What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 19 – Oct 28th – Nov 3rd 2018

prep week 19

Oh pack members, it sure has been a tough week. I really pondered becoming a day drinker, but I am sure my mother would frown upon hearing I was sipping Jack and Coke before noon.

There has been a flurry of activity going on here on our survival homesteading retreat. If I do not keep a keen eye on the two 20-something guys that are a tribe member’s son and nephew, nothing gets done – or at least done right. They are highly skilled, it is the whole comprehension thing that has become a major stumbling block.



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I do not have time to babysit grown ups while meeting all of my work deadlines and accomplishing my own prepping tasks. Ugh, wow – it felt better to vent than I even thought. I actually have been babysitting while working and supervising – not sure how that happened.

But, the kiddos are far less bother bouncing about in the playroom than the grown men that I must constantly monitor or be interrupted by to answer a question that really shouldn’t have even needed to be asked. I told them the next time they became baffled or forgot something simply because I was not hovering over them I was going to staple a reminder note to their chest so I was interrupted literally every 15 minutes. They took that as the gospel as they should have and not a sarcastic threat.

Bobby wrote out a simple yet detailed to do list to help with the workflow process. It really did not help, hence my warning about stapling a memo to their chests.

prepping plans on a piece of paper

I have an abundance of patience with kids, critters, and the elderly, but suffering foolishness is simply not in my skill set.

But by the end of the week, 98% of what should have been accomplished actually was – and about to 99% of my satisfaction.

The pole barn was cleaned out, and the muddy floor scraped and fresh gravel dumped in and raked – something that was on the to-do list for a very long time. Trenching and culvert to help divert the massive amount of rain we have been getting for the past year now shouldn’t cause such a problem.

Countless hay wagon loads of lumber have been brought up from the lower barn tear down, nails removed, and sorted so we can actually find a specific type of boards, post, beam, etc. when needed.

We finished plans for a lumber yard lean-to off the pole barn, and should have enough materials on hand to build it without buying anything.

Some small trees were cut down on the other side of the pole barn to enlarge a convenient space to store round bales of hay. The straw we needed for livestock bedding over the winter has arrived, and is now stacked in my tack room – after reminding the young fellers three times to do it – but I digress.

Bobby has decided to keep the rusty beauty of a tractor in the pair he bought last week. It is an intact 1937 Ford that after only a few hours of work, purrs like it just came off the assembly line:

1937 Ford tractor

We have a potential new tribe member. A young woman who is as beautiful and sweet as she is skilled. And for all of you Ohio preppers, she is also single with two cool little kiddos. I hit it off with her through the drive thru window of a local convenience store about four years ago. Her little girl has a skin rash that nothing was working on, and was chatting about it with a co-worker when I pulled up. I offered some home remedy advice that worked – sparking an ongoing friendly acquaintance.

Her dad taught she and her nurse sister to do any kind of “guy work” that you can imagine. She can lay block, cut wood, build about anything, do plumbing, auto mechanics, electrical work, care for livestock – and crochets, sews, embroiders by hand, among many other “girlie” skills.

I just happened to run into her in another county at a store, after not seeing her for about a year after she started working at a nursing home. She is currently between jobs and could use a little extra money, so I hired here to come out here for a while and help on some home remodeling projects. She is taking over my supervision of the 20-somethings to save my sanity…and them.

In other news this week, puppies will soon be pouncing around our hill, whether I like it or not. Bobby’ blue heeler, Ruger, mated with our daughter’s Australian Shepherd.

This is the scene I was greeted with when I heard high-pitched dog-ish wails coming from the edge of our woods:

dogs mating

I am trying to look on the bright side about having a combo heard dog and livestock guardian dog, but the gene pool between Ruger and Cowgirl is somewhat questionable, in my opinion – although Bobby and our daughter, who is Cowgirl’s human, would not agree.

The grandkiddos and the plethora of other kiddos who converge in the playroom on a regular basis, got an awesome new Waldorf style toy to enjoy. The 20-somethings, Bobby, and our son-in-law turned my design into a reality last weekend, and then I had tons of fun decorating it. I fell in love with the simple wood tree houses, but was not about to pay between $100 to $300 for one.

children wood tree houses

The only other preps I did this week were doing some more dedicated cooking on cast iron training with Auddie. I use the sessions as math, comprehension, nutrition, and farm-to-table lessons – but she just thinks she is having some fun one-on-one time with her Yaya:

little girl learning how to cook with a cast iron

This week’s Questions:

1. Since the Pack enjoys talking politics like I do, predictions for the Midterms? I consider this a prep, because the future of America is at stake.
2. How do you approach adding a new member to your survival tribe?
3. How did y’all prep this week?



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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 →

126 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 19 – Oct 28th – Nov 3rd 2018

  1. I did not do all of my usual grocery shopping this week. I did get a few items for my stash, but primarily concentrated on low-carb foods I can make bulk meals with. I’m down 17-lbs since I started my diet and my blood sugar is close to my normal range. Just a few points off and going down. It’s amazing how much better I feel with just 17-lbs less hanging off my fat butt.

    Granddaughter was gone this week with her parents. They went to Seaworld and Disney World (again). As usual, the little gal had a great time and was really excited to meet Mickey and Goofy. At Seaworld, she was absolutely mesmerized by penguins swimming around. 😊

    I voted early on Friday. The polling place was busy, but it was well organized, well-staffed, and had plenty of booths. So, despite the crowd, I was in and out pretty quickly. The ballot had like 12 amendments to the state constitution. Several were “bundled” with unrelated issues. I voted no on all the bundled amendments. They all had proposals I did not like, unfortunately they also had proposals I did like. So, just on principle, I voted no.

    Tara’s Questions

    1. I am worried that the Dems will get the House back. If so, they will be a massive pain in the butt for the Trump administration. But the Dems live and die on their polling. In 2016, they tended to poll a higher percentage of Democrats than Republicans. Naturally, this practice skews the stats. Funny, I don’t know any conservatives that have ever been polled. I do know a couple of libs that have. If they continued that practice this year, they may be in for another big disappointment. One hopes.

    Of course, if they get the House back, the Dem’s will introduce articles of impeachment on Trump, but they won’t have the votes in the Senate. They’ll know that going in, but will impeach anyway so they can point at it in 2020 if Trump runs. In fact, they may impeach him two or three times just to be a-holes about it.

    2. I have no group to add people to.

    1. 1. I’m with Prepared Grammy on this one. I wish I lived one town over so I could vote in a different congressional election, but I sent my preferred candidate in that race some money, so there’s that.

      2. No tribe, just family and friends – though, having been through the Great Ice Storm of 1998 (no power for 8 days), my experience was that neighbors pull together in a pinch. There is an older couple who live diagonally across the street from us and I try to keep an eye on their house, and would go over to offer help in a “situation.”

      3. We tried to get a gas bottle installed for our generator, but when the gas company guy found out it’s a portable, not fixed/installed, he said they can’t put in a bottle. So I think DH is going to get a 100-lb bottle that he can take back and forth to Tractor Supply for refilling, to supplement our two 30-lb bottles which he says would only last a day each. It’s very windy here tonight and the lights have already flickered a couple of times, but so far, so good.

      DH bought a “tailgating table” with a rack on the side for a grill. Then, one of the guys at his VFW was selling his mini-camper and was going to toss a perfectly good two-burner propane stove. So now the table and the stove are set up in the middle of the living room. Luckily, we have a fairly large living room. :).

      He also bought me a Boston Red Sox t-shirt, because Go Sox! (Sorry, Dodger fans.).

      We’re going over to NH tomorrow to look at a possible “starter retirement” condo. It’s three levels and I’d prefer one-level living as we get older, but we can still manage stairs with no problem at this point, and it’s a toehold. I’m a little hesitant about taking on additional debt right now (we’d finance it primarily through a HELOC on our current home), as I’ve read a few articles (yes, in the undeservedly maligned mainstream media) that warn of an impending recession next year or the year after. A recession is inevitable – the economy is always cyclical, as my college economics minor taught me – but the timing of one vs our coming “full retirement” (he’s retired, I’m still working) is a bit worrisome, mostly in terms of selling our current home. More impetus to get it on the market next spring.

      Threw together a potato leek soup with bacon for dinner tonight with veg from our fall farm share. Smells amazing.

      Peace.

      1. MaineBrain ,

        We tried to get a gas bottle installed for our generator, but when the gas company guy found out it’s a portable, not fixed/installed, he said they can’t put in a bottle. So I think DH is going to get a 100-lb bottle that he can take back and forth to Tractor Supply for refilling, to supplement our two 30-lb bottles which he says would only last a day each.

        You need to distinguish between canisters, bottles, and tanks.
        Canisters are usually small and measured in ounces, typically between 8-20 ounces and used for propane torches and small space heaters.
        Bottles (or small tanks) are measured in pounds and typically run from 20-100 (4.76 to 29.8 gallons).
        Tanks start at 125, and then @ 250, 500, and 1000 gallons and are typically only installed for permanent use. For a portable generator, the 20 or 30 pound tanks/bottles are easy to move; but, the 100 pound will last longer and may cost a bit less (per gallon) to fill. The best price you will get for propane will be with the large tanks. Our summer fill this year was $1.849 per gallon.

        As for the coming recession, it will depend a lot on the inflation in our currently cooking economy and what the FOMC does to interest rates. IMHO, the sooner you can get into that last home, the better off you will be, since when we hit retirement, we had been mortgage free for 10 years. At ages 68 & 67 (DW and I respectively) we still navigate the stairs quite easily and keeping moving and in good shape should also be a retirement goal. I don’t know about Maine; but, Ohio has the homestead exemption that you can apply for at age 65. It takes $25,000 off the assessed value of your property and lowers your real estate taxes accordingly. As you and your DH age, it would be well worth checking on these kinds of benefits available for we mature citizens. In our case, SS times 2, plus the DW’s small pension and distributions from my IRA’s, pay all of our bills and allow us to still sock away quite a lot in savings every month. We have always lived a frugal, self reliant, DIY lifestyle, and in the end it pays big dividends.
        While recessions are inevitable in the normal economic and business cycle, they can be shallow or deep, and short or long lived; but, low debt, especially high interest rate debt like credit cards, plus some cushion in savings, allows one to weather the recession and often to prosper, when prices on some items fall into the bargain range.
        Good luck on your toehold search. I know from experience it is the start of yet one more adventure.

    2. Zulu 3-6,

      At Seaworld, she was absolutely mesmerized by penguins swimming around.

      She sounds more and more like my DD at that age. While we don’t have a local SeaWorld, the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo is world renowned. We had the family pass back when she was young, and no matter her mood, if mom mentioned going to the zoo, she was up and ready.

      The ballot had like 12 amendments to the state constitution

      We had one amendment to the state constitution and I voted that one down also. It was rather sketchy and of course both the pro and con advertising all touted their side. IMHO, modifying your constitution is not to be done lightly.

      Funny, I don’t know any conservatives that have ever been polled

      Well you do now!!!! I had a telephone poll last week for the first time in my life, so hopefully I didn’t jinx the whole thing, LOL.

      1. Ohio’s Issue 1 has been bankrolled by out of state groups and it has no issue being a state constitutional amendment. I question anything and everything that is proposed as a constitutional amendement. This issue can be better addressed in other ways, as have most of the recent constitutional amendment proposals. And that’s my two cents on Tara’s willingness to accept political comments.

        1. Grammyprepper,

          Ohio’s Issue 1 has been bankrolled by out of state groups and it has no issue being a state constitutional amendment. I question anything and everything that is proposed as a constitutional amendement. This issue can be better addressed in other ways, as have most of the recent constitutional amendment proposals.

          I absolutely agree and you will also notice that most if not all of those amendments went down in flames.
          I’m still hoping to see you and the DH some weekend before it gets really cold. We have your honey and can’t wait to thaw out some steaks and have a party. If BLACK sees this, he should note that your honey is some of what I got from him and he & his are invited for steaks also. We can build a bonfire if we want and have a big PPP )Perfect Prepper Party.)

          1. TOP, my work world has gone topsy turvy, so I am now working closing shifts and overtime. Not to mention vehicle issues (when it rains it pours, right?) I will message you, and would love to meet Black!

    3. I hope you are right about the polling – been crossing my fingers for a repeat of 2016 on that front. Who actually picks up calls when they do not know the number – besides maybe my hubby who is a rule follower and thinks you are supposed to answer every call. I don’t know anyone who has been polled period – so once again they have likely discounted the rural vote, I really know few folks besides our parents, who even still have a land line.

      1. We have a landline phone because the cells don’t work when the power goes out, and we need a way to contact the power company to tell them we’re out of juice. (We even have a non-electric Princess phone for just this purpose.) That said, I haven’t answered the phone since February because robocall robocall robocall. “Your robocall really convinced me to vote your way!” <– said NO ONE EVER. I'm not sure why they bother.

      2. Tara,

        I hope you are right about the polling – been crossing my fingers for a repeat of 2016 on that front.

        Amen to that, and we’ll have a good idea starting about 24 hours from now.

        Who actually picks up calls when they do not know the number – besides maybe my hubby who is a rule follower and thinks you are supposed to answer every call.

        I have two thoughts on this one.
        We have talking caller I.D. and don’t generally pick up calls that say “Unassigned”, or Out of area.” or even local calls where we don’t know the number; however, I’ll sometime spick up the robot solicitation calls and press “1” to get an agent, at which point I hang up. Tying up their equipment for a while is just turnabout as fair play, LOL.
        I used to play by those rules; but, about 40 years ago I was visiting a rural friend and we were helping his neighbor with something. Every now and then I heard a loud bell coming from the direction of the barn. I asked him what it was, and he told me it was a special telephone bell so he could hear the phone ring while doing chores. I then asked him why he wasn’t answering and I’ll always remember his answer to me. “I put that phone in as a convenience for me, and right now it ain’t convenient.”

        I don’t know anyone who has been polled period – so once again they have likely discounted the rural vote,

        I’ve been polled for the first time ever; but, I suspect enough people are either ignoring the calls or not being called, so I hope you are right.

        I really know few folks besides our parents, who even still have a land line.

        I don’t think I’m quite old enough to be your parent; but, we still have a landline (and 3 cell phones). The reason for the landline is twofold. Having worked in telephony for about 1/3 of my career, I designed the equipment that goes in those central offices and know how redundant they are, and how long they will continue to run on batteries and generator power. Long after your cell phone bars have disappeared, you will still be able to get dial tone.
        In my case, DSl over the copper telephone wires is also my best way to get reliable fast internet. . We started out 20+ years ago with dialup modems, moved for a while to satellite, and now have a solid 5 Mbps that for our location out in the sticks, is pretty good.

        1. My parents had to get a cellphone, out in the country their landline was out as much as in, specially during times of heavy rain, like in a hurricane. helping an eighty four woman to use a cellphone was interesting. My dad can’t hear well enough to use a phone, and he likes it that way. They canceled the landline.

    4. Zulu, after shtf, I believe there will be a period when we need to keep a 24/7 guard to counter roving gangs, which I expect to occur. If you can find a good way to connect with others nearby who share your concerns and philosophy, it might improve your chances of survival. A couple of large, well trained dogs would certainly help too. But then, you will need food for then, so that’s a downer. Of course, I know nothing of your situation, but those are some thoughts. Not to say you haven’t already thought of that.
      I’m blessed to have enough trained people in our family based group to have round the clock guards. Also, our BOL has 8″ thick poured concrete walls, which is a comfort.

    1. Puppy had tone put up during trick or treat time, so he didn’t scare the kids. He doesn’t like little monsters….. LOL

      Went to a costume contest/party and won first place with the Mrs., Her as a bomber envelope and me as a fake CNN bomb…LOL Hey first place was $500.

      I was a monster for trick or treater’s, I dressed with a mask and ghillie suit…..
      Had a whole family of dinosaurs come up. Mrs. Had to get a picture……

      Bought 2 buckets of assorted freeze dried food.
      Bought 60 rnds of 300 WM
      Bought 50 rnds of 50 BMG
      Bought 2 cases of water.
      Paid for by costumes…..LOL

      Charged the Kodiak solar generator. Have to keep the lithium ion battery fully charged every 3 months.
      Charged the AA batteries used in the angry eyes in the window…..

      Made another batch of jerky. 1/2 regular and 1/2 hot, so puppy can have some too. Its made with sirloin ground beef with seasoning and cure….
      Also dehydrating more peppers for powder……

      I have steak, chicken, hamburger and green beans in the freeze dryer as I write…..

      Scary times…..get ready, who knows what will happen after or during mid term elections.

      Especially with the illegal horde coming…..Lock and load….. Ha that would be LAL….

      https://www.thecommonsenseshow.com/dhs-telling-border-residents-we-cant-protect-you/

      1. 1. Since the Pack enjoys talking politics like I do, predictions for the Midterms? I consider this a prep, because the future of America is at stake.
        2. How do you approach adding a new member to your survival tribe?

        1. Hopefully the Republicans all win….. I think its going to get ugly no matter what.
        If Dems win it will be by voter fraud. If Republicans win, we can build the wall, cut taxes and rebuild the damage done over the last several years…. 2 women said they weren’t raped by Kavanaugh….liar’s need prosecuted. Soros and the Be to camp has been found as supplying prepaid cards and illegal use of campaign money to the illegal horde….. This means any injuries or deaths makes them accessories or accomplices to assault or murder. Hmmmm

        2. Very cautiously, most are family… Skills help, but loyalty is everything.

      2. Thor1,
        We get no Trick or Treaters around here, since our rural neighborhood is, well, large and sparse.

        Made another batch of jerky. 1/2 regular and 1/2 hot, so puppy can have some too. Its made with sirloin ground beef with seasoning and cure….

        Ground meat jerky? We’ve always use thin lean strips. Why and how do you use ground? It sounds like perhaps less work and a more tender end product.

        I have steak, chicken, hamburger and green beans in the freeze dryer as I write…..

        We’ll be firing up the FD in the next few weeks, since it’s finally getting cool enough to start using, and it will even help warm up the back room without using any propane.
        I’ve seen videos and photos of whole meals done in the FD, so I’m hoping that at Thanksgiving this years, we can try that. Turky with all the fixins’

        Especially with the illegal horde coming…..Lock and load….. Ha that would be LAL….

        Even when the hordes cross the border it will be 1500 miles from here; but, there are relatively easy ways to create widespread havoc so we all need to keep our situational awareness tuned up and running. Some think that troops on the border is overkill but, perhaps the worst and most confused is BHO.
        Obama criticizes call for troops at the border
        https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2018/11/03/obama-trump-migrants-military-political-stunt-sot-vpx.cnn
        That was just Obama being Obama. Demagoging and still not understanding the PCA that Zulu described quite well in an earlier post and for the first time ever, caring about our troops and their families.

        1. TOP, it is really easy. 1 lb of lean ground beef, 1 pack of season mix, 1 pack of cure. For spicy add some cayenne pepper. Mix well,then use the jerky master, its like a caulking gun filled with hamburger. Pick size of tip, it comes with 2 round ones and 1 flat one. It looks like a slim Jim….LOL

          Put in the dehydrator at 160 degrees for approx. 8 hours. Pat with paper towels to remove excess grease. Enjoy…..Puppy does…..

          Store in fridge full of beer…makes it better…..LOL

          Its made by NESCO American Harvest got it for a birthday present, love it.

          I still like the other kind of jerky too ,but this is easier and faster and juicy.

          1. Thor1,

            TOP, it is really easy. 1 lb of lean ground beef, 1 pack of season mix, 1 pack of cure. For spicy add some cayenne pepper. Mix well,then use the jerky master, its like a caulking gun filled with hamburger. Pick size of tip, it comes with 2 round ones and 1 flat one. It looks like a slim Jim

            A caulking gun for ground meat. Who would have thought, LOL
            That gadget has been added to my wish list, just in time for Christmas, since one of the boys is already asking for a list. We have used lists for quite a few years, since the oldest will be 52 next month and owns his house, the next is 47 and he and his wife are almost out of debt, and the DD is 27 and soon to be 28. At our ages and theirs, we already have so much “stuff” that we’re getting more selective on what we really need.

            Put in the dehydrator at 160 degrees for approx. 8 hours. Pat with paper towels to remove excess grease. Enjoy…..Puppy does

            This sounds great and a lot easier than the strips, which I also like.

            Store in fridge full of beer…makes it better…..LOL

            We don’t have one full of beer; but, the one in the summer kitchen room has a nice selection of beer and other adult beverages.

            I still like the other kind of jerky too ,but this is easier and faster and juicy.

            I suspect it’s also easier to chew.

            90% fat free…..minimum.

            Not a problem. The pre-ground beef is around 90-97 and the stuff we grind ourselves is nearly 100%. We have to add fat to our home ground to make burgers; but, it’s great for my cannibal sandwiches.

        2. TOP, it is easier to chew, especially with dental work……

          Cannibal sandwiches…… Hannibal is that you ??? LOL

          I had a buddy at work use the same type of jerky gun with deer jerky, very good.

          1. Thor1,

            TOP, it is easier to chew, especially with dental work……

            I’m all in for easier to chew; but, no dental work (e.g. dentures) here, as I still have most of my own teeth. I’ve had a few crowns and another two coming, plus 4implants, so by this time next year, I’ll have a full mouth of 32 nearly perfect chompers.

            Cannibal sandwiches…… Hannibal is that you ??? LOL

            No, that’s just what we called them, as a kid growing up. A raw hamburger patty, a nice large slice of sweet onion with a layer of mustard &/or horseradish between two slices of bread. No doubt some are alarmed right now; but, that’s why we grind our own and it’s not much different in taste than a rare steak or steak TarTare but, like your jerky, is easier to chew. LOL. Keep in mind that I also like liver, head cheese, mush, and scrapple. In a true SHTF situation or the extreme poverty our pioneer ancestors endured, any and all calories and nutrition were game, and I have eaten much worse in survival training as a teen.

            I had a buddy at work use the same type of jerky gun with deer jerky, very good.

            Right now I’m out of venison; but, may try my hand again this year to harvest a small one on the property if it works out. Deer gun season runs the week after thanksgiving, and I’m looking to setup a blind here in the next few weeks. As I get older, I hate the cold more & more, so I may take the lazy way out, sitting out back with my contender and a heater, LOL.

          1. Jean,

            Who cares what Obama criticizes. We have the right to define our boarders.

            I agree that we have that right; but, his criticism gens up his base and they have been known to be nasty people.
            They confront and hassle families when they try to eat in restaurants, and tossing bricks and other debris is not out of the question. The same MSM that promotes and then ignores BHO complaining tells us that the package bomber was inspired by Trump, forgetting the shooter who tried to kill Steve Scalise was a left wing toady, driven by the likes of Waters and her ilk and their rhetoric.
            I’m hoping that the losers can just finally realize that they lost, and stop complaining that their socialist legacy is thankfully being disassembled.

      3. You have had a busy week! Liberals think we are all afraid of the migrating horde. We are not afraid, we just do not want to be their deep-pocketed nanny and open the gate to the wolves that could be mixed among the decent people in the group. The “women and children” argument is invalid, such a small percentage of the horde that refused asylum offered by Mexico and are “fleeing” the same type of societal violence, drug trafficking, and poor economic status that many inner city Americans deal with on a regular basis, are truly women and children – even if you count the 20 something MS-13 members pretending to be teenagers. When every liberal elite invites an inner city American living in a neighborhood that resembles a third world country into their home, or heck – even their neighborhood, I might put any stock in their earnest desire to give refuge to anyone who seeks it.

        1. Tara, and the men are so tough they are hiding behind women and children when they hit the border….

          Sounds a lot like ISIS……….brave people…..NOT !!!

        2. Tara,

          Liberals think we are all afraid of the migrating horde. We are not afraid, we just do not want to be their deep-pocketed nanny and open the gate to the wolves that could be mixed among the decent people in the group.

          Well stated and true. We have too many legal immigrants that are productive citizens and others waitng in lines for entry the correct way, to allow interlopers to jump the line and disappear into society.

          The “women and children” argument is invalid

          I kind of agree; but, when you haul out the women and children, it tugs at the heartstrings of the population, especially when they are being spoon fed propaganda by the MSM.
          Separate them at the border and we’re monsters separating families, except that when properly analyzed and reported, that is generally not what is happening. I’ve seen multiple interviews with CPB personnel and their procedure is simple enough; but, not being reported by the MSM, who IMHO just look for ways to malign Trump and his people, since he is thwarting their utopian socialist dreams.
          When a couple (adult male & female) show up at the border with a group of children, agents separate the group of children from the adults and separate the adults. They then ask the adult some simple questions. How old are your children? What is the name of your spouse and your children? The children are asked the same questions, an occasionally everyone gets the answers wrong at which point the jig is up.
          It also appears that the funding of these travelers is not always demonrat activists; but, sometimes the cartels who use the mass of humanity as a distraction, while they smuggle drugs, arms, and people across other parts of the border while the CPB personnel are kept busy with the rush. This is the classic trick of the magician / illusionist to keep you looking elsewhere while the real trick is done in plain sight.
          When every liberal elite invites an inner city American living in a neighborhood that resembles a third world country into their home, or heck – even their neighborhood, I might put any stock in their earnest desire to give refuge to anyone who seeks it.
          I think you have nothing to worry about here; since it’s generally those supposedly uneducated people who cling to their guns and religion, who actually take the time and effort to volunteer. It has been my experience that liberal elites often volunteer; but, usually as a checkmark on their resume to make themselves feel good and important.

      4. Thor1
        Dh & I have been looking at the Kodiak power source. Have you used this unit for back up power yet? If so how long did the batteries last & for piece of equipment?

        Our need is for a piece of medical equipment for dh IF we lose power. We can not run a generator all night so this would be the back up unit. Wanting your thoughts & recommendations since you are the first one I have encountered that has this unit.

        Good to hear all is well at your household now.

        1. AC, it has 1100 watts/ hrs with a 3000 watt surge. I’ve tested it with several things such as a 46″ flat screen TV, 8.5 watt , small fan and a satellite receiver. About 16 hrs without recharge. An electric burner so I can boil water and cook, a George Foreman grill.

          Small tv, fan charged phone & tablet.

          Its supposed to run an 18 cu/foot fridge/ freezer at 20% for 33 hours without recharging.

          You can add extra batteries to an external hookup and daisy chain to add extra watt hours.

          You can run things and charge at the same time, via electric plug,car plug or solar panels and run as many a 600watts of panels that can recharge in 3 hours. I have 400 watts, 3 100 watt standard panel and 2 50 watt Razer panels for camping that at almost indestructible. Metal like….. The unit itself only weighs 20 lbs and the also have EMP bags which is how I store it. Its not cheap but you get what you pay for.

          Checkout Canadian Preppers site, it might save you 20%. I saved $600…….Good deal !!!

          1. Thor1
            Oh thank you for the response, it did not come through to my email account.

            I am so happy to hear this news we need it for dh’s medical equipment to keep it going when PG&E decides we do not require power…yes I know it is CA. Friends are interested in this equipment so will forward your information on to them.

  2. 1. Since the Pack enjoys talking politics like I do, predictions for the Midterms? I consider this a prep, because the future of America is at stake.
    I predict that I will vote. Some of my choices will win, others will not. I also predict that there will be some very unhappy losers.

    2. How do you approach adding a new member to your survival tribe?
    My tribe is family and very close friends. I have trouble trusting others.

    3. How did y’all prep this week?
    -I added to the stockpile.
    -Bought some straw for the animals.
    -Got a new, larger box tiller for the new tractor.
    -Turnips are doing well. We’re going to be up to our noses in them soon.
    -Picked up the does after being bred. I’m looking forward to kids in the spring and fresh goats’ milk. I’m still hoping to learn how to make soap.

    Be prepared. Stay safe. He’s in charge.

  3. 1. I’m with Prepared Grammy on this one. I wish I lived one town over so I could vote in a different congressional election, but I sent my preferred candidate in that race some money, so there’s that.

    2. No tribe, just family and friends – though, having been through the Great Ice Storm of 1998 (no power for 8 days), my experience was that neighbors pull together in a pinch. There is an older couple who live diagonally across the street from us and I try to keep an eye on their house, and would go over to offer help in a “situation.”

    3. We tried to get a gas bottle installed for our generator, but when the gas company guy found out it’s a portable, not fixed/installed, he said they can’t put in a bottle. So I think DH is going to get a 100-lb bottle that he can take back and forth to Tractor Supply for refilling, to supplement our two 30-lb bottles which he says would only last a day each. It’s very windy here tonight and the lights have already flickered a couple of times, but so far, so good.

    DH bought a “tailgating table” with a rack on the side for a grill. Then, one of the guys at his VFW was selling his mini-camper and was going to toss a perfectly good two-burner propane stove. So now the table and the stove are set up in the middle of the living room. Luckily, we have a fairly large living room. :).

    He also bought me a Boston Red Sox t-shirt, because Go Sox! (Sorry, Dodger fans.).

    We’re going over to NH tomorrow to look at a possible “starter retirement” condo. It’s three levels and I’d prefer one-level living as we get older, but we can still manage stairs with no problem at this point, and it’s a toehold. I’m a little hesitant about taking on additional debt right now (we’d finance it primarily through a HELOC on our current home), as I’ve read a few articles (yes, in the undeservedly maligned mainstream media) that warn of an impending recession next year or the year after. A recession is inevitable – the economy is always cyclical, as my college economics minor taught me – but the timing of one vs our coming “full retirement” (he’s retired, I’m still working) is a bit worrisome, mostly in terms of selling our current home. More impetus to get it on the market next spring.

    Threw together a potato leek soup with bacon for dinner tonight with veg from our fall farm share. Smells amazing.

    Peace.

  4. Apologies for the double post! The first time, I got a “looks like a duplicate post” error message, though I hadn’t posted. Sorry to bore you with not one, but two identical posts about our humdrum life!

      1. Thor, I’d like to vote in about a dozen or so races this year, including Maine’s other congressional district, which starts about 5 miles down the road. You probably wouldn’t like the results in any of them if I did. But it’s okay if we agree to disagree. That’s what makes America great.

        1. MB, that’s why we voted Trump in, to make America great again…..LOL

          The most discusting arguments Democrats have is….

          We have to take the guns to protect the children while at the same …..we have to be allowed to abort 1,000 babies a day…..

          I wonder what God’s vote will be for such people.

    1. MaineBrain,

      Apologies for the double post! The first time, I got a “looks like a duplicate post” error message, though I hadn’t posted.

      I’ve had that same kind of thing happen, or my post seemed to disappear, only to show up some time later.

      Sorry to bore you with not one, but two identical posts about our humdrum life!

      Humdrum IMHO is often not a bad life. You make your plans and do your preps and life moves on. We can’t all be posting about the exciting things in our lives all of the time, since most are like us and excitement or great vacations are rare. We could of course also have fires, accidents, or illnesses to report; but, I’d rather not have those either. Humdrum is just fine, as long as you can find purpose and happiness in your relationships and what you do in your waking hours.

      1. After about 15 years of rushing around coaching, being involved in community groups, holding public office, being married to a public office holder, and working nights and weekends as the county paper editor – I am thrilled with this new slow humdrum pace on our survival retreat. After rarely having a single day that I didn’t have to run at least one place after work, I now leave our retreat only once a week – simplistic bliss is grand!

  5. i finished my wifes pantry today and put up the shelving. about 4 weeks of projects. she s thrilled.

    1- with you writing jobs to be done on paper, it just doesn’t work for us. we mounted a white board , in the hallway at work, where pass by and see these things that haunt us. it’s nice seeing spaces show up as task are completed.
    2- who is the ohio girl and where abouts, maybe she can be added to the tribe?
    3 predictions on the midterms. i suspect the red ag states out west are in play with the pain for farmers on tarriffs. i will not be voting straight ticket any more. probab ly the house is lost and the senate becomes a tie. impeachment proceedings look interesting to me and should wake up the ag commodities.
    4 how to add in new members of tribe?
    you need to have circles with in circles , to pick from for tribe. at the same time , you don’t want to be advertising for new meat either. if you can hold down a job,your doing things to put yourself in a better place, your faithful to your spouse. you have like minded beliefs. they may be a good candidate.
    over at the american partisan, kit perez has been covering this subject for the last few weeks.

  6. Politics. I live in Florida, the leader in the polls is a socialist gun grabber. The Dems look poised to regain Congress. I’m pretty sure if these people take power they will restrict our liberties and crash the economy. I foresee putting many thousands of dollars on my high limit credit cards getting ready.

    My tribe is my family which is going to get larger. My son plans to propose to his girlfriend at Christmas. She is very outdoorsy and right now is working in a national park in Utah. Her father is a Navy SEAL so they are very welcome in my circle ( I also did my service in the Navy). The grandmother has a home in our small town and a small farm so if there is trouble they may leave the big city for here.

    My prepping was rebuilding my pantry stocks. My wife has a fear of food going bad so occasionally I have to let it empty. That and putting in a mosaic tile backsplash for the kitchen sink.

        1. Daddio7,

          I had exactly enough pieces left to cover the window ledge. When the wife does that I will attempt to send a pic.

          You can just send it in an email to [email protected] indicating who you are (Daddio7) and reminding me that it needs to be forwarded to Babycatcher & I’ll send it on.

    1. D7,if they take back control it would not effect the 2nd amendment. They can make laws but the Constitution overrules them. We have a duty to resist tyranny…..

      The Dems seem to forget the past….What started the Revolutionary War ? Taxes and trying to take the guns. How did that turnout for the British ? American’s opened up a can of whoop a$$…..LOL

      Only 3% of the American people defeated the greatest military on the planet at that time.

      Long live the Republic, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights……

      1. Thor1,

        Only 3% of the American people defeated the greatest military on the planet at that time.

        That’s not completely true; but, the sentiment is.
        You will recall that we did get quite a lot of help from the French.
        Ben Franklin worked hard as a diplomat to forge the Treaty of Alliance that made the early United States and France allies against Great Britain
        It was costly to everyone involved and I think was one of the proximal causes of the French Revolution.( 1789 – 1799)
        My basic thought on the matter is that many US citizens are soft and try to get along; but, take their guns and their beer and pick their pockets, and they can get rightfully agitated. Hopefully the opposition will finally get the message; but, if not, it could get really interesting.

    2. The big checks from five jobs are finally rolling in. I paid off my credit card that I ran up during the summer. I don’t like credit card debt but I am glad I have one for emergencies. After we paid all the bills, we had $1000 extra. My dh and I actually had a “What do we do with the windfall?” discussion. We decided to get some much needed plumbing work done. The monster meat sale is Thursday and Friday. We plan on filling the freezer. The rest will go into savings.

      I am not too worried about midterms. We have the Supreme Court. I do think the Democrats will regain a majority in the House. But anything they try to pass will be vetoed by Trump and they do not have a large enough majority to override his veto.

      I am concerned about the socialist gun-grabber, to use Daddio’s expression. I have been so busy that I haven’t had time to keep up with local politics. So dh called a friend of ours who works with Ted Yoho. They went through the sample ballot and checked off the Republic stance on each ballot initiative. My biggest concern is that Michele Obama will run for president in two years. She would galvanize the liberal base. She would most certainly beat Trump. That’s a scary thought.

      We are headed to Georgia this afternoon to visit my mom. She had another massive stroke and is now non-responsive. My older brother made the decision to take her off the feeding tube and most of her medications last Thursday, and place her in hospice care. It won’t be long now.

      1. I forgot to add that I have started the 10,000 step challenge—that’s walking 5.3 miles every day. I hit the mark six out of seven days. Rain prevented me from walking one day

        1. Bam Bam,
          I forgot to add that I have started the 10,000 step challenge—that’s walking 5.3 miles every day.
          I bet I get in that many per day, often just running up and down the stairs to and from my office and of course running around on the property. How do you count your steps?
          I assume a pedometer; but, the few I’ve tried didn’t work that well. Any suggestions?

      2. BamBam
        Sorry to hear about your mother, knew from a previous posting she was not doing well. Dh & send our best to you & your family.

        1. Antique Collector,

          Thanks. We drove up to Georgia with the realization that this would be the last time we ever saw my mom alive. She has been off meds and the feeding tube for 10 days. It was more difficult than I expected to say “Goodbye”–though I don’t know how one says “goodbye to one’s mom.” My mom was moving around slightly but she was not “there”. She never opened her eyes. I lifted up her eyelid but her pupils were non-responsive.

      3. Prayers for you Bam Bam. My mom didn’t have a feeding tube, but she would no longer eat after she fell. She lived for 10 more days. Remember, the last thing to go is one’s hearing. So even is she is not responsive, she can still hear you.

      4. Bam Bam,

        I am concerned about the socialist gun-grabber, to use Daddio’s expression. I have been so busy that I haven’t had time to keep up with local politics. So dh called a friend of ours who works with Ted Yoho. They went through the sample ballot and checked off the Republic stance on each ballot initiative.

        Which gun grabber are you talking about? Even a lot of the Dems know that gun control is a losing issue, often blaming all of the big money from the NRA and other groups. There is not as much money involved as some might think; but, the NRA and other groups power is summed up in a bumper sticker one of my previous vehicles proudly displayed: “I am the NRA and I Vote!!!”

        My biggest concern is that Michele Obama will run for president in two years. She would galvanize the liberal base. She would most certainly beat Trump. That’s a scary thought.

        Like the Clintons, the Obama’s would also galvanize the conservative base and there is enough video on all of them to show her real positions on major issues. Just comparing the Obama economy and world policy disposition to what we have now and will have then, could make a big difference. A lot of the minority community is angry with BHO, who made great promises; but, whose actions did nothing to help them, while the current administration has already lowered the unemployment percentages of many minority populations. You do remember that HRC could also easily beat Trump don’t you?
        Do you remember when she stated: For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback,”
        Cindy McCain then told reporters, “I have and always will be proud of my country.”
        See the difference? I suspect there are a lot more videos, just waiting in the wings if such a run is contemplated.
        Once reminded, I think a lot of people will wonder how someone who graduated from Princeton & Harvard Law School, was offered and took a job at a high paying Chicago law firm, who I suspect in some way, benefited from affirmative action, be so alienated from this country? I think that HRC proved that just being FLOTUS for 8 years doesn’t mean much, when you obviously put your own interests above those of the people.
        I could well be wrong; but, I am a hopeless optimist and over long periods of history, the good guys always eventually win.

      5. Bam Bam, so sorry to hear about your mom. I lost mine when I was age 20, but at any age, it’s not easy. Hold your good memories close. Know that her spirit sits on your shoulder.

      6. Bam Bam,

        I am not too worried about midterms. We have the Supreme Court. I do think the Democrats will regain a majority in the House. But anything they try to pass will be vetoed by Trump and they do not have a large enough majority to override his veto.

        You are correct on the house and I really hope you are also correct on the rest, since some of the Dems have sworn to look at impeachment, and Maxine Waters is planning on capping her 30 years in congress by attacking the banks. While we may win this in the end, even if by veto, they will continue to harass the administration; but, this time with more gusto. We can make an analogy to being attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes. In the end they will not kill you and you will eventually kill all of them; but, the “Death by a thousand bites” can still be a big distraction.
        On the upside it looks like some good gains in the senate and some key states will have or retain Republican governors, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, and Ohio, that could help in the upcoming 2020 Census and redistricting, that could well help shape the 2020 presidential election (re-election?). In the end, the sun will no doubt rise tomorrow (actually later this morning), and as we got through 8 years of BHO and survived, this too will pass into history, and I for one, will continue to prep and enjoy my life.

        1. No, next time the Democrats get control of the government America as we know it is gone. Remember, when the say they love democracy they mean it, Tens of millions of immigrants will be ushered in and anyone with a pulse and many without will be able to vote wherever they want. They will have the democratic America they want and there are more of them then of us.

          First thing they will do is grab the guns and then try to shut off the oil, fun times for sure.

    3. Daddio7 – Congrats on the new addition to your family and thank you and your son’s future father-in-law, for your service.

  7. In answer to #2 Q, we realize that as a pod of 50-70 year olds, we need younger members since most of our kids live out of town or out of state. So we are just observing people in our circles, watching for likemindedness, preferably military or police trained men and women. If we add new members, they must have skills beneficial to the group and be willing to learn as well as respect elders and authority for the safety of the pod.

    1. ShirlGirl – All great tips, I like your “pod” term for mutual assistance group, it has the same warm sound as my own favorite term – tribe. Don’t forget to check out FD and EMS stafffers current and retired too – to help round out your pod skill set. So many people don’t pause to consider how unchecked fires will impact their bugin location or prepper retreat when building and maintaining it.

      1. Tara,

        Don’t forget to check out FD and EMS stafffers current and retired too – to help round out your pod skill set.

        This is where volunteering can be a useful thing. Our county EMA has volunteers with a wide age range and a variety of expertise, including a newly minted paramedic and a few EMT’s, who hang out with us for the extra practice and comradery
        A good friend is an Emergency Physician who lives down your way in Athens and is just about to take an early retirement, although she plans to keep up her license to “doctor” the group. While not part of the local MAG, she is still quite an asset.

        So many people don’t pause to consider how unchecked fires will impact their bugin location or prepper retreat when building and maintaining it.

        We were lucky enough to rent this place for two years before it came on the market and knew the property and buildings, warts and all. While fires are not an issue, the flip side can be flooding, which is also not an issue. Too many people look at how nice they are being surrounded by wooded areas and ignore the fire hazard, that with planning can be mitigated, and likewise, that river front property can be a flood hazard. The original buildings on this place were built in the1920’s when people paid attention to such things. At least for the flooding, your local county auditor or engineer’s office can show you the long term flood maps and allow you to make a thoughtful decision on that ”perfect” piece of property.
        Years ago I had a friends sign a lease on a short term (1 year) rental property where he and the family were moving in Michigan. It was an apartment complex with the pool ad recreation facility for the tenants to use. He looked at it and signed the lease on a Holiday weekend and moved in the following week. As it turned out, there was a multilane highway just blocks away, and at times the road noise was horrible, including late at night while trying to sleep. Of course on the holiday weekend there was little traffic, so no noticeable noise. My point is that you really need to dig deep and think out of the box when renting or especially purchasing property.

    2. ShirlGirl,

      In answer to #2 Q, we realize that as a pod of 50-70 year olds, we need younger members since most of our kids live out of town or out of state. So we are just observing people in our circles, watching for likemindedness, preferably military or police trained men and women. If we add new members, they must have skills beneficial to the group and be willing to learn as well as respect elders and authority for the safety of the pod.

      Like you we are in the 60 year old range; but, our MAG includes many in the 40-50 age range. Our kids who range from 27-51 are all out of the area with the two oldest boys living 34 and 140 miles respectively and still in Ohio; but, for day to day functions we get help from neighbors and other relatives in the area.
      I also have offers of help from other organizations to which I belong. I’ve been a volunteer with our county EMA (Emergency Management Agency) for 19 years, and often have younger folks from there, help out on things. Through our EMA I have taught preparedness and communications classes to the agency and the community. I work with our local Amateur Radio Club as an Elmer (ham radio lingo for Mentor) and get lots of help from newer, younger members, often in return for mentoring them on aspects of the communications hobby they do not yet understand.
      While I’m not the same person @ 67 I was @ 27 or even 47, I do manage to get many things done that I also used to do, albeit a bit slower. I lift weights (dumbbells only) every other day to keep up my arm strength, and we go to the local “Wellness Center” a few times per week to use their exercise equipment, under the watchful eye of their exercise physiologists. Our Medicare supplemental plans have the “Silver Sneakers” program, so the Wellness Center costs us nothing but time,
      The DW & I are looking into Tai Chi, which is great for both health and balance. I’ve done this in the past with Martial Arts, and we have some local folks (also hams) who attend.
      While my expertise is probably different than others, everyone in the 50-70 age range has some type of skill they can use to mentor others, so going out and finding groups and organizations where you can learn and teach, is another great way to connect with people, who can end up being part of your MAG, POD, Tribe, whatever.
      While we need to take a bit of care to avoid dangerous or inauthentic people, I find that most people, especially in volunteer groups are welcoming and giving, at least in our mostly agricultural community.

  8. Hi Tara & all,
    Hopefully someday those young adults will grow up. My 2 stepsons used to complain about chores and especially the construction work; but, both have since thanked me for showing them that there is no job they cannot tackle, and that has saved them tons of money on their own houses with upgrades and remodeling.
    Stapling to their chests is a bit counterproductive IMHO. They would have to take off their shirts and the paper and staples might get in the way. It might be better to write backwards on their fore heads, so they are reminded every time they look into the mirror. LOL.

    Trenching and culvert to help divert the massive amount of rain we have been getting for the past year now shouldn’t cause such a problem.

    Amen to that!!! Ohio yearly average rainfall is 37.57 inches; but, to date here we’ve seen 38.2 with 4 inches in the last 2 days. We’ll probably be adding to that with more rain or snowfall before year end.
    We have quite a few bales of straw and a large square bale of hay, all tucked awayin one of the old barns. I love those old barns.
    Your potential new tribe member should tell everyone that we need only keep our eyes and ears open to possibilities. Some of my tribe / MAG I’ve known for years, while others were relatively recent additions, so no one should ever panic or give up. There are more of us out there than you might think; but, all keeping OPSEC since some need to protect assets and others simply don’t want to be openly labeled as fringe kooks. Your new tribe member sounds a lot like my youngest sister, who owns more power tools than I do and tows a completely self sufficient work trailer. LOL.

    And the question:

    1. Since the Pack enjoys talking politics like I do, predictions for the Midterms? I consider this a prep, because the future of America is at stake.

    I don’t predict; but, do have hopes, that with the economy on fire, the unemployment at a historical low, and the 2 K’s (Kavanaugh & Karavan), enough people will come to their senses and vote the right people in and out. The DW and I voted via absentee last week, I have sent information to many of my friends, and an NRA phone call that went out to a massive number of Ohioans is also hopefully helping people to see the light. I’ve been lucky enough in the past few years to have a good solid conservative representative and one like minded senator. We actually have a chance this time around to send our only liberalinto retirement, so I’m crossing my fingers. Senator Brown has consistently voted for firearm restrictions and Obamacare, voted against Kavanaugh and the tax package, and is a member in good standing of the resist movement, so I voted to spend the taxpayer dollars to let him retire.

    2. How do you approach adding a new member to your survival tribe?

    All of the new members have been added gradually, usually because we have common interests or they have skills. Living in a rural area helps, since most people have to have skills and at least somewhat of a self reliant mindset.
    Our latest addition is neighbors who we’ve known for about 10 years. They run an animal sanctuary and we have helped each other with critters numerous times. When the DW had to leave for most of 2 weeks, they gladly came over and helped with chores, and saw it as only an extension of what they already do. They would accept no payment; but, we did pass them on some spare lighting and some local honey. They are just a kind wonderful mid 40’s couple. Since we have plenty of room and the whole house generator, we’ve invited them in several times and made it clear that at least in an electrical power failure situation, they were welcome to charge their phones, get water, and take a shower at a minimum. He is a fire fighter, fire chief, paramedic, and she is a former fire fighter, paramedic, nurse practitioner, so it was an easy decision to invite them in. All decisions should be so clear cut and simple, LOL.

    3. How did y’all prep this week?

    This past week we’ did and acquired the following:
    1. Received an Amazon Basics USB 3.1 Type-C to HDMI Adapter. This will allow me to easily connect my smart phone to one of the HDTVs (50” & 55”) or one of my 31” monitors to be able to more easily use the device. I’ve started using snile.amazon.com for some purchases to benefit one of my neighbors and MAG members who run an animal sanctuary, so this is sort of a double prep.
    2. Two packages Claeys 6 oz Wild Cherry Old Fashioned Hard Candy from Rural King
    3. A Claeys 6 oz Watermelon Old Fashioned Hard Candy from Rural King
    4. 200 Lumen wide angle headlamp with batteries from Rural King
    5. 50 count box of 30-gallon trash bags from Rural King
    6. A painless trip to the dentist, where he installed my new porcelain crown. Since it only needed to be adjusted & glued in place and was paid for last month when ordered, there was neither physical nor financial pain this time around.
    7. From Dollar Tree:
    Food & Snacks
    • 8 Key Lime Pie Wedge
    • 4 Turtle Pie Wedge
    • Pecan Spin
    • 2 packages, individual York Mini Peppermint patties
    • 6 pack Individual Root Beer Drink Mix
    • 1 20 ounces Gatorade Cherry in a sports bottle
    • Pringles BBQ flavored
    • Pringles Pizza flavored
    • 3 outlet power strip w/1 foot cord (125 VAC, 13 A, 1625 watts). This is just the thing to add additional outlets and space to my charging table, where I often run out of wide enough outlets for the wall wart style chargers.
    Medical & First Aid
    • First Aid paper Tape (10 yard roll)
    • 20 Pack Individually wrapped Towelette / Hand Sanitizer
    • 2 Vapor Chest Rub
    8. While looking for something else I stumbled on this 41 page pdf, that is both free for the download and contains some interesting information for the prepper digital library: ”The Family Survival System V2 By Frank Mitchell .It is available here:
    http://debdavis.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/103423023/Family-Survival-System-V2.pdf

    1. TOP,

      I think you need to make sure you have eaten before you go to DT!!! Almost everything you bought was snacks…. Lol…

      1. Almost There,

        TOP,
        I think you need to make sure you have eaten before you go to DT!!! Almost everything you bought was snacks…. Lol

        That would be correct; but, we often go there for that reason, since they have a good selection and good prices. The frozen pi wedges are a treat we cannot find elsewhere, and the Pringles are at least $0.25 to $0.75 more from anywhere else.
        We have numerous Cansolidators full of soups, meats, and vegetables and a freezer full of beef and other meats, plus a lot of long term stored foods either freeze dried, dehydrated, or in #10 cans. DT is mainly for snacks and occasional seasonal items for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, which is currently in full retail bloom there, even though Thanksgiving is nearly 3 weeks away. Between DT & Aldi’s, we also find various useful gadgets, like the little power strip.

        1. I bought a few Snickers ice cream bars at DT the other week. They are usually way more than $1 at the other stores. I don’t know if it’s regular stock or not, so I grabbed a few when I saw them… You know that saying “Should of bought it when I saw it”…

        2. Daughter and I went to check out deals for candy sales,everything was all ready gone or the stores, tossed it out only our Walgreens, had candy and they even had candy, that was not Halloween size they were clearing it out they had just too much. People, must be not buying as much sweets as they did in pass years..

          1. mom of three
            The candy is sold to discount stores, check out Big Lots, or something similar in your area.

    2. OP
      Turtle & Key Lime pie …yum my favorites that I rarely purchase, just to tempting to eat more than one slice at a time & have sugar overload🥧☺ lol

      1. Antique Collector,

        Turtle & Key Lime pie …yum my favorites that I rarely purchase, just to tempting to eat more than one slice at a time & have sugar overload🥧☺ lol

        Indeed on the sugar overload, which is the reason we buy them this way.
        They are in the frozen food section in the back of our stores and are single slices.
        Edwards Frozen Key Lime Pie Slices
        Edwards Frozen Turtle Pie Slices
        The pies we purchased will last us a few weeks, since they are only a desert or snack, every few days, since they are really sweet & rich; but, tasty.

    3. LOL, love this:

      “Stapling to their chests is a bit counterproductive IMHO. They would have to take off their shirts and the paper and staples might get in the way. It might be better to write backwards on their fore heads, so they are reminded every time they look into the mirror.”

      Even if I hand’t met Brown numerous times while being a newspaper editor to learn first hand what a slimy swamp dweller without a backbone he is – with no love or respect for the Constitution, his voting record is enough for him to forever be a no.

      1. Tara,

        Even if I hand’t met Brown numerous times while being a newspaper editor to learn first hand what a slimy swamp dweller without a backbone he is – with no love or respect for the Constitution, his voting record is enough for him to forever be a no.

        He got two of them from us as did Cordray. I’ve met Cordray a few times and sat through a speech at an event 10 years ago. I see him as a very intelligent guy, who thinks he knows better than the rest of us, and who is perennially running for some government position.
        He was also an easy “no”.

  9. This week’s Questions:

    #1: They will happen, there will be a lot of accusations before and after, they will end up making no difference.
    #2. Very carfully. We start with general preperation subjects, and go from there. But all get my letter that basically says “In times of trouble, those who have been invited here – know it. If in doubt, you’re not.”
    #3. ……

    Gun show weekend: Picked up a couple of handguns for resale. Found a reloading tool that I was missing. Sold a couple of rifles and a scope. Put some money back in the cash account.

    Got the van ready for winter. LOF, new wipers, O2 sensor, new battery cable, and new headlights. That should hold it for a while. Now to get the DW’s in.

    Cruising the Internet showed we had an Amish Country Store in Montana (1 of 30 listed). This Saturday was their annual “event” with food and discounts. DW got some of her Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer she grew up with, and we picked up some local fruits, misc. stuff and a gallon of molasses. Then we stopped in “the big city” and got: a couple of tools from Harbor Freight, some ammo, and stopped at Cabela’s (small store/no discount corner). With our discounts, coupon, and points DW got a top for 1/3 off and I got a 30-quart turkey fryer (propane) for free! All-in-all we had a great road-trip day!

      1. JP,

        I also found a book at a thrift shop: “The Growth of the American Republic, Vol 1”, fifth edition. Copyright 1930

        For common books that are that old, you can usually find online free copies in a digital format since the copyrights are expired. I started with the book title followed by “pdf” for a search and now have pdf copies of both volume 1 & 2. Thanks for the mention.

        1. TOP:

          I have over 7,000 kindle books downloaded and I don’t know how many PDF’s (books and articles). It was $1 and there are times I just like to read the paper version. Except when I move, of course!

          1. JP,

            I have over 7,000 kindle books downloaded and I don’t know how many PDF’s (books and articles). It was $1 and there are times I just like to read the paper version. Except when I move, of course!

            I have more than1500 digital documents, plus videos and audio books. I still have something like 900 physical books and stacks of magazines; but, with my vision issues, I can no longer read those at any comfortable speed. Working with my new Android tablet, I can get the Audible books and I think the tablet can read the Kindle books to me, so that is still a work in progress, most likely after the snow flies.

      1. TOP, wow I almost forgot about Birch beer…but sarsaparilla is before my time. Isn’t that like out of the old west ??? LOL

        1. Thor1l\

          TOP, wow I almost forgot about Birch beer…but sarsaparilla is before my time. Isn’t that like out of the old west ??? LOL

          Sort of. Back in the day, many natural concoctions were made from various plants. You do know that “Root Beer” starts with roots don’t you?
          Common ingredients are vanilla, cherry tree bark, wintergreen, molasses, anise, liquorice root, cinnamon, and honey among others. The primary ingredient is still sassafras flavor.

          Birch Beer is usually made from birch oil, distilled from the sap of the tree. One brand, Boylan’s, has been made since 1891 in New York State. Its ingredients are birch oil, carbonated water, cane sugar, caramel color, citric acid, sodium benzoate and yucca extract. Lots of plants stuff there also.
          Sarsaparilla is a carbonated soft drink originally made from the native Central American plant Smilax Ornata. Classic American sarsaparilla was not made from the extract of the sarsaparilla plant, a tropical vine distantly related to the lily. It was originally made from a blend of birch oil and sassafras, the dried root bark of the sassafras tree.
          The next time I get back to PA I’m going to see if a large old grove of sassafras trees are still around, and try to bring some saplings home to transplant, since I love sassafras tea with honey, and would love to have some right here on the property.
          Root Beer, Burch Beer, and Sarsaparilla are all old drinks either brought from Europe, or invented here, since drinking only milk and water gets old. They did of course also have beer and Rot Gut whiskey, LOL
          Willow bark was also used for tea, It’s a little bitter; but, helped with headaches and muscle pain, since it contains Salicin, a chemical similar to Acetylsalicylic Acid, AKA Aspirin.
          You can still find Sarsaparilla, back home in PA as some stores still have it; but, anyone can get it from here:
          https://soda-emporium.com/FRESH-12oz-Sioux-City-Soda-Variety-Pack-P3088108.aspx?utm_source=google&utm_medium=Product_Search&utm_campaign=google_base

  10. Has something changed with the formatting… Everything is using the format that centers everything… I hope I’m not crazy!

    1. Almost There,

      Has something changed with the formatting… Everything is using the format that centers everything… I hope I’m not crazy!

      You may well be crazy; but, you are not seeing things, LOL. Some style parameter has changed and is centering everything. It may be good for tablets and phones; but, for a real computer and monitor I find it a bit annoying.

  11. Well, let see I’ve slowed down on buying food we have quite a bit put away now we did go to Costco, and did buy 2 flats of water, and a toilet paper, a few refrig items but we need to eat out of the freezer, this coming week. The rain, is here we did have a nice day Friday, lots of sunshine and 60 degrees. I did order from Amazon, some cheese powder I’m going to put it in a quart mason jar, with a seal and lid. I found more mushrooms on sale and dehydrated 2 more cartons, put those in a ziplock baggie our outdoor farmers market is closing up for the winter they are having a sale I’m thinking of seeing what they have on clearance to dehydrate nice to have extra veggies. I made 5 bacon, egg, cheeses, 5 sasuages, egg, cheese burritos to freeze so my kids can grab a quick breakfast in the mornings nice use of those small pieces of cheese and use up eggs…

    Question 1 I vote and read whom I voting for hubby and I try to stay out of talking right and left to many vote left, and talking leaves me tired.

    Question 2 We don’t have a tribe just the four of us tho I’m starting to see more friends and family members take prepping more seriously which is a comfort for me…

  12. Good tidings to all!
    It’s taking a bit to get back on a good financial path after my surgery, but we are getting back cauught up on the ‘usual’ bills. Our water bill has come down significantly since the kids have moved out, so that frees up some money to put towards other bills and preps. I enjoyed passing out candy for Halloween, the weather ended up much better than predicted, at least for the first hour, better than the past couple years. But we had a lot less kids this year, I think because of the weather forecasts.
    I am back stuck on closing shifts at work, as our other closer took a better paying job elsewhere (can’t blame him). Our union contract is good til 2020 but the past two weeks they have been in negotiations to amend the contract. No details have been released, but there is a vote this week on the newly negotiated contract. This might just bring us closer to what non union places are paying ($15 minimum wage is killing us as far as even getting ppl to apply…) I don’t want that $15 minimum wage, but I do think an ‘uptick’ in our wages is warranted. What concerns me is what the offsets are. The union won’t release the language until voting time, and I get that. I applaud the union for taking this step. I am just concerned about the ‘offsets’ needed to create the wage increase. I will base my vote on the details, while leaning towards a wage increase. There’s another political comment for you. The one other union job I had, they caved. So this action kind of surprised me.
    Adding members to your group? We have no group. It’s me and DH. We are friendly with some of the neighbors, and kinda know who we could rely on, and who we’d need to care for. We do have a bit of extended ‘group; we can rely on from our local homesteading group. And we have made great contacts from THIS group as well, even tho we aren’t necessarily ‘local’, we are kinda close. DH tends to be paranoid about meeting new ppl, but he has noted that I do pick and choose carefully.
    Tara, I SO get your issue with the boys doing work for you, that is my daily life…I’da smacked them both upside the head…I can’t quite do that, but if you are not explicit in your directions, and check back with them to make sure it was done…I feel your pain…
    I trust that everyone who hasn’t already, will get out and vote. God Bless America, and God Bless us all!

    1. GP, I was watching a news show on OAN and there was Bernie….. Talking about a $15 minimum wage. The young people are really having the wool pulled very their eye. They don’t understand that if they raise the minimum wage, everything goes up in price so they are still making what they were. Also he talked about free college tuition, they don’t understand where the money comes from and when they start working it will be coming out of THEIR paychecks too.

      Oh how much the Democrats deceive. I recall the Bible saying ” Beware of the great deceiver”
      Maybe this is what it meant.

      Look at what Dems told hunters in North Dakota… If they vote they would lose their out of state hunting licenses..

      https://www.nationalreview.com/news/north-dakota-dems-threaten-hunters-with-loss-of-license-for-voting/

      This says 2 things, they are of course against the 2nd amendment and they think hunters are stupid….. I think this will also backfire on the Dems…..LOL

      1. Thor1,

        They don’t understand that if they raise the minimum wage, everything goes up in price so they are still making what they were. Also he talked about free college tuition, they don’t understand where the money comes from and when they start working it will be coming out of THEIR paychecks too.

        Too many also don’t understand the real economy and are not only in heavy college debt; but, bafled why they cannot find a job.
        I’ve seen some that think that their PhD in art history should entitle them to a job, like the bachelors in engineering, or even the plumbing or welding certificate. Eventually they will figure it out, since in the end they have no other choice.
        As for Sanders, he started out as an activist and has only held a few menial jobs in the privates sector, seemingly always running for some office, so he can tell the rubes (that would be all of us) how to live their lives and spend their money.

      2. Thor,

        The other thing young people don’t understand about “free” college and that they will not be able to pick there majors. The best and the brightest may have some choice–pre-med or engineering. But the rest will be told “nursing” or nothing. Also countries that have socialized education only educate a fraction of high school graduates. Those who don’t make the cut are sent to trade schools. I think trade schools are great but most young people think it is “unfair” that you are placed in “college prep” or “trade school” track by sixth grade.

  13. On vacation in Maui, begging the question, “how can a comfortably retired person go on vacation”!! Celebrating the one year anniversary of my new lungs.
    Taking a moment after celebrating Bama’s win over LSU to check The Survivalist Blog.
    I think and hope Republicans hold the house by a few reps and increase the Senate by a few.

    Our survival group is family based, with only two outside members. One is a long time survivalist I have known for 7 years. The other I have known for 28 years. Approach new additions very gradually. We do have some prospective additions, but they have to be thoroughly vetted. Not ready to open ourselves to the risk of new members otherwise.

    1. Billy T
      Congratulations on the 1 year anniversary for your new lungs. WOW……remember when you were on the waiting list for the transplant, hard to believe time has gone by so fast.

      On your prospects you are wise to vet the candidates slowly, jic.

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY, you are one year old

    2. Billy T,

      On vacation in Maui, begging the question, “how can a comfortably retired person go on vacation”!! Celebrating the one year anniversary of my new lungs.

      WOW!!! A whole year and you are already up and globetrotting. We vacationed in Hawaii about 10 years ago, and even with the stop in your area (Phoenix Sky Harbor) it was a long time to sit and wait. Celebrations of your type don’t come to everyone; but, I wish you the best, since as you know, your issue affected me personally.
      I’m not sure how you would find him; but, it would be nice to get a hold of Penrod and tell him where we all move (on the web). I don’t go back to the old place, and don’t know if he has yet moved to the mainland.

      I think and hope Republicans hold the house by a few reps and increase the Senate by a few.

      We obviously won’t know until Wednesday; but, be assured that we did our part, to help LOL.

      1. OP, It was obviously hard for you to lose your best friend to Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Particularly since he had been accepted into a transplant program. Unfortunately, something gets us all. On that tack, I strongly recommend everyone with IPF to consider having their pulmonologist give them a referral to St. Joseph hospital in Phoenix. It is the number one lung transplant facility in the world. The qualifying routine is daunting. They require all patients to relocate to Phoenix for a year. Must have a caregiver who can actually do fulfill that function. Financial, mental, physical qualifications are all verified.
        Most of all, I thank all of you pack members for your prayers, best wishes and concerns. l believe I would be dead by now if not for the transplant.

        Praying for the nation, the Trumpster and the pack. Praying for God to frustrate the designs of those who portray good as evil, evil as good, truth as lies and lies as truth.

  14. Hey everyone,

    1. Since the Pack enjoys talking politics like I do, predictions for the Midterms?
    Hoping and praying that the Republicans keep both.

    2. How do you approach adding a new member to your survival tribe?

    I am still trying to find my tribe. Tough to find locally. I live out in the country, and do have neighbors, but none of us talk to each other, except I made acquaintances with the new next door neighbors. They are in their 20’s, and was surprised they knew who Steve Q was. They planted a garden this year, and gave me a few tomatoes.. I gave them a jar of my blueberry concentrate. They are getting ready for their first baby, so they have other things on their mind at the moment.

    I am getting ready to head over to some people’s house who are from the prep group I met up with last year. So, hopefully, we will get something going.

    3. How did y’all prep this week?

    Another cotton blanket from Good Will. Some more stock up food from Aldi’s, battery tester, more cat food.

    Work is not going well. Have a new manager, who was my nemesis in my group prior to him being selected for the manager. He had the same job I did at our other campus. Younger, inexperienced, and just plain mean and a bully… May be potentially leaving TN if I have to. The thought of moving is beyond overwhelming, and you all know what I mean… God will direct my plans. Would appreciate prayers. It’s been really tough this last year with him being interim and now manager since just last week.

    Prayers for America this next week. For the President, and for those needing healing and unspoken requests.

    Be safe everyone.

    1. AT
      If he was a pain before he will be a large pain now. Head to large to S Q E E Z E through the door. Keep a log book for any an all infractions, and when the large one happens take it to HR. In the mean time you may require a new job search in your field of expertise or expand your area into something YOU know you can handle.
      Sending our best to you.

      1. That’s exactly what has happened. Got the big head syndrome going on. He doesn’t know it, but he was the lesser of 2 evils to be selected… I don’t know why they didn’t re-post the job if they didn’t feel they got a good selection. He is a LARGE pain. And he is jealous of me.

        Thank you for sending your best. Much appreciated.

    2. I feel for you, regarding the boss. (double SOB, backwards!) As the saying goes, “if you aren’t the lead dog, the view never changes”. Anyway, the best of luck with that. Endurance is difficult sometimes, but misery can be too much. Life is short and some things aren’t worth putting up with.

      1. Billy T and Thor1,

        You won’t believe what he did this morning… He made us give him full view details access to our Outlook calendars the very first day he became manager… I reluctantly did… as the others in our group. I was supposed to go to a workshop as part of a team for a new computer system, this week in KC, MO, approved and had plane tickets ready thru our travel folks, hotel reserved… He cancelled me going at noon on Friday, then today, he told me to delete the workshop invites from my calendar…. This takes micro managing to a whole new level…

        Good news.. I spoke to a Chief that is supposed to be working on getting me moved over to his group based upon new org charts he is working on, directed by national org charts. He is older, been around the block, straight up guy, that I am working on a project for, with his folks, and he appreciates all my hard work… He said by the end of the year… And I get to go back on the project I was removed from… It can’t come soon enough I tell ya. Will be glad when I can tell my current manager to ki$$ my….

  15. Dh & I have not been doing a lot here, just trying to keep up what is necessary. We had a company come in to remove all the junk/debris that needed to be cleaned up for the past few years but never had the time to get it done. Now we will start round 2 for clean up, we are in the process–do we or do we not sell and move into another state.

    SOJ is taking to long an with the up coming election in the land of the ZOO/CIRCUS critters, we may have no choice due to a large tax increase to pay for the .gov pensions. One can not continue to rob PETER to pay for state .gov workers pension plans, or support all the FREE LOADERS who show up on this nations door step expecting us to feed/cloth & house them along with the masses of family members they will drag into this nation.

    Politics, personally I would love to see the red kick the tar out of the blue but I am not holding my breathe. Especially when you hear a 20ish guy state inflation is caused by—capitalism. Shaking my head over that one,,,he would not have a job at the sandwich shop if it were not for “Capitalism”. That is why I am stating we are in deep poop because the younger generation has been raised via certain school systems to be socialists.

    1. Antique Collector,

      Politics, personally I would love to see the red kick the tar out of the blue but I am not holding my breathe. Especially when you hear a 20ish guy state inflation is caused by capitalism.

      I concur on your Red / Blue and I think we might be pleasantly surprised on Wednesday morning. It could also be denial and wishful thinking; but, HRC was a sure bet back 2 years ago, Right!!!!
      Your 20ish guy is correct. Inflation n is caused by capitalism.
      The Root cause of inflation is the result of raising prices when the supply of goods and services are low and the demand for such items starts increasing. The increase in pricing is in part, due to the increase in the supply of money than the production of goods and services, which includes the price of labor, and is when and why workers get a raise in pay.

      Shaking my head over that one,,,he would not have a job at the sandwich shop if it were not for “Capitalism”.

      Actually he might and they would pay him a few sandwiches a day, for which he would be grateful to not be starving like his fellow subjects.
      What your 20ish fellow fails to understand, is that socialism as a command economy has no inflation, nor salary increases, nor extra production for items when the demand increases. Socialism by its nature has no inflationary component, just shortages, poverty and misery.
      Margaret Thatcher summed it up when she said: ”The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

      That is why I am stating we are in deep poop because the younger generation has been raised via certain school systems to be socialists.

      I kind of agree; but, when they actually have to get out into the real world, make al iving, and pay their own bills, it tends to have an educational effect of its own.

  16. Had a good trip to Dollar General. Bought all sorts of things for preps– OTC allergy meds, antacids, Dinty Moore stew for DH, and super cheap Christmas ribbon among other things. DG is next to a pawn shop here so I moseyed over there to check things out as well. DG had a new cooler for ten dollars less than the same one used at the pawn shop. But DG’s canned cat food was higher than Tractor Supply. Oh well…

    I want to get out and work on stuff but we’ve had so many puss caterpillars (and still do!!) that I’m leery of hanging out under tree limbs. Come on, cold weather! Whoever said their season was only two weeks was nuts. I saw the first ones here in late September and they’re still out.

    1. OMGosh… RoufusD. I just looked up that puss caterpillar and they are horrible venomous creatures… Disgusting looking to boot…. Definitely a fo…..

      Welcome to the bunch if you’ve never posted… Find anything interesting in the pawn shop?

      1. Howdy, AT ! I’ve posted a few times a while back but thanks for the welcome!

        There wasn’t too much that useful for what I was looking for at the pawn stop. Lots of guitars, quite a few hunting guns, a cross bow and a compound bow, lots of flat screen tvs. No handheld radios or ham equipment. Just a couple of sets of tools. I’m going to check back in a week or so and see what else shows up.

        Those puss caterpillars are a real scourge. Our oldest daughter had one fall on her from the roof of the porch and had to go to the ER. Those things are nasty painful.

  17. another dairy in this county, closed the door yesterday. our milk man showed up and he passed the last cows leaving the premises. which is so juvenile. i would at least have a empty tank. with 1 gallon of milk for the hauler , on top of the tank. which will be his last gallon, from that farm, to move from the farm.

    this is what tired of winning looks like, which looks like loosing horribly.

    1. We’re facing the same thing in Maine. China market for lobster and other seafood has totally dried up. People are going out of business because they can’t export. So much winning. Tired of winning. Soybeans are rotting in the silos in the Midwest. Ship them to the White House and let him smell the smell of success, along with the rotting lobsters.

    2. Funny how the price of milk and lobster hasn’t gone down with the law of supply and demand…..

      May be George Soros is supplying those items to the illegal horde….LOL

  18. Hey everyone I just thought of this…….

    If Democrats kill unarmed babies, what would they do to their opposition iif they weren’t armed.

    Never surrender your firearms…….

    Look at Tucker Carlson’s house being attacked….if they tied that in States that have firearms, the outcome would be much different. Get off my lawn….LOL That’s why I have “Assault weapons and high capacity mags”

    https://www.infowars.com/breaking-antifa-mob-amasses-outside-tucker-carlsons-home/

    Tucker was a Democrat until he saw the light.

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