What did you do to prep this week?

Well folks as expected we made it through 4/20 without any related deaths or violence… while I don’t smoke the herb I feel that it has it’s uses and is much safer and more effective than most everything that the medical doctors push on their patients.

According to business insider’s research there are 23 Health Benefits Of Marijuana – it’s sad when the government bans and regulates a plant that has so many benefits with few negatives, yet you can find a liquor store on nearly every corner…

Even more puzzling is that according to CDC reports:

Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States from 2006 – 2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years.

This isn’t counting deaths by alcohol related accidents like car crashes – and lets not overlook relationship problems and divorce with the root cause being excessive alcohol use. But I digress…

Before we get started with this weeks “what did you do to prep” I’d like to thank Mr Bill D for his contribution via snail mail – every month he contributes $25 – it is appreciated.

On another note our Facebook fan page has grown to over 15,900 followers – if you use Facebook then please feel free to like and share our page. Thank you.

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

This week I planted two dwarf pear trees, and two black berry bushes. I also started building more shelving in my storage area and received my copy of The Backyard Homestead Book of Kitchen Know-How: Field-to-Table Cooking Skills.

That’s it for me this week (no money for more) – 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. After Easter on clearance, I got a 17 lb and a 26 lb fresh turkeys for 99c/lb (dirt cheap here this year). The smaller hit the freezer for a summer meal, the larger got pressure canned and all bones roasted, made into stock and canned. 11 pints of turkey, 10 qts of turkey stock, 4 pints corned beef.
    Have a topbar bee workshop on Saturday and look forward to it. DS is leaning more towards langstroth hives as he can get lots of free equipment but the workshop will be hands-on educational regardless. DS brought home some unwanted wax buckets from work and I salvaged about a melted cup worth of beeswax. Isn’t a lot but it was free and I’ll have more in late summer when the main run starts.
    Built some short fencing for the veg garden to keep the family from stomping on plants. Strawberry raised beds are up and ready to fill once the rain stops. Peas and lettuce are planted and I’m waiting for overwintered potatoes to sprout so I know where I planted them; the markers went walkabout. Veg bed is weeded and waiting for warmer weather for planting. New compost box is in place, which makes 4. Cherry trees are flowering already despite the cool weather lately.

    • Gloria,
      I’ve always kept langstroth hives, since I find them easier to manage. The problems I see with the top bar hives is that you must crush the comb to extract the honey and IMHO that makes the bees work harder to make more comb and honey, plus, you really can’t harvest honey until the spring, since you don’t have a really good idea of how mush honey is available to leave the bees for over winter usage.
      We did a major cleanout of our freezer this past week and still have two turkeys from last Thanksgiving, waiting to be dealt with.

      • The topbars aren’t so much for honey for us but rather to have a healthy bee colony on the property pollinating things.

        • Gloria,
          We have tons of pollinators around and bees for us produce the raw honey for both medicinal and sweetening uses. Depending on what happens in the future, we may run out of sugar and oils, and this is a sustainable way to have sweeteners.
          Everyone does it for their own reasons, and whatever the reason, each thing we do makes us a little more self reliant and secure.

          • Cinderella says:

            We are considering getting some hives. How far away from your house would you recommend keeping them? We have small kids so I wouldn’t want them to get stung.

          • Cinderella,
            You can place the hives as close as you are comfortable with. Ours are about 150-200 feet away; but, I’ve seen them in yards only 20-30 feet from the house. If you have kids and bees, or even if you don’t have bees, kids playing in the summer will get the occasional sting, as did mine when they were young long before we kept bees.
            Once you’re comfortable with bees, you can easily stand a foot from the hive and watch them work with no fear of being stung, since they are your basic go along, get along critter.
            If you keep bees, you can expect to get stung on occasion when working with them; but, when properly handled, they rarely sting.

          • Greg Monger says:

            Here in Arizona all bees are the africanized hybrids and are very aggressive. Best to keep them a long ways away from anything that will disturb them. When they are going from flower to flower they are fairly docile, but when at their hive, leave em alone unless you are protected.

          • If you live in a town or city, check bylaws for distances from neighboring fences/property lines and from roads. And if your neighbors are allergic to bees. Bees like certain paths, especially to pollen and water sources, and non-bee people can have serious problems with this. Other people are just plain paranoid of them regardless of docile bees and these are the people who can cause problems for town/city beekeepers, especially when they mistake hornets for bees.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Gloria, so absolutely true…honestly I see the “omg im lergic too everthang” as a reaction and often means of acceptance within the non public school mommy crowd…eg., while loving montessori/alternative schools there are those who tend to make one shudder and wonder, just how they had kids given all their allergies 😉

            And the abject fear of “wild” animals of all types from sugar ants through the gruesome arizona killer the mythical rattlsnakeopus ; )

            It makes me laugh and wonder if after their vacatinf of domices/ ciles?/ will there be anything available besides massive amounts of well kept antibiotics and anti everything under the sun 🙂

          • Jesse,

            My brother is highly allergic to bee and wasps. As in hospitalized if he gets stung. Funny thing is, he has raised bees for many years and if someone near his locale needs bees removed, he is the go to guy in that area. He says that knowing how to handle them and being prepared for stings is just part of the job and comes with the territory. Of course he’s been a prepper for 40+ years, He calls himself a survivalist.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Joan, ^^ and obviously he is intelligent as well 🙂

            My lady is not deathly allergic to anything except strawberries, however, eggs for instance both whites and yolks cause bloating…sooo 🙂

          • Joan,

            He says that knowing how to handle them and being prepared for stings is just part of the job and comes with the territory. Of course he’s been a prepper for 40+ years, He calls himself a survivalist.

            Getting stung on occasion is just part of the job indeed; but, in my case no more than once per year.
            I too have been in a preparedness mindset for most of 60 years and a serious mindset and lifestyle for more than 40. Prepper, Survivalist, Self Reliant person, the title doesn’t matter, because those who rely on society but often deep down know they should be more like us will ridicule and make fun; but, that’s because doing what we do is a big step out of the mainstream, and hard for those who seek the admiration of their peers and neighbors.
            We just purchased half a beef with the other 2 quarter going to friends. Initially we were supposed to get only a quarter; but, another friend) of sorts) and his GF decided that their patio needed an upgrade instead of purchasing a freezer and filling it with beef. We’ve never lived without a freezer and would really miss not having one or our other preservation equipment

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Greg, not all are africanized though I agree that the myths regarding their murderous ways are disproportionate to the reality. Personally, I prefer the hardier nature they have and increased production ability however minute in some respects.

          • Greg Monger says:

            Jesse, Perhaps in other parts of the state, but here in SE Arizona, all are africanized. I am no expert, but a local guy who specializes in hive removal (wild bees) and has a store here where he sells honey and bee related products told me on jury duty about them. His name is Reed Booth (killerbeeguy.com) and has been interviewed on natl. tv etc. I have personal experience watching the bees in our garden and around our flowers and they seem fine if you leave them alone. I have seen hives flying around to find a new “home” and they are not looking for trouble, just moving. Some people do get freaked out by them, not me.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Greg. I know of him, the fact is there is no way to tell except with laboratory / etc., he enjoys promoting the idea that they are unfortunately while there are many, not all are. I have no doubt over the next few decades things will get more convoluted with strains. Regardless, he does make his money based on that premise, from 91-97 I worked summers with Simmons Honey Ranchito, at the time he had the largest selection of hives from Tucson down to Nogales across to Douglas and up through Rodeo. This was when they were first coming across-

            To be honest unless they have evidence otherwise, the only reason they are known as “killer bees” is because as you know the few horses, dogs that were killed after getting their noses in a swarm and being locked up couldn’t run away, the sad reality is bees fly extremely slow and NOT in a straight line, a simple quick run through some scrub brush gets you away from a swarm.

            I do laugh when I hear about him though, hes a good enough guy, but, is capitalizing on the misconceptions sadly. 🙁

            Regardless, im in Tucson and Sierra Vista now, we should sit for coffee/or a day trip shooting – whatever works 🙂 always up to meet good people.

            (Sierra vista area) 249 8four95

            jesse mathewson (at ) hotmail (dot) com

          • Cinderella,
            What Jesse mentions is something to consider. Those same Africanized strains are not a problem here, since they do not overwinter at all; but, if you live in a climate that doesn’t get extended cold weather, they can be a problem, so your climate is a consideration you need to take into account.

          • Greg Monger says:

            OP, What Jesse says is accurate as far as I know, we live in the same area. He is far more of an expert than I, I only know what I’ve been told, he actually raises bees. Climate is a factor for sure. Each of us need to consider all sorts of factors in terms of what to prepare for, how to plan, etc.

          • Greg Monger,
            I raised bees up until my stroke 2 years ago, and still keep my hand in things with friends who still raise them. All I know for sure is that the Africanized strains will not survive here, since they are killed by the winter cold. For the most part we only use Italian and Russian strains that have good cold tolerance.
            With a bit of luck, I’ll begin keeping them again next year.

    • Gloria, you are still slipping. Last week you got beat by granny, this week tie with JP. Lol

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      Thanks so much for your advice on dehydrating. I ordered the name brand sheets. They’ve been shipped and should arrive tomorrow. I don’t have anyone I personally know who dehydrates, and I value your help. Everyone here is so nice. I value getting feedback from all of the readers here. I’m sure I’ll be asking for more help later. Thanks to Gloria and everyone.

    • Jacksonmom says:

      We have a beehive I HAVE to do something with. It’s going to be a mess (I’m told). DH decided to take a bunch of the frames out & it’s been left alone for two years. I’m told I have to get another nuk (deep frame apparently) and then put the exclude between the two… but not before I take the plastic inserts out of the ones he took out & then rubber band them and take the chunks from the ones they made on their own. I’m all confused & the nearest bee keepers are like an hour away. And I don’t know them or ANYONE else who does bees. I know absolutely nothing about them & now I gave to clean up the mess left behind with no clue how (yet). Yay me!


    BOV/Camping truck is getting it’s “Spring Cleanup this and next week. Warranty work on transmission and front end. Oil change, cleaned air filter, battery service, bulb replacement, new windshield.

    The “daily commuter” van got its new windshield this week.

    Spend a good part of Saturday inspecting, sorting, and inventorying bulk food buckets.

    Hit the Thrift Stores in the next town over. Found some like-new 1” view-binders with the loops on the back vs. the spine and a pair of grapefruit spoons (virtually impossible to find in stores here).

  3. Keep in mind that mind altering substances have been with us for all of recorded history, and some will use or abuse these medications, generally IMHO out of a sense of frustration or depression, quite often because their lives are not going the way they intended. While I’ve had setbacks, if you keep a positive outlook and work steadily toward your goals, you’ll get to them, or at least close. In my case it has taken decades longer than originally hoped for; but, nevertheless, we’re getting there. Prepping as a lifestyle has made a lot of that positive attitude happen since I may at times feel inadequate; but, never helpless.

    This past week we did and acquired the following:
    1. I’ve been diligently practicing my Morse code, trying to get the speed back to where I used to operate. I’m hoping to be ready to run some CW operation on field day the weekend if June 24-25.
    2. Picked up some additional food grade buckets. Quantity 10: 2½ gallon and 5: 5 gallon with 18 lids.
    3. Dollar Tree
    • 2 quarts shelf stable milk dated January 2018
    • 10 chicken snacks
    4. Aldi’s
    • 1 ½ pounds mushrooms to dehydrate
    • 2 bags honey nut cashews
    • 2% and lactose free milk
    • Honey baked ham
    5. A non contacting infrared thermometer on sale at TSC
    6. 20 rolls TP
    7. Grape nuts & Raisin Bran
    8. A MAG member dropped off 3 pounds of asparagus which will be good since ours isn’t yet producing.
    9. Finished my taxes. I spent $106.00 on Turbotax and have no tax liability or refund. I also have to send the federal and local school income tax by mail and don’t have to file my Ohio forms this year.
    10. Cleared out 6 2-liter and 7 1-gallon bottles of ice from the chest freezer and replaced them with 330 pounds of beef.
    11. Added 6 more hens to our flock, so we now have 6 barred rock and 6 white rock.
    12. A Redfuel Sl161 jump starter battery pack arrived and has been added to the stack of batteries
    13. Ordered a standalone ice maker on sale. This frees up more space in the two refrigerator freezers.

    One day this week re ran an errand to the local town and were gone about 3 hours, and in that time when we arrived back home, we saw hundreds of yellow flowers in the yard. The dandelions all simultaneously sprung up almost out of nowhere. Both the goat and the bees will be happy.

    • OP, I sent those dandelions so you could make coffee substitute. Lol

    • OldAlaskan says:

      I remember as a youth drinking dandelion wine my father and neighbors made from the flowers and is good. Harvesting fresh dandelion leaves and putting them in salads or hot lettuce dressing just remember as the saying up here goes, “Remember where the Huskies go so you don’t eat no yellow snow”, wash them well. The roots dried and pulverized make a good tea.

    • Just arrived.
      16 new 12V 7AH SLA AGM batteries that will allow me to refurbish my last large UPS units.

    • Encourager says:

      2 quarts shelf stable milk dated January 2018

      pay attention to those expiry dates! I had some on the shelf and they had expired 2/17; I ran out of fresh milk and had two days until delivery so I opened one of them, poured it into a cup and microwaved it. Turned into instant curds! Smelled nasty. I guess there is no extra shelf time with the shelf stable milk….

      • Encourager,

        I guess there is no extra shelf time with the shelf stable milk….

        Perhaps a little; but, we’ll be using it as it comes due, with the first coming up in June. For now we can purchase milk numerous places without a problem, and in a pinch could probably hit up some neighbors who are dairy farmers; but, even they purchase store bought milk for general consumption.

    • justjane says:

      Chickens love dandelions. I used to pick them in the late fall and early spring and toss them in the pens. I cut my food costs down 80% by picking things like greens and berries from nature, and feeding it to my chickens, who were also free range for part of the day.

  4. medical was the watch word. saw the oncologist last friday. good for another year. monday the hand surgeon released me to go back to work. tuesday the oral surgeon agreed the tooth is not safeable so oral surgery is scheduled for may 1. thursday saw the med doctor who was happy with the test results but is requesting approval for a cat scan to serve as a base.
    waiting for tax refund for a couple of major preps but since i am back to work things should move forward with preps again.

    • Glad you are moving forward!

    • Almost There says:

      suzy q,

      Good to hear of the positive doctor report. I might be in the same boat as you with the oral surgeon. appt. is Thursday. ARGH!!!

      • the expense part is always hard but i am looking forward to getting this done.. better now when treatment, insurance and money is available.

        • Almost There says:

          suzy q,

          You are exactly right. Would rather have a dental expert work on my mouth now than some “friend” or acquaintance having to read up about it and then do a procedure…. I don’t think it would be very pretty in a grid down situation.

          • Oh yes, I definately agree, I want a professional, and a little novacane just for good measure. I’M not quite ready for a shot or two of shine, and my cousins pliers from the garage, nor would I let him do any sewing (stitches) on me!

          • my regular dentist used all the novocane he could and it still was too painful which is why i am going with the oral surgeon. he has more things he can use to make it less painful.

          • Jean,
            My dentist no longer uses Novocaine and says that Lidocaine has been used instead for at least three decades. It works as well as the former to ease pain; but, does not have the potential allergic reaction problem that used to occur with Novocaine, including anaphylaxis.

  5. Jesse Mathewson says:

    Compeleted a lego build…

    Am waiting for a yankee hill phantom/ magpul rear grip and a match stock- weight as is loaded/ 10.4lbs

    Not bad as it is specifically designed/put together for distance- accuracy- / PSA 16″ 5.56 NATO 1:7 Mid/a2 medium weight barrel Melonite /11″ Keymod Freedom Upper – melonited/bcg/m-16bcg(better supressed)
    And my favorite a single stage, p.o.f. drop in 4.5 lb single stage (smooth soooo smooth) like a thin glass rod-

    Two reasons I didnt get an 18 or 20″

    Because 16″ gives full burn/ and 2-4 more inches only gives a very small edge versus weight added not too mention harmonics change longer the barrel is, 16″ allows suppressor with only .5 at 100 drop 🙂

    It loves, absolutely loves imi 55grn/ 62grn/ 69grn and 77grn 🙂 sooo guess what i have stocked…

    Topping it is a Bushnell Optics Drop Zone 223 BDC Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets and Side Parallax, 4.5-18x 40mm

    So far taken it too 800 with very nice results- it prefers IMI 55-77 grn, the 69 and 77 grn have given me 3.4 and 4.1 groups at 800- 🙂

    And contrary to popular misinformation 5.56 at nato loadings has .380 ballistics at 1000 yards… (next step) so yes. It will put targets down, not like a 7.62×51 or 7.5×55 or .338 lap etc., however for weight versus…its a win!

    Got a few other things done, but the above was the big one…right under $900 totally built- very good price overall for a GOOD ar 🙂

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      And more garden 🙂

    • JM, I think you mean .308 ballistics. Not 380.

      The .556 actually won the competition against the .308 in the long range between a M16 & an AR10.

      I will put my match grade Colt AR 15 up against most.

      I was shooting at a range at a dime sized target and hit dead center while sighting it in, a Marine, returning from Afghanistan said, man I will take you anywhere. I said, and you will come home.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Thor1- I meant .380 or 9×17 ballistics at 1000 yards, meaning at 1000 yards the 5.56 77grn imi factory load hits with similar ballistic energy to a .380 (different characteristics as it is a longer round versus the obviously different 9×17/.380 round.)
        However, I agree, ballistically the 5.56 has the negative reputation it does honestly because of the poor hit ratio exhibited (yet better recent years as compared to (wwII/Korean war) and old biases vis a vis size is more important period 🙂
        I enjoy shooting out through 800 regularly and with cold bore hits in a 12″steel gong locally.

        As always. The invitation is out there, if any of yall get out this way, just drop me an email, ill take you shooting/ if you been in the mountains of Afghanistan or iraq…youll swear youre there again in some places especially with wind conditions for shooting 🙂

        • Never made it to the mountains in either place but the gas bill from MA might be worth it to shoot those distances!

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            It is, flatter in Utah less wind in Virginia but, fun shooting across beautiful canyons and vistas no where else seen here 🙂 have ranged as far out as 2200 but never shot more than 1120 with the K31 in 7.5×55 🙂 which I love, a friend is going with me next weekend and has both a creedmore 6.5 and .338 lapua sooo should be fun 🙂 i like knowing i can hit those distances

          • axelsteve says:

            long range is fun shooting. I would like to try some long shots with my 06.

        • JM, sorry, miss read the 380 drop comparison. When the bullet drops out of supersonic and goes into flutter. Got it.

  6. Prepared Grammy says:

    This week I accomplished a little more since I was off work. I can’t wait for retirement:

    -I kept the three youngest grandkids a couple of days. They sure wore me out, but we had so much fun.

    -Added to the stockpile: livestock electrolyte replacer (Already had to use it, and glad I had it on hand. So, I bought even more to keep for later use.), bleach, livestock brushes, livestock topical antibiotic spray, topsoil, hypodermics and syringes for livestock, livestock castrating equipment, livestock water bucket, extra grain for the goats,

    -Items ordered: Dehydrator drying sheets (Gloria, Thanks for your help.), potassium iodide (Enough for my family. It’s something that had never occurred to me. After our host’s post on fallout, I thought it might be a good idea.), running boards, mud flaps, truck bed cover,

    -Received items I ordered: colloidal silver gel, infection meds, potassium iodide,

    -Garden: My husband tilled again, got the entire garden ready to plant, and helped with planting the corn. He built 2 4×8 raised beds and filled them with 2400 lbs. of soil. My son’s dogs seem to think they have a new place to dig. :/ I planted white, red, and Yukon Gold potatoes; sweet corn; cabbage; radishes; carrots; various kinds of lettuce; pole beans; peas; cucumbers; green and yellow squash; onions; 4 blueberry bushes; herb plants;

    -Chickens: One of the chicks that hatched in January is laying. Her first egg wasn’t any bigger than a gumball. It’s always funny to find one of these little eggs in the nesting boxes. One of the RIR chicks died, but the rest look good.

    -Bees: I learned a lot this week. If you were attacked by bees while wearing your bee suit when you moved a swarm, be sure to wash it. If you wear it again to check the bees, and later go outside to work while wearing the same clothes you wore under the suit, you may be attacked by bees and stung. Those pheromones are pretty powerful. It never occurred to me that the pheromones would transfer to the clothes being worn under the suit. I may or may not have learned this the hard way.

    -Goats: On Saturday I came home from a quick trip to town to find our first kids! Goats, that is. In the hour and a half that I was gone, she delivered. I was so excited. We bought the does last spring after they’d weaned kids, and were in milk. The Saanen had twins, a doeling and a buckling. (Youngest Son is getting married this month. As I was removing the afterbirth to be disposed of away from the house and barn, Son said, “Now I know I picked the right girl. K’s eating a hamburger while she’s watching you shovel afterbirth!” She’s the best, and a definite asset to our family.)
    Easter Sunday morning wasn’t as good. The Alpine doe had triplets, two of which were dead when we checked at about 6:00. Easter dinner preparations had to wait. We worked at getting the third kid, a buckling, to nurse, and disposed of the two bodies and afterbirth. I was very late for Sunday school, staying home longer to help the kid nurse again. He had some problems with scours the next day. We gave him some electrolytes, which I’m glad I had on hand. (If anyone has a good homemade livestock electrolyte recipe, I’d be glad to have it.) All three kids were given a vitamin E/selenium shot. The Alpine buckling needed a little extra care, but all three kids seem to be doing very well now.

    -Easter dinner was great! Four generations were at my house for a huge meal. Each of the ladies brought her specialty dishes, and I baked the ham. The grandkids were filthy from an egg hunt and playing with all of the animals. The 1 ½ year old granddaughter loves the large goats and bloodhound, but is afraid of tiny chicks. Go figure.

    **I want to thank our host for having such a reader-friendly site. I’m motivated to do more as a result of seeing what our host and each of you accomplishes, and I’ve learned so much. Having such a diverse group of people with an eclectic knowledge base is appreciated.
    Prayers for all.

    • Goatlover says:

      Sorry to hear about the difficult kidding….triplets and quads do tend to provide more challenges for mama and babies. I give Mama a Bo-Se shot one month before kidding which provides Vitamin E and Selenium to the babies before birth. I also keep some lactated ringer on hand, and powdered electrolytes just in case. I have a doe who is due to kid in about a week and another one due in about a month. That will finish up my kidding season.

    • Prepared Grammy,

      You said, ” livestock castrating equipment”.

      Remind me NEVER to piss you off.

      Hey, regarding retirement… be very very careful what you wish for. I got mine about 20 years early and I’m going stir crazy.

      • You can come help me, I have plenty of work I’m avoiding. I still have plenty of logs we could pound mushroom plugs into. When I first had to quit work I couldn’t hardly leave the house for four years. I got real good at web surfing and TV watching. My computer is against the back wall of my dining room and my 55 inch flat screen to the left in the living room. The dining room table is behind me so I just have to spin around to eat. It almost takes dynamite to blast by backside out of that chair.

        • Done Daddio7,

          Just send me an email. I am feeling so useless right now.

          Just click on my screen name. That’s my email address.

      • Prepared Grammy says:

        lol. I retire in two years, and I’m looking forward to keeping the grandkids and taking care of things around the house. I want to add more hives and animals, and expand the garden.

  7. grandma bear says:

    Rain is the name of the game here! The sun tries to peek out now and then. We have had many mud slide issues with roads washing away. Nothing too serious yet, the local authorities were able to patch both in a day. Others around here not so lucky. The yard is mud , may be awhile until we can plant the garden. Warm enough to finally put spinach and lettuce seeds out in the greenhouse. This has to be the longest hardest winter we have had in over 10 years.
    Got a deal on hamburger so put meals in the freezer so those lazy days that I know are coming , dinner is covered. Want a freeze dryer but that is one investment that will have to be saved for.
    Wood put up for next year had trees taken down to build out building, looking forward to having a garage again! LOL
    Stocked up on OTC meds. The one thing I cannot grow. Have looked into alternative sources and will be moving forward on this knowledge.
    Have a great week pack and remember we are in this together!

  8. Puppy stole one of my tree buckets. I caught him running in the yard with the bucket on his head. Lol sooooo funny.

    Didn’t find a cherry tree so, I planted a plum tree.
    Planted romaine lettuce in buckets. It said planter variety.

    Got all 3 AA battery chargers running. I’ve got the power. Lol

    Bought another 4×4 raised bed.
    Bought another propane tank.

    Watched a series of videos on surviving a nuclear war from the tin hat channel and down loaded the free nuclear survival book from a link. Pretty informative.

    Didn’t go to the store last week due to Easter and found the weaknesses of things that will be first missed in a SHTF scenario. I must learn how to grow olives. Lol I use them in salads,martinis or on the side with a sandwich. I mean I make my own pickles, but they would look silly in a martini. Lol

    • mom of three says:

      Pickled green beans to use in your martini’s, that is hubby’s favorite.. Yes, I can my own dilly beans, yum.

    • LOL Pickles in martinis, you have been officially kicked out of the James Bond club…….:)

      • JD, I was thinking whole pickles, but slices hmm……

        Did you ever try it? Maybe James Bond kept it a secret all these years. You never know what Q made him !!! Lol

      • JD, yay I went to the store and bought magic olives. Lol

    • Thor,

      Did you just rename your grizzly bear to “Bucket Head”?

      Hey, olive trees are not hard to grow. My mom had one in the front yard. It broke my heart when I drove past that house and saw that the new owners removed it. Mom loved that tree.

      Just as a head’s up… when those olives start falling from the tree, they will break a lawn mower. I know that one from experience. Just don’t eat the olives off of the tree. Fair warning.

      • Sirius, he looked like one of the Knights of old.

        We are the Knights who say woof !!! Lol

        • Thor,

          I think that is supposed to be “The Knights who say ‘NI’.

          By the way, “WHAT is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?”

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Sirius, Thor1 just remember…she is a witch…really, see the nose, and…

          • Sirius, is that an African or European swallow?

            He looked like the black Knight running by me on a horse. Then I realized he was the horse. Lol

          • one of the california universities has a pamphlet about olives and curing them.
            in middle east sheets are put under tree and olives are shaken down.
            like pecans.
            look online for booklet. i have it somewhere but cannot lay my hands on it.

          • Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

            Now go away or I will taunt you a second time.

            I absolutely know I am in the right place now. 😀

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            (Coconuts clopping…)


          • JD in NY says:

            One of the best movies EVER! LOL

          • You guys are my TRIBE!!! lol

          • And…. Its got these really big teeth… Lol

            What, its just a rabbit. Lol

          • Lol !!!

          • Jesse Mathewson says:


          • Teresa,

            Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

            Of course she did, because like many on this forum, elderberry tincture is considered medicinal, especially when fermented a bit, the way Monty likes it, LOL.

          • Oops, I of course meant: Of course he did, LOL.

          • JD in NY says:

            Quick chuckle……One of the history teachers here at my kids school is a huge Monty fan and for the spanish inquisition guess what the kids watched…you guesses it! HAHAHAHAHAHA, best part was my kids who have grown up on Monty said there were a lot of kids in their classes that had no idea who Monty was or his movies. YDS told several they have been living a very deprived life and his teacher nearly fell out of his chair he was laughing so hard 😀

          • Come back here I’ll lean on you !!! Lol

  9. mom of three says:

    Gosh were did the week go??? We’re finally getting sun ger in tge PNW, man the rain and grey skys are just too much even for a native. I finally got my food handlers permit I got 34 out of 35 questions right, so on to making money to save up our first day of the Ice cream truck, is May 5th. I got a coupon for a free bag of Iams cat food, free bag of flour, salt, and cream cheese, from Safeway monopoly game. I bought 8 cans of tomatoes, 10
    Gateraid, 1 four pack of shavers, 2 bottles of Shampoos , 12 more
    cans of cat food. I did get a lot of refriderator foods you run out
    of that the most. $41.00 at the Grocery outlet $22.00 at
    Safeway, $19.00 at Fred Meyers, another $14.00 at Safeway
    $96.00 all together and saved $69.00 just from coupons, and
    sales stacking the coupons too. Finally got the lawn mowed
    I cut three bagfuls of grass, it was getting tall I hate cutting wet grass but sometimes you have to. Well, everyone have a fun weekend don’t work to hard.

    • Jacksonmom says:

      I was in the middle of weedeating (have a city council member who has targeted us… called her out on it & she has been disgraced a bit because of it but I still try not to give her a reason to pick) and broke my ankle. Had to hire someone to come & mow (as I look at my riding lawn mower collecting pollen). So instead I’ve been working on my perpetual calendar. Keeps me busy.

  10. Mostly planted, starting with the sunchokes and horseradish. The tree collard cuttings arrived and are rooting in pots. Got the tomatoes and peppers (put a spoon full of crushed egg shells, Epsom salt and aspirin mix in each hole then covered that with a thin layer of compost) in with marigolds in between the plants, the onions, summer squash and got the 4 sisters started, corn, winter squash and sunflowers so far. The corn and sunflowers got a tiny bit of nitrate covered with compost in each hole. The pole beans will get planted once the corn is about a foot high. Ringed the whole garden with garlic. Finishing the turnip and mustard greens, okra and peas today.

    Got the thin Anker Powercore Slim 5000, it fit in the belt pouch just like it was meant for it. Already used it to charge both phones and the kindles to make sure it works. Got a spiralizer and used it to make zucchini ribbons that I sauteed in butter, herbs and garlic (extremely tasty by the way). It’s a lot easier on the hands than using the box grater and since it’s manual it won’t die in the EMP wars. But being made from craptastic plastic I think I’ll order a couple more for when I break this one. Too bad they don’t make them out of metal like the apple peeler/corer or the old Mouli disk grater I have.

  11. I found a 65 gallon composter at Aldis for $39.99. I have been looking at them for years but couldn’t justify spending the money. Home Depot has a similar composter for $90. I built three composters a few years ago but they rotted and had to be tossed out. This one is made of hard plastic and so it won’t rot. I never seem to have enough compost.

    • I never have enough compost either which is why I’ve just made a 4th treated wood bin with 2 plastic side bins….and a giant leaf mold pile.

      • My problem with compost piles, in whatever way I have tried, is that fire ants always move in. I even had an elevated tumbler that they got into. I can’t find a fire ant treatment that is safe around food gardens, so I just garden around them.

        • In what way is Amdro not safe? I scatter it all around my home. Should I stop?

        • Anonamo Also says:

          For ants…Try Borax and sugar. mix half and half, stir mound top, sprinkle liberally, BE SURE to cover the mound top with a peice of cardboard, leave for a few days. recheck and re treat if necessary. Boron is a natural mineral will not harm plants and will enhance uptake of base minerals in your vegetables…giving added nutrition.

          • Yes, Anonamo is right, it works! I used to buy Terro ant gel and then discovered that it is simply borax. You can also google Terro ant gel recipe if you want to make the gel formula yourself (borax, sugar, water, boiled). A bug exterminator once told me to give it up to 2 weeks to destroy the colony.

          • Almost There says:

            Will this work if you can’t get to the mound? I have sugar ants taking over this spring, in the house. Their mound is under the house I think. Does the Borax and sugar have to be mixed with water, or can be mixed dry?

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            You can make a thin paste, let it dry and crumble it into finer not super fine crumbles- it works for us that way. They feed the queen she dies and a week later or so everyone is dead

          • Almost There says:

            Sprinkle the borax-sugar crumbles where the ants congregate inside my house? Follow their path? I can’t put it on the mound. Can’t get to it. And now it has rained, and they love wet things.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            I always put it where they crawl, as for dry or wet. OP is correct. Wet works well also, i dry mine for storage purposes and they grab em 🙂

          • Almost There,

            And now it has rained, and they love wet things.

            I don’t know that they love wet things as much as solids in solution make better and tastier food that is easier to find. Take a small spoonful of salt or sugar and place it in your mouth and compare that with dissolving the same in water and drinking it.
            A chunk of sugar sitting out must be discovered almost by bumping into it; but, in solution it covers more area and is more easily discovered. If you dissolve the sugar and borax into water, place it in a bowl, set the bowl somewhere near the ant trail, and then spill a little trail of the solution from the bowl across the area where you see ants, it will not take long for ants to discover it, and send word back to the colony about the free food. You’ll likely see the trails and the entire bowl covered with ants for a while since they really like free food; but, who doesn’t, LOL. Soon after that you’ll see fewer and fewer and eventually no ants.

          • Gasoline let sit 10 minutes, add more gasoline and light. That’s why they are fire ants. Lol

          • JD in NY says:

            More like Bon-fire ants hahahahaha

          • The borax and sugar mixture works best if a liquid. We’ve had various ants in the house on occasion, and no ant can resist free sweets. You mix the mixture and spill a little over the side of the container on to the floor or countertop. The only thing is that you have to put up with a lot of ants for a little while, as they form lines to take the stuff back to their nest, where it eventually kills them all. The only concern using it around the house or potentially outside, is that it can be harmful to pets like cats and dogs. The first time we did this, the few ants we were seeing turned into an entire army, all lining up to get their share and haul it back home; but, after a few days the army subsided and finally disappeared, and then no more ants.

        • mom of three says:

          Just make sure you have mouse traps, we caught a second mouse, in a month in the house because our neighbors compost pile, is on the side of our house, and that is where they are getting in at. Today Sunday, went to lowes to get more traps I can’t have them taking over and getting into my pantry.

    • my compost just wasn’t working in a plastic bin. So today I took some old pallets and made a large bin. My straw bale garden doesn’t seem to be getting hot in the center…. we have had very cool weather so i will give it another week or so.
      spent several afternoons picking dewberries to make jam later.
      In reference to legal weed, i have a story or two about why it should be made legal.
      As a cancer nurse i knew a young man, age 35, with stomach cancer. The weed helped his appetite, decreased the nausea and vomiting, help his sleep and decreased his depression. But because it is illegal in my state, his 75 year old mother would go buy the weed in some very dangerous parts of town. What a shame!!! The doctor had no problem with the weed.
      Second story involved a child who died after years of seizures and being medicated until she was almost a vegetable. Had the parents been able to provide the special oil, called Charlotte’s Oil, their child might still be here. I think the parents had about made the decision to get it illegally or move to Colorado….. but too late for this child.
      And it is a fact, it is almost or impossible to overdose on weed and weed tends to calm and mellow out people…unlike alcohol and street drugs that are known to cause people to become violent or just be a pain in the behind at social events or drive drunk.

      • Anonamo Also says:

        Lets add to those facts on weed. I also was an active Nurse for more than 20 years and have never used the stuff. If I/DH get cancer we have decided we will move to some place where it is Legal. There is internet based availability thru a program called Cannasense. It is supposed to be legal in all 50 states, according to the letter of the law.
        The evidence provided by those who have used, is overwhelming ,the plant has produced healing and there have been ZERO overdoses on those educated in responisbile use. (one lady from Canada posted she had had cancer in female regions, lungs, skin cancer and intestinal…they were going to burn her to death in all those lower regions, possibly fusing them together…her story is on you tube, she used a suppository,…any wonder she went with natural route?-.. after all how long WOULD you live, being unable to pee or deficate?What would that life be?) Notice,…The healing of incurable diseases including the pelvic based and the intestinal based and Lung cancers… specifically when all medical hope had been given up on them. look on the internet, do a search, want to see those who have lived beyond chemo times, but decided to go the alternate route.
        There is a complexity of over 80 active parts to the plant. The active benefits of anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmotic uses, for smooth muscle issues such as dumping syndrome and irritable bowel,( Crohn’s and menustral cramps included)benefits are not generally noted.
        Common “skunkweed” is known to have greatest benefit on nerve pain.
        Now just who would benefit from the use of it? and who would not? How about all the suffers of PTSD who drop to the deck at a loud noise? How about all those who are fighting depression? can’t have the makers of cymbalta and Lyrica have any competition for their doses of flouride to dumb down the population…. UUUmmm
        Follow the money and you know who is fighting against it’s legality. Look who they pay in both the Senate and the HOuse and how much…. and look at what the pharma companies are trying to do now.. make an artificial drug out of some of the components and control all of it.
        Think how much money they make off cancer care that would just “go away”… ‘after all, can’t have people responsible for their own care, they might hurt themselves. ‘ … (.sarcasm off)
        As for those who claim that weed would harm a child with seizures… What do you think having many daily seizures does to a childs brain.? You just answered, it makes them a vegetable.It scrambles ALL the electric synapses. What does “Charlotte’s Oil” do for them, gives them a chance at real life. It gives them the chance at a normal life.
        The truth is there are cannabinoid receptors( part of the endocannabinoid system- which covers appetite, pain sensation,mood and memory) throughout the body that recieve the active parts of both the common weed and natural hemp( which has no hallucinogen).

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          AA and Olivis – I tend to agree 🙂 having never seen someone go psychotic on weed alone. And as far as I know never had an overdose (caused directly by marijuana) been recorded…lmao. cheezits and taco bell stock goes up every time a state passes medical or free use laws…:)

          As someone dealing with chronic pain and whose adult life included gaining degrees in criminal justice and work as an advocate (volunteer) in Arizona/ fr juvenile-drug related non violent offenders…I can also rattles stats off for days…

          Honestly as MD I believe also does, that this is a matter of freedom in the end. Though maybe if enough people realize the stranglehold pharmaceutical companies have placed on us they would stop buying the lies? So keep educating and doing a great job at it. Thank you 🙂

          • mom of three says:

            Coffee houses, Beer pubs, Weed Joints, I swear our city has gone bonkers with all of these places. I have yet to see any of these business go out of business here. I’m surprised that the city, gets anything done LOL… fet

      • I was a hospice nurse for a few years, and I can attest to the benefits of marijuana. If I or anyone I care about had cancer, epilepsy, or parkinson’s, I would risk arrest to buy it in a heartbeat.

  12. Well this has been a wet week. Now I have to catch up n cookstove wood . Canner has run on 12 hr days this last week . Caned broccoli ,pears, Apples, collards ,mangos,lime juice and grapefruit juice.
    Had 5 goslings hatch this week with one goose still setting. Got given a freebie load last night that was mostly frozen meat and seafood so canner will run on long days this week . The seafood ran heavy on Salmon and talipia . While the meat was mostly ham and lamb . Running out of jars will need to pick some up tonight. Going to an auction with hopes there will be some there . iI not Walmart is on the way home.
    Garden is coming along . That’s it this week.

  13. ladyhawthorne says:

    Spring is advancing fast here in TX. I got the raised bed finished for the Merritt Collards and planted them. I had won some seeds from Plant Abundance on Youtube, they are perennials.
    Started brushing away the soil from the onions as they are making bulbs.
    Mom got to eat one beet already, she was very happy, she’s the only one that likes them.
    The Contender bush beans are gorgeous this year, I used an innoculator when I planted, we’ll see if my yield improves over last year. The Rattlesnake pole beans- only a couple came up, the seeds were several years old. But I picked up another kind and will replant.
    There are a few peaches on the remaining tree. Folks if you have stone fruit trees plant garlic or onions beneath to keep the borers away.
    Dad’s pear tree is loaded with pears, hopefully our winds don’t blow them all off.
    I can’t believe how much fruit is on my 3 blackberry bushes. Thankfully I bought the thornless varieties.
    Found a marked down to $1.98 hyacinth at Walmart and couldn’t resist, I love them.
    Tomato transplants are doing well. The pumpkin was a bit peaked so I gave him a drink of fish emulsion water.

    Friends/family came for Easter dinner, we had it on the front patio. Grilled chicken, potato salad, baked beans & deviled eggs. It was lovely. Said friends were impressed with my rain barrel system I have set up. They have more space so they bought the huge tanks for their place. I have seven 55 gallon barrels linked together and painted to match the house. I think they look pretty good too, they sure cost less, I found a guy to get them from for $10 each.
    Picked up some V8 fruit juices that were on sale at Walmart, oh my they are good. Also picked up some thin cotton t-shirt material shorts for $5 each at Walmart…in the mens dept. All the womens have spandex and polyester in them and cost 3 times as much. When the temps hit the 90s & above I only want cotton.
    I don’t like shopping at Walmart but it is the only option here.

    • ladyhawthorne, I think I will look for those shorts at Walmart. Good tip. I wear old scrub pants to work outside. They are hotter to wear but they protect my legs from mosquitoes and thorns. I like to have shorts to wear inside.

    • Almost There says:


      I also have a stash of the V8 juices. “Berry blend” is my favorite. I don’t really like the ones with veggies in them, but then again, I never liked V8 tomato juice anyway.

      • Almost There,
        I love the V8 tomato blend, and dinner this evening was hamburgers from our fresh beef, some fresh baked asparagus, and a can of V8. It really is a side of vegetables in a glass of juice, and contains potassium and other good ingredients so we can take less supplemental things.

  14. Red tower says:

    Snowing here. Not cold out, though, but we have four inches of the one to three inches we were supposed to get. Got dogs all up on their shots. Been researching all the nutrients a human body needs for survival and where to find them. So far, I’ve decided that stores of supplements are a necessity, as most of our food, even home-grown, doesn’t contain it all. especially when our shorter seasons can’t grow all the varieties a good diet needs, and organic is so expensive.
    DH was given some papers to read last week concerning the gov t dictating that all restaurants will eventually be required to use pre-processed or commercially grown foods only. They’re starting with the bigger restaurants and will work their way down. According to the paper, grocery stores will also be required to do much the same, with their foods, canned or whatever it is coming only from approved sources.
    I guess, we’d better stock up on what we like now, before it goes the way of the dodo.
    Got new glasses. Keeping the old pair for spare. Older ones from before will be recycled.
    That’s about it. Can’t do gardening yet, but have started some indoors. Just waiting…..

    • Forcing restaurants to use only pre-processed or commercially grown foods is outright discrimination against smaller and organic producers who will no doubt be sidestepped. Gov’t rules are certainly going down the toilet.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Gloria, I take it you are finally seeing the futility of over legislation 🙂 yay!

        On a serious note, no crime has ever been prevented by a law, and coffers have never been filled by the lazy “career politicians” without them…:)

  15. Gloria,
    You and Prepared Grammy always get in first.

    HA! I beat both of you, I got in LAST with last week’s WDYDTPTW.

    Once again, I’m bringing up the rear. I’ve got your back.

    • We’ve got your 12, Sirius LOL

    • Sirius,

      Once again, I’m bringing up the rear. I’ve got your back.

      You don’t want to make that a habit, since that was one of the key traits of BHO, leading from behind.
      If I hadn’t taken the time to personalize my response and it hadn’t gone into moderation, I may have even bested Gloria this week.
      Also, is anyone else seeing a different format for the follow-up emails? I think MD changed something again and it’s making my filters go haywire, making things much harder to read, and even sending some of the replies to the spam folder.
      I wish he would just leave things alone when they ain’t broken.

      • Hey, hey, hey,

        My friend. Do not confuse “bringing up the rear” with “Leading From Behind”. And please don’t ever again compare me with BHO. That was mean.

        That is one thing I definitely cannot be accused of.

        • Sirius, I agree, you can call me Ray or you can call me Jay, but don’t call me BO. Lol

        • Sirius,
          Sorry man, I was just funnin’ you; but, perhaps the next time you’re in this situation you could say you were watching my 6, OK? LOL

          • OP,

            -. — / .– — .-. .-. .. . … / — -.– / ..-. .-. .. . -. -.. .-.-.- / -.– — ..- / -.- -. — .– / .. .—-. …- . / .- .-.. .– .- -.– … / –. — – / -.– — ..- .-. / -…. .-.-.- / –… …– .—-. …

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            .-.. — …- . / – …. .- – / -.– — ..- / .- .-. . / ..- … .. -. –. / — — .-. … . / -.-. — -.. . / .– — .-. -.- .. -. –. / — -. / – . .- -.-. …. .. -. –. / — -.– / -.-. …. .. .-.. -.. .-. . -.

          • .-../—/.-.. !!!

      • Anonamo Also says:

        I have clicked on both modes for follow up and have recieved Nada. zilch. Having no problems reading, but amounts of posts is extremely low for a saturday… 90 just doesn’t seem right amount.

        • Encourager says:

          I had to go to the site to find this week’s What did you do… not showing up in my email at all.

          • Encourager check your spam file. there was a change somewhere that sent things there for me.

          • Almost There says:

            I’m not getting anything either. And I’ve checked both boxes at the bottom (each individually to see what happens) And it’s not in my spam folder.

            Do you know what is going on?

          • Almost There and those who are not getting email followup.
            There is one other thing I just remembered. Shortly after posting, you’ll get an email that says something like, you elected to follow my posts, and then must click a button to authorize those follow up posts. Ignore this email and you’ll get nothing. It’s a security check to make sure you actually signed up for it and not someone using your email address to hit you with a bunch of unwanted spam.

          • Encourager,
            It showed up; but, my habit now on Friday morning is to keep checking until I see WDYDTPTW show up, and the announcement email for such often comes hours later.
            I’m also seeing a different format for the follow-up posts that contain the original post and the comment. It would be nice if our host would just leave things alone and stop trying to improve a system that is already working, especially when he often doesn’t know the effects of his changes on we users out here.

          • I for one like this format . It gives me the context when I read a reply.

          • Fixit,

            I for one like this format . It gives me the context when I read a reply.

            It does do that; but, at a cost of taking up significantly more disk space and making many of my filters behave badly, including the occasional dump to my spam folder. Also, since I can’t easily read the text and have the computer read it for me; I keep hearing the same thing over and over, and wasting yet more time. It’s not terrible; but, the initial post from our host was repeated dozens of times for each person responding.
            Additionally, when I try to email these to others to pass on the information and gain some more traffic and interest in the site, the format is hard to edit for outgoing dispersal.
            I hope MD will simply pick something and leave it alone, since I’ve had to make adjustments on my end, numerous times in the past week or so.

        • Anonamo Also,
          This post should record as number 218, posted Sunday evening, and I agree that the posts have been light.

  16. Zulu 3-6 says:

    Added to my grocery stash as usual. Going to need to buy another under-bed storage box soon.

    Bought a couple of pairs of everyday wear shoes.

    Other than that, nothing much except prep and Ham radio reading. My grand-daughter keeps me pretty occupied during the day. She can crawl like a champ and can stand on her own as long as she has something to hang on to. Her mom has also started feeding her mashed banana, which she loves. However, the baby ends up wearing more banana than consuming. Practice makes perfect.

    Need to get my son to visit so we can go to the range and shoot handguns. I could go on my own, but it’s more fun with one of my kids along. #1 daughter wants to go shooting, but doesn’t feel she should as long as she is breastfeeding. #2 daughter lives a three-hour drive away up in Jacksonville, so hooking up to shoot is rare. Although she does go shooting with her boyfriend at least once a month up there. They both have concealed weapons permits and wisely like to keep their hand in.

  17. Patriot Farmer says:

    I found several post Easter sales and added several cans of fruit, veggies and soups to the shelves all under .67 cents a can. I bought 3, 8-9lbs hams on post Easter sales for .88 cents a pound. I also added 4lbs of fresh caught fish to the freezer. I planted several rows of lettuces, radish, green onion and carrots to our deck planter box. The deck box is easy to cover in the event of frost so I am getting a jump on some planting by 4-5 weeks. Finally I spent a few hours at the rifle range and a few hours with my bow. This was a very good and busy week!

  18. Goatlover says:

    Continuing to can green beans, and freeze mulberries. Started picking tomatoes this week, too. Love me some homegrown tomatoes!
    I picked up a new soaker hose and some fishing line—these items will be used here shortly for (of all things!) planting okra. LOL May 1st, I move my goats to their summer pastures and I want to plant my okra where the bucks have spent the last several months….the soaker hose will be used to water the okra, BUT I needed a way to keep my chickens from flying out of their pen and into the current buck yard….they’ve done it for several months now to the point where there’s NO grass in that area. So, I plan to run the fishing line across the top of their 6-foot tall chain link fencing to keep them from flying over. I hope it works! I read it somewhere on the internet, so it must work….right?!! Wish me luck.

    My current herd queen, Mercy, is mighty pregnant at the moment. Day 145 is next Wednesday, so she could pop anywhere from Wednesday through the following Monday. She’s my best milking goat by far, having stayed in milk for two and 1/2 YEARS with her first kidding! I love that Goat!

    • OK, I understand the soaker hose, that’s what I use but fishing line?

      • Goatlover says:

        I’m gonna run the fishing line back and forth across the top of the six-foot fence around my chicken yard to keep them from flying over it and getting to the okra seedlings. Doggone chickens will peck anything into the ground if you let them!

        • Babycatcher says:

          The only thing I’ve found to work is chicken wire spread out over the entire pen top and supported with 8 foot T posts and galvanized pipe for rigidity. That way, nothing flies in or out.

        • test dummy says:

          i use short chicken wire loosely stretched across the top angled in (think prison camp),it works for my chickens as well as my turkeys(the worst offenders to anything plant!).

        • Goatlover,
          We used monofilament stretched in a grid of sorts when we first got the chickens and that kept them in; but, only occasional wing clipping has been a sure thing. We don’t have any issues here from flying predators; but, I understand that will sometimes confuse and thwart them also.

  19. OldAlaskan says:

    Watching my garden plants growing in planters in the front living room window, shoveled some snow off of the garden trying to get an early start, some spots still have a foot of drifted snow and the ground is frozen hard. Fighting with VA, right hip problem, arthritis in both knees, lower back problems and a bad left rotator cup. If I were a horse they would shoot me to put me out of my misery. Bought a new mattress for my back it seems to help. Getting ready for yard sale next week. I’m eyeing the container garden on the south side of the house and might chance some lettuce and other cold crops in them. if they don’t make it I still have time to replant. Mat 30 is the traditional date for planting in my area. I saw my Rhubarb plants starting to show heads. And Monday – Friday I fight the battle of the bulge at Planet Fitness so far this year I have lost over 30 pounds with 150 more to go before the VA will “CONSIDER” knee replacement. Changed the studded snow tires on 3 vehicles to summer tires.

    • MommaSue says:

      Congratulations on the weight loss! You are doing an awesome job!

    • Anonamo Also says:

      Good progress on the weight loss. It can be a long process keep on with it one step at a time. It is a hard battle to fight especially as we grow older.
      Meinwhile consider, research the Chicken Sternum Collagen II, it has shown promise to help rebuild knees/joints. about 15$-22$ a 120 count bottle, (Swanson’s prices, I have no benefit from this company except as a satisfied customer), depending on discounts..need 2 per month one dose is 6 capsules. I have bought but not been able to start it yet, having issues getting other suplements down, just can’t add any more right now.

    • Wow! Very good job with the weight loss. It seems so easy to pack on the pounds, but takes real effort to remove it from the waistline. Keep up the good work, your knees will appreciate it till you can get replacements!

      • I’ve always found that taking the weight off can be done pretty easily by simply counting calories and eating healthy. Back in 2006 I weight 235 which at 5’ 6” is fat; but, I lost 60 pounds in one year, with no special diet, except limiting my calories to 1800-2000 average per day. All it took was a gram weight kitchen scale and will power.
        I’m now at about 160 up from hitting 145 after my month in the hospital 2 years ago. I’ve found that taking fat off, is significantly easier than putting toned muscle back on.
        It all just takes the will to make it happen.
        BTW, the me at 175 had much more resilience than the 235 me did, since carrying that 60 pound pack around with you on your belly everywhere you go, takes it’s toll.

  20. Haven’t done much for the last month. At the first of April I got the last two large oaks near my home knocked down. I had to rig chains and a come-a-long to prevent them from hitting my home or the power-line. Dragging those chains around pulled some muscles in my back limiting how much I can do. I had already ordered 3000 inoculated wood mushroom plugs so I have to use them before they dissolve .

    I get about 300 a day done then need a day to recover. Two more days should do it, getting old is the pits.

    My wife wanted to help but her new insurance wont pay the $360 a month her ADD medication cost. She gets a cheaper substitute but it is weaker and not time release so if she is not working all she wants to do is sleep and watch TV. She also works nights so is little help during the day anyway.

    If the SHTF we will both be mostly useless but until then we will enjoy life best we can.

  21. Just had a nice rain. The garden looks good and the freshly planted tomatoes and cucumbers look healthy. The Kale is getting eaten so I’ll need to dust the crops before the insects finish them off. Will likely mulch everything this weekend to help with the moisture issues now that the weather is warming.

    Can hardly wait till the next fermentation crocks arrive. Next week the produce auctions start at the local farmers market and I want to take advantage of the bulk purchases.

    Cleaned the weapons and refilled the mags after the son expended may rounds at the range. Filled 30 mags with the XM855 rounds! Lots of wear and tear on the fingers without stripper clips!

    Setting up another G5RV in an inverted V for NVIS operations on 40 and 80 meters. I just need to find someone within a 300 mile radius that’s interested in playing with NVIS so I can test out the various configurations.

    Everyone stay safe and prepared! The next week will be interesting.

    • wish we had produce auctions here. i even avoid the farmers markets as a rule as the prices tend to be close or equal to the grocery stores.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Suzy, I dont mind paying more or local and or farm fresh, however, not gold more 🙂 i do understand some farmers markets here get quite, elite.

      • suzy q,
        Our farmers markets can be priced on par with local groceries; but, you know where the food comes from and that it’s fresh and that counts for something, especially if they have something you haven’t grown.

        • i agree but i had a friend who last year bought one tomato for around $2 at the farmers market that had little flavor. i went to a fruit stand and bought her three tomatoes for less than $2 that had great flavor. i am afraid our markets are really for the tourists. in fact one farmers market has been advertising that it is popular with the tourists and the locals – in that order.

          • Since I live in farm country and not tourist country, that isn’t a problem here, and quite often we’ll see interesting canned or baked goods from the local Amish, who come out to make a little cash money. Different regions have different contexts I suppose.

  22. Well the MSM isnt talking about it alot, but it wasnt just SF that got hit with power outage today.
    Three major cities ALL experienced some type of power outage…first it was NYC, messing with their subways and other items at 6am, then it was sections of LA..around 7-am or later, but the big boy was taking down half of SF city…including the financial districts and areas of the shipping…
    Although they are trying to say it was only a fire in a substation for the SF one, I do find it highly odd that three cities on the same day get power outages.
    I work for Dignity Health and we have a ton of hospitals in the Bay area…the power outage took these down..only the server rooms and life support runs on the generators…

    Maybe its just me, but this is very spooky!

    • Antique Collector says:

      We were in town shopping, an did not know about the power outage until the evening news.
      When the said SF, thought it was about time they got a taste of what the north part of the state goes through at least one or two times a year.
      Good wake up call was what I was thinking until I read your posting, dh will checking his recorded news from KTLA.

    • TechQN,

      Maybe its just me, but this is very spooky!

      I don’t find it spooky at all, just something we need to start getting used to. The grid is and much of its infrastructure is complex and old, plus the interconnection and reliance on the grid to itself is a potential failure point. While these separate failures can be cascade failures that cuased each other in turn, statistically I don’t know why we don’t see common failures like this more often.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Exactly though the alex jones almost beens are rolling with bad info generating fear…hey at least gun prices will rise over next few days…


      • The more I think about this black out problem, the more I think it’s not a problem.
        Did you hear about the simultaneous power outages in several suburbs of Kansas City, or those little towns in Florida, and that other little one in southern Ohio?
        Keep in mind that simultaneous farting by people in NYC, LA, SF, or DC makes big news, since they are the most important places on earth because of course they are the center of the universe. Small blackouts occur all of the time; but, unless it somehow affects those self important people on the coasts, then it ranks no coverage at all, since we in flyover country don’t really count for anything.

        • OP, in other news the price of clothespins just went up. Lol !!!

          • Thor 1,

            OP, in other news the price of clothespins just went up. Lol !!!

            Yep; but, we are already well stocked on those also, so it only affects those folks in the big citiy high rises that have lines strung between buildings over the streets. I suspect clothing dried on those lines gives a whole new meaning to “smells as fresh as all outdoors”, LOL.

    • TQN, I agree, trial test.

  23. Always Forward says:

    Small garden planted last Saturday looks good. Will water tomorrow. Asparagus and strawberries are doing well in my “no work” section. Got in two new pairs of running shoes and tossed out a few. Need a few more backups and they are quite versatile. Big run to Trader Joe’s scheduled for Monday so that will be fun to restock. Spices are a very good deal there. Picked the last of the violets and will make another batch of violet jelly and another batch of mint jelly. My first of the mint was quite good. Got some colloidal silver spray in as well as other drugstore type sundries. As I said before, I like to have at least six, if not more, of things like shampoo and toothpaste. The way things are going, 12 sounds like a better number. I also ordered a Nuk-Alert for the kids in the city. It isn’t cheap, but can fit on a keychain. A bright flash and I think they should head out. You can always go back home. We are totally enjoying the lovely spring weather and spend a lot of time outdoors. Edible yard is coming along slowly.
    Prayers for all the Pack every morning. I so appreciate you. Your sharing what you are doing always gives me ideas.
    Oh, I saw some sour cream on sale and tried dehyrating it. It is dry and I am going to powder it in the coffee grinder. The jury is out on that one, but I will try it a few more times. Once is never enough.

  24. Garden, Garden, Garden!
    – Checked on my seedlings and they are all coming along nicely!
    Bought some decent hog fencing to turn into a cucumber and pole bean trellis…got a good score for a panel (16ft) so now I just need to get hubby to help me put in the posts to hold it.

    – Bought a bunch more of heirloom seeds from Burpee.com and then found an awesome sale of organic and heirloom seeds at my Ace Hardware Express store! Must not be a bunch of people using these packages, or starting from seeds locally since they had a plethora of items. My gain!
    I got about 15 packages, including a bag of seed potatoes, all for just over 20$! Total score on that.

    Ordered some more of our fav staples, since I think I might be housing more than just us…everyone always makes comments about all my gardening and laugh and say they know where food is when and if something happens…honestly those comments make me cringe at times……but luckily I work remote 75% of the time and with a remote force most of the people who say that to me are far enough away that I dont have to worry to much on it (separate state!)

    Oh and I won a gift card to home depot for doing our hospitals ‘Earth Day ‘Name that plant”! I guess all that time I spend in the garden had an extra bonus. We were asked to name the 10 plants from a list, match them up, then those that were correct were entered into the drawing for the two gift cards. Awesome, since I chose to do it on a fluke, not really thinking anything of it!
    So that’s another freebie I can use to obtain more items from the lovely home depot (maybe flowers for the pots and poles for the trellis, and a new watering wand!)

    Dollar General run for some tid bits like organizers, lighters, baby wipes, discounted shampoos, etc…

    Hey I did come across a cool book though and thought Id share. I heard about this author and her book listening to Glenn Beck…so I looked into it. Turns out she used to work stocks, then was in the Texas Fed…and she knows her stuff…her book is a full on expose of the corrupt banking, stocks and fed system and apparently she called and predicted the 2007/2008 mess …supposedly she warned that it would crater, then left to have her babies, came back and was offered a job at the TX fed…
    -Now shes warning everyone again (but of course no one wants to listen to her)
    Here is the link to her book

    and link to info on her

    Thought Id share, in case no one has heard of her, or knows about her book…it just came about a couple months ago….
    I know we all worry about a financial collapse and prepare for all items including that…so maybe so info from her can help.
    She does warn that its coming….sigh….

    Anyway that’s it for me
    Cheers and Peace be unto you all Packsters!!

    • TechQN,
      I watched Glenn’s full interview with Danielle on his 5:00 TV show and it was both a little upsetting and gives us potential hope. She was working as an intern for the Dallas Fed and took a leave to have a baby. Her work as an intern was so predictive, that she was offered a job as essentially second chair to the Dallas fed chairman. Me thinks the manure is going to hit the impellor, and getting as many of your assets into real goods as well as getting out of debt is very prudent; but, for me that has always been the plan, which so far Is going OK.

      • Ya thanks for the more detailed info…I didnt get to hear his whole show, since I was driving then got home.
        Sometimes he rambles when I just wanted him to explain his points on what she had to say, and how to prepare!
        But I feel like I’m being pulled into so many directions ya know? One is financial, then you have power outages (that they some sites are talking about being trial runs), civil unrest in cities with protesters and conservatives and then NK issues…sigh….its like sheesh world, pick ONE issue please! Sometimes I just want to pull my hair out it stresses me out so much! LOL
        But I tell ya, in the end it makes me soooooo glad I started hard core on my prepping months ago! I feel I am at least way ahead of the curve compared to others, or from where I was before.
        That at least makes me feel better.
        But in the end, I smell, or feel, bad times coming.
        Just hope I get to go on my year ago planned vaca BEFORE any more issues arise! I’ve planned that for a long time and its something we are very much looking forward to! LOL
        (I know priorities huh? LOL)

        • TechQN,

          Just hope I get to go on my year ago planned vaca BEFORE any more issues arise! I’ve planned that for a long time and its something we are very much looking forward to! LOL

          We haven’t taken a real vacation since 2008 when we visited my sister who was stationed in Hawaii, and spent 10 days there.
          To us, vacation has its root in vacate, and we’ve made our little homestead into the place we would generally rather be. Back 40 years ago I did a lot of travelling, mostly by myself or with the occasional friend, and was able to see all 48 states, as well as do a lot of things folks often have on their bucket lists. With our trip to Hawaii in 2008 that rounded out 49 of the 50, and at my age I don’t even thinbk about visiting that last state way up north.
          I can garden, hunt, fish, and even camp, right here on the property, and within 50-150 miles are a ton of interesting things to see should we want to.
          I wish you luck on your vacation; but, hope that everyone finally finds that final homestead where you can have peace or adventure, right in you backyard.

  25. canadagal says:

    #2 son & 2 of his kids came for Easter & we woke up to 2 “‘ snow on Sunday so the kids got a ski doo ride after church.. Maples still running. Only set 36 taps as we thought there wouldn’t be a run. Well surprises we are getting quite a bit. DH got the raspberries pruned & tied up & the apples, haskaps & saskatoons pruned. He had finished redoing the antique organ last we but this week had some adjustments to make. Grand daughter is a good pianist so she spent trying the organ out. He did some more work on the van front end because he had kissed a deer awhile back. Now needs some clips to hold it all together but that will have to wait until we go to the city. I finished the income tax today. Not due until April 30 in Canada.

  26. Hope this is okay. I posted a weekly update, and asked questions and made comments on other’s posts, on last week’s post this morning, so I’m just going to move it all here.

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

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

    AlmostThere: 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?

    Chuck Findlay: 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.

    And finally, my update:
    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.

    I did an ammo count. I truly didn’t remember buying most of the 22LR ammo. My son tells me that’s what addiction is. 3277 of various types of 22LR rounds (FMJ / HP, 36 and 40 grain)… is that a bit much? I figure what you can’t shoot, you can barter.

    • JP in MT says:


      is. 3277 of various types of 22LR rounds (FMJ / HP, 36 and 40 grain)… is that a bit much?

      I surely hope not! I have a couple more rounds than that.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        I agree with JP, from what i gather with your family you may need more – thats what got me started 🙂

      • After my own heart!! Too much ammo is never enough!!

      • Teresa,
        I agree with JP. When the vehicle tanks get to ½ it’s time to fill up and I’d say that only 3200 rounds of .22 is fast approaching ½, so perhaps even time for more.

        • OP, I count my 22s by the brick, not the round. Lol

          • Thor 1,

            I count my 22s by the brick, not the round

            I count them by several methods, since over the years I’ve seen sales where I can buy cases (10 bricks), bricks, loose in cartons (550 and now 525 rounds), or the old plastic boxes of 50 or 100, so I know roughly how many thousand I have on hand.

    • Anonamo Also says:

      Teresa on the food saver issue.. many people will seal the mylar bag with a hot curling iron, or iron on a board.. pack an oxygen absorber/ hot hands in it,and leave a drinking straw in it until the long part of the seal is done, then suck out any excess air, or dunk in water to collapse bag(messy), remove the straw and finish the seal…with hot sealer of choice.
      The oxygen absorber/ dry goods (if using hot hands) should be shaken really well to keep activated, as long as it is hot.. it is removing oxygen..this minimizes the amount of absorbers needed for packing, and maximizes it’s effectiveness.
      Wish you were my neighbor!
      If daughter does not pick up her marbles and play fair she needs to stop being a drag on your good graces and income. The children should be given training in the chores and should be supervised. There is no excuse to cover laziness. Financial responsibility starts with paying bills, and that should come before vacations. She needs to smell the coffee! I know you know all this, I’m just affirming you have a right to be very distressed. Hugs to you. So Glad you were able to reward yourself and make some progress.
      Make it clear to your Dad since he managed to discover your acute need and source he can arrange repairs on mower…so ” Allow” your Dad to replace/repair the riding mower. meinwhile put it under a cover so more damage will not be done from weathering out. Don’t spend money putting good money after bad. His deal. It could easily be a fuel filter, or an air filter that needs care.

      • Ditto on everything. My thoughts exactly.

        • I am so glad I joined this forum. I have never read anywhere before that you could used Hot Hands pacs. And I have read a LOT of articles on food preservation. How much product, say, pounds of rice or oatmeal, would one hand size pac be adequate for? I bought a bunch of these a month ago when they went on clearance at Walmart, but had only thought to use them for the go bags.

          As far as the daughter… I love her, but if it weren’t for my grandsons, she would be out on her fanny. I feel like my preparations, both for prepping and for moving are now in a holding pattern. My younger children at home are supportive, but their father is not. Every time he sees anything “camping” related, he throws a fit and withholds his contribution for monthly bills. Even if it’s something we use daily, say I get a great deal and put extra’s back, he sees it as wasting HIS money. A few months ago, Dollar General had a sale on Libbys canned vegetables 3/$1… so I spent $70 and stocked up. I mean, it’s not like we don’t cook meals and eat at home.
          He stopped giving me money for bills for a month.

          Now, I don’t even feel like I can send things (like generators, mattress sets, washer/dryer, tools) there, without just throwing my money away. At the same time, even if others don’t see the need, I very much believe I need to continue prepping. I guess I’ll have to get a storage unit and put stuff away there. That way he doesn’t see it and withhold bill money, and she won’t allow it to be destroyed. I don’t even ask for 1/2 of what the bills are from him because I do make more than he does. (I am completely excluding anything paid for the rural place because that’s my future, and he’s going to be my past) But I’d really like for him to figure out what kind of lifestyle he could really have on his own for the $250 a week he thinks is “too much to be giving me anyway!”

          Truth be told, I make enough to pay the bills on my own. However, with him just like with my my daughter, just because I can cover all the bills, doesn’t mean that’s right or fair for both of them to just sit around, squander their money, and leave me holding everything together financially. Like today, he tells me he can’t contribute to bills for the second week in a row, because he has to pay a $500 deductible for wrecking his car….. as he’s leaving out the door to go to his favorite sports bar to hang out with his buddies. Nothing in his life or lifestyle is affected by this financial burden (that he caused backing into a light pole in a parking lot). Just mine.

          I did tell my Father he would need to figure out why the mower wouldn’t stay running and either fix it or replace it with something that did work. He threw a fit. It is what it is. He stayed two days longer than we could, and worked on it. He called me the day after we got back and started to rattle off a list of things he wanted me to buy to get it running, I told him I had contributed all I was going to, buying it and getting a new deck belt. I was “all in”as much as I was going to be, to fulfill his promise to her. She has no disability and is perfectly able to use the self propelled mower until then. She should be able park it in the shed that we rebuilt so it’s out of the weather. But somehow I doubt she will, and it will still be sitting in the yard the next time I go there.

          The hugs and supportive words are most appreciated. Sometimes, I wonder if I am losing my mind. Sometimes it seems everyone seems to have their hand out, but when I need something it’s an issue. But I have hope that these things shall pass. Someday, I will be where I want to be. In the mountains, with the girls, harvesting my garden, watching beautiful sunsets, and prepared for whatever else may come.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            ^^^ i like this!

          • Teresa, if your hubby isn’t going to be part of your future, then you should quietly seek legal advise on how to restrict his access to a chunk of your property, funds and supplies (to sell off) when it’s time to give him the heave-ho. Hide all your legal paperwork/bills from your kids, grandkids, etc because they sound petty enough to spill the beans too soon. A bank safety box would be the safest place. As for the family, you can hope all you like but they’ll never change. Disrespect for you is already ingrained, so after your shtf separation from them, it’ll be up to you to decide if they get anything….provided you make them work for it and not con you into free handouts. It’ll take teamwork to survive, not entitlements.
            And just because you earn more than hubby does doesn’t mean he can slack off on his share of household money – make him pay up because bars are not cheap, nor game betting, nor ‘entertainment’. And if he crashed/wrecked his vehicle, then BUDGET must be his watchword.

          • Thanks Gloria. I am trying to locate some affordable climate controlled storage so that no one knows where my future purchases will be until I can get away. Some of the long term food storage items I have bought recommend temperature ranges that most storage facilities do not offer. I have some things in mind for limiting access to the rural property. In a few months I should be able to pay it off, and at that point, I can do more. Every other week he threatens to leave with the threat of taking it. If I can just hold out a little longer, that won’t be an option for him. He also holds the threat of taking our daughter over my head and has done this for years.

            I will try to fit this one in a nutshell…. We had a son and divorced. He then had a daughter with a crack head. DD was taken by children’s services when she was 2. He was considered unsuitable for custody because he had no permanent residence. I let him move into my basement so he could get her out of foster care. (The wouldn’t consider me because we were divorced) After (me) paying about 10k in legal fees, he was given custody. After 6 years of not hearing from BM, I wanted to adopt her since I had raised her all that time (he continued to run the streets). Two years and two failed adoption attempts later (BM would show up to the hearings to stop the adoption, but would not follow through with trying to see DD), I ended up having to remarry him to get it to go through. Given his lifestyle, I didn’t want to risk something happening to him, and DD being sent back to foster care or BM. He wouldn’t consent until I forgave the 35k+ he owed in support arrearage for our son.

            Just those two $$ amounts almost equal what I paid for the rural property. Add in the debt assigned to him in the divorce, which he never paid and ended up as a lien on my current home which I had to pay, I feel like I have paid him in full. Especially given that since gaining custody of her in 2006, he has only held a job the last 3 years come July. Like I said, he kept holding her, the threat of taking her away from me, over my head any time I have tried to stand up to him. He only sought work once he realized I had started looking at out of state properties.

            My plan is to have nothing he can take from me come time for the divorce. Even the home we live in now, I bought before I met him, and I put my mother’s name on it as well as mine, so he will be severely limited as to what else he can take from me. I bought a safe so he can’t pawn my family jewelry anymore. I moved the rest of any tools of value to my parents home so he can’t sell/pawn any more of those. I am done being the patsy.

          • JD in NY says:

            Teresa it sounds like your daughter learned very well from her father, unfortunately for you. And like a chain she is teaching your grandchildren the same exact thing, grandma doesn’t deserve respect. They will continue to do this to you and treat you like garbage because they know you will not do anything about it. The best thing you can do for your daughter and her kids is to kick them out forcing her to start acting like the adult she is supposed to be. If she is receiving welfare you can have the money given directly to you. If she is working then show up the day she is paid and get YOUR money. If she refuses the next day when she is at work get a bunch of people together and remove her belongings to a storage facility, change the locks, set her up at a motel for a week and walk away. Of course she will tell everyone how horrible you are but she probably is doing that already so whatever. I know this sounds drastic but where would she be if you were not there? ON HER OWN that’s where because it doesn’t sound like daddy would do what you are doing. Don’t be their doormat Teresa you are way more than something people wipe their feet on. I hope things work out for you and maybe your daughter sees the light of how great you just by doing what you have for her. God bless!

          • Yes, her Dad taught her well. Her Dad is my first husband… just as controlling as the second husband. That whole thing about nurses making poor choices when it comes to men… that’s me to a T. I have had poor taste in men.
            Unfortunately, I have to get the place paid off, and divorce my second, before I can move there. (this time next year I hope to be there) It’s 6 hours away in another state so I can’t be there on her pay day. But I have told her that once I am ready to move, she has to move too. I told her that even if she blows every dime she has, and has no down payment for a place of her own, she’ll have to find a place to rent. If she hesitates, then I will be forced to take measures like you have outlined above. I’ve made it clear that we will NOT be living together when it’s time for me, and her younger brother and sister, to move. I do love her, but we could not live together.

          • Teresa,
            While I may not be the right one to be giving advice on relationships, since I’ve been married 35 years this past week, and don’t understand so called men who treat people the way you are being treated; but, perhaps you should just go on strike.
            Cook, do laundry and dishes just enough for yourself and let the others fend for themselves. When there are no clean dishes or underwear, perhaps someone will get a clue.
            For food storage, the hand sized warmers are good for a standard 5-6 gallon Mylar bag suitable for use in a 5 gallon bucket.
            Inside they contain powdered iron and salt, the same as the O2 absorbers. When they hit air, the salt absorbs moisture from the air and the iron rusts, causing a chemical reaction that produces heat, and we call it a hand warmer, ignoring the fact that the iron (Fe) rusting produces FeO2, and uses up available oxygen. The smaller absorbers do exactly the same thing, removing the oxygen and also getting warm; but, we generally ignore the getting warm part of that reaction.
            It seems to always be a point of perspective, like those dandelions that popped up last week, and I think goat and bees; but, have friends who live in town who think, weed and feed.

          • I admire those who have fulfilling, supportive relationships. I am functioning now in “numb robot” mode because everything I have tried in this relationship has failed. I have tried everything from the Stepford wife, to the “strike” thing, it only serves to enrage him. Instead of pitching in, he took pictures of the mess and send them to my family and his to show everyone what a pathetic wife I am. He rages over the smallest of things, picks fights so he can storm out and go drinking (and whatever) with his friends.

            When I don’t respond to the rage, he becomes verbally abusive and threatening to our 16 yo son. He will viciously curse him, and tell him he is “as useless as your F’ing mother” in front of his friends. (Our son has lost all respect for his father at this point.) Our son is bigger and stronger than his father and as you might imagine, it’s getting harder for me to be able to keep things to a low roar. This by far has been the biggest impetus to getting things squared away so we can move away. When he started raging at our son, my savings contributions went from 10% to 30%, (as much as I could contribute and cover the all bills if necessary) just so we could get away as quickly as possible, hopefully, before anything worse happens. This beyond anything else hurts (that he goes after our son to get to me). I feel like I should have just called his bluff about our daughter, and left before things got to where we are now.

            I really appreciate the help with the food preservation tips. I can’t believe I have had these handy warmers here all along, and didn’t realize their true value to my preps. I found some gamma lids for 5 gallon buckets at a Meijer store that were marked down. (Had only the regular lids up until now) I’m going to sort through things tonight to make sure whether or not they need repackaging.

            GOAT AND BEES ALL THE WAY!!! (I should put that on a sign to look at when things look their worst.)

          • Teresa,
            I’m really speechless on what to say about your problem, other than we’ll keep you in our thoughts and give whatever prepping advice we can muster.

            I found some gamma lids for 5 gallon buckets at a Meijer store that were marked down. (Had only the regular lids up until now) I’m going to sort through things tonight to make sure whether or not they need repackaging.

            I use a combination of Gamma lids and a lot of regular lids; but, two inexpensive tools that will make using the regular lids a lot easier are:
            1. A rubber, or wooden mallet, that can also be used to install the gamma lids.
            2. A plastic lid remover.
            I purchased my lid remover from US Plastics, which happens to be only about an hour drive from here in Lima, Ohio, and the reason I show you this:
            Plastic Lid Remover
            You can get one from them, or elsewhere, or knowing what it looks like, perhaps make your own from plywood.
            And for a video of how to make this all work, here’s a link to our own VCTruck.
            How To Seal Mylar Bags
            So keep thinking goats and bees and smiling all the way, since when we smile, it keeps people off guard, wondering what we’re up to.

          • Thank you so much for this information! I feel the need to purge and organize. All these tips are really helping a bunch. More than any can realize, it helps to find new information so I can be better prepared for not just prep work, but mentally, it gives me something productive to focus on.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Dont forget a few chickens 😉

          • Might sound silly but I really really miss my girls when I have to come back home!

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Teresa, and they miss you, its wierd 🙂

          • JP in MT says:

            We have both the short lid remover and a longer metal one. (https://beprepared.com/champion-lid-lifter.html).

            The longer handle is handy, especially on square buckets.

          • Definitely good to know because I have both round and rectangle/square buckets.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Just remember it is extremely important to show a clear series of provable events for purposes of defense 🙂

            (And outside of a simple, “here is the tool/person etc., involved, I want to press charges, I will sign the complaint, I would like to speak with my attorney)

            NEVER MORE, people go to jail because they will not shut up.

          • LMAO!! Yes, a timeline of events with proof is very important. (I work in a prison) 😀

          • Jesse Mathewson says:


          • Teresa,
            I’m speaking from experience here… Stop getting between your 16 year old son and his father. I was 16 when I stood up to my step-father; a completely verbally and mentally abusive AH. He threatened to put me in the hospital. At that point I had enough and the choice words that came out of my mouth were peppered with very colorful metaphors that are not appropriate for this blog, but I basically told him to stand up and show me what he had. He was a coward in his middle 40’s and got backed down by a 16 year old boy. It’s time for hubby to experience some of that. You are really describing the same situation I was in 34 years ago. Thankfully, mom stayed out of the way. The result was that the rat step-father never abused me or my mom again. I can’t guarantee the same result for you, heck, it might even go the other way and wind up worse. Just remember, with your testimony, and the fact that your son is a minor, dad is the one who will go to jail. The cops will probably look at dad and ask, “how stupid can you be, picking on someone bigger, stronger, and younger than you are?” Let him explain it, and other than basic facts, keep your mouth shut.

            I agree with Ohio Prepper; any prepping help you need, just ask. Oh, and don’t forget to quote Monty Python 🙂

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Amen and agreed to what Sirius is saying…oh and remember, Ni Ni Ni

          • Thank you Sirius and Jesse. I appreciate your support. I find it so hard not to try to protect our son. The husband has been violent with me, dragging me out into the yard and choking me. (Just one month after gaining custody of his/our daughter. I followed through with the charges and he was convicted.) He has also straight up punched his oldest son in the face when he was 15, for something that was typical teenage behavior. That son now rarely contacts his father but continues contact with me. A few years ago, a man stabbed his children’s mother and took their children. He then tried to kill himself and them by putting a hose from the tailpipe while holding them hostage in the car. I mentioned this to the husband, and his response was “So? They are HIS kids.” He seems to like to throw things like that out there to keep me in check because I am afraid of him hurting the kids. I just know that he has no problem becoming violent in an instant and that scares me for not only our son, but for our daughter. Even though she wasn’t born to me, there isn’t anything I haven’t or wouldn’t do for her. I can’t wait for us to get away from all this. In a few short months, my finances and property should be in order, and we can finally get him out of our lives.

            THEN I will be able to say: Look, you stupid bastard, you’ve got no arms left! Meaning,,, he won’t have any hold on me anymore, and he won’t be able to reach me 400 miles away! 😀

            Goats and Bees

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            ^^^ winning

      • Encourager says:

        Agree completely, Anonamo Also.

      • Anonamo Also,
        I don’t use the Foodsaver for Mylar, just for the normal food saver bags. For Mylar I’ve always sealed most of the top with an iron, placed the O2 absorber, including the larger hot hands version into the bag through the remaining opening, then squeezed all of the air out of the bag, and finally seal the remaining opening. No straws or messy water bath.
        I now have a pulse sealer for the smaller Mylar bags; but, don’t see doing things much differently there, except the pulse sealer will seal the entire bag across the opening, all at once.

        • I could just see me trying to seal something around water and jolting myself!! lol I saw a pulse sealer on the LDS site but it was out of stock at that time. I haven’t checked in a while. I do have many flat irons around since my two of my girls and I have curly hair. How does a pulse sealer differ from the flat irons?

          • Teresa,

            How does a pulse sealer differ from the flat irons?

            A flat iron or a normal clothing iron like the one in BC’s video needs to be moved across the Mylar, back and forth a few times, like your ironing clothing, to seal the opening. Unless you have a really large pulse sealer, one of the irons is probably the best way to seal the 5 & 6 gallon bags. For the smaller bags, a gallon or less, the pulse sealer contacts the entire opening of the bag and a pulse of electricity and thus a pulse of heat, melts and seals the entire bag, similar to the sealer on a Foodsaver.

          • That makes perfect sense!

          • OP,
            We had to do this at work with the 20″ pulse sealer when we were sealing the really large evidence bags… Make an angular seal from the left side, make an angular seal from the right side leaving a small gap in the middle, push the air out then seal the small gap in the middle. Granted we weren’t sealing mylar, but very thick mil plastic, it also helps to cut the bag in a slight “V” shape.

            The sealed top of the bag didn’t need to look pretty, it just needed to be sealed. Oh, don’t turn the pulse sealer up too high otherwise you will melt completely through the plastic (mylar) what ever. As a matter of fact, if you seal it once at a lower setting, hold it in place and seal it again at the same setting (wait a couple of seconds for it to cool) it works much better for a seal that will hold. And if you cross seals on a “V” (or even a 3, 4 or 5) cut top on the bag, it’s not a big deal.

    • Almost There says:


      I like your addictions…. 🙂 Hugs to you as well. Ditto on what AA said. I know you already know this too, and you will need to decide when it’s time to make her move. She is teaching the grandsons how to disrespect you by not respecting your property.

      To answer your questions:
      “AlmostThere: I’ve been wondering about whether or not I could seal mylar bags with my foodsaver. – You have to buy the mylar with the channels in them (they look like a grid), and your FS will need to get hot enough to seal them. If you try it, only buy a few bags so you can see if your FS will get hot enough.. Mylar is thicker than the FS bags. This works really well for the smaller gallon, quart, etc bags. Obviously not the 5 gallon.

      When you say you seal it up to the straw (sorry I am new to this), what do you mean? I think AA answered your question. Just to restate, you seal the bag up across the top, until you get almost to the end, keeping a hole big enough to put the straw in. you can get all the air out by pressing the bag down, allowing the air to escape thru the small hole. Don’t forget to put your Oxygen Absorber or hot hands in prior to sealing across the top. Then either suck out the remaining air, or pressing the bag, and then the OA will take the rest out, but you need to have as much air removed as possible. Then seal the last bit with a flat curling iron or clothing iron and laying the bag on a board, and iron at the edge. Check out some youtube videos to see how others seal the larger bags.

      Also, how long would tea last if sealed in foodsaver bags vs mylar? Would it require oxygen absorbers? Mylar is going to last longer and keeps the light out. I only use FS bags for the freezer. Everything stores better with OA’s except sugar and I can’t remember what else. I think there were a couple more things that don’t need OA’s. It’s gotten too late for me to think anymore…

      You are dong great. Don’t let anyone drag you down. You’re on a mission now. And you have the right attitude to keep going. No one will take care of you like you. Prayers for you and your family.

    • Hey Teresa, I feel like I have to weigh in on this conversation. Regarding smoke alarms, hard wired smoke detectors are not a good idea, because if the electricity goes out, so does the smoke detector. At best, you need battery operated backup for the hard wired detectors. The newest battery operated detectors now, have a 10 year battery life. It is also recommended that one be placed in every bedroom.
      Also, it is no wonder you are in a funk with your daughters irresponsibility, and definate in maturity, and your dad thinks a riding lawn mower would help her? Sorry you are in this situation, and trying to prep as well. Set that girl down (without boyfriend being present), and create a budget, take control of her finances, and give her a specified amount each month to pay bills and live on. If she fails to pay you rent (because she has spent foolishly), then treat her as any landlord would do. I know this is tough love, and there are children involved, but you would really be doing them a favor in the long run. Is the boyfriend living with her? What does her contribute? Set your dad straight also, sounds like he is certainly enabling her, and blowing you off in your efforts to try and get her to just wake up and smell the water. Sorry, but she can’t afford coffee anymore. And lastly, stand up for yourself! If your husband gripes and complains all the time about your spending habits, and withholds his funds for your bills, That just sucks, and I say hit the road jack.
      Now that I am off my high horse, I know you are in a hard spot and it’s so easy for any of us give opinions, but you sound like a good lady with a level head, and hard working. Sure you love your family, but would you want them in your group if TSHTF situation?

      • I wondered about the hardwired smoke detectors, but they do also require 9v batteries. The chirp (in unison) when it’s time to replace the batteries. Hopefully that means they will also function independent of electricity if ever needed. Maybe I should have the fire department come and check to make sure it’s a good system?

        As far as the daughter, she can talk the talk when it comes to budget, but has no follow through. We’ve had several conversations, but since I’m not right there, those conversations go out the window. Even rational things such as: “You used to pay $655 for rent, now you pay $175.
        That’s $480 a month that should be saved towards your own place.” She comes back with “But I have to pay for water now.” Okay, water is $30 a month… so save $450. I can’t seem to get her to see that most people don’t even have the opportunity to put back $450 a month for savings. That most people don’t get a refund of 8k+ every year on their taxes.

        I have been crystal clear that when I can move, she HAS to move. The boyfriend does not live with them, per her. I suspect when I am not there, he does. My uncle who lives closeby tells me he’s there all the time when we’re not there. I’ll let her slide on that because that’s one less legal hassle should there be a struggle to get her out. One less eviction. If he’s not paying me rent, and I haven’t consented to him staying there, then he has no grounds to fight me to stay.

        I WILL be hitting the road jack!! As Soon As Humanly Possible. I don’t think he will try to follow us 400 miles away… where I’ll be surrounded by a bajillion red neck (in the most loving terms) cousins who, if I told them what’s going on, would’t like it or him too much. I have lived here all my life, and aside from my parents living here, I feel NO ties to the area. I guess I should thank him for that. His isolation of me all these years has at least served that purpose.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Good, a good thing to have. Solid “holler livin” cousins 🙂

          • Yup!! I have a very hands on family where the rural place is…. and they show up day and night when we’re there. They’re the ones with the fishing poles, the pick up trucks, and the guns. And they are a hell of a lot of fun!

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Teresa, tribe is what its all about!

            (I tried explaining the hillrod/redneck/dynamic to someone – a trueblood yank- once and they just couldnt understand it, so I had em watch Next of Kin, because it was the easiest way to have them understand the seriousness with which tribe types care for theirs.

          • Jesse,

            o I had em watch Next of Kin

            While I fully understand the tribe mentality, no matter what you call it locally, that’s a movie I haven’t seen; but, it appears to be on Netflix, so thanks for the mention.

      • Jean and Teresa,
        Re: Smoke (and C.O.) detectors.
        On one of my last jobs I worked on a team designing thermostats and both smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors, and they all must run on batteries for at least 1 year with normal once per month testing, per UL regulations (UL 268 and National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, NFPA 72.
        ). This is with a standard Alkaline battery, whether they are interconnected, or not. The interconnections can be either wired or wireless, but the battery requirement still remains.
        If you pay the little extra for Lithium 9V batteries, you can get the 10 year storage life; but, you should still be testing them by pushing the test button once per month, or realistically a few times per year.

        • I will be on the lookout for the lithium batteries!

          • Teresa,
            With the smoke detectors, I have the Kidde brand and they are all hard wired. My experience is this. They will all work with no batteries, but they will all chirp at you INCESSANTLY until you feed them a battery. The battery is what is going to save your life if the power goes out and you don’t know it, like if you’re sleeping. I know the lithium 9V batteries sounds like a good idea, but in my opinion (and no disrespect to Ohio Prepper) stick with the alkaline batteries. You’ll have to change them once a year (in California the State fire Marshall recommends every time change) and when you do, use a can of compressed air into them to clear the dust out. The dust between the intake and the radioactive source can cause them to malfunction. It’s like checking the oil on your car. If you don’t provide regular maintenance then you get to buy a new car. Same thing with the smoke detectors.

          • Teresa,
            I actually agree with using alkaline batteries and changing them when you either spring forward or fall back or both. I just mentioned the lithium batteries since some folks like the extra measure they give you; but, once again, the UL specifications require the detector to operate for a full year with once per month testing and still have enough power to alarm for at least 30 minute IIRC when detecting real smoke.
            Blowing out the detector with compressed air is a good idea; but, not all detectors use Americium 241 and in some places they are actually illegal. The ones without the ionizing radiation source use a photo emitter and detector to detect smoke particles.
            The units I worked on were the Fire X brand; but, that whole product line was sold to Kidde who wanted our patents on CO detectors, so what you have are good quality.

  27. Greg Monger says:

    Finally got our metal roof installed, final walkaround is next Monday. Have tomatoes, Japanese eggplant and sweet peppers ready to go into the garden (seed started awhile back) and some bitter melon seeds ready to plant. About ready to net our fruit trees and bushes, keep the birds out. Prayers to those who need em, keep on prepping folks !

    • axelsteve says:

      My tooth infection is under control and I am looking better also. Not having a face that is bloated helps. I scored 200 rounds of 22 lr. hings are going well it was hot today at work in the hi 70`s.

    • One of the things I love the most about my rural place is that there is a metal roof. Good memories of my grandparents home and one of the reasons I love the house.

      • Teresa,
        4 of the 5 outbuildings have metal roofs as did ½ of the house; but, when we replace the roof in 2012, keeping the metal and the lightning rods was just too expensive. I miss both.

  28. Hey did everyone hear of the power outages in San Francisco and Newyork ??? If that’s not a coordinated attack ???

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Thor1 this nations infrastructure, as I think OP can agree is abismal when compared with say, Iraq or Kuwait etc., honestly, collapse is a given in many areas and for many grids. I doubt it was a coordinated attack, if anything it was a coordinated shut down and startup following possible upgrades to system (they have been working on connecting major grids for decades, allowing your government the power to turn it on or off as they deem fit- I mean for our benefit)

      Have a friend who headed up the project over last decade of centralizing all data bases (eg., NICS checks / ) yes all my anonymous friends. This in power know who you are, and even avoiding said internutz as the wholly backwards luddite types like your alex jones/ bill buppert/ survival “bleep” owners are already well known to those in control not too mention, people like me who used to track people down for a living and cannot resist a good challenge, resulting in my having solid addresses for many who have offered the “unspoken” challenge of find me through their bragging about being unfindable 😉

      (Word of advice if I may, dont brag about how well you can hide, do it, gray man is a good thing)

      A reality is that as long as you are not upsetting the status quo through your actions the government generally doesn’t care what you do up to and including murder. (This is why less than 47% of murders nationally are ever solved and further why a little over 4% of convicted murders are not actually guilty of those crimes accused of/ or better example why a vast majority of house/person robberies are unsolved and shelved almost immediately upon report being filed again nationwide averages)

      Status quo. If crimes were solved one would quickly find police to be irrelevant. As the commonly held understanding by le and cj professionals is the simple reality that easily 97% of crime is committed by 3% of the population / 🙂

      As long as you dont attempt to rock the boat, eg., dont join militias (derp) and or protests etc., you are gray man by default. 🙂

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          While it looks quite serious, unfortunately that site is just like alex jones, I cannot believe it out of and and would need to do additional research before agreeing fully. Facts after all are very important, especially when it comes to starting new wars over things that are not true, eg., iraqistan and all that crappola- 🙂

          • Jesse Mathewson says:


            Facts show our infrastructure is shot, and since people wont look at private approaches, preferring to believe instead that voting and higher taxes will fix it all…well, its gonna collapse. Government has never at any point that I am aware of actually cost people less money or worked the way so many believe it does. ..

          • JM, that site is owned by a combat medic and patriot. He has a lot of good info.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Senator McCain was a decorated war hero-

            President Grant – a General (arguably not a good one, but a heck of a politician)

            Again facts- and his article has none. He only quotes other less reputable sites for heresay.

            Sorry Thor1 honestly, I want to see it all crash. However, I cannot buy conspiracies that have no support in fact.

          • JM, apples and oranges.
            The odds of 3 major cities loosing power at the same time without storms or heat waves is pretty low. Our grid is in need of repair and hardening.

            If I were a betting man I would say this was a trial run.

            Also the guy who wrote the article did not make any assumptions so what’s your point?

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Thor1 – trial runs are not run on targets…but scale models etc ,

            Regardless, his title does actually make an assumption. He quotes a known fear monger and regretfully does not utilize any real fact checking.

            Its what many of us would call clickbaiting,

            As for odds being low, actually, ask any real long term lineman on his 4th beer (when his nda no longer matters as much) and they will tell you what I and many others know already. Our nationa infrastructure is set to implode, this country served its purposes…it is in its last days, and will Rome its way out…collapsing slowly or fast (for humanities sake I hope fast) but collapsing in on itself nonetheless.

            Reality is unfortunately quite painful but is necessary so as to not engage in additional unnecessary inter species violence – or additional division. We need to stop and concentrate on the problem…as was proven yet again voting doesnt work- maybe it is time to try a completely different approach?


          • Jesse,

            maybe it is time to try a completely different approach?

            And that approach would be?
            Keeping in mind that nearly all approaches have been tried, and thus far we’ve done the best.
            Or as Winston Churchill: was alleged to have said: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP- tribalism – I hold no illusions regarding the idiocy of many and the romanticism attached. However. Having lived a hard individual life to date, I would prefer hard work and no one stealing my stuff to the “benefits” of which honestly, i can say I have found gray market alternatives to all but one…(gasoline) and have no doubt there would be black market approaches available for that – eg. , our world is quite honestly no longer in need of nation states, however, due too nationalistic views promoted by industrialists in military camps and fuel etc., it aint changin till it collapses…:(

            Again. Not a romantic but a realist. I do what I want now, and follow a very simple approach – unless you threaten me or mine (or an obviously unarmed/weaker), what you do is your decision- drugs, prozzys, you name it, that is not my business. Violence…that is.

            Hope that helps 🙂

          • Jesse,

            I would prefer hard work and no one stealing my stuff to the “benefits” of which honestly, i can say I have found gray market alternatives to all but one…(gasoline)

            I concur here, with the exception of some medicinal items, like a new pacemaker in about 6 years at end of battery. In lieu of gasoline people have used wood gas and alcohol, so in a pinch, there are some alternatives; but, we end up back with a much smaller world, where travel is limited to tens or on occasion a few hundred miles.

            our world is quite honestly no longer in need of nation states, however, due too nationalistic views promoted by industrialists in military camps and fuel etc., it aint changin till it collapses…

            I have to disagree here, since there have always been those who would enslave or kill us one by one, whether for resources, religion, or simple hatred of someone or something different. The alternative is what we see in the E.U., where the breakup only started with Britain, and where countries like Germany are tired of countries like Greece and Italy not working hard and stealing their stuff. I think nation states still have their place and it’s not because of the industrialists; but, perhaps progressives who only seek to control those with whom they disagree, because to do otherwise would have to admit that their world viewpoint could be wrong.
            Those on the left who cannot believe that HRC lost to DJT are one of the reasons we need the sovereignty and protection of the nation state. Since BHO and HRC have helped usher in a new age of world problems by coddling the likes of Iran and North Korea.
            Like the old maxim, it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun, we need good nation states to counteract the utterly bad ones like Iran and North Korea. Total collapse with the likes of those two on top would IMHO truly be the end of humanity.

    • I did hear about that, as well as parts of Los Angeles. The status of our electrical grid is quite worrisome for me. I see where some upgrades are being made to some substations near me, but as a whole, it is so vulnerable, even with the upgrades. This is why I hope to be able to be off the grid as soon as possible.

  29. Antique Collector says:

    Stopped at the big box liquor store for boxes, those boxes are awesome for canning jars. Did a price check on alcohol while I was there, cheap,,,, not any more. Thought about picking up a container or two for JIC, since we do not consume alcohol but for trading material. Purchased only one bottle R and R & 4 mini’s because they were Jack Daniels.
    Cash & Carry grabbed vinegar for the on demand water system, it needs a major cleaning. Picked up Bob’s Red Mill flour last week an divided with my sister, friend picked up the other bag of flour I found discounted at the store. Will try to find that variety again, from what I read it is great for your health
    Weeds are so high this year from all the rain we have a mouse infestation that we have never had before. Of course we had outside cats many moons ago, the snap traps are doing there job. Killed three that managed to get into the vehicle. It will have to go into the shop to remove the dog food they moved into the heating an cooling ducts, i can smell it. OH, the joys of unwanted critters. Snap traps found at Amazon, so if your purchase them be sure to MD’s link. I have got to order more of those, peanut butter I have plenty of it to share for the last meal they will ever eat.
    Have a great week.

    • I’ve had mice problems from time to time in my life. At my parents house when we grew up, there were nothing but corn and bean fields around. As those were sold off for housing, the mice tried to move in. When I moved to the city, I had a neighbor who just piled trash bags outside instead of taking them to the curb for garbage day. In both situations, cats did their jobs and kept the chaos to a minimum. Where I am now, people just do not like cats. It’s weird. They see a cat outside and they assume it’s a stray and it ends up disappearing. We have had to use snap traps here from time to time, since we’re apparently not allowed to have a cat or two outside. Usually just in the garage but sometimes in the house. I bought 5 gallon buckets for dry goods storage after the first time we saw one in the house. Don’t want to take them with us when we are ready to move!

    • Almost There says:


      I had field mice get in my car too. Luckily, I used PB in my traps, and of course, they were too smart…. So, I couldn’t stand the thought of a mouse loose in the car while I was driving to work… There would be an accident for sure…. Cockroaches and mice I cannot stand….. Soooo, I bought those sticky pads, and when I came out to my car that day, the last one of the 3 that I caught, was waiting for me. Cruel, maybe so, but they had to go.

      • Not cruel, just practical. They’re overpopulated everywhere and can carry lots of diseases, etc.

      • Almost There & all,
        We have a herd of barn cats, and that pretty much takes care of the mice; however, occasionally one gets in the house, and the house cats just love that. Play time!!!

  30. Overwatch says:

    I’m sorry, I’ve been dealing with personal problems. After a long illness, my dad finally passed away last week. He was the best man I’ve ever known. His memorial service was well attended. He reminded many of us of Lucas McCain from “The Rifleman “… tall, ramrod straight, and he saw the moral universe as absolutely black and white. He was a WWII veteran of the Army. He died peacefully and is with our mom again.
    I’ve done nothing in the way of prepping over the last few months. While cleaning out his house, I found a sh!2load of ammunition I’d stored along with AR, AK, and 1911 mags. He left me a chest with PMs that we’d purchased together over the years. I’m making more trips to retrieve workbenches, tools, and reloading stuff.
    I’ve been reading this site all along but hadn’t posted anything. Just as he passed away, our weather broke. There may be a metaphor there. As others have pointed out, the dandelions are back. Fish are returning to our inlets and I’ll be catching squid in Newport harbor next week. Striper bait and calamari right there.
    Life is short. Pray hard, keep your family close, and appreciate your friends. I’ll be drawing closer to my wife and sons now too. Catch you later.

    • Anonamo Also says:

      We, DH and I, are so sorry for your loss! Heaven gained my parents just over 18 month ago, I am still finding things my Mom had, used, put back for later. Each time I find something I know she is still taking care of me. The memories truly get more pleasant and funny with the passing of time and the fading of the unpleasantness of death and loss.
      So, Enjoy your treasures and the memories of the times you have enjoyed with your parents and continue to build those memories with your own family.. Hang in there!

    • I am so sorry for your loss, Overwatch.

      To leave a son who says “He was the best man I’ve ever known,” now that’s a man.

      God bless you all as you mourn and remember that mighty oak.

    • JD in NY says:

      Dear Overwatch I am so sorry for the loss of your dad. It’s hard losing your parents, my dad has been gone 33 yrs and I still miss him. Grieve but also rejoice in knowing he is with the Lord and his beloved. Take care!!

    • Encourager says:

      Sorry for your loss, Overwatch. It is so hard when a parent dies. We went to lunch with some cousins we had not seen in a few years. While sitting around the table one of them said, “Gads! Do you realize WE are now the oldest in the family?? Ack! I don’t feel THAT old!” It was a bit sobering and funny at the same time. We are filling our parents’ shoes.

    • I am so sorry for the loss for you and your family. Sounds like he was a very good man.

    • Almost There says:

      So sorry to hear about your father Overwatch. Prayers for you and your family. Getting closer to the ones you love is a good thing.

      • Overwatch says:

        Thank you all.

        • My condolences too Overwatch,

          I lost my dad over a year ago and I’m still going through the probate process. It’s pretty much done now, just tying up the loose ends. If you ever need some help for the hard things you’re going to have to deal with, feel free to drop me an email. Just click on my name, that’s my email address.

    • Sorry for your loss. Glad to see you on the blog.

  31. Babycatcher says:

    Mostly dug weeds and prepped for the county Master Gardeners flower and garden show tomorrow. I was going to prep the raised beds, but it has rained every other day, and it’s too wet to work. We are digging into our stored foods(canned) to minimize trips to the store. I did an orchard inventory and so far, have baby pears, apples, peaches, a couple of plums, and lots of grapes! My sister brought me several wine bottle boxes, as we had a great harvest last year with one variety, and if all goes well, this year will be no exception. I’ve been collecting bottles for a couple years now, saves me lots of money!

  32. Anonamo Also says:

    Late news reports say several cities had some outage, but San Fran had 7 hours with outage.
    Anyone that gets a chance listen to the speech of the woman running for French Prez. Address to the EU, She nailed them to the floor. More difficult to find accurate news, continue to spend set time with gleaning of info from alternate sources.
    All the talk of war, warships, planes…just make me think, “now, What are they distracting me from? and what is it I need to be watching? What else can I do to be more ready?”
    We’ve spent the week addressing various health concerns, B/p issues Very low, irreg heart beats of DH..med changes done but will see Cardio this week…will see if candidate for ablation.
    Few purchases of pork on sale this week…Have canned some ham with pineapple.. Pulled shoulder muscle, so having to be careful not to re-injure, again..
    Played with some ,new to me ,ingredients to make treats and entre’ s with less fuss/sugar content than usual selections. ..that were acceptable in flavor and texture for family. Contiued with the use of structured water to increase oxygenation.
    Yard chores done this week , mowing and trimming of some trees, weeding around some of the bushes. Began cutting some unwanted trees with the pruning shears..Treated 4 ant hills with borax and sugar mixture,( must protect mound from rain after, for best effect)
    We moved some fencing and moved some free brick. Heating pad is temporarily my best friend.
    Now for the good news.. the Old spotted dawg went into CHF about three weeks ago. Lasix and lisinopril has pulled him thru..with twice daily doses, I thought we were going to have to take him for the deep sleep. BUT>> Now,He has demonstrated he can hit both sides with his wagging tail, and can run from the front door to the kitchen in a gallop. He has lost about 12 lbs over last 2 months ,probably 6 was water weight,(already had him on a diet) can now see his ribs and his elbows. I think he has about 8 more lbs to go…My dear departed parents almost loved him to death and he was shapely, like a barrell with legs.His weight had ballooned and he has had a difficult time loosing those 30 or so lbs…over the past 2 years.
    Keep on Keeping On! Prayers for the Pack and for those, each of us love.
    Keep on praying for our nation and Her leaders, that good will prevail . That evil will be limited.Pray for the other nations that they will seek peace through strength and safety over maddness and mayhem.

    • Anonamo Also,
      I’ve heard the speeches of Marine Le Pen who is one scary person and the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, both of whom are far right wing fascists.
      Her opponent on the left is an out & out communist, and either of them getting elected will be bad for the world, since both don’t like the EU or the US, and would like closer ties to Russia and Vlad Putin. She is not likely to get 51+% of the votes, so will probably end up with a tie and hopefully lose to the center right candidate in a national runoff.
      What kind of ablation? I had A/V node ablation last July and I’m now fully bionic and pacemaker dependent. If the pacemaker stops, I stop with it; but, so far, so good.

    • Anonamo,

      After tromping all over the Hindu Kush (10-12K FT) for almost two years, carrying over 100 lbs. of equipment with no issues, I came back to Virginia and somehow found I couldn’t hardly make it up a flight of stairs without getting winded. Found I had somehow developed AFib, which quickly became constant. Cardio-version worked for a day, but then had an ablation. Felt 1000 percent better immediately! It’s been six years and now I am starting to get an occasional flutter, but it’s expected. I was told I can get up to three ablations before too many nerve ending are burnt off which would then need a pacemaker to keep the ticker going. Definitely didn’t want to be permanently dependent on drugs to control it!

      • Mustang ,
        I’ve had the A/V node ablation and am therefore pacemaker dependent; however, I’m getting setup for a procedure that will permanently get me off of the anticoagulants. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll move from Plavix to Coumadin (Warfarin) for three weeks in June or July, have the procedure performed and stop all anticoagulants after another 3 more weeks or so on Coumadin (Warfarin).
        The device is called the Watchman, made by Boston Scientific and seals the left ventricular appendage so clots cannot form or be released into the vascular system. Unfortunately this device was not available when I first received the pacemaker; but, if bionic is proven an works, I’m all in.
        I don’t know if this device would forestall your ablation since it doesn’t stop the afib; but, only protects from a clot and a potential embolism.

  33. GardenNut says:

    Had snow and hail this week. I keep my raised beds under frost cloth, they just shrug and keep on sprouting. Currently the lettuce, spinach, mustard greens, radishes, carrots, and snow peas are all making a showing.

    The strawberry spinach wintered over in an impervious fashion, to my great surprise, and is throwing new leaves. I pulled a small sprout of it out and found an 8 inch long root that went straight down so only plant them where you want them to live. It also reseeded everywhere and there are hundreds of baby two leaf sprouts popping up. I am in love with this plant.

    The lamb’s ears, oregano, and the curry plant all survived the winter. The cherry trees are starting to break leaf buds. I do not know think the Italian prune made it, but I am cautiously optimistic for the apricot tree.

    Found the local walmart carries muck buckets out of food grade plastic for less than 10 bucks. I am thrilled to have more containers to plant in, hopefully I can get the cantaloupe to actually set this year. More stores in the area are carrying food grade 5 gal buckets. Hopefully that means more people are putting up food.

    Tested the walkie-talkies, four little Midland X-Talker XT T10 Radios. Range seems to be 1 mile through some pretty thick forest. Going to do more testing with thing them, but I am very happy so far.

    Gave a couple of friends seeds for lettuce, mustard greens, and carrots. I am slowly corrupting them to delicious independence.

    Stay safe everyone!

    • GardenNut m
      The Midland X-Talker XT is a nice radios; but, I assume you know that it require a license. The license requires no test; but, does require an application and IRC a $90 fee.

      • $90.00!!!! Take a few hours and study for a Amateur Radio Technician license. Very simple and strait forward info and I think the fee is still only about $14.00. Check out “Gordon West (WB6NOA) for his study guides and audio courses.

        • GardenNut & Mustang,
          The technician test requires no fee to the FCC; but, some Volunteer Examination Coordinators (VEC’s) such as ARRL charge a $14.00 fee. If you can find a laurel VEC there is no charge, and they do all of the application paper work online, so you’ll have your license within a week or so, and in some cases as few as two days after passing.
          However, everyone who uses the radios must take the test and get the licenses, where that one time GMRS fee, which I checked is now$65 for 5 years, allows all family members to use the radios. If you get the Technician class amateur licenses, you’ll still not be able to use the radios you have, since they are locked to the GMRS service; however, if you can find someone to sell them to, there are a lot of inexpensive radios available that work well for little money. I have four different models of Baofeng that all work well, with the last pair I purchased costing only $32.00 for the pair.

          • I posted this separately to avoid moderation to no availe; but, here is some additional information.
            There are various good study materials and methods from the ARRL or videos like the ham whisperer:
            Lesson 1 Technician Class License Course 2nd Edition
            When you are ready, you can find a local test session or club at:
            Find an Amateur Radio License Exam in Your Area

          • Fabulous information right here!!! I’ve been wanting to buy some radios, but with all the “you can use these stations, but you can’t use those stations” has left me scratching my head for months!!

          • GardenNut & Teresa,
            I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier; but, sometimes you need a little sleep to have an old idea pop into your head.
            Back before all of my MAG members got their amateur radio licenses, we had looked at a group communication radio that might fit the needs of anyone who needs to communicate without all of the mystery and confusion of learning technical stuff, getting a license, picking a radio, and learning to use it. Only two of the group had these @ $279.00 each; but, they worked well and we were all looking at them until everyone was licensed. The ham license, especially at the General class level does give a much better selection of communications capabilities; but, for one to one or group communications we found a good radio with the following features:
            • No license required
            • Digital communications that make interception hard.
            • SSFH (Spread Spectrum Frequency Hopping) that makes interception nearly impossible.
            • One to one or one to many communications
            • Text messaging
            • Unit addressing to talk to only a single selected unit.
            It’s the Motorola DTR550 handheld radio. I did a little checking and everyone who has them seems to be charging $279.00 plus you’ll need the programming cable and software; but, that is only a one time purchase and can be used with all radios you get.
            Here are some examples; but, you may find them anywhere with a search.
            Motorola DTR550 – DTR Series Two-Way Radio – w / Whip Antenna
            Motorola DTR550 Package Deals
            I’ve not dealt with any of these companies and just show them here as a reference so you can get additional information.

          • This is great! Thank you!

          • Teresa,
            I wish you luck on your radio search. These are not all that expensive as radios go; but, with the really inexpensive Chinese radios for Amateur radio use, the comparison is rather staunch. For instance, the last pair of radios I purchased were the Baofeng UV888S that were $32.00 for the pair, including spare batteries, charging stands, and programming cable; but, it’s also easy to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on amateur gear, and then each participant must be licensed.

  34. Hey everybody,
    Heads up… Foodsaver is having a 72 hour flash sale. These prices are really awesome!


    • Encourager says:

      Sorry for your loss, Overwatch. It is so hard when a parent dies. We went to lunch with some cousins we had not seen in a few years. While sitting around the table one of them said, “Gads! Do you realize WE are now the oldest in the family?? Ack! I don’t feel THAT old!” It was a bit sobering and funny at the same time. We are filling our parents’ shoes.

    • Encourager says:

      Thanks Sirius. I was running low on a few things! Gotta love a sale!!

    • Thanks!!! I’ve been watching for a sale on some of these things!!

    • JD in NY says:

      Thank you!!! Just picked up a new foodsaver YES!

  35. I pulled out our hurricane bags and took out all the snacks and meds approaching expiration and made a list so I could replace them.
    I made an Amazon order of supplements and underwear. In the south, we always made sure our underwear was clean and not tattered in case we are in a wreck! Did anyone else hear that while growing up?
    Thrift store buys: a plastic manual multi mixer for $2, a 2-pack of mason jar drinking tops, a SS pie server, a NIB Fiskers heavy duty pruner. I was excited about that as all my other hand pruners are basically cheapos.
    Storage items: 3 Zaterain’s Bake & Crisp, a potato soup mix, a plastic container, 24 rolls of TP, paper plates and a bunch of snack items to replace in our hurricane bags.
    I’ve been thinking about assembling an nuclear bomb kit. I thought; potassium iodide, the US Armed Force nuclear survival manual (maybe I should get that first), a Geiger counter, a portable solar charger and EMP bag to protect them. Any suggestions or thoughts? I am thinking radiation or EMP, not a close hit. I can’t afford a bomb shelter. I am worried about North Korea, as I’m sure a lot of you are.

    • Forgot to mention that my son and I finally figured out the right patch that the irrigation system needed. It was just in time as it hasn’t rained much recently.

    • my four sons says:

      The Nukes that North Korea have built from my understanding are pretty crude. They would decimate a large portion of a city (several square miles) and fall out etc for tens of miles outside that and of course the prevailing winds play a role there. EMP is always the greatest fear with a state like DPRK because they have limited weapons and that is the greatest effect. It will be a while before the fat little bastard has an ICBM capable of getting it here and I would think Trump would never let the project get that far before BOOM your just MOABed. My bigger fear is the ChiComs they have to understand we will not let him develop that kind of rocket tech but they have been protected and arming this JA for decades.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Myfoursons. Sadly we would not win if China decided to pull the trigger…so we have to play ball. Not too mention. Some of trumpets greatest holdings are in China 🙂

        Just saying – sadly-

      • my four sons,

        but they have been protected and arming this JA for decades.

        True; but, I think they are worried about a refugee crisis on their border as DPRK citizens would stream into their country by the thousands, causing yet another humanitarian crisis.
        As for a delivery mechanism, I think ICBM’s are out of the question, since no one will allow those to come to fruition; however, I think the IRBM’s that could deliver a small EMP producing device might be more worrisome, since something small could be launched from a ship or barge off of one of our coastlines with little or no warning. I hope our Intel services are on the ball here; but, even if they are, chances are we’ll never hear about it, which is IMHO a good thing.

    • Anonamo Also says:

      There is a survival manual free PDF, got link from one of these sites with articles on nuke/effects.
      Directions in the manual…called Nuclear War Survival Skills..
      ….main prep would be saturation for thyroid, secure water supply, secure food easy open and prepare, and shelter preferably with three feet of dirt overhead, ventilation and heat… to remain for a minimum of two weeks, and a meter to measure the radiation. provisions for pets as well, for same time frame, they are said to be more sensitive to radiation.
      Shelters and detectors can be built from standard supplies with the plans..and some basic skills.

      • Thanks, I think I found the manual you are talking about. I put it on my Amazon wish list because I like physical copies and I will download it also.

      • I found it too. Thank you!! I’ll be printing it out for my binder of Good Stuff to Know. I’m also going to start saving these kinds of things on a flash drive. I’ve also started looking to find a Kindle reader with a good size memory. I’ve been investing in tech that charges with heat and solar so I can keep things like this charged if necessary. (Biolite Campstove II, and XSolar chargers)

        • Teresa,
          A thumb drive and a small machine like a Raspberry Pi using standard keyboard and any old monitor or TV can give you a plethora of low power options

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Teresa, OP is absolutely correct – there is a learning curve but…shallow and relatively easy-

          • I will have to look that up… I’ve never heard of that.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Highly recommended, I do enjoy and use laptops/with linux/ however, for backups of backups and stashes in various places I have several of those setups, very small, easy to use for storing books running security systems and radio controlled planes etc., I personally love em 🙂

          • Jesse,

            easy to use for storing books running security systems and radio controlled planes etc., I personally love em

            You can correct me if I’m wrong; but, I don’t think you are an engineer or programmer, and if that is true it makes a good point for me. The embedded units like the Raspberry Pi can be relatively easily configured and the open source community using that platform has many interests and supplies tons of free software for many applications.
            If you recall, I posted a link to an Arduino application a while back, where a friend uses an Arduino to run his chicken coop. All of the details of his Gary Cooper project including the software to run or modify is only one example of the type of projects we geeks produce and freely share, so if you’re not an engineer or programmer, you can still do some wonderful things with these inexpensive platforms, by looking around for folks who may already be using it for something you need.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP. Absolutely correct. I am neither, and most definitely am not an expert in either area 🙂

          • Teresa,
            My point with Jesse was meant to ease your mind about trying this stuff.
            The point being that if you can read, you can download applications, install and configure them, and do a lot of things without a ton of technical knowledge.
            Other than doing something wrong and having to start all over, you really can hurt anything, with the possible exception of deleting a file you hadn’t intended to delete; but, that’s common to any computer system. When overwriting or deleting a file or other entity, double check your work before hitting enter. It’s kind of like the woodworkers maxim, measure twice and cut once.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Teresa and OP, exactly! After all, if we are no longer learning things…well, whats the point I always say

      • Anonamo Also,
        I have an original copy of Nuclear War Survival Skills; but, had totally forgotten about it. I now have a pdf copy thanks to your mention.
        I discover or rediscover information and resources nearly every week here.
        Thanks again.

    • Anonamo Also says:

      Labgirl, Yes I know about the clean undies drill. We had that one as well! One must make sure you have them on and they are clean! LOL

    • Encourager says:

      Labgirl, my grandma and mother both pushed the clean undies ditty. We always replied “Then we will save the holey ones for Sunday!” Sometimes that earned a smack.

    • Clean undies, check! If any nukes come, they probably wouldn’t be as clean. I’ve been thinking about nuclear preps as well. I wish I was already at the rural place so I could more proactively put things into place there. Structurally, as well as spacewise, there isn’t anything that can really be done where we are… which is worrisome as we are about 30 miles from a major Air Force base and likely target.

    • Labgirl,

      I am worried about North Korea, as I’m sure a lot of you are.

      Actually I’m not. They are belligerent and have nukes; but, they have no credible delivery mechanism. If I were a service member stationed in Korea or knew someone who was, or who lived there, I would be concerned. If push comes to shove we can easily squash that fat little boy with no injury to us; but, Korea, especially Seoul would be annihilated, and that is not at all a good outcome. Unfortunately BHO and others have played footsy for too long with that hermit kingdom, leaving the west with no good options unless China steps in.

      • I wouldn’t worry too much about the Norks threat to nuke a US city. Although he me be a real quack, if he was going to pull the nuke trigger he would detonate a nuke in in a satellite (possibly already one or both of the satellites currently traversing our sky) and really devastate us…opening the door for others to take advantage.

  36. We went camping last weekend. Nothing heavy on the prepping front, but did get a chance to baton some firewood, and get the fire going in a slight drizzle using a Swedish firesteel and cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly. That combo is a LOT easier than matches (which disintegrate in the damp) and newspaper (which tends to smolder without catching fire when damp). Add pine needles, tiny twigs, bigger twigs, then some finely split softwood, and logs. Voila.

    Camping also let us ensure the Coleman stove and the camp lanterns were working. We discovered that two of the plastic crates we store camp gear in were disintegrating in a catastrophic way (they were probably a decade old), so replaced them when we got home.

    For anyone on Facebook: This may be the face of the slavering horde of persons of unpreppedness fleeing the cities in TEOTWAWKI: “Bear, don’t eat my kayak, bear! Bear, Go away! PLEASE bear, you’re suppose to be asleep. Bear! Please bear, go away! Bear, What am I going to do if you eat my kayak? Please stop, bear! Bear!” delivered in a remarkably screechy voice. If I’d been the bear, I’d have chosen her for my daily protein supplement just to rid myself of the screeching. Be sure to turn up the volume for full effect. Here: https://www.facebook.com/dailypicksandflicks/videos/1414683705218356/

    • Encourager says:

      Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!! That horrible, beggy voice!!!!! Eat it bear, eat it!! “Why are you doing that, bear? Why?!”

      Because he could?

    • I really wanted the bear to run her off just so we wouldn’t have to hear that voice anymore!

    • Penrod,

      using a Swedish firesteel and cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly.

      I see too many people call this starting a fire, along with flint & steel, friction, etc.; but, it’s good to see you know the difference between a flame and a fire describing here a good way to make a flame with a ferrocerium rod.

      Add pine needles, tiny twigs, bigger twigs, then some finely split softwood, and logs. Voila.

      Once you have that flame, from whatever source, that’s how you build a fire, and that is something too often forgotten by folks who try to start fires with various methods.
      The only thing I might add along with the various ways to make flame is a bit of fatwood, since adding that to the mix can almost always get a fire going.
      Good explanation. that’s worth noting.

  37. my four sons says:

    I do not think I will ever get used to this segment starting on Friday! Last Sunday we shot up some lead with the wifes family. My oldest shot his 20 guage 50 times with mixed accuracy results. I felt bad the next day he was really bruised up. But we all really had a good time. I am really making headway on my remodel project A very nice gentleman at church was pplanning on digging out 2 egress window holes for the parsonage and offered to dig one for me while he was in town. This would be fantastic as digging it by hand doesn’t sound like any fun! The room I already have a window in is framed almost completely wired and will be ready for insulation and sheet rock this weekend. I do not have a lot to report on as this project is absorbing the majority oof the money and time I have available but it has needed to be done for years and when the basement is completely finished the equity it will add to this house is great. Thats about it from SoDak but I hope all are well.

  38. Lets see what did we do….
    Picked up a new to us car for bartered work, car runs like a dream and looks wonderful but the person couldn’t drive anymore so DH swapped him the car for work he needed around the house WIN-WIN! The money we didn’t spend on a car purchased new springs for the truck (needed!), a plow, new front door (also needed), and several other items that we held off of because of money. So huge WIN-WIN!!
    Washed and put away all the winter jackets and gear (talk about freeing up closet space). Didn’t get as much done outside as I would have liked as Dh’s father had some kind of mini-stroke and he was being a PITA about going to the hospital plus DH brother went in for partial lung removal due to cancer plus it rained for a couple of days here so outside time was limited. Did manage to get one shed cleaned out so it can get repaired and moved, plus setup a new fenced in chicken run as we are moving the coop to a new safer location. Planted more seeds to stagger into the fall. The days it rained I canned pizza sauce, ham and potatoes, ham potato carrot and onion dinner, just potatoes, baked beans and sloppy joes. Today woke to feeling not quite myself (headache, achy, heavy chest) and since it’s cold out today, 40* and windy, I decided to stay in and can up the boneless chicken I picked up for 75 cents a pound, Ham and bean soup and garbanzo beans.
    Purchases were ground chuck, ham, boneless chick thighs (on clearance), 50lbs potatoes, case of soup, spaghetti sauce, noodles and a few other items to put away. I had to go into the city (more like an affluent burb) to take of something and I stopped at several thrift shops I don’t usually go to and found some awesome bargains! A Jansport school back pack that is the perfect size for a get home bag for my “new” car brand spanking new $3 bucks (online $50 to buy), LLBean messenger bag, no wear shown, $4 bucks, Targus laptop bag in perfect condition $6 that DH will be getting as his laptop bag is literally falling apart, 2 old oil lamps $12 bucks for the both with full wicks and 1 still had all it’s oil in it LOL. plus some other misc. items (candles, etc..) that will be going in boxes that I’m putting together for each of the kids that aren’t home. An I.C.E. box with 1 month of food, candles, matches, toiletry, a way to cook food and anything else they would need in case things get bad. They can also place the items in a GOD bag, along with the maps I’m placing in there, so they can get home. They also have bikes I insisted they take when they moved out so they always had transportation.
    I’m typing all of this while I have a baby chick wrapped in an old washcloth stuck inside my hoodie all zipped up next to my chest. Poor thing was cold this morning, away from momma and the heat lamp and lethargic. So brought it inside, wrapped it up and put it inside my hoodie. She peeping away now so that’s a good sign! DD called me just to chit-chat while doing laundry and heard the chick so I told her and her response…..sounds like you mom, saving the world one baby chick at a time LOL. I love my kids they sooo make me laugh!
    I did read the preppers news brief and a fat boy with mental issues, power and NO moral compass scares the bejesus out of me to be honest and if Russia and China think they’re not included in his little list they’re making a huge mistake. Our military has a lot in place in case of and I’m sure retaliation against all nations who try to do us harm will be first and foremost. It sure seems like FatBoy has some little man and daddy issues he needs to get off his chest :D.
    I pray for all of us trying to live in peace while the world goes to heck, God bless you all!

    • JD, your house sounds like my house! Last Saturday, our 4 week old lamb bloated (apparently common for bottle fed lambs at 4 weeks of age). I brought her in the house and massaged her tummy, gave her calf electrolytes and waited for her to live or die. Then she started to poop (a good sign) so she slept in a dog kennel in the living room and I slept on the couch next to her, getting up several times a night to change the towels in the kennel and try to feed her every 2 hours. Things hadn’t resolved so took her to the vet on Friday and after a bunch of antibiotics, she’s doing very well and is out with her buddies in the back yard – no more diarrhea! Just a normal week on the farm.

  39. JD in NY says:

    Oh for anyone wanting some contractor bags Big Lots has them for $7 a 20count box which is the cheapest I have seen, well at least around here.

  40. Jesse Mathewson says:
    • Operation Gotham shield. Look it up.

    • Jesse,
      Interesting article; but, it just confirms my suspicions that most of these things are often a result of an ignorant public and the ubiquitous use of social media. From the article:

      As word of the outages spread throughout the day, concerned citizens and angry commuters searched for someone to blame.

      They are too stupid to realize that the grid is a complex system, and no doubt too self indulged to take any responsibility for their own lives, and maybe look in the nirror for someone to blame.

      Many settled on President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry. Because, well, why not? An impromptu meme was formed with Twitter users using the outages as an opportunity to show their lack of confidence in the man who (technically) is in charge of America’s energy grid.

      Since he’s technically in charge of Americas energy grid, they now have someone to blame when their power goes off due to a blown fuse or breaker, or perhaps even lack of payment of their electric bill. Thus power must be a 24/7 thing with no outages, and it would also really be great if it were free.
      These people are doomed if TSHTF and I’m glad to be living in a rural area, well armed, and well stocked, realizing that our complex civilization is a thin veneer that can easily crack or break, at least in some places and at some times.
      I suspect that when they tweet their nasty grams, they never even think a bit about the complex interactions of systems that deliver their messages, only whining when the things they didn’t creat or understand don’t do what they want.
      Personally I’d let them freeze in the dark.

  41. Penny Pincher says:

    Hi Pack!
    Last weekend I went shooting and that was immense fun. It was good to get the cobwebs off so to speak. Kind of a run and gun type deal.

    To supplement the liberal use of garlic for colds etc., I now finally have health insurance. Fortunately my employer had a basic option where I didn’t need to pay premiums.

    I improved my van layout a bit: got another small plastic dresser and some extra magnets and duct tape for the window coverings. Recently I figured out if I use this little cylindrical pillow under my neck my arms don’t fall asleep at night, and this is a big blessing not to be waking up six times a night in pain.

    I learned my gym has a limit on the number of visits to an out of town franchisee per month, and so I moved my membership to Work Town.

    Looked at a place but it was too far away from work. Guess that’s it for now.

  42. Penny Pincher says:

    I always seem to forget something! I made a cheap ham into jerky and froze some ham. Yay Easter sales!

  43. Jesse Mathewson says:

    I am aware of that, there are several others planned, all at the behest of el’ newest dictatoe 🙂

    Not related however, so?

    Honestly, all I am hoping to do is prevent people from engaging in and getting sucked under by fear. Its an addictive thing, to chase leads and match events etc., and while there can be some benefit, honestly, after I realized our government was, is and has before been capable of quite terrible acts of violence against the very people who support it through theft of their fruits of labor, eg., excess taxation- and or those who physically outside of the non voluntary forcibly garnered taxes, also, support it by voting.

    History shows this. I accepted it as reality and now avoid chasing talking rabbits, preferring to know that quite simply, the government will always act in its own best interests, and will always seek to expand itself. By accepting these simple realities and facts- my life is not plagued with fear of “but what if, false flag, etc.,” rather I simply prep as I always have and when events like this occur that may or may not have been instigated…I prep a bit harder or be a bit more careful.

    However, I refuse to live in fear.

    I live free, as we all should. Freedom being individually taken and maintained/protected. As you know freedom cannot be truely granted, as that makes it rights, not freedom.

    Regardless, I hope that if something occurs it is fast in its violence and occurs while I can live or die versus my children and theirs.

    Hope that makes sense. And as always, thank you, I appreciate your consistent and thoughtful approaches and while I may disagree with them or one or two not all, it does not mean you have not earned my respect, rather by sticking to your “guns” you have proven to be reliable if only through our chats here.

    Hope that helps at least in understanding my perceived obtuseness in regards to conspiracies etc ,

  44. Jesse Mathewson says:

    Almost, in our family we thank the animal for its life so that ours may continue, as for mice, I live trap them, and they get released for my jack Russell rat terrier…she quickly dispatches without any blood, never eats them. Brings em over sets em down…she took a minute to break from chasing chickens, so this is her reward/ its funny. Every time she hears the live trap go snap clank. ..lol shes jumping 3-4′ in the air trying to see it 😉

    • Almost There says:


      True JM. They could end up on a stick over a fire… I guess I could have locked my cats up inside the car… 🙂 I don’t think they would have liked that idea too much. JR’s can be hard to train as it’s their nature to chase and dispatch the smaller varmints… My sister has rescued a few. Love ém.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        It took about 30 shots in the butt with a red ryder bb-gun before she gave up on the chickens. I tried the reward approach first had to get to the reward/risk unfortunately – she killed 4 chickens, now wont touch em, in fact ive seen the top hen chasing her lol.

        Never drew blood, just popped their necks and brought em in. – had bird dogs had to show the differences too as well in the past- she is just smart enough to get upset with me cutting her off when training…lol so yep. She had a well bruised arse for a few days…but now she chases every bird except them…and they coexist well.

        • JM, my grandfather had to put down a German shepherd when it got into the chickens. They say once they get the taste of blood they will usually do it again.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Have put down a few cats and dogs for that reason, thankfully this one did the shake and break 😉 no blood- I checked.

  45. First batch out of the Harvest Right freeze dryer….I bought the largest one available and it required it’s own circuit and a special shaped plug.
    What I have learned…
    1. The darn thing is really noisy. Like vacuum cleaner noisy. OK for an hour or two but after 24 hours I regret putting it in a small room in the main part of the house. They do suggest a garage (and now I know why) but all their advertising shows it being used in a kitchen. Perhaps the smaller machines are not as noisy. I have called the electrician and asked him to come back and move the plug to the garage. I didn’t really want such an expensive machine in such an insecure place but I can’t think of any other place for it that would not drive me nuts because of the noise.
    2. The machine puts out lots of heat. Even with the exhaust fan (in what used to be a shower room for my special needs daughter) and a second fan running full time, the room got quite warm. They say if the room temperature is too high, the machine can’t finish the cycle properly. Solution for this again points to the garage – lots of airflow.
    3. My first batch of food was about 6 1/2 lbs of ruhbarb that had been in my freezer. It took over 24 hours to complete the cycle – which I expected. And weighs almost nothing upon completion. I can’t wait to use it in muffins or something.
    4. The vacuum pump needs maintenance after each load. Since I did the first batch, I have watched several youtube videos about it and now feel confident to do what needs to be done but the manual is a little scarce on information and the company downplayed the maintenance and focused mostly on just the main machine…

  46. I read the outline of the book….Backyard Homestead….and ordered it today. Looks good.
    Planted 4 blue berry bushes this week. Just in time for the rains that came this week end. Got the garden in with Blue Lake string beans, lima beans, butter beans, field peas, squash, various peppers, egg plant, canning tomatoes and eating tomatoes and last but not least, okra.
    Priced out and put on my wish list (for purchase within the next 6 weeks) a hand pump from Lehman’s. We lose power for any reason, the city water will disappear also. I’ll revert to my well.

  47. Almost There says:

    Hello Pack,

    Busy week last week. Yesterday, I went to a fire starting and knot tying class. We started a fire with matches and flint. We dipped our strike anywhere matches in a lighted tea candle, after the wax had melted some, to waterproof them. Also started dryer lint and a cotton ball dipped in petroleum jelly with the flint for practice. I got my fire going… finally. It does take practice. Then we learned how to tie 6 different knots. It was a lot of fun and met a few new people in our meetup group.

    Signed up to go to a Homesteading conf for May. The classes look great. Can’t wait. The conf sold out, which surprised the organizer and the place where it’s being held. Not sure how many people that means, but it should be fun.

    Stopped by one of my favorite thrift stores on the way home from class. Lucked up on 3, light weight, high quality goose down blankets… I found one a few years ago at GW and love it. They are great to take the chill off. Also found 3 long wool women’s coats, all 1/2 price, paying $4, $5, and $7. They can be disassembled and made into blankets if needed. Found some other medical supplies, most 1/2 price as well for cheap, and a snow shovel for $2.50, also half price.

    Still studying for a certification for work.

    Bought some frozen veggies that were on sale for dehydrating.

    Off next week, hoping to get some things listed on ebay and continue to work on storage units and organizing.

    Prayers for the pack, unspoken requests, for the President and for America.

    • JD in NY says:

      Nice deals Almost there! Wish I lived closer to some more thrift stores though DH says it’s probably a good thing we don’t……hmmmm whatever could he mean 😉 LOL

    • Almost There,
      Sounds like you had a good and educational time. I wish our Meetup groups around here were more active.

      We dipped our strike anywhere matches in a lighted tea candle, after the wax had melted some, to waterproof them

      Good deal; but, only a starting point. Try the following instead. Wrap the match from the bottom of the head to the other end of the stick with cotton butchers cord, and then dip the entire thing in melted paraffin. You get the same water proof match; but, when you light it, you have along and hot burning candle to more easily get a fire started.
      And, don’t forget to use a double boiler when melting paraffin.

      • Almost There says:


        We have a great meetup group. Next, we are having barter day at the end of May. Everyone brings things they want to trade. It’s always fun.

  48. 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.

    Cut egg shapes out of pastel paint chip samples, then used a paper punch to add 2 holes & threaded a purple ribbon thru to tie one on each of the Easter baskets we have had for decades, to label them with names, since extended family was here for Easter morning. We had a small egg hunt in the back yard for the 19 month old. We are not fans of the big city egg hunts – too much pushing & shoving for the little ones, & with some allergies in the family, it works better for us to do our own little, low-key egg hunt.

    Bought a mortar & pestle at a moving sale, to use to grind dried spices, like rosemary.

    • Marivene says:

      Now for the rest of the story. Just before I left to go help middle DD while her DH was clear across the country, my DH decided to pick a fight with me about the garage. Of all things, he thinks I am taking up too much space in the garage! This from the person who gets upset when I throw away worn out things. So while I was at DD’s, I mentally decluttered the place. So far I have pitched a cracked cooler we have had for years, a bunch of pine cones, some sun- rotted pillows that went with the first patio swing we had, & some empty glass soda bottles – recycled the lids, tho – and they just went in the garbage pickup. I am chopping up & melting down a large wickless “candle” that youngest DD picked up for me for free, to use to fill the buddy burners I made from cardboard rolled into tuna cans. There are 18 cans, 2 of which have the wax poured over the cardboard so far. I am using a candle warmer plate to melt the wax while I do other things. I am so grateful for this forum, where I can spend a little quality time with people who think the same way as I do, & who are doing all they can to prepare. We have rain forecast all week, with some snow on Friday, so working in the garden, other than weeding a bit, is not really doable until the weekend.

  49. Hummingbird says:

    Thank you MD and others who take the time to post weekly and share good info and reviews.
    Lots of rain here so spending a lot of time mowing/cleaning up pasture and yard work.
    My LTC arrived. Ordered a few more 9 and 45 rounds. I was checking out of a thrift store and a woman went into a loud diatribe about why she had to go back to her car after seeing a sign in the window. She might as well write “I have a gun” on duct tape and slap it on her forehead.
    I’ve had a mouse problem & not much luck catching them. Was told to place Irish Spring soap bars where I see evidence and the mice are gone (kept the soap in the box for later use).
    Dehydrated walnuts and almonds.
    Was gifted some wool fabric & will look into making winter liners for mud boots and mittens.
    Bought 7 one gallon pickle jars & 4 large very clean popcorn tins. I’m going to try dry canning crackers in the jars to see if they seal. If not, they will be good for vacuum packed items.
    Was given some cattle supplement tubs & wire cages so am making a serious effort at gardening with kale, beans, tomatoes, okra, peas +. Last year I was given some seeds that I’ve put in starter pots. I think they are climbing beans, 2 squashes, peppers and boy choy. I have to rely on the photos because the writing is in Chinese (?) They have all sprouted except for a green cylinder climbing squash(I think).
    One of the grapevines died. We’ve had a lot of rain & it’s about a foot lower in elevation than the other one which is going crazy.
    A local chain grocer has started carrying lamb at $13/lb, which reinforces my desire to get Dorpers.
    There is a guy who frequents the gun shop that hinted we should go out. I suppose we could meet for lunch or the range and each pay own expenses. Then it wouldn’t be a real “date” date. That is a big step for me.
    Best wishes all.

  50. There is a lot of things happening tomorrow. The simulated nuke attacks in several states. I think its Tennessee, Georgia,New jersey & New York. Also the Carrier arrives near N. Korea.

    Be alert.

    • Almost There says:


      TVA is banning handguns from the nuclear plants security officers… How dumb is that?

      • AT, wow, that sounds like something Obama would do, that is unless the were terrorists. Then he would probably give them AT4s….

  51. I know that NK, most likely, can’t hit the broad side of a barn, much less the mainland US. More than likely, it seems they would blow themselves up, and cause a Chernobyl like incident. Even though I am in the midwest, just to cover our arses, I ordered Iosat, the printed copy of the military manual for surviving nuclear / biological attacks, and a new emergency radio (Kaito KA550.. have an emergency radio but it’s dependent on batteries or electricity) last night. I’ve put this off too long.

    • Almost There says:


      NK has 2 satellites that cross over the US.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Yes, unfortunately, they do. However. With over 15,000 commercial and military satellites in orbit…one should consider if a nation that cannot even use word properly…well just saying. Honestly. I think we are overinflating their abilities)

        However be prepared!

        • Jesse & all,
          I really don’t think we have much to worry about from the fat little boy here in the US. Even Hawaii is a small target 4700 miles away; but, Japan at 650 miles could well be within range of an IRBM and Seoul, the capital of South Korea is within artillery range.
          This is no doubt a sticky situation that’s worth keeping an eye on; but, at this point panic would be IMHO a little over the top.
          As I understand it, Japanese naval forces have joined our own, and perhaps China is beginning to take notice.

    • Teresa,
      I looked at the Kaito KA550 (downloaded the manual and looked at the features) and it looks like a reasonably priced general coverage receiver. For pre SHTF use, the weather radio is missing what I consider an important feature, the Weather Alerting system called SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding). If you listen to your nearest NOAA station you can get continuous weather information for your area; but, if you live in an area that has significant threats, like tornados at 3 AM, the radios with SAME that are correctly configured can be a real life saver.
      These radios allow you to set your state and counties of interest, along with your alerts of interest. Here for instance we listen for severe weather; but, generally disregard hurricane and volcano alerts.
      All in all it’s still not a bad radio to keep up with what’s going on around you.

      • Then I guess I read the description wrong? It said ” It also has the NOAA Alert function, which allows you to receive emergency broadcasts in the event of any severe weather conditions in your area.” I thought that meant it would alert (without having to have it continuously on) for severe weather. I chose this one because the most recent models didn’t have as favorable a review with problems concerning the LED screen going out so they couldn’t find channels. There were also complaints that the electronic screen drained the batteries faster. I figured with a manual dial, those issues would be eliminated. The kids and I really don’t use MP3 players so that addition of MP3 downloading to the later models wasn’t a necessity for us.

        • Teresa,
          I looked at the manual again and I stand corrected, sort of. When I first looked at the manual, I looked for SAME or S.A.M.E. which stands for Specific Area Message Encoding.
          Radios with this feature allow you to set the radio for specific regions of the country. For instance, my local NOAA Weather Radio transmitter is KIG86, operating on a frequency of 162.550 MHz and transmitting from Columbus Ohio.
          This transmitting station covers a large percentage of central Ohio for various alerts from weather related watches and warnings, to amber alerts; but, by configuring the SAME codes using the FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) State and County codes, I can “tell” the radio the areas in which I have an interest.
          These codes are freely available with a quick search; but, here’s an example for Ohio.
          WR County Coverage Listing for Ohio
          The radio manual lists the following about weather alerting.

          5) NOAA Alert
          NOAA Alert allows you to set the Voyager so it is in
          a standby mode and will turn the radio on automatically if there is a severe weather emergency in your area. Set the band selector to Weather and turn the weather band to your local weather station. Then set the power selector to NOAA Alert and the Voyager will go on automatically when there is a alert from the National Weather Service. After the alert is over, the weather band will be turned off automatically. It is recommended to use the AC adaptor to power the radio when you turn on the NOAA Alert

          While this feature will indeed alert and possibly wake you when the area encounters bad weather conditions, it may wake you for bad conditions far from you.
          For instance, in my case I program the codes for Ohio 039, my county 159, and the counties around me from which the weather may be travelling 021, 091, 049, 097, and 041. By doing this, alerts for instance from Cleveland (Cuyahoga county 035) to my far northeast are ignored.
          Also with the VHF band conditions sometimes opening up, I have heard the NOAA station in Pittsburgh, PA nearly 300 miles to my east to Indianapolis, IN over 200 miles to my west at times better than the Columbus station I normally receive.
          So it appears that you weather alert will indeed alert you; but, it could well be that the alerts are for things of which you have no interest or for conditions far away from you that are of no concern.
          When we got our current radio for Christmas a few years ago, we simply set it up right out of the box without configuring it so the batteries could charge for a while, and within a few hours we were getting Amber alerts from Cleveland and flood warnings from southern Ohio 2 hours to our south. When severe weather is in the area, even with the unit configured, the DW or I will often set the radio next to us as we sleep so we can acknowledge the alerts and go back to sleep.

  52. Almost There says:

    Deal Alert – Groupon has a deal on Life Straws. If you buy the 3-pk, it has free shipping, and if you put in “family” for the promo code, you get another 10% off, making them $14 and some change, not counting tax.

    Still not getting any follow-up e-mails. Is anyone else still having an issue with getting replies on comments? I have tried selecting the boxes one at a time, and both checked and still don’t get replies.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Almost, solid deal on lifestraws, ty for heads up- make sure you click the (notify ) button

      • Almost There says:


        I have been checking them. Getting nothing. Think I will clear my cache to see if that helps.

    • Almost There,
      Other than the format change that I’m getting used to, I still get all of the emails.
      All I check is the “Notify me of follow-up comments by email.” box.

    • Almost There,
      Thanks for the heads up. I just got my family pack of Life Straws.

      Seriously, this is the most inexpensive I’ve seen them online or in my area. I gave up on them.

      Thank You!

  53. Wow! So much for paying attention to size. Just received my 10 Liter German Fermentation Crocks. Twice the size of the previous crock I bought. I thought the previous crock was 10 liters! Well, guess I’l have to make larger batches!

    With the farmers market auction starting next week, tit looks like I’ll be making a big batch of Kosher Dills and more Kraut. This time I’ll use some red cabbage an, onions, garlic, and other veggies to mix things up a little.
    Ordered another 500 rds of 5.56 green tip for my SHTF magazines and another 500 rds to be sent to my brother. Far better than standard ball ammo, but can’t use at the indoor range.

    • Mustang, how is the green tip better?
      It was designed to go through glass or other light obstacles without deflecting.
      The standard ball is more lethal on flesh as it expands more. Both will penetrate light body armor.
      I did a test a while back with a friend. He had black tip 7.62 x39 and I had green tips. The AK round cracked the 1/2″ angle iron while the green tip went through it like a drill leaving the copper jacket laying in front of the target.
      This is why I load mags every other round, ball, green tip.
      The 2nd from last round should be a tracer. It let’s you know you have one in the chamber so you can change the mag faster without using the bolt release. They don’t like tracers in indoor ranges either. Lol

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Thor1 – I was raised alternating rounds, and countinfg them, however, the more into pinpoint accuracy I got, the less I realized it worked. I do have 62 grn imi and 69/77 grn for distance and more difficult targets – but on my chest rig, only 55grn ..makes grabbing and going easy. I have found in fire conditions, eg., having fire put at you, the last thing you consider is counting – I just grab and go. 55grn does everything its supposed too when it hits well – never had a real issue putting down hogs and more with it 🙂 –

        But I do enjoy having 62grn green for engine applications if needed 🙂

        Anyhow. I wouldnt alternate only because your poa past 50 is affected.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Practice reloads using 5-10 rounds per mag. And always stay behind cover 🙂

        • Jesse,

          Alternated green, yellow, and black while in theater. Worked well for us. I’ll be alternating green tip and ball for SHTF just to ensure I can penetrate light armour/cover better. Early on during an Iraqi deployment it was quickly apparent the green tips were not able to immediately stop an insurgent very effectively. They all would eventually get to see Allah, but sometimes they didn’t quite realize they were toast….could have been due to drugs also!

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Mustang, I understand the reasoning, I am simply explaining why I do not, as I do not have a platoon or even unit supporting me, I have to accurately place fire on target always, I cannot rely on others support when moving from cover to cover etc.,

            Hence my current approach. 🙂

            If I had a fire team living with me, and ready at all times, things may be different. I am sure you understand.

          • Mustang, I sometimes use use soft tip and hollow points too !!! Lol I also mark mags with color codes and number for rotating.
            I also keep a fully loaded beta mag with green tips just in case……: )

          • Thor 1,
            You mention soft point in 5.56 and those and some tap rounds are all I kept after selling my AR’s. I’ve switched to various .22 rimfire, 9mm, 20 gauge and .410 caliber for shotgun; but, I kept the good 5.56mm for my contender. It’s not a lot of rounds (only one at a time); but, that little (actually rather large) handgun is a tack driver.

  54. Hey, is everyone aware that we test fired an ICBM off of the west coast. Its like taunting N. Korea saying we can do it but if you launch we will attack. I believe a nuclear war is imminent.

    • Thor 1,

      I believe a nuclear war is imminent.

      On what do you base this belief?
      The Kim family have all been a bunch of nut jobs, and I sure would not want to live in Seoul or perhaps Tokyo; but, here on the north American continent I doubt we have anything to really fear in that respect.

      • OP, any animal backed into a corner will attack.
        Japan is a good example of this in WW2. They had no alternative but to attack Pearl harbor. We cut off the gas, but notice the carriers were out. We knew the attack was coming.
        Just saying, everything is going to change soon. Have your NBC masks & potassium iodide.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Thor1 – as you stated, we “knew” about Pearl…we created and through General Chennault further aggravated the problem to ensure eventual involvment in… (something historians commonly “forget” is that the vast majority of congressmen actively supported or were indifferent towards Hitler/Mussolini/Emperor Hirohito)

          FDR being a good liberal had no issue at all sending hundreds of thousands of murican kids to their death…and so the plan was put in place and acted upon, allow Pearl and bam, public support is raised. (Hitler was quite frankly amazed that the muricans were so easily led, “should read some of the comminques/letters”) long story short, the Japanese had supplies and more, however, FDRs propagandists (the same ones that got him elected 4 times/and virtually ensured we would use the nukes) made it seem that we wanted to get Japan, and so…the ball rolled.

          Regardless, this same thing is happening now. The massive difference being, most of the worlds leaders are relatively sane and laugh at Trumptastic and his machine. China in an even slugging match would win, we simply do not have the ability to field a large enough force to do anything more than slow their advances- (our ecm/electronic sonar etc., isnt tuned for diesel eletric hunter killer subs, not too mention they have the fastest anti ship missiles out there today- nothing we have can or could stop them. They could suicide their 55+ diesel electrics into our carrier groups and effectively end murican tyranny of the sea. (And yes, it is tyranny by definition.)
          Not too mention, the Russians really are far more dangerous than anyone gives em credit for, the funny part is. We as a collective nation still somehow believe the propaganda machine that is our state controlled media, we are not even close to the top in anything except amount of money spent on an overinflated military- oh and we have more people in prison than any other nation and most combined on the planet… (most over a plant/)

          So yes. I agree, the cards are stacked, the domino’s lined up, honestly I believe the table has already been shaken…and its all coming down.

          Personally, I am okay with it. I do not (especially after being extremely nationalistic for a very long time and having seen reality and finally faced my own willfull ignorance regarding our governments willingness to lie, cheat and murder its way into and out of power) support our government except that I have no choice regarding the taxes they take. Otherwise, bah on them.

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