What did you do to prep this week?

Happy good Friday and Easter weekend everyone (Sunday, April 16) – God bless you all and protect you and your loved ones in this time of uncertainty…

Well, folks here we are again. Another week of prepping and doing awesome stuff. You’re reading this site so you are awesome, you’re an elite prepper, you are the wolf pack!

Speaking of being awesome, before we get started with this weeks segment I’d like to thank Mr. Bill D for his generous contribution this month. Thank you Bill you are awesome!

On another note I noticed this morning that our Alexa traffic rank jumped to a rank of 55,651 and a U.S. rank of 11,259 – Alexa measures the traffic numbers by unique visits to every site on the web, the lower the number the more traffic (visits) that site received.

The ranking of 11,259 is very good and much better than just about every other prepper related site online indicating that TheSurvivalistBlog.net is one of the most popular and most read sites in the prepper niche.

To see the rankings for any site go to www.alexa.com/siteinfo… thank you all for making this site such a huge success.

Okay, now what did I do to prep this week…

chickens for preppers

I added 12 new hens to the chicken coop.

Dwarf fruit trees

Planted seven Dwarf fruit trees around my retreat.

Bought a used Remington 870

Bought a used Remington 870

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


About M.D. Creekmore

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


  1. Prepared Grammy says:

    This Week:

    -Added to the stockpile: two beehive queen excluders, deodorant, cleaning supplies, underwear, lots of spices, bandages, flavored gelatin, toothbrushes, dental repair kit, oral pain med kit, silver wound gel, wound seal, wound closure strips, bar soap, 80 lbs. sugar, insect repellent, sunscreen, (Be sure to keep an eye on insect repellents and sunscreens. They do expire.), chicken stock powder,

    -Ordered: colloidal silver gel, infection meds, another hive muli-tool,

    -Received items that I ordered: athletic shoes,

    -Do you know the anticipation you feel when you’re waiting for the first food from your garden? You start checking on it WAY too early, and you keep checking every day. You wonder if it will EVER happen. You decide you did something wrong, and it’s dead. You give up…almost…skipping a few days checking on it. When you go back…THERE IT IS! IT’S READY! That’s what happened to me. WE HAVE ASPARAGUS!

    -I enjoy those things that I spend so much time planning, saving, ordering, planting, caring for, and hoping and praying that I would get food. That’s what my asparagus journey has been, and it’s a long-term investment. I’m looking forward to eating it for years to come. Asparagus, apples, pears, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, rhubarb, walnuts, and even honey, goats’ milk, eggs, and chicken…all have taken lots of time, money, and effort. I pray they are around to continue to feed the family for years to come.

    -After getting the new truck last week, I had to get it supplied. I added a first aide kit, items for minor vehicle repairs, food, water, and other emergency supplies for short-term survival.

    -The free, rare breed chick died. It wasn’t one that would have been a good layer or meat bird. It turned out to be what I call an “ornamental” bird, and it wasn’t suitable for my climate. This may have been a blessing in disguise. I’m afraid it wouldn’t have made it through the winter.

    -I captured a swarm from the apple tree in my backyard, and located it to a hive box. The bees seem to like their new home. I hope they stay and are productive.

    -The events in Afghanistan and the latest from N. K. have given me further assurance that the lifestyle I’m living is smart.

    Prayers for all, especially during this Easter weekend. Celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      Thanks for all you do. I have learned so much from you and others on this site. However, the knowledge may be slightly behind the motivation I get. Reading the accomplishments and prepping you and others have made has inspired me to do more. I wouldn’t be where I am without this site. Thanks again.
      By the way, I like seeing photos.

      • Prepared Grammy,

        Thank you. It’s great to know that this site is helping you and others. I need to post more photos – what kinds of photos do you want to see more of?

        • Prepared Grammy says:

          I am interested in learning more about solar power and HAM communication equipment. Seeing what others have is a bonus. I’m someone who loves having my home organized so I can find things easily. If you have any good ideas for organizing my preps, I would like to see that too. I always like looking at homesteading photos. I get good ideas from others.

        • axelsteve says:

          Nice shotgun mr Creekmore. You can`t go wrong with a 870. nothing fancy but a darn good gun.

          • Agreed! I have three of them as well as the S & W pump which is almost a clone of the 870. Bought 870s for both grandsons also!

        • your chickens & coop, garden and orchard setups and progress, and always…always pics of the puppy 🙂

  2. Bought 95 bags of topsoil for 99c ea to help fill the new raised beds. Our own soil is awful clay fill loaded with stones and rocks so no hope there. Have compost and other things to add to the ‘mix’.
    Topped up the current TP supplies with 3 more 60 rolls pkgs on sale, 6 lbs of sale butter, 21 half qt containers of sour cream @49c ea that are now dehydrated and vac sealed in jars. Purchased some veg seedlings that didn’t start for me. Last snow storm is gone, warmer weather is here and time to start planting a few things.
    From the bulk store on sale, I got 3 lbs each of mac cheese powder, organic buckwheat flour, and fish batter powder. All are vac sealed in jars. From the thrift store I found a Gem jar, several good sweatshirts for the family for winter and several yards very cheap of Jinny Beyer fabric for Crisscross Aprons.
    A good friend has offered some free bee equipment she doesn’t need, like queen excluders, etc and DS brought home a few quarts of free honey butter from work.
    Discovered an interesting youtube site with different canning recipes, homestead tessie. I’m definitely making her canned onions.
    I wish everyone a safe and blessed Easter holiday.

    • Babycatcher says:

      Great buy on the topsoil!

    • Gloria, you are slipping, someone is in front of you. Lol

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      I love Tessie, have you seen Our Half Acre Homestead and Bexar Prepper? They have a lot of canning videos for different things as well.

      • I’ve watched Bev and Bexar for years. The latter doesn’t put out much these days but I always use her lard rendering in water idea.

    • Always Forward says:

      Did you just spread the sour cream out on the trays? Did it dry in a piece and then you powdered it? I am anxious to try it.

      • Prepared Grammy says:

        I was wondering the same thing. I got my first big dehydrator. Last year I borrowed from a friend. I’m looking forward to using it a lot. I hadn’t even thought about sour cream, but I would love to try it.

        • Bwhntr61 says:


          If you would what kind of dehydrator did you get and are you happy with it? Thanks.

          • Prepared Grammy says:

            I got an Excalibur 3900B. I have turned it on to be sure that it works, but I haven’t dehydrated anything yet. I didn’t get it until January, but I’m looking forward to the garden season. I usually can or freeze foods. I’m a dehydrating novice, and look forward to learning from Gloria and others on here. I bought a book that someone on here recommended. It may have been her.

      • The sour cream must be spread on the teflon-like tray liners that say Excalibur that you buy separately. Wax paper will melt, parchment sticks badly so don’t try using them. I use an icing spreader to spread it around, only half of the one pound tubs (drain off any liquids on top) per tray, and spread it as evenly and thinly as possible. I’ve tried doing the whole container per tray but it’s too thick and takes forever to dry. Smooth out any thick ridges as they’ll take much longer to dry. I set it at 135 and it takes around 7 hours to dry. Mostly it cracks into large pieces as it dries, which is okay. You test it by pressing a finger into any various parts. Some people flip the dried layers over and add another hour or so drying time but by spreading it thinly I can peel off most into a big bowl. It’s ready when dry and crackly. Any wet looking bits go onto a separate tray for extra drying time. Once I’ve got all the sour cream dried, I run it through the food processor bottom blade for a few seconds until it’s evenly crumbly then vac seal it in jars. Humidity is its worst enemy. Hope that helps.

        Drying shredded cheeses is very similar other than you simply sprinkle the shreds thinly over a sheet and check more frequently for dryness.

        • Prepared Grammy says:

          Two questions: Does it rehydrate well? Do you think I could pre-measure it to the amounts I frequently use, and seal in bags instead of jars? I’m anxious to try it, and appreciate being about to talk to you about it. That’s the best thing about this site. We can get feedback from people who’ve done what we are interested in.

          • 1 part dried sour cream to 2 parts water, stir, leave about 15 min to rehydrate. I haven’t rehydrated mine yet as I can still get fresh very cheap but many have done it and say it’s almost as good as fresh. When I wash up the dryer trays, it appears to have the right consistency. It would be excellent to add to casseroles for extra flavor.
            As for bags, yes, you could do that but I wouldn’t put too much in unless you’re sure you can reseal it – humidity will stealthily ruin anything unsealed.
            If the economy gets any tighter, fresh sour cream will be one of those luxuries we’ll do without.

          • Antique Collector says:

            Thank you for this information, will give it a try. Nothing ventured–nothing gained.

          • Prepared Grammy says:

            Would you recommend that I buy the Excalibur brand, or would a knockoff be ok? I don’t have any liners now, but after reading comments on here I think I need to get some.
            I agree about the economy. Thats’ why I’m trying to stock up as much as possible now. I hadn’t even thought about sour cream, but I should have. I use it in casseroles a lot.

          • Any dehydrator will work provided you can get the special non-stick sheets commonly referred to as fruit leather sheets. I have both the Excalibur and the Nesco/American Harvest, and personally, I prefer the Excalibur as it will easily do 9 sheets and has a double fan for better drying, whereas the Nesco has a central air tube system that will do only a max of 6 trays well of anything thick like the cream, and you must swap them around at different points to evenly dry food. I mostly use this dryer for excess of lighter foods like herbs, leafy veg, etc. I rarely have to bother with that swap job with the Excalibur. The Exc. is fairly pricey but it’s more than paid for itself, and you might be able to buy a refurbished one online or somewhere similar. If you get the right supplier, they might include the sheets. The perspex sheets cost me $10 Cdn each so I’d buy 2 or 3 as I could afford them. And I treat them like gold LOL

          • I have some of the old round Nevco that work OK; but, don’t control the temperature all that well, and worked better after I added a fan.
            The Excalibur was an early Christmas gift this past year, and it was early because the boy that got it for me was able to save money on a package, plus free shipping if ordered by November 30th, plus a 15% coupon he found online. This is right from the Excalibur home page, so like the Foodsaver, it’s probably a good idea to go right to the source and keep your eye out for deals. My Excalibur BTW came with a roll of the fruit leather sheets.

          • Prepared Grammy says:

            Thanks so much for all of your help. I just ordered the sheets. I bit the bullet and got the Excalibur brand. I know what you mean about treating them like gold! I take care of what I have, so I’m looking at them as a long-term investment. I figured it was better to get something that will last than to waste money on generic ones that many not. You don’t know how much I appreciate your help. YOU’RE SUCH A JEWEL THAT YOUR MOTHER SHOULD HAVE NAMED YOU RUBY! (My aunt’s favorite saying 🙂 )

          • Prepared Grammy says:

            …that may not. (Typo)

          • Almost There says:

            I don’t have an Excalibur yet…. But I love drying mango, chicken jerky, apples and pears, along with all the other stuff.

          • Someone else says:

            Gloria…what kind of shelf life would you guess with the powdered sour cream vacuum sealed? And the shredded cheese, do you leave it in shreds or do you powder that too? I just bought the aame model Excalibur and the dehydrator bible. It says you shouldn’t dehydrate cheese. I decided to purchase these because of your post this week, and i just got everything today.

          • Antique Collector says:

            Prepared Grammy
            I am going to pipe in on the plastic vs canning jars. After many recent experiments with plastic vs jars, I can attest to you, you will be better off with the jars.
            If it is size control you are looking for, they now have the 1/4 size pint jars which would be right size for portion on control on your sour cream, or items which smaller amounts would be preferable. Wondering how you will keep them from breaking? Find a liquor store in your area, ask for the boxes which have the dividers in them. You can place bubble wrap squares as you stack the jars or cardboard sheets to divide the glass bottoms from the top. Picked up two boxes at C&C for my used peach jars from Costco.
            Getting back to why….
            After many failures with plastic baggies inside of vacuum sealed bags, I am going with jars on the preservation. Mine was done in a hurry due to dh losing the ability to swallow foods in their normal consistence. Which created a quagmire for our food storage, quick fix into plastic bags & sealed. Five years later I discover my quick fix was not such a great idea after all. Everything in glass which held the vacuum seal is doing well, popped a couple of lids as a test to make sure–no problems.

          • Prepared Grammy says:

            I have a Foodsaver sealer, and I think it has the hose attachment for jars, I think. So far I’ve only sealed using the bags. Another question: (Remember, I know nothing about this, and I know my questions may be stupid. But, I want to learn and not waste food or money.) Is it ok to just put the food in a small enough jar that I’ll use it all when I open it, and close it tightly with the canning lid and ring; or should I use a vacuum sealer on it?

          • Anonamo Also says:

            Vacume it, It will triple your storage time easily on most things.

          • If I can add to this: long term storage with plastic bags can be iffy, which is why some folk put them in the sealer bags then into mylar for long term storage (20 years plus). It also depends on your bag thickness. Food Saver bags tend to be a better thickness, while a knockoff bag from a major supplier is thinner and will definitely not last long term. Bexarprepper did a video on storing a drink mix in some sort of store container and within 2 years (unopened) it was like a brick and unusable.
            Another problem is that even if you’re scrupulous keeping the seal ring clean and never overheating it, some bags tend to lose their seal over time. It just takes one tiny pinprick. Which is why I make a point of checking all my tote tubs of sealed bags twice a year, and am still annoyed to find a few lost seals each time despite being very careful.

            As for jars, it all depends on what is in the jar. Dried veg like onions, carrots, pasta, etc can be closed with regular lid & ring, but if you live in a humid area, expect to find them a bit soggy or even moldy in a couple months. Vac sealing after each opening is the best insurance for anything, moreso items like sour cream, cheese, etc that will mold fast normally. This does limit the bottle use to only sizes that fit canning lids, but anything worthwhile comes with a higher price tag (keep checking thrift stores for used canning jars, etc and keep a lid of each size in your purse to check with). One size I cannot get to vac seal is the 1/4 pints – there’s not enough shoulder to lip space for the sealer cap to work, not even with 3 stacked lids.
            True, glass can break and is hard to transport, but rodents & pests can’t get into it, nor moisture. As A.C. suggested, you can get case dividers to separate your jars against earthquakes, or cut your own strips or cut up old socks into rings, even thick elastics, and put on jars, etc. Add earthquake/storm bars (preferably wood strips) on your shelves to prevent them falling off .

            For loads of great info, check dehydrate2store on youtube. She does rattle on a bit but her info is solid. I don’t bother with the prep gloves, just wash my hands well first, same with the food (I have special scrub brushes for cleaning citrus before cutting).
            Katzcradul on youtube has great info on sealing food in jars and inspired me to buy my first Foodsaver and accessories.

          • Antique Collector says:

            On the smaller jars did you try wiping the rims & rubber ring with a vinegar wipe before sealing? It is just an idea. I do this process to all my jars & lids while canning including the tattler.
            The other process I have used is to warm up the lids so the gasket material is pliable for better adhesion. Placing the lids into warm water, then drying the lids with paper towel & cleaning the gasket with a different paper towel which has vinegar applied.
            Personally have not used this process with the tiny jars, as I was recently given a few boxes of them. Time for another round of experimentation with 1/4 jars, see how they work.
            Thank you for the information on the sour cream processing look forward to giving it a try.

          • Gloria,
            ”drink mix in some sort of store container and within 2 years (unopened) it was like a brick and unusable.”
            I don’t know why drink mix would be unusable. I would think that like clumping or bricked sugar, you could simply dissolve it in water and still use it.
            As for pin pricks and breaks around heat sealed seams, I agree. In my case I have more than enough buckets and lids to store nearly all my food; but, do use a few totes.
            No earthquakes around here, and so far jars just neatly lined up on a shelf seem to do fine; however, we do sometimes place cut pieces of cardboard between them, and will sometimes use bungee cords to keep them snug on the shelf.
            Thanks for the mention of Dehydrate2store and Katzcradul both of which look like a great resource I hadn’t seen before.
            For vacuum sealing jars, I’ve only done the ones that fit the standard or wide mouth lids; since those are the only devices I have as FoodSaver accessories.

          • It was one of those sweetened drink mixes with dye in it and the dye went a strange color due to air somehow getting in. Nor did it smell right. For the sake of a few dollars, it was safer to simply toss it and use better storage methods like mylar or jars. A mistake best discovered long before it’s needed.

            As for earthquakes, Ohio is in the New Madrid fault zone which makes it susceptible. Same with fracking in many parts of North America which cause their own problems.

          • Gloria,
            A combination of color change and odor are definite toss it out indications.
            During the New Madrid outbreak of 1811-1812only portions of southern Ohio were at all affected. The geological formation known as the Cincinnati arch, along with the Ohio river running along Ohio’s southern border seemed to have channel the major P wave components along the south. Reports here in north central Ohio were rare. In my time in Ohio there have been 3 measureable earthquakes, but I missed all of them due to being involved in some outside activity. I had friends who were sitting at the dinner table for one of them and the hanging lamp just mysteriously started swinging; but, there was no perception by the people other than that. I chose to live in Ohio at least in part due to its relative safety from natural events.

          • Prepared Grammy says:

            I’m in an area that has to be concerned about the New Madrid and Wabash zones.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            PG- Oxygen is the great destroyer heck it gets its name from the reality that it oxidizes all, except maybe gold-

            Vaccum or can- if vaccuming use dessicants to ensure dryness.

          • Prepared Grammy,
            First of all, the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask, because you then remain ignorant when you could have gained knowledge.
            We have the jar attachment and use it occasionally.
            The main thing about not vacuum resealing your jars after opening and using some is how long you’ll take to use the food. If you open it and take a bit, and then don’t take any more for a week, meaning the jar could last a few months, then resealing might be in order. It also depends on the food, since some food spoils and some (like crackers) just get stale; but, are still edible.

  3. MD,
    There’s nothing wrong with an 870. It’s my goto shotgun and has been for the time that I spent in the military and over 2 decades in law enforcement. You really have to work at them to break them.

    My dad preferred the Winchester 1100 but they have longer stocks. Since I’m under 6′ and he wasn’t and I know the abuse the 870 can take, why fix it if’n it ain’t broke?

    • Sirius,

      The 870 is my #1 choice when it comes to choosing a pump action shotgun. Never had any problems with them.

      • A couple of years ago I was setting up at a gun show. The guy behind me was new, so spent some time helping him get set up. He had 5 guns with him; nothing else. He was selling them to get rid of some debt. I got a Remington ADL with a wood stock in 30-06 and a like new Remington 870. It’s an older on, had the old recoil pad vs. the new LimbSaver; but it looked like it came out of the box and went into a gun cabinet. Ended up with both for $425. We ended up helping him get sold out on Saturday.

        By the way, your front sight looks different. Something special?

        • Lynda Buchholz says:

          I am off the subject but I see you are from Montana as am I and I am trying to find a way to get a class on learning ham radio. I wish you could share that informatin if you have it.

          • Lynda:

            Personally I haven’t gone there yet. The only thing I know is how to buy a couple of radios and download some books.

          • Lynda Buchholz & JP,
            The technician class question pools as well as many practice test sites are on the net and at no cost. This can get you your license; but, that’s when the learning actually begins. A search for The Ham Whisperer will aid in getting the license and a search for hamnation will get you a ton of videos on different aspects, modes, methods, and reasons for operating with your license.

          • Lynda,
            There is an app you can download on your smartphone or computer. It’s called “Ham Test Prep”. Basically it’s all of the questions and answers for Tech, General, and Extra class.

            Like Ohio Prepper said, the license is just the beginning. I sat for my Tech and General in the same sitting. Start to finish was about 3 weeks.

            These Elmer’s here know way more than I do and anything you can glean from them is definitely worth while reading.

          • Just let me add a small clarification to what Sirius stated.
            An Elmer is the ham radio name for a mentor.
            The instructor part of me always knows that we have to define our terms, especially specific subject related terms.

          • OP,
            Up you must shut, Yoda. Got that, I think she did.

        • JP,
          Back in the 1990’s I volunteered as a firearms instructor with a group that promoted safe firearms ownership and did some political and legal work. We were for instance involved with some other groups that successfully sued the city of Columbus Ohio over their ill worded Assault Weapon Ban.
          One of the ways we raised money to fund the organization was to run gun shows, and the instructors helped with checking firearms prior to entering the show. On day a guy had a Thompson Center Contender with several barrels, and made the mistake of telling me he was short of cash and had to make rent. We arrived at a fair (to me) price and I still have that gun. Another firearm I missed was due to my principles and ethics. A clueless guy came up to me at the gate with a nearly new Colt Python. He told me that he had inherited it from his father in laws estate upon his passing, and didn’t think having a gun in the house was safe.. He then asked if it was legal to sell it, and I assured him that it was, along with a few things to check from the buyer, such as age and residency.
          He went into the show and wasn’t there 10 minutes when I saw him walk past me on the way out. I asked if he had sold the gun, and he gleefully answered, YES. Someone gave me $100.00 for it. I could have cried; but, I’m still too principled to perpetrate larceny, even with a willing participant.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            I buy and sell regularly, basically to fund more for self. I wheel and deal but as you, I cannot take advantage of others…with local pawn shops I know what they pay and therefore will use that to gain benefit

          • Zulu 3-6 says:


            As a police officer, I often had contact with people who wanted to sell (or just turn in) guns that had belonged to deceased relatives. I bought a couple of them, but didn’t have the cash to buy everything I wanted.

            One gun I would have loved to buy was a Nazi P-38, with holster and spare magazine, all matched serial numbers in excellent condition. A lady brought it in after her husband, a US Army officer who had captured the gun, died. Someone was offering her $50 for it and she felt that was a little low. No kidding.

            I didn’t have the money, but I referred her to a gunsmith/dealer friend who I knew wouldn’t cheat her and he bought the gun at a good and fair market price (forget what it was, but much more than $50).

      • Bwhntr61 says:

        MD and Sirius

        I talked my buddy into buying an 870 for his Turkey hunting gun here in WI. He is new to guns period and I told him you can’t go wrong with that shotgun. Over 10 million sold!

        My only slide action shotgunis a KelTec KSG. This is a very compact bullpup that holds 14 shells. Not just tactical/defensive weapon, but it is my go to Grouse hunting gun in my northern WI retreat property. Fast into action,so compact to carry and swing, it is awesome. The only issue is you have to be very emphatic with the pump action to pick up the next shell. Part of that is break in, and part me being only my 2nd pump gun in my life. I recommend this weapon to the Pack, and the price is coming down ( 729.00 on a couple sites ) and availability is good.

        Happy Easter and God Bless all. Celebrate the risen Saviour this Sunday.

        • Bwhntr61,

          Your friend will thank you.

        • Bwhntr61,
          Since we can’t hunt deer here in Ohio with a rifle, other than pistol caliber and just this past year, shotguns are top of the list for deer and I would recommend the 870; but, I would also recommend the combo if available. The combo has both the smooth barrel and the rifled barrel, generally for not much additional money.
          As for the KSG, I’ve been interested in one since I first saw it, but it seems it has the same problem common to all of Keltec firearms, lack of availability. One gun store owner a few years ago told me it was the Unicorn of firearms, often talked about and rumored to have been seen; but, generally unavailable. If Keltec has their production up and running, it may be time to purchase yet one more gun. Thanks for the reference, since I had mostly given up on that one, however, I don’t think it’s available in 20 gauge which is all I (and the DW) can currently handle easily.
          I purchased a CZ scorpion 9mm carbine a while back after waiting for the Keltec Sub 2000 to become available with much the same outcome.

          • Bwhntr61 says:

            Ohio Prepper

            How do you like the CZ Scorpion EVO S3? I saw one at Cabelas and had to get it, so cool looking. They had it on sale even and that made it even easier. Pricey but it is one of my most fun guns to shoot and train with. I topped it with a Vortex Sparc AR red dot, and an Inforce weapon light. Also put on an enhanced safety that was easier to actuate and larger bolt handle.

            Around the SE WI area KSG can be found quite regularly. At least 4 local gun shops have them in stock. And at every gun show I have been at here locally usually 2 or 3 are shown. Select Fire Weaponry-Waukesha and Shortys Guns-Milwaukee have them. I am sure they would ship to your FFL and area.

          • Bwhntr61,
            I really like the CZ Scorpion. Since my stroke and that month in the hospital I’ve lost a bit of weight, and a lot of that was muscle mass, so along with the impaired vision I’ve migrated all of our firearms to 9mm for rifle and handgun and 20 gauge and .410 caliber for shotgun since I can’t take the beating from a 12 gauge like I used to. I still of course have numerous platforms for .22 and .22 WMR; but, the scorpion gives me a rifle with decent range and power, that fits my current condition as well as the DW. Our latest shotgun was purchased by the DW and is the Mossberg SA-20 tactical, so now everything can be used by each of us. I had a choice of the faux suppressor or the flash hider and picked the later. I may regret that if they actually remove suppressors from the NFA list; but, we’ll deal with that if it comes up. For now I’ve left the stock sights on it; but, with the rail I can add a variety of telescopic or red dot style sights or a laser (projected) sight that I have here on hand. Just waiting for some warmer, dryer weather, to get out back and play a bit.
            The good thing is that since I used to shoot a lot of 9mm I have several thousand miscellaneous rounds on hand, including some I reloaded years ago.
            So with the Scorpion and the P89 & P95 I’m in rather good shape.

      • my four sons says:

        I was hunting with one my dad purchased in the early 1960’s until I bought my 1187 years ago. I have no idea how many thousands of rounds had been fired thru it, it was so shot out once in a while it would fail to pick up the next round from the magazine tube so you would have to rack it again. Still have it still shoot it and it just goes and goes, absolutly 0 blueing left looks like a stainless LOL.

  4. the wrist is feeling well. monday i see the surgeon so hopefully will be released to go back to work. made an appointment with the oral surgeon. stopped by the thrift store and found what appears to be a stainless steel boiling water canner, a glass manual juicer and some more jar lifters. also found a package of disposable water proof sheets.

  5. This past week we did and acquired the following:
    1. Received and installed new batteries into some old UPS units for a fraction of replacing the units, so now I have 4 high capacity units ready to go for years.
    2. Placed our beef cutting order with the processor which is now waiting for pickup. Next Monday we’ll be picking up 330 pounds of fresh Angus at a total cost of $2.80 per pound
    3. Started my income taxes and hope to get them finished today.
    4. Ordered strawberry, rhubarb and asparagus plants from Gurney’s
    5. Ordered a large Terra Cotta Strawberry jar to plant the strawberries.

    Yesterday I uneventfully turned 66 years old and next Monday the DW & I will celebrate 35 years together. At this age, uneventfull is a good event all in itself.

    • OP:

      We got our taxes done a week ago, filing electroically. Our refund got to the bank in about 4 days. Just glad that is over.

      • JP,
        We still don’t have the taxes done; but, will finish tomorrow (actually later today) and file electronically. Except for the year I had my stroke and wasn’t recovered enough in time for filing, I’ve always done my own taxes and this is the first year I really have no idea how things will turn out. Because of my long term disability, I got a lot of tax free income; plus the DW and I now draw social security. She gets a small pension, and has some farm income; but, we insulated the house last fall and that $5000 qualifies for some kind of energy tax credit, so I won’t know where we stand until I click the last entry tomorrow. It does feel a little odd, since I’ve always had a ballpark estimate of refund or payment and a general idea of the amount.

        • JP in MT says:


          I truly dislike our tax system.

          IMO, it should be able to be done with 3rd grade math on the back of a post card.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            JP, or better yet, gotten rid of and implementation of a canton approach similar to say the ever profitable and monetarily stable swiss…who suprisingly, have the least crime and issues…;)

          • JP,
            ”IMO, it should be able to be done with 3rd grade math on the back of a post card.”
            Amen. I spent $106.00 on Turbo tax since we also have some farm income (Schedule F) and after about 3 ½ hours answering questions and typing in numbers, we got our answer of $0.00. That’s nothing owed and nothing back, for the first time in my life. We cannot file electronically with this, so we’ll send in the few sheets printed by the program to the feds, and to the state for our local school district income tax; but, don’t have to even file with the state this year.
            The postcard would however probably remove some of the so called loopholes, like the mortgage interest deduction, and I suspect a lot of over their head in debt folks would scream about that one.
            The downside this year was that the $5000.00 paid for the insulation that gets the home energy tax credit was unusable; but, the upside was that the $5000 distribution from an IRA to pay for it, was untaxed, so all is still well.

      • Sarah Querry says:

        AT 72 and 100% disable I still have to “PAY”TAX on my SS and my retirement IT sucks ~~~ AND all those “PEOPLE” come into are country GETS better care AND don’t pay a DAMN THING ! AND SEATTLE IS ONE OF THOSE CITYS THAT EMBRACE THOSE XXXXXXXX MY HOUSE TAX GOES UP AND I get nothing in return

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Sarah, and everyone really- disabled at a relatively young age and having to pay for things that I see far less “deserving” people getting, it can be frustrating.

          Please remember, if it were not for governments, eg., our “elected” officials are the ones to blame for the nanny state, (it doesnt help that most americans these days have never actually paid for private retirements and or disability insurances. (I paid for one extra companies worked for because I never wanted to rely on it) yes some have 401ks, and others similar, however the vast majority rely on the core being ss- )

          Voters could be blamed, but most dont even realize that if it were not for the fiction of their “supposed” support government would have no support, and no guards and could not exist in any realistic way. (And as the Amish prove as well as many relatively recent and at least two modern states have proven centralized rule is unnecessary to the health and well being of its people.)

          Remember it is not that they come and take, it is that the programs exist to begin with , this sense of entitlement can be easily linked to upticks in violent crime, drug abuse, theft related crime and much more.

          So before simply blaming all immigrants (I also detest the extremists within religion/regardless name) for our decaying state…remember, during the war of northern agression. Eg., civil war by Lincoln – it was Irish and the evil blacks per most yankees that were to blame for many of the hardships, suffered during the war, chinese after war, than …

          • Jesse,
            I agree that many think of SSI as retirement and have never even heard of the concept / principle of the three legged stool, with the three legs being: SSI, Private pensions, and personal savings.
            In our case our personal savings is at least in part in a homestead that we paid off about 20 years ago, even though it cost us and my DD those necessities for kids like trips to Disney world.
            I also contributed to my 401K plans at least enough to get the company match, which for most companies I know about is about 3%, so if you make $100,000 (100K number for easier math), you contribute 3% or $3000 per year or $115 per biweekly paycheck; but, since it’s pretax you may only see $96 less in your check, while an extra $6000 per year is building tax deferred. Work someplace for 10 years and that’s at least $60,000 in your account, not counting any gains from investments, and all it really cost you was $48 per week. It’s basically free money that too many ignore. I’ve rolled over all but one of my accounts and have somewhere around $365K across all of my IRA’s; however, the DW and I can live quite comfortably on the combination of our SSI and her pension and some farm income, with my pension starting in August.
            I’m still collecting company provided (but pay by me) long term disability until July along with SSD that I was required to file for; however, that SSD converted to simple SSI retirement this month since I reached my full retirement age of 66.
            Other than some lingering PITA issue from my stroke, the DW and I will be settling into a comfortable retirement; but, none of this was an accident, and took some planning and sacrifice (only a little) over the years to get here.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP- I should have mentioned being forced to apply for ssi/ really is quite ridiculous – I do however tend to agree with yourself. Quite true, ive taken to gray market approaches to living it is essential to provide after all.

          • Jesse,
            In my case the LTD company required application and provided another company to do all of the work, so it was rather painless on my part. The LTD company sent me less than the benefit I would normally have been paid, by the amount of the SSD, so in my case it was a wash financially, and since the total is a substantial sum, I had to play by the rules. I kind of think of this as corporate welfare; but, then again, the company was doing what was best for their bottom line and shareholders and playing by those same rules. Perhaps you can fight city hall; but, you have to pick your battles.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP, sadly, I lost over 20% income, which after losing 40% was a substantial adjustment, on the plus side the feds approved it within 5 months of application, ensuring I no longer am “productive” in the legal sense. On the plus side, there are loopholes in everything.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            On a side note, after a rather unfullfilling and experientially disheartening “career” organizing political events, (for which I was not paid) and over two decades of collecting, reading and absorbing letters, speeches and in many cases first edition works from the late 1600s through my last find/ first edition Lincoln papers published, before his death encompassing his first reign. All of this brought me to a point of political “apathy” eg., I would probably rejoice if it imploded tomorrow, but understand it has never historically and currently actually gotten better as a result of voting/protest or violence. (The amish have it right the swiss close second)


          • Jesse,
            There are a lot of Amish in our area, and while they are much more independent and are used to hard work and a less comfortable lifestyle, they too rely heavily on our civilization, so I’m not sure what they have done so right, since they, like many of us, rely heavily on civil order and commerce being kept at least in part, running, by government action.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP- while I cannot find an instance of a properly run government commerce program, and having been a part of the “system/eg., civil order/cj system” I would say that yes, Ohio Amish do to an extent, one notable instance being schoolhouse shooting/however, it is essential to understand that excepting interactions with the “english” they handle their own problems in house.
            As for whether it (the system) works or not, I would say with both evidenciary data and personal experience that the system, has never actually kept order, except with the vast majority who tremble and shake when a cop pulls em over etc., Sir Peele got what he wanted with modern policing, a tamed serfdom, eg., social order at the cost of freedom. You and I can do many things if we so decide, however, not freely or openly. Regardless whether they harm another person or not. In fact (and yes for multiple papers/presentations I have and can prove this) the very idea of “civil” law is not to promote peace but instill a fear of authority, which by default ensures general cooperation and in some sad cases, absolute reverence.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      I work with a lady who used to celebrate her “birth week.” Then she started celebrating her “birth month.” A couple of years ago, she was mad that her husband hadn’t planned enough celebrations for her birth month. After she complained about it for days, I’d finally had enough. I told her that it was a birthDAY, not a birth week or month. I reminded her that she was a grown woman, wife, and mother. I told her that I’m happy if I get a piece of cake on my birthday. Then, whether it was appropriate or not, I told her that she was acting like a spoiled child, and she needed to grow up. We still work well together and are friends. (Sometimes I give my opinion when it’s unnecessary and not asked for. It’s a big fault I have.)

      Congratulations on your uneventful birthday and upcoming anniversary.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        PG, if that is a fault I also confess I do the same…I am certain it has been noticed a time or two 😉 i find it a trait I rather enjoy in true friends and family.

    • American Pacrat says:

      Happy Birthday to you!!
      We are in the same month, an b/days are special whether celebrated in a lively fashion or a good day to do “whatever you want to do”.
      Congratulations on the anniversary with Mrs. OP. It is a prepping item in my book, your marriage has survived the test of time with patience and love. Special people…special day. Enjoy both, make them date nights for your special memories, best gift of all.

      • American Pacrat,
        ”Enjoy both, make them date nights for your special memories, best gift of all.”
        Here’s the real kicker. Because of my vision issues the DW is also my chauffeur, so Monday evening we’ll be heading north about 25 miles to have dinner at a local restaurant, that is also the meeting night and place of the ham radio club I belonged to years ago. So she’ll be attending a radio club meeting after dinner, and I’ll get to meet face to face some new hams I talk with on a weekly basis, LOL. While she has been licensed for 35 years, she still has a novice class license and doesn’t often participate in the goings on around here; but, I suspect we’ll still have a good evening.

    • I’m posting this as a reply to my own post, since I was trying to avoid moderation, LOL.
      IMO this site is successful in large part, because you foster a community by trusting people to speak their mind with little moderation, and then take the time to do the moderation.
      One of the more infamous sites does contain good information from time to time and I do occasionally read it; but, all communications is via email, long waits, and uncertainty.
      Another one has podcasts and has the same feedback; but, each of those podcasts take an hour or more to listen to and digest, so again more time spent idle.
      You sometimes ask about things like the graphics on the header, and quite frankly, I don’t think too many of us even give it more than a glance. I come here for the information, the exchange of information, and the comradery of this group.
      I am in contact with several pack members via email, and several others on occasion by telephone, and to me that helps me to not see just some Nom De Plume, but reinforces that these are all real people, each with their knowledge and skills to offer, and each with their own foibles and weaknesses to share. I think this makes us all feel more like real community, and not just a screen name to whom we type messages

      • Prepared Grammy says:

        I agree about the other site. (I believe we’re both referring to the same one.) I think of the people here as my ‘stranger friends.’ You’re friends that I’ve never met. It’s nice to hear from each of you. This site is friendly. The other feels more dictatorial with a definite air of superiority. I do read it, but I don’t get as much from it. I, too, appreciate the work involved with this one.

        • Prepared Grammy,
          No doubt we’re talking about the same site.
          I’ve had more than a few submissions posted there; perhaps because, I made acquaintance of sorts with J.WR back in the 1990’s on a UseNet newsgroup called misc.survivalism, and contributed to his first book. I have an obscure attribution in that book and when I email with that nom deplume I do occasionally get noticed; but, it’s still feels like lord and servant; unlike the community here.

          • Halfway Homesteader says:

            I have to ask….what’s the obscure attribution?? Admittedly, I am an unashamed fan of both sites, as I think the two dovetail rather well, with the strength of one covering a weakness of the other, and vice-versa. I am also a fan of his book, so now I’m really curious as to who you are in it….. 🙂

          • Halfway Homesteader,
            Back in the 1990’s before getting Patriots published, the story was a shareware novel downloadable from some sites within the UseNet newsgroups. It started out as The Gray 90’s, and after some feedback andediting, was then called Triple Ought as we headed into Y2K, with the final version being called TEOTWAWKI; but, as I understand it, that final name was a copyright of some musical group, so after editing it a bit and changing the name, it was published as Patriots. At one point in this process the author asked for some help in areas of weakness, which were primarily communications and some wilderness trade craft, and I supplied him with some information that was included in the story line.
            I gave up my OPSEC here to many when I gave out an email address with my amateur radio call as ka8lvz at arrl.net, so in the acknowledgements, at least the last time I looked a few years ago, you will see LVZ In Ohio
            I BTW still have 8 ½ x 11 copies of those first tomes in three ring binders.

          • Prepared Grammy says:

            Yes. This is like family or a group of close friends. I really learn a lot from the people here. Gloria has and is teaching me a lot about dehydrating. I personally know of no one who dehydrates, and only a few friends who still can or freeze food. I appreciate the fact that no one here seems to feel threatened by the knowledge and expertise of others here, and I thank our host for facilitating such a site.

      • Happy Birthday to US, OP! We are within a day or two of being twins……whadya know?! Like you, I am persuaded that uneventful is a very good thing.

    • my four sons says:

      Congrats, 35 years is awesome and BTW you don’t have to hit mid 60’s for uneventful to be a blessing.

      • my four sons,
        ”BTW you don’t have to hit mid 60’s for uneventful to be a blessing”
        That’s the truth. Other than my stroke in January 2015, that I’ve recovered rather well from, most of the events in my life have been all positive, several jobs that I loved, my marriage, the birth of my DD, and the high school and college graduations of the DD and both DSS. Every day can be eventful in a positive way with the correct outlook on life, and while we all have our down days, I try to look at what I’ve accomplished and what is still left to learn and do.
        Being uneventful has been a good thing in our life, and the DW would rather I forgot some special day than waste money on flowers or some such just to meet someone else’s expectations.
        One year I was so busy with work and taxes (4/15) that I forgot both my birthday (4/13) and our anniversary (4/17) and although she occasionally teases me about it, there have never been hard feelings over such trivial things, when life has so many more things about which to be concerned.
        While we are frugal with our money, my DD realized something while she was fighting furnace problems that Frigid February 2015 while I was still in the hospital rehab after my stroke. She said something rather profound.
        ”If you can fix it with money, it’s nothing to worry about”
        And within reason, she was absolutely correct.

        • my 4 sons says:

          ”If you can fix it with money, it’s nothing to worry about” That is actually a beautiful way to look at things. While money is important (without it life gets pretty tough) it is just money, I have a son with a heart condition and I would give every cent I have ever made and every cent I will make in the future to ensure his health, but life doesn’t work that way. If money fixes it it probably is not so scary in the grand scope of things.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      OP congrats! On both 🙂

    • Happy Birthday, OP

    • OP,
      Congrats on both counts, many more may you have.


      • Bri,
        When you stated: ”many more may you have.”
        I had to chuckle. This may be a standard phrase in the UK; but, to this Yanks ears I could swear I heard Yoda talking to me, LOL.

        • Yes I see what you mean OP, it does seem a strange way to put it in today’s world.
          I find I rarely speak like that but I do read many translations from Old Norse where the language is formatted in such a fashion.
          Truth be told, other than survivalist works, my main reading is from the historic Anglo-Saxon extant texts or the Old Norse legends. Sometimes, not often, I find myself having presented something old style which upon reflection should have been turned around into ME format.
          I could have gone total Old Norse and said, eyes you have and many rides of the elf-disc may thee see before Bifrost do thou stand lol
          So with that said, the sentiment of my original post remains the same.


          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Bri. Quite a fan of old Norse mysel – solid sentiment expressed well! (They sure worded things to understand )

          • Jesse, I know most find a couple of quotes from the Havamal and go no further, the Havamal is however the best logic I have ever come across.
            I once went to a moot with some Wodenists, for those not familiar with Heathen ways, Woden was the name the Anglo-Saxon gave to Odin, and they were arguing and disrespecting other heathen groups.
            I offered them the stanza from the Havamal ” Fast friends will often fall out when seated at the board, it is and shall be a terrible thing when guest argues with guest “.
            You know we, my friend and I, were made not welcome because we dared to quote The Lay of the High One in the presence of their high council, Oh how we laughed and never looked back on being banned.
            Yes, when one understands the poetic nuances of the elder tongue what you read seems to stick inside the head.
            I think a lot of the beauty of English has been made cheap by modern dross used these days. For the life of me I can’t understand why the young of today seem to end every sentence with ‘innit’. That’s a nice car = wicked ride innit ! does she kiss well = she a luver bruv innit ? I give up on them and if I catch my grand kids using perversions of our mother tongue I shall show them my displeasure !!


          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            As i tell my children, think for yourself and you will never need another. Want, desire and eventually find yes, but need to rely on? Never. I avoid utilizing or quoting others work as much as possible. Excepting sun tzu which is actually a collection of several centuries of extremely valid tactically sound advice, i also enjoy reading and discovering more of my ancestry as I firmly believe much of what we are is a result of that, as much as is our surroundings. 🙂

          • Jesse,
            If you enjoy Sun Tzu, then you should also read Miamoto Musashi’s Go RIn No Sho, or Book of 5 rings. Musashi is thought to have been one of the greatest swordsmen to have ever lived, at least in Japan. His tactics are similar to Sun Tzu.
            Both of these books are available for free download as pdf files

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            It is very good, OP, I would also suggest Machivellis The Prince- makes one question the necessity of city state approaches governmentally, and very much explains and defines it at its core. 🙂

          • Jesse,
            ”Machivellis The Prince”
            I read and studied that one extensively in college. As part of an engineering bachelors degree, along with the math and physics, you must also take those courses to make you a well rounded person, LOL.
            My management class used a text book titled, “Management and Machiavelli”
            It used the tenants of leadership and management from The Prince as a foundation for company management.
            For those who haven’t read it, in short it says:
            A brilliant prince who surrounds himself with yes men and fools will appear as a foolish prince.
            A not so smart prince, who surrounds himself with learned men and observes their counsel, will appear himself to be brilliant.
            While not exactly the same, I have heard comparisons of Jimmy Carter as the brilliant prince, whose ads showed him burning the late night oil, saving the country; but, whose policies brought us the Misery Index.
            Conversely, Ronal Reagan, was often portrayed as the dullard; but, surrounded himself with learned people who helped bring us out of the Carter recession and helped bring the Evil Empire to its knees.
            I personally prefer to be around people that have at least some skills I don’t currently have, because that’s the way I can learn.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Very true, the benefit inherent is amazing with some works, others, are okay but rarely make my top list. Honestly I dont make lists based solely or largely on fiction of any kind when it comes to paper books. Simply to labor intensive. Though I still have a few hundred decent paper classics and fantastical fiction. They are not in go bags nor are tey high on the list should a fire break out

          • Bri,
            I assume “innit” is a perversion of isn’t it; but, not one I’ve heard here in the states, although there are no doubt others.
            I have an interest in word and phrase etymology and I’m often surprised that people use common words without knowing from where they originate.
            When I had my stroke in 2015, one of the therapies was cognitive, and when asked to recite the months of the year in reverse, I amazed the language therapist with how rapidly I performed the task.
            I explained that you just count backwards,
            10 = DECember
            9 = NOVember
            8 = OCTober
            7 = SEPTember
            And so one, remembering that December is now month 12 because Julius and Gaius Octavius (Augustus) Caesar renamed months in their honor without regard to the original order.

            The days of the week also have a bit of the Norse etymology
            Tuesday = Tiul’s day
            Wednesday = Woden’s day
            Thursday = Thor’s day
            Friday = Freya
            The other three are of course names after the planets Moon, Saturn, and Sun.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            ^^^ OP, yes!

          • I put my hands up that I am guilty of forum drift here and have taken the conversation away from prepping and survivalism per se. That said, it’s good to get to know ones’s fellow forumites and what makes them tick.

            OP, yes, the book of 5 rings was good when I read it years ago, never owned it but borrowed it from a fellow karate bod.

            Can’t fault your presentation of the days of the week save for Friday.
            Friday is taken to follow the days of the week named in honour of the Anglo-Saxon version of the AEsir, thus Friday is the Anglo-Saxon attestation to the day of the goddess and wife of Woden, Frige (Friday = Frīgedæg).
            On this forum where there is an undoubted nod of the head toward Christianity I am often reminded of our most famous Anglo-Saxon King, that being Ælfrēd the Great. I often wonder how those early Christian bishops and the Holy Roman Church took to Ælfrēd claiming his lineage back to the Heathen god Woden lol.

            I have now finished the making good of my tiny patio door project. Plastering done and now I need a shower before I go off to my local radio club’s monthly Skills Night.
            Just for your Info OP, My club is CARS, Chelmsford Amateur Radio Club, may get to work you on 20 meters on some of our field days. Our next is St Georges day on April 23rd, though I celebrate it as Sigurd’s day, our Northern Germanic dragon slayer !
            Be well,

          • Bri,
            the book of 5 rings was good when I read it years ago, never owned it but borrowed it from a fellow karate bod.
            I own a copy, along with Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere; but, a search for “the book of five rings pdf” will find you a downloadable pdf copy.
            As for Friday, I understood it was initially the Norse god of beauty; but, from what I can tell, is spelled in numerous ways.
            I’ll not be operating anything special on April 23rd; but on the 22nd, this upcoming Saturday we will be doing our best not to work you, since it’s NVIS (Near vertical incidence skywave) day, where we try to work stations in a 30-400 mile area. This allows close in communications for hams to help with localized communications for disaster situations.
            OTOH, on June 24th & 25th most of this continent will be working ARRL field day, attempting to make as many contacts within as wide an area as possible. Perhaps we’ll hear or even work you then.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP- yes there is, frey/freyja/frigg and many more. Heres the catch, Frey is a different OG than Freyja and so on

          • Jesse,
            There are so many gods (Greek, Roman, Norse, etc) and so little time to know them all by name, LOL.

          • Thanks for the dates and I’ll turn the dial to see what I can hear.
            I do need to get an antenna up which is good for NVIS, I am fast running out of room though and my lad moans when he is recording in his studio and my signal splatters through his speakers, he would sulk if I put another antenna up 🙂
            It is only his guitar amps that pick up my signal.

            I am glad to hear you hams State-Side have good interaction with the emergency services, it’s poor here in the UK to say the least. We have RAYNET which is on hand to aid the emergency services but get used more to marshal marathon runs and the likes.
            I stood in for a friend to run his net on a 2 meter repeater when he was unable. I used the 2 hours or so to bring up the subject of our licence agreement whereby we have, if asked, to surrender our radio equipment and/or skills to aid the emergency services when requested. I am ashamed to say many licencees thought I made that up !
            I mentioned to the group I watched a youtube video about the people that build fallout bunkers and that I was impressed at the cooperation between American amateur stations and the emergency services. Finally a friend of mine and called in and said that I was right about our licence agreement and that, shamefully, you Americans seem to take your radio far more seriously than we do here in the UK.

            I don’t know what the hobby is like in the USA but here in the UK it’s dying a death.


          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP, so true, I do have a preference for my heriditary “gods” specifically Freyja and someone many have not heard of- Dâyuni’sï but you and Bri likely have.

            Though as the Cherokee did, and many Norse, I do not worship so much as revere the ideological makeup of said approaches and enjoy raising a cup with family, Skäl or adayolisdi 🙂

          • Bri,
            NVIS would be local to you; but, perhaps on field day you can contact at least some of us across the pond.
            Part of our mission in amateur radio is for emergency communications, and that mission is how we justify all of our frequency allocations, in a world that fights over spectrum. Our equipment cannot be seized nor our operators conscripted; but, we are all obligated to help in emergencies, and have several official groups that we can join to participate.
            ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) allows amateur groups to train together for emergency communications, and just recently, we’ve all been told that to be pert if this group we need to take a series of Incident Command training so we can be familiar with NIMS (National Incident Management System) protocols, that allows volunteers in the amateur community to integrate with the professionals in fire, police, and medical services. This training is free and online for anyone to take.
            Many under the ARES umbrella are trained (again free training) weather spotters and are the eyes and ears of our national weather service, whose advance Doppler radar has some limitations away from the radar site and relies on us for on the ground information.
            In time of national emergency (generally wartime) hams canbe kept off of the air, with the exception of RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services) who have additional training in both communications, traffic handling, and incident management.
            I suspect even in the UK you’ve heard of the NRA (National Rifle Association) that provides training and legislative lobbying for firearms owners in the US; but, not many have heard of the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) that provides the same training and legislative services for its members in the ham community. Since firearms are more controversial, many know why the NRA exists; but, often don’t know why the ARRL exists, and the basic reason other than training is spectrum defense, since many commercial interests would like pieces of our spectrum. Does the UK have such an umbrella organization for hams?

            “I don’t know what the hobby is like in the USA but here in the UK it’s dying a death.”
            Here in the US ham radio was also waning over the last few decades, during what I will call the Internet and Cell phone years; but, a combination of things has happened to reinvigorate the hobby again. When I was first licensed I was required to learn and use the Morse Code, initially at 5 WPM, and then finally at 13 & 20 WPM. About a decade ago our FCC (Federal Communications Commission) changed the licensing structure and removed the code requirement for all license classes.
            The old license classes and associated code speed are as follows, with each class requiring a bit more technical knowhow:
            • Novice: 5 WPM (HF CW only)
            • Technician: 5 WPM (adds VHF & UHF phone privileges)
            • General: 13 WPM (adds HF privileges)
            • Advanced: 13 WPM (adds additional HF spectrum)
            • Extra: 20 WPM (adds additional HF spectrum)

            The new codeless license structure has only three classes:
            • Technician: VHF, UHF, and a small slice of 10 meters
            • General: most of HF spectrum
            • Extra: all remaining HF spectrum
            The technician license with no code allows many to easily get their first license, and the influx of the inexpensive Chinese radios for VHF & UHF have given even youth having little cash, the wherewithal to get a license and a radio, with one local boy recently getting his license at age 11.
            Add to that the power of the PC to do DSP (Digital Signal Processing) and we now have audio based digital modes far beyond the RTTY and packet radio of the 1980’s with free programs like Fldigi. We also integrate the Internet with IRLP and Echolink to allow remote operation of equipment, even in some cases from a smart phone.
            This influx has brought a lot of newbie’s into the hobby, and we old hams are glad to become Elmer’s and bring them up to speed with learning about equipment, antennas, theory, etc.
            That’s basically US ham radio in a nutshell from my perspective.

          • Bri,
            I understood. My maternal side of the family is from the Scotch Irish, MaCauslands which my DD loves. For a while she and I a bit on the side were trying to learn Gaelic and while it flows nicely off the tongue, it can be a bit confusing to a non native speaker.

          • OP,
            I’ll reply to your answering of the US ham radio question here as no reply icon came up on your reply.

            First off, thanks very much for the info, more than I could have hoped for and thanks for taking the time for such an indepth and informative reply.

            RAYNET is the UK’s ham emergency network which works, when asked, with the emergency services. There is RAYNET training etc but it does not sound anywhere as involved as your version in the USA.

            NVIS I am aware of and need to get sorted. My local club is CARS and is on the outskirts of Chelmsford, our link to Marconi is noted on many signposts as you enter our new city. The thing is people that have that link to CARS are proud of the association to Marconi and keep in contact via our 80 meter net even when they have moved to all points of Britain. An antenna for NVIS on out 80 meter net would mean I can hear about 70% of the stations I am missing at the moment. My dipole is great for Maine and New Hampshire, sometimes down into the lower regions of the USA depending on the atmospheric conditions. I should make a yagi but the way our houses are situated would have the neighbors kicking up a fuss.
            Echo-link I can do as the local node is in range of RF from my hand held without having to rely totally on a PC interface. My licence would be the UK version of your General, we have also dropped the need for Morse at all 3 licence levels (thank the gods lol).
            I remember getting my first licence and thinking I’d tuned into an American air base. It was my friend that laughed and told me it was Echo-Link (I should have paid more attention in class apparently )
            We see a steady 10 – 12 candidates every technician course and exam (ours is called Foundation) but I’d say there is only about 20% that we ever hear come on air after that. I hope the interest grows again as 10 years ago it was hectic on VHF where new stations cut their teeth.

            Anyhow, thanks again for the splendid reply as to the state of play your end.


          • Bri,
            My local club website that has links to a lot of resources can be accessed at http://ohiohams.net.
            Our education and lobbying organization, the ARRL can be accessed at http://www.arrl.org.
            The organization provides many services to its members, like generic email forwarding, so you can reach me at [email protected] among other addresses. Also from the arrl front page you can access the FCC callsign database and get more information on me, or any other US amateur. I’ve listed this before so I don’t worry that much about general OPSEC anymore.
            The arrl also provides a lot of resources to the amateur community at large, so feel free to poke around and see what you can find.

          • Bri,
            FWIW, you can see how our NIMS system structure works and even get the free training for your own edification, here:
            Training Program

    • Congratulations OP. Not many of us stay married forever anymore..the wife and I fell in love our junior year in high school, married the next year and celebrated 44th anniversary last month. We are 62yrs old. A lifetime Christian partner is the greatest prep of all.

      • WTG Okg55. I enjoy a good “love story”. 🙂

        • Thanks Izzy,
          When we first met she had been on one date….she was my first date, never been out with anyone else…we knew we had found our soulmates….
          Happy Easter to all

          • Prepared Grammy says:

            Wow! I’ve met someone like me. The only man I’ve ever dated is my husband too, and I love him more every day. We have the important things in common, and our differences complement each other.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            PG- I dated a few, however, I also settled and had children with only one, coming up on 11 years myself. She understaands and supports the idea and practice of being as self sufficient as possible. Though she is far more at home in cities than I. We often say, if we won or made, I would have my house in the hills with only a ham radio and sat pho, we would have her place in the city and see each other on weekends 🙂

            Trust. Communication. Honor

            Something I find so many sorely lack these days.

      • Okg55,
        We are currently both 66; but, she’ll turn 67 in three weeks, and the 35 years next week almost seems impossible. I suspect we’ve all had those short experiences that seemed horribly long, and vice versa, and our marriage has had it’s bumps in the road; but, both the 66 age and the 35 married still often seems surreal. Then again our little girl is out of college and on her own, and I have no idea where some of that time went also.

        • Sarah Querry says:

          I was MARRIED to my “BETTER” 1/2 for 43 years THEN died 7 years ago

        • We just celebrated our 48th anniversary this past week. We’re past the point where flowers or things are necessary, we just want to be together.

          • Gloria,
            Congratulations. We hit the no flowers and gifts just a few years into the marriage. My DW would rather have a new pair of muck boots than some fancy pair of shoes. She is for the most part very practical, and I love that lady a lot.

    • Happy Birthday! No Birthday is really uneventful. If you open your eyes in the morning and can get out of bed, celebrate!

      • Jean,
        “If you open your eyes in the morning and can get out of bed, celebrate!”
        I’ll give you that one; but, the uneventful was basically no frills, fuss, or additional painful things, which is not always the case. You know, when all of a sudden there’s that crick in your neck or back, or that mildly painful bruise on your arm, that you can’t remember causing.

    • OP, happy belated B day and A Day. Hope you have many more.

  6. Babycatcher says:

    Like PG, we got our first asparagus this week! Yum! Been working in the yard, hubby received two new antennas( one of our originals got destroyed in our move here), and all the porch furniture is bleached and ready for the new cushions I’m making. Got 6 more huge piles of pine tags(needles) from our neighbor, so those are going in the garden paths and our son is coming over tomorrow to help me til the garden. Prayers for the Pack, and happy Resurrection Day! Jesus is the only one who rose from the dead!

  7. Left town last weekend for business. Car runs a lot quieter with the repairs and even gets a bit better mileage!

    Stopped at a gun shop on the way. Found my AR slings and attachment points for under $20/set, a folding 23” bipod for ½ regular price, and a little practice ammo.

    Sold/donated my 8’ enclosed trailer to the church. They have been using it more than I have and the money will let me put new tires and a new windshield in my BOV/Camping truck. A win/win for both of us. I went to price the 10-ply tires I need and got a pleasant surprise; the price is down $40+ from last year and there is a $100 mail-in rebate – SCORE!

    Then I find it needed an alignment too. That is a problem since last year we put several hundred dollars into the front end and with only 3,000 miles it needs an alignment. It’s going back in on Monday to see what’s going on.

    Swapped out some parts in my Glock 17. Added a plug, extended slide lock lever, extended slide release, changed out the sights for TFO’s. Boy, do I like working on Glocks!

  8. cndnathan says:

    Added: CTQ’s to first aid kits, picked up some industrial strength garbage bags on sale. Dehydrated some carrots.
    Seoul is 13 hours ahead… this could kick off as early as 6 or -9pm local North America time. I hope this Easter is uneventful in ‘normal’ in the temporal sense.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      I’ve been telling my husband and best friend for a couple of weeks that I feel something will happen this Easter weekend. I don’t know what or where, but I’m afraid it will be big.

      • It was big all right, a big wind storm blew out our power for about an hour on Sunday… smack dab in the middle of turkey cooking time. Thankfully the ham was already cooked lol

        • Gloria,
          Ah, the joys of cooking with electric. Make mine natural gas or propane any time.

          • AZ Camper says:

            Have any of you ever tried using a thermal cooker? We have a Saratoga Jack thermal cooker that is like a crockpot but does not use electric. I picked it up At a good clearance sale at a Honeyville store a few years ago. Cooking the food to a boil for a few minutes on the stove is necessary first, then when put into the thermal cooker it continues and finishes cooking and stays warm for a long time. It has been great to use when taking a meal to a family gathering or potluck dinner. Hubby likes to cook wings halfway then finish them in this cooker for fall-off-the-bone goodness. My favorite thing is to pack it with a meal when we go camping. After set up at the site in the woods, our evening meal is done and stays warm for whenever we want it. Hmmm. Maybe I could write an article on the product if anyone is interested…

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Arzionacamper- havent used one yet. But do use dutch ovens / eg., keepin it in a bed of coals all day-

            Definitely write an article 🙂

          • AZ Camper says:


          • Hi AZ, I’ve used an improvised thermal cooker several times with great results. Mostly with chili. As you cook the dish for a while- 20 minutes or more to make sure all ingredients are hot all the way through. Then I put a pillow on the floor, lay a comforter on top, put the pot (8 quart stockpot, close to full) on it. Wrap the pot in the comforter, drape a couple beach towels over it, then top with another pillow. Chili is still steaming 4 hours later and cooked. An older version was the straw cooker, allegedly used in Europe hundreds of years ago. It was a wooden box lined with straw for insulation, topped with straw and a wooden cover.

            My guess is that a couple bean bag chairs would work well too. Anything which insulates well. It is important to have plenty of mass in your food. Two cups doesn’t make it work.

            Thermal cookers are really good though for saving on fuel.

          • AZ Camper,,
            There is a gadget called the pioneer straw box or haybox that works like this. You bring a large pot of food to a boil and cover it with a lid. You set the pot into a box lined with hay or straw and cover the pot with more hay or straw. I did this with a heavy cast iron Dutch oven that adds a bit more thermal mass.
            I have also done this kind of cooking with smaller batches of food using a thermos bottle.
            Our own bctruck has some YouTube videos on the subject: Search for ” YouTube Thermos cooking (stew)” and you’ll find them

  9. mom of three says:

    Started my radishes, pole beans, they just started to sprout!!! Bought some shelf stable milk, and reynolds wrap at the dollar tree. Got some coffee, oatmeal, at a discount store. Bought i10 cans of wet cat food, at Fred Meyers, than Safeway 2 more jars of peanut butter, 2 pounds of butter, 1 shampoo 1 cond, 1 -12 pack of water, three quarts bottles of water. All coupons items was $37.08 to $15.60. I still feel like I’m behind even though my
    pantry say’s other wise. Hubby, will pay us today and I will go and pick up few more items for Easter, I’m making the Jello eggs, don’t use off brand Jello, they turn out fine but no flavor in the off brand Jello.. I want to keep on the look out for big containers, to do more gardening out of them. Have a blessed Easter weekend Cheers to all 🙂

    • American Pacrat says:

      mom of three
      Check ‘craig’s list’ for the larger containers, you might luck out finding what you are looking for. It is also yard sale time, never know what you will come across and bring home.

      • mom of three says:

        I just pulled two red rubbermaid containers out with no covers out I figured I can use them for something. I need to be more creative.

        • Almost There says:


          Not sure of the size of your tubs, but I use a medium sized Sterlite tub for my cat litter box. I have a big cat and it’s better than for him than the regular sized cat boxes. I also use the bigger tubs to put my plants in until I can get them planted. Works great to make sure they get enough water.

      • Sarah Querry says:

        WELL A VERY HAPPY EASTER WEEKEND TO EVERONE! FROM SEATTLE! WOULD you belie “NO RAIN” AND the sun is out! WAS at “WALMART” I found a 5 qt. DUTCH OVEN for 17.99$ that CHEAP! Even the lid fits on! “WOW” NOW all I have to get cheap is the tripod then all my cast iron cooking stuff! I just pass up another kerosene heater for free off CREAGSLIST I have 3 of them ! FREE is always good !

    • AZ Camper says:

      I used a kiddie pool one year for veggies…

  10. Changed out the water in 5 gallon containers considering the heightened international tensions. Got a few 3- 10rd mags and 2 20rd mags for the new M1A1 that my father gave me. Put some freeze dried mountain house and freeze dried strawberries pouches in 5 gal pails. Ordered a new Schrade folding pocket knife to replace the old EDC one (it was confiscated) and a few ferro rods.

    Closely monitoring the international situation for any developments

  11. Continued to dig out at least one tree tub full of weeds & grass roots from the planting beds each day.

    Had the other half of our windows replaced. We did the first half last spring & it made a huge difference in our utility bills over the summer & in the winter. The new windows have the e-coating that keeps out the UV light, so the AC bill dropped like a rock! One of the windows, in the master bedroom, is a triple-pane window, to help reduce the noise. Since I had to remove all the curtains & blinds for the window install, I used that opportunity to wash all the curtains, since they had to be off the rods anyway. Then after the install, I put up clean curtains. I saved the screens from the old windows again. The installers would just dispose of them, & our oldest daughter can use them to recut to make new screens for her windows for free.

    Our youngest daughter came home for a visit on Sunday afternoon & I helped her declutter the closet in her bedroom. I have a Rubbermaid tub full of clothes from when our youngest daughter was in high school, to take out to her oldest sister, for her high school age daughters – things like conservative suits that she wore for debate, Sunday dresses, skirts & tops, etc. One of the black 3-piece suits fit me (!), which was a pleasant surprise, since both the jacket & the dress pants will mix & match nicely with my wardrobe. I purchased this suit for our middle daughter to wear for her interview at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Middle daughter outgrew it & gave it to youngest daughter, & now it is mine – almost like a rebate!. We also filled a large box with items to donate to the local Deseret Industries. There is much more room in that closet now.

    I bought 3 new tops from Kmart, on sale for $7.88 each, using SYWR points to further lower the price. These are tops in a style that I already have & wear frequently, just in 3 pastel spring colors: yellow, light aqua & lilac. These will work with other clothes that I already have, & replaced tops that were worn out. Later in the week, I bought a slip at Kmart, using SYWR points, which made it free. Cut 5 metal concho buttons from a long skirt that was worn out. Cashed a pine cone check.

    Made the paska rolls on Thursday & froze them for Easter. I will frost them after they are thawed. I also made the gelatin. We have gelatin (Jello) for every holiday, as a tradition we started when we were poor starving students, because our young daughter could eat it, & it made the table look more “bountiful”. I use the low footed cut glass sherbets that belonged to my mother for one color (lime this Easter), and the smaller cut glass sherbets that were my grandmother’s for the second color (lemon this Easter). The children & the grandchildren all look forward to choosing the color they want, & for a few cents, it has been an inexpensive & fun tradition. This year the lime gelatin is plain ( & sugar free, for my son-in-law), but I added mandarin oranges to the lemon, because our granddaughter loves mandarin oranges- as have all her cousins before her.

  12. tommy2rs says:

    Finally got my protonmail account. Been waiting a while for that one, the others in the group that signed up at the same are still waiting. Guess the demand is high. Playing with Telegram as well though I’m not a fan of IM even with the encryption. Got it running on both the Pi 2 and Pi 3

    Ordered an Anker Powercore 5000 mAh Thin external battery for EDC. It’ll fit in a pouch I carry a few other useful items in. Fully re-stocked the eating pantry and added a few long term food storage items. Amazed my handyman when I recharged his phone with bigger Anker…lol.

    Laying in pvc pipe to the garden from well #2 for the new irrigation system. Fighting the rocks again, I still hate rocks but these can go around the garden fence. I incorporated the ability to use a manual pump on this system if need be. Getting the required tank off the ground was really fun. If gravity will do the work for me I’m gonna let it. Got the garden mostly ready for planting. Sunchokes, tree collards and horseradish root will be here next week. Looking at some other perennial food stuff as well.

    Saw this on youtube and it made me think of BC and his spam tests.
    SPAM Cookies?!?! – WHAT ARE WE EATING?? – How To Make SPAM Cookies – The Wolfe Pit

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      Say a prayer for BC, he broke his wrist taking down a tree.

      • Argh! {{sympathy and hugs
        for BC}}

      • tommy2rs says:

        Much sympathy for him, been one handed from injuries and it’s not only painful but aggravating in the extreme when you’re used to doing as much as he does. Hope it wasn’t his dominant hand as that makes the healing process even worse.

      • Oh no, that’s tough. Hope his healing goes quickly.

  13. Zulu 3-6 says:

    Added to my grocery stash as usual. Bought D-cell batteries, although some of those will be used in toys my grand-daughter plays with. Also got some 9-volt batteries, mainly for my smoke detectors as I have nothing else that uses them, and more AA batteries to add to that stash.

    Went to the VA and had my CPAP machine checked and got a new style mask. The old style was OK, but I like the new one better. Of course, if the grid goes down, I will be without a CPAP machine. I will just have to deal with it.

    Did more prepper reading and have been keeping up with current events. North Korea is of more concern to me than Syria or Afghanistan. Syria involves mostly rational players (Iran and ISIS being of much doubt there). Afghanistan involves barbarians who need many more such MOAB bombings.

    However, it seems that China is getting aboard the train to restrain the NORKS. It is to their advantage to keep the little fat boy under control. However, the twerp is still a mental case loose cannon and he might decide he can ignore China the same as he used to ignore the US before Trump. Fatal mistake if he does.

    Meanwhile, I will continue to add to my stash and my knowledge.

    • ZuLU have you tried looking into smaller solar suitcase generator? My husband has a CPAP too and while we have a suitcase type carry all gene we take on the boat and camping, I was also looking to get one that’s solar powered for his CPAP too…
      one generator we have is whole house, but propane, then looking for one that wont break the bank thats solar and can run the well pump and fridges, etc…but we recalled the CPAP and while he can sleep without one (snores like all heck!) I worry that he doesnt get the rest and air he needs….so thats something we are looking at too.
      was just wondering if you thought of that option, even if you didnt want to go full house generator.

      • Zulu 3-6 says:


        I will look into that, thank you. I can’t do a propane or gas generator as I live in an apartment

        • Zulu 3-6; There is a small solar pad that you use for your CPAP. I will try to find the one I bought. I packed it away for the time being, but it worked great when I gave it a trial run. I think I bought it on Amazon a couple of years ago.

      • JP in MT says:


        I have a CPAP that will also run off a battery pack and recharge with a solar panel. I was also looking at it for camping. I can run the solar during the day and if that is not enough, the generator during dinner and clean up.

    • Zulu 3-6,
      ”Of course, if the grid goes down, I will be without a CPAP machine. I will just have to deal with it.”
      Just one word, actually acronym for you, UPS. An inexpensive computer Uninterruptible Power Supply could give you at least a little coverage. A quick search for CPAP power requirements returned mixed results; but, you can check how much your machine requires and at least get a little bit of backup for power outages.

      • Most UPSes arent going to last for 4-6-8 hours though…not unless they are giant ones…I work in IT and we have UPSes for the datacenters, but these are Massive boxes…the ones I have at home leave us only 30-45 mins of time, enough to power down boxes nicely, instead of just going pop.

    • Anonamo Also says:

      For some people that have sleep apnea, there is an across the counter precourser called adrafinil. It is taken in the morning and has helped to keep DH up and alert and his sleep pattern is more normal at night. His apnea episodes used to be up to 20 seconds in a cheyne stokes pattern. Now they are almost non existent, being intermittent(some nights completely normal), and only 8 seconds in length. This allows me to get more peaceful sleep since he can’t wear c pap. I think the new nutritional treatment we began about 9 months ago has made the long lasting changes in his breathing pattern, but this was a short term thing that got him thru this breathing pattern alive.

  14. ladyhawthorne says:

    In light of bombings that we finally did not give advance warning of…..I bought another 4 pounds each of beans & rice.

    The garden is small but doing well. I just saw that garlic & onions should not be planted near beans. OOPS, I planted half a bed of beans because the onions & garlic did not fill it. All seems ok at this point so we’ll see what happens.

    This is the 2nd year for my blackberries and whether it is the age of them or the mild winter, I don’t know, but they are loaded. Mom asked would we have enough for a pie? Probably a few pies, LOL.

    Had a nice custom order for 7 saint pendants to hang in cars, gave me enough $ to get the car inspected and pay for tags which are due this month.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      I’m going to plant garlic this year. I’ve heard and read that it should be planted in the fall. (I’m in zone 6.) Does yours do ok being planted in the spring?

      • Garlic will grow if planted in spring but won’t be very large. Fall planting allows a larger root system to develop over winter so it’s ready to make top and bulb growth come spring. It’s originally from Siberia and isn’t fond of hot weather, which is why it’s mature by end of July and dying back. Marking your calendar for fall planting might help.

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          What I do as far as garlic is have it on a 2-year rotation. I plant it in the Fall and leave it to grow over till the second Summer to end up with bigger bulbs. I got a lot of wild garlic I harvested a few years ago and have plenty of it.

          I did some yard work for a customer and there were several chive plants in the area I was clearing out. So I dug them out and planted them in the yard.

          I noticed one of my raised beds is full of Comfree plants with well developed plants already. I planted the comfree (from root cuttings bought of Amazon) last year. The leafs are already 8 or 9-inches long, 5 inches wide on 1/2 of the plants. Kinda amazing how fast and big it grows.

          I’m going to try to get 2 harvesting’s out of the comfree. Going to run the leafs through the drier and then break it up into powder for use as a herbal med.

          • Hope you’re aware that comfrey roots grow down to China. Seriously. I grow my ‘wild’ comfrey along my treeline which keeps it under control competing with mature tree roots. In a raised bed, I grow the hybrid comfrey and the bees are crazy for those flowers. A friend made the mistake of growing wild comfrey as a decorative flower and now can’t grow any flowers for the comfrey thugs that refuse to die by any means. She’s seriously considering an excavator to be rid of them.

          • Anonamo Also says:

            Something you can do to increase bulb size… when it puts up the seed spike, for the ‘bloom’.. cut it off/ bend it over and it will put energy into growth of the bulb. in zone 7, ours is ready by early june. most time i do not dig it all, but try to thin it.somethings you can ignore and it re-grows and multiplies year after year. until it gets so crowded it can’t.

          • Anonamo Also,
            cut it off/ bend it over and it will put energy into growth of the bulb”
            The other advantage of cutting it off, is that the cuttings, called garlic scapes, can be used anywhere you would use garlic. You don’t waste them and you get some early fresh garlic for seasoning, plus better, bigger bulbs, so a double bonus.

      • Prepared Grammy,
        A MAG member who is a master gardener (both the class and practicing) and a dairy farmer supplied me with a ton of garlic last year, and will again this year, tells me that the rule of thumb around here (also zone 6) is to plant on October 10th and harvest on the 4th of July.
        We missed planting last year; but, will do so this year, probably with fresh bulbs and cloves from that same friend.

  15. Patriot Farmer says:

    The 500rds I ordered last week for my Garand arrived yesterday!
    I found a local sale for canned fruits and citrus and along with various coupons I was able to buy 25 cans for under .50 cents a can. I added another 100rds of shotgun ammo and spent a day at the gun range and several days at the bow range. I also fertilized my fruit trees.

  16. This was a canning week . 2cases of broccoli 1 case of grapefruit turned into canned juice and some pears canned . That s it for me this week .

  17. We are going off grid for a few days soon, so have done some work on that.

    News around here concerns the allegedly low probability of getting nuked by Dear Leader of North Korea. One article points out that once upon a time we were relatively prepared, but nuclear attack has fallen way off the list of issues since the USSR collapsed. My guess is that the Norks would have trouble hitting a target this far away with great accuracy, but that just means we could be ground zero instead of miles away. Not much to do about it other than maintain our preps.

    Article here: http://dod.hawaii.gov/hiema/main/north-korea-threat-to-hawaii/

    • Penrod,

      For the life of me, I have trouble understanding all the hype about an ICBM getting launched directly against the US. The Norks can already put “objects” into orbit, as they have at least two now, that are regularly passing over the US. Why make such a show by trying to hit a city, knowing the response will end you regime when a single EMP could ultimately cause our downfall. Lots of other countries out there just waiting too see us weakened so they can take advantage.

      • Almost There says:

        My thoughts too Mustang. One EMP takes everything out and then the nukes to finish us off.

        • Mustang & Almost There,
          Why waste the nukes, since an EMP will cripple the majority of the civilized regions of the country. Even with a second strike after an EMP, we have those boomers that can launch a counterstrike that in the end will do no one any good. As for the little fat boy, I’m not sure he really understands the world outside of his delusions. I saw an interview today with K.T. McFarland who is the Deputy National Security Advisor to President Trump and she seems rather confident that the Chinese are finally getting on board, since a little boy with nukes also presents them with problems.

          • OP, tactical battlefield nuke strikes on military bases/targets and control centers. After/during an EMP would be devastating.

  18. Penny Pincher says:

    Hi Pack!
    This week I altered my web gear a little, so it would fit me better, and bought some ammo in preparation to go shooting this weekend. I had to practically tear the van apart to get this one shirt I wanted to wear that was in my BOB – a strap was stuck on some bolts left over from removing seats. It occurs to me I should rotate the food in it soon, too, but I ran out of time today so I just put it back. I spent some time loading mags, checking batteries etc. The only other weekend prep I haven’t had time for was shoe goo on my boots. And I don’t want to smell shoe goo all night so I’ll just make do.

    I actually have 2 BOBs in there – one is more of a knapsack urban GHB/large EDC and the other is an ALICE pack sustainment load for humping off to the woods, which was the bag I had to excavate. And I guess the van itself is my BOV as well as daily driver and home away from home.

    The presence of my gear in there is a reminder of what it might be like bugging out with more crap. A way to pack it and still access the bed without moving half the luggage would be good.

    I’ve been sort of achy and out of sorts, but I feel halfway better today. I hope the aches don’t return as the day progresses. I need to get through a training day and a night shift tomorrow.

    Re. the news, the first casualty of war is the truth. So much propaganda, so little time.

    Focus on you and yours, keep prepping, don’t bankrupt yourself in a panic, keep PACE plans (Primary, alternative, contingency, emergency) and remember not to dwell on the E as a default. You gotta live and have a life too.

  19. Penny Pincher says:

    derp… forgot I vacuum packed 50 lbs of wheat this week too.

  20. Owl Creek Observer says:

    Picked up the last ammo box of 5.56 that the local Walmart had and also cleaned them out of empty ammo boxes to better organize things here. Added an LED light bar to the storage room and generally spruced things up. Made a Sam’s run to add more bulk items to the stores and replace what’s been used. Had a sit down with my new primary care and the tests she ordered came out pretty well. At my age I’ve got a few issues but nothing too serious. I asked her how much longer I have and she said, “At least another 60 days.” Life is good. I hope everyone has a blessed Easter and a great week ahead.

    • axelsteve says:

      short work weed due to weather and due to infection from a bad tooth. I went to the doctor and he gave e some anti biotics that would make some people gag due to size of the tablet. Swelling is going down after 2 pills so I am happy. I went plinking and picked up a whole bunch of poodle brass. not sure if it is 223 or 5.5. Puny round is too hard to read . I just managed to shoot off 10 9mm rounds and picked up brass. I found out that my boots are pretty waterproof after using the spray on stuff to waterproof shoes.I had a nice hike out to the range.

      • axelsteve says:

        I also cooked up about 2 pounds of pinto beans and 1 pound of black beans.I froze most of them for later.

        • Almost There says:


          It must be bad tooth month. You probably got the abx that are the horse pills…. I go back to the oral surgeon Monday… I am pretty sure I will have to have my tooth pulled… SIGH!

          • axelsteve says:

            almost there
            I have been dealing with bad teeth most of my life due to side effects of medication. If I had the money I would yank them all out and start over with new implants.

  21. Hi pack!! Happy Good Friday!
    May you all have a wonderful Easter and be blessed!
    I wanted to work more in the garden but the rain has been relentless up here! So only got these done:

    1. Bought more heirloom seeds
    2. Redesigned my raised beds to use companion planting and Square foot Gardening
    3. Prepped & Planted seeds for carrots, lettuce, eggplant, corn, cucumbers, broccoli, radish, garlic, onion, peppers, beets, catnip, basil, spinach, pole beans, marigolds, geraniums, mesculin…
    4. Did my monthly order for wally world to replace holes in my LT and Near term stocks
    5. Downloaded and printed out a binder for recipes
    6. Received my Solar Oven (that should be fun!)
    7. Ordered more canning lids and extra jars. (ready for spring and harvests!)
    8. Have some empty buckets and Mylar so I’ll spend some rainy time this weekend packing up extra items I have collected over the past couple weeks (beans, rice, sugar, p-cake mix, baking mix, pasta, soup mixes, bouillon, etc) And do a check on my existing buckets for holes, or issues.

    9. Re-balanced my 401k and ROTH IRAs…I sense troubled times ahead for the markets and would like to not get hit hard like I did in 2008!

    That’s it for me!
    Have a Happy Easter and stay safe!

    • BTW does anyone have a good storage plan for Tea Bags?

      I am looking to store both coffee and tea and I have the green coffee beans (un-roasted) bagged and done, but was wondering about Tea

      • TechQN, I vacuum pack my tea bags in quart and pint jars. I am thinking about green coffee beans but know it would be a learning curve as I have only used bagged ground coffee.

        • I do teabags both vac sealed in jars and saver bags. Best value in tea is loose tea which is of better quality and taste.

          • TechQN,
            I agree with Labgirl and Gloria that simple vacuum packaging is probably a good thing. The biggest problem with tea, and I suspect coffee and other herbal teas is that over time, the aromatic oils can evaporate and leave you with a rather tasteless pile of ground plant material.

        • Labgirl,
          I’ve got some green coffee beans that I’ve had for about 15 years. I roast them once a year for the family at holidays. I use a hot air popcorn popper. What I’m thinking of doing is buying some the “tea bags” that you fill yourself (fill them with coffee for single cup use) and seal them with an impulse sealer. I’m going to give a shot just sealing them in mylar bags. I figure I can reuse potato chip bags and use the impulse sealer to keep them air tight.

          • American Pacrat aka Antique Collector says:

            Morning, was not positive what an ‘impulse sealer’ was so looked it up.
            If you have a chance you may wish to use a “flat bladed” curling iron(big lots-$20.00). It is what I use for sealing the Mylar bags. You were speaking of potato chip bags, yes you can use them. Remember they are THIN, you may have to use several one inside of another to keep the item from being damaged.
            We purchase one or bulk amounts of Mylar bags, what is nice you can find them with pleated bottoms and zip lock tops. They offer different mil strengths so one can choose what they will require for their food storage. USA emergency supply

          • Almost There says:

            I got a “flat” curling iron at the Good Will for $5.

            If you want to compare pricing, I get my mylar bags at discountmylarbagsdotcom

            I will seal the bag up to the point of the straw that I stuck in there, then suck out the remaining air and seal with OA in there. My Food Saver works on the mylar bags that have the channel in them, also sold at the above place.

          • Almost There,
            That’s great information. These are the kinds of tips and new resources that keep me nearly addicted to this forum.

          • Almost There says:

            You’re welcome OP. The company I mentioned is in TN. 🙂 I think they are the only one with the channeled bags. They have all sizes of bags, I think he was even getting in pleated mylar ones. Used to go by and pick up my bags, but he’s moved to a new place 2 hrs away. Very nice guy. He even hires homeless folks to help him. Gotta support my peeps.

          • Almost There:

            He even hires homeless folks to help him. Gotta support my peeps

            I am assuming that by your peeps you mean fellow TN citizens, not that you are homeless, LOL.

          • Almost There says:

            You are correct OP.

          • I’ve been wondering about whether or not I could seal mylar bags with my foodsaver. When you say you seal it up to the straw (sorry I am new to this), what do you mean? Also, how long would tea last if sealed in foodsaver bags vs mylar? Would it require oxygen absorbers?

          • American Pacrat,
            I have a large collection of Mylar bags in numerous sizes and have used a simplle flat iron to seal them with O2 absorbers in 5 gallon buckets; but, as an added bonus, the freeze dryer deal came with 100 various sized Mylar bags, 100 O2 absorbers, and a pulse sealer. On the smaller bags the pulse sealer is actually a lot easier to use than the flat iron.

          • Antique Collector says:

            Have started using your freeze drier yet? Hope you and Mrs. OP are enjoying the heck out of it.
            Reason for the curling iron, I was worried the mylar bags would ruin my expensive clothing iron.

          • Antique Collector,
            We haven’t yet gotten things arranged to use the freeze dryer yet; but, we’re getting closer by the day. A couple of local friend / MAG members helped me move a chest freezer today in what will become our summer kitchen, just in time to pick up ½ an Angus beef tomorrow to mostly fill it. I can now mount the last gas heating appliance and complete my propane article. Baby steps, but all at least moving forward, mostly according to plan.
            As for the iron, I bought a cheap, no frills (no steam or other features) clothing iron some years ago for something like $15-20 just for this purpose; although a thin flat iron for hair might at times be more useful.

      • American Pacrat says:

        I started packing mine in vacuum seal bags then placed into 5mil Mylar bags.
        Prefer the heavier mil on the Mylar bags so that they can be used over again for other items. At the present time we have a container of tea, hot cocoa mixes put up this way. Will be going through checking to verify if they held up with this process. Know that the tea which was kept in the house did fine, the other was in an outside building with no heating or A/C.

        • What other kind of mixes can you seal in the bags? I’ve been wondering about sealing pancake, cookie, and cake mixes, and how long they would last.

      • I vac seal the herbal teas we store in mason jars and the black and green tea bags in the vac seal bags, especially the gallon size tea bags. I’ve also been buying tea bricks to store.

        • American Pacrat says:

          Where did you locate you tea in bricks?

          • tommy2rs says:

            Amazon the easiest place to find it.

          • AP,
            You can get it from aliexpress dot com also, very inexpensively. Comes straight from China. I know a lot of folks don’t like Chinese products, but I figure, if anyone knows tea, it’s the Chinese.

          • American Pacrat says:

            Thank you for the two different locations for finding the tea in bulk.
            Have a posting but it is held up in moderation due to a name change.

          • LOL …I thought it was the British who knew tea the best? 😉

      • TechQN; I have always sealed my teas in Mylar with a desiccant. Both tea bags and tea leaf types. I kept some stored in a 2 gal pail for 2 years, finally opened it last summer and the tea was like I bought it yesterday.

        If you store it glass jars, make sure it is in a dark place. Or in dark glass containers. You can actually store all those small boxes of powdered, fruit flavored drinks the same.

        • Cool thanks all!!
          Wasn’t sure my post went through about the tea bags, I kept getting some error.

          Anyway, I have green coffee beans I bought and roast with a popcorn popper, or our wok (works well!)
          But thank you all for the info on the tea bags…I have some good 5 mil Mylar and O2…so I’ll just use those.
          I didn’t want to unpack all the tea bags I have as they are all sealed and ready to go…..but I CAN do the Mylar with O2… and vacuum seal as well.
          Thanks Pack!

      • camellia sinensis may be grown in washingon, according to my reading.
        if you have a greenhouse you might try to grow it. then it will always be fresh and near.

  22. Yay the site is backup and running!!!

    Puppy is really turning into an eating machine. He chases and eats bees,moths or anything else that flies or crawls. He brings his food bowl over when its empty. Soooo much energy!!! He is growing so fast, he’s as long as the coffee table and only 5 1/2 months old. Lol

    Planted 2 apple trees to replace 2 that died. Looking for some Cherry trees.
    Found a potato in my pantry under a plastic pay that really wants to live. It has 2 foot and a half tentacles coming out of it so I planted it. Lol
    Bought another AA/AAA battery charger with 4 AA batteries.
    Bought more canned goods.
    Bought more water.

    Power thatched, aerated, cut and weed & feeded the yard. Looks great.

    I greatly agree with Trump bombing Afghanistan with the MOAB, especially after a Green Barret was killed there. It send such a clear message to enemies of America.

    The contractor that is being blackballed in California for bidding on building the wall on the Mexican border, needs to sue the #@%* out of the local & state government for attacking its business. No wonder their government wants their guns. They want high taxes from the working people and slave labor from the illegal aliens. Hmmm

    • Oops, picked up some more LED lights to save power.

    • Thor,
      Heads up on the bees. My malinois liked to go after them too. I had to have an Epi-Pen on hand for him. At some point your dog is going to get stung and until you figure out if he’s allergic to bee stings, you should be prepared. Both my dog and I were allergic to bee stings. Stunk to be us.

      • We had a german sheppard that would go after the big round bumblebees. Until one stung her in the mouth. Never bothered them again! Thank God she wasn’t allergic. But did learn that there are consequences for her actions. lol

      • Sirius, maybe as big as he is getting, he might be part grizzly bear. Lol

  23. I have begun using a new app to lose some weight. I learned of it after a local news story about a guy who lost 500 pounds which he attributed to this same app.

    So far I’ve lost 7 pounds since March 31st.
    The app is called Lose It and its free.

    I have also begun addressing my diabetes more intently by making better food choices and stocking up on some insulin.

    Since beginning the diet my blood sugars are almost back to normal so there’s a chance I can get off the insulin all together.
    Thats the goal.

    • Almost There says:


      That is wonderful. Diabetes affects major organs as time goes on. Best to nip it in the bud and not have to rely on insulin if you can get there. GREAT JOB!

    • Hey man, that is great news! I too have decided to take my weight loss seriously and have been using an app to help me track carbs and fats,as I apparently love both, but they certain,y pack on the pounds and weight. Want to definately avoid diabetes as it runs in my family. Keep up the good work!

    • Anonamo Also says:

      try bitter melon, I take 15 days off 15. cost 2.99 bottle of 60. 3 bottles a years supply.

    • AZ Camper says:

      I like that site, too. I lost 28 pounds using it.

  24. Goatlover says:

    Restocked 5 bottles of colloidal silver while it was on sale. Canned 9 pints of green beans, harvested and froze several pints of mulberries from my tree, dug up a few banana pups and gave them to a friend (I’ve got over 50 plants so I can spare a few!) Have been doing the usual barn cleaning in preparation for the next goat kidding, using the poop and spent hay as mulch around my fruit trees. I helped out a friend whose cow had a bad calving experience. The mama never got up again and was put down yesterday, but I milked out her colostrum the first 2 days after birth so her bull calf could have it via a bottle. Baby is good, but gosh it’s sad to lose a mama. I also helped another friend with a difficult kidding (goat delivery). That one was a better outcome, saving one kid and the mama. Mentoring new goat owners is one of my personal favorite things in life, though it does come after leading a soul to Christ! Easter Blessings to All.

  25. Dollar Tree items: garden gloves, lighter, cable ties, clothespins, cough drops, bottle of alcohol, bottle of hydrogen peroxide, lotions, soaps, wipes, shelf stable milk.
    Big Lots: mostly organic items including: 4 bags of coffee, granola bars, coconut fiber, chips. Also got other crackers and snack items.
    I finally finished weeding all my raised beds and planted two types of sunchokes in them. Now I need some rain. I also need to hold tomorrows ham for hostage until my son helps me repair my irrigation line. LOL.
    I have been picking sugar snap peas and lettuce, so we will have steamed pea pods and salad with the ham.
    The dwarf mulberry trees are doing well and the birds really enjoy them 🙁
    I so appreciate everyone on this blog because they are so willing to give advice and are helpful. I think this blog has something others don’t have, a sense of community. I always have more to add to my prep lists every week after reading. A joyful Easter for everyone.

    • Hey, that should have said coconut flour not fiber. Don’t know where in my head that came from!

    • Rob in Ontario says:

      What is Shelf stable milk>?

      • Always Forward says:

        I think it’s the milk that comes in a box like almond milk and just regular. I’m sure your grocery store has it so take a look. It doesn’t last forever, but at least awhile and doesn’t need refrigeration until you’re going to drink it. It’s not bad at all. Personally, I’d rather store powdered milk and make that up the night before to chill by morning.

        • I store and use both powdered and shelf stable milk. While neither tastes exactly like milk from the refrigerated section, they will certainly do in a pinch.

          • Labgirl,
            I think the powdered milk will do in a pinch; but, I’ve tried most of the varieties of the shelf stable milk before purchasing more, and I can’t really tell the difference on cereal or just a glass with cookies or a PBJ sandwich.
            Then again, for health reasons I’ve only use 2% milk for years, so my palate may be a little different than others.

      • mom of three says:

        You can buy it at the dollar tree, it’s Gossner Foods, is the name they are a dairy farm in Utah. The dollar tree carries Whole milk(red container) 2 percent (blue container) 1 percent (green container) 1 quart containers. It’s by the spices, or where the cereal is usually it’s on the bottom shelf. Plus they support our American troops!!! I have some that is dated January 24th 18.. I just put a quart in the fridge the night before and use it up within 14 days. They also have a websight just google Gossners Foods.

      • Rob,
        Shelf Stable also called UHT milk is milk that has been pasteurized for a few seconds at an Ultra High Temperature, typically 280° F for 2 seconds. It is then packaged in aseptic packaging like the juice boxes or soy and almond milk. Many fruit juices are processed and package similarly. This kills all bacteria; which allows it to be kept on the shelf at nominal room temperature for a year or more before opening, after which it requires refrigeration. You can use it like you would any milk; but, since the UHT process also denatures some of the proteins, they will no longer clump together to form curds, so you can’t use it to make cheese. I keep some on hand, just in case, or to mix with powdered milk in a pinch.
        I have friends who have spent time in Europe and tell me that it is very common across the pond.

  26. I set my strawberry plants out and fertilized my fruit trees. This week I am focusing on helping my mentally handicapped brother. Plan to stock him up on food and clean his place. I also need to refresh my water storage. I don’t post on this site very often, but I do read and appreciate your comments. I hope everyone enjoys a nice Easter!

    • Almost There says:


      Glad your brother has someone to help him. Some people don’t. 🙂 Happy Easter.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Baker, does he follow lists well? My son does well with lists and labels, it helps us prevent eating through three weeks in three days with ‘im 🙂

      Just a thought,

      • Actually he does, Jesse. That’s a great idea. Maybe I can come up with some type of schedule that will work for him. He does the same thing, tends to over-eat when we give him stuff and it’s gone in no time. If we give him restaurant cards for birthdays, etc. he will go there 3 times in one day rather than saving some of them for when he needs it.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Same here, have tried many approachs to help him become less dependant, its one approach that seems to work decently, he is rough on everything he doesnt spend his own earned money on as well, food included – i want to do a camping trip- give the kids 20 bucks apiece to buy their own food…take em out for three days…that may reinforce the reality of needing to stretch things out (my daughter will probably pocket the cash and forage lol/ but she loves that stuff) my son…I dont know, he surprises me many times. Which is nice, means he is getting some of what hes taught 🙂 (he is a big kid, 14 and 5’10” with size 13 adult shoes – has always been taller for his age, so constantly reinforcing the use of equal or necessary force versus heavy handing, he has had two run ins with bullies and handled both very well, neither will continue bullying)

          • Jesse,
            One of my MAG, a big guy himself has a boy like yours. His boy, Hunter is also a big kid, 14 and 6′ 3″. The problem with both boys, yours and his) is that they are probably still growing, so you best learn to look up even higher to try and avoid that future permanent crick in your neck, LOL.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP, he was three inches taller than me and raised his teenage angst. “Bowed up” as we hillrods say on ocassion, he learnt’ quickly that dad was still gonna woop his arse iffin he kept that up, (and no, have never actually spanked my children. I will and have latched on a nose or ear on ocassion or utilized my knowledge of balance and his lack thereof to preform “amazing jedi tricks dad!”

            Lol 🙂

            Love my kids :):)

          • Jesse,
            My stepsons were never really a problem; but, they were both big guys. The youngest was probably in his late teens, and outweighed me by perhaps 40 pounds, and stood 8-10 inches taller, and one day made several challenges. He play high school varsity football as a tackle, and thought he was tough; but, he learned a lesson one day.
            First he challenged me to a race; but, being a short guy (5’ 6”) and a geek who was harassed all through primary and Secondary School, I had been and still was very fleet of foot, which culminated in a rather embarrassing demonstration for him on a short run around the property.
            He then mockingly challenged me to a duel and got down in his best linebacker stance. A little of the old martial arts, primarily judo and balance had him upright and backed over to and down into a chair before he could react.
            Later that day he admitted that he was amazed how little old me could push big old him around so easily, and it just comes down to knowing things like balance and center of gravity, keeping yours intact while exploiting theirs.
            We too have never used corporal punishment, and I was told several times by my DD as a kid that she would rather I just spanked her, instead of evil things like timeouts or loss of privileges.
            Whether physical or mental, you just need to know the weak spots to exploit when required; but, only when required and then only to get their attention.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP. Well said and agreed

  27. my four sons says:

    I hope this finds everyone well. I have not posted in quite a while we have had some pretty significant family issues. My father was hospitalized for over 9 days and it was determined that in order to keep his congestive heart failure etc. under control at this point dialysis was his only option. Disappointing to be sure but he feels so much better since they started the treatments. Besides this my poor mother has been having to deal with a ridiculous amount of drama surrounding my sisters and their kids- I want to punch them all in the face and explain that this is reality you are all of adult age and you are not entitled to anything so GROW THE HELL UP! I seriously do not understand the feelings of entitlement people get, it is truly because no body makes their kids get gainful employment anymore when they are still in high school. Then when become of age they have no basis of work ethic to fall back on, or any semblance of conflict resolution capacity, sense of dignity, and most importantly no decision making skills at all! Paralysis by fear, I truly believe it is important to make a decision even if it proves to be the wrong one, you can adjust from their but in-action is worse than no-action. Rant over.
    Unfortunatly with all of these events it has not allowed for a lot inn the way of preps. I have used some time to try and find a deer rifle for my ten year old. I have found a few used options I may bite on- a couple 308’s and a 243 both a good caliber and less whomp on a 10 year old than my 3006’s. I really struggle buying a rifle that doesn’t come with open sights but options are so limited when you place that caveat on finding a rifle that I may just have to deal and get over it. Well I wish I had more good news and a full coffer to share but such has not been the last 3 weeks here, stay ready I fear TEOTWAWKI may just come by millennial not EMP or financial collapse.

    • JP in MT says:

      my four sons:

      My 16 yr old grandson has just started to work, mostly weekends at a local grocery. His 14 yr old brother has 2 jobs lined up starting after the school year; will probably go with the construction-help one. Better money and an ex-football coach and since he plays, will understand when that starts.

      I met a 26 yr old a few years ago that says he can’t work because he has chronic back pain. I told him they diagnosed my knees in 1978, so I don’t want to hear about his “chronic” pain.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        JP- i understand listening to chronic pain sufferers, first spine surgeries when i was 12, per current “expectations” could have been on disability my entire life, chose to ignore that and work for the next 22 years give or take, than bam, original fusion failed and well…life.

        Regardless, I dont feel bad getting ssi/ yes im only 40 (in august) however, i paid my dues…worked my arse off and still do as a stay at home dad of two wonderful lil’ pains 🙂

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          I should add, everyone is their own person and some just arent built to handle the same things I guess. 🙁

        • JP in MT says:


          I should have added that he “stressed his back” at 16. I’ve seem him carrying loads, playing baseball, etc.

          I don’t begrudge people assistance that are truly injured, or like a friend who got MS at 50, played it off as an old injury to his friends, until he now only has limited use of his right arm – none in his legs or left arm.

          Self-imposed victim-hood is a condition I just don’t tolerate well. I have not been able to hold a “job” for the last 7 years, but that does not mean I do nothing to earn money or my keep.

      • Even though my back feels like it’s going to snap most days, I try my best to suck it up and move on. I don’t like pills, so the most I will do is some ibuprofen from time to time. It came from always being short staffed at the nursing home, where I worked as a STNA while I was in nursing school. 2 to 400 lb people don’t move too much on their own. And when you are required to bring 7 or 8 to breakfast in the mornings, single with three kids (at the time), full time work and full time school, there is no time for back pain. Double shifts Fri and Sat, single shift on Sundays, school Mon to Thurs. I don’t see quitting work any time soon.

        Both of my parents have had extensive surgeries. My Mom waited until she retired (stubborn and won’t admit pain), and the doctor refused to allow her to leave the hospital after an MRI, without first fusing her completely collapsed lumbar spine. She’s a good patient, and has healed nicely. However, my Father, who is a TERRIBLE patient, has had surgeries on his neck to stabilize, both shoulders replaced, as well as both knees replaced (multiple times on both). He always always always ignores doctors orders and limitations, and doesn’t understand why he’s had to have so many surgeries and doesn’t understand why he doesn’t feel like he’s 30 again. (he’s 74)

        I guess I’m more like Mom… pain? Ain’t nobody got time for that!! lol

        About disability though, I don’t understand how my aunt, who literally broke her back and has (now) four rods put in to stabilize (after she skidded over a bridge and the car landed on her) took almost 6 years and an attorney to get disability. And an uncle, who applied because he is an alcoholic, and developed cirrhosis, got it in 6 months with no hassle. Who decides these things?

    • Almost There says:

      my four sons,

      That’s the problem with Millennials. Most don’t want to work for anything and lack communication skills. Just like working their way up the ladder. They want the top dog position right out of school….

      Prayers for your family.

      • That’s because they’ve Bred and Raised in the ‘Bernie’ era of Me, Me, Me and tax the rich to pay for it all…I always ask them ‘why should the rich, who worked for their money, give it to you, who dont want to work for it’? Then they wont be rich anymore and when that happens who will pay for it?
        I did spoil my son’s, that’s my fault, but we have since worked on any ‘issues’ that arose from that and they handles better….I believe in raising your kids to be self reliant…Since they were young they work, at home, in the yard, garden, shop, etc…
        My son learned to Weld in mid high school years and loves it! He finally set up a job for this summer from the dollar general…He has to earn any gas, or fun money and he knows it….
        I truly believe that had we stayed in SoCal and raised them there they would not have the same mindset they do now…
        Oh I and dad have a major input into their lives, but I feel that their surroundings, as in peers and social entities, do too…and that had I not moved to a rural area where most kids are 4H, or working at home to help parents, family, etc, that it may have turned out different.
        I’m so glad I moved before they were old enough to be shaped by their environment.

        PS… My son’s rifle is a 270 and it works well for him…didnt think he needed to start at a bigger caliber for his first one…he can graduate to larger as he sees fit, but mom and dad provided the 270 as his starter…just my two cents. 🙂

    • You might look at the Savage 11 Scout 308. Iron sights, adjustable length of pull, Accutrigger, cheek piece. So you have something a boy can grow into and you can mount a scout style scope if you want.


    • American Pacrat aka Antique Collector says:

      my 4 sons
      Dh passed in January, you & I could write a melodrama on children who think they should have been left something..

    • my four sons,
      Your rant contained 225 words; but, can be summed up with only one: snowflakes
      I fear your prediction of death by snowflake being worse than EMP or financial collapse rings true, and while I fear for our youth, we’ve done what we can for them and at some point they’ll learn to make it on their own or not. I suspect many of us will be gone by then and no longer be concerned.

  28. Rob in Ontario says:

    Happy Easter to the pack and to you MD – not much done this week , just picked up a raspberry plant to add my black berry I have in back yard,, few weeks ago I picked up a 100 round drum for $30 , pinned at 5 rounds ( its law here in Canada ) for my Mini Ruger 14 prices here are nuts for magazines usually they are $250 , even a 20 round for ruger is $100 also pinned at 5 rounds
    I’m selling my regular cab , step side and getting a extenda cab short box gives me a little more room , was so small could not take dog and g/f at same time

    • Rob in Ontario,

      Anything you do helps and remember small things add up to big things over time.

    • cndnathan says:

      Don’t pay that much for magazines.
      Free shipping over $250

    • Rob,
      A 5 round limit on magazines is IMHO horrible; but, all that means is you need more magazines and practice both tactical and emergency mag change drills until you can do them without thinking. Done properly you almost can’t tell a mag change occurred during a drill.

  29. Jesse Mathewson says:

    Unfortunately ive been battling getting into the site all week, its on my side- adjusted settings and here I am 🙂

    Anywho, preps for the week-

    First, awesome additions sir!


    Installed raised garden beds, planting as we go- all four of five hens are laying daily atm, wife decided getting a dehydrator would be a great idea…I agree- suggestions on make or model?

    Started a batch of mead, will be a little over 2 gallons of 10% honey mead –

    Working on a batch of shine…/ going to strain/store a batch with mesquite charcoal…going for a unique american bourbon/mesquite style- will let yall know.

    Completed testing on caniktp9sa – amazing firearm- review upcoming.

    Been biking a lot, excercise for a dude that literally cannot walk far without losing all feeling to legs. ..loving it!

    Family doing well atm. Kidney killing me again, excess scar tissue caused loss of 75% right kidney function, had to reattach ureter to keep from losing it entirely, so deal with issues regularly but no meds or dyalisis so I wont complain…more water!

    Completed testing of a really amazing product hipporoller, review on monday! Its awesome. As in definitely a must have!

    Programmed another 3 baeofang uv5r – and found a great EMP milspec/grade bag to fit electronics and small solar panel in…yay!

    How are all of you?

    • Jesse:

      I would be interesting in more information on your MIl-spec EMP bag.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Should have review out in two weeks, however, email me- any time 🙂

        jesse dot mathewson at hotmail dot com

    • Almost There says:


      The Excalibur is the best dehydrator. I would get the 9 tray one with a timer on it. I don’t think it matters about the model, they are all good, just depends on how much you want to spend.

      • Almost There says:

        And don’t forget the sheets for making fruit leather.

        • I use the sheets for dehydrating sour cream and grated cheeses.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Gloria, my primary reason is or meats and eggs- and yes, I want to buy a round or two of cheese and try that as well 🙂

            Considered a vaccum seal/nitrogen pump, but those things are a bit expensive…maybe my next project, diy nitrogen/mylar for dehydrated foods (extends shelf life to 10 years plus) or more if done right I guess 🙂 like i said, just researching now and yall know your dehydrators sooo 🙂

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Thank you all, it has best reviews…will do! I am hoping to get a more mechanical versus digitial one, being the emp freaky type I am, however, I store all toasters etc , when not in use in lined emp cupboard- not proof but may prevent too much destruction 🙂 not that i need all of it but…ya know 🙂

          • jesse while many think the timer is important. a thermostat is very important to prevent case harding. go to your state’s extension office for recommendations on dehydration.

          • Jesse & suzy q,
            My Excalibur came with several manuals including a rather extensive recipe book; plus I have others I’ve acquired over the years. Additionally, there are countless sites with information on the web. I think all of the Excalibur models have the required thermostat; but, less expensive models like my 9-tray are missing the timer.

          • Almost There says:


            They make them with dials to turn manually. Great idea on a lined emp cupboard. Haven’t thought of that.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Almost, thank you, I doubt it is proof, but resistant is better than nothing. – added one to my amazon list 🙂

          • Jesse,
            Unless you’re buying toasters that are a lot fancier than mine, they are simply EMP proof by their nature. Nichrome wire with a mechanical timer and mechanical bimetallic thermostat. My dehydrator has a thermostat; but, no timer, and when I set it up this afternoon to start dehydrating mushrooms, I’ll check it, since I think it’s also just mechanical, like those on most toasters, heaters, etc.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Better safe than sorry. 🙂

      • Almost, thats the same one I was looking at getting…just saving up for it…have to finish paying for my new windows first. LOL

    • Hello Jesse,

      Let us know how the shine turns out. Another hillbilly and completed our goal of 100 gallons stored as SHTF trading stock….proofed to 102 and smooth as silk.
      Have you ever flavored any with juniper berries? Going to try that Next.
      Best thoughts and prayers to your tribe from the hillbillies.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Okg- nice! Nope. Haven’t used that yet, sounds like it may be good. I enjoy trying new things, 🙂

        • Hey Jesse,

          Gin is flavored with juniper. That gives it the strong pine needle flavor and smell. The absolute best tasting homemade I ever tasted came from north Georgia and was,lightly flavored with juniper..had been cut to 95 proof and was absolutely exquisite. He sold that run for 65.00 a quart…

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Ahh okg, makes sense, having never tried gin, though I do have many good scotchs/ (by good I refer to highland and isle single malts not that blend crap peddled as such these days) I do enjoy the subtle flavours that erupt when drank properly and with the respected acouterments attached. Eg., orange slice, lemon peel, german dark chocolate (american chocolate doesnt even get close) and or a fine cuban 🙂 benefits of living on a border, enjoying fine “somewhat grey illegal” yet oh quite good with a scotch at night…


    • Jesse,
      I concur on the Excalibur. I’ve got a 9 tray with the dial thermometer. Mine doesn’t have the timer, but for me, it’s really not a big deal. Check out Google. I got mine refurbished for a great reduction in price from a third party vendor. It came with the sheets (Excalibur doesn’t make them anymore) and the Excalibur book. My book is so torn up from constant use I might actually need to get another one.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Sirius, thank you, I really do believe in the value of others experience when it comes to things I dont or havent done. So it is much appreciated, not sure if I have excaliber book but i have one called dehydrator bible? Got it with the ball canning book- 🙂 been studying recipes and learning adjusts for altitude out here. 🙂

        Cant wait!

        • Jesse,
          While the altitude does make a big difference for canning, I’m not sure it matters all that much for dehydration, where humidity of the air is more of a factor. From what dehydrating I’ve done with my little Nevcos and what I’ve read and been told by others, you can check the product, and put it back into the dehydrator for a while longer if you don’t like the texture, unless of course you’ve already overdone it. For fresh mushrooms, a friend told me that they were dry after about 12 hours; but, later got moldy. The second batch ran for 12 hours, then sat for a few to allow internal moisture to settle, and then another 2 hours to finish up. This check and add more time is a big advantage over the canning process, where you always err on the side of caution, as in higher pressure or longer times.

          • OP,
            I agree with you on the altitude, however, altitude does play into the humidity factor. I’m at just under 1000 feet above sea level and still get a marine layer coming in sometimes. I’m fairly close to the coast. I’ve noticed with the apples that I’ve dehydrated, the ones that I pre-treated and soaked before I dehydrated them, then left them to sit out for a few weeks are starting to turn pink. That is not a good sign.

            The ones I didn’t pre-treat are still edible.

            Regarding the mushrooms, I’ve got over a gallon of dehydrated mushrooms for my Ramen. I layer them out singly on the sheet then go to bed. I tend to leave them in for about 16 hours. I like them crisp, but still bendable. If that makes sense. 10 minutes in boiling water and they are completely rehydrated. Same thing with the peas and corn. Oh, broccoli is another good thing to dehydrate for ramen. One thing I love about frozen vegetables is that they are already balanced and all you have to do is toss them on the dehydrator tray, even frozen. Not to mention, the store brand frozen vegetables are really REALLY inexpensive.

          • Sirius,
            My point was that humidity and altitude are not nearly as related as altitude and boiling point or gauge pressure (PSIG).
            So perhaps regardless of altitude it’s time to have a humidity meter sitting around the area where you dehydrate, to help make those decisions.

    • Jesse,
      ”Unfortunately ive been battling getting into the site all week, its on my side- adjusted settings and here I am”.
      I wouldn’t necessarily blame your side. I’ve had issues with this site off and on all week as have some others that I communicate with via email and telephone.
      As for a dehydrator, I think your best bet is no doubt whichever Excalibur you can afford. I have a 9 tray (they make 12) without a timer (they make one with a timer) and although I’ve only used it a few times, friends who have one swear by it. I also have some of the little round Nevco dehydrators and they worked OK after adding a fan; but, I was more likely to swear at them.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        OP, makes sense, locally was having issues getting on many of my favorite spots. Wasnt sure, I get “riders” on ocassion and generally avoid it by running a few programs that do a great job of shaking them.
        (Unlike others I am not entirely concerned with them, I know they exist and utilize a variety of avoidance schemes but try not to change some basics so as to allow them the fantasy of their own beliefs.)
        Agreed regarding dehydrators I have no doubt that these are among the few items that actually do matter regarding name versus cost etc., have placed a 9 tray/120 volt 600 watt on my Amazon list…will pick up on next allowance day 🙂

        Honestly I noticed an uptick of bandwidth stolen after trumpsy got in, people seem to forget, its always the very hardest “right wingers” and or hardest “left wingers” eg., its always extremism that is quickest to create absolute tyranny…they allow themselves regardless side to get swept up in the smegma that is political fantasy, its as if people actually believe that somehow after well over 120 years of no positive change, voting will change things.
        Regardless, I tend to get riders on a regular basis, therefore definitely only speak about generally gray or white matters openly.
        I forget who said it, however, I believe it goes something like this… “fear of a thing is for those who do not understand the purpose of that thing…” no fear for myself, I understand its purpose. I do nkt agree with nor do I support said purpose I do however, also know that unless my actions directly threaten said status quo I could quite literally do whatever I wish. Which is why I do not promote myself in any way that is abnormal, nor do I engage with or join groups. 🙂 I am active with individuals, but in no way that would cause them or my direct family harm.

        • Jesse,
          ”nor do I engage with or join groups. I am active with individuals, but in no way that would cause them or my direct family harm.”
          My MAG members follow this pattern also. We all do our own thing; but, assist each other when and where we have the time, skills, or resources. I recently gave a local member an old Gerber multi-tool I had that was jammed, and he was able to fix it and add to his BOB. I received a new one for Christmas. He told me last evening about getting the tool fixed when he stopped by to drop off about 3 pounds of asparagus he had in surplus, since his plants are really cooking this spring.
          I talked with him on the radio while running errands in town and he texted the DW with a heads up on fresh mushrooms on sale at Aldi’s. It’s as much these little things as any big ones that make our little group work. Cohesion doesn’t mean you have to live together, just help out when you can, and be willing to cover someone’s six if needed and the SHTF.

        • “”they allow themselves regardless side to get swept up in the smegma that is political fantasy””

          OMG ROFL., I have not heard the word “”SMEGMA”” in soooo long! I always loved that word, its so….obnoxiously fitting…’considering what it is!
          ahahahaha LOLOL
          Do you say it with that same off sounding accent too? LOL

          Thank you, Thank you, for that very much needed laugh in a rough and tumble week of crappy news. Sigh….lol…

    • Anonamo Also says:

      Have you tried corn silk for kidney support. It is supposed to help with stones and function. Herbal companies have urinary support formulas, and these help my intermittent urinary s/sx. Cranberry caplets also are anti inflammatory and may help with areas of irritation near any scar tissue. serrapeptase also helps my DH with scar tissue in all kinds of places.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Anon- I havent, I do use lemon juice and a few other things – 🙂 appreciated 🙂

    • my 4 sons says:

      I would love to taste the Honey-mead. I have had good and aweful mead and can honestly say there is not much in between. I theoretically have made Apple Jack. Only in theory because freeze distillation could still be a violation! But theoretically it was delicious!

  30. I found a recipe for szechuan sauce–2 cups dried chilis, garlic, onion, ginger paste, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, water, salt and pepper. I said, “here honey, try this”. LOL My dh ran to the refrigerator for some milk. I toned it down by adding way more soy sauce, ketchup and vinegar. I found out this should be used as an ingredient in a sauce and not as a sauce itself.

    We are adjusting to our new whole foods diet–basically eating like people did 100 years ago. No processed food.

    I ordered and received two pairs of running shoes. I have gone from a size 10 to a size 10.5. I also ordered some athletic wear and I am waiting to get that. If you were athletic wear, check out Epic Sports. I ordered several pairs of soccer shorts for $2–just like the old-school Umbros.

    I have reduced our grocery bill by about 40 percent (while purchasing tons of fresh fruit and vegetables) by shopping at Aldi.

    • Almost There says:

      Bam Bam,

      I’ve missed your food recipe postings….

      Have you noticed you are not a s hungry with the whole foods diet? Any weight change yet? How much additional time does it take to plan your meals? I work M-F, and am gone from home 12 hours a day at least. I would think one would have to be very organized if they had to work and plan meals without any processed foods. Thoughts?

      • Almost There,

        My dh has lost 22 lbs. I haven’t lost any. (I would like to loose 5-10 lbs.) We eat ham and eggs for breakfast. I will take leftovers to work for lunch. I got a spiralizer and use that to make meals without rice or pasta. Our regular meals: szechuan beef and peppers served over a bed of sweet potato noodles, pasta e fagioli, chicken curry, chicken fajitas, shrimp stir fry. We had our Easter dinner last night. So today I am going to make ham and bean soup.

    • Bam Bam; Try using a soy sauce substitute. Soy sauce is VERY high in sodium….even the low sodium version. I usually make a batch of soy sauce substitute when I am going to cook Oriental foods.

      4 tbls beef bouillon
      4 teaspoons vinegar…apple cider or balsamic vinegar
      2 teaspoons dark molasses
      1/8 to 1/4 teaspoons ginger
      a titch of pepper & a titch of garlic powder
      1 1/2 cups water

      Dissolve bouillon in boiling water, add rest of ingredients, store in tight container in fridge.

      You can also use watered down Worcestershire sauce. Much lower in sodium and actually comes across as good taste in most Oriental dishes requiring soy sauce.

      I use to be a salt freak….until I was put on a no salt diet. Now I use “Original No Salt” (sodium free) substitute. I honestly can’t tell the difference.

      • Izzy
        Thanks for posting healthy soy sauce substitute recipe.
        Been searching for this a long time.
        These exchanges, ideas, are what makes Survivalist Blog the best !
        Happy Easter

      • Thanks Izzy. My sister-in-law was put on a low salt diet. I will share this with her.

  31. This week we bought a tripod hanging BBQ that would work well on bug-out/electric or gas outage/radio field days :-), you can’t beat a dirty burger when doing radio in good company !

    My son rejoiced as I loaded the contents of my old tobacco tin EDC into the rather nice green tactical pouch EDC he bought me. He was right, that old tin bid rattle now and again and the new one has Molle loops and belt straps so it don’t take up pocket space. How good it is when my son shows he has been thinking and proved the old man wrong !

    Got a pair of pilot gloves that my son bought me. I swore my British military 95 issue gloves bit these new gloves are so snug and no restrictive in any way.

    Bought a load of noodles in a pack to shove in my BOB, OK not the best food in the world but in an emergency would stop the hunger dragon growling in the belly. I carry herbs & spices in a couple of plastic diabetic blood testers so the noodles may end up tasting OK-ish. 5 packets for £1 so the bank ain’t broken on the strength of a few days worth for the 4 in our household. Next time we shop we’ll chuck a few more £££ at them to cater for the other 8 family members we prep for.

    So, a bit slow on preps this week but a few preps are better than none.


    • That should have read ‘couple of plastic diabetic blood tester tubs’.
      I should not try to comment while concentrating on the blockwork I just finished. Sitting here with a coffee and scotch egg with laptop on me legs while worshing myself for still being a bricklayer god lol. Just a bit slower and full of aches in my back, I foresee a long soak in a hot bath very, very soon lol.


      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Bri- you ever come states side…ill take you out do some shootin- 🙂 arizona style

        • Jesse, coming State-Side is on my list of things I need to do.
          I have family in California and Arizona so I’d like to visit them.
          I would also be happy to have a visit with your good self.
          I am my 90 year old father’s registered carer so for a couple of years I’m stuck here in England.
          No I’m officially signed off work I can look after him and work in my forge but to leave him for more than a weekend would find him dead when we got back.
          Anyways, If the offer is still there when the time comes I need cheering up I’ll take you up on it my friend, unti;l then I am living the FFF ethos.

      • Bri,
        I’ve laid a few bricks and concrete blocks in my time, and I have no doubt that your soak is well deserved, enjoy.

        • Thanks, I did enjoy and it was much needed.
          Back when I was able to do bricklaying for a living I was fast and neat. Bricks were always my favourite but blocks just bored me to death.
          About the only two people that I remember being faster than me (neatness factored in also) was my senior bricklayer who I was put with to teach me and an American who moved to London. It was a funny way the American friend worked but it was so fast I could only do about half his daily block laying amount. When it got to bricks I got my own back 🙂
          I only laid about 40 bricks to stitch and tie a new patio door into the old window opening. The problem came when I had to lay the last 8 courses and my head was tilted back while reaching high. I have now damage to my cervical spine and boy does it hurt.
          Long gone are the glory days when I’d lay 2500 bricks a day in the footings or an average of 700 bricks as facework brickwork.
          Still, it was nice to get the trowel out and laugh with my son like we did when I was teaching him his trade.


          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Being a laborer has an earthy sense of true accomplishment that isnt felt in an office. I know this from experience, and truely believe we should who still have children at home do as Bri did and others here I am certain, as I do now, teach them how to live with their hands/wits alone, obviously not what our sister nanny states desire, after all, populations don’t support strict governments when they are individually sufficient.

          • Jess & Bri,
            As an engineer for 40+ years I didn’t do labor for a living; but, I have done nearly everything one needs to do around a home or homestead. From concrete, bricks, and blocks to rough and finish carpentry, plumbing and electrical, and I do know the sense of accomplishment when you do a real physical labor and have something real when you are done.
            You also get some of the best sleep ever after a hard physical day and a shower or soak in the tub.
            The only issue is that as I get older, these tasks seem to just get a little harder by the day.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP agreed, it does get harder- however, no less fulfilling. 🙂

          • Jesse,

          • AZ Camper says:

            Mike Rowe from the show Dirty Jobs has some great videos floating around on YouTube about skilled labor jobs and how not everyone needs or should feel they have to get a 4-year degree to land a good paying job.

          • AZ Camper,
            I have a 4 year engineering degree; but, at the end of four years my training and education didn’t stop, nor should it have. When I was in School I learned to design circuits with transistors and vacuum tubes; but not long after graduating micro circuits came onto the scene, and as that whole area of electronics continuously expanded, I constantly had to learn new things, including numerous software languages just to keep up. A 4 year degree in the right subject (engineering or some of the sciences) can still be lucrative; but, I too often see kids with 4+ years in French Art History, wondering why they can’t find work, since in the real world, education that is not also skills training, is just not very useful.
            As for Mike Rowe, I have followed him closely for the past few years and he now runs the mikeroweWORKS Foundation (profoundlydisconnected.com) where he teams up with large companies (Like caterpillar) and offers scholarships to kids who want to train in the skilled trades.
            While I have pretty much been gainfully employed in my degree area for 40+ years, at least some of my work could theoretically be farmed out to India or some other country; but, that is simply not true for your local plumber, electrician, HVAC tech, etc.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Any prepper that doesnt have a case or two of ramen aint doin it right 🙂

      Drop ramen noodles. Add local greens/rabbit etc., and some salt and pepper bam! (You dont need the sodium packets lol- but, chemistry wise I am certain I can find a use for extra sodium. )

      • Call me crazy, but I love chicken flavored ramen noodles.

        • Jean, beef is better. Lol

        • Jean,
          ”Call me crazy, but I love chicken flavored ramen noodles.”
          You asked for it crazy lady!!! LOL.
          My problem with ramen noodles is the flavor packets contain a lot of sodium; but, they can be flavored with other things and still make a quick meal or snack.

      • Jesse,
        Agreed on the Ramen. I dehydrate peas, corn, and mushrooms and toss those into the boiling water. A 1/4 tsp of Cayenne pepper and I have dinner for under 30 cents.

        Sometimes I’ll do it Korean style and crack an egg in the boiling water and stir it up. When it’s done, toss a slice of American cheese on top and it melts right in “Cheese Ramyun”.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Sirius, the egg drop approach…love it, okay. Trying!

        • Sirius,
          Other than the Cayenne, this sounds great. Poached egg and cheese ramen with mushrooms and vegetables and also low in sodium. Yumm!!!
          I’ll be putting some fresh mushrooms in the dehydrator tomorrow and then some frozen vegetables, so this could be a really tasty, actually rather healthy snack.

      • Ramen, it’s not just a main course anymore….

        Dessert Ramen

      • JM, and spam too !!!

    • LOL Bri. I haven’t heard the term “dirty burger” in a loooong time.

      Gosh a £ is not bad for 5 packets. Yes, it is unhealthy as all get out, but will stave off starvation. Can you get military meals (MRE’s) where you are? A lot of people dismiss them, but I have a couple of cases that NO ONE wanted at the local commodity center where I volunteered. I was told I could have them and snapped them up grinning all the way home. If a person is starving, just about anything edible will work.

      Good on the son giving you new gloves. For some reason, I saved all my old army and police gear….including gloves. I am sure glad I did. It is going to come in right handy.

      Do you ever get down to Westcliff-on-sea? If you do, go round to the Army Navy Surplus UK store. They have some good bargains from time to time. The store is huge. Many years ago I bought a rucksack from them and it has held up well considering the abuse it has taken.

      • Izzy,
        MRE’s really aren’t that bad. They sure beat the heck out of the old C-rations. Unfortunately they are about 3000 calories a piece, but if you have to eat them, you need those extra calories. Just stay away from the dehydrated pork patty. My military working dog wouldn’t even eat it.

        • “My military working dog wouldn’t even eat it.”

          LOL Sirius. That is too funny. Were you with an MP unit?

          The MRE’s, like Ramen also have a lot of sodium, but I will darn sure eat them if I have to.

          As I recall, the C rats came in a box with a p-38 aka agi….aka John Wayne, and a can of sterno sometimes. The only time I had to eat them was when we bivouac’d in boot camp. I don’t recall them being too bad, but then I was ALWAYS hungry so I guess they must have been okay at the time.

          Come to think of it, sterno isn’t a bad prep.

          • Izzy,
            Yup, sure was. 6168 Combat Support Squadron in Korea and the 377 Security Police Squadron in Germany. The thing I remember about C-rats is don’t ever eat the Ham and Eggs. It looked like a dirty sponge, tasted like a dirty sponge and pretty much had the same texture as a dirty sponge.

          • That is why I joined the Navy. You take your refrigerator, freezer, and galley with you. Good eats all the time, except when at battle stations. Even then they send down a good boxed lunch at meal time.

          • Sirius, my father n law chewed some of the same dirt as you.

        • Sirius,
          My now departed best friend was special forces back in the late 1970’s, and told me that the downside of getting back late from patrol, was that the only food left was a pile of those pork patty MRE’s.
          Perhaps that’s where they get their nickname of Meals Rejected by the <b?Enemy, LOL.

      • Izzy, yes we can get MRE’s here but the people selling them have jumped onto the preppers = £££££ bandwagon. I think a 24 hour ration pack costs about £15 from most suppliers with some greedy people charging around £40 for the same. The all day breakfast is the best followed by the curries in my opinion.

        If you remember a post I made about the chest freezer I got off my youngest daughter and son-in-law then you will understand the meat in there will add to the noodles for substance.

        Westcliff-on-sea, now I haven’t been to that army surplus in years, about 35 years in fact. I think I was going there for British army lightweights with the two side map pockets, all the fashion for the 80s skinhead when worn with a nice pair of DMs or moccasins (I feel the years).
        But thank you for reminding me. I often get invited to Westcliff-on-sea to do a radio field day by the beach by one of my radio friends. My son has started coming to our radio club’s monthly gathering at what we call a Skills Night . I think he’d love to come to the radio meet by the sea if he and I could take some time out to visit the Army surplus shop, two birds with one stone lol.

        My burgers are real dirty burgers and I make them myself with beef and minced pork meat to bind it all together. My kitchen is like a science lab while I’m concocting the discs of death for my friends and family 🙂

        Thanks again for the reminder,

        • I still wear doc martens.

          • Bam Bam,
            I gave up on them thar DMs about 10 years ago, got fed up with slit soles or the sides ripping along the big toe joint.
            I now go for Magnum Amazons as they are a bit ‘grey man’ with all the CAT boots being in fashion.
            I did wear British 95 issue combat boots in black as they were better than DMs but there is a problem with the rubber soles too. Seems that if you get a pair that’s been in stock for around the 5 year mark the soles self destruct in a very short time.
            My son bought a pair of ‘grafters’ high calf boots because the bouncers we know said they were good boots. My son had his a year with almost everyday use and hardly any wear to the soles of leather. I was so impressed I bought a pair and they are indeed comfortable beyond belief.

            Ox-bllod DM.s with Levis with the half inch turn-up and me old crombie coat, them were the days.
            I remember a group of us being asked to leave a pub because they didn’t serve teddy boys, punks or skins, I was the only skin in the group, the others were all army and back home on leave lol.
            Memories, something to think on when things get tough !


          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Teddy boys, havent heard that term in decades hahaha, amazing how people type others based on anything and everything…

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Bri, i doubt id pass for a dandy ever, been slapped with punk/skin but heck, im not even those…more an enigma 🙂

  32. Almost There says:

    Good morning Pack,

    This has been another crazy week. The weather has been a little more even and no major storms to speak of, but still have drama with the tooth. Sadly, think the end result will cause me to have one less tooth in my head… Will come up with the plan on Monday when I go back to the oral surgeon. One last day of abx to go.

    Purchases – bought a cornbread stick cast iron pan and “A Skillet Full” Lodge cookbook; 10 Simple Green samples from thrift store, along with a couple of BIG bags of new door pulls, knobs for $2 and $3. Walgreens had their vitamins on sale BOGO for 50%, so bought Centrum, which also had a coupon and bonus tabs, and they had laundry soap on sale for $1.99, got 2 bottles.

    Went to the monthly Hydroponics class, which discussed making organic “teas” for nutrition. Also saw something called “Green Stalk” which is a growing tower that was very well made and looks very easy to grow indoors if needed (thinking for a way to grow food in the event of nuclear fallout contamination in the soil) and/or if you have a small space to grow with. It uses dirt and you water from the top and it waters everything below and it’s made in TN. The price didn’t seem too awfully bad, and their website has plenty of testimonials and videos. Might get one or two, JIC.

    Checked out the local nursery for dwarf fruit trees after the host posted his find. I didn’t know they made dwarf fruit trees. So, I will be purchasing a few next week.

    Received my “When there is no Dentist” book. Still waiting on “When There is No Doctor” to come in. Solo Stove came in and will start practicing with it.

    Prayers for the pack for healing and strength, unspoken needs, for the President, and for America.

    Happy Easter everyone. Remember who is really in charge.

    Off to work in the storage unit.

    • Hey man, that is great news! I too have decided to take my weight loss seriously and have been using an app to help me track carbs and fats,as I apparently love both, but they certain,y pack on the pounds and weight. Want to definately avoid diabetes as it runs in my family. Keep up the good work!

    • Let me know how your solo stove works for you. I like mine. Hoping for the best with your tooth!

    • Almost There:
      I hope you can keep that tooth. Sounds painful. Will have to look up Green Stalk.

      • Almost There says:

        Thanks Moe…. Oral surgeon sending me back to the Endodontist to see if the root canal can be redone (originally done in 1984), mouth still numb. The saga continues. Grid down, this would not be a pretty picture…

        • I have had two teeth still get reinfected after a root canal. After years of suffering I had them extracted, the last one just two years ago, AHH relief. I had another back molar that needed a root canal but had it pulled because I knew there would only be misery if I didn’t.

          I think all the years I suffered from tooth infections and the antibiotics I had to take contributed to my becoming fully disabled at 56. My entire body hurt and I became severely depressed and suicidal. That was eight years ago and I feel much better after having that last bad tooth pulled two years ago. Do whatever you need to cure this, do not just man up and live with the pain.

  33. checked my storage, need to get back at it. Did biuy a lot of different batteries, thats taken care of.
    Still too cool to plant garden, got cabbage and onions in, but nothing else.
    How is your father doing M.C.? Keep use posted.
    I love this Blog and feel like I know all of you personally.We are one good group of people, who thinks smart and long.
    Happy Easter, and pray alot. We can take care of each other.
    More rain I suppose when it quits , it will be like last summer, far aapart. and few
    Keep canning and putting away.

  34. Coffee,bought on line two cases with 6 more coming. Major need if we have social collapse.

  35. cndnathan says:

    MD any idea why the site was down for many hours Friday night ?

  36. Always Forward says:

    Prayers for the Pack and am grateful to celebrate the Ressurection tomorrow.
    Asparagus is coming in a long with the onions and lots of flowers on the strawberries. Blueberries look to have made it through the freeze. Am trying some stealth gardening too closer to the house so planted some asparagus in the flower bed as well as bee balm.
    Bought tomato and pepper plants today and will plant here shortly. Also some marigolds to keep the pests away.
    Have made 5 batches of violet jelly – all tasty, but 5 different shades, which is fine. Tried my first mint jelly last night and it is very pretty. That one took 2 drops of green food coloring. The violets are as is.
    Got some Red Cross toothache packs that someone recommended. Ordered two more sponge mop replacements. Bought more butter and sugar. Sold a few bigger items on eBay and spent on preps. Am looking to replace running shoes soon with several new pair. Ordered and received several bottles of anti-diarherral medication. Bought more dish detergent for stock. Just try to keep looking around and have at least six of everything, if not more. One eye on the news, but the other on the Lord

  37. With everything going on in the world right now, we have been concentrating on short term radiation protection. We have a laundry room in the center of our concrete block house that also serves as a safe room. We have been adding sandbag walls around the outside of the entire roon for additional gamma radiation protection. Added addional supports over the ceiling to carry sandbags. Puchased additional meal bars and mountain house meals, for use in our shelter so all we have to do is add water and eat.

    • Jas; I hope you are planning on a few inches of steel….like about 8. Or 3 feet of solid concrete lined with steel. Sandbags above ground will not stop gamma rays.

      You also need to consider your oxygen in a tightly enclosed area. Depending on where a person is from the blast, you will be stuck indoors for at LEAST a week if not 2. Which is why a Geiger counter is also important to have.

      • Jas and Izzy. Nothing actually stops gamma rays. Everything, including distance attenuates gamma rays. The more dense any material between the source and you, the more it attenuates the radiation. That’s why lead is one of the best materials. Sand bags may not be the best shield, but they are a ton better than air, wooden walls or block walls. Concrete may be better, if it has the same thickness, but sand bags are definitely faster and cheaper. I would never downplay their utility as a radiation shield. My bonafides: I was a disaster control team chief in Strategic Air Command and a precision measurement tech. One of the things we measured was radiation. Also calibrated radiac meters, using a radiation source of known strength.

  38. I’ve had a busy week. Busy with raised gardening, work and just as I had a few extra bucks to spend on food, the washing machine dies, and I cut up a back sidewall tire while crossing a railroad track today. Just can’t get ahead it seems….2 steps forward, three steps back.

  39. Most of my preps came in from jet.com. Now all I have to do is get it all put away. I did pick up veggie seeds to store. Picked up soil for my apple tree coming in next week. Yeaaaaa….more apples in a year or 2. Started seeds inside for more oregano, cilantro, parsley and cherry tomatoes.

    That’s about it for me. Prayers for M.D.’s father. Prayers for all fellow Wolfies. Prayers for our nation. God bless us all.

  40. Put up 9 quarts of chili con carne. Used wild hog, turkey and beef in my own recipe. Nothing wild or unusual about the recipe, but I don’t like to use ground meat in my chili. Much prefer to dice the meat and brown it with chopped peppers and onions as a first step. Prepared a bed for and planted strawberry plants. It’s adjacent the blackberries and raspberries. Got a good deal on spices for long term storage. Bought three spiral sliced hams for freezer storage at sale price. Did some repairs on BOL. Was given a couple hundred feet more or less of 75 ohm coax. It would have been better if it were 50 ohm, but this was free.
    Praying for the nation, President Trump and the pack. Grateful to God for his gift to us all and to Jesus for his sacrifice, courage and love.

  41. Happy Easter Everyone

  42. Planted another three “Black Beauty” eggplants in the raised bed. Still need to add the drip lines to that bed. Really like not having to water by hand every day! Everything is looking good, especially the potatoes. They are already 6″ tall and very healthy looking. It won’t be long before I add the next level to the bed.

    Brother-in-law drove down from NH for the week. He’s an avid hunter so will likely want to try out my stuff, especially the AR platforms. Last time he used and M-16 was when he was in Vietnam in the early 60’s.

  43. American Pacrat says:

    Waited to post after the hick up the sight had the other day.
    Recent discoveries in regards to food storage while going though items stored away from 2012-13. Dehydrated potatoes in a plastic baggie and vacuum sealed-NO, same item in glass jars-YES, will using them for a homemade dish for dh & myself.
    Pecans in glass canning jars held, even though one of jars lost it’s lid which popped off, they tasted ok, but could tell their time limit for storage was at an end due to loss of the vacuum seal. They are going to the chickens for a tasty snack along with all the vegetables I had placed into plastic baggies an vacuum sealed.
    If you wishing to put up your own dehydrated veges’, low oil nuts use glass canning jars. These were put up with ‘out’ the O2 absorbents.
    Canning jars, discovered the older jars 1940’s era and back do no always work with the vacuum seal. Believe it is the rim design which does not always work with the sealing machine. The square designed does not hold the seal even with using two lids.
    Cheddar cheese crackers(fish), re-used the peach jars from Costco. Like canning finger tighten the lids on then placed into vacuum seal bags and process. After so many failures thought that these would be a toss also(2015/16 processed). Neighbor & I like these every so often so I was purchasing the large quantity at Costco but we could not eat the crackers fast enough, hence the experiment. Opened up the continents, sampled a cracker, like they came fresh out of the package. Sent the jar home with the friend & neighbor.
    Per the TP king on another site “One can never have enough”, so started checking the status of this commodity. Mice had gotten into some of the packages, so tossed the damaged rolls. Same with the paper towels, for some reason they dislike the make of the towel material. Snap traps have dropped the mouse round up down to one per day before I was collecting 6+ per day.
    Have a wonder Easter.
    New call sign will be “Antique Collector”, fits me better than what dh used to call me…pacrat. He was a minimalist due to military pick up & go life style. Never understood my love for antiques.

  44. Happy Easter Everyone.
    As the weather warms up here in east Tennessee, we’ve been busy all the way till the sun goes down.
    * We have a 17ft x 56in wide G-III boat that’s legal now to run all over Watts Bar lake.
    * Our small garden is done along with new rain catching barrels now full for watering said garden.
    * The bolt replacement in a Stevens 120 single-shot 22-cal rifle is done and working well.
    * Added 3 full sheets of plywood (1- 3/4in & 2- 1/2in) to our wood stash from a construction site that was throwing it away in their clean-up.
    We’ve collected lots of material from job site clean-ups this year just by asking. Most are glad to see left over material go away without them having to do it.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Thats a great idea, I should do more trolling for lumber and building supplies around those sites locally, makes sense.

      • Jesse,
        You’d be surprised what materials can add up when a work crew is done at these job sites.
        I tell them what a great job they have done before asking for left-over material.
        When they say I can have something, I don’t lolly-gag on getting it. I was warned once that they didn’t want to get a fine on their clean-up job because I didn’t get something they said I could have. ( a pile of rebar )

    • I feel like a dufus!! I’ve never thought of asking around a construction site. You’re a genius!!

  45. Having problems with my WiFi, so happy Easter everyone.

  46. Cavtrooper says:

    Happy Easter cubbies, I see that the best prepper community site on the web is still going strong. Thank you for that MD. Praying that we are not really as close to the end (beginning?) as we appear to be.

  47. First and foremost I hope all had a wonderful Easter!
    Busy week of doing more than of purchases. YDS finished up his Eagle project YEAAAAA!!! There were some complications and it took a couple extra days to complete it but finally it’s done. Had the septic pumped and the propane filled. 2 days of rain stopped outside work so caught up on some inside plumbing repairs. Planted 4 more fruit trees and seeds are sprouting and growing like mad. Planning a big bulk supply run this week to help fill in some holes and hoping to get more outside repairs done by the end of the week. Keep on keeping on, just praying we have enough time, then again is there ever enough time?

  48. . …For the most part, I’ve been doing what everyone else here has been doing. Watching the news and hoping that things don’t go crazy.
    ….Talked lots to the kids about the state of affairs in the world. Explained to them that in my youth, I actually had the same fears and lived with the same possible outcome as they are living with now -the cold war. One big difference is that my parents never discussed how they might handle a disaster. I do remember living with intense anxiety, especially while on a school canoe trip when I was about 16. A full week away from any source of news, sleeping out in the wilderness with a million stars visible overhead and seeing the lights of planes criss-crossing the sky. I never shared those feelings with anyone until I talked with my kids about them. I let my kids talk about what frightens them and together we discussed how we might handle each situation. Some fears had no great solutions – like what if their birth families showed up at our door and we only had enough food to feed me and the kids? What if we knew that their birth families were in the city starving and we had food and still had fuel for the van but it would be dangerous to drive there? What if people came to our house and we couldn’t defend? How would we care for all the farm animals if it was winter and we had to leave suddenly? They have real fears and the answers weren’t easy to discuss.
    ….It’s after 3 in the morning right now and I’m still up with a sick lamb – Isabella. She’s bottle fed and bloated suddenly at 4 weeks old. It has been about 36 hours and she’s still alive and has started pooping. At the beginning of this ordeal, the vet told me to mix some dish soap with water and give it to her by syringe – apparently this helps the small gas bubbles turn to bigger ones and gets peristalsis (intestinal movement) going so that they can pass the bloat. I did as told and then started feeding rehydration fluid first by syringe and now 1/2 cup every hour by bottle and am feeling that there’s a chance she might live. My house stinks like lamb poop, which I would rather have then go out to the barn every hour when it’s cold, dark, wet and muddy. It’s my second night on the couch.
    ….There is much to do in my regular life but much more is added because of my prepper life. I don’t mind.

    • Almost There says:


      WOW… Hope your lamb is doing better. What a simple thing to get things going again… Just curious, what is the ratio of soap to water?

      Good questions to go over with your kids… And they are thinking about it.

      • about a teaspoon of Dawn original to half cup of water. I have also tried baking soda and water in the same ratio

    • How is your baby doing? I hope everything worked out!

  49. preparednana says:

    Reorganized and inventoried my medical kit. I could, if push comes to shove, stop major bleeding and suture major wounds in the absence of actual medical personnel. I need to buy some things to round out the supplies, some type of anti biotic to pack said wounds with, if I have to do the work the situation will be desperate and not sterile, I can get clean but not sterile. Any suggestions out there?

    • Antique Collector says:

      Sterilization on equipment or bandages which will be washed and reused?
      I think a pressure cooker, one for food might work -JIC. If you have a pressure “canner” they have been noted for using as conclaves for medical devises. Check out Dr. Bones & Nurse Amy’s sight for medical information on this matter. Good resource, along with their medical book, believe MD has a web page for them on this blog you can link through to their sight.

      • Antique Collector,
        If you have a pressure “canner” they have been noted for using as conclaves for medical devises.
        I think you meant autoclave, and I only point this out because the correct terminology here is very helpful. A Google search for
        ”how to use a pressure cooker as an autoclave finds a lot of useful information including a nice pdf with photos and charts. I like pdf files since I can keep them locally and don’t have to rely on the internet being available. I just saved this one.

        • Antique Collector says:

          You are correct on the terminology, provided the incorrect term, thank you for catching the error.
          Sometimes I really like the check spell they build it, but when ones has to provide the correct spelling for medical terminology to the computers library gheeezz. lol at myself for missing my boo boo

    • Anonamo Also says:

      Sterile towels, sterile tools, can be had by using pressure canner.
      Sterile gloves can be bought by the pair, having a few pair could be a life saver.
      collodial silver is wonderful for incisions and tolerated by all those who are not ALLERGIC, silvadene cream can be bought with a rx and sometimes without,… Silver gel comes in a popular name brand in .5oz tube, about the right amount for an incisional wound. Having an assistant squeeze it out on sterile field, like glove packaging inner liner?would keep inner part of tube and field sterile. Oil of oregano could also be used for wound care. I have seen it reduce irritation and scarring of an insult. Tea tree oil also works and there are other essential oils that have antibiotic properties.
      If animal bite or big gash, clean as much as posssible, before pulling wound together. There is something to be said for steri strips, which can be made by using those tiny bandaids… help secure with a bigger bandage across…and easier to put on a screamer.
      Know how to use antibacterial washes/soaks,..(my choice is epsom salt 3 tbsp, and bleach 2 tsp, in solution.. to qt of hot water) and keep drawing salve in case of wound infections, and all kinds of inflamed places.
      Bandaids! Liquid benadryl! works quicker than tablets/capsules.
      Make plantain tincture for insect bites and allergic reactions to stings, topically, it takes the pain out, if anaphylactic reaction it may give more time to get to help.. plantain can also be taken internally for stomach if made with food grade alcohol…. for kids dose tinctures can put in very warm water and stir, let sit a few minutes to allow most of the alcohol to evaporate.
      individually wrapped femine pads of all sizes, make the best absorbent wound care! but will need loads of tape or bandage material to place around to hold in place. Sports wrap will secure in odd ball places as will Vet wrap from the farm store.
      Betadyne wound wash can also be used to do iodine loading to protect the thyroid.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Filtered for particulates but not boiled HONEY HONEY HONEY, local and dark is best for wound care, add keeping it clean (i stock cases of wound wash and 4x4s) and moist covered/ and wound heals very quickly and well. (20+ major surgeries over 400 sutures/staples/etc , multiple poly bacterial infections while the doctors tried to figure out why moist heals faster than dry (dead cells cannot bind/live cells do. But require hydration) i agree with colloidal silver etc , 🙂 and bacitracin as well.

  50. preparednana says:

    I live in the PNW and the county I live in is trying to prepare for the major subduction event that is long over due. They are teaching preparedness classes, getting neighborhoods to “map” the neighborhood, listing elderly, handicapped, and special skills that could be of use in a disaster along with other things. I am very conflicted about this. Do I try to teach people what I know and how to take care of themselves, opening us up for scrutiny by individuals and government entities or do I keep very quiet and just let everyone take care of themselves. The class sponsored by our HOA is soon so if I could get some feed back on this I would appreciate it.

    • Quietly_Will says:

      A lapse in OPSec is one of the few things that can’t be “undone” short of moving away. If the training generates interest then those folks will find resources that work for them. Those that don’t will just remember where the hand out may be.

    • Always Forward says:

      I think if it were me I would elect to teach a simple skill and say nothing about what I have or don’t have. It could even be as basic as gas and power shutoffs to not cause fires in the neighborhood or picking a place to meet or go. Good luck and let us know what you decide.

    • This is a tough one. I think I would attend the class but be very careful of how much I disclosed since it is a county wide list.

  51. Cutworks are running rampant in my tomato garden. Two plants withered and upon inspection found them completely cut through at just below ground level. Hopefully I can wrap the remaining plants and add some countermeasure before anymore plants suffer the same fate.

    Picked up another case of 5.56 ball to replenish the range stock.

    Finally installed the last of the drip system on the last raised bed. Should keep the recently planted eggplants happy!

    The sauerkraut has been used almost daily for anything from a quick cold snack to being piled (cold) on a nice hot pastrami Ruben. At the current rate, I’ll need to get hot and start another batch. I’ll be ordering two more of the 10 Liter German Fermentation Crocks today from canningsupply.com. Not cheap, but worked well and seem to be built to last.

    • M, I’m going to have to check up on the sauerkraut, I like it but the Mrs doesn’t like anything with cabbage. More for me !!! Lol I still have about 5 heads growing so it should work. Although, she does like coleslaw….

      • Copy all. The wife hasn’t drummed up the courage to try the home made stuff, but will eat store bought. I’v been eating it for a week and I’m still here with no issues. Five heads should make a good amount. I used four fairly large heads to fill my 10 liter crock. I filled four 1/2 gal Ball jars with the final product and vacuum sealed for storage in the fridge.

    • Always Forward says:

      I’ve read that fireplace ashes spread around the plants will keep cutworms away. I have not tried it yet, but I’m going to do it in the next few days. Good luck. It’s so frustrating to lose plants.

      • Always Forward,
        That makes some sense; but, be sure you use only the fine gray ashes that are very alkaline. In fact, dripping water through a container of fine gray wood ash is how you can make a weak lye solution (potassium hydroxide) to make soap. Use of this homemade lye water and animal fat is how the pioneers made their own soap, literally from scratch.

  52. Yay, my WIFI is working again. It will be on my preps for this Friday. Lol

  53. Almost There says:

    Hello everyone,

    I know it’s short notice, but there is a program on my public television channel tonight under the program “Independent Lens”, and their program tonight is about Seeds. “The efforts of seed keepers to preserve the 12,000-year-old food legacy of humans are examined. Over the past century, seed diversity.” It definitely looks to be a good show…. Hope you have a chance to watch it.

    • Almost There,
      Found the program and set it to record, next Sunday evening here locally.

      • Almost There says:


        I watched it and it was really good. We have done away with (one way or another) 94% – 96% of our seeds… Only 4% – 6% are left. Very sad.

  54. AZ Camper says:

    I am late posting and it has been quite awhile since I have shared here, due to life being more time and energy consuming. My mother is pretty ill and has been hospitalized several times. She is there now. Also dealing with health issues with other family member that just can’t seem to get balanced out and it’s a learning curve balancing basic life with what needs to get done. Add to that trying to homeschool and continue teaching my high school class, purge and simplify our lives, cook healthier meals…etc…

    We all have some of the same struggles but life is good. Change is hard but makes us stronger. We have found a used camper and are organizing it, trying to update some things, added solar panels to the roof, picked up a small, portable washer for when we are boondocking for more than a weekend and don’t want to take a lot of clothes, and could benefit from doing a load of laundry.
    I have been collecting fabric and other items at store sales and garage sales to start a side business, and spend lots of time researching market prices, watching videos to learn new skills, etc… had to replace old sewing machine with a new one…

    New shelving for the storage area, more practical containers. Our kitchen pantry is so tiny that I have used an extra bedroom for extra purchases and spent time making categories and hung big index cards on shelves kind of like the grocery store aisle signs but smaller scale and very specific. Green beans, sweet potatoes, etc., all have a big sign in front of them, so there is no excuse for not being able to find what Mom is asking for when kids are sent to get a jar or can of something. That is such a small thing, but huge in making my life easier.
    I enjoy reading here when I can…always something helpful to learn…

  55. AZ Camper says:

    Oh, on another note, a friend has made a movie about surviving an EMP in Phoenix and it is available on You Tube, just released, called Jack Phoenix. Check it out!
    Go to Jack Phoenix.com to see the full movie.

  56. Just planted the replacement tomato plants with collars. Hopefully the cutworms keep away. Also planted another 12 health looking cucumber plants. The potatoes are growing so fast I’ll need to add another box and layer of soil this weekend.
    Ordered the two German Fermentation Crocks. Can’t wait to try some pickles and other fermentation recipes!
    The next few weeks will be interesting with all that is going on with the little fat Nork. Might result in a lot of panicked people and protesters running off the rails if things go south. Little concern about myself being deployed, but the youngest son is in the que for deployment to Korea.

  57. Mustang,
    I am so happy to hear about the success of your kraut. Check out the book “Pickled Vegetables” by Kirsten and Christopher Shockey. It will give you some ideas. This week I found a recipe for pickled eggs and pickled wieners. I’m hoping they taste like the Southern Bar Food where I first tried them.

    You, like me, are a little past the “deployable” age. Your youngest son, however, is going to have the time of his life in Korea. Just let me know if he needs to know where to go drinking. Tell him, the best hang-over preventative is Yaki Mandu and Cheese “Ramyun”. Stay away from Soju. Try the Mokoli, but mix it with lemon-lime Fanta. And if he has any extra money, convert American dollars to Korean Won. He’ll make a 10 to 25% return on investment by the time he leaves.
    Oh, and spend a couple thousand Won at the local grocery store and get some rolls of Gim Bap. That’s only a couple of bucks. Take it to the local bar, and let all the girls eat it. It’s basically a California Roll. They like dipping it in a pile of salt. Go figure. Oh, and if he can get the little smoked and dried fish… the bar girls like noshing on those like we do with potato chips.

  58. Well, we’re almost on to the next What did you do to prep week. I guess better late than never. Mostly I have been in a funk. I went to the the rural place for the kids spring break last week. I have looked forward to the trip since January’s visit. I had so many plans. But when I got there, uuuggghhhhh.

    My oldest daughter and grandsons (9 & 11) live there. She’s supposed to look after things until we are able to move there. In exchange, she is supposed to be saving up to buy her own place, and paying $175 in “rent” a month. The rent is to pay for projects that need done around the place (like gutter repair that needed done this trip). If I charged a stranger rent, I could easily asked for and gotten $900 a month for a place of it’s size and condition.

    I get there: The generator I just purchased was still sitting on the front porch where UPS left it 3 days prior. (I can consider this a positive outcome I guess, since no one stole it.) After an almost 7 hour drive, I couldn’t open the door to come in for all of the laundry and crap that completely filled the front hallway. As it turns out, the NEW washer and dryer I bought in November (two less huge things to move when I move, or so I thought), have been broken for a month. No call to the company for service, no laundry done for over a month. Stove top broken, but no one apparently knows how that happened. The chickens had no food or water beyond what was in the water trough I bought last time. The grass was knee high. The metal shed I bought and partially paid a friend of hers to put up, looked like a tornado had hit it. Apparently, she went ahead and gave him the rest of the money before he finished, and he stopped at three walls and an out-of-square base hastily put together, and walked away. The wind had it’s way with it since it was basically was a three sided metal sail. She has now received three income tax refunds equalling nearly 24k (for her own place once I’m able to move), and she has not saved a single dime, and nothing of any value to show for it. Literally, she has nothing, aside from apparently enough clothes for over a month for all of them and not have to do laundry, and a bunch of craft supplies for half finished projects. She didn’t even have the $525 in rent for the last 3 months. She spent all of her last tax check on taking the boys, her boyfriend, and his brother on vacation the week before. All this and more = the funk I have been in.

    So, for the first half of the trip, I cleaned up after my grown ass daughter. Infuriating. Disassembled and reassembled (after some major dent repair) the shed. Cleaned out the chicken coop (and of course fed, watered, and free ranged the girls). Found out the reason for the breakdown of the washer and dryer was due to her having the kids to laundry (and they were literally packing down the loads solidly before running the washer/dryer). Apparently this kind of abuse voids the warranty.

    My Father, who went with us, decided she needed a riding mower. Something I already have at my current home, so I didn’t feel the need to get another. I had already bought a self-propelled push mower for there when I first bought the place. With only about 2/3rds to 3/4ths of an acre to mow, it only takes about 2 hours more or less. I’m 19 years older than her, smoked most of my adult life (I know that’s bad), and I don’t have a problem doing it.

    Anyway, one of my Father’s old friends reconditions mowers, and without asking me, arranged for ME to buy one of his mowers. So down another $300 dollars for a mower THAT WOULDN’T STAY RUNNING. My Father felt bad of course, but would not take the mower back or ask for it to be fixed. (apparently the friend has been quite ill, too ill to get out and fix it, and really needed the money) This is one of my Fathers signature moves… make promises to people (like telling my daughter he was getting her a riding mower, and promising his friend that I would buy the mower), and when it doesn’t work out, throw me under the bus as if it was my idea to begin with. So I’m just out the money.

    So now I was down $825 from the funds I thought I would have for repairs and such. The majority of which I had planned on using to pay for the repairs to the gutters, and to put gutter covers on. Pretty much all of the plans I had, and repairs I need to make, will have to wait.

    What I was able to do: Got 4 rolls of duct tape. Put together fishing kits for our bags. Got 400 rounds of 9mm, and 500 rounds of 22 LR for about 2/3 of the regular price. (Auctions around there are weird but I like it) I found a 55 gallon rain barrel with a lid that screws on, at a garage sale for $10. I’m going to rig it up with a gutter along the edge of the coop so the overflow goes directly to the trough for the girls.

    I also found a small old cast iron stove for $25. It was rusted, but remarkably sound, and included all of it’s parts. It’s a King Stove and Range model #200 (called a Fatso). It cleaned up really nicely with a wire brush disk for my new (bought for myself with gift cards from Christmas) driver drill (which I found laying out in the yard….). Amazingly it still worked! I gave the stove a mild acid wash after the scrubbing, and painted it with high temp paint. Turned out really nice. Of course for now it’s a decoration, but I think it could be used in the room my parents would stay in (formerly the parlor, downstairs, with double doors leading out to the deck… since they both have mobility issues).

    I also got some flock blocks, along with 200 lbs of scratch and feed for the girls. I also made a deal with the next door neighbor. She can have all the eggs she wants (she’s a baker) if she checked on the girls every so often to make sure they had food and water. She was so excited and said she would check on them for me daily. She is truly a very nice woman and has been emailing me pictures of the girls, and let me know they are back to their normal laying patterns now. I told my daughter I still expected her to care for them, since she also bakes and uses the eggs, but it was this or putting an ad out for free chickens because I would not put up with her neglecting them.

    I did get to venture further into our wooded area since it’s early spring and the raspberries haven’t grown out yet. I found that the area with the spring was much fuller than in the fall, and the area that holds water is approximately 100′ x 20′. I think that will make a nice pond for our needs. Right now it is only about 2′ deep, but the land around it should support a small backhoe to dredge it out a bit. We did cut a path through to it, and along the front side of it with a tractor and brush hog borrowed from the farmer down the lane. We cut just enough to get to it, but not too much to make it obvious to anyone but the immediate neighbors. The dream of a small fishing pond is still alive folks!! And for that I AM thankful. Just that bit made everything else more tolerable.

    I also got a Biolite II camp stove and kettle pot. With my Cabelas Bucks from getting the generator, and club points I had built up, I paid around $6 dollars for both. I’ve wanted one of these for a long time, so since I had such a crappy “vacation” I decided I should go for it.

  59. Chuck Findlay says:

    Interesting evening going on right now, the house had a fire in the basement. We had a lot of rain this evening and when it downpours the basement gets a bit of water in one corner. We put a fan on it and about 11:00 to dry it out the house was full of smoke. The fire looks to be centered about where the fan was. We had 3 fire trucks, 2 life squads, a fire Chef’s truck and 4 cop cars. They took up 200+ yards of space on the road.

    The smoke was so bad I could not see 4 inches in front of me when I went down to the basement to kill the power, I did it by feel as the smoke was very thick, so much so that you could not see at all. I went out the front door and came in the side door to kill the power.

    Smoke was coming out of every window the fireman opened to vent it once they killed the fire.

    The fan had aluminum blades on it and they are just gone, don’t know how hot it has to be to melt them, but it had to be hot.

    We both are OK (I moved back in with my dad about a year ago to take care of him. He’s 90-years old) If I was not there I don’t think he would have made it out as he was not aware the fire was going on at first (sleeping) and was a bit confused for a few min.

    You could not hear the basement smoke detector on the second floor. The basement door was closed and stopped the noise, it also saved the rest of the house from filling up with smoke as it was closed.

    And the top floor detector was not that loud, or not as much as I thought it should be when it finally did go off. Going to look at finding ones that will wake the dead.

    Right now we are at a Comfort Inn, likely to be out of the house for a week or more while they do the cleanup.

    The Red Cross came to the house (at 1:00 AM) and gave us a pre-paid card with $450.00 on it to buy food, clothes and pay for the motel. I did not know they did this. Already got the ins company working on things.

    Don’t know the damage yet, the fire was contained to the basement, but smoke damage went to the upper floors, but not really that bad. It smells like smoke through the whole house, but no black soot other then in the basement. The basement is all black.

    I think what saved the house and maybe us is that the fire (the fan that started it) was right below a bunch of plastic PEX water pipes and melted them and they sprayed water all over the place. I just re-did all the water lines and updated the whole house to PEX less then a week ago. If the pipes were still the old copper pipes the fire would have been much worst as metal pipes don’t melt like pex.

    The gas line was also over the fire, but it’s black pipe and did not fail.
    Lesson to all of us, never run natural gas or propane through plastic pipe. I think it’s against the law to do so.

    I’m taking several days off work so we can get things moving on the clean up.

    I likely lost about a year’s worth of food stocks as all the buckets are 3-feet away from the fire center. Well I wanted to cycle through the food anyway…

    Very good news is that on the other side of the basement is the reloading bench and at least 80 pounds of gun powder and thousands of loaded rounds of ammo. All of the ammo has been waterproofed. The fire and water from the fireman did not touch that side at all.

    Not a good night, but not that bad considering how it could have went. We have a big mess to clean up and it will take a few months to replace the food.

    They let us back into the house about 1:00 AM to get a few things, didn’t really get much chance to look things over as the power is off.

    I’ll be glad to get in there tomorrow morning to get a good look at the damage and start the rebuild process.

  60. Oh, my goodness!! Such a blessing that you and your father are okay. I hope things move smoothly through the insurance processes, and your losses a limited to replaceable items, rather than family treasures!

    I have that worry about smoke alarms not being loud enough. My son sleeps like a stone. When I found the rural house, it was very reassuring to me that the smoke alarms are hardwired and connected. When one goes off, all of them throughout the house go off. And they are definitely loud enough to wake even the most sound of sleepers.

Before commenting, please read my Comments Policy - thanks!