What did you do to prep this week



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Now let’s see what did I do to prep this week… ?:-)

While it felt like a short vacation to me my trip to the Museum of Appalachia (see pics here) did offer some ideas for survival. These people had it rough as was evident from the pain of life etched into their faces, looking at those photos is a survival lesson of its own.

Lesson one: forced survival at an existence level will not be fun. Lesson two: with preparation and learned skills it can be made easier. :sweat:

Worked in my garden, my  tomatoes are huge but green still. Harvested more corn and cucumbers and the peppers are looking good – I can’t wait to have them with a bowl of pinto beans and cornbread.

Water, good soil and the ability to grow a huge garden is the main reasons, I bought land in the Cumberland Plateau of TN  instead of moving to Northern Navada.

Over to you – what did you do to prep this week?

Comments

  1. i didn’t do a darn thing but i’ll tell ya what. while looking thru the news this morning i realized that not only is the shite about to hit the fan but things are heading south with a quickness. thefts, robberies, and people (including police) acting like they’ve lost all sense….its time to get after it again.

    i don’t know why i paused for a month or three but the preps are back on!

    • axelsteve says:

      I aquired a marlin871 from a friend .It is having a feeding problem right now but I will fix it.Fortunatly I am smarter than I look,At least my friends say that.it runs shorts longs and long rifle so it is flexible in that regard. It has a nice walnut stock with a cheapo scope.That is my 6th 22 so I might have enough of em now.It is tube fed.I am always happy about another fun.Now I want a 12 guage and iether a 357 or a 45.We will see.

      • Axelsteve, I had a problem with my old tube feed and found out the the tension on the spring needes to be adjusted if indeed it has a spring on the end of the tube. Mine does and can’t remember which way to turn it, but if you play with it you’ll eventually get it. Oh yeah I recommend a .357 as you won’t be sorry, in the 4 inch bbl.

  2. Didn’t get much actual prepping done. My son has been visiting for the last few days. Myself,my wife, myson and his wife went to range and had a very long and enjoyable day shooting several hundred rounds of .40,9mm and a couple thousand rnds of .22 we honed our shooting skills and got a little mire familiar with weapons we’ve chosen for self defense in a shtf situation. I’ve decided not to sell my Taurus 101p in .40. It’s turned out to be very reliable and accurate. I’ve also determined which of my two browning highpowers I’ll keep because of it’s better than average
    trigger and accuracy. Lastly I placed an order with two separate gun dealers on opposite sides of the country for a keltec sub 2000. Keltec sent me an email letting me they had fixed the machine that made the sub 2000,s and would be shipping the to distributors soon. Can’t wait. My next week is pretty much set in stone also. Rents roto rooter to clean my slow draining pipes,disassemble 7 rifles and 3 pistols for extensive ckeaning and placement back in storage ,then take my riding mower apart and trouble shoot the reason it won’t turn over. Have a great week everyone. Brad

    • riverrider says:

      bc, if u r getting the 9mm version of the sub2000, it likes 147 grains best, but shoots a tad lower of course. i would guess they hit a little harder at range also. ammoman and others have them on sale, name brand. guess they got overstocked….glad u r home safe too.

      • Thanks riverider. It is the 9mm I’m getting. In the berreta configured grip. Which means I’ll also be forced to buy a berreta 92fs. RAts!!! Another gun purchase. Eventually my wife is gonig to be hearing recycled stories on why I need another gun.

        • riverrider says:

          well i guess u know they have glock and smith grips too? or u just wanted an excuse to get a 92?:) now if they would only make a .45….hunt around on the 92, i’ve seen them go for as little as 350 instead of the 600 retail….

          • axelsteve says:

            Generally I am not a 9 mm fan the caliber is a bit euro weanie for my use however,the browning hi power is a darn good gun.My friend has 2 that are consecutive serial numbered and he refuses to break them up.

            • riverrider says:

              axel, i’m drooling with hi-power envy:) love ‘em. course i was raised on m1911′s.

    • Eightsouthman says:

      You’ll regret it…..selling a Hi Power that is. Keep them both. A dremel tool and some time working on the feed ramp and the trigger assembly will give you two guns you can’t miss with. If they’re both old Belgium guns, just keep them. They’ll be worth their weight in gold when the SHTF. I’ve had all the calibers in the vicinity and several brands of guns. The Hi Powers put the shot where you want it and you know yourself they are easy to shoot and always operate properly. If you have a problem it’s most likely something to do with very worn parts that are easily and cheaply replaced. It took me a lot of work on a Combat Commander to make it as reliable as the Browning and I could find 9mm anytime, anywhere, whereas the .38 Super in the Commander was mostly find all you can and reload the loads you really like. It was quite the round and I loved it and eventually loved the gun after lots of gunsmithing on it but right out of the box, or used till the finish is nearly gone, the Hi Powers are great guns forever. The baddest round you can throw out there is useless if you can’t hit with it. The .38 Super was a great round and was very much better than a .40 or a 10mm that are greatly over-rated. In self defense among several people, one wounded person takes two more people out of the fight if they don’t just abandon the wounded person. The military always looks at wounded being better than dead. A wounded person who can’t function is just dead weight for their group. Let’s be realistic. Nobody can do the stuff they do on movies and just keep talking and buck it up and keep fighting with a bad wound. Don’t let Hollywood steer you wrong. If I get shot with a 9mm, sooner than later the adrenaline goes away and I’m worthless. Although I’ve never been shot, I know I’m not a badass that can jump up and keep on fighting.

      • riverrider says:

        bc, remove the magazine disconnect safety from the hp’s. it’ll help and only takes a minute. i can’t remember why it helps its been so long since i did mine, but it does..senior moment….

        • I’ll look into that. I read that on a forum devoted to highpower owners. I’ll have to find the instructions for doing that.

        • templar knight says:

          riverrider, that’s my biggest complaint against the Hi-Powers, other than what I consider an underpowered round in the 9mm. And hey, I have a Glock 19, but I was raised on big bore handguns, and it’s hard for me to change. I have 3 1911-style .45ACPs, and 2 Glocks, and I don’t want to add anything else to the mix. If I had a Hi-Power, there is no way I would sell it, but I wouldn’t spend the big bucks to get one, either. Same goes for the expensive 1911s, it’s now better to buy Glocks. IMHO. And I don’t work for Glock. LOL, I just like them a lot.

          • riverrider says:

            tk, agreed. i cut my teeth on a 1911 slide. i don’t know how i got back into 9mm after ditching it several years ago. still have 3 m1911′s, but i think it started w/ qualifying w/ the m9. i shot so well that i just had to have one. while searching for a deal on one, i found a kahr k9 for a steal, then my buddy needed some cash n sold me back my argentine hi power that i sold long ago. then a pal sold me his tokarev 9mm for 50 bucks, how could i pass on that? since i found myself back in the 9mm game, i got a ar15 9mm conversion and a keltec sub2k. heck, can’t afford 45 ammo or 1911′s anymore. glock is the stuff but it just don’t fit my hand well. wish it did…i only keep the 9 because army uses it and ammo is everywhere. some days i want to sell out of 9 altogether. but its hard to let go.

          • wow! what a differance! i pulled the mag disconect out of the pair and the trigger is actually good enough that ill leave it alone now. maybe a little work on the feed ramp and thats all. cant wait to go back to the range and try them out.thanks for the headsup on the disconect. brad

  3. Givemeliberty says:

    I bought 1.5 bushels of peaches from a local philanthropy and dropped my canner’s pressure regulator on my sealed cooktop, cracking it.

    Otherwise, I did more political agitating than anything else, though gardening came in a close second.

  4. 1) Picked up some good mapping software on clearance at Gander Mountain ($99 down to 7.50).. Will use it for Scouts and personal adventures, but if online maps become unavailable, having your own DVD of maps will be important (as will paper maps).
    2) Got another knife..Wife shrugs.
    3) Picked up 10 bags charcoal on super clearance at Lowes (1/2 price) good all natural stuff too.
    4) Headed to gun show this weekend…Preps galore.

    • Sandyra says:

      What exactly was the mapping software you bought? I looked on their site and couldn’t find it. You have a link?

      • Encourager says:

        I want to know too, before I head up north to a Gander’s. Thanx!!

      • It was the National Geographic “Topo!” package for my region.. It is an older version – still OK for Win XP which is why it was real cheap. ( less than $10).. I alos got Delorme’s Top USA Version 6.0 (also older version) for ~$14.. I like Delorme Maps and SW but it is giving me a problem in downloading topos.. Sent an email requesting help.. Older software, but still works.. I would never pay the nearly $100 they want for the newer versions – when I can get maps free online.. Good luck

  5. As far as purchasing power, till payday (and if it even comes), did nothing.
    But did decide to learn how to make tortilla’s. It takes less stuff to make and they go with numerous dishes.
    I did manage to get my purchases from last week put away. Took a lot of ingenuity on my part. I just have no room.
    Learned today on the internet news that, onions, corn on the cob, pineapples, avacado’s, asparagus, sweet peas, mango’s, eggplant, cantalope, kiwi, cabbage, watermelon, sweet potatoes, grapfruit, mushrooms (in that order) test the absolute least for pesticides. But I didn’t notice if the article said how they were grown and especially if the produce was heirloom seed type crops instead of the no food value to it, artificial, twilight zone, crops.
    My garden in the weeds is pathetic to say the least. The early girls are still putting off but they are mushy when they finally turn red. The beef steak are wrinkled fluted things. All the tomato’s are the size of cherry tomato’s with a few exceptions. But I will know a lot better next year.
    The best thing to make me laugh is the ad put out by a women’s group for “Spenditol” (pronounced I think spend-a-tol). A take on the government spending it all. Sure gave me a lift as the week has been a drag.
    Can’t wait to read what other’s have done. Will give me incentive and ideas of what I still need to do. And then, again, will make a list.
    Love this time and this “What did you do to prep this week”, I enjoy all week here at M.D.’s but this is my favorite.

    • Nor Cal Ray says:

      Ellen, I know what you mean. I look forward to this every week myself. I learn a lot from everyone on here.
      Ray

    • Papabear says:

      On the tortillas… the Cornell Bread cookbook there is a line that goes “to improve the nutrition of anything you bake, place in the bottom of each cup of flour 1 tsp each of soy flour, dry milk and wheat germ”. I’ve done this and you cannot tell a difference in taste, but the health benefits are good.

  6. Old as Dirt says:

    What did we do to prep this week,
    Well for two eighty year olds we do pretty good, between the two of us we make one good person. First off we are getting our bins ready for fall gardening. Since we live in a area of very acid soil, we lime the bins good. Our bins are six feet long by four feet wide. We have twelve bins. We found in old age it is easier to do gardening this way. Also in the bins we put in a cup of bone meal, a cup of blood meal, and a cup of cottonseed meal. Add a wheelbarrow of compost and stir it really good. Now it will mellow a month till the end of August when we plant all of our fall gardens. We plant lettuce, kale, mustard greens, beets, carrots, onions, stringbeans, cucumbers, swiss chard, cabbage, broccoli.
    Also I have got my tomato’s and bell peppers started in peat pots for the hot house. I have two hot houses and supply my neighbors with tomato’s and bell peppers all winter. This week tom got the tractor out and plowed the corn under and we have started hauling compost out there to mellow over the winter for next years crop.
    In this drought we decided we needed to have more compost so we raked up old leaves and we are adding them to a second compost pile. We have two piles going and they are huge.He stirs them with the tractor. We also cleaned the chicken coop and adding the poop to the compost pile. And then opened a can of beer and poured that on the pile. Beer gets the compost to working.
    All in all we worked hard on prepping this week in very hot conditions.
    Old as dirt

    • I love the fact that the two of you make one whole person. Delightful.
      Love your handle also. My son for years, when my birthday comes up, says I am “older than dirt”.
      If you are in your 80′s, I had better quit complaining (though some days it really require’s it) and keep busy.

    • That’s funny about 2 making a whole person. Do you refer to your spouse as your “better half”? One of my friends is about 84 and he is as spry as anything, walks everywhere, doesn’t use AC (how does he stand it!) and is as sharp as a tack. Back 10 years ago, he was helping me move some stuff around and he picked up this iron soil stack and was carrying it around like it was nothing. Strong as 2 30-year-olds, he was. Probably still is.

    • Hi my friend, so glad to see you on M.D.s blog.
      Reading everything you did this week makes me want to get up off my sorry butt and quit feeling sorry for myself. You are amazing!
      That beer you use do you think it is the yeast in it that works on the compost? Just wondering.
      I know you are going to be an inspiration to all the people on here and they will welcome you with open arms.

      • Old as Dirt says:

        Judith the beer’s yeast starts the compost to work, If the pile is big then two beers. It can be stale beer also. Also dump all those coffee grounds in the pile.
        Old as dirt

    • mountain lady says:

      So you are the friend that Judith told us would be coming on board. Welcome, and I did not know that about beer. Will try that, and thanks. Any other tips you may have for us are very welcome.

    • Old as Dirt,

      Welcome to the blog – please feel free to comment or ask questions at any time.

    • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

      Hi Old as Dirt,

      I hope when I get old I am still gardening. And that I still have a sense of humor. Your post made me smile.

      Gayle

    • Old as dirt, sharp as a tack!! Kudos on your abilities and motivation to get ‘er done! My mom is 80 and still gardens, too.
      Welcome here and I’m glad Judith brought you over. Please keep sharing your garden experiences! We began Winter gardening here in northern Va. and plan to do more this Fall and Winter. I have grown tomatoes in my greenhouse but it was too expensive to run the propane tanks all winter long for those hot-house ‘maters.

      Never tried the beer in the compost pile but I’ll try it. We use our Bobcat to turn our compost. He’ll have a fit if he sees me pouring ‘good beer’ on poop but I’ve gotta do it…..lol

  7. Not too much. Harvested some cukes and zucchini. Exploring getting a second, smaller deep freezer for everything I pull from the garden and prepare.

    Definitely a trip to Sam’s Club on or about August 1st.

  8. This was a slow week of prepping for me. I didn’t spend much money on prepping because I has some pretty expensive home repairs. I did manage to throw a few extra canned goods into the cart when grocery shopping and fill three 2-litre bottles of water but that was about it for adding physical preps.

    I did learn a new skill this week, I learned how to can! I grew up in a household that canned but that was a long time ago and I didn’t really remember what to do, so I decided to learn it for my own. Buying everything I needed was not cheap but I guess it can be considered an investment. I ended up making a batch of bread and butter pickles and a batch of apple butter. Both turned out great and now I know the basics of canning. I will start experimenting with canning other items.

    Now if I would have just planted a garden to get all those free veggies to can I would be set! Unfortunately with the drought here in Texas, I didnt think a garden would be very practical for me this year. This may have been a mistake on my part because the quality of vegetebles in the local stores has been steadily dropping while the price has risen drastically. I could have put a lot of water on a garden for the price I am paying now.

    I am looking for a good design for a solar oven. If anyone could point me in the right direction or give me some tips I would greatly appreciate it. I am willing to spend a little money on quality materials but the design must be durable and functional.

    • Here’s a place to start: http://solarcooking.org/plans/

      • Jingles says:

        Greetings Mennis! I purchased the SOS Sport Solar Oven several years ago. (www.solarovens.org). I use it frequently and I am very satisfied with it. It holds two pots, and I can cook the meat separate from the veggies or rice. I recently ordered a second oven. (Feeding teenagers here!) This will increase the amount of meals that can be prepared on a given day. Relatives have purchased a sun oven and were not as pleased because they could only use one deep pot at a time. Hope this helps!

  9. zenkayaker says:

    Good Morning all !!!! well ,with the heat and all,I decided to layout a couple of tarps;and throw everything out of my 1971 avion T-28 camper.MAN I would not have believed how much “crap”,has been loaded in there by ME[go figure].well having gotten all removed;I “fixed the piping ,vacummed out the dust bunny army lurking in the corners,and re-bug sprayedthe whole camper !!!!WHEW I was warm then air temp 98 heat index 107,just rite for testing your health lol.after much soul searching and the use of whats left of my “common sense- – yeah rite”,I re-packed the under bunk drawers with some winter clothes and canned goods,then on to the upper cabinets;there are t-shirts and sweater’s&hoodie’s all containing dry -goods-all repacked in tupper-ware container’s.behind the lower drawers are ammo cans with shells for the “camper defense group”I E family .next is to replace the trk barreries with new deep cell batterie’s and reconnect the solar array,then on to a NAP !!!! enjoy your days and cover your 6 !!!!!! later

  10. This week the heat and humdity has been bad but I am pleased to see that my efforts in the cellar have paid off and its been at least 20 degree’s or more cooler then the main house which is good for the keeping of my canning.

    Worked in the garden, Dried my pea’s for next years seed, Collecting Radish Seed for this winter’s sprouting, Canned 28 pds of Apricots, and in the process of finishing putting up 30 pds of yellow Plums, plus pressure canned two turkey’s.

    Got a couple new books this week, which included The complete Compost Gardening Guide, and finally bought and read One Second After, which left me at the end writing out extra’s to either add more or to our supplies. There were a few things that made me go huh, that’s a weak spot for us.

    Things gotten this week include
    zip Firestarters
    Case of Fual gel for the little cook stove
    8 more cases of jars
    20 more box’s of tops
    5 box’s of rubber rings for the old glass topped jars.
    Box of a hundred sterile gloves
    3 more bottles of Antiseptic
    6 months of daily vitamins
    20 Kilos of Sugar ( 45 pds)
    40 Kilo’s of Salt (90 pds)
    3 cans Deep Woods Off
    3 cans of WD40
    3 Extra Wicks for oil Lamps
    1 full replacement top for oil lamp
    4 liters of oil for lamps

    And last but not least, a new pull harness fitted for my now one year old cow in training. I look forward to reading how everyone did this week. I really liked the pictures and information taken from your mini-holiday MD, I will most likely never get down to see that area and it was interesting.

  11. After replacing our a/c (why do they always go out when it’s 100 degrees in Texas?) and replacing my “crashed” computer, funds are pretty low, so all I could do this week was to sign up for a program that includes, intro to firearms, outdoor survival and outdoor cooking. I’m hoping to get plant identification in there also, but the first 3 are critical for me. I was able to stock up on some hygiene essentials like toothpaste, deodorant, lotions, and floss.
    I want to get an “emergency” radio and would like some ideas on what to purchase?

    • Nuttbush54 says:

      Cathy, I bought this emergency radio and I am very pleased with it. Some people complain that it doesn’t come with a power cord. Well, if the power is out what good would that do? It has internal batteries that charge by winding or solar and you can also add additional batteries to run it. Price is good too. I bought mine at Amazon.

      http://www.ccrane.com/radios/wind-up-emergency-radios/cc-solar-observer-wind-up-emergency-radio.aspx

    • riverrider says:

      cathy, i’ve tried several and c.crane works best for me. and the sound quality is pretty good too for everyday listening. grundig is good too . eton used to be great but has gone downhill in my book. just don’t buy the cheapo china mart ones. hope this helps.

    • Hawkeye says:

      Hi Cathy: I hesitate to recommend this because I don’t actually have one. But I buy a lot of stuff from The Sportsmans Guide
      ( http://sportsmansguide.co ) and have had very good luck with them. I see their “Kaito Voyager Solar Dynamo” radio, which is widely advertised elsewhere as well, seems to fit the description of a decent emergency radio. Solar charging, hand crank charging, battery or AC adaptor powered. It covers 11 bands, AM/FM, SW 1 & 2, 1-7 weather bands and NOAA weather alert. Also has a light in it as well as iPod and cell phone chargers. Price is $49.97 ($44.97 if you’re in their buyers club). I’m in no way associated with either Kaito or the Guide but mention this because this may well be my next acquisition. Good luck.

    • axelsteve says:

      It is the same reason that everyone gets new wiper blades after the first rain.

  12. AZ Rookie Prepper says:

    M.D., thanks again for keeping this blog going and to all the readers who have submitted articles, had some great reading this week. I always look forward to this segment of the blog the most, usually get some great ideas here. For myself, I too worked the garden, finally starting to harvest some good stuff. Picked and ate some cucumbers, picked and ate some strawberries. I too have some nice green tomatoes going, should have some of them ready in awhile. Have some bell peppers just about ready for harvest too. My long beans (asparagus beans) are growing like crazy, looks like they’ll start producing any time now. I have to add more trellis space to keep up with them. Thai peppers are producing too…tried one and found out I didnt know I was producing rocket fuel. Wow are those things hot. My jujube trees are producing lots of fruit, will have a bumper crop of those this year. Copied and printed some of the pinto bean recipes from here, gonna try the pinto bean pie recipe today. Ordered some more mylar bags and oxy absorbers, gonna increase my holdings of beans and split peas. Picked up some more pint canning jars, Big Lots is about the cheapest I found (Mason jar brand) in this area ($7 for 12). Took advantage of the back to school sales to get some more pencils, small notebooks, etc for use/barter. Going out in a little while to try to find more buckets from deli’s etc, seems lots of people are taking advantage of that resource these days, getting harder to find. Lastly, still keeping an eye on the knuckleheads in D.C., seems more and more that a lot of people are going to suffer. I think we’re going to see more modern photos of those that survive at existance level…

    • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

      AZ,

      I think you are right. Even if the clowns in D.C. manage to lift the debt ceiling, the U.S. debt is still likely to get downgraded. So instead of paying 400 billion on interest, we could be paying a trillion–just in interest. That’s crazy. The Republicans are right; this country needs to tighten its belt. But if the President allows the Republicans to cut things too much, we are going to see food riots.

      Could you even imagine what would happen if Social Security is cut off, even temporarily? I think we would have older Americans marching on Washington, walkers, canes and all.

      (I do think we should abolish the welfare system in this country. Each church or community group could run its own food bank, designed along the lines of the Mormon storehouse–here’s what food you need (rice, beans, wheat) and here’s the work you are going to do for the community in exchange for that food. (Please note that I said “along the lines of the Mormons. I am not knowledgeable enough about the Mormon practice to say this is what Mormons do. But it seems that if you give a person a chance to work for his food, a chance to repay the debt, you end up with an equal and not with a situation in which hard-working Americans are enabling the poor.)

      Two thumbs up to the new Florida governor–folks who apply for welfare must pass a drug test before they receive aid, and must take a drug test every year to continue receiving aid. If those folks can pay for drugs, they can afford to buy their own food.

      Gayle

      • Brad in South FL says:

        Gayle,
        Sorry gotta rant here, I usually don’t rant on politicians But…
        Rick Scott is as dirty a politician as they come. He refuses to use gov e-mail since it is subject to sunshine laws(public has access), will only use a personal cellular telephone to communicate with his heads of agencies, only uses his pvt plane and sold the state airplanes and uses his own jet so he does not have to tell where he is going and who he is taking. The guy doesn’t want anyone in Florida know what he is doing, I guess he forgot that he works for the citizens of Florida and h has to answer o us! He had his “wife’s” company which he formerly owned bid on state contract to drug test employees and then after the company “won” the contract and the stock went up he she decided to sell the company because it looked bad for the Gov.! Sorry, I usually don’t rant about politics! I do agree with the drug testing of anyone on or wanting to get welfare but the bad out weighs the good with Gov. Scott!

        On the prepping note, picked up 2000 rds of .22LR and Sam’s has six cans of chicken breasts for $8.48, the big cans, good supplement of protein. I also will be heading to a gun show tomorrow to see what is lying around! LOL

        Be safe all

        • Brad in South FL says:

          Again, I apologize for the rant. That guy just drives me crazy!!!!
          Won’t happen again!

          • axelsteve says:

            Brad. I think those mental midget apostates need more rants.They need them specificaly directed though.Like I sometimes say.My pitbull is more republican then allot of republicans and my springer is more democratic then most democrats.

          • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

            Brad,

            I agree with your complains. But I still think drug testing welfare applicants is a good idea.

            Gayle

        • Brad,

          I agree! We’ve lived in Florida for 29 years and he’s the worst. I long for the days of Jeb Bush . . . and I’m a democrat.

          • Brad in South FL says:

            We all agree drug testing any person applying for or remaining on any type of state sponsored welfare is a great thing. I just don’t like nor trust this guy! Mean time going to wally world to check out the sales of canned goods to add to the stocks!

            I love this blog and look forward to it everyday! Anyone know of any prepper related “shows” (like gun shows) in the south Florida area?

            Be safe all!

      • Repair Mama says:

        My hubby and I think that the welfare crowd should farm the interstate excess dirt and grow food for the food stamp programs and school lunch programs. “You want to eat and get a check??? Here is a hoe and shovel and seeds…..get to work!”
        I would have the prisons do it too. No more cushy cable, a/c, and 3 free meals a day for nothing. GET TO WORK!!!

        and AMEN for welfare. SSI, Disability, food stamp drug testing!
        if on the dope, no stamps and no $$ (this does not include needed medication taken under supervision of a good dr.)

        • templar knight says:

          I would just like to see them at least pick up the litter, babysit for ones who pick up the litter, mow and clean around housing projects they live in for free or at reduced rates, and get their food in the form of commodities from public places like schools. To have these people clogging up grocery lines, sowing confusion with what is and isn’t allowed, and then acting as if you’re the bad guy when you complain about this crap is getting on my last nerve. I used to have more compassion for the needy than I do now, mainly because most of the needy are just sorry and lazy, not really needy. For you truly needy out there, you are the ones being victimized by the deadbeats.

          /Rant over.

        • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

          Repair Momma,

          I used to donate food to Catholic Charities–mostly rice, beans, other basics. One time when I was dropping off a box, I witnessed a women with her five children get upset because she didn’t like rice and beans: “You esssspect me to eat that shat!” (Sorry, I don’t know how to spelling eubonics.) “I wants me some hotdogs.”

          I was shocked. I haven’t been back to Catholic Charities since.

          Gayle

          • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

            I was in line at the commissary (military post grocery store), two women were in front of me with two carts. Both were very well dressed, nice hairdo’s, very fancy painted fingernails (salon style with fancy whirls and designs), etc….bought a load of groceries and paid for it with food stamps. I was so mad I was blowing steam out of my ears. When I left the store, I saw them loading their groceries into a nicer vehicle than I had. Really got me angry. The baggers at the commissary work only for tips and they push the cart out to your car for you if you wish, again for nothing but tips. These two women “tipped” the bagger a…wait for it….here it comes…a candy bar. And told the bagger, “We’ll pray for you honey chile” (I’m not good at ebonics either). My jaw dropped. Pathetic excuses for humans…

  13. The brainwashing wore off... says:

    This week I found myself in need of a spiritual pick me up, with all the negativity in the world, and right here in our own back yard. The clowns in Washington DC are truly showing how little they care about their own country and future generations. Rather than sitting around wringing my hands, I opted to do some serious study of the Bible and the book of Ephesians in particular. I also read The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven. Highly recommended. How sad I feel for those who have no belief in God and the afterlife. I consider emotional and spiritual prepping as important as stocking my pantry.

    For more worldly reading, I checked out the The Folk Remedy Encyclopedia: Olive Oil, Vinegar, Honey and 1,001 Other Home Remedies from the local library. Finished The Complete Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody. Thinking I may order it from Amazon for my library.

    Made a visit to Aldi’s and purchased several gallons of cooking oil. I had tried frying with olive oil this week and despite using lower temps, it smoked too much. Picked up 12 cans of evaporated milk (for cooking and coffee), 2 boxes of instant mashed potatoes, a large can of coffee (boy can you believe the price of coffee now?!), 8 rolls paper towels, 2 bottles soy sauce and huge bottle of garlic powder (really running through soy sauce and garlic powder making beef jerky). Also stored drinking water in sanitized 2 liter soda bottles. Starting to take notice of tropical storm activity since we are hurricane territory.

    Harvested veggies from the garden. Cherry tomatoes are coming in, lots of okra and green beans too. My Early Girl tomatoes are huge but still green. Trying to keep everything going in the heat.

    And last but not least, had my annual mammogram, and thankfully nothing abnormal found.

    Everyone try to stay cool and take care of yourselves.

    • TBWO, you talking about cooking oil made me think about the ghee I have in storage. Do you or anyone else know how ghee fries.I have read somewhere that a lot of the world uses it to make everything with just about. I have never used it, just have it in storage.

    • Olive oil has a low smoke point (as you found out) so it is not good for deep frying. Still fine for saute and stir fry and for vinaigrette. Canola or peanut oil have higher smoke points which make them better for deep frying.

  14. Patriot Farmer says:

    I worked in the garden weeding and watering. I began harvesting tomatos this week. The heat in this are has really affected by egg production. I’m at a third of my normal production right now.
    I spent time at the archery range and stripped and clean my handguns this week. I began packing stuff to sell and put my camper up for sale for my pending move out west. Looks Like I am Colorado bound in just one short year.

    • Patriot Farmer, Given the 3 states you had narrowed your choice down to, would you mind telling us why you decided on Colorado? Would like to know!

  15. riverrider says:

    well les see….got in several bottles of antibiotics, activated charcoal, tea and soap for the misses, dutch oven cookbook. hit dollar general for cheap stuff for the bug out boxes to include: towels,washcloths, dish cloths, sponges, small bottles of spices, olive oil, coffee, cheap tableware and cooking utinsels, xtra soap, toothbrushes, foot powder, 1st aid items, list goes on. we’re making bug out boxes for each area like kitchen, toiletries, medical, weapons gear, clothing, sleeping, etc. out of clear rubbermaid storage boxes. then all we need to do is grab’em n go……bought a case of various small bottles of liquer for trade/bribes. got scope rings for several scopes i’ve been putting off mounting,xtra bic lighters,matches,head lamp, and xtra filters for the rainwater system. spent one whole day organizing and packing the preps room. this may be “it”, so good luck folks. hope to see you here next week.

    • riverrider says:

      oh, went down to my former base to see some of “the guys”. only one had a clue what was going on. only oneknew their pension had been robbed too. the look on their faces was a like somebody kicked them in the stomach. i felt bad but the one in the know brought it up. seems they hadn’t believed him until i corroberated his story. sad day, i thought i taught them better than that….

    • riverrider where do you get those little bottles of liquor?
      Are they in plastice or glass? Do you know if they ever wear out. Like getting past the date or whatever?

      • riverrider says:

        judith, in va. we have state ABC stores. i got mostly plastic but some varieties only came in glass. no expiration dates. i guess they last a while. i still have a bit of ‘shine left from years ago, tastes better every time i take a sip. if i it was for me to drink, i prefer glass. it just tastes better to me. this lot is for greasing the skids so to speak. like to get thru a checkpoint, or for a deputy to overlook the guns inthe car:)

      • Repair Mama says:

        I used to live in AZ about 21 yrs ago and you could buy them next to the register.
        Air line sized and cheap then

        • JP in MT says:

          MY ex-wife used to collect them – full. We were coming through customs from Germany and so I filled out the customs form, converting from 1/10 pints to 5th’s and the agent asked me how many were had. I said 104. She asked “all different”? I said “yep” (they were all wrapped and in a solid sided suitcase). She laughed and just drew a line through my form. Said she’d never seen that many different ones outside a store.

  16. Good morning all you ambitious preppers! Me not so much.
    I finished gathering my swiss chard seeds. Finished picking the plums and most of the early peaches except what we left for the birds.
    Still have the nectarine and one late peach to look forward too.
    Took Old as Dirt’s advice and bought some bonemeal for one of the tomato plants that has blossom end rot.
    Spent a few hours trying to counteract the damage those idiots in Wash. are trying to do to my finances.
    And finally, hold your breath, I bought 36 more rolls of toilet paper for my storage.

    Oh almost forgot. Froze and dehydrated some of those peaches.

    • Old as Dirt says:

      Judith, the next time you plant tomato’s Mix bone meal in the hole and stir the dirt good. If you don’t have bone meal use dryed milk. There is a spray in a little bottle that is for blossom end rot, that will help now that the plants are producing. Its organic. Old as dirt

      • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

        Old as Dirt,

        I am glad you joined the forum; you seem to know a lot about organic gardening. I have heard (but do not know if its true) that putting egg shells in your compost will get rid of blossom end rot. I had rot the year before last, started putting egg shells in my compost, and didn’t have any rot this year. This could be a coincidence but you never know. Do you know anything about this?

        Gayle

        • Old as Dirt says:

          Calcium is in egg shells, Anyway you can get calcium to your tomato’s the better.
          Old as dirt

        • chemman says:

          Both bone meal and egg shells provide calcium. While not knowledgeable in botany it would appear from a chemistry perspective that lack of adequate calcium contributes to blossom end rot.

          • Kate in GA says:

            I use TUMS for blossom end rot. Same idea as the ones above- Tums are calcium.

            Plant a few in the hole with the tomato plant when you set out in spring. If you have your tomatoes in pots, you will need to add a few more times during the season as well.

  17. this week had been busy and tragic. we put in a water line to the fruit trees. the pears and apples are drying up on the trees. i powerwashed the house and put waterseal on the dock and back deck. our emergency essentials order came in. yesterday was bad. an employee at our post office was murdered early in the morning. (our place is about 5 miles from the post office). i was put on lockdown in the house until they caught the suspects. the farm is a little ways out in the country (we only have 4 or 5 cars go past the house on a good day). my husband told me last night i was to start carrying my pistol whenever i go outside. (i’ll probably shoot myself in the foot). the employee was just a nice elderly lady, so unnecessary to take her life.

    • pam s ,
      That is terrible ! Everything is getting more and more dangerous. Did they catch the people that did it?
      About the gun. We have a couple of AirWeight S&W double action pocket guns that you have to pull hard on the trigger to get them to shoot. Supposed to be hard to go off accidently.
      Hope that is the case. Maybe M.D. can weigh in on safe pocket guns.

      • they caught the man and his girl friend. we rarely have any crime in the area, but times are changing. i have a ruger and it is a problem wearing the holster when i’m on the tractor or working at the pond. there is a bridge that goes across the pond and i’ve fallen off it twice now while working on it. thank you about the info in the airweight, it sounds like it would be better than what i have.

      • Judith,
        I have several J-Frame revolvers like the air weight, although my carry piece is a bit heavier in stainless (S&W 640). The 640 is a shrouded hammer, making it double action only and also making the trigger a bit harder to pull. This does sometimes fatigue the hand when shooting it a lot at the range, and does make it a little safer, but I can assure you, that in a self defense situation it will not be a problem, as long as you’ve practiced to become proficient with the gun. In a self defense situation you will be focused on the target, and the adrenalin pumping in your system will give you more than adequate strength to pull that trigger. The important thing here is to make sure you have training, and practice. The practice should not only be firing at static paper targets from a fixed position or stance, but drawing from that holster while firing at a moving target or while you are moving. In any case, don’t sweat the trigger.

    • Old as Dirt says:

      Pam’s, that makes me ill. You need a small gun and you need to learn how to shoot it. But if there is a gun show around you in the near future please buy a can of pepper spray.You can put this in your purse. They usually sell them at the gun shows. Also dear friends keep a can of oven cleaner spray close to your door before opening it, Wouldn’t hurt to have it in your hand. Home breakins happen very fast. Spray in there face and I can tell you that will take care of him. Also if a person gets in home, keep some handy in kitchen also. Only use this if your life is on the line.

      • old ad dirt – thank you for the information. i am originally from a small german town in missouri and to this day no one locks their doors at night. i wish we we could go back in time but, we’re dealt this hand and we have to play it out. i think there is a gun show in shreveport next month that i’ll try to make it to.

        • axelsteve says:

          Maybe a can of wasp and bee spray instead of oven cleaner.Wasp spray has a 6 or 10 foot range when oven cleaner has a far closer range than that.Spray. Smack with a ball bat then repeat as needed ha ha ha.

          • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

            I think this is a case of one is none and two is one…
            :-) “repeat as needed”….great advice. And always remember the words…”I was scared for my life officer”.

      • chemman says:

        Make sure you have a backhoe to bury them also because after you destroy the eyes with the oven cleaner you might as well finish them off. BTW I like your way of thinking. Not many people would have thought about using oven cleaner as a self defense weapon. Lots of things in the house contain caustic chemicals that would work in a pinch as a self defense weapon. Just know where they all are and be prepared to use them.

        • Encourager says:

          @chemman…Hmmm…you practicing the 3 S’s?? (shoot, shovel and shut up). That is what three different state troopers told my hubby and me when we were having trouble with our neighbor’s vicious dogs running loose on our property. And they were serious. One even offered to climb the barn roof that looks into her kennel and pop them all. Amazing. Didn’t take him up on it. The dogs ended up being destroyed at the shelter eventually. @ Old as Dirt: oven cleaner? Great idea! Would buying ‘bear pepper spray’ work just as well on humans?

          • Em in GA says:

            I’ve been told to use wasp spray. It has a 20-30 foot reach so you don’t have to be close to them

      • Hawkeye says:

        Pam/Old as Dirt: The problem in a “home invasion” is that you don’t know they’re there until the door comes off the hinges. When that happens you have no time to react (get armed) but you can bet they are more than ready the instant they come through the door. I have four little units from Harbor Freight made, I think, by a company called Bunker Hill. Battery operated IR detectors that send a wireless signal to your indoor display. They vary in price but generally run less than fifteen bucks a set (detector/display) without batteries. I have four…one on each side of the house. Anything bigger than a big dog comes by and I know it, and know which side of the house the intrusion is on as well. If you would like more info on them, let me know…I may be able to find one of the boxes they come in and get a part number and better definition.

        • Please do, I would be quite interested in this myself..

        • hawkeye-i hate to bother you with having to look it up, but if ever you come across any info i would appreciate it. the largest dog i have weighs about 90 pounds. the other two are about 60 pounds. would they set it off? i appreciate your help.

          • farmgal and pam s: Try this link and part number and read the reviews.
            http://harborfreight.com/wireless-driveway . Type in the part number 93068 and hit search. One of the reviews implies that racoons set it off…but it all depends on placement. Under the eave of a roof line seems to work best and pointed at the house as opposed to aimed off towards a road or something. To date mine have not gone off except when the UPS or FedEx guy shows up. The price in this add is $17.99 but I’ve bought them for as little as $12.99 both on line and at the local store (with coupon).

            • Encourager says:

              I just had to smile…we bought one of those for our driveway when we put up a sign for campfire wood. The first box we opened, everything inside was broken; took it back. The second one worked until I drove up the driveway and the dumb thing wouldn’t quit beeping ~ even after I was way past it. That night some ID10T came up the drive at almost 11PM; stopped at the pile then proceeded to slowly drive up to the house, where my son met him (we saw his lights). He hemmed and hawed about whether he really wanted the wood, then drove out. The next morning my hubby went to get the defective alert and…the entire post and alert was gone. That ID10T had stolen it!! We haven’t gone back yet to get our third one…sigh.

        • MareBear says:

          Hawkeye,
          Do these detectors have an audible alarm ? Also, can they be turned off? I was thinking about mounting one several feet from the front door and using it as a nightime alarm. Also, I have read that replacing the screws in your door hinges with longer ones will slow down the intruder.

          • MareBear,
            Replacing the screw in the door hinge is something we recommend, assuming the longer screws actually bite into something. If you have a solid core door and a thick solid door jamb member, then this helps. If you have a hollow core door, or a simple 2×5 for jam member, then it doesn’t help much.

            • Longer screws for hinges and door jambs. When our home was burglarized (pre security system), all it took was a crowbar to pry the door jambs off the wall (studs). The door was solid steel but no matter — the weak point was the door jambs. An easy method to counter this method of forced entry is with hardware. We got screws about 3-4 inches long and use them up and down the door jambs for a more solid entry.

          • Hawkeye says:

            MareBare……They are audible and though they vary somewhat from one another, they are generally quite loud depending on your definition of loud. They do have an on/off switch. Anything you do to strengthen your door is better than not doing it however a “good blow” to the latch, unless it’s a really sturdy latch in a really strudy frame, isn’t likely to slow a determined person down, very much! My opinon.

        • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

          Wow. Home invasion. I think everyone should have at least one big dog. I have a 100 lb German Shepard. And I took him to obedience classes. I’ve read some reports that say if robbers hear a dog park, they just move on to an easier target.

          Get a dog.

          • Hawkeye says:

            Gayle From Gainsville, Fla…….I agree with you Gayle. I bought my last Shepard from a cop. He stated to me that they investigate very few burgalries where there was a dog in the house and None where it was a big or loud dog! Pretty good testimonial, I’d say?

            • Encourager says:

              So I should quit yelling at my dog for barking for 10 straight minutes every time a leaf hits the house??? Just kidding…she actually knows the difference; her bark is deeper, fiercer and more vicious sounding when a strange car/or pedestrian comes to the house. I just wish I could figure out how to get her to stop when I say to!! She is 60+ pounds, high energy and completely lovable.

    • Pam s. So sorry for the tragedy happening so close to home. I’ve been thru that area a thousand times on my motorcycle. I can’t imagine something so horrific happening in such a sleepy little town. What coukdxa 72 year old lady possibly have done to deserve to be killed in a post office if a tiny little town. It makes you realize that mo can’t let your your guard down for a second. I ve been guilty of believing that when I come home from the road and wash off all the nastiness of the cities I have to ve apart of while I work,that I’m insulated and safe from the insanity that happens out there. It was a senseless murder but it has made me know that you must be prepared AT ALL TIMES!!!! Even in a slow paced litle town with no much reason for criminals to go so far out their way to get to. On a lighter note. A couple years ago my wife and I where out on a ride and got stuck in a horrendous thunder storm with torrential rains. Next to the citgo there is a two bay car wash that we spent a couple hours hiding from the storm in on our scooters. Good memories. We live about 45 miles due south of there (and the post office). Take care Pam and your husband is right. It just makes sense to be armed. It can happen anywhere and this was proof. Brad

      • bctruck- what is strange is that the police dept stated he had a facebook page and he described himself as a sociopath.
        and on your lighter note. i know the citgo station you are talking about. and the last time i went thru minden, i was on the way back to florida to visit my twin. it was three in the morning, my gps went wonkie on me and i was lost. finally found my way out. (i get lost alot).

    • templar knight says:

      pam s,

      My son lives in Magnolia and he filled me in on the murder at the post office in your town. His wife owns a spa/salon in Magnolia, and her partner is from the same town you are from, and they know all the people involved. From what he told me, this guy who is the suspect has been in trouble all his life, and many in that community are not surprised. Very tragic. Take care.

      • The fella that said wasp spray has a good idea.I use it at work often but I use the foam it smothers them.Evil doers would have to try and wipe it off. Personally I prefer my P-95 or P-90.Sorry to hear about another nice older lady getting killed for no reason.Ultra lite guns in calibers .38 and above have substantial recoil.Practice!!!

        China
        III

      • templar knight-it’s a small world isn’t it? we lived in the country between baker and crestview florida for 15 years then my husband was transferred to the med. center in eldorado. the last 5 years we were in florida, crime was really picking up in our area. i feel safer here than there but, it only takes one time and you could lose your life. take care

    • Papabear says:

      To agree with everyone else, wasp spray, oven cleaner, carborater cleaner, hair spray… . Anything with petroleum distillates in it that sprays will work. Have a gun and a knife on your person, or in your hand. Next to our front door within easy is a shelf with knick knacks, useful in making an impression in someone’s head.
      Being armed or unarmed is a state of mind. When you are in the right frame of mind everything becomes a tool for defense, or offense for that matter. Of course a gun in hand is much more convincing.

      • STL Grandma says:

        You are so right, Papabear! I taught all my children that they are the weapon.. what they use is another story but that anything that comes to hand is .. well.. (grin) handy. I have the knick-knacks at hand.. in fact, they are big freaking chunks of rock that folks call “collectible” and yeah, they’re pretty.. pretty heavy. :) I’m agonna get me some o’ that bug spray, myself and thank you kindly, folks, for the idea!

      • Schatzie Ohio says:

        I can attest to the hair spray. Many years ago I accidently sprayed myself in the eyes with hair spray, the nozzle was pointed in the wrong direction. The pain was incredible and between the watering eyes and the pain you are good for nothing. I thought I was going to loose my sight. Happy to say that I didn’t lose it and that LOTS of cold running water and time helped me to recover.

  18. I got some money out of the bank, in case there is a bank run I won’t be without cash.

    Got a bunch of wood for shelves and to board up the windows in the doors of my house (which have full length Plexiglas windows), if there is a rise in crime or if there’s a riot coming I can quickly harden the house a bit from the inside. Going to add more locks, too. I’m thinking if I have time I might paint my board with a picture. I could have a different picture on each side! (not all that survivalist, but kinda fun). Then maybe a peephole – haven’t worked it all out yet. The shelves are for a pantry expansion. My tenant is trying to learn how to be an airbrush artist. Maybe I’ll let him paint his own door board.

    I ordered some heirloom seeds from rareseeds.com. I think I’ll have enough seeds for 2 or 3 years. The garden is doing OK, but it seems the tomatoes are making flowers but not fruit. I think I’ll have to hand pollinate.

    I planned a few changes to my back yard, including a fence and a driveway. I can get a grant for the driveway, so I’m scheming how to keep the cost down to or close to the amount of the grant. The end result of the landscaping, besides that I’ll be able to park on a driveway, will be that random people will be less able to walk through my property as a shortcut anymore. I think this is important given the probable increase in crime. I really don’t want people passing through my yard, garden, past the back door, etc.

    Well, I’m procrastinating. Gotta go!

    • sclindah says:

      About your tomatoes, if you are having the high heat like we are in SC, tomatoes will not set fruit in temps in the mid to upper 90s so that may be your problem. Right now we are just keeping ours alive and harvesting and hoping they will continue to set fruit once it cools back down.

      • Kate in GA says:

        You can get the tomatoes to set fruit in the heat if you spray them with seaweed extract (or kelp powder if you can’t find the seaweed extract.) It has worked for me for years – it is always too hot to for the tomatoes to set in the summer here – if I waited for it to cool off to let the plants set naturally, I wouldn’t get a year’s supply of tomato sauce.

        • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

          Kate,

          Thanks for the tip about seaweed extract. I’ve got some in the garage and will spray tomorrow.

          Gayle

    • Why not paint the exterior side black with criss-crossed white lines to mimic the muntin’s and stile’s of a window? The other side – facing into the house – could be anything!

  19. TomTheTinker says:

    Good Morning MD! drained-rinsed-refilled 78 gals. of aquatainers. Stocked some more OTCs. 2 boxes of ammo. Two more spare sets of glasses. Garden garden garden. Inventory! Got that DVD on ‘LINE fighting’ and have been doing section one for a week now. It is a simple system that any of us can pick up in about 3 hours and it is as easy to practice as they say it is. Gotta get a heavy bag or rubber dummy…. none in town. Did a seasonal overhaul of our bikes. Spent most of my available time in skill upgrades.

    Scheduled in for Tac-Shot gun Next July at TDI.
    Scheduled in for physical in two weeks.
    Scheduled in to sit table at clubs first ‘gun show’ of the season in Sept. (will accept silver in payment…. drop by and set a while!) Lucas Co. Fair grounds, Maumee, Ohio.
    Scheduled BOV in for what ever needs be done Aug. 1st.

    Big storm last afternoon. Going out to collect some free firewood today.

    Did a “Connect the Dots tour” this morning on line. CME, $ index, MedicineNet.com, Drudge, Blog list. Started in here….. ending the week in here.

    Hey Guys! Don’t let the DNC or… the RNC ruin your week…. In the end the only thing either party wants….. is the other one out of office no matter the cost….. your’s…. or… your’s!

  20. Old as Dirt says:

    I have a question for someone, In the July McAvany report which is on prepping, he mentioned having a radio scanner. He says
    A radio scanner [ portable, handheld] He says it can scan thousands of radio channels ” police, government agencies, etc. He says when media may not be telling it like it is this is an excellent way to keep abreast of developments. I rewrote this in my words I looked all over the paper and there is no copyright anywhere, and I pay for the paper.
    But my question is when you live in the booneys can this pick up imformation that would be useful in a media black out, and where do you get one of these things and do you know how much they cost.
    Old as dirt

    • Old as Dirt,

      They work well depending on the situation, when I had grid power during the 1993 snow storm that hit my area I used my “scanner” to listen to the police when they got stuck as they tried to deliver food to those in need and to the power company as they worked on the power lines. Check your local Radio Shack here is the one I have.

    • Sandyra says:

      What is and where do you get the Line fighting system DVD? I’ve got 15 years in MMA & karate and would like to compare that to what I know from so many years of training in self-defense, etc.

    • Mrs. Dirt,

      I’m a long time “scanner nut”. A police-scanner can be particularly useful, but may I recommend doing some homework before plopping down your hard-earned money.

      Unfortunately, in many areas, public safety radio systems have become incredibly complex. So too have the scanners. Without getting bogged down in a lot of heavy mumbo jumbo or how these things work, we have to determine if your area is using a “conventional” radio system, or a “trunked” radio system.

      If your area is still using a conventional radio system, perfect! You can buy any scanner out there on the market and they’re not terribly difficult to program. If it’s a trunked radio system, your choices become more limited, the cost of the scanner increases, and they’re a tremendous pain to program.

      So, you’ll want to find the frequencies for your town, city or county (in my case, it’s ALL of the above). Here’s a helpful website that I often refer to: http://www.radioreference.com
      You can click on “Database” and choose from your state, county, etc. Once you find your area you’ll want to look for words like: Project 25, APCO 25, LTR, EDACS, Phase I, SmartZone, TMRS. These words are indicative of trunked radio systems. If you don’t see the above acronyms, but you see a list of frequencies similar to 155.000 or 455.000 (not those SPECIFICALLY) it’s most likely a conventional radio system.

      Since you mention that you “live in the booneys”, I’d be willing to bet that your sheriff, police and fire departments are using conventional radio systems – though, this is just a guess.

      You can find scanner’s all over eBay, or you can find one new at RadioShack. And, the folks at RadioShack are usually (I said USUALLY) helpful when it comes to programming the scanner.

      Fire away if you have any other questions…

  21. Didn’t get to town the last couple of weeks- just no serious need for it and it’s no fun going just to see what’s closed down now.
    Otherwise, I did manage to get ten yards of swamp muck delivered free by the county, dredged up from a flood project they’re doing not far from the ‘stead. Took all week to get the stuff separated from roots and stone, spread out and mixed with the compost pile- still have to stir it some more, add compost as summer goes on and stir again, then spread in the garden late this fall- once all the ‘begas are out.
    Picked all the spinach and kale growth, blanched and frozen. The beans aren’t doing well; the peas are flourishing, but refusing to climb, darnit- may have to seat belt them to poles. Dunno what happened to the onion patch, but not a plant came up so it’ll be an onionless winter, (Color my food bland now.) Spuds are coming along nicely. The rest of the garden… well, it’s coming along though not as good as previous. Too hot and dry, I think.
    Next project is another ten cords of wood for ‘winter of ’12′.
    Did manage to get another bike road-ready and take a few hikes with the ‘kids’ in the mornings before heat set in.
    This coming week is going to be relaxation time- going fishing a couple days. (Need the fresh meat.) And I hear the kayak calling me.
    Shy III

  22. TomTheTinker says:

    Hey… why not ask!

    Anyone in here who is up for 2 long days of Tactical Shotgun training July 17 & 18th. of July 2012 RSVP.

    Location: Adams Co. Ohio out in the hills on Bethany Ridge.
    Time: 9 a.m. Sat…. till done p.m. Sunday afternoon.
    Hardware reqs.: 12 or 20 ga. of any make or model.
    Round count: more than you’ed care to use in the time given ( step up to the mark as often as you are able or needed).
    Do I have any $$ interest: NO
    Do I need or want to know who you are: NO. LMIs tend to know one another as it is.

    For further information see: TDIOhio.com courses and schedule!

    MD… you show up.. and I’ll buy your ammo and loan you the Iron. It is the most fun you can have making that much noise. Lots of drills, lots of warm ups, lots of movement, live fire houses, hostage range, long distance slug range, jungle trail, ‘THE WALL’, crappy hotels, crappy reataurants, instructor to working student ratio of one on one!

    Are you to old…… my last squad had an 83 year old Dentist… Me… and a couple of 50ish year olds and their lil boy of 28. Male to female mix… 4 to 1. Do I sound like a salesman…… Just a satisfied student!

    Just thought I’d ask!

    • Can’t attend due to other commitments – yes, already for next summer! But I’ll add to Tom’s sales pitch: I’ve been to TDI many, many times. It’s a first-rate facility!

  23. Tired but at it... says:

    Heat and humidity very high this week. Fortunately, it doesn’t last long. But, it put my canning ‘on hold’ for a few days.
    I had to buy zucchini this year. My neighbor tole me not to plant any, as they would share…..Oops, the forgot! I will dehydrate what I bought for zucchini chips. Will do it out in the garage, so it won’t heat up the house any more.
    First of the week, I did make 2 batches of raspberry jam, and 1 batch of blueberry jam. Season is great here in Maine.
    Tomatoes are growing slowly. I put them in pots this year and can move them when a t-storm is coming. No hail on them has saved them greatly.
    I have a pork loin to cut and then put in the canner…..
    And, 10 pounds of hamburger, which will make up some more meatballs and then some meatloaf. They can so well.
    Enjoy this feature a lot…..wish I could do as much as y’all…but Hubby is totally handicapped, so its all on me, and so my Prep time is somewhat limited.
    Thanks for all the hints. I am new to prep….only been at it since April…but have a LOT done!

    • tired but at it- just wanted you to know i love your state of maine. my sister and i would always spend summers on monhegan island. it was always so quiet-no people. i miss those times.

    • Linda in FL says:

      To Tired but at it…Welcome…I envy you living in Maine…My daughter is in Cape E.

    • “…..wish I could do as much as y’all…”

      No need for that and no need to qualify it. You’re doing great. The fact that you’re doing things to take care of your family is inspirational to me. Continued blessings on you and yours!

      I envy your jams! Moments ago (literally) I received 8 zip lock bags full of ripe blackberries. Guess who will be learning to make jam this week!?

  24. ThatAway says:

    Hello All
    Stocked up on some 30 year canned goods at the LDS store.
    Put up a lot of odds and ends in mylar bags, that I picked up on sale in the last few week.
    Also found many packages of heirloom seeds on sale 1/2 off.
    Have a use buy date of 8/2013 No problem with that. use them this coming year.
    Never heard of the company or distributor before but they were packaged buy a company called seedsofchange.com, But I purchased them at a local greenhouse.
    Also any NRA members in the last American Rifleman rag has a Harbor Freight ad.
    And on sale is there 45 watt solar panels kit 149 bucks!! (savings of 80 dollars)
    Comes with 2 lights wires and a nice Digital voltage regular.. & stand.
    I am amazed at the Quality of the panels,, could find no complaints or very little complaints about this kit on the web.on the web.
    U tube has a bunch of videos this kit.. The stand need to be tack welded but besides That they are really nice. Glass panes 3 panels, 15 watts each..
    I had to dig into savings and bought 3 sets. I think the coupon was for one set only..
    But I as the cashier and winked at her and she said I could get a couple more..
    She probably just wanted me to shut up and get out of the store they just opened!
    Good luck All
    ThatAway

  25. rob in Ontario says:

    this week I got a box of shotgun shells and 100– rounds of 22′s — I picked a old hand crank washing machine at a yard sale for $15– some mason jars- more candles – and glass globe for coleman lantern 50cents I also realized I do have a better part of a 1910 set of encyclopiea’s Brittania’sgoing to take them up to the cottage picked up two spot lites one 2million candle and other a hand crank lite with radio /tv

    • axelsteve says:

      I bought a nice marlin871 from a friend.It has some feeding issue to sort out.I will figgure it out. Steve

      • are you absolutely sure its an 871 steve? ive looked at google image till im cross eyed and cant find that particular rifle/pistol. i was going to tell you,in case you didnt know,that more often its an extraction problem than a feeding problem with .22,s .if i new what it looked like id be able to give you a little more info. im an amature gunsmith and .22,s are my passion. Brad

        • axelsteve says:

          Brad. I am pretty sure it is but I will look at it again in the morning.(with my glasses on) I do not want to wake up my wife looking at it now. Thank you Steve

        • axelsteve says:

          Brad I was wrong. It is a 781.It is a feeding problem not extraction.It may be a shell carier I am not sure yet. Steve

  26. Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

    Hi All,

    I love reading what everyone has to say. I am fairly new to this website and to prepping. This week I really got into action. I ordered 4 cases of white wheat, 1 case milk substitute, 1 case corn meal, 5 cases white rice, 3 cases pinto beans and 2 cases of oats (all in #10 cans). Thanks to all of you who gave me advise on where to buy bulk wheat.

    The local grocer has a sale on hamburger $1.48 lb and chicken breast $1.48. I haven’t seen prices that good in years. So I bought 30 lbs. each. I would have bought more but we don’t have any more room in the freezers. (We have a backup generator if the power goes out and extra gasoline stored, so we are good.)

    Although I started prepping only a couple of months ago, I think I have the basics of a one year food supply. I did an inventory this week and realized I came up short on oils. So I also bought two large cans of Crisco, 6 40-oz. jars peanut butter, 2 jars veggie oil. I also brought my supplies of baking goods up to one year levels–yeast, baking soda, powder, salt, and the like. I have 60 lbs of sugar (it’s just the husband and I), but I think I need another 40 lbs. I like sugar in my coffee.

    I recall someone mentioned that coffee was getting expensive. There’s a couple of websites you might check out, depending on what part of the country you live in–coupon.mom.com, thekrazycouponlady.com and/or southernsavers.com. These websites help you match up sales with coupons or actually provide a link so you can print out the coupon. When I find things like coffee buy one get one free, I buy at least six months worth. I have 8 months worth of coffee and a year’s supply of tea–all for half price or less.

    I also ordered a bread making pan with a lid–USA Pans. It was $30 but the reviews were exceptional. I have a bread stone and know how to make homemade bread but I want to be able to make a normal looking loaf of bread (one that fits in a sandwich baggie). I will let you all know how well it works.

    I ripped out (the remnants of) my Spring garden and put in a much smaller Summer Garden. (I got my first tomato this year just a week after Easter–you’ve got to love the South.)

    For canning, you might check out the book Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard. I have filled one of my pantries with stuff made from this book.

    That’s it from me.

    Gayle from Gainesville

    • chemman says:

      If you do any gardening plant some stevia. You can dry the leaves and use it as a sweetener instead of the sugar.

      • ThatAway says:

        Chemman
        I am not a big sweet lover and I tend to use honey a lot.
        But stevia is a great alternative to sugar.
        I cannot tell the difference between it and sugar.
        And it grew outside easily this year. I am not sure if it makes a good house plant?? Or if it is good to cook with, I bought some in packets today. And noticed they had big bags of it . Also a big price tag.
        Later
        ThatAway

        It is not bad for you so the FDA will probably ban it soon!!LOL
        ThatAway

        • axelsteve says:

          chemman. You are kinda elimenating your chances if you tell everyone online that you are not a big sweet lover.Hahaha just kidding

    • Em in GA says:

      You will love the pans. I have several and plan to buy more. Nothing sticks to them. I bake bread and sweet rolls that come right out of the pans. I no longer oil or spray pans.

    • MareBear says:

      Gayle from Gainesville, I’m a bit south of you in Orlando. Try growing sweet potatoes in your summer garden next year. I’m growing them in two 4′x8′ raised beds, the plants thrive in heat and humidity! I harvested about 40 lb. last year. I’m also growing Seminole pumpkins for my second year. These are small pie pumpkins. These too will thrive thru our summer heat.

      Enjoyed reading your week of prepping!

    • Repair Mama says:

      Hey! Great meat prices.
      If the freezer is full, do what I do. Can the meats.
      I can taco meat with the hamburger, but it can be put up plain also. and I can chicken alot when it is onsale! $1.49 lb 2 weeks ago and I put up about 20 lbs + what I stuck in over filled freezer too. Beef is wonderful when canned too. Beef may be cheap for a short period of time since the heat and drought is killing cattle. Some ranchers are selling off their animals before they die from heat, no water, and feed shortages. I plan to can, can, can, as I can find it cheap! it will not be cheap this winter!!

  27. I’ve mostly been swamped with farm work, hauling hay in a heatwave (ok, so it was only about 100F, but that’s a heatwave for Ontario) and calving out several milk cows. In the evenings, I finished reading “Collapse: How societies choose to succeed or fail” by Jared Diamond. It looks at the causes of several historical collapses (the Maya, Greenland Norse, Easter Island) as well as several that almost collapsed and draws paralells to modern society. An interesting read, but one that might make some preppers a little testy

    • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

      Dash,

      Thanks for the recommendation on the book by Jared Diamond. It sounded interesting and I picked it up at the library today.

      Gayle

  28. Hunker-Down says:

    Cucumbers are growing, bought some pickling mixes. Tomatoes are still in first gear. The pole beans are 11 feet tall, but no blossoms yet. Next year I’m gonna get some of that store-bought dirt for the garden. Maybe I can beg some horse poop from the farmer down the road this fall.
    We raised veggies off and on for the last 60 years but this year is my first as a prepper. What a difference! Wow, I learn a lot form you guys. In preparation for saving seed from the successes in the garden we have identified the following; radish, cucumber, peas, watermelon and tomatoes. More to come later, we hope. I checked some of the online seed sellers to verify that the particular variety we anticipate saving is a non-hybrid.
    While searching for seed saving tips I found “Howtosaveseeds.com”. In a section titled “Saving Heirloom Seeds: Guidelines” there is paragraph titled “Not All Plants Will Cross”. There I made what for us is a major discovery in how we will manage future gardens. Quoting from that paragraph: “These plants include beans, cow-peas and tomatoes”. I’m sure many preppers already know this, but it was for us an eye opener on how seed companies have bamboozled us into buying new seeds every year.

    Still working on that 50 lb. bag of rice, putting 4 cups & O2 absorbers in Mylar bags. Just for the 2 of us one Mylar bag will make 2 or more meals depending on what recipe is used. It’s a hassle and an expense but we don’t want to be in a situation where we open a 5 gallon bucket of rice and after TSHTF, have no way to reseal it.

    Started repackaging a Sam’s Club 5 lb bag of tootsie rolls into 50 pieces per food-saver bag. On the outside of the bag we write the amount, item name, and date. After the bag is vacuumed, I can’t read the writing on the bag.
    Bought 4 more Rubbermaid totes to camouflage our supplies, jars and lids and pickling salt.
    Received powdered milk and butter powder from EE. The milk has been on our wish list for about 4 months and we only ordered a 1 month supply. I hope the riots don’t start and the trucks stop running before we get our minimum target 1 year supply.

    Started looking for cheaper phone service at billshrink.com.
    Went to the hospital for another outpatient rotor-rooter service. I guess that’s prepping.

    • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

      Hunker Down,

      I don’t know if it’s cheaper ( I hope someone can answer this question) but why not put your two cups of rice in a pint-sized canning jar? Once you have a sufficient number of jars you can simply reuse them. Will oxygen absorbers work with dry packed canning jars (Mason jars)?

      Gayle

      • Hawkeye says:

        Gayle: You can use absorbers in Mason Jars…you bet! just be certain to get a good seal with the lid. After the absorbers “suck up” the oxygen, it will then hold the seal. And, of course, you can also use your Food Saver vacuum unit, if you use wide mouth jars and have Food Savers “jar attahment”.

        I buy a lot of the Knorr pasta meals. I like to add a teaspoon of powdered butter…line the inside of the jar with foil (to protect from light) and seal it up (either vacuum (usually)) or 02 absorbers (ocasionally). I’ve had good luck either way.

        • Hunker-Down says:

          Since you have a Food Saver, one trick in opening a single canning jar many times is to drill a very small hole in the center of the lid and cover it with duct tape then vacuum.
          To open the jar, just lift the tape past the hole, open the jar, remove some contents, replace the duct tape and vacuum again with the food saver. Saves lids.

          • Hunker-Down: Good to know. I would have thought that duct tape is porous enough, though, that it would lose vacuum, through the tape, over time? I once saw a YouTube demo once where the guy used plastic electricians tape and did the same thing…not only on jar lids but plastic bags as well.

            • It depends on what you call duct tape. I see a lot of tapes out there with that name, or even the name “duck tape” and although all are similar, the really good duct tape used by HVAC folks to seal duct work, is generally a thick aluminum foil based tape, not one made of cloth. It’s actually designed to seal a pressure or vacuum based system.

      • grannyj says:

        Gayle, the absorbers will work in the canning jars…the problem is, the canning jars can break, and are heavier. Can’t really pack them in the buckets and run. For your regular kitchen use, canning jars might not be a real problem, look nicer etc, but for the long term storage, packaging them in small, meal size vacuum bags and mylar bags preserves them from air, water, and light. They will keep for years, can pack many in buckets, grab and run.

        And, if you package correctly in the mylar and vacuum bags, you can reuse them – for dry pack stuff. If you’ve left enough bag easy to reseal. Like you used only one cup of the rice, reseal the bag quickly with the absorber and bag and you’ve saved money!

        • Hunker-Down says:

          grannyj,
          We leave enough of unused bag to be cut then used a second time. Our idea is to put them in buckets to keep others unaware that we even know what a Mylar bags is.
          Our plan after TSHTF is to open a bag for a meal, then store the unused portion in canning jars to help extend their shelf life, but eat from that jar before opening the next Mylar bag.
          The bucket has no writing on it which would ‘announce’ that there are preps inside. There is a number or letter on the bucket, hidden by the lid.

    • Tigerlily says:

      If you get the horse poop, make sure you compost it before you put it in your garden. If you put it on straight it can be too strong and burn up your plants and have lots of weed seeds that will take over. Otherwise, great fertilizer!

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Thanks,
        It’s been 55 years since I was around horses, and had forgotten that issue.

      • Hi HunkerDown

        I second Tigerlily in that with horse poo, that you will need to compost it out before putting it in your garden, Ideally making it into a hot compost first to help kill any weed seeds, Rabbit Poo is one of the few “cool” poo’s that you can use directly in the garden (and boy can it grow tomatos! The rest are all considered “hot” in that they need to be composted first.

        There is one thing I will add, whatever kind of critter poo you get (and each type have different values to it, which is why a mix is best of all) its worth noting that its only as good as the feed that went into the animal, if you are lacking XX in your soil and its the same on the farmers soil down the road, unless he is supplementing, the poo won’t have much of it either.

        Please don’t get me wrong, all Critter Poo has great quality’s to it on what it can do for the garden and soil but just wanted to point out that what goes in really effects the qaulity of what comes out :)

        For one of the best write ups I have even seen into this information I would recommend the book Gardening when it counts by Steve Soloman.

    • ThatAway says:

      Hunker-Down
      I may be off base with this but if you have a working
      computer on roadrunner or some sort of cable service.
      The is majic jack. works great. I have used one for years.
      $19.99 a year.. I am sure you know about them.
      But mabey you cannot use one for some reason.
      I know a lot of people moving over to them.
      I use mine on a laptop connect to an other computer in the
      hood on wi fi..
      Some time it get a little echoie or hollow sounding sometimes.
      But heck you can even take it to an other state and plug it into
      a computer and it will still work with the same number and all..
      I do not know you situation. Or you location. Just thouht I would mention it. It will even work out of the country with the same number for a few more bucks.
      For $19.95 a year long distance, verses 30 bucks a month.
      I cannot go wrong even if it messes up once a month.
      I am sure you have heard of them.
      Good Luck
      ThatAway

      • blindshooter says:

        ThatAway and Hunker-Down,
        the magic jack is ok if you have a good ISP but I’ll warn you about one thing I”m not wild about. The “jack” will make another partition on your root drive actually I think its two more partitions.
        That was unacceptable for me on any machine I actually use so I set up an old laptop with a fresh windows install and nothing else and let the “jack” have that machine. I set the power and display options to save the most power possible and leave it on all the time. If the power blinks it will stay up long enough so I don’t have to restart it and the magic jack likes having a machine that’s not “busy” so you will be happier with the service. Most folks I run into that hate the magic jack have cluttered up machines with too much junk running in the background.
        I love it, its saved me a small fortune in the three years I’ve used it.

        • Hunker-Down says:

          Thanks Blindshooter for telling us about the gotchas the sales brochure forgot to mention.
          I have been curious about Magic Jack, and you have given me the answer we need.

        • ThatAway says:

          blindshooter
          Yup I agree I have an old dell latitude 600
          that is almost all I use the laptop for is the phone.
          I some time surf on it. go around look at all the blogs ect.
          And it does no cost much to leave on 24 – 7 if needed.
          But I usually shut it off when I crash at night.
          My main computer is in the back of the house,
          And it is isolated from the dell and majic jack totaly via wi fi.
          Works great love it..
          And can get an old lap top for 50 to 100 bucks. and link em
          wi fi and it works great. Like you say it has save me a fortune also in the last few years.. I save over 300 bucks a year on my phone bill minimum.
          I would like to have invented the jack. I was a joke when it first came out.
          But with people watching they cash it is silly not to at least try one,
          Like the company say you can have an extra line for 19.99 a year.
          But a Big ZERO customer service.
          Take Care
          ThatAway

  29. Sandyra says:

    Good thing you nixed moving to northern Nevada. TN is much nicer – doubt you would’ve liked NV, coming from the East.
    Myself, I went to the dollar store and bought a few things, including some spices at a buck a pop. Also bought a good CD on Wild Edibles and Medicinals by Alan Russo – he seems to really know his stuff. After all, no matter how much food you have stored, it will eventually run out – then what? Gardens are good, of course, but traditional gardens simply don’t have the diversity that nature has in medicinal, utilitarian, and edible plants.

  30. chemman says:

    Finally got the money together to order a wood stove for the cabin. Propane heat is just to expensive and the forced air heating system caused a big drain on my batteries last year because of the abnormal lows. Expecting more lows like this next winter. Have ordered 4 cords of wood. Which will see me through this winter. Most people with cabins my size used 2.5 cords last year. This will allow me to start cutting my own wood and season it for a year. Drawing up plans to enclose my south facing porch with windows to use the sun to heat air during the winter day to help heat the house. It will allow me to save of wood use during daylight hours.

  31. Update on brother-in-law Frank
    He is doing okay for the condition he is in. It is just a matter of time. He is on pain meds and they have help that comes into help my sister out with his care.
    Now I know that a lot of you won’t think this is funny.
    And you would have to know my sister to really get it—But
    My sister was in the kitchen doing some odd something and while she was in there Frank got up out of his wheel chair (forgetting he needed help) and fell flat on his face. My sister said it scared the hell out of her. She said the only thing that saved him was the neck brace he has on. That night he told her that if he didn’t make it to the A.M. that he loved her. She told him after today don’t worry about going first ” I’m going to have a heart attach.”
    But out of my picturing Frank falling and my sisters reaction and getting the giggles—-
    The most wonderful thing was him telling her he loved her.
    I have to go I’m bawling!!!!!

    • i continue to pray for your brother in law. i know it’s hard. everyone except myself and my twin has passed away from cancer. make the most of everyday and the good memories will always be with you.

      • Well the reason I was bawling is that they love each other but they are a comical pair. And they still have a sense of humor.
        But for him to finish the day (and as insurance if the next day doesn’t come) telling her he loves her is precious, INDEED.

    • blindshooter says:

      Prayers for your BIL, and laughing is good for everybody. It’s tough when a loved one is sick, even worse when everybody knows the end is coming. The hospice people earn every penny they make. I know I could not do what they do every day without going out of my mind.

  32. worrisome says:

    I bought a case of tomatoes on the cheap since mine aren’t ripe yet and made myself 10 pints and 6 half pints of tomato sauce. Also sliced some of the left overs and stuck them in the dehyrator. The case goods that I bought from our local grocer are here…and some of the items that I had ordered from Amazon arrived. So just finished rearranging the stuff on the shelves to make room. Figuring out how I can use the sun room in my house as a green house all winter long. I want to have enough in there to have a daily salad at least. Some lettuce, some small tomatoes, perhaps some green onions and radishes. And perhaps a pepper plant. That should do it. The people that are putting in the gas lines so I change out my kitchen stove will finish up next week.
    At the rate that DC is going, please make sure you have some cash on hand and gas in your car and review your go bag for the season and make sure that it is up and running and ready in case you can’t get home from where ever you are.
    Someone spoke of recent murders near your home, we have had a real rash of that here, we have people that have been out of work for this whole last 3 years, local area unemployment rate is at 19.7%, so you can imagine how many are beyond getting unemploy. pay and still haven’t found anything to do and have become desperate. Lots of theft going on as well. The area is such bad shape that the local food pantry has closed………………..we have a place in front of the local church where we can drop off goods/supplies on a table, people have found their way and helping themselves as they need. Take care out there!

    • Sandyra says:

      You’re absolutely right about having cash on hand and gas in the tank. Right after 9-11 – and I mean in less than an hour after – in the tri-state area ALL the banks were closed as well as ALL of the ATM’s! You couldn’t get any money anywhere. Cell phones were, of course, useless. A huge run was on at the grocery store for water, bread, and basics. A lot of stores simply shut down. We were told to stay off the streets unless we absolutely had to go out.
      Imagine the panic that would happen if the gov’t defaults and world money markets plummet. It would be like nothing any of us has ever experienced.
      Prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.

      • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

        I love this website. I was beginning to wonder if there were any Americans who understand the severity of a government default. If there’s no deal by Sunday evening, the world money markets will collapse. This is simply cause and effect. Panic will set in. When America wakes up, they are going to have quite a smack in the face and one heck of a hangover. I fear that Monday will be the official start of this century’s Great Depression.

        Gayle

        • Gayle,
          I don’t see a government default happening, even if they fail to raise the debt limit. Perhaps you could explain what a government default means to you.

        • Gayle, that’s simply not true and it would be prudent not to believe the main-stream hype. A default is not next. The Market will not collapse Monday. Why do you believe July 25 will be the “official start of this century’s Great Depression”?

          O’Drama has acted beyond irresponsibly with all of his lies, he has behaved recklessly and has instilled fear in Americans. The reality is, he has lied to us yet again. And on Monday, or on August 2, we will not “default” on our debt.

          • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

            O.P. and LynnS, I’m not disagreeing about the current liar in chief and the reality of a default or not…but the true questions are, does the world market think we’ll default and what will be their reactions vis-a-vis the dollar? While true that income will still be coming in, and it is true that the govt can make payments, just who will they make the payments to? In order to meet ALL the payments that are currently committed, what it comes down to is printing more money, which devalues the $, which causes prices to go up, which means lenders recieve less value in return, which means….basically a big mess. Clear as mud? :-) Not that I am an economics expert, but I sure do see problems there….

            • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

              Hi All,

              I do not trust the goons in D.C. to pay our nation’s debt. From what I’ve read, if O’bama pays the interest on the debt, and Congress doesn’t lift the debt ceiling, then the federal government will be able to pay 44 percent of its bills. So like AZ said, the big question is who gets paid and who doesn’t. My bet is that O’bama will pay the interest on the debt, Social Security, Medicare and and Medicaid. He will tell all non-essential federal workers not to show up to work (either Monday or sometime later in the week). The FAA has already cut staff because federal funding ran out Friday. In this scenario (where O’bama pays out the entitlements), defense contractors don’t get paid. If the debt talks drag out for more than a few days, defense contractors begin laying off employees. When people don’t have jobs, they can’t pay their mortgages. Banks fail. The feds are supposed to insure the banks. But because the feds bailed out the banks, the feds are now bankrupt. Think Greece, Portugal, and soon Italy.

              It seems to me that there are two likely solutions, raise interest rates or print more money. The end result is hyperinflation.

              I think those in denial are suffering from Normalacy bias–because the government has never defaulted before, it will not do so now.

              Gayle

            • AZ Rookie, The first signal is that of indecision and lack of leadership. And just having checked the Nikkei, it’s down.

              And of course the dollar is down and gold is heading up. Say, did Soros have plans to short the USD again?

            • If they don’t raise the debt ceiling, then they can’t print more money. Obama can however attempt to reinterpret the 14th Amendment and potentially be impeached, but that last part is only wishful thinking on my part.

            • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

              Hi All,

              The money markets did not tank today; so I eat crow. I am surprised that investors are showing patience with the standoff.

              Lynn S.: To respond to your question, O’bama got handed a crappy economy, the result of the failure to regulate the finance industry. I think O’bama didn’t really have much of a choice when it came to deficit spending and the bank/auto bailouts. Corporations that are too big to fail are a danger to the free market. Even Milton Friedman agrees that a legitimate function of government is to break up monopolies.

              Had O’bama not pushed for the bailout, there would be a lot more money paid out in entitlements.

              We can all agree that Congress can and should insist on spending cuts. My point is that if these cuts are too severe, people will stop spending. Deficit spending is necessary to prevent recession. The massive spending projects during the Great Depression help put Americans back to work, put money in their pockets, and people started spending once again. In an already weak economy, draconian cuts may push us back into a recession. (Note that economists do not all agree on how to define the term “recession”. In my book, the U.S. is still in a recession, and will remain in a recession until unemployment gets below 12 percent, given, of course, a proper analysis of unemployment.)

              There are simply two different ideologies at play here. I think O’bama is right to let the Bush tax cuts expire for the affluent. These are the very stockholders that are voting to send American jobs overseas. In my book, rich folks who manipulate the system are as bad as crack addicts who continue having more crack babies so they can get higher disability checks each month.

              And since I seem to be on a role, why not require the use of long term contraception for women on welfare. If they can’t afford the babies they have now, they shouldn’t be having additional children. Heck, I think O’bama should offer each of them $5,000 if they agree to sterilization (as soon as they have their first illegitimate child). Do you realize how much money we would save?

              –I just wanted to stir the pot a bit.

          • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

            OhioPrepper and LynnS,

            The Tokyo exchange opens 7 p.m. EST and the other Asia markets open at 9 p.m. EST. The Asian markets will give us a good indication of what the U.S. market will do. I think that without a deficit reduction plan the U.S. debt will be downgraded. (Note that China, a major holder of U.S. debt, has already downgraded the U.S. debt.) This means if the U.S. wants to borrow additional money, it will have to do so at higher interest rates.

            If I were China right now, I would flood the market with U.S. Treasury bonds. Get rid of the bad debt; get what you can now. Also note that the U.S. dollar is the currency for international trade. If Congress fails to act, the result will be a weaker U.S. dollar–regardless of default. If the dollar does not “appear” stable (in the eyes of international investors), then the Yen is next in line (or perhaps the Euro). The result is that it will get much more expensive for U.S. corporations to do business.

            The point here is that the debt ceiling is a band-aid. The deeper problem is the debt. If the Republicans get their way (radical spending cuts), then we could have lots of Americans going hungry (those who live off entitlements). O’bama is right to point out that yes we need spending cuts, but we also need to be responsible. (If the cuts are too deep, the ripple effect would mean lots of small business going under. In other words, it’s entitlements that are helping to prop up the economy. If too much is cut, there won’t be a lot of Americans with money to spend.)

            So technically, OhioPrepper, you are right. It is very unlikely that the U.S. will default on Aug. 2. But paying the interest on the debt will consume so much of the federal budget, especially given a probable increase in interest rates, that the U.S. will soon look like a third-world country–with hungry people begging in the streets.

            By the way, you guys can’t pin all this on O’bama. This is a problem that’s been brewing for well over 60 years. The Republicans have grabbed for their slice of the pork pie. This is not a Democrat problem or a Republican problem. Is a spending problem–an American spending problem.

            Gayle

            • axelsteve says:

              Gayle I think obama pulled the Aug2 date out of his rear like he did his birth certificit.He is just trying to pull a fast one and double down on fear mongering.That is the only thing that community orginizer knows how to do other than polarizing americans.

            • JO (Georgia) says:

              just wanted to add for everyone’s piece of mind that the markets have a built in safety net, to a certain extent, to keep runs on the market and mass hysteria under control. If the market swings by x amount with in a day it will auto shut down and can not be opened until the next day. It wont stop things but it does slow them down. The amount per day in swing varies by commodity, but I think you can look it up.

            • Gayle, O’Drama owns this economy and it is his own ineffective “leadership” and socialist ideology that is destroying America. O’Drama has no real plan for America, the Republic, only for a socialized reformed third world country where he can rule and redistribute anything and everything he and his thugs choose to.

              So where’s his policy? Where’s his plan? O’Drama likes to talk a big one but in reality, he has failed. His comeback to Boehner with some drastic spending cuts was only crafted when he was backed into a corner. Those cuts he suggested were intended to ratchet it up with the Dems. The theatrics are predictable.

              Asian markets are reacting to the latest chapter in US politicking and it’s about the debt-ceiling, not a default. Let’s not confuse the two issues because they’re very different problems. Here’s the most recent WSJ article:
              http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903999904576466823847545598.html?mod=WSJ_markets_liveupdate

              Big entitlements used to “prop up the economy” and Keynesian economics have never worked, including now. You wrote ” If the Republicans get their way (radical spending cuts), then we could have lots of Americans going hungry (those who live off entitlements). ” Could you provide some info to explain this statement further?

            • K Fields says:

              “By the way, you guys can’t pin all this on O’bama. This is a problem that’s been brewing for well over 60 years. This is not a Democrat problem or a Republican problem. Is a spending problem–an American spending problem.”
              I agree completely Gayle!
              No administration seems to be able to live within their self made budgets and this current economic mess certainly didn’t begin after O’Bama took office. There is blame enough for all and WE should ALL accept a part of that blame.
              Are YOU supporting American industries or do you save a few bucks and purchase imported goods? Do YOU shop in your local community stores or do you “go online” to save money and avoid paying local sales tax? Do YOU lend a hand to those in your area who are going through hard times or do you look the other way and let the government provide support?
              WE, Americans, used to feel import goods were cheap goods and not worth purchasing no matter how good the deal. WE used to support our local small business even if the prices were a bit lower somewhere else because those businesses employed our neighbors and supported community activities. WE used to help out our neighbors during hard times because NO ONE wanted to let someone they knew have to depend on government assistance.
              WE need to stop blaming others and start acting like Americans again.

            • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

              LynnS,

              Your question made me think. When I said that entitlements were propping up the economy I meant that without entitlements, a lot of Americans would not be able to make their ends meet. There are a lot of older Americans who depend on a Social Security check to make ends meet. When these folks were young and working, and paying into Social Security, it was reasonable to trust the government. To put a halt to Social Security is to put an end to the cash flow going to grocery stores, drug stores and the like. The money they get goes right back into the economy. It’s not stashed in some offshore account, which is what Big Business is doing now. Our country made a commitment to older Americans, and I think we need to honor that commitment.

              Now its undeniable that the U.S. Treasury does not have enough money to pay all of its bills. O’bama is not lying about this. Wisconsin may turn out to be a microcosm of the U.S. Do you really deny the possibility of a government shutdown on the federal level?

            • Clinton was operating in a surplus due to the GOP Congress. Bush’s 8 year accumulated deficit in the budget was less than O’Drama’s deficit in just 2 years. Blaming everyone out of convenience or an escape from reality just doesn’t work well. Facts work, facts are very revealing, and most people hold others accountable for their actions. Think Nov 2010.

              There are many facts here, might be good to review them: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/06/federal-spending-by-the-numbers-2010

            • Lynns,
              I see you are one of the rabble rousers, always attempting to confuse people with the facts!! LOL
              Unfortunately even the facts won’t dissuade some people.

            • K Fields says:

              Now this I like, “facts” from a conservative think tank (which receives major funding from ExxonMobil and Koch Industries) whose mission is to shape US policy to their conservative views. Are these like the “facts” the Heritage Foundation presented last fall in their report on global warming? The “facts” they derived by cutting and pasting parts of a Royal Society report (including completely editing out 10 pages) to make the conclusions seemingly fit their agenda?
              I’m sorry, but if you want to present facts, pull them from a source that is not so blatantly biased.

            • Gayle, Glad my questions make you think. Your questions make me scratch my widdle head!

              Did you notice the Market today? You predicted “the world money markets will collapse”. Whoops….didn’t happen. ;-)

              And on one other prediction, I’ll hazard a guess that Wisconsin isn’t going to be the microcosm of the US. There just aren’t enough union thugs to go around.

              On Social Security: Just to be clear, I am defining “entitlements” as Social Security or Medicare which are programs that were force-placed on Americans through legislation. Being under contractual obligation, Congress is in a position to explore/attempt to reform the previous legislation because of many factors that have impacted the current programs. Like most contracts, they are subject to review, renewal, and expiration based on our legal system.

              I understand there are many people who are dependent upon Social Security. No one told these people that all their problems would be solved. They have all had the ability to learn what their monthly benefits would be and could arrange their planning and financing around their job and lifestyle. It is not the job of the Federal government to provide everything for people and there is no Constitutional right that some seem to believe exists. It is amazing that Americans were able to function prior to FDR and prior to Social Security, isn’t it?

              The sad truth is that our government has created the dependent society because the temptation was inviting to some and people WANTED to be dependent. Since the government has created this mess, though, they’re obligated to address the problem and can either wean people off these programs or determine the financial means to make these dependency programs sustainable.

              You asked me something about the government shutting down although I never even alluded to this. It’s a plausible event, though, and wouldn’t be the first time. But really, what exactly would that mean? That no one would be harassed by the IRS? That Holder in the DOJ couldn’t continue not responding to Issa’s Congressional inquiries? That DHS would stop protecting our southern border? That TSA would actually stop groping people? Or is a Federal ‘shut down’ worrisome because working people on the GS payscale would be without a paycheck? From where I sit, seems like the Feds have had their hands involved with shutting everything else down across this Nation so why not give them a taste of their reality for a while? Would you miss the Feds? lol

              Reducing the Federal government dramatically, cutting off the habitual spending frenzies, ending these irresponsible dependability (aka welfare) programs would do our country well. We used to be a prosperous Nation. We used to have a Constitution that our legislative and executive leaders adhered to. We have a Declaration of Independence to be proud of. Yet a portion of American society believes that we should prop up our economy with entitlements and welfare programs. What happened to common sense?

            • K Fields says:

              I would simply like to see someone talk about cutting the Defense budget instead of Social Security and Medicare. What level of insanity makes it reasonable to cut the pitiful amount a retiree gets to cover living expenses and medical care while spending a billion dollars on another bomber or funding yet another useless war.

            • K Fields Of course the best facts originate at the UN or through one of the Soros organizations. But I knew you were already aware of that.

            • K Fields says:

              Lynn, your comment just shows how quick you are to jump to the wrong conclusion based on limited knowledge. I simply won’t accept as FACT statements from fringe groups on EITHER side of the political spectrum – especially if the group has a PROVEN history of distorting those facts for their own gain.

            • K Fields, I learned long ago that it was a total waste of time trying to dialogue intelligently with a far-left Progressive. Since you have the time to spare, maybe you can satisfy yourself with the facts that work best for your ideology.

              “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” –John Adam

            • K Fields says:

              If I come across any far-left Progressives, I’ll be sure to pass on your thoughts, although finding one around here could prove difficult.

              I regret though, that I DON’T have time to spare to look through a copy of Bartlett’s and come up with an appropriate quotation, but my dinner break is only a half hour and I must return to work.

        • Hawkeye says:

          Gayle…..They aren’t arguing over defaulting: They’re arguing over increasing the debt limit. If my credit card company didn’t increase my credit limit, I sure wouldn’t default on any debt….I just wouldn’t spend as much!!!!! These guys and gals (Libs) just want a Carte Blanch(sp?) to continue spending like drunken sailors. I say “Press To Test”!

          • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

            Hawkeye and LynnS,

            I see what you guys are coming from. Everyone should agree that we ought to pay our debts. If Congress does not raise the debt ceiling, there will not be a default. O’bama was irresponsible for even using the word “default.” If investors get wet feet, such irresponsible speech could cost investors (and American taxpayers) a lot of money. I think we all agree on this much.

            I would also agree to cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Such cuts are both prudent and necessary. I would also agree with the end to federally funded “need based” financial aid to help the poor go to college. Let’s spend the money on students who have earned scholarships, not on students who happen to have a poor parents.

            By the same token, I think we need to let the Bush era tax cuts on the affluent expire. I think all Americans need to make sacrifices, not just those living a marginal existence. And this includes the affluent. I think the Republican insistence on “no new taxes” is unreasonable in the face of incredible deficits. As Lynn S. says, no contract is set in stone. Given our current fiscal situation which has been brewing for 60 years, I think those who have benefited the most from our country, have the biggest obligation to give back–and in the form of higher taxes. The Republicans stand to make great gains with an agreement (massive spending cuts), I just hope they don’t get too greedy.

            Personally, I do not mind paying (slightly) higher taxes–if it keeps the poor from trying to break into my home. I don’t want to see Americans get too desperate. I don’t want to see poor people begging in the streets. And I certainly don’t want to pay to put them up in our state prisons.

            Here’s a solution: Let’s take every unmarred women on welfare and her illigitimate children, and instead of paying for them to live in nice apartments and paying for their electric bills, let’s put them up in military style barracks where the fire alarms go off at 6 a.m. and they are expected to get up, eat oatmeal (or other inexpensive foods) for breakfast, and then do manual labor to pay for their room and board.

            • mountain lady says:

              Nice to know that you don’t want to see me begging in the street. I paid into SS, Medicare, for 42 years. I was not real happy about paying taxes, and would have preferred to save the money myself. I did have some money saved whan my job ended, but at 60, I was burned out and just did not feel I could compete with a 30 year old ready to give all to have a career. To make this short, by the time I could collect SS, my savings were gone. If SS goes, you will find me living in a tent down by the river. It is okay, though, for at 70 I won’t last long and be a burden to anyone.

            • Auntie_Em says:

              Just a few comments about social security—-and retirees and IRA”S etc.
              In 2008, the bank and stock market debacle wiped out much of my IRA. Also, a good portion of it went to pay off the mortgage so that the house is owned out right. That depleted the one IRA. The other paid for preps—since the markets are volitile—the country is headed for collapse—and our IRA’s may be siezed by our gov’t—may as well buy preps! With inflation at 39% for food prices this year!
              This leaves a piddly laughable small IRA remainder. For those who are very close to or at official retirement age, we WERE forced into this social security situation. But since the gov’t sucked social security taxes out of us for decades, and the market collapse of 2008 wiped out so much for us—yep—we are depending a lot of social security now.

              It wasn’t lack of planning or laziness or stupidity that got my household into this situation. It was a combo of circumstances—some within our control but the majority outside of our control. Not whining, but just telling it like it is.

            • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

              Mountain Lady and AuntieM,

              O’bama has already put cost of living increases to social security on the bargaining table. That’s not unreasonable. Now in terms of Medicare and Medicaid, I agree with significant cuts. For instance, a top selling heart medication retails for $200 per month. This medication is not significantly better than aspirin for most patients. Given the cost of aspirin and the cost of the prescription drug, if I were paying out of pocket, I would opt for the cheap aspirin–since to me paying $199 more for the script is not worth the minute benefit.

              By the way, for all the folks that don’t like O’bama, our “dark lord” changed the policy of the FDA–to get a drug approved, the drug must not only be more effective than placebo, it must also be better than standard treatment.

              The point of the foregoing is that when people have to pay out of their pockets, they are more frugal. Because the out of pocket costs of Medicare and Medicaid are minimal, most folks milk the system. That’s what has to stop–the idea that all Americans have a right to the best health care possible.

              I have no problem with the idea of a minimum standard of care. I think all American citizens should have access to basic care. What’s draining the system is all the illegal immigrants. If we wanted to get rid of them, we could do so overnight–actually impose significant fines on corporations that knowingly employ illegal aliens. But that’s not going to happen because Big Business profits off their cheap labor and then leaves hard working Americans to pay their medical bills. (Note that lobbyists have killed legislation that seeks to impose such penalties.)

              The problem is that Americans piss and moan about too much spending but then when our pet project is set to get the axe, we balk. A balanced budget will require sacrifices from all.

              I was serious when I noted that Republicans are equally guilty of grabbing for their share of the pork pie.

            • We could even put a saying over the gate, something to inspire ‘das bund’ Work Will Set You Free sounds good. The German is however shorter ‘Arbeit Mach Frei’
              I’m with those that say I had no choice but to pay into an employment insurance policy, now that I’m disabled it’s called entitlement. If I had the FICA money to spend I damn sure would have gone with a more reputable insurance carrier.
              Instead of testing just the Bund [unwanted] why not drug test everyone. Those that use or are coverd by FDA, FDIC, OSSHA, FHA, FAA, and all the rest of the alphabet soup. After all they use government services. While you’re at it come up with a combined polygraph, micro facial expression test for those that diaprove of the administrations policies. These you could reeducate. Yes we need some changes, but don’t toss out the constitution with the bath water.

            • Gayle, Why limit welfare work for unmarried women? What if people who wanted to be dependents were declared Wards of the State, then cared for in a supervised environment until they could live on their own without assistance or financial props? Responsibilities would be assigned and we could eliminate the need for SSI, Section 8 housing, and other “assistance” waste.

              The best part is that this system would be implemented in community style living and could easily slide into the UN’s Agenda 21 scheme, don’t you think??

              The Dark Lord rides at 9…will he stay on the horse or fall again?

            • Gayle,
              Perhaps the “rich” would be willing to pay a bit more, when the nearly 50% of the population who pay nothing are willing to contribute just a little.
              I BTW fall in neither category.

            • Hawkeye says:

              I just read, this morning, a list of the entities the government has borrowed from and who, therefore, is owed money to. Most people think China owns us….not so. Of the fourteen trillion (+) debt, the US carries, China owns about 1.3 trillion of it. The biggest holder of US debt is…..guess what….Social Security at 2.7 trillion. That is, the government has borrowed 2.7 trillion from the money paid into the Social Security trust fund that they haven’t repaid. It’s kind of hard for me to imagine then, that Social Security is the problem. If these numbers (from CNN) are correct it sounds like Social Security is a possible victim of irresponsible government spending? As for taxes, and I’m sure not among the rich, well…the top 2 or 3 percent of tax payers pay 30-40 percent of all taxes. How can we say they aren’t paying their fair share when the bottom 47 percent on the economic scale pay ZERO…they just take. And when the government quits supporting them (in a SHTF situation), they will be your Zombies! Bet on it.

            • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

              I am probably beating a dead horse here but I’ve just had a bit of an insight. I suspect that we are all confused over different uses of the word “entitlement”. Most generally, an entitlement is a benefit based on established rights or legislation. So in this very general sense, social security is an entitlement. In this sense, welfare is an entitlement because Congress has legislated that poor people should get “free” money. We can all agree that entitlements of this sort are wrong; entitlements of this sort are draining our economy; entitlements of this sort are creating two classes of people: those that work and those who are loafers.

              But I do not think it’s proper to put social security or unemployment benefits into this category. My point is easiest to make with unemployment benefits. To be eligible for unemployment, one must have (a) been employed for a certain amount of time and (b) paid into unemployment. It may suck that the government forces people to put into the pot, but once people have put into the pot, the have a right to that money. I think the same applies for social security. This is not a “welfare” program for old people. This is a program people were forced to pay into. They put into the pot; it’s their money and the Tea Party branch of the Republican Party does not have the right to steal it from them. Here’s a solution. The feds can pay back every penny they forced people to pay (with interest). Then we can end social security.

              Gayle

          • Hawkeye,
            Actually if you ran your finances like the Federal Government you might default on some of your bills if the credit card limit wasn’t raised. I assume you would not default on the big one, and still make the minimum CC payment, electricity and other essentials, but perhaps you would be unable to pay your cable bill. This would be of course because you were financing 40% of your spending with cash advances on that card. Assuming that you have a $100K limit and you get it raised to $200K, you pocket $40K to pay bills and then draw on the rest to make the minimum payment, until that ran out and you needed to raise the limit yet again. I heard today that historically the limit has been raised some 70 times, generally without much debate, on average every 7 months, no matter which party was running things. I think we are iverdue on fixing this runaway spending train, even if in the short term it hurts a bit.

            • Hawkeye says:

              Ohio Prepper…..Well, in that case, you might have to cancel your cable….duh. That’s the point, isn’t it? Maybe the government really doesn’t need to spend Three million $ to study the sex life of a piss ant, after all. I agree with you, it’s time to fix this “run away spending train”. Press To Test!!!

            • JP in MT says:

              Just a question about SS being an entitlement. If the Federal Government says you are entitled to it, why do they tax it.

              It has never made sense to me for the Federal Government to pay you money with one hand and then take part of it back in taxes. If you want to “help seniors” then lets stop taxing their Social Security. They get more money and it costs less in overhead to track it. Sounds like a win-win to me.

          • Hawkeye,
            One more thing. Drunken sailors at least spend their own money.

            • riverrider says:

              and then they go back to work, hangover and bruises and all. not running back to charity holding out their hands.

            • Hawkeye says:

              Ohio Prepper…..I stand corrected.

            • Hawkeye says:

              Ohio Prepper:
              I think it was Margaret Thatcher that said…”Democracy is great until you run out of other people’s money”. Simple but Oh how true!

            • JP in MT says:

              Hawkeye: I believe she was refering to Socialism vs Democracy. But I could be wrong.

  33. Encourager says:

    What did I (we) do this week? First, replaced the dehumidifier and took out 30% of the humidity in the basement. Actually is nice down there now! Then looked at our sorry garden…the weeds are horrible and the only things that look good. So hot and dry, even with faithful watering, our cukes became little balls instead of long cukes. Weird. The tomato blossoms wilt right off…too hot to set. I am seriously concerned about them as we planted determinate tomatoes so they would all ripen at once. Does this mean no tomatoes this year? Any one know?? We also watched it rain just south of us and then just north of us…rats. Am in the process of re-inventorying my root cellar so I know what I must buy to fill the gaps (again). This high heat is doing me in…don’t have the energy I need to keep on keeping on! @ Older than dust, love the name! We always say that what one half forgets, the other half is suppose to remember. Dang, that doesn’t work anymore!

    • Encourager says:

      Well, blame it on the heat. I meant to say @Old As Dirt…not Older Than Dust!!! Sorry!!! I DO have a question for you…we are planning on building some raised planting beds. The old bones are having trouble bending over constantly weeding and picking. Do you have a site where you found your plans? Or did you invent your own? Would you share??? Thanks! And sorry about messing up your name!!

      • Old as Dirt says:

        Encurenger, I may have spelled that wrong, Sorry. You asked about the frames for the bin gardening. We bought plastic lumber many years ago at home depot. I don’t know if they have it anymore. It has held up really well and it was made to use outdoors in the gardens. But I know lots of folks who buy or find old posts and use them. Scavenge around and find a old barn falling down. But if your old that is difficult. I have seen the plastic lumber in a catalog, but don’t remember the name. Gardeners supply or something like that. The bins are great if you keep the path between them weed free. We dumped wood chips on black plastic. I don’t know if I really helped much.
        Old as dirt, ps old as dust is good too.

      • Encourager,
        After looking online at numerous plans I simply threw something together. Since this is a simple box, it’s not all that hard to do. I started with some 2×10 by 8 ft, and some 4×4′s. I cut the 4×4′s to a length of 19″ and put one in each corner of the box and attached two 2×10′s (one above the other, after cutting the 2×10’s to length (cut in half to 4 ft), using deck screws. You could use a single 2×10 or 2×12, or even use three or four for more height. We currently have three 4 by 4 foot and one 4 by 12 ft boxes. They went together from scratch in about 40 minutes each. I pre-cut the wood, drilled the screw holes, and started the screws in the relative comfort of my garage; then hauled the pieces to the garden and screwed them together with a cordless drill. Mine are space about 50 inches between them to allow room for the riding mower, and the garden cart. I used normal dimension lumber (pine) and not treated lumber, since I don’t want the chemicals leaching into the soil. I have a friend who guilt something similar about 3 years ago, and the non-treated wood is still holding up well.

        • MareBear says:

          Encourager, My husband build ours in the same way that OhioPrepper built his. He used the 4×4′s on the inside corners and overlapped the boards where they meet at the corners so they are tongue and groove fashion, that is to say you don’t end up with a straight seam or crack on the corners. The outside boards are screwed into the 4×4 making for a strong rigid frame. He also reinforced the long sides about midway, tacking a wood strip inside, tying the boards together, in our case three boards. We also drove rebar into all four inside corners (next to the 4×4) and two midway along the inside leaving six to eight inches above the soil line. Our beds are 4′x8′ by the way. Then we cut 1/2″ plastic pipe 8 feet long and place the ends over the rebar for three hoops over the beds. We have purchased wide insect barrier cloth or for those of you in the northern states, these hoops will support heavier cloth or plastic. Secure the covers, in our case, we cut the Insect barrier cloth in 12′ lengths and overlapped two widths over the center hoop and clip 3″ pieces of black fexible tubing which have been split along the length over the cloth and hoop, pulling the cloth taunt as you clip. Your covering should drape all the way to the outside base of your beds on all sides. We use builder’s sand or playbox sand in freezer zip-lock as sandbags to secure the covers against the base of the boxes. When finished, our boxes look like covered wagons. We use these covers early in the growing season when the beds are planted with seeds, seedlings, especially squash, bush beans, peppers and roma tomatoes. The only drawback, is watering. if you don’t have irrigation running to each bed, then you have to open one of the sides to water and resnap the covers close. I pollinate all my squash myself and leave the cover on. I hope everyone finds this helpful .

          • MareBear says:

            For clarification, the rebar is 3/8″ and the PVC is 1/2″ which allows the PVC to slide over the rebar.

          • MareBear,
            You stated, “My husband build ours in the same way that OhioPrepper built his”.
            True, except for all of the chrome and the turbochargers – LOL.

            • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

              O.P., I thought you were using nitrous oxide? How about the left handed screwdrivers used to assemble them? And I beleive you left out the fribrillated lug nuts. And the cow bell, dont forget that.

          • Encourager says:

            Thanks for all the great ideas! I would think having the insect barrier would also stop the deer from having lunch…that is my hubby’s concern, that now they wouldn’t even have to bend over to munch. I will let my hubby the engineer figure out the length & width because I know there will not be an inch wasted! As for watering, I was planning on installing drip irrigation with an old mister-type hose we bought a decade ago, just point all those little holes down, not up. Or just buy a soaker hose.

        • 4 by 12 ft should have been 4 by 8 ft

    • Sandyra says:

      I’ve had trouble with my meager tomato plant (singular) this year – it’s on the patio in full afternoon sun and the temp has been over 100. The reflection off the building makes that area even worse. I water more than once per day and make sure the soil is always damp at least. As my tomato plant is in a pot, I’ve even taken it inside during the worst of the heat to give it a break. Still, I’ve gotten a fair supply of a smaller variety of tomatoes – delicious! But I’m having trouble with the tomato flowers just drying up, too.
      The squash is doing even worse and hasn’t even produced one little squash. Strawberries are so-so. I only WISH I had access to real honest-to-goodness soil/earth instead of this container gardening crapola. If you have access to real earth and aren’t growing anything but could, tsk tsk on you!

      • Old as Dirt says:

        Sandrya, For you porch gardeners. Go get a bag of potting soil, lay it flat on the porch, cut our enough of the plastic to plant your garden.Leave enough plastic so soil does not fall out. You can grow lettuce, Mustard greens, radishes, anything you want in it. Use it till it wears out. Be careful on watering. And also Medina liquid fertilizer is the best for pots.
        Old as dirt

        • grannyj says:

          Old as Dirt is correct – There was a good article in TMEN about growing in bags if you have terrible soil and no time to build raised beds etc this year. I posted the link here in one of the other What did you….postings…a while ago. If I can find it again, I’ll post the link. ANd, the bags can be used the next year, just add some nice compost and replant. Also, if you cut the top and bottom of one bag, place it on top of another bag that you have cut, you will have enuff depth for things like carrots that grow deeper.

          I also saw another idea for using hay or straw bales – make a square with them, leaving a big sq hole in the middle. fill the middle with compost etc, and place compost, soil whatever you use along the tops….plant er up! If you don’t want to plant in the middle, use it as your compost bin – just be a bit hard to turn but leaving it to decompose – throw in lots of wigglers. After a season or two, it will all break down very nicely into purty black gold…gawd where do I find this stuff so I can give you links…

        • Sandyra says:

          Thanks – never heard of that before. I still have the issue of the cement heating up during the day, though. I wonder if it’s enough to “cook” the roots.

      • Caoimhin says:

        Have any of you added epsom salts (magnesium) to you garden beds. By the way there is no salt in Epsom salts as we know it. You really need it in your container gardens. I place 1/4 cup at each tomato plant site. Plant the tomatoes extra deep. If there on the patio use a fan during the day to cool things down slightly. I live in the desert and I use misters in the area of my garden to cool it down during the day. Our Humidity runs 2 to 15 % with a -5 dew point. Too much sun? Use shade cloth. Best of luck on the garden.

        • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

          Caoimhin, I’ve used epsom salts with my tomatoes, seem to really boost their growth. I add a few tablespoons of e.s. every two weeks at the base of the plants too.

        • Sandyra says:

          Thanks for the tips! I’m going to go put some Epsom salts in my tomato plant right now.
          No exterior outlet so don’t know about fans and misters. I’m on the second floor, and the patio is on the west side of the building, gets sun from about noon till sunset – the hottest part of the day. I’ve thought about shades, but the apt. manager/landlord doesn’t allow that kind of thing, nothing big like that & nothing that will block the view of my apt. from the street.
          My patio is just a concrete slab with railing on the second floor, measuring 14′ x 4′. That’s the only place I have to raise anything. I asked about using a small part of the dirt right under my stairs, but management said no.

          • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

            Sandyra, Perhaps you could put a light colored sheet or peice of cardboard against the railing and then move the plants behind that so that they are in “shade” part of the day? Using planters, you definetly want to water them twice a day, a good heavy soak. Perhaps raise the planters above the concrete slab with a couple of bricks, would help keep them cooler but also increases the evaporation rate (I think). Maybe hang some landscape cloth even with the top rail over the top of the plants to give them shade that way. Just some ideas, hope it helps.

    • Just a comment from one of your earlier posts… “Shoot, shovel, and shut-up”. That had me giggling for a while. These are keeper’s, for sure!

  34. Em in GA says:

    My preps include more bullets (the people at the gun shows recognize me), another 100lb bag of beans (thank goodness I like beans), 4 flats of strawberries, 10lb powdered milk, and I plan to go blueberry picking tomorrow.

    I need some advice. Like most people I have storage space issues. The “crawl space” under my house is high enough for me to stand up in for the first half of the house. Would using somehing like cement blocks to build a room/closet with a sturdy door be a good idea? I know it would be cooler than my garage but would I have issues with moisture? Right now the only things I store in the garage are several 55 gal water barrels and non-perishables (TP, paper plates,salt). I’m wondering if the room was sturdy enough could it be used in case of tornados? (one went through several years ago and dropped a tree on the house. I’ve been paranoid about tornados ever since.)

    • Hawkeye says:

      Em in GA: I don’t know if you have MDs CD or not? But it has a couple of improvised basement “strong rooms”/fallout shelters. One from the old Civil Defense days looks pretty good and relatively inexpenive. If I lived in “Tornado Alley” I’d sure have a safe room or special built shelter of some kind! I realize GA isn’t in Tornado Alley but it is obviously at occasional risk from them.

      • Em in GA says:

        Thanks Hawkeye. I just got the CD and I’m still working my way through it. I’ll look for those plans tonight

    • JO (Georgia) says:

      Em, is the under house inclosed? or would you be doing that with the block, and also do you have any water issues down there after heavy rains? Also is it poured or just dirt?

      • Em in GA says:

        JO, it’s enclosed and no water issues. It has a dirt floor plus my furnace is there. All that space, seems a shame to waste it. I thought maybe a room with shelves might work. Place pallets on the ground to keep the larger buckets off the ground while using the shelves for lighter items.

        • JO (Georgia) says:

          the soil is going to wick up moisture no matter what you do, but maybe pallets on plastic would work to keep stuff dryish. That being said there are a lot of companies here that will pour a crawl space and put in a sump drain. I can only imagine that’s expensive. The concrete block is going to wick moisture too, but as long as you put in some vents so the room can breath, and don’t seal the concrete block so any wicking can dissipate with out causing problems its probably fine. I would however recommend investing in a humidity/temp monitor. They sell them at radio shack for under 20 or so. That way you can keep an eye on it and you’ll know if your mason jar lids are gonna rust etc. Probably be just like keeping everything in a cool shed :)

          • Em in GA says:

            Didn’t think about the wicking of moisture. Maybe line the concrete blocks with a moisture barrier (can not spell it). At a conference we used it to seal an underground home. I know the local stores carry it. Glad I asked about this. Thanks

        • rob in Ontario says:

          Em- I’m a carpenter and have worked a fair bit with concrete- I would suggest making a wood frame made out of 2x4and plywood and make shelves above that a dehumidifier will keep the mosture down -the blocks can be placed alongside the wood framing and can be hidden from prying eyes

        • Repair Mama says:

          Root cellar??? if it is dry, I’d do the block room and put the shelves ( leave space between the shelves and the block wall) above floor level. A dehumidifier with a condensate pump might be a good idea too. Dont have to empty it. the condensate pump has an automatic float switch to pump the water out through a 3/8″ vinyl tubing (like with an air conditioner)
          If your preps were done with mylar, o2 absorbers, and in buckets, you should be fine to store them there.

    • Sandyra says:

      Unless the room has a footing & is anchored into the soil and bedrock, it might not provide much shelter for you – but probably would be better than staying upstairs. You risk the concrete blocks collapsing on you if they aren’t put up right. You can’t just stack concrete blocks on top of each other and expect they will hold under all circumstances. They need rebar, concrete, a footing, etc.
      As to the moisture, I’d say yes. But perhaps you could find a way to cut down on the humidity in the room/closet.

  35. K Fields says:

    Took off work this past week to take advantage of the clear warm weather and got a small pasture cut and bailed before the building heat brought the fog back on shore. Got the last of it picked up yesterday so am taking today off to enjoy the cool ocean breeze that has now returned. Don’t know what next week may bring but right now, right here, life is good.

  36. Main thing I did was add storage space, other than that I did school shopping for the kids geting lots of items for a penny, quarter, or under a $1. Brand new bookbags (which new year will be used as BOB) for $4 each. Newspaper coming in great use to catch sales :) Think I have a new job lined up. I keep looking at land for sale but 5 acreas close to the border at $1500 isn’t what I want. Nor is 20 acreas for $5,000 in desert Arizona

    • In regards to the desert, if you want a sustainable living homestead move where there is more humidity. It is very hard to garden in some parts of the desert. The humidity here where I am this week is 5% during the day. Then the wind starts in the arternoon and just has a blast furnace effect on everything.
      You just arn’t able to grow so many things. Better to do like M.D. and move where there is a friendlier climate. The high desert is very beautiful as long as there is water and stores to shop in. But all in all I would discourage any younger people that want to build a homestead from moving here or any desert.

      • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

        Judith, you are certainly correct when it comes to doing regular gardening in the desert. Here in the month of June, seems like everything just sort of goes dormant. If I didnt have the summer monsoons, I am pretty sure no ordinary plants would do very well here. There are a few exceptions to that though, for example, my jujube trees do very well and I dont water them at all. Prickly pear cactus is edible (nopales in spanish), grows well in the desert and makes for a pretty formidable barrier. Peppers seem to like the desert (and bugs seem to like peppers). If you modify your growing season for regular plants, can also grow such things as beans, tomatoes, etc…just dont expect them to do well in June/July.

        You can also find desert adapted plant seeds for your garden from nativeseedsearch.org (based in Tucson) that include grains, beans, greens, flowers, herbs, etc. Give them a try.

        • Thanks for that link AZ Rookie Prepper. I will certainly check them out. They have good luck with the Jujube trees over here also. We don’t get as much monsoonal rain in the summer as you do so don’t know if that makes a difference in the native plants.

          • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

            Judith, when you check out the site, each variety of plant has a description of where they found it, elevation, type of agriculture in the vicinity, etc. Corn for example, has quite a few varieties coming from lowland canyons up to high desert and alpine climates. Look through them and you should be able to find plants that come from an area that might match your particular climate. Best of luck, you are still correct, it is tough growing stuff in the desert.

  37. Bought a few canned items – Walmart has several new canned meats available. Got some dish soap. Looked at a very small cabin to use as a bug out home at our retreat property. If we can find someone to move it we are going to get it.

    Picked our first apples from a tree we planted 2 years ago. They are small but it’s still a young tree. I think I’ll make an apple pie tomorrow from them and I’ll still have some left over.

    The corn we planted last week has popped up out of the ground. We should be harvesting in September. Our watermelons are about 1/2 grown – good thing too because Publix is selling them for $8.99!! Yikes!

    This week we mainly just tended the garden, stuffed the food & storage items I’d bought over the last 2 weeks into our overfilled storage closets and stayed inside to stay away from the 100+ degree heat. Not fit for man nor beast out there….

    I’ve been practicing my rain dance (does that count as prepping?). If we don’t get some soon I’m going to break out into a full routine within a day or two.

    • Old as Dirt says:

      GA mom, what kind of meat in cans does Wall Mart have new. I like the turkey spam. I am not fond of the regular spam. We will need the protein and to have canned meat on hand is a good thing.
      Old as dirt

      • They have lots of canned meat – the standard chicken, tuna, roast beef, DAK hams, spam, vienna sausages, etc. but they have new meat this week – several brands of sausage in a can. I’ve never seen that before.

        We also buy lots of dinty moore beef stew and chicken & dumplings. They are a complete meal in a can. Quick & easy. This week we found brunswick stew in a can for the 1st time.

        Another good protein source – canned boiled peanuts. We’ve got lots of those.

        • Boiled Peanuts… I love those. LOVE!! Can’t get enough of them when we visit the low country. I’ll have to check my Wally’s for them, though I’m doubtful.

          • In our Walmart they sell them by the regular peanuts & mixed nuts. Yellow Can. Expiration date is 2014 or 2015. Great prep food!

      • JP in MT says:

        I have a CVS here in town and occasionally they have the DAK Danish canned hams on sale for about $2.50 ea (about half price). Ours only carries 6-7 at a time and the ad is in the SUnday paper so I usually get a rain check for 12 and get them over the next 6 weeks.
        Also the store brand of Alaskan Salmon is the same a Bumble Bee brand.

  38. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    I sure missed all you guys and gals the past week. My experiment in living off grid, off all utilities for a week is over and boy-howdy am I glad of that. To be quite honest, I like all the modern conveniences and hope to never have to live without them, but glad I gave it a trial run…just in case things go to hell, and I’m thinking they will.

    One thing I learned, you will need more water than you anticipate. One or two gallons per person per day is a joke. That only works if you are bugging out and not washing laundry, not bathing, not cooking much rice or beans, and not watering a garden. Believe me, good water will be a precious commodity when the SHTF.

    Another thing I learned, it will take a lot longer to do something, so just get used to that fact. Washing the clothes will take longer, so will drying it. Bathing will take longer, so will dealing with trash. You’ll be glad to have newspaper on hand to wrap some of the dirtier, stinkier stuff in before tossing into the trash can.

    Have a very wide variety of foods, even a few cans or boxes of stuff you may not normally enjoy because the need will arise for a change of flavor. For example, I don’t normally eat water chestnuts, but I’m going to get a few cans just so I’ll have a different texture and flavor once in awhile. And I’ll definitely add a few hard candies and some gum, too.

    What did I miss most without electricity? The freezer, more than the refrigerator. The freezer means ice cubes, meats, frozen veggies. I gotta find a solution so I can maintain a small freezer even if the grid goes down and stays down. Plus, I missed the TV more than the computer – guess that’s because I can work when the TV is on in the background, but can’t work around the house while I’m using the computer. But in grid-down, there probably won’t be any TV stations broadcasting for long, so I am not going to bother with trying to create enough power to run a TV as well as a freezer.

    Picked some wild blackberries this past week, got scratched up pretty well so will buy a couple of canvas shirts this fall in order to avoid that next season. I’d rather avoid problems than try to heal them after the fact. Found out that pouring some apple cider vinegar on sunburn ASAP really does sooth the burning. Be aware that any scrapes or cuts on the skin will sting when the cider is poured over them. The stinging isn’t bad for an adult, but kids might find it a little disturbing.

    On a side note, I talked to a friend this morning (used the phone for the first time in a week) and he said he drove through Klamath Falls, Oregon last weekend and was surprised to see all the empty storefronts and closed businesses on Main Street. He said he noticed similar scenes in other small towns during his fishing trip. He agrees that things are only going to get worse.

    It’s sure good to be back online. Take care, my prepping friends. God bless America.

    • Lint Picker,

      Welcome back.

      • worrisome says:

        http://www.dailyjobcuts.com/ ~ y’all might want to book mark this website? It gives a monthly rundown on what is closing where and how many jobs the close downs are taking with them…Also has other interesting facts, including list of banks closed since 2009. Lint Picker, what a great experiment! Good on you! I am going to try this when I take my vacation in Sept. wasn’t going anywhere anyway……….this will be good practice!

      • Welcome back lint!while you where gone we ended world hunger. Our soldiers are all home. Illegals have packed up and moved back to Thier countries of origin. The A- rabs have run out of storage facilities for oil and are asking America to use as much as possible at no charge. ,,,,,,,ok I can’t go on with this charade any longer. Truth is lint,while you where out of touch the world voted to just go ahead and blow ourselves up since it’s going to hell in a hand basket anyway. The explosion should be taking place right about ,,,,,?,?,,,??,?,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • Funny you mentioned water. In the Dallas area we in really bad drought and I am watching how the lakes are dropping by feet. It is staying in the 100s temperature wise. If something happened to the water supply we only have a weeks worth of water. The water in the kiddie pool evaropates within 3 days of filling it up. I need to get some 55 gallon drums on hand just in case and get a berkley system to reuse gray water.

      Watched a few youtubes this week, forgot the guys name but he stated within the next 10 years the US will be attacked with nuclear weapons by China and Russia. The guy said he thinks it will be sooner rather than later. To me it reminds me of the dreams I had at 8 living underground and couldn’t understand how it had lights and wells that worked.

      Sorry got off topic. I hope we never have to do off the grid living, too. But coming from the blood line I do I have a feeling we’ll have no say in the matter. If the president is willing to spend social security revenue on other purpose than to send out social security checks on August 3rd because congress won’t raise the debt ceiling than we have a big problem with our slave owners destroying the dollar because us slaves are protesting.

    • Yeah, welcome back to the almost normal world.
      Hey when you figure out what will run your freezer let me know.
      I would like to save up (will take forever) and get something to run a small freezer and a small(er) refrigerator.
      Being without a way to keep things at least cold is the most disturbing to me. well that and being without a crapper, but don’t want one of those electrified.
      Well and the lack of water.
      Okay will quit before I mention everything that will bother me.

      • riverrider says:

        ellen, a small 3k generator will run the fridge and freezer. they don’t need to run 24/7, just an hour or so in the a.m. and p.m….put some barrels under your gutter downspouts to catch the rain. we did this at our cabin and two 30 gallon barrels lasted two weeks. only took a short shower of rain to refill. we are in process of installing 550 gal tank on the main house for same, with a hand pump.

        • Thank You. I am checking into everything except for direct current from lightening bolts.
          As far as the rain, there is a crevice in my roof where two angled sections meet that when it rains good the water just gushes off of it. One year it rained more than just steady it was steady and hard, I know over 1oo gallons of water poured off that roof during the day and night.
          So will have to invest in something to catch rain in.

          • JP in MT says:

            Check with your local Pepsi/Coke distributor. A friend got some 55 gal blue food grade barrels for $5 each. Some were a little dented but since he was looking for water storage and rain collection these were better than the $85 new ones. They originally had syrup in them.

            • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

              Another option for rain barrels is your local feed store. I purchased 55 gallon food grade drums from them for $35 each. They sell them to ranchers/horse owners who cut them in half lengthways to make feeders for their livestock. Wash out well and they do a wonderful job.

    • grannyj says:

      LP welcome back – you”ve done us proud, as we knew you would! I’m glad your experiment worked in that you learned some things – i.e apple cider vinegar for sunburn, etc

      I would imagine, LP, that coming back to the “real world” after only a week, being on your own, no electric, etc was culture shock…the zombies who have no clue look even more bizarred now don’t they? I feel out of sync with the rest of the world sometimes – don’t they “get” it?

      But at least you know you CAN do it and where your strengths and weaknesses are….good things to know! We missed ya!

    • Hunker-Down says:

      L.P.,
      Thanks for sharing your test with us. My house would be better prepared if we did the same. Your tips on water is especially important, and thanks also for the newspaper idea.

      Not much has changed while you were gone. The myopic, stare from their posterior crowd in D.C is figuring out how to kick the can further down the road without the plan being identified as can kicking.
      We need a constitutional change that will allow our vote to count when we vote for ‘none of the above’. If the seat in play gets a majority of ‘none of the above’ votes, it should be eliminated.
      Welcome back to paranoid-land.

      • Hunker-Down says:

        We are NOT prepared to handle our water needs. We have the 2 bucket & filter system to produce safe drinking water but nothing adequate for storage.

        Does anyone know if there is a collapsible water storage container; 10-20 gallons? Perhaps one for drinking, one for clothes washing & bathing and one for watering the garden. I would like to hide them flat in a box in the basement until they are needed.

        • JO (Georgia) says:

          Don’t have them so don’t know how well they work but something like this perhaps? http://www.directive21.com/aquatank.html

          • Hunker-Down says:

            The Aquatank II is the type of container I had in mind, but they slipped the decimal point on the price.

        • Copperhead says:

          Hunker-Down, I am fairly new to this, but have been following for a bit. I have purchased from Emergency Essentials the Basic Water Storage Kits. They come in different sizes, but I got the five gallon size since this granny can’t lift a whole lot. There are 5 five gallon bags per kit in mine. Haven’t filled them yet but they look like they would do the job. Hope that helps.

          To everyone else… I can’t tell you how much I enjoy and how much help I have received from you-all as I am beginning my prepping. I will be following and may even comment a time or two.

          • Kate in GA says:

            Copperhead,

            I have the Emergency Essentials Basic Water Storage Kits as part of my water storage program as well. They are a bit heavy when filled, but a whole lot better than a 9 gallon jug or a 55 gallon barrel. I took the water from the tap and didn’t treat it at all. Changing the water every year is fairly easy too. 1 year old water smells a bit musty but tastes fine and didn’t make me sick.

        • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

          Hunker-Down, there is also the bathtub bob kit. Its called bob, but not sure what it stands for. It is a large water bag that uses your bathtub walls to support it, it fills the inside and you fill it from the bathtub faucet. I do not have one, as I have other methods of storing water (6 x food grade 55 gallon drums plus quite a few smaller containers plus a rain harvesting system), but I’ve seen it advertised on various emergency supply sites.

          • It’s called a Water Bob and they run about $20.00. I have one as part of a diverse set of storage mechanisms on hand.

          • Hunker-Down says:

            Thanks Jo, Copperhead, Kate and AZ.
            After checking out the vendors, I think the only thing that fits our budget is a couple of fiberglass utility sinks set on concrete blocks for work stations and a bunch of 5 gallon food grade buckets for water storage. We can get lake water to replace any water used with our filters from Monolithic.com.
            We should be able to keep a 40 gallon supply of drinking water and forward it to grey-water and black-water categories as needed.

            Thanks L.P. for prodding me to think through this issue.

        • I have a 8 foot by 30 inch pool set up in my back yard, and one brand new in the box. These pools sell for about 40 to 50 dollars. The one I have set up now has been my reserve resevoir for 5 years. I finally set it up just to test the plastic, the old one came with a cover the new ones are sold seperatly. These pools hold about 900 gals of water, the top is held up by an inflated ring, that does suffer from a tendancy to get holes, birds, cats, dogs get curious and when they check it out ship happens. Mine is in a 10′ X 10′ screened
          gazebo, the peaked roof of which if inverted would make a good collectr. I’ve seen cheaper screened room in adds for under $30. My plan for the reserve is to fill it should I get an hour warning of the S impacting the fan. I don’t know that I will have time but an extra 900 gal. for the price is worth a thought. Excuse me but I will now go and perform a integrety test on water reservoir. Now where’s that beach towel?

        • Plant Lady says:

          I had a real “Duh” moment when one of the LDS (Mormon) ladies told us how she stores water. She stores drinking/cooking water in her empty canning jars…already has them and a space to store them so no extra cost nor trying to figure out where to put something different. Get the jars ready just like for canning (in hot boiling water), then pour boiling water in them, put a hot lid on them then the band and you are set! She uses old lids (not recommended for actual canning), but works well for storing water. Says she had never had one fail to seal.

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      Welcome back L.P. I liked your comments on what happened while you experimented with being grid down. Maybe another guest post where you go into more detail?

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        AZrp, I’m trying to spend less time online since I now know there is much more work around this place that needs to be done before the whole country implodes (the whole world?). But, I’ll try to get some time set aside to write a more detailed account of my week “off”. The week was very labor-intensive and yet also fulfilling. Of course, I knew it was for only a week and that may have been what kept me from tearing out my hair at times. Frustration was rampant. LOL Almost every task took much longer than anticipated, but probably because I didn’t have much experience doing it or I didn’t have an established routine. I now know why Monday was Wash Day, Tuesday was Baking Day (or whatever). Having a routine really helps.

        Thanks for asking, my friend.

        • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

          LP, understand about feeling the need to get stuff done soon. I think we all should pay heed to those warning signals that keep flashing in front of us. Still, if/when you get the chance, would sure like to hear about your frustrations/fulfilling moments. Take care, keep your nose in the wind, eyes on the skyline.

    • Thank Heavens y0u are back Lint. Nothing was the same without your comments.
      I am with you on the small refrig-freezer but I’ll be darned if I can figure out the generator thing. When I look online for one it always seems that they don’t run very long and that you have to store a lot of fuel.
      I am dreading the crash also for shallow reasons. 2 being coke and bolgna and cheese and chips and every other junk food I can think of.

      • axelsteve says:

        Judith. Running out of chips would not be a shallow reason in my book. If I can`t get some chips about once a week I may not be responsible for my actions. Steve

        • riverrider says:

          axel/judith, same here on the chips. we’ll have to figure out how to make some. wonder if u can make them with dehydrated potato slices?

          • “Wonder if u can make them with dehydrated potato slices?” I don’t know why not, once you figured out how much to rehydrate before cooking. As for making your own, all you need is some light oil and some salt or seasonings. The kettle chips that I prefer were originally made to order in an open kettle on a street corner. It would take a little practice, but should be something any of us can do.

    • I have a small dual gas/elec frig that came out of a scrapped out camp trailer. A small motorcyle battery and a 7 watt solar panel run the controls. A bottle [4.5 gal] of propane will last about 5 or 6 weeks depending on weather and use. It will freeze 2 gal milk jugs and two 1/2 gal jugs over night. plus two small ice trays. I have used this to keep 1 large and 1 medium ice chests cold enough to store food. plus two glasses of ice tea a day. Most of what I needed for this I either scavaged or traded for

    • templar knight says:

      Lint, seems like you’ve been gone a month. I sure have missed those laughs you gave me just about every day. Wish I had good news for your return, but alas, things seem to be getting worse.

      I enjoyed reading about your experience, and will work on the water issue. I do have a 4 acre pond/tank on my property, and a major river is not far away(less than 2 miles), but we are in the midst of a drought here in Arkansas, so who knows. You’ve given me more to think about.

      By the way, it’s good to have you back, my friend.

    • blindshooter says:

      Lint! I thought you had died ;^) Thanks for taking the time to write about your off grid experiment, I had one myself yesterday when a storm knocked me off for about 5 hours. I really missed my AC as it was about 102 here yesterday.

      • Welcome back Lint, I missed your comments this week when I stopped by for my daily visit! Congrats on your week of without and I second the idea of a propane fridge/freezer, I have a big one in my RV, and it works great when there is a power outage, it does not do my big freezers which is a different matter but its sure helps.

    • Lint, I missed you and if you notice last week’s comments, we didn’t have as high a count. Think there’s a correlation there? lol

      Glad all is well and you learned from your experiment. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • axelsteve says:

      Good to see you back lint. Have a good evening Steve

  39. Nor Cal Ray says:

    Welcome back L.P.

    Didn’t do much this week as far as prepping. Worked in the garden. Harvested fresh tomatos, pole beans, snap peas, green onions, red onions, and rose petals. Will harvest and dry Basil, and parsley tomorrow. Has anyone here had any experience drying mint leaves. Does it work out or should I skip it.

    Moved about 2 1/2 tons of crushed granite by hand this week. Putting outside all around the house so we can hear if anyone is walking around outside the house. Got it for free off Freecycle.org so decided to use it this way.

    D.W. scored 2 cases of 4″x6″ writing tablets from her job that they were going to throw away. Also 1 case of Plastic shopping bags. Here Boss also gave her 2 Portable Air Conditioners and a Dehumidifier.

    Picked up hand sanitizer for the med kit and a N.R.A. reloading manual at Half Priced Books. 2 extra cases of water.

    Ray

    • worrisome says:

      Mint is easy………….just cut off some branches and find a relatively non humid place to hang them upside down until they are dry and crispy. Run your hand down the branches and they fall off. Put in dry storage container………ya got dried mint, no electrical use at all needed.

    • JO (Georgia) says:

      Mint leaves dry just fine either lain out on some paper towels, or dried in the oven. Supposed you could use a dehydrator too, but have never tried this. They make good tea this way, or I actually like to add it to hot bath water.

      • I make a tincture out of my mint, and stevia. I recently found a bottle in my travel trailer that was 5 years old and still plenty minty.

        • Nor Cal Ray says:

          Thanks for the advice everyone. This is my first time trying to dry mint and wasn’t sure it could be done. azyogi, a little moree info on your tincture would be reat if you would care to share that info with us.
          Ray

          • A tincture is basicly a tea made with alcohol instead of water. I use a mason jar, for the steeping in the colder months I set it on a west facing window sill, summer I use the east facing one.[think sun tea] Using fresh leaves [dry will work but fresh have more volitle organic flavinoids] I muddle the leaves [muddling sticks can be found in bar supplies, [mojito] or you can use a pestle] then soak/steep in 140 or higher proof ethanol [if you don't have it use vodka] There are many oils in plants the fattier oils will float on the surface I skim or filter these. The more volitile ones will disolve, in some cases this is the flavor, or for stevia the sweet, for St. Johns Wort the mood elavator. Some Herbs do better as a Tea or Tisane, but some store longer as a tincture, Herb books or trial and error is the best judge. A handy mix and use for both mint and stevia is make a tincture 1/3 mint 2/3 stevia. Then dissolve in 1 cup hot water 1 tbs baking cocoa, 1 tbs powdered milk, add 4 to 10 drops tincture.
            Dark glass is best for storage, Vanilla extract bottles work well. If you use the higher proof solvents [alcohol] for quicker extraction water it down to about 40 proof [20%] by volume using distilled water. For filtering; paper [coffee] will work but many layers of cheese clothe seems to get the best results. I think the cheesecloth binds the fats that could lead to rancidness better but have no proof, the bard I learned herbcraft from just left it at just use the dang cheescloth boy thats what works.

            • Hunker-Down says:

              azyogi,
              I saw a 2 ounce bottle of stevia at our local bulk food store. The price is $22.79!!!!!

            • Nor Cal Ray says:

              azyogi, thanks for the followup. I appreciate it.
              Will give it a try and see how it comes out.
              Ray

  40. Bad Karma says:

    M. D. please stop my emails. My email adress has been stolen, the first thing they did was change my password, then they emailed my cantacts and said I was in Malasia and needed 1500 dollars sent so i could get home. Ironically I used to work out of the country some. All this came from a microsoft letter asking me for info. I know, dummy. thanks again for a wonderful sight. I just realized I could send you my Email, not always tech savy. thanks Larry

  41. JO (Georgia) says:

    Went to Borders going out of business sale, picked up a couple of books, but its probably best to wait a couple more weeks till they drop prices again, they still cost more than amazon. Got a book on making jerky that includes instructions for no stove, and no dehydrator. It will come in handy come deer season I hope! Also ordered Hunt, Gather, Cook.

    Canned some peaches and some more tomatoes. I think the tomatoes might finally be slowing down enough I can realistically dump out the water bath canner for a week or so. Other wise mostly just practiced skills. Hand sewing, trying to learn how to knit.

  42. Well you can tell I ain’t thinking straight today.
    Went to the store, things are getting bad. The sugar that was 2/$5.00 is now $2.99 for a 5lb bag.
    That’s .49 cents. Where’s that lousy percentage crap at with this? I guess they figured they would go for the gusto.
    Well at least it is still a 5lb bag.
    So inflation has started in earnest.

    • Ellen, I noticed the prices are terrible too this last week. The price of flour has skyrocketed. The regular unbleached flour was so expensive, i went ahead and bought Bob’s Red Mill because it was only a few cents more and is packed in a better bag. 5.00 and something can’t remember exactly.

      • Well the sugar had kinda become a security blanket. It had been 2/$5.00 for well over two years. Everytime I would get the sale paper I would tell my son, I wonder when it is going to go off sale.
        So I became over confident over it not going up and things would be okey dokey for awhile longer. But now that has been shattered and I know we are in a world of poop, gee now I have to buy hip boots my wade-ing boots ain’t goina work.
        I wasn’ t at the store long so didn’t check any other prices on things that I usually buy for storeage.
        But if you hear a long wowful howl that sounds like someone in extreme pain it is me at the store finding out my budget has fallen into a deep deep dark sink hole.

  43. blindshooter says:

    No real preps unless you think never ending moving counts. We are still working on my late Fathers stuff so the the new owners can start cleaning and moving in, we have to finish that by next Friday. It’s been over 100 deg here for the last 5 days with wicked humidity and it’s killing us. My job has been a real bear this week as well, no help and lots of travel. The work vehicle cost me some bucks, new battery and some EGR bits to get rid of check engine light. My ex came today and loaded up some of her things, lord willing I will be rid of her after a couple more trips. I should have threw her crap out 3 years ago but I guess I’m better than that although I did think about building a huge fire with her stuff last winter. The horn worms nearly cleaned up my cherry tomatoes before I realized they were eating them, I’ll still have enough to make some sauce to can if I can get the time. I did get my annual checkup done and Doc says I’m doing well except for the spine/neck issue. He says put off any cutting as long as possible and gave me some hints on how to live with it better than I have been doing. I get to do the rotor rooter next year, dread the prep for that.

    MD, lots of good reading here this week! Thanks again for the work you put in here. Hope your moving plans are working out better than mine…..

    • blindshooter,

      It’s going slow (moving) would go faster if I had more money to get things done all at once, but I do as I get the money.

      • blindshooter says:

        I’m on board with the lack of money thing, the place I’m moving into will need right much work and the deal with my sister is I do the maintenance and up keep and she keeps the rent as low as her costs will allow. I’ll save money in the long run but its going to be tough right now. I’m trying to sell my last match rifle but it’s hard going on that one(not many 1k yard competitors running around) and I refuse to give it away. I’ll keep it and convert it to another deer rifle before I sell it cheap.

        Ah, here comes the ex to haul off more of her junk, maybe the lord will keep me from committing murder on the Sabbath………………

  44. K Fields says:

    “I like all the modern conveniences and hope to never have to live without them” I couldn’t agree with you more Lint Picker! I grew up without them (no electricity, no indoor plumbing, etc.) and I have no desire to return to that kind of life. M.D.’s comments on the pictures at the museum he visited are truly insightful in that context, the few old family photos I have all show that “pain of life etched in their faces.”
    As to your freezer, you have a couple of choices; get a generator that can handle that compressor load or get an ammonia type freezer powered by kerosene or propane. The ammonia type will use a lot less fuel and make virtually no noise during operation, but is more expensive to initially purchase. Being “off grid” (as the saying goes) myself, I use the ammonia type heated by propane and have had no complaints with its operation. A number of companies manufacture them, both domestic and import.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      K Fields, thanks very much for the info about the ammonia freezer. If possible, could you provide a link to the one you have?

      • Lint,
        Welcome back. Looking forward to the tales of your adventure.
        Although a bit expensive, Lehmans has these.
        http://non-electric.lehmans.com/search#w=refrigerator%20lp&asug=refri

      • K Fields says:

        Mine is an old 500 series Servel that hasn’t been produced in donkey’s years so no links to specs on it, but a quick google search of propane freezers brought up a bunch of companies that carry Domestic, Consul, Blizzard and some others I have never heard of. They are available as chest freezers as well as standard refrigerator/freezers. The newer models are MUCH more efficient than mine (better insulation, etc.) and many today have a 110volt house current heating option so you can simply plug them in while always having the propane as back-up when the power goes out. Someone told me that running the new ones on electricity is a bit cheaper than using propane at the current rates, but I haven’t seen any studies done so can’t say for sure. I’ll bet there’s a dealer/serviceman in your area that can supply you with all the facts; lots of folks are off the grid in northern CA.

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      Most RV refridge’s and freezers run off of propane heating ammonia too, could maybe get a used RV unit to do the job. A 20 lb bottle of propane will run one of those for a long time.

      • blindshooter says:

        I’ve been looking into a gas/ammonia refrigerator to replace the electric one I have now when it dies mainly to save on electricity (it’s .14 / kwh here) and also to be more independent of the grid. They do cost more up front but from what I read if you get a good one they will last a long time. Most of the ones I read about do require cleaning about every six months to keep soot from building up in the flue parts. I think some can be vented out side if you live where its hot a good part of the year, I think when I get one I’ll put it in a unheated garage right off the kitchen area. You can store a lot of propane without fear of it going bad just make sure your tanks are in good shape and not where some crackhead can steal them.

        • blindshooter says:

          Also I read somewhere(maybe here) about some folks using small chest freezers with another controller as a refrigerator, efficient enough for a solar set-up.

  45. grannyj says:

    http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/8453/video-make-a-straw-bale-garden-be

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/start-a-quick-and-easy-food-garden.aspx

    http://www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com/straw-bale-gardening.html

    strawbalegardens.com/Services.php

    The last one has pictures of different ways the bales are put together – actually for those of us older folks who ache after bending over our raised beds, this is an excellent alternative. it’s higher, cheap AND it turns into compost…..lots of videos on you tube also.

    Another thing that might be of interest – Backwoods Home and TMEN both had articles ok ok I’ll post a link – on building a back yard oven – like a SW Native American beehive oven – most of us would use it for pizza, but it can do bread , roasts, veggies – great for if TSH doesnt hit the fan right away – learning another way to cook without heating the house.

    Also wanted to say that as far as the debt ceiling goes, some time ago I worked for the Feds, and they couldn’t balance the budget then either….early ’80′s – and they informed us that we would have to work without pay, that we would be paid all our back pay when they reached an agreement. My co-workers (this was in Norfolk, VA) had been through this before and said not worry, they like to scare us, but they’ve always done it on time. Worked out fine..

    This time my gut doesn’t feel it will be “fine” – not sure it will be total collapse and chaos, yet, but soon.

    http://www.sunset.com/garden/backyard-projects/project-sunsets-classic-adobe-oven-

    Keep prepping, and watch your back

  46. With the exception of the mind-numbing heat, it was a good week for our preps. Prayers for some slightly cooler weather, and rain for you folks affected by drought.

    - Keeping an eye on US and world events (Ugh!!). Following this blog and few others. Pinto bean pie!? Hmmm…
    - My glasses from Zenni Optical arrived. 3 pairs and they’re super! The prescription was spot-on. One is my primary pair. Another pair has been hidden away at home, and the third pair I keep in my car.
    - Oil change for my car. Also new air filters, fuel treatment, and wipers for both cars. Added a big jug of 10W-30 and two oil filters to the stores.
    - Cleaned the A/C compressor outside.
    - Picked-up a years worth of furnace filters.
    - Extra coffee filters
    - Added canned vegetables, canned soup, pasta, and baking items to the pantry.
    - Our seedlings crapped-out early in the planting season and we failed to start over. So, I picked-up some vegetables and fruit at a local farmers market. I should have done this sooner! I had a great talk with a local farmer. I NEED to do this weekly – the fruit-n-veg and farmer-chat. Priceless insight and advice!
    - We added a Coleman LED lantern to our lighting. I learned last week during a power outage that we needed something that could pump out the light without the heat. Shazam, this thing is bright! Also, I picked-up a few of those cheap, rechargeable LED landscaping lights. They’ll be good enough to keep us from stubbing our toes in the kitchen and bath.
    - Several small, 20-hour, oil-filled candles.
    - Two small manual can opener’s to keep in the cars.
    - Bug spray. I’m fighting with the hornets and their nests under our patio. Damn bugs!
    - Watched videos from USNERDOC, Peter Schiff, Patriot Nurse, and Analytical Survival (I think that’s the name).

    I think that’s about it. MD, thank you for this forum. And, thanks to everyone for sharing. You all are the tops! Enjoy the remainder of the weekend and make it a great week. God bless!

  47. gary in bama says:

    HEY M.D rawles has been pushing his redought states hard on his web site. And Jim Dankin has bisonia for his area of the country .What if you started pushing for the south east to be an independent area to ? HHMM what could you call it ? I know i got it THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA!!! has a nice ring i think you could push states rights and its own currancy no northern banks and lots of other ideas to.Could be a good idea i am suprised it hasnt happened already.Ok just being a smart a$$. all i did this week was clear out some room in the storm shelter for some more food im going to get in the next few weeks and sharpened the chain saw blade.

  48. Hey All,

    DH spent 3 days in hospital was relieved to wake up and not see any zombies walking the halls (we watched The Walking Dead this summer). He’s got a long recovery ahead of him but surgery was successful and doc said he’ll be good as new.

    I did manage to do a little prepping this week, picked up extra asthma and migraine meds, have new stock of pain meds thanks to DH (he won’t take them), 2 boxes steri strips, winter clothes on clearance at Wally world – 3 sweatshirts and 1 pair camo pants, 3 food grade 5 gal buckets. Read an article on the new Kimber solo and am reading Lucifer’s Hammer.

    Also wanted to say welcome to Old as Dirt – lots of good gardening advice and thanks to MD for this forum, look forward to it every week. Oh and Lint welcome back!

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Sunny, so glad your husband will be good as new in time.

  49. Well its been a busy week. 1st off, my canoe refurb is still not done, the weather just hasn’t been cooperating with my schedule, so I guess on my camping trip coming up I am not gonna have it. I am looking forward to the campout as I’ll try out some things and let you all know how it goes. Welcome back L.P. On the flip side I hauled in a huge load of scrap. Usually the money goes towards prepping but my wife doesn’t go back to work for 2 more weeks and we needed the cash. I did however have left over dough to spend and boy did I score… I met a guy in need of cash and he had alot of junk silver. I have been investing in silver for 2 years, a lil’ bit here and there. But this one deal more than doubled my stash. I really recommend that people try to acquire as much real metal money as they can..,, nickels, 1982 and below pennies, silver because who knows what will really happen after Aug 2nd????
    Anyway, my buddy gave me a lock box that I’ll put into a wall for my stash and important documents and such, maybe a pistol as well. He also gave me a couple hundred pounds of copper wire, I haul and get half. He works for a security company. Funny, but there is Divine providence, I just got a wire stripper, also for free. I also melted down some more lead, got another small animal cage, and some more canned goods. It’s been busy. I also have been contracted out to list a couple dozen “big ticket” items on eBay for another buddy, we’ll see how that goes, I’m hoping its enough for me to buy a 9mm carbine, I really hope so. Also planning to go to the gun show in my area on Saturday; just to look around.
    Thanks for all you do M.D. and for all who post.

  50. Huckleberry says:

    I didn’t get a whole lot this week, as we’re still figuring out how we’re going to allocate the prep funds. I did finally get two Serengeti CREE LED flashlights and a few cheaper ones are in the mail from Harbor Freight. I also ordered a bunch of other small stuff from Harbor Freight, including a magnesium fire starter and some headlamps/tools. Also picked up a single burner compact propane stove on sale at Wal-mart. Then there’s the regular stuff that I never really considered preps, like the 192 bottles of water we picked up today. The wife is also working on canning (it’s new to us). She canned a bit of jam that turned out really well. I think that’s about it for the items.

    I’m also attending my first trial session in Wing Chun on Monday. I found out that there’s somewhere in town that teaches it. They do two free trial sessions, so that’s what I’m starting with. I’ve always wanted to study a martial art, and have especially been intrigued by Wing Chun over the years, so this seems like a great opportunity and potential skill should the SHTF.

    Appreciated the pics of your holiday MD! I wouldn’t mind checking that place out someday.

  51. Sandyra and others that need to grow plants in pots, there are fabric pots available that come in different sizes and will grow almost anything. You can not over water in them either. They last several years and can be emptied of soil, folded and stored on a shelf. They work great. My wife and I use them to increase our gardening area and my sister that rents has had tremendous success with them.

    I traded two guns this week for others that are the same caliber as guns I already had. Less types of ammo to work with. Acquired 300 rounds of ammo. Fired new guns to become familiar with them and determine accuracy and point of impact with the ammo I have.

    Bought more canned chicken and loaded up on canned meat (Treet) when I found it at $1 per can. Added more flavoring to be added to bottles of water.

    Worked in our garden.

  52. templar knight says:

    Wow…this has been a strange week. After recently losing our cat to cancer, we drove to Monticello, Ar. this past week and picked up a dog, so we have a new pet in the house. She is not house trained, so I’ve spent the best part of the week working to get Piper accustomed to going outside to do her business. Time consuming, to say the least.

    As for prepping, I picked up some Colgate wisps, dental repair kit, shampoo, ivory soap, wet wipes, paper towels and deodorant. I also ordered some fish antibiotics, picked up 300 ct. Wal-zyr, 100 ct. Wal-dryl, aspirin and tylenol.

    No food items this week, but I did get 8 qts. of motor oil, 10 gal. of gasoline, stabilizer, and another 5 gal container.

    • Old as Dirt says:

      Knight, where did you order your fish antibiotics from?

      • templar knight says:

        Old as Dirt,

        I got them at http://www.calvetsupply.com. The people there are very helpful, and are used to dealing with preppers. Good luck and welcome to the forum.

      • JO (Georgia) says:

        Pardon my ignorance here, but what are fish antibiotics for, or do you have fish you are worried will get sick?

        • JO (Georgia),

          Such antibiotics have been used by humans to ward off infection and many survivalist stockpile a small amount to use in an emergency when other medical care is not available.

        • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

          LOL. I thought his pet fish were ill.

      • riverrider says:

        oad, can’t speak for tk, but i got mine off amazon. you need a drug reference guide tho to know what doses and what each is used for as well. hope this helps.

        • V2Saturn says:

          Thanks riverrider, I’ve seen them on amazon and wondered if they would work the same.

    • Kate in GA says:

      Templar Knight,

      Congrats on the dog! (I did notice that you didn’t say puppy – so I will assume it is an adult dog.) I use to take in foster dogs/puppies for my county. (I can’t now because my current dog is allergic to other dogs and cats and bugs and LIFE…lol)

      Anyway, to get the dog ‘on schedule’ use an alarm clock or oven timer. After a successful outing, set the timer for 2 hours or so (depending on the dog’s age). When the timer goes off take the dog out again. If you follow this scheduled faithfully – you won’t be left any surprises. The only time I ever had to clean up a surprise was when I forgot to set the alarm!

      It usually only takes a couple of days for the dog to catch on. Puppies get it in a couple of days too but puppies still need to be told when is time to go until they grow a bit. After a couple of days for an adult dog, he should start telling you it is time to go.

      Best of luck with your new dog!

      • templar knight says:

        I didn’t make it clear, Kate, but we got a puppy that is 3 mos. old. And I’ve never tried to house train one, but I’ve been trying to take her out about every 4 hr. or so, and she has had only two accidents. How long does it take before they let you know when they want to go outside? I realize all dogs are different, but just an estimate based on your schedule. Thanks for your advice and interest. The people on this blog are the greatest.

        • axelsteve says:

          Templar. We have a 8 week old lab pup that is pretty much housebroke.We still need to take him out but he lets us know. He also figured out how to use the doggy door we have in the back.Your pup sounds like he is doing good. Steve

        • JP in MT says:

          I’ve had 2 dogs since we moved to Montana. The 1st was 95% housebroke in 3 weeks, the other took 5 months. SO, I’d say your 4 hours in a good plan.

      • STL Grandma says:

        Congrats on the dog, too! Just a little over a year ago, we got a dachshound that had been rehomed three times before (and only a year old) because she couldn’t be housetrained.

        I’m thinking the only reason why is because the previous owners were lazy. I did the 2 hour routine that Kate suggested, and also tethered her to my desk because it was reported to me that she would hide her mistakes. The tether only lasted a couple of weeks and the entire housebreaking only took a month and she has been completely housebroken ever since. The only accidents she has are when WE fail at our job of letting her out regularily.

        Good Luck!

  53. SrvivlSally says:

    Canned a few batches of Black berries, Marion berries and Red Raspberries. The Marion berries are so delicious and my sister enjoyed a jar as well. Took photos of various areas where no humans go and each was serene, beautiful and nice for survival. The waterways are beautiful and one of them held over a hundred wild baby Salmon. I wanted to head on in but the day was wearing on and there was no time, not to mention there is an aquatic creature in my area which, if you are barefoot and step on it, a set of spines will stand up and get you. We have over ten areas where we can go and we would never be seen nor heard from again while in this area, if we wanted it to be that way. Checked the peas and some are ready to be eaten, dried or put up. Took out a medium-sized sword to send to my sister and she was very excited because she has never had one of her own. She said that with her packs, a few books and some good information, she feels confident about survival. She was homeless not long ago so having a pack and everything that she needs helps ease hear fears and doubts about how she would survive if ever she had to again. Picked Huckle berries, wild Blue berries, and a few Salmon berries and am saving them for canning soon. Salal berries are drawing close to producing berries and will be good added to the Huckle berries. I showed a family member the photos of the musuem and they were impressed. A coyote came around, let out some barks and sure howls and I had to go out and bang as loud as I could and also yell. There’s a pathway through some of the thick Black berries and before the dog was gone, I heard a few old dead vines and sticks pop and a few minutes later I heard a low growl. I took a few steps back to put some distance between us and then started banging and making all of the noise I could. It eventually went to a different area because I was not going to back down and let it eat my pets. A little hoarse today but it was worth saving my furry ones. The museum helps to remind me of a very old cast iron corn pone pan that we used to bake corn bread in. It sold about twenties years ago for about $35 because our old Chevy’s tank was in need. I tested some old Birch bark and it still burned hot after more than thirty years in storage. I cut it into strips and put some into a few fire making kits.

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      SrvivlSally, glad you saved your pets. Coyotes around here also like to chow down on Fido and Fifi.

  54. Ridge Runner says:

    Still out here in Wyoming so nothing added to the home pantry. Hiked six miles at 8000 ft yesterday. Good cardio, but wore my old ass out!

  55. I am still somewhat of a newbie compared to most of you guys – but I am growing rapidly in my prepping by learning from this wonderful blog. I love this site! I have been prepping the basics of water, canned goods, flour, rice, wheat, guns, ammo for about a year now and have recently been practicing my bread-making skills – getting better every week! My question for the group is about dehydrating foods. I don’t have a garden this year, just a few tomato plants, but neighbors and co-workers have been giving me some of their surplus (yay!) and next year I already have seeds and plan to try my hand at a big garden. So this may be a stupid question, but when you dehydrate foods, what do you do with them? Do you eat them in their dehydrated form or do you have to put them in a soup and re-hydrate? Don’t laugh guys – I am still learning. Thanks!! Happy prepping :)

    • Hi Donna,
      I dehydrate foods several different ways. My apricots and peaches I do a soft dehydration. I put them in food saver bags and stick them in my freezer and take them out when i want a snack. My grapes I put out in the sun on a screen door covered by another screen door. They dry really well. Soft enough to eat but dry enough not to mildew. Any veggies I do are usually dried hard. They last and last that way and I just put them in soup. I store them in jars.
      There are no stupid questions on here. But one thing is for sure there is always a bunch of people that have the answers.
      I am in no way an expert on dehydrating and welcome whatever anyone else has to say about it.

    • Em in GA says:

      Donna, check out http://dehydrate2store.com/. She demonstrates how to dehydrate and has recipes/videos.

    • mountain lady says:

      Donna, last year I was new to dehydrating, but I did a ton of it. I packaged quite a few in sandwich bags and put in a big tin for making soups. It is nice to have a piece if need to make broth and then just add a handful of mixed veggies, carrots, corn, and dried shredded cabbage. Add some barley and it makes a great soup. This year I am planning to put a lot into jars and vacuum seal them with my food saver. If you garden is not producing, like mine, buy frozen veggies and dehydrate them (learned that here on the blog). They take so little space and space around here is at a premium. I am sure some of the others will have some ideas for you, too.

    • In regards to dehyrdated foods, it depends on what it is in regards to how its used, I often eat dried fruits as snacks without doing anything else to them, or I can add water, reheat them into fruit parts and then cool and use them in baking goods or in cobblers etc.

      In veggies area, I use them for soups, stews etc, and yes, they are re-hydrated, when it comes to meat, if its in Jerky form, its eaten as is, if its tiny cubes dried out, its for soups or stews and is re-hydrated etc.

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      Donna, no laughing here, we all started where you are now. The only “stupid” question is the one you do NOT ask. As for how to use dehydrated foods, there are multiple answers, depending on the particular food. For most you would need to rehydrate them in some form, whether soup or other method. A reason water is so important to our preps. Probably the best way to learn is by doing…suggest you get “Making and Using Dried Foods” by Phyllis Hobson. Use the link to Amazon that M.D. provides, type the title of the book you’re looking for in there and it’ll take you right to it. Might find it at a local bookstore too.

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      i use the viggies in soups and stews, fruits are normally munched on by the kids as a sweet treat. i know you can rehydrate and use but never tried it. most dehydrated vegies are to hard to eat normally your milage may very on that. i know thier are some good websites that show how to use dehydrated foods but cant recall now and they are all on my old comp as links unfortunatly it is dead.

    • Kate in GA says:

      Donna,
      As the others have said, you can eat fruits dry as a snack or re-hydrate for baking. I usually re-hydrate the veggies I cook with. They work great in stews or soups or any recipe that calls for fresh. Sometimes I re-hydrate first and then add to the recipe and sometimes I throw it in ‘as is’ in the dehydrated state.

  56. Got all excited when the weather radio came on but the storms just swirled around and missed us totally. In 45 years of gardening we have never had such a sad garden. Soaker hoses can’t keep up with the drought. Have to pick every tomato barely yellow and ripen indoors or they cook on the vine. Trying to keep my rutabaga patch alive and the potatoes. The sweet taters are loving the weather though as are the peppers,cukes, melons. Can’t believe three plantings of green beans have all failed. Glad I can everything I can every year as we still have over 50 qts. tomatoes and many pints of g.beans, applesauce and peaches. Son keeps trying new pickle recipes but I tell him pickles won’t keep us alive!!!!

    Hand watering our baby fruit trees is a royal pain…doubt the tart cherries make it though. The rest look good and the 20 year old trees still have good crops. Peaches all dried up but pears coming on and the concord grape vines are loaded. Sure glad we deeply mulched all the grapes and young trees. Believe that is the only thing saving them now as we move into the 6th week of over 95 degree temps.

    Don’t forget as you are watering those tomato plants in pots 2-3x a day that you will need to be more diligent with fertilizing. Remember reading a quote that said “we never water unless that water is blue”. Well, Miracle Gro works or good compost plus even some mulch around your potted plants will help conserve water. I’m keeping track of the flowers that are doing the best in this heat. Vincas always laugh at high temps but four o’clocks do,too as do zinnias, marigolds, sunflowers, tithonia, snapdragons. Hollyhocks are really going to seed so collected several envelopes. They will self-seed and come up really early.

    • Dee, I keep seeing that people are having trouble with peaches drying up. I don’ understand that. It is hot and dry in the desert where I live and are peaches and plums and pears almost always do really well. Apples too are good. We just finished with most of our peaches and the weather has been between 90 and 95 with a few 100′s. Maybe one of our gardening experts could clarify what is causing them to dry up.

      • I’m no expert, but it may be that the trees are acclimated differently. Plant a tree in the desert, and if it survives, it’s because it sunk a deeper root system to access the available water.
        Plant a tree in a place like here in Ohio, and its root system will be wide, but not nearly as deep, because of abundant moisture. When you stress both trees with heat and drought, one tree has the root system that can still access some moisture, while the other doesn’t have the root infrastructure to do so and suffers accordingly.

        • Ohio Prepper that makes a lot of sense. You are right. The trees here do put down a deeper root system. That would explain the peaches drying up in excessive heat back there whereas they don’t here.

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      i have built a couple of plywood boxes to go around my earth tainers. with the air gap in between they do not get as hot hot from the sun atleast. we just went through a week of your high temps not sure how you survive the heat.

      the earth tainers are working great for me this year with a water reservoir i water in the morning and check on them at night but the few gallons of water in the bottem of the container means they never completly dry out. would reall yadvise people to look into them

  57. robert in mid michigan says:

    well with dc and thier games were putting a lot of importance into the prepping thing.
    bought more salt and sugar cant count how many we have rite now.

    another 48 cans of vegies, 24 fruit

    20 cans of canned meat chicken and beef

    lets not forget rice and a lot of it. think we are at 250 lbs
    well garlic is done for the year first year with that but 53 heads of garlic all a little small but again first year. will have twice that amount next year

    finally was able to collect all my peas that were saved for seed have enough for two years at current level with two crops per year so as long as i rotate the seed shouuld be good on them.
    tomatoes are huge all green but coming arouond
    limas are about 12 feet tall unfortunatly trellisis are only 10 so they are all over up thier.
    green beans and cukes are coming along nicely.

    just a word of warning wanted to make sure i had enough radish seeds for upcoming season and for trying out sprouting soi planted 250 radishes to save for seed thinking that each plant would produce a couple dozen seed. dont do this they are crazy scary on the amount of seed you get from a single one ill have radish seeds in a gallon jar after this year.

    well keep safe, keep low and pray for our nation and the world because these people in washington are crazy.

    • Hi Robert

      Its true that the radish seeds produces very well but don’t just think of it as seed for next year, I find this plant to be one of the best for producing a ton of seed that can then be used for sprouting for greens in the winter time. Just something to consider?

  58. Overkill750 says:

    Been on the road all week. Can’t do much prepping out here. Just a lot of reading. Like the 14 downloads that are on your home page,the Mother Earth News, survival topics.com and as always, the Bible. So much to learn, so little time.
    I did learn about something that I had never heard of, spaghetti squash. And as a diabetic that LOVES pasta dishes and can’t have them, this squash is a god send. I’m now trying to figure out how to plant some in a container at my house ( no yard ) and keep them alive while we are on the road. Wish we luck LOL

    • Overkill750, did you hear about spahgeti squash from a youtubers named kasinh? She did two vids on making that.

      • Overkill750 says:

        No, my wife and I had some at Ruby Tuesday’s, be leave it or not. Then looked it up on the web. Did not think about YouTube but will look it up now, thanks Bctruck

    • Overkill750,
      Spaghetti squash is one of my favorites and was in fact the only seed packet that I paid full price ($1.00 for Burpee brand) this year. Easy to fix and tasty. If you grow a lot of it, you can prepare it and freeze it in small batches for enjoyment later in the season.

  59. Spent early morning time in the gardens harvesting lots of veggies: broccoli, tomatoes, green beans, peppers, Zucchini, Chard, cucumbers, Kale, onions, celery, and herbs. Last week I froze 14 pounds of broccoli, froze some Chard, canned 12 quarts of green beans, and dried some herbs. Trimmed, bagged, and labeled all varieties of the garlic bulbs for use throughout the year. Set aside garlic bulbs for fall planting. This morning, I picked another bushel of green beans so I’ll be canning them again tomorrow.

    This past week wasn’t the time to be outside for long. I added some compost to the empty garlic beds, reworked the beds and sowed wax beans and some more summer squash around the big volunteer Kale plants.

    Getting real serious about off-grid situations and our ability to withstand grid-down for a long time. Between the electric demands posed by this intense weather, the SmartGrid coming here this Fall, and O’Drama’s ‘electricity will necessarily skyrocket’, we see the inevitable future before us. We have ruled out solar as a main energy source because of high start-up cost and inefficiencies to retrofit this home. We have decided to go with a second generator, possibly a multi-fuel generator (nat gas, propane, diesel), capable of running most of our electric appliances. Of course, if we run out of those fuels, our own S will hit the F, but it won’t be running because we’ll be out-of-electricity. lol Getting a second and more powerful generator would place our current Suzuki genny as the back-up although that generator can power our fridge, freezer, and a bunch of small appliances. If we go with a second genny, we would build a small bump-out addition to our lower level to hold the generator and vent outside. Anyone have this type of setup?

    Adequate water supply is still important here despite all that we store with our rainwater system. Since we’re on a well and our water supply is really good, we want to take full advantage of our ability to have water in the future if the SHTF. That said, we pulled the well cap and measuring the depth of the well, found it to be 101 feet. Rather than getting a solar water pump, we would rewire our pump to be included in those appliances that would be switched over to generator power if needed. Later this year we’re looking to replace the pressure tank to increase pressurized water capacity. Doing this would reduce the continued pump and pressure process we have with our small tank now.

    This week we learned that one of our 2 supermarkets is raising prices only for store profit (is this price-gouging?). We discovered our regular beer jumped 50% in a week, then learned it was a store increase, not a manufacturer or distributor price increase. (Ya don’t just mess with the beer during hard times….) Now I’m wondering about a few other expensive items so it’s time to hit the other store and compare costs. If it’s happening in this area, it may be happening elsewhere – buyers beware.

    It was a carb-week — I purchased a dozen boxes of pasta and another 25 lb bag of sugar. Also got 3 more cases of quart jars (wide mouth, at $9.99). Seems there was a run on canning and I bought the last 3 cases….I’m not alone out-there. LOL

    We ordered quite a bit of 223 brass and already received the bullets to go along as a nice combo. ;-) Looks like we’ve got ourselves an upcoming weekend date for reloading. I had an itch in my trigger finger after reading some of the earlier posts so today we spent some time poking holes in paper. I love that lil 38!

    Saturday we went to our favorite orchard for 2 bushels of peaches (our peach tree died and we have to buy them now). Canning marathon today and tomorrow!

    Seed saving is underway if the sun doesn’t pop the seeds. Just kidding. The Onion seed is finally maturing so I’ve bagged the heads to collect the seed. Also collecting seeds for Yugoslavian Red Butterhead lettuce and wintered-over Chard.

    Michelle the First Lady Pig has learned to give us a 360 whip-around when she smells food. Her diet is varied now and she’s eating, well, like a pig.

    And now The Dark Lord has ventured into an arena of danger. While his public tantrums are ineffective and an embarrassment to our Nation, his cavalier statements of future Market behavior can, and might, create the catalyst for a negative financial situation. We are preparing harder for his intentional destruction….

    • riverrider says:

      lynns, i think fuel will also skyrocket as part of TDL’s “green energy” plan. the only thing green about it is of course our green going in to other’s pockets. so i’m thinking gennies might not be the solution you are looking for. don’t know what is, short of an exorcism:) i said TDL was the anti-christ when everybody in the world that hates us was happy he got elected. only guy i know to get the nobel for starting wars. good luck, i’d be interested in your solution should you find one.

      • Riverrider, I also think fuel will go higher and higher but I have a husband who doesn’t care for solar at all. And he’s admittedly biased because of the in-yer-face greenies, too, so that’s what I’m up against. Wind is out because we only have about 2 acres that are cleared, the rest is wooded and the best position we could use would be so close to the woods edge that we’d lose too much wind. About 18 months ago, I ran averages for kwh for our house using all sorts of old data from the past bills. Then I calculated a basic system that we could retrofit and egads!! That’s when we started to look at a small solar unit here and there. Now in a smaller home in our latitude or further south, built for solar and off-grid, it would be more feasible to go totally solar, but to run a “regular” home as it’s currently set up, we can’t justify such an extravagant expense. Not to mention the fact that home values have declined for several years. For the amount of money we would need to convert to solar, we could buy acreage elsewhere and build a much smaller house or live in our RV.

        • riverrider says:

          lynn, you could do grid tie like us. i’m still on the grid but building my solar system little by little and plan to switch all 110v circuits to solar and leave the 220v on the grid. that would reduce my bill/dependance greatly, at a lower net cost. and don’t forget the tax benefits:)

          • Riverrider, are you with REC? If so, have they added the Smart Meter to your home yet?

            Yes, when I was doing the research, I looked up the tax forms at irs.gov and read through them. I think there are quite a few people who are switching over in steps like you are. Are you doing the installation?

            • riverrider says:

              lynn, sorry to say i’m with AEP. i’m not tied in, my solar system, if u can call it that ,is free standing. its a backup system now. as i add panels, i’m going to switch circuits over with a transfer switch, leaving everything else grid tied. i won’t sell extra back to AEP. they charge retail, but pay wholesale back. and yes ,i do my own hookups. great job up above. trying to argue using facts is futile with progressives tho.

            • Riverrider, if we were to ever produce an excess of energy, we’d never sell it back either. Part of our worries over Smartgrid is the lack of privacy and the ability for a power company, EPA, or The Dark Lord to decide what we can and can’t power up. First will come the meter and that’s scheduled between now and Nov. If and/or when they bring in those gizmos that track appliances and usage, we’ll unplug altogether. Fortunately, my husband does draw the line there too so he might learn to like solar. lol

              If we do go with another generator, he’ll rewire a few things and set up a transfer switch panel.

    • templar knight says:

      Lynn, after reading about Michelle the Pig and the Dark Lord, I just about split a gut, but then your remarks about how this guy is trying to affect the markets quickly brought me back to reality. How in the world could a President of the United States be this boneheaded? To invite economic destruction, just so he can get his way, is nothing short of lunacy. This guy needs to be removed from office, forthwith!

      • Templar, Here’s something to think about:

        “The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president.”

        “The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America . Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.

        The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.”

        • BullDogBeau says:

          True LynnS!

        • Mermaid says:

          So true!

        • templar knight says:

          “It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the neccessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president.”

          That’s the money quote, LynnS, and I do mean money. My MIL is one of those people, even though she is very conservative, she won’t vote for a Republican because they are going to take away her social security and medicare. Any number of people fall in the same category, which is why the way of the socialist is to always give..give..give, until they run out of other people’s money. That’s the crisis of Western Liberal Democracies as we speak. The welfare systems that exist are not sustainable, as more and more people are willing to live off the labor of others. And I’m not talking about a social safety net, but the expansion of government programs like welfare, food stamps, disability, etc. They will collapse of their own weight soon enough, and truly, I have little confidence that anything can be done. For instance, someone said on this thread that we shouldn’t cut entitlements too much as it may damage the economy. That’s right out of the playbook, and why the spending will never be brought under control. That’s why I prep.

          • STL Grandma says:

            TK: I have often wondered when these ‘surplus’ suplimental services would be ended. We have become a welfare nation and a police state and it’s because of the willingness of people to take charity and to buy on credit. My credit score is zilch because I pay cash for everything and I don’t owe anyone.. and so, I’m a bad credit risk, evidentally.

            I have a friend who gets disability because she has Crohn’s Disease and it is under control – completely. She isn’t suffering at all and in fact is hugely active, gets around just fine and works 40+ hours for a NPO with no pay for fun. If she can work 40+ for the NPO, she could work a job and get off the public dole, but when I mentioned this to her, she was offended that I didn’t think a useful person being on disability wasn’t a good thing. How selfish? Yeah, you’re right.. we’re very distant now.

            We need to cut off all of it but Social Security for our elderly and truly disabled and handicapped.

            • STL Grandma, The last time I checked something like 1/6 of Americans were receiving some form of Disability.
              It’s another example of runaway government, isn’t it?

            • STL Grandma says:

              It really disgusts me, Lynn. People used to be proud of NOT taking charity and being on the government dole was a shameful thing, not admitted. People used to have pride in themselves and would rather put a piece of cardboard in their shoe to hide the hole in the sole then take a handout. We need to return to that amount of personal pride. I have it. Many on here have it. The sheeple are sheeples because they don’t get it.

              • STL Grandma,

                Sadly many have been raised up with the goal of one day getting on the “government draw” they have no pride because they have been convinced that the money is owed to them – even though they have not worked and paid it in.

                • STL Grandma says:

                  So True, MD. It makes me very sad.

                • Sandyra says:

                  By “government draw”, do you mean Social Security? I think right now the minimum on SocSec is about $797 a month. A month. If these people you’re talking about think they can live on $797 a month, they’re sadly mistaken unless they want to live in a tent somewhere.
                  They haven’t worked and paid it in? So Social Security has never been taken out of any paycheck since they haven’t worked. I don’t see how they would qualify for SocSec at all then. You have to have paid into it to collect it at retirement age – which could be age 75 by the time this generation gets there… if Social Security is there at all anymore. I worry for my nephew who is 31 years old – what will the US be like when he gets to retirement age?

                  • Sandyra

                    I have nothing against Social Security for those who have worked and paid it in to the system, It is their money and they deserve it. What I hate are those people who have never worked a day in their life and paid nothing in yet they get a monthly government check.

                    I know of many in my area that get a disability check every month – they are in their 20’s and 30’s and they are in better shape and more able to work than most people working and paying in. Makes me want to puke…

                    • Sandyra says:

                      I know there are people who cheat on getting the government dole. I used to work in quality control for AFDC – Aid to Families with Dependent Children. We had to review every case and find mistakes or reasons people didn’t actually qualify to get the aid. In some cases, I visited the homes of these people to find reasons they shouldn’t be getting aid. The upshot of it was that most people did qualify to get the aid as the government defined it – cheaters were in a very small minority, maybe 3% or so as I remember.
                      I’ve also known people who intentionally try to get on Disability just for the income & not having to work. Those people make me sick. But the way the system is, chances are they won’t even get on Disability – at least, not Federal. That’s really, really tough to get on. I know because I’m on it. State Disability, however, is pretty easy to get on – but it doesn’t last for more than a year where I am.
                      The biggest problem with government aid is that if the income someone gets from it is enough to live on, they get lazy and don’t even try to find work. Why bother if the gov’t is giving you enough money to live on?
                      That’s where character comes in. Some people simply have to work, have to contribute to society in some way. Believe me, a person can go crazy just sitting around doing nothing for a long period of time. So for some of us on the government dole, we find whatever way we can to do something productive, whatever that may be.

                    • Sandyra

                      You should come to my area… whole familes on the dole, breeding like rats, never worked and repeat.

                    • Sandyra says:

                      That’s sad. Where I was doing the quality control for welfare was in the Los Angeles area.

                    • Sandyra,

                      My girlfriend’s brother is on full disability and works a full time job for cash. Another guy I know (a church pastor) receives disability payments for a bad back yet he plays basketball with the church members. Another guy walks around in public with a Seeing Eye dog but at home he can see fine. Girls here try to get pregnant so they can get welfare. I could go on and on… It is sad.

                    • I hate to hear that. People who shouldn’t be on disability but are amount to a bunch of thieves, really. They steal from you and me & cause taxes to be raised.
                      I know that even people on federal disability (SSDI) are allowed to make up to $900 a month legally. But certainly SSDI recipients shouldn’t be able to work 40 hours a week. Myself, I do a little admin work for a few web sites, but the hours are flexible so I can work around it. Plus, it amounts to about only an hour a day. I need that extra cash to just keep my head above water – and of course to buy prepping stuff!
                      When I worked, I worked my butt off – 6 or 7 days a week, as much as 60 or 70 hours a week. I once logged in 82 hours in one week. If I could, I would love to be back at that job. It was the best job I ever had.
                      I wonder if disability fraud is more prevalent in some areas than in others. People like you describe give the whole disability program a bad rep & make the working public look down on the entire disability program because of those few cheaters. If you only know disability cheaters, I can certainly understand that you would have a bitter taste in your mouth over people on the dole. In fact, some people might even want to do away with such programs all together.
                      If we were living as Native Americans in the 1800′s and before, we would all be expected to pull our own weight, even children. Then if we became disabled through accident, warfare, old age, or disease, the rest of the tribe would make sure we ate and had a roof over our heads at the very least. In societies that follow the ways of tribalism, such is usually the case. Unfortunately, American society is far, far removed from the tenets of “tribalism”. Heck, we often don’t even know our next door neighbors much less the whole local “tribe” we live in.
                      But I digress… don’t get me started lol!
                      Have you thought about reporting these people to the disability programs they’re in?

                    • From a prepping standpoint, this is something to consider… what do you do when one of your “tribe” – your little group – becomes disabled?

                    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

                      M.D., here in the border towns, Naco Arizona being a perfect example, the post office has more post boxes than legal residents of the town. Most are rented out to people who live south of the border and the only mail they get is their U.S. checks issued courtesy of the taxpayer. Disgusting.

                    • AZ Rookie Prepper,

                      Yes it is. Disgusting.

          • Templar, isn’t it ironic that Progressives preach sustainability as it applies to their agenda (“green” energy) but when they are challenged by financial sustainability, they get all stoopid and forget how to speak English.

    • Hi Lynn

      Wow, you had amazing week in the garden and kitchen girl! I found a sale on jar’s on saturday at the feed store, and quickly picked up everything they had

      Very interesting about it being the store’s choice, I wonder.. hmm on the other hand, talked to a local manager of a store near me and he is willing to sell me case lots including on the loss leader markdowns each week, so that will come in handy.

      Don’t have any advice on the off-grid, we are working towards a combo of solar/wind and wood for heating/cooking etc. Got the back drilled well on a hand pump so that is helpful, my big question of the week to hubby is how do you heat the cellar enough to keep all the jars from freezing and breaking if we had a long power out, only thing I have come up with so far is we have a very deep cement cystern by the big back barn in its own shed (take’s half the shed up, I have used it as a cold storage for veggies on a pully and they don’t freeze, so am going to try sending down some full canning jars this winter and seeing if they make it though the same way.

      Watching, and reading what is happening in your country and what it could mean for everyone is a daily event in our home, I ‘m starting to think they won’t get it done in time, that they are going to go into overtime and there will be lots and lots of ripples from this nonsense.

      O and found out this week that a girlfriend of mine also has her gun permits and would in fact be interesting in going to the range with me, so thats awesome!

      • Farmgal, I think anyone who is buying food by the case should ask if they can get a discount, even if it has to be ordered. Anytime I’ve done this, I’ve been given a discount. Good tip and more of us should try it more often.

        Your freezing cellar question is a good one and I hope someone here can answer it. Have you checked online — I’m wondering if MotherEarthNews might have an article or two.

        Looks like you pulled another productive week yourself. I’ve got another one planned so if you’re not busy, get your canning gear and swing on by….

        • Hi Lynn

          I wish that was the case on the discounts but just like we don’t get double, triple coupon’s the same way as I have seen you guys talk about, most of the stores locally now put in their fliers that you have a limit of three per person of the loss leaders, I have asked at a number of stores and most won’t even sell me a case of something, at the one store, the cashier has to override if I buy more then eight of anything.

          Of course I am not talking about big box stores in the city but my small town local stores.

          It would be nice to have a canning party, I have been canning most of the day, and so also have lots of time to pop online in between. Don’t know if you have access to plums but if you do, can I recommend the recipe I put up on my site for the Plum BBQ sauce to you. Sending 11 sheep off to the butcher tomorrow, so later this week will be very busy indeed.

        • axelsteve says:

          I found a good deal for canning jars and lids unfortunatly I was on my motorcycle and did not have the room for them.I did manage to get a nice book on gardening though.

  60. Papabear says:

    Occupied with long hours and little sleep this week. Did pick up some canned goods from WalMart and was surprised to find the expiration dates were 1-2 yrs out. At a gun show got a #10 can of mixed veggies by TyRy foods and some ammo.

  61. templar knight says:

    MD, this is not a prepping subject per se, but is something we’ve talked about on this forum. If you don’t think it is pertinent, just delete it.

    People, if you can’t look at the events taking place in the World right now, and see a very close resemblance to the 1930s, you are not looking. Economic problems, sovereign debt crises, massive budget deficits, a very frustrated people, broken governments, unemployment on a massive scale, inflation, food problems, and I could go on. But the events of the early and mid-1930s led to the largest loss of people in history to a World War, and to dislocations that still affect us. Anyone reading this blog and trying to decide what to do, don’t waste any more time. Your window of opportunity is just about shut, but it’s not too late to start prepping. Do it now. Start today.

    And folks who are regular readers and commenters here, get your ammo and weapons now. Right now. Don’t wait any longer. And I will give the same advice on precious metals.

    • worrisome says:

      Last night next town over, couple wake up to hearing someone breaking into their house…husband goes downstairs and chases him outside, where the housebreaker turned around and started beating on house owner. Neighbor woman hearing the commotion comes outside and starts shooting, missed a few times in the melee but finally nailed the creep bad enough in the leg that he stopped beating on the homeowner. Meanwhile, howeowners wife calls the cops……………It is already here…….lock your doors, keep you guns handy, make sure the pantry is full, have some cash close by and gas in the car…….

      • Copperhead says:

        About 3 weeks ago we had a rash of robberies in the area in broad daylight. Stole guns, tvs etc…anything that would hock quickly for cash. They would come to the door and knock, if no one answered, they would break the door in and have quick access. I live in a farming community about 30 miles from a city and they seem to be gravitating out.

        I have rifles and shotgun but need a handgun pdq. I’m not the youngest person and have several artificial joints, so have to find something without too much kick or a really hard to squeeze trigger. I am prepping here at home as moving isn’t really an option and since I’m alone now, I want to stay close to family. Fortunately, the daughter and family are on board for prepping. I am blessed in that way. I do have an alarm system because my daughter made me promise to get one after hubby died. But if the electricity goes off, it’s no good!! I do have a generator, but is for freezer and refrig mainly.
        I’m really afraid the crime wave is coming sooner rather than later.

        • Repair Mama says:

          Copper Head.
          I have 2 dogs that absolutly go nuts if someone knocks on the door and they sound so so vicious!
          The provide much security to my home and family while I am at work.
          I would like to think that the robbers would leave and try to find an easier target.

        • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

          Copperhead, look into getting a .32 caliber revolver. They are great for a woman and a double-tap with one will do the job. Stay safe!!

          • Copperhead says:

            Repair Mama, I have a black lab, but she is getting older and slower (a bit like me :D ) Will be thinking about a German Shepherd after her. One of my concerns is that the bad guy will just shoot the dog to gain entry.

            LP, thank you so much for the advice on a handgun. Will be visiting Patriot Arms soon. Also a big thank you for all your info on your week of off grid living. I, too, am concerned about left over food. I am a family of one, but I do have a generator that would work for a bit, but then what? I am going to try some MRE’s and see how they are to fix and eat. Also water will be a concern. I live on a farm and have a well. I will be looking into how to re-rig it to be able to get water without electricity. It does have a nonfunctioning windmill above it, will see if I can get it to work again. A lot to check into, but keeps me out of trouble…sort of!

    • templer knight-you are correct in every aspect. both sets of my grandparent owned grocery stores during the depression and i have my grandfather’s ledgers. most of the business they did was through the barter system. my mom told me she remembered that lines of people would wait outside the store to trade food items. grandma would hand out sandwiches and milk. she said that grandpa would take iou’s and then when the people would leave, he would tear up the iou’s because he knew they did not have the money to pay him. i hope we never have to go through those time but you never know.

    • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

      Templar Knight,

      I think you are right. The comparisons between our current situation and the 1930s cannot be chalked up to scare tactics of the liberal media or the liberal bent of the presidency. If you are new and reading this, go to M.D.’s “10 things to do now” and “10 more things to do now”–and do them.

      Gayle

    • axelsteve says:

      Amen Templar. with the Norway massacer and domestic shootings I smell some new gun commie laws coming down the pike.And I betOur Kenyan traveler will be happy to sign it.

  62. Hahaha!!! The dark lord! I love that one. You are so gonna get plagerised. (I know it’s spelled wrong and I’m not looking it up)

    • riverrider says:

      i wonder if some one touched him with a cross would he burst into flames:)

    • BC, glad you like The Dark Lord reference and as much as I’d like to claim it, all I can admit to is pointing at a certain-megalomaniac. lol

      I liberated it from some old Zeppelin lyrics. Go listen to “Battle of Evermore”, then read the lyrics closely (Here’s the lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/ledzeppelin/thebattleofevermore.html ).

      • templar knight says:

        LynnS,

        I thought you got The Dark Lord reference from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. You know, Sauron…or was it Melkor? It was one of the two, or maybe both. In any event I had no idea Led Zeppelin had it in one of their songs. Talk about learning something new every day!

        • Templar, Ding!!! You got it! :-)

          The Dark Lord was Sauron. Zeppelin often referred to Tolkien’s Trilogy in their songs (Robert Plant was a big LOTR fan).

          It is interesting how today’s political characters can be identified through the Lord of the Rings and who-is-who. Looking at O’Drama as The Dark Lord surrounded by his thuggish evil-doers and wraiths, one is reminded of Tolkien’s literary objectives with truth reigning above all.

          Tolkien made a distinct separation between catastrophe and something he created called ‘eucatastrophe’ (aka happy ending). Think of the word/emotion and how it can relate in today’s world. The concept/belief provides further perspective (with religious overtones) on the final outcome with The Dark Lord.

          Templar, I know you understand that a large factor in surviving is attitude and mental strength. And having a positive perspective throughout life, no matter what we face, will give us the ability to make our journey a good one. My take is that The Dark Lord is a nilist and cannot change. But his beliefs will not affect my own, only strengthen them. (And become the subject of many jokes!) Hope this makes sense to you.

          • templar knight says:

            Lynn, you make more sense to me than just about anyone I know. Thank you, and you are, of course, right about attitude and mental strength. And yes, fire makes the blade stronger. And humor makes it all easier to bear.

            • Lynn who was the lady sure all that glitters is gold, was the lady of the lake, or the daughter of the Rohirrim?

            • templar knight says:

              azyogi,

              All that is gold does not glitter,
              Not all who wander are lost,…

              I can’t remember all the lines, but these words go with Aragorn. Galadriel was the Elfen Lady of the Golden Wood, and Eowyn was the niece of the King of Rohan. I think that’s right, but someone chime in here if they know.

            • Templar and AZyogi, Here’s the full poem:
              “All that is gold does not glitter,
              Not all those who wander are lost;
              The old that is strong does not wither,
              Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

              From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
              A light from the shadows shall spring;
              Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
              The crownless again shall be king.”

              And guess what — Zeppelin’s song “Stairway To Heaven” has numerous references to LOTR, including refs from this poem. We need a reading room! lol

              Tolkien’s poem source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_that_is_gold_does_not_glitter

  63. Tigerlily says:

    Well, I may get to experience first hand exactly what Lint was talking about with the water. If nothing else it will be good practice and give me an exact idea of how much more water I need to store. We purchased an on demand water heater with the intent of hooking it up to solar at a later date so we could at least take warm showers. To install it we had to tie into the existing lines coming off of the tank water heater. We got it all put in yesterday and it looked just as pretty as can be. Then we tried to use it. There was an error message on the digital display and of course the manual and the website neither one have a list of what the error messages mean. Then, thinking maybe the clean out filter on it could have come wrapped in plastic to protect it and that was causing the message I tried to open it up to see and cracked it so water started spraying everywhere. We had to shut off the water supply to the whole house because since it is installed where all the water comes in. Needless to say, since it is a weekend, the company we bought it from isn’t open so we have to wait until Monday to call and since it took about two weeks to get here in the first place, I am not expecting a quick resolution. On the plus side, the shut off valve is after our hose so we do still have that water, but everything inside is coming from jugs that I have stored. I am really thankful that I read this website and have bunches of containers already in place and full of water. This will give me a good idea of how much more I need since I will have to refill them and tote them inside for who knows how long.

    • rob in Ontario says:

      Tigerlily– you could have a by pass installed- or a shut off installed before the on demand – that way you can stilll have cold water in the house

  64. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    It’s been a very strange weekend and will be glad when it’s over. My sister called this morning to tell me a double homicide occurred in her usually quiet neighborhood and that our brother was in town for a couple days while I was off-grid. He lives out of state, so missing an opportunity to see him was disappointing. Made me aware that communication will be important, if I can get my siblings onboard with a plan. Getting them all on the same page is about like herding cats – can’t be done easily.

    Well, since I don’t want to write another entry for the contest, I’ll try to provide more details about my off-utilities week since it was very eye-opening in many ways. Most of my days were spent in my screened porch. It’s got a good roof and it’s fully screened. Sleeping and washing dishes were the too daily things I did in the house. Just about everything else was done on that porch.

    Cooking: cooking was done on the 2-burner Coleman campstove using a small propane bottle. I could heat 2 small pots at once or one larger pot, which is how I heated the water for washing dishes/laundry and hygiene. I am going to look for an oblong pot so it will fit on the stove better when water needs to be heated. A large round pot, like I used last week, was adequate but not efficient.

    Shaving took place in the bathroom where I had a mirror, but the water came from storage and so did the razors – those disposable safety razors. Also, washed the dishes in the kitchen where there is a double sink and where the dishes towels and soap were located. This was also done with stored water which was heated on the campstove and carried into the kitchen. It was not a big problem, but took awhile to get the water hot, so found several things to do while it heated.

    Laundry was done mostly based on what I’d seen in YouTube videos. I had a 5-gallon bucket and a plunger. last year I had replaced the original handle on the plunger with a longer one to save my back some aching, and that was a good call. Also, cut some holes in the business end of the plunger with a 1/2″ paddle bit & drill last month which made a big improvement in creating an aggitation simulation. The laundry detergent was the Costco store brand, biodegradable, so after the laundry was done, I used the wash water to water my container garden. Seemed to have no ill-effects on the plants. I placed the bucket inside a large galvanized wash tub and used the bucket for underwear and the larger tub for outerwear washing. This system worked for me, but sure took a lot of water. I eventually used hot water for the whites and warm water for the outerwear (colored) clothes. Then warm water for rinsing in another galvanized wash tub. Wringing out the clothes was a bit of a drag, so will be getting a wringer attachment to put on the rinse tub one day soon. Hung the clothes on the back porch, but could have dried them faster in the garage since it gets hot in there during the summer. Will probably be putting up some cotton rope out there before next spring so I can do that and thereby give myself more space out on the porch next summer.

    Bathroom consisted of a toilet/shower surround that you can get at Walmart for 29.99 or so. It turned out to be too hot and too confining (I’m a big guy), so I opted to use the surround for the Luggable Loo and set up a couple of small poly tarps for the shower on a portion of the porch that is not covered and not screened in. Then I heated water in 3 different ways for the shower, just as an experiment. The cheapest and easiest way was with a 2.5 gallon SunShower, set in the sun to heat for a few hours. Then I used a couple 2-liter soda bottles, painted black on one side, also set in the sun for a few hours. Finally, I heated water on the stove and poured it (using a large funnel) into a 2-liter bottle. The plastic got hot and nearly melted, so I didn’t do that again. LOL The most effective way, for me, turned out to be the SunShower. I had to remember to fill it and set it out in the morning so it would be ready to used about midday. Then I took my shower outdoors. I could have also taken the shower indoors in the shower, but wanted to try outside because it was actually kind of liberating. Nothing like letting your freak flag fly for a week. ;) By about 3pm the water was hot and I added another half gallon to cool it so it was good for showering. And by 3pm I was stinky and ready for a shower. I dried off inside the makeshift shower stall on the porch. It’s very private in the backyard so no neighbors were harmed in the making of my off-grid experiment.
    Learned that those large bath towels I like to use were too difficult to wash in a wash tub, so started using the smaller towels for drying off after a shower and they were much easier to wash and quicker to dry.

    Cooking consisted of one pot meals whenever possible, like beef chunks from a can and rice with a can of green beans or peas and carrots dumped in at the last couple of minutes. This soon became a problem because I had more than I could eat and no way to chill it. So, I started eating just the meat for dinner, the rice for lunch, and the veggies directly from their cans for between meal snacks. This was OK, but not optimum. I will have to buy smaller cans so I can have variety in my meals without eating stew one ingredient at a time. Breakfast was a glass of Tang, which tasted OK at tepid temperatures. And also a packet of instant oatmeal with some raisins and brown sugar or a can of pears or a slice of Spam. The single slices of Spam are really great for a single person. They aren’t cheap, but beats opening a whole can and either eating it all at once due to having no refrigeration, or feeding the remaining excess to a pet. (I have no pets, so that wouldn’t be an option.) I learned quickly that iced tea mix is great….so long as you have ICE for the iced tea mix. Without ice, it’s just tea. Another reason to get a freezer that runs on something other than the grid.

    Toilet was a Luggable Loo and WagBags. I could use the same bag for about 3 days, then it definitely needed to be changed out. I was thinking the neighbors might complain about the odor since it wafted on the afternoon breeze right towards their house, but I quickly got a handle on the problem by using some kitty litter (which I keep on hand for cleaning up oil and gas spills) and some baking soda. By adding those 2 products to the dry chems already in the Bag, the odor was kept under wraps for 3 days and then I put in a new bag. The “full” bags (the bags are large and weren’t full, but they were “ripe” and needed to be changed out) were then put inside the accompanying zipper back, then wrapped in newspaper, put into a dedicated galvanized garbage can with a lid and more baking soda was dumped over the “poo package.” This can was located in the shadiest part of the back yard so as to keep the contents from fermenting. Those large size wet wipes were great because one was all that was needed to finish the paper work, if you know what I mean.

    I walked to town in order to get a newspaper and to see if the old legs could still make it that far and back – they did. It was a struggle the first 5 days, but got to be better after that. Although I have a good crank radio, decided to buy a paper so I’d have a news source AND more paper for wrapping my used WagBags.

    All told, I used 65 gallons of water for 7 days. This included approximately 2 gallons per day for cooking and dish washing. Approximately 1 gallon for hygiene each day (washing face, brushing teeth, shaving). Around 2.5 gallons for each shower, and I showered each day but of course I could cut that back to every other day or twice per week if I don’t see anybody on the non-shower days. 12 gallons per week for laundry. Plus 2 gallons per day for 4 containers of veggies. In the winter, I think the amount of water needed would be about the same, with less used for showers and more used for the increased amount of clothing that would be washed. So, I will now calculate a more realistic need of 10 gallons per day, but YMMV. I’m going to buy more Rubbermaid trash cans for rainwater storage. They will be placed strategically so they don’t have to be moved when full.

    This experiment will be tried again this fall, and again in winter. The funniest thing turned out to be my flashlight fetish. I hardly ever used a flashlight the whole week long. At dusk, I usually was ready for bed and only used a flashlight when I needed to go out to the loo for a night time visit. However, all those flashlights will come in handier during the dark days of winter. AND I know they’ll be good for signalling if I find LMI’s in the neighborhood. My neighbors are still asleep, sad to say.
    Summer here is very pleasant, so this experiment was not a big challenge. The most frustration came from too much food in those cans and no way to save it for later. I think I’ll get a small folding camp trailer and that way I’ll have a portable retreat and a small refrig/freezer for use when the power goes out. http://www.chaletrv.com/folding_alpine.php

    Thanks for all of your welcome back comments, and a big HOWDY to all the newbies. May God protect all of you from harm in this increasingly violent world.

    • Your experiment crossed my mind mid-week and I was curious to hear more about it and your assessment. Thanks.

      I wonder if a large roasting pan work for your dishwashing? Nice and oblong.

      …freak flag fly… That was funny!

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        Mark, I’ve got an oblong roasting pan – it should be perfect! Didn’t even think of using it since it’s stored deep in the cabinet and out of sight. Hey, thanks for the suggestion and for saving me some money!!!!! :)))

        It should fit perfectly over both burners of the campstove and thereby heat the water faster so I can use less propane. Cool!!

        • Lint,
          That’s why we should all do an inventory every so often. I shudder to think of the useful things I own and don’t remember I have, or where I’ve put them.

    • I’m still trying to locate the butt I laughed off when I came across the words “let your freak flag fly”. My God your a funny man!!!!Ive given sone thought to food waste or to much in a can for two people to eat. I have a bunch of those canned hams from DAK that I’ll have to share with neighbors or it would go bad without refridgeration. I’m gonna ask my wife if she would participate in this experiment in fall when we can open out windows. Very interesting lint. Thanks for taking the time to share your observations. Brad

    • JO (Georgia) says:

      Thanks for relaying what worked and what didn’t. and for giving me horrible flashbacks to washing all my laundry in my bath tub while I didn’t have a washing machine (or change for the laundry mat) in college. It was convenient though in that the folding drying rack fits in the tub, so you can just wring stuff out and hang it. not so much if your trying to capture the water though.
      Have you looked into making a garden sprayer shower? We have one and while it takes a bit of getting used to it cuts your water per shower down to a gallon.

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        Jo, I’ll do a little online research to learn about the garden sprayer shower. I gotta say, though, that the sunshower worked well for me, especially since I had a hook already installed in a good place on the eaves of the roof (formerly used for a hanging flower pot) that was good for hanging the shower from when I was ready to wash up. But, I’m always willing to improve and learn new things so thanks for the idea.

        • Lint, you could use a small battery operated cooler for cans of food. The battery in your car could power it but, I would get a deep cycle battery (seperate from the car) and car batt. charger. You could drain the battery and then charge it from AC when power comes back on. A solar panel would also replace battery charge.

    • templar knight says:

      Lint,

      Man, am I ever glad to have you back. We have a small Jayco pop-up camper, and your week sounds very much like our first week of deer season in the sticks of Arkansas in this little camper without a bathroom. Of course, we don’t bother with the poop bags and luggable loos and such, after all, what would a bear do in the middle of the woods?

      As for letting the “freak flag fly”, my keyboard may not make a full recovery. The sweet tea I spewed is already getting sticky, so where do I need to send the bill?

    • Lint

      Question for you, I read though your post so if you have the answer somewhere forgive asking, but do you have large storage of water? example a 55 gallon drum somewhere. The reason I am asking is while you would not likely have a spring house but my grandparents had a butter/cream/milk cold box that was waterproof that they put the jars into, and it was weighted an sunk down into the big horse trough, I myself have often used water to help preserve food by keeping it alot cooler then the outside temps allow, both on camping trips and also on day long berry picking trips. So just wondering if this is something that is available to you in your set up and location, if you have a full 55 gallon drum set up in the shade, can you sink a waterproof weighted box to act as a semi-fridge?

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        Hi farmgal, thanks for the ideas. I had thought about sinking an old cooler/ice chest into the backyard in a shady spot, but didn’t get around to it. I think that might provide some cool spot for keeping leftover meals for a few hours or cooling some water for my iced tea mix. Might give it a try sometime early next month. Also might get a food-grade barrel and store water in it and sink it halfway down into the ground to help keep things cool as well as have extra water on hand.

        There are many things that I’ll try during the rest of this summer, so thanks for the ideas and I’ll try to pass along anything that works for me.

    • Lint,
      For vegetables you might get a variety of freeze dried. Only hydrate and cook what you need for each meal and the rest will keep without spoiling.
      The only off-grid experiment I’ve done were camping trips where you wear you clothing for several days, and pack out the dirty clothing to be dealt with later at home. I’d always wondered if that 1 gallon per day per person was realistic. Sounds like your empirical measurement shows it might not be. Good to know.
      A flashlight is like a gun, better to have it and not need it than vice versa.

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        Yeah, dehydrated veggies might be the solution. I think I can rehydrate them with the broth that comes in the canned beef chunks I buy, also perhaps with the water in the canned carrots and peas. So, rehydrating the veggies might not require more water, which is one of the reasons I have avoided buying dehydrated foods in the past. At any rate, having some on hand is a new goal for me. Thanks!

      • Ohio Prepper:
        I think, when they recommend a gallon of water per day per person, that they are talking about pure survival at it’s minimal worst….not showers and laundry, etc? Don’t you agree?

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      L.P., thanks for telling us about the experiment. Lots of good lessons learned there and I gleaned several good items of info from it. I had a couple of thoughts vis-a-vis your cooking frustrations. One was that if you’re using a coleman stove, they make an adapter hose to hook your stove up to the 20 lb. propane bottles. Those last a lot longer than the small bottles. Second one was that a large tea kettle (I have one made of copper), holding a gallon of water might do better, just a thought. Last thought I had was “peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold..” from what I understand, in the “good old days” they kept the pot of food simmering for days on end which acted as a means to prevent spoilage. Not sure if its an option for you, perhaps in a fireplace or charcoal grill?
      Your “toilet” lessons learned were very thought provoking. My thought for SHTF times was to dump into the sewer line that runs down the alley behind my house. Got to find a way to lift that heavy lid though. Disposing of human waste will certainly be a chore.
      The amount of water you used was truly the eye opener for me. While showering each day might become a luxury, it still must happen fairly regularly. Washing dishes, hands, etc is an absolute must do. Washing clothing becomes very important in cold weather as dirty clothing wont keep you as warm. That really got my attention considering I live in the arid desert. Hmmm, gotta think on that a LOT more.
      Thanks you again so much for your taking the time to give us the lowdown on “off-grid” living.

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        Well, I think the roasting pan will be perfect for my campstove when it comes to heating lots of water, so that little inconvenience and propane wasting problem is now eliminated. However, a tea kettle would be good for heating water for tea or coffee or cocoa in the fall and winter. Also for ramen noodles. Heating water in a pot is good if you are going to boil some food in it anyhow or need hot water as in the case of rice. So having a variety of pots, etc. is good whether off grid or on.

        As for keeping the “peas porridge hot” thing – that would be something to try with my dutch oven this fall. Nothing like a good pot of chili on a chilly day, so will have to see if keeping them hot all day will keep them edible. I love being a human guinea pig. LMAO!

        • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

          Lint Picker the human guinea pig…wow. I agree about chili, just for another idea, try Gebhardts chili powder, great stuff. I wouldnt use anything else.
          The good thing about a tea kettle is it is easy to pour with. Wouldnt leave home without mine. I’ve got one in my bug out bag that has seen many a campfire (can never have too much hot water while camping).

      • JP in MT says:

        AZ Rookie: Remember – once the “central services” starts to fail so may you sewer. A fiction book I was reading made a reference to these facilities no longer pumping and the potential problems, especially in major cities. It got me thinking about what I’d do. We seem to need more information on the infrastructure we take for granted.

        • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

          JP in MT, thanks for the reminder. I guess I was “assuming” (you know what happens then), that sewers ran on gravity flow, but you’ve got me thinking. As a short term option, still think it is doable, but…
          Guess I’ll be breaking out the pick and shovel for an outhouse, but around here, with caliche (super-hard mineralized soil that acts like rock) not much result for a lot of effort. Wish I had a backhoe or bobcat….

    • Lint, Thanks so much for taking the time to write all of this for us. “Freak flag”, huh?? It’s probably a good thing you didn’t record your week for YouTubers! lol

      When we lost power during a blizzard, we were “tested” for 4 1/2 days. The many feet of snow had to be dealt with but also gave us the water we needed (melting snow for water). Our time off-grid was an excellent test and we realized that without power, we could not access our well water. The generator we did have was used to power our fridge and freezer, lights, tv, and computer when we had reception. Our heat was provided by our woodstove and since we cook with propane, we only lacked water from the well. We have added lots of water in the form of barrels and a large livestock tank and now we’re addressing the power requirements to power-up a well pump if/when we are off the grid.

      Thanks again!

      • K Fields says:

        Lynn, a couple of ideas regarding your water system.

        First would be to install an actual back-up generator (like you spoke of), one made to switch automatically and could handle all your power loads. I would recommend not using a portable generator, they simply aren’t made for constant, long term use. The generator will drive you crazy at times as it will start-up once a week for internal checks and it will always seem to happen just when you are seeking quiet. A friend installed a Generac 5837 (7kW) a while back and has been very happy with it. I think he paid around $1,800.
        Second, build an elevated storage tank located high enough to give you a bit of water pressure even when the power is out. If there is a hill on your property higher than your house, you may not need a tower at all. Note that you won’t get your normal water pressure without a good bit of elevation (100’ or so) but even very low water pressure will get you by.
        Third idea would be to get a manual water pump. You could raise water from your well and pressurize your normal pressure tank with one giving you enough pressurized water for quick showers. For course, you could also pump the well water into a bucket. The pump I have is made by Bison (www.bison.com) in Maine, and I have been very happy with it. You can simply install a hand pump cylinder and lift rods next to your existing pump. Bison will custom make a well cap for your situation.
        Final idea would be to install an additional switch panel for your current generator. Your generator may be able to start your well pump if no other load is on it, but you would need to switch the power manually. Once started, the load for your well pump will drop dramatically so lights, etc. could be operated at the same time.

        My personal set-up (my well is 180’ deep) uses a 24-volt submersible pump feeding through the Bison hand pump into an elevated tank. I originally tried a water pumping windmill but the wind here simply is not up to consistently lifting water from that depth.

    • Lint, that is really scary about the amount of water you used.
      going by those figures it would be 20 gallons a day for 2 people.
      Around 420 for a month. Crap! I have just under 400 stored and can see now that isn’t nearly enough. I am going to start looking today for one of the easily movable lightweight water tanks that DH can unload from the truck and set up easy.
      Around 600 gallons I am thinking. Thanks for waking me up to the amount of water I should have.

      • I don’t know where I came up with that figure. It would be more like 600 gallons a month. Which is even worse.

        • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

          Judith, I think you and your husband can get by just fine with nearly the same amount of water I used in a week. That’s because you’ll cook about the same amount of food as I did, you’ll wash your clothes in the same tub/bucket each week, and you can use the same water for washing your hands – just plug up the sink and use the same wash water for the day. I do that when camping and it works just fine. By the end of the day, drain the sink and add clean water next morning.

          Honest, just plan on 10 gallons per day for both of you. The only extra you might need is for your garden since you live in the desert.

    • rob in Ontario says:

      Lint- I have a Coleman model # 2300 series small propane instant hotwater machine – its about the size of a old desk top monitor – uses the small green canistors- has a hose with a shower head attachment- I got mine at Canadian tire – not sure where to find it down south

  65. worrisome says:

    Did the shopping today, there was some good pricing on canned goods, so bought a case of Green Giant Corn. Found some more pasta, one # boxes of spahgetti for $1 ea. so got some of that, also soup was on sale so picked up a mixed case of that. Loaded up on dog food, the market said that the price was going up next week, so now have about a 3 month supply. Freezer is full; pantry is full; laundry is all done; garden is in and weeded; finishing up on the gas lines tomorrow…propane generator that will run freezer, fridge, and most appliances if not all on at once is due in finally this week. Think I am about as all together as I can get!

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Worrisome,
      Would you please share with us some details about your propane generator?
      Thanks,

      • worrisome says:

        Hunker D……… I will! I have a link or two … let me get organized on it…….I will get it all together for ya tomorrow… file is at work.

      • I have several gasoline powered generators and have gotten good reviews from the kits these folks make for propane or natural gas. I have one on my list to buy later this year.
        http://uscarb.com/

        • worrisome says:

          Hunker Down, as per my promise…. here is a link for you to start with.
          http://www.generatordepot.us/gentron-pro2-6000p-propane-generator-electric-start.aspx
          There are models that run on 3 different fuel sources, gas, diesel and propane etc. I am mostly interested in propane as for my circumstances it is the easiest to store of the fuel sources and I have been wanting to get a gas/propane kitchen stove ever since I moved into this house…hate electric and even worse hate the solid surface style of the stove I have. 10 years is long enough to put up with something that I wished had broken years ago………:)

          • Hunker-Down says:

            worrisome,
            Thanks for the link. We also have an old electric stove. It would be nice if we could find one that uses natural gas and propane. Our furnace is gas, so the piping is already installed. If the grid goes down all our utilities will go kaput. Propane stores better than gasoline, but we cant install a large propane tank in our area due to our local guberment. We have one 30 lb. empty tank and will get more after we buy more powdered milk.
            Installing a backup propane generator is WAY beyond our financial, mental and physical capabilities, but if an opportunity to afford it ever gets within reach we will grab it. While we’re waiting I need to get some books so I can at least diagram a system and cost out the components.

  66. After this past 6 weeks, it will be a while before I can do any preps that involve money. My car (9 years old) broke down last week and this week, my home ac (7 years old) broke. Now, I have a question… my mother was 89 when she died in June and my cat was 19 (93 in people years) when she died this morning, how old were the car and the home ac in people years? I thought troubles were only supposed to come in 3′s.

    • nancy-i’m so sorry with everything happening all at once especially with your mom and now your cat. sometimes it feels like “Dear Lord, why is all this happening to me”. i can tell you from experience, maybe not this week or next month but, it will get better. keeping you in my prayers.

      • Thank you, Pam, Sometimes we tend to forget to remember that a few amen’s can go a long ways towards lifting a heavy burden or mending a heavy heart. I read somewhere that tears are prayers without words. If this is true, things should be getting all better real soon, now.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Sheesh, Nancy, sorry about your troubles. Hang in there, young lady, because these things too shall pass away. My prayers are with you.

    • templar knight says:

      Nancy, that’s a lot of bad to have happen to you in so short a time. I hope the preps you already have will help you get through this difficult time. I’m not trying to pry, but most A/C systems have at least a 10-yr. warranty, so check that out. If you don’t know who installed the system, look at the maker, and get on their website. You should be able to find out, but deal with the manufacturer if neccessary. Good luck. We recently lost our cat to cancer, so I know how it feels to lose a good pet. Your car is more of a problem, but I can’t say too much unless I have further info. What is the nature of the problem with your car, or have you already put it in the shop? And the question is now moot.

      In any event, I wish you the very best. Sometimes things seem overwhelming, but when I feel this way, I usually look around and find someone who is much worse off than me. Keep your head up. This too shall pass.

    • templar knight says:

      And Nancy, I completely left out your mother passing away. My sincere condolences.

      • Nancy my deepest sympathy on the passing of your Mom and Kitty. Try to stay strong. I know it is easier said than done, but things will get better.

    • STL Grandma says:

      Hang in There, Nancy. My condolences. I’ll join a few tears with yours and pray that things get better for you.

      • Thank you, everyone, for all of the prayers and condolences. Thank you STL Grandma. Anyone can share the laughter; but, it takes someone special to share the tears.
        Lint Picker, “young lady”? Bless your little heart. I am 59. This is why I love the internet. No one knows the details.
        Templar Knight, The ac in the house was barely less than 10 years old; but, was installed by the brother in law of a friend of the guy who originally built the house. Summer in AR is not the time to be trying to find a bargain. This one I will pay for to get it done as soon as possible. But, this will make me keep up on maintenance on the really important mechanical things.

  67. mountain lady says:

    Finally got to town today. It was 6 weeks since my last trip. Prices are definitely not going down. Did buy 24 cans of tuna and 6 cans of chicken. The chicken was on sale. Found the del Monte ketsup for under $1.oo, so bought 3. My bill at the $store was $84.00, so you know I bought a lot of stuff. They have the same baked beans that they sell at our little local store for $3.00, so bought 10. That is about all the prepping, the remainder was just regular shopping. I don’t know what my poor cats will eat when their food costs more than mine. It went up .10 a can to .50 since my last trip. Get out there and get as much as you can while it is still possible. Seems to be falling pretty fast.

  68. mountain lady says:

    Lint, so good to have you back here. I thought of you often last week, while you were gone. I am glad you were able to do the experiment, and another one in a few months would be good, just in case you missed something. Thank you so very much for sharing your experience with us.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      ML, it’s good to be back!! Thanks for the kind words.

  69. This has been another slow week for preps. Watered the garden boxes every evening, but had some help the last two days with several inches of rainfall. All of the seeds have poked their little green heads out of the soil except for the tomatoes planted from seed, which I suspect may be a few weeks yet. The pepper and tomato plants have tiny peppers and tomatoes plus some buds setting on them, so with a little luck, the late garden will still prove useful.
    DW made calls to all of the local propane dealers to get pricing for our annual fill-up. Last year’s winner was $1.39 and this year’s winner came in at $1.82 with the losers as high as $2.49. Truck should be here in the upcoming week to fill the tanks, and then we’re set for at least a year.
    Have an appointment at the LDS Cannery in about 3 weeks, so making plans for what I need to get from there.
    This should be an interesting week to watch in DC. Happy prepping everyone

    • ThatAway says:

      O.P.
      Do not what you ordered if you are canning or they canning for you.
      But they have been out of mylar bags for about 3 weeks. They were
      supposed to on 7-12-11 but still are not in when I went on 7-23-11.
      They advised to just keep calling for them.. I like the small mylar bags for short term storage, depending on what the Item is. (short term a extra years, depending on the Item.) I am switch over to There canned good for long term.
      Picked up a couple of cases this weekend 30 years I do not know if I will live that much longer.. It is cheaper and saves postage for me anyway..
      Later
      ThatAway

      • ThatAway,
        I’m going primarily to can some things that they don’t already have prepackaged. Apples, Milk, Onions, Pasta, Rice, Potato Flakes. & Sugar. I’ll also be getting some more prepackaged grains and beans plus some more of their potato pearls.
        I have plenty of Mylar Bags & O2 absorbers on hand right now.

    • Hawkeye says:

      Hi Ohio Prepper…….I phoned the local LDS store here about buying from them. The lady didn’t seem too knowledgeable but the jist of what she told me was that “you must be LDS to buy from them”. Not because they wouldn’t like to sell to you but that it would effect their “tax exempt” status. Maybe their status varies from between LDS locations? Ever hear anything like that before?

      • Hawkeye,
        I’ve heard that some cannery locations only sell to members, but had not heard that it was tax related, although it could be a state to state thing. In the ones I’ve heard about that had that policy (mostly from folks on this forum) the work around seemed to be to find an LDS member who is willing to make the trip and take you along as a “friend”. Might be worth another call or two.

        • Ohio Prepper:
          Yeah, thanks OP. Being in the Mesa, AZ area, there is no shortage of Mormons. I just have a phobia of discussing what I’m doing with people on a face to face basis. I may just look at ordering from their mail order facility. Could be that a quick trip to the Honeyville store, for bulk items, would do the same thing at little or no difference in cost. I love Honeyville…$4.99 shipping, flat rate in the lower 48. I can’t even drive to their store for that money!

  70. Amateur Gardener says:

    Will ‘rotate’ some of my canned goods next week via our annual camping trip (fortunately the campground hasn’t been closed due to budget cuts). Will get more practice with my solar cooker too, but THIS year I’ll keep tabs on it so those tenacious crows won’t wade thru the bean dip before we humans can eat it. Ha ha. As far as prepping, I added more paper goods to my stash. And a friend gave me a sturdy stand for my old metal laundry tub/fire pit. I also find myself thinking about my grandparents on both sides, and how they survived during the Depression years. My mom said they were poor but she being a child in those years, never knew they were poor. But they had what they needed. My gardening skills aren’t great, but I’m still trying. Appreciate all the great comments posted here and great articles.

  71. Florence Nightingale says:

    Lint,you did a good job of sharing your experience with all of us.I especially am concerned about the need for quite a bit more water than any of us imagined we would need per day and per week.I wonder if getting MRE’s or dehydrated foods would make for more variety and or less food overage??We have only been thru this for 72 hrs.in last winter and in summer for 72hrs.I noticed everything took longer and I became disoriented until we made a schedule of activities so we had some routine.I used table as control central so all keys,flashlites,wallet,canopener,handwarmers were put in one place to be able to locate same.Reading was out as we were so preoccupied with getting electric back on could not concentrate .Once I realized there is no reason to be afraid and started actively doing projects,the mastery of cooking in a fireplace became a challenge to overcome instead a roadblock.I believe the idea of a small camper is the next step and establishing monday thru friday routines would be very helpful..Best Wishes Lint for this week!!

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      FN, yes a routine is good to have for those daily tasks. I learned to set a pot of water on to boil as soon as I was up. Then I could do other things while the water was heating up. Multitasking was key, and good routines made that possible.

      Thanks for reading my account of my week off-grid/water. Here’s wishing you a great week, too.

  72. Repair Mama says:

    So very slow this week. I just had work and house work.
    $$ is tight as we are starting to pay off debt as we can.
    I added a mag fire starter to my preps this week. went through the line at big box and it was laying where someone just left it. So I took it as a sign from God that said “you need to get this today” and purchased it. I will try to play with it this week and see if I can make a fire with it.
    I guess I will go ahead and build the temp portable fire pit with my junk pile and use the fire starter to play in it.
    Stripped some scrap copper for recycle and trying to find some stuff to sell to clear up some space and make some $ for bills too.
    I also added a 40ct indiviual wrapped germ-x wipes for 50% off rack at walmart.
    Reality is starting to wear thin with me these days. I just dont have the motiviation to do anything and the depression is heavy.
    Too hot to go outside and work is just so oppressive right now. How in the world do people get past the drag of the daily grind I wonder.

    My wi-fi phone died this week and I can only surf with the computer now. I will have to have 125 to get it replaced on phone insurance, so I won’t get to read much right now. I will be around, but may not be able to post much for a while. I just have a bad feeling about the state of things right now with DC , weather and economy. Worried about the crop loss all over the world and know that millions will die from it. May be some in US, but the 3rd world countries starvation will be rampant.
    Well, everyone– try to hang in and prepp hard

    • We have to realize that prepping is really a happy thing. It should give us joy. We cannot let the world into it other than what is essential to our survival.
      We cannot let the world and what is going on dictate our feelings.
      I get the “why bother” syndrome. Then I look around in my piled up bedroom and my overloaded kitchen and say “you’ll bother because you can”. And I think of my family.
      Get’s me pretty perked up and planning the next pile I can drag in.
      Money is everyone’s “lack there of problem”. We tend to work around it the best we can.
      So please don’t get depressed.

      • Repair Mama says:

        Ellen,
        I am not depressed about the prepping, that makes me feel more secure, my homelife is in the toilet.
        Prepping is the only thing I feel good about right now.
        Thank you for the words of encouragement. I get down sometimes when things dont run smooth at home and sometimes I want to throw up my hands and say “Hell with everyone” I kinda feel like my SHTF will be divorce or something like it. I hate this! I just dont know what to do right now. Prepping is something solid for me and I will continue no matter what I do. I can only pray that this will pass and everything can be fixed or something. Maybe next week will look better. Maybe my meds will work better if I remember to take them everyday ontime (hahah)(anti-aggitation)
        Dont worry, I will try to pull my sorry a$$ together here soon.
        Some days are just better than others.
        Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes I just need a kick in the pants to get back on track.
        I will try to kick the depression.
        I will vacuum seal something. too hot to can lol
        Thanks again

        • You are responsible for your own happiness, let the others take care of theirs.
          If you can change yourself to be happy no matter what, the others will either follow suit or wallow in their own misery.
          Include everyone but exclude them if they don’t want in on the good stuff.
          Will pray for you.

        • mountain lady says:

          I will pray that you find the strength to fight the depression and that your home life turns for the better. I don’t suffer from depression per say, I just get in those “I feel sorry for myself” funks that tend to last too long. I had not idea that I would be this poor in my old age, even though I have everything I need to survive. I do not take any meds for it, and it does pass. Wish I could give you some advice, but talk to God, ask for his help, he will listen.

        • Repair momma, have you considered a motorcycle or even a scooter to relieve depression? I know first hand that there are medicinal properties that are linked to man,machine,miles,sun and wind. You don’t need meds if you can feed your spirit. sometimes the thing your missing in life is you. Regardless,blessings to you my sister. Brad

          • axelsteve says:

            Yep brad. My wife and I always feel better after an evening ride.

          • Repair Mama says:

            I don’t get enough “alone” time to do anything. I am chained to the phone, and have no babysitter to keep 6yr old. From sunup to dark, it is answer the phones, office paperwork, chasing parts, customer contacts, billing, collections, all of the personal and business shopping, I cook for 2 households, care for disabled mother, brother in law, and try to look after my own disabled brother.
            I do all of the cleaning, laundry, cooking, yard work (75% of 2 yards), bookkeeping, personal and business tax forms, workers comp papers, payroll tax forms, sales tax forms, and all of the bill paying. I could go on, but that is a lot if typing. This blog is my only hobby except for sleeping. I feel like I never get enough sleep. Always feel like I am being chased down hill by a giant bolder and it is gonna catch me any time.
            I gave up tanning beds as relaxation. I am lucky to go to grocery store alone, (just to have the cell phone ring 6 times while I am trying to get the groceries)
            I have quit brushing my hair daily and just settle for quick pony tail and just throw on what ever cloths I can find in the morning.

            Well, that settles it! I need an assistant! haha lol.
            No time for a hobby.
            This may be why I look forward to an EMP!!!
            no more phones, no computers, no tax forms, etc, ect.
            Just me and my quiet thoughts and my hands in the dirt.
            Except for air conditioning and good heat, it sounds like heaven to me.

            Sorry for the rant. I’m Just stressed

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      can really relate to the lack of dollars part. to help me with the depresion part, i look at what i want, need or what have you and try and figure out how i can do it myself hopefully cheaper, better. i love to tinker and puts around but i have built my rabbit cages for less than 10, i built my solar dehydrator for pennies save the 15 watt solar panel to run the fan, comically i have to put the dehydrator ijn the shade and the collector in the sun to power it but it works. depression is a killer of the human spirit and dreams do what makes you happy dont let the politicians win. they know if you start loosing hope then you will take the handout and you are now part of the problem. first and formost though pray.

      i ask god how i can serve him, for the knowledge to know right from wrong and the strength to do the right thing. he gives me the strength and solace to carry on.

  73. Auntie_Em says:

    I spent some time with older kin who live out in the boonies. Situated in mountainous area—lots of wild critters, lots of chores to take care of daily on the property. They are a generation older than I am (and I’m no spring poultry) but climb hills, heft hay and feed critters, clean out ponds, in short they are more fit and active than people half their age! Puts me to shame—and motivates me to get going again on a daily fitness regimen.

  74. My daughter just put up one of those shoe bag things on her pantry door to hold all those packaged mixes. It sure is nice. And colorful. She said she got tired of digging for what she needed.
    I know you all have seen it before for other things but I really think hers really looks nice and neat.
    Just thought you all would like the idea.

    • Ellen,
      That’s a neat idea. Are you talking the box mixes or the Mylar bags? For the bags, another good way to do it is a pegboard with the standard pegboard hooks on the wall or the side of a cabinet, and binder clips attached to the top of each bag, which can then be hung on the hooks in an organized fashion. This is not my original idea, but a good one I saw on a YouTube video somewhere. I don’t really remember exactly who & where. The interesting thing about your daughters’ idea is the she is definitely thinking out of the box once again demonstrating how multiple use items can always serve us well.

      • No , just the gravy, chili, taco etc. mixes, and such. You know Lowry’s and Schillings etc.
        But I imagine you could put anything you wanted to in the shoe pockets they expand.
        My daughter is pretty ingenious. So thank you I will tell her what you have said.

        • riverrider says:

          i saw that shoe thing somewhere else, where a guy puts his loaded mags in the pockets, with his gun behind the door. i’m thinking on doing it myself.

  75. I purchased a Beeman pellet rifle that had two barrels with it(.177 and .22). I read and reread all the literature and safety precautions that came with it before taking it outside and firing it.

    • axelsteve says:

      Beeman is good stuff. I met the original founder of beeman years ago and he was a nice man. He sold the company because he took it as far as he could and would rather pass it off to someone who could expand it more than he could.

  76. JO (Georgia) says:

    I’ve seen people use those for seed packets too. kinda nice if its a narrow one you could just roll it up and throw it in a bag if you had to get out of dodge

  77. STL Grandma says:

    Ellen: Just have to say, I love that IDEA! I have one of those shoe things, half empty and the closet space to put my shoes. Guess what I’ll be doing in just a few minutes. :) Thank you kindly!

    I got some prepping done this week and found yet more goodies at the estate sale/yard sale picking that I do for work anyway. Got durn little for work-resale but I did find some things on my wish list – a meat grinder, an apple peeler/corer, an upside down tomato grower (for next year, I want to try it out) and an older model crockpot.

    Went to the green grocer and they had a great deal on strawberries and when I got to looking at them at home, I found out why. They had tucked rotten strawberries under big juicy ripe ones and they were all rotten in between.. waste of good money and the green grocer lost a customer. There are other green grocers in this city. There goes my attempt at making jam.

    I’m trying something new this month, making my own bread.. but making it like you see it at the store.. so far, no good, my loaves don’t seem to rise as well as they should, so back to the drawing board, ahem, the internet, I went and I’ve found another way to make them that might fix the problem. I’ll let you know. I can get 5lbs of flour for the same price as two loaves of bread and DH really likes the taste of freshbaked, even if it didn’t get as good a rise as I wanted. I will try the Biga & Soaker method and let y’all know how it worked next week.

    Life is just a work in progress! If you don’t work, you don’t progress!

    • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

      What does “dh” stand for? I fear that given the context of use, all I can think of is “dumb husband.” LOL

      • Copperhead says:

        Gayle,
        I always thought DH stood for Dear Husband. We’ll see what others say?!

      • Nuttbush54 says:

        LOL, Gayle. I guess DH could stand for either dumb husband or dear husband, just depends on what they were doing! Just kidding everyone.

      • STL Grandma says:

        It’s Dear Husband for me, Gayle.. He’s my better half!

  78. Caoimhin says:

    My wife found out Food Saver was doing a thing on face book and if 20,000 people liked them by Friday last at noon they gave out %75 off discounts. Our new Saver and a lot of extra bags are in the mail. $60 was the grand total. She may be young and pretty but I’ll keep her around anyway. We also stocked up on razors, tea tree oil, witch hazel, lady things. More cups of Mac n cheese. Can’t always find open pollinated seeds but the prices on clearance seeds at Big Boxes running 10 to 20 cents. Added 2 new mags for my Buck Mark and another 550 rds of 22. As a Corp. Security Manager I can tell you most everyone is preparing to go to plan B this week. Wall St started last night and we will watch them for more signs. Our main worry is Civil disorder (riots). I look to the Korean shopkeepers from the LA riots for inspiration. Have a great week, enjoy your gardens and keep your ear to the news. I really enjoy reading what all of you have to say. I hope we can discuss our Preps again next week.

  79. Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

    Politics aside, I do have a question about prepping that someone might be able to help me with.

    I have been going off the Mormon “food storage calculators” that you find all over the net. My question is this: The calculator recommends 150 lbs of milk products (for two people) per year. Do you actually store that much milk powder? Second question is about wheat. Calculator says 600 lbs of grain products, with 300 of that being wheat. What do you all think?

    These are the two areas in which I am feeling deficient. I have only one case of milk powder in #10 cans (24 lbs) and 130 lbs of wheat (though I have a total of 450 lbs of grains). What is your experience and reasoning with respect to storing these items?

    For the record, here’s my inventory (minus canned goods):

    Grains: 451 lbs (with 170 lbs of rice)
    Beans: 181 lbs
    Milk: 24 lbs
    Sugars: 124
    Fats: 43
    Salt: 17

    This is for two people. How much do you all store? What would you consider prudent?

    I appreciate Lint Picker’s comments about water. At the moment, I have only 14 gallons in containers and 6 cases. I have been storing cleaned out milk jugs–not for drinking but for washing. This is an area I hope to focus on next week.

    Gayle from Gainesville

    • Well while others are way ahead of me in all respects it seems to me that you have a good handle on what is needed.
      I would get as much of everything that the list says and more and put it up for long term storage. Keeping enough out to incorporate with my regular diet and therefore learning to cook with it. The milk seems kinda short I would indeed get more milk powdered (put up for long term), canned etc. Remember you will be cooking with this and when it comes down to it you probably use more milk than you think.
      Yeah the water thing is crucial. As I cannot lift the big 7 gallon jugs full I am going to start buying it in the gallon containers and then fill soda bottles too. This is one area I am really afraid of not having enough to last until another source is found.
      You are smart indeed to ask questions and as probably everyone here will tell you there are no dumb questions.
      But your doing fantastic, YOUR PREPPING.

      • Gayle, You are well on your way. Your own food storage depends upon how you will use your stored foods and how you prepare your foods. You will probably be cooking ‘from scratch’ at some point and dairy products are a main component in many foods. Also, vitamin and mineral needs are important factors so consider where your intakes will be. Most women need bet 600-1200 mg daily. Dairy doesn’t have to be dried milk exclusively. Look at other milk supplies like powdered sour cream, cheese powder, buttermilk, etc. We have fresh goat milk and eggs so we don’t have a large quantity of dried dairy products but do have some.

        Wheat is critical for baking and for sprouts and will provide many of the daily vitamins we need. Err on the high side.

        If you are preserving/canning your own foods, you will want to have the necessary ingredients in storage (sugar, salt, vinegar, etc).

        Enjoyed yesterday’s dialogue.

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      Gayle from Gainesville, a big part of the milk powder usage is in cooking with other products, baking, etc. That I believe is why the fod storage calculator recommends so much. I think they are also figuring in 3 full meals a day. I personally cannot see using that much, but, I can see how others could easily use that much or more. Depends on your dietary likes, needs, etc. It certainly could not hurt to have more, could be used for barter, could be used in a “stone soup” scenario, etc…

      • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

        Gayle from Gainesville, I also forgot to mention, you can make cheese from powdered milk (had the method stored on my computer that crashed, will try to find the web site and maybe post that later). Just another method of using powdered milk.

  80. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    Gayle, here’s what I did and I suggest you try it. Keep a very accurate list of exactly what food items you and your husband (?) use for a whole month. Don’t do this in the month of November or December since those special holiday months tend to throw our calculations off kilter. Instead, pick a month like September, which has some hot days and some cool days, and then start keeping track from the 1st day of the month through the last day. Record the amount of salt (in teaspoonfuls) and sugar and how many slices of bread you consume and how much oil and butter, etc. You will be amazed at how little of some things you use and how much of other things you use. At the end of the month, add up all the food items and multiple these figures by 12, then add another 10% for spoilage, spillage, donation, etc. You’ll have a pretty good idea what you’ll need for a year. Don’t forget to throw in some special treats like homemade cookies and include those ingredients in your calculations. (Wo)Man does not live by bread alone!

    Next, you can search online for the number of cups of wheat berries (hard red, hard white, or whatever you have in storage) it takes to make a cup of fine wheat flour. And then how many cups of fine wheat flour it takes to make a standard loaf of sandwich bread. This information will help you determine how many pounds of wheat you’ll need for the year.

    “Milk products” will include powdered milk, cheese, ghee, butter, and yogurt. So if you have any canned butter/ghee or cheeses, you can reduce the amount of powdered milk you’ll need if you are only calculating for adults. If you have children to care for, powdered milk will be a valuable asset. Don’t forget that powdered milk requires lots of water, so figure that in as well.

    • Gayle from Gainesville, FL says:

      Lint Picker,

      Thanks for the recommendation. I have been marking on the calendar when I open a new can of coffee, for instance, and after a few months determined that the dh (LOL–I thought “dh” meant “dumb husband”) and I use two cans of coffee per month, on average. It’s a smart idea to do the same with milk and wheat, and the other commodities we use.

      What I find particularly difficult to answer is the question of what I am prepping for. Hurricanes and other natural disasters might keep the shelves at the grocery store empty for a week or so. But not much longer. I think the most plausible “threat” is food inflation. Sorry I am tired and starting to ramble.

      I appreciate your suggestions. (And Ellen’s comments too.)

      Gayle

      • I surmise we are prepping for just about anything imagineable. If you can think of it, prep for it. Mainly worst case.
        Just go for the gusto.

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Gayle,
        when we started asking the same questions, about a month after we discovered M.D.’s blog, we started tapping a label with the days date on any package we opened to see how long it would last. We did this for 3 packages of the same item to get an average. We did things like, bar of soap, jar of jelly, shaving cream, toilet paper, you name it. From that, it is easy to calculate a years supply. For me, its a pain in the rear to keep an accurate inventory (we don’t have one) as we take things from the supply for daily use.
        When we started (about last March) I wondered why the experts were telling us that we needed 300 lbs of wheat. We learned that we needed a grinder, then a pasta machine, then discovered that soaked wheat berries make a good breakfast food.

        Still too lazy to learn the skill of baking bread and I know it will be critical after TSHTF. Our excuse is the garden work but by this winter I’ll have to find another one.

        • JO (Georgia) says:

          HD, When you do get to bread baking Bernard Clayton’s Bread bible is a good place to start, each recipe has three processes so you can pick the one that suits you best, and in the back are instructions for how to build a bread oven that you can do with stuff out of the yard for off the grid baking. I’ve made it about half way through. (I’m trying every recipe) We’ll try building the oven probably next spring.

        • Hunker-Down,
          Keep in mind that you can bake one loaf or a half dozen with about the same amount of effort, time and energy; so, if you still have a freezer available, you can do a batch every week or two and still enjoy the fruits of your labor by simply thawing out a loaf when you need it. While this may not work post SHF, it can get you into learning and enjoying the task in the here and now.

          • Hunker-Down says:

            O.P.
            That’s a good idea, but I need to start with small batches until the training wheels come off, then once a week will save a lot of time and labor.

            • JO (Georgia) says:

              yeah I ruined a few at the beginning. But the birds still like it so I guess theirs that!

  81. Nuttbush54 says:

    This week was an eye opener for me as well on keeping safe. It was recently reported in the paper an elderly lady was robbed/conned out of $4000 when she came out of a local store. And then a few days later a friend of mine’s husband who is a police officer was shot and killed during a police stop. I carry my pepper spray at all times and have added a whistle to the chain but it is time to start carrying my Glock now that I feel more comfortable with it. I want DH to install a device near the driver seat to keep it handy when I am driving.

    My preps were a trip to the local stores for some foods that were on sale: 4 large jars of peanut butter, pancake mix, cans of evaporated milk. I also acquired a compass, lamp wicks, a pair of small needle nose pliers and wire cutters for my tool box, some dental tools, dental mirror, cement for crowns or temporary fillings and other first aid items. Then a trip to Sams for 25 lbs. rice, more aluminum foil, par that he needs since both his parents tend to be “broke” all the time. Yes, one of those “parents” IS my child, but I am not that happy with how they are dealing with my grandson. So my preps include him as much as possible. After the trip to Sams, I put the rice, pancake mix and hash browns in mylar and added them to my long term supplies( pancake mix went in the freezer). My EE and Honeyville orders came in but no delivery on the travel Berkey yet. Tomorrow I am going by the bank and withdrawing some cash for our emergency stash JUST IN CASE! Who knows what the the Dark Lord and his minions, Reid, Pelosi, Schumer and Geitner will do if they are not getting their way. NO, Dark Lord, 80 per cent of the people don’t want higher taxes! If they try to pull something, I fear what will happen. I know my elderly mother will struggle mightily without her SS. She worked hard all her life and paid into the system without anyone asking her what she wanted to do. Her retirement from her job is what is left of an IRA and the SS is what keeps her from losing the home she and my father worked all their lives to own fair and square. She won’t starve because her children will make sure of that but it galls me a socialist/marxist” organizer” and professional politicians in Washington can put her life on the line with political games. I see the whole issue very simply, Washington must live within it’s means just as we do. Washington can pay it’s seniors, military and take basic care of it’s poor. It needs to start making cuts in some of the other crap(Obamacare which WON”T work), quit regulating small business to death and allow for developing our resources. I pray for the people of our country every day.

    • Nuttbush54:

      Amen sister!

    • Nuttbush54,
      FWIW, the dark lord gave a nationally televised speech last night (darn, I missed it) trying to convince us all to call our congress-critters and support his additional tax & spend policies. Some new polls run this morning show him at his lowest polling numbers ever. By now, most of us would have gotten a clue, but not this guy.

      • Nuttbush54 says:

        Oh darn, I missed that speech too! LOL Ohio! I sent an email to my reps and told them to tell the dark lord to STHU! We don’t want his tax hikes! And if he quits blabbing every day, I wouldn’t keep wearing out the remote “mute” button!

        On a serious note, if he were to manage to steal another election next year, we are in some deep doodoo!

        • In all honesty, he did not steal the last election. A combination of the opposition running John McCaan because it was his turn, the ravaging of Bush (not all undeserved) by the press, and the fact that too many morons are allowed to vote, gave it to him fair and square.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Nuttbush54
      +10

  82. JP in MT says:

    Although we were traveling this weekend we still managed to pick up 6 #10 cans of FD/DH Foods. ALso a Maglite 3 cell LED Flashlight on closeout. I ordered some “blemished” bullets for the 38/357′s and they came in.

    Glad to see over 420 responses to this week’s WDYD post! Will have to get them read tomorrow.

  83. Purchased silver ware for eating, plated silver. Good for keeping germs down – I may not wash dishes as good in a crisis. I would use paper plates but, not plastic spoons.

    Purchased animal traps to catch small (to medium) critters, may help reduce garden theft.

    Bought tarps in several sizes, colors – always good for something.

    Bought a bicycle cart. The cart I purchased can carry 180 pounds, is made of steel and costs only $68 and $21 shipping. I am going to use this to move wood.

    http://www.amazon.com/Yellow-Black-Bicycle-Motorcycle-Trailer/dp/B005CRWTQE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1311660625&sr=8-2

  84. lilmorse says:

    I bought some non-wicking socks for mine and my daughter’s B.O.B. sigh……

  85. I can’t believe how many comments these posts get now…it’s good to see.

    Purchased two five gallon containers for gasoline and filled them up. Doing the same today.

    Worked in the garden as much as I could, although it’s hard to do so when building a kitchen. We have been pulling out many beans, and quite a few peas. Have lots of zuccinni coming, and well over 100 tomatoes, both cherry and beafsteak.

    Got one circuit built, working on the lighting circuit for our kitchen now. Keeping is simple so as I can begin hooking it right into solar this winter.

    Ordered 8 books off of amazon of varying topics – hunting, foraging, butchering of game, trapping, etc…All with excellent reviews.

    A few weeks ago, we went to our local HyVee and they had bundles of seeds wrapped together in rubber bands, and the sign said 50 cents each. We thought, and the cashier thought, it was 50 cents a bundle. Went back the next day, and wanted to buy all of them, since they are all organic, heirloom, some rare, but they kid said they were 50 cents per packet. Told him they gave them to us per bundle, and he said alright I’ll do that. Probably between 300-500 packets of heirloom seeds, mornally between 100-200 bucks for 8-10 bucks. :D That’s called bargaining. We’ll be sharing with family, believe me.

    • Forgot one important thing I did in regards to prepping last week. It really hit me that retirement, as I see it, will never happen. The American way of retiring has always been a joke, but is more so than ever before. So for this reason, I changed my 401k contribution to absolute zero, down from 6%. 401ks are nothing but a common way to devalue everyone’s nest eggs, I realize that more than ever now.

      This means I’ll have an extra 300 bucks each month with which to prep. Don’t worry, I’ll still maintain savings, but it’ll be in a savings account, where I can get it, for now.

      True retirement is being self sufficient. Don’t buy the ‘american dream’ of putting all your money in the market.

      • cmonkey,
        Does your employer match your 401K? If so, staying in at the minimum and collecting the match is the smarter thing to do. Once you reach 59 1/2 you may start taking money out of the plan with no penalty. You may take money earlier than that with a penalty, but even then you will be way ahead.
        Assume you put in $10 and your employer matches it @ 50% or $5.00. Assuming you are at the 25% tax rate You will have $15 – 10% penalty ($1.50) leaving $13.50 minus 25% for taxes, leaving $10.12 in your hands. Take out the $100 into your normal payday and you keep $7.50.
        If you were putting $300.00 into your 401K and it is no longer taken out, you will not get $300.00 in your paycheck, since FICA, Medicare, and Taxes will be leaving you a bit less.
        It might be time to check the rules and use your calculator.
        OTOH, If your company has no match, then the 401K may not be your best savings avenue.

        • OhioPrepper,

          My employer does match on the first 6%, but the way I figure it, I’m 25 now, will it even matter in 35 years? If you really do the math, the most probable scenario is that it won’t be worth anything at that time. Inflation (government reported) has nearly kept up with markets in the last 35 years.

          All my contributions were Roth (post-tax), so the tax difference will not be there, I should get the extra 300 each month. Even if markets don’t end up gutting everyone of their savings, I am way behind on prepping, and need the money now. My idea of retirement isn’t 200K in the bank, it’s peace of mind.

          My gut has been telling me to get out of the market for a long while now, and with this whole debt debacle I knew it was time.

          • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

            401k was good for me, but I would not recommend it to anybody today. Of course, that is a personal choice that each person must make for him or herself, but there are far too many gooberment hogs who are sniffing around that money now and they will find a way to take it all if given another 4 years in office.

            People should still have some cash available, but don’t keep it in your home. That is an invitation for loss and potential bodily harm. So stash it someplace and tell 1 trusted person where it is. Then get some precious metals (PMs) or some industrial metals (IMs) like copper or nickel or even lead, and stash that someplace else. Then make sure you have your beans, bullets, and bandaids and also some useful skills like small engine repair, electronics, hunting, gunsmithing, canning, gardening, fruit tree pruning and grafting, first aid, sewing, etc. A person with useful skills is a major asset in good times and bad.

            Treat others with respect and take care of what you have, these traits will always work in your favor.

            Stay out of debt. If you can’t afford to buy it with cash, then you don’t need it. We have been told we need this or that thing, but we don’t actually NEED the things so much as we WANT the things. Well, learn to want less and you will soon need less. Live below your means and you will be happier. Live beyond your means and you will be a slave to many masters.

        • riverrider says:

          op, apparently you have not heard TDL’s new plan if no deal is reached, and maybe if a deal is reached…..deciding that robbing every federal pension and ira fund was a great success(meaning they broke the law and no one called them on it) they plan to force ALL civilian ira funds to purchase government bonds with a huge portion of the funds. you can guess what that will do to the value of those funds. i cleared mine out, took the tax hit. paid off the house and banked the rest for preps. i figure 70% of my money now is better than 0% later.

          • riverrider,
            TDL may use executive orders to screw around with the funds in executive agencies, and that is something that whether you like it or not he can legally do. Screwing around with existing private 401Ks and IRAs is however another story. He may have plans, but I’m not too concerned, because he will run into big problems with congress, the likes of which he’s not even thought about. People are awake and paying attention and not likely to go back to sleep any time soon. Even congress has taken notice that they must do what their constituents want done, or even those in “safe” districts know that they will be eliminated. Also, forcing even a small percentage of funds to liquidate their equity holding to purchase government debt would cause a run down in the equities market and severely crash the market, another thing for which he would pay dearly.
            As for paying off the homestead, vehicles, etc., I did that more than a decade ago, and most of my preps are in order, with a few more to top things off by the end of the year, so at this point I’ll just watch and wait, keeping an eye on the market and my accounts which have done rather well over the last few years because I have been watching and managing them. TDL is more likely at this point going to raise revenue by eliminating things like the home mortgage deduction over a certain limit, and fiddling with other “tax loopholes”, but attempting to confiscate private IRA’s would IMO be political suicide, and for all of the tings this guy doesn’t understand, he does understand politics.

            • riverrider says:

              op, i have respect for your opinions, but i think he can and will get away with tampering with the funds. they are using existing federal reserve bank regulations. also remember that the funds that they grabbed from my account were MY money, earned and paid in to a retirement fund with an outside management entity (called the thrift saving fund), not a U.S. gov agency. i agree completely that the ira holders will run screaming from the funds, losing much of their equity. thats what they want. its all on paper, and there’s too much paper. its a win win for the gov. they get to even out the wealth(make us all poor) and eliminate billions/trillions of dollars of obligations on the dollar. tdl realizes he will be a 1 termer, so he is pulling out the stops to accomplish his mission to crash the system in order to rebuild it in the progressive model. sadly i think the repubs are playing right into his hand. jmnsho.

            • riverrider,
              I guess I am still somewhat optimistic about the number of folks in the country who are finally awake, and paying attention, What the government did to public pensions is atrocious, but I still don’t think TDL would get away with doing the same to the private plans without heat from the country and congress that he potentially can’t survive. Using the fed to regulate what the SEC Is in charge of, and trying to manipulate the IRS code with executive orders I personally think is a dog that won’t hunt.
              OTOH, I’m wondering that if floating a trial balloon of publicizing private pensions isn’t a ploy all in itself. If I wait until retirement to start drawing on my IRA and 401K funds, then at least in theory, I’m paying at a lower tax rate, since my overall income is less. With SS, pensions, and IRA income (all three legs of the original SS system stool), I could easily be making only half of the income I make while working, and pay the subsequent lower tax, a little each year as I draw out the funds.
              If however, that trial balloon causes me to prematurely “cash in” and stop making contributions, then I pay an immediate voluntary tax (penalty) of 10% of the amount, PLUS I pay normal income tax on the aggregate of my normal salary and the total amount of the fund (after penalty) most likely placing me into a much higher tax rate bracket. Also, since I’m no longer contributing to my 401K that previously tax deferred money is taxed and sent off to the treasury. Big voluntary penalty PLUS larger than normal taxes PLUS additional ongoing taxes that weren’t being paid previously, and since none of this was ordered by the government, but done by you voluntarily, you can’t blame me for raiding your funds , or for your poor decisions.
              In the first scenario I pay perhaps 15% per year of a small amount over a long time; In the second scenario, I voluntarily pay as much as 45% of my account balance immediately, and an additional amount of tax each payday after that. I would not put it past these greedy politicians to have analyzed this down to the penny. In the end, probably neither of us will be 100% correct but fall somewhere in the middle. For the moment; however, I see no reason to voluntarily hand over nearly half of my money to the government and plan to make them fight and pay dearly (politically) for every dime.

            • OP and Riverrider, I’ll just mention that real estate can become an investment vehicle instead of mutual funds, equity stocks, passbook savings, etc. The big catch is that ALL operating expenses for any real property investment must come from the retirement funds and nowhere else.

      • axelsteve says:

        Also our Kenyan friend even wanted to take peoples 401k and give the 401k owner a monthly check and let the goverment run the 401k for the citizen.I would cash it out also before I let the kenyan economist run my retirement.

      • CMonkey, I wonder how many others have done this. Like you did, we re-strategized. The “game” that the government has arranged for people is to give up your hard earned money so that others can use it or steal it. Game over!

        Before the Market dump, I was trading heavily and when the Recession was evident (but not publicly admitted), I liquidated and sat on the sidelines with our investment funds and IRAs. I converted the 401 and 457 to a guaranteed 4% “fund” and stayed as liquid as possible. Then they decided to end that fund because they couldn’t guarantee a return like that. That year, they also decided to end their small contribution, too. That game-change forced our hand so that was the year we decided to end retirement contributions altogether.

        Allowing someone else (or another company) to control your financial assets is REALLY not in your best interest. And allowing your own retirement money to be legally tied up where you cannot get to it without very high penalties, isn’t smart either.

        Like you, we can and do use the $ that we once contributed towards our retirement to invest more heavily in ourselves. True self-reliance! And should we need to pull retirement out, we can get our hands on the money very quickly unless the banking industry (or that institute) limits $ withdraw.

        Glad to know another person out there has figured out the retirement investment hype!

        • Good you got out! Its difficult to become completely off grid, but the way I figure it, if things last long enough, you can get as far off as possible, and use what savings you have to pay for what you need. The key really is getting rid of monthly bills as best you can. Getting solar/wind energy gets rid of most of the electric bill. Get rid of TV and cell phones, and just go with a cheap internet plan/skype. These are my current plans, so we’ll see how it goes.

  86. Although this is mostly off topic, a friend sent it to me and it is well worth a read: Things You Need To Know Before You Buy The Farm – http://adaptivecurmudgeon.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/things-you-need-to-know-before-you-buy-the-farm/

  87. templar knight says:

    Ohio Prepper and LynnS and anyone interested,

    I want to tell you a true story. There was a man who grew up on a small, and I mean small(400 acres), ranch near Snyder, Tx. His parents worked hard, made him work hard, and helped him go to college and get a degree in geology. This man worked every day while attending classes, including Saturdays and Sundays, and was able to graduate without owing anyone a penny. No partying, no drinking, no fraternity, none of that, just work and study. His dad’s favorite saying was, ” Four years of hard work will get you 40 years of play, but four years of play will get you 40 years of hard work.” His dad was right.

    The guy “won the lottery of life”, as he got a good job with an oil company, and after a few years, was able to get out on his own. He did pretty well, married a girl he met in college, and had three beautiful children. This guy owned his own business, and took percentage cuts on some oil propects rather than take a specific amount of money. Well, oil went up a few years ago, and has pretty much stayed up, with a couple of exceptions. This man made a lot of money, had a nice home, a great wife, watched his kids play football, basketball, baseball, tennis, volleyball, soccer, dance, get married, join the Army, graduate college, and every other thing a father could see his kids do. A wonderful life, if you will.

    But a few years ago, things began to change. This man lost a lot of money in the 2008 crash, recovered most of it, but about this time life got more and more complicated. The IRS wanted to check the business records every other year, paperwork and forms to do everything related to the business increased every year, taxes kept going up and up, good employees were difficult to find, and what used to be fun turned into a daily hell.

    So…this guy finally had enough. He had suffient oil income to support hisself and his wife very comfortably. He had some money in the bank, a house, and a bunch of things that really weren’t that important. He closed his business, sold his house, ended the country club and gym memberships, and bought 65 acres of land and a 1600 sq. ft. frame house in the middle of the Arkansas Ozarks. This guy used to pay a lot of money to the US Government in taxes, now he only pays a fraction of that, doesn’t have to do anything he doesn’t want to. Of course, the government loses, the people this guy used to employ lose, and the country is poorer. But you can just push a man so far, and that’s it. That man was me.

    You see, in this country, no one HAS to do anything. But, it’s what the good, productive people WANT to do that keeps this country growing and strong. When the life is sucked out of the productive people, all will suffer. Wasn’t it Churchill who said it best, “Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings, socialism is the equal sharing of misery.”

    And I see this thing we now have in the WH demonizing people who give everything they have to build and operate a business. He has no idea what it is to work and build something, yet he wishes to play one faction against the other as he tears down the American Dream. I tell you, I’m sick to death of all this, but particularly sick for my children and soon to be grandchild. I’m sorry for the long story, but this is something I felt I needed to say. MD, if you think this is inappropriate, just delete it.

    • Copperhead says:

      Thank you for telling your story, tk. It is amazing what our government can do to break someone’s enthusiasm in their life’s work.
      I am sick of this mess also, and feel so helpless as there is no “we the people” anymore. Our government/president does not listen to what we want…which is NOT a handout…just let us work and prosper.
      Well written, templar knight. God’s blessings to you.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      TK, I completely understand. In the 1960s I was a teenager. I saw my peers “turn on, tune in, drop out” because they wanted no responsibility. Now I see my peers again dropping out, but for far different reasons. They are sick of being forced to support those who will not get off their lazy butts and provide for themselves. They are sick of supporting illegals. They are tired of supporting an obese government (where is Michelle Obama on that issue?). And they are just plain tired of politicians who exempt themselves from the very laws they create.

      You made good choices, templar knight, and I know you will do well, come-what-may, because you can think for yourself and you don’t need no stinkin’ handouts from a govt that wants its people to be slaves.

      Keep the faith, brother.

    • sistaprepper says:

      Templar knight

      I read and loved your story. I have said these exact same words to my DH because that’s where I am now at the age of 46. I am looking for that piece of land, small home to put on it and I am done busting my butt to pay for everyone else. As I get all of my preps in order, the land and move is the last in my grand plan. I’ll still work, but not NEARLY as hard as I have. I will be an employee instead of an employer.

      Preps this week: ordered more ammo, food tasting begins, putting together a notebook with all important papers in it, cleaning out the storage room to organize preps. Purchased another handgun and rifle. Spent the weekend looking at land in the region we are interested in moving!!

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      T.K., great but sorta sad story. Unfortunately, it is all too common. Your assessment of what is happening is precisely why I am prepping, just hope I’ve done a good enough job of it to keep myself and my (future) loved ones secure and safe and happy enough to thrive. We shall see. Thank you for sharing.

    • Mr. Knight, That is the best personal story comment I have read on this blog – esp. one with an important moral to the ending. No offense intended to anyone else writing or commenting here. I will print and give this to my 14 YO son who is in need of inspiration and understanding about what is going on in our times. At the start of this whole reading blogs business, I thought I would mostly be getting information and advice mostly from the blogger, but it has turned around and become an awesome source of exchange among the readers.. not just practical but inspirational like this. MD you have succeeded ! This shoulda been a contest entry !

    • Templar Knight, Thank you so much for sharing this summary of your life. While I sense the frustration you have experienced and how you finally succumbed to our overbearing government system, I can’t help but be inspired at your choices. You knew what was important all along and no one, not even that overbearing government system, could take that from you. Count those blessings — there are many.

    • TK,
      I had always thought that you rather odd name was a pseudonym; after all who names their kid after an ancient order of warrior Christians, but your story confirms my suspicions and although it blows your OPSEC, I am finally glad to know your real name, and to meet the real John Galt. Unfortunately, your story has been repeated more and more often in the last decade and at the current rate things are going, it is likely to become a story that is much too common.
      Thank so much for sharing.

    • Encourager says:

      TK, thank you for sharing your story. What breaks my heart is the cynicism I hear in my sons’ voices and the hopelessness. My oldest just hates the ‘political’ aspect of his job, always having to tiptoe around some idiot who has power, who steals others’ ideas, who doesn’t know squat about what the people under him do in their jobs ~ yet dictates how to do them. He is so frustrated; a very talented young man already soured on life. Breaks my heart. The other is struggling in his last year of college, hoping he will be able to find a job in his field. He keeps saying, one more year, just one more year! Thankfully, he found a job as an intern this summer, so there is a hope on the horizon he might be able to get a permanent job with them. I see, and hear, this hopelessness not only in my generation, but in all the younger generation. They so need hope!

    • Repair Mama says:

      What a Life!
      Thank you for the post. I can only hope and pray that there is life after self employment.
      You are a wonderful inspiration! I really needed to hear that today.
      Thanks again.
      enjoy your freedom! sounds like you have really really earned it!

    • mountain lady says:

      tk, I will admit that I got a bit teary eyed reading your story. I, too, have read Atlas Shrugged, and your story only confirms what I already believed was happening to our country. It is so good to hear that you have made it to Galt’s Gulch. We are in the middle of that story, so expect a pretty rocky ride ahead, but it is good to have verified what we are all up against. Thank you and God Bless you and America.

  88. Encourager says:

    Went blueberry pickin’ yesterday as the weather was so much cooler, in the 80′s, not 90′s. Problem was, it has been so dry the owner had to water a lot. His water is alkaline and blueberries like acidic. So his plants have really suffered. We picked 1/3 of what we did last year in twice the time. Bummer. Good thing I still have some frozen from last year. While picking, I was thinking about what it would be like with a crop failure and no store to go to. Starvation. It really hit home, and all we were picking was blueberries. The corn crop around here is pathetic; I would guess half have unfilled ears. Short, stubby plants, yellow half way up; leaves all curled in on themselves. It was sprinkling a few minutes ago, not enough by any means, but a start. I think it will be too late for the corn. A bad year for the farmers….again.

    • JO (Georgia) says:

      I felt like this too, but I’ve picked up a few wild foraging guides and I feel a lot better. Armed with that knowledge you’d have to try to starve to death in America. When we go on hikes now on the weekends we play the what could we eat game. So we are familiar with plant types.

  89. JP in MT says:

    Just got back from Albertsons. Got 9 x 3 ltr bottles water for $.50 each. The used 2 store coupons and got a 12 double sized roll pack of TP for $.49. Total bill: $4.99!

  90. worrisome says:

    Just saw a tv news article of an owner of a couple of mines saying that he is giving up on what could have been a way to employee many because of all the government red tape and suppressive business oversight……………At some point and we are at, it all just becomes too much!

    • templar knight says:

      Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s a guy in Birmingham, Al. who wants to open a coal mine, has the permits, but is facing opposition from environmentalists, who now have the new tactic of getting minorities to oppose these projects. These people use the discrimination lawsuit as a way to discourage investments in natural resources. And this guy was going to employ over 100 people. To me this shows the minority community really isn’t interested in working, or they wouldn’t cooperate with these people.

      There is also a case near Shreveport, La. that I am watching closely as a minority community claims that their water wells have been contaminated by oil and gas drilling, and I think they will be pursuing a lawsuit using discrimination as a tactic. Here in No. Arkansas, the environmentalists are using earthquakes as their main tactic to stop fracking. You see, it’s litigation that makes these environmentalists the money they use for their own private gain, and to seed more lawsuits against companies. And most of the money for these lawsuits is provided by the federal government when it invites litigation from these environmental groups and settles monetarily without so much as a trial. This is corruption on a grand scale, and these people should be jailed. To force business to finance lawsuits against themselves is just wrong, adding to the corruption. And we have the most corrupt administration in history.

      • worrisome says:

        You are right TK. That is the issue to which I was referring. You have obviously been studying and paying closer attention than I have. If good people are giving up, then “they” are winning. What to do is now the question I suppose…it sometimes feels to me like the beginning of a new “dark ages”. They are certainly ruining the US! And corrupt is the only word to describe what is presently going on. I have been watching the back and forth on the debt issue….Reid calling GOP immature…I remember the childishly maliscious glee on his and Peloisi’s face last year during the Obama Care mess and it sickens me. I still have to wonder how these folks are winning elections………..they have to be cheating!

  91. Sandyra says:

    I have a question and a comment.
    The question is – what are some methods of storing a lot of stuff in a small space? A one-bedroom apartment (no garage) doesn’t have a lot of space for storing food especially. (Eventually I would like my own land, but living on SSDI doesn’t allow a lot of space for saving $$.)
    Speaking of which (food)… when I’ve been in a full survival situation, the two things I’ve missed is fresh greens (lettuce, salad stuff) and some kind of starch like potatoes, bread, or pasta. While I did have some greens I collected wild, they didn’t seem like enough. And boy, did I have a hankering for pasta!
    The thing is, no matter how many months or years of food storage you have, eventually those supplies will run out, go bad, etc. In an ultimately severe SHTF scenario, what then? I think knowing wild edibles is critical, as well as how to make traps & hunt. With that info in my back pocket (so to speak) I feel it’s the greatest insurance I could possibly have.

    • Hi Sandyra. When you’re living in a small space, you’ve got to be both practical and creative with storage. I believe if I were living in a small apartment, I might make a fake-wall where I could store floor-to-ceiling 5 gal buckets, large jars, and some boxed foods that were either freeze dried or dehydrated. To make the fake-wall, I would either use some type of hinged louvers or hollow-core doors or if it would look good, a rod with expansion curtains.

      Lots of people remove bed frames and set their mattresses on 5 gal buckets, too. Gotta remember the total weight when doing this type of thing or you’ll be sharing that food with the renter just below you. lol

      Foraging and trapping are 2 excellent skills to learn and pretty much cost nothing but your time and energy. Go for it!! Remember with foraging, learn the seasons when certain foods are growing and jot your observations down. And be sure to write the locations so you don’t forget where you foraged the wild foods. If you happen upon some wild edibles with seed pods, capture some and ‘relocate’ them to your advantage.

    • The greens answer is easy sprouts, wheat, beans, radish, alfalfa and lots more can be sprouted and eaten as a salad added to sandwich or taco. As for starch the humble tortilla keeps along time in an air tight bag in the freezer, heck I’ve had them keep up to 4 months in the fridge, so long as the bag gets sealed.

      • Right. I understand where greens and starch come from when we buy and store food. But what about when all the food storage supplies eventually run out? Where in nature do you get greens and more importantly, starch?

        • Sandyra, Not all of us here are urban dwellers….some of us are keeping large gardens and are fairly self-sufficient already. With us, we’re pretty much growing all of our own foods and I don’t foresee ever being faced with running out of foods under relatively normal conditions. For the past couple of years have bought “extra” foods, though, for uncertain times. Unless we have some type of catastrophe that affects our ability to grow our own, we won’t face the same issues you have.

          I do forage, though, to keep the skill alive and because I appreciate the nutrients in wild food. And most wild edibles have tastes that are not replicated elsewhere so if it’s not foraged from the wild, you can’t savor it. I really enjoy foraging and am a 4th generation forager so quite a bit of regional information was passed on to me.

          Foraging requires you to eat with the seasons, much like gardening and homegrown foods do. Harvest time, habitat, toxicity of look-alikes, etc must be learned — foraging isn’t something with a short-list that can be given to you in a comment. In general, foraging requires field work, a keen eye, and the ability to learn what you are foraging. If you can’t arrange a hands-on class, get outside in some public areas and try to identify “weeds”. There are plant classifications and attributes to wild foods that can be learned from books (one book that comes to mind is Botany In A Day) but most requires hands-on learning and usually in a teacher-student relationship until a better understanding of wild foods is achieved. An author named Samuel Thayer has written 2 of the best foraging books available — look into those.

          Many starchy foods are found by way of tubers, roots, kernels, and in plant stalks. While you won’t find pasta growing wild, your carb cravings can be met with other foraged foods as substitutes. But remember that wild foods and gathering shouldn’t be limited to greens and/or starches. There are multitudes of nuts, berries, stone fruits, evergreens, etc.

          • Sandyra,
            I agree with Lynss wholeheartedly, and although we don’t produce everything we need, the plan is to supplement the homegrown stuff with the long term stuff if and when we can no longer purchase it at the local store. This could be for lack of enough money or due to shortages at the local store. The combination of short term and long term stored foods along with those that are produced will hopefully buy us time, perhaps as much as 3 years to get our lifestyle and local production up to speed with higher volume. Living in the city presents challenges I can’t imagine. As for storage space, along with the previously mentioned ideas, I’ve seen some LDS videos (some I suspect on YouTube) of young LDS families in the same predicament, who jokingly talk about having cases of #10 cans of food stacked on either side of the couch, draped with some type of cloth cover, with a lamp, the TV remote, and some magazines on top of that. In short, an end table with 18 cans or more of food hidden inside. Cases of food and 5-6 gallon buckets can be stashed in closets, or any place out of the way and can allow a lot of storage hidden in plain sight, so to speak.
            As for foraging, in some ways I would put it in the same category as hunting, in that if there is a true SHF event, everyone will be attempting it, some with success and some not. This is the point where knowing some of the obscure plants and animals that others may not know are edible will give you your best chances.

  92. nancy (Northwest) says:

    Interesting stuff this week!

    A few months ago someone mentioned vacuum packing coffee beans and freezing them. How is that working? I have quite a few pounds of beans that I need to something with. (However, coffee may be the next thing to be eliminated from my budget…)

    Have a good week, all.

  93. And from a prepping standpoint, this is something to consider… what do you do when one of your “tribe” – your little group – becomes disabled?

  94. MD, someone has hacked into your website and spammed me with pictures of some fat black woman at the top of this posting.

  95. templar knight says:

    I really appreciate the positive comments and feedbacks I received for my story. I don’t want anyone to have any misconceptions, I owned a little company that employed 3 people, not some large multinational. We produced about 300-400 barrels of oil p/d from a number of small stripper wells and 1 good well, and had interest in other ventures. I sold my interest in my wells, which allowed my contract pumper to keep his job, and arranged for another lady to get a job with another company. The other employee was fired for good reason. I was sad, and it was difficult for my family to move, but I think things have worked out well. It has been the hardest on my daughter, who had to change schools in the 9th grade, and make new friends. My wife has gone back to work, mainly because I’m driving her crazy being “under her feet”. Again, thanks all.

  96. Seems to me we could save alot in the federal budget if we quit sending money to people who don’t deserve it. For example, people getting SS Disabily for being alcoholic or drug users. These were personal choices they made. Hey, if you want to eat yourself into obesity you can get an Uncle Sam check now. This is pitiful.

  97. Took the wife to the range , had her shoot her new 38 sw 642 with a laser sight. She did fine. Fired a box of 38spl+p and a box of std. She does not care for the +p ammo. I took my Judge 45lc. She fired it also but it was too heavy for her. At 7 yds with the 38 she did good, at 10 a little worse. She decided she wants a 22 cal auto load for carry, will keep the 38 at her desk for personal defense at home. I tried the 38, got 4 inch groups at 10 yds with 15 rounds. Not the best. Put we practiced and will some more. I will shop for a 22cal for her this week.

    That was it for the week, still waiting for our 1/2 truck load of storage food from Walton Feed. Ought to be here next week.