has a bunch of tumbler pigeons. It’s cool watching them fly. They fly normally then suddenly look like they got shot, tumbling down a few feet, then resuming flight in a different direction.

      • I probably would have!! Unintentionally of course.

  17. I got some of the battery adapters I ordered after the camp out: AAA to AA. Shall give them a try soon. The AA to D are still somewhere in Limbo.

    Other than that I spent time cleaning the camping gear and reading Post-Apocalypse EMP novels: “77 Days in September” by Ray Gorham, and “Lightning Fall” by Bill Quick.

    I enjoyed “77 Days” a lot, tho the husband and wife sure seemed like slow learners. Non-preppers, thoroughly decent people, he was caught in Houston when an EMP attack takes place, she was caught at home with the kids in Montana. He mostly walks 1500 miles home, she has to deal with hunker down issues including a sexually predatory neighbor. Both of them seem pretty reluctant to learn from violent experiences that there are seriously violent predators looking for people like them, but they do learn in the end and survive.

    “Lightning Fall” is easily the most complex EMP/nuke novel I have ever read. The Prologue is remarkably like that of “77 Days”, with nuclear weapons launched from ships at sea, but there the similarities end. “77 Days” is about a couple and their individual experiences, while “Lightning Fall” deals with multiple characters including several in Washington DC. If you love Hillary Clinton you may not like the president’s character as Hillary is now President (under another name) and she is one seriously bad person, as is her husband B.J. Who knew?

    Quick looks at both individuals struggling to survive, including a sympathetically portrayed gay prepper couple in San Francisco, an Indiana housewife and children, and a shrimp fisherman in Louisiana, and the political responses from the US and Mexican governments. The Mexicans are invasively hostile, and the President is more interested in consolidating political power for the Democratic Party than in helping as many people as possible. The novel ends with things looking up, but the country is still in serious danger of fragmenting.

    If you are uncomfortable or offended by gays, don’t worry about sex scenes: There is zero sex in this book. If you had neighbors in a major EMP event, you would want neighbors like these. Lots of them. I got the Kindle version, and it prints at 673 pages. Quick is a prolific professional writer (“Planet of the Apes” trilogy, “Dreams of Flesh and Sand” trilogy, and many others, and publishes Emergency-Preps.com. A sequel is planned for next year.

    I think a lot of preppers would enjoy both of these very different books.

    • I’m spitting out coffee as I read the first husbands initials. No, similarities there…… Nope….. Now if a mysterious blue dress somehow works it’s way into the plot I’m just gonna die.

      • I don’t remember any mention of the dress, but B.J. had been President, and he was impeached. Snow white hair, fantastically charismatic. No question about who this couple is.

        It was interesting to see how Quick handled various parts of the country. The West Coast got blasted with EMP from north to south, as far at Utah. The East Coast came out fine because the incoming missile was shot down before detonation. New Orleans suffered a surface strike to destroy the Port of New Orleans and contaminate the area.

        Areas which survived the attack all fall apart fairly quickly due to lack of food and fuel. It would would be ugly everywhere, just for different reasons.

        And it should be no surprise that the political response was not merely not helpful, but made things worse. I wish Quick had gotten into that aspect much more deeply. Maybe he will in the sequel.

  18. patientmomma says:

    Not very much prepping done this past week as I’ve been busy getting the house ready to show. Realtor says the market is picking up and I hope he is correct even though I think differently. I got some new cushions for the rattan furniture to improve the look of the sun porch. I have some men coming next week to put mulch around trees and flower beds. The fruit trees are starting to bud and bloom and lovely spring flowers are blooming!

    I did get some more seeds, ordered replacement items for BOBs. Received some additional antibiotics, medical supplies and picked up some tincture-making supplies. It felt sort of weird coming out with a buggy full of vodka when I don’t even drink alcohol! Stopped at Aldi to pick up some of those wire shelves (thanks for the tip!)

    Thanks Wolf Pack for sharing your wisdom!

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      With talk of mortgage rates going up, you realtor may be right!

      • Petticoat Prepper says:

        Word within my local real estate industry is that interest rates are expected to be 5% by end of year. We have low inventory which is helping to give more of a seller’s market here. If you’re thinking of buying just a 1/4 % raise in interest could mean and extra $40 a month on your payment and on a 30 year term that’s a lot!

        • If you are planning to buy, be especially vigilant to the mortgage insurance premiums as well. the price of these has increased even though the market has been what it is the past few years. You Realtor may be right however as far as a the market coming back a bit. Here in our area the areas that are coming back are the suburbs of the bigger cities but not the ones that were originally the most desired areas 5-10 years ago.

  19. riverrider says:

    hi all. i got nutt’n. work. who knew a “part time” job would take up so much time,lol….well, i did stock up on blackeyed peas and green beans at the grocery. finally got my h&r survivor 410/45colt. it has storage in the stock and the forearm, neat! need to get it drilled/tapped for sights, the itty bitty bead sight isn’t gonna do at all…well, been a long month, glad its over. take care pack. sic semper tyrannis.

  20. The weather has been wonderful and warm so I have spent most of my time in the garden.

    Purchased 26 more bags of topsoil and manure, mixed and filled the raised beds. I have more to get but it will probably be Monday.

    My tomatoes I planted are so tiny I bought 2 nice plants from Walmart that are heirloom red beefsteak. I also picked up 10 pkgs of bare root strawberries.

    Yesterday was planting day, the 2 larger tomatoes, beets, green beans and yellow wax beans went in. Today I will be planting okra, spinach and watermelon.

    The lettuce and radishes are doing very well in their pots but the carrots died, don’t know why.

    Has anyone ever grown ground cherries? I have some I started and read they grow like tomatoes, will I need to stake them? Or just let them ramble?

    • My blog (click on my name) has my article on building ollas for watering the garden in case anyone is interested.

    • Very cool waterer. I’ll have to try making me one.

    • psychnurse says:

      I planted ground cherries a few years ago, and they have come up volunteer every year since. I have never had to stake them. Also, they are not ripe until the covering (like a tomatillo) gets dry and papery and they fall off the plant.

  21. Urbancitygirl says:

    Still reorganizing the basement. Wow, you’d think I have a lot of stuff! Haha, it’s so tough trying to switch a tool/workshop area with my pantry area. Meantime, we look like hoarders cause we have stuff piled all over while we transition and repackage (into crates), might as well work towards a little more organizing- it’s a joke at the moment.

    This week I saved $88 shopping for groceries with coupons. Got a deal on sambucal on clearance, although I have tincture. Med items, clearance sweatpants, 2 pr shoes, slippers, 3 bottles of dish soap, hamburger. I’m well over a year in t.p. Much more, but really still hunting down some better meat prices and haven’t had a lot of luck lately.

    Produce and milk prices skyrocketing here. So we are eating more out of our stored root veggies which need to be eaten now anyway. I have made a very conscious observation as to how people could starve after winter was over but before crops have come in. My stored root veggies are on their last leg, but too cold to have anything planted yet outside. I am paying attention to these kinds of details that I’m sure my ancestors knew all too well.

    Snow is melting, yah! Snow expected today, but probably not anything that will stick.

    I’ve started saving bacon grease. So now I need to find recipes to use it. Yeah, I’ve got a long way to go in the cooking arena.

    • Petticoat Prepper says:


      Is it possible to winter over root crops with a mulch of straw? I’ve done that with several kinds of veggies and come spring still had some left in the garden.

      • Urbancitygirl says:

        Petticoat, I’m in zone 5. I am only heading into my 2nd serious year of veggie gardening so quite inexperienced. I’ve read that I can cover spinach and some root veggies to lengthen the time in the garden. Or, make a root cellar(don’t have the space). But, not sure since my garden area is not well protected from weather/wind and the harsh winter. But, I will definitely look into this more because my plan is to increase root veggies in my garden to try to extend further into the spring.

        • Petticoat Prepper says:

          If you’ve not read Eliot Coleman’s ‘Four-Season Harvest’ then you might like to. He too lives in zone 5 but has fresh veggies ALL year from his garden. You can probably get it at Amazon using MD’s link.

    • Bacon grease? Try nourishedkitchen.com. Lots of good recipes.

      • Urbancitygirl says:

        Will do GA.

        This week I put a list on the side of the fridge, I’m adding fav recipes, just the title, to that list. Then, I have a “go to” of favs for those “what in the heck am I going to cook for dinner?” Days.

    • Mary in GA says:

      In the south we use bacon grease in almost everything! Any vegetables that are boiled, add it to the water, add to cornbread mix, fry all things in it, LOL!

      • Urbancitygirl says:

        Mary, oh gosh, don’t get me started on cornbread. I can’t make it, I mean, I’ve tried several recipes and it just doesn’t taste like my grandmas (deceased). Pathans for the tips

        • ozhillbilly says:

          Ubracitygirl, my wife says part of it is the cornmeal you use. She likes Hodgson Mill cornmeal. Also I imagine how fresh the meal is has something to do with it. If you Google Hodgson Mill cornmeal you should be able to find a few recipes. I had cornbread last night for supper and it was very good. Don’t give up on your Grandma’s cornbread and good luck.

  22. Calidreamer says:

    Made my last alimony payment this week. Great feeling to be debt free. Now watch the preps stack up.

    • axelsteve says:

      A co worker had a 68 Camaro in his garage that his brother owned for 18 years. He could not afford to work on it while paying child support. After his kid turned 18 he startes putting the amount of his prevoius child support payment into the car.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      My lawyer wants me to file for alimony, but I am resisting. We have no kids, no debts, and I am perfectly capable of making my own way. BTW, the farm will be mine as of May 8. Hurray! He got the money but I got the farm.

      • Petticoat Prepper says:

        Good for you on keeping the farm! My STBEX is fighting me on everything even going so far as wanting my (unknown to me) inheritance from my dad who’s currently losing to pancreatic cancer!

        • PP,

          I don’t think a spouse is entitled to any inheritance from another. Especially if the person leaving isn’t dead yet. If you don’t have a lawyer, get one. Or at least get some legal aid. It sounds like your STBX is playing dirty and trying to take advantage of you.

        • Petticoat Prepper,
          IANAL and don’t know your situation; but, it seems to me that the issue with dad could be taken on and fixed by the terms of his will. Just a thought.

          • Petticoat Prepper says:

            Sirius and OhioPrepper,
            I have an attorney. You’re right my STBEX is fighting as dirty as possible. He is heading to rock bottom and trying to take me and our DD with him. I’ll be so relieved to get through all this. His first attorney recently fired him as a client so I’m back to basically the beginning due to his new attorney.

          • Urbancitygirl says:

            Divorce is tough. I eventually fired my atty after the judge yelled at him a third time. Went at it alone. One of the toughest things I ever did, and with 4 kids. But, have never been happier and more relieved.

          • Oddly, my divorce was pretty painless (as far as divorces go). My ex wife and I didn’t even use lawyers. We had no kids, no property. We just had to divide debt and retirement accounts. It was very amicable.

            Now my ex-girlfriend is a different story. Her ex-husband sounds like Petticoat Prepper’s. When they were renegotiating their marital separation agreement his lawyer and her lawyer were putting me in the middle. I wound up having to get my own lawyer just to protect myself. That was not pretty. Both of their lawyers were fee churning scumbags.

      • TrailGuide says:

        Hello NW… your post reminded me of this old proverb:
        Good Trade
        A traveling saleswoman is driving toward home in Arizona when she sees an Indian woman hitchhiking. She stops the car and the Indian woman gets in. After a bit of small talk, the Indian woman notices a brown bag on the front seat. “What’s in the bag?”, she asks. “It’s a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband”.

        The Indian woman is silent for a while, then nods and says,
        “you made a good trade”.

        Congrats on the farm… I can only say… a good trade.

      • ozhillbilly says:

        Nebraska Woman, as far as I’m concerned . . . you won!!!

      • Nebraska Woman,
        Let’s see. You can manage by yourself financially and you get the farm. Sounds like you won the battle. Good deal.

  23. Urbancitygirl says:

    DH also picked up more ammo. He is totally on board with prepping, cooperative and encouraging, but he isn’t as involved as I am. On the one hand I love being the one who decides what we need, but then, it becomes a lot of weight on me sometimes because I try to be balanced so that we have preps in each category as we progress. Well, a couple of months ago I expressed my feelings and put DH in charge of ammo, fuel, testing generators, etc. He has been really stepping up to the plate and surprising me. Love it!

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Please send instructions. 🙂

      My DH is on board but has an attention span of 30 seconds. Really shouldn’t complain cause he’s been my personal slave for over 3 months!

      • axelsteve says:

        Tactical G- Ma simple minded slaves are easier to control. At least that is what I heard my wife tell her sister.

      • Urbancitygirl says:

        Haha, I probably give my DH too much credit. He is a workhorse though so I truly can’t complain. We have an ongoing joke between us. When one of us does something that is helpful , ie DH taking out the trash without being asked. I would comment “it’s all in the training.” If either of us lets something slip, well, then we also talk about “the lack of training.”

        Fortunately, I need very little training (just kidding).

  24. Nothing to report this week… except reading the blog. of course 😉

  25. I bought “Humanure,” by Joseph Jenkins. Will read, today.

  26. sheeple_no_more says:

    I have been out of work for a while. That’s not accurate. I have been working for a pair of investors that failed to pay me when the job was done. Just getting back on my feet.
    Dear wife and I started Dave Ramsey’s financial peace university course. Turned over my large compost pile. Started our seeds for the garden. Been working on the house as much as money allows.Been working on lightening my get home bag without sacrificing what goes in it. Plan on spending my time and money on increasing our pantry ASAP. Been living on it. Reading and making plans for the next 90 days

  27. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Hey Cubbies! Hope all are well and happy!

    MD, Good preps. The garden is looking good. I don’t see where you find the time!

    I haven’t read anyone else’s post yet but will do that after this.

    Just want to give a shout out to Ron, Tom, Brear, recovering, and all that contributed to the Nuke article written by Ron. It’s time to brush up on my NBC plans.

    This week I bought boxes of powerbars, kleenex tissues, toilet paper, ziploc bags, plastic ziploc containers with lids, garbage bags, dog food and treats, a tripod for cooking over a wood fire, a castiron dutch oven that has the lid so it can be buried with hot coals over and under, and lots of athletic tape. Downloaded kindle books: Grandmother’s Natural Medicines, Organic Gardening 101, The Herbal Remedies Guide, The Last Days set, and This is the End set. I have a substantial library of hard and paperback books regarding gardening and herbal and home remedies. These were either free or real cheap so I’ll look thru them and order the book or print off what I want.
    I continue to recover and was able to do a little more around the house. Then yesterday had another Epidural and S1 injection. Already am much better. Spring is sprung and I still have some Christmas decor that needs to make it to the attic! Uff-da!
    Just a reminder since everybody’s getting their tax returns, this blog is free to use but not free to run. If you aren’t on a revolving contribution plan, please drop a few bucks in the hat so we can keep meeting like this. there’s a tab at the top of the page under the banner “Donate” that tells how to do it. Consider this blog as part of your prep.
    Love you guys. You are always in my prayers. Have a great week and keep prepping!

    • Tactical G-Ma,

      Some of my Christmas decorations stay up all year long, on purpose! I have one Christmas quilt I made that has been up for 3 straight years. Looking at it makes me smile!

      • Mary in GA says:

        Kate in GA, one of my favorite things is a Christmas quilt that my cousin’s wife made and I bought from her, it’s beautiful and he’s gone now, so I think of him when I look at it.

    • Mary in GA says:

      Very good point Tactical G-Ma, I sent a donation about 2 months ago, but need to do another one. Thanks for reminder!

      • Schametti says:

        Yep, good reminder for me as well. I have donated a few times in thanks for my time here.. but it’s about that time again. I’ve made a few dollars on some bracelets I’ve made the last week, so I will add an MD donation to my preps for this week. Thanks for the great reminder TG-Ma. :):)

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      I click MD’s amazon link, but you are right. To do this week: set up pay pal.

      • uff-da? are you minnesotan?

        • Allright I'm Awake says:

          or Norwegian?

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          No, but I did live a few years in the missile silos of Nordakota, you betcha! And got family in Wisconsin. And used to have a fish camp up near Bemidji with Paul and Babe, donchaknow.

          • Minot! Who did you P off?

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            Whynot Minot? Actually I made it to the beautiful Grand Forks while the B2’s were still there. Then after stayed on afew years as a broadcast engineer while my baby finished high school.

            Did you know the North Dakota state tree is a telephone pole and the state bird is a mosquito?

            I lived 3 years in Anchorage during ‘Nam before heading to the elephant cage in Japan. And Anchorage was never so cold or have as many whiteouts and blizzards as Grand Forks. It is truly the least favorite of all the places I have ever lived. And yet a short drive in any direction to breathtaking beauty, fishing, wildlife, skiing, God’s Country.

            However, I realized I never learned how to clean house because I never really lived in one long enough to get it dirty.

          • Grand Forks! Arrgghh, you’ve been SACumcized!

          • JeffintheWest says:

            Ha! The Elephant Cage. Haven’t heard that term for a while. I was in the 6912th in Berlin, then got pulled to TAC at Bergstrom, and then off to SAC at Offutt for the JSTPS. Ah, for the good old days when to err was human, and to forgive was not SAC policy….

          • No kidding! And a checklist just to get off your posted assignment just to take a pee. I’ve heard the stories. Thank God I never had to serve on a SAC base. I never would have made it.

            Oddly enough, the SAC guys who came to PACAF hated it. It wasn’t a place that was run in a “Neat, orderly, proficient, military manner” enough for them.

          • JeffintheWest says:

            You either loved it or hated it I guess. Frankly, I found the endless crises due to poor planning at TAC much more annoying than the Mickey Mouse at SAC. Though SAC actually stressed me out more on a day-to-day basis.

          • I believe we talked about this before and found we were at Misawa about the same time.

          • Shades of Uncle Sam’s Flying Club!! here is my Majcom list..Starting after tech school and including 2 tdy’s that turned into short tours.

          • Curley Bull says:

            I wasn’t as smart as some of ya’ll. ATC, TAC, PACAF, MAC, TAC, PACAF, 1st Cav, & finished up 11B40H. The excuse I used was that I got drunk on Friday and woke up in the Army on Monday. Wouldn’t take a Mill for any of it though.

          • That’s how we feel when you all start talking Army, USMC or heavens forbid Navy.

          • JeffintheWest says:

            I did it the other way around — 1st ID as an 11 Bravo, then ATC, Flight School at lovely old Mother Rucker, TAC, ESC, TAC again, ATC again as an Instructor, SAC, and then JIATFS/E. With some time off for bad behavior in SOUTHAF and CENTAF for various conniptions with foreign folks.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            Right, MSgt.. I started DOD then went Navy. Spent my time with mixed and allied forces. Don’t have a bunch of alphabet soup but TAC and SAC during the cold war were pretty cherry when you were not in the Air Force! I had a blast but I might say that Tail Hook was more like the wives club tea than a real party.
            Course that was a former life and of course you had to be there to understand. Yes I was REMF and a split tail but I made it possible for a lot of Cowboys to win the rodeo. Don’t ya know.

          • Most fun I had was spending the late ’70’s in Berlin, 110 miles on the wrong side of our tanks, with Jimmy C. telling the Russians they were bad people for their human rights issues. That will make you nervous! We joked the the POW signs were already made up; they were just going to throw them on the wall and close the roads!

          • JP,

            I never got to go to Berlin. After PACAF, I went to USAFE. Ramstein AB in the late 80’s to early 90’s. We had to get permission to go to Berlin and no permission was being given. The wall soon came down. I’m certain that they knew it was, that’s why they kept us out of there. It was very” interesting times” indeed. Now I know why the Chinese use that as a curse.

          • JeffintheWest says:

            I was in Berlin from ’85 to ’88 when it was all starting to look sort of serious at times. But it WAS a blast. I always figured I was a pretty lucky guy — who else got paid vacations to Berlin, the Zone, Hawaii, Montevideo, Bogota, weird little radar stations along the Honduran-Nicaraguan border, Ecuador, Jamaica, the ABCs, South Korea, Panama City, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia and parts north, many of them with opportunities to get shot at? That’s right, they even PAID us to do all those things! 😉

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            You guys sure know how to sweet talk a girl! Thanks for spending your youth helping to preserve our way of life. I just hate that jerks without a clue have all but destroyed it.

          • axelsteve says:

            I had a great aunt in Wisconson. She owned a small dairy farm. I never met her regretably.

    • No refund for us. We had to pay. Hence no preps this week. 🙁

      • Mary in GA says:

        GA Red, I feel for you, our appt. is next week and we have to pay every time that we didn’t make lots of estimated payments. 🙁

      • Schametti says:

        Yeah, we have to pay every year since my husband’s accident, and disability six years ago. :(:( I miss having those refunds sooo much.

        • Texanadian says:

          refunds are just the government giving your money back. I prefer to pay – i don’t like to pay. A refund is just the government using your money – that you could be using, for a year.

          • I had an accounting professor who flat out told us: “Tax avoidance is your responsibility, tax evasion is illegal”.

            He taught us that the optimum goal is to pay and owe zero taxes. Why give the government a FREE loan on your money to get the refund.

          • That is something that I am always telling my customers. When they are getting refunds because of them qualifying for EIC is one thing but when they make decent money and they have max withheld so that they can get a large refund I ask them why.

            This year I had several couples who made a lot less money than in previous years and they qualified for EIC for the first time ever. They were floored when I told them that they were getting a large refund. They had not even heard of EIC before.

            If there are any of you who do not know EIC stands for Earned Income Credit. For people with low “earned” income and you have dependent children then you can qualify for an additional refund of about $6,000 for three children.

          • Brenda – I try to get mine as close to zero as possible, but my income has fluctuated too much in the last few years to always know how it’s going to go. I’d also rather owe a small amount than to get a huge amount back, if possible. However, when paying off debt, those huge chunks of refund are helpful.

          • Brenda,
            I also attempt to get the smallest refund I can, or even pay a little. Ideally, getting the smaller refund and banking the money during the year is the best way to save; however, I know a lot of folks who will spend the money if they have it, instead of saving it. Considering the low interest rates offered for savings accounts vs.. the zero interest paid by the IRS, for some people, this forced savings is actually probably a good thing, especially if they have no will power to save the excess.

          • With the low interest rates I no longer try to get people to have less withheld. What I usually ask my customers is “Would you rather have a larger paycheck during the year or would you rather have a larger refund?” A lot depends on their needs. It is obvious that many people do not even think of this issue and so many will go several months claiming exempt from taxes and then have max withheld to make up for it, that is if they don’t forget. I try to get them to keep it even throughout the year.
            With the economy like it is sooner or later the refunds will no longer be issued. There are already some states that do not always issue refunds, at least not in a timely manner.

      • Kat's Tale says:

        Seems like a lot of folks are having to pay this year. Ticks me off knowing that the money I have to pay will only be p&*#%ed away by a government who has no idea how to be thrifty and can only encourage entitlement programs.

        • I hate giving the government and interest free loan and also seek the smallest refund or to owe just a bit.

    • Millie in KY says:

      Please, where did you get the tripod from? Thanks!

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        We found this one at Dick’s but I’m sure Cabelas, Gander Mountain, Fleet Farm, Amazon and just about any sporting goods or outfitters will carry them. I think my friend got hers at Camping World. We use them while roughing it.

  28. gypsynurse says:

    I have read your site for about a year with no prepping done except to store water and read many books on survival. BUT today I ordered a 14 day supply of freeze dried food and will start stocking food from the stores. I have a brother and a son who are preppers and they have been very helpful on what I need to buy. Sad to say but I agree with you that we are indeed a week closer to disaster. I just have a bad feeling about the future and my feelings generally run true. I am a total optimist so am paying attention to these feelings. I truly enjoy your site and appreciate all you and the pack have taught me.

    • Paylie Roberts says:

      The 14 day supply is a good start, but you will probably want a lot more than just 2 weeks worth. Freeze dried food can be rather expensive, so what you can do instead, is every time you go to the grocery store, just pick up a little extra of something. For instance, if you’re buying a jar of tomato sauce, get two instead, and stash one as your preps. If you do that every time you go to the store (I call it my prepping tax), you’ll be amazed at how quickly all the food will accumulate and before you know it, you’ll have three months worth of food you actually eat.

    • gypsynurse,

      Good job on getting started. Check out the BOGO sales on canned foods at your local grocery store. Buy staples from the LDS Online Store. IMO, that is the cheapest, quickest way to stock up.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      I have found great deals on rice and beans in ethnic stores. I oven can flour, but I also bought a hand mill and wheat in its natural state.

    • Schametti says:

      Welcome to the prepping pack, officially, Gypsynurse. 🙂 I have that dreaded feeling in my gut as well, and have for about two years now. A lot of people discourage the freeze dried food, saying, instead, to stock what you already eat.. but I’mma tell ya.. when and if it ever does really hit the fan, I’m going to enjoy all that freeze dried food I’ve stocked. You just can’t beat the 30 year shelf life on it. And some of it, I’ve sampled is darn good!! Especially some of the Mountain House entrees I’ve made up to try. Mmm.

      • Per Hiero Desteen says:

        I routinely use my Mountain House food so that my family will be used to eating it when and if we should really need it, as opposed to just having fun with it right now.

      • Hey Schametti,

        Here’s a report on pre-packaged food. I kept an MRE that I kept with me from when I was in the military. It was a “brown bag” MRE from when they were first introduced. I decided that 25 years was long enough to keep it. It has been through extreme ranges of temperatures over the years.

        All in all, it tasted like cardboard. It didn’t have a warming unit in it like the new ones do, so I had to eat it cold. The entre’ was actually very tasty. The desert took about a litre of water to choke it down, but that’s how they were when they were fresh. The dessert was fruit cake. Why I remember that and not what the entre’ was, I don’t know. The crackers were a bit stale and the peanut butter tasted like paste, but the jelly was really good. Runny but good. The instant coffee tasted like… instant coffee and the gum was a bit hard but chewable.

        The TP packet is something I haven’t had the guts to try yet. But having an intimate knowledge of military TP, I think I’m going to save it for when I need to do some sanding.

        All in all, a 25 year old MRE would fill my belly. I wasn’t starving so I’m being judgmental on the taste.

        Final judgment… even after 25 years, it was still better than C-Rations.

  29. Grannytraveler says:

    Food 4 Less has had a sale on Creamette pasta for the last 2 weeks. Not my favorite brand but you can’t beat the price -.49 (I only buy the 16oz pkgs) if you buy 6. Does anyone know how long you can store pasta before it starts breaking down? I have a 5 gal bucket of pasta from 4 years ago. I am going to rotate the new stuff into it and use up the old stuff.

    We had a little earthquake last night and my first thought as it started was “figures, my gas tank is almost on empty and I am at the lowest point in my preps in years.” Goes to show that we always have to be on the top of our game because we never know what Mother Nature has in store for us. Not to mention governments. LOL

    • Grannytraveler says:

      Forgot to mention that I have flowers on my tomatoes. Hope they set but the nights have been still pretty cool. My basil and habeneros are going strong. Canned chili last night to use up ground beef from last year before our Zaycon order comes in. Used some Ghost chili peppers. Whoo!

    • Sw't tater says:

      Re: Pasta,It would depend on how you packed it..If you packed it in oxygen free packaging, it will last several years. If not. I have some that has been packed two years. It’s ok, but nothing to brag about. I have changed the way I am packing it..to 3lb packs, in mylar with oxygen absorbers, then in bucket, with oxygen absorber in it too. I don’t want to worry about “marginal flavored “foods.

      • If you have an egg, some flour and a bit of water, you can make your own pasta. I have a cookie press that came with the template for macaroni and spaghetti.

    • Grannytraveler.
      I never let my gas tank get below half. I drive on average 140 miles a week and I fill it up every Saturday morning.. Besides, my gas gauge doesn’t work.

  30. gypsynurse says:

    Whoops. I did read your comments policy’

  31. Got 3 3.5g food grade buckets from local store bakeries, 8cf garden soil for the raised vegetable garden, a Wonder pump, 100’ paracord and 10 silver quarters. Also place my monthly order for Thrive products.

  32. Mary in GA says:

    DH got his bull dozer back after having the new root rake added and began clearing some of the land at our farm for a pasture and dove field. It’s slow going, but he’s making progress. We have our goats, pigs, turkeys and chickens closer to the house, but the pasture is on another part of our land because he wants to get cattle and donkeys. We had them many years at another piece of land that we used to have and he really misses his cows. I keep telling him I’m going to slip some dorper sheep in there, but we’ll see. I want dorpers because they are a short haired breed that do well in our hot, humid climate. I stocked up on livestock feed, added more paper products to my stores. I had to throw out some food from our freezer after the power was out at our house due to the ice storm, so I re-stocked some meat when BI-LO had a BOGO on pork loins, drumsticks and thighs. That’s about all here, hope everyone has a great week!

  33. Not much in the way of preps this week. Did get my video on DuraCoat for my M57 up on YouTube last week
    I’ve been continuing on the real estate courses I’ve been taking at the local community college. I only have two more courses to go and then I can start the process for licensing.
    Bought another clip for my new everyday carry weapon (the M57). Not much else. Been a little wet here with the light rains we’ve been having. haven’t been able to get in the garden. My onions are not doing so good since the freeze we had. Still debating on whether I want to plant more or just go with what survived.
    sheeple_no_more mentioned Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace. I just finished re-reading that book and it has got me thinking on saving for the future more. Can’t wait till I’m making some money with real estate and can start funding the retirement better.
    Glad to hear you got your video’s back BCtruck. After making a few and getting a YouTube channel up and going I can imagine how frustrating it was for you to find that someone had high-jacked your content.

    • nice job on the yugoA! i have the same paint booth except mine came from the post office. when my paint booth gets to messy,i just go back and get another. my tax dollars at work!

  34. Oh, I almost forgot! I did buy some pm’s through JM Bullion’s link here on M. D.’s sight. They had the best price on what I bought, no shipping charge and it helps out the pack a little.

  35. Curley Bull says:

    Howdy Pack,

    Didn’t get a lot done again this week. Did get some new rubber on my truck and looked at a couple of camper tops (used). Had a 5th birthday party for my youngest granddaughter.

    If looking for 22LR ammo, this is the best buy I’ve seen lately.

    Natchez Shooters Supply (www.natchezss.com ) has 22LR priced pretty fair to most in their Spring 2014 catalog and state that these prices are good through April 30. They have:

    Remington Thunderbolt 22LR, 40g, RN, 500rnds for $40
    Remington Golden Bullet 22JR, 36g, HP, 525rnds for $40
    Remington Golden Bullet 22JR, 36g, HP, 1,400rnd bucket for $100

    I tried to order, but they were “out of stock” (of course) and could not “backorder”. However, could sign up for email notification of arrival in stock (which I did).

    Some may be interested, others may not.

    Be Blessed and stay alert,

    PS: Check out the Aquila brand 22LR in the same catalog.
    As low as $3.40 for box of 50!

  36. mom of three says:

    Getting ready to strain the elderberries / vodka mix. I bought more herbs, to keep to make cough syrup. Got more otc medicine, shampoo. Checked out the King Arthur Flour recipe cookbook, I want to start making granola, I tried to find a good cheese recipe book, all the books have been checked out at our library. I also had two coupons for Ball jars, $5.00 off so I was able to get 12 of the new green QT jars, they will be my pickle jars yea!
    Have a great week everyone, take care and prayer to the whole pack.

    • Sorry hit report by mistake – mom of 3 how fid you get coupons for canning jars?

      • mom of three says:

        I went to fresh preserving.com
        That should take you to the ball home page.
        I went to the bottom of the page to contact us.
        I was having problem’s with the newer jars cracking, and the bottoms breaking off. So they sent me two coupons, for $5.00 each off. But if you just ask them, I bet they would do it for you. Also start checking your Sunday papers, for the coupon inserts last year. Ball, put out two coupons one for $1.00 off pectin in the jar, & one buy two lids get one free. I believe it came out in June. Hope this helps.

        • Thanks-it does and I will. BTW – you are the 2 nd person to mention problems w jars tho the others were wally world kerr jars

  37. 19Pinky67 says:

    This week, we made a bucket of “compost tea” to feed to our growing seedlings, which are nearing 6″ tall now. We are nearly finished building our chicken coop. Added a few food items to our long-term storage, and acquired a few FREE buckets to store things in. YAY!! Cleaned both shotguns and all 3 rifles. Inventoried our medical supplies, which aren’t yet where we would like for them to be, but about 97% better than at this time last year. Other than that, we just keep on keepin’ on!!

    • Schametti says:

      Whoo, compost tea. I’ve had a vermiculture (worms) composting system for about a year now, and I’m hoping to get some of my own compost tea made up for planting time this spring.. if…. we ever get warm enough for planting season. I’m beginning to doubt the wind and ice will ever stay away, lol.

  38. Fenland Prepper says:

    I got the new plum tree planted, built the last cloche, and planted out the beets, brocoli and peas in the new raised beds. Also put in 3 potatoe bags with earlies. Added six more tins of ham to my stores, some dried noodles and stocked up on pain killers. Picked up a secondhand tactical vest and some new camo trousers. Really pleased with the veg garden, we will be growing more this year than ever before!

  39. Melody Habeeb says:

    Couldn’t find Evolve Bleach tablets in any stores around here, so I got 3 bottles of 32 tablets each, thru internet. Got 2 cans of coffee for trade. This month’s mission at church is to fill the Local Pantry-many of our local families count on school bkfst and lunch to feed their kids, and have a hard time during school breaks, so the school sends home a backpack of food with those families’ kids. For that I found a bunch of BOGOs on cereal, peanut butter and jam. For me, I ordered 2 #10 cans of cornmeal, as well as some pantry cans of bacon, cheese and butter. Having been sick the last month, I replaced Benedryl, Mucinex, etc.
    I have been concerned that I can only have direct deposit for my pension and SS. Oh well, that’s why I’m preparing.

  40. Arizona Reality Prepper says:

    Got some volunteer garlic and onions growing, prepped the raised beds to plant next weekend. Gonna grow maters, okra, peppers, squash, pumpkins, cukes, and chayote. Have little tiny plums, apricots and nectarines growing along with grapes !!! Picked up some more garden tools from a friend of mine who decided gardening in Arizona was just too much work. He’s giving up…not the best move but will give the tools back to him if he changes his mind. Oh, strawberry plants are coming along nicely too. Hope all are well, keep prepping !!!

  41. repaired a seer spring and cleaned it.
    bought another water filter straw.
    bought 10 oz of silver
    added #10 cans of freeze dried sausage, pinto beans, white navy beans, ground beef
    increased income on my home based business so I can buy more stuff
    re -read Square Foot Gardener
    bought case of bottled water

  42. I built and filled two garden barrels, and after one person saw me doing it asked me to build him 2 for $150 each. I’ll include the compost and the worms. So I decided to start building them and selling them to pay for my preps. I have 4 left to construct for my own use. I have another person ready to trade me a garden barrel for a jetski trailer, that another friend will turn into a utility trailer for me (and I’ll give him a garden barrel). I found a business that sells their barrels for $10, and it’s food grade.

    I bought 60 rounds of 223, at wallyworld. I also bought a cheap scope for my Ruger 10/22. Built another 4X8 raised bed, and finished planting my other 4. I put together a rainwater collection system, consisting of three 55 gallon barrels with a manifold. I have one left to do on the other side of the house. I planted some mango trees, and blue berry bushes. I scored some materials from my father-in-law, so I can hide my water and garden preps from the home owners’ association. I have to buy a couple of 6X8 bamboo fences to cover the areas of my current fence, so that the garden and barrels can’t be seen from the sidewalk or road. The other one that I’m going to put together will be hidden behind lattice, since that side has the gate, and can be seen when the gate is open. The ironic part is that there are about 250 homes in my subdivision, and there are about 20+ residents doing some sort of preps that I know of. The mega church in this area apparently has been spreading the word to get ready to hunker down.

  43. We did our spring cleaning and took inventory off all the stuff we have and all the stuff we need to get.. Inventoried my mothers pantry and set her up with a spreadsheet so no more buying stuff she already has lots of. Bought 3 sawyer water bottle water filters for everyone’s car bags. Bought a sawyer water filter kit so that we can set up our own gravity feed filter system, spent all evening debating the best way to make it work in theory (not quite as much fun as making a mess in the living room to see how we can make it work in practice but close).

  44. This week I ordered some eagles from JM Bullion. I pray this is the best investment for extra funds. We are good on food storage, guns and ammo, and other preps. I just don’t trust the dollar.

    I bought 20 lbs. of NY Strip for the freezer. This will last us six months. We have 80 lbs. of hamburger coming from Zaycon next week. I need to make more room in the freezer. I picked up another four packages of andouillis sausage for the freezer. This equates to meat for 12 six-to-eight person meals. We have three freezers and they are full.

    A tip for the Pack–we bought a huge package of pepperoni from Sam’s Club and two huge packages of shredded cheese. We can make homemade pizza for the six months. (I also found excellent sauce at the dollar store.) A pizza is about $1.50 fully loaded.

    I have been shoring up our meal preparation stock. We made a list of stretching meals (meals that give us two or three days worth of leftovers).

    One of our favorites now is pineapple chicken–home-canned chicken cooked up with an onion, some home-canned black beans and a can of pineapple, spiced with blackened seasoning and garlic pepper and served over yellow rice from the dollar store.

    I too think we are one week closer to doom. Russia is amassing 100,000 soldiers at the Ukraine border. They are creating supply lines. Poland has called up the reserves and initiated a draft. All eyes are on Putin. He wants to prove to the world that Russia is not merely a “regional power”. I think he wants to restore the glory of the former Soviet Union.

    Stock up folks.Look for the holes in your preps. I don’t think we have much time left to prep cheaply.

    • JP in MT says:

      Bam Bam:

      At +/- $20/oz, now is a “buy” time for silver with us. (I spend my money on bullet launchers this week or I would have too.)

      • JP,

        We got our income tax refund last week. So we invested in some ammo and some silver.

    • hvaczach says:

      Yes Bam Bam I am afraid Vlad wants to put the sickle and hammer back up in Eastern Europe, I am kinda surprised the EU hasn’t been making a push to get Ukraine under NATO status in hopes it would scare Putin off a little. Poland remembers 1939 a little better than the rest the world I think but no matter how ready they are the Russians will tear thru them like rice paper. I would suspect at best the Poles could hold out for 6 weeks, maybe 10 if they get some air support from another more updated military. All in all with out U.S.-British intervention all the former satalites will be under Russian control in 8 month’s total, there might be some resistence fighting for a while but as far as legit military units they will be destroyed.

      • Hvaczach,

        Do not underestimate what a taste of freedom will do to motivate people. I think the former soviet bloc countries can put up a lot more resistance than you give them credit for. I give them more than 8 months.

        Then again I saying this from a “Cold War” perspective that said all “soviet” women wore house coats and were so zoftig that they could pull an ox-cart out of a ditch with one hand, while holding the baby in the other. Boy was I surprised when I saw the likes of Anna Kornikova and have since learned that she is more the norm than the exception.

        It really challenges the perceptions you were indoctrinated with as a youth.

        • hvaczach says:

          I don’t underestimate their will just their equipment and lack of trained troops.

          • Fair point. I still remember seeing that news clip of the Chinese kid squaring off with a tank in Tieniman Square. I have to admire his resolve and tenacity, but tactically it was a loosing battle.

  45. I added a Kel-tec 200 9mm glock mag compatible, and 1000 rounds of 9mm, 420 rounds of 5.56×45 to my guns and ammo, I added 150 gallons or rain water collection. I planted the cassava trees that i ordered a couple of weeks ago, and added 35 pounds of charcoal to my storage.
    you may ask why i store charcoal, well i have a Big Green Egg charcoal grill. If you have no experience with a big green egg, or a ceramic charcoal grill, they are a great prepare cooking device. you can smoke, bake, broil, roast, toast, just about anything can be cooked on the egg. bake bread, pizza, smoke a turkey, cook hot dogs and burgers, bake a cake or pie, you name it. The great thing about the egg, is you load the charcoal, start it up, cook, and close the dampers to smother the fire. Then when you are ready to cook something else, just light it up and cook. The temperature is very easy to control with the dampers, you adjust it to 350 degrees and walk away, in an hour or two, the temp is still 350, or 220, whatever you want. Also, no flare-ups with this grill.

  46. Lake Lili says:

    Gee MD! I am coveting your raised beds… we had another 2-ft of snow in the past 72-hours. That puts the snowpile at the end of my drive at 22-ft high by 30-ft wide by 25-ft wide. The white is getting a bit exhausting. I am dreaming of tomatoes and planning container gardens for this summer.

  47. Some planned preps and a surprise this week.
    Aldi had their heavy duty wire shelving available this week for $40 each. By hitting two local stores we picked up 8 units, and along with the continued de-cluttering, we’re seeing the beginnings of a good summer.
    We ordered our chickens which should be here in late April.
    And finally the surprise, a new shotgun. I often purchase tickets for raffles from local organizations like Buckeye Firearms, Pheasants Forever, etc., generally considering it only a donation to a good cause; however, this time I actually won something. This past week I picked up my new Winchester SPX 12 gauge from a local dealer, after of course filling out the required paperwork and NICS permission.

  48. Granny Em says:

    Not much prepping done lately, unless you count purchasing a new computer after my ten year old up and died this month. I guess you can count that since it’s the only way I can keep in touch and learn from all of you.

    I started my seeds this past Monday, and today all of my cukes, zucchinis, broccalli, kale and butternuts are up. Also, the thyme, sage and basil. I planted some heirloom seeds from Jackie Clay’s site, and 3 of the tomatoes popped this A.m. I started everything 2 weeks later this year. It was hard to get going when I looked out and saw mounds of snow and temps below 20 most mornings, but now it’s in the forties and raining. The snow drops are blooming and the daffs are up about 3 inches.We are supposed to get snow tonight, but it will be in the fifties tomorrow ! Gotta love western PA.
    Prayersforo all who need them and have a great week prepping.

    • New computer is definitely a prep if you consider all the knowledge, retailers and general info that this site alone brings us! I had to get a new one to replace my 8 yr. old one last month. Took the hard drive out of the old one after transferring all the data that I wanted and destroyed it with a hammer. Sent the rest to the recycler.

      • Ugh, about to have to do that myself. Two computers about to go belly up, looking at the Dell all in one with a touch screen,

        • ours is @12 yrs and will have to get another. this one has no sound and cannot play video well, if at all.
          interested to hear what computers pack buys and what they have to report about them. thanks.

          • I’ve gone through TigerDirect.com for my past purchased and have been pleased with the price and performance of what I got for the money.

          • Wasp,

            I got an HP package desktop with a flat screen about 8 years ago. It’s still running great. Granted, I only surf the web and do email and maybe some word processing. I picked up a Toshiba laptop in 2010 from wally world dot com for about 300 bucks. It was a top of the line but it was purple, hence the discount. That’s what I’m typing on right now.

            As long as you can identify what you want you use your computer for, you really don’t have to spend a lot of money. If you’re a gamer or a power user, why pay top of the line money for the “shiniest” ball?

  49. We had a major snow storm Wednesday night, 8″ of really heavy wet snow and very high winds. It was a mess around here. Stayed home all day Thursday because I could not move the snow with the tools available. Had to wait for my friend to plow me out. His plow hydrolics broke because of the weight of the snow, But he managed to get enough done so the driveway became passable by dark as the snow melted. This is a major hole in my preps, If I really needed to get out, I would have been in deep do-do. Don”t like being dependant on someone else.

    On Friday I got out and went and picked up my new 10/22. This may be my last purchase of this kind. I have enough. I mean can you use at one time? I plan to spiff it up some with a cool stock and other attachments.

    Went to a sporting show this morning. Weapon Prices completely out of line. Used for more than new. As far as ammo, Nothing in common calibers and lots in calibers that nobody uses. Weird. The Sellers seem to have run out of what I would use.

    Anyway, I ended up buying some maple syrup from a local vendor. This the second time in a month that all I have bought is syrup at a sporting show….LOL.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:


      Where do you live? In Antarctica?

      That’s what I call heart attack snow. Better broken hydraulics than a trip to the CCU.

      • well no but in the UP of Michigan. Today was nice. About 36 degrees and the snow is melting. Tommorro is supposed to hit 40, But they are predicting another storm for Monday/ Tuesday. I do need to be careful, the nearest hospital is 25 miles away.

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          years ago I was driving from Duluth to Sault Ste. Marie in late spring. I was about half way there and the heavens opened up and it dropped feet of snow in 2 hours. That heavy wet stuff like you talk about. I was able to get off the road and almost into a motel parking lot before I got stuck. Even back then I always carried a survival kit. So i put on snow clothes and boots, grabbed my bag and was able to get in a room for the night. The next morning there were trucks and cars everywhere. I have never seen a snow storm come in that fast before or since!

        • Urbancitygirl says:

          Carl, I LOVE the U.P. One of my favorite trips was A few years back when I snowmobiled from mich tech up to Copper Harbor. Beautiful. I head that way yearly, but usually after late May. I keep a list of waterfalls and lighthouses I visit. Two years ago I stayed at whitefish point overnight with DH and I think it’s haunted. 😉

    • I hear you on the new gun! There are just so many that I want to own but the budget and space in the safe limit what I really need. Hoping to pick up a Glock 29 in trade for my S&W 459 and the next gun show here in our area. Hope the ammo situation is better than what you experienced. My DW and I have been in the process of buying some land for a BOL and I want to use it to shoot some of my toys at.

  50. Granny Em says:

    Prayers for all !

  51. JP in MT says:

    Just finished up with my friends funeral. His wife wanted someone to stay with him last night at the church so I was there, and spend the service/reception time at their house. It takes a special kind of low life to rob someones house while they bury a loved one, so I took a special kind of shotgun load with me (‘nuf said).

    Found a slightly used Kel-Tec Sub 2000 that uses Beretta mags to go with the DW’s pistol. It was an online auction so it will be in Thursday. I picked up a rifle I was looking at for me. The price was right plus availability has been poor, I a raided the bank and brought it home.

    Cooked up some more chicken breasts (sale price is up $.10/lb). Got distracted when cooking the last batch, so the dog got chicken jerky (which she dearly loves). We’ll get it cut up and dehydrated this week. DW dehydrated kyle this week; that will make you loose weight. I’ve never had anything that I wanted in the house smell that bad!

    Our oldest, ex-husband has a coffee disributorship. It has a short “shelf LIfe” and he needed a place to disposed of his “excess”. So I ended up with about 35 – 12 oz packages of gourmet coffee! For FREE! Multiple flavors, decaf, and some whole bean. We’ll be working up a long term storage solution for that (considering I was hoping I’d get maybe 5-6 per month).

    Took advantage of some local sales. Got gravy mixes, instant oatmeal, generic mac & cheese, tuna, pasta, corn bread mixes, and Bear Creek soup mixes. I posted a note about how excited the DW was when she was able to “surprise” me with this prep stuff.

    Got in the parts to finish my Tactical Over/Under Shotgun project. Also 2 scopes for 22 LR’s that were on sale, 2 pounds of reloading powder, a bunch of sheap disposable lighters, and 2 LifeStraws.

    Busy week. I heard that #44 called Putin and asked him to put his estimated 100K troops back from the Ukrainian border. Seems the only people who have read their history books are the Polish, they are under full mobilization. Things could get nasty really quick. Then the Chinese, N Koreans, and finally the Iranians will probably make their moves. “Things are going to get out of hand real quick” (from The Hunt for Red October – at least close).

    Looks like a good time to keep on, keepin’ on!

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Good preps dude. I hope you got some flesh while house-sitting. It makes me sick what some people won’t do.

      You would think mankind would learn from the past but we don’t. I don’t think anyone wants to get into it with Putin. The one thing I feel very strongly about is that we need to keep our military and pocketbook at home.

      • JP in MT says:


        I was fully prepared to give them the option of explaining what they were doing to the Sheriff or Jesus, my personal preference would be the latter. But all was well, listened to their car snore (I didn’t know they did that), and watched the snow fall.

        The house will be up for sale soon and it has a lot of potential with 3 fireplaces (I currently have NONE).

    • TrailGuide says:

      I think you are a very special kind of someone for keeping the watch…. humbled!

      and very sad for your loss!

    • Schametti says:

      Sorry about the loss of your friend JP. *Hugs*

      The news articles that I’ve been reading as of late have talked a lot about other countries getting brave once Putin finishes making a mockery of our already laughable dear leader. China for example.. is projected to dump the dollar this time around, and when and once they do.. everyone else is sure to follow suit, and our dollar is sure to have that collapse people have been fearing. I can only imagine and guess what changes may come after that. It definitely isn’t looking pretty.. so I am holding my preps tight, and hoping I have enough.. :/

    • JP,

      It takes a lot to really get my hackles up. But robbing someone while they are saying “good-bye” to a loved one really, REALLY pisses me off. I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but damn that pisses me off. If you need or want some help from an old, fat, motivated, military working dog handler… get in touch with me.

      I come with dogs and “other” things.

      My prayers are to your friends and their family, and to you.

    • axelsteve says:

      JP in Mt I spent my friends Dad and Mom funeral services in there living room watching the place also. I feel good that I was able to provide security and peace of mind for the family.Sucks having to do it but that is the world we live in now.Like the times of Noah.

    • Guys,

      I wanted to say “Thank you” for your support. I’m truly humbled.

  52. samkoger says:

    I cleaned out my chicken coop and put new sawdust in it. Got my 1957, 801 Ford tractor to purring again, fuel line problem. Sold a ton of my free range eggs an had 20 chicks hatch off healthy, should have turkeys and ducks hatching next week!! I hoarded some more reloading stuff, cleaned my shop up, planted some onions and 20 cabbage plants, got my garden spots ready to roll for next couple of weeks of planting. Worked on my spring coming off the hill, running a good 100 gallons an hour of sweet cold water! That is it!

  53. Patriot Farmer says:

    This has been a very good week. Thanks to coupons and store discounts I added 17 cased of canned goods, 3 cases of water, 2 dozen freeze dried meals, 3 boxes of shotgun shells, 3 boxes of rifle shells and I spent a couple of hours at the range. I began working compose into my garden, I should be planting in a couple of months. I helped my aunt stack 500 bales of hay and stocked 300 lbs of chicken feed. My chickens have really started laying in earnest this week and I was able to sell 10 dozen eggs.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Patriot Farmer,
      You gotta lay off the 5-hour Energy! Or come live with me 🙂
      I got tired just reading your preps.

  54. hvaczach says:

    Well had a good week the dw ordered 10 lbs of strawberries from fruit club they were nice berries. We ate till we didn’t want any more then I dehydrated a couple pints, also dehydrated 6 lbs of oranges. Then today we made strawberry jam out of the last of them. We got 20 1/2 pint jars of jam. Also got a screaming good deal on a 1/2 hog, 90 cents a pound hanging weight! It is being processed right now, thought about curing and smoking my own but really short on freezer space so the extra couple weeks of bought time may make it worth the 65 bucks for processing.

    I have been saving up some containers for water storage do most of you put in a drop of bleach when you put it up or would you add it when you would want to drink it?

    • Sw't tater says:

      8 drops per gallon, put in as it is filled, keeps it from getting slimey…can use it by boiling and filtering but no use making extra work. If you have city water, no need to add more bleach.

      • hvaczach says:

        I do have city water so I assume rotating every 4-6 month’s it should be good with no extra bleach?

        • Back in the good ol’ bomb shelter days (when I was about 7) I filled wine bottles with tap water and put them in our pump room. After a few years they got little brown swirly stuff in them.

          My guess is if you keep the containers in the dark—and sterilize them beforehand— you should be OK. Still, adding a few drops per container doesn’t cost much.

          I just checked my records and they say I sterilized the 55 gallon drum with a quart of water and a capful of fresh Clorox, then added 3 tablespoons of bleach to the barrel when filled. I also covered it with a couple black contractor’s trash bags to keep out light and keep it clean.

          I have stored the 5 gallon water fountain jugs (commercially filled) in the dark and opened them after three years and the water was just fine.

          • Schametti says:

            I have 12ish.. seven gallon, teal colored plastic jugs in my prepping pantry filled with bottled spring water, that I bought by the jug from walmart when I bought them about a year ago now, I think. I didn’t add any bleach to them, and I always worry about it. I hate to dump it, and buy all those jugs again, but I can if I need too. Should I add bleach to it now? Or should it be okay as it is? Water prepping always freaks me out a little….. lol.

          • Water your plants with it. Then wash, bleach and refill appropriately!

          • Penrod,

            I used to fill wine jugs with water too when I was a little boy. Lord knows my step-father left enough empty ones. My mom found them in my room and lost her mind. They were emptied and thrown out. At that age, I had no idea you were supposed to add bleach.

            Now a days, I’m looking for a larger water storage solution. I think I found one. Almost 600 gallons that will fit in my garage. The problem is, it’s going to cost me close to 800 dollars.

            That said, with the drought in California, I think I know what my next purchase is going to be. I truly thing that the water is going to get shut off here soon. Hell, after that WSJ article link that was posted a few days ago… if they’re cutting off the farmers, then the people are next.

          • Sirus
            I am not sure where you priced your water tank at, but if you have a TSC, or farm outlet check with them. Yes, the smaller tanks cost more, but I have found shopping around then going back to the original place and saying I found it here at this price. What will you do for me on the price might work for you. We live in CA, and I am wanting another tank, so I priced them on line a 1550 gallon was $800.00. That gave me a price point in which to work with. There are low profile tanks that hold more water(5-6,000 gallon for around $2,500).
            Yours must fit in your garage but you might find a low profile that will give you more water storage for what they are asking for the 600 gallon.
            Just thought of this, if you can find the stacking 250 gallon tanks with the metal cages, they can price out from $50.00 to $180.00, depends on who has them and for which price range they will sell them. That might work out better for you as you can stack them 3-4 high from what I have been told. Good luck.

          • Becky,

            Do you have a link for that 1550 gallon tank? The one I mentioned above was from surewatertanks dot com.

            I’d like to avoid the tanks in the wire cages unless I get them new. I’ve seen too many of the used ones that have had toxic chemicals in them before they are sold off.

          • k. fields says:

            Sirius, the Tractor Supply nearest me usually has 1,500 gallon tanks for around $700 but I just checked the website tractorsupply.com and found they are out of stock at my local one but one near you may be different.
            Once on the site do a search for water storage tank then click the view details link and put in your zip code.

          • Thanks K. Fields. The closest TSC is over 60 miles away. Not to mention I’d have to rent a truck to get the tank home. Not impossible. I’ll work something out. Thanks again.

  55. Lets see: I got 5 =3 and a half gallon bakery buckets from the local grocery store. We found coffee on sale for 3.99 a pound and bought a bunch. Stocked up on peanut butter. Found chicken thighs on sale for .77 cents a pound . Hubby has been making buffalo chicken brats and chicken dijon mustard brats with those and have put a couple of family packs in the freezer as well. Paid off a 401K loan from a couple of years ago. Another bill is down to $50 dollars so that will be paid off next month. When our tax return comes back we will be significantly richer ( adoption tax credit) although it doesnt cover anywhere near what an adoption costs. Ive been going through”stuff” in the basement. Also started seeds for our garden IF it ever gets warm and stays warm. Winter has been tough here in MN. We are ready for summer!!

    • I should have said 3.99 a can instead of a pound on the coffee!

    • Nsaneprepper says:

      Hi Lisa…on the adoption tax credit did they send you a refund or just reduce your tax liability? We are completing the adoption of two grandkids this summer…four looooooong years cuz its through CPS….thanks.

      • Nsane: it’s a credit that reduces your tax liability. We didn’t use it all up this year but I’m pretty sure it will roll over into next year. 4 years Is a long time. I’ve heard horror stories in regards to our foster care/ adoption system and its partly why we chose to go outside of the US.International adoption is crazy expensive and we are FAR from rich monetarily but in our experience it was smooth sailing…. step one, two, three etc without issue. 14 months later, we spent 2 weeks abroad. I loved the entire experience.

        • Nsaneprepper says:

          Thanks for the reply Lisa. Our tax preparer said she has seen the IRS send a refund check after two years of not owing so we are hopeful. The wait has been terrible but at least the state is covering all expenses. Never thought we would be raising kids again. We have two we are adopting from one DD and two we are guardians of from the other DD. All under seven years old. Drugs and mental issues.

          • Nsane:

            Wow. Im so glad you are able to take care of the grandkids. I dont know your age but we arent exactly spring chickens ( ages 46 and 48) Our other kids are all grown( 27, nearly 25 , 23 and 22) Most everyone thinks we are crazy. We saw a picture of our daughter, found her special need to be something we can deal with and went with it. Expensive? tremendously. Worth it? a million percent.


    • How is the peanut doing Lisa?

      • Hi Shai: She is doing fantastically well. She has a good grasp on the English language and has basically forgotten all her native language, Mandarin, which is both good and bad. She makes friends everywhere she goes…. including the greeters at walmart and the deli lady, the meat counter guy and several cashiers at our local grocery store. Id love to adopt again!.

    • Lisa,

      God Bless You for adopting a child. I was adopted at a month old. I was a U.S. adopted baby and have no chance to ever communicate with my natural parents. This was back in the 60’s.

      If I ever did get a chance to talk to my natural parents, the only thing I would like to say to them would be, “Thank you. Thank you for giving me a chance.”

      If your adopted child ever expresses an interest in finding their natural parents, don’t fret. They aren’t dismissing you, they are just curious. They aren’t loving you any less.

      And when that child becomes a teenager and screams at you, “You don’t love me, you never loved me” tell them what my mom told me… “Yes I do, you weren’t an accident, WE PICKED YOU!” My mom told me that when I was 12, having a meltdown, and I’ve never forgotten it to this day.

      God bless you.

      • Sirius:

        Thank You very much for your wise words. I am sure that time will come. It does with all kids at some point and time. I am sure my daughter will have questions but it would be very difficult for her to find her biological parents. She was abandoned at 7 days old in a hospital emergency room in a city of 10 million. We are blessed to have a baby picture of her but very little other birth information..


  56. Overhill says:

    Bought another 7-gallon Aqua-tainer from China-Mart for $14.97, filled it and stored it away. Got more mags and ammo in from CTD. And lastly, made a two-day, 680-mile round trip to a lifetime close friend’s farm in another state to visit, talk prepping and help with an ongoing farmhouse remodel there. My friend is not a prepper but has always had a preparedness mindset. Friend said I am welcome anytime and can use his farm as a possible BOL. I wish I didn’t live so far away.

  57. Got my garden in! For the last two weeks I’ve been up grading by adding garden mix soil and then Mel’s mix on the top 6 inch’s my tomatoes and peppers are loving it right after this weekends rains. My beans and some of potatoes were sprouting this morning. I’ve also added two 8 by 3 beds to make a total of over 400 square feet of garden. I still have two beds to amend, but onions and garlic are growing in there right now. Next on this weeks list to put together my sand filter now that I have the activated charcoal. My blog with pick is gardenforyourlife.blogspot.com.

    That whole buying from someone and then reselling pissed me off this week. I sold a guy two American chinchillas last week. He told me that he was going to raise them for breeding and selling the babies. When I added my new crop of babies to Craigslist I searched just to see if any were also for sale. I found those does for sale. Just irritated me. I let him know he shouldn’t respond to the new add. I don’t mind selling them, but lie to me and your gone.

  58. stoneoak says:

    Hello everyone, I would like to introduce myself to the pack. I’ve been reading and lurking for a couple of years and it’s about time I came out of the closet. Yes, I’m a closet prepper, I confess. Shhhh, nobody knows, not even the DH. I have learned so much from all of you and I want to say Thank You for all you sharing and teaching.
    I love to do home canning and dehydrating, which of course is not a big secret in my home, but ohhh little do they know. I have my own business and income so I’m very fortunate in that respect.
    This week I canned mushrooms, chicken thighs, and beef cubes. I also dehydrated 1 carton of sour cream as a test. It came out great, so I’ll be doing more. Untill next time,,, grow that bacon high.

    • TrailGuide says:

      Welcome to the light… a mushroom no more – Ha!
      Dehydrating sour cream… come back with the results.
      And great job on the canning.

    • Welcome to the Pack!!

    • axelsteve says:

      Hello stoneoak. Welcome to the forum. You are doing good with opsec since your dh does not know that you are prepping.Kinda typical husband though as long as he gets dinner everything is ok as far as he knows.I would like to dehydrate, canning is a bit too much for me to do.Welcome to the forum!!!

      • axelsteve,
        “Kinda typical husband”? What a sexist remark. In my case at least 4 of our MAG families started with the husbands dragging the wives along, with a few still dragging.

        • axelsteve says:

          Ohio Prepper. I was using a soft form of humor,I did not mean to offend.I am a prepper who is married to a non prepper.

          • axelsteve,
            No offense taken. It’s just that we often make brash statements that aren’t always true. Been known to do it myself on occasion, LOL.

    • hvaczach says:

      Welcome, have you ever brought it up the dh he may be more receptive than you think. With these times we are in and the uncertanty at every corner more people are openning their eye’s.

    • Speak! Tell us about the sour cream!!!! Please!

    • Petticoat Prepper says:

      Yes, welcome! Please do come back with the dehydrated sour cream. Would love to know what you did and how it came out.

    • Sw't tater says:

      Welcome stoneoak!…I like to dehydrate mushrooms, then crumble some of them, they can be added to other small amounts of assorted veggies for a soup base.. potatoes, corn mixed veggies baby spinich…etc..

    • Welcome, stoneoak!

    • Schametti says:

      It’s about time you got out of that closet Stoneoak. Now you should have more room in the closet for preps. :):) Welcome to the pack.

    • Curley Bull says:

      You won’t find a better bunch than this pack,IMHO.

      • HiPlains says:

        Welcome stoneoak….there…just smell that non-closet air…..mmmmmm…..just a hint of bacon! 😉

  59. MD, you are right. Getting uncomfortable about the state of affairs. I have to wonder about the concept of the straw that broke the camel’s back. It may not be a big thing to tips the future. He may be something very small. I was discussing this concept and the concept of the swinging pendulumn. The pendulumn always swinging. Right now it is about to hit its limit. We can feel change in the air. Something is about to happen or several things are about to happen because of interrelatedness. Hang on. The ride could get rough.

    Right now, I am staying focused on the garden, orchard, and organization of the home and outside area. I am new to raising laying hens. I do not eat eggs or chicken, but I want the skill to produce eggs and meat for family, friends, and for trade without using an incubator. We may not have dependable source of electricity. My first hen has produced her first 5 chicks and so far they are thriving with her. I will keep any little hens she has for the genetics of brooding. I want broody hens. Also thinking about buying a new batch of chicks and raising out. My head count may be too low when things go bad. Sure wish the other hens would show some interest. I may need to develop infrastructure to manage brooders separate of general laying hens. Brooders will never be up for trade.

  60. CountryVet says:

    Busy week here. DH and friend cleaned 4 of our pigs (3 still to go)on Monday for processing. Loins and ribs and some ham vacume processed and in freezer. Bacon and balance of hams in sugar/salt brine to cure a couple of weeks in fridge before smoking. Now working a large tub of grind into meat sauce. 14 qts in cookers right now with lots more to go. Tomorrow we need to move potted citrus trees and blueberries off porch to patio.

  61. Had snow on tues-prepping my beds today. Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries have all survived this winter. Planted snow peas, sugar snap peas, salad greens in the one bed that was ready. To whoever mentioned Sav A Lot thanks, went there and picked up case of asst veggies and case of asst fruits. Added another 55 gallon drum for water storage. Signed up for gun permit course. At the flea market found spackle bucket tool organizer and organized my toolkit. Somewhere between basic and what I need. Learned to use a chainsaw. Baked bread from scratch and learned how to can veggies ( ok asparagus but it’s a start) went through my sewing and needlework supplies added some “spare” knitting needles, crochet hooks and a quilting hoop. Hit the thrift stores and found Rodales cookbook, an Amish cookbook and a bread book for $1 each. Also got red cross first aid book and encyclopedia of natural healing. Added to candle collection and 6 more cases of water (35 bottles each) made inventory list of food preps – feeling so much better now that I have some. I know I can eat breakfast and lunch for the next year, still working on dinners for a year. Almost forgot-scored 3 dozen pint canning jars and 4 more wool sweaters at my favorite thrift store all for less than $10. After reading some comments from this site, used up the rest of my barnes and noble gift card and bought “Country Wisdom know how” and Ball canning book.

    I am unsure if this is allowed, but I would like opinions as to the order that I should purchsse my next preps. Pressure cooker, food saver or dehydrater. Budget for preps mandates that I can only buy one of these every two months. Thanks in advance, any advice is appreciated.

    Oh – almost forgot I bought BACON JERKY and CANNED BACON

    take care everyone

    • axelsteve says:

      I see pressure cookers at the local thrift stores from time to time.I never see food savers or dehydraters though.

      • Axelsteve- don’t see them often and I am leery of buying a pressure cooker used- want the All-American but it will take a big hunk of my prepping budget next month. If you could only get one before SHTF which one?

        • JP in MT says:


          Remember there is a big difference between a pressure COOKER and a pressure CANNER.

          • JP thanks got it-started thinking about deep-fried chocolate covered bacon wrapped oreos and mis-typed. LOL

          • themem:

            I can feel my arteries harden just thinking about those Oreo’s.

    • Since you need a pressure canner to can vegetables/meat that would be where I would start. Next would be the dehydrator and than finally the food saver.

      A pressure cooker is a different kitchen gadget (a pressure canner can be used as a pressure cooker but not the other way around as a rule). If you already have the pressure CANNER than I would probably get the dehydrator next than the pressure cooker and finally the food saver. The pressure cooker can save time and money cooking dinner. While I have a food saver I don’t use it all that often.

      • Suzy q-thanks for your help- I meant canner not cooker; I appreciate the info on which eould be most useful and how often you use-have a great week.

    • hvaczach says:

      Well i can tell you what my order of opinion would be. Pressure “CANNER” not cooker, their is a big difference in price and what they do. Canner first it allows to easily and rapidly put up meat, soups, tomato sauces, chili, any none high acid veggies you grow or buy on the cheap. Also home pressure canned goods will last a very long time (five years minimum on meats) This allows you to take advantage of sales etc. Second food saver, prevents freezer burning and also allows freezer space permiting for sales etc. Then the dehydrator, this is an awesome tool don’t det me wrong but the canner allows great versatility for longer storage.

      • Thanks-pressure canner is next

        • Petticoat Prepper says:

          I agree with the pressure canner and if you don’t have it get the Ball Blue Book for canning. Their chicken al la king is wonderful and can be used in so many different ways! Also the beef in red wine sauce. Plus the raw pack of pork loin is really easy and makes pretty good pulled pork with some bbq sauce on it. Not to mention it’s all shelf stable!

        • Kat's Tale says:

          You might also pick up the “Ball” canning book. It’s pretty good. Neither of my girls were interested in learning how to can when they were young and lived at home. My youngest has jumped on the prepping band wagon and is learning among other things how to can. I started her with this book to use when I am not around to answer questions. She also was given a great video At home canning for beginners & beyond. My DH & I watched it tonight as he wants to help me can and there are meats (wild game mostly) that he wants to try canning. I learned to can from my mom & Gma as a kid. I also took 3 years of home-ec and still have my Kerr canning book from way back then. Gosh it’s over 40 years old and not much has changed since it was new.
          Our local Grange is gearing up to start giving canning classes. If you are lucky to have a Grange in your area, they are a great place to learn about farming and all sorts of things. We also have a pretty good extension office in our county. They offer the gasket testing for pressure canners as well as being a great resource for gardening and food preserving information.
          You might also watch for canning jars at yard & estate sales. My daughter and I scored a couple hundred that way last summer.
          Good luck.

          • Kat’s tale -thank you for the advice we have a grange and I wii check out what the cooperative extension offers have to admit that I go for the gardening classes and not much else. Need to change that -also appreciate thr info on the books ; have a great day

    • CountryVet says:

      If you can afford an adequate number of jars, the pressure cooker for sure. I would only buy a new cooker unless I knew who had it previously very well (POSSILE THAT COOKER HAS AT SOME TIME BEEN ABUSED AND COULD BE A REAL SAFETY ISSUE!) . Amazon has an EXCELLENT cooker than will do a 2 tier of 18 pts for around $79. Your real expense is when you start putting in enough jars to do any good. It takes a LOT. (side note- AVOID WALMART JARS LIKE THE PLAGUE! I have had the bottoms come out of them as have 2 other friends, the glass appears to be thinner even on the Kerr labeled jars. ) Buy an overabudance of replacement lids as well. Lids run about .17ea for regular mouth and .26ea for widemouths.
      Dehydrators are great, but foods kept this way require a lot more prep time when you are ready to use them and may in some cases be more difficult to store. I have found that if I do not vacume process my dehdydrated food, they do not store as well. They can pick up moisture even thru good quality ziplock bags that have had most of the air removed. (Recycled jars work reasonably well for small batches.) I then store the vacume packed bags in large plastics tube to protect the packaging from damage and potential vermin.
      Hope this helps and did not confuse you more.

      • Thanks-I appreciate your sharing and the heads up on walmart jars -I have friends among the Amish community here so I may ask them to order some for me with their orders. Good info on the dehydration; Iove fruits and veggies so I am looking to preserve as many as I can.

      • Ball puts out buy 2 get 1 free cupons every spring for their lids. You usually can find them online if you use the cupon sites however my local paper carried them. Use and abuse your friends gather all that you can and stock up like mad. In my area lids and jars are generally cheeper in the spring that they are in the fall anyway.
        Support on the avoid Walmart jars, even the name brand ones I have had trouble with.
        PS I accidentally hit the report button instead of the reply button MD pls don’t hate me.

        • anthat,

          No problem – it takes three reports to send the comment to moderation…

        • anthat – I’m a serious coupon shopper and get coupons from a few different online places, but have never seen a Ball coupon for anything. If you see one, will you share the link with the pack? It would be VERY much appreciated. Thanks!

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      I’m gonna throw in my two cents worth. If you have a deep freeze, I say get get the Food Saver with the cannister and jar top accessories so you can pick up meats on sale and freeze meal size portions. Vegies can be blanched and frozen too. Then next pick up a dehydrater at Amazon for $35. Then upgrade as you dehydrate more and more. Then in 3 mos. you can buy that All America canner and you’ll be ready as all the crops come in and can can what you’ve stashed in the freezer.

      • TGma-thank you for the advice; I do not have deep freezer here and live in an area subject to nor easters and the occasional hurricane. Generators attract lowlife vermin so when electric goes out I do without. I appreciate the input and as soon as I can get to my dream land I will get a huge chezt freezer like we had when I was a kid. Have a blessed eeek.

        • themem,

          I just read your comment about no secondary freezer. This changes my opinion–I would get the pressure canner. (I have three freezers, a pressure canner and enough jars to can all the meat we have.

          Without a deep freeze, I would get into canning soups and meat. A quart of soup and a loaf of homemade bread will easily feed two hungry adults and the bread scraps are like doggie treats for Fido.

          • BamBam, thank you for taking the time to help. I am prepping for one although I have been “sounding out” a DB and SIL. I like soups and stews and REALLY liked the bread this week – so I sm going to go pressure canner and hit the yard sales hard for more canning jars-if I can’t score them I will ask the Amish to get in on a bulk order. Thsnks again hope you have a great week

          • themem,

            When you get your pressure canner, but enough jars for this season. In the Fall, jars will go on clearance. I’ve picked them up for half price at Lowes and Tractor Supply.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            Well, if Bam Bam is gonna change her vote, I’m gonna change mine too.

      • Another thing you can do with a freezer and a food saver is preserving fruits like cherries and berries. Place them on cookie sheets in the freezer until they’ve frozen solid as individual fruits, then bag and seal in a food saver. We have some blackberries in the freezer that are 2+ years old, and still as good as new, plus they don’t all come out of the package in one lump.

    • themem,

      That’s a difficult call. With the food saver you can put up meat in the freezer and buy large amounts when on sale. With a pressure canner you can can your own soups and meat. For me personally, I would get the food saver, then the pressure canner and then the dehydrator.

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      I vote pressure cooker, then food saver. Dehydrator last (can dehydrate in oven, or on racks in sun, in the car or even on top of fridge).

      • Urbancitygirl says:

        I meant pressure canner, assuming that’s what you meant.

      • UrbancityGirl-thanks that seems to be the way to go am going to look into building solar dehydrator to hold me until funds are better. I am ‘catching up’ and feel that with everything that is happening with Putin I need to be much more prrpared than I am. Thanks for taking the time to offrr advice -appreciate your doing so. Take care

      • I did it a completely different order. I got the food saver first (about 10-12 years ago), then I got the dehydrator, then the pressure canner. The canner is still in the box because I’m still learning how to use it…Ball Blue Book and all. I did it in that order based on my knowledge of cooking.

        If you get a dehydrator, I would recommend a quality one first like an Excalibur… if you’re serious about it. If you want to experiment first, then get one of those 20 dollar stackable ones from wally world. First figure out if you can handle the smell of dehydrating food in your house. If you’re doing jerky, you’ll wake up with your mouth watering. If you’re doing onions or garlic… when you wake up to that smell, it’s entirely different. Just my humble opinion.

    • k. fields says:

      Definitely the canner. You can build a solar dehydrator for very little money and you can use a cheap manual vacuum pump to do much of the work of a food saver, but there is no substitute for a good pressure canner.

      • HiPlains says:

        My little vote goes with canner too….that way no electricity needed like a freezer.

  62. Babycatcher says:

    Had to cover 6 10×3 beds this week, as we ended up with 4 days straight of below freezing weather( in the twenties) but it was worth it when we took the covers off yesterday and everything is doing great! This is the earliest I have ever had a garden, usually something comes up and I can’t get it turned over before spring rains hit. This time, with the raised beds, I had my daughter help clean them out of last summers leftovers, and amended and planted. That was 2 weeks ago, and the peas, kale, broccoli( plants) and cabbage are fine. I don’t see any carrots yet though, or parsnips. But other than that, cooking with my stored food is my big learning curve right now. Then we have to finish the downstairs room…prayers for all the pack members healing….

    • Schametti says:

      I started far too early last year. It was my first season attempting a garden as it was, so I didn’t know what I was doing. I had to cover plants nightly for weeks, and it was brutal. I swore, never again, lol… so this time I’m taking my grandma’s old sage advice.. nothing int he ground before the fifth of May. I don’t know if this is GOOD advice, but hopefully by getting a later start this year, it won’t be quite so back-breaking.

  63. JeffintheWest says:

    It’s been raining pretty much non-stop here since Tuesday, which has put everything on hold for a while. At least we got the leach field fixed before the rain hit!

    You can’t even prune trees before or during a rain period (or even after for a day or two) because if you do, you’re opening them up to firblight here. Ah well, guess I needed a couple more days to relax and play games or watch movies on the computer…. 😉

    At least the apple trees are blooming out nicely — and I managed to get two of them trimmed of dead wood and suckers before the rain returned.

    • JeffintheWest says:

      Uhm, that should be “fireblight” vice “firblight.” *sigh*

    • k. fields says:

      Was thinking about your leach field last night when the storm blew through. Glad to hear you got everything covered in time.

    • Jeff,

      Would you be able to use that spray on prune sealer to help your trees out? I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking. I used it on my trees and hedges when I bought my house. Granted it wasn’t raining, but no new growth came out of the pruned parts and that was three years ago.

  64. Schametti says:

    What did I doooOOOoooo toooo prep this week.
    Well….. not a lot. :/

    It’s been a series of unfortunate events for me this week. Our dishwasher broke, and we’ve been browsing for a nice energy efficient brand and model to replace it with. Our car started vibrating when we brake, took it in for a doctor’s appointment.. and turns out, she needs new shocks, struts, and ball joints. That’ll be almost a grand after parts and labor. She going in for repair on Monday. 🙁 Our amateurishly built backyard privacy fence has had whole sections fall down twice this week.. and my stefather has the fence held together in five places with ratchet straps.

    My Aunt got some unpleasant news, she has pre-cancerous uterin cells.. and has to have a full hysterectomy in a couple weeks. I’m planning a trip up there to distract her for the week before her surgery, to keep her mind off things. She’s a lot like me, and stresses and obsesses about things like that. Meanwhile, my mom has been seriously considering knee replacement surgery on both knees. Oi.

    After a couple weeks this these, I just want to hide inside and not do or say anything to anyone….

    Prepping-wise, I made a pretty bone headed move that I’ll never do again. Just a little tip, never assume that ANYthing MUST be cheap, just because it’s paper, lol. I decided that it would be a great idea to copy the two eBooks I bought on survival skills, and water cleaning for the prepper slumber-expo event I have coming up this weekend. Three color copies of the two fairly small books… was EIGHTY dollars. *Gulp* If I would have had a spine I would have said, nevermind, no thank you.. that’s INSANE. haha.. But I asked for it, so I hung my head, paid and slunk away. I will never copy anything ever again. Needless to say, that was a good bit of my prepping budget for the month. I was so mad. I’m going to tell my girlfriends that they have to read EVERY WORD, and then STILL keep the paper for toilet paper, or fire fodder…… lol.

    The Bestie and I made a trip to her workplace after hours and picked up about eight pallets for expanding our raised bed pallet garden. We still need about TWELVE more of them, to expand as large as we’d like to, so we’re planning another trip to cart home a few more tomorrow night.

    I bought a few hanks of army spec paracord and a paracord crafts book this weekend, so that we can make bracelets with a prepping purpose as one of our planned events this weekend. That should be fun. I also bought a twenty dollar emergency lantern, for the prize for our Survival Fire challenge. (Whoever makes fire the fastest with just some flint and a magnesium strike stick takes home the lantern).

    I also picked up four six ounce mason jars so I can make Michelle’s Cheletin Detox Pesto for the prepping expo. My grocery list for entertaining, food, and the pesto is growing quite outrageous, so I’m afraid any and all spare money I MIGHT have had.. will be going toward that this week, and no new preps are likely til next payday…

    Aside from the above, I bought a few more chocolate bars for the prepping pantry.. milk chocolate and almonds. Mmmm. Sadly, that makes up my week, the good, the bad, and the ugly.. haha.. I hope you guys had a better week than I did…. *Hugs* Stay Tough, Pack. Love ~A.

    • Sending prayers

    • Noooooooo, she did it again! Took me two weeks to get that out of my head!!! Hi, Ames! ;-D

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Girl, you are having a time. I’ll tell you what I think you should do.
      Run yourself a tub of hot water. Add 1/2c each pwdrd milk and oatmeal to a knee high stocking or thin sock. Tie it off and throw it in the tub. Get a full 8 oz glass of tincture of elderberry and the chocolate bars you were going to store and give yourself a mini va-ca. Just let calgon take you away! You deserve it!

      • Hmmmmm, sounds like a good idea… Now where is that jar of bath salts I put together.. Oh! I can break open that bottle of salted watermelon vodka and make a watermelon martini… Ummmmm…see y’all later….

      • Schametti says:

        Oh my goodness, TG-Ma, that sounds so much like Heaven on Earth. I just might have to try getting one of those in this weekend. :):) Thanks for the idea.

        And Shai, OMG, share some of that watermelon vodka pretty pease! It sounds AMAZING..!!

        • Ames, I got it at the liquor store. It’s one of those flavored vodkas. Salted watermelon is the flavor, 2 oz with 1 oz. of watermelon pucker, splash of cranberry juice. Shake, strain into glass. When I have midori that makes a floater, but not required. Had a couple with dinner tonight as a matter of fact.

    • Noooo! Not the song!!! lol

    • Schametti,
      When you stated, “Our dishwasher broke” I had to laugh at my semi-evil thoughts. In my case that means the DW is ill and I have to do the dishes. Hand washed dishes and hand operated can opener has always seemed easier and less complicated, and that is actually her attitude also.

      • Schametti says:

        lol.. this is the first dishwasher my husband and I have ever had. We definitely went many, many years without. But when we bought this house, it came with, and I don’t think my OCD could handle a hunk of hole in the counterspace, or a block of machine that doesn’t work, so it will be replaced. Might as well live with the finer things in life while we can, eh? 😉 I hope your wife doesn’t break.

    • Schametti,

      I did a fire challenge a lifetime ago when I was a boy scout. We were given two 2X4 that were 12 inches long. We had to build our fire out of those and what we did couldn’t be more that 24 inches high. There was a piece of hemp twine that gave us our height limit. Our fire had to burn another piece of hemp twine that was 36 inches above that. We were given two “strike anywhere matches” to light it. The whole process was timed. My troop won that competition, so I guess that proves that we were a bunch of pyros.

      Since you are using the magnesium and the striker, here’s a tip I’ve learned… Don’t hold the striker firm and use your steele to strike down on it. Instead, hold the steele firm and pull the striker upwards. You get more sparks that way and it’s easier to place them into your kindling.

      Just a tip from an old boy scout who’d had to make fire in the rain.

      • Schametti says:

        Great Tip!! Thanks Sirius. Not a one of us have ever tried to light a fire the boyscout’s way, so I’m sure it will be entertaining to watch, haha.

  65. Almost nothing this week. Been busy around the house fixing things. I did stop by an Amish market and bought more grass fed ground serloin. Made hamburger patties out of it and put in freezer. I was going to buy another jar of local Michigan honey but the shelf was empty. Last month it was full. Oh well, try again next week.

  66. axelsteve says:

    Got my marlin 60 back together,the lower receiver was in pieces for the past couple of weeks.I cut a coil off of the hammer strut spring and polished misc and etc pieces and got it back together. It did not lower the trigger pull that I could not notice any difference in pull. So I am saving up for M Carbo springs.It is still nice to know some stuff is smoother though.I will do more polishing on the sear next time it is apart.

    • k. fields says:

      axel, I got back some motorcycle parts from a powder coater this week and a friend really loved the way they looked and asked if I thought a handgun could be powder coated. Well I had no idea but I thought you might be able to tell me. What do you think?

      • Don’t know about powder coating but I did a cheap handgun with DuraCoat and was very pleased with the results. I’ve got a video of it if you’d like to see. It was my first attempt ever at refinishing a gun and it came out great.

      • axelsteve says:

        I would not powder coat a firearm. I would use other coatings though. I am not sure that it would hold up to the heat very well.

    • axel:

      Been thinking along the lines of getting a used Marlin or preferably a Glenfield Model 60 and working it over. I want to shorten it up a bit and thread the barrel. I’m thinking that if I can find one with a walnut stock it might look good at 16″. With the recent “acquisitions” I have enough scope options.

      • axelsteve says:

        JP in MT If you wanted shortend m60 I would go with a m 70 . The 70 is magazine fed and if you shortend a 60 that much the tube would not hold much at all.Marlin made a 15 round magazine for the 70 they are kinda rare but might not be hard to find online.

  67. About the only thing for me this week is my fish got sick so I had to get some antibiotics for them. Poor things, but they are doing better now…

    Been doing a lot of reading lately. A bunch of random stuff really, but put all together, it raises the hair on the back of my neck.
    Perhaps we are all reading the ‘energy’ off of each other, but my instinct is to really start pushing at getting certain things done.

    Blessing to everyone, and hope you’ve all had a good week.

    • That’s what happens when oil spills happen, TG..fish and birds get sick.

      • Shai, so true…. I think my birds may be sick too. Lol.
        The oil spill actually really irritates me as I was looking forward to some beach time this summer.

    • Texanadian says:

      Noticed my guppies had the sniffles so I ordered some medicine for them as well. Hope they feel better soon.

  68. Got a pineapple dehydrated and have potatoes dehydrating now. Haven’t picked up anything at all this week so I guess I saved money. Best prep of all…. made a final payment on one of the cars! Yeehaaaaaaa!

    • Forgot I also strained my first batch of elderberry tincture!

    • hvaczach says:

      Do you blanch the spuds before dehydrating or just put them in the machine and let it go to work?

      • Sw't tater says:

        hvaczach, the spuds should be blanched, at least. I find it easier to wash them, boil them until half done, skin them after they cool and cut them in dices, be sure to rinse them after peeling..their color will be better..the smaller peices you cut them in the more will go in a quart jar.pop in an oxygen absorber , good lid and they are good.

      • These potatoes were actually an experiment. A couple weeks ago I picked up some cans of sliced potatoes to try dehydrating. Something in potatoes really irritates the heck out of my skin. I didn’t have to do anything to the canned ones except drain them. They dehydrated beautifully and all the prep work was already done! They now take up a lot less space and weigh almost nothing. I do plan on dehydrating the real thing when dh is around to do the prep work for me.

  69. Sw't tater says:

    just Keeping on!
    Buys.. Food.
    .tuna/oil pack,
    instant oatmeal,2 box in pouches(don’t usually get these)(found for 99c, other local store had the same for 1.59)
    16 oz pasta’s,and cheese sauce;
    tomatoes prepared with green chili’s
    instant rice 3 lbs. canned mix veggies,
    frozen mixed veggies, corn and string beans, mushrooms. (total 8 lbs )+5 lbs thru dehydrator and utilized to top several partially containers then sealed. Dehydrated 6 lbs of baking potatoes.
    5- 32 oz bags of assorted cereals..(constant rotation). Splurge/treat items,
    DH’s favorite lemon drops,Three favorite jams and jellys, sugar free /low sugar syrup.Sugar, splenda., peppermint and sugar free hard candies.few 2 and 3 liter colas.. (on sale and I wanted the bottles.)
    5 lbs beef sliced and in marinate for Jerky.
    Supplies: Garbage bags of three sizes, and ziplock bags in 3 sizes. TP and paper towels,
    Medical, stomach medications of every kind…diarrheal, enzymes,prevacid, prilosec, rolaids, tums,senna, fleets suppositories, fiber additives,magnesium and Milk of magnesia. Vitamins, calcium replacers, garlic caps, vitamin A, D and E, and zinc, L-lysine. Bandaids, cough drops and zinc losenges, femine care/incont pads options for wound dressings. Paper tape, x6; Baby powder X3..Body lotion x2, bath soaps x3, shampoo x 3. favorite dish soap x3.Zote x 3.disinfectant for laundry x5..Put together small first aide kit.with supplies already on hand.
    All these items used regularly, placed in rotation. made up container of laundry soap, time short@ times, so bought 5 lbs of two different kinds to see if products give acceptable performance. Placed these in recycled disinfectant bottles.
    Picked up several heirloom seeds over last few weeks, getting anxious to get something in growth..tried grafting these last week total of three limbs of Apple tree taken over by wind and alive by few roots. limbs are beginning to bud on plum tree that has begun to bloom.
    Been reading this book on 31 days to survival, re-figured needs (family and diet changes) and re-evaluated family changes, that are in works. Need to finish inventory of bulk , have some bulk items on order. Have materials for solar cooker, but have not decided what will be first entree.Continued to store water (10 gallons) and other members working on protection devices- mostly unconventional.and gathering materials for two filtering devices.
    Made purchases of replacement stove and freezer for defective ones.
    Take care and keep alert . Know that you are the key to protecting your family from what ever the coming crisis MAY be.What ever you do today will have you a step closer to where you wish to be. People I know are trying to “get ready for the other shoe to drop” as someone told me yesterday… Keep on Keeping on!

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Sw’t tater,
      You are one preppin fool. Your tummy preps are awesome. I added several other things you may already have. Immodium AD, kaopectate,the old style hot water bottle with hanger , deuche, and enima attachments, mineral oil, epsom salts, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and large puppy pee pads (they can be used as peri pads and adult diapers). Also either buy the little electrolyte pouches you add to water or make up your own, and make up sealed pouches for saline and ringers. I’m assuming you already have a IV set up. I also keep Preparation H, witch hazel, hemorroid numbing cream, and flushable wipes. Unless you are really into baby powder, think about using cornstarch instead and desitine cream. Just sharing my stomach otc preps. Then there’s antibiotics, antiparasitic, and antifungal medications and lots and lots of mucinex!

      • Sw't tater says:

        T g-ma, Thankx for your response.. I have most of what you posted, just didn’t get this week. But these are good items for us to have on the check list for our home care…I Have adult diapers and incont pads..the incont /kotex like things absorb huge amounts, and are individually wrapped..for different wounds, size matters..like using a king size sheet to cover a baby crib…bigger is not always better so I purchased a variety to find the needed one…I .have recipe and all on hand for electrolyte preps…sugar and potassium salts, magnesium..and it can be given rectally., should distress get that bad..also have phenergan suppositories. .Having a prescription for them has saved trips to the Dr more than once when caring for family.
        Mom likes the baby powder scent and I needed the containers to put our 15-20 boxes or corn starch in, we bought last year, for skin care.. that butt paste/zinc oxide cream do work well. Sensitive skin and dressings are a hard balance to strike, so I am still searching for the right combination….My antifungal , antiparascitic, is oil of oregano.it is well tolerated even by children when added to a plate of spaghetti.. and can be used topically without worry.
        Got several herbals over past months..Bought muscinex on sale a month ago…we went thru about 250 in Dec and Jan…so I have replaced +some. again essential peppermint oil works wonders on the respiratory tract.by taking a tablespoon of olive oil, add 6 drops of peppermint oil, rub liberally into chest, front and back…apply warm hot moist towel…breaks up bronchitis….you may need a suction machine to get it all out tho..and that is no laughing matter!

      • AZ camper says:

        Sorry, I hit report by accident. I wanted to ask about what OTC to buy for use against parasites…thanks for your wealth of info, T G-ma.

        • HiPlains says:

          There are many types/lifecycles of intestinal parasites. In general, garlic, wormwood, grapefruit seed extract, cloves, black walnut, coconut oil , apple cider vinegar and diatomaceous earth are some common ones.

    • Sw’t tater,

      Have you planted those Maringa seeds yet? I’m dying to know. I got 4 out of five to germinate. Out of the 4, one didn’t make it. Considering what I’ve been told of how well they grow, none of mine are over 6 inches tall and it’s been months.

  70. IndianaAli says:

    Not to much this week, did not get to post last week. Was able to pick up some mushroom slices on clearance so into the dehydrator they went. Have been doing some reading online about recycling/restyling clothing, ready to break out my sewing machine and give a few items a try, especially some practical grandmother aprons to wear doing chores, gardening, etc. Ordered some essential oils to add to the medical supplies along with some free decongestant and antacids. Also ordered some dried herbs and doing some research on their uses. Planted peas, potatoes and some onions in the raised beds. Attended a local beekeepers meeting, discussing catching swarms for our hives, now just have to wait for a bit warmer weather and my husband will be putting out the catch boxes he has prepared. Also attended a chicken meeting last week to learn more about meat birds, will be ordering some in the next week or two. Still getting tons of eggs from our layer chickens, selling some and giving some away to family as well. Not much purchasing this week. Watching the world events and worrying as everyone else is.

  71. Hi all
    I’m so jealous of all of you that have plants in the ground. We planted seeds today & have them in a shelf in the house until it’s warm enough outside for them (hopefully soon!)

    I inventoried and organized the basement. I ordered some essential oils for our health kit.

    I also dug out some soap recipes. I used to make it all the time when the boys were little & it really helped with their eczema. So I decided it was a something I wanted to get back into.

    Also made some laundry detergent and dryer balls.

  72. -added a little to our food stores
    -rec’d a few things I’d ordered off ebay for get home bags.

  73. Indiana joe says:

    Hey all. It’s been a long cold winter. Getting ready to prepare the first garden and don’t know what I am doing.
    I also want to get into ham radio and was looking for advice on how to get started or where to get quality info on the subject
    Well happy prepping.

    • hvaczach says:

      The first garden is the hardest don’t get discouraged and when you hink you tilled the souil up enough go over it another couple times! Every year our garden gets better as we learn more and more.

      • Babycatcher says:

        Go to http://www.arrl.com ( American Radio Relay League) and there should be a search box to find the nearest Amateur Radio Club. I think you can also search by zip code. You can get a copy of the Technician class study book( http://www.bestwebbuys/books) may have it pretty cheaply, and you can ask around and find a local ham operator thru the Emergency Management guys….many of them are closet preppers.

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          Indiana and Babycatcher,
          I downloaded my study guide from Amazon Kindle and saved a load. But the ARRL will tell you where and when the tests are and it costs $15 per test. My first radios are the baofeng UV-5RE dual-band walkie talkies from Amazon. Be sure to order the program cable. If you don’t have a nearby friend who can teach you about programming the repeater frequencies into the radio/s then attend the club meetings and learn more about the radios. And you only need a license to transmit and to transmit in an emergency you don’t need a license. I know people who have them in their preps but aren’t licensed. DH and I are and we have 4 CB walkies in our preps also.
          Good luck.

          • Tactical G-Ma,
            Those Baofeng radios are pretty nice. I have a couple, and know of nearly a dozen people who now have their licenses because the cost of entry has gotten to be so inexpensive.

        • Indiana joe,

          There are lots of free resources available for getting into Amateur Radio. For a list of the current question pools for each license, refer to:
          Selected questions from these pools make up the actual test, with the current pool running until the end of June.
          For free practice tests, with scoring, look at:
          The QRZ site requires free registration, and once you have your license is someplace you’ll want to be able to access any case.
          Finally, to find a testing session in your area, go to: http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session
          Additionally, there are numerous hams who frequent this forum, so feel free to ask questions.

    • Joe, the best place to go ask advice is a smaller local nursery. Learn what you can by hitting the gardening boards on Pinterest, ask questions. Check wildflower.org for tons of regional gardening info, including vegetables. Once you get a better idea of what you’re doing, it will all be good, because you’re making an effort. I also do veggies in containers on the porch.first lesson: keep sweet peppers away from hot peppers. They’ll cross pollinate and you’ll end up with hot bell peppers and jalapeños that are just wrong. Especially if you want to save seeds.

  74. Ordered and received 2 black Berkey filter elments and a spare spigot

  75. Texanadian says:

    We are kinda in reverse prep mode. Having sold our place in Texas and (foolishly) heading back to Canada we cannot take a lot of stuff across the border so we are eating our preps. Gets scary opening the pantry and seeing holes and gapes in there. Going to be a major resupply when we get settled. Tell the end of the world to wait a few months please.

    Thank you.

    • Sw't tater says:

      If it’s the end of the world..it won’t matter anyway…but the world as we know it …now that’s a horse of a different color..I’ve been telling it to wait a bit..Like you I’d like it to wait a bit.

  76. k. fields says:

    There was a huge turnout at the memorial service for the murdered deputy sheriff that I wrote about last week. Community really came together to honor him.
    Finished up the new water tank in between the rain storms – guess my thought that the winter rains were over was a bit premature. More rain, here at least, is always good though.
    Not a prep, but a big deal for me – I was finally notified that I’ve got tickets for the Bayreuth Festival in Germany this summer! I’ve been trying to get tickets for a long time so the news was like a second Christmas. Ah, hours upon hours of sitting on uncomfortable wooden chairs reveling in the finest operas ever written. Can hardly wait! It’d just be my luck though, that the balloon goes up just as I get ready to leave.

    • K. Feilds, are you talking about the deputy sheriff in northern cali? If so I have family up in that area and they have been posting pics, and that service was huge.

      As for your trip, better the balloon goes up as you are getting ready to leave ratherthen already there…..

    • k. fields:

      If it is going to go up, much better that it is before you leave than after you get there. Our little “walk 1200 miles” exercise this week will look like a picnic.

      • k. fields says:

        So true. But on the other hand, listening/watching the 18 hour Ring cycle while the world falls apart around me would be a beautiful way to go.

  77. Kat's Tale says:

    Didn’t get a lot done this week. Our accountant called on Wednesday to tell us the happy tidings that we owe the government a wad of money. That was the day after I learned that I have an issue with my heart. I was advised by my Dr. to stay calm & don’t stress myself. Ok no problem.
    We are getting ready to build a no frills home on a piece of property that has been in my family for generations. We plan to be able to live off grid if we need to. But to build it with out a bank loan I need to sell a house on 20 acres that I received as part of a divorce settlement. (It’s a great house, just to close to the ex.) It’s been stressful trying to sell it. I have had good offers on it, just no buyers that can swing the deal. I feel the SHTF day breathing down my neck and I get stressed. I would almost move up to the property and live in a wall tent, except for the weather. Late spring through mid fall would be ok. Just to much cold & wet for the winter. Anyway am debating whether to go ahead & get a construction loan and get started on the house or wait. I don’t want to have any debt if possible when things go to c%*p.
    I try not to listen to the news lately because it’s to depressing and I start stressing over not being ready for what ever is coming down the pike.
    I don’t like being caught unprepared. My sister says I gave the Boy Scouts their motto. My kids swear that I am related to Mary Poppins because I can pull just about anything out of my bag that they need. But life issues the last 6 years have left me not as prepared as I want to be. And I hate to sound like a pity party, but it’s stressful. I am a blessed woman. And I am further along than I was a year ago. Thanks in part to this blog and all the wonderful folks that are part of it. This last year I was able to grow a garden and start canning again. My new hubby and I took an inventory of what things we did have to survive on and with. It really was pretty good. We were able to add a few things like a super awesome lantern and a newer propane camp stove. I have a great supply of fabric and patterns. I was able to add a bunch of sewing notions for not very much. My big addition was a new treadle sewing machine that I put in an antique sewing table that I found on Craigslist. It has been a challenge learning to sew on it. I have been sewing for over 45 years, but this takes a whole different hand eye coordination. But I know that I could make new things on it or mend the things we already have.
    I tried the recipe I found here for Elderberry tincture and cough syrup. Both my DH & daughter swear by them. Also have started laying in a small supply of essential oils. Have learned to make my own laundry soap. However it requires store purchased items and have been reading up and watching videos on making lye soap. Just wish I had great grandma’s giant cast iron soap kettle.
    Even though I am limited physically right now I am trying to keep learning new things or brushing up on old skills that haven’t been used in a while.
    Thanks all for being a sounding board. You are appreciated for your insights, wisdom, humor and generous willingness to share your preparedness journeys. I even find value in your disagreements. Viva la difference.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Kat’s Tale,

      I would be concerned what future inflation will do to the cost of the build. Maybe it would be better to do it now instead of waiting because our dollars are loosing purchasing power every day.

      • I agree it is never cheaper to wait! With food prices soaring eventually wages and everything else have to follow (assuming the ballon doesn’t pop first) my guess is in next 18 months inflation will likely add 22 percent to the price of a build I only say that because where I live in the last 4 years prices have risen 20 percent and wages are stagnant. So if the wage catches up things will get out of hand expensive just because people will see some disposible income, this also all ties into the new minimum wage trying to be pushed thru lets say they settle at 9.50 thats a little better than 30% increase of current so other wages and product prices will quickly follow suit.

    • Kat’s Tale,

      Don’t stress too much about the heart thing. When I was 36 my doctor told me I had had a “walking heart attack”. I had no idea what that meant. After the tread-mill test and the nuclear tread mill test it turned out that my doctor “forgot” to shave my chest where the ECG leads were supposed to go. I had over three months of unnecessary stress over nothing. Bottom line, if it’s still beating, it ain’t that bad.

      On the Craig’s list thing… be vary, vary wary. I got my last girlfriend off of Craig’s List. That turned out to be a nightmare. However, I did get a fire hydrant from CL also. That’s now in a corner of my back yard. Right above it is a sign that say’s “Men’s Room” for when I have BBQ’s.

      Stay strong. I know how that “heart problem” notification from the doctor can send you spinning sideways.

      • Kat's Tale says:

        Thanks for the encouragement. If my Dr. needs to shave my chest, I have bigger problems than I thought. 🙂
        I am pretty confident that everything will be ok. I trust my Dr. and he is good about referring me to experts when he needs to.
        I am just not used to being side lined. Up until the end of January I was working full time and then helping my husband on the ranch in the evenings and on the week-end. Going from being able to stack 35-40 bales of hay to not being able to lift a saddle on my horse or pick up my two year old grand-daughter is a big loss for me. Right now I just do what I can just to keep moving.
        I keep my Dad as my example. He had a massive heart attack at 55. The Dr. gave him little hope of living much less of living the active life he was used to. A year later Dad bought a new horse and taught himself how to rope cattle off of it. Today Dad is 75 and although he’s not roping any more, I’d double dog dare a person in their 40’s to try and keep up with him.

  78. This week I learned two things about goats!
    #1. Build a good fence!
    #2. Build a REALLY good fence! 🙂
    My DH and a friend were reinforcing the existing fence when the two goats we got last week got right by them and jumped right over the fence! 🙂 We got them back and got an additional one. Now they seem to be content to be here. The 2 does are sisters from a litter of 5 that were born at the same time. It killed the mother to give birth to so many. They were all bottle fed and the guy we got these two from got attached to them so he has made sure that these five were going to homes where they are going to be pets and not eaten. They are going to be our beginning brood stock.

    After my pruchases last week I realized that some things I have will last at least a year. I also have a couple of other things that will last almost a year. All of this is in the category of toiletries. Soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, etc…

    This week I have worked on how to better organize stuff so that I can have more storage. The DH really wants a king size bed, that is what we had when our house burned and we cannot seem to get use to a queen size. Our bedroom is small and storage is limited. I have worked out a plan to reorganize our closet and bedroom so that he can have the bed his wants and we will have more storage than what we have. This week we totally redone the closet and now I am going thru the bedroom stuff and tossing stuff that is not needed or used.

    Oh yeah I may have a new job that I just learned about. I will be able to work from home too! I will be able to set my own hours so that will help on being able to work in the garden and taking care of the animals. Please pray that I will get it!!!

    Prayers to all. I have to finish making a potato salad now as we are having dinner after church today for our friends day at church.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      If you get a bed with long legs you can stuff more preps under it. 🙂

      • HD,
        We plan to build a bed frame like you find in RV’s. Where the mattress and all lifts up. IKEA sells them but their largest size is queen. I think that our dresser and chest of drawers take up too much space and not enough storage. After living in an RV for several months you tend to look at storage ideas a little differently. 🙂

  79. Hello pack, this week I located a 200 amp main service panel from a guy who got taken advantage of my an unscrupulous contractor. He sold it to me for less than 1/2 price and It has what we need for the farm service which was raided by copper thieves. Built our new main service entrance panel with meter panel attached and wired my feeders into same. Now we need to get out to the farm and take down the conduit, install new feeders from the weather head to the meter panel (expensive) and wait for the electrical inspector to “bless the installation”. The wire feeders will run around $300 and I will be glad to have it finished so we can begin to work on the pumping system for the well. Didn’t do much else this week with the weather not cooperating in the southeast. We need it to warm up so we can continue to work on the fence around 1 of the pastures and finish it up.

  80. I have very limited space to put my prepping supplies, so I had to make space and get creative.
    I got some more walmart bags and stuffed them in my coffee can with some other stuff and made them as small as I possibly could.
    took some stuff and put them in my lock box and put that back under my bed to make room for more stuff.
    added 2 pounds of rice and 2 pounds of beans to the cabinet.
    added some snacks to my BOB and made that one mostly for food.
    went digging through a closet and found some pads and a small bottle of lotion for the pile. I also added a plastic spoon.
    I collected some books that I could sell for decent money, and I`ll use that money to buy some vitamins on clearance or some matches or something I really need for my preps.
    added some old papers to my BOB and cabinet to fuel a fire.
    that’s about it. I want to get my $5 gift card I got for walmart to buy something. what should I get? I want to use it as wisely as possible and stretch it as far as I can. I might get some water purification tablets or matches because I have no way of boiling water if the electricity went out. I also want to get some stuff for a first-aid kit. what would you get if you had $5 to spend at walmart?

    • Hunker-Down says:

      If things get bad our diets will be out of control. Stomach upset will follow. Think about getting laxative or Pepto Bismol tablets.

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      Madison, I think you are right on with matches and water purification tabs. If you don’t have one, keep an eye out for good stainless steel water bottles. You may have some fun going to garage sales this summer. Candles are great cheap items to get at a garage sale for example. Last summer I was able to pick up partially full kerosene fuel, camping gear, a solar shower, oil lamps, tea light holders, wool blanket, etc. I don’t think I ever spent more than $5 or $10 for any one item. It’s also great practice for bartering, just be fair though.

      Also, right before moving into and out of dorms there are always things people don’t need.

      • great idea! I`ve been wanting to look at garage sales for prepping items. my church does one huge one every month but they haven’t done it in a while. I cant wait to sell those books and get the money for preps.

    • Madison,
      If IHad $5, I’d think about these items for medical kit:
      – small bottle of alcohol and/or hydrogen peroxide. Both are <$1, or a box of anti bacterial wipes in the small individual packets are <$2/box.
      – go to the aisle where they keep the travel stuff. You can get a small pack of band-aids for <$1. They may also have aspirin or antibiotic ointment in travel size too. If not I'm sure you can find aspirin/ibuprophen at the dollar store.

      That's a good exercise. I'm having to really think. 🙂

    • Happy Camper says:

      Madison, again great work. If you are able to, ask at a pharmacy if they have any samples to give you. The pharma reps give heaps of free samples. My daughter works in a pharmacy and gets to bring heaps of stuff home.
      If I had $5 to put towards a first aid kit, personally I would start with a triangular bandage or two.
      Pharmacies often throw away good stuff also because they are past date, even band aids, energy bars etc have dates on them.

      • wow. I`ll ask my pharmacy about it and let you all know what I find out during the next “what did you do this week”. I got a CVS card yesterday and sometimes you get free stuff and discounts. last week, they had free paper towels and I wish I had a card then so I could put that into my preps.

  81. Tomthetinker says:
    • Can you get a little closer to South Dakota! Starting to think I am the only prepper in the state.

  82. JP in MT says:

    I just checked my email and found this notice of the next “299 Days..” book:


    If you are going to order it, make sure you use MD’s link!

  83. Brearbear says:

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: “We have absolutely no intention of, or interest in, crossing Ukraine’s borders”. (to me it sounds pretty much like hitler)!

    This is how i see it…

    Russia has stated they have the Crimea. “Russian military spending has surged 92 per cent in just four years and will rise by 18 per cent this year, according to the authoritative Janes Defence Weekly military publications and Russian state figures.”

    Will not take another step further….

    Bulls**t. (china has already set the precedent with her ADIZ…no fly zone crapola too begin with)!

    russia is sabre rattling…

    china has been sabre rattling.

    iran is…

    north korea has always been!… (my South Korean friends are so used to things but are freaked)!

    …(and the “TERRORISTS”…(whomever “THEY” are DEFINETLY SABRE RATTLING…)!

    …i can go on…and on…and on…

    The world is getting to be a VERY dangerous place.

    My advice…prep like you have never prepped before!…starting NOW!

    This advice goes to N.A.T.O. and ALL HER PEOPLE…

    (sounds crazy)?…well…

    If i am wrong…then you will be/are/should be way…way…ahead of the game.

    I prep not so much for myself as for future generations. I will fight for freedom.

    What is freedom?



    “Breedlove would contest that description, and NATO remains, after all, the largest and most successful military alliance in history. The problem with history, however, is that the 28-nation alliance has seen better and certainly more coherent days.”

    “From a military standpoint, the Ukraine crisis hits Europe at a time when its European members have slashed $45 billion from their militaries in recent years (the equivalent of the entire German defence budget).

    Those cuts have left the U.S. to carry 75 per cent of the NATO burden, and they are coming at a time when Washington has been showing much less interest in European security, as it “pivots” its military strategy to the Pacific.

    By contrast, Russian military spending has surged 92 per cent in just four years and will rise by 18 per cent this year, according to the authoritative Janes Defence Weekly military publications and Russian state figures.”

    …and unfortunately…(and this is a Canadian speaking /writing…people/folks/friends…
    And unfortunately…the U.SA… is in so dang much debt…is absolutely NOT FOLLOWING

    …yes i said …in so much dang debt…and dare i say…militarily OVER EXTENDED?

    Well then…little ol’ me…

    Today..and the past few days…My PREPS?

    Daily pushups…leg raises..chin ups…shadow boxing…(bought a damn police baton…learning to
    defend with it)…
    Packing/re-packing my dang web belt/bugout bag…etc stuff!…
    re-organizing my next set of cache items…(to hide)!
    And getting my freak on! (?lone wolfs die?…wish i had an ARMY BEHIND ME)!…

    So yes i am one heck of a scared prepper…

    Damn it N.A.T.O get a civil defense/militia plan going…

    Yes i am pissed off.

    Oh ya N.A.TO.! … and learn from history dangit..!…and keep your dang armies strong!



    • Tactical G-Ma says:


      This will probably make me very unpopular but I say put the wall back up and let them slug it out. They didn’t want to come over to the light so let them deal with the dark. I am all for isolationism returning to N.A. and work on self defence forces only. None of the treaties are binding with countries and regimes that no longer exist.

      • TGMa:

        I’m not sure that a wall will help anymore. The only place it was really enforced (that I saw) was in Germany. Farther south it was fenced but we had a group cross over accidentally.

        Poland ALWAYS takes it in the shorts with a strong Germany and a strong Russia. History has shown they loose, and they can read! Right now they are hoping (my guess only) that the problem stays south of them. There’s really nothing there. Who’s going to stop the Russians south of Poland if they come west? Most of the Balkans are too busy killing each other (for the last 300 years) than they are worried about something outside their country.

        The latest news seems to indicate that Russian now wants a diplomatic solution (sound like late 1930’s Munich to me. Who would be our Chamberlain?). And the West will give it to them. It only hurts the Ukraine and Europe in general cares less for them than anyone, especially themselves. As in the 1930’s, Western and Central Europe will do what is in their best interests, and let others pay the cost (that’s why we are paying 75% of NATO’s bill, European stability is more important to us than them it seams.)

        This is all speculation on my part, so take it for what it’s worth. I am an amateur historian, I know enough to be dangerous. But it seems to me that I learned more than those at the State Department.

  84. M.D., You just got Instalanched! Congratulations! Getting linked to by Glen Reynolds/InstaPundit should be good for thousands of hits.

    Here is his post: http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/186045/

    Anyone who doesn’t read InstaPundit: It is a very good site for current news and commentary from a libertarian perspective, by a law professor at University of Tennessee. He’s a good guy. Gives good plugs for guns & shooting, and from time to time plugs prepping. His site was where I first heard about Bill Quick’s new prepper novel, Lightning Fall.

    • Penrod,

      Glenn is a fellow Tennessean and has linked to us several times – he has a good site (sort of like our Miscellany section) that everyone should take a look at daily…

      • ” everyone should take a look at daily…”

        I agree. I look several times a day. He doesn’t do commentary as long as he did some years ago, but he links to some very smart and very informed people who do.

        I would vote for him for any office at all, including Supreme Court or Prez.

  85. We just came back from doing some sale shopping.

    Since we are losing another major retailer, J C Penney, here, we stopped by so the DW could maybe get some new “Job Clothes”. She found a few, but I made the haul! I wear a 9 1/2 4E shoe. Finding them is just a major pain, and if I mail order/internet them, I send 70% back. I found 3 pairs at the markdown sale! 2 Nike and a Avia! Cost under $100 for all 3. Usually I have to pay $65/pair. I’m just jacked!

    The we went to Albertson’s. Got pasta, sauce/gravy mixes, frozen vegetables (for the dehydrator), bread mixes, etc. Saved $63, only paid $53! It just shows again how you can save big time by eating out of your pantry! (This is a hint for those who are having trouble with their spouses on stocking up. Feel free to use this as an example.)

  86. Curley Bull says:


    Recon I’ll miss all this here palavering next weekend. It’ll be Monday at the earliest before I’ll get a chance to see what’s cooking with ya’ll. Jack and I leave Friday morning for Pleasant Hill Louisiana (15 miles South of Mansfield). We’ll be representing the 19th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry in a Civil War Reenactment. I’m the Chaplain and Cook these days. There will be two battles; one Saturday and one Sunday. Ya’ll come on down and see us, ya hear.


  87. Hi all.

    So little occurs each week it just has to be saved up for one report. Anyway, picked up more heirloom seeds. Put a little more in long term food storage. And got 3 rolls of contractor grade duct tape really cheap.

    Found out that one of the new people at work is a beginning prepper. The more the merrier.

    The transmission went out on the wife’s car while she was away. She found someone to pull it home (30 miles), and he refused payment. She got it taken to the local transmission shop. They gave an estimate of $2300 for a rebuild with a delay of 2 weeks before starting. Got a local shade tree mechanic to locate and put in a used transmission, plus rear main seal, for $1200. The car runs so good now that she is having to learn how to handle it.

  88. HiPlains says:

    Hey all, glad my ISP is working now! Stocked up on items to make laundry soap…I should be good for at least a year’s worth now. Tried making homemade ketchup from tomato powder, not bad. Realized it is time to reorganize and double check dates on some things – try to make more shelf space. Decided to order a pallet of canning jars. Deals here are rare! Enough interest so I think I can sell enough to recoup cost and pay for my jars in the process. Have any of you canned your own fish with success? What do you put in with them?? I’m looking at mostly trout. Prayers for safety, health and encouragement to all.

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