What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 11 Sep 2nd – 8th 2018

prep week 11

This has been a productive week of prepping here on our survival homesteading retreat. My Bobby and I took Monday off work for the Labor Day holiday, and used the time to get another pasture cut down and ready to go back into the rotation for fall and autumn medicinal herbs planted.

We are blessed to have enough land to keep both medium and large livestock. You can stockpile bags of grain and hay, but it will eventually run out – especially if we have another winter like we did last year. Our new to us hay baler is still struggling with some stringing issues, but we are figuring it out as we go.



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I think it might work better with old-fashioned twine style baling twine instead of the slick nylon stuff. The good old stuff is getting increasingly hard to find and expensive (about $80 per roll, around here) we had a full roll but the mice got into it over the winter. I hate mice. I hope the barn snake and guineas kill them all slowly and painfully!

horses on the pasture

I decided to follow tribe member Sarah’s lead and attempt to grow both lettuce and onions inside over the winter. Because our house was built as a weekend hunting lodge, it does not have many windows – which poses a problem for indoor growing.

The best light is in the playroom and grandkiddos sleeping quarters, so use of that space for keeping dirt in pots would be highly problematic. I will likely have to invest in some grow lights for the plants over the winter.

stackable planters

The stackable planters I purchased for about $12 per set of three from Walmart, can be placed on a folding table in front of one of the best sunny windows in the living room once the weather turns too cold for them to be outside.

In addition to medicinal herbs, I am also growing garlic in the tiered planters. I love cooking with garlic and it also boasts bountiful medicinal properties.

As I noted in a comment during a previous weekly column, I have not had reason to go to a doctor, other than an optometrist, in well over a decade. My natural remedies and colloidal silver have taken care of the few milds colds I have gotten over the years.

But, on Tuesday, Brea and I went into a nearby city for eye doctor appointments. I put it off as long as I could and was on my last pair of contacts and old backup glasses. I consider this tedious and rather expensive task, part of my weekly preps.

If we cannot see clearly, we definitely will not be able to shoot accurately or accomplish a host of other necessary SHTF and post-SHTF chores. Medical preps are always the most difficult aspect of any self-reliance plan.

I ordered one new box of contacts for each eye, a new pair of the cheapest yet durable and least ugly glasses (I just wear them around the house and don’t care one lick if they are stylish) and paid the $95 examination fee. So, it was quite a pricey outing, to say the least.

Over the course of the next two months I am going to order two more pairs of glasses – thankfully my eyes have never changed hardly at all between exams, and at least a year’s worth of contacts for each eye. I have to get contacts that are designed to treat astigmatism and are also Toric lenses, so they cost more than the regular contacts my daughter wears. I am getting her extra glasses and contacts, as well.

Our survival retreat lumber yard is coming right along. Bobby has a stockpile of boards and posts inside a pole barn, but were now in the process of adding to that valuable prepping resources courtesy of the 1800s era barn that sadly, had to be partially torn down due to safety concerns.

Our scrap metal pile is growing as well. That is good news for all the cool knives I have photos saved so Bobby can make them for me on his DIY forge.

I had the distinct pleasure of trying out a Ghillie Camping Kettle for the first time over the holiday weekend? Have any of you ever used one or a similar version of anodized camping kettle? This is the only version I have ever tried and I found it to be incredibly impressive – and just added it to my preps shopping list.

It works like a rocket stove but is far more lightweight and portable – and negates the need to pack an actual camping kettle to put on the rocket stove. I have a small rocket stove I was sent to review about five years or so ago. I like it and it works great, but it is far too reflective from an OPSEC point of view and not only is it a little heavy to pack, it is not designed to really be easily portable, i.e. wide and round without a sturdy handle for the top.

Both rocket stoves and the Ghillie Kettle function with just a tiny bit of tinder used for fuel. I used some small twigs and only halfway dried leaves I picked up on our Oh S**T trail. Bobby used the Ghillie Camping Kettle later the same evening and put some pine cones and grass in it for fuel and it worked equally well, even on an extremely day.

I was too busy enjoying the company of our tribe and making food over an open flame to think of taking and photos or videos. But, I found this one online and it shows how the camping kettle functions and in use in essentially the same manner as I did on our tribe trail day.

We are still battling typical predator issues. The other night, Brea and I took the kiddos with us while I was working on clearing a trail through thin but tall brush with the Polaris Ranger, and we spotted a fox.

I thought we were rid of him, but apparently I thought wrong. Brea got out and took the rifle I keep in a scabbard attached to the Ranger and tried to catch sight of the fox again, but we didn’t have any luck.

woman with a rifle

A hawk is frequently Mad Dog Drop, which is located in a rather densely wooded area. It is not unusual to come across some deer or turkeys while back on that trail, but I had not spotted a hawk lurking about or flying overhead before.

Pack members, do any of you have a clue what type of bird these feathers came from? It is not a member of my flock, and was just curious. We have heard both quail and pheasants in our woods, but these feathers do not necessarily look like they come from either of those bird types – but I am far from a bird expert.

feathers on a tree stump

The grandkiddos and I have been nut hunting this week. When we go on our “bear hunts” we work on tree and track identification, also. Earlier this week, Colt, who will be four on Christmas, ran over and picked something up on the trail and then proudly proclaimed it was an acorn. When I asked him what trees acorns come from, with an equal amount of enthusiasm, he proudly proclaimed them came from oak trees.

Once Colt found one acorn, the hunt was on. He and Auddie approached the search like an Easter egg hunt. Before we climbed back into the Ranger, Colt’s shirt pockets were stuffed full of nuts and the pockets on Auddie’s little dress were overflowing with her treasures.

Ariyah is not walking well enough yet to go acorn or bear hunting much with her older siblings, but she enjoys the heck out of watching their adventures from the back of the Ranger after it is parked along the trail.

little girl in the back of the pickup truck

The grandkiddos also learned how to identify walnut and hickory nuts, and some of their uses. Hickory has been the bane of our existence as of late. Our log splitter (which was part of the about $17,000 worth of fairly gently used old equipment we worked into the land purchase deal) is just not doing well with the hickory wood this year.

It was all cut last fall and early spring like the rest of the soft and hard wood we are splitting and filling our wood sheds with, but apparently it is still just to fresh and hard to split. Every few times a hickory log is placed in the splitter, it pops a seal or spring. Bobby has not been pleased, it seems every time one piece of equipment or vehicle is up and running perfectly, another starts having issues or goes down completely. Typical homesteading woes, survival or otherwise, I figure.

This week’s questions:

1. How are you prepping to deal with eye care needs during a long-term disaster?
2. Are you doing any fall planting – medicinal or otherwise?
3. Do you stockpile nuts of any variety and how are they are part of your preps?
4. What’s your experience with camping kettles and/or rocket stoves?



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Tara Dodrill

About Tara Dodrill

Tara Dodrill is a homesteading and survival journalist and author. She lives on a small ranch with her family in Appalachia. She has been both a host and frequent guest on preparedness radio shows. In addition to the publication of her first book, 'Power Grid Down: How to Prepare, Survive, and Thrive after the Lights go Out', Dodrill also travels to offer prepping tips and hands-on training and survival camps and expos.
View all posts by Tara Dodrill →

115 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 11 Sep 2nd – 8th 2018

  1. Tara and group:

    If you have your prescrition and you are looking for inexpensive glasses, check out Zenni Optical. They are a Chinese company, but my general glasses run $25/pair (I have yellow tint for glare).

    These glasses are the same quality as you get at discount opticians (read WalMart). I have had great success with single perscrition lenses. MY progressives worded great but they got the placement wrong (and I don’t know how to tell them otherwise). I cqn wear them, but have to pull them down my nose.

    1. This week’s questions:

      1. How are you prepping to deal with eye care needs during a long-term disaster?
      2. Are you doing any fall planting – medicinal or otherwise?
      3. Do you stockpile nuts of any variety and how are they are part of your preps?
      4. What’s your experience with camping kettles and/or rocket stoves?

      1. DW and I go to an ophthalmologist rather than an optometrist, just for different reasons, every year. I’m now on 6-months due to a developing cataract issue. We both get our main glasses locally, but at $500+ per person, we don’t do that every year – fortunately we rarely need to. I get my “spares” from Zenni Optical for distance use, with 15% yellow for glare (works day or night).

      2. No Fall planting. But planning on putting in some fruit bushes, so we may end up with some this Fall.

      3. We normally don’t store nuts. I occasionally get some Hazelnuts (or Filberts as I grew up calling them), these I keep in the freezer. Nuts can go rancid and predicting when and how is outside my expertise.

      4. I have not experience with rocket stoves or kettle ones. They look like a good deal, but have not found a need for one for our lifestyle.

      1. JP, I have a sigmatism and the mail in glasses do not work for me. I have tried the cheap places and they do not do the thin lenses. These places may work for some, but they cannot do my script.

        1. Bam Bam:

          I understand. The DW’s original glasses had a “non-standard” base curve. Now, if she tries one with a standard curve, she is sick withing minutes. So, Zenni won’t work for her either. But for those that can, expecially parents with young children (who break theirs allot) this service can save them money.

          1. JP,
            expecially ?
            That my friend is not a real word, and especially is the correct use.
            Sorry about being the grammar Nazi again but that word along with “Eksetera” instead of “Etcetera” (abbreviated “etc.” is one of my really big peeves.
            Personally I think “Ain’t” and ‘Y’all” have their place; but, this all too common mistake in pronunciation drives me crazy.

  2. Local case lot sale. Stocked up on canned chicken, good buckets w/lids, and AF Milk & FD stuff. DW made up more Apple Butter and Plum Jam!

    Note on the farm economy: I have a friend who says he is now an ex-dairy farmer. They still do plenty of farming, but with pricing and regulation, they just had to give up dairy. Something to consider in your prepping.

    ROAD TRIP: With the fires we decided against camping Labor Day Weekend, instead we took a 3-day road trip. Stopped by an Air Force Commissary; found some staples cheaper than at home and drink mixes (Kool-Aid and Tang), Bear Creek soup mix, and SPAM were on sale for ½ of what we pay here. They also sell official military MRE’s (so we grabbed a couple w/Winter and Hunting Season coming).

    Gun stuff: OWB Kydex holster for LC9 w/laser, ammo, CTC laser for LC9, excellent quality spray penetrating oil

    Stuff: new hat (lost my Shiloh Sharps one on the trip ;-(; $2800 hat but it did come with a free rifle! DW said I could not get another one.),

    Updated Kindle tablets; put back into “Deep Sleep”.

    1. JP,

      Note on the farm economy: I have a friend who says he is now an ex-dairy farmer. They still do plenty of farming, but with pricing and regulation, they just had to give up dairy. Something to consider in your prepping.

      Dairy around here is also getting tough. I have two neighbors and friends who are struggling dairy farmers, one of whom posts here on occasion as BLACK or BLACKBQI. This is where the immigration debate gets personal, since there are a few mega dairies in the area that have 1000+ cows and keep the overhead down by blatantly hiring illegal’s to run the farms. The wholesalers can make one trip and fill a milk tanker, instead of servicing my friends and other smaller farms to get the same amount of milk, so they are starting to be squeezed both on purchasers and price.

      1. TOP:

        I was joking with him, saying “So, I should add more powdered milk to my stash.” At first I got a wierd reaction, then he realized what I was saying, and agreed. Think I found another closet prepper.

          1. JP,

            Actually no, you don’t sound bitter. But, I do appreciate the information; my friend probably was going through the same thing. I was planning on getting some fresh, whole milk and learning how to make my own butter, etc.

            For butter you’ll probably need a good bit of milk, since you only use the cream you skim off the top, and that will in part depend on the breed of cow he’s milking. Once you have the cream, the easiest way to make butter is to place it in a quirt jar with a lid and shake the crap out of it. You will eventually see the liquid get a little cloudy with little white globules forming. Carefully pour off the liquid (real non cultured butter milk) and put the pieces of the remaining globs together. That is the butter, and will still be white to yellow, since the yellow color comes from beta carotene from the grass the cows eat, or in some cases for commercially produced butter, beta carotene is often added as a natural dye for the deeper and more uniform yellow color. For cheese, you add the rennet to make the milk curdle, at which point you have curds & whey (e.g., cottage cheese). You can add different cultures to make different kinds of cheese. In any case you strain off the liquid whey and pull the curds together, by wrapping them, with, you guessed it, cheese cloth and molding the whole thing into a ball or round. That wrapped “raw” cheese is then place to age, often after being dipped or soaked in brine. The whey can be dried to make whey powder that is a complete protein having all essential amino acids. We should have our summer kitchen in good enough shape to start making cheese when it starts to cool off in the next month or so.

            Since I don’t plan on making anything for sale to others, I don’t see issues getting it local. I have a friend with adopted children that are seriously lactose intolerant. He went with goats and that worked for them. But he started to have problems with too much left over. Not wanting to through it out he put “non-food grade” goats milk, for free, on Craig’s List for soap making. Got a letter from an alphabet agency to cease and desist or get fined. So now it just get’s “dumped”.

            That’s the kind of thing my friend BLACk and all of us have to put up with, as they protect us from ourselves. Your friend could of course start making his own soap. For the lactose intolerant, like my DW, the whey powder is lactose free.

        1. alot of dirty pool is being played in the dairy industry.
          krogers is picking and choosing milk truck routes, where there is higher quality. translates into longer shelf life. i can meet their quality standards, just not the quanity. our route was canceled.
          walmart bought out dean foods and is starting their own dairy in indiana and will not buy from the outside. canceled out over 100 dairies in western ohio and the I-30 corridor. dannon yogurt is building their own dairy and will stop buying outsidein the next year.
          my milks now going to ryder in springfield ohio. till i get that pink slip in the mail. i know it is coming.

          solutions .
          -turn in every mexican you can find at the hedgefarms.
          -if you have kids, have them take feeder calves to the county fair, buying only from the small farmers. [we lost almost all of our feed lot buyers under the TPP.
          -pain is a powerful motivator/ i suspect the GOP will loose the house in 60 days. in the last 3 years. farmers have gone from 2% to .5% of the population. but hey never fear trump cut the repatration tax. so krony capitalist can scoop up your farms, super dirt cheap. the big orange cheeto is looking out for you.
          -down inflorida, people expect to pay $4-$5 a gallon, if you can affford to pay that. work out a deal with your local dairies and buy on the black markets. if you want to make cheese approach us and just do it. [no nike pun here]
          [note, we need to know you for a long time. we trust few. trust is earned. when your in the tribe, your in our tribe.]
          -rabaco banking is predicting a global milk shortage by 2020. you will be paying $5 a gallon for milk shortly. only thing up in the air, is will you pay walmart/dannon /krogers or will you pay the farmer. [i’m not asking the gov’t for permission to do anything on my own land. we can choose to live as free men or die as slaves]
          – the issue is not moving exports into canada, but illegal labor workforces. preventing economies from collapsing from illegal labor is one of the few things, gov’ts are supposed to do.
          the future is very dark for farmers and this country. #scottwalker 2020 or sooner.

          hmm. do i sound a little bitter?

          1. Black:

            Actually no, you don’t sound bitter. But, I do appreciate the information; my friend probably was going through the same thing. I was planning on getting some fresh, whole milk and learning how to make my own butter, etc. Now, it will depend on what my friend still has or has contact with.

            Since I don’t plan on making anything for sale to others, I don’t see issues getting it local. I have a friend with adopted children that are seriously lactose intolerant. He went with goats and that worked for them. But he started to have problems with too much left over. Not wanting to through it out he put “non-food grade” goats milk, for free, on Craig’s List for soap making. Got a letter from an alphabet agency to cease and desist or get fined. So now it just get’s “dumped”.

          2. BLACK,

            i suspect the GOP will loose the house in 60 days. in the last 3 years. farmers have gone from 2% to .5% of the population. but hey never fear trump cut the repatration tax. so krony capitalist can scoop up your farms, super dirt cheap. the big orange cheeto is looking out for you.

            If you don’t like the GOP then you’ll love the Chuck, Nancy, & Alexandria show, since they will give you free everything, Doncha’ know.
            As for the TPP, it is gone and the last I looked it was the left trying to stop the wall, open the borders, and eliminate ICE. We need ICE to visit some local mega dairies and do what they do; but, the MSM and the left will make them all out to be racist family separating butchers. I’m not sure how we fight this; but, as you know, I’m there to help where I can. So just stop by or call.

          3. If you have a local Dairy….listen up and support them!
            Our area used to be full of dairy cattle. I do not know of even one within 3 counties of us….doesn ‘t mean there aren’t any, but I KNOW of None.

      1. time shares are also illegal, people think they are out smarting uncle sugar. theres been some farms shut down and everything sloshed in bleach. to make it unedible. by the local health department gestapos. the particular instance, i’m thinking of was upstate new york..

        the 1 hole i see, is legally the possesser of the milk license can not sell to the public. teh family can draw as much for personal use as they want.

        the hole is, the famliy members not on the permit, can draw out and do with it what they want..

  3. I think medical preps are more important than banking a lot of money. Without reasonable health all the money in the world is worthless.
    This week I got a set of weights for my canner, a manual grinder and a copy of the Jericho tv series. I also got a $280 Bill from the attorney but I think it will be money well spent as people have now backed off. Had the new breezeway door picked up as well as a sheet of latice to fix the fence.

  4. Did my usual shopping and added to my grocery stash.

    My back is still bothering me, but the chiropractor seems to be helping. I’m also still taking the glucosamine sulfate as recommended by Bam Bam. That seems to be helping my knees more than my back. But my back is much more out of whack than my knees.

    I’ve been buying some 1-oz silver bars for my ex-wife (her money, I’m just the go-between). I’m also holding them for her as I have a safe. It gave me the idea to buy my granddaughter some ½-oz silver rounds for her 2d birthday next month. I’ll do the Year of the Monkey rounds as that is her birth year (2016). God knows the kid has enough toys. My living room looks like a disaster area by the end of the day when she’s here. That’s OK. She has fun and baby and her mom cleanup for me to save my back.

    Speaking of disaster areas. Tropical activity in the Atlantic is weird. TS/Hurricane/TS Florence is expected to become a hurricane again, possibly a cat 4. Where exactly it is going to hit is still unknown. Right now, it is forecasted to take a run at South Carolina. Only time will tell. Additionally, there are other storms out there running basically along the same line as Florence. West Africa seems to be just pooping them out into the Atlantic. We shall see. I’m about as prepared for a storm as I can be. If a storm is predicted to come close to Orlando, I’ll top off my battery banks, bring in the balcony furniture, and when appropriate, fill up a WaterBob.

    Tara’s Questions:
    1. Eye wear prep: I prefer to wear bi-focal glasses. I have two pair of my current prescription and still have two pair of my last ‘scrip. My reading ‘script hasn’t changed, and my distance vision only a little, so the older glasses are still good in a pinch. I get my glasses through the VA, but I forget how often I can get exams and new glasses (if needed). First pair is free. I need computer glasses, but those I get from the drug store. I have three pair.
    2. Nope. No fall planting of any sort.
    3. Don’t stockpile nuts either. I figure I’m nuts enough on my own.
    4. Never used a camping kettle such as the Ghillie (although I’ve seen a YouTube about them and they seem pretty nice). I do have a rocket stove and I like it for a camping or emergency backup to my propane stove. I need to restock on some wood for it and now is a good time to do that with hurricanes on the horizon. I think I’ll get the mesh bag I have for my wood supply and take granddaughter out for a walk around the apartment complex looking for suitable twigs and branches. She’ll enjoy that and I’ll have someone to do all the bending over. 😊

    1. Zulu 3-6,
      I would not want to live in hurricane country; but, you make a point, in that you have enough time to get the last preps in place, like the balcony furniture and the water BOB.
      Here we get watches on the weather radio perhaps an hour or more in advance and warnings often just minutes in advance. This is where ham radio and modern technology can be really helpful, since I can often communicate with people in the affected areas, and watch near real-time wether radar from the comfort of my house.
      I don’t know how much storage space you have for twigs; but, I suspect post storm, there will be tons for the taking, LOL
      Zulu 3-6,
      I would not want to live in hurricane country; but, you make a point, in that you have enough time to get the last preps in place, like the balcony furniture and the water BOB.
      Here we get watches on the weather radio perhaps an hour or more in advance and warnings often just minutes in advance. This is where ham radio and modern technology can be really helpful, since I can often communicate with people in the affected areas, and watch near real-time wether radar from the comfort of my house.
      I don’t know how much storage space you have for twigs; but, I suspect post storm, there will be tons for the taking, LOL

        1. Thor1,

          TOP, this is a continuation from last week…..
          What if.???

          I don’t think What if.??? is the right question, more like “When and Where???”
          There are incidents like this that only stress the need for immigration reform and border security; but, for some reason the leftists still won’t listen.
          The local international airport in Columbus is about 50 miles from here and we do have some state and countywide mitigation in place for such events; but, I’m hoping that the feds will finally start paying attention. In the past we had Ellis Island to weed out the sick; but, with airports all over the country and a leaking southern border, all we can do is our best, and keep electing those who actually care enough about the people to keep us safe.
          Personally, a good field of fire and gallons of bleach and other antiseptic chemicals are good to have.

          1. Scientists have now developed an effective vaccine for ebola. I am more concerned about H5N1 in poultry in China. The Chinese refuse to share samples of the virus. Scientists need the most recent mutations of the live virus to develop and test potential vaccines.

      1. TOP,

        Usually, at worst, we might get only a day’s worth of warning depending on how close and quickly the storm forms. A couple of years ago, Florida had a storm form up very close to the Gulf Coast and went east pretty fast. Maybe 12-hours warning. Luckily, it never got worse than a tropical storm. Most tropical cyclones in the Atlantic spawn in West Africa and we (the East Coast and Caribbean) get a fair amount of warning.

        But, we still have to deal with those bastard stepchildren of hurricanes sometimes, tornadoes. Sometimes with little or no warning. Just like you guys get. And we get them along with regular old thunderstorms too.

        If Florence keeps going as they predict, South Carolina is going to get pounded big time.

        1. Zulu 3-6,

          If Florence keeps going as they predict, South Carolina is going to get pounded big time.

          As a weather watcher since I was a kid and a weather spotter for more than 40 years, I am well aware of those storms and keep a close eye on them. We are actually getting some rain today and into the next week from Gordon, and my kid sis in Key West tells me they only got a bit of rain. She was chased clear up to the pan handle by Irma; but, the only damage to her hooch and house was minor, except for the refrigerators and freezer that sat without power for a week. All in all I think I picked the right place to live, as long as you can tolerate the winters.

    2. Zulu,

      My chiropractor said it would take a while for the glucosamine sulfate to build up in your system. For me it took six weeks. For others it took the full 12 weeks. The important thing is that you pay attention to your body. If it works for you, it works for you.

      I purchased one of my brothers this stuff and handed it to him. He is a master tech and his been turning wrenches since he was 18. He tried it for a week and then blew it off. He has arthritis so bad he has trouble working. Note that it takes time for this stuff to build up in your system.

      I started taking glucosamine sulfate powder because my chiropractor advised it. Now I have no arthritis in my hands or knees.

      1. Bam Bam,

        I’ve been taking the glucosamine for a tad over a month now. Every morning. As I wrote, I think it is helping my knees as I don’t feel as stiff and painful there. My back is another matter. There, the L-5 vertebrae is literally out of whack (I can see it myself on the x-rays) and my other lumbar vertebrae are spread apart a little more than normal. I think the adjustments are helping a little, but only time will tell there too. Arthritis is present in the L-5 vertebrae as well.

        I woke up last night for a head call and my back was really flaring up. Took some Vitamin M (Motrin) and while I got back to sleep OK, I woke up with my back still on fire. This is the worst it’s been since I started at the chiropractor. I see him again tomorrow morning.

        I’ve taken granddaughter with me to the chiropractor several times now. She’s well behaved and I think she secretly enjoys watching grandpa getting beat-up by that man. 🙂

    3. Zulu,

      The best quote of the week “The Atlantic just seems to be pooping them out.” Yep. So far nothing is on a direct route to Florida.

      1. Bam Bam,

        No, they can all stay away from Florida as far as I’m concerned.

        I was reading that the Marine Corps is evacuating the recruit depot at Parris Island, SC and moving all of the recruits to a logistics base at Albany, GA. They’ve done this before and the recruits will not be having a vacation. Weakness leaving the body at a different place, that’s all.

        1. Zulu 3-6,

          I was reading that the Marine Corps is evacuating the recruit depot at Parris Island, SC and moving all of the recruits to a logistics base at Albany, GA

          Having been to both MCRD Parris Island and Hilton head on the same trip. Evacuating is just the smart thing to do. I suspect that on their return the recruits will learn some things about debris removal and construction.

          1. TOP,

            I don’t know if they’ll be involved in any construction due to training schedule, but they will probably get a few hours worth of cleanup. Several thousand recruits picking up trash and branches at the same time makes for a fast job. If the hurricane follows the current predicted path, there probably won’t be much damage as PI is on the “weaker” side of the hurricane and a bit of a distance from the eye. Who knows with these things though.

    4. Zulu 3-6,

      I look at getting grandkiddos to do some of the work not as forced child labor but as a self-reliance educational opportunity!

      1. Nothing wrong with using the kids as slave labor. As long as they think its a game or a learning experience, they usually go along happily. 🙂

        God, knows I was used as slave labor growing up and it mostly wasn’t fun. Both my grandmothers had big yards and one had a huge picket fence that needed painting every couple of years. But I did learn a lot of stuff.

        1. Zulu 3-6,

          God, knows I was used as slave labor growing up and it mostly wasn’t fun. Both my grandmothers had big yards and one had a huge picket fence that needed painting every couple of years. But I did learn a lot of stuff.

          When I got married, the DW had two boys and I had a house I had purchased previously and was remodeling. The whole family would on occasion go to work on that house, and the boys were usually none too happy. Years later, they each have their own homes, and do much of the remodeling and repairs on their own, and have both thanked me for those hard fought lessons. It just takes time for the “slaves” to mature and understand what they learned.

  5. Puppy has been so loving since the Mrs. came home from the hospital. I was playing ball gun with home out back, but he hide the balls in the high grass that I have neglected to cut. LOL

    The Mrs. his under a blanket on the couch to no avail, he found her and licked her face over and over. I love that puppy, he is soooo family.

    She is still not out of the woods although she is improving, her liver has a problem.

    I have been doing a lot of cleaning and cooking lately.

    I’ve made southern tea,fried chicken and chuck roast. All have been excellent.

    I received a new dehydrator as a gift with a jerky maker kit. I’m making slim Jim’s as I write awesome.
    Puppy keeps sniffing it LOL

    Bought lots of water and fuel for the projected hurricane. Remember its preparedness month….

    https://youtu.be/lqfExHpvLRY

    1. 1) . How are you prepping to deal with eye care needs during a long-term disaster?
      2. Are you doing any fall planting – medicinal or otherwise?
      3. Do you stockpile nuts of any variety and how are they are part of your preps?
      4. What’s your experience with camping kettles and/or rocket stoves?

      1. I have sterile eye wash fluid and specialized eye antibiotics.

      2. Lettuce, cabbage and beets.

      3. Walnuts, peanuts

      4. I love my solo stove…..

    2. Thor,

      I am glad your wife is doing better. I love the puppy stories. Soon you will need to change to “dog stories”. Your puppy is getting bigger. The fact that he was all about the misses shows he is a family dog. You have done a fine job raising a puppy.

    3. Thor, You are a good man, kicking into action when the wife is down. You might consider getting a kitten. Old Egyptian medicine says cats (and I think also “dogs”) can heal. Pets know more than we do because they operate at a more basic level. Dogs know good and bad people on first sight. Cats know disease on first sight.

    4. Thor 1,

      What’s your favorite jerky seasoning recipe? I keep playing around and trying new things and then trying to remember exactly how I made the batch that turns out the most delicious, lol. Continued prayers for your wife.

      1. Tara, I’d tell you but its classified……. But Hillary probably had it on her server.

        Soy sauce, hickory liquid smoke, honey worcestershire sauce, endorphin rush and crushed red pepper.

        Or is it soy, teriyaki sauce, molasses and fresh ground black pepper,

        Or my latest made with lean ground beef, a company made mix and cure with fresh ground Cayenne……

        OR……..LOL

  6. Hi Tara,
    When you mention fall medicinal herbs, are you planning on planting some yet this year, and if so, what? The only things we have yet to do is plant some garlic next month and maybe try to overwinter a few things in the green house.
    I agree with your opinion on the old twine. We’ve purchased hay and straw over the years that have used both and have a pile of the nylon stuff; but, I think either is better than the old bailing wire and easier to use for cordage for other things around the farm.
    Growing lettuce and onions inside might be an interesting thing to try; but, perhaps that’s an easy first attempt at using the green house this winter. For grow lights I have snagged a couple of the LED versions that screw in to a standard Edison socket and I’m eager to try them out. In the past we’ve used the fluorescent types and they worked, well, OK.
    When you state:

    If we cannot see clearly, we definitely will not be able to shoot accurately or accomplish a host of other necessary SHTF and post-SHTF chores. Medical preps are always the most difficult aspect of any self-reliance plan.

    I fully concur, and with my uncorrectable vision, I really rely on technology and other people, so having a good MAG or tribe is even more essential.
    I have used a Kelly kettle a few times and they are neat; but, since we plan to Bug In, we have numerous alternatives for heating food and water. When coupled with my 64 oz YETI Rambler Stainless Steel Bottles you can heat food to boiling, place it in the container, and let it continue to cook for hours with no additional heat.
    I’ve built a makeshift rocket stove using just bricks and pavers; but, we plan to stay put as much as possible, and wood fuel around here is so abundant; it needs to be picked up every time before we mow the lawn.
    I don’t know much about your feathers; but, I suspect your local game officer or one of the ODNR DOW biologists could tell you, as well as someone at your local county extension office. I also did the little hunts and tracks identifications with our kids when they were young also, and I’m really glad to see others doing the same, although I do miss those long ago walks on the property. Your little ones will remember those “adventures” years from now.
    Hickory (Shagbark in our case) has always been my bane for splitting, mostly with a maul; but, once seasoned; it really throws off the heat and is well worth the work.

    For your questions:
    1. My eye care is pretty useless; since I am vision impaired and can’t drive on the highways. In my case its multiple pairs of reading glasses that help with the computers and various magnifiers with redundancy.
    2. We’ll be planting garlic in about another 4 weeks and have some late volunteer container tomatoes we’re going to try and overwinter in the greenhouse.
    3. We keep cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts and of course, peanuts (honey roasted) on hand; but, mostly for snacking and baking. We have tons of black walnut trees on the property; but, for the most part find the nuts a real chore for the meat you get. Post SHTF we know how, and will then have the time to harvest and use in a pinch. They are currently more of a nuisance than a benefit, since horses and most plants don’t get along with them, and the nuts stain everything they touch.
    4. I’ve played with camping kettles and rocket stoves; but, my go to for camping is the Dutch oven and I don’t need one more gadget, since that does about everything I need, and yes, they are a bit heavier, LOL.

    This past week we did or acquired the following:
    1. The DW purchased and assembled a new vacuum cleaner. I heard it running at which point she said “It sucks”, Yeah!!!!
    2. Some additional LED bulbs to try from Dollar Tree. 800 Lumens and 2 for $1.00
    3. Assembled our 24×48” stainless steel table in the summer kitchen area. It was rather easy and the only tool required, a Hex Key (Allen Wrench), was supplied. I think it will work out fine and was only $92.00 with free shipping. Here’s a video showing the steps: Regency Stainless Steel Work Table Assembly – WebstaurantStore TV https://www.webstaurantstore.com/video-2160/regency-stainless-steel-work-table-assembly.html
    4. Received two Abco Tech Water Resistant Wireless Bluetooth Speakers with Suction Cup & Hands-Free Speakerphone from woot.com. These could be used in the shower; but, will most likely be used on the deck
    5. Received Sterilite 6 QT ClearView Box with locking lids – 12 Pack from woot.com. This will help in the organizing and decluttering.
    6. Received two Rachael Ray Cucina Stoneware 9-Inch x 5-Inch Loaf Pans from woot.com; but, they were poorly packaged and one was broken. I contacted woot customer service via their website and since they had no additional inventory for the item, they were unable to send a replacement and issued a refund to my PayPal account. They don’t want the broken one back and told me to donate or discard it as I see fit, so I may be able to glue the broken unit back together for use as a planter or something; even though it will no longer be useful for baking.
    7. 3 pounds of dark grapes & two jars of Miracle Whip. This is an essential that allows us to make various sandwich salads / spreads. Tuna, Egg, & Chicken are easy to make. Chop up some cheese, add some rehydrated minced onions and some peas and you have another tasty side dish.
    8. Six boxes of facial tissues
    9. Another 20 roll pack of TP, bringing the on hand stock to 63 rolls. We NEVER want to run out of this essential item, LOL
    10. Thursday morning another chicken killing racoon died from lead poisoning; but, no more dead chickens.
    11. Our farrier was here to trim our little horse’s hooves. She seems to be doing well and back to her normal self.
    12. Received a Rust-Oleum” Never Wet Multi-purpose Kit, 3-pack from woot.com. Like Flex Seal, paint, nails, and deck/multipurpose screws, this is just another handy thing to have on hand for future projects & repairs.
    13. Received a 12 pack of Panasonic Eneloop AAA batteries. We have found these far less expensive over time, than single use alkaline or cheaper Nickel metal hydride (NiM) batteries.
    14. Two packages of Sargento Cheddar-Mozzarella cheese sticks.
    15. Recycled 24 sealed Lead Acid (SLA AGM) batteries and a stack of cardboard. Amazon & woot deliver some neat things; but, those card board boxes really start to pile up and there are only a limited number of things you can use them for.
    16. Our credit card cycle ended and we had enough points to order a $50.00 Home Depot gift card. We already have two $25.00 cards, just waiting for the next item we need from Home Depot. Last year we accumulated $325.00 worth of cards at zero cost to us.
    That’s all folks!!!

      1. Bam Bam,

        When I grow up, I want to record my preps like OP. 🙂

        Is that grow up or get old enough to start forgetting things? LOL
        I just keep a running MS Word document called: WDYDTPTW Current Upcoming Posting and add to it when I acquire or accomplish something relevant. Before posting I add any commentary including answers to the questions posed by Tara, which BTW I like, and then copy & past the whole thing. That document also sits on a computer that runs 24/7 and also collects all of my email as it comes in, so no waiting to boot when I need to use it for something quickly or to check collected email.
        After posting I then copy it to another folder “WDYDTPTW” and rename it to: “WDYDTPTW Ending 20180908 New TSB” with the appropriate date and then clean up the original to start recording the upcoming week. Easy to do and I don’t have to rack my brain at the end of the week. I have old versions of my weekly report dating back to: 20170312 (March 12, 2017) and all of those files only take about 2 Mb of disk space.
        I BTW use what some might consider an odd date format as YYYYMMDD, since you can sort the name and get them in ascending or descending order by date, and I often find that to be useful. I think it’s an engineer, computer geeky thing LOL.

          1. Tara,

            You are THE best record keeper ever. I am going to guess you just might be a Virgo!?

            Your guess would be wrong. I’m an Aries; but, much more importantly than mystical pre-astronomy, I am an Engineer , LOL. The classic geek, nerd, and sometimes grammar & spelling Nazi.

        1. ” I think it’s an engineer, computer geeky thing LOL.”

          TOP, nope. You’re a dork. I’ll bet you are even into Ham Radio too. 😉

          1. Sirius,

            TOP, nope. You’re a dork. I’ll bet you are even into Ham Radio too. 😉

            Dork? Geek, Nerd, are all pretty much the same to the layman.
            And my ham radio (as well as yours, and that of Zulu, Cliff, Almost There, and Babycatcher will all still work when those cell phones have no bars, LOL.

        2. TOP, haven’t you heard, cell phones will still work in an EMP, the wiring inside is not a large enough antenna to attract the surge. However the cell towers will be fried so they will not receive or transmit. Unlike your SW radio with a large antenna unless it uses vacuum tubes…….LOL

          I thought you were an electrical engineer…..

          1. Thor1,

            haven’t you heard, cell phones will still work in an EMP, the wiring inside is not a large enough antenna to attract the surge. However the cell towers will be fried so they will not receive or transmit. Unlike your SW radio with a large antenna unless it uses vacuum tubes

            There is no surge to attract; but, the short wiring lengths do indeed present only a small antenna with a cross section small enough that it is unlikely to interact with the pulse and absorb enough energy to cause damage. Being consumer devices they are also designed with enough transient voltage suppression to keep the circuits from being damaged due to normal static electricity encountered all of the time when we walk across the carpet. That spark to the door knob or other discharge point is high voltage, in the 20,000 to 25,000 volt range, and the input circuitry is designed for that amount of normal abuse without damage.
            There is a new gadget that allows phones to communicate without the cellular infrastructure over relatively short distances. The goTenna uses the MURS unlicensed radio frequencies so the phone can still do some functions, including phone to phone texting.
            As for my radio equipment, some of it is tube based and the others are protected by the way the antennas are designed and interconnected. When not in use, the antennas are grounded with an antenna switch, plus the transformers used to couple the radio to the antennas, provide a low impedance path to ground, as does the additional protection using spark gap and gas discharge tubes. This is all basic lightning protection, a phenomenon that is much more likely to occur than an EMP. Since many of the radios have gotten extremely inexpensive, I also keep spares that are stored in faraday enclosures and always have spare batteries on hand and charged.

            I thought you were an electrical engineer…..

            I am; but, I don’t understand the comment and implied assertions.

        3. TOP, so if you are using your SW and an EMP hits the radio you are currently using would still fry correct?

          Keeping spare radios in a faraday cage is good this is the golden rule of 1 is none and 2 is 1.

          I also keep communication equipment in a faraday cage but no tube equipment. I used to have an old tube amplifier for my electric guitar but it was hard to find parts…..

          Surge and pulse are kind of synonyms……LOL

          1. Thor1,

            TOP, so if you are using your SW and an EMP hits the radio you are currently using would still fry correct?

            As always, it depends on several things, including which radio and which antenna was in use. Nearly all of my antennas have DC grounding as well as other transient suppression measures, primarily to protect against surges from nearby lightning strikes or lightning induced currents. Hanging a 200’ wire in the air with nothing connected to it during a thunderstorm with lots of lightning events can cause currents in the antenna system that can draw arcs in the shack. By using spark gap lightning arresters like the Blitz Bug along with gas discharge tubes and proper grounding measures, one can virtually eliminate the problem. A good book on the subject was written by our own Prepperdoc, a doctor and ham I still communicate with on occasion.
            ”EMP-Hardened Radio Communications.” available on Amazon
            Also, not all of my equipment is Shortwave; since I have various radios covering from low frequency short wave (160 meters) well into the UHF and microwave spectrum.

            Keeping spare radios in a faraday cage is good this is the golden rule of 1 is none and 2 is 1.

            In this case I’m using the platinum rule, since all total I probably have 30 or more different radios on had, some older than me.

            I also keep communication equipment in a faraday cage but no tube equipment. I used to have an old tube amplifier for my electric guitar but it was hard to find parts

            Parts are available, you just need to attend Hamfests and get involved with the radio / tube community. My tube inventory probably runs in the hundreds that my heirs will no doubt someday toss in the trash.

            Surge and pulse are kind of synonyms……LOL

            Actually a pulse (from an EMP) is a wideband radio wave that does nothing until it strikes a conductor, at which point it creates a surge of current in the conductor. This is just basic physics and is how in general a generator or motor actually works.

    1. TOP,
      Miracle Whip? Seriously… Miracle Whip!

      I thought I was the only person on the planet that prefers that over mayonnaise. And YES, I refuse to give that horrid condiment a capital first letter.

      1. Sirius,

        Miracle Whip? Seriously… Miracle Whip!
        I thought I was the only person on the planet that prefers that over mayonnaise. And YES, I refuse to give that horrid condiment a capital first letter.

        As always there’s a story about this.
        Growing up my frugal mother always purchased the local grocery store’s “salad dressing” that was neither Miracle whip nor mayonnaise and was rather disgusting. Once I was out of college I discovered real mayonnaise and used it for everything. Have you ever had a mayonnaise and onion sandwich? Part of the reason was that I liked the fat, since also as a kid, we ate everything. A chicken was nothing left but a pile of broken bones (minus the marrow) and all of the skin was also eaten. We ate all of the fat and marrow found on a beef or pork roast and loved it. Unfortunately, no one realized what all of that fat did to the body until some testing showed my lipids and triglycerides off the chart. I started eating low fat when that food all tasted like cardboard and have finally settled on something that fills the need without all of the fat. Unfortunately the damage to my heart and eyes had already begun, so here I sit typing this and still kicking thanks to modern technology I use in so many ways. Miracle whip is one of those things that still makes many foods tastes good, and doesn’t have all of the fat, or need all of the additions required when you use mayonnaise.

      2. Sirius, I prefer miracle whip better too. Small world…LOL

        The Mrs. prefers mayo and I got yelled at once for bringing miracle whip home from the store. I had to adapt to mayo….LOL

        1. Thor1, When I was married, my wife was a mayo person too. We solved it by getting the smaller size of mayo and Miracle Whip. Problem solved. I would NOT get used to mayo.

          I employed the K.I.S.S. method.

          1. Sirius, I’m thinking of hiding it behind my pickles and peppers in the 2nd fridge.
            She can’t eat hot stuff so she would never look there…..LOL

            OK what’s the K.I.S.S. method…..LOL

  7. Ordered some native peaches (yes, peaches grow in Maine) through my farm share. Planning to cut them up and freeze them. There’s a wonderful recipe for Easy Peach Cobbler at myrecipes dot com. It’ll taste good in January!

    Went on an edible/medicinal plant walk through the local adult ed this morning. She mostly covered stuff I already knew – plantain, dandelion, Queen Anne’s lace, yarrow – but I did learn a couple of new things. Good to know we could graze the weeds in the back yard in a pinch. On the way home, stopped at the local orchard to pick up some Paula Red apples for apple crisp when the weather turns cooler.

    Finally bit the bullet and have a crew redoing our front walkways and front porch in stamped concrete. They were a mishmash of flagstone, faux brick and brick-colored pavers. Weeds were growing up through the faux brick on the porch, being as it was almost 60 years old. (Bonus, we discovered the hole underneath the brick where the mice were getting into the house. It has now been plugged up.). It will add greatly to the curb appeal of the house and should help with resale value.

    Keeping an eye on that hurricane – I’m in Washington DC on business Tuesday to Friday of this coming week. I hope I’ll be able to fly out and get home. National Airport seems to close at the first hint of a raindrop.

    Tara’s questions:
    1. Hubby and I both wear cheaters from Dollar Tree. I went to an optometrist a few years back just for a baseline check-up, and he recommended I bump up one step – but, to his credit, didn’t try to sell me an expensive pair of prescription glasses. I buy a few extra pairs whenever I’m in DT, just to have on hand. Haven’t given much thought to eye drops and such, but it’s a good idea.

    2. Just plunked a celery butt (I don’t know what else to call it, the root end after you cut off the stalks) in water on the kitchen windowsill yesterday. That’s probably about it for winter planting, we’re still trying to declutter and clear out ahead of putting the house on the market in the spring. The Meyer lemon tree in the sunroom has a few fruits on it.

    3. I try to keep on hand only the nuts that we’ll use short-term (peanuts, mostly), as I find they go stale pretty quickly. I keep walnuts and almonds in the freezer.

    4. Even before we started seriously prepping, I had bought a BioLite camp stove. Have never used it, but it’s on my list of Ten Ways to Cook and Heat Water Without Electricity Around Here, along with a sun oven, two charcoal grills, a gas grill (I did an entire lobsterbake for friends on the gas grill two weekends ago), two fireplaces, a wood stove, an outdoor portable fireplace/fire pit, some sterno cans and a rack for them. First priority during the grid-down Ice Storm of 1998 was to make a pot of coffee!

      1. Yeah, the natives were pricey. DH said, “what are these, a dollar apiece?” Pretty close. But well worth it. And happy to support the local farmers and food producers. My sister has peach trees in southern Maine but I don’t know how they’re producing. Our dwarf nectarine got hit with a late frost so no production this year. But that Easy Peach Cobbler really is easy, and delicious!

      2. TOP, I just dug out the peach cobbler recipe. The original calls for a 13″x9″ pan. I do mine in an 8×8 Pyrex casserole dish. Makes a deeper and more moist cobbler. Also, when it says “melt butter in baking dish” – if using Pyrex, preheat the oven, put the butter in the baking dish, then put it in the oven until the butter melts. If using a metal baking pan, you obviously can melt the butter on the stovetop. Either way, you want the melted butter to coat the bottom of the dish. That’s how the magic happens.

        1. MaineBrain,
          Understood. That’s all pretty much common sense for someone who has been baking an cooking for nearly 50 years. My favorite baked item that isn’t a Snickerdoodle or toll house cookie, starts with butter and brown sugar in the bottom of the pan, then pineapple and maraschino cherries, topped with white or yellow cake batter. When toothpicks come out clean, you let it cool and flip it right side up from its upside down baking position. Ooey Gooey delicious.

    1. Here’s the easiest peach cobbler recipe if you have an event. (I don’t like this recipe because I think it is too sweet.) Take a 9x 14 pan and dump in three cans of peaches, add a box of butter recipe cake mix (dry box stuff), and then add two sticks of butter (melted(.

      Cook at 350 for 40-46 minutes.

      Trust me, folks will eat this up.

  8. A tip I read on another prepper website for those of you in hurricane country – or for all of us, really – if you have advance warning that the balloon is going to go up, put all your frozen foods in contractor grade garbage bags (must have the heavy duty ones, the flimsy ones won’t work), and then put the bags back in the freezer – closed, of course, with a twist tie or a knot in the ends. If grid down for more than 48 hours and you lose all your frozen food, it’s already bagged up, so all you have to do is remove and toss it. No having to deal with handling it or with the smell. Genius. Be sure to inventory it, you might be able to file a claim on your homeowner’s insurance for the loss.

    1. MaineBrain, sorry my friend but I intend on running the fridge and freezers unless the walls cave in.

      Auxiliary power, gas and solar, otherwise I will take your advice.

      1. Thor, I’m a big fan of backup power — a 2500 watt generator, bought on a whim when a local big box store was going out of business, saved our lives during the 1998 Ice Storm (we capitalize it around here because it was a Very Big Deal) — but 2500w was not enough to power the fridge, obviously (enough for the Monitor heater, one lamp, the TV set and the satellite dish box – the latter two critical for DH’s mental health!!). I took all the food out of the freezer on day two, cooked it on the gas grill, and figured out ways to repurpose it for meals. (WHAT was I thinking, buying that 24-pack of breakfast sausage for the two of us?? But they made good grab-and-go protein snacks.). Now we have a bigger generator and made it through a two-day outage over Christmas 2014 with no problems. Refrigerators running, water pump and water heater running, TV running thank goodness! BUT — if someone doesn’t have auxiliary power, gas and solar, and there is a risk that the freezer contents will be lost, better to bag it all up in advance than to have to handle it later when it’s a sorry (and possibly toxic) mess. Or, in colder climates, if it’s a winter event, cook everything, keep it outside in coolers, and repurpose for meals. But the put-it-in-contractor-bags advice is particularly pertinent for southern climates where outside “refrigeration” is not an option and, without backup power, the loss of freezer contents is a real threat.

        1. MaineBrain

          better to bag it all up in advance than to have to handle it later when it’s a sorry (and possibly toxic) mess. Or, in colder climates, if it’s a winter event, cook everything, keep it outside in coolers, and repurpose for meals.

          I don’t know why you would throw it out if you could cook it. Assuming you have a non-electric way to cook, even in the summer, properly prepared cooked food can last quite a while. Just baking food in canning jars and then capping the jars with the lids would buy you time, and save potentially precious nutrition and calories. Meats could be easily jerked in the oven as I did prior to having dehydrators and vegetables could be pickled.

          1. I am a big fan of “cook it”. I also stock our freezers with ziplock bags of ice cubes. The extra ice helps keep the temperature down longer. You know your food isn’t good if all the ice cubes melt.

          2. Bam Bam,

            I am a big fan of “cook it”. I also stock our freezers with ziplock bags of ice cubes. The extra ice helps keep the temperature down longer. You know your food isn’t good if all the ice cubes melt.

            Wee keep the refrigerator freezers (top section) partially full of loose ice cubes and trays; but, keep gallon milk jugs with water (ice) in the chest freezer for additional thermal mass. Given the same weight of ice in cubes and a block in a gallon plastic jug, the cubes will be melted long before the block in the jug. It has to do with how ice melts, around the exterior sides, and the many ice cubes have a much larger surface area in total from which to melt.

        2. OP and Bam Bam… Put some salt in SOME of those water jugs… just mark them so you don’t attempt to drink for fresh water.. It has to get colder for them to freeze, but also takes longer for them to thaw…so will keep the freezer longer… one trial I saw said at least 2 x a s long.

          1. Anonamo Also,

            OP and Bam Bam… Put some salt in SOME of those water jugs… just mark them so you don’t attempt to drink for fresh water.. It has to get colder for them to freeze, but also takes longer for them to thaw…so will keep the freezer longer… one trial I saw said at least 2 x a s long.

            Brine does indeed change the thawing / freezing point of water, which is why we put salt on our roads in the winter here in the north, and why you mix salt with the ice when you make homemade ice cream. Another thing that helps is to have thermal mass, meaning large blocks of ice (like gallon jugs) that also melt slower than bags of cubes.
            The procedure for doing this should be done in accordance with your own situation and needs. Using that ice for potable water can help alleviate some of the storage problame some may have; but, adding the salt can prolong the time a freezer stays cold, especially in an upright, where the cold falls to the floor, every time you open the door. Each situation requires analysis and execution for your own needs and situation.
            Road salt BTW is also why our vehicles rot out sooner than those in the south or places like AZ and why our local car washes have lines to them on any nice fall, winter, and spring day.

          2. I use the salt in jugs trick during the winter with my livestock. I float a salt water bottle in the chicken feeder and a jug in the goat trough. The herds and flocks have access to the pond and the large livestock the creek, but this past winter was so bad that the horses couldn’t use their hooves to crack the ice and when we took a tire iron to the ice it would only stay open for maybe 30 minutes, so I used jugs in a trough for them too – that bought them maybe two hours. I hate winter. We hadn’t had a real winter for several years, so it hindsight, it was a blessing so we don’t get out of practice for dealing with one.

        3. I have both an outside refrigerator and an outside freezer, both in the garage. With the new energy efficient models, our electric only went up by $30 per month. We more than offset that by purchasing meat on sale.

    2. MaineBrain,
      That’s a good idea and one we sort of do already. Everything in our chest freezer is inventoried and either bagged or placed in the small plastic milk crates, primarily for easy access then things are stacked several feet deep and wide. In our case the plan is to have enough power for lights, well pump, and refrigeration for 6 months or more, with enough fuel and consumables to keep the generator running nearly continuously for that amount of time.
      Another thing we do with the freezer unless it is stuffed completely full, is to rince out gallon and ½ gallon plastic milk jugs, fill them about 2/3 full of water and fill any empty freezer space with them. The water will freeze and in a power out situation will provide thermal mass to keep the contents colder longer. This is especially helpful with an upright freezer, where empty space is air that falls out onto the floor when you open the door, and this eliminates that problem and adds the thermal mass.

    3. MainBrain,

      We just stock ice cubes from our freezers. A full freezer full of ice cubes will stay cooler longer. We purchased a generator in 2004. We haven’t had to use it at all. But it is up and running if we get a hurricane.

    4. My thought in posting this was that, when things go seriously south, the frozen milk jugs melt, there’s no way to cook, (or let’s say you’re away from home for a week and your refrigerator dies on day two – as happened to a friend of mine who came home to a nasty, stinky mess), the black plastic bags get you around having to handle a nasty, stinky mess. Obviously, “cook it all” is the preferred option, but may not be possible in some scenarios. If I were in the Carolinas, I’d put all my frozen and refrigerator stuff in contractor bags (the stuff I wasn’t taking with me) before evacuating. If you can mitigate one messy clean-up job, it’s one less messy clean-up to deal with. The way we check the freezers when we’re away is to freeze a paper cup of water and then put a quarter on top of the ice. If the quarter isn’t on top when we get home, we know the water has melted and the freezer contents probably shouldn’t be trusted. BTW, prayers for all those in the path of the hurricane. It looks like a monster. My sister-in-law and her husband are in the Triangle and it looks like even they may be in for 2+ feet of rain. And I’m still worried about getting myself out of Washington DC before Friday if the storm turns north.

      1. MaineBrain,

        My thought in posting this was that, when things go seriously south, the frozen milk jugs melt, there’s no way to cook, (or let’s say you’re away from home for a week and your refrigerator dies on day two – as happened to a friend of mine who came home to a nasty, stinky mess), the black plastic bags get you around having to handle a nasty, stinky mess.

        I agree with your thoughts. My kid sister had to bug out from Key West north to the panhandle during Irma and her refrigeration equipment sat without power for most of a week, with the expected mess. Being retired with the same instincts and drive my whole family has, she dragged everything outside, hosed down the inside, and then purchased an Ozone generator for less than the cost of any of the equipment. She was with some diligent work, able to recover everything; but, I’ll still be passing the contractor bag trick on to her. I didn’t mean to dissuade anyone from doing this; but, with a whole house generator and multiple ways to cook, we have other options.

        If I were in the Carolinas, I’d put all my frozen and refrigerator stuff in contractor bags (the stuff I wasn’t taking with me) before evacuating. If you can mitigate one messy clean-up job, it’s one less messy clean-up to deal with.

        I would do the same, since I’m not sure how well even our generator would run in torrential wind driven rains.

        The way we check the freezers when we’re away is to freeze a paper cup of water and then put a quarter on top of the ice. If the quarter isn’t on top when we get home, we know the water has melted and the freezer contents probably shouldn’t be trusted.

        This is a neat trick; but, I’d probably only use a few pennies, LOL. This is the type of information that keeps me coming back here, since as the astronomer & heretic Galileo Galilei stated: “I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.” AND “We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.”
        BTW, ignorant was his word, and not reflective of my thoughts on the subject.
        I hope your trip to DC is uneventful; but, one thing we have going for us is mass media and NOAA keeping an eye on these things. The people of Galveston, TX in the Great Storm of 1900 (a category 4 hurricane) that left as many as 12,000 dead had very little warning and the island was inundated with 8-12 feet of storm surge. We at least get several days of warning, and if people are smart, they will heed the current mandatory evacuations, although there will no doubt be some idiots who try to ride it out, expecting first responders to rescue them when things turn sour.

  9. i’m ripping out my old pantry and insulating it and going to learn how to hang dry wall. my wife wants more storage , without going into the creepy basement.

    my wifes picking up these 4 gallon water bottles at work for free. so i’m trying to keep a few weeks supply of drinking water , at any given time.

    it’s been raining here all day, so i’ve used up the last of last years honey. making homemade granola with some apples of my own.
    which means i harvested the first of my apples , from my trees planted 3 years back. it’s only a few , but they were huge. [ida reds, super tart].

    looking at doing some apple cider in a few weeks also, when work slows down.

    1. BLACK,

      i’m ripping out my old pantry and insulating it and going to learn how to hang dry wall. my wife wants more storage , without going into the creepy basement.

      We need to talk again. Although it’s not my favorite task, I have hung a lot of drywall, have many of the tools, and I’m willing to help. And let’s be honest, if the DW took over the creepy basement, you might lose some of your sanctuary and reloading room, LOL.

    2. Wish I lived near you, I’d help you. I love doing Sheetrock, and I’m good at it( so I’ve been told). You will develop arm strength you’ve never had before, I’ll bet!

      1. Babycatcher,

        Wish I lived near you, I’d help you. I love doing Sheetrock, and I’m good at it( so I’ve been told). You will develop arm strength you’ve never had before, I’ll
        Abet!

        Black is a good friend and I’m willing to help him when he needs it. Drywall (aka sheetrock) is not my favorite thing to do; but, I have done plenty, I’m good at it, and have the tools. To me, cutting and hanging with nails or screws is no problem; but, the spackling and sanding to get that fine paintable finish is something I just find tedious.
        As for arm strength, he’s a farmer and one of the strongest people I know, with his 15 year old 6’ 5” still growing son, soon to give him a challenge.
        He is also a fellow ham operator as is his recently licensed boy.

  10. I spent $600 having the trees in my yard trimmed. Now I’m ready for hurricane season. I had them cut up the two big trees I had knocked down in the side yard and now I can smooth that out.

    I just got a new pair of glasses and next week my wife is having her cataract surgery. Fall is planting time here in north Florida. I plan on having collards, mustard greens, various types of lettuce, and starting more tomatoes now that it is cooling off.

  11. We had a beautiful Labor Day weekend, It was my Birthday weekend so another year older our weather in the Pacific Northwest, has changed by last Wednesday it was 73 degrees now we’re in the low 60’s even the cat, is coming in earlier it’s getting cold. I Spent Monday-Wednesday, mowing the yard cleaning up the greenhouse, and reorganizing it for Winter, put the law mower away and put the foam blocks in the foundation holes. Chopped all my plants back tied the raspberry canes and trimmed the grapes leaves to reshape them on the arbor. All I have left is clipping back the fuschias and putting them in the greenhouse too. I put out a phone call to Camping World, they are horrible to work with we need our camper back so we can get it ready for winter storage so waiting on them I will wait until Monday, afternoon if they don’t call get the Manager and let him know our issues and get my trailer fixed….. I did 6 quarts of Dill Pickles, usually I do more I did not put in a order for a box, so 3 pounds are good enough, I also bought a box of peaches, they will be ready by Monday, to can up. Bought 48 cans of soft cat food I had two coupons worth $2.00 each and I had $2.00 earned at Pet Smart so $6.00 off my order it was 16.00 total. I did some coupon shopping did a stock up at Winco, lots of dry foods, and tomatoes products saved $12.00 spent $72.00 really got alot great bang for my buck.. Did a Walmart haul, all the shampoos, and soaps, laundry soap and Bleach tabs by Evolve, have not tried but I like the smaller versions and it’s not liquid… So I spent $50.00 saving $23.00 in coupons, not bad for coupon deals.

    1. Almost forgot about the questions

      1. I stay up on glasses and contacts, with four of us wearing glasses, and three of us wear contacts Glasses are $55.00 for 2 pair, and contacts are $33.00 abox. I usually get a box each paycheck so one months is me next month is hubby and third month is daughter, and keep that up throughout the year.
      2.I have many plants for medical that we use
      3. Not really on nuts, I get them as I need them
      4. We don’t use a rocket stove or camping stoves we have a coleman, but we don’t use it at all.

  12. First Tara’s questions, or I may forget.
    1) This past summer I had cataract surgery on both eyes. I opted to have the astigmatism corrected at the same time. Insurance covered most of the cost.
    2) Garlic will be planted in the next two weeks. Bought some perennial herbs on sale last week and planted them in the new herb bed. Lavender, Lemon Balm and Rosemary. Will harvest rose hips just before Thanksgiving.
    3) Planted an almond tree 18 months ago. Thriving. Also store walnuts and pecans. There is a black walnut tree one block over and pecan trees a block past that.
    4) Most of my outdoor cooking ware is cast iron. Chuck wagons are still common around here. Have cooked over a #10 can. Also have a solar oven, but it is heavy.

    I have been busy with some work related items so only processed about 20 pounds of tomatoes. Some salsa some marinara sauce. Making pickles now. My Cherokee beans are ready to harvest, but I need to research more. The first handful I saved sprouted. Bush beans are slowing down, Still great cucumbers. The squash bugs are getting ahead of me. But have over two dozen acorn squash stored. Butternut aren’t ripe yet. Lots of good pumpkin almost ready to pick and can. I am really happy about my garden but one of the neighbors made a negative remark about it looking like I was turning into one of those prepper’s. Just told her we were trying to eat healthier by staying away from processed food.

    Training for an Xtreme Hike. Endurance counts more than speed at my age.

    Prayers for those in need including Mrs. Thor. Keep an eye out for those hurricanes!

  13. Hi Pack,
    Looks like everyone has been busy. My computer was off line and had to use an alternate one for 11 days… result was less than stellar.so just did e mails..
    I am glad Mrs Thor is home . Liver issues are hard, need to ask specialist, re: milk thistle. Had a friend with fatty liver who began it on specialists recommendation…In final days Dr said it had extended his life by two years, even tho he began when had almost no liver function.
    I have work projects that affect extended family ongoing and several projects for rennovation are in the works. Making a place for and Moving building supplies is first necessary step to getting work completed.
    our two raised beds are winding down.. few tomatoes, okra still doing well, volunteer cucumbers attacked and one set is gone. one is blooming again. and new pot of cucumbers is beginning to bloom. and run. put a tomato cage on them today.
    Poblanos are blooming still , and the grape tomato is suddenly blooming and showing off. The sweet potatoes are still blooming. first check is encouraging. will dig jut before first frost should have a couple more weeks at least…8 slips were planted 4-5 weeks behind the one i checked today….still watering and adding chicken poo tea for main fertlizer.
    Baby chicks are doing well. Love the Columbian Wyandots… they are really calm birds. The Americana’s are flighty. Sex Links and RIR coops have been combined(7 with roo) into the chicken tractor. Something got one of the Polish hens who did not have enough sense to find the door of the coop after free ranging for a couple of hours….did not see or hear any noise. so no more free ranging in grass, next free ranging they do will be in freezer.Giving them extra grains and lots of grass clippings,and fresh pulled grass. Worked on getting more garden area prepared for next year.. cleaning up old grasses and in process of putting down cardboard and layers of composting materials…sawdust, grass, coop cleanings, and kitchen scraps not given to chickens…crushed egg shells and coffee grounds…still need to haul more sawdust, ect.
    questions.
    Eyecare. Have several bottles of sterile saline…any of these when unopened, remain sterile, can be used for eye wash as needed. NOTE:sterile saline nose spray is just saline packaged in a different kind of bottle. …. sterile saline can be made. find recipe on line, copy it and put in the binder under a heading for health….. when possible, add a few pints of filtered water to a canner that would not be full otherwise.if you need saline can add salt to it in prescribed amounts…as needed. my eyes change so fast no keeping scripts current. bifocals with astignatism…. eyes flipped several years ago went from near sighted to far sighted. So those whose vision is stable.. Do not take it for granted.!
    Garlic was not dug and will come up in the spring. I have some new sweetgum sprouts to gather for tincture.( tamiflu) then will lower their roots once again. few cooking herbs have survived our move. sage bed was re worked today, and was fertlized. Have gathered the mints and they are drying.Pain tincture has been made and is effective for both sleeplessness and nerve pain.must have veggie caps to put it in. taste is horrid.Must eat after taking to protect stomach.
    we don’t do nuts…in volume. buy a package or 3 along as needed..don’t care for rancid nuts.too expensive to feed he chickens. We buy peanut butter, natural with oil on top…ingredients list says: peanuts and salt. it keeps up to 18 months past its use by date..
    Don’t camp.Don’t use any hobo type stove, have one, never used. have blocks to stack rocket stove ..in back. have grill, smoker, gas stove and way to convert it to propane and propane.

    We have two new [email protected] our house..about 7.5 weeks old now..one is to go to DD next weekend. Had to get them early, Mother weaned due to low milk supply. They are in housebreaking mode, not sure who is training whom. They do know the word NO, they learned it as they were walzing thru the okra today.
    Prayers for the pack, for spoken and unspoken needs. esp.. Thor and family. Blessed babies that have passed prematurely and their families.
    take care and Keep on, Keeping on! doing the things you need to do to secure your family.

    1. AA,

      You can give nursing dogs plain yogurt and that will help with the milk supply. That’s a trick I learned from the Wolffeman’s breeders.

      1. Bam Bam, I will pass that tick on to the ones we got the pups from. They may need it…if hey fail to nuter/spay one of those dogs.

  14. 1) . How are you prepping to deal with eye care needs during a long-term disaster?
    Regular eye exams now, extra pairs of glasses when the excrement hits the oscillator

    2. Are you doing any fall planting – medicinal or otherwise?
    I hope to. Been playing catch up in the garden and flower beds. Have several gallons of grapes to turn into wine, just put up 9 half pints of cherry jam tonight, will do more, and have put up 7 quarts of spaghetti sauce, 10 quarts of squash and the same of tomatoes, have 2-3 bushels of pears ripening to turn into slices and pear butter. Put up my first batch of elderberries, will be making tincture in a couple of weeks.

    3. Do you stockpile nuts of any variety and how are they are part of your preps?
    Mostly freeze store bought walnuts and pecans. Hubby limits his fats and salt.

    4. What’s your experience with camping kettles and/or rocket stoves?
    We just bought a Jet boil, on sale at REI. We have a small camping stove, a Coleman, a Sun oven and lots of cast iron. I think we’re covered. Haven’t tried the Jetboil yet. Will be doing some camping/Parks On The Air (ham radio) this fall. Will do a review when we get back.

    1. Babycatcher,

      Regular eye exams now, extra pairs of glasses when the excrement hits the oscillator

      Preventive care of all types is important prior to any stressful event.
      I like your SHTF metaphor and often use: “Manure hits the impeller” myself.

      Hubby limits his fats and salt.

      I think the oils from some nuts, especially Walnuts are considered heart healthy and are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.

      We just bought a Jet boil, on sale at REI..

      I have some of those you use also; but, for anyone interested, I also have several generic versions of the Jet Boil that work well at substantially less cost, It uses the same propane / butane mix canister and may be found here: https://www.ebay.com/p/Etekcity-E-gear-Ultralight-Portable-Outdoor-Backpacking-Camping-Stoves/2254395896?iid=263877612621&chn=ps
      The entire stove fits into a little orange plastic container that fits in your pocket.

  15. Tara, you may do better splitting that hickory if you do it when the wood is still green.
    We have raised bed gardens. Last year, I couldn’t properly prepare them for this year. Our soil is very poor, so every year, at the end of the garden season, we cover each bed with about 3 inches of horse manure, turning that into the soil in the spring before planting. The soil is slowly becoming better, but we still have to use a little chemical fertilizer. The goal is to eliminate that completely and use only compost.

    1. Billy T,

      Never thought of splitting it green, that just seemed like a big no-no. Our winter and what was supposed to be spring was so wet and cold – until nearly May, everything was waterlogged and was hard to even reach the cut threes in the woods. We use horse manure as the basis for our compost pile – plenty of that around here. I have written articles about natural fertilizers that really work and will dig out a few links for you. What type of soil do you have?

      1. Just a suggestion. We never heated with hickory because we had a plethora of chestnut oak, red oak, blackjack oak and white oak. Anyway, the big oak rounds split quite well green, so I thought hickory might also, as long as it is straight grained.

  16. Still recovering from the bad storm a few weeks back. Winds took out a lot of trees, one on the neighbors property (about an 80 foot pine) that fell on to my big oak that fell on the shop and the end of the house where my radio shack was set up. We were asleep when they all started to come down and it scared heck out of us. In the light of day and my flashlights (I have a lot of them) I was able to assess most of the damage. A lot of the shop was flattened and there are still a lot of tools buried under the debris and tree limbs. The part of the house lost roof ceiling and part of the wall. Radios, antenna outside that room, all smashed. Gun safe in the closet bent in pretty bad and I still haven’t been able to get the door opened up enough to see if the long guns are hurt too bad.

    Many of the neighbors suffered like fates with trees across the roads and on houses. I spent a lot of time with my small chain saw clearing limbs and parts of trees that I could move so the traffic and emergency vehicles could have access to the neighbors. I started cutting around the shop and found I was luck that the tree took out the end opposite of where I park my hot rod (a 1923 Ford T Bucket) so it wasn’t hurt. The rest of the trunk will take a bigger boy and a bigger saw than me to move.

    Insurance is moving very slow on this and may end up not paying for anything under the “Act of God” clause so that’s a pretty big hit.

    I am shopping for replacement radios and antenna but funds are short and it’s not as high a priority as getting the roof fixed on the house (tarps and plastic are not a good look as far as I’m concerned). On the good side the emergency food and handguns and a lot of ammo are all in the dungeon and weren’t touched.

    Cell phones were spotty due to some electrical problems at the towers and with no handi-talkies I was out of comms with Ham friends for a couple of days. Indications to me that I’ll need to set up redundant means of communication without everything being in one room.

    So, that’s been my several weeks. My home office was not hit so I’ve been able to work from home but have not had a lot of time to check in here.

    More bad weather is coming but looks like it will be north of Georgia for the most part. I still have some big trees that stood up to the wind but no idea if their root balls are weakened from the stress and rain. At least we aren’t living in a tent in the back yard and the kitchen is intact.

    Enjoy what’s left of the summer.

    1. CLiff,

      Cell phones were spotty due to some electrical problems at the towers and with no handi-talkies I was out of comms with Ham friends for a couple of days. Indications to me that I’ll need to set up redundant means of communication without everything being in one room.

      This one sentence should be a message to all of us. As hams we try to convince the non-hams that zero bars is quite possible in an emergency, although some, even in the fire and other emergency services don’t seem to get the message. As hams, we too often set up our shacks with all of our various communications in one convenient place, and I am also mostly in that mode. I can sit in one chair and hit HF, VHF, UHF repeaters & simplex as well as some local public service frequencies I support. I’m in process of setting up a cross band repeater and a DMR node that will allow me to hit numerous distant places with a few HT’s anywhere on the property; but, this is something I’ve been working on slowly, and your experience tells me I should get things completed ASAP.
      As for your insurance companies “ Act of god” provision, I would fight that one, since it would include wind damage, or even a lightning strike on a local power line that comes into your house and perhaps other things. They need to spell out what that phrase means, because in the literal sense it could well mean anything they want it to mean. Someone driving a vehicle falling ill from a stroke or heart attack and running off the road into your house, could potentially be argued as an “Act of God” by deeming that God caused or allowed the initial health event. This reminds me of a time years ago when a friend had something stolen and after a several month long investigation by the local sheriff’s office deemed him to have no fault, was told “It looks like we’re going to have to pay you.”

      So, that’s been my several weeks. My home office was not hit so I’ve been able to work from home but have not had a lot of time to check in here.

      Thanks for little favors on your office, and while you get things fixed on your end, we’ll keep the lights on here. 73’s.

      1. TOP, did want to mention that in the midst of all this I did listen to your Thursday night net, week before last, on the computer on your scanner page. I really enjoyed the discussion about what to do for the winter as far as outside work is concerned. Lots of interesting ideas and insight in how people are planning. The XYL that was talking about battery backups for her gear was steered toward getting a good UPS and that is wise advice. A UPS will kick in with no loss if the power goes off and all my computers run off them and they don’t reboot when the power blinks, but the main benefit of the UPS over batteries is not having to crawl under the desk to hook them up in the dark. Thanks very much for the link.
        73

        1. Cliff,

          TOP, did want to mention that in the midst of all this I did listen to your Thursday night net, week before last, on the computer on your scanner page. I really enjoyed the discussion about what to do for the winter as far as outside work is concerned. Lots of interesting ideas and insight in how people are planning.

          Glad you enjoyed it. We run that net every Thursday @ 20:00 Eastern with a new NCS every week in a rotation, trying to get the newest technicians involved. Picking the topic is perhaps the hardest job for the NCS, LOL.

          The XYL that was talking about battery backups for her gear was steered toward getting a good UPS and that is wise advice. A UPS will kick in with no loss if the power goes off and all my computers run off them and they don’t reboot when the power blinks, but the main benefit of the UPS over batteries is not having to crawl under the desk to hook them up in the dark.
          I hadn’t thought about crawling under the desk; but, that’s a great point. The XYL is Gayle and is totally blind, so we try and help where we can. I have UPS units on all of our computers, satellite dishes, and HDTV’s, as well as some lamps with LED bulbs, primarily to ride out the power glitches we get here on a rural cooperative. I now have a whole house auto start generator; but, on a power outage, even that doesn’t come online and switch the house for 20-30 seconds, so the UPS units still help there. I have a large 2100 VA UPS I installed to run my entire shack and it works quite well, except on occasion running HF I get signals into the unit and it shuts down. I’m chasing that gremlin now.

          Thanks very much for the link.

          You are quite welcome, and may listen any time. If you have a computer, internet and a microphone & speaker, you may also join the net via Echolink and we have people do that all of the time. Actually, once you get authorized to use Echolink, you can operate stations, even HF around the world from your desk or from your smart phone, so in the short term, you can still operate; however, it’s phone only and no CW at any speed.
          The link Cliff is talking about BTW is: http://ohiohams.net/ and anyone can hit the scanner feed link to hear what’s going on using our local repeater, with a weekly net, Thursday night @ 20:00 (8:00 PM) Eastern. You’ll no doubt hear my melodious voice along with lots of others and a variety of topics.

    2. Wow, Cliff, that’s quite a hit. Glad you made it through safely. Stuff can be replaced. I know it sounds dismissive but it’s true – as long as you get out with your life, the rest of it is just stuff.

      1. MB, I know it is just stuff and that is why I get up each morning and go to work and keep on doing what I’ve always done (pray, work, love, do what I can for other people and then think about stuff). We have what we need for emergency, other than the radios and maybe the long guns and maybe not them, but we’ve got food and water and I have sufficient handguns and ammo to handle what may need to be handled.

        Losing stuff is a push back from where I was but we will just dig in deeper and recover as best we can. We have a contractor coming to fix the roof and ceiling and wall of the house, the insurance is going to pay for that. They won’t replace any of my radios so it’ll be a little while before I am back on the air. They also won’t replace the furniture since the room with the radios is also a spare bedroom. I am having to clear most of the debris myself but I have a friend that has a tree service and he’s willing to grind the branches and he has the equipment to take away the oak (he can sell that for pretty good money so he’ll keep the money for his effort and clear a lot of it for me). The pine I’ll cut into manageable pieces and carry them off into the woods behind the house so they can return to nature.

        In the final analysis, we escaped with no injuries, the dogs did soil the carpet since it scared the stuff out of them but that cleaned up. I am just thankful that we weren’t hurt and are able to recover. I learned some important lessons about myself and my personal drive and even with my somewhat advanced age (67) and various physical challenges, there is very little I can’t do given time and pacing myself. My brain works well and I can figure out how to get everything back to normal or whatever the new normal is. The radio shack will go to the dungeon, new multi-band dipoles will be hung and redundant radio gear will be installed in the car and the truck. If the long guns are bad I’ll see what I can rebuild out of the leftovers. DW and I will survive and we won’t sit down on the pity pot or shake our fist at God. God’s plan is not for me to know and if he chooses to throw more challenges in front of me then I’ll just accept them and keep on going.

        Take care if you are in the path of the oncoming storms. It sure seems like our country is either trying to burn itself down, flood itself and the people or hit it with storms from every angle, plus our internal strife makes me believe that another seal or two from Revelation has been broken.

        1. Cliff,
          Just a few more comments.
          Your radios may be able to be salvaged. I’ve found my old Kenwood’s to be rather resilient and if I recall, you are using a Kenwood Ts-440S that can be purchased use for around $350.00. I run a TS-440 & have both a TS-430 & a TS-130. Antennas are just coax, wires, and something to hold each end.
          And a final thing, 67 is not old!!!! LOL

          1. TOP, I have/had a TS-430S it’ll have to be replaced and a Yeasu 450-D and I didn’t know they would flatten as bad as they did. The 430 has been my favorite for years, not so much the Yeasu as you have to go through too many menus to make minor changes. My 430 had the MARS mods from my years in Air Force MARS and I really like the general coverage HF frequencies for SWL. Right now they are boat anchors at best with no salvageable parts other than the dial off the 430. I’ll be shopping ebay for a 430 or 440 shortly once I recoup some of the money I’ve spent on repairs. I’ve got spare coax and wire (spell check changed that to wife instead of wire and I don’t have one of those) and am adept at dipole building. There are still some tall trees to string to and I just need to see if my bow and quiver are ok in the same closet with the gun safe, and I’ll be able to hang new wires pretty high up in the trees. Then just a question of driving new ground rods on that side of the house and moving some of my other junk out of the dungeon to make room for an operating position and I should be good to go.

            I worked on the long gun safe for a while and got the door partially opened. I got out the Rossi Triplet (20 gauge, 22LR and .243 single shot, interchangeable barrels) and it being short it’s OK, the others not so good. I’ll have to look at new stocks for several and there looks like, from what I can see, some bent barrels that I may be able to replace or maybe not. The safe, while not the strongest in the world, was more for storage than security and it looks like someone dropped a 500 pound rock on the top. I’m not sure, even if I had a fancy safe that it would have stood up to that kind of pounding.

            Anyway, I’ve got projects on projects, got to redo the gutter catchment system as it is completely flattened out on the shop. With the hurricane coming we may get a lot of rain down in my part of Georgia and if so I need to restock on rainwater.

    3. That’s awful. I’ll take a couple lessons from your misfortune. It’s obvious I need to add redundancy in more areas. I’ll pray you find more good stuff under the debris than you expect.

  17. haven’t been in here in quite awhile!! gardens almost done need to get ready to plant garlic. have parsnips and beets left but later in the season. bought an instant pot to save time cooking stuff. just finished filling and treating my 55 gallon drum with gas for emergencies this winter. that hurt the wallet!! lol we are still scraping and painting the house and repairing anything thats not good.this is yr 2 on the house! retired 2 yrs ago and am trying to get caught up on all the things we neglected when i was working! hope everyone here makes it through the hurricane ok!!

  18. I guess my long term prep for the week was having my gall bladder removed (hence the late post)! Won’t have to worry about that in the future, LOL! Totally unplanned… The rains from Gordon (and my inability to get to the garden) led to a lot of split tomatoes. Still lots of green ones, but now we are looking at more rain from Florence, and little sun inbetween, so IDK how much more we will be getting from the garden. Been watching Remedy, a web series about natural remedies, which has been very interesting. Along with that, I attained certification in Home Medicine 101 over at The Grow Network. (Sensing a theme here?) As a medical professional long attuned to the strengths and weaknesses of our allopathic system of medicine, I have long wanted to learn more natural ways, and am finally following throough on it. Western medicine has its strengths (and I am grateful for the care I received, believe me) but have long thought that there has to be a better way of promoting wellness (which we all know is NOT a strenth of Western medicine).

    For Tara’s questions:

    Eye care: I wear glasses for distance currently. Last time I had my eyes checked, they said my near vision was just a little off. I think there is a conspiracy out there, that all print keeps getting smaller and smaller (I swear, I have a document from work 6 months ago, and the updated version print is half the size, seriously, I am not the only one who’s noticed!) So, I have been using a magnifying glass for a lot of things. SO. I do need a fresh eye exam, and possibly look at getting some readers (Thank goodness they are inexpensively obtained!) I will get my new glasses and a back up pair (I got one with my last pair from a place Coastal.com where I got a free pair, just paid SH, not sure if the offer is still valid). I thought about LASIK but with an astigmatism and my age, I have heard from multiple sources that it would need to be redone again, maybe 5-10 years? So I will accrue glasses while I can, as well as readers and magnifying glasses.

    Fall planting, well, I had started some more snap peas, but they didn’t make it. So I threw out a handful more seeds, we will see what happens with them. I may do so lettuce in containers. I also want to experiment with growing things indoors over the winter since I have a grow light system now. Probably stick with herbs and lettuces this winter.

    We don’t eat a lot of nuts here, so I don’t store them. I also have no experience with rocket stoves or camp kettles.

    OOH…DH did score a Coleman Roadtrip grill for cheap at a yard sale, just needs cleaned up, and we ordered new burners for it. It has the cast iron grill plates, and we also ordered a griddle plate for it. It runs off the small canisters but can also be used with larger tanks (and we already have the adapter hose, for use with our other propane devices).

    Praying for all those in the path of Florence (several good friends are in the area), and prayers for all of the group!

    1. Grammyprepper,

      I guess my long term prep for the week was having my gall bladder removed (hence the late post)! Won’t have to worry about that in the future, LOL! Totally unplanned…

      I understand the unplanned nature of such things. Back in 2012 I had a period where I felt like warmed over crap, like someone had just drained all of the energy from me. When I finally went to see my primary care doctor, she took one look at me and said, “You are sicker than even you think” and sent me to the local Emergency Department while she called ahead for them to expect me. I remember that date because it happened to be the date of the Ohio Valley / Mid-Atlantic Derecho of June 29, 2012 a Friday I’ll long remember. While at the local E.D. the sky darkened and the wind blew to the point that many of the doors to the E.D. were opening and closing. They told me I had pancreatitis and transported me to Columbus via ambulance. At the hospital they were on emergency power so there was no A/C and not even any ice, to help on that hot evening. Within a few hours the power was back on; but, the local cable TV system was out, so for the next 5 days the TV only had the “Welcome to the hospital” and “Taking your new baby home” channels. They found gall stones and removed my gall bladder on the 3rd of July and sent me home on the 4th. Within a few days I was back up and running and I hope your recovery will be quick also, since the OHG gathering will be here in a week or so and the DW & I plan to attend.

      The rains from Gordon (and my inability to get to the garden) led to a lot of split tomatoes. Still lots of green ones, but now we are looking at more rain from Florence, and little sun in between, so IDK how much more we will be getting from the garden.

      Gordon dropped 3.5 inches of rain here, with a 3+ day 24 hour drizzle; but, we actually needed it, and it at least was not a gulley washer.

      Been watching Remedy, a web series about natural remedies, which has been very interesting.

      Thanks for the mention, I’ve looked it up and will add it to the list.

      As a medical professional long attuned to the strengths and weaknesses of our allopathic system of medicine, I have long wanted to learn more natural ways, and am finally following throough on it. Western medicine has its strengths (and I am grateful for the care I received, believe me) but have long thought that there has to be a better way of promoting wellness (which we all know is NOT a strenth of Western medicine).

      I would point out that our allopathic system cured diseases that prior to its use were incurable, like small pox and basic infections that used to be a death sentence. As for promoting or not promoting wellness, I don’t think it is western medicine as much as western culture. Eating correctly, exercising and staying away from bad habits, like smoking are well known ways to promote health; but, our doctors can only suggest and prescribe these things with no way to force people to do the right thing. I have a good friend who is an E.R. doc and when she was doing her internship she met an older doctor who had been doing primary care and was switching to emergency medicine. It seemed he had grown tired of lying to patients and pretending he enjoyed seeing them, when they lied to him regularly. When Mrs. Smith had put on weight, had her sugar still out of control; but, swore she had been exercising and staying on her diet, when all of the facts told the real story, he would then tell her how nice it was to see her again, a lie on his part that he was tired of telling.

      Eye care: I wear glasses for distance currently. Last time I had my eyes checked, they said my near vision was just a little off. I think there is a conspiracy out there, that all print keeps getting smaller and smaller (I swear, I have a document from work 6 months ago, and the updated version print is half the size, seriously, I am not the only one who’s noticed!) So, I have been using a magnifying glass for a lot of things.

      I had 20/20 vision well into my 30’s and was told by an eye doctor that when I turned 40 I would need corrective lenses. I laughed him off; but, I swear that on my 40th birthday, I woke up and things were getting blurry. I guess the flexible part of the eye begins to age and start to catch up with us around 40 when we start to notice.

      Fall planting, well, I had started some more snap peas, but they didn’t make it. So I threw out a handful more seeds, we will see what happens with them. I may do so lettuce in containers. I also want to experiment with growing things indoors over the winter since I have a grow light system now. Probably stick with herbs and lettuces this winter.

      We’ll be moving some containers with late tomatoes into the green house and may try to start some lettuce and herbs. We will be planting garlic in about 3 ½ weeks.

      We don’t eat a lot of nuts here, so I don’t store them. I also have no experience with rocket stoves or camp kettles.
      We need to get together and at least show you the wonderfull things you can do with a Dutch oven.

    2. Grammyprepper-
      I hope your recovery will be speedy. I did an Internet search for Remedy and did not find a link to a series. Is it on You Tube?

      1. For Moe, and others interested, I found this link to sign up for the series I mentioned, Remedy: Ancient Medicine for Modern Illness. As we are on episode 9, IDK if this link will work for you or not. I am sure the series will air again. You know, they have to sell the DVDs, LOL. But seriously, LOADED with great information.

        https://remedy.thesacredscience.com/register-g

  19. Okay, I just have to jump into the mayo/miracle whip debate here!

    I am mayo all the way!

    The only way I like miracle whip is my mom’s macaroni salad! Hers is the one everyone asks to be made for family get togethers. I use her same recipe but with mayo, and it just isn’t quite the same.

    I know it is a taste thing, and being raised one way or another influences taste. Mom has always been a miracle whip fan, but I grew to dislike that taste and appreciate mayo. I like the tanginess of mayo over the sweetness of miracle whip.

  20. Did you get your hay baler going? The older one need the older thicker string to tie right. I am thinking you may have a old MF 12 or similar model. they will tie the new slick stuff but the knot pulls out before it gets tight. I have a picture of the kind you need but can’t attach. If u tell me what you have I may have a manual

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