What I Did To Prep This Week: December 20th 2020 – December 26th 2020

Hey everyone,

Since Tara is taking the week off, I wanted to write a quick “weekly preps” post for the week, to thank you for being part of the TSB community, and to wish you a Merry Christmas!

As 2020 has shown us, worldwide chaos can easily take over, changing the way we live our lives, so I hope you’ll continue to prep in 2021, sharpen your survival skills, consolidate your stockpile, practice your prepping plans and always be on alert for emergencies big and small.

This week’s questions:

  • What was your biggest prep this year?
  • Do you feel more prepared today than you did a year ago?
  • What are your prepping plans for 2021?

107 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week: December 20th 2020 – December 26th 2020”

  1. What was your biggest prep this year?
    I think being able to convince others to prep was my greatest prep.

    Do you feel more prepared today than you did a year ago?

    What are your prepping plans for 2021?
    I want to greatly increase the garden and add many more fruit trees and berry bushes.
    *I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. #1Granddaughter got a BB gun for Christmas. She just kept saying, “I got a gun!” It was so cute. She can’t wait for Daddy to teach her “how to be safe” with it.

    *Dad has tested positive for WuFlu. He’s actually doing pretty well. I just wish we could go inside the nursing home for a visit. I feel that depression will kill him before any virus will.

    *It’s been really cold here. Keeping the animals warm and water thawed is always a challenge.

    *We’re getting ready to go on a camping/fishing trip. Prayers for safety are appreciated.

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

    • I’m not a rich man by any means but I bought a few silver eagles and some copper rounds. Gold is way out of my league and in shtf would be difficult to use for purchases. Silver is only in the high twenties and should be useful.

      • Don,

        I have some PM, all silver. I tend to get rounds as they are easier to cut into pieces for old-fashioned smaller denomination use. I do have some bars. I think that more people will understand the value of silver, especially if cut into smaller pieces, much better than gold. I do have a cutter available in my safe.

        Of course in the really old days, cutting coins was a capital offense. You had a better chance of keeping your head with murder. It is still a federal 5-year felony to cut or alter officially minted coins with an intend to defraud. The only problem is most coins don’t have any silver or gold in them to make coin cutting a crime anymore.

        The coins obtained through private mints don’t come under that statute.

        My Ex has some small gold bars, but that’s her business. She does mostly have silver.

    • Prepared Grammy:
      Prayers for your Dad. Remember most come through okay-even most of our elders. Hope the nursing home can administer the cocktail of antibodies and vitamins. We believe in the Eastern Virginia Medical School protocol.

    • Sorry to hear about your dad. It has been so hard on those in nursing facilities. I think our seniors need to se their loved ones and have the sense of touch.
      Enjoy that camping trip.

    • Prepared Grammy
      My sister sent me a text message last evening asking if I had this APP on my old phone. It is referred to as a ‘duo’, it lets you see and speak with family members you can not visit with in person. It is helping those whom are in facilities with lock down protocols. Believe you will find it available on phones that are produced within the last 4-5 years, or check the ‘store’ on some phones that have that icon listed.
      She said it is really great & helping the mental outlook on those whom are sequestered.

  2. Well when I wasn’t listening to info on Nashville Tn. Rev bomb yesterday I was working in the kitchen. Worked up another 15 lbs. of summer sausage and 6 lbs of polish sausage. Work for today is all of that goes in the smoker. Have 10 racks of pork ribs to brine today plus 4 pork loins.

  3. I did my grocery shopping twice again this week and keep adding a little more to my food stock. Got to get that stash a little deeper.

    Went to the VA audiologist to get checked over after the faux stroke I had. The appointment went for two-hours and the doctor was a great looking young woman, so I’ve decided I’m in love. ? Anyway, she did tests on me I never heard of before. Everything came out just fine and she can’t find anything that would cause an inner ear problem and vertigo She did find that somehow I ended up with part of a hearing aid dome stuck in my left ear. The damned thing didn’t want to come out and she had to get another doc to come in for a second opinion. A different instrument was suggested, and the problem was solved. She also re-tuned my hearing aids as the company had new software out for that and my aids seem to be working much better now too. Anyway, the diagnosis from her point of view is “Beats the hell out of me.” I like honest medical opinions. Also, my hearing hasn’t gotten any worse since the last test I got a couple of years ago, so that is good news. My use of ear plugs and earmuffs at the same time while on the range is obviously a good practice.

    I’m also waiting for an appointment for an eye exam as I’m due for new glasses too. Unfortunately, the earliest appointment is February 20, 2021 at the VA Hospital. I’d rather go to the closer VA clinic, but they have no slots until late March. Since I’m 100% disabled, I go to the VA as it is free.

    #1GD got to visit a fire station this week. One of the guys in her mom’s reserve unit invited her to visit. She had a great time, especially when she could blow the air horn and use a fire hose (under very low pressure, of course). She wanted to keep the real helmet they let her wear when using the hose. Sorry kiddo. Has to make do with the toy helmet instead. She got to climb all over an engine, a ladder truck, and an ambulance. #1 daughter was especially happy too because when she was little I used to take her to the fire station at the city where I worked, and she loved Captain Max who showed her everything. Max was a great guy and a good fire boss.

    Some changes in Kung flu among the family. My SIL is in quarantine at home. He is still working from home though. No signs of illness yet, but his exposure to a confirmed infected person was only a couple of days ago. He also found out that his paternal grandfather is confirmed infected but hasn’t been around him for a couple of weeks. Old Don is in his late 80s, so that is not good news

    #1GD has her very first UTI. Poor thing. She’s been doing OK except for having the urge to pee every five minutes, but often without result. That frustrates her. She is being good about taking her medicine, and getting bathed with warm water and baking soda, but it’s like pulling teeth to get her to drink lots of water.

    Bought some more suturing and skin stapling supplies. Some for practice, some for my medical stash. I haven’t practiced lately, so I figured it was time. I also got some of the silicone suturing practice pads, but I’m also getting a couple of pig’s feet as they are a more realistic simulacrum for human tissue. Maybe I can get #1 daughter to sit still too. No, I guess not. She said something vulgar in response to that idea. ? I want to get some Lidocaine with and without epinephrine, along with a bunch of appropriate syringes for local anesthesia. The trick is getting the stuff as it is prescription only. Since my doctors are all VA, they can’t write scrips for that stuff.

    Interesting event in Nashville with the RV explosion. Not enough info at this time to make any judgement, except that it seems to have been an intentional explosion. Some information indicates that debris was thrown for 4-5 blocks from the scene. Pretty good bang in my opinion.

    Spent most of Christmas Day at #1 daughter’s house. Her hubby is in Kung flu isolation so we could only communicate via the commo system they had to monitor #1GD when she was a baby or by cell phone. We could have yelled through the bedroom door, but that would have been a bit bothersome. Otherwise, I played out in the backyard with GD and her new dog. GD managed to get absolutely filthy digging holes with the dog. She was very proud of herself. ? She gets along with the dog very well, but the pooch was a little unsure about me. Well behaved rescue dog and already housebroken. She annoys the cats no end just by her mere existence. The dog essentially ignores the cats. I have no clue what breeds are mixed in there. Just that it’s a female and about 25lbs. They took a canine DNA test and sent it off to find out what is mixed in there.

    Anyway, I hope everyone else had a nice Christmas.

    It was much colder last night for Central Florida at Christmastime normally. About 34-degrees. As I wrote this paragraph, it was 39-degrees at 0915 on Saturday morning. These temps are not totally unusual in late January, but they are in late December. Being a northerner by upbringing, these are normal temps for the Detroit area but not here in Orlando. So, I’m sitting at my desk wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt, a hoodie, and a watch cap. I did have to kick up the temp on the furnace a little to 70-degrees as the inside temp was about 68. A little too chilly for this old guy with no hair. I’ll drop the furnace temp later when it warms up outside to about 50.

    I’m glad Tara is getting a little time off for the holidays. She puts in a lot of effort on this blog and I, for one, appreciate it. Not to mention running her family and homestead. I also appreciate your hosting of this blog, Dan. This is something I really look forward to every week.

    This week’s questions:

    1. What was your biggest prep this year?

    I don’t know that I can point to a “biggest prep” for this year. As I’ve been prepping for a number of years now, most of the biggies have already been covered. However, participating in a blog like this one could probably be considered a BIG prep. I learn so much from everyone else that can’t be easily obtained elsewhere. So, thanks to everyone else on this blog too. ?

    2. Do you feel more prepared today than you did a year ago?

    The only honest answer to this would have to be a big YES. Just knowledge gained alone would fit the bill. Not to mention the morale boosting humor to be found here. I love hanging around with smart alecks. 🙂

    3. What are your prepping plans for 2021?

    I don’t really have specific plans for 2021. I will continue to add to my food stash, ammunition supply, medical stash, and knowledge, etc. Pretty much the same as I have done in 2020. I will also keep a close eye on the derelicts who consider themselves as fit to run our nation and the criminals who support them.

    • I gave a big gift bag of goodies to each adult kid’s household. Grands started eating the candy, and both sons held up their favorite item and shouted a big “yes!” It was a magazine, and not the kind you read.

    • Zulu, my husband has a standing Rx for epinephrine after getting stung by killer bees 5 years ag. with a Good Rx coupon, I got 2 2 packs at Walgreens for $250. If you can find someone who has a standing scrip, maybe they would buy a 2 pk for you.

      • DD,

        I think you misunderstood. The epinephrine I want is a small amount mixed in 1% or 2% Lidocane. It comes in the vial already mixed. The epinephrine in Lidocane lengthens the duration of the anesthetic effect and reduces bleeding. It’s used for numbing by dentists or doctors prior to suturing lacerations.

        • Zulu,
          You do know that lidocaine can be bought in powder form without a prescription. Has a longer shelf life and you just mix it as needed. Just type lidocaine powder into your browser.

          • Fixit,

            Yes, I know Lidocaine is available in powder form. It is primarily intended for topical use, mixed in a carrier cream or oil. It isn’t very effective as an anesthesia for suturing.

            Liquid Lidocaine in an injectable vial is actually not very expensive. The trick is the prescription.

          • Fixit,

            I understand your point (actually it should get mixed with sterile D5W). However, I have found a lot of places that sell Lidocaine in multi-dose vials. The trick is getting a doctor or vet to provide a scrip or other certificate to the provider.

            My #2 daughter is a manager for inside sales of a medical supply and equipment provider in Jacksonville, FL. There is no way they will give up the product without you being an authorized medical person. It is true that Lidocaine is not a controlled substance, but most suppliers don’t care and want a note from daddy verifying you know how to properly use the stuff.

    • Zulu 3-6
      On the lidocaine have you checked veterinary supply houses on line. One I still use is Calvet supply, it was recommended by this group of knowledge people back in 2012.

      • AC,

        Thanks for the tip, but most vet supply houses do not carry injectable Lidocaine because it is kind of useless as an animal anesthesia in minor surgery situations as used with humans. Animals still tend to fight and bite so vets generally just sedate them.

  4. Oh goody, i like the first question, I just put up my farm video for the year and i can share the link, every year I make a short video with pictures of what i did all year. in short I finished logging a 17 acre field, then had the stumps pulled and put in ditches, then got implements to work said field. https://www.facebook.com/100057803552322/videos/119722953297823/

    thats probably the biggest though it had many parts to it

    2 about the same actually.

    I wrote out a farm managment plan for the coming year, basically lots of logging, plowing, stump pulling, orchard work maple sugaring, planting, harvesting, some minor construction, etc.

    and this week was a mix of good and bad weather, i was out logging in the good weather, but the rest of the week i was stuck indoors, just put up and finished drying the last of the turnips

    • nemoseto,

      Loved your video. Especially loved the last part where you sent your love and kisses to all those folks like Cuomo, BLM, etc.

      • Yeah, each pissed me off. The manager at dollar general threw me out for having a trump sign on my back so she got special recognition, and i had a few black guys demand i give them free firewood to make up for my so called white privledge, all the blm folks here are just using it as pretence to demand handouts, the white lib supporters look like modern flagelists whiping themselves over imagined sins, and cuomo has done so much damage to upstate it would take a library to write it all out. Thanks went to anyone who did anything especially helpfull

        • nemoseto,

          Your comment about modern flagellants are exactly the kind of humorous comments I like to read on this blog. So true as well as so funny. 🙂

          • nemoseto,

            Reminds me of the chanting monks smacking themselves with boards in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Great scene.

      • Well it may be, the guy who did stump work told me about local markets and what he buys to resell, i can do a crop of spring wheat and winter wheat and also sell the straw and make about 1600 per acre, could do a single of organic corn for a little less or soy haylage. Basically make 25k-30k working that field with almost no overhead. Might be a very good year, and i still have like 15k worth of unsold firewood and fence posts and expect to make another 8k worth over winter.

    • Nemoseto
      Looks like you have done a lot of work on the Bogtrotter Homestead. Enjoyed your video and pulled some ideas from its content to use on our homestead. There are many examples of handmade items that add something special to your place. Whatever works is the way to go to live free.
      Always like to see the open back country of the Adirondack area of New York. My grandfather immigrated from Canada to Oswegatchie over in the Town of Fine back in 1992 where he worked as a logger.

      You have spent a lot of time and labor clearing the land and making a homestead. Best of luck for your farming adventure over the next years. If you get your food production established it will be invaluable during the upcoming food shortages that this country will experience.

    • Nemoseto, I enjoyed seeing your homestead and what you have done with it. May I suggest that when making the next slide show you allow at least 6 seconds per slide? I had to watch it twice because this old girl’s eyes could not focus that fast. Thanks for sharing. ( I was surely lusting after those firewood stacks!)

      • Desertdove

        Hint for watching videos, left click anywhere in the video, that will pause it. You can then move the cursor out of the video. After that pressing the space bar will restart it. Pressing it again will pause it again. Makes it easy to watch videos with quick cut scenes.

    • nemosoto, you’ve had one heck of a year. Congrats on your accomplishments, and thanks for sharing. Like Zulu, I cracked up over the ending credits. Glad I didn’t have my coffee at my lips.

    • This week’s questions:
      * What was your biggest prep this year? We paid off our house.
      * Do you feel more prepared today than you did a year ago? Yes
      * What are your prepping plans for 2021? Focus on making our house more livable and comfortable. We have also come up with an idea for some hidden storage.

      Thor’s questions
      1. Are you ready for the 2021 food/political riots? As ready as I can be without moving.
      2. Have you fortified your home/land? Working on it all the time.
      3. Are you ready to bug out if necessary? Not 100% but could if I have to.
      4. Will you give a stranger food during this crisis? What will you do if he leads 100 more to your door. Much depends on the circumstances and refer to stories my mother told me of the depression and of people that would work in exchange for food and/or shelter for a night or two.

      Jean – sorry to hear about your parking lot accident. I hope the guy doesn’t fight you on the insurance claim.

      Moe – good to hear that your mom is recovering. We know a lot more about it now than we did at first.

      Bam Bam – that electronic children’s book is scary and cool – kinda reminds me of Star Trek. We were talking to our oldest last night about many things but one issue was the need for education to transform to keep up with our technological advances – this is a step in that direction. The part that kinda worries me that there is little to no human contact needed – no parent cuddling the child while reading to him/her. I do like it overall and hope that the technology grows to include more and more books. Imagine a parent who didn’t learn to read using this to both learn and help their own child learn.

      JP in MT – I understand going through things and finding old stuff. I have been burning boxes of papers from my divorce 20-ish years ago. I also discovered and burned papers from my parents’ divorce in 1979-1980. So much stuff that is a burden lifted as I get rid of it.

      Suzy Q – have you started any new medications recently? There are blood pressure medications that can drop your blood sugar too. Also, make sure you have plenty of protein in your diet to even out the highs and lows.

      • G A Red

        Every child is different when it comes to education. A two years ago we got our then two year old granddaughter a bicycle with training wheels for Christmas. She was at our home with her parents and her dad took her outside to show her how to ride it. She pushed him away screaming “No, no, don’t you try and learn me nothing”. She is still that way, she can not stand to have a book read to her. She wants to find out for herself how to do things. I got her an Amazon Fire tablet in a kid proof case. It came with a years subscription to Amazon Kids. We keep the tablet here for the three days a week my wife keeps her. It turns on locked to the program. The educational games are simple to use and she is learning her letters by herself. She was too disruptive for preschool or day-cares, we are hoping she will be civilized enough for kindergarten next Fall and they have in person classes. My wife also works full time as a nurse on weekends and would like her days off back. Did I say she requires 100% of my wife’s attention for the nine hours she is here each day?

        • Daddio7 – agreed – all children are different. It is wonderful when we find something that works for the more independent/stubborn ones. I hope you and your wife survive the next several months with your granddaughter. She sounds like a little daredevil.

        • Daddio7,

          Kids are indeed very different in how they learn. #1 daughter was reading very young. #2 daughter didn’t even know her alphabet by kindergarten. But the light bulb suddenly came on with her in second grade and she is still a reading fanatic. My son knows how to read well enough, but he just isn’t terribly interested in reading a lot. He is very much like my younger brother in that. My bro still does not read a lot unless its the sports page or Sports Illustrated. All the rest of my sibs are big readers (me too – I was reading adult level books at three.

          I learned to encourage them, let them know you’re there to help if they want it, provide them the materials, then leave them alone.

      • No new meds but the nurse practitioner did give me a new pill for blood sugar. After reading the info that came with the pills those pills won’t be taken. The only thing I can come up with is the slight modification in my diet and the possibility I accidentally took a double dose of one of my blood sugar meds.

  5. (1) Biggest prep of the year I guess was my decision to expand my farming endeavors in case we ever needed to hunker down for the long haul. This included adding a new flock of young hens; starting a small flock of bantams to be used for hatching eggs from the big girls; adding to my goat herd, and building a new buck house for my sperm donors. The garden is now twice as big as it had been and I’ve established a compost system with 2 bins–one aged and useable, the other having stuff added to it for composting down. The “pandemic” was my wake-up call to get more serious about self sufficiency!
    (2) Yes, I am much more prepared than I was a year ago. About 2/3 of what I eat now comes from my farm.
    (3) In 2021, I want to revamp the poultry section of my little farm with 2 new chicken houses. I’ve also purchased several pounds of mixed seeds that are for growing food plots for the birds. I want to figure out how to grow more of the feed I need for my critters next year. High on my Wish List for next year: a backup solar power source in case of a long-term power outage that exceeds the capabilities of our propane generator system.

  6. So happy, the Holidays are over my Kid’s both were happy, we stayed home, so am I. We finished with all the paperwork, for the Funeral home, plus getting paperwork signed for my husband’s mother, they need to test for covid. The family, is going to box his dad’s stuff up and put it in storage, until we get their next time we drive down.
    Hubby, bought me (the family ) a new washer, so now washer/dryer, are under 3 year’s old, last year, we had to replace our microwave, we had a 5 year warranty, but this time around we bought the 3 year, because we were supposed to be moved from this house, hopefully we can get something done this coming year and get out of the city.

    I did get my grapevine, pruned a couple of weeks early, I had a window of no rain, and jumped to prune, it back.

    I’m going to see what sales, the stores have on paper goods, and stock up again, it was nice having napkins, and papercup, and any sales, of meat’s to can up would be great too. I opened up some meatballs, and taco meat this week very nice to have on hand, glad hubby, told me to buy a pressure canner, before all the crazy buying got out of hand and I stopped paralyzing myself thinking I couldn’t pressure can.

    We did go to a 90 percent off sale at one of the Thrift shops, my son bought a small compact steamer, for $2.50 cents, I bought candles, and a few Christmas decorations, that went with my other Christmas items for .40 cents for my stuff. They are getting ready for the influx of more donations, this coming week….

    Question 1 My biggest prep, my new pressure canner/blue ball book on canning.

    Question 2 Do I feel better prepared? I’d say yes, getting extra storage shelves, really helped keep every thing organized, now I need to stock back up on Shampoo and Conditioner/soaps.

    Question 3. Getting our house organized, moving stuff out finish painting the outside, and putting it up for sale, before the housing market crashes, and the homeless camp, 3 blocks from our house continues to get out of hand they are living on the library lawn, and City Hall, lawn it’s very attractive and love the trash, and burn barrels, bring a lovely charm to the downtown ): Not.

    We live in a small if that makes sense City, but its wasn’t horrible, at one time it was charming and sweet, until all the bleeding heart’s people, moved in and started to ruin our nice little city, cute neighborhoods, and schools, all close by we walked to everything and we’re even 6 blocks, from the water, beautiful area, turning into a dump, and those who care are being ran out and those who are left well, good luck.

    Have have great week:) everyone and hopefully a better start to 2021??? Only time will tell.

  7. We had a hard freeze last night. It got down to 25 degrees. That’s unusual for north central Florida. We had to cover all the plants. It’s 45 degrees as I write this. We had the coldest Christmas in 20+ years.

    My biggest prep of the year was getting an Instant pot. It has already paid for itself. I am making chili for dinner tonight. I am trying a new recipe for the chili beans. I soaked the beans overnight. (This is not necessary with the Instant pot, but I think they turn out better with soaking.) I made broth from Better Than Bullion (Garlic) and a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Dump everything in Instant pot and set timer for 25 minutes. I don’t like over the top spicy but I do like a depth of flavor. I will make the actual chili in a regular pot as I want plenty to freeze. It’s great to just pull a prepared meal out of the freezer and nuke in the microwave.

    I am definitely more prepared than I was a year ago though it was about this time that I started researching the Wu Flu. I continue to keep a deep pantry. GD#1 loves her bear book. DD says she is obsessed with it. So I ordered her a “read along” set of books. This is actually a brilliant idea. It’s a computer device that reads books to children. It comes with 8 books. They can press a button to select which book they want to “read” and then follow along with the actual book. This teaches them to associate sounds with words. I think she will be reading by age two. Here’s the link if anyone is interested.


  8. What was your biggest prep this year? I had a low energy year and got very little done. I put shelving in one closet to hold more food preps and installed a hybrid water heater. I have the water heater set to heat pump only mode and it has used 345 kWh of electricity since Feb.

    Do you feel more prepared today than you did a year ago? Just a little, mostly with more food stored. I did got a new roof for my home. We were driving home one day and saw a truck with a roofing contractors name and number on the back window. It was a local man and he gave us a very good price. $7000 to remove the old roofing I installed in 2008 and put a 29 gauge sheet metal roof on.

    What are your prepping plans for 2021? I will get my little tractor repaired and work up my garden and orchard spot. I will order and install an off grid solar system. I will do more bulk buying of food staples.

  9. Hello everyone!
    We had a very nice Christmas as my Mom left the Covid section of the nursing home and returned to a regular room (although not hers for some reason.) We also received a negative test result for my husband who had a stomach flu with high fever at the beginning of the week. Thanks to all the regulars on here I continue to learn.

    Those more experienced than I am with pressure canning may know the answer to this, can you substitute turkey for chicken in the Ball chicken stock recipe? I am hoping to can stock for the first time ever.

    Answers to this weeks questions;

    1. My biggest prep was paying attention to the pandemic before it came to America. I have been well prepped this year in terms of food, vitamins and other essentials.

    2. A huge yes to feeling more prepared than a year ago. I hope to maintain or increase this level.

    3. 2021 preps include a greenhouse, expansion of the garden and the addition of fruit and nut trees. The home grown produce taste so much better and grocery prices continue to rise in my part of the country.

    I continue to worry about what is happening outside my isolated area. The Nashville bombing received little attention here, but concerns me kind of like the early flu reports. I do hope I am wrong this time.

    Happy New Year everyone!

  10. Merry Christmas everyone. A big shout out to Dan for keeping this blog up and running. I appreciate you and Tara so much. I have also learned so much from all of you folks. Keep up the prepping. My fear is that we are gonna need it in 2021.

    I did not prep this week. I called family and friends. Enjoyed watching Hallmark Christmas movies, and did a little last minute shopping for bargains and such.

    Two very unwanted things happened. I ordered fromAmazon Prime account and almost immediately got a call from someone claiming to be ‘Amazon Security’ informing me that something odd was happening to my credit card used on Amazon. Said it appeared someone in Russia purchased an I-phone in my name. Really? I thought. Then I was transferred to another person wanting me to look at the bank associated to my credit card to see if they had attached malware. Really? Then this guy made the mistake of saying someone had already used my account to purchase an I-phone in Turkey. I said I wasn’t interested anymore to their strong advice or attempts to correct any problems. As I firmly said I was done, they asked me not to contact anyone about the security breech as it would ruin any security they had already placed on my credit card – yeah right. I immediately called Amazon support. It wasn’t them. I called my bank associated to credit card, and they confirmed someone was attempting to access an IP address. I called the police next and made a report. Long story short, Credit card closed, new one opened. Banking accounts closed and new accounts opened. I am telling all of you, these people are out there, so be aware always.
    The next item that happened was that I went shopping the day before Christmas Eve, and some idiot backed out of his parking space in his Silverado Truck and hit me! I was being cautious, as I always expect people to start to back out of spaces without looking, and when this dude started coming out of his spot. I tapped the horn, he kept coming, laid down on the horn and went to put car in R to avoid idiot boy, but he kept coming till he made contact. I was sick as I have t had the car a year. Just what I needed at the end of the year. Now I am trying to get all the insurance items taken care of, and of course I will be without a car for a couple of weeks. Hope your holidays are better. Remember! This is stuff, and it can be fixed.
    God bless each of you!

    • Jean,

      You did the 100% correct thing with that credit card mess. People get suckered so easily with that crap and you didn’t buy off from the beginning.

      Unfortunately, with the accident, there was only so much you could do to stop an idiot like that. You tried but they are terribly persistently stupid.

    • I only used prepaid visa vanila cards on amazon, and just for what i was ordering, afterward card was used up. But then those kind of cards were refused more and more online, they only wanted to take the refilabe kind that take personal info to activate: for security, they say. So i stopped using amazon rather than give them my info. All my burner cards i used names like hugh jass, ivanna tinkle, amanda huginkis, etc. Personal info cant be stolen if its not real, but amazon cant be used like that anymore so i dont use it at all

      • Yeah. I am about done with using Amazon prime because this is the 2nd time someone has attempted to scam me. I think these scammers troll in the Amazon waters pretty often.

        • Jean:

          I had 2. Both were telling me about a charge about to go on my account. If I didn’t want to have that charge, I needed to give my account and bank information to the operator and they would see that I was not charged.

          These calls, for me, came from Nashville. I notified Amazon, but they still went on for a month or more, 2-3 times a week. I got an email notice this last week of an upcoming charge on my account.

          I’m not sure where they are getting their info. Mostly from phishing, but nothing has actually showed up.

          My debt card got charged and credited at Wal-Mart (in house). The bank said that it was a charge then credit. I cancelled my card after 3 sets in 4 days. Annoying, but it is the Christmas season.

  11. This week’s questions:

    1. What was your biggest prep this year? I replaced my EDV vehicle this year, so that was the most expensive. Second would be the transmission in DW’s car. But with the future availability of stuff getting these was important to us. Then we filled gaps in our preps; more food, some medical (including special protective and detection equipment), and some tactical gear. Now the rafters have much more support and we can focus on other things.

    2. Do you feel more prepared today than you did a year ago? Always getting better prepared, however, we had no panic attacks over anything, and would have been just fine had things been even worse.

    3. What are your prepping plans for 2021? #1 – I don’t see things getting better long-term under the incoming administration. I was hoping for 4 more years to get really ready but it looks like I’m not going to get it. We are still looking for a place out of town where we can produce food instead of just putting it up.

    This week…

    DW and I “splurged” upon ourselves as a couple this year. We did not do a lot of shopping for each other for Christmas individually, but we did, by mutual consent” get some things for the benefit of all. After 10+ years of the same love seat and couch, they got replaced. The DVD racks I ordered are in, and assembled. Moved all the DVD’s off the old, crappy bookcase, and filled the new racks.

    I found we had a refurbished coffee grinder in our stash, so I used it to further grind down the dehydrated eggs into a finer powder. The first batch didn’t dissolve well, I assumed because the pieces were too big. However, I think I broke this grinder (along with the grain grinder), so I ordered one that does coffee, nuts, and spices ($23). This project will still be cheaper than buying powdered eggs in #10 for $62 (43 eggs).
    Cleaning up piles! Got rid of a pile under my white board and found…DW’s old passport and documentation to get another, original documents from my divorce (30 years ago), and an envelope full of picture my mother sent me of me and my family growing up (she’s been gone since 2006). Boy, do we need to move!

    DW’s office had a “virtual” Christmas party Wednesday, and prize give-a-way. 2-3 years ago, she called and told me to bring the van because the TV she won won’t fit in the Subaru; a 65” 4K Ultra; this year she won another. One of the people in her office needed a large TV for their business and offered to buy it. They got a new one for half price, we got more prep/debt-killer money!

    Christmas was nice. Night before a friend from church brought over goodies. We spent the day together, no other family (and cleaned and re-arranged some more in the living room).

    Picked up a new (to us) fur baby this Saturday (12-26-20) morning. She’s 3, looks like a cross between a beagle and a red-bone hound, probably needs some house breaking as she was kept outside, and although she has taken to my DW after 45 minutes at the shelter and an hour drive home, she is very nervous around people in general. Raise to hunt smaller game, so cats are out! I think she just needs a good home, loving people she can trust, and she/we will be okay.

    Supply Run: Love seat; SPAM; TV: canning jar lids;

    Received: DVD racks, 2 (228) & 3 (360) column; pourable brown sugar; room air filter replacement; electric coffee grinder;

  12. Zulu, my husband has a standing Rx for epinephrine after getting stung by killer bees 5 years ag. with a Good Rx coupon, I got 2 2 packs at Walgreens for $250. If you can find someone who has a standing scrip, maybe they would buy a 2 pk for you.

  13. Yes I’m better prepared but it is an ongoing process. I don’t think a person can be totally prepared unless they own a grocery store, a variety store, a hardware store, ECT. We will always find something we are missing or short of.
    Blew a tire Thursday and may have damaged the rim so will have to deal with that Monday.
    Blood sugar crashed. It was 75 after having a snack. After a candy bar, some soda and soup it had come up to 115. I’ll have to do some thinking about why that happened and how to avoid it in the future.
    Stocking up continues. Organizing also continues. Just found a small stash of Lysol type sprays I had forgotten about.
    My biggest hope for the first of the year is that I find a new to me BOV.

  14. Hmmm… Thor1 is really late to the party. I keep coming back every 20 minutes on a flip phone all day out of sheer isolation boredom

    • Nemoseto,

      HaHa. My husband was told he no longer get a flip phone. We got a two for one deal on Iphones (which I needed for my work). Now he is a champion smart phone user.

  15. I fail to understand how you folks live up north and out west. We have had two days of freezing weather. It got down to 25 degrees last night and it is expected to get down to 30 degrees tonight. We had to actually turn the heat on. It is so cold that I actually had to put socks on. Even the Woulffe is unhappy. When I took him out this morning his poop steamed. I feel entirely unprepared for the end of the world.

    Please advise!

    • We wear more clothes! Lol! Seriously. I was raised in CT, and you have two sets of clothes; those for summer, add a sweater or something if it’s chilly, and then you have winter clothing- boots, snowpants, down parka/long coat, lots of scarves, mittens, gloves and hoodies/hats. You can always add more clothes in the winter, but in the summer, theres only so much you can take off! Lol

  16. What was your biggest prep this year?Getting the garage and house more organized. Ive been stashing like a squirrel, and was getting disorganized and running out of room. Now we are fine, so far!
    Do you feel more prepared today than you did a year ago? Yes, and will continue to work on it. Nothing this year, except the ‘rona, has surprised me.
    What are your prepping plans for 2021? Keep on keeping on, helping the neighbors, and finally getting the greenhouse built. Building 4 more raised beds, bringing the total to eight.

  17. Puppy had a good Christmas even though we had no snow stick. We had snow and sleet but nothing nasty. He new what stocking was his and diligently tried to pull out his new squirrel toy. I finally had to help him. So cute. He got aggressive towards a neighbor as I was walking him. It might have been that he blocked our path while we were talking. He never did that before without a command.

    Jeep finally got it’s tow hitch installed.
    Jeep had it’s oil changed and tires rotated.
    Charged the battery in the 4×4 truck agai

    Bought large bottle of fuel-stab
    Bought a gallon of chainsaw chain oil

    All firearms are cleaned and lubed.

    Bought another shelf rack.
    Moved canning supplies to new shelf rack.
    Moved seed starter kits to new shelf rack.

    Thor’s questions
    1. Are you ready for the 2021 food/political riots?

    2. Have you fortified your home/land?

    3. Are you ready to bug out if necessary?

    4. Will you give a stranger food during this crisis? What will you do if he leads 100 more to your door?

    • Thor’s questions
      1. Are you ready for the 2021 food/political riots? Yes.

      2. Have you fortified your home/land? Yes.

      3. Are you ready to bug out if necessary? Yes.

      4. Will you give a stranger food during this crisis? What will you do if he leads 100 more to your door? Not from my home; for that reason.

    • Thor’s questions

      1. Are you ready for the 2021 food/political riots?

      As much as I can be. I am still loading up on food.

      2. Have you fortified your home/land?

      I don’t have any land to fortify, but my apartment is as ready as an apartment can be.

      3. Are you ready to bug out if necessary?

      If necessary, I can, but I don’t want to.

      4. Will you give a stranger food during this crisis? What will you do if he leads 100 more to your door?

      As JP said, not from my home just for that reason.

        • The answer is still no. What happened to bring them all the way out to my door?

          I did not get where I am with handouts from others. I made due, did without, and got by. I have empathy for people, but very little sympathy. It seams that now people EXPECT others to take care of them without even trying to do for themselves. I have not met those who were set upon by hard times due to things they could not control. The ones I have seen asking for help/money still have funds for alcohol, smokes, tattoos, video games, and junk food. If it is something like at storm or other disaster, I bring the aid that I can to others. I don’t dispense it from my home.

          • We and in this I don’t mean just me could feed a lot of people over the short term . Would not be at anyone’s house but at a public location. Numerous sealed barrels of rice, beans and flour along with other food stuff has been set aside for this need by a local group I work with.

    • 1 no riots will be near me, unless you count a stampeed of cattle… Last traffic jam was caused by cows eating grass along road and not mooving and making the only car in 5 hours wait. 2 more than anyone else in 15 miles, but only as much as practical. 3 i would not. 4 sure i got coon and skunk jerkey to spare and other stuff that would lead 100 people to anywhere but my place.

  18. Bonus questions

    1. Do you have choke points in your house/apartment?

    2. Do you have points that can be defensively fortified in your dwelling?

    3. Do you have baby gates that could slow attackers down as they enter your home?

    • Thor’s Bonus questions

      1. Do you have choke points in your house/apartment?

      Yes, and points that can be made so.

      2. Do you have points that can be defensively fortified in your dwelling?

      Nothing bullet resistant.

      3. Do you have baby gates that could slow attackers down as they enter your home?

      Yes. Still have a baby gate from GD#1 being a baby. Easily used to slow an attacker trying to enter my bedroom hallway.

      • Z36, + for the baby gate. To fortify dog food bags or sandbags full of dirt or sand are great. Seal the open end with duct tape. Heavy weights from the gym work well too. Nail boards, marbles or ball bearings on smooth surfaces are great too.

        Think outside the box.

        • Thor 1,

          I like the nail boards idea (they hurt a lot more). Add a little dog feces and flashbacks from Vietnam take it from there. I suppose if I had the time to get the materials and put them together, I’d love to add nail boards. But #1GD couldn’t be around at the time.

    • Not aplicable. My place is a crude cabin with just 1 big room and my place screams: this guy aint got shit to steal. Chokepoints are outside, hardpoints are outside and getting harder, i only stoped making stone walls because rocks froze to ground. Could use logs too and i have ditches and fences. As per baby gates there is no place to put them.

    • Thor, I’ve been a bit concerned about this for many years. Yeah, I’ve had it pictured in my brain. Other than large meteor hitting the Atlantic, the other possibility is massive landslide / volcano in Azores or Canary Islands. Huge tsunami would wipe out our entire east coast, including little ole me.

  19. Good Morning from Douglasville,

    It got really cold here Christmas Eve, Christmas day was with family around a wood burning stove so we stayed pretty warm and enjoyed a big breakfast, watching the kids open presents and exchanging some sweat shirts.

    Biggest prep for the week was refinancing the loan on this house. It should go through and will knock almost 2 points off the current loan and save about 25K in interest payments. All the paperwork is done and just waiting to hear back from the underwriters.

    For prepping I got a good deal on 2 25 pounds of popcorn at Sam’s. I have a hand cranked mill and can make corn meal out of it if need be.

    For Christmas my DW surprised me with a US M1 30 caliber carbine. She made contact with a local member of our gun trading group so it is with no paperwork and no BoS. Seller tossed in 120 rounds of ammo, 2 magazines, a manual and a stock magazine carrier, plus a new bayonet. I am very happy with the present. FIL was a Korean war vet and carried same rifle when he was there. He has lots of great memories so we will be going to the range to let him try out his skills as soon as the weather breaks.

    I worked on the riding mower and got it up and going and mulched a lot of leaves in the back yard then blew the mulched stuff down to the back fence with the back pack blower (another present from DW from the previous year). I am getting a bit long in the tooth for that kind of work but it is very satisfying.

    We saw a doe and 3 fawn come up the street the other night. I went out and got a 50 pound salt block and several hundred pounds of corn to put out for them. They can graze in the yard but I really enjoy watching them feed.

    Got the grandkids a telescope for Christmas. They are in California and are age 5 and 7. They took it out Christmas night and I face timed and walked them through putting it together. They were so excited when they got to see the moon up close.

    That’s all for me for now. My hours go way down next week when I move from full time working about 75 hours a week to part time and 24 hours a week so I am not sure what I will be doing with all the free time.

    Happy New Years
    Kick 2020 right on out the door

  20. What was your biggest prep this year?

    I only started prepping seriously this year so EVERYTHING was my “biggest prep” this year, it was all very casual and haphazard previously.

    Do you feel more prepared today than you did a year ago?

    Yes, in some senses as I’m taking it more seriously now but also no because the deeper I get into the world the more I realise how unprepared I am for almost everything and how much work I have to do.

    What are your prepping plans for 2021?

    Stockpile more of everything (food, first aid, water, general supplies, tools and gear, gold / silver / bitcoin) and learn more prepper & survival skills.

    • Better late than never! Kudos to you, and remember, little bites. Otherwise you may get overwhelmed. Do you have the book “the Preppers blueprint?” Its a good one to help you decide whats most important at the time.

  21. Hey all! New to the pack but I’ve been a contributing writer to TSB for a while. Glad to finally join you.
    This week’s questions:

    * What was your biggest prep this year?
    Put a DIY solar system into our off-grid place. It was an adventure 2 years in the making, but now we have cold drinks and a ceiling fan!! Swapped out the thermostat in a small chest freezer and it now runs at refrigerator temps. It’s incredibly efficient!

    * Do you feel more prepared today than you did a year ago?
    Yes, definitely. The Pandemic proved out our plans and preparations. We topped off a lot of our pantry and extended greatly in a few other areas. Most importantly we built confidence in our own skills, stores, and abilities!

    * What are your prepping plans for 2021?
    We’ve recently gotten into curing and dry-aging meats. We really want to polish these skills. Hope to be eating our own salami, capicola, and prosciutto soon. As always we plan on adding 2-3 plants to our foraging expertise. This year was ramps and fiddleheads. Can’t wait to see what we add next.

  22. My biggest prepping accomplishment this year was moving my pantry to a darker, less obvious part of the house instead of right when you enter from the garage. Also cleared out expired food and emptied more canning jars that I am refilling with things I never canned before in 30 years such as milk, 1/2++1/2, longhorn cheese, cream cheese, salsa, carmelized onions, cranapple juice and cranorange juice. Started making herbal salves too.
    So I do feel more prepared this year as I am more organized and aware of where to find all my different preps here on the property.
    My 2021 goal is to buy the few things I don’t have, to fill in the gaps and spend more time at the range and host more women’s gun safety classes after my attempted truckjacking incident in November.
    I have no desire to go to the big city knowing more chaos can ensue, but DH medical needs may make a few trips necessary.
    I am prepared with my BOB and BOV if needed, but hunkering down here is the best place, 100 miles from the big city, 10 miles from the nearest town on a major creek with an artesian well and livestock and fellow prepper up the road.
    I don’t expect 2021 to be better, but it’s still ok to wish all you warriors a better one. Stay safe, ya’all.

    • Thor1,

      Hard to tell if this was some kind of “test run.” Mexico’s infrastructure isn’t in the greatest shape (no better than ours certainly). You also have to remember that it isn’t unheard of for large numbers of electrical customers to lose power here in the US due to big storms. What is the Mexican media saying is the proximate cause of their big outage?

      Not everyone can have a generator, for various reasons from affordability to lack of location to install one. I can afford a generator, but I can’t hook it into my breaker box. Also, I have no sufficient or safe storage for gasoline, or sufficient space for propane tanks. Moreover, my lease prohibits the things.

      I will just have to muddle through using some solar. Luckily, living in Florida, exposure to cold weather is time limited and easily controlled through warm clothing and blankets. Our most recent cold snap only lasted a few days and we’re back to reasonably warm days and not very chilly nights. Summer will be rough for some folks, but I’ve lived in Florida and other hot places (like Vietnam) without air conditioning, so I can get by. I never lived in AC until I was in the Marines (some stateside locations). Just need lots of hydration and stay out of the sun as much as possible.

      • Z36, it doesn’t have to be a gas generator, a solar generator can work. Something to keep the refrigerator and freezer running and rechargeable batteries for flashlights ect. working. I do have a gas generator as well in case of a cloudy day. I hear Bill Gates also wants to save us from the Sun. Yep, block out the Sun so we can’t have a renewable energy source or grow food. What happens when the trees die? ☠️

        • Thor, yeah, I read that article too. People who don’t know what they’re doing, should just leave things alone. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Scary the crap that dope and his friends dream up.

      • Z36, what type of alternative cooking do you have?

        I’m assuming that since you live in an apartment your stove may also be electric.

        A solo stove or something similar maybe an excellent choice as it’s renewable and makes little smoke. If you have a porch/balcony.

        • Thor,

          For cooking, I have two propane camping stoves (2-burners), plus a rocket stove. I have a decent supply of 16-oz propane tanks and a supply of wood for the rocket stove. Additionally, there is a decent supply of rocket stove suitable wood laying around near my apartment. Moreover, I have a couple of Esbit stoves and a pile of hexamine heat tabs. I used the Esbit stove in the field with the military and it does a good and fast job of heating up a canteen cup of water. C-4 would be better than hexamine, but it’s kind of hard to get when not in the military.

          I do have several solar panels and battery packs for running small fans, phones, HAM HTs, lanterns, etc. I have a bigger battery unit and solar panel to run my CPAP. I keep all of the battery packs topped off along with the lights, radios, fans, etc. The CPAP battery is good for a little over three nights use without charging (I tested), but I plan to keep it as topped off as possible daily in a SHTF situation.

  23. Biggest prep of the year: Got my health back. Had heart surgery, then 5 months of rehab and I’m health and back to work ??
    Am I more prepared: No. Just blessed to be healthy and maintain life at home. 2021 will be good to get back on track with the homestead.
    Be safe Pack !!


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