What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 23 – Dec 2nd – Dec 8th 2018

prep week 23

Hey Pack, hope everyone has had a great week and furthered their prepping goals. The weather has been typical Ohio lunacy here – 67 on Sunday followed by snow. We have been spending a lot of time trying to track a massive bobcat that has decided to take up residence in our woods.

It is illegal to trap or kill a bobcat – unfortunately, so we will only be able to run it off. That is not a good solution to the flock-killing bobcat problem, it will either eventually come back or become a problem for a neighboring property. We have warned those in the area about the bobcat spotting and how unusually large it is, that is about the best we can do…at least until the law changes.

dog sniffing a bobcat

The once greatly diminishing population of bobcats in Ohio seems to be on the rise in a big way. Folks in my county are now posting bobcat sightings on Facebook on a weekly basis.

It has been a revolving door of tribe members doing work around here this week, mostly finishing up projects that were in the works and kept getting delayed because of weather, tractor and ATV repairs, and hay season.

We are starting make a huge dent in the barn wood pile. My interiors walls are no longer exposed concrete and we are saving a lot of money using the reclaimed wood to make storage closets and two pantries.

As you can see in the pic below, I was knee deep in wrapping Christmas presents and working on homemade presents. But, you can see how the exterior walls of each room now look:

homestead ready for christmas

Our tribe is hoping to get some me deer meat to put up for winter before the season is over. We have a good amount already, but of course, there is no such thing as stockpiling too much protein, right?

I also got active on MeWe and connected with some other great preppers. So far it seems like a great alternative to liberally biased social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

The Pack, by and large, seems eager to network both online and off with other preppers. So, I thought I would pass along some information about Preppernet.com for anyone that has not yet heard of it.

It used to be a the Carolina Prepper’s Network and was started by truly skilled and accomplished preppers (several of which are friends of mine, that decided to take the group national after joining in with other worthy groups, like the Cajun Navy, in a regional hurricane relief effort.

Preppernet is focused on creating a place for preppers to network and then for their own mutual assistance groups and develop a nationwide alert and communication system via a partnership with AmRRON. The group is also focused on providing an expert panel of survival industry leaders to help train members – and yes, even have fun as a prepping community in the process.

There is both a free and premium level membership. We started as free members to check it out but are going to buy the premium membership because it’s only $40 a year.

Working on our road to prevent it from turning into a complete mud bog rounded out our non-day job and non-Christmas activity this week. It is a never ending battle, thank goodness Bobby loves spending time on his tractor because if this strange nearly constant rain and snow trend keeps up, he is going to be doing a whole lot more of it.

Tara Dodrill

About Tara Dodrill

Tara Dodrill is a homesteading and survival journalist and author. She lives on a small ranch with her family in Appalachia. She has been both a host and frequent guest on preparedness radio shows. In addition to the publication of her first book, 'Power Grid Down: How to Prepare, Survive, and Thrive after the Lights go Out', Dodrill also travels to offer prepping tips and hands-on training and survival camps and expos.
View all posts by Tara Dodrill →

87 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 23 – Dec 2nd – Dec 8th 2018

  1. Tara- Good luck in running off that bobcat. We haven’t had one around here in about ten years. Our main predators are coyotes and red fox. Occasionally a mountain lion will lose it’s way down the watersheds. Same with bear. An elk herd decided to migrate far out here on the plains too. They are magnificent animals. We don’t mind having them around as an alternative hunt source to the deer. The Department of Wildlife located at the county seat works well with the ranchers to keep the predators in control.

    Very cold this week so I continued to work inside. Trying to purge unneeded items and organize the rest. Enjoying the canning from this summer. The garden vegetables spoiled me. I can’t hardly stand grocery store vegetables. I really need a green house.

    It is my turn to take my MIL to her annual cardiologist appointment. The drive is just over five hours from her house-seven from mine. Their are pros and cons living in a rural isolated part of the country.

    Prayers for those in need. Stay safe everyone.

    1. Moe, I want a green house too. I think I will buy some green paint……LOL

      But seriously, you could build it, put in grow lights and irrigation from PCV pipe and a fan…….

      Next years project.

    2. Moe,

      You definitely have lots of large predators, so glad your wildlife control does a good job of working with the folks. We had a fox for a few months but he is problem no more!

  2. Puppy is extreme…… He demanded to go out in the pouring rain last night. I thought he had to take care of business but, he ran the yard back and forth and danced around chasing his tail. I think he might have gotten into some beer……LOL

    Wow, the snow in North Carolina, I lived there before and it really shows how few preppers are out there when you go into a grocery store and there is no bread, milk or eggs.

    Why does everyone make French toast when it snows? LOL

    Bought more dog food
    Bought more water

    Changing diet to lose weight and to get off blood pressure medication. (Dog food and water should do it) LOL
    Exercise program….run in the rain and chase my tail….LOL

    Bought more ammo
    Bought more soaps and detergents
    Bought more TP and PT

    Questions:

    1.Why do so many liberals live on the west coast? My thoughts are something is in the water.

    2.Will the liberals riot like Paris when gas prices get to $6 a gallon ? Ha ha (‘The pot is almost to a boil for the frogs but will the Democrats/Socialists be the frogs)

    3. Will the solar minimum affect solar panels ? Hmmm

    4. Will the solar minimum affect our garden’s ? Hmmm

    1. Thor1:

      Not sure it’s a coastal problem as much as a metro problem. When all of your needs are met by someone else, you don’t know which end of a chicken eggs come from, and you think steaks come for the grocery, you have a problem you can’t comprehend. Then they come to the country and want it just like they remember it for their grand kids; the problem being that it is not like they remember it a month later.

      They like their electronic driven toys, but not what a coal mine, a hydro-plant, or a nuclear plant, look like or the potential hazards. They don’t like car emissions so they either turn food into fuel or use electricity.

      Everything is a trade off, they just only want the positive without the negatives that go with it. They love charities but don’t donate (some 70% comes from conservatives), so then they have to force you to donate. They want you to pay for their roads, bridges, and schools. But you can’t have any say in where or when.

      1. JP, I think the conservatives living in California use Berkey water filters and liberals don’t. That could explain it……LOL

      2. indeed, and most of the major metropolian areas are on the coasts, only way to ship enough stuff in to support massive populations. though its not even a state wide mindset, about 60% of the people in nyc decide who wins the goveror seat for the state, chairman cuomo won again, with the entire state voting against him except nyc, albany, and 2 other smaller cities. and now that elections are over they are planning to expand the un-safe act and require anyone wanting to buy a gun to allow police to search their phones, computers, social media acounts, etc going back 3 years, the new proposal violates the 1st, 2nd and 4th ammendment. putting my farm up for sale and getting out of this police state.

        1. Nemoseto,

          Yep. Definite violation… But unless the people rise up against it, it will continue there and creep in other places…

          Not sure where you are looking, but there’s room for folks like yourself here in TN.

          Good job on all the wood. Wish I had a fireplace or wood stove.

          1. Almost There,

            More of the same regarding the 2nd amendment..

            The article seems to indicate that SCOTUS is not hearing cases regarding 2A; but, I think the precedence is on our side should it come to that.

            In 2008:
            District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm
            And then in 2010:
            McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 742, was another landmark decision of the SCOTUS, that found that the right of an individual to “keep and bear arms,” as protected under the Second Amendment, is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment against the states.
            Finally, if the Progressives do manage to get their wildest dreams enacted, I know few if any lEO’s or Military that will battle the civilian population to confiscate, and it will be a battle Royale.

          1. JP,

            nystate needs to separate from nyc and form a separate state. the state itself and people are so different from the city

            That is unfortunately all too typical. Even here in Ohio, we have a long term Demonrat senator who keeps getting reelected, mostly by the people in the Cleveland area, with a bit of help from Cincinnati & Dayton.
            I think California has the same problem and there have been discussions on splitting into two states.
            Pipe dreams I suspect.

      3. JP,

        Not sure it’s a coastal problem as much as a metro problem. When all of your needs are met by someone else, you don’t know which end of a chicken eggs come from, and you think steaks come for the grocery, you have a problem you can’t comprehend.

        I think you hit the nail on the head; but, I’ll add that electricity comes from a hole in the wall and those wires on the poles have something to do with it; but, they’re not sure what, except of course when there is no power in a blizzard or ice storm and they don’t understand why it takes so long to get the power back on. The fact that there are line crews out in horrible weather, freezing off their fingers doing what I think is one of the most harrowing jobs around, doesn’t even dawn on them, just that their toys don’t work, they are cold (or hot), and they have to use the stairs. As I understand it, PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric) has been blamed for starting some of the fires out in California; but, when they tried to shut down some overworked sections of their power distribution system, people screamed. Some of this may be politics; but, I’m afraid much of it is just blissful ignorance among a population that doesn’t want to get their hands dirty; but, scream when things don’t work, and often look down their noses at the “uneducated” people who get dirty and sweaty while they fix this infrastructure and keep it all running.

        Then they come to the country and want it just like they remember it for their grand kids; the problem being that it is not like they remember it a month later.

        As kids visiting the country, they ignored the smells, or what we call “Dairy air” and if they stepped in it, they washed off their boots and kept going. I knew one of these guys who was even unwilling to go horseback riding with his kids, since you might have to smell or step in something by accident.
        I think Texas is having this problem with those from California, who like the low taxes; but, cannot quite get used to the wide open very dark spaces and immediately insist on higher taxes to pay for the street lighting and sidewalks.

        They like their electronic driven toys, but not what a coal mine, a hydro-plant, or a nuclear plant, look like or the potential hazards. They don’t like car emissions so they either turn food into fuel or use electricity.

        I’ve talked with a few people who brag about their emission free vehicles and always remind them that unless they have their own solar charging stations, there are probably emissions somewhere. The upside to electric vehicles is that in heavy urban settings, they do help with the smog; but, that may all be ending soon, since I understand that the Federal $7500.00 per vehicle tax credit may be ending.

        Everything is a trade off, they just only want the positive without the negatives that go with it. They love charities but don’t donate (some 70% comes from conservatives), so then they have to force you to donate. They want you to pay for their roads, bridges, and schools. But you can’t have any say in where or when.

        If you look up ”progressive” in the dictionary, I think your description would be a very well written and concise one, LOL.
        You did however forget that they also love guns; but, only in the hands of heir bodyguards since actually touching one might turn you into a serial killer.

        I only jest a little on this last remark. Years ago I was listening to the local PBS radio station that was holding a call in forum and discussion on gun control, and one old guy called in his reason that we should not allow guns in private hands. It turns out that this 80 year old had never owned a gun and was glad; because, he had several neighbors who had bothered him over the years and knew if he had owned a gun, those neighbors would be dead and he would have been in jail. Progressives are often nasty people who project their nastiness on others, and can’t, won’t, or don’t realize that many of us are reasonable and can hold a civil discussion with opponents without fists flying. The Bret Kavanaugh hearing was just one of the latest high profile demonstration of that line of thought.

    2. Thor 1,
      Thanks for the Questions.
      1.Why do so many liberals live on the west coast? My thoughts are something is in the water.
      What I understand is that the entire continent has a slight tilt to the west and all of the fruits and nuts tend to roll that direction until they hit the Pacific ocean.
      2.Will the liberals riot like Paris when gas prices get to $6 a gallon ? Ha ha (‘The pot is almost to a boil for the frogs but will the Democrats/Socialists be the frogs)
      No, they will keep paying, praying to their climate change gods, and blaming the Trump administration. You have to have working brain cells to do otherwise, and I’m pretty sure many of them don’t have those.
      3. Will the solar minimum affect solar panels ? Hmmm
      No
      4. Will the solar minimum affect our garden’s ? Hmmm
      Maybe a little bit; but, it is more likely to affect climate and definitely affects radio communications.

        1. Thor1,

          rest answers. I hope you’re right on 3&4 but

          As I understand this I am; but, here’s a good summary:
          Solar Minimum is Coming
          https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/news-articles/solar-minimum-is-coming

          I also follow the “Space Weather” pretty closely as do many of my radio friends since it can affect our HF band primarily; but, can give other band openings. You can get weekly updates via email or look yourself @ http://www.spaceweather.com/
          It appears that some climatologists, aurora watchers, and satellite operators may have the most interest.

  3. Tara,

    Montana has a wolf problem. Although they now have a season, for many years they were protected. When you had a wolf problem it was usually a pack problem too. We used the SSS method – Shoot, Shovel, and Shut Up. Not sure if they sell shovels in your area, but it might be worth looking into.

    1. That’s what I was going to suggest! Our neighbor caught a huge bobcat on his game camera last week. I’m the only one in the neighborhood with chickens, so we shall see.

    2. It is a good thing you can now protect yourself and your livestock from wolves. Over the weekend I told my liberal brother the bobcat was definitely a shoot, shovel , and shut the hell up kind of issue, lol.

  4. Just got up at 7, to a kitty meowing some how Miss Ellie, slipped out when hubby and I got home from a friends Christmas party, from 11 to 7 she was full of Vinager, first time and hopefully last time we have alot of creatures of the night running around and I don’t need her fighting again the last two vet bills ran me just around $700.00 thank goodness my vet takes payments. Just finished decorating the house my Christmas tree, lights were all but burned out I spent over 2 hours cutting and removing light strands and U rings off the tree, I will never but a lit up tree again that was a pain in my back and my fingers, but worth it since the tree was only $12.00 after Christmas about 4 years ago but for the lights to be burned out that quickly is cheap quality. Since we got back from California, two weeks ago I have been in a holding pattern just getting bills paid, and getting my house in order has taken up all my time we again are in a holding pattern with Hubbys mom, she’s been picked up by police again and taken back to her Condo, we can’t do anything for her still.But the dispatcher took all our information and red flagged her, so if she’s picked up again then we might be able to bring her back to Washington, to get help or by the grace of GOD, pass away in her sleep it’s very sad… I want to start making cookies, no matter how old your kid’s are they always get a smile when we talk about cookies, I bought 3 bags of Hersheys Kisses, I have the rest of the ingrediants, to get started. The rain is coming back after two weeks of heavy frost no snow in the forcast and one week left of school, until our break not even sure what were going to do since now our California trip has been put on hold. But today were going to look at Gingerbread houses, at the Ferry Terminal today which is always fun no matter how old you are. Well, have a good rest of your weekend pack….

    1. mom of three,

      When I was a cop, we had an old man with Alzheimers who wandered away from home several times a week. Luckily, he always seemed to walk the same way and ended up wandering into one of several shops at the end of his block. All the owners got to know who he was, they would call us, and an officer would take him home.

      His wife was supposed to be watching him, but officers started noticing she was mentally declining as well. They had no family we could discover and had to report the matter to Adult Protective Services, who took care of it. Sad, but we did what we could.

    2. mom of three,
      Since my computer reads these posts to me, I have a favor. How about a little punctuation, since your whole post was a single run on sentence.
      As for cookies, Toll House and Snickerdoodles are this older kids favorites, so you are correct about baking.

  5. We started the month off with more “divesting”. 2 van loads gone, one to the dump, one to the Thrift Store. Actually gave most away before it got to the store.

    Van back in the shop. Battery issues. New battery installed and the hood latch cable replaced; that’s twice for the cable @$70+labor. Enough of that; found it on line for $20 shipped (part will reside under passenger seat, that should insure it will never break again). Car in for LOF (routine). Now the van’s driver’s window motor needs replacing.

    Biopsy results: negative for cancer, just oversized. We have been dealing with this for years so no additional time/expense involved!

    As we have worked in the basement, organizing/inventorying/sorting through our supplies we are actually starting to pare down stuff. Grandkids are leaving home (the the area) so the families needs are getting less. We have too much of some types of food, but not enough of another. As a result we are actually spending less money on aquisition and more on debt elimination. Short of moving to a larger property, we are pretty well set for they situations we can mitigate.

    1. JP in MT, Product called PROSTATE REVIVE works well for DH for problems associated. Used daily for 5 months, 2 caps now is PRN…2 x a week. avoid all antihistamines… only one with useable is same as allegra in childs dose unless it is emergency situation. Is OTC in bottles of 100 if need regular. we have pharmacy order …cheapest version is all blue pill…in a generic, it woks for allergies.

  6. I did my low-carb grocery shopping this week. Added a little to my stash.

    Sadly, it seems like the blog is turning into an obituary column. But, if we can’t share our triumphs and tragedies with friends, who can we share them with?

    Good news now: #1 daughter has accepted a temporary full-time position at her AF Reserve unit. She’s filling a vacant slot until they can hire a permanent replacement. The slot is normally held by a chief master sergeant (E9) and #1 is a master sergeant (E7). She was the first person they asked, and it is definitely a good learning opportunity and a career enhancing move. More money too. So, I will be watching granddaughter five days a week, most weeks, until that detail is over in about six-months.
    Did some more bulk cooking this weekend. All packaged and in the freezer. Have to make an egg casserole today.

    Granddaughter is doing well. She is a super good girl 95% of the time. She has her moments, but what kid doesn’t. Her vocabulary seems to increase daily and we’re working on reading too. She can recognize a few words, like “and” and “the.” It’s a start.

    Also wrapped all my Christmas gifts Saturday. My back was killing me from bending over at my dining room table. Vitamin M time.

    My VA doctor wants me to get a kidney function test. That will be sometime next month. It mostly involves blood work and depending on how in-depth he wants it, I may have to collect my urine over a 24-hour period. Despite my weight loss (now 32lbs), my blood pressure was a little higher than normal. The doc liked the weight loss, didn’t like the BP bump. He wants me to take a mild BP med, and only half-tablet of that each day. My cholesterol is still up a bit. But I have reactions to Statins (not anaphylactic reactions, but severe flank pain). He wants to set me up with an appointment with a pharmacist and try to find something I can take to reduce the cholesterol.

    I’m bummed out over the results of the Army-Navy game. Oh well. A good friend (ex-Army) has been harassing the heck out of me over it. That’s OK. I rag on him when Navy wins.

    Interesting times over in France. That’s what happens when you try to play God with climate by raising taxes to stupid levels. That is a lesson our socialists should draw from France, but they won’t.

          1. Thor1,

            I didn’t go PFFFFFTTT. I was trying to be mature about it.

            This was the 3rd year in a row for Army. PFFFFTTTTTT

        1. I’m with you Z! My father was probably in tears! USNA class of 54. My parents and several of the othe Navy AND Army couples get together each year and make a party out of it, rooting for their favorite. My dad got spoiled with Navy winning most of the time. I guess it was time for Humble Pie. Lol

    1. Zulu 3-6,

      Granddaughter is doing well. She is a super good girl 95% of the time. She has her moments, but what kid doesn’t. Her vocabulary seems to increase daily and we’re working on reading too. She can recognize a few words, like “and” and “the.” It’s a start.

      She sounds more and more like my DD at that age, so I have a suggestion. Find a copy of “Reader Rabbit” if you can. It’s called edutainment and my DD loved it. It has enough repetition to help them memorize things; but, also has little games they can play as rewards. Older software; but, very well done.
      As for France, I can’t think of anything they have done well since their help with our revolution, since they even managed to botch their own.

      1. TOP,

        Amazon has Reader Rabbit. I think the latest version is from 2013. Unfortunately, neither #1 daughter or I have an operating system that will support that older software.

        I do have a set of McGuffey’s Readers that I think I’m going to start her on.

        1. Zulu 3-6,

          Amazon has Reader Rabbit. I think the latest version is from 2013. Unfortunately, neither #1 daughter or I have an operating system that will support that older software.

          You might be able to get it running in compatibility mode as explained here:
          https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-win_family/reader-rabbit-compatibility-with-windows-10/fe85e9d8-f0cb-4585-ae7d-6d13be9f193a

          I do have a set of McGuffey’s Readers that I think I’m going to start her on.

          Good luck. We also have those and once my DD was reading a bit she devoured them; but, I personally find them a bit weak for getting started, especially with the really young children we are talking about. OTOH, as they get up in grade level they also get into things like critical thinking, so I found them most useful there.

          For those interested, the books are old enough to be public domain and can be fetched from Project Gutenberg starting here:
          McGuffey’s First Eclectic Reader
          https://www.gutenberg.org/files/14640/14640-pdf.pdf

    2. Zulu, check out The 8 Week Cholesterol Cure by Robert Kowalski. I have the original, not the updated version. It gets a little techy, but the recipes I’ve tried, and dietary changes suggested, helped me drop my cholesterol.

        1. Thor1,

          I tried bribery, but they were incorruptible. Personally, I think they were just afraid of the Corps of Cadets chasing them down like dogs.

      1. Zulu- I will second Grammyprepper’s recommendation. We have the original for DH and oldest son has newer version. Oats, oats and more oats. My niece just sent some more home to us.

    3. Zulu , What oil are you using? If not using OLIVE oil, cold pressed calif, and Coconut try these, exclusively…. about 6 weeks restored hubbys chol’s to normal…
      You might get rebalanced by adding fatty fish 2x a week, adding avacados and certain other seed nuts… sounds lik you are doing the other things… sometimes tweaking the lo carb diet will do it… for b/p use leaves of sand berry, huckleberry to make a tea 2x a day. 3 tbsp leaf+8 oz very hot water, steep 30 min. drink hot or cold. takes 8 -9 days to be effective. herbalist tip from plant walk, darryl patton.

      1. AA, Moe, and Grammy Prepper,

        I looked up my lab results on the VA site and my cholesterol numbers are not very bad at all. The good cholesterol is the worst, unfortunately, but still only a couple of points under the ideal range. I have an appointment with the pharmacist next month and we’ll see what pops up. I can’t take statins.

        My BP isn’t that high off my normal either. The diastolic is actually normal for me and is a good number, the systolic is elevated part. I worry more about the diastolic value.

        I only use olive oil for cooking, if I use any oil at all. I bake my chicken breasts.

        1. Zulu 3-6,

          I looked up my lab results on the VA site and my cholesterol numbers are not very bad at all. The good cholesterol is the worst, unfortunately, but still only a couple of points under the ideal range. I have an appointment with the pharmacist next month and we’ll see what pops up. I can’t take statins.

          I do take Statins (Atorvastatin: Lipitor)); but, also take Omega 3 Krill Oil and COQ10 along with it. I also take something cheap and simple that helps the good cholesterol HDL (high-density lipoprotein. Niacin, AKA Vitamin B3; but, only in the form of Nicotinic Acid does the trick for me and has for years. You can get the Rugby Niacin 500 mg 1000 Tabs as OTC at local pharmacies and online here: https://www.amazon.com/Rugby-Niacin-500-1000-Tabs/dp/B003H5SXDQ?th=1. I take ½ tablet (250 mg) per day; but, be advised that the niacin can sometimes really flush you; however, this alone helped get and keep my HDL above 50.

          I only use olive oil for cooking, if I use any oil at all. I bake my chicken breasts.

          It’s pretty much the same here. We sometimes use canola or spray when we need only a little for pancakes, French toast, etc but almost always bake or grill our meats.

    4. Zulu 3-6,

      Sadly, it seems like the blog is turning into an obituary column. But, if we can’t share our triumphs and tragedies with friends, who can we share them with?

      As we age, I find that to become more a part of our lives than we might like. In the past 3 years I’ve lost my best friend, a good friend, and my brother, all younger than me, along with another good friend just shy of his 93rd birthday. These losses that I can do nothing about made me realize that I have lost others I can do something about. Old friends with whom I’ve lost track will be getting Christmas cards this month with letters in them containing a brief story of our family situation and providing contact information to the recipients in hopes of rekindling our old connections.

  7. Not much happening here. Work got very slow. Had just enough to pay the monthly insurance bills and a little grocery money for the week. Next week’s paycheck should be better. My cousins are moving and I made arrangements with a TNR person I know to try and catch the cats that showed up at the old house. In an hour we caught a beautiful snowshoe female only 7 or 8 to go.
    Did pick up some soup that was 88 cents a can, picked up a part for my walk behind weed eater, and retrieved my power saw. Not a lot but every little bit helps.

  8. Hi gang,

    Woke up to no electricity this morning and the trees and grass coated with ice. Finally came back on at 11, so out for 3 hours. Will be glad when I can get my Mr Heater, 30,000 BTU propane heater hooked up, even if, for now, I have to use my 15lb tanks. Hopefully, it will be hooked up next weekend.

    Spent Wednesday and yesterday, cleaning up the spare bedroom and smaller kitchen pantry, dating and removing canned food with the help of one of my prepper friends. She doesn’t say a word about how much I have of this or that. All the canned food I didn’t want, she takes home and her husband opens all the cans for her, and she takes it to feed her chickens… There were a few cans that had a bulge in the top… Glad they are gone. Now to start with newer stock and use up the older. I don’t need anymore tomato anything, no corn, green beans, pumpkin or soup stock. Need to get some more canned chicken, turkey and beef. It really feels good to have that done. I started marking them with the year I bought them (sometimes it was a guestimate), but going forward, I will date them with the year they expire instead. Oh well, it was a start and I have the older stuff at the front to use first.

    Washed a king size cotton quilt at the wishy washy so it’s ready to go. I want to have anything that I have stored up or anything that is new, washed up ahead of time. I also try to keep up with the laundry in case something happens, I will have minimal things to wash.

    No purchases this week. I have been dragging this week.. I changed my work hours to 6:30-3:00, and that makes me get up at 4:30… The struggle has been real let me tell you… Lol…

    Been watching Hallmark movies…. Love them this time of year.

    Tara, your place is looking really nice. I really like the barn wood walls. Good luck with that Bobcat.

    Prayers for everyone, those needing healing, for JP’s tests coming back ok, unspoken requests, for the President and America.

    1. Almost There,

      I started marking them with the year I bought them (sometimes it was a guestimate), but going forward

      I will date them with the year they expire instead. Oh well, it was a start and I have the older stuff at the front to use first.

      We use a sharpie to mark the date on each can when we purchase them. We also use the Thrive Life Cansolidators and they work amazingly well. IIRC, you pointed out the Food Storage ladies who had a sale on this stuff and it was well worth purchasing.

      1. TOP,

        Marking the cans with the date of purchase, to me, doesn’t help with rotation. Some things go bad quicker than others, and having the “exp date” tells me that I can generally use things 5 -7 years or so after that date.

        I am using the smaller set of the Cansolidator. I have 2 sets of the larger one. I started to use them, and will need to re-evaluate as it seemed they took up more room than if I stacked the cans without them on the shelf.

        1. Almost There,

          Marking the cans with the date of purchase, to me, doesn’t help with rotation. Some things go bad quicker than others, and having the “exp date” tells me that I can generally use things 5 -7 years or so after that date.

          We rarely have any cans that are more than 2-3 years old, and cycle through them rather quickly, often purchasing whole flats (12 cans?) of various items we use regularly, from Aldus.

          I am using the smaller set of the Cansolidator. I have 2 sets of the larger one. I started to use them, and will need to re-evaluate as it seemed they took up more room than if I stacked the cans without them on the shelf.

          I agree that they do take some room; but, in our case we have the room and we’re more concerned about inventory management and organization than space. We built one of the wire shelving units with shelves spaced just for those Cansolidator units and it’s been working out great; although, I still have enough to build some additional storage in the summer kitchen, eventually, LOL.

    2. Almost There,

      Thank you, it feels good to finally be far enough along with out self-reliance goals that we could spend a little time working on cosmetics.

    1. AT, it might be the radioactivity from Fukushima…… LOL

      I mean people with purple and orange hair wearing masks and waving Russian flags…LOL

      Come on man……

  9. Hi Tara & all,
    A Bobcat? That’s actually kind of cool from my perspective and when you state:

    It is illegal to trap or kill a bobcat – unfortunately,

    You have to remember that you are now living in their habitat and not the other way around, and since they are covered by the Endangered Species Act of 2002, that law is not likely to change any time soon. At least in this case we are protecting a beautiful critter (and yes I’ve seen them in the wild) and not just a piece of habitat where they might someday find that mouse or fish, like they do so much out west.
    One of the gang here mentioned MeWe and I did check it out; but, I really don’t need yet one more place to play and waste time when my projects are continuing to pile up around me, LOL.

    Prepper Net looks interesting; but, I’ve looked at AmRRON and it sometimes seems to me to be a bit conspiratorial on occasion. Their national reach does often have some good information; but, to me preparedness starts locally, since that’s where one can make the most impact. I do visit their pages on occasion for communication information that can be useful.
    When you mention working on your road, we now have a big pile of gravel and once things freeze solidly enough will be working with the neighbor to add to the long circular driveway and set a foundation for a small building we’re replacing this spring.
    It must be busy around your place this past week, since you left us no quiz; but, that leaves next week, LOL.

    This past week we did and acquired the following:
    1. Grammyprepper and her DH came over for a visit to pick up some honey produced by BLACK (actually the honeybees BLACK keeps). We had a nice meal; but, didn’t get to visit long, since it was getting cold and dark. We plan to do this again once we have warmer weather and longer daylight hours. BLACK stopped by and we all had a small meet up.
    2. Received 5 mini BIC lighters for the EDC and BOB. I generally carry several fire starting tools; but, in an EDC post on another forum, someone mentioned these. They are kind of small; but, will take up less space and still give me another backup Emergency fire starting tool I want to have.
    3. Ordered some new ham radio equipment on a black Friday extension sale:
    • A new DMR radio. The TYT MD-390 kit includes:
    o Radio, Battery, & charger.
    o Belt clip
    o Ear looped speaker microphone
    o Two removable antennas
    o USB programming cable and mini CDROM with software.
    • A TYT 2000mAh Battery for my current Tytera MD-380 DMR Radio
    • A TYT Battery Eliminator for my current Tytera MD-380 DMR Radio
    4. Picked up a NIB / NOS Hy-Gain 14AVQ ham radio HF Trap vertical antenna for 40% of the new price and a second one for working parts to rebuild the 30 year old one I still have out in the yard with what I suspect are shorted traps. The antenna supports 4 bands: 10, 15, 20, & 40 Meters and allows another of my radios to be used simultaneously with current ones. Setting up these antennas will most likely be a spring / summer project since at my age I tend to hibernate more on the cold days.
    5. The complete audio book of “One Second After” By l) [William R. Forstchen is now available on YouTube, so I grabbed a copy. I read / listened to this book back when it came out in 2009; but, seem to have misplaced the CD unless it was originally checked out from the local library.
    6. Listened to the book “One Day After” By l) [William R. Forstchen on YouTube. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATbOfvQn_sI
    7. The DW had to head to the doctor for the first time in a long time with a nasty sinus infection that’s finally clearing up.
    8. I assembled the two 32 inch monitors and set them up
    9. Purchased a Z-Pack for the FAK
    10. 6 more boxes of facial tissues
    11. 2 packs of extra shoe strings
    12. While looking for something else I stumbled on what looks to be a great resource:
    196 Neat Free Survival Downloads | The Modern Survivalist at: http://www.themodernsurvivalist.com/archives/2471
    13. Home depot is having some Christmas specials so we purchased the following, paying for most with gift cards:
    • Three – 9 in. Plastic Tool Box with Metal Latches and Removable Tool Tray $8.97 each. This is about ½ price and I have enough “stuff” to fill them all.
    • 50 Lumen LED Pen Light Combo (4-Pack with batteries) $9.88 from HD’s under $10.00 stocking stuffers.
    14. Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ Cordless Power Inflator $19.97 as a Christmas gift to me. This will be carried in the interim car kits along with a battery or two.

      1. Thor1,

        TOP, isn’t there a loophole for protecting livestock in there…….

        I think there probably is; but, that means documenting your losses and filing complaints and the State or Federal wildlife officers and biologists will eventually take care of the problem. I’m glad my only problem is raccoons.

      2. Nope, they are protected like hawks. But hopefully since their populations are surging and causing problems in my part of the state, that will change. Half of the land in my county is either state or national forest land – making safety concerns at campgrounds a money issue for the gov, so that might help out people who are losing domestic pets and small livestock to the bobcats.

        1. Tara & Thor1,
          If we lived out west where they have the and they were preying on humans, you could probably justify self defense; but, for small predators that really don’t affect people directly, there is little you can do.

    1. where are they endangered? they are legal to trap in the northeast as a fur bearer. canada lynx are protected but not bobcat

      1. Nemoseto,

        where are they endangered? they are legal to trap in the northeast as a fur bearer. canada lynx are protected but not bobcat

        Tara & I are in Ohio where they are protected as a threatened species.
        The lynx was listed as a state threatened species in 1993, and became a Threatened species under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in April 2000

        1. ok that makes sense, out here cougers are virtually extinct but the bobcats are so common they are sometimes hit by cars. reports of couger sightings are denied even if there are tracks and fawn deer 30 feet up in tree branches and the official report says it was a dog that did it (mostly to protect the incredibly rare cat from being hunted). our bobcats basically took over all other niches when the other cats were hunted off.

          1. nemoseto,

            out here cougers are virtually extinct but the bobcats are so common they are sometimes hit by cars. reports of couger sightings are denied even if there are tracks and fawn deer 30 feet up in tree branches and the official report says it was a dog that did it (mostly to protect the incredibly rare cat from being hunted).

            Officially Ohio has no Cougars either; but, we do sometimes get reports of them being seen in both the tan and black species, so who really knows. Bobcats are rare; but, I think that is in part due to lack of habitat, since even our most rural and wild areas are slowly being turned into farmland and tract housing developments, with the exception of state and national forests.
            Ohio is about 28,688,000 acres in size with state forest taking up about 200,000 acres and National forests taking up about 240,100 acres. The amount of developed land in Ohio has increased by nearly 50% from 1982 (2,862,000 acres) to 2012 (4,178,000 acres). This represents an increase of 4.8% of the total landmass in the state.
            The border of southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky is the Ohio River and there are Elk in northern Kentucky. We are hoping that some may learn to swim, LOL.

    2. Ohio Prepper,

      I would prefer to enjoy them from a far. It is like with the wolves out west, Populations dwindled and then they came back and posed a danger to livestock and people. The bobcats are now even showing up in towns in y region. Like deer, if you do not control the population with hunting you will be overrun – and deer only cause injury or death if they run out onto a road and cause a wreck – the meat isn’t wasted around here after a road incident. I have had to spend close to $200 adding taller side and top panels to the goat stalls and putting hardware cloth across the top to prevent losing my goats to the bobcat – and reinforced the chicken run, as well.

        1. Deb,

          i have seen cougars in w. pa. so no doubt they are inohio too

          I grew up in Western PA and saw Bobcat & Bear; but, never saw large cats. We heard rumors; but, I never knew about credible sightings. Out of curiosity, where in general in western PA do you live? I grew up in Cambria county and hung out in both Bedford and Somerset counties.

  10. Ok ya’ll… My non-prepper friend that helps me sometimes with organizing and who complains about all the food and preps I have on hand, is still out of power and no heat… She lives 16 miles away from me. I have mentioned to her in the past about me getting my gas stove hooked. She proceeds to tell me that I need to have a line run. I said, no I don’t… I can use my 15 lb bottles until I can get that done. She says she doesn’t like propane and had the 500 gallon tank removed from her property when she bought her place 3 years ago. Last night, I mentioned about my heater again, and I reminded her that she would have heat if she would have left that tank in place as her fireplace was gas logs… She said she would rather have the gas logs converted to a wood burning stove so she can also cook… But that would be FAR into the future. I suggested she get the wood stove downstairs in the basement, so all they have to do for the pipe is bust through a cinder block. And the heat there would help with upstairs, and she could cook.

    Just now, she called me to tell me it’s 62 degrees in her house. Her husband’s hospital bed is in the low position. He’s had a prior stroke, and is bed ridden. When it goes flat, he can’t pull himself up, and could aspirate. She has a manual crank, but says it’s not going up very far… I don’t think she can crank it like she needs to… She tried to put a stocking cap on his head and he pulls it off… intentionally. She is mad that the power company didn’t fix her’s first and is complaining because her son (who is not an electrician, nor works for the power company) says that there is a breaker on the ground just down the road and that all they have to do is put it back in place. I reminded her that he didn’t work for the power company and has no idea that doing so would restore her power. There was a new break in the lines all over the county at 1 every 15 minutes because of the ice on the lines.

    She is now saying that she’s going to get the fireplace converted to a wood stove sooner… We shall see.

    1. Almost There,
      WOW, sounds like you are all having some weather problems that make ours kind of pale in comparison. You would think that someone with a bed requiring electricity would have thought this through, and perhaps at least had some kind of battery backup or practiced with the crank.

      She is now saying that she’s going to get the fireplace converted to a wood stove sooner… We shall see.

      Assuming that magically she could have this conversion done quickly, has she mentioned how she’ll be getting the wood, or will it somehow be just beamed into the firebox for her.
      When we heated exclusively with wood, I was in my mid 30’s with two teenage boys around to help, and even then it’s a lot of work. Does she realize that you have to feed the fire, and on occasion completely snuff it out to clean out the ashes, and then start everything again?
      Somehow it sounds like she is warming by the nice fire in her mind; but, not really thinking it through. As you know, we love propane and use it for a lot of things; but, do have wood for backup. This works well for us, since the DD & I are not getting any younger.

  11. traded 4 cords of junk pine firewood for 4 round bales of hay and $20, sold a couple cords of hardwood firewood for cash. walked/scouted 100 miles. not much else, didn’t hve anything specific so i was scouting alot (walking all over the area, observing tracks, and things that changed in the area, usually having a frame pack on my back, if nothing else all the walking keeps me in top shape (as does stacking and moving firewood), as is i can cover around 40 miles a day on foot with 80lb on my back and never get sore or tired.

    1. Almost There,

      Maybe of interest… Tonight at 7pm CT for 30 minutes.

      I started to listen; but, these sites that ramble on and on and don’t have the controls to pause get tossed quickly. I did make note of the link and may go back at some time.

  12. Made 1.5 gallons of soup, using the last dregs of our garden, a ham bone and 1/4 pound of ham. Re – seasoned a 9 inch cast iron skillet, preparatory to making a mess of my momma’s cornbread recipe. Visited the BOL to ensure everything is as it should be. Put up the Christmas decorations. We are starting to really down-size. This is the last year for the 7 foot tree. Giving all the Christmas dishes to DD. Wife was so strongly opposed to my usual installation of Santa, tree and reindeer on the roof that I demurred. She thinks 78 is too advanced an age, although I really believe it’s because of the medical situation. To be fair, it would be disastrous for me to fall off a roof or ladder. Anyway, unlike previous Christmases, I am cooking only the turkey, dressing, gravy and cranberry sauce. The mashed potatoes will come from COSTCO and the kids will do the rest. We have a tradition which actually started when my daughter was a small girl. She and I would do our dessert baking a couple days before Christmas. Now, she is 49 years old and has the grandchildren, in- laws and half the family involved! It is a glorious time and I am honored they still want to do this with an old man! So, we are baking on the 22nd.

    1. Billy T,
      78 is not old, just mature and knowledgeable and still more than 10 years in my future should I make it. As for roof climbing, I still do a bit of that, both to patch the occasional leak (many thanks for ”Flex Seal” spray) and to do antenna work; although the last two antennas I purchased and listed here are ground mounted.
      I’m still hoping to be strong enough to climb my tower a few more times this summer; but, have people who will do that fir me if need be. As I age, I think my greatest resources are some of the people that surround me; but, climbing that tower, at least a few more times, is just a challenge I NEED to do, to prove that I’m not getting decrepit, only older, LOL.
      My long term plan is to just stop functioning and I try to not slow down to a crawl on the way there. Only time will tell of course.

      1. Hi OP. Actually, I have never FELT old and am totally confident I could go up on the roof and do as I have always done. But you have to understand, no matter how much you flatter me, you still cannot have our Christmas goodies! LOL, although you would be welcome at the baking of them.

  13. Dan/Tara, I know it is probably not compatible with the blog format, but a ‘like’ button would be nice…

    I learned something new, there is a big difference between spring and fall harvests of local honey (Thank you Black, and TOP). It totally makes sense. I think I will be using the spring harvest for foodie things, but the fall harvest for medicinal purposes (more pollen, more exposure to allergens). DH didn’t think there was a difference in sweetness, but I def noticed the fall harvest being much sweeter.

    I agree with JP’s assessment in regards to Thor’s questions, that it has to do with the concentration of population in major cities (not to mention the water). We live 30 minutes outside of a major city, and it is sure trying to take us over. We are still a pretty rural area, but we attain city status in 2020. We have a big drug problem here, like just about every one else. Crime mostly remains non physical. It is getting more and more difficult to not only find places to rent in rural areas, but also to find jobs in rural areas. I thought when I had my RN, I would be able to work in that field forever…until I aged out…I cost too much, know too much (don’t buy the company mantra)…So now I work as a deli clerk in the local grocery (and that’s a rant and story for another day). My point, ‘they’ are leading ppl to more centralized locations, as there can be more control (another rant for another day). Off my soapbox here.

    While doing my Christmas shopping, /I spent some money on myself, as well as DH. I mentioned my vitamin purchase from Puritan’s Pride, we have both started on the multivitamins (boy, it makes your pee pretty, LOL) I also got some EO’s from Spark Naturals, including their Shield blend.

    I have told my mom these past couple of years, that we want Christmas gifts we can actually use (the Keurig? It was hot for a minute, but we drink more coffee than that…the rooster themed serving plates? never got used) So we got a case of TP and paper towels! We also asked for warm socks (and I asked for a new pair of mukluk slippers that she got me two years ago cuz they finally blew out…I’ve worn them year round, home, camping, you name it)

    Prayer and thoughts for all…

    1. Grammyprepper,

      Dan/Tara, I know it is probably not compatible with the blog format, but a ‘like’ button would be nice

      Personally I can always complement or criticize without a button; but, haveing the formatting controls for Blockquote, Bold, and Links would be handy and save some typing.

      I agree with JP’s assessment in regards to Thor’s questions, that it has to do with the concentration of population in major cities (not to mention the water). We live 30 minutes outside of a major city, and it is sure trying to take us over. We are still a pretty rural area, but we attain city status in 2020.

      As you know, we’re more than 60 minutes from that same major city and so far we’re in pretty good shape, since it’s not quite the same straight line to get here, and far enough away that the city folk may not have all of the conveniences they want, and we are so much the better for it.

      It is getting more and more difficult to not only find places to rent in rural areas, but also to find jobs in rural areas.

      I agree with the rental problem,. Since too many people who used to rent end up purchasing the places like we did. As for jobs, we still seem to have them around here; but, you may be in for a bit of a drive.

      My point, ‘they’ are leading ppl to more centralized locations, as there can be more control (another rant for another day). Off my soapbox here.

      You just have to refuse to be led; but, it will take some work, sacrifice and some long drives to do so. Since we’ve lived here, my closest employer was about 22 miles one way and the longest (for 16 years) was 40 miles one way. Ham radio, talk radio, and audio books made the trips at least a bit useful.

      While doing my Christmas shopping, /I spent some money on myself, as well as DH. I mentioned my vitamin purchase from Puritan’s Pride, we have both started on the multivitamins (boy, it makes your pee pretty, LOL) I also got some EO’s from Spark Naturals, including their Shield blend.

      If it makes your pee pretty, then you need to take a bit less, since that’s the water soluble vitamins just passing through, which also makes your pee more expensive than it needs to be. Just sayin’ LOL.

      So we got a case of TP and paper towels! We also asked for warm socks (and I asked for a new pair of mukluk slippers that she got me two years ago cuz they finally blew out…I’ve worn them year round, home, camping, you name it)

      We always buy TP in bulk, since you really never want to run out, LOL.
      I also have a pair of the mukluk slippers I wear on the really cold nights when I’m not either moving or covered up; but, I’ve found I need to wear socks with mine to keep my feet from getting sweaty and then getting cold. I’m still using a very old pair, since the DD and I pretty much live in Flip Flops year round, at least in the house in winter. I’m wearing them right now as I type this.

      1. AT, that Simple Truth water is the bomb, but our store quit carrying it a while ago. I will have to check and see, it might be back in stock since we’ve had a major reset.

        1. We just had our store remodeled. It took about 2 years. I guess someone gave me this bottle because I have never bought it before. But, that will be rectified this weekend.

          1. LOL, AT, we are in the midst of a ‘reset’, but have a store ‘remodel’ coming in the new year. As confusing as it all is to the customers, it’s just as confusing to us employees!

    2. Do you actually want to do nursing? My wife is a LPN and does home care for severely disabled children in the Jacksonville, Fl area. They could use 5 nurses right now. Pay is not great, $16 an hour for her and I think $20 for an RN but you can work 60 hrs a week if you want.

      1. Daddio, home care and nursing home care are the two areas of nursing that I won’t do, for several reasons. One is safety, for myself as well as for the patients (home care in my area puts one in not always safe situations, nursing homes are an accident waiting to happen for anyone with a license because of the ratios of patiens to staff). The other consideration is, while I keep my license active, I have been out of the field long enough (and have not renewed certifications), and have topped out salary wise, that it makes more sense for them to hire young ppl they don’t have to pay as much, who have more recent experience. It is what it is. I’ve accepted it. Things might be different in your area, but where I am, as well as where I am from, there are a ton of good and not so good nursing schools churning out new grads all the time. So there is not as much of a nursing shortage that might be present in other areas.

  14. I found THE best tasting bottled water… It’s the Simple Truth brand, which I think is Kroger’s organic brand. It’s vapor distilled water with electrolytes added back. Oh my gosh. I had a bottle in the frig, and after a hard day’s work and a parched mouth, it was DEEELLICIOUS! I will have to get me some for my stash.

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