What did you do to prep this week?

Before we get started today, I would like to give a shout-out and say thank you to Brenda C, Sherry S for their generous donations via Paypal this week and to Brent for his package of goodies that was sent via snail mail. Thank you.

As I mentioned a few days ago, and that you’ve probably noticed, I’ve made some changes to the blog, changes that should make the blog easier for readers to use and navigate and also more SEO friendly, for the search engines to find and rank and more secure.

If you find any bugs in the system, or have any suggestions on how to make it even better please email me.

The new blog is published using the Genesis Framework (on WordPress of course) on the Prose skin / theme – the Genesis Framework and the Prose skin / theme are premium products, meaning I had to pay to use them.

Over the years, I’ve had several people suggest that it costs nothing to run a blog or website and while that’s true if you’re on a platform like blogger, but the fact is that Google owns blogger and can shut you down or just delete your site anytime they want…

So I pay for the domain, hosting, several premium plugins, backup storage of files, security, and as mentioned above the frameworks and theme. Most of these I pay on a yearly or month-by-month basis.

A couple of changes that you should like are the thumbs up / thumbs down feature in the comments area, this will allow readers to rate each comment with a thumbs up / down depending on the content. You’ll also notice the floating social bar to the left side of the blog, this feature will allow you to easily share content that you like with your social media contacts or other services like StumbleUpon.

Also over the past two weeks, I’ve spent just over $500 on advertising for our Facebook fan page to build followers there – we went from just over 3,000 followers there to over 9,000 in that short time, my goal was 10,000 but we didn’t make it.

My goal (also my calling in life and I think the reason that God put me here) is to get everyone that I can reach to prepping, because the more people prepping the easier it will be for all of us to pull through after the balloon goes up. Please help me spread the word anyway you can…

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


Automatic fishing reel.

Automatic fishing reel – then can also be used for small game and birds (check local laws).

dozer work on the homestead.

Been having dozer work done to make all of my 5 1/2 acres usable…



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

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  1. Flag Day today in the States…
    This week my son and I picked four flats of strawberries which we then cleaned and froze and dehydrated. That was Monday and Tuesday. Made jam from them Friday. Also bought six pineapples and 15 mangoes which we dehydrated.
    Bought more meds for the stash, beans, rice, instant potatoes and some salt.
    Listing on ebay again … busy with that.
    Weekly consignment auction purchases included some resell stuffs as well as a very nice seamless milking pail. Also an old Aladdin lamp base for $10. Needed cleaning and a chimney and mantle, but it’s always nice to pick those up cheap.
    Watched silver rise this week. Bought some more early on this week. My local coin shop was out of junk silver – something that doesn’t happen very often.
    Hubby worked a lot of hours this week, so I’ve been busy with lots of other stuff. Going to the farmer’s market and the library book sale this morning then more ebay listing. Maybe go see Godzilla tonight.
    Oh, the canned chicken seems to have turned out well from last week. Still keeping an eye on it but so far so good.

  2. Thomas The Tinker says:

    MD… are you going to put in Deer Clover in the trees or….. What? Envy Sir… is what I have for that 5 acres. My DW and I love to see how it is developing… thanks for sharing it with us.

    • Thomas The Tinker,

      It’s been a lot of work, and I’m in a hurry to get as much done as possible now, because we are running out of time.

      • Thomas T. Tinker says:

        If you would care to tell ‘us’… What does a piece of equipment like that cat cost per Hour… Day… ? Cash/Barter?

        • Thomas T. Tinker,

          I’m not doing the work but having it done and paying $85 per hour to have the work done, total job will be about 15 hours, so a good chunk of cash…

          • “so a good chunk of cash…”

            And that, M.D., is why I keep using your Amazon link.

            Keep up the good work. Thanks for providing a great forum.

          • axelsteve says:

            probably cheaper to hire it out. You got to put a price on your time and doing it yourself would take up much time.

  3. Can’t claim much this week.
    10lbs buckwheat
    5 lbs millet
    1 gal maple syurp
    2 lbs tapioca pearls
    built a 12v positive ground alternator for a friends old farmall
    thats about it for me. time to get back in the garden

  4. Finn Mahone says:

    It’s been raining here all week and between showers I was able to tie up more of my pea plants. I also was able to sift some top soil and fill in a small low spot in my yard. Last week I missed the posting here because we were away, so I’ll throw in what I got accomplished last week.

    Like I mentioned above about the top soil, I planted summer squash, winter squash and green beans where I got the top soil from. The plants popped up in under a week. guess they liked all the rain this week. I also picked up 100 rounds of 45 ACP last weekend and checked out a few new pistols. I’m torn between getting a new 1911 or the new Ruger SR 45. I’d appreciate any opinions from the Wolf Pack. I was also able to get some practice shooting in with my long bow.

    • JP in MT says:


      I have used both a 1911 and the SR45. For a double stack 45, the SR45 is a VERY nice gun. The grip is small enough around that my DW has no issues. And it is relatively inexpensive. The issue for me is magazines. Got caught in the Clinton Gun Ban and paid $50 for a high cap magazine vs. $15-20. So I always have plenty of spare mags.

      My “go to” 45 is a 1911, a Kimber, and has been for may years. I just fits me well. I shoot it better than my Glock, ringing the 50 meter “popper” consistently.

      I use mostly 185 gr JHP’s. My loads work well in both guns. You would be well served with either.

  5. Where do you get the reels at? Never seen nothing like that.

  6. D in MN says:

    I ordered a tank of propane while price is low.$1.79 a gal. Got the two cords of ash firewood stacked, two more to go, preparing for two years of heating these cold bitter winters here, and got a discount of $150 a cord.

    My two year old gas mix for my weed trimmer made it run perfect. No smoke, no foul, and ran great, purrred like a kitten.I put extender in it two years ago, and I don’t use much gas for weed trimming so a gallon of mix lasts over two years, doing this for 15 years for my weed trimmer and it never ran afoul. (same with my boat motor for 15 years not using extender and using 10 month old gas mix and it started the 2nd pull)

    We are getting a lot of rain. The weather predictions say 3 inches today and up to 4 inches tomorrow.They are releasing all the dams can on the upper Mississippi. Great for the garden and the Mn state bird.

    • Granny W says:

      The rain can stop any time/however the forecast is for it to continue most of this week again. so far, not too many mosquitoes here in So. MN but the gnats will carry you away! I just stay inside after dark to avoid the hungry critters. It sure is difficult to get any garden work done. What a year this has been so far–record snows and record rains—praying for good warm weather to come soon.

  7. grandma bear says:

    This week was all about cleaning! I guess the spring cleaning bug has hit me! DH burning tree limbs got rid of the dead stuff. It is raining cats and dogs here today so time to get caught up on some sewing projects.

    MD like the new format! Thanks for all you do,it is indeed a calling!

    Take care and remember we are all in this together!

  8. Jersey Drifter says:

    Not much this week. just keeping the weeds and slugs under control in the veggie garden. Also today I am planning on replanting sting beans that didn’t do good at all. I think I planted them too soon. Also will be planting some more yellow summer squash and pickle cucumbers to fill in some empty spots. That’s it for me. Like I said, not much done this week.

  9. Thomas The Tinker says:

    And WadIdo2prepthiswk? Just emptied the house of the last of the ‘family’. We had 13 in the house from 3 to 9 days for the “Olde West End” festival. I am certain that two of my family are tucked tightly on board the prepping train now. We traded equipment and food preps, ideas, sources, etc.

    Snow peas are coming in. Romas are beginning to bloom. Onion and galic are going wild.

    Found an LMI… ? …at the ‘Battery Store’ and we are going to put together a small 12vdc/20watt solar power home power supply. Getting together a small amp hour list today and sunday. CB / Ham, minor electronic loads. Fell victim to another Tac-Lite.

    Got this in the mail Friday.

    “…UYllico Inc. has reported the potential exposure of your personal data to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human services, and various state and federal agencies…” “The incident arose from what may be the theft of a laptop from the ‘Union Labor Life’s Silver Spring, Maryland offices.” “The Data on the laptop included your name, address, DOB, SS#, personal health information. This Data was used in the application process for……..” Oh…. Hummmm

    I am a member of a Credit Union. I put a stop loss hold on my accounts. Cancelled my CC and ATM numbers at their advice. and……………………….. S – – t! more to do. Mas Luego.

    Read YOUR mail.

  10. JP in MT says:


    I wanted to say I had the DW check the blog’s look on her tablet and phone. The tablet was the same readability, but on her Samsung 4 it is much better. Thanks for the work.

    We got the TN mission people off to the airport late last night. We didn’t really provide as many people as we should have, and our preparation was very bad. But, since God was at work everything went well. I told our “coordinator” that the next time don’t use the pronoun “we” or “us” only use proper noun’s. Seemed this week that “we” was me!

    Got the DW’s 4-wheeler back from the shop. Tuned and repaired, and the rear rack installed. Now it just needs a little paint.

    Stocked up on sale Bear Creek soup mix, maple syrup, and oatmeal this week. Got in some more oatmeal that I ordered from Wal-Mart and it “got lost”. Put in an order for the Organic Blackberries that EE has on sale again; along with some of the Mountain House FD 2-3 meal packets. Also found Britta water bottles on 50% markdown, so picked up 2 and 4 replacement filters.

    Was a good week for me for rimfire ammo. A local store got in 17 HMR in 20 gr HP’s. A friend was selling some of his CCI Stingers. Then I found a source for some of the other 22 LR that I like and that is coming. Not really for “plinking” but hunting ammo.

    Sent in the last payment for the car, we now “own” our vehicles again. Now we can focus on paying off the house (again). It’s been a tough 3 years, prepping and paying off the bills. I just think it is really going to “hit the fan” soon, at least financially. When the EBT cards don’t work, people can’t buy anything for lack of available product and massive increase in cost, I think things are going to get ugly, quick.

    MD’s right, I think time is getting short. We need to do everything we can, as fast as we can, to prepare ourselves. DON’T PANIC, just focus.

    • JP in MT,

      Thank you for the feedback…

    • It’s really hard to focus on prepping when you see your preps slowly dwindling due to having to use them because a lack of grocery money. The SHTF begins for some of us early. I thank God I have what I do.

      • BREARBEAR says:


        not everyone is rich.

        i am not by choice.

        been there. (not been rich…but “middle class”)…


        Get…and keep out of DEBT!


        i detest $!!!!!!!!!!

        dont care if i have much.

        the less i have the MORE I HAVE.

        and if i want can be even more self reliant.

        i liveoff me preps a lot.

        keep on keeping on!

        never surrender.


        I will pray for you.


        think homemade gear!

        you do not need to have all that expensive gear and crap….
        but work towards getting the best
        you can afford.

        for example:
        yes…i have M.S.R. dromedary bags…
        but some wire or twine and 1or 2 litre plastic pop bottles for canteens will do.

        GET OFF THE TREADMILL and out of the ratrace…

        you do NOT have to keep up with the Jones’es…
        set your own UNIQUE LIFE GOALS…
        realistically..within your means.

        and learn to do without.

        you can only carry so much on your
        back and caching is a challenge…
        even short rterm caching is a challenge…i know…
        more than MOST i bet.

        learn to make a hobo stove…hobo type gear/HOMEMADE will get you by…look at how the POOR get by in the rest of the world…

        learn to make a beer/pop can stove…etc.

        you can make an expedient grain mill out of 3 short clean metal pipes…
        kept together with duct tape and some damn wire!!!! put some grain in a #10 coffee can put the can between feet and pound it!
        make flour!
        (like a mortar and pestle!


        YES!… i want the WORLDS DAMN BEST GEAR!

        but WE ALL can get by wirh minimal crapppppp!!!!


        a world class quality water filter purifier in MHO is vital!
        as is the RIGHT type of poolshock…

        collect lots and lots of water AND containers…

        water is #1.


        learn foraging….etc.

        i dont know your circumstances
        but everywhere i have livedhere in Canada i can find some free food to eat. ALL Seasons.
        move away from the cities and learn nature and primitive survival skills.

        i hope this helps…

        but i can live with my basic pantry
        very cheaply…except for my beers when not brewing…
        :) (too cold).

        hot sauce lack of will/might just…

  11. riverrider says:

    nice work m.d….i ordered a vz58 rifle this week. always wanted one and the price was too good to pass. a top of the line “regime change” rifle for 399 :) also ordered two more regime change lower receivers on sale for 49.00, received 10 pmags and a 30rd beretta happy stick for my keltec. my lib sister has seen the light, emailed me about spewing pepsi all over her car radio listening to hannity expose the regime crimes and misdemeanors. she was already a prepper of sorts from our upbringing, but her idol hillary saying how the 5 terrs traded for bergdahl wouldn’t be a danger sent her over the top. btw, she says we let dozens of the worst go when we left iraq, including the leader of isis that is now leaving a trail of severed heads thru iraq. tdl is making no effort to rescue the contractors in iraq, maybe because they aren’t muslim? putin took the opportunity to run tanks and anti aircraft into ukraine. evil, or stupid? yes.

    • Jersey Drifter says:

      I think you are right about the contractors in Iraq and TDL not doing anything because they aren’t Muslim. Besides they work for the evil greedy corporations.
      “Putin …… evil or stupid? yes. ” Yes just like TDL. Sometimes I think TDL is just incompetent, and sometimes I think he is sly as a fox.

  12. Well I got my 55 gallon water storage barrels in place and filled, picked up some more .223 ammo, assorted can goods, cat and dog food,rice and beans, sugar. found a couple of rolls of wire that would be good for snares, found out the town wants to take down a maple tree in the right of way, I am making a deal with them to take away the brush and I will deal with the wood, so I will get a fair amount of fire wood out of the deal.

  13. Baby catcher says:

    Cleaned house after having Daughter visiting us for the first time( we’ve been here 9 years, and she lives 9 hrs away). Had a lovely visit, took her to see the Capital City ( Country Music City), she saw a few small preps, but none of the kids have seen it all. But she knows when the balloon goes up, she has the option of coming here as opposed to staying in the mid-Atlantic military city she’s in now. I pray for her protection. Her hubby’s family is from Far SW VA, and still have homes out there, so I will encourage them to go there, in the hills. That’s funny tho, cuz back in the 60’s it was all the rage to go to The Big City to get jobs. Now it’s getting too dangerous to stay there! Garden is fully planted, peas have been harvested,warm weather crops are going great guns. Horses are coming along in their training, and I’m almost finished with the needlework I’m doing in trade for about 10 dz canning jars! It’s a beautiful piece, but took longer than I thought it would to finish. It’s Cardinals and Dogwood. Checked out ammo prices in a city 2.5 hrs away, still no 22. The ammo guy said there are people waiting in line the minute the truck gets there, and buy up their limits, so there are none in reserve….I think people are catching on. MD, love the new format. Keep up the good work, and thanks for the thumbs up/down buttons…enjoy your more open space….

  14. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Hey, cubbies!
    MD, as always, you do an amazing job. Your efforts sets the pace for all of us.
    I didn’t do much this week. I had the MRI done on my shoulder and did a tiny bit of weeding. DH did assemble and install the auto water system and nipples for the chickens. The buckets are complete with auto filler. Now we can be gone a week and not worry.
    Have been watching the news and my head is about to explode. I think it’s about time for a vaca from technology. And I love my fb friends but am unhappy with what fb is doing! Is it time to disconnect? I feel I need to stay informed but hate that I’m advertising my business to the world.

  15. Petticoat Prepper says:

    Good WDYDTPTW!

    MD I too would like to know where you got those reels? I’ve never seen that before and I have been know to spend time lurking in the fishing departments.

    This week has cost me tens of thousands of dollars! STBX did not repeat DID NOT respond to either of the offers received on the house and we’ve lost those buyers! Our court ‘update’ this week was without the judge, yet again. The best thing I can say is a trial date (did you know divorce could go all the way to a jury trial?!?) has been set for November. Grrrrr

    Special thanks to the cubbie who told me about the grey rock method. I have linked into another site with massive information that is proving to be extremely helpful, sorry I can’t remember your name, but THANK YOU again.

    27 of my 28 first cousins are here for the weekend to spend time with dad and say their final good byes. BBQ today and sightseeing tomorrow. So it should be an interesting weekend.

    Garden is doing really well. We’ve had some rain which is helping to keep things watered. The deer stopped by this week and picked up their reminder of the electric fence and continued on to the neighbors yard to snack. My hunter kitty has successfully defended the parameter by attacking and dispatching two moles and one gardener snake (rats on the snake as they eat slugs) and then she generously left this prep at the door for my eating pleasure. What a good kitty….

    Hope everyone has a great weekend.

    • On Amazon.com – Yo Yo Fishing Reels

    • riverrider says:

      those reels are amazing. we used them on patrol as trip wires and as an instant clothesline among other uses. very good for snares too. i got mine on amazon too.

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        LOL, I should have known you would have a tactical use for yo-yos. And I just use mine for crappie fishing. Gotta love MD’s blog.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Besides the yo-yos, it’s great to have some fishing noodles on hand. Go to Wal-Mart, get some swimming pool noodles, section them off in 2 ft. sections, cut 1″ PVC pipe a little longer than the noodle, run the PVC pipe through the middle of pool noodle, drill a hole on one end of PVC pipe, tie heavy nylon fishing line with a 4/0 catfish hook to the PVC pipe, weigh it down with a couple of 1 oz. sinkers, and you have it. Attach bait and pick a spot. My son has been consistently catching 20 lb. blue catfish on these noodles.

      • recoveringidiot says:

        We just tie the line to empty Clorox jugs.

        • Kermit5575 says:

          We can’t jug fish down here in Fl. The Gov’ment man will give you a ticket.

      • Noodles are great to stuff in your boots to keep them upright and crease free, not to mention double use as pipe insulation in an emergency!

        • Baby catcher says:

          Thanks for this great tip! I was wondering what to use to keep my English riding boots upright while they dried I guess the noodles would work…

          • I have a pair of 30 year old Nicona’s that were really getting flat, they were rubbing blisters on my ankle. A large size noodle and a small piece are getting them uncreased, much to my delight. I also cut some shorter pieces to stuff down where my foot goes, sure theres a name for that part, but shoe trees are hard to come by. Pinterest is a gold mine of tips like that.

    • Petticoat Prepper – I have first hand experience with divorce by jury trial. Prayers for you during this time.

  16. ladyhawthorne says:

    We got more blessed rain this week and more coming today and tomorrow. Wishing I had more rain barrels……

    Yesterday took Mom for her carpal tunnel surgery on the first wrist. So far so good, not much pain.

    Garden is growing like crazy, watermelon is blooming and we have bell peppers making fruit. Beans and tomatoes looking good and more beets coming up. Okra is finally getting taller and at least 1 of the 2 cuke vines looks good. Not bad for my first ever real garden. I have walnut sized peaches, we’ll see how they do.

    Found purslane coming up where I moved some bricks, I may transplant it to a flower bed. It’s edible!

    • Jersey Drifter says:

      Your “…first ever real garden.” sounds like it is doing good. Sometimes ( more often than not ) mother nature can throw you a curve ball. A late cold front, an early too hot spell, not enough rain, too much rain, hail, wind, bugs, the list goes on.
      It sounds like you are doing OK. I have learned over the years that if one kind of veggie doesn’t do as good as it should, I try it the following year, maybe plant it a little earlier or later, or more compost or something. If the second year I still am not happy, I try a different variety.
      Good luck and get that dehydrator or canner ready. :)

    • Sw't tater says:

      If you can leave the purslane where it is, it would be best, it really sets it back when you move it. pick it very small and it is good! (good as a side with beans!I tried it for the first time two years ago.

  17. The PMs I ordered last week arrived and look great. I’m glad we finally began a regular program of small increments instead of the totally haphazard way I had been going about accumulating them.

    I hit the swap meet Wednesday and picked up two dollars face value of Mercury dimes. The price was a dollar or so above dealers price, but with no shipping I came out ahead. Also picked up a pair of good stainless tweezers for the Mainland medical kit, and a small pair of needle nose pliers.

    I finally sorted through a great big bag of DW’s change which had been moldering in her closet for several years and found a couple dollars face value in silver, 90% and 40%, so that was good to get out of the way. Not sure what my DW will do with the rest, but it is hers so not my call.

  18. Nancy V. says:

    I like the new layout and completely agree with your decision to have an independent blog and site. I always use your links here when buying online items to offer support and point folks to your blog whenever I can. You are helping us, and I thank you for it!

    This week, we donated an old working midsize freezer that we stored bulk dry goods in. A friend goes to a church who regularly feeds the poor in Appalachia – we thought about it and since we stock more dry and canned goods now, and the main freezer is large and is in good working order – sharing with others helps everyone. We are building more shelves in the area where we can store buckets. Win Win.

    Sprayed the apple trees due to bag worms, weeded the garden and harvested my first patch of Don Juan red roses – I wash, dry and crush them for aromatic Christmas soaps which I make about August or September.

    Question: I have never have dehydrated Green Beans – I usually freeze them for the winter. I read somewhere that you can dehydrate frozen veggies, even store-bought ones and can them, via dry sterilized jars in the oven. What is the process? Any advice would help. Thanks!

    • Bam Bam says:


      There is an excellent book called The Dehydrator Bible–that gives a lot of information. There is an excellent website that gives step-by-step instructions but I can’t remember the name. Perhaps someone here will help.

      • Nancy V. says:

        Bam Bam,
        Thanks – will find that book!

      • Bam Bam and Nancy,
        Online site….http://www.dehydrate2store.com
        Videos, recipes, lots more.
        Dehydrator Bible is must for anyone who dehydrates food.

        • Bam Bam says:

          That’s it–dehydrate2store.

        • Petticoat Prepper says:

          Yes very good site for learning about dehydrating!

        • Jersey Drifter says:

          Thanks for the link Lynn. I too need some help and guidance. Always something more to learn.

          • Jersey Drifter
            Anything specific or just general information?
            I’m no expert and refer to Dehydrator Bible frequently.
            When dehydrating canned veggies, esp green beans,
            rinse them several time otherwise your dehydrate product is very salty.
            I prefer to dehydrate frozen veggies and hash browns vs canned veggies. Easy, no salt, take your package right out of freezer, no thawing, spread evenly on each tray, single layer of veggie per tray, then dehydrate til your veggie is crisp.

            I use Excalibur dehydrator, guaranteed 10 years ,USA made, adjustable temperatures and a timer.
            Adjust temperature between 115 degrees and 125 degrees 8-10 hours or until you can snap the product or it’s crunchy.
            Potatoes usually take 12-15 hours.

            Two of my favorite items to dehydrate are:
            fresh cantalope and fruit cocktail (drained and rinsed)… tastes like candy when dried.
            Peel the cantalope, slice into small chunks, place on
            tray and dehydrate.

            Once the items are dehydrated, I store in mason jars or
            zip lock bag for 2 or 3 days to ensure they are completely dehydrated, before sealing for storage.
            Find something not completely dehydrated, return it to the dehydrator little longer. You can not over dehydrate IF you use lower temperatures.

            Website and book listed above will answer most if not all your questions. Always feel free to post your questions on this blog. We’re here to help.

            Good luck and enjoy

            • Jersey Drifter says:

              Thank you.
              Cantalope ? never thought of that. Sounds interesting.

            • Lynn
              The cantaloupe sounds wonderful, my guess is you raise your own fruit.
              On the hash browns, I was shopping in Costco a couple of weeks ago they have h/brns in a carton(looks like a small milk carton). You add hot water let them set for about 15 mins and you cook them. There was enough for 4 adults when I dump the package out. Needless to say the dog and I had hash browns for a couple of days. They were really good tasting, cost was less than $7.00 for a package of 8.

              • Becky
                You ate dehydrated hash browns. By dehydrating your own either fresh or frozen, you know what you are eating, GMO/chemical free. Frozen is less likely to be imported from other countries.
                Dehydrating fresh potatoes requires peeling, blanching, grating the potato, prior to dehydrating.
                Whenever frozen hash browns go onsale, I purchase alot to dehydrate. Open froz package, spread on
                tray and dehydrate. I package the hashbrowns into smaller sizes, adding dehydrated onion and or dehydrated bell, red, yellow peppers. Great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (supper).
                Yes I’ve had gardens… Once move is complete, plan to start gardening again. Even with a garden, will
                continue to purchase and dehydrate food items onsale, especially frozen foods and canned fruit cocktail.
                Pantry stocked with plenty of food is better than $$ in the bank, investments, 401k, etc.

                Good luck with your savings account of food.

      • TR from CA says:

        Are you thinking of dehydrate2store.com

    • 19Pinky67 says:

      If you dehydrate fresh green beans, be sure to blanch them well first, or they will be tougher than shoe leather when you try to reconstitute them. Last summer, I found a sale on canned green beans, and I dehydrated those. Worked like a dream!! Takes up a lot less space, lost a ton of weight, and they reconstitute really well.

      • Nancy V. says:

        Thanks! I will do that – and I too found a sale on green beans – good ideas!

      • D in MN says:

        I ate dehydrated blanched green beans and they were stringy and tough. This year I will be cooking them longer. until tender rather than just blanching them.

        • Hunker-Down says:

          Would soaking them overnight help, or would they be mushy after cooking them?

    • No need to blanch frozen veggies as it was done prior to them being frozen. Just pop them into the dehydrator and go.

    • Sw't tater says:

      If dehydrating string beans blanch them first, they can be strung with a needle in summer and hung up in an outside shed..the pioneers called them leather britches, that way you will not tie up your dehydrator..
      . carrots,yellow squash zucchini, okra..all do NOT need to be blanched, just wash drain, slice into even pieces and dehydrate til crispy.
      My family loves dehydrated zucchini, great for dipping or for soups.Okra can be snacked on dry for crunchy snack too.When you dehydrate it , it can be fried and tastes just like fresh picked…some people like to put seasonings on those they intend for snacks, ..like black pepper, chili powder or small amounts of salt.If you do this, when you pack it in jars and seal it, be sure to label both inside and outside of the jar…

  19. canadagal says:

    “Rain, rain go away, Come again another day!” But not too soon. Rain predicted until at least Wed. Not much prepping this week but did finish the gov’t charitable org. forms for our church. I have almost finished a report to gov’t on how we spent grant money at museum. Did a little more sorting in pantry. Also 2 meeting I had to prepare for. The ladies of our church made 70 doz. perogies for summer camp so that was 1 morning. Printed a number of articles that may be usefull if things collapse. DH got lawns mowed, some garden weeded, worked on broken down lawn mower, & is working on building a push garden cultivator. A few glitches yet. Look for the positive everyone. My single peony that usually only blooms for a couple of days is now over a week in full bloom with all this rain & cool weather. Have a great week everyone & thanks for all the good tips I get from this site.

  20. patientmomma says:

    Found some very good buys on colored sweet peppers so dehydrated them along with some baby portabella mushrooms. Threw all the tough stems from kale, mustard greens and turnip greens into the food processor and then dehydrated them for healthy (smoothie) drinks and some for the chickens. Picked up a zaycon order of dark chicken at and canned for two days using two canners. It was the first time I got chicken thighs. While I had to remove some skin, it was worth it not to have debone it. Put up 44 pints of chicken thighs, so it was a productive week.

    My credit card number was stolen but my bank was on top of it immediately so charges were declined and everything cancelled. Our world is crumbling around us folks; keep the faith!

    • patientmomma
      I was hoping someone had purchased the chicken thighs from Zaycon. Did you cook any prior to canning them? What did you think of the meat?
      I am wondering if they are as good as the chicken breast? We are picking up the ckn breast later on this fall, and I was looking at putting in an order for the thighs.

      • patientmomma says:

        Becky, I just browned it on both sides in the skillet with some powdered spices (onion, garlic, salt pepper) and then it went right in the jars. I had one jar which did not seal so we had that with wild rice for dinner. The flavor was excellent and everyone was happy!

  21. Rider of Rohan says:

    4 more inches of rain this week, temperatures very moderate for this time of year, so the garden is going absolutely crazy. Picked the first green tomatoes yesterday, so it’s fried green tomatoes for supper tonight. Picked a 5 ga. bucket of green beans this morning, so it’s snapping time. More squash, potatoes, and pinto beans from the neighbor, so work..work..work.

    I have a friend who is making me mayhaw wine out of the abundance of mayhaws we’ve had this year. Everything is in abundance, both in the wild and under cultivation. I’ve never seen the garden production everyone is getting this year. Thank God for perfect weather and plenty of rain.

    I didn’t make a Wally or Sam’s run this week, so only added some pasta on sale at the grocery story. Have a great week, Pack.

    • riverrider says:

      rider, i have noticed nature provides a bounty right before something bad. i do wish i had a garden. you are blessed this year. take care brother.

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        Well, I’m sharing a garden with my FIL, and doing most of the work since he is getting up in age. That old push plow ain’t as easy as a tiller, but tiller’s won’t be available if something happens, so pushing the plow, lol.

        Also got asked yesterday to do a special section in the local newspaper for Veteran’s Day. I couldn’t turn that down, so I’ll be starting interviews next month with vets of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and the War on Terror. Will do several weeks of interviews, then page design, photos, etc. Probably do a little piece on active duty military as well. Just think, I’ll get paid for something I’d be honored to do for free. Very fortunate.

        • riverrider says:

          very nice!!good for you.being near bedford we had a great deal of interest in the vets of d-day. i was proud to see the outpouring of thanks to the few remaining vets…..the dw and i took a ride around the “block” this afternoon and we noticed SO many gardens, and chickens, even more cattle grazing than previous years. couple years ago we remarked how nobody grows anything around here any more. this used to be agriculture central. tobacco was king, but everybody had side lines too. four out of five businesses were farm related. maybe its coming back? many of the farms are broken up now though for house lots…my favorite outdoor spot is now under fed control and charges 3 bucks a day to go there.

        • Jersey Drifter says:

          Does your paper, that you are working on the article for, have a web site? I would love to read your piece if you let us know when it is printed / posted.

          • Rider of Rohan says:

            They do have a website, but all their articles are behind a paywall. However, when the section is published on Veteran’s Day, I’ll post a link if MD doesn’t mind. All the veterans will be from the Ark-La-Tex area.

      • Encourager says:

        Last year was our bounty year for nature producing tons. This year, we had a late, weird frost. Didn’t affect our apple trees, but no peaches this year. The dogwood trees did not bloom, either. Our Carpathian (white) walnut trees were also hit with that frost; one re-leafed out but the other looks dead. Every time something like this happens, I think – what if we were completely dependent on surviving on what those trees gave us? We would be up the creek this year. Scary thoughts….

  22. Worked on canning strawberries – more strawberry/lemonade, strawberry jam and hope to do some sundae in a jar. Probably one of the most important steps was doing to the 6 month post cancer surgery checkup and getting the all clear for the next 3 months. Work today and getting ready for flea market tomorrow.

  23. mom of three says:

    I did get a rain barrel, hubby will put a drain spout in this weekend, it was $15.00 can’t beat that price. The stores had good coupons, this week.
    2 containers of tang
    4 mayonnaise
    6 boxes of hamburger helper
    2 boxes of Velvetta hash brown
    2 boxes of Capri Sun
    3 boxes of tea
    4 cases of bottles water
    5 Two pound blocks of hard cheese
    20 cans of cat food
    Today will be a Costco run
    1 Big jar of Mayonnaise
    1 Bottle of Bleach
    2 – 2 pack of Vinager
    1 bag at our farmers co op good cat food with no grains
    1 gallon of good gas.
    Have a wonderful Father’s Day .

  24. Goatlover says:

    Finally found some lids for the five-gallon buckets so I can get my latest order of oats and beans put up with mylar and O2 absorbers. Stockpiled 6 months worth of hay in the loft for my livestock (have to consider THEIR needs, too!) Continuing to harvest okra. All this rain has the chicken coop and buck yard in a stinky mess! I coated the floors with lime and pine shavings to de-stink them until the rains let up. Will have LOTS of manure and spent hay to transfer to the garden mulch pile if it ever quits raining…..

    I am trying to keep up with all the crazy “news” around the world—not to get depressed, but to keep me motivated to PREP. Can’t be much longer at the rate we’re going…..

  25. We didn’t get much bought this week since money is non-existant this week, but we have started harvesting the “fruits” of our garden… We’re eating out of the garden as well as preserving…

    Got 6 pints of kosher dill pickles stacked away, 3 quarts of squash, 3 quarts of bell peppers, and 1 1/2 quarts of zucchini frozen for use this fall. We polished off a pint of my daughter’s strawberry freezer jam, so we will be trying to find strawberries to make more… I need a couple more cukes to do another load of pickles, but I am thinking that the next zuke that comes ripe may be added into the mix for zucchini pickles. I harvested the 5 surviving onions from the garden – out of 50, 5 came to fruition… They’ll be added to squash tonight for dinner…

    I’m worried by the things I am seeing going on out there and doing all I (we) can to put back a little more each day…. It doesn’t help matters that the management at my DH’s workplace is experiencing a shift and the new “managers” have targeted my DH (one of the top performers) to try to get to resign or (if they have their way) keep dinging away at to be able fire… I’m sorry, but when someone is bringing in enough sales for a bonus bigger than your pay check and have a customer satisfaction rate of 95%, you’re looking to get rid of them when you are giving them action plans for nit-picky things…

    Anyway… Dh is looking for fresh employment and I am plugging away at trying to get us stocked up enough for 6 months of food in rotation… We definitely eat what we store, so it helps that we really like beans cause they are about the only thing (with rice) that I can afford to buy to put up right now…

    Hope everyone had a good week! Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there!

    • Hunker-Down says:


      Maybe those new managers know your DH has the capacity to do their job and they are afraid they may loose theirs if he gets recognized by their boss.

    • Shandi, I’ve had that same thing happen to me when I worked at a video rental store that was part of a large chain. Was offered a manager position, to which I responded with a resounding “Hell, no!” the manager that was hired was told by the district manager to get rid of me. New manager checked my stats, best producer, best attendance, very few cash issues, and figured the district manager was nuts. She and I became good friends, and I had a good laugh when she told me about it. Solstice coming up, time for cleansing and protection!

    • H-D: That’s what we figured… He has over 20 years experience doing their jobs (not to mention their boss’s job) and they do feel threatened by him….

      Shai: I think it is his immediate boss who feels threatened since my DH knows she is in a personal relationship with one of her subordinates and her boss is afraid my DH will angle for his job…. real mess there right now with the site director leaving and the company filling his spot with someone from within the current management structure (who of course has an agenda).

      I have big plans for the Solstice, plus the full moon last night and the waning moon now…. believe me, I am covering my bases 😉

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        I don’t understand plans for the Solstice, including cleansing and protection? Can you enlighten me?

        • Rider, I’m Wiccan and celebrate the Summer Solstice. It is a time to honor the God and Goddess and celebrate the changing of the seasons. There are rituals and spells that have more power when done during that time than at other times (that’s true for all of the High holy days).

      • k. fields says:

        Ah yes, next weekend – I certainly will be celebrating Litha with a bonfire and offerings left for the Fae with friends at my place like usual. Who knows what could happen if the ashes from the fire weren’t spread around the homestead. Not a chance I’m willing to take!

  26. Hunker-Down says:

    Not much this week. We planted 3 new peach trees, added secondary support lines to our little grape harbor and trimmed a few vines.

    One of our projects last year was to stockpile fishing equipment. We bought a box of the automatic fishing reels M.D. has pictured, a box of #3 treble hooks, a box of #4 treble hooks, a box of swivels and enough 40 lb. nylon cord to make several throw lines and bush lines. I think we can set these out in places where others will not become aware that someone is ‘working’ a part of the lake. We can run the lines after dark and have a few catfish to supplement our mylared (is that a word?) rice and beans.

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

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

    Because of past actions of congress, we do not have a free press.

    Please pray for peace in the world.

  27. Tiernan says:

    Not much…

    1.) Went to Charlottesville and got my four wheeler. Needs front brakes and the carbs cleaned.
    2.) Picked up American Survival Guide and Shooter’s & Preppers magazines.
    3.) Found an old ALICE pack.

  28. Madison says:

    I took some containers that I used as a kid to organize my stuff and made them part of my 72 hr kit. I read that post about how I’ll hate myself later if I don’t make one. I put some food, pads, clothes, and some other things in it.
    I talked to my moms boss this week and hes a prepper too. He believes the collapse will happen this year. He has a bunch of food labeled rainy day food stacked up to the ceiling, and theres more in another room where he keeps his gun safe. The safe is awesome! He has a bug out location that he and his food and family will go. After I talked to him, I was really anxious to go buy more food and supplies. I think ill go buy some more flashlights and matches when I get a chance.

    • Madison
      Good work on finding a like mind family. You are one the right track, slow and easy. Remember baby steps on your prepping.

    • mom of three says:

      Keep up the great work Madison, your doing a world of good.
      Little by little it really adds up.

    • Jersey Drifter says:

      Sounds like your mom’s boss might be a person who could help you with questions and give you some advice.

      But then you have us, your Wolf Pack buddies ! :)

  29. Lets see:

    This week we received our new XDM .40 cal. We were finally able to purchase it after a years time. Now ammo.

    Our pickup got new brakes and tomorrow will get new tires. Serious ouch. Husband and son put the brakes in but parts are spendy. We need it to pull our camper though.

    Garden is in and doing pretty well. We have broccoli, lettuce, swiss chard, bokchoy, tons of tomatoes, cabbage, peas and beans, okra, peppers, cucumbers, zuchinni. Not too bad for a city backyard in raised beds.

    Gave our Son one of our tents and an air mattress. We have enough and he and his wife can use it. We have another tent… exactly the same and haven’t used it since we got the camper. Garage needs cleaning out so its one more thing not in it


    • Jersey Drifter says:

      My Mom has an awesome recipe for bok choy salad. If you are interested I will get it from her and post it for you, and anyone else that is interested.

    • Jersey Drifter says:

      Ok Lisa, here you go.

      Bok Choy Salad

      1/2 c butter
      2 tbsp. sugar
      1/4 c ( 1 oz. ) of sesame seeds
      2 packs of Ramen Noodles ( broken up, DON”T use flavor packet )
      1 small package of slivered almonds ( 6 oz. )
      2 lbs. of Bok Choy, cut into bite size pieces, stems and tops
      5 – 6 green onions incl. tops
      Dressing Below

      Melt butter, add seeds, almonds, sugar and noodles. Stir until lightly browned. Set aside to cool to room temp.
      Toss Bok Choy and onions together, mix and chill ( do not add to noodles yet )
      Just before serving break up the crunchy noodle mix. Add to the Bok Choy, pour dressing over all and serve.

      3/4 c veg. oil
      1/4 c wine vinegar
      1/2 c sugar
      2 tbsp. soy sauce

      ENJOY. We often have this instead of a traditional tossed salad during holidays. Also a good one to make and bring to someone’s home for BBQ’s or dinners.

  30. Bam Bam says:

    Not a whole lot to report this week. I have been getting ready for dh’s Father’s Day celebration and we have three birthdays coming up in the next few weeks. The only prep of note was that I ordered and received some shinny stuff from J.M. Bullion.

  31. 19Pinky67 says:

    This week, we finally got the last of our garden planted. Hooray! The chicken enclosure is working nicely, and they are becoming used to getting outside every day. Purchased a box of ammo, 2 spare magazines and a holster for the handgun we purchased a couple of weeks ago. Other than that, weeding the garden and feeding the chicks has been the order of the day.

  32. Had Thursady and Friday off this week as a mini sta-cation. And got a lot accomplished! DH stopped at the farmers market and p/u a butt load of small cucumbers and over the past two and a half days I canned 48 pints, 12 bread and butter, 12 dill and 24 hot pickles! By this time next year DH will have them gone.
    I also canned 12 half pints of Monkey Butter, someone posted the recipe here last week and it sounded yummy. I’m sorry, but I don’t remember who it was to give credit. But it has bananas, pineapple and coconut can’t wait to try it on my next PB sandwich.

    At the farmers market this morning we got 1/2 bushel of peaches, our peach trees are still babies and will take another year or so to produce. I promished DH a peach cobbler for tonight and will can the rest.

    Spent some time in the cool of the mornings weeding the garden, we have been getting heat storms each evening so the weeds are doing as good as the veggies. And of course nothing is doing as wells the squash,, have had squash and onions three times so far this week. Does anyone know,, can I dehydrate squash? We have frozen it other years but it’s never as good as the fresh,, too watery when you cook it.

    And spring cleaning here and there, DH is adding a shelf in my canning closet to make rotation easier.
    Prep hard pack, I think we will be in for a bumpy ride soon.

    • R-Me
      According to the Excalibur book you can dehydrate them for chips(like potatoe chips), soups and stews. Not for re-hydrating to cook and eat, or frying. Slice them 1/4 to 1/8th and set temp at 125 degrees until crisp. Hope that helps you.

    • R-Me
      Found something else in the book, if you do “not” want chips then you are to steam the vege’s 2-3 minutes before dehydrating. It is a part of the ‘pre-treatment’ process.

      • The chips actually sound good,, and healthy. Ill give them a try.
        Much better for you than fried in oil potato chips.
        Thanks Becky.

    • Sw't tater says:

      Dehydrate them, wash dry and slice evenly. they are great as chips or in soups. they taste sweet!. they can be rehydrated and fried if prefered that way. pack them like every other dry product.

  33. Granny W says:

    Hi pack: I pulled a muscle working in the garden recently so prepping has been non existent the past 2 weeks. Still struggling with the garden…our MN weather is CRAZY….another inch of rain today so far and wind that lays stuff over at a 45 degree angle! Pushed myself to tie up tomatoes and do a little weeding yesterday/glad I did with this rain again. Still some farmers with planting to do around here–wonder if it will ever get dry enough in time for them to plant. I have to tell you about my “raised beds”. My husband raised hogs for many years and when we quit, he took the cement hog feeders, cleaned them up, took off the bottom feeder tray, buried them about 2 feet into the ground, filled with rocks & then soil, so now I have 4 waist high beds about 3 feet by 6 feet. they are perfect for raising greens, beets, onions, carrots, etc. I love the fact that I do not have to bend over to work on them and the critters don’t get into them to eat off the plants! Good for this granny with arthritis everywhere. The rest of the garden is about 50/50 good & bad shape. Can’t keep up with the weed hoeing…….PS: sure wish I had some rain barrels to fill with all this rain.

    • Bought four more rifles. Not sure why except that I wanted them. I think I have a disease. Except for the lever action in .32 Win. Special, I have other rifles in same calibers. Maybe I should hook up with an underarmed prepper group.

      • Jersey Drifter says:

        You don’t have a disease. I looked it up on WebMD ( only kidding about looking it up) and found nothing. I have heard of people that buy ammo every chance they get, when they find a good sale or price. They even buy ammo in calibers they can’t use. I think they are called Ammo Wh@res.

        • Jersey Drifter says:

          I am not implying that you are like the ammo guys.
          Sorry, that didn’t sound like what I meant to say.

        • Uncle Charlie & Jersey Drifter
          A friend sent me an article on why ammo is being purchase ASAP. Now I will become one of those collectors of ammo. Article on its way to MD, if it
          has not been posted before.

      • JP in MT says:

        Well, I buy magazines for rifles I don’t have yet!

      • axelsteve says:

        my Stepdad has a win 94 in 32 win. If the barrell is good it is a good gun. If the barrell is worn they tend to keyhole when the barrel is a bit loose. Overall it is a good gun though.

      • Bwhntr59 says:

        Unc C

        Hey don’t worry, I have the same disease. It ain’t bad. Remember those guns will have immense trade value, or of course defense value, in a SHTF future. In the meantime they are fun and cool. cause a preppers gotta have fun, right? Can’t just be worrying about the collapse and all and never have a lick of shooting fun and weapons fondling.

  34. Not a good week. Wednesday was payday; social security. On the way to shop including some food for the pantry, I stopped for a feed truck and I was rearended by a lady still excelerating after pulling onto the highway. She was doing about 50 mph. Nothing on me broken, but my 14 year old Ford Ranger with a rebuilt engine, new truck tires, and no monthly payment has a major broken frame behind the rear wheels from one side to the other. The ball on the bumper is now parallel to the ground. Now I have to figure out how to get another Ford Ranger 4×4 in the same shape without putting out any money. A call has already been made to the attorney. The Ford Ranger was one of my prepping projects!! The MAN upstairs was watching out and taking care of me. I was pushed 150 feet and into the oncoming traffic. I was able to pull myself back to my lane and stop behind the truck without getting hit headon in addition to being rearended. Also was not sandwiched between the Caravan that hit me and the feed truck. The driver of the feed truck coasted enough to allow me back into my lane.

    Will start Monday with doctor for the whiplash all the way down my back, but I am not planning on letting up on the prepping. We are still working on the garden. It is back to being dry enough to work the soil. Another 50 sweet potatoes arrived and are ready to go into the garden. My DGS decided I needed some guinea chicks. He brought home 6 little ones today when he picked up the chicken scatch and laying pellets for me. He is new to the prepping environment, but I like how he decided to spend some of his money (very low income due to parttime and labor only jobs) so I could have some more egg layers and insect eaters.

    I chose to only keep a small amount of my paycheck in the bank. Just enough to pay the bills by online checking. Wish I could convince certain relatives of the need to do the same. Still have the feeling my teacher’s pension is going to disappear soon. It will go before the social security, but I do not hold out to be getting retirement checks into the indefinite future.

    MD, my i-Phone loves the new format. Thank you. I agree. Everything is happening so fast. Time is closing in. Now to get another dependable, mid-sized, 4-wheel drive Ford truck. At 74, that is a big step up on the larger trucks. I even had a side step on my Ford Ranger. Oh well. Been checking locally. May have to have insurance company find one outside the area . Did I mention attorney???? I did not cause the accident. I am not going to take a loss or go into debt on this deal.

    Everyone, no panic, but stay focused. Hopefully, your neighbors are getting the idea also. The high prices from the drought are working in our favor. The more people producing food the better for everybody.

    • Bummer about your Ranger, but very thankful you were not seriously injured. Just be sure you don’t sign off on a settlement before you really know how the neck is going to heal.

    • docj
      I concur with Linda on this accident.
      It is not just your current injury, but if something else were to manifest from this accident down the road you need to be covered. You are now raising your DGS, and all bases need to be covered besides finding a replacement vehicle.
      {First of all I am NOT an insurance agent} but let me pass on sage advice. Your vehicle probably will be scraped for salvage, you can purchased it backed for parts to use on another truck IF you can find the *same make/model/year*. Think of it as placement parts IF you are able to do it yourself, or have friends assist you strip what you need off of it. Sell what you can not use to the metal salvage company. Don’t forget to remove the gas out of your vehicle, that stuff is not cheap and insurance companies do not pay for it. We lost an entire tank to the storage company.

      • You just gave me the same advise I received last night. My older DS saw the truck this morning. From his experience, he said it was totaled. He wants to strip it out to make money for me, but I am with you. I can use the parts to bring a new vehicle up to what I lost. A good multi-use vehicle is a major item in prepping. Thank you for your input.

    • patientmomma says:

      Hope you heal up; watch what you say in public/on-line. Lawyers and Uncle are everywhere!

  35. The apricot tree delivered small fruit this year, but that was due to the lack of rain and unable to supply extra water. Yet I have have about a 5 gallon bucket full of Tilton apricots to put up, some I will dehydrate, some will be canned, the rest into two different types of jam. Even though they are small they still have a wonderful taste.
    Cooked another turkey to make space in the freezers for the next coming meat supply. This I am going to dehydrate for us and the neighbor, she was the ‘go to person’ when dh was hospitalized, and we needed someone to care for all the critters. It will be my first time doing this type of meat. Usually I only do jerky.
    Last week I dowsed two wells for a member of the pack.
    Picked up dh medication from the local Costco, and had sticker shock on the price of shredded cheese. What I paid for a big bag last year (less then $7.00), is now $14.49 and way smaller size. I looked around to see if I had miss read the pricing, but it was correct. Gulp! Guess I will put that salad shooter to work shredding cheese.

    • mom of three says:

      We went to Costco, my hubby was in shock at the prices.
      4 pack of butter is $9.99 up from $7.99, Velevtta Cheese, a 2 pack was $12.99 up from $9.99. Gas is $3.85 and premium $4.00 even. I had to buy starts nothing in my garden is coming up that was $20.00 in new starts. It’s not going to get any better.

      • Mom of three
        I had not even looked at the price of butter, they would have been giving me oxygen if I had seen those prices. Ouch!!
        Our store does not have gas station…yet. Then it will be even worse than it is now.
        Check your area for a store under the name of [Cash & Carry], they are not in all regions. If you should have one sign up for their monthly special notice via email. If NOT, check to see how far one is from you.
        There are two times a year they have a special on dairy products, 1st one is just before Thanksgiving. The second one is or around Valentines day-Easter.

        • mom of three says:

          We do have a Cash & Carry, closer then Costco, that is one reason we are letting our membership go. I got up this morning to feed the cat, I opened my refrigerator and the temperature was 92 degrees! No I’m not kidding the compressor, went out so the butter we just bought was all melted in the package, everything was just ruined. We spent the morning cleaning out everything and then off to buy a new refrigerator, oh boy payment again. Debt such a wonderful thing :(

          • i have a question apropos of nothing, but the butter reminded me.
            is it just me, or is butter not melting the way it used to do?
            the butter seems to be milting much more slowly.
            or can i just add it to the list of things that prove that i’m crazy/

            • Encourager says:

              I have found that store butter seems to have a lot of water/milk in it. When butter is made, it is supposed to be washed to remove all the leftover milk so it does not spoil quickly. Even the organic store butter I buy is the same way. I need to store it in the freezer.

              Since we have been buying raw milk, I skim half of the cream off the top and use it to make butter in my food processor. I have now switched to glass bottles because the plastic jugs the farm supplies seem to spoil the milk faster. It is not even lasting 5 days before going bad. Friends that use glass containers keep theirs for two weeks. Has any one else noticed this problem??

              • ChristineM says:

                Hi Encourager.
                Our raw milk comes from a local Jersey dairy and it lasts over two weeks in the plastic jugs. The bottle date is usually within a day or two of purchase. I looked on the bottom of one of the jugs and it has a “2” in the triangle. The other info on the jug is 17, 8049, HDPE, and SWD. Not sure what any of that means, but if yours says the same, it could be another issue. Hope you get it figured out soon.

                • Encourager says:

                  Thanks, Christine. Our milk is from Jersey’s too. It is funny, only the ones who have gotten the plastic jugs from the farm have had spoiled milk. I am wondering if their storage of the jugs is the problem; maybe dust/dirt getting into the jugs. I don’t think the jugs are stored with the caps on as they are the screw on type that separates from a plastic ring when you open them.

                  • make sure to mention this to the farmer. he would like to know.
                    maybe he needs to tell his jug supplier.

                    • Encourager says:

                      I will Wasp. It will be our turn next week to go to the farm and pick up everybody’s milk.

          • mom of three
            I am sorry to hear the fridge died, :-(. It is the pits when that happens, hope you find a fridge an at a decent price. I have looked recently, and sticker shock is becoming more of the norm than I like.

  36. Grannytraveler says:

    Still organizing my preps. My younger son is helping me and he says “NO MORE PASTA”. We are finding it everywhere. Probably have enough to feed 20 people every day for a year. No exaggeration. LOL He hasn’t even seen the pasta I have sealed in mylar bags and put away. That’s what happens when you don’t keep good records and stash stuff every where. I need an OCD transplant from someone to keep me on task.

    Finally found a cheap source for pinto beans. One of the Mexican markets had a two day sale on them for 2# for $.99. Finally have all fresh new beans. Have used up all my old beans (some were from 2010 but still tender) and restocked. I have about 10 different kinds and it’s been fun coming up with different ways to cook them all. Really liked the Anasazi ones.

    Been getting a little worried about the situation in the Middle East, etc. It has really given me a renewed sense of urgency re my preps. On top of that, we had an earthquake the other night that was centered almost directly under my house, 3KM down.

    • patientmomma says:

      grannytraveller, Earthquake under your house? what state are you in?

      • Grannytraveler says:

        SoCal. Thought at first a car or something had hit the house. Strangest earthquake I have ever been in. It was really just two sharp jolts. It was a small one as quakes go just weird that it was almost directly beneath us.

    • Sw't tater says:

      we like the cranberry ones and “pinks” well too…

  37. Nebraska Woman says:

    Good Afternoon!
    I did not get much done because I had to have my toenail surgically removed. Ouch! I am gimping around like Chester.
    Before that, my friend and I were doing 3 miles in 40 minutes which we figured was pretty good for 64 years old. We know that medical care will not be there for us so we have been watching our food and exercise.
    I did take a short class at the community college on repairing stuff. Loved it. I was the only girl so my brothers and dad did the “man” stuff. It’s time for me to learn basic skills. I knew carpentry, but I hadn’t a clue on fixing basic plumbing or electrical problems. I am also signed up for a class in basic automotive repairs ie changing oil.
    I got rid of soooo much stuff via the Goodwill. Now if I can resist the urge to go garage saling I will be fine.
    I am still planning on building in the country, so I am looking at parcels of land. I feel like Goldilocks…this one is too small, this one too large…I will find the right size!

    No more boots on the ground in Iraq; it’s time for them to defend their own soil. Besides, it’s been going on for 4,000 years and will probably go on for thousands more if we as a race can endure.

    • patientmomma says:

      NW, TDL wants to kill off our young people, so he won’t have as much opposition when he declares martial law.

    • I feel for you on the removal of the toenail. Although I haven’t had to that yet, somehow in the last few days I broke a toe (looks like it broke right behind the nail bed). About all they do for a broken toe is strap it to the next toe so I’m doing my own strapping and watching it daily – if I start having lots of trouble, I’ll see a doctor but in the meantime I’ll walk a little funny with a broken toe on one foot and a bad knee on the other leg.

      • Nebraska Woman says:

        Never broke a toe, but I can relate as I have had many a horse step on my feet. The podiatrist said that toes do what they want to do!

  38. I’m having a hard time finding the yoyo lures. Can anyone offer any general sources ?

  39. k. fields says:

    k. fields says – gawd that sounds dorky to me. I much preferred the simple listing of the name of the poster. But the whole site comes up differently now. From the descriptions, I’m seeing a “mobile device” mode or something with the ads all thrown to the bottom of the page – I guess things have simply progressed beyond what my old mac laptop can handle. Oh well, no matter the format, the information is still worth the reading.

    The week has been fine – warm sunshine with a constant light breeze, perfect for cutting grasses, which is what I did using the scythe. Mechanical efficiency is all good and well – tractor mounted mowers and powered bailers certainly can get the job done almost effortlessly – but life can be sacrificed to it. It’s comfortable to work by hand, especially where you don’t have to worry about rain spoiling the harvest. You can take the time to enjoy the little things like the swallows constantly diving past you to get the insects flying into the air as the grasses fall and listening to the sounds of the actual world around you.
    I cut earlier than most farmers would, so the swath will lie in the field for a while yet, being turned and tended to promote drying before being windrowed and finally forked up into the barn’s loft. I wonder in another life if I would have been a wandering reaper, following the growing season across the countryside. Or maybe that’s my future life when there’s no more fuel for the tractor jockeys to ply their trade.

    Lost a hen this week, don’t know from what. One of the dogs brought the carcass in but no signs of fighting on dog or rooster so perhaps she simply died, because either of them would have tried to protect her from a predator. She’ll be missed as she was a good layer but there are chicks enough to replace her. Some things you just have to accept as inevitable.

    I’ve really spread out the spacing of the row crops this year, kind of a test to see how little irrigation I actually need and how little work I’ll have to put out while still obtaining a decent harvest. Pretty much the opposite of all the “square foot” and other intensive gardening methods, but it certainly so far has been easier and everything seems healthy. Time will tell.

    • k. fields, you said – “I much preferred the simple listing of the name of the poster” what do you mean? They are listed the same way on posts and comments as before… I’m confused…

      • k. fields says:

        Prior to the revamping, the poster’s name and date/time of post was listed. The change I referred to is the adding of the word “says” after every poster’s name. No big deal, it just struck me as an odd addition.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      You go, k.fields! I, too, take the time to notice the creatures of nature and the world as I go about my day.
      The name of Wandering Reaper struck me as poetic.

  40. huckleberry lady says:

    This week I worked in my garden, weeding and planting more corn. I picked my strawberries and made two batches of jam. I also picked up another big package of toilet paper from Costco and a large Dawn dish soap. I went to an outdoor store and found two fleece hoodz, the kind that is a hood, neck warmer and can cover up over your nose. I got two since they were 50% off!
    I worked on organizing one of my back bedrooms that stores lots of my preps. My garden is looking like it will have a bountiful year, however I am running out of room to store the food I will can. I also need to buy lots more jars! I want to can as much as possible, since I too feel like things are really starting to happen, but I am running out of ideas of where to store things. I guess it is time to go through the house again and get rid of useless items so I can make more room for my preps.
    Have a good week everyone!

    • hi. i got jars from a lady who used to can but gave it up after her husband died. i didn’t know she was a canner but just mentioned canning and she asked if i would like her jars.
      jumped on it.
      you might put an add in the local penny saver free paper . lots of older ladies whose kids are grown and gone want to find an appreciative home for their jars, and won’t throw them away but no longer use them. you might find jars that are yours for the asking and the picking up.

  41. Hey MD & Pack,
    Only thing I had time for this week was to experiment with making my own laundry powder. What a mess! I tried to make it in a blender and that ain’t gonna work. Heading out to the thrift stores this afternoon to see if I can score a cheap food processor.

    Every post I read on the soap talked about how good it smells but it stinks to me. I put some rose EO in the tablespoon I used last night and the towels came out just fine without any weird smells. I think I’m going to enjoy using it if I can get past the mess to make it and the smell of it.

    Good job on the changes MD. The site looks great. Take care everyone. Prayers all of you with troubles and sickness and for our country. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with fear about what is happening and what might happen, but I remind myself God is near if I will simply turn to Him in faith. Above all, He is still in control and I have faith He will see His children thru whatever happens.

    • UrbanCityGirl says:

      Hi Texgal, I make a powder laundry soap. Been doing so for nearly 2 years. I don’t have a mess. I use a very large bowl, shred the soap and mix all together then I store it in reused cottage cheese containers.

      I was having trouble with my towels picking up a sour smell, but after experimenting I discovered I was using too much soap, since it didn’t suds, I tended to add more.

      And, Research online suggested I use white vinegar as a softener. The changes worked and everything smells great and since I also now hang my laundry, the vinegar keeps things soft.

      • Grannytraveler says:

        I have stocked all the ingredients I need to make my own laundry soap but the idea of shredding those bars has made me procrastinate. That’s going to be next on my
        “to do” list. School is out for summer so I want to be like the worker ants and get as much accomplished this summer as I can.

        • Depends on the soap. Ivory bars will fluff up in the microwave which basically crumbles in your hands once it cools off.
          I normally use Fel’s, it’s hard, but if you use that part of a box grater with the pointy little holes sticking up, the part to grate hard cheese, like Parmesan, it’s not really all that bad. I always keep the last little sliver by the washer to pretreat really bad stains with.
          Box each of borax, washing soda, and a regular box of baking soda (to help soften the water a bit more, my well produces lime scale overnight), a generic container of oxyclean and then I put in about a half cup of those scented crystals, not so much for the scent, but that tells me when it’s mixed up well. Take it all outside on the porch, dump it all into a 3 gal bucket I have with a lid and start rolling it around with shakes every now and then. I have a paint stir stick for a 5 gal bucket of paint, and I give it another stir to check the distribution of the granules. Fel’s is kinda yellow so it shows too. I keep a mixture of Dawn, some enzyme booster liquid and water in a spray bottle to pretreat stains and ring around the collar. That bucketful lasts about 6 months, even with DD and DS “borrowing” some. Noticed the prices of borax and washing soda has doubled in the last year…

          • shai thanks for info. h2o here makes stalactites in toilet tank.
            also spray stain remover recipe should save some $$$.

        • AZ Camper says:

          I have made detergent for the laundry and liked it, but hubby did not. So I use it for my clothes and purchased for his. At least I still save a little money that way. I want to try making a dishwasher detergent. I am not happy with what I buy at the store, and I have tried several brands. Does anyone make their own for the dishwasher?

        • Another thing to keep in mind with the bar soap (really all bar soap) is to let them dry before using them. Most bar soap is kinda soft when you first bring it home. My mom taught me to open the end of the package and let it sit on the shelf for a while before using it. This helps the bars last longer and really aids when grating the soap – you will get a much finer grate from them.

      • Thanks for the feedback. I continued today and realized the smell I didn’t like was the oxyclean. I left it out of the batch today and it smelled okay. I had a mess because I was trying to grind up the fels naphtha in the blender before mixing it all together and it was just getting stuck under the blade. When I cut it into chunks and put the borax and arm&hammer in first and then the chunks, it worked much better. I tried grating the fels with a grater on a couple, but got tired of that quick. When I threw it in on top of the powder mix, I had no problem. Granny, if you plan to use a blender, give that a try. It will be a lot less work than grating it. I never thought of putting the fels in the microwave. Hmmm…. Must experiment and see what happens. :-)

        Haven’t heard about the vinegar. I will give that a try too UCG.

      • Encourager says:

        I quit using fabric softener almost a year ago. I buy store brand white vinegar when the gallons go on sale – just about this time of year. It does great, reduces static, leaves fluffy towels and seems to help get rid of excess soap in the towels. If I have a load that seems to have soap residue in it, I run it through the wash again and fill the detergent dispenser with white vinegar. Works every time.

    • Sw't tater says:

      The smell depends on the soap used.
      I used to use zest, have switched to zote, but have used generic “dial” by dollar store…all of them work, I also make powder. initial problem was getting soap fine enough. I solved it for me, by shaving it off with a knife and putting it in a food processor with some of the other powdered ingredients. It comes out looking like coarse cornmeal, if you use a yellow soap.
      If you are doing the liquid, you can add essential oils to it.But do not add the peroxide base, it degrades shortly after mixed with water.
      If you are doing powder type, you can add peroxide base(oxiclean generic) to it for additional disinfectant/cleaning..

    • TEXGAL


      read the comments below the post.
      one lady doesn’t use water. she leaves it concentrated.

      no soap bars were harmed during the making of this product

  42. Schametti says:

    What did I dooooOOOooooo to prep this week. :):)

    I made up for the couple weeks of not being able to prep, but going a bit prep crazy. It doesn’t help any that the world is going banana pancakes with ISIS, and the Mexican Immigration epidemic going on.. bringing a mass of illegals and disease into our country. Holy Hell. What next?

    I purchased twenty-five Silver American Eagles, which I picked up today. I had read an article recently that your best bet in silver is to pick up something like junk silver, OR.. something that had actually been minted in the US.. for trading purposes, as it’s more recognizable. But I had been THIS CLOSE to buying some non-minted silver rounds, since they were smaller, I thought they might be easier to barter with, but chickened out when I read this article. What do you guys think about silver rounds?

    At my favorite local gun shop they started selling prepper gadgets and gizmos, which I was thrilled about. I’ve had my eye on their Berkeys for awhile now, but hadn’t been able to fit one in the budget, but I finally pulled the trigger and got one. Unfortunately, it was their LAST of the Big Berkey’s, and consequently, their display model, so I don’t have a box or a manual, but they did give me ten percent off, PLUS a free set of the fluoride filters to go with it. I guess I can’t complain, but I have no idea how to use it, or put the filters on or anything, so I’d best be finding me a youtube video or something.. I’m really happy to have one finally though.

    I went to Lowe’s and spent two hundred bucks on a couple fluorescent bulb lanterns, a small energizer LED lantern, and extra D, C, AA, and AAA batteries.

    From Amazon I bought an eight pack of emergency 36 hour candles, a cheap canteen, three books for my grid-down entertainment library, a five pack of magnesium shavings vials, and four Super WAPIs, (or Water Pasteurization Indicators).

    I had a bit of buyer’s remorse and grand-total shock at walmart, when I went to tackle a needs list that I’d been compiling for awhile. Spent seven hundred bucks, and bout had a heart attack, haha. But I got, oh Gosh, SO much stuff. Notebooks, Pens, Pencils, Matches, Lighters, Medical gauze, tampons, and maxi-pads, hand sanitizer, Bandages, pain and antibacterial spray, protein bars, granola bars, vitamin packed powergels, cans of meat.. dak ham, spam, ground hamburger, and chicken.. beef sticks, cans of cashews, bags of almonds and pistachios.. cans of corn, and diced potatoes. I bout raisins, craisins, and dried cherries, bananas, apples and blueberries, little jars of mandarins, apples, strawberries, and peaches.. several boxes of flavored oatmeal, and poptarts.. beef and chicken bullion, about ten Bear Creek bags of soups.. Peanut Butter, Nutella, Jelly.. M&Ms, candy bars, and Rolos.. popcorn and oil, aluminum foil, ziplock bags in every size, duct tape, and an extra set of screwdrivers, hammer, and pliers.. I picked up some yarn, needles, thread, safety pins, and buttons.. aloe salve for burns, peroxide, bar soap, skewers for grilling, and extra long lighters.. Salt, suger, flour, and yeast.. black pepper.. dog treats for the boys.. some lantern oil, and a bit febreeze candle in a jar.. a couple boxes of echinacea tea.. a couple gallons of bleach.. playing cards.. and omg it’s no wonder it ended up being seven hundred bucks, hmm? LOL.

    For bartering I picked up two each mickeys (did I spell that right?) of Jim Bean, Captain Morgan, Smirnoff Vodka, Jack Daniels, etc.. a couple mini-sewing kits, plus several mini deodorants, baby powders, Listerine, zest bar soaps, etc in the travel section.. and a couple three packs of condoms.. :):) I also picked up about ten pouches of heirloom tomato seeds for trading, if the need arises.

    The garden is still undergoing it’s water detoxing.. we’re on our third day, (I couldn’t count the first two, since it rained.. a lot, lol). I think, perhaps tomorrow, I’ll turn the water back on, and hope we do things much better on that front from here.

    The cat that I’ve been looking after, feeding, and sheltering in my garage, got itself into some sort of scrap. She had a bite on her hip, which abscessed, and broke open, and she started oozing goo all over my garage, so I took her in to the vet, and got her lanced, and flushed, and medicated. Now she’s currently healing in the kitty hospital in my guest bathroom. She’s got about ten days worth of antibiotics, so I figured it was my responsibility to keep her safe, calm, and clean inside until she’s recovered. Darn cat.. lol.

    I think that’s about it for me for this week. Anyone else feel like we better step up the prepping pace, or end up doing without, because TSHTF is to be hitting soon? :/ It’s not looking pretty out there pack.. be safe. *Hugs* Love ~ A.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Hi Amy,
      I’m making homemade ice cream tomorrow night so no Klondike Bar’s got anything on me. Hahaha….

      Silver rounds. Here are my thoughts. Silver rounds are better than silver bars, just make sure you buy from a reputable company, like Sunshine Silver. I have some of those. However, I prefer Canadian Maple Leafs over anything but junk US silver coins, though most prefer American Silver Eagles since they are minted in the US. I have my reasons for preferring the Maple Leafs, mainly I’m concerned that the US Gov’t will declare the face value on US silver and gold coinage, which is well below the market value of these coins. Face value of a new Silver Eagle is $1, for example. Of course, I may be entirely wrong, but most people who are familiar with silver coins are familiar with the Maple Leafs. And I have some Eagles as well, I just don’t buy them anymore. And for gold coins, I buy Krugerrands only. The key is to have some of your wealth in PMs if you have an adequate supply of the 3 Bs, beans, bullets and band-aids. But all of your wealth should never be concentrated in just one thing, variety is the spice of life.

      Didn’t mean to write a book. lol

      • Schametti says:

        Hey RoR, and Penrod, thanks so much for your gold and silver advice. I always fear I’m making a huge mistake, no matter WHAT I buy, so I always like to hear from like minded individuals, and find out what their up to, (OPSEC aside, haha).

        I went to take inventory of my PMs, so I could actually write down what I, and checked over my purchase receipts, so I could see what I paid for everything, etc.. so I could run it by you guys and see if I’m in a decent spot or chose all wrong.

        In Silver-

        Firstly, my FIRST silver purchase, I know I probably made a mistake, because I bought bars, and every article I’ve read since has told me not to. Oops, lol. So I have EIGHTY One Troy Ounce bars from Sunshine Minting, with the anti-counterfitting back, at $30.74 each. Doh.

        I have NINETY-FIVE, current year(s), One Troy Ounce, American Silver Eagles, from between $20.00 and $23.00 dollars a piece.

        And I have ONE-HUNDRED AND FORTY, Independant Living Bullion, Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride, 1/2 troy ounce rounds, at $!5.50 each.

        In gold-

        My gold collection, obviously, is pretty small.. :):) That schnits expensive. I have 15x — 1/2 ounce Gold American Eagles at $356.94 each, and 40x — 1/10th ounce, American Gold Eagles.. at $142.50 each.

        Everything came from JM Bullion, EXCEPT the Paul Revere Rounds.. and those came from Independent Living Bullion.

        And while I fear it might become worthless at any moment.. I have about ten thousand in federal reserve notes.. *rolls eyes* ..but I don’t know that they’ll do for me, in our country’s future, but we’ll see.. lol. The rest of my savings went into food, and supplies crammed into every nook and cranny I can find around here.. Anyone good with carpentry, and want to build me a false wall somewhere? I could sure use some more space. (Rational Fear; MARSHAL LAW, come to take away all my hard bought and fought stores).

        I haven’t gotten ANY junk silver as of yet. I keep meaning to, but it seems so expensive and random online, and I can’t seem to FIND any local. But anyway, I know it goes against the rules of OPSEC, but I just wanted to make sure I hadn’t made a gross miscalculation in my PM adventures to date. :/ I’m a worrier, lol. Thanks so much for the advice, guys. I really appreciate it. I’ll feel better if I know that I’ve at least made a COUPLE good PM buys….. :/

        And I’m the QUEEN of writing books, so no worries on that, RoR, haha.

        • Rider of Rohan says:

          Amy, many coin dealers will allow you to trade silver bars for coins, you will just have to pay the premium that silver coins demand. And that is exactly what I would do. I’d trade most of the bars and rounds for either Silver Eagle or Maple Leaf bullion coins. Most dealers have junk silver coins as well, so they might trade those, just be careful and make sure you know the silver content of the junk coins. Some of them are 40% silver(1965-69 half dollars), most are 90%, and you will have to convert the coins to oz. of silver. Junk silver coins have a small premium over bars, too. A reputable dealer wouldn’t try to take advantage of you. That’s just my 2 cents.

          • Schametti says:

            At this juncture in time, I super concerned about taking the time to trade off anything. I’m probably wrong, but it feels like at ANY moment, everything could go south, and knowing my typical luck, it would be while my silver is in transit, and then I’d have nothing for it. :/

            I can figure why you’d think I should trade off the bars, I feel the same, but on the rounds, what’s your reasoning behind getting rid of it? I was hoping I was safe on it, since they were US minted at least..

            I’m going to try and look around. I don’t know, off hand, of any coin shops in town, but I’ll check that out, and see if I can’t at least go look at some in person..

            • Schametti says:

              Sorry that SHOULD have said, I don’t know of anywhere local that sells JUNK SILVER, but I want to try and see if there’s any in town I can check out. My brain must have been traveling at a faster pace than my fingers again, haha.

            • JP in MT says:

              And from the peanut gallery….

              I would not trade off the bars at this time. I know about 1/2 a dozen people who buy and save PM’s and several only buy bars. It boils down to a personal preference. Since I buy PM’s for wealth preservation/storage, I have several bars, mostly in the 10 oz size. I do usually buy coins, both US Silver Eagles and brand name 1 oz rounds, but my reason is that I store them in tubes of 20 coins. I just recently found “tubes” for 1 oz bars. Since silver will tarnish after a while, that’s why I store mine this way. Then in an air-tight can with a handle.

              And there’s my 2 cents worth. You do what feels best for you and yours. We are just expressing our opinions.

              • Schametti says:

                Interesting. Thanks JP. I have a fair amount of my rounds, and eagles in tubes, and I try not to touch them, save for one or two that I just MUST handle, for novelty’s sake…. but I didn’t think about them tarnishing. Should I find something else to put my tubes and sleeves in? :/ I don’t want tarnished silver. Ew.

                • Tubes should keep them fine. I have some Silver eagles from 1991 in the original tube, and they are bright and shiny.

                  • Schametti says:

                    Great! Thank You, Pen. Man 1991. I only WISH I had been awake and aware in ninety one. I was…. thirteen. Hah. Oh well. I’m paying attention now!!

              • Rider of Rohan says:

                Hey JP, I have some silver bars that I got in NYC at the World Trade Center, and I would never trade those. The obverse side of these bars has the two WTC towers on them, and they’re special to me. And the reason I no longer buy bars is that there are rumors that many bars have been compromised with tungsten cores(this wouldn’t be an issue with small bars). Whether true or not, these rumors might, or might not, affect your ability to trade or sell them after an event. So that’s why I choose not to buy them. Me being me, I guess.

                I’ll take my tin foil hat off now. LOL.

            • Hi Amy, First of all, I don’t think you have made any horrendous mistakes. Period.

              In hind sight, I’d prefer not to have bought the private mint bars, but having them is so much better than not having them that the issue is too minor to worry about: There is no such thing as perfection.

              If the time comes to use silver for money, use the bars first as you can, keeping the coins as long as possible. There are plenty people who will take the bars because they bought nothing when they should have.

              If you plan on adding more silver, I would concentrate on junk dimes, quarters, and some half dollars, but prefer the smaller stuff for any given quantity of silver. It boils down to the ability to make change, and what amounts to five $2.00 coins is better for that purpose than a single $10 coin.

              There are reputable dealers online who will sell small quantities of junk silver in lots of $1 face value and up. I would look for them and consider buying some. I very much doubt the feds will have resources to go looking for people who bought a few hundred dollars face value of junk silver even if they decide to go after silver coins which I very much doubt they will do. Again: They just don’t have the resources to do so.

              All of your US 1 ounce coins/rounds are just fine. Just think of them as $20 bills with all the advantages and small disadvantages (a great store of value, just not really small change.)

              Is a big stack of $20 bills a bad thing? I don’t think so. It takes two or three now to fill a gas tank. That is what you have in your 1 ounce pieces.

              My advice is to be delighted you have what you have, add some small change as you can, POSSIBLY switch out some of the private mint stuff if you can do so at a very SMALL cost, and not not worry about perfection: Perfection is the enemy of the good. You’ve done good. Relax. Be happy with the moves you have made. You done good!

              I would keep them all in the canoe with the guns and ammo. Then go white water rafting with them. Peace of mind comes from knowing they are safe at the bottom of the river…

              • Schametti says:

                Thank You Pen. I’m a nervous worrier, so I appreciate you saying I haven’t made an all out mistake, lol…. that is a relief to my mind.

                I will try to acquire some junk silver, time permitting, before the dollar goes belly up. :/

              • Rider of Rohan says:

                And Amy, they would have lots of company at the bottom of the river as well, so they wouldn’t get lonely.

            • Hunker-Down says:


              If you and I were making a face to face trade, say my 5 pounds of hamburger, or my tire that would fit on your car, I would not trade with you if you offered me silver bars or rounds. That’s because they are not familiar to me, it has nothing to do with how I would perceive you as a person. In my mind, they may be counterfeit and you may or may not know that they are. Odds are, neither of us would have the equipment to prove they were 98.9 or 999.99 percent pure.
              If you offered me Silver Eagles or junk silver I would do the trade because I am familiar with those.

              • Schametti says:

                Fair enough. Thank You for your perspective, HD. I guess that it’s good, I have rounds and bars for people who are desperate and liable to take anything shiny, and then minted coins for people who aren’t so desperate..

      • rjarena says:

        I will be making home-made Italian lemon ice today, made ice cream last week.

      • RofR
        Thanks for the heads up on the silver, I will talk to dh about trading the US silver slugs for maple leafs. Besides they are better looking than some of the silver I have seen recently. Many years ago you could get them with pioneer scenes on the one ounce slugs, but now rarely.

        • Schametti says:

          Becky, Why do you call them slugs? Is this a coin, or something different? It’s probably a really stupid question, forgive me, but it sounds funny, so I must know. :):)

          • Schametti
            It is a term I have heard since I can remember. There is nothing wrong with the silver coin. Our local sales person we have purchased from for years refers to them as slugs.
            When I was little they would remove round disc from pieces of equipment which were disposed of, and these were called ‘slugs’, the only guess is the coin looks like the round metal disc that was removed, hence the term.
            Schametti—-there is no such thing as a stupid question, it is the only way we all learn. That includes me. :-)

    • Hi Amy, “What do you guys think about silver rounds?”

      I strongly prefer both junk silver coins and the modern silver eagles. While I don’t do the Canadian stuff like Rider does, I think his point is very reasonable.

      In any case, I am completely in favor of coins/bullion coins minted by national governments because they are far more widely recognized than even the most widely known and well respected private mints. Just because WE know that the rounds from ‘Ken & Sue’s Reno Casino and Mint’ are every bit as reliable as a US Silver Eagle or silver Maple Leaf does not mean that other people will be so confident. A small savings on off brand rounds today could lead to a very big discount when selling down the line…especially if Ken & Sue turn out to have been, shall we say, optimistic in their assessment of purity of their product. Or someone of easy conscience copied poor Ken & Sue’s product.

      One thing I think is worth pondering: Making change and paying for small items. That is exactly what silver is for compared to gold. If you think of a Silver Eagle as a $20 bill, then some smaller change is really useful for smaller purchases if the seller is out of change, or claims to be.

      While we have some silver eagles, we have very little of the smaller junk coins. We intend to build up that area because making change is important. Think of a dime as 2 bucks, a quarter as $5.00. A silver 50 cent piece is $10.00. Of course those values would likely change one way or another in a crisis, but making change is the concept.

      Another concept is flexibility: We don’t know exactly what the future will bring, and the more variety of denominations we have, the more flexible we will be. Maybe we will luck out and never need any of our PMs, but then again we might, and I would hate to have to buy seven times as much stuff as I wanted because the seller refuses to make change for a Silver Eagle. That isn’t knocking silver eagles, just saying that being able to make small change is important as well.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      Amy, I think we have all undergone sticker shock when it comes to stocking up. I once walked into a fabric/notions store and came out $300 poorer. After 2 trips to pick up my loot, I wondered if I had made the right decision. However, wtshtf, I will be able to make some money sewing and mending. Best $300 I ever spent.

      • NW
        I keep trying to make to our local fabric store, but alas something always needs to be done. I guess I will have to
        declare a holiday for fabric shopping or I will never get
        Your pocket book might be a few dollars less, but the business side will be richer for it.

      • Schametti says:

        NW, that’s kind of the way I thought about buying the twelve-ish packs of three dollar heirloom tomato seed packets. I’m asking myself, yikes, do I want to buy thirty dollars worth of tomato seeds?! I have my four seed vaults set aside. But if food is better than gold in our future.. I thought it best to have them than to not. And if not, worst case scenario, I use them, and eat them myself. But it’s hard, not knowing what the future holds, and not knowing whether or not I’m making wise decisions….. or.. wasting my money.

        As I was telling my husband last night.. I’ve been moaning that my aunt, and my best friend, and now my mom.. have all got brand new spanking hot tubs, and that it wasn’t fair, cause I wanted one too, but my hottub was in the closet in the form of food, and matches, and batteries, and lanterns…… etc.. lol. Oi.

        • Schametti
          Don’t be sad they have new toys, we all love new. Even if it is old, but new to us. You have decided to be responsible for your welfare and your dh’s. I am not saying you mom and aunt are not, but they look at life differently.
          Example I am one of four living children, towards the bottom of the life chain. The two oldest are of the mindset, life is great. There are stores with everything I need and I can pick it up anytime I want. Then myself an then the youngest sis. Who shops like a tornado when she hits a store if it’s on her list pick it up, and keep on trucking. She says she wants to prepare but can not afford it(way she shops).
          It all comes down to priorities, the cost of that hot tub can pay off a bill or put that extra gardening shed or trees in your yard. It can be the start of savings account(at home of course) for a little place out side the city should the worst come to fruition. Never feel bad that you chose a different path then your loved ones, it was meant to be.

      • Encourager says:

        NW, my dh saw a garage sale ad that said ‘getting rid of years of material, most by the bolt’. Needless to say the dear man drove me over an hour away. I walked away with bolts of lightweight denim, flannels for nighties, 100% cottons, corduroy, and some poly/cotton blends. Most were full bolts, some were partial. We also picked up upholstery materials. I spent over $200, and giggled all the way home.

    • Encourager says:

      Amy, you should be able to download the owner’s manual for your Berkley online.

  43. Hm. Having that age old dilemma of how did that cucumber get so freaking big when I’ve been out in the garden picking twice a day? Not going to have that problem with the zucchini as I’m growing the round ones. But pickling an average of 3 quarts a week of dills right now, and the squash enough to cook for dinner. saw the first signs of vine borer, and heard a good remedy on the radio about using an organic all purpose dust on the ground around the base of the squash, and I had just picked some up at Lowe’s! Coincidence? I think not! I rescued two other plants from the clearance rack, a hosta and a gerberia daisy. Daisy went into container on front porch with the creeping rosemary, and mistflower. The sage went into the other one with the creeping fig, society garlic and sweet potato vine.
    Pruned the lower branches of the tomatoes back, starting to get a couple of yellow pears and cherries ripening up.
    Picked a pint of Tam jalapenos and the Grandes are getting grande! Ghost peppers have a couple of good sized fruit coming on, they have to turn red before picking.
    Had a pretty good thunderstorm move thru on Weds. night. Not a lot of rain but some serious wind and lightning storm caused some damage to trees, but most of it was true deadfall. Need to get out and drag up some to begin cutting and stacking. 90% is oak, so barbque wood mostly.
    A couple of the chickens have started laying this week, finally!! Right now getting two a day.
    I have a new listing for the You know you’re a prepper when a tip in a magazine involving soaking up the scented wax out of the wax melter with a cotton ball and you think, Dryer Lint!! TP tubes! Fire Starters!

  44. Patriot Farmer says:

    I took a trip this week to one of our nearby “big” cities and bought a bunch of supplies. I got two propane camp stoves, 25 de-hydrated meals, 200rds of pistol ammo, 190rds of rifle ammo, 6 crossbow bolts, two battery powered lamps, a nice pair of boots on sale for $37.00 regularly $159, and a few camo t-shirts also on sale. I ordered a few things on line this week, two oil lamps, several 9 hour candles, and 4 rifle magazines. I finished off the week by adding a few canned goods and harvesting a few quarts of radish.

    • Any good ideas on what to do with the abundance of radishes? We’ve go way more than we can eat.

      • Pickle them with carrots

      • themem
        You can pickle radishes and they do not mush? Now that is something new.

      • TNK
        Slice them to the same thickness and dry(dehydrate) for chips. If you have a salad shooter they will be nice an thin for this.

      • Slice and sauté them. They are very good. We never could eat all ours before, now we have no problems.

      • kim chi korean pickle. sister-in-law makes them .yummy .kim chi not just for cabbage

        also french people cook them my husband cooks them. don’t have a taste for them myself.

  45. Kermit5575 says:

    Picked up 60 pounds of rice and 100 pounds of 93/7 ground beef. will pick up 60 more pounds of rice next month to make a years supply. Have been training on how to can dried beans with meats to cut down on cooking times for when it matters. Received and planted two more apple trees. Got the first tomatoes from the graden, have baby egg plants hanging on the plants and blooms on the summer squash. Getting ready to clear more land for next years garden, this year was a test to see what I could grow.

  46. Country Vet says:

    Good job MD!
    Hello everyone- sounds like all have been very busy.
    In addition to trying to get ready for some dog shows that are coming up soon, we have been working on the apples that a bad storm rippd off the trees night before last. 4- 3gallon buckets of apples = 11 quarts spiced apple sauce plus 3 pts and 16 quarts of juice. Just pulled the last juice out of the canner. I had not used any green apples in my applesauce before, but this is definitely the best sauce that we have ever made. Still a substantial number of apples left on the trees to ripen for canning and dehydration. We did get a substantial number of blackberreis dehydrated as well. Very happy with the way that they came out. Zuccini is next.
    Keep up the good work everyone. Time is short I am afraid.

  47. oldgeezer says:

    Started work on EMP proofing my S10 pickup. Pulled out the computer and injection system. Replaced intake with Edelbrock and Holley carb. Put in a hotter cam and the truck really hauls butt.

    Bought my son a 10 year old AWD SUV to replace his 20 year old one. Great deal – should be able to sell his old one for the cost of the new one. Less than 80K miles on it but with more modern safety gear.

    Looked at a few more guns but couldn’t close the deal. Most everyone here is holding things near and dear.

    I agree with MD that things are going down hill faster than a pig on roller skates.

    Stay safe out there.

  48. I scored(for free) 300 2 oz. bottles of hand sanitizer that have 2″ carabiners attached, could be a good trade item.

  49. ChristineM says:

    It’s better knowing we’re not the only ones feeling like we need to ramp up the preps and be ready. I’m making notes of items we are short of and reorganizing a couple of storage areas. Had some good coupons this week so got Tide, fabric softener, Spam and black olives.
    I harvested sage and put DE on the horseradish (I am amazed at the number of baby grasshoppers munching on the leaves).
    A trip to the local thrift store yielded a gallon bag of sewing thread, 5 good size candles to melt for fire starters, 3 large containers for dehydrated food, a pair of curtains, and a brand new pillow. Anything they don’t want to sell in the store, they stack by the dumpsters for people to take. I got 3 blankets for the dogs and a chandelier (with glass globes). We removed the wiring, tweaked it a little bit, and will use it for candles on the patio.
    I dumped two wheelbarrows of horse manure on an area designated for garden next year.
    Not sure how practical this idea is, but I triple sewed a long skinny bag (around 6″ by 2 ft) and put about 3 pounds of bagged and counted coins in it and closed it just above the coins with a shoestring. I keep a little extra cash in the truck because multiple times in the last year stores were without power and would only accept cash. Also, although it’s not a weapon, it could pack a pretty good wallop. Jury’s still out on this one.
    Vacuum packed my carob peanut hardtack.
    Worked on a couple more ideas for food and other items I can make for a Get Home Bag that will hold up to being in a vehicle 24 hours a day in the heat, and that I could eat on the go. Examples would be vacuum packed homemade granola with powdered milk & a tooth powder mixture. MREs would be easy, but every time we’ve sampled one I ended up with bad stomach cramps. My hubby never has any reaction. Oh well!!
    Blessings to all of you. I’m glad I found this site. You are good people.

    • nick flandrey says:

      “Also, although it’s not a weapon, it could pack a pretty good wallop.”

      Actually, that is a pretty good weapon. I believe it’s called a “cosh.” Many people have used a bar of soap or a roll of coins in a sock as an improvised weapon.

      Sounds like you are working on some good preps!


    • Christine M.
      can’t eat mre’s either. are you perchance gluten sensitive or lactose intolerant? or it could be food coloring?
      we have to read every label or suffer horribly.
      wish we could have some convenience food but it is not to be.

      • We haven’t bought MREs either because of gluten sensitivity, MSG issues and the price. We have bought some dried, long-term individual items for the shelf, but MREs are not to be at this point.

      • ChristineM says:

        Don’t believe I’m overly sensitive or lactose intolerant, but since trying to eliminate most GM food, refined sugar, nitrates, nitrites, & food coloring, I think my tolerance has diminished. I dehydrated some Spam and have no problems eating that, but removed some of the preservatives & grease before drying. I’m sorry you have to be so careful about food labels. Probably takes some of the fun out of eating at a restaurant too.

        • Christine – SPAM is strangely one of the safe foods for those with Gluten intolerance. While I still haven’t convinced the DH to eat it, I do buy it for the shelf rotation. I’ll eat it and it can be used for flavoring beans.

          • ChristineM says:

            GA Red, I like the bean flavoring idea. Since my brother & sister-in-law don’t eat pork, I’ll try the turkey spam in the beans next time.

  50. umpalumpa says:

    How do you guys keep your opsec when ordering ammo and guns online?

    • umpalumpa,

      You can’t order guns online unless you are a federally licensed firearms dealer…

      • riverrider says:

        well, actually you can. it just has to be shipped to an ffl. palmetto state armory even has a list of ffl dealers that you can have it sent to. it took me about 5 minutes to order the vz58. gunbroker is the same way. buy it, then have it shipped to the local ffl.

  51. UrbanCityGirl says:

    I have to go all the way down to the bottom of all the comments to enter my comment. It used to be just under yours. Other than that, I like your changes.

    We are working on our chores that were put off around the house in spring, so it feels like we are way behind due to bad weather. But, making progress.

    I’m giving up on my peppers in the garden and decided that I will fill the space allotted with other veggies. I’m irritated but need to move along to more productive plants.

    Again, inundated with so much bad news and We are being told that the world is safer?!

    In the next few days I’m going to be working up a list to shore up stocks in meds, building/repair supplies, and food for some extra funds that are coming available.

  52. UrbanCityGirl says:

    I also have a contact for free pickle buckets with lids. Got in a few already and they’ve been added to service in the yard. Plan to wash out the next batch I receive to use inside for storage. I’m pretty excited as I would like to transition from packing boxes (free) to plastic buckets for storage of all kinds of non food related items.

  53. IndianaAli says:

    Have not posted in awhile, just been reading everyone else’s prepping. Not too much to posts. Just doing the usual routine stocking up when I can. Garden is coming along great, harvesting broccoli, cabbage, radishes, lettuce, strawberries, raspberries, peas, etc. and stocking the freezer. Did inventory the freezer and trying to rotate to make room for this years harvest. Next project is to print out articles for my binder in case of no electric/computer. With the price of gas going up and up and now with the EPA regs our electric rates will be increasing up to 30%, keep looking for more and more ways to be frugal but I’m running out of ideas…things just keep getting tighter and tighter… but what can one do but continue on. The world situation is looking more precarious every day, just keep prepping and praying. Hope everyone has a great week.

  54. Prepping Preacher says:

    it’s been another busy week… last Sat., my wife, our grdaughter and I spent a little time on our property working to get it ready to move to and did some plinking… during the week, my son-in-law and I spent about 4 days clearing brush and sinking sonotubes for concrete supports for our trailer which should be on site before the end of the month… we were also able to set up a 2-section, 14′ wide gate across our lane entrance; with a few sizable rocks, entering will need to be on foot unless the gate is rammed(at that point, all bets are off and we’re in full defense mode)… next comes the tubes for an addition that needs to go onto the trailer to make it more accommodating… ordered hand-pump seals and am sorting out the best way(durable yet inexpensive with materials on hand) to afix the hand pump to the well pipe… i recvd the hand mic for a murs radio I had ordered as a means of back-up comms and have acquired 4 used but fully functional cb radios with mics; I’m scouting for magnetic car-top antennas… my wife found several DIY carpentry books and I am studying floor, wall, and roof construction as well as trying to give my morse code skills renewed life…

    pray for the best while prepping for the worst

    Prepping Preacher III

  55. MD – can I borrow that dozer for a day or two? We need some plants gone and some areas smoothed/leveled. Your acreage looks good.

    I’ve been absent the last few weeks because we’ve been busy every weekend and by the time I can sit, I just haven’t had time to catch up on everything. Work has been crazy too.

    We looked at 11 acres with a cabin last weekend and spent most of the week trying to figure out how to afford it and do repairs without selling our house here. Not gonna happen. If only it were two years from now, we could do it.

    On the home front, we spent one weekend cutting down out of control Privet. I managed a minor case of poison ivy on my face and a very sore body. Yesterday, we moved the watermelon seedlings that I accidentally planted next to my pumpkins. They are slowly recovering from the move with the help of water from our fish tank. Our last fish died, so we are cleaning out the tank and putting the water on various plants. We also finally had dry weather long enough to cut the grass, which got me to weed the corn so I could add more mulch to the corn rows.

    On the food front, the youngest DD and I went Krogering to replenish used items. I’ve been avoiding major grocery shopping for three weeks, trying to figure out some holes. We’ve managed to eat decently although I have missed fresh milk. Canned coconut milk and evaporated milk just aren’t the same. The evaporated milk was better, but needs to be shaken really well.

    That’s about it. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and prayers for those who need them.

    • GA Red,

      Probably would depend on where you live…

      • I think I’m a little far for your dozier. We actually talked to someone early last week to do the work but we haven’t heard back from him yet. Hopefully he’ll get to it this week.

  56. Dan Bauler says:

    Planted 9 Elderberry bushes this week. Mixed Black Lace, Black Beauty, Adams, and York bushes to be certain to get good fruit set. Found a good recipe for Elderberry syrup online. Plan on adding two more crabapple trees to the orchard, next week.

    DW got me a Mossberg 500 20ga. “Defender” for Dad’s Day. Replaced 14inch LOP full stock with a Hogue 12 inch LOP stock on it. Have on order an improved safety button and night front sight from Brownell’s.

    Canned Strawberry Rhubarb jam. Garden doing well, spuds and beets the best.

    Head of NATO today is quoted as saying that “Russia now considers NATO it’s enemy”. Russian “Bear” bombers did practice nuclear strikes along West Coast this week.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      That’s a pretty spiffy Dad’s Day gift, Dan. My wife looked at me this morning and said, “I’m not your kid”. You know what that meant, no present from her. But the 3 kids came through with the 2nd Hobbit Movie, $40 in cash, and an original art painting from my 2 grandkids. So I’m happy, but dang, that Mossy was one fine gift.

  57. Dehydrated some radishes and planted some more. Added six more pounds of beef. Kept one out to make sloppy joes and the rest went into storage. I have a shelf for storing firewood behind my garage. It was leaning and ready to fall over so I replaced some of the old wood and now it is nice and strong again. Vacuum sealed 1 pound of navy beans. That’s all for this week.

  58. hvaczach says:

    Been busy the last couple weeks, havn’t gotton to post. The MIL picked up some fruit bushes and a maple sapling for us so we have been gettting them in the ground. Have three raspberries and two elder berry {I think} in the ground allready. with a few more to plant yet. DW got a maple sapling in the front yard more of a stick but hey. Picked up a Desantis holster for my carry gun, its set up for a SR-9 but fits the Taurus pt-111 perfectly. Been very busy with summer classes and rehabing my torn labrum. I am hoping to avoid surgery but not looking good. Bought some “food” for my AR’s still trying to find time to finish sighting in the reflex sight. Hope everyone is well god bless.

    • Baby catcher says:

      Kind of an FYI but where are the maple saplings in relation to your water and septic? Maples love water and will grow toward and into pipes and connections looking for water…they are notorious for destroying cast iron sewage pipes… If they are more than 100 ft away, you are probably ok….just thought I would share…:)

  59. Haven’t posted anything the past few weeks. I’ve been making slow but steady progress though. Picked up another set of shelves for our preps and spent time rearranging stuff. With everything spread out more it’s easier to see the holes in the food preps. Scary! The biggest hole is proteins once the freezer is empty. I did pick up another case of green beans, ginger to put in the dehydrator, Tang, canned chicken breast, and canned beef. Also got more peanut butter, honey and a couple essential oils. I spent some time researching growing vegetables indoors. We have an HOA to creatively work around. I did get basil, rosemary and thyme into pots. Just have to convince DH that the family room would make an awesome garden! 😉

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      (The biggest hole is proteins once the freezer is empty.)

      If we ever do get a SHTF situation and you have no meat and the grid goes down and no freezer, you need a good spring-piston air rifle. With it you can kill small animals easily. rabbets, squirrels are all easy targets. As are birds, and every bird on the planet is safe to eat. Yea there is not a lot of food on a bird, but you can kill a lot of them with an air rifle. and pellets are inexpensive.

      • Chuck,
        I actually have an air rifle on my wish list. Waiting for one of my sons to be available to help me out with choosing one. I don’t know exactly what to look for but fortunately they make up for the knowledge I lack. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    • GDS
      Now that was hilarious…..I can see the looks on your visiting neighbors or company when they show up and you invite them into the ‘greenhouse/family room’.

      • Becky,

        I’m working on my argument using the story about the family producing over 6000 pounds of food on 1/10 acre. My family room is about 900 sq ft which is about .02 acres- approximately 1/5 of their space. Now I’m not interested in having chickens or goats in my basement so I’ll gain that space for extra crops or rabbits. One fifth of their 6000 pounds is 1200… using the chicken and goat space I’m pretty sure I can get an extra 300 pounds of zucchini. That would bring my total to 1500 pounds. We’d have plenty to share with the family unless they laugh at me. Then I’ll use the money I’m saving on produce to get a couple Excaliburs and more canning jars!

        That should work, right?

  60. Been a couple of weeks since I’ve checked in. Was out of town for the better part of a week to a wedding in MI. Long drive form Texas! Did manage to bring back some strawberry preserves and fresh asparagus though.
    Sold my first house! Yay! As a way of celebrating, my DW and I went out to our property that our son has been doing some clearing on and I finally got to shoot the AR I bought several months back. Got the scope sighted in and in a 1″ circle. I really enjoy the way the gun shoots. went through 4, 30 rd. magazines. Still debating over whether I should buy the 3 lb. drop in trigger next month when the house closes. Hopefully I’ll sell another one by then and it’ll be a no-brainer.
    Also got in an order of Red Feather canned cheese and canned butter. Going to give the cheese and butter a test drive before we buy anymore.
    That’s it for me. Keep prepping.

  61. Only prep was purchasing 50 Mercury dimes. Been busy at work. Garden producing more lettuce and spinach than we can eat. Harvested my first tomato, beans and a few peas. My sun deficiency is not doing the peas well. Seriously have to find a reasonable tree guy to drop about 6- 8 trees. If a tree can hit the house I won’t drop it. Don’t want to be the star of a YouTube video.

  62. Sw't tater says:

    Staying on the topside, and trying to take a bit better care of self… assorted supplements,vitamin and minerals with iron supplements, taking time for self….type stuff.
    Purchased a few of these at substantial discounts.
    Repairs and new tires on car,
    Making priority lists for necessary….purchasing ASAP .

  63. Today I went to a hamfest and I bought a few hand held radios to add to my collection. Not that I really need more radios. I also bought 1,000 lume (sp?) flashlight with a battery charger and batteries for $20.00. Also ordered a 50-watt solar panel off Amazon for recharging things when camping. I try to stress-test my off-grid stuff when camping to find areas where I can improve things and to work out grid-down operations. And it’s fun to play with the solar stuff. I have to get a few more solar charge controllers for backups as I only have the 2 I’m using right now. I’m going to get these on the way to me in the next few days.

    I also bought some more power tools (Milwaukee) to allow me to work better. I’m going to make a solar setup to recharge portable tool batteries so I can keep working even without grid power. On occasion I work in homes with no electricity and this would be nice to do.

  64. Encourager says:

    Finally got the rest of the raised bed planted with beets, Roma bush beans, onion sets and dill. Glad that is done. STILL haven’t gotten the potato buckets planted! Is it too late for MI??

    Received a check in the mail for just over $3000 from an insurance policy my Dad had and listed me as a beneficiary. Even though my sister and two brothers refuse to let me have a copy of his Trust, I was reassured that I was in it thanks to that check. It will go towards a new roof for the house. I am still debating hiring an attorney, as I know Dad had a good chunk of Detroit Edison stock going back over 40 years, as well as another insurance policy and the siblings sold his car and all his personal stuff in a garage sale. Have not seen a cent of any of that, even though Dad said to split it all 4 ways. Sister listed the house and I talked to the realtor. Why she listed it so high, I have no idea. It has been on the market 3 weeks and not one person has looked at it. Doesn’t help that the houses on both sides of him are also for sale. I am trying very hard not to become majorly stressed out about this.

    Cleaned, repaired and re-stained the deck last week. Big job but glad it is done. Was back in our woods and we will have a super crop of raspberries and blackberries this year. Having to hire a surveyor to find the property lines where an idiot neighbor pulled up our boundary markers and cut down a big oak on our property. According to the zoning commissioner, it is a $1000 fine per post pulled up. The neighbor told my husband that he had rented out a travel trailer back there for the winter and it was that guy who pulled up the poles, not him. Then he told the police it was his son who rented the trailer. Connect the dots..the son pulled up the poles. When it rains it pours. Something good must be coming, with all this stuff happening all at once.

    I will be ordering a big order through our organic food buying club – need canned beans, canned fruit, shredded cheeses (we freeze it), nuts, peanut butter, canning supplies. I found a new (to me) pectin where you can use sugar, no sugar or sugar substitute including honey, stevia, etc. and the expiration date on it is 10+ years.

    • Encourager
      I know you do not wish any more conflict than what you have already gone through, but it is time to stop those @4*&) from taking what your dad left to you! They will continue to walk all over you if you do not stand up to them.
      HIRE that ATTORNEY, an what you are willing to pay him before you sign on the dotted line. You want a copy of your dads trust first of all then go for the gusto. I had to deal with evil step siblings to protect the sister…….so I have been in your shoes. Growl—snarl, time for the gloves to come off. :-)

      • I tend to agree with Becky, although I do believe that you are entitled to a copy of both the will and the trust, if you are named in it. Call the lawyer handling the estate (if you know who that is). I was able to get a copy of my dad’s will from his attorney when he died. You are in my prayers.

        • Encourager says:

          Becky and GA Red, yes I am entitled to a copy of the Trust and the Will. However, I cannot find the attorney that was used, my siblings refuse to give me the name; and I have called every attorney within 50 miles of Dad’s hometown. I am staying in touch with the relator that has listed his house; he was very reluctant to talk to me at first, apparently told not to by my sister who listed the house. I am not sure what to do; my sister who is the executor, lives in MI, as I do; Dad lived in AZ. An attorney I consulted with at the beginning of this mess said I need to get an attorney in AZ. Since my sister lives in the same state I do, I don’t agree.

          I am holding off until the house sells or for another month, whichever comes first. Then I will hire an attorney.

          I am also trying to trust God in all of this and not stressing out about it. I am staying on top of it; but being patient.

          • Encourager
            I am sorry I “growled”, but greed can make a human into something we do not recognize as a family member. You did not deserve to be treated so poorly by your siblings & extended family.
            Call legal aide in the city were your dad lived, and ask them for assistance. They should be able to give you a phone number for an attorney who might do it pro-Bono or a reduce fee. That is where I would start first, then call the legal aid in MI for assistance since the executor of the estate lives in the same area.
            You should be able to acquire a copy of your dad’s trust, an JUST MAYBE put the shoe on the other foot for once. OH, here I go again—starting to growl. Time to take dh to speech therapy.
            We are sending our prayers that it turns out all right and gives you peace of mind and tranquility asap.

            • Encourager says:

              Growl away, Becky! Dad lived in a tiny town up by the Rim; no legal aid there. When the time is right, I will get an attorney. My dh is behind me on this and said when I am ready. As are our two sons, who witnessed this awful behavior at the memorial service and afterwards. I thought my youngest would blow when we were told to go dig through the dumpster to see if we wanted any of the garbage…yeah.

              Greed. Straight from the devil.

              • The will or trust must be probated in the County your father lived. The records are public records. You can contact the court clerk to see if the probate process has started yet. If so, you will know who the attorney handling the matter is.

                • Encourager says:

                  DJ, I was told that a Trust does not need to be probated, at least in MI. I have talked to the Probate clerk in AZ 3 times and it has not reached them. Will call them again today. Thanks for the reminder, I forgot.

  65. Sgt Goose says:

    Hey everyone!
    First post for me been following the pack for a long time. Great stuff on here and great job to M.D.! I recently moved into my first ever own home here in the north east so I would like to think of that as a big prep for my family this week. Looking forward to posting more as I begin to prep more and more!

  66. nick flandrey says:

    Hello Pack!

    I did get some prepping done this week.

    We are starting to get food from our garden. We are not huge fans of tomatoes, so I only have a few plants. They are currently producing 1-2 ripe each day which is just right for us for a salad before dinner. I’m getting fresh peppers and have so many coming ripe that I will definitely be trying out pickling a peck or so. My broccoli is coming along nicely with heads developing well, except where a neighboring plant shaded it. Does anyone know if I can move a broccoli plant? As part of my learning process, I now know the heights of some of the stuff I planted. Some serious miscalculations on my part. So I’d like to move some broccoli, collards, maybe some cauliflower plants too. But I don’t want to kill them.

    We have a new favorite side dish in sauteed broccoli leaves, with onion and bacon. MMMMmmmm. Thanks for the tip that they are edible.

    I picked up another 4 FRS/GMRS walkie talkies for a buck apiece. I can’t pass them up when I see them at yard sales.

    Still waiting for the mic that fits my $5 yard sale dual band mobile ham radio to come from china. I bought from the particular ebay seller because the mic was listed as being in LA. Turns out that is probably a lie. It’s overdue and now the seller says he’d like to “re-ship”. Hope to get it soon.

    DW got me a smoker for father’s day, so some fun learning time coming up there!

    I picked up 2 dozen canning jars for less than 25c each. They will go for pickled peppers, and some pickled cukes. (not real canning, I know, but… baby steps!)

    Ammo was available so I bought 4 boxes of 9. Winchester white box, 100ct, for $25 each. I’ll use it up training.

    Tried the “cool” towel that costco had on sale. You soak it with water, wrap it around your neck or head, and it stays cool. I thought it might be gimicky, but it worked really well. I went back and bought enough for the whole family. We tend to be without power during the hottest part of the year, when we do have a disaster, so anything that helps keep us cool will be welcome.

    I’m still adding shelves, and rearranging storage to accommodate my shift to long term food storage. Bulk takes up so much space!

    A neighbor pointed me to a local source of food grade buckets, so hopefully I’ll be able to re-pack some of my bulk.

    I’ve also decided to build some “recovery” kits for local friends. I have been accumulating colman stoves and lanterns, and decided that building a “kit” in a big tote makes sense. I’m going to put a stove, lantern, gas can, and basic cooking stuff in each tote and have a few ready to hand to friends if the need arises. I’m storing the stuff anyway, so putting it in a distributable kit makes sense to me. If there is room, I might throw in a dinner starter kit, with 5# of rice, and some canned chicken and vegetables. Who knows, in the right (wrong) situation, a ready to go tote like that could be worth some real money to someone (after friends are taken care of.)

    Anyway, some small steps this week. I did my panic buying in the last couple of months, so now I have a little room to breathe and make smarter/ better informed choices.

    Keep prepping!


  67. Encourager says:

    M.D., the only problem I see with the updated site, is that when I click post, the screen starts scrolling like crazy. Sometimes I end up near the top and have to go back down to find where I left off reading. Rather annoying.

    Love the updates, other than the scrolling. Really like the thumbs up or down. Have you gotten rid of the Report button?

    • Encourager,

      It probably has something to do with your computer, browser or setting, because I’ve not had any trouble like that and no one else has reported that happening…

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        I had this problem, it turns out it was an issue with the touch pad on the laptop thinking I was moving my finger around on it all the time. I cleaned the pad with some alcohol from a first aid kit wipe and it went away.

        It wasn’t dirty at all, but there must have been something there it didn’t like.

      • Mine is also doing the squirrely up and down, I will clean my mouse but it did not happen with the previous site set up. You have “Gremlins”!

        • Encourager says:

          Mine scrolls like crazy and makes me dizzy, when I hit the “Post Comment” button or even open up the page. It is not my mouse. Gremlins?! Ack! No!!

          • Encourager says:

            Oh, and it never happened with the old site setup, nor at any other site I have been to. JUST this one and just since the updates. I do not think it is MY computer, M.D.

            • Encourager,

              Well we can’t go back to the other site, it took me 3 day’s to do the change over and 99% of the comments have been positive. I’ve tried to get it to do that while using three different web-browsers and everything works perfectly for me so I don’t know what else to do… I’ll do a little research to see if I can figure out what could be causing the problem for you…

              • Encourager says:

                Three people including me have mentioned it, M.D……

                I won’t argue about it; it is your site.

              • JP in MT says:

                Just my 2 cents….

                Mine does it when I load the article. But then it does that with lots of sights as the ads, etc. are added. Once all the “headers” are loaded it settles back down to normal. I’ve had my computer quite a while (in computer years) and I think it is my computer speed.

  68. nick flandrey says:

    I get the scrolling after hitting post too. It always happens (for me, when I post a comment, even on other sites) but it used to happen quickly here. Now it is slow, and takes long enough to see.

    If you don’t touch your mouse or keyboard, the scrolling should stop and put you at YOUR comment, either posted, or showing that it is waiting for moderation.

    • Encourager says:

      lol, thanks, Nick. I will keep my cotton-pickin’ fingers off the keyboard. Just makes me dizzy is all…

  69. Hi it’s Penny Pincher, I have become Nickel Squisher to get around some kind of weird block on my blog link that neither MD or I can figure out. I guess most of you know by now the travails of Penny Pincher so enough of that. We can say it’s due to inflation. LOL

    Anyway this week (and I’m a bit late posting because of it) I went out of town twice. First to see relatives mid week on a day off, and then to help teach an Appleseed over the weekend. It was kind of hot, but not too bad, and it didn’t rain.

    There seems to be a lot of frustration in the air in general. My hippie friends are blaming Mercury in retrograde and the full moon. Whatever it is, I had to deal with a number of people this past week with chips on their shoulders and a low level of patience.

    Also I made a couple absent minded mistakes like locking myself out and having to pick the lock with a bobby pin. Lock picking is a good skill to have.

    I agree with MD that there is very little time left. Geopolitics are accelerating. The US is about to go all Rumpelstiltskin trying to keep its straw-into-gold status. Or maybe trying to lose it.

    On the prepping side, I have just about finished the house rehab. All the painting is done I think. I cleaned up the yard (throwing a cubic yard of weeds into the compost) and burned most of the brush pile to get rid of it last week. Next comes fixing cement and frantic wholesale decluttering. I finally reapplied for the mortgage and am waiting to hear. It’s making me nervous.

    I am considering buying an AK and maybe getting rid of my SKS, replacing my compact car with a van I can camp in, and some other swaps like that. I’m sort of on hold waiting to get the loan – don’t want to get too happy yet.

    I am anticipating a short journey out east through gun control country and am dreading it. I am afraid the S will HTF while I’m out there and I’ll get stuck

    Keep your powder dry.

    • nick flandrey says:

      PP or NP :-)

      Boy do I hear you about gun control country. I’ve got a family vacation in NY coming up and I’m really not looking forward to being disarmed for a week. And I’m not looking forward to being so far from home and at the mercy of the airlines.

      Especially considering all the stuff going on in the world at the moment, I’m comforted by being close to my preps and my fortress….

      I guess we all have to balance between prudence and fear, and not let one get out of hand.


    • ChristineM says:

      Penny Pincher, I’m seeing more frustration too. Interestingly enough, today I read a story on Before Its News regarding the earth’s pulse. The author wrote that since 1980 it’s been quickening and it does affect people’s sense of time. A lot of the BIN stories are a little strange, but mankind hasn’t been treating the earth very well, and this may well be happening.

  70. Chuck Findlay says:

    I just picked up a few solar charge controllers from the West Marine store today and I’m looking forward to installing one of them in the next few days. For the next three days I’m only working 1/2 days and I want to get some needed projects worked on. Normally I work more full days and never seem to have the time I want to get things done.

  71. Granny W says:

    Hey pack, I need some advice. Want to get one of those sealing machines for packaging stuff for the freezer/no freezer burn & frost wanted here! Any brand recommendations for good quality & price. I have no idea what to get. thanks for any help in advance.

    • nick flandrey says:

      I love my foodsaver brand from Costco. I think they are on sale until next week too. I have the FoodSaver V3835. It’s about $160 from amazon. I’m not sure what I paid, but I do about 10 bags, every other week or every 3rd week, and it has worked fine for the last 5 years. Some weeks I do more.


      • nick flandrey says:

        One other thing to consider:

        The foodsavers are common. I find them at yard sales and estate sales for very little money. I have 2 of the cheaper ones in the garage as spare. I find the bags and rolls fairly often too. You are unlikely to find any other brands.

        The older cheaper foodsavers should be good for sealing mylar bags too, and MUCH easier than the iron and steel method. Just keep an eye open while sale-ing.


    • Country Vet says:

      Buy a LEM. A little expensive, but worth every penny many times over. Will outlast several of the high end Foodsavers and others combined. ( I have proven it) Comes with a 2 yr guarantee. I work ours hard! It has not stalled out on me from overheating yet. Also, has a very small amount of waste on the seal edges. The LEM bags are excellent as well and draw down beautifully due to their construction. Once again a little more expensive but draw down much better and less prone to puncture. Interesting fact is that the bags are less expensive per foot than the rolls. The bags are easy to but in half for smaller units. I use the rolls for things like sides of ribs. One of the very best purchases that I ever made- just hate it that I wasted so much money and tme and effort on the others.

    • Granny W
      I really like the Food Saver unit. They came out around 1996, and I have wore out over 6 of them but then I use mine all the time. To go along with the sealing unit I have the regular and large vacuum jar seal caps that I use. For my canning lids they come from Tatler and Lehman’s. Bags when on sale are the least expensive at Costco, so I wait until they have a sale an pick up several boxes as part of our prepping. For special size bags they come from W/mart. The split bags & expanded gusset bags for turkeys/hams and large pieces of meats, price wise they are also the cheapest I have found and I am a price shopper.

      • Becky, you’ve got me beat by 3! I’ve worn out 3, but the best place to buy the bags is Cabelas. I watch the mail flyers DH gets (sigh, it’s nearby) for the sales, usually when hunting season starts and buy the by the box. 100 12X16″ for 19$ last time i got them, smaller and ziplock available too along with the rolls. They are thicker than the store brands and name brands. I freeze redfish fileted with the skin/scales intact by first loading it into regular gallon ziplock bag, leaving the zip seal unsealed. Then seal it into the large bags, the ziplock keeps the punctures from bones and scales at bay. Works doing shrimp same way, but normally freeze deheaded shrimp in containers covered with water. Have had it last 2 years that way. Shrimper in Port Aransas told me to do it that way, he used 5 gal buckets.

        • Shai
          Cabelas is way over the mountain(Nevada) from us and Costco is closer. It is nice to know that I am not the only who uses zip bags to put food into before vacuuming. I usually measure the item out(1/2 etc)put a in the bag and seal. Like you, for food that will puncher the out bags, zip bags are less expensive an you can reuse them.
          Wow…….no wonder why I killed so many machines.
          My first Food saver was a Christmas present(due to the cost $300+ in the 90’s), it was all I wanted. Dh bought it for me, and it took 2+ years and one trip to the repair shop before we had to replaced it.

  72. I use a Weston Pro 2300 now as I got tired of replacing my Food Saver every couple of years. You can get replacement parts and it will seal bags up to 15 inches. I roll up emergency blankets and put in these bags to keep in my car among other things.

    • Country Vet says:

      I one of these, liked it while it worked, but only lasted me a little less than a year. Ours lead a busy life. If it dies and you need to replace it, consider a LEM. As much as I liked the WestonPro, I absolutely love this one more. It works fast, effortlessly, and will not bog down.

      • Country Vet
        Does the LEM use the same bags as the Food Saver? Also does it have the unit for sealing jars?

        • Country Vet says:

          It can use the food saver bags as well as any of he others. I am just finding the LEM plastic products far superior . I have not had issues with dehydrated products puncturing and because the channels for the air are across one entire side, it draws down better. I can also manually stop it when they have pulled down where I want (useful for more delicate dried products). You cannot do that with all units either. I have a lot of food saver bags and a group of commercial products, but I use the LEM for anything that I place much value on. I honestly do not remember if it will do jars or not. Probably not, but a cheap Foodsaver could be kept around for that purpose. It is the seals that I have had issues with on the Foodsaver. I can not tell you how many times I have had seals leak in the freezer or dehydrator bins,also as much as we process, the units overheat and “just quit” until they have had a cooldown period.
          It does not have a cutter, but makes up for this with the reduced waste (you can seal almost at the edge ) and ease of use (very few false starts). You can use the same Foodsaver that the sealer has gone out on to cut as for the jars. I have never used the jar attachment. I like the bags because I can concentrate so much in a given area and then place in bins for storage. Every time I use this unit I am once again amazed at how superior it is to anything else that I have tried. If a person just uses it sparingly ( 5-10 bags a week or so) it might not be worth the cost and the gamble on seals might be worth it but we use it HARD. I might process 30 bags in a sitting easily so the savings in time alone is priceless to me . The only draw backs are it is expensive and it is heavy.

          • Country Vet
            Thank you for the information, I have seen them but you are the first person who used one.
            I have experienced the over heating of the Food Saver, but like you, yet I have usual have two working at the same time. When I am sealing I am trying to get as much done in the least amount of time. I think that is why I wear the out so quickly.

          • Jar attachments are the best reason to have a food saver…makes keeping all these herbs I have invested in time and cash last longer. I also take regular sized packages of rice mixes, etc. weigh them out and split into two packages with directions for just me and DH.

            • Country Vet says:

              I put my herbs in small bags that I make with my processor. When I open these, then I place them in jars that I have saved, like the jars that mushrooms have come in. I also do the same for anything else that I break down from a larger size. I can store so much more in a small space by placing those in tubs/plastic containers. I use the shoe box size for herbs and things like orange zest. I use the medium sized (about 15″ tall) for things like jerky, dehydrated chicken, peppers, misc. vegetables,, and various fruits. I use a LARGE tub for okra, winter squash, tomatoes, etc. I will definitely keep the jar attachment in mind though. Will it work with just any jar, or do you have to have special jars/lids?

  73. Antizombie says:

    Ok. I’ve seen the light. The DW and I talked it over and We invested in a “bit” of silver. I can’t this economy heading anywhere but down and I don’t think dear leader is going to fade off into the sunset without doing a tremendous amount of damage to our beloved country. Bought a Nokon 3-9 x 50 BDC scope, one point sling, and tripod for the DB 15 this week. Sorry MD, I forgot to use the link to amazon. Will do next time.

  74. This week I have been running the course I set up to help me train for rough situations. It is designed to show how your shooting skills, stamina and the gear you will use, all have to work together in order for you to be a success. I run it with all of the gear I am planning on carrying with me in the event I need to hit the road for a short dangerous trip. It is a 4.5 mile looping trail with 9 shooting stations for rifle and pistol, as well as obstacles between each of the stations.
    None of the obstacles are designed to break you, just to get your heart rate up and to show you how your gear works when you are moving. Most folks think that they can walk for 25 or thirty miles with all their gear on, water, food for several days, get in a shooting match along the way and be able to handle it with ease. This course shows you just how rough a couple of miles, a few obstacles and a shooting match in one day can be . A great deal of the folks I speak with who come to self defense shooting classes I teach tell me about the gear they are going to use if they are ever forced to hit the trail and possibly fight along the way. About what firearms they will take, how they are going to wear the gear, the boots they will wear, the back pack, the rifle etc., but when asked, they will volunteer that they have never put all the gear on and walked even 100 yards, let alone a couple of miles with rifle, pistol, water, food extra magazines, and anything else they might need. If those boots end up giving you blisters after the first mile, or that backpack rubs a bloody spot on you by mile two, better to find out about it on a nice safe course on a pretty day than when your life depends on it. A blistered foot can kill you just as surely as a bullet, and if you have everything on and find out the gear shifts as you walk and ends up covering your pistol, where it prevents draws, or you cant get to your extra mags, etc., etc. Carrying enough ammo for just a few small gun fights can turn out to be a lot more ammo/weight than you think. We did the first event just for our staff and friends, but they told other folks who wanted to test their year and stamina, and now we are doing it twice a year. I ran the course this week then added two more obstacles. You guys are welcome to come run it if you are in Texas in October.
    Most folks think that if something happens, they will some how “rise to the occasion”, but that is a fallacy. No one rises to the occasion, they always sink to the lowest level of their training. If you are in Texas, come and train with us, but wherever you are, find some place to train and develop your own simple regimen for maintaining that readiness.
    You can email me if you want details about the next biathlon, or any additional info. Stay safe, stay sharp, remember that maintaining your prep is a lifestyle choice, not a task. rwvarangescout@gmail.com

    • ChristineM says:

      As an equine endurance competitor, 25 miles on a horse is not a walk in the park (especially in the summer heat), so I know I couldn’t hike it. Would be great to get some organized training. I am in TX and will email you for more info.

  75. dear mr. creekmore,
    my screen jumps, too, when i comment. but the machine is about 13 years old so it might not be able to handle the new fangled set up.
    can’t watch or hear videos either.
    new computer is on wish list. really want to see b. c. truck’s ideas in action.