What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 29 Jan 13th – 19th 2019

prep week 29

It has been an awesome week of prepping here on our survival homesteading retreat, and I barely had to lift a finger. Bobby and I spent several hours mapping out our spring, summer, and fall improvement plans – and it was an incredibly productive blast!

As I have noted before during my weekly prepping updates, we have been talking about the placement of the new chicken coop, a greenhouse, and several other things. Yesterday we sat down at the table on an incredibly peaceful and quiet afternoon, and actually drew out how we wanted it all to look while discussing the pros and cons of each placement.

We rarely, and boy do I mean rarely, ever get a quiet day without anyone else here but us and our puppies, with no other pressing chores, to thoroughly get through that type of large planning – especially all in a single setting.

I grabbed a large piece of paper that is about the same dimensions as the poster board I had used as a playdoh craft mat with the kiddos (because it was glossy on one side), and drew out four distinct sections to match the layout of out land, and then separated it into quadrants.

I was armed with both a black and a red permanent markers. Everything on the drawing you will see in the picture below that is in black ink reflects existing structures, growing areas, trails, and the like.

Everything in red in shows new structures, growing areas, etc. We drew in the temporary access road the gas company paid us to use for two months next year with red dashes, since it will not be permanent.

survival retreat map

I am sure you cannot figure out all of the initials and their meaning on our makeshift map, but they do make sense to us. Here is a list of what we are going to be working on, cultivating, and building for the next year – kind of a prepper’s New Year’s resolution list in living color, I guess.

1. Build garage by wood shed with a second story office, so Bobby can close and sell his office in town. Existing attached garage is becoming a living room and extra SHTF sleeping space.

2. Build a parts shed off of the new garage for vehicle replacement parts etc.

3. Create new chicken coop with a massive run on the back side of the pole barn.

4. Brush hog “Oh S**t” trail to increase grazing space for the livestock.

5. Build a cow shed along the same trail for the new small herd of cattle.

6. Grub the rock formation area and the sides of “Up Top” hill road to increase livestock grazing space, also.

7. Relocate the fruit grove to where the old “kill corral” used to be. The fruit grove is too close to where the gas line work will be going on for us to be comfortable with its location and now that the corral is down, it is the better overall location.

8. Build a reloading shed where Brea’s cabin so will no longer be, because she is finally getting her dream home and putting it elsewhere on the property.

9. Move a camper to the rock formation area by the ravine as a lookout and for use as a hunting lodge

10. Expand the large ground growing plot into the smallest partial hay field to grow more sweet corn, field corn, wheat, and sorghum.

11. Grow rice in a marshy area we have been cultivating.

12. Build a six stall farm implement shed where the chicken coop will no longer be located.

13. Use one part of the “Y” dirt road from house to barn to garden smarter not harder in containers, raised beds on stilts, barrel, and vertical gardening, and to put in the new greenhouse.

I am sure I left off a couple of small things, like cutting in a few new trails, but that is the gist of our prepping improvements list for the year.

Now, on to this week’s questions:

1. What are your prepping “resolutions” for this year?
2. Do you reload your own ammo or would you like to learn?
3. If you keep cattle on your survival retreat (or would like to) what breed(s) do you keep?
4. What did you do this week?

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 →

113 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 29 Jan 13th – 19th 2019

  1. I did my low-carb grocery shopping this week. Added a little to my stash. Cooked my weekly meals.

    Bought some stormproof matches to add to my stash and some will go into my BOB.

    There have been multiple bites by river otters around my complex. A cop shot a sick acting otter and it tested positive for rabies. One bite happened in my complex. I think seven people were injured over several days and they’re all getting post-exposure vaccinations. Luckily, the rabies series they give now is no where near as medieval as the old one. Only five shots, two on the first day (two different meds), and the remaining three spread over 14-days. None in the abdomen like before.

    Rabies is definitely a concern when SHTF seriously occurs. It is not a pleasant disease to suffer from. Once symptoms start, any chance of a recovery is nearly nil, even with full modern medical care available. Of course, in a full fledged TEOTWAWKI situation, the ability to get the post-exposure vaccines are also nil. Normally, with a rabid animal, one should not shoot it in the head, or otherwise ruin the brain as that is what has to be tested. But in a total grid down situation, I’d shoot the animal in whatever spot will cause the fastest death, usually the head. Dead, rabid animals are the safest to handle to bury or otherwise dispose of. Use precautions such as heavy gloves, shovels, etc, to handle the remains. Police officers are taught to kill suspected rabid animals and not try to capture them, just for the safety reason. They have to be euthanized anyway to examine their brain.

    I shot a rabid animal, a raccoon, once during my police career. Research reveals that the majority of human rabies infections in the US come from bites or scratches of bats or raccoons. I suspect, in a serious SHTF situation, rabies will become more prevalent, particularly in domestic animals that are normally vaccinated. Remember too, that rabies is not limited to rural areas. I live in an urban area, near Orlando, and otters are very common, as are bats, and raccoons.

    Tara’s Questions:
    1. Prepping resolutions this year? I don’t have any really special resolution except to continue adding to my food stash, rotating older foods out, continuing to expand my medical education, keeping up on my firearms training, and continuing to lose more weight.
    2. Reload ammo? I know how, but I don’t, mainly for lack of proper facilities.
    3. Keeping cattle? Don’t do that. My property managers would be most put out if I did.
    4. Prepping this week: See the little above.

    1. Zulu 3-6,

      There have been multiple bites by river otters around my complex. A cop shot a sick acting otter and it tested positive for rabies.

      Our biggest concern for rabies is raccoons; but, so far there have been no reported incidents in Ohio. We do on occasion see distemper. Distemper is not a direct threat to humans; but, can make raccoons more aggressive, and the fatal disease may be passed on to our canine friends. I have dispatched a few raccoons that were out in the daylight and acting groggy. Animal control collected the carcasses and it was distemper that can appear as rabies.

      Luckily, the rabies series they give now is no where near as medieval as the old one. Only five shots, two on the first day (two different meds), and the remaining three spread over 14-days. None in the abdomen like before.

      That’s good to know. I knew a kid when I was growing up who had that series, and he had nightmares about it for years.

      Rabies is definitely a concern when SHTF seriously occurs. It is not a pleasant disease to suffer from.

      I agree and dispatching the animal and handling with care would be in order. Bury it deep with some lime or perhaps a funeral pyre, since you need to kill the virus causing the disease.

      Remember too, that rabies is not limited to rural areas. I live in an urban area, near Orlando, and otters are very common, as are bats, and raccoons.

      Raccoons are an amazingly versatile animal. Franklin County is the Home of Columbus, the state capital with about 1.3 million people. Estimates at one point said that there were nearly as many raccoons as people, since they will take up residence in nearly any sheltered place, from garages to sewers.

      1. TOP,

        Yeah, Trash Pandas are awfully clever little things.

        Here in Orlando, there was a 6-year old boy who died of rabies from bat bites and scratches last year. Have to blame his parents, especially his dad, for that one. Dad found a sick bat at work, put it in a bucket and brought it home. Told his 6-year old son not to touch it. Neighbors and family told investigators later that the boy was extremely curious and was not afraid of small wildlife. So, of course, he HAD to touch the bat.

        The kid told his parents what happened and when they told him he would have to get shots, he started crying, so they felt sorry for him and didn’t take him to the ER. A week or so later, the boy started showing neurological symptoms so the parents finally took him in to the ER. But it was too late. They tried the post exposure vaccinations anyway, no good. They put the boy in an induced coma as part of the hope for the best treatment, so at least he died painlessly.

        I don’t know if the parents were prosecuted, but they should have been.

      1. Bam Bam,

        Thanks for the link. I have looked at it and there are some nice recipes. Unfortunately, my doctor wants me to steer clear of the Keto diet because of some of the meds I take and medical issues I have (minor as they are).

        1. Zulu,

          I conflated “low carb” with Keto–I suspect because Keto has received so much attention of late. I am actually curious about the meals you prepare regularly. I am not keen on “high fat” of the Keto diet. But I like the reduced carbs. I have been doing a lot of research on proper nutrition. My findings indicate that tax payers have spent way too much money on crappy nutrition research. Fad diets do not work. Some fats are good–avocados are good, junk food is bad. Not all carbs are bad–there’s a difference between white bread, white rice and white potatoes on the one hand and whole wheat bread, brown rice and sweet potatoes on the other hand. I am starting to think that the whole foods diet is the best. I describe this diet as “if it didn’t exist before 1950, it’s probably unhealthy”. (Maybe I should write a book called the “pre-hippy/yuppie/hipster diet.”) LOL

          1. Bam Bam.

            My personal recommendation is to follow a more Mediterainian style diet. Don’t buy into all the hype of *this or that*diet.

            We Americans do not consume enough fruits and vegetables overall. We are the meat and potatoes folks. But if you look at the diets of more eastern cultures, with longer longevity than us, meat is more of a flavoring rather than the main course. Healthy fats are an important part of every diet. Amd if you go back in time, our ancestors likely had a more veg/grain/fruit based diet as well, meat was not always easy to come by.

            Years ago, the South Beach diet was real big. It was a lower carb but healthier carb style diet, which encouraged healthy fats too. It was similar to the Mediteranian diet, in tha it encourage more f/v, and use of healthy fats. My ‘tribe’ at work decided to try it, we would take turns bringing healthy meals to work for the whole team, We had mixed results, but we all lost some weight.

            I am a meat eater, so I could never go vegan or vegetarian, and those diets have their challenges as well.

            Nurses get education in nutrition that doctors don’t. That has enable me to evaluate the ‘fad’ diets. My own personal recommendations, make sure you are well hydrated, increase veg consumption, make sure your starch/grain consumption are healthier options, and use healthy fats.

            Your body needs carbs. It is our primary source of energy. The important piece is that you choose healthy carbs. Healthy carbs, in combination with healthy fats and plenty of good veg and fruit, will aid in health and healthy weight.

            I haven’t evaluated all the research, but there is some info out there that every body has a ‘set point’ weight and that all the ‘dieting’ we do messes with that set point. I personally am back at my high school weight, after some illness, and I feel and look better than I have in years. I also cleaned up my diet, prior to my illness.

            Okay, off the soapbox…probably more than some wanted to hear…Eat your veggies!

          2. Bam Bam,

            I think the higher fat content of the Keto diet is why my doctor wants me to avoid it. He is worried about my cholesterol (although it isn’t that high, but the good cholesterol is pretty low). I have family history of heart attacks and strokes.

            He wants me on a statin but I have side effects to them, being severe flank pain (like kidney stones). I’m on a small dose of Crestor now to see what happens. I have some tips from a clinical pharmacist to try if the pain comes back. I’ve only had one dose so far (last night) and nothing untoward yet.

          3. Zulu 3-6,

            I think the higher fat content of the Keto diet is why my doctor wants me to avoid it. He is worried about my cholesterol (although it isn’t that high, but the good cholesterol is pretty low).

            I think the Keto diet is just the latest incarnation of the Atkins diet. My cardiologist placed me on the Akins diet years ago and it worked rather well, with really good lipid profiles. Either of those diets don’t have to be high fat, just low carbs & high protein with a little fat. To know you are really “in the zone” on those diets, one needs to test for mild ketosis using simple urine test strips (Ketostrips). One thing that can help to raise the LDL (good cholesterol) is a daily dose of niacin; but, only the nicotinic acid form, and not the niacinamide. This can sometimes flush you; but, does help raise the LDL.

            He wants me on a statin but I have side effects to them, being severe flank pain (like kidney stones). I’m on a small dose of Crestor now to see what happens. I have some tips from a clinical pharmacist to try if the pain comes back. I’ve only had one dose so far (last night) and nothing untoward yet.

            I’ve been on statins for about 30 years, first with Mevacor (Lovastatin) when it first came out in the late 1980’s and now on Lipitor (Atorvastatin). One thing to take along with statins is COQ10 and Omega 3. I take COQ10 and Krill oil.
            I had a good friend who could not take statins of any kind, since they cause muscle pains at any dosage level, so hopefully they can get things worked out for you.

          4. TOP,

            So far, no problems with the statin, but the first time I took one, it took several weeks before the pain reared its head. This time, if the pain comes back, the pharmacist wants me to stop taking it, then get and take Co-Enzyme 210 for ten days, then restart the statin (and still take the supplement). If the pain returns again, to stop and give her a call. I guess she’s going to drop back ten and punt at that point.

          5. Zulu 3-6,

            So far, no problems with the statin, but the first time I took one, it took several weeks before the pain reared its head.

            Wihle I’ve never had problems with statins, there are various versions. I started with the first one available in 1987 called Mevacor (Lovastatin) that I took until about the 1999-2000 time frame at which point I switched to and have been taking Lipitor (Atorvastatin) ever since. It was rather expensive at first; but, when the patent expired in November 2011, generics came on the market and the price dropped precipitously. I still take 80 mg per day.

            This time, if the pain comes back, the pharmacist wants me to stop taking it, then get and take Co-Enzyme 210 for ten days, then restart the statin (and still take the supplement). If the pain returns again, to stop and give her a call. I guess she’s going to drop back ten and punt at that point.

            My cardiologist wanted me to take both Coenzyme Q10 (AKA Ubiquinone, Ubidecarenone, often abbreviated to Co Q10, along with Omega 3, which I get from Krill Oil. I used some expensive generics; but, ended up using the one from Cunol. It is also expensive; but, I was able to sign up on their site (www.qunol.com) and purchased a three pack of 100 mg 120 count for around $70.00, which gives me about a 1 year supply. They want you to take a subscription service; but, after ignoring some of their email offers, they made me the offer I just listed.
            You might also mention the niacin supplement (nicotinic acid) to your doc also. I get a bottle of 1000 500 mg tablets for around $25.00 (https://www.amazon.com/Rugby-Niacin-500-1000-Tabs/dp/B003H5SXDQ. I was first prompted to look at this when a doctor years ago prescribed Nicobid that was way too expensive; but, turned out to be just the same as the less expensive Rugby OTC stuff. The claim is that taking it with aspirin helps the flushing; but, I do take daily aspirin and the flushing seems to have a mind of its own, sometimes OK and sometimes not.
            This one bottle lasts for several years; but, can cause some uncomfortable flushing; however, it raised my LDL by about 25-30 points with no other dietary or exercise changes.

            BTW, has anyone heard what’s up with this week’s WIDTPTW column

        2. Zulu, For the kidney stones. two treatments work acv , and the one we have used is corn silk. we got some in a capsule. he took 2 capsules for a week , once a day.then one daily til botle was gone and he passed the stones. after a few days he said urination was frothy..It took about the 21 days to pass. them all. Have to repeat them every 6-8 months. Last year i bought some organic corn and saved 2 quarts of corn silk..( dehydrated those) I grind and out in size 00 capsules.

  2. nothing specificly for new years, but i been wanting a root cellar for years, going to try putting in 2 this year, 1 for canning jars and live storage, and another possibly as a cashe to be filled with supplies and sealed. other than that i might build an addition onto my cabin.

    yeah sort of, i make arrows and bolts (also make recurve bow and crossbows), i figure if all else fails i can always make a crossbow when i need something to hunt with. i also reload shotgun shells with homemade powder and primer, and wax slugs in addition to shot. rifle ammo is a little too hard to make at home and expect to be accurate. figure if the shotgun fails i could also use the same stuff in a matchlock.

    i don’t have a retreat per sae, that implies living elsewhere and having a place to retreat to, i live on my homestead all year long. i have cattle, steers specifically. jersey and holsteins, i buy them as weaned bull calves off dairy farms in the spring, steer them and let them forage 3 summers then butcher in the 3rd fall (when they are roughly 700lb each), i keep and can up or jerk what i need and sell the rest (hence my goal of a root cellar to keep extra jars in, i got no refrigeration and my cabin is packed full of home canned food, my idea to build on is just to add more storage space, root cellar would remove all that from the cabin and keep it from freezing)

    not much, been inclement weather, i did sell a cord of wood (3 face cords actually, each was 16″x4’x8′, combined they would be a pulp cord 4’4’8′), then i walked into town and bought some minor supplies and groceries (luxuries like fresh broccoli).

    1. Nemoseto,

      ammo is a little too hard to make at home and expect to be accurate. figure if the shotgun fails i could also use the same stuff in a matchlock.

      Before my vision issues I used to make match grade ammunition at home, so it is possible.
      Do you actually have a matchlock? I’ve handled one and fired it a few times; but, percussion caps have a much faster lock time and even a flintlock is more accurate. If you have a “real” matchlock, it could well be worth a small fortune that would get you a better firearm. My friend with the matchlock has turned down offers over $3000.00.

      i don’t have a retreat per sae, that implies living elsewhere and having a place to retreat to, i live on my homestead all year long.

      It’s the same hear, and we’ve been continuously improving the place little by little, year after year. We have a root cellar of sorts, since our unfinished basement stays cool and damp; but, above freezing year round. We have plans for some additional shelving down there.

      1. i said i could make a matchlock, i don’t actually have one but they are much simpler that a flintlock or cap lock to make, al beit much lower powered. i have made simple guns out of scrap (plumbing pipe, misc springs and bits of metal to make hammers, locks, triggers, etc, curved tree branches i carved down into stocks). i am confident in making black powder as i have done it before, but i am not skilled in making caps or in making or using flintlocks. i it came down to it with my current skill i can reload shotgun shells reusing the old primer caps a couple times, but if they run out i can make simple guns using black powder and shot (or a slug) and ignite it with a match (or slow burning fuse, using a small pan of powder as a primer). if it came to it i would probably tinker with making caps or a flint lock or some other method i ignition. i just don’t have the skill to do it at the moment.

        1. Nemoseto,

          i said i could make a matchlock, i don’t actually have one but they are much simpler that a flintlock or cap lock to make, al beit much lower powered.

          I see what you mean. In a pinch the matchlock would indeed be much easier to make. I have shot them and they are not any less powerful than a wheel lock or flintlock, they just have a slower lock time when you want to fire them, and like the flintlock is not a very good choice for wing shooting.

          i am confident in making black powder as i have done it before, but i am not skilled in making caps or in making or using flintlocks.

          I’ve also made black powder from scratch a few times just to prove I could do it, using a recipe from one of the first Foxfire books. We used hog urine to make the saltpeter and soft willow to make the charcoal; but, did break down and purchase the sulfur. Making caps or flintlocks could indeed be tricky; but, shooting a flintlock is no different than shooting any other firearm, except you get only one shot, the slow lock time (time from trigger squeeze to the “bang”) and the whoosh of the 4F priming powder flashing in your face.
          The discovery of fulminates was made by Edward Charles Howard in 1800 and the invention that made the percussion cap using the fulminates was patented by the Rev. Alexander John Forsyth of Belhelvie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1807. It has been reported that Rev. Forsyth was an avid bird hunter; but, the flash in the pan would often warn and scare off the prey, so his invention of the percussion cap was a necessity for putting food on the table.

          i it came down to it with my current skill i can reload shotgun shells reusing the old primer caps a couple times

          Since the anvil in the primer is crushed on use and the priming compound is burned up, how do you reuse a primer?

          if they run out i can make simple guns using black powder and shot (or a slug) and ignite it with a match (or slow burning fuse, using a small pan of powder as a primer).

          I don’t know how you would use a pan of powder as a primer; but, you could place the powder in the barrel like a muzzle loader and use any flame through a touch hole or a fuse and it should work. It would essentially work like a cannon with a handle; but, the original guns worked that way, with a “tiller” for the operators and a separate person to light the “match” or wick.
          As for skills, I here you, since I suspect most of us don’t have the skill, equipment, or materials for such tasks.

          1. i rebuild the primer cap in shotguns. the best description on how is in the army field manual on improvised munitions. you use a nail thats been flattened on the end (not pointed) to push it out then hammer it back into shape, use a very volitile powder (such as phospherous white tips from kitchen matches) to refill the spent cap and put the hammer back in and set the primer back in the shell. i have a 50-50 rate of them working like this. i used homemade powder or match heads as powder and then a wadding then shot (i use anything, often bbs) and either seal the end with wax or make a wax slug. reloading shotgun shells like this doesn’t take more equipment than whatever junk is lying around and shotguns are a lot more forgiving using homemade ammo (no rifled barrel, just fire a lot of shrapnel in a general direction). same book also described matchlocks and caplocks (using toy caps as a primer), if i was using those i would set it up to ignite from the side so i don’t get a face full of smoke (like the locks on some old caplock guns i used to have).

            i have made a few junk guns (made out of whatever junk was laying around), nothing fancy, but they do send projectiles out, though they are very slow to reload, not something i would ever want to rely on except maybe to hunt with, would rather rebuild spent shells for my crack barrel 12 guage. of course these guns are nothing like the ones my crazy uncle used to make off paladan press books (he taught me about guns when i was a kid). this year i plan to tinker with making a slam fire shotgun (a stock mounted pipe gun, i saw one on youtube), and i been meaning to experiment with 36 volt arc welding (3 car batteries in series) if i finally get around to it i plan to tinker with making a crack barrel 9mm rifle (something small for woodchucks). i have all kinds of designs in my head but don’t have much welding skill or money for equipment, its all just a hobby for me though, making stuff from scrap. my bows and crossbows are made from anything from traditional white ash carefully split and shaved and backed with sinew to heated and molded pvc and arrows and bolts made from wood fletched with anythign from turkey feathers to duct tape. just something satisfying about tinkering all day on a crossbow then hitting a tin can size target 100 feet away with it.

    2. Nemoseto,

      I always find your posts so interesting. Do you do both water bath and pressuring canning? Do you have solar lighting?

      1. i have several water bath canners and pressure canners, i keep getting free pressure canners in yard sales or on the curb even, lots of people don’t know enough to change the gasket when it wears out and they buy another canner or give up on canning. i use a propane camp stove to run the canners since its more consistant heat.

        i use 12 volt power for most things. i got started years ago with a single 12 volt marine battery and a couple 12 volt chargers from tractor supply (15 watt each, wired in parralel) eventually buying some harbor freight 45 watt kits (3 of those 15 watt panels), eventually wired over 200 watt array worth together to keep 3 marine batteries charged (wired together so they held 330 amp hours at 12 volt, charged and discharged as i they were a single battery). current array is a 400 watt renolgy set on the cabin, the older panels are on outbuildings like the barn (75 watt array), workshop (90 watt), 30 watt array charging an older marine battery that powers the fence charger, trickle charger on an old car battery in the outhouse wired to power a 12 volt dome light inside the outhouse and a salvaged headlight outside acting as a yard floodlight, all my buildings are wired with a 12 volt battery and chargers, some are old car batteries, some are marine, powering 12 volt lights salvaged from cars and campers etc run on toggle switches. the cabin has a 500 watt inverter to use ac power, workshop and barn have inverters as well. anywhere i may need power i set up a couple panels, and a battery. i have had plenty o cheap vehicles that died on me and i always strip parts before i junk them, also strip parts off friends cars i they are junking them, get batteries, wire, lights, etc that way.

    3. one of my favorite 12 gauge shot shell loads is 9 00buck or 9 .312 muzle loader balls on top of a 1 1/8ounce powder charge in a shot shell cup. you may need a felt undershot filler and a over shot card , i no longer enjoy the teeth jarring recoil. 9 pellets are in the average run out weight / for 1 1/8ounce

  3. 1. What are your prepping “resolutions” for this year? Sort/inventory current preps. Debt reduction/elimination.

    2. Do you reload your own ammo or would you like to learn? I do reload. Mostly practice ammo at Cowboy Action Shooting specs. I can load my rifle loads for hunting, but I have several rounds of factory.

    3. If you keep cattle on your survival retreat (or would like to) what breed(s) do you keep? I know nothing about cattle, except what I get at the store.

    4. What did you do this week? Well…

    Sent in the final payment for the house. I now “own” all of my hard assets. Still some other financial things to clean up, but the year is definitely looking up.

    Received: spare mag for Rem R51, mag adapter for SR9c, got a new knife: Gerber Freeman Guide (good look and feel for a $22 fixed blade), holster for R51

    Just am having no luck getting the DW a new cover for her tablet. Looks like she’s going to end up with a “gorilla tape” reinforced cover! One more try before I go there.

    Took GS1 “into the pantry” and sent “the broke college student” home with 3 boxes of food. Depending upon how well he uses it, it should keep him going for 2-3 months; he is having surgery on his foot next week and expects to be out of work for 2-3 weeks, then light duty for 4-5 months with a cast/walking boot. It’s good for him (as I pointed out to him) that his employer is willing to work with him on this. The surgery is covered, but being 18, he has no other insurance.

    1. Hi JP,

      How do you like the R51? A couple of years ago, I bought the Colt 1903 if you recall. Next to it was an original Model 51 from the teens/20’s. Box included, looked pretty original. I wanted to swing back and buy it a few weeks later but the store had closed. (I read he’d taken up front money from several customers without following through on the order.)
      The 51 was a Pedersen-designed pistol offered by Remington. It was way ahead of its time in many ways but didn’t fare well commercially due to a higher price tag than anything else in its class. Originally, it was a .32 ACP (rare) and , most often, a .380. Ten round mags too. Nice pointing axis. Very ergonomic.

      1. Overwatch:

        So far it has really been too cold to do any shooting. With a 2WD vehicle, getting to a rural range can be difficult. I liked what I read about it and the way it fits in my hand. Got in a holster and a 3rd mag. I’ll try to right something up once the weather clears and I get to put some rounds down range.

  4. Did some more coupon shopping, adding a few canned food’s that I’m getting low on getting another few bags of donations ready to go. Our daughter finally landed her first job 4 hours weekends only not the best days but this will give us the push to work on our second property, so I find that a prep. I need to talk to people about my mother in law, and if any of the home’s have any space to house her, and how we go about it but being 900 miles away makes it very tough on the whole family, since everyone is still working and we can’t just run down there it’s been very stressful on my husband and it’s causing a strain on his Aunt and Uncle too. I pray that the Lord, can help us fix what’s broken. Getting ready to file taxes and watching what’s going on and how thing’s are going to work out for all. I did go thtift shopping on Monday, got a watering can for my inside plants, got three more piller candles, and two votive holder’s in pink, along with votive candles, in them candles are a great prep. Have a great long weekend, those who have it it just goes by to quick.

    Question 1. Prepping resolution. Working on our property, getting house plans to the county and making a major move.

    Question 2. No we don’t do our own ammo

    Question 3. No animal’s, and probably won’t.

  5. Hi Tara & all,
    We’ve also been doing some planning and producing projected budgets for our upcoming spring & summer projects. This weather makes it a perfect time to hibernate by the fire and do such activities. While we will repurpose some items, the internet has made this an easier task, since we can look up and compare prices for lumber and fixtures on both the Home Depot & Lowes websites for budgeting purposes on items we must purchase.
    We have a green house; but, are planning one or two deck projects and an upgrade to the nearly 100 year old chicken coop, mostly by replacing the old original rickety door and hinges.
    Since we will not be adding anything and just upgrading, our planning is not quite as elaborate as yours; but, one upgrade will be a new building to replace the old 15’ x 16’ brooder house that we tore down. A pile of heavy gravel will be the base, and for about the cost of materials, we can purchase a new building and have it set in place with no real work except leveling the gravel, and adding some wiring to the building after installation.
    On your task: 7. Relocate the fruit grove to where the old “kill corral” used to be. Are you replanting stock or moving the current trees intact. If the later, I would be interested, since the fruit trees we planted here originally are pretty much gone and done, and the new ”twigs” are taking way too much time to bear fruit.

    11. Grow rice in a marshy area we have been cultivating.?
    Rice in Ohio? Is our weather warm enough for rice? In the past years I joked about growing rice with all of the rain and soggy soil we’ve had. I would be interested in following this project,

    1. What are your prepping “resolutions” for this year?
    No prepping resolutions per. se., just a continuing 30+ year plan that we keep nibbling away at as time, money, and health permits.

    2. Do you reload your own ammo or would you like to learn?
    I used to reload my own ammunition, mostly 9mm, .357, .38 Spl, 5.56mm, and various shotgun loads; but, my poor vision makes it too dangerous, so I sold my Dillon RL550 press and dies to BLACK for a good price and he has agreed to do some loading for me, since I still have bullets, primers, and powder on hand.
    3. If you keep cattle on your survival retreat (or would like to) what breed(s) do you keep?
    We don’t keep cattle; but, have several neighbors, including BLACK who have dairy herds and occasionally can add in a small steer without much trouble. We already have most of an 800 pound angus in the freezer.
    4. What did you do this week?

    This past week we did and acquired the following:
    1. Received two 2 meter length USB cables for the stash. These were only $3.00 each with free shipping from woot and could very well come in handy at some point with all of the ongoing projects I have concurrently running.
    2. Read the following article and report: DEA 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment ar5ticle summary: (https://www.dea.gov/press-releases/2018/11/02/dea-releases-2018-national-drug-threat-assessment-0 and the morons inhabiting the left side of the aisle still think we need open borders. Also read the actual report here: https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2018-11/DIR-032-18%202018%20NDTA%20final%20low%20resolution.pdf_ and judge for yourself.
    3. Another 24 bottle case of water
    4. Began preparing my 2018 taxes and my 2019 withdrawal calculations.
    5. Received our much needed wireless doorbell system
    6. Attended our 2nd of 13 Tai Chi classes. This is very low impact exercise; but, I am rediscovering muscles I didn’t realize I still had. LOL
    7. Received Amazon order: 10 Pack of UL Listed Assorted Rainbow colored PVC Electrical Tape (Rated @ 600 Volts & 176 °F: each roll is ¾ inch by 60 Feet. I was running out and needed to top off my stock.
    8. The company that services our R/O water unit brought back the rebuilt unit and installed it. We were without the R/O system for about a week; but, now it’s probably good for a few more years. The repair was done at no cost using old parts they had laying around in the shop. He did tell me however, that they used the last of the parts on hand, and that another break like this will probably mean replacing the 32 year old unit, which is OK, since it’s been a very good investment.
    9. Two 24 count cases of bottled water
    10. Two 40 lb bags of water softener salt. The bench / table where we store the salt is nearly empty; but, the salt container on the system is full to the top. Next step is to bring home more salt to increase the on hand supply to at least 1000 lbs.
    11. Our first 1000 gallon propane tank is down to 20% (200 gallons), so we opened the valve on the second tank. The other 1000 and the 500 are still full, so unless the rest of the winter is horribly cold, our summer fill should be rather inexpensive. Those tanks have paid for themselves numerous times over the years.

    1. I forgot one minor short term plan. We’ll be trying our hand at maple syruping in the next few months. I’ve done it before with others; but, this will be a first time with just the DW & I. I’ll most likely just freeze the sap until we can get a proper boiler put together from parts on hand

    2. TOP, how much snow did you get in the last storm ?

      Did you see the video of the guy that licked the doorbell can for 3 hours ? LOL

      1. Thor1,

        TOP, how much snow did you get in the last storm ?

        We got a toatal of about 8 inches with a coating of ice; but, ODOT and the county and local folks hit the roads pretty well. We were under a Level 3 (NO Traveling) snow emergency for about 12 hours Saturday night until early Sunday morning, mostly due to high winds and low visibility. We had some propane issues due to the bitter cold that I’ll detail in my next WIDTPTW; but, overall, came through with no problems.

        Did you see the video of the guy that licked the doorbell can for 3 hours ? LOL

        No I didn’t. I learned a long time ago about touching your tongue to anything when it’s bitter cold outside, which is why in our classes we tell the students to bring a ”plastic” whistle on their forays into the wild.

  6. My resolution for this year is to take into production all the land I cleared. I will start with a plan much like Tara’s, drawing it out on a large sheet of paper, the back of last years wall calendar will do nicely. With my wife’s help we can decide where and what to plant. I figure I have twenty years or more to see things grow so much of it can be fruit and nut trees. Having access to a tractor and harrow, as well as the backhoe will make it easier. The horrow has been parked in the woods at my brother’s for 20 years so it might take a bit of work to get it operational.

    I do not shoot much so no need to reload.

    I could run a few cows on my 10 acres of wooded land but fencing would be expensive and me being lazy I do not want to create more work.

    My prepping is still fixing up my home. I have sixteen feet one wall I just removed the old siding from and need to get it covered before it rains tonight. Everything else is on hold until that gets done.

    1. fence won’t be too expensive or hard or cattle. a single strand of electric wire will keep them in, if they were shocked by a wire once they will be afraid to touch a wire again. most farmers around here just use a single wire, many use trees as fence posts just nailing an insulator to the tree. cedar fence posts last a long time but some people use anything and replace as needed. even i the wire isn’t charged the cattle are afraid to touch it. $50 or a half mile of wire, $10 or a bag of 25 insulators (will need 6 bags for 10 acres), and a fence charger (i use a 12 volt charger that cost $200, plus an old car battery and 15 watt panels to charge it, even without a panel a battery will last a month). initially i just used a chainsaw to clear brush along the lines, used trees and occasional posts to run a single wire, then a second 12 inches from it to be sure. as i have had money i alter it and add barbed wires, as mucha s security as or keeping cattle in, since nobody wants to climb over a 5 foot high barbed wire fence with electric wires mixed in, replaced the tree insulators with fence posts too. would really only take a day or 2 of work to clear dense brush like mine, then about 3 hours to put up the wire.

      my cattle were just cheap dairy bull calves, bottle feeders run as cheap as $20 each but weaned calves are less work but run $100 each. i let them forage in the woods, and they eat whatever (they like poplar). cheap hay too (horse hay runs $40 a round bale, but generic whatever hay is $10 a round bale, i need 4 to 6 round bales per animal per winter). i know people who buy them in the spring and butcher small in the fall, not as much meat at that size but still no winter hay costs. i buy mine as weaned spring calves then steer them (fix them so they are less agressive), let them forage or 3 warm seasons and buy hay 2 winters then butcher when pasture is done the 3rd all, 700 lbs each (50% is meat) or i sell them.

  7. 1. What are your prepping “resolutions” for this year?
    Here’s what I want, but it may not all get done.
    -ANIMALS-Hatch chicks and keep a goat kid.
    -CHEESEMAKING-Buy more cheesemaking supplies and make more cheese.
    -FRUITS & VEGETABLES-Enlarge garden a little, preserve even more of my own food, plant a few more fruit trees, teach DIL how to can, get a greenhouse (someday),
    -FARM-Improve hay field, plant a few pumpkins and sunflowers, repair small barn,
    -HOUSE-Turn sewing room into nursery/bedroom for grands, organize pantry better, sell/donate items I don’t use, organize basement better, dig well near gutter downspout, get whole-home LP generator,
    -BEES-Buy two nucs and do two splits (if possible), organize bee supplies,

    2. Do you reload your own ammo or would you like to learn?
    Husband does this.

    3. If you keep cattle on your survival retreat (or would like to) what breed(s) do you keep?
    I have Alpine and Saanen goats. (I also have chickens.)

    4. What did you do this week?
    -Added to stockpile.
    -Got a new hitch for new-to-us truck.
    -Shot at range. (We requalify next week to keep CC.)
    -Doing more wogging (walk/jog). Getting more fit. I use my first-graders’ gym time to get in a few more minutes of exercise. A lot of the kids end up doing laps with me around the gym. I’ve found that some of them tire out long before I do.
    -We’re expecting a French toast event this weekend. (You know. Run to the store for bread, milk, and eggs! The snow and ice are coming!) I have the animals ready for the precip. and cold temps.
    -We planned our vacation to Yellowstone and points between here and there. We’re camping, hiking, and whatever else we feel like doing.

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

    1. I almost forgot! I found a piece of cast iron cookware and a loaf pan at Goodwill. I also got a coupon for five free cans of dog food. I don’t use canned food, but I like free and my hound will eat anything.

      1. Be careful with the canned dog foods. There is one brand that is 60% containated. ..with phenobarb, i heavy enough doses to kill the animals that ate it very fast… Here is an excerpt from the article I sent to someone else…Country Vet sent me the info. she is very concerned.
        “After testing 62 samples of wet dog food from over 24 brands for pentobarbital multiple times over several months, just one brand repeatedly tested positive for pentobarbital with sixty percent of samples coming back positive: Gravy Train.

        Manufactured by Smucker’s owned company Big Heart Pet Foods, the line also produces Meow Mix, Milk Bone, Kibbles’n Bits, 9 Lives, Natural Balance, Pup-Peroni, Nature’s Recipe, Canine Carry Outs, Milo’s Kitchen, Alley Cat, Jerky Treats, Meaty Bone, Pounce and Snausages pet foods.”

  8. Hello everyone. I hope you are staying warm and dry.
    My resolutions for the year is to continue the raised bed gardening started last year. I also want to get a handle on some of the basement clutter. It is difficult to toss some of the memories. But I can increase the preps by making room.
    No on the ammo.
    Family has some cattle- most are crossbreeds.
    Preps this week include stocking up on 50 lb. bags of salt on sale. Bought 400 pounds from a local owned feed supply. Added pasta and canned goods.
    Most important prep was to talk to youngest- the only one still at school- on bug out plans. The college she attends is 5 hours away with a major city just 30 miles south of campus. It actually makes sense for her to head north a short distance and then turn east and finally south.

    I may have to head back to Central Florida, my Dad seems to be having a hard time coping with my Mom’s deterioration. She is in a nursing home but he spends the better part of each day with her. The stress is taking it’s toll. Plan to drive because of the uncertainties of the partial shut down.

    1. Moe
      If possible to get your dad to take B12 each day, it will help with the stress. Also Triple K, it is a vitamin that helps the cells in the body absorb the minerals in to the tissues which are lacking, and distributes it where it is required.

      Sorry to hear about your parents.

  9. Prepared Grammy:
    Love the term wogging. I resemble that.
    Your trip to Yellowstone should be enjoyable. If you have time to travel the state highways instead of the Interstates I think you will find many friendly people.

      1. Prepared Grammy,

        We like traveling off the beaten path. I can’t wait to see this part of our country.

        As I get older it’s often become more important to “get there” /strong>; but, in my youth I traveled through all of the lower 48 (or is that 57? LOL) by vehicle and often took the back roads; however, in some cases back in the mid 1970’s, there were large areas of the country that had still not completed their Interstate sections, so you often had no choice.
        There are often many local attractions that one doesn’t even know about thwen you stick to the Interstates.

      2. Prepared Grammy:
        I think you will like the wide open spaces of the West. One caveat, there are areas where gas stations are 75 to 100 miles apart. Plus in some of the really small towns, a community event like the high school graduation can bring everything to a stand still for a few hours. Lots of parades too- our small town has five a year with most of them falling during the warm months.

        I love driving cross country. This great country of ours has so much to discover.

        1. Me too. No metal detectors in my car, the Boston accent is a “wicked good conversation stahter”, and you see so much. On my next trip to my future home state of TN, I’m stopping in Virginia at the grave of “Texas Jack”Vermillion.

        2. I know what you mean about the parades. Our small towns have them too, and I love it. But I’m not sure those traveling through feel the same way.

          Thanks for the advice about the fueling situations. We’re also planning our food. We’ve heard that it’s quite expensive there. Since we’re bringing the camper, we have enough room to bring all we’ll need. We will eat out at a few restaurants recommended by locals. Those are always the best places to eat.

  10. I am still struggling with the decision of what to do with my inheritance–whether to pay down debt or invest for retirement. (I do not have any bad debt–just car and home.) My dh and I met with a longtime friend who owns a financial planning company. He recommended investing for retirement–8 percent returns on a 10 year average beats the interest I am paying for my car loan and home loan, even with inflation factored in. So I think I am going to end up investing for my retirement. Rationally I see that long term investments are smart; but my heart still wants to get out from under the mortgage payment. If the U.S. economy tanks for a whole 10 year period, we would all be seriously screwed.

    I started a new job this week. It has been rough. I have had to learn an entirely new system and new interface. I think I’ve got things down now. The place did a really poor job of onboarding–so much so that I told my new boss I would be happy to mentor any new employees. (He acknowledged the disconnect.)

    In terms of prepping I don’t have a lot to report. I purchased more canned goods. My pantry is as full as it can be. I need to do an inventory of my long term storage. I need to order a couple more cases of rice and freeze dried onions. I use the LDS rice and onions all the time.

    I have been doing a lot of crock pot cooking. Today I fixed pulled pork. I am working to develop more recipes. Earlier in the week I made buffalo ranch pulled chicken. That was a total hit. I checked the frig today to fix leftovers and found out dh had polished off the entire container. Recipe: just dump chicken breasts, a ranch packet, Franks hot sauce (like one cup), a bit of brown sugar, chicken broth, garlic and salt and pepper into crock pot and cook for 6-8 hours. Serve on buns with coleslaw. Yum.

    I can’t remember if I posted this but I have now earned my red belt. Next step–black belt. There was a violent rape on campus last week. I girl walking alone not paying attention. My instructor and I have offered to teach a self-defense class. There is just so much red tape. Anyone from my academy who wants to participate will haver to consent to a background check with fingerprints. Note that you can’t be an instructor for ATA unless you pass a background check. I understand the need—we are working with children. But still you would think that after a violent crime on campus, the administration would move things along more quickly. They are just worried about a lawsuit.

    1. BamBam
      If in doubt call Dave Ramsey ask his advice so you have a broader array of ideas what to do with the money your mom left you. He a does radio talk out of TN, on most radio channels. Look him up on the internet if you do not know who he is. He may ask you to call one many financial advisors that they have vetted, he does not take just anyone. Thought you might like this information before making a final decision.

      Please do not put it into an annuity, my oldest sister just lost her retirement. The company kept getting paid from her money via management FEES into their pockets, so be very careful.

      Best of luck to you

      1. Antique Collector,

        I met with a financial advisor of the Dave Ramsey mindset. I don’t have any “bad” debt. I have a car payment for another three years and a mortgage for 10 years. The interest rate on both are less than yearly inflation. I am still going to meet with the bank that holds my mortgage to see how low my payment would go if I put down a chunk of cash on principal–if they will do an adjustment without increasing my interest rate.

        I think Dave Ramsey’s strategy works best for people who have a lot of credit card debt. But I have none. Thank you for your suggestion. I feel an incredible obligation to make a wise choice in what to do with the money my mother left me–to pay down on the house or to put it into retirement. My dad pushed the Dave Ramsey strategy. My mom pushed wealth accumulation. My mother lost more money than my father ever earned. (He was enlisted Navy. She ran a mortgage company.)

    2. Bam Bam,

      met with a longtime friend who owns a financial planning company. He recommended investing for retirement–8 percent returns on a 10 year average

      I would ask him if he has an investment that would guarantee 8%; but, I suspect that where the rubber meets the road, it will only be a general suggestion, since I’ve done this over the years to several advisors with the same suggestions; but, no real guaranteed equity positions @ 8%.
      I have
      ”owned” two houses in my lifetime, and once you’ve paid off the mortgage, the trick is what to do with the extra money. Assuming you have a 6% mortgage with a $1000.00 per month payment and can get an 8% equity investment yield, then the payoff is not getting you just 2% more (8%-6%) return; but, by taking that $1000.00 per month and investing it, the dollar cost averaging gives you a growing nest egg that compounds that monthly payment over time. In addition, if you run short on a month due to a dead appliance or vehicle repair, you can skip that one month payment and it really doesn’t affect anything, since the bank is not yelling for their payment. When I paid off this place more than 20 years ago with the proceeds of the first house I owned and sold, I increased my 401K withholding significantly. Additionally, as I received raises in salary, I was able to add some of that to my 401K holdings as well. As I recall you still have about a 30 year time horizon until retirement, so adding as much as you can afford per month and dollar cost averaging could still be your best bet, and while the advisors all tell you not to pay off your property, for me it was a great feeling each time I did it, since at that time you only need enough cash to cover real estate taxes, insurance, and utilities.

      Rationally I see that long term investments are smart; but my heart still wants to get out from under the mortgage payment. If the U.S. economy tanks for a whole 10 year period, we would all be seriously screwed.

      Long term investments are smart; but, with your time horizon, dollar cost averaging might be an easy and rather painless way to invest. In my case, I own some equities that throw off nearly $500.00 per month into my cash account that may be withdrawn when I need it. You really need to look at your own financial and life situation, for instance, how long do you plan to stay in your current location and house.

      In terms of prepping I don’t have a lot to report. I purchased more canned goods. My pantry is as full as it can be. I need to do an inventory of my long term storage. I need to order a couple more cases of rice and freeze dried onions. I use the LDS rice and onions all the time.

      We love the LDS rice & onions as well as their potato pearls, apple slices, and fruit punch drink, that we affectionately call LDS Tang. I have friends who really likte their hot chocolate mix. We also have a lot of canned rice, wheat, flour, and other staples on hand.

      I have been doing a lot of crock pot cooking. Today I fixed pulled pork. I am working to develop more recipes. Earlier in the week I made buffalo ranch pulled chicken. That was a total hit. I checked the frig today to fix leftovers and found out dh had polished off the entire container. Recipe: just dump chicken breasts, a ranch packet, Franks hot sauce (like one cup), a bit of brown sugar, chicken broth, garlic and salt and pepper into crock pot and cook for 6-8 hours. Serve on buns with coleslaw. Yum.

      This sounds easy & tasty. We are just starting to play with our new Instant Pot, and this might be one to start with since I love pulled BBQ portk

      I can’t remember if I posted this but I have now earned my red belt.

      You had not; but, congratulations. That seems to be the equivalent of my Brown belt with black as the next step; but, one I never bothered with.

      There was a violent rape on campus last week. I girl walking alone not paying attention. My instructor and I have offered to teach a self-defense class. There is just so much red tape.

      You did mention this one and I mentioned how we got around the red tape a few times years ago. One thing to consider with a short S.D. class is the mindset of the students. We taught some pretty gruesome defense responses, like a thumb, finger, or key in the eye of the attacker, often to have the student frown and say “I couldn’t do that to someone.” which is a natural reaction for most peaceful people. Helping the student change their mindset to be able to willfully hurt someone is perhaps the hardest part of a class like this.

      1. O.P.,

        This is really a difficult decision. I could pay off my car and take the money that would have gone to the car payment and make a monthly principal payment to my mortgage. (But I am only paying 1.7 percent on my car loan–less than the cost of inflation.) I could also throw $40,000 at a $120,000 mortgage–if my bank would do an adjustment without increasing my interest rates (I am below 4 percent. I refinanced at the right time.) I am dyslexic and so terrible at math. But just by doing an extra principal payment each month I would cut my 11 years down to 5 and a half. Putting down 30 percent of the current loan might drop my payments significantly and I could use that money for my retirement. This would still leave me a chunk of change for a cash reserve–enough to maximize my Roth as a tax deduction.

        A key factor that I just can’t get a handle on is how the economy is going to do over the next 20 years. My intuition is that the Dems will take back the White House in 2020 and the economy will turn to crap. (But that Ginsberg will kick the bucket and so Trump will have another top court pick.) If that’s so, then reducing debt would be much better than investing.

        1. Bam Bam:

          As I added funds to my monthly budget, I increased my payment, but my minimum payment due didn’t change. If I made “bulk” payments, I would gain months where I would not have to make a payment (interest would still accrue) but it would not change my minimum monthly payment; it would overall decrease the amount of interest I paid on the loan. If I understand what you are asking, you want your payments lowered if you send them extra money, without a refi. That is usually a NO, it would be a renegotiation of the contract.

          Since my goal was to eliminate debt/payments, my house was actually the easiest to pay off, although the lowest interest rate. I now have that money to pound on other debt (see Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball theory). I was less concerned about the rate my money was earning, than eliminating debt (we paid off the cars first).

          There are as many different ways to handle your money, as there are “experts” to give you advise. Since you have a sum of money you are sitting on, I would advise you to wait a while before you decide. Of course, my advise is worth every penny you pay for it.

          1. I agree with everything JP just stated and said basically the same thing in another comment, although as seems to be my way, I went into more detail and thus perhaps made it harder to follow. LOL.
            In any case, as long as you can directly pay down the principle, the monthly interest will be less and the principal will come down faster, allowing the loan to be paid off earlier. Your extra cash flow (e.g. the entire monthly payment), then becomes what you use to pay off other things or invest in retirement.

        2. Bam Bam,

          I believe JP is correct on the mortgage.

          Some say Ginsberg is already dead and it’s just not got out yet. Some say she has pneumonia and is near death. Time will tell and it may or may not be the truth.

        3. Bam Bam,

          This is really a difficult decision. I could pay off my car and take the money that would have gone to the car payment and make a monthly principal payment to my mortgage. (But I am only paying 1.7 percent on my car loan–less than the cost of inflation.)

          Like some of our 0% loans, that 1.7% is not bad for a car, so I would not pay it off unless everything else was paid off first.
          If you make the larger lump sum payment to your mortgage, can they make sure it is applied to the principle? If so, it’s still a good way to pay down the loan faster, even at the current interest rate and payment, since each payment will pay more on the principle and less on the interest.
          For example, assume a $100,000 20 year loan @ 4%
          The payment would be $606.00 per month and will look like this as you pay off the loan “normally” with decreasing Balance, Amount paid to Principal and Amount paid in interest
          Payment 20: Balance: $94,661 20 I:$ 316 P:$ 290
          Here you still have 220 payments or 18 years left to pay off.
          If you apply the $40,000 here, you move the balance down as follows:
          Payment 135: Balance: $54,037 I:$180 P:$ 426
          Note that the principal payoff gets larger and the interest gets smaller at thispoint, decreasing all of the time.
          The normal loan payoff is now only a bit more than 8 years.
          At this point between the lesser amount you owe and the equity in the property, it could be time to approach other lending institutions for a better deal.

          I am dyslexic and so terrible at math. But just by doing an extra principal payment each month I would cut my 11 years down to 5 and a half. Putting down 30 percent of the current loan might drop my payments significantly and I could use that money for my retirement.

          Instead of trying to drop your payment which requires the bank to cooperate, you could just pay off the loan faster as I explained above, and then throw everything at your retirement.
          For doing this kind of math use a spreadsheet and think it through. I use Excel all of the time to calculate the “what if” on making taxable withdrawals, to minimize my tax and ensure I pay no penalties.

          This would still leave me a chunk of change for a cash reserve–enough to maximize my Roth as a tax deduction.

          A ROTH IRA does not get you a tax deduction. You deduct contributions to a standard IRA, allow the money to grow tax deferred, and pay the tax when you withdraw it. For the ROTH, you contribute after tax money with no deductions; but, you withdraw the money at retirement with no tax penalty. You must pay tax on one end or the other.

          A key factor that I just can’t get a handle on is how the economy is going to do over the next 20 years. My intuition is that the Dems will take back the White House in 2020 and the economy will turn to crap. (But that Ginsberg will kick the bucket and so Trump will have another top court pick.) If that’s so, then reducing debt would be much better than investing.

          If Trump plays his cards right and the dems keep overplaying their hand, with leftists darlings like AOC wanting their 70% taxes and more regulations, I think Trump has a good chance of reelection. As for SCOTUS, I think you could well be correct there.
          The important thing from my perspective is your 20 year time line, during which there will be dips; but, I think the economy will on the whole continue to do well.
          I lived through the Nixon and carter years with the long gas lines in the early 1970’s and the misery index during Carter. While it could get uncomfortable, frugal living and the prepping mindset got me through it in good stead as it did the 2008 financial meltdown, where my portfolio did drop a bit; but, recovered and is now doing well. For the later (2008) having no mortgage or CC debt made all of the difference, especially when we were helping to put our DD through a very expensive college.
          Excel has functions to support loan amortization calculations so you can rather easily play with the numbers and do the “what if” calculations yourself to help arrive at a final hard decision.
          Good luck & BTW, if it was easy, there would be no accountants and financial advisors, so take your time and work it all through.

          1. Bam Bam,

            My intuition is that the Dems will take back the White House in 2020 and the economy will turn to crap If that’s so, then reducing debt would be much better than investing.

            With current events, I think this is getting to be a slimmer chance for the democrats for the following reasons:
            California Sen. Kamala Harris’ announcement on Monday that she’s running for president not only confirms a long-anticipated move but adds to a fast-growing list of Democrats who hope to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.
            The only hitch with the challenge seems to me to be the fact they will first have to eat their own, since along with Kamala Harris we also have the following who have announced their candidacies:
            1. Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro of Texas
            2. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii
            3. Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland
            4. Former congressional candidate Richard Ojeda of West Virginia
            5. Businessman Andrew Yang of New York
            And then add those who have Announced exploratory committees
            1. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
            2. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
            And that doesn’t include or rule out perennial politician former senator and VP Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.
            This could be fun to watch as they play their race & sex / gender cards and try to out tax, outspend, and out leftist each other.
            It also looks like a lot of the black and Hispanic communities are finally on to their game, finally understanding that their words don’t match their deeds.

        4. Bam Bam,
          While I understand that at your age retirement looks to be way in the future as I know I did at your age, it will sneak up on you more quickly than you can imagine. (It did for me, LOL)
          Another thing to consider both short and long term is a poll I heard about today, the latest Bankrate financial security index survey
          In summary:

          34% of American households experienced a major unexpected expense over the past year; however, only 39% of survey respondents said they would be able to cover a $1,000 setback using their savings.

          Here’s the article: Only 39% of Americans have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency
          https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/18/few-americans-have-enough-savings-to-cover-a-1000-emergency.html

    3. Bam Bam-
      Good luck with your decision regarding the inheritance. We live very modestly and feel good about having no long term debt. But there have been times I wish we had more money available to invest-or the nerve to. Croc shoes and Bitcoin come to mind as missed opportunities.

      I am curious about the new job. Is it a Gulf Coast institution? What software?

      1. Moe,

        Good luck with your decision regarding the inheritance. We live very modestly and feel good about having no long term debt. But there have been times I wish we had more money available to invest-or the nerve to. Croc shoes and Bitcoin come to mind as missed opportunities.

        We also live very modestly / frugally and have had no mortgage for 22 years, which BTW feels great.
        I have been investing via a 401K since I started working after college in the mid-1970’s and opened my first online brokerage account in 1995. I have more than $400,000 invested with various brokerages and investment instruments, none of which came from lottery winnings; but, all of which have been slowly accumulated over time. When I left a job, I rolled over the funds from the employer provided 401K and IRA plans, and in one case took the cash value of a defined benefit pension and rolled over that cash value as well. The reason I bring all of this up was your mention of Croc shoes and Bitcoin. Croc was one of those investments that in hindsight made a lot of quick cash; but, Bitcoin, for all of its hype was as one analyst I respect stated: “Tulips without the flowers” and is still volatile and not really useful that much. PM’s are IMHO similar, except that as physical things they have some value as jewelry and in some electronics and chemical systems.
        Being out of debt, as in no mortgage frees up cash that can be invested; but, often the best investments are what we do as preppers. Our ½ beef was purchased in April of 2018 at a total cost of around $950.00 or $2.90 per pound; but, that was for more than 300 pounds of prime Angus that will feed us for quite a few years.
        The equities I own are things like Caterpillar (CAT) and some other solid companies that pay a rather good quarterly dividend, so now with the SS from the DW & I, her small pension, and moneys from investment returns (mostly from dividends) we are cash flow positive every month, meaning that we have money left to put into savings each month. Our only current real debt is the new ZT mower (@ 0% interest, some medical debt also @0% interest (thank you Obamacare) and the new Honda we recently purchased that will be paid off later this year. While you can invest that extra money that isn’t paying a mortgage that extra cash flow does give you “flexibility & options”, since there is no one demanding it under threat of taking your house, other than your local county tax assessor, and that is generally a smaller, more manageable amount.
        Some will complain that you lose the mortgage interest tax deduction; but, as you get to the end of most loans, that pretty much vanishes anyway, and then with the new tax laws, that standard deduction of $24,000 for a married couple, saves a lot by itself without a lot of paperwork.
        Of course those who like the deduction don’t think in my terms, where I pay a bank $6000.00 in interest and the IRS lets me keep or save $1500-2000 in taxes. Personally, I’d rather have the original $6000.00.

      2. Moe,

        They use Blackboard. I used Bb years ago–probably 6 years ago. But the entire system has changed since then. I can understand why colleges are switching to Canvas–it’s a much more intuitive interface. Fort Pierce is absolutely beautiful. We just spent a few hours there. But the people are red-blooded Americans (not like snobby Miami) and the area is beautiful. Over the next five years more than 60 percent of their faculty will retire (in addition to those who have already retired). I was supposed to do a video interview. I couldn’t get the video to work. So we did a telephone video. (My daughter came over days later and discovered that I had my camera turned off.) I emailed the chair and let him know that I had fixed the problem with my computer and asked for a second interview. But he said that wasn’t necessary. He and the dean hired me on the spot–sight unseen. My dh and I drove down to sign papers. I loved the campus and the people. Within five minutes I learned all the best places to eat near campus and how to get to the beach.

    4. Good luck on your new job, Bam Bam. Thank you again for sharing your paper. I hope your new boss appreciates your talent and intellect.

    5. You go, girl! I’m excited to hear your progress in the martial arts. A friend and his 16 year old daughter gave me a demonstration one time, whew it was dizzying to watch. They taught tae Kwon do. He was a retired Marine. They were good.

    6. Bam, you must be decisive. The stock market is volatile, there for pay off the mortgage and get out of debt.

      Or, flip a coin………

  11. 1)No resolutions for prepping, but we have been looking to move into a different state. We have been searching for smaller section on land since it will fall on my shoulders for the up keep.

    2) Reload of ammo, but it does look interesting but unfortunately will my schedule I will not have the time.

    3) Cattle–Herefords, Charolais, Angus are a snotty breed, love the cross breeds(black bally) they are the better temperament when raising them.
    Cattle ranch not far from where we reside have mixed their breeds with a Dutch Belt, look like an Oreo Cookie. Cutest little babies, even into adult hood, temperament I have no idea. But not everyone can say they have a 1000 lb Oreo in their pasture…lol

    4) Due to all the rain we are basically inside, so I have been going through items which will be placed into storage for the move. Anything we do not need or which has not been used will be for sale, or in an antique store, then there is giving to family or donated. Can not believe how much we have bought since the fire, it made us pack rats..yikes!

    Gave the nieces cook books I did not use nor want so it is a beginning to a very long process.

  12. 1 i would like to do some orienteering courses the next year and maybe a few idpa competitions.
    2 i do reload. i think for about 15 years now. rifle pistol shotgun/ right now it’s alot of 124 grn 9mm on top of a stout load of blue dot. it matches the 124 grn hornady xtp loads in velocity and recoil. blue dot is one of those older powders that is really overlooked right now. it’s used in the matching the milspec loads from the factory.
    3i run a dairy farm. if you you want to sav e money on the calf. i would get a holstin bull. day olds with no treatments or guarrentee . will set you back $30 right now. hopefully this is the bottom of the market.
    if i was going to recommend a cattle breed for you. i really enjoy watching herfords grow more than angus. that being said . i am breeding in angus and limosines , to the lesser family lines.. if your wanting a heart healthy beef. i would recommend the limo.
    4 i manged to get 3 truckloads of wood cut before this storm. i have been trying to work througha messed up foot. i’ve b ruised my heal or dislocated something, in my ankle,streatched something out. IDK yet. topped off the water holdings today [28 gallons]

    1. BLACK,

      1 i would like to do some orienteering courses the next year and maybe a few idpa competitions.

      I’m ready to do the orienteering with you and your DS, either around here, or in the hills of southern Ohio where I have access to a place that could make things a bit more challenging than the flatlands around here.

      4 i manged to get 3 truckloads of wood cut before this storm. i have been trying to work througha messed up foot. i’ve b ruised my heal or dislocated something, in my ankle,streatched something out. IDK yet. topped off the water holdings today [28 gallons]

      We thought we might need to use some of our firewood Saturday when all of the common propane appliances stopped working except the ventless heater in the living room. That heater is on its own service line and second stage regulator, so @ 11:00 PM we were out back with a heat gun, thawing out the common regulator, and so far, things are working again.

  13. Hi All,

    Tara, you have a very ambitious list going there. 🙂

    1. What are your prepping “resolutions” for this year? Like everyone else – Get things gone through, organized/sold/donated. Get stuff in the freezer… out and canned up! Think things are really gonna happen with the economy, so best to get rid of stuff while people have the money to buy.
    2. Do you reload your own ammo or would you like to learn? Nope and Yes. Would like to see how it’s done. With just me here, I have to choose what I can handle. Right now, it’s getting rid of stuff, and getting stuff canned.
    3. If you keep cattle on your survival retreat (or would like to) what breed(s) do you keep? Don’t have any place for cattle. I heard Jersey’s have really good meat.
    4. What did you do this week?

    Rain, Rain, Rain. Cold and windy tonight, snow, rain, COLD. I don’t need a rain barrel. The totes I have outside that I had unpacked stuff out of, have filled to the brim…. My driveway has washed out at the road. Glad I am in for the next 3 days. Making some homemade chicken noodle soup using a chicken from the freezer, extra noodles, and Bear Creek soup mix. It will be tasty tomorrow and to take to work next week.

    Picked up 30 more lbs of beeswax, making the total 55 lbs. Picked up for others too that will be delivered Monday.

    Found a few more sweatshirts, long sleeve shirts at GW. Getting them all washed up and stored away.

    Prayers for everyone, for healing, for unspoken requests, for the President, and for America.

  14. Had a little scare with puppy, he likes to get under my legs while I eat in the den at the cocktail table watching TV. He pushes his way in so if I drop anything he gets it. I accidentally dropped some mashed potatoes off my fork and they went in his eye. Poor puppy, I tried wiping them out with a Kleenex and he rubbed his eye on my arm and we finally got them out.

    Bought more 12ga target and buckshot ammunition
    Bought .380 ammunition.
    Bought 30-06 ammunition.

    Stocked ammunition in ammo cans.
    Sharpened more knives.

    Brought firewood in as the temperature is supposed to drop and might get some snow or the power may go out from strong winds. The cast iron log holder holds enough wood for about 2 nights of fires.

    Kudos to the people in Pittsburgh for showing their true colors. (Not black and gold) Red, white and blue, for standing up to the Mayor of Pittsburgh who wants to ban “assault weapons” and ” high capacity magazines” because of the shooting at the synagogue. Don’t the Jewish people remember what happened before with gun control? These people chanted ” We will not comply”

    Interesting you tube video

    https://youtu.be/HfKSMRoDkTM

    1. What are your prepping “resolutions” for this year?
    2. Do you reload your own ammo or would you like to learn?
    3. If you keep cattle on your survival retreat (or would like to) what breed(s) do you keep?

    1 Make a greenhouse. Watched a video on turning raised beds into greenhouses using PVC pipe and sheet plastic.
    2 No, I have a buddy that does that for some of the expensive stuff or buy ammo. But I do know how, have books on reloading. I do also know how to make black powder and have a flintlock in 50 caliber.
    3 Steak and hamburger….LOL

    1. Thor1, eye wash = serile saline or colloidial silver. I keep nose spray bottles of saline, i actually buy them leave them sealed til i need the saline. when that supply is gone i sterilize the bottles and use to refill with desired.. if refillling with silver solutions they must be washed with filtered water and drained til dry…

  15. Prepper goals for the year? Working on increasing my knowledge of herbal/natural remedies/essential oil use. Like everyone else, going through stuff, getting rid of unused stuff, continue increasing stores.
    No livestock.
    No on reloading.

    This week was mostly consumed with FIL’s services. BUT, I scored multiple cans of Keystone 28 oz cans of beef for 1.99 apiece! Our grocery store reset has been an interesting source for stocking up on often used items!

    In preparation for ‘snowpocalypse’, we topped off the vehicles, filled a second kerosene can, grabbed a couple extra small green propane canisters, extra gas for the genny. Didn’t need French Toast stuff. Guess what totally took me by surprise at being totally sold out (because, of course I needed some)? Oyster crackers and saltines (store brand at least…was NOT about to pay $3 for a box of crackers, LOL)! Bread milk and eggs were all full…but then again, I also wasn’t at the store Thursday or Friday..We have been downgraded to 3-6 inches, but I was and still am more concerned about the winds and temperatures the next day or two.

    Everyone stay safe with this crazy weather, I have a friend in upstate NY set to get almost 3 ft of snow! Have a great week!

    1. GP, great job picking up extra fuel. I always fill my fuel tank up on Fridays because if there will be any type of cyber attack/EMP, it will happen on Friday or the weekend, or bank holidays on Monday……

      I had a Buddy that lived in Buffalo and he always got pounded with lake effect snow from Erie…

      I think we have created a new term/abbreviation in the prepper world.

      FTP French Toast People……LOL

        1. Thor1 & Grammyprepper,
          I coined and used the term “French Toast People” here years ago, since it was so obvious to me, LOL.
          As for fuel, we always use the maxim: “Half is Empty” since you never know when you may need to make a trip, and from our location they can all be rather long trips.
          As for running out of crackers, that one baffles me.

          1. TOP, you’re getting FTP mixed up with the French people from Money Python. Now go away or I will taunt you a second time……LOL

          2. Thor1<

            Now go away or I will taunt you a second time……LOL

            You and that hamster you call puppy, may taunt away, Sir!!! But I may then pelt you with elderberries. LOL
            Actually not, Elderberries are jus too expensive.

          3. TOP, nothing hit building 7, no building, no aircraft, ect. The building was pulled.
            The owner of the twin towers even stated that, pulled.

            So your theory is the ground shook so hard from the other buildings falling that 7 just collapsed like it was in an earthquake??? LOL

            Maybe the moon is really a death star…..

        1. More, there is a difference between a country attacking and terrorists attacking. But, was it really terrorists? Building 7 was brought down the next day and wasn’t even hit by an airplane. It was a 47 story building, do you know how long it wold take to set the charges/explosives to bring down a building that size ?

          1. Thor1,

            But, was it really terrorists? Building 7 was brought down the next day and wasn’t even hit by an airplane. It was a 47 story building, do you know how long it wold take to set the charges/explosives to bring down a building that size ?

            Do you know how precarious many of our tall buildings really are? To set demolition charges would take quite a while; but, those are very carefully engineered to drop a building in place, otherwise they can do enough damage to adjacent buildings to bring them down. What brought down building 7 was structural damage from the other buildings falling. Numerous civil and structural engineers have come to that conclusion, unless they were all in on it.
            Do you think we also staged the moon landing? I have personal experience with that mission and know that we sent at least a manned capsule to the moon.

          2. Thor1 and MOE,…..and the reporter was reporting it( building 7) had already fallen, It was still standing behind her in frame. How did that happen. it came down 20 minutes later.

          3. Anonamo Also,

            and the reporter was reporting it( building 7) had already fallen, It was still standing behind her in frame. How did that happen. it came down 20 minutes later.

            Building 7 was damaged by debris from the towers and was already on fire. A combination of the damage and the structural weakening from the fire caused the building to collapse, and that structural weakening took 20 or more minutes to occur. Modern high rise steel buildings are a find balance between strength and weight, and often the tipping point between standing and collapse is a fine line in the design.

        2. Moe,

          Not sure I follow the logic of weekend strikes. Wasn’t 9/11 on a Tuesday?

          Indeed it was. I personally think that to be symbolic you would do something on a holiday like July 4th or today, (MLK day); but, to optimize chaos, New Years Eve would be horrible, with many people away from home celebrating and many of them not quite running their cognition at fill steam

          1. TOP:
            I follow your argument and it has merit. But I grew up absorbing military history. Weather has a lot to do with offensive strikes. Time of day as well. Other factors would include political and situational. For example, a sick-out or strike by key security personnel.

          2. Moe,

            I follow your argument and it has merit. But I grew up absorbing military history. Weather has a lot to do with offensive strikes.

            I did too, although at least at first I was the unwilling recipient of the history. While I was the math science geek, my late brother absorbed history like a sponge. He ended up with degrees in Economics, Political Science, and History and claimed that you could not know any of those subjects well without understanding the others.
            My kid sister is a retired Army Intel officer and we’ve had similar conversations.
            The weather can play a part in offensive strikes, depending on the type of strike and the intent of the strike. With today’s precision systems like JDAM, a strike to remove iffensive weapons and supporting infrastructure can happen nearly any time, except maybe during a hurricane. If you plan to hold the territory, then you will need to move people in and that will require better conditions.

            Other factors would include political and situational. For example, a sick-out or strike by key security personnel.

            Like right now when many TSA agents are skipping work and there are large crowds of people waiting to enter the secure areas?
            Personally, even though the DW and I fly pre-check I hate the hassle of flying any time.

    2. Life is now too short, no more cheap steak, off brand steak sauce, store brand soda, and it is Ritz crackers and Nabisco Premium saltines or nothing.

      1. LOL, Daddio, there are some items I absolutely buy premium brand, but for the most part store brand works for me…especially since I get a discount!

        1. Grammyprepper, Here the best brand in the whole area.. fresher best tasting is Aldi’s house brand. everything else is stale by time it gets here.

      2. Daddio7,

        Life is now too short, no more cheap steak, off brand steak sauce, store brand soda, and it is Ritz crackers and Nabisco Premium saltines or nothing.

        We do that a bit; but, find that Aldi’s has some of their own brands that are pretty good, so we’ll sometimes purchase for a taste test and go from there.

  16. Good morning,

    To answer Tara’s questions:

    1- Prepping resolutions: Get in shape (I say it every year but to quote Bullwinkle “This time for sure!!!”) I have fat guy diseases. High blood pressure, cholesterol, cavities. All of these can be reversed with diet, exercise, and regular visits to the dentist. Also beginning several home improvement projects.

    2- I haven’t reloaded in decades but I’ve set up the Lee Load-All. I’ll run a few batches of 12 gauge trap loads during the lousy weather. I have a Lyman Orange Crusher but it’s still in pieces in a box.

    3- No animals other than a very protective Golden Retriever. When we relocate to TN, we’ll go with chickens perhaps. I’ll also ask her dad to put a hive on our property.

    4- This week, I reorganized some ammunition, topped off the heating oil, and got some groceries. Picked up extra Pop-Tarts, Slim-Jims, and Hershey bars (so much for #1) for the storm.

    1. Overwatch:
      If you keep to the Dark chocolate you can count that as a heart healthy snack. As long as you stick to one ounce a day.

      1. Aaaaaaannnnddd, there’s the problem. An ounce of dark chocolate is nowhere near as much fun as 16.
        When I eat Pringle’s, Mrs. Overwatch says I look like a grizzly bear emptying a trash can into its mouth.

  17. Thor1, it is 0445 on Monday morning and you made me LOL and wake the dog up! Hilarious! “Your mother was a hamster!” I love it!

        1. TOP, I couldn’t help to notice the picture album actually has your name of TOP on it. The portrait of the black knight is……..TOP…….LOL

          1. Thor1,

            I couldn’t help to notice the picture album actually has your name of TOP on it. The portrait of the black knight is……..TOP…….LOL

            I guess the secret is out. I am older than I let on and more invulnerable than anyone knows. It did however take several decades to grow back all of my severed appendages; but, I’m feeling fine now. LOL

  18. Tara, believe it or not, I understood every abbreviation on your diagram! We must think alike! I like your plans, however, you might want to include direction signs, like where’s North, etc. that would give an idea of how sun or wind direction might affect your buildings(creating wind breaks, for instance). Great plan!

  19. New year prepping resolutions – I hope to start constructing a wood gasifier, elevate our raised beds another foot or so and look into having exterior insulation, backed by stucco added to our concrete BOL. Walls are currently poured concrete – great for bullet stopping but uninsulated, not the most btu favorable way to stay cool/warm.

    I do reload shotgun shells, not rifle/pistol. However, I recently scored a complete reloading setup, new in boxes, with some of the dies I will need. Haven’t had time to do anything with it yet.

    Got a Ruger 5.56 AR-15. Cooked up and stored 2 gallons of chili con carne. Got some small tool and hardware things, such as metal cutoff disks for the grinder. Other things – xtra toothbrushes for the BOL. It seems like there were other things , but I seem to have “OLD TIMER’S DISEASE” where it comes to memory!!

      1. AR556. I am far from an expert on this weapon. What is the difference?
        Anyway, I was seduced by the price and popularity of this platform. I will become more familiar as tine passes. I never fired an AR, so we will see.

        1. Billy T:

          The AR556 is the rifle I recommend, and would “stock” as a backup to my SR556. The difference (besides price) is the AR is a standard gas system, the SR is 2-stage piston system (like the AK and the .308 AR’s).

          Having used a military M16 in semi-auto during sustained fire, and seeing the gas tube “glow”, I prefer the SR; it is double the price so it really does not make sense for a secondary rifle for most of us. It is also heavier.

          My “new” one is the take-down version that I got on sale for “only” about twice what the AR version is currently selling for (normally they are in the $1500-1700 range).

          From my personal experience the gas system is a real pain to clean, and you really should have at least one spare gas tube (with the appropriate pins) because if you need to use it a lot, depending upon the powder in the cartridge used, it may develop a clog which would disable the rifle. Most people will never have this problem, as they don’t put that many rounds through one.

          IMO, the Ruger AR556 is a quality rifle and a much “better” rifle than an S&W M&P Sport version, which is similarly priced. I would avoid the Radical brand, based upon recommendations/problems reported by friends who shoot “a lot”, even though they are priced significantly less.

          1. Thanks JP. Stuff I didn’t know.
            I have felt adequately stocked on weapons, but what’s enough!!
            The way our BOL is situated, we wouldn’t have any long shots for defense of the location. We do have a great outpost spot and the ability to use area denial devices, as well as enough people to mount 24/7 guard. So, we have a mixture of shotguns with buckshot/ slugs, pistols for each member and rifles which I believe would work well. The 5.56 adds to the firepower.

          2. Billy T:

            It’s always good when you can “add to the plan”.

            Happy to share info, that’s what we do here.

  20. 1. What are your prepping “resolutions” for this year?
    getting the greenhouse built and putting up a real woodshed
    2. Do you reload your own ammo or would you like to learn?
    nope and nope. We have a cousin who does and will barter with him
    3. If you keep cattle on your survival retreat (or would like to) what breed(s) do you keep?
    Not enough land to keep a cow. It’s all we can do with two horses and a donkey. I’m training the horses to harness
    4. What did you do this week?
    just keeping up with normal activities in the cold. We finished teaching a General license class on Saturday, all but two passed, and those two will take it a little later when they’ve hade more time to study. We were pleased.

  21. Hey all,
    I am reporting in still alive and on top side.
    To Taras questions:… first the easiest No reloading, No cows.No goats or sheep either.Not enough space for big animals.Neighbor has a bull on his side of the fence and I want him to stay over there.
    goals: continue to finish infrastructure. out buildings /and drainage projects.
    . Desire/Plan to raise greater portion of vegetables and meats this year. greenhouse and aqua/hydro ponics are goals.(possibly by fall) Challenge because of the lack of selection-due to diet limits.-(health issues when these are broken that are life threatening.ie. Not something that can be ignored.)
    Raised beds are being revamped, and plan on using trellis system for climbing veggies. and have plan to add 2 more raised beds before time to plant. will also add a in ground planting area this year. it will have to be trenched/raised some amount to keep it from flooding. Have chickens want to add rabbits sometime after rabbitry can be set up…and hottest weather has broken.Newest flock of Americana’s are beginning to lay. RiR hens of same age are laying the Columbian wyandots( same age are not yet.)
    what this week? Pantry related… continued to rotate out the things we do not eat as much of… taking oldest to use first .fifo replaced with log dated favorites. FOR things we do not care for: deleting from inventory lists..(marking why-so not re added). adding more commercially canned meats in..(no spam/or look alikes). pork, beef, corned beef, chicken..adding home canned meats as available.
    We tried several new products over past month.. a fire roasted tomato, and DH tried a cannd baked bean. Both were good, we added this more of each month.
    Stocked the supply of chips, crackers, cake mixesand other treat items, sugars/and replacements, coffee,Rice 20 lb. and speciality beans (for others) Popcorn in standard types white and yellow natural forms-6lbs.
    I have hauled /Hand loading and unloading several truckloads( sm pickup) of composted sawdust, and fresh hardwood sawdust. composted sawdust is going directly in grow beds with chicken manure.(partially composted already.) Grow bed # 1: lacks 2 wheelbarrow loads of chicken poop. Grow bed #2 lacks 2 Wheelbarrow loads of chicken poo and 4 of rotted sawdust.
    Have acquired via sweat equity 35- 4×4’s 10 ft.(oak) and 25 -3×3’s 8 ft . with other building materials of various kinds and for various uses. goal is the next building project garden tool room/ feed room,. and two more grow beds which will be parallel.and have trellis system for the climbers we are planning on planting. come warm water. I have already got sweet potatoes sprouting and will ahve sufficient slips for one of the grow areas. 21 sweetpotato slips produced 58 lbs of beautiful sweet ptatoes this year. plan to try to add beets and carrots again this year… .
    Heads up eveyone allway to Gulf coast around feb 10th-11th bad winter storm addressed on 1/26/19 by Mike Morales. snow to gulf. ice and really bad wind chills.entire eastern part of country.
    Stay safe and Keep on , Keeping on!

  22. Due to my participation in a lot of these survival prepper forums I often get random offers for things like this: FREE 72 hour survival food kits and have on occasion taken the bait. You just need to make sure that there’s no catch, or if it’s a subscription type service, you cancel immediately. We have enough food on hand to feed 4 or more adults for at least a year or two, so I don’t need any more of these kits; but, for someone starting, they are often a good place to add to the pantry.
    https://www.purposedrivensurvival.com/free-72-hour-survival-food-kits-5/?utm_source=men&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=m2018

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