What did you do to prep this week…

Well here we are again, a week late, but that’s life, sometimes things come up as it did last week and I couldn’t post this segment on time. However, looking at the bright side you all should have a lot of preps to talk about this week.

Some of you have asked about an update on my terminally ill father so I’ll get to that before we get started with the post…

He decided to not take the chemo treatments and I agree with his decision. He has stage-four terminal cancer that started in his colon and has spread out to his liver, lungs and kidneys. At that stage chemo is just a way for the chemo/cancer doctor to make enough money to buy another new home or sports car from the insurance payments being made to him for his “service” and they know this.

They want to give you false hope, knowing full well that all it’s going to do is make what time that the person has left worse while curing nothing.

But I digress, so far he is doing good with no noticeable signs of the cancer progressing, and he is still living on his own. If he had started the chemo like they wanted I’m sure that he would have been far worse by now. I’ve seen it too many times, diagnosed with cancer, chemo doctor comes in… take these treatments and you’ll live another twenty years.

Then they start treatment and soon their hair falls out, they are deathly sick all the time, they lose most of their weight turning into bones with skin and then they are dead in four months or less.

Yes, if the cancer is caught early then modern medicine can help a lot and can even cure the cancer, however at stage four where it’s spread all throughout the body I have very little faith in it helping any. At that stage treatment is a money gimmick plain and simple.

And yes, everyone is different and none of this should be considered as medical advice. If you or someone you know is diagnosed with cancer or any other illness you should seek medical help and discuss your treatment options with your doctor and your family.

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

Lot’s of work around my home/homestead/survival retreat… I have a guy coming next week to replace my retaining wall. I’d do it myself but I don’t have the time, and since I’ve never done it or have the forms to pull the concrete I think that I’ll get by cheaper by hiring someone with tools and experience to do it.

I’ve written up my to-do-list and have over 20 things listed… now if I can find the time and money to get it all done that would be great. If you love this site or even just like it a little then help me out by using my Amazon.com affiliate link (also look for it in the top of the right sidebar) every time that you shop at Amazon.com. It will cost you NOTHING extra when you order whatever it was that you were going to order anyways and I’ll get still get a small commission from your order.

This week I also…

Ordered Mr Beams MBN356 Networked LED Wireless Motion Sensing Spotlight System with NetBright Technology, 200-Lumens, Brown, 6-Pack and Mr. Beams MBN3000 NetBright 500 Lumen High Performance Wireless Battery Powered Motion Sensing LED Dual Head Security Spotlight (2 Pack).

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

About M.D. Creekmore

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


  1. JP in MT says:


    Oldest daughter’s wedding was Saturday the 6th. Guess I can quit calling him the “Want-to-be SIL”. Things went well but DW and I were wiped out Saturday night and Sunday.

    Safeway has frozen potatoes, 30 oz. package, on sale for $1.88. I keep getting a coupon, at the register, for $1.00 off 2. Regular price is $3.49, so I am picking them up for $2.76 a pair, and running them through the dehydrator (a bunch less labor than pealing and grating them myself). And since I’m using the Safeway gift card we won in the Monopoly drawing, it actually costs me no out-of-pocket money.

    If you are not checking the markdown sections of the grocery you could be missing out. We got London broil steaks, stew meat, and whole chickens for 50% the lowest marked price. Chicken is in the crock pot, meat is vacuum sealed and in the freezer.

    Went to the dentist this week. I found I have a gap under a molar. Now the consult with the oral surgeon, rebuild or replace the tooth. I’ve had 4 implants done so far so I know what that’s like. There goes $1500-2500.

    I had to ordered and received more printer ink (I’ll be glad when I can go back to a laser printer). It is a prep because of the number of preparedness books and files I print and file.

    Finished installing/repairing the parts on the awning of the BOV/camper. On last Friday I un-tarped everything and started the generator and the 4-wheelers; Saturday was loading and supplying the trailer for the season, including water – and then it snowed! Water tanks and cans are now filled, sorted through the old “condiment” supplies.

    Wednesday, we got a late-season 36-hour heavy wet snow, unusual for us here. Bent my lilac bush bad and broke a limb off the neighbor’s tree onto the sidewalk.

    I found that Federal 9mm 115 FMJ is at our Wal-Mart for $19/100. About $1 cheaper than aluminum cased practice ammo. I also got in my sale order of mags for my M&P, some #4 shot for the 38/357 and some #12 shot crimp-nose for the 22.

    Monopoly Game free stuff to date (MSRP): $167.61

    • JP – I check the markdowns all the time. I buy the Simple Truth chicken at Kroger and try to get it when it’s marked down. The best day to do it is on Tuesdays. I also look for marked down beef and non-perishables. I get a lot of “close-out” items too.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      My son was married last month, and we were tired too. I feel like I’m still recovering. 🙂

    • Crazy Joe in South Jersey says:

      Evenin’ from South Jersey …… my cost is 75 bucks co pay to have a tooth pulled . So much easier . So much smarter than a root canal as well . Waaaaaay cheaper to . Also I refuse the Percocet or codeine and demand / get amoxicillan . Always good to have anti biotics at 3 bucks for a 21 pills . Shelf life is about 18 months . Bottle always reads 12 months . Stupid label . They do not degrade and explode the day after the exp. date .

      • JP in MT says:

        Crazy Joe:

        My consult is still 4-5 weeks out. Some nights the ache is enough to keep me awake. It many well come out before the consult.

        • Almost There says:


          I think we’ve (the pack) has had a run on teeth problems lately. My chin is still numb even though tooth has been pulled. I can’t let it stay that way, and before I see what an implant costs (my dental will pay 50% of the negotiated fee) I want to get Invisalign braces (which they will also pay 50% up to $1500) to put my bottom front teeth in place before the permanent implant is done. I can’t go without the tooth as it’s a molar and I need it to chew with. Have you tried the Red Cross toothache on your tooth? Or some mentioned Oregano EO, but I haven’t tried yet.

          • Anonamo Also says:

            my Dentist recommnded CLOVE oil. for pain…

          • Almost There says:


            The Red Cross Toothache brand is Eugenol, which is oil from compressed cloves. My oral surgeon had a paste in a tube made from it, but since I didn’t have much pain, I didn’t ask for any.

    • Matilda says:

      JP, not sure if this is relevant but worth critiquing for dental health.
      Might also be worth considering as part of a prepper’s medicine cabinet.
      I’m going to try EVOO.
      If it was good enough in Biblical days, it’s good enough for me!

      • JP in MT says:


        Thanks for the advise. Mostly it is a problem at night. If I remember to take some asprin, it eventually quits hurting and I can sleep.

        • smiledr says:

          JP- I’ve been a practicing dentist for 30 years. Best thing for pain if Narcotics aren’t an option is 2 200 mg Ibuprophen with 2 Extra strength Tylenol at the same time. We have had good success with this and you can take it for 4-5 days as long as you have no history of liver or kidney issues. Feel better.

          • JP in MT says:


            Tylenol and Ibuprophen and I don’t get along. Minor side effects with no pain reduction. I usually use Excedrin or the generic equivilant. Seems to work every time for me, but thanks for the info.

    • JP,

      I had to ordered and received more printer ink (I’ll be glad when I can go back to a laser printer). It is a prep because of the number of preparedness books and files I print and file.

      We’ve been very pleased with Brother printers. We’ve had the MFC 7820N for more than 10 years and purchased their MFC9130CDW last summer on sale for $250.
      The first is a monochrome (black & white) printer that takes a toner cartridge running $50-70.
      The second is a color printer and I found a three pack of the cartridges (CMYK) online for $75.00.
      The color can be wireless; but, I have both running on my wired network for ease of installation.
      They can all do scan, copy, and fax; but, the color can do duplex printing (both sides)
      I’ve been doing computer base things for 50 years, and would have never believed I could afford multiple Terabytes of storage and a color laser printer.
      Life is indeed good.

      • JP in MT says:


        Glad to here you’ve had good luck with the Brother brand printers. My experience has been that the machine is okay to good, but they ate ink!

        I started going with HP printers when everybody was making “HP compatable” printers in the late 80’s and they turned out to be only about 90% compatable. Back when you needed to know the make and model of the printer in the software to use any special functions.

        I have my eye on two HP laser printers. A small black & white, duplex, wireless one for the trailer and a larger color, duplex, wireless one for the house. When I went with my new computer (Windows 10) the old one suddenly would not talk to the computer. HP wanted $35/hour and control over my computer to “fix” it. I told them my “work” does not let me allow remote, unlimited access to my computer. I had to explain that to the “help” guy 3 times before he accepted it. I finally figured it was just cheaper to spend $250 for a new one. Just been short of cash with the car repairs.

        • JP,

          Glad to here you’ve had good luck with the Brother brand printers. My experience has been that the machine is okay to good, but they ate ink!

          All of the inkjet printers I’ve ever owned ate ink; but, the two Brother printers I mentioned are laser printers and are very easy on the toner.
          For color you need to make sure the printer uses all four colors CMYK ( Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black). Some of the early cheap color inkjets left out the black and synthesized it using the colors, which ate through ink quickly.
          We haven’t used an inkjet printer in more than 10 years.

          • JP in MT says:


            Yep, my old one had 4 colors. Used the larger cartridges, even came new with full sized ones. I’d need a black one every year and color every 2.

      • Billy T says:

        Brother printers were very reliable for me, but I always thought the cost for cartridges was too high. Several years ago, I went to Canon inkjets. The print head is in the machine and there are separate tanks for each color ink, making it very easy to refill individual tanks as needed. Anyway, I’ve had ours for several trouble free years.

    • JP, Gloria is going to be mad at you. First 2 weeks in a row !!! Lol

    • If my family thinks I’m lost in the grocery store, they always check all the reduced sections in the store and sure to find me LOL

  2. JP in MT says:

    MD: I understand the decision your father made. Mine made the same one. He had stage 4 lung cancer, a grapefruit sized lump. I had the privilege of spending his last 9 weeks with him, after a 42 years absence. One of the reasons I tell people to live with no regrets, especially with family. Forgive and seek forgiveness, anger in the family is not worth it, it eats you up from the inside.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      I’m thankful to have been holding my dad’s hand when he passed from lung cancer. He was an alcoholic who abandoned his family. He sobered up the last several years of his life. We had a great relationship then, and he was a wonderful grandpa. You’re right. Forgiveness is important.

      • M.D. My cousin had liver cancer, which started with colon cancer. He was a tough old bird, never had much use for doctors. A vivid outdoorsman, lived life on his terms until this cancer thing. He chose not to have chemo (family agreed), and I totally agree with your dad’s decision. Life is short. Don’t wait on those bucket list items, knock them out as they come your way. My dad would have gone into work the day of his death if he could have. Not me! Always looking for the next big adventure.

  3. Austinelaine says:

    Canned six pints of strawberry lemonade concentrate, as strawberries are on sale. 5 pints of fresh green beans canned also.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      Can I have your recipe? Strawberries are in season here, and I’m getting a few flats in the next week.

      • I went the lazy route and simply canned half-pints of pureed, sweetened strawberries. We add one half pint to a jug of prepared lemonade and stir. Great stuff!

    • Antique Collector says:

      Please add me with Prepared Grammy, strawberries are ripe and need another recipe for putting them up besides my tummy.

    • Almost There says:

      Count me in too as I have strawberries I need to get out of the freezer. 🙂

    • Hummingbird says:

      Great idea; good sale going on strawberries here and the grocery store had misc bags of fruit on clearance, including lemons and limes. The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving has a recipe for this.

      • Always Forward says:

        A neighbor told me recently she always keeps a few lemons and limes in her freezer and just thaws them and cuts them as usual when she needs them. I am going to try it because it is one thing you sometimes need and don’t want to make a special trip to the store for.

    • Austinelaine says:

      Strawberry Lemonade concentrate
      6 cups strawberries
      4 cups lemon juice
      6 cups sugar

      Puree cleaned strawberries. Transfer to stainless steel saucepan. Add lemon juice and sugar. Heat on medium heat to 190 degrees. Do Not Boil. Remove from heat and ladle into sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims, add lids and tighten rings, finger tight.
      Process in water bath canner 15 minutes.
      To reconstitute mix one part concentrate to one part water, tonic water or ginger ale. Adjust dilution strength to taste. Makes about 5 pints.

      • JD in NY says:

        Copied, saved and drooling LOL

      • Prepared Grammy says:

        Thank you. I’m going to can some. I think it will be a nice taste of summer during the cold winter months.

      • Prepared Grammy says:

        After reading this again, I have a question. Is it 6 cups of puréed berries, or six cups of whole berries then purée them?

      • mom of three says:

        Yum, I’ll have to copy this down berries are not quite ready here yet… This sounds wonderful and love that it’s a waterbath recipe..

        • mom of three,
          AFAIK, all fruit based recipes are water bath, especially when including citrus. As long as the food to be canned is acidic (pH < 4.6) you don’t have to worry about Clostridium Botulinum being able to grow and produce toxins, so water bath is fine since you don’t have to kill the Clostridium Botulinum bacteria.
          It’s a good idea to have a kitchen pH meter on hand in case there are even any questions.

      • Almost There says:

        How long would this canned deliciousness be good for when stored properly? I may want to get some more fresh local berries that being harvested now.

        BTW, I found some lemon juice for cheap at Aldi’s for the big bottle. DT seems to be out of that one too.

    • AZcamper says:

      I love that strawberry/lemonade concentrate! thx for the reminder. I really need to can some more!

    • Austinelaine says:

      Six cups of strawberries. I measured after I trimmed and quartered them. Home canned items are supposed to last a year. I’d bet it lasts longer. It won’t make it through the summer in my house.

      • Almost There says:

        I am going to try blueberries for blueberry lemonade. A friend of mine is going to make popsicles with it instead of canning. Great idea for the summer heat.

  4. Well, I had a coupon for Big Lots and bought more canned chicken for the rotation plus a few more items. For the life of me, I can’t remember exactly what else I bought other than things we use regularly and/or rotate.

    In the last two weeks, I started my first batch of sauerkraut. I found supplies for using mason jars to do it. It looks good and smells good but I’m not 100% sure it’s working right. We’ll see in a couple more weeks.

    Beyond that, my garden mulching plans got postponed because the youngest fur baby had a trip to the vet last weekend. Apparently something bit him and did either ligament or nerve damage. We’re worried that he won’t regain full use of his leg.

    We bought supplies to turn last summer’s 1200 gallon water reservoir into a reservoir with a serious filtration system. In other words, our cheap above ground pool has a much better filter this year and can serve multiple purposes.

    I also found a good deal on an Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System – about half list price. I know it’s not a Berkey but the price and reviews were really good.

    Spending this coming Saturday with the DD that is getting married in July. We are going to the alterations shop to get her dress fitted. Still have a lot to do for planning but it’s coming along.

    That’s about it. Hope everyone is doing well.

  5. Prepared Grammy says:

    Since I Last Commented:

    -Added to the stockpile, using a LOT of coupons on most items, some even double coupons on top of being on sale: pine shavings for the coops; hypodermics and syringes for livestock; peanut butter; paper towels; toilet paper; laundry detergent; floor/hard surface cleaner; OTC meds for stomach and digestive problems, and antihistamines; deodorant; dental repair kits (for fillings and caps); body wash; insect repellent for self and to spray in the air; Sevin dust for the garden (It’s the only chemical I use.); can opener; hoof medication for the goats; popcorn; prescription strength sensitive toothpaste, and prescription paste for tooth pain/sensitivity; popcorn;

    -Garden: Planted banana peppers, beets, and a second planting of corn. Helped Son plant his garden. Received another apple tree for Mothers’ Day.

    -Preserved 6 batches of strawberry jam.

    -Chickens: It appears I have a snake eating eggs. All five eggs the hen was sitting on are now gone. There is no evidence of egg-eaters among the chickens. I want to kill the snake! The chicks I ordered are still doing well.

    -Bees: I planted flowers for the bees, set up another hive so I’m ready for another swarm.

    -Goats: Got the weaning pen ready, trimmed hooves, gave the kids a CDT shot. Got an extra 100 lbs. of goat feed.

    -Camper: We’re getting the camper ready. There’s a lot to do since it hasn’t been used for almost two years. We replaced the drain hose; restocked the first aid kit; flushed the lines; made small repairs; began cleaning;

    My husband was talking to someone recently that has family doing missionary work in New Guinea. We have a military base there. Evidently all Americans were told to leave immediately for their own safety. They said our military knows they will be one of the first to be attacked by NoKo, and it appears they are gearing up for it now. What he was told is, “It looks like our military knows something.” He said they’re “in a frenzy.” As far as knowing, I think most informed citizens are aware that something is coming. Folks, get prepared. Stay safe. It’s coming.

    • Crazy Joe in South Jersey says:

      ” It’s coming. ”

      That’s pretty cool , the sooner the better and no more taxes .

      • Crazy Joe,

        ” It’s coming. ”
        That’s pretty cool , the sooner the better and no more taxes .

        You are kidding, right?
        Anyone who really wants TEOTWAWKI is a fool.
        As for taxes, the Aztec took theirs out in weeks of labor from the citizens and this could easily be where we could end up.
        If there’s a storm and someone is needed to clean up, it could be you doing the work. If the roads get covered in snow or a bridge fails, you would be the one stranded or once again doing the repairs.
        And if it does come, millions could be killed and assuming you’re not one of them, could you seriously sleep peacefully at night

        • Poorman says:

          I completely agree. Read the comments this AM and had to shut down my system. Anyone looking forward to this kind of thing either has no real concept of what it will be like or the are a complete idiot.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Dont be to harsh, we all sometimes harbor the desire to see the bullish end and a new start – especially those of us in the hardest of the yankee=’s commie states 🙁

            Me personally, ive been known to hypothetically state the idea that a restart may be a good thing. 🙂 and I have lived a personal shtf for most of my life. 🙂

          • JD in NY says:

            I agree, I think it was more of a tongue in cheek statement since Crazy Joe is in SJ, as I live in NY I can understand his statement about the No more taxes statement…….ahhhhhh to dream the impossible dream! Well at least where we live LOL. Trust me when I say I feel your pain Joe, I really REALLY do.

          • poorman says:

            I don’t know Jesse. Normally I am not very harsh but someone saying they are looking forward to something like a nuclear war and millions dieing and thinking that it would be ” pretty cool “. That just hit me wrong. I personally hope I die at a ripe old age with all my preps having been a waste of money cause they were never used.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Jd and poorman-

            1. Jd- yes exactly
            2. Poorman, honestly have you never looked around and wished for a flood to kind of set things straight again, its honestly something I have thought about…though yes in reality it would be painful for most if not all –

            Just saying 🙂

          • Jesse,

            Poorman, honestly have you never looked around and wished for a flood to kind of set things straight again,

            I’m not Poorman; but, I honestly never have. There’s already enough misery in the world and other than a few health issues my life has turned out pretty much as planned.
            Fir those in misery, except for a few exceptions, their lives have unfolded as they planned also, or perhaps because they had no plans or unrealistic plans.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP, okay, thats fair – 🙂

          • poorman,

            I personally hope I die at a ripe old age with all my preps having been a waste of money cause they were never used.

            Absolutely. Let my kids figure out what to do with all of it; but, I suspect they’ll be dividing up most of it since they are all shooters, campers, and prepare their own food vs. eating out all of the time.

      • As much as I despise the left and the idiot sheep out there from time to time, I still wouldn’t wish for an attack that could lead to us having 90% of the nation die.
        I also have a mentally handicapped son who would have a really hard time if things changed so drastically. So although I prep, I do it for insurance, but I dont ‘hope for any item that might happen to be sooner’….

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          TechQ9 yes, as do I (son with autism) it is difficult, and would be more so. However, again I doubt it was mean in any way more than as JD put it, tongue in cheek 🙂 regardless / one thing life has taught me, personal shtf or teotawaki events are often just as bad depending on situations – personally my credit is shot as in low 500s thanks to being hit by a woman who wasnt paying attention while driving and the insurance company being absolutely terrible about paying for almost two years, sadly I had just recovered from a previous similar issue and had to rebuild than as well, one step forward four back. ..but we must keep going –

          • Bam Bam says:

            Jesse M.,

            Have you read about the new research on autism and gut bacteria? David Pearlemutter who is a board certified neurologist has a chapter in it in his book Grain Brain. Children with severe symptoms of autism received fecal transplants, and their condition improved significantly.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Bam Bam, though many see it as a disease, there are many of us who live with it that see it as a simple evolution of humanity – its no disease, its biological, genetic 😉

        • TechQN,

          So although I prep, I do it for insurance, but I dont ‘hope for any item that might happen to be sooner’….

          I wholly agree.
          So would Crazy Joe like us to come and burn down his house?
          Assuming he has insurance, that would mean no more mortgage which is more money every payday just like lower taxes.
          I still think anyone wishing for a catastrophic event either has not thought much about it, or has no empathy for the rest of humanity, many of which would suffer greatly.

      • Billy T says:

        When I was a child, we lived the “post shtf” lifestyle to a great extend. I guarantee, anyone who thinks they want to live that way is someone who never has. We worked daylight to dark, scavenged, harvested wild foods, canned, dried fruit, slaughtered our own hogs, cured the meat, killed and dressed chickens, made and cooked with lard. Cut firewood with a crosscut saw and split it with axe, wedge and sledge hammer for the wood stove. The only things bought at the store were flour, sugar, spices, yeast and rarely clothes or shoes. I didn’t go to a movie until I was 18 or so. It is a rough life. I could still do it if I was young or in better health but absolutely do not want to. Besides, this pulmonary fibrosis ensures an early death for me and I’m not eager for that!

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      I think I would refuse chemo if I was in your dad’s position too. I’m glad he’s feeling well.

  6. Crazy Joe in South Jersey says:

    YO MD ! Smart getting a professional to do the wall . And he gets to come back and correct any mistake or problem ….. it’s in the contract .

    Still going full tilt boogie on all aspects of gardening at two locations . 24 tomato plants is just not enough , thinking 8 or 12 more . Must be the Sicilian in me . Collecting lumber from a couple of dumpsters at nearby job sites for a project . I love free 6, 8 & 10 foot 2×4’s .

    If your old man takes a nip once in a while I recommend Rock and Rye , the fruit in it is all natural . I will have one for him .

  7. Greg Monger says:

    Have some tomatoes that are showing fruit, apple tree showing fruit, Japanese eggplant coming along also. Planted more rose bushes along the fence row, good deterrent for keeping out unwanted visitors and they look nice too. Picked up some more pantry items to replace what we used. Prayers to all who need them. Keep on prepping folks.

    • Greg Monger,
      Blossoms and flowers and signs of life, wow!!
      We’re hoping to get the garden tilled and planted over the weekend, since we’re finally past the last frost date )at least in theory, LOL)

      • Greg Monger says:

        OhioPrepper, I live in SE Arizona, so our spring starts a little earlier than yours. I came from Missouri originally, and we did not plant a garden until after Mother’s Day there. Here, we can start pretty early. Although once in awhile here, mother nature can fool you. A few years back, we had snow on the 1st of May.

  8. Goatlover says:

    Canned a dozen pints of salsa using tomatoes and jalapeño peppers from the garden. Still waiting on the sweet potato slips to arrive via UPS. Restocked goat vaccines and OTC medications.
    Getting ready for the last goat delivery of the season. Pumpkin seedlings have broken ground; yard long beans are producing. Bought 3 more cases of canning jars. Just another typical week around this little farm, thank the Lord!

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      Where do you buy your goat vaccines? I’ve only had goats for about a year, and this is the first kids. I’m still learning, obviously, and I would appreciate any advice you could give me.

      • Goatlover says:

        Jefferslivestock dot com is where I get most of my stuff. CDT vaccine is most important for goats. There are others, depending upon where you live. Other items to keep on hand are Scour Halt, Bloat Release, Ivermectin and Valbazen. Not sure how to get you my e-mail without posting it publicly, but maybe MD Creekmore can share it with you so I can be available for questions and such!

    • Greg Monger says:

      Goatlover, salsa right from your own garden items is awesome ! I really enjoy making my own salsa and use it on lots of stuff. I usually grow jalapenos but this year decided to grow “coolapenos”. They taste like jalapenos (supposedly) without as much heat. We shall see.

    • Goatlover:
      Do you have a preferred source for your sweet potato slips? I have never grown them but would like to try.

      • Daddio7 says:

        I got mine last year from George’s Plant Farm, www dot tatorman dot com
        The Diane and Georgia jet varieties did great here in north Florida. I planted four other varieties that had solid vine growth but produced almost no potatoes. Might have been my soil though.

        The strings and smalls re-sprouted but with my back trouble I haven’t done any cultivation.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      I’m hoping you can help me. I bought two dairy goats last year after they weaned their kids. This is my first year with little ones. The Alpine had triplets, but lost two. The remaining buckling will only nurse from one side. I’m milking the other side. I noticed my hand was damp when I milked, but thought it was just sweat. Yesterday I discovered that I was wrong. Milk is coming out from high on the teat. She’s not in pain and has no visible problems. What’s going on? Do I need to be concerned? She wasn’t this way last year when I milked her. (I searched the Internet and found nothing about this.) I’m going to call the vet when he opens, but I would appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks.

      • Prepared Grammy says:

        I just heard back from the vet. He told me what’s going on, and what I need to do. Wow! There’s so much to learn about everything I do…even the things I’ve been doing for a very long time. The good thing is I’m learning now before my preps are a matter of survival. I’m glad I added the dairy goats last year. Having a milk source and learning to make cheese makes me happy. It’s nice to know that I have a dairy source for my family.

        • I had a leaky teat from a dairy goat. For me, it happened after the goat kidded and I was milking her. The goat was 4 yrs old and I bought it the year before from a very famous goat breeder out of state.

          Well, I brought her home and that fall, she was bred and kidded without any problems. But at milk time, she was leaking milk from one of the teats. Also the teat was a little bit larger than the other one. My vet told me that the leaking from the teat meant that a third teat had been cut off when the goat was a small kid.

          The breeder never disclosed this to me. It’s a terrible trait to pass on to future generations, but this breeder simply sold it as a perfect dairy goat. I sold her that summer, along with the kids. Each new owner was given a full explanation of the problem, along with a written disclosure statement.

          By the way, the one medication that you want to keep on hand with goats is a medication that will treat coccidiosis. That will kill a kid goat faster than anything. Many people used medicated feed for the young kids, once feed is introduced. That’s because the coccidiosis is so easy for a kid to get.

          • Prepared Grammy says:

            My vet said the goat has a problem with the sphincter muscle in that teat. (I’ve never heard of this. Although I’m very new to goat keeping.) I need to milk her twice a day, apply antibiotic ointment, and watch her carefully for mastitis. After she dries up, he’s going to stitch the milk duct that’s leaking.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            PG, it wasnt an Iraqi goat was it? 😉

            (Joke recent vets will understand)

          • If your vet told you that was the problem, the goat probably had an injury before you got her. Yes, you’ve got to watch for mastitis. That’s nothing to mess with. In fact if it were me, I would cull the goat.
            This happens w/ dairy cows too and most are culled due to the high proportion getting mastitis.
            You should be able to get more info online via searches.

  9. ladyhawthorne says:

    The garden has had it’s ups and downs.
    The ups: I have gotten nearly 10 pounds of blackberries off the 2 Ouachita plants. They are almost done. The other is an everbearing and the berries are the size of raspberries, it’s just starting to bear fruit.
    There are tomatoes forming and lots of blooms. We ate our first dish of fresh green beans at supper. Most of the onions are bulbing nicely. The pear tree has lots of tiny pears on it, and the peach is forming fruit as well. Learned that homemade garlic, onion & red pepper flakes steeped in water makes a great insect deterrent and seems to be working on the spider mites too. Bought 2 types of mint and planted them in half of a divided planter on the front porch. The sage overwintered in a pot beautifully and is bushing out. The bulbing onions are making seeds!

    The downs: Very high winds nearly destroyed my green beans, the harvest will be small this year. Only a few of the pole beans came up, we’ll see what happens. Something ate the leaves on my collard but it is forming new leaves. Had a few bean beetles but not horrible. The pumpkin plant died because I put it out too soon. I had extra tomato plants that I put in a bed at the front of the house, one died so I replaced with a Brandywine. Only 2 sprouts of my garlic chives came back up so I bought one and added it to the pot. The pomegranate that had one bloom last year is dead this year.
    Every year I learn something new!

    I learned from running out of toilet cleaner that Dawn dishwashing soap does a much better job anyway, is cheaper and doesn’t give off toxic odors.

    Just learned about cloud bread today and can’t wait to make some! Grain free, carb free, made of mostly eggs and a little cheese or yogurt and whatever seasonings you want.

    • Thanks for the tip about using Dawn. Will try that sometime since I have quite a bit on hand. Do you use netting or something to deter birds away from your blackberries? This will be my first year harvesting them.

      • ladyhawthorne says:

        Dad feeds the birds by throwing out seed in the front driveway every morning, maybe that’s why I have only lost a few to birds. I pick in the evening about every 3rd day so they would have lots of opportunity to eat them.

    • Cloud bread? Just looked it up, gonna have to try that

    • Lantana says:

      Ladyhawthorne, we lost our pomegranate to the couple of really hard freezes we had this year. Bet that’s what got yours, too.

      • ladyhawthorne says:

        I wonder, but then we had the mildest winter yet in the 4 years I’ve been here. My friend had to cut theirs back to about 6 inches high this year, it’s coming back slowly. Mine was truly dead.

        • AZcamper says:

          Hi, ladyhawthorne. has it really been 4 years?? I remember when you moved. Guess I’ve been reading this blog longer than I thought. I have a question for you re: selling your crafts/jewelry. Do you sell on etsy and is it worth it and is it fairly easy to get started there? I am still working on my inventory but want to try to start up soon. Just wondering if it is fairly easy to use etsy…

          • ladyhawthorne says:

            I do sell on Etsy. It is easy to start and the fees are reasonable. For handmade items I sell better on Etsy than Ebay. Is it worth it?, that’s hard to answer. I have a very small niche in that I make pendants with saint images on them. Considering that I think it is a good place to sell. 20¢ to list something for 4 months is a great deal, the fees are cheaper than Ebay when you sell and you can have it deposited right into your bank acct if you want. Etsy is the known place to buy handmade. This I will say, make your photos the best you can and list something every day if you can, it really does seem to help. I’ve never done the social media stuff with it except for making a FB page for my pendants, but if you have a large group of friends or love doing social media, I’m told that can get you sales also. Best of luck to you!

        • Lantana says:

          Yes, it was a mild winter overall in our part of Texas too, but we got into the low teens/single digits for a couple of days twice.

          We cut ours to the ground and it’s coming back from the roots, but the plant was well established (5 years). Yours probably needed one more year in the ground to be able to come back.

    • axelsteve says:

      I was at a lgs today and fond a savage 24 in 20 g and 22 lr. It was on consignment for 500 dollars. A bit much I think. It was in great shape but 500 is a bit much for what it is. Might be a good prepping gun but a bit rich for my blood.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Way to expensive, especially now- you can get a palmetto state armory ar10 for 699 or one of their amazing ar15s for under 460 now- gun prices are low low – but, if it is really what you want- 🙂

        • axelsteve says:

          nope maybe 300 or so 500 is enough to get a Marlin 30-30 and go car with it. Someone is just waiting on a sucker I think.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            True 🙂

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            I have a stevens 87a im selling in very good condition for 140 🙂 shoots shorts, lr and longs

          • axelsteve,

            500 is enough to get a Marlin 30-30 and go car with it

            Which shotgun round can you shoot along with that 30-30?

            . Someone is just waiting on a sucker I think.

            Or perhaps waiting on a firearm newbie that needs a good shotgun / rifle combination and doesn’t have the skill to build something.

      • axelsteve,
        I have the model 24 in 22RF/.410 and another in 22 WMR/20 gauge and I’ve turned down $500 for them.
        They seem to be a popular firearm and the .22/.410 was what I cut my teethe on as a kid hunting rabbit & squirrel.

  10. Babycatcher says:

    Finally, finally got the garden tilled for the fourth time, and planted 4 varieties of tomatoes, one (so far) of peppers,sunflowers, and first planting of beans; onions , lettuces and beets are on the docket tomorrow. Have been replacing staples we used over the winter, discovered Dill is a perennial here! This is the third year this plant has come back! Still gathering asparagus. Prayers for those needing it, and your dad as well, MD.

  11. We!l mostly kitchen stuff. Put up 2 bushels of red bell pepper . Some canned some dried. Canned 6 jars of kale . Corned a brisket and canned it. Canned some pork ribs . There’s more but I can’t remember what .
    Hauled 7 truckloads of creek gravel as I get ready to pour a slab of concrete . Shovel on and off . That counts as 2 preps ! Concrete slab is 1 and the exercise is the 2nd . Found that 200 shovels full loads my 1/2 ton pickup and that 10 reps of 20 shovel works well.
    Have Osage Orange trees up from seeds that I have planted .

    • Fixit,

      Have Osage Orange trees up from seeds that I have planted .

      Osage Orange grows naturally around here. What are your plans for it?

      • Osage Orange is a multi use tree . You can bend branch’s over and cover with dirt to root making a natural fence . The fruit ” horse app!es ” are eatable . Of course the hard wood has its uses also.

        • BlueJeanedLady says:

          OP & Fixit,
          We have a few Osage Orange trees on an easement area of road near our home which heads up a nearby, fully forested hill. We tend to call the trees & the fruits “hedge apples” around these parts and when they drop many can (and often do) roll down the hill and end up in our yard. The squirrels like them for food (in addition to our black walnut trees that never get fully harvested) and we’ve been known to collect a couple or three to put inside the house each late summer / early fall to discourage crickets from visiting, staying &/or entering the home in the first place. Seriously, just pick a hedge apple fruit up, (Osage Orange fruit) sit it on the floor in a room corner next to an outside door for a week or so and the crickets will disappear from the interior within a few days. 🙂 Works every single year! Never tried to eat the fruit, but good to know it’s edible for humans if necessary. Guess I’ll need to research that edible idea and it’s prep requirements, too, so thanks for that info. ~BJL~

          • Penny Pincher says:

            Ha, we called them Monkey Balls when I was a kid.

          • BlueJeanedLady & Fixit,
            I knew it was a good hardwood; but, since it’s kind of a scrub tree we generally only used it for firewood. It’s alternately called hedge apple here also, probably because it tends to grow in scrub areas like fence rows.
            I’ve seen horses eating it and heard that spreading some around can deter some insects; but, I hadn’t heard of it being used for human food, so this may all be worth investigating.

          • JD in NY says:

            Mother Earth News reported not edible, I don’t remember even seeing these (yes I did look it up as I was curious as road apples have an entirely different meaning with Amish buggies around 😉 ). Does anyone know if they grow in NY?
            How would you prepare them?

          • Well here I go into moderation .

            There is a start for you on the use of Osage orange . We found if you look up bread fruit recipes they cross over nicely .Be sure to read down through the replies on that posting . Someone e makes a comment about their mother using them to make pies .

          • JD in NY says:

            Thank you very much Fixit!

          • JD,
            We have a lot of Amish in the area and are well aware of the difference between hedge apples and road apples. On occasion an Amish buggy comes past the house and we know well ahead of time since the little horse comes running and waits by the fence to whinny, long before humans can hear the clip clop.

          • JD in NY says:

            That’s so cute 😀

          • Encourager2 says:

            We put one or two Osage Oranges at our outside doors as they seem to repel mice from coming in the house. Spiders hate them also, so I have some on my window sill in my sewing room. Indians loved Osage Orange wood to make bows and also arrows.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            E- make sure you cure the staves for at least a year to 18 months and bam, ready supply of bows 🙂 awesome 🙂 (i keep fiberglass kits on my trailer to reinforce self bows as sinew while more natural is quite difficult to chew/soak to the right level -)

            Awesome job with those!

          • Southern Forager says:

            The seeds are edible, the flesh has been reported to be medicinal (treats cancer). I have eaten the seeds which are unremarkable and a pain to extract (soak ball in bucket of water until disintegrating). I have dehydrated the flesh to keep on hand. When dehydrating it smells like a cross between cucumber and watermelon. I have read of people freezing the ball and grating and consuming a tablespoon a day to treat cancer. It has a natural latex in it so if you are allergic to that you may have an issue.

          • Southern Forager keep dig on the Osage orange. The flesh is used in cooking also . Quartered and about 15 min. Of boiling in salt water will neutralize the latex . Not sure if that’s good enough for those that are allergic or not but has a steamed broccoli texture and a bland taste at that loint

    • Always Forward says:

      Never heard of canned kale and I had run out of ideas of what to do with the extra. Do you just stuff it in the jars and water bath can it?

      • Raw pack in QTS. Cover with boiling water . Pressure can 10 psi 25 mins.

      • Always Forward,

        Never heard of canned kale and I had run out of ideas of what to do with the extra. Do you just stuff it in the jars and water bath can it?

        It’s good to see that Fixit answered you.
        Something everyone here needs to remember.
        You cannot water bath can any food that has a pH higher than 4.6, Period!!!!
        I’ve thought about writing an article on Clostridium Botulinum ( the bug that creates botulism) and its relationship to canning food; but, thought it unnecessary; however, questions like this make me think that this is a subject that everyone needs to be educated or at least refreshed on the topic, so I’ve started on it and will be submitting it shortly.
        Additionally, IMHO anyone who does canning needs to have a kitchen pH meter.

  12. JD in NY says:

    Hey Pack hope all is well with all of you!!
    MD I glad your father is doing as well as he is. My mother had breast cancer and did the whole shebang and it was horrible to watch. She managed to beat it only to get cancer of the pancreas, terminal. The doctor came in and told her she’s doing chemo then radiation and she told him NO I’m not. He looked at me to talk some sense into her and I agreed with her and asked him what is better quantity of life or quality of life. She died peacefully in her sleep with her family around her in her own home – HER terms not some Dr’s terms.
    What have I been doing over the last few weeks??? Well I did purchase a new foodsaver ( THANK YOU for the heads up!!!) it is SO much better than my original which just vacummed and sealed. This one vacuums, seals, dry, moist, canisters and it came with 10 extra rolls I didn’t even know about + I ordered 4 rolls at half price so man do I have bags LOL. I brought in the get home bags, emptied them and restocked them with my own MRE’s and supplies. We purchased 2 doggie back packs so the fur babies can carry their own food, water and supplies on our hikes. Cleaned out 2 cupboards and got rid of things we haven’t used in years then cleaned out 2 junk drawers and put all my foodsaver stuff in one and the other one now just holds odds and ends. Felt good just to get rid of stuff not needed and just taking up space.
    Repaired 2 sheds and a coop roof damages due from several bad winter storms. Picked up an old tractor that needed work but couldn’t pass it up. DH fixed the PTO and some electrical work and he and YDS did some welding on some of the implements to strengthen the bars plus fixed the belly mower deck. Now my garden has been plowed and is just waiting to be disked YEAAAA! My seedlings, in various stages of growth, are doing well and I can’t wait to put them in the ground.
    we were gifted quite a few totes of camping, hiking and mountain climbing eq. by a friend who moved out of state. The boys dived up the goods like little boys after Halloween trick or treating LOL. Plus his food supply because he didn’t have room for it in his small trailer. He was going back home as his job ended here and had better offers down south. We offered to send him his things but he laughed and said no just enjoy them as much as he did and he would be happy.
    We picked up a few cases of veggies, fruit, noodles,tom. sauce and canned ham we got on sale.
    YDS had a birthday last week and was given 2 1960’s complete erector sets and a milton bradley robotix set by a friend of ours which the boys immediately sat on the floor to play with the sets. Nothing like watching two 20yr old something “men” and a 17 yr old teenager playing on the floor making steel bridges and robots LOL.
    I pray for our country, our men and women in camo and blue and for our president because lets face it we NEED all the help God can give us!! Peace

    • Hummingbird says:

      Wow! Great equipment gift. Hope you got some mountain climbing rope with that. Good versatile rope.
      I haven’t tried this yet, but it sounds like a good idea for the fur babies. Vacuum pack each meal of dry kibble and load their packs. Then put a pin hole in each meal pack. This lets enough air in to soften the pack and will be more comfortable for them.

      • JD in NY says:

        When everyone was over for the family birthday party for YDS they all went out to the garage and let birthday boy have first dibs when he was done it was mayhem, even DD said she had to elbow a few things from her older brothers LOL! As for rope (or any other items) I don’t know as they were happily putting their new found toys in to their vehicles and bedrooms. When I asked DH who got what he said he had no clue as it was like watching a pack of wolves jumping a bunny. I said just think if it were rifles and shotguns and DH said well heck I would have kept it all and not told a sole LOL. Our kids would rather be out in the woods then stuck in the house and the only game counsel we own is a Wii that my brother bought them all for Christmas some years back because he felt bad that we didn’t own some type of game player. Funny thing is they maybe have played it 10 or 20 times max and it just sits. The equipment was all top of the line stuff and to some “kids” who couldn’t afford such niceties without saving for a few months it was like Christmas to them.
        As for the furbabies food, I did put kibble in individual serving size bags but I didn’t let all the air out of it but left just a little cushion. The first one I did take all the air out and thought that was just to hard so I decided to leave some air in just like you were saying. Ahhh great minds think alike LOL 😀

    • JD, sorry for the loss of your Mom. Cancer sucks !!!
      My Dad had throat & lung cancer before he passed. My sister had breast cancer & I had a tumor on my shoulder but have been declared cancer free.

      That’s something I need to put on the list, doggy backpacks. I’m going to a pet store today so maybe I will see if they have any for puppy. I should just get him a saddle bag for a horse the way he eats. Lol

      • JD in NY says:

        Your right Thor cancer does suck! It used to be a rare occasion people got it, mostly smokers, mine workers, etc.. then it was well fairly rare but not the norm, now it’s 1 in 2 or 50%! OK now keep telling me it’s not in the environment and the crap foods that isn’t food at all….move along people nothing to see here.
        LOL at your saddle bags 😀

        • JD, what’s really bad is that the military would put them in rations during WW2. That’s what happened to my Dad. Imagine, surviving a world war only to die from smoking.

        • JD,
          Cancer has been around since the dawn of man, and I think medical technology has made it worse, in that the older you are, the more likely you are to contract cancer and medical technology has allowed us to live longer.
          Of course cigarettes do heavily link to lung cancer and low fiber diets link with colon cancer.
          In short I think the lifestyle choices people make are the big problem, since not using sun screen or using things like tanning beds can make your chances of skin cancer more likely.
          Toxins in the environment do cause problems; but, too many people won’t take the steps to avoid them. Simple things like an RO system for your water, wearing sunscreen, and eating a wide variety of foods can help a lot. Even most fast food outlets have selections like grilled chicken and salads if you’ll make the choice to get those.

      • Babycatcher says:

        There are actually panniers made that fit dogs. I found a used one on eBay and bought it for way less than retail. Made some padding with Velcro for the straps, and pup is good to go! She didn’t know what to make of it when I put it on her, but she figured it out quickly. She’s 14. Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks. I have a 20 year old Morgan Mare I’m teaching to drive. 🙂

        • 20 years old is a perfect age to teach a Morgan Mare to drive. I assume you are teaching on an automatic transmission since I think working a clutch and gear shift would be difficult for her. LOL

        • JD in NY says:

          I actually picked them up on clearance for 5.99 each so I’m not complaining 🙂

  13. Abenaki Prepper says:

    Spent the past 2 weekend and week on the property (6.5 A ) working with the garden area. Planted Heirloom seed Blood Butcher (corn) ½ LB of seed (500+ plants) 2 set of the following: Heritage Collection (2 Packages), Three Sister (Rainbow Starter Mix, Perennial Insectary, Heirloom Veg Diversity. Also planted 1 of Pollinator Collection. I got my seed from Southernexposure dot com Looking to make 2nd order from them. Using Heirloom seed as I can then save some of the seed for next year. Unless it Heirloom seed most time you can not save seed for next season. Think maybe some Peanuts, Cotton, Garlic, Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower, Some Herbs (Don’t Know what yet) Planet 4 more raspberry plants (Total now 12). The following growing good Horseradish Asparagus, sun flowers (seeded it self from Last years plants)

    The Sunflower seeds and corn can be use for chicken feed if needed. At the present time I looking at using Black Solder Fly Larva.

    Found a bee swarm got it traped and put in a bee box also saw the queen and she with them this was Monday last week by the following Monday they settled in nicely. had a empty bee box (Hive) this is the 2nd swarm i have traped, so now i have 2 hives

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      Congratulations on the swarm!

    • Abenaki Prepper,
      Good deal on the bees. A neighbor and MAG member caught two of his own swarm’s as they were preparing to leave and caught another wild swarm after a phone call to him. This bumps him up to 10 hives. You always have to bee watching for odd behavior, lest someone else get part of your hive.

  14. mom of three says:

    Well, what a crazy week it’s been my youngest, is playing in a middle school band, with three other middle schools, they are playing Journeys, Don’t stop believing they are doing a great job marching. I can’t hardly remember what I’ve done did a dollar tree run added 2 more pantry shelf milk, bought 10 pack of soap, did a small costco run butter, cheese, few goodies, and got spoiled baby a cat tree, oh boy is she loving it. Toliet papers, paper towels, few bottles of shampoo, couple cases of water for our truck, and hubbys van, we go through water fast. Dry canned more flour, chili seasoning. Planting tomatos, potatoes, basil, radish, and other yummys. Weather, is finally coming around sunshine, warm temps in the upper 70’s yes, yes, yes!!!!! Spring cleaning until the moo cows come home… M.D. I hope all goes as well as it can with your dad, chemo sucks my Aunt finally died from so much chemo, she had to different types of cancer.. Everyone have a blessed rest of the week, and weekend:) cheers..

  15. Almost There says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Got my tomatoes and tobasco peppers planted. That’s all I am planting this year so I can concentrate on getting rid of things, which seems it never ends. They are doing well. Time to stake the tomatoes.

    Cats caught a small mouse in the garage, and brought it into the house… NOT GOOD…. So, I had to kill it before they let it loose somewhere that caused more problems. Sticky traps are on the purchase list tomorrow.

    Took some things to my booth and donation to my favorite thrift store. Glad to get it out of the house. Lots more from storage to go.

    Went to Ollie’s for the first time and found a few things. They had some wool “dryer balls” that are to be used instead of dryer sheets and can be used over and over. Has anyone ever tried them?

    Local DT still does not have shelf stable whole milk, only 2%, so would suggest you buy it when you see it if your are needing any. They also have some Gulden’s mustard, teriyaki sauce, and Suddenly Salad…. ALL were made with re-engineered stuff… BEWARE if you are someone who doesn’t want to eat that kind of stuff. I was very surprised….

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

    • Haven’t tried the dryer balls but I do love Ollie’s.

    • I have the dryer balls and use them primarily on large bulky items – blankets and sheets – to keep them from turning into giant balls in the dryer. They do a good job and are a LOT quieter than tennis balls.

      My mom used to bury the “gifts” from her cats around her rose bushes. She had some mighty pretty roses.

      • I have those spiky blue plastic dryer balls and they made a horrible racket in the dryer. They are now cat toys. A local wool store has the real wool dryer balls, but at $25 each, they’re just too pricey for me.

        As for cat gifts, my friend had to put her 22 lb tomcat on a diet. He, thinking food was scarce, gifted her next day with 3 large dead mice on the front porch so she could keep the cupboard stocked LOL

        • JP in MT says:


          That is great! Must be what made my mother’s cat bring her a rabbit out of the blue – missed a meal somewhere.

          • Actually, making your cats hunt by keeping them hungry is a myth. Cats love to hunt as part of their nature, whether it’s mice, rabbits, spiders, or other bugs, and a well fed and well taken care of cat will be a better hunter. OTOH, like dogs or people, some cats are simply oblivious to what’s around them, while others will chase even shadows.

          • Agreed OP – my mom kept hearing noises in the kitchen and seeing signs of a mouse at my grandmother’s. Mittens was a well fed and happy cat. My mom closed her into the kitchen two nights in a row and on the second morning, there was a mouse placed at my mom’s place at the table.

      • Almost There says:

        GA Red,

        I use an old tennis shoe or two to fluff my down comforters. These wool balls might be good for that. It says to use 6 if drying a large load of laundry. I never run the washer or dryer with a little load of clothes… It says they also remove static. I didn’t want to purchase until I asked the pack about them. I think I will go ahead and purchase.

        • I’ve never used tennis shoes for it but I’ve dried them in the dryer with towels and they are about as loud as the tennis balls, if not louder. I found my 100% wool dryer balls at the mercola .com site. They list at 3 for $18.97 but I don’t usually pay full price for something like that so I probably had a coupon or needed something else in my cart to get free shipping (or both). I do enjoy them and have noticed that my daughters use them for a lot more than just bulky stuff.

          • Almost There says:

            GA Red,

            The balls were at Ollies for $10 for 6. I guess I need to go get me some at that price. The are 100% wool. Will look into going this weekend.

            Gloria, I’m not sure where you live, but if you want me to send you a set, just let me know. After I get my set, if you want to ask the host for my e-mail address, I can let you know how much it would be to send your way. I’m in TN.

          • Thanks for the kind offer, Almost There, but I’m in Canada and shipping costs can be atrocious, not to mention customs. I;ll be hitting a bunch of Ollie’s in June and will look for them.

          • AT – I wish I knew of an Ollie’s near me because I’d buy some more. I’m close to TN but not that close. Maybe I’ll get some the next time the DH and I have a road trip in that direction.

          • GA Red,
            I think you can probably order this stuff from Ollies online. I get their email ads and their online page has a Login I think for ordering.

          • Thanks OP. I don’t think there is online ordering but I did find that there are stores in Georgia. The closest one isn’t that close but it reminds me of Big Lots. I think I’ll look there for dryer balls too.

          • Almost There says:

            GA Red,

            I live in TN, I can mail you some if you want me to check at mine. Not sure if you are ever in middle TN, but we could meetup or we can get with our host for e-mail exchange if you decide you want some.

          • Thanks AT – I found some on Amazon (through our host’s link) that were a really good price.

          • Almost There; You can make your own wool dryer balls. They are very easy and don’t take much time. Jet.com also sells them.


          • Almost There says:

            Thank You so much for this link Izzy. I just read up on these and will be making my own. I still have old pantyhose from days of the corporate world that I can use to get them felted.

    • Anonamo Also says:

      If you want to DT has a program where you can prepay and have things shipped to the store nearest you…better selection that way, have to buy in case lots. I have tried the dryer balls with spikes on them, they help some.. much depends on the fabric/type… another idea… Use vinegar in rinse.

      • Almost There says:


        Thanks for the reminder about DT. I had forgotten about that. They haven’t had the milk in a while, and any of the other ones I pass in my travels haven’t had it either. I have a hard time catching the rinse cycle.

      • BlueJeanedLady says:

        Hey there Anonamo Also,
        I must agree with your suggestion of using vinegar in the washing machine rinse cycle versus regular use of manufactured washing machine / dryer softeners. Great suggestion and very cheap option, too!
        I have several weird chemical allergies (most not horrible but a few quite prominent) and fabric softeners on some materials often seems to be an issue for me. As well, I don’t like using any kind of manufactured softener on underwear / socks – or towels – because use of such on underwear / socks can cause skin rashes on me and use of such on towels often reduces the absorbancy of towels – which drives me more than a bit nutty! 🙂
        I tend to throw in an old pair of real tennis (mostly canvas) shoes with bulky items like sheets, pillows and blankets, too, just to keep all from wading up into a big ball of a mess but yes, I agree, that can be very noisy, too. I have never tried the tennis balls – which actually makes sense but I’m sure it’s loud – but I’ve not yet been convinced that the other marketed “dryer balls / dryer bar strips / dryer sheets / other semi-pricey options” really have that much “non-chemical” attributes and I’m kind of done with “experimenting” on that subject. 🙂
        JMHO, but wanted to agree with the vinegar (white vinegar) in the washing machine rinse suggestion of yours as real life experience tells me that truly does help with fabric softening and static cling – – – to a certain extent. 🙂
        (Vinegar in the rinse cycle also helps set color dyes on natural fabrics, too. Less fading of the colors, so, “yay!”)
        Good suggestion, packmate, thank you for mentioning such! ~BJL~

        • What about the vinegar smell?

          • As long as you don’t use too much, it dissipates during drying. But my family insists they can still smell it, so experiment with your household.

          • Thanks Gloria. If my allergies continue to worsen where fabric softeners are concerned, I will definitely give it a try. I used to use it as a hair rinse.

          • BlueJeanedLady says:

            Hey GA Red & Gloria!
            Sorry to be slow to get back to your question, GA Red, but yes, I agree with Gloria’s much quicker reply to your question. Thanks for the additional input, Gloria.

            Once the vinegar rinsed clothes are dried in the dryer or dried on the clothes line outdoors, the smell of vinegar completely dissipates. I’ve never had any trouble with the smell lingering on fabrics after thoroughly dried – yet – I can imagine if too much white vinegar was used per load, or if items didn’t get completely dried, it could be possible to detect some scent of such.

            As Gloria suggested, you might need to adjust amount to individual family members’ nasal sensitivities (now that’s a group of words creating a written phrase I never thought I’d group together). Ha! 🙂 However, technically speaking, any white vinegar smell for any cleaning use should disappear once any damp trace either fully dries or evaporates.

            Note: I use vinegar for cleaning hard surfaces too, and although a fresh cleaned room can hold the straight vinegar smell for 10 – 15 minutes or so, once all is completely dried &/or evaporated the smell is simply that of a fresh and clean seeming scent.

            Back to the laundry, you may have to adjust amounts used to mesh with the overall efficiency of your washer and dryer, too. Unfortunately, I don’t have exact measurements to share as I just poor it in the same manner, at the same speed, each time (it’s kind of a count I keep in my head – old habits die hard – as I pour & guesstimate) but my honest guess is I use somewhere between 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of white vinegar per large load (per my particular washing machine capacity – and your machine may differ from the size of mine so do keep that in mind).

            I just did a quick “bing” search to verify my method of measuring madness suggestion and did notice at least 2 sites (most didn’t mention measures) that say to use at least a full cup per “full load” (no particular washer basin size noted) – – – but I know I don’t use that much and it still works for me. Just play around with the amounts, GA Red, to find a level that works for your needs and I think you’ll appreciate the allergen control as well as the cost saving differences.

            Good luck! ~BJL~

          • Thank you – BlueJeanedLady. I’ll have to experiment with my own clothes by themselves some time, then venture into the family laundry loads.

          • GA Red,

            What about the vinegar smell?

            Since you only use a little, we’ve found that the smell pretty much washes out in the clean rinse water or you can run an extra small rinse cycle.

        • BlueJeanedLady,
          My DW is also very sensitive to chemicals, including many fragrances. She cannot even walk into stores or areas of large stores where they have scented candles or perfume. That being said, she purchase dcent free downy fabric softener, places just a little on an old wash cloth and lets it dry. She tosses one of these in the dryer and it works very well. We have soft water and she has tried vinegar; but, he biggest issue with anything other than her method is static cling, and this method is not only inexpensive; but, takes care of that and seems to not affect her otherwise.

          • OP – I’m currently using the scent free downy and some scented ones from Mrs Myers that don’t bother me. I too have a hard time walking down the laundry aisle at the grocery store. My throat starts burning and I feel like I can’t breathe. I used to be able to use Downy Lavender scent but they changed something and it’s awful now too.

  16. Chuck Findlay says:

    Still dealing with the house fire so not a lot of prepping going on. No longer in the Comfort Inn, last night was the last night there. Now they (USAA) has us in an apartment, and while it’s a nice enough place there is a very run-down trailer park 1/8 mile down the road and I’m not too comfortable leaving my truck full of thousands of dollars of tools sitting there. The apartment was empty, but today they had all new furniture delivered and set up. They put everything but food in it. Dishes, cookware, mop, sweeper, shower curtain, dish scrubbers, shampoo, an iron, towels and wash cloths. Very complete setup. I hate to think what it cost…

    For the most part I’m going to camp in the back yard for the next few months rather then stay at the apartment. In fact I’m in the tent right now. I’m not roughing it all that much as I have electricity, water (I fixed the melted PEX pipes in the house.) I have fans, a 3-foot tall refrigerator I bought off of Craig’s List for $35.00, I have 2 extra window air conditioners (5,000 & 8,000 BTU) sitting in the garage I can use if it gets really hot. I’ll just put it in one of the tent doors and duct tale around it to get a good seal.

    I have plenty of camp stoves, and the kitchen gas range in the house still works. I think the washer and drier will work (the drier vent hose melted so I need to put a new one on it, but I have a few of them in the garage) I also need to clean the soot off of them. The house refrigerator and freezer are still powered up. In fact they are still full of food and were only off for 2-hours or so.

    The shower in the house works, but I haven’t tried to re-light the hot water tank yet. It was right next to the fire but it doesn’t look like it got damaged. But I have a portable propane powered demand hot water tank I’m going to hook up this weekend. I have a free-standing outdoor shower enclosure I made years ago from a damaged pop-up dinning fly. I cut it down to about 4-foot square and 7-foot tall. It still folds up like the original dinning fly did. (That was a fun conversion / chop-job to figure out and still have it fold up for easy transport and storage)

    I’m looking forward to my camping adventure for the next few months as I love to tent camp.

    I’m going to document (may even take pictures) how it goes and how things (camp stoves, outdoor showers, and every other aspect of living outside for months) go. I may submit an article on it to MD to post here. I’m sure there will be many lessons to learn from an extended camping event. I’ve been a tent camper for 50-years and know how to camp and stay dry, keep warm, keep bugs at bay, cook food, store food outside so bugs and small animals don’ get to it.

    This is a good opportunity to try different things in an actual forced relocation event, I’m going to cook with propane, kerosene, gasoline, wood camp stoves, use the Thermette to heat water for washing dishes and for showers. For showers I’m going to use the demand propane hot water tank, solar shower bags, and a battery-powered camping shower. Last year I bought 2 pool solar water heaters, each one is 30-inches by 7-feet or so, I bought them to make a solar water heater. This is a good opportunity to make a system that uses them. I think they may be overkill for a solar water heater, but better too much then not enough.

    I’ve used all these things in the past, but for no more then 2-weeks of camping, it’s going to be interesting to see how it works doing it for most of the Summer.

    While I’m not bugging out anyplace, I am going through what most people would call a personal SHTF event. But honestly I don’t see it that way as it’s part of life, and I love camping and I get to camp (with a lot of comforts to make it more pleasant) for several months.

    For the most part I have my camp site already set up, I just have to dig out the portable sink and set up the shower enclosure.

    • JD in NY says:

      WOW Chuck I am praying for you and wish you God speed on your “new” adventure! We are very much alike in some aspects, I’m the “it is what it is and no sense getting your panties in a wad over it” type person also. We lived in a tent on weekends and during the summers while building our house, running our business and having 4 children (2 still in diapers) and we just made it work. Many so called friends were aghast that we choose to live like that so we didn’t have to travel back and forth from our house to the home we were building. I just shrugged and thought nothing of it. Come to think of it we’re not even friends with those people anymore since we moved out to the stix LOL.
      Hope it all works out for you and look forward to your reports, I am really looking forward to your report of the pool solar heaters as DH has been eyeing those things up and thinks “what if I…..” fill in the blank with your imagination ;).
      Take care!!

      • JD,

        I am really looking forward to your report of the pool solar heaters as DH has been eyeing those things up and thinks “what if I…..” fill in the blank with your imagination ;).

        I looked at those once; but, then ended up nearly scalding my hand when I rinsed it from the garden hose that had been laying out in the yard one summer. I then took the hose and a large piece of black plastic tarp and made a heater. I laid the tarp on the ground and strung the hose in a serpentine fashion on the tarp. I then ran water until the hose was full, shut off the water and waited. After about 15-20 minutes, the water that was about 60° coming out of the hydrant was coming out of the hose at more than 150°. The plans that never actually got implemented got implemented was to use a setup like this to preheat the water for the inside tank. This hose BTW was green, so I suspect black would work better. So many neat ideas and so little time to play with them.

        • JD in NY says:

          So many neat ideas and so little time to play with them.
          Amen OP!

        • OP – we set up a cheap above ground pool last summer and to create a quick water heater, we ran about 50 feet of water hose out in the grass in the hot sun. Using my pump for my rain barrels, this little setup heated the pool nicely.

          • GA Red,
            Makes sense. Now all I need is a pump and a way to use the hot water as part of our domestic system. It might be worth spending some engineering time to think about it. My problem is that too many great possibilities like this get stuck in my Round TUIT.

          • We bought a new pump on Amazon this year because we burned out the old one. It’s a Homdox 1.6HP Booster Pump Stainless Shallow Well Pump Lawn Sprinkling Pump for Home Garden Irrigation Water Supply. I will use it to pump water on my garden from my rain barrels too.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            GA Red, get a spare now and a mechanical or gravity feed pump if you can 🙂

          • We have a mechanical pump too. In a SHTF scenario, our rain barrels would become our water catchment system.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            GA red, its refreshing to know good people exist 🙂 one is none, two is one and three is enough as they say- bravo!

          • Jesse,

            and three is enough as they say-

            We’ve always used a slightly different rule set.
            2 is 1 and 1 is none, so have at least 3.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Op, whew, thought you were going to pull a yankee 😉

          • GA Redm

            We bought a new pump on Amazon this year because we burned out the old one

            In my case, the system is already rather complex, so some engineering along with the pump will be required, including several remote controlled valves and check valves. The idea is to have a hot loop running directly outside only when the air temp is well above freezing, and then be able to divert water to and from the solar heating components and into the internal heat loop in the home. To do otherwise would require a collection loop using some type of antifreeze in that loop and an inefficient water/water heat exchanger for use during winter, plus the control system to run it all. I’ve designed more complex control systems than this; but, it’s simply something I don’t want to tackle at this time.

          • OP – this is just for use with the little pool. The DH has mental designs for a solar water heater system too. His version involves PVC pipe painted black and several other things.

          • GA Red,
            For hot water I think I prefer copper for at least the non collecting portion. I still have about 50 feet o ½ and ¾ inch stashed that I bought on sale years ago.
            Actually the collector portion might be better with copper also, since unlike PVC it would not deteriorate with the UV in sunlight.

          • I would prefer copper, but it’s expensive here – to the point that people are stealing it.

          • GA Red,
            I know about copper theft; but, the copper I have was purchased inexpensively years ago and is all currently indoors. Any that I might use for a collector would be hundreds of feet off the nearest road and either behind buildings or on top of them.
            We’ve had that problem here; but, mostly in the Columbus Metro area and at least 40-50+ miles from me.

    • Antique Collector says:

      On the insurance for a house fire, it is less expensive to get the party out of a hotel situation. Under additional living expenses, hotel room, eating out, gas for travel to and from the hotel to the home site, food purchased-snacks-water.
      When we had a total loss, they covered additional living expenses with the exception of the travel trailer. That was considered personal property as it could be sold later, I am not sure how they paid us for the generator. There was no power at our place due to down poles & lines for about a month, then we had to fight to have the power restored to our land.
      Save all receipts, make copies before you turn them into the insurance company for reimbursement, also attach a letter with the bills(copy for yourself). Come tax time you may be able to use the loss as a deduction.
      An ask your representative WHY they filled the apartment with all you mentioned. Are the items placed in to the apartment rented –OR are they yours– or theirs, if yours how is it being paid for? Did you authorize such an expense? Be sure to question EVERYTHING, it is YOUR insurance money you paid for it in premiums.

    • Chuck–Way to go! I can’t wait to hear about your adventures. I’ve never been camping, but you will be totally self sufficient. It will be an interesting read. Good luck to you. Not sure where you live, but I hope you don’t get overheated doing this over the hot summer. Take care.

      • Terra,

        I’ve never been camping

        I find that amazing. If you have a yard with at least a little privacy, perhaps you could try some backyard camping to get the hang of it. If then you are ever forced to do such a thing, it won’t be quite the total potentially shocking new experience.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Definitely go camping 🙂 –

        • OP–I have always wanted to go camping. Sleeping in a tent and having a campfire sounds so great to me. I must do this!

          • BlueJeanedLady says:

            Hello Terra! I have to agree with Ohio Prepper and Jesse – Do Try Camping – for both the fun and the experience! You’ll love it! Plan & pack accordingly and Enjoy, tremendously. 🙂

            OP’s idea of trying an experimental “backyard” camp-out is a great idea if some level of privacy is available in your current living circumstance – – – but – – – if you live in a more regulated city / county environment be sure to check into city / county ordinances before starting a campfire within said limits!

            Note: The reason I state such is because of a not well designed nor well defined fire regulation in our city area that is subject to the whims of individual LEO interpretations as well as individual safety practices as such ordinances / regulations could be similarly complicated / confusing in your own personal locale. Concerning my example, landscaped fire pits are allowed on a city lot(s) – okay that could work for a backyard tent experience – but an open area campfire is not allowed. Crazy! Yes! The multitude of restrictions can be complicated in any given area and sometimes just downright unreasonable but do check into the local, legal details before you try to do something different.

            Simply suggesting you be aware of local issues as part of your own, personal situational awareness practice as that’s all good to learn & know for the future anyway. Then, you can and will be more prepared for what you are or may be attempting.

            If the backyard trial OP suggested is not possible, as an alternative to the backyard first time experimental camp-out experience, find a nearby local river / lake / county / state park area / or a good friend(s) with country acreage that allows tent camping, (preferably within 30 minutes driving of civilization) drive out there and practice camping at this close to your home site, first. This way, if you’ve badly prepared – as can and often does happen with first time camping plans – or even if you just have some bad luck or a potentially dangerous situation arise (more likely unexpected bad weather conditions than anything else) you can head back home quickly, address the issue(s) at hand, regroup and try again next weekend. 🙂 Think of these first time experiences as learning / confidence builders before camping could become a survival necessity and all could go much smoother in the long run.

            Chances are that all will go fine for a decently planned and short weekend trial camp-out and you’ll learn and grow from each succeeding experience only to be venturing more & more into the wilderness while taking on more & more interesting challenges in the near future. Yay!

            Not doubting your capabilities at all, Terra, I’m merely suggesting baby steps for a self-proclaimed beginner such as yourself and wishing you much success and great fun! 🙂 Enjoy!

            Take care and stay safe & smart but do start planning that first camping trip, soon. This is a great time of year to try such and again – – – Enjoy! ~BJL~

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            BJL, you said it very well!

          • BlueJeanedLady & Terra,
            Ditto with two additions.
            1. When I camp anywhere, I plan to pretty much be away, meaning I may have the cell phone with me, assuming coverage is available; but, I generally leave it turned off and keep it for emergency outgoing calls only. This can end up being a very emotionally freeing night or weekend, just sitting around the campfire with friends or family, oblivious to the time, and just talking, telling stories, or singing until your eyes get heavy. I guarantee you will then sleep like you never have before.
            2. Camping in your yard or the yard of the friend also helps the newbie camper with that one potential limiting issue. A pot to pee in, LOL.. While there are numerous ways to do your business safely and in a sanitary and non-polluting fashion, leaving that out of initial experiences may make that experience a bit less stressful.
            If you don’t have a tent, on a warm night all you need is a large tarp. Fold it in half and use half to lay on with the other half up at an angle over your head. If you don’t have a sleeping bag and pad, several layers of blankets under you will make the bed a little softer and layers over you can be added or removed as required.
            Don’t forget the flashlight.

          • Thanks so much BJL and OP for your replies. BJL–I am a super amateur so I can’t take anything for granted. I really want to do this and I will try it this summer. At 60, I guess it is about time for me to ‘rough it’ a little bit. We need more supplies to add to what we have, but I will give it a go. Thanks for your support.

          • Terra,
            You’re never too young or too old to start anything, including camping. I did my first overnight with scouts (WEBELOS) about the time you were starting kindergarten.
            Talked with a friend tonight and we’re seriously thinking about attending the Pathfinder School’s annual gathering in July. We attended the one in the fall of 2011 and had a great time. At 66 it will no doubt be more of a challenge than when I was much younger; but, fun in any case.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Chuck, its good that your insurance company is working with you, hope things improve radically for you 🙂

  17. I’m taking a look at you new lighting to see if it fits my need; but, no matter what I order from Amazon, I make it a point to hit your link first, and hopefully with enough people doing this, you’ll at least be able to keep the site running with little hassle.
    I did and acquired the following:
    1. Spent hours on the telephone starting to set up my retirement funding from numerous IRA’s. Consolidating four funding sources in to two to make management easier. Once completed we’ll be able to start taking $1000.00 per month out for the next 36 years, even with zero growth. That amount plus our current SS, the DW’s small pension, and a small amount of farm income will easily provide for our needs with some room for savings or extras. This is probably our best prep of the year so far.
    2. Ordered some PMs to add to the stash. First time we purchased gold in a few years.
    3. Two new fire extinguishers
    4. Three new smoke and one new CO detector
    5. Two bottles of vacuum pump oil. Spare for the freeze dryer. I forget who; but, someone here mentioned it. Thanks.
    6. Two 1 cubic ft bags of Miracle Grow potting mix on sale at Rural King
    7. Monday 5/8/2017 @ 11:38:08 until 12:22 we had a real test of the new generator that was installed in November of last year. I was working on the computer updating emails, this blog, etc, when I heard all of my UPS units start chirping. Since I run most of the electronics and some of the LED lighting on the UPS units, the chirping that only lasted about 20 seconds was my only indication that power had failed, until I went to the back of the house and heard the generator running. It runs for 5 minutes every Wednesday at noon; but, only to keep the fluids moving. This was the first real test of the system including the UPS units, and it worked as planned. That of course is not always the case.
    8. A new member of our gun club introduced himself and mentioned the word “prepper” so I snagged him at the end of the meeting. Once he understood that we were LMI’s he ended up dropping me off at home, which was on his way, and I was able to distribute some more food grade buckets and lids. I get them at a rate of perhaps 15-20 every 6-8 weeks and have had problems finding homes for them, since my deal is that I cannot sell them or trash them. We had a short discussion and found that other than guns and prepping, we both do photography and perhaps more interests, so maybe another LMI to share ideas, etc. in the local (25 miles?) area.
    9. Purchased two new toolboxes to sort and better arrange the DW’s tool collection.
    10. We finally assembled the $45 grill we purchased a while back and grilled some T Bones from the beef we just bought. MMMM Good.
    11. Finally located and purchased a strawberry jar and planted strawberries. The package was supposed to contain 25 plants; but, actually contained 28. With a little luck we could see a few strawberries yet this year.
    12. Our oldest cat passed away in her sleep after 22 years. She had spent most of the last year in and on our work sink, so we now get that back to allow continuing work on the summer kitchen.
    13. Picked up another 32 16-oz diet mountain dew. I suspect that’s why I don’t need coffee.
    14. AdventureRidge Butane stove from Aldi ($14.95)
    15. 2 Grill toppers non stick grill plates Aldi ($3.99)
    16. Received our package of “BEE Friendly” Wildflower seeds courtesy of Honey Nut Cheerios
    17. Placed one of the new Indoor/Outdoor LCD thermometers near the chest freezer and place the outdoor sensor in the freezer. It’s holding a steady 5-6 ° that should continue to keep everything solid.
    18. 2 boxes of Aldi On The Go Trail Mix (Peanuts, Cranberries, Almonds) to try.

    • OP, sorry for the loss of your fur baby. Wow 22 years, that’s a long time.
      I cooked up some steaks on the grill for mom’s day for the Mrs. 3 New York strips and a rib eye. Puppy wanted a bone to chew. Lol

    • OP–So sorry about the loss of your kitty. I lost my 14 year old diabetic cat last year and still cry over him.

      • mom of three says:

        I totally understand this summer, will be two years since we lost our Sophie, was almost 14 years too. It took me 15 months, to get over her lost before we choose to adopt again. I’m glad we did there are so many animals needing a home. But make sure your good and ready for a new animal, we still now and again call our kitty Ellie, Sophie. 22 years is a long time to have a cat, 17 was my longest.. They really do become your family..

        • I don’t want to sound disrespectful; but, this fur baby will not really be missed all that much. We did lose my favorite cat about 10 years ago at age 20 ½ and she left a real hole in my heart. She (named PJ) started following me around the farm as a pre-weaned kitten and ended up being a lifelong friend. We have two indoor cats left right now; but, the one we recently lost will only be moderately missed. She was a rescue who had been left by her mother out in the barn to die, and we ended up with vet bills, and bottle feeding, and lots of cleanup, often getting bitten or scratched for our effort. The last few years she pretty much stayed in or on the counter next to the work sink in the back room that is being converted to the summer kitchen and food prep area, so we now have that area ready to finish. That would have been impossible with the cat still pretty much living there, litter box and all.

          • OP – as attached as I was to our older cat, it was definitely her time. She would scream at everyone and became very demanding in her senior years.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      OP, sorry for the loss of a member of the family, dogs are as loyal a member as you can have at times.

      As for buckets, check into shipping costs, id be interested in purchasing 🙂

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        I meant to say cat. My apologies, ugg – need to be more careful in posting

        • OP – sorry to hear about the kitty. My oldest passed within the last year – she was full grown when I got her and had her 18 years, so she was at least 19 or 20.

    • Almost There says:


      Sorry to hear about your kitty. Never heard of a cat living that long.

      Brilliant idea on the freezer thermometer. Don’t have to open it to know how cold it is in there.

      • Almost There,
        I wouldn’t call it brilliant, just the kind of thinking I’ve done for years as an engineer. Inexpensively solve a problem and this one is really cheap. I originally purchased it because of the large display and have several around the house with the wired temperature probe outside as it was originally intended. I have to go up to the unit to see the values; but, my DW and others can read it from across the room. The place I get it from is firect ship from China, which means free shipping; but, 10-14 days arrival after order.
        Here’s the unit, plus a ton of other electronic gadgets.
        4.4″ LCD Indoor Outdoor Digital Temperature Humidity Meter with Probe
        I mounted this one on the wall near the freezer and dropped the probe into the freezer. The external probe is on a 5 foot wire and the unit I first got has been running for more than a year running on a single AAA alkaline battery.

      • Almost There; I had 2 jet back cats, both rescues and they both lived to 25 years. One of which was about 5 days old when I found him.

        I rescued a moggy kitten from the local shelter because the old crone that worked there was going to put her down because she was born with no back legs. She had stubs. My oldest daughter fell in love with her, so home she went. Spoiled rotten over the years. She lived to be 22 despite vets saying she wouldn’t make it much past a year or 2.

        Indoor cats not only live longer, but they are more loving. I gave up the husband and kept the cats. 🙂

  18. I thought puppy was a natural farmer. He helped me till the garden, dig holes for planting and was even weeding the garden. Right up until….he pulled out and ate a squash plant. Aaaaah !!! On another note he almost got the bunny that ate my bean plants that I just put up the trellises for. I guess I have to use some chicken wire, or be very quite, I’m hunting wabbits.

    Installed flood lights with a motion detector on the outer building since I finally hooked up the power. This is great as it was a dark spot in the yard and it is next to the garden and water catchment system. It should make it easier to hunt bean eating wabbits. Lol

    Bought 2 tarps one camo.
    Bought chicken wire.
    Bought water.
    Bought ramen noodles.
    Bought light fixture/motion detector.
    Bought more extra dog food.

    Got a free really large cast iron frying pan.
    Got a free cedar chest & 2 reclining chairs.
    Cut the back 40. Lol

    Tried one of the new super chilli peppers, hot and not ripe yet!!!

    • BlueJeanedLady says:

      Hey Thor 1, too funny!

      I thought puppy was a natural farmer. He helped me till the garden, dig holes for planting and was even weeding the garden. Right up until….he pulled out and ate a squash plant.

      Ha, ha, ha! Our first giant breed dog (still puppy aged but already giant sized) seemed to be a friend in the gardening endeavors, too. (You know what I’m talking about, he seemed to love and respect the process, walked politely in rows and didn’t unjustly trample the garden just like your fur boy, so we assumed he was acting accordingly and respecting the crops.)
      DH & I were sitting outside with the big boy one summer night, after dark, when we caught his shadow with what we thought was his regulation sized football, play toy, as he ran from the garden area and in front of our sitting area with what we thought was the football in his huge jaws. “Good boy,” we presumed as he settled into a darker area of the yard to rip such apart. “Isn’t he so smart and adorable?” 🙂
      Long story short we soon realized that he seemed to be eating the football so I went toward him to make sure he wouldn’t actually consume such only to realized he’d plucked a watermelon from the garden for a late night snack. Yes, it was a watermelon, not a football. Yikes!
      Funniest part was me telling my “over the fence neighbor” (who actually loved our giant puppy from her yard & kitchen window at all hours of the day the dog was outside) about this story and she told me she & her DH had seen the big, four legged, fur kid routinely plucking fresh tomatoes from our tomato plants at whim and just assumed we didn’t mind, too! What?????
      End of story – – – we built a fence within our fenced yard to avoid future thefts of garden glories and all turned out well! 🙂 Love your puppy stories, Thor! What a lucky and loved doggie you live with! ~BJL~

      • BJL, thanks, I didn’t know puppies would eat watermelons. That’s too funny too !!!

        The Mrs dropped a tomato while making me a sandwich and she didn’t know it. But…..puppy did!!! He grabbed it and brought it into the den. I think he thought it was a nice shiny red ball. Lol He laid down and started licking it so I hurriedly got it from him. I didn’t want him to get a taste for them. Lol

    • Thor 1,

      Installed flood lights with a motion detector on the outer building since I finally hooked up the power.

      I have some flood and area lighting on my outbuildings, since all of them have power; but, I’ve also played with the solar powered motion detector LED floodlight from Harbor Freight and it works rather well. It often comes on when I don’t think it should; but, that could simply be one of the outdoor cats or something blowing in the wind setting it off. In any case, it uses no power and I bought it for $20 with a coupon, so it’s well worth playing with.

    • Thor,
      I hear that about your gardener pup. I had a retired working dog. A German Shepherd named Kojak. I lived in a small apartment in a local beach city. I was lucky enough to have a small, east facing patio. Anyway, I got one of those upside down tomato planters and planted 4 kinds of tomato’s: Cherry, Grape, Beefsteak, and Roma. I was getting a LOT of green tomatoes from these things and watched them start to ripen. Kojak would go out on the patio in the mid morning sun to lounge but for some reason, I could never get a ripe tomato from those plants. I thought maybe some of the neighbors were hopping the fence when I wasn’t there until one day when I was off, I spied Kojak sniffing each tomato, then pulling off the ones he thought were ripe and enjoying them right then and there. That’s when I realized that I was merely the caretaker for Kojak’s tomatoes.

      I did find out that the neighbors were reaching over the fence and taking the strawberries that were in the top of the planter, so when that season was over, I got some stinging nettle from a local field and replaced the strawberries with that. Hopefully that taught the thieving neighbors who went looking for strawberries.

      • Sirius, my last GS liked strawberries but left the garden alone. I hope puppy does the same. Lol

        Good story.

      • Mustang says:


        My golden does the same for cucumbers. Even though they haven’t started producing, she inspects them everyday!

      • Bam Bam says:

        My GSD only steals cat food.

        • BB, my brother had a dog that ate cat food and a cat that ate dog food. They slept together on a rug til one day the dog got hit by a car. Then the cat left, lost his friend as they were kitten and puppy together from the start.

    • Thor 1,
      you’re going to be very quite? That should prove interesting. Most of us would be quiet lol

      • Gloria, now now, just because you’re mad about not being first and in near last place should you pick on someone’s spelling. Auto correct didn’t quite work. Lol

  19. tommy2rs says:

    Week of 5/13
    Ordered and received 2 training vids from USCCA. There was a coupon in with them for a 10% discount on everything they sell so I ordered a mini tuck for the ppk/s and 2 of the Ark protector bags. Harvested oregano and sage from a couple of over grown plants in the yuppie garden thing and dehydrated them for use in the kitchen. Ordered another sunforce solar motion detector light. Garden is doing well but every time I get ready to put the mulch down it rains again. Picked up a packable hammock at Aldi that was on sale for thirteen bucks. It’s in an unfortunate shade of zombie green so I picked up a half a bucket worth of immature walnuts that fell durning the storms and I’ll make a brown dye from them. Gonna try doing it the old tie dye way to get a kinda sorta camo look, I mean anything has to be better than zombie green.

    Current week:
    This week was mostly nut grass, I swear it grows back faster than I can get rid of it. I don’t even compost that stuff, it goes straight to the burn barrel. Got half the garden mulched then it rained again with more expected tomorrow. Replaced what we used from our stores, got to keep churning the inventory. Just wish I had more space to fill. Had to get a new battery for the little truck, it’s back to purring like a kitten. Going to get some smoked neck bones tomorrow to cook with fresh green beans and red potatoes.Thinking about clearing a 2 acre piece that’s full of nothing but sweet gum and pine saplings. We’re talking about fruit trees, hazel nuts, berries and I want a good size patch for sweet potatoes and other root veggies, though I’ll probably have to install a full on game fence to keep the deer out. Heh, already snagged two bunnies that were tasting the forbidden fruits. I think the collard trees are ready for planting so I’ll set them out Saturday. Had to take a large limb off the one of the Black Walnut trees, it was shading one end of the garden way too much. At least I got some good solid wood out of it. One of the neighbors has a sawmill and he’ll cut it to size for me. Probably get at least two good gun stock blanks out of the large end and several hand gun blanks and knife scales out of the rest. There’s also a piece that might make a good bowl. The trimmings I’ll give to The Boss for her wood burning projects.

    • Tommy,
      Regarding your hammock. You could always stretch it out in the sun for a couple of days. Granted, it will fade from zombie green to snot green, but you’re right… Anything’s better than zombie green. 🙂

    • Penny Pincher says:

      If your hammock is nylon, a hot Rit dye bath with vinegar will work. It won’t work with polyester but it does work with nylon. I turned a zombie green hammock brown. If I had pulled it out of the pot sooner it would’ve worked out to OD green. (I used brown dye). But the hanging ropes stayed white. (polyester).

      • Penny Pincher says:

        Actually now that I remember it started out safety yellow. But same-same.

      • tommy2rs says:

        It’s nylon but I’d have to buy the Rit and I have the walnuts for free. I actually like using what resources are on hand for things like this, plus I’ve got 5 of them in the back yard and two more out past the tree line and any thing that uses up those durn nuts is a plus. Black walnut hulls stain everything once they turn brown. Before that they stain everything green, which isn’t helpful at the moment so they are spending time in the plastic sauna bucket out in the sun until they change color….lol.

        The black walnut dye does a good job on leather projects as well.

        • tommy2rs,
          We have lots of black walnut and on occasion have harvested the nuts. We pile the green ones in a pile and when they turn black, run over them with a vehicle. Then you lay them out in the sun to dry, or gently roast them beside a low fire. They are a pain ti crack and puck out the meat; but, the flavor is amazing.
          We have also used the stain to color some cloth and our hands of bourse.
          The walnuts or the nuts should be kept away from horses since it will irritate their hooves and the chemicals in the tree will also inhibit the growth of some plants, so keep away from the garden.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Good call on ARK bags 🙂 you wont regret having em 🙂

  20. M.D. I’m sorry about your dad. I hope he gets some good quality time pain free.

    My dad was diagnosed with skin cancer a few years ago. It was the kind that if it got to the lymph nodes it was game over, would have spread all over. The local general hospital made the decision to remove it. He later went to a cancer center that removed more tissue and some lymph nodes and no cancer was found and he didn’t need any radiation or chemo. He’s now 66 and gets checked regularly but no re occurrence and he lives a healthy life.

    Cancer is a horrible disease. Even my dog died of cancer in December. Very devastating.

  21. Zulu 3-6 says:

    Greetings to the Pack. Not much to do over the past two weeks. Did my usual grocery shopping and added to the pantry stash. I’m going to Wally World tomorrow for a new under-bed storage box.

    Had to take my dog to the vet this week for some doggy shrink work. Since I’ve been baby sitting my grand-daughter, the dog’s outside behavior has deteriorated to the point that I don’t want to take her outside anymore. She tries to attack people, animals, cars, trucks, buses. Its amazing how strong a 9lb Chihuahua can be. Plus she growls and snaps at my grand-daughter. The bad part is she runs around me and has almost caused me to trip on the sidewalk a few times. I can’t afford that at my age. Anyway, she’s on Prozac and Xanax now. Too early to see any real results. When its just her and me inside , she is well-behaved and loving as usual.

    • JD in NY says:

      Zulu I don’t proclaim to be a dog whisperer or anything like that but it sounds like your puppy is jealous of the grand baby. Think about it if she were a 4yr old and was jealous what would she do? Hit the baby? Take things away from the baby? Scream for your attention while you are tending to the baby? Misbehave when she’s out in public with you so she gets attention? YEP, any attention, even discipline from you or anyone around is better than nothing. I don’t think she needs drugs but a different approach, maybe a firm voice when she goes to snap at the baby and while holding the furbaby let the grandbaby gentle touch or pet her all while soothingly talking to them both. As for outside incidents whether it being human or pet don’t tolerate the disobedience, be firm and let her know you are the boss. Maybe even take her to some training classes with grandbaby? Well good luck!!!

      • mom of three says:

        I think your spot on with this advice animals just like children, don’t like competition having their time taken away from them.

      • Zulu 3-6 says:

        There’s no question there is a jealousy thing going on. I’ve tried all the things you’ve mentioned except for going to a trainer. That’s next.

        It’s at a stage where I don’t dare let the baby close to the dog even if the dog is being restrained. The vicious snarling and snapping scares the baby and, as I mentioned, the dog is very strong for her size and is squirmy as all get out.

        The baby is used to three cats being around, who mostly ignore her, or just quietly move away from her. My ex-wife’s dogs (one of which is a Chihuahua) are curious about her and friendly, but then the baby doesn’t spend four days a week with grandma.

        • Zulu 3-6,
          What kind of collar do you have on the dog? If it’s just a standard nylon or leather collar, try using a training collar, (aka, a choke chain). I’m not suggesting you launch the dog across the room, but a good, sharp correction will probably solve many of your problems. You can also attach a 6 inch loop to the chain when the dog is not on leash so she feels the tug as a reminder. It also gives you something to grab onto since you said the dog was squirrely.

          Just make sure you put the training collar on correctly. If you don’t know how to do that, just ask one of the people at the pet store, and they will be happy to show you how. If you put it on backwards, you run the risk of choking the dog out or worse, her choking herself out. Just my .02.

          • Almost There says:


            Squirmy… not squirrely…. Well, sounds like she is squirmy AND squirrely…. 🙂 Sounds like she needs some good exercise to make her too tired to be nasty. When I was breaking yearling Thoroughbred horses for a living, we left them out in the pasture all night, brought them in to work with, gave them some food and out again after lunch. They were too tired to do much.

          • Zulu 3-6 says:


            She does have a training collar on and it makes no difference.

            Almost There,

            When I lived in the country, long walks would have been viable, but I’m in the city now and everyone and everything is an enemy to her. And yes, she is squirmy and squirrely.

          • Zulu; Have you tried crating her for 30 minutes when she acts up? Try a rolled up newspaper to slap against your leg with a loud NO, then put her in a crate. Keep doing this over and over and over. It may take several months, but she will eventually get the message.

            Small dogs seem to be more hyper than larger dogs. At least that has been my experience. If she is on medication, you need to watch her liver counts. Domestic pets do not process certain medications the way humans would do.

  22. Canned 12 pints of sale chicken breasts. Still cracking sale walnuts and vac sealing the nutmeats. Bought 4 pints of half priced organic heavy cream and made butter. Got a pile of clearance limes to juice down and freeze in cubes for summer refreshments.
    At yet another bagged soil sale, I got 20 bags at 75c ea, which should be enough for the season. Kids bought me a young Linden tree for Mother’s Day. I really wanted one so we can harvest the sweet flowers for tea when it’s larger.
    Went to my local hardware chain to complain about their flyer not being on line for the past 4 weeks. To thank me for making them aware of this oversight, they gave me a $10 gift certificate. Not a huge amount but they’ll retain my business and I can stock a lot of outdoor screws with that money.
    New Strawberry and raspberry plants are planted and sprouting, the asparagus raised bed is made, filled and planted. New compost bin was finished and all compost turned. Weather was too cold last week and almost too hot this week (crazy weather) but despite some late frost, I planted out some veg. This week I picked violet flowers and leaves for skin balm, and will start harvesting dandelion flowers for joint salve and roots to dry for tea. Discovered why my hundreds of orchard crocus didn’t flower. They were nibbled down by rabbits, so, more chicken wire fences must go up as the bees really need the early flowers.
    Want to get more yard work done but our annual biting blackfly infestation is here and until we get regular hot temps mid June, they’ll hang around in droves and bite like crazy. I wear a netted hat but they still sneak inside, and my wrists are covered in bites where glove tops and sleeve ends gape a bit.
    Chicken coop siding is now finished and we bought caulking to fill in tiny gaps against rain. Also got on the metal roof with tubes of roofing tar and filled in seam joints and previous holes from another life as barn siding. DH is working on the poop door and exit door for me. Bought DS some primer/paint for the new beehives he built for our property.
    DS came home late Monday night with a bee swarm he’d caught at work. After only a few days they’d almost filled all the frames and we had to put a super on. ‘Mom’ and kiddies are all doing very well and they’re just in time for all our blooming trees and shrubs. DS is rushing to finish building more hives as he hopes to catch another swarm soon. Having our own sweetener is great step to self-reliance.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      I agree. Honey may be the only sweetener available to many people if times get tough.

      • tommy2rs says:

        Not necessarily, apple and pear peels along with the cores and other trimmings can be boiled down into a syrup and used as a sweetener.

        Every species of maple can be tapped for making syrup. These include pecan and walnut trees. The much despised sweetgum can be tapped year round for making syrup. You’ll get less product per volume because these tree saps are much less sweet than the sugar maple. It’s a time and fuel consuming job but it can be done.

        Ive made syrups from all kinds of berries and fruits that could be used as sweeteners.

        Back in the day a man would work for 8 pours at the sorghum mill and syrup boiling for 1 quart of sorghum syrup

        • Prepared Grammy & tommy2rs,
          That’s why we’ve diversified with both bees and sugar maples. The maples were planted about 20 years ago as twigs purchased from our state Department of Natural Resources forestry division. They were small bundles of little twigs back then; but, were very inexpensive and we have finally gotten to the point where they’re ready to be tapped.

          It’s a time and fuel consuming job but it can be done.

          Actually I’m looking into what the commercial maple syrup producer’s use. Backwards reverse osmosis.
          Normally R/O takes raw water, filters out the pure water and drains off the more concentrated raw water. For syrup, you can still use the water; but, concentrate is sap with a higher sugar concentration and needs less boiling time to make the syrup, or the butter or my favorite, the candy.

    • Gloria, you are losing your touch on being first. Lol

    • Gloria–great idea on making your own butter and love the idea about lime cubes. Learned two things from you today. Thanks!

      • Prepared Grammy says:

        I’ve learned a lot from Gloria.

      • Terra; If you drink ice tea, try making ice cubes from your tea. That way the tea doesn’t get diluted. I’ve started using a double Styrofoam cup (they can be reused) with about a third of my lemonade tea in the bottom, I freeze it and it keeps my teas nice and cold without more cubes.

        • Izzy–great idea! I drink ice tea all day long, that is after I have my morning cup of coffee and my one diet coke for the day.

        • Izzy,
          We already do the ice cubes made from whatever drink you’re drinking and it works great. Instead of the Styrofoam cup, I use a Yeti cup and it keeps drinks icy cold all day and into the night, even on hot days.
          The Yeti is a bit pricy and I have it because it was a Christmas present; but, Wal-Mart and others have less expensive knockoffs that work as well.
          They are all just basically the newest incarnation of the stainless steel thermos bottle in cup form, and 30 ounces will keep you hydrated for quite a while.

          • OP–the Yeti cup? Sounds interesting and something I definitely need. I shall research!

    • Babycatcher says:

      I am impressed that your son is building the hives! wTG! Wish u were my neighbor

  23. Patriot Farmer says:

    This has been a very busy two weeks. I changed the oil and air filters, spark plugs on my generator, tiller, tractor and mowers. It was a slow and methodical process but I try to get this done every spring.
    I purchased another propane tank for my grill, and added a few boxes of ammo. There were no sales or coupons for food stocks these past weeks so no food preps this time. I spent a very frustrating day at the range and was able to pull my rifles and field strip and clean them.
    I finished planting my main garden over a two day span. My deck box is already producing lettuce and radish. I held a yard sale (made over $650) and went to dentist and doctor appointments.
    A late frost all but wiped out my cherry crop this year. So no cherry jams or jellies this year. (I’m not going to spend over $4 a pound for cherries).
    I was able to fit in a day of fishing and added a few fish slabs to the freezer.

  24. patientmomma says:

    Hello everyone! Now that it is heating up in TN, I made the switch to summer hours, which means out earlier to do farm chores to beat the heat. It has been a busy two weeks of prepping most of which was gardening and canning; in between the usual farm and household chores.

    While the honeysuckle was blooming I made honeysuckle jelly, rose petal jelly and processed 11 pints of strawberry preserves and 3 quarts of strawberry pie filling. Also made up 3 quarts of strawberry lemonade concentrate with the remaining berries. Not hard, just time consuming.

    My son did some farm and house maintenance for me — cleaned the gutters on the house and added a couple of support bolts, repaired the large chicken coop, walked the fence line to check for dog digging and made sure the electric wires were all hot. Finished the new 4 cage rabbit condo.

    In the garden, we added a half row of kale seedlings, another half row of tomato seedlings; but still waiting for the beets to get stronger before transplanting. Plan to add some more corn succession seedlings next week. Half of the meadow corn (about 10” high) was eaten by a family group of deer that came through. While the deer frequent my property they don’t usually bother the meadow plants this early. We’re going to add more rows up in the garden for now and reseed the meadow with corn with oats.

    Completely groomed (wash, cut and nails) two small dogs and the 2 pd teacup poodle. I have two more medium dogs in my sights today or tomorrow. It’s the season for summer cuts and shampoos but it is hard on my back so I have to pace myself. Planning to get the remaining 7 big dogs next week. They are easier because most are short-haired and I can sit in a lawn chair while shampooing.

    I had the annual termite inspection this week and my two Anatolian Shepherds and the Rotty mix dog scared $#%! out of the bug man, even though they were behind the fence. Around family they are just giant babies but at 120 pds each they are very intimidating and when they bark they sound like wolves ready to attack.

    Dehydrated more kitchen herbs from my garden and button mushrooms, which were on sale. Picked up a few more pantry staples and spices and got them vac-sealed and stowed away. Still working towards 100 pds of salt; I have about 40 pds but need to add more. Salt is one thing every creature needs plus if I have to salt preserve any meats in a SHTF scenario it takes lots of it! Ordering buckets is so expensive that I am still buying several 2-4 pd containers every time I shop.

    Received an order of more clear storage totes, another cat box, auto water and kibble feeders and colloidal silver solution…all on sale and free shipping. Found some medium size wire tomato cages on sale at ALDI for 89 cents each and the large coated type were $4/ea.

    Been moving things around in preparation for receiving the new freeze dryer; which I ordered on sale for this year’s major prep; managed to negotiate free-shipping so I am a happy camper. I have about 450 pds of pork, 80 pds of chicken and 50 pds of beef in freezers right now; and if the grid goes down I am screwed. I have been canning a bit every week but it is labor intensive and time consuming; so I bit the bullet and ordered the freeze dryer. Any advice from those of you who already have freezer dryers???

    My prayers for each of you in need of healing and peace. Look forward to reading your comments this weekend!

    • Patientmomma,
      Regarding the freeze dryer: Plan to spend some time (a couple of days going through the instruction manual for the dryer and for the vacuum pump. It’s not nearly as simple as the dehydrator. I just got mine set up last night and I went through the testing phase with it today. I found out the door needed adjusting so it would get a proper seal. Don’t lift it up by the door. Get both hands underneath it and by all means, use a helper. I don’t know what size you ordered, I ordered the small one and it was only about 90 pounds but it’s bulky enough, I couldn’t do it myself. Depending on how high your shelf is that you’re putting it on, you might want to get a longer piece of 1/4 inch PVC tubing for the drain line. Mine is on a kitchen counter and the drain line was only about 2 feet long. I can make due until I go to the hardware store.

      Customer service is awesome. I called today to find out how to adjust the door and they sent me a youtube link within seconds. I’m going to give it one more once over to make sure I have everything adjusted properly before I take her for a spin. Oh, and you will have to wash the trays off. They come with a removable film on them but they are coated with an oil that you will need to clean off. The owner’s manual for the freeze dryer is very well written, however it is going to be a bit of a learning curve. The owners manual for the vacuum pump is written more for a technician than for an end user, but the freezer owners manual covers the pump also. Oh, and before I forget, get some extra vacuum pump oil. They gave me an oil filter so you can get multiple uses out of the oil, but you do need to change it before every cycle. With the extra, you can drain the pump, let the oil slowly filter through the filter and you can add new and get right back onto a new batch. By the time the second batch is done, the first filtered oil should be ready to go, so just repeat the process.

      Hope this helps.

      • patientmomma says:

        Thanks Sirius! That is just the advice I need. I’ll be careful with the door and my son should be in town when it comes in. That oil they recommended is expensive but I sure don’t want to ruin an expensive investment!

        I heard that the machine hums and heats up the kitchen so I am going to set mine up on a stainless work table on my sun porch. Let me know how your first big load goes!!

  25. Jesse Mathewson says:

    Good to know sir! (Md creekmore) –

    Garden is going gangbusters 🙂

    Have another few gallons of honey mead bottled, and started 🙂 i do enjoy the art of distilling!

    Engaged in and have “fixed” several more chemistry experiments, garage chemistry is fun, just always understand basics and why reactions occur-

    Prices plunging on ARs – going to be smart and pick up a couple more…because guaranteed in 2 years whomever is running will boost pricing again, if not sooner 😉 lmao-I do love taking advantage of fear based buyers – rephrase, not taking advantage of, but simply understanding the simple minded short sighted nature of so many americans 😉

    Five chickens, all laying daily atm, currently giving away two dozen a week until I get a decent dehydrator, sadly, am not a financially rich person. And since I pretty much spend my time and money after bills helping others, most whom forget me when things are down on this side lmao ahhh humanity- thankfully I understand human nature- and never get my self in a tizzy with the minor exception being my ocassional venting to strangers about human nature being self destructive. 😉

    Otherwise a great week!

    Almost titrated completely off my pain/ptsd related depression meds, alternative therapies have worked wonders, (not including hunting feral humans lmao- Sirius and OP and MD will get the joke) but this is a positive, because these meds are really disruptive (positive when necessary) but disruptive absolutely!

    • JM, the ARs are dropping in price big time. So much for the left liberals buying guns for their “revolution”. Lol Most of their states ban them anyway. Lol

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Thor1, most of em already owned em or may even have had corporate sponsors- at least arizona ones- sadly, knew (past tense) some of that antifa scum (not that I support any hard extreme regardless description)

        Its wild though – either way, im fine reaping the benefits of others stupidity. (Designer ARs are still flying off the shelves for these skinny jean wearing, beard trimming barely biologically men though) 😉

        • Thor 1 & Jesse,

          skinny jean wearing, beard trimming barely biologically men)

          Watch it. That almost describes me. Skinny with jeans and a well trimmed beard (thanks to reminders by the DW).
          I also think these men are all probably fully biologically men; but, emotionally may be where the difference lies. Personally, I think that in some or many cases homosexuality may be biological; but, the metrosexual IMHO is a choice.
          Locally the Rural King has a Bushmaster QRC Quick Response Carbine w/Red Dot .223/5.56 fir under $600.00 so they are getting very affordable. No, it’s not a Colt HBAR; but, for a new prepper on a budget, it should do the job.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP, ive become quite the fan of palmetto state armory, have two and shoot sub moa 100 yard 5 shot groups all day- very well made

          • Almost There says:


            “Skinny jean” wearing and skinny with jeans aren’t the same thing. “Skinny jean” is a type of jean that they have started wearing, that generally women wear to make themselves look skinnier… Just wanted to make sure you’re keeping up with the current fashion industry…. Lol. 🙂

          • Almost There,

            “Skinny jean” is a type of jean that they have started wearing, that generally women wear to make themselves look skinnier… Just wanted to make sure you’re keeping up with the current fashion industry

            Thanks. We’re really fashion trendy here. I’m generally wearing jeans, cargo pants or cargo shorts with a T-Shirt. The DW prefers jeans and flannel shirts.
            Around the house you’ll likely see either of us in flip flops and outside in simple tennis shoes or muck boots.
            Somehow I bet those skinny jeans are also way more expensive than the Wal-Mart, Sears, or Goodwill jeans we usually wear.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP, I love old navy relaxed fit .. . Im such a counter culturist 😉 hahaha love your responses as always

          • OP, thank God its not SPEEDO !!! Lol

          • Thor 1,

            OP, thank God its not SPEEDO !!! Lol

            NEVER, since that could be hazardous to my life.
            I might accidently see myself in a mirror and have another stroke or maybe just an MI.

  26. MD – praying for you, your father, and family. I think your father has made a wise decision. Years ago I knew a man who had lost his wife to cancer. He said his biggest regret was letting the doctor talk them into chemo to “extend” her life. What it did was tie them to home & the hospital – they really wanted one last trip to their favorite place on the coast – they never made it. I decided then that I wouldn’t do that to myself or a loved one.

    I didn’t do any prepping this week – or this month, for that matter. My husband has been very ill & ended up in the ER for a day. Thought I was going to lose him, but he’s OK now. Tho he isn’t bouncing back from this illness as he has in the past. Of course, he’ll be 82 in a couple of weeks! He deserves a few extra naps. 🙂

  27. Seventy-one comments already. Pent up demand!

    Here’s what the effects of the coronal mass ejection of June 2015 looked like from the international space station: https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170513.html

    I cleared some brush and pruned a mango tree. Got an unused camp oven at the swap for $20. More than I really wanted to pay but they seem to run $55 or so online. It’s a Ridgeway By Kelty, which I think was a CostCo brand. Seems to be pre-seasoned, but have oiled it and run it through the oven a few times. The surface is a lot rougher than the old cast iron utensils.

    When I was paying for a new battery in DW’s watch the clerk commented that the register processing was running really slow. I said something along the lines of “Wait until we get a major cyber attack” and she said “Nothing will be working then. Nothing.” We talked about the fact that the entire Oahu water grid would go down if municipal electricity shut down, and the other person working there piped up that she keeps a barrel of water stored at all times for hurricanes, earthquakes, and cyber attacks.

    Maybe people are catching on. Slowly, slowly, but catching on.

    Fair Warning: Off-color Humor Follows alert:

    I went to Amazon’s Kindle section this week and started typing ‘post-apocalyptic fiction’ into the search field to find something inspirational to read, but among the keyword suggestions for the search itself was ‘post-apocalyptic erotica’. Well, I accidentally clikked on that of course and found that there are 28 pages of 435 post-apocalyptic erotic offerings for your panting, I mean prepping, pleasure. Prepper porn: Who knew?

    This could open up a whole new market for prepper outreach among the erotica-inclined: “Marsha clutched her shapely AN-M14 TH3 incendiary grenades as she softly moaned ‘Oh, yes, Dirk, yes! Give me your heirloom seed! Oh, Dirk! Dirk! I love it when you go full-auto! Oh! Oh! Oh!…Oh! Oh!…Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!””

    We shall here strategically withdraw, to leave Dirk and Marsha to celebrate the rites of TEOTWAWKI in private.

    • Antique Collector says:

      You are funny as ever….

    • Abenaki Prepper says:


    • Penrod, very funny and Marsha, Marsha, Marsha !!! Lol

    • Penny Pincher says:

      It really gets kinky when they break out the gas masks…

      • Not to mention the paracord…

        • JD in NY says:

          Ohhhh brother….and NO I am not suggesting that as part of your plot

          • Puritan! Oh…wait…Puritans LIKED putting people in stocks. Who knew that Puritans were kinky? “Marsha slowly wrapped Dirk’s wrists with her Mil-Spec green paracord, then tied them to the palisade posts. ‘Naughty, naughty boy’ she murmured as she….”

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            JD isnt that more a west Virginian thing ?

            Penrod lmao

          • JD in NY says:

            OK you guys now you got the eyes rolling and the look just so you know.
            And Jesse up here the joke is Kentucky (and PLEASE anyone from Kentucky please don’t take to writing bad things about me, I’m just saying what is said up here in the North) 🙂
            I LOVE all you wolfies!

          • JD, bad bad bad !!! Lol

          • JD, you should hear what the Kentuckians say about New Yorkers !!! Lol

            Sounds like Deliverance !!! Lol

          • But Deliverance was filmed in GA. I think I hear banjos playing. LOL

          • GAR, paddle faster !!! Lol

          • GA Red,

            I think I hear banjos playing. LOL

            Actually the duel was between a banjo and a guitar. Just sayin’
            I remember this mostly because reading the book, seeing the movie and doing a critique of both was part of a college literature class my senior year.

          • JD in NY says:

            Thor 1…:D Probable the same thing we conservative NYers say about the rest of the NYers LOL

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            You got a purty mowth 😉

          • Antique Collector says:

            Your part of the state is suffering the same way the part of Northern CA did from central & southern CA. The NorCal filed a law suit for lack of representation due to the larger cities having all the representation and the smaller areas left to suffer. If they do not accept this law suit(Sacramento legislature)and reject what needs to be done, it goes to Supreme Court. Look on the net for SOJ51.

          • JD in NY says:

            AC I will look at that, yes it does sound like us. Unfortunately I don’t think NY will ever change. Uncle Cuomo and his mob ( look at all his associates that we’re arrested for wrong doing) have such a tight hold on this state, by hook or by crook, I doubt it will ever change in my lifetime. He even made a statement about how Conservatives are NOT welcome in NY. Yep, an actual in your face statement to LEAVE. With the fact that I’m over 50, pay an exorbitant fee (taxes) for the “privilege” to live here, can’t own firearms that I want to own, heavy regulations on how you can live your life because they “know” better and I see no relief in sight We will be leaving. YDS will be a senior in the fall and we will seriously be looking at places to live so we can leave after he graduates. Almost all my close friends are gone already, most people with wealth (Big money) have left, conservatives are leaving in droves it’s only a matter of time before this state implodes because there already isn’t enough money to support the welfare masses. It saddens me so

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            JD, while I have friends who live in upstate new york and are amazing, I think it is easy to say with facts supporting. The vast majority of tax increases, bans, negative legislation and many negative things affecting the United States has from prior to 1791 come from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Kansas, Maryland and now California as well as Illinois-

            Eg., every prohibition started in those states, (never worked never will just create more crime) all major tax increases started in those states or by senators etc., from those states and of course major gun bans as well…

            Its the yankee disease- (not saying all who live there are yankees, just that many if not most are and they prefer to ensure all suffer equally.

            Western states tend to be less lenient regarding federal, or even state interference in local matters outside of the large metro centers that have had a large percentage of people move from Cali and other areas not here bringing their laws with them, anyhow-

            I think you know of what I am talking. 🙂

          • Thor 1,
            You should hear what everyone says about New Yorkers. Especially those from NYC proper.

          • JD in NY says:

            Unfortunately most people do not realize that NY State does not comprise of JUST NYC. There are MANY, MANY people who are nothing like the mindset of the city dwellers. The reason are votes don’t even count is the way our voting districts are sorted…to the benefit of the left. Most people do not even realize that with out the support of the rest of NY, NYC could survive. We support them not the other way around and we are sick of it. Most Ny’ers are very kind, down to earth, hard working, American loving people. We hunt, own guns, help our neighbors, stop and help a stranger in need, display the flag with honor and respect our Veterans. Just like the rest of you that live in more Conservative states. We get a bad wrap because of the cities which have deemed us the welfare state. As much as I LOVE where I live, love my neighbors, and I even love the different seasons I can’t wait to leave.

          • JD in NY says:

            COULD NOT survive not could survive. Geesh I need to go to bed!!! LOL

          • JD,

            I’m just saying what is said up here in the North)

            Up there in the north? I don’t think of Ohio as south; but, the only difference between southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky is the river you have to cross and I’ve spent many a great weekend down there.

          • JD in NY says:

            OP that was more for our southern wolfies then you silly 🙂

          • JD–I’m from Kentucky and I’m not offended.

          • JD in NY says:

            LOL I’m glad Terra, I’m not offended when people say tongue in cheek things about NY…..though most tend to be true! hahahahahahahahaha

          • AZcamper says:

            Hey, hold on there. Don’t be slammin’ my home state! 🙂

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Haha, out here it’s new mexico and or utah 🙂

    • Penrod,
      That’s called “Rule 34”. I.e. If it exists, there will be porn of it.

      • Sirius, lol
        Hey, you got a pretty BOB !!! Lol

        Is that a life straw in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Lol

      • Sirius,
        There’s a lot of truth to that. The first profitable web sites on the internet were that genre, and selection by that genre of VHS was one of the two main reasons VHS won out over Beta for video tapes.

  28. Antique Collector says:

    Morning MD, you father is correct about the treatment, it does take the quality of life away. Still sorry to hear about his illness, as you have heard many who post here speak of GRAVOILA. I use it topically on dh skin due to agent orange exposure. We have a friend who’s sister was diagnosed an told she had XX amount of months to live, if she did not do the chemo treatments ‘again’.
    Sent her the information on this plant, it was her decision. That was over 3 years ago, she is still with us.
    Something for your dad to think about, and it will always be his choice.

  29. Abenaki Prepper says:

    I had a lung cancer (From US Army), spotted by local Hospital they sent me to a Chemo Dr.. We talk on treatments I ask about Radation was told it dont work so good Chemo is better. Went to VA Hospital and talk to Dr. there. one thing i was told there no $ in Radation for the chemo Dr well that was 6 years ago 37 rad treatments it in remission. There a dead area in my Rt upper lobe little hard on breathing at times and some pain at times Oxycodone 5mg take care of it maybe 4 pills a week take care of it. Vet Hospital get no $$ for Chemo or Rad Treatments from you. So about every 2 or 3 month there a CT scan. 1 each year a PET/MRI scan. As of Jan 2017 PET/MRI clean. It was stage 1b I am told. BTW it my Disability payments that let me get the land that now Free and clear of payments (Except Taxes) Would love to expand it some. there a 2.5a next door to it 4 sale (Right now saving for that) Lot of trees on that lot 90%

  30. Hummingbird says:

    I would not take chemo either. DH chose to do so and had almost two years of misery and pain.
    Purchased more TP, 2 Glock mags, kitty litter, Tang, 22×1 needles, 6 cc syringes and shelf stable milk.
    Froze strawberries.
    Made granola.
    Bought a few clear bins to better organize medical supplies.
    Dehydrated lettuce and squash.
    I got a few spray bottles from a beauty supply store. They seem to last longer than those from the dollar stores or farm supply.
    I made apple butter for the first time. It tastes good and passed the cold plate test, but next time I’ll cook it a little longer.
    The resale shop had two shirts which I think will work for cc.
    Since the canner is out I decided to make a batch of saline solution & added distilled water to the shopping list.
    Free … I cut up a child’s ballerina costume and made 9 net dish scrubbers.
    The grape vine is doing fantastic and I’m looking forward to the harvest. Dehydrated grapes have become a favorite snack.
    One of the large water storage tanks developed a crack & holds about 50 gal now. Not sure what I can do about that yet.

    • Hummingbird,
      I’m not knocking you making your own saline solution in the least. For those of us who are a bit trepidatious about doing it ourselves, a very inexpensive alternative instead of buying “med grade saline solution” for irrigation or eye wash, is sterile saline only for contacts. It is pennies on the dollar. Just don’t get the “cleaning” solution.

      • Hummingbird says:

        No offense taken. I do keep saline for contacts on hand also.
        Am sitting here learning how to disassemble a 1911. First time dealing with a noncaptured spring. LOL
        Thank you YouTube.!

        • Hehehe, Yea, I put a divot in my ceiling doing just that the first time.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Hummingbird and Sirius, as yall know. Yet another reason to love striker fired 😉

          • Hummingbird says:

            Yes I agree. Love the Glock, but still like shooting the Rugers.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Ive owned and loved ruger p 89 and 90, loved em … and though I wont buy new, if I had one id use it 🙂

        • Hummingbird,
          Disassembly is usually easy; but, reassembly may require YouTube: How to field strip a 1911 pistol ( disassembly – reassembly )
          Search and you shall find help on almost anything.

          • Hummingbird says:

            You are spot on. Reassembly by the book was confusing.

          • Hummingbird,

            You are spot on. Reassembly by the book was confusing.

            Perhaps the most confusing and challenging firearm I’ve ever tackled are the Ruger Mark II handguns. They have the trickiest reassembly of any gun I’ve ever had. You can quite often perform the exact same steps several times and finally one time things just work, after beating your head on the table and uttering nasty words the first few times.

          • According to the DH, the Mark III isn’t any better and watching videos of the Mark IV makes us both annoyed because it’s so easy to disassemble.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            GA Red keep your eyes open for a good Hi Standard – best off the line .22lr handguns ive ever held (except for the sw 41)

            As for take down, well, glock simple 🙂

          • The DH carries a Glock every day but in SHTF, he says he will return to his Berretta.

            As for me, while I do have the firearms bug, I tend to get weak in the knees for rifles more so than handguns. A Tavor is next on my list, but I have to pay for part of a wedding first.

          • Hummingbird says:

            Jesse, no reply button below.
            All comments appreciated. Good points.

          • GA Red,
            Although I own the Mark II and have the most experience with it, I agree that Mark I & Mark III were basically the same confusing design.
            I haven’t looked at the Mark4 since I also have an MNP 22 and any new gun in that cartridge would probably be a Buckmark.

          • Look up 22Plinkster on YouTube. I believe it did a review of the Mark IV.

          • Hummingbird says:

            OP and GA Red
            There is a Mark III here, but I haven’t taken it apart yet. My instructor offered to, but I should make the effort to learn. He may have said that so he wouldn’t end up with a box of pieces!

          • Good luck! After watching the DH, you might need 3 hands.

          • Hummingbird says:

            That’s funny!!
            I am trying to decide which to keep, the Mark III or a Walther 22. I haven’t shot the Walther yet, but ease of maintenence is a factor.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Hummingbird, wather p22 or the (shudders) ruger Sr22-

            Ease of maintainance and more importantly, because action is open as compared to closed action with mark series they run with more types of ammunition and longer between cleanings, also much easier to supress 🙂

          • Hummingbird,
            There are various YouTube videos that can help. Search for: “Ruger Mark III Pistol Reassembly “ and you’ll see a pretty good one along with others on the sidebar. It’s not all that hard, just tricky. I’ve sometimes performed the same actions to reassemble it several times, and the one time just works.

          • Billy T says:

            The Mark II is easy to reassemble. The key is to hold the pistol with barrel pointed straight up when reinserting the pin and latch. Slides in easy as anything.

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      If the crack is small like hairline I’d try some E6000 glue from the crafts dept at Walmart. I used it to install the faucets on my rainbarrels and nothing ever leaks. It’s like a cross between silicone glue and epoxy glue.

      • Hummingbird says:

        I’ll try that. Thanks.

        • Almost There says:


          If you have a Hobby Lobby near you, you can sign up for their weekly sales flyer e-mail and use their 40% coupon to buy it.

          • Hummingbird says:

            Not close at all, which is probably a good thing. My wants tend to conflict with needs. LOL

          • Hummingbird; Re: Ruger vs Walther. I an a huge Ruger fan, but given the choice for personal carry, I would choose the Walther. Walthers are fine weapons and easier to carry. Just my 2 cents based on experience.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            I agree with izzy, easy to take down, parts are widely available, (I have a few spare parts kits myself) and reliable with almost every ammunition available (this being the walther p22 series, not the full sized guns)

          • Sheeesh! I should have explained better. I was thinking of the Walther PPK and PPKS. I love the .380 weapons. I also have some spare part kits and magazines.

            I also have a nice little Baretta .22. Sweet little gun for concealed or in the purse.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Izzy, I honestly prefer the FEGpa63 or Makarovs and P64s over the walther pp series – however, personal preferences (and new springs) make all the difference of course the ppk and the new pps are quite nice

          • Izzy,
            I have four Ruger handguns; but, only two (actually now one) that I carry.
            The DW and I were discussing a handgun for her today, and will most likely be picking up either a Ruger LCP or a S&W MNP Bodyguard, and when we do that, I may pick up one for myself at the same time.

          • OP, palmetto state armory has some serious sales on bodyguards atm

          • Hummingbird says:

            All comments appreciated. Even though some of the discussions are beyond my expertise, I learn something every week.

          • Jesse,

            palmetto state armory has some serious sales on bodyguards atm

            I just looked and they wan $249 plus I’d have to pay a local FFL at least $20 to do the transfer. Our local Rural King has the LCP for $229.00 always and the Bodyguard for $279 with a $50 rebate as long as we purchase before month end.
            In any case, thanks for the heads up.

          • OP. Solid looking out for sure 🙂

            PSA does have extremely reliable and poa ar15s and reliable accurate usa made aks as well 🙂 for a good price, take advantage of others stopping based on media propaganda

  31. Antique Collector says:

    Took the car into the mechanic as mice decided our vehicle made a great place to store the dog’s food. That matter resolved but discovered the A/C needs to be gone through, so it goes back. Hope my chauffeur (neighbor)does not kick me to the curb.lol
    Zaycon had a special on their meat so I purchased hamburger, and a couple of days ago a special on turkey breasts. The freezers will be packed, we are good for at least a year.
    Did the Pantry Porn yesterday(no Penrod-not the kindle kind-lol).
    Dh is now able to process the same foods that I eat but via his peg tube. Recently had a design change on his feeding tube to a Mic-key system. Another learning curve for his food preparation & consumption. The young lady that changes it every 3 months thought we were joking when I said he has steak, potato, asparagus, and desert if he wants it, only in liquid form. Certain foods I do strain for JIC, to make sure his tube does not plug up or he is in deep kimchi. She said we were her most interesting couple, wait till she really gets to knows us rolwl.
    That is about all I can think of for now, have a great week ahead.

    • Antique Collector; In response to your link re: State of Jefferson”. That was some interesting reading. I left Cali a long time ago, but I remember the same issues were there when I left.

      Off topic, but I am also an antique collector. Started collecting when I was a teenager. I’ve always loved the old furniture.

      • Antique Collector says:

        Started with my mom’s old spice cans, have Shillings/McCormick/Ben Hur & Crescent, then cans that were used for every day foods in the kitchen Saltine & Ritz cracker tins, etc. Crockery, depression glass–another inheritance from my mom which I purchased more, to add to the dust bunny collectors. lol

        • Almost There says:

          Izzy and AC,

          I have lots of antiques too. Getting rid of some of it. I have the pink depression glass that I have collected for years and years. It’s so pretty, but I am getting rid of things that aren’t utilitarian and buying things I still have on my list. I have the disease called “stuffitis”. Guess I look at my “stuff” differently now than I did when I bought it all.

          • Almost There; Like you and Antique Collector, I never really got into collecting glass antiques. I have a few pieces, mostly from my mother, but that’s it. I mostly collected antique dolls, 1:12 scale miniatures, vintage clothing and furniture. A LOT of my beautiful furniture now sits in my daughters homes….sigh.

            Like you, I am starting to weed out my doll collection along with other collectables that I simply don’t need and don’t look at too often. I would rather have the money.

          • Antique Collector says:

            Almost There
            “Stuffitis” now that is hilarious!!
            My brother called me a ‘PACKRAT’, for my collection. Every time he would stop by he would ask if I added any more ‘junk’ to the pile, but all the while smiling at me.

          • You ought to hear my daughters when they decide to help clean out my ‘stuff’ and stuff is not exactly the word they use. I dare not leave the house when they converge.

          • Antique Collector,

            ask if I added any more ‘junk’ to the pile

            As a collector of things myself, I wonder why you misspelled Junque in your text.
            You do know that there is Junk (trash) and Junque (treasure), Right!!!

          • OP–Very clever! LOL!

          • Terra,
            I don’t know how clever it is; but, it’s been working on the DW for 35+ years, so you go with what works.

          • Antique Collector says:

            ‘junk’ was my brothers idea of my collectibles. lol
            That is the first time I have seen the other spelling, thanks.

  32. Mr. Creekmore I will continue to pray for your family. I hope when my time comes I will meet it with grace and dignity.
    I am mostly through my second week in the Sunshine State. The subdivision my Dad lives in has their annual garage sale weekend today and tomorrow. My Mom’s dementia led to hoarding of many items that we have placed in the sale. We priced to sell and had very good response before shutting down due to rain. Tomorrow should be another good day.
    The rest of my time has been spent at the nursing home with my Mom, as those of you who have experienced this illness, she varies throughout the day with comprehension. Just when I think maybe she is improving she zings me with a comment. Just feel very fortunate she is receiving good care.
    Since the high plains is still experiencing temperatures in the thirties I feel like I am not running too far behind in my garden, but I am anxious to get home. World politics is getting me a bit antsy, not to mention our own politics.
    Stay safe everyone.

  33. Garden is doing well and I expanded it into my flower borders on our deck steps. That was work! LOL…digging out all the dirt 3 feet down so we could put wire mesh in there to keep the varmints out…then put it back and add amendments…but in the end it turned out well and I planted my corn, zuchinni and bush bean seedlings in it…added some flowers and herbs for pests…will be weird to now see my standard flowers in there, but hey vege food flower anyway right?! LOL
    Also hubby built out another raised bed for me, so I planted more corn seedlings, bush beans and my strawberry plants!

    -Tested out my new solar oven….cool but still need to get the hang of it.
    -Put in a new order to Wally World.com for household items…
    – Once the garden really comes in and we come back from our vaca I will purchase a dehydrator and get moving on that.
    -Bought and packaged another 50lbs of rice (jasmine our fav)
    -Bought and packaged another 50lbs of wheat and sugar
    -Bought and packaged another 30 lbs of Kruestez pancake mix
    -Bought and packaged 15lbs of cornmeal
    -Bought another 1500 rounds of ammo for the 9, 270 and 22..
    -Added some more items for the canned section…had to start putting them under the oldest s bed! LOL…his closet is stacked and packed with cans, jars and buckets along with the two hallway closets and the one by my master bath……

    We had our windows finally installed, makes a huge difference in the house…its actually kind of cold, even though it was almost 80 degrees outside! (had to figure out how to hide all the preps too! LOL)
    We are taking all the old glass from the old windows and placing it to the side to use for whatever…and the screens will make for great dehydrator trays if we build a solar dryer…

    • Almost There says:


      You make me tired reading all the things you have done… I buy the things I need and then don’t get them packaged up quickly. You must have an assembly line set up. 🙂 I love all the Kruestez products. You are truly inspiring.

  34. Penny Pincher says:

    Hi Pack!
    I learned my tenants bought a house (or, their offer was accepted, no closing yet), also learned market rent is now 150% of what I was charging them so I guess I’ll refill the apartment rather than absorb the loss of income, and put it toward land. I can’t afford to keep it empty for long, but I might try to spiff up their kitchen floor while marketing it, if I can get materials cheap.

    Also got a refurbed stove for my apartment. My old one was decrepit. I mean decrepit!

    I looked in a permanent campsite where it’s just about anything goes for structures. It’s owners only, no renters. There’s a few eyesores but it’s mostly nice. The lots are cheap if you can get them. It’s still too far from work, but it might do, if it means living debt-free eventually. That would make getting more land easier, as I could save and pay cash. Still working on the research and all.

    Speaking of debt-freedom, I paid off my one unsecured credit account, so now there is only the mortgage.

    I made a 5 gallon bucket into a swamp cooler for vancamping. It’s okay, not very powerful.

    I think that’s it. Big changes and a lot of extra work coming. I need to stay on top of this.

    • Penny Pincher,
      If you have a Habitat for Humanity ReStore near you, you can get some pretty good deals on re-purposed renovation materials.

      • Penny Pincher says:

        Yeah there are a few salvage stores around.

        I went to look at a bigger plot of land today. It was a big hill in the woods with a lot of giant rocks on the crest. My BF wants to blow up the rocks (by hiring a professional demo guy) and make something with the rubble; I’m more for building around them or having some kind of stonehenge garden there. It is ten times the price (and the size) of the little trailer park lot. But I think he wants it so we can be in the middle of nowhere. I’m not sure there’s jobs there.

  35. I want to thank the person that turned me on to the Trim Healthy Mama diet. It is the easiest diet I have tried. I have lost 15 pounds since January.

    I found an easier way to get my carrots started. I plant 5 carrots seeds and cover them with the top of a two liter bottle. It keeps, the seeds from drying out before I remember to water them. Even though condensation will form you still need to keep them watered. My germination rate has greatly improved.

    I have been having a big problem with birds and rabbits yanking out my seedlings as soon as they pop up. I cover as many of them as I can with two liter bottle tops until they get their first true leaves. Since I am only trying to grow enough food for two people, I could cover every single plant if I had to.

    I thought I would mention these two ideas in case they might help someone else.

    • We were having a terrible rabbit problem, as did everyone else in town. Everyone had to put up 2 ft high chicken wire fences which has reduced produce losses considerably. I had to put up a 3 ft high one against neighbor’s dog that liked to poop in the veg garden. As for birds, I use row covers until the plants are large enough to fend for themselves or mesh cages over berries.

      • Mustang says:


        A pellet gun and/or live traps can help solve the problem. Rabbit is tasty, especially when fattened up on assorted fresh veggies!

        • Those would work unless, like us, you’re dealing with hundreds and hundreds of the little beasts running around town and multiplying like there’s no tomorrow. Had a bad problem with black squirrels but the pellet gun solved that. Now I’ve got protected red squirrels raiding my veg.

        • Bam Bam says:

          Ya’ll have given me an idea for this week’s prepper pantry challenge.

      • Penny Pincher says:

        Have you tried the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch?

    • Encourager2 says:

      Hi Thorn! I may have, ummm, mentioned Trim Healthy Momma once or twice. Glad it is working for you. We are back on it but, frankly, keep falling off the wagon. Eating out is our downfall but that can now be cut back as the floors are finished and we just have to empty all the boxes and put stuff back. Oh, and reglaze the bathtub and get the shower door hung. (Our tile man said he would come over and do that in between jobs.)

      About THM, do try the Cry No More Brownies and the Chocolate cake. I use the Struesel Coffeecake recipe, add blueberries and make as big muffins. One muffin is a serving. I skip the frosting as it gets so runny when we reheat the frozen muffins.

      • I will try those recipes. Right now we are traveling for a graduation ceremony. I gave up trying to do the plan after the first breakfast. In a couple of days I’ll be back home and back on plan. Really am grateful you mentioned it when you did. Thanks so much.

  36. M.D.- I agree with your old man, go out on your own terms! As for preps, well the following was done.
    1. 15 trees down and continuing to cut them up for stacking, looks to be at least 5 cords or more for next year.
    2. Purchased a spare Kahr CM9 mag
    3. 3 packs of Augason Farms Instant Blueberry Oatmeal
    4. Food Grade Water Hand Pump
    5. Benchmaster weapon rack
    6. Tune up on both vehicles
    7. Ordered 250 rounds of .38 special HP
    8. Ordered an Affirm Global Wood Burning Stove for back up
    9. New front/sights for the SBR
    10. Found some LED Hurrican Lamps, 2 pack
    11. Ordered a Master Feel Gauge 26-piece blade set for all my gun work
    So that is about it, the wife is almost done with her school year of teaching and I am getting ready for Idaho, California(trying to get the hell out of that trip) and Kentucky for work. Will be interesting to see how this Summer of Rage as the liberals are now calling this is going to go down. I am hoping it doesn’t, I firmly believe very few people are ready for that level of violence. May everyone be safe and our country finds its way sooner than later.

    • Mike T, level of violence ??? With most people on this site being; survivalists, martial artists, ex military, hunters and weapons experts, I think they or we can handle some skinny jean wearing wanna be preschool brats. Lol

      No offense intended.

  37. C Bonnett says:

    Bought an AR15.

    • CB, you going wabbit hunting ?

      • Don’t forget to fix the bayonet, those things are mean. Lol !!!

        • Thor 1,

          Don’t forget to fix the bayonet, those things are mean. Lol !!!

          I don’t think you can do that, since the bayonet, makes it an assault weapon, right? LOL

          • OP, Bill’s ban has seen a sunset. Thank God !!! So, yes you can shish kabob a squirrel. Lol

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP and Thor1, I prefer not to fix a bayonet, I like having one that doesnt need to be fixed…solid piece…;) (had to laugh sorry) :

            Love chinese tri blades for throwing, or just spear points amazing stickers

          • Jesse,
            I have the throwing stars or as we in the art call them, a Shuriken. (Literally Hidden Sword) and while they are not deadly, they can be a great deterrent and were often used to buy time for attack or retreat. Legend has it that they were generally used for cutting and were tipped with a poison that would enter the wound.
            Straight blades, sometimes known as delta darts are also a great deterrent, along with staff and NunChaKu; but, any of these weapons may violate laws in your area, so best be checking if you carry them concealed.
            BTW, Cold Steel makes a great and inexpensive Delta Dart.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP, arizona is nice, I even have auto knives- btw I was joking, Indont throw blades except for a set of 6 12″ 1075 steel throwers

          • Jesse,

            OP, arizona is nice, I even have auto knives

            What is an auto knife?
            I suspect it is a colloquial term, since I’ve often heard the terms auto knife, switch blade, and spring assisted knife used interchangeably.
            In Ohio the knives are legal if you have to touch the blade to open it, so the Camillus spring assisted knives I carry all of the time are legal. I keep one clipped just inside my right pocket where it can be retrieved and opened with just a flick of the right index finger.

            I was joking, Indont throw blades except for a set of 6 12″ 1075 steel throwers

            I have never thrown a knife or Shuriken for that matter except in practice. I’m also rather good with my throwing tomahawks; but, they are also a bit large and conspicuous to carry for more than just practice.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP, push a button and blade flips open or come straight out the front. 🙂 I have three italian stilettos (very fun but not practical) push a button and bam, blade- and several auto folders otf and side opening- all extremely nice 3 benchmades and a few off brands

            Spring assisted is nice, absolutely, but auto is mmmm fun

          • Jesse,

            push a button and blade flips open or come straight out the front

            That’s kind of what I thought and those particular knives are not legal here in Ohio; however, the spring assisted knives can be deployed from the pocket as quickly and easily with a bit of practice.

          • My youngest fell in love with a Benchmade prior to her 21st birthday and we agreed to purchase it for her so she could have it at college. It was just under the length limit for concealed carry too. This past Christmas, I got my first Benchmade – it has a window punch and a seat belt cutter along with the regular blade. I love it and carry it all the time.

          • GA Red,
            I’ve never heard of the Benchmade; but, my Camillus Heat Rescue knife is great. Unfortunately Camillus is no longer around. I purchased three of the rescue knives years ago. I lost one, carry one, and have a spare in the cutlery box that I hope to never need; but, it’s always good to have a spare.
            I’ve seen the rescue knife for sale now for $50-60; but, I paid less than $20 for mine many years ago.
            I carry a medium Camillus Robo spring assist knife as part of my EDC.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP, I miss Camillus as well. 🙁

            Ill have to send you a couple Ganzo (440c steel) knives – extremely well made… (yes made in China, however, thats ssadly not a good argument any longer)

          • Jesse,

            i think ill do a review on using baton/canes as defense tools.

            I think that would only be a review for those of us who already have some training; but, a novice tutorial for others could be good. Along with baton & canes, don’t forget crutches, umbrellas, and even rolled up newspapers or magazines.

          • OP, very true.

          • A note on the stars. Weight is very important if you are seriously going to use them….or think you might. Which is why I never use a tri point. I have a 4 point saw cutter set and a 5 point Sholin set….the latter made of titanium. Yes, they can kill. If you have a strong throwing arm and excellent aim, 2 cm in the throat will kill. Also good in close quarters.

            Nunchukus are fairly worthless in today’s society. My son is an absolute master with them. Fun to watch, but not particularly good in combat.

            Anyone considering Shurikens needs to understand, you won’t become proficient overnight. It takes a long time to become truly proficient. I started back in 1974 and I still practice a couple times a week. And I do carry 2 in my bag at all times…plus a stun gun.

            My next toy is going to be the S & W extending baton. Very cool and it will fit in my bag.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Izzy, I love my expanding batons 🙂 having practiced muy thai, escrima and a bit of some fun russian systema, expanding batons are just plain fun 🙂

          • Jesse; What kind baton did you get? I still have my solid ebony night stick that has caused a few people pain back in the day, but it just doesn’t fit in my bag. 🙂

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Oak, bamboo, and my favorite expandable steel asp

          • Izzy & Jesse,
            You two are trying to make me spend some money.
            I’m comfortable with NunChaKu and short BO staff (50”) and competent with a full BO staff (72”) plus Kuboton; but, other than the NunChaKu and the Kuboton these are not easily carried as EDC, so perhaps it’s time to add another.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP, haha i think ill do a review on using baton/canes as defense tools.

          • JM, I have several bayonets. An M7 for a mini14,an M9 for an AR15 and a large spike on the SKS. Never understood the fear of someone having a knife when they already had a gun !!! Lol

          • The M7 is a possible for a mount on my 18 1/2″ barrel on an H&R 12 gauge pump. It could be like a trench gun.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Thor1. One can never have too many blades and or firearms I have been taught…:)

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            One can never have too many blades and or firearms

            Isn’t that a law of nature, kinda like gravity?

            No matter how much you fight it, it wins in the end.

            So why fight it, just keep buying them.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Chuck, so true 🙂

          • Thor 1,
            I think I would prefer the trench broom to the trench gun; but, alas, I don’t own one of them and they are very expensive.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP, I want two (at least) 3lb cannons for front door defense, loaded with grapeshot. ..just because 😉

      • Is this where you’re very quite?

  38. Something I forgot. I bought some pots and filled them with Miracle Grow garden soil. I planted sweet potato starts in them. They kept looking worse and worse until one of them had the leaves start turning red. I thought, wait a minute, that’s the same thing that happens to the blueberries when they need more soil acidifier. So I added some soil acidifier and they are looking better.

    • Almost There says:


      I’ve been told that the Miracle Grow garden soil is not to be used in pots. It’s made for the garden. It will burn the plants up. Pots need potting soil instead. I learned about this after I put tomato plants in big pots. They never did do well.

      • Almost There,
        We’ve been using the Miracle Grow potting mix that was on sale at our local Rural King and it seems to be working fine in pots. Keep in mind though, that testing soil pH is always a good idea, since even the best soil can change over time and need amendments.

  39. Trying to get the new pen built for the guineas next to the chicken pen. Been held up with work on the garden. I want to get 12 keets, keep them in the pen until they are good size then let them free range. Great way to keep bugs out of the garden, ticks out of the yard and snakes down to a minimum. Also an amazing alarm system.
    In addition to the guinea pen, will also start the rabbit hutches along one side of the pen. Planning on capturing some of the many wild rabbits here and raise in the hutches. Good source for meat, but not fat.

    MD, I’d be really interested in how those spot lights turn out.

    • Babycatcher says:

      Those wild rabbits are full of fleas. Just a warning based on experience.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Babycatcher, as you said-

        Good rule of thumb, months with R, eat some wild rabbit, otherwise, nope nope and nope

  40. MENTALMATT says:

    It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted here, largely due to a difference in opinion, and I was disappointed that it lead to quite a texting battle here, and for that reason, I bowed out, but I have read through here from time to time. First I would like to tell you that I lost my father at the age of 15 due to lung cancer, and I watched as the chemo, and the radiation tore him apart before he died. I also watched as my mother became crippled by radiation for her color cancer, before she died. I feel for you and I totally understand these decisions, I don’t have a lot of confidence in the modern cancer treatments, just saying, prayers are with you!!!!!

  41. AZcamper says:

    Taught my last class until fall term. Now I feel I have a little breathing room to get more done at home. Got another shelf unit for the canned goods and sewing/crafting supplies for my new business venture. Took inventory to see what I need to replace on the shelf, worked on the new-to-us camper to update the inside a bit and make sure all systems are working, picked up 2 boxes of 1/2 gallon mason jars to store dry goods, took a short camping trip to try out the camper and learned a few things we need to work on, spent a lot of time researching on-line.

    Ladies approaching or over 50, any tips for boosting energy levels? I have to take a blood-thinner, so need to stay away from many herbs that other folks can take. What about Natural sleep aids that worked for you better than others? Also, anyone deal with sleep apnea in you or your partner? What have you tried and what works for you and/or yours?

    • Encourager2 says:

      AZcamper, I am WAY over 50…I take a good vitamin for those over 50 (health food store) and add a B complex. My energy has gotten better but there are still days when I can barely get across the house. I take 5mg of Melatonin before bed each night. Takes a good month before your sleep improves but I have noticed a difference. My doc said I could up the dosage.

      My dh has sleep apnea. For over 10 years I told him he stopped breathing at night but he refused to believe me. So I recorded him not breathing and then gasping for air. Played it for the doctor the next time we saw him. He wanted him to immediately go to a sleep clinic but dh said he was too ‘busy’. Well, one day he came home from work, sat down and cried. He said something was very wrong with him. He could not remember stuff at work, stuff he did day in and day out. He started to carry a small notepad in his pocket so he could write down what his boss told him to do. He thought he had a brain tumor. The MRI showed no tumor. I can’t remember what they called it, but they did see damage in certain small areas.

      He went to the sleep clinic and both at night, and during the day when he fell asleep in their recliner, he stopped breathing – over 40 times in an hour. They said he was one of the worse cases they had seen. He now uses a CPAP machine at night.

      The worse part? He has lost the memories of when the kids were littles. I would say “Remember when….” and he couldn’t. It would really upset him. Bottom line? You do get brain damage when you have sleep apnea! And it could kill you. Some night your body may just not remember to breathe. It was a very scary time for us before his diagnosis. He has adjusted well, is sleeping through the night and has come to grips with the memory loss.

      Get to a doctor and get tested. Sleep apnea is nothing to ignore.

      • AZcamper says:

        I appreciate that, Encourager. I just started on B complex and hope to see improvement. As far as the sleep apnea, I don’t think people take it as seriously as they should. I am glad to hear your hubby is doing better. We need to take care of it at our house. Thanks for sharing.

      • Encourager2,
        I used to snore like a chain saw; but tests showed I did not have sleep apnea; however, at 5’ 6” and 235 pounds I was, well . . . fat.
        I started exercising and counting calories. I bought a gram weight kitchen scale and accounted for every calorie I ate, down to the peanut and in about 8 months was down to 170, or a loss of 65 pounds. My snoring simply ceased somewhere during thee weibht loss and has never returned.
        While YMMV, but if there is obesity, especially a big belly, then weight loss may help a lot.

        • OP–congrats on the great weight loss! Way to go. It’s really hard to lose that much weight. I need 20 pounds off, and it is very hard.

          • Terra,
            There is one more thing to this story that helped. I know several guys not much or any taller than I am and perhaps 20-30 years younger, who weigh in the 300-400 pound range. They look rather horrible, with one looking like a big ball with tiny legs and feet. They are both always complaining about being tired and knees aching.
            Every time I even thought about cheating, I would picture me looking like them.
            Also, by counting and accounting for (with a spreadsheet) calories and trying to hit 1800-2000 per day, some evenings would only be 1500-1600 and I could then have some fruit or ice cream or some other treat, again carefully weighed. This allowed me to not feel I was missing something.
            I also still tried to maintain a healthy diet with low fat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, etc.

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            My weights going down from all the work I’m doing, Last winter I was in a size 44 pants, they fit loose so I bought 40’s, they started to fit loose and now I’m in 38’s and could probably fit into 36 with a bit of pushing.

            Not really eating that much different (still like and go to Chinese Buffets), it’s just that I’m working so much doing the handyman work.

          • Chuck,
            Once again it’s physics, or in this case Thermodynamics. If:
            • Calories Eaten equals Calories Burned. You have stasis and nothing changes
            • Calories Eaten is less than Calories Burned. You burn fat for fuel and lose weight
            • Calories Eaten is greater than Calories Burned. You add fat for fuel storage
            Since we are biological machines there are of course some caveats, like eating too few Calories at some level can place the body into starvation mode where it will still try to store fuel for later use.
            There are calculators available on the web, where you enter your target weight and estimated activity level, and you get the approximate daily Calorie limit to attain and hold that weight. Mine was about 2050 Calories per day.
            BTW, Chuck, our free flea market / trunkfest is 2 weeks from this Saturday on June 10th. It’s about a 2 hour trip from your area to here. For details see ohiohams.net

    • Almost There says:


      I take a vitamin called ActiVit from Beach Body, a B-complex, and stated taking 10,000 units of D3 (took every day at first for a week, but now every 3-4 days. I can tell when I don’t take the vitamin. I have heard that people lacking magnesium will cause problems with sleep. It needs to be taken with calcium, and you can find them as a combo. Most doctors don’t test for D3 deficiency, so next time you go to the doctor ask for calcium and D3 lab work.

      • Almost There – I was tested for D3 deficiency during a routine physical. After an initial round of high dose prescription D3, I started taking a 1,000 units a day. I’ve been taking it daily ever since and my doctor tests every year.

      • Almost There; Women in particular need to be tested for D-2 deficiency as well.

        Beware of taking too much calcium. If you have thyroid or heart problems, best to have a doctor review calcium along with alkaline phosphates.

    • I take Melatonin to help me sleep. I’m on 10mg a night. Getting 7 hours of sleep is my minimum for functionality, but I also have to keep my stress levels down to maintain any energy, plus I run 2 to 3 days a week. I keep trying to increase my fitness minutes but I’m not sure I’ll ever get past those 3 days a week.

    • Bam Bam says:


      I was having terrible problems with insomnia. I was deficient in magnesium and iron. I did the magnesium spray (from health food store) and prescription iron. After a few days the insomnia went away.

  42. So nice to have the pack back and reviewing all that has been done this week! Love you guys!

  43. Anonamo Also says:

    Preps for two weeks, 2 raised garden beds made, filled and planted intensively.
    New internet service contacted and appointment made for starting servive at new house. Still in construction zone, but progress being made.
    I posted abt B/p issues of DH. after 2 full weeks on increased magnesium.(.Milk of Magnesia) his blood pressure has rebounded to normal levels and his edema in both feet is down so much he is not requiring diuretic/lasix.
    DH found an article by Sanjay Gupta re:magnesium and started taking it to try..slowly feeling better, remains weak, but improving. Oh and the cardiologist did not catch this, last labs were in normal limits, less than 6 months ago. Lesson to be learned… Be vigilant and… re: your own health and do your own research.
    Be proactive for Your issues. encourage your family to do the same. many natural treatments are very cheap…and effective. for everything from cardiac issues to.. yes even Cancer. Graviola costs about 6-10$ 2x day /month, Pau de’Arco costs even less, 1 x day, Baking Soda pennies, Borax, pennies… diet changes cut sugars only costs the meats and protein it is replaced with. Beets and carrots(made into smoothies, organic of course) have been used to extend the life and ability of some with stage 4’s. As long as there is breath and a desire to live ,there is hope for natural treatments to work. Some of these is what I would try, and for-go the transfer of wealth to the inusrance companies.
    MD, so sorry your Dad is so ill. Watching someone thru these struggles is not easy. Supporting him in this is the very best you can do. Take care of yourself spend time with him… and know those of us who pray regularly.. hold all those who are regulars here and their family members /loved ones regular in an attitude of prayer.
    If there is never a huge event of catastropic level…I still use my preps, so even then not wasted..just insurance against emergencies.

    • AA, I’m very interested in the magnesium treatment you did for your DH. Could you expand on it again as I also suffer with edema in legs and feet in summer as I can’t take the heat.

      • Bam Bam says:


        You can get magnesium spray (magnesium oil) from the health food store or from Amazon. I spray it on my stomach, wait 10 minutes and then take a shower.

        • Thanks, Bam Bam, but I make my own magnesium butter (rather than spray) and it helps but not enough. I’m particularly interested in how the milk of magnesia treatment works, especially regarding edema.

  44. Billy T says:

    M.D. it breaks my heart what your dad and you are going through. My wife died from Ovarian cancer discovered in stage 4. I will continue to pray for you and him.

    Planted yams, strawberries, corn, pole beans. Not exactly a prep, but repaired our flag pole at BOL and put the flag up. Put a solar powered light next to the large stone cross in our front yard – I want people to know where I stand! Got a new log splitter for BOL. Got more washing soda and borax to make laundry soap from.

    Praying for the Trumpster, the pack and our nation.

    • Billy,
      I left you a short reply in the article about odd foods to have in your garden. Yes, I was the one asking about halving or quartering onions. Thanks for the info. I also posted a link I think you’ll find interesting. I won’t post it again here because I don’t want to end up in moderation purgatory. Thanks again!

      • Billy T says:

        Thanks Sirius. I read your response and read the article. Interesting. I didn’t know the one about the romaine. I have remembered more about the onions I have been growing: When first planted, they will grow sets. When the sets are replanted and start to grow seed heads, allow them to continue. That’s when the bulbs develop. I have harvested some as large as 6 inch diameter and as sweet as the original.

  45. Tightwad Outdoorsman says:

    Hi Everyone,
    Long time reader, first time commenter. I have been trying to prep for the last few years, but being short of cash, I have had to take it slowly. I have a decent start on staples, and have accumulated hand tools, axes, sledge hammers, chainsaws etc. a little at a time. This week I reached a small goal of getting a nice used Ruger 10/22 from a local mom and pop store. I had to put down $50 to start, and it took a bout 2 month for me to save the rest. Well, last night I picked it up along with a cheap gun case. I am going back tomorrow to get a 500 round pack of ammo. Tomorrow I will be picking up some staples from Aldi, mostly canned tuna, chicken salmon, and possibly some soups to build the pantry back up. And in the afternoon I will be replacing the broken mirror on my wife’s mini-van, and charging her air conditioning. Round 2 will come Sunday when I have to charge my daughters air ( and mine ) and check out my front brakes.
    MD, I hope your Dad has made the right decision with his treatment, I would do the same thing. May he enjoy his time left with his family and friends in peace and comfort.
    All the current nonsense going on in this country reminds me of a Chinese curse: ” May you live in interesting times. ” I am going to hang on tight, cause things are looking to get interesting.

    • patientmomma says:

      Tightwad Outdoorsman, Welcome. We all start out in humble circumstances. Very few folks on this site are “well-to-do”. We skimp and save, rob peter to pay paul and prioritize everything. We save money by buying on sale, gardening, trading, canning and preserving. You will learn a lot here!

      • axelsteve says:

        Welcome tightwad !
        Don`t feel bad you are still doing better then most folks . You can`t go wrong with a ruger and you can trick it out a bit with low funds. For instance you can see how to modify the trigger so you won`t have to fight a heavy trigger. There are zillions of videos out there these days. Remember to eat what you store and store what you eat.

    • Almost There says:

      Welcome Tightwad Outdoorsman. PM is correct. Little at a time.

    • JP in MT says:


      You are doing it right; a little at a time, as you can. IMO, prepping is a lot about changing how you look at things vs. how much stuff you have. Over the last 20 years we have invested a pretty fair sum on our preps, learned what to do, what not, where to buy, and what works for us.

      We started where we were, location wise. Now I have a pretty good idea of what I’m looking for as far as a new location. So that’s where our focus is. More stuff is not what I need, a better location is.

      One more word of advise; don’t buy something you don’t understand. It will just cost you money in the long run (I have a couple of those things around here).

    • Billy T says:

      Welcome to the pack! We are all learning as we go along. DW and I have been prepping about 4 years and are still picking up ideas and info. It’s a voyage and not a destination! We are removing some items from BOL to sell and in the process, this AM had to shift a steel garbage can which happens to be full of oats, beans and rice which are measured out into vacuum sealed bags, each of which contains an oxy absorber and desiccant packet. DW complained that we hadn’t eaten any thing out of that can and I had to remind her we really don’t want to eat the stuff which has a shelf life of 30 years+ We do eat those things and have many containers similarly packaged. For now, we can consume stuff not as well prepped! Anyway, as long as we have been doing this, these things still come up.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:


      I have spares of some things, as in too many spares, id be willing to help you out.


  46. MD sorry about your Dad. I too am navigating the world of cancer with the last two years of two different cancers at once, chemo, surgery, and after effects. Recently had a scare where I thought one was back and I had made the decision to do no more chemo. But thankfully, I am OK. Had lots of people give their opinions, but each person has to do what’s best for them. My one suggestion would be to talk a lot to him and get him to tell you all he can about his life. On preps: actually cleaning up the garden after two years of just barely getting by. Lots of weeding and peppermint pulling. encouraging all the potatoes coming up on their own. waiting for sweets slips to get a little bigger before planting. got hummingbird feeders to hang off the cherry trees to keep away the birds. Supposedly hummingbirds are territorial but won’t eat cherries so they keep the other birds away. Hope it works! Stay strong everyone and support our pres. I can’t believe how people are trying to tear down everything he says and does.

    • Almost There says:


      Super glad you are doing well. Are you doing anything with your peppermint?

      • Almost There: Thanks. I was drying the peppermint for tea. I drink some and it is a super good remedy when dh is having trouble breathing. But we have several gallon jugs full of it and don’t need any more just yet. I gave a bunch to a friend. By the time I need more or know someone else who needs any, it will most likely be overrunning the yard again!

  47. cgbascom says:

    I have missed you guys and girls. My computer crashed about 6 weeks ago and I had a hard time deciding exactly what I wanted out of my computer and where I was going to get it. We have a small local computer business in the town about 25 miles from where I live and I decided that I would much rather get a computer locally. The young man who works there was able to extract my documents and pdf files from my old computer and downloaded them onto an external hard drive. He set my computer up for my personal use and got rid of or hid the “fluff” I had no use for. The whole thing cost just $20.oo more than what I would have bought elsewhere and that was because I purchased the hard drive, which I carefully put away since it so small. I remember external hard drives that were the size of an old fashion tape recorder.

    I have put a halt to purchasing any extra prep items. I am just replacing items that I use. This summer will be a time when I take time to figure out where my extra stuff will be used and learn to use them, and I purge myself of the items that no longer are useful. I have decided that it is more important to utilize what I have (in other words, make do or do without) than it is to have them on hand just in case.

    This last week I had my annual physical and tests done. I’m healthier this year than last year. My A1C is down, my fasting blood sugar is down, so are my cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight (not by much, but at least it didn’t go up). My over all pain level is down, also. Happy, happy, happy.

    My husband made it through the winter without major illness, thank God. He goes in for a Parkinson’s test soon. I am not sure I like knowing that he might have Parkinson’s. I don’t how much more his body can take, but he wants to know if his seizures and shaking are Parkinson’s or not. It’s been going on for over 20 years and 5 years ago he was tested and he tested negative for it. Because his symptoms are getting worse, the VA wants further testing.

    Prayers for the Wolf Pack. God Bless.

    • patientmomma says:

      nice to read your post cgbascom! My family had some issues with parkinson’s disease and found out that several medications can cause the serious symptoms of parkinson’s. Sis did not have parkinson’s, all the symptoms were caused by the other meds. Once sis went off all the meds in question, all the symptoms stopped and she felt 100% better.

    • Nice to see you back, cgbascom. Hope your DH gets a proper diagnosis and right treatment.

  48. 123pieguy says:

    Posted this in the wrong place so have moved it here – this in response to M. D.’s request for suggestions/changes to help the site:

    M.D. – I have to say that you, along with the contributions of so many here, have produced a pretty effective community and reference resource for all of us. I don’ t chime in very often, but am so thankful for the overall (that does not mean every) attitude and most practical advice given by so many. Not much into the political chatter – being a general (small g) Trump supporter, but he does need some level headed adults to help him manage, I’ll admit.
    You asked for a few ideas, so here’s one. This group is a pretty good mixture of generally conservative, self sufficient individuals. And while there is some slight diversity of opinion on a few issues that come up, I am reminded of the recent kerfuffle in Democrat circles when pro life women tried to partake in a women’s rights or some such parade. Could not be tolerated! Purity of doctrine or small minds think alike or some such rule of nature being expressed, and we were all rightly amazed at the intolerance.
    Now…my point and suggestion. There are a numer of topics (did not say litmus tests) that pop up in this lively forum at times. And while I generally agree with the overall sentiments, the are a few topics that, like the pro life one, that find me not marching in the main throng of the parade, so to speak.
    So what I propose, with some hesitance, is a once a week/month, adult, rational, fact based if possible online DEBATE topic. Members here usually are well behaved and usually rationally reacting sorts. Some members are quite mature and well spoken when disagreed with (certainly depends on the tone and manner of differences expressed).
    This could be an exercise for the group and for each member in how well we are able to hold conversations with those we may not see eye to eye on regarding certain topics. And each of us me included may find out something we may have to chew a bit more than we have in the past. I have changed my mind on a few major topics myself over the years, in part thanks to frank discussions with those of a different mind.
    So what say you, M.D. everyone else here? Or will we all react like the parade organizers? Just who do we let in our parade? Some may be marching already, but I will be the first to agree that not everything goes. Might be a challenge figuring out the proper edge of the discussion. And what topics might we kick around? I’ve got a few but wish to hear from others.
    Forgive the long post, M.D., but you asked.

    • Encourager2 says:

      123pieguy, the debate idea is a good one, as long as we are respectful of each other’s opinions. We do get some nasty trolls from time to time but we seem to have had enough experience that we catch them pretty quick.

      What subjects do you think we should debate? I do think it should relate to prepping.

      • 123pieguy says:

        Encourager2 – that’s part of the proposed exercise, respectfully disagreeing/discussing with opinions we might not agree with. Not the easiest thing many times. Some folks can do it; others struggle. Thick skins help. It takes practice, which is what I am proposing. It is pretty natural to want to strike, I mean reply back when someone doesn’t share my exact perspective. It takes patience and some thought to craft a reply that addresses the issue and doesn’t just call names.
        Subjects? Your proposal to restrict it to prepping is a little tighter of a “proper edge” than I was considering, but it is a reasonable one. Discussion often gets pretty far off the prepper path here, so I was thinking a little broader, but prepping related topics only for now might be a good place to start. With that in mind, the one topic that comes to mind that could impact prepping would be climate change. While I really hate being on the same side of the fence as Al Gore, there is certainly room for debate on this issue that could (or maybe can’t?) affect something some of us prepare for. As a retired professional biologist, I have read of convincing evidence that significant climate change is occurring, and that human activity has caused a portion of it. I’ll stop there.

        • It sounds like you have some interesting information you could share with the pact via an article. We could then comment, thus a good discussion could begin.

        • 123pieguy,

          As a retired professional biologist, I have read of convincing evidence that significant climate change is occurring, and that human activity has caused a portion of it. I’ll stop there.

          OK, I’ll respectfully disagree.
          For starters you (meaning everyone) can read A Disgrace to the Profession by Mark Steyn
          And / or
          Dark Winter: How the Sun Is Causing a 30-Year Cold Spell by John L. Casey
          I attended the first Earth Day back in 1970 and it was to make people aware of the impending global cooling and the coming Ice Age because the CO2 would block the sunlight.
          When that didn’t pan out, it was Global Warming and the coastal cities covered by rising seas by about 10-15 years ago, and finally, when that didn’t pan out, it became Global Climate Change
          The only thing I do think is happening with the additional CO2, is that when much of it is being absorbed by the world’s oceans, the pH of the oceans is getting lower (acidic) and that may have some effect on coral reefs and similar ecosystems.
          I also have a copy of the code for the model used by The University of East Anglia. It is written in FORTRAN, and the sections of data for climate events like the Little Ice Age are conveniently commented out, so they don’t affect the model.
          My degrees are in engineering and not climate science per se; but, I have taken numerous courses in physics and mathematics beyond calculus, so I have a pretty good understanding of raw data. I also have both the knack and the training for end to end systems analysis and that also comes in handy.

          • I totally agree with you about the global warming stuff – there are too many variables that they are ignoring.

            BTW – every time I read some of your more technical replies, I would swear that you and the DH are long lost twins or something. I know y’all would have some really good discussions about engineering stuff.

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            OP you should know better, bringing logic and facts to the Global Cooling, I mean Global Warming, no I mean Climate Change debate.

            Facts just don’t apply when you talk about it.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP, GR, and Chuck, yall had me laughing 🙂 woke the wife up “)

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Oh and I agree with both Chuck and OP, well said OP 🙂

          • GA Red,

            BTW – every time I read some of your more technical replies, I would swear that you and the DH are long lost twins or something.

            And there are more of us out there than just the two of us. My DW was helping out at our Amateur radio Ohio NVIS day and was learning to use the logging software and the guy showing her how to use it mentioned that she did not have to be all that careful since a few mistakes were not a problem. He then paused, looked her square in the eyes and said, “Unless of course you’re you know who (nodding in my direction) or Arnal”. Arnal is another nitpicky engineer and ham radio operator who’s also a retired Navy commander, and like me, understands that facts and details really do matter. She told me about this later that week and we still get a chuckle out of it.

            I know y’all would have some really good discussions about engineering stuff.

            If GA were closer to OH I suspect you’re right. We can all argue about politics and religion, since these are actually systems of belief; but, in the end, engineering is about facts and figures. A poorly designed circuit or piece of software will not work simply because I feel that is should.
            Just as a poorly design bridge or building will not withstand the stresses of wind etc and not fall down, simply because I believe it should.
            Politics and religion have their place; but, neither should ever replace the hard science and math that is physics and engineering, and that defines how our world works.

          • Just a general question for those who have trained in martial arts.

            An 8 yr old starts out in Taekwondo, is teaching by the time they are 12 years old and a 4th degree black belt by 20. Anyone believing that?

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Izzy, tkd and some karate types are pay for a belt in my opinion,ive seen very talented kids – however

          • Jesse’ I’ve never heard of a “pay for a belt”. All I can say is, wait till the so called paid for black belt meets up with a real black belt.

            I agree, there are some very talented kids. My middle son was one of them. He had powerful leg kicks and awesome form and he was in Taekwondo. He competed in Mexico City and did VERY well in his division. No buying belts in his Dojos.

            I guess it depends on the Sensei and the class of the Dojo.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Izzy the late 60s and 70s saw a rise in karate and taekwando as forms of martial arts taught (sadly that’s where we got the great fat liar Seagal and his stories lol)

            The 80s and 90s saw shifts from the core two into more diverse approaches, now you have mma types… (what we called street brawlers back in the day)

            One absolute fact as you well know im sure, there will always be someone better, and its all about avoiding them 😉

            Congrats to son, that is an achievement – Mexico and South America house many very talented martial artists these days.

          • Izzy & Jesse,

            An 8 yr old starts out in Taekwondo, is teaching by the time they are 12 years old and a 4th degree black belt by 20. Anyone believing that?

            I hate to disrespect any martial art; but, I have also seen too many in Taekwondo who fall into that pay for a belt mentality. I’ve studied numerous martial arts within the Japanese / Okinawa sphere of influence; but, the pay for a belt mentality goes clear back to the 1960’s when I started; but, perhaps not as much then as now. My original sensei only allowed 4 belt colors in our Dojo. They were of course White, Green, Brown, and Black. It took me about 18-19 months to pass through the four ranks (8th Kyu to 5th Kyu) and wear my Green belt. Sensei said that many Americans were too obsessed with colors of belts instead of the actual skill gained to earn the ranks. We did some inter club/group tournaments; but, were never allowed to go somewhere for trophies.
            Mr. Miyagi from “The Karate Kid” movies sort of reminds me of my first sensei, except that he was a tall Caucasian and didn’t make us wax his cars for practice, LOL.
            An 8 year old teaching by age 12 could work at some level, since I’ve been in classes where a higher rank person with some skill, would be put with someone just starting to teach and practice rudimentary skills.
            As for Yondan by 20, that would I think be a stretch, unless that’s all the kid did other than eat and sleep. My second sensei who I met just before his 17th birthday was NiDan (2nd black) and quite good; but, then again, he started martial arts about age 6-8 and that was all he did.
            He’s now a practicing Chiropractor and still does some teaching of Eugue Ryu.

  49. Last two weeks have definitely been busy but not necessarily as productive as they could have been. I had the tooth removed which should take care of medical issues for a month or so. Made the yearly appointment with the ophthalmologist but it isn’t til August. Found a clearance sale on hard white wheat and dough enhancer. Picked up a couple of small stainless steel bowls and a stainless steel roaster at a thrift store. Got the back gate repaired. Now instead of an 8 ft gate I have one that is only 4 ft but that is plenty wide for what I need right now.

  50. Encourager2 says:

    Let’s see, two weeks of prepping. I ordered and received through my food co-op cases of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, navy beans, Great Northern beans, 1# of Ceylon cinnamon (the real cinnamon BTW), two jars of Ceylon cinnamon sticks, boxed Tomato soup, 20# of old fashioned oats. All this was organic. Packaged up the oats with the Food Saver, put in freezer for 2 weeks and just pulled them out. Did the same with some interesting pasta from Italy that a store had on closeout. Pasta from Italy has no GMO products in it.

    Planted the raised bed only to have torrential rains wash the seeds all over the bed. Cannot weed until I can determine if that plant is something I had planted or just a freeloading weed.

    Still struggling with my shoulder (rotator cuff surgery). I had a checkup for it and told the PA it was hot to the touch and sore. He didn’t even look at it. The next day I showed it to my Physical Therapist and there was a very red area around one of the incision spots and some pus. Went BACK to the doctor and the PA put me on Cefadeoxil 1000 mg once a day. He dug around and found…a HAIR that had been caught in the stitch and kept growing down into my shoulder. A hair?! He yanked it out and put a bandaid on it. Having side effects today and I am pretty sure it is the antibiotic. Tummy and gut upset.

    • Almost There says:

      Encourager… Get you some activia yogurt and eat one every time you take an antibiotic. I did that with my round of Clindamycin and never got an upset stomach. I don’t really care to see PA’s, or NP’s for that matter. If I am paying for a doctor visit, I want to see the doctor.

    • Encourager – do you still have your stitches? My daughter’s had to come out early when she had her shoulder surgery because they were irritating her skin. I have had some stitches that I reacted to as well.

  51. As much as I realize the black rat snake is a beneficial creature, I’m tired of having to share the eggs and young chicks with this full grown “anaconda sized” beast who sets up residence in my hen house every summer. A seven foot long snake eats a lot of eggs and will clean out the chick population. Not gonna kill him, but I am going to capture and relocate.

    • Daddio7 says:

      Glad to see you want to relocate the “black” snake. Being anaconda sized it might be an indigo snake which is a protected species. They look similar with the indigo capable of being larger. The indigo’s range is confined to Florida and southern parts of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

    • Babycatcher says:

      When we had a couple of black snakes raiding our henhouse a couple years ago, hubby made a noose with a four foot broom handle, a screw eye in the end and a six foot piece of paracord. He made a loop with the paracord, left one end thru the screw eye, then tied to the broomstick, the other was held in the hand. Then you make the loop about 4 inches in diameter, and grab the snake just behind the head( this should also protect if it’s a copperhead you are trying to nab.) once out of the nest, relocate or otherwise dispose of as you see fit. We relocated the first one a couple miles away, when the second one showed up, I killed it.both were over 6 feet long!

      • Hummingbird says:

        I had to relocate a large snake and the loop worked well. I didn’t have a cage back then and the hardest part was getting it in the pillowcase.

  52. Bam Bam says:

    Wow. I am late to the dance. This week I continued to add to my food pantry. I ordered two cases of Zaycon chicken.

    We have been visiting a 19 year old kid with bone cancer. He was brought up to the local hospital for specialized care. Preliminary reports say that it is a slow growing tumor. They had to send the sample to California for specialized testing. I am really impressed with how this young man has conducted himself. My students adopted him and we brought him a huge bag of junk food. It is nice to see a young man express gratitude. The family lives six hours south. And his mother is in the hospital down there after having a stroke. Please pray for this family.

  53. Always Forward says:

    Praying for the Pack every morning. I feel it makes a difference. I’ve been working on my garden and just now we are getting a nice rain. Found out yesterday that there is a small spring head across the road. The bank is kind of steep, but it is so interesting how it just comes right out of the ground. I am going to dig a deeper hole there and see how clear the water stays. Getting to the end of last year’s canned stuff, so I am anxious for the canning plant to open again in June. I feel a bit naked when the stocks get low, but it is so much easier to can there, a lot at one time. Took rice out of freezer to kill whatever might have been in it and am using the Food Saver to seal it up. I have read several alerts for something to go wrong between August and November. At this point it all seems so deliberate and we will all pay the price. Bee balm in the yard is doing great this year. I am trying to get useful herbs growing and taking care of themselves until needed. Pretty good sales on eBay as of late after some slow weeks. I am getting close to the end of the stuff I was trying to get rid of. Just a few more glassware items to take to a consignment shop. Got a NukAlert keychain thing for our kids who live in the city. A very simple device. My advise to them is, don’t stand around in the cul-de-sac and talk to the neighbors for two days – move fast! Ordered a second toilet seat lid that goes on a bucket. Need a few more. Everyone will take care of their own business. Oh, and the crow bar came from Amazon. I’ve always wanted one – lol. We do have stuff we have never used, but it’s more like plastic dish pans and a drying rack for outside cooking, heavy mitt hotpads for outdoor cooking, etc., so at least there’s no learning curve with that. Every day we try to spend some time thinking over different areas. Bought a few extra belts and shorts. We are working on our fitness most every day too. Oh, I found a beautiful old wool blanket at a yard sale for $2. Washed it in cold water and air-dried it. Even with no $ the sales are a great way to find what you need. Some preps don’t cost anything. Thanks for all your encouragement.

  54. MaineBrain says:

    Fairly new to prepping, though we lived through the Big Maine Ice Storm of 1998, 8 days without power, and 2 days without power over Christmas a few years ago – what really got us started was watching a NatGeo program about the impact of the Yellowstone caldera blowing up. Bought a bunch of preps over the last few months, finally pulled them all together today and organized – or started to organize. This website has been a great help.

    MD, prayers and healing thoughts for you and your father. He made a heroic decision, and I hope he savors every moment of every day. Being outside among nature, listening to the birds sing and enjoy the warm sun on my face, that gave me great comfort during my cancer “scare”
    (stage 1B uterine, surgery and done, thank goodness).

    Started organizing our Get Home Bags today. It’s 6 miles from home to my office, so I wore a pair of sneaker “clogs” all day to see if they were comfortable – they are – and no heel, so no blisters. But no laces, so they have to go in the bag, or just sit in the car because they’re probably the first thing I put on if I need to get home. Also researched whether I could get home through the woods if the zombies were on the streets. Might try it in summer but not in winter. It would shave about 2 miles off the get-home commute.

    MD, you mentioned having someone do a wall for you. One thing I’ve learned over my 63 years – time vs. money. When we bought our house in 2001, I spent 3 days painting the walls and trim in the kitchen (thankfully, hubby had a cold, so he sat in his recliner in the living room and stayed the hell out of my hair). We hired painters to do the living room walls, trim, and ceiling a few months later, 1-1/2 times the size of the kitchen, and they had it done in 1-1/2 days – two guys – much larger room – half the time, and no shoulder pain for me. Well worth the money! As self-sufficient as we’d all like to be, sometimes it’s worth it to have the professionals take over.

    This is a valuable community and I greatly enjoy reading everyone’s posts and keeping up with your goings-on. That said — I used top work in the main-stream media and now work in a supporting role to MSM. They are people, just like you and me. They want what’s best for our country. They want peace and prosperity. They have children in the local schools. They have a vested interest in their communities. They are not the enemy. But it is not their job to be friends with the people they report on, their job is to report on those people. If you don’t like the news, don’t kill the messenger. If InfoWars and Fox News are your only news sources, you have NO IDEA what’s going on in the world.

    Thanks again, MD and all, for a very valuable resource and community.

    • MaineBraN,

      Thank you for your prayers my friend it is appreciated.

    • Bam Bam says:

      Maine Brain,

      You might consider getting a folding bike that will fit in the trunk of your car. You could be home in an hour.

      • MaineBrain says:

        Thanks, Bam Bam, I’ve thought about that and researched some options. I looked into a motorized bike for hubby when he was deployed to Baghdad (it was 2 miles from his rack to his workplace in 130-degree heat). He found one himself, bought from a departing unit, then the upper-ups got jealous that he had wheels, so they put out orders saying “no POVs” (personally owned vehicles). Sheesh. So he took it apart, mailed it home in pieces (the post office lady was NOT happy!!), and it’s been sitting untouched on the workbench in the garage for the last 10 years. I may have him put it together for me now that he’s retired – brilliant! PS, I’ve been enjoying your Prepper Pantry challenge and all the creative recipes folks have come up with. Great idea!

        • MaineBrain,

          If InfoWars and Fox News are your only news sources, you have NO IDEA what’s going on in the world.

          They are not and never have been; but, I still too often see a perspective from much of the MSM that has an agenda.
          An opinion writer generally has an agenda and I understand that; however, when reporting the news, too often things are purposely skewed to an agenda while pretending to be unbiased.
          Which MSM network used incendiary devices to catch a truck on fire while reporting on how dangerous the gas tank on that truck was alleged to be? It seems that their real world test had failed the demonstration until they added their incendiary device.
          And when they played the 911 tape of George Zimmerman stating that the person he was watching in the hoody was black, alleging the White Hispanic was a racist, it was later revealed on the unedited 911 recording, that Zimmerman only mentioned the word black in response to a question by the 911 dispatcher, a question that was conveniently edited out.
          And that infamous Access Hollywood tape of Donald Trump making lewd remarks about women that was left in a drawer somewhere for more than a year until he was about to beat their darling HRC, a member of a provably corrupt political family.
          I and I suspect others could detail many other agenda driven items; but, I’ll stop here because I think I’ve made my point.

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            It seems that their real world test had failed the demonstration until they added their incendiary device.

            And used the wrong gas cap that didn’t seal right, and overfilled the tank so gas was all the way up the neck to the cap insuring a spill.

            All done with intent of getting an explosion.

            NBC had Stone Phillips do an on-air apology for it, but if I were GM I would not have advertised on NBC ever again.

            Only when you hold people that do bad (and criminal) behavior accountable do you get a change in behavior.

            I don’t believe anyone lost their job over it and that tells you they were not sorry for their actions, only sorry for getting caught.

          • Chuck,
            Thanks for filling in the details I had forgotten.
            Your explanation IMHO just hit it out of the park.
            MSM playing fair – Humbug.

    • Billy T says:

      My beef with the MSM is the plethora of , let me see how kind I can be, LIES and outright bias which permeate the reporting. WAPO and NY Times seem to be competing to see which can be most biased and inaccurate. Many things they report don’t begin to pass the smell test. They talk and report incessantly about the possibility of Trump’s impeachment, high crimes, etc. Everyone agrees there is no evidence Trump’s campaign staff colluded with the Russians during the campaign and BTW, if they had, there is apparently no law against doing so.

  55. I haven’t been doing too much prepping over the past 3 weeks, but I did get a little crazy this past week. Purchased 10 gallons of bottled water, 10 cans of Turkey Spam, 10 cans of chicken, 10 packets of soup mixes. more rice and that’s about it. Received my Kukri knife finally. Hopefully my Kenshi knife will come this next week.

    Not looking too good for my garden if the rain doesn’t cease for a week or so. At least my herbs are doing well in the pots. I also got my crab apple tree planted…that was a blessing.

    Prayers for all fellow Wolfies. Prayers for our nation and our President. God bless.

    M.D.; I am glad to hear your father is doing well thus far. He is still on my individual prayer list and I always pray for a miracle. They DO happen. 🙂

  56. test dummy says:

    MD so sorry to hear about your dad.Im sure he prayed ahout this decision and let God lead him,so im sure he will have the best outcome possible. My prayers for him and you and yours. Ok what did i do to prep? made some designs for a weaning pen for the sheep and goats. My herd is currently at 16 and growing. Got 12 more young turkeys gifted to me so now 18 currently. bought and planted asparagus and it is alteady ferning. planted a goji berry and a moringa tree. got the first tomato of the year from the garden yumm. planted more squash since the damn moles killed the original plants. anyone with any advice on how to kill or at control them woyld be greatly appreciated. im sure im forgetting things because my body is too sore forthat lite of a list! LOL. Oh remembered! Helped DD start a small garden at her new home. Now need to do some maintenance on the tiller to break ground for a largegarden in her back yard. well better get to that! Have a Great week Pack!! Blessings!!

  57. Marivene says:

    This past 2 weeks has been busy. I planted the garden, & planted some 10 year old heirloom corn in part of the back perimeter bed to renew the seed. Utilizing & preserving the rhubarb that is ready has been a priority. I am trying to be better about “eating in season”, so we have had rhubarb cobbler & crubarb crisps & strawberry rhubarb compote.

    Finished the doll clothes for Little Stuff & am now knitting on a baby blanket for Little Brother.

    Picked up some half pint & tall jelly jars at the thrift. Generally, this time of year, canning jars are scarce, but they have had 3 shelves packed full the last 2 times I have gone. That seems odd to me.

    The soil has dried out enough for me to set more of the Lodgestones for the edge of the back perimeter bed, so I have been setting 3-6 per day, as I can fit it in. I used a gift card from my daughter (Mother’s Day) to buy the rest of the pavers I need to soldier the front bed by the driveway.

    • MaineBrain says:

      Marivene – look up recipes for rhubarb chutney. If you can’t find one, any chutney recipe will do, just substitute rhubarb for peaches or mangoes or whatever. Delicious with a slice of cheddar cheese and a water cracker, and keeps a long while in the fridge thanks to the vinegar.

      • Marivene says:

        MaineBrain, last year I made tons of preserves. Jam, jelly, dehydrated slices plus frozen slices. We used some, but still have plenty. Chutney is not a real favorite at our house; we tried it decades ago.

        This year, I am trying to use as much as possible in season, to get a better idea of how much we would actually have without stores to shop, & also to get an idea as to how much we would need in the pantry to really utilize what we have fresh. For instance, to make the crisps, I need sugar, oats & butter – or another fat, but they make a fine breakfast as well as a dessert.

  58. JP in MT says:

    FYI – for those needing ammo cans

    Selway Armory (selwayarmory.com) has fat 50’s for $10, M19A1 (30’s) for $7, and M2A1 (50’s) for $8.50. I’m lucky that I can just drive over and save on the shipping.

  59. Mustang says:

    Getting close to debt free! Got rid of the car…a VW Diesel TDI SLE Passat via the buy back program. Actually received all but $120.00 what I paid for it five years ago. With retirement right around the corner (01 Oct 17) , I hope to be 100 free of debt with the exception of the mortgage. With some premier waterfront property on Casco Bay Maine on the market and being far into the green on the mortgage, we hope to buy a nice parcel in the country and build a smaller home with cash. Hopefully, by this time next year we will have construction underway and be looking forward to getting settled before the first frost.

    The garden is looking good….except for the one raise be where the voles ate all the potato plants. The soil is finally looking good, just in time to sell.

    Waiting for the veggies to ferment (04 Jun) so I can sample. Also, I’ll be going to the produce auction at the farmers marked this Wednesday to hopefully get a good price on cucumbers for pickles and berries for jam.

    The wife has never been a fan of firearms, especially wearing them. But, last week she thought she heard something downstairs in the middle of the night and wanted me to investigate. She hasn’t made a single comment about carrying a sidearm since. Now I need to convince her church! Just because the lord is their shepherd, it doesn’t meant everyone is a sheep waiting to be slaughtered!

    Other than that, starting to dig into the preps to use items that are past “best by” dates, sometimes by years, and replenish. The wife’s friends sometimes question all the preps…..probably a good thing we will be moving soon to a place far from here.

  60. Labgirl says:

    I was out of town so am late posting.
    I have been still planting out seedlings and more nitrogen fixing seeds. Picking peaches, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and jalepeno peppers. I am freezing the peaches in 1 cup batches for smoothies.
    I should have enough jalepeno peppers soon to start pepper jelly and cowboy candy.
    Stuff bought for storage:
    Dollar Tree: various soaps, snacks and shelf stable milk
    Bought at other stores: vinegar, hot sauces, pizza crust mixes, herbs and spices, liquid pectin and powdered pectin.

    • I have noticed several people mention shelf stable milk lately. I used to buy Parmalat all the time as back up for when we ran out of milk. Unfortunately, my children liked it so much, they preferred it to regular milk. I also found that the boxes can sometimes get punctured (this happened to chicken broth). While powdered milk has a different flavor, it is much more cost effective for me.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        Haven’t tried it, but I read that a few drops of vanilla extract makes powdered milk taste better.

        • Chuck,

          Haven’t tried it, but I read that a few drops of vanilla extract makes powdered milk taste better.

          Good to know. I find that the trick with powdered milk for use with anything other than an ingredient, is to make sure it’s icy cold when you serve it and to whip or shake it thoroughly to mix in some air. That seems to give it a less watery texture.

          • Icy cold is a necessity with powdered milk. I haven’t tried the vanilla either but I will in the future.

  61. Abenaki Prepper says:

    Spent past 3 weekends at my Bugout Location in WV 6.5A Tilling soil then planting. Built a wood Storage shed Friday & Saturday out of wooden pallets 6 wide by 2 deep 3 high so it apx 24w 8d and 12h. roof 7 x 3 pallets gives a little over hang on all sides (2 ft sides) On way back to DC area (Live inside Beltway)  not a good place for SHTF 
    Found Flea Market area (all people deal out of there Car/Trucks got some nice buys) It one in the true cense (Farmer Field). Got some nice buys. Spent Sunday running down items listed on CraigsList for the area. PVC pipe’s was one thing I got a lot of 2.5 to 4in is what I want but will take all as 1/2 in has other uses. Hit some garage sales Sunday
    Got lots of odd ball items for WV.

    Last Thursday was a little pain for me, it was the 1 year mark of my G.F. Tammie Passing It was also National Nurses Week. Got 2 Cheese Cakes Assortments took them to the local Hospital ER room (1 for each Shift) for the nurses. Until they found my Medical problem at local I was in there a lot, VA missed it 2 other hospital missed it. WAH missed it took the right ER DR at WAH to find it.

    • Almost There says:

      Abenaki Prepper,

      I am sorry to hear about your GF. I am sure the nurses appreciated the cheese cakes for Nurse’s Week. For your medical condition, it goes to show one never gives up on finding out what is going on if not satisfied with the care they are receiving. Take Care.

  62. Chuck Findlay says:

    I bought a 35-pound bow and 20 arrows at an estate sale for $10.00 I don’t have a big interest in archery, but I figure it’s better to have the stuff then to not have it if or when we get SHTF.

    I have been buying arrows (mostly wood ones) as I find them at garage sales, I must have 80 of them.

    Also bought 12 gallons of kerosene for use with the Butterfly stove.

    Going back to Bass Pro Shop tomorrow and am going to buy a Lodge Sportsman cast iron grill, They have it for $109.00, it should outlast me. I looked on-line and it sells for $94.00 to $124.00. and being a heavy chunk of cast iron (40-pounds?) shipping would be a lot. And Bass Pro is only 15-min away, not a long trip.

    I’m going to start making homemade charcoal to use in it and my other grill. Its easy to buy charcoal but I want to practice making it for when or if I can’t buy it. Lots of U-Tube videos showing how to make it.

    Other then that not much prepping going on.

    • Chuck,
      Be very careful with those wooden arrows. While they may be safe with a 35 pound draw bow as long as it is not a compound bow and may be useful for target practice and maybe hunting bunnies, be careful to never exceed the weight limit that should be marked on those arrows, that is likely to be 20 pounds or less. Exceeding that weight or using them in a compound bow is likely to have one shatter into your arm, since they cannot handle the acceleration.

      Homemade charcoal is not all that hard to make and I’ve made plenty of it in years past using nothing more than a 35 or 50 gallon steel drum with a lid. IMHO it’s actually better than the Kingsford or other briquettes, since it is real charcoal. The briquettes are a mixture of charcoal powder and clay that are molded into those nice little pieces and dried. You’ll note that when you’re done burning those you have a small pile of grey ash that is really mostly powdered clay.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Ill second OP, though weights being upwards of 50lbs depending on what they are made of, never ever use wooden arrows out of a compound for sure 🙂

        I have several full rounds of bamboo shafted arrows, and a few more rounds of a mixture of woods from the usa 🙂 including at least one round I rolled out myself – lots of work but amazing fun!

        All I can say is, large splinters through the hand tend to wake one up quickly…

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          The arrows are Micro Flite 9’s, They at first look like wood but are some kind of man made material. I looked real close and see no cracks.

          The bow they came with is marked 35 pounds so it should be safe to shoot them. And I do have some (
          like 30)
          wood arrows and again assuming no damage they should be safe for a 35 pound bow.

          I have no big interest in archery (I say this and I have a stick bow, 2 compond bows and 2 150 pound crossbows , all but the stick bow were bought to sell for profit.) and only want a bow for serious SHTF.

  63. Chuck Findlay says:

    Just took possession of my new Kel-Tec PMR-30 30 round 22 Mag pistol from my brother

    Not sure what use it will have as it was a want (I have lots of firearms already) and not a need. And I like it, it’s amazing how thin the grip is for a gun that has a 30 round mag.

    It’s a bitch to load all 30 rounds in the mag, I need to get a mag loader for it, or make one.

    For a SHTF gun it has a few things going for it, it doesn’t weigh much so it’s easy to pack. And 2 30 round mags gives you a lot of firepower.

    It also gives me another rifle / handgun combo that shoots the same round.

    • JP in MT says:

      Chuck: I thought those would be great for my youngest who is very suseptable to pain. I even ordered 4 magazines when the shooting went down in AZ. After holding one, I’m waiting for the carbine, which should be a hoot.

      I was warned to make sure you load the magazines accourding to the manual. Evidently they load a little different than we would expect.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Chuck, jealous 🙂 nice catch!

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        JP it sounds like you have the PMR-30, if so how do you like it? Have you tried to fire any 30-grain bullets through it?

        At least 1/2 of my 22 Mag bullets are 30-grain so I do hope it cycles them.

  64. Chuck Findlay says:

    It loads easy enough till you get to about the 25th round. The book says to push the bullet down into the mag and then slide it back to seat it all the way in.

    Its loud (popped off a few in the back yard a few min ago) as 22 Mag ammo is made for a rifle and doesn’t all burn in a short handgun barrel.

    I’ll have to go to the next gun show to get a few more (3?) magazines. I try to make sure I have lots of mags for each gun I have. The only gun I own that I don’t have more then 2 mags is my HK P7 9 MM, they are expensive and I never got around to buying more.

    As far as a 22 Mag rifle I have a Marlin 25 MN bolt action. I use to hunt woodchucks with it a lot but for the last several years I’ve been using the TC Contender in 17-Rem or 7-TCU. I need to take the Marlin out (And the PMR-30) for a day at the range.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      The book also says it doesn’t feed well with 30 grain bullets and to use 40 grain bullets.

      I’m sure it has to do with the 40 grain bullets building more back pressure to allow the slide to cycle fully. But I’m going to shoot both the 30 and 40 grain through it to know what it will feed well with.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Chuck, smart thinking – hornady makes a 36 or 40 grain (i think) sd ammo for 22wmr – either way. Solid! They are supposed to be relatively nice firearms- definitely a good prepper tool 20-30 rounds of wmr isnt anything to sneeze at-

        • JP in MT says:


          If by sd you meen Self Defense ammo, Hornady’s is a 45 gr ballistic tip designed for handguns (less flash?).

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            yes it is a lower flash its the hornady critical defense loading but in wmr quite fun- have not tested it ballistically yet, got some for my parents as my mother likes dads h&r trapper with wmr in it 🙂

    • JP in MT says:


      Unless you shows are a lot different than mine (and your probably are) finding mags my be an issue. I ordered mine direct from Kel-Tec.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        Don’t know if I will find mags at a show, but going to look anyway. Can always have the local gun shop order them.

        If I don’t find them I’m sure something else at the show will catch my eye…

    • Chuck & Jesse,
      I know two people who carry a .22 WMR two barrel / 2 shot derringer as a backup carry gun, and while there are no one shot stops with it, it would definitely deter all but the most hopped up thugs.
      It’s actually a rather good round for varmints.
      I have a cylinder for my Ruger Single Six that uses that round along with a Savage model 24 in .22WMR / 20 Gauge and that combination is a pretty good set for hunting everything from small game to deer. My other model 24 in .22/.410 calibers is also now useful for the same, since we can also hunt deer with .410 rifled slug.
      Since the WMR has a big cost premium over standard RF, I’m almost glad I don’t have anything in WMR semi-auto LOL.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Op, I enjoy and use my naa 5 shot mini in 22lr- with 40 grn eley, 🙂 its my backup/almost dead but still got somethin for ya gun 🙂

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          When I worked at the gun shop I never wanted a North American Arms revolver, I thought they were way over priced and hard to shoot. I instead went with a Colt and Beretta 25 Auto and a Beretta 22 LR.

          Now I wish I did buy a few NAA revolvers, but hind-sight is always better when you look back.

          Not that I don’t like all my Beretta’s (have 3) and my Colts (have 2.)

          And I’m really liking the new 22 Mag Kel-Tec, next rain day where work gets canceled I’m going take it to the range and burn some gunpowder.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Ive got my eye open for a well priced 21a had one and should have kept it 🙂

  65. Chuck Findlay says:

    It’s a sad day, cleaning out stuff in the basement and I found my Excalibur dehydrator got incinerated in the house fire. I love this thing.

    It’s going to be months before I get it replaced. I do have a Ronco one to use, but it’s nothing like the Excalibur.

    Also the New Wave counter top oven got melted.

    The basement fire clean up is finally started (got a dumpster today to throw junk into) and I’m finally cleaning up things, finding preps I forgot about and seeing what is junk and what can be saved.

    What a messy job, but I needed to go through things anyhow.

    • Chuck,
      An Excalibur and a NuWave? A man after my own heart. Those are both great appliances.
      I still have two of the Nevco round dehydrators NIB (New In Box) and I doubt that they’ll ever get used.

      What a messy job, but I needed to go through things anyhow.

      We can all use a kick in the butt to get us moving; but, a fire would be my least favorite. A good friend had a house fire in April 2015 and just got back into the house this month after two years. In the interim the insurance company kept him and his family in a hotel and then finally in a rental apartment. The really bad thing is that he no doubt lost many keepsake items like photos and drawings his little girl (now a high school senior) did as a child, that will never be missed until sometime in the future when they remember and can’t find them.
      I feel for you brother.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        I kinda got back to the house already as I’m staying in a tent on the property.

        I went ahead and fixed all the pex plumbing and all the appliances work (washer, drier dish washer, refrigerator, microwave, hot water heater, kitchen range all have power and work) despite the fact 85% of the house has no power. I think it is because when I wired it years ago I put most of them on their own line / breaker.

        And I still have net access from the tent.

        The garage door and 1/2 of the garage still works and that is important as I need it to do some prep for my work.

        A fire is no fun, but I’m dealing with it and actually enjoying the tent camping quite a bit. I’m grilling out quite a bit, sitting around the fire ring / camp fire making pizza pie irons. The days I’m working my Dad comes over to sit outside under the dinning fly, makes coffee and lunch on the camp stove and lets the dog roam the yard.

        My Dad, Son and Brothers have all been visiting my little tent-city and we are all enjoying the experience. My Son and his Wife are going to come over and stay a tent a few nights off and on this summer.

        It’s actually brought us closer together, the only problem is my Mom isn’t here. She’s had 3 strokes and is in a home. We haven’t told her about the fire, she would not really understand at this stage..

        • Chuck,
          Seriously like a man after my own heart. You seem to b making lemonade from a huge pile of lemons, and no doubt smiling and enjoying it.
          Positive attitude and self reliance will get you through a lot, and it’s good to see that’s where you are.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP is right Chuck, lot of people would give up or be a bit more irritated, proud to know you. Past differences aside, you are showing through example to be trustworthy in many ways, most importantly the ability to adapt.

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