What did you do to prep this week?

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Before we get started with this weeks “What Did You Do To Prep This Week” I’d like to thank Mr. Bill D, Clean Survival, Peter W, and Sherry S for their generous contributions this week via Paypal (and snail mail). If you feel that this site has helped you in some way and you would like to give something back then you can do that here.

Okay, now let’s get to it… what did I do to prep this week…

This week was a good one… I started construction on some 4×4 foot raised beds (if you plan on doing this type of gardening get a copy of Square Foot Gardening: How To Grow Healthy Organic Vegetables The Easy Way).

This week I also received my Renogy Firefly 20W Generator and my Humless 1.3 kWh solar kit is schedualed to be delivered on Monday.

Well, folks, that’s it for me this week… what about you… what did you do to prep this week? Looking forward to reading your comments below.

About M.D. Creekmore

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


  1. Did a Costco run for storage items: a kilo (2.2 lbs) wedge of real Italian parmesan cheese, large bag of hemp & chia pancake mix, big bag of bacon bits. Also got 15 lbs of chicken breasts for canning this weekend, and am waiting for a Seville orange order to come in for marmalade making. Got a bottle of 60 rating sunblock half priced for summer.
    At the thrift store on sale I got DS more underwear fabric on sale – some flannellette and lighter summer fabric, and lots of waistband elastic. DS prefers the fit of the pattern I made for him. Added some needed knitting items not found in local stores. Did a lot of ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ mending this week. Made a dinosaur print pillow for youngest DGD who is dinosaur mad.
    On sale, for the coop I got 3 XL (31 gal) metal garbage cans with lids that will hold 3 bags ea of feed/whatever against pesky rodents. DS already has metal cans for his racing pigeon feed.
    Repaired another storage shelf that wasn’t well supported and did more reorganizing and checked jar seals which is a neverending job. DS is doing some small repair jobs for me like repainting one ceiling fan, installing new garden tool handles, drilling holes for a new mason bee box.
    Started seeds for leeks and onions this week. Still too early in my area to start peppers and tomatoes. Been watching some gardening videos for inspiration during this cold, snowy weather.
    Ordered our broiler chicks for June delivery. Got a reduced torn bale of fine shavings that is perfect for the chicks when they arrive. DS tested the new dented heat lamp we got last week for $5 and it works fine. Have been researching Bresse chickens (thanks to Simeon) and we’re considering getting some in a couple of years to start a permanent flock.
    Signed up for a Top Bar Beehive workshop in April. I think it will better suit my residential area and be more of a pollinating benefit rather than primarily a honey source. Have been reading Song of Increase by Jacqueline Freeman and highly recommend it to anyone not in commercial production. She has a great insight into the bee world and the harm humans do to them in their greed for honey.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      I used to have a very large hive of bees in a dead tree beside my yard. A storm blew it down a few years ago, and my garden suffered as a result. I started beekeeping two years ago. My garden is successful again. I also harvest the honey, leaving a lot more for the bees than other beekeepers do. The problem I’ve had is with the cropdusting that was done last year. My bees were killed. I’m luckier than most. I still have one hive. I know of many who lost everything. Some lost as many as 40 hives. These were individuals who had been beekeeping for over 30 years. The irony in this situation is that the farmers may have saved some of last year’s crops, but they will lose for years to come as a result of lack of pollination from bee loss.

      • azrealityprepper says:

        We had some new neighbors move in across the road and they killed a wild hive. Our garden suffered too from lack of bees. I understand people here are scared because we have the africanized bees here but I find if you leave them alone, they leave you alone, especially if they’re harvesting pollen.

        • azrealityprepper,
          No Africanized strains here; but, many people have a deep seated fear of any stinging insect and killing is often all they know. I’ve tried to educate people about the difference between bees (the vegetarian furry critters that only sting when defending) and the evil carnivorous progeny of the flying ant, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, etc. that seemingly attack for no reason.
          I’ve been stung by my honeybees many times, as any beekeeper has, and basically shake off the sting. The few times however that I’ve been stung by those other critters, it not only hurts more; but, the hurt last sometimes for hours to days.
          I assume you keep bees out in AZ, and as a fellow apiarist I do have a question on the subject. How do you handle the potential mixing of the Africanized strains among your hives, since as I understand it, they are a little more prone to agitation than the Italian or Russian strains.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Not sure if azre keeps bees, however, I have and will again. Never had a real problem between the two. Far more hype than it was worth. They are somewhat (not much) hardier in some areas, however, produce well and are just as easily worked with. On ocassion found they are more prone to move hive locations when violently disturbed versus euro verison.

            Interesting side note, was stung in the head over 40 times when I was 14- had a mild head ache. Hopefully non allergic reactions are genetic, would be good to know daughter can handle it. 🙂

          • azrealityprepper says:

            No, I am not a apiarist. I have talked extensively with a guy who is (Killer Bee Guy in Bisbee, AZ). Look up his website for info. We served on jury duty together many years ago and continue our friendship. He told me that ALL the bees here are africanized, that you cannot keep a euro bee hive very long as a african queen will move in and her eggs hatch a day or so before the euro eggs, so all the replacement queens are africanized. That is how they take over a hive here. I do keep an extensive garden, both edibles and flowers (we have over 30 rose bushes alone). The bees love our yard. As for agitation….I do not know the answer. I just know that while the africanized bees have a bad reputation and have killed some livestock and dogs and even a couple of people here in Arizona, I find that if you leave them alone, they leave you alone. I hope I am never attacked “en masse”. I have swarms that are on the move many times here. When they settle down to rest for awhile, best to just keep away from them. They create a huge ball of bees that can be as big as a couple of feet or larger in diameter. They really like small trees, bushes, sheltered doorway corners for their resting spots.

          • azrealityprepper says:

            No, I am not a apiarist. I have talked extensively with a guy who is (Killer Bee Guy in Bisbee, AZ). Look up his website for info. We served on jury duty together many years ago and continue our friendship. He told me that ALL the bees here are africanized, that you cannot keep a euro bee hive very long as a african queen will move in and her eggs hatch a day or so before the euro eggs, so all the replacement queens are africanized. That is how they take over a hive here. I do keep an extensive garden, both edibles and flowers (we have over 30 rose bushes alone). The bees love our yard. As for agitation….I do not know the answer. I just know that while the africanized bees have a bad reputation and have killed some livestock and dogs and even a couple of people here in Arizona, I find that if you leave them alone, they leave you alone. I hope I am never attacked “en masse”. I have seen swarms that are on the move many times here. When they settle down to rest for awhile, best to just keep away from them. They create a huge ball of bees that can be as big as a couple of feet or larger in diameter. They really like small trees, bushes, sheltered doorway corners for their resting spots.

  2. Prepared Grammy says:

    This Week:

    -I got my husband a very romantic gift for Valentine’s Day…100 rounds of ammo and a gift card for 2 hours at the range. Nothing says romance like shooting an AR.

    -Added to the stockpile: sea salt, flint fire starter, and an extra 50 lbs. of layer pellets.

    -Items I ordered that were delivered: butterfly bandages, fish mox.

    -I read a couple of prepper fiction books. Even though it’s fiction, I feel that putting myself in the characters’ situations gets me to thinking about how I would act in the same scenarios.

    -I have a close friend at work who asked me a couple of years ago how she should begin preparing for hard times. (We camp together, and she knew I was always had well-stocked first aid kit, plenty of food and water, and extra clothes in my camper. We both garden, but she doesn’t ‘put up’ her extra produce. I do.) I gave her some advice. She didn’t take it, and I dropped the subject. She felt that God would spare Christians from suffering. I told her to search the Scriptures to confirm or deny her thoughts. (She was overwhelmed, and honestly didn’t want to change her spending habits to buy things that weren’t ‘fun.’) She approached me this week. She has started preparing, and wanted me to guide her toward some good books and blogs for help. We can’t make people see the light. They have to do that on their own. I’m glad some are doing so.

    Prayers for all.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      …she knew I always had…

      I cringe when I make mistakes in my writing.

      • Bet she cringed when she came across this bit of scripture: The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.

        What I never get is the ones who expect to be ‘raptured’ out. The word doesn’t at all appear in scripture, nor is it spoken of as a ‘solution’. It’s a man-made concept which translates into: we’re too lazy to do anything for ourselves.

        • I like to freak out believers-in-rapture. During the discussion, I ask the person if I can have their new car since they won’t be using it. Or, maybe tell another I am calling dibs on their house. THAT sure changes the tone and direction of the conversation.

          When I am told the husband or kids or relatives would get their possessions, I fake surprise that this person is wasting time trying to convince me and has not gotten loved ones on board…lol.

          • I look at Pre-Trib Rapture as a best case scenario. But I never plan for best case.

          • Linda & All,
            From what I can tell, the concept of the rapture, was introduced (invented?), in the 1830s by John Nelson Darby. I’m not a scholar in this area; but, no one has shown me any direct information anywhere that supports it.
            I once saw a bumper sticker that stated, “In case of rapture, I’m taking your stuff
            Works for me, since you’ll no longer need it, and I fully admit I’ll probably be “Left Behind”

            • Jesse Mathewson says:

              Was raised in a pentacostal house, converted to TULIP reformed theology, now, it could be said I am not among the chosen as it were. My children both on ocassion and daughter regularly attend local reformed churches. Their decisions.

        • Prepared Grammy says:

          She was living in a state of denial. She’s finally moved out of that state. 🙂 She has seen many of the things I told her come to pass. She also switched churches, and her new pastor has spoken of the same things I was telling her. I think having a couple of grandkids has taken away SOME of her self-centeredness. She’s willing to forgo a FEW things for herself (clothes, three vacations a year) to prepare for what’s coming to help her kids and grandkids. Better late than never.

          • Prepared Grammy,

            I think having a couple of grandkids has taken away SOME of her self-centeredness.

            If I recall, just having a kid in the first place did that for us. Too bad it takes so long for others.

          • Who in the hell can afford 3 vacations a year. DW and I are lucky to get one in 3-4yrs.

            • Okg55,
              I can afford multiple vacations per year to exotic places, and I can afford a BMW or Lexis (on a lease); but, we decided long ago that a paid off house and barns on rural property we loved and raising three kids into adulthood with good habits, was a better choice.

            • Prepared Grammy says:

              If you make minimum payments on a credit card, you too can live beyond your means.

              • Jesse Mathewson says:

                Prepared grammy, I love your outlook and agree with you, it is an easy trap

                • Jesse & Prepared Grammy,
                  A trap it is indeed. The minimum generally runs about 1.5% of the balance when they are generally charging you interest beyond that, so all you do making minimum payments is dig yourself into a hole more slowly.
                  The trick is to just stop digging.

                  • Prepared Grammy says:

                    I have coworkers who make fun of me to my face and behind my back. They laugh at the old car that I drive, the fact that I’m not wearing the latest fashions (How dare I wear the same clothes I wore LAST winter!), my last vacation was about four years ago (We have been on mission trips to help others rebuild after suffering through natural disasters.), etc. I tell them that they can laugh all they want, and I don’t care what they think about me. I’m debt free, have money saved for an emergency, and have prepared for retirement. That shuts them up. The way I figure it, those of us on here will have the last laugh.

        • new to me cast iron pan
          550 cord
          motor oil
          Keeping dry this weekend.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Awesome axel, on the cast iron, have you looked into bankline? A very cost effective alternative to 550

            • Jesse,
              I have some tarred bank line as well as 550 and both jute twine and cotton butchers cord. They all have their place; but, for making nets, I think the bank line is easier to work with.

              • Jesse Mathewson says:

                Bankline works very well for snares, tying down tents and much more, it comes in a variety of tensile strengths, from 15lbs through 1000lbs

                • Chuck Findlay says:

                  I bought a 3,000 foot roll of Bankline at a hamfest a few years ago. While smaller and i’m sure not as strong as real 550 cord, it’s still very strong stuff.

                  • Jesse Mathewson says:

                    It comes in many strengths, #12, #15, #18, #21, #24, #30, #36, #42, #60, #82, #96

                    100% nylon fibers
                    Abrasion resistant
                    Resistant to oil, gasoline and other strength-reducing chemicals

                    #12 equals approximately 75lb tensile strength
                    #42 equals approximately 300lb tensile strength
                    #96 equals approximately 800lb tensile strength

                    This is why I use bankline and prefer it much of the time

            • Jesse I will look into it. I like to get my preps locally though. Pay in cash and toss the recite. I may be a bit paranoid but it beats the alternative.

    • pg,
      What did he get you? Canning jars? Seeds?

    • BlueJeanedLady says:

      Hey & Hello, Prepared Grammy & others,

      In reference to your comment,

      She felt that God would spare Christians from suffering.

      about the slow to prep friend, did she finally hear the old joke that follows? Yes, the moral of such definitely applies to prepping and survival & and as I imagine sometimes, IMHO, sometimes with contextual misunderstandings of biblical teachings. Regardless, it’s pretty good. I’ve heard this in several different variations but this is one of my favorites – an oldie but goodie, indeed! Enjoy.

      The Husband, the Wife and the Rising River

      The weather was horrific, high & wild winds plus torrential rains threatened the very lives of all residents in the area. The river was rising rapidly and the levees rimming water’s edge were beginning to fail.

      The couple had been listening to regular radio broadcast programming when local emergency type professionals broke-in & announced a severe weather warning for all living near the river telling all to evacuate immediately.

      Instead of evacuating they decided to go sit on the covered front porch, with a view of the rising river and both said in unison to each other, “We’ll be fine. The good Lord will provide.”

      The levees near their home soon broke. The streets began flooding. Still a big bus managed to drive by and stopped, telling the couple they could take them to a shelter on higher ground.

      “No thank you. We’ll be fine. The good Lord will provide.”

      The waters continued to rise and the first level of the house began flooding so the couple decided to keep watching the events unfold from a second story sleeping porch. A small motor boat travels by and one of the occupants shouts out, “There’s room in our boat, we can help get you to safety!”

      “No thanks. We’ll be fine. The good Lord will provide.”

      Soon the second story of the house was overtaken by the flood waters so the couple crawled up to the roof of the home to sit a spell. A helicopter flies by and hovers above them, sending down a rescue person with a rescue basket to save the couple from drowning. “Hurry-up and get in the rescue basket,” the rescuer shouted. “This chopper can’t handle these winds too much longer and we’re running out of fuel.”

      “No thanks. We’ll be fine. The good Lord will provide.”

      The storm continued, the river kept rising and the couple soon found the roof enveloped and soon drown in the raging waters.

      As the all too young, or so they thought, couple found themselves at the Pearly Gates, they both got a bit testy & argumentative with St. Peter as they couldn’t believe their early arrival date could be correct.

      “We shouldn’t be here yet,” the husband & wife shouted. “We fully trusted that the good Lord would provide. Why did not the good Lord provide? What else were we to do but trust in the good Lord?”

      Suddenly, the low & loud & booming voice of the Lord surrounds the Pearly Gates, interrupted their conversation with St. Peter and addressed the couple directly.

      “What more could I do for you two?” asked the good Lord, His voice stern yet kind. “I sent both of you a radio broadcast, then a bus, then a boat and finally a helicopter! What else were you two expecting?”

      Heads silently and humbly bowed, the couple walked forward as St. Peter opened & allowed them to enter the Pearly Gates.

      Keep taking care all. Stay safe & smart.

      • Prepared Grammy says:


        I’ve also had people tell me that I don’t have enough faith in God to protect me. I was on a mission trip and walking on the streets of Mexico once when one of my pastors said that to me. (He was mad at me that I told our group of teens that they should be careful with what they ate and drank while in the villages.) We stopped before crossing the street, he looked both ways, and crossed. I immediately chastised him for not having enough faith that God would protect him. He said, “That’s different. It would be stupid not to look both ways before crossing the street. You could get hurt.” My reply, “So God gave you a brain, and He expects you to use it.” Him, “Exactly.” Me, “Exactly. Maybe you should start using it, or He may stop saving you from your own stupidity.” Was I harsh? Maybe. But hope I made my point.

        • My (very religious) mother had a couple of sayings I always loved, “God helps those who help themselves” and “all good things come to him who waits — provided he works like hell while he waits”!

        • Prepared grammy,
          You are certainly on my list of best people around. I would hope someone would caution my teen to inherent dangers.

          I heard that ministers are the ones most likely to have an accident, heard from insurance person. So, THAT explains why my husband had serious body damage to our car at least a dozen times a year!

          People tell me I need to have more faith in god and prayer and then I will be healed. I turned to the minister whose son had brain damage from lack of oxygen at birth–“if god could heal your son’s brain by prayer, I know you have prayed enough his healing should have happened. The ministered nodded his head and a tear came to his eye.

          NO, you were not harsh at all, just truthful.

        • PG,
          I wish more people would look both ways before they walk into traffic. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to slam on the brakes because some idiot just walked out in front of my car. They get angry at me because they have the “right-of-way”. I get angry right back at them and sternly tell them not to confuse right-of-way with invulnerability.

      • When I taught GED, I had a very motivated student who was diligent in her studies. Then, it appeared she did nothing out of class and little in class. We discussed her lack of progress and lack of interest lately. She told me her problems which were just an extension of her problems I knew about. Being a GED teacher means being a social worker, too. Nothing I said, no matter how caring and gently I expressed myself, swayed her. Finally, she said, “I am going to wait on the Lord to send me an answer and tell me what to do.” My reply, “How do you know that the Lord did not send me to help you, and tell you what to do? Do you want him to drop from the clouds and come here and talk to you, tell you in person what to do?” I saw the light bulb come one. She sat up straight with renewed purpose and get to work. Not only did she earn a GED, she qualified for and got a Habitat home, daughter went to college on scholarship. This was a black woman with a hand so badly mangled that she could apply for disability. She felt it was her duty to work and do what she could for herself and daughter. I don’t for a second think the Lord sent me, but she needed that “help” at the time. I worked within her belief system.

        • Prepared Grammy says:

          I believe the Lord sends people to us. Maybe you were sent to her.

          I know what you mean about being a social worker too. I’m a teacher in a small, rural, public school. (Don’t crucify me. I’m fighting the good fight for what’s right.) I find myself doing more and more social work each year. I’m weary, and am retiring in a couple of years.

          • Prepared grammy,
            Why would I crucify you? I think I would rather teach in a small, rural, public school than a mega-school in a crowded city. All my children’s teachers looked old by the end of the year. At the end of the summer, they all looked ten years younger and not so weary.

  3. Babycatcher says:

    I spent most of the week recuperating from a nasty head cold. I’m rarely sick, but this was a doozy. I did take some elderberry tincture and it helped ease some symptoms( maybe I didn’t take it long enough?). Anyway, I put up 25 lbs of sugar and cleaned and organized parts of my kitchen. We are also working on financial planning. I also managed to get the pear trees pruned while it was still cold. We have had such a mild winter that I don’t think I will be able to get the rest of the orchard done. It’s too warm now.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      How do you put up sugar? I have a lot in the pantry. I just leave it in the bags. First in, first out, and I use it before I get many lumps in it. I was thinking about sealing some in Foodsaver bags, and storing it on the shelves in the basement with my freeze dried food. Do you think that’s a good idea? Would it be ok in a few years?

      • PG,
        I pour sugar into a quart canning jar and screw the lid on tight. Remember, any kind of plastic is porous. Mylar would be better than plastic. Of course, I prefer glass jars since they are not porous at all. I have 36 lbs. of sugar stored in glass jars…somewhere!

      • You could store sugar in foodsaver bags, but frankly, I think it an expensive solution. I just use the big bakery buckets with tight lids. Once filled, there’s little air and virtually no lumping. If your lid is a bit loose, top the bucket with some cling wrap that drapes over the bucket lip and then the lid, and if necessary, put a weight on it, perhaps another bucket of something.
        My basement gets damp so I can’t leave it in the bags, and we get rodents who love to chew holes in everything possible. The cat has her marching orders.

      • Prepared Grammy; I store my sugar in Mylar bags. Suck the air out, seal the bag and then seal in a bucket. So far I have not experienced any infestations or lumping.

      • Prepared Grammy,
        We store sugar in 5 gallon food grade buckets with gamma lid for easy access. We were feeding a very sweet mouse population storing it in the paper bag it came in. Lumps are easy to break down , not a problem.

      • I just put my long term sugar in mylar WITHOUT a oxy absorb and then in a bucket thats sealed.
        I opened one the other day when I was running low and it was just fine!

        My short term is in a good snapware cannister…in the dark, cool, pantry

        • For everyday storage of sugar, I use a Tupperware canister set with flour in the largest canister. I have several Tupperware canisters that I got from yard sales, a lid here, a lidless canister there. I put them together in any color combination. They are the same style and do not have to match. The best part is the lids are usually a quarter, the lidless canister sometimes a bit more. I suppose I have about 20 lbs. of sugar in short term storage. If rats or mice got to the canisters, they would surely gnaw them. It is all in high cabinets where rats or mice cannot get to them. The next sugar will go into Ball quarts for long-term storage along with the 36 pounds in jars.

      • Anonamo Also says:

        I put mine in 2 gallon buckets. Just seal from rodents. Mylar helps to keep down any odors from going into sugar and salt.DO NOT seal with oxygen absorbers, it will be very hard! Shelf life is unlimited. I like to pack a bigger can /bucket with various baking needs, each sealed seperately, sugar, salt,(several kinds) vanilla, and other EXTRACTS,(should be sealed in a separate bag, cocoa powder(vacume pack with ox absorbers). possibly powdered milk sealed in ox free packaging. Just label outside of bucket with first expiration date( milk) would be prolonged if powdered and packed for long term storage…as much as 8-25 years depending on the kind/ brand.
        Just seal to prevent invasions or rodents or humidity from without. Glass jars are great, but I do not have enough for this need as well.

      • My sugar is in a removable top 55 gal. drum . It is poured in and scooped out . There is no shelf life on it and no need to rotate . Just keep it dry.

      • ladyhawthorne says:

        Do not put oxygen absorbers in if you use foodsaver or mylar bags, it will just become one big brick.

      • Prepared Grammy,
        We have a ton of sugar around. Some is in the original 5 or 10 pound bags stored in a food grade bucket with a Gamma Seal lid, a few in the original bag in just a zip lock freezer bag, and some has been vacuum sealed in various size glass canning jars. Unless it somehow gets contaminated, sugar is rather robust stuff, and the worst we’ve seen is that it gets clumpy and needs to be broken up.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Agreed regarding first having plenty of sugar, many many viable needs as well as storing. Solid idea, probably would be good to invest in more gamma lids myself

      • Babycatcher says:

        I pour it with a funnel directly into clean dry plastic cider or sofa bottles. It stays dry, easy to handle and I tap the sides as I’m putting it in, to condense it. I use a teriyaki stick to loosen it when I’m ready. There’s no expiration date. I have sugar that’s 5 years old. I don’t use glass because I would have to have more canning jars. Hubby says I have enough already. I save the Mylar for wheat, oats, etc. that’s my system. If you have rodents the Mylar bags inside a 5 gal bucket ( better yet, galvanized metal) might be a better idea.

        • Babycatcher says:

          That should read “when I’m ready to use it”.

        • Babycatcher,
          sofa bottles?, LOL.
          We also use juice bottles, like the ones that contained apple or cranberry juice.
          When we used canned vegetables like peas, beans, carrots, etc., we also use these to drain off the liquid, all mixed together and stored in the refrigerator for use as a soup stock base.

          • Almost There says:

            Just got a good use for all those empty tea, juice, 2L coke jugs that others think I am crazy for saving…. Thinking I can dehydrate some veggies too and store them in there as well… Then I can put them in a 5 gallon bucket for longer term storage…

            Thanks for the idea pack.

            • Almost There,
              Those bottles are almost always made from Polyethylene Terephthalate, PET or recycle #1 that is the most common used clear thermoplastic used for water and soda bottle containers. As a raw material, PET is globally recognized as a safe, non-toxic, strong, lightweight, flexible material that is 100% recyclable, or in our case, reusable as a food grade container.

              • Almost There says:

                OP, I can also use them when I make up my dry laundry soap with the borax, washing soda and bar soap.

          • Babycatcher says:

            Yeah, the drinks that you consume while sitting on the sofa! Lol! That was supposed to be Soda. Stupid autofill.

  4. I did little prepping this week. However, I did manage to get caught up on the day to day activities. I felt well and energetic, but I sprained my thumb on my right hand and the left hand and arm continues to hurt after my tripping on the vine.

    Shopping at Harbor Freight has been high on my list of activities with five free items from five trips there. I offered some of the free items to my friend who said he could use batteries. I now have two hanging led flashlights. One will hang on my bed.

    For about six months I have been coughing from food not swallowed correctly. Or so it seems. Any little particles still in my mouth seem to choke me as I take the next breath because it has seemed that my epiglottis does not close properly–my assessment. Monday, I saw a speech therapist and had a barium swallow. The conclusion from the speech therapist is that I have a very fast and strong swallow. ???

    She fed me food and gave me a washcloth to clean my face since she got it all over me. It’s weird that a gastroenterologist sends me to a speech therapist.

    Last weekend, I quit using the computer except for a very few minutes each day. If anyone asked me anything on here, ask again as I am not going back and revisit last week’s blog. I did nothing to sprain my right thumb that I am aware of, so that is still a mystery and hurting, but better. It is difficult to lift one can to date it, so I dated few items and quit in order to spare and heal my thumb.

    • Anonamo Also says:

      I have arthritis in my thumb from the long term Lyme… one of the first places it shows up, but is responding to oregano and other herbals/spices. When Lyme flares it feels much like a sprain, and joint swells. just so you know..

      • Anonamo Also; Do you have problems with night vision due to Lyme’s Disease?

        • Anonamo Also says:

          I don’t think so, but rarely drive at night, for any distance. More trouble with vision but I am at the age when frequent changes occur. Have been doing some eye exercises to help, but not as diligent as I should be with them..I am using oregano, and other herbs think I may have Lyme mostly cleared. only one very brief flare in over a year.

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      I sprained my thumb by holding the dang mouse for too long and too tightly. I use peppermint oil rubbed in and that helps greatly.

      • AA,
        Thanks. This may be a weakness from a serious accident in 1980.
        I don’t have a mouse, just a mouse pad. I have suspected I overused my hand on computer, driving, holding onto bannister going down steps from my porch. I think overdoing on many things is the problem. My hairdresser just had her thumb joint replaced. Isn’t peppermint oil sticky? I put Vicks Salve on it and it seems to help. The relief could be all in my mind.

        • ladyhawthorne says:

          I use peppermint essential oil and its not sticky, at least the one I have is not. I hope yours gets better soon, mine is getting there.

          • I was gifted a gym membership from my wifes job and I have been using it the past couple of weeks. Been raining like crazy today and yesterday we had some wind gust that blew over one of the porta poties. Been just trying to not get killed by the weather. Bought some coldish weather gloves and some misc auto stuff.

          • ladyhawthorne,
            I would think that any oil would be oily, not sticky. Perhaps when people hear the word peppermint, they think of all of the peppermint flavored candy we’ve all eaten, and those are indeed sticky.

        • Linda,
          I refuse to use a mouse pad, since it always cramps my hands. I do use a mouse without problems; but, if that still gives you problems, look for a trackball. When the DD was small (4 or 5 years old) she couldn’t even handle the kid size mice; but, she could use a trackball, since you move the cursor with the ball, and can then leave the ball untouched while you click one of the buttons. Much easier on the hands.

          • OP,
            Thanks. I will try that. I looked at all the different mice which were over $40 and less than $10. I wonder if cheaper will work for me. When I first got a computer and mouse, I bought the best. Now, at the library when I must use a computer with mouse, it is very difficult for me. I doubt they have an expensive mouse. These are all in boxes, so it is almost impossible to compare.

            • Linda,

              These are all in boxes, so it is almost impossible to compare.

              I don’t know where you shop for such things in your area; but whether it’s Best Buy, Wal-Mart or some computer store, get a salesperson and ask to see and try the trackball, I can buy lots of things online, perhaps even cheaper, and maybe not know exactly what I’m getting, so the main reason IMHO to shop at a brick and mortar store, is so that you can try before you buy.

              • OH,
                When I go in to actually make a purchase, I do intend to get my hands on them before making a decision and purchasing. I just hate to have someone pull them down, take them out, and put them back as I walked away without purchasing. I will go to WM and find the one I want and look it up to see how much cheaper it is online. There is one guy who will look it up for me! And, he encourages me to purchase online.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      Be a bit cautious of Harbor Freight Tools stuff, it’s a hit & miss as to their quality. Mostly a miss as low prices seldom give you lasting quality.

      Even those among us with not so much money (like myself) should go for quality items as it’s better to buy things that last. In the long run the cost is lower as the things last longer and do a better job.

      I know low prices is seductive, but is a SHTF event you want an item to last.

      PS electricity and Harbor Freight don’t play together well, almost every electric tool they sell seems to burn up rather quickly.

      I did buy their Flux Core Welder (cost $90.00) but I used the money from jobs it brought in to buy a Lincoln Welder that will outlast me.

      • Chuck; You are so right on buying quality tools. So not fun when you buy a cheaper tool and it breaks the 2nd time you use it.

      • Chuck,
        Thanks for confirming what I suspected and have been told. So far, I have a tarp, led lights, and the free stuff, mostly. I do trust Lowe’s for items I need. The set of HF screwdrivers should last for me since I am not hard on screwdrivers and do have others that are more expensive and bought at yard sales. People are hauling things off hand over fist from HF.

  5. patientmomma says:

    Hello Everyone! Happy Spring!! This is the mildest winter I have ever experienced in my location! My forsythia and red azaleas are blooming, tulips are ready to open, and the daffodils are beautiful. All the trees are budding, including the fruit and nut trees. I am worried that a March freeze will kill all the buds and we’ll not have fruit this season.

    My excitement for the week was … my hogs broke out of their enclosure! The dogs alerted me and got me moving to the barn area to see what happened. Fortunately, my son was here so we were running around trying to round up two 350+ pound hogs. I got their favorite treat foods and my son lured them towards the enclosure while I herded from the back. For some reason the hot wire went dead so they tore through it and the barbed wire, then lifted the 10’ gate off its hinges and then went exploring. We were both able to laugh about it, but it could have been a disaster if they had left the barn area and gone down into the meadow or wooded acres. We were exhausted after that episode!

    Made the drive to the closest small city to do some bargain hunting and found a couple of metal narrow-mouth thermoses, two bike helmets (for head protection during storms and tornadoes), nice cold weather goggles to protect the eyes, and some flannel sheets at the thrift store. I also picked up some cabbages for 69 cents each (a really good price in my area), some fresh veges and basic spices for vac-sealed storage.

    Received the new monitor for the security system and got it installed on a wall mount. It’s nice to be able to just check the monitor when the alarms go off instead of having to go outside and see what triggered the alarms.

    My son got five new rabbit cages built so I’m set for this year’s bunnies. One of the first-time moms delivered 9 babies last night. Two more first time moms delivered this morning so it will be a busy day. Got to check and make sure everybody is warm.

    My prayers for those of you needing healing and comfort. I look forward to reading your comments this weekend.

    • NINE babies patient momma? Is that a record? And I thought back to back twins was bad enough.

      • patientmomma says:

        Izzy, yep, but these are large meat rabbits. My California white girly delivered nine little bunnies yesterday. The New Zealand mom also delivered nine but one died before I could save it. The Flemish girls have gone as high as 13 but then the runts either die or I have to supplement their milk with formula. Mostly the NZs have around 6 to 8 but they are large. I only sell the bunnies around Easter time to stores, all other times it is for my use only.

  6. More canning here. Never seems to stop when it comes to beans. Bought 7 pound cans of ketchup and will re-can in jelly jars. I am planning grid down scenario. Small containers work better when there is no refrigeration.

    Ordered tepary beans. They are smaller dried beans (heirloom) from a place in California. The are grown in desert areas by American Indians. Reported to need water at time of germination but are pretty drought resistant after that. I have brown and white beans. This is my experiment this year and possibly my backup for my dry beans if I have a crop failure.

    Always replacing items in pantry as we put back what we eat. Always reorganizing try to make more room.

    Bought more fabric this week. $2.95 a yard on sale; end of bolt. Bought 4 yards of each. I always buy extra planning on leftovers to go in quilting fabric tub. Treadle machine up and ready to use.

    First of the month I am planning on buying a manual grain grinder. Already have an electric one. Also will be buying more gutters for rain catchment. Gut level says time is running out on big purchases. Focus from now on is garden and root cellar.

    Be the gray man and keep a low profile.

    • don’t think that ketchup needs refrigeration. Too acid.

      • Anonamo Also says:

        Ketchup. loaded with sugar and or syrups. Yes, It WILL sour depending on how long open, heat and humidity. one person with intermittent use can’t use often enough to keep it from ruining.

      • Anonamo Also says:

        KETCHUP has lots of sugar , definitely will sour.

  7. BTW: Janome brand makes a modern sewing machine, but you need to find an old treadle base. Lehman’ has a full unit but the price is way out of my league. I found a base on e-Bay. My DS built a cabinet and connected to new machine to the antique base. Works great.


    Took advantage of some sales at the grocery. Single serve oatmeal for $1/10; spreads for $2.50 each; Mac & Cheese (Kraft) 5/$3; Bear Creek soup mix for $2.50 each; coffee @ $4.99.

    My case of 5.56 on stripper clips can in; it was only $10 more than getting 223 in bulk (no clips). This puts me at my “comfort” level for 55 gr.

    Found out there was a gun show here in town (small). Went if for no other reason than to get on the promoter’s vendor list. I did find 2 used sizing dies and a book on knots.

    More storage sorting, inspection, and repackaging. Lost another 2 #10 cans of cornbread mix; this makes 3 cans in 19 years of prepping – of everything we have stored, not bad. Just that I like cornbread so our other cans will have to go further up front and resupply more often.

    DW’s main tablet’s battery is dying. Once she gets her new one, I’m going to see if I can replace the battery. Nothing lost if I fail.

    Got the alarm system paperwork to the insurance company; that will save us 5%. Better than nothing considering I was doing it anyway.


    For the homestead: Storage Tubs, clear, w/lids;

    Media: Prepper’s Guide to Knots

    Sale/warehouse food(s): Instant oatmeal, jelly, mac & cheese, soup mix, coffee

    Guns & Shootin’ Stuff: Single pistol hard case; 5.56 ammo, on stripper clips; Lee sizing dies (.454 & .311)

  9. American Pacrat says:

    Morning MD
    After you have had a chance to put the new solar equipment through its test phase, could you please do analysis for us. We have been looking for something of this caliber, as I would need power to run a Vita mix to feed a family member. The price looks comparable to others that I have seen recently.

    • American Pacrat,

      I plan on doing a full review.

      • American Packrat. Wondering if you post on another blog under the initials AC. You might know me.

        There was a scam going around a few weeks ago where you got a phone call asking if you could hear the calling party. If you answered yes your voice was being recorded. I mention this because my wife just got a phone call asking if she voted in the last election. She hung up the phone. Might be a variation on the previous scam. Please pass this around.

        • American Pacrat says:

          Yes, it is I.
          Saw your posting & let dh know. Have not spoken with the siblings to let them know.

        • BlueJeanedLady says:

          I’ve heard that this particular scam (starting out with a random question on the caller’s part intended upon invoking a “yes” response from you) is going gang-busters across the USA. Don’t play their game. Just hang-up, quickly.

          (Added Note – – – Perhaps I’m a bit paranoid, but I don’t even answer a blind phone question like, “Is this BlueJeanedLady?” without first asking the person that called me, “Who is calling?” Oftentimes this initial question is simply impolite on the caller’s part & not necessarily nefarious, but one never knows.)

          With the “yes” scam previously mentioned, as I understand, their intent is to get your voice stamp of the word, “yes” recorded (on the caller’s end) to further hack financial accounts that can be accessed via voice prompts, thus making the hacks easier for them to accomplish, and even harder for you to challenge or prosecute, even if discovered. Don’t do it.

          My suggestion is to never answer a stranger’s call with any type of yes or no answer, not to mention anything more detailed than that and just hang up. JMHO, but if they can’t identify (with a way for you to verify) who they are & why they are calling, it’s not worth the risk.

          Just an added note but this is also the time of year (tax season) many IRS / tax related telephone scams have been occurring as of recent years. Please do your own research, but I think I’ve read before that neither the legitimate state or federal revenue services will EVER contact you by phone if you’ve not requested or approved of such beforehand. Even then, I’m not sure any legitimate tax entities actually call you, but rather might ask you to call them back with a well published, clearing house type general phone number plus an extension number to reach a particular person or department. Whatever, don’t take such calls seriously.

          Also, as I’ve understood, that any messages &/or notifications &/or warnings via the legitimate tax entities are supposedly, always delivered by snail mail, first. As well, they don’t call you . . . you have to call them and wait on hold for hours, if you have a real concern.

          Again, do your own research on this matter, yet be very, very leery of any “so claimed” representative of state or federal IRS agencies calling you & claiming you have to blindly give them any info over the phone and, once more, just hang-up. JMHO. This might be different with some that file taxes online, maybe they will use an email address, but I don’t do any taxes online (snail mail only) and will avoid such until legally forced to do so. More of MHO’s but so it goes! 🙂

          Keep taking care people, while staying smart & safe.

          • Almost There says:

            Isn’t it against the law in some states to record conversations without the person being called being told so, so they can decide whether to continue the conversations? But then we are dealing with unscrupulous people that have initiated the call anyway…. Thanks for the heads up. I generally don’t even answer my phone unless I know who is calling. If it’s important, they can leave a message and I will call them back if I think it’s a valid call. I also use the white pages dot com and do a reverse phone number look up and see if it has been flagged as a scam number.

            • BlueJeanedLady says:

              Hey there, Almost There, & anyone else reading,

              Yes, I believe you are correct on both points, Almost There.

              Isn’t it against the law in some states to record conversations without the person being called being told so, so they can decide whether to continue the conversations? But then we are dealing with unscrupulous people that have initiated the call anyway….

              as there within those two unlike realities lies the conflicting problem, doesn’t it?

              When a court of law can identify both parties on either side of a recording telephone issue & possibly establish a relationship link between the two, it’s easier to apply the first of your stated facts. When a court can’t prove that one (the innocent) didn’t know the other (the scamming, stranger thief) in a random, computer bases scamming incident, I’m guessing the ideals might clash and be more difficult to prove, thus the innocent not so well protected. JMHO! 🙂

              I’m mostly like you and don’t answer a call if I don’t know a number and then just wait to see if they leave a message. However, I’ve not had good luck with the white / yellow pages dot com sites in looking up too many unknown numbers as I’m guessing many of the ill-intended ever had disposable phone numbers assigned long enough to be added to such web sites. Then again, I’ve inadvertently answered a few calls just being lax about paying attention to such and I’m left mostly wishing I had not forgotten my safety first practices to begin with.

              Ugh! It’s hard not being perfect! Ha, ha, ha! Lucky for me, concerning this issue, no harm no foul – to date! Hoping the same for all Packmates. 🙂

              So glad this random info of mine gave you a “heads-up,” AT, as that was my only intent and my hope for any & all reading these pages. Keep taking care and staying smart & safe, AT. I wish you & yours and all of the good ones that land here similar, pleasant realities, as well. Just ‘cuz! 🙂

              • How I find who called–I just type the number in the search. Up comes dozens of entries that immediately let you know it is a problem number. If you click on an entry, there are multiple warnings in each entry. There is no need to go to any dotcom that usually just wants you to pay or subscribe to their service. Easy peasy.

                In this state it is illegal to put a recoding device into the phone line. However, once the message comes through the speaker to your hearing, you can record. There is a device that you just stick to the back of your phone that “catches” the voice/vibration emanating from the phone. (I say on the back of the phone because you usually have your ear to the front of the phone. ) THAT is legal. This came from an attorney and confirmed by other attorneys and by police. Plus, I looked it up online.

                Just do not put anything in the phone line to intercept the vibrations before the leave the phone. You do not have to inform anyone that you have a device that can “hear” the voice. I suppose you could put the phone on speakerphone and record that way. This is in AL.

            • Almost There ,

              Isn’t it against the law in some states to record conversations without the person being called being told so

              There are variations on this.
              Here in Ohio, we have the two party rule, where I can record any conversation to which I am a part; but, only in person. If you and I are standing next to each other or having a meal and I record our conversation, then it’s OK. That may not be true in other states.
              On the telephone however, it is a federal law against wiretapping, which is why when you call customer service for nearly anything from your bank or insurance company to a local Home Depot and get a recording, it will often say something like, “This call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes”
              IANAL; but, have looked into this in my state from the perspective of having a security camera that also records audio.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Arizona is a single party recording state, eg., all calls I take are recorded, with 4 exceptions – Additionally, as my children are taught, they called you, they must reveal who they are and what they want or you hang up. Period.

            • There are other “one-party” states, as well. In a one-party state, the person aware of recording the phone conversation must actually be the “first party” actually on the call, incoming or outgoing. There is no obligation in these states to advise the “second parties” on the other end of the call that the call is being recorded.

              However, it is still illegal to leave the recording equipment active to catch the conversations of “third parties” who may make or receive calls on your line, where both parties on the call are unaware of being recorded. This become a wiretap.

              In some firehouses and similar organizations, there will be a label on the handset of the private members’ phone saying, “All calls recorded.” This is so the members are granted “first party” legal awareness.

          • I don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If it is legitimate, they can leave a message. Maybe one in fifty does.

          • Don’t mean to profile folks, but these Damn telemarketers from India or Pakistan gotta stop calling me..I cannot understand them. They were driving me crazy. One called here Tuesday and started his mush mouth mumbo jumbo and I interrupted him and said,”can you get me a good deal on some detonators for my bombs?”

            The line went dead and ain’t had another call since….honest, true story.

  10. Almost There says:

    Hi Everyone,

    The temps are still crazy around here in TN, but it seems we, so far, may have dogged the bullet for the hard winter the persimmons said we would have… There’s still over a month to go… Never know around here. Posting early to see if it helps keeping track of everyone’s adventures.

    Still working on organizing and getting rid of stuff and have taken off from work today and we are off on Monday, so hoping to work on my storage units this weekend. Have made up a 3 month plan to get rid of both units, get rid of my booths at the antique place and concentrate on my home and lifestyle and learning all I can about gardening and off grid stuff, backups for backups, etc.

    TSC is getting ready for spring stuff and was having a sale on tools, so I bought a 244 piece tool set for 1/2 price that is in a nice tool box where everything is in its place, a set of titanium drill bits, 2 huge Phillips screw drivers, a smaller tool box that will go in my car that I can put all my loose tools in, a DeWalt multitool, a small greenhouse, 2 sets of saw horses and 2 hand-held/hanging lights. I like going there to see what they have in stock and can’t beat their sale prices when they are clearing out stuff.

    Will be canning my carrots and hope to doing something with my ginger this weekend as well.

    BIL and dad still doing good. Thank you for your prayers.

    Prayers for the pack, for those needing healing, for Billy T and Janie, unspoken needs, for our President and America.

  11. Busy, busy week. We have most stellar weather….almost freaky actually. So nice out, in amongst massive doctoring, I started prepping my garden area.

    I added 4 cans of regular less sodium Spam, 4 cans of turkey Spam, 4 cans of Great Value chicken breast meat, 4 cans of Dinty Moore stew, 4 cans of Chili w/beans, 4 cans of corn, 4 cans of salt substitute, 3 gallons of white vinegar, 4 “bath in a bag” packages and 10 more gallons of water. I also purchased 2 jars of “Minerin” hand cream.

    Prayers for the all my fellow Wolies and their families. Prayers for troops. Prayers for all those in bad weather situations. And a special prayer for OUR President,,,,the good Lord knows he needs them.

    • Hey Izzy
      I got a whole case of the Great Value Chkn breast meat (wally world brand) and its really good! They have some good deals for sure!
      I make most of my chkn soups with a couple cans and couldnt be happier

      • Canned chicken makes great chicken and dumplings.

      • I have not used the canned chicken in soup….yet. I do make a nice chicken salad with it. I love it in the summer for a cold meal.

        As an aside, I never buy Tyson. It is too stringy for me, plus I am boycotting them.

        • Hi Izzy, once in a while I’ll supplement meat from a carcass with canned chicken from CostCo. It is quite tender, and does a good job in soup. As you said, it is also good for chicken salad.

  12. Not a very busy week for us . Did some refills on the food supply at Cash& Carry and Winco in the big city. We keep a couple of 5 gallon buckets with gamma lids filled with 1# and 5# bags of several legumes such as lentils, split peas, navy beans . pintos, kidney,limas , etc. It is a handy way to have an assortment on hand for use , for gifting and for barter. We do the same thing with pasta varieties .
    Did a little carpenter work at the church and shared some of our winter squash with a widow woman at church.
    Our rain has quit and hope to do some outdoor chores when it dries out a little .
    Blessings to all

  13. Quietly_Will says:

    My circumstance dictates that I will rely on cans and freeze dried foods in a major event. Over the past few months I did an actual, hands on inventory of my long term food to include counting calories. I then made a “food schedule” of daily meals. What I thought was enough to last my desired time frame was actually about ¾ of my goal at 2000 +/- calories per day. Water is covered. Situation corrected. Its in the details…..

    • qw,
      I, too, have a plan. Maybe I should inventory calories.

    • Almost There says:

      That needs to be on my list too. And be sure I’m getting enough nutrition with what I do have to include fat and proteins, vitamins, minerals, as well as the carbs, etc

  14. Mostly just relaxed and took it easy this week. Did break in the new cook table for the dutch ovens and and little stoves. Nothing fancy just a Camp Chef but they work. Now I have two of them. Beats the heck out of bending over or squatting down to tend them. I’ll get to ordering the side shelves for both sooner or later. Since I was sitting out on the deck in the sun one afternoon I got to see one of the feral cats come racing out of the woods closely followed by a red fox. Cat holed up under a pallet and I lobbed a few BB’s at the fox, who turned and gave me a disgusted look that said “Why you messing with me? The cat started it.” before it sauntered off back into the woods. Gotta love having time to take in nature, may not have much more of that, so I take it while I can get it.

    • Tommy2yrs; That is a cute story. I am glad the cat was okay. You are right, enjoy nature while we can.

    • A seal buddy of mine was coming home after a mission and came across 3 fox pups circling their Mom that got hit by a car, so he brought them home. (Sad) We all raised them but someone fed them raw meat and we had to release them because they would even bite through welding gloves. Those little needle teeth are sharp !!! Lol

  15. Went to the grocery store last Friday and added to the pantry stash. Hurt my back carrying the groceries upstairs to my apartment. I hate getting old. I ended up not going to Hamcation because it hurt too much to walk. I’m quite disappointed, but I need a reasonably functional back more than I need to drool over radios and related stuff.

    I’ve been very lucky this week in that my grand-daughter has been well-behaved and hasn’t been a wriggling chore to carry, plus my Ex took her off my hands for a couple of days too. I love that little munchkin to pieces, but she is growing fast and getting harder to tote around even without a sore back.

    Received my new PPK/S holster from Safariland. I really like it much better than the others I have. I use the same style holster for my Sig P228. I don’t know why I never got this style holster for the .380 before. Maybe because I used to carry the P228 far more often.

    Went to the store again for more groceries and added to the stash of course. I took it easy carrying the stuff upstairs, although I had to make a couple of extra trips. Did I mention that I hate getting old?

    Trying to get my son to ignore his girlfriend for a weekend and come visit with me so we can go to the range and bust caps on our long guns. He needs more practice with his 870 as it is still a new thing to him. Personally, I just want to make loud noises and destroy things (targets will have to do). Sorry, it’s the Marine in me.

    The Ex finally seems to be getting a bit antsy over the world situation. I gave her my old Beretta Model 20 .25acp pistol as she wanted something small to carry concealed and I didn’t want it anymore. She really likes the tip-up barrel. She also has a S&W Model 60 .38spcl snubbie I gave her too. Yesterday she asked my advice on getting a shotgun. I know 12-guages kick the living snot out of her. We were married while she was active duty Coast Guard and she had to requal on 12-guages every year. She would come home bruised as all heck and was miserable for days afterward. Poor shooting technique mostly, but still… So, I’m going to direct her over to a 20-guage, probably a Rem 870 as they’re simple to use and I know how to maintain them (armorer level). I’ll also try to teach her to properly tuck the gun to reduce recoil effects on the shoulder, and I’ll teach her a couple of other tricks of shotgun use.

    • Hey Zulu!
      The 20 gauge 870 is something we have and I think it might work for her. I’m not a big girl and I can handle it well, even with the arthritis…it has a kick, but it doesn’t put my on my behind…
      Good luck!!

      • TechQN,

        Yeah, I think she’ll do fine with a 20-ga. Part of her problem with the 12-gauges in the Coast Guard was not tucking the stock properly, but a big part was the number of rounds they had to fire, both full power slugs and 00-buck. It would make a big stocky experienced shotgun shooter sore. Add a hundred or so rounds of 5.56mm and she was really pushing the limits. For some stupid reason, they qualified on the shotguns first, then the M-16s, then .45 semi-autos. She had no arm strength left at the end of the day. She wasn’t a very big gal at all. Still isn’t.

    • Zulu 3-6,
      You missed Hamcation eh?
      I don’t know if this helps; but, one of our local guys who is a recently retired doc (not a prepper) is traveling the country in a motor home and currently at hamcation, was in one of the recent Hamnation videos. Watching these videos are always interesting; but, if I lived closer to the event as I think youdo, it might just be rubbing salt in the wound, LOL.

      • OP,

        Yeah, missed it. But, like I wrote, it was a choice between a functional back and drooling over radios. I suppose if I didn’t have to babysit, I would have gone for a few hours on Saturday and dealt with the pain.

        My back still hurts, but I can manage with the baby well-enough if she behaves like she did this week. She was a real gem today. Not bad for a four-month old. It’s almost like she knows to give the old fat man a break.

        What was nice too, when I hurt my back, I had to sit on the stairs for a few minutes. My across the hall neighbor’s daughter (9-years old) came out to play and saw me. She insisted on helping me carry the rest of the groceries and refused any money. She’s a sweet kid. I made sure I told her dad . Nice to know there are some well-raised kids still out there.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      The Ex finally seems to be getting a bit antsy over the world situation. I gave her my old Beretta Model 20 .25acp pistol

      Make sure you have a bill of sale (even if you gave it to her for free) as if someone gets shot with the gun you could have men with guns knocking (or busting in) your door if the gun is misused and found sitting next to a dead body.

      People at times do socially unacceptable things with guns and you don’t want any blow back on yourself.

      Think about those cops knocking in your door and how they will go through everything in your home.

      This is very much about survival / prepping for unknown events.

      • Chuck Findlay,

        Absolutely on the bill of sale. She got it with the gun. Same thing when I gave her the snubbie a couple of years ago.

        Remember, homeboy was a cop. I know how they roll. Although I’m more concerned about ATF as they seem to have much less common sense than local police.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          You are kind to the batf, myself have met a few “nice” ones, but never a smart one. 🙂

        • Zulu 3-6; I had to laugh at ” much less common sense “. LOL! In my area and other areas I have lived in, I have found the local bobbies to be dumb as stumps. Give them a badge and they become instant hotdoggers that think they walk on water.

          I could tell you some stories of my days in LE as I am sure you could. Boy have times changed. And not for the better.

          • With LOE,s it comes down to where you live . We have a mostly good group here . They run about 80% preppers . They know which ones will follow unlawful orders from above and which ones they can count on to serve and protect .

    • Crazy Stevo says:

      On the 20 gauge, look at the Knox stock for the Remington 870. You can go to the range all day and it not give you a bit of recoil. Wife has one and loves the fact she can stay out there all day.

  16. mom of three says:

    Just dropped our kids off at 10:00, we are three hours behind it’s 10:40 to go on a long winter break at a swim park, so three days off for them and daddy and I are going to enjoy this break… I have not done much this week but today I will do my coupon shopping today at Safeway. I did buy some sewing needles, for our sewing machine, I did order a new sewing cover we lost it so now the bobbin, is covered and I did get some big daddy mac and cheese powder for $11.99 through Amazon. Well, enjoy this long weekend, if you get Monday off Cheers:)

  17. Owl Creek Observer says:

    It hasn’t been a productive week. I got hit with the flu (despite getting my annual flu shot) and my wife is down with a respiratory infection. I did receive two Augason Farms food buckets to add to the stores and spent part of my recliner time sharpening my knives. A friend of mine has been trying to talk me into buy a crossbow. He has a nice one with a scope and a bipod and can’t miss the bullseye. I’m not convinced it’s worth the cost to me, but I haven’t ruled it out.

  18. I don’t post usually but I want to tell just how much I enjoy reading your posts! Very encouraging!
    I live in a small cabin and have chickens and 2 cats and 2 dogs… As far as prepping goes, I think I’m doing ok except when it comes to keeping things organized! Something happens, I’ve got it covered. But where did I put it???
    This small house is getting crowded and I’m running out of room!
    Keep on preparing. It can’t keep going the way it’s headed for long.

    • I have a friend who I swear, ALPHABETIZES her storage. First in general categories (baking, dry goods, fruit, pasta, soups, etc.) Then within each category. Seems odd to me, but she can find her stuff!

      • I was going to suggest alphabetizing items and then put the location. Another suggestion is making a “map” of the locations not just a word description.

    • Quietly_Will says:

      Ruth, I use “homer” buckets, backpacks and old army duffel bags. Cans are under beds in boxes cut down to slide under bed frames. Paper products are stacked ceiling high in closets, they wont hurt if they fall. In the buckets I have things like backup toilet supplies, sterno, stove and then label the lid. Its easier to unstack buckets to find what I want. I have specialty tools ( hatchet, mallet etc) in a separate tool box. Backpacks are 72 hour kits, bladder pack and a camping pack. The common factor here is handles. While I have no plans to leave, I could quickly throw a subset of stuff into the back of the truck to get out of the way of a fire. This also keeps me from getting “too smart” and moving stuff around. Better for the house to be full than empty.

    • Always Forward says:

      I’m thinking about that too. Maybe just a little notebook that says something like, hall closet, and just list what’s in that particular place so at least you could sit down and flip through it calmly to have a clue where the heck something is.

      • AF,
        Another advantage to the little notebook information is that you could tell someone else where a thing was stored or direct someone to put a like object where it needs to be. There is nothing more frustrating to me than having someone “help” me, especially without consulting me, and having to search for anything.

        My mil visited for a week. I searched for the dishtowels for two weeks after she left and found they were up high in my son’s closet. Ex would not ask her or allow me to ask. grrr Since they were in such a strange place, she probably would not have remembered anyway. Other items were in similarly strange places. Imagine looking for the stash of sugar you brought home and finding them down where mice could get to them.

      • Always Forward ,
        Perhaps I’m too technically ingrained; but, I keep track of nearly everything in a series of excel spreadsheets, and have plans (perhaps actually delusions) to have everything tracked using a bar code scanner, both in and out of inventory and with the ability to show current inventory and location. Getting the DW to scan things in and out might be an issue; but, as we’ve been decluttering and finding long lost items, I think she may come around.

  19. Got another 100w solar panel in . A 40a charge controller . Some MC4 y connecters in . Waiting for one more package and then can do a 200w increase to my system.
    Added to garden 1 apple tree and 3 hardy Kiwis . Added another2 cases of pints and a 100′ garden hose. That’s it for me this week .

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      I’m mulling over weather to buy 2 10-oz bars of silver or put the money in to more solar panels.

      I want more solar panels, but silver won’t stay low priced forever.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Suggestion, silver is only worth something when an economy outside of barter exists?

        Solar panels or energy provided is worth more all the time. Besides, you can have backups that way.

        I stopped buying silver and gold 6 years ago after witnessing yet another collapse first hand, sure some people pillaged for “valuables” in the end many of them starved or died as they refused to gather food believing their baubles to be of far greater worth than they were.

        Have some, but…just my suggestion

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          I think the Mad Max / JWR Patriots situation is unlikely. In these situations solar panels would offer a big advantage as power would be in short supply and of more value then silver.

          But I think an ecnomic collapse is more likely (like The great Depression only on steroids) and in it, silver would still have value. Or it will be valuable on the other side of an event.

          Also as far as barter, I don’t know how much of it is going to be going on. I’m set up very well for barter if it comes about as I have a massive skill set in my abilities to make things, repair things, come up with new uses for things to build new useful items out of seemingly junk items. I can (and do in my work every day) repair just about everything in a and around a home. This is my barter items if it ever came to pass.

          I also suspect that I may trade my repair / building skills for a bit more silver if we do get a bad SHTF event. I’m pretty well set up as far as supplies, food, guns & ammo and other survival items so I don’t need to trade for those items.

          If we do have a bad civil unrest period I plan on keeping my head down for a month or 2 and let the dust settle and the fools kill each other. The gene pool needs a bit of chlorine and this may be how it cleans itself…

          It’s not so clear as to silver or solar panels being the better choice for me. Given time I will have a lot more of both, but none of us know how much time we have before it hits the fan. I already have a lot of silver and just about enough solar power. I live in Ohio (it rains a lot here) so extra solar panels are a good idea, where you live what I have would be enough as Arizona sunshine is more common then Ohio sunshine. (I’m saying this on Feb 19th and it’s 60 degs and sunny 🙂 ).

          I also don’t have a retirement program to fall back on like many people. So the silver is going to help with it.

          I also buy a lot of things for future use so as I get older I won’t need to buy them then and saving me a lot of future expenses.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Well said and agreed, here in AZ absolutely solar over silver…for you, agreed! (And CF/ yep eg., Rawles Patriots thingy, its fun fiction…but not really based in reality)

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            Don’t know why all that was in bold? I don’t remember hitting the B tab? Harder to read when it’s all bold.

            I’ve read 2 of the Rawles Patriots books so far (I bought all of them at The Good Will for 1.00 each) and I probably will get to the rest of them at some point. But there is other things to do that are more important right now. If I ever have a slowdown of work (work is getting busier all the time, even now in the Winter) I will catch up on my reading. I love to read, but for the last year I seem too busy to just sit for hours reading.

            But I still seem to be buying books all the time, what’s up with that????

            • Chuck,
              The bold is much easier to read than all caps! I, like you continue to buy books to read. Both eyes are still not right. Plus, one lens demarcation, even on progressive lens, is higher than the other. So, reading is pretty much out. I piddle around reading magazines if in a doctor’s office and read some on the computer. I am much more choosy about books bought at yard sales than I formerly was. At least, I have that under control. After getting rid of 800 of my books, I don’t want to end up with books in stacks.

    • Nice progress.

  20. Hey Pack! Happy Friday!!
    Hmm, my prep week was a bit slow, since its patching week for work and my shifts have been 12-14 hours. (sigh)…
    I have done a couple items though..
    -Placed my order from http://www.azurestandard.com for some Bulk, Organic items….
    -Had to redo my lists to include my son’s respite worker and her family, until she can start building her preps…since my home will be the fall back site for bugging in…
    -Getting ready to place a new online order from wally world for some bulk items…(dog food, paper towels, soap, etc)

    -Went through my preps and stored items and I can safely say I am in a comfortable zone of at least 6-9 months of solid eating for family of 4, as well as first aid and hygiene…
    Dang that feels SO GOOD TOO! LOL

    -Oh my, I did an awesome prep soup from my stored items, was a hit…and did some baking, etc….
    good to know my stored items will fill bellies and the boys will love them.

    -Started the clear out of dead items in the raised beds…we have just been getting hammered here with the constant rain and weather (north cali) and its been hard to get outside to do things. Hopefully the weather will cooperate over the next couple weeks. 🙂

    Got a new order of smaller Mylar bags, so I’ll sort through my large bulk of beans and other items and pack those up.

    Thats it for me Packsters!!
    Cheers and be safe!

  21. I’ve been down with a serious sore throat for a week. It is finally getting better, but not much on the prepping front.

    The Streamlight 44931 Siege Lantern 3D cell lantern which I ordered a while back came in and it is orders of magnitude more impressive than any I have seen from other manufacturers. Also $29, but if you put a priority on durability, this may be worth taking a look at. I haven’t put it through any great tests, but it seems extremely sturdy, including gasketed seals for water resistance. It has more light modes than I think are needed (High (340 Lumens), Medium (175 Lumens), Low (33 Lumens), Red (10 Lumens), and Red SOS flashing modes) but that is just me.

    We bought two Rayovac SE3DLNACOM Sportsman 240 Lumen 3D cell lanterns a couple years ago (currently $21 on Amazon through our host’s link) and are very happy with them for camping, but the Streamlight seems even better- brighter maximum at 340 lumens, has a red light function, seems a good deal sturdier, and water resistant. Amazon feedback for both are excellent.

    If you are thinking about a BIL or BOL in the SW part of the country, you might be interested in the weapons your neighbors are currently using: http://www.chron.com/news/us-world/border-mexico/article/Report-Leaked-photos-cartel-readying-for-war-10935251.php

    Ma Deuces…I don’t want to see a technical with one looking at my front porch after TEOTWAWKI…or any other time, for that matter.

    I’ve found a near ideal post-TEOTWAWKI summer survival vehicle for preppers. All you need to do is add some pintle mounts for your favorite belt-feds and stock up on AA battery solar chargers. Given the power source you could run a chain gun.



    • PS: There was a c.4.6 earthquake near the Big Island this morning at 5:33. I would have been washing my face at the time, but never felt it. Earthquakes are why we store water, though, as they don’t give any notice.

    • Penrod,
      My throat has been sore for over a week. It is where my Eustachian tube opens. It will be sore on one side so I can barely swallow without excruciating pain. Hours later, the other side hurts instead. The pollen count here is so high, I need to start taking all my allergy medications, prescription and otc. Otherwise, I will be taking antibiotics to cure head stuff that flies to throat and lungs. This coming week will be ac weather.

      • That sounds miserable, LindaW. Mine was around the uvula. I had to swallow often, it hurt, and never felt like I’d really gotten everything down. I’m feeling good today so long as I take aspirin, but if I let it go too long it is clear that I’m not back to snuff yet. I’m going to skip the swap meet tomorrow and probably Sunday as well. No great reason for another relapse.

        • Penrod,
          When my uvula is swollen, nothing goes down easily. I cannot take aspirin, but warm things help the feeling. There are days as I get older that it seems resting is the best medicine. Of course, if I had rested when younger, I might have recovered sooner and more easily.

          It seems that this fall I was less miserable with head to lungs problems. That may be that the antibiotics for the
          continual uti kept things in head to lungs more stable.

          I am warm-natured, but if I get a chill when I feel unwell, it seems I get much worse and faster. Staying home is usually mandated by my back condition that day. However, when I have a sore throat or sinus problems, staying home or coming home sooner seems to help me all over.

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            I get older that it seems resting is the best medicine.

            I’ve come to accept that gravity pulls on you harder as you get older. It’s strongest on a Sunday morning.

      • Anonamo Also says:

        LindaW, If you get a chance get some Red Thyme essential oil. To use it you ONLY smell it. It is high anti bacterial and it has been helping my sinus issues.If you have any Oregano oil, dilute and rub under and around bottom of ears. Do both at same time. Mint family is active ingred in menthalatum and vicks type salves. they will help keep you open..

  22. That’s it, y’all. I quit. I have resigned my commission; and, abdicated my title. I am no longer the keeper of everything that anyone may ever need for any reason at any time in the future.

    When it gets to the point where I can’t find things that I need for my own purpose, it is time to clear out and move on. The drawers, shelves, cabinets, closets, garage, storage shed, and barn are bring purged of the JUNK.

    Anything that is useless, pointless, worthless, or just taking up space can be found at the thrift store, the recycling center, or the county dump.

    It is Spring; and, I am on a roll. Me, Ibuprofen and the BioFreeze are going to be real close buddies this next 10 days or so.

    Take care my fellow Wolfies. Remember— if you can’t find it, you might as well not have it.


    • ladyhawthorne says:

      Well said! I did that when I moved 3 yrs ago. I have tried to get my folks to purge but my dad is the only one who will. Mom holds onto everything, especially kitchen gadgets and buys more and we never use them!

      • Hi Thomas the Tinker,
        I sure would be pleased if I could lose weight while I am losing some of the junk. If any of the “stuff” was useful or could be used for anything like a normal person would need, it might be harder to get rid of it.
        I walk around opening a closet door or a cabinet door just so I can look at the how neat and organized things are. It amazes me how something so simple can make such a difference.

      • Hi LadyHawthorne,
        You know, it would be different if the stuff that I have been collecting was actually usable; but, it is just not. The only thing a lot of it was good for was to make a few bucks for the thrift store when I would think, “oh. I bet xyz could use that for something some day.” Well, xyz can go buy it and store it for themselves if they think they might need “it” some day.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Ozark… We did this last July…. Your gonna feel like ya lost wieght! It’s a good feeling………….

    • Good for you, Ozarkana! I’m curious to know what prompted this change of heart. My DH could use the prescription. 🙂

      • Hi akaGaGa,
        I had to replace the washing machine; and, decided to paint the laundry room since I had everything moved out. Then, when I went to put stuff back, I decided that some things did not need to go back into the laundry room. So, I stacked them in the hallway. Then, I had to move something else to clear the hallway, which meant that something else had to be moved to find a place for the stuff that I moved to find a place for the stuff that was in the hallway.
        It took several days for me to realize that I could toss something instead of keeping it, moving it, and finding a new place for it.
        The third time I moved something, I realized that I was never elected or hired as “the great keeper of all of the ‘stuff’ in the universe”.
        As Thomas the Tinker said, it felt good to let it go. Taking one bag of stuff to the dumpster led to taking 3 bags to the thrift store and it has just been progressively getting better and lighter around here.
        … or, I just have Spring fever!!!

        • Ozarkana,
          Wow do I know what you mean. Some of you may recall a small game many of us had as kids. It consisted of 16 squares arranged 4×4 with 15 moveable tiles. The tiles had letters, or numbers, or pieces of a picture, and you had to slide things around to make room to move the other tiles, one at a time. Someone would scramble the thing at random and then you would try to get things all back in their proper order, sliding tiles to and fro attempting to move this tile over there, etc.
          I sometimes feel like i live on one of those games

          • OP,
            I love those puzzles/games! We had no tv, much less other electronics, so we could play those quietly. About fifty years after having one in my hands, I had a yard sale with friends. There was one of those puzzles that my friend said she had never been able to figure out. I think it took about ten quick moves to solve the picture of a sun. She threw the quarter I paid into her money box and exclaimed, B***H! I wish I were as good at rearranging things in the house…lol. That is a great analogy you offered! I wonder what the name of those puzzles are.

            • Linda & all,
              I did a quick search and the name appears to be either 15 puzzle or fifteen puzzle, and they are available on Amazon; but, at $10-12 I will not be getting one soon.

              • OP,
                I have several here now and they are in garage sales all the time, so I doubt I will pay that much for one. I wonder who actually knew the name of those puzzles. I am going to go look at them at Amazon.

  23. ladyhawthorne says:

    We had rain rain rain over last weekend and Monday. 2″ so that was good. Then we had warm temps up to 70, everything thinks its spring already.

    Last week I got 1015 white onions and red onions planted along with garlic. And I got a raised bed moved to a better location. However I have gotten nothing done outside this week. I had jury duty yesterday, got picked as an alternate for the grand jury so no big deal there.

    Trying to learn how my new to me video camera works and how to download to pc and upload to youtube. I found some YT vids that may help and as more rain is coming I think that will be my main agenda for the weekend. Unless I get terribly frustrated again and need another day off from it. LOL.

    I am truly enjoying seeing live facebook streams of Trump’s news conferences in their entirety and not just sound bites on the news. Its also nice to see speeches of 15 minutes and answering questions for over an hour, as well as conferences that start on time rather than 20 minutes late. What a difference.

  24. Jesse Mathewson says:

    Currently setting some trap lines for local varmints/ testing out Dakotaline Snares survival package.

    Back is getting worse, physically degrading. However, am keeping up with both firearms training and development and support for extended tribe. Recently initiated two members in, and am working on connecting others so that more than myself and my family benefit from the tribe.

    Picked up two more high standard handguns, a super sport 103 (Hamden) and a model B (New Haven) for the price of a solid trade.

    Will be using them to arm the two new recruits with solid relatively modern more available caliber firearms.

    For those who may believe I am am evil, thief and a bad person. I hope you understand, I agree. I am not a good person, however who is. What I am is very much a family orientated individual who deals in reality and will willingly give my life for those who are in my tribe.

    I guess maybe I am the very definition of a true alpha, and am married to an alpha as well. We both believe very strongly regarding family.

    This being said, I will continue writing reviews and as always will offer those here a hand when needed. Just ask.

    [email protected]

    I always keep my word, I also always protect those I consider family. Its not a country club, its a journey and something earned. M.D. and one or two others unnamed are considered extended members due to their having kept their word etc.,

    Thats it and thats all. I have other preps, but, eh., yall dont need more of my jawing.

    • Hi Jesse,
      I just read a pub med article on the uses of boron/borax in osteoarthritic conditions and also helpful in preventing cancer, and being beneficial for subjects who do not get enough fruits and veg. I already use this for laundry and it works well for that.

      If you are interested I can post the link.

      Also good/bad people do not exist in my opinion, only good or bad actions ( acts) which can be evaluated in the same way the cause for war can be judged just or unjust. If anyone is interested in that I can post a link as well.

      We have been working on a dehydrated organic kale powder for the retail market , so it’s not a personal prep,per say but it sure would make a great immune support food (1100% of daily vitamin c and 800% of vitamin A in 100 grams)

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        I would appreciate any information available thank you

      • Almost There says:

        I love kale. Are those vitamin % for the dehydrated kale? I know the vitamin content goes down some with dehydration.

      • Anonamo Also says:

        What size/amount are you calling a serving of the dehydrated kale? and what is the vitamin K content. I know it is one of higher groups for K. family member has to limit k, but might be able to use smaller amount in soups/stews for vitamin boost.. like one serving in amount that makes 4. All greens can be dehydrated and used in this manner. Baby spinish is good used this way. I ty to get several dehydrators full of spinach done each year, pulverized several ounces will go in a half pint jar, I use maybe a teaspoon or two… to add to soups/stews, for a touch of green and vitamins.

    • Almost There says:


      I appreciate the things you offer the pack. I think a lot of us are alpha people. Some who are naturally that way, some who choose and some who may not want to be, but must be in order to survive. I’ve been accused of being too passionate and assertive at work, no fluff in my words… Oh well, I can’t let it deter me from my mission, no matter what it is at the time.

    • @ Jesse.
      I really hope you do well trapping your target critters.
      As you may already know, trapping is a time honed skill.
      Though I don’t consider myself a Pro at all, I do get out there and learn as much as possible about my target animal and then pick the trap & set that I feel is best to use.
      What I like so much about trapping in a “prepping” mind-set is they can be working for you while you are doing other things.
      A person can feed their family from their traps, too.
      Good luck on your varmint trap-line!
      In a week or so, I’ll see you out here and ask how you did.
      Hang in there, man.

      • Richard & Jesse,

        As you may already know, trapping is a time honed skill. .

        So BTW is hunting.

        I do get out there and learn as much as possible about my target animal.

        This also applies to hunting. It’s amazing the number of people I’ve taught or run into over the years that go out for a few hours on a property where they’ve never been before, and are amazed that they saw no game. This is especially true for deer around here. You see them everywhere, all of the time, except when you’re actually trying to harvest one.
        This fact is why they call it hunting and trapping and NOT shopping.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          I agree with both, been doing both since I could walk and remember. I remember my younger brother and I snaring a yote shortly after moving to Az., and remember trapping muskrat and beaver to supplement farm hand income when I was 5-7 in Illinois…most recently, live trapping quail/dove (easier than shotgunning and far less work)

          • Jesse,
            Pardon my ignorance; but, what is a yote?

            • Jesse Mathewson says:

              Regional differences- no worries.

              Known as tricksters-changlings/ by the D’ne or Apache

              • Jesse,
                OK, makes sense. Around here they’re just Coyotes; but, only the full blooded ones, or at least the ones that appear that way.
                Cpy Dogs are a mixed breed between a Coyote and any domestic breed, and we do occasionally see them also.

                • Jesse Mathewson says:

                  OP and TnBob, I personally find them intriguing and have studied them for decades. Watched families and pups grow up. While I do on ocassion trap or shoot one due to need. I do not hate them I have known people who harbor and unreasonable hatred for them.

                  They are not by nature aggressive or predators but rather they prefer to scavenge and are extremely intelligent. I have adopted a few coydogs myself and always found them to be similar to cats in their ability to forage for themselves while still having the dog qualities of protection of property and self.

              • And some say ki-yote while others say ki-yo-tee.
                I enjoy the howling yip-yip-yip-yoweeeee

              • I’ve always wondered about the pronunciation. Where I grew up in Texas they were cy-yotes or cy-yo-tees. But then the spelling is coyote. Here people say ki-ote. So yote sounds like a pretty good compromise to me.

      • Had a coyote stealing snared rabbits from me once.
        So I funneled the yote into a set using a rabbit hide wrapped in a small wire as my lure. ( just like a snared rabbit )
        Next morning, there he was……cuffed with a #4 coilspring trying to get at the skunk.
        I was so happy that day!
        I out-smarted the rabbit robber !!!

    • Yea, verily. DW and I are also Alphas. Causes occasional disagreements, as we both KNOW we are right, always ending amicably! Same philosophy as yours although we may be more leery than you about new members in our tribe and always very careful.
      I use Blue Emu on my osteoarthritis and it works well, for about 7 hours of relief. If you haven’t tried it, I recommend you do.

      • Billy T,
        When friend and I both think we are right, he argues forever. Plus, I am usually right. When I am wrong, I admit and say I am sorry. He never admits he is wrong or apologizes when he gives me wrong directions. THAT drives me nuts. He thinks he is an alpha, but he is not at all. I, however, am an alpha. He is very intelligent, an engineer. He is the older of two boys and thinks I am his little brother who, by the way, always got the better of him. I am the oldest of five and have no desire to just argue forever. I knew I was smarter than four younger siblings…lol…until they got older (about 8) and realized that I had to stay ahead of them, which I did most of the time. Then, it just did not matter.

        • Alphas. Same here, by birth of being the middle of three brothers.
          It was in my early 30’s that I learned I had to tame my Alpha beast, I think it took well.
          A hard fact about being Alpha is that no one ever asks if you’re Ok.

          • Richard,
            That is sooo true.

            • Richard,
              When I was having my hysterectomy and people I met up with at church or WM or anywhere found out, the first thing they said was “be sure to call me and let me know how you are.” I began to tell them, “You know, I may not feel well enough to call the fifty people who are telling me to call them. Why don’t you give me a call and inquire about me?” People gave me a confused look and mumbled, then changed the subject or wandered off. Not one of those people ever asked me about the surgery or cancer when they saw me the next time. That made me feel very alone.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Agreed Billy

    • Jesse,
      So sorry about your back trouble. That sounds just awful.
      FYI…I often enjoy your jawing and you don’t scare me at all.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Thanks Patti,

        As for the jawing, I readily accept my faults, I am brash, forward, and live with intent. 🙂

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      Snares are great as they work while you are doing other things. But nothing is better then using my 17 Rem or 22-250 on varmints. Seeing them explode is rewarding.

      • Chuck,
        My favorite varmint gun is my Contender in 5.56 using a Remington power point.. Sometimes the groundhogs don’t even move; but, when you go out into the field to investigate, there’s a tiny hole in the front, and well, you can imagine the back.

  25. Baked two pumpkins that have been stored since last fall. Also have some zucchini that are in perfect condition. We have been trying to use mostly what we have grown on the farm and I am pleased to see the hundreds of pounds of food being enjoyed by the whole family!

    • I have good luck storing pumpkins but can’t keep the zucchini as well. Do you have any tips?

    • B:
      I have had great success at storing pumpkins but not Zucchini. Do you have any tips?

      • no real tips – I think that some varieties of zucchini are genetically programmed to store longer – couldn’t tell you what varieties though – I carefully marked all my sprouts last spring but when they went to the garden, everything got mixed up!

  26. Teresa of Wyoming says:

    For those of you who dehydrate foods, check out backpackingchef.com website. He tells you how to make a meal, dehydrate it and then rehydrate it. He has a lot of meals on his website. He also uses these meals so he knows that they work.

  27. Patriot Farmer says:

    I bought seeds, ammo, canned goods and water. I had my taxes done and broke even again. I started a two plan to be debt free and put enough money away to buy bug out property in Northern Michigan.

  28. I am still dealing with shingles, so my physical prepping has been in fits and starts. I bought one 5 gallon bucket and three 2 gallon buckets with gamma lids. I have physical limitations, so a majority of my buckets and storage containers will be smaller rather than larger. Plus, I am prepping for one person, not a family. Those who would be trying to help me, live 30 minutes or more away (driving time). So when TSHTF, I will have to depend on myself a majority of the time. Once my shelves are up, I will be able to decide what goes where. I am searching my recipes for a spicy low carb BBQ sauce. I will try it in a small batch until I can come up with something really good, then I will can it in small jars. Flavor makes anything more palatable.
    This was my week to order the Excalibur Dehydrator. However, I was able to get a good price on a Sun Oven which will give me the ability to cook and have some hot water as long as there is enough sunshine to cast a shadow. The dehydrator will still be there in a couple of weeks. I cleaned out my Aero Gardens and was going to plant cilantro (can never have too much) and baby kale. However I realized that in about 3 weeks, I will need them to start my seeds for outside planting and anything I plant now for my food, will not have time to mature. So I will spend the weekend going through last years organic heirloom seeds and chose the ones I will be using this year. Prayers for anyone needing them and remember, spring is just around the corner, even for those of us still looking at patches of snow.

    • Pam,
      I don’t eat much bbq sauce, but it would be a sad world if I knew I would never have it again. I have made bbq sauce, but there is a commercial sauce I love better.

      • Chuck Findlay says:


        t would be a sad world if I knew I would never have it again.

        You can say that about just about everything we have these days that could disappear if we get any big event.

        If we do get SHTF survive many of us will, but life won’t be the same without many of the things we have today.

        But then many of us (myself included and I live with less then most people and with zero debt) live with more material goods then we really need so maybe a bit of austerity will make us better people???

        • chuck,
          Never having mayonnaise again would barely be noticed. However, no Miracle Whip would be devastating!

          I live with plenty and very reduced circumstances. Cutting down would do nothing for my reduced circumstances, sadly.

          Austerity? I don’t think I can stand any more austerity.

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            I’ve went through more austerity then I ever wanted to when I had a motorcycle accident (broke bones in every limb I have, 27-years later and it still hurts every day) lost a job because I couldn’t work and my wife walked out.

            I lost everything and I honestly don’t know how I made it through it being I had no money and never got or asked for government help.

            I was always a bit of a prepper and tent camper and I always fixed things rather then buy new so I had the mindset to survive. Yea I survived, but as most of us that have been through hard times (and many of us here have had them) survived them, we didn’t enjoy it.

            I have since built my own handyman business to the point I have been turning work away because there is only one of me. But I’ve never forgot the hard times and have the mindset of building up a reserve of money, silver, food & supplies, tools and supporting hardware to keep working.

            I know I can survive another austerity event if it happened as I no longer have any debt (and never again will I go into debt for any reason, it’s cash for the rest of my life) and I live below my income level.

            Yea austerity sucks as far as most people’s view of it, but I think a lot of people are going to be smacked by it in the not-to-distant future and I don’t know that they are going to be mentally able to handle it.

            Austerity doesn’t scare me or bother me as I almost live that way now and do quite well. I like that I can survive with a lot less then most people do and at the same time have an enjoyable life with a good outlook on my personal future.

    • Almost There says:

      Pam, both of those are on my list. I just keep finding other good deals too good to pass up along the way. I guess I need to come straight home from work so I don’t see all the other goodies… and save my pennies for these 2 items.

    • Anonamo Also says:

      Pam, you might consider a dry spicy rub to wet with tomato sauce? as a replacement. it could be dry canned or kept separate and mixed up in batches of 1/2 pint. Dry ingredients with ox absorbers would store longer than wet. After you get the recipe like you prefer it, then store amounts of raw ingred together, with the recipe written and placed on several of the containers. Ideas? , just look at ingred list of your favorite sauce. This would keep it lighter and allow you to rotate tomato sauce better for freshness. Tomatoes are one of the foods we have trouble rotating, because of acidity.

  29. I posted an ad for my 21′ extension ladder at 1/2 of the price of a new one at Lowe’s. I may regret this when it sells, but I see no use for it for me in the future. Anyone in this area might think it worth viewing.

    Also, I am planning to make a greenhouse on a swing set. I have definite plans for it, but may change the way it is constructed.

    Even though I have not done much physically this week, I am planning. I am going to use the little tabs that swell when wet and germinate seeds. Now, to find the little seed tab germinators. Instead of using the little greenhouses that hold the tabs, I put them in sandwich bags, four to a bag.

    Plans are for items–basil and other spices in pots; tomatoes, cayenne, potatoes, and bell peppers in buckets; maybe some zucchini and squash in the ground.

    Hopefully, with a little help from someone, I can get all this done. Once it is all germinated and planted, I can mostly handle the rest. My biggest problems will be ground squirrels and raccoons.

  30. Stan Dillard says:

    Some posts above questioned what is commonly called the rapture. It is true that the word rapture is not used in the Bible. However, the event referred to by the word is described and referenced numerous times. The Bible does not specify the event to be Pre-Trib, Post-Trib, or Mid-Trib, but once you grasp the fact the last book of the Bible has both literal and prophetic interpretations and that the first three chapters picture the church age (from Christ until the Tribulation Period) and that Chapters 4 -19 are the Tribulation Period, the Revelation 4:1 is a perfect picture of what is referred to by the term “Rapture”, then a Pre-Trib rapture makes sense. Regardless of this, survival may become a very difficult prospect for most well in advance of the rapture. Some level of prepping is no more than common sense. However, don’t call yourself a “Serious Prepper” if you fail to prepare for eternity!

  31. Stan Dillard says:

    Some posts above questioned what is commonly called the rapture. It is true that the word rapture is not used in the Bible. However, the event referred to by the word is described and referenced numerous times. The Bible does not specify the event to be Pre-Trib, Post-Trib, or Mid-Trib, but once you grasp the fact the last book of the Bible has both literal and prophetic interpretations and that the first three chapters picture the church age (from Christ until the Tribulation Period) and that Chapters 4 -19 are the Tribulation Period, then Revelation 4:1 is a perfect picture of what is referred to by the term “Rapture”, then a Pre-Trib rapture makes sense. Regardless of this, survival may become a very difficult prospect for most well in advance of the rapture. Some level of prepping is no more than common sense. However, don’t call yourself a “Serious Prepper” if you fail to prepare for eternity!

  32. Looks like our host got some good stuff this week, as did I. The DW has been gone a few days; but, the weather is getting much better (warmer anyway) and I hope to get a few outside projects continued this weekend while she’s gone.

    This week we did and acquired the following:
    1. Ordered our beef steer from a local farmer. It will be a no steroids raised grass and corn fed breed of an Angus Bull and either an Angus or Simmental Cow. The contract goes in on March 20 and we’ll have the beef available after about 3 weeks of aging and processing. We’ve done this before and it is great meat, all cut and packaged for the freezer. I’ll be splitting it with 1-3 other folks if they’re still interested; otherwise, we’ll have plenty of meat for the future.
    2. Picked up a few more of the $1.00 chicken salad snacks at Dollar Tree
    3. Two more quarts of shelf stable milk from Dollar Tree, Dec 2017
    4. Two large plastic shoebox type storage boxes with latching lids from DT
    5. A friend received a smoker for Christmas and the deal was just too hard to pass up. It was a Sportsman’s Elite 30? Electric Digital Smoker From Dunham’s sports. Regular $219.99 on sale for $179.99 with a printable coupon from their website. Got some hickory chunks and can’t wait to try it next month when the beef arrives.
    6. .Received my camera and communications modules for this summers propane monitoring project.

  33. Hello all. The first part of this week we spent making medical visits. On Monday Dh had an MRI of his shoulder. Tuesday morning he had a visit to the cardiologist who told him he has a possible problem with his heart valve. He will be having an echogram next week. On Tuesday afternoon we went to the orthopedist who, after an additional x-ray said that the shoulder is pretty much shot and DH will have to go in for repairs. The Dr. gave DH a shot in the shoulder to possibly help with the pain. We hoped it would help, but it doesn’t seem to be, at least not much.
    I didn’t mention last time I posted that I had made a seed inventory. Afterwards, I made and have received two seed orders and have added those seeds to the inventory. Sent another order this week. Also have ordered and received comfrey roots which I have wanted for a long time, Guess you sometimes just have to bite the bullet and do it! Got the comfrey planted as well as the daylily plant my DH bought me for Valentine’s day. It will have a red bloom.
    Have lettuce, red mustard and tatsoi up in the garden. Ordered a pear tree to put near the one I have for better pollination; also two plum trees.
    Started tomato, pepper, and eggplant seeds today. Spring is here, folks! The azaleas and the red maples are all bloomed out!

  34. azrealityprepper says:

    Getting a new roof on the house, putting on a 45 year metal roof versus the standard coated roofs that are common here in Arizona. Also paid off a ton of debt, that was a great feeling. Bought a few items for the larder that we had run out of…budget had been pretty tight. Found a couple of knives that I had put in the wrong place a long time ago, had wondered where they were. Now they’re in the right location. Keep on prepping folks, the zombies are not going away and they’re getting angrier. Prayers to those who need them.

  35. Our wolves are back! Thanks MD.
    Didn’t get much prepping done. Still catching up on bills after taking DGS home. But, did sit down with DH to plan the greenhouse build in time for this year’s plantings. Will be starting them in the house, still.
    Have been making quite a few heavy duty potholders for the chefs and cooks where DH works. It earns me a few extra dollars to put towards saving or preps.
    Stay prepared, my friends.

  36. Almost There says:

    CVS Alert – They have their 43 oz oxi and 50 oz mountain scent laundry detergent on sale for $1.99 a bottle thru tomorrow 2/18, no limit with their card. If you have a coupon, you’d really rack up. I’ve never used it before, but the girl that works there uses the oxi one and said it really works good and they have great reviews… Needless to say, I bought a few bottles. They still had Valentine candy – 75% off. Just what I needed…

  37. This was a good week for us.
    * DW scored 2 flats of SPAM and a load of can goods for our stock pile.
    * I was able to get 40 bars of 2-ft long 1/2-in rebar stakes from a construction site they were going to throw away.
    ( after asking about them, they said they’d pile them up for me and PLEASE don’t leave them or they’d get fined on their clean-up job ) I got all of them.
    I love having extra scrap metal & wood for use.
    * We’ve been walking a lot more now (DW & I) and our weight-bench is getting set up in our Recreation Room finally.
    I’m sure there’s something I’m forgetting, but all-in-all, it’s been a good week for us!

    • Wow, 40 rebar stakes! Great score! I use them all the time in my garden.

    • azrealityprepper says:

      Richard, SPAM is great stuff. I use it a lot for all kinds of meals, breakfast through dinner. Rebar is great stuff too. At worst, you can turn it in for recycle and make a little $, at best you can use it for a good project and save some $. Good job on both the spam and the rebar.

    • Thanks Labgirl & azrealityprepper,
      I can’t believe they were throwing them away, but super happy to get them just by asking.
      12-14 of them may come in handy for making a raised garden this spring. She’s already wanting to check out MD’s article on them (above) for ideas before we get started.
      * I love scrap metal. Having access to a welder & cutting torch, as well as my forge & anvil is the ultimate recycle program.

    • plainsroamer says:

      if you can try to pick up the plastic caps for the rebar when they are done with them at the job site. they may keep you from getting speared if you are using them for plant stakes and were to trip and fall

      • Capping the ends is a great idea.
        I did see plastic caps when I first walked over there, but none when I drove over to pick up my pile of rebar.
        ( They took their clean-up job serious )
        That said, I can & will weld washers and nuts on the ends of some of the bars.
        Thanks plainsroamer!

        • Richard,
          I was reading about all the ways people keep animals from digging under fences that protect chickens. Driving rebar into the ground at the fence was one way a person kept digging animals from the chickens. It was suggested driving the rebar six inches apart.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      love having extra scrap metal & wood for use.

      Same here, just this week I was clearing out an apartment where a woman died in it Don’t know what she died from, she was only 46.

      But I got 2 bed frames (angle iron) to take home for projects in the future. You can never have enough angle iron.

      I also get all the towels she had, and she had a lot of them. 2 kitchen garbage bags full of towels. I took them home and ran them through the washer / drier. About 40% of them are high-end towels I’m going to use in my house, the rest are going to the truck for construction clean up rags.

  38. Bought starch stuff.
    Noodles,rice & beans.
    Bought extra dog food.
    Bought 3 cases of water.
    Bought extra canned tomato sauce.

    The pear,peach & nectarine trees are starting to bloom.
    The cabbage heads are getting big.
    The indoor tomato starts are blooming.
    Garlic,oregano and onions are growing nice.

    The puppy is getting huge !!! His ears are both standing up and the vet thinks he might be 150lbs when full grown.
    Its so funny, you pull his tail and around and around he goes till he gets dizzy and falls down. Lol !!!

    Target practiced with the pellet guns, its cheaper and saves ammo.

    Still a little sick but almost better. Found a lot of my sick medicine that was stored.

    • Almost There says:


      Hope you feel better soon.

      • AT, thanks.

        Hey, is anyone else worried about eating radioactive fish out of the Pacific ?

        • Thor 1:

          No, but my night vision has improved.

          • Almost There says:

            Good one JP…

            No, I eat stuff from the Atlantic side… 🙂 LOL.

            • I get my fish from the Atlantic side as well Almost There. My friend in Boston goes to the fresh fish markets and buys what I want and they ship it direct to me.

          • JP, as long as you don’t get radioactive fish breath you’ll be OK. Lol

            • Don’t eat beans with radioactive fish, there might be a mushroom cloud. Lol

              • Almost There says:

                Thor 1,

                LOL. You must be feeling lots better…

                • AT, I don’t understand, I ate a fish sandwich and all of a sudden I have a lot of energy. Lol

                  The pup got ahold of a fish sandwich and now his tail is glowing. I’m afraid he might turn into, DOGZILLA !!! Lol

        • Absolutely Thor 1; I love tilapia, but I no longer buy it because of where it comes from and the way it is raised. Same goes for tuna.

        • Thor, we quit eating seafood from the North Pacific about 3 years ago, salmon,cod,crab ,etc. The news about the Japanese nuclear plant has been effectively stifled by the MSM.
          Better safe than glowing!

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Not at all actually.

          Remember folks, for 30 years the usa blew up how many atolls, deserts and etc., using high radiation devices…and we are afraid of one leaking plant now…lol

          • Jesse,
            Once again I think the main problem here is that people don’t have that basic understanding of physics, and when they hear the word radiation, they freak out. All of my radios (at least the transmitters) radiate (thus the name), as does a campfire, a light bulb, and the microwave oven. I remember people being freaked out during the last days of the Three Mile Island reactor event, when they talked about a hydrogen explosion. A Hydrogen Bomb, OMG. Even the so called science reporters on the TV at the time, didn’t seem to understand that the extreme heat disassociated the water into its constituent hydrogen and oxygen gases, and that a spark would cause a hydrogen explosion, as the two recombined. Not a radiation problem; but, it could have broken open the containment structure and released real radioactive products.
            Actually, the one thing that the open air nuclear testing by the U.S., and several other countries did, was to raise the value of the old cast iron cannons found on shipwrecks. The iron in these was smelted before the nuclear age, so the metal has no radioactive contaminants and is highly prized for making nuclear medicine based test equipment like CAT and PET scanners and Gamma cameras. Over the years I’ve had all of these used on me, as well as having numerous radioactive substances injected into my body, like Thallium-201 and Technetium 99, as well as Fludeoxyglucose (18F), the latter of which contains the positron-emitting the radionuclide fluorine-18 that actually emits positrons, anti matter electrons. Actually very cool stuff when you think about it.

            • OP , makes you wonder what their reaction would be if they knew what their granite counter tops are emitting .

              • Jesse Mathewson says:

                Agreed, fixit

              • Fixit,
                Granite counter tops?
                None here, since as we’ve been starting on the summer kitchen construction these things are way too expensive and quite honestly not any more functional than the cheap laminate counter tops.
                I guess the limited radiation exposure, LOL, is just another benefit along with the price.

            • OP, tell that to the 2 headed 3 eyed whale. Lol

              Radiation is known to cause mutations, fact.

              Even when you go to the dentist and they take
              x-rays they don’t stay in the room with you and give you a lead vest.

              Cellphones have been known to cause cancer and I imagine any type of electromagnetic communication equipment can. As you said, it radiates.

              • Jesse Mathewson says:
              • Thor 1,

                Radiation is known to cause mutations, fact.

                True and mutations also occur randomly without any radiation exposure, since it’s a chemical process.
                If you fear radiation and mutation, you should know that every time you fly a commercial airline you get exposure to radiation. Per the CDC:
                We are exposed to low levels of radiation when we fly. You would be exposed to about 0.035 mSv (3.5 mrem) of cosmic radiation if you were to fly within the United States from the east coast to the west coast. This amount of radiation is less than the amount of radiation we receive from one chest x-ray.
                Radiation is all around us; but, It always has been, long before the nuclear age

                Even when you go to the dentist and they take x-rays they don’t stay in the room with you and give you a lead vest.

                Also true; but this is a controlled exposure and they are taking precautions as they should. The technicians leave the room because they are creating this exposure numerous times per day and the effects on them would be cumulative, as would constantly picking a scab and not letting a wound heal.

                Cellphones have been known to cause cancer

                This is pretty much an urban legend and no real peer reviewed scientific studies confirming it have been performed that I am aware of.
                AFAIK, it’s just more junk science.

        • Thor,
          Yes, I am concerned! My only concession is eating less Starkist tuna.

  39. OK,
    So what do I talk about this week? I managed to keep the cat in the house. He’s not happy about that. I did have to do an emergency front door repair to ensure that happened. I started by wrapping the front door with aluminum tape, then ran out. So I continued to wrap it with shrink wrap. That wasn’t working. I mentioned last week that I lost a portion of my back fence because of the wind, so I re-purposed two fence boards to cover the hole in the front door. I had to put the cat in the cat-carrier while I did this. Thankfully, this cat actually likes the carrier so it wasn’t a fight. I did manage to pull my left thigh muscle doing this so I was sore for a couple of days. All better now.

    I got a call from the local county rescue mission looking for donations. I didn’t have anything this month but did point them to my girlfriend. She’s the general manager of a local “national chain” hotel that is going through a mandatory renovation. She’s going to be able to donate sheets, blankets, pillow cases, towels, furniture, etc. It’s good for them, because they will be getting quality stuff. It’s good for her because they will come, pick it up and load it up and it’s a write-off for the hotel’s taxes. I think it’s a win-win.

    We have been getting more rain right now than we have in the last 20 years. Mud slides will be happening and we are in a “flash flood” warning until 7am tomorrow. Lord knows, So. Cal. needs the rain, but after it’s all said and done, we’ll still be in a drought.

    I went through the fridge tonight and found out that a bunch of my vegetables were starting to go bad. I loaded up the dehydrator with the good parts (after cutting off the rotten bits) and am now dehydrating tomatoes, squash, and lettuce and spinach.

    I replaced the coffee grinder that I burned out last week with a new one and managed to grind all of the dehydrated carrots down to a powder. I still have to “crack” the cranberries so I can dehydrate those so that will happen this weekend.

    Oh, I mentioned last weekend about a manual can opener made by Oxo. I checked it out, it’s the Oxo “Good grips” can opener. It’s only about $14 – $29 dollars on Amazon. Personally, I don’t care if this think costs $50 dollars, I’d get it again. I love it.

    I followed a link from the hosts page and bought a “Slide Belt” and another nylon type belt I saw from u tube. Not cheap, but if they can handle an EDC then I think they are well worth it. I haven’t bought a new belt in over 20 years. So I figured it was about time.

    Last week, my girlfriend bought me a new TV for my birthday. I finally got it set up. It turns out this thing is Internet ready so I’m still learning how to use it. It will eventually go on the wall, but for now, it’s on top of the dresser in the bed room. We were supposed to work on the new front door and the garage this weekend, but with the rain, I think that’s going to be put on hold until it dries up. She’s going to finish the door with stain and with water seal. I cannot breath chemicals like those anymore and help me get the loads of stuff out of the garage. It’s overwhelming, and the only thing I refuse to get rid of is tools. The rest is welcome to walk out the door.

    I made friends with Ohio Prepper and have been speaking with him on the phone. We both tend to loose time when we do because he is such an interesting person to talk with. He’s definitely good people.

    Blue Jeaned Lady, I thank you so much you didn’t get offended with me last week when we disagreed on using a frozen towel with a dog. I know there are many, many ways to properly train a dog. Just because your way may be different than mine, it doesn’t make it wrong. It’s just different and how we do it works best for our personalities. You are very good people. I would love to train dogs with you some day. I’m sure I could learn a lot.

    That’s about it for me. I’ll be checking in and responding to other people’s comments. Take care everybody.

    • Gave each of my kids an Oxo can opener, and have 2 for myself. Absolutely love it! Tried many others, and returned them all.

    • Almost There says:


      For “cracking” the cranberries, not sure how you were going to do that, but someone on here suggested putting them in the freezer and then when they thaw, the skin gets broken. Good for blueberries too.

      I was at GW yesterday and there was a OXO spatula, I could tell the quality, not flimsy at all. In the cart it went.

      • Almost There says:

        Oh, and OP and I talk on the phone too, and the same thing happens. Definitely agree, good and knowledgeable person.

      • AT,
        I crack the cranberries by blanching them in boiling water. If I could get some room in the freezer, I’ll try your method.

        I love dehydrated cranberries. I eat them as is for snacks.

        • Sirius–good idea on the cranberries. I will try and dehydrate some. I agree with you that Ohio Prepper is very full of knowledge and I learn from him every day. You and Ohio Prepper are both ‘good people’. Take care.

    • BlueJeanedLady says:

      Hey Sirius, Thank you so much for the kind words!

      Blue Jeaned Lady, I thank you so much you didn’t get offended with me last week when we disagreed on using a frozen towel with a dog. I know there are many, many ways to properly train a dog. Just because your way may be different than mine, it doesn’t make it wrong. It’s just different and how we do it works best for our personalities. You are very good people. I would love to train dogs with you some day. I’m sure I could learn a lot.

      That was a very nice comment and compliment. I appreciate such.

      I was not offended about the initial disagreement between us, in the least, Sirius and especially loved your initial response / quote / joke, “The only two things two dog trainers can agree on – is that the third one is doing it wrong!” Now that was funny, Sirius, and oh so true!

      I also agree with you, Sirius, that different methods of training (with different trainers & different dogs all with different personalities involved) can be equally successful in many circumstances. The only major thing that gets me really ranting, raving, offended and downright angry in alternative training approaches is when a “so called” trainer uses physical harm or cruelty against the animal. I’m sure you agree with that one, too, so all is well between our minor difference concerning frozen towels. I think we’re both more than good-to-go as mostly like-minded, reasonably agreeable folks on many a dog matter!

      Admittedly, I do tend to worry about health and safety issues (such as the stronger, larger dogs as I mentioned being able to tear off part of the towel & swallow such, which could lead to bloat) for the canines, sometimes to near points of paranoia. What I often fail to explain fully is that I’m honestly just hoping to offer a fact for others to be aware that such could happen, not that such will happen and I do think that well-intended message of mine can get lost in translation, once in awhile: I need to work on the delivery lines for this subject! 🙂

      It sure would be fun to train these canine wonders with you, too, Sirius. I’m certainly I’d learn plenty more from you! I’ve never handled dogs in the show ring (not sure why as I did look into such, yet the activity never appealed to me very much not too mention the expense) but I have trained some dogs with those needed skills in mind. With a few exceptions, most of my training experience has been with a) my own dogs – a lifetime with several, from show quality to the lovely Heinz 57’s – and b) several dogs, several breeds & many a mix of always delightful dogs, of family and friends that appreciated how well my own dogs were trained and asked me to work with their dogs. I’ve never officially advertised myself as a “dog trainer” but have had a few opportunities via “word of mouth” promptings to work with other furs, too.

      All said, let me offer my own quote / joke on dog training;

      It comes natural to me to be a good, kind, decent & effective dog trainer. What’s hard for me is training the dog’s pet parents to follow my instructions in becoming the alpha person needed in the dog’s home pack!

      Unfortunately, I didn’t / don’t think that quote would work well as a marketing “tag line” so I never took this idea of dog training as a “for profit” venture into this area of valuable work. (People can get so whiny when you tell them what they need to do to do something correctly. Ha, ha, ha!)

      Thrilled to chat with another dog lover & doggie training enthusiast, Sirius. You & yours keep taking care and stay smart & safe.

  40. Still job hunting, so no big preps for me this week.

    Made an Excel document with my firearms and took a pic of the whole collection for my renter’s insurance, a few years ago I had a girlfriend walk off with 6 handguns… also decided which friends and family members get what when I kick the bucket.

    Sold my old 4 wheeler, it needs work I don’t have the time or cash to mess with at the moment. I can get it back for the same price later if I want.

    Finally took my AK out and the various mags I have for it. All passed function checks, and I fired it for the first time with its stock folded under. With the 20 round PMag and folded its easy to get out from behind my truck seat and in the cab. Definitely a step up from the Sub-2000.

    Took the sleeping bag and all the cloth items from BoB and washed them.

  41. And I quote, ” To become a member of the pack all you need to do is subscribe to our newsletter (you’ll receive members-only content) and be an active prepper. We just want active preppers as members. If you’re not an active prepper or at the least planning to start actively prepping immediately then please do not join our group. ” End quote… Talk about a way some paranoid people might think a list is being made…

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Who said that?

      • Jesse,
        It was stated at the very top of this weeks WDYDTPTW. I just checked and it’s still there.
        I didn’t say anything; but, it does seem a little odd, considering a lot of newbies may just come here for the information as they get started.

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          It did (and does) seem odd to me, but it’s not my blog and I for some reason draw a lot of spirited debate when I voice an opinion so I didn’t say anything.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            You too?

            Mayhaps we are true wolves?

            • Chuck Findlay says:

              True wolves and we go our own path and are not afraid to voice an opinion on things that have worked for us.

              It does seem to really bother some people when you have confidence in your convictions. Such is the life of an Alpha…

              • Jesse Mathewson says:

                The way ive taken to seeing it is simple, im 40, not as old as some and older than others. Ive lived a very very full life, and experienced much…I love to learn, but not at the expense of someone elses idea of what is acceptable or not. I have two wonderful children, one 14 and the other 8, they are brilliant, as in genius level IQs, the youngest my daughter plays piano (second year invited to a prestigious pianist concert as a player) and chess (three years, placed in state finals once and looks to be headed up again) she also shoots and has since she was 3, both archery, handgun and rifle- competition level with handgun and well…very very good with others, she camps, hunts, fishes, tracks and out stalks me now…my son is an engineer at heart, and can from memory take any object he has seen once from the outside and rebuild it using legos/ even adding parts to the inside that make sense to him. Both are light years ahead of myself and their mother who, both of us have multiple advanced degrees and decades of experience in our fields.

                I guess what I am saying is (as you have said before)

                Eh, dont care much for the pc crowd and if others cannot be bothered to even try and see where or why something is said…they dont deserve our time.


                So dangit Chuck, keep on putting it out there. You are one of the few I learn from. 🙂 and it is appreciated

        • It said – We just want active preppers as members. If you’re not an active prepper or at the least planning to start actively prepping immediately then please do not join our group.

          I want The Wolf Pack to be made up of actual preppers that are actually doing something prep wise and not just a bunch of looky-loos who do nothing.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            I agree with MD in this, as for lists, everyone is on one somewhere…ss number, dl number, birth cert, just existing these days has you on a list…

            • Jesse Mathewson,

              I have to pay for everyone who is added to my newsletter subscribers so why would I want a bunch of people subscribing to my newsletter who aren’t active survivalist/preppers or at the least ready to get started.

        • OhioPrepper; You do not have to join to read. I read for awhile before I subscribed.

          • I was surprised and puzzled by the statement. If I get emails from the site, am I subscribed? I know I am subscribed to the emails!

          • Izzy,
            I know. You also do not have to subscribe to post, only to get follow-up emails when others post their comments and replies; however, the alternative is trolling through all of the posts each time to find the new ones, and especially as this forum gets more people and posters, that gets incrementally harder.

  42. Surviving in Ky says:

    Hope everyone is doing well this morning. Been working on my first aid and security preps lately. Got some items from dr. Bones and American Specialty Ammo finally had some perimeter alarms in stock. I know these are out on the edge of prepping but might come in handy one of these days. My new prep is to get more organized this year and consolidate. Some items are going to be labeled donation or barter depending on what it is. Plan on expanding my canning this year as well. Did well last year with lots of green beans and other vegetables. Also worked on getting saws and such in good working order with backups for everything over the fall and winter. Remember, two is one and one is none. Stay safe and keep up the good work!

  43. I have been reading – “For Elise
    Unveiling The Forgotten Woman On The Criddle Homestead” by Oriole A. Vane Veldhuis
    It is a wonderfully written book about a woman who came to the West from Europe in the 1860’s with the hope that life would be better for her children. I LOVE all the homesteading and survival information. I’m pretty sure that one of my worst and busiest days would match up with one of her easiest. The book is written by her great grand daughter and much of the content is taken directly from diaries and letters written by Elise herself. If we suffer an EMP event and need to bug out, there are certain things we might be happy we learned from Elise Vane!

  44. Last weekend I started preparing the front yard area along the driveway for planting. This is where I have been using the chicken tractors. I used my broadfork to loosen the ground, covered with newspaper and cardboard, then with mulch. I will plant through all that in a few weeks. I also harvested the collards one last time, cooked and froze what we didn’t eat. I pulled up the plants, cleaned up the bed and re-planted it with lettuce seed that is a variety from Hawaii. It did pretty well for me last year, lasting longer that the other lettuce in the heat. My sugar snap peas are all up. I love snacking on those. I even ate some pea tendrils in my salads last year.
    For storage, I picked up some cans of tomato sauce, aspirin, shampoo and body wash.
    I made an order for Zaycon chicken when it went on sale and will pick it up next Friday. I am taking that day off as the 4-day inspection finally happened this past week at work and we got an excellent score. Long days, however, and I am pretty tired this weekend. I did sleep a little late and am thinking about getting to work outside.
    My hope is that everyone here stays safe and well.

  45. Pruned the CandyCrisp tree & more of the front forsythia bush. Took the glass cloches off the garlic shoots, since the weather has moderated for the time being & the shoots are hitting the tops of the cloches. Sun + cloche + top of shoot = burned. Weeded the front beds & some in the back perimeter bed, since the ground is thawed at present. Hung about half of the laundry to dry, to keep a little humidity in the air inside the house. Filled a few more water containers for storage. Filled 2 more clean empty tuna can with rolled strips of corrugated cardboard & added them to the supply in the box in the garage. When there are enough, I will melt some more candle stubs & wickless candles purchased for next to nothing at the thrift, & pour the melted wax on top to make buddy burners for camping or emergency use. The lids from Diamond nuts fit the tuna cans, so I put those on top after the wax is cooled, to keep out dust.

    When youngest DD & I were ready to head home from Washington on Monday, we checked the weather ahead. SE Idaho had several areas where flooding over roads, including the interstate, was an issue, so we chose to drive home overnight, when the temps were below freezing & the “melt” would not be adding to the flow. We were able to navigate our way without encountering any flooding issues or closed roads. Studied a few alternate routes before leaving, just in case. DH met us in her car, where DD would normally turn off to go home, so we could transfer her things to her car & she could continue on home. He drove me the last 2 hours to our house. Otherwise, DD would have driven all the way to our house, picked up her car, then driven back home, so he saved her about 3 ½ hours of driving time, even tho the gas use was the same. After driving for 10 hours, it was nice to not have to drive thru rush hour traffic for the last 2 hours because of his thoughtfulness.

    Picked up my car from the dealership, & paid for it with our Discover card. The funds are already in the checking account, but by running it thru DC, we will get 1% back, which is about $40 on this repair. I already used a coupon to get $50 off, so when I apply the cash back to the card balance, it is like another coupon towards the car repair.

    • Marivene,

      The funds are already in the checking account, but by running it thru DC, we will get 1% back, which is about $40 on this repair.

      We do the same thing with a normal credit card; but, turn the points into Home Depot Gift cards at the same 1% rate. Spending $5000, gets you 5000 points, which gets a $50.00 card. On occasion they’ll run a sale on cards where it’s only 4500 points for the $50 or 9000 points for the $100
      As we’ve purchased maintenance supplies or a new washer, dryer, refrigerator, etc. over the years; these items are always nearly if not totally free.
      The trick is to not even look at the minimum payment and always budget the expense ahead of time. Over the years we’ve gotten hundreds of dollars in gift cards and have not paid a single cent in interest on the card.
      I suspect Dave Ramsey would be appalled, LOL.

      • OP, that is interesting about Home Depot.
        I believe Dave Ramsey would be more than ok with it, since the balance is paid off as soon as the amount is posted, & the cash back bonus is applied to the statement. In any case, although I respect Dave Ramsey, this is my decision, not his.

  46. Morning Pack,
    Overtime has been insane @ work and it is not projected to end any time soon. Having said that not a lot of actual work has been getting done since Christmas. So we have been paying down debt and expect to debt free (except mortgage) in about 18 months. We have been spending most of our time setting up watch lists for some needed large $ items. When the right prices come along we will make our purchases. Started reviewing the basics with by buying a few books. Most of our prep library has been electronic so a paper backup was deemed a necessity. Creekmore’s prepper guide. Rawles Survive TEOTWAWKI, Joe and Amy’s Survival Medicine, Cobbs Long Term Survival guide, Aguirre’s Economic collapse, Penningtons Bluepirint, Chastain’s Generator book, and lastly Logsdon’s Small Scale Grain Raising. It’s getting to the point where we can actually start looking for our dream property. 5-10 acre lot in a rural area. It is nice to be able to move this from dream, into research mode with a purchase in 2 years(?). Finally all family members are on board with the prepping mindset. So between Obama and Trump fears we have finally united on prepping.
    Best wishes to all.

    • Wa-rich,
      Congratulations on the progress that you are making toward a self-reliant lifestyle ! We did the same type scenario and it took us about 5 years to be living at our final destination, debt free .

  47. Oh my gosh you sweet man M.D. You have the wolf face and the howling wolf back up. I LOVE this one. Thank you so much. 🙂

  48. Went to then shooting range this week…hadn’t shot my EDC in a while. Harvested a single stalk of bananas that had 162 fruit on it! Planted lots of bush-style green beans that are just starting to break through the ground this morning. And I picked up 8 tomato plants from Lowes….will go plant them here shortly. Spring has sprung here in Florida.

    • Goatlover,
      WHAT do you do with that many bananas? I love bananas, but that is a lot to eat…lol. Do you dehydrate them?

  49. Still not able to do very much, the vertigo is not as bad or maybe I am just adapting? Since I cannot physically do very much at the moment I have been reading and making plans. I am reading a lot through pinterest which is how I found this blog a couple of years ago. 🙂

    After this rain clears up today we are going to work on getting some raised beds built around the new porch that DH built with the help of DS2, DGS2, and a friend. Our porch went from 8’x12′ to 12’x32′. We are going to have closed storage at each end of the porch for outdoor toys for the grandkids. Stuff that we need easy access too but do not want in the house or the garage.

    DH finally cleaned up under the rabbit boxes and put several hundred worms in the worm bed we started. They have lots to eat through! The rabbit manure went into the raised beds that we already have to get ready for spring planting. We are going to change how our rabbits are housed and move them from where they are at. We are also thinking about building a new hen house and move them closer to the garden. We did not plan very well when we got started and we realized that things are not laid out very efficiently. It is especially apparent when you have to feed the animals in bad weather!

    Several months ago DH “rescued” a metal swing with base from the dump. The fabric was torn and it was dirty and mildewed. He pressured washed it and we figured out how to replace the fabric. We are going to paint the frame next week and I have ordered outdoor fabric for the seats. We will have spent no more than $15 and it will look like new! I will take the same fabric and paint to redo a metal bistro set that I bought a few years ago that needs an update. I got 10 yds of this fabric for $22 from amazon. Once I get started there is no telling what all I will sew or paint!

    I also ordered The Prepper’s Cookbook and some aluminum metal storage pans to make some freezer meals to help us get through this vertigo. DH is not much of a cook and we have been eating out too much and not eating healthy either. I am fine as long as I do not stand for very long at a time.

    Time to go pick up a 22 DH put on lay away.

    Prayers to all of the pack.

    • I forgot, my dwarf orange and lime trees are blooming! They are in my office and they smell is heavenly! Nothing from the lemon tree yet.

      • Almost There says:

        Hmmm, Brenda. You have just given me another idea. Don’t know why I didn’t think of that…

  50. Looks like the draught if over in California. Hmmm, just wondering, if rain comes from evaporated water, which would be the Pacific ocean, could the rain be radioactive ???

    Preppers in California, check it with a Geiger counter.

    Just a thought.

    • Thor 1,

      could the rain be radioactive ???

      No, The radioactive elements are particulates that are in the water and would not likely be evaporated with the water vapor. When an explosion from a volcano or a nuke plant throws particulate matter in the air, then it can have water condense on it and become radioactive rain.
      When the Chernobyl plant went up, it was quite literally a large burning pile of graphite (carbon e.g., charcoal) and the radioactive particulates were carried into the high atmosphere by the smoke and moved to other locations and countries by the wind.

  51. Hey ya’ll,
    Loving the new header and the wolf pack seal.
    I have a new “hide a weapon in plain sight” decorator item, which I love! I no longer have to remember to fetch a handgun from the safe when I get home and put it back before I leave. It is such a small thing, but when you work full time and have an injured husband, two college kids, and your mom in house to take care of, those little time savings really make a difference.
    Starting a new inventory of food preps as my college son has moved much of it around and I am no longer sure exactly what I have of some food items! He was trying to help, sigh. Still plenty of food, but I am afraid some favorite items are getting low.
    Does anyone have a source for canned Italian green beans? I know I am rapidly running through my stores of this item and cannot find them anywhere!
    If it all goes to hell, I was planning on lots of those beans with foraged greens, dehydrated onions and canned bacon, and in the meantime they are my favorite quick veggie.
    Take care.

    • I tried my first two can from Save A Lot 2 days ago. Seasoned them with some left over ham pieces and the usual, and they were as good as the name brand Allen’s we have here in KY. Just look for Italian Green Beans at discount stores. The lady I worked with as we ate lunch together thought they were my canned ones….good luck!!

    • Almost There says:

      Not sure if you have a Kroger, but that is where they have them here, and Allens and Delmonte are the brand. Seeing them on WM’s website, along with a couple f other brands.

    • Patti,
      I see them at a store called Warehouse Discount Groceries (WDG) where I live. Since I love any green bean, I never buy them over another. I like them fine and eat Italian green beans, just have no preference. I think Allen’s is the brand, not sure.

    • Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I am on it. Lol

  52. Those are righteous awesome preps, MD.

    Picked up 100 rounds of Wolf .223 from Cabelas at 4.99/box/20. I know this stuff isn’t the best, but my modified Bushmaster M4/A3 digest it with no problems al all. Cheap range ammo and for barter. I reload and at .25rd I can hardly duplicate that. Of course I usually load premium bullets for serious use.

    Bought 2-30rd Hexamgs for 4.50 each and 2-597 10rd .22 mags for 4.50 each. Smokin deals this weekend at keepshooting.com.

    Bought 2-1 week food supply kits from Augason farms at about 18.00/each.
    Bought 8 baking sodas, yeast packets, bisquick mix, and 3 brown sugar at WalMart to shore up the baking supplies.

    Went to the range as the weather in SE WI is awesome for February ( mid 50’s ) and tried to wring out the new Remington R51 pistol. Unfortunately Remington admitted that some pistols were shipped with magazine springs that are far to powerful. This jacks the round up so hard against the slide that one cannot pull it fully rearward to chamber a round. They sent me 2 replacement mags right away, but they had the same issue! Sheesh. So I clipped a coil off the mag spring, and it would fire and work with only 6 rds ( 7rd mag ). This is still not good. I love the pistol; points awesome, alloy frame, very flat. Low bore axis allows less recoil. But these mags are driving me nuts. Word of caution to the pack if they want one. I will get it sorted out.

    Lit off a Romanian Tokarev in 7.62x25mm for the first time. Worked flawlessly. For 225.00 bucks you can’t go wrong. Although that caliber is hard sometimes to get. But they really whiz out of there for sure.

    God bless all Pack and their families. Keep on prepping because things can go to ” hell in a hand basket ” very quickly.

    • B61, is the 223 steel case???

      • Thor

        Yes it is. That is why it is cheap, friend. CTD did an extensive testing of steel cased and brass cased ammo awhile back. 25,000 Rd’s out of 4 Bushmaster rifles. Although the brass cased stuff outperformed in terms of FTF and FTE, it was such a low percentage. Something like 20 rds or so had issues. AMerican Eagle ammo disk the best, with pert near zero ammo related malfunctions. The Russki stuff is dirty though, powder is not as nice as good old USA stuff.

        Bottom line- I prep both ammo types when I see deals, and reload heavier bullets for long range shooting/varmint control/urban sniper use.

        • B61, I wouldn’t use that in my ARs unless it was TEOTWAWKI. I have some wolf in 7.62×39 for the AK or SKS though but those are like a hammer not a scalpel. Lol

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Again, steel cased is perfectly fine…however, each to their own- I only stockpile IMI or GGG 55grn larte amounts milspec for ar/ with small stash (over 1k under 100k of 62 grn Winchester ZQ3315)
            7.62×39 is golden tiger for major stock/ and small amounts of silver bear/sft pnt
            9×19 – speer lawman large amounts
            Speer gold dot 115/124 lesser – even lesser amounts critical DUTY 135grn
            22lr aguila and ely only
            9×18 critical defense and ppu
            7 5×55 swiss / ppu/ swiss milsurp

            Now for pure plinking…I have non expensive steel etc., it works and if you have firearms that cant handle it you may need different firearms.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Again, steel cased is perfectly fine…however, each to their own- I only stockpile IMI or GGG 55grn larte amounts milspec for ar/ with small stash (over 1k under 100k of 62 grn Winchester ZQ3315)
            7.62×39 is golden tiger for major stock/ and small amounts of silver bear/sft pnt
            9×19 – speer lawman large amounts
            Speer gold dot 115/124 lesser – even lesser amounts critical DUTY 135grn
            22lr aguila and ely only
            9×18 critical defense and ppu
            7 5×55 swiss / ppu/ swiss milsurp

            Now for pure plinking…I have non expensive steel etc., it works and if you have firearms that cant handle it you may need different firearms.

            As for ak not being scalpels…I have two AKs that shoot true moa at 100 yards. Times have changed.

            So have firearms, 1911s are pretty and its nice to have m1as and m14s

            But I get the distinct feeling I am one of the youngest here and I am 40… (with major spine issues and over 20 years active in certain very interesting areas)

            I often wonder how people older than myself or with infirmities can assume they will be able to do anything with their extremely heavy, or honestly outdated firearms/gear.

            How many of us do a national guard approach and take 3 days with just out get home bag to ensure it is correct for us?
            How many of us walk home from work every so often. Or have actually planned and completed a “bugout” versus theorizing?

            • Jesse

              True on the AK; I also have 2 of them and maybe they don’t shoot MOA, but 2-3 inches. Good enough, considering most deadly encounters are fairly close affairs.

              Speaking to your age comment yes it does get tougher as one gets older. I am 62 now, and arthritis is creeping in a bit. As to the BOB thing, last year I wanted to see how I would do carrying my pack at 38 lbs. I left the house and walked a 10 mile route, not flat but up hills and down, although mostly sidewalks and paths. Took just over 3 hours, and the last 2 mile were really tough. I made a goal of not sitting down once and resting, and made it but whew! What this taught me is to bug out with no vehicle is not to be desired, and avoided if at all possible.

            • Jessie,
              You make a good point. I try to keep these issues in mind as I prep. I am 52. I have walked home with my BOB and it is not difficult. At my age, you need to spend a little more on gear to save your back. My pack fits me well, it is tailored to my short stature, it is ultralight, and is filled only with what I can carry a much longer distance than home from work. I make the best of it with lightweight backpack gear and
              summer weight sleep setup as I live in So Cal.
              Also, at my age, many of my dad’s fire arms are no longer suitable for Mom and I (she lives with us) to use, but we have layed in plenty of lighter weight options to use as we age.
              We do our best and let God worry about the rest!
              Take care.

              • Jesse Mathewson says:

                Bwh/Patti – thank you for the well thought out responses it is a good thing to know and consider. Personally I cannot walk far, however, can bicycle a good distance

            • Jesse,
              Walking to the car or twice as far in the other direction to feed my chicken take a toll on my back. I will go nowhere on foot. Sitting in an electric cart hurts me so I can barely get out of the cart and drive home. Yes, I have thought about this, and I know my limitations. If I had a gun and a need to use it, I would. Hopefully, it is a light gun. I’m surprised you can ride a bike. I have not been on one in ages, but I know from the pain in back and knees that I cannot.

              • Jesse Mathewson says:

                I have another 2-3 years before even the bike wont be an option. 🙂

                I try but, as you know Linda, degenerative means, degenerative – there is no cure, no fix. Possible trials and yes,I am and have been applying and trying.

          • Thor

            I have to say that I have found Silver Bear zinc plated .223 to be the best of the steel cased stuff. Cleaner and shot 2 inches out of my Palmetto State Armory upper at 100 yds. Of course my pre-loaded mags all have Federal or PMC X-Tac brass cased in them.

            Just saying if you see deals on steel, grab it every now and then. Barter or practice, it works.

            But hey, you’ll just use your mighty hammer made of a dead neutron star. ( or whatever ) to slay your marauding bands, right? LOL.

            • B61, Hammers work sometimes, other times scalpels. Knowing what to use and when, priceless. Lol
              Hey, what do you think of the new 7mm-300wm ??? Scalpel or hammer ???
              I just don’t like steel in my firearms. Its one thing when the government supplies this, another when its your personal arms. JMHO

              • Thor 1

                Did not hear of it frankly? I own a Ruger scout rifle in 300WSM. Nice light rifle, scout scope set up. Fast into action and can keep both eyes open with the long eye relief. 300 WSM cartridge takes a lot of powder, 59-61 grains! Not good for personal defense IMHO. Large muzzle blast and flash. Now this 7mm-300 may be slightly less emphatic than 300WSM. Strictly a pre SHTF hunting round.

                You thinking of getting into one? Let me know what gun and all that. Curious. Thanks.

  53. I love the wolves!
    Scored some free hardwood firewood for BOL. A few winter nights worth. It’s still green, but should cure over one Phoenix summer and be ready for autumn, 2018. Thankfully, our woodshed is full of ready to burn wood and we have open stacks in the BOL backyard as well.
    Reloaded shotgun shells.
    Put relatives on the plane going back to Pennsylvania and Turks & Caicos, so free now to spend more time on prepping!

    Prayers for the wolfpack, the Trumpster and the nation.

  54. Anonamo Also says:

    Just a few things this week.
    …We still continue to work on health issues and are making progress. We began to make and use filtered and structured water this week. We do not have a problem but needed to set up our filtering system to verify how and give it a “test drive”. ….Structured water is water that has been highly oxygenated and one way is to put cleaned marbles in a funnel, with a straw thru it to get air thru.. and pour water from two pitchers back and forth several times. It is supposed to help with negating all kinds of disease processes by putting extra oxygen into the body. Bread made with structured water rises more. It makes it taste sweeter. Since water is our primary drink.. and it costs next to nothing we are trying it.
    … I planted a few rescued and sprouting potatoes in a big bin. ….We have continued working on the new place trying to get it ready for habitation. worked this week on removing baptistry which we will use to raise our own fish… had to move some of a load bearing wall and open up wall,a nd made some frames for two more windows. … gathered cooked and consumed a pot of sorrel, first of the season the forcythia is blooming, don’t have any azelias, allergic. continue to work on plans for the critters, and the grow areas, and lists for next purchases, trying to prioritize., …. too early to plant here. no windows= no sunshine.. so working to correct that.
    General cleaning behind the carpenter and cook
    …and protecting our little dogs from the coyotes that are everywhere in this area. when the trains come thru, one knows how many there are, and how close. I am sure they are doing so well because of our deer population

    • Anonamo Also,
      Back before we had our R/O system we used a distiller, and the water it produced tasted what I would call flat, not that water has any particular taste anyway. We would simply pour water back and forth between two pitchers to aerate it, and it lost that flat taste. Evidently we were making structured water and didn’t know it. If it can enhance bread, then it’s well worth looking at.

  55. The trace mineral boron is a micronutrient with diverse and vitally important roles in metabolism that render it necessary for plant, animal, and human health, and as recent research suggests, possibly for the evolution of life on Earth. As the current article shows, boron has been proven to be an important trace mineral because it (1) is essential for the growth and maintenance of bone; (2) greatly improves wound healing; (3) beneficially impacts the body’s use of estrogen, testosterone, and vitamin D; (4) boosts magnesium absorption; (5) reduces levels of inflammatory biomarkers, such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α); (6) raises levels of antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase; (7) protects against pesticide-induced oxidative stress and heavy-metal toxicity; (8) improves the brains electrical activity, cognitive performance, and short-term memory for elders; (9) influences the formation and activity of key biomolecules, such as S-adenosyl methionine (SAM-e) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)); (10) has demonstrated preventive and therapeutic effects in a number of cancers, such as prostate, cervical, and lung cancers, and multiple and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; and (11) may help ameliorate the adverse effects of traditional chemotherapeutic agents. In none of the numerous studies conducted to date, however, do boron’s beneficial effects appear at intakes > 3 mg/d. No estimated average requirements (EARs) or dietary reference intakes (DRIs) have been set for boron-only an upper intake level (UL) of 20 mg/d for individuals aged ≥ 18 y. The absence of studies showing harm in conjunction with the substantial number of articles showing benefits support the consideration of boron supplementation of 3 mg/d for any individual who is consuming a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables or who is at risk for or has osteopenia; osteoporosis; osteoarthritis (OA); or breast, prostate, or lung cancer.



    • Anonamo Also says:

      …and standard Borax is pure . already have seen this data, but have not tried any of it yet..
      … also look up the one on Baking Soda, along with how to use it. Indications and directions for each indication…
      …DITTO : cayenne pepper
      WE need to look up info, assimilate, print and put in handy dandy notebook for reference, stock. In event of medical care these have potential to save lives.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Because yall love wiki…


      This is just USA testing- add in russian testing, french, british etc…

      Well over 5000 nuclear devices detonated…

      And yet one plant…lmao

      • Jesse, I don’t know where you got that count.

        Also, Wikipedia can be modified. Someone named Wolbo modified it a day ago. Lol

        A lot of detonations were contained underground. The difference between the nuclear power plant and a detonation is the detonation is controlled, the radioactive leak is getting worse and is contaminating the ocean and tainting food sources. I am just glad I don’t live on the west coast. Lol

        • Jesse Mathewson says:


          Would you like a list of evidence? The last 4 times I did it, well, honestly it was ignored.

          I can appreciate some paranoia, but honestly, im not quite a fan of the alex jones camp.

          • Jesse, why are you defending the polluting of Mother Earth ???
            The Truth is the Truth no matter who is the messenger. Alex isn’t always right, but at least he tries to get info out regardless of what the government thinks.

            • Thor 1,
              I don’t think anyone is defending it; but, the Fukushima Daiichi event that occurred nearly 6 years ago is reality, and I thought the discussion here was whether or not the aftermath and fissionable products from that event were hazardous to us here in the U.S. I think Jesse was making the comparison of previous events that were of a much larger scale (from the Trinity explosion and after) and that we should all keep the Fukushima event in perspective, and not get overly paranoid.
              Right now I think those in northern California downstream of the Oroville dam on the Feather River are in much more peril, than perhaps eating a pacific ocean harvested fish.

            • Jesse Mathewson says:

              I defend nothing, merely hope people get truth.

              An untrained soldier is useless as a combat anything.
              The same is easily said regarding junk facts in support of emotional theories.

              Use facts, evidence and reality.

              Dont use lies, partial truths and barely heres or theres to rile people up.

              But what do I know…we already know I plan on raping and pillaging everyone…thanks to false propagandizing and intentional misinterpretation of prior statements.

              I take issue with lies. Using false information is lying.

              Honor/integrity/facts – these are all that matter to me.

          • Thor 1,

            I am just glad I don’t live on the west coast. Lol

            It’s a big ocean and I think too many do not understand the physics and are letting their “feel” and “believe” out way their “think”
            Radiation is something of which we need to be aware, and in certain circumstances be concerned; but, even before the nuclear age we had radiation sources impacting us, and since the bombs have added to the background radiation, we need to perhaps be more aware; but, not paranoid.

            • OP, not paranoid, just cautious. Fools rush in where brave men fear to tread…….

              • Jesse Mathewson says:

                Context, that poem actually references angels not brave men. Additionally. Remember the other part of that poem, which was in effect talking about critical thinking.

                The fool is the individual who does not gather/study real FACTS before making statements.

    • Thor 1,
      Your URLs are interesting; but, contain no information of any concern, at least to me.
      Your first link discusses Tritiated water, where the hydrogen is replaced with tritium. This can also be called super heavy water, with normal heavy water having the hydrogen replaced with deuterium. The oceans naturally contain some heavy water, and as long as they don’t release billions of gallons of the Tritiated water into the ocean, your concern about evaporation from the ocean is unfounded. The first article was talking about heavy concentrations of it at the plant site in Japan.
      Your second link discusses particulates that are in the individual raindrops, and has little or nothing to do with Fukushima and also mentions those normal fission products from naturally occurring radioactive elements like Radon being of no real concern.
      It gets back to naturally occurring radiation in the environment, like that Granite counter top many have and live with.
      I have a friend here locally that is moving into a new (to him) old homestead, and one of the tests they are performing is for radon, which is as naturally occurring as the water from his well.
      We all live with radiation every day; although most of it is non-ionizing and generally of no real concern.

      • OP, its getting worse. Eventually…….

      • OhioPrepper; The links Thor 1 posted are excellent articles….especially for people who don’t squat about this stuff.

        I posted earlier on this topic and it went to a 404 error. Suffice to say, I was required to go through NRC schooling, including fire fighting training. I guar-an-damn-tee you, there is a LOT the Edison people and the federal govt. haven’t made public.

        I do not believe nuclear power plants are worth the money or the eons of risks they carry. Half the time most of them are offline anyway.

        • Additionally, if people knew how much spent fuel is buried in their states, they would go ballistic. Ten’s and 10’s of million tons were shipped out to unsuspecting states and unsuspecting citizens.

          If those spent fuels depots are ever disturbed (as in opened up) , those areas will be a living nightmare.

        • Izzy, thanks, and that’s not even to mention an EMP event, which has been termed not if but when. Our government has finally started a fix for the grid system, but will it be too late???

          • You’re welcome Thor 1. Our govt. should be fixing the grids instead of sending money overseas. I wouldn’t bet on anything being fixed as it needs to be before an EMP.

      • OP,
        I respectfully say you are wrong about radon! I would no more discount the deleterious effects of radon than I would of the deleterious effects of cigarette smoking on the health of smokers, second-hand smoke breathers, or third hand smoke effects.

        Just because radiation has always been happening does not mean we should not be concerned. With some things it is the cumulative effect that harms, not the individual times of exposure.

        I have a chemist friend who works for the Dept of Defense or Army, not sure. He travels with his lab in a van and stands by while areas of military installations are dug up. He tests whatever they dig, looking for anything toxic, including radiation.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          What is radiation?

          Waves of energy in a variety of forms, lengths and strengths. All radiation is originally naturally occurring, including uranium etc.,
          Radon is natural radiation.
          Cancer affects as many nonsmokers as it does smokers.

          The reality is, while your friend is testing, it does not mean that by default what he is testing is proven to be harmful etc.,

          By the way, do you know what the top two most dangerous chemicals/ elements are?

          Oxygen – one of the most caustic gases known, and yet we must have it too live.
          Dihydrogen Monoxide – water, and yet again we must have it too live.

          There is a reason I personally avoid naturalnews, alex jones and similar…they bank, literally million a year based on fear mongering from outright lies or very vague truths

          • I was a disaster control team chief in Strategic Air Command back in the 1960s and received quite a bit of education on topic. I am not a bit concerned about any radiological effects on ocean fish or on the atmosphere anywhere except perhaps very close to the Fukishima plant. The intensity of radiation decreases as a function of the square of the distance from the emitter. For example, the radiation at a distance of 10 feet is 100 times less than that at 1 foot and the distance at 100 feet is 10,000 times less. So, your best defense against radiation is distance. Most dangerous is ingestion of a radiation emitter, for example inhaling dust from a nuclear explosion is deadly. Also, most byproducts of a nuclear explosion are radioactive for only an extremely short time, half life is measured in seconds. So, to sum it up, Fukishima was not an explosion and your best defenses against radiation are distance and time. Due to the volume of the oceans, your probability of ingesting a piece of fish affected in any way by Fukishima is probably less than being struck by lightening on 100 separate occasions! We have many much greater worries.

            • Billy T,
              Great description.

              The intensity of radiation decreases as a function of the square of the distance from the emitter.

              We call this the Inverse Square law, and it is applicable to all forms of radiation whether nuclear, radio, or heat, since all are basically the same physical phenomenon with different frequencies of operation. Within the visible spectrum, we call these physical phenomenon Colors.

            • Anonamo Also says:

              Then those poor fools in California who discount the effects of fukashima and the radiation piouring from the bottomless reactors need to be praying for continual lightening storms! there is also radioactive iodine being palced in the natural gas that is being used in europe… so don’t worry about NATURAL radon but you better be concerned about weaponized radiation and radiation leaks from all these power plants that is not being neutralized but being stored at some “deep underground cavity, near you without your consent or knowledge”… maybe like the salt mines? really what does salt do to steel barrels? perhaps someone who knows all, can explain?… would it not rust them? how long to eat thru one, a few years? Better be thinking about the pollution we are doing to the nation and the world. Look at the fault lines… what sits on almost every one? a Nuclear Power plant? How is that for great design? Wake up ! Smell the coffee. NO one is talking RADON! the post started about radiation dangers!

          • Jesse,
            If one were to look for the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) which does exist for Dihydrogen Monoxide, also known as DIHYDROGEN OXIDE or HYDRIC ACID and read it without knowing the background and chemistry, it could actually freak you out. I’ve sent to to some folks over the years who were quite upset that this chemical is so readily available, especially when you see the damage and deaths it causes each year.

            • Jesse Mathewson says:

              OP, especially considering the vast quantities readily available to anyone. I know some states have attempted regulation and other states like California import vast amounts from Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and Washington state…

              Its just amazing how many do not realize the danger

              • Jesse,
                I’ve been talking with Sirius who lives out in CA and he mentions that even with all of the rainfall and flooding they’re getting, they will still end up in a drought when it’s all over, since it seems to be more important to have water for the Delta Smelt, than the people.

                • Jesse Mathewson says:

                  I as well as many westerners tire of California, they drain our rivers and water, use imminent domain and DC to steal more water from Arizona, Oregon, Washington state and others.

                  Why cant they use the billions they waste on frivolity and build de-salinators?

                  Honestly, the Western states really do not like California nor do we generally get along with Californians…as it seems they always being their ridiculous politics with them. (See recent case in Utah, Californian transplant attempted to ban firearms in a public place/museum OF FIREARMS lol)

        • Linda,

          I respectfully say you are wrong about radon! I would no more discount the deleterious effects of radon than I would of the deleterious effects of cigarette smoking

          Perhaps you can tell me where I discounted the effects. I simply stated that we live with and have lived with non-ionizing radiation for most of human kinds existence, and that we have learned to deal with it. One can either understand the sources and effects or fear them. I don’t fear them.

  56. Sorry that post was meant as reply to Jessie much earlier in comments.

  57. Jesse Mathewson says:

    To all here, and I mean all preppers –

    if you are ever in arizona and need a BOL for any reason I want you to consider my place and local tribe as extended tribe for you. I have grown to appreciate and in fact enjoy the back and forth exchange of ideas and information and believe most to be extended tribe in a way.

    jesse dot mathewson at hotmail dot com I will give you an address and contact number, this includes your loved ones. It is important to me that you have a place should the need arise.

    • American Pacrat says:

      Jesse M
      Thank you for the offer. I personally doubt dh & I would be in AZ again as he is limited on traveling. It is the kindness you have shown here that is appreciated hopefully by all.

    • I have a cousin who lives in AZ.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        AP and Linda, I spend much of my time passing out 90% wool blankets/tarp and survival kits with information to some of the areas homeless, and yes, by sight alone I can tell if they are drug abusers (I dont help those) or not. I have been close to the streets before, and the reality is…these men and women already live what we claim to train for 🙂 so may as well connect now right?

      • my wife has a aunt in AZ.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Just drop me a line any time. 🙂

    • Jesse

      That is a very generous offer, sir! I have kin in AZ, Phoenix area. They are not prepped like you are though. Thanks again for the offer.

      Curious on your greatest challenge. I would think water supply is one. For me in the north it is surviving winter with no power or natural gas/electric. Water is no issue in my locale.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Water is not as big an issue for myself and those I travel about with. While indeed there is less visibly, it is still here. Pays to traipse about and find springs etc., that most folk simply dont go too anymore. 🙂

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          On the water note. So far it is still “legal” to cache rainwater in az. Most of us use large containers raised and save it for dry season watering of plants. I also always have a minimum of 220 gallons of potable water and with filtration the rainwater will also work. So between 5 and 15k gallons stored.

      • Water is indeed a high priority for us, as it is for everyone. Contrary to the belief of some, Arizona is not all arid! Our BOL in mountains is less than a mile from a naturally occurring lake. We also have our own well, with water rising to a level 30 feet below surface. Also, we have gutters and barrels for catchment. Worst case, we can ferry water from the lake. So, the well on commercial power can be lost to lack of power. We have two generators, so can power the well pump without commercial power – that’s one. Water catchment is two. Bringing water out of the well with a bucket is three. Ferrying water from the lake is four.

    • Almost There says:


      That is an incredible and unselfish offer. I am very appreciative of the offer. I do travel out west some, mostly to Colorado, but there may be a time when I would need to leave TN and knowing there is a place for me to go, is comforting. Thank You.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Heck, honestly, its selfish…I would gain seasoned preppers right?

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          I truly think a better prepared tribe/community of preppers that get along or can contribute is one of the chief ways to overcome any significant difficulty

  58. Didn’t get much done this week. Added to a few preps, trying to get ready for planting season. I was late last year due toalltherain, and then it turned hot & humid. My tomatoes loved it, but not me so much!
    Went to my BOL Thursday. Visited some friends in a remote part of the state, had a very good time playing Minecraft with a wonderful 9 year old (also got my Girl Scout cookie order).
    Resting today.

  59. Greyhawk1970 says:

    Hello there Wolfpack I have not been able to do much prepping since I drive a truck over the road. I try to read quite a bit to learn any new tidbits I can.

    DW at home is working at getting the garden up and running at our new place. This will be the first year for this plot so we are hoping things go well. The weather in TX has been good so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

  60. here in the mid part pf the country, we are worried about bugs. No hard winter to kill them.I think we should watch this very carefully. And hope our gardens will do all right.I am dyhrated some large packages of veggies just to be safe.It’s been a strange winter.!

  61. Made the drive back from The Sunshine State this week along a different route. Quite a few of the state and US highways are in very good condition and some are divided with higher posted limits yet don’t have the masses found on the Interstate system. something to keep in mind in case a Bug Out is needed.
    Used prep skills while at my Dad’s. Made a cake from an outdated pineapple flavored cake mix (BB 2015) and added cocoa powder (BB2007) and had rave reviews. Also opened up some Swiss Cheese, in original shrink wrap with a use by date of March 2016. Thought once it hit the air might go bad so used up quickly. Added water to his storage.
    Bought a canning/preserving book.
    It could be very difficult to travel long distances in the future. Hope to keep making connections.

    • Almost There says:


      Good for you taking different routes. I did that when I came back from FL. I keep imaging along the route, what if something happened here, in my current location, how would I handle the event. Making connections is important.

      • AT:
        Watching the traffic jams in Northern California makes me wonder if they have alternate routes. The Fl-Ga highway(19) is a good alternative to I-75. The old highway between Selma and Montgomery wasn’t bad either, and I loved both 400 in Oklahoma and 287 in Texas. For the most part all were 4 lanes which helped if passing was needed.

        • Almost There says:


          Just now re-reading…. I meant “imagining”… UGH!

          Thank you for the info. I will definitely check it out.

        • Moe,
          Northern Cali has no traffic issues…you must be speaking of SF? Or SAC? area? that is not what we call North Cali…
          anything below Oroville is still considered Central Cali to us North Staters….LOL
          SF is Definitely NOT North state, as much as they deem, or want it to be.

          North state is Counties such as Butte, Tehama, Shasta, Trinity, Lake, Glenn
          Just sayin. 😉

          • TechQN:
            Thanks for the enlightenment. My few visits to the state have been to L.A. or points South. I will have to put the counties you list on my wish list of places to visit. Growing up I lived in very populated areas, but as an adult I have found small town life preferable. My definition of a small town is population under 10,000. The area where I live has many county seats that size or smaller.

      • Almost There,

        I keep imaging along the route, what if something happened here

        What you are doing is real time situational awareness, and it’s something we should all be doing at some level, all of the time. Good for you!!!

  62. Having trouble posting this week. Posts either duplicate without intent or error message appears saying duplicate post even though original not posted. Input appreciated.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      Same thing here.

      This is what I have been seeing.

      Error 522Ray ID: 333b4e108324085c • 2017-02-19 17:06:39 UTC

    • Almost There says:


      I am also having issues posting, duplicate post error message every time I post after my initial post, timing out, guru meditation error.

      Wondering if MD can check on it and let us know.

    • Moe,
      I’ve been seeing the same thing and have contacted our host with the details. I think his hosting provider may be having issues again.

  63. Just tried to say I got errors and got an error trying to post. Let’s see if this goes through.

  64. Ronald Beal says:

    Mr. Creekmore- Ron Beal here. I have written a possible editorial per our earlier conversations. I have lost the conversations we had, and need an email to send to you. On regular ‘comments’I do not see where I might attach a word doc.

    Ron beal

  65. Third time attempting to post this….maybe a charm? The hog hunting saga continues…..checked the game camera I mounted at the Hog Bait site and found plenty of hog activity. The post hole bait sites were completely devoured with the hogs rooting them all the way to the bottom and leaving big depressions about two feet deep. So, I added a few bait sites on Friday to keep them occupied, then spent 5 hours Saturday night to no avail. I guess they haven’t found the bait yet, so I’ll give it another try Wednesday night.
    – Completed stocking all the slots in my Thrive Life FIFO Pantry Storage system and ordered a few more tracks so I can add more, smaller cans.
    – Planted Kale in the raised beds and also started the remaining veggie seeds indoors. Hopefully the weather will continue to improve over the next 2-3 weeks and then I’ll transfer all plants to the garden.
    – Bought the book “Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing”.
    – Picked up more meds of various types to add to the stocks. This is probably the weakest area of my preps, but likely will turn out to be the most important.
    – Ordered another 50 lbs. of Kosher Salt.
    – Picked up all sorts of bulk canned food and 12 lbs. of black beans from Sams.
    – Canned 18 pints of Ham and Pea Soup.
    – Used 30 gallons of my stored fuel to fill the truck and then refilled the cans with fresh gas and added more STA-BIL. I try to rotate all my fuel preps every 4-6 months to keep it fresh.
    – Looking for a good old fashioned meat grinder for my sausage making (If I ever get my hog).

    • Mustang
      I watch a daily vlog and this week there was a you tube on butchering a pig. If you are interested, here is the link.

      • Thanks Labgirl! Pretty good video. I’ve watched a few others and have studied a few books as well. I familiar with deer, so I hope I’ll be able to do a proper job on a wild hog. Check back on this Fridays post as I hope to be able to tell everyone I actually got a hog. Too bad we can’t post PICs.

        • If you can butcher a deer, you can do a hog, no problem! Good luck with your hunting. In my experience, persistence pays off. Lord knows I’ve hunted plenty of times without success. On one occasion, I think I may have heard some elk hunkered down behind a big bush snickering at me as I left for home on the last night of the hunt! 🙂

          • Billy T,

            If you can butcher a deer, you can do a hog, no problem!

            I would also add rabbit, squirrel and cow to that list. It’s really all just a matter of size, and while my beef or pork cuts may not be the correct cut of a trained butcher, it will all be good meat for the pot, grill, or oven.

            Good luck with your hunting. In my experience, persistence pays off. Lord knows I’ve hunted plenty of times without success.

            Amen on that. It’s also BTW why it’s called hunting and not shopping, LOL, and something we stress in our hunter education classes to the new young hunters, who might otherwise be a bit disappointed.

            • OP,
              The first time I cut up a fryer after I married, parts were missing. It fried up the same and tasted good.

  66. Penny Pincher says:

    Hi Pack!
    OK, this week I bought more accessories for my Raspberry Pi, and flashed a copy of Kali for it. I’m going to learn something about its OSINT tools. Got my wireless hub reactivated, which was a 2 hour fiasco with Asian tech support.

    I also got a free TV and swapped it for some other technology for a group project. Heh, heh.

    The tactical training website I was working on is done finally. We might have a commercial client already. I still want to do some SEO and keyword grooming but it’s up. Now my time is freed up for more demands.

    In the physical world, I started working out daily a few days ago rather than a couple times a week. Got annual doctors visit done. Waiting for lab results. Went to the range the other day, which was satisfying. My marksmanship is still OK, but I could use some more brushup with weapons handling before we take the client to the range. I don’t have much opportunity to do this while living on the road but maybe I’ll get some dry fire practice in tonight.

    Well I’ve managed to fritter away my day here. At least I got my hub working. Stay frosty folks, it’s going to be a long hot summer.

  67. Encourager says:

    Awww! So happy to see the wolf back in the header. Thanks, M.D.!!!

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