What did you do to prep this week?

Before we start I would like to give a big shout-out and a thank you to Charles P, Jodi J, Thomas R, Linda C, and Cindy M for their donations this week via PayPal. Thank you all very much, it is greatly appreciated.  If TheSurvivalistBlog.net has been useful to you and you would like to contribute by making a donation you can do that by clicking on this link.

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To enter, all you have to do is mention TheSurvivalistBlog.net on another site, your blog or social media page then send me an email to let me know. It’s that easy. The winner will be picked at random from all valid entries received before the closing date (July 29 2013.). Good luck!

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

Unfortunately, not a lot… It’s been raining for most of the week so I haven’t been able to do much outside, (I did make a list of some things that I need / want to get done).

  • I organized my books and instructional DVD collection / library.
  • Cleaned and organized my food storage pantry.
  • Watched a couple of prepper related movies / documentaries on Netflix including “The Conspiracy to Rule the World: From 911 to the Illuminati“, “911: In Plane Site“, and “Apocalypse How“. Since cable isn’t available at my location, I have a Roku and can watch just about anything that I want via Netflix and Hulu on my TV (for under $20 per month).
  • Watched my tomatoes and grass (not the kind some people smoke) grow – like I said it’s been a slow week…

Well what about you? What did you do to prep this week? Hopefully, you did more than I did…

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. seeuncourt says:

    wormed the bottle calves, weeded the garden, worked on my article for this site, avec photos :-), kept 11 of the original 15 turkey poults alive, worked out a deal with several co workers to purchase farm fresh eggs. Researched communication radios. What do you all think about the “talk about” series of radios? Has anyone done a gear review for handheld radios?

    • seeuncourt,
      The Talk About is the Motorola brand of FRS (Family Radio Service) handheld radios and are similar to nearly all of the FRS radios available. The FRS radio specifications are set by the FCC, and most use a standard chip set. Like any FRS radio, they have limited range depending on your location and terrain, since they all use 1/2 watt of power maximum on UHF. The downside of FRS radios is that many people have them, so you can pretty much count on no privacy at all, unless you live miles from the closest neighbor. The upside is that they are reliable and inexpensive.

      • Warmongerel says:

        We use the Motorola Talkabouts at work. They work fine as long as you’re in LOS (Line of Sight) and/or the atmospheric conditions are right.

        Sometimes I can hear them when I’m 1/4 mile away. Sometimes I can’t hear people from the office 400′ away without major “breakup”.

        They do have a lot of sub-channels that you can set, so if you’re getting cross-chatter from someone else, you can just go to another sub-channel.

        They’re OK if you want to communicate in a small area, but they don’t give you anything close to the range advertised on the package.

        • seeuncourt & Warmongerel,
          They aren’t really sub channels, as in different frequencies, they are called Tone Squelch, where the transmitter transmits a sub-audible tone and the receiver will not open it’s squelch, even with a strong signal, unless the tone is present on the transmission. Both radios must be set to the same selection.

          • Seeuncourt says:


            What radios are good? Maybe there’s already a post somewhere else on the blog. ??? I am looking for middle expense varied terain radios. I live in the mountainous west, where the bol is, but have the homestead in the prairie/foothills. needing to be able to hit at least a mile, but not just line of sight….

            Suggestions? Or maybe a non-fiction entry for someone with this info?

            • Seeuncourt,
              Unlicensed handheld radios are generally all in the VHF and UHF bands, with relatively low power, and that pretty much means line of sight. You can get a GMRS license which requires only an application and $80 with no testing, the last time I looked. While still in the UHF band, you can get more power and with a base station connected to an antenna on a high point (tower, tree, barn roof, etc. provides a longer line of sught.
              You can also look into an Amateur Radio licence (ham radio) which requires a simple test, but gives you lots of options; however, everyone using a radio must have their own license.
              There is basically no simple answer to your question.

          • Warmongerel says:

            Learn something every day. Not sure what I just learned…but thanks, OP! 😉

  2. axelsteve says:

    It was in the triple digits this week. My biggest prep was warding off heatstroke! Several days were over 110 degrees! Got a gatoraid mix at walmart and I drank that for several days. It helped I started feeling better after I bought that.

    • Mystery Guest says:

      I felt every degree of your pain.
      I have a small water cooler that can’t push cool air very far. Thought I was going to give up the ghost.
      The mug and humidity dang near laid me flat.
      I had bought the already made up gatoraid. It kept me from passing out, but got to thinking if I passed out and stayed that way till it cooled off I would be better off.
      We usually don’t have this until August. Hope that means it will skip being hot as hades till fall.
      Thank God it is cool enough this morning I went looking for a shirt to wear as my back hates cold, but instead decided to suffer in gladness that it is cool, cool, cool.
      Wish we could suck the cool up like a sponge.

    • Part of my survival strategy is living and staying north. I know myself and could not deal with that degree of heat. I can deal with cold much better.

      I guess what I’m saying is location is a factor in survival in more than one way!

      • JeffintheWest says:

        Yeah, but I’m about as far north as Chicago is, and it was over 100F here too!

        • Donna in MN says:

          But how about 83 degrees? I moved far north near the Canadian border to escape the heat. There is a trade off with extra cold winters, although I found out you can’t take off your skin when it is that hot, but when it is cold you can add layers of clothing to your skin.

          • Warmongerel says:

            There are about 5 nice days per year in MN, Donna. The rest are too hot, too muggy, too cold, too windy, etc. Oh…and I almost forgot about the bugs.

            I always ask myself why I stay.

        • axelsteve says:

          I would be more worried about the gunfire in Chicago than the temperature.

      • Encourager says:

        I simply can’t imagine living in day-after-day over 100 degree heat! I have enough problems when the temp climbs into the high 80’s/90’s. Son came over today and dh and he installed the two window air conditioners we have. That will cool the office (where I am right now) and our bedroom area. I have resisted turning them on! Might even last out the day, we will see.

        I love winter. Yes, I really do. Love going outside and deep breathing that crisp cold air. I can always put on another layer of clothing or throw another log in the woodstove. When it is hot, once you have pealed off all the layers, you are still HOT. And miserable!

        Note to self: think cool thoughts…think cool thoughts…

        • Encourager and everyone-upstate NY is usually cold in winter and hot in August-its been stifling hot and rainy and humid-We also are used to the cold. We use fans only but this heat is sure knocking down our production. Years ago the hottest place was in the barn putting hay away up top.(at our age we couldn’t manage that now)The climate has changed and I believe the good Lord is trying to tell us something. ( like take care of the good earth I lent to you)

          • Encourager says:

            Amen, Arlene. Us humans have not done a good job taking care of the earth, have we? And then there are the normal, long term climate changes we can do nothing about. We just need to learn to adapt and quit moanin’ and groanin’ (talking to meself here!!)

        • +1
          Been nice here in Ohio. Mid 80’s daytime and mid 60’s at night, with a good bit of rain.

          • breadmomma says:

            give me the nice cool coast…you can have your heat…our heat wave was…wait for it….wait for it….75 degrees…ahhhhhh

            • S'wt Tater says:

              Now, breadmomma, that was not nice..
              .I am in a high humidity zone, but not what some ppl are sweltering in…like many others don’t tolerate high heat..nor cold, , I mean Below 30 degrees…and above 94,.. You folks that have these extremes have my prayers!

      • Mike, I know what you mean except that we are opposites. I can handle the triple digit heat but get me out of the house when it’s under 45f? Forget it.

      • axelsteve says:

        Mike I agree with you! I would rather have cold then heat. It is easier to warm up then cool off generally.

        • Survivor says:

          One can always put on more clothes to get warm, but ya just can’t take enough off to get cool!!

        • axelsteve,
          Same here. For cold, I can layer up indefinitely and build a fire. For heat, the layering down eventually has to stop, and short of sitting in an icey spring, there are few natural ways as easy as building a fire to cool down.

    • JP in MT says:


      Although it won’t be over 100 degrees, next week we are going to central Montana on a mission trip. During the day we will be striping a 45 acre parking lot. I should only get into the mid-90’s.

      I’m the “water boy” for the group. So far I have 4 cases of Gatorage pre-mix and 6 cans of mix that make 6 gal each. I’ll have 2 cooler and 2 drink jugs on the 4-wheeler.

      • axelsteve says:

        JP in MT MY wifes uncle had a company in Denver that did that. They did parking lots and roads and etc.

    • Judy, another one says:

      Axelsteve, and anyone else interested, here is a recipe for a Gatorade knock-off. Way cheaper, easier to store and you control the amount and type of sweetener.

      1 pkg Kool-aid type drink mix, flavor of your choice
      1/2 cup sugar
      3/8 tsp salt
      1/8 tsp potassium chloride (Nu-Salt)
      8 cups warm water

      Stir until sugar and salts are dissolved. Cool and serve. I use half the sugar and add 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of powdered stevia extract depending on the flavor of the drink mix. I got this recipe from http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf733474.tip.html.

    • tommy2rs says:

      There’s a reason many people in hotter climates have cuisines loaded with chili peppers. Makes you sweat and sweat = evaporative cooling.

      A bit of lime or a thin slice of cucumber in your water makes the water seem cooler than it is also. In the summer I drink tonic water with lime instead of soft drinks and save the tea for after dark. Nope no gin, alcohol and caffeine dehydrate you.

      And the personal or camping misters from Misty Mate help a lot also. I set the one for camping up in a hoop shape when I’m working in the heat and stand under it whenever I get too hot.

      Born and raised in deep south Texas I was used to a year round summer with two weeks in January that cooled off a bit. Now I live on a so called mountain where there are four seasons and much worse in my book, the evil that is snow.

      • Missy Taz says:

        I’m sorry Tommy2rs, but I must debunk that myth that people in hotter climates eat chili peppers to make us sweat.

        Here in the great Land of Enchantment we eat chile (not chili – that is what is made with meat and beans, like Hormel) because it is loaded with vitamin c (twice the amount found in citrus), they speed up metabolism and contain capsaicin which provides all kinds of health benefits, including pain relief, protection from heart disease, and cancer fighters.
        I doubt there are 3 days that go by that I don’t have some form of chile in my food, whether it be red or green chile.

        In the Fall, nearly every grocery store and farmers/growers markets in our state set up chile roasters and we buy 25 lb burlap sacks of fresh green chile and have it roasted for us to pack and load our freezers for the year to come. We also buy red chile ristras, not only for decoration, but so we can hang them for the red chile to dry in our sunny, arid climate, and then we pick chile from the ristra throughout the year to flavor our food.

        Yes, I am a native New Mexican, however, my ancestors hail from Arkansas and Tennessee. They came to NM to seek the health benefits of our warm, dry climate to ease their symptoms of TB and other ailments.

  3. riverrider says:

    not a lot more md. like you i reorged the supply room some more, lots more room now. you couldn’t turn around in there last week….broke down some cases of food designated as bugout chow into meal type boxes. that is, i put a can each of tomato powder, rice, beans, noodles, mh crackers and half a dozen wet canned long term meats in each box. that way no matter what box i get, there are the makin’s of meals in there. also did a breakfast box….ran the wire from the big inverter downstairs up to the computer corner so i can run it without extension cords all over the house during grid down. might start running it from the solar system 24/7, save a little off the bill…..ordered survival tabs for the bug out and combat gear. fifteen day supply in a canteen sized container. we used to use them on ftx’s back in the day…..put up a heavy duty brass coathook on the wall next to the bed, where i hung my vest, body armor and m4 placed side zip boots underneat, for those bumps in the night 🙂 finally, put on a fireworx extravaganza for my neighbors, felt good to pound the air a bit. remember folks, they are training every day to kill us, so get with it. sic semper tyrannis.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      You made up for lost time this week, riverrider. To change the subject, I’ve been noticing the forced entries playing out around the country, do you have a strategy to prevent one of those? I’m curious, because we have been seeing some home invasions where the perps are using battering rams to knock the door down. Even though I have a heavy steel door, is there a better way to stop such an invasion in its tracks? And still leave everything looking normal for your company.

      • riverrider says:

        ror, i reinforced my doors, which are metal with long screws and since i have 2×6 walls i was able to add a wood fillerpiece that also supports the jamb. i plan on adding a metal “L” channel behind that one day,soon. the weak point is always the jamb where the latch goes thru. there are bolts you could put top and bottom or they have a bar that goes in a socket that hides when wanted. i put the bearspray by the door as well as a baton and showed the wife how to use them. we have a german shepperd, driveway alarm, and a gate to get thru first. if she’s in her sewing room downstairs she won’t hear anything so i need to get the cameras installed down there. i’m getting a bullet resistant plate set so that got me thinking maybe i could order a 4×8 sheet or two for protection, just build it into the walls. if things get much worse i’m planning a little surprise tripwired to the doors, too dangerous right now tho. post shtf, i may just screw a couple of the doors shut. i will have an op/lp out too.

        • riverrider says:

          and whats really scary, they’ve been wearing “police” jackets and yelling police as they entered. unless i see four or five blue light specials out in the drive, anybody coming in the door gets introduced to the coathook group.

          • Rider of Rohan says:

            Yeah, noticed that, too. That is a question that someone here on this blog should address. Both the best defense for a home invasion and how to recognize whether it is really the police or not. Matter of fact, an article addressing all the home invasion concerns would be excellent.

  4. Bam Bam says:

    I don’t have much to report this week. I did gather all the ingredients to make beef jerky. We are having a birthday party for dh’s daughter. After that, I’ll have room in the frig to marinate the beef. Oh, I do have something major to report. I got into a teaching swap, and I am going to learn EMT basics. This will be the focus of my prepping for several months, as the stuff I can learn is virtually unlimited. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner—I work with EMTs, firefighters, physicians, microbiologists. I am excited. In a grid down situation, these skills would be valuable indeed.

  5. Millie in KY says:

    Just a quick note and then I will catch up later. Lowe’s has the double 20 lb bags of charcoal on sale now, for 9.99. Also Wal mart has double 15 lb bags for 7.99. I got some of each, very, very good buy. I don’t know how long this “sale” lasts, though, so get up there today for it!
    MD once a week maybe a post of people sharing where they have found great sales? That would be nice!
    See y’all later on….

    • Kermit5575 says:

      Thanks will go get somemore, I try to keep 40 bags on hand as a cooking backup to gas.

  6. We had buckets load of rain too, and I know when I get back into the garden the grass/weeds will have taken over again. It was so bad two weeks ago, after some non stop rain we actually had to weed-wack in the garden before we could start tilling or pulling the weeds.
    Note to self,, don’t use the weed-wacker in shorts!

    What I did accomplish doesn’t sound like much, but cost wise it was huge. We ordered a years worth of Advantic and Ivermectin Heart for all 4 dogs. We had gotten down to just a 6 month surplus because funds had been tight. I never want that to happen again. Now a few times each year we’ll get a 3 month supply and the cash out lay won’t hit me like a brick. We live in the south where the vet recommends using heart worm prevention all year long.

    My horses are a different story, I usually give them a 4 in1 injection each spring and worm twice a year, but they never travel anywhere and our land was wooded before we put in the pastures. We have never had a problem with worms, so I don’t worry as much about them.

    The only other thing I did was down load “one Second After”, EMP is the senerio I think will be our SHTF event. So far it is a good read, very good for someone who doesn’t understand EMP. DH says he wants to read it next ( he usually waits for the movie version)!! He is away this w/e doing maintenance on his Moms beach cottage,, so I have till Sunday to read if the rain keeps up.

    Have a good week and be safe.

    • Mary in GA says:

      Did you happen to see the reply I left on your comment on the “Where the Wolf Pack Lives” post?

      • Mary inGa,
        I hadnt see it, but I went back and read it. I didn’t get to the convention, but will keep my eyes open incase there is another one. They refer to us as the Minlands, but another block and I’d be in Aiken cty. Lots of agricultural land surrounding us. And it sounds lIke you are familiar with this area.

        Some one else commented on that post to contact him,,but other than posting like this I have no way to do that.

        It’s nice to know there are other like minded folks right here! Thanks for the encouragement.

        • Also, Trooper Garry must be in this same local as well, from reading his post “Where the WolfPack lives” I’ll email MD so you can have my email address in case you are traveling through my neck of the woods.

          • Mary in GA says:

            I had meant to send M.D. an email to ask him to give my email address to Trooper Garry, but we were traveling from the beach and I’m behind on laundry, unpacking, everything! 🙁 I will tell him to give it to you too in case you would like to email. If your neck of the woods is the Mid-lands near Aiken county, we are definitely close to each other. I personally think it is a great area, we bought it as a retreat, well recreational too, since my DH, son and grandson love to hunt and we all love to fish and have a stocked pond there, but definitely as a retreat too.

        • Mary in GA says:

          I think there are several counties up that way that sort of meet. Our place is near the connecting triangle of Aiken/Saluda/Lexington counties. One of the instructors at the Prepper’s Conference in Columbia lives in Batesburg. She told me there are lots of folks in that area that are preppers and she had been wanting to set up a dinner at Shealy’s or something. I’ve met a few since we bought our place there.

  7. mountain lady says:

    Like Axelsteve, spent the week just trying to survive. As you can see, I managed to do it. Without electricity, I would probably not be here to write this.

    • Mystery Guest says:

      mountain lady
      Better man than me gungadin (probably spelled that wrong and it’s a quote from an old movie).

      • JeffintheWest says:

        Actually from Rudyard Kipling. If you like poetry, I can strongly recommend him.

        • That’s funny, I read that poem online this week, just to get the context of that saying. It’s about a water bearer following some troops around.

          • JeffintheWest says:

            Yep, British troops in India — Gunga Din turns out to be quite the hero, and I think Kipling was trying to make the point that the “thin red line” worked because a lot of other people that DIDN’T carry rifles helped to make it do so.

            He was very prolific, and while a lot of it’s a bit forced sometimes, much of it is completely outstanding! He also was the guy who wrote Riki Tiki Tavi, which you may remember from your childhood.

            • S'wt Tater says:

              My favorite poem of his was.. “IF” when I was in middle school I had it memorized. It’s about the qualities necessary to “be a man”.

    • worrisome says:

      Hang in there mountain lady! should get better this week.

      • K. Fields says:

        mountain lady and all you folks in inland northern CA, the big fog banks are forming here on the coast this morning (Sunday) so you should get some relief from the high temps. in the next couple of days.

  8. SCPrepperPoppa says:

    Hey all,
    Reader/lurker for about 1 year, occasional commemtor, first time ever to post my own segment on this feature
    In our area the wettest June on record ever! Garden is weedy but producing good, especially cucumbers. Thus a batch of dill pickles canned this week
    Had 5 year old grandD this week again so not a lot of prepping accomplished, she does however love to organize so the storage pantry got gone thru and rotated. We did work on her pint sized GHB and had some fun with that! Interesting what the 5 year old mind wants to place in the thing! Ideas for this project from the Pack would be appreciated too.

    Rainy again this week so outside chores were minimal.
    Ordered from Lucky Gunner ammo at good price. Been a while since I’ve been able to purchase any

    Millie in KY,
    Super prices on charcoal! Got me some!

    All’s well with us, just busy as most of the Pack must be. Hope the family enjoyed FL trip! Still looking at Quebe Sisters schedule!
    Take care Pack!
    Another rainy week here in the Southland again

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Way to go, SCPP! You’ve been pretty busy, and you can send a little of that rain my way. We started out wet, and now it’s turned dry.
      We’ve made plans to see the Quebe Sisters in Breckenridge, Tx., in Sept., and will spend some time in Abilene, which was one of my old haunts. Lived there for a few years, loved the people(esp. the girls as it’s full of beautiful women), but hated the weather.
      Glad to hear all is well, and even happier to hear your granddaughter is with you. Saw my gs this past week, and hated to let him go home.
      And yes, the girls had perfect weather and water as clear as a swimming pool on their trip to Florida. And brought back tons of sea shells, more than we have ever found before. The clear water made them easy to find, and the calmness of the water allowed them to go way out away from the shore.
      You and your family have a great next week.

  9. I have finally decided to make use of the mulberry bush in my backyard and have started picking them and looking for equipment for canning and preserves and such.

    • seeuncourt says:

      Mike, Mulberries make fabulous jam! I’ll see if I can post some recipes given to me by my mother. *** When i was small, my brother and I filled a wading pool with them and commenced to making “wine” by stomping them…needless to say, I went to church the next day in a yellow gingham dress with purple feet and legs!

      • Ha! That was the first thing I noticed when I was picking them – well, after I noticed how delicious they are, they almost taste like a grape – my fingers were stained a deep purple.

        I hear yellow and purple go well together, so at least you matched.

        • seeuncourt & Mike;
          Purple(mauve) and yellow are complimentary colors…so you are doing great.

    • Mulberries are great and we have several trees / bushes. Unfortunately, we have to fight the horse, goat, and birds for our share, LOL.

  10. Winomega says:

    I made the mistake of watching Farmeggedon and Frankensteer back-to-back, after watching Globesity… It makes me wish that the aliens from “Rats, Bats, and Vats” were real and on their way.

    This has been a very anti-prepping week. One is simply cleaning and moving stuff around so that I can build more storage. I almost lost some produce due to misestimates about my energy level and catching a stomach bug that made eating troublesome.

    The other is that I theoretically lost some theoretical preps. I tried to pressure can beans, but I can’t control the heat. As soon as the weight started rocking, I started turning down the stove, but it was motorboating during the entire process, and I’m not sure how long it took for the canner to unlock after I turned it off. (Electric stove.) The beans were a disgusting mush.

    So turning the tougher meat in my freezer into canned potato-beef stew might become more of a wet cottage pie or pureed ration one step better than MRE. I’m probably also going to miss out on cheap turkey this fall unless I want to try turning it into jerky.

    Here is the bad news about trying to put a gas stove at the head of our house plans. I was going to ramp up in getting shelf-stable supplies and things to preserve, but if I do the opposite and completely hunker-down on the finances, I’ll be left with bare cupboards but be in a better place to start over.

    • seeuncourt says:


      Look around at garage sales for an “outdoor fish fryer” the kind that uses propane and comes with a pot and a black metal stand/burner (this hooks to your propane bottle). I use one of these in the back yard to pressure can and i too am cursed with an electric stove! The propane burner in a sheltered area helps me regulate the temps needed to can properly. I repurposed the pot and strainer basket that came with the kit. Sometimes wally world has these for $19.99….
      This might work for you!

      • Winomega says:


        Hubby already has a turkey fryer to evaporate his mash faster, but my 16-quart Presto has a bright yellow page in the instructions specifically not to do that.

      • My pressure canner came with a warning not to use it on an outdoor burner like for a turkey oil-fryer. It even had a cartoon of one with a big circle with a slash through it. I honestly can’t see how an outdoor burner is any more dangerous than an indoor one. Is this just insurance related BS, or is there some kind of real danger to one of those?

        • Kermit5575 says:

          We can outside on a turkey fryer just keep an eye and an ear on it to keep it at the right pressure. We have never had a problem with canning this way.

        • Winomega & PP,
          The difference has to do with the available heat and the ability to control it. A typical gas range burner will deliver between 3000-5000 BTU or in some cases as much as 7000 BTU with rather fine continuous adjustments between the high and low settings. Turkey fryers, on the other hand, typically range between 30000 to 60000 BTU and even with a good adjustment valve, are adjusting between two already high heat settings. If you’re very careful, and continuously watch the canner like a hawk, you might do OK; however, I would look for something like a Coleman propane camp stove, or something similar as an alternative. A search for “Coleman propane stove” yields about half a dozen hits, all in the $40-$60 range. These are intended to run on the small 14-16 oz canister, so you would also want to get the conversion hose to connect to a larger tank.

          • Winomega says:

            Ohioprepper, our turkey fryer has a stupidly short dead-man switch. I can’t even remember if it’s 15-minute or shorter. (He even had me being the dumb-brick and I can’t remember.)

            I haven’t messed with it, and doubt hubby bothered with it considering he uses the turkey-fryer pot for outdoor mash-boiling.

            Perhaps it is just the company covering ass. I’ll see if hubby can re-run the numbers for me since he’s examined the turkey thing.

          • Winomega says:

            OhioPrepper, I just now figured out that the numbers for the turkey fryer and the indoor stove are different. Definately not going to try pressure canning on that.

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      I can on an electric stove as well. My pressure gauge jiggles and ‘motorboats’ constantly. I start on high and when it starts I turn it down to half way between med & high. Are you using the correct pressure? For most people it will be 10 pounds. Don’t can any longer than the Ball Blue Book recommends. Once mine has reached that time (I use a timer) I turn off the heat but I also carefully move the canner to a cool burner to totally get it off the heat. Stay in the room and when you hear the vent pipe drop then remove the weight (if that’s the kind you have) and open the canner and remove the jars. I can a lot of beans and have not had any issues as yet and I mostly can fully cooked beans. Hope this helps.

    • Check with your local extension service to see if they have workshops on canning. They teach the latest, safest techniques in canning or they might be able to put you in touch with an experienced canner who can help you.

      The hardest part of pressure canning is getting used to hearing the jingle of the weight and keeping the pressure constant. You may have been trying to adjust the heat too quickly.

    • S'wt Tater says:

      Meats don’t have to “be made into Jerky” to be dehydrated. I fully cook all chicken , turkey and pork. then remove all visible fat, gristle and bone, dehydrate at 150 until brittle.The smaller the pieces, the quicker the dehydration pieces, and the less space they take up.They can be used, after rehydration like any meat, and can be placed in the pasta water , with other dehydrated veggies, aka sweet peas, mushrooms and celery..about 4-5 min min before pasta, for an “all in one pot dinner” – serve with one additional veggie. Your ratio for use will be one ounce dehydrated= 3-4oz of cooked. A qt jar of dehydrated meat, in small crumbles, should contain about 25 servings-there will be some space taken by moisture absorber and oxygen absorber.

      • JP in MT says:

        S’wt Tater:

        We do the same. Our last batch of pork had too much fat so It didn’t turn out well, but the chicken works great. I guessed about 15 serving to the pint.

        • S'wt Tater says:

          I was figuring one to one and a half ounces dehydrated meat for a serving. This should give between 4 1/2 oz and 6 oz lean meat/ serving after re-hydration. That is a protein serving of 31.5-42 Grams protein. That is enough protein for hard work.
          To dehydrate my pork, I like to pressure cook it til fully done, allow the cooker to cool completely, Chill it. scrape off the lard, save the broth for soup and pull the pork,into small shreds..after removing all gristle and fat from the edges. Then place on dehydrator tray, until dry. I pack my jars with a wooden pestle. placing oxygen absorber near the top, and moisture absorbers near the bottom, I keep all of those out of vitamins and supplements. just microwaving them for a few seconds to drive out moisture.. Pharmacy grade is higher grade than food grade…So far I have had good results.

      • I’m with you S’wt Tater, While I do like to do a lot of canning (I was a Master Food Preserver for 2 years), for preps I like to dehydrate. Takes less area, lighter in case I have to move it. DH likes a lot of canned goods, and his preps before I came into the picture was heavy on canned foods (commercially canned ones). His thoughts were if he was short on water, the water in the cans would help.

        • S'wt Tater says:

          I have a mix, things I have that would normally require a freezer,or that I buy in bulk(, Sweet peas, mixed veggies, mushrooms, carrots, celery), I try to dehydrate. I buy the canned goods, of things I have not had sufficient quanities of to can… I use recipes that use the full mix of ingredients-in one pot. I also dehydrate things I obtain that are very close to the expiration date.

    • What kind of canner do you have?? I have my moms old presto that is probably over 50 years old and is thick and heavy and I can on my electric stove just fine. After some trial and error once it gets up to heat and pressure I can turn the heat down to the notch between 2 and 3 and it will hold steady for how ever long I need. Make sure you are using the burner that covers the most of the bottom surface.

  11. I discovered that both my berkey filer elements had broken off their base and after getting nowhere with directive 21 and berkey themselves,I’ve decide to do all I can to warn people and spread the word about the bad filters. There is a simple test to determine if your filters are allowing unfiltered water to enter the chamber that only filtered water should enter and that test is to simply add red dye to the upper chamber and check to see if it enters the lower chamber. I wish I had saved all that money I spent on the berkey filter and made my own. I could have a boatload of spare filters for the money that the berkey cost me.

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      I’ve watched BC’s videos on this and he’s talking about the black filters. I have a British Berkefeld that uses the white cone or bullet shaped filters and have had no issues in 7 months. I am looking forward to his review of his replacement filters when he gets them. Thanks for your info BC!

      • Kermit5575 says:

        Thanks BC, The berkey was next on my wish list. It can now wait. maybe I will buy another system

    • K. Fields says:

      Yes, Those problems were addressed here last year – http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/a-review-of-the-british-berkefeld-water-filtration-system/
      but the advertising dealer didn’t bother to comment once the questions were asked.

      I wasn’t logging on last summer but when I was catching up on posts last fall, I was very surprised to find MD didn’t follow up on the claims of problems.

      • JP in MT says:

        I seem to remember a “follow-up” from both MD and Jeff “the Berkey Guy”. As I recall they had a bad batch (I think it took a while for the defect to show up).

        I have had mine for 3 years without a problem.

        • K. Fields says:

          JP, That’s great to hear. As I said, I wasn’t logging on last summer but I did search for a follow-up and couldn’t find anything.
          Could you post what they said to do – how to get replacements, etc. – if you have filters that were manufactured during that period? Seems that info would be pretty important to a lot of people.

          • JP in MT says:

            I just got a call from Jeff at LPC. The dates on the filters to look out for are 12/2010 through 06/11 +/1 2 months (mine are dated on the bottom of the box.

            He said if you are having a problem with your filters, especially if you got them from him, email him or call.

            He was very friendly with me. I have not had any issues with my filters, and my extras are all dated 10/2011 of later, so I don’t anticipate any.

            Hope this helps.

    • I had this same problem recently. 5 bad black filters. My Berkey was purchased from James Filters (which was recommended by someone on this site several years ago) http://www.jamesfilter.com/ I called the company and they informed me they were very aware of the problem/complaints and that it had to do with the glue (as I recall) in the manufacturing process. Anyway, they replaced all 5 filters at no charge and sent me a return postage label to send the bad ones back so their company could get credit from Berkey. You might try giving James Filters a call for advice. They seem to be very helpful, honest and down-to-earth folks. At the minimum, being armed with the facts from one of their distributors might help you directly dispute Berkey.

      • ive ordered some filters made by a company called doulton. ill give those a try. im uncomfortable using any more filters from berkey. the fact that they didnt let people know that they had a bad batch completely leaves me withourt a shred of confidence in their filters. people couild have gotten very sick and or died from the bad filters and they made no effort to sound the alarm or recall thsoe bad filters that people were trusting their lives to. ill check out james filters and see if he has any other than berkey. thanks!

        • Kermit5575 says:

          BC, I just ordered “Just Water, Complete Bucket System ” it has a 2 micron water filter and the filter is made here in the US! with shipping just over $60.00. Like you, I cannot trust a company that didnt let people know that they had a bad batch of filters. Thanks for letting us know about the berkey.

          • Suedaprepperlady says:

            Kermit~~We just received our “Just Water Complete Bucket System” and I am quite impressed with it…I had been hoping to get a Berkey, but DH couldn’t see spending the extra money…and now, neither can I!

            • Kermit5575 says:

              I am so happy I didn’t buy the Berkey, let me know how you like the Just Water System.

          • tommy2rs says:

            I’ve been using the Just Water pressurized system over several months of the last year. Works great. I’ve run the well water, water from the spring out in my woods and from the pond through it. Did have to wash the sock after filtering the pond water even after straining the chunks out through an old t-shirt.

      • Prior to joining this blog, I purchased a Berkey Water Filter, with
        Doulton ceramic filters, from an online dealer, GetBerkey.com.
        Owned and used my system almost 3 years, can’t live without it. Several family members and friends also purchased. None of us have had any problems with the ceramic filters.
        After much research online, decided on the ceramic vs black filters. Ceramic does not require priming. Ceramic filters actually filter more contaminants, viruses, etc, than black filters.
        Stainless steel is the way to go, will last a lifetime vs plastic.
        I’m on fixed income…don’t regret the $$ paid for Berkey. Old adage, ya get what ya pay for. GetBerkey.com has excellent customer service. I receive no personal benefit from the company for this recommendation. Just passing info to the Pack.
        Clean water is a must !

  12. As a newbie to this site and to actively prepping, I received M.D. ‘s book 31 Days to Survival and am actively working on my 5 day plan (5 days being the longest we have previously been without power). This week I have researched camp stoves including going to local sources so that I can look and feel the ones available locally. That will be my next “major” purchase. Also working on an inventory of what food items I normally keep on hand. I usually have the stuff to create half a dozen dinners at any one time. But I have not ever kept an offical inventory, So, my survival begins.

    • The journey starts with the first step. Good start!

    • Susy, welcome! Like Mari says, the journey begins with the first step. Making your plan, inventory, and baby steps are all the best place to start.

    • Encourager says:

      Susy, welcome to the Wolf Pack! You are off to a good start.

      Just a thought, take the pan you will cook in the most with you when you shop for your camp stove. Make sure you put up the sides before you try the pan (also called a wind shield). Depending on the brand, camp stoves can vary in depth and the spacing between the burners.

      When making your meal plan, don’t forget little things like spices.

      • Thanks for the advice Encourager. I had noticed that at least one stove states it will take a 10″ & 12″ at the same time, but I not sure if that is with the windshield up. I will take pans on my next look and feel the stove outing.

        • Good start, Susy! Five days is so far ahead of most people it is scary. All you need for ten days is twice as much as the first batch.

          My wife and I have been very happy with the Coleman two-burner stoves, but have never tried other brands. Ours has a push button starter, but you have to hold the stove in place with one hand and push the button with the other. It’s also a very good idea to have matches and/or a lighter, just in case, tho.

          • Thanks Tom B. Coleman is what I am primarily looking at right now. I am not sure I want a push button starter. However, it is something to consider.

  13. Mother Earth says:

    Well rain kept me from getting anything done in the garden. Jeez going from no rain last summer to constant rain this summer…aargh!

    I was able to clean up and mulch the old rose bed, so now I have room for another raised bed. I’m going to dedicate it to medicinal herbs. I made 7 quarts of dill pickles too.

    I’m also organizing my magazines into holders and labeling them so I don’t have to hunt when I want to look at something. That’s about it for me.

    • riverrider says:

      we already got more rain than a normal july and 10 more days forecast of same. 🙁

  14. Read 2 Kindle books: Going Home and Surviving Home by A. American. The author wrote around the current Exec Orders re DHS & FEMA. Very sneaky they are.

    Wild foods: Snacked on oxalis, clover, and lily buds (all raw). Anxiously awaiting wild blueberries. Warning to anyone with rheumatoid or prone to oxalic acid kidney stones, be very careful with oxalis (and spinach).

    Accomplished: Continuing to organize storage. Only have another week B4 return to work, and it’s really slow going. Harvested chives seed from patch at front of garden. The ground is mush so I still can’t get into the garden. Best I’ll likely be able to do is pull weeds & get some straw in as mulch. I’ll concentrate on Fall gardening; at least I have plenty of OP seeds.

    Medical: COBRA not effective yet, and I just got the paperwork (and mailed back today). So had to cancel MRI and 2 dr. appts. Aargh. Unfortunately for the half-sheeple/normalcy biased dp, he now has shingles. He didn’t realize what it could be until 4th of July and the rash got worse. His ds had it so he knows what to expect. Unh hunh, he’ll be in pain for quite some time. Empathy but no pity from me. May he recall all the snotty remarks he tossed my way re herniated discs & broken bones thanks to his family plus the rheumatoid that he simply refuses to believe. So pack, especially those of us older ones who had chicken pox, ya’ll might want to have some supply of antibiotics (i.e. Valacyclovir). The pain starts first and then the rash a week later (both usually on torso), and the rash takes a few days to become pustules. Pics & articles on WebMD are pretty good.

    • Oh, almost forgot, made a possible “date” for some range time (finally) at a local private range. Yaaaay, but bet the dp will be po’d. Would he rather I be inept and shoot myself in da foot?

    • Encourager says:

      Mari, Valacyclovir is not an antibiotic. It is an antiviral drug used in the management of herpes simplex, herpes zoster (shingles), and herpes B. I need it for herpes zoster outbreaks on the roof of my mouth. Do not use it for bacterial infections where you need an antibiotic.

    • S'wt Tater says:

      Have mercy on him and give him some L-Lysine, available at wally world or dollar gen. in supplements section. My neighbor used it for shingles,atking 1000mg two times a day and her blisters started drying in five days. That was after she’d taken everything the Doctors gave her with no effect.

      • Good idea, S’wt Tater. Thanx. I offered to get some benzocaine, but he didn’t like the idea of touching the rash even if just the cream. Hadn’t had a chance yet to pull out one of my medical type books. My guess is that it lists L-lysine.

        • S'wt Tater says:

          You might also try the oregano oil….
          It is an anti viral. It knocked out fever blisters in 24 hours for me. It can be taken internal and applied externally.
          If it is the 100% Oregano oil, dilute it to 5 parts olive oil and one part Oregano oil…I learned this the hard way! The tick bites we got last fall, and kept re- outbreaking stopped after three days, after I began using. So this years bites, are healing in two weeks instead of 6 months… Read up on this stuff folks! It’s a FOOD!..

          • Yup, thought of the oregano oil. I’m real lite on oregano this year in the garden, so I might just have to hit the store. At least I got him to agree so far on the l-lysine; he doesn’t quite understand the Vit C part yet. Ah, nothing like being doctor mom/dp. Oooh, and I still have a bottle of home-frozen elderberry juice. Good time as any to haul it out before the new crop comes on.

    • Mari, I, too, have a difficult husband and autoimmune issues. I have some idea of what you are going through with both. The hardest part for me is to take high road when someone is so nasty and you just feel awful.
      I will keep you in my prayers. May God give you the strength to deal and inner peace to rest. Don’t forget you are loved by the Father and by all of us in the pack. Take care.

      • worrisome says:

        Patti and Mari, I want to come by your house and personally deliver a big ol can of whoop as. Those guys need attitude adjustments! Saying prayers for both of you!

        • Encourager says:

          If ya need some help with that delivery, worrisome, I am available!

          God bless my dh; I went through 8 years of being crippled up, not even being able to wipe my butt. Embarrassing as it was, he was a kind and gentle soul. He is a keeper, for sure.

          When I told him at the time how sorry I was that I was such a burden, he replied “the vow I took before you and God said in sickness and in health…no problem.”

          • Yep, he’s a keeper all right. I am lucky enough to have found one of those too, and send up gratitude every day.

          • God bless you both, Encourager. Every once in awhle I run across one of those exceptional keepers. Does my heart so good. Betcha there’s quite a few here in the Pack.

          • Encourager,
            You sure picked the right nickname. Thank you. I am always happy to hear about those “keepers”, seems like they are becoming an endangered species!

          • S'wt Tater says:

            Isn’t it a blessing to have one of those! Aren’t we truly BLESSED!

        • worrisome, you sure do have an open invite at my BIL. LOL, can I watch??? I’m watching to see if the dp will be humbled by this illness. Beyond kidney stones, he’s never had a lengthy medical problem.

        • Thank you, Worrisome. You warm my heart. Take care.

      • Thank you, Patti, I needed that. You take care too!

  15. The dh finally had a good paying week, and this week I was able to hit the stores .

    Food wise I picked up a case of tuna, a couple of cases of water and a few other little things. The real score came from my parents. They had a case of bacon rejected from a receiver (truck drivers, and the box was broke, but the individual packages were fine) so they brought it to me. I got 12 packages of bacon and the cooler they kept it in until they could get here from florida.

    Stocked up on the big sams club packages of toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags and ziplock bags. Also got one of those big things of tinfoil, I think 500 ft.

    At the flea market we got the baby a stroller. I usually carry him in a sling, but we (read I) decided having a sroller would be a good idea, for jic. Found toothbrushes 5 for $1, picked up 20 of them. Found a shade umbrella for a couple of dollars. Got some more goats milk soap and lotion, ans then picked up a few itema that have nothing to do with prepping.

    Managed to also get more dish soap and laundry supplies. I found one of those towels we talked about last week that help keep you cool (and blessfully the heat has gone down in my neck of the woods), it helps a bit inside but really works when you are out weeding the garden. We picked up a few fire works, the kids have already gone thru all the sparklers, but I managed to get a few things put up.

    Didnt do much outside of the shopping trips. My parents were here all week so we spent some time just hanging out. Although because they were here the dh and I were able to take a spontaneous midnight trip to the beach. We dont get a lot of alone time (not too many people we trust with the kids, who will actually take on babysitting them) so that was really nice for us.

    That about sums up my week. I do have one question though. I have thought about submitting it for the ask the pack thing, but figured I would test it here first. There are certain plants that are highly regulated and others that are very dangerous, I am wondering if anyone else plans to utilize these types of plants in case of a long term shtf situation? The regulated plants would be for pain managementfor those with chronic illnesses, and the other group, well, is there ever a situation where you would feel the need to use them?

    • Millie in KY says:

      I would like to know about these, please! Thanks!

      • I think TG might be referring to dope of various kinds, Millie…

        Not much harm in pot, but it does make people less ambitious in the long run. It’s good for nausea and glaucoma, and the obvious use, mellowing out; although taking it too much makes people paranoid sometimes. It is difficult to overdose on marijuana, but one can if one eats too much of it in (for example) brownies before it takes effect. And then, you’ll just sit there and stare stupidly into space till it wears off probably. It is far more economical to smoke it than to eat it, anyway.

        Opiates, well, all you’ll get from a low-tech processing of poppies is opium. Or, one can make a tea from the pods, but that’s basically the same, only in tea form. I guess this could be a pain reliever, but it’s addictive (duh) and it also gives people bad constipation. Perhaps it could be used in a pinch if someone has no other pain killers and they’re in a ton of pain, or if they have diarrhea real bad, or if they’re coughing a lot to the point where they’re going to damage themselves, because it dulls the urge to cough. For aches and pains, I would go with vervain, willow bark, and turmeric, and stay away from opiates.

        The only other illegal medicinal plant I can think of for a survival WROL kind of pharmacopia, would be ephedra. It was made illegal because people were making meth out of it. In plant form, while it was still legal it was used as diet pills, or stay-awake pills for truckers, but it also has the effect of clearing out your sinuses really well, so back when it was still legal I knew hippies who would take it for colds and allergies. But, you probably won’t be able to sleep all that well if you take it.

        On the still-legal side, there is valerian. They make Valium from valerian. In herb form, it does much the same thing as the pill, only not as strongly: calm you down. The drawback is it smells really, really bad like dirty feet, so try to get the herbal capsules instead of trying to drink it as a tea, or you’ll stink everyone out of the house. Even opening the bottle of capsules stinks.

        • JeffintheWest says:

          TG might also be referring to the various poisonous plants that can be used for medicinal purposes (or, if worse came to worst, for mercy killing).

          I’d be very careful using any of those unless you really are an expert in both herbal remedies and processing and pharmacology. I suspect that if someone WAS such an expert, they could do a lot of barter with others in a SHTF situation that went on long enough by providing hard-to-find medicinals; in effect becoming the new “wise women” (or wise men, for that matter) for their area….

          • Jeff, some of the ethics behind these things are exactly what I am talking about. It has been on my mind a lot lately. I am seriously thinking of writing an article about it.

            I know that opiates are addictive, part of the reason they are so heavily regulated almost world wide. But they have been used forever (even still) in medical use.
            While I agree with stocking up on meds and other herbs that control pain, but there are instances where it would be like giving tylenol where morphine (an opiate) is needed. Those are the situations I am thinking about.

            Medical cannabis is mostly known for terminally ill patients, but there are other medical uses for it as well.

            As for the mercy killings, I pray that none of us are ever in a position where we even have the need to think about it, but would there be situation post teotwawki, where we might have to face euthanasia or assisted suicide? It is a scary thought, and one I dont take lightly. As it is, I am really having a hard time finding the words to get the thoughts out.

            • JeffintheWest says:

              Yeah, for me the ethical question would be the hardest one.

              God forbid we should ever have to confront the need for a “mercy killing,” but I remember some of the stories from the old west (which is about the technological level we’d be reduced to) and people being gut-shot and slowly dying over days…. I shudder to think about what kind of decisions I might be forced to make for someone — even if they were begging me to do it for them.

            • S'wt Tater says:

              cannibas is effective for some types of nerve and cancer pain…according to some who have done the research. In our “world”.. There is no legality for any amount, so the medications for pain that ARE legal will be our area of focus for any severe pain we may have.
              I have been blessed with the general aches, that usually require rest to relieve, with small amounts of OTC-used intermittently, being effective. Dental surgeries, generally only require two or three of the prescribed number of the drug of the dentists choice.

        • PP totally agree about the opiates. I took them for an extended period of time for a back injury. Military gives it out like candy. Took me years to get off it. First using a synthetic form and then changing my diet. I take only natural remedies now, and am very careful about how I move around. Even though the pain is barely tolerable I’d still deal with it myself rather than the problems I had with the opiates.

          • Mexneck, I completely understand what you are saying. There are many options out there for generalized pain and even things for more acute pain. But lets take Jeffs example from the wild west, being gut shot. The reality is in the situation I am thinking, there isnt going to be much of a chance for them- unless you have a damn good surgeon nearby who can work under primative conditions- and they will be in unbelievable pain before they pass. At that point do you worry about addiction?

            Opiates are not something that should be handed out like candy. Most people know and understand that, but I can see shades of grey, where there are times the risks have to be weighed against the benefits. Are the risks always going to outweigh? I dont know, but I think I would at least like more options.

            • JeffintheWest says:

              I don’t know if you saw “Saving Private Ryan” or not, but the scene where the medic on the team gets killed taking out the German machinegun nest is an example of something that most people in the audience missed.

              The medic is hit in the kidney/liver area and is in both great pain and very bad shape. The other Rangers know he’s going to die. The Captain gives him a shot of morphine, but it doesn’t do much for the pain. One of the other Rangers tells the Captain to give him another one. The Captain looks at the Ranger who told him that for a while, then gives the medic another one. The pain continues — finally the Captain gives him another dose of morphine, and about then the medic dies. What is never mentioned in the movie (but is known to most World War II vets) is that the second dose was iffy (considering the size of the doses provided to the soldiers back then) with the medic only having about a 50/50 chance of living after it was administered. The third dose was an admission that the medic is going to die — if not from his wounds, then from the overdose he was given. At that point, the only question left was which would kill him first. Every one of those Rangers would have known that. In effect they were telling the Captain to kill the medic as mercifully as possible given that there was no way they could get him to adequate medical attention in time to save him. The Captain knew it too, and in effect did what the leader had to do.

              “Mercy killing” takes on a new perspective when you start to really think about it in the stark terms presented in that movie. We’re not talking assisted suicide to some old lady who has cancer. We’re talking about life and death decisions that have to be made in a split second under the worst possible conditions about people closer to you than your own family. So did the Captain do the right thing, or not?

              • Jeff- Yes the Captain did the right thing. As a prior hospital/hospice Chaplain I have seen my share of deaths-painful and not so painful.
                I ask what would you want if you were the person dying? For me I would want to be out of pain if possible and able to move on to Eternal life a.s.a.p.. But its critical to respect each persons wishes when possible.
                Tough decisions.I would pray on it first and then act. Arlene

                • JeffintheWest says:

                  I personally agree with everything you said, of course. Sometimes the highest form of love is to do the hardest thing imaginable. Of course, everyone is different and no doubt many will be horrified if they re-watch SPR and this time understand the undercurrent of what is going on.

                  I remember when I went to see it in the theater, old men were taking time out to cry in the lobby as they relived what it was really like. To a man, they said it was the closest you could come to it without actually being there.

            • When I was in the Army I was thinking about getting a tattoo that some of the other guys had. It was their blood type and +X HOUR DNR. The X was for number of hours you wanted your teammates to try to keep you alive before evac. I gave myself the golden hour, I figured after that Jesus would understand.
              I was referring to the opiates for daily pain control. I warn other soldiers about the possibility for misuse. I’ve always had a low tolerance for medication and those things would make me loopy and not a pleasant person to be around.

    • Winomega says:

      TG, the only problem I have with illegal crops is the illegal part. Heck, if I could get ahold of some raw milk, I’d do it.

    • I’m wondering if you are talking about such things as Dautra, which is a common weed, but can be used occasionally for severe pain (such as to set a broken bone), but is also VERY POISONOUS.

      I’ve been trying to do research on some of those for a long time and am having trouble finding reliable sources that explain how to verify how to determine the dose without killing the victim (no need to have a straight arm or leg just to be buried).

      If someone knows someone who has that type of information, or knows of an herbal medicine course I could take, I would love to hear about it.

      • Michele, see that is an issue I am running into as well. There are certain herbs I can find a ton of info about and others that are toxic that can be used very carefully. I am trying to read thru old text and verify, but if it is even slightly toxic the only thing you can find on it is ‘toxic do not ingest’ for example foxglive is a digitalis but too much can kill you, so all I can find is do not ingest. The dautra like you mentioned, belladonna, and a host of others are the same. Then there the less leathal herbs, but that are tightly regulated.
        Some of these things, how do you get your hands on seeds (without going to jail) so that you can grow/use them if ever the time came. If the worst case scenerio ever plays out, we are going to need people who have this information.

        Wish I could find someone to study under. Everything I know has been self taught thru years of research.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        Datura and foxglove were the two that came immediately to mind for me, but there are a ton of toxic plants out there, and I remember back in college one of my professors said that just about every one of them had medicinal uses…. Among other things, Datura contains Atropine which is used to counteract nerve gas!

      • Encourager says:

        Michele, TG, & Jeff ~~
        Have any of you thought of using homeopathy remedies? They are safe to use and really do work. DH and I have been using Apis and Ledum all week as we both had got bitten by spiders. DH reacted horribly – blisters at every bite, intense itching, slight fever. Happy to say he is much better. I took them a few times and all I have left is a slightly red spot at each bite.

        Many of the toxic plants/herbs are safe to use when made into a remedy.

        • Encourager, I havent looked too far into homeopathic remedies. It is on my to do list though.

          • yes homeopathic medicine is excellent. Get a book on it and if you can take some classes. Before the AMA was created we had 22 Homeopathic Hospitals in the US and it was the most prevalent form of treatment. We have an MD who is also a Homeopath.His name is Dr larry Malerba and he has written a fine book Green Medicine.

      • S'wt Tater says:

        Darryl Patton has an herbal course available…He is good. some neighbors went on an herbal walk with him..and he was the one I learned about Rabbit tobacco from…Chest congestion, diarrhea, asthma attacks, why use an opiate when rabbit tobacco is legal and works quickly?

    • I will be using cannabis and poppy in a long term SHTF situation.
      The Datura is unstable.The alkaloid concentrations in a specific plant can vary widely. It grows here wild and it is sold at the nurseries, but I do not know why anyone would have it in their yards. It can cause permanent psychosis. My family is already crazy enough.
      However, the only way I have seen the plant used safely is for asthmatics to smoke the leaves. Schizandra has worked as effectively in capsule form.
      I have foxglove also, but do not know enough about heart disease to use it correctly.

      I can grow cannabis legally here now. I have poppy plants scattered here and there has ornamentals.
      I do not feel comfortable doing anything illegal, (and yes I understand that cannabis is still illegal with the feds) but I would not have a problem owning and storing cannabis seed for SHTF in a safe place, in a package with all the other seeds you have saved.
      Seriously, they just made our large capacity mags illegal, but not the cannabis legal. Go figure.
      Remove the social stigma and fear, it can be a powerful healing and pain relieving herb if used correctly.
      Poppies only bloom and offer pods once a year, so enjoy them in your gardens now. They are truly beautiful. I have entered them in flower shows. Why would someone prosecute me for having a beautiful gardens?

      • Mama J, thanks. If things get bad enough for long enough, we are going to be dependant on old medicines. We can only stockpile so much, and in reality, very few of us can stockpile anything heavy duty. So we will need not only other options but people who know how to properly use those options.

      • axelsteve says:

        Mamma J I used to know an elderly couple that owned some poppies. I knew that they are the heroine type of poppies. I always kinda wondered how they got them .

        • They probably got them by sharing seed with someone. They may not have know what they had. One seed pod holds many seeds. More than a person would need for a family.
          All except the wild type of dry land poppies with very (California Poppies) small flowers will yield a beneficial substance.

          • MamaJ;
            Is that the reason my cows smile in the spring time?

            • Becky,
              Cows on good pasture can’t stop smiling. If they aren’t overly sleepy and constipated I say let em party in the pasture. LOL.

  16. Hello!
    I also tried to stay cool even though we did not have the extreme triple digits other people did.
    My wuss factor is very high when it comes to heat. We did have a few short rain showers which is better than jab in the eye with a sharp stick. Hopefully our July monsoons will materialize.

    I had to change out a motor on one of our evaporative coolers. I did it with only 4 cuss words. Did some simple repairs on my rototiller. Zero cuss words. I have been trying to learn to do small engine repair and more of my own repairs around the house. The lawnmower deck was beyond my skills and after 26 cuss words I took it to the experts. Good thing I did because the thingamagig was worn completely out.
    I built 4 more charity packs. The deals at the thrift stores and yard sales
    have been fabulous.
    Looking in my med closet for q-tips and wanted to cry because it was such a mess. Bought new clear containers and tackled it like a Pit Bull with PMS.
    Note to self: SHTF you do not need 12 containers of mens hair gel. Even if it was almost free. Nor do you need 8 packages of makeup remover when you do not wear makeup.
    I separated the pet meds from the people meds. Stored a huge box of sterile gauze into jars with O2 absorbers because the wrappers felt damp. (after they were completely dried)
    Everything is rotate, labeled, new lists made. Instructions on everything. I put the Sanford Book (antibiotic reference in the closet with the antibiotics) If something happens to me no one else would know what to give for what, or even that we owned the book for that matter. I have the pain meds hidden, so I had to leave the location written in code that my husband will be able to find. Like…. treasure hunt instructions.
    Must remember that everyone in our group needs to know what I know and vise versa.
    Have a great week everyone.

    • Mama J, hmmm, I guess my dh should really be told where I keep the keys so he can get to the notebook where I keep the combination to the safe.

      • TG,
        Do it today! Before it is too late. Hehe.

      • worrisome says:

        Oh TG, I had an uncle that died and I was his executor, I lost the combo to his little safe in the closet. I got to watch one of my daughters beat on it with hammers, use pry bars, and finally a hack saw to get it open. Because she is so compelled to finish what she starts,she got it done…………but it was very funny to watch. And you should have seen the safe when she was done!

        • Worrisome, lol. I can see a very mangle, hacked up safe. Definately time to let the dh and the oldest dd know where that key is. Better to be safe then sorry.

    • Encourager says:

      Mama J, you made me laugh about the men’s hair gel and the makeup remover! DH was with me at Joann’s when I bought material to make baby diapers and waterproof diaper covers with all the snaps, trim, etc – oh, and the book on how to make them. He was dumbfounded and wanted to know what the heck I was buying that stuff for? I looked him straight in the eye and told him I EXPECTED grandchildren, eventually. He just stared at me for a long minute as I quietly whispered “planes”. (Inside joke…this man has nearly every wood plane they ever had made plus duplicates in some cases…nuf said.)

      • Encourager,
        Planes. It is good to have a husband with a hobby you can use against him when needed. Love it.
        Lots and lots of diapers! I have made 10 dozen and stored for my grandbabies. I did velco instead of snaps.

        • Encourager says:

          Mama J, the problem with velcro?? Toddlers learn real quick how to ‘rip em open’. Consider a poopy diaper, a toddler who knows how to get that diaper OFF, and you will have a trail to clean up. ROFLOL!!

          • Encourager, or the little one who is ‘taking a nap’ ever so quietly in her crib, when you go to check on her, the walls are ‘painted’ not that I have any experience with that…

            • Encourager says:

              Oh, man, TG. Thanks for the memories. Our oldest did that – and painted every single slat in his crib, not just the wall. His face was dirty, every inch was dirty. I took him downstairs, held out at arms length btw, filled the laundry tub and spent 20 minutes dunking him to get the chunks off. I was crying, I was so upset. So of course, he was crying, too! DH comes home, I sobbingly told him the story and he slid down the wall in the front hall, laughing so hard he cried.
              Took about 3 hours to clean that crib, mattress and wall. DH helped btw.

              • Encourager, whew! I am glad I am not the only one who has dealt with that. The first time I thought it was a fluke, after the second time I started safety pinning the clothes to where she couldnt get them off.
                Interestingly, she is the same one who found, and slathered herself with desitin, could climb the baby gates, unlatch the child lock on the fridge, and open the front door before the age of 2.

                • Both of my kids did that same thing, and DD was paranoid about her two doing it, because we never did get the ceiling in her room completely clean… Lol!

              • Encourager,
                My mom also has a story about me doing that when I was little. If I remember correctly I wasn’t able to walk yet. She told that story so many times that I was paranoid that my kids would do that, so I kept a very close eye on them when they were sleeping.

                My youngest was really good at hiding himself, He could get himself into the smallest spot and I could not find him until he would start laughing. My DH had custom built a bed into the bay window that was in their bedroom, it had drawers underneath it. He would climb into the drawers and get in behind them.

            • My eldest one did that too – She is now 38 (she’ll be 39 in a couple months – where did the time go?) in the time of cloth diapers and pins.

              I’m still not sure how she got that diaper off, and since she was sleeping in (OK, so how dumb was I to think she was actually sleeping in at 13 months?) I finally went to check on her and found she had been busy for a long time, and had not only painted the wall behind the crib but the crib as well.

              Yeah, that took a little while to clean up.

              Isn’t it funny how those awful times become cherished memories 38 years later?

              • Michele, you are so right. When those little things happen, as parents, we tend to freak out about it. Mine is only 9, but I can look back, shake my head and laugh about it all. She has now hit the whine about everything stage, and I am really hoping I can soon look back and hopefully laugh about it too.

          • That’s the idea! Toddlers who are old enough to take the diapers off are old enough to potty train!
            I don’t think their is a Mom out there that doesn’t have the poop paint story. Or the poop in the bathtub story.
            My father in law used to rinse the kids with the garden hose in the front yard.
            I always used cloth diapers so there was always the diaper got flushed and stuck.
            After all the diapers, legos, trucks and Barbie heads that have gotten stuck…… I can remove, clean out and replace a toilet in 12.3 minutes. You learn to leave the tools in the bathroom.
            Speaking of that my puppy just ran by covered in cow poo.

            • Encourager says:

              Bah-haaaa-haaaa-haaaa Mama J! Go catch that puppy! Oh gross! Why do dogs like to roll around in poop?

              We had a lab that would be in 7th heaven if she found a dead animal to roll in. One time she actually rolled in a dead deer that had been dead a good three weeks, for sure, then brought the head back as a present. Tied her to a tree and used the garden hose from about 10 feet, and even that was not far enough away. So gross!

              We loved her anyways…but she was miserable because we made her stay in an outdoor kennel for two days/nights. It took that long before the smell dissipated enough so we could shampoo her.

              • Dang dogs will roll in road kill and plop right on the living room carpet with a smile on their faces. They consider it perfume.
                Agggg, discusting.
                The poo puppy went straight into the outdoor washtub. Fortunate for her I have hot water outside. Soap, peroxide and vinegar rinse.

                However NOTHING can compare to a big monster daddy skunk who got into the house (back door left open just a crack) and three dogs attack it in the kitchen. Sprayed kitchen, three dogs sprayed.
                Dead skunk ripped to pieces. Dogs with puncture wounds and blood everywhere.
                Cabinets, sheetrock removed and replaced. The first homeowners claim EVER that the adjustor didn’t argue or nitpick. Just wrote a check for as much as was allowed.

                • Mama J, oh man, that had to have been horrible. I bet that the adjuster just wanted out of there. Lol.

    • Mama J,
      LOL! You just reminded me of something that happened over 25 yrs ago. My DH and I were visiting friends, the wife and us were in the kitchen talking when the husband came in. On the table in a package like you would find allergy meds in were some dog dewormers. The husband opened two of the pills and proceeded to swallow them. The wife was so shocked that she could not speak at first, she asked him why he did that! After much discussion we realized that he did not know what he took. We laughed at him and told him at least he wouldn’t be wormy! He went and made himself throw them up. Moral of the story pet meds and people meds should not be stored together. 🙂

      • Brenda,
        Hahahahaa! Poor guy. I bet he scrutinizes all his med packages now.

      • OK, you guys are killing me! 🙂

        • Lauri no e says:

          To all Moms that experienced the poop problem, my daughter never did that but my mother walk into my twin brother’s nursery and they both were covered in poop.

          • Encourager says:

            Ewwww!!! Double the trouble!!! Bet it took her days to get everything cleaned up and I bet you they ‘shared’.

        • +1. I’m sittin’ here trying not to ROF.

        • axelsteve says:

          I once had a bad headache and a lady gave me 2 pamperin tablets. Took away my headache and i was no longer bloated anymore.

    • Lauri no e says:

      Mama J,

      You brought back a funny memory of my Dad.

      One New Year his resolution was to quit smoking the next year it was to quit cussing. His cussing was kinda funny because it was never the bad one or taking the Lord’s name in vain. Dad had done so well at not cussing and then one day I stop at my parents house and water was leaking from the ceiling and my mother was standing there crying and my Dad was in the attic trying to fix the problem. I said to my Mom that I was real proud of my Dad because I had not heard him yell or say any cuss words and my Mom says no he has not say any cuss words but he did throw the ironing board across the room but he did not cuss.

      • Lauri,
        Awesome that your Dad could quit smoking and cussing! Did he give up ironing board tossing too? LOL.
        We have a cuss jar and there are days when I walk by and throw a twenty in it.

        • Lauri no e says:

          Mama J,

          I sure do miss my Dad, he passed away 12 years ago but he was so funny like you and I believe you are the one person that could hold your own around him.

    • Repair Mama says:

      Mama J,
      yep, you will need the body wash and the hair gel in SHTF.
      I have some of these things stocked back for personal hygene as well as posible barter items. in a grid down situation, it would be necessary to hang onto a scrap or two of humanity and be able to smell good once in a while and have that bit of smell good soap or lipgloss just to feel good. I have this stuff in my stocks because of bogo’s or couponing and got them for next to nothing. I guess it would be more important for our kids or grand kids cause most of us most likely will be happy with some good old fashioned home made soap with some nice herbs and a hair scrunchie!

      • Must have the hair scrunchies! I rawk the messy bun.

        • The messy bun, that sounds so much better than the knot on the back of my head as I tend to call it.

          As for the make up, you can actually make some of your own. I make my own mascara and eyeliner for the rare instances I wear make up.

          • TG,
            Back early last century there was a guy who saw his sister making eye liner by mixing coal dust with Vaseline. He experimented with the mixture to get something consistent, and started selling it. He named the product brand after his sister, Mabel, and started Maybelline, a company that we’ve all heard of. Homemade isn’t a bad thing.

            • OP my eyeliner is activated charcoal powder and coconut oil. Lol. And since I have these things on hand anyways, saves me some money too.

          • TG…. Yes! Rawk the messy bun. I have long hair and it can look very stylish when you are really wanting to be lazy.
            Speaking of lazy…..I have my eyeliner tattoo’d on. It is the only makeup I ever wore, so I am good to go.

            • Mama J, a little eyeliner and mascara and I’m usually good to go, sass tgings up every once in a while with some lip gloss. Not sure I could tatoo it though.

          • I saw how you make eyeliner, but how do you make mascara?

            Any suggestions for making brown eyeliner instead of black?

            The youngest DD is very “into” natural products and this might be of interest to her.

      • I’m an independent rep for a beauty products company (3 daughters using make-up = mama finding a way to save a buck). As such, I have a bucket full of beauty products that I’ll end up using in a SHTF situation, but for now I try to sell them. I also buy extras of things I can get at a really good price too.

        As for hand made soap – I found someone local that makes it with organically grown herbs and such (really loving one bar I have in my shower). She even grows a lot of the ingredients herself. I’m having a serious internal conflict between buying the organic soap at full retail and buying the body washes as a rep at a serious discount.

        • GA-RED, I don’t believe anyone will be really into make up
          after the SHTF .Many of us aren’t into it now. I hope you will stock up on water and food .I agree organic products are the best. This would be a good question to put out for woman preppers though= maybe I am in a minority but I don’t think so. Arlene

          • Arlene, I think that there will always be occasions where women want to ‘doll’ up, call it a morale boost. When/if shtf we will be more worried about food security and such but things will calm down, they always do. At that point it would not surprise me if comfort items such as pretty smelling soaps, make up and jewelry become good barter items.

            • Agreed TG – morale boost is right. I don’t wear much make-up and often end up at work without any on. I make a few extra dollars by selling what I can for now, but if the situation changes, I’ll either be using it for myself or bartering. I’m a huge believer in sun screen, especially for the face, so I always have extra face cream with sun screen in it. I don’t keep much make-up on hand, but I do have body lotions, hand creams, face creams and body washes. I use hand lotion almost every time I wash my hands too. It’s not so much a part of my preps, but it is a side-effect of being a rep and will be useful if/when SHTF.

            • JeffintheWest says:

              I agree — and sometimes, that’s exactly what’s needed — why do people think that “hoe-downs” and barn raisings, and the big dances in town were such big events back in the day? Everyone needs a break and an excuse to party once in a while….

          • I don’t wear much makeup during the summer, but I do wear it when we go to places. I believe that many women will want to wear their makeup especially after things settle down. It is a morale boost. Basically if a woman does not wear it now she won’t later, but if she does wear it now it would be something that she would absolutely want later.

  17. PreppingMomma5 says:

    This weekend I am kerosene lantern and oil lamp researching and finally buying. I keep seeing Dietz, but then I read a fair amount of reviews saying no to them. Tips on what to get?

    • seeuncourt says:

      Dietz lamps have one real advantage, they will burn on cooking oil, coleman fuel, lamp oil, kerosene, alcohol, tallow, etc. I have two, just in case in a shtf situation i can’t find a specific type of fuel!

      • ladyhawthorne says:

        Is there a particular model that uses varied fuel or do all of them?

      • Winomega says:


        Is tallow liquid enough at room temperature? I haven’t done more than unbox my dietz to make sure it survived shipping, so maybe I’m thinking about this wrong.

        • K. Fields says:

          No, you’d have to mix it with kerosene (about 2 parts tallow to 10 parts kerosene).
          Folks, don’t use diesel, bio-diesel, olive oil, etc. in these lamps – the flash point of these fuels simply is too high to operate correctly.

          • Winomega says:

            Good to know, K Fields. I have a few jar candles, I’d rather refill those with tallow than risk an oil lamp with inappropriate fuel.

      • seeuncourt says:

        I found an older one at a flea market that has a “cooking” attachment too…kinda neat.

    • riverrider says:

      deitz have been around a couple hundred years. i have a dozen and some oil but its relegated to barter since i got the solar setup and rechargable everything. they do put off a tad of heat so might keep some for the henhouse, etc.

      • K. Fields says:

        riverrider – there are actually specific models made to use in greenhouses. They will raise the temp. just enough to protect the plants in most cases.

        • I use 2 in a building that is unheated in the winter to keep canned goods from freezing.

    • PreppingMomma5,
      The ones I have and swear by, are the Aladdin mantle lamps. All of the Amish in the area use them, and they are available from Lehman’s (http://non-electric.lehmans.com/search#w=aladdin). They put off a bright white light the equivalent of a 75-100 watt incandescent bulb, and about 3000 BTU per hour of heat.
      While they are a little pricey, they are in my opinion well worth the money. I have several that are more than 30 years old and still work fine.

      • K. Fields says:

        Aladdin mantle lamps are great and I use them in static locations but you cannot carry one out to the barn in the middle of the night during a storm – the mantle and chimney are simply too fragile.

        The lantern I use and recommend for outdoor work is the railroad lantern made by W.T. Kirkman.

        • K. Fields,
          Good point on the Aladdin’s portability and thanks for the mention of the other lantern; which looks interesting. I use a mix of rechargable battery LED lamps and kerosene / lamp oil fueled units and will take a look at the one you mentioned.

  18. Rain, rain and more rain here. The DH fixed the generator after several years not working. He also fixed the headlight on my car without needing any expensive parts and he fixed a part that came off the dryer. The youngest DD (18) and I made salsa, then canned it. It only made just over 2-1/2 pints. I still haven’t tasted it, so I don’t know if the recipe is good. I also started teaching the youngest DD how to sew. That’s about it this week.

    Canning question – is too much headspace ok/safe?

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      I occasionally have more headspace than normal and have never had an issue-been canning for about 25 years. You might be interested in Homesteading with Jackie Clay over at Backwoods Home Magazine, she has loads of canning experience and some great books too. http://www.backwoodshome.com/blogs/JackieClay/

      • Thanks Ladyhawthorne! I think I downloaded the kindle version. I’ll have to remember to look at it.

    • GA RED – most times just a tad(less than a half inch ) of space in the jar at the top is best. How much space are you talking?

      • I had a pint jar that’s probably not 2/3 full. We plan to eat it first but wanted some idea as to the safety in case it happens with something I can’t eat right away.

        We made two batches of peach jam today from some local Georgia peaches. My youngest requested it.

  19. Kermit5575 says:

    Rain Rain and more Rain….Ordered an inverter to run the new battery box I built for the RV. Will set up solar system in next few months. everything growing like weeds, (including the weeds) got another 12000 BBs, (try to get 12000 every two weeks) thats about it for this week.

  20. worrisome says:

    Hi All. Had part of the family here for the 4th and BIL and nephew are here as well. I love my family!

    Of note, I did something way out of character. DD and family talked me into going to a casino for dinner. After dinner……….and 4 hours later I was up some $560 on my original $20. Everyone else did ok too. Since I never, ever do this, I am glad I won rather than lost……but I don’t plan on going back anytime soon. The windfall is going into the prep budget. We bought a bunch of those solar outdoor lights that you stick in the ground…….the guys are going to place them here and there to use as light for the cabin in a potential of a power outage, not that aren’t redundant power back ups up there. I am thinking it was just a whim thing.

    I got in an order from LDS, dated it and put it away. Found some cool storage containers at Target and cleaned up my kitchen supply of flour, rice, sugar and beans. Bought Hope “more” dog food. While she is beginning to settle down some, she still has lots of energy so eats……….a lot.

    The boys are telling me that the cellar in the cabin is done. Shelving in; concrete floor treatment/stain turned out well, not that they are going to let me come up there anytime soon :(. Amyway, one room of the project totally and completely DONE. The room over the top is still a work in progress. That room gets its own wood stove for heat, and will eventually be BIL’s office. They did hot share the status on the bunkhouse other than to say it is time to get my paint color scheme together.

    My little old neighbor lady and I canned up a 2 boxes of strawberry jam. She puts pineapple in hers…..it is a good recipe. I finished the curtains for the bunkhouse, the boys will take them back up when they leave tomorrow.

    The heat has been crazy, many days in the 106 to 113 range. We had some lightening and thunder, caused some fires, but Cal Fire made short work of them.

    We watched the mess in Egypt for a bit, the family here was reminded to make sure that they recycle their gas in storage as it would appear the price will be going up.

    I am still waiting for the updates that will be coming out next week on ObamaCare, I may update you on that depending on what we find out.

    Have a good week all, stay dry if it is raining, stay cool if it is hot, keep prepping no matter what……….

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Hi worrisome. Yep, I’ve been glued to the events transpiring in Egypt and the US. The coup may not hold, I remember the one in Venezuela when Hugo Chavez was kicked out, yet was allowed to return, and you know how that turned out. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Muslim Brotherhood is ruthless enough to take power back. Let’s hope and pray not.

      Being from Texas, I’ve been watching the events in Austin(ugh, what a place) with interest, and the Wendy Davis/abortion melodrama. The proposed regulations are less than what European countries like Sweden have in place, I can in no way see how this can be a problem. Of course, the Hail Satan crowd along with parents who made their little girls hold disgusting signs, jumped in there and ruined the chances of the abortionists, thank goodness. We should get the new laws next week.
      I’m glad to see you still making progress on the BOL, I’m thinking you’re going to give Rawles competition for the best retreat. Lol Have a great week.

      • worrisome says:

        Rider, I saw that little girl on television with that awful sign! Made me sick! As far as giving Rawles competition, we are an imaginative crew so are just trying to make sure we think of most things we can do within our budget to make ourselves secure. BIL is just so handy with construction (been doing it all his life) and is good with people, so he can take anybody’s idea and turn it into something practical, useful and sometimes quite artful.

        • S'wt Tater says:

          Worrisome,, We know that you love your family…it shines thru for all you do for them…and their love for YOU shines thru in all they do for you. We are so glad you have good support, and adequate planning for your upcoming move, ..when that time comes that you are not able to get on regularly, we will miss you, but we will know you are in good hands.

          • worrisome says:

            All of what you say is true Tater, including not being able to get on here very often… The lake house closes soon, retirement will probably happen the first of next year, which means we could be building my cabin next spring/summer if all goes well. Looking forward to it all.

  21. ladyhawthorne says:

    Really not much this week, but good news is Mom is getting better and my folks made the trip back home from MI to TX without incident. A little worried about Dad as he has had some chest pains, sees the Dr on Tuesday. Could just be stress…I’m hoping.

    I moved canning jars around checking them and reorganizing because of things that were eaten. Also put my on sale dried herbs in jars and labeled them.

    I spent some time reading on medicinal herbals. Also watched some great videos from a naturopath Dr. on YouTube. He explains the science behind what works and what doesn’t in a way anyone can understand. DBCnaturalhealth http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyuyP34QrZczlD5g05q7TfA

    Cleaned the fridge and organized my jars & pkgs of baking supplies I am keeping in it.
    Dehydrated 2 left over apples and a bowl full of sweet peppers from the garden.

    And I’m enjoying a 4 day weekend!

  22. Granny Em says:

    Rain every day has been so frustrating, but the garden is loving it. The tomatoes have doubled in size in a week and the raspberry bushes are loaded. I’ve frozen raspberries and mulberries to make jam when it’s cooler, and we’ve eaten the first cucumbers.

    Stocked up on more tuna fish, water and paper products. I’ve also started a food stash for the college kids to have in an emergency. It scares me that they would be so far away from their families with the cafeteria and local stores closed. Must remember to include a can opener !

    Have a good week, everybody. Prayers for all who need them.

  23. Heat was too oppressive to do much. I went to the grocery store and stocked up on a few sale items- beans, olives, paper goods .Did a bit of weed eating and had to get more string for it. Visited and helped a shut in elderly neighbor.Continued reading They Fired the First Shot(exc for current gov issues and what we can do about them).Prayed.
    Read our prepper blogs. Arlene

  24. JeffintheWest says:

    Well, our offer on the house/land got accepted — we move in around the end of August. Yay! We are now actively planning our garden and outside “landscaping.” We are also waiting as fast as we can! 😉

    Currently we are researching lots of ideas on garden plans and ideas that will allow us to grow intensively and also to protect the crops from deer, hail, and excess heat. Looking to incorporate a greenhouse (along with hoop house protection in the raised beds), as well as at some ideas for aquaponics. Since it’s already so late in the year, I suspect this fall and winter will primarily be devoted to building stuff that we need for next year, though we’ll start some indoor herbs and stuff, plant fruit and nut trees if we can, and maybe some winter crops too. Oh, and I’ll be signing up for our local Master Gardener class (begins in December or January and finishes in May) as soon as I have a legitimate address! Finally getting started on the things we’ve been wanting to do now for over a year….

    • worrisome says:

      Glad to hear that you are going to get settled Jeff! Can I offer a suggestion? This year? visit the local farmers markets and pick up things you can either can or dehydrate so that you can concentrate on your plans for next year? It will cost a little more but maybe you won’t be so frustrated by all you need to do?

      Just sayin………

      • JeffintheWest says:

        That’s an excellent suggestion, and we’ll take that for action. We have a really good farmer’s market here too. Thanks worrisome!

        • S'wt Tater says:

          Don’t forget the pre thanksgiving sales of carrots and celery..10-12 lbs of each of these will generally last our family for about the whole year..that way you can focus on other things in the spring…

    • Encourager says:

      Whooo-hoooo Jeff!!! Doing a little happy dance for you all! Great news and I am sure a great relief to you. Lol @ waiting as fast as you can!

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Congratulations, Jeff, I’m excited for you. Are you in a rural area with few neighbors? Sounds like a great deal to me, and also sounds like you had better get ready to go to work. Wishing you much success, Jeff.

    • Way to go Jeff-the Master gardener class is excellent !!! I am happy for you .Arlene

    • Jeff,
      Congrats. The real work is about to begin, but the satisfaction you’ll receive will be well worth it.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        Boy, you said a mouthful there! I’ve been basically lazing around for the past five years as a full-time RVer, and now I’ve got to pay the piper! 😉

    • K. Fields says:

      Wow Jeff – congratulations! It’s going to be great following your progress over the next couple of years. I’m sure you’ll come up with some innovations that will be of help to us all.

  25. K. Fields says:

    Reading through the comments every week makes me so glad I took a lot of time to research before selecting a location for my homestead/retreat.

    Weather here has been “normal” – mid 60’s to mid 70’s during the day, mid 50’s at night. One of the joys of living next to a cold ocean current is the temps. don’t vary more than 10 degrees or so year around.
    Ok, ok – sorry, I just couldn’t resist 🙂

    Not much to report though with the 4th parades/celebrations going on this past week and continuing this weekend. Big fund-raising salmon barbeque today and fireworks tonight. More vacation time than work days really.

    Here at home, one cow is now pregnant and the other hopefully will be by the end of the month/early August. Piglets are healthy and happy – currently out tearing up the oat bed that was harvested last weekend. Sweet corn is coming in.

    We did get a beautiful show of lightning and thunder last Tuesday night/Wednesday morning which was a real treat as it very seldom occurs here on the coast. Animals didn’t seem to mind it at all.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Trust me, I’m not a bit jealous. I love the change of seasons, and could never live in a place like that. Love the summer for swimming, boating and other activities, and love the winter for the cold, frosty mornings. And the in-between are the best of all, love fall and spring. To each his own.

      • K. Fields says:

        Rider – Having grown-up in eastern Tennessee, I can definitely understand the love of the changing seasons! But I also remember cursing the cold in late January and the heat/humidity of August.
        We do get changes here – spring still brings the blossoming of trees and autumn still brings the colorful foliage – the changes simply aren’t as dramatic in terms of temperature as in other areas.

        Although I was just joking around with my comment, the reality is that I wasn’t concerned so much with beauty and recreational opportunities when I was searching for a new home years ago.
        From a survivalist viewpoint, the ability to grow crops year around, to have livestock out on good pasture throughout the winter, spending a minimal amount of time collecting fuel for domestic heating, and not having problems brought on by excessive heat in summer are all important considerations.

        The joy of relaxing in comfort while others are complaining about their weather is just a plus.

        • Rider of Rohan says:

          Oh, I completely understand, and wasn’t criticizing your choice at all, K. Fields. I hope I didn’t come across that way, but we Texans are a bit blunt, that’s from being raised a Texican on the plains of W. Texas. That’s a hard life in some respects, but satisfactory in others. Me, I love the mountains of E. Tennessee, and my wife has many kinfolk in the Cookeville and Knoxville area.

    • Well. I am totally jealous! I would love to live there.

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        Well, you can move there, that’s the good thing about living in the USA. Everybody can pursue their version of happiness.

  26. KR Prepper says:

    Harvested first batch of Garden and Tomgues of fire beans
    Picked up some fish fertilizer for Garden
    Put away a handful of canned tomatoes
    Deweeded the garden

    Made an improvised sight mount for my Old Jennings crossboow.
    Made a FMJ crossbow bolt by putting a 22″ carbon arrow inside an aluminum. Saves money to make them vs buying
    Had a really good practice with my compound bow. Now I’m making putting three arrows in a 3/4 inch circle at 25 yards.. I’m trying to be on a pie plate at 60

    Question y’all. Is it ok to eat squirrel now at this time of year? Got a small game liscence I need to put to use.

    Now that the salad garden is producing. I’m able to eat a lot better.

    • KRPrepper;
      Are referring to grey squirrel? Believe it was spring time before it was to hot and late fall after the heat spell was over. Something I have not thought about in years++++, I was six yrs old the first time we hunted them.
      Ok, anyone else besides me who hunted them know the answer?

      • KR Prepper says:

        Hey There.

        Thanks so much for replying.. I believe grey.. Got my Small game hunting and fishing liscence.. and it’s definitely cheaper to hunt vs going the the steriod bin (supermarket)

      • S'wt Tater says:

        As long as they don’t have wolves, a parascitic worm…it is too hot here, it takes a couple of freezes or frost or so to kill the parascites. The wolves are easy to spot, they leave a big hole in the skin…

    • riverrider says:

      not good to eat squirel right now, nor wild rabbit. they have parasites that thrive in the heat. if you had to, cook really well done. safe, but not very good. after the first couple frosts the old timers say they are safe.

      • KR Prepper says:

        Hey There RR. I appreciate it.. I’ll stick to fishin’ till it snows 🙂

  27. nana blue says:

    Hello everyone! How all are well. The best thing i did this week was move up to the bol for the summer. I’m having one family at a time come up, bring done of their preps and get used to doing things together. The big test will be when they ALL are together (20 people). Working together. My brother also came up and built me a new deck off the back yard. He was teaching my grandsons how to use the tools. A great time was had by all. I got my first tomatoes out of the garden, there is nothing like home grown tomatoes. I will have a bumper crop this year. I’m also teaching my two granddaughters to make elderberry syrup. They are earning girl scout badges. That’s about it for now. I wanted to let everyone know there isn’t a day that goes by that i don’t pray for the wolf pack. Take care.

  28. Encourager says:

    What did I do this week…put in a large order with our Food Buying Club, and my ds also had an order. Ordered a case of capellini and one of linguine, celtic sea salt, case of chick peas and one of canellini beans. Plus 30# of organic bread flour. That will be stored in the freezer. I also ordered organic ghee (8 bottles), organic olive oil, and some cheeses to freeze (5# mozzarella and 3# sharp cheddar). Plus other stuff I couldn’t resist =o).

    Went out to our secret places and picked enough wild black raspberries to make 9 1/2 half pints of seedless jam. Yum! At least 80% of the raspberries were not ripe yet. Will go out again and pick for the freezer. While out and about in the woods, also checked on the wild blackberries – going to be a great crop this year! And the elderberries? Wow! The bushes are loaded. Blueberries will be ready in a few weeks; we pick these at an organic farm 20 minutes away.

    Planned and even made hotel reservations to go to Lehman Brothers in Ohio but ended up cancelling trip due to a motorcycle rally going on. Other than the first night, no rooms available in the area. Boo-hoo. Maybe this fall, with the camper.

    Pack, I need some gardening advice. Our tomato plants are lush and green but only have a couple of tomatoes and very few blossoms. Any advice?

    Also, my cukes for pickles are only about 6 inches tall, are now flowering but overall look awful. I stuck in some extra cucumber seeds two weeks ago but they have not sprouted.

    What can I plant in the space where I am going to pull my bitter lettuces that will take the heat? I was going to put in broccoli or cabbage but they are apparently cool weather crops. Help!

    I found a local farm (about 30 minutes away) that has grass fed beef. Prices are kinda high, but I am going to place an order for meaty beef bones and marrow bones to make beef bone broth and then can it. Not buying many marrow bones as they want $5 per pound (ouch…) The meaty bones are $3.50 per pound. I experimented and made a batch of the broth from bones I had in the freezer from our last beef order and it was sooooo good! Well worth doing. The secret is the vinegar.

    • seeuncourt says:

      so now I would like the recipe for this type of broth…vinegar…hmmmm

      • Encourager says:

        Okay, seeuncourt, here goes.

        1. In a hot oven, brown marrow bones, meaty bones and any bits of meat you may have (such as stew meat, ox tails). The meat is not necessary, BTW.

        2. When good and brown, put in stock pot or very large crock-pot.

        3. Add 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar. Cover bones with water. I also add whatever leftover red wine is in the fridge, but that is not necessary. (Do not add salt, pepper or any other seasonings until broth is done, strained and about to be used for whatever.)

        4. Let cook for at least 24 hours (I did my crock-pot for about 36 hours). You will have to stir the stockpot every few hours so that stuff does not stick and burn. That is why I use the crock-pot.

        5. Line a large colander with cheese cloth, making sure it drapes over the edges. Set colander in a large pot and carefully ladle broth and bones into colander. Let sit a bit until it won’t burn your hands, then pull up cheese cloth, tie opposite ends together and start squeezing the contents with your hands. When wrung out, untie and dump in garbage. I actually have to do this twice, reusing the cheese cloth.

        6. Stir broth well and fill your containers. The fat will rise to the top as it cools and forms a nice layer to preserve what is underneath.

        BTW, the reason for the vinegar? It softens the bones and leaches calcium and other minerals out of the bones. Look up Nourished Kitchen on Facebook or online. They talk about the benefits of bone broth all the time. You can also do the same with chicken bones/backs/wings, etc. Brown in oven first for darker broth.

        • Encourager says:

          Oh, I have just frozen this but it can also be canned.

        • seeuncourt says:


          you rock! Thank you. I was the recipient of a cooler (coffin sized) of frozen oxtail and meaty bones for soup. The people were “too good” for those cuts of meat, so the butcher asked me if I wanted them. I also got all of the frozen beef liver i could manage! This will put them to great use!

          • Winomega says:


            Isn’t it great to like some of the weirder parts of the animal? Pig feet make a very sturdy aspic, and I wish I had messed with trying to dehydrate some of it.

            • Seeuncourt says:

              I think its the ability to see beyond “fast food” and see ox tail, meaty bones, liver, ribs, chicken necks and backs, etc. as “food in the raw” about to become something tasty!

          • Encourager says:

            Thank you, seeuncourt. But I would not use the liver in the bone broth – it is waaaay too strong.

            The oxtails make an awesome soup, all by themselves.
            They have a great flavor. I brown them in the oven then add to stockpot with onion, carrot, celery, marjoram, thyme. (Oh, and always a slug of ACV and wine). Cook until meat slips from the bones. I strain, put meat back in broth, add fresh veggies (onion, carrot, celery) and seasonings as needed. Can also add barley or rice. Thicken with arrowroot if you want.

            Wow! a coffin size of oxtails? I am GREEN!!

        • S'wt Tater says:

          ADD two washed eggshells to it and your product will have more minerals in it..the calcium from the shells and the lining of the egg has an enzyme that helps the vinegar break down all minerals from the bones. Just dip out the egg shells, first thing after cooked.

    • Encourager;
      If I recall you are west of the rockies??
      1) Tomatoes, you are having the same problem a lot of folks are having. Put a regular aspirin at the base of the plant near the tap root is on you tomato, just bloom set but a whole lot less
      2) Temperature fluctuation will cause plants to look sickly, or something is wrong with the soil, have you checked the roots for underground critters eating off the roots to your plants?
      3) Soil could be lacking, have you checked it’s pH balance.
      When you have temps that go cool to hot an back to cool you can loose moisture from your soil rapidly an not be aware of it, you might have to lay down mulch to keep soil temps from going back and forth. If you do not have mulch, shredded papers put them in a bucket getting them wet, make layers around your plants.

      • should read
        1) tap root “that” is on your tomato–just”like” blossom set

        My mind works faster than my fingers…….sorry

        • Encourager says:

          Thanks Becky. I will try the tomato fix with aspirin. Hopefully it will help.
          The cukes are in our raised bed (as in hip high raised bed). We check it daily for water needs. Those plants have been sickly since we transplanted them. Everything else in the bed is great – the basil and sweet peppers, the lettuces and spinach (although they are getting bitter due to the heat), and the onions are twice as big as last year. We do not see any bugs on the cukes.

          • Encourager;
            Maybe the cukes have a headache! 😉
            If nothing else who knows the aspirin might work on them. You could try it just one…..then on the others try Dr. Earth, my df recommends this for plants. We are adding Dr.Earth into our shtf storage, we found a local nursery that carries it for a very reasonable price.

    • Emcourager -you can put green beans in to replace the lettuce space .Hmm cukes should be ok-did you test your soil? Are the leaves yellowing? Call your local coop.extension Master gardener hot line for your region re the tomatoes and cukes. Let us know how u make out. Arlene
      Marrow bones here are $4.50 a lb.

  29. S'wt Tater says:

    Not much on the prepping here this week…more into survival mode, not using stores, but not adding at the rate I have the urge to either.
    This week has been largely spent mowing yards and recovering from that activity. I used No- salt to add to my weak koolaid mix for my own gatorade mixture. then munched 5 generic rolaids to replace the magnesium.
    Our rain amounts are above normal now, But waiting for the other side of the coin to flip.. We just missed the drenching the south east regions received, tho we got some much needed “…slow,for the garden” rain last night.
    Was Drying and coaxing others with the herbal gathering. gathered two armloads of spearmint, for drying/tea.
    DH is fully on board with info gathering, and increasing and maintaining skills. We try to watch 3 or four video’s each week, on something we have limited or old experience in. Purchases limited, 48 servings dehydrated fruit,10 lbs, beans, Pet meds, and arthritis supplements for the 4 footed son.
    Rotated /used rain water for plantings/seed beds. Planted more herbs/tomatoes for fall gardens. Doing assessment on supplies with DH..with more thought on hand tools, handle needs, metal needs for making implements needed for the processes of gardening..Obtained some free tree of carving/crafting quality.
    Keep on Keeping on, each improvement and addition gives you another level, it’s not cheap nor does preps come by accident., if it were all would be doing this . When making those choices, don’t forget the eternal preps.

  30. Grannytraveler says:

    Escaped the triple digit heat here for a week by going tent camping up in the mountains. Even with the heat I am glad to be home. It was exhausting. I seemed to be cooking, etc…, from dawn to dusk for DH and grandchildren. Makes me even more worried for when the SHTF. LOL. We did have a good time though and the skills acquired by my grandchildren will be lifelong. Haven’t done much in the way of prepping. We have been giving away a lot of produce from our garden. Just haven’t had the time to dehydrate anything. Maybe next year.

    Some good news is that my son who has been undergoing really extensive chemotherapy for 5 months just had a clean PET scan. Thanks for all the prayers we have been getting. He has to see the doc every 3 months now but at least there is some hope. He was stage 4 (39 years young).

    The charcoal is a good deal at Lowe’s. I stocked up at HD over Memorial Day weekend. I have a galvanized trash can full plus an additional 40n lbs. It usually lasts about 2 years for us. We have propane, charcoal, an eco biomass stove, a homemade solar oven, and the charcoal. Nothing like redundancy. LOL.

    • Winomega says:

      Grannytraveler, we had that problem last time we went camping.

      Gotta teach people to eat cold oatmeal if they can’t go all day without eating. Or perhaps be kind and find something palatable that can be tossed on the breakfast fire to be ready for lunch.

    • Grannytraveler, yay! On the clean pet scan. I know that has to be a huge relief. I will send prayers that those scans continue to stay that way.

    • Granny traveler-the prayers will continue-Amen !!
      Yes camping is a lot of fun and a lot of work. Sleeping on the ground is fine but getting up from the ground is harder at our age-smile !! Happy your garden is doing well and sharing is
      kind. Maybe you can do just a bit of dehrdrating to get the feel for it.

  31. OregonMike says:

    Having a good time harvesting. Also, our 11 younger hens have started to give us their first born little eggs. Harvested and canned 28 pints of carrots. 30lbs of Walla Wallas are drying and will start the dehydration process a little later today. We’re making changes to next year’s garden plans by what we discover this year. Like plant HALF the lettuce and maybe 80 onions are overkill. The chard has produced much better than the spinach and is delicious. Lots of peas are in the freezer and our first green beans will be part of tonight’s dinner. I believe we can call this FUN.

  32. OregonMike says:

    Forgot a major prep: Have been doing lots of research on out-of-the-country retirement locations. There may come a time when not being here for awhile is prudent. Have settled on a location in Mexico and made contact for our initial trip. Not as cheap as other central and south American countries but safe and has the largest American expat community outside of Canada.

    • OregonMike, if it is a certain lake area, your location might be about 250 miles or so west of mine.

      • OregonMike says:

        Hi TG,
        Lake Chapala. Do you spend much time in MX?

        • OregonMike, yay, I was right! Lol. I have family and a house near Santiago de Queretaro. I have been there twice. It is a beautiful area with lots to do, friendly people, and a slower pace of living. We are very seriously thinking about moving down there permanently, there is just a lot we have to take care of here first. If you do decide to make the move down, just make sure you are aware of all the rules and regulations on what you can and can not take across the border.

          • OregonMike says:

            I’m reading an expat book now on all the do’s and don’ts with how to’s thrown in. There’s a lot of help and contacts available to make the move as smooth as possible. Toying with the idea of leasing for 6 months to make sure the move fits. Can’t take firearms which is one of my loves, unfortunately. Good luck on your decision making and possible move. It COULD end up being a timely and wise adventure.

            • OregonMike,
              “Can’t take firearms” would mean your security is in the hands of others, which in my personal case would mean I wouldn’t be going. Good luck to you if you do, and I really hope it all works out.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Wow, Mexico, huh? I live in Texas, have visited Mexico multiple times, but wouldn’t even think of going there in a SHTF scenario. I’m not being critical, but I’m wondering what your thought process is here. It seems like Canada would be a better fit, but I’ve just starting thinking about this issue. I’d love to know how you decided on Mexico.

      • OregonMike says:

        We’ve done much internet research on area that would allow us to stretch our retirement dollars or allow us a step up in comfort. Nicaragua, Panama, Belize, Ecuador, Malaysia, Saipan, Costa Rico, Puerto Rico, Cook and Samoa Islands, Virgin Islands all had pro’s and con’s for retirement. All except Mexico, Central and South American countries are higher in cost of living. Nicaragua, Panama and especially Ecuador are cheaper than Mexico but not as safe. Lake Chapala is a friendly and welcoming community with a very large expat population. International Magazine lists the are as having the 2nd best weather in the world. At a mile high (used to live in Denver), there’s no humidity and daily temperatures range from about 68 to 84…every day of the year. The American Consulate visits monthly to interact with the expats. And, I do like Mexican food. For a quick glimpse, check: http://WWW.LAKECHAPALASOCIETY.COM.

      • axelsteve says:

        I kinda agree with rider of r here. After shtf what will the drug lords and other assorted scum do? Juan, Jose , Jesus! Lets go rob the unarmed gringos!!! HAAA HAAAA HAA!!!

        • OregonMike says:

          I’m thinking shtf is the financial collapse of the US with affects being felt mainly by other developed nations. It’s the US that will see the gangs and neo raiders the most. Add martial law and Obama’s DHS troops and it’s THIS country that will be the unhealthy locale. Of course, 2014 and 2016 elections could go a long way towards lessening the threat that’s looking us in the face right now.

          • I have to say that I kinda agree with mike here. Everyone worries about the gangs and cartel in mexico, but tend to ignore those right here in the states. The cartel in mexico wouldnt have business (or at least to a lesser degree) if it weren’t for all the gangs and druggies here.

            Also, there are a lot of people in mexico that still have the old skills, butchering, weaving, leather crafting and such. It is not unusual to see homes with chickens, hogs and other assorted animals. Gardens, collecting water, and doing without electricity is not unheard of either.

            Gun ownership is not illegal in mexico, just tightly regulated, and very difficult to buy legally. Join a sporting club and that will make it easier.

            Of course there are draw backs. But that can be said for anywhere. I dont think, if the worst happens, there is going to be any safe place. We just have to find the place for us that will take care of our needs and wants.

            • Rider of Rohan says:

              TG, I’ve been mulling this over myself as I can see where it might be advantageous to leave the US under certain circumstances. I might go to Mexico if I were from there, or had close family there. As a gringo, not so much.

              But if the US were to implode, Mexico would be the hardest hit of all other countries. It depends more on the US than any other country, including Canada. And if I lived in Mexico and the dollar was suddenly worthless, what would I do? Would the Mexican government take care of me? Would I have access to medical care? Would I be able to protect myself?

              There is already a huge presence of violent drug gangs in Mexico, and I feel very much like they will loot and pillage at will, as they area already doing in some areas.. Same thing could happen in the US, but at least I’m armed here. Seems to me that Canada would be the best of the foreign lands to be, as it’s close to the US, has English as the major language, and the culture is pretty much the same. Granted, it is more expensive, no doubt about that. I’ve obtained some Canadian currency and investments over the past year or so with this in mind, but am still undecided. It’s getting just about too late to do anything really. I do wish you and OregonMike good fortune if you do decide to go to Mexico. I spent a summer in Mexico, and thoroughly enjoyed myself I’ll admit, but I don’t know about full time. More thought will be required for me to decide.

              • RoR, I understand your point. Like I said, we each have to do what is right for us. My situation makes it easier for my family. We have family, a house and money in the bank there. So in other words I have resources there. If I didnt I dont think it would even cross my mind.

  33. Millie in KY says:

    Glad some of you found the post on the charcoal I ended up with 140 # between the two places. I need more but this makes me feel better. I bought 12 cans of green beans, 2 4# bags of sugar and put them into ziplocs. And 10 of the little Knorr’s rice dishes, for 1.00 each, two servings.
    I didn’t get the state job and am very bummed out about it. However, a facebook friend wrote to me and hired me to help her edit things that they use to train salesmen and power points. Only a tiny job at first, 4-8 hours in July, but it is a start. I’m hoping this may lead to a work at home job. I suspect she wants to see what I can do. And I am good at spelling except for the word perrineal which I simply cannot spell. I know it’s wrong because it’s underlined in red on what I am just typing but no matter how I spell it, it always looks wrong to me. I have no idea why this particular word is hard for me, I’m very good at English, grammar and spelling. Sheesh. 🙂
    I will be calling on Job possibility #2 this week probably on Monday. I want to show more interest and maybe be chosen because of that…other than that, it is back to the computer for places to send resumes to. Please keep praying that I get this second job, I prefer it over the first one but I need something so am not going to turn down one waiting for the one I want to come along! 🙂
    One question, I have this sugar in the ziploc, got out all the air that I could. Do I need to think about putting it in mylar with an O2 packet? I don’t want it getting all hard.
    Thanks, friends, love reading what you are doing and talking to you every week!

    • Sugar want spoil unless it gets wet.even then it is likely to just lump up on you.

    • Encourager says:

      Millie, the only way people used to be able to buy sugar a hundred years ago was in a solid lump. They grated what they would need for a recipe. So if it goes hard on you, no big deal. Just don’t let it get wet, then it will spoil.

      Bummer on not getting that job you wanted/needed. Saying a prayer for you right now!

    • Millie in KY;
      Even if the sugar gets hard. Just think you can take out your frustrations on the bag. Just make sure you have it double or triple bagged when you being the whoopen process to relieve all that pent up energy. 😉
      Don’t forget the apple to give it moisture just like brown sugar.
      My mom use to put a soda cracker in the sugar to keep it from lumping, but in this case it would not work for you.

    • JeffintheWest says:

      Put your cursor on the red-underlined word (in this case perennial), and then right click your mouse — you should be given one or more options on how to spell the word, and then you just click on the correct one and you’ll never have the problem again! 😉

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      I’ve read that sugar will become a rock if put in mylar with an O2 absorber.

      • ladyhawthorne & pack
        I put the 4lb bags of sugar into vacuum seal bags and seal them up, put in a fgbuckets, list product and date.

      • ladyhawthorne,
        That is correct. When I go to the LDS Dry Pack Cannery, sugar is the only item that is packed without an O2 absorber.

    • S'wt Tater says:

      Those Knorrs packets become a full meal when you make them and add a 5-10 ounce of meat/ chunk chicken/ ham/ tuna and some sweet peas or string beans either in them or on the side.Even if they have the chicken flavoring the other meats work in them, for us. Sugar, I just pour it up in food safe bucket, til full, close lid tightly, seal the lid with duck tape. I use about three rounds, each overlapping the prior, so that the lid will not pull off easily, and ants can’t invade.

  34. Millie in KY says:

    Oh, and the chicks are hatching out. This will be my third batch. 7 out of 18 eggs so far. I love this particular prep very much! 🙂

    • seeuncourt says:

      Hatching chicks is my favorite prep too! 🙂 We have 48 still thriving out of the 50 hatched. One, “broken chicken” came out with one leg. She is a thriver as well! I just had to remember to put a range feeder out for her, as she has trouble with the hanging feeders. We joke that our coop is ADA compliant.

  35. Rain, Rain and more Rain!!! Need webbed feet soon! I am not complaining too much though because the temps have not been over 80 all week, very unusual for July to be this cool. 🙂 It does make it hard to get outside work done. I am afraid that the grass will be knee-high before we can get it mowed.

    Was finally able to pick my first ripe tomato today! 🙂 One slice covered an entire slice of bread. The squash bugs have virtually destroyed my yellow squash, I might get a couple more before I have to pull them out. Everything else it growing great, we picked quite a few blackberries last weekend but have not been able to get out to pick more.

    Since I have been stuck indoors all week I have been pondering the intellectual prepper post and the one about procrastination. I made lists of what I want to get accomplished and what I want to buy. I revised the lists several times, listing from most important down. We have already started working the plan.

    My DH came home yesterday with some great news. A man that my DH used to do work for called him this week and asked him to come to his office. He gave us about a dozen boxes of individually packed spice mixes. Each box has about 500 packets in it. There are 6 different kinds: sesame garlic, cucumber dill, tomato pesto, bacon cheddar, chipotle chili and onion chives. They are made by The Pantry Club. He used to sell these but is retiring and decided to get rid of everything. It includes the display boxes that he used. We picked all of this up this morning and just managed to get it all into the garage before it started pouring rain again, so I have not managed to go through it yet.

    He also gave us 7 bottles of Mona Vie, for those of you who have not heard of Mona Vie it is a concentrated juice drink. You drink one to two ounces at a time. It is mostly acai juice but has 6 other kinds of juice in it as well. The bottles (about the same size as a bottle of wine) sell for about $35 each the last time I checked.

    I also got a little shopping done, bought some extra sugar, flour, and cornmeal. Plan to go shopping on Monday too.

  36. Ascetik says:

    Bought 2: Berkey SSCF-9 filters and a ceramic spigot from Amazon. Bought 2: 16 quart stainless steek stock pots from boscov.com for 10$ each! (Awesome deal.) Going to make my own berkey water filter, saving about 170$ doing it myself. Also purchased a Sprite shower head filter because the new place I moved into, the water is very bad for my skin and making me break out into eczema.

    Also purchased a CRKT Hammond Drifter for EDC and a sharpener for my BOB 🙂

  37. worrisome says:

    Praying for passengers, families and friends of those on board the Boeing 777 that has crashed at SFO. So far I have heard two fatalities and 48 injured out of 291 or 292

    • axelsteve says:

      Worrisome. I just saw that on the Drudge report. I hope that all is well soon. From what I have heard that 777 has had some issues.

  38. I discovered just how lame I am when my washer died this week and had to wait 3 days to get one. Its funny how dependant I am on these conviences or not so funny. I have discovered how impatient I am as well. Not Good!

    I fell again today and i think I tore ligaments from my groin down to my toes. This is the leg/knee I had surgery on in September 2012 and the second fall Ive taken. I have taken my meds and no relief to be had. I see an orthopedic appointment in my future. Its at this point that I worry how I would even walk 10 steps in a SHTF situation. Im afraid I am or will become a liability to my family.


    • t42n24t2 says:

      Praying for you, Lisa. You won’t be a liability to your family. You are an asset and a source of strength. Both of my knees were replaced in 2011, so I do hear you.

    • Lisa,
      I’m sure you have many valuable skill sets that will benefit your family. If possible, plan to hunker down, not bug out so you won’t have so much walking.
      Store as much in the main building as you can and only minimal amounts in out buildings/sheds.

      Most importantly, let family help, they can accept responsibilities too. They can be the ones who care for the garden/livestock.
      It’s a team effort!

    • Encourager says:

      Lisa, do you know WHY you are falling? Do you lose your balance or does your leg give out?

      If so it is time, my dear, to get something to steady yourself with such as a cane or three-prong walking stick. I know it is a pain to learn to use, but it beats a broken hip.

      Perhaps you need to bug in, not bug out. If your place is unsafe to do that, you should consider moving??

      As far as being a liability to your family, nonsense. Don’t think that way. None of us are in perfect health, from what I have read on this blog. Even the strongest, most fit person can fall and break something. Do what you can do. And do what you can do to protect yourself from falling.

    • Lisa;
      Like you I kept falling down, just walking along and down I would go.
      Not to pry but are you taking meds for cholesterol(answer in your mind only*not on this site*)?
      If yes, are you experiencing pains in your legs, buzzing in the lips, other weird things before this medication?? Talk to your family doctor, you could be allergic to the meds.
      If you are not on these type of medications have you ever had an MRI for spinal problems?
      They put me on those drugs, and I kissed more dirt than when I was a kid growing up. Found out I was allergic to the meds and it was aggravating a spinal condition I did not know I had.

      • Divergal says:


        Becky is absolutely right – After my moms two heart attacks in January, they put her on cholesterol lowering medications even though her cholesterol wasn’t a problem. She started having muscle and joint pains, severe ones, and then her hips and knees would just collapse.

        She went off that specific med a few weeks ago, and the inprovements are amazing. Her regular doctor agreed that as long as she could keep her cholesterol low there was no reason for her to be on them.


        • DG;
          This is for you and your mom(and others).
          This morning on radio station the hostess was explaining why those that live in Asia have no cholesterol problems–they drink WARM WATER with their meals.
          This comes from a family member who lives in Asia. It was brought up when they were having dinner at a restaurant last evening an they ordered warm water. Who would have known! Long story short, it stops the foods that turns into cholesterol in our blood stream.
          Guess who is going to drink warm water at meal time…..me.

        • My DH has chest pain from certain cholesterol meds. I also have interactions with drugs that cause me to have joint pains. I often wonder if the side-effects aren’t really worth the trouble.

    • Lisa, I am with the others, you are not a liability. There could be medical reasons for you falling down, so maybe talk to the doctor about the possibilities.

    • Lisa, I am praying for you. Take a deep breath and slow down so you can heal !!! Allow your family to help you. I know that’s very hard. I am due for two knee replacements-one coming up soon-so I feel with you. Arlene

    • Winomega says:

      Lisa, scary as it is, explore the possibilities of how your family can move quickly with you in tow. There are others that are thinking strollers for the possibility of extra supply capacity if the kids do manage to walk that far. I’m thinking some sort of hyper-creative unicycle-rickshaw.

      I briefly associated with, well I don’t know what exactly was wrong with her. She could probably outlast me in a hike even though she walked with two canes. I don’t remember if I witnessed her fall and had to stand by while she explained that me helping her up was more awkward than her getting herself back up, or if it was just a conversation.

      You are heavier than books, but more useful per pound.

    • Oh no, Lisa. Sorry to hear you have a new injury. Groan, it always seems a second boo-boo comes after the first one gets fixed up. Yes, much as you are probably sick & tired of doctors, you’re right, you have another appt coming. Gotta get patched up for yourself and your family. Naw, I doubt you’d be a burden. You’re more likely a valued family member and important brain of the organization.

      My prayers for a good recovery a.s.a.p.

  39. JP in MT says:

    It’s in the PM on Saturday and just got in. DW and I took a 2 day road trip. My 22 LR suppressor and AR 9mm pistol upper came in last week so we went to get them.

    Decided to make it a 2 day trip. Also picked up our 1st presser-caner (22 qt Mirror) and found a new Advantage Arms 22 LR conversion kit for my Glock 21 for $150.00! Picked up a little LT fruit too. Just had a great time, no pressure, and the Rainbow people we no where to be found!

    Chicken went on sale again so I ended up with about 30 lbs of breast. Fileted them out, trimmed the fat off and indoor grilled them. Ended up with about 1/4 frozen a paddies for lunch and dinners, 1/3 diced for same, and dehydrated the rest.

    I’ve been without the TV for 3 weeks now. I turned it on in the motel room last night and remembered why I shut it off. 60 channels and the only thing worth watching was a re-run of a movie I have on DVD.

    • JP in MT says:

      I also ran across 22 LR on the shelf!

      Remington 38 gr HP.

      $12.99/100 rounds!

      I’m still waiting for $25/brick or less before I stock up on anymore.

      • axelsteve says:

        JP. I have been giving 22 lr to friends lately. A coworker who has a 10/22 for awhile but never got to shoot it.I gave him 100 rounds after his new son was born. I gave my son 200 rounds since he was up this weekend.

    • seeuncourt says:

      JP in MT,

      The rainbow people were busy ruining Butte. I had a few people i acquired due to my occupation that i would have like to have dropped off there with them!

  40. This week I didn’t do much PT because I overdid it last week running and got a sore foot. I got some Superfeet, which didn’t fit in my running shoes but they do fit in my army boots. I went ruck marching with my BOB, and got blisters after only a couple miles, so next time I’m going to wear nylon knee-hi’s under my socks.

    I have had to throw out some perishable food that perished. That is annoying. A whole quart of milk and some onions.

    My garden is a jungle and it rained all week. I also had planted another garden for someone else, a 3 sisters deal, and it’s coming up, but I have to go back and put in the beans.

    I bought some different corn seeds – it’s almost too late, I have one kind of small pop/meal corn but I want Bantam sweet corn too, not sure where I’ll shoehorn that in, and not sure how to keep them from cross pollinating except maybe to start a third garden elsewhere. I really want (for next year) some Bloody Butcher corn seeds. That kind of corn is good for everything, and it’s from Virginia which is close enough to my climate in KY.

    I also bought some charcoal. Instead of the pretreated briquettes I got just plain hardwood charcoal. Just got one bag. I also have some wood and some coal, and some older olive oil, and some lard I could burn. Although I’d rather turn the lard into soap, maybe it could be used like a Crisco candle?

    I got some more stripper clips for my rifle, and a few rolls of medical tape. Medical tape is one of those things that disappears fast in a crisis, so I thought I needed some more. I also got a closeout deal on some organic tampons that are very compact, I think I will put 3 or 4 of them in my blowout kit instead of the applicator tampon that’s in there, and they’ll take up the same room. (Tampons are good for packing gunshot wounds.)

    Really that’s it, outside of reading and research, and an army green sweater I bought for a couple bucks today. I was looking for “hippieflage” in the thrift store’s half off sale, and that’s all that fit.

    • seeuncourt says:

      Penney Pincher,

      If you are not alergic to wool, try some washable merino wool socks. You can often pick them up cheaper at sierratradingpost.com or, if you tell me what size feet you have, I will happily knit you a pair of socks!

      • Seeuncourt says:

        And maxi pads are great stuck to the inside of an ammo can lid to keep out moisture! You guys didn’t know that didja 😉

  41. t42n24t2 says:

    First, I salute everyone here. Your posts are uplifting and encouraging. My copy of Boston’s Gun Bible arrived today, and it is more than I anticipated. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me this week about firearms. Just getting this book will help me to make the right choices.

    My garden has lots of tomatoes and cukes ripening.

    The only preps I could add this week were sugar and paper towels, but little steps are better than no steps. One of the bolt cutters did get added to the car EDC.

    Everyone hang in there!

  42. Patriot Farmer says:

    I put up several shelving units in a spare room that is going to be for storing canned goods and ammo. My chickens are growing and I should have eggs in the next 2 to 3 weeks. My garden is growing well and I finished the last of my potato rows this week. I have 6 rows of potatoes planted each is 50 ft long. I planted two rows at a time and added two more rows every two weeks. I thought by planting rows two weeks apart I could prolong the harvest. Is anyone else doing something along these lines?

    • S'wt Tater says:

      We always planted ours at the same time. We cured them by placing them on the bare ground under a tree that did not let sunlight in..a huge apple tree for us, and we left them until just before frost, using as needed.
      Whatever was left, we placed in a keel.
      This we made in the bank behind the house, digging down about three feet, lining it with straw, or sage grass, placing the potatoes, turnips and onions in, in layers.separated by grasses, we covered with a thick layer of grass/hay. some tin..and some dirt…making a place for easy access. They always lasted til spring. We’d get enough for 4 or so “messes” each time we went out to dig.

    • K. Fields says:

      ” Is anyone else doing something along these lines?”
      Definitely Patriot Farmer!
      I live alone and there would be no way in the world that I could harvest and put up produce if it was all coming in at one time. By spreading out the planting and thus the harvest, both become much more manageable.

  43. Sounds like some members of the Wolf Pack are either too hot, while others are too wet.
    Mulched beets, carrots, and tomatoes, hilled potatoes. Had a really hard time finding straw for the potatoes, as straw/hay is in short supply.
    Read the book version of WWZ which took my head to another place, like all good fiction does.
    The “puppy” I bought the DW last Mother’s Day is growing up and now weighs 25 lbs. Being part retriever, she discovered “sprinklers” and now will play in the cold water every chance she can.

    If you like Sandra Bullock the actress, her new movie “The Heat” is pretty funny, if you can get past all of the “F-bombs” .

    Found and excellent Christian site/ teacher called “Truth for Life” . The Pastor is named Alstair Begg and although he is from Scotland, he pastors a Reformed Baptist church in Cleveland OH. His sermons are available on line and worth a listen.

    The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the world of The Lord lasts forever. Have a blessed Lord’s Day, ya’ll.

  44. Lauri no e says:

    Hey everyone!

    I have been reading and commenting the past 3 or 4 weeks but not posting. I have been busy getting the house ready for the realtor and I so agree with Bam Bam it takes work to get everything put up and off the floor and on the shelf it isn’t all organize except for the pantry and the linen closets are organized as of now.

    I have been so busy with the house and we have been living off preps to save money because we got burned by a friends husband that was suppose to be doing some repairs for the house and I don’t even want to go there but now we hired a professional contractor to come in and paint the house inside and out and do some minor repairs. My husband could do it but when you are working 6 days a week 10 hour days in the heat he is so beat and exhausted when he comes home but we are blessed to have a job when others are suffering.

    My dh job transfer came through and my dd might have a second interview for a job next week. Please pray that something will come through for her she is the one that trys so hard and things go wrong and the dss that I did not raise has everything handy to him from the enablers and want work and sits and plays video games all day. He is 29 years old and I have tried having a good relationship with him and would loved to call him my son but he hangs on my every word waiting to attack me with anything I say or don’t say it’s a nightmare.
    His dad has been a wonderful step-father to my daughter.

    Lets see, I have only bought band-aids and got 2 free cases of bottle water with my extra quarterly free bucks from CVS.

    Welcome newbies, praying for all health, job, and the Lord knows what I mean when I say this person on the pack.

    Be safe and keep on keeping on and please pray my house will sell when we get it ready and lead us to the right place to live.

    • S'wt Tater says:

      I think everyone has one person like your dss in their family..they don’t seem to miss meals…I try not to get too uptight about ours. I just hope ours doesn’t end up on my doorstep. I can’t think of a single thing this person could do to earn the food and keep…so wrapped up in gaming they have no sense about real life.

      • Lauri no e says:

        S”wt Tater,

        Thanks for your comment, it helps to know that someone understands and to know we aren’t the only ones going through this.

    • Lauri no e;
      If you have step kids in the mix they either like you or you wishing for space aliens to replace them until their brain cells come back to life, if ever….
      Been there, and survived.

      • Lauri no e says:


        Thanks so much.

        • Lauri no e;
          Any time, I just wish I could yank that over grown 29 year old child out of his gaming chair(no adult should act that way)and shake some sense into his brain.
          Of course if he is living with you(heaven forbid!!)every time he is snotty to you just look at him,and smile 😉 and tell him he has such wonderful manners he must have gotten them from his mom, as his dad is a gentleman. Enough said….he will get the point, he will either move out(yahoo!!) or grow up, since he can no longer bait you into his territory. He will have to live by your(dh&you) rules. Hope that helps I went through three of them,yes,– they survived……barely.

  45. Hi everyone. First time posting on this weekly segment.

    Let’s see. This week I was on vacation so relaxed some and prepped some. I put up 5 1/2 pints each of grape jelly and grapefruit jelly made from juice that was on sale at the grocery store. I also made 5 1/2 pints of cantelope jam. It was pretty good. I also canned 5 pints of Basil tomatoes.

    I added another shelf to my storage room. That allowed me to organize more and take a count of what I have stocked and what I need to focus on. I took MD’s advice and decided to actually count washtub I had and realized that I have about 6-9 months of food for my daughter and myself. I was a little surprised that I had that much. Still need to add more a a few things but getting there.

    • “T”
      Welcome to the Pack!
      Now, how in the world do you can cantaloupe into jam?? Ok, give up the secret recipe…..I love cantaloupe and if it means I get to eat in the winter time and not eat that card board stuff they sell in the stores, I am all in to learning a new process.
      You are going to really like those who post here, they are a really nice group of people.

    • T I am with Becky, give up the recipe. Lol. I too love cantaloupe. Have you ever tried pureeing it and then adding a bit of water so it is a drink? Yum!

      • TG;
        No, but I scrap the melon after I remove the fruit to get the last of the juice. Yum (but not the green part)

      • Ok, here you go.

        Now keep in mind that it calls for vanilla beans, but those are so expensive that I used pure vanilla extract and it came out really good.

        2 1/2 C chopped, peeled cantaloupe
        1 1/2 C granulated sugar
        1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
        Zest of 1 lemon
        1 tsp freshly queezed lemon juice
        1/2 of a 6-oz package (1 foil pouch) liquid fruit pectin

        Prepare your jars, rings and lids in hot water (I boil it).

        In a 6-8 quart nonreactive heavy pot combine the cantaloupe, sugar, and vanilla. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until mixture reaches 220 degrees. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir in the liquid pectin. Return to a vigorous boil. Cook for an additional 1 minute, stirring constantly.

        Remove from heat and ladle the hot jam into the hot jars. Wipe clean; apply the lids and screw on rings.

        At this point, it says to use a water canner, but everything was so hot (jam, jars, rings, lids) that I just screwed the ring on really tight and let them seal on their own. I made 10 4 0z jars and every one of them sealed. I have an electric stove and it was amost impossible to get the canner full of water to a rolling boil. this worked just fine and all of the jars sealed. It makes a soft jam, so it won’t be set up really hard.

        The recipe also suggested putting a spoonful in some sparkling water for a cool summer drink. I will try that soon.


  46. Almost forgot, I also transplanted two tomatoes. Supposedly they are heat tolerant. Good thing! Hot and rainy here in Florida. Almost 7 inches of rain in the last 6 days, so that is about all I got done outside.

    Have a great week.

  47. Light preps as we have been camping in Idaho, and now traveling in the desert southwest. While camping we got in some good practice with .38 and .45, and I used the new Galco Concealable holster with the 1911 for the first time. Turns out to be extremely comfortable even while driving, and hugs the hip closely. I’m very happy with it.

    My DW tried point shooting for the first time and absolutely slaughtered a small dead tree at around six feet. She is right handed but left eyed, so sights aren’t much use.

    She has LaserGrips on her gun, but they are nearly useless in bright sun. She was very pleased with the results of point shooting. Good for limited distance, but within that distance it is fast and accurate enough.

    On the way to camp we stopped at the North Ogden, UT, Deseret Industries store and scored a lot of good gear: two good sleeping bags at $7 each, a good pot for a buck, and several table knives, scissors, a spatula, and a sharp bread knife for 10/dollar. Also two synthetic blankets at two dollars each, and two new pillows at ten each. All are now added to the Mainland bug out location supplies, allong with CostCo multi packs of AA and D cell batteries.

    • midnight1st says:

      Have her try shooting left handed. It really has worked for me. It doesn’t even feel funny to me like I thought it would. I could not hit the broad side of a barn until I started shooting this way, and I have gotten to be a pretty good shot.

  48. Oooops! Also forgot that I made my first batch of jerky! So excited! It came out great! Next time I might try adding a little brown sugar. I have one more batch to make tomorrow.

  49. FreeRangePagan says:

    Hello all!

    Lady had saved a 2 liter bottle from last week, so that’ s full of water and on the shelf. Got a morder and pestle and an upsidedown tomato planter.

    MIL got Lady a grill and some propane tanks, a water bottle and a tiny first aid kit for her birthday.

    Gathered plantain and put it in apple cider vinegar to make bug bite spray. Pretty sure i found wild thyme as well and will gather it later.

    Have a good week, Pack.

  50. Art festival this weekend so not much accomplished this week, and busy all weekend!

    Hope everyone is well!

  51. The Prepping Rooikat says:

    Let’s see..
    This week on concentrated on vehicles. I changed the oil, fuel filter, and belt on the mustang. Next week, it’s the jeep’s turn.
    I made one of those cool home-made wood burning camping stove, out of a coffee can, barbeque grill.
    I also worked on expanding the anti-sheltie fencing around our wild strawberry patch.

  52. Winomega says:

    Well here is a weird problem, very upper-class first-world. I’ve managed to screw up my Netflix to keep suggesting stuff that pisses me off. Basically Lorax-like documentaries.

    Other than chewing through reruns of Warehouse 13, Doctor Who, and MLP episodes, what isn’t LCD programming?

    • The Prepping Rooikat says:

      Just caught up on Warehouse 13 about 15 minutes ago.

    • Have you tried Fringe?

    • seeuncourt says:


      I had to laugh when i saw this because mine keeps suggesting porn….

      I blame the NSA.

      • Winomega says:

        seeuncourt, you drove me to enter “porn” into the search box, and I got a few cerebral films and My Little Pony. Then again, rule 34 strong with that fandom.

        • Seeuncourt says:

          the fact that “My Little Pony” came up when you searched “porn” made me die laughing!

  53. Making pastrami on the smoker right now. Picked up a couple of quart jars at neighborhood garage sale and a tin Hershey’s cocoa tin, vintage. I collect tins, and use them for their intended purpose, but in a decorative OPsec way. Up on top of kitchen cabinets.
    DH having gout attack this weekend, so he’s stuck in house. Guess we will be finishing up the yard cleanup for DD’s wedding later in the week… Bleah..
    Still picking tomatoes, canning more tomorrow. Cukes are succumbing to squash bugs and heat. Got more planted. And picked up a couple of pounds of picklers at the store to makes some b and b’s.
    Not much else, except praying for the possible rain from this itty bitty tropical wave developing off the southern coast of Texas.
    Oh, and a small conversation with DH about the state of the government and how he’s ashamed, but still not quite there about what’s going to happen. He did realize he does NOT have enough ammo… Baby steps.. Deep breath…count to one backwards….

    • S'wt Tater says:

      pour a quart of cherry juice in DH for the gout, my brother said it helps in two hours…

  54. Can anyone tell me where I can purchase a few cotton seeds and or a couple of small puffs of cotton on or from the plants? I am trying to show my grand children how cotton grows. We live in the north.Thanks.

    • Arlene,
      I don’t know where you could purchase seed but later this year I could probably get some of the cotton puffs you are talking about. There are quite a few cotton farms around here. When the farms start collecting the cotton from the fields there is a lot of it wasted in the field. I have thought about asking the farmers if I could clean the fields of what is left, which of course means that I would have to learn how to process it into thread or yarn.

    • midnight1st says:

      It’s illegal to grow cotton here – in Alabama – if you can believe it, unless you are a certified grower. It’s because of the boll weevil laws. They will not let you grow a plant or two at a school so the kids can learn about it. So, seeds are not available to the public. And, the seeds are covered in terribly stinky poison if you can find one from a grower. Not something you would want a kid handling.

      • Midnight=wow you sure have taught me something new.Thats terrible .There should be exceptions for educational purposes.
        Thanks for the inf. Arlene

    • S'wt Tater says:

      Arlene, When cotton is gathered in the fall I can pick some up, it litters the road in some areas…that will be late S ept- early Oct.

      • Swt Tater-by the way I love sweet potatoes -especially fries-smile ! Thanks I would appreciate a sample of cotton .Ask Md for my e mail and I will send you something back from the north
        if youd like. Arlene

  55. Had to take my husband to the VA Hospital ER ( a long drive ) .He has bronchitis and an ear infection. Besides the regular meds the nurse said if anyone gets swimmers ear to use 4 drops of alcohol and
    4 drops of white vinegar-mix up and put a few drops in the ear daily. This will prevent the PH from changing and thus make it tough for bacteria to grow. This can be done for dogs who like to swim also.
    Something to add for for our medical preps. Arlene

    • Arlene,
      Sorry to hear about your DH. Thankfully I have not had to go to the VA ER. From what I understand they are now charging no matter what your benefit level. Can you confirm and let us know if it is a reduced payment or is it the same as going to any local ER?

      • Mexneck, Here the Va. bills according to the Veterans income
        and if you have any other health insurance or Medicare. My husband has medicare and that’s it and since we are living on social security we do not usually get charged anything extra. We have been very pleased with VA care. Wishing you the best.

        • arlene,
          Good to know. I’m glad their not trying to soak veterans with additional costs. The VA care here is good too, even though I’ve had a tough time getting my DR on board with my natural medicines first rule.

          • Mexneck-yes we try natural first and sometimes they work and other times we feel so lousy that we want a quicker solution and go for the antibiotics. Without a spleen I get sick more often than I would like.
            Everyone please remember if you are on an antibiotic ALWAYS eat yogurt or take acidophilus or pro biotics. This will prevent a yeast infection which can come from the antibiotics wiping out the good and bad bacteria. It helps restore the good bacteria.Arlene
            Storming again here in NYS so much water and flash flooding-wish we could share it with others who need it.

    • S'wt Tater says:

      OREGANO OIL! come hither… kills mites, anti- bacterial and anti- fungal, anti- viral, anti- parasitic…one drop each ear kills mites in dogs ears as well.

  56. It’s been an interesting week. I reported last week that the heating element in the clothes dryer had burned out, and I had ordered a new one. Do your shopping on these kinds of things, since I found prices from $14 to $65 for the same item. I ordered the least expensive on that was a brand name (Napco) for less than $20 including shipping. It arrived yesterday, and since the DW had watched me take the old one out and test it, I showed her a YouTube video on installation of the element and then coached her through installing the new one. Took us about 50 minutes, and although she doesn’t qualify as an electrician, she gained new respect for what she can accomplish when she tries. You have to step out of your comfort zone on occasion.
    The freezer died a few weeks ago after only 30 years, so we broke down and have a new one being delivered next week.
    The local Wal-Mart has an “As seen on TV” section that I look thorough on occasion, and I found one of the “Olde Brooklyn Lanterns”, without having to pay the outrageous shipping. It’s built like the old railroad kerosene lantern, except it contains 12 white LEDs and uses 2 D batteries. It contains an On/Off dimmer switch and I measured the current us uses on the lowest setting (20 ma) and the highest (330 ma), and using the middle range capacity of a standard D Cell battery (about 15000 mAh), the lantern should work for about 750 hours on the lowest output setting and about 45 ½ hours on the highest setting. It will make a good addition to the grid down preps.
    Finally Wal-Mart also has their $0.20 seed packs again so I added about a dozen or so to the seed stores. Will be used for future gardens or as potential barter items.

    • Winomega says:

      OhioPrepper, that is exactly what the hubby is pulling on me. He ordered a new whatever for the scooter, showed me what to do with it, well it isn’t his fault that it’s going to be a long time until he has the whim to deal with it, considering that I’m the one being stuck with a dead vehicle.

  57. Southern Girl says:

    Greetings to all,

    Welcome to all those new to the Pack. We seem to be in the same boat (no pun intended) as many others with the rain & the heat. No outside work this week with the heavy rains. Our temp did drop to 70 degrees yesterday at noon due to the rain. Did have 1 hour of sunshine today. Gotta love the weather in the south.

    Still no hot water. The company hired to repair the broken water pipe in the foundation cancelled yesterday & rescheduled for next week. This has been good for the DH to experience prepping(minor prep). Heating water to hand wash dishes & he thinks I’m so smart to come up with using the dishwasher for draining dishes. I actually read it on this site, but we won’t tell him. Military showers with one turning the hot water on & off quickly. Saves water & electricity. I think this has been good for him. I asked him some what if questions.

    Like others this week, not much in the way of preps. A few grocery & medical items added. The garden has almost bit the dust. Nothing left except tomatoes & a few cucumbers. The DD is raiding my herbs for her new vegan diet. The rogue cantaloupe vines look great. Not sure if too late in season to grow the melons in this heat.

    Sorry to be so long winded. Hope all of you have a great week. Prayers to all who need them & congrats to all with good news.

    Oh yes, to KFields, I am so jealous of your weather report.:) Such different weather & to both be close to the ocean.


  58. Made several jars of blueberry jam and blackberry jam. Also picked up some fabric at the thrift store and washed it. Got around to cataloging my books and was surprised that I had a few duplicate copies – thus one of the reasons I have made a list of all my titles so I don’t forget and buy the same book twice again. Next job is to go thru all the old VHS movies and if any of them are still in working order, get them transferred to DVD so I can have more space.

  59. Divergal says:

    Hi Wolfpack,

    Its been an exhausting day, After spending the last few weeks dealing with a rat problem (which will give me nightmares for a while), compliments of my ever so wonderful neighbors, I had to completely clean out my food storage pantry. Luckily there wasn’t too much that got ruined but I figured while it was all out of there I would buy new enclosed cabinets and completely reorganize and inventory everything. What a job that was… I actually had more of a lot of things than I knew.

    Stocked up on more bandages, my mother’s blood thinners make every little cut a challenge. On the good side, it seems Ive gotten over my squeamishness where blood is concerned.

    Got a new mag light and a couple of super bright led flashlights that are small but powerful. For the price, if one drops or breaks or has catastrophic failure I won’t cry over it but until then they babies will light up almost my whole back yard.

    Got another 50 lbs of dog food and 40 more of cat food – the cat food goes so much quicker now that I have a mama and her babies acting as garden cats that Im feeding. I was going to try and find them someplace else to live but mama has been keeping the back yard rat free – Im looking into putting up a wall across the back of my property since the health department tells me to call code enforcement who tells me to call the cops who tell me to call the health department and on and on the vicious cycle goes. I wont go into what my neighbors are doing in their back yard but I guess sanitation isnt a big issue in their eyes.

    The squash and zucchini are doing awesome in the garden, the tomatos not so much but I think its just too darn hot for them. The peppers are doing mediocre and the herbs are struggling. Even with all the rain we have been getting the sun is just drying everything out faster than I can keep it watered.

    Thats it from steamy south Florida. Prayers for all the wolfpack, every day I watch the news I think how we need them more and more.

    Stay Safe,


    • Divergal says:

      I forgot the best part of my week – made Chutney, a LOT of chutney, and canned it all up. I think all of my friends are going to be getting Chutney for every occasion available for the next year or so.


      • SCPrepperPoppa says:

        LOVE chutney!

        • Repair Mama says:

          What is chutney???
          goes to show what i know hu.
          I grew up a city girl raised by my dad.

          • Repair Mama, I think the easiest way to describe chutney would be to say it is similar to relish, but tends to have the chunks like salsa. There are so many different types. The one I like has cranberries, apples, onions, pecans, vinegar, sugar and a bunch of spices.

      • DG;
        Have you tried ChowChow(without the cabbage)recipe? The stuff my mom use to make is so good you could use it to replace mustard, ketchup, sweet and spicy..yum. Somewhere I might still have the recipe, when I come across it I will post for those who would like to try it.

      • worrisome says:

        Can I be on the mailing list should you get the urge to play Santa Claus????

        • worrisome;
          Yes, you can be on the mail list any time. Oh, forgot I am married to someone who looks like the ol St. Nic, except mine has to be fatten up again. Guess that is why they made those fluffy pillows.

  60. Although didn’t do this THIS week, a few weeks ago I made my own bow case and storage case for my arrows. I found the prices in stores to be way high. Now my homemade case was for the long and recurve bows. Picked up in the plumbing section of Lowes the 6″ in diameter PVC pipe. Sometimes they can cut it and other times I just use my electric saw to get a smooth cut and do it myself. The pipe is quite long so out of one piece I ended up being able to cut the pipe into two sections. I used the end caps to close the ends of the pipe and wrapped my bow in a sheet (I plan to move and don’t want it jostling around), and slid it into the PVC pipe.

    I also got the 4″ in diameter pipe and used for storing my arrows. One piece of pipe will make about 4 separate arrow cases, I fit about 18 arrows per case and use the end caps to secure both ends of the pipe.

    I don’t recall the exact price for the largest pipe as it was the most expensive, but it may have been around $40 bucks. So, I have 2 bow cases for about $20 each vice about $150-200 that I would have paid for the store bought ones.

  61. I’m getting bees tomorrow!!!!

    Picking them up on the way home from the coast tomorrow. We won’t get any honey this year, they will need any stores they make to survive the winter, but the area we live in does not have any bees, and my neighbors have been spraying flowers with some stuff in a bottle to make them set.

    Last week was a much better prep week, and I didn’t post, but this week with my little girls coming home, I just had to brag!

    • Michelle, I wish you the best with your bees. I am a long time bee keeper and its really mesmerizing watching these little miracle workers !!! Arlene

      • Michele,
        I agree with Arlene. The DW was afraid of bees and kept me from keeping them for some time, but now that we have them, she’ll actually go out into the bee yard, and watch them. She also now calls them “our” bees. Not quite like a horse, goat, cats or dogs, but still fascinating.

    • Kermit5575 says:

      I wanted to get Bees last year, did my research and in the Great State of Fla, state insppectors can come on your land at amytime/unannounched to inspect your Bee Hives. NO THANK YOU!!!!! Fla. Happy for You….. enjoy the girls.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      Our yard has two LINDEN trees. I guess they are about 25 years old and around 35 foot tall. Every year in July they are full of smallish yellow & black bumble bees. You can hear the buzzing if you stand under the tree, but the population of bees there is small enough that it’s hard to spot more than a few bees.

      We can always find a few bees working the vegetable garden, so we are grateful for those 2 trees. If anyone lives in a growing zone that is habitable for the Linden, consider planting one or two.
      I haven’t seen any honey bees in our area, just wasps, yellow jackets and our junior size bumblebees.

  62. Hello Pack,
    I hope that all of you had a blessed week. If you saw my post on the recent article about why I won’t survive the collapse, then you know that I’m catching up again with my preps. Yes, random NSA guy reading this post, I’m doing my part to stimulate the economy. Today I went out to a rural lake to see the water level. Even with all the rain we’ve had lately it looked more like a sink hole than a lake. Have you noticed that at nearly every body of water that is big enough to float a dinghy there is a ranger station? I also went and looked at some BOL’s farther away from the city as a plan C. I also rearranged my GHB and looked at my dismal food preps. Time to get the rotation going again. My vegetable garden has plants but not vegetables. don’t know what I’m doing wrong but I need to read up on why my garden is not producing, when my neighbor doesn’t even weed his and has veggies everywhere. There is some hope. My citrus trees look like they may have something this year. Hope y’all had a great week and prayers out to those who need them.

    • worrisome says:

      Mexneck, glad to see you back getting ready to take care of yourself. It is hard to stay motivated. I am going to go fix up my ghb right now. Glad you mentioned it!

  63. Jason @ The Best 22 Rifle says:

    I made sure all my rifles were in clean working order!!

  64. Cleaning up the garage…….grrrrrr. I could not find the screws we needed for the decking so I went to H/D to buy more screws, nails and received sticker shock. Who could think a box of nails or screws that was $10.00 a couple of years ago is now over $20.00. Millie, like you I grabbed the charcoal when I was in the store.
    Ok, now to preps–friend found a different supplier of honey for our storage, boy what difference in the taste from store bought and fresh. Picked up more FG buckets to wash up, and I am packing away more coffee and tea into vacuum seal bags. Due to the heat wave, it was early rising to feed the livestock, water, and back into the house before it reached over 90 degrees outside. I melt when the heat goes over 80, and it the pits trying to get stuff done when you turn into a puddle.
    Hope you all had a family 4th of July.

  65. I picked up a 20 pound bag of rice that was on sale for 6 bucks at wal-mart. I also bought a #10 freeze dried banana’s as we needed to rotate out one can. Picked up 4 extra roll’s of toilet paper also on sale, uhm I think that’s about all until tomorrow – my cousin is having an estate sale and gave me the heads up on maybe handing over some “camping supplies” – nothing better than freebies! Sunday or Monday hubby and I are going to get a few more 5 gallon water jugs.

    I was however, a little upset when I came home today – we were gone from early morning till 8 pm, when I came home I noticed that the neighbor just disassembled almost his whole addition to his house! I would have loved his windows (they were all broke) would have made a cute small greenhouse on my “rented” porch. 🙁

    Hope you all had a fantastic week!
    God Bless~

    • They were broken after he tore it down, not before – I just noticed I didn’t make sense, LOL

  66. Here in the Mojave most days last week were over 110 (high of 117). I have come to the conclusion that anything over 110 just feels equally too hot (sort of like anything below minus 20 feels equally cold).

    I have been watering my container gardens morning, noon and early evening to try to save what I can. All but one summer squash plant has died from a combination of heat plus drying winds. Half my young tomato plants have died. Most of the tops of my potato plants have died down. The carrots and the Kentucky Wonder beans look healthy but their growth has slowed. Of the remaining three pepper plants that survived transplanting, one actually has a fruit on it. The two pomegranate greens are healthy and have kept their immature fruit.

    I have stopped running my dehydrator indoors until the weather cools off some but have continued vacuum canning dry goods. Recently vacuum canned different varieties of couscous (after 72 hrs in the freezer) after reading the label and realizing this stuff takes less cooking time than instant rice. Will be a nice change from instant rice and pre-cooked pasta in a grid down situation.

    Am still re-labeling and storing away boxes of vacuum-canned storage food. Right now the sky has darkened and I hear thunder, so maybe a cooling gully washer is on the way. So am going to turn off the computer until this has passed.

    • S'wt Tater says:

      Have you tried putting down plastic bags, over the ground..
      maybe cover the plastic with mulch to keep it from burning roots.. and watering with an inverted cola bottle, stuck down into ground about two-three inches below the plastic….watering from below…plastic keeps water from evaporating so quickly, can use fertlizer in water also, but sparingly. Is it possible to put a tarp above, to reflect noon -mid day heat?

      • It’s not really lack of water in the container gardens that’s the problem here in the desert. The potting soil actually gets too hot for temperate zone vegetable plants when the outdoor temperature stays above 110″ F.

        Watering three times a day helps briefly cool the soil and the foliage. And I did paint all my big containers white to help reflect the heat. But there is only so much that can be done when it stays so hot all day and the hot winds are blowing.

        I thought about digging big holes and setting the containers in the ground to keep them cooler, but a check of my desert gardening book showed me that the alkali in the desert soil will then leach into the potting soil and slowly poison the plants.

        I think my best bet is to plant more vegetable seeds now and hope there will be enough time before the first cold snap in October to get in a small crop. I expect I will just have to experiment a few years with gardening in this climate to learn how long my vegetables plants have each season before it gets either too hot or too cold for them to survive. The info on the seed packets is useless for any weather advice other than last frost in a climate zone.

        • JeffintheWest says:

          Have you tried contacting your local county extension agent? Or the Master Gardener program, if there is one? Both of them should be able to offer you tips on helping your plants through the hot times.

          One thing to remember (I was raised in El Paso, Texas) is that shade automatically cools things off by about 20 degrees. Do you have any umbrellas (whether for your table, or even just a regular umbrella you can mount securely to shade your plants)? If not, you may want to consider hanging a white sheet over your plants to provide some shade for them in the afternoons.

          Good luck!

          • Good thoughts! I can price shade cloth at my local hardware big box stores. It’s been a while since I checked out the County Extension website, so I should probably look there for suggestions on local planting times and varieties suited to desert climates rather than trying to re-invent the wheel.

            • JeffintheWest says:

              Oh, I should add, the reason I suggested temporary shade (umbrellas and sheets) is because some plants NEED direct sunlight, and in the mornings when it’s still cool is the best time to both water them and make sure they get that sunlight. Then, as it warms up again (usually by about 10 or 11 in the morning in El Paso), you rig your shade for the rest of the day (and the evening/night, because as it cools off at night, the temp changes can run up to 50 degrees difference, and having the “shade” hanging there helps the plants retain some of the heat of the day). In the winter, if you’re stuff is in pots, it’s a good idea to move them near a wall that reflects and absorbs the heat of the day — it both extends your growing season, and helps keep the plants from freezing to death in a cold snap (and as you know, the desert can be one of the colder places on Earth!). Obviously, some plants you won’t have to worry about “wintering over” and others you may want to bring inside, but things like potted trees and the like can really benefit from these things. This is all based on our experience with growing things in El Paso, of course, and your desert may be different! 😉

          • Just a quick reminder if you use an umbrella for cooling make sure it isn’t black. When I was a child we were in Pasadena for a weekend, my parents put us under a black and white umbrella to help keep the heat off of us. In addition we were sitting in front of a concrete barrier. Between the umbrella magnifying the heat and the heat bouncing back off the concrete and then playing in the pool that night, I got a case of sun poisoning and a burn so deep that the skin on my upper arms just sloughed off and talk about being sick. It can be tough to find umbrellas that are white but it is definitely worth it not only to try to save your plants but also for us and our small animals.

          • Thank you for the excellent advice, even though it was for Linda. I’m going to try a little cammo net over the garden and see how that does. When I was poking around I lifted one of the leaves and to my surprise there was a cucumber under the leaf. I feel like a gardening success all because one little cucumber.

            • JeffintheWest says:

              To me, that’s exactly how success is measured — one cucumber (or whatever) at a time! 😉

        • Linda;
          In our first raised garden beds we built shades to give the plants relief from the sun and heat. Time, wind, heat have destroyed the covers but it protected the plants on those blistering hot days. I would recommend using wood stakes, or building frames from pvc piping to attach the sheets. The sheets I would purchase at a Goodwill, thrift stores, who cares if they match, just so they can be made into shade tarps for your plants.
          This year I used the shade cover from the dogs kennel to protect the plants since it also is a barrier against the deer and rabbits.

          • JeffintheWest says:

            I recommended white sheets due to the intensity of the sun down there (though as you well know, it gets pretty darn hot where YOU are too!) which serves both to provide shade, and to reflect some of the sunlight — which makes it even cooler (a dark, or patterned sheet will actually absorb a lot of the heat, and re-radiate it downwards onto the plants, as well as upward).

  67. Donna in MN says:

    I got my pink slip that my main job is ending in December. I have to be creative in finding free stuff for food, so I will be fishing a lot, collecting the berries for syrup, pies, muffins and cakes besides jam. I may go wild ricing in August, and collecting weeds for a substitute of greens and spinach, puffball mushrooms, pineapple weed for tea, and rose hips this fall. I will ask local hunters if they have Deer parts they want to give up for my dogs, and I will have to be on the lookout for road kill deer this winter.This will keep my long term food storage in tact in case there is a national disaster at that time.

    I might have to cancel my internet service to make ends meet at the end of the year. I have to consider other options until I find other work. I am not allowed to draw unemployment, so my scenario for SHTF can happen with losing my job and not finding another for a while. This is what I am preparing for and I am glad I have time to do it.

    • Warmongerel says:

      Sorry to hear that, Donna. All of my relatives are from up there.

      The Iron Range has been in a recession since the Jimmy Carter years. And they just keep voting the same fools in year after year, expecting things to get better.

      I would move up there in a second – if there were any jobs to be had.

      Good luck and Godspeed.

      • Donna,
        I so sorry to hear about your troubles. I’ve always read your post because we are both Christians and living in MN. I’ll miss ya, you bet’cha.

        I’m not sure of the type of work you are looking for, but my DW’s friends who live in “The Cities” say that there are jobs to be had there.

        “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord”.

    • I am very sorry to hear about your hard times. Have you considered taking in a boarder to help pay the bills? This could be a possibility if you have a spare bedroom and can offer a simple breakfast and basic dinner. If you have extra stuff you no longer use, you may also want to consider holding a garage sale and converting that old outboard motor or box of LPs into cash for food storage.

    • Donna, will send prayers your way. I really hope you can find another job soon.

    • Seeuncourt says:

      Donna in MN,

      I’m sorry to hear that you are losing your job! I hope that you are in an area where you can replace it easily. If not, consider using your skill for a “self employed” cottage industry. Don’t sell yourself short, everyone has an innate talent or two. I’ll try to remember to keep encouraging you!

  68. Mrs. K in MO says:

    It’s been a busy few days of traveling, visiting friends and family, picnics and fireworks, but I did manage to get some work done. Picked and canned 6 pints of green beans on Thurs. have more to can today. Picked up some medical type stuff. Ibuprofen, med tape, bandages etc. Added some paracord to GHB. Did a little target shooting. And lots of weed pulling!!! Hope y’all had a great 4th!

  69. Repair Mama says:

    Not much here, juat coping with new diet, reading blogs and news, letting mr man ds play outside between rain,, and just being lazy.
    I did leave info to this site on some other blogs like shtfplan. Lots of drama over thete, but is fun to read the comments. Tjete are not like us here
    We are way more family oriented and share more info and tjey just get nent out of shape.

    I found old perculator with inside basket and little glass doodad handle so i can have coffee if i have to use camp stove, charcoal grill, or wood kitchen stove i got earlier this year.

  70. My experiment has come to an end. This week my Scythe came in and I went out and hand harvested my small oat field (probably around 75×100′). Well sorta. It’s been cut down and about a third of it is currently residing in the back of my truck… the rest is still on the ground thanks to needing to get ready for work.

    It took me a little over an hour and a half to cut the field with the scythe. Tomorrow I will take care of the rest. Some will get fed directly to the chickens and some I will try to thresh to harvest the seed.

    There is one good thing that has come from this experiment. I know never to plant oats on April 9th again. They have to be harvest during the same small window that my blackberries are needing to be harvested and canned. The blackberries will win out in this situation and most of the oats will probably just get fed directly to the chickens since I only have a few hours before work each day to get things done.

    • K. Fields says:

      SW – Congratulations on your oat crop. That was a good bit of work to accomplish in only an hour and a half!

      I just finished getting mine into the barn earlier this week to beat the rain but it’s still in shocks. I usually will feed the shocks directly to the livestock, but some, of course, must be threshed and dehulled for storage and table use and that’s one job (dehulling oats) that I don’t care much for and will usually put off as long as possible. My chickens also prefer them dehulled but that’s a treat in their case rather than everyday occurrence.
      Oats also make good hay if you cut it early (before it’s fully ripe) – good to remember if your harvesting schedule gets tight.

      The scheduling of crops is always a bear if you don’t have minions to give you a hand during harvest – just be sure to keep good records to refer to next year. It will get easier.

      • K.Fields… I got lucky in that respect. I planted hull-less oats 😉

        • K. Fields says:

          SW –
          That’s great. I’ve tried that in the past but never had much luck with it – poor growth and poor yields.
          Maybe it’s time I try again.

    • SW;
      When I am bombarded with all the fruit coming all at once, I use zip lock bags-place the fruit(blackberries)inside the plastic bag flat side down. The bag is resting on a cookie sheet, fill with berries so they layered but not crushing berries on the bottom. Place the cookie sheet in your freezer, when the berries are frozen you can more “frozen berries” to your bag until full. When you are ready to make jam, pie, juice take the frozen berries out and let thaw.(DO NOT WASH Berries Before FREEZING)
      My df does the same thing with strawberries-but-she washes them after removing tops and any blemishes. Then freezes them for jam, which I though you could not do but it apparently works if done in a timely fashion.
      This lets me can this fruit in the winter time when a little heat in the kitchen is so appreciated.

  71. Since the “What have you done this week” seems to be a learning tool for most folks let me toss this out there to ya.

    Double the amount of toilet paper you think you need to store and be sure to add lots of pepto to your stores.

    I usually don’t get sick but today I’ve spent the last two hours staying real close to the bathroom (and apparently I’m not done yet)… brb

    Anyhow… moral of the story. When the SHTF chances are we won’t even be eating remotely close to right, and we may not have the best water supply so we may get a bug that keeps us tied to certain parts of the house. Best to be prepared for that instead of not thinking about it until it’s too late.

    I hate that I got this today since I had to call in sick to work which means I miss out on Sunday premium pay, but it was an eye opener in the preps department.

    • riverrider says:

      sw, i got a bug once that nearly killed me. had to go to army er doc, on duty. he told me NEVER use pepto, that if he could take one thing off the market it would be pepto. he said it makes the stomach feel good but screws the small intestines, which is the real location of trouble anyway.. he put me on flat ginger ale and saltine crackers. it worked in six hours. since then i have used that against several bugs to great effect. point well taken on the tp/imodium. btw, he said imodium only delays the inevitable but sometimes the body needs that time to recoup for the fight. ymmv. gws!

      • After around 7 hours of making the multiple runs each hour I ended up calling mom. Had her run to the store to find something other than pepto (it’s worked great in the past) and to get some Gatorade. I could tell I was probably getting dehydrated. She brought back Imodium. I popped the suggested dose and within a half hour I was plopping the ‘other’ end down on the toilet. I’m pretty sure the dry heaves were the worst part of the whole day.

        I didn’t take another one because I didn’t want to go thru that again. It’s now around 10 hours later and it seems to have run it course. Maybe I got some of the benefits from the Imodium… dunno. I do know that I feel like someone ran over me with my own truck.

        I guess this is another example of how the “lone wolf” prepper may run into problems in the future. There is no way I would have attempted making a run to the store. It’s 30 mins one way and not a lot of trees to hide behind in the farmland for an emergency pit stop.

        • Sw, sorry you got sick. My go to whenever someone has ‘stomach’ issues is peppermint and chamomile tea. It doesnt always stop the problem, but it tends to calm the stomach, soothe the cramps, and if you are constantly sipping at it, it can help you stay hydrated.

        • Ah, the ultimate remedy.. Mom!

  72. Rider of Rohan says:

    Inspected, cleaned and rearranged all my arms this past week, and was able to add to the store of food for them. It’s buy, buy, buy while I can. I noticed a perp was caught at a university in Washington State about to do some more dirty work. Any day can bring another incident that will put everything in short supply again. I’m using excess funds to buy all the accessories I need, and I encourage you to do the same. The source could be cut off at any time. I know, preaching to the choir and all, but it needed to be said.

    Food preps suffered this week, but I did spend Wednesday evening at the home of a HAM radio operator observing the things he does to have fun, interact with folks, and still be prepared for an emergency. Looked at some of his equipment, got some ideas, and he gave me a few tips if I wanted to get started in amateur radio. We shall see. My job is still taking a lot of my spare time.

    Not much else other than watching the US make a fool of itself worldwide, more drama in Austin, and the usual silliness in Washington, this time with Obamacare. What a world.

    • riverrider says:

      i’m with you rider. too many people are relaxing and one day soon it will bite them. mags and ar15’s are cheaper than before dec. and ammo is coming back online. i pretty set that area except i want a couple of optices to help my old eyes out. nothin fancy just a truglo 2×42 dot., maybe a micro holo sight. biggest thing i need right now is motivation 🙂 keep up the good work.

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        10-4 on the motivation. On the Truglo optics, I’ve checked them out and wondered how good they were as the price is right. Do you have experience with them, riverrider?

        • riverrider says:

          my buddy has one on his deer shotgun and loves it. seems bright and clear enough. i have their sights on my kimber and love them. they get good reviews. i just need a little help with close in targets and want as small profile as practical. would prefer a trijicon but $$$.

  73. Helped to set up a Preparedness and Bushcrafter meeting that is on the 20-21 July in Huntsville Ontario
    info to be found through here

    I will be giving a show and tell on Fire/Stove/Shelters there are a lot of presenters as well as door prizes, networking and just a general get together with like minded people.
    Bit of a drive for the USA Folks but, we have ONE coming as of now 🙂

    Look forward to seeing some of you pop by
    Cheers ~Wild_E

  74. Papabear says:

    Hello Pack. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Did rearrange some of the preps this week. Looking for more places to store things so it isn’t so messy. Pulled up the onions and garlic from the containers. Picked up some extra canned veggies. The store was discontinuing a brand and had them on sale. Also picked up a silver Eagle.

    Have to toot a horn for DS1. A buddy of his was cleaning house and >gave< him some stuff. He handed it off to me to help with. Some of the items are: a led camp light, big bunch of knives, camp cooking/eating utensils, paracord (3), light rope, hammock and back pack. After inventory and sharpening most of the knives will be sold off. The pack will be used to make a new GHB. It is bigger and better than what he had to use before.

    The new doctor at the govmt clinic is reading the wife's history and paying attention. She goes in for an ultrasound test and colonoscopy this week. Will let you know outcome next week, and why.

  75. Texanadian says:
  76. Warmongerel says:

    Haven’t posted in quite awhile. Just felt that what I was posting was redundant (food stocks, ammo, camping/survival supplies, etc.). Lather rinse, repeat.

    That’s definitely not a bad thing. It’s what needs to be done when you’re prepping. But didn’t see the use of posting it every week.

    So, lately I’ve:

    – Picked up a Ruger Mark III Target pistol. A guy at work was selling it for a price I couldn’t refuse. Now I just have to find 22LR ammo. Going to be my daughter’s pea-shooter. It’s a beautiful – and extremely accurate – gun.

    – Finally got out to shoot my Sig Sauer P250. The thing kicks like a mule, and the double-action trigger is going to take some getting used to, but I love the thing.

    – Sent my Goal Zero Nomad solar charger (and a few other things) to camp with my daughter for field testing. She says it works great to keep her flashlight batteries charged, but doesn’t do so well on her I-Phone.

    – Finally got my 7.62 from Sportsman’s Guide. They had originally back-ordered it until July 23rd but, for some reason, it was sitting on my doorstep towards the end of May. Not complaining. That was a huge thing that I was missing.

    Hope you’re all well, pack. It isn’t getting any better out there.

  77. Warmongerel says:

    Almost forgot: did you know that Fritos corn chips make excellent firestarters?

    Light up 3 or 4 of them and they burn for about 5 minutes.

    Just thought that was hilarious.

    • Seeuncourt says:

      Even funnier….dryer lint combined with vaseline and rolled into balls….cheap fire starter for the bob…put in an empty pill bottle or mint tin.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        Steel wool (don’t use the kind with the soap already on them) makes a fantastic fire starter. Never leave home without it!

    • worrisome says:

      Warmongerel. Doritos also make a good fire……..we accidentally spilled a bag one evening around a campfire….most of had to grow some new eyebrows………….:)

    • riverrider says:

      peanut butter, and most bug repellent so don’t apply any next to the fire.

  78. Evening pack!

    The DW is out of town for a wedding this weekend. She’s staying with a friend and was admiring how nice their garden is. She sent me a text that makes me think she is starting to come around to the prepper culture. She said, “Babe, I think we need to get some canning stuff and learn how to can our own food.” Of course, after I picked my jaw up off the floor, I told her that would be a great idea.

    She loves the dehydrated fruit and beef jerky that I make. She tolerates the large amount of prep items I keep stocked. This is the first time she has suggested something unsolicited in that area. It really feels great to think she may be getting on board with prepping. I’ve read and heeded the advice from the pack about not pushing anything. I think it’s worked and now she is starting to come around.

    Take care all!

    • An aha moment flipped the lightbulb on. The friend’s garden had to be a great motivator. Yaaay.

    • PERRIN- Way to go .May your wife continue her enthusiasm.
      Extension service has classes on canning !!

    • That’s great news. The way I nudged my wife to get on board was to go easy on the “prepper” stuff and sell her on “homesteading”, when I did that she took to it like wildfire.

  79. Hawthorne Prepping Inc says:

    Hey y’all its been a while I started posting here a little ways back and then left to work for the summer. Stopped in to update the pack on that process and to ask a few questions. First off the job is still in the air its secure but i need to get my drivers license first. Well at first it was no big deal till I started to parallel park. I got 3-point turns and other associated nonsense quick but after hours of practice only got the parallel park once. So I’m hoping to nail that soon there is still a month and a half of summer before school kicks back in and if I want a car I need to work all of it.

    I would also like to ask for the packs prayers this week, my dad goes to the dentist Thursday to have a root canal and two large fillings and he is allergic to Novocaine. I am going to try to be there with him so I can drive him home as the Novocaine leaves him shaking and dizzy however as far as we know it is the only pain killer offered by dentists atleast the ones he has been to.

    Speaking of the dad I plan on talking to him soon about serious prepping. As of late we have lots of plans (more like ideas) and no substance. Trying to talk about ways to splice the budget to allow prepping in. The roadblock here is my brother. He enjoys his modern conveniences and is highly allergic to anything I suggest no matte how logical. He sees it as just another fad or something that will blow over. No matter how I try he simply will not be convinced. Yet I am conflicted because I feel a strong need for a group i just cant see going lonewolf and leaving any of my family behind is unthinkable.

    O.K. almost done.. been thinking about post-college plans (yes im not even in college yet but planning is prudent). The situation over at my mothers house is not good. During my time with her we live very close to the family, over there i have no neighbors im not related to. While in most instances this is a good thing that entire family lives in dependency. My aunt cant live without multiple perscription meds, my cousin is a kleptomaniac and was just recently arrested. The long and short is that noone who lives there comes out better and I have decided just to escape that particular pit. Been thinking about moving out to the Cumberland Plateau as it is not far from where i live and if all i hear is to be believed a very good place to be. My question here is for M.D. and those who live in the area how are jobs out there? easy/hard to find and in what capacity/field? Or would it be more prudent to put aside storage based preps and become self-reliant first if i happen to end up out there?

    Final note i have a small planning note to take up with the Pack. I have read M.D.’s 10 things to do now and 10 more things to do now but my question is what next? Both me and my dad have planning issues which is why we left it to my stepmom before she left us. I realize that i should accumulate a small stockpile of necessities first but how should i decide when to add what to the preps?

    Thanks for bearing through this awfully long post God bless to all the Pack!

    • Hawthorne Prepping Inc says:

      On a unrelated note how do y’all get the pictures next to your names!?!?!?!?

      • Hawthorne,
        We used to be able to click on anyone’s picture and go straight to the site, but for some reason it isn’t working.
        I like the photo because it is easy to track your comments and responses.

    • JeffintheWest says:

      A couple of thoughts;

      First, on the parallel parking. That was always a big concern of mine when I was getting ready for my drivers test. Just keep practicing, and remember to read the “how to parallel park” instructions you undoubtedly received. Also, since I’m a more visual guy, I would suggest watching a Youtube video or two on the process right before you go out to practice again. On the “that wasn’t so bad” side of things, when I took my test, it went very smoothly (take a couple of deep breaths before you start and remember to get off to a good start by buckling up, checking your mirrors and making sure the person giving you the test is buckled up — they appreciate that last part), and the parallel parking was pretty easy since they have you park between cones and not actual cars. The big thing to remember is to relax and not choke up on the test — being relaxed almost guarantees you a good score assuming you have been practicing a lot.

      Second — tell your dad to ask if they have something besides novocaine to use on him. I can practically guarantee they do. When I was a kid (which was 40 years ago) I had to have two root canals and caps put in after shearing off my three front teeth in a motorbike accident out in the desert. They used so much novocaine doing it, that novocaine no longer works on my (literally they once gave me twenty shots of it while I was in the USAF and they were going to do a filling, and I never numbed out — the doc DIDN’T have any other stuff, so he said “We’ll just have to do the painless dentistry bit” and he did — but he also told me they had alternate stuff that he was unfortunately out of that week. So even 20 years ago they had alternatives. I’m sure your dentist does too.) Ever since, I simply inform them that novocaine doesn’t seem to work on me, and they give me something else that does. 😉

      Third — you can’t choose your family. Some people get it, and some people don’t. Assuming your brother is an older sibling (which was always my problem with MY brother), there is a certain amount of disrespect going on (“He can’t possibly know anything — he’s younger than I am!”). Conversely, if he’s a younger brother, then jealousy might be rearing it’s head, in which case it’s more a question of seeking to undermine anything you come up with just on general principles — remember, all his life he’s felt like a second fiddle to you. Immaturity comes in a lot of forms, and age has only a part of it. The thing is, you know these people and if you can disengage from the immediacy of it, you can get some perspective and see how to talk to them about what’s going on. Not manipulating them, but rather seeing what the real issues are and addressing them so that you both get what you need/want out of it.

      Fourth, if you want a good planning model, see if you can get the money together to buy MD’s book, “31 Days to Survival.” It’s a really excellent beginner’s guide, and it also will serve you for years to come by helping you to focus your energies.

      You are obviously eager to get started, but exercising a bit of patience is good training too, and working to persuade those you want to work with without “steamrolling” them (or at least making them feel that way) will pay dividends for you for years into the future. You are on the right track. Good luck!

      • JeffintheWest & Hawthorne Prepping,
        Good point on the dentist. Checking the area for someone who does “sedation” dentistry might be a good place to start. Either gas or IV instead of the Novocain.

    • Hawthorne Prepping ,
      Richard Bach, in his book, Illusions, said this about family, “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.” I’m not saying that you should abandon your blood family, but at some point you need to make your own way in the world, and understand the difference between those who help you, and those who hinder you. Everyone including your family, must at some point realize that as adults, they choose their lifestyles, and that actions have consequences. Plan your own life and those who see your example may decide to follow; however, if they don’t, it should not be your burden.
      As for college, don’t think of it as higher education as much as job training. Engineering and Medicine (from Docs, to PA’s to nurses) are good fields both for job prospects and prepping resources; but, don’t necessarily rule out the trades. Plumbers, Electricians, Carpenters are useful skilled trades that can’t really be outsourced. In short, don’t go to college, just to go to college. Think it through to the endpoint and what you will gain in the job market, and choose accordingly.

      • Hawthorne Prepping Inc says:

        Wow that first part is deep. As for college and job training im planning on entering the IT field though any computer jobs would be fine. As far as I can gather its a growing market as more and more companies go to automated assembly and the like.

        • Hawthorne Prepping,
          Deep is what makes you think for yourself. You’re already in this forum, and that means you’re at least on your way.
          IT is a good, but very wide field. A degree in something like computer engineering which works with both hardware and software, allows you not only to do the IT type of work, but allows you to understand how things work at a detail level most do not know, and this can be the edge you need when competing for work. As an EE who does mostly embedded software, I kind of developed the skills of the CE over the years, and there is plenty of work, often amiable to telecommuting, in this area.

          • OP – the hubby works with EEs all day. He’s a mechanical design engineer with loads of RF experience who incorporates his machining background into everything he designs. He also manages all the computers for his department. Having varied experience has helped him over the years, but not having a degree has caused him to hit a brick wall with his career.

            • GA Red,
              perhaps it’s time for him to go back to school, especially if the company offers tuition reembirsement.

              • I’m not sure about the tuition reimbursement thing, but at nearly 50, the long term cost-benefit (stress) analysis isn’t working out for him. He’d had to start with what we call the BS courses too. I’m sure there’s a way he could do it and get credits for his experience, but I’m not sure there’s a will. I think if there were any way we could afford to do it, we’d both quit working, head for the hills and try to find a way to make a living away from where we are now.

                • GA Red,
                  The “will” is definitely a factor, but can be done. I have a good friend and MAG member who has two engineering degrees, and in her 40’s, realized she had always wanted to be a doctor. A year of college to pick up a few required courses, 4 years in medical school, and 4 years of residency, and she’s now a practicing E.R. doc. Takes will, time, and effort; but, can be done.
                  As for tuition reimbursement, a quick call to your DH’s HR department should tell you that.
                  As for the BS courses, I know full well about those, but there are possibilities that can get you around them or make them less burdensome. Look for instance into an Associate’s Degree. Here in Ohio there are many schools that have teamed up with universities for what they call the 2+2 program, where you go for your Associate’s and then attend 2 years at the University for the Bachelors. The school I went to (many decades ago) offered a 3 year Associates Degree with very little BS (I have that one) and then an additional year with less technical and more BS courses, to round out the degree for the Bachelors (I also have that one). My initial class was around 300 guys (yep no gals in engineering back then), many of who took jobs after 3 years; while the final class was around 40, who stuck around for the Bachelors. There are options around if you look and ask.
                  Finally, to utilize your DH’s experience you can look into CLEP (College Level Examination Program) testing to get college credit for what you already know (http://clep.collegeboard.org/).
                  I understand about just bugging out now into the hinterlands and homesteading, and I hope you someday can make that happen, but sometimes reality gets in the way, and you have to do your best with what is available.

                  • Thanks for the encouragement. I’ll see what I can do but he can be stubborn (just like me) and he always struggled in school. I honestly think he’d do well now, but he’s got to convince himself first.

                    I finished my degree just a few days after my 40th birthday. I got lucky and returned to school before all my old credits from two prior attempts ran out. It took 2-1/2 years of hard work, sleep deprivation and the right spouse, but it is done. 8 years later, I’m still paying my student loans but am fortunate that my payment and interest rate are really low.

                    • GA RED, Like you I finished college in my forties. Our children told me that after their stories and prayers and good night tuck ins that they felt comforted hearing me type as they went to sleep. (yes I am old -typewriters- smile !!).I started a Masters and I allowed life and loved ones to come first and I never finished but I loved what I learned . Good for you !!!! Arlene

      • OhioPrepper – you did an excellent job putting into words something that every young person graduating high school should hear. My DH has talked to several “kids” about the need for more people going into skilled trade jobs rather than just going to college to get a degree (in whatever). At 49, he is the youngest person in his department with no one coming along to do what he does. What will happen in 15 years when he wants to retire? He also sees very few people becoming machinists – which is where he started his career. There are many skilled trades that need young blood, including farming.

        • GA Red,
          I have a friend who is a high end contractor, who told me years ago that he was slowly losing his “Masters”. Master Masons, Cabinetmakers, carpenters, etc. These guys were skilled and ran businesses that almost literally printed money; however, they could not get anyone to apprentice to them, with most kids wanting a factory job that paid well “right now” or going to college because they thought they were somehow obligated.

          • S'wt Tater says:

            With the robot stuff going on line, skilled welders are hard to come by as well. .. Not only should our children be gaining job employment education and skills, they should be duplicating..learning multiple skills, Having multiple skills has saved my bacon a couple of times.

        • GA Red, I still have a few years to go before my oldest thinks about college and I am the only parent I know that isnt pushing the college regime. A lot of the ‘careers of tomorrow’ are being filled with immigrants, are getting outsourced, or completely disappearing.
          There are jobs, that while ‘mundane’ will always be around. Too many kids today spend way too much on college, then cant find a job when they get out. I have even heard instances where mcd’s will tell people that they are over qualified for a position.

          • TG,
            College is still a good deal if you plan it as job training. There is a growing shortage of [people entering the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) area, and lots of jobs to be had there; however, you need decent math and science skills, and be prepared for 4 years of hard work, with little time for partying.

            • OP, that is very true. I am not discounting college at all, just that it isnt the only option. You really said it best when you said dont go to college just to go to college. I am working with my dd to see what it is she wants to do. I dont tell her ‘you are going to college’ like that is the be all end all like I hear so many other parents.

              I know a few parents who stick their kids in so many extracurricular activities, and other such things, not because the kid enjoys it, but for scholarships and to look good on college admissions. They dont even think about what the kids will go for. So if my kids choose it isnt for them and that a trade school will be better, I will back them in that decision.

          • We have pushed for college as we have both had situations of being passed over for promotion because we had no degree. It all depends on what you really want to do with your life. With three girls, most of the careers they have considered really require degrees – two want to be teachers. Exposing our children to various ideas for careers is extremely important and we have to be careful to NOT push them toward something we want them to do. On the other hand, we can’t discourage them from doing something they really want to do. There’s also a fine line between challenging them to really explore their dream and discouraging them from it.

            • JeffintheWest says:

              It’s definitely a tight-rope walk. I was career military as was my father before me (and my brother too, for that matter). And every one of my male ancestors fought in some war here in America, on down from King Phillip’s War. So I was very careful NOT to push a military career on my kids, though I encouraged them to look at it as one of many options. One chose to be a nurse, and the other went to work for the railroad — both of which strike me as just fine.

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        Ohio Prepper, some excellent advice on family. After making multiple attempts to convince, talk to, persuade and induce some members of my mother’s family to prep and prepare for hard times, we have given up, dusted our shoes off, and left them to their own devices.

        They are convinced the government will take care of them, that there is nothing to worry about, the US has always made it through every crisis, and that we are probably some kind of radical survivalist types for even trying to prepare for hard times. One of my cousins even suggested that he might have to turn us in as hoarders if something bad happened. Needless to say, we’ve cut ourselves off from these people, and no longer consider them anyone we want to talk to, much less have any physical contact. To tell you the truth, they disgust me with their entitlement mentality. There, I’ve said it, I feel better now.

        • Rider of Rohan,
          It’s a very hard decision, and is not taken lightly; however, my “real” family are people I’ve met over the years with common interests and goals. My “blood” family are people I still love, but who are all adults making their own way, as it should be.

      • Hawthorn=you brought back a great memory of Richard Bachs book-smile-thanks. We have college degrees and we chose to learn organic farming and have done so for our lifetime. All kinds of education are valuable. Yes we desperately need young farmers and tradesmen and women. Years ago people took great pride in their jobs no matter what they did. Thats very important. Whatever one does do it well. Some people with very limited formal educations are the wisest . Arlene

        • arlene,
          We are part of a farming operation, since my DW came from a farm family, and a share of the farm was part of her inheritance. Unfortunately, getting into farming can be very cost prohibitive for someone who doesn’t already have a farm relationship, such as marrying into the family, or being “very” good friends with the family. The cost of land, and equipment to get started can easily run into hunfeds of thousands of dollars or more. It’s still a good field, because people have to eat; however, unlike many businesses, the startup capital can be overwhelming.

    • Jeff is right, there are always alternatives for the pain. I am a big wuss when it comes to dentistry that I have them knock me out cold. It usually cost a bit more but for me, worth it.

      The parallel parking, again, what Jeff said. I lucked out and just had to park curb side, no cones or cars to deal with.

      What OP said about family is so true. One thing I have learned is that sometimes it is easier to love your family from a distance. I have people I consider family that are in no way related, except thru the heart. Sometimes those are the strongest bonds.

      Dont wait on your family to start prepping. You may not be able to do a lot, but do what you can, when you, with what you have. Maybe instead of asking your family to prep, you can start of with having your family get together a small disaster kit. The 72 hour kind that the various agencies out there recommend. Then just start adding a bit of extra food and water when you can. But remember, there are some roads you have to travel alone, so if your family never gets on board, dont let that stop you.

      A big thing to remember, have fun and live life. Having a plan for your life Iis great, thinking ahead for what the future might hold is also a wonderful thing. Just dont let today pass you by while you are planning for tomorrow. Everybody needs to act a little crazy, make mistakes, and more importantly make memories.

    • Winomega says:

      Hawthorne, have your dad talk to the dentist. I got a triple root canal in the top front last year with nothing more than valium and codeine. Then again, I spent about five years letting the infection kill the nerve first.

    • Hawthorne P Inc. – Add some food as you can afford to-add items you like and will eat. (peanut butter, tuna, soups, veggies, canned fruit, nuts, dried fruit, juices in the can or bottle, oatmeal,
      store up water from your tap -vitamins, flashlights, batteries ,
      first aid items, hope this helps a little bit. A few at a time and they will add up. Wishing you the best. Arlene

  80. There is a lot to be said for opposable thumbs..

  81. Good afternoon, novacaine is is a very old medication which isn’t used much any longer. Lidocaine or even xylocaine are more common today. The shakiness and dizziness sounds like a possible reaction to epinephrine. Many dentists use lidocaine with epinephrine. The epinephrine is added because it slows down blood flow by promoting constriction of blood vessels which prolongs the effect of the medication, slows bleeding and provides numbing of the site. Some possible side effects [epinephrine] can be the shakiness you mention, dizziness or even heart flutter. The dentist may have plain lidocaine, xylocaine, bupivicaine or even ropivicaine without epinephrine, It may be worth asking to see what they actually use. If this isn’t the case check your area for dentists who offer sedation dentistry. Make sure they are properly trained and certified in their use. I am not a Medical Doctor and only offer the above post for reference only. I recommend you ask specific questions of your dentist.

  82. Black rosé says:

    I decided I don’t like banks. I am trying to get my BOL and today on the 34 day the bank denied the loan. We were asked to put down 25% and sent them all the needed paperwork right away. We told them from day 1 we have 4 other small loans on investment properties and 5 other owned outright. They did not tell us the home did not appraise until after the contingency period and all along I’d everything was fine, we were pre-approved and it was not until last week after the contingency period that they first told us they would need to review it for an exception approval.

    Today after many calls and emails to the loan officer supervisor we
    We’re told the loan officer made an error by not telling us 4 loans may be a problem. Does anyone know what can be done ? I am going to be out 10k due to the bank not letting us know the home did not appraise with in the contingency period. If they would have told us 4 loans would be any issue we never would have moved forward. Both our credit scores are over 700.

    Is there any ex bankers or loan officers out in the pack that can let me know if there is anything we can do? Did the bank violate any laws ? Or do they pretty much get to mess up and not be held liable?

    I am so upset 🙁

    • Wow. That’s sound extremely illegal. I am so sorry. I wish I could help.
      Worrisome would be the go to person on real estate/investment banking, I believe.
      If no one responds with some help maybe MD could forward a helpful message.
      I hope you get it resolved very soon.

    • Texanadian says:

      Most offers are contingent on getting appropriate financing. If your realtor didn’t write that in they messed up, even with preapproval. Preapproval is for qualified property. Loaning 100,000 on a property appraised at 80,000 would be negligent on the banks part. Somebody dropped the ball could be you, the appraiser, the bank or the realtor. Read your offer to buy. Always use your own realtor, do not buy the property from the lister. They work for the seller, the realtor you engage is supposed to work for you.

      • Black rosé says:

        The contingency was 17 days. All paperwork was sent to bank as soon as they requested it, they had all the information prior to the contingency period expiring. And I agreed to put down 25% , plus the extra 11k out of pocket that was below the appraisal. And we still got denied. Now I am considering cashing out 401k to pay for it.

        I am trying to talk my self into that by thinking stock market may crash and my 401k would dwindle away so I might as well spend it now.

        Oh, I am in California, so I do not know if there are any different loan laws here.

        • worrisome says:

          Black Rose, if the property does not appraise for what the owner wants, why would you want to pay cash for it? That is no deal. If this is property is something that is absolutely perfect for your future, that may be a different story. In which case that may weigh in on the “value”.

          Taking your $$ out of the stock market to invest in real estate is just an exchange of investment. However, when you remove funds from your 401k, you may incur penalties and taxes, penalties if you are under 59 and 1/2, and will have to pay income taxes on whatever you take out if you are over that age.

          My best advice, run it by a consulting atty as to what your options are to get out of the deal should that be your choice. But if it is a good BOL, with redundant water sources, a good garden area, room for animals and secluded and secure, it may well be worth more than it appraises for. Banks don’t know how to appraise country property anymore……….all I got for ya, hon, good luck!

    • worrisome says:

      Black Rose, different states have different laws, but most states have a law that allows you to have your down payment refunded to you out of escrow it the property does not appraise correctly. Which sounds like the case here. 4 mortgages on real estate as long as 1. None of the properties are upside down on value to loan and 2. There is cash flow for each of them.
      When a bank does not finish its work within the proscribed time frame,you are not to be held to the contract. If the down payment was in escrow, and someone is trying to present this differently, threatening an atty or finding one that will at least see you for one consult free may be the answer. Best I can do since I don’t know where you live. But that is how it would work here in California.

    • JeffintheWest says:

      I thought one of the standard contingencies was that if the loan fell through for any reason, the contract was off. It was always that way when I was looking for a loan, anyway. Bank errors notwithstanding.

      Maybe you ought to contact a lawyer. Usually the initial consult is free, and s/he can tell you what your rights are. Since you’re out $10K anyway, s/he might be able to save you at least some of it, even with legal expenses figured in….

      You really ought not to be liable for the bank’s mistakes and stupidity.

      • Black rosé says:

        Thank you everyone. I will do more research and see if I can get out of this mess without to much money out of pocket.

  83. Southern Mama says:

    No prepping for the last couple of weeks. My heart hasn’t been in it or anything else. I lost my great neice (2 1/2 Yrs) to a tragic accident on the 30th of June. We are all so heartbroken, my twin brother is barely making it. She was the apple of her Papaw’s eye. Her parents like all of us are crushed. She was a bright light in everyone’s life. I’ve lost my parents and my husband way to soon, but this is really,really hard. The strength and comfort of the good Lord is all that is getting us thru right now. Please pray for me and my family. Thank you. I started not to share this with ya’ll because this is so incrediably sad, but I know all of you are good people and would lift us up in prayer. We need all the prayers we can get right now. Our rural community has been so good to us. So many prayers and support from our family and friends. In these times where it is so hard to see good in people, believe me when I say, there are still people that are good, and compassionate and caring. Love for fellow man is still out there, even tho it is hard to see at times. God bless you all. Hope to be back to prepping with ya’ll soon.

    • JeffintheWest says:

      I’m incredibly sorry for your loss. I can’t begin to imagine the pain you must feel, and the parents must literally be beside themselves.

      I will pray most fervently that you all may find the peace and comfort you need.

    • Praying (and tearing).

    • Extremely sad, thoughts, prayer, love, and blessings for your and your family. I’m so very sorry to hear 🙁

    • Southern Mama, Praying for your family, especially your brother. Shed tears with and for you as well as I read your post. Prayers.

    • Winomega says:

      Southern Mama, you have time to mourn. Take care of her brother, yourself, and the family. Get back to the future after taking care of the present.

    • Encourager says:

      So sad, Southern Mama. Praying for you and your family. May the Comforter bring you peace and ease your grief.

    • Black rosé says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. We lost our 26 yr old nephew, a Navy pilot, last year in a car accident as well and our family is still in the process of mourning and coming to terms with the tragedy. I will pray for you and your relatives. Life will not be what it was before and it will take time to adjust. Take care.

    • Prayers out to you and the parents. Take it day by day. Sorry for your loss.

    • Lantana says:

      Our prayers are with you and yours, Southern Mama.

    • Southern Mama, I know words rarely help in dealing with loss. There will be so many platitudes, and others who just dont know what to say.

      I know that many times just breathing can hurt so much, you just go from one moment to the next, many times unsure of how you even got there. There will be anger, questions, guilt and blame, even if it seems unreasonable. Just know that thru all of it you are not alone.

      My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. May you find the strength to get through your loss, may you find comfort in your memories and may you find peace in knowing she is with her Creator, wrapped in the arms of love.

      • TG -thank you for being so sincere and eloquent-Mama please know I send you these sentiments and prayers.Arlene

    • My heart goes out to you and your family. I can empathize with you. I have lost both a son at 16 and a grandson at 3. I know it doesn’t help right now but time and prayer will heal the void.

  84. Southern Mama says:

    Thank you all so much for your prayers and words of comfort.

    • worrisome says:

      Southern Mama, You and your family are part of our prayer chain. I hope you can feel God holding you in his arms tonight. Take good care of each other as you find your way…………..

  85. Haven’t done much this past week. Did count up the food storage: looks wimpy to me, but we probably have enough food for at least six months, if we’re careful and supplement with foraging and hunting/fishing (not that anyone here knows really how to hunt. Yet.). It’s been too hot to breathe outside, so garden is in dire need of attention (lots of rain and very HOT lately). Plants are happy, but so are weeds and slugs.

    Hope everyone’s doing well — I am keeping you all, especially those extra-in-need, in my prayers.

    • Wen;
      If you have old can of beer around open it pour put some in a low profile bowl in the early morning. Place it where the slugs are most active. Slugs love beer…….I am not sure if they get drunk and drowned or just get drunk and die. No, these do not make good escargot slugs, you have to cornmeal those guys for a few days before you make them into dinner. I was taught that from a friend whom I worked with in a garden shop, early in my training years(she was Italian). Her mom would go through her plants looking for dinner, an then kept them until they were ready. I know, I know–it is just that I prefer mine from the restaurant with garlic buttered toast & stuffed mushrooms.

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