What I Did To Prep This Week. Week 2: Hay Epic Fail, Historic Tomato Seed Success And Herd Expansion

Hello The Survivalist Blog community. This week on the homestead was another hot one mixed with the ill-timed brief yet, fierce storms.

The wettest year on record continues in my beautiful neck of the woods. We are merely alternating between desert-like conditions and flash flooding. The ever changing weather has made it especially hard to do anything, including tending to the growing plots and cutting hay.

One of the many big advantages of our homesteading survival retreat was the ability for it to support a vast number of livestock. But, if we cannot get the hay harvested, we are going to have to dip into our survival homesteading budget to buy hay – and I would really like to avoid doing that. You need three days of no rain in a row when cutting hay and we just can’t seem to get that around here this year.

Thankfully, we were able to grab pitchforks and the hay wagon and salvage enough not-quite-dry hay to feed to the goats. Contrary to popular belief, cows do not have four stomachs, they merely have four chambers in their stomachs, like all ruminants: goats, sheep, deer, elk, and several others.

Because they are ruminants like cows, they can consume hay that is not dry enough to be suitable for horses. Pearl, my brave 3-legged goat (she survived a dog attack but lost the use of one leg and her ear) just had two kids and is living inside her nursing stall at the moment. She needs to have hay in her diet so that her stomach chambers continue to function properly and she doesn’t get bloat.

goat with newborn baby

Pearl still has use of the point of elbow area of her leg, meaning she can rotate it around and use it to proper herself up against a tree to eat or to kneel. I was worried about her carrying so much extra weight in the intense heat we have been subjected to, but she got along just fine. This is her second kidding, she had Rooster last fall.

It confuses new visitors to our survival homesteading retreat when they encounter a goat named Rooster, but the lively little guy definitely earned his name. When Pearl showed signs of being near the kidding time, I kept a very close eye on her, even though she still had the use of four legs at the time.

Goats frequently need help giving birth, especially the first time around. Keepers often have to reach in and turn the kid to help it out of the birth canal to save both it and the nanny goat’s life. I checked on Pearl a little after midnight the evening Rooster was born and she still had not gone into labor.

Sometime between then and 6 a.m. she gave birth successfully and entirely on her own. She really didn’t have any maternal instincts right away. Rooster was left to wander about the pitch dark barn entirely on his own.

He could have easily wandered off down one of the steep ravines near the barn or been trampled by the horses, but he showed some barnyard smarts right off the bat – and some true grit – hence is name. I found him napping inside a horse feed tub that had fallen onto the ground. Hanging horse feeders are the bane of my existence, the horses are always knocking them off the stall dividers or fencing. I did not want to permanently attach them so I could remove them for cleaning.

So, every day it is like a treasure hunt looking for the feeders if I don’t have time to stand around and wait for them to finish eating after turnout.

two horses

My Ruby is on the right, a Peruvian Paso. Her friend Joe, a cousin’s horse, is on the left.

I would love to use a feed trough system made out of wood like an Amish farrier pal has at his place, but my Ruby is far too much of a mean girl to let anyone but the pony dine beside her.

Click here to watch a short video of my daughter Brea and I riding around part of the upper pasture in the Ranger and checking in on the horses.

Many preppers miss the value of having horses on their survival retreat, seeing only the work and expense involved in keeping them – after all, they say, you don’t eat horses unless you are starving. True, but during a long-term disaster, horses will resume their place as the primary mode of transportation and once again be used almost exclusively for farm work and hauling.

I spent a lot of time in the garden this week, weeding and treating the plants to thwart those nasty Japanese beetles. I am thrilled to report my first attempt at growing Thomas Jefferson tomatoes is going splendidly.

japanese beetle

I tried three different types of natural DIY insecticides in our primary growing plot and the flour and salt mixture seemed to work best. I varied the application from a none, to a little, to a lot on various rows of crops to test the success of each spray or powdered mixture.

After three days I still haven’t found a single beetle on the crops that I dusted with the three parts flour and 1 to 2 parts salt mixture. But there was a definite downside to using the powder, at least in the weather we are having right now. I scorched a lot of cabbage and broccoli.

I sprinkled the powder over all of the plants during the early morning hours when the dew was still on the plants and before it was 85 degrees, like recommended. The early application allows the mixture to adhere to the plants better and not blow off because it has become moistened. Once the Japanese beetles (and other insects, sadly including honey bees) eat the powder, they bloat until they burst and die.

I was worried about the hot and humid conditions when I applied the powder, but our rows of cabbage and broccoli were going to die anyway from all of the munching by the beetles, so I decided to give it a shot.

The plants that got scorched do not necessarily appear dead and might still produce, only time will tell. I am going to reapply the same mixture but back the salt content down to a little less than a 2 to 1 ratio with the flour – and apply it around 5:30 a.m. and see if that helps deter scorching.

scorched broccoli plant

This broccoli plant is definitely a goner. I wasn’t even going to bother sprinkling the powder on it, but the center still appeared to be producing. This plant was scorched worse than any other and eaten away by the Japanese beetles to the most severe degree.

The broccoli growing in a raised bed near my apothecary patch (the soil we use in the patch and raised beds is from our compost pile of scraps and dried barn manure) has gone unscathed by beetles. Even though the primary ground plot is comprised of superb soil (it is located where a massive hog pen used to be or decades) I think next year we are going to do a lot more raised bed and container gardening.

Covering around the plants with a 50 – 50 mixture of straw and mulch really cuts down on the weeding. We will continue to use the ground plot for corn, cucumbers, pumpkins, melos, and other viney produce and expand our growing of each since the rest of the crops will be located elsewhere.

The tomato plants that received the same treatment scorched less than the cabbage and broccoli. I also deviated from the instructions and sprinkled the mixture around the base of the plants and that seems to have been a great deterrent as well.

My favorite president was also an avid gardener and worked diligently to convince the populace that the tomato was not a poisonous plant, was nutrient-rich, and perfect for canning. I ordered a packet of seeds from the Monticello gift shop. They are the great, great, great, “grandseeds” of plants Jefferson himself planted.

jefferson tomato plants

These are the oddest shaped and textured tomatoes I have ever grown – or even seen. They feel hard like a pumpkin right now. But, they are supposed to be exceptionally hardy and produce up to 50 pounds of tomatoes per plant.

We were once again battling predators at the retreat. A raccoon momma (all black, I thought it was a huge mink at first) and her three babies came out of the woods and headed into the shelter house in search of food, and to tear up the trash in the outdoor can.

Most folks think raccoons only steal eggs from your coop, but they will kill chicks and ducklings as well. I fell asleep in the couch recliner and heard my Bobby doing that kind of whisper-yell thing, calling my name. He was saying my name and not “honey” so I sense something was up. It was only 8:30 but after having the tribe over for an Independence Day celebration and working outdoors in the extreme heat for days, I crashed out before dark. We set traps but so far the pesky coons have evaded them.

We use live traps or homemade snares to catch raccoons and mink and not claw foot traps because all of our animals free range, and so do our blue heelers and grandkiddos.

What are your thoughts on growing in raised beds and in containers as opposed to traditional garden plots?

256 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week. Week 2: Hay Epic Fail, Historic Tomato Seed Success And Herd Expansion”

  1. First off, Thank you Dan and Tara for giving a bunch of strays a place to call home. You have an incredibly diverse group of people who are all expert in something. Some in more than one something. We’re all pretty darn good at a whole lot of other things.

    I read all of last week’s comments fairly late in the week. I saw that everyone was introducing themselves. I can’t compete with Zulu 3-6 with his curriculum vitae, but then, he does have a year or two on me 🙂

    My grandparents on both sides lived through WWI, the depression, and my mom and dad lived through the rationing of WWII. Needless to say, I grew up with frugality. First it was Cub Scouts, then Boy Scouts and Order of the Arrow, Jr. ROTC and that was just before I was 18. The next life I lived was in the Air Force as a Security Policeman/Military Working Dog Handler, Sgt, 1ea. Then it was a couple of years as a private security supervisor until I got picked up by a department. The first one that offered me a job was US Customs. They became Customs and Border Protection after 9/11. I was a K9 Officer with them for 23 years. While there, I put myself through college, married and divorced and then got diagnosed with something that is starting me on my third life I’ll be living. Retirement.

    I’ve been without an income for two years to the month. It’s looking up though. My retirement was officially approved by OPM three weeks ago. Because of that I can now start moving forward. I got my retired credentials from CBP in just a week, start to finish. Now all I need to do is get a POST certified instructor to certify that I’m competent enough to put holes in paper without shooting myself in the foot. I will then be legal to carry in all 50 states, districts, Puerto Rico, and possessions. Then I will be able to start getting armed work. Now, I can really start working on SS Disability with the OPM retirement in my hot little hands. Then I get to deal with the VA. That was a high priority, until the retirement got approved because I will now be getting my medical/dental/vision/life insurances back. I’ve been on cloud nine for weeks.

    It’s been hotter than Hades the last couple of days in my little part of the PRC (People’s Republic of California), and my brand new A/C stopped working on the day it got up to 114 degrees. Thankfully, it was just low batteries in the thermostat. Unfortunately, the heat already got in. I actually got dehydrated because I was sweating so much. Same thing today (Saturday).

    I put in a phone call to JeffInTheWest to let him know about the address change in the column. As soon as he calls back, I’ll fill him in.

    Anyway, It’s good to be back home and see all of you again. Nice to see the new faces too. Many in this community have known each other for years through this column and you will not find a more giving, thoughtful, knowlegeable group of people anywhere.

    • Sirius:
      So glad to hear about your retirement pay! Hope the rest of the finances come through as well. My DH wants me to thank you again about the water to flour ratio for whole wheat. I haven’t baked a brick in months.

        • Sirius,

          That’s what this forum is for… people helping people.

          I’ve been prepping as long as or maybe longer than many here and the wife and I are now retired; but, there is never a week goes by that I don’t learn something new here, often when someone ponders a question that makes me scratch my head.
          Richard Bach said: “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.”
          And this community proves the point. It’s good to be in a new home and among friends.

        • Sirius, Glad to see you are still on top side! You have had a rough couple of years…Been praying for you and your recovery…and situation. Glad to know resolution on money issues are coming…

      • LTD, this is the Federal Government. Quickly is not in their vocabulary nor does it compute. It’s gonna be a time game.

    • Sirius
      Will post an email to ‘Jeff in the West’, it good to find all my old friends once again. Did not know where you all went to after the other site was shut down. Bless ‘Swt Tater’, she informed where to find you. Even though I may not have a lot to contribute to the site it is nice reading what everyone is doing.

      • AC, I spoke with Jeff today. He’s not ignoring us, just dealing with his homestead. He know’s where we are and when he catches a breath, he’ll be welcomed on the porch with a glass of lemonade or sweet tea. It just depends on who’s hosting that day.

    • Sirius,

      I am glad you found the revamped section and are digging into it and enjoying it! You have an impressive self-reliance pedigree. Flee the PRC and come to rural Ohio, you would fit great here – heck, all of your would, I can dust off my real estate credentials and find your all a perfect spot to set up a survival homesteading retreat, come on over anytime!!!

        • Lol, my Ohio license might be transferrable. I am always willing to help any prepper on land attribute reviews if you send me a link to property you are browsing and credit score improvement and best loans for land purchases advise. I consider that all a part of the we’re all in this together mantra and am happy to share my skills.

  2. The Mrs is still in ICU, they are supposed to put a camera in her mouth to check her stomach for a bleeding ulcer. Please say prayers.

    Puppy was tricked yesterday, it might have been a little mean on my part, but I couldn’t resist the urge. I loaded a medium tomato in his tennis ball gun……He caught it and looked at me like why would you do that. Then he ate it…..LOL I was in tears laughing…..

    Not much in preps again with the Mrs. In the hospital. I’m glad SHTF didn’t happen yet because I would have lost her. Makes you understand how bad it could get.

    I remembered how to do dishes by hand without a dish washer. I told the Mrs. Did you just get sick to get out of doing the dishes. She laughed.

    • Thor, apples work well in the ball gun. All of my dogs loved apples, but they were particularly fond of Granny Smith’s. Oh, they last longer than tomato’s and are just as healthy for the dogs.

    • Thanks all for prayers, she is having some exploratory surgery tomorrow morning to we if they can find the source of the bleeding. 🙁

        • LTD, she had an ulcer in her esophagus and the surgeon fixed it. So much for the bleeding I hope.MRE things going on though……..

          • Y’all have been on my mind and in my heart all day.

            So glad they know.
            & can repair.

            Does she drink Coca-Cola? I once drank at least one each day. I developed a stomach ulcer. I used fresh apple to control (ate). But, when I stopped drinking CC, it healed. Haven’t had one in years, but I still use CC to soak off burned-on oil and remove rust from abused cast iron.

          • Thor1:
            Continued prayers for Mrs. Thor and for her healing. Glad they could fix. Hope all goes well.

          • Glad to hear it is fixed. There are any number of things that could be causing it and/or aggravating it. Acid reflux tends to cause problems in the esophagus – the hubby hasn’t had acid reflux since he quit eating bread and started losing weight. I hope they can get Mrs Thor’s issues figured out – sooner rather than later.

          • Thor1,

            Glad that got fixed. There are esophageal problems that can be very dangerous, not just painful.

            There is a condition called esophageal varicise. The esophagus has a sphincter where it meets the stomach. It is very like the sphincter in the anus and can develop hemorrhoid like swelling, mostly found in people who have severe liver disease, like alcoholics. Severe acid reflux can also cause varicise. People with varicise can rupture the swollen veins in the sphincter by hard vomiting from excessive boozing, and literally bleed to death throwing up the blood which will happen quite quickly.

            As a police officer I went to two unattended deaths where there were trash cans half filled with blood next to the bodies and blood soaked sheets. I knew exactly what killed them since I knew both were serious alcoholics and drug addicts. The autopsies confirmed my suspicions.

            So, any bleeding from the esophagus means an immediate trip to the ER. Paramedics can’t stop the bleeding on the street, only treat for hypovolemic shock and transport. I never saw a case as a paramedic though. We were trained about them, which is how I knew what I was seeing as a cop.

    • Thor it is now tuesday.. I have read posts but not commneted, just wanted you aware your family has not been neglected in prayer. …from this quarter either. take care and take care of Mrs. Thor.
      As she recovers give her plenty time to do things and insist she take her time in resuming duties…at least some of the heaviest ones. Hemmorrhage is very time consuming to recover from… even with her getting blood products it will take her a while. Tell her to be patient with herself and not push too hard.

      • Thanks again everyone for your prayers, they worked and the Mrs. is now home recovering.

        Puppy was so happy to see Mommy…… LOL

  3. Even though I have been checking this site, it took me awhile to find my favorite posting. Part of that is due to my busy schedule. I will go back and read last weeks posts once today’s high wind and heat hits. But first, following Sirius’ lead, a quick introduction.
    I moved about a lot growing up since my Dad worked for various part of the government. Mostly Army but some for NASA and he also had some stints teaching. Most of the time we were on the East Coast. I was lucky enough to spend my college years in New England. Now I live on the High Plains with my husband of over 30 years. Our small town of under ten thousand is one of the largest in a 100 mile radius.
    I love to garden. Last month I harvested nearly 50 pounds of produce. Most of that came from a new 30 x 40 plot built upon the raised row technique from Jim and Mary Competti’s book Raised Row Gardening. Tara you might give it a read!
    Technically I am retired but I am freelancing on several fronts. The redecorating project 50 miles to the South will be finished this month. My blog is growing in readership and has been asked to sponsor a triathlon about 60 miles to the West.

    My preps this week included a major restocking of water. I added 15 cases because of a sale. The garden continues to produce heavily without any commercial fertilizer, just some side compost. I put up some zucchini/carrot pickles, gooseberry jam and sour cherry jelly. That’s it for this week.

    • Moe – we’ve been doing raised rows (using a hiller after tilling) since the DH and I got serious about growing a garden. It really helps when it’s super wet as the hills take the water away from the roots. Surprisingly, it works well when it’s dry too, especially with all the mulching we do.

      • GA Red:
        It has been a number of years since we have had excess moisture. For us that means over 20 inches in one year. The straw mulch in the paths as well as on the raised beds has really helped cut down on the weeding. I would definitely use this approach in your neck of the woods. Even tropical storms can give you a deluge.

        • Moe – we’re using wood chips instead of straw this year. The garden looks wonderful. I got tired of buying straw that encouraged weed growth and we also had a lot of wood chips we were producing ourselves. I still have weeds, but they are a little less out of control.

          • GA Red,

            Moe – we’re using wood chips instead of straw this year. The garden looks wonderful. I got tired of buying straw that encouraged weed growth and we also had a lot of wood chips we were producing ourselves. I still have weeds, but they are a little less out of control.

            We use wood shavings for the horse and goat stalls and straw for the chickens; but, for the garden we used either the hiller-furrower to bury the weeds, weed barrier cloth, or just plain old corrugated cardboard. Eventually the cardboard gets pretty ratty and is then just added to the compost or the burn pile.

      • GA Red,

        we’ve been doing raised rows (using a hiller after tilling) since the DH and I got serious about growing a garden. It really helps when it’s super wet as the hills take the water away from the roots. Surprisingly, it works well when it’s dry too, especially with all the mulching we do.

        You’re making me a bit jealous and a lot nostalgic. Back in 1979 I purchased a Troy Bilt Horse with the 7 horsepower Kohler engine and Hiller Furrower attachment, we used that rototiller until it was finally mostly unfixable about 4-5 years ago and replaced it with a new Cub Cadet, since the equivalent Troy Bilt was more than twice the cost of the Cub Cadet and the Cub Cadet had 12 month 0% financing.
        We managed large gardens in the ½ acre range with that tiller, and not only do the hills keep plants from getting too soggy, running down between the rows once per week performed most of the weeding. The only place we had to be careful was around vining plants like pumpkins, zucchini, and one of my favorites, spaghetti squash. I really miss that tiller, since it made managing a large garden extremely easy.

    • Hey Moe,

      Welcome back to the WIDTPTW reboot, very happy to have you and learn from you as well! I will definitely be checking out that book, thanks for the share. Your self-reliance experience is quite impressive. Care to share your blog address? Oh, and you sour cherry jelly recipe too, please!

  4. Did my shopping, twice, and added to my grocery stash.

    Read through the postings for last week. Learned some things about a few people I didn’t know before, which was cool. Sirius, thanks for the kinds words. Yeah, I’ve got a few years on you I think, but my life has been adventurous. Congrats on digging through the government bureaucracy and getting your retirement. I’d have a few other things to say about that, but there is polite company present.

    Thor1 prayers are outbound for your wife. Hope that works out favorably and soon. Poor Puppy. At least he can eat the tomato. Tennis balls are a little dry. He sounds like a fun dog to have around.

    Hurricanes are starting to rumble out in the Atlantic, so I wanted to add to my water stash a bit. While I have several WaterBobs to use, and my DIY 5-gallon gravity filter unit (redneck Big Berkey), I don’t believe in such a thing as having too much potable water. I was forced to operate short of water several times in the military (and in the desert too), and I didn’t like it. Plus, back in those days, the military believed in “water discipline” and those stupid salt pills.

    I was fortunate to work out of a base in Vietnam where we generally had plenty of potable water. In fact, it was one of my jobs to keep the two water buffalos (400-gallon trailer tanks) for my unit full. I always had to draw a sample from each bull and take it to sick bay for the preventive medicine corpsmen to test. Sometimes they added chlorine, sometimes not. I do have grunt friends who had to drink rice paddy water with all the organic additives one can imagine. Not to mention the inevitable physiological results. My dad had to drink crappy ditch water too in WWII and he said most grunts didn’t wear skivvies and just slit the crotch of their trousers open to save time when dysentery hit. In fact, dad said the Japanese soldiers did the same thing. The issue iodine tablets weren’t powerful enough to kick the butt of the germs in that kind of water – if you had any available.

    In Desert Storm, all of our potable water came from 1-liter plastic water bottles. The cooks had to open thousands per day to prepare meals. The first group of cooks we had were super. Excellent chow. The second group was lazy and started using base well water which was absolutely NOT potable. Needless to say, dysentery was rampant throughout the camp almost immediately. When the Wing Commander pooped himself while in flight, the mess officer and sergeant were in a load of trouble. It didn’t take the medics long to track down the source.

    Oddly, out of the ten guys in my tent, I was the only one not to get dysentery. I ate the same chow, drank the same kool aid, etc, as everyone else, but I didn’t get sick. Go figure. A grown man pooping his pants is usually a time for hilarity in the military, but this was not funny. I had to help a lot of guys get out of their combat gear and clean up. There were other people who weren’t affected spread through the wing, but not many. Some people had to be hospitalized because of severe dehydration and get IV fluids, including a couple of security police guys from my outfit.

    The mess officer got a letter of reprimand and a poor officer proficiency report (basically ending his career) and the mess sergeant lost a stripe and his job. I’d say the Wing King was not a happy camper about flying a KC-135 for several hours while stewing in liquid poop. I think if the colonel wanted to put those cooks in front of a firing squad, there would have been lots of volunteers to pull a trigger – and that would just be from the aircrews. Security police would probably have chopped them up with knives and bayonets (in fact, I KNOW they would have).

    Fortunately, the medical people were able to quickly get hold of a medication made in Egypt that cleared up the dysentery totally within a couple of days. Not FDA approved, but it worked fast and had no side effects that I heard of.

    Anyway, I guess the takeaway from all this is the importance of having plenty of clean, potable water for drinking and cooking. If it wasn’t for that medication, our wing would have been out of action for several days, or more, instead of the one day we couldn’t fly while the meds kicked in (and aircraft got cleaned). We flew refuelers and it had an effect on combat flight ops over Iraq. Luckily, the actual fighting war was over at that point, but fighter-bomber sorties still needed to be flown just in case and that needed refuelers. If the cooks had used the bottled water like they were supposed to, no flight disruptions would have occurred.

    In a SHTF situation (no pun intended), having dysentery without proper medication would definitely put you and/or your tribe/MAG, etc, in a bad position. Dysentery does not necessarily just go away after a few days. Some forms do, IF you are adequately hydrated with clean, potable water. Some people (old folks and children especially) may become extremely dehydrated and may require IV fluids. Good luck with that for most folks in a TEOTWAWKI situation. If you keep drinking contaminated water, dysentery is not going away, dehydration gets worse, and you’re a goner.

    • Zulu 3-6:
      What do you recommend stocking for dysentery? I have a limited amount of Imodium on hand. Is there something better?

      • Metronidazole–you can get it at 1800petmeds–no script necessary. Any of the common antibiotics will get rid of the nasty bacteria.

        • Bam Bam,

          Metronidazole is more specific for bloody dysentery as it is an anti-parasitic as well. It can be taken for bacillary dysentery too.

          • Heads up PACK!
            Colloidial silver is also anti -parasitic . one more thing in the arsenal…We have found it needs to be used sublingual( under tongue) adult dose , solution we have purchased 10 ml under tongue for minimum of 2-3 minutes., then swallow. The gastric secretions destroy much of silver benefts in gut before absorbtion without sublingual use….it is most effective used q6 hours for severe infections. Most herbals and natural remedies need repeted dose in 4-6 hours, as a general rule.
            If you keep antibiotics do not forget to follow with probiotics in some form… to replace good gut bacteria.Having these in a pill form can get theose restarted…kraut, and other fermented foods also will help restorative bacteria.

    • Watch those water bobs. Filled, they are very heavy. I don,’t recall their capacity – 100 pounds? Times 8.3 pounds per gallon.

      We built a new home a few years back. Our 200-lb. DS cracked tub – $500 to repair (cheaper than replace,).

  5. Moe,

    Imodium can be useful for mild cases of bacillary dysentery. This is the kind usually found in countries with good sanitation practices (like the U.S.). As long as the patient is well hydrated, this form of dysentery generally clears up on its own in a few days. People often refer to this kind of dysentery has having diarrhea or “the shits.” There are probably few people who have not had this by adulthood.

    Metronidazole (aka: Flagyl) is needed for amebic dysentery (aka: bloody dysentery or bloody flux). It is a prescription med, but available for treating your fish as Fish Zole or Fish Zole Forte. It is also used for treating Giardia.

  6. I have been down with a dreadful sinus infection. So I didn’t get much done this week. I didn’t go to taekwondo all week. I didn’t even make it to church today. My dh made the monthly run to Walmart without me. He picked up everything on the list. (He is not the shopper in the family.) He took the car in to get serviced. (We got two years free servicing when we bought the car.)

    We are keeping an eye on Beryl. It’s too early to tell but it looks like she is headed for the gulf. Once that happens, all bets are off. It’s a good feeling to know that we are ready. The most we have to do is fill up the gas cans so we can run the generator if electricity goes out.

  7. To catch up, while buying a Ruger LC9S last month, I saw an M-1 carbine on the wall. Perfect shape, had to have it. (Inland Mfg. late war, bayonet lug, two 15-rd. mags in a pouch on stock) While putting it on layaway, I saw a Walther P38. Perfect shape. 1941 with matching numbers. Obviously a GI souvenir.

    I came back the following week to pay off the carbine and saw the Walther again. The clerk said she would give me 13% off the M-1 and the Walther if I paid cash or debit. Duh! My only challenge was to get it past Mrs. Overwatch. Sold!!!

    Preps since have been another locker, .30 carbine ammunition, and magazines for all the guns. Also, shopping for a propane generac generator. Picked up a cheap machete for the van too. Stocked up on wintergreen Canada mints but they don’t seem to have much of a shelf life in my house.

    Planning a family trip to Monroe County, TN. Tenant staying home all week to watch the house and the dog. Looking (?) at houses in that area. Tellico Plains seems nice, low taxes , etc. just looking though.

    • Tellico Plains can get really hot in the summer, but it’s at one end of the Cherohala Skyway – a beautiful road that goes into NC just below the Tail of the Dragon.

  8. Hi all I’ve been here and at the other sight too we have been fighting fleas, and weather sun, rain, wind, then start back over again we live in the PNW, up by the Canadian boarder, we get alot of rain and cold weather, in tbe winter, Spring can be hit and miss, and Summer, is supposed to be here by now still waiting. When I joined I was a Mom of three, now down to two soon it will be one my step son is 27, our daughter is 18 and our youngest boy is 14, I started this when liitle one was 4. We had a wonderful 4th, playing at the beach, and having a camp fire. I’ve been picking raspberries, and freezing them , so far not a whole lot to can or put up yet everything is still growing. Going to get some cedar bark to put under our Rhody, cedar keeps fleas away and since the cat enjoys laying under there . I just started to feed a bit of DE in her soft food hoping that will get them to leave too. I’m glad to see so many are here and at the other site I’ve been learning and enjoying everything everyone has been posting.

    • Mom of 3, You are still a MOM of 3.. just not 3 at home… Don’t worry, when they come home they bring more with them!So you will soon be a MOM of 6… fro there it multiplies…LOL

      • LOL – AA. I have 3 daughters. Now I have one SIL – he’s a hard working young man who is good to my daughter, even if they don’t always see eye to eye.

        The youngest seems to be dating the next possible future SIL – we shall see. They are really cute together and I like him so far, so that’s a plus.

        The oldest is “seeing” someone (that we’ve actually met) but neither are in any hurry to make long term commitments. He helped her move, so that’s a plus, and they enjoy doing things together – another plus.

        Suffice it to say – I agree that they tend to multiply.

        • You are still in the addition stage . Multiplication comes with the Babies, .ie Grand babies…and you will be GrandMa…and get to spoil them,then send them back home..LOL

          • That’s funny, AA!

            Now, there’s a book title: “The Exponential Family: the Math of the Matter”!

          • LOL AA – I currently have 3 grand dogs and 1 grand cat. As a serious cat lover, I’m always excited to see my grand cat and my daughter is doing a really good job raising him. The only thing she hasn’t done is get a harness to walk him like a dog.

  9. Well not much this week. Did add a book on starting plants from seed from back in 1976 . The restbwas same old stuff this week .

  10. I Made most of our puchases for the month/stocking up, last week. My focus was on boosting water preps back to the max desired. a few weeks ago I took My DD and her hubby a sustantial supply of filtered water, and some filters for their city system.. I have had to replace those containers from free ones. We now have a good deep well thanks to a Blessed Lady who was able to do a well repair and re direct some methane gas streams to another area… (I use this water in daily rotation 3-4 mo..time frame. ice, coffee, tea.etc.)and we do not chlorinate the water..It has some iron in it, a level which I find acceptable and my DH does not care for. so i have the Just Water 5 gallon bucket system…. This week our small bottle storage of water was boosted back up to 73 gallons. Then, Our friends deep well went out. we took them about 40 gallons of water, 3/4 of that filtered…on Thursday ,again yesterday a smaller delivery of filtered water,and ice, medical emergency magnesiums, etc.
    In the interm we had to make preps to pull their deep well pump of 150 ft… It took all hands on deck and heat exhaustion was experienced with an aggrivation of military back injury..putting host unable to continue. cold towels, rehydration, magnesium and K2 and rest.. are the order for his recovery, in bed under air conditioner..
    The best I can determine all will continue with. recovery day /today. I am sore in places previously undiscovered,lol.Was my first pump pull and I pray it is my last. Deep well at Brothers place is 365 ft… lets me know will take several MEN to pull that one.. there is a reason the “well team” send 5 strapping young men to do this job.
    Other small chores continue on the properties.
    Thoughts on raised beds… takes time, for composting and soil building .. Usually materials shipped/brought in from outside resources. Proper mixing of soils for both drainage and holding of water is vital to the sucesss of raised beds.
    I am changing over to raised beds this year from necessity. Our soil has little drainage, with clay base going very deep… ( more than 10 ft) This has affected how our sewer lines are run for both us and a neighbor…. I did begin raised beds last year with failure… got a few squash, , few cucumbers…the whole year. I rebuilt and re vamped everything this year…including the deep vegetable bed for root crops…sweetpotatoes are doing well there so far. but nothing else has except for one lone volunteer cucumber. organic fertlizers utilized and improvement noted… so composted manure/humus mix is really low in all nutrients. (mixed with clay/sand from outside source.) we have a 4.5×12 and a 3.5x 10 ft raised bed..have ammended heavily with commercial compost/organic garden mix, and compost tea/blend of chicken manure, cooked and crushed egg shells.
    Tomatoes and some of the okra /marigolds seem to be doing well so far, late but now blooming. everything planted intensively so fertlization is weekly in first water and watering is required every other day minimum if no rain… high temps and heat index requires daily in spite of our high humidity… watching those now and plan is to errect sun shade as temps go back up..
    Grand solar minimum will mean an early frost… plan is to have row covers awaiting. rebar and clear plastic ready to shelter…still need to cut holders for the plastic clips to hold the plastic cover. If you had trouble getting things started this year, expect the same for several years.. crops every country are having failures.
    I read an article that said if you have any OLD Wheat seeds.. TO SAVE them.. will be worth their weight in high dollar gold, within short time….because GMO have been found in wheat up to and including- 150 miles away..ALL “present use seeds” ( wheat)are contaminated( according to this article) they did not say anything about the residual poison effects this leaves in the soil..those contaminants take several years to disperse without some special treatments. I do not know what those would entail, WAY beyond my pay grade.
    If you have wheat bought and packed in nitrogen this would include those( as seed/) they will sprout- they will grow. Wheat 3000 years old has been sprouted , planted and successfully grown under proper storage conditions… Now consider this, they are now GMO ing rice, soy beans, corn. What is the obvious implications of GMO pollens spreading 150 miles.
    Aquapoics/hydroponics under controlled grow areas is looking better and better… I know so little, have not goten ours set up yet ; working toward that as a goal. pumpsw/ tubing, water, lighting, protection from the elements,…actually takes less water than conventional methods. in hydroponics-must use fertlizers for that medium to get best results.
    Also there is a new video platform up by the health ranger… I am not affiliated with it. is and alternative to you tube and he is welcoming all videos banned by you tube…according to his note to subscribers.
    Fire ants are trying to move in on every raised platform and constant vigilance with borax and sugar has been effective in keeping from taking over the long raised beds, and all but one of my 35-40 gallon grow tubs… have heavily fed these and hope to have them no longer – within a week.
    We had an invader into one of our mini chicken coops… and have a live trap to be set tonight..culprit is coon…from scat and late night visual ( can’t go shooting in neighbors cows, would not take kindly to it..)
    Zulu thanks for posting above on differentation in treatments for dysentery.

    • AA,

      My pleasure to at least alert folks to the danger of the ease of getting dysentery. As long as the feces are not bloody or have pus, Imodium and lots of clean water should do the trick in a few days. Save your antibiotics for the more serious form of amebic dysentery.

      I was very upset over that episode during Desert Storm for several reasons, one being every guy in my tent was from my Air Guard unit and I’d known them for years. Another being almost every one of the men under my command (I had an 86 man shift) was sick and still had to stand his post except for a couple of guys in sick bay getting IVs.

      The Wing King did have to put out an order that none of the cooks were to be harassed or assaulted, after all, they had managed to poison themselves too. For a couple of nights (I worked the night shift), my foot patrol in the camp had to give special attention to the cook’s tents until tempers cooled a bit. I assigned guys who were civilian police officers, knew how the game was played, and knew how to lay a knockdown on anyone trying something stupid. It all worked out OK.

      • Zulu,

        I’m surprised your Wing King didn’t court martial both the mess officer and the NCOIC for reckless endangerment. Under the UCMJ (if I remember correctly) would fall under mayhem. I forget which article that is but I am going back 30 years.

        After all, whoever issued that order and whoever knowingly followed that order put lives in danger. “What if” one of those KC-135 flight crews all got hit hard with dysentery at the same time in the middle of a sortie and those fighter/bombers ran out of gas?

        I know that scenario is far fetched, however, whoever issued that order and knowingly followed it did, in fact, poison the whole base that it took them out of operations. An LOR and a bad OPR for the officer and a stripe and a job change for the NCO… When they come to their senses they better thank your Wing King for showing extreme mercy.

        • Sirius,

          If that was a Marine Corps unit, you could be guaranteed courts-martial for both, and possibly more NCOs too. But we were an Air Force expeditionary unit with mixed active, reserve, and Air Guard. Organizing courts-martial would be a pain in the butt as it isn’t as simple as just saying so. I think the Wing King did the most he could do quickly and prove easily. Really, the mess sergeant’s career was basically shot too. He was a Senior MSgt, busted to MSgt and with a bad EPR, he was never seeing his roof again nor would he be retained past 20-years.

          I don’t think either the officer or the mess sergeant specifically ordered anyone to use the well water. I think their troops did it on their own because they were lazy, undisciplined, and inadequately supervised. Opening thousands of water bottles per day is a royal pain in the butt. The previous set of cooks did it, plus put out a superior food product. This second set were just schleps.

          Some of those flight crews did get hit at the same time in mid-mission. They just dealt with it and did their duty. All flights completed their missions regardless of who and how many were crapping their pants. Riyadh ordered the stand down for a day, not the Wing King. He was willing to fly and take the risk of crapping his drawers again and I understand so were the flight crews. Luckily the meds the medics got worked very quickly and Riyadh reluctantly OK’d them back in the air after just the one day. Our wing serviced Navy aircraft coming in from carriers in the Med. Without our tankers, the carriers could just steer circles in the water.

  11. Don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much this week.

    Playing waiting game on veggies & fruits. Still battling Japanese Beetles on concord Grapes & apples. I use pheromone traps, DE, and hand-picking them off 2-3 times each day. I drop them into a jar half-filled w/water & a squirt of dishsoap. They drown quickly w/soap. Just hold jar directly under them & they will drop into the jar (they’re trying to drop to the ground). I’ve captured and killed hundreds like this – even with traps.

    I’ve noted that JB’s seem particularly lethargic in very early morning; thus, easier to catch.

    Also battling carpenter bees. DH built traps. They kinda worked. I’ve killed more with a length of 2×4 – just treat them like a baseball. Or, catch them on a plant & smack between two pieces of 2×4.

    I have honey bees. I do not want carpenters – and they’re very destructive to wood structures.

    Sprayed trees w/JMS Stylet Oil. again.

    DD was here all week with two rescued granddogs. Took some of our time.

    Working on upcoming canning class @ end of July. Also have another emergency preparedeness class @ end of August. Never bored!

    Was given more blueberries. Will make more jelam. Also picked from our bushes. DD took those berries home, about 2 lbs. Our bushes are finally producing. We planted them over a 5-year period.

    More family due in this week. Those who do not grow & preserve their own food or raise their own livestock are at liberty to run about, dropping in on those of us who do, “for a visit”. They just can’t understand when you don’t have time to visit. Oh well….this, too, will pass!

    Feeling very blessed that we still can learn from one another, here.

    • Livinthedream:
      I understand what you mean by visitors. In my case I am needed in Florida to provide some respite. I keep putting it off but need to squeeze a trip in soon. The last thing I need is for my Dad to have a heart attack while spending all his time visiting my Mom. He insists on spending hours everyday at the nursing home.

      I told him I could only stay a week. Just hope I don’t get too far behind on the canning and the weeds.

        • Bam Bam:
          Suburban Orlando. My great-grandparents moved to the “city” of Orlando in the 1920s. Personally, I am not wild about all the growth just in my life time.

          • Moe,

            I live in suburban Orlando now. I’ve been coming to Orlando since 1979 when I came to meet my future in-laws. What a change since then. So many orange groves gone and now big shopping centers or subdivisions in their place.

            I’ve been a full-time Florida resident since late-2000, though I mostly lived 72 miles north of where I am now until a few years ago and the city boy in me took over again. Still getting over the changes.

    • LivintheDream, I just read a list of tips on controlling Japanese beetles in the garden. One suggested dusting your plants with baby powder, which the beetles detest. Of course, it would need to be reapplied after every rain. Another tip is to plant the perimeter of your garden with garlic, which the beetles–& a lot of other insects–hate. Those were the 2 best tips. I didn’t accomplish a lot this week, due to spending a lot of time with grandkids at the YMCA pool. I did, however, harvest our first cutting of okra, almost enough for what we here in the Deep South refer to as “a mess” (i.e., enough for a family meal). We like it sliced, dredged in cornmeal & fried to a crispy, golden brown. A big bowl of it never lasts long at my house.

      • When you get EXTRA okra, dehydrate it!
        To dehydrate wash, cut off caps, cut evenly and place on dehydrator tray…. when rehydrated,is better than fresh..prepared fried.. ..( cover with enough water to cover the amount you need, let sit for 45 min or so and check to see if soft… if it is drain any extra liquid and use as fresh).. You can also season it with salt/pepper and use for snacks, if your family really likes it…
        Okra shrinks to half size so a pint of dehydrated okra will be a quart to use…So it saves space i n storing food. pack with oxygen absorber in sterilized and dry jar…

          • Thanks AA, great info! I never even thought of dehydrating it, although I do have a dehydrator & have used it for other things. Just stuck on the “traditional” methods, I guess.

          • After dehydrated is still slimy, but not so bad as fresh…. takes 45 min to one hour to rehydrate with warm water.. That was” Country Vet’s” assessment of dehydrated Okra… I took some to East Tn in a jar dried about 6 years ago and had it and MIL wnated to know when i “went to the store”…” we brought it with us MOM” DH thought she was going to fall out of her chair! she tried it and said she thought- it tasted like fresh…as well.
            It stores very well in much less space…
            12 pints=12 quarts of fresh…and that is 36 “messes” for the two of us, fried… Just sayin’ …one cup of fried okra is a lot..DH is limited on Okra he can eat and I am as well., but both like it.

          • According to my dear Mom, who is a very good cook, a wee bit of vinegar in okra will prevent slime effect.

          • Livinthedream,

            According to my dear Mom, who is a very good cook, a wee bit of vinegar in okra will prevent slime effect.

            That’s interesting; but, I’m not sure how true it is? We’ve made pickled Okra using a combination of only vinegar and salt; but, it was still a little too slimy for my taste. I prefer fresh or frozen.
            For eating, I prefer breaded with corn meal and pan or deep fried.

          • Yes vinegar in okra takes care of slime..I have used it in what I simmered/boiled, effectively. When cutting it up, and preparing to fry, I have not tried adding vinegar, might try putting a little in cup with okra after xcess water is drained, leaving it for 3 or 4 min and draining.. I just don’t like the feel of it, some of the slime properties of fresh cut okra are dispensed with in the dehydration and rehdration processes.

        • Directions for dehydrating please??? Temperature? I don’t have a lot of okra yet, so dehydrating it will give me some healthy snackage.

      • KisP, I had DH pick up 2 shakers cornstarch baby powder. (Didn’t want to sacrifice MY baby powder!)Sky was blue & clouds fluffy. 20 minutes later, the dark clouds rolled in & let go! Figures. $5 down the drain. I’ll try it again.

        • Weather here is mid-90’s with heat indices of 102-106 & high humidity. Air sticks to your skin & you’re sweaty before you’ve taken 2 steps out the door. Weather forecasts predict 50-60% chances of rain every day for at least the next 10 days. If your weather is anywhere near that, you might want to just keep hand-picking the beetles & save the baby powder for drier weather!

  12. Hello to the Pack, and thanks, Tara and Dan. I’d been wondering where everyone went. I’ll keep checking MD’s site to see what direction he takes it. Haven’t posted lately because not much to report. HOT HOT HOT this past week in Maine, like everywhere else. But great weather for the tourists, and boy, are they here in force. Good for our poor state’s economy. I know, I know, compared to some of you in more southerly climes, I seem like a wimp, but our normal summer temps are 70s, not 90s, and when you’re not used to it, the heat can be enervating. Well, I guess it can be enervating even if you’re used to it.

    Zulu, thanks for the info on dysentery and fish zole, which has been added to the shopping list in case my hypothetical guppies get a batch of bad water. Did a Dollar General run this week and stocked up on Imodium, among other supplies. Too hot to do much else except read and research online and in books. Focus lately has been on harvesting wild edibles. I have much to learn. Keep on keepin’ on, all.

    • MainBrain,

      I’ve been trying to drop hints on the new site. There are folks upset and wondering where we’ve all gone. I can’t just come out and tell them we are back here. I tried that and my comments get deleted.

      • Bam, MD has posted on his site that he will reinstate the Saturday blog in the near future. He also said those of us who used his site to invite folks over here will not be welcome. I wasn’t trying to be ugly – just let folks know we still have a community forum. I think it was the right thing to do, even now. So be it.

        I had something to say and said it. Don’t expect that was well received, either.

        And then there’s a certain person who called those who came over here “petulant children”; the same person made negative remarks about this site. Responded to that, too.

        This is getting ridiculous. Time to move on.

        • LTD,

          I’ve been over to the “other site” but I can’t find anything from MD or the “certain person.” Any suggestions?

          • Don’t know, Zulu. All I can tell you is the comments were posted and I responded.

            I think the person who called us “petulant children” may possibly have had a change of heart, from what one person told me. I hope so.

          • Zulu go to the article on Smart spending… read all of the comments. You will find several comments that are pretty revealing. One person I do not know who is… and I guess it is a good thing. I was able to hold my typing skills and not go off on the girl. IT is my Guess that some of those things should never have been thought much less written considering what LITTLE even I KNOW.

          • AA,

            Thanks for the info. I went there and read the comments. Not much to say about some of them I guess.

            I just don’t understand why MD would want to drop what was obviously his most popular thread. It got the most comments, by far, every week, and you know the actual hit count had to be higher still. Enough people dropped by saying they read, but rarely posted, to tell me that. Oh, well. His business (literally). I just felt pretty unappreciated with the sudden dump.

            Thanks again to Dan and Tara for picking this thread up so quickly.

        • Thank You for your post I have read it. I will find it and let you know. I thought the whole lot of them were acting like children. If someone does a blog , decides to change directions and NO ONE wants to follow that change…. his loss. His decision he had the right to make. Zulu I will find the post … I made a comment or two as well. under other handle .

          • AA, I just went back and read the comments on that particular post, and hooey, I had to sit on my hands…IDK who GG is, but not obviously a part of The Pack…And the point that was missed by the host himself as well as his main writer, was that the rug was pulled out from under what most of us considered the most important weekly post/get together for this group, with NO mention that it would be reinstated albeit under a slighltly different name/format. The format change of the new site I don’t think was a major issue for most of the group. After all, prepping and homesteading go hand in hand, IMHO. With no notice that the weekly post was being dropped or redirected, a core group got together and decided that something needed to be done to keep our community together. And Dan and Tara graciously agreed to help keep our community together. It wasn’t a ‘mutiny’ as some might think. It was a desparate attempt to keep our group together when we felt we were being abandoned. Unfortunately, our former host does not ‘get’ that. I’ve previously said I would continue to visit the former site, but after reading the comments on said post, I am not so sure I can continue to do so. I’ve tried to take the high road so far, but when the name calling starts, I am out cuz I don’t do drama. And I can take a hint when I’m told I’m no longer welcome too.

          • Grammyprepper,
            I hold no animosity toward MD or his site; but, when I tried to just participate in a normal fashion, I found out I was being treated “special”.. My hint was when I tried to post normal comments as I / we have always done and my posts simply disappeared or went into moderation and disappeared.
            I’ve gotten into some heated discussions with some pack members over specifics that we’ve always worked out; but, I refuse to do battle with MD, just to be allowed to post, when we have a great and welcoming place here.
            We must also remember that MD sold this domain to Dan so he still profited.

        • Livinthedream,

          MD has posted on his site that he will reinstate the Saturday blog in the near future. He also said those of us who used his site to invite folks over here will not be welcome. I wasn’t trying to be ugly – just let folks know we still have a community forum. I think it was the right thing to do, even now. So be it.

          It seems that some of us are now persona non grata, and have had our comments just simply disappear. Since I have an unlimited number of email addresses available, I was able to post under the name Ohio Guy with a different email address. It was moderated and then continued; only confirming my new status and those of a few others.
          I liken this to a group of LMI;’s who meet on occasion for lunch, mostly for the social interaction. If the restaurant owner shots down the place, we would naturally find another place to eat & meet. Now that original owner has figured out a mistake was made, and will punish those of us who dared eat elsewhere.
          Personally I am grateful to Dan & Tara for going out of their way to open their doors to us, and as long as we can still meet, here, I’m not really concerned about someone having a narcissistic rant somewhere else. I’m glad to see everyone here, and as Sirius stated earlier. This is a group of people with expertise covering a multitude of areas and topics, and I’m just glad to see we’re together again.

          • I thought that was you…same format. The person GG, may be the love interest? has not been posting long and came with the homestead change…..not doing him any favors if it is.
            Liked your analogy. Restaurant.
            My comments were hung up in a very long moderation, I went back after several hours and they had not cleared. .
            The varied eperiences of group has meant that a broad range of topics can be presented from many different authors…ie differing viewpoints. Very helpful to keep from making costly mistakes
            . Prepping covers so many things almost everyone can excel at some part of it. Many different views help me keep the balance of different aspects of preparation.

          • It occurred to me, also, AA, that “GG” may well be MD’s latest gf. Regardless, as you so generously framed it, she is “not doing him any favors”.

            That would certainly explain why he allowed such virulent hate speech, which, in the past, he has expunged.

        • Yep, a couple of us have been blocked from the other site. O.P. and I were just tying to find a home for this segment, since it was removed on the other site. We were trying to keep the pack together.

      • OP just told me about all this. You are better than all that. If the former host’s ego couldn’t stand to see us move back (thanks Tara and Dan), who is it that’s being petulant? Let’s not look back. Remember what happened to Mrs. Lot?

    • I think it’s MD’s right to take his blog in the direction he wants to go. I wasn’t interested in all the knife law posts, but his old site (this site) had a lot of useful info, so maybe he’ll keep on posting that sort of info. It’s not either-or. We can all get along. I plan to keep on visiting his site to see what kind of material appears there. I read at least a dozen preparedness blogs, all with useful info of different sorts. No need for competitiveness in this space, we’re all here to help and share.

  13. Well, we just got back from “the woods”. I found that I lost 5 pounds out there! Now to keep it off.

    We had a little “mishap” about 25 yards from where we were going to stay; the wheel fell off the DW’s ATV trailer. I saw that it was wabbling, got her stopped, got things “straight”, went another 5 feet and had to unload the trailer. A friend went back early and got his flatbed trailer and took ours back. Axel is toast! Somehow we lost the cap, nut, and both bearings! We are replacing the trailer this week with a larger one for the cost of repairing ours; should work out good. Sure helps to have friends that are handy with stuff like this.

    With the demise of our other “meeting place”, I started doing a monthly “acquisition/activity sheet, just to keep me accountable if to no-one other than myself. I didn’t get “signed up” right, so I still have to go through last weeks comments, and then this weeks.

    Glad we’re getting the band back together!

  14. sirius
    I am glad that things are working out for you with your benefits and so on. Speaking of heat my wife has a ap for the temp at bagdad where my son is deployed at. It was recently 88 degrees at 3 am. That is hotter than hades my friend ha ha ha ha!!! it is good to have found another home that I know so many people here.

    • DH lived through 130-degree temps in Baghdad 2005-2006. Had to walk two miles each way, each day, to his duty station because the bus service was so lame. He came home a lean, mean fighting machine. Now 50+ heavier and a couch potato but I don’t begrudge or nag, because Baghdad. Funny story: Every unit leaving Baghdad has a “yard sale” where they sell off microwaves, coffee makers, whatever. When he deployed, I told him, “spend whatever you have to spend in order to survive.” So he bought a “Tonda.” Japanese? Chinese? Knockoff of a Honda scooter, just to get him back and forth to his duty station. Upper-ups were not happy, so they issued an order saying “no personally owned vehicles.” So he parted it out and sent it home in 5 or 6 boxes. The lady at the local post office was NOT happy to have to muscle 60+-pound boxes into my truck! It has sat on the (unused) work bench in the garage for 13 years. Every time I brought up “what are you going to do with that,” it devolved into an argument. Finally, today, he loaded it all into his truck to haul to the VFW tomorrow to have the boys help him put it back together so it will (1) stay on display there, (2) get sold to someone, or (3) long shot – contact Jay Leno who buys odd stuff for his garage. But it’s out of my garage!!

      • You know what I’d really like, MaineBrain? A good recipe for lobster rolls! Can’t get those in the Deep South, and they’re yummy!

        • LTD, the best lobster rolls are the simplest. Butter a hot dog roll and grill it lightly on both sides. Can use bulkie rolls, baguette etc but hot dog rolls are sort of traditional. Line the inside with chopped iceberg lettuce. Mix your lobster meat with a scant amount of mayo, just enough to moisten it (more if you like, but it tends to overwhelm the delicate lobster flavor), and put it on top of the lettuce. Enjoy. Alternatively, skip the mayo, put the lobster meat in the roll, and pour melted butter over. Funny – on an episode of “Beat Bobby Flay” (the chef), he showed up at a place here where a woman was making plain-and-simple Maine lobster rolls. His version had lots of additions (because, well, chef). The crowd voted for hers hands down. Maine Lobster Direct -dot-com is my go-to mail order house when I want to ship lobster to family and friends out of state.

          • Meant to say, butter both sides of the *outside* of a hotdog roll and grill it. Don’t butter the inside or grill it.

          • Welcome! Enjoy! Mail-order lobster isn’t cheap so you may want to shop around and compare prices. There are lots of online suppliers. The Maine lobster industry is about to get whacked pretty badly by Chinese tariffs (thanks, Trump), so we need new markets!

          • Gotta be New England hot dog rolls, split on top and joined at the sides. That’s how the” buttah” gets absorbed. My two cents from your neighbors south of Boston.

          • Indeed, Overwatch, split-on-top rolls as opposed to split-on-the-side. Aren’t hot dog rolls the same all over the USA?

          • No – hot dog rolls are not the same all over the country. I had my first lobster roll on a split-top bun in Plymouth, Mass. years ago. Yum!

            Bug I can buy the proper split-top pan from KingArthur online & bake my own!

        • LivinTheDream, I can ship you some “New England hotdog rolls.” This time of year, they are pretty cheap (cookout season). The email address I use at this site is one I hardly ever check. If you’re interested, let’s find a way to connect.

      • MainBrain,

        Your husband must have been an NCO. I recognize that kind of ingenuity anywhere. “OH, I can’t take it home, but I can send mail…OK Challenge accepted.” Yup, I understand that 100%.

        • Yes, Sirius, I think he retired out as an SF1. He has two bachelors degrees and an MBA. He married me because I was the only person he’d ever met who could beat him at Trivial Pursuit. (He’s not a reader so Arts and Literature, hah!). Well, there were a couple of other reasons he married me, I’m a pretty good cook and and and…. He’s a pretty clever guy. Though sometimes I have to save him from himself, just sayin’.

        • Indeed, Sirius, he was an SF1. (I may have that wrong, not too clear on my military stuff, but he was a 1st Sargeant when he retired out. He has two bachelors’ degrees and an MBA, but me, with a bachelors, he married me because I was the only person to beat him at Trivial Pursuit (he’s not a reader, so Arts and Literature, hah!). But he’s pretty clever in his way, though I often have to save him from going astray. Nonetheless, love him so!

  15. Need some advice if any of you work out with your chainsaw very often. I have some big oak trees out front of the house and they had some limbs that were starting to over hang the roof. I cut them off using a pole saw and my chainsaw. Then I cut the limbs back to about 6 feet from the trunk. A neighbor, who claims to know a lot about trees strolled by and watched me work (didn’t pick up a limb or brush to add to the pile, just stood and watched and talked). Anyway, he said that I should cut the big limbs back to just beyond the trunk, not cut into the trunk or mess up the bark and then coat the open sore with urethane paint. I did a lot of googling and get opinions on both sides. What’s the consensus and if it is to go with paint, what paint to use? These trees are 60 or 70 feet tall (the one I was working on supports a couple of dipole antennas where I used my bow to shoot the line up in the top but that’s a story for another day) and I don’t want to harm or lose them.

    I’ve been using a chainsaw since I was a little boy back in the early 60s but have always used them to cut down and then cut up the trees and have never had to do pruning work like this and want to hear from someone that really knows their stuff (and that person will be in the tribe I am sure) if you don’t mind lending an opinion.

    • CID,

      I have two oaks in my back yard and have had to prune them both. The idea on the paint is to prevent disease or parasites getting into the tree from the open wound. Kind of like a band aid. There is a product I got at Lowe’s specifically for this. It only costs a couple of dollars and only comes in one color (black). The treated pruned areas healed a little more quickly but both treated and untreated came out fine. Your neighbor is correct about pruning close to the trunk, That’s so the trunk can overgrow the pruned area with bark and protect itself.

      That’s my experience. I hope it helps.

        • I hear you on that Bam Bam. The product I bought was cheaper than a can of black paint. Guess where I went with that?

          Hey, thanks for finding us a new home. I think I can honestly say that “I” “online love you”

        • Lowe’s web site said they had prune seal and gave an aisle and bin number. When I got there they couldn’t find the aisle/bin/item so I came home empty handed. DW suggested we go to Tractor Supply and while we had to hunt, we found it. Had a hard time getting across that I wasn’t wanting to seal prunes and the stuff has nothing to do with prunes (at my age I don’t need them any longer). Anyway, long story longer, got my can night before last, last night DW was late coming home from work so I got out the chainsaw and cut/pruned the 3 limbs I could do from the ground and then sealed them and the stuff was great. It doesn’t run and looks and feels (when dry) almost like truck bed liner. The trees look much better and the dogwood that I had to prune up got a healthy does of tree food. Thanks for the tips on this good stuff.

  16. As for preps this week, DW finally agreed to a new, small freezer for the kitchen so went to Lowe’s and picked up a small 7.1 cubic foot freezer and brought it home (got to love Lowe’s since they give military folks 10% off on everything you buy there). Anyway, got it home and to it set up and DW said, well you got your freezer, what are you going to put in it? That’s a challenge I couldn’t pass up so it’s full now of frozen veggies, meat, and stuff for supper. She doesn’t can and I’m not allowed around the stove so we aren’t going to can anything.

    Now, since we have a freezer full I have to get a generator in case the power goes off again (as it often does in this part of Georgia during the heavy rains) so she is going to see my master plan developing soon. The generator will also be back up power to the well and I’ll be replacing the pump on the well soon with a bigger unit and replacing the well house too.

    Since I am getting the generator I will need to store more fuel and since I’ll have more fuel on hand I’ll need to set up a storage building for it to keep it away from the house and the shed. And since I’ll have more fuel on hand I think it’s prudent to get more ammo to store with the fuel and maybe a gun safe with a couple of new black rifles just in case something happens to the main house I will have back up arms.

    So, she never knew what a pandoras box of goodies she opened up by agreeing to a freezer.

    Now if I can get her to stay away from TruPrep (a local prepper store) and quit coming home with more freeze dried food to add to the stores then I can work more on my toys and maybe get her to let loose the cash for a tower and a 3 element yagi antenna to add to the vertical and all the dipoles. Of course I’d need to get a couple of new radios too but that’s at least 3 or 4 months down the pike.

    Other than that, today was the first meeting for the Fall Festival committee at church and we usually provide games, candy, food, and prayers to 350 to 500 of the local youngsters. It’s a pretty massive undertaking every year but it always makes my heart sing to see the smile on a kids face when they win a game (they always win).

    • Cliff , looking at the info on the Grand solar minimum makes me want to play squirrell. I would be encougraging her to hit those dehydrated foods and put them in a deep pantry, keep out enough to use in quick meals a couple fo times a week so everyone is usd to eating them and can cook well with them…and i would act like she was doing nothing and get own dehydrator and help her.. maybe make a solar one.? those forze foods can be packed in glass jars, with oxygen absorbers and be just fine… they must be very dry…

      • How about a solar dehydrator that works? DH built it for me, and it works well, as long as u have sun.

        I submitted this and it was published on the old site. It is, however, MY work.

        TARA, if u want to publish “How to Build a Solar Dehydrator That Works”, just let me know how to submit it.

        • LTD, change up some of the paragraphs… beginning and ending… so the article is different. or change pictures and or drawings… My concern is for when here is low sun and our humidity is very high… it is rare if we are below 40%.. and often much higher…56-75% is common at some part fo the day… You might include some comments re: how long certain foods take at what humidities?

          • Anonamo Also,

            My concern is for when here is low sun and our humidity is very high… it is rare if we are below 40%.. and often much higher…56-75% is common at some part fo the day.

            You can inexpensively and easily fix the humidity problem. First an inexpensive digital thermometer and hygrometer to actually know your conditions. I use several of these for monitoring indoor & outdoor conditions, and use one where the outdoor sensor sits in our chest freezer to show us the ambient conditions in the room and the freezer temperature. When I installed it the DW thought I was crazy; but, now relies on it to easily keep tabs on the freezer as you walk by. . We also have one of these in our greenhouse.
            Here is the unit, direct from Hong Kong: http://www.dx.com/p/ta298-4-4-lcd-digital-indoor-outdoor-thermometer-w-hygrometer-alarm-white-1-x-aaa-401941?tc=USD&ta=US&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsoyv-YWX3AIVTL7ACh0pMQE7EAYYASABEgLZzPD_BwE#.W0X4A2eJk6E
            Once you can measure the temperature and humidity, the easiest way to keep the humidity low is to use inexpensive silica gel desiccant. I have collected the desiccant packages you find in OTC medicine bottles as well as some electronics for years; but, you can also purchase it at a craft store, where they sell it in bulk for making dried flower arrangements. I like the kind that is colored and the color changes as it absorbs moisture and becomes inefficient,
            It is usually blue in color and changes to pink as it absorbs moisture at which point it needs to be regenerated by heating it to 120 °C (250 °F) for 1–2 hours, usually in an oven, where the humidity is pretty much guaranteed to be low.
            A little fan or two, like ones salvaged from computer equipment can be helpful to keep the air moving. The unit I mentioned above runs for most of a year on a single AAA alkaline battery and the computer fans usually require only low current @ 12 VDC making the additional components and effort easy and cheap.

          • GA Red,

            LTD – there could be some copyright issues with that. It may be your work but you “gave” it to MD to publish.

            IANAL; but. unless you were paid or had the chance to win a contest, he would have a hard time claiming it as his work, simply because it was published on his site, and even if he did, it would mean he would actually have to hire an attorney and do the work involved. Also, if you publish it here, and are donating it, he would have to find out and do the additional work to compare against the one you donated to him and his copyright suit could only have it taken down, since collecting damages from donated articles would probably not be worth the effort, since even 100% of $0 is still 0, and an attorney will not work a contingency case fir that amount of money.
            Also keep in mind that the CD published by MD with all of the prior best content, was actually the work of all of us, for which we had no renumeration. Even the cookbook was assembled by Bam Bam (in another life) with the recipes all submitted (i.e., donated).

          • TOP,

            There is a little more to the copyright stuff. To take a CR matter to court, he would have to have it registered with the Copyright Office before instituting court action. That costs money (I forget exactly how much, not a huge amount) and it takes time for the CR office to process it. I have two books I published on Kindle and I went through the process. Not worth the effort or price. He would also have to have a document showing the CR was surrendered to him since he is not the author, who has automatic rights to the CR.

          • Zulu 3-6,

            There is a little more to the copyright stuff. To take a CR matter to court, he would have to have it registered with the Copyright Office before instituting court action.

            I did some copyright research on a few documents decades ago and it does get tricky.
            A quick search turned up the following.
            Copyright is automatic; the moment you create a work, you own the copyright. You do not need to register your work or include a copyright notice to have copyright protection. As a copyright owner, you have a number of exclusive rights to your works.
            Use of the copyright symbol is more similar to use of the trade mark symbol, as work does not need to be registered in order to use it. … However, in some jurisdictions failure to include such a notice can affect the damages you may be able to claim if anyone infringes your copyright.
            Is it necessary to file a copyright?
            For works created in the US by US citizens, a registration is also required before an infringement suit may be filed in a US court. Furthermore, copyright holders cannot claim statutory damages or attorney’s fees unless the work was registered prior to infringement, or within three months of publication.
            I suspect that MD has not gone to any of the trouble and expense to actually claim copyrights to most of his site content.
            Finally, it would also depend on the terms involved when he sold this domain to Dan, since it appears that most of the original content is still here. An article I wrote back in 2017 is one I’ve referenced numerous times and is still available here:
            The very second step for starting your prepping adventure -The Threat Matrix
            I was not BTW remunerated in any way for the article that I submitted, more as a service to new preppers who are just getting started.
            So this whole thing is rather tricky, LOL.

          • Just a little more info on copyright & trademark registration. They are very different “things” of course.

            Anyone can register a trademark or copyright at the federal site at the dotgov web website. This is really just APPLYIMG FOR a copyright, or, trademark. It does not actually provide a legally-defensible copyright or trademark, until such is actually issued to the applicant. If there’s no challenge (someone else does not challenge your right to use it, it will take months. If it is challenged, it can take years.

            If you have paid your fee, gotten your APPLICATION APPROVED, then no one else can use that copyright or trademark LEGALLY. If they do it, anyway, you will have to sue them. Chances are good you will win.

            If someone tries to register a copyright or a trademark that has an application pending, whether it is identical or just “too similar”, you can still pay the basic fee and get in line. If applicants ahead of you allow their application to expire, you move to the head of the line, and they must re-apply – and their application will now be subordinate to yours – unless you, then, allow your app to expire.

            If you receive a notification that your app needs something, you have X # of days (90?) in which to respond. Failure to respond in that period automatically voids your application and you must start over.

            Each phrase, title, image, etc. is a separate entity _ you must file a separate application and pay separate fee for each item you wish to protect.

            If I have a trademark app pending for “Jo’s Ceramics”, but I want to protect that copyright or image for coffee mugs, pitchers. plates and bowls, I would file four separate apps & pay filing fee ($225 basic fee – and it can go much higher)for each item.

            In Alabama, a small fee paid annually to the Office of the Secretary of State will “hold” a name, IF no one has filed for that name ahead of you. You can roll it annually so long as you pay the fee. The protection applies only in Alabama.

            I went through all of this a few months ago for DD’s business.

            And I do have a REALLY GOOD lawyer – family member who was highly decorated as an extraordinary JAG, now in a lucrative private practice.

          • EXCEPT – with trademarks, if it is “too similar” to an existing registered trademark, your application will be rejected and you are out your $. Go to the gov’t website and do a search before submitting an application.

            Every application is assigned a specialized attorney, who will make all the calls on your application.

    • Cliff – I used to live just down the road from you in Villa Rica. Not sure if we ever crossed paths, but do have a daughter still living there.

      • GA Red I live in Douglasville not too far off Fairburn Road south of I20. I go to the car sows in Villa Rica a few times a year (in my 1923 Ford T Bucket purple hot rod) and I also attended church for a while at Gods Perfect Church just off of downtown Villa Rica. We may have crossed paths but it’s unlikely you would have noticed me as I’m an old, bald 67 year old man that blends in really well. I still walk and talk like an Air Force MSgt but I do my best to be discrete and not stand out in a crowd. If you saw me you wouldn’t know I am packing a Glock 30S (.45 ACP) concealed in a waist band holster and packing an S&W .38 special in a belly band holster. When we are walking my DW is always reminding me that the person I am visually tracking isn’t a threat until I tell her why I see them as a wolf, then she understands and is very patient of my habits.
        I hope your daughter is doing well and happy in VR and hope she’s got the larder packed and the arms to keep her and her family safe.
        If I don’t meet you in this life, I’ll look for you in heaven (I’ll be the one tying the shoelaces of the cherubs together).

        • Cliff – you and my DH carry the same Glock. He’s not a Glock fan, but it makes a good EDC for him. He still prefers his Berettas.

          I used to know a couple of people who lived on Hillcrest Dr off 92. I also worked for a CPA in D’ville for a while, so there’s no telling.

          The DD in Villa Rica is my canning daughter and is learning to keep things on hand. She has her license to carry but her profession doesn’t allow her to have it at work. She and her hubby are looking forward to having a good garden beginning in the next year, but have been container gardening for a while.

        • Cliff,

          Yeah, your walk can give you away. I was coming out of a grocery store a few months ago here in Florida and there was an elderly man sitting out front having a smoke. We exchanged greetings and he said, “You were a Marine, weren’t you?” I was wearing nothing from any branch. I admitted I had been and I asked him how he knew. He said, “By the way you walk. Only Marines walk like that, like you’re in charge of the place.” He said he was retired from the Navy and saw a lot of Marines in his day.

          • Zulu 3-6 you are so right. I have to consciously walk different and I’ve been called out many times with “hey, you are a GI aren’t you”. I think the best definition other than being in charge of the place is that I always go like I’m on a mission. Point A to Point B in the most expedient manner. I gave up wearing my USAF retired cap since people would always be saying “thanks for your service” and these days it sounds a whole lot like “have a nice day” from years ago. They don’t mean it for the most part and I don’t really need to hear it. Folks my age and a bit younger that say it are the same ones that used to spit on me when I was in dress uniform flying in from where ever I was coming from and especially during the Vietnam War and calling me baby raper and mother killer and all sorts of other names. Knowing that I could take them down before they knew what happened gave me a certain satisfaction and the ability to let it slide on by. While I am ex-Air Force I know that as a Marine you will always be a Marine and that is something you should be proud of!

  17. Cleaned out one tiny corner of the garage, cleaned out part of the frig. Seems it was my weekend for partial cleaning jobs.
    Dehydrated strawberries and have cherries going now.
    Getting ready to see oral surgeon on Wednesday so next 2 days will be super busy.
    Have a safe week everyone.

  18. This week was spent moving/hiding preps preparing for strangers to be in the house.
    Logan did good two nights ago. We went outside and he immediately went on snake alert. There was a nasty tempered rat snake in a stack of wood doing a really good rattlesnake imitation. This one I killed, rather than relocate. Don’t really mind nonpoisonous snakes here, but it was over 4 feet and if it surprised me, I’d probably hurt myself.
    Best wishes all.

    • Hummingbird:
      Sounds like Logan was protecting you. Aggressive rat snakes can be a problem and some of them like to make there way into buildings.

        • I had a black snake living in my compost pile a few winters back. We had a mutual respect thing going on. He either moved on or didn’t make it through the summer heat.

          • We had a large rat snake for a while. I left it alone UNTIL I found it in my chicken house, having just swallowed an egg. Pullets ,& cockerels were terrified. We drug it out. DH blew its head clean off with one shot. 9mm.

  19. Just read a Washington Post article about blackouts in Southern California late last week. Temps reached 110 and the air-conditioning demand outstripped the power supply. Sign of things to come? I know we kept three window air cons going all last week (and have two on as I write this).

  20. Just getting back into the swing of things. Since April I’ve been working on selling my house and moving into a smaller, higher acreage and more secluded location. Moving from southern to northern Michigan. I am happy to say that I will be closing on my new house in a couple of weeks just in time to scout and set hunting blinds for the upcoming season. Since April I’ve been living on the stored foods that I have been stockpiling. I have been at it for 4 months and have used about 20% of my stores. I am surprised, I did not realize I had stored so much.

    • Hello Patriot Farmer,

      Sure sounds like you have had a lot going on. We started the selling and moving process about 3 years ago. We did not leave our county but feel a world away from our old small town. I live in the coolest county in Ohio – sorry Ohio Prepper 🙂 – there are no cities only villages, a single stop light in the entire county, one school district, no permit office or related rules for what or where or how you do anything except wells and sewer, and maybe one or two violent crimes per year – truly a little patch of heaven! A great test to see how long your stockpiles will last when called upon.

  21. Hi gang! Just got done reading thru everyone’s posts…

    Thor1, keeping you and Mrs. Thor in prayer, as well as Puppy. I’m sure he’s missing her greatly.

    Tara, I *think* I may have mentioned my experiment with a combo lasagna/raised bed garden this year in my ‘intro’. I would be happy to expand upon that if folks are interested. I have to say that the maters I planted are growing like crazy. Tons of flowers, and fruits are setting more each day. I started from seed this year, a first for me. Everything is heirloom, and 3 are new to me. I am already making plans for next year (different location/larger size, what I will use current bed for, and so on)

    As far as preps this past week, not much. Did score some brand name ground coffee pretty cheap with a digital coupon, I only grabbed a couple, not the 5 the coupon allowed. Got caught up on some bills, so I won’t be ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ every month on the utilities. Since the kids moved back out, I am hoping our utility bills will be more manageable now that they are caught up. On the work front, I was nominated Employee of the Month in a new program for our department. A co worker told me that if I hadn’t been the first one recognized, she’d have made a stink! Made me feel good to be recognized, even if it really wasn’t much. I have also been asked to be on a newly developed Safety Committee. I was also asked if I wanted to be a part of a program that helps you advance in the company (like looking at management positions). I laughed at that one…I think I am the last person anyone in corporate wants in a management position since I am most often seen as the ‘squeaky wheel’. There was a reason I worked nights as a nurse, it worked out best for me and management if we stayed away from each other LOL. Sorry, at my age, there are few ‘filters’ left. A few managers respect that, most don’t. I’ve been in management before, and I would be fighting corporate left and right. BUT, if getting into these programs gets me a few extra bucks, why the heck not? OH, and I finally got the shift change I have been asking for, I am not going to know what to do with myself…It means DH and I will actually get to spend more time together (this could be good or bad, LOL) and I will actually have to cook dinner every night….

    Question for the group: We are looking to get a standalone freezer, in order to be able to get rid of our second fridge and expanded storage space. I am looking for opinions on chest vs. upright, as well as size recommendations. It is only the two of us, but then again, you never know when the kids might need to come back (any of them, LOL).

    As to the scuttlebutt/to-do with our former host, I say this: What matters is that we are all still together. We were left in a precarious situation of having our community left in the lurch, some of the Pack decided to do something about it, and our new hosts were generous enough to take us in. I intend to take the high road and not resort to name calling and accusations. I will continue to visit the old site as long as the information remains relevant and useful, as well as visiting this new ‘home’ base. Some might see it as a competition, others might see it as a betrayal (I can see that one from BOTH sides), I see it as a TRIUMPH for THE PACK as a community! Like the rest of you, I wish it hadn’t happened, but it did and we rose above it. So above all, let’s be grateful that we have a new ‘home’ and are able to stick together. I myself didn’t realize just how important this group was to me until we almost lost it.

    Everyone have a safe and great week!

    • grammyprepper

      I am so thankful that a member was kind enough to let me know that Dan & Tara were kind enough to take over the site so we would still have a home to come to. I wondered where everyone would go to & how would we share our knowledge as we did in the past.

      Really did miss reading what everyone had been up to, as this is my outlet with dh confined to home most days. If it is to hot, or hot & smoky from the local fires he has to stay inside due to his lungs. It limits our ability to go many places so it is nice to hear what has been accomplished by each & every one.

      Has anyone heard from Penrod lately, he was planning on moving state side ASAP.

      • Hello Antique Collector,

        I am glad you found everyone and are enjoying the reboot of this section. Being a lover of all things old, I wonder what you collect. I have gotten into toy making lately, partly because I hate buying the kiddos cheaply made plastic junk from China, because nearly all toys are base on tv shows and movies and lack imaginative play, but also because it is fun and a great way to teach some basic academic and handy craft skills to the children when I let them help with the process. The wood bead head bendy dolls I made them are so cherished and well-loved already.

    • I have had a chest and a stand up freezer.
      I am going to get rid of the upright model as soon as finances allow. I got it with very little cost, nd has shown me the valuable difference. Plan is to look for one in off season or slight damage in shipping etc… The door is not as secure. ,… if for some reason ice builds up on door- not shut properly etc… must do major rennovation to clean it out.
      It can not be reinforced with insulation as easily… think a set of foam pads and a moving blanket in case of power outage…(must leave breathing space when it is running.) chest freezer when opens- cold ari stays intact to bottom upright all cold air is lost and much energy used in replacing cold air…

      • Anonamo Also,

        I have had a chest and a stand up freezer.

        I grew up with an upright freezer, and when I first purchased my own, it was a chest freezer, for the same reasons you state. When you open the lid, the cold air stays in and doesn’t fall out to the floor. The only issue to consider with a chest freezer is inventory management, as in knowing what’s in the freezer and where it was buried. We tend to place things in tight fitting containers from plastic Wal-Mart or Kroger bags, to wire baskets and cardboard boxes; but, we find that having an inventory sheet is essential so when you have to dig something out, you know it’s actually there. We have a 16 ft3 and this is our second one in about 35 years, so they can last quite a long time.

        • Hubs & I have an avocado green upright (not frost-free) that we bought from Montgomery Ward in March, 1975. Has to be defrosted once a year, but other than that, it still works great. I figure it’ll outlast our fancy new stainless steel model.

          • Knowledge is Power,

            Hubs & I have an avocado green upright (not frost-free) that we bought from Montgomery Ward in March, 1975. Has to be defrosted once a year, but other than that, it still works great. I figure it’ll outlast our fancy new stainless steel model.

            I think you are right and the date says it all. When the DW & I were married, she already had an old upright refrigerator from about that era. I had to replace the defrost timer in the mid 1980’s, and often defrosting meant emptying it and using hair dryers; but, it chugged along until about 2010 until the compressor finally died. I will admit that the new replacement is a little easier on the power bill; but, who knows how long it will last.
            The old B&W TV (a Dumont) my parents purchased in the mid 1950’s was given to me after college in the mid 1970’s and I kept it running (it used vacuum tubes) until the early 1980’s. Back in the day of course, they used to repair appliances, even toasters and waffle irons.
            Today it’s unfortunately easier to toss & purchase new.

  22. Hey, GP!

    Congrats on all the good things happening on the job. You have earned them! And you are an outstanding manager – just be okay with relocation.

    Freezers: not an upright. We bought new upright. My fam kept not closing the door of the new upright properly. We lost food & repaired a frozen-up compressor four times. We gave it away & went back to chest freezer.

  23. Tara,
    While we are in the same state, we often get much different weather from the south to the north central. We’ve continued to get just enough rain, after a mostly saturated spring that made us skip the garden this year; but, we have hope to grow a small late summer plot in the newly built greenhouse. Locally all of the farmers to get the hay and then corn off between storms, with just enough dry in time to finish.
    We actually purchase our hay, since we now only feed a miniature horse and a companion goat; but, the dairy operation next to us managed to stack a lot of the big square bales and finish off the corn with baled silage. Interesting that you have a three legged goat, as we do. Maryann was a rescue that already had the injury when we got her; but, she gets around as good as any of the four legged goats we’ve had in the past. Critters it turns out can be highly adaptable
    MaryAnn’s leg was broken and not set until it healed short; but, she seem to get along fine; but, will not be bred or kidding.
    When you state:

    He could have easily wandered off down one of the steep ravines near the barn or been trampled by the horses,

    Back when we had quarter horses the cats would sometimes litter in the horse stalls, and it was amazing how such a large animal seem to understand and not trample those kittens.

    So, every day it is like a treasure hunt looking for the feeders if I don’t have time to stand around and wait for them to finish eating after turnout.

    We have the same treasure hunt looking for eggs, since the girls have always refused to use the nesting boxes. Life on the homestead is indeed both challenging and interesting.
    While we no longer have the horses we had, we are in Amish country and here they are plentiful.
    If BTW, your tomatoes produce; but, many stay green, Fried Green Tomatoes are delicious, and while you have the hot oil, hushpuppies and onion rings are also a great treat.

    We use live traps or homemade snares to catch raccoons and mink and not claw foot traps because all of our animals free range, and so do our blue heelers and grandkiddos.

    We have used the dog proof raccoon traps to rid the property of most if not all of the devious little cat food thieves and chicken killers. These traps will not catch anything except a raccoon, and with a live trap or snare, you can catch the occasional skunk, which creates yet another problem, LOL,.

    We used to grow great traditional gardens; but, a few years ago tried the raised bed fad. We’re moving back to traditional; but, are doing some container gardening in 2.5 & 5 gallon buckets, which I have in bulk.

    This past week we did and acquired the following:
    1. The History Channel is running a marathon of: “America, The Story of Us.” It’s a great basic history of the U.S.A.
    2. Received a 50 LED Solar String 12.5′ Clip On Lights from woot.com and placed them on the outside of the greenhouse.
    3. Spent most of Saturday running a radio net to accompany the 2018 MS Challenge Bike ride. We provide communications with personnel at water stops and rest stops, often in places where cell phone operation is spotty. We also provide operators to ride with the SAG (Support And Gear) vehicles.
    4. Animals: Cat food & litter, goat feed, chicken scratch, 2 bales wood shavings for horse and goat stalls.
    5. Purchased two Ninja Plug-In Wall Socket LED Night Light & Bug Zappers from TSC while picking up animal stuff. The mosquitoes are horrible this year and we’re pulling out all of the stops.
    6. 5 more jars of caramel sauce and 2 hot fudge from Aldi’s. This is a summer item and we need a full year’s supply, LOL. Also another gallon of 2% milk.
    7. Found a new program “Morse Runner” to help me increase my Morse code speed. I used to be able to send and receive @ 20+ WPM and I’m working on getting back there.
    That’s all for now, see you all next time.

    • OP:
      Do you happen to know if the History Channel series is based on the book series of the same title? They were great books for the kids as they reached the early teen years.

    • Ohio Prepper,

      How ironic, two Buckeyes with 3-legged lady goats! Yep, our weather sure is different a lot of the time. I recall some of my dorm floormates at OU were from “up north” and they were shocked the local school kids got snow days for only a couple of inches of that nasty white stuff. It also flipped them out when I took a bunch of friends to Lake Hope for the day and they saw “real cows” and then got afraid we were lost and in Deliverance country – we hadn’t even left pavement yet, lol.

      • You’re definitely a LONG way from Deliverance country. I’ve been rafting on that river and the running joke is “I think I hear banjos playing”. That was also the most tired I’ve ever been when I got home.

        • Lol on the banjos joke. I have only been on the river on wave runners and pontoon boats, I bet it would be exhausting to paddle!

          • Tara,

            Lol on the banjos joke. I have only been on the river on wave runners and pontoon boats, I bet it would be exhausting to paddle!

            I assume you’re talking about the Chattooga River from the movie. I’ve never been there; but, I been down the New River in WVA numerous times, the Gauley River also in WV once, and the Youghiogheny River in PA a few times. Those trip were 40 years ago and I’m not sure how well I would fair paddling them in my current state of age and physical prowess (or lack thereof, LOL)

          • LOL OP, I’ve also rafted all three of those rivers, and I’m with you, IDK how I’d fare now!

      • Tara,

        Although you and TOP are Buckeyes, I will continue to associate with you 🙂 Go Blue!

        When I grew up in Detroit, I could count on my hands the number of snow days we got during my years in school. I remember going to high school one day (late 1960s) when there was already about four-inches down and more coming. Blowing hard too. I was hoping a city bus would come by (never did – I guess the driver’s union got snow days). My HS was over a mile from my home and my parents did not give rides. I got to take the bus home.

        These days, they hand out snow days like candy. Scared of lawsuits.

        • Zulu 3-6 – around here, snow days are rare. While we have more equipment now to handle it than when I was younger, it’s still not easy to get around because it’s usually a nice thick sheet of ice on the pavement, just below the snow. Nobody can drive on ice (per my dad who was from NH and VT). There are also a lot of hills around here that are really fun (NOT) on ice – you know, you pull up to the light just as it changes to red so you have to stop. Then you slide backwards down the hill and by the time you get back up the hill, the light changes back to red, just in time for you to do it again. Just no.

          I remember pushing my mom’s car up hills trying to drive home 14 miles from school one year because a storm came through just after lunch. It started as a sleet/snow mix, melted when it hit the road, the re-froze as the temps dropped. It took us 6 hours to drive 14 miles.

          • GA Red,

            Snow, ice, and sleet is a major reason why I moved to Florida and am staying here. I had enough time trying to drive in those conditions, especially ambulances and police cars. Not to mention having to be out on foot in those conditions directing traffic at major intersections when someone crashed into the support poles or took out the signal control box. People drive like idiots in those conditions and pay no attention to road flares and flashing blue/red lights. Or the cop shining a high power flashlight into their eyes. More than one person ended up with a nice big dent in their rear fender for almost running a cop over. Namely, me.

        • Zulu 3-6,

          Although you and TOP are Buckeyes, I will continue to associate with you ? Go Blue!

          I assume that Go Blue! is associated with Ann Arbor and Scarlet & Grey; but, if that’s the case, it certainly does not apply to me. I am not nor have I ever been a sports fan, except for local high school football when my youngest boy played tackle.
          There is however a simple set of instructions on how to find Ann Arbor from Columbus. You go north until you smell it, and then head west until you step in it, LOL.
          Rumor has it that you don’t’ even need a map.

        • Zulu 3-6, lol I have never watched a football game of any kind in my life, so we should get along just fine. It took me about 7 years to make Bobby understand I was not going to respond “I O” when he yelled “O H” during a game or care about the score – unless OSU loses – we have a deal that if OSU ever loses every game of the season he won’t ever subject me second hand exposure ever, ever again. I am a baseball gal 🙂

          • Tara,

            I’ve just got to keep the “thing” alive. 🙂 I do watch football and prefer college ball, and Michigan is my favorite having grown up with it all my life. #1 daughter is a big Michigan fan too as she went there for her first two-years of college. My Ex was never a big sports fan of any sort, though the Detroit Red Wings started to grow on her during the run-up to Detroit’s first Stanley Cup in ages. All of my kids are big Red Wings fans as am I.

            Baseball I can take or leave. Loved it as a kid, but it wore off.

            Funny thing is my father used to play for Michigan State football when he went there after WWII.

          • Tara,

            Zulu 3-6, lol I have never watched a football game of any kind in my life, so we should get along just fine.

            I don’t watch any sports; but, for those who are not from Michigan or Ohio, we should probably explain. Ohio essentially has 3 professional football teams, the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals, and The Ohio State University buckeyes. Michigan @ Ann Arbor is the big rival and there are almost feud conditions between them.

            It took me about 7 years to make Bobby understand I was not going to respond “I O” when he yelled “O H” during a game or care about the score

            My wife and I pretty much see eye to eye on sports; but, our family get together’s usually mean me out in the kitchen with the ladies with all of the guys qatching football, sometimes on multiple TV’s.

          • TOP,

            I have to admit that OSU usually fields pretty good teams every year. Not always National Championship level teams, but you’d better be prepared to play hard and smart to beat them regardless.

      • Tara,

        How ironic, two Buckeyes with 3-legged lady goats!

        I suspect we’re not the only ones, since farms can be dangerous places.

        Yep, our weather sure is different a lot of the time. I recall some of my dorm floormates at OU were from “up north” and they were shocked the local school kids got snow days for only a couple of inches of that nasty white stuff.

        If you went to OU I suspect you’ve heard of Professor Emeritus Dr. James Tong. It’s jimmy’s family that are good friends and he started the WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) program @ OU. I still think a meetup would be nice since we get down that way on occasion. If you click on my name the website will allow you to send an email and we can perhaps plan a meetup the next time the DW & I come down.

        It also flipped them out when I took a bunch of friends to Lake Hope for the day and they saw “real cows” and then got afraid we were lost and in Deliverance country – we hadn’t even left pavement yet, lol.

        There’s a working farm and horse camp not far from us where our DD spent a lot of summer weeks, mostly for the horsemanship program. We were there for a Christmas get together one year and there was a bus load of inner city kids, who had been brought out to the farm. In one of the buildings they had bales of straw setup as a pen with some kittens, rabbits, and goats inside as a petting zoo. One little boy pointed at one of the little goats and asked if it was a cow. I told him that it was a goat, helped him climb over the straw to pet the critter and when he finally tentatively touched it, he ended up hugging it so hard, his mom had to come over an pry him loose to go home. I find it sad that so many city kids don’t have the enjoyment of being around animals.
        Here we have a goat, a horse, chickens, and some dairy cows (usually moms in waiting) and often when kids come out here, their biggest thrill is getting “licked by a cow”.

  24. It is stinkin’ hot & humid in the TN Valley today. And it’s not even 10 am, CST. But..I did get a nice mess of blueberries picked.

    We started planting blueberry bushes four years ago. We buy smal ones, because we can’t afford larger bushes. We have put out 25 plants, to date. They are finally producing well!

  25. Oh my, I can’t believe I found you all. I was wondering what happened and AA mentioned the old site. I can’t believe this. I’m so glad to be with old friends. I also was surprised that there was no explanation about not having the weekend post for 2 whole weeks. Maybe I missed that too. I’m in recovery mode and often don’t get a chance to post but I always read. By the way, I think we all should not just rely on one site for our information. Yes, this is the best community. I also read another site with fabulous articles and their community is nice. I’ve been here so long I always gravitate back to the pack.

    • Terra,

      I am glad you are like the revamp of this website and will be back to visit often and add to the discussion whenever you get the chance.

    • Terra,

      Oh my, I can’t believe I found you all. I was wondering what happened and AA mentioned the old site. I can’t believe this. I’m so glad to be with old friends.

      Glad you found us. I think that AA, Bam Bam, me, and perhaps a few others are now persona non grata on MD’s current site, since he seems to think of us as traitors, and has locked out at least some of us from posting.

      I also was surprised that there was no explanation about not having the weekend post for 2 whole weeks. Maybe I missed that too.

      There was an explanation of sorts. Some of us were discussing the lack of the weekly prepping column, and I added a comment mentioning MD by those initials, since I knew that would force moderation and he would see it. His response was that he was dropping this column. When Zulu forced the issue with a direct question as to why, the answer from MD was a terse: “OPSEC: Think about it” which sounds like a politician answering with a non answer because they don’t have one.
      In the meantime, some of us contacted Dan and Tara and they graciously set up this column within days. I’ve now heard that MD is bringing this column back, and those of us who conspired to set up a new home here, are not welcome back. From my perspective this can easily be my new home, with most of the same family coming here to visit.

      I’m in recovery mode and often don’t get a chance to post but I always read. By the way, I think we all should not just rely on one site for our information. Yes, this is the best community.

      I agree; but, until we find another site & similar community, this I think will be it. Also, since many of us don’t have time to visit here all of the time, multiple communities might stretch that time even thinner.
      BTW, I am still collecting contact information from members of the pack and keeping OPSEC for all of it. I was able to email those for whom I have contact information and point them all here, with at least 4 members adding their information to my list shortly after MD’s announcement.
      Clicking on my name will take you to a website that will allow you to contact me. All I ask is that you identify yourself by both your real name and your screen name / handle so I can correlate things and keep them straight.

      I also read another site with fabulous articles and their community is nice.

      Could you name this other site? I’d like to check it out; but, fully intend to regularly park myself here

      • Hi Ohio Prepper,
        Yes, I will be glad to send you my contact information! I really love to read your posts and what you and the Mrs are doing.

        Thank you for giving me the real facts about what happened over there. I had no idea, but kept checking the site to see what was going on. I felt very sad to lose my friends and people that share their ups and downs with. If OPSEC is the issue, then it would affect us more than the host, right? I don’t get it.

        So glad you and BamBam and others took the initiative to get this done. I’m so sorry you are banned.

        The other site is Modern Survial Blog. You’ll have to google it to get the right address. They have great articles that are an interest to me. BTW, they have a couple of articles about Ham radios that just went up that I know you would like. I’ve got to show them to DH too.

        Thanks again for taking the time to explain the situation to me. I’ve been on there since 2011 or 2012, and I hate the thought of losing touch with friends.

      • I just went back to MDs place and read the financial article and then read all the post. I’m shocked that MD would let, I think her handle is “Jean” talk to people he has been friends with for years in the manner that she was writing. I posted a couple of things on the Knives in Georgia article but after reading those vile post I’m really disappointed in the site in general. MD always ran a tight ship and to let this sort of stuff slide by is very poor action on his part. It’s his site and he can run it any way he wants, and I’ll probably drop by and if I see a post I like I might read it but I don’t think I’ll be posting unless he cleans up some of the wildcards that are over there now.

        I am happy here and am seeing a lot of articles that I wanted to read and I was not disappointed with them. I’ll be here. For now, this is home.

        • I wanted to add an apology to “Jean” for singling her out as the one making the rude comments, I misspoke, “Jean” was the recipient of the not so nice remarks made by GG, who, as others have said, is probably the new live in girl friend for MD. All the rest is as I meant it to be but didn’t want to apologize to “Jean” for hitting her with the wrong side of the paint brush.

          • Very thoughtful of you to apologize, Cliff. But, having read all comments, I knew who you meant. Probably others did, as well.

            I sent Jean & others messages that we are all over here (because she asked), which, of course, were deleted. Hope they find us.

          • Cliff,
            I knew who you meant too. You are a nice guy to apologize. I’m sure we all knew who you meant.

  26. Hey again all,

    I don’t think I have had the chance to chat yet with everyone, but I will catch up on comments again tomorrow morning and attempt to virtually meet everyone I haven’t yet and see what y’all have going on this week. I am working on an awesome new section for TSB, thanks Dan for always being so cool and willing to try something new and exciting! You will learn more about it very soon, I promise. It will be an interactive section and something I have never seen done on any other prepping, homesteading, off grid, or survival website! I just love fun learning an sharing experiences and it seems like y’all do as well!

  27. FYI Floks:

    School supply sales are starting. This is when I load up on supplies for the office, including milk crates, for the year. I guess-timate that I save and extra 30-50%.

  28. Say WHAT? Local news/weather just reported cicadas have been heard, meaning an early frost in central OH, projected for the end of September. I personally haven’t heard or seen them yet. But a heads up for the OH contingent.

    • Ugh, after the winter that would never end, flooding all what was supposed to be spring and then 100 degree days since June, I am not looking forward to a cicada fight next. I have relatives in central Oh, in Dublin, New Albany, and Grove City, I will have to give them all a head’s up.

  29. VERY interesting article about leadership in a crisis:
    The most belligerent/boisterous/noisy leaders aren’t necessarily the best (looking at you, Trump).

    PS to LivinTheDream: I’m having a lobster roll for dinner tonight. On a New England sub (Italian, hoagie, whatever) roll from our local take-out place. Split-top New England hot dog rolls aren’t mandatory, just a suggestion/somewhat traditional!

      • What can I say? I live in Maine. We put up with the miserable winters and the black flies in the spring so we can eat lobster in the summer.

    • MaineBrain,
      Thanks for the link. That was a good article I made note of.
      As for the president, while his outward demeanor can be a bit off-putting, I understand from those who know him that in one on one meetings, he actually does listen, and takes every idea into consideration. In any case, he never shoved any government mandate down my throat promising a $2500.00 reduction that never came.
      As for the kids in the cave, as a youth I did a lot of spelunking, spending as much as 10-12 hours in a cave, and also quite a lot of SCUBA diving (not in caves) and as I watched this event unfold, I consider it something near to a miracle with kudos to all involved, especially the kids.


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