What did you do to prep this week?

First off, I would like to thank Jack D and Daniel D for their generous donations via PayPal – thank you both it is very much appreciated.

I did not get much prepping done (or anything else) this week, for the past several days, I’ve felt like total crap. :sick:

My girlfriends son has the flu and as luck would have it, I caught the bug – coughing, gagging, snot, cold, burning up, headache, backache, fever I’ve had it all. My throat is so sore that I can barely talk and my eyes hurt so bad that I can hardly see to type this.

I would like to ask you to remember me when you pray.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” isaiah/53-5

Thank you….

Sorry, for the short post this morning, but I don’t feel like writing, thinking or looking at this computer screen, so I’ll turn it over to you what did you do to prep this week ?:-)

About M.D. Creekmore

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


  1. Frank Black says:

    Rest up Mr. Creekmore. Pace yourself for the long haul.

  2. MD
    Sorry to hear you are sick. Hope you get over it real fast. I hate it when you waller in bed till you are sore, then when you finally can sit up you feel like you woke up in another world.

    Well didn’t do much.
    Waiting for my seed catalog’s to arrive.
    Did order seeds from a small vendor over the internet. They only have a small selection. But they were on sale for 80 cents a pack and figured that it was a lot cheaper than other places and would save me money to order what I don’t have from other sources.
    I placed another order with them as I forgot the water melon seed. So went ahead and purchased more seed that I didn’t pick up before.
    I think all of their seed is on sale now for 85 cents.
    I think they do charity/community work with the money they get.
    The place is called DollarSeed. Here is the link if you are interested:http://www45.instantestore.net/merchant29320/
    Well other than that it has been rather dull here, much more and I will have lost all my shine and probably start to rust.
    Can’t wait to hear what you all have done.

    • Well went to Wally World with my son.
      3 can’s chicken
      2 Idahoan pototo flakes
      3 Great Value rice a roni side dishes
      1 bottle of Karo syrup. Don’t care if it is declared toxic.
      Couldn’t find a binder. Will ask the grandkids if they have an old one. Hopefully still intact.
      Got more paper to print stuff out.
      So that will be it for sure till next weeks ads come out.

      • BamaBecca says:

        I guess I missed something…why is Karo toxic?

        • Oh it was about the scientist saying sugar should be labeled a toxin. I think Rawles had the link to the article or it was just on the Yahoo news.
          They also said in the article that eating sugar causes diabetes. I found that more than a little ridiculous. It is the breakdown of the body by things unknown and the fact that it can be inherited. The only thing is that sugar is NOT good for a diabetic after the fact.
          I was peed off.
          If they would get rid of the perverts and more families had a parent at home to where kids could get out and play they wouldn’t be fat. Same with adults.
          But I found it as ridiculous as global warming statistics, smoking kills more people than all other things combined, and politicians are looking out for the little guy. I am surprised they didn’t blame it on Mel Gibson.
          Karo is sugar so therefore I labeled it a toxin also. I was being a smart butt.

  3. MD, I hope you feel better quickly. Make sure you get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids.
    This was a slow week for me as well. I havent been that sick, but kinda under the weather. I did order and receive some essential oils and supplies for making a few salves. (especially a vapor rub for the congestion).
    Other then that, I made a few baby hats, working on a baby blanket, and just trying to rest.
    Hope everyone is having a great week.

  4. riverrider says:

    get well soon m.d., we need you! i feel some of your pain, sinus infection…..very little prep this week. ordered a case of spagetti noodles and 10 cans of bacon on sale at ee, used your link:) the lcr22’s won’t be in for another week or so, grrrrr. thanks to motivation from the pack, i finally got off my butt and went back to p.t., yay!! marked off mileage on the road with orange spraypaint and rangewalked a couple miles. did better than i thought i would, but a tad sore this morning. i’ll walk a few more days before i try to run it. felt like running it but i know i better ease back into it. push ups were tough. my arm was crushed under me in a fall a few years back,so flexibility is an issue. thats all this week. stack it high.

    • River, take it as it goes, no use over doing it and injuring yourself. Having a firearm and prepping is great but your health is just as important. Good to hear!

      • Tinfoil Hat says:


        It ain’t easy to get back to exercising after you leave it, but just like jarhead said, without your health your hosed (so I paraphrased). Stick to it brother!

        • SurvivorDan says:

          Take it slow rr. I work out every day and my wife wonders at all the groaning. She thinks I’m nuts. But at my age, I miss a couple days and I regress a month seems like. So I know why you torture yourself. But easy does it.

    • Riverrider, Jarhead, Tinfoil, Prepper, and a half dozen others, I would very much like to thank you lads and lassies for being an insporation. Not only am I trying to quit smoking (it’s a B*$#^), but I’ve started trying to get back into at least some kind of shape. It’s hard to believe how far out of shape I’ve gotten since falling off the roof 5 years ago. Again I thank you.

      MD, Hang in there buddy. You’ve got the scripture right, but you have to believe it in your heart for it to work. Meantime, you will be prayed for by my whole group.

      Til next time,

      • riverrider says:

        thanks everybody for the support, i really needed it. oh, ROUND is a shape, just not one i want to be in any longer,LOL:) tell charlie i’m back in the jungle, he better beware. it rainy n cold here, think i’ll ruck up n hit it for a while. take care all. stack it high.

      • Good for you, Rex. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Even 20 minutes of walking done daily will help you get on the path to fitness.

      • Rex, I smoked in my younger Marine Corps days. When I came back from Somalia I had a PPD test (tuberculosis) and the test had a reaction and I was what’s known as a PPD converter which means I was exposed to TB, don’t have it but was exposed.

        With the medication (INH) I was on they told me no smoking and no drinking. I was required to take a chest X-Ray each month for 6 months and with each X-Ray taken I saw my lungs get clearer each month and decided after the 6 moths to give it up. I have chronic bronchitis issues but haven’t had it in 2 years since I lost the weight and increased my cardio.

        The best decision I ever made and just enjoy one cigar every 6 months.

    • Pineslayer says:

      Sick bunch here this week, tis the season. Get well all, sometimes it is ma nature making us slow down and take a week off.
      Riverrider I get a sinus infection every year about this time, this time I bought a Neti Pot, wow it really worked. Still got some Amox from the doc, stuck it in the war chest. In days I was feeling 100% better and no drugs.

      36″ of snow this weekend, so not much as far as prepping, did get some exercise, going snowshoeing in 15 minutes, yea!

      • Pineslayer,
        I do the same thing when I get sick. Go to the doc, get the antibiotics, stuff in the war chest and cure it myself.
        Sinus rinses were the normal cure for sinus infections just 40 years ago. For some reason they fell out of favor. The if the neti pot doesn’t get rid of it, add a daily oral dose of Grapefruit Seed Extract which is anti fungal and antibiotic. It kicked a bad sinus infection I had several years ago, that heavy antibiotics didn’t cure.

      • Just remember to used distilled water for neti pot and keep it clean and dry between uses. (I don’t use one yet, but read up on them to try it).

        • Encourager says:

          It is best to clean the Neti Pot with soap and water, rinse well, fill with boiling water, let cool and drain (EACH TIME!). There have been some stories of brain infections using a contaminated Neti Pot. Makes sense since the sinus are next to the brain. JJ is right, use distilled or sterilized water (boiled) in the pot.

          • charliebuck69 says:

            Sorry to hear that so many of the Pack are sick.I use colliodal silver regularly and it really seems to helps with alot of germs,viruses,etc.Give it a shot.Be Safe and God Bless!

  5. Huckleberry says:

    This week we obtained a manual meat grinder and a dehydrator and the DW is steadily bringing food in. I’m working on depleting our debt so that we can start shopping for a retreat location at the end of this year. I’ve also been researching handguns that are small enough to be concealed for when I get a permit. Anyone have anything to say about the SIG P239? It was recommended by an ex-LEO in either the .357 or .40 caliber. Any thoughts are appreciated.

    • I carry a Sig 229, it’s a little bigger than the 239 but carries 3 more rounds in the standard magazine. In the seven years I have owned and carried this pistol, I have never had a jam, misfeed, failure to fire, or any other malfunction. It eats whatever brand of ammo I give it, including reloads, without fail. Several friends own various Sig pistols and I have never heard any complaints other than the fact that they are not cheap. Get a quality holster and you will not have a problem carrying it.
      My personal preference is the 357Sig cartridge, but I have both barrels so I can switch to 40S&W if I need to. Spare magazines are available, but can get pricey. In a pinch you can use magazines from the full-sized P226 in the P229 but they hang out the bottom of the mag well a bit.

      • axelsteve says:

        How is that 357 round ?
        I have no experience with the 357 cartridge But I know that sig makes great guns.Is the 357 sig a popular round? How is it on paper and more imporntantly knockdown .I have shot standard 357 in the past and I would feel well armed with it,but. What about the 357 sig?Or is it the poodle shooter of the handgun world?

        • The 357Sig was designed to replicate the ballistics of the venerable 357Mag, but in a smaller cartridge that would fit in a pistol. Not a poodle shooter.
          My experience has been good. It shoots flatter than the 40S&W, and seems to take water-filled milk jugs apart a little more violently. I don’t have any personal experience with ballistic gelatin, but I have heard that good hollow points still penetrate about 12 inches and open up 150% of bullet diameter.

          • axelsteve says:

            would a 45 auto be a good conversion cannadat?kinda sounds like a nice round.

          • Uncle Frank says:

            The Secret Service uses the .357 Sig. They chose it over all other calibers because of its penetration abilities. It’s basically a .38/9mm bullet in a .40 cal case. Good round. Snappy but does the job.

            Uncle Frank

    • Huckleberry,
      My youngest stepson uses a model 239 in .40 with plans for the .357 Sig conversion. It’s a smooth firing handgun, and seems to be accurate and well functioning. One of the main initial things to look for in a handgun is to make sure that it fits your hand comfortably and that you can manage the recoil when fired. The best way to do this is to find a friend with the model gun in which you’re interested, or a range that will rent you the gun to try. Good luck in your search.

      • Agreed, make sure you are comfortable with a pistol before you buy it. Most gun shops will let you at least handle a pistol, so go try a few on for size. If it isn’t comfortable, you won’t carry it. If you don’t carry it, you won’t have it when you need it.

    • Some of the .40 calibers out there have a really stiff trigger, making them harder to use (IMO). See if you can try out what you are thinking of carrying before you buy. I know there are strong opinions on this subject, but I am most concerned about 1)Speed, 2) Accuracy, and then 3) Power. I would rather carry a .22 or .38 that I could quickly draw and accurately fire than a larger caliber that may be unwieldy.

      • axelsteve says:

        The worst shooting gun I ever shot was do to a lousy trigger.Why fight a lousy trigger ,it affects accuracy and makes recoil worse.You wind up flinching more with a bad trigger than just recoil.

    • Nightshift says:

      There is a reason that 2/3 of LEOs carry a Glock. I carried a Sig 229 for years and respect the weapon but a Glock is about weatherproof and cheaper. Go with a 40. The 357 Sig is a hot round but how expensive to stock and hard to find after TSHTF. Look in stores and see which ammo is at Wally world or Academy. I was not a Glock fan until I was issued one and I will not go back. FWIW.

      • I love my Glock.

      • axelsteve says:

        I guess 2/3 of the leo uses glocks for one reason.Cheaper.I doubt leo`s are concerned with weatherproof. and went with the cheaper product.Not that I care what leo`s carry but price is probably the reason.My stepdad used to have a python and a model 29 ,now those were some fine guns.

    • Hi h-berry u can’t go wrong with a sig. U might want to check the prices of ammo b 4 u decide which caliber to buy. In my area the 40 caliber is cheaper to buy. I have a 226 sig in the 40 and I love it. I carry the smith & wesson 380 bodyguard with a laser. The safety is a little stiff but I think its the perfect carry gun. In my area u can go on line and get ur concealed carry permit. Ruger makes a small 380 and u can get it with or without the laser and it is a cheaper gun. I hope this helped. If u need any more thoughts about guns give me a yell. Good luck.

    • riverrider says:

      huck, you have to consider the recoil and muzzle blast of a short barrel in 357sig. i love the round but i found it made me flinch and miss a lot, and i shoot 45acp normally so that should tell you something. i carry the good old 38 snubby because its light and i know i can hit with it. like somebody said, “you can’t miss fast enough to win”

    • Huckleberry, I. Suggest go to an indoor gun range and test fire both calibers and see if you even like the pistol. Its like taking a test drive before buying the car or truck.

      That being said my personal recommendation would be to buy the .40 model and if you later decide you like the .357 SIG buy the conversion kit which is normally just the barrel and sometimes the pistol magazines as well.

      The .40 is a cheaper round as it is a standard acceptable round and while the .357 is used by some LE and the Secret Service its availability isn’t as accessible as the .40 on the commercial market. You also look at if you reload, the 40 brass have a longevity the .357 SIG brass won’t due to the bottle neck.

      If your looking at velocity, use the 357 SIG matches the 357 magnum but you can also go with lighter .40 loads like 150 to 165 grain bullets for close velocity.

    • Huck: @ things.

      I have a Glock in 357 SiG and really like it. It’s been one of 2 calibers that I carry in the woods as load mine w/Corbon DPX (designed for deeper penetration). I bought some Hornady 124 gr XTP’s for the house.
      Second, I had a P225 or P6 SiG (single stack 9mm). I sent it to SiG and had them put their Short Trigger and Short Action Trigger job on it, as the length of the trigger reach was too long for DW and a bit uncomfortable for me. UPS picked it up on Wed and the following Wed it was delivered back, done! Best action job I’ve ever had. I’m usually using Glocks or 1911 because I don’t care for the conventional double action on a pistol. The difference was night and day! Ended up selling the pistol after a guy tried it at the range and offered me a ridiculous amount of money for it. But if I was to consider another SiG, I’d either order it with this set up or have it done.


    • Huckleberry,
      Several years ago I got the Sig 239 in a .357Sig as a conceal pistol (still don’t have the CHL though). We tried it out on watermelons. It didn’t just blow them apart, it turned the insides to mush. The Texas Rangers and State Troopers carry this caliber. It is easily changed to a .40 by simply changing the barrel. That gives you the option of 2 calibers for ammo. It is easy to tuck away on your person. The accuracy at 25 yds may not be great but for defense you wouldn’t be using it at that distance.

  6. NorCal Ray says:

    I hope and pray you and your Girlfriends Son both feel better very soon. You are in our prayers.
    Went to Costco and picked up a 40pk AA Batteries, To Survive The End How Of The World (what a waste of money. It’s just a copy of articles Rawles & others wrote on his blog), and a box Box of 100 Lg. Rubber Exam Gloves.
    At WalMart I picked up 7x5rd Boxes 20ga. Slugs, 100rds 20ga. #7 1/2 Shot.
    Picked up a used 20ga. Stevens Single Shot.
    From a yard sale I picked up Impacta Sci Fi Book), Handloaders Digest 17th edition, and a 1992 Gun Digest. Also a price guide of antiques and collectibles.

  7. Getting the fence built around the garden to keep the dog out of it before planting.

  8. i'll get right on that says:

    you’re not sick for my transgressions, and your little self-pitying sniffles are NOTHING to what Jesus suffered for me… get off your horse and quit whining

    i TRULY hope you feel better, but you are WAY off comparing yourself to Jesus… hopefully your sickness put you up to it and the words that came out didn’t match what you intended… maybe you just picked the wrong verse to quote?

    • i’ll get right on that,

      Why do you think I was “comparing myself to Jesus” nothing could be farther from the truth. The key point in the verse as pertaining to my situation is “with his stripes we are healed” Jesus went though it all for us.

      • templar knight says:

        MD, I didn’t get that vibe at all from what you said. I have no idea where i’ll get it right came up with that interpretation.

        In any event, I will put you in my prayers for a speedy recovery, and I’ll also pray for i’ll get it right to get it right next time before going off on somebody. Especially our leader, lol. Hope you get to feeling better soon, MD.

        • SurvivorDan says:

          Geez. MD, you bolded – “with his stripes we are healed” . Hard to misinterpret that. But I think i’ll-get-right-on-that just read it quickly and missed the emphasis. Compared yourself to Jesus? That would be so out of character for you. Now maybe Moses or at least Joshua…….

          • Encourager says:

            And what is wrong trying to be like Jesus?? Aren’t we called to do that??? Doesn’t “Christian” mean “little Christ”??

            Get better quickly, M.D., and by His stripes you WERE healed… I come against any virus/germs/bacteria that is trying to dominate M.D., in the Name of Jesus.

      • charlie (NC) says:

        M.D. I knew exactly what you meant. Don’t know what “I’ll get right on that” is reading or talking about. Just another troll I suspect.

        Finances have kept me from doing much prepping for a number of months now but I did start on a project that could be vital after the shtf. I have an old Goulds piston type well pump from the 40’s or early 50’s. It is damaged and missing a part or two but I think I can fabricate what it needs. It would help if I could find some pictures or parts breakdowns but so far I haven’t found anything.

        I never hooked up to the county water system and have good well water from a shallow well that is spring fed. I’ve been pumping water from this well for 30 years and the well was drilled when the house was built in 1952 so I don’t expect it to dry up anytime soon. The problem is that there is virtually no way to pump from it without electricity with the jet type pumps that are used these days. This old piston pump will solve that problem. It is built to be pulled with a 1/2 hp electric motor but it’s belt driven so there are othe ways to make it pump when tshtf.

        If anyone happens to have literature pretaining to a Goulds Style 511.25.1 pump I’d really like to talk to you. I know that’s a long shot but it never hurts to ask.

        • charlie – Hopefully you’ll get some help on your pump over at the antique tractor forum. That’s a real wealth of info for old equipment of most any kind!
          But I have to ask, if it’s a shallow well, why aren’t you considering just using a hand pump as your back-up? Or a low-voltage submersible?

          • charlie (NC) says:

            K. A hand pump would work and that is an option. But this old Goulds can be run with anything from a 12v motor to a tractor pto or hit n miss engine or even belted up to a bicycle wheel.

            I take it I know you from the “antique tractor forum”. I don’t recognize the name right off hand. Maybe because it’s 2:47 AM and I’m half asleep.

        • Charlie. Is there a way to make a solar setup for what you have for when shtf?

          • charlie (NC) says:

            axelsteve, yes, I think a solar panel charging a 12 volt battery bank hooked to a 12v dc motor would work fine as long as the pump didn’t have to run long at the time.

        • Would the older issues of ‘Popular Mechanics’ possibly have an article about this? They are archived on the net 🙂
          You might also try the Ford Museum or somewhere similar, or maybe even post a ‘wanted: information’ on freecycle. Ask a librarian for a reference search?
          Good luck on the hunt!

        • there are hand pumps that will pump from 40 ‘ ($35.00 to $100.00 ) to 350’ ( up to $2,000.00 depending on how deep the well is ), from open picher to hand pumps that will fill a water tower or a presure tank

      • axelsteve says:

        Amen M.D. You are way too humble of a man to compare yourself to Jesus.

      • You handled that well MD. I think the gentleman? made the comment prior to reading the whole post or at least interpreting it. Prayed for you and all the other ‘Pack that was under the weather or facing hard times. Mentioned the ‘Pack in a post on FN hoping to get more people to come over here and get a dose of reality. We’ll get caught up reading for preps this week. Spent too much money at the gun show this weekend. Oh and a little intel for folks. I have never seen the gun show line go past the building and into the parking lot but this weekend it did and then some.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Stop judging.

    • "Big Jim" says:

      I”ll get right on that, why don’t you get right with interpretation!
      You are too quick to judge a man’s word…my 2c. Do you cast your judgement at God’s request ?

      Sorry MD, hope you get well with God’s healing powers!

    • Wow, “I’ll get right on that”d…way off base. I didnt get that at all from MDs post. Don’t kick a guy when he is down. Karma is a bitch!

      • Tinfoil Hat says:


        I think you should post a pop-up window whenever someone new loads your site in there browser. “Trolls, Looters, Posers, Tools, Refugees, Career Politicians, and ISTM’s (Internet SEAL Team Members) NOT welcome….just sayin…

        • Tinfoil Hat,

          That is an idea if I’ve ever heard one…

        • Hunker-Down says:

          Tinfoil Hat,

          LOL. Those Internet seal team members can’t swim.

        • Tinfoil, I had to deal with a couple of those armchair commandos last night when my gf and I had dinner with her friend. They asked if I play Call of Duty or any combat games and when my response was “no because they bore me and its nothing like the real thing” two guys at the table next to me asked if I was knocking video games and they are close to real.
          My response was “I don’t recall being able to sit in a chair or couch in my shorts drinking a beer or soda and flipping a joy stick knowing the X or O on the screen is the enemy, I never had that luxury, I wore full combat gear and when people shot at me a controller didn’t buzz and is someone got hit there wasn’t a control pause button and there was no reset button as I recalled when someone died. My unlimited ammo was carrying over 500 rounds of my own and a SAW drum, not a cheat code. Sorry, its not.”

          Their dad got up shook my hand and said “that’s what I’ve been telling these boys for years, even an Air Force drone jockey has more experience than them, at least they kill the bad guys.” He showed me his Big Red 1 (1st Infantry Division) tat on his arm.

        • arkieready says:

          ISTMs? That is funny, wishi thought of that. Hope y’all dont think of me like any of your list. Im just reticent and shy. But sometimes……….i just am busting to say something.

    • i’ll get right on that, hey buddy, take a chill pill.

    • Carl in W.V. says:

      i’ll get right on that, I post/quote bible verses all the time with the thought of helping someone spiritually that day. I never got it from M.D.’s post that he was comparing himself. i’ll get right on that maybe you should post things that help others and not yourself then you can see that others are doing the same.


  9. George is Learning says:

    Hope you feel better. I’ve been on a vitamin D3 3000 iu daily with 5000 iu if I feel a cold coming on + C 1000 mg + 1 or 2 full glasses of Florida OJ. blah blah blah you know the drill.

    This week I ordered several books
    1)More Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things: 1,715 All-New Uses for Everyday Things
    2)The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies: Proven Remedies Medical Doctors Don’t Know
    3)Health Myths Exposed 2nd Edition
    4) Vinegar: Over 400 Various, Versatile, and Very Good Uses You’ve Probably Never Thought Of

    Practiced with my pistol at the range.

    Purged some “stuff” we never use or really has no use 🙂

    Practiced bandaging up my hand after I received a nice deep cut. Normally I’m a bit of a wuss, however when placed in the mindset of practice, I was able to deal with pain a bit better and took care of the wound all by my lonesome. I also decided I needed a few more items for the medical kit. (better flexible bandages, sharper scissors, more antibiotic cream)

    I started to recycle all the paper we have been throwing away. It’s really amazing at the amount of packaging we create.

    I started saving the lint from the dryer to use as fire starter.

    I put all the tv’s and cable boxes in the house on a strip style outlet so I can turn all the energy suckers off while we’re at work. Every little bit of power saved makes porgie happy.

    I think that’s about it other then the daily review of sites for new ideas and such.

    Have a great week all.

    • I was thinking the same thing about power cords etc…. We have so much plugged in these days – want to be able to turn it all off easily.

    • George, good add on the books. Getting rid of stuff you don’t need or use clears up space for other preps in the long run and I do the same on the appliances and cable as long as I’m not recording a show on the DVR.

      Recycling is great for clearing room and getting some pocket change.

  10. M.D. I am sorry that you got the crud. I hope and pray for speedy recovery. Steve

  11. Schatzie Ohio says:

    Take care of yourself and get better soon.
    For prepping I bought a large bag of cotton balls, a washable underpad and 3 cans each of kidney beans, baked beans and lima beans and a 2 pound bag of dry pinto beans.
    Got a West Bend Bun Warmer on Ebay. We used one of these when I was a lot younger and we didn’t have a microwave. They can be used for more than heating up buns, they work by using steam. I guess that you could improvise a bun warmer by putting a metal colander in a covered pot. To heat wet food you could place the food in a small metal bowl and then place it in the colander. We like the bun warmer because of it using steam the items warmed don’t dried out and hard.

  12. Texas Nana says:

    Prayers are being offered on your behalf, and we will continue to pray for you.
    I’m also requesting the prayers of the Wolf Pack, my 90 year old father is fast approaching the end of his time here on earth, please pray that God’s will be done. This may sound harsh to some of you, but I’m ready for him to pass on, he has reoccurring colon cancer, and LLC, which is a long term form of Leukemia that he has had for 23 years, this has taken a toll on his whole body. The truth is my prayers are for my mother, she doesn’t want him to suffer, but after being married for 71 years she doesn’t know what life will be like with out my dad. The bad part is I live 3 1/2 hours away, and I can’t be there for my mom, but I have 2 sibling that live within 1/4 of a mile of the folks.
    Before the latest down turn with my dad, I got the following prepping done:
    canned 2 turkeys
    added more shelving for home canned goods
    tilled garden spots, empty compost into garden spots, tilled again
    planted onions, and potato slips,
    started tomatoes, squash, and peppers from seeds,
    bought some more canning jars at the local thrift store, plus purchased two glass tops for corning ware dishes, ( inherited from DH’s grandmother her’s were chipped),
    son got a deer, wanted me to come back to Al to help with the canning, but can’t due to dad’s health.
    Our canning will start slowing down, hunting season is over, and nothing is coming in from garden right now. Although I’m working on a deal for some ground beef, if the deal works out I’ll be putting up some pasta sauce with meat, still have a package of prickly pear juice that I frozen earlier, that needs to be made into jelly.
    Trying to find another family or 2 to go in halves or quarters on a cow.
    That’s about it for this week.
    Keep the faith and keep on prepping!!

    • SaratogaPrepper says:

      Texas Nana
      Prayers for your Mom & Dad. I know it is difficult near the end of a parents life after having my father waste away from brain cancer a few years ago. He and my mom were married for 52 years. It helps if you just remember that they will be in Heaven together forever without pain.

      • hello saratoga prepper…will be thinking about your surgery circa 14-15th this month…have not forgotten…cheers.

        • SaratogaPrepper says:

          Thanks for the thoughts. I’m still around, not doing much prepping except for getting ready for my surgery on the morning of the 15th (not sure when that is in AUS., I’ve never been too good with that international timeline thingee). I’m just praying this crazy world can hold itself together for the next 6 weeks until I’m able to fend for my self again.

          • SaratogaPrepper says:

            Forgot to mention..6 days….no cancer sticks, coffin nails, smokes, cigarettes, whatever you want to call them. Starting to feel better already and didn’t even kick any of the wife’s cats! That constant cough/hack that smokers have is almost no existant!

            • Pineslayer says:

              Enormous congrats on stopping the smoking. My mom smoked like a train for 42 years, quit cold turkey. She just turned 73 and is in great shape.

            • SaratogaPrepper,

              Good for you! Once you make it through day 10, you will be well on your way to being a nonsmoker. And think of all the money you will save–and what you can buy with the extra cash.

            • Hunker-Down says:


              Remember what that cough feels like. A month from now, when you want a smoke, try to cough exactly like you did when you were still smoking. The failure of being able to repeat that cough like you remember it, will give you the evidence of your progress.

          • my side of the pond (and Oz) means you guys are -15 to -21 hours.

            I really should add the local time to the end of my posts – just in case anyone thinks I am posting in the early hours of the morning…and don’t have a life outside this blog…haha…cheers.

            I’m having a day off physical activity…doing paperwork instead, and am on here earlier today…means can get to bed before midnight tonight…

            I really enjoy all the posts and laughs I get…you guys are great…stoic and courageous. till next time…

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Texas Nana,

      We pray for your mom and dad. Remember, charity is the only thing of value that we take into the next life, but it doesn’t work unless you give it away.

    • Copperhead says:

      Your Dad, Mom and you are in my prayers. We just pray God’s will and strength for all of you.

    • I will include you and your parents in my prayers

    • Texas Nana, I will pray for him and your family. I lost my dad 5 years back at the age of 83 and he had a long eventful life. When it was his time I felt the same way as you. Remember the good times and pass on what he had taught you to others.

    • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

      Keeping you and your family in my thoughts, Texas Nana.

    • Texas Nana –
      I hope your parents find the peace they deserve.

    • blindshooter says:

      Texas Nana, prayers for your folks and you. I lost my father to a long series of illness and as bad as it was to lose him I know he is in a better place. We all must answer the call one day, may we all do so with Jesus in our hearts.

    • Repair Mama says:

      Hang in there girl, prayers are with you. Loosing loved ones are hard on everyone and your mom will be lost. Try to have everyone in the family to get really needy for her advice and small projects that wont be too hard on her to keep her busy. She has raised a family and cared for her husband lovingly for so many years so she may not only be missing him, but will not feel like she has a purpose anymore. If the family helps her with the purpose part, she will have some things to do that may help with too many empty hours in the day. Send her our love and pray alot. Good luck sweetie, we are here for you.
      Send her our love and pray alot.

    • texas nana, prayers that your father passes with as little discomfort as possible…and that your mother handles life without him as best she can.

      Prayers and wishes that God grants you the strength required during this period…

    • George is Learning says:

      prayers for your family. someones passinh can be painful to the loved ones left here on earth. it must be a grand event to finally pass to the other side and and realize you’re on the other side. I often wonder who i will get to meet first. I hope its my daughter. I cant wait to see her again ( well i can wait, you know what i meant)
      my point is its great on the other side, rejoice in that.

      best wishes to your family

    • Texas Nana, sending prayers for you and your family. There is nothing harsh in being ready for a family member to go. It only sounds harsh to those who have never seen someone suffer. I have lost a couple family members to terminal illness, while it is never easy, and you miss them horribly, there is comfort in knowing they are no longer suffering.

      • Texas Nana, I pray that your family will be held in the hands of God as you go through this. I understand your feelings about wanting your dad’s suffering to end, it is hard to watch our loved ones in pain.

        • Texas Nana says:

          I want to thank everyone for the kind words and your prayers! It’s helpful, hopeful, and brings a calming peace to me, to know that ya’ll have my back.

    • Encourager says:

      Praying for a peaceful passing of your Dad, Texas Nana. My MIL is 94, pretty miserable and wants to go ‘home’, can’t figure out why she is still here. It is so hard to see them struggle when all they want to do is go home to heaven. Praying for your mom, too. That will be very hard for her when he passes. Blessings!

  13. It is time to think about the garden for me anyways.
    And some new plans this year. And rebuilding this year.
    I need some help.. I have every critter on earth.
    Moles to ground hogs, deer raccoons, some domestic cats
    you name it I got it.. Not to mention the occasional bugs..
    I have been goings over all the gardening books refreshing the
    brain cells. And getting ready to rebuilding the garden area
    I have and will have fencing again above ground (some electric)..
    Pig wire below ground for the hogs. it was pretty tight garden .
    And will be again.
    Big Question????. Mary golds for the bunnies, Use human hair deer garlic,ect. But there was something I heard some where or read Or dreamed??
    I either dreamed about this or read it here, or some place…
    It also said the herb or plant that you can intermingle with you veggies..
    And it is supposed to have an smell that most critter do not like????
    The smell dose not effect your crops??
    Did I dream this?? Did I read it I cannot find it or rember the plants name. Or where I saw it?? It was also mention that the plant took a while for the gardener to get used to its smell??? Any Help?????

    • George is Learning says:

      set snares and eat the bunnies ?

    • cooolwoods says:

      marigolds. deer dont like em. supposed to keep most critters out,we use them in our garden. I’m not sure what smelly plant your talking about though.

      stay safe

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Dwarf French Marigolds stink the best.

      • I had 400 marigold plants mixed in the garden and the deer were belly deep in them rooting around for my tomatoes. Yes, they stink. But, our deer are on crack. And crazy. Probably hopped up on Mt. Dew too.

    • Kate in GA says:


      I don’t have any luck with marigolds. The bunnies eat my marigolds. The marigolds don’t keep bugs away for me either. (I am a master gardner.) You can try it though because it is a great way to have a garden hidden in plain sight. Most people won’t look at it twice if it is randomly planted with flowers.

      Either put up some chicken wire to keep the bunnies out or plant things the bunnies will not eat. The wire at the bottom of the raised beds is a good idea!

      If you get too frustrated, you can always do what the Indians did to keep the animals away. Get a male member of your family to go pee around the edge of the garden. (The outside edge of the raised beds!) You may want to do it at night if you have neighbors.

      • Encourager says:

        Hey, that worked for us, Kate! Before we built our house, we had a huge garden out here. Since we came out only a few times a week, we needed some protection from the critters eating all we planted. So hubby drank tons of water and…. it really worked! It lasted until a neighbor 3000 feet away came over with her hubby to meet us…he was great, mowed all around the garden and out to the road with his tractor so it was easier to get into the property. She was a nut…apparently she spied through her binoculars, watched us all the time…and watched my hubby water the garden, if you get my drift. She couldn’t resist flirting with him, telling ALL she had seen – creaped him out completely. Very weird person. Glad when they moved a year later! But missed the mowing!

        • Hunker-Down says:


          Nuts…(as in tree fruit). I didn’t see your post until AFTER I commented about peeing on the marigolds and enhancing our OPSEC.
          If I wait till after dark I can’t see what to aim at, my flashlights are afraid of the dark, and I will NOT install a laser sight.

          • Encourager says:

            LMAO, Hunker-Down. Now if I can just get that visual outta my head…little lights flashing all over the garden…

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Kate in GA,

        I had disappointing results with the marigolds on deer and rabbits, but I didn’t have any bugs all season except for one that gets on our neighbors rose bush every year. They liked our navy beans but ignored the red beans??? The lack of bugs may be in part because it was the first year for a garden in its’ current location.

        So, to get even, I will take your suggestion and pee on the marigolds this summer (neighbors can watch, it will enhance our OPSEC).

      • Thanks Kate in G and all for the help..
        I will try the pee I have a lot of that and it is FREE……
        In fact, I am home most of the day I can save a day worth up
        in a container. And apply close to sunset when the Critter start to come out.
        In fact I have an old gallon sprayer I will use high tech ha!!
        I would not want my old neighbor Cleo. To catch me on a daily basis.
        She might think I am pervert and come out shooting!!!! She has caught me before and Usually just waves Great little old granny.. But a few time a day she might get up set.
        I also picked up a Book it is a little book: Title is ( SCAT pest proofing your garden..
        By Ruth Harley)
        I will really beef up the marigolds.. I must have dream about the other stinky plant
        And I have a totally new electric fence design I am going to try.
        It might glow back there at night..
        Also It is Open in my back 2’5 aches this year it is open season on deer.
        They are almost tame. Shooting fish in a barrel..I am sure a couple of my tree hugging neighbors down the road will complain.. But it is 100% legal..Old grand ma Cleo will not mind she has been telling me to thin em out just so long she get a roast!!
        That will work..
        Thanks for all the suggestion from everyone..

    • I think deer also hate soap. Can’t remember what kind, but it was strung on a rope across the gap in the fence.

  14. Also get better MD. Not much prepping around here just
    planning nothing physical or that costed anything

  15. M.D. I’m so sorry to hear you are so sick with the flu. Have you noticed what little germ factories children can be. My husband and I came down sick after every Christmas after visiting our grandchildren when they were young. I hope you feel better soon.

    Most of my ongoing prepping centers around food; growing it, cooking, and storage. I’m also most interested in herbal medicines. I know herbs to work, but they work slow. I’ve been under the care of a professional herbalist for three years and I can honestly proclaim I am healthier from the use of herbs. I have not been sick in the last three years, I was able to drop the use of all pharmaceutical drugs but one, Metformin, which I need for diabetes.

    Having said all that, my order from Mountain Rose came this week containing 1 lb.dried Elderberries for making Elderberry tincture and syrup. The tincture I will make now, the syrup later, if needed. I also purchased Valerian root to make a tincture for a sleep aid. Thanks to all the Wolfpack discussions on the uses of both of these items!

    I had a book order come in from Amazon. I bought: “ A Modern Herbal,” by Mrs. M. Grieve (this is a two volume set); “ The Encyclopedia of Country Living,” by Carla Emery; and Merriam-Webster’s “The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.” This dictionary is a must for anyone that loves to play Scrabble. A Modern Herbal has a large section devoted to Elder.

    I harvested my first Detroit Red beets from my Fall planting. I love them roasted over boiled. Roasted in parchment lined foil packets with drizzled olive oil for 45 to 60 minutes in a 400 degree oven will retain more nutrients and give you a sweeter meat. Here is one way I serve them:

    Fresh Beet Salad

    6 fresh roasted beets, cut into wedges or sliced (chilled) or
    1 can of sliced beets, chilled and drained
    2 T red wine vinegar
    1 T olive oil
    1 garlic clove, minced
    2 tsp. sugar
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. black pepper
    Mixed Greens

    Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl; add chilled beets, tossing to coat. Serve over mixed greens.

    Central Florida is so warm that we have started our Spring planting. I have lettuce, green onions, carrots, and more beets already coming up. We readied the other raised beds for pole beans, bush beans and cucumbers, which I’m planting tomorrow. I started tomato seeds on 1/15 for Amish paste and San Marzano paste tomatoes. Starting tomatoes is a first for me, I usually buy tomato seedlings that are already six weeks old. But the only paste tomato available around here is the Roma. I have been very sucessful with the Roma’s but I’ve read that the San Marzano’s have a richer flavor.

    • That sounds like a great beet salad, thanks for the recipe, I can see myself trying this one in the next while.. Spring planting.. can tell you are down south, I’m frozen in under snow and ice..

  16. I hope you’re feeling better soon!

    Our prepping for January & February is to replenish our savings. I know that doesn’t sound very “prepper” of me, but we try to have very well rounded prepping that covers lots of scenerios – ones that affect just our family (job loss, death in the family), and regional (like earthquake, or our recent flooding), to large scale (like national or global war or economic crisis).

    We try to be totally debt-free as part of that plan. So, when Christmas came and one of our cars died and needed to be replaced, and another car needed extensive repair, it took a big hit on our savings. We were able to pay for it all, but just barely. So, now it’s time to save, save, save to get our emergency fund back to where it needs to be. Thankfully we have until the end of the year to save for next Christmas!

    Oh, I did one fun thing – I bought my first gun! I had committed to buying a gun from my nephew before all this happened. Luckily I sold a piano keyboard right after Christmas and was able to use that money.

    Keep safe everyone!

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      saving cash is probably one of the greatest preps you can have. hopefully none of us will have to try and survive a world wide shtf scenario but almost everyone of us will face a personal one and cash is king for getting that under control.

      its saving my bacon rite now with so little work available, unfortunatly its now gone . so yes it is a prep.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      A singer with a gun…..DONT use it as a metronome!

      • Midwesterner says:

        I agree that saving cash is a prep. This week I did just that. I called my cable/internet company & told them I had my hours cut at work & needed to do something to lower my monthly bill. They actually put me up one package higher AND lowered my bill by $49 a month fo 2 years.
        Beng on a roll I went to a local Insurance Agent & he switched my Life, Home, & Auto insurance to another Insurer & saved me over $1800 a year.
        I will never get complacent with my insurance again.

  17. Worrisome says:

    Get Well Soon MD! The flu is no fun!
    I haven’t done too much on the prep front this week. I think it is going to take a month of after works and week ends to finish packing up all the “stuff” in these houses prior to selling. I have had an appraiser out and on one of them I have had the pest inspection done. I am putting the house that backs up to National Forest Land on the market first. It is the one closest to work. And while it would seem to be a great place with the access to forest land behind it, the marijuana problem up in there is so bad that it is really getting kind of dangerous. We were out on the patio the other night with the neighbors, heard gunfire and the next day another neighbors dog came limping in shot in the shoulder. While is is a seemingly small incident, it seemed to be the deciding factor for me on a priority.
    I wish Lintpicker hadn’t signed off/out, since he is also leaving the state and/or moving to better digs for what is coming our way economically, i would have like to have heard his experiences. Guess that is all for this time.
    Stay safe everyone!

  18. M.D. prayers sent that you and your girlfriends son are on the mend quickly!

    Not much prepping this week, did do a fair amount of reading about hamburger gravel and portions per person. Plan is to make some small packs of dehydrated meals, going along with the wolf pack cook book idea but for GHBs etc.

    Hubby brought me home an early Valentines gift, a canteen cup, it will fit on my ember lite stove. YAY.

    Got several trays and pots fill will starter potting soil in the greenhouse this past week. Even got a little tan! Gloomy this weekend think I’ll hold off planting for another few days.

    Looking forward to all the posts! Everyone be safe stay healthy, or work to get that way.

    • Where has Lint ran off to this time? I guess I missed it.

      • Copperhead says:

        C.R., Lint shut everything down a couple of weeks ago. Did not like the sounds of less security on the internet etc. We pray all is well with him and he finds a place he will be safe and comfortable with. He is missed.

  19. BamaBecca says:

    MD, I sure am sorry to hear that you are sick. Hope you get to feeling better soon!

    This is what I got done this week:

    Ordered half price heirloom seeds and strawberry plants from Gurney’s

    Purchased and printed The Wolfpack Cookbook

    Found Chicken breast on sale for .98 lb and bought 12 lbs. I bagged it all up for the freezer since I still dont have a pressure canner. I ended up with 21 breasts for just under 12 bucks…not bad in my book considering I have been having to pay $1 a piece or more for chicken breast.

    DH put together an auto tool bag for my vehicle last week and I forgot to mention it.

    Dehydrated about 25lbs of sweet potatoes.

    Did some research on raised bed gardening……..and got laid off from work. *sighs*

    The weather is gorgeous and I’m itching to get my fingers in some dirt, but still a little worried that we’ll have more freezing weather.

    • Copperhead says:

      Sorry about the lay-off, BamaBecca. Hope you find what you need soon.

    • BamaBecca,

      Sorry to hear about your job. I hope you find another one quick. It is beautiful here too. I have all the windows open in the house. February is not supposed to be this nice, especially in your neck of the woods.

      • This week it was 50 degrees and sunny; Today we received about an inch of snow. Gotta love the weather.

        • George is Learning says:

          lol it is somewhat crazy.

          • Encourager says:

            George is Learning – it is crazy weather! My daffodils are up 3 inches, my snowdrops are almost done blooming and I live in Michigan! Still waiting for winter to come!

            • Encourager,

              Michigan–and your bulbs are up. I keep worrying that everything is going to completely bloom out and then we are going to get a late freeze.

    • Sorry to hear that you got laid off, I hope that a new job is soon to be found, and you got some very good sales this week.

    • Repair Mama says:

      Oh No. are there any prospects for other work? I hope so.
      Hang in there and I will pray that something wonderful comes your way soon.
      Some times God may close a door, but will break out the window for ya. Could be a blessing in disguise.
      Good luck.

    • bama becca…hope you find another stream of income again soon…in the meantime good to see you are still on track with prepping. cheers.

    • Texas Nana says:

      Sorry to hear you were laid off, I’ll be praying for you.

      • BamaBecca says:

        Thanks everyone…been expecting this, so I was “prepped” for it. Not sure whats next on the agenda, but I am ready and open to whichever way the Lord leads me. That may be an income generating job…or something else…either way, its all in His hands! 😀

        As for the weather , we have been having 70 degree temps, took the grands for a walk up the dirt road today and saw a baby snake someone had run over….don’t ever remember that in Feb. before. Plus we have all the flowers I mentioned last week blooming…and this week, I found huckleberries blooming and jasmine as well…..weather is fickle here in the south though….

    • riverrider says:

      bama, you can’t get laid off, obama said so just yesterday!

      • templar knight says:

        rr, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is just another arm of the Democrat Party, and one can’t believe anything it reports. How in the world could unemployment drop 3/10s of a percent when the economy only added 250,000 jobs? It’s statistically impossible. What really happened here is that the BLS adjusted 1.2 million people out of existance, plus they don’t count another 2 million or more who are no longer looking for a job. Zero Hedge ran the numbers and what really happened is that the rate went UP to 11.3%. The Poodles for Obama, formally known as the news media, have no interest in the truth or reporting these facts.

        It’s time to buy guns…guns…guns…, and more ammo…ammo…ammo, and find a good place to cache all of it. And if you are a really smart trader, buy stock in the gun and ammo makers. Their profits are going to be off the chart if/when Obama gets re-elected.

        • riverrider says:

          tk, you are entirely correct on all points but i would venture to say that in my area at least the rate is more like 20+. i’m not counted because i get a measly pension. my wife isn’t counted because she has a job paying one third what her profession(nurse) normally does. her son doesn’t count because he finds work on the side in construction, his wife doesn’t count because she can’t take work that pays less than childcare expenses,and many more…..careful, you’re sounding almost revolutionary, or is it terrorist? check out mountain guerilla.blogspot.com, you’ll enjoy/be frightened:)

          • templar knight says:

            Yep, I notice Homeland Security sent out a protocol to all Law Enforcement Agencies to watch out for people who were pro-2nd Amendment types, or people who loved the Constitution. They be dangerous. And they are to the creeps who are now in control of Washington, DC.

            I never hoped to live long enough to see people who love the Constitution of the United States branded as homegrown terrorists. I’ve drawn a line in the sand, rr, if you know what I mean.

            • riverrider says:

              tk, tendashfour,line in the sand. check that blog out. it was an epiphany for me. now i know there are people just like us and better out there, not just a bunch of armchair warrior kooks, ready to defend the constitution when the time presents itself. that time is coming. its almost unavoidable now. it is good to know good men, professional soldiers, are ready to do battle for the constitution and the republic. i fear the beast has grown too large though. we will see. stack it high.

            • Hunker-Down says:

              templar knight,

              You said; “I never hoped to live long enough to see people who love the Constitution of the United States branded as homegrown terrorists. I’ve drawn a line in the sand”.

              How sad. We no longer live in a republic and its past time to do something about it.

              Can you share a link to that memo?

            • templar knight –
              I’m also interested in that homeland security protocol, can you post a link?
              Being in the coast guard aux. (a part of the office of homeland security), I’m usually aware of their postings but this one I somehow missed.

            • templar knight says:

              AZ Rookie Prepper, I am fairly close to the New Madrid fault line, but I never give earthquakes a thought. It’s that darn nuclear power plant 135 miles to the SW that scares the hell out of me. An EMP or CME is likely to cause the darn thing to melt down.

              As for your new MIL, she ain’t moving in with you, is she? She won’t be a problem. LOL.

          • riverrider –
            I spent some time looking through mountainguerilla but didn’t see much there to get excited about. Reminded me a lot of the old survivalist (later soldier of fortune) magazine of the late 1970’s early 1980’s. I must admit though, I was immediately turned off by the Latin logos (if you’re going to use Latin, at least get the syntax correct) so I wasn’t exactly open minded before I began reading the articles. I will go back though, once I’ve convinced myself the masthead isn’t important.
            One thing you may be able to answer for me as a reader of that site, there were a number of statements referencing a Dept. of Justice description of potential terrorists (keeping a 7-day supply of food, etc.) but I couldn’t find the actual document being quoted. Made me wonder if the reference was to the flyers sent by the FBI to motels, pawn shops, surplus stores, etc. If so, some of the statements really seem to be taken out of context. Can you help clear that up for me?

            • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

              KF…I did some research about that very thing, and what I found is that the statements flying around the net were based on those flyers and re-iterated to suit the wants of the people making the statements. I’ve yet to see a copy of the supposed document myself.

            • KF…are you referring to the NDAA?

            • riverrider says:

              k, they were spoken about in a video message by congressman rand paul also(see youtube). i also have a family member “on the inside” that verified what he was told to watch for, a profile….what was interesting about the site was that it was a professional sf soldier, not some armchair revolutionary, and that it was in the open, and that there were many more like him if you hunt around, that are ready/prepping to honor their/our oath of service to defend the constitution. the epiphany came when reading his site , i realized i’m a washed up old soldier and freedom fighting is a young man’s game. i was crushed to realize no amount of pt will get me back to fighting condition, and to try would put the others at risk. so i must relegate myself to the fringes, the support/auxillary elements, and thats a bitter pill for me to swallow. god save the republic.

            • riverrider –
              Don’t put yourself down son, in my mind you’re still a young man with plenty of fight in you. But I can understand your feelings.
              Next time I go into town, I’ll take the laptop and try to find that you-tube video so I can better understand the basis of those statements (only have slow dial-up here at home).
              Thanks for the info.

          • templar knight says:

            I don’t know how in the world I did that. That was supposed to be an answer to AZ Rookie Prepper.

          • templar knight says:

            riverrider, something has happened, there is no need to say what, but I am leaving this blog for the forseeable future. I would like to contact you, so there is a place you and I both know that you will be able to make contact with me if you want to. Think about it, and you will know. If not, I may try to get in touch at a later date, and will try to post again here sometime in the future.

            To all the good folks here, I can’t say enough how wonderful you are, and MD, thank you for this place. I hope to be back sometime in the future. If not, I know all of you are the best, and I won’t worry about you. All I can say for now is, God Bless each and every one of you, and God keep you and your families safe.

            • riverrider says:

              tk, if youre watching, message received,meet you on the flip side.out

            • Templar Knight –
              Take care of yourself. Hope whatever caused the change somehow works itself out and we’ll someday see your well thought out posts and comments return to this blog.

              riverrider – if you could pass on my best wishes to tk, I’d appreciate it.

            • Copperhead says:

              tk, God’s blessings to you and prayers that all will be o.k.

            • templar knight…best wishes…safe journey…wishing you God’s blessings and protection…cheers.

        • tk, today heard the radio idiots parroting the cr*p that things are looking better, in US and Europe…I just laughed out loud when I heard that…yet, the reality is…sheeple will swallow that nonsense hook, line and sinker…

          • chloe:
            One of the advantages of the “things are getting better” talk is that it does not create artificial shortages. As preppers we take things slowly, buy on sale, and stock up over the long term. Can you imagine what things will be like when the panic buying starts. I want to be able to watch from afar and not have to be in that mess.

            • jp in MT…I agree…when the currency collapses or there is wide-scale rioting and panic because of hyperinflation as occurred in Argentina (and now look at Greece) – things are going to be brutal.

              The i’net shows rioting in so many countries..either war/change of gov’t/austerity measures…this info is so accessible yet the mass of sheeple are still buying items that will be of little use to them instead of prep items.

              I feel time is short -however took a day off today to catch up with my paperwork…as have been going flat out stacking preps…

              tomorrow am off to visit a friend who belongs to the seed savers club as well. Have heaps of heirloom and hybrid seed packets…and my own saved seeds from vearious fruits/veges…however…want more diversity and back-ups to my back-ups…cheers.

  20. Mother Earth says:

    I will pray for a speedy recovery for you MD! Hopefully you are getting plenty of TLC.

    I didn’t post last week but I paid off my vehicle…yippee! What a great feeling!

    Preps for this week are: ordered a spice grinder, food preservation book, and a huge seed/plant/fruit tree order. Gurneys has a 50% off and I took advantage. DH is going to flip when he sees everything. He’s not on board with prepping and gets annoyed. Take care wolfpack!

  21. M.D., sorry to hear you are not at full speed. I will keep you and your girlfriend’s son in my prayers.

    Here’s the report from me this week.

    The nice weather continued this week, so I spent most of my free time working on the house and in the garden. I cleaned up and pained the back porch. I cleaned out the pruned, cleaned out the dead stuff and mulched the yard. I cleaned out the pond. My peach trees are already blooming. My Japanese Magnolia are budding out and ready to bloom. And my Drake Elms are forming buds. I don’t know if spring is here or if we will get another hard freeze. It’s been a very warm winter—only a handful of cold days.

    I ordered and received another four cases of tea from amazon.com. Received, labeled and put up an order from EE. I received my Berkey Sport bottles from markdown.com.

    NY strips were on sale this week for $5.99 lb. So I picked up 20 pounds. My freezer is full. And I have enough canning jars to can all the meat if necessary. Eddie Bauer is having a 25 percent off sale (code: February), so I ordered some shirts for work.

    That’s it for me.

    • Gayle –
      What is that yellow creature, a snail? What about it is representational to your blog persona? Seems like there’s a good story in there some where and I’d love to hear you tell it.
      p.s. – sorry if this was already covered while I was gone.

      • K Fields,

        It’s actually a puppet. It cracked me up so much I thought it would be a good representation of me–bright and crazy. LOL

    • Hunker-Down says:


      Why did you hurt the back porch?

      • H-D,

        It’s actually a lanai with a concrete floor. So I have to repaint every year. It gets a lot of use. If it were wood, I would have sealed it and that’s it.

      • H-D,

        Sorry, I just got your comment. LOL. I “painted” the back porch.

        • Hunker-Down says:


          I’m sending this string of messages to ALL your students. HeeHeeHee.

          • H-D,

            It’s pretty sad that my students know I can’t spell. (I do have an excuse. I am dyslexic.)

            • Hunker-Down says:


              Me oot. Lately I am having increasing difficulty with transposing numbers; the problem is starting to worry me.

  22. Hunker-Down says:

    M.D., I hope you get over the bug quickly. Rest to build up your strength and protect your health. Don’t take on any physical activities so you can avoid getting pneumonia.

    Finally found some of the Bear Creek Soup mix everyone likes. We selected 1 each of creamy potato, cheddar broccoli and ‘darn good’ chili. They were on sale for 3.11 each.

    Worked on seed starting and first planting dates, still need to figure out the last possible date I can procrastinate before ordering the seeds.

    Oh, before that I must procrastinate on making the garden layout.

    During February I’m going to procrastinate on learning to bake bread from the wheat I’m too lazy to grind. Yea, I got the wheat, got the grinder, don’t got no giddy-up.

    • Bear Creek Soup mixes for $3.11 each is not a bad price. The local Odd Lots here carries them for $3.00 each, but I’ve seen them advertised online for between $5 and $7.50. I hope you like them. We just picked up a few of their new line with pasta (dried pasta in the mix) but haven’t had time to try them yet.

    • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

      LOL HunkerDown!! Planning to procrastinate….love it. 🙂

    • I’ve lost some of my giddy-up, too. Wonder where it went. . . if anybody sees, it let me know!

      • Hunker-Down says:


        I saw a pack of them running in the woods.

      • Me too. I slipped in the fishpond when I was cleaning it out Thursday but I didn’t think much about it. Then today I woke up and my ankle was swollen, black and blue and yellow. Yiikes. Then I took the dog for a three mile walk as usual. Now I am in a bit of pain. I took some Tylenol and have the foot propped up.

        We finished the outside yard/garden/pond clean up yesterday. But I sure hate laying around doing nothing when it’s such a nice day out.

        I did roll the dice a bit and planted a tomato plant. I know–it’s absolutely crazy to plant a tomato in the beginning of February. But the weather has been in the low 80s during the day and upper 50s or 60s at night. The plants think spring is here. If we get another freeze, I will deal with it then. If not, I will have fresh tomatoes by the end of March, beginning of April.

        • Gayle –
          Just to be sure I got this straight; your ankle was swollen, black and blue and yellow and you figured taking a 3 mile jaunt on it would be a good thing? Planting the tomato sounds to be just one of a number of crazy things you’ve done lately.
          Seriously though, stay off that ankle and take care of yourself.

          • K. Fields,

            I know, not the brightest move. But my ankle didn’t hurt that bad until I got back from my three mile walk. I did manage to stay off it for the rest of the day yesterday and most of the day today. So it’s doing better.

        • Hunker-Down says:


          Boiled peanuts are good for a sprained ankle but will stain your skin or maybe that’s just a Yankee rumor?

        • Kate in GA says:


          If it gets cold put a Wall O’Water arround that tomato. It will do fine!

          • Kate,

            I’ve never heard of Wall O’Water. Thanks for the tip. Next time I am at Home Depot, I will see if they have them. I wish I had known about this earlier–I had a couple of tomatoes fruiting out in December into January until we got our first frost. I could have had fresh tomatoes all year.

            Now I know. Thanks.

    • HD,
      LOL. I am queen of procrastination! I try avoid the opportunity to do it (procrasinating) by not planning. Like my garden, for example. It is so big that I start at one end. Plant things where they haven’t been planted before and keep going until everything is in. I am done in about a week. If I had to plan more than that I would be bald, and crazy.
      As to the grinding….Delegation is a great tool for procrastinators. Make someone else do it!

    • don’t procrastinate the bread – that one gives you something you can enjoy right away! Do you have hard white wheat? I think a good one is golden 86 if I’m not mistaken.

      My best tips are to find an easy recipe using the instant yeast (I get mine from sams). Then you add yeast to dry ingredients – fast easy!

      Find a plastic container that fits the exact amount of flour you need for your one recipe – then no forgetting how many cups you’ve put in if you’re interupted. Again makes it fast and easy.

      I have nutrimill for grinding wheat. And I love my BOSCH for mixing – it makes me happy!

      Good Luck!

      For my prepping this week:
      I read some articles and got some ideas on what to put on the “to do list”,
      got sport water bottles with filters
      bought garden seeds
      marked some toiletries with dates so I can judge our use. (I can tell already that I need to up my TP supply!)

      Have a great week all and thanks for all your sharing of ideas here. I enjoy reading this blog – put it on my google reader and pull it up on my phone when I wake up too early 🙂

      • sorry, didn’t realize how long my post was – yike!

      • Encourager says:

        My son has been making this great bread that you don’t even knead. It is mixed up, stored in the frig, and when you want a loaf you break off a hunk of dough, stretch it into the shape you want, let it rise and bake it. The longer it is in the frig, the more flavor you get, like sourdough. He loves it.

        I found a similar recipe in a Mother Earth News magazine and am going to try it…can identify with the procrastination of grinding the wheat…keep putting if off and then another week has gone by. My get up and go is gone and has joined everybody else’s out there in them thar woods…lol

        • Encourager,

          Please post the recipe or link to the recipe. That sounds really good. I would like to try it.

          About being too lazy to grind your own wheat. I have a hand-crank grinder but I prefer to just put the wheat in my blender and press the button–freshly ground flour without all the work.

          • Hunker-Down says:


            Hey lazy; somewhere I picked up that a new hand grinder will produce bad wheat in that oil from the grinding wheels and tiny bits of metal need to be worked through the process until the flour is clean. In addition, I need to learn how to set the clearance to produce the proper grind. I’d like to get this learning curve behind me while we still have electricity.

        • Hunker-Down says:


          How about sharing that no-knead, no-ongoing yeast, no-work recipe?

      • Hunker-Down says:


        Yes, we have 150 lbs of the Golden Hard White wheat stored in Mylar bags. We also have 50 lbs durum wheat for making various flour blends.
        Unfortunately, that’s all from reading books; no practical grinding or baking experience.

        • Kate in GA says:


          I sent Gaye a bunch of flour blends for the Wolf pack cook book. Look in there for flour blends. I have tested every one of them.

        • Encourager says:

          Grinding it is no big thing. Unless you have a mill that grinds it coarse, then you have to re-grind it until it is finer. Don’t fear making/baking bread! Just jump in and do it. I would suggest you get some sourdough going. It is so good in so many recipes, especially sourdough english muffins. You ‘bake’ them on a griddle on top of the stove, not in the oven. They are wonderful toasted then spread with butter and homemade jam…YUM!

  23. Dealing with a sick wife took up most of this week, but I did manage to pick up some more surplus ammo cans for storage, and have been teaching a younger friend how to reload ammunition for his firearms. Not much money available right now, so I have been working on my “networking” skills- staying in touch with my “tribe” and extended family. The nieces, nephews, and neighbors are almost as useful as my own kids. Some of them have useful skills and others are at least trainable.

  24. Get well wishes MD I hate to be sick also, Texas Nana thinking of you also since I have been where you are also. Got lucky as my dad went pretty quick a matter of weeks, some people seem kind of put off when I said we were fortunate for that, but that is their problem since that is what my dad wanted. Not much in preps for me either since spent most of my extra money on supplies to get ready to put my house on the market again. Did get one deal at Home Depot in honor of Lint, got a cool flashlight/lantern led deal for $5 got the last on they had or would have bought more. Metal case and 52 lumen on the flashlight and has a white and red latntern and runs on 3 aa batteries. Only problem is it is dark grey and not salmon(aka pink). Can’t wait to hear from everyone else.

  25. breadmomma says:

    Get well soon, MD so sad to see you under the weather…
    spring cleaning early so when 2 year old grandaughter visits, she won’t get into trouble…
    also getting the place organized and under control…doing my retirement count down..laying in more dry goods and getting my financial picture in order…got two more med bills payed off, and the vet bill finally.. .putting more cash aside and silver…downsizing spending and pushing up saving to get ready for a fixed income life…fixing fence since the big winds a few weeks ago played havoc to my front yard…the living honeysuckle bushes have kept it in an upright position, but will need to rebuild it to strengthen it…make it a little more zombie proof….all in all enjoying the sunshine on the cool Oregon coast…

    • Hunker-Down says:


      Congratulations on the bill payoff.
      We have been retired for 12 years and the one thing that scares me the most is inflation. Every year, we can buy less and its a problem over which we have no control.

      As soon as TDL got elected (well, as soon as I could dig in the dirt) I started a vegtable garden. I thought gardening was in my past and I could kick back, but it isnt working out that way.

      • breadmomma says:

        I hear you…it is an interesting situation…due to pension rules (DH worked 41 years with railroad) everything I make gets taxed at a much higher rate…each year seems to be worse to the point that I feel I am being forced into retirement…most of what I make pays off taxes each year and it only gets worse inspite of the efforts we make to prepay and every year, we seem to get taxed more than we put aside…we doubled up last year and we still didnt seem to get it right…to the tune of 18000 additional dollars we didn’t have…so am on the monthly payment plan…I figure I am supporting at least one of my welfare neighbors out there somewhere…
        a catch 22…the more I make to pay the taxed the more I have to pay…yikes…so I am now trying to plan my escape for August…hopefully we can pull this off….otherwise we are like you..watching our pennies lose their value each year…hence the garden, the skill building exercises and the frugal, and prepared lifestyle….sigh….

        • Don’t get me started on all the welfare recipients living off the lean of what we make. It infuriates me as we know of people who came into the country illegally and the guberment is bending over backwards to give them, yes “give”, housing, child care and food on our dime. Write, call, e-mail or whatever you have to do to get your representatives to listen. No more illegals period. From any country. We the working Americans are broke. You can’t tax us anymore. Our backs are against the wall. /end rant

  26. Copperhead says:

    M. D., prayers that you are feeling much better soon. It’s been a nasty bug this year.
    Well, I finally bit the bullet and bought a Flojak system to allow me to get at my well water if the power goes off. Could use generator, but that would last only as long as the gas would last, so decided I needed to get busy and get this ordered. Not cheap, but going without water in the middle of the countryside is not an option, for me or the animals.
    I also ordered the jar sealing gizmo from FoodSaver for my DD and me. I bought extra cans beans and fruit. Spent quite a bit of time reading on the computer this week also. So much to learn for this old lady and I don’t know if I have the energy to do it all.
    All take care…blessings!

    • Copperhead, what exactly is the jar sealing gizmo called? I’ve searched the FoodSaver site and can’t locate it. Thanks in advance.

      • robert in mid michigan says:

        food saver wide mouth jar sealer attachment

        i just typed in foodsaver at amazon, you can also get the info from the food saver web site. pretty close to same price not sure about shipping as i always go through amazon

      • Copperhead says:

        Lane, what Robert said….I did have a bit of trouble finding it but finally figured it out. I look forward to sealing beans, rice etc in quart jars with this. It’s not canning but will keep bugs out for shorter term storage.

        • Encourager says:

          I found it works a lot better sealing jars if you use two canning lids. Once it is sealed, take off the top one. I am not thrilled with it, though. Have had quite a few jars lose the seal. I also had no luck with the Food Saver jars and special lids…they didn’t hold a seal long either. Maybe I am doing something wrong??

  27. M.D. Hope you feel better soon, being sick with the flu is never a good thing.

    This week was the first week that I could see that we slowing heading towards spring, the longer sunlight filled days are nice but the cold is still very much there, still things will be starting to grow in the cold hoop house soon enough. Planted out a number of pots with different herbs, greens, radishes and some horseradish roots for fresh greens in regards to in house use.

    Bought things on sale this week:
    2o bags at 1 pd each of four different kinds of dried beans

    a couple thousand more heavy steel BB’s for my air rifle

    75 per box x 4 heavy steel shot for slingshot (the funny thing was they had the shot, both glass and steel and different weights depending on if you were hunting or practising and replacement parts but were sold out of the slingshots themselves) they have four different ones to choose from, so will need to do some research and figure out which one or more to order, I used to be quite good at them in my childhood and teen years but its been a long time!

    3 packs of Gas stabilizer -3 in each pack on sale at the farm store

    A vet measure tape for large animals- Figured it would be a good idea to get a formal one for meds etc, I typically just use a rope and measure it and then do the math, but it was on sale for half price.

    Picked up a X-large heated water proof dog bed at a great sale price, If you can find these and you garden, do consider looking at them as a very reasonable way to get a heated seed bed, if you get them on sale they can cost as little as 25% of what the garden catalogs ask for the same thing, plus they can be used for in floor heating for chicks, and of course as heated beds for your older dogs. My oldest one of these is coming on six years in age and its still going strong.

    I hit the valentine sales and ended up with some great finds
    1 package of ten pencil sharpners for a dollar
    20 pencils for a dollar x3
    20 heart shaped erasers for dollar
    12 little notepads for a dollar x2
    bought them out for a total of 8 packs of 60 candy bags for a 1 each, perfect little bags that can be used for a ton of different things.

    Been making homemade soft wool luceted slip over the head dog collars this week, stopped at the second hand store and she had two little wool kids coats that were to strained for regular sale but had put them away for me, got them for 2 dollars each and with a little sewing and some elastic banding, two more little new born lamb or kids coats are ready for use.

    In keeping with my learning new skills in regards to the “odd bits” cooking and it being feb, I have been learning new recipes in regards to using heart, mainly lamb, but also different fowl, so far I’ve made stews, stirfrys, seared kabobs and stuffed dishes.

    I did get one new book this week, its called Forgotten skill of cooking, the time honored ways are the best over 700 recipes show you why, by Darina Allen, she is from Ireland, its got alot of good info, while there are a few new things, really its like a big book that combines the info that I have in a number of other books, but if you had to only take a few books with you, I think this one might make the list.

    She has her own teaching school, but somehow I don’t think hubby would let me head off to ireland for a foraging class 🙂 Still for anyone in the country on the list, if you have not heard of her, here is the link.


    That’s if for me this week, look forward to hearing how everyone else’s week has been going..

    • I was thinking another idea would be to get an old waterbed liner with heater in it as well. Bed sized and might be good to under a few rows of everything.

    • We will be starting a good size “manure” hot box this week, normally we don’t start one till march but its been such a odd winter so far, that we thought we would give it try starting one a month early and seeing if it will work or not. Keep you posted on the results, going to do one with Cow manure/bedding only and one with critter mix in the other and track if there is a difference in heat output or not.

  28. Added trot-line materials to the fishing kits, heavier line and treble hooks with two way swivels. Purchased the taurus 24/7 oss tactical .45 cal. Added a few items to the food storage and fire starting kits. Them little alcohol patches work excellent with the magnesium striker and dryer lint.

  29. MD, hope that you feel better soon!

    For prepping this week, listened to a few more of Jack Spirko’s podcasts, and also ordered a few permaculture-oriented books from Amazon.

    Regarding your cold/flu – have you ever tried gargling or drinking (a small amount) of colloidal silver? We find it to be extremely helpful with killing bugs before or even after they’ve gotten bad.

    • I made some colloidal silver from what I thought was .99 fine bezel wire left over from jewelry making. Tell me something: is colloidal silver supposed to taste metallic, or do you think maybe I grabbed the sterling by accident?

      • I just answered my own question. Yes, it can taste metallic. You can cut it with more water and then it’s not so bad. BTW, all you need to make colloidal silver is 3 9-volt batteries, some alligator clips, a couple pieces of .99 fine silver, and a glass of distilled water. Connect the 9-volts in series (they snap together like Legos), attach everything else, dangle the silver in the water about an inch or two apart, don’t let the alligator clips touch the water, and let the contraption go for about an hour or two. There will appear a fine “dust” on the bottom of the glass in the water, and if you stir it up the water will appear yellowish. The terminals will both turn black. As I understand it, you can use less voltage and let it go longer, and end up with finer particles. This would be desirable. I would assume you’d have to put the terminals a little closer together in this case, but what do I know?

    • You have a nice blog. At first, I thought your initial photo was dead chickens. lol Had to read the comments to uncover the mystery.

  30. I ordered a FFL(federal firearms license) application. This will allow me to sell guns out of my already existing archery shop. Anyone think this is a good idea or no? On one hand I would have access to a lot of different things (esp. class 3 firearms) than I could get my hands on usually,, on the other hand it may make me a target for big brother and also looters. Any advice?

    • PainDoc,
      A class 3 FFL is another step above a normal FFL. I know several folks with the license, and there is some paperwork hassle, but probably no more than any government paperwork. The biggest problem with an individual getting an FFL is that it makes the premise open to inspection at any time without notice, and if you sell out of your home/shop then the entire home is subject to that possibility; however, if your shop is a separate building/business then inspections should be limited to that facility only. As long as you follow all of the rules, cross the t’s and dot the i’s I don’t see it as a bad thing, just too much hassle for many of us.

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      as far as the licensing is conserned i cant give you any help as i have no experiance. anything that can help you make more money to make your life better is worth looking into, i know with the government its all about the details making sure you file the rite paperwork, keeping your paperwork up to date and all that. as far as looters, well you already own a buisiness and because of that you are rich in thier eyes the fact that you work 80-90 hours a week for less than most would work any job doesnt ever enter thier minds you have a buisiness so you are rich. follow the rules stay on top of the paper work and properly store and secure your inventory and you should be ok.

      best of luck
      may you enjoy a small piece of the American dream

  31. Good prep week. Bought an 8000 watt generator for house with interface and had it installed. Cut power to house via main shutoff and tested it out. Basically can run whole house including well pump (minus bedroom lighting) for 11 hours on 7 gallons of gas if need be. Good short term solution. May also have to get a flo-jak well pump but also have a huge in ground pool, pond and berkley water filter. Also ordered several anti-viral and ant-bacterial herbs and supplements. Have been studying natural medicine…

  32. "Big Jim" says:

    My prepping is about where I need it but not where I would like it, when it comes to some silver and a little gold ! The 15′ x 20′ storage
    shed that I have is more like a u-store it room you would rent . It’s completely full of things I’ve acquired and been left by a death in the family here and there . Now all this stuff is just collecting dust , so I’ve
    decided to have a big estate/garage sale.I’ve been inventoring and price marking these items ( gonna take while ) so I can use that money
    to acquire this “mission of ore”! With all the antique stuff ,tools, china,
    jewelry-Avon to handcrafted ,you name it I’ve probably got it! So , come springtime I hope to not only re-claim my shed but also have enough extra cash to get about 10 or 15k in these commodities to provide a “little” security in a unsecure economy…a used pair of shoes
    could be a silver dime or two and so on . The memories of this stuff I’ve
    been hanging on to after all these years , will always be with me ! Maybe
    you have some stuff you don’t need to sell and increase your preps ?
    I pray all of you have a great weekend and enjoy every second.
    God Bless !

  33. M.D. I hope you recover soon and use the chicken noodle soup and tea preps.
    River, GET SOME! Glad you got out and did some PT.
    Sent out prayers as requested.

    My preps for the week:
    3 cases of Progresso soup (1 for the office) $1.25 ea at Walmart
    3 cases of peaches (1 for the office)
    2 cases of pears (1 for the office)
    2 pound bag of trail mix
    4 boxes of shredded wheat cereal
    10 pounds of rice (for gf house)

    10 rolls sealed roll gauze
    2 cpr masks (courtesy of work)
    1 box pepto bismel tablets
    Lance kit for draining infections and abscesses

    300 stripper clips for AR (thanks Wolf Pack for pointing out CTD)
    30 stripper clip feeders
    3 AR-15 hi cap repair kits (have some feed issues in older mags)
    50 SKS stripper clips
    Cut up cloth patches from old T shirts for 7.62X39, .223 and .45m
    Cleaned all of my firearms this week
    Rearranged my gear bag that holds all my magazines
    500 count box of Q-tips
    Old tooth brush is now in the gun cleaning kit.

    Tool prep
    2 batteries for the sawzall

    • Great additions!

    • George is Learning says:

      awesome stuff

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      Jarhead03, dont forget the CLP (or whatever you use for cleaning), might want to stock up on that too. I keep a couple of gallons on hand, should last awhile.

      • AZ, you know I keep CLP (break free) in good stock.
        My AR has a bottle in it like our M16 did.
        I have a few of those small bottles, a couple medium and large bottles and a few spray bottles for parts that need to be saturated.
        I need to look for a half gallon or gallon container.

    • Jarhead 03, what size do you cut your cleaning patches? I was planning on 2″ X 2″. Is that about right?

      • Lane, cloth gun patch measurements:

        1″ X 1″ .17, .22LR and .223
        1.25″ X 1.25″ .223 (snug fit)
        1.25″ X 1.25″ .25 and 6mm
        2″ X 2″ .308, 7mm and 7.62X39
        2.5″ X 2.5″ .357, 9mm, 40 and 10mm
        2.75″X 2.75″. .44, .45 and .410 GA
        3″ X 3″ .44, .45 and .410 GA (snug fit) and .50
        3″ X 3″ 28 GA, 20 GA, 16 GA 12 GA and 10 GA

        I post this from time to time. White or light color shirts work best as you can see the carbon. I also make 6″ X6″ for wipe down. Best way if you don’t have shirts you want to cut up; look at thrift stores or yard sales.
        I take a long ruler and draw lines with a pen so I have a pattern to cut.

  34. Nuttbush54 says:

    Well, I missed getting to post last week, really odd happenings. On the morning of the 25th, the day after the solar flares on the 24th, BOTH of my computers went boink. The 8 year old desktop had it’s hard drive crash and not recoverable and the laptop started acting weird. Well $400 later and a new hard drive and a tune up on the other one, and by Wednesday night and I was finally back online. Took me 2 days to read last week’s Prep column. Don’t need that happening again.
    So my preps for the last 2 weeks were a trip to Sams for Alka Seltzer, 3 months Prilosec, 6 Foodsaver rolls and regular grocery items. I mylared black eyed peas and 10 lbs. oatmeal to add to LTS, and foodsavered and froze 4 boxes of pancake mix I bought on sale at Publix. At the grocery store I picked up 5 boxes of brownie mix, 4 Hormel chili to replace some we have used, and a years worth unbleached coffee filters. I ordered and received 2 sport Berkeys from Markdown.com and received from Honeyville #10 cans freeze dried beef chunks, corn, and 2 cans Ovaeasy egg mix.
    I worked on the 3 day kits getting mine finished and most of DH’s done. Just need a few items for his to be done. The 3 day food kit is packed in a backpack and then in a 5 gallon bucket with a gamma lid.

    Sorry you are under the weather, M. D., that flu is tough, had it once, don’t want to ever have it again. Hope everyone is doing well. I missed Lint getting offline and didn’t get a chance to say bye, so Lint I hope someone can get this message to you – I miss your funny posts and great sense of humor.

  35. robert in mid michigan says:

    ok stupid question i bought the wolf pack cook book when it came out. long story short computer crashed and its gone can i get this again from somewhere? got my daughter a kindle for her birthday and i would like to download it to that.

    • George is Learning says:

      send an email to md see if he can rehook you up, would be my best guess.
      you probably now already know this but, backups are awesome 🙂
      I have 3 copies of everything on the computer important to me.
      the os hard drive, an external hard drive, and a usb stick. pictures of my daughter i back up to a website so in some cases i will have 4 copies.
      I suggest only from previous experience to always make a back up at least onto a usb stick.
      best of luck

      • Nuttbush54 says:

        You’re right about that George. I had stuff backed up on a thumb drive, some on some CD-RW’s and some online. Glad I had done that, otherwise I might not have been able to save it when the hard drive blew out.

  36. MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

    So sorry to hear you are ill, MD. Take care of yourself and get well soon…we need you! 🙂

    No buying this week, just some actions:
    -got $5 “rewards points” from CVS, so went to their 1st aid aisle and bought five large 99 cent non-stick bandages for my 1st aid kit.

    -re-packed my *new* 72-hour wheeled trunk I got last week. It’s working great. Perfect amount of room and it has wheels! Did I mention IT HAS WHEELS? 🙂

    -put a stash of food up in the hangar loft: a variety of canned goods and some drinks, etc. Never know when I may have to ‘bug-in’ up there. So, will now have some water, food, and bedding up there if I need it. As soon as I can, I will add some other things: a flashlight, radio, etc. These will be redundant, as I will also have them in my truck & BOB….but redundancy is good, right?

    -took all my remaining local fossils to the local college. The geology teacher there was very positive about my donating them, and said that the timing was good, as the next semester is a study of just that: local fossil records. I count this as prepping as it emptied 200 pounds (no joke) out of my life, and made room for more important things. I have photographic records of my collection, and I will get a letter from the college stating that I made the donation….that’s all I need. And besides: there are more out there…not that I’ll be collecting any, right?

    -went to a local State Park and tested out some things: a compass, my Kaito radio, and my physical strength. All three were ok, but my physical strength needs improvement and I could use a better compass. It was nice to have a day off from Dad…he had a group of buddies visit, so I could take the time away.

    And interesting aside to that trip: when I was getting ready to leave and organizing things in my truck, 2 park personnel pulled up in their little park jeep and stopped. They just sat there looking at me, so I said hello. One guy responded back, then asked me if I had been at the old water treatment plant on the other side from where I was. I said yes…then he proceeded to (very rudely) tell me that I wasn’t supposed to be there, or be parked on the road. I told him there were no signs or fences. He asked me if I had received the ‘rules pamphlet’ and read it when I entered the park. I told him that the ranger at the entrance had given me about 18 information pamphlets (true) and I had not read them all. He (still rudely) went on telling me about how I’d broken the rules. He told me that I had to park only in a designated parking area and then walk to whatever I wanted to look at. He eventually wound down a bit and I excused myself and left. My impression was the same I have had lately in a lot of places, dealing with any authority that deals with the public: they all seem to be receiving HS training, and viewing everything as a potential terrorist threat. And so they want to keep everyone ‘in their place’ and controlled. I’d had a beautiful couple of hours there, and it could have been soured by this experience, but I didn’t let it. HS “trickle down” I’d call this.

    -finally got my $2 backpack loaded. I found it at a thrift store, and it’s really sturdy for a $2 find. I’m putting things like masks, gloves, matches, glow sticks, extra flashlights, small first aid kit, etc. in it, to use as a companion to my BOB & 72 hour stashes. Figuring out exactly what to put where is a challenge for me. Trying to imagine the scenarios and what I’ll need is something I have to do a lot, so I can be comfortable that I’ve collected and packed what I’ll need correctly. It seems I have to re-configure about every 2-3 weeks, as my awareness grows and different scenarios happen in the country and world.

    Follow-up: some things have progressed with my father, and I made some calls this week to find help. It’s all getting to be too much for me. This next week will be busy with that, so please keep me and my father in your thoughts.

    Once again, want to thank MD and all the WolfPack for such great info!

    • Plant Lady says:

      Oh, Mt.Lady…know how you feel…and it don’t feel good. But you have to do what is right for you. I felt a lot of guilt when Gramps got to be too much for me to handle along with MIL…but the first couple months after we had to put him in the nursing home were bliss. Just so calm compared to what it had been like around here. Then the guilt struck – big time. And warred with the relief…that will do a number on your head. Giddy with relief one moment, paralyzed by guilt the next. I just finally started coming out of the mindfog around Christmas. I really waited too long…but I had been planning on taking care of him & granny for the past 30 yrs. and just hated to give up.
      Good luck with all the paperwork you will be facing…”endeavor to persevere” and you will get through it. I only had one near homicidal impulse dealing with our public servants but managed to restrain myself (it wasn’t easy).

      • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

        Plant Lady….thank you. Words of support are truly welcome. I’m in “pre”-home stage with Dad. He’s not that dysfunctional yet. But what I’m trying to do is get him “assessed” (again) so we know exactly where he stands and can make plans. This is a challenge, as his 3 other kids (from a different mother) don’t want to think about or deal with the reality of dad’s condition. I am trying to be pro-active, and having to do it alone for right now. Dad has been assessed once already, but it was 2 years ago, and they then recommended another assessment at 1 year out, so we’re overdue. I am seeing definite mental degeneration and definite signs of dementia.

        I am hanging in, as I shudder to think what would happen with Dad if I wasn’t here. The other kids would leave him alone here, and just ‘visit’ when it was convenient for them. That’s how it was when I came here to visit after my step-mother passed away (and decided to stay with him), so I have to assume it would be the same, as that’s how they still behave. This really is the main challenge, and I have been accommodating and inclusive in my actions to try to keep some peace and not make big waves in Dad’s life. Was a mistake to do this for so long….has really taken a toll on me. But….I’m moving into another mode on my own: called the place where he was assessed last time and am starting the process again. AND I’ve contacted a dementia caregiver counselor and will be getting a much needed “ear”. I can’t believe the deep, deep feelings this all brings up…I really do need to talk them through.

        Getting things to be the best as possible for my father is definitely part of my prepping. With things as they are in the country and the world, it’s going to be hard on our elders in the coming time and I want him to have what he needs taken care of.

        • Nuttbush54 says:

          Being able to talk about this will help a great deal. And if it is possible to find a dementia caregiver’s group, even better. You will find help from sharing what you know, but can also help other people. Just being able to talk about it really helps. Our family dealt with this also, and the Alzheimer’s Association website can give you info on any local support groups. Prayers still going your way.

    • mt woman nc texas… wow, you did good…actions are so important…so glad to hear you went and tested items …our park rangers are the same here…they want no bike / horse riding in the national/state forests…and people get fined if caught riding in them.

      however can camp at designated sites if pay a camping fee..but can only go where they allow one to go…however, with topo maps…you get the picture. does not hurt to know your way around in the bush…

      what I do to find north is to stand in a patch of sunshine and make sure my shadow is exactly in front of me, with my arms outstretched – then my back is north, my shadow is south and my left hand is east and so on…then I fix my position on any hills or tress that stand out more than others etc…however, am in southern hemisphere…

      also, have been trying to figure out the constellations at night, with a sky watch starwheel – when I am either looking north or south…still got a way to go to recognize the different constellations.

      and your post on re-configuring your pack…I can so relate to that…takes ages to get it right – so you can remember and actually get your hands on things when needed.

      good to hear you are getting a chance to have some R & R time.

      regarding physical strength…when I slack off, because I just have to focus on other prep things – I lose strength quickly also…I always say will walk every day, and swim every 2nd day – instead some days 2-3 days have passed…even though I am out and about all day getting prep items, and instead of heading for the swimming pool, head straight home with food etc in car, and then having to vac seal/dehydrate stuff/ sort stuff, bring out another bucket and see what needs to come up into c’van…then put new stuff away – it is constant action. It seems weeks are just flying by.

      and you have another person to look after full-time…so, you have done well…cheers.

      • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

        Chloe….thanks. Great feedback. Definitely need to get on….and stay on…some strength building!! 🙂

    • MtWoman, I commend you on the donation to the school.

      On the field testing, that’s how I have done it by going to large parks along rivers and mountains or up in the mountains. Sorry you had to deal with the knuckle heads out there, its getting to where what’s ours (taxpayers) is no longer ours.

      Good find on the pack and if you need some tips, many of will share what we keep in our GHB.

      Will keep you and the family in my prayers.

  37. Tinfoil Hat says:

    MD you can count on my prayers for your swift recovery. Feel better soon, fearless leader.

    Well, this was the first of many coming slow prep weeks, but with a wedding to pay for and the rural retreat to purchase in Tenn in August, moneys gotta get saved. I did manage a trip to BJ’s with a $100 rebate gc I got for activating my cellular service there on Black Friday. Got 50 lbs of rice, 10 cans of tuna fish, 24 toilet paper, and some inventory for the vending machines.
    The soon to be Mrs Hat (can I just start calling her FDW?) contacted a realtor and have started looking for our property in western Tenn, and today we bought airline tickets to take a trip out there to look at a few we really liked in April. One in particular is on 4 acres with a woodshed an attached garage and a detached workshop with already pre-established fruit trees, and the house sits on the high ground. It costs about 1/3 of what that would cost me here in my Communistwealth. I’m excited to see it.

    Hope everyone had a great week and has a great week!

  38. M.D. – Sorry to hear that you’re feeling poorly, hope you get through it soon. Just wondering, did you get a flu vaccine this year? I know a lot of folks are against them but wondered if this came about in spite of a vaccine.
    I had noted that you purchased a book on small home design, are you rethinking your idea to purchase a double wide? I really hope so. I just feel you’ll be much happier in a home you’ve designed to meet your specific needs and desires.

    Not much going on here, most of my time is being spent working out the financial arrangements with the hospital for my upcoming surgery (no, they won’t perform surgery without a guarantee of getting paid). Have even looked into the government programs as templar knight suggested and that was quite eye opening. I suggest anyone who talks of how easy it is to enroll in those programs, to actually do some personal research first – it is not easy or simple by any means! Now I know that folks abuse those programs, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how. Various forms of ID (drivers license, birth certificate and ss card or passport and ss card) are necessary just to get an appointment and photo/thumbprint taken (and I assume, checked against DMV records to verify if drivers license is used as ID) before any benefits are actually allowed. Anyway, you need proof of income, copies of bank records, copies of vehicle registrations, copies of utility bills, etc. etc. etc. If you’re looking for medical assistance such as the social security disability templar suggested, then on top of everything else, extensive medical records are needed and followed by an exam by one of their contracted doctors to verify the conclusions of those records. Even after someone went through all that and somehow qualified, social security disability wouldn’t kick in for 6 months after a determination is made and the making the determination itself could take 6 months or more. And like social security retirement, the amount of the disability payments are based on the amount an individual has paid into the fund over his years of legally working.

    Probably needless to say at this point, I don’t qualify for anything.

    So how exactly do illegal immigrants get those benefits so many folks keep saying they are getting? I have no idea! But from what I’ve experienced, it would be virtually impossible! My feeling is people are seeing medical aid or food stamps for legal children born in the U.S. and assuming their illegal parents are getting benefits also. I really don’t know, but this experience has really made me question much of what I’ve heard and read on the subject as probably not being the whole, true story. But this is just my personal experience, and I’m in no way claiming to know all the ins and outs.

    On a more cheerful note, weather here has been beautiful! I normally head south this time of year for a couple of months to avoid all the cold (cool to many of you), damp weather but this year the weather has been mostly sunny and dry. As friends were already scheduled to care for my homestead during my normal absence, I have no responsibilities and have mostly been simply hanging out and enjoying myself. I’m sure others of you who have farms can imagine what a strange feeling it is to be able to enjoy the place but have no responsibility of any sort in the day-to-day operation. Just sitting in the hot tub drinking some really fine wine and enjoying some perfectly wonderful sunsets. Surgery, smurgery, I could get used to this…

    • K Fields,
      No flu vaccine but my girlfriend got one and she caught it too. Usually I can beat it in a couple of days but this one keeps holding on. I must be getting old…

      • “I must be getting old” yeah, M.D. rub it in…

      • Grannytraveler says:

        I received the flu shot in October but still came down with a flu bug after Christmas. The doc said that the vaccine can’t catch all the strains. First flu I have had in 15 years. I always get the flu shot and so far it has paid off and as a teacher I am exposed to everything! Some aspects of this flu hung on for about 2 weeks. Glad I didn’t watch “Contagion” while ill. LOL. Hope you feel better soon.

    • k fields…rest and peace is very important…good to hear you are taking it easy…cheers.

    • K Fields,
      I think illegal immigrants tap into the system via a loophole which forces most emergency rooms to render care, regardless of legal background or ability to pay.
      Additionally, if the emergency is a woman about to give birth, once that child is born, it instantly becomes a US citizen, and a so called anchor baby. Although it’s probably not politically possible, I personally think that we should change this law, such that only babies born to legal residents are automatically granted citizenship. Even under current law, there are exceptions. If for instance, the Ambassador of the UK and his wife deliver a baby in a Washington DC area hospital, I’m pretty sure that the baby is not a US citizen, but a British subject (or perhaps has dual citizenship).
      I’m not sure of the details, but I think the immigrants can also draw certain welfare payments, especially if they have an anchor baby as a dependent.

      • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

        OP….you’ve hit the nail on the head. And it’s not just immigrants that use the system that way, but also a lot of citizens. It is a real shame, as the programs as they were first formed truly helped people who needed it. Now it’s a mess.

        • Yes, the born in the U.S. citizenship does seem a bit off base and I agree, should be changed, but as far as I could find out, that does not qualify the parents for government benefits. As I said, they can get health care and food stamps for the child but not for themselves.
          As for the emergency room care, that may be mandated by the government but the government programs don’t cover that cost, at least according to my local hospital. When someone needs emergency room treatment and doesn’t have insurance, they sign a form stating they are responsible for the payment of all fees. But, of course, if they have no assets, then the hospital will not be able to collect on the unpaid debt. The hospital and treating doctors get stuck with the bill, not the government. Their only recourse is to raise prices for those who can pay to cover those losses. A similar problem occurs with medicare patients, medicare will only pay X amount for a procedure no matter what that procedure actually costs the hospital.
          After going through all of this research, I’m really amazed that any hospital can stay in business.

          • K Fields,
            I think you understand the situation quite well. There are some relatively easy things to do that would help; unfortunately, Obama-care is not one of them.

            • OhioPrepper –
              To be honest, the more I look into this stuff and the more I talk to others about it, the idea of a national health care system (not Obama-care) seems the best course. Too many people for a long while now (even before Obama) have had to have less and less preventive health care as insurance rates have risen and risen. Today, most people I know can only afford catastrophic coverage if they can afford any health insurance at all.

            • Hunker-Down says:

              K Fields,

              One component of health care cost could be reduced by reintroducing the concept of competition among insurance companies.

          • amen

      • axelsteve says:

        Actualy the liberials bastardized that law.If a visiter to this country had a baby the child was not a us citizen but a citizen of the parents country.Liberials started doing that for some strange reason.

  39. Speedy recovery MS!

    Well I managed to get quite a bit done again this week despite having hernia surgery on Tuesday and a pre cancer scalp peel on Friday! Oh by the way, make sure you stockpile those pain pills that you don’t use now for a post SHTF world for yourself or barter. I have narrowed my choice down to a nice 5.5 acre piece of land in the low Sierras for my bug out retreat. I will walk the property with the owner this coming week to ask questions and haggle over price. Ordered more goods on amazon including a solar lantern (I will check it out before I buy more), a security camera to hook up remotely at the future bug out retreat, 100 ft of paracord for utility purposes, a soft shell cargo top for the SUV (for bugging out storage), sand bags and several books based on recommendations from the Pack. (Finished survivors and did not love it). Ordered 500 rounds of .223 for the AR from Lucky Gunner. Most importantly, I finally joined the NRA. Sorted through the change jar with my 9 year old and found 8 pre 1965 silver coins. Tested out the grundig short wave radio that had been stashed in my bug out bin the last year. Ordered and received a new wireless 4G air card for Internet access to use in the sierras, a new backup battery (will need if the grid is down and want to use the laptop for movies or MS docs) and a new blackberry with a better service provider. Scheduled a tetanus shot for next week. Sealed up Costco pasta in a Mylar bag inside a 5 gallon food storage bucket with my 9 year old assisting. She thought it was fun! Rotated some of the foods and updated my food date expiration spread sheet. I also stored a number of important documents on a thumb drive for my bug out bag. Additionally, I sold some stock on Ameritrade and purchased CORN based on advice from a wealth management fund friend. It seems very practical to me. Lastly, I set up a PayPal account so I can stop using my credit card for many on line purposes. All for now, have a great week of prepping.

    • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

      D2Prep….what in the world is a “pre-cancer scalp peel”????

      • That was exactly my question too! I am shall we say follicly challenged and fair skinned so I have areas on the dome that were discolored and could pose a problem in the future. This was purely preventative and the procedure calls for the attending to “Marinate” my head ( I almost fell off the table when she said that as it made me sound more like the main course at a fancy dinner). Then you let it sink in for 90 minutes followed by putting me under some blue light for 16 minutes that was hotter than Hades. It left me with a nice looking sunburn but will be worth it in the future. They tell you to stay out of the sun for 2 days that was easy as I am recuperating already from the hernia surgery. I am taking this time to get all medical issues taken care of as part of prepping. Hope that helps.

    • D2, I always ask for a bit more on the meds so I can prep them for down the road.
      Hope the medical issues subside soon.

      I’ve thought about ordering some 223 from them, what was the brand, grain and final cost if you don’t mind my asking. I prefer buying bulk and sometimes hate waiting for the guns how.

      Good job on the rotation of food and the trade selling. I have to rotate the pantry tonight after work or in the morning.

      Good luck on the property search

      • Hi Jarhead 03,

        Here is what I bought:

        25 X 20 rd boxes of 223 Rem – 55 gr FMJ Boat Tail – PMC – Cost per round if you buy 1000 is .31 cents. I only bought 500 rds and am kicking myself now because my cost was closer to .37 cents per round. This is the first time I have bought form them. Last year I bought on line form a place in Arizona called Scottsdale Ammo but did not buy Rem. Thanks for the wishes on the property as I get no support here on the home front LOL!

        • Sorry, I fat fingered my reply Jarhead, the word form both times is supposed to be from. I need more coffee!

          • D2, I pick up 1,000 rounds at the gun show of Federal .223 BTFMJ for $259 to $270 so I’ve been looking at prices that compare.
            It looks like if I was running low, it could still be cheaper than the store if I buy in bulk.


            • d2 prep & Jarhead 03:
              Check only with ammoseek.com. They will let you know where the best prices are on ammo. I appears it is only “on line” sales are compared. They do keep up with sales.

              I was checking the 62gr 5.56×45 ammo I was getting from the local Wal-Mart. WM was $149 for 420 rnds on stripper clips w/a stipper guide. After deducting $10 for the 30 cal ammo can it comes in, that made the price $.33/round. Which was equal to the lowest price on line (before shipping). I’ll do this before I go to a gun show, to make sure I’m really paying a fair price.

            • Thanks JP in Montana, that looks like a good site to compare against.

            • JP, thanks for the heads up! I also search around before I buy. I try to buy in bulk but on occasion I find a sale close enough to bulk prices and I jump on it to top off. I have noticed more local gun shops selling bulk quantities than ever before. I refuse to pay $17-$20 for a box of .45 when I can get it for $14 to $15 buying bulk and same with .223, 5.56 and 7.62X39.

            • Jarhead 03:
              You are more than welcome. One of the best parts of this (and some other) blogs, is when people help others save with source and product feedback info. Why let someone else make the same same mistake you did? Gets more money spent on the preps we really need vs. gadgets and stuff that just don’t work.

            • JP, yeah, I used to work at a gun shop in my mid to late 20s. I learned what they pay, what we pay and what others sell it at. I saved $150 buying in bulk at the last gun show.

    • some meds are ok to keep for a while (make sure cool, dry, dark and in original bottles with expir. dates etc.) But others may not be ok to keep past exp date because they become toxic and will do more harm than good.

      Not sure, but I think acetominophen is one of those – and many narcotic pain meds have acetominophen in them also. Just check with a good pharmacist before storing any meds.

      • Thanks JJ, I went as far as contacting a very close friend of mine who is a doctor to ask what is the risk beyond the expire date. And to your point, there are some that are better than others. I have a kid with food allergies and we have to buy those epi pens that are quite expensive and have a shelf life of about 1 year I think. I have been stockpiling those since last year but not really sure of their effectiveness. Some of the pain pills have a pretty good shelf life from what I have seen. Those could be especially valuable.

        • Yes. We have to have epi pens also. I have found that to call pharmacies before ordering and go to whomever has the date furthest out. Keep in cool dark place. And they now have a window on them so you can see the liquid. If it is cloudy you aren’t to use it. I stock up on lots of benadryl also.

      • Jj, you are right! I did the same as D2 and with some meds I dump on the date and some I keep over to the safe point.

        • As luck would have I was rushed to the ER last night. I developed some complications from the hernia surgery last week. Apparently I have a blood clot (hematoma) the size of a fist in my abdomen. I have a high threshold for pain and was refusing to go. The turning pint was that I felt like I had an Anaconda wrapped around my waist and I blacked out 3 times when I tries to stand use the restroom at the house. Long story short I am in the hospital doped up on morphine an ativan, which means potential more meds for my preps! I hope to go home today but we will see. Keep on prepping friends!

          • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

            Yikes, D2Prep!! Take care!!!!!! 🙁

          • Hunker-Down says:

            d2 prep,

            Geezzzz….drop the computer and get some rest!

            • HD, LOL! It has been a rough 8 days medically speaking but always expecting the unexpected has served me well. Thanks all for the prayers as I am hoping to be released tomorrow. The clot (hematoma) is not as painful tonight so I am hoping that means it is reducing in size. It was not fun yesterday for sure. This blog is keeping me focused on things other than my health issues and has been somewhat therapeutic. Peace everyone!

          • Copperhead says:

            Oh my, d2 prep!! Prayers for your recovery from the blood clot. Are they just letting it reabsorb? Stay in there as long as you need to so you can recover completely and quickly.

          • d2 prep…spoken like a true prepper…always looking on the bright side of things…in this case…perfect opportunity for more meds…

            yes…you have definately crossed over to being a real dinky-di prepper…cheers…wishes for a speedy recovery.

            • Thanks Chloe and Copperhead for the prayers, yes copperhead they are hoping it reabsorbs since it is not in the vein or arteries but in the area where the surgery was, just forming a big ball. Sounds bad but I will get through it. Oh by the way I can’t stop prepping so each meal they serve me I save the handi wipes and pepper packs! My wife rolled her eyes last night when I told her to put those in my bag LOL! I did not get to watch doomsday preppers as they don’t have the natl geo channel here but I have it dvr’d at home.

            • Thanks all for the prayers. I must say I was “higher than a kite in the hospital on the pain meds”! I am back home now and worked from home today and continued to do light preps as well as reading Light Out. Still a bit sore and very tired. I am supposed to take it easy for a couple of weeks but I get stir crazy too easy so I am sure my activity level will increase each day. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

  40. Wellrounded says:

    Pulled a heap of stuff out of storage this week, having a sale in a week or two. The cash will come in handy for a few urgent projects. Tomatoe harvest is now in full swing, looks like we’ll get about half a tonne or a little more. Started sorting out my textile room, sewing, spinning, knitting and leather work, forgot I had so much stored. Bought some lumber and other materials to continue with house building. Put in an irrigation system to water a large pot area.

  41. Garden Mom says:

    Bought a set of 8 booklets with titles like “Uses for Lemon Juice” and “Uses for Vinegar” and so on.

    So, MD the Vinegar book says:
    – put 1/4 cup vinegar in the vaporizer to help with sinus pain,
    – gargle with 1 teaspoon white vinegar in 1 cup water for sore throat,
    – 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar in a bottle that can be tightly capped, shake well, take 1 tablespoon every four hours for a cough.
    And, get well soon.

    Really tough week at work, so I was feeling completely bummed. When I read Hunker-Down’s post, I thought “Yeah, I get that.”

    • Get well, MD.

      Best sore throat / cough syrup ever is as much red (cayenne) pepper as you can tolerate mixed with honey. Add a little lemon juice if you have it.

      Also, fyi, keep away from the OJ. It causes more phlegm. If you have too much phlegm, then sip some hot horehound tea. It’s a great (but really nasty tasting) phlegm cutter.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Garden Mom,

      We’re always looking for long self life things like lemon juice and vinegar. It doesn’t do us any good to have them if we don’t know what to do with them; where can we get those booklets?

      • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

        Ditto HD: please more info about those booklets.

      • H-D,

        For vinegar, check out this website. (I think vinegar and lemon juice are two of the absolute essentials for food storage. There’s not a whole lot you can can without them–same as sugar.) This website looks a little kookie, but I tend to believe the claims.


        • Hunker-Down says:


          Glenn Beck hinted that sugar will have a very high value in the future.

          • Sugar is already up like 20% since the last time I bought it, which was 3 or 4 months ago. Oh, and some idiots in the U.K. want to classify it as a “toxin” and control it like alcohol. I guess it’s possible this English madness could hop the pond and be implemented here. (they also want to put lithium in the tap water, oh joy).

            At the same time, Monsanto has invented a new, more potent version of aspartame called “neotame” which being much sweeter, would generally fall under the 1% of ingredients level required by the FDA to be reported on the ingredients list. They only tested it on their employees, some of whom reported headaches, but the headaches were ignored and discounted as being caused by the neotame.

            Basically, this means we’ll have to start making everything from scratch if we want to avoid this toxic new sweetener, because it won’t be on the ingredients lists, and so we better all buy a lot of sugar now.

            And they’ve come out with GMO sugar beets too.

        • Encourager says:

          I have always thought the Bragg apple cider vinegar was an excellent product. Thanks for the website, Gayle.

        • Hunker-Down says:


          We are collecting recipes for making vinegar. Since we don’t have an orchard, how can I beg apple peelings from our neighbors without blowing OPSEC?

          • H-D,

            Tell them you need the apple peels to acidify some stuff you are canning. Then go into a long-winded speech about how the new hybrid tomatoes lack the acidity of the old tomatoes . . . . and their eyes will glaze over, and they will give you the peels and want to get rid of you ASAP.

            They will think you are weird but probably nothing more about it.

            Alternatively, you could mention that you have a friend who raises pigs and tell them his pigs really like apple peels.

            Or you could tell them you want the peels for compost.

            Or you could tell them that apple peels mixed with human urine will heal this or that.

            • Umm, let me check that reference……. Ok apple peels mixed with urine will cure….. ummmm…… male pattern baldness? Lol.
              That would be a good way to get your neighbors to NOT save the apple peels, but hey on the bright side, they wont ever talk to you either. Maybe a good idea.
              I do like the idea about getting into some long winded explanation.

            • Hunker-Down says:


              I can do wierd.

          • H-D, be the dehydrator guy. After all, since you’ve fallen on hard times, you’ve been looking for ways to make ends meet. . . You’ve got a dehydrator (perhaps a recent Christmas gift from a kooky inlaw hoping to help you out?), Neighbor Joe has apples. . . maybe you could slice and dehydrate them for Joe, in exchange for a percentage of the final product.

            Of course, that’d include disposing of the mess of peels and cores–’cause you’re a full service dehydrator guy, right?

            Who knows, maybe Neighbor Joe’d be thinking ‘praise the Lord, ole H-D is finally leaving the sheeple herd and getting more self-reliant–and I can help without blowing opsec! ‘

            • I think I have read somewhere that you can make pectin out of apple cores. Does anyone have any info on this?

            • Hunker-Down says:


              That’s funny. I am the dehydrator guy. The DW and I have been telling all our visiting neighbors that TDL is robbing our purchasing power, and we are too old to do any caning, so we are trying the dehydrator route.
              We give them a piece of dehydrated zucchini with chili pepper and garlic salt on it, so they get an example of how gross our stuff tastes.
              Oh, and we did some strawberry jelly but hey, that’s NOT prepping!

            • TG,

              I’ve read about that too. That’s how folks made pectin in the old days.

      • HD – google ‘uses for vinegar or ‘100 uses for vinegar’ – will get lots of hits…next time I find one will bookmark the web address for you.
        can do the same for WD40, duct tape, bicarb soda…

        HD, don’t want to assume anything, but have you downloaded the ‘100 things that disappear first in a crises’…it is everywhere on the net…cheers.

        • Hunker-Down says:


          We need to revisit the “100 things” list again, thanks for the reminder. We have been focused on garden, wheat & rice, and water storage.

          • HD – strangest thing…after I posted the above link…I did my own searching, just in case K fields wanted to know where it was…guess what…

            it was already posted on MD blog – a while ago…way before I started posting…

            amazing coincidence…it lists vinegar/wd40 and bircarb
            soda…I really enjoyed reading the comments.

            Yes, every now and then…I reread the list…and check that I have things covered…cheers.

            • guys…sorry re all the spelling mistakes…trying to get posts attended to…got an early start tomorrow…and it is already 9.30pm Thurs. …cheers.

            • Hunker-Down says:


              This is embarrassing. Now you all know how lazy I am.
              With your help, I found the post on M.D.’s blog. So now you know how often I forget about his VALUABLE archives. I googled the topics and am overwhelmed with the ease of finding the answers.
              Thanks for your help!

    • Garden Mom says:

      The booklets are from “Books Are Fun”. They come to my workplace about once a month with quite an assortment of books and other things (bought two really cool flashlights from them a while back).
      Anyway, the set is titled “Amazing Household Hints 10 Book Library” from Publications International. Here is a similar 5 book set at Amazon:
      My MIL wanted something from them once and she found them in the phone book, then went to a nearby school to order and pick up her item. Hope this helps.

  42. Ordered about 14 books that had been recommended by MD and the Wolf pack. Got some denim jeans and baby items for my cousin from thrift store’s $5 bag sale.

  43. I’ve been playing with my solar oven and solar lights and trying to get them to work in Idaho. They need a bit of help but a good solar oven that works in S. idaho in winter is a bit to ask of the cheap ones.
    Bought 4 more good quality T-shirts. I’m doing really good with the cotton garments and under garments. This month and next we should see a bit of a sale on sweat pants and tops. I’ll add them to My “General Store” as a great layering option to stay warm.
    Added two 60 gallonbarrels of fresh water storage and got rid of of most of my Soda bottle option for water storage. I did keep about 6 gallons worth of the soda bottles so I can hand them out without looking like a hard core prepper. Added a two gallon insulated drink jug as a back up to my hot water heater for keeping water warm overnight. All totaled I should be able to have 5 gallons of warm if not hot water overnight if all power or water goes out in the town I live in.
    Added 2 more LED flashlights and 20 junk silver dimes. Another couple of packs of feminine napkins, and got a great buy on #2 shot 3 inch shells for my shotgun.
    This was my last 2 weeks of prepping not counting food stuffs.

    • riverrider says:

      jamie, i was going to ask if you knew about this sight, but i see you do:) great job,again.

  44. blindshooter says:

    The flu sucks! Hope you recover quick.

    This week was good for preps and bad at work. Got 50lbs of rice, 20lbs beans and 8lbs of oats bagged up. Bought more canned meat, the usuall stuff for me and picked up a couple cans of the roast beef to test after reading how other commenters used it and mostly liked it. I’m looking for a deal on lintels, they are not so popular here and all I’ve found local is the one lb bags. The 1.5 gallon mylar bags are just right for me, kinda like a #10 can. I think I’ll be able to consume the contents before the bugs can get it. I still have some 5 gal buckets with big bags but I plan to cut the bags down smaller and jam several into the buckets.

    Lots of driving this week with lots of unhappy customers, folks have no patience any longer. It’s to the point that if we don’t show up within the hour and repair the equipment inside of another hour they flip out. We had to order parts for one machine, got them overnight and fixed the thing the next day and the customer still writes a nastygram to the boss!

    The news on the fast and furious scandel pi55es me off to no end. I can’t even discuss it without cussing and losing my religion in general. I’m hoping the republicans are working on election timing and will really get going on this closer to the election.

    Went a little crazy today, went to a gun show with a friend looking for a Rem 870 to replace the Mossberg bedroom gun I sold last week. Found a Rem 1100 8 shot “tacticool” 22 in for $650 out the door. Almost twice what the 870 was, I’m still feeling a bit guilty about spending that much but I’ve always preferred the autoloader and I even have spare o rings on hand from some older 1100’s I’ve owned in the past. If the weather is not to terrible tomorrow afternoon I’ll shoot up some of the older 12 gauge ammo I have to make sure it works before it becomes the new bedroom gun.

    My BiL goes next week for the heart valve replacement consult. Please remember him in your prayers.

    Hope everyone has a great week……missing Mr. Lints posts 🙁

    • Blindshooter,

      Check and see if you have any Indian stores near you–that’s a great place to get lentils. Indians eat all kins of lentils. (They call them “dal” and not lentils.)

    • templar knight says:

      Pretty nice toy you now have beside your bed, blindshooter. That’s one nice shotgun. As for Fast and Furious, the poodles in the media, other than Cheryl Atkinsson at CBS, have never heard of it. The Republicans have done everything possible to get this stuff out. I don’t know what else they can do.

      Sorry about the rude customers, but I’m afraid we can just look forward to more of it, as manners are not in vogue these days. That’s one thing you could count on in the South before TV changed the culture. The NYC/Hollywierd coalition now control the country, so I guess one should expect more rudeness and culture destruction to come.

  45. SurvivorDan says:

    Take it easy MD. As I get older I realize that the cold symptoms that I could once shrug off could and have turned into pneumonia. Rest up.
    And thank you for the great prizes! I got ’em today!

  46. SurvivorDan says:

    Lazy week. I got some re-usable canning lids and a great Wise meat bucket courtesy of thesurvivalistblog.net!
    Also ten more cases of water and 48 cans of beef stew from the dollar store.

  47. MD, have someone go buy you some Sambucol. They sell it at Walgreens or CVS (not sure which, call first). This over the counter stuff is sold I think with the cough medicine. It’s elderberry syrup and is supposed to cut your sick time in half if you have the seasonal flu. I saw something complimentary about it on the CDC website, so it’s not just some hippy dippy stuff.

    However if anyone gets something like the Spanish flu, garlic might be better. Garlic helps suppress cytokine storms. (that’s where your immune system overreacts so bad it fries your gizzard, which is how all those people died 100 years ago) Get the pills, because the amount required will give you dragon breath otherwise.

    Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor nor do I play one on TV. I just read a lot.

    What did I do to prep? Got 200 rounds of ammo, and some bottled water for free with a coupon. Got a few food things free with coupons. Got a gigantic magazine for my pistol. I guess it’s for the range, because to attempt to carry that in my pistol would just not work. Or it could be like a reload, if I wanted to play Rambo.

    Received my CCDW permit and started carrying concealed. Tonight I watched some Youtube vids of some skinny chick showing all the ways she carries concealed. I need more holsters, and maybe some pants that don’t stretch at the waistband. It’s better to carry the same way all the time, but if you’re forced to be fashionable, that gets difficult. My weapon is kind of big, too, so now I’m wondering if I should get something chambered the same, but daintier. Or just grow up and learn to carry the big gun somehow.

    I have resolved the homeowners insurance problem I think I might have mentioned last week, to my satisfaction.

    The Greek bonds took a 70% haircut the other day. It is the beginning of the end for the economy. Also I listened to the House Finance Committee grill Bernanke for an hour on C-Span this week, which grated on my nerves real bad. That man is a danger to society.

    • Pineslayer says:

      So Penny Pincher, how long did you get sucked into that Youtube vortex. I think I watched that same “skinny chick” for an hour or so, until my wife busted me. Told her I was doing research for her, I don’t think she bought it. I wish I could settle on one CC gun, it would be cheaper. I have a little one that fits in a jacket pocket, but I really want to carry my bigger ones too, impossible without a jacket or waist pack, unless I start wearing a kilt.

      I agree with you on Bernanke, dangerous, but is he scary stupid, just evil, or has no family?

      Preps today, shear pins for the snowblower. I need to buy them by the gross.
      Seychelle water bottle w/extra filter

      Get some rest MD and all the other sick members, spring is right around the corner.

  48. Almost forgot. Made root beer last weekend. It came out real fizzy. I have to open them over the sink.

  49. Most of my prepping this past few weeks has been praying. There has just been so much going on; and, I don’t want to bore the pack with my moaning over it. I have been reading the blog whenever I get a chance and praying for the whole Wolf Pack–thankfulness for the good news and sympathy and prayers for health, finances, patience and peace for everything else.
    There are so may comments this week about gardening. No matter how long the Winter, As long as Spring comes, we can make it. Hang in there, my friends.

    • Repair Mama says:

      thanks for the prayers on this end. Something that I prayed about over the last little bit was granted for me to be able to fix. Gods way of blessings were wonderful!
      I will explain a bit more when I get to post later tonight after my chores are done.
      Thanks again. God does answer prayer!

  50. Plant Lady says:

    I have a serious headache…been trying to figure out just how much food I will need to grow to feed 6 people for a year without any outside input. I had no idea it would be so hard…every reference conflicts with itself and every other reference…even the Ball Blue Book. I still am not even close, but it sure looks like it will take every square inch of the four acres that is not forested. Wow…I had thought we would have plenty of space with the half-acre plus garden, 160’x80′ orchard, the 100’x40′ patch we have in winter wheat (this year) plus the two new areas in the back yard…100’x90′ for permanent food (berries, grapes, hops, asparagus, rhubarb, horseradish, etc.) and 120’x80′ for legumes (this year, to improve the sandy soil)…but it appears I was wrong. So, rather than use the 120’x40′ spot west of the pond for a mini-Christmas tree windbreak, will have some Christmas trees but moreso “camouflage” food plants that most folks won’t recognize: pawpaws, quince, large-fruited mountain ash, honeyberry, Jerusalem artichoke, etc. And am looking into turning a problem – the low spot in the garden – into a solution, by growing upland rice (doesn’t need a paddy) there and wild rice in the wetlands along the creeks. Having serious problems finding seed. We used to plant wild rice every year in a great-uncle’s swamp just a mile down the road. Not for eating, at least directly…for bringing in waterfowl.
    Ok, uber-shoppers…where is the best deal and/or coupons for a 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator…and which tray liners should I get? Pre-paid credit card in hand – just need some advice before I order. Thanks, Garden Mom…needed your article to open my eyes to all the benefits.Also found some old-time plans for an “orchard dryer” – which utilizes a barrel stove with big drying racks over/around it. Sounds like they used to be real common in orchards.
    Going to order some books this week – can never have enough books:
    Organic Orcharding: A Grove of Trees to Live In by Gene Logsdon.
    I have gotten this book at the library twice and I need it. Mr. Logsdon also wrote “Smale-Scale Grain Raising”, which I already have.
    The Backyard Orchardist by Stella Otto.
    Have had this book from the library 3-4 times and I need it, also.
    The New Organic Grower by Eliot Coleman, who also wrote “The Winter Harvest Handbook” – which I think should be required reading.
    I am looking for a comprehensive beekeeping “bible”…not just a beginner’s type book. Anyone have any suggestions?
    Been stocking up on winter clothing closeouts…Carhartts, bibs, boots, wools socks, etc.
    Also got in on Gurney’s sale…buy $200, get $100 off – plus free shipping ($15.95). Just got an email that I can do the same thing again within the next 10 days, so going to jump on that. Not really as great of a deal as it sounds…did a lot of comparisons and the savings only amounted to about fifty cents per pkt. But, hey, it is some savings, anyways. Putting together orders for Johnny’s Seeds, Jungs & Baker Creek. Actually, the seeds I am ordering are mostly for 2014…I like to keep a few years worth on hand…just in case. Some are for this year, tho’…two years ago I was planning for a modest 24’x80′ garden. Now the garden is 265’x70′, with a 70’x75′ block off one end. Takes a LOT more seed (hehe).
    Anyone know about earth bag building? My hubby has gotten interested in the method and we desperately need a root cellar. Well, we need a few…one for veggies, one for fruit, one for beer, one for wine and one for cheese. But hoping we can get at least one done this year. Need somewhere to store all the stuff from the big new garden!
    The winter salad garden is growing well. Really should have gotten it planted last July rather than Sept., but enough for salads with extra for the chickens. They are like piranhas when I give them their daily greens!

    • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

      Plant Lady….I so love to read your posts. Thanks for sharing your life. 🙂

    • Hi Plant Lady, your gardening efforts are awesome. I’d love to hear about your homemade wine. Would you share more info?

      I have purchased two Excalibur dehydrators from their website. At the time I looked around at other sites but the Excalibur site offered lots of freebies and extras that sweetened the deals.

      • Plant Lady says:

        Thanks, Lane. I love to garden, but just getting into serious food gardening. Always did ornamentals before, on a rather grand scale, as I had hoped to open a small nursery. Geesh, I have over 600 hosta of 300-some varieties! But, the gardening experience sure has given me a headstart on the food gardening.
        Just getting into winemaking, too. We got all the equipment from Williams Brewing, except for the big fruit crusher & press I got at an Amish auction last spring. I only like Liebfraumilch & Riesling and reds give me an instant migrane – and I am not much of a drinker…although that may change when tshtf (hehe). So, most of the winemaking will be for trade. Can hardly wait until the grapes and berries start bearing enough to use our own fruit in the process. It is real easy – add yeast to fruit juice and wait. Rack into bottles and wait…that’s it! I do have 10 gallons of hard cider aging now. Have made more beer (lager) as my hubby and brother really like beer (hehe). Just getting my pre-order together for some more hops rhizomes – have to order early to ensure you get what you want. And remind my husband to whack some 25′ tall cedars to make poles for the hops yard and sharpen my big new drawknife for debarking. I am sharpening-impaired…for some reason just can’t get it right.
        Thanks for the info on the Excalibur site – that seemed to be the way to go, from what I could tell. Which tray liner sheets did you get?

        • Thanks for replying, Plant Lady. Wine-making is on my 2012 list. As for the Excalibur tray liner sheets, mine came with sheets to make fruit leathers. I’m not sure what they’re called.

        • Plant Lady, about your hostas, here’s someone who says some varieties are edible:


          • Plant Lady says:

            Lantana: I tried them once, but it was hard. I babied those plants to get them to grow big fast for my display gardens. Hosta are more like trees than plants – the larger ones take 10 years or so to develop their mature characteristics and full size.
            Sure was a pretty salad…but quite bland, taste-wise.

    • Hi Plant Lady

      I hear you about figuring out how much land is required to grow and feed X amount of adults, I had the same issues you did about the books, nothing seems to really work well, and yes, it did seem that this one said that, and that one said that..

      So what I finally did was figure out how many calories was needed per day per person based on age, time of year and energy required for workload.

      Then I took that and started tracking basic amounts produce in gardens, barn critters etc.. plus wild forage locally within walking distance or riding distance. The amount being able to hauled home includes what can be added an packed out with either the hounds and or pack sheep or pack cow as needed. Example I know where there are a couple apple tree’s that produce alot of apples, these tree’s fruit is large but not pleasent in taste overall, but good for pecton and vinager use but mainly really good finishing food for the pig before fall slaughter or can be used for longer storage food for chicken flock etc.

      Anyway, then I started tracking the amount used for canned, dried and produced on the farm vs what has been bought, and figured out the difference.. this gives me a much better understanding of what we need for our farm and our family, vs what the books or websites say..

      If you have the time and the energy, its worth giving this a try for your family and needs, It was and continues to be a eye opener in what produces the most calories on the farm.

      If you have to move to wider spaced dry land gardening it makes the amount of land required even more, and I totally understand you about making your hedgerows in plantings of things that can be used to help feed you.

      I don’t know your area at all, but I bought some things but in alot of cases I would find the adult version, haul in some well rotted compost and would dig out a couple babies, filling in the holes with the compost, its a double win, I get the baby bushes, plants or tree’s to move to the farm, and it means that the adults tend to produce really well for the next couple season’s because they got a bump from the compost, which means I get better crops when I got back to wild forage.

      As always enjoy reading your posts!

      • Plant Lady says:

        FarmGal: I was afraid that it was going to take actual experience to truly figure it out (hehe). Not sure I am going to have time to track our needs (with everything looking so grim)…would you care to share an overview of what you plant and how many feet of each you plant to sort of give me (and everyone else here) a headstart? So I can tell if I am in the ballpark when doing my calculations? I know you said your garden is about an acre, and you harvested about 2,000 lbs. of food, didn’t you? Do you think that would be enough land to feed your family from harvest to harvest, with enough to set by for bad years, or do you plan to expand? The gift of your actual experience would be invaluable in my quest to figure this out without my head exploding (hehe).
        We are truly blessed in our land – it is amazing with huge old sugar maples up to 11′ around, white oak, white pines and hemlock up to 9′ around, white birch and beech over 3′ around with a lush, jungle-like understory. It is full of wonderful things to eat: fiddlehead, morels, beefsteaks, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, pin & choke cherries, elderberries, serviceberries (amelanchier canadensis), rogue asparagus, cattail (the swiss army knife of plants), acorns, beechnuts (to fatten pigs), and all carpeted in wintergreen. Sugar maples for syrup, birch sap for beer, pine needles for scurvy-preventing teas, ginseng for everything, slippery elm for coughs, cedar for posts, ash for handles, hardwood & softwood for lumber, willow, cattail, sweetflag, grapevines & spruce roots for basketweaving. It is a true paradise. Even if we couldn’t garden, I think we could make it on wild foods and wildlife, along with the trout/salmon river just down the road. Would feel better if we had at least 40 acres instead of only 23, but other than that, it is perfect.
        We don’t ever have to worry about dry land farming – unless the entire climate changes! There are two creeks running through the property with associated wetlands, a 66’x54’x25′ deep pond 100′ in front of the house, another pond and the artesian (flowing naturally) well at the other end of the property…an embarrassment of riches! For the garden, as I am building the raised beds I am also terracing down toward the low spot on the inside curve of the L-shaped garden. There is a moderate natural pond just inside the treeline there – which will be real handy for watering the garden when tshtf. Going to be an awful lot of shovel work to do it right, but the results will be worth it!
        On the subject of raised beds – I have been using them for over 30 years now. Never could afford to “build” raised beds…I just mound up the dirt, add compost and leafmould, level the top and press the head of a rake firmly against the sides at an angle, creating a slope. Sure, you have to rake the sides up occasionally – but you really don’t “need” anything to contain the dirt.

        “It was and continues to be a eye opener in what produces the most calories on the farm.”
        I am guessing the pigs? The more fat, the more calories? Unless you have a big field of sunflower or other oilseeds? Enough fat is going to be hard to come by when tshtf. Sure hope I can get some pigs this year! Ok, I give up…please tell us?
        I look forward to all your posts…you are where I want to be. Sure wish you lived just down the road – could save me (and the future livestock) a lot of “learning experiences” (mistakes)…hehe.

        • Morning

          First, wow, I love the sound of your land, amazing, I really wish I was lucky enough to have something like that, I have to go off the farm and out into the local area for a number of the things you are talking about, I think you did an amazing job finding your “spot”, wonderful news about the water as well, I have a number of water resources on the farm itself but still choose most of the time to dry land garden as I want to save seeds for future gens that thrive in our natural climate.

          Hate to say it again but having a farm book and tracking down what you plant, what you grow and what does good/bad or just plain fails matters in tracking things from year to year in the gardens, just as having a number of different garden spots spread across the farm itself makes a great deal of sense as well and yes will continue to learn how to get more from what I do plant and will continue to expand the gardens for the overall food production.

          The typical things I planted and harvested last year for a family of two, not including critter food grown in the garden was: Beans-46 pds Cucumbers-58 pds Zucchini- 22 pds Acorn Squash-22 pds, Butternut Squash- 68 pds, Potatoes-268 pds (not including the ones harvested early) Tomatoes-311 pds, Storing Onions- 36 pds.Green onions- 22 pds horseradish-8 pds Kale-12 pds Collard Greens- 17 pds Kohlrabi- 8 pds Green’s salad mix- 26 pds Romane-11 pds Broccoli- 33 pds Asparagus- 24 pds Peppers-98 pds Pea’s- 5 pds Pumpkin- 60 pds Muskmelon-10 pds Watermelons- 18 pds Carrots- 44pds Beets-61 pds Radishes-11 pds Corn- 52 pds on the cob Cabbage 38 pds Turnips -37 pds

          Now that does not include fruits or forage and I will point out that it was a bad garden year overall (was gone for a month to help mom, right at planting time), some things were really off with the heavy spring rains, some thing had to be replanted a number of times, but what I plant is what my family will eat and that is very important, no point in planting the extra’s if push come to shove,

          If I was in a true calorie push only, I would be planting heavy on potatos, Carrots, beets, turnips, corn, pumpkin and winter squash, onions, garlic, horseradish, but you have to also plant some of the really fast growing things to start you out in the spring like radish’s unless you forage for your fresh spring greens. I want to get to the point of a take home amount of 3000 pds from the garden, plus a 1000 pds of fruits, plus a min of 1000 pds of meat (finished, not live weight), plus milk an eggs

          Don’t forget to that 2000 pds of finished product food, I gave about 600 pds more from that garden to the critters that didn’t meet the perfect for perserving or fresh eating requirements, nor do those counts go for critter feed, I can’t afford to give land space for grains so I grow root crops instead in regards to the barn critters. So on top of that, I produced just over a thousand pds of meat, along with milk and that amazing high calorie food that makes up such a huge part of the calories produced for its size… Eggs! Chicken Eggs, Duck eggs, Turkey eggs, pigeon an Qauil eggs..

          I have carefully tracked how much each sheep, pig or chicken needs overall and I would have to cut down the amount of producing adults on the farm if I had to grow everything required to care them over the winter all by myself, but it would still give me enough to feed my own family and leave me with barter, not as much as I have now but still enough that I would have things to offer in trade.
          Fats is a consideration for me as well, but I am very pleased to see just how much tallow I can get per lamb, how much duck fat per bird, and then add in the pig, and I am doing fine for the family needs in regards to fat per year, (still it would be hard to get the pig breed afterwards, unless I expand that breeding program) so would count more on the sheep/ducks but I have also added in nut tree’s to have nut oil as well in the picture, plus the eggs again have wonderful required fat for the diet.

          I hear you on the raised beds, because it works in my climate, and with my small farming style, I am making and using Hugelbeet method.

          Now having said all the above, I still don’t have a way to give you what you asked for, I can’t say, plant x amount of potato’s in this many rows to produce this, and that’s because there are way to many factors to do so, what kind of potato’s are you planting (it can effect the possable output by 50%), what is your soil like, what is the season like and the list goes on.. For that, you will have to the work yourself for what works on your farm and your average over 5 years results to get a good idea of what you can produce for your family..

          Yes, Cat, I am currently in ontario, Canada.

          • Plant Lady says:

            FarmGal: We looked over the entire northeast quadrant of our state for seven years trying to find our perfect spot. Then my grandparents took pity on us and sold us this place on a private reverse-mortgage deal. Ideal location, as my other grandparents had lived just a mile down the road. My mom’s side of the family has been here for 8 generations and my dad’s for 6…that makes a big difference out here in the boonies. I am related to a high percentage of the population and know most that aren’t kin. That will make a huge difference when tshtf – just knowing folks, their strengths & weaknesses, who is reliable and who isn’t will make it easier for everyone to work together.
            I do have detailed garden journals going back to 1981…but not much use for food production guidelines as they deal mostly with ornamentals. But it does show how much of what I grew for fresh eating, that underplanting greens in just one bed of peas gave me enough for us and a half-bushel a week for the Meals on Wheels program and what the weather conditions have been over the past (gulp) 30 years. Recordkeeping is of vital importance in any gardening or livestock endeavor – memory fades so easily. I use the calendar as my daily record, marking down the weather, how many eggs harvested from each breed, what bloomed or ripened or was harvested or preserved. Then when I get a minute I copy it into the journal, in greater detail.
            And thank you so much for the detailed info on what you grow and how much, and how much you are aiming for. That lets me know that the seemingly outlandish numbers I was coming up with are “in the ballpark” at least. That is exactly what I needed to know. My math is always suspect, but when I kept coming up with a need for 350′ of tomatoes, a 1,000′ of dry beans per person and the like it sort of made me wonder. Wow…sure am glad we do have room to expand!
            And trying to figure out how much you need for livestock is a real trick when you don’t have any yet, aside from the chickens! (hehe) I really need a granary – a big one. Right now, just for the chickens I have two 55-gal. food-grade barrels and each will hold five 50-lb. bags. I use one for feed and one for scratch. I also have ten 30-gal. galvanized trash cans…I use 4 for feed, 3 for scratch and 3 for black sunflower seeds. The 24 chickens I have go through about 1/2 to 3/4 bag of crumble a week, depending on the weather. To be safe, I am counting on a bag a week. So presently only have room to store enough crumble to last them 9-18 weeks – and that is not nearly enough! Especially as we really need at least 100 chickens. And then there are the goats and pigs…oh my. I do plan on planting extra squash, pumpkins, beets, carrots and cabbage and the like to store for winter food…Gramps said they used those all the time.
            Gosh, I am hoping those stuck in the cities and suburbs are reading this thread and coming to the realization that they gotta get out of there now. It takes years of practice to figure all this stuff out and get your infrastructure, plants and livestock in place!

            • Hi Plant Lady-
              As always, I am in awe of your level of organization and expertise. Yes, some of us non-rural inhabitants are aware of the need to leave. For the most part, this is not only not possible, however… the majority would have no clue how to even begin taking care of themselves and their families and are perhaps (gasp!) better off throwing themselves at the mercy of whatever gov’t remaining in the coming tribulations. At least they would be far enough away not to be a danger to those already out there.
              My husband and I come from a long line of farmers and self-reliant old-world craftsmen; a line however, that was cut off at our parents. Neither of our sets of parents farmed or had any practical knowledge outside of the ability to turn on an electric stove and boil water from a tap; they all had jobs and careers outside the home and scorned practical skills. As a result, we were both raised in large part by our grandparents, all of whom lived through the Great Depression and were determined that their grandchildren, at least would not suffer if bad times were to return again. We absorbed our grandparents’ knowledge and attitudes about the impractical and wasteful lifestyles of our parents, and so grew up knowing the difference. Though my husband and I differ widely on our outlooks on life (he is among the worst of wasteful consumers, I among the least), his choice is a result of the conclusion that there is nothing we can do to prevent what is coming – the damage is irreversible and so why do with less now… he is not unaware of what is coming, nor is he without useful skills that will be necessary when and if. Since I was 8 or 9, I have been obsessed with learning how to do what I can from scratch – i.e. the way things were done 100 years ago, when our great-grandparents were young, and have taken great pleasure in each new skill I’ve accomplished. When I tally what I can do that most would find weird, antiquated, there is a surprisingly long list. Outside of this blog, I don’t know anyone else with the same kinds of passions – didn’t even know other people like me existed. It has been an honor to have found this place, and I’ve been very excited with each new discovery as directed by folks’ posts here. This is an amazing place.
              Unfortunately, we are for the next year or so unable to move, but as soon as my tenure-track position kicks in next spring (probably March 2013), our house is up for sale and we have a family homestead belonging to one of my husband’s elderly relatives lined up to purchase at market value. We are looking forward to the move, which has been funded in part by his grandfather, who is pleased that the property will remain in the family.
              We are very fortunate to be able to have found career positions in a location where our families have roots and arable land available for us at the same time. You cannot overestimate the value of being known in a place when things get tight. Going there, where my husband is related to 3/4 of the people in a 20-mile radius where there are families who have been friends with his for hundreds of years… well, that’s really important. My biggest concern is the distance from our work and the poor quality of the schools where the farm is for our boys; the community there has few resources and the schools show it. The lack of opportunity for jobs has driven almost all of the young people out of the area, and those that are left often have to rely on the dole to make ends meet… not enough gumption or motivation to farm worn-out land, no factories to work in, and the schools and road departments can only employ so many (and most of these jobs are occupied by our immediate family!). We will have a 45 minute drive each way, but fortunately we can commute together to save on fuel, and my 11-year old jeep is about ready to hand down to our eldest son… I think I’m going to try and find a hybrid I can live with. We’ll see. The jeep doesn’t look that bad…
              In a SHTF situation, that 45 minutes to the nearest city is a welcome buffer from the Citiots. The rest we’ll just have to work out when we get there.
              In the meantime, we are painting, repairing little things, and in general, getting our lovely 50-year old Cape Cod ready to sell. I will miss this place… but know that it is for the best, and we can start making the old farmhouse our forever home. And begin on a new, much different life.

      • Plant Lady says:

        Thanks, Gayle! That is where I started. Was hoping to find one of those “special” deals somewhere…the ones I always seem to find two weeks after a large purchase (sigh). Most places seem to have a place to enter a coupon code, but darned if I can find a single coupon!

        • Plant Lady,

          Google the name of the store and “coupon code” (in quotation marks). If there’s a code out for that store, the search will bring it up. I always do a search before I buy anything online. I can usually save 15 to 20 percent.

    • Plant Lady,
      We need a cellar also. We have a high water table. Are you talking about using earth bags above ground to simulate a cellar? Mother Earth News has some articles in their archives.

      I buy seed in bulk instead of packets. I don’t think the Gurneys deal is that great either. I stopped ordering from them years ago. Mountain Valley Seed http://www.mvseed.com has great seed and prices. I have 5-7 years of heirloom and hybrid seed stored, and rotate it every year. I still grow alot of hybrids because some just grow better here at our high altitude.
      As to your dilemma with growing all your own food. I took the 100 mile locavore food challenge two years ago. I ate nothing that didn’t grow on my own farm or out of the 100 mile barrier. I thought I would die from banana, citrus, and coffee withdrawl. I would sell my eyeteeth for a cold crisp fresh apple in July. Eating in season and local is a great way to start you new SHTF lifestyle.
      It made me realize how important it is not to depend only what I can grow, but develop relationships and look towards a sustainable community. I know I grow enough fruit and veggies for 8 people for a year. I do that already and then some on a 2 acre garden. Well, 5 acres for herbs, medicinal and culinary, veggies, fruit, grass fed pork, poultry, and a little grass for dairy.
      I can not imagine how to really manage large domestic meat animals, their feed in the winter, oils for human consumption besides lards, grains, other proteins such as growing enough drying beans to sustain us for a year.
      No matter how you figure it, without fuel, our diets will change more dramatically than most realize.
      P.S. I get bags of leftover fresh green sunflower sprouts from a nearby business for my poultry. Boy, they sure do freak out! The girls always like a fresh green treat in the cold months. I also make them 5 gallon buckets of warm oatmeal on the below zero mornings. I know, spoiled.

      • Plant Lady says:

        Mama J:
        Please, oh please, my plea to FarmGal goes out to you, also! Can you please tell us what you grow and how many feet of each crop (or how many plants) to give the rest of us the benefit of your experience, so we have a better chance to thrive, rather than just survive? Would be greatly appreciated!
        Trying to decide what to grow and how much is so complicated! Your first instinct in to grow veggies, then you soon realize that they just don’t provide nearly enough nutritional value, so you have to turn to grains, beans/legumes, oilseeds (sunflower, etc.) and lots of livestock. I about stroked out when I found out that you only get about 8 lbs. of shell beans (for drying) per 100′ row (80 lbs. per 1,000 row). Since the LDS church recommends 5 lbs. of beans per person per month…that is 60 lbs. of beans for one person per year (or nearly ten 100′ rows per person). Was really an eye opener when I started figuring this out! We are so lucky to have enough land to make it work out for us…but sure makes me worry about those with less (or – gasp – no land)!
        We have some higher ridges – just barely high enough and dry enough – to have the root cellars mostly below ground. We want to use earth bags for ease of building, far lower cost and permanence (they don’t rot like wood). Also provide some ballistic shelter…that could come in real handy!
        “I thought I would die from banana, citrus, and coffee withdrawl”. Wow, you have my admiration for doing the localvore challenge. I thought real hard about it…but then decided why deprive myself now? But every bite of non-local food that goes in my mouth is savoured all the more, as it is in the front of my mind that this may be the last I ever see. This helped me “aim” my food storage to use what little money and storage space we have to stock up on non-local things rather than things I can grow here. Here, we can’t grow tropicals – outside at least…so part of one of the seed/plant orders are coffee, tea, orange, lime, lemon and banana plants for growing indoors I figure I can later trade for all the gold I want if I can supply others with caffeine (hehe).
        And we will definitely have to depend on our neighbors to survive – we can’t possibly grow enough of a variety of food and gain enough skills to “do it all ourselves”. That was a big part of my planning. I looked around and no one within 8 miles had an orchard, just one or two trees here and there. My dad’s parents had a nice apple orchard about 1 mile down the road, but after they died it was neglected to near death. From an orchard, we can get fruit, soft & hard cider, wine, vinegar (for preserving food and cleaning), animal feed, fruitwood for smoking food and furniture building for ourselves and to trade with our neighbors. It will also bring in wildlife we can harvest for meat. The hard cider and wine will be high-value trade goods and will bring folks here to trade – forming the basis of our trading post. And once the rule of law evaporates, can add distilled spirits for disinfection and a wee dram now and again…and even higher value trade goods. Another lack in the area is herbs – flavoring and medicinal, and the knowledge of their uses. And since I already have a lot growing naturally and cultivated, just gonna plant more. Then I can supply my sister’s “clinic” that will be part of the trading post and trade the extra to the neighbors.
        But I have noticed, once you get to a certain point in your planning, things start to mesh into a cycle, where everything sort of starts working together.

        • I second Plant Lady’s request. I would love to hear how much of what you all plant.

        • Plant Lady,
          Ohhhh K….A big request, but I am up to the challenge. it’s either that or clean. So I’ll type. Let me get a cup of coffee first. Please excuse any typos, I’ll try to be careful.
          I too am wowed by the diversity of your property! It sounds so amazing.
          I have often thought to leave my beloved mountains for a better growing climate. Every time I leave, I always find my way home.
          I have not gone so far as Farmgal (who is my hero, btw) to look at calories/protein/fat intake vs. output. I am certainly not as gifted at animal husbandry and documenting the incredible amounts of information that she does. After carefully reading your previous posts I can say that I do grow quite a bit more in volume.
          I plant every square inch of available soil because I love it. I can see what I grow in my minds eye and can remember how well it did, or beautiful it was, how my whole face exploded with joy when I ate it.
          It would be interesting to look at our numbers. I find myself thinking in terms of x lbs. of green beans will yield x amount of finished quarts. One 60 ft row will yield 3 pickings of 200 lbs. I get distracted by the lavender morning glory growing in the beans that took my breath away. I adore the huge 12 ft Mammoth Grey sunflowers with 10 lbs heads so heavy they want to fall over. I know that two of those will happily feed the small coop of hens for a day with some fluffy alfalfa in the winter.
          I plant as much as I can fit, change it up for soil conditions, have fun, work smart, not hard. I weed a little as possible by used copious amounts of commercial weed barrier and mowing in between rows. Sometimes heavy compost. I till very little as I believe it damages the soil. I use bio char to invite healthy micro organisms to thrive. I collect leaves and layer in manure to cook in the winter. I am challenged by alkaline soil, short growing season, cool nights average even in July is 50 degrees or cooler. But still, I can successfully grow 400 tomatoes plants even though they rarely ripen in large amounts before the first frost. I gather green, spread them out in the greenhouse and pick the ripened ones daily to turn into salsa, sauces and soups.
          This is what is in my mind from last year.
          Green Beans (2 lbs of seed ) 540 ft in rows~350 quarts. Sold bulk+ animal food.
          Corn 2lbs, pumpkins 2lbs and cucumbers 1lb planted together. ¼ acre. 80 quarts corn, 420+ pumpkins, most sold (fall cash crop) leftovers fed to animals after seeds harvested. Cucumbers 60 quarts pickles, 220 pts relishes, sold bulk pickling. Tomatoes, 6 species, 400 plants, 200 qt. salsa, 300 sauce, 70 pts soup. Dehydrated for months. Pulp to animals.
          Peppers, 10 species, 200+plants. They were frozen, dehydrated, put in salsa. Don’t know how many lbs. A LOT! Eggplant, 50 plants. Beets 3 lb of seed. Mostly used for animal fodder. Carrots 1200 ft rows.The harvest is extended. 100 qts canned, but alot of fresh eaten. Onions, 100ish lbs. But we used 200 lbs. Garlic 200 heads. Potatoes, not too many. Friend grows commercially. Broccoli 40 plants, 100 quarts frozen. Sometimes plant more. Cauliflower, not a lot. Takes too much space for yield. Kohlrabi. Peas, sugar snap and shelling. 500 ft rows. Most never make it in the house. LOL. Winter squash, hubbard, spaghetti, acorn, butternut, banana.
          Watermelons, cantaloupe, other melons do not do well here, too cool. They are small but tasty. Zucchini, Summer Squash, only four plants each. Even the chickens get tired of eating it.
          Strawberries, 300 plants, Asparagus 200 plants, Raspberries, Blackberries, Currants used on fence lines. Wolfberries, chokecherry, elderberry, buffaloberry. Wildroses for rosehips. All of the culinary and most medicinal herbs that grow here. 100’s of lbs harvested, frozen or dried.
          Sunflowers 3 lbs of seed. ¼ acre. Winter chicken food., snacks, beauty.
          Immature apple, pear, peach, cherry, plum, almond, chestnut trees. Not a lot yet.
          Learning Mycology. Successfully begged Royal Oyster, Shaggy Manes and Shitakes into producing. Not much yield yet. This year will tell. Mushrooms are like cats, nobody owns one. But, we wild harvest 30-50 lbs on wet years. One my favorite things to do.
          Kale, Chards, Spinach, Corn Mache, Lettuce blends, cabbages, all year. Many I am sure I have missed, like the fun new or weird stuff. Indian Corn is fun one. A surprise in every ear. Makes good corn meal. But ugly cornbread.
          We have more eggs than we can eat. 120-180 butcher chickens, 4-6 turkeys. 4 pigs, 1 steer. Our red meat is supplemented with at least 2 elk, one year we had 4 bull elk down, I thought I would expire before it was all processed. 2-3 deer, ducks, geese (yuck, flying livers). We had and will have again a dairy cow, when the fences are re built. I buy 40 gallons of honey from a friend, yearly. Will get my own bees next year.
          I can’t give you solid numbers as Farmgal mentioned earlier,. too many variables.
          I know that for the last 10 years, we can provide enough food to feed my immediate and expended (grown) family a weekly vegetable allowance. Plus have 200-400 quarts to spare for preps and barter.
          Last year we had 4 families who grew and took hundreds of pounds of produce home.
          We live one property from a 400 acre organic wheat farmer.
          I live one property from an 1000 acre dryland alfalfa farmer.
          I live a few miles from some of the most productive dry land bean and sunflower country in the state.
          I live close to a sunflower oil plant. Which also produces bio diesel.
          I live with two miles of an orchard of approx. 8000 peach, 5000 apple, 1000 cherry, and 1000 apricot trees. Four mature vineyards. All good friends and neighbors.
          I buy a calf in the spring from a neighbor who keeps it with his herd, I pay $20.00 monthly pasture until we butcher. We could keep him here, but they get lonely.
          So you see, our extended community is vital to our survival. Without fuel those important crops can not be harvested. So most everything that I purchase and barter from neighbors will possibly be lost unless they survive and have the wither all to turn to animal power.
          Make no mistake, Our diets will change when SHTF. I think of the Bullock family and tenants in the book “A World Made by Hand” , it sounds ideal, but it is a huge operation. A village.

          • Oh my goodness, Mama J, and I was thinking that my backyard garden was big. LOL. Sounds like you have an amazing set up and it is great that you have the neighbors who you work with too.
            What kind of currants do you have? I have been really wanting a currant bush for a while now. My grandmother use to make this amazing currant jelly until her bush died and I have been wanting some. I have looked online but havent found a lot of places who carry currant bushes, and I am leery of buying from an unknown vender. I was about to give in and go thru Burpee until I found out they are affiliated (I think owned by) with monsanto and I am doing my best to keep my money away from them.

            • TG,
              I buy a native Golden Currant from the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery. They distribute and sell seedling trees and shrubs through local Conservation Districts. 86 species this year. Bare root, in quanities of 50 and potted in quanities of 30. So, you better be ready to plant alot!
              Check your state and local district to see if they have the same program.
              BOO to Monsatan! Good job for not buying through them.

            • Mama J, they do have something like that here, but with trees. I will have to check local nurseries and see if someone can order them for me. From what I have been reading they are hard to grow here because they need that cold dormant period, still I am determined to try.

          • Hi Mama J

            Can I ask how many folks you are growing for? Adults, children, nursing moms etc, plus the size of the land in current production in regards to gardens/soft or hard fruit?

            Great set up you have, and loved reading about you account, sound like you are in a very fertile area in regards to farming, but I do understand your point clearly about without machines it would be hard to continue to produce and harvest the size, let alone plant some of those lands without a steep learning curve and many extra hands.

            That is one of the perks (sometimes it does not seem like it) that we do the farm without machines, using draft and huamn power only, it means that we don’t have a switch over to make and we are doing that learning curve now..

            Given that there was no garden or even a flower bed on this place (just pasture), its come along way in the past seven years, I will admit to drooling a bit at the idea of getting a place that had been worked with gardens/fruit etc in mind for many years or generations, I try and see what my place would be like in 30 years and just can’t quite get there..

            I quite admire that you find the time to plant every extra spare spot, I would love to say that I am there but so not, I have lots of land yet that is very under-used in so many different ways but there is only so many hours in the day!

            • Mama J and Farmgal,

              I think you guys are awesome for the planting and harvesting you get done. It’s just amazing.

            • Farmgal,
              We have 6 adults (including teens), no nursing mothers, and two children in our family now. Our current growing area is 5 acres of veggie, herb, gardens and fruit trees. 23 acres in pasture that has recently been reseeded. Half in dry land and half in irrigated pasture mixes. We reclaimed some high alkaline and swampy areas by diverting runoff and surface water from neighbors over irrigating.

              The only machinery I use is a lawn tractor and pull behind wagon! I have a small tiller and a tractor, but we use it more to plow snow and dig fence posts than for gardening. We till very little and only to repair soil. It stays parked most of time.
              We have only been on this property for 10 years, It was a junk heap that we bought cheaply basically for the water rights and location. We hauled off 12 trailer loads of scrap, and had to scrape the layers of cans, cigarette butts and garbage off the top layer of soil. It had a house and 3 small storage sheds, so I know what it is to start from nothing! The first year we planted a garden that I flood irrigated with a shovel. We planted 400 seedling trees and shrubs, that I watered with buckets. The next year everything was dug up putting in an irrigation system with risers, drip and gated pipe. My fingers were stained blue/purple all summer from pvc primer and glue.

              The secret to having time to plant in every nook and cranny is…. lots of help. We have a working farm where folks come to learn to grow. Like a small working CSA. My whole family is expected to work, so On a weekend I may have as many as 20 people working here. I have had interns come to work for experience and free rent. Some really sweet hardworking college age kids with great references.
              Also Farmgal, I do not have the livestock that you have! I stay lean as possible in the winter on chickens and we don’t keep any livestock right now. We will get pigs again this spring and wont replace our dairy cow until next year when the fences are replaced. Like I said earlier, our yearly steer lives across the road.

              You have inspired me to take my food production records seriously and learn to really look at what we can produce and improve. Time to pull my head out of the clouds and get serious! I need to teach my people more than how to grow a tomato and can green beans. I asked my DH to move our scales to the garden sink where I clean so I can start weighing harvest. Counting calories. Ug, I hate calorie counting!
              Thank you for sharing your wisdom and I can’t wait to hear more about how the recipes are coming!

            • Hi Mama J

              Thanks for the reply on the size, and I love that the key is lots of help, something I dearly lack, its just me full time and hubby part time (he works off the farm 12 hours a day 4 to 5 days a week, plus sometimes gone for week plus at a time for work travel)

              Interesting to hear that you clearly like having and use the idea of a teaching garden to your advantge, how do you screen who gets to come and how do they find you?

              I am so private I can’t see myself doing this but the idea is a interesting one.

          • mama j, that is incredible…amazing stuff…

          • Plant Lady says:

            Mama J: Bless your heart – THANK YOU!!! You answered the question I really meant to ask…can I grow enough food on our 4 open acres! Looks like we will need at least 5 acres, so sending hubby and BIL out this weekend with the chainsaws to expand the garden to the east along the road frontage. 30 years ago, before we bought the place, that area was a bean field…except where the two creeks merge then flow through a culvert under the road. Now it is thick young forest, with white pines a foot thick. But definitely reclaimable – should be able to gain more than 1//2 to 3/4 acre there. And expand the garden to the north 180’x70′- just a few trees there but lots of brush. Had set that area aside in my mind for the male goats – they will just have to move over some. Will have to get someone in with a dozer to remove the stumps – and some others we have here and there…while we still can. Digging out stumps by hand is hard, miserable work!
            You sure sound like you enjoy gardening like I do! There is nothing I would rather do than garden…a darn good thing! I am going to have to bite the bullet and spend some of MILs money to hire help for her this year so I have more time to get things set up properly here.
            And you are SO CLEVER to have thought up getting apprentices! What a GREAT IDEA! Good for you, with extra laborers…and great for them, to learn by doing. Please, oh, please…sometime could you tell us lots more about just how that works? I had thought about adopting a Boy Scout and Girl Scout troop and/or the FFA, or start a 4-H garden group…but with MIL here just not possible right now.
            The information on how much you grow and how much seed you plant is invaluable! Lets me know I am on the right track with ordering enough seed…it just seemed like so much when I was trying to figure things out.
            I truly can’t thank you and farmgal enough for sharing this information! I will sleep much better now, knowing we do have enough land for our needs.
            I want to talk more about some other things you wrote…will be back later today. Have to get outside and tend my chickens before MIL wakes up!

            • Hi Ladies,
              The apprentice idea fell into my lap when I met a sweet young lady who was living in her van for the summer. She was an earth muffiny free spirit. Clean, very polite and one year away from her Masters. I was selling soap and flowers at a Rennisance Faire.
              After to taking to her for awhile, I jumped over the edge and asked her if she would be interested in some temporary work for the summer. It would be all she should eat. Free rent. She stayed in her camper van. Utilities. Of course we live next to some of the best outdoor recreation Colorado has to offer, so she could explore on her free time.
              I asked her for 10 references. Half being teachers, and they were all glowing. She worked hard, was gone on her days off. She got along great with everyone. We are still in contact and she has helped develop some community gardens and is looking at buying her own property soon in a different state.
              Kids returning from the Peace Corp are candidates. Horticultural students. Some I have politely declined because they had a few issues, but most that come to me are fine. We have a non profit co op so we can get Master Gardeners to come do work for part of their tuition through the County Extension Service.

              I don’t reccommend letting them stay in your house. A guest quarters, or camper with shower and cooking. Etc. Everyone is more comfortable when they have their own space. We are looking at a Yurt for our students.
              My hubby works long hours every week also. And sometimes out of town. So I hold down the fort.

              Plant Lady, I would leave some of those stumps. Use them for a nice resting place if they are big. Set a birdhouse on the ones that aren’t, and plant around them.
              I will be online for another couple of weeks until I go out to start work again. I will be happy to share anything I know with everyone and look forward to hearing more on how I am improve my work also.

              Gayle and Chloe,
              Thank you!

              A couple more things that I can highly reccommend….
              Work with Nature, not against it.
              Something that my wonderful wise hubby says all the time. “If you don’t take the time to set it up and make it easy to do or use… You aren’t going to do it.” ” Or, you will do it and not like it.”
              He is so right. Miserable work is, just miserable. I don’t like to be miserable.
              I like happy dancing in pumpkin patch, for no reason. I like admiring raindows in the sprinklers. I like playing hide and seek in the corn with little kids , making them squeal with happy fright. Listening to frogs sing at night. The smell of fresh cut grass. That is farming.

    • conmaze (nofla) says:

      Plant lady, I have a dehydrator but not the Excalibur. I’m happy with what I have and have been using it a lot lately, but I want to make a suggestion here….For probably about the same as you would spend on a new Excalibur, try looking at the Global Sun Oven. They have dehydrating racks as an accessory. I have the oven but not the racks….yet. They are on my wishlist. You could kill two birds here. I love, love, love the oven!

      • Plant Lady says:

        commaze: I thought about one of those real hard…then, since we live near the Canadian border and have our own forest, I bought a Kitchen Queen wood cookstove! The sun isn’t something we can depend on this far north, especially this time of year. I will probably end up with one for summer use…my BIL (aka The Wizard) has some ideas germinating using old big satellite dishes that move to track a satellite..says he can make them track the sun instead.
        But right now, while caring for MIL, I need something that will work indoors because I can’t leave her alone indoors even for a moment unless she is sound asleep in her bed. I really need to ramp up my food storage as quickly as possible. And after finding out roughly the volume of food we will need, realized there just isn’t enough room in the house to store everything by canning, so dehydrating is definitely the way to go. So need the biggest dehydrator possible to fit our needs now, and something MUCH larger for when tshtf – especially with the big orchard we just planted (that I will be adding to this year). For that situation, I am looking at building something along these lines:
        Except I would never use plywood in the construction – the glues they use to make it are lethal and heat will cause it to offgas even faster. With 19 acres of forest, will have plenty of fuel to feed it.
        Hey, I want to talk to you about your new Simple Pump…that is next in line for a major purpose. Tell me everything, please?

        • conmaze (nofla) says:

          Plant Lady: Sounds like the big Excalibur is the right choice for you under your circumstances. They are amazing machines. A friend of mine has the smaller one and loves it.

          This is the best way to tell you about the pump…they have their own website with information, pictures and installation instructions and also a video on youtube. It is http://www.simplepump.com and just search Simple Pump on youtube. Let me know what you think.

          You will need to have information for them to give you a quote: depth of well, static water level, depth of electric pump, size of the well (4″ or 6″). I was able to find out all of this through the county because pemits were pulled for mine in 2004. If you don’t have the records available, you may have to hire a well driller to get the info for you. I wound up having to hire a well driller to replace my well cap because of the way the electric came up out of the well cap. I had a really hard time finding a driller that would even talk to me because they all said it was impossible to put a hand pump on a deep well. Finally, on the sixth try I found someone and had to ask him to just listen to what I had to say before he told me it couldn’t be done. Once I finished explaining how it worked he was sooo excited and hung up and went directly to their website and called the owner of the company. By the way, they are a DREAM to work with. One of the salesmen called me at home one night and we talked for almost an hour! I’ve spoken to Gary, one of the owners, several times. Very nice people. I was anxious about spending that much money so I had a lot of questions. I sent them pictures of my well cap so they could see my set up just to make sure it would work. I placed a ruler on the pump for each photo so they could see how big the pipes were. It was a great purchase experience.

          It cost me about $1,700 for the pump and another $200 for the driller to come and rework my electric and put the new stainless steel well cap on. It’s a lot of money, but knowing I will always have water available and that I can just fill up the pressurized tank with the pump and then use all of my indoor plumbing, boy, that gives me a great sense of peace. And no lugging buckets of water. If I decide to move, it will be a great selling feature. Or I can take it out and take it with me to the next place. All I would need to do is get another well cap. They explained over the phone how to take the pump out and how much it would weigh while all of the pipes were full of water…83 pounds. But it would get lighter as each section of pipe is pulled up and disassemble. Will just need another helping hand and it will be doable.

          I work full time so only have partial weekends to work around the house. DM and DS are coming to visit this weekend so it will be yet another week before I have a chance to install the pump. I have a neighbor that is going to help me. Should only take a few hours. I will definitely report back with the results.

          And I can understand about your MIL and the restrictions it puts on you. I have the same thing at my home with my grandson. I have to constantly shadow him to keep him out of trouble. I have to do everything when he is sound asleep. When I need to get things done, I have to plan ahead and wake DD early to take him for a ride or shopping to get him out of the house for a few hours. She works midnights (police dispatcher) so she has to sleep during the day on the weekends. Hang in there and God bless you!

    • Hi MD… hope you feel stronger soon. Being sick is the worst for driven people!

      Back for a fly-through again before the semester gets truly crazy. Good to see almost everybody is still here, posting regularly. This blog is like the diner on the corner of Main Street where everyone gets together to talk and drink coffee. When you’ve gone away for a while to go to school or out of town on business, you come back again and the same people are still here, a little older, a little farther along in projects, but the same.
      I have been dealing with the same questions Plant Lady talks about this week. My boys are all growth spurting at the same time right now, even though two are still quite young (9 and 6, the oldest is 14)… it is giving me headaches trying to figure out how much I will need to grow to be self-sufficient. Add to that the need to produce at least $10K/year off acreage in order to qualify for the farm tax rate (and in our town, 11 acres + 4 bdrm home with barn = ~$14K/year taxes if only residential!)… it is almost enough to make us give up on our dream altogether. Haying the back fields will only bring in $2.5K, and the rest will have to be made logging. I hate the thought of losing trees to loggers, even though it opens up more land for future pasture and haying… I just love woodlands and the wild things (and the peace) they provide. I am angry at every raw log that goes by on the back of a flatbed.
      Guess it can’t be helped.
      Anyway… your calculations could be worse. Try calculating growing boys’ caloric needs! Locusts might be easier to predict.
      I love to read your posts. I am in Upstate NY.. I think you are in Canada? We have some of the same homesteading challenges, and approach them in similar ways, though you are much more advanced than I. Until we move next year, I am limited to my half acre suburban plot, with all of the zoning laws and ridiculous restrictions suburban life entails. So impractical… we aren’t even allowed to have a few chickens. I have to buy all of my compost for my garden. (Grrrr) I live vicariously through those of you with more practical abodes, and learn, plan, and build my binder.
      Thank you for posting and sharing your experiences!
      Glad to see you are all doing so well.
      Take care,

      • Plant Lady says:

        Cat: I envy you your kids…we were never blessed, but I have a herd of nieces and nephews from my 5 younger siblings. And only my youngest brother (with 3 kids) is doing any prepping, so will have quite a few that need to be fed. With so many younger sibs, I do know how kids eat and grow. Heck, the summer I turned 10 I grew 14 inches (to 5’9″) making me taller than all the adults at school, except for my great-aunt kindergarten teacher – she was 6′. One of my first instincts when starting prepping was to raid the nursing home to bring home a living store of knowledge and an orphanage for laborers (hehe)…and then I found out there aren’t any more orphanages! Bummer.
        My grandpa’s dad’s family moved here to Michigan from Sodus, NY (can’t get much more upstate than that) in 1852. Boy, with those nasty rules you have about what can be considered farm land and the tax rate, no wonder they moved!!! We don’t have any production amount rules as to what can be zoned agricultural and only pay about $1200/yr. in taxes on 23 acres and two small homes.
        Oh, so sorry you will have to cut trees! It is hard for me, too, even just for the woodstoves. And I won’t let anyone touch the big ones – so majestic, just can’t bear to do it! We have one grove of huge old hemlocks I call “the cathedral”, because it is just like one under them. Dark, quiet with soaring columns, richly scented like incense, carpeted with mosses…a serene place to go and just sit when troubled. I love my forest so much…pretty sure our Irish ancestors must have been Druids!
        Even here, until I get more livestock, I have to buy composted manure. Gosh, just for my ornamentals I was bringing in 4-6 tons a year! But I get it from one of my dad’s friends about 4 miles away for $25 a truckload (1/2 to 3/4 ton). Can also get it for free from one of my cousin’s who raise organic cattle, but his big piles are just getting good and rotted now…so it made more sense to leave it there, where he has a bobcat to turn it, until its ready.
        I think one very important thing to remember when trying to calculate how much food we will need is that no matter how we calculate – we should probably triple the calories needed. What we need now will have no relation to what we need once we are doing the hard physical labor needed to produce everything we need, all day, every day, no weekends or holidays off.

        • conmaze (nofla) says:

          Cat and Plant Lady, I grew up in between Sodus and Buffalo. Living through those “lake affect” winters bred prepping into you! We were not very wealthy so our yearly summer vacation was to go camping. Another good family activity that teaches important life skills. Of course, times were different back then. Actually, I moved back to the area in 2005 – 2008. Got homesick and had the need to be around real people and hills and real trees (not palms) and four seasons after spending 20 years in South Florida. (Sorry SoFla pack members!) I moved back to North Florida in 2008 to be closer to family due to a financial crisis (a Ponzi scheme) that wiped out almost everyone in my immediately family, including me. But other than NY’s outragous taxes, I wouldn’t think Michigan would be much better! lol I still like New York.

        • Plant Lady, thank you. We are blessed. We try to raise each boy to be an independently-thinking, productive individual, and so far, so good. All three are mathematically-inclined and like to build things… I can see engineering or architecture in their futures – but they have each found things to excel at outside of school, from music, to writing stories, to athetics… they amaze me every day, and I couldn’t be more hopeful for them and their futures. It is a privilege to be their mother.
          conmaze, we’ve considered moving, but life happens, and it looks like we are going to be staying. I know, the climate up here is strongly conducive to prepping – at least a few times a year, we have reason to use our preps and be thankful for them, and that is incentive enough to keep doing it, even when times are thin. The mountains and trees and countryside are so beautiful… but it is the climate that keeps it from getting too crowded, though I guess that’s another reason our taxes are so high! As spread out as people tend to be up here, with no real industries other than colleges and a few biotech companies that have sprung up out of the universities, there is little revenue to support the roads and other necessary infrastructure of civilization.
          There must be a better way.
          Have a good evening, All,

  51. Rob in Ontario says:

    Hope your all feeling better soon MD– not to much done here — picked up 525 rounds of .22 Blazer for about $22 – dollar store got 4 metal water travel containers 25fl oz some first aid bandages- travel emergency for the truck that has candles, matches, flare and 3 emerency blankets for $4 _ wal mart just opened up the new food area yesterday was impressed and renewed my Costco memebership its 1/2 mile down the street very handy- Lowes also goign to be built nearby – and a Hilton might apply for work there still not working much here– Wilderness where is this flea market you found with the lady selling the mylar bags ?

    • She is in the Courtice Flee Market, beside Bowmanville. Go in threw the main front doors, her stall is on the right opposite the doors.

      Shoot me an email and I will give you her email addy, will not do that here though.

  52. MD…hope you feel better soon…I know how the flu knocked me around at Christmas…took ages to get energy back…at least your body is making antibodies for next time…take it easy, and give your body time to fight the bug.

    Had a very busy week…shopping for food preps…and then getting it ready for storage…dehydrating more stuff…bananas, pears etc.

    bought so many more OTC meds..yes, more…
    and oil of cloves, tea tree oil, 8 packs of feminine hygiene pads for first aid backpacks,

    more canned fruit, condiments,

    heaps of cutlery from thrift shops, doonas,

    2 pairs of flannel sheets – new and still in packets from thrift shops…am going to make some reusable cloth feminine pads – will lay all 4 sheets over each other, pin them together…mark the top sheet with a sharpie, and then cut out a square area with about 18″ x 18″ – to make it easier to handle – and then use my overlocker to just run around the sharpie marks…( my DD bought 2 from the pharmacy) and as soon as she showed them to me, could see how easy it was to sew a heap…also bought some disposable nappies (no, DD not pregnant)…just $5 for 30 – still in packet…purchased the sole 2 packs.

    More stainless steel fry pans, serving utensils, 2 leather jackets (for SIL) that will go in his spare BOB’s that I keep filling here.

    1 pair of steel toed leather upper boots…and one pair of hiking boots…$2 each..not a typo..as new condition…and yet have so many boots already..however, if we get into same position as Greece…will be so good to be able to gift them to somebody in need.

    more small bags like toiletries bags with hanging hook, small backpacks etc for .50cents each…

    candles, more matches…

    24 cans propane and 1 burner camp stove.

    a compression bag (sea to summit) for .50cents – one of my good sleeping bags fit in it…it compressed down easily to a football size.

    heaps more 15 and 20 litre water bottles. (these are going to ‘plan b’ site tomorrow…and on my way back will call into town to get more wheat.

    a friend wanted me to show her what/how to buy preps…so, when she finished work today at 5pm (Sunday) we went to the only shopping centre here that is open on Sunday and we went through each aisle and I showed her useful items to get now…

    told me she had been having sleepless nights worrying about state of things…so, at least she has started…that is 2 friends in a couple of weeks…people are waking up.

    Had wheat berries 2 mornings this week…soaked them for 24 hours in fridge..then boiled…drained…topped off with sweetened condensed milk (don’t normally drink milk). Previously have waited for them to sprout and then added them to rolled oats – as extra roughage…

    Can definately see myself eating more of these wheat berries just on their own…and I am going to throw some of these soaked/cooked wheatberries in my blender – and then add the pureed berries to a pancake mixture…and see how they turn out…

    I have a little garden…and my 2 pumpkins are ready to be picked…pumpkin in store is $2.88 p/kgs…

    my basil has gone to seed…pineapple top going strong…as is the celery butt…tomato not so good…need to pick parsley and add to my crumbed steak mixture…

    guys…how I make my crumbed steak is…

    steak of your choice…and tenderize it if required… set it back in fridge…while you prepare your crumb mixture.

    in a large ziploc bag, add some breadcrumbs, salt pepper, lots of grated tasty and sharp/biting cheese, like parmesan or peccorino, lots of finely chopped fresh parsley, finely chopped garlic…zip bag closed, and shake well..

    in one flat plate – add one or more eggs (depends on how many steaks you are getting ready to crumb)…use fork/whisk to beat eggs…

    dip each steak into egg – make sure all of steak is covered on both sides…let excess egg drip back into beaten egg mixture –

    then throw steak into crumb mixture and press down well until all steak is covered…lay this now crumbed steak on another flat plate…keep going until all steak is crumbed.

    Add more egg/make more crumbed mixture if needed if still have steaks waiting to be crumbed.

    then place the flat plate with all your crumbed steaks – in a layered pattern – into fridge – uncovered for minimum 20 minutes – to allow crumb mixture to adhere fully to steak. If you don’t take this step, as soon as you cook your steak, the entire crumbed mixture will come off your steak…

    Can leave steak uncovered in fridge all day if needed…
    heat up a cast iron skillet…get it hot…add your favorite oil (I always use extra virgin olive oil (for everything, whether cooking or salad dressings etc) – have oil hot, and then add steak – let crumb mixture get a golden colour, then turn over – you get the picture…

    (if you have any of this mixture left over…just place it in your freezer till needed – can use it to crumb eggplant, chicken etc).

    Any beaten egg left over…after all crumbed steak is cooked…let egg cook slowly and thinly…then place in fridge – add to a special fried rice you can cook up the following day for lunch etc.

    cheers …till next time…

    • Schatzie Ohio says:

      Chloe your steak recipe sounds like our country fried steak or what some people called chicken fried steak. Yum.

      Also, I have been thinking about this for a while and what I have read about your life and all the wisdom and comfort and support you give others makes me think you must be an angel.

      • s/ohio…that last sentence made me laugh out loud…and thank you for your kind words…

        and definately no angel…(let’s not stir up that troll further up the page).

        I have loved being able to just talk/share with other like-minded people/preppers.

        And am so enjoying getting to know the different personalities – and to see the sheer grit and courage they have on a day to day basis…all while dealing with homelessness, physical illness, loss of job/income/elderly parents/neighbours shooting pets, getting kids ready for uni, and the list goes on…

        but you get the picture. It really blows me away – and shows me that I have nothing to complain about.

        Just as we get older, and get knocked about a little by life…and get back up each time – gives one a different perspective on things…

        would not wish it on anyone…however…until one almost loses one’s life through illness, and then gets it back…they just can not understand how sweet life is everyday.

        That illness changed me so much – was the best thing that happened to me (I can say that now, years later – at the time was very difficult, on a daily basis – and yes this time, I do mean lack of money just to live and meet expenses – worked so hard) as the insight I have now is a direct result of that time and the years soon after.

        however…while am doing all my book work, I get to sit at my built-in desk in my caravan looking out onto bushland…westerly aspect – and such beautiful sunsets…I have wallabies that come into the cleared area every morning and late afternoon…they are about 30 feet away from me, but they don’t care…they have seen for the past few years I am not a threat to them…(maybe they see me as an odd looking cow) they just move around the mowed grass area until they slowly make their way into the paddock (with the real cows) and they are out of sight.

        The cows in the paddock will sit down in the hottest part of the day, in the shade, near the fence line closest to where I am – we watch each other…sometimes I think – are those cows wondering what that one cow (me) is doing in the fenced paddock…as they have their perspective of grazing and freely wandering about in 60 acres.

        Sometimes a great song will play on the radio…and it has a great beat..so I will grab my hand weights and work out – and if the next song is just as good..will continue till am stuffed…

        Or…sometimes the song prompts me to just dance around on the grass, with my arms outstretched…(just in case you are wondering…I don’t take drugs or anything…coffee is the strongest thing I have…) just living my life – now – I am the priority.

        I also watch the family of kookaburras that live here, and when the pale faced lorikeets arrive they call out to me to let me know the feeder tray is empty – I run out with the container of feed – and then when they are about to leave…they chatter just as they both fly off.

        some mornings I have hundreds of cockatoos arrive and wake me up with their noise…the treetops are covered in white patches.

        So, I take time to focus on the truly important things…and, that if all the wild creatures in the yard can just live and enjoy the day at a steady pace, then so can I, and I purposely slow myself down…and I have such peace in my life…and am very protective of that peace.

        And I have my health – until one loses their health, they don’t understand what a priceless treasure it is…so I know I am blessed, and give thanks daily for the ability to enjoy my life each day.

        However, that does not mean that I am not aware of the changes that are occuring all over the globe – that I don’t have a dummy-spit every now and then, that I don’t read the riot act to certain people when they need it.

        I just focus on what contributes to my well-being and happiness, and brush away anything that does not contribute a benefit (not talking money or material things) to my joy.

        and this afternoon spent 2 hours with my bookkeeper – having a fresh pair of eyes to to check that all my entries were correct and reconciled my bank statements…and earlier this morning was busy with prep stuff.

        so, in a nutshell, (hahaha) there you have it…

        • Oh Chloe,
          I love to read your posts. Especially the part about you dancing and twirling in the grass, when the mood strikes you. Why not! Keep your enthusiastic inner child alive and well at all times. Have more picnics! I love hearing about the birds and animals that seem so exotic and strange. What a small world we live in, that someone thousands of miles away can seem so close and so endearing to us. You are a blessing Chloe. Thank you.

          • mama j…yes, sometimes I feel such a wonderful peace and joy in my life…and I love getting back to my retreat – it is so peaceful, and the sky is so huge…and nice music on the radio…and I know I am completely in sync with things…and I just have to dance around in the lawn sometimes…it’s not a daily past-time.

            children twirl and play like that on a daily basis…

            hope you give it a go sometime…let me know if/when you do….cheers.

      • s/ohio…I was ill…rare form of cancer…no survivors past 24 months…the fact that I got past the initial prognosis of 3 months – just meant that the oncologists said not to get my hopes up.

        anyway…after 5 years, told me had to keep coming back to o/clinic…then, they said 7 yrs, then 10 yrs…(I stopped going after that) had an article written about my survival…blah blah blah…

        when my DD has to see a dr, and they ask for her/family medical history and she tells them, the Dr invariably says ‘ and when did your mother die?.

        My DD replies “my mum’s not dead – she’s out riding her dirt bike”. And then tells the dr my current age!!

        Every time that happens and my DD tells me about it when she calls in after her dr’s visit – we laugh loud and long, while we are hugging each other….and giving thanks for my healing and our continued good health…

        as my DD was also diagnosed with breast cancer (aged 20 yrs) same time as me back in 2006 – for me that was a new primary cancer…and am great…and so is my DD.

        And when we go swimming in the lake, she is on my left side (as I breath on my left) -so I can see where she is and stay abreast of her (pun intended) to keep me swimming in a straight line across the lake, as I am dragging ballast on only one side of my body – tends to make me swim in the direction of where the turtles are.

        When I swim alone, am zigzagging all over the lake – trying to get myself back in line with the starting area. Of course, no problem in a pool…just follow the black line.

        So, there you go… next time you are sweating the small stuff…give thanks for your good health, your family close by, the ability to cook your own meals, drink lovely chilled water, to drive around in your car whenever you want – and go where ever you want.

        so many people/children right now are in hospital/s – with serious illnesses…and they may not get to walk out and see the high blue sky, smell the flowers/grass/shrubs/trees etc as soon as they step outside. But I did…and am forever grateful.


        • cosmolined says:

          Thank You for sharing Chloe….. May God Bless. Cos

          • cosmolined…thank you…for some reason, I seem to be continually blabbing about my past health issues – normally not so vocal about it, and…thought about it…and realized, perhaps there is someone right now who is dealing with what I went through…and may be apprehensive etc…so, if they happen to read my post…may just show them there is light at the end of the tunnel…

            and how is your niece going…

        • templar knight says:

          You are one awesome woman, chloe! If I wasn’t married….LOL. You would be a fine catch for some lucky man. God Bless You, dear woman.

  53. Rockchalk says:

    Hope you feel better MD. I’m surprised by the vitrolic attack you received from “I’ll get right on that”. He obviously didn’t read what you wrote. I took it as you were asking for Jesus’s help not comparing yourself to our Lord.
    Slow week prepping for us. I caught something and have been needing a lot of sleep. I hope I didn’t give it to my students. One positive thing is my husband and I found some jeans at Tractor supply for $10. They may not last forever but it’s a great price for work pants. My lettuce is starting to come up but not the spinach. I’m going to give it a couple more days before I replant. I have some carrot seeds to plant but everything I read about planting them makes them seem like a lot of effort. Has anyone had luck with them? My girls are all laying well now. Many days we get an egg from each of them. I’m going to buy 4 more pullets this spring.

    • Garden Mom says:

      Rockchalk – re: carrots. I plant carrot seeds over a period of several weeks. The soil needs to be free of rocks and larger pebbles, otherwise you will have interesting carrots. Just scatter a little bit of seed in a prepared area – I usually have about 1 foot back by 2 feet wide, then sprinkle soil on top and gently water them every day. If you have some kind of garden cloth (mine is light weight and white in color) put this on top to keep in the moisture. You do have to go out and pull little grass and weed seedlings so the carrots can come up. It takes about 2-3 weeks for the carrot seeds to come up. But I plant another small area with carrot seeds every week or so until it is warm outside. I’m kind of random and just plant them in an area that looks ready anywhere in the garden. I’m pretty good about adding it to my notebook with a date and rough sketch of the area so I don’t accidentally plant something else there. The carrots are really sweet – kids say that I’m teasing them and growing candy in the garden.

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      hardest thing about carrots is thining them, hate to kill a plant before it does anything but if you dont they dont do well. till the dirt deep lots of compost keep moist not wet and they are pretty simple.

      nothing from a store tastes like a garden carrot

      my advice try them worst case scenario you will know you dont have the carrot touch, for me its eggplants, peppers cant grow them to save my life.

    • conmaze (nofla) says:

      Rockchalk, I just pulled up 12 carrots from my garden today and they are the most beautiful carrots I have ever seen! I carried the bunch around the community garden and, no kidding here, three people took pictures of them! Are they hard to grow? Absolutely not. I did literally nothing but put the seeds in the ground and wait. I planted Nantes and they are sooo sweet. I love them roasted. I do square-foot gardening so I plant 16 seeds in one square foot (no thinning required). I’ve also planted in rows. Just try to not get too many seeds together because if you’re like me it will make you whince every time you pull one of them out while you’re thinning! Try planting them and see what happens. Good luck.

      I have four girls and got them as pullets I, too, am getting four more pullets in the spring. Love my girls! I have red sexlinks. What breed/s do you have?

    • Kate in GA says:

      I don’t thin carrots or anything else for that matter. I still get big fat carrots. I don’t plant in rows but scatter over a 3′ by 3′ section. Scatter, then gently brush over the soil and walk away. One year, I left them on there own and went to Canada for the month of November (for work). Didn’t set up any watering or hire someone to watch them. They turned out great all on their own. (We do have rainy autumns here.)

      If I want to plant more, I do another 3′ by 3′ section.

      When planting in raised beds – you can ignore many of the thining rules. I plant everything close together.

      I have to plant in raised beds. For those that don’t understand the kind of soil we have in N GA, go to a hobby store and get some modeling clay. That is the soil we have to work with here.

  54. This week has been a week of community volunteer work.
    I did pick up a large yardage (20 yards) of med/heavy weight cotton fabric for storage. It would make some great workshirts. I have perfected a pattern to cut, sew and complete a shirt on the treadle machine in less than a day. I would prefer to use the generator to run the electric model, but fuel won’t last forever. I made one by hand stitching, it was tedious and took a week.

    Clothing is cheap and easy to get now. In a long term SHTF scenerio, it will be nice to have the ability to repair and make clothing. I can’t even wrap my brain around the need to create fabrics by hand though. The time it takes to harvest fibers from animals or plants, then clean, card, spin, weave, dye…..agggg. Or the effort of leather tanning, for clothes. I would not want to wear home tanned leather without serious undergarments. No siree. There are some parts that should never be chaffed.
    Not to say that there aren’t people out there that create beautiful handmade fabrics and buttery soft leathers. An important skill to have, and on my list. We will have our hands full with other survival work for awhile.

    My craft/sewing room is an important part of our prepping and it is heavily stocked with 100’s of yards of fabrics, silks to heavy canvas. Threads, needles, scissors, buckets of buttons, beads, velcros, different yarns, knitting and crochet needles, ribbons, cordage, lots of leathers, needlepoint, batting, paints, brushes. Craft supplies for kids and boredom relief for adults. Most of the supplies I have bought for next to nothing at thrift stores, garage and estate sales.

    Don’t pass up good clean sheets when you see them! Any kind. You can’t have too many of them. They are easy to clean, store, and have hundreds of possiblities. Cotton has become so expensive that I have a hard time buying new fabric, unless it is on clearance.

    For future quilt making, I pre cut my family used jeans into quilt squares and buy/store used or clearance flannel sheets for the backing. I made one of these super warm quilts for sitting at freezing football games and everyone fought to get under it. But no one wants to carry it, because it is so heavy. Go figure.

    I hope you are feeling better MD. Warm healing blessings to you and your family.

    • mama j, you are so right…

      so many cheap yet good quality items available in abundance right now – yard sales, thrift shops, store mark downs with each change of season…knickers, socks, boots, shoes…I too am stocking up…not just for me…

      read on another blog where a gentleman living in Greece spoke about his sister helping out with sorting and distributing clothes, shoes, food etc – to help the citizens…things are grim there. And neighbours are already raiding orchards/trees on neighbouring land – for firewood.

      At least we can see the writing on the wall – and get preps in.

      I agree with you re no time to do all the preps to get skins/pelts ready for wearing…

      Right again on the sheets…can’t have too many…can be used for many different things…and also as a privacy barrier for family members with flu / burns.

      Flannel sheets can also be cut up for use as cloth nappies…so, lots of large safety pins required…can’t have too many.

      Whenever I see towels I scoop them up…older ones are cut up for rags, and to dry the dogs. Good ones are washed in machine with tea tree oil in wash cycle and disinfectant in rinse cycle – and packed into suitcases and taken to ‘plan b’ site when have a car load of stuff to go…

      Pots and pans, utensils, knives…all scooped up – for a few dollars the lot.

      so many people will be in need…the crisis unfolding in Greece is tragic..and we all saw it coming via I’net articles…

      and when I read about the chaffing…I recalled it was you that had the horrors regarding the corn cobs…make me laugh out loud all over again at that post…

      Have also been buying heavy duty curtains.

      Think I finally have enough water containers – but will wait and see.

      tomorrow going to do another big cook up for my friends who are expecting their 4th child…huge pot of spaghetti sauce, sausage rolls, and roast beef with veges…


      • Chloe,
        If I am ever fortunate enough to meet you in person. I am gonna hug the stuffin out of you! You are incredible. I would love to curl up in a chair, with tea and visit. Try one of those sausage rolls.

        Yes, I am a garage sale junky! We call it Treasure Hunting. I have noticed that folks are visiting the thrift stores and savanging here also. The problems with our economy are becoming increasingly visual. Frighteningly so. I dread it, but I am prepared for it.

        • mama j…thank you…I feel the same about you and the other posters…amazing people…and not just saying that.

          and sometimes when I read your posts…it almost seems I could have written it…very similar…

          The economy and the mess we are all in, namely federal and state debt levels…is really showing here as well…the only good jobs are in the mining industry.

          the cash rate was kept at 4.25% (interest) – yet shop owners and small businesses really wanted the rate to go down, as they are not earning as much money…people are not spending like they used to…and everyone is hurting…the economy is set up to continually have people consuming more and more.

          our banks have said they are not going to be bound by the decisions -they will raise interest rates if they want to…that means home owners with mortgages can/will get screwed over.

          there was recently a 15% increase in people choosing a fixed rate home loan over the variable rate option for their mortgages – are they expecting mortgage rates to skyrocket??.

          today radio news said some increases for fruit and veges in the past quarter were up 5%.

          have noticed a huge number of cars/tractors/trailers (all old and too costly to get a safety certificate on it – enabling it to be registered and therefore drivable on the roads) and advertised for sale outside people’s homes on the country roads I drive on…people are strapped for cash – they are getting rid of anything they do not need that can bring in some cash.

          and today, as I was going into town…noticed the ute in front of me had a huge sign on his tailgate ‘wanted: batteries, heavy scrap metal, brass, copper etc).

          I am so glad I am able to shop at thrift stores…have gotten so much good stuff.

          When I read plant lady’s post and Farmgal’s – wow – however, I am nowhere set up like they are…however, we all do what we can, in our own particular circumstances.

          regarding the sausage roll mixture…so easy…got it off the puff pastry (frozen sheets) packet..if anyone is interested.

          just mix a large handful of sausage mince,
          with some italian herbs,
          add 1-2 slices of white bread (that has been soaked in water for 2 minutes to soften first) – squeeze excess water out…not all of it…need some liquid…and then mix that in with the sausage mince.
          toss in 1 finely chopped onion…
          salt and pepper to taste…mix well.

          then run a knife down the middle of a sheet of puff pastry..let sheets defrost a little so they can be rolled.

          Lay some sausage roll mixture in the middle of each piece of the now cut sheet of puff pastry…

          don’t overfill -need to be able to overlap p/pastry…
          and don’t cut to bite size yet…

          place on baking tray – folded side down – both lengths close and beside to each other…
          (out of one sheet of puff pastry – you will now have 2 long rolls of sausage rolls).

          continue until run out of sausage mixture..or puff pastry…whichever of the two is left over goes into freezer for next time.

          then, with a sharp knife, cut lengths of sausage rolls into size required…eg, party/bite sized …
          and brush over with a beaten egg…
          place in hot oven for approx 50 mins…depends on your oven…
          remove from oven when browned on top,
          let cool somewhat, squeeze some ketchup over it – enjoy.

          Yes, when the NDAA was mentioned on the net…I really sat up, even though I spend a lot of time staying aware of latest developments…

          and on my side of the pond…we have the airport scanners legislation being put to parliament next week…yes, what happens to you guys, can and will happen to us on this side of the pond also. So, we shall keep paying attention…

          till next time…

  55. Get better MD!

    What I did this week….
    Put a few hundred seeds in peat pellets to start the spring garden. Planned where everything was goin to go in. Bought my son a single shot Rossie youth .22/.410 for his b-day coming up. It’s his first firearm and one that will be perfect to get him shooting propper. Added 1k .22 to the stores. Did a thorough cleaning on all the firearms in the house.

    • Surgecj7,
      One of the first guns I hunted with was a Savage .22/.410 OO and it’s still one of the most versatile firearms I own. Great choice for a kid’s first gun. I don’t know about where you live, but here in Ohio I can hunt literally everything from Squirrel to Rabbit to Birds and Deer with that gun, and your son should I suspect really enjoy it.

      • I’m in good ol VA. We can hunt all that here also with this nifty rifle. I have to check out the laws, but it may be a while before I can legally take him hunting.

        • Here you can legally take your child hunting at any age. We have an apprentice license that can be used for up to three years, and the child has to take Hunter Education and pass the test. The youngest kids I see pass in the test in all of my years is somewhere between 8-10 years old, with 10 being the most common. The restriction on hunting alone limits kids under 16 to hunting with a responsible (as in responsible for the Childs actions) adult.

          • He will be 6. He obviously won’t be “playing” with it. But I feel it will instill more responsibility in him knowing it is “his”. When it is really dads.

        • riverrider says:

          surge, we’re neighbors:)

          • Whereabouts are ya at?

            • Surgecj7,
              I understand. He can’t legally own it until he’s 18 anyway, but knowing that it’s technically his is IMHO a good thing. My DD started shooting when she was 5, and since we live in a rural setting, we could should anytime she wanted to. She took and passed the Hunter Education class at age 9 and we hunted deer a few years at 9 & 10, but then she really discovered horses, and hunting wasn’t as important.
              One thing you might do is let him carry either the empty gun or a toy, non-shooting gun, and accompany you when hunting small game. It will get him out and give him the experience, and let you evaluate his attitude which is a big thing to know about someone.

            • riverrider says:

              surge, kinda west of the line between c’ville and l’burg.

      • I could hunt deer turkey and feral pig in my area with that gun if I can get 410 slugs.

  56. conmaze (nofla) says:

    To all who are in need of prayer, I’m on it.

    Heads up: Publix has Energizer rechargable batteries – AA and AAA on sale – 4 pack for 7.99. I will be checking on sites on the web to see if I can find any coupons to get the price even lower.

    I bought some metal shelving units for my food storage and finally sorted things out a bit. I had no idea of what/how much I have. Just kept buying on sale/coupons. Come to find out, I have enough TP for the next two years – Yay! One thing to cross off the list. Will continue to buy it when on sale/coupons because it will be a good barter item.

    But by sorting/organizing my storage, I found huge holes. Now I will concentrate on plugging them up and adding more. Ordered 100 pounds of wheat berries, tapioca flour and brown rice. My grandson is gluten intolerant so I have to stock up for his bread. I also found a great recipe to make gluten-free pasta. But the pasta recipe made me realize I need to get a few more chickens. Each serving of pasta requires one whole egg. He’s a big boy and eats a lot! Luckily, when I built my new fabulous chicken coop I anticipated expanding the flock so I already have the room for more.

    I will be planting potatoes this week and starting my seedlings in the greenhouse. I think I will actually by some starter plants and get them in now because of the freaky weather I fear it will be a long hot summer. The sooner I get the crops in and harvested I can hopefully beat the heat, drought and bugs.

    Have been feeling under the weather this week and had to work overtime on top of it. The money will be good, but I am feeling weak. My plan was to get my deep well hand pump installed but it didn’t happen. Even with it laying in my shed I have a sense of peace because if shtf tomorrow I have it on hand and can get it in within a few hours.

    Also inquiring about the Humless Sentinel generator. Solar and hand -crank powered and completely silent, small and totally portable but powerful enough to run my fridge/freezer. Very expensive and definitely a luxury item for my family, but just imagine the bartering power a bag of ice would have! The down side is I will have to make sure my home security is strong enough to hold back the would-be thieves that would want to get their hands on it. All things I have to think and pray about in making my decision.

    I dehydrated five pounds of frozen corn and peas, sealed each pound in foodsaver bags and then in mylar. Takes up so much less room than canning jars.

    Forgot to post last week, but I attended two seminars on the proper way to plant fruit trees and how to correctly prune or the optimum crops. I should have planted the trees two years ago when I bought my house, but prepping was not part of my life and other things took priority. Now I’m kicking myself. Oh, well, better late than never….

    The news of Israel and Iran has sent a chill down my spine and I feel the world will be changing on a much faster track than I anticipated. Don’t delay in your plans if you can help it. Getting out of debt is important, but I’m afraid the value of our dollar is going to dive quickly. Having enough food, water, medical supplies and protection is what is going to keep you alive. Just make sure you have your priorities set and then go for it like there is no tomorrow – because tomorrow may not be like today. There may not be much warning, if at all, and then Boom. I am going to clear all of my cash out of the bank and actually put it in a jar buried in the back yard. Won’t let the gov’t shut down the banks and keep me from what’s mine. Not sure what the worth will be, but I’m going to spend what I have to and get my stocks set before I worry about saving or buying gold. Preps will be worth far more to me than money in my hand. That’s just me and I’m just sayin’….

    Making dentist and doctor appointments this week to get checked out so I can keep healthy.

    Have a great week, pack, and get/stay healthy and safe and remain full of peace and grace.

    • Conmaze,
      Awesome post. Now, I am inspired to cross off some things on my list too.
      I also get nervous when I read about the events in the Middle East. Sometimes I want to jump up, run to the store, spend every dime I have on preps. Then I realize that I need two of everything at Walmart, walk out with my money and go home to the comfort of what I have accomplished. Like all the dental, medical, and vaccines current. Food, water, meds, tools, arsenal and ammo secured. All is well, full of peace and grace.

      • conmaze (nofla) says:

        Mama J, I envy you. It sounds like you have already accomplished much. I have a ways to go. I’m good in the water now, still need more food prep. I’m good for maybe three to six months on most stuff. Not good enough. Security I am sorely lacking. I have nothing. I have resisted buying firearms. If it weren’t for what is coming, I would never, EVER have them in my home. I have an autistic grandson that purposely does things to get in trouble and if something is put away/locked up, he wants it even more. I will have to keep it locked up at all times and have a combination lock on the safe/cabinet. I also come from an abusive spouse who shot at me in our home and held me at gunpoint for almost an hour. An experience like that changes you forever. I swore then I would never have a firearm near me, much less in my home. Well, things change, don’t they? Now I understand it is necessary to have something to protect myself but I’m still procrastinating. It is just me, my DD and my 15 year old grandson so I need something but I just can’t stand the thought of it. Double-edged sword going on here.

        • Conmaze,
          Thank you for the nice compliment. I have been prepping my entire adult life. I learned to garden, can and save from my Grandmother. My family has always farmed. We had livestock, gardens and dairy.
          Funny, I really started to amp up after Y2K didn’t happen. Remember, everyday you are more prepared than you were yesterday. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Congratulate yourself on your efforts.

          I understand your fear of guns as I am the survivor of an armed home invasion. A crazy druggy busted through my door while I was watching TV, demanding money. My children were in bed and the baby started crying. I was 20 years old and scared out of my brains. So scared I just wanted to pass out. We kept a 9mm in the bedroom, so I asked the man if I could go get the money and quiet the baby. I went in the bedroom, grabbed the gun, quietly chambered a round, stepped around the corner and shot him in the chest/shoulder. He lived, only because I was shaking so badly. He had a gun in his hand, but never raised it, or believed I would not comply.
          I was detained and released the next day only because my neighbor witnessed the bad guy bust my door down. He was standing right behind him when the gun discharged. I could have shot him too. The bad guy lost most of the use of his right arm, and he sits in jail to this day. Probably hating my guts and wishing he could do terrible things to me.
          If he hadn’t been so stupid or out of his mind with withdrawl I probably would not be telling this story. I was lucky. Thats it. I am lucky to walk away with PTSD, unraped, with live children. And, no one tells you that you have to go home and clean up the mess on the walls.

          The main point is…Bad things happen to good people everyday. I could have easily lost my life and or the lives of my children because I was afraid and untrained. I grew up hunting, but had only shot that gun one time, because my husband made me do it.

          Now my entire family is trained and trained and trained some more. My eight year old daughter can shoot. She hates it. But she can. She can identify and load every gun in the house. She can handle them safely.
          I wish I was there to guide you to empowering yourself. Remember this…Guns don’t hurt people anymore than a fork made Oprah fat.

          I would ask you to consider taking a concealed permit class. You don’t need a gun to do it. You don’t have to obtain the permit, but it will get you started on feeling safe and in charge. Or, call around to some gun ranges to find womens classes or training. It is Ok to be nervous. Many instructors are patient, kind and want you to relaxed and unafraid.
          You have taken the first step already, by realizing the need to protect your family. In a SHTF situation there will be situations where YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN.
          I think you will find that you will enjoy learning, feel strong, and confident in way you never imagined. EMPOWER YOURSELVES LADIES!

          I completely understand the need to protect your grandson from himself. Much to my husbands chagrin, I refuse to allow loaded guns in the house, even though we own many. I can hear the groans coming from the peanut gallery right now as I type. I just have too many kids in and out all day. Friends of friends kids that I barely know.
          I can wake, load my hidden bedside pistol in seconds. I can grab a 12 gu., load it and kill a fox by the coop in under a minute. That is good enough for me right now.
          But, I will never be a victim again. I think it shows in my attitude, the way I carry myself. My older kids tell people, “My Mom is a Bad Ass”. And that my dear friends, makes me proud that they feel I have and will do my best to keep them safe.

          • templar knight says:

            Some of the best damn advice I’ve ever seen pertaining to firearms ownership. And all of it first hand knowledge. Good stuff, Mama J, and I can sympathize with you on your daughter, I have a 16-yr. old daughter who hates it every time I make her shoot. But she knows how, so I take some comfort in that.

            • Good for you, T.K., for insisting that your daughter learn to shoot. When I was a teenager, my dad made my sister and I learn how to change a tire, change oil and that kind of stuff. I hated it. But that knowledge has come in handy. My brothers had to learn to cook, clean and do laundry. Now they are both better cooks than their wives.

            • TK,
              Thank you sir. I consider that a compliment of the highest degree.
              I showed this to my husband who said, shaking his head in defeat, “You’re right, you’re right Mama.” And walked away. Hmnfff.
              Don’t worry about your girl. If she was shooting with a bunch of cute boys, she would proud to show them what her daddy taught her. Teenagers don’t like anything we try to make them do.

            • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

              @Gayle: my father had me tear down my first car engine when I was 14. He told me I had to know how it worked before he’d let me drive. The car was a broken push-button Mercury (remember those????). He showed me different things, told me to remove the valve cover, gave me the tools and went off to work. It was summer, and I had all day. I worked ONE bolt for hours and hours and couldn’t get it out. When he got home, I thought he’d bust a gut laughing: I’d been trying to get the ENGINE MOUNT bolt loose (by hand), rather than the valve cover bolts. He calmed down and we worked together to take that engine apart. The knowledge I gained from that (and the two Volkswagon engines we took apart and rebuilt) has really helped me in my driving career. It’s funny how mechanics will try to ‘sell’ me with “other” things that need fixing when I have to take my vehicle in. I know better and can tell them in THEIR language. Blows them away every time.

              I’ve done all my own simple vehicle maintenance most of my adult life…now I’m slower and have arthritis, so not so much. But I still know what’s wrong when something goes. I’m forever grateful to my father for that, and tell him often. 🙂

            • MtWoman,

              I’ve never heard of a push button Mercury. My dad made me help rebuild the engine on a 72 Buick Opal. When I was 16 and got a Super Beetle, he made a list of all things I had to do before I could drive it–change the tire, change the oil, locate the battery. The last item on the list was to find a radiator. I looked and looked and looked. I should have known something was up because he and my brothers were in the garage just laughing away. When my mom came home from work and discovered their joke (air cooled engine–no radiator), she handed me a $20 and told me to have fun. I think they got reprimanded really bad for that one.

          • Mama J, you have my respect and heart for what you had gone through. I always hear people say what they would do but they haven’t gone through it, you did.

            I commend you for your strength to do what you felt was right and justified, you have a family, to me that’s enough.

            I used to teach women’s self defense at a University in california and it was cancelled for the tactics I taught, later finding out a bf complained.
            The greatest satisfaction was knowing I helped a woman protect herself, including an ex gf of 5’1 and 110 pound putting down a 6’2” 275 pound university football player who tries to have his way but ended up on the ground, blind in one eye and a kneed bruising to his male ego below the belt.

            I encourage every woman to learn to defend themselves one way or another.

            • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

              Jarhead…I am 64 and out of shape….what self-defense would be good to start? I have started walking and stretching to get more limber and strength, but I want to learn some kind of self-defense, and would appreciate any suggestions.

            • Jarhead 03,
              Thank you for all you have done to educate women to defend themselves. Too funny about the little gf who put the hurts on the big bully.
              If we lived closer I would be honored to learn from you.

            • Mama J, thank you! I was the 5’10” 115 pound bean pole that was bullied and picked on as a kid. I had to gain 5 pounds just to get into boot camp, packed on 48 pounds in boot camp and left the Marines 223 pounds.

              I hate bullies and predators, its why I taught women’s self defense, body guard/executive protection and occasionally talk to kids and help teach a few things to kids that are bullied.

            • MtWoman, I would suggest Tai Chi, a Chinese martial art that encompasses stretching, fluid movements that simulates strikes and blocks. It is hugely popular among the asian communities and many older whites and hispanics in the area participate in it.
              The moves are easy on the joints and it is very calming, I took it when I came back from Somalia as a test trial of stress management for combat vets.

              Do a local search and see if its your thing. You can also check local senior centers and see if they have organized martial arts or self defense classes.

            • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

              Jarhead…thanks. As a matter of fact, I used to do some Tai Chi in the 60s & 70s. Definitely a good idea to re-visit that. Thanks!!!!

            • I read a book years ago about how people in Okinawa practice Tai Chi, walk every where they go, and eat lots of fish and veggies. They have the highest percentage of centurions (people living over the age of 100) in the world. What’s most interesting is that they are functional in their 80s and 90s. They don’t have the diseases of affluence that we have today.

          • conmaze (nofla) says:

            Mamma J, I’m smiling because I had just signed up for the concealed permit class before I read your post (o: I also want to say that I know how to shoot – I used to deer hunt with a 20-gauge double barrel. Was the highest scorer in shooting skeet in my hunter’s safety training class of all men. I’m not afraid of handling a gun, I know I can. I just don’t like the idea of the evil necessity. And the fear of my grandson somehow figuring out how to get to it. I have nightmares about it. But you are correct – I have to start. I will train myself over and over to be able to get to the gun, load it and position myself. I will just have to do it when he is sound asleep and my bedroom door locked! Thank you for your encouraging words and pushing me forward in my stalled state of mind. You made me think back at how comfortable I used to be with guns.

            I sometimes wish my crazy ex was in prison like your guy. He has haunted me for 30 years but it has finally stopped because he recently moved to South America and I hope he never returns! He is paranoid schizophrenic. Truly was the love of my life until things went wrong in his head at 19 years old. He was genious. We had planned on being totallly self-reliant back in the early 70’s. I grew up in in the country in Western NY and really grew up with a prepping state of mind. Now, marrying my husband put it all in full tilt. We had a five-year plan: Moving to Alberta, Canada, giving up our US citizenship, buying hundreds of acres of land and living with Mother Earth. We both worked and saved our money and lived as inexpensively as possible as we tried to get into the lifestyle we were pursuing. We hunted and provided most of our meat. I grew and canned all of our vegetables and fruit, baked all of our bread (did not grind my own wheat tho) and sewed most of our clothing. I had no electric appliances except an old refrigerator, a stereo, of course (so we could jam to Jimmy Hendrix lol) and my sewing machine. No TV. No vacuum. Had an old wringer washer but no dryer except a line outside and a drying rack next to the wood stove. We used kerosene lamps. Heated with wood. He reloaded all his own ammo; was a great mechanic; worked as a carpenter building homes; intensely studied the Indians and their cultures and how the lived with the earth.

            In the short term we did buy 100 acres near the NY/PA border and built our own small log cabin with all hand tools. He learned taxidermy so we made moccasins and boots, coats, bags, all sorts of stuff and we would hole up there on weekends.

            Thinking of all of this makes me so sad. He was a great, great man who had his mind taken away from him. We’ve been divorced since 1980. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I had to because my life and my DD’s life depended on it. I know he would have killed us eventually. When he was his “real” self, we were a great team and if his real self could have stuck around, we would still be together today, 40 years later. No matter what was going on in the world, if we were together I would feel safe.

            Thanks for your post, Mama, and encouraging me to bring all of this up to the surface again. I needed to go there. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.

            I learned so much about myself at such an early age going through that experience. I am strong, self-reliant, and as you say, a Bad A** from New York. I can still flare up that bad attitude from time to time. I’ve done it recently with some punk neighbors that live across the road. They know not to mess with the crazy lady!

            I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.

            Again, thank you, Mama J., you’re just what I needed.

            Thanks, MD, for having a safe place for us to come together, share, strengthen each other, guide each other, sometimes in ways we don’t even realize. What an honor to be a part of this group.

            • conmaze…what strength you have. Am still speechless from the posts by you and mama j.

              It takes strength to open up and talk about things…

              just goes to show our prepping journey is not just about things…it is a complete metamorphosis.

            • Conmaze,
              Wow! Of course you can do this! Happy dance to a Jimi Hendricks song! I will play the drum for you under the moon tonight. I think you are my long lost spirit sister. Our lives parallel each other in so many ways.
              I am truly sorry your ex lost his way. Sometimes mental illness takes the most amazing people. Mental health has come along so far in the last 30 years, too bad he wasn’t able to get help. Sometimes times I feel the most brillient overachiever brains become too taxed to handle the large amounts of information they crave. They can not rest their minds or keep thoughts in order. Wow, sounds like menopause. Oh, as I was saying….
              Please try to put all of the bad behind you, remember all the wonderful things about him as you shared with us and move forward. His memory is there to remind you of what you can survive, accomplish, and overcome. Use that energy to benefit your future. And go shoot some guns girl!
              P.S. Most of my good friends are from New York. How funny. They are all spitfires.

            • Chloe,

              You know, I’ve never really thought about prepping as life transformation, but you are right. Much of what used to occupy my mind doesn’t matter any more. Now it’s a matter of learning to become more and more self-sufficient, and learning how I can keep my family comfortable when things get ugly.

          • Encourager says:

            Mama J, your advice to take a class is right on target (pun intended). I took a class from a NRA instructor that teaches only women. He was so patient and kind. He instilled confidence in me by his believing I could do what he was teaching. I have taken two classes from him, the last being my CPL. Tomorrow I go for my fingerprinting and then wait for the Board to act on my application. I have also gone to the range with him to practice. He has let me use many of his various pistols so I could learn and decide which to buy. The one I had all ready bought at a gun show, I ended up hating but have not yet replaced it. I can still shoot it but it wears me out and is a double action that hurts my arthritic fingers.

            I had a bad dream right after falling asleep a few nights ago. I dreamed two men broke into the house, kicked my dog unconscious, pistol whipped my husband. I woke up in a sweat sitting straight up in bed. I realized my gun was locked in its box, unloaded. I got up, unlocked the box, loaded the gun and put it back in the box and locked it. Now it should only take me a few seconds to be armed. It took me forever to get back to sleep!

            • ConMaze & MamaJ
              Here you go. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_FLmGUT_5Q&feature=related Now Get dancing.

            • Gayle, yes, we preppers are voluntarily transitioning so we can handle what is just going to increase in intensity.

              So many people, from all walks of life – changing their whole lives and routines to ensure their family is provided for and protected.

              I know that there is no turning back and returning to my prior life – once our mind is stretched to a new understanding…it can never go back.

              I only know this from a female perspective…it would be interesting to get a males perspective…cheers.

          • mama j…that is an incredible story of survival…and empowerment – so proud of you…

            you know, it is not a co-incidence that there are so many posters on here that have survived so much already…and are all moving steadily toward even more abilities and skills…

            mama j…you are truly an amazing woman…if you were able to act and think like you did when you were so young and under pressure…I can just imagine what you are capable of today…

            just amazing…

            • conmaze (nofla) says:

              Chloe, I couldn’t agree more. Mama J is truly inspiring to us all. And I think you are right about the age thing and how you become more capable as wisdom becomes more a part of you. Mama J was a Mama Bear that day protecting those babies! Wouldn’t want to mess with Grandma Bear! lol

            • Thank you! And you are as well Chloe. You are correct when you say we are here because of our experiences.
              Transformed by hardship. And better for it.

        • conmaze (nofla)⁠, I understand you reason for not owning firearms. If you are looking at alternatives there are some out there such as pepper spray, pepper spray pistols that are in the shape of a hand gun but take inserts and are pretty reasonable. You can add safety/security measures to your doors, windows, gates if you have them etc. Let me know if you have any questions.
          There are also community service through some towns and cities as well as some community colleges that have martial arts training as well.

          • Encourager says:

            Conmaze (nofla), one of the things I picked up from this wonderful site was to keep wasp spray handy. It shoots 20+ feet and would stop a man in his tracks if you got his eyes good…aim for his open mouth, too, when he is screaming from the pain in his eyes…

            • conmaze (nofla) says:

              Encourager: And wasp spray is so innocuous looking. Living in the south with so many bugs and bees, no one thinks anything of seeing a can of bug spray sitting around! I really do like the idea of the pepper spray gun though.

          • conmaze (nofla) says:

            Thanks, Jarhead. I didn’t know pepper spray came in pistols. I like that idea. I have wasp spray handy in my car and hidden near the front door (out of GS’s sight) I took a self-defense course years ago and remember most of it, but it wouldn’t hurt to take a refresher. I have a back that goes out quite often and have had surgery so I have to be really careful with the kinds of exercises and movements I do so I’m not sure marial arts would be a good fit for me. The classes I did take were taught by a martial arts instructor so there were a lot of good moves that didn’t require a lot of physical power, kick to the front of the knee, heel to the foot, palm to the nose to break and drive the bones back into the head, how to get out of a head lock. Good easy stuff. The main key in any self-defense is keeping your wits about you. From my PTSD I can sometimes get that deer in the headlights thing going on for a minute when something happens. My reaction time seems a little slower as I get older and it sometimes takes a second for things to process when I’m in an alarm-type situation. Somehow I need to work on that. Any suggestions for how to overcome that?

            • conmaze (nofla), for PTSD, I suggest counseling or speak to a pastor who may know about it or may know another pastor who does. There is nothing wrong with it, it has helped vets dealing with it.
              After I was shot, it took me a while to get used to shooting, it increased my nervousness of getting shot again but I jumped back on the horse. I had an ex gf that had a very traumatic event happen before we met and I convinced her to see a psychologist and she couldn’t afford it but could afford the counselor. After a few sessions I saw improvement and eventually paid for some of her psychologist sessions and it did help.
              There is no harm in it, when we returned from combat they had counselors and psychologists speak with us and it was a benefit to many.

            • conmaze…if I may offer some suggestions…and my experience is over 20 yrs of competitive judo – and competing at both state and national level…

              if and when you can…some gentle stretches – to get as much full movement in your limbs as possible…start slowly. eg…start with your head, gently look to your left and then right side – slowly. look up and then down.

              if no pain/creaks etc…progress down your body.

              however, if you do have any creaks on moving your bones…need to get self to a doctor…seriously.

              As we get older, our bones (in women) can thin dangerously.

              anyway…are you able to lift your arms all the way up, out to the side – if so, do these movements with some cans of soup/light weights. don’t overdo this…you will progress steadily.

              then imagine you have a houla hoop around your waist – and do a gentle circle movement.

              if you are able to sit on the floor with a thin mat under you…fine…or sit on a sturdy chair and do as full a range of movements of your ankles.

              this should take you at least 10 minutes…if that is all you do for the first time…well and good.

              after you have warmed up as above…defence first – then offensive moves…

              1. imagine someone standing in front of you- same height as you…do this in front of a full-length mirror – as you want to keep your posture straight…

              and now raise both hands, clenched, straight up in front of you – close together and to just above the top of your head…

              repeat this step. ie, from your sides, raise both arms up and above your face…(to attempt to block someone in front of you from grabbing you by the throat).

              2. using your right arm first, then repeat with your left arm – raise your right hand close to your left shoulder and then in a steady move, swing it out (gently first, no wild uncontrolled swings) all the way till your little finger is a little past your right shoulder. (this can block someone trying to reach in to grab you – and prevent them getting a firm grip on you)…and allow you to get away.

              3. same with left arm.

              do a few of these…you will know what you can do easily – your muscles need to get used to the movements – so go slow.

              Concentrate on your moves, and see if you can make them as uniform as possible…

              then, if you can get a hold of a punching bag – can practice these right and left arm blocks…

              you can do these blocks with your arm bent, and strike with the different parts of your hand…a clenched fist, or the edge of your hand alongside the little finger…

              the side of your clenched fist (little finger side) is better than throwing a front punch to someone’s face…the skull is the hardest bone in the body to break…you will definately hurt your knuckles when you strike someone’s head…but if that is the only blow/defence you can get in…

              the knee joint is the easiest to disable an attacker …only needs an accurate strike to the knee (hinge joint) to render someone from running after you…if you can balance on one leg – can strike attackers front knee area with the edge/side of your foot – push fast and hard, and get back on balance yourself as fast as you can…it may just give you a chance to get away…

              you can practice being on one foot as often as you like in your own home…and – as we age…we tend to lose our balance easier…so, practice standing on one foot for a few seconds at a time…with the back of a chair close by and for stability.

              andway…can turn yourself around – (so the punching bag is to your side) and use your elbow to imagine striking an attacker in the solar plexus – make sure when you practice this elbow strike, your clenched fist will rest at your waist…your elbow should be all the way past your body.

              Whenever you are doing any striking moves…breath out (exhale) with each blow…this is important.

              And initially, will need to focus on regular breaths – don’t hold your breath when warming up or practicing your arm movements.

              inhale as soon as each of your striking blows are done – breath as normally as possible.

              the body/arms/legs – need to become accustomed to meeting a hard and resistant object…and not lose your balance…as the blocks are to protect you and depending on where you strike, may stun the attacker…so you can then move on to offensive moves…

              If you practice this, and can see that you will enjoy practicing with other like-minded people…look for a class where you can train…there are many baby boomers out there…all wanting to improve their fitness level…

              see if you can get 3-4 others interested…and see if you can then have an instructor take a class that is attended only by your group..with such a small group..your skills/fitness/flexibility/confidence will increase fast…

              and practice what you have been shown in the days you are at home…one member slacking off will hold the rest of the group back…

              or, are you prepared to see if there is an instructor that will train you on your own… and you can progress as fast or as slow as you like.

              I was fortunate to have many different Japanese sensei’s visiting the various judo clubs – and many also practiced other martial art disciplines.

              seize the day….no time like the present if you are interested in self-defense… cheers.

            • Chloe,

              That is awesome–Chloe the Judo bad ass. HeeHeeHee. Don’t mess with Chloe. You are my hero. Do you know of any martial arts where people don’t have to go barefoot? (I have inserts for my shoes because I have such bad feet and I can’t go barefoot.)

          • I would like to have one of those pepper guns! I have a pepper spray can for bears that is as big as a fire extinguisher! I laugh because the amount of pepper coming out would blind everyone for a square mile if the wind was blowing.

            • conmaze (nofla) says:

              Chloe: Thank you so much for taking the time to right such a detailed how-to. I will try all of this! One thing I will say is that I do have great range of motion and I am very limber. The lower back is what hampers me. Slow fluid movement I can do. Herky jerky like kicking I can’t. I used to be a body builder back in the day so I have always tried to keep strong and limber. I do yoga now, but some of the poses just kill me. I try to avoid certain movements because when my back goes out I am down for a week in excruciating pain. I have degenerative disk disease and have several herniated disks still remaining after my surgery just a few days before Y2k. They actually released me from the hospital the second day after the surgery (Dec. 31st 1999) because they wanted the hospital as empty as possible not know what events might take place and because they were short staffed – everyone wanted to be home with their families thinking the world was coming to an end! Happily, I was one of the few success stories from back surgery and I can do more than most women twenty years younger than me. I consider myself in great shape, I just know my limitations and never cross that line. This sounds like a great warm up to get me moving, but the hitting and kicking might be too much. I’ll try! Tai Chi maybe a better fit?

            • Gayle, have to use mama j’s reply site…

              dojos (martial art practice hall) have tatame (grass mats) on the practice area – shoes not used.

              And if you watch any judo comps and how fast some foot sweeps are…shoes would not stay on your feet for long.

              However, there is always a way… ask around – you may find someone who teaches self-defense classes/moves…

              and should definately keep your shoes on…as you will most likely be wearing shoes when out and about – and can deliver some good low kicks with shoes on.

              Gayle, try out different martial arts – some dojo’s may allow up to 3 attendances before they require you to join up…to give you time to see if you are interested and would enjoy the training…aikido could be interesting for you…however, still no shoes in a dojo –

              however – one-on-one training – in another area of a dojo – would allow you to keep your shoes on..

              and can learn only specific defense/offence technigues…eg, to stop a front choke, to prevent someone gripping your wrist and dragging you away.
              to prevent rear strangles/chokes/bear hugs.

              how to block arm strikes, or blows from a baseball bat etc.

              Identify the weak points on a body…the nose – can force a finger right up their nose if they are gripping you front on…that move may just give you time to run as he throws his head back..and a little push, with one of your legs wrapped around attacker’s lower leg…will all help.

              if you have a striking weapon – ie, a baseball bat/golf club…can bring it down onto his clavicle area – between ear and shoulder…

              some attackers have huge deltoid/biceps/triceps…so, no use pounding on their arms…however, can you grab the little finger…be brutal…bend it back – you get the picture.

              are you in a front bear hug, and your arms are free – a hard fast clapping movement – one of your hands over each of attckers ears – as hard and fast as you can…may make attacker loosen his grip, allowing you to sink slightly and get away…

              stay away from putting your hands/fingers in their mouth…just like they need to stay away from your teeth…

              can stomp on their toes, kick or scrap your shoes down the front of their shins…that bony area is very sensitive to hard boots…anything to break attacker’s grip and get away…

              dojo sparring (randori) and street fighting are at opposite ends of the spectrum…club sparring usually repeats itself – 4 training nights a week with comps on weekends…whereas – street fights can be deadly…no second chance.

              I prefer Judo, even though I also practice tae kwon do and a little aikedo – Judo provides throwing and ground work /pinning techniques…and strangles and armbars..combinations and counter throws and…no need for strength…however, the better your technique the faster your opponent hits the mat or submits in a hold-down.

              Tae kwon do provides blocking movements (and kicks etc, however, their blocking movements are excellent for my purpose).

              Aikedo provides wrist-locks (amongst other locks) that will disable an attacker in seconds…and can take someone down just by placing your right thumb on the area between attacker’s right hand (where attacker may have placed his hand on your right shoulder)…

              turn your body to the right (90%) and shuffle back a few steps – at least 2 feet distance…as soon as you shuffle back, turn attacker’s right wrist so that attacker’s little finger is uppermost, and lined up with attacker’s elbow…(hinge joint).

              Now use your left hand to add strength to your right hand that has still got a hold of attacker’s wrist…and press attacker’s fingers toward attacker’s elbow –

              use your thumbs to increase pressure on attacker’s wrist joint…you want to get attacker’s fingers as close to attacker’s elbow as possible…(it won’t happen), however what does happen – with you shuffling back and keeping the pressure on attacker’s turned wrist is that attacker will have to take one or more steps to stay on balance, however, with your shuffles, you have upset his centre of gravity…and he (sorry guys) will fall to the floor – his arm must/will be straight – and will not be able to be straightened – unless you release his turned wrist…so – use both hands – keep his wrist at or near your waist level – don’t want attacker to be able to straighten up…and take a step…keep his wrist turned – this grip is painful to the attacker.

              If attacker still shows resistance – keep increasing pressure on attackers wrist – keep your thumbs close together and point your thumbs toward attacker’s elbow…most important to keep attacker’s wrist turned so that attacker’s little finger is in line with his elbow…this is important…
              (and so is practicing now to increase strength in your hands).

              By this stage attacker is on ground – with his back unprotected… or, if he is still on his feet – make sure you keep moving yourself backward…small shuffling steps backwards – or go around in a slow circle, he will have to follow his elbow…and this will make him lose his centre of gravity…

              Judo also provides adult students (over 16 yrs) ways to strangle and put your attacker to ‘sleep’ momentarily by tightly compressing the 2 neck arteries – allowing you to escape.

              This won’t hurt your attacker…just a temporary lack of blood flow- as soon as you release your grip and full blood flow resumes (different grips depending or position) attacker slowly regains consciousness…so, get well away before attacker gets going again.

              A choke is different – cuts off air supply…strangle cuts off blood supply to brain.

              And, if one thinks they can fight/defend yourself for 5-6 minutes – this is dangerous when defending yourself in a street situation -no rules.

              Defence (blocks/turns) may buy you seconds…just to allow you to use your offensive moves…and those moves must be ruthless and brutal and an explosive physical output of energy…on your first attack…may not get a 2nd chance to attack – and escape…

              Comps at national level last seconds. One mistake and you’re out…so, practice in a safe controlled area…now, no time like the present.

              Remember…be alert, and need to get away as fast as possible…if possible.

              If not possible…some studies show that it is better to put up as much resistance as possible…don’t go quietly.

              Sometimes attackers can underestimate a woman’s ability to defend herself…and that is important…however, once attacker is disabled/or you are able to get away…then run fast…

              self-defence is a recognised legal defence…however, if you happen to use excessive force – after you could have gotten away and your life was no longer in danger…you get the picture.

              guys/gals…the benefits of martial arts is more than knowing how to defend oneself…the flexibility, fitness, fun – at least have a go…cheers.

        • conmaze…what a survivor!!!!wow…words fail me right now…am so in awe of your strength…and what you have survived…

    • Conmaze,

      Re: Publix and Batteries

      Click here and scroll down to “household” for coupon info.


    • Conmaze,

      I posted about Publix and batteries before I read the rest of your post. I think you are right about this summer. Our winter has been so mild and if that’s any indication of how warm this summer is going to be, then we are going to be in trouble. This is always the problem with gardening in north or central Florida. We could have a freeze as late as the first week of March (unlikely but still possible) but tomatoes won’t set fruit over 90 degrees. And if it gets much hotter than that, everything else just burns up in the sun.

      When the SHTF, folks around here who have become dependent on air conditioning may not make it, especially the elderly and the young who are unable to cool their bodies effectively through perspiration.

      Dang. I am a regular chatty cathy this afternoon. Well, my ankle is too soar to get up and work, so I might as well chat.

      • One further thought for folks living in the south. Before air conditioning was so prevalent, folks used cornstarch like baby powder. They put it on their sheets at night. They put in on their bodies. It helps take away some of the stickiness of the heat and humidity.

        • conmaze (nofla) says:

          Gayle, you’re right about the cornstarch. My grandmother always used it. After Hurricane Wilma, my DD was without power for three weeks but still had water/sewer. Lots of heat and humidity so cool showers every night before bed. And she said wearing a wet t-shirt to bed was the best. Having gone through several post-hurricane power outages, I have already invested in battery-operated fans. (o:

          Check out vinegar for your ankle. (?) My mom has a friend that swear by it – she puts it on her hands and knees for arthritis and her ankles for swelling. Now, she’s about 90 years old so she might have something there. Or she just might be senile and thinks it works lol Hope you mend quickly…

          • Hunker-Down says:


            I tried to put some vinegar on my DW’s arthritic hands and she didn’t want to smell like a pickle, but while I was making the attempt, it did open my sinuses. Hee Hee.

    • conmaze…re the TP – was shocked when I started paying attention to just how much I went through…same with dishwashing liquid, even though I have it in a pump dispenser…things get used up regularly…

      your post reminded me to get that dehydrator going every day…all day…saves a lot of space and weight…and money.


      • conmaze (nofla) says:


        As weird as this sounds, I started keeping a little calendar next to the commode to chart my roll changes and what brands. I didn’t realize how my TP usage varied from brand to brand. Some is so thick and some is so thin. So I took all of my cyphering (love that word – reminds me of Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies) and then checked how many rolls of each brand I have in my stores and got my tallies. I’m good to go! tee hee

        • Conmaze,

          I have charted how long various types of TP last and the TP that has lasted the longest is Scott. I have a year’s supply in the closet, and replace what I use when it goes on sale.

  57. Had some beautiful sunny warm days this past week so was able to do a major clean up in the yard, burn alot of trash. Did some pruning. Had a truckload of trash to take to the recycle center. Wanted to haul my Pyrenees there,too. She has a bad roaming problem..was a stray before we got her and hasn’t lost her wandering ways. She loves to drag home dead animal remains…cleaned up two deer and a ???goat…stunk to high heaven. Could hardly make myself clean it up,arrrgh. Wish I could find a better home for her with fences to keep her there.

    Got site all cleared for new greenhouse…hopefully will be put up this week as weather forecast says gonna be nice all week. Hardest thing around here is getting a non-windy day for putting on the plastic. Seems MO is the new Kansas. A still day is a surprize anymore.

    Went to the Mennonite store and stocked up on sugar for feeding the bees, garbonzos, oat groats, frozen strawberries.

    All my seed orders here. Son took me to Baker Creek Wed. for my birthday and turned me loose…good thing for him I’d already ordered most of what I needed but found plenty of pkts to want! He is my gardening partner so just as bad when it comes to seeds and plants. Lots of nice rain past few days will help as going to move the raspberries to better spot for picking and keeping weeds out. This weather is giving everyone spring fever but we know the reality is there is still plenty of time for some nasty storms; hopefully the ice type.

  58. Rain, rain go away! I haven’t had much opportunity to get into the garden much due to so much rain. About 4 inches this week. I did get half of it turned over with a turning fork as well as repairing a raised bed. I got my alcohol still from knowledge publications so I have some studying to do during this much needed rain. Speaking of studying its time for my paramedic renewal so time to finish my CE credits.

  59. AZ Rookie Prepper says:

    Hope you feel better soonest M.D. I’m still scratching my head at “I’ll get right on it” comments. Prepping here consisted of paying off another debt, that felt really good. Got a few more canned vege’s and fruits for the larder. Picked up some seeds on sale (last years production), I’ll seed start those in about a month, I figure they’ll probably be fine. If not, then I still have time to start a new batch. One of my cousins sent me an article on bugging out from another blog, interesting stuff. This cousin is one of several preppers in my extended family, unfortunately he lives near Washington DC…need I say more? Getting ready to leave next week for the Philippines to spend some time with the future spouse. I had a real revelation yesterday while chatting with her on VOIP, I mentioned to her about bringing some extra t-shirts I had onhand for her brothers and father, (they are pretty poor and live WAY up on a mountain), how the “mountain people” have the tools and food to live, but getting clothing is so difficult. Lesson learned, in a SHTF scenario, clothing might be pretty hard to come by. While there, I am going to take a close look at just what people in a subsistence environment require. Hope all have a good prep week. Get well soon M.D.

    • riverrider says:

      azp, man be careful there. a local doctor’s wife n son were kidnapped there recently when they went to visit family. she was rescued and the son escaped on his own later. islamic rebels are all over the mountains there too. do some checking with the state dept before you go, it could be a trap. no joke. army sf is operating there, so you know its bad.

      • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

        riverrider, thanks for the warning. I am going to stay well away from the muslim areas, the island I go to is 98% Catholic. I have contacts within both State Dept and DoD, and trust me, I have no desire to go anywhere near the bad areas.

    • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

      AZ…they’re having some R&R down there: EQs in the 5.+ range. Stay steady.

      • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

        MtWoman, I was chatting online a little while ago when my fiance told me the room and her computer were shaking (Feb 5, late evening mtn std time). Hopefully no more for awhile.

        • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

          AZ….big quake this AM down there….everyone ok there?

        • templar knight says:

          Must be some fracking going on over there, AZ Rookie Prepper. Watch out for them oil rigs. LOL. Have a good time.

          • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

            templar knight, beleive me when I say, I dont like the idea of earthquakes. If I’m not mistaken, you live pretty close to the New Madrid fault zone? Good reason to be prepped all by itself. Should be a good time, just have to be cautious around the future MIL..she’s kind of a difficult one to be around. Future FIL is great, retired scout in the Phil Army, now a farmer, tough as nails and as gentle as a lamb at the same time.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      AZ Rookie Prepper,

      Have a great time on your trip.

      Please, when you get back, let us know what you learned about the clothing and other subsistence environmental issues. We may be there soon.

      • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

        Hunker-Down, that thought was in my mind about how they deal with those issues. The good news for them is, it never gets really cold there…so for most of us, it would not do to wear shorts and t-shirts and sandals in January, February….:-). I’ll try to do a contest article.

        • Hunker-Down says:

          AZ Rookie Prepper,

          That’s a tremendous idea. After you educate us on how to survive hot summers with incomes of a banana peel, maybe the Wolf Pack will send you to Wasilla Alaska so you can do a piece on Winter survival to teach us how to earn an income selling ice.

          Seriously, man is ingenious when put under pressure. I’m sure you will find nuggets of wisdom that we can use if we are faced with similar circumstances.

          • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

            Hunker-Down, there truly are some very very poor people there. While chatting with my fiance, she mentioned that one of her neighbors asked her to buy 3 tablets of medicine for her bed-ridden father…thats all she can afford. I’ve seen “homes” there that most of us wouldnt consider good enough for a chicken coop. Agreed, man is ingenious when under pressure….most of the “poor” in the US are wealthier than more than 50% of the planets population. I thank God I was born here. As for selling ice in Alaska…. 🙂

    • AZ,

      “While there, I am going to take a close look at just what people in a subsistence environment require.”

      This would make a great post. I would love to hear about what you see.

      • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

        Gayle, I’ll try to do a post on those issues. Thanks for the encouragement.

        • AZ,

          Cool. You might want to take a small notepad with you so you can jot down what you see. (As a former reporter, I can tell you when you see something out of the ordinary, like people living at a subsistence level, so much goes through your mind that you won’t be able to remember it all.) Best of luck to you.

    • AZ, so be careful, don’t know how far they live near the earthquake affected area.

      Enjoy some Red Horse and balut while you are there! I love the Philippines, its been a while. Enjoy and the thought of shirts is a great one, maybe hit a thrift store or walmart and get some extra clothes for them,

      Be safe, watch your six and maybe learn something while your there

      • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

        Jarhead 03, You bet I’ll be watching the six. Not too keen on being a victim of any type. As for balut (I have been there before, tried it, didnt like balut at all). Red Horse is ok, I’ll hoist one for ya while I’m there. Trying to limit it to one suitcase, so will only take what will squeeze in as far as shirts go. Thanks to Gayle, I’m taking a small notebook along to take notes on occasion of learning something about 3d world living. Look for a post when I return.

  60. Huckleberry- I don’t have any experience with sig, but I highly recommend Kahr. I have the PM9 and absolutely love it. I know a lot of people think that 9mm isn’t a powerful round.. I always ask if they’re willing to test that theory and take a hit from one (or two, since its not a powerful round). Still no takers tho… 😉 It comes with two different magazines, a 6 round and a 7 round.

  61. To TD and other pack members who have been ill, rest up and get well soon. Also thanks to those members who have offered motivation to get in shape and be healthy. I’m at a place were I need to refresh my saving reserves and cover some unexpected dental expenses, so I must prep without spending money for the nest few weeks. After thinking about it, I determined my highest priority should be getting in better physical condition. I came to this conclusion after considering my current state of poor physical condition (could I really bug out and walk miles a day with a loaded pack, if needed? No!) and the role good conditioning plays in one’s ability to successfully get through all survival situations. I started stretching exercises and working with some handweights this week. Checked out the gym facility at work and got on the scale. I made a commitment to myself to improve flexibility, endurance and lose some weight. I figured out that all the gear and packs would be worthless, if I couldn’t carry them with ease. I did mangage to pick up a bunch more 75 cent cans of tomatoes and beans, along with $1 large spagetti sauce cans during my regular weekly grocery run. Also created a 2 week food supply in a 5 gallon bucket. Spent time arranging it and figuring out what to include. I’m in the process of creating 4 of the 2 week supply buckets. Since I’m prepping for one, I thought this would be a good way to store small quantities of various types of foods and make a good giveaway, if needed. Got to write down all the items, so I can easily duplicate it and seal them up. Also, had a difficult work week. I’m a relationship manager managing about 25 corporate relationships which sometimes feels like being a waitress without tips. My clients, who are “professionals”, incude some folks who would throw anybody under the bus to cover their own screw ups. That’s about all from the big city of Washington DC. Hope next week is good to us all.

    • I meant MD in the opening line

    • A lot of talk on here about getting more physicaly fit which is a great thing. A lot of what it will take to just live an everyday life will be more physically taxing. I was at a large indoor flea market/yard sale this week and I would have to estimate that at lest 75% of the people there could not run 100 yard or even be able to get back up off the floor if they fell down in under 2- 3 minutes. If shtf really does happen I thinkt there will be a huge mortality rate in the first 30 days. It is amazing how out of shape our society has come. I helped a coworker move last year and I am over 50 years old and about 20 pounds overweight but I could still work the two 20 somethings helping move into the ground. They were huffing and puffing after about 10 minutes and had to take a break while I was still going like the enegizer bunny. Just a little exercise a few times a week will make a huge difference.

      • Wellrounded says:

        Have to agree with you George about the general fitness of society. We have a lot of volunteers at the farm, all of them have been young and look quite fit. They really struggle with the work. I try to give them jobs that should be well within their capabilities but still receive a lot of complaints. Every now and them I’m told that a job is impossible, maybe I’d underestimated the difficulty, so I’ll step in and take over. Every time I breeze through, much to their amazement, I don’t look fit and I’m certainly not young, lol.

        • Yeah my BIL is one of them unfortunatley. His idea of exercise is the walk from the handicaped spot to the door. He is 300 lb and diabetic and you think the stroke he had last year would have been a wake up call but no.. He thinks it is just fine to eat what he wants and then just use more insulin. At christmas I made a deal with my 15 year old nephew if he could do 10 push-ups I would give him something and BIL had the nerve to say I could not do 10 pushups, got down and ripped off 20 to show him , just can’t believe that someone who could not even get up from the floor without help is saying someone else can’t do pushups. He is one of those loud mouth, know it alls and never has any problems just everyone else. I feel sorry for my sister and nephew if shtf because he will be not help at all just a big giant burden just like he is now..

        • wellrounded…thank goodness your routine keeps you strong and resilient to handle the work…

          when I have a vacant rental, and if it needs a tidy up etc, I choose to work with backpackers on my houses – even though I can call in the fencers, professional yard cleanup contracters etc and get them to do it…however I enjoy the physical work – it really shows me how strong/weak I am when am working alongside boys in their 20’s…it is important to know what I call my ‘break-point’ (when I need to sit down for just 5 mins), as just can’t keep going in the hot sun…usually at 2pm…a long drink of water and I am up and working again.

          However, during our ‘winter’…can go all day…this is important to know…when I walk with the dogs…I just stick to a steady pace…

          No good thinking I can walk during any BO…and then find myself flat on my face after just 2 hours of walking…need to know now what I can/can’t do…and this is even more important now that I am getting older…each year does make a difference…

        • George,

          The big, giant, 300 lb. diabetic probably will not last long without insulin. It’s good your sister and nephew have you in their lives.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      What a rotten job! I could get fired from that in the first two sentences out of my mouth. Send me some charity, please!

      When getting in shape to travel on foot, don’t forget to build up the soles of your feet so you don’t get blisters.

    • Garden Mom says:

      CJS28 -Great idea about working on becoming more physically fit. DH and I walk 2-3 miles per day and we have our kids walk, ride bike, etc daily. I read that we should also carry weights or something in our hands because we will need to be carrying more things in a SHTF world.
      When I was low on funds, I went to the library and checked out several recommended books to read or decide to purchase later.

      • Garden Mom,

        If you are serious about developing some strength, check out the books by Miriam Nelson–the strong women series. Every public library carries her books. She has some very simple strength training exercises using hand weights (or cans of soup to start off) that really work. She is a researcher at MIT and really knows her stuff. Twenty minutes three times a week is enough to build muscle and strengthen bones.

    • riverrider says:

      cjs, RUN, RUN FAST, RUN FAR. you are surrounded by zombies, get out of there!!!!…i was offered a job there not long ago, said no. he said but it pays $$$$$$…i don’t care if it paid a million, its not enough:) good luck up there in zombieland u.s.a.

  62. I replaced the drive shaft u-joints in my 1999 Jeep Cherokee again. I do this every two years or so, if they need it or not. I’ve had my Jeep for ten years now and she has over 205,000 miles but the iron moss is starting to get to her as I live in Michigan.

    • axelsteve says:

      Do your ujoints have zerk fittings on them?If you like to replace them that is fine,I am just curious.

  63. MD – Sorry about the illnesses.. Have you ever tried the Back Elderberry based syrups like Sambucol and many others? I bought a good supply at Vitacost.com when I learned about the effectiveness of Black Elderberry in flu treatment.. My wife is down with a bad cold now and she started taking it at the first symptom. She thinks she is recovering faster than usual. Take care..

  64. Bought 2 cases (29 lbs) of green coffee beans from MRE Depot! Tried some today. Great stuff! Sealed in 24 #2.5 cans! Has a very long shelf life.

    • jrread,

      Quick question: if they are green coffee beans, that means they haven’t been roasted yet, right? And if not, then they can be planted, right?

      I am really considering growing some coffee.

  65. The flu, not good. Lots of rest…
    25 lbs of dehydrated taters, #10 can of dehydrated carrots and 4 chicks! That’s right, we’ve got our chicks here and in brooder. In a few months, eggs! PS, it’s a secret we’re not really supposed to have chickens where we live!

  66. Encourager says:

    What I have been doing to prep: Bought and read a few books – Jakarta Pandemic by Steven Konkoly. (It was okay; lots of interesting suppositions on what our govnmt would do in a pandemic. Interesting plot between the neighbors.) The Walk by Lee Goldberg (don’t waste your money…) still wading through Holding Your Ground by Joe Nobody (so much info I have to take it in small bites and try and apply it to our homestead.) Still think Surviving the Economic Collapse by Fernando Aguirre is the one of the best book I have read regarding prepping/survival…but you have to get past his Argentinian macho crap attitude (it can be annoying after awhile!)

    Eating fresh salads raised in our house under lights…red leaf lettuce, baby spinach, oak leaf lettuce…yum. My son gave me a hydroponic setup for Christmas. I will be starting the seeds for that this week. Thinking basil and buttercrunch lettuce for a start. It is a small one with only six wells.

    Large food co-op order coming in this Tuesday…hopefully everything we ordered will come in. Also going to stock up on remedies as my source is having a 20% off sale Wednesday.

    M.D., praying for your healing and strength. Meanwhile, don’t overdo, drink plenty of fluids and eat lightly.

    • Garden Mom says:

      Encourager – I had thought about reading the Joe Nobody books. Would you recommend them? There are both fiction and non-fiction books by this author – is Holding Your Ground fiction or non-fiction? Thx.

      • Encourager says:

        Garden Mom – ‘Holding Your Ground’ is non-fiction. It is basically an instruction book on how to make your place more secure. He wrote a fiction book called ‘Holding Their Own’, which I thought was darn good. It is about a couple bugging out and what happens to them. Very realistic. I recommend it – one of the few ‘survival’ fiction books I recommend.

    • encourager…ferfal relocated to Nth’n Ireland…so good to see he jumped – wishing him and his family well with their fresh start.

      • templar knight says:

        Yep, he tried to get in the US for years, but he is an honorable man and wanted to do it the right way. Which means he can’t get in. All he really had to do was walk across the Mexican border and get to one of the sanctuary cities and he would have been welcomed with open arms so long as he stayed on the Democrat Plantation. Or he could have overstayed a tourist visa, and then to the Plantation. Either way, it makes me sick and I think I’ll go puke now.

        • T.K.,

          I had a thought about how to solve the immigration problem in the U.S., or at least a big part of it. The Republicans in Congress should concede the Dream Act, allowing illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as young children citizen status if they join the military or attend college. In exchange, the Democrats would have to agree to restrictions on anchor babies–a baby born in the U.S. could be granted citizenship only if at least one of the parents is a citizen.

          • Gayle, I had the honor of attending between 20 to 30 citizen swearing in ceremonies for Marines that were becoming American citizens. My attitude was that of what one swearing them in had said ” these men and women are doing what most born here would never do and for it, they are as much an American than anyone born here, it wasn’t a birthright to be an American but they were willing to come here and put their life on the line to protect those of us born here, for that this nation is grateful.”
            I remember one of the first Marines to die in Iraq was from Mexico and the government granted his citizenship as a last act gratitude for his sacrifice. I signed a petition to allow his wife, parents and his son to stay here. They paid the price and deserved our gratitude and it was the least this country could give in return.

          • Gayle –
            If only it were that easy…
            The biggest problem is with the wording of the Constitution’s (or lack of wording depending on how you look at it) 14th amendment – “All persons BORN or naturalized IN THE UNITED STATES, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, ARE CITIZENS of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
            Of course, they were referring to ex-slaves but the wording is just too ambiguous to say it should ONLY refer to ex-slaves. Any ruling would have to come from the Supreme Court and even then, there would be that whole plenary power doctrine issue to somehow deal with. Maybe repealing the Amendment would be a simpler path.

      • Encourager says:

        Chloe, really? I didn’t know that. But I sure don’t blame them. They went through heck down there. But I learned from that book – it was the first book I read on prepping, after reading Patriots. Scared the you know what outta me…

  67. The Prepper says:

    Sorry to hear you’re not feeling well MD. I’d bring you some chicken noodle soup if you lived closeby, but since I don’t I’ll have to hand you some virtual soup. 🙂 Didn’t get any preps this week. Spent yesterday looking at rural property, though I still haven’t found the “right” place. 🙁 I’m starting to get flustered, though I know I need to keep venturing out to check things out. Hopefully I’ll find something soon.

  68. Starting Tuesday evening on Nat Geo will be a series about
    “Preppers”. As someone else stated, they are probably going
    to try to make ALL preppers look like a bunch of real kooks,
    and let’s face it, some people have become obsessed and have
    gone big time overboard. However, it should be interesting.
    We might learn a thing or two from it, both good and bad.

    Can’t help but wonder thought, aren’t they advertising and
    setting themselves up as the “Go To” place?

    Till next time,
    II Timothy 5:8

    • I got asked to be part of the show at a prepper conference several months ago. I politely declined. I don’t know why ANYONE would do it!!

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      I missed the first episode…. The trailers make some of them look downright foolish. Then…. that is the end game for that type of show…. I wonder if they hand out roses to the winner… best prepper…. or most humiliated. I plan to watch the series just to mine it for what may be of use…. and what not to say or do…. I wonder what the compensation package was?

    • I watched youtube vids of Southernprepper1 and Engineer775. They are both going to be on the National Geographic program and their videos are amazing. I highly recommend watching them. They offer advice for both newbies and those of us who have been at this a while.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Rex J,

      Maybe we should change our handle to something that is politically correct. In the business world they call it “Contingency Planning”. I was forced to go to a week long class on that topic in Baltimore. It involved redundant offices, redundant computer systems, redundant communication lines, redundant pencils & mop buckets.

      I’d feel too snooty to work in the garden if I started to call myself a “Contingency Planner”. The handle of “prepping kook” feels a lot more comfortable.

      If all of us do a good job with OPSEC, none of us will become the “Go To’ place.

      That Nat Geo show should be interesting.

  69. What I did to prep this week when TSHTF
    1) bought the wifey a .380 – 1 extra clip- 200 rounds of ball ammo to practice and box of 20 hot hollow points to carry.

    2) Bought another 100 rounds for my .40 cal. (both my pistol and carbine use this load. ( I buy a box weekly )

    3) bought another 10 1lb box’s of Pasta (1.00 box)

    4) bought a forehead mounted flash Light

    5) Bought 2 pairs of camo jeans (NEW- 2 for $30.)

  70. MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

    Just found this (Sesame Street Preparedness), and thought I’d share:

  71. CountryGirl says:

    I don’t see how that is possible. Don’t you know honey will cure your sore throat, echinacea will cure your cold, willow bark will cure your headache. Take two willow twigs and call me in the morning.

    • Country Girl,
      Do you only post when you have something cranky to say? They have an herb you can try that should help with that. Some states sell it in dispensaries. However, a slight side effect may cause you to crave Doritoes and Ben & Jerry’s.

    • templar knight says:

      CountryGirl, that was funny. Now straighten up, young lady!

  72. Tricia in NC says:

    We had a rabid fox in the neighborhood this week. My 90lb dog was going nuts and I kept telling him shush it is a cat. Then the little yappie dogs chased it out of their yard and my neighborbor said it was a gray fox. It arched its head backwards twice like it hurt. Then…it came out in the road when the children got off the school bus while I was on the phone with animal control. It was not 5 feet away from my oldest. Animal control shot it in the body and sent it to the state. Now I really wish I had a gun. My son had his ready but I think it would have too much kick for me.

    I used tax refund money to speed up preps:

    corn, green beans, rice, canned meat, sugar, flour, fruit cocktail, and then lots of items using coupons, I plan to do a lot more this week.

    I had my husband check the generator; the weather has been too kind here, anticipating a winter blast of some sort.

    I am going to get a 22 rifle. Do I have to wait a couple of days to get it after I purchase it?

    Best wishes.

    • Tricia in NC,
      “Do I have to wait a couple of days to get it after I purchase it?” Depends on your state laws, but in NC I doubt it, unless it’s some city ordinance. If you’re buying from a licensed dealer, they will run the NICS check and if you pass, you take the rifle home with you.

    • Col. S. Gray (RET) says:


      Unless you have a state specific wait, there is no requirement generally on long arms I.e. Rifles. Handguns are a different story, however if your local gunshop will make the call they can generally put a handgun in your hands within an hour. There are plenty of quality .22’s out there but I own and recommend a Ruger 10/22 for quality, durability and price.

    • George is Learning says:

      In most states if not all there is no wait to get a rifle. The guy at the store will let you know for sure 🙂

      best of luck

    • NCMommaof4 says:

      You can buy a rifle or shotgun in NC with no waiting time. If you want a handgun (and don’t have a concealed carry permit) you need to get a permit from the Sheriffs dept. It’s a 2 week wait for the background check & they cost $5/apiece. It’s nice to have a couple “just in case”. I don’t think they expire, if they do it’s at least a year. Hope this helps!

  73. mountain lady says:

    My computer died yesterday. Good thing I have this site memorized. No real preps this week, but did receive my elderberries on Thursday, so am making syrup tomorrow. Hope all of you that are ill recover very soon, and prayers sent to all that need them.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Condolences, mountain lady. We too just went through the passing of one of our computers. Would have cost at least $300 to rebuild and update – not worth it. Had to blow some dough and get one of the new quad core processors to take the place of the ‘old’ (5 years) machine.
      I just want a computer that can work efficiently for ten years. Is that too much to ask? lol

      • Encourager says:

        After reading these two posts about computers dying, I dug out some CD’s and loaded all my preparedness articles onto them from my hard drive. Going to work more at that tomorrow and load all my pics on one. Ya scared me! LOL! That was a good thing, Martha.

  74. I picked up some more 5.56×45 ammo and a use 6″ Ruger 357 mag revolver. Been looking for one and found one on an online auction site for a good price and no upcharge for a credit card (usually 3-5%)and only $15 shipping (usually $20-30).
    I was at a Men’s Retreat this weekend so I ain’t made it go bang yet, but the weather this week looks good, sooooo……

    Good to see the Pack moving forward. Haven’t read all the comments yet (getting ready for the Super Bowl). So maybe more later!

  75. Thomas The Tinker says:

    I’m tired can I stop prepping now?

    1. 1 bucket of #16 coated nails.
    2. Gorrilla tape.
    3. 2 one ton 4 shelf pantry selves.
    4. OTCs.
    5. pile o fire wood.
    6. 20 Rem wingmaster w/rifle sites, smooth bore.
    7. Custom made Bowie and skinning blades.
    8. Beer making set up. Actually….. another one.
    9. New Batt for BOV #2
    10. Rotated pantry, ‘close’ dates to Seagate food bank. Inventory pantry preps.
    11. EE order to renue ‘Calories’ in our BOBs and GHBs (8000 ea.)
    12. Made two ‘tasit’ prepper contact

    Has anyone else taken notice of the small…. but noticeable number of folks that have ‘unplugged’ as of the first of the year? Is it ‘hyper-awareness’ or…….. fatigue and the Ipswich oatmeal Stout? I have run into more people in the last 2 weeks that are ‘prepping’ and would discuss it, than in all of 2011…… Just wondering… honest.. just wondering. Has anyone else taken notice?

    • Encourager says:

      My son is an IT…and he is thinking about unplugging. He shocked me down to my toes.

      • I am not sure I understand why folks are so worried about Google and privacy. You know you can view the profile they have for you and even change it. I check my profile and it was not accurate at all–except for the fact that I like gardening.

        • Hunker-Down says:


          Google and other search engines are recording every page you go to and customizes ads to send to your P/C.
          That data is available to the government to be merged with all your online purchases, your bank statements, your health records, your phone calls, your police record, your past addresses, your heating fuel, electric and water use history. They can match you with other people who ever had the same address as you, then check their credit card purchases combined with yours against a list of restricted items.
          If your water and electric bill suddenly increases by 30%, that alerts them to check who moved in and is increasing the numbers of showers occurring in your household.
          If your expenses, as reflected on your bank statements and credit cards materially exceed the income they are tracking, you may get a visit.
          Consider all the intersections of the above data and the many conclusions they can draw from it; almost unlimited.

          • Hunker-Down says:

            And the I.P. address of your computer, AND everything in this post!

          • H-D,

            I am not convinced that our government is smart enough to put two and two together. Back when I was a reporter I researched a story (which they didn’t publish for liability reasons). It was about the FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s sex offender-predator website. Sex offenders are supposed to register when they move to Florida. FDLE is supposed to do a physical check to make sure the offenders are living at the address they provide. The photo and address of each offender is listed on a website for the public to see. Well, I wanted to see how accurate the data was. I checked on the first 100 sex offenders. Only two lived at the stated address.

            If our government can’t keep track of men who mess with children, it’s unlikely they can keep track of law abiding citizens. Really, if police don’t even have the funding to keep track of perverts, they certainly don’t have the funding to run large relational databases to keep tabs on us.

            • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

              Sex offenders are very low on the list for paying attention to these days, it seems, Gayle. I think 9-11 changed all that. Everything is terrorist focused now, and they expect to track them through the internet a lot. So, they have developed algorithms to track keywords, etc. HS has unlimited funding.

            • Hunker-Down says:


              Consider the difference in funding at the state level compared to the CIA, FBI, and all the new national security agencies.

          • Copperhead says:

            It’s no wonder Lint unplugged! I don’t like all this stuff either, but guess they already know most everything about me..sigh. I’ll be hangin’ in.

        • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

          Gayle….here are a couple articles outlining what Google is up to. Yahoo and facebook are doing the same. Basically, what it’s coming to is that everything we do online is recorded, consolidated, stored…and shared. EVERYthing done in common public portals. It’s in line with all the other “consolidation” projects that the government and big biz is up to: RFIDs, universal ID, bioscans, etc. 1984 is now.

          I yearn for the early days of newsgroups…..





  76. One of the many things I like about visiting and participating on the site is how people, who in most cases have never met face to face, really care about each other. Prayer requests, praises, triumphs and tragedies are shared here.

    Our pastor started the new year with a four part series on prayer and it has been my privilege to pray for and share in the praise of those posting here. What a joy it is! So, if you posted a prayer request here and I read it, be assured that it was prayed over.

    Light week for me as far as preps go. Obtained a new backpack to serve as a full-time bugout bag, which was something that I was sorely lacking. It has molle attachments and a spot for a camelback setup.

    Also obtained more horse manure for my garden and since it has been very mild here in central Ohio for the past several weeks, I hope to get it worked in the two spots that really need it this week.

    The rest of my preps continue to be learning new things and researching more on rabbits. My wife is still resisting the idea but I think she is starting to soften. Especially since she found out that rabbit raising is an optional merit badge that would count for each of our boys towards Eagle Scout. We will see what happens over the next few weeks.

    Take care Wolfpack and have a Blessed week!

    • JD…yes, I too find the shared prayer requests, praises, triumphs and tragedies very important…

      people (we) are interacting with and reaching out to are similar and like-minded people…

      the fact that we all support each other through our prepping weeks really helps me a lot…as will not talk to my neighbours or people I interact with face-to-face re preps…I feel it would be too dangerous down the track.

  77. This week I bought an additional 50 pounds of long grain brown rice, 1/2 gallon of soy sauce, 50 pounds of sugar, a case each of canned baked beans, canned corn, and toilet paper; peanut butter, 40 AA batteries, and 1000 rounds of 22LR ammo. I already have storage of each of these items, and I eat and use all of these items regularly – this was just more of each. Bought three books: one on square foot gardening (which appeals to the lazt gardener in me), one all about revolvers by Grant Cunningham, and a third all about the Jesus-plus-nothing grace movement. Only had time to read some of the revolver book so far (and I highly recommend it).

  78. ozhillbilly says:

    MD, we all hope and pray you get well soon. The creeping crud is no fun.

    Hi Wolf Pack. For a retired guy it seems I’m busier now than I ever have been. Time sure flies when you are having fun. I started out the week going to Wally World where I picked up another seven gallon water jug, 100 rounds of .22 caliber hollow points, fifteen rounds of 12 gauge slugs and four AA rechargeable batteries. Then I was off to ACE Hardware to spend a $5.00 gift card they sent me in the mail. I wanted to buy some bulk seed but it hadn’t arrived yet so I spent the money on strike anywhere matches.

    I worked on my garden this week cleaning up last year’s debris, tilling, etc. I’m also assessing my family’s needs trying to figure out a game plan for our preparedness. It’s helpful if everyone is onboard but like most folks and their families, you always have a few that don’t want to play.

    Not being able to find a source for gamma lids in town I went to the internet. There I found BayTec Containers. I ordered six for $45.69 delivered to my door. That ciphers up to $7.61 each. The reason I only ordered six was because I wanted to see the quality of their product. If they meet my approval I’ll probably order more. I don’t need a gross but if a person were to join together with enough others that amount could be ordered for $845.01 delivered to their doorstep. That would be $5.87 each. This is retail price not wholesale. Sorry, I’m just thinking out loud.

    Late in the week I travelled down to Ozark, Missouri to a new surplus store. It is called Fort Barnes Military Surplus & Tactical Gear store. Jason Barnes is the owner and is a nice fellow with a sincere interest in helping his customers. There I purchased a large ALICE pack for $20.00, a stainless steel canteen cup for $6.00 and five, 8 unit size, desiccant packs for 75 cents each. Of course all of this merchandise is used but the ALICE pack is like new and the rest very respectable condition. Overall I was impressed with this new store and wish Jason the best.

    Friday evening I attended the weekly meeting of USA Prepares here in Springfield. The topic this week was Prepper Communications, the speaker was Alan Busiek. Being an engineer and a licensed HAM radio operator he presented an informative lesson. I believe Vincent Finelli is the host of these meet-ups and the people that attend are good folks.

    That about covers my prepping for the week. Hope I wasn’t too boring. It’s nice to have a place to go to discuss this sort of thing, to get and give ideas and feedback. I thank you all for that.

    • templar knight says:

      Dude, you had an awesome week. That military surplus store in Ozark sounds great, looks like you got some good stuff there. And it’s hard to believe it’s garden time again. How large an area do you have to garden?

      I’m glad temperatures have returned to normal here where I am, with 28 degrees this morning feeling a lot better than it has been. With all the warm weather, I’m afraid all the trees are going to bud out and get killed by a frost. With another 3 inches on rain this week, it’s a wee bit muddy here. How about Springfield?

      Nice job of prepping, hillbilly.

      • ozhillbilly says:

        Hi templar knight! Thanks. Yes, I’m really trying to put some effort out to get better organized and prepared. I have a waaaaay long way to go though. I stopped back by the military surplus store yesterday because he’s having a grand opening this week. I picked up a couple more things. I’ll probably mention that in next week’s post. It seems I run about a week behind . . . smile.

        As you know I live in Springfield. I believe my survey states I have .37 hundreds of an acre. For a city lot I guess that’s what should be expected. My actual garden spot measures about 50 by 50 feet. That does not include an area where I have my compost, a small greenhouse and part of my woodpile. My dirt is as good as you would want but I have a shade issue. I guess you can’t have everything.

        I’m like you in your thinking we really need a good taste of winter here. So far it’s been very mild. Today we are in the mid 40’s and it’s drizzling right now. We got an inch of rain a day or two ago.

        Thanks for the encouragement. I hope your efforts are productive and your spirits high.

    • Encourager says:

      Ozhillbilly, I get the gamma seal lids through my food co-op, free shipping, for $5.95 each. They get them through Country Life Natural Foods in MI. (www.cinf.org) Not sure what the shipping would be.

      • ozhillbilly says:

        Thanks Encourager for your advice! I did receive the above mentioned gamma lids yesterday. I found the quality to be good so overall I’m happy with this purchase. I will follow up with the site you recommend to see if I can get a better price without having to buy such a large quantity. Being on a budget every dollar I save is a dollar I can spend on beans and rice!

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      ozhillbilly, that southwest MO vicinity is a great area. I did a heck of a lot of camping, fishing and hunting around Forsyth, at Tablerock Lake, and across the border around the Buffalo River. You’re making me homesick….

    • Nuttbush54 says:

      You can get the gamma lids at Home Depot for $6.97. I have ordered from Baytec and was happy with them but the best price I have found for them online is at freckleface.com . I believe most of the ones sold are from the same manufacturer and it is a USA made product and they are very well made. Just a little hard to get the ring on the buckets because it is a tight fit. That is a good thing though, it keeps out the bugs. And don’t try to put the ring part on with the screw on lid in place, it won’t work.

  79. Prayers for M. D. and others who need them. Not much prepping here except for considering alternatives after watching DH experience a TIA. Do now have powdered aspirin for quick administration and a doc’s appointment for him. Interesting to note that a TIA may not appear as a stroke because the difference from side to side may not show up. It didn’t for him.

    • Plant Lady says:

      gamrich: Oh, prayers to you and your husband! Those TIAs are terrifying…my MIL has them fairly frequently. At first they thought they were seizures, but they are TIAs. She is DNR (do not resuscitate) as she is almost 88, has Alzheimers and was on Hospice for the past 2 yrs. I swear, her TIAs are harder on me than on her…she comes out fine, usually with even better cognition, while I am mentally and physically limp from adrenaline overload.
      Sure hope you can get this cleared up fast!

  80. Get well soon! Ordered dropper bottles and picked up vodka to make tinctures this week. Also ordered a grain mill for grinding grains. Getting ready to orders starting solar items and batteries. Need to start some seeds this week still. Finally moving into the stone house this week.

  81. Diver Gal (So. FL) says:

    Hey Wolfpack,

    M.D. – Sorry to hear you are under the weather. Hope you are up and about and felling better soon.

    This week was great for prepping between BOGO’s and coupons:
    4 Franks Hot Sauce
    6 Crystal Hot Sauce
    4 Mustard
    27 Cans Muir Glen Tomatos
    8 Cans Corn Beef Hash
    8 Cans Roast Beef Hash
    8 Cans Chicken
    4 Boxes of Pancake Mix

    Smoked some Amber Jack and Yellow Jack
    Bought a Crossbow and Bolts, i was feeling inspired by a previous post.

    In going through boxes that were my husbands, I found a sextant, so I have been researching and practicing using it. Just in case I’m on the boat and my GPS stops working. Plus its always fun to have a new skill.

    Started up the makings for about 8 bottles each of limoncello and orangecello. My mom’s trees were really prolific this year and while I love OJ and fresh lemonade, there is only so much you can drink.

    On another note, I really wish I was diving in the Baltic Sea right now. It’s always fun when there are new and mysterious things found. I’m supposed to head back to the retreat this week but the weather and diving have been pretty good as of late. What does it say that the normal diving season was lousy because of rough seas and wonky weather and now the winter diving which is usually not great has been the opposite. Gives you something to think about.

    Hope everyone has a great week. Happy Prepping.


    • templar knight says:

      What new and mysterious things are being found in the Baltic Sea?

    • Diver, congrats on finding the Sextant, when deployed on ship I would see on a regular basis sailors training with them and told they still do.

      Crossbow can be a fun tool to learn and has many advantages over a rifle or bow. It’s quite and if your used to shooting a rifle, all you have the basics down.

      I would recommend if you ever get the chance, dive the Pacific Islands. I had found ships and planes that were involved in WW II and the visibility pass 100 feet and beyond is the norm.

      • Diver Gal (So. FL) says:


        I have been diving in the Pacific many times: Fiji, Hawaii, Galapagos, Solomon Islands…

        The visibility can be amazing but the water is COLD. I grew up diving all over the Caribbean and was shocked the first time I jumped into the Pacific. Made me learn to use a drysuit so I could actually enjoy it.

        For the record, the crossbow is going to take some serious practice, like with anything. Tried it out and at first couldn’t come close to what I was aiming at. My brother is coming over this week to give me some lessons and tips since he hunts with his whenever he can. Until then I have my trusty speargun. 😉


        • Diver Gal, I have to say I am so jealous…. The Galapagos and Solomon Islands, wow! I would love to go.
          I could only imagine some of the beautiful things you have seen.

      • Diver gal, you been to some great spots. I had dove Japan, Guam, Thailand, Hawaii, Australia, Mexico and California.

        Have fun with the crossbow and if your having difficulties pick up a few bails of hay to make sure you don’t miss lol.

        I have used spear guns, spears with the rubber bands and what we called taco hooks which is just a stick or wooden dowel with a plant hanger hook sharpened which we used for squid and octopus.
        My nephew has my gear, my knee injury prevents me from deep diving because of the decreased blood flow to my knee it increases my odds of narcing at anything under 30 feet. Enjoy it.

        • Diver Gal (So. FL) says:


          I have the old school spearguns too but I gotta say I’m loving the Pneumatic one I recently got.

          Sorry no deeper diving for you but there is still plenty to see even if you are just snorkeling. I did the deep air course and underwater welding so I could work the oil rigs when I was working on my PhD. It made for interesting times being a woman in a manly man’s world.

          I’ve been very fortunate to be able to dive/live all over the world. It has given me the opportunity to see how others live and I have to say, even with things going downhill here, we still need to remember how lucky we are.


  82. KR Prepper says:

    I’m really happy.
    God caused my truck to miraculously stop overheating!
    (looking to purchase a diese f250/2500 and truck camper)
    I mylar’d and bucketed rice
    Bought root starters
    Bought Seeds for Peppers, Onion, Cilantro, Cabbage, Spinach , Tomatoes, and Broccoli
    Continued research on land for homestead
    Researched how to grow a garden in the bed of my truck (I live in an apartment right now)

    • Copperhead says:

      KR Prepper,
      Good news about your truck! And, what a novel idea for a garden! I just never would have thought of that. Tell us how it works out, please.

  83. I have been saving my pay checks since August and this week I was able to pay down the only debt I have…no it’s not a mortgage…we own our home and pay cash for everything including our vehicles…it’s credit card debt. I used a card to purchase an expensive piece of equipment to start a new business 5 years ago…the business didn’t even get off of the ground…sold the equipment at a $15,000 loss. I still owed $30,000 on the card, but now I owe less than a quarter of that! Thank goodness…starting to feel good. I do not do debt well.

    I did plant some of my Summer transplants…tomatoes, chard, tomatillos and basil. I planted my potatoes. Dehydrated 25 pounds of my storage potatoes…they were starting to sprout. I downloaded 100 do it yourself books on my Kindle. I made a caramel sauce out of honey (no sugar) to pour over my homemade honey ice cream (again no sugar)…I keep bees and I’m trying to wean the family off of sugar so each week I try and make something we enjoy, but tweak the recipe by using honey or homemade sorghum. I didn’t purchase any foods for the last month…we’re eating from my storage/garden/freezer which is mostly grown or raised by us. I did make it to the cabin despite the snow (looked worse on the web cam then it really was)…and got by on only wood heat…didn’t plug in the electric heaters or fire up the propane cookstove …and it was damn cold.

    • Lynda…you have done well getting that debt lowered…good on you…

      Good to hear you managed without elec’y…toughening up your body now may stand you in good stead over the long term…cheers.

  84. Repair Mama says:

    Hey Pack!

    Preps were of the weird kind this week, not the traditional stuff this time.
    I took some good advice from my pack mates and went to work on some things that I needed to do for me.
    I needed some fun and me time to help me get out of this funk I have been in for some time. I decided that I will start with some tough love for the kids. Started with DH that has the twins. I took the fact that she needed a cell phone, and $$ for some personal things that she needed. Her birthday was this month, so instead of a gift and then getting her the things that she needed, I purchased what she needed (in reason) and gave that to her for birthday! Ha! it was a good start for me. Son had to have help with the van again so instead of a new tire for the van that he requested, we got him fix a flat and told him to get the tire patched. Make him do his own work!! Other daugher and her DH is doing a bit better than the others and her and her DH will work, but She wanted me to watch grand son, but will only let me do it at her house. (She must think my house is not good enough). Well I told her that I would watch grandson, but at my house. She declined me and had to make other arrangements. I think my house is good enough. It is clean, in good repair, and not a danger to any child. So pooie on her! It is my time, I will do it my way!

    My friend came over last weekend to have me look at her laptop cause she could not get it online, so I worked on the laptop. My DH showed her the pool table we had aquired and restored last year, she wanted to come and play, so we set a time for her to come over and have some entertainment. That was last night and what fun we had. Her husband took off and left her with all 4 of her kids, so I told her to bring them with her. My daughter, twins, her 4 kids, DH and I had a loud weekend sport.
    the kids watched a movie and got to eat in living room., we shot pool and daughter had boyfriend over to play with the babies.
    It did a lot of good for my moral!

    Thanks to all of you guys for the encouraging words to tell me that it was o.k. to take a break and cut out some of the dead wood. I will try to stay strong against the children. I looked over my food storage and it is almost empty in the short term things. I will have to start over. Sigh! oh well, I can do this. I will have to take the time to do some couponing to build it back up.
    On an off note, I was in walmart the other night and noticed that they had all of the winter coats and outer wear at 50% off. We regularly purchase for DH and the crew the Walls brand insulated coveralls and coats. I am going there tomarrow after work to purchase myself a pair of coveralls and new coat along with getting my little 7yrold son a new set for next winter. The ones that he has now were purchased 3 years ago ( alittle big) He has gotten really tall and will not be able to wear them again next year. I will put them back for one of the grandsons and maybe pick up 2 more pairs for the other 2 boys for next winter. I always buy big and hem up the legs so they can get more than one year out of them. I can not pass them up for half off, and they are really warm. The store had a lot of them left cause this winter was about non existant. I may even put back some sweats, long underwear, and sweat shirts for next winter as well.

    Sorry this post was so long, but it was a good weekend and I had to share it with my friends. You guys are great!!
    Thanks for the advice

    • Copperhead says:

      Repair Mama
      We are PROUD of you!!! Good for you!! What you’re setting about doing will be difficult, but you really are helping your children by making them pay and do for themselves.
      You had fun this weekend..so glad to hear that..sounds like you had a house full of fun!
      I do the same..buying on sale stuff for my grandsons and then tell DD she can shop at the house of Mom and pay me the sale price I paid. Everything seems to be going up and that way when the boys grow into the stuff I bought, it will be way cheaper than what is in the stores. I think this is a great prep, too.
      Congratulations on making a start on caring for you and hubby. Keep up the good work!

    • Repair Mama!
      This is me doing the happy dance and you get a WOOT WOOT! A high five, a fist pump, and a sparkle! Now THATS how you show the kids how Mama takes her power back with dignity, powerful beauty and grace.
      Plus, you kept all the fun parts like shopping for your grandson and allowing YOURSELF to be happy with friends.
      Keep playing it forward, and you can not be stopped! Incredible.

    • Repair Mama,

      Good for you! Set the boundaries and stick to them. You deserve as much. Stay vigilant and don’t let your kids guilt trip you into anything. Remember, they are over 18 and able bodied–you don’t “owe” them anything.

    • Repair Mama, great job! I love the fix a flat comment.

    • repair mama…you have been on my mind – was thinking about you and your previous post -and am so happy you took action…

      hope you continue to see the benefits of putting some time aside for fun.

      loved reading your post – had a huge smile on my face…this has been a huge week of empowerment for you and others posting here.

      good idea to grab those new clothes at half price…always need clothes…

      and isn’t it amazing, that once you took some time out…and refreshed your mind and body…you are now able to focus on replenishing the short-term food items…good on you.


    • SurvivorDan says:

      Will check out Walmart seasonal discounts. Thanks RM.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Repair Mama:
        I used to have a huge house with a pool and worked my tail off to have several businesses so the kids thought it was okay to sponge off me and move back in with me most of the time. It took me over ten years to stand up to Mrs. SD and the kids and force them all to ‘stand up’ on their own. It worked. They can stand on their own two feet now. Good for you girl! I mean…Ma’am!

  85. Repair Mama says:

    Sorry for the 2nd post, but I almost forgot some stuff.

    MD, I hope you and your girlfriends son get well soon. Lots of prayers are headed your way from everyone here.

    I also wanted to thank everyone here for the prayers you sent my way over the last few months. I had some financial things going on here that I did not have the money to deal with. God sent a blessing my way, and now I can start getting some of these things cleared up. I wont go into details, just wanted to say thanks. I can now get the checking account out of the red, and pay some back property taxes. Yeah! Makes a soul feel good! I will try to spend wisely what little bit that will be left.
    God blessed me with what I needed. Good friends!
    Have a wonderful week everyone!

    • templar knight says:

      Repair Mama,

      This is some great news, and I’m very happy things seem to be working out for you. Prayers work wonders, and I don’t know anyone who couldn’t benefit from the knowledge and wisdom of some of the people who post here. We all know who they are. I say a big thank you to them myself.

    • cosmolined says:

      Repair Mama,
      I’m SOOO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!! Tough love works. I kicked out my 23 year old step-son when he said he was using drugs. It took a little while, but he’s turned out to be the best of 3 step-children. I pray for you, and the pack members who need help, regularly. Stay Strong, enjoy life and may God Bless You! Cos

    • repair mama…excellent!!! And I feel that I am blessed too…we all only know each other through our postings – yet it is enough…

      yes, can understand your happiness…know you will spend that money wisely…

      remember…have a wonderful week yourself…I (we) will be waiting to hear all about it…cheers.

  86. I wrote an article just today on the benefits of elderberry syrup for good health… It on my blog… Feel better!

  87. Vienna (Soggy prepper) says:

    Not a lot of preps this week. A couple cases of top ramen and cup o noodles. DD and DH seem to be eating those a lot lately for lunch, which is fine, super cheap. Also added 32 20 0z gatorades to replace what was used a month ago when my son was sick. The were .56 cents a piece, so not bad.

    I made a shopping list of everything I buy weekly no matter what. Then turned it into a monthly shopping list with longer term and long term storage included. So I can add to my stores in a more uniform and consistent manner. Now to just stick to the list! And yes I budgeted in money for “too good to pass up” sales.

    I reorganized my stored preps and re-arranged some stuff. Had to open up a mylar bag of 25lb wheat berries and a 25lb bag of all purpose flour. We’ve actually been using quite a bit with grinding our own wheat flour and baking our own bread, cakes, pretzels and other deserts. So I need to replace those in the next couple weeks. Paratus Familia had a pretzel recipe which actually turned out awesome! DH and DS were eating them like crazy remarking on how they actually tasted like pretzels! lol

    Watched Becks Feb. 2 and 3 shows on islam and the mooslim infiltration and the 3rd was on society going down hill basically following Baal. Very good shows. I always go away from those excited and scared at the same time.
    Barnhardt’s article on Greece and that upcoming global financial explosion is just not looking good and no way out.
    Israel and Iran are going to come to a break sooner or later and it will not be good for the entire world. A-jad and his spiritual leader have said 2012 is when the mahdi will appear. That means they have to blow the “chaos” out of everything to bring him on. Goody.
    TDL and his “declarations” and laws that get past in the dark of night make me want to scream. I don’t understand what the hell any of the elected officials are doing anymore. They are all insane! May God continue to wake people up to becoming prepared for what’s coming.

    Nancy said her preps were mostly prayers, can’t see anything wrong with that at all. In fact I’ve stepped up that part of my preps.

    I watched a you tube talk of an older gent explaining Daniel’s Timeline a couple years ago. In fact that is what it is called, Daniel’s Timeline, for those interested here’s the link.
    It’s a 12 part (10 minute segments) of this guy comparing Biblical Daniel with Jewish Calendar to narrow down events as outlined in Daniel. The 9th segment on will make you go WoW. He’s not a date setter or a weird cult, just his take of the book of Daniel. He has a matter of fact way of presenting it that just kinda makes sense. His explanation is in the back of my mind every day when I read news. I tell you what, the guy is pretty good in explaining it and it is soooo close.

    Well, now that I’ve been so cheery and positive!!
    Praying for an easy recovery for you and yours M.D. Also praying for the rest of the Pack to continue in preps in-spite of illness, job-loss, and set backs in general. Someday (hopefully not soon) we will all be thankful we’ve had this time to prepare.
    Have a great week all, keep your nose to the wind!

    • vienna…I know how you feel…I actually have nightmares after I watch some youtubes on what is going on around the globe…and I see what some people are already going through in their hometowns.

      I agree that the decisions our leaders are making are ‘insane’..however, they are playing their part in the grand scheme of things…the end times scenario has been foretold..even the names of countries/nations that are going to go against each other…

      we all know that Lord Jesus triumphs in the end…so, yes, there is a great evil about – right now, and is gripping certain people right now – a great war is prophesied – and the RFID and bio-metric screenings and scanning – the fact that this has already been implemented on some people in India…being marked like cattle…yes…some nights I have nightmares.

  88. breadmomma says:

    anyone hear from the Lint man lately? Hope you are doing well, Linty…

    • Breadmomma,

      Lint has gone off line. He was worried about Google and privacy issues–doesn’t want Big Brother listening in. I miss him too. I miss the flashlight ribbing.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        I suspect after a time, he will stop in a library (Opsec reasons) and touch bases. The Lint is pretty smart, well rounded and hence has much to offer. Itoo, hope to hear from him again.

  89. Not a lot of prep this week. I started on the taxes, looking at some fruit trees, berry bushes asparagus, and rhubarb to be ordered later this week. Started working on the frames for the beehives doing some repairs and installing new wax foundations.
    Kroger had a bunch of 10 for 10 sales and we got several Cranberry Juice cocktails and almost 4 pounds of nice large fresh blackberries that came to $2.60 per pound. These have all been frozen and will be vacuum sealed tomorrow.
    I’ve been fighting a nagging sinus issue, so I feel for all of you who are under the weather, and hope we will all be doing better when we report next weekend.

  90. Hey everyone,
    I hope everybody is well again. What did I prep last week?
    I just decided to prep, so I am at the very beginning. First I bought a large shelf for my garage which allows me to move stuff out of my flat plus extra space in general. During everyday Shopping I started to buy a little more of everything extra such as extra cans of beans, corn etc. I also calculated my needed water supply and started to buy water bottles.
    just to let U know, I live in a 250.000 people city, so I’ll be prepping for a few weeks supply only. I am surrounded by supermarkets and if the s### really hits the fan, I’ll have to leave anyway to a safer location.

    I also downloaded a “Survival guide” app for smartphone 🙂 I don’t expect it to use it in real emergencies, but when I have some.spare time I can read and educate myself e.g. while waiting Somewhere…

  91. Same old same old, just added a few small things: Hand soap, trash bags, zip locks, peanut butter, noodles, toilet paper, lamp oil. Also ordered some things from EE for our BOBs: shovel/multi tool, flat-fold stove, emergency blankets, water filters.
    Planted a few herbs. My 1st time! And had to dig my lint out of the trash because hubby didn’t know I was saving it & threw it out. He understood once I told him though, lol.
    Also watched Contagion. Decided as a result to push “get gun’ to top of our to-do list! And also instead of adding to the emergency fund with cash that would be useless in such a situation, we are going to bulk up our food/water supply.

    • Forgot about the best part: got $200+ worth of winter clothing for my daughter for $50. Aside from a few pairs of pants & shoes, she will have clothing for the next 2 or 3 winters. Yay!

  92. Prayers for MD and all the Wolf Pack.

    Short on time this morning (what else is new) but will have a chance to read more of what you did this afternoon.

    Picked up a #10 can of freeze dried peas, a few boxes of ammo and some .177 pellets, 3 pair of clear safety glasses, a pair of mechanics gloves, and an oto scope for the first aid box.

    Something has been eating the tops off of my onions. Don’t know if it is bug, bird or other critter. Put some coarse heavy nylon mesh over the containers, which are off the ground.

  93. MD get well. I too have been fighting it. I have found some good relief by adding 1 tsp Turmeric to my Tang every morning and 1/2 tsp to my chicken noodle soup in the evening. My chest is healing nicely from my surgery to replace my ICD. The old one was 8 yrs but it saved me 3 times. Now I am also passing some kidney stones. I hit all the prepper medical sites and confirmed my thoughts on it. Then I went to my Dr and he confirmed I was right. I was a good test. Got a great deal on Campbells chicken noodle soup at Albertsons this week. Added bacon Spam to the food supply too. Purchased 500 ft of para cord and picked up a book on Bushcraft at a book sale for 25 cents. Went through the freezer and pantry. Have 60 days worth of frozen food. Surprised myself with that discovery. Being home sick and I can’t stay down. Added another 500 rds of 22 lr and 100 9mm to the gun vault. Found a lot of great winter clearance sales this weekend at the stores. This is a great time to buy warm clothes cheep. Thanks to everyone for all the prayers and our prayers continue for you and our nation. I sure miss reading Lints humor.

    • Caoimhin, kidney stones, you poor baby! Feel better soon. Sounds like you had a great prepping week in spite of it all.

  94. Plant Lady,

    My Excalibur came as a refurbished one from the Excal site. It looked brand neew and has performed well for several years now. It came with a screen for each tray as well as two or three Paraflex leather sheets. I’ve never needed more but know that I could line a tray with plastic wrap if needed. I was happy with the price and just love the machine.

    • Plant Lady says:

      Thanks, gamrich! I am thinking seriously about going that way – they have just what I want at a considerable discount! So glad to hear you had a good experience with one!!!

  95. templar knight says:

    First of all, I hope you feel better today, MD. The flu is serious stuff, so rest and get plenty of fluids. To me sleep is God’s antibiotic, and if one can get plenty of that, one stays healthy more often than not.

    Didn’t do much to prep this week. I’m getting ready for gun shows the next 2 weekends. I’m hoping to find a new Ruger SR 22 and/or a Marlin 1894CSS or 1894SS. One of the shows is in Louisiana so I’ve been busy making up LSU plaques to sell or trade. I also made 5 jewelry boxes out of cedar to sell. I’m hoping to pay for my trip and at least one gun with the proceeds. We’ll see.

    I bought an anvil this past week at a garage sale. Just a small anvil, but I think it will come in handy. I also got a few old tools at the same sale, a couple of old wooden hammers, a balpine hammer, some box wrenches and a hodge-podge of old screwdrivers and pliers. But I think I can clean them up and make them useful. I didn’t do any food prepping at all, but did buy 2 bricks of .22 shells at Wally World.

    I also saw an article this past week where a guy in Wisconsin(Hunker-Down, you might know more about this) was the first to use a firearm with the new CCP and shot a guy in the head and leg with a 9mm handgun. The guy who was shot then proceeded to escape after being shot in the forehead at 20 ft. Has anyone heard this story?

    • riverrider says:

      tk, CCP?

      • riverrider says:

        oh carry permit,dah. i was thinking it was some kind of new ammo,LOL…did you hear about the guy in ogden,utah? seems the local yokels wanted to play with their new swat toys and went to serve a warrant on a guy at 3 a.m. for parking tickets or some b.s… result= 1 dead cop, 5 wounded, one subject slightly injured. while i hate that someone lost his life in this, it ought to be a wakeup call to TPTB to lay off us, especially at 3 a.m… that or let the real pro’s handle it…..as far as 9mm, well the guy that killed my best friend took 11 357mag rounds to the upper torso and still had to be restrained physically. i also worked a case where the 22 shooter took out the 45acp shooter head to head, so to speak. stack it high.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      templar knight,

      Here’s the story,


      This story is so dumb, I deleted everything I was about to post.

      • templar knight says:


        Thanks for the link. The story was linked at althouse’s blog, and it seems the guy foiled an armed robbery attempt at an Aldi’s. According to the story, the perp was hit twice, dropped his shotgun, and ran out of the store and escaped. But he was soon captured at a hospital, I think it said. Oh, well, the guy foiled the robbery without anyone getting hurt other than the perp, so success. I’ll reserve my judgment on the 9mm until I find out more, but I carry one occasionally, so I’ll be interested to find out more info on this case.

  96. I'm A Prep Kat says:

    Love this blog. I’ve been lurking for a while, but you all are so inspiring.

    This week I learned how to process my chickens. I’ve had laying hens for a while, but always farmed out the processing of the meat birds – until this weekend. I feel comfortable enough to do my own birds from now on. Not pretty, but necessary.

    I bought organic seeds for my garden. Need to get some of it started indoors so it can go out as soon as the weather permits. Can hardly wait for spring!

    • Encourager says:

      Kat, I envy you learning how to process your chickens. I am still too squeamish to do it. But I could if I had to….I think….
      Welcome to the blog. I lurked for months, lol

    • I A P Kat,

      Welcome to the Wolf Pack. It sounds like you’ve got a great start on prepping.

  97. NCMommaof4 says:

    I’m very excited about this week! My husband and I purchased matching Kel Tec P11’s (early Valentine’s Day presents!) We have handguns- but this is my first official gun that is “mine” 😉 I shot it, cleaned it, and took it apart/ reassembled it 5 times just to make sure I’d remember how. We purchased an 8qt cast iron dutch oven and the tripod thing that you hang it on. We do a lot of camping and I’ve wanted one forever! I found a really nice backpack at the Goodwill- lots of pockets, the straps are really padded. So I started a BOB. I keep lots of stuff in my truck, but a big plastic tub isn’t exactly portable… I started keeping my dryer lint (lots of eyerolling at my house regarding that) and I found some directions on YouTube about how to make a Pop Can Stove. I thought it looked pretty cool and plan on making one soon.

    • Pineslayer says:

      Congrats on the Valentines Day presents and the other goodies. As far as the pop can stove, fun toy, but not very effective. I have made some and they are fragile and will fall apart soon enough, unless you have some old school cans laying around. I recommend a Hobo style stove or pony up for a Volcano stove (Swiss Ranger style) or a Trangia Alcohol burner. Both are cheap and easy. You will lots of plans for Hobo stoves out there.

    • NCMommaof4⁠ and pineslayer, may I suggest what someone brought up last week and I’m getting ready to make one and that’s an ammo can stove. They work great, you can use wood or coals to cook with and the metal can handle the heat.

      • Pineslayer says:

        I just found this weekends project, very cool and practical for the bug-out van. I happen to have a beater can that is begging to be put to work. Thanks, Jarhead. What does the 03 stand for?

        • Pineslayer 03 is the first two numbers or designation of the Marine Corps Military Occupational Specialty for Infantry. Its followed by an additional 2 numbers to specify what specific job in the infantry one has like 0311, 0321, 0331, 0351

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Ammo can stove…good. And if you sit on it or drop something on it, it doesn’t get smushed like my old hobo stove did! Plenty of U-tube videos on various ammo can stove designs. K.I.S.S. They work great and you can carry your mess kit, tinder and stuff inside it with the lid on.

  98. NCMommaof4 says:

    By the way, for any couponers out there Super Doubles start at Harris Teeter and Lowes Food next week.

    • Diver Gal (So. FL) says:

      Oh how I wish the Publix stores in Florida would have double coupons and penny deals like in the other states….


      • Diver Gal,

        You can use one store coupon (or competitor’s coupon) and one manufacturer’s coupon. And for BOGO items, you can use four coupons and get money back. The problem is that it’s getting harder and harder to find coupons for real food.

        • Diver Gal (So. FL) says:


          I always try to double up on my coupons like you said but you’re right; they don’t often issue ‘healthy food’ coupons. Unless you are a processed food junkie it makes it difficult. Still I try.

          They also make it difficult with the $1.00 off 2 coupons. Things are certainly different from when I used to sit and clip coupons with my grandmother.


      • BamaBecca says:

        Diver Gal, if you have a Bruno’s near you, they double coupons up to 50 cents. I just learned this as I was checking out gro stores a little further from my house than I normally go. For me, it will be worth the trip and help out on food storage now that I’m laid off from work. Good luck! (Publix here doesn’t double coupons…..uuuggghhhh)

  99. sw't tater says:

    Get better soon! ….take some L-Lysine and you won’t get any virus’! available at wally worlds and Dollar stores everywhere…. it’s a substance our body makes in small amounts naturally….just sayin’

  100. I about choked on my coffee this morning when I read this. Gas prices going up to $4 a gallon, possibly even up to $6? Yeah, who can afford gas now, you jack the prices up that high and everyone is going to be walking to work. Not to mention the cost that is going to show up in energy bills and grocery stores…

    • Aggg. that makes me SICK too! It already costs me 100 bucks to fill up my diesel truck. It will only get worse. My son wanted to get a big lifted truck, but I wouldn’t let him. I told him he would have fun and look great sitting in the driveway, out of gas.

      • I couldnt believe it. My husband already goes thru a couple hundred in gas every week driving all over Houston. If gas prices go that high, I am not sure what we are going to do.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Yeah, I hear you. I have to drive 80 miles round trip to work (only three days tho). And every week I make one or two trips into town to shop (50-70 mile round trips) and/or check on my folks. I may have to limit it to one trip a week and eventually only every other week. I stop to see the folks when I go to work as they are in that direction. I’ve been to other countries so I’ve experienced high gas prices before. It was inevitable. What happened to “drill baby drill’? And where’s my solar powered truck?

    • DadDeDuex,
      Me! Whooo Hooo!

      • Ok. now that I watched it… Dang. Some of those people are a bunch of yahoos! WTHeck?

        • DadDeDeux says:

          So, I haven’t seen it, but aside from their rationale for preparing, did you glean any good information on how better to prepare?

        • cosmolined says:

          Mama J:
          I couldn’t agree more. (I am however disappointed that my plan to invite folks in need to my house for supper and then POISON them has been revealed…. ) What a disappointing waste of time. I’d rather read “What did you do this week to prep?” twice. Cos P.S. Just in case, that WAS sarcasm. LOL

        • Mama J.,

          You got that right–the young woman from Houston thinking she can just walk out of town on foot to her BOV, through some of the worst parts of the city. That’s nuts.

          And the woman from New England who didn’t think she needed firearms to protect her preps.

          The really fat man with the ham radio was a complete wacko.

          The woman from Utah that made gourmet food from food storage sounded like a real person. I wish they would have said a bit more about her preps. It’s just too bad they choose people who are so extreme and weird.

          One thing I can’t figure out is why anyone would agree to be on the show. I mean, that’s a huge OPSEC violation.

          • Pineslayer says:

            I would guess that they got some $. You already answered the other half, crazy. I haven’t seen it yet, but set up my DVR today.

            Good-bye Templar, I understand your feelings, I too think that it might be time to dig more and deeper holes. It truly is getting edgy out there.

            • cosmolined says:

              Good Bye Templar? Where did that come from? I scanned up a couple of dozen threads but don’t see anything…. If it’s true, God Bless Brother. Pleasure to know you. Cos

            • cosmo…it’s on the post re ‘doomday preppers’ that MD just posted…I know..I wish him well…

            • cos, also – mexneck, bc truck have not posted for a while…

    • Hunker-Down says:


      Thanks for the link, its an interesting article, I don’t agree with the spin it takes.

      So, according to Lorenzo DiTommasso, apocalypticism is a religion. Who is this nut?

      I admit to being an apocalyptic thinker (who isn’t?) but it in no way defines my moral standards.

      I prefer to be known as practicing stingycism.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Though I just got her a new quad core based computer for her birthday, my long suffering spouse says I’m cheapocalyptic.
        She’ll be relieved to know that I’ve decided to give up my cheapo/prepping ways and convert to Stingycism. 😉

        • Hunker-Down says:


          From now on, any politician we vote for should be required to pass a cheapocalyptic personality profile test and have a solid track record of stingycism.

  101. I am new here and have been reading all the posts and information for about a month. I have been a prepper for a long time, in fact I think I came that way naturally from birth LOL. Thank you all for the information, I learn something new here every day.
    This week I pre-ordered 80 lbs of hamburger from Zycon Foods. I will pick it up this weekend. I plan on freezing some, canning some and making “hamburger rocks” out of some. Any one else have experience with Zaycon Foods? This is my first order from them.

    • cosmolined says:

      Welcome to the Pack Storm!
      Sorry, I’ve never heard of Zycon Foods. (Just didn’t want you to think you were being ignored.) I’d try posting on Saturday or Sunday to get responses from the whole Pack. They are a Fantastic group of folks who offer advice that is tempered with experience….. Cos

      • Vienna (Soggy prepper) says:

        yes. Last week was my first week ordering from Zaycon. And my first time canning meat, I did 10 pints of chicken, froze the rest. The Zaycon chicken is absolutely beautiful and I will order it again the next time they offer it in our area.

        How is the beef? I didn’t order that when it was here, I probably should have. Have you tasted it? The chicken tastes really good, kinda like…Chicken! lol better then foster farms or tyson for sure!

    • conmaze (nofla) says:

      Welcome, Storm. I’m a newbie here too, but it doesn’t take long to feel right at home wih this great group of people who will very quickly feel like family. I too have been somewhat of a prepper off and on for years, but you will learn something new everytime you visit. Can’t wait to hear what you have to share from your years of prepping.

      Zaycon, yes, I have signed up also. A friend told me their meat is top of the line and their chicken breasts are the biggest they’ve ever seen. My friend loves their bacon and cans it. I missed out on the last deal in my area so I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.

      If anyone is interested, it would help me if you would please use this link https://secure.zayconfoods.com/refer/zf70735 so that I can get a $1.00 referral discount off my next order. Check to see if they deliver in your area. They have a new deal once a month and deliver to a designated location on one day only so you have to be there to pick up your order. They have fresh (never been frozen) all natural chicken breasts, bacon, lean ground beef, salmon, cod, all sold by the case – usually 40 pounds. They also have clover honey and fruits. Very high-quality stuff, I’ve been told by my friend. This is a good deal per pound and a great way to get stocked up. Can even be a better deal if you get those referral discounts! Get those canners and dehydrators earning their keep tee hee.

    • hello storm…welcome.

      • Thank you all for the warm welcome.
        I pick up my hamburger this Saturday and will have some that evening. I will report back on my take on the quality.
        On another note, I scored on ten new five-gallon buckets with with locking lids from work today free. They may not be food grade but I use Mylar bags so it is a moot point.

  102. Plant Lady,

    I do appreciate your thoughtful comments. We have done one doc visit and have more tests scheduled. Yesterday’s test had a good result. I do watch as he sleeps to see that he’s still breathing.

  103. I have a question. I have some bamboo growing on the property and I was thinking about using some to make a trellis for some of my plants (vegetables and flowers). When I went to collect some, I noticed an area where the power company had already cut it down so they could reach one of their poles, so I was thinking about just collecting that. While I was gathering it, I noticed something black all over it. I am not sure if it is mold but that is what I am guessing. So my question is this, should I just abandon this and cut fresh bamboo and let it dry for a week or would rubbing alcohol (or something else so long as it isnt bleach) clean it?

    • TG
      I have lots of bamboo of different kinds. It is mold. Wipe it with a weak bleach and let it air dry in the sun. The bleach will go away in a couple of days and will not hurt anything. I use bamboo for tomatoe cages and staking up other plants. It is great stuff.

  104. SurvivorDan says:

    Fell off a ladder in the kitchen while rounding up a scorpion. Impact a couple of inches over and I could have been on ‘A thousand ways to die’. lol.
    I was incapacitated the next morning and had to use my cane to get about and forced to put off my planned errand for the day.
    The point of this is I couldn’t stand the lack of productivity. I made a second ammo can stove out of a 20mm ammo can. Then cooked off the paint with a hot fire tonight. Better than nothing. No matter the circumstance, you can do something to prep.

    • Survivor Dan, hope you are feeling better and recover soon.

      I’m planning on making a smaller ammo can for camping trips and simple cooking/heating water. Glad your ok and still prepping.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Thanks Jarhead. Worse pain today than yesterday but Mrs. S.D. says its my own fault because with an impact injury to my kidneys and back, I don’t want to take pain killers that may mask any symptoms if something worsens. I have an idiot for a doctor – me! Still better than Monday night, yikes!

        The 20mm can is not too big unless you mean hiking/camping. Then it needs wheels. I like this size cuz it holds an 8″ pan w/folding handle, a 1 qt pot and lid, utensils, spices, tinder, oven mitt, 2 steel cups and some paper plates. I’m using the 2 1/4″ single air hole design with 16 skewers for the cooking top. Works well and one end is very hot while the end by the hole not-quite-so-hot. Some fabricate a built-in metal damper but I just use a log or a rock for a damper.

  105. Encourager says:

    M.D., are you feeling any better??

  106. Stopped by to get caught up on comments and ended up here all day. Time well spent. My prayers to all of you facing hardships. My preps this week were light as money continues to be an issue. DW and I were discussing all the spin out there about things getting better, yea right. We make good money and still have to watch every dime to keep our heads above water. The gun show this weekend continued to grow.This time the line was out the door and into th parking lot. I guess that’s going to be the new normal. I have to go pick up some bulk sugar tomorrow from Costco before it becomes illegal to own or distribute. Never thought I’d see the day where it’s OK to smoke weed in the parking lot of the grocery store but if you have pure cane sugar your going to get cuffed and stuffed. Oh and I came across this for those of you looking to add to your cold climate preps. It’s been chilly down South 🙁 Now I’m ready for my clear blue and 92.
    Deo duce, ferro comitante

    • Mexneck, I went to our small town grocery store yesterday and they wanted $9.96 for a 10lb bag of sugar!! Bout choked right there! Hopefully I have plenty stored for awhile.

      • Hi Copperhead,
        Well you know the shadow guberment, if they can’t make it illegal they’ll try and price it out of range for everybody except the elite.


  107. miniceptor says:

    Still learning… and this really covers the last 2 weeks. I still feel like I’m all over the place. I read an article and think “what a great idea” and end up side tracked. =(

    – worked a bit on a family binder
    – started freezer cooking (love this!)
    – dedicated a portion of our $100/wk grocery budget (for 6 people) to purchasing supplies out of the camping section (fuel, blankets, etc.)
    – ordered a non-electrical vacuum sealer (thanks debbieo)
    – learned how to preserve fresh eggs and how to freeze them (plan on stocking up this week)
    – contacted a local gardener about trading the egg shells (I don’t have any use for them… yet)
    – researched organization methods for food storage

    Any help / suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    • miniceptor, I am still new (9 months) to prepping. When I first started I was all over the place as well. I think that is normal for newbies. I have found that the further along I get the better I feel and the easier it is to focus. I still have a long way to go.
      Something that has really helped me along is having several lists. I have a weekly shopping list, on it is certain food items, water, shopping the sales adds and trying to stock up on OTC meds and other med stuff. Then I have my monthly list. My monthly lists is a focus on one area of preps, such as lighting, cooking, defense. This gives me the ability to do big preps on a monthly basis without sacrificing the little stuff. Now if I can figure out how to get ahead of the toilet paper game…….

    • Welcome, Minicepter! The Wolf Pack is a great bunch. Read here often and you will learn lots. Also surf M. D.’s blog and you learn more than you can absorb! It’s full of good stuff. Looks like you have a pretty good start..just keep going!

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