What Did You Do To Prep This Week?

Well folks, here we are again. I feel like crap this morning so I’m going to cut through the filler and get right to it.

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. Got a great find this week. When oldest DS helped youngest DS to move last weekend, another family on the same street was also moving and put out a pile of boxes at the curb for free. DS loaded up 12 half gallon mason jars, 12 taller quart mason jars, 6 pint jars and 2 half pints… all for free. Wish we’d discovered this earlier in the week when they sent 10 big boxes of mason jars to recycle. Can’t win ’em all.
    From the same house, he also got an older White sewing machine for free. It works, just needs bobbins which I’ll pickup when I go to town. Now he can do his own sewing chores.

    Youngest DS moved house last week and we offered new door locks. Got a great find at local hardware store, got 50% off the already 50% off so we paid only $14 ea with tax for Weiser deadbolts. Also topped up on more 3” outdoor screws on sale as we seem to use that size a lot. At son’s house they have an empty pond they don’t want as it’s too deep for their toddlers, so I’m hoping they’ll let me pull up the liner to use as path weed barrier between the raised veg beds. A good barrier will save me repeated hours of weeding.

    Humidity has been a beast lately but we’re plugging along with outdoor jobs. Currants and goji berries have started, gooseberries and blueberries are almost ready. First young cukes are popping out. Blackberry bushes are loaded at every stage of growth. Pulled the garlic which won’t grow anymore. Fantastic harvest. Put in leek seedlings for late harvest.

    A neighbor dropped off more loads of loose straw for me, $5 a stuffed pickup & cover load, which is more than fair considering it’s delivered. He’s got a neighbor who’s looking for places to dump woodchips so he’ll get me that phone number.

    Had to pickup another big chicken waterer, this one for outside. Hoped to get a rain barrel system working but it won’t happen until next year as DH is really feeling the heat and humidity this year. At the reStore, I got an electric leaf shredder that sits on a barrel. We’ve got an endless supply of leaves here and they work better when shredded.

    • Gloria,
      While I don’t especially like the throwaway society we live in, one can often score great items with some luck and observations, and it looks like you have had a jackpot week. Perhaps I’m a bit jaded; but, who throws out perfectly good canning jars or a sewing machine that still works?
      Haven’t these people heard of donations? LOL.
      Our blackberry bushes are full and ready to pick and although I didn’t get any garlic in this past year, a friend and MAg member looks to be donating nearly a bushel to us.
      We picked up another chicken waterer that’s larger than the one we have now. It will also be in the coop; but, with 12 birds now instead of only 6 plus the hot weather, it’s almost too hard to keep up.

      • My chickens (broilers) have the same water problem – it’s hot out and the smaller waterer just wasn’t adequate. I can barely haul the new waterer when it’s almost full but it’s better for the 31 birds. Now a have a big one inside and big one outside, and I also add a small dribble of organic cider vinegar to the water. My organic feed guy says it really helps their digestion and overall health.

      • Livinthedream says:

        Hello! Good for u on the ACV. For readers, note Gloria states clearly shes uses a small amount in their water. A small amount of ACV, occasionally, can be beneficial – in the right weather. However, in hot weather, I tend to suspend the use of ACV, as I believe the heat/ACV combo is not a good one. I do make my own ACV in the fall when I process apples, using cores and scrap parts. I keep the mother and use it to start new batches. There’s all kinds of posts online about ACV, of course. Here’s one that I think you might like: http://www.vinegarguys.com/home/benefits-of-acv/acv-for-poultry As to the “hot out”, I use the plastic bottles from juice, etc., freeze water in them for “ice packs”, and drop them down in the chickens’ water containers to keep the water cooler and cleaner. I wash them off and refreeze each day. Hope this helps someone.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      Wow! Great score on the jars! I’m especially excited that you got the half-gallon ones.

      • Thanks Grammy. I got all hot and bothered by the half gallon jars LOL
        My son asked the lady why she didn’t just donate the 10 boxes she put into the trash and her reply was ‘Oh, I never thought of it. I don’t can so I didn’t know what to do with them.’ Lame, truly lame. The Salvation Army store is just up the street from her and Habitat recently built new houses just around the corner. Tunnel vision with blinds on with a heavy dose of lazy.

      • Woohoo. DS stopped at the same house and got 5 more half gallon jars, a quart, and 5 half pint jars, all mason. Love a good find.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      Thanks for the reminder about putting apple cider vinegar to the chickens’ water. I’m adding it today.

    • Gloria, I have to agree with everyone else, those canning jars are a great find. Where I live, people put out all kinds of useful things for the trashman. As a young-un, that stayed on my grandfathers farm for a time, I learned very quickly that you didn’t just toss something for the sake of tossing. My grandfather was quite inventive, and could always find a use for things. Jars are such a find!

  2. Zulu 3-6 says:

    Added to my grocery stash as usual. Got most of my stash in under-bed containers now and starting to refill my cabinets.

    Didn’t do a great deal else in the prep department this week. Did my normal reading of various websites, blogs, and forums.

    My grand-daughter has been keeping me pretty busy. She’s a smart little stinker and although she isn’t walking – yet, she can crawl like a champ and stand up with aid. She discovered my dog’s food and water bowls the other day, grabbed a big handful of kibble and dunked it into the water. She saw me coming and tried to hurry up and stuff it in her mouth. Sorry, grandpa can move faster than she thinks when he needs to. Baby was most displeased when I took her snack away. #1 daughter thought it was hilarious when I told her about it.

    Otherwise, I’ve been keeping an eye on the foreign developments with the Norks, China, Russia, etc. I am very tired of the BS on Trump/Russia though.

    • Z36, was it the 1st or 2nd snack? Lol

      But wait, didn’t Trump shake hands with a Russian? (Sarcasm) Lol

    • Zulu 3-6,
      Your story reminds me of the time I ate dog food as a teen. We had some leftover broth from a meal and my mom placed some kibble in a skillet, covered it with the broth, and heated it to make some extra tasty food for the dog. I saw it sitting on the stove simmering, grabbed a spoon and sampled it. It didn’t taste bad; but, was a bit odd so I asked my mom what was cooking and confessed to sampling it. She told me what it was and then proceeded to tell the whole family and I was called dog food boy by my brother and sister for weeks after that, LOL.

      • When my sons were toddlers, they each loved to eat dog kibble. Poor dogs could only sit close and whimper at the loss of their food, which alerted me to the larceny LOL

        When my late MIL lived with us for a while, she loved to find fault with my cooking and housekeeping. One day she complained that my cookies had absolutely no flavor and hoped I didn’t offer them to company. I don’t, I replied, because they’re dog treats made from bacon fat, soy milk, doggy vitamins and other items. And you’ve upset the dog by eating his treats. She kept her mouth shut after that one LOL

      • OP, woof woof !!! Lol

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Loyalty is a good thing, watching news is not-
      Just remember Tories were loyal too. 🙂

      Do yall really need someone to lead and guide you that badly? I know gun confiscation in Chicago means nothing too yall, after all they are all criminals right? So the door to door searches without warrants is perfectly fine…

      Well huzzab King George oops I mean Trump

      • Halfway Homesteader says:


        I agree sir. However, the country is at an impasse described by. “It’s too late to but it’s too early to shoot the bastards”. I’ve no misgivings about Trump, Pence, Ryan, Schumer, Pelosi, McConnell et al having the slightest desire to secure any of my rights whatsoever, let alone my 2nd Amendment ones. So I secure them the best way I know how. On my own. In the meantime, I’ve 0% interest in doing anything to help the citizens of Chicago now that they’re reaping what they’ve sown. For decades now they’ve rolled over and surrendered there rights. Here is the final result of that. Trying to fix a liberal gun grabber is akin to trying to fix a sociopath. No amount of therapy, reasoning, or hell even medication can fix those who’s brains are wired towards psychosis.

      • Halfway Homesteader says:

        Sorry poor editing on my part. Quote was from Claire Wolfe “It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards”

      • Halfway Homesteader,
        I love Claire Wolfe
        The actual quote is:
        “America is at that awkward stage; it’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.”
        And then there is
        “When only cops have guns, it’s called a police state.”
        One of the first books I read of hers was:
        “101 Things to Do ‘Til the Revolution: Ideas and Resources for Self-Liberation, Monkey Wrenching and Preparedness”
        Another good read. Thanks for bringing up the memories.

    • Grammyprepper says:

      Priceless, Zulu! My friend that babysat my daughter while I attended nursing school had some HUGE breed dog that would scare the bejezuss out of any one. But he would sit by while my daughter played in his food bowl, and she was observed a time or two eating the kibble….It’s a right of passage for littles whose parents/grandparents who own dogs….

      • Zulu 3-6 says:


        The little trouble makers will get into everything if you let them. I have to keep my chihuahua locked up when the baby is over as the dog is very jealous of the baby. If the dog caught the baby in her food, the dog would bite.

  3. Halfway Homesteader says:

    This week it was stupid silly hot, so I avoided the outside as much as possible. Hence, I don’t have much to share. This weekend I’m going fishing, and it’s about that time to begin researching the side of beef we need to purchase tonrestocknthe beef freezer. Between that and venison being almost gone, red meats getting scarce around here. Can’t wait for deer season this year….

    • Halfway Homesteader,
      I don’t know where you live; but, Ohio Deer archery season this year will be Sept. 30, 2017 through Feb. 4, 2018, which now that I really think of it is not all that far away. Where has the year gone?
      We’re still sitting on most of a half of Angus in the freezer we picked up in May and will last just the two of us for quite a while into the future.

      • Prepared Grammy says:

        I was in Rural King yesterday, and they’re gearing up for deer season.

      • Halfway Homesteader says:


        I live in north central Tennessee, about 10 miles from the KY border. Archery season starts here on 24 Sept. Thats not far off st all. Perhaps next weekend I’ll start pulling out and inspecting some gear for that. Can’t wait!

    • chicken man says:

      Go to the cattle sale barn (auction). Often injured/ downers can be bought for 5 to 100 dollars. Have a processor lined up ahead of time.

  4. Been a wet in to the week but that has helped with the heat . Ordered 5 doz. Pint jars at $4.99 a doz , 2 doz 12oz jars at $4.99 a doz . and 2 doz. 1 1/2 pint jars at $6.99 a doz . Good prices and free shipping .
    Here’s the link
    And yes they are Ball jars .
    Canned this week were kale and grapes . Have 58 lbs of beef brisket in Corning. Was given 8 gal. Of short dated Buttermilk so we will see how the cheese it makes comes out .
    Also decanted our Banana/ginger wine . It came out good . Started the Lemon Balm wine to working .
    That’s it for me this week .

  5. my four sons says:

    Mornin all,
    I hope all are well, the bad news with my job just keeps coming. They ended all overnight travel for now which means 2 of clinics became outliers. This drastically affects my monthly plan. It will allow me more time in office so I can catch up on some things on the computer that need done, however it doesn’t do anything for the confidence in the account. There is hope that the client realizes how under funded we are and delivers more budget but I am not holding my breath.
    I am going to get enough pickleing stuff for six buschels sounds like thats what we are going to get this year. Thats almost 200 jars not out usual but it will do. Picked up a few pantry items but nothing for long term this week. Hope to get some stuff today. The unbearable heat is moving in blaaah.

  6. Puppy was barking like crazy, so I went to the door to look and low and behold a neighbor was letting their dog poop in my yard.
    He was not happy, he said this is my yard grrrrr. Lol of course they cleaned it up. Lol

    Put a rebuilt transmission in the BOV
    Put a new battery in the wife’s car.
    Charged AA and other batteries.

    Reorganized the pantry
    Dehydrated cayenne peppers.
    Made powdered cayenne pepper.
    Pickled 5 pints of jalapeños.

    Bought water.
    Bought canned goods at bogo.

    Heard of a possible large solar storm.

    • Oops, forgot.

      Cleaned A/C filters.
      Changed water filter.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      Give me more info on the solar storm, please.

      • Prepared Grammy,

        Give me more info on the solar storm, please.

        You can check on these yourself or even get email updates from: http://www.spaceweather.com/
        Current forecast from that site states:

        ALMOST-CERTAIN GEOMAGNETIC STORMS: NOAA forecasters say there is a 75% chance of geomagnetic storms on July 16th when a CME (described below) is expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field. Moderately strong G2-class storms on July 16th could intensify to strong G3-class storms on July 17th as Earth passes through the CME’s magnetized wake. High latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras in the nights ahead.

      • PG, check YouTube bpearthwatch.

    • BlueJeanedLady says:

      Ha, Thor 1, How funny are your puppy stories! Very funny and quite amusing, I also believe.

      I can one-up you with the doggie frustration about another dog pooping in his yard (kind of). My story is a bit opposite of yours yet I think you’ll “get” my message if you read, entirely. More hugs & tummy rubs for your pup, of course, also!

      Nearly 20 years ago as DH & I took our first giant breed dog out on lead (already huge but still such a puppy aged critter) out for a neighborhood walk one day he rather made us cringe. We were appropriately shocked and embarrassed as dear big fur baby decided to poop in front of a walk-by neighbors yard. An adult homeowner / neighborhood resident, a woman, came out with a tiny dog in her arms, and came out yelling like a mad woman while ranting at us for not picking up such a mess after our dog dared pass by her yard on our lead.

      Of course we felt terrible and were embarrassed as we had previously never even thought about / imagined our lovely dog choosing to poop in front of a random neighborhood lot and had not walked him well-prepared with pooper-scooping-bags to clean up after such in the first place. (Lesson well learned, quickly. Ha!)

      As the homeowner came outside with her tiny, dog adult dog in her arms, DH apologized and promised he’d come back and clean up such but this neighbor (living a few odd corner change blocks from us) was not even semi-kind / nor reasonable from the get-go. We immediately headed home and DH grabbed a few Walmart style bags to return to the scene-of-the-crime and begin cleaning up the mess. (Honestly, probably only about 10 minutes later.)

      When he returned there, within about, as I now guesstimate, 10 minutes, the little dog was “released” (no lead, no fence) and proceeded to chase & bark at my husband wildly as if he was an invading criminal as DH successfully pick up the dump pile site. As my husband continued to clean up the big dump pile (yes the dump pile was big as we had a big boy pup) DH largely ignored the tiny dog as he could see the lady looking out the window and not EVEN trying to control her own little dog barking, snarling and acting like he/she’s tiny body was ready to attack / bite my husband.

      The whole incident irritated my husband enough he actually thought about leaving the poop filled Walmart bag (all well tied up by then) on the lawn and then just walking away. Thankfully his better judgement took over and he started walking away (with the poop bag in tow) as the little dog tried to follow him, unrestrained, still barking & snarling wildly.

      The woman then came out of the house trying to call her little dog home so DH stopped walking so she could collect the little one. DH merely paused while she tried to catch the little dog and quite calmly said, “I’m really sorry our big dog pooped in your yard and we weren’t prepared to clean-up after him, but you might want to train your own little dog it’s not a good idea to threaten those that are much bigger & merely trying to clean-up after their own.” The woman became livid and couldn’t even respond intelligently as she continued screeching at my husband while marching back to her house, little doggie once again in her protective arms.

      Needless to say – – – we learned to carry “pooper-scooper-bags” while walking our dogs after that and never, never, never, ever again walked our dogs by this woman’s property even while carrying the appropriate pooper-scooper-bags and even as the property was only a few random blocks from our own home. 🙂

      In summary, I completely understand how your big pup might have been a bit irritated with some strange dog pooping in his yard (even as this little pup of yours was only irritated – just ‘cuz) but good for you and him for not threatening the possibly unintentional violator of said property lines via a mere & most likely, natural impulse. 🙂

      As always, Thor, I’m really enjoying reading your puppy stories, so again, keep them coming! Thanks! The pets are indeed a great joy / stress reliever type magical potion if we let them be, aren’t they?!!!? 🙂 ~BJL~

    • Richard says:

      Solar Storm :
      Armature Radio 6-Meter band has had lots of openings lately.
      I can hear activity but my little antenna & QRP 5-Watts of power just hasn’t made it for contact yet.

    • I want your puppy Thor 1….pleeeease?

  7. Greg Monger says:

    M.D., hope you feel better quickly. Not much here for preps. Did some reading. Still trying to recover from vacation.

  8. grandma bear says:

    Blessed with a cherry glean this last week. Shared with local food bank and then the fun begins! Put cherries in jars, cherry and then cherry wine! Oh yes! The raspberries came on like gang busters so in the freezer for future smoothies and of course jam! Tomatoes are starting to turn, cannot wait for a fresh bite! Crazy weather hot then thunder storms just praying for no forest fires this year! Remember we are all in this together!

  9. mom of three says:

    We did a small Costco, run 2 flat’s of water, 1 jumbo toliet paper, we’re my stock up. I went to Safeway, same thing just a few coupon items, 2 extra cans of beans, 8 bottle’s of drinks, few other refrigerator item’s. Getting ready to start canning in a few weeks, lid’s are what I need to stock up on. Miss priss, is close to 9 pounds eating so much she is almost 1 year old changed her dry food to Instinct brand I watched Pet Fooled on Netflix, for all the animal lovers, very good eye opener on the pet food industry. Beautiful day today for the next few days. I have a second bag of Raspberries, started one of the farming towns start a raspberry festival, today we might go today 🙂

    • mom of three says:

      I was up way to early my post sounds like a three year old talking. I did find a small motor replacement for the RV vent fan same model, and company yipee, that does not happen very often. Picked two more cups of raspberries, and our blueberries, are comming on strong. I will have plenty of potatoes all 6 plants are growing and now blooming I planted them in a different area more sun/shade and growing in the ground this year instead of buckets. I want to start taking out part of the yard at our other place and get it ready for a garden, can’t have to many vegetables.

  10. Antique Collector says:

    Up early yesterday to clean the Rinnai tank less hot water system, it is suppose to be done every year to prevent damage but my dance card has been full the past couple of years. Will try to clean it again before winter sets in to remove any additional build up.

    Found a project that I can do outside for landscaping. Every idea we came up with ended up being tossed out due to the extra maintenance it would require on my part. Need simple, tired of raking leaves, string trimming weeds. Doing a shabby chic design found on pinterest, actually several ideas that will be combined into one for this place. Yah, and the best part cheap, oh I mean frugal. lol

    Went through the wood pile found boards to replace the wood trim on the barn. Another project that required time we which did not have for the past couple of years. Guess I had better find the paint after I clean the boards up.
    Another project off the bucket list. Most have list(s) of where they would like to go, mine are things that have required time an attention which was not available until this year.

    • Almost There says:

      AC, I’m with ya on doing a staycation. If I could stay home for 2 weeks, I could get a lot done.

  11. Doctor appointments this week took some time as I needed a referral to a surgeon and then we had a rather intense meeting at one of my volunteer groups. Got the appointment with the surgeon for next week, an appointment with the gp and one with the dentist will take care of most of next week.
    Actual preps for this week included dehydrating carrots and potatoes as well as picking up the next group of items to be preserved.
    MD hope you get to feel better soon.

  12. MD,
    Sometimes getting right to it works, since I know you’ve been scrambling to get the site running correctly again, which BTW it is and thanks for the effort.

    I did and acquired the following:
    1. Had a neighbor and his boy tear down my dilapidated brooder house so I can replace it with another building. The new building like the one it replaces will be used as a small shop and some storage for tools and seldom used equipment that I want to keep available.
    2. Spent 9 hours as NCS (Bet Control Station) for our ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) providing communication and overwatch for a Multiple Sclerosis fund raising bike tour. The riders rode loops of 30, 55 or 100 miles across 4 counties and involved 12 other radio operators in the field and allows radio operators to practice passing traffic and coordinate operations in a similar way we would do if the manure actually does hit the impellor in a future event.
    3. Purchased and installed a DynaTrap Mosquito and flying insect trap appliance. This was recommended by a friend who has one that works well to keep a large area free of mosquitoes.
    I’m headed off to a special event radio station for the day. If you hams listen for W8M you’ll be working our local group.

  13. Babycatcher says:

    All my preps consisted of weeding( got stung twice), sewing, and harvesting blackberries and eggs. That’s it, in this heat. Hope you feel better soon, MD.

  14. Prepared Grammy says:

    MD, I hope you get to feeling better.

    This Week:

    What a week! I had my routine skin cancer check with the dermatologist. (I have to go back in four months for a questionable spot.) I also told him about an odd rash that was more like bug bites. He said it’s a staph infection, and prescribed an antibiotic. Three or four hours after taking the meds, I started getting hives. Now we’re treating the hives. (I’m also bathing with an antiseptic cleanser.) Man, did I itch, and my upper lip looked like I’ve had a bad cosmetic injection! I’ve had hives before, and it seemed they were from an infection. After I was treated for MRSA, they went away. I’m wondering if that’s what’s causing them now, or if it’s a reaction to the meds. I would appreciate any input from others with knowledge and/or experience. Can hives accompany a staph infection? (On a positive note: I have 13 Bactrim antibiotics, 20 prednisone tablets, and a lot of refills of Mupirocin ointment to add to the stockpile.

    -Added to the stockpile: antiseptic cleanser (I’ve already given it to my DIL. I’m glad I had extra on hand.), kitchen wipes, chlorine bleach, tissues, TP, condiments, spices, vinegar, oral meds and ointment listed above, kitchen utensils,

    -Garden: The coons ate all of the first corn planting. The fence seems to be keeping them out of the second planting. I’m still waiting for corn on the cob.

    -Preserving: I’ve started a batch and a half of ’14 day pickles,’ aka bread and butter pickles; made a double batch of chow chow; canned pickled peppers; and I’m canning beets now.
    I bought the peppers and onions from a friend who sells produce. I didn’t have enough from my garden, and I wanted to get started canning while the other vegetables from my garden were ready to make the chow chow.

    -Chickens: Just as Jesse stated last week, my chickens are feeling the effects of the heat. Fortunately, their coops are in the edge of the woods with lots of shade. I’ve seen them standing in the large water pan to cool off, but they’re still laying well.

    -Goats: The little doeling is dealing with scours. If I couldn’t see that she had it, I wouldn’t know. She’s acting fine. Stool check was good. Probably due to a change in feed. Waiting on a call from the vet.

    -Bees: The neighbor sprayed the field behind our house without telling us. This meant we didn’t get to keep the bees in the hive. He doesn’t like our “sensitive bees,” as he calls them. It interferes with his chemical usage since the people he hires won’t spray if there is a risk of the chemical being blown on neighboring property. He did the spraying himself during a time the wind was blowing directly toward our property.

    Prayers for all.

    • Prepared Grammy,
      While you may not want to ruffle the neighbor’s feathers for fear of retribution or other reasons, he cannot spray chemicals unless he is licensed and even then he must follow the rules. If he does off label use or doesn’t follow the rules he could lose his license and then can’t purchase the chemicals. Just my $0.02 worth.

      • Same rules in my part of Canada. My sister had to do endless yearly tests to be licensed to spray on her own farm. Without a license, the stores shouldn’t even be selling bulk chemicals.

      • Prepared Grammy says:

        He’s licensed, supposedly. He’s also my husband’s brother…and is off his meds. He’s awful enough to deal with when he’s medicated, but without them he’s extremely unstable. Family can be the worst ones to deal with.

    • Is he still able to walk Grammy?

    • PG,
      When you said chow chow, I thought you were cooking puppy food. That’s the only chow chow I’ve heard of. Google and I did a dance and lo and behold, there was the recipe. It looks really good. My body just can’t handle raw bell peppers. Other peppers, no problem. It’s just something in the bell’s that stick around with me for three days. Now if I roast them that neutralizes whatever it is that doesn’t like me. I think I can substitute roasted bell’s in place of raw. Cool, thanks for teaching me something new.

      • Almost There says:


        Chow Chow is a southern thing… I can’t eat green bell peppers, raw or cooked. Not allergic, but like you, they don’t like me either. I don’t like any raw onions either, except the sweet Vidalia. I can eat those in potato salad. You could just leave the green pepper out or use the red, yellow, orange or purple.

      • Teresa of Wyoming says:

        If you are canning and use red or yellow peppers for their color, then just substitute them with shredded carrots. I’ve done that when the red peppers were way too expensive or all I had were green peppers. I believe I used carrots for color in my zucchini relish.

      • Antique Collector says:

        Sirius & Almost There
        Chow Chow was created to use up left over veges from the garden so they would not be wasted.
        If peppers are not agreeable to you, try other veges that are, as Teresa in WY states she uses carrots as peppers are to expensive. The main item is the liquid you use to process the veges in. I do not care for cabbage so I leave it out of ours, and reduce the amount of hot peppers it calls for giving it spicy bite. Those can also be left out as many do not care for jalapeño peppers.
        Personally I like Canadian Foodies recipe as it was as close to my moms I could find after losing her recipe.
        This wonderful on bbq hotdogs, hamburgers, meat that needs a little zing. Your imagination is unlimited with this recipe.

      • WOW. I haven’t thought about Chow Chow for a long time. I grew up with my mom making it quite a lot, primarily when she didn’t have enough of any one vegetable to make a meal. It is kind of like a salad cooked in its own dressing.
        My youngest sister cannot handle the bell peppers and I can’t handle the jalapeno peppers; but, pretty much anything else works.
        This reminds me that we still have a freezer full of cored bell peppers and perhaps it’s time to get a few out and make stuffed peppers, a meal I can eat almost all of the time,
        Thanks for someone mentioning it.

  15. The Sheltie Kid says:

    Went to the library book sale, scored some home remedy books, first aid books, and a book on mammoths for 50 cents each.
    Currently getting the radiator replaced on my Cherokee. A working jeep would be convenient, pretty much all the time.
    Received an order from Emergency Essentials; lots of freeze-dried broccoli, apples, and some noodles with turkey.

  16. Jesse Mathewson says:

    Lost three chickens to heat exhaustion, so will be replacing and adding two more.
    Now raining so we are able to finally get the garden going,
    Have another 6 gallons of Honey Mead/ lemongrass hinted brewing –
    got more shine coming as well.
    Finished testing a few variants of some “candle making” have refined them appropriately.
    Ran the AR out too 800/815 approximately (yes kids that is EIGHT football fields) and YES with 62-69 grain ammunition it will make things die…running IMI milspec through it getting sub moa 200 yard groups with bipod and small fist bag-
    At 800/815 (approximate given declination/ etc., ) was grouping at 6 inches, averaged right under with 5 round groups.
    Put 20 rounds right under 8 inches, and this was after dealing with wind, one flyer(would have hurt hostage), but hey 800 yards kids.

    recharged Reloaded supplies in all my afaiks and central med kit-

    Otherwise have been in relatively severe pain for weeks, rains coming in and my back is not nice-

  17. This week we tried out our new tents with various basha configurations to link up to other small tents we pitch close together.
    We also modified my workshop, bought more machines so I can make bushcraft knives.


    • Bri; I think people are going to need a LOT of your bushcraft knives the way things are going. 🙂

    • Bri,
      I have a question for you… are you using a forge and a hammer&anvil to make your knives? If you are, I know how you make your knives. You said machines so I’m wondering if you’re using a different technique. If you are, I’d love to hear about it. I love learning new ways of doing things.

  18. Still freezing green beans and squash. We’re getting more tomatoes than we can eat each night so extras are going in the freezer. The freezer is pretty well crammed as it is. I have to figure something out. I was wondering if I could cook down my tomatoes in the sun oven. I was worried about bugs getting in it. Maybe if I got one of those grease splatter guards for skillets. Anybody tried cooking down tomatoes in a sun oven?

    I’m drying green peppers and lemon balm. The lemon balm is new to me. Don’t remember what the plan was last winter but by golly I got me some lemon balm.

    I’m processing my onions and garlic. The garlic did terrible this year. If I’m lucky I’ll end up with the same amount of onions as last year although I was really hoping for an increase.

    The birds plant sunflower seeds all over. If it looks like its not going to interfere with anything, I leave it alone. One grew by a tomato plant. It is massive. The tomatoe is climbing it and I have tomatoes dangling in mid air. It looks like a tomatoe tree. Ha, ha. Fortunately I’m easily amused.

    • Almost There says:

      Thorn, I bet that tomato tree is a sight.. I’ve heard of people planting things next to corn so the corn stalk is the pole…

  19. Am a senior lady who has had to downsize to live in one bedroom in my son’s house. Have had to get rid of so much of my stuff. He is not prepping minded so I am starting over with my bug out bag, accumulating water, putting it in the closet, liked the idea of under the bed storage for foodstuffs, will do that. Would welcome any suggestions for being as prepared as I can with only this one room and my car trunk to work with.

    • Livinthedream says:

      Can you afford to rent a storage unit somewhere? Climate controlled would be best, but, obviously, more expensive. Or, do you have a trusted friend who will let you use some space in their barn/basement, etc.? Is your current arrangement permanent, or do you see it as temporary? May you find a solution that works for you.

    • AXELSTEVE says:

      Could you have a storage shed put up on the property? Does the house have a basement or cellar?

  20. Brian F says:

    This week i picked up, and started the repair of the small portable forge I acquired. In a week or two I’ll have it fired up and working, cost was about 20.00 dollars.

    • AXELSTEVE says:

      cool forge! A buddy of mine forges stuff on his time off. He has not made any blades yet as far as I know.

  21. Bought gallons of water, putting them in closet, as I have had to downsize to a bedroom in son’s home. He is not prep minded so I am scrambling for ideas of how to put as much as I can in my room. Would appreciate ideas. Liked the idea of under the bed food storage. Enjoy reading everyone’s experiences and ideas.

    • Virginia Momma says:

      Hi, Sharon!

      With space being limited, you could put shelves in your closet for your preps if you can live without the space for hanging clothes. I did that in my spare room and when I needed an actual closet rod I used a rolling rack for hanging clothes. Under the bed works well also, and if you have the space you can find some nice (ones that don’t look like they’re made for the garage)metal shelving units with usually 3 or 4 shelves. Just keep prepping and don’t give up on your son. When I first started the hubby thought I was crazy but he did come around eventually. Best of luck to you!

    • I would recommend being careful with what you do. As your son(and wife) may become fearful that you’re on your way to becoming a hoarder. Family can be funny sometimes, especially if they don’t get. The preparedness thing. Since you live with them, it’s best to have them understand your desire in what you want to do.

  22. Richard says:

    ( Hope you get to feeling better, M.D. )

    Our actions here have been small this past week.
    Lots of rain day-to-day keeps us from working on the things we are charged up to do.
    * Got 1,000 rounds of SS109/5.56×45 ammo in (china) 50-cal ammo can from AIM Surplus this week.
    I feel lucky to be one of the few before they sold out.
    * Set-up a rain water collecting barrel to use for cleaning out our 275-gal totes for water storage.
    * Working on a better spot to put our water holding totes around the back of our house.
    * Placed order with Lexington-Container-Company for parts we want & need for our totes. Like garden hose hook-up, new screw caps for the lids.
    ( Working with our Water-Supply is our concentration )
    * Went to our area Armature Radio Club meeting to meet some of the people we hear on the radio a lot.
    I feel that it helps that they put a face to the voices they hear use their repeaters as much as we do.
    They were super friendly & glad to meet us. Gave us good lists of other repeaters and Em-COM frequencies used in times of emergency. (they remembered my call-sign on one during our storm /power outage/no phone service time )
    I’m glad we went.

  23. Bam Bam says:

    I went to my endocrinologist this week. He upped my thyroid medication. I did a lot of shopping on Amazon Prime Day. I got most of my Christmas shopping done. Men are so easy to shop for–shoes, socks, underwear and t-shirts. That’s it. LOL

    • Bam Bam
      The clothing items wouldn’t work for my husband he only likes tools and guns.
      Also, what is your new avatar? it is so small I can’t make it out.

    • Bam Bam; Has your doc mentioned a “Dexa scan” or blood calcium tests? If not, then I strongly suggest you demand them.

      Anytime thyroid meds need to be adjusted, then it is time to investigate further. Particularly the parathyroid glands.

      • Bam Bam says:


        He ran a calcium test, along with a host of other tests. I had been on .175 alternating .200. Last year he dropped me down to .175 and found I had extremely low iron. I wonder if the low iron messed up the test last year. At any rate, he has me back alternating.

      • Bam Bam; Are you hypo or hyper? Are your meds in MCGs?

      • Izzy,
        I have underactive thyroid. I haven’t hit 50 year so a dexa scan isn’t really necessary–and I walk at least three miles a day and lift weights. I read a series of books years ago by Miriam Nelson. She was a researcher at Tuff’s University back then. It’s a series of books on weight lifting and women–bone density, weight loss, aging. And I have taken daily calcium and Vitamin D supplements for years.

        I haven’t researched this thoroughly but I find it interesting that white and Asian women suffer bone loss at a significantly higher rate than blacks. I wonder if that is because black women in the U.S. are more likely to do physical labor whereas whites and Asians are more likely to have office jobs. (Physical activity is one of the best ways to prevent bone loss.)

        Yes, micrograms.

    • mom of three says:

      I like your new picture rain, and alligator, that’s pretty cool.

      • Thanks. I have set a goal of taking 100 photographs a week. (I haven’t met that goal yet; but what’s the point of setting a goal if it is easy to meet it.)

    • I like your gator also. I think Imightgetme an Avatar for. This blog site.

  24. We’re back from camping/rafting in Idaho, and scouting out a possible new place to live in Colorado. We drove around Loveland, Greeley, Boulder, and Colorado Springs, using Zillow to check approximate house values and specs. All places had their upsides, but Colorado Springs was far and away our favorite.

    The older (pre-WWII) neighborhoods we looked at had beautifully maintained smaller houses with basements for storage, were well located, both Sams Club and CostCo at reasonable distances, and Colorado Springs is reputed to be the fourth most conservative city in the country. It seems prosperous and well-run.

    No decisions yet as we are still scouting. Georgia is on the list for checking out soon, especially northeast of Atlanta. The winters should be a fair bit milder than Colorado!

    We added several hundred rounds of .38 and .45 ACP ammo to the Mainland stash as we didn’t do any shooting while camping -colds kept us a bit lethargic. We were sorry to miss the practice but we now have worthwhile amounts in four different states, so it wasn’t all downside.

    • Penrod,
      The area NE of Atlanta is very popular with the city folks and it has caused prices to go up but NW of Atlanta and you will find prices much more reasonable. Lots of little towns. Huntsville and Chattanooga are not too far away. Lake Guntersville in AL is beautiful! We have been all over north GA, but decided to stay put.

      • Thanks, Brenda!

      • Livinthedream says:

        I agree. Lake Guntersville area is truly beautiful. Any fisherman/woman in the south knows about it. Scottsville, AL is where the lake converges most heavily. Buy acreage in the country within a reasonable drive, either in AL or TN. Moderate winters. Summers are hot and humid, but I’ve lived in hotter and more humid regions. Long growing season. Alabama is a wonderful place to live, and her people are gracious. Avoid Huntsville, as it’s growing too much, too fast – unless you’re job hunting, then, it’s a good choice. I spent some time in Chattanooga (downtown) recently. Didn’t like what I saw, at all. Forgive me, those of you who love it. I did not, but, then, I don’t “love” any city, so, don’t mind me.

      • Livinthedream says:

        I agree. Lake Guntersville area is truly beautiful. Any fisherman/woman in the south knows about it. Scottsboro, AL is where the lake converges most heavily. Buy acreage in the country within a reasonable drive, either in AL or TN. Moderate winters. Summers are hot and humid, but I’ve lived in hotter and more humid regions. Long growing season. Alabama is a wonderful place to live, and her people are gracious. Avoid Huntsville, as it’s growing too much, too fast – unless you’re job hunting, then, it’s a good choice. I spent some time in Chattanooga (downtown) recently. Didn’t like what I saw, at all. Forgive me, those of you who love it. I did not, but, then, I don’t “love” any city, so, don’t mind me.

      • Livinthedream says:

        It’s SCOTTSBORO, not Scottsville. Second post corrected it, but I ended up posting twice. Sorry. Well, it is 3:30 a.m. Guess who can’t sleep?!

    • Hey man, I think you would like NW GA better, as there are still good prices on housing. I have some property very close to Chattahoochee Natural Forest, and can’t wait to put more than a hammock there!

  25. JP in MT says:


    Bean, barley, & lentils on sale, stocked up.

    I got in a 2nd satellite radio kit, to be able to move our radio between all our vehicles and a “boom box”. Eventually another kit will get mounted in the camping trailer. I found a nice external radio antenna with a 360-degree arc for the trailer. Received 2 studier mounting brackets for the docking stations.

    Finished the installation of LED bulbs in all the inside lights of the trailer. If I remember my calculations rights, I can now turn on all 15 interior lights and use as much power as one incandescent bulb (which are now in reserve).

    Picked up some more “trade-material” for the next gun show.

    The Power Company is starting their “upgrading of the distribution system” in our block this week. Will lose access to the alley behind the house for a couple o weeks. I will gain an outside gas meter, so no more inspectors coming inside every other year (improved OPSEC).

    Friday, I went out and bought some maintenance supplies for my ATV’s and generators; oil, filters, oil catch container, battery, small replacement parts. This next week it’s time to get some long-neglected maintenance done, regardless of the heat.

    Well, I went ahead and got me a 300 AAC 16” AR upper; under $200.


    For the homestead: Satellite radio car kit + 2 extra mounts, 42 LED bulbs for trailer.

    Thrift store items: All metal garlic press, small hand grater

    Sale/warehouse food: pearl barley, navy beans

    Ammo: .30-06 180 gr SP, 22 LR HP

    Guns & Shootin’ Stuff: AR-15 upper in 300 AAC

    • Overwatch says:

      You’re going to love satellite radio. I drive over 100,000 miles per year. It’s nice not needing to change the station every 50 miles. The only issue is that you sometimes lose the signal when driving in forested areas.
      Check out channel 125, the Patriot channel. It’s conservative talk.

  26. Smiledr says:

    Just came down with a case of shingles. Wondering if anybody has a tried and true suggestions for relief. Thanks.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      Oh my! I hope you get well soon.

      • Antique Collector says:

        Prepared Grammy
        This is from ‘Anonymous Also.’
        For some reason her computer will not let her post this information so she sent it to me. Here is the following info:
        Oil of Oregano an plantain(herb-not fruit)tincture, tea tree oil also works for infection “topically”, as does eucalyptus oil very good on tick bites.
        Plantain tincture works well rashes, stings, bites and allergic reactions. Would NOT depend on it for anaphylactic reaction.
        There was more but when she gets back on line will let her give you the rest of the details. Hope this answers some of your questions.

    • UHGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG Smiledr. I feel for you. When I had them a few years back, I seriously thought I was dying of something or another. When I found out what it was, I started putting corn starch on the spots which did soothe the itching.

      I sincerely hope and pray yours do not take a long time to go away. The nerve pain in my case lasted for a couple of years after the spots disappeared.

    • A friend was given antidepressants or antianxiety meds (wish I could remember for sure which). I believe the idea was that they would help with stress which can make shingles worse.

      • Livinthedream says:

        Valerian root. It smells terrible and doesn’t taste any better. Some people drink it as tea – not me! Buy it in capsules from places like vitacostdotcom, or, make your own. Useful for de-stressing, relaxing injured or angry muscles, skin tissue, helping sleep, etc. I dose storm-crazy dog with it, and all family members use it. Takes about 30 minutes to kick in. Take with milk or food, if you have a sensitive stomach. Do not use with any other antidepressant, as the combination will knock you out.

    • Smiledr
      One of my boys came down with a mild case of shingles before he was 10. The doc prescribed Aveeno Oatmeal Bath. It’s a dry powder that is added to coolish bath water. It’s colloidal oatmeal so I would imagine that making a paste of ground oatmeal would also work but that’s just a guess.

      Also wet, cool compresses in the affected area will help. It’s said that calamine lotion works on the symptoms too but we never tried that.

      Avoid sugary foods and carb-dense foods. Eat foods that will increase your immunity to hopefully minimize your shingles. Foods like rich greens, orange and yellow fruits, tomatoes, eggs, milk — stay away from processed junk.

      Hope you feel better.

    • Oregano Oil worked great when the little buggers tried their stuff on me. I was up to three spot and treated them morning & evening. The lessened every day and then just faded away.

    • Virginia Momma says:


      When I had shingles several years back my doctor recommended Zostrix (look for it where the Bengay is in the pharmacy) for helping with the pain and drying up the rash. I did help along with the antibiotics. Praying for you, hope it clears quickly.

    • I am soooo sorry about your shingles. I broke out with them on January 3rd. I was snowed in and could not get to the doctor for anti viral meds for three days. I do not do doctors or much in the way of meds, but was warned of the need to take care of this ASAP. I guess I wasn’t fast enough because I am still dealing with nerve pain as we speak. The lesions healed up within about two weeks. I am still taking L Lysine powder every day as it is supposed to help nerve healing. It is around 100′ here and I think that is making the pain worse. Cool showers and nothing on my skin in the scarred area that is the least bit heating keeps it bearable. I am sure that a healthy diet helps as well. Most of the time it is just a dull undercurrent but a couple of times a day it hits hard enough to take my breath away. Darn shingles!

    • Smiledr,
      My mom had Shingles about 5 years ago. She’s 81 now, so that must have been when she was 76. Her doc gave her a prescription for “Lidoderm Patches”. Basically, it’s a stick on patch that is about 12″ by 6″. She swore by the relief. Despite the vaccination for Shingles she still got it. Despite all of the other medication she was on, including Prednisone, she liked the LidoDerm patches the best. They also work great for pulled muscles and back pain.

    • Penny Pincher says:

      I had shingles a couple years back. If it’s in/near the eye or ear, go get an antiviral immediately. I was lucky, mine was very mild, but it was near my eye, so I went to the eye doctor just to be sure.

      Actually getting the antiviral will shorten and make milder any shingles outbreak, not just the face ones. It’s the same stuff they give for herpes.

    • Go to earthclinic.com and type in shingles in the search bar. There are multiple pages of testimonials of things people have tried. Looks like the best relief has come from clay. Good luck!

    • Livinthedream says:

      you might want to read what Dr. Mercola has to say about shingles, here. Got honey? Locally produced, raw (unfiltered) will do. Manuka honey would be better. Check vitacostdotcom for Manuka, or do an online search. Here’s the article: http://articles.mercola.com/shingles.aspx

  27. Kind of new to this been snooping websites for a few months now. This one seems to make the most sense to me. I kind of take what I need and leave the rest so to speak.
    As far as calling myself a prepper that’s new although I’ve always tried to set some back for a rainy day. My kids grew to Dred everything but the kitchen sink soup.
    Short term preps I have down long-term is another story however. Any ideas would be welcome. Thanks.

    • You can never go wrong with extra toilet paper, bottled water, a camp stove and fuel, larger jugs of water for toilet flushing or washing up, flashlights and batteries, a good can opener, and some tinned foods to start. Your needs will determine where to go from there.

      • Almost forgot…. matches. And keep everything handy so if something like a power outage happens, you won’t stumble around searching for the preps.

    • Goatlover2 says:

      You’ve come to the right place. I, too, searched the web and found this site to be the most sensible one out there. lots of expertise amongst the Wolf Pack, so keep reading and apply what seems to meet your needs best. Welcome!

  28. Very HOT week. We were in the low 100’s for several days. Good thing no one can see in my windows. 🙂 The wasps have been absolutely horrible this year which is keeping me indoors most of the time. Already went through 1 epi-pen…..ugh.

    I did get my cilantro harvested and tied in small bundles to dry. Also put some oregano to drying. My house smells sooooo good. Made up 10 baggies of spice mixes….fajita, Thai, etc.

    I picked up several packets of soup mixes on sale. More Turkey Spam on sale this week. Found 2 two gallon pickle jars ($1 each) at the thrift store as well as a few odds and ends of old hand tools for $2. That’s about it for me.

    Prayers for all fellow Wolfies and their families.

    • Izzy, while I was gone for my Mom, my son thought my cilantro, which I had a hard time growing and came up wild this year, was weeds around the garden and cut them all to pieces. He meant well….. No salsa fresh from the garden this year….

      Sorry about the stings….

      • Thor 1; Have you tried growing your cilantro in pots? That is the only way I grow my cilantro and oregano.

        How is your mom doing now?

        As to puppy….pfft pffft….you bribed him.

      • Livinthedream says:

        I killed about a dozen Cilantro plants trying to container grow them indoors. On about the 11th or 12th plant, I plopped them into a raised garden outdoors. They did great! I’m in the Deep South.

    • Temperatures in the low “100s”. It’s a good thing no one can see in our windows. . . . This is a set up for a naked movie.

      • Ohhhh Bam Bam,
        You saucy tart! If I didn’t like you so much, I’d ask for a copy of that naked movie. 🙂

      • Well, when the A/C goes out and it is a 103 degrees, you have to do something. 🙂

      • Instead of the series, Naked and Afraid, you can create a new series called, Naked and canning. I know what you mean by hot! We’ve had lots of rain lately, and afterwards, it’s hot and muggy. Definately will need to save back some cash to pay for extra air conditioning!

  29. This week I’ve just been harvesting veggies from my garden and donating excess cherry tomatoes to my neighbors. I’ve also been planting a rose garden for my wife.

    I live in caliche country so digging involves using a rock bar to break the caliche, shoveling it out of the hole, adding gypsum and water and letting it soak overnight. Then repeat until the hole is deep enough–usually takes three days to get down 24-26″ with a hole diameter of 30″ or a bit bigger. If I waited until 9 or 10 am to be doing this I’d be working in 101-108 degree heat so I get started around 5 am when temps are down into the 80’s. I have 5 planted and 4 to go.

    Did I mention I have to line the holes with multiple, offset layers of chicken wire to keep the pocket gophers from eating the roots. Cutting up and emplacing chicken wire–let’s just say my hands, arms and torso look like I lost a fight with barbed wire.

    Oh, and when I’m done planting them I have to fence the whole garden of to keep the rabbits from eating the roses. This isn’t my definition of fun but it is the least I can do for the woman I love.

    • Have you considered planting in raised beds of some sort? That sounds like far too much work to feed gophers. At least with a raised bed you can place the bed/cage/barrel/pot/whatever on some hardware cloth that the little beggars can’t chew through and get up into the raised area. Check youtube for ideas on containers. One fellow even cut up the wall of his old aboveground swimming pool and made round raised beds.

      • Coast Ranger says:

        I would consider either containers or grow bags. I’ve switched from raised beds to self-watering containers. I make my own using 18 gallon storage totes. There is probably stuff on how to make them YouTube on this. There are all kinds of grow bags up to 30 gallon available from suppliers. Granted either choice isn’t cheap but they work great. FWIW, almost all of the pot growers in this area use bags.

      • Gloria and Coast Ranger, all my vegetable gardens are in raised beds, which are also underlain with multiple offset layers of 1″ chicken wire to keep the desert pack rats and pocket gophers out. They are all fenced along all sides with more chicken wire to prevent rabbit intrusions. I built PVC hoop houses that are covered with bird netting in the summers to keep pesky Gambel Quail out. They are covered with 6 mil plastic in the winter to allow me to grow year round. All are on drip irrigation.

        I’d never considered putting roses in grow bags though I’ve used them with limited success for potatoes. Anything we’ve tried growing in containers just don’t thrive because of our intense, prolonged heat (NW AZ).

        My wife wanted her roses put in the ground like we did our fruit trees so I’m happy to comply. I’ll just have to extend our irrigation system to the new rose garden so I don’t have to water them by hand.

        I thank you for your suggestions.

      • Livinthedream says:

        Straw bale gardening! It’s very easy to protect what grows in ;your bales. I suggest Joel Karsten’s book on “Straw Bale Gardening”. It’s a quick read and easy to follow. I use this method and don’t have to deal with the usual weeds, etc. No bending over. You can grow in one bale or a thousand – up to you. I’m on my third grow in one row of straw bales; tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, melons, cucumbers – all doing well.

  30. Goatlover2 says:

    Oh my goodness, it is Christmas in July for me this week! DH was on the phone with a credit card company to report the loss of a business card (he is self employed) and the representative asked him why he had never used any of his POINTS on the card…..so hubby let me have access to shop online with his 61,000 points!!! I immediately purchased an Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator, which should arrive on Tuesday. Still have another 31,000 points to burn through!! LOL Besides that, I ordered the American Red Cross First Aid Book that MD recommends, along with a book on detoxing for health. Canned more bananas, and am continuing to hone my cheese-making skills. This week I made mozzarella and Colby cheeses. That’s it for me….

    • Wow, lucky you with all the points to burn. You’ll love the Excalibur, can’t imagine being without mine.

    • I think my Excalibur was the very best prepper item I have purchased, followed by my Food Saver. I have dried several batches of frozen organic vegetables and then popped them into gallon jars and sealed with the Food Saver Attachment. Recently FS had a a sale on bags and rolls along with several BOGO’s. I stocked up and my plan is to mix together the appropriate vegetables that I like to eat in soups and make small individual packages (since I live alone) and seal with an OA in the heavy duty bags. If I am dealing with limited refrigeration I won’t worry about waste or spoilage. Sealed well and then transferred to a larger bag and/or a Mylar bag then into dark sealed containers, I should have food that will last longer than I will. Looking forward to drying excess tomatoes as I am going to have plenty. If I can find organic Romas, at a decent price, stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce will be on my canning list as well. Otherwise I will be planting several Romas next year specifically for this purpose.

    • Goatlover2,
      You’ll love the Excalibur. I hope you got the book that goes with it. In addition to the American Red Cross First Aid book that our host recommends (I’ve owned it since I was 13), may I also suggest the Boy Scouts of America First Aid Merit Badge book. I used to get MB books new for a $1.25 but that was over 30 years ago. They shouldn’t be that much more expensive now. You can also get “Where there is no Doctor” and “Where there is no Dentist” online for free. Just google it.

      • Goatlover2 says:

        I downloaded the “Where there is no Doctor” book recently but haven’t slowed down long enough to look at it! Thanks for the info on the Merit Badge book…..will investigate that. I was a Girl Scout for 5 years and loved it. Our Motto, of course, was BE PREPARED! I wonder if that’s how I ended up on this site…..LOL
        I’m sure I’ll love the Excalibur. I currently have a Nesco round dehydrator, but it’s rather small. I will keep that one just for dehydrating chicken livers for my dog’s treats. Everything else will go in the Excalibur!

  31. Finally hired someone to repair my 40 year old storage room. My Dad built it and used it for working peaches to take to market . Very well insulated and he had an a/c for the peaches. So… It is in good shape again and I put a small a/c in it so I can store things that don’t like the heat and humidity. Will paint next week Lord willing then it’s time to get organized! Never been my best trait but it’s time to learn. Very tired of not being able to find what I know I have. Keep on keeping on!

  32. Grandpa's Pantry says:

    While visiting the kiddos in Boise Idaho we stopped in at the DI Store (Deseret Industries). Low and behold we found 50+ quart canning jars @ $.50 each. 40+ Pints @ $.25 each and 1/2 gallon jars @ $1.50 each. Struck a deal to take all quarts for $.25 each. Looks like it’s picklin’ and cannin’ time when we return home to The Peoples Republic of Commifornia.

  33. Labgirl says:

    MD, hope you feel better soon.
    I weeded a garden bed last weekend, pulled up the pole beans and planted long beans.
    Weeded a little more today. Still getting a few tomatoes and a couple of squash. Okra is setting pods but I don’t know if I will get enough to make pickled okra. Next year I will plant twice as much. Peppers are doing great. The Okinawa spinach is doing great from all the rain. I use it in omelets and on pizzas.
    Added to storage: liquid pectin, peanut oil, ground allspice and 2 cans of gumbo soup.
    I have two broody chickens in my chicken tractors. They are sitting on all the eggs on the ground. My son will have to help me move the tractors since we are about out of eggs. LOL.
    Hopefully, that will break the cycle since those eggs are never going to hatch without a rooster.
    Thanks to Fixit, I made an order to Ball for canning jars on sale. I am excited about that. They are never on sale in this area and are $1-$2 a jar at thrift stores. That’s without a lid or band. I just look at the jars and say “Are you kidding me?” to myself.

  34. Here’s a question for you poultry owners. I noticed that a couple of you put cider vinegar in your birds water. Do you also add oregano? I saw this on a Purdue chicken commercial. Here’s the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSD0eBENU2g It’s supposed to help eliminate the need for antibiotics.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Apple.cider vinegar helps with digestion but doesn’t prevent any infections. Cleanliness really is best in that area, specifically clean water and if possible access to insects and natural growth. 🙂

      30 years with chickens,

    • I don’t bother with oregano oil or antibiotics, not yet. My organic feed guy started my birds out right and I followed his instructions on when to do what for them, and so far they’re healthy and thriving. I know he adds mineral supplement to the mix, and he grows all the grains at his farm organically. Not sure what the mix is but it varies depending on what the age of the bird is and what I want it to weigh approx. by a specific date. It’s the reason the feed is organic so its free of dependent drugs, hormones, etc. Since they’re not layers, they don’t need grit, just the coarser feed mix they get and the cider vinegar in their regularly changed water to help the digestion. Don’t see the need for anything else. And wow, you should see them chase the earwigs I toss over the fence. Soon they’ll get a bit of watermelon. My neighbor is the supervisor for the local big chicken factory and his way is so totally different to mine. His wouldn’t survive without antibiotics.

    • Livinthedream says:

      Oil of Oregano is a staple in my “medicine” chest. I use it for treating my birds, when necessary, and for humans. http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/oregano-oil.aspx

  35. Today, my son & I went on a “From Field to Medicine Chest” walk with a herbalist. As an EMT, I am also a medicinal plant hobbyist.
    It’s great expanding our edible & medicinal plant knowledge. My kids are raised without any over-the -counter meds, and we have a cabinet full of dried plants, tinctures, and medicinal oils. We are also using “found food” out in the back field. This is one area many preppers are neglecting. Next time your in Amish Country, pick up there medicinal plant books. They’re great

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Vermont5, I love using alternative approaches and do so with solid verifiable evidence based approaches. The reality is keeping a wound clean, drinking plenty of clean water to flush toxins, cleanliness does far more to prevent or reduce infections than most poultices etc.,

      However, as I do really want to learn, is there any evidence showing that some of these things work? Evidence as commonly defined, bearing in mind eye witness testimony has been discredited by everyone as evidence.

      Again, I use honey, silver iodides, Apple cider vinegar- etc., however as someone who has hands on real life experience and evidence regarding many instances with use of herbal approaches and not.

      I simply want to know facts, real verifiable evidence. I have a healthy family too, yay! That is not evidence, just smart living.

      Thank you.

      (Side note I fully agree most people have full smorgasboards growing around them, it is labor intensive so make sure you gather caloric heavy edibles first and add ons secondly.)

      • Livinthedream says:

        We are generally hard-pressed to find “evidence” that any natural approach for anything actually works, in the U.S.A. You’ll find a plethora of such evidence, however, in Japan, Germany, and some parts of Europe. Example? Many of the food items declared “safe” in the U.S.A. have been outlawed in other nations BECAUSE of the difference in the information collected and kept in other countries. While you will often see “these claims have not been evaluated” on naturals, herbals, etc., that’s true. They have not been. Nor will they likely ever be. Not in this country. Why? Because Big Pharma ain’t gonna allow it. It’s just that simple. BTW, for those who don’t know, you may not want to trust your online learning to WebMD. They were bought by Big Pharma about 3 years ago.

      • Almost There says:

        JM and anyone interested,

        Life experiences described by others (eye witness testimony) IS considered evidence, it’s just not as strong as a quantitative study. Problem with evidence with herbal studies is that it is rarely funded because the drug companies want to keep us addicted, treating the symptom, rather than correcting a problem. Case in point, medicinal cannabis. I agree, there are some things that occur in our life that can’t be corrected by herbal remedies and I think that whenever we can, we ought to use what we can get from nature, unadulterated by anyone. Western medicine has it’s place.

        Quick story: I was standing that the counter in the antique barn where I have my booths. All of the sudden I heard a thump behind me. I turned around and saw a young lady laying on the floor, she had passed out. Her friend that was with her pulled out an herbal remedy that was from Dr. Reuben Schwartz, a Amish practioner, that practices Iridology in KY. The friend gave the girl a dose of the herbal tincture and she immediately woke up and stood up, none the less for wear. Evidently, she has these seizures from induced stress from external factors. Now, I consider that proof that the herbal compound works in that it woke her up. She said they were working on eliminating the seizures all together.

        For further info:
        Qualitative research: NOUN

        1.market research into the attitudes, concerns, and behavior of an organization’s members in relation to the organization

        2.research that gives detailed descriptions and explanations of the phenomenon studied rather than providing and analyzing statistics

        And this:

      • LTD and AT – you don’t need big pharma to conduct studies, I have conducted several with my own dime, showing the efficacy of honey/moist clean wound care versus old wives tales approaches.

        That’s all I’m asking for not court cases, legal opinion isn’t science. Not consensus of politicians (seriously, that is the furthest thing from science)

        Simple legitimate studies, first hand knowledge of non diagnosed “problems” are how con men like Benny Hinn get millions…

        My studies consist of my own extreme wounds- with care and variables such as polybacterial infections etc., all well documented- in addition they include dozens of other cases similar nature, again documented and verifiable.

        That’s all I’m asking for.

        Want evidence and an example of what I am asking for email me 🙂 i don’t hide anything.

        Click my name

  36. Just a little something you may need to think about. Checking your Flashlights.
    I have a 98 Chevy PU I don’t drive it much. (Last fill up was in February and I still have a halt a tank). Now I have always kept a 3 D-cell Mag Light in the truck and yesterday decided it was time to check the batteries. Just like the last time, I hit the switch and the light came on. Good enough right? Well maybe not. I turned it off and decided to check the battery compartment for signs of corrosion. Pulled the batteries out, everything looked good, put the batteries back in. Then I hit the on switch again. No light. Dead. SO I replaced the batteries and now all is well.

  37. MaineBrain says:

    Just about the end of strawberry season so I bought 4 quarts to put up (and make strawberry daiquiris tomorrow, yum!!). Visited a couple of yard sales but no scores other than some fiction for summer reading. Local grocery had eggs for 69 cents/doz so bought two cartons to put in the freezer.

    Has Michele been online lately? I was poking around some old posts on this site and found one from her from March 2014, where she was talking about starting an herb business – buy a packet, throw it into a quart of vodka, good to go. Just wondering if she ever got it going. I’d be a customer! Looked through the last couple of “what did you do” threads but didn’t see her.

    • MaineBrain,
      Michelle hasn’t been on under that name in a few years. She stopped posting here when her new husband got into a verbal altercation with a couple of people on here. Our host probably still has her email so you could ask him to forward a message to her.

  38. Get well quickly, MD. No time to be sick.

    Made a run today to Sears, Harbor Freight, Walmart, and Lowes. Spent a lot on lumber and tools in every store. Have a list for the first of the month at Harbor Freight. Have started picking up 8′ x 10′ camouflage tarps. They have many uses. Also buying nails and screws in larger amounts.

    Grandkids are building 4 brooding pens for my hens. Will keep hens and chicks safe for several weeks after hatching. One hen has hatched a small batch. A second hen is hatching right now. 5 chicks so far. A 3rd hen with a dozen eggs is do to hatch in about a week. Leaving eggs to encourage one of the remainder hens to set. This will give me replacements, poults to sell, and meat birds. Note: We have a lot of 4-legged predators here. Chicken coops, brooding pens, etc. are built with hardware cloth. Coons, opossum, dogs, foxes, coyotes, bear, etc. Will tear up chicken wire with total ease. Whole flock will be dead in one night! All my neighbors have lost all their chickens! On the next road there is one flock with a well built setup.

    Everyone, keep on prepping. God Bless.

  39. Very overdue, drained the water from our emergency storage barrels and refilled with clean, treated water. Tested the system – all well. Got a new vise and anvil in preparation to build a forge. Continued with the project to motorize our Country Living grain mill. Garden is finally looking up, with the cooler weather and a little rain. Found Concord grapes at Sprouts, from which I made six half-pints of jam. The flavor is reminiscent of Muscadine jam.

  40. Bumble B says:

    Very fast week for us! The cherries are ready to be picked at the other farm. Picked 24 ice cream pails on Friday – 100 lbs at least. Raspberries are next. Killed 35 meat chickens on Monday – 277 lbs of meat. Whole weekend of historic re-enactment c. 1817 and signing of treaties. Nothing like living in the past as a way to understand the present.

  41. Penny Pincher says:

    Hi Pack!
    I got rid of some media this last week. I’ve got declutterer’s remorse now.

    My floor tile project got an unexpected boost: I found a lot of tile in one color. The color I found happens to be a favorite college team color around here, so maybe someone will like it and want to move in. Got a big long extension cord to run power from one apartment to the other, and mowed the lawn that way too.

    Meanwhile it looks like corporate found someone to take my overtime, just in time for getting no rent next month. Tile Faster!

    Linux/Raspi projects are frustrating me. I’m in a couple vicious circles and I think I’m going to try a reload on one of them. Oh well, at least I’m learning Linux commands.

    I’ve had some drama this week. I’m sick of passive aggressive rats. Sad!

    In other news I’ve survived some heat ok.

  42. Wow, did anyone hear the latest about the body count? Another person who was going to testify against Hillary was found dead of apparent suicide. He had a bag full of helium over his head. What??? They say a suicide note was found that said he was in poor health and his life insurance policy was expiring. ( If you kill yourself, no one can collect it) What??? Really!!!
    They say death by helium is common, first time I have heard of it. Jumping off a bridge,hanging one self, self inflicted gun shot,carbon dioxide poisoning from a car, slitting ones wrists and pills common. Helium ???

    • Penny Pincher says:

      I had a friend kill herself many years ago, with nitrous oxide in a trash bag over her head. Never heard of someone using helium before, but I guess any gas that displaces oxygen would do. Wonder where he got the tank? Pure helium is hard to come by, the balloon stuff is part air, can one still asphyxiate on it?

      Some life insurance policies will pay on suicide but you have to have the plan 2 years first. But I suspect that guy was arkancided. His friend said he was upbeat and discussing future plans on the phone shortly before he died.

    • Zulu 3-6 says:

      In 25 years of police work and several years as a paramedic, I never even heard of a suicide by helium. Darned near everything else, but not helium.

      • Z36, I liked the one with Foster, shot himself twice in the head with 2 different guns, a 22 and a 38 ???

      • Zulu 3-6 says:

        Thor 1,

        Hey, you never know. I have a book on the medico-legal investigation of death by some famous medical examiners including one who worked in my county and in Detroit. They described a case of suicide where the deceased actually shot himself twice in the head with a shotgun. Another was of a guy who ran himself through a band saw.

        Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

        I learned a lot from observing autopsies with that one ME. He loved to teach.

  43. Southern Forager says:

    MD, hope you feel better soon! My daughter came back from 4H shooting camp with strep. The doctor said is was really making the rounds (TN).

    I have been canning a lot of cucumber and squash relishes from the garden vegetables. This is the first year I have successfully grown cucumbers (I built a trellis and grew upward). My Guinea beans aka cucuzza has been really producing! For those who don’t know what they are, they are long edible gourds, sometimes called snake gourds. I first learned of them in the Firefox books. They grow fast and up to six feet long. They have the texture of squash and taste like a cross between squash and cucumber. They are popular in Italy and India. They also are unaffected by squash bugs and vine borers which have dessimated my squash. Just one guinea bean made seven pints of squash relish.

    I taught my daughter how to build a garden bed with lumber. She planted beans that she had started and radishes. I pulled the onions out to dry and have a nice crop of them. I planted more tomato plants in the empty bed that I had growing in pots which they self seeded. The tomato beds are really producing. I freeze them as they come in so I can can big batches of pasta sauce and curry ketchup (for yellow tomatoes).

    I ordered 11 cases of pint canning jars ($4.99 each case) from the Ball sale (no shipping if you order over $50). I had previously ordered the 12 oz jars and they arrived with no problems.

    Hope everyone has a productive and cool week – way too hot out there!

  44. Not too much for me this week. Bought some misc. items for my family during Amazon prime and finally bought a nice fire extinguisher for the kitchen.–I’ve had a couple of close calls in the past, unfortunately! My garden was doing great, but due to the consecutive days of high heat that is no longer the case. Had a big garage sale the prior week. It was nice to get rid of a lot of stuff and make some extra cash. Have a great week everyone!

  45. Almost There says:

    Hello Pack,

    Not much rain here. It bypassed me while much of the state got lots of it. Have had to water the garden. Got lots of tomatoes to process. Heat and humidity unbearable.

    GW – Found a leg brace, 2 walking boots, clam shell back brace for $10 (cost $100 on ebay), pair of crutches for $5 (they had a pair of crutchbuddies on them that cost $30) for my DME (durable medical equipment) stash.

    Yesterday was spent clearing out the front bedroom to get it set up as a bedroom instead of a storage unit… A friend came over to help me. More stuff to list on ebay, sell on Craigslist and put in my booth at the antique mall and came up with 4 boxes for donation. Lots of towels, sheets to organize and put in the vacuum bags and then into the totes. I also got the shelf that was in there moved into the bedroom that I am making into the food storage and office. Will be taking the empty canning jars out to the garage and bring in the food stuff for better temp control. I bought a few more jars after Fixit’s post, and I do think I have enough jars… I’m not feeding a herd of folks. My one car garage is insulated, sheet rocked, painted and off the laundry room, so I have been keeping the laundry room door open in the summer to keep the temp from getting too hot and the cats have been doing their job catching any mice that have showed up. Most that were caught were babies. Also cleared out a shelf of plates that I was going to use to make mosaic stuff with, giving them to a friend at work. Not sure if I want to keep the many 1/2 quart boxes of grout that I had bought on clearance. Thoughts anyone?

    Will be pricing stuff in the cool today after I go pick the tomatoes that are ripe, water the garden and plant the few flowers in the planters on the front porch that I had bought in early spring! They are begging for their new home.

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

    Take care everyone.

  46. I have been quite lazy since vacation and haven’t quite been able to make myself get going as I have desired now that it’s hot and humid. My tomatoes area ‘bumper crop this year’. So pleased, but. With all the rain, They have developed some kind of leaf fungus. I tried to look it up with extension service websites to know how to treat. From what I can tell, it is more of a virus and not very treatable. My fruit is. Beautiful, and it looks like all are Turing red at the same time. Not wanting to lose any of this beautiful crop, I will need to get out the canner. I think my next purchase will be a stand alone freezer. The peaches I froze last year have been fantastic! I have perfected homemade peach ice cream. Sending blessing to everyone this week. Stay encouraged, healthy, and prep on my friends.

    • Jean; the movie should be called “The Peeping Tom Went Blind”.

      I luuuurve peach ice cream. What kind of peaches do you have? I honestly haven’t seen a decent peach since I left CA. In the SJ valley, the biggest, sweetest freestones were grown

  47. JP in MT says:

    FYI … for those who are looking….

    Honeyville has a sale going on throught August 31st; 20% off their freeze dried fruits. Discount applied automatically in your cart.

    Got an email from them about this the other day.

    • Antique Collector says:

      JP in MT
      Thanks for the heads up, I like that company. They have good food and now a sale to boot.

  48. Thanks for your thoughts, it’s not that they are against it, they just don’t get around to it, not a high enough priority like it is with me. I was raised by my grandmother who went through the depression, so her influence plus my common sense seeing what is coming makes it a priority for me. Just looking for ideas to be able to have what I need in what space I have which is just a bedroom.

    • Sharon,
      I’m always interested in pivot points in people’s lives that make them change their behavior in some drastic way, and your comment made me think about why I’ve had a self reliant prepping mindset since I was a kid. I had parents that by today’s standards would be considered preppers and who could do nearly anything from cooking & canning to auto repair, carpentry, plumbing, etc; but, I just now realized that another thing that affected me were a lot of the adult males in my neighborhood. Not only did they have similar lifestyles and skill sets, most of them worked in the local mines and steel mills, and being laid off from time to time was a common occurrence. They did of course get unemployment during those times; but, I saw too many neighbors who lived high on the hog, followed by lean times where cash was scarce and the stored foods and garden helped them get through those times.
      As a kid I don’t remember thinking about it specifically; but, I now remember feeling bad for some of my friends and wondering how to avoid such things. Many of my peers stayed back in PA or went back after college or military service; but, I knew that there were really no long term career type jobs back there and stayed here in Ohio. I hadn’t reflected on this before, so thanks for kicking me in the brain to think about this.

  49. Between tending to the wife and her surgery recovery and trying to get all my retirement requirements completed, I’ve only had time to work on a few things.

    – Replaced the wood rear door trim with PVC trim. Looks much better.

    – Picked up anther 2 doz 1/2 pint jars for canning more Cowboy Candy. Tried some pickled Okra yesterday (pretty good stuff) and decided with Okra being so inexpensive at the Produce Action, I’ll make some myself.

    – Received my replacement 2.5 liter fermentation crock. Time to try fermenting something new!

    – The garden is continuing to produce. Handed out veggies to the neighbors since I just haven’t had time to use/can them. The tomatoes were starting to cook on the vine with all this heat. The eggplants were getting so heavy they needed to be staked and tied up to keep the fruit off the ground.

    – Finally got my antenna tuner back from the manufacture after some repairs and new firmware update. Apparently, MFJ hadn’t figured out how to make it work with the Yeasu FTDX 1200. I hope to give it a good test this week!

    • Mustang ,
      I would say that getting your retirement paperwork in good shape so you can start getting that income is a pretty significant prep.
      Which antenna tuner do you have and out of curiosity why do you use one, since the radio has a built in tuner?
      That Yaesu is a nice radio and from my perspective has some pro’s and cons. The biggest pro’s are the spectrum scope and the frequency range from 160 through 6 meters. My old Kenwood TS440 only covers 160 through 10 meters and with the old TV channel 2 now gone, 6 meters has had some great openings. My only con for the radio is that like many new radios it is menu driven while my TS-430 & TS440 still have the old buttons and knobs that I like and that work well with my vision issues.
      Also, if you would like to try a schedule on HF sometime, you can contact me via en email link on my web page and to get there you can click on my name.

      • Mustang says:


        It’s the MFJ 998. Covers a wide band width so I can get a little better match using the 43′ vertical. The internal tuner won’t handle my antenna, but does fine on the G5RV, both horizontal and inverted V. Once I get the shack back together I’ll let you know and we can give HF a try. I usually have pretty good HF comms with others in the Ohio area from the mobile HF. I still like my Kenwood TS-520S better. Just something about good old fashioned electronics!

      • Mustang,
        I now understand why you have the tuner and the G5RV is a nice little antenna. I don’t know how much physical space you have; but, my TS440 internal tuner works well from 80-10 meters with my setup which is a 175 foot long wire connected to the station through a 9:1 Unun . You can also use this system with other wire lengths as short as 24.5 feet.
        I’ve been looking at external tuners since my TS430 has no tuner and is still a great radio AND I want to be able to work 160 meters. In the past I used it with various simple wire dipoles, each with its own coax and an antenna switch for band selection.
        For more information on my setup, OCF dipoles, and a ton of great antenna information, you can take a look @ http://www.balundesigns.com/support-downloads/
        73’s and enjoy.

  50. JP in MT says:


    Sun Ovens had a live webinar on their product Tuesday might.

    They said the replay will be available through Monday, July 25th. If you are interested.

    DW and I found it useful and informative.

    Site: https://events.iteleseminar.com/?eventID=99562143

  51. Chuck Findlay says:

    My portable battery box (a Schumacher Instant Portable Power Source and Jump Starter)
    that I bought for $15.00 at a garage sale finally died (the battery died) and I bought a new battery for it so I can have portable 12-volts, 110-volts, a USB charger, air compressor and a light again.

    I also spent a very pleasant and intimate night last night with a long lost friend. That being my own bed. Last night was the first night back in the house after the house fire in April. Everything is up and running again other then some painting I need to do. I’m doing all the cleaning and painting on the first and second floor. Construction crews did all the repairs in the basement where the fire was.

    Fire sucks and it was very depressing to see the house right after the fire., But it has been enjoyable tent camping in the yard for months enjoying camp fires, cooking outside with camp stoves. I also had an outdoor shower set up.

    The fire was also profitable for me as I did a lot of the work to get the house back up. So far it’s paid me almost $8,000, and still the inventory of the house have not been factored into that. I have several thousand in ham radios alone that were damaged.

    I also bought a Panda washer / spin drier to use off-grid and in a motorhome. ($200.00 for the one I have, it does 19-pounds of clothes, they have lots of models of this washer. ) It works very well and the spin drier (spins at 1,400 RPM’s) does a good job of removing about 90% of the water.

    Here is what it kinda looks like.

    I plan on doing some traveling / working with the motorhome (as a handyman) in the future and want to do so from a self contained (little to no grid) unit and the Panda will help with that. It uses 240 watts (110-volts only) to wash and 140 for the spin dry so I can easily power it from a small inverter or the jump box I just put a new battery in.

  52. Zulu 3-6 says:


    Glad you’re back in your own crib again. I’ve always worried about fire in my house, especially when my kids were little.

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