What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 3

prep week 3

Hello again, all of my new virtual prepping pals! I am so glad everyone is reconnecting and welcoming new members to the online survival community.

This week we made a major prepping purchase – a new to us hay baler. Last year we cut the fields with a bush hog attachment to my husband’s beloved old Massey Ferguson tractor and then went the old-fashioned route and used pitchforks to load it onto the hay wagon after it had been raked.



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It was back-breaking work but we got it done and actually, like most work details with our tribe members, was actually a lot of fun…when it was done and we had our feet propped up in the shetler with an adult beverage in hand, of course.

I pulled back onto our survival retreat after taking my mother out for an afternoon or errand running (we spent 2 whole hours in the store from hell A.K.A Walmart) and was overjoyed to see the hay baler sitting in our bottom field.

hay baler

Bobby and a mechanic friend had gone to look at two different square balers and had decided on one and hauled it home. We had debated about the pros and cons of round versus square balers for quite a while.

He prefers round bales because they can be stored outside without getting ruined and can be moved easily with his tractor. But, last winter, the worst we have had in well over a decade, the tractor was down just as much as it was up and running and we had to push the round bales where they needed to go – that was so not fun, especially after they rolled through fresh manure you were forced to lean against to continue pressing your body against while pushing it 20 feet or so.

The first baler Bobby looked at made 75-pound square bales and was a bit higher and in a bit better shape than the one he bought. Our mechanic friend looked over the less expensive one that makes 50-pound bales and figured it to be a fairly easy fix.

That was a relief, I can load and move and feed 50-pound bales without a problem but couldn’t handle doing the same with a 75-pound square bale on my own. Sure, Bobby could do the 75-pounders on his own, but his back wouldn’t like it one bit.

He got half of the lower pasture cut. He cut the other half of the lower pasture last week and we lost it to unexpected rain. That was the last time we have had rain actually and we really need some…but not until baling is complete.

pasture grass cut

We also did a lot of wild blackberry picking this week. My homemade blackberry jam simply rocks. It was the first jam I learned how to make. Unfortunately, I won’t be making more jam today because Colt and Auddie helped me pick berries and by the time we drove back to the house in the Ranger, they had helped themselves to most of what was in our bucket.

I told the grandkiddos they had just consumed bird poop and goat slobbers since I wasn’t granted the chance to wash the berries first, but their sticky-faced grins indicated they didn’t mind the wild additives the least little bit. The little stinkweeds also just now polished off the last of my blackberry jam that was in the house. I am going to have to go out to our butcher shop and break into the stash.

Did I mention our survival homesteading retreat came with a butcher shop and all the equipment to operate it – the seller even left us scads of meat wrap and some semi-blood stained aprons. We do not operate it commercially, just for tribe use.

My garlic bulbs for planting finally arrived in the mail, so I will be doing some more apothecary patch work this afternoon before Bobby gets home and we get busy with the hay baling again.

Our daughter really wants to become a goat farmer and add to our herd. In theory, I have no problem with this, but she has to be willing to either sell the kids, eat the kids when they mature during a SHTF situation – or both.

The two standard goats just are not good with Pearl’s twins at all, especially not the male. I love the girlie boys, but they are quite the handful. They are great at clearing brush, but want to be lap goats and being wethers will not help Brea start a profitable goat herd for meat, cheese, raw milk, or soap making ingredients.

goats

The girlie boys and Rooster, Pearl’s first kid, are taking some sun outside of our back door. Just like a loyal dog, they follow me around and wait for me to emerge from the house – wreaking havoc in the shelter house while the wait more often than not. They think our “barn” is way cooler than their own and attempt to move in whenever someone leave the garage door open.

Our tribe member Sarah might be interested in taking the girlie boys home with her, and I could probably live with that – except they would no longer be free. They would share a really nice pen with some sheep and get out to exercise daily. I think they could learn to free range at Sarah’s but she has less acreage and neighbors on the lower portion of her hill that have dogs that would attack them, so pen life it would be if I decide to part with them.

If you would like to learn about more about our first foray into goats and Pearl’s miraculous journey to health after her own dog attack, you can read about it here, this is the first article I wrote about the attack but did several follow ups with photos and how we treated Pearl to prevent infection with natural ingredients and Penicillin shots.

Don’t forget to check out the post about the first interactive interview we will be doing here on The Survivalist Blog so you can tap into Grannie Pam Peter’s knowledge about growing, cooking, and preserving food in preparation for a long-term disaster. Just leave you question in the comments section so I can share it with Pam during the interview and she can respond to you.

Our second chat with an expert guest will be Rick Austin, the Survivalist Gardener. Here is a link to an interview I did with Rick on my old radio show.

So, y’all, what did you do to prep this week?



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Tara Dodrill

About Tara Dodrill

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

187 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 3

    1. Thanks to all who prayed for the Mrs. She is home and recovering but really ornery. They said she can’t drink alcohol or smoke any more. I’ve been trying to get her to quit smoking for so long. She tried to hide it from me, but I’d catch her on the security cameras…. LOL I used to smoke but quit smoking in 1997.

      Puppy was so cute while she was gone, I was sleeping and he woke me up, I tried to roll over the other way and he stuck his head under my arm onto my pillow….LOL Daddy get up I have to go….

      Prepping this week

      Picked a lot of tomatoes. Lost 2 plants.
      The peppers are doing good but the beans got wiped out by bugs due to my neglect from work and going to the hospital.
      Saved the pickling cucumbers from being killed by white fungus using a spray bottle with a teaspoon of vinegar mixed in the water.

      I got the new dishwasher in and they wouldn’t install it because I had a shutoff valve. So I got refunded installation and put it in myself. It is so quite and has a timer on the front that tells you when it will be done. Its a Maytag……

      That’s about it this week has been rough, puppy says ruff…I don’t think he spelled it right. LOL

      1. Oops forgot. One of the avocado seeds have started growing. I also picked and ate the first peach off the peach tree. Puppy got them last year and had orange poop. He picked one this year but didn’t eat it. I think he ate too many last year….LOL

      2. Thor1,
        So glad Mrs Thor is getting better and out of the hospital. I love hearing your puppy stories. They make my day.

      3. Thor,

        If your DW is having a bad time with nicotine withdrawal, you might consider the nicotine gum. That stuff works. The patches work too but can damage elderly persons thin skin. (If you get the gum, use google to find a coupon. You can usually save $10.

        1. Bam thanks, they had her on an iv at the hospital for withdrawals I think they called it a banana bag….. Don’t let her hear you call her elderly… LOL

          Hey one of the avocado seeds started to grow. I’m excited…..

          1. When the avocado is about six inches tall you want to pot it and then cut it back to three inches. This will promote bushy growth instead of vertical growth. (You want to be able to pick the avocados without a ladder.)

          2. Bam, thanks the Mrs. Loves avocados. But I will have to bring it in in the winter as avocado’s don’t like frost at all.

          3. Thor,

            All of my avocados and mangos died last winter from a frost. My dh and I were out of town and they were left uncovered. My papaya also died. We had a cold snap where it got down to like 26 degrees.

      4. Thor1,

        Glad your misses is on the mend. I bet she will be ornery for quite a while if she has to give up both smoking and drinking at the same time! Delivery guys are not brave enough to come across our creek (like most city folks they don’t count the cool natural rock formation as a bridge) and up our hill, so tomorrow we are off to Lowe’s for a new fridge – old one will get a second life in the garage to hold beverages – I want to keep ice cold Coke handy in case I get the urge to pour it over a little bit of Jack 🙂

        1. Tara ,

          Delivery guys are not brave enough to come across our creek (like most city folks they don’t count the cool natural rock formation as a bridge) and up our hill, so tomorrow we are off to Lowe’s for a new fridge – old one will get a second life in the garage to hold beverages

          Something we do with all new appliances is to run them for a few days plugged into a Kill-A-Watt power meter. Heres’ an example from your favorite local retailer (LOL): P3 International P4400 Kill A Watt Energy Monitor:
          https://www.walmart.com/ip/P3-Internatoinal-P4400-Kill-A-Watt-Energy-Monitor/14282370?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&adid=22222222227000427963&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=40330360712&wl4=aud-273067695102:pla-46054568209&wl5=9014869&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=online&wl12=14282370&wl13=&veh=sem LOL
          You plug the unit into the outlet and the device (refrigerator) into the unit. It allows you to see the current operating conditions, like, voltage, current, line frequency, power and power usage in KWH along with a timer displaying the amount of time in operation. I used one of these on an old fridge and decided it was worthwhile to eventually take it out of service and replace it.
          For the $20.00 price range I find it to be a valuable tool in controlling energy costs.
          You might also check your local library. Ours has several that they loan out, donated to them by the local electric cooperative.
          As for the nice rocky bridge, we have something similar; but, have also been known to use a fallen tree until we could get it cut for firewood.

        2. Tara, thanks for the kind words for the Mrs., sorry about the delivery guys, but its always good too have a backup plan. I have 3 fridges, one is a little one.

          Yeah, she is a little ornery, but she knows she can’t do it anymore.

          1. Thor1,

            I have 3 fridges, one is a little one.

            By a little one, do you mean a dorm size? We have a large one in the kitchen (24 ft3 I think), a more normal one ((18 ft3) in our summer kitchen area and have been considering a dorm size for overflow, mostly for drinks. Is this your little one and if so, how well does it work.

  1. Sunday mornings r very busy for us. A “mini-mission” I took on years ago is making coffee every Sun. a.m. for adult SS classes. Makes that hour more “relaxing”, so, I’ll post quickly to go make coffee! MUST..have…coffee! ☺️

    This week: set up & sold a few dozen organic, non-gmo eggs at event about an hour away. Too stinkin’ hot & humid to be outdoors, even with awning, so, I folded by 1 pm.

    Took care of farm critters, as always.

    Picked more blueberries & made jelam.

    Harvested wild lettuce seed – KisP, I’ll be sending u some.

    Transplanted 12 tomato plants in early morning. Creoles bounced back quickly, but other varieties did not survive transplant in this heat & humidity.

    That’s all for noe (I think?).

    Tara, LOVE ur nickname for grandsquids!

    1. Yes please & thanks! “They” say wild lettuce grows everywhere, as does plantain, but I haven’t found either in my neck o’ the woods.

    2. Livinthedream ,

      This week: set up & sold a few dozen organic, non-gmo eggs at event about an hour away. Too stinkin’ hot & humid to be outdoors, even with awning, so, I folded by 1 pm.

      Out of curiosity, how much do you get for a dozen eggs?
      We usually have many more than we can eat and usually give them away to neighbors and friends; but, have had a few folks ask about purchasing them, and since our cost is trivial, we really haven’t thought about what they are worth.

      1. Good morning, OP! So good to “see” you today!

        I charge $3.50 per dozen, which is dirt cheap. 40 cents is the cost of a new paper carton. I am licensed to sell eggs.These are from organically-raised, non-gmo, vaccine-free, chemical-free birds. I find I do better by driving into the larger cities, where there are more people knowledgeable about the connection between their health and their food supply. Closer to home, the majority care more about large portions of food, cheap. This is an agrarian community who predominantly think glyphosate (Roundup) is a good thing. It’s also a community with an inordinately high cancer incidence rate.

        I do have a few repeat customers through my church. These folks are on the move toward cleaner food & water, but it’s taken work to get them there.

        On a less serious note, my favorite kitchen quote:

        IF IT’S TRUE WE ARE WHAT WE EAT, THEN I’M FAST, CHEAP & EASY!”

        1. Livinthedream,

          I charge $3.50 per dozen, which is dirt cheap. 40 cents is the cost of a new paper carton. I am licensed to sell eggs.

          We’ve pretty much been using recycled paper or foam cartons and haven’t really considered traveling to sell them, since most of our neighbors have their own birds; but, it’s good to know what people will pay.

          These are from organically-raised, non-gmo, vaccine-free, chemical-free birds.

          I guess that would also describe our birds along with “free range”, since they have a large paddock area in which to roam and find bugs & worms. We feed DUmor layers, everything they can forage in their paddock, and for a treat we clip greens and clover from the yard and toss it to them.

          I find I do better by driving into the larger cities, where there are more people knowledgeable about the connection between their health and their food supply.

          The problem with a large city is the 60+ miles one way, which would mean selling a lot of eggs just to cover the cost of fuel plus finding a place to sell them. I have friends who are not yet retired and sell them to people @ their work places. Often just the fact that the eggs are brown makes people think they are better for you. We have rocks and although the eggs are brown, I think it’s the forage that makes the good egg.

          Closer to home, the majority care more about large portions of food, cheap. This is an agrarian community who predominantly think glyphosate (Roundup) is a good thing. It’s also a community with an inordinately high cancer incidence rate.

          We are also an agrarian community and I suspect some use small amounts of roundup; but, most people who live on the farm, understand the relationships between local food, water, and health. We also have the Amish who are organic to the extreme; but, I was never quite ready to give up all modern conveniences like most of them do.

          I suspect for now we’ll just keep giving them to relatives, friends, and neighbors, in what works out as a kind of long term barter; but, thanks for the information.

          I BTW, liked your quote, and once upon a time it applied to me.

          1. OP, I use recycled styrofoam for giveaways – but I first wash them in mild bleach water & let air dry.

            By AL law, as a licensed egg producer, I can not use recycled cartons when selling eggs. I can’t afford a truckload at a time. My best price is about 40 cents per.

            I do run a biosecure farm – no visitors to chicken yard – and we change shoes from chicken yard to everything else. I haven’t had a sick chicken since starting this management style.

          2. U mentioned egg color We keep Ameracauna for blue eggs, Isbar & mixed for green eggs, Welsummer for dark brown, Australorp for large beige, and various mixed for every shade in-between: ivory, pink, and various beiges. Our girls lay beautiful eggs! But they’re happy chickens, and “happy chickens lay happy eggs”!

            Why are tgey happy? Clean housing – we clean every morning. Clean nests. 24-hour access to food – and we’ve never had a “fat” chickeb! Clean, coil water. Safety. No roosters jumpin’ them constantly, as we house our roosters separately. They spend their days outside in a large tractor with acces to safe housing and clean nests always. Abd they sometimes get treats such as irganicallt-griwn chopped tomatoes, greens, etc. Corn in cold weather (but never hot). Yep. happy chickens!

          3. OP, I thought the Amish were “organic”, also. Perhaps some are. but, as I think I posted previously, my nurse practitioner, who grew up around Ethrudge, TN (large uber-conservative Amish settlement) told me this: his father worked in agriculturr in that county. his father FORBADE his mother from buying the Amish produce because SOME of them used human waste as fertilizer. He’s not that old. The gov’t. just left them alone, apparently.

          4. Well, OP – by the time I paid taxes (the event coordinator did not mention there wud be paperwork & taxes!), paid for gasoline and egg cartons, I “made” $1.95 per dozen on sold organic, nkn-gmo eggs. That does not take into consideration feed costs, time, labor, etc. Nope. Not worth it. I won’t pursue that venue again..

    3. LTD,

      Grandsquids is pretty cool too! Congrats on the tomatoes. We just picked the first Thomas Jefferson tomatoes off of our plants. Each one is supposed to produce 50 pounds of tomatoes and they are well on their way. I think I am going to convince my favorite cousin to make us fried green tomatoes for lunch with some of them, my fried green tomatoes are alright, but her’s are incredible, I am better with mushrooms.

      1. Tara,

        I think I am going to convince my favorite cousin to make us fried green tomatoes for lunch with some of them, my fried green tomatoes are alright, but her’s are incredible, I am better with mushrooms.

        You’re making me hungry. Growing up, the treat when the deep fryer was running was fried green tomatoes, mushrooms, onion rings, and hushpuppies.
        Sometimes we would do broccoli or cauliflower if we had it available.

  2. Did my shopping and added to my grocery stash.

    Thor1, glad your missus is home and doing better. And you were first this week ?

    Not much went on this week as far as prepping for me. I just tried to stay out of pool halls and saloons, successfully I might add.

    I did do something starting this week that I probably should have done much sooner. I bought a sleep mask, and in combination with my CPAP and the CBD oil, I have been sleeping much better at night. I had read that it takes very little light during nighttime sleep to interfere with the body’s production of melatonin, and thus, interfere with sound sleep. I see zero light with the sleep mask on and the CPAP mask over that (partially anyway). When granddaughter is over, I skip the sleep mask during our nap, so I can see what is going on immediately if something wakes me.

    Otherwise, things are going well here. Granddaughter is learning to say words at a rapid rate, knows a lot of colors, anatomical parts, toys, and things around her world. Still can’t/won’t say grandpa, although she can point me out a mile away. She’ll learn in time. Baby girl also has a highly developed sense of humor. Unfortunately for the world, it seems to be the same smart-assed sense of humor the rest of her family has too. Her mom says granddaughter is starting to push boundaries with them a little. We’re going to make certain to communicate what the little stinker is up to, so we can gang up on her. Better for us and fairer for the baby.

    1. Z36, thanks for the thoughts for the Mrs. and me being first again…LOL

      I had to buy a pool table to stay out of the pool halls. But if the power goes out, I have some entertainment… LOL

      DO NOT ever cuss in front of grand baby….. LOL It would be like the movie the little Folker’s ….. LOL

      1. Thor1,

        She already has learned the “S” word and knows when to properly use it. We have tried hard to avoid swearing in front of her and she doesn’t say the “S” word as much as she did. We also just ignore her when she does say it, which helps too. The “S” word was the very first word #1 daughter learned as a baby and she used it frequently, and at appropriate times too like her own daughter. Luckily, it wasn’t granddaughter’s first word.

        The little “stinkweeds” learn those words too fast. That’s the problem with having parents and grandparents who were/are in the military or cops.

        1. Zulu,
          The S word is funny! When my kids said that I just ignored them and they finally quit saying it. If you make a big deal out of it, they will keep saying it.

          She is so little she doesn’t know what it means. They pick up words and absorb them like sponges.

          1. Terra,

            They really do pick them up fast once they hit a certain point in development. My kids and granddaughter certainly did/do. Because we ignore her when she says the “S” word, and avoid using it ourselves, she hasn’t been using it much lately. I hope she doesn’t pick up on the “F” word, though we don’t use it – much.

            My #2 daughter picked up on the word “dammit.” She thought that was a nasty thing to call someone. “You a dammit!” It was so hard not to laugh. I don’t remember my son saying any dirty words until he became a teenager. Then we couldn’t shut him up. Now, at 20, he’s a lot more mature about it. I think getting interested in girls made a big difference.

        2. Just wait til she starts to public school. My DD learned 3 new undesireable words the first day fo pre school at age 4.5

          1. AA,

            I went to Detroit Public Schools for K-3. 4th and 5th grade were at a Catholic school. I learned more dirty words and anything and everything about the birds and the bees (not already taught at home) while at that Catholic school. I also got in more fights on the way home from that school than I ever did in public schools. 6th through 12th were back at public schools.

        3. Zulu 3-6,

          That is so funny! It makes me recall something one of the boys I used to babysit when I was in high school telling his grandma. He was about 4 or 5 at the time and was pouting over not being able to do something because he wasn’t old enough – adding he couldn’t wait until he was a grown up. His Popaw asked him what he thought was so great about being a grown up and the little boy thought about it for a minute and then staunchly proclaimed, ‘You get to drink out of glass glasses and say s**t!” His parents were mortified, lol.

    2. Zulu 3-6,

      Baby girl also has a highly developed sense of humor. Unfortunately for the world, it seems to be the same smart-assed sense of humor the rest of her family has too

      How about these:
      What do you call a blind dinosaur?
      “Do You Think He Saurus”
      Why was the sand wet?
      Because the sea weed.

    3. Zulu &”Tribe”: I’d like to share with y’all what CBD oil has done to help one of my brothers. I’ll call him “John” (not his name).

      John is the quintessential self-sufficient man. He lived in Indiana at the time this happened, tho he has since changed states.

      He & wife built new, tri-level home. They installed a central wood-burning stove for heat. He cut all of their firewood that heated their home, every year.

      Patience, however, has never been his virtue. Still not! ?

      He decided to remove the safety from his chainsaw. This was early 1980’s. NEVER do that!

      He was in a remote area, working alone. Don’t do that, either.

      The chain hit a piece of barbed wire in the tree he was cutting, reverberated, and bounced into his neck, cutting both jugular veins. Long story short: he lost most of his blood, but lived.

      However, WHILE RECUPERATING IN HOSPITAL, he developed Legionnaire’s Disease from ventilation system!

      His story made Reader’s Digest, “I Should Be Dead By Now!”, March, 1988.

      He has been in so much pain all these years. This injury created a number of health issues. He’s had many procedures since.

      Our sweet Mama (still with us) has become very concerned. She believes the opiod pain-killers he has been using, prescribed, are “changing” him, and not for the better. This is not uncommon.

      John started legally obtaining and using CBD oil. He even moved to CO. John is not always pain-free, but he says it has made “all the difference”. He no longer needs the highly-addictive and destructive prescription opiods! CBD oil is working for him!

      John met the Lord G-d Almighty, face-to-face, on the day he leaned against a tree, t-shirt tied around his neck, soaked in his own blood. He repented of his sins and asked Ye’shua/Jesus the Christ to be Lord of his life. He was given the gift of life. He lived to love his precious wife. He lived to see his son raised, who is now a very successful lawyer, with a wife and child of his own. He lived to become a pastor all these years, serving the Lord, serving people. G-d had a plan for John.

      And now, because of CBD oil, he is no longer limited daily by pain!

      Will CBD oil work this well for you? Only one way to find out.

      1. LTD,

        I’m glad your brother survived that event. Few do as I’m sure you know. I also glad the CBD oil is doing a good job for him.

        I’m not taking the max strength CBD oil I could (only 600mg) and it seems to help ease the pain from my arthritis. At least I’m not in constant bothersome pain. It still aches, but noticeably less.

        Personally, I try to stay away from opioids as much as possible as I have an addictive personality. My alcoholism and former heavy smoking attest to that. I have taken opioids after a couple of surgeries, but only for a couple of days until the pain was bearable with Tylenol or Motrin, then I quit the opioids and trashed the pills.

  3. Well not a lot this week . Still harvesting wild plants . One of my friends got in a Coverdale Wholesale Catalog .It has been a few years since I had ordered from them . Time to restock and rotate some bulk items.

      1. Sorry dropped the l but gave never seen a website for them
        Cloverdale warehouse
        1-866-365-1725
        Ok box126
        Curtiss Wi. 54422
        They supply bulk food stores bakeries and anyone who wants bulk orders

        1. Livinthedream,
          Along the same line, and depending on where you live, you could look for Gorden Food Service (GFS).
          Here is their description: Gordon Food Service is a foodservice distributor based in Wyoming, Michigan serving the eastern half of the United States.
          They have outlet stores that sell to the public. Our closest are in Columbus & Marion, Ohio.
          We go there on occasion to get good prices on “bulk” foods.
          Just another option.

  4. Got the DW’s ATV dropped off at the repair shop Friday. The other mechanic said the parts for the ATV’s trailer should be in Monday, so I’ll probably have that back on Wednesday. SIL said he should be getting his travel reimbursement check in Monday, so I should be getting paid back then (the money will go to the ATV fix, so it’s still going to be gone.)

    A bit of a rant: I have not gotten a fishing license in a couple of years. Got one this month. There is now an invasive species fee in the fishing license! Here, invasive species are passed from one waterway to another BY BOAT, not fishermen. I feel they should add the fee to the boat license rather than the fishing license, although I’m sure this generates more revenue for the state.

    Added some FD meals to the stash; good prices plus a military discount. I’ll probably make this a monthly stop for a while.

    Thor1: Glad to hear the DW is back home. Mine never smoked (22 years in the Army – no smoking, coffee, and or hearing aids after copying Morse code, don’t know how she did it) and I quit a year before I retired (cigs went from $3 to $6 a carton and civilians were paying $10 – little did I know). I have a friend who was an occasional smoker (husband was abusive about it – P.S. that is NO help) who quit when she got pneumonia so bad she was on oxygen (@ 34); makes for a wake-up call.

    1. JP in MT,

      I quit smoking in 1991, the year before I retired from the military. I smoked four-packs a day. I’d have to rob banks to afford that these days. I also quit drinking in 1992. My retirement party from the military was the last time I drank. I also overdid things with booze too. Funny, I never miss drinking, but once in a while, I have a strong urge to have a smoke. I never give in to the urge and it goes away quickly enough.

      I also used to drink tons of coffee in the military and police work. Started tapering off after I retired and now I rarely have a coffee. Sometimes a demitasse cup of Cuban coffee, usually when the Ex is visiting and wants some.

      Got hearing aids though. Too damned much jet noise and gunfire. The Ex has hearing aids too, but not from the same source as me. She got serious and frequent ear infections from going in the Detroit River to rescue a drowning drunk when she was a Coastie. Really tore up the insides of her ears over the years.

      The military sure seems to have a lot of ways to screw up your health. I’d do it again though.

      1. Z36 & JP, I used to smoke 1 to 2 packs a day, it was the hardest thing to put them away. (Bob Seger)

        He got throat cancer and so did my Dad. When my Dad said look what it did to me with a speaking stick, I said it was time to quit.

          1. Thor1,

            Yeah, but those Cuban cigars can get you too. I used to get real Cubans from a Canadian Mountie friend and I gave them to my ex-father-in-law. He looked like an opium addict when he was smoking one on his couch. But when he didn’t have the real things, he smoked the next best he could find from Ybor City. He also smoked cigarettes. Now he has end-stage emphysema and it’s just a matter of time before it finishes him off. A shame as he is a nice guy and we always got along fine. He thought his daughter was an idiot for divorcing me.

  5. Like JP, I got fishing licenses for myself and my oldest boy. We each get freshwater and (since 2012) saltwater. The saltwater is a nominal fee and good in neighboring states (RI & CT). Striped bass and bluefish are running. I do love bluefish but they’re rough on tackle.

    Bought some pre-ban (state) standard capacity mags for my M-1 carbine. There were 30 and 15 rounders. What a handy little rifle. Got a few stainless 1911 mags as well.

    Picked up some “junk” silver to stash away for a rainy day. Paying down the credit cards. Mrs. Overwatch had a few store cards I’m killing off over the next few days. I have two cards. Called each and told them one was staying and one was going. I told them my decision would be based on their interest rate reductions. One dropped to 15%, the other 11%. I’ll pay off the higher and give them a chance to go lower than 11%.

    Finding more properties in Eastern Tennessee. Can’t wait until our family trip. The area looks beautiful. I can’t make the final move for a couple of years but that will give us time to get to learn the area.

    1. Overwatch:

      Back in the 70’s I bought a M1 Carbine made in 1946. I was for all intents and purposes new. It shot well with 15 rounders but jammed with every 30 I tried (these were unused in cosmoline wraps). Ended up trading Mom’s BF all my 30’s for twice as many 15’s. We were both happy.

      1. I’m trying the 30’s on Wednesday. I’ve heard that same thing. On the other hand, I knew several veterans, among them Robin Moore, who counted on them when the chips were down. My first sergeant in 1985 was a veteran of the Korean War. Older than dirt. He said his worked well enough but he thought it didn’t penetrate the ChiCom winter clothes. When he went to Vietnam, he carried an M-14. He loved that thing. Mostly, I bought mine because I’ve always wanted one. It reminds me of my dad.

        1. Overwatch:

          I sold mine when I couldn’t afford the ammo (no surplus available then). I’d get another in a heart beat. I did buy the DW a Chiappa M1 Carbine in 9mm that uses the same mags as her pistol. It has some finish issues and needs to get to a gunsmith (a Fall project).

          1. You and I have the same taste in carbines. I know you love the .357 lever actions too. My LGS has them in .357 – Marlins.

          2. Overwatch:

            Yep I do. My preference if the 1892 clones with 16″ barrels. Marlins are great, well made rifles, but a tad heavy. Mine work really good with HSM’s 180 gr “Bear Load”.

          3. Y’all crack me up! Some people talk about having the same tastes in clothes, entertainment, or food. But you guys talk about the same tastes in carbines! Funny!

          4. Livinthedream,

            Y’all crack me up! Some people talk about having the same tastes in clothes, entertainment, or food. But you guys talk about the same tastes in carbines! Funny!

            I would say it’s a guy thing; but, I know a few ladies who love their carbines, and tell you it’s a good “girl gun” that can easily be fired with one hand if required. I also have a friend who has a Ruger Blackhawk chambered in that round.
            I like the gun; but, have settled on a minimal number of gauges and calibers to keep the shooting a little less costly.

        2. Overwatch,

          My father, a WWII Marine, told me he didn’t care for the M-1 carbine. Not enough killing power against the Japanese to suit him. He went ashore on Saipan with an M-1 carbine and on day two, he had an M-1 rifle for the rest of his time there and on Tinian. The banzai charge his unit had to fend off on the first night ashore taught him all he needed to know about the carbine.

          A retired Marine I used to work with said the same thing as your old first sergeant. He was at the Chosin Reservoir and fought in a five-day battle to hold a hill and keep a vital pass open (see the book The Battle for Fox Hill). He said if it wasn’t 30.06, it just didn’t do the penetration job and that included .45 pistols. Actually, he said they had continual problems with M-1 rifles, M-1 carbines, pistols, and BARs freezing up at night, which was mainly when the Chinese attacked. He said the only things that saved them at night were the M1919 belt-fed machine guns, grenades, bayonets, and POd Marines. Nothing stopped them. In the daytime they could unfreeze the weapons, but air support was out and that mostly kept the Chinese away. I guess he would know as he was the company gunnery sergeant.

          1. I bought an M1 carbine at Western Auto in 1973 to shoot wild hogs in my potato fields. Every pig I shot with it was DRT. I only got a 30.06 because the pigs got smart and started coming out at the other end of the 400 yd long field. My 30.06 was stolen so the .30 is all I have anyway. He in Florida I don’t worry being attacked by over dressed commies, just low life’s in sweaty tee shirts.

          2. Zulu,

            Oddly, my dad said the same thing about the Carbine. He was a heavy weapons operator in the Army between Korea and Viet Nam. Oddly he spent his whole tour in Iceland. Lucky guy, huh. I remember when I was a teenager, he told me that the M1 Carbine did not have any stopping power. I tested it out against a ballistic vest draped over a 55 gallon steel drum. 1 .30 caliber round went through the front panel of the vest and left a hole the same size as the bullet. It went through the front of the 55 gallon steel drum and left a hole the size of a quarter. It went through the back side of the vest with a very nasty hole the size of a silver dollar. It went through the back side of the 55 gallon steel drum with a hole the size of a soft ball.

            Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my M1 Carbine. I got it for 79 dollars surplus 30 years ago. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive to shoot. It sounds cool, it feels good when you fire it and it’s just plain fun to shoot.

            It’s a great little ranch rifle. That said… if I had a choice between rocks and a Carbine… I’d go with the carbine.

          3. Sirius,

            I’d absolutely go with the carbine absent anything else. In fact, I do own one myself, but I haven’t shot it in ages. In fact, it’s broken down and stored in a crate right now. It’s an IBM made weapon and it came with a replacement West German Border Guard wooden stock. I also have a Choate folding stock for it too. It was fun to shoot.

    2. I know there is a bit of stigma to this, but there should not be, IMO. For those with credit card debt who can not pay them off, as y’all are doing, seriously look at using a “debt consolidation” company. You will need to surrender your credit cards and learn to live on cash, which means discipline & a new way of managing your finances & your life. It’s worth it.

      We did it in 2008 after the market crash, in which we lost 1/3 of our “wealth”. We had held a Sears credit card for 30 years. The interest rate suddenly went from 8% to 24%! We contacted the company to negotiate a lower rate, and they refused! After 30 years! So, we rolled all revolving debt (cc’s) into a debt reduction plan. Had them ALL paid off in three years @ 8%.

      This DID NOT negatively affect our credit rating. In fact, we continuously received new cc offers!

      Credit card companies do not negotiate deals individually. They all have pretty much the same rate negotiated with debt reduction companies. Don’t do biz with any that advertise they can get you a “better deal”. Do your homework, and only use a reputable company.

      Also be aware that if you miss even one payment on time, it can void the agreement and you go back to the original plan.

      Make sure you understand how it works. We used auto pay and never worried about missing a payment.

      If anyone should ask why you usef a debt reduction plan, answer honestly: “would you rather repay your debt @ 8% or 24% interest?”.

      That was 10 years ago & things may have changed. It was a good way to go for us.

      1. Livinthedream,

        I know there is a bit of stigma to this, but there should not be, IMO. For those with credit card debt who can not pay them off, as y’all are doing, seriously look at using a “debt consolidation” company. You will need to surrender your credit cards and learn to live on cash, which means discipline & a new way of managing your finances & your life. It’s worth it.

        I had debt like this 30 years ago and it was painful to get out of debt; but, lessons were learned and we haven’t paid any CC interest in mearly30 years.
        You can however have the convenience of the CC when using cash, even with a less than stellar credit rating, since there are various places now offering a loadable CC (actually a preloaded debit card). They are generally free of cost, since the banks make their money on the fees charged to vendors who take the cards for payments.

      2. Good advice, LTD. We don’t have need of such services, since we pay off our CCs every month (use CCs mostly for convenience and to rack up AmEx points), but one of the best agencies for debt management is Consumer Credit Counseling Services. They are 501(c)(3) nonprofits, so not in it to rook anyone. I have no affiliation with CCCS, am just familiar with their work. I do wish my nephew and his wife would connect with them. She’s an impulse buyer to some degree. I’ve given them Dave Ramsey’s book and some advice, but can’t really see the results of that.

        1. MainBrain,
          I used CCCS back in 2003 when I got divorced. I was well over my head in debt do to the divorce and these good folks got me out of it within 5 years. I’m talking about 30K in debt due to the marriage. 5 years debt free. Now the only debt I have is my mortgage. And I did that one on my own, not married, and debt free. CCCS got me from a 502 credit rating to an 804 within 5 years. LTD is correct. DO NOT MISS A PAYMENT, but it works. Oh, take the free finance counseling they offer. I know we already know everything… but a refresher never hurts.

  6. I’ll introduce myself here. I retired a couple of years ago at age 59 after 30 years of working a high pressure manager communication job. The whole 30 years was not in the last job I left, but most of my career was in communication (marketing and public education). I had a team of 25 people when I retired, and I must say that most of them didn’t break a sweat while working. I could not believe the lack of self motivation to just do their job. My job was to monitor and motivate, but I felt like I was babysitting most of the time. Not everyone, but the few bad apples brought the momentum down.

    We moved to a small city close to family and the highlight of my days are watching and doing things with grandkids. I had two major surgeries in the past two years, so most days I spend trying to get back to where I was physically. A long process, but I’m so glad I am retired. When you are retired you are master of your time. No more 6 to 8 meetings per day with no lunch or breaks and a long commute.

    Because of my recuperation, we have a very small garden this year. I am learning everything I can. I think learning and doing are the best preps we can do. We have taken numerous gardening classes and have fun learning new things and meeting life-minded people. Most have farms with animals and we visit their farms and I just love their farms. We have 5 acres with a barn and fencing for horses. We don’t have any animals, but I hope to one day.

    Life is good. Most days I am so active that I hurt and have to slow down and sit with a heating pad for about an hour, then I’m good for the rest of the day. I’ve learned to take care of myself and don’t overdo things. I have to do this due to my recent surgeries. The doctor says it takes a couple of years to really heal, and I’ve got another year to go. I just have to admit that I can’t do what I used to do, and that’s the hardest part.

    Love to all,
    Terra

    1. Terra, I use Moringa Oleifera to control pain from Bursitis & arthritis. I order gelcaps online from vitacost.com. Just make sure the contents are green. If brown, they’re old & useless. It’s the leaf of the Moringa tree.

      1. Livinthedream,
        I’ve heard of that before, but made a note somewhere, then I forgot about it. I will definitely order some of that. I need it badly. Thanks for the great suggestion.

        I think Bam Bam grows it? Not sure I could grow it here, so the gelcaps would work well for me.

        1. It grows wild in Florida. I can walk the dog and pass hundreds of trees. I think it is considered invasive in my area.

          1. How much do you need? Do you dry it first? I could have the neighborhood kids collect it for you. I am sure they would be happy with a few bucks. I will email O.P. and have him send you my contact info.

      1. Bam Bam,
        Thanks so much. I’ve been with the Wolf pack for many years, but just began to comment for the last two years or so.

    2. Please do understand, too, Terra, that once you have farm animals, you no longer have “freedom” to just leave for long periods of time. All of our excursions are limited to a few hours, at best – between time to care for critters.

      On the other hand, when family whom you do not want to go visit attempt to strong-arm or guilt us into a visit, we can honestly say, “thank you for invitation but we can not come. We have no one to care for farm animals”!

      We’ve tried finding “help” with people whom we trust, but it has not worked out. Other farmers have their own farms to run. They don’t have time to run ours.

      We had two people we thot might work – until they proved they did not understand why they cud not fail to lock up chickens in henhouse @ night, for example. Uh…see that fox sitting on our driveway, smiling at you?!

    3. Terra,

      Hope your energy level keeps going up and your pain level going down! Have you tried dampening a paper bag in distilled white vinegar and wrapping it around or onto, whatever is aching? It’s an old coaching trick, it works wonders to reduce swelling.

  7. I had computer issue last week and hope this comment works.
    Tara. Sorry for the hay loss. Lack of rain here in NE TX has cattle ranchers and hay producers anxious.
    Thor1. Glad your DW is home.
    Zulu3-6. Good suggestion regarding light. I will try turning the clock radio to the wall.
    I restocked bread bags , canning jars, onion powder and Propel (dry electrolyte/vitamin packets to pour into bottled water). There were 2 rogue mimosa trees in a neglected area and the leaves/bark are being dried. Dehydrated basil. Harvested horseradish. I was given cucumbers and wanted to try something different than pickles. Dehydrated slices seasoned with dry ranch dressing powder – very good. Dehydrated with bbq seasoning – pretty good. Am making cucumber muffins later today.
    Best wishes all for good health and healing.

    1. Hummingbird,

      Thank you, about the hay. Getting some up is better than none, I figure. You have inspired me to try something new with all of our cucumbers too. I never thought about adding tasty seasonings and dehydrating them! I am not sure what on earth cucumber muffins would taste like, or if I would be brave enough to try them, but a very intriguing idea.

      1. The muffins were surprisingly good, a little sweet with cinnamon and vanilla. For the recipes, search “10 things to do with cucumbers”.

      2. Hummingbird & Tara,

        Thank you, about the hay. Getting some up is better than none, I figure.

        We’ve been lucky to have just enough dry days to get all of the hay in; but, this wet spring has impacted the garden and had a lot of folks worried. The corn seems to be doing great and was shoulder high by the 4th of July.

        I never thought about adding tasty seasonings and dehydrating them!

        We never seem to have enough to dehydrate or freeze dry, since the DW eats them as fast as we get them.

        I am not sure what on earth cucumber muffins would taste like, or if I would be brave enough to try them, but a very intriguing idea.

        I just looked up the recipe, and it looks a lot like one for zucchini bread or muffins, and those are delicious. When you think of it, neither zucchini nor cucumbers have all that much flavor of their own, so when used in a bread or muffin mix, they provide mostly filler, texture, and moisture. We generally have lots of zucchini; but, never enough cucumbers.

  8. SCORE! After church & lunch, went to the tail-end of an estate sale. Picked up some good metal pieces for the forge @ 50 cents each. Also picked up 9-cup Pyrex Flameware stovetop percolator @ $2.50! Complete with all ‘innards’. Woo-hoo! I have a few of these. They’ll make a great barter item one day.

    1. The coffee pot reminds me to let y’all know that Lehman’s does sell green coffee beans already packaged in #10 cans for long-term storage They will keep for years. Page 4 of the Sept., 2018 catalog, which just arrived. Or look them up online. A 19.2 oz. can is $16.99 each, or case of 12 for $189.99.

      To use, roast in popcorn popper or use two same-size cast iron skillets, one as bottom and one as lid. Roast over open flame, shaking frequently (like popcorn). U need two “cracks” to know they’re ready.

      Do this 24 hours before grinding beans.

  9. My sinus infection is now under control. For anyone who has sinus problem, get the generic for flonase. It is now available without a prescription. Use the nasal spray after a hot shower. This stuff works wonders. I need to stock up on this stuff.

    I am eager to get back to taekwondo. I have to learn my blue belt form. Our weapon this training cycle is the katana, a Japanese sword. We practice with plastic weapons (no blades). I am excited because I have a real katana.

    We did a major stock up at Aldis. They had boneless skinless chicken breast on sale this week for $1.69 lb. Zaycon abruptly ceased operations last month. This was the best price I’ve seen. We cleared out the shelf–probably 50 lbs. I may go to the other store in town to see if they have any left.

    Good news on the job front. One of my new employers called and wants to add a second class–twice the money and no new work. Woot! Woot! God is good.

    1. Is there a Kroger within drive, Bam Bam? Not organic, but, bone-in chicken breast @ 99¢ per pound! I only want with bones for canning and bone-broth. Hope to get about 80 lbs. this week roasted & canned.

      1. Livinthedream,

        Nope, the nearest Kroger is more than a hundred miles away. We have a small locally owned store that will sell bone-in chicken for 79 cents a lb. I never manage to hit that sale.

        1. Ask the local store to call you when they’re having a sale. They’d be glad to have a regular customer, especially if you commit to “please set aside 10 lb of chicken for me every time you have a sale” or some such. I made “friends” with the lady who worked the fish counter at our local big-box grocery story (not The Store From Hell, but a regional grocery chain) and had her call me whenever they got some mako shark in. Sadly, it’s getting harder and harder to find mako.

          1. MainBrain,
            I hear you about shark. What ever species… it’s just not available. And I live next to the largest port in the US. I will say this though… I’m loving swordfish. I found a recipe for a garlic lime butter swordfish that is absolutely to die for. And the thing about swordfish is that it does not taste like fish. It has the texture of beef, the lightness of chicken, and no fish taste. I love it!

      1. Tara,

        Bam Bam,
        Sounds like you have had a great week. I would love to learn how to use a katana!

        As someone who has practiced martial arts for 50+ years and briefly handled a katana, I would suggest you start with a Hardwood Bokken. This is essentially the size and weight of a katana; but, accidents with it only cause bruises and not serious cuts or loss of limbs.
        I regularly practice with one, along with short (40 inch) and long (72 inch / 6 foot) bo staff and my personal favorite, the NunChaKu.
        I generally purchase supplies from Asian World of Martial Arts; but, have no affiliation with them other than as a customer.
        Hardwood Bokken with Wooden Scabbard – Daito
        https://www.awma.com/productdetail/3579-hardwood-bokken-with-wooden-scabbard-daito.asp?childskumatch=2519
        They can be a bit expensive, so a Google search found another possibility.
        Wooden Katana
        https://www.medievalcollectibles.com/p-4576-wooden-katana.aspx?matchtype=&keyword=&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIqdrgl-
        Practice with either of these can build up your arm strength

        1. TOP,

          In the bad old days, the Roman Army ,in training, used practice swords, shields, spears, etc, that all weighed more than the real items they used in combat. That was a big reason why the legions could start killing in the morning and go all day if necessary.

    2. Bam Bam,

      My sinus infection is now under control. For anyone who has sinus problem, get the generic for flonase. It is now available without a prescription. Use the nasal spray after a hot shower. This stuff works wonders. I need to stock up on this stuff.

      We always keep some on hand; but, if it doesn’t work for you, I’ve been known to use a neti pot, while in the shower. You can use it over the sink; but, it can get messy.

      I am eager to get back to taekwondo. I have to learn my blue belt form. Our weapon this training cycle is the katana, a Japanese sword. We practice with plastic weapons (no blades). I am excited because I have a real katana.

      I don’t know about taekwondo; but, in Shotokan, I wasn’t allowed to touch any weapon (even wooden ones) until green belt. Good luck on your test.

      We did a major stock up at Aldis. They had boneless skinless chicken breast on sale this weekfor $1.69 lb. Zaycon abruptly ceased operations last month. This was the best price I’ve seen. We cleared out the shelf–probably 50 lbs. I may go to the other store in town to see if they have any left.

      We’ll be making a supply run tomorrow (actually later today) so we’ll be sure to take a look at Aldi’s. Thanks for the mention.

    1. Rain moved just north of me for now… say we have a chance for some later? will see… higher chance later, heat index still 98 til this moved very close now cloudy, Thanks for info on Mimosa posted last week… have some more tincturing to do, and bark and leaves to dry…

  10. Prepping… same stuff different week. Added few more gallons of water in recycled containers.( Bleached ,rinsed, filled).
    … Tending chickens,..heat is giving these a really hard time.. some modifications to give better air flow in their area… misted 2x a day on hottest days… caught preditor- had bbq today. He ate my chicken. I ate him . It was a total comittment on chickens part and then on his part. I have not lost my knack for cleaning coon..
    … Harvested some meat chickens., removing from feed bill
    .. first cucumber this week first complete mess of OKra… few pods gathered last week were put in Jambalaya.Tomatoes are happy, finally.
    …Yard mowing/push behind…going thrru papers hunting for certain things…
    .., . Hornworms arrived , found two this morning and chickens love the things, they made quite a spectacle. chasing the one hen who got it.. aphids have also arrived… soapy water and DE are in progress..…

    1. AA, I save plastic drink bottles in all sizes, freeze water in them, and drop them down in their water containers. I remove, wash, and refreeze them. I also freeze treats for them to peck at. Fan running in housing. We build their housing on Deck blocks, use hardware cloth all along bottom of floor. We run hardware cloth a few inches up exterior walls, attached by heavy-duty staple-gun. We run the hardware cloth a foot across the ground at bottom, simply bent at ground. We cover the ground cloth with gravel, after securing with metal tent pins driven into ground. This keeps predators out, but allows chickens under house in daytime, where it is easily 10 degrees cooler.

      1. Thanks for description… we have a makeshift but secure and roofed shelter for ones in big coop.w/ roost corner sheltered. from wind and rain… and will need to build a split hen house… for those and for the flock I have in chicken tractor for. summer… have to get it built before winter gets here…

  11. Focus this week was on finances. Hubby bought a new (to him) truck a couple of weeks ago and we financed it through the dealer. Rewrote the note this week with our local credit union and dropped the interest rate from 5.75% down to 3.75%, plus the CU gave us a $200 Visa gift card. Win! Also had lunch with our financial planner to go over our retirement plan. We are in very good shape so that was a relief to hear. Tara, just this week I received two of Rick Austin’s books, Secret Garden and Secret Greenhouse. Good stuff. Ordered a Coleman oven that I can use on the side burner of the gas grill if need be. Glad to hear Mrs. Thor and Bam Bam are doing better. Keep on keepin’ on, all.

    1. MaineBrain, the msg last week about Austin’s “Secret Garden” book jogged my memory. Hey! I have that book! Good read, doesn’t take long.

      1. LTD, I found “Secret Greenhouse” to be heavy on the construction details and light on the “what and how to grow.” We have a sunroom where I’ve kept three lush hibiscus (definitely not a Maine native!) and a Meyer lemon tree (all in pots) going for several years. I’m only about 20 pages in on “Secret Garden.” It looks promising.

    2. I read Secret Garden and started a banana plantation behind my house. There’s a creek and a large wooded area that nobody messes with (because of the snakes). Each year I dig up the baby banana plants (which you have to do anyway) and plant them along the creek. The problem is that coons get my bananas before I do. This year I am going to place plastic bags over the bracts.

        1. Terra,

          Have you thought about growing miniature fruit and citrus trees? We grow dwarf orange, lemon, lime, banana, and coffee – and soon the same small version of moringa. You just bring them in during the cold months or let them live in your naturally heated (solar or wood) greenhouse or converted enclosed porch version of a greenhouse. It works in southern Ohio just fine, but this winter was a rough one and they did not flourish as much as they usually did.

          1. Tara,

            I’ve got 2 Moringa trees in pots at my house. I’m in Southern California. The winters here are a bit much for the Moringa. I mean it gets down to almost 40 here on the coldest nights. I’m joking. The Moringa does not like cold. It kind of goes into a hibernation during the winter months. No, I don’t take them inside. We had record temps last week and that did in most of my plants, including both the Moringa’s.

            For a plant that is supposed to be invasive, I cannot get Moringa to grow in my area. Mint on the other hand… that, and lemon grass for some reason really REALLY like my climate.

          2. Sirius – I grow all mints in pots due to its invasiveness. I have to keep an eye on the lemon balm too, removing blooms so it won’t go to seed. Unfortunately, I have to grow the catnip in a hanging basket so the cats won’t get into it. I’ve never tried Moringa or Lemon Grass.

      1. You could also try nylon knee-high stockings to grow your fruits. They stretch as the fruit grows, and they breathe. I had an apple tree that I did thus with. A man stopped by one day on business, and he asked, “what’s going on with this tree? I answered, “have you never seen a pantyhose tree”?! Kept worms and critters away from apples.

        1. GA Red,
          If you want to try lemon grass, it’s pretty easy. I bought one stalk at the grocery store and stuck it in a glass of water for a couple of months. It wasn’t in the sun, but it did get light. Once roots started showing, I put it in just plain dirt in a pot. 6 months later, I never had to buy lemon grass again. It is pretty drought tolerant, but direct sunlight all day, especially on a hot day will kill it. Just like your lawn. It is a grass.

          1. Thanks Sirius – I’ll have to give it a try. I eat some noodles that have Lemongrass & Chili flavoring in them that I really like.

          2. GA Red,
            I’m pretty sure you know this since you like lemon grass and chile, but for people who don’t know how to use lemon grass…

            Get a stalk and only use the white bottom part (similar to a green onion). Don’t cut the green off yet… turn your chef’s knife over (or whatever knife you use) and smack the snot out of the white part. Now when I say “smack the snot out of it” I mean smack it until you see some liquid coming out. I.e. pulverize it. It is a very woody plant so at the pulverized stage you can dice it up for whatever you want it for. Some things call for long dices some for tiny. It’s up to you.

          3. Sirius,

            I’m pretty sure you know this since you like lemon grass and chile, but for people who don’t know how to use lemon grass

            That would be me. Thanks. I’ve had some tea with lemongrass from Celestial Seasonings; but, have otherwise not used it for anything. Our tastes are simple and generally onions and garlic provide most of the flavorings we like.
            Are there any particular uses that others use it for?

          4. OP Lemon grass essential oil is in my home made bug repellant with tea tree…etc…

          5. Anonamo Also,

            Lemon grass essential oil is in my home made bug repellant with tea tree…etc…

            Recipe please?
            Also, do you purchased the essential oil or can you make it from the grass?

        2. Sirius,

          Gets down to 40 degrees, not that is just such a cruel thing to say, lol. I get goose bumps when it gets below 80 and it was below 0 for weeks here last winter! If I wouldn’t have gone through barnyard withdraw I would not have stepped outside until May! I so should have been born in the South!

          1. Tara,

            Gets down to 40 degrees, not that is just such a cruel thing to say, lol. I get goose bumps when it gets below 80 and it was below 0 for weeks here last winter! If I wouldn’t have gone through barnyard withdraw I would not have stepped outside until May! I so should have been born in the South!

            Sirius and I talk on the phone occasionally and he always rubs in the weather in the winter; but, I get to do the same in the summer. We also don’t get the wildfires he sees out his way.
            As for born in the south, from my perspective you are already there, LOL.
            I figure you are about 120 miles and 2 hours (on a good day) straight down (south) on Rt 33.
            I will also admit that the outside critters are on some days the only reason to go outside in both the cold and the heat.

  12. Heg, gang! A wasp got me! I was cleaning out a chicken tractor and found wasps. I like them for pollinators, so, I didn’t want to kill them In my effort to capture them, nest and all, in a coffee can with lid, one got me on the shoulder! Black wasp stings hurt! I hurried back to the house and grabbed this product: ER Everready first aid sting relief swabs. I paid $6 for the box of 10. If u order online, u will have shipping costs, probably.

    These are about half an inch long. They are a plastic tube of blue goo on one end, and a cardboard tube on the opposite end. Twist the cardboard and crush the plastic end to relrase the blue goo into the swab end, and swab away!

    I’m not gonna fib – that wasp sting really did hurt. My entire shoulder started to hurt, and the pain was spreading. I used this swab and within seconds, most of the pain had subsided.

    I did feel an itching sensation that moved down both arms. That was gone in about half an hour.

    The sting site now has a mild “throbbing” sensation. It id tender and has a little “burn” to it. But that’s it!

    You can use these on a child, though a child will likely be upset for quite some time, as it can’t make the sting not be there.

    I bought this online from an Apiary store (be keeping) out of Georgia.

    Just wanted to share that for those not allergic to wasp stings, this product really works!

    1. Just don’t get the red wasps, they are worse and more aggresssive than the black ones…
      Plaintain herbl tincture also works well. To Use:have to put it on ( i use one of the leaves,) about evey 2-5 min for about 20-25 min. Is non toxic herb, only toxicity- would be from the alcohol, for topical application not an issue. I use PGA to make mine, so if i needed to use internally would be possible. could be mixed 50% strength with water/honey and appled sublingual for severe reaction.
      .I. don’t think plaintain tincture would get an anaphalactic reaction in TIME to prevent airway obstruction, but given nothing else would certaintly use it….as long as person could swallow. Having a steroidal inhailer for emergency use could also prove life saving.
      An epi pen is good for Anaphylactic reactions… and they DO buy you time,..2 epi pens usually will give a person 30-40 minutes.. enough time to get to a hospital, to get more epi and/ or antihistamine in system. by taking antihistamine early in the episode can save a life…Benadryl and Allegra are both available in liquid. If you choose to stock these you need to know and have written out clearly the amount for each sized person in your care to have…liquids are always absorbed more quickly and sublinguals even quicker… chewing a benadryl , or allegra chew-able,(maybe with a 1/2 teaspoon of honey…..in proper dose size for person… and holding under tongue, til absorbed will get the fastest possible systemic relief..from home meds..Allegra chewables have been available in 30 mg.(not widely available now).given no chewables our plan to use for adult dose is to use up to 3 of the 60 mg childrens allegra generic-(180 mg is standard adult dose) crushed and put under tongue with honey/or jelly..
      .Of course, one needs to go to the hospital if any kind of systemic reaction to a bite or sting….we are far out in country 45 min for ambulance to hospital ride OR for Hearse.
      DH has sudden reactions to bites, but reaction may happen up to a week after the bite., usually in middle of the night, or at bedtime….How do we know what the reaction is to? the last bite is ususlly where the reaction is the worst, first…taller blisters bigger wheal..If you loved one has reaction you need to treat, be sure to get pictures , of progression… write down each thing you give the person..esp if transferring to medical facility…. if no paper put on forehead.( or bald head.).. in marker/ink/ with time given./initial.

        1. I trend toward result -oriented-care…using natural as available and OTC’s as available, and Medications as a last resort. I seek out natural solutions for our issues and know what each of us can and can not take. Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections urinary infections ae all treated with same sets of antibiotics and herbals… most of time using them in conjunction increases antibiotic sensitivity of bacteria…
          .It is very important to have a written list of allergies for each person available. w/list of side effects each causes. The secret to effective home care is to be observant of yourself and others…catch illness with onset of symptoms instead of waiting until acutely ill.Isolate and treat aggressively..
          When Dr sends family member home to die, with known medical problem ie pneumonia and urinary infection and no antibiotics you learn really fast and do a bunch of research..quick. once you apply that knowledge daily, it is engrained..and you learn what works best,.. quickest., Mom nor I got the memo, she was being sent home to die,. she came home to live!. Several home health agencies reused to take her as a patient., she was so bad. Amedisys took her when all others refused and she got very good care.

          The trick to plaintain is to have a double or triple tincture.. we had triple tincture the night DH had allergic reaction in middle of night. after about 20 min..blisters first treated began to itch a little less.( we used about 3-4 ounces on him, I stopped using leaf applicator and used three fingers for applicator.)..I started at worst place, went down and then to top again… Picking plaintain in early spring and as second crop appears in late summer.. gather plenty label and express air…freeze extra to use in 3 weeks. as part of tincture.process.

          1. Anonamo Also,

            The trick to plaintain is to have a double or triple tincture.. we had triple tincture the night DH had allergic reaction in middle of night.

            This is an area that fascinates me; but, on this one I’m confused. Around here we have a ”weed” that looks like spinach that is called plaintain; there is also a plaintain (plantain?) that looks like a banana and is called a Cooking banana.
            Are we talking about one of these, because if it’s the spinach like weed, we have a ton of it.

          2. It’s not the fruit, OP. There are two kinds of plantain common to our country. It grows wild all over our land.

          3. OP,.
            it is the herb one,. the plant… has a glossy leaf. the one called plaintain major has a roundish oval leaf… there is another one that has a long narrow leaf both have same propertities medicinally. They put up a seed pod on a long stem, kinda looks like an upsde down acorn.
            The Indians called it “the white man’s footprint” I am guessing the animals ate the seed pods and made deposits with resultant growth.

          4. Anonamo Also,

            it is the herb one,. the plant… has a glossy leaf. the one called plaintain major has a roundish oval leaf… there is another one that has a long narrow leaf both have same propertities medicinally. They put up a seed pod on a long stem, kinda looks like an upsde down acorn.

            Thank you. This is the one I thought it might be and we have both the round and jagged leaf kind in our yard. When things star to grow back, I’ll start looking for it again. By grow back I mean after the last mowing, that we’ve been doing weekly to avoid the yard looking like a hay field with all of the nitrate rich fertilizing rain from the numerous thunderstorms. We don’t weed and feed since the clover and dandelion are great for the bees; but, we need to keep it mowed, in part the keep down the mosquitoes and other biting insects.

        1. MaineBrain, sciatica is a tough one.can be several causes. finding the cause is the hard part.usually a nerve is compressed by edema. apply heat, then massage tender area out from base of spine and down. to get edema moving from the nerve. .. ..need anti inflammatory… and re alignment of lower spine..
          Mine flares occassionally, I have to be very careful of anti inflammaories…I use willow bark, (not for those that are sensitive to asprin). 2 at a time 2x a day.. for residual pain. I was taught by Osteo specialist to put lower back in alignment.
          Some people take tumeric..I read an article that said tumeric DISables the ability of the body to fight cancer… so I will not use it or recommend.There are also articles stating how wonderful it is.but I do KNOW,.. I want the ability to fight cancer naturally… so my choice to err on side of caution.
          There are herbal anti inflammatories… Ginger, Boswella, Holy Basil and feverfew are some … Ginger is considered easy on stomach.. feverfew is also used for migranes(.with butterburr.)
          here are basics.. to realign lower spine….. lay flat on bed, ie.. no pillow under head, pull knees up to 45 degree angle or tighter…with feet on bed, make sure heels are even. They do not have to be together but must be even….now look at height of knees..check to see if they are same height..
          If one is lower than the other you are out of alignmnet in lowest few verterbrae..
          to re align. take bend of arm that is opposite the low knee, hook elbow behind knee, and rock back to pulling shoulder, enough to clear hip from bed. just rock one or two times.
          Then return to position, make sure heels are even and check knee height. should be even.. you will be able to walk without back pain.
          Now to do exrcise to strengthen lower back, the pelvic girdle… on bed, lay on side. bottom leg flexed ( to maintain balance.) very slowly lift top leg up about 4 “, hold for count of 5, slowly lower , repeat 5 x …then turn do the same on other side and recheck alignment and put in alignment if not. If is set alignment… by laying on back hug knees to chest and rock back to shoulders.
          do exercises until you build up to 10 3 x aday, if possible. . when they get easy to do make more difficult by doing toe circles while elevating leg. without exercise back will not remain aligned. about 2 weeks of exercises is what it took for me to see stability…now i do them a couple of times a week…or back to orig schedule when m back pops out…

    2. LTD,
      This is something I learned before I was a Boy Scout… My mom had a book called the “At Home Pharmacist” or something like that. Please don’t hold me to the name. I’m going back about 40 years.

      Meat Tenderizer/Accent/MSG all are monosodiumglutimate (I hope I spelled that correctly). Pour some out, add a bit of water to make a paste and add it as a poultice to the sting area.

      I am highly allergic to bees and wasps (yes, I have an epi pen) and I used this “goop” on my hand the second time I got stung. It helped take the pain away but not the swelling.

      I hope my experience helps.

      1. Sirius – that is the only good use for MSG. We used this method with meat tenderizer when I was growing up for mosquito bites. We used ammonia on bee stings because my brother is allergic. I will also swell from bee stings, especially when sitting on a hornet.

        1. Sitting on a RED Wasp gives an uncomfortable pone as well…It is just hard to see- to get the treatment on affected area…lol Been there, done that!

          1. AA – I was lucky that it was more on the back of my thigh than elsewhere, but it was still red and swollen a month later. It took quite a while for me to recover from that one.

      2. Well, unfortunately, MSG is a very dangerous chemical. And yes, it’s in much prepared food.

        It, like artificial chemical sweeteners, causes me to have false seizures.

        But thank you for being thoughtful.

        1. LTD,
          Mc cormicks meat tenderizer and Dollar Generals Clover Valley brand do NOT have MSG… they use bromelin or papaya..
          . any food seasoning blend that has a substance in ingredient list , listed only as “spice”- consider it is msg.

    3. Livinthedream,

      Heg, gang! A wasp got me! I was cleaning out a chicken tractor and found wasps. I like them for pollinators, so, I didn’t want to kill them In my effort to capture them, nest and all, in a coffee can with lid

      Capture them? You are a better person than we are. Depending on the type of wasp and the placement, we’ll just either leave them alone or kill them, sometimes with Wasp and Hornet Spray and sometimes just with soapy water in a spray bottle. Mud Daubers are usually up in the eaves and don’t cause problems, as are most paper wasps; but, just recently the DW eradicated several nests that keep appearing in the gauge and valve covers on our propane tanks. When they installed our last tank, the installer also encountered them when doing the connection to the other tanks, and showed me the soapy water trick. While wasps do provide some help in the garden killing certain insects, unlike bees, they are poor pollinators, since they have hard shell sand legs, unlike bees (honey, mason, etc) that have hairy bodies and legs to which the pollen sticks and gets moved around.
      Their sting is also worse than a bee sting, since unlike bees they have no barb, which allows them to sting multiple times injecting a larger amount of venom that contains more chemicals like the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and serotonin that get nerves firing., plus substances that trigger the release of histamine, producing an intense allergy-like reaction, which is why antihistamine medications like Benadryl can be helpful. While keeping bees I’ve been stung an uncounted number of times, and it’s generally just an ouch, that was my fault; but, I remember nearly every sting I’ve ever had from those progeny of flying ants, who are left alone as long as they don’t hang out where I need to be. My worst remembrance was a sting by a yellow jacket to the lip, when I didn’t pay close enough attention to my can of soda at an outside lunch meeting.

      1. After this sting (the same wasp got me twice), I’m not likely to try simply relocating them again, as they don’t confess – I did end up spraying & “instantly killing” a few, as they returned to their nest location – inside the tractor we were trying to move. This sting was 4 days ago. It now itches like crazy. I believe u have just explained “why”. Thank you!

        And I agree – honey bee stings are not nearly as bad!

        1. Livinthedream,

          And I agree – honey bee stings are not nearly as bad!

          I think that’s in part because they only sting when they really think the hive is in danger and since they have a barbed stinger, it generally stays in the prey (that could be us) and removing them pulls out their guts at which point they cannot sting again. Those girls usually give their lives when they sting, so it is not normally done unless really required. I’ve often worked around hives with just a veil and gotten no stings; but, I swear wasps, hornets, and especially yellow jackets will chase you just for fun. Aldo keep in mind that bees are vegetarians, consuming only pollen and nectar; while, the other stingers will eat anything and can often be found on dead carcasses of animals. I’m not sure what this means exactly, but as omnivores you need to watch both your soda cans and your burgers when picnicking.

  13. Tara, you are so fortunate to have enough land to grow hay! We have 5 acres planted in fruit and nut trees, and garden. We have 5 acres heavily wooded, full of wildlife. We also have a large spring-fed pond, well-stocked. But we buy baled hay for chicken houses. We pay $4.50 per bale.

    It’s getting more and more difficult to find square bales. Ours are 40-lb bales. It’s the top of what I can lift. But I sure can’t lift those 100-lb. rolls!

    1. LTD, perhaps you just need to rethink hay. This but and fruit orchard has grass growing between the Bush’s and trees . A mower with a bagger collects the clipping and then you spread them out on large drying racks under shelter . 2 days of air above as below should give you loose hay to stack .
      You can make the racks from 2″ x4″‘s and SS screening . A few 4’x8’ racks can add up to quite a bit of hay over a mowing season .

      1. That’s an excellent suggestion, Fixit! I see some challenges, but I also see solutions. Like not needing to mow around 5 acres of growing things every week! Thank you!

    2. LTD,

      Wow $4.50 for baled hay, that stinks. No square straw bales sold in your area for the chickens, that is usually cheaper. Your place sounds great, the land and use sounds a lot like ours actually, just a different number of acres.

      1. We’ve just had a hard time finding square bales. We used to have a source for straw bales @ $4/bale, but they went to the large rolls. The current source sold straw bales until recent. Now they only have hay bales Doesn’t matter for chickens – I don’t want them eating seedheads, and they got more in straw than hay. But I do like straw bale gardening, for which hay does not work as well. On the other hand, hay has a certain sweet fragrance which straw does not.

        The onky other source we have found selling square bales is a county farm coop @ $5.50 a bale, and they were full of “junk”.

        1. Your prices for hay sound pretty good as squares here are $7 and if we don’t get rain soon, will be higher.

        2. Livinthedream,
          I’m just getting caught up on this one, since I had to check with the DW on our current hay and straw prices. We still get the regular straw bales for $4.00; but, have switched to the large hay bales that cost us $50.00. This would be around $6.00 per small bale of hay; but, we only need a new one every 2-3 months, depending on the time of year. We only feed grass hay, since our miniature horse has laminitis, and cannot eat rich grass or grains. We also feed some grain based feed to our little goat, who serves primarily as a companion for the horse.

  14. Can anyone recommend a few new/fresh/outside the box prepper sites? I read Apartment Prepper, Mom with a Prep, Doom and Bloom, this site, MD’s site along with a few others, but I feel like I’m reading the same stuff over and over (aside from forums like this, which I love). I’m not into weapons. And I feel like I’ve read at least 150 “Ultimate prepper’s survival list” posts. Looking for things that don’t repeat what every other prepper site recites. New ideas. Any suggestions?

    1. Put “survival sites” in your search engine… look for post 20 top or 50 top..
      ..an alternate would be go to you tube and put in their search…. homesteading or prepping, saving money to prep, DIY____ fill in the blank.Raising rabbits, Daily goat care., building a chicken coop… or any other number of searches… learn focused on what you are thinking you need or want to learn..
      I like Deep South Homestead, crazy dazes, Appalachian Homestead, Roots and Refuge, Living traditons homestead, Wholesome Roots, Art and Bri.Swedish Homestead, Off grid with Doug and Stacy

      1. Don’t forget Dan’s other website, Survival Sullivan – it’s pretty cool too 🙂 I like alternative sites that are not just regurgitated material, lists, and don’t give you any educational or actionable content too, love finding new ones, so keep the sharing coming.

      2. AA,
        Those you list are YouTube channels, which are great. I watch all of these too. I’ll just add in Justin Rhodes channel too.
        As far as sites for reading articles, I like the Modern Survival Blog. Their articles are fabulous.

    2. That’s because you are, MaineBrain. One thing I’m starting to appreciate about this site is that they are NOT regurgitating the same pablum as all the others. Just my opinion, of course.

      One thing that bothers me – and there’s no way around it – is that ALL of these sites MUST make money. It takes a lot of money for the technology to keep these sites up and running. The natural result becomes that the site becomes less focused on helping people be “always ready”, and more focused on self-serving motives, as well as becoming highly-protective with the “as long as I get mine” mentality. I believe I watched that degeneration on the previous site – but that is not the only site to succumb. Just my personal observations over the years.

      1. Ironically, just last week when I ventured into the store from hell (AKA Walmart) I saw an older man walking by while I was waiting to have fabric cut and he was wearing a Foxfire hat. I pointed to his hat when he walked by and asked, “Foxfire, like the books?” He had recently returned from a learning center run by the group from the school that created the books. The man said they no longer make new books but create documentary videos about them and other related skill building. His wife is an antique loom expert who went there to review some items for the on-site museum and to do some repairs and wound up in one of their documentaries. Probably the second best store from hell encounter ever, it was really interesting listening to what all the Foxfire group was doing now. The best encounter was meeting a WWII veteran who helped me fold a flag properly that I had picked up because it fell out of its package and onto the ground.

    3. MaineBrain,

      Can anyone recommend a few new/fresh/outside the box prepper sites?
      …..
      I feel like I’m reading the same stuff over and over (aside from forums like this

      I have been to many, and to really be involved at any level takes up way too much time.
      One I used to visit a lot is Jack Spirko’s thesurvivalpodcast.com. He’s been around about 8 years with a nearly daily podcast (mp3) that can be downloaded and listened to offline. He often has great guests he interviews; but, each podcast takes about an hour and some of that was repetitious over time so I finally gave up. He also has an interactive forum.
      The only other one I subscribe to right now is: foodstoragemoms.com, which covers a lot of goody subjexts, indluding recipes. The current lineup is:
      How To Make The Best Sugar Cookies Ever
      Oatmeal Carmelitas Recipe
      The Best Caramel Oatmeal Carmelitas Recipe
      Nine Easy Recipes To Use Your Food Storage Every Day
      Her stated goal is: “My goal is to help one family at a time!”
      She has a forum similar to this one; but, has no followup comment email enabled. I’ve gotten some good ideas and recipes here.

    4. Thank you for all the good suggestions, folks. I’ll check out some of them tonight, including Dan’s other site. I do see the need to monetize a site in order to cover expenses, but hey, that’s capitalism.

  15. Tara,
    Your old fashioned use of pitchforks is really old fashioned, since even the Amish up here have automated much of this work. Some of them use sickle bar mowers with perhaps a bit of manual raking to make the wind rows, and then use a hay bailer to pull the windrows into bales. When I say automated, there is still no engine involved; but, horses and wagons, where the energy to run the equipment comes from gears on the wheels that turn as the horse or team pulls the wagon. When I moved here 45 years ago, I would often go out into the surrounding countryside just to watch the Amish work, and as an engineer I’ve always been fascinated by their use of basic mechanical machinery, driven by “real” horsepower or wind.

    We purchase our few bales of hay from the neighboring dairy farmer and although they were only 50 & 75 pounds, he could take one and toss it into the loft of the barn, like I could toss a basketball. He has since switched to the large square bales, and with only a miniature horse and 3-legged goat, we only need a few per year now, since the flakes are nearly as large as the old bales and the current critters don’t eat like the old quarter horses.
    We are looking for blackberries and mulberries to be ready any time now.
    When you state:

    Did I mention our survival homesteading retreat came with a butcher shop and all the equipment to operate it – the seller even left us scads of meat wrap and some semi-blood stained aprons. We do not operate it commercially, just for tribe use.

    I’ll admit I’m a bit jealous on this one. I have the tools and the skills; but, don’t yet have a good place to do the work. We’ll be adding another small building this summer to replace a 100 year old one that we tore down, so I’m hoping to add the butcher shop and the sugar shack in that new building, after of course we finish our summer kitchen.

    This past week or so, we did and acquired the following:
    1. Arrange to start automatic withdrawals from one of my IRA’s. Starting this month, $500.00 per month will be transferred to our checking account. Not only will this add money to the cash flow; but, will save us on taxes, and will lessen the burden of withdrawals and taxes when we hit the mandatory MRD @ age 70 ½.
    2. Received another 12.5 foot 50 LED string of solar powered lights from woot.com.
    3. Lost my free food grade bucket source. He moved out of state and back to Maine; but, I’m hoping to find someone else at his old company who can supply them. I still have a good supply left for me: but, will not be able to pass them out like I used to do.

    1. Ohio Prepper,

      I had to laugh out loud when I read the part of your post about how your Amish work. The Amish in our area say the “up north” Amish are way too modern for them, they ride bikes” lol. Last time I went to the Mount Hope auction I noticed a lot more Amish in the area were using solar power. Our tribe’s butcher, and master of so many things, died suddenly on Saturday evening, we are all still in shock.

      1. Tara,
        Sorry for your loss; but, as I get older (now 67) it seems to be happening more often than I care to think about, with friends years younger than me passing on.
        As for our modern Amish, there are conflicts even within local sects. One local sect will use the Orange SMV (Slow Moving Vehicle) Triangle on their buggies while another says the color is too “worldly” and uses the grey reflective tape. Unfortunately that tape wears out and is no longer reflective, making approaching a buggy at night, especially in the rain, treacherous for both. I know of one Amish woman who will butcher and dress chickens for a fee. You drop off the live bird(s) and when she gets around to them, you need to come pick them up, since they have no refrigeration. You know to pick them up when she calls you on her cell phone.
        I’ve had Amish work crews do some work for me, as have some of the neighbors, and they have a work around for the rules there also. Every Amish crew, even when traveling by buggy, has at least one English (non Amish) crew member with a pickup truck & a cell phone. The English carry the power tools and operates them, while the Amish do most of the other work. Years ago I knew a local Bishop who told me that he would not have a problem with some of his group using a few light bulbs in the barn; but, being human they would like others, get lacy and let their lamps go into disrepair, not having them when they really needed them.
        I could go on with Amish stories a while; but, I’ll finish up with a photo I still have in my minds eye. Back about 30-40 years ago, before everyone carried a cell phone with a camera, I happened upon the quintessential old vs. new photo. There was a large John Deere four wheel drive tractor with duallies stuck in the mud to its axels, and in front of it was an Amish team of horses, pulling it out of the field. I still wish I’d had a camera.

      2. Tara,

        Last time I went to the Mount Hope auction I noticed a lot more Amish in the area were using solar power.

        Your mention of solar power reminds me of one more thought on the topics of the Amish and technology, which actually means, the “study of technique” . Some of our “modern” Amish up here do use more advanced technology; but, have an attitude that many in this community should be encouraged to follow. They know the difference between necessity and convenience. If you know the difference, you can use all of the tech you want, as long as its loss doesn’t cripple you.
        I now have a whole house generator (only since November 2016); but, also have many battery powered lights and radios, and various ways to heat. Leftover from years ago we also have working Coleman lanterns and Aladdin lamps, plus candles and candle making equipment.
        My point is that you need to have layers of backup alternatives for your necessities; but, less for the convenience items you could truly live without. I suspect those solar panels make an Amish families life a bit easier; but, pretty much know that if they break, life would go one without much additional thought.

  16. I just learned a new trick. Have not tried, so, don’t know if it works, but it’s something we can ALL put to the test.

    It’s starting a fire using urine. Well, Claude Davis cals it “pee”. All the same.

    I cud have posted the link, but, Claude Davis makes his tech rent by selling information. This is no exception. The idea is so simple, let me save you time.

    Basically, Davis wants you to pee in a clear plastic bottle. Make sure you have one on you! Carry a bottle of water. Drink water. Pee in bottle. Simple enough for men, maybe. Oh, well…

    Now gather rocks in a circle. Place a sheet if plastic wrap over ricks, making well in center. Pour urine in center. Don’t get it too full.

    What? You don’t carry a piece of fruit or something wrapped in plastic wrap? Me, either. Which leads me to wonder what wud happen if you just used pee in bottle as “magnifying glass”. That’s what they are doing. Or, why pee? Water in the bottle should work just as well. But I digress. Not my post.

    So, you ever-so-carefully bring the wrap up, trying not to lose contents. Twist and wrap to close. If liquid leaks out and gets wrap wet, wrap will not adhere to itself. Any cook knows this
    You’re gonna have to start over. If u were successful, u have a “ball” of pee. Now use as a “magnifying glass”.

    Gather tinder. U cud just use ur pocket or survival knife to feather-cut a stick. Or whatever dry debris u have available.

    U know how to start a fire from here, right?!

    So – who wants to try this and report back to us?

    DH says he’ll just carry his magnifying starter.

    1. Livinthedream,
      This is funny and so complicated. I have started a flame (it’s not yet a fire) with many means, including plain water in a condom, held to work like a magnifying glass. If I have a knife I can also make a hand drill or bow drill and have done both; but, normally my EDC contains matches, a bic lighter, and a ferrocerium rod.
      As for urine, if you have enough, you can make saltpeter for DIY gunpowder; but, that also takes too much work. I did this once and for those who would like to experiment, you can find the details in one of the Foxfire books; but, I don’t recall which one. You also use some stale urine when mixing the saltpeter, charcoal, and sulfur mixture.
      BTW, my homemade magnifier was just a test to see if I could do it, and although it worked, there are better ways.
      I suspect the urine was meant to attract someone’s attention to an otherwise mundane article.

    2. Or you could just shell out $7 on Amazon for a Fresnel Lens 4-Pack Credit Card Size Pocket Magnifier & Firestarter. I have no connection to the company, just don’t fancy getting pee all over my hands. Especially in a survival situation! Thanks for the chuckle, LTD!

    3. LTD, Would you be the guinea pig, try it and give a report.. i’ll use the freznel lens, or mirror…meinwhile,…lol

  17. So we’re watching the All Star game on TV and I’m craving a hot dog, because ballpark. In the morning I’ll get up and make some onion relish to go with, for dinner tomorrow night. It’s a local (southern Maine) thing — there’s a hole in the wall restaurant, open limited hours
    (Wednesday to Sunday, 11 to 3 pm) , that sells ONLY hot dogs, and you stand in line and then go in and order “six with,” (for two people, of course – the hot dogs are smallish) meaning six hot dogs with the fixings, which in this case are the onion relish, some mayo, and a sprinkle of celery salt. (In “New England” hot dog rolls, of course – split top, joined at the bottom!) I know, it sounds CRRRRAZY, but the place has been in business for decades, and I don’t want to mention the name because I don’t want them to sue me for sharing the recipe – they successfully sued a company for replicating the recipe and appropriating the name of the restaurant some years back – but the recipe is out there on the internet anyway. When DH and I drove by a couple of weeks ago on the way to my sister’s, this little hot dog joint was jammed. Cars up and down the road and a line out the door.

    So here’s the onion relish: Chop three or four onions depending on size. Place in a pot or slow cooker with about 1/2 cup molasses, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup vinegar (more or less – I use cider vinegar, it’s less tart), and a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes. Simmer for 3-4 hours (pot) or slow-cook for 6-8 hours. All measures are approximate – when I bake, I follow measures exactly because baking is science, but cooking is art, so it’s always “some.” More or less of each ingredient according to your taste. Can also do this as a side dish accompaniment to pork roast — leave onions whole, cover with molasses etc. (I’d mix the other ingredients together first, just to make sure that the flavors get distributed evenly), bake for 1 hour or until onions are soft. The relish also makes a fabulous addition to canned baked beans.

    So – For tomorrow, at least, I’ve answered the inevitable daily question from DH – “What’s for dinner?” (Ugh, I’m getting tired of pulling it out of my nether regions every night after getting home from work – time to make him shop, plan and cook!)

  18. Day(s) late and a dollar short, story of my life LOL! Crazy week for me. Had to head up north to bury my 57 year old uncle who died of cancer…it was nice to see family, but not under those circumstances. I’ve only gone back for funerals lately it seems. One of my other uncles said I need to come back up for something fun next time, and I fully agree. (Tara, sorry for your loss.)

    Glad Mrs. Thor and BamBam are both doing better.

    Obviously not much went on here this week, but maters are going strong, and I have my first Rutgers starting to turn ripe. I am going to be overwhelmed with the orange Dads Sunsets, and the Atomic Grapes. Yellow pears don’t seem to be as prolific as I’ve experienced them to be in the past. I’m a little disappointed in the Rutgers yield to this point, although they are still flowering and setting fruit. I need to pay closer attention to maturation days. I need to start a garden journal to keep track of that kind of stuff. I will give kudos to Baker Creek Seed, as I did have 100% germination not only of the maters but the marigolds and snap peas I got from them. And, oh are those sugar snaps SWEET! Getting ready to start my fall crop, which I know will be a lot bigger, this batch survived this hot weather well but smaller yield. I was extremely jealous talking with my dad about his three season gardening down in TX while we were able to get together this week.

    So, I am planning on dehydrating and freezing most of my tomato crop this year…what are your best tips and suggestions?

    PS: I can’t talk about it anywhere else at the moment, but I have been tapped for a promotion at work. I have mixed emotions, because I’ve already been doing some of the work without recognition so it would be nice to have the title and the pay raise, but it’s going to ruffle some feathers and have some possible repurcussions within the department. But then again, I am not there to make friends.

    Also, at the same time, I have been asked to take over the local FB homesteading group that I have admined since it began, while the founder deals with the sad details of her father’s health downturn. It is an honor for her to have chosen me to take on that mantle, and I hope I can do her proud.

    Life sure is about to get crazier around here!

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