What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week: August 16th – August 22nd 2020

new red gates on the homestead

Hello Pack. It has been an incredibly busy week here on our survival homestead. The gas company pipeliners are now finally all done working across our land and using our farm road as a temporary access road.

The workers were all very respectful of our land, and waved at the grandkiddos every time we rode up near the worksite on the side-by-side so they could watch all of the heavy equipment in action.

The back half stretch across our upper pasture that was part of the existing gas company lease and was used again for the new pipeline project has been seeded and covered with straw, and will hopefully be growing robustly as soon as we get the rain we are supposed to this weekend.

Fencing and gates are back up on the sides of the property that had to be opened up for work and pretty new gates (shown in feature photo) block the temporary access road leading into the pasture.

That area was heavily wooded before but now we have both standing timber heading off the sawmill and firewood cut from the space as well as a nice new trail road for hiking, ATVs, and horses.

The pathway is still highly obscured by woods, and not accessible from the front part of the property, which is a huge OPSEC bonus.

Firewood splitting and stacking is going on in earnest now in preparation for colder weather that will unfortunately be here before we know it.

Canning and dehydrating the bounty from our garden, apothecary patch, and foraging also kept our tribe quite busy this week.

Now that the pipeline project through our land is over, we can finish hauling down the timber that was cut along the upper pasture, and use the funds from it to get Bobby’s new workshop built.

Hopefully, the concrete pad will go down next week, and once it has cured the three shipping containers will be placed in a “U” type shape.

Next, a roof will be built across the two side shipping containers so equipment can be driven up onto it for work outside of the weather.

A little porch will be built onto the front of each container, one will be used for blacksmithing and the other for pottery, as I believe I have mentioned before. A new reloading shed will also be a part of this ongoing project.

This Week’s Questions

  1. If you could spend between $5,000 to $10,000 on a new prepping project, what would you build or buy, and why?
  2. What are your most time consuming fall prepping projects to help get ready for winter?
  3. What do you think will happen to America after the presidential election if President Trump wins, or if he loses in November?`
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 →

58 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week: August 16th – August 22nd 2020

  1. Hello everyone,
    I am still canning like crazy. The grape harvest is over but the roma’s are just now ripening. I may need to cross the Mississippi in a few weeks. Want to stay south of St. Louis by hours. Does anyone know if the route through Sikeston is good?

    Tara’s questions:
    1. A solar powered greenhouse.
    2. Canning.
    3. I don’t know-it depends on the closeness of the vote I think.

    1. We travel from Sikeston to Southern Illinois and have never had any problems. If you need a place to stay, try Marion, IL. While you’re there, check out the Shawnee National Forest. That’s my area of the woods.

    1. Tara’s questions:
      1. If you could spend between $5,000 to $10,000 on a new prepping project, what would you build or buy, and why? This is a toss-up between a solar array, a greenhouse and a well. I think a well would be most beneficial over the long-haul, but the solar array would be needed to keep the refrigerators and freezers running. I also need a greenhouse for those plants that don’t survive our freezes – lemon tree, avocado trees, turmeric, ginger, citronella geranium and various other house plants.

      2. What are your most time-consuming fall prepping projects to help get ready for winter? Preserving the summer harvest. Planting and preparing the fall/winter garden. I have been pulling plants past their prime and replacing them with cool weather crops. We moved firewood earlier in the summer, so there’s no need for that this year. We also have to move the plants that won’t survive back into the house.

      3. What do you think will happen to America after the presidential election if President Trump wins, or if he loses in November? Trying to think positively about it is difficult. I pray nearly daily that there are enough people who have awakened to the BS of the left so that Trump will win.

      4. What did you do to prep this week? Received more boxed milk. Received 7.62×51 ordered last week. Placed an order for 5.56. Went to the grocery store to replace items used and add to the rotation. Getting in the habit of buying two when replacing one – use one, buy two; use one, buy two. Bought more Tonic Water. Restarted my physical training plan. Trying to catch up on preserving garden items. Dehydrated multiple trays of tomatoes – making tomato powder. More tomatoes are in the dehydrator now along with okra and cilantro (in the second dehydrator). Dehydrating every bit of okra I get from the garden as I only had a few plants survive this spring – apparently I have a slug problem this year that ate several of my seedlings. Took the last of my squash (that didn’t go bad in the refrigerator) to make (refrigerator) pickled squash. Was gifted a really nice mandolin from someone in the restaurant business and got to try it out yesterday – still have all my fingers!

      Nemo Setos questions:
      1. Have you ever tried pickled apples? I have eaten the spiced apple rings in years past, but I’ve never pickled apples – now I’m craving spiced apples. I have also made apple cider vinegar from cores and peels many times.

      2. When preparing apples to can do your dogs keep stealing them? (seriously my dogs keep eating all the apples, I let them out and the first thing they do is go find a few drop apples before they do anything else). No dogs, but we have to lock one of the cats in the bathroom to keep her off the kitchen counters when doing anything with food.

      3. Fishing for advice and other perspectives on the bathroom shelf conundrum. Tough one for me as I get pretty ripe smelling when I work outside and/or just get sweaty, but storage space is an issue many of us face. If moisture is the main issue, find items that can be stored in there anyway. Maybe sealed buckets?

      Prepared Grammy’s questions:
      1. For those of you who do a fall garden, what do you plant? I have the most success with turnips (I prefer the root over the greens), but also plant (or have planted) kale, broccoli, radishes, carrots, beets and brussels sprouts. I’m getting better with radishes and carrots. Did ok with broccoli and kale, but haven’t had much success with the beets and brussels sprouts. This year, I’ve added peas and potatoes, but may have planted the potatoes too early because my tomatoes are producing longer than expected. (Any advice on the potatoes? They are in the two rows next to my paste tomatoes.) First frost will kill the tomatoes, but it will take a hard frost or two to completely kill my pepper plants.

      2. Do you have powdered milk? How do you store it? Yes. I have some #10 cans of Morning Moos from Auguson farms and some pouches of regular powdered milk from Kroger in the cabinet – still in the original packaging. I prefer Parmalat, but it takes up a good bit of space compared to powdered.

      Thor’s questions:
      1. Are you exercising to get in better shape? Yes – I do better with my exercise plan when it’s not gardening season, but I’ve restarted my running plan in the last week (again) and I’m attempting to get into a routine with some light strength training. The last couple of times I’ve tried to restart the running, my knees have complained a lot, so I’m taking it slow and keeping my stride short. I also think the strength training will help with the knee issues.

      2. Do you use whey protein powder for a source of protein? I have in the past, but not on a regular basis in the last three years. I still have some on the shelf and use it periodically – like if I’m in the mood for a smoothie.

      3. Do you use pellet guns as a cheaper way to target practice? No, but the DH uses one on the tree rats when they get overly confident around the bird feeders.

      4. Do you walk or jog a mile a day? Not daily – at least not yet.

      5. What do you grow indoors in the winter? I have a lemon tree and three avocado trees that come inside the house in the winter (I really need a greenhouse). I start my first round of seedlings for the garden in January and February.

      Statins…I take Crestor and the DH takes Lescol currently. I also take Vitamin D3 (5,000 per day), CoQ10 and Krill Oil. When I was first put on cholesterol medicine, I was put on Vytorin. I had it changed when I learned about some not so great side effects – one being muscle cramps. I can’t remember what the DH was taking originally, but it took him a while to find one that didn’t cause chest pains and didn’t cause what he called “brain fog”. Since beginning to take cholesterol medicine, I have learned that Tonic Water is good for muscle cramps and cholesterol is NECESSARY to have proper brain function. There really is such a thing as lowering your cholesterol too much.

      A newly remodeled Kroger re-opened near us so we decided to give it a try. Aside from being huge, the shelves were quite well stocked. Certain sizes of soft drinks were unavailable and there was no pre-made chicken salad (something the DH was trying to find), but overall ok. When we went to do our grocery run this week, we went back to the Kroger in Gainesville (GA) and they had none of the soft drinks the DH drinks. He drinks tea or caffeine free diet Pepsi only. We will have to see if the new Kroger still has some.

  2. Taras Questions:

    1. thats easy, first i would go buy a pair of boots, then a second pair and then half a dozen pairs to be sure, then refill a bunch of misc stuff i need, then i would put the rest into buying a disk harrow and having the rest of the stumps pulled at my place and have the root cellar done.

    2 no specific time consming project, everything takes time given everything is hand powered. really the big thing i do before winter is refill supplies for winter since its harder and harder to actually go out between november and may and i mostly live on whats here.

    3 well the way 2020 is going with all the disasters i would say biden will win but just barelly then have a massive stroke when he is told he won and we will then have leftist commi-cal elitist harris take the presidency before biden could even be sworn in, thats the kinda year this has been so far. really no way to say other than things gonna get real ugly.

    what i did this week: cut and stacked 3 full cords of firewood, finished the addition on my cabin (finished the insulation work and put half inch boards over the walls), cleaned my cabin (swept so much dog fur out of the rugs it looked like i had a 3rd dog). did more canning (mostly peppers, tomato’s, and apples). got a free enclosed trailer (though that may have been last week, i can’t recall, it had several breaks in the frame that needed serious welding, works as a shed but not as a trailer, i didn’t actually go looking for it, someone i know dragged it to my place and gave it to me). not sure what to do with it but the leading idea is to bury it into the hillside as a root cellar.

    sliced the tip of my left thumb half way off when i slipped cutting up foam board insulation, just slapped some bandages on it and got back to work (working without using thumb anyway). this morning i went out with bike and trailer to take a trash can of recycling 11 miles to the transfer station (free to drop off), bike got a flat 2miles before i got there, and i walked rest of the way pushing, i spent 15 minutes trying to get tire off to patch tube but not possible without both hands, so i begrudgingly called someone to ask for a ride.

    also on monday my almost new hiking boots fell apart, the rubber treads flopped off one boot because they used inferior glue or not enough, so today was biking and walking with my olny remaining pair of boots, rubber barn boots. got to take hiking boots back to store and maybe they will exchange them since they are hardly worn at all, have less than $2 left to my name so not like i am going to get new ones otherwise, though considering picking up some old tires from the roadside and using hack saw to make boots from tire bottoms sewed onto woodchuck leather tops.

    also while cleaning and organizing i made a shopping list of supplies i need to get whenever i get money preferably before winter since i plan to bar the gates and not leave the farm or have any human contact between december 1st and april 15th (no phone or internet either).

    since addition done i have another conundrum to deal with, i plan to eventually turn that into the bathroom, sort of, with a shower stall, though i won’t have a comode, too much work to empty the bucket, would rather stick to the outhouse. in the meantime its more or less the pantry, but i have no shelves, i can build shelves but plan to build another addition on the cabin next year with a pantry room in that addition (much lower ceiling, too low for a shower to work in the planned second addition). if i do that then i would have to tear a the shelves out of the smaller addition when i convert it to the bathroom. i don’t want to waste the lumber or the work if its only to be used for a year. so its a quandery or a question as to what to do. the additon is 8×8 and 8 feet tall inside, with a back door leading to a small 8x8x covered porch on the back of the cabin, has 1 window facing north and the addition is off the north side of the cabin, has r20 insulation. the planned addition would be on the west side 10×20 and have 2 rooms, the southern room to be the bedroom, and the north to be the pantry, possibly digging a hole under the cabin and making a trap door in the floor of the pantry to use the hole as a type of root cellar. the main and only drive for a bathroom is to have a shower stall, i hand wash laundry and use the outhouse so other “normal” bathroom stuff isn’t all that applicable (i can hand wash laundry in the shower stall in winter). right now winter baths involve a rubber 40 gallon stock tank on the porch when the days are at least 28 degrees and no wind and heating water on the stove.

    Nemo Setos questions

    1. have you ever tried pickled apples?

    2. when preparing apples to can do your dogs keep stealing them? (seriously my dogs keep eating all the apples, i let them out and the first thing they do is go find a few drop apples before they do anything else).

    3. fishing for advice and other perspectives on the bathroom shelf conundrum

    1. nemoseto,

      You may not have the cash, but the best boots I’ve ever owned were made by Danner. They are expensive, but you get your money’s worth. Plus you can have the soles replaced if they wear out. I specifically got their Acadia model and wore them in the military and police for years before the uppers finally wore out. Three replacement sets of soles in that same time. I think the uppers gave up because I wore them in Desert Storm and that sand is really destructive on a lot of stuff. I bought another pair and I still have them. Rarely wear them any more since I’m retired from the police and military. Danner makes the Acadia in insulated models too, plus they have a higher Fort Lewis model also insulated and non-insulated .#1 daughter has a pair of Danner’s (forget the model) that is Air Force authorized and she loves them. They aren’t issue, but are authorized, so she had to spend her own money. As with mine, money well spent.

    2. nemoseto’s questions

      1. have you ever tried pickled apples? No but apple vinegar…..

      2. when preparing apples to can do your dogs keep stealing them? (seriously my dogs keep eating all the apples, i let them out and the first thing they do is go find a few drop apples before they do anything else).
      Nope I Freeze dry
      3. fishing for advice and other perspectives on the bathroom shelf conundrum
      Wall paper for TP…..😎

    3. Nemo Setos questions

      1. have you ever tried pickled apples? Nope.

      2. when preparing apples to can do your dogs keep stealing them? (seriously my dogs keep eating all the apples, i let them out and the first thing they do is go find a few drop apples before they do anything else). Dogs like sweet, just like the rest of us!

      3. fishing for advice and other perspectives on the bathroom shelf conundrum. Construction – I am of no help!

    4. The conundrum about the shelf is the choice between having significant indoor storage added to my small cabin which will also allow for better organization, or the ability to take a shower in the winter. I can only choose one of the 2. For the last decade I took baths either outside when the weather was cooperative (28 degrees f. Sunny and no wind at least), sponge baths or spent a day bringing a tub inside and heating water. A shower takes only 1 or 2 gallons in a pressure sprayer and if indoors can be done any time. But the humidity in that room would conflict with a lot of stuff in storage. Right now I have boxed of food and other stuff piled around the cabin due to total lack of storage options. It’s a difficult choice to make, especially since I plan to build another addition next year which would offer storage space but not be tall enough to set up a shower.

      For now I think the better option is to use it for storage and just keep using the bath options I been using for decades.

  3. 1. If you could spend between $5,000 to $10,000 on a new prepping project, what would you build or buy, and why?
    I would get an off-grid structure for our farm ground. It’s not with our home and homestead area. It would be a hunting lodge and bugout location.
    2. What are your most time-consuming fall prepping projects to help get ready for winter?
    Hmm. I guess getting the garden and animals ready for winter.
    3. What do you think will happen to America after the presidential election if President Trump wins, or if he loses in November?
    Wins-Huge riots.
    Loses-We’re doomed.

    Questions:
    **For those of you who do a fall garden, what do you plant?
    **Do you have powdered milk? How do you store it?

    This week:
    *Animals:
    -Got a few more hens.

    *Garden:
    -Planning a fall garden.

    *Food Preserved:
    -Dehydrated; tomatoes (I powdered them.),
    -Froze; cheese, butter,

    *Prepping purchases/added a little to the stockpile: handkerchiefs, got a meat slicer at a rummage sale,

    *Miscellaneous:
    -We’re dealing with plumbing issues.

    It’s going to get bad very soon. Be prepared. Stay safe. He’s in charge.

    1. Questions:

      don’t do a fall garden, our growing season is a little too short to have a season specific anything.

      i only ue powdered milk, no power means no refrigeration, i keep a 5 gallon bucket full of powder and top it off as needed buying bulk bags at walmanrt (the only place left that carrries it, even the menonite store doesn’t carry it anymore).

    2. Prepared Grammy
      I purchase ‘air’ dried whole milk. It is placed into cleaned peach jars from Costco, then I put the lid on. The lid is slightly loose then it is placed into a vacuum seal bag and processed. You will hear the lid pop most times when all the oxygen is removed from the bag & jar. Date and contents on the seal edge then put into a cool dark room until required.

    3. PG’S Questions:
      **For those of you who do a fall garden, what do you plant?
      Cabbage, beets and carrots outside
      Lettuce, peppers cherry tomatoes, lemons and herbs inside.

      **Do you have powdered milk? How do you store it?
      Freeze dried in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.

    4. PG:

      Powdered Milk. I usually buy “Morning Moos” as the DW is slightly lactose intolerant. For regular milk I buy the Great Value 20 qt bags from Wal-Mart. The bags are sealed mylar-type material with a zip-lock to reseal. I keep them in clear 45 qt totes.

      1. JPinMT
        Does your wife tolerate this powdered milk? Dh is also lactose intolerant, so all the milk I purchased will be given to family. Believe I have some of this milk in our stash, will have to look. Did have dehydrated goats milk but I am not sure what I did with it. He has no problems with it when I have given it to him in his special meals.

        1. AC:

          She is only slightly intolerant. She can have regular milk on cereal, but one serving is it for the day. My issue is she complains so little that I have a hard time keeping track of what she can and can’t eat.

    5. On the powdered milk. I buy the NIDO fortified powder milk. It is already in its own sealed can. It is a ” whole milk ” product as I fill fats are important .
      I also store powdered buttermilk . This we make ourselves in the winter on top of the wood heater. It is in 5 gallon buckets with O2 absorbers.
      Got to get around to dehydrating some sour cream.

      1. I like NIDO canned powderedwhole milk. Storage is easy. Set it on the shelf. My usual powdered milk comes in bags already Mylar lined but its seldom in the store. So I’m buying up NIDO as I can.
        I have 5 gallons of apple cider vinegar made from trimming a cores when canning apples. I pickled some apples with spices. They are wonderful with fried potatoes and a steak or chops fried and simply seasoned.
        I bought more bay leaves. Good in cooking but also great in jars of flour, corn meal, buckets of white rice and dry beans. They discourage weasels.
        Since I’ve been too sick to grow much I’m planning to can a few dozen pints of beans. Just right for two. Getting ready to can pints of butter.
        I have a big frozen ham. It will make quite a few pints of meat. I have 4 bbq chicken breast seasoned ready to cook. Canned with sauce makings they will make quick easy meals.

    6. Prepared Grammy:
      I usually plant carrots and greens for the fall. This year I am adding rutabaga and brassicas.

      Last year I used a frost hoop and kept Swiss chard all winter. Failed to order more before they were all sold out. Will make needed repairs to the one I have for this winter.

      I am still able to find jars and lids. But my garden seed suppliers are sold out of a lot.

  4. 1. If you could spend between $5,000 to $10,000 on a new prepping project, what would you build or buy, and why?
    Ans: I’d get the walapini dug and enclosed and a nearby root cellar dug and built over with a new chicken pen and rabbit enclosure. Not terribly expensive projects individually but a needed cluster.

    2. What are your most time consuming fall prepping projects to help get ready for winter?
    Ans: Many projects all at once but I’d guess the greenhouse by its self is the slowest getting done. I heat with wood pellets. Takes 2 tons. Have to drive 1 1/2 hours each way to get them. Usually they get unloaded and neatly stacked the next day. So winter heat takes up a good part of 4 days.
    3. What do you think will happen to America after the presidential election if President Trump wins, or if he loses in November?`
    Ans: A Biden win means socialism, more and more regulation of life, and if they get their way – the loss of all gun rights. Kiss America good by. It will quickly be bankrupt.
    A Trump win will mean more anger and accusations against Trump. Unbelief that he really did it. Trump will continue bringing back manufacturing and Independance. He will work toward regaining freedoms and for prosperity. He’s already at work on bringing home the last 5,000 troops from Iraq. That most likely won’t finish up until into the next term. He wants to see states opened back up for business and schools opened up as well. Have to see where that goes.

  5. I did my grocery shopping twice this week and added to my food stash. Publix is pretty well stocked in all departments, but they are still rationing purchases of many products.

    I was very disappointed last week. My information on Antifa going to Sturgis was accurate, but the police quickly rounded up the little nasties the moment they did something stupid (kicked a bike) and corralled them away from the bikers who were getting ready to make Antifa burger patties. Those Antifa clowns really have no sense. Certainly, they could not have had any reasonable expectation of intimidating those bikers. I know the police had to do what they did, but it still would have been fun to watch. Once the police got involved, the bikers behaved themselves, but were obviously ready to help out if the police had problems.

    I’ve been continuing my research into the financial system. Overall, things do not look good. Most financial people and economists who are not socialists/communists, recommend getting into precious metals, particularly silver as it is cheaper and more suited to use in buying everyday items, like food, etc. Gold is good if you are wealthy and need a place to store a larger amount of wealth. It is also only really good for buying big ticket items like a house or a car, etc.

    Several of these experts are predicting the Fed is going officially tits up really soon. But they also say that Trump is the best president we could have if that occurs. He knows the reality of large bankruptcies and that they are not necessarily the catastrophes many folks think they are. In fact, many businesses come out of a bankruptcy in much better financial shape than they were beforehand. They also say that Trump is buying back many T-bills from foreign countries which is exactly the right thing to do.

    These experts are also predicting that if the Fed goes bust and Trump is president, we may see a whole new currency come into effect as part of the banking system reset. It won’t involve Bitcoin or other similar financial devices. But, it also won’t be a fiat currency like we have now. Trump is scaring the financial families out there, like the Rothschilds. At least one expert thinks that puts Trump literally in someone’s crosshairs and the Secret Service needs to have their “A” Game on.

    So, given all that, I’ve bought more silver for myself and my Ex (her money, not mine, I’m just the go-between). I’ve talked to #1 daughter and she’s going to get her hubby to buy more silver too. #2 daughter doesn’t have a lot of money laying around, but she’s going to try and buy what she can afford. My son has a new job and he’s making decent money, but with a new baby on the way within a couple of weeks, he doesn’t know if buying silver is an option right now. I prefer 1/10-oz rounds as they are closer to everyday prices and can be easily clipped into smaller pieces if necessary. I do have ¼ and ½ oz rounds and a few 1-oz rounds.

    Riot-wise, things have been reasonably quiet around here. There was a police involved shooting a week or so ago where the dirtbag was shot in the back as he was running away. He was armed with a stolen Glock pistol. So, of course, the family’s attorney is making riot provoking noises that because scumbag had his back to the police, he wasn’t a danger to them. Bullcrap. A police body cam vid is out there, but it isn’t very clear. A dash cam on a responding scout car shows the moron running, then falling as he is hit, but again not very detailed due to distance. A clear body cam shows deputies calling for an ambulance and doing first aid and CPR until EMS shows up. Too bad, so sad. One less oxygen thief in the world.

    This Week’s Questions

    1. If you could spend between $5,000 to $10,000 on a new prepping project, what would you build or buy, and why?

    Probably add to my silver stash, add some ammo, and some freeze dried food.

    2. What are your most time consuming fall prepping projects to help get ready for winter?

    Being a Florida Man, there isn’t much I need to do special for winter. I have pretty much everything I might need, even if the weather is colder than normal. I have jackets and coats, hoodies, gloves, watch caps, boots and wool socks, and even long johns.

    3. What do you think will happen to America after the presidential election if President Trump wins, or if he loses in November?`

    I don’t want to think of Trump losing. Biden will not be the president except in name if he wins. He’ll have puppet strings attached all over. If the Pubbies can get the House back and keep the Senate and White House, it could be a very interesting two – four years.

  6. Greetings from Douglasville

    It has been a busy week at work so not much time to spend on prepping.

    Got in more PM, even at an inflated price. Also worked on my US Coins Type Set, 1800- date and that is coming along nicely.

    Found a stash I had forgotten about and added 2 boxes of .38 special, a box of .44 Rem Mag, a box of 30-30 and 100 rounds of 12 gauge buck along with 20 rounds of 20 gauge buck. I’m good now

    Take care, keep smiling, I tell every one I meet I’m smiling behind the mask.

    73

  7. Added to my long term storage stash, spices and tomato powder. That’s it, not enough energy to do much else.

    Last winter I quit taking the statins I was proscribed to lower my cholesterol levels. They reduce my energy levels much more then my cholesterol. I got a lot of projects done. I didn’t see my doctor for six months and of course my levels were higher then ever. So I started taken them again. Once again I feel useless as tits on a boar hog. On top of that I now have to go to a specialist to get my testosterone supplement and my lack of motivation was keeping me from badgering him to renew my subscription. He needs his own lab report so I finally did get blood drawn for that and hopefully next week I can convince him that I really do need it even if my levels are low but within normal range. No, the natural ways to lower my cholesterol and boost my energy do not work, I need pharmaceutical grade help.

    1. Daddio7,

      I had to start taking statins also, but they gave me terrible back and flank pain, a typical side effect. The clinical pharmacist for my team at the VA suggested to my PCP to have my Vit D levels checked. They were horribly low. Low Vit D is a frequent side effect of statins.Normal is about 100, mine was at 1. I take large doses of Vit D and my levels are up to normal now and the back/flank pain is long gone.

      Your fatigue and lethargy can also be an effect of low Vit D and bears testing to check.

      1. I took stations for a while- twice. Both times my hands were so painful I quit. Dr said to take with co q 10. Didn’t help me. Other Dr suggested taking qrill oil instead of stations and keep up the D3. It has helped. Blood work stays just barely inside normal. No horrible debilitating pain!

  8. Canning up potatoes, today the steam is coming out getting ready to put the weight on my canner.. Got my pickles, finished did Dill and Bread and butter, I’m very happy that chore is finished. Grapes, have three more weeks until we pick them I’m going to dehydrate, some of them. Elderberry, are doing good I have about 10 more stems to pick and dehydrate, my other plant did nothing but that’s how it goes.

    I did buy a nice Basil plant, I didn’t have one this year so I’m hoping I can winter it over. I replanted a chive plant, it looks like it’s stunted it wasn’t root bound, so I’ll give it a shot of worm juice, to see if I can get it growing again. I also canned the Bananas, with what I had in the freezer I got three pint jars, now I know what to do when my store has cut bananas for .37 a pound I bought some just yesterday, my daughter is eating a few that’s fine I’ll just freeze them up until I have enough to do at least 6 more jars I’ll make my banana snack cake and a pint jar will do a double batch, which is fine with me this cake only lasts a day maybe two tops, let me know if anyone wants the recipe, I don’t make banana bread any longer, this is waaaaay better.

    We had rain and wind, the last two days, today it is beautiful and blue sky, I won’t have to water at least until Monday, we got a good soaking which we needed even though 8 months of the year, it’s rainy.

    Question 1 to start working on the plan’s to start building. The two neighbouring house’s both went for 510,000 and redfin, has our house at 511, 000 , we updated it 13 year’s ago while the other houses, they still need work done on them.

    Question 2 Time consuming projects, I really don’t have much because I clean, and trim along the way so I don’t have a lot to do in the nasty weather, even at our other property, we keep everything up. Putting the camper asleep for the winter month’s, would be the biggest project.

    Question 3 I just don’t know about the election, this is going to be a heck of a roller coaster, and angry people, no matter what the outcome is unfortunately.

  9. Zulu 3-6
    I would like suggest you listen to Dr. Joel Wallach & Dr. Ben Fuch’s. They are on Coast to Coast, both discuss statins on the body and what is happening when you take them. They also have a web page with lots of data on the human body.
    It is only a suggestion, but can be rather eye opening.

    1. AC,

      I’ve read some stuff on statins. Given a choice, I’d rather not take them at all. I don’t think my clinical pharmacist is a fan of them either, but if the physicians prescribe them, she has to play along. She has suggested that I take mine every other day instead of daily, so I do. She has a PhD in pharmacology so I suspect she has a lot more knowledge about medications than most physicians.

  10. Puppy loves his new Kong toy even more. I put one of the big treats in the end and he was like, hey this toy smells good enough to eat. So he laid down and commenced chewing and crunching till it was all gone on the outside. There was 3 pieces that held it in place on the inside that he couldn’t get, so he growled and walked away. Puppy had his eggs today as well as a thin New York strip for breakfast and a walk. He is so spoiled but he is a good boy. I feel so sorry for the North Korean people who are being told they have to give their pets up to be used as food. This is another reason to never give up your 2 Amendment. I would go John Wick for my puppy.

    Freeze dryer
    Freeze dried 2 trays of spaghetti
    Freeze dried 1 tray of hamburger
    Freeze dried 1 tray of sloppy joe mix
    Freeze dried 2 trays of corn
    Freeze dried 2 trays of green beans
    Bought 50 gallon mylar bags
    Bought 50 quart mylar bags
    Bought 200 oxygen absorbers
    Filtered 2 quarts of vacuum pump oil

    Storage
    Moved rice, pasta,sugar,salt,pasta, flour,corn meal and dog food to the new storage unit.

    Security
    Practiced with the pellet guns (It’s cheaper and I heard 9mm is now going for $1 a round and .223/5.56 is almost extinct)
    Put force multipliers on fence.

    Vehicles
    Got tags for Jeep, 4X4 truck and trailer. Vet failed emissions so next week. It just needs to reset one sensor because I don’t drive it enough.

    Gym
    Heavy workouts (Get in shape people we only have 2 months till election time) Do what ever exercise you can do. Get a routine.
    High protein diet to build muscle and loose fat.

    Thor’s questions
    1. Are you exercising to get in better shape?

    2. Do you use whey protein powder for a source of protein?

    3. Do you use pellet guns as a cheaper way to target practice?

    4. Do you walk or jog a mile a day?

    5. What do you grow indoors in the winter?

    1. Tara’s questions
      1.If you could spend between $5,000 to $10,000 on a new prepping project, what would you build or buy, and why? Green house, wood splitter
      2.What are your most time consuming fall prepping projects to help get ready for winter? Wood splitting and garden.
      3.What do you think will happen to America after the presidential election if President Trump wins, or if he loses in November?` It will be torn apart either way, it’s already halfway there. Civil war.

    2. Thor1,

      Speaking of John Wick, I’ve seen videos of Keanu Reeves working out on the range training for his various John Wick movies. The dude is seriously good. I’d take him on my side any day. No play gun training for him. Same with his martial arts training.

      Clint Eastwood did the same with the .44 mag prepping for Dirty Harry. He was familiar with handguns, but knew the Model 29 was a whole different beast.

      1. Z36 , that’s the best way I could state I would do if someone said they were going to take my puppy and eat him…..
        Actions speak louder than words, that’s why I didn’t use a Clint Eastwood line of go ahead make my day or get off my lawn……😎

      2. Z36, movie trivia…..the shooting scenes in the dirty Harry movies was actually a .41 Magnum….reason was they didn’t make blanks in .44 Magnum….

        1. Thor1,

          Yuppers. 🙂

          We had a fighter pilot in my Guard unit who loved to shoot and owned a long barrel Model 29. He often came out to the range with us and practiced with his .44 mag. The guy was scary good. Bullseyes easy at 100-yards with mag loads and iron sights. He also hunted deer with that thing. He was very generous with his ammo letting anyone who wanted a go a chance to shoot it. Sometimes we had rare guns available (MG-34, MG-43, MP40, Martini-Henry, etc) and we made sure he got a chance to shoot them in return. He wanted to be on the Wing shooting team, but his civilian and military work schedule prevented that. He was good with an M-14. With anything that went “bang” for that matter.

    3. Thor’s questions
      1. Are you exercising to get in better shape? I am doing more moving, than exercising, but it’s helping.

      2. Do you use whey protein powder for a source of protein? We (the DW) gets ours from Amway.

      3. Do you use pellet guns as a cheaper way to target practice? I can, but the city still frowns on me practicing the the back yard, and if I’m going out of town, I take regular guns.

      4. Do you walk or jog a mile a day? No!

      5. What do you grow indoors in the winter? Fat.

  11. Thor’s questions

    1 not particularly, just happens as a result of getting stuff done

    2 nope

    3 did in the past but I hate the ones on the market now, I perfer a crack barrel type with iron sights and wooden stock, all I find is plastic crap, co2 powered or requires scopes because of how it’s built.

    4 walk far more than that but not on a schedule.

    5 does a beard count?

  12. (1) I’d use that large sum of money to set up as much of a solar generator system as it would buy!
    (2) Florida “winters” are non-existent, but gardening is in high gear throughout the winter months. I spend September preparing my raised beds for October planting.
    (3) I believe that there will be an increase in civil unrest after the election, regardless of the results.
    (4) I harvested my sweet potatoes this week, sorted them by size and have them drying on my bedroom’s screened porch. I also picked up a free rooster today so he can fertilize the eggs of my nearly-grown hens. I keep 2 flocks of laying hens and like one rooster in each pen. Spent some time mentoring women new to the prepping world….lots of questions about canning equipment, how to grow things, etc. That’s it for me this week.

  13. Thor’s questions

    1. Are you exercising to get in better shape?

    Yes. Walking more now.

    2. Do you use whey protein powder for a source of protein?

    No.

    3.Do you use pellet guns as a cheaper way to target practice?

    No.

    4. Do you walk or jog a mile a day?

    I walk, but not that far at this point.

    5. What do you grow indoors in the winter?

    Mold. Just kidding. Nothing.

  14. Decking issue continues here at the place. When help is not here, I am working on outside maintenance as time allows as it is smoky and hot.
    This morning using the leaf blower to remove built up debris from fallen leaves I did not get to during the fall and spring. Yet one area I did manage to clean up last year looked like I had not touched it. 😬

    The decorative bark we had purchased for landscaping is going to the fruit tree area for weed guard since it is away from the house. Everything near the house will be rock with professional landscape material underneath it.
    That is all which has been going on here at our place.
    Tara’s Questions
    1) Root Cellar along with extending our solar system so that we could switch from donating to the electric company to saving it for our consumption via battery storage. When this system was installed we were given no choice, but donate it back to the electric company. 😣
    2) Fall/Winter prepping: Hay delivery to fill up the pass through barn & the small barn so that I have enough to carry us for a year to feed the horse. If we have to take on a steer to raise for the family we are going to require more hay, but that is still up in the air.
    3) We keep praying President Trump keeps the Whitehouse, otherwise this nation is going to be an awful mess. Patriots against Marxist/Communists. The Constitution is being dismantled a little bit at a time, but if the other side takes the house. It will go into the shredder. mho
    Our nation will make Venezuela look like a walk in the park. I expect certain mindsets to be removed under pretexts they violated some obscure law and they will disappear never to be seen again. 1930’s Germany all over again in the modern age.

  15. This Week’s Questions

    1. If you could spend between $5,000 to $10,000 on a new prepping project, what would you build or buy, and why? Need a shed built, want a freeze-drier, and I need to pay for stuff I already have.

    2. What are your most time consuming fall prepping projects to help get ready for winter? Cleaning and sorting. My garage is unheated and it will take 2 people, so that leaves Saturday mornings and there just aren’t enough of them.

    3. What do you think will happen to America after the presidential election if President Trump wins, or if he loses in November?` If he wins, more of the same. If he wins and the R’s take the House back, nothing much will get done, but we might get away from the frivolous stuff and work. If he looses – actually I don’t think the Dem’s have a plan for if they win. But, I am on the watch for 2025.

    This week…

    Took the DW’s car to the next town over for a grocery sale. Runs MUCH better with a new transmission. Grocery sale: fresh fruit for preserving, hamburger for dehydrating. Plus, some stuff for the pantry.

    Got given some more VERY ripe apples. We’ll see what we can save. Ended up not saving any.

    In a town within an hour’s drive of me the Churches brought in the Convoy of Hope/Department of Agriculture truck, giving away a box of food to each car. The one I saw had 2 1-gallon frozen bags of Sloppy Joe topping, 1 1-gallon back of chicken taco filling, 10 pounds of shredded cheese, and 30 breaded meat patties (hamburger size). The town is 3,100 people and I am sure there are lots of hurting people that can use the food with no strings attached. It’s a 2-day event, but when they did it on the east side, they ran out after the 1st day.

    “Chores Day” at church Saturday AM. Got done about 1 PM. Inside and outside clean-up, painting, tree trimming, minor repairs, sanitizing, etc.

    Supply Run: Nectarines; Red Plums; hamburger; spaghetti sauce; canned turkey, chicken, & roast beef; 2% UHT milk; canned meals; drink mixes; canning jars; w/m & r/m canning lids; gravy mix; misc. pantry stuff; ammo; creamy wheat cereal; instant creamy oat cereal;

    Received: AF Peanut butter powder, #10 cans; Book: Dark Age America; TOPS A-Klub knife w/sheath; TacFire flash-forward muzzle break; Eggs, Scrabbled mix, AF, #10;

    1. JP,
      The food giveaways here have been a box of produce and a box of dairy. The boxes aren’t that big. I have been told that they always have potatoes, yogurt, milk, and cheese in them, but the rest of the items change each week.

      1. Here in Tennessee I volunteer at a food giveaway. On giveaway day I can expect to be tied up for 5 to 7 hrs. Alison provide maintenance on equipment.
        Our boxes very with the seasons. We try to have meat , vegetables, fruit and dairy in every box but can’t always do that. On a light load day people can expect about 40 lbs of food stuffs. If we get a large load I have seed as much as 100 lbs per a person leave there.
        We provide food to anywhere 250 to 550 families each giveaway plus assist several nonprofit org. Who help others.

      2. PG: This was a one time event, the truck was refrigerated. We still have the food bank stuff, which is what your box sounds more like. I like staples, but most people don’t know what to do with them, so they want “ready to eat” or heat and serve stuff.

  16. I have a product recommendation for the tribe:

    I just made burger patties with 1/2 90% hamburger and 1/2 Ready Hour Black Bean Burger mix. It was definitely a meal extender. I have not tried the patties I made with just the mix and we are going to try it as a meal extender for meat loaf.

    I found the 10# cans are available (that I know of ) from Camping Survival and Emergency Essentials. They are shipped from the same place and the ones from CS were $10 less than EE. CS also has a box of 6 packets. That’s what I got to try it; I sent one to my daughter and my grandson for them to try.

    I will be stocking more of this to add to our protein reserves, and it works for those who are vegan (few preppers are, but you may have some in your family – this might encourage them to stock up at least to save money).

  17. Went to Costco for the first time in years. Kept my total to 3 digits but will be going back hopefully before winter hits. Got yeast, flour, canned tuna, canned salmon, etc.
    Saw the Dr. and had blood work done. Then 2 days later tripped over a box and apparently hyperextended some toes as the xrays showed no breaks but did show arthritis. Arthritis does not explain the black and blue color on the foot.
    Took my yearly master food preserver test and then picked green beans and rhubarb.
    In addition to Costco hit up some local stores and added to the supplies.

  18. Political humor…….

    1.Voting for Biden is like riding a moped in the fast lane during a rain storm.

    2. Have the Democrats gone postal? Maybe we should take their guns away and have them see a psychiatrist.

  19. Not much to report this week. I’ve been putting in extra hours preparing for the fall term. I am grateful for all the work. I feel sorry for folks who live along the Texas-Louisiana state line. They are expecting a hurricane on Monday and a second hurricane on Wednesday. Fortunately, neither is expected to develop into a major hurricane.

    Tara’s Questions:

    [1] If you could spend between $5,000 to $10,000 on a new prepping project, what would you build or buy, and why?

    I would invest in solar panels. My biggest concern is losing power during hurricanes. We have a portable generator and we keep 50 gallons of gas on hand during hurricane season. But there’s always a concern about not being able to get gasoline. We’ve got an extra freezer and an extra refrigerator in the garage. It would be costly to lose that much meat.

    [2] What are your most time consuming fall prepping projects to help get ready for winter?

    We usually get about 10 days of cold weather here in north central Florida where it dips down below 40 degrees. We tend to hibernate when the temperature dips below 50 degrees.

    [3] What do you think will happen to America after the presidential election if President Trump wins, or if he loses in November?`

    I think Trump will pull off the win. The key is that blacks under 30 are utterly disillusioned with politics. They were excited when Obama was elected and expected change; yet eight years with a black president did nothing to change their lives. (Too often young people today think government should change their lives; they don’t understand that they are the only ones who can effect change in their own lives.)

    I am surprised no one is talking about Kanye West. So far he is only on the ballot in five states. He has applications pending in four additional states. That might not sound like much but he will likely pull some of the black vote away from Biden. As noted above, there are a number of blacks under 30 who feel abandoned by the democratic party. If Kanye’s name is not on the ballot in their state, they are likely to not vote.

    I am rather stunned that Biden claimed the Catholic Church served as his moral compass. He supports elective abortion. The Church views abortion as a gave sin against humanity. Last year he was refused communion because his public support of abortion. Here’s a quote. Father Morey refused to serve communion to the former vice president, explaining:

    “Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden. Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself … outside of Church teaching.”

  20. Heads up pack… L, Ms and Tn, Alabama. are all going to get slammed. by this storm..latest models are showing they will combine.. NAVY Models. show marco will get caught up and stay off short.. and Laura is barrelling in at 20+ mph…going in close and going thru Jackson Ms on way north… yikes gotta batten down the hatches. a little more. look at Bp earthwatch’s latest video this afternoon.

  21. Hi gang,

    Late to post. Been really busy this week. Totally exhausted.

    Got the peaches canned. Still working on the tomatoes and cukes. Got blueberries in the freezer.

    Purchases – Green Laser light, extra batteries for laser light, green laser protection googles (200nm – 2000nM0, rechargeable batteries, FD food from Aftershock, meds, Sketchers sandals, Merrell hiking boots, lots of coffee, 100% cotton sheets for spare bedroom, DripDrop electrolytes packs, gardening wire that is coated with this soft stuff, Metro rolling cart, smaller SS cart with baskets. That’s all I can think of.

    Prayers for everyone, for The President and for America.

    Have a great week everyone.

  22. Hello everyone.
    1 Q- if I had $5000 handed to me, I would invest in solar batteries, then materials for a spring house, then 4 cords of firewood so DH won’t have to take the chance of getting stung by bees, 3 stacks of hay so we can keep our heifer calves (instead off selling to pay for hay) and trade out our 10 year old Angus bull.
    My current plan for refrigeration is to place most critical items in an army water tight case, attach a rope and sink it in our deep pond in our wickedly hot summers. The desert heat will destroy any food or RX not stored in 40 degree water.
    Q. 2- my most consuming fall project is canning, and if it weren’t for our home business, I would have gotten a lot more in jars by now instead of dividing my time, but bills have to be paid, ya know.
    Q. 3- if Pres. Trump wins, I think we will see many messes cleaned up within the country and that he will have to practice more SA than ever before regardless of secret service personnel. If Biden wins, I cant live far enough away from society to avoid the craziness that is coming, so, will likely plant our feet at home and defend as best we can.
    4. This past week, canned more spaghetti sauce and applesauce and began a new batch of ACV. Bought more cheese to can and will work on apple butter this week. Added extras of several things to the grocery list to store up. Bought more galvanized pails for hauling dirty pond water to purify in the day.
    Had a great loss this week when an important member of our pod decided to leave the group. Now that his new home is built on the other side of the river, he felt the need to have all his preps at his place. Wife not in agreement, it left a big hole in the group due to his leadership skills, defense skills, and general knowledge. It was an odd time to pull out before November election results, but I can’t blame him for wanting his home to be his fort. I cannot imagine moving all our stuff! Till next week, keep on keepin’ on!

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