What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 13- Sep 15th- 22nd 2018

prep week 13

It has been an incredibly busy time here on our survival retreat. We got more done over the weekend than we normally do in an entire week. Our tribe rocks! Ok, well, rocked before getting a brand new excavator (that only had 17 hours on it) stuck in the mud.

In addition to building new roads into the woods to reach more downed trees to cut up for firewood, we also dug out around the pole barn to prevent the hillside from collapsing the back wall.

I split my time between supervising them for safety purposes – even intelligent preppers can still act like little boys when they have big toys to play with, and completing a project of my own.

As I have noted in some previous weekly posts, we are finally starting to work on the inside of our home. The walls were painted and flooring installed over the concrete floors months ago, but that was about it. There were simply too many home and property repairs that needed done in addition to making our 56-acre fixer upper dreamland fully functional, to mess with home decor.

Y’all saw my cool new cabinets for prep storage and general storage last week. This week we made great use of materials we already had in our junque piles. I am now a firm believer (partially thanks to Pinterest) that plywood is a vastly underrated project material.

I not only wanted, but needed new countertops. The ones that came with this house were junky fake butcher block laminate that were circa 1986. They were not longer attached well around the sink, and deteriorating.

Instead of spending money that could be better spent elsewhere (like for preps) on new store bought countertops, I decided to make my own. They turned out great and only cost me $11 total – for wood stain. If I had needed to purchase the plywood it would have been $17 for a half-inch sheet at the local Jerry’s Do It Hardware. The poly clear coat would have cost me $12, but I had a nearly full can and a spare.

plywood countertop

This photo above shows one of the plywood countertops that has been cut to fit and has the exposed edge rounded to prevent little ones from poking an eye out and adults from knocking a hip on it going around the corner to the bathroom.

One of the guys cut and rounded the plywood, but I sanded it by hand, applied the stain, and then several layers of clear coat to seal it. Even though the plywood is going to be used inside, I still used the pressure treated version since it would be put in use around water.

The plywood still had multiple ink stamp markings on it from the manufacturer, but even with the need to sand that off, it still only took my about half an hour to hand sand the entire board to make it smooth and attractive.

ink stamps on sanded plywood

This is what the ink stamps on the board looked like when they had been sanded on for about five minutes. If you do not get the stamps or any other permanent marker number notations removed, they will show through the stain, even if you use a dark version.

This is why it is so important to sand down the plywood. You can see the difference between the partially sanded side and the raw board:

comparison raw versus sanded wood

After sanding the board, I used Bobby’s air compressor to blow off all of the sawdust. Next, I tilted the plywood board up off of the sawhorses into a slant and used a broom to sweep away anymore sawdust. If you do not get all of the sawdust removed, it will show in the clear coat and look just plain awful. If I possessed any patience, I could have gone a step further and hosed the board down and let it dry overnight, but I wanted to have the project completed over the weekend so the countertops could be installed on Monday.

Even cheap plywood will look beautiful when stain is added to bring out the grain in the wood. The prettiest side of this board was the side that had never been sanded upon at all and have five sets of ink markings. I stained the other side of the board to see if I would like it better than I thought, but the knots were far too uniform and it just did not suit – so the sanding continued.

I could not have been happier with the look of my upcycled countertops. Making sure to apply the clear coat evenly and forcing yourself to wait overnight for it to dry completely and not be tacky before the second application, was the only hard part of the entire project:

applied clean coat over the plywood

countertops backsplash using wooden boards

We use 1x4x8 boards to make a backsplash for the countertops. Except for two pen markings, they did not need to be sanded at all.

We were able to pull more fence boards off of the old corral and the barn that were by and large, still in great shape. Except for a few rotted boards, they can all be re-used to help fence in a hay field to use if for pasture after the last hay cut of the season – which just passed. Putting in a wood post instead of simply pounding a metal T post will be more work, but the metal posts cost about $3 to $4 each and the old boards were completely free.

old fence boards

I wanted a baby gate for the playroom to keep our youngest grandkiddo and others of the one to three year old sect actually in there. Instead of buying a cheaply made gate from Walmart, I dug in the lumber yard and found something that not only is free and will work perfectly, but will look really rustic and cool:

small old fence to be used as baby gate

I am a firm believer any time you can save money on one project, there is more money in our prepping budget to buy more long-term survival food, tools, ammo, livestock feed, etc.

My nephew Conner, who is now home from the Marines, truly adapted and overcame an issue in my barn. The mini donkeys have not liked losing their sleeping stall to Pearl and her kids. I had a stall divider put up in the adjacent area, but that was not guide enough to suit. So, we added some more boards to the divider and took it a little taller – but nope, the horses could still stick their heads through or over and the minis were not going to go in there.

mini donkeys inside the stall

So, I told Conner to find whatever scrap he could and closer up all of the opening and take the divider yet another board high. Conner used a combination of chicken wire, high tensile fencing, and hardware cloth – along with some plastic ties. He said in the Marines they never got anything new and learned to make due with what they had. I love free project that function at least as well in reality as they did in theory.

My beloved Bobby surprised me with six ducklings. I just love ducks and their eggs are simply delicious and great for baking. I dehydrate my own eggs instead of buying long-term storage eggs, so the more layers the better.

duck

They are Peking ducks – great layers horrible sitters. Come spring when I am ready to expand the duck flock again I will most likely need to pull out my incubator to get any to hatch. I will share picks of the newest additions next week, we are back in a days of relentless rain cycle at the moment and running down to the coop to snap a picture I can’t believe I hadn’t taken already of my surprise barnyard gift, just isn’t going to happen during the current downpour.

Auddie has become an expert at helping me pick nuts to save. Before my upcycled barnwood cabinets were hung up, she made one of them her little nut cupboard and stacked the nuts neatly inside while counting them and arranging them in small, medium, and large “families” – a great little homeschool preschool lesson that little miss came up with all on her own:

auddie in her nut cupboard

I never knew I had an affinity for knives and axes until a couple of years ago when Bobby bought a bag of goodies from a relative and I spotted this incredibly beautiful, sharp multi-purpose knife.

I am now enamored with Bobby’s Klax Multi-Tool Axe. You can never have enough axes when you live rural or are a prepper, in my opinion. It is far lighter than a regular axe (or hatchet as we like to call them around here) yet not nearly as heavy as a standard axe.

The KLAX has a multi-tool head with seven different tools. It has a clamping system, a stainless steel axe blade, a gut hook, knife blade, Ulu knife blade, hex wrench set, lanyard hole, bottle opener, hammer head, ruler, and a carabiner. The handle is 15 inches long and incredibly sturdy despite the light weight.

After only about 15 minutes of trying out all of the features on this hatchet that belonged to a tribe member, I had to get online and order one for myself. See how handy all the money I saved on the farm and home projects just became?!

klax multi-tool

Photo courtesy of FarmandCabin – Tools For Real Life.

This week’s questions:

1. What non-typical applications have you found or might be inspired to try using common plywood?
2. Do you (or would you like to) keep ducks for eggs and meat?
3. What ways do you find to live frugally to save money for preps?
4. What type of axe do you own, want, or how many are stockpiled in your preps?

And…how did you prep this week?

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 →

98 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 13- Sep 15th- 22nd 2018

  1. Finally broke down and bought a smart phone. I had one a few years ago and had issues just making phone calls with it, so I went back to a flip phone. Things have changed and I can make use of a lot of the features that are now available for it. Bought my accessories on Amazon, so they took a couple of days to get in, but saved a bunch over getting them at the phone store. No local source for accessories for a Motorola phone.

    With the discovery of AA to C and D batteries, I can reduce our storage of batteries to just AA. I also found storage boxes for AA. All on Amazon.

    1. Tara:

      As I look at the questions…

      1. So far the only use I have had for plywood is for flooring and shelving; pretty typical stuff.
      2. No on the duck. No real yard, not enough water.
      3. This is interesting, especially today. We went grocery shopping. I was laughing the the DW about how we shop (bargains, markdowns, sales, pantry filling, etc.) and how we now have more than enough food (we are helping DD1 at the moment) and how we used to struggle just to put enough on our own table.
      4. I have 2-3 of each type that we use; full-size single bit, camp axe (14+” handle), and hatchet.

    2. JP,

      Finally broke down and bought a smart phone. I had one a few years ago and had issues just making phone calls with it, so I went back to a flip phone.

      Smart phones are a problem for me with my vision issues; but, my kid sister who lives and works in Key West had some type of military deal with AT&T and she got a BOGO on a Samsung Galaxy S8+. With a hand magnifier and the “Bixby” voice assistant I’m learning to use it. It has unlimited everything for around $20.00 per month, and I’m going to use it mainly for some of my ham radio stuff. AT&T doesn’t work here on the farm as well as Verizon who carries my flip phone (Samsung Convoy) and the DH’s iPhone; but, we do enough traveling and it works well enough, to take on the challenge of using it. I recently purchased an inexpensive Android tablet that works similarly, so most of the education transfers between the two. One thing I can do with the Smartphone is to connect it to my Roku stick or Fire stick via WiFi and display the screen on the big TV (50” or 55”) and that helps a lot; but, only for learning, since I can’t carry the HDTV with me in the car or on the run.

      With the discovery of AA to C and D batteries, I can reduce our storage of batteries to just AA. I also found storage boxes for AA. All on Amazon.
      Discovery? I’ve been using those little plastic tubes fir decades and they do help a lot. I however have very few devices that use C or D cells anymore, so I mostly stock AA & AAA Panasonic Eneloop nimh rechargeable batteries with numerous chargers running 24/7. They are a bit more expensive; but, IMO the best available. When you order them new, they come already charged and ready for use.

      1. Last night my wife and I were at a derk Bently concert in Wheatland Calif. We had to put our wallet and etc through the metal detector . The asked me for my cell phone. I told her that it was at home. She looked at me funny and I pointed to my wife and said she has hers. I thought that I did not need mine with me. Just something to get lost.

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

    It’s been a bummer of a week here. Actually, Thursday was a bummer of a week. First, my ex-father-in-law passed away. It was expected and he was in hospice. He and I always got along well and he was not happy when his daughter filed for divorce from me. He was the only grandfather my kids had as my dad was long deceased (1971). He was always kind and fun with the kids when they were little and taught them a lot of Spanish. He had a pet name for #2 daughter that she still refuses to allow anyone else to call her. I learned how to roast a whole pig from him (a required male skill in a Cuban family).

    On Tuesday, my son told me that his girlfriend was pregnant. On Thursday evening, she miscarried. Needless to say, my son is very upset, doubly so. #2 daughter was also very upset as she is a very soft-hearted gal, even if she acts tough.

    #1 daughter flew out to Pensacola Friday morning to be with her mother and other family and took granddaughter with her. #2 daughter is driving up to P-cola today (Saturday) and taking her brother and his girlfriend too. I’m not going as I dislike flying these days and really dislike long car trips, particularly when I have to do the driving.

    I mixed up a batch of elderberry syrup (Bam Bam’s secret recipe, star anise option). My granddaughter likes the stuff and doesn’t fuss at all when her mom gives her some.

    The chiropractor visits seem to be helping. My back isn’t hurting quite as much.

    Tara’s Questions:

    #1: Ducks – No I don’t keep, or want to keep, ducks. No place to do it here.
    #2: Frugal living – I don’t really do anything special. Financially I’m in reasonable shape and have enough to easily prep with. I don’t go crazy buying Mercedes, or massive entertainment centers, or excessively large houses/apartments. I mostly get what I need and save what’s left.
    #3: Type of ax: I own three hand axes, two mainly for cutting up small wood for my rocket stoves (one stays in my BOB), and the third a tomahawk also for cutting small wood, and for defense if it comes down to that.

    1. Zulu 3-6,

      and the third a tomahawk also for cutting small wood, and for defense if it comes down to that.

      I have two throwing tomahawks I had totally forgotten about. I guess they are indeed hand axes.
      They would be best used for defense; but, I think against a non human target if needed, since once thrown, you need to retrieve them to use again, and against a fellow human, they could well be thrown back.
      BTW, I haven’t forgotten your camera question email; but, things have been busy with my infected eyeball. I’ll get back to it tomorrow (Sunday 9/23) with a bit of luck.

      1. TOP,

        (They would be best used for defense; but, I think against a non human target if needed, since once thrown, you need to retrieve them to use again, and against a fellow human, they could well be thrown back.)

        It depends on how they catch them…..LOL

      2. TOP,

        I wouldn’t throw a tomahawk. I would use it in conjunction with a knife as a impact weapon. I can’t throw one of those worth a darn.

        1. Zulu 3-6,

          I wouldn’t throw a tomahawk. I would use it in conjunction with a knife as a impact weapon. I can’t throw one of those worth a darn.

          I bought them to throw and I’m rather good throwing them at a tree or wall (wooden of course), including swinging targets; but, for hand to hand I’ll take the reach and control I have with the NunChaKu or short bo staff over a blade. I’ve trained a bit with blades; but, quite honestly, at close in distances, they scare me more than a firearm. It’s much easier to avoid a muzzle than an edge that cuts in any direction.

        2. Zuly 3-6:

          Throwing a tomahawk reminds me of the old westerns where the guy fires his 5-30 rounds then throws the gun when it’s empty.

          In fact when I Cowboy Shooting, they were talking about having a stage where you fired 5 then threw the gun. Ended up putting a toy gun at the stage to throw because people became a bit concerned about throwing a gun many had up to $2000 invested in.

          1. JP in MT,

            Throwing an empty gun reminds me of the original Superman TV show with Steve Reeves. Superman would stand there and let bullets bounce off his chest, then ducked when the bad guy(s) threw their pistols at him. I always wondered why Superman would have to duck from a thrown gun, but I was just a kid then. I know well now why.

  3. Puppy is such a helper. He was carrying some split logs over to a woodpile for stacking. Good boy.

    Put up another 1/2 cord of firewood.
    Added to the kindling…..

    Stocking up on food and water.

    Bought more dog food.

    Bought a molle gear holster for the plate carrier.
    Bought a molle gear double magazine carrier for the plate carrier.
    Bought a radio pouch for plate carrier.
    Bought a flashlight holder for the plate carrier.
    Installed all of the above on plate carrier plus a trauma kit.

    Ever get that feeling that something bad is going to happen ?

    Heard there is a possible Carrington event heading this way, get ready.

    1. What non-typical applications have you found or might be inspired to try using common plywood?
    2. Do you (or would you like to) keep ducks for eggs and meat?
    3. What ways do you find to live frugally to save money for preps?
    4. What type of axe do you own, want, or how many are stockpiled in your preps?

    1. Signs, flooring in attic.
    2. I love cooked duck. Spicy…. But the birds of prey in the area would probably kill them.
    3. Food growing/ saving, firewood to cut heating bill,solar power to cut electric bill.
    4. Ludell, estwing, and rapid mauls as well and wedge. I have a total of 5.

    1. Thor1,

      Heard there is a possible Carrington event heading this way, get ready.

      I don’t know where you heard this; but, you clearly need more credible sources.
      http://spaceweather.com/ says:

      NORTHERN AUTUMN BEGINS TODAY: Today, the sun is crossing the equator heading south, changing seasons … for the better, according to aurora watchers. Autumnal cracks in Earth’s magnetic field allow solar wind to penetrate more easily than usual, sparking geomagnetic activity. Indeed, today began with a G1-class geomagnetic storm. Arctic sky watchers should be alert for the first auroras of autumn after nightfall.

      For thos who don’t know, these are the ratings for geomagnetic storms:
      • G1 (Minor) Geomagnetic Storm
      • G2 (Moderate) Geomagnetic Storm
      • G3 (Strong) Geomagnetic Storm
      • G4 (Severe) Geomagnetic Storm
      • G5 (Extreme) Geomagnetic Storm
      The Autumnal equinox should BTW be starting right as I post this on 9/22/2018 @ 9:54 PM Eastern.

        1. Thor1,
          The video is just a bit over the top.

          FEMA Is Preparing for a Solar Superstorm That Would Take Down the Grid

          This is true. I’ve worked with local EMA for nearly 20 years, and we have SOP’s inplace for this, and other events like hurricanes. Floods, ice storms, blizzards, etc.
          The Congressional EMP Commission was established in 2001 and has warned that a nationwide blackout due to EMP or potentially CME would be devastating.

          The looming threat of extreme space weather has FEMA preparing for the perfect solar storm, and an unimaginable power grid disaster, FOIA documents reveal.

          This is also true as FEMA as well as state and local EMA are charged with attempting to have mitigation efforts in place for any and all foreseeable threats.
          The problem is that the small amount of money to mitigate these issues is being held up by politicians who would rather score points for their egos, and get reelected, rather than doing what’s right for the country. We only have to look at the Kavanaugh appointment or the funding of the border wall to see where the problem lies.
          Since we cannot predict a CME, we can only be as prepared as possible for the eventuality while SOHO and the Space Weather watchers keep an eye on old sol and analyze its behavior.

          1. And then Obama disbanded the commission, that still infuriates me. I have a friend who as on the commission and no matter how much the true experts protested about doing away with the commission and the fragile nature of the grid against natural disasters and cyber hacking, their valid concerns fell on deaf ears. My first book as about surviving and then thriving in a grid down situation.

      1. TOP,

        The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is
        expected to be at moderate levels on 06-08 Oct and at high levels
        for the remainder of the outlook period. All enhancements in
        electron flux are expected due to multiple, recurrent CH HSSs.

        Geomagnetic field activity is expected to range from quiet to G2
        (Moderate) geomagnetic storm levels. G2 (Moderate) geomagnetic storm
        levels are expected on 08 Oct; G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm levels
        are expected on 07 Oct and 10 Oct; active conditions are expected on
        17 Sep, 23 Sep, 02 Oct and 11 Oct; unsettled conditions are expected
        on 18 Sep, 24 Sep, 01 Oct, 09 Oct and 12 Oct. All levels of elevated
        geomagnetic activity are due to the anticipated influence of
        multiple, recurrent CH HSSs.

        1. Thor1,
          This is all well and good for the ham operator trying to attempt specific communications modes and as an indicator of propagation. The site you reference is run by Robert G Cunnings NW8L, a ham operator in New Mexico who is just reposting NOAA space weather information.. What does any of this have to do with a Carrington type event?

          1. Thor1,
            A video about how A huge “UFO” interacted with the Sun to avoid a powerful “Solar Storm” directed to Earth!.
            Really?
            Credibility is nonexistent & I’m finished with this discussion with a conspiracy theorist. Are you a fan of Alex Jones by chance?

          2. TOP, LOL

            The problem is in a minor solar event, the earths electromagnetic field weakens. Therefore if a 2 hits it maybe more like a 3 or 4…….

            What do you have against aliens……..LOL

          3. Thor1,

            The problem is in a minor solar event, the earths electromagnetic field weakens. Therefore if a 2 hits it maybe more like a 3 or 4

            True; but, the power grid and satellite operators know this and communicate with the Space Weather folks to mitigate these issues well ahead of time, since they generally have advance warning ranging from 10-20 hours up to several days. This is still a far reach from a Carrington type event.

            What do you have against aliens……..LOL

            That depends, legal? Or illegal? Perhaps the wall needs to be even taller, LOL.

  4. Tara
    Must commend you on the amount of work you (& your family)accomplish every weekend at your new home.
    I visit the sight to see what everyone has done for the week or two depending on when weekly preps series is published. Also to catch up what the old blog members are doing and to see how they are fairing.

    Thank you once again for taking on this project, our household appreciates all your hard work.

  5. I am so glad you took over this segment and the site. You are doing a great job. May I offer a suggestion for future videos? I think a potential prepper might be more inclined to watch your videos and take it seriously if you were dressed more appropriately for the work. Maybe a bra, polo shirt or T-shirt and jeans or long shorts. If I were a guy I would think it hard to concentrate on the task at hand, just saying. Otherwise, nice video.
    What we did to prep this week was getting the pasture in order. Weeds are trying to take over. Then we spent two days at the Southeast DX conference in Pigeon Forge. Learned a lot, saw some people we knew, and these guys know how to prep for their trips. I picked up tips on using those skills at home.
    Plywood? Shelving has been our most common use. We also used it as sheathing in our closets and bathroom, so we can screw wire shelving directly to it.
    Ducks? Would love to have them, and we have a pond, but the coyotes and snapping turtles would get them.
    Garden for food and sale, vineyard is doing well, and if I could keep the squirrels out of the orchard, I would be in high cotton!
    We have a couple of splitting mauls and some hatchets, and that’s it.

    1. Babycatcher,

      Garden for food and sale, vineyard is doing well, and if I could keep the squirrels out of the orchard, I would be in high cotton!

      Box traps for the squirrels? As long as they are getting fat on your goodies, they may as well be added to the larder as a lean protein source.

      1. Hubby won’t eat them. You know the prepper mantra, store what you eat? So I take them to a place 13 miles away, and if they can cross a 6 lane highway and two rivers to get back here, they are welcome to the entire orchard! Lol!

          1. Babycatcher,
            That’s too bad. We have two inside and are down to 2 or 3 outside. The outside cats used to be a full fledged herd; but, many have simply gotten old and passed on. We did have a few strays that had kittens; but, we often found entire litters dead in a pile. Once again the raccoons were to blame. We also live out far enough that the occasional fox or snake will keep down the smaller rodents. On occasion a field mouse gets into the house and the younger of the cats thinks it’s play time. We think we know where they are getting in, since he also will sit for hours just staring at a little hole in the baseboard of our back room.

  6. A trip to Costco for tp, grape juice, tissues, an chicken since we lost Zaycon. There was a lot more as the bill was the highest I have ever spent in this store an I was using my grocery list–yikes!! Went to Cash & Carry for vegetables, milk an purchase beef they had on sale. Eye of round-roast, Tri-tip roasts, cottage cheese(Dairygold), pasta, canned fruit with this trip it filled in what we had used up the past few months. The cottage cheese(& sour cream) comes in 4 or 5 lb container, to preserve it, I put it into canning jars & vacuum seal. Using pint & half jars which give me time to consume or use it in recipes without wasting the food. It does take up space in a refrigerator but we have two for JIC, and I have the second one full all the time with items we use for months depending on the food product. It is less expensive to keep these foods on hand by this type of storage.

    We are having a company come in to bid debris removal on Monday. It was to have been last week but ended up with conflict in our scheduling. They will be in this area so it will be a win-win for both of us. Niece will be assisting again tomorrow on cleaning out of building we just stuffed full of items inherited. Items that survived(burnt or slightly burnt) a couple of wild fires but did not have the heart to toss out. Time is now right for the cleansing of these mementos which need to go.

    1) We have an oval piece of plywood that I a thinking about using for extra work top space in the kitchen, it has no counter top space for prepping. Worse kitchen lay out I have seen, dh liked it not me..yuck

    2) Ducks, we had them when I was a teenager for bugs. Not the variety one would eat or use for eggs.

    3) Try my best if we have left overs either dh gets them for lunch or I do. When I cook try to make enough for two days worth of dinner meals. One never knows what can occur, as in the neighbors young horse figured out the way to open the gate. They were visiting our horse..lol

  7. Hi Tara & all,
    First of all, I’m in late due to an earlier event and amazed that it’s after 5:00 and there are only 5 posts
    Sorry to hear that your new excavator was stuck in the mud. I should have such problems, like having an excavator in the first place. Big boys Indeed!!! and their new toys, how I envy you, LOL.
    I agree that plywood is a great material; however, too many projects save a few pennies by using OSB, and improperly used, that can be a real problem.
    My only problem with stained plywood and a clear coat, is keeping the critters (mostly cats) off of it until the urethane sets. Hair or paw prints are not my idea of proper decorations, LOL.
    When you state:

    it still only took my about half an hour to hand sand the entire board to make it smooth and attractive.

    By hand sand do you mean with sandpaper & a block of wood or something like this: 18-Volt ONE+ Cordless Corner Cat Finish Sander
    Found @ https://www.homedepot.com/p/Ryobi-18-Volt-ONE-Cordless-Corner-Cat-Finish-Sander-with-Sandpaper-Assortment-P401/206354299
    I use the later, since as I grow older, time really does become money.
    When you state:

    stacked the nuts neatly inside while counting them and arranging them in small, medium, and large “families” – a great little homeschool preschool lesson that little miss came up with all on her own

    My DD did similar things when she was young, and I think in part it some of the difference between city kids and country kids. You can be bored, or find something to do, and kids hate to be bored.

    The KLAX has a multi-tool head with seven different tools.
    After only about 15 minutes of trying out all of the features on this hatchet that belonged to a tribe member, I had to get online and order one for myself. See how handy all the money I saved on the farm and home projects just became?!

    I have some pocket / wallet tools similar to this; but, I need to see one of these. I just looked at it and while it’s a bit pricy for an unplanned purchase, I think I may be adding one to the wish list.
    And now for the quiz:

    1. What non-typical applications have you found or might be inspired to try using common plywood?

    I’m not sure what non typical really means. I’ve used it for flooring, roofing underlay, shelving, and the nice Lauan plywood for countertops and door inserts. It is also a good structural material on the edges of walls. If I missed something, I’ll be glad to see it here.

    2. Do you (or would you like to) keep ducks for eggs and meat?

    We found ducks to be rather nasty with scat that is worse than chicken and the meat to be a bit on the fatty side. With a creek on the property, I’m not sure we could contain them. OTOH, a friend was keeping ducks and his eldest DD who is a chef, was able to sell the eggs to her employer (a French restaurant) for $12.00 per dozen, so that might be incentive.

    3. What ways do you find to live frugally to save money for preps?

    We actually save money by spending it. We have a half beef (Angus) in the freezer. All in for the farmer that 330 pounds cost us $956.50 which is $2.89 per pound. That is for bone and sweetbreads; but, also for the best roasts and steaks available, and the leanest ground beef you can find. Some of the beef that would generally be ground was kept for stew and ground when we need it, so it can be multipurpose. Shopping at GFS (Gordon Food Service) a restaurant supplier can save on many food; but, you need to purchase in bulk. And finally, the local produce auction, where once again bulk purchasing saves a ton on individual servings. It takes only having some money saved and a place to store the bounty.

    4. What type of axe do you own, want, or how many are stockpiled in your preps?

    I have a double blade, and a few single blade axes, a Splitting maul, and sledge and a few wedges. I have a hand axe (hatchet) with a spare knife stowed in the handle and my favorite all in one wilderness tool, the Habilis Bush Tool (https://habilisbushtools.com/).

    This past week we did and acquired the following:
    1. Received a COSORI 8 Quart 8-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker from woot.com. This is less expensive and the reviews show it as good or better than the Instant Pot. It seems instant Pot’s claim to fame may be in large part due to their advertising budget. This one can make both rice & yogurt, something only the most expensive instant pot can do.
    2. A trip to the doctor for what turned out to be Conjunctivitis (Pinkeye). Antibiotic eye drops every 12 hours for 5 days cleared the infection. There’s a hurricane twist here. The originally prescribed medication was unavailable at all local pharmacies and was on back order due the the manufacturer on the east coast being unable to ship, so we used a second choice that is working well.
    3. While at the doctor’s office the DW & I received our yearly influenza shots. The DW is never too happy; but, knows they are effective. I also had a blood draw to check some levels for some of the medications and supplements I’m taking, all of which have improved.
    4. While at the pharmacy we also picked up some additional Omega-3 Krill Oil and a digital thermometer for our critters kit.
    5. Received another $25.00 Home Depot gift card from credit card points.
    6. Received two temperature controllers for modifying our gas furnace and adding ventilation to the green house.
    7. I’ve been watching the ABC series Castaways. It’s a reality show; but, there are a few lessons one can learn from the problems the cast encounters and overcomes.
    8. Had four 50 gallon food grade water barrels with lids donated to me as well as a ton of egg cartons.
    9. We were gifted a bucket of green and red bell peppers by a neighbor, friend, and MAG member.
    10. Claey’s Candies: Wild Cherry. & Raspberry from Rural King
    11. Trip to TSC for horse and goat bedding where we also purchase a 50 Button Cell Batteries assortment on sale including:
    • 20: AG13 1.5V
    • 10: CR2032 3V
    • 10: CR2025 3V
    • 10” CR2016 3V
    12. Shopping @ Aldi’s
    • Pair Cobra CXT145A Walkie Talkies with batteries
    • Gardenline 50’ Outdoor Extension Cord
    • Lactaid milk for the DW
    • Two cans of chicken
    13. Six boxes facial tissues (on sale)
    14. Eight rolls paper towels
    15. A trip to the produce auction where I purchased:
    • 1 peck sweet onions
    • 1 peck small tomatoes
    • 2 pecks sweet potatoes
    • 1 peck green beans
    • 2 large cabbage
    • 2 zucchini
    16. Attended the Ohio Homesteaders and Gardeners 4th annual gathering. I recently joined this Facebook group at the invite of Grammyprepper. While there:
    • We met a lot of LMI’s.
    • We had a good meal
    • Won one of the door prizes: an 8 oz jar of blackberry lemon sage artisan jam
    • I was able to look at and touch both modern and old versions of the All American canners.
    • Ran into a group that is involved in legalizing farm to consumer, especially for dairy, and I’ll pass this information on to my dairy farming friends. (https://www.farmtoconsumer.org/
    • Talked with a beekeeper who is experimenting with a new style hive, The Slovenian AZ beehive. She had some nice photos of what they are doing and it looks like a promising new technique.
    • Grammyprepper’s DH had a like new NRA denim tactical jacket that was too small for him. It fit me like a glove and he gifted it to me. I’ve been looking for a patch jacket for all of my instructor and TC patches, and this looks like the perfect place for them. Thanks again to Grammyprepper.
    • All in all it was a great day with perfect weather. Mid to high 60°’s with some overcast.

    1. It was great to see you and DW this past weekend! I am SO glad you found the Gathering useful and informative! A lot of work goes into making these events happen, and I was more tired than I’ve ever been in my life afterwards!

      1. Grammyprepper,

        It was great to see you and DW this past weekend! I am SO glad you found the Gathering useful and informative! A lot of work goes into making these events happen, and I was more tired than I’ve ever been in my life afterwards!

        We were glad to be there and were there in part because of you. The DW tends to be rather shy around new people; but, having met you and the DH and knowing you would be there, she was actually looking forward to the event. Once there, she was able to mingle and talk with people; but, it’s sometimes just hard to get her started. Thanks for the invite for someone who only recently joined the OHG group, and thank the DH again for the wonderful jacket.
        In my youth I have helped plan and implement gatherings of a similar nature and understand the amount of hard work, planning, and logistics involved, so I understand why you would be so tired. Considering that I did nothing but ride to & from, eat some food, mingle, talk, and take a few photos, I’m not really sure why I was so wiped out, LOL. Maybe I am actually getting old?
        I have some photos I can send you that you can post if you’re interested.

    2. I didn’t know you were a cat person! Now I know where to dump the black cat that has refused to heed my farm avoidance warnings – unless my aim at moving targets improves. It killed several chickens and two of my ducks. I had a cat once, it acted like a dog and I loved it. The only things Rocky was afraid of was our duck – it would eat out of my chow’s food bowl and nap with Fluffy, but run from the duck. It was hilarious.

      When we got the duckling I held it under one arm and Rocky under the other (yes, there was blood drawn on several of my body parts) and kept telling him that the duck was Brea’s pet and not to eat it…ever. Then, I put them both down and they looked at each other and went their separate ways. I was not about to monitor each of them 24/7 so I tried a tough love introduction and let whatever was going to happen, happen. And we had a very happy ending that lasted for many years.

      1. Tara,

        I didn’t know you were a cat person! Now I know where to dump the black cat that has refused to heed my farm avoidance warnings – unless my aim at moving targets improves.

        We’ve had too many cats dropped off here over the years and have been known to call the sheriff when we catch them. We’re only about 40-60 miles from the Columbus metro area and too often city folk think they can just come out to the country and drop off their unwanted pets. In a pinch, the neighbors run an animal sanctuary that will take in strays, and in fact have almost their own herd of pot belly pigs; but, when pets get to be too much bother, the responsible thing to do is find them a home, not just drop them off along a rural road as some are known to do.

        It killed several chickens and two of my ducks.

        Our cats have never done that, and I would of course take permanent corrective measures on any that did.

        I had a cat once, it acted like a dog and I loved it. The only things Rocky was afraid of was our duck – it would eat out of my chow’s food bowl and nap with Fluffy, but run from the duck. It was hilarious.

        We have two of those now that follow you around to the point of nearly tripping you. As for ducks, we don’t have any; but, they and especially their larger cousins the Geese can be a formidable challenge, even to humans. Some years ago we had a great horned owl with a broken wing hanging around the property. We put out some food and called the ODNR Division of Wildlife to come and relocate the critter. This happened during the state fair and few people were available, so it took most of a week to come out and get the bird. In the meantime, it would just sit around and from a distance almost looked like a cat sitting on the ground. Our cats would creep around and stalk it from a distance; but, when they got within 10-20 feet, it would look at them and hiss, sending them running. Who would think that any bird shorter than your knees could be so formidable?

        When we got the duckling I held it under one arm and Rocky under the other (yes, there was blood drawn on several of my body parts) and kept telling him that the duck was Brea’s pet and not to eat it…ever. Then, I put them both down and they looked at each other and went their separate ways. I was not about to monitor each of them 24/7 so I tried a tough love introduction and let whatever was going to happen, happen. And we had a very happy ending that lasted for many years.

        Critters often get along better than people. Our two lab mixes always got along with the herd of cats, and the cats not only got along with the horses, one quarter horse and a particular cat had a really odd relationship. The cat would walk on the stall fence in the barn and the horse would lick that cat everywhich way, until it looked like it had been dipped in a pool of water.
        On occasion a momma cat would have a litter in one of the horse stalls and those horses never stepped on any of those roaming kittens, which is something I still find amazing.

  8. Hi everyone,

    It’s been a while since I’ve had any time to post… Lots have gone on the last few weeks.

    At the end of August, I kept my plans of getting out of the antique booth business, and it was nothing short of a miracle, with the help of a couple of paid worker bees, that I was able to get everything packed up and taken over to a friend’s house under the carport, along with bringing my cast iron bath tub home to go in the garage. I just can’t get rid of it yet. Still dreaming about the house I would like to build that’s laid out like I want it on a piece of land that there’s no one around. Still playing the lottery here and there… Lol…

    Had yard sale last Fri and Sat with the stuff I had at the booth and a few things from the house.. It was soooooo hot and humid, hard to work out in that stuff… Wanted to have it on Thursday too, but my friend was sick Wednesday, and I had a couple other things to do, so couldn’t get over there to unbox stuff…

    Wednesday, some people, that have a thrift store that helps women in crisis, came over and took all the left over stuff… Another hot day to load stuff… They had a cargo trailer and the back of their truck filled to the brim… They were very grateful for the donation, lots of good stuff for them to sell, and I was glad to be done with it all.

    Ordered a knob for one of the dehydrators I had bought a while back, and the sheets that go inside. Sold one at the yard sale, still have 3…. I want to get one of those SS tables like TOP has and get them out of the way and off the counter and floor. Got some Zaycon chicken in the freezer to make some jerky with and can up some hamburger, bacon, turkey…

    Still going thru stuff. I don’t think it will ever end. I’ve banned myself from going to any thrift store, shopping on FB marketplace or Craigslist for a while.

    Been working a lot of overtime, so it’s good to be home this weekend.

    Looking forward to going to the Hohenwald’s Homesteading Expo October 12-13, coming back home on the 14th. Hoping to meetup with a few of you. For those that want to meetup, give TOP your e-mail address and we’ll get in touch.

    Prayers for those in need, healing, spiritual preparedness, the President and for America.

    1. What non-typical applications have you found or might be inspired to try using common plywood? Don’t have any construction projects going on at the moment.
    2. Do you (or would you like to) keep ducks for eggs and meat? No, too many wild things around here.
    3. What ways do you find to live frugally to save money for preps? I check FB marketplace, Craigslist, and local thrift stores.
    4. What type of axe do you own, want, or how many are stockpiled in your preps? I don’t have an ax… I have my mom’s hatchet. It’s the old kind, made out of the good stuff. Are hatchets and ax’s the same?

      1. In the late 60s the college I was attending (Southern Technical Institute, an engineering college in Marietta, Georgia) had an annual bathtub race. I sourced a cast iron, rolled rim, bathtub with 4 feet. It was smaller than the big ones but still about 125 pounds worth. We used a 100cc motorcycle engine for power along with the transmission with the engine. Built a frame, set it and the motor and all up, ground quite a few pounds of cast iron off the tub, built a steering system with steering wheel and rudimentary brake system, put in a racing seat and roll bar and went out to race around the campus. Luckily there were a lot of hay bales around the course to help slow down when the brakes didn’t work so well, but the tubs ran pretty fast, they were painted up with fraternity symbols and made a lot of noise. There were 30 tubs in that years race. I have no idea what happened to the tubs after the races as they had holes drilled in them as needed but they were plentiful at the local scrap yards. I think the tub set me back $20. So, you could always use your tub as a last ditch survival escape vehicle. It’s a thought…….

      2. I grew up in a home with one of those cast iron Claw Foot tubs and the first house I bought had one in the second floor bathroom. It was nice as a tub; but, had no shower until I constructed one for it. You could purchase a unit that looked like this one: https://www.amazon.com/R2200BR-Clawfoot-Shower-Rectangular-Chromed/dp/B003MSSSGK/ref=asc_df_B003MSSSGK/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=193145800477&hvpos=1o5&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10274430069949124918&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9014903&hvtargid=pla-312934929542&psc=1 ; but, I saved a ton of money by building something similar with a 2×2 frame and my own sweated copper piping. When getting the house ready for sale, we removed that old tub with the help of several friends since it weighed over 300 pounds, and replaced it with a more modern tub / shower surround combination at the behest of the realtor. I forget what happened to that old tub; but, wish I still had it. They are still available; but, cost upwards of $900-$1000. My MIL had one in her upstairs bathroom, and shortly after the DW & I were married, my MIL had someone come in, strip it, and redo the enamel at which point it was gorgeous. They don’t make things like those any more

    1. Almost There,

      3. What ways do you find to live frugally to save money for preps? I check FB marketplace, Craigslist, and local thrift stores.

      Do I detect a bit of a problem with your frugalness when you sttate?

      I’ve banned myself from going to any thrift store, shopping on FB marketplace or Craigslist for a while.

      LOL

      4. What type of axe do you own, want, or how many are stockpiled in your preps? I don’t have an ax… I have my mom’s hatchet. It’s the old kind, made out of the good stuff. Are hatchets and ax’s the same?

      Not exactly; but, they are related. The hatchet is meant to be used with one hand as not only a cutting tool; but, also as a hammer using the flat surface opposite the sharp edge. There are also hand axes, meant for one hand; but, with no hammer and a longer handle. The long handle, two had double bit axe has a cutting edge on both sides; but, the similar long handle two handed single bit axe has only one cutting edge and the flat side is often used to strike a wedge. Are you now sufficiently confused? I know that I am, LOL.
      For real old fashioned wood working one might also have an Adze, a Froe, or a draw knife. I’ve used them all and still have a Draw knife in my collection.

      1. TOP,

        Sometimes my car does want it wants to do, and ends up in the GoodWill parking lot…. And of course, when I make a donation to the other thrifty store that helps the local folks with air conditioners, food, paying electric bills, etc, I have to check out what they got in… It would be a crime to drop of some stuff and not check out what they have…

        I am totally confused on the hatchet/axe reply…

    2. Almost There,
      I wish I was going to the Homesteading Conference this year, but I can’t make it. It was so great getting to meet you at the Appalachian Conference last year. Sounds like you are doing well, and it seems you getting closer to achieving your dreams.

      1. Terra,

        It was great meeting you. Maybe we can meet up again next year, if not sooner. Sometimes I feel like I am just moving stuff around, never making any progress…

        I am looking up some things for you for your grandson and will post when I have them all collected. Type I Diabetes is tricky. My friend was diagnosed at the age of 4. He is doing well already if he is reading labels. Does anyone recall something happen to trigger it? It can be caused by a virus or something attacking the pancreas. He needs to find a good Endocrinologist. A holistic Naturopath Doctor (N.D.) or good Acupuncturist might be able to help.

  9. I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. I haven’t been posting for the past month, although I’ve been reading each week. One month ago, my 14 year old grandson was found in his bed unconscious. He spent a week in the hospital, 4 of those days critical condition in the ICU. He was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. His blood sugar was over 800, and he had what is called diabetic keto acidosis. He had swelling on the brain and that is why he was unconscious.

    As a grandparent, I am grieving for the impact to his life. As we have learned Type 1 diabetes patient’s pancreas produces no insulin at all. So there is a huge life change for a 14 year old and for the family; checking blood 4 times a day, insulin before each meal and snack, insulin before bed. I have learned that if I keep him on a meal schedule with a night time snack, things are working out a little smoother. He usually spends the weekends with us so I’m the secondary caretaker of him.

    The good news is that he has taken responsibility for giving himself shots, eating only at his meals or a set snack–no eating in-between meals. He’s a very picky eater, but he reads the back of packages and even passes on food if there are too many carbs.

    As a prepper, this scares me more than anything I was afraid of before. We have no history of diabetes in the family, and I know it is an auto-immune disease. What in the world will we do if SHTF? He uses 2 kinds of insulin, needles, glucose tester, test strips, needles for the glucose tester……

    I have read “One Second After” and the ending of the book has now hit home for us. The ending made me cry when I first read the book, now it is my reality. I am still trying to wrap my head around this ‘new normal’. How in the world do I prep for something like this?

    We preppers don’t like to be dependent on anyone or anything but ourselves. Of course none of us are solely independent, but we could survive for quite some time on our preps. Those that have medical problems that need medicine daily will have life threatening challenges.

    As a grandparent, I am grieving the Type I diabetes diagnosis.

    As a prepper, I am worried about the limited supply of medicine.

    One day at a time…….

    1. Terra,

      My niece was diagnosed at around the same age, after a bout of the flu. I don’t know what to do about prepping for such a serious disease, other than for his parents to have a serious talk with his doctor about being able to stockpile supplies and meds. At least it seems like the young man is stepping up and taking responsibility for taking care of himself.

      1. MaineBrain,
        Thank you for your post. That’s interesting about your niece finding out after a bout with the flu. The doctors said that it is an autoimmune disease, but for the pancreas to quit working it is usually caused by illness (like the flu) or going into puberty, which his doctors believe was the reason for this.

        1. Terra & MaineBrain,

          That’s interesting about your niece finding out after a bout with the flu. The doctors said that it is an autoimmune disease, but for the pancreas to quit working it is usually caused by illness (like the flu) or going into puberty, which his doctors believe was the reason for this.

          I hate to bring up a sore subject; but, perhaps this is yet another reason to get the yearly influenza vaccination. I have been getting mine for 20+ years and can’t remember the last time I had the flu. Some people will mention how they can miss some mutations of the virus in any given year, and while that is true, current research appears to indicate that over time, with numerous vaccinations, the body can generate antibodies against a wide variety of influenza strains, so the resistance to the flu seems to increase over time.

          1. The Ohio Prepper,

            DH and I get the flu shot every year, and so far so good. I’ve had the flu in past years when I didn’t get the flu shot and I don’t want to even think about getting the flu again. I don’t want to take chances.

    2. As a type 2 diabetic, I am very familiar with the routine, although mine is medication caused. But, to cut to the chase, I had a double lung transplant at St. Joseph hospital last year. While there, I discovered they also do pancreas transplants to cure type one diabetes. I am sure it entails some degree of care and medications for the rest of his life, but type 1 is so nasty, it could be worth checking out.

        1. Thanks Billy T.

          BTW, I have huge respect for you and your courage! The doctors told me in ICU through my shock and tears that they believe they will have a cure in his lifetime. I’m praying for that. God Bless you, Billy T.

          1. Thanks Terra. I turned all the care and concern over to God. Never had a moment of apprehension or fear subsequently. I try to do the things I can do and don’t worry about the rest. Anyway, I will pray for you and GS.
            BTW, I lost a friend earlier to type 1. Of course, he was much older than your grandson.

    3. Terra – I have a nephew in the same situation. My brother spent a great deal of time studying how to make insulin and knows that it’s not a 100% perfect solution, but he had to do something. Prayers for you and your family.

    4. Terra, I tried to post link on other site, still in moderation. If you want that link, contact Ohio prepper thru his method and he can connect us if YOU want.Just sayin’

    5. Terra, please go to the “Doom and Bloom” Website. They did a 3-part series on diabetes, and they also did a piece on how to make insulin. It’s complicated – but it CAN be done.

  10. Busy week at work, a work event this afternoon and evening, tomorrow I’m on a plane to Orlando for a three-day conference, so once again not many preps. Our local Shaw’s supermarket (owned by Safeway, IIRC) has 93% ground beef on sale again this week, so I’ll pick some up on Thursday after I get home. I bought some a few weeks ago, cooked it up and put it in 1-lb packs in the freezer. It has been handy and time-saving to just pull it out for spaghetti, tacos etc on a busy weeknight.

    No plywood. No ducks. I shop sales, think twice before making a purchase, try to put some money into savings or investments each month. On the other hand, it’s not ALL scrimping and prepping, we do like to live and enjoy our money through travel, the occasional meal out (Friday is the cook’s night off), etc. Just booked a Caribbean cruise for January. DH always needs some sunshine and warm temps to look forward to when winter starts settling in. I bought a Fiskars hatchet last year.

    Have a good week, all.

  11. No purchases this week. I didn’t even go to the grocery store. I’ve had a stomach bug. I found a game for my iPhone–Plague. The goal is to develop a bacteria/virus/fungus that wipes out the human race. You have control over the genetic makeup of the bacteria/virus/fungus, the symptoms it produces and its mode of transmission. It’s kind of creepy that I find this fascinating.

    Questions: No plywood, no ducks. We have an axe and a hatchet but I couldn’t tell you “what kind”. Saving money–that’s a subject I like. One of the biggest things I do to save money is to make homemade laundry soap. I can make a five gallon bucket for less than $10. I also shop the sales, especially for meat. I do miss Zaycon. In November our country meat market has a blow-out sale. I plan on filling both freezers.

    1. Bam Bam,

      The goal is to develop a bacteria/virus/fungus that wipes out the human race. You have control over the genetic makeup of the bacteria/virus/fungus, the symptoms it produces and its mode of transmission. It’s kind of creepy that I find this fascinating.

      Keep in mind that real epidemiologist and virologists do this for a living with real bugs and from an engineering perspective it’s only creepy if you also want to unleash your creation and wipe out the world. If you just want to understand the interactions and behaviors of the bugs, that can allow you to thwart them, then I personally find it just good curiosity, and something I might also consider doing.

  12. This weekend was a bust nothing done it was a fun weekend with family and friends, lots of traveling and seeing new things. It was good as far as things I need to keep in my travel bag, I was missing a few things so now I can go through and get it back up to where I need it so that was a plus. We did pick up 4 packages of Cheese blocks, and 4 packages meat, to put in the freezer and to use the cheese. We are getting 6 days of sunshine, so I need to mow the yard again thats fine we needed the rain, that we got. I did go through my cupboard, and moved all of the 18 canned food to the Lazy Susan, and that made room for new cans of food so each week I scan the Food ads and get myself re-stocked back up again. I did can 14 pints of pear butter, 6 more Quarts of pickle spears, and 8 pints of Tomato Basil jam it’s very good. I think I’m finished canning this season. My Cherry Tomatoes, are doing great I pick a handful every other day they are just about finished up for the year. Back to the grindstone this week back to school, for the kids and housework, and yard work for me.

    Questions No need for plywood anytime soon
    Can’t have ducks, plus I don’t care for them
    I look for sales, and coupon shop a least once a month for supplies
    We do have some ax’s just not something we use really much..

    1. mom of three,
      You state:

      This weekend was a bust nothing done

      And then:

      it was a fun weekend with family and friends, lots of traveling and seeing new things.

      Nothing done? It sounds like you got plenty of important things accomplished. Lightening up the work load, kicking back and just enjoying life is in the end what this is all about. Working hard to be prepared with no play time is IMHO the thing that burns out most self reliant folks, when they finally realize that life should be more than just working.

  13. I don’t know of any “non-typical” use for plywood.
    I would love to have ducks for meat and eggs, but it is not practical at our home or BOL.
    I cook large quantities and preserve in practical portions. Cautious shopping. Purchasing “in season” produce.
    Learned to weld this week. Not very skilled yet, but my welds hold and I’m getting better.
    Started construction of a new propane furnace for the forge. About 25% done on the furnace. I’m making it from 1/8 inch steel. Interior dimensions 16 X 12 inches. We will see how it turns out!
    Sorted a pile of mixed firewood to exclude pine from the hardwood and cut the hardwood to length. We had an old Franklin Fireplace. Huge firebox but incredibly inefficient. So we had a lot of firewood which would not fit the firebox on our newer airtight stove.

    1. Also we have a splitting maul, two double bit axes, wedges, 8lb sledge, hatchets, pole axe and a light axe smaller than the pole axe but larger than a hatchet. And we have a log splitter. Not exactly in the category of an axe, but chain saws and three bow saws. Now, if I only had the energy to use all of these!

      1. Billy T,

        Also we have a splitting maul, two double bit axes, wedges, 8lb sledge, hatchets, pole axe and a light axe smaller than the pole axe but larger than a hatchet. And we have a log splitter. Not exactly in the category of an axe, but chain saws and three bow saws. Now, if I only had the energy to use all of these!

        At your age with your recent transplant, having any energy at all is a testament to your stamina and intestinal fortitude. While we have the axes, mauls, folding and bow saws, etc. we have recently invested in battery electric chain and pole saws (Ryobi ONE+) and I feel no shame leaving those old tools sitting on the shelf for emergencies, LOL. My pride or embarrassment for not using the old manly tools was left behind with my youth, and I am dang glad to still have tools that can help me get the job done as I continue to mature, LOL.

        1. Thanks OP. You really burn the midnight oil Brother! Actually the log splitter was therapy. It brought me through a tough time, post transplant, as I was to use it gradually and gradually became stronger.

          Now, it is my bed time!

          BTW, it has been almost a year since the transplant. The kids are throwing a party in celebration next month. I am a blessed man.

          1. Billy T,

            BTW, it has been almost a year since the transplant.

            That year doesn’t seem to be possible; but, I think it’s some kind of time dilation. Einstein’s Relativity Theory correctly predicted that physical time slows down as you approach the speed of light or enter a large gravitational field. I think the corollary he missed, was that time speeds up as we age. My stroke and month in the hospital were more than 3 ½ years ago; but, seems like decades. Good to hear you are doing well; but, I think attitude and perseverance can go a long way in that respect.

  14. 1. I’m not much of a woodworker, but can cobble things together if it doesn’t involve anything more precise than a Skillsaw. There is a sheet of plywood waiting to be wall mounted for hanging tools.
    2. Don’t have a good pen for ducks and don’t really care for the taste.
    3. WRT frugality, I buy fewer wants and seriously question the need.
    4. There is an axe and other hand tools here if needed, however, power tools are first choice. Love my Stihl battery chain saw. There is a Sog hatchet in the BOB and my Estwing hatchet is handy for clearing trails.
    Prepping has been on hold for several weeks.
    I injured my knee and was using a walker; am almost back to normal with PT. My family, neighbors and friends were awesome. I am so blessed. The experience showed glaring holes in the preps. For example how can I get to the Walker stored in the workshop without making it worse or needing rescuing. I have distance and 2 elevation changes to deal with and don’t forget to take a phone. Food for thought. Best wishes all. I appreciate your posts.

  15. I have been spending most weekends since mid-July canning and preserving. While there have been a LOT of small jars being used, I have canned more than 200 jars of food this summer with much of the ingredients being grown by us. I have also discovered that certain dehydrated veggies make awesome snacks – okra and tomatoes in particular.

    As for the garden, okra, cucumbers, squash, zucchini and most of the tomatoes are done. Peppers and Eggplant continue to make. I’m on my third planting of carrots and beginning to pull some from my second planting. They did not germinate well, so I don’t have a lot to use at once. Radishes, turnips, beets, kale, broccoli and brussels sprouts have been planted for our fall garden and I need to get the peas in this evening if I’m going to grow those this fall.

    Plywood? The only non-typical use I’ve ever known was what my brother did – he built his train tracks on plywood and constructed an entire town in the middle. That was many years ago.

    Ducks? I’ve had the eggs in years past thanks to a friend of my mom’s. Since I don’t even have chickens yet, they haven’t really been considered.

    Frugal living? I can and preserve, shop sales, etc. When I do eat out, I try to get a second meal from it and/or use coupons. We also take advantage of zero percent financing when we can, so our savings works to make us more money.

    Axe? We have one but I have no idea what type other than the hubby split wood with it a few years ago. It’s old and has a wooden handle, so the axe itself has to be beat back onto the handle periodically.

    Still dreaming of the day we can move out of town.

    Prayers for those in need.

    1. GA Red:
      I have been busy canning too. I dug my sweet potatoes this week and have them curing. Do they can well? This is my first successful crop.

  16. First the questions… Plywood, Extra? what is that? …LOL, just same ole uses, shelves, building furniture /cabinets ( via dh….
    ducks, DH does not like the eggs, I would like some for meat…,
    frugality? stay home, make no Purchases…except planned/identified in advance… No spur of the moment. clothing all from thrift stores or special sales…( 70 pcs for 20$)thrift store, and yard sale purchases -searching for specific items… Use up left overs, plan meals to avoid left overs…avoid spoiling of small amounts,..feed it to something…
    axe, hatchet…. have large axe, can use, don’t want to. Have couple of hatchets, belonged to mom and DGM. ..don’t need another.
    No purchases. Continuing with hand loading and unloading sawdust for composting, and for chicken run… compost bin set up./ loaded….and drainage ditch cleaned out and deepened by 8 inches this week…will use sand, drainage pipe and landscaping fabric to promote drainage,, and cover pipe , leveling out what is intended to be additional garden area this coming year.Will ease transition across property with mower and persons. Obtained more pallets for projects. loaded,hauled and hand unloaded… strength training in progress. received soaking rain for 3 days.. needed it and Thankful..
    Prayers for the Pack and family members.

  17. I have yet to find a store-bought jerky (other than the teriyaki jerky from our local butcher shop, which closed last year) that doesn’t taste like sawdust, or maybe teriyaki-flavored sawdust. Any recommendations?

    1. MaineBrain,
      I agree that a lot of commercial jerky tastes like compacted sawdust or a piece of leather. I have found that Jack Link’s Beef Jerky is usually consistently good. Tender enough to bite and chew without breaking up like some emulsified goo in the mouth.

      1. Thanks, OP, I’ll try it. I love teriyaki salmon jerky, but it’s more of a northwestern/Alaska thing and hard to find here. I don’t think lobster jerky would taste that good. :>P And anyway, it would be a waste of perfectly good lobster.

        1. MaineBrain,

          I love teriyaki salmon jerky, but it’s more of a northwestern/Alaska thing and hard to find here.

          That’s interesting; but, not something I’ve heard of. There are some Salmon runs about 4 hours from here in Michigan; but, I think that would be a waste of good salmon. Even good Jerky or pemmican is only a way to preserve the meat and I would much rather have a good steak or burger, except perhaps for venison, where it can often improve the meat, LOL.

          I don’t think lobster jerky would taste that good. :>P And anyway, it would be a waste of perfectly good lobster.

          Like salmon, I hadn’t heard of this; but, I agree that Lobster is best eaten dipped in melted ghee (AKA drawn butter)
          While we don’t have salmon or lobster around here, I have harvested and prepared Crayfish (Crawdads) for eating like tiny lobsters. You keep them in an aquarium and feed the corn meal to clean out any nasty stuff and then pick them up , give them a quick wipe with a brush and drop them in boiling water. I haven’t done this in quite a while; but, I’ve done it a few times, and in rough times, these critters could add protein and calories to the mix.

  18. Not much done this week, as I was preparing for the Ohio Gardening and Homesteaders annual Gathering that TOP mentioned.

    I am enjoying the ‘forced’ vacation that my recent emergency surgery forced upon me. While I get a twinge now and then, I haven’t had to take any pain meds at all lately. I see the dr tomorrow and expect to go back to work first of the month.

    That said, money has obviously been tight. Trying to keep purchases to a miimum has been my big prep. The pantry and freezer aren’t anywhere near what they should be, but they have helped.

    Bad things happened…DH computer system on his van went out(BCM) and won’t run.Leaves us with one vehicle. Using my van to haul camper this weekend, now have tranny issues. Praying that changing tranny fluid will be the only fix we need, otherwise we are screwed. I am close enough to work that I can hitch a ride or worst case, walk(I am NOT in shape to do so, but it could be done). DH, nope, he needs a vehicle. DH is good mechanically but computer issues he can’t deal with. I grew up working on cars with the neighborhood guys, and know a little. But again, computer issues in these newer vehicles are beyond us both.

    When it rains it pours. So you pull your bootstraps up and get on with life. We will get through this.

    Good news/bad news, I see the doctor tomorrow and get release to return to work. Bad news, I have to go back to work. Gotta pay the bills somehow. I could enjoy being retired. Unfottuately, I don’t see that happening.

    @BillyT I am always amazed by your posts. While I was an active RN, I dealt with heart transplant patients. You are truly a resilient individual, and your posts are always inspiring to me!

    Hugs and prayers to all!

    Should we still call ourselves The Pack? Or should we pick another moniker, as we have ‘evolved’ with a new host?

    1. Grammyprepper,

      Should we still call ourselves The Pack? Or should we pick another moniker, as we have ‘evolved’ with a new host?

      And Almost There,

      Since Tara mentions her “tribe”, maybe that’s what we should call ourselves.

      I’ve posted this treatise many times over the years and think it something everyone should read on occasion to maintain perspective. I’ve been to Dave Grossman’s Bulletproof Mind seminar several times, and he and this little excerpt never fail to be inspiring: “On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs” https://www.killology.com/sheep-wolves-and-sheepdogs
      I always looked at the wolf not as a pack of friendly dogs; but, from the human perspective and have considered myself a Sheepdog for decades, so losing the wolf moniker and replacing it with MAG, or Tribe, or whatever, works for me.

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