What did you do to prep this week

Lorrie of “Be Prepared Now” wanted me to let you know about her special 10% off for Survivalist Blog readers – just use the use coupon code thesurvivalistblog.

I would also like to welcome several new advertisers (sorry no more advertising space is available at this time) Krav Maga Boot Camp reality based self-defense – learn how to kick butt and Charleys Surplus government issue survival gear.

Don’t forget to mention The Survivalist Blog when you place an order with any of our sponsors – thank you.

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. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 😀 ) 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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

  27. 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!

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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!

  31. 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

  32. 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.

  33. 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

  34. lilmorse says:

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

  35. 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. 😀 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.

  36. 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/

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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!

  40. 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!

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

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

  44. MD, someone has hacked into your website and spammed me with pictures of some fat black woman at the top of this posting.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.