What I Did To Prep This Week: April 11th – April 17th 2021

Hey Pack! Spring is just about sprung here in the Northeast and I couldn’t be happier!

Whoa, hold up! It feels weird to start without a brief explanation. I’ll be doing my best at filling Tara’s shoes for a few months with bi-weekly articles.

Introductions All Around

Everyone, meet M. I. Grey. M. I. Grey meet everyone.

A few words about myself before we get started. I’m a father, a husband, a perpetual learner, a suburban commuter, and for the last year and a half, I’ve been a contributing author to Survival Sullivan and The Survivalist Blog.

I’m blessed with the best family a man could hope for. I have a supporting wife (Lady Grey) and a kiddo that I’m not sure what I did, in this life or the last, to deserve her. Lil’ Grey is the best.

My 9-5 job involves a long commute (e.g., lots and lots of prepper podcasts) and a fair amount of travel (I preferred the Acropolis to Dubai, and I’d go back to Africa in a heartbeat).

I’m a lifelong learner and try to take a class every year. I’ve taken classes on foraging mushrooms, trauma medicine, urban survival, and counter custody (getting pepper-sprayed and tazed isn’t all that bad).

At my core, I’m a prepper. I spend a good portion of my day listening, reading, and writing about preparedness. Every day I hope to be one more step ahead in the game of survival.

I’m not sure I can fill the shoes of Tara, but I’ll try to share what I do and what I’ve learned. Most of all, I want to learn from you!

Ok, back to what I did this week…

Of Cured Meats and Camp Season

We’ve been on a cured meat kick all winter. It all started with a batch of biltong for an article last spring. That’s grown into an obsession. One batch turned into two, then four. The next thing I knew, a colleague from South Africa was sending me 5-pounds of traditional spices.

All winter, whenever roasts were on sale, we picked one up. A week later, we sampled a little biltong for quality control and vacuum-packed the rest. This week we added another batch. We now have a nice pile that is ready for weekend snacks at camp (more on that later).

Around Thanksgiving, I got the urge to learn about curing pork. As with most things prepping, I hit the internet, read, read, and read.

Quick disclosure: If you click a link in this article and then you buy something, I may earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Armed with a few UMAi bags, a pork butt, and 5 pounds of pork loin we started on the 4-month adventure that ended this week.

lonzio
lonzio

Cutting into the Capicola (pork butt) and Lonzino (pork loin) was an experience out of this world. The smell, the texture, and how it melts on your tongue was worth every day!

So why invest so much time into preserving meat? Two words. Camp Season!

We have a little off-grid place about as close to Canada as you can get without mispronouncing “about.” It’s our fortress of solitude. The loudest thing about it is the trout stream.

You see, the road is closed due to snow from November through April. So unless we want to hike a mile through three feet of snow, we wait.

In the years that we’ve owned it, we’ve established a few traditions. S’mores made with marshmallow peeps. Old-time radio on the MP3 player. Cured meats, fresh bread, and cheese for lunch.

Either we’re too busy working to make a traditional lunch, or we’re too relaxed. Meat and cheese fit the bill for both moods.

After the first year, I started in on making fresh bread. Within a few trips, I adapted my home recipe to the confines of camp. Lunch then centered around a warm loaf fresh from the oven.

Now we will have the luxury of our own meats to go with the warm bread. Next is cheese.

Next weekend we will hopefully open the camp season. Supplies need to be brought in. These are mostly soups, stews, vegetables, and pie fillings that we’ve canned in the last 6-9 months. Add in a few jars of dehydrated fruits, and we’ll eat like kings.

Next week will be the airing out, vacuuming, and dusting. But this week there’s packing!

Last year’s list has been consulted. Meals have been planned. Amazon boxes have been brought out of storage. I can smell camp as we pack up the bedding. It’s so close!

This Week’s Questions:

  1. What have you prepped over the winter in anticipation of spring?
  2. Have you ever tried curing meat? If so, what has been your favorite?
  3. What’s the one thing about spring and summer that you are looking forward to?
  4. Are there any skills that you are researching right now?

Thanks for joining me on one prepper’s journey. I hope to see you in the comment section!

42 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week: April 11th – April 17th 2021”

  1. Thanks for the introduction.

    We are fixing to walk out the door to a family reunion so I’ll be back later and maybe add some content.

    Take care
    73

    Reply
  2. Well a new ” face ” on the intro . Welcome .
    It is kind of funny that you should mention cured meats as I just stopped to check emails after stuffing country sausage in bags to hang in the smokehouse along with 2 racks of ribs.
    As far as favorite meat to cure its tuff to say. I have a maple smoked pork tenderloin that I dried to a very hard piece of meat . I Take it to the grater every so often and make ” bacon bits ” for salads and baked potatoes . Cured kabalsa is fairly hide on the list as well .
    Time to go get in the garden .

    Reply
  3. I am not much on doing these days but do enjoy reading about what others are doing. I do sometimes get a tip or give one if it is something I know about. Have a good week everyone.

    Reply
  4. This Week’s Questions:

    1. What have you prepped over the winter in anticipation of spring? Nothing different.

    2. Have you ever tried curing meat? If so, what has been your favorite? No.

    3. What’s the one thing about spring and summer that you are looking forward to? My garage is detached and unheated. I have projects that need to get completed. I’m looking forward to getting them done.

    4. Are there any skills that you are researching right now? Nothing new; I’m getting back into reloading right now.

    This week…

    Apr 9 – Apr 16: Thank You Joe!!!! I had the best sales weekend at a gun show to date (we’ve been doing them for about 20 years)! We set aside money to put tires on our ¾-ton truck and still paid down 1/4th of our overall remaining debt from the weekend. Sunday was our slowest day (always is) and comparing it to other shows we did better Sunday than all but one other complete show – ever! 9mm was running out the door ($30/50 for FMJ was the most sought after), followed by other handgun calibers. Smaller handguns and 9mm pistols were in high demand. We sold some .223/5.56 and having some left over does not bother me a bit. It will be 5 weeks or so before we do another one – I need to go shopping; my tables are mostly bare!

    Went to another WinCo here in Montana. It’s set up was exactly backwards from the one I usually go to. But they do stock 25# bags of Navy beans (my preference), so I picked up another one (I usually have to call ahead a few days and order them).

    Went to Costco to order new tires for my truck. It requires 10-ply and the last set I got turned out to be 8-ply and it just would not handle the road at 65+ MPH. But with the current in store sale, I saved over $90/tire over buying local. I also picked up another 20# propane tank (and filled it) at Costco now that they are in stock.

    Fuel went up $.05/gal for all grades including diesel. $2.74 for regular/$3.09 for diesel.

    Supply Run: pasta; rifle stock; ammo; bulk beans; 10-ply tires; 20# propane tank; syrup; rice; 8-hour Tylenol; band-aid kit; Mac & Cheese (18 count);

    Received: Book: Limited Exchange; 1911 grip panels; 1911 magazine bumpers; 1911 10mm magazines;

    Reply
  5. This weeks questions

    1 not much, I didn’t do much over winter except wait for better weather, 3 feet of snow and -20F isn’t much to be done but sit inside and wait. I started my spring buildup (workouts to get ready for work, then starting spring work) but then that tree fell on me

    2 not much beyond jerky, when I get a deer I put strips on a rack outside to dry

    3 nothing specific now

    4 nothing at the moment

    since I was last here…. I was discharged from the hospital, and been crashing at a friends place, I was denied physical therapy because I had no primary care DR, and was denied a primary care DR because I had no insurance card to show them, and I had no insurance card because my dog freaked out the first night I was gone and tore appart my cabin (eating a jar of mayo, 4lbs crisco, 8lbs dogfood, shitting all over, and ripping appart everything in sight including the stack of papers on the coffee table including my insurance info), have to wait for the new card to come before the F***Tards at the local hospital will see me.

    so in the meantime I do my own PT, walking up and down stairs until my back is screaming in pain, then I keep doing it, and walking down the road and back, already ready to ditch the walker. had a follow up in vermont on thursday (the local hospitals didn’t have the resources for my injuries so I was air lifted to another hospital in another state, the only one that could deal with my injuries) they pulled 50 staples from my back and the drs were again speechless at how fast I am recovering.

    my lifetime of physicalt training and activity (I had endurance to outlast the amish and they said of me that I did the work of any 3 of their men, prefering raw muscle power over machinery, and doing things like hauling 100lb sacks of feed home on my shoulder in a 12 mile walk) thats the only reason I survived the accident, my size strength and conditioning allowed me to weather something that would have killed anyone else, and its making me recover in record time.

    so I got more info the more I talk to people and I am finding everyone in the county has heard of me. so the tree fell on me and shattered my hardhat (the broken edges are what cut up my face leaving me with 40 stitches for those lacerations, that tree was lucky the hardhat was on, if not I would have shattered the tree with my hard head). the tree glanced off the back of the helmet and pushed me forward, running down my back fracturing all the therasic vertibrae and a few neck ones, breaking all my ribs, destroying via crushing all my back muscles, I had a bruised heart, and internal bleeding in both lungs.

    I dragged myself out from under the tree and flagged down a mennonite going by after 2 cars stopped, looked at me and left. I found one of them (or my neighbor did) it was the grandson of another neighbor who doesn’t like me, he openly admitted to seeing me and decided not to stop or say anything because he was late to get back to watch a tv show he was looking forward to, my other neighbor nearly beat this 20 something deadbeat when he found out.

    from what several people told me on the flight to burlington I died (according to reports over the police/emt radio) my heart stopped after I stopped breathing and they shocked me back. this would actually be the second time that happened to me (the first was when I was 15 and had complications from an untreated appendicitus that burst when my father punched me in the stomach for asking him to take me to a dr, I was a mess from the delayed medical attention then, my parents were scum). I been telling all kinds of jokes after hearing this news.

    I went to the hospital in burlington again on thursday for a followup (they tok out the 50+ staples from my back after fusing all the thorasic vertibrae together with bolts and such and reinforcing other broken bones). the addmitting dr was the one who saw me and she told me they couldn’t even see anything on the initial xrays until they drained the 2 litres of blood from my lungs. they all said it was amazing I was alive at all after that injury and my recovery speed is even more impressive. its only been 4 weeks and I’m back to walking around without a walker (though I’m pushing myself hard with self initiated PT).

    not much else to say, haven’t been back to my own farm more than a 2 hour visit once in the last month. my good neighbor is taking care of it for me (I asked him to sell my buff orpington flock and a few things, and to make upgrades to my cabin in advance of my return, etc), they have had a hard time keeping my dog under control (the one that had a party that first night) but seem to have figured it out.

    well thats my updates (and filling in more details as I heard them) got to go walk up and down a flight of stairs 10 times now

    Reply
      • I overdid it yesterday, walked half way across town (with the walker) and walked up and down the stairs, now my back is screaming so taking it easy today, will do it again tomorrow

        Reply
    • nemo, I cringe as I read your update. I’ve had some horrific injuries, but you got me beat by several miles. Good to hear that you’re mending. Pushing thru that kind of pain must be exhausting. Take care and please don’t overdo. Yeah, yeah, I know.

      Reply
      • I do tend to overdo it, I push myself to the point I am either stopped by pain or my legs become wobbly and weak, thats when I stop (mostly because even I can’t take that much pain or the weak legs put me at risk for falling and further injury). my way has rapidly resulted in recovering as my muscles are forced to adapt and get stronger. after the hospital I was a hunchback as my muscles couldn’t support holding my head upright, 3 days walking with steep inclines and my muscles, while in severe pain, became strong enough to stand upright.

        I did excessive work on pt yesterday and today I have to take a break, both letting my back rest and build up muscle responding to what I did yesterday, each new bout of activity I impress and freak out my friends, as each new day I am faster and more agile and they have a hard time comprehending how I am moving so well so fast (no pain no gain, pushing yourself to the limit forces new muuscle growth, staying within your limits and comfort zone builds muscle tone but doesn’t make you stronger)

        Reply
    • nemoseto,
      Glad you are on the mend.. I read your account last week and cringed.I had been reading very week or so and missed your posts. It sounds like you have some very good neighbors who respect you and your tenacity. Most of us have one neighbor who are no good… “sorry piece of work” ..
      I was a nurse for a long time, and many men with less strength -than you have developed thru your “hard but simple way of living” would not have been able to get from under the tree.. It is a common thing for people logging or tree trimming here to become fatally injured.
      I know you are probably already doing it., but very deep and even breaths-inhale and exhale. will help muscle recovery.
      Besides the stairs. You could do isometrics sitting in a chair, or laying on bed to continue to build strength-when stairs climbing might disturb others. …to do isometrics I lay on bed and slowly tighten,ONE set of muscles( i begin with feet and ankles.) hold for a count of 3 or 5 at first, then slowly release.. repeat each set 3-5 times…and begin… working up the body in sets..
      lower back and core can be strengthened by doing side leg lifts- do equal amounts from each side. in same manner.. lie on side, lift top leg hold ankles about 8-10 inches apart( start with one minute hold,. breathe slowly and deeply , and lower slowly.. start with 3-5 each side.and a low hold time…increase to your tolerance.. it takes about 2 weeks to begin to get best benefit from this exercise. Continue to take care of yourself..

      Reply
      • Logging is one of the most dangerous work out there, I know many loggers who have been injured and have heard plenty of accounts of worse. I did an average of 5 hours a day, every day, all year long, for 15 years, most of that working alone. I knew the risks and often said that the most likely way I would die would be a logging accident, I made it through this one.

        I try all kinds of activity, got some light hand weights that i lift over my head and work my arms while in the armchair/recliner, also a stretchy rubber band I work pulling and hooking to my knees, feet, elbows, etc, trying to work everything I can when I can. I will add your suggestions to my workout routine.

        Reply
    • Nemoseto, I am amazed with all that you have been through, and even more amazed that you are still with all us. I sincerely hope you continue to heal and regain your strength. Sending prayers your way.

      Reply
    • Nemo,

      I am glad you hear you are getting back on your feet. Prayers out for you and your neighbor who is helping care for you. That’s good people.

      Reply
    • Nemoseto,
      I was so sad to hear about your injury, but so glad to hear about your recovery! I don’t know your age or your beliefs, but I feel the Good Lord had a big hand in you still being with us. May you continue to improve at a good rate and get back to the man you were (at least close).
      With a brother’s love,
      CB

      Reply
    • Thank you for the update, Nemoseto. I have no doubt you will achieve your recovery goals through gritted teeth.( Maybe your veterinarian would give an rx for the pooch for acepromazine while he is separated from you. It would curb his anxiety and be easier for your neighbor to handle.

      Reply
      • my dog got out again, this time he chewed up and ate a bottle of wazine (used to treat worms in poultry) and then a bottle of BT (used to kill tent catterpillars) among other stuff. he got very sick, my neighbors called the poison hotline and they said he would be fine, he was after a while (and shit everywhere) then my neighbors used cinderblocks to box in his crate so he can’t get out again and trash my place, and a mennonite friend of mine who does metal work is making a stronger cage/crate since my blue heeler keeps bending and breaking his way out of the commercially made one and trashing my cabin.

        the lab doesn’t break out, and seems to be pissed off with the heelers actions

        Reply
    • Wow is all I can ever say when I read your updates. I will add that good nutrition goes a long way toward helping the body recover. I hope you’re eating plenty of protein for your muscles and plenty of calcium rich foods for those bones.

      Reply
  6. Finally getting some nice weather, been having issues with our travel trailer, hubby has been working on the electrical, he’s a Master Electrician, I’m through taking this camper to Camping world, every time we bring it home more thing’s go wrong with this darn camper. Started some starts, and bought three Kale, a strawberry, 2 peas plants on sale, Elderberry plants are doing great, Raspberries have small leaves, and the grape vine is budding out. Putting all my indoor plant’s out to get the sun for the day it’s still chilly at night. My son mowed the lawn and I’ve been weedingand next is to get some beauty bark, to refreshing the flower beds. Got a good deal on farm fresh eggs, got a couple dozen made pickled eggs, this morning and ate a few will do up some deviled eggs, for lunch today. Cleaned up our shed, swept and got rid of item’s we don’t use now I can walk in and turn around with out falling over bikes, and paint cans. Gotta get the boy we are going to our other place our daughter, doesn’t go out with us she enjoys being at home doing her own thing today, she’s going to make dandelion honey, Good for her wanting to make thing’s I can’t wait to try it. Found lids, and ring’s $4.45 a box, I’m going to wait for just the lids I have enough rings, the lids are being bought up the second they hit store shelves, I’ll be ok, but will get them as I see them bit by bit. Be safe and Have a great weekend everyone 🙂

    Reply
  7. (1) Preps over the “winter” (such as it is in Florida!) was that I added 2 does to my dairy goat herd, one that is in milk and another just turned one and ready for breeding. I also did three rounds of incubating eggs to develop a bantam flock for sitting on eggs in the future. Trying to expand protein and dairy here on the farm.
    (2) I tried curing bacon once and it was a miserable failure! Not my strong suit, for sure. I have made jerky in the dehydrator and actually picked up a few pounds of venison from some friends that I want to mix with ground beef for jerky soon. I ordered in quite a bit of jerky seasoning, so maybe that needs to go on my To Do List this coming week.
    (3) Spring is nearly behind us here in the deep south. Once June hits, most of the garden goes Ka-Put from the heat and heavy rains. We don’t call it Summer anymore—it’s referred to as Hurricane Season! Between now and then, I hope to do a lot of canning of green beans and tomatoes.
    (4) Gosh, I can’t think of any new skill that I’m trying to learn—that’s rare for me! I’m a perpetual learner, too. I am making cheese every week since I have two girls in milk….been experimenting with rolling chèvre logs in fresh minced herbs. Delicious. I’ve also been practicing roasting green coffee beans so I’ll be GOOD at it when the need arises.
    This week, I bought 3 cases of pint jars, and ordered more garden seeds. I canned blueberry jam, chicken stock, and carrots. I ordered 3 push broom heads from Amazon for the goats—you turn the head sideways and screw it to a post in the barn and the goats will use it as a scratching post. Keeps them from leaning too hard into the fence line for a back scratch. I transplanted several more banana plants along the canal and put tomato cages around the recently transplanted ‘maters. That’s it for me.

    Reply
    • Goatlover,

      I too live in Florida. I would like to talk about the prospect of growing banana trees as far north as Gainesville. I am concerned that bananas are genetically engineered and mono cropped. In the 1950s Panama disease wiped out the world’s supply of bananas. Scientists genetically modified the banana tree so as to avoid this disease. Today, nearly 100 percent of banana trees come from the same genetic stock. That means there is no genetic diversity. So, banana trees are once again in danger. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

      Do you make goat soap appropriate for newborns? I am interested. Please email me at
      [email protected]

      Reply
      • Bam Bam

        Some Internet sleuthing confirmed that the Cavendish banana was simply resistant to Panama disease, genetic engineering being beyond the state of the art back then. There are dozens if not hundreds of other banana varieties so they will not go extinct. Varieties that stay green long enough to ship world wide are in short supply so research is ongoing to find a replacement. Genetic engineering is available now but such a banana is still many years down the road.

        With many people believing such food is harmful or evil it may not be economically sound to grow such a crop. You do know papayas are one such food. So far you can buy all you want so an engineered banana might be OK also.

        Reply
  8. I am looking into applying my 40-odd years of nicad & NiMH battery experience to a modest investment in an assisted bicycle. I don’t need a great range, there is nowhere in our 1973-constructed apartment complex’s garage to plug in, i will have to carry the battery pack to a top floor apt to charge. ( I have limited energy & just got a ILR … implanted loop recorder…so my cardiologist hopefully will be able to track down my symptoms & decide about a heart pacemaker. )
    There are plenty of used battery-assisted bicycles around with problems in 3 areas, motor controller, battery, just plain neglected maintenance. Im sure i can find a project-bike even among our 221 units. ( I did miss out on one, tho, the youngster put it to trash just a couple of days before i asked. ) I do wish to recycle rather than buy new, too much of our electronics is discarded young, & pollutes the planet.

    Besides expertise from my past employment in electronics i have several model boats which use battery chargers & cells & connectors, so i have enough bits & pieces to build a battery pack in 7.2 Volt steps, charge it even if only half the stack at a time, & i have metering to monitor my experiment.

    Reply
    • VA3ROD, be sure to investigate if a heart electrician can correct your problem, with surgery. my message really is to Be sure to search out all options… Hubs had correctve surgery for a fib..( was hard to recover from and a long recovery for an extensve-complex issue.)… DB has a defib. implanted, and because of it he is not supposed to do anything..- not use a battery powered drill, not use a cell phone, microwave, or work in the shop using any powered equipment. not even change a spark plug. This leaves him quite frustrated.

      Reply
  9. Questions first.
    .#1, Preps for spring, selecting seed and planning each garden bed and preparing each one specifically. Clearing the freezer for ice bottles to be taken to bunnies during the summer.. using various storage methods. #2 No have not cured meats.. limiting nitrites and do not eat highly spiced foods. I do dehydrate small batches, which are rat holed.
    #3 Looking forward to Spring activities…watching the hens, building a hen house and a separate rabbitry that can be air cooled or mechanically cooled or heated for comfort of critters. Digging in the dirt.
    #4 improving the skills of growing more of our own needs,using what w have and can obtain locally. Learning about what will and will not cross pollinate to keep seed lines secure./pure, and learning about the companions needed to camo the veggies that bugs like the most…and deciding which i want where….
    Preps for the week include some canning , securing and additional garden bed. and amendments to add, to each one according to what will be planted there…,
    To early to plant anything but the earliest of things. we have wild greens so don’t have to plant those.sweet peas have been planted – not up yet.. potatoes are planted and up for the second time..
    Have several projects in process, a slow go.. but progress is being made on several.trying to do what is best for our family.
    Keep on Keeping on.Looks like things could get much worse before gets better….

    Reply
  10. 1. What have you prepped over the winter in anticipation of spring?
    Ans: Sorted seeds, planned garden beds, ordered fruit trees and bushes and any new seeds needed to fill in gaps. Adding more fruit to the home place. It’s hard to find fruit here and expensive to buy canned. I’d rather can myown in pints. That’s just the right size for the two of us.
    10 blackberry, 20 raspberry, seeds for wild service berry et, garden huckleberry seed, 3 hazelnut, 4 dwarf mulberry, 2 apple, 3 elderberry plus seed for elderberries, black berries, and raspberries. I’ll try plants and seeds. See what works and take all I can get. I love fruit and stores carry limited variety. Nothing being grown commercially around here. If by chance I end up with more than we need I’ll open a little fruit stand.
    Trying sub artic tomatoes this year. We have a somewhat short growing season. Plants have the first true leaves. I start my seedlings on 2 shelves infront of the northeast livingroom windows. As long as I turn the flats everyday, things grow great there. 11 flats showing green. 3 more to plant this week. I’ll set up 2 greenhouses outside later this week and start hardening off flats while faster things are starting in more flats in the house. Starting seedlings for a neighbor also. And I’ll have some things for a son to grow on an apartment balcony. He loves gardening but is living in the city currently. Any extra plants I’ll set out a free table for the neighbors. I’m encouraging them to garden. Some do but many don’t yet. We’re rural enough for everyone to have a nice garden. A town 15 miles away is starting a hydroponics teaching garden in shipping containers. They are encouraging everyone to grow their own food. I’d like to see what they are doing..

    2. Have you ever tried curing meat? If so, what has been your favorite?
    Ans: No. Haven’t tried.

    3. What’s the one thing about spring and summer that you are looking forward to?
    Ans: 1. Garden. I’ll be canning et but I love growing things.
    Ans: 2. Power in the home again. We’ve been without for 15 months. $ to start over has been the hindrance. 4 more 100 ah deep cycle batteries and I’ll be ready to get started again. Changing inside lighting in some areas to 12v. Keeping some areas that will run through inverters. May switch out fridge for the one I’d planned for a guest cabin. It’s 3 way… 12v, 110v, and propane.
    Ans: 3. A solar powered pump for the second well. That’s mostly for the garden but it’s a good well.
    Ans: 4. Building a small room for the solar equipment while I’m also building a new small chicken coop. Both will be recycled materials.
    Ans: 5. Looking for a few more hens. I lost some older ones over the winter.

    4. Are there any skills that you are researching right now?
    Ans: Mostly looking at what others are doing with solar. I have most of my supplies to build a new array. Gleaning ideas for any improvements over the old array.

    Reply
  11. [1] What have you prepped over the winter in anticipation of spring? I live in Florida–we don’t really have a winter. It might get cold 10-14 days per year. That’s it. Anything below 60 is cold.

    [2] Have you ever tried curing meat? If so, what has been your favorite? I have tried making beef jerky. I wasn’t impressed. Aldis has it for cheaper than I can make it.

    [3] What’s the one thing about spring and summer that you are looking forward to? I think in Florida we look forward to fall and winter–lower electric bills. Summer has just about arrived–the heat is here, but not the humidity yet.

    [4] Are there any skills that you are researching right now? I have been researching money management. Specifically, how to keep assets in the family if either my husband or I (or both) require nursing home care. If a widowed spouse requires nursing home care and then dies, the nursing home will place a lien against the home to recoup Medicaid costs associated with the nursing home care. The only way to protect your home is to place it in an irrevocable trust. I learned that you can’t place an IRA in a living trust. Medicaid forces you to spend almost all of the money in your IRA before you (as the widow) can qualify. I learned that if my husband requires nursing home care, my IRA will be safe and our home will be safe. I am contemplating putting my home in an irrevocable trust. My home will be paid off before I hit 60. By placing it in a trust, I protect my assets, even if the government gets my life savings. I can see now why gold and silver is a good investment. I gave the kids the combination to the safe; when I kick the bucket I have asked them to clean out the safe. At age 65 I will begin taking money out of my IRAs and purchasing mass quantities of silver–provided it’s reasonable priced at that point.

    I mentioned last week that I sold my truck to son-in-law. We had it towed up to Jax this week. (We have free towing with AAA.) It was hard to see it pull away. I’ve had that truck for nearly half of my life. But the battery kept needing charging because we just didn’t drive it enough. Son-in-law has been looking for a truck for months now. I mentioned off hand that I was thinking about selling it and he was interested. Dh showed him the maintenance log. And he got excited. Son-in-law is a skilled mechanic will restore the truck to full glory. Dd said he was off to Harbor Freight today to buy a scanner–apparently this is a device that will scan parts and allow him to purchase replacement parts. The truck will enable him to do a lot of home repairs himself, like fixing the gutters.

    DD will be induced next Saturday. She is waddling like a walking watermelon. She has opted for a home birth. My impression is that home births are gaining in popularity–young women are getting sick of doctors ordering a C-section just so they can make their tee time at the golf course. We are excited and can’t wait to welcome our granddaughter into this world. She couldn’t be born to better parents.

    Our other granddaughter turns two at the end of this month. We all chipped in to get her a classic Radio Flyer tricycle. This is the real deal–no plastic crap. It is made of metal and has rubber tires. I found them on sale at Walmart.com for $50.00. Son-in-law said people pay $50 for the used ones at garage sales. I’ll include the link in case you have an appropriately aged grandchild. This is a total steal!

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Radio-Flyer-Classic-Red-10-Tricycle-Rubber-Tires/27393186

    In other news, I learned that Krispy Kreme is giving away doughnuts to people who can show proof of vaccination for the rest of the year! You can get one free glazed doughnut per day with proof of vaccination. I am doing the happy dance.

    Reply
  12. Welcome, M.I. thank you for filling in for Tara. I enjoyed what you shared and can see why you look forward to summer!
    The one thing I’ve done this winter preparing for spring is to start seedlings in the greenhouse and plant lettuce and chard directly. Here in the high desert they are happy as early as February. And I am enjoying salads already.
    I have never cured meat but I remember my mother often having a crock of beef corning in a cold room during the winter. Always a heavy board across to keep the roast under the brine. Sometimes it was just too salty. And the saurbraten…I don’t care if I ever taste that again! I’ve made lots of beef and venison jerky with my simple recipe of soy sauce, garlic and water marinade, then drying on a screen.
    We have had a very busy spring with our business so we are very much looking forward to spending a month up north where summer temps are regularly 80 instead of 110.
    I was I’ll for a week with food poisoning, so not much got done. But preparing for the next beef to fit in the freezer by canning up 20lbs of ground beef left from last year.
    Went to the range yesterday with my new hellcat. It’s very tight, so gonna let it sit with slide open to loosen up the spring.
    Take care everyone.

    Reply
  13. My master food preserver group is attending monthly zoom meetings covering new things in the canning world and reminders on why certain things shouldn’t be canned at home.
    Went to Costco twice this week but only picked up a few things. A friend is getting ready for knee replacement surgery in two weeks so we spent all day traveling to see the surgeon, get the preop done and visiting Costco. We were gone nearly 12 hours – approximately 6 hours just in drive time.
    Ordered and received a new range hood and put the tags on the car.

    Reply
  14. Been busy last few weeks, did some contract work, and also picked up a weekly lawn cutting job, using the money to buy a DR weed eater that you pull behind an ATV. Hoping this will cut down my weed eating to a few hours. May pick up some jobs trimming ponds, fence lines, etc.

    Using the Ruth Stout method for potatoes, no plow, using hay. I am not much of a gardener, so everything is a trial and hope for the best. If goes well, will do large area next year.

    Transplanted trees from Solo cups to larger pots, 3 pear trees, 15 apple, and 39 saw-tooth oaks. Oaks are for deer, they love the nuts.

    I grow trees from nuts.
    1. In fall, wrap nuts in paper towels, wet towels, place in ziploc bag, and place in fridge for the winter.
    2. In the spring when seeds sprout, I plant in Solo cups, cut holes in Solo cup, and I use aluminum bake pan to set cups in, place on south facing windows.
    3. In Georgia, once Blackberry’s bloom, I know winter is over and trees will be repotted and taken outside.
    4. Late summer, early fall, will plant. Not sure if this the correct, recommended method but has worked for me.

    Lot of projects planned for summer, need garage built, but material prices putting it on hold. Need to replace main gate and fence but can not find fencing, at local Tractor Supply, I was told fence companies have preordered product and I would need to check back in a few weeks.

    Reply
    • I have two peach trees I grew from seeds. One bloomed this year.

      My blackberry bush is blooming and we saw a LOT blooming by PDK airport the other day. One of those oddities I never noticed before.

      We bought our DR Power Chipper-shredder at Jack Peek’s in Palmetto. We couldn’t find one anywhere close to us when we bought it – all sold out. DR Power has been great at sending replacement parts for things that wear out too.

      Reply
  15. Good morning! Late to the party and I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. We were running errands and basically out of town yesterday. The garden is almost ready for planting and as a seed-a-holic, I have plenty of stuff to plant.

    This Week’s Questions:
    1. What have you prepped over the winter in anticipation of spring? As much as possible given that we are somewhat in limbo regarding a possible property purchase. I have reached out to a hog grower to purchase a half hog for the freezer.
    2. Have you ever tried curing meat? If so, what has been your favorite? No but I do love beef jerky and slim jims.
    3. What’s the one thing about spring and summer that you are looking forward to? Warmer weather and fresh veggies.
    4. Are there any skills that you are researching right now? I’m always looking into making my gardening skills better but nothing in particular at the moment.

    Reply
  16. Puppy fought with a snake in the wood pile. I thought it was a baby water moccasin but it turned out to be a king snake which is very beneficial to have around and actually kills poisonous snakes and rodents.

    Security
    Got the livestock fence around the garden.

    Garden
    Planted potatoes, 4 varieties of tomatoes, 2 varieties of cucumbers zucchini, squash, bell peppers, green onions, Serrano, jalapeno and cayenne peppers. Oregano, thyme, sage and dill. Carrots, radishes and white radishes.

    Fruit trees
    Damage was found on most of the fruit trees. Black spots on some of the pear trees but massive amounts of fruit growing.
    Peach trees have damage.
    Plum trees have damage.

    Fruit bushes
    New Blueberry bushes survived frost due to my use of 2 liter Coke bottles with holes drilled in for breathing.
    Blackberry bushes flowering.

    Water
    Catchment barrels are full.

    Thor’s questions
    1. Do you think war with Russia is inevitable?

    2. Do you think war with China is inevitable?

    3. Do you think racial or civil war here is inevitable?

    4. Are you prepared for 1,2 and 3?

    Reply
    • Thor’s questions
      1. Do you think war with Russia is inevitable? Yes, hopefully it will be kept to a “dull roar” vs. full nuclear.

      2. Do you think war with China is inevitable? Yes, hopefully it will be kept to the South China Sea area.

      3. Do you think racial or civil war here is inevitable? I think we will end up in “Balkanization”. As a result we (the US) will no longer be a major world power.

      4. Are you prepared for 1,2 and 3? As much as possible where we are located. We are looking to relocate.

      Reply
    • Tara’s questions

      1.What have you prepped over the winter in anticipation of spring? Starting seeds, making compost for the garden.

      2.Have you ever tried curing meat? If so, what has been your favorite? Jerky or freeze drying.

      3.What’s the one thing about spring and summer that you are looking forward to? Eat real tomatoes and kayaking.

      4.Are there any skills that you are researching right now? No

      Reply
  17. Tara’s questions

    1.What have you prepped over the winter in anticipation of spring? Starting seeds, making compost for the garden.

    2.Have you ever tried curing meat? If so, what has been your favorite? Jerky or freeze drying.

    3.What’s the one thing about spring and summer that you are looking forward to? Eat real tomatoes and kayaking.

    4.Are there any skills that you are researching right now? No

    Reply
  18. 1. What have you prepped over the winter in anticipation of spring?
    Just the usual buying of OP seeds.

    2. Have you ever tried curing meat? If so, what has been your favorite?
    I’ve only done jerky. Got a BIL that was doing sausage, mostly turned out good.

    3. What’s the one thing about spring and summer that you are looking forward to?
    Warmer weather, at least that which isn’t super hot. Gardening & going to range. Would like to go fishing & I’d like to find a 2-man canoe.

    4. Are there any skills that you are researching right now?
    No.

    Reclast infusion for bones was nasty. Hurt bad & felt bad for 2-1/2 days. Crapola!
    Got my raised bed planted. Come on, seeds, sprout please.
    Friend got Winchester .22 Wildcat instead of possible .223. At least it takes all flavors of .22. No ammo here in south NJ.

    Reply

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