What I Did To Prep These Past Two Weeks: May 2nd – May 15th, 2021

Hey Pack! It’s Camp Season!! It’s Camp Season!!!

The last few weeks have been busy! Mother nature has put buds and flowers on the plants. Our local pair of Eastern Phoebes have started their nest and are sitting on, a few eggs.

Did I mention that it’s Camp Season?

phoebe bird nest with cowbird egg inside

​Of Camp Season and Subtle Hints

Can you tell I’m excited?

This will be our fourth summer at camp. We had looked for a place in the woods for several years. Part backwoods retreat. Part fortress of solitude. Part disconnection from the world.

As it turns out, that is pretty hard to find these days. We looked at camps big and small for about 5 years. This one had too little property to buffer it from the local junk depository. That one had water straight from the beaver pond.

And then this one came along. We took a trip, fell in love, then walked away. It was just not the right time for us. I spent the winter regretting the decision. This was genuine regret. Fitful sleep with dreams of loss. Days where I’d look down and find that I was sketching a new layout for the living room.

One day I was at peace. I concluded that since it was off the market, that was a signal from the Guy above that it was not for us.

Fast forward to July of the following year, I was on a business trip having lunch at P. F. Chang’s In Tysons Corner, Virginia. I get a text from Lady Grey. Five words.

It’s back on the market”

Nope. Nope. Nope. It’s been decided… Nice try, fate… Not gonna hook me one more time.

Then I opened my fortune cookie.

A Change Of Scenery Will Lead To A Great Transformation”

I’m not a smart man, but I know when I’m supposed to take a hint.

Ok, back to business. Here we are about 5 years later, and this weekend I opened up our little corner of heaven. This is a weekend of both excitement and a wee bit of terror.

Once we close camp, we rarely visit. A mile of class VI road and several feet of snow make sure of that. So when we lock the door, we make sure that we’ve covered all our bases.

This is the weekend to see if we did.

Turns out we did ok!

Camp greeted me with the usual assortment of dead ladybugs and flies, as well as one fat spider. Bugs were swept up, the spider was thanked and placed outside. Cupboards and counters were wiped down and the new solar system was inspected.

Normally I would fully stock the cabinets, however this year I only stocked them lightly. We plan on remodeling the kitchen with new cabinets and knotty pine boards on the walls.

Our stocking plan includes food for 30 days for the three of us. This includes the usual staples of rice, oats, flour, yeast, and seasonings. We augment these with canned soups, stews, and meats galore. This year we will add a few packs of cured pork and some salami that we just put up to cure.

Due to the pending construction, we packed light. Only a quart of each soup and stew with a little extra corned beef and potatoes (our favorite breakfast).

Normal volume or not, camp is ready to receive us. The good Lord willing, as you read this I’ll be knee-deep in Fiddleheads and ramps!

​Of Uninvited Guests And How To Handle Them

One of our spring traditions is sharing our house with a nesting pair of Eastern Phoebes. They are back like clockwork this year and have topped off the nest with fresh moss and a few new tufts of hair courtesy of the Great Grey Puppy-Beast.

Also, like clockwork, they have had another visitor. Cowbirds!

Our Phoebes have been with us for about 10 years, and every year there’s at least one Cowbird egg. For those new to Cowbirds, they are a brood parasite. They lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.

When the young hatch, they often arrive earlier than the other chicks and therefore monopolize the food supply. Often to the detriment of the host’s natural offspring.

(See featured pic of an Easter Phoebe nest with a brood-parasite Cowbird egg.)

Apparently, there is some debate over whether the parasitic eggs should be removed. There are also some legal concerns as Cowbirds are migratory. Along the same lines, Cowbirds are not above vengeful nest destruction if someone (bird or human) removes their egg from the nest.

Coincidently, one podcast I listen to this week raised this very prepping topic. What to do about uninvited guests.

We all plan for the worst, and often that planning includes charitable giving. Giving of our abundance differs greatly from having extra mouths to feed and personalities to manage that have been thrust upon you rather than invited. More so, it’s a topic that deserves thought well in advance of any actual decisions.

For now, the cowbird egg remains as we mull the moral, ethical, and legal ramifications of sending the uninvited guest to a new location.

​This Week’s Questions:

  1. Ever get that unmistakable hint? What was it for and did you listen?
  2. What have you been prepping all winter that you are pulling into service now?
  3. What are your spring opening procedures?
  4. Do you have a plan for dealing with uninvited guests?

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

P.S. It’s camp season!

52 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep These Past Two Weeks: May 2nd – May 15th, 2021”

  1. This Week’s Questions:

    1. Ever get that unmistakable hint? What was it for and did you listen? As a friend put it “Build and Ark”. We just took the next step and found a new house w/yard for growing food and chickens.

    2. What have you been prepping all winter that you are pulling into service now? Nothing much this year. Just continuing to “stack it to the rafters”.

    3. What are your spring opening procedures? This year, with the move and the DW’s injury, it is going to be different. Then at the new place, different still.

    4. Do you have a plan for dealing with uninvited guests? I have a large, iron box with tools for most of them. There’s always a need for compost.

    This week —

    May 08 – May 15: The bid on our “new” house was accepted. On the West end of a town of 10,000, corner lot, .4 acres, attached 2-car/detached 1-car garage, 3 bed/2 bath, well, wood/gas/electric heat (not sure if it’s on the sewer or septic (part of the conditions of the sale is to find this kind of stuff out). About the right size for a retirement home for us. Room for our stuff, room to grow food, room for our stuff, easy/year-round access. So, buying more bulk/heavy preps is off for a while.

    Discovered that a new-to-MT couple at church are into prepping! We are getting together after the 1st of June for dinner.

    DW was at the dog park letting the dog run with other dogs. Our dog and another dog came running over to my wife and they ran into her left knee, ended up with a break on the top (load bearing) part of the tibia. Nothing but fun here! Had to order some medical appliances for the house so she function and work. Dr on Monday, then surgery.

    Put dry food up in buckets.

    Supply Run: Dry beans, 25#; UHT milk; misc. medical supplies;

    Received: Mag loader: G17; AC power supply for radio; AA to C battery adapters; hard candy (individually wrapped); coffee;

      • We’ll be adding to the post about the Dr next week.

        I’m excited, planning what we are going to do where. Not as big as I was wanting (at first) but I’m thinking that is going to be about all I can handle.

    • JPinMT
      Sorry to hear about your dw’s injury, hope all goes well with her surgery. Congratulations on the new home to the both of you.

    • JP,

      Congrats on getting the new crib. Hope it works out well.

      Bummer about your wife. If it ain’t one thing, it’s another. Hope that works out well too.

    • If forgot to add, my oldest had their offer on a house accepted this week too. I’m as happy for her as I am for us. 15 years ago, this didn’t even look like a possibility. 5 years ago they would have to borrow money every summer just to pay the rent. They are really moving forward, financially. I’m a proud daddy.

      So, only my youngest daughter and my youngest grandson (18) don’t have their own home yet. Youngest daughter really hasn’t figured out where she want to end up but has been in New England for 20+ years.

    • JP, ouch, your poor missus. Wow, that must have hurt. Hope all goes well with her surgery and all damage is fixed with just one surgery. Guess there will be some physical therapy.

      Good to hear you found a new place. Hope you find out all you need to know b4 closing.

      Oh, and I finally have an order in for those mags we emailed about. I happened to check Midwest (MGW) b4 I even saw an email from them. Figured these would start showing up as every other mag possible has become at least somewhat available.

    • JP – congrats on the house and sorry to hear about the DW. Prayers that all goes well with surgery and healing is quick.

  2. Got my twice weekly shopping done.

    Bought some more silver earlier in the week in 1/10th ounce size. The silver CombiBars are on backorder, except two magically appeared on the APMEX site and I grabbed them. I’d like to get some more of those. Gold and silver prices are taking a bit of a dip as I write this (Thursday), and I may be tempted to buy some more 1/10th ounce rounds.

    I was tempted and tried to buy more silver dimes. However, there were only three in stock and I wanted more than that. Wanting to take advantage of the price dip, I went ahead and bought some one-ounce bars instead. One-ounce rounds are also on backorder. I figured some silver was better than no silver. I also bought a gold CombiBar 20×1.

    I’m finding more information about physical silver shortages. It isn’t looking good for silver availability. There is a lot of accusations of price and availability manipulation of silver. The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) exchange suddenly, presto chango, had an “accounting error” showing them with 3,300 tonnes less silver than they thought they had. Lots of people are smelling a big rat in that one. The main suspicion is the PTB want to keep silver out of the hands of the great unwashed so the eventual reset into digital currency will go more smoothly (from the perspective of the PTB). The PTB will also be working hard to kill off private cryptos for the same reason. It is a matter of control. Supposedly, one of the Rothschilds in the 1800s said, “Let me control the money of a country and I care not who makes it laws” (No one can find a 100% accurate attribution for that quote). Silver and crypto provides a strong mechanism for non-governmentally controlled currency. They can’t allow that.

    There is some talk about silver miners cutting out the precious metal exchanges and banks like the COMEX, the one in London that can’t count, JPMorgan-Chase (a notoriously crooked bank), and instead dealing directly with mints and other consumers like rare earth miners do. That will likely result in a silver price increase, but also result in more availability. Remember, many precious metals experts have been saying for some time that silver is significantly undervalued and cutting out the exchanges and banks would change that. Remember too that silver is heavily used in the manufacture of electrical devices, including cell phones, electric cars, solar panels, batteries, and more. Each individual device doesn’t use much, but there are a lot of them being made. It adds up. Recycling is not financially viable due to the difficulty in retrieving the small amounts in each device. At current prices, dumping the broken stuff into landfills is cheaper. Silver is much preferred in industry because it is the most electrically conductive and efficient metal.

    I watched a video interview with a mine company CEO, Taj Singh. He runs Discovery Silver, the owners of a very large Mexican primary silver mine at Cordero, Chihuahua State. It is called a primary silver mine because they can mine mostly silver as a primary product and not as a by-product as is commonly done now. Most silver comes from zinc, lead, and copper mines. It’s cheaper since those mines make their big bucks on the primary products. Refining silver as a primary product is expensive in comparison to refining it as a by-product. Discovery Silver is looking very hard at cutting out the banks and metal exchanges and dealing directly with mints, electrical product manufacturers, etc. Some other primary silver mine owners are also thinking seriously about it too. They know the exchanges and banks will fight them tooth and nail, so need to have their ducks in a row.

    Weather is getting kind of funny. We had 90s for a while, now (Thursday) in the 70s. Had some rain, but not really enough. That’s why the month is called May. It may rain, it may be hot, it may be cool. If you live up north then it may snow. We’ll be heading into the hurricane season here in FLA next month. Time to make certain all my battery banks, flashlights, lanterns, and AA/AAA/D rechargables are 100%. Ham handheld radios too.

    The gas pipeline hack was an interesting development. Gas supplies here in the Orlando area seem to be OK, although prices went up a bit. Still less than $3.00 according to #1 daughter. Spoke with my son last night. Gas shortages exist near where he lives in Putnam County. He had to drive fifteen miles from his house to tank up his work truck and could only get 93 octane premium. The Governor enacted an emergency order normally only used during hurricanes, temporarily cancelling some regulations regarding fuel delivery to gas stations. Makes it easier for deliveries.

    The suspicious thing is the Colonial Pipeline supplies tank farms, not gas stations. Most tank farms have significant storage capacities, often 30-days’ worth at normal demand. Why the panic attack? If the Colonial Pipeline couldn’t get back into operation within 30-days, why not? They should have the capability of returning to a manual operation if nothing else. Perhaps at reduced capacity, but still operational. Something is rotten in Denmark. Colonial is already back at 100% capacity and catching up on the minor backlog.

    I stopped for gas after picking up #1GD from school (also Thursday). Gas prices are mostly in the lower $2.80s and no lines at any station in my area of Orlando. I paid $2.81 at a Wawa station. That’s one advantage to living in a city. They keep the gas stations supplied better. My son lives in a mostly rural county, so that means lower priority. When I lived there, I saw the priority system in action several times after hurricanes.

    It would be nice if the FBI and whoever else is hunting can find those hackers. I think a 2,000lb JDAM on top of their heads would be a good lesson. But I’m just that way.

    Went to the VA and I’m getting new hearing aids. Phonak brand. Custom earpieces and a wi-fi device that connects to the TV. They’re also compatible with my phone like the kind I have now. I chose to take the battery powered type instead of rechargeables. Should have them within a month.

    This Week’s Questions:

    1. Ever get that unmistakable hint? What was it for and did you listen?

    Oh, yes. It came from one of my Drill Instructors and you bet your bippy I listened. 😊

    2. What have you been prepping all winter that you are pulling into service now?

    Nothing special needs to be pulled here. I’ve been stocking my food pantry like I always do. Hurricane season starts next month, so some things need to be done now, like ensuring all of my rechargables are charged.

    3. What are your spring opening procedures?

    No special opening procedures here except getting out the battery chargers.

    4. Do you have a plan for dealing with uninvited guests?

    It depends on the species of “guest.” Non-human guests are not much of an issue except for the occasional alligator that might wander through. Most of the time, just staying out of his way is all that is necessary. He’ll leave on his own for the nearest pond or lake. Black bears and coyotes are potential visitors, but very rare around my neck of the woods here in Orlando. Gators are everywhere in Florida. I know there are at least several in the lake next to my apartment complex. The rule of thumb here is, if there is water, there are alligators.

    Uninvited humans are a little more complicated. It will depend on who they are and how obedient they are to my requests to beat feet. In a WROL situation, they might get a chance to sleep with the gators.

    • Zulu,

      Here in Gainesville, we get our gas from Jax. Ya’ll get most of your gas from Tampa. The pipeline has little impact on gas availability in most of Florida. This is just panic buying.

      I am not mentally prepared for hurricane season. I will have my godsons over to tune up the generator, which I have never used. I bought it after the 2004 hurricane season when we had two storms within weeks of each other. Both times we lost electricity for four days.

      • Bam Bam,

        Yeah, we did too in Putnam. My wife packed up the kids and went to her sister’s house in Orlando as they had power. I stayed behind to watch the place and sweltered. Didn’t have battery powered fans then.

        Nobody anywhere needed to panic over that pipeline hack. Not at least for 30-days until the tank farms ran dry, which wouldn’t have happened anyway.

        • Zulu,

          I have since purchased a battery powered fan and an ice maker. That’s how they used to cool movie theaters before the invention of air conditioning. They would set out a block of ice in front of a fan. Lesson learned.

    • Zulu 3-6, what is your Amateur Radio callsign ? ( You possess Amateur-band radios )…best 73 de VA3ROD in Scarborough, ON, CANADA

        • Zulu, I looked you up in QRZ and copied to my phone. John (TOP, RIP) gave me your name years ago when I asked about it, cuz we have a dear friend(and retired HAM who lives in Orlando. I would love to catch up with you whenever we get down there, as soon as all these covid babies are born! LOL.(I’m busy thru January 22). I think TOP might have given you my contact info also, I hope that is OK. Just let me know.

    • Zulu 3-6 – my understanding is most of South Florida gets their gas from a different pipeline. The DH checked since #1 DD lives in Juno. Also, Colonial paid the ransom – stupid.

  3. Just a post so I can see others postings. Have to tear down the rearend in the jeep for a rebuild today . Just didn’t like what I saw in the junkyard.

  4. Ever get that unmistakable hint? What was it for and did you listen? Three times on my family farm, unfortunately my dad did not listen to me. $400,000 loss each time. No more farm for me to work or pass down to my children.

    What have you been prepping all winter that you are pulling into service now? Too lazy to have done anything.

    What are your spring opening procedures? Florida, no need to close up.

    Do you have a plan for dealing with uninvited guests? My place does not look inviting, shouldn’t have any.

    My prepping this week was investing my windfall from the sale of some land. First time I have ever had extra money. If you follow the market it was a bad week for the market. Not for me, I ended up gaining 1%. Now to see if I can do that good for the rest of the year. Having that cushion my wife decided to start putting 40% of her paycheck into her work 401K. We had to do some “adulting” and pick out the funds to invest in. I had the land when we got married so she is letting me control that and she says she is going to control her fund and her inheritance when her dad passes (unfortunately in just a few years looks like).

    I put the stock ticker symbol for the ten funds she picked for her 401k into a watch list on my trading account. They were all up 1% or better Friday, we may have found our calling 😉

    • Daddio,

      Which funds did she opt to invest in? I am heavily invested in tech–Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Alphabet and Amazon. I have made a killing over the past year. My mother pass two years ago. I have since doubled what she left me in inheritance.

      • Bam Bam

        To get the company matching she has buy from a list of about a hundred mutual funds. Way too many to research so we just used a dart board approach. I did some research on financial sites before making my decision and added one I thought might be good. Guess which one was still down 3% Friday afternoon.

        My financial stocks, JP Morgan and Schwab were up 4% for the week. The rest did well and I plan to keep them long term so a few down days will bother me. I have one in a risky stock that I am playing with.

        My parents and father in law have large sums just sitting in their checking accounts. My father in law has most of his in low yield (1.5%) CDs. Those mature in a few months so I will see if he wants them turned over into very safe stocks. He has a good income from his pension and SS but he is living with us and has very little expenses. I hope I can convince him to put some in better investments. I doubt I could convince my parents to do anything so their money will just sit there getting inflated away. My dad is almost 91 so I guess not much need to try and increase it anyway.

      • Bam Bam – we rarely invest in individual stocks. Our 401ks are in mutual funds which are chosen by the 401k except the matching funds from the DH’s company go into company stock. The DH tries to move those out as quickly as possible. Over the long haul, mutual funds are the better choice. Outside of the 401ks, we have chosen a couple of different Fidelity funds that have done pretty well. I also invested $250 in Hershey in 2005 then started doing some automatic investing into it at $25 a month starting in 2018. That’s the only individual stock I own and it’s averaged out to give me about 7% in annual earnings since 2005.

        In my experience at work, the big money folks don’t really go with mutual funds, but that’s because they are able to invest large amounts over several stocks and/or bonds, thus creating their own mutual fund. We’re talking like 15-20 different stocks/bonds with anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 in each.

        If you have millions, individual stocks/bonds may give you your best returns, but if you’re only looking at a couple hundred thousand, sticking with mutual funds would be the safer bet.

        • GA Red

          I want a bigger return then a mutual fund. I do not have millions but you can buy one share if you want. I divided my money up between 8 stocks. I have 1.32 share of a high priced stock to 328 of a low priced one and differing amounts between. The number of shares doesn’t mater, just the percent return you get.

  5. 1. Ever get that unmistakable hint? What was it for and did you listen?
    Ans: yes. I kept feeling we should leave the beautiful rural place we were buying and move back to my old place with several old mobilehomes on it and not one really liveable. My husband got hurt at work and had to reretire. I had also been injured and recently retired. Then a son was injured at work with a life threatening head injury. He moved in with us as a condition for release from the hospital. It quickly overwhelmed our retirement and I was driving him 30 to 45 minutes each way to appointments 3 to 5 days a week. Many days a morning, then an afternoon appointment. We lost that new doublewide on 1+ acre with chickens, and rabbits and a big garden. We ended up doing a deed in lieu and moving back on the old place camping in a 1970 double wide. Attempting to make it liveable. It needed far too much. But we survived 2 winters with some -0° weather. Then a retirement my husband had refused to take because his ex would get half… was put through with backpay. I found a zone 2, three-year-old repo mobilehome that needed minor repairs, and paint. I paid cash and they stored it free on their lot while a neighbor and I tore down a single wide mobilehome and cleared a hookup with a good septic system and hook up to my original well for water. Running electric to it was going to take another power pole and lots of expense so I put in solar. Storms have destroyed the array so I’ve been buying components and will soon install a new much larger array in a better spot.
    It felt like a big loss but has infact been a big help. All I pay here is actual living expenses and taxes. No mortgage. I have 3 acres to play on. The home is smaller and guarantees no one wants to live in a one bed, one bath mobilehome with us. I have sheds for shop and storage. I’m reusing more and more of my hugh original garden area. A grandson wants to repair the mobilehome his parents had moved here 22 yearsago. It’s at the back of the property. My friend and her grandchildren live in a mobilehome on the property. She’s driven me to appointments as needed since I had covis last Spring. I’m finally getting strong enough to begin driving again. At the other place I’d have had no one to help us.

    2. What have you been prepping all winter that you are pulling into service now?
    Ans: I’d started to fix a new chicken pen and coop then wasnt able to work in the cold. I’ve started back to working a bit at a time. Ex daugher in law and grandson will be here later today to help work on the pen and a coop.

    3.What are your spring opening procedures? Spring here means garden time. My home looks like a jungle with seedlings in flats at nearly every window. It’s just getting past frost time now. I’ve been clearing weeds as tall as I am. A couple of bushes to dig out then I’ll start planting and setting up trellises.

    4.Do you have a plan for dealing with uninvited guests?
    Ans: yes, No, maybe so.
    Family rents a motel room in town or motorhome to park here for a visit. A couple of granddaughters sleep on air matresses in my livingroom. And they all help provide food and we cook outside.
    Uninvited guests just don’t happen. Local area Trespassers would know I check my property at odd times, legal open carry here in my state. Out of area trespassers should be careful of where they go out here. It’s a notoriously rough area. Mine would probably be among the least dangerous places here.

  6. We’ve been working on the property, took down two more decking pieces around the cedar tree, the decking will be cut up and stacked and burned it’s untreated planks. Hubby, and I propped the fence up and braced it right now fence panels at Lowe’s are $110.00 no deals if you buy more then 10, so no new fence this year, but we have seen a uptick on shrubs, are now the new fencing. We will be mowing the yard, and I’m spray painting my patio furniture and painting 2 small 4 foot fences. We are going to put up for sale a 1964 Oasis camper, that we don’t need anymore. All my plants are doing great this year, listening to the birds, and lots of bees, adding more herbs, for teas and tinctures.

    I’ve been looking for canning lids, I was able to get two wide , and two regular lids, I’m glad I had some from last canning season. I found a bigger water bath canner, and a large steel bowl, I’ll have to make some cuts in what I can this year if the lid shortage continues.

    Question 1 To buy a green house, we finally did after a couple of year’s.

    Question 2 Starting cuttings from different herbs, I got three catnip plants, and I’m doing other’s herbs too.

    Question 3 Getting all my pots ready, adding new soil, to everything and giving all my plants, extra water, and nutrients.

    Question 4 Unevited Guest, is a hard one. We keep our lifestyles, closed only a very few know what we do, I would help those few because they do help themselves, so in time of need I hope we could help, but for other’s I can’t take those chances so we keep to ourselves, and keep our mouths shut.

  7. (1) The Holy Spirit has been guiding me through my preparedness journey over the past decade. I’ve often been awakened in the middle of the night with ideas for prepping that I believe were Heaven-sent. This past year, I’ve been impressed to focus on ways to feed my farm animals off our land.
    (2) Florida doesn’t slow down in the winter! In fact, it’s the best time of year for us to be outside and to garden. We remodeled our chicken facilities earlier this year which will keep our chickens cooler this summer and drier when our sideways rains blow through.
    (3) Springtime in Florida starts in February for me! That’s when I prep gardens for March planting. I’m harvesting greens beans and tomatoes already. Okra is blooming and my pumpkin vines are over 12 feet long already. I hope that doesn’t sound boastful! It’s just how our seasons work around here. You have to grow most things early, before the heat, rain, and bugs take over.
    (4) Uninvited guests may be given a bit of food and sent on down the road–IF we know them well enough and care to see them survive. I’ve made up some Charity Bags of dried beans and rice for such occasions. I also have an extensive seed supply that I would consider sharing with those I know who need it. Our many coconut palms produce literally hundreds of coconuts year round–way more than we can use. They will be given away, too. I am glad we live outside of town, down a long and bumpy dead-end dirt road that looks like it leads to nowhere—it should reduce the uninvited guest issue somewhat.

    This week, I received the two Green Stalks I ordered while they were on sale. The first one got planted with herb seeds this morning. I also received the 20×25′ six-mil thick silage tarp from Hoss Tools. We mowed the area I picked out to “smother” and got the tarp down yesterday afternoon. I will plant purple hull peas there, followed by field corn in late fall (for critter feed). If it goes well, I will order more tarps to expand the operation next year. Started picking green beans this week and have canned 9 pints so far. The juicer/steamer pot arrived that I ordered from Amazon. It will be used to make grape juice from my fruit in another month or so when the grapes ripen. DH ordered me a french-fry slicer so I can make sweet potato fries with some of this year’s harvest. I bought and canned 7 quarts of chicken breasts; also harvested yet another stalk of bananas. The mulberry crop is about done, and I have about 6 pounds of berries in the freezer. It’s been a wonderfully busy week here on the farm. My Farm is My Happy Place!

  8. I have been so busy with work this week I haven’t had time to prep. I am almost finished with the chapter I was commissioned to write for an open-access textbook. It turned out to be 70 pages single spaced. I just have to do a bit of editing. Summer classes have started. Soon I will have more free time.

    I do need to order a few things from the LDS Online Store. I love their dehydrated onions. They are very tasty in homemade beans. I also need to order more rice. I like to keep 600 lbs. on hand. We eat a lot of beans and rice. Our favorites are black beans and rice with Trader Joe’s vegetarian chorizo and Cajun red beans and rice with andouille sausage. (Now that I have an Instant Pot, it is so easy to make beans from scratch. I just soak them overnight, throw the ingredients in, and set the timer for 22 minutes.) I just have to figure out where to store more food. My study looks like a warehouse.

    Have you all read about Israel’s brilliant military strategy? Top officials released reports which seemed to suggest that Israel was planning a full scale invasion into Gaza. The news spread worldwide. Hamas has an elaborate system of tunnels where they store all their weapons. When hearing about the invasion, all the terrorists flocked to the tunnels, which Israel had already mapped out. Then Israel bombed the hell out of the tunnels. The story about the full scale invasion was just a ruse.

    This week’s questions:

    [1] Ever get that unmistakable hint? What was it for and did you listen? The first time I had that gut feeling that all was not right was when I realized the food distribution system was prone to disruption–not just with short-term events like hurricanes, but real supply issues. I came to realize that the Arab Spring was the result of food shortages caused by the failure of the Russian (and other large wheat producing countries) wheat crops. In 2010, Russia placed an export ban on wheat so they would have enough to feed their own people. That’s what got me into prepping proper–I had always been prepared for hurricane season. Growing up, we just always had everything we needed on hand. We always kept a deep pantry. I didn’t realize there were people who only keep a few day’s worth of food on hand at any given time until I was in graduate school.

    The second time I had that gut feeling was when I first watched videos from Wuhan where soldiers were quarantining entire apartment buildings. I knew very early on that China was covering up the outbreak and it would turn into a pandemic. I sold stocks that would crash during a pandemic and invested heavily in tech and Amazon. I more than doubled our short term pantry. I already had a well stocked pandemic kit. History shows there has been a pandemic about once every 100 years. The Spanish Flu was the last one. We were long overdue.

    [2] What have you been prepping all winter that you are pulling into service now? I live in Florida. We don’t really have a winter–except for about 10 days of 40 degree weather.

    [3] What are your spring opening procedures? Here in Florida Spring is the week between Winter and Summer. We seem to go straight from cold to 90 degrees.

    [4] Do you have a plan for dealing with uninvited guests? I just don’t see us as having uninvited guests. No one except immediate family knows how well stocked we are. If we do have uninvited guests . . . you know that gators are like pigs–they will eat just about anything.

    • Bam Bam,

      Yes, indeedy, the Israelis pulled a good one on Hamas. Israeli intelligence services are some of the best in the world. The Israeli Air Force is also one of the best in the world. I’ve noticed that Hamas has not released a death toll on the tunnel bombing. They’re only claiming about 150 people killed, civilian and terrorists since the beginning. I really couldn’t guess how many militants bought the farm in the tunnels. A bunch most likely. Maybe the Israelis will release a figure if it won’t compromise intelligence sources.

      I was at Cairo-West Air Base in Egypt in 1991. In 1973, the last time Israel and Egypt fought, the Israeli AF bombed the crap out of Cairo-West. Every intersection of taxiways and runways had massive bomb craters filled in and covered over. Every one was a perfect bulls eye in the center of the intersection. That takes those taxiways and runways out of action. There were also aircraft revetments that had been bulls eyed as well and totally destroyed bombers (Russian models) were still there. Two anti-aircraft gun and missile sites were also wiped flat and never rebuilt. I looked on Google Earth a year or so ago and noticed the Egyptians had finally cleaned up the mess and fully repaved the taxiways and runways (actually the US probably did the repaving since we use that base a lot to stage aerial refuelers). The bombing skill was amazing, especially when you consider GPS didn’t exist in 1973. Perhaps they used laser-guided bombs, I don’t know. But even those were in their infancy and I don’t know if the US had given any to the Israelis yet.

      • Zulu,

        I’ve been reading up on Israel and Hamas. Did you know Hamas constructs its bombs in residential neighborhoods so that if Israel bombs Hamas’s weapons stash, they can claim Israel targeted citizens and killed women and children?

        • Bam Bam,

          Yes. That’s standard operating procedure for them and also Hezbollah. Actually, it’s kind of SOP for a lot of those groups and countries over there. The civilians do not like them doing that, but there is nothing they can do to stop it.

      • In ’73 we had LORAN-C, at 100 kHz. I can recall being aboard a Canada Coastguard hi-speed cutter in the late 1980s. It had loran-c navigation gear & as the gunnel touched a buoy the display click over to zero. It was pretty good if you wanted to return to a previous position. GPS wasn’t very precise at first. It got better over the years, tho. Now the navy console in my car detects within a second or 2 when i miss a turn & it starts “re-calibrating” my route. Best 73 de VA3ROD

    • I just logged on to the LDS Online Store and learned that you can only purchase two cases of rice at a time. I hope this is just because they temporarily have a low supply. I actually wanted to buy 10 cases.

      • Bam Bam, is online ordering limited to LDS members? I understand some of the physical locations (at least used to) sell to public occasionally. Closest one to me is about 2 hours away.

  9. Puppy has been having a lot of fun chasing squirrels and birds since I bought a new bird feeder. I didn’t realize how well he could climb trees.

    It’s doing spectacular.
    No shortage of food here. LOL

    Fruit trees
    2 peaches
    Saved most of the pears but still had damage to pear trees from the late frost.

    Bought 10 more large planter buckets and put in blackeyed peas, pinto beans, bush beans, gourmet lettuce and 2 spinaches.

    Glad I had all vehicles and cans full of gas prior to the gas back. I must be psychic.

    Thor’s questions

    1. What do you think the next crisis will be?

    2. If this much chaos was caused by hacking a fuel pipeline, what do you think a hack on the power grid would be like?

    3. Will you be able to survive without electricity? Keep in mind this means most gas supplies won’t be accessible. So transportation will be limited as will food and medicines.

    4. Do you think WW3 will breakout from Israel/Gaza war?

    • Tara’s questions

      1. Ever get that unmistakable hint? What was it for and did you listen? Sometimes, ESP

      2.What have you been prepping all winter that you are pulling into service now? Gardening

      3.What are your spring opening procedures? Tilling the garden and planting.

      4.Do you have a plan for dealing with uninvited guests? Depends on known or unknown guests. I have a 6 bedroom/ 3 bathroom house but unwanted guests would be quickly dispatched.

    • Thor’s questions

      1. What do you think the next crisis will be? It’s looking like inflation is coming at us hard.

      2. If this much chaos was caused by hacking a fuel pipeline, what do you think a hack on the power grid would be like? AT least we won’t have to listen to the Progressives whine.

      3. Will you be able to survive without electricity? Keep in mind this means most gas supplies won’t be accessible. So transportation will be limited as will food and medicines. I’m better than most.

      4. Do you think WW3 will breakout from Israel/Gaza war? No. No nation state in the middle east likes the Palestinians. They only get support to harass Israel.

    • Thor’s questions

      1. What do you think the next crisis will be? Either electricity or more food problems.

      2. If this much chaos was caused by hacking a fuel pipeline, what do you think a hack on the power grid would be like? Well, there would be panic buying of solar that no one will know how to use/install.

      3. Will you be able to survive without electricity? Keep in mind this means most gas supplies won’t be accessible. So transportation will be limited as will food and medicines. We would be fine for a while thanks to generator but would have to convert some freezer items to canned.

      4. Do you think WW3 will breakout from Israel/Gaza war? Too many factors involved to know, but it certainly feels like TPTB are trying.

    • Thor’s questions

      1. What do you think the next crisis will be?

      God only knows. I think the next crisis will be financial. Inflation is in progress and hyperinflation is always a concern. Banks and exchanges are tampering with precious metals and currency. The Fed (and other central banks around the world) are printing cash at unprecedented rates with absolutely nothing to back it up with. If US currency crashes, all that paper will only be useful to wipe your butt with, maybe start cooking fires.

      2. If this much chaos was caused by hacking a fuel pipeline, what do you think a hack on the power grid would be like?

      A power grid hack will have a greater and more widespread effect, not to mention a more immediate effect. Realistically, the gas pipeline hack was not going to have a true effect, in a relatively limited area, for several weeks if panic didn’t set it.

      3. Will you be able to survive without electricity? Keep in mind this means most gas supplies won’t be accessible. So transportation will be limited as will food and medicines.

      I could get by for the most part without electricity. It won’t be fun. My food stash is extensive and I have several methods of cooking available not using electricity. True, some adjustments in living will have to be made. I probably won’t be babysitting #1GD as her parents will be home, so that will reduce my need for driving. I have a number of solar panels to keep battery packs, flashlights, lanterns, and radios running. I also have a backup supply of medications.

      4. Do you think WW3 will breakout from Israel/Gaza war?

      No. As JP in MT wrote, most of the Arab countries in the area don’t like the Palestinians. If they did, they would have happily taken them in after the 1948 War with Israel. Instead, they were treated like the red-headed stepchildren of the Levant. Israel was the only country that offered the Palestinians a place to live and citizenship, but most of them chose to be stupid and live-in slums of their own creation. Now, the Arab countries only provide support for the Palestinian terrorists to attack Israel. If they really cared about the Palestinian people, that money would go to providing better living facilities and food instead of weapons and the resultant misery Israel visits upon them when their “leaders” foolishly attack Israel. Hamas is getting everything they deserve and Israel is being gentle. Hamas doesn’t want to see what can happen if Israel gets a real bug in their butt.

  10. I’ve been busy for the last few weeks doing lots of projects around the house. And we’ve just gotten back from a quick, one week, camping trip. We did a fair amount of hiking and loved getting away. But it’s always nice to get home. I’m thankful that my knee held up, and we were able to hike several trails of varying difficulty, including some pretty good climbs.

    1. Ever get that unmistakable hint? What was it for and did you listen?
    Yes, I did. We bought the property.
    2. What have you been prepping all winter that you are pulling into service now?
    We have the goats bred in the fall, care for them in the winter, they kid in the winter, and we will sell/trade the kids soon.
    3. What are your spring opening procedures?
    We clean and stock the camper for camping season. We prep the garden, raised beds, and greenhouse for planting.
    4. Do you have a plan for dealing with uninvited guests?
    Yes, but you know how plans go. I know it’s going to be difficult to turn away people that I know, but I will do it.

    This Week:
    -We sold one doe.

    -We’ve been getting a lot of asparagus, and we’re now getting a lot of strawberries from the patch.
    -I’ve planted several tomatoes.

    *Prepping purchases/added to the stockpile: a few first aid items and OTC meds,

    -Hay field was fertilized. Hay should be cut and baled soon.
    -I’m very thankful that I found someone who actually took care of things at home like I wanted. My cousin and her kids cared for the animals and watered the flowers and tomato and pepper plants.

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

  11. 1. Ever get that unmistakable hint? What was it for and did you listen?
    Yep, since 1965 the day b4 a tornado. The “hints” wax & wane depending on how much sleep I get. I won’t say more.

    2. What have you been prepping all winter that you are pulling into service now?
    Just normal restocking

    3, What are your spring opening procedures?
    Tilling, planting, landscape trimming.

    4. Do you have a plan for dealing with uninvited guests?
    Get lost unless you’re valuable in some way; if so, better bring your own food & water.

    Latest 2 weeks:
    Ordered mags online. Purchased a dozen each of pints and half-pints at Tractor Supply plus some pickle spices and Certo at Wally’s. Food-wise, I try to restock what we use.
    The DP finally listened to me (and his DD who lives in TX) and filled his truck tank and two 5-gallon cans plus filled spare grill-sized propane tank. Guess he’s admitting that DC stupid and I’m not re how precarious utilities and such really are. Yep, I get just how nuts that Colonial issue was.

  12. This Week’s Questions:

    1) Ever get that unmistakable hint? What was it for and did you listen? To leave my ex. He’s an ex, so I listened.
    2) What have you been prepping all winter that you are pulling into service now? Can’t think of anything.
    3) What are your spring opening procedures? Till the garden. Plant the garden. Put the plants that can’t live outside during the winter back on the patio and reclaim our sun porch.
    4) Do you have a plan for dealing with uninvited guests? Not 100%.

  13. 1)Unmistakable hint?
    Yes, but was talked out of by my dh, now I wish I had stood my ground. We put a home back on the property after a major fire took it out some years ago placing us back into debt.
    Trying to figure out where to live now as my dh passed away at the end of April. The life choices that I now must face, we all will tackle at some point in time. Do I stay here & pay the mortgage or sell to find another smaller place, which I will be able to care for without hiring extra help. It is not a snap decision that I am willing to make right now.
    2)Winter Prepping?
    Until dh passed, he required special foods either I consume it, or sell it, the rest of it is baby food.
    3) Spring procedures?
    Preparing one building to hold items I plan on keeping, where by I will have access to the garage once again.
    4) Uninvited Guests? Yes, we made sure we did not have bed in the guest room. Dh & I enjoyed our time together, and company we would offer to book an over night stay in town should they wish to visit with us. If they had a travel trailer they could hook up the necessities for sleeping in their home while here.
    A lot changed after the loss of the first home.

    I am now going through items that I shall no longer require, should I decide to sell and move. Either sell in a yard sale or place them in a consignment store.


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