What did you do to prep this week?

Well folks, it’s hard to believe but it’s been a whole week since our last “what did you do to prep this week” blog segment, and I’m happy to say that I’ve had a very good prepping week. I made a little extra money over the past couple of weeks and instead of blowing on beer and woman, like most guys would mine all went to preps.

Folks , it’s getting closer month, every week and everyday, time is running out, please stop wasting time and get busy. Learn skills, stock-up and get ready for the worse, it’s coming and coming fast. The beast is knocking on the door and the balloon is going up… Please don’t be like 95% of the population that will be total unprepared and depended on handouts if there are any handout available.

You owe it to your family, you owe it to yourself – get prepped, and get prepared. Do it now – time is running out.

On another note; go to your local magazine stand, Wal-Mart or other department store and pick up the latest copy of American Survival Guide and turn to page 21 and read the article by Amber Erickson Gabby, “Back to Basics”  the article references me and TheSurvivalstBlog.net multiple times, and is based on my article “Preppers List : Ten Things to Do Now” and yes; I gave her permission to use parts of my article in the magazine.

Okay, before we get started with this weeks segment, I would like to thank Cookies By Heart, Kelli M, Willard N, Michael B, James I, Tonya V, Victoria S, Jeff H, and Nanci Q for their generous donations this week via PayPal. Thank you all for your support.

Now let’s see… What did I do to prep this week?

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


  1. patientmomma says:

    Hello Wolf Pack! I hope everyone had a productive week! I lost/misplaced my phone so I’m back tracking to see where it fell off my belt. My 20 year old string trimmer quit on me so I had to buy a new trimmer and replacement parts. Got 20% off discount but even with that -ouch-prices are really getting up there.

    Put some more seeds in the ground today and potted some herbs. Gave two dogs a summer cut and a bath! That was fun!! Went up to the feed store and got some new chicks; they are a lot of fun to watch. Got chick starter and other supplies for a couple of weeks.

    Been reading gardening and chicken books, trying to improve and find out what’s new. A friend of mine saves the plastic utensils he gets from carryout dinners for me and I pack them with MREs and Mountain House individual meals in the BOBs. Picked up a few extra medical supplies and filled up 5 gas cans and the truck; that hurt!! But, at least it is available now; it may not be later on.

    Prayers go out to each of you in need this week.

  2. JeffintheWest says:

    Pretty good week. We hit the county-wide yard sales pretty hard and scored some badly needed furniture items (all our stuff is STILL in storage in another state, though I hope to rectify that this year), but more importantly scored a number of good tools — including a DRILL PRESS for $30. I’m still pretty excited about that!

    Got the orchard finished for this year — will have another couple of years worth of trimming and stuff to do before I expect any real yields, but at least the process is underway, and the trees seem a LOT happier now than they were last year!

    Got a ton of leaves raked up (actually, that’s about literally true) and have started trimming the other trees on the property to get them healthier and more bug resistant. Still got a lot of dead wood to take down, but that helps too — we just about have next year’s firewood all saved up, and with at least five dead trees to fell, we should have the year after that’s too!

    Getting the first pair of planter boxes set up — more as a weather experiment this year to see how certain plants do and get some herbs started, but this should be the end of our “new home learning curve” and get us well on the way to an excellent garden next year.

    And, we are getting a dog on Monday!!!! Yay! (Maybe a cat too, there’s one at the shelter that’s been languishing there for months, and we might go for her too.) A major step towards securing the property for the eventual presence of chickens and other animals. Plus, of course, I just like dogs….

    Next steps — start getting some of the tiny oak seedlings out of the flower beds and into the ground where they can do some good, and then to start working on painting the exterior of the house….

    Oh, and we attended the first meeting on the State of Jefferson held in our county. Small turn out, but the information about the meeting was suppressed by our local fish-wrapper, so it wasn’t very well publicized. Nonetheless, a committee was formed to move the county towards making a declaration of our desire to withdraw from the state of California, and a lot of questions on things like finances, government overreach, and personal liberties were answered to the audience’s satisfaction. One thing I was really pleased to hear — if the State of Jefferson is formed, the intent is to NOT have a state income tax, and to seriously cut all corporate taxes. That alone will virtually assure the state will take off as a haven for people and businesses that just want to work hard and keep the money they earn!

    • JP in MT says:


      Keep the information coming. I grew up outside Portland and loved it when I went south for a visit. If this thing takes off, we’ll probably be moving out there.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        Sure will! Oregon is a separate kettle of fish right now — they aren’t really moving, though Californians are talking to them about it. So far four counties have voted to separate, and three more have it on the ballot for June 3rd. This one is currently under the control of statist types, but many of us hope to change that come June 3rd and then we can move forward. Something like nine other counties are getting on board too, even including Lake County, which much surprised me (I figured there were too many Sacramento commuters living in that one for it to be a big hit). The funny thing is that San Diego county (!) expressed interest in it too; which I think would be a GREAT idea, if for no other reason than to give the finger to the LA/SF/Sacramento doofuses. 😉

        This time around, we might even succeed; since the plan is to go forward knowing the California state legislature will say no (just as they did after it was overwhelmingly voted for by the residents up here in 1992), and then proceed with a major law suit to try and overturn the decision via the Supreme Court. Some interesting legal nuances here, but from the presentation we got today, they actually might have a shot at it. As one of the presenters put it today, “The difference between us and the folks in 1992 is that we don’t plan to take ‘no’ for an answer!” A round of applause ensued. BTW, we started the meeting with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Felt great to be in America again for a few minutes!

        • JeffintheWest says:

          Oh, and I forgot to add that if the S really does HTF, it sounds like enough people up here feel the same way the majority of us on this blog do to make this one of the safer havens to be in!

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Jeff, I wish all of you much success with the State of Jefferson. These urban idiots who have no idea of where the food and resources come from need to receive a commuppence from us rural folk. We’re getting tired of their crap.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        Yep! They call us up here “the Welfare Counties,” but that’s because they’ve destroyed our livelihoods in favor of the Spotted Owl and so they can steal our water from us at no cost and then sell it to each other downstate. If we can get control of our own affairs, I suspect this region would be a powerhouse economically speaking within a decade. A lot of southern Californian business owners have already said they’ll be relocating to Jefferson if it pans out — which, if Toyota is any example, means that the rump state of California will be biting the big one all the way down the line. Then we’ll find out who the REAL “welfare counties” are!

        Oh, I also signed the petition demanding that a voter ID law be put onto our county ballot this June 3rd. The state will sue us if we pass it of course, but it should just add more fuel to the fire for a state of our own….

        • Kat's Tale says:

          I wish S. Oregon would join the state of Jefferson. We are ruled by the bleeding hearts in Portland/Salem. Our votes don’t count for much down here. They are doing everything they can to stop ranching, logging, farming and many other industries here in our state. The ranchers over in eastern Oregon really are having a hard time of it. I have talked to a good number who would like to succeed from the state.
          I don’t hold out much hope of it happening , but it would be great if it did.
          If you guys could get rid of the Looney Tunes in the bay area and the Sewer Rats in the greater L.A. area you’d be a lot better off.
          The best of luck.

          • JeffintheWest says:

            Actually that came up at our meeting. According to the presenter (a guy named Baird), while we can’t do much to help you — us in California have absolutely no standing in Oregon, of course — we would 1) cheerfully welcome southern Oregon into the new state (you have a lot more in common with us than you do with Portland), and 2) they’d be willing to help you guys start getting organized to do something about it.

            The big issue is that you folks need to find some people in Oregon that are ready to step up and lead the effort, then we can share what we’re doing here, which may or may not be the best answer for you guys up there, but which might help you come up with some good ideas on how to proceed for yourselves. Then, if you want to throw in with us, we’d be very excited and happy to travel this road alongside you all. It would be a great thing for both our areas — and was what was almost achieved in 1941 before the War stepped on the effort.

            As Red Green used to say; “We’re all in this together.”

    • JeffintheWest;
      Loved the analogy of the local bird cage liner(fish wrapper). You gave me a smile and great laugh when I needed it.
      Now to let you know, you were not far of a past history in the lower city. Once upon a time a made man worked at a tire sales in the lower city. He could not take the quiet life style so he left witness protection an went back to his old life ……but not for long. Believe he ended up with those fishes, he was in a Mario Pusso book 1970’s. Just can not remember the title.

  3. PhotonGuy says:

    I got two more guns to add to my collection. Aside from that I also got another gas container to store up gasoline in case of an emergency and I got a battery operated lamp as well.

  4. Col. D says:

    Hello pack, I built a new workbench using a product called Simpson strong ties which I purchased through a major home center retailer. It makes the task real easy by providing a method to construct a really strong bench using lumber (2 X 4’s, 3/4″ plywood and wood screws) easily obtainable at any home center or lumber yard. Finished a new electrical service at the farm with the help of my BIL. It’s finally done and I can call the electrical inspector this week so the power may be turned on and we can begin other projects at the farm.
    We have a local person who installs fencing that is going to finish our perimeter fencing in the next 2 weeks around one of our pastures. That’s about all of the major tasks we will get done this spring and with all of the brush clearing we’ve been doing were pretty tired right now and ready for a rest!

  5. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Just made a trip to the nearest Wal-Mart and no American Survival Guide. Will try Barnes and Nobles next time in a bigger town.

  6. JP in MT says:


    If you are a reloader, check out this site:


    They currently have .451 cal 185 gr JHP’s for $14.95 /100 plus shipping. Yes, they are blemished but I have yet to know of a target complaining. Best I can do around here is $22.96 at Wal-Mart for Hornady (when they get then in).

    They also have discounts for military and first responders (do the application before you order!).

  7. Hey pack – got hit with some flooding this week. Luckily it wasn’t too bad, only a couple inches in the basement which built up in the time we tried to get the generator on after the power went out. Amazing how much water accumulated during 10 minutes without the pumps on. Since we were having the water/power issues, we opted for some dehydrated food for dinner that night. We did a little mini compare between Mountain house and Wise. First big difference is in how they’re cooked – Mountain House was just add boiling water and Wise is boil water and add the mix to the pan. The MH cheesy lasagna and chicken teriyaki and rice were both very good. The Wise chicken teriyaki was not good at all, but the beef stroganoff was good.
    Today we planted some peas, cucumber, peppers and tomatoes along with a few herbs. Hopefully they’ll do well.

    • Hi Andi, Thanks for the info on MH vs Wise. We like to buy the foil packets of entrees which sound good or have good reviews, and check them out on camping trips or power outages before buying the cans. They are expensive for major stockpiling, but they are hard to beat for convenience after a long day. Nice to supplement the more labor intensive foods.

      We haven’t found any MH we dislike, but think the Mexican Style Chicken and Rice is really good. A little salty, but very well spiced.

  8. Patriot Farmer says:

    I recently found out that the Michigan Agricultural Commission has removed the protection formerly given to small family or hobby farms that operate in areas zoned residential. This ruling includes all “farm” type animals. The commission has relegated the authority to determine authorization to have farm operations to local governments. We all know that local governments are free from arbitrary and personality based decisions. I contacted my state representative who informed my that I should have no problem keeping my chickens. Now I worried. If I loose my chickens I will loose a big part of my preps.

    • Ozarkana says:

      Don’t worry, Patriot Farmer. If you like your chickens, you can keep your chickens. If you like your coop, you can keep your coop. Meantime, I would start checking into keeping quail or ducks. Don’t let them take you down.

      • Patriot Farmer says:

        We’re all waiting to see how this is going to fall out. More details on the new restrictions are coming out everyday. Our township has an ordinance that allows for raising poultry on private property. Many of us are hoping we can fall back on this.

        • Encourager says:

          I, also, am nervous about these new rulings, living in Michigan. Our land was changed from agricultural to residential about 5 years ago…that way they get more tax monies. I think I need to contact the township supervisor to see how these rules will affect us.

  9. Practiced at rod & gun club; bought more practice rounds
    The guy with the jars did not come through AND still hit on me
    However did get 6 dozen pint, half pint and quarter pint at yard sale
    Went to class for permit
    Bought a Kershaw knife with interchangeable blades at auction $7
    Lodge griddle from thrift store $4
    10 bags of Bob’s Mills & 5 more pounds of pasta from Big lots
    Received Mother Earth News Archives w/ 6 bonus mags and reusable produce bags
    Finished planting out garden though I am probably going to add some planter boxes on balcony – thinking food prices going to go waaaaay up
    Went through my sewing supplies and organized
    Orderd lodestone carat stick and the acids and a gram scale that is not electronic
    Was given 10 quarts of honey b/c it crystallized (favorite)
    Bought molasses and yeast -really liking the bread thing
    Added 6 books to the Doomsday library – bread book, another canning book, best recipes from labels, little house on prairie cookbook and Amish cookbook
    Bought tackle box full of gear at auction $21
    Got a flour sifter and egg beater at flea market $2 each
    Made a yoke and rigged 2 spackle buckets to it so I can get water from river if I need to do so.
    Assembled and added to first aid supplies
    Went back to work after being out for a few days so I am playing catch up there as well.
    Set my goal – 5 twelve minute miles by end of June – 10 by end of August.
    Be safe everyone.

  10. Good Afternoon Pack;
    It was a short order since I am only ordering what we need at this moment. No extra additions until dh has his last surgery to put everything back. That might be sometime on or about June, it all depends on him passing the swallow test. He has to no longer aspirates food into his lungs. He did well on the last test but not to the satisfaction of the speech therapist to let him start eating and drinking again. Some of the materials went into esophagus, and that leads to pneumonia.
    Ordered wide & regular canning lids from Lehman’s, I have been waiting along time for them to come on sale. I ordered Mylar bags& O2 absorbers, vitamins for the cats and dogs.
    Busy trying to get the weeds, debris cleaned up before the summer heat hits our area. Balancing dh schedule to what & when I can get things done makes for an interesting day……make that days.

  11. Ozarkana says:

    Good Evening, dear pack,
    We are about 50 miles from Mayflower, AR. We had lots of wind, rain,hail, and sirens; but, no damage this past weekend.

    Our major preps this week have been in the new orchard. So far, we have planted 6 assorted peach trees and 5 assorted apple trees. Our plans include, nuts, cherries, apricots, plums and pears. I can see why the old gardeners kept “orchard journals”. I have already started ours.

    I totally agree with M.D. and other members of the pack. I feel such an urgency to get as much done as I can, as quickly as I can. There is such a disquieting feeling in the air.

    We are keeping everyone in the pack in our prayers. Today is still here until tomorrow comes. As the song says, “The cares of tomorrow can wait ’til this day is done”.

    • Our little mountain top near Hot Springs had a lot of the wind and rain, but the weather passed mostly on the other side of town, although there were a lot of trees blown down or lightening struck…. Glad you made it through that weather ok… I went with my daughter on a field trip to the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock and we visited their tornado exhibit which simulates being in a basement storm shelter during a tornado…she has never really experienced a tornado before and was undone by the experience… but now she kind of knows what to expect if we have to go through it.

  12. recoveringidiot says:

    picked up some ammo at a good price today at one of the best gun shows in the area. I see a lot of “survival food” dealers at the shows lately. Way too much money for that stuff, we just make up our own with Mylar and o2 absorbers.
    I need a small generator and decided on a inverter type but see a large price range. The Yamaha and Honda get the best reviews but are twice what some of the others cost. Anyone have experience with one of these? I need something to keep a freezer going while we can the frozen stuff in a long power outage. I had a 6500 watt set but sold it as I don’t have room for it at our new place. Plus it was so loud the whole world knew it was running and used gas like it was free. I understand the inverter types are really fuel efficient and very quiet. Anybody have one of these?

    Pray for us all

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      Recovering idiot
      We have a very large generator and are looking at the honda ourselves. But the price, yikes! But in the meantime, I find using an inventor off the car worked really great for me in lieu of pulling out and setting up the large and heavy generator during our last power outage since DH was not home and it was storming outside.

      I was able to run the fridge and some lights and a fan.

  13. The chickies in the incubator finally hatched – sort of… My average has been about 50% success over the years. This time, I got excited because everything was looking so good – but…from the 22 incubated eggs, 1 had a crack and was bad, 5 I put under a broody hen for the last day but they didn’t hatch, 6 had spraddle leg (I didn’t take the egg racks out of the incubator in time and they couldn’t get proper footing in the first few minutes after hatching – 2 of these have died, 2 are on death row and 2 are a bit gibbled looking after a few days of treatment but might make it), 10 are in the barn under the heat lamp.

    My tractor arrived but I haven’t even had time to do more than turn it around and start detaching the bush mower from the back.

    Completed my hunter safety course and am now ready to do the test required before I can apply to own a firearm.

    The greenhouse only needs a window and door built to make it functional.

    The cow is STILL pregnant – bought her in January and the previous owner thought she should have calved at the beginning of April but wasn’t sure. Can see the baby moving and the vet checked her the other day so she isn’t in any trouble.

    Put a deposit on 1000 gallon fuel tank that will hold 300 gallons of diesel and 700 gasoline. There are no regulations in my area regarding installation or safety…Any advice would be appreciated.

    Feeling disorganized and overwhelmed by spring.

    • On the fuel tanks, from what I’ve read, it’s best to put them where they cannot be seen from the road or a neighbor’s house. Some say burying them is the safest, but then u have to pump the fuel out of the tank. Also, clear any brush away from the location, to reduce fire risk.

    • B, Think twice before burying that fuel tank. State laws very on size and that’s big enough to fall under the rules of many states. Above ground is less regulated. Also make sure that tank is well grounded. Flowing liquids create static and you do not want a fire.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        Yes and if you bury it you must use one of them high dollar tanks with the interstitial space. EPA controls that. Best to keep them above ground with a big whopper of a padlock on it. If one drop spills onto the ground the Feds will fine you big time. And you have to register each time you make a diesel purchase if you are using farm fuel. And about static…always fill plastic cans with them sitting on the ground, especially when filling with gasoline. The static electricity from plastic could light up your life!

        • Thank you Ron, G Ma and RedC,

          The tank I am buying is a single wall tank. There are no laws governing installing this size where I live. I do want to make sure that it doesn’t pose a threat to the environment – I like my drinking water and growing a garden, and I don’t want to blow myself up…So far, I have learned
          1. above ground with shade to reduce evaporation in the summer (Thinking about another application for the “texas prepper greenhouse plans),
          2. some sort of under tank containment system is also good – it can be like a big plastic pan or clay berm in case of a spill,
          3. placed out of site of road but within the sight of the house to reduce the chance of someone helping themselves
          4. pokey rose bushes planted around the tank to deter skulkers
          5. a cement pad in filling area so minor drips can evaporate and minor spills can be absorbed with proper chemical and not by the earth

          It’s snowing again here.

  14. Thomas The Tinker says:

    Bow Practice. In a juice glass at 50′ now from the tree stand. Gonna take an age to move that out another 25′. Modern bow sights are like poaching… cheating.. I love em. IDPA match Sunday. Tomatos in, beans in, onions in, strawberrys in, strawberrys out… tree rats seem to like em. Water preps increased by one rain barrel.

    Local Prepper Rondevoux July 12 / Saturday. Farnsworth / Roush DeBoeu Metro park, south of Waterville, Ohio. More info and RSVP [email protected] by mid June.

  15. Happy Camper says:

    Traded some handmade stuff for a dog cage which I’ve turned into a Rabbit hutch. Got two sets of breeders, one doe had five kits the day after I got her home.
    Decided to cull down to one buck and two does for now due to upkeep. So I dispatched my first rabbit and it’s being slow cooked in white wine for dinner. Smells great !
    One of his kits (born a few days ago) is the same colour as him, so I will use the matching pelts to make a pair of moccasins eventually.
    Got my balcony farm set up for composting the rabbit waste into a new worm farm.
    I ordered a stun gun to use prior to rabbit dispatch, the first hatchet blow to its neck didn’t kill it instantly, I want zero suffering. So I read about giving bunny some alcohol soaked pellets then about 15 mins wait, then stunning and fast blow to the neck.
    Can anyone give me some feedback on this ? I will be dispatching and butchering on a balcony, no guns possible in Australia and I don’t have huge strength. Pulling their neck grosses me out totally.
    Any feedback, ideas GREATLY APPRECIATED 🙂

    • I always used a strong stick (broken bow rake handle) and held the rabbit by the hind legs and hit it hard behind the ears. This stunned or killed it and I immediately cut its head off. They didn’t suffer.

    • seeuncourt says:

      The stun gun is a great idea. I use a long bladed very sharp martini fillet knife. It takes the heads off quickly. I’m not strong with an ax either. I hang the rabbit by the back feet, stun h on with a tire thumped, then slice the head off. The stun gun sounds even better!

    • Happy Camper says:

      Thanks for the info, I think I went wrong by going for the neck rather than behind the ears. I also didn’t anticipate the fur getting in the way of getting its head off.
      I’ve got a friend who thankfully has experience with pulling their feet and heads apart, so when these kits are ready to dispatch he’s going to come and go through it with me. And also we will give the stun / axe chop a go. I want bunny to not know what’s coming or happened and the dispatch to be complete in seconds.
      But all info appreciated 🙂 HC

  16. Very little for me this week.
    Finally finished my knitted scarf. First knitting project and it took extra long because I realized too late that I was inadvertently adding stitches as I went. OOPPSS Started a second scarf for stitch practice and working on a pair of slippers. My family is crazy for knitted slippers and noone makes them anymore.
    Ordered and received a new sling for my AR.
    Considering making a large purchase of silver. I was going to go for bars until I read everyone’s comments this week. I think I will add a few coins to the order for Christmas presents for the nieces and nephews. I hope to make the purchase this week but may end up dillydallying trying to decide what to get.
    Received my Lansky knife sharpeners. I love their pocket version.
    Working off the bills. I’ve been putting money into my rental property mortgage and car to get ahead of the lender game. I can’t stand the thought of paying double or triple or worse because of mortgage interest rates.
    Ordered The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible and I can’t wait to read it!! I’m living vicariously thru everyone’s gardening this spring. The BF tells me that my garden is very tall now but he hasn’t sent pictures, so I’m guessing he actually killed it. I asked for pictures of the compost too to see if he managed NOT to kill that appropriately. 🙂
    Sent my youngest sister a water bath canner, a Ball canning book, and some canning utensils. She made pickles this week and a salsa recipe that will work for canning. I like getting my family on the path to self sufficiency. My other sister (I have 3!!) started seeds indoors about 2-3 weeks ago and they are already overwhelming her indoor capability. Hopefully the weather gets warmer up north so she can get them outside!
    Still far far away from home, so doing what I can. Lots of reading. I’ve been researching lots of remedies and how to’s. Watched some youtubes on how to spin yarn. I think I’ll just stock up on yarn for now instead.
    Have a great week everybody! You guys keep me motivated.

    • Hi Daisy, >> I think I will add a few coins to the order for Christmas presents for the nieces and nephews.<<

      Kids love them! Back in the 1980s and early '90s, when silver was still relatively cheap, I bought a roll of Silver Eagles every year and gave one to each niece and nephew for Christmas. One little guy opened his and really lit up, and said "Oh Boy! Big MAN'S money!" Big = Grown Up.

      When I was a kid back in the '50s I sometimes got silver dollars for Christmas, and still have them. Any denomination is a great present for kids. They seem to sense the quality of real money, actual silver coins.

      My intention was for the kids to keep them and play with them, but parents universally took them away for safekeeping. That always disappointed me as the kids never saw them again. I wanted them to grow up with real money in their drawer, but it didn't work out that way. So it goes.

  17. Purchased a “Little Badger” survival rifle which is a single shot .22 LR fold up rifle with threaded barrel which will accept a silencer for stealth varminting.

  18. Been working on the big spring cleaning in the house so I didn’t add much this week. We did get some apples and mushrooms dehydrated. Maybe this batch of apples can actually get stored instead of eaten. Dang they’re good! I did pick up some more canning jars, really trying to get a good supply, then I’ll concentrate on the lids. Got the obligatory 40 cans of cat food that I get every payday. Received the Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible and started going through that a bit. Looks like a great book! I think today I’m finally going to try my hand at dehydrating eggs. Been wanting to do that for a while. Maybe even bring myself to clean the garage. Maybe not… Have a good week, Pack!

  19. GA Red says:

    Mostly physical fitness preparing this week. We also continue our search for the right piece of property and the DH continues to research the cost of farm equipment, depending on the size of any property we might purchase. We looked at a couple of properties yesterday and just didn’t get the “warm fuzzies” from either of them. One was even straight down a steep hill from the road. Ugh. We will keep looking and researching.

    Green beans have started sprouting. The bees that show up here for a few weeks each spring are back and burrowing into the ground at night. The squash and zucchini I started inside and set out last weekend are already blooming. The tomatoes we planted are blooming. I’ve run out of salsa from last summer. Looking forward to this year’s produce.

    Stay safe. Will say prayers for all. Time to see what everyone else did this week.

    • GA Red says:

      One more thing – bought two bags of local/certified chicken manure and brought it home in my car. For those of you who remember the kind of car I drive, just imagine how thrilled I was when I realized that the odor was going to kill us on the way home and had to open some windows. It’s been almost 24 hours now and we still have a fan blowing into the trunk to get the odor out. For the first time since we got our minivan that we use like a pick-up, I want a real pick-up – especially if I ever need to bring home chicken manure again. It won’t be going in the Beamer next time. I still have to spread it in the garden, but I’m giving my nose time to re grow some of those little hairs inside first.

      • JeffintheWest says:
        • GA Red says:

          There is this one neighbor we don’t much like and I was thinking about spreading some along the fence next to his yard. That way he can complain now so that by the time I do get chickens the county will think he’s complaining about my fertilizer.

        • Encourager says:

          Jeff, we had to actually sign an agreement with the township when we bought our property that we would not complain about normal farm smells, including manure spread on the fields, or any normal farm noises. That was 35 years ago!

          • JeffintheWest says:

            Well, at least ONE town had some common sense — even if it WAS 35 years ago! I hope your local government still does. Mine, sadly, not so much.

      • Encourager says:

        ROFLOL! I am glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read that, GA Red!

        Reminds me of the time we hauled 60 chickens to the butcher in the back of an old van. It was pouring rain and my friend felt bad about the chickens getting wet so we loaded them in her van. Twenty minutes later we had our heads hanging out the windows, trying to breath. After they were dropped off we stopped at a convenience store to get something to drink. We were soaking wet, hair dripping down our backs and…someone across the store said “WHAT is that smell??” We realized it was, ummm, us…so we ran out the door. We started laughing so hard we could hardly drive home.

  20. nick flandrey says:

    Question for the pack, Costco has a battery powered water sterilizer pen on sale. Anyone use one? Do they work and last as advertized?

    It seems too good to be true. Couple of AA batteries sterilizing hundreds of liters of water, in only 48sec per 12 oz. 3000 gal lifetime.



    • seeuncourt says:

      It will sterilize out living organisms, but not purify or filter out other yuck in the water

      • nick flandrey says:

        And that is an important difference. Spores and cysts remain then?

    • Brearbear says:

      Hi nick!

      Are you taking about the steri pen?
      I never tried one… I am wary of the battery part of system…
      Would recomend the Katadyn pocket insteadd.
      Its a big investment…but is built like a tank…(also suggest buying a spare filter…
      Invest in some pool shock also…

      • Where do you purchase pool shock? I have only found tablets that have lots of ingredients.

        • Brearbear says:

          Calcium hypochlorite-(C.H.).
          …can be bought here in Canada from Wally world…Canadian Tire and from swimming pool companies.
          Make sure the pool shock only lists (C.H.) as the active ingredient to be safe for water purification.
          And yes…Stay away from ones that have fungicide and algecide .

        • Brearbear says:

          …and yes…you need granular…for measuring…not tablet form.

      • LittleAnniePrepper says:

        I got a Katadyn pocket off ebay 1 1/2 years ago and paid $250. I just saw one on Amazon that was $312. Yikes!

      • nick flandrey says:

        Yeah, it seems to be the Steripen. Comes with a plastic bottle too.

        I think I’ll stick with Lifestraw for now.


        • Brearbear says:

          I too…have several life straws…
          Like magnesium bars/and firestrikers…they are cheap..
          So i …in the past keep giving thse things away as gifts!
          One thing though…is they are not that strong and can be
          Bent/twisted/broken fairly easily…so i suggest reinforcing
          The lifestraw some how…

          I also have use and recomend the M.S.R. Miniworks EX Microfilter.
          It is fairly affordable compared to the Katadyn Pocket…
          And it works great with the M.S.R. Dromedary bags.
          (I have several and they come in dif sizes…when empty they
          Roll up small/compact)…i hang them off my load carrier…they also have attachments like a strawclip so i can keep hiking and have a drink without taking off my pack…

          I have the Katadyn/Miniworks(with dromedary bags)/pool shock…
          And a bleach stockpile.

          Think redundancy…

          And as far as WATER goes…having the best filter purifier systems
          In the world in my humble opinion…should be THE #1 prep item!

  21. -acquired some more 22 ammo from a pawn shop. (like to pay cash)
    -ordered 2 large factory magazines for my glock 17.
    -made a plan on preparing for a grid down scenario.

  22. Brearbear says:

    Hi pack!

    Am still living around the campfire…
    It snowed a foot yesterday…

    Got a Mosin Nagant… Yay! I love it!

    Also been killing beer cans with the pellet gun.

    Saw my first Robins yesterday…
    The creek keeps going crazy with water one day…next day…down to a trickle…

    Back to work soon…

  23. k. fields says:

    Sitting here on the porch watching it rain – yes, it’s still raining off and on here in my area of Northern CA even though it’s now May. Looks like I won’t have any water/drought issues this year after all and all that extra hay and grain I put back last year won’t actually be needed.

    Still awaiting daughter cow to drop her first calf but it should be coming any day now. Seeing how well she does will determine whether she will be staying long-term or not so there is a good bit of anticipation.

    New piglets are happy and healthy – constantly squealing and running around everywhere. Gotta love them.

    A new wild resident here is a small flock of band-tailed pigeons, I guess the forest around me has now matured enough for them since the last bout of logging. Their cooing is wonderful to hear in the evenings. They seem to be fitting in well with the large quail and dove flocks as there’s plenty of extra feed here for them all, so they will hopefully breed and return every year.

    Crops are all doing well and, as always, producing more than I’ll ever be able to use – good thing the local farmer’s markets reopen here this coming week as it looks like there will be more surplus than the piggies will be able to handle. Too much food growing, too much milk/livestock – what’s a poor prepper to do?

  24. Jeanne says:

    Checking in late this week – and can happily report that the snow has finally melted! This week I got out Grandma’s old Universal clamp-on grinder and ground the beef roast ($3.25/pound) I had my DH pick up at the end of last week for hamburger. I learned that I picked too fine a blade at first as the sinew got caught in the blade, but when I changed to a coarse blade it went quickly. Totally worth it. Then this week, the butcher had “today only” sale coupons on the grass fed ground beef that brought it below the price of the hamburger. Go figure. Based on my experience with the meat grinding, I intend to step up my shift away from electricity for as much as possible. There is a learning curve and I want to get through that before the stress of an emergency.

  25. Bwhntr59 says:

    Hello Pack

    I often read some of you buy Red Feather butter. This is sealed in cans. how long is it good for? taste OK? Thanks for any info.

  26. IndGran says:

    Does anyone think handmade items such as mittens and hats and scarvesvwould be good for barter? What ideas do you have that would be helpful.

    • JeffintheWest says:

      Personally, I think they’d be a GREAT idea. However two caveats; first, they are highly weather dependent and wouldn’t work too well when it’s 110 degrees out, so there’s that. And second, they may not get you much during the first six months to a year of a serious situation, but after that their value will steadily increase.

      Suggestion. Make a few, take them to your local farmer’s market in the fall, and see how they sell. That might help you with any design ideas you are interested in, as well as give you a feel for the possible potential market (keeping in mind that not everyone at the farmer’s market might be a local, which might skew your statistics a bit).

    • Ozarkana says:

      Hi IndGran,
      Mittens, hats and scarves sound like a great idea. I hit up the after winter sales and have several sets of each in a big box in the top of the closet. I vacuum sealed them to keep out bugs and dampness. They are not nice, handmade ones; but, we may get to the point where anything is better than nothing.

    • Lake Lili says:

      Mitts/hats/scarves are a great idea! You might also want to look at making underwear and socks. Another idea is taking old blankets and making them into coats. Jeff’s idea of giving them a trial run at your local farmer’s market is a great one.

  27. Indiana joe says:

    Well got the pressure canner that I took from the in laws and canned my first five lbs of ground beef. Wasn’t that hard just alittlelearning curve.

    Put together the frame for the veggie garden. 4 by 8 6in deep tilled and topped with 4 inches of top soil and then 2inxh of manure

    This is the first garden so any advice is greatly appreciated

    Scored a 55 gallon water bucket with thread hole and seals in the top two openings Ten bucks.
    Also idea for those of you who store water in 2liters. Gas stations and grocery stores or Cvs are happy to give u the crates the store them on their pallets.

    Happy prepping

  28. Very little, unfortunately. The retired dp is on a real tear about “hoarding”. He helped in some re-organizing while I was at work. Let’s just say that there’s good help and there’s bad help. Can you guess which his is? I did manage to save most (I hope) books that I would never trash. Next I’ll have to move things out of the sunlight into where they really go. Since he helped, I can’t find the bill of sale so that I can sell my previous car. And, his eminance has proclaimed that no more stuff can come. LOL, I’m real good at sneaking stuff in but I’ll probably have to wait until he’s away a few days next month.

    When his worship gets like this, I simply hide in the bathroom and read my Kindle. He still hasn’t figured that out. Not very observant for someone who claims to be so smart. Needless to say, I’ve read quite a few books in the last several weeks, including MD’s first book and one by Ragnar Benson.

    I managed to buy another 8 pairs of heavy, smooth-bottomed mostly-cotton socks for $10. They’re Lanesboro from BJ’s. Someone was asking about comfy socks last week. My more favorite, tho, are my PowerSox (mostly wool) that I got a super deal on last year at a local store. Those retail in Kohl’s for $28 for 2 or 3 pair. On the web, they were up to $28 per pair! For once, I’m not crazy about good elastic at top of both kinds because my sciatic nerves are really pissy right now about anything tight.

    Trying to keep up with med appts, and I really need to schedule physical therapy before one doc will proceed. Geez, I been in this body long enough to know what needs to be done. History, history, history. Some of us learn from it, others don’t. Darn it, I wanted things done so that I could actually have a garden this year.

  29. Prim n Prepper says:

    Well, so far this week, I cleaned my oil lamps and put away the winter ones, and cleaned my large walk in closet. ( I donated 90% of my clothing and shoes.) I took measurements for the large pantry that is going in half of the closet. The wall where the door is gonna be happens to be right off my kitchen, so that’s convenient. I am putting a vintage screen door on it. I dehydrated 6 pounds of cheese, made two batches of soap (one laundry and one bars). And tomorrow I will be oiling all of my garden tools and hand tools for the season.

  30. Encourager says:

    So sad. Received a call late last night that my Dad has been placed in a Hospice facility (in AZ) under heavy sedation. He has COPD, Emphysema and congestive heart failure. His lungs and around his heart are filled with fluid. He is 91. When I called Hospice this morning they told me there was no point in flying out there to be by his side, as they don’t think he will last that long. I am grieving that he is all alone, with no family by his side. Please pray for me and that Dad will pass soon and peacefully.

    • My initial reaction – ignore them and go. Saying a prayer for you both.

    • My thoughts and prayers for you and your father.

    • Lake Lili says:

      Have to agree with GA Red – Go! Our prayers are with you and your father.

    • InterestedObserver2 says:

      +100 to what GA Red said. Even if you are too late (and they don’t know for sure), you can still say goodbye to him.

    • Curley Bull says:

      I agree with the rest! GO! I’ve seen several linger beyound their time just waiting for a family member. They too want to say goodbye, even though you may not be able to hear it.

      On another note. He is not completely alone. The Lord is with him!

      Our prayers are with thee and thy father.


      • Encourager says:

        Thank you Curley Bull. I know he is not alone – Jesus is with him. If only my sister had told me on Monday, I would be there already. But, again, she plays her games.

        • Curley Bull says:

          I can relate. My sister did the same with our mother. It was the nurse that called me when she took a turn for the worse and the nurse that called me, about half way there, and told me Mom had passed. You must do what I had to do; forgive her! She has to answer for herself just as you have to answer for yourself.

          With a Brother’s Love,

          • Encourager says:

            Curley Bull, I learned a long time ago that forgiveness has little to do with the one forgiven, but everything to do with the one forgiving. Living in anger, bitterness and resentment does terrible things to you physically, emotionally and spiritually.

    • suzy q says:

      Encourager – If at all possible GO! You’ll never regret it.

    • AZ camper says:

      Encourager, I am praying for you. I sat with my husband by his father’s side when he died. If there is no one here in AZ, maybe he is on my side of town. If you would like to talk with me, I give MD permission to give you my email. I may be able to go check on him for you if he is near my city.

      • Encourager says:

        AZ Camper and everyone else,
        Thank you ~ you have blessed me with your prayers and advice.

        AZCamper, he is in Payson AZ, up by the Rim.

        M.D. please share my email address with AZ Camper. I will email you permission, too.

        • Encourager says:

          The problem with just up and going, is that the memorial service will not be until two weeks after he passes. I would have to fly there and back twice, which I can’t afford. My sister is Executor of his bitty estate and has POA. She and my two brothers have already stripped the house of any valuables, over two years ago when Dad was hospitalized, including his gun collection and his journeyman tools. They even took his portable GPS unit that was left in his car. At that time, she used her POA and emptied one of his bank accounts of over $7000. One brother took $10,000 the year before. What is left is a broken down trailer with a lot of junk in it.

          • az Camper says:

            I am sorry, Encourager. Family situations can be so challenging.
            Being able to forgive is certainly an evidence of God’s grace on your life. I pray for peace and comfort for you during this time.

          • So sorry you have to go thru this. Family drama is never good but it always seems to show up at times like this (I have had my fair share of the family drama).

        • Encourager,

          Sure thing. I will also remember you in my prayers and ask my family to pray for you and your family.

    • I am so sorry you are going through this Long Distance. That is tough. Believing God will show you what YOU need to do. May His peace fill and comfort you.

  31. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Sorry to hear of your dad’s coming to the end of his time. For all things there is a season. Mine passed at 92yo last May. He had no idea I was there. The folks who provide hospice are so compassionate and caring. I pray he was prepared and we all will meet him someday. We love you and you just do what you feel you can do.

  32. Encourager says:

    My Father went to heaven this morning at 2:37AM. He fought a valiant fight against COPD and Emphysema and lost ~ but gained heaven. He was a Veteran and joined the Air Force at the beginning of WWII. After a memorial service at his church, we will travel to Prescott AZ for a full military funeral.

    When I asked him in November where he would go after he died, for the first time ever he looked me straight in the eye and said “I am going to heaven to be with my Jesus; and I am going to hug my Mom!”

    Give Grandma a big hug for me, too, Dad. You will be missed; see you later!

    Thanks to all my Wolf friends for praying for us. Continue to keep us in your prayers and pray for traveling mercies for us. I appreciate all of you so much!

    • GA Red says:

      Hugs and prayers for you Encourager. Will be praying for safe travels as well.

  33. Tactical G-Ma says:


  34. Tactical G-Ma says:

    That +100 was to GA Red’s comment of hugs and prayers.

  35. Encourager says:

    Thank You all!!

    Okay, Dad is a Veteran. He was a life-long member of the VFW. Would it be best to contact someone at his local VFW to help with arrangements for a military funeral when we take his ashes to Prescott Veterans Cemetery?

    • Encourager, yes, the VFW should have the info. You also should be able to get info from the funeral director. My condolences to you and your family.