What I Did To Prep This Week. Week 1

Hello The Survivalist Blog community. I hope you are enjoying the revamped website under Dan’s management. I am blessed to work with both Dan and this blog’s former operator, and am also incredibly excited to author the What I Did To Prep This Week column for this website.

Dan couldn’t have picked a better week to ask me to start the column, we had a lot going on over the weekend even though it was about 100 degrees in the shade. Before I launch into this week’s preps, I will tell you a little bit about myself, our tribe (my favorite term for mutual assistance group) and our journey to buy and rehab out 56-acre survival homesteading retreat.

Seven years ago to the day, I officially became a prepper. Like most country folks, I was at least halfway a prepper before I fully adopted the self-reliance and life assurance lifestyle. Until “The Storm” hit our tri-state region of Appalachia as our daughter was excited about celebrating her 16th birthday, I would often mock my husband Bobby’s survival stockpiling, but that all changed when the entire region and beyond went without power (during a historic heat wave) for more than a week.

The day the power came back on, we sat in cool air conditioning for the final time at our home, and began our small town living escape plan and enhancing our self-reliance skills. I got my CCW and learned how to shoot every rifle my husband owned proficiently, furthered my love of natural remedies by become a non-professional herbalist, and learned how to can and dehydrate everything we were growing in our backyard garden – and beyond.

prepper compound

I also redefined my writing career. I was an educator and a rural real estate agent before devoting myself to full-time writing. I had been writing for various news and travel websites after my career change (back to my original degree) to become an editor of our county’s weekly paper, which evaporated due to the same lack of advertising income fate so many of our nations’ newspapers are suffering.

Once I became an avid and active prepper, I continued to write only pro-Second Amendment and Constitution related political news and began focusing solidly on survival, homesteading, off grid living, and homeschooling websites, ebooks, and traditional book writing. I have also hosted and guested on preparedness focused radio shows and have been a presenter at the annual Prepper Camp.

It was at the 3-day hands-on self-reliance camp that I had the awesome honor of introducing Bill Forstchen (One Second After author) as the keynote speaker. I had interviewed him several times via phone conversations, and it was like a dream come true getting to meet him in person and introduce him to the Prepper Camp crowd just moments after he proposed to his now-wife at the event.

During all of these exciting career changes and skill building experiences, Bobby and I were searching for the perfect spot in our county to turn into our survival homesteading retreat. Ours is a remote and freedom-loving county – no permit office, no zoning, and you can walk right outside and build your own home, plumbing and electrical work included if you want. The only type of government intrusion into our nearly crime-free and low cost of living county comes, by way, of the health department when a well and septic are installed.

We found two nearly perfect properties, but each had drawbacks that kept us from signing on the bottom line.

It took two years to find THE property and get our rental homes and house sold so we could buy it. We actually land contracted our survival retreat for over a year due to some boundary issues and vastly needed improvements to the ½ mile up windy uphill driveway and the hunting lodge we were turning into a home so it would pass inspection.

Thankfully my hubby and our tribe members are handy. My background in real estate and Bobby’s as a real estate appraiser small business owner vastly helped to guide us through the property rehab and loan process and to aided the young couples buying our other properties through their first experience becoming homeowners, including months spent dealing with credit issues as well.

It felt a whole lot like an American Pickers episode, when we walked the property one final time and negotiated price before signing the sales contract. We were able to work in about $17,000 of used equipment and materials the elderly owner no longer had a use for, before buying.

One of the items was a beyond gently used backhoe. It needed work and probably always will, but having it meant we could immediately start work on a pond near the house – a water source backup to our well and the creek that runs through the lower half of the property.

Every time we thought we were headed to a closing on our survival homestead retreat, another issue always seemed to pop up. It took more than a month to get insurance on the property. It had been grandfathered into the existing policy, and an ownership change voided the policy. We paid more than we wanted to, once we finally found insurance, but did win the battle over not putting a bridge or culvert in over our creek. We did not want to alter the natural rock formation we drive over because we love it, and doing so would have granted easy access to our land to anyone who ventured out this far when the SHTF.

We have no neighbors and cannot even see another home or road from the bulk of our property. If you stood on the upper acreage you would have absolutely no idea what century you were even living in.

We hope to buy some of the land bordering our boundary lines in the near future, but until then, it is essentially unused vacant land. Part of it is tied up in a battle between heirs that has gone on for more than a decade, a seasonal retreat for aging wealthy hippies so they can skinny dip, and some logging land a friend owns and will be working for years to come.

Our dream land was surely making us work hard to become its forever owners. Seriously, after all it took to get this place and the 13 Uhaul (largest trucks they make) loads just for Bobby’s prepper stockpiles that we moved, we will definitely die on this land. I am never moving again.

So, that is a brief synopsis about me and how we came to live on our homesteading survival retreat. Now, onto what this column will always be about, how we prepper this week!

Our daughter and son-in-law turned an Amish shed into a temporary tiny house, while they work towards building a home on our retreat. James recently changed jobs and we are all in love with his new gig. He is working for Franklin Equipment (they have facilities in multiple states) and is allowed to bring home heavy equipment to use on the weekend free of charge, when it is not booked by paying customers. Yep, that’s a big score for the family retreat!

track hoe

This track hoe that James brought home was quite fancy – it even had air conditioning. Ruger, Bobby’s blue heeler, wanted to ride inside too, he really didn’t like all the noise it made roaming back and forth around the home sites.

This past month, James was able to bring home a skid steer, a track hoe, and something else that I am not sure what exactly it was, along with borrowing his dad’s Bobcat, to work on the driveway, put in deeply needed culverts, begin work on the summer kitchen and root cellar, and the driveway to their building site. Gas is not cheap, of course, but that is all it cost us to get a whole huge amount of work started or completed.

You wouldn’t think when you live up high enough (that you could hit a passing helicopter with a handgun if you were being attacked), that flooding would be an issue, but it is. The creek at the bottom of our half wooded survival retreat has a lot of water in it year around, and has been known to misbehave badly enough to keep is flooded in for at least a day.

Our survival retreat is basically a 4-tiered property with pasture, hay fields, and hills mixed into each. The water rolling off the upper 15 acres was flowing down a horse/4-wheeler trail and going right behind the home sites and onto the driveway. All of that is now fixed and it was a massive job. Being able to protect growing areas and to traverse the entire property at all times on foot, horseback, in an ATV, or by truck is essential to not only our daily lives, but thorough perimeter patrol during a doomsday disaster.

As you will see in this video, the hillside was caving in around the home sites and created a plethora of muddy sludge. This spot is where the summer kitchen for canning and dehydrating will be constructed, it is right off our existing kitchen.

The root cellar will be carved into the hillside and boast a concrete floor and walls after being framed out in timber cut from our property. This keeps almost all of our food supply in one central location. The hunting lodge we turned into a home came complete with a butcher shop with a walk-in cooler. All of the saws, knives, stainless steel tables, etc. were left here for us by the former owner – so it doubles as a food storage area, as well.

Caving a Root Cellar Into the Hillside With a Track Hoe

The one downside to our homesteading survival retreat came courtesy of the gas company. I absolutely did not want a property with a gas line or any utility company easement attached to it. It was really a deal breaker for me, but Bobby insisted the pipeline would not be a problem, it had been there for 40 years after all and never had been an issue. Well…six months after we moved onto the property a massive new pipeline projects was launched in a multitude of counties, and involved our easement as well.

As any married prepper reading this already knows, Bobby will never hear the end of it over his before purchase assurances about the whole gas line thing. Fortunately, no work will be conducted outside of the existing out of the way stretch of pipeline.

But, and it’s a big but, the gas company wanted to use our driveway as an access road to ride the pipeline for miles in each direction to access their leases during the two to four month project in our county because the hills deterred them from garnering easy access for their trucks any other way.

I spent eight months haggling over that “request” and attending public meetings, demanding a change in land agents after proving the one who had originally come here was a big liar and rude, and coming up with an access road plan that did not use our driveway but an old logging road that runs across the far fenceline. Not ideal, but I got them to more than double their first offer for temporary usage – enabling us to buy more large ticket item preps and vastly more up some rehab and expansion plans on the land.

The gas company check came this past week (the project doesn’t start for two years) and Bobby made our first major purchase over the weekend: a Polaris Ranger side-by-side. It has already come in so handy around our survival retreat.

It has a dump bed that allows me to move manure to and from the compost pile, and not have to wait until he can do it with his tractor – I so am never driving his beloved antique Massey Ferguson, even if he ever decides breaks are a necessary improvement to that beast. It is great for hauling my homemade insecticides down to the primary growing plot, taking multiple people on the more rugged trails on our land all at once, and packing tools, etc. to project sites.

Polaris Ranger

The Ranger has about 800 hours on it. The emergency break doesn’t work and there is a hole in the muffler, but other than that it is in perfect shape – and those two issues are easily fixable and on the “to do” list for this week.

We also started construction on a double raised playhouse near the shelter house on our survival retreat. What? That doesn’t sound like a prepping project to you? I love dual purpose hiding in plain side preps, and that is exactly what the playhouse is.

We have wood for walls and framing cut and ready to be hung if the SHTF an the shelter house needs to become living quarters. It can be heated with a smaller cast iron stove wood stove that is sitting at the ready and a roof vent and piping has also already been cut to fit.

wooden walls

The playhouse will be enjoyed by our grandchildren and tribe member’s kiddos now, and can be converted to living quarters as quickly and easily as the shelter house if the SHTF. It will have screened windows and a screened section where the walls meet the roof to provide cross ventilation.

Each playhouse is 8 feet deep by 6 feet wide, large enough for two adults to sleep in. It is also being constructed so a small cast iron wood stove can be quickly set up, as well.

play house

Both the shelter house and the playhouse structures are can also be run on multi-fuel generators (we make our own bio-diesel fuel) and/or a solar generator, if necessary. Just past the shelter house area is our pond and a campground with several campers and spaces for tents for tribe members, also exists.

A small covered porch that is 4 feet wide will run between the two playhouses. Shutters for the windows that will be cut in, and the framed screen extension that will run between the roof and walls have already been cut to fit.

A layer of insulation will be placed in the old concrete frames we used for walls before they are covered in a combination of scrap drywall and plywood – and painted cute .This is after all, a playhouse until disaster strikes. The floor is also insulated.

When the framed screen extensions are added to the walls and the slanted roof if put on the playhouse structure, it will be a little over 5 feet tall. Cramped quarters for adults? Sure, but just being able to have a secure and warm place to sleep was the goal, and I think we are in the process of meeting it.

So, how did you prep this week?

243 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week. Week 1”

  1. You did ALL of that in one week?! (Hehe!).

    Isn’t this an amazingly rewarding “retirement” life? We are in the Appalacian foothills known as “The Alabama Shoals”. We have lived all over this beautiful country, and there’s no place I would rather live than where I now live.

    What did I do this week? Took care of chickens, gardens, dogs & cats, as always. Put up 35 pints Peach Jelam (my “not quite jelly and not quite jam”). Peaches purchased @ Amish Farm Market (Plowboy Auction,) in Ethridge, TN. Man, are those peaches tasty & juicy!

  2. LivintheDream,

    It sounds like you live in slice of heaven Appalachia country too! 35 pints – that was a lot of canning!! Our wild blackberries are just now starting to come on and our peach trees aren’t producing yet. The former owner planted the peach trees a decade ago, in spots I wouldn’t have chosen, too shady, but they never produce until our first year on the property. We only got enough to can about 12 pints of jam, but I was still really excited about picking peaches to eat and preserve.

    • Hello, Tara! We have a dozen peach trees, all of which we planted 5 years ago. We lost all but TWO peaches to a wave of hard freezes in early April. I bought TN peaches @ $74 per bushel, BUT… Bama peaches are $90/bushel @ farm market.DH cannot survive thru winter without “Mama’s Fresh Peach Jelam”! Yes, he’s spoiled.

      • Wow, That is high for peaches, but y’all down South do grow some incredible peaches!! This winter was awful, it felt like it would never end. Here in beautiful southern Ohio, we went from historic amounts of snow and ice to equally historic amounts of rain. We didn’t really have a spring at all, we went straight from winter to a hot and humid summer…with yet more rain. We were just flooded in again the other day, but now it is like living in the desert again. I would have though the super cold and wet winter-spring would have killed the bugs, but ticks were the worst ever until end of June. Our youngest grandson Colt Remington (how’s that for a cool first and middle name?!) actually contracted lime disease, but it was caught early and he was fine. You literally couldn’t go outside and not come in with at least a a couple ticks on you even if you went no further than the shelter house. A homesteading friend a few miles away had five to seven on him each day he went out to work his land. My homemade insect spray (for humans and critters) kept them off of us and the livestock and dogs once I beefed it up a bit. Maybe I will share the recipe next week, I need to make some more anyway.

        • that price on peaches is very high, but the late freezes damaged half our crop.

          Our weather has been identical to yours, it seems.

          Colt Remington is a way cool name!

          • LTD, our entire crop of peaches, plums both were wiped out this year. our weather same…no spring freezing temps to hot heat. nights mid 70’s for lows.

        • Tara Lyme is a sprochete, similar to syphilus… It goes and hides in different locations when attacked by antibiotic. Lyme is not easily gotten rid of, I know,I have had it for over 30 years. It caused arthritis flares, only stopped with doxi or septra..
          .. Oregano and/or vft are used long term to stop it. completely. 6 months constant dose is usually required. VFT is non toxic, for a child that would be my first choice.it is best taken sublingual with a dilutant.. honey/jelly/water..50 drops is adult dose. (taken 2x a day for 5 days then daily.) …. 7-10 year old half that, 3 year old half that… NON toxic. so no real worries with overdosing, but don’t want to waste it either.carnivora is one name brand, i have not used that one. but several other ones. It also comes in a capsule I have not tried it at all, My concern would be gastric juices destroying before effective. sublingual by passes that. I have not had an arthritis flare in a long time… right now,. I am using oregano intermittently… several days on and several days off.

        • To get rid of ticks…Dust all areas you can with DE. It is non toxic to animals, causes ticks fleas, roaches to dehydrate. dust when grass has dew and no rain is expected for at least 2-3 days.. wait 10-14 days and retreat.. to get any new ones..
          I used it last year when ticks were so bad they were crawling up the side of my tin building… have not needed to do it this year…
          If you have places where deer frequent, dust their areas too,..especially any area they bed down or scratch…. pine trees are tick magnets.

          • Anonamo, that is the BEST advice I have come across about using DE in the yard…we have a beagle who snuffles all around the yard, and I was worried about it affecting his nose and respiratory system adversely. DH also was told to water after applying but I tried to explain to him that it defeats the purpose. My other concern is that it can also affect beneficials. Have you noticed that at all?

          • Anonomo,

            Thanks for all the ticks. I used DE a lot too. I give it to the animals as a natural wormer, as well, it seems to work great.

          • If the bugs have a hard outer shell,it makes them dehydrate, by the small puncturies.. it is a very fine powder.
            I have not noticed it affeting beneficials, but the ticks were so bad, they had to go, so had to use something! This was the most effective and least effect on everything else surrounding for the long and short term…….also effective on body lice,fleas, and the other modes of spreading disease like typus that is being imported by the influx of people rrushing here. A concern now in our border states. have been several cases in Texas of Typhus.
            It an also be used to de worm everything from adult people, children, horses, cows ,goats, dogs, cats., chickens safely with no side effects to host ..
            Most often, I use it for our dogs.(no longer have cats)..I take about a weeks feed sprinkle a tablespoon over it, and shake ,in close d bag… then feed until it is eaten up., repeat every month or so… esp in flea and tick season…I also lime their bathroom places and sprinkle DE there.
            If you are casting it on trees, brush be sure to wear a dust mask…

          • I have read that Opossoms eat ticks. That is one good thing about the Irish vermin. They also eat spiders.

          • Axelsteve – I’ve often wondered what purpose spiders have. Glad to know that possums eat them. Thanks.

        • Tara ,

          Here in beautiful southern Ohio, we went from historic amounts of snow and ice to equally historic amounts of rain. We didn’t really have a spring at all, we went straight from winter to a hot and humid summer…with yet more rain.

          It’s pretty much the same here in north central Ohio. Your bio stated you live in Appalachia and I was wondering approximately where in Ohio. We have friends in the Athens area and travel there regularly.

          ticks were the worst ever until end of June. Our youngest grandson Colt Remington (how’s that for a cool first and middle name?!) actually contracted lime disease, but it was caught early and he was fine.

          Ticks here aren’t bad; but, the mosquitoes have been horrible this year. I’m about to make and set out a bunch of traps and will be installing bat houses shortly.

          When researching you and this site there was a photo of you executing a nice side snap kick. May I ask which martial art you practice? I’ve been practicing for 50+ years and there are others coming here who do the same.

          • Ohio Prepper,

            I grew up in Athens County, I may know your relatives! I have never done karate, must be a photo of someone else.

          • Tara,

            I grew up in Athens County, I may know your relatives!

            They are only good friends that are as close as relatives. My best friend ever, Chuck Bennett who has passed was married to Victoria Tong. Her dad, James (Jimmy) was a forensic chemistry professor @ O.U. and is now professor Emeritus. Years ago he started the WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) program @ O.U. If you are still in that area perhaps we can meet up sometime. My friend’s younger brother Jon lives with his wife Ann on a small homestead on Beard Court in Glouster. While she actually lives in town, Vicky still has the farm out on 540 near Amesville.

            I have never done karate, must be a photo of someone else.

            Interesting. If you Google Tara Dodrill and look at the array of images it gives you, one of them is someone executing a side kick. It would be interesting to see if any of them are actually you.

  3. As this is a new site/thread for me, I’ll give a quick run-down about me and then about my preps. I live in an apartment in Orlando, FL (by choice as I’m a city boy originally from Detroit, MI). I’m a retired deputy police chief from a Detroit suburb and a retired military reservist (six years active Marine Corps, one year Marine reserves, and 14 years Air National Guard – most of it as military police). I am a Vietnam and Desert Storm vet. I have extensive knowledge and experience with firearms as I was a police firearms instructor and SWAT team member and supervisor, not to mention the military. I am a licensed ham radio operator. I used to be a paramedic, as well. Despite being a city boy, I can get around in the woods and weeds quite well when necessary thanks to the military. I have two master’s degrees, one an MBA and the other in Education-Training and Performance Development.

    My three kids, granddaughter, and ex-wife (whom I get along with OK) all live in various places around Florida. I am the prime babysitter during the week for my 20-month old granddaughter (#1 daughter’s baby) and she keeps me going. Great little kid. Scary smart. #1 daughter is in the Air Force Reserves in a medical unit as their training and education NCO. She is an Afghanistan vet.

    As I live in a three bedroom apartment (one of which is my office), my prepping space is somewhat limited. I do have a nice food and water stash, good for at least six-months. I add to the stash weekly at a minimum. My preps also include a fairly extensive medical setup. I do own firearms and I carry concealed always.

    This weeks preps included the usual addition to the grocery stash. Not much else except browsing through my various prepping books, on-line research at prepping web sites and blogs.

    As soon as I finish a historical fiction series I am reading, I will read a book I should have read ages ago, Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago. This is the abridged version as the original is three large volumes and out of print. Used paperback copies cost over $100. Solzhenitsyn helped with the abridgement before he moved back to Russia in 1994, so I imagine the most important stuff is in there. Jordan Peterson, the Canadian psychologist the leftists love to hate, thinks this book should be required reading in high schools.

    That should do it for an intro. Hope to post again next week.

    • Zulu 3-6,
      I read Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago back in the mid 70’s after college and while it was a tome, it really opened my eyes to the sheer evils of communist / socialist governments which is why I look at current political trends looking favorably on the subject in utter disbelief and dismay. Hopefully we don’t have to fight this battle yet one more time.

          • A couple of them landed in the spam folder. I approved them but you may need to clear your browser’s cache in order to see them

          • Thank u for hosting this community! This is how many of us got started.

            Thank you & Tara for the improvements in the thread posting today. They are GREAT!

          • A friend posted for the first time a bit ago but it is not showing up. Wondering if it, too, went to spam folder?

      • TOP,

        While I have not read The Gulag Archipelago, I have read other materials such as The Communist Manifesto (God, what a boring book), part of Das Kapital (also boring), and other lesser known tomes. I even tried Mein Kampf which makes The Communist Manifesto seem like a Pulitzer Prize winner.

        Of course I was married to a Cuban who grew up in a communist country until she was ten. She has nothing nice to say about communism. I also had the opportunity to talk with her parents about it too, and they like communism even less than their daughter. Castro was a dirty word in their house.

      • LTD,

        Thanks, but most of the journey was a lot of fun. I miss doing some of it, but my body is in rough shape now and couldn’t do it these days. The way things are now, I’m glad I’m out of police work, although the politics at the deputy chief level sucked while I was still working. That was why I pulled the plug and didn’t stick around and try for chief. I would have had to wait about four more years before that could happen.

    • Hey, Zulu – any chance u cud give us a weekly update as u read this great work? Sort of “Cliff’s notes”?

      • LTD.

        It will be a few weeks before I start on it as I want to finish that historical fiction series I’m into now. But I will see what I can do.

    • Zulu,

      Thank you for your service. Welcome to our The Survivalist Blog community. I have never heard to that book, but it is now being added to my reading list. My in-laws have a house in Venice, FL where they winter and the family uses for vacation, it is such a beautiful area. A prepper author and friend of mine lives in your area, Richard Duarte. If you google him, he might be running presentations and urban survival trainings in your area sometime soon, great guy and his books are excellent guides with specifics just for you non-rural prepper folks.

  4. Like Zulu 3-6 this is a new site for me. The old one kept me focused on what I was doing and the progress I was making. It’s a shame that it is no longer doing that.

    My wife and I are retired US Army NCO’s. We moved to Montana when I retired in the 1990’s. She is still working in an HR department and I no longer “work outside the home”. We officially started this journey in 1998 (I have our original “prepper” inventory sheet), going through Y2K, and moving forward with a philosophy of “preparing for what we can, as we can”. We are trying to get to the point where we are as independent as possible, including financially.

    Our current focus is really two fold. To get ourselves out of the debt whole we dug trying to be like everybody else and gaining our personal independence. Fortunately, this is easier for us than most as our basic personal philosophies are VERY similar.

    As I would “report” each week, my purpose is not to show how good/smart we are. I prefer to think that in sharing I can encourage others to be a little better prepared for the “left-hooks” that life is going to through us all, than we were yesterday. Share what we learn works and what does not. Where we can save money and find deals that worked for us, and my work for someone else.

    As we have gone along we have shifted our focus. Our short term “issues” are pretty well prepared for. As retirement approached, children move farther way and have other interests, etc., our focus has also changed. There still are some areas where we feel we need to make major changes (like our primary home), and our ideas on that are evolving.

    I find that being a part of a community of like minded individuals, abet from different parts of the country, is helpful. What works for me may not even be applicable to someone elsewhere. But, there are many things that are common, that’s where we focus.

    It’s a lot like a buffet. There’s a little something for everyone, just not everything for everyone, everytime.

    • J.P. It is good to hear from you and so many of the original Wolfpack members. We’ve got to keep this thing going–it’s all about community.

    • J.P., It’s good to see you again. I hope we get all of the old crew back. I too was surprised that M.D. ended the WDYDTPTW segment. That’s what really kept is all together.

    • Hello JP,

      My hubby and I also both subscribe to the “preparing for what we can, as we can” prepping philosophy – as well as the “one is none, and two is one,” mantra. Bobby was a Y2K prepper also. Actually, some of the meat he canned for a Y2K disaster, is still edible.

      You mentioned that this website used to be more helpful in gauging your progress and no longer does. MD took all of his past posts with him, so I can’t review them now. Can you give me some more detail about the type of pieces you are talking about and maybe we can focus on a series of posts on that topic as well. As a fellow prepper, I would find reading reports like that very useful as well.

      Bobby and I were just talking about our first prepping list over the weekend – and our prepping to move to our survival retreat list. It was great to see how far we have come and also review and revamp where we need to improve etc. to fulfill our original and deeply thought out goals.

      We are all in this together, as one of my prepping mentors, Survivor Jane says. I love the sharing that occurs on this website. We can learn a lot from each other, as you pointed out, no matter where we happen to call home.

      • Tara,
        There was a variety of topics covered.. animal husbandry..allaspects of care and problems with keepin gthem safe… a series on rabbits, chickens, goats , and other farm animals and care and problems. Someone wrote on horses and their care. We often discussed the antics and problems of our animals and how to take care of those issues.
        There was medical care addressed …first aid packages, items we choose to add to our first aid kits/why/how used. Favorite herbals and how they are used to address current and future needs.
        Lists of items that run out quickly.
        . Items that will be in short supply because of storage issues… ( like rubber bands that degrade unless stored in airtight packaging.)
        Ways to cheaply and effectively store food supply, and failures… what failed- when..
        Of course, most discussed weapons, care and things needed for maintanence and use.
        He has already re published several things I wrote on his new site..
        One was “Caring for those you love in an emergency.”.. another was “Approaching Food Storage with Skillet Stretchers”

        • Anonamo Also,

          Thanks for the info. I have written extensively about everything you noted. I think there should be a reloading article published in the near future, I have to take some pics and videos for it to show the process.

  5. JP in MT,

    Good to see you here. You’re right that a thread like this is a lot like a buffet, although sometimes you can really fill up. If nothing else, seeing what other folks are doing can be a big motivator.

    • I too like the buffet reference. I learn so much from everyone else and I really appreciate the shared knowledge.

    • Zulu 3-6 & JP in MT,
      When you state:

      Good to see you here. You’re right that a thread like this is a lot like a buffet, although sometimes you can really fill up. If nothing else, seeing what other folks are doing can be a big motivator.

      I agree. While this is not a competition per se., it does sometimes encourage me to accomplish one or two more things, rather than putting them off.
      Trying manually entered formatting tags to see if they work.

      • Hello fellow Ohio Prepper.

        I couldn’t agree more, not a competition, but some awesome motivation to see what others are doing and most importantly – how they are doing so you can benefit from the skills, information, or projects, as well. Maybe it is the former educator in me, but I love learn and share with others so they can as well. We learn as much from our failures as we do our successes, what I learned screwing up in our garden trying new approaches and homemade herbicides, etc. is what it is looking so bountiful now. Except the cabbages…i loathe Japanese beetles, but I think I might finally have them whipped!

          • LTD, I am checking with Dan to see when the Japanese beetles article will be published, I think it is being published here. I give the recipes for the natural DIY insecticides I used in it with how to videos. Will get back to you as soon as I know.

  6. Good morning from GA! I grew up in the city but have spent a lot of time in the country on a farm and camping. I call myself a city girl with a country heart – I have GA red clay in my veins. The hubby and I got more serious about self-reliance and growing our own food sometime around 2011. We are constantly trying to increase our knowledge and abilities.

    Currently, our garden is 30′ x 50′ and gets changed from year to year based on our growing experiences. We can and freeze part of what we grow. I’m also learning about dehydrating.

    This week has been all about gardening and making decisions on major purchases for our little homestead. We continually rotate the foods we store and try to add to the stores. It’s an ongoing process for us, so rarely much detail here.

    • GA Red – good to hear from you! Got the rest of sutures removed today. They took half out last Tuesday, but had to stop. Still too much swelling and pain in injured finger. Today, “piece-a-cake”! And, yes, I threw the Mandolin slicer out!

      I was telling the Nurse Practitioner who removed sutures (Brad) about Plowboy Produce Auction (Amish Farmer Auction) in Ethridge, TN. I WAS so excited about it, but, don’t believe I’ll be returning. Seems Brad grew up there. His Dad forbade his Mom from buying produce from the Amish farmers. Seems some of them use human waste as fertilizer. Uhmmm…no!

      Hope Almost There and Fixit see this!

      • Good to hear about your healing progress. I reacted to the last stitches I had. Fortunately, my former neighbor was a nurse and was able to confirm that enough healing had taken place to remove them. I’ve heard so many stories about mandolin injuries – I’ll probably never get one.

    • GA Red,

      Good to see you here! Dehydrating is so easy! And so many different ways to do it whether you have power or not! I have a simple Presto from wallyworld for about 30 bucks, but I REALLY want an Excalibur…one can dream! I especially love it for herbs.

      • Grammy,… there is a mid price one called a Jerky maker. the cost is around 60$,name of one I had was Open Country, ha 6 trays… the motor is on the top., so it is easier to clean.and meat and dripping are easier to clean out of it…..It is possible to wear one out, mine lasted 2.5 years with heavy use. I also have some round trays- from other dehydrtors that died… that i use and rotate thru to utilize more trays at one time.. when this is done I have to rotate more. but can make a signiificant difference in amounts of food one is able to dry…

          • It’s not about who runs the site, but about the people we connect with on a regular basis. . the wolfpack. Even tho we are all over the country, we are still a unit.
            This is the segment I learn the most from. If I have a question and someone has an answer , all I have to do is ask!

      • Grammyprepper,

        Good to see you here! Dehydrating is so easy! And so many different ways to do it whether you have power or not! I have a simple Presto from wallyworld for about 30 bucks, but I REALLY want an Excalibur…one can dream! I especially love it for herbs.

        Since I received an Excalibur for Christmas 2016 I’ve been giving away my collection of the old round Nevco dehydrators. I have one left if you want it, free for the pickup. According to Google you are about 56 miles & 1 hour from me. These don’t have a fan; but, we can easily add one to the mix if you’re interested. These are old enough that the Big Lots price shows $14.99 and discounted from there down to $7.00 so I bought several and wore out all but a few I’ve been gifting to people, with one last unit left.
        Drop me an email if you’re interested and we can work out the details.

    • GA Red, It’s good to see you here. I am probably 100 miles south of you–how do you get your garden to produce in the summer?

      • Bam Bam – you’re probably about 100 miles south of the family farm, which is about 200 miles south of me. My brother lives near the farm and has had success, but hasn’t had a garden in a few years. My garden gets a good bit of shade in the evening. The okra loves the hottest weather and does well regardless of rain. This year, I’ve been watering more regularly and that is helping a lot. Oh, peppers love the heat too.

    • Hey GA Red,

      You also live in a beautiful state – trips to the South have always been my favorite. Folks are just so nice down there, like here in Appalachia but with cooler accents! I love dehydrating and am always expanding what I can do in my low-cost residential machine. I bought one for less than $100 to see if I could grasp the concept and find is beneficial about five years ago. I loved it so much I nearly wore it out and bought another one on sale for not much more money. I did not tell the family and friends I was camping with at a primitive horse camp that they were eating dehydrated powdered eggs until after they all woofed down the breakfast I had made and said it was delicious. Once I got the hang of it I started dehydrating sour cream and cottage cheese as well.

  7. Terra,
    Very nice introduction. We’re spreading the word for this column and you will hopefully be seeing a lot of traffic here shortly.
    I’ve been a prepper for most of my life, doing it seriously for more than 40 years with the last32 years on our paid off rural acreage. Many of the community already know this; but, I thought I would introduce myself to our new host and people I hope will be attracted to this newly revived site.
    I’m lucky enough to have a spouse who grew up not far from here on her family farm, and for whom gardening, raising livestock, and keeping extra things on hand was normal. Out here the closest stores are 6-8 miles away; but, if you need toilet paper @ 3:00 AM, it’s a more than 36 mile round trip to the local Wal-Mart or Kroger, so at some level, every neighbor keeps a store of supplies on hand and are natural preppers.
    In those past 32 years we have worked on upgrading the building and infrastructure and now have a propane tank farm that holds more than 3000 gallons. We heat domestic hot water, cook, bake, and heat the house with propane and that supply also fuels the whole house auto start generator. We also have enough consumables for the generator to keep it running 24/7 for at least a few months with battery capability to go much longer by running the generator only part time. The primary use for the generator is to keep the freezer and refrigerators cold and run the well and sump pumps, plus top off numerous batteries and battery powered devices.
    We were kind of lucky with my wife being from the area, we were able to move here as a rental for two years before the owner passed away and the property was placed on the market, at which point we jumped at the chance, warts and all; but, knowing full well what the warts were and how to deal with them.
    We made improvements over the years and finally have it nearly where we want it; but, like any homestead, I suspect there will always be future things to do, with our summer kitchen project now nearly 60% complete.
    I have two engineering degrees and I’m recently retired and working with local preparedness groups like our County EMA, CERT teams, and emergency communications via Amateur (ham) radio which is a natural hobby for my engineering interests. As an NRA instructor and training counselor and an Ohio Hunter Education instructor I teach wilderness skills and firearms.
    Finally, working with local groups we’ve been teaching emergency preparedness and basic ham radio classes, helping about 20 new hams get their licenses back in March.
    Ham radio operators around here are golden, since our largest threats are weather related, from blizzards to tornados, and hams work with NOAA as their eyes & ears, helping keep us all safe.

      • Bam Bam,

        We are up and running! Let’s make a point to bring everyone on board.

        Both I and others have made posts on the other site and I have emailed every pack member for whom I have contact information.
        I suspect MD who is still posting Knife law articles will start feeling lonely
        I have not yet unsubscribed from his missives; but, that will happen soon.

        • Well I already have, I am not planning to travel. By the time i travel those laws will have changed…so pointless. I sent him a message and let him know that was not the direction I wanted to read/follow.
          I wish him well …just have no interest in only weapons. I know that this type of column took a lot of time . That could have made him make the decision to stop a thread like this one.

    • Ohio Prepper,

      Thank you for the background. It really sounds like where you live is a whole lot like where we live. There is only 1 stoplight in the entire county – I bet we are probably the only county in the 88 the Buckeye State has that can say that..proudly, lol. I moved to this county about 13 years after my first husband died both suddenly and young. I lived only a county over, but it is a whole different world over here, and I love it. When I was working as the editor of the county paper I met my second husband during an interview, he was a local elected official with the orneriest green I had ever seen. I am blessed to have had a great first marriage and then meeting the love of my life and having an incredible second marriage and a true partner in prepping. Getting my HAM license is next on my list. When I was still the newspaper editor I went to a field day our local EMA deputy director at the time, was hosting. I was completely enthralled. Growing up country and around family is always beneficial, IMHO, but especially if you want to cultivate a sustainable homesteading survival retreat. The work details Bobby and I and our tribe do on our retreat are technically mere work details, but they are great bonding, skills cross-training, and fun, as well.

  8. Greetings from the People’s Soviet Republic of Massachusetts!! This old soldier is checking in. More later. Thank you Tara!

    • LOL Overwatch. One of my dearest friends lives in MA. She thinks it is great. It goes without saying, we rarely talk politics.

    • Very nice to make your acquaintance Overwatch. My how Massachusetts has changed since the days of our Founding Fathers, we always have room for one more patriotic prepper in rural Ohio!

      • Periodically, the family and I make a pilgrimage to the Old North Bridge. This was the high water mark of tyranny in Massachusetts. Until now, that is. We have an Attorney General who rules by fiat, a senator who claimed to be an Indian (she’s not) to get into Harvard, all manner of taxes, and regulations that stifle human activity. The men of 1775 must be rolling over in their graves.

        • The men of 1775 would definitely be out of bullets by now. Your nasty woman of a Senator has no respect at all for the Constitution, that’s for sure. Our governor made a fool out of himself when he ran in the presidential primary, can’t wait for him to leave office.

        • Overwatch,

          Periodically, the family and I make a pilgrimage to the Old North Bridge. This was the high water mark of tyranny in Massachusetts. Until now, that is. We have an Attorney General who rules by fiat, a senator who claimed to be an Indian (she’s not) to get into Harvard,

          Perhaps we should take up a collection and get senator Pocahontas a DNA test kit from 23AndMe or Ancestry DNA and let the world know she has it so she can be forced to take it. She should jump at the chance to prove her ancestry unless she’s making up stories, and who would do that? LOL.

  9. I heard from Ohio Prepper. He’s trying to join conversation here, but having computer issues. He will join us ASAP.

  10. Hi everyone. It is so nice to see friendly names. I prep alone but have friends who also prep. My parents for years raised a large garden and food animal (chickens, rabbits and ducks). My mother taught me how to can. After my dad died I was able to take the canning training from the county extension office which taught the reasons for the current Canning recommendations. I’m slowly learning about soap making, lotions and have started a little bit into essential oils.

    • Welcome Suzy q,

      You are a solo prepper no more! I love making my own lotions, soaps, and natural medicines – so I use essential oils a lot. I was out hiking and foraging on our land for more ingredients for several upcoming projects earlier – until it started raining again. I think this old amphibious vehicle my hubby when I was probably still in elementary school is going to come in quite handy here on our survival retreat, as soon as he gets it running again. He thinks he found a golf cart motor that will work in it to avoid another failed attempt at rehabbing the one that is in it. Our creek will probably start misbehaving again in about an hour if this downpour keeps up. Still, I do not want a bridge across our creek. As our property sits, it looks like no one lives here and only hay fields exist behind the creek and then the woods begin. For OPSEC reasons, and the sheer beauty of the rock formation we drive over in the creek, I just don’t want to change that. We can get out on ATVs across the gas pipeline if we absolutely had to due to a medical emergency etc.

    • suzy q,
      i got a book, ‘make your own hard lotion’ by caleb warnock.
      see if interlibrary loan has it.
      i bought it and shea butter and a few other things from amazon but ave not tried it yet.
      also there is an excellent tutorial with clear pictures of soapmaking at ‘oklahoma pastry cloth’ web site. that lady was going to make shampoo last i looked and she may have a tutorial on shampoo by now.
      enjoy experimenting!

  11. Terra,
    Very nice introduction. We’re spreading the word for this column and you will hopefully be seeing a lot of traffic here shortly.
    I’ve been a prepper for most of my life, doing it seriously for more than 40 years with the last32 years on our paid off rural acreage. Many of the community already know this; but, I thought I would introduce myself to our new host and people I hope will be attracted to this newly revived site.
    I’m lucky enough to have a spouse who grew up not far from here on her family farm, and for whom gardening, raising livestock, and keeping extra things on hand was normal. Out here the closest stores are 6-8 miles away; but, if you need toilet paper @ 3:00 AM, it’s a more than 36 mile round trip to the local Wal-Mart or Kroger, so at some level, every neighbor keeps a store of supplies on hand and are natural preppers.
    In those past 32 years we have worked on upgrading the building and infrastructure and now have a propane tank farm that holds more than 3000 gallons. We heat domestic hot water, cook, bake, and heat the house with propane and that supply also fuels the whole house auto start generator. We also have enough consumables for the generator to keep it running 24/7 for at least a few months with battery capability to go much longer by running the generator only part time. The primary use for the generator is to keep the freezer and refrigerators cold and run the well and sump pumps, plus top off numerous batteries and battery powered devices.
    We were kind of lucky with my wife being from the area, we were able to move here as a rental for two years before the owner passed away and the property was placed on the market, at which point we jumped at the chance, warts and all; but, knowing full well what the warts were and how to deal with them.
    We made improvements over the years and finally have it nearly where we want it; but, like any homestead, I suspect there will always be future things to do, with our summer kitchen project now nearly 60% complete.
    I have two engineering degrees and I’m recently retired and working with local preparedness groups like our County EMA, CERT teams, and emergency communications via Amateur (ham) radio which is a natural hobby for my engineering interests. As an NRA instructor and training counselor and an Ohio Hunter Education instructor I teach wilderness skills and firearms.
    Finally, working with local groups we’ve been teaching emergency preparedness and basic ham radio classes, helping about 20 new hams get their licenses back in March.
    Ham radio operators around here are golden, since our largest threats are weather related, from blizzards to tornadoes, and hams work with NOAA as their eyes & ears, helping keep us all safe.

    • Since everything now seems to be working, I’ll list my preps for the past 10 days:
      The DW was out of town helping the DD with another surgery so I batched it this past week; but, did stock up on some goodies to tide me over.
      This past week+ we did and acquired the following:
      1. 8 pork chops. 4 Butterfly and 4 Sirloin cut. We have tons of beef in the freezer; but, currently no pork, nor room for any at this time.
      2. With warmer and dryer weather I’ve been able to get outside to practice martial arts and started working with my Krav Maga DVD’s. I trained in KM a while back and I’m refreshing my skill set there along with martial arts weapons I cannot use in the house, since the last time I did, something got broken.
      3. Received the two bare PC boards and diodes to start building my VNA [Vector Network (antenna) Analyzer]
      4. Started learning Python to convert the VNA Arduino code to C for the Raspberry Pi
      5. Received 16 LyfeLite emergency LED bulbs from woot.com. These have built in batteries and chargers and the description is:
      • During a power outage, the battery can power the light bulb for 6-8 hours, giving you natural light in emergency situations. The LyfeLite Emergency LED bulb is also intelligent enough to recognize when your light switch is on or off, so you can still control it by using the switch during a power outage.
      6. With the DW gone for the week helping the DD after her second surgery, we stocked up on easy foods. Ham salad, potato salad, pork chops, and more white chocolate M&Ms
      7. Received a Netgear Universal Dual Band WiFi Extender N600 from mwoot.com. This will allow our WiFi signal to be used in some of the out buildings, where we’re looking to place WiFi security devices.
      8. Wednesday evening I went to my EMA meeting and when I returned home that night, I had no water. As it turns out, the pump motor had burnt up and popped the breaker while I was gone. I provide water and power to a barn adjacent to my property for a local dairy farmer. He keeps a spare pump on hand identical to the one that’s already here, so Thursday he brought it over and we called a local semi retired plumber who has done other work for us in the past. $50.00 and two hours and we were again up and running. In the next few months, one of us will purchase another spare pump to keep on hand; but, that’s only the 3rd pump replaced in our 34 years here which still beats a water and sewage bill.

        • The timezone for the site was wrong. I set it to EST it but depending on your location, you may still see a difference of up to a few hours. I suspect because the platform will use EST for all comments.

          • Dan,

            The timezone for the site was wrong. I set it to EST it but depending on your location, you may still see a difference of up to a few hours. I suspect because the platform will use EST for all comments

            I’m in Ohio and that is EST, actually EDT at this time of year.
            Where BTW is the site hosted, as in the location of the servers?

          • The Beyond Hosting servers are in Ohio but the WordPress platform has it’s own timezone that you can pick and change

          • Dan & All,

            The Beyond Hosting servers are in Ohio but the WordPress platform has it’s own timezone that you can pick and change.

            As an engineer I do understand the difference and this answer is important since numerous members of the community were concerned with the Romanian connection.
            I manage several domains of my own and this has allowed me to be somewhat of a common contact point for many in the group, whose email addresses and in some cases, real identities I know; but, all of them also know I understand OPSEC and only operate as a contact / clearing house when needed. Being retired, I have a bit more time than some others here who still work for a living.

      • Those bulbs are a new one on me. Gotta learn more. Thanks, OP.

        U broke something? Ur an Engineer – u can Fixit!

        BTW, where IS Fixit?!

        • Livinthedream,
          Couldn’t fix this one, just ask the DW for forgiveness. I was swinging my NunChaKu in the living room with plenty of clearance from everything or so I thought, until I heard a “clink” . Our ceiling fan lights have these nice little individual glass shades on each bulb, and I managed to take off a piece; but, didn’t break the whole thing. We found the pieces of glass and move my activities outside or to one of the barns with lots of clearance.

          • I broke one of the lights at my academy by tossing nunchucks. We were supposed to toss our nunchuck to our partner standing 20 feet away. Instead of going toward my partner, my nunchuck went straight up and took out a light.

      • I’m not sure exactly what formatting changes need to be done; but, when I list my items in a list and they are pushed together into a long run on sentence it gets really hard to read.
        It would also be nice to be able to get follow-up comments via email.
        I’m not criticizing and really appreciate this column; but, just making suggestions that I would find helpful.
        I also need to add that while I am not blind, I am vision impaired, and use extra monitors and text to speech software to navigate this forum and others, making those run on sentences harder for me than perhaps others.

      • Ohio Prepper,

        Please let me know how the Netgear Universal Dual Band WiFi Extender N600 works out, I would like to be able to set something like that up for security reasons as well. Good during a SHTF for obvious reason and maybe now it will help me catch this fox that is killing my ducks and chickens. I almost got it twice, but the second time when I was chasing it down while riding a wheeler, I had narrowed the gap between us to only 8 feet, but the time it took me to stop, and then get my rifle from the case mounted on the back of the wheeler, it got into the woods. I have been searching for a scabbard or case of some type to mount onto the front of the wheeler, but no luck so far. My AR is too large for my saddle scabbard and when I put my beloved Henry lever action in it, on the front of the wheeler, it banged it around too much and marred the stock more than I was comfortable with. Thanks for sharing the news about the new TSB column!

  12. I stopped by my favorite stores today – The Salvation Army and Loaves and Fishes. Bought a new in box Waring coffee grinder for $2! Yes, it’s electric. I have a German-made hand-turned coffee grinder bot off etsy years ago. This is a prep.

    I really wud not like to start my day without coffee! I store three ways:

    1. Pre-ground in cans. Stores easily for a year. I rotate this stock constantly. I am perfectly happy with the 100% Arabica from Walmart.

    2. Freeze dried in glass jars: “instant” coffee that will store for years, unopened and away from heat & light.

    3. Green Coffee Beans: purchased in bulk online ($65 for 15 lbs., including shipping) & then vacuum sealed into one-lb. packs, still green. Can be roasted over an open fire using popcorn popper or two cast iron skillets, one on bottom & one as “lid”. Shake like popcorn. Listen for two “cracks”. Must sit 24 hours before grinding. Just a quick overview of how to roast green coffee beans.

      • Storing bought freeze-dried instant. Haven’t had funds for freeze dryer. Still building homestead. Gotta get a third chicken house built for Isbar hatch, 2 months old & getting too big for grow out pen. Isbars are my green egg layers – or, will be.

    • While I don’t drink coffee, the DW keeps a supply of Folgers in each of the various freezers, which she takes out a little at a time to fill her DIY Keurig cup.
      We’ve talked about roasting our own beans; but, since it doesn’t impact me, she’ll have to spearhead that project.

    • LTD – coffee is important for me too. I buy nearly anything I can find for cheap and store it in a refrigerator or freezer, then mix multiple bags depending on how good it is. I even get flavored coffees – most recently chocolate.

  13. I’m a newbie, here by the invitation of Livinthedream so, like Zulu, I’ll introduce myself. I’m a suburb-dweller, although I grew up in the country. I’m a recent retiree & DH & I will celebrate 48 years together later this month. Having been raised by a widowed mom who had 4 other mouths to feed besides mine, I had frugality, resourcefulness & gratitude for what you had, drilled into me from the get-go. I first realized the importance of prepping around the Y2K furor, although I only got serious about it in the past few years. Since funds for a remote homestead are non-existent, I make do as much as possible where I am, but quietly, so as not to attract too much attention. I am blessed enough to have a small community of like-minded friends who live nearby & we regularly share info, resources, know-how & support. I am chief childcare provider for a 9-year-old granddaughter, but still manage (along with DH) to cultivate & care for a small backyard garden. I’m also intensely interested in essential oils, harvesting wild herbs & other edible plants & spend a lot of time online learning as much as possible. What have I done to prep in the last few weeks? I’ve put up 4 bushels of baby lima beans, 2 bushels of peas & several quarts of green beans. Due to an unusually wet & chilly spring, our tomatoes, okra & cucumbers are only just now coming in, but I’ll be busy with them before long. It’s nice to find this online community of “believers”. I hope to learn as much as possible from each of you & also hope to be able to pass on a few tidbits that will help you, as well. Cheers!

    • Knowledge is Power,
      Welcome aboard.
      It sounds like your background makes you a natural prepper. I grew up similarly, with a garden and freezing, canning, and from scratch cooking being normal. With 3 younger siblings and a stay at home mom, we had a can pantry with both home canned and store bought (usually on sale), always had beef (by the quarter) or pork (by the half) in the freezer, and purchased almost all of our bakery goods from the local bakery outlet, that we kids called “The day old bread store”
      Growing up the way we did I think builds frugality into your personality and that serves us well throughout life. Once again welcome to the community, who are spread across the planet; but, all come here to teach and learn.

      • OP – there were four of us kids growing up. We went to the “day old bread store” pretty regularly to stock up on bread. It went in the freezer along with at least a half cow at a time. Stocking up on food was a normal thing for us, especially with my parents being children of the depression.

    • KIP, Gla you are here. You are not alone in having your hands full. Most of us have our hands full in some arean of care or concern… keep on one day at a time..

    • Hi hon, welcome to The Pack! I ‘think’ we might know each other already? Whether or not that is so, you have found a great place to be!

    • Knowledge Is Power,

      Welcome and a big thank you to our other online community members for inviting you. It sure sounds like you were raised right and are no doubt passing those honorable traits onto your granddaughter. Since you live in suburbia and have very legitimate OPSEC issues, when you get the chance, read my friend Rick Austin’s Secret Greenhouse of Survival book, it should be a perfect fit for your lifestyle. He made what looks like a typical enclosed porch on his house and it is a completely sustainable greenhouse. He lives in the hills of Tennessee and can grow about anything year around – including dwarf citrus trees and coffee, in his greenhouse.

      • Sorry, my other prepping mentor does not live in the hills of Tennessee, but the hills of North Carolina, had just replied to a post from a prepper from Tennessee and must have still had that great state on my brain when I was typing the reply above.

        • Thanks for the welcome & also the book tip. I’ve been a bookworm since I first learned the alphabet & this one sounds right up my alley!

  14. Hi Gang,

    First things first. I wanted to thank you Dan for listening and allowing this feature for your new site. It would be a shame for all of us to not have anyone to share with. It felt like a death happened, no warning, nothing. We have risen up like a Phoenix and hopefully everyone will come over here, and we will get new ones to join us. Agree with JP, it is like a buffet, take what you need, and share your plate.

    For my history, I’ve been living in middle TN since 1989. I love my job, I don’t like the traffic. I have 9 more years before I can retire at age 67. ARGH! I started learning and actively pursuing self-sufficiency activities about 5 years ago. Little by little. My brother, who has really been my mentor for years, has been a survivalist for a very long time. Everyone on the old site was very helpful to me and my learning, and I’m hoping we can continue the camaraderie over here. I am single, and have been trying to find LMI’s that live in close proximity for quite a while, so I can join a MAG. Being alone is not good when SHTF. Found some, just not what I am looking for quite yet. I have 2 kitties, live in a house out in the country, which it’s always good to come home to peace and quiet, leaving the rat race behind. I’ve been planting fruit trees and bushes. Just passed my Technician HAM test.

    For last week weather-wise, and up until today, it has been HOT and HUMID. Some rain mixed in between making it a steam bath out there… Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for a heat index of 100 degrees plus…
    Last item from Amazon came in – Ersatz in the Confederacy: Shortages and Substitutes on the Southern Homefront.

    Peaches, peaches, and more peaches from bulknaturalfoods Coop – made 28 – ½ pints of peach butter. Tonight, cute up more and will make something else tomorrow. Still more to can. They have lasted this long perfectly… And are soo good.

    Didn’t have yard sale last week due to rain… Getting stuff ready for yard sale Thu, Fri, Sat this week.
    Moved out of one of my storage units on Friday. YES!!! Took some stuff over to my friend’s house where we are having the yard sale… Also brought home 2 barn wood bookshelves that go on either side of my bed. YES!!!

    Still organizing and sorting stuff, really evaluating need versus want, hoping some will sell at yard sale.

    Signed up for OT for Saturday nite… Will be worthless Sunday… But good money.

    Glad to have tomorrow off from work for Independence Day. Wishing you all a Happy and Safe 4th of July. Hoping Thor1’s puppy has a good time tomorrow.

    Prayers for everyone, for healing and unspoken requests, for the President and for America. Glad to see ya’ll.. 🙂

    • Almost There,

      Dan listened and listened quickly, he is an awesome guy. Glad you are all pleased to have the column back! Y’all are making me so jealous with you comments about peaches, I do hope our trees give us a little something, but this ridiculous weather is not helping. Steam bath is the exact way to describe it! What a kind person you are to offer prayers of healing for those that need them and a prayer for our President and great nation! I love making so many like-minded new prepper pals!

  15. I am SO excited to see everyone making their way over here!

    First off, a big Thank You to Dan and Tara for ‘adopting’ us and this thread! Tara, what a wonderful introduction, I am happy to ‘meet’ you!

    (As I am typing this, the Twilight Zone episode about the family who prepped with a survival bunker for nuclear war, whose neighbors invade it is on, LOL)

    A mini intro, for those who don’t already know me: My grandparents survived the Great Depression, and because of their influence, I suppose I was a prepper before it was even a ‘thing’. I didn’t learn a lot of skills from them (unfortunately) but DID inherit the mindset. Even at my lowest points in my life, I had a well stocked pantry. Yes, it was all store bought, but no one ever went hungry. I have never been big on clothes, makeup, fancy vehicles, etc. I would rather make sure I was able to feed my family. I got ‘bit by the bug’ to prep somewhere around 2013 or so. And it proved fortuitious…I lost my 60K/yr job, was out of work for several years, and ended up in a minimum wage job (still there). Thankfully, DH and I are campers (I did forget to mention that), and that helped to get him on board with prepping. That, and several weather incidents which led to us being without power for extended lengths of time. Needless to say, while we worked our way through many of our preps during my extended unemployment, the wage changes have impacted our ability to build our preps back up but we are working on it. So that’s us in a nutshell.

    What have I done this week? Well, not much. We have had the grandson this week, so it’s been all about him! They lived here for over a year, and recently moved out, so it’s been a treat to have him back! The beagle has missed that boy so much! The ‘raised bed/lasagna’ style garden I planted the maters in is growing like crazy, I should have some grape maters to harvest as soon as next week. The one BIG takeaway from this new experiment? I will never NOT mulch my garden again! Weeding has been minimal! Why the heck didn’t I think to do this sooner (face-palm!)! I’ve had bigger gardens, smaller gardens, and done (still doing) container gardening. I’ve mulched my containers, but never the bigger gardens. So that’s MY tip of the day!

    I hope to see more familiar names join us here, and am also excited to make new friends!

    I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Independence Day! Take time to reflect on what this day is truly about!

    • Grammy Prepper,

      It is great to virtually meet you also! Having grandkiddos over does tend to take up all of your attention – in the best way possible. Because three of our five live on our survival retreat, I get to do “survival training” with them on a daily basis. Brea’s oldest are 3 (Colt will be 4 on Christmas) and 2 (3 on, not sure what day they will celebrate this year, Auddie was born on leap year) and I started prepping with them as soon as they could walk. They help collect eggs, measure out feed using a scoop I painted a fill line on, help give out hay, turn on the barn spigot to fill water tubs, plant, weed, and harvest, and are learning to identify plants, weeds, and trees on our daily 4-wheeler ride – I started simple and used the things we passed to help teach them words and now we are identifying leaves, trees, plants, tracks, etc. The best part of it is, they absolutely love it – learning like it is supposed to be…fun. Although I don’t want them to grow up any faster than they are, I am excited to help Brea homeschool them. My passion project to write a self-reliance based curriculum for grades K-12 is coming along, but slower than I want because I have to work it in around regular work, homesteading survival retreat work, and sleeping, lol.

        • I am so excited about this project, more than any other I have worked on. I think that is why it is taking so long, I want it to be perfect and useful at every age level both academically and from a self-reliance perspective.

  16. And FWIW, this change isn’t about competition, it’s about keeping a community together. One host has chosen a different direction, a new host has welcomed us. Let us all continue to be gracious about it.

  17. After 8 years of progressively worsening arthritis in my knees where it came to the part where I had extreme difficulty walking the VA authorized knee surgery and rebuild. I had my right knee done May 22 and I was walking within an hour after waking up. My right knee is to the point that I got 1 tenth of a mile on a stationary bike It has been over 10 years since I could ride any bikes since the operation I have lost over 20 pounds with many more to go. On July 23 I visit the doctor and we will discuss surgery on my left knee. When that happens in 6 weeks I should be at least 60% or better. This will be my prepping for the next 3 months. To be able to walk again and loose weight. I almost feel like the lame man Jesus healed.

    • OldAlaskan – congrats on the knees and weight loss. Hubby has lost over 100 pounds in the last year and can do things he hasn’t been able to in years.

      Also, one of my brothers lived in Alaska back in the 80s. He’s back in Ga now but learned a lot about survival as he lived in the outback near the Canadian border.

    • Old Alaskan,

      Thank you for your service and I am so glad that your knee surgery helped so much! My knees have felt like they belonged to an 80 year old since I was about 23 – a lot of years of playing sports and I am sure coaching until a few years ago didn’t help either. Every year during volleyball season I would have that one girl who would whine about diving on the floor and claimed it hurt too much even though she was wearing kneepads. So, I would push down my own kneepads, dive the way you are supposed to so it doesn’t really hurt even with bare knees, hit the ball, get up, and tell her if I could do it without kneepads and being twice her age, she had no excuses etc. etc. Well…the last time I dove on a gym floor with bare knees, I knew it was going to be the last time I dove on a gym floor with bare knees! Getting yourself in optimal physical health is a huge part of prepping, I am wishing you the best of luck and have no doubt a patriotic prepper like yourself will reach his goals!

  18. I just recalled that I was going to report on the CBD oil I ordered a couple of weeks ago. I did get the 300mg oil and have been taking it twice per day, once just before bed and once after breakfast. It seems to work OK. I sleep better and with less hip pain. During the day, my knee and back pain is lessened and I can bend over to pick stuff up with noticeably less discomfort. Naturally, granddaughter gives me ample opportunities to test the bending over. The day time dose seems to last about 6-hours or so and the effects taper off.

    I just ordered a bottle in the 600mg dose level as I think 300mg is a little low considering my weight (250lbs). I get the mint flavored kind. The flavoring is not strong and overpowering and you will get a bit of an oily aftertaste. I do not find it discomforting. It is administered sublingually.

    If anyone else is interested, I order from PureKana https://purekana.com/ They get good reviews and although the prices may seem high (no pun intended) they are actually competitive with the other better brands.

    • Someone nearby got the 500 strength, and a higher one, said did not have to use as much to get same effect, so even with a higher price is still cost effective…Not legal here as OUR STATE legislature is legislating away all things that work for pain.( their premise is that no one has pain and all are just addicted.)… trying to fix the stupid ones , to keep them from killing themselves.
      So we have had to go in a different direction for nerve pain.. I will not post about what we find that works naturally, because of this attack on naturals of this type. we still have soe things in progress but beginnings of experimentation of some substaces are proving beneficial.

      • Tell folks to order Wild Lettuce seed & start growing. They can get it from strictlymedicinaldotcom. It takes TWO YEARS to grow to maturity. Year 1 it is a rosette & grows yellow flowers – looks a lot like dandelion. Year 2 it grows erect, up to 3 ft. & flowers at top only, producing seeds.

        Leaves, stems & flowers contain a white, milky latex that has powerful pain killers in it. Native Americans smoked leaves. some people do today (not me – I only smoke meat!).

        Do homework b4 using. it can have a slightly opiod effect. It is not addictive, however.

        • ….lettuce….correction 6-7 feet tall is possible.. 2-4 ft is common. most pain relief strength is when in bloom. prepared need just drops,( depending on varying strength of plant. tastes horrid, much worse than valerian. One would also need empty caps to put it in.

    • Zulu3-6
      Catching up on the original posting to this new site. Swt Tater recommended a mineral which I started taking a while back & noticed a difference on the pain levels. If you have been in pain for years it will take longer for the mineral to take effect, but one day you will notice you are not reaching for a pain reliever as often, some days not at all.

      I take the following Acetyl-L-Carnitine 500mg, it also comes with an additional mineral which I will pickup when I can find it in the health food store or GNC store.

  19. Hi Everybody,
    I was sent an e mail by a pack-mate. Had not realized the site was back up and had not been checking it. I have been actively ” putting things by” since 2008. Medical needs took much of our income for 5 months of the year, necessitating having adequate stock to go thru this time without major buys. I began researching how to store foods we needed and rotating everything. I also began the long and laborous process of removing most mixes from our lives, with scratch recipes and basic supplies. My best savings for prepping began with me making my own laundry powder from basic supplies. Life has necessitated me learning and improvising.
    I was blesssed to be raised by a child of the depression and both grand ma’s could squeeze a penny and get blood. I learned some things from their frugalities of different stripes. One grandmother gave me her tips for putting on makeup and looking “fresh’ with the asics of lipstick and foundation..The other taught me that every peice of cloth has value and can be re used for some purpose.Cloth may change purposes from a favorite item of clothing to a quilt, or to packing for protecting jars, or cleaning rag.
    This last two weeks have been eventful for us. More health challenges this week with a severe allergic reaction to a tick bite…not anaphalactic(no airway obstruction) but well on the way to it. DH awoke with circle of hives , wheals fast becoming blisters around all warm areas of body.. thighs groins behnd knees, armpits waist line. We live far out from medical. an ambulance would take 25-30 min to arrive, +20 min to medical via ambulance..a hearse takes 45 min….. havWE have stocked OTC’s specifically for this., the current price of epi pens are cost prohibitive, has one and we do not plan to use unless absolutely required,w/ airway restriction…Albuterol inhalation hs also been used for airway issue with a past reaction which was not caught as early…. he used 60 mg allegra swallow dose, and 30 mg x2, melt aways, .. for first wave, we began to apply triple tinctured plaintain to all areas beginning with worse areas and proceeding to new ones as they came up then back to old in a continual cycle for about 15 min.the hives began to decrease and blisters began to decrease, 60 more mg of melt aways( melted and held under tongue) ( total allegra = one adult dose..) and 50 mg of benadryl were taken. ..( avoids benadryl because of plumbing issues.) The plantain tincture can also be used internally s made with food grade alcohol, but response would be too slow to depend on it for an anaphylactic reation.
    FYI< The melt away allegra are getting hard to buy, think they are closing this out, will by pass this with crushing a 60 mg and placing in jelly or honey and putting under tongue.
    Our RIR's that we bought to try to increase our hens tuned out mostly roos . We have begun to harvest those. one down and 5 more will be leaving for freezer or canning camp this coming week..
    .I have been working in the garden, specifically beefing up the raised beds, adding compost and mixed soil, before the final plantings were completed for summer garden. ..work in progress barrier now must be finished to keep out rabbits..22 inch border of slick fiberglass encircling.
    I planted a root crop raised bed early and almost everything in it has failed at least one time. beets, radishes, onions, potatoes and turnips, sweet potatoes all failed one time. sweet potato are now thriving…. looks to have been weather related was too cold for period when should have been able to plant, and in 2 days , temps soared to hottest of summer. rain sporatic..
    I harvested the potatoes/ 2 varieties this week and will harvest the last two in coming weeks.We got seed back and just got them back…I did have a learning curve -planting in raised bed and under different soil – did not hold moisture in mix..I used.. Evaluation I have completed but not recorded in gardening exercise book…
    We moved to our present location a year ago, and have had to begin infrastructure things first… in addition to a necessary re model, more new construction than remodel…adding interior walls, moving doors , installing windows,adding laundry room , finishing out bathroom, re pluming gas and sewage connections to acccomidate additations…all to existing steel building. We still have to do a couple of hen houses, a storage area for feed, tools and supplies., finish installation of tub and showers,.. a fence along the front and one side.
    I added some herbs this week rosemary, sage, orange mint and youpon holly ( tea plant, makes a tea similar to Matte') and found some flowers on clearance form local grower. Those are planted. I restocked- beefed up coffee supply..bought a expresso ground one called Cafe'Bustelo. for everyday use. I added low sodium soy sauce, hair supplies-clips pony tail holders, combs,silver solution ointment,alcohol and peroxide . I worked on rotating all older things out of freezer and placed dry grains in for freezer time..
    . I have started a sepertate grow area for some pole beans for a fall crop., a double row .. the natural soil here is a clay/bottomland base and has almost no drainage..My plan for this is to do a modified lasanga style..modified because do not have sufficient compost to plant in it alone.. chicken poo tea is my main fertlizer with additional amendments of epsom salt, and cooked and crushed egg shells.
    We gathered our first Okra pods this week.Cucumbers and tomatoes are blooming.. I have had one grape tomato- a good reminder of why we prefer to grow our own.Have needed to water daily and sometimes 2x daily with the heat index being above 100 this week. One local station posted , on web site,heat index from 100-1005 degrees… we laughed…and it was in that range!
    We cut a total of 2.5 acres in two different locations, with a 22 inch mower and weed eater…. working on getting a covered area so chickens can help with part of that. Heat has been a real iissue and it has taken 2 of us working on it , short segments of time, to get it completed.
    I have added more magnesium to our diet/supplements and Vitamin K2 to balance and move magnesium from arteries back to bones…to help us both with heat tolerance…issues of muscle cramps. I also made up a insect repellant from a recipe on internet… It works and is made from all natural essential oils, a few cc of cooking oils,witch hazel/alcohol and water in a 2 oz glass spray bottle….. the mosquitoes and ticks can't see me with it on… Now I just need something to repel ants, LOL!
    Have a good Independence day!
    Thanks to those who take care of our emergency needs and keep us safe …local and nationally. Prayers for those who have needs medical mental and physical. Keep on Keeping on. One day at a time, one step at a time.

    • AA,

      Welcome to the new spot.

      That Cafe Bustelo you got is a very popular Cuban coffee brand. My ex-wife (a Cuban), and both my daughters won’t drink anything else. I’m not a big coffee drinker anymore, but Cafe Bustelo is all I have in my cupboard for when the mood strikes and #2 daughter visits.

      • I love Cafe Bustelo. It’s popular around here–probably with all the Cubans living in Florida. I make it so strong that no one else will drink it.

      • We both enjoy a few cups in the morning and it is not expensive.. the expresso grind make it go futher than other grinds… just one more way to stretch the food dollars.I have a decaf on the shelf for late night, if i need it, and I bought 4.. bricks… smells so good when just opened. the name brands priced themselves out of the rnnning for my coffee dollars..

        • Bam Bam and Anonomo Also,

          Have you tried cafe con leche (coffee and milk) with the Bustelo? Particularly popular with Cubans in the morning and often given to kids (in the morning). Heat a regular sized glass of milk in a microwave (or stovetop), stir in a serving of Cuban coffee, sugar to taste and viola!

          My father-in-law thought I was crazy because I drank my Cuban coffee black. They love lots of sugar in theirs. In fact, I teased my father-in-law about having some coffee with his sugar. When I went to Italy, they often drink their expresso black, so no one looked at me strangely when I took it that way.

          • Yes, that’s how I take my coffee. But Cubans tend to really like their coffee (and desserts) really, really sweet. I only use a little sugar.

          • I use a 10-11 ounce coffee cup, leave room for about an ounce of milk ,and add it cold with a small cube of ice so i can sip it sooner. I had to cut all sugars possible from my diet because of low blood sugar episodes, so rarely add sugar, tho i do like it that way and prefer the sugar in the raw or brown sugar to add to coffee.
            I got used to that when we visited Jamacia several times. Our host was Cuban born but was a Major in the Jamacian army during the time of Patton and queen lizzy being a young officer..was in the jeep once and she had to change the tire, was the junior officer on board…He said” that was just the way it was, she was the low ranking person there”.

          • AA,

            Princess Elizabeth, back then, was a trained driver and mechanic (for minor things). That was her job in the army auxiliary unit she was in. So changing a tire was small potatoes for her. And she still loves to drive herself around on her estates, but for appearances sake, gets driven around in public.

            So, despite all of her royal titles, styles, and honorary ranks, her permanent military rank is still sub-lieutenant. Her hubby, most kids, and many grandkids all out-rank her in permanent military ranks. But she has another that counts for more: Queen. 🙂

      • To triple process plaintain. put plaintain in jar…quart… fill approx 3/4 with leaves and fill to top with pga… leave it 3-4 weeks. remove plaintain leaves, and put a fresh batch of leaves in, leave it 3-4 weeks..top off the container to make sure all leaves are covered…. be sure to catch all drippins off the first batch, I place them in stainless bowl as I take them out. after second batch has sat covered for 3-4 weeks, do the same again… let set 3-4 weeks.
        Plaintain major and the narrow leaf one both work the same. I leave some leaves in the jar to use as applicators…
        In glass spray bottle 2 oz. 8gtts each lemongrass and tea tree oil in 2 cc of olive oil, add 20 cc of witch hazel or Pga, finish filling with water.. shake well,… spray as needed. more later storm coming in gotta go to other house and kill ari conditioner…. don’t need lightening strike.

      • LTD,
        DH ‘s reaction was like it never happened in 4 hours. Everything gone down and no reddness remains. We did not take pictures this time but have in the past. Showed them to his Physician at the time..
        We had a hard time isolating allergy. Began tracking all bug bites and any diet changes. I stopped changing laundry detergents , making my own with same recipe. After first 3 bad reactions, We were able to tie them to tick and mosquito bites,… 2nd bite began suddenly itching and we watched it redden, welt then bliter within 5-7 min…as it was joined by others.
        Plaintain tincture…applied early in a reaction ..like for poison ivy.. we watched the rash pop out and then recede….( apply every 3-5 min…for about 15-25 min).
        We have began giving the low dose allegra again ..to stop further ones during this insect/vermin season.. He was on antihistamines for 3 years solid..
        .Limiting exposure and using oregano oil or tea tree oils , 3-4x a day will stop the itching of a “normal bite reacton”…ticks especially.
        There are times I feel like I am just sitting spinning my wheels…Much of the time I have little in the purchased column… much of what I do is buy, do, repeat.

    • Anonamo, I did a lasagna ‘type’ garden this year, and it is doing well so far. I just put down cardboard, topped it with a mix of store bought topsoil, peat and compost. Our soil is very clay heavy too. The maters are thriving. The one thing I did different this year from others, I mulched it after I planted. I will never NOT mulch my garden again. Not only has it cut down on weeds, but I don’t have to water as much either. I have been gardening for ?? years, and I just came to this realization LOL! And I didn’t ‘top’ this garden very deep, figuring the plant roots would get down thru the decomposing cardboard into the true soil. Maybe 2-3 inches? I know it will be a fertile spot going forward. Of course, have to consider rotating cropsl So next years garden will be different.

      • My plan is to have corn, in the spring.. where i am planting these beans for the fall garden.
        I am calling it modified because Iam chopping away the heavy sage grass and other wild grasses, leaving them to compost to the side,, chopping up a wide row about 12″ wide….and removing as many roots as posssible…all this with hand tools. I will mix soil with the clay, or the roots will bake, that was problem with my potatos…soil did not hold enough mositure… have double layer of cardboard I will put over the grass roots, and after the double row of beans is up will add more bought soil to top, and newspaper shreds deeply …to finish out muching over the seed bed. Am planning a modified support so beans hang straight down and easy to see…. to envision…Think very wide T with ropes at the end of T tops…and twine. for the beans to climb to both sides.Supposed to work well and am going to try it for the first time..

    • I forgot to add..purchases…
      We bought 3 extra tarps and 2 different types of tie downs.
      Replaced some batteries for electrical thingies.. light bulbs/sunlight bulbs
      cut off wheels for the grinder (for metal work) and some discing wheels for other applications.
      Bought Potting/composted manure and humus, several packages seed and anti back flow for water hydrant- we just installed a few weeks ago.
      Maintainence items in multiples for our lawn equipment…filters, oil…
      Finished harvest of sorell seed, and have re seeded some areas.. watching the highland cress. seed not quite ready…( substitute for pepper.)

    • Anonomo Also,

      Your raised bed garden sounds exceptionally bountiful! So sorry to hear about your tick problems. I noted above how our youngest grandson contracted lime disease this year and was thankfully caught early. I was going to make it part of next week’s column, but here is my tick and insect DIY spray for critters and humans of all ages – no sense in waiting if it could help someone now.

      These measurement are not exact necessarily, but pretty close. I make it without measuring anymore, but trying to recall measurements close enough for someone new to make it.

      I half gallon of distilled white vinegar
      2 cups of Blue Dawn
      2 cups of Witch HaZel
      1 1/2 cup of Almond Oil
      5 to 7 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil – cut amount by half or more if using on small critters of people 2 years old or younger.
      2-4 opened gel caps of vitamin E
      Optional ingredients I put a few drops to 1 tablespoon of in when I have a larger insect issue – like horseflies, yellow jackets, or ticks:
      Citronella Essential Oil
      Aloe Vera juice
      Up to 1 cup of cheap antiseptic mouthwash

  20. Hi all,

    So I played around with the comments formatting a little, I think I got the notifications to work. Let me know if you’re still having issues.


    • Hello! Wud u please post info about you? Where you live? How long you’ve bren a survivalist? Why you began?

    • Dan,
      Thanks for restarting this very old community thread. This thread has served us well under different names…over the years…
      I did check both boxes at dfferent times, am not getting any comments to e mail..Is there something else I need to do or check?
      I noticed the thumbs up + sign was gone… I miss the + sign it is like saying….” Yes, I agree with this, it works and I don’t have anything more to add”. The negative sign not a miss.. I was taught, ” if nothing good to say just shut your trap.” Some few people have no manners at all. (smile)

      • Hmmm.. I think this only works if someone replies to your comment, not to anyone’s in the article. I am struggling to find something decent that works. I had some other plugin yesterday that had the +/- voting system but the formatting was horrible, making the text very hard to read.

    • Dan,
      Is it possible to put a tab where this post can be easily found.? , especially for ones just finding the forum.. I pulled up preping and it does not always come up under that. It may be something specific to firefox…not sure..
      . Also , Is it the plan for this to be a weekly segment on Tuesday’s? Thanks.

      • I just added the weekly preps category to the main menu at the top, if you clear your cache you should see it. Yes, the plan is to have it weekly.

  21. LTD wanted to know where I was . the answer was on a roof . Came off it at 11:45 . Oh let’s see looks like most are doing a short intro so here goes .
    Read The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire when I was 16 and the started me thinking and drawing parallels . Have been an EMT and a Tennessee NG combat medic . Also have work as a handyman and a cabinet maker . Currently make a living doing starter/alternator/tool repair .
    Built my house which is wired AC/DC and is solar powered 5 miles back on a logging road .I have been off grid 23 years .
    OK . This week . Started pulling Mullins leaves and blooms . Still harvesting mimosa blooms. Also harvesting dock weed seed. Had an inverter go down this week . pulled it out and dropped a spare in , I will pop it open and check what failed as I have been known to fix one or two before.
    Well that’s it for me this week.

      • They (mimosa blooms)can be tinctured for anti depressant… I have never tried them , have some working in a jar as well. I do not know of other uses , I have not researched them completely.

          • Fixit,
            RE: mimosa, how is it used for antibiotic? as a tea or topical poltice? .
            …what/How are they used? and what are they effective on…? respiratory, urinary, abcesses? Seed pods for antibiotic too?
            Your Mullein is slightly ahead of mine, I saw a few flowers beginning to show color.

    • Hello Fixit,

      What, quite a heavy book to read at just 16, good for you! Thank you for your service. Sounds like a pretty busy week. I am very curious about your 23 years living off grid and would love to hear more about how and what your retreat is like when you have time to share! What all do you use dock weed for? I am drying some now.

      • Dock is one of those multi use plants. Leaves in salad when young . Cooked green when older . Seeds are ground for flour . Check SOUTHERNFORAGERblog for a really good black bread using dock seed. The roots of yellow dock are a good blood purifier and detoxifier .

        • Tara when Dock gets older and tough the chickens love it… I can not let mine free range so i pick dock, dandelion, plaintain and clovers and put in their areas… they gobble it up…

          • Anonamo Also,

            Tara when Dock gets older and tough the chickens love it… I can not let mine free range so i pick dock, dandelion, plaintain and clovers and put in their areas… they gobble it up…

            Our girl’s kind of free range within an open fenced in area with a hot top wire. While they can still get greens, bugs, worms, and other goodies, we also feed them the dandelions and white clover. One crop that you can plant for them is a seed mix from My Pet Chicken called Chicken Salad that Contains: Broccoli Waltham, Purple Top Turnip, Bracco White Mustard, Forage Kale, and Ladino Clover. You can plant a plot and turn the girls loos on it or do what we do by planting and trimming enough to feed them as a treat.

  22. I want to first thank Tara and Dan for introducing this segment. We have such a strong community and it is this segment that keeps us up to date with one another.

    I also wanted to give a heads up to the Pack: Zaycon Foods abruptly shut down operations. If you have an order in with them, your order will not be arriving. They had been running half off sales for the whole month of June. I put in orders for $500 worth of meat. Fortunately I paid with my Visa and was able to dispute the charges. Always use your credit card (or Paypal) when purchasing items on line–if your order is not delivered, you have a legal right to dispute the charge.

    Other than the Zaycon mess, I have had a great week. I have been offered two online positions. I have accepted one of the two offers already. I am going to check out the second on Monday. I need to meet with the folks and make sure it is legitimate. I have a friend there, so it should be okay. I had solid interviews for two other positions.

    Let me introduce myself for those who don’t know me. It was the failure of the Russian wheat crop in 2010 that opened my eyes. Russia put a ban on exports of wheat–they wanted to feed their own first. (During the Irish potato famine, there were plenty of potatoes to feed the nation. But farmers sold abroad because they could get a higher price.) The Middle East has plenty of oil but they can’t grow their own food. The Middle East relied extensively on imports from Russia. When the imports where shut down, Arabs rose up agains their governments–that’s what caused the Arab Spring.

    So I began to see that events in one part of the world could trigger revolutions in other parts of the world. So I decided to get seriously into prepping. I was raised in a military family and we always had a big pantry and camping gear. We were always prepared for ice storms or hurricanes–whatever natural disasters plagued the area. When I finished college and got my own place, I started acquiring the basics–flashlights, cooler, portable stove, etc.

    Fast forward to today. I know how to can. (My mother and grandmother canned–both had very large gardens.) I have an Excaliber and I know how dehydrate. I can make soap. I have a very large pantry stocked with both short term foods and long term foods in #10 cans. I can bake bread from scratch and cook just about anything. I have dabbled in cheese making. I have a basic understanding of herbal medicine. (I would really love to take a class on local plant identification.) I am quite good with my Glock 19 and my Ruger 10/22. I am not particularly fond of the 12 gauge. I have my bug-out-bag set but my dh and I plan on staying home. We would only bug-out if our home was compromised. I have a medical kit and I stock antibiotics for my fish. I have started putting together a prepping network. (We don’t talk about prepping. But we do barter skills. We have an old family doctor that lives just up the road. I have a dear friend who hunts wild boar. We need to find someone who is into Ham radio. That’s a big whole in the network.)

    Well that’s all I can think to write. I am so glad to see familiar names on this new site. And I am glad that Tara and Dan have brought back this segment.

    • Oh, and I forgot to mention–I earned my blue belt yesterday. The remaining belts are brown, red and then black.

    • Bam Bam

      I guess the Russians learned their wheat export lessons from the famines under Lenin and Stalin. Aside from reduced harvests due to collectivization of farms and the eliminations of the kulaks, the Soviets continued to export wheat as they needed the foreign cash inflow to increase factory mechanization.

      The Russian wheat famines made the Irish potato famine look tame in comparison. At least some of the Irish had a place to go – the USA. Well, so did the kulaks – Siberia.

    • Great news on the new jobs…and glad that you will have the possibility to do more than one “gig” . That will help you as you go forward in your endeavors.

    • Bam Bam,

      I love all of the intros and background everyone are sharing – and your’s is no exception. We all have so much in common, maybe not where we live either geographically or type (urban, rural, suburban) but the important lifestyle choices, how we were raised and how our childhoods impacted our paths, and awareness that “it could happen here” sure are significantly similar. I do not like shotguns either. Our daughter does, but i prefer the AR-15 because it doesn’t have that kick to it, is lightweight, and accurate. My Bobby got me a Ruger 40 caliber handgun but said it was too big for a purse gun – so I just bought a bigger purse, I love it and once it felt like an extension of my hand, I was not going to use this .380 with a super tiny grip he also got me because I felt like it was going to pop right out of my hand!

      It sounds like you have a quality self-reliance network emerging. Do any first responders live near you? Not HAM operators, but they will have 2-way radios and the skills to use them after a SHTF event. What type of online work do you do? So very nice to virtually meet you and thrilled with the response to this first column!

  23. Here’s a list of folks that are still missing: Penrod, Lab Girl, Babycatcher, Axelsteve, Gloria, Antique Collector, Always Forward, Mom of Three, Goatlover, Wasp and Thorn. If you have a means of contacting any of them, please do so. Or if you see them post on the other site, let them know where we are. Have I left anyone off the list?

      • I am here now. I saw that M.D. closed up shop and thought what the !#*^ is up. I seem to like it so far. By the way I am in Northern Calif. What hasn`t burnt may next year the way things seem to be going.

  24. I want to again thank Dan and Tara for hosting this and giving The Pack a new home. Thank you Dan for following up on the technical stuff. @PreparedGrammy is another one that needs contacted. I know we don’t hear often from BC much lately, but maybe he should be in the loop too? And Thor1 needs to get over here, I need puppy updates!

  25. Someone mentioned all the state knife posts – can’t find it now – but – there are several sites that list state-by-state knife laws in one place. I prefer http://www.aki.org, as it is written by a lawyer who specializes in the subject. In case anyone is interested.

    I don’t carry knives (other than utility), but, as a “Blacksmith-in-training”, am interested in them.

    • I got my Bobby the materials to build his own forge, will share how that goes and pics in an article here one it is up and running. I recently was contacted by a long lost cousin out west who is both a prepper and a master blacksith, that was very exciting and great news for Bobby before his build.

  26. I did some minor prepping, from camping gear through water collection

    More importantly, I wanted to say goodbye.

    Some of you I have learned from and with over the last couple of years. However, given I have been a lifetime prepper and extremely low budget in approach I generally avoid many things – social media, and forums.

    Best of luck to all – it’s been fun.

    and for the blog owner, keep up the good work-

    If any of you want to contact just email me directly

    [email protected]

    • We will miss your input Jesse. Your work arounds have given me insight on ways to search / do old things in a less stressful manner. Thanks for providing your email

    • Jesse,

      Best of luck to you Jesse, and you are more than welcome back here any time you get a tiny break in your schedule!

  27. Lots of familiar names posted here. I’ve always done more reading than posting, but have really enjoyed the posts by some very familiar names.

  28. I have been on The Survivalist Blog since the beginning. I “uncloak” to post now and then over the years. I was wary when MD said he sold the site. I expected his new site to be very much like this one but it’s not. He made a big push to make a lot of money initially selling the CDs with all the archived data and I appreciate that and while I don’t really understand where he is headed I’ll continue to check in with him now and them.

    I really wasn’t sure where the new owners were headed. I read the 10 or 11 chapters of the books about marshal law and while it was pretty good all the popup ads that appeared in the middle of text that had to be “x” out over and over was a bother. The sudden ending with no promise of more was a disappointment.

    I am glad the new owners put this section back up. It’s really nice to see everyone make progress and discover and share things that are going to help when whatever happens, happens.

    As for me, I’m retired Air Force, retired in late 1992 after 23 years active duty. I am a high speed Morse intercept operator by initial training (nobody uses HF radio to send High Speed Morse any longer except HAM radio operators and I’m one of those too, licensed for about 25 years now). My jobs during the last 10 years of active service (other than a bit of front line Vietnam stuff collecting intel from VC operators) has been as Disaster Preparedness NCO for a unit of 1500 active duty personnel, Non-combatant Evacuation operations, Safety, Emergency Destruction, Finance, Chemical Warfare exercises and training, Physical hardening of bunkers and facilities along with all other duties as defined. I’ve lived in Texas, Mississippi, Alaska, Philippine, England, Maryland, Crete, back to Texas and finally Japan (my last 6 years where I trained people for earthquake recovery and tsaumi prep and recovery).

    We now make our home in Georgia and after a few false starts and a new wife (old wife left with all the preps, guns, ammo and PMs) and new wife is totally supportive so we are coming back to being fully on line. We have food, weapons, water (including a well), radios and antennas, back up generators and sufficient PMs to do what we need to do. Now all we need is some solar and a bigger garden and we should be good to go.

    I hope a lot of the old people come back as we were a community of like minded people and we all have a lot to share.

    • Hi Cliff and thank you for the kind words.

      The Martial law novel has great imagery and many people love it, however jack had and still has some personal problems which make it hard for him to stay creative.

      I’m sorry about the pop-ups, they shouldn’t show up more than once per page.

      We’re committed to making this place a prepper’s and homesteader’s encyclopedia over time, and the Weekly Preps column is definitely here to stay.

      • Thanks Dan, I’m enjoying your site so I’ll be around for a while. I don’t post a lot but I read a lot.
        Hope Jack gets over his issues and gets back in the saddle. The death of old cowboy was a heart breaker that I didn’t see coming. Very creative.
        Good luck and keep doing what you are doing.

        • We’re all very happy to “see” you here Cliff!

          Like some others here you have quite an impressive background, Sir! Thank you for your service.

    • Cliff in Douglasville,

      I am a high speed Morse intercept operator by initial training (nobody uses HF radio to send High Speed Morse any longer except HAM radio operators and I’m one of those too, licensed for about 25 years now).

      What do you call high speed Morse? I topped out at the 20 WPM required for my Extra class license back when Morse was still a requirement. I’ve been licensed for 42 years and can still pound a straight key at that rate; but, my ear has trouble keeping up, which is something I’m working on.
      There are quite a few hams on this forum including one that’s fresh out of the box last June 1st.
      If you would be willing to provide your callsign, perhaps we can try a schedule on HF, maybe on phone initially, LOL. If you click on my name it will take you to a site where you can discreetly send me an email. I do keep OPSEC; but, will share information such as call signs & email addresses with permission from both parties.
      73 OM

      • The Ohio Prepper:
        With a lot of QRM/QRN and multiple stations close to the same frequency I am down to about 30 groups per minute. On a clear freq and in my prime I’ve been known to copy 8 hours continuous at better than 50 groups per minute being sent with a bug by a foreign op either at a radar site tracking the SR-71 or at a site tracking multiple air attacks on Hanoi in the 1973 time frame. I copied at that speed on a keyboard. Now, with my hearing aids with fresh batteries I can probably only copy about 18 to 20 comfortably using a pencil.
        Most of the highest speed stuff was when I was stationed in the Philippines. Went to “ditty bop” school in 1970 to learn to copy Morse and they taught by a method called reflex. You hear a sound pattern and your finger hits a key, had to copy at 18.6 to graduate but was copying 30 before I left the 6 month school.
        I only have a General ticket as I know the rules and regs but a lot of the electronic theory is beyond my comprehension. I was going to upgrade to Advanced just before they restructured the licenses so I just let it go. I’d studied for about 3 or 4 months pretty hard but ….
        Will pass my callsign on the link shortly.

  29. Thanks Dan and Tara. I consider “the pack” a valuable source of information so I’m happy it will continue. I’m moving/using/disguising some of the preps as I soon will have foundation repair estimators here in the next two weeks.
    I tried some breakfast cereal that I dry canned a year ago and it tasted good, so will be doing more of that. In exchange for helping put up a hay field, I was given 50 bales, so I have over a years worth including rounds. My Comfort Tac ankle holster came in. It works great for open carry on some of the trails we ride. Am seeing more open carry in town. I prefer not to, but believe it can be a crime deterrent. Hope everyone had a great 4th with family and friends.

    • Hummingbird,

      My Comfort Tac ankle holster came in. It works great for open carry on some of the trails we ride. Am seeing more open carry in town. I prefer not to, but believe it can be a crime deterrent.

      I personally prefer concealed carry, since it’s less likely to upset those around you who don’t understand. While open carry can be a deterrent in large numbers, like lots of armed people in a restaurant, sometimes a dirt bag evaluating the situation where you are the only one who is obviously armed, takes open carry as a “shoot me first” indicator, while concealed just keeps them guessing. Anytime you can confuse a dirt bag, it is to your advantage.

      • I carry concealed all the time. I sometime look in wonder at people doing open carry, especially in a crowd. I’ve been close enough to people who open carry in Walmart that I could have bumped them from behind and had their pistol in my hand ready to use on them if I wasn’t the peace loving individual that I am.
        I carry in church as do 30 or 40 other members and we have part of overlapping zones of cover and fire in case we ever meet up with an active shooter. We all know who is carrying and we have enough redundancy that we are all ready even if some of the brethren are absent that day.
        I have always taught that there are 3 kinds of people in the world, the sheep who live their lives blissfully and unaware of any danger, the wolves who want to take down the sheep and the sheepdogs who will not let a wolf pass and will stand guard over the sheep even when they are not aware that they are being watched over. Carrying concealed takes away any advantage the wolf might gain by knowing who is packing the heat.

        • Your church sounds like mine, CID. We have a security team whose members each stand guard over a specific point of entry & others who patrol the parking lot during any church service. Some are armed, some are not, but the armed ones are never far away & you can’t tell who’s carrying & who isn’t. The team meets regularly to watch pertinent videos & they practice what to do in various scenarios. As a small-built grandma, I don’t look the part of someone who would concealed carry & I like it that way. Having spent the last 10 years of my career working indirectly with law enforcement, I’m well aware of what can happen at any split second. Being prepared could mean the difference between life & death.

        • Cliff in Douglasville,

          I have always taught that there are 3 kinds of people in the world, the sheep who live their lives blissfully and unaware of any danger, the wolves who want to take down the sheep and the sheepdogs who will not let a wolf pass and will stand guard over the sheep even when they are not aware that they are being watched over.

          I made the choice to be the sheepdog decades ago and for those who have not yet made that choice this short piece is well worth the read as is the book from which it came, and the other books by Grossman.
          On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs
          (From the book, On Combat, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman)

          I’ve been to Grossman’s “Bulletproof Mind” seminar 4 times and would go again. Even my DW was impressed and while she understands my attitude, she now has a clearer understanding after the seminar.
          You can also find the seminar as a YouTube video @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RDCtMEHFLM
          It’s 3 hours; but, well worth watching, or better yet, attending live if you get the chance.

          • Well, that was a powerful read…now I have to bookmark the video to watch…don’t have the time to watch it tonight…might just watch it with DH tomorrow night after work…

      • TOP,

        I don’t know. Some criminals can be awfully stupid. When I was a federal officer, there was a popular restaurant guys from my agency went to all of the time. Not only us, but the sheriff, state police, motor carrier officers, and several local municipalities. The parking lot was full of marked police cars around meal times. Not to mention unmarked cars.

        That didn’t provide a clue for one idiot who decided to rob the restaurant at supper time one day. I wasn’t there, but friends told me it was kind of like Eddy Murphy in Trading Places when he had a bunch of guns pointed at him at once. “Is there a problem officers?”

  30. Looks like the gang is mostly here.

    I am asking for prayers for the Mrs., she is in the ICU she was throwing up blood.
    She seems to be doing better now.

    Puppy was just waiting by the door this morning ears up and alert. He smelled her shoes and clothes when I can home last night and got up on the chair and smelled her purse and started looking for her. It was sad……

    Not much for preps this week

    Bought new wiper blades for the BOB

    Ordered a new dishwasher. The other one bit the dust after a lightning storm.

  31. It wonderful to find many of those who were at the other site here on this one. My THANKS to the host & hostess of this site.

    Many remember the call sign Pacrat, a title my db gave me for collecting old useful antiques for the ‘what if’. After he passed I changed my call sign to Antique Collector, which fits my personality.

    Parents were children of the depression where their knowledge was passed down to me after the Cuban missile crisis. Guess my folks thought all was well in the world until that fateful development occurred and I asked them where could we go to be safe? After that they started passing on their learning experiences in canning, gardening, raising large livestock(beef), not just from my parents but my dad’s sister H. She was a talented cook with a wicked sense of humor, which began my recipe collection from her.

    Worked in the independent personal lines insurance for several years until I had to retire to care for dh. With wanting something to do, an be able to work from home or not far from home that would bring in money or let me give back to those who were in need.

    My talent laid in an old gift, we all have the ability to do, I attended beginning & advanced classes for Dowsing, the old term was water witch. The area where we reside was blessed to have one of the masters in this field. He taught classes here and instructed others all over the United States, we lost him in 2012. It was a blessing to call him my mentor & friend, his knowledge shall be missed, but not forgotten.


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