What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did to Prep This Week – Week 31 – Feb 10th – Feb 16th 2019

It has been an exceptionally wet and muddy week here on our survival homesteading retreat. We were flooded in on Wednesday, with a lot more of that to come as spring arrives.

The photo above was taken long before it was done pouring the rain and the water started moving a whole lot faster. I fully expect to find bicycles, trash cans, or who knows what beached on the creek band when it goes down – as per usual. Once we found a refrigerator in the creek!

Due to the rain, our preps were reduced to road maintenance (again) getting more seeds started, and working on our off the grid ice house. This hunting lodge we turned into a home came complete with a butcher shop that boasted a walk in cooler and two stand-alones.

That’s a great set up for now, but it would drain a lot of generator fuel trying to keep them going for even a short amount of time during a SHTF event. So, we finally embarked on a plan I came up with while researching an article and visiting a local Amish farm four years ago.

We filled buckets with water and let them turn to ice over the winter. We also could chainsaw ice chunks from our pond or even our creek a few times this year. But, buckets were far easier to work with.

We placed them on tall and deep wood shelving units inside of the butcher shop walk in cooler and covered them with saw dust. If my theory holds, and the walk in is as insulated as we believe it to be, the ice will not melt until about September. By then, our creek would be cool enough to keep most food placed inside of a cooler and sunk, cold.

Our prepper retreat plan had involved retrofitting a metal shed into an ice house, a relatively inexpensive endeavor, but the walk in took that chore out of the equation.

Once the weather warms up enough to thaw out the ground, our foot, horse, and ATV bridge will be placed across the creek bank – but we still aren’t interested in putting a bridge over our creek.

Our creek flips a lot of folks out, usually needlessly. It may look like you are driving through only water and the soggy dirt beneath it, but there is a natural rock culvert at the crossing…

flooded homestead

Being flooded in doesn’t bother us one bit. The one way in and one way out nature of this property is one of the reasons we purchased it. We do not want easy access to our land. In case of an emergency, we could get an ATV with a trailer or a horse out on the upper area of the property – as long as the rider was familiar with the terrain and where absolutely not to do or wind up in a ravine that resembles the Grand Canyon’s mini me.

Everyone over the age of 12 in our tribe should be able to navigate the area without a problem in clear daylight conditions, and enough tribe members can now do it at night. There are absolutely no power lines or anything that would tell the naked eye they are not standing in an 1800s era pasture for multiple acres in the spacious open field at the top tier or our property, so Life Flight could land there is necessary.

I would like to get started on the foot bridge now, but I know the ground is still too hard and this brief break in beyond chilly weather is not going to last long. It was negative 13 in the early a.m. one day last week and yesterday it was 60. Later this week it is supposed to hit a whopping 73 – and likely rain. After that, snow will be on its way again. Ohio weather, you don’t gotta love it, but you sure have to learn to expect and deal with it, if you want to live in one of the most beautiful and affordable places in the country.

Our portion of Appalachia is a prepper’s dream area. There is only one stoplight in the entire county, no government permit office of any type, and septic forms at the health department, absolutely no zoning or homeowner associations, or laws that prevent you from walking out the door and building a house, barn, etc.

I would never want to live anywhere else.

We have everything in our county, except:

1. A city within 60 miles
2. A shopping mall
3. Walmart
4. Rapes
5. Gangs
6. Traffic jams
7. Second Amendment infringing laws
8. Home Invasions
9. High taxes of any kind
10. Small backyards
11. The need to lock the door at night
12. The need to do background checks on babysitters or employees
13. The need to lock your car doors; heck most folks don’t even bother to remove the keys!
14. More than two chain restaurants
15. Liberals – alright, we have a few of those, but dang few, not enough even for a small protest on a nice warm and sunny day.

We do not need or want any of the things on the list above – either now or when a long-term disaster happens.

This week’s Questions:

1. Do you live where you want to prep?
2. What are the pros and cons of your county, city, town, or neighborhood, from a prepping perspective?
3. Do you have an ice house or want to build one? How would your do it? Why or why not is an ice house on your survival agenda?
4. How did you prep this week?

Tara Dodrill

About Tara Dodrill

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

157 thoughts on “What I Did to Prep This Week – Week 31 – Feb 10th – Feb 16th 2019

  1. Hi Everyone,

    I may just be first this week… H-o-t d-o-g. Thor, you are sleeping on the job.

    Sorry for not posting much as I was in the hospital last Monday for emergency surgery. I got out last Thursday, and have been home recuperating this week with about 40 abdominal staples…. NOT fun. I am on the mend, but very slowly as I am not supposed to lift anything for 6 weeks. That is hard not to do, but I am doing my best to comply. Friends have come over to help. This is one of the disadvantages of living alone, but what does a girl do?

    1. Do you live where you want to prep?
    No. I would love to find a place that I can be totally off grid, on a long driveway, with 3 sources of water, a spring house, woods, in a pretty much non-maintenance house.

    2. What are the pros and cons of your county, city, town, or neighborhood, from a prepping perspective?
    I live in the country. Our county is still farming land for the most part. The town is still small, 16,000 or so people…. Conservative State.

    3. Do you have an ice house or want to build one? How would your do it? Why or why not is an ice house on your survival agenda?
    No, not really.

    4. How did you prep this week?

    Not much prepping supply wise. Plenty of prepping mental wise. There’s still more I need to get done with my organizing, getting rid of stuff, and trying food out, getting rid of anything I won’t eat. No sense in storing things you won’t eat. I discovered that the Aldi’s Chef’s Cupboard potato soup is not something I would want to eat. It is 30% salt, and for someone that doesn’t eat much salt, it is unbearable to eat. Not much nutrition either. Best to stock things that are more nutritious with as many calories as possible. As I was reading this week, people say that if it’s nutritious, it won’t have calories. I need to check all that out.

    Rain, Rain, Rain, and 4″- 6″ more this coming week. They can’t deliver my shed until it hasn’t rained for at least a week.

    Prayers for the pack, healing, unspoken requests, The President, and for America. We are gonna need all the prayers anybody wants to pray after what was just passed. Unbelievable, and I’ve already told our new Senator what I thought of her vote and thanked the one Rep that voted against it.

    Have a great week everyone.

    1. Almost There,
      Here’s hoping you heal quickly and painlessly. I wondered why I hadn’t heard from you about the propane connections; but, still hope you can get those going in time for the additional cold we’re sure yet to see.

    2. Almost There,
      I’m praying for a speedy recovery. Take it easy and don’t lift anything. Be good to yourself, kick up your feet and get a good homesteading book to read. Take care!

      1. Thanks Terra. I feel worthless. You’d be surprised how much things we pick up all day long weigh. I’ve been reading up on stuff off the internet, in between my afternoon naps.

        Hope to see you in May at the Homesteading Conference.

    3. That’s a lot of staples! Best wishes on your speedy recovery! Wow, 16,000 people, I think that is a little more than the population of our entire county.

      1. Excruciating pain with the staples today Thor1…. Almost made me pass out at the store… Guess it’s because the skin is tightening around them… More will come out tomorrow when I go for another check-up. Taking more out could be good or bad… Want the incision to close up well.

  2. OK, the questions.
    #1 Yes, my area is rural, 50 miles in three directions from any major population centers. My neighbor’s wife has two large commercial greenhouses that can not be seen from the road. She grows hot peppers in them. He has a fifty acre field on the other side of my property.

    #2 The pros are I have 13 acres of land and like minded neighbors. The cons are what most people east of the Mississippi have, rural areas have many people that work in the cities but have to live far away because they can’t afford to live closer. They are not usually preppers and will quickly run out of food when the stores close.

    #3 Ice house, no. Florida, enough said.

    #4 I had an attack of the lazies so nothing. Hangs head in shame.

      1. Daddio7,
        When you mentioned:

        He has a fifty acre field on the other side of my property.

        It reminded me that we have a 1/3 interest in 200 acres across and down the road, that we cash rent; but, the wooded parts can also be used for firewood and hunting.

    1. This week you will be more motivated 🙂 Definitely no ice house for you! About half or slightly more of population in our rural county drives elsewhere to work, many 40 to 70 miles each way. It makes me laugh hard when city people think driving 30 miles is a long drive. Difference here is those same folks are prepperish even if they don’t put that label on it because they also garden, hunt, fish, repair their own guns and bows etc.

      1. Tara,

        About half or slightly more of population in our rural county drives elsewhere to work, many 40 to 70 miles each way.

        I was one of those who drove between 25 and 40 miles for most of my jobs before I retired; but, many in our county have good jobs at the local Honda plant where 10-30 miles may still be the normal. Our county is a mix of good close jobs at Honda and Scotts (the lawn people) and a large agricultural xommunity.

        It makes me laugh hard when city people think driving 30 miles is a long drive.

        Our closest local stores are a 15 mile round trip and the real stores like Wal-Mart, Kroger, etc. are at least a 30 mile round trip, so you keep lists and plan those trips.

        Difference here is those same folks are prepperish even if they don’t put that label on it because they also garden, hunt, fish, repair their own guns and bows etc.blockquote>
        This is pretty much standard for any rural agricultural community, where every farmer I know is a part time mechanic, knows how to weld, and isn’t afraid of hard work, since it’s just part of the job description.

  3. Questions:

    1. We live where we prep although we would like a bit more “dirt” to expand.
    2. Population density is about right; sufficient services available close, more w/i 100 miles.
    3. Had not thought about an ice house. Right now I have 2′ of “frozen water storage” in my back yard with more to come this afternoon.

    Received: Weapon storage bags 10×18”, books: The Spanish Civil War, The Battle for Spain, J&J Custom holster for Ruger SR9C, pistol ammo.

    Snow and bitter cold starting/continuing last Sunday. This year has been longer periods of snow and cold. We usually get some warming/melting between snow storms; not this year. General preparedness has its usefulness. Being generally prepared, more than specific, means that I really don’t have to go out shopping unless I desire to; handy. We stock what we use/eat.

    Bear Creek soup mix is on sale for $1.99 each (less than ½ regular price). Monday night was Creamy Potato w/a 4 serving package of instant potatoes and ½ cup of bacon bits. Perfect for this weather, in 15 minutes!

    A good friend just got hired on as an instructor at Front Sight. We have not been yet, but are planning of visiting sometime this quarter, then schedule to start taking classes.

    I did have an interesting problem with an ammo order. I ordered it from Grab-A-Gun; flat rate shipping of $12.99 on cases of ammo (total not each). My pistol ammo showed up, but not my rifle ammo. So I waited a day and called. They were very easy to deal with and said they would ship out a replacement order of the rifle ammo, call if the original order shows up. 5 minutes late the email shows up with the replacement order, only it’s more pistol ammo! I call back (long wait que) and they get the rifle ammo coming. But they are not sure if they can stop the pistol ammo! They will send a prepaid shipping lable to return anything that I should not have gotten, but quite the mess. Good people though.

    1. JP,

      Where is the Bear Creek soup on sale? I bought some at Big Lots to try, but bought only a few of the varieties when they had their 20% off entire store a few weeks ago. Need to try some of them out. So you added more instant potatoes?

      1. Sorry, it was a our regional store. Big Lots is where I regularly go for $3.00. Mostly it was about adding the mashed potatoes (4 serving package) and bacon for a really thick soup.

        1. Ok. Thanks. I think Rural King has it for that price sometimes, but they are about 40 miles from me.

          There was a job in Ft Harrison that I applied for. I was referred to the manager, but haven’t heard anything yet. Will have to see if they will pay relocation expenses. This year has been the exception with the cold everywhere… What do people usually heat with up there? I know a heat pump wouldn’t cut it.

          1. Almost There:

            In town it is primarily natural gas or just electric, some with wood backup. Rural it is propane. And where that line is keeps changing.

            Verizon gives the best cell service but there are others that are less expensive, by wait until you get your property and check the signal strength.

            There are satellite internet services, but Spectrum is the cable and the phone company has one too. Spectrum now offers cell service and uses Verizon’s network.

      2. Almost There,

        Where is the Bear Creek soup on sale? I bought some at Big Lots to try, but bought only a few of the varieties when they had their 20% off entire store a few weeks ago. Need to try some of them out. So you added more instant potatoes?

        We get ours at Big Lots or Wal-Mart on sale and like them. Adding to them just makes them better and cuts the sodium a bit.
        We add instant mashed potatoes to the creamy potatoes; but, also add them to the cheddar potato along with additional shredded cheddar cheese (from Aldi’s). There is also a cheddar broccoli to which we add frozen broccoli or cauliflower, and their ”Darn Good Chili” is great with some ground beef or stew beef chunks added to it. We almost always use them as a starting point and dress them up to our own flavor preference.
        We probably have 30 or more in our pantry.

        1. Note, on the Darn Good Chili, it has four or five kinds of beans in it. I can tolerate kidney and pinto beans but what ever is in that causes more gas than the law should allow.

          1. Daddio7,

            Note, on the Darn Good Chili, it has four or five kinds of beans in it. I can tolerate kidney and pinto beans but what ever is in that causes more gas than the law should allow.

            Actually, I just checked and it only has 3 kinds of beans, Pinto, Red and Black; but, it does also contain Long Grain Rice & Hydrolyzed Soy Protein (Tofu). I’m one of those odd (lucky) people who do not get gassy from beans; but, the DW has to take care with some foods.
            This chili is a lot better when you add some ground or finely chopped (stew) beef to it; but, then again, I’m not a vegetarian. LOL.

        2. Ohio Prepper,
          Thanks for the great tips on the soups. I have a few, but I intend to buy some soon, maybe at Walmart. I was afraid that the soup would taste ‘instant’, but adding goodies to it is a great idea to make it heartier.

          1. Terra,

            I was afraid that the soup would taste ‘instant’, but adding goodies to it is a great idea to make it heartier.

            I have purchased other Freeze dried soups from places like Wise foods and My Patriot Supply and IMHO the Bear Creek are just as good and a bit less expensive. They are supplied in the Aluminized Mylar bags like the more expensive ones so they keep well if you mind the temperature range and do not let them get too hot. For long term, the only thing you might want to have on hand to add is various cheeses and some meat to add, either, canned, frozen, or freeze dried.

      1. Tara,

        Have never heard of Bear Creek, sounds like a good value. Taste?

        I find that amazing since they are carried by Big Lots, Wal-Mart, and I think Krogers has them also. I personally think they are better than Wise or My Patriot supply and make a pretty good meal without a lot of the TVP you find in some other prepared foods.
        They come in a Mylar bag which you add to 2 quarts of boiling water, and you rather quickly have a meal for a 4-8 people, depending on how large their appetites. As some of us have stated, adding simply things like potato flakes, cheese, vegetables or meats can make them a bit more hardy meal; but, they are a good quick hot meal as is, and IMHO a great add to your stored foods. We probably have something close to 100 of them in storage that we use regularly. Hers is their story: https://www.soupsonline.com/m-47-bear-creek.aspx
        Another thing we keep on hand, also generally from DT, are the ”Knorr Pasta and Knorr Rice” sides which you quickly cook the same way with nothing but water and perhaps a bit of milk or butter.

        1. It’s been years since I have been in a Kroger or Big Lots, but those stores are located one county over in different directions – Walmart in every surrounding county, of course. If I have to go into Walmart more than once a month it puts me in a very bad mood. I would rather chew on glass than go to Walmart, lol – but I love going to Tractor Supply nearby. I do 95 percent of my shopping online or at the Piggly Wiggly in the next county over, but we do have a little grocery store here after three years without one. People are superb and so is customer service and butcher shop, just don’t have some brands and items I like most.

          1. Tara,

            It’s been years since I have been in a Kroger or Big Lots, but those stores are located one county over in different directions – Walmart in every surrounding county, of course. If I have to go into Walmart more than once a month it puts me in a very bad mood. I would rather chew on glass than go to Walmart, lol – but I love going to Tractor Supply nearby.

            We go to Wal-Mart perhaps 2 or 3 times per month; but, even here it’s a 30 miles round trip. Our county has a TSC and Rural King; but, perhaps one of our favorites is Aldi’s (and maybe Dollar Tree). The only store not in our county is Harbor Freight, and if they located one here, I might never have to leave the county again, except to see some specialist doctors. Your situation make sense, since you are more remote and your county has only 25% of our population (13,435 vs. 52,300 per the 2010 census) with our county continuing to grow because of expanding employment at Honda and other companies, and it’s use as a bedroom community for people working in the Columbus area, since our housing is more affordable, and lots are larger.
            We live far enough from the only Major city that it doesn’t impact us; but, live in an area with enough truck traffic that the roads are well kept and cleaned of snow & ice in the winter, often ahead of other places. When we moved here as a rental back in 1984 and it finally came on the market, we knew we had found our home.

            I do 95 percent of my shopping online or at the Piggly Wiggly in the next county over, but we do have a little grocery store here after three years without one. People are superb and so is customer service and butcher shop, just don’t have some brands and items I like most.

            I do a lot of online shopping; but, not 95%, and prefer to purchase clothing and shoes at a brick and mortar store where I can try the items on before purchase.
            While we have no Piggly Wiggly, we also have a local grocery with a real butcher. Mosier’s Market is about a 13 mile round trip and is famous locally for their wonderful meats and other deli foods.
            I’ve been down in your neck of the woods many times; but, at least for us, we are remote enough and still have some of the conveniences around that we like; but, can still build a fire and shoot a gun in the back yard.
            One advantage you have on me is your youth, since you are about 20 years younger. As you grow older, the cold weather and longer trips start to take their toll and get bothersome, and having the Wal-Mart, Kroger, CVS, and other pharmacies closer, sadly becomes much more important, LOL.

      2. Tara:

        Bear Creek soup mixes are incredible. I find that $3 is a good price, so lower is better. I always add meat to the soup mix; canned ham, bacon crumbles, chicken, ground beef – depending upon which mix I’m using. DW and I like our soup thick so that’s why I added the 4 serving mashed potato package. Normal servings per bag is 8. Chicken and Wild Rice is my personal favorite. A real plus is they usually take 15 minutes after the water boils to be ready.

        It’s like they come ready for a “deep pantry”. I have not had any go bad yet, some are 5+ years old.

        1. JP,

          It’s like they come ready for a “deep pantry”. I have not had any go bad yet, some are 5+ years old.

          I agree. They are packaged in sealed Mylar bags like the once from Wise and other places, and are a staple in our long term stored food plans. When we purchase them, we mark the date on the package with a large sharpie marker & store them in the standard cool / cold place and have had no problems with them after 10 years.

      3. I’ve only had the Minestrone and the Chicken Noodle. Only complaint I have is the amount of salt, which means the DP can’t have too often.

        1. Mari,

          Only complaint I have is the amount of salt, which means the DP can’t have too often.

          I agree. The salt I think is there partly to help create a longer shelf life; but, that’s why many of us add additional items, like a little extra water and potato flakes both to stretch out the servings and dilute the salt.

          1. Oh yeah, I add extra water. I’ve had to hide the potato flakes ’cause the DP hates them. Easier if I add a small potato to suck up some of the salt.

          2. Mari,

            Oh yeah, I add extra water. I’ve had to hide the potato flakes ’cause the DP hates them. Easier if I add a small potato to suck up some of the salt.

            Adding the water only helps if you leave the final product rather soupy, since boiling it to thicken just re-concentrates the salt.
            I actually kind of like the instant flakes; but, even better are the LDS Potato Pearls. In any case, if you add enough butter they can be pretty good, LOL.
            I have a friend who was retired navy enlisted, who told me how they sometimes do it shipboard, where space is very tight. You mix up a batch of mashed potatoes with instant flakes; but, boil a few raw potatoes, chop them up, and add them in, so when eating the potatoes, people get the occasional chunk of “real” potato and generally don’t give the instant a second thought.

  4. not really, i would rather be in just about any other state, but i already own my farm debt free and everyone i know is here, so i make the best of it, though i am eyeing relocating

    ny state has the safe act where just about every gun that is semi auto is illegal, magazines over 5 rounds are almost impossible to find, and they just passed a round of even stricter laws and are planning to limit purchases of rifle ammo to 1 box per person per 120 days. the highest taxes in the us as well, extensive regulation and corruption, and “progresive democrats” aka libtards are in everyones face, i killed some raccoons that were killing my free range chickens, then some neighbors decided to defend the poor helpless coons, called me a monster and kept calling dechq so i had repeated visits from conservation officers, who despite frequent visits never actually found anything wrong. also get pulled over and threatened with arrest for jsut walking down the side of a rural road.

    don’t want one

    didn’t do much, 3 feet of snow on the ground and the roads have not been plowed (one of the town plows got stuck, another had mechanical trouble, so they didn’t do a lot of the roads till almost a week after the last storm). made some minor repairs to stuff around the farm. and i sold a little more firewood to people who showed up. someone stole my neighbors car on monday at 4am, was parked next to his front door at his farmhouse, the most recent of about a dozen stolen over the last 7 weeks. i’m not surprised it happened, he and his family only moved out here this summer and have often ignored my advice about the area (someone broke into my truck in my driveway in 2017, people used my driveway as a 1am spot to make drug deals, till i ambushed them with a shotgun and threatened to rape their mouths if they ever came back, had firewood, tool, fence posts, etc stolen until i put up a gate, fence, ditches, and other security measures, and a sign that says “Tresspassers will squeel like a pig”and another that says “tresspassers will be raped”, chased a few lowlifes off by chasing them back to their cars with an ax, then the lowlifes of this area started to leave my place alone, i tried to tell the neighbors to be more secure, but they never locked their door, left the keys in their car, left tools in the yard, etc).

    1. Good for you on the coon! Every one that thinks my free range chickens are a meal for them wind up on the wrong end of my rifle, as well.

      1. Tara,

        Good for you on the coon! Every one that thinks my free range chickens are a meal for them wind up on the wrong end of my rifle, as well.

        Our problem with rifles and coons is that they sneak up in the middle of the night and we have to sleep sometime, so we started using the Dog Proof Coon traps, baited with marshmallows, since there easier to shoot when they can’t run. We only had to take out a few (4 or 5 IIRC) and they stopped coming around and looking at the chickens. The interesting thing is that ours don’t completely free range; but, range inside a large fenced paddock area with a hot top wire, and some of those raccoons climbed right over the hot top wire. They are no longer a problem.

        1. thats what i did too, used to use cage traps but the bigger coons would bend them up or break the trigger plate and one figured out he could flip it over and push the door open with his back feet. then when a store called runnings opened up i was able to actually get better traps (like those dog proof ones). the dec came down because people told them i was trapping out of season, then claiming i had no license (in ny anyone who is primarily engaged in agriculture, aka farmers, can hunt small game and trap on their own land without a licnese, though thats sport trapping, under the law nussance animals can be taken any time of year but you can’t keep the pelt unless its in season and the trapped animal must be killed, its illegal to relocate them since thats a vector for spreading disease and the relocated ones rarelly survive anyway), then when the cops wouldn’t do anything to me since i didn’t do anything illegal. the hippies started harrassing me any other way they could think of (like throwing handfulls of trash at me when they pass me as i am walking on the side of the road). much rather shoot one in a trap thn have to go after it in the dark. but this is ny and anyone who traps is often called “worse than hitler” by the peta liberal types (same with hunters, or loggers or dairy farmers)

          1. Nemoseto,

            thats what i did too, used to use cage traps but the bigger coons would bend them up or break the trigger plate and one figured out he could flip it over and push the door open with his back feet. then when a store called runnings opened up i was able to actually get better traps (like those dog proof ones)

            Our dog proof traps came from the local Rural King.
            When we tried cage traps we never caught coons, since they were very wary around them; but, did occasionally catch one of the barn cats. Had a neighbor who caught a skunk or two in cage traps, and that’s another story, LOL.
            The dog proof traps worked about every time we set one out.

            We can do nuisance trapping or hunting (elimination) of certain animals like raccoons and groundhogs similar to what you describe.

            the trapped animal must be killed, its illegal to relocate them since thats a vector for spreading disease

            It’s the same here and unless we see them behaving oddly, we just dump the carcass over the bank and it becomes food for other critters. If they are staggering in the daytime and might have some disease like distemper, we’ll bury it and sometimes cover with a layer of lime or toss it in the burn pile if we’re close to burning.

            when the cops wouldn’t do anything to me since i didn’t do anything illegal. the hippies started harrassing me any other way they could think of (like throwing handfulls of trash at me when they pass me as i am walking on the side of the road).

            We thankfully have no people like that around here with most people being rural people who would do the same thing, since the raccoons will kill chickens and the groundhogs will go into a new field of crops and treat it like a salad bar, clipping off the new shoots of plants before they get a start on growing. I’ve seen one groundhog clear ¼ acres of soybean shoots that were only inches above the ground before anyone could grab a rifle and draw a bead.

            much rather shoot one in a trap thn have to go after it in the dark. but this is ny and anyone who traps is often called “worse than hitler” by the peta liberal types (same with hunters, or loggers or dairy farmers)

            But I suspect those same people would no doubt scream if their French toast fixings’ (Bread, Milk, & Eggs) were running short when they’re stocking up for that next blizzard.
            And BTW, I am a member of PETA (People for the Eating of Tasty Animals) LOL.

          2. i had no luck initially with the cage traps except catching lots of skunks (got really good at handling them without stinking). i only had luck with coons when i covered the trap so it didn’t look like a cage (like leaning some broken pallets over it, coon thinks its just a pile of junk and would readily go in)

    2. Nemoseto, ouch to your first paragraph. I’m in NJ and it’s already gotten bad, and about to get much worse. Murphy threatening to limit ammo to 20 rounds per month after getting permission each time from State Police.

      1. i heard about several states that pushed through a bunch of new laws, not just ny, seems the more “progressive” states are trying to out compete each other when it comes to gun laws, when one does something nuts, they all copy it then try to one up them. in ny the city people can simply out vote the rest of the state combined so its not that ny is crazy about cuomo, its that the city people love him and his leftist policies.

        i have heard some good news on the federal level in response to the various states going crazy outlawing guns, a few new bills in the works would, if passed, limit the states rights to limit the 2nd, at least as far as long guns are concerned. if that bill goes through it would effectivly void the safe act and a lot of the other states fascist laws as well. my dial up limits my ability to look it up to refrence the exact bill and who is sponsoring it. i just recall it because its what slowed down my plans to leave ny (if that goes through ny will become semi tollerable, and then there are a few western and northern politicians starting to push to divide ny into 2 states, rather than rush out i am going to save up as much as i can this coming year and see how these play out)

        1. Alito and Thomas would love to jerk some sense into lower courts re 2A. We shall what happens with NY’s case before the SC. NJ groups awaiting also filing a case.

          1. Mari,

            Alito and Thomas would love to jerk some sense into lower courts re 2A.

            If that were only the case. I’ve been involved in this fight since the Gun Control Act of 1968 and it looks like Heller vs. D.C. and Macdonald vs. Chicago hasn’t even slowed down the anti 2A people.

            We shall what happens with NY’s case before the SC. NJ groups awaiting also filing a case.

            Unless we find a way to punish judges like those on the 9th Circus, this will be a never ending battle with judge and court shopping along with rich anti 2A people like Bloomberg feeding the fire. The 9th Circus has been overruled by the SCOTUS who reversed about 70 percent of cases it took. Among cases it reviewed from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, it reversed about 79 percent. The 9th Circuit’s reversal rate is higher than average, but it’s not the absolute highest among the circuit courts.
            As long as they can do what they want, and being overturned doesn’t affect their jobs or salary, they will continue doing it and eroding our rights per their own agenda, and the Constitution will continue to be ignored.
            If any of us did a job poor enough that our work was being scrutinized and constantly corrected, we would be punished, by losing that job.

  5. Hi everyone, good morning we just finished up with a week of snow, and kids home because the School Administration, did not want to do snow routes, chain the buses, or do 2 hour late arrival, so the kid’s got a nice long winter break that may go into two weeks because Tuesday Thursday, we’re supposed to get more snow. So for us I made sure we had extra food on hand and had kitty cat food too in fact I need to go today to buy some more before this second storm arrives. We checked on our other property and knocked snow and huge chunks off the travel trailer cover it look like a winter wonder landscape when we pulled in. I did get some fun decoration for spring at the dollar tree, I’m so cheap lol.
    Well, have a great weekend and good week at least with this cold spell it’s been fun burning wood in the fireplace:)

    Question 1 No and Heck NO, I love my city, I dislike who is in charge within the next 5 year’s, taxes on this house will be through the roof right now we’re at the rafters We want to be gone with in a year.

    Question 2 This city, is AWFUL, to much to start to write if you live anywhere on the West coast near water building, and taxes are Terrible….

    Question 3 We don’t stay cold enough to build a cold house, the ice would be melted by June…

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

    Not a huge number of things going on this week. I am looking through my medical supplies and equipment. I plan to buy some more fish antibiotics and need to put some thought into which ones I need the most. The Alton’s book on antibiotics and infectious diseases will help here.

    I did buy more sterile 4×4, 2×2, and 5×9 ABD pads. Into the stash they go later today.

    Granddaughter has been a joy this week. So happy and loving. Still a somewhat messy eater, but we’re working on that. She has the alphabet down pat and the letter sounds as well. She counts up to 15 (the number of steps up and down from my apartment). She also can pick out simple words in her books. Not too bad for a 27-month old. When she isn’t cuddling up to me, she is a perpetual motion machine. She is also a bit of a wise ass (family trait). I told her yesterday, while she was eating lunch, that I had to run to the potty. She looked at me and said, matter of factly, “Walk.” 😊

    Tara’s questions:

    #1 – Live where I want to prep? Yeah, pretty much. Even though I’m in the big city, I feel more comfortable here than I did in the country. If I had my druthers, I’d have a bigger apartment. I can get one in this complex that I like, but I can’t afford the rent. I could, but I wouldn’t have a lot left over for prepping, etc.

    #2- Pros/Cons of my neighborhood, etc, for prepping? A definite pro is the easy availability of shopping at any number of retailers. Another pro, as long as a serious SHTF situation doesn’t occur, is the very close availability of a fire/EMS station (two blocks away). The police have a pretty good response time too. A con is the fact I’m in a very urban area. While I am a big city boy and former urban police officer and have a fairly well-developed set of street smarts, I am restricted in fields of observation (and resultant fields of fire if necessary).

    #3 – Ice house? Nope, not where I live.

    #4 – Prepping? See above.

    1. Zulu,

      How low do you keep net carbs? I have been researching the difference between low carb and keto. What are your macros? I do 70 percent fat, 23 percent protein and 7 percent fat. This is only week three of the “diet” (or better “new way of eating”). But I have lost 10 lbs. (water weight), I have more energy despite having a cold and I have not felt hungry.

      1. Zulu,

        How low do you keep net carbs? I have been researching the difference between low carb and keto. What are your macros? I do 70 percent fat, 23 percent protein and 7 percent fat. This is only week three of the “diet” (or better “new way of eating”). But I have lost 10 lbs. (water weight), I have more energy despite having a cold and I have not felt hungry. Oops. 7 percent carbs (not seven percent fat).

        1. Bam Bam,

          I don’t keep detailed stats on my food intake. All I know is I’m eating far less carbs than I used to, rarely any red meat (mostly chicken and turkey now), and more veggies. Also, smaller portions. I think I’ve lost all the weight I’m going to on diet changes alone (about 28lbs lost) and my blood sugar and A1C makes me and my doctor happy.

          I need to exercise more. I do some walking, but I want to use my stationary bike. I’m having a hard time getting on it regularly because of watching my granddaughter. She gets in the way if I ride while she’s here and also decides that’s when she wants my attention the most. By the time she goes home, I’m pretty pooped out (the kid is a perpetual motion machine). Riding in the morning first thing doesn’t work either as I am not, and never have been, a morning person. I don’t know how I survived the Marine Corps. 🙂 I’ll figure something out.

          1. Zulu 3-6 – congrats on bringing down that A1c number! I know it can be difficult to get on the stationary bike while the little one is there. My biggest problem is that I don’t feel like I’m not being productive if I’m exercising, but the stationary bike helps. I can sit on the bike and read or watch TV & crochet. Good luck – even small bits of exercise/cardio help!

          2. GA Red,

            I usually read my Kindle when riding. I used to ride the bike all the time until the baby showed up 🙂

          3. GA Red,

            This kid can literally run faster than I can with the arthritic knees I have and she’s only 28-months old (today). Not to mention, run further. But, in my apartment I can usually sucker her into a dead end. Old age and treachery beat youth and skill every time. 🙂

    2. What a wonderful and smart little girl! Joe and Amy are a great resource. If you get the chance to attend one of their classes or events, definitely go. Just curious, why didn’t you fee comfortable in the country? We would welcome you here anytime!

      1. Tara,

        One of the reasons I didn’t like being in the country was driving. I know you just made a comment about city folks thinking 30-miles is a long drive. Well, that’s me. I grew up in the City of Detroit and worked in a next door suburb after active duty military service. I like short drives to get the things that I want. Where I’m at now, for some things, I don’t have to drive at all. What is funny is I started out as a truck driver in the Marines, then became a police officer. No driving there :-). I’m just a strange person.

        I feel comfortable in the city. I think I’m pretty street-wise. At my age, having an EMS station just two blocks away is nice. Being close to my granddaughter is also nice (6 miles).

        I talked with Amy on the phone once when I had a delivery issue (not their fault). She is very nice and I would like to meet them. Their books are great.

  7. Hello all,

    1- I don’t live where I want. We’re stuck in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts for right now but we’re heading to Tennessee in a year or two.

    2- Believe it or not, there are a few things to be said for my present location. It’s a small town, rural in character, and my friends and family are nearby. Moderate temperatures too. We can walk to a fresh water pond to fish or walk down the street to fish/shellfish the salt water. Lobster, shark, and cod are a short boat ride away. Deer and small game are plentiful and the soil is amenable to farming.
    That said, taxes are high, urban areas with their swollen hoards of “gimmedats” are within a few miles, gun laws are manageable but will get worse. I prefer none.

    3- I’ve never given much thought to an Icehouse. They were common here until the 20th century. I know that, properly packed in sawdust, ice can last until the next year.

    4- Quit cigarettes again cold turkey. The morning hack is going away. Exercising more by walking and dumbbells. Continuing work on the upstairs rooms. Bought extra peanut butter, crackers, and tuna. Was gifted a box of .22 shorts and 100 rounds of .30 carbine. Still working on business expansion.

    1. Overwatch:

      Congrats on quitting. I quit “cold turkey”. I was ready. I was taking a class that started on a Tuesday and quit the Thursday before. They asked if anybody wanted the patch, but told me that since it had been over 3 days, the nicotine was already out of my system. I just had to quit the habits that went with smoking.

      I moved my coffee cup. I did something different after eating. I changed where I took my breaks and with whom. I also switched to decaf coffee for 3 weeks; get rid of the stimulants since I quit the depressents – worked great!

      The poor people around me. I was already a “crabby a$$”, so I quit smoking and got a high-strees job at the same time. I was okay, but they had “issues”.

      1. Like you, I’m already a grumpy old NCO. I’ll admit that I find comfort in Mark Twain’s saying… “quitting smoking is easy. I’ve done it thousands of times.”

      2. Like you, I’m already a grumpy old NCO. I’ll admit that I find comfort in Mark Twain’s saying… “quitting smoking is easy. I’ve done it thousands of times.”

    2. Congrats on quitting smoking! Tennessee sounds like a much better place to prep in, hopefully you will find a very close knit community there to join, a well.

  8. Happy Saturday! Definitely not where I would prefer to be but making the most of what we have – the garden is expanding again this year if the rain stops long enough to till the soil.

    Pros – larger than average yard for where we are. Also close to stores and medical facilities.

    Cons – too urban and too many people pushing to incorporate us into a city. Not enough fresh air or mountain views. Also figure if a nuke blows, I’ll be gone anyway.

    Ice house? Hahahahahahahahaha – not where we barely get ice in winter.

    This week I’m finishing making a blanket that’s long enough for a twin bed. I also dehydrated oranges the youngest acquired from her place of employment. I still need to do the rest of them.

    Prayers for all in need.

    1. I bet your house smelled delicious while dehydrating oranges! What kind of blanket are you making, knitt, crochet, quilt? I recently bought a Cricut Maker and am loving how much it speeds up the process of cutting patterns.

      1. I crochet mostly but know how to knit a little and sew, but have only ever crocheted blankets except when using a Knit Magic way back in high school.

      2. My ex-wife makes some beautiful quilts, so does #1 daughter. The ex has a long-arm machine for sewing quilts and that makes things faster and easier, but years ago she did them by hand. #1 daughter makes up the squares and her mom sews everything together for her. If it takes fabric, needles, and thread, my ex can do it, with a machine or by hand. She can also crochet and knit. I think if she needed to, she could make sails.

        We may not be married any more, but I’ve got to give the woman her due.

        1. Zulu 3-6,

          My ex-wife makes some beautiful quilts, so does #1 daughter. The ex has a long-arm machine for sewing quilts and that makes things faster and easier, but years ago she did them by hand . . . If it takes fabric, needles, and thread, my ex can do it, with a machine or by hand. She can also crochet and knit. I think if she needed to, she could make sails.

          This sounds a lot like the oldest of my kid sisters. She has several machines including a long arm and a small odd machine called a “Serger”, which I had never heard of until I saw hers. Before I was married I could darn a sock and replace a button; but, nothing fancy. Holes in blue jeans were patched by cutting a clean (no frayed) hole and using an iron on patch on each side.

          1. TOP,

            No professional (or skilled amateur) seamstress or tailor would be without a serger. Both the ex and #1 daughter have one (industrial models- friggin heavy with their tables – ask me how I know 🙂 ).

          2. Zulu 3-6,

            No professional (or skilled amateur) seamstress or tailor would be without a serger.

            My sister falls somewhere in the middle. She has made her living most of her life as an ice skating coach; but, has also done sewing for people and raised Yorkshire Terriers. She and my late mother could seemingly sew anything from a pattern; but, often from scratch by just running over your body with a tape measure.
            I can do the same thing with lumber, wiring and pipes; but, never quite caught the hang of sewing anything but simple repairs.

  9. Our BOL is a compromise, not perfect by any means. It is where we live during the summer.

    Pros – we can reach it within two hours, longer if we have to take forest trails. It is relatively secluded, one way in, one way out. Concrete walls will stop any “shoulder arms” bullet, save possibly a Barrett. Nice growing season. Well developed for survival with solar, 500 gallon propane tank, 7 KW propane generator, root cellar, private well, gardens and orchard, efficient wood stove. Stored weapons and ammo.

    Cons – too near a population center. Lot is smaller than ideal. Cabin is too small for size of tribe. Ameliorated by neighbor’s guest house to which we have access.

    Ice house? I never considered one, but will look into it. I already have a list of “want tos” that is too long!!

    Sooo glad I quit smoking 22 years ago. Tough to do, but I would be dead if I had not quit. I just had to keep telling myself no, despite the temptation to have just one. Fact is if you have that “just one”, you lose.
    I kept repeating a little mantra to myself “Bill, be at peace” whenever the craving became stronger, They continued to smell good to me for a couple of years after I quit. BTW, I’m a grumpy old NCO also!

    Preps are a little skimpy right now. Have the last vestiges of a cold, which is full blown in DW. Got some minor items like more spices, bungee cords and acid brushes. Several rolls of dental floss for BOL, Xtra toilet tissue. I’m going to have to inventory, as we have a lot of tissue and I really don’t know how much.
    I’m sure there are other things, as I am always in a “prepping” frame of mind, but that Old Timer’s disease has me in it’s control.

    1. Billy T,

      I already have a list of “want tos” that is too long!!

      That seems to be a common problem that one would assume gets better (smaller list) with age; but, I think you and I are proof that it doesn not. LOL.

      Fact is if you have that “just one”, you lose.

      I had that just one at about age 14 or 15 and what I lost was my breakfast as I spiraled to the ground. The older “cooler” guys who had given me the cancer stick laughed and told me I would get used to it. Somehow getting used to being dizzy, falling to my knees, and losing my breakfast was not at all appealing, and that was the first and last time I tried a cigarette.

      1. I wish I had followed the same course as you! No doubt I would be in better shape now had I never smoked. I have been working hard, along with DD to inoculate grandsons against ever trying them or any kind of drugs. Thankfully, grandsons still listen to me, but peer pressure is extremely strong. We are supposed to go out for more marksmanship training tomorrow, along with a visiting Canadian teenager, grandson to some of our snowbird friends. He’s chomping at the bit to try #1 grandsons Garand. Unfortunately supposed to rain. Hoping it doesn’t ruin our outing.

        I feel sorry for the Canadian kids having to cope with their ridiculous gun control laws. The boy’s grandfather is an escapee from Hungary. You don’t even want to get him started talking about socialism!

          1. my escapees from Hungary in 50’s are so strongly anti socialist. I wish everyone could discuss it with Ivan. He’s great.

          2. There is nothing like listening to stories from someone who ‘lived it’. Unfortunately, young ppl tend to be dismissive of elders (I know I was, and regret that it took me so long to come around) and these younger generations seem to be even more so.

          3. Grammyprepper,

            I was fortunate to learn early that my parents weren’t as stupid as I thought they were. In fact, I know the exact moment of my epiphany. It happened while I was standing on the yellow footprints at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, outside the Receiving Barracks, with two Drill Instructors stereo screaming in my ears. July 1, 1971. While my father died not long afterward, I often consulted my mother for advice as it was always valuable. Unfortunately dementia took that important resource away.

            Out of the blue one day, #1 daughter called me when she was about 22, and thanked me for raising her like we did. She didn’t understand before, but did now. She has become a very mature, well-educated, super-mom. We often call each other for advice.

            #2 daughter is good at taking my advice, but not so much her mother’s. There are some serious issues between them. My son, doesn’t listen to either of us. Well, he listens politely to me, then ignores the advice. He won’t listen to his mom, period. Also some issues there.

          4. Zulu 3-6,

            I was fortunate to learn early that my parents weren’t as stupid as I thought they were.

            This reminds me of a quote from Mark Twain, so the problem obviously isn’t a new one. “When I was a boy of 14 my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21 I was astonished by how much he’d learned in those 7 short years.”
            I learned of the wisdom of my father at an early age; but, my mother often seemed to live in her own world; however, went out of her way to support whatever we kids wanted to do, once we convinced her it was worthwhile. She stepped up to be a den mother for our scout troop when no one else would do the job; but, would sometimes go out of the way to not show bias, leaving my brother and me to finish projects with her after the other boys had gone home.
            My father could seemingly do anything and I learned electronics, electrical wiring, plumbing, and carpentry (rough & finish) from him, with the upside being that I grew up unafraid to try anything, and have done nearly all of the skilled trades, for my own purposes. The one failing, was in auto maintenance & repair. He kept all of our mostly old vehicles running, sometimes with my help; but, told me to get a good job so I could pay someone to do the work, and other than oil changes, brakes, and tune ups, I didn’t have much skill in that area.

            Out of the blue one day, #1 daughter called me when she was about 22, and thanked me for raising her like we did. She didn’t understand before, but did now.

            When I was first married, my DD had two boys, ages 10 & 14 and I would drag them to the first house I owned and was renovating as unpaid help, or what they considered slavery. Years later, now on their own, they have both thanked me for the lessons learned, since they now both do most of their own renovation work and save tons of money on paying someone else to do the work.. It may take some time; but, properly raised kids will eventually understand what you did for them, especially when they are finally responsible for paying their own bills.

    2. cabin too small? have you considered a secondary cabin for extra bunk? not too hard to put up a dry cabin (no plumbing), and skip the heat too if you just use in the summer. if the main cabins too small a second one would be practical.

      1. BOL is in an area of other summer time dwellings. Many have very sporadic use and owners who live far away. It is our intention post SHTF to occupy some of those for which the owner fails to make it to the area. Also, we do have the neighbor’s guest house and we have lumber with which to construct just such a dwelling as you suggest. In addition, the garage, which is sizable can be converted into a bunk house. We already have a pot bellied stove for that eventuality, and a 30000 BTU propane space heater. Not a perfect solution by any means, but we haven given it a lot of thought.

    3. Our “to do” list is more like a chapter book, also. With such a long bugout route, have you buried cache along the way on both routes? Not sure about your climate, but would papercrete help you build on to make our bugout location fit your tribe better, or for storage?

      1. Tara, we have hiding places, but no buried caches. It is a great suggestion. BTW, we are In Zone 6. Low single digits are not uncommon, but not subzero temps. Given our health challenges, we must absolutely escape early, or we probably won’t make it. Our concern is directed more toward children and grandchildren.

        We had a great time at marksmanship training Monday. I particularly enjoyed the Canadians, father and son. Father had never fired a gun! He did pretty well. The son went out with me three years ago. Both had grins from ear to ear. They may still be grinning! Took over 100 photos to send back to Canada. It is imperative we NEVER allow gun controls here, like Canada’s. Arizona is pretty good in that regard. My #1 grandson put 90 rounds through the AR. I’m gonna have to make him buy his own ammo, at the rate he’s going!

  10. What? I am posting before Thor? But seriously, hope he and the Mrs. are okay!

    We prep where we live. It’s not ideal, and we hope to move at some point before we are ancient, LOL!
    Pros: Semi rural community, small town with many good conservative God fearing Christians who support the Constitution. Not too far from hospitals, local fire/EMS not 5 minutes from the house.
    Cons: Much too close to a major liberal city for my comfort, they expect us to attain city status with the next census, many folks moving in who work in said major city and aren’t of the ‘rural mindset’, drugs unfortunately are rampant in this area (but I think that is true of most areas, rural, suburban, city), while I have some great neighbors, only a few in our subdivision (or at least immediately around us) are even close to ‘like minded’.
    As to an ice house, not on the horizon any time soon, but should we get some property, it will definitely be a consideration. If we needed to do such a project, I would watch for failed restaurant type business looking to liquidate assets, and get a fridge or freezer unit to utilize. Tara got really lucky in that respect.
    As for prepping, I got a copy of The Lost Remedies, which I have yet to delve into. Ordered a few packets of food from Emergency Essentials, breakfast items for our upcoming camping season. Of course, stocked up on ‘this and that’ from sales at the grocery store and the dollar store, as I try to do every week. Made a trip to the Amish store, and stocked up on some spices and stuff.
    Hope everyone has a great week! God Bless America! (and yay that DT FINALLY declared the national emergency. Dude’s gettinerdone!)

  11. Hello folks…it’s been awhile since I posted but wanted to weigh-in as well.
    1. I don’t really want to be in my current location, but will do in a pinch until I get my bug out location finished.
    2. Cons – my current location is urban, way too crowded (approx. 60,000 residents). Roads bottleneck on a good day, and in the case of any event, it would be almost impossible to bug out quickly. I am limited on what I can grow due to tree cover and exposure to others who could easily help themselves to my bounty. Pros – good medical ficilites near by, lots retail and grocery stores nearby as well as fuel.
    3. Not in the market for an ice house in the near future. Other priorities needed first.
    4. I didn’t do much prepping this week just because I was being lazy. Weather is cool to cold, and lots of rain.
    The surprise I had this week was the capture of a ‘critter’ that managed to find a way into my house during the rain. I bought some cheap mouse traps and set them about the next morning I found not a mouse, but a rat! The trap was too small to totally kill this unwelcome creature, so I had to finish the kill myself (sigh….I hate to kill anything, but wanted to be humane). In checking outside, found out how it probably got inside and plugged hole. I still have several traps set, but no activity, so I think it was a rogue fella.
    Have a great prepping week, and get going on garden plans.

  12. Hi Tara & all,
    Once again I did not get an email notice for this new post, although I still get them for Megan, Charles, and others.
    This has been another week of rain & mud also; but, enough bitter cold weather to make black ice and frozen snow piles.
    You frozen bucket idea for a cold room is a pretty good; but, standard one; however, the most important thing is heavy insulation. Modern foam is best; but, in there is still an orchard north of us that used and still uses two two outside walls, filled with sawdust.
    While I haven’t been in their building for a few years, they used to have large containers there that they filled with water, and when they opened the doors in the winter, the ice was created right in place.
    Our creek has a natural ford (crossing); but, in spring the water is high enough to exclude using it for at least a month, and that has also been the case recently. The western side is nothing but a farm field and a small wooded area, so it’s not critical to go there for other than planting & harvesting.
    We too would not want to live anywhere else; but, we’ve been here now for 35 years and have been mortgage free for more than 20. The homestead exemption once we turned 65 dropped our real estate taxes in more than half and since the DW grew up just 2 miles from here, we have friends and roots in the community.
    The benefits here are similar to your list; but, the northern fringes of Columbus are more like 45 miles and we do have a local Wal-Mart, Kroger, Meijer, Aldi’s, Home Depot, Lowes, TSC & Rural King, all about 15 miles down the road.

    1. Do you live where you want to prep?
    Absolutely! We moved here as a rental in 1984 and fell in love with the property and the old barns; although the house did need a bit of work. When the owner died in 1986 and the place went on the market, we got it for a great price since it did need some work; but, that was work we knew about and had already been planning for. Additionally, the DW grew up just 2 miles from here and we have friends, relatives and roots in the neighborhood. We have some great old buildings, some wooded areas with lots of local hunting, and a creek running the length of the western property line. For us it was and is about perfect and has good access to and from the surrounding roads with great local fire & EMS and a pretty good hospital only 20 minutes away.
    2. What are the pros and cons of your county, city, town, or neighborhood, from a prepping perspective?
    I really can’t think of too many cons. Our school system is pretty good; but, the last kid to graduate from there was in 2009. Nearly all of our neighbors are farmers or do a lot of gardening and raising various animals, and all of them will lend a hand if something needs done. I volunteer with our local county EMA, which is one of the few in the state that have such programs, and that also give me access to lots of training.
    3. Do you have an ice house or want to build one? How would your do it? Why or why not is an ice house on your survival agenda?
    We do not have an ice house; but, do have capability to do something like that with one of our various buildings if we needed it. I suspect we would just stack containers of water, either from the well or the creek, and let them freeze in one of the rooms, after adding some insulation. For now refrigeration is taken care of with two refrigerators and a chest freezer. Our refrigeration and well pump can be run during a power outage with a whole house propane fueled generator and thousands of gallons of propane on hand. For just basic refrigeration, water from the well could be used to cool a large container, since it comes out of the ground around 40-50 degrees. This would be something like the old farm spring house.
    4. How did you prep this week?

    One more hiccup with our propane on the evening of Sunday Feb 10. The house was getting cold again, pilot lights were out and I could not light the ventless heaters. The DW bundled up and went out to the tank farm to note that the 1000 gallon tank that was close to empty, was now registering only fumes, and the second 1000 gallon tank she remembered bringing online, still had it’s valve tightly closed. She opened the valve and we were able to fire up the ventless heaters, after which she relit the water heater, cooktop and oven pilot lights and power cycled the furnace. The upside of this is that she can now pretty much operate all of the appliances, including the water heater she used to be afraid of, and she now pretty much knows how all of the propane system components work and can troubleshoot and manage them herself if required. She has always been smart enough to understand this stuff; but, sometimes it just takes a minor crisis to force the issue, which makes me feel more secure for her when she may be alone and there are problems.

    This past week we did and acquired the following:

    1. Received a 3-Piece Chef Set of Cuisinel Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet in 8, 10 & 12 inches from woot.com. These will mostly complete the last of the cast iron cookware, with nice deep skillets. Each has a counter carry handle for easy balanced carry and silicone sleeves for the handles.
    2. 2 dozen blueberry muffins from Aldi’s.
    3. We have otherwise just been hibernating with the biggest preps being taking the time to cook a lot of meals from scratch, generally with enough food for several additional meals from leftover’s

    1. The mud seems never ending. I cheered when I could walk thorough the wind tunnel – otherwise known as the space between my old wood barn and Hubby’s connected pole barn, and be on solid ground. Ground that was uneven and had a indents that would trip you ever few inches from various hooves, but at least not a mud pit that sucked your muck boots so tightly your foot pulled out of the when trying to get free. But, the following morning it was back to a mud pit because this is after all, Ohio weather. All the runoff from the dirt “road” to upper pasture keeps finding its way into my barn walkway. It has been graded, culverts put it, dirt added, scraped with tractor hundreds of times, but this wet fall and winter have really done a job on it.

      1. Tara,

        It has been graded, culverts put it, dirt added, scraped with tractor hundreds of times, but this wet fall and winter have really done a job on it.

        It’s similar here. Our plan this summer is to get a small tractor or ATV with a heavy roller and attempt to flatten out the yard areas AND we’ll be bringing in a lot of gravel with driveway cloth underneath. I’m looking to price Nature Stone flooring for the garage (which is actually an open sided machinery shed) and half of one of the barns. If we live long enough we’ll eventually get this place in perfect shape, a bit at a time.

  13. I’m going to blame puppy for me being last this time. He had his annual with the vet and got all of his shots and tests ,which he passed with flying colors. There had been reports of rabid animals around so needed to get that done. They said he was a perfect GS specimen, muscular and colors. He had a mild ear infection which they cleaned and put some type of medication in. Since he had a RUFF day I made some beef stew and put it over his regular dog food. He ate all of it then walked to the door and burped like a human. LOL
    The Japanese say a burp after eating is a complement…. LOL

    Stocked more ammo in ammo cans.
    Charged batteries.
    Cleaned a few more firearms.
    Planted and labeled some indoor medicinal plants.

    Wanted to work on the garden but the rain wouldn’t comply, but the water catchment system is full.
    The outdoor fruit trees are stating to blossom all except the apple trees, looks like a lot of fruit is possible this year.

    Bought for storage
    Water, dog food, pasta, tomato sauce.

    Tara’s questions;
    1. Do you live where you want to prep?
    2. What are the pros and cons of your county, city, town, or neighborhood, from a prepping perspective?
    3. Do you have an ice house or want to build one? How would your do it? Why or why not is an ice house on your survival agenda?

    1. Yes and no. You can prep for somethings, but not all things in any location you choose.
    2. Cons: Taxes ,unprepared neighbors, liberals who fled California, Illinois and Michigan.
    Pros: Gun rights, warmer weather, water sources, farms, growing seasons,stores.
    3. Too far south, maybe a root cellar or a bomb shelter…..

    Thor’s questions;

    1.Do the Democrats in power hate America? If so why?
    2. Does Pelosi really think she or a Democratic politician could really take the guns and violate the 2A with an executive order? LOL
    3. What is the worst case scenario that you are prepping for?

    1. Thor1,

      Oi. I had a really nice reply written and I managed to blow it off the screen. Try again.

      #1 – Do Dems in power hate America? I think the “elite” Democrats certainly do as America exists now. It does not fit their view of how a country should run (i.e., completely for their benefit). They think they are all wise and know all, far better than we of the deplorably great unwashed do. They think the old, slave holding, white men, who dreamed up the Constitution didn’t know what they were doing, and the great enlightened Democrats are smarter than they. Pfffft!

      #2 – Does Pelosi think an executive order can circumvent the 2A? Oh, yes. I think she fully believes this. The fact that any statute or Constitutional provision regarding executive orders does not provide for that is merely a minor impediment that her obvious great wisdom will surpass. Pffft!

      #3 – Worse case scenario I’m prepping for? Primarily I am prepping for hurricanes and other natural disasters. In reality, hurricanes are a relatively limited event (although the resulting damage might be a bother for a while, there is usually light at the end of the tunnel). I do prep for WROL and TEOTWAWKI events to an extent, such as an EMP. These, of course, have the strong potential to be much longer lasting and overall more destructive events. I am armed, well trained and experienced at visiting violence on an enemy and have skills to live rough, although not out in the woods for a long periods. Too old and arthritic to do that for long.

        1. Thor1,

          I saw that video on a Marine Corps site I’m a member of. Supposedly (who knows for certain), that video was a propaganda piece meant to frighten the Marine Corps. Needless to say, no one seemed scared. They were, however, highly amused. A lot of comments about Girl Scout and Cub Scout troops being tougher than those “soldiers” were. Personally, I was underwhelmed.

          The bayonet drill seemed to be much like the style I was taught in boot camp with M-14 rifles in 1971. The Marines use a different style now. Unloaded rifles are no biggie in training evolutions like bayonet drill. It’s a safety thing. In their case? Probably an anti-coup measure.

          1. Z36, IDK, the bayonet drill looked like they were trying to pop a balloon with a pin. LOL

            But the fake full automatic fire drill…… Bwwwa

          2. Thor 1,

            Well, if the Venezuelan Army was trying to produce a serious propaganda video, they missed big time. It was much more entertaining than fear producing. Much like Tokyo Rose. Lord Haw Haw, and Hanoi Hanna.

          3. Zulu 3-6,

            Much like Tokyo Rose. Lord Haw Haw, and Hanoi Hanna.

            I think you missed one of the most important and dangerous in that list
            Hanoi Jane Fonda is still alive and well and as radical as can be. She recently turned 81 years old while many of those she betrayed are long gone.

          4. TOP,

            Jane Fonda, American Traitor Bitch, was a guest on Hanoi Hanna’s radio show. I was in Vietnam then. A bunch of us, officers and enlisted, listened to the show. We weren’t frightened in the least, but we weren’t meant to be. It was a pure communist propaganda piece hoping to sway our beliefs in the war. We weren’t swayed, but we were really PO’d. I haven’t watched a thing Fonda has been in since 1972. A lot of Vietnam vets I know are the same way.

          5. Z36, I have been in several VFW posts that had Hanoi Jane urinal cakes in the urinals and relieved myself on her face before flushing. Damn Communists…..LOL

          6. Zulu 3-6,

            Jane Fonda, American Traitor Bitch, was a guest on Hanoi Hanna’s radio show. I was in Vietnam then.

            You may also recall United States Navy vice admiral and VP running mate with Ross Perot, James Stockdale who was an aviator awarded the Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War, during which he was a prisoner of war for over seven years. Hanoi Jane was there and I understand many of the POW’s she met, transferred small pieces of paper with their SS#’s when they were forced to smile and shake her hand. The idea was to return those slips of paper to the DOD to let someone know who they were and that they were alive. After their meet and greet photo op, HJ handed those slips of paper over to the VC and each of those POW’s were later brutally punished.

            I haven’t watched a thing Fonda has been in since 1972. A lot of Vietnam vets I know are the same way.

            I understand and had an old friend and fellow firearms trainer who had been on a LRRP in Viet Nam and had the same feelings. We were holding a birthday celebration at a range we used back in the 1990’s and I purchased a Jane Fonda workout video (VHS tape) for him on the cheap at Odd Lots and wrapped it complete with a bow..
            His response was both amusing to the group and what I expected. Upon unwrapping it, he walked down and clipped it to a target holder, called the range hot, and double tapped it with his 1911. You get catharsis when and where you can, LOL.

      1. Zulu 3-6,

        Oi. I had a really nice reply written and I managed to blow it off the screen. Try again.

        I did that a few times years ago, so I switched to doing my editing in a word processor and then doing a copy & paste to the text box. This also allows easier spelling and grammar checking and for the computer to read the text to me for proof listening. One unintended consequence is that when the word processor is the only thing on the screen, I can’t / don’t see that hideous tooth brushing video, or some of the equally obnoxious ones that replace it.

        1. Any reason you do not want to install an ad blocker like Ublock? You do not have to see obnoxious ads and it frees up bandwidth and speeds up download times.

          1. Daddio7,

            Any reason you do not want to install an ad blocker like Ublock? You do not have to see obnoxious ads and it frees up bandwidth and speeds up download times.

            With my vision issues and all of the other programs I have running concurrently on this machine, extra layers like ad blockers are just more trouble than they are worth. I am running Windows Vista on an old core-2 duo machine for most things, since the windows 7 & 10 machines while a bit faster, won’t run a lot of the software I have been regularly using for 20 or more years, and I can’t afford to upgrade everything to new, and some of it isn’t even available now.

        2. TOP,

          I always do my weekly post in Word and copy/paste from there. Most of the time I do replies on the site. I really should do the longer ones on Word too.

          The tooth cleaning video is weird, I’ll admit, but I really don’t pay it much mind. It kind of looks like the model is using Liquid Paper on his/her teeth. Oops, did I show my age there?

          My dad was an advertising account executive. He told me that often, the “stupid” ads or commercials are the best. People remember them better when shopping.

          1. Zulu 3-6,

            I always do my weekly post in Word and copy/paste from there. Most of the time I do replies on the site. I really should do the longer ones on Word too.

            I always do the weekly post in an ongoing word document and add to it during the week as things progress; otherwise I would forget a lot of the little things. Once posted I back them up with the end date and currently have the last 102 weeks archived (including this one).
            The main reason I started doing the comments in word, was my vision problems, since I can set the font in Word to something large enough to see, with the side benefit being I can save and return later to finish it.

            The tooth cleaning video is weird, I’ll admit, but I really don’t pay it much mind. It kind of looks like the model is using Liquid Paper on his/her teeth. Oops, did I show my age there?

            It doesn’t really bother me and is mostly ignored and as for your age, are you saying you remember “Paper”? LOL I think I have a few years on you and I also remember what we called “white Out” and used an old Remington to type many a paper for both high school & college.
            I started with a manual Remington and now use both monochrome and color laser printers. I don’t miss the Remington, LOL.

            My dad was an advertising account executive. He told me that often, the “stupid” ads or commercials are the best. People remember them better when shopping.

            Sometimes however the ad guys are too smart by half. There are numerous ads I clearly remember; but, don’t remember the product or company being advertised.

          2. TOP,

            We still used manual typewriters on the PD up until the 1990s. Only the secretaries and record bureau clerks had electrics. Then we switched over to using computers to do reports.

          3. Zulu 3-6,

            We still used manual typewriters on the PD up until the 1990s.

            I used them up through college in the 1970’s; but, then spent a ton of money on a dot matrix printer paired with the little TRS-80 Color computer and never looked back. Those dot matrix printers cost more than my current color laser printer; but, I still have a few of them around, just in case!!!

            Only the secretaries and record bureau clerks had electrics. Then we switched over to using computers to do reports.

            I had an electric (IBM Selectric) for a while and converted it into a computer printer. While not as handy, I’ve never seen one get hacked or infected with a virus.
            I remain virus free; but, it takes discipline and layers of network elements to keep it that way so it’s all a tradeoff.

    2. Thor,
      1. Do the Democrats in power hate America? If so why?
      No; but, they love an America where they are in charge and can do as they please with no opposition. Who would not like an unlimited credit card with someone else eventually paying the bill. They love hacing power over helping people; but, appear to be able to convince enough people to keep them in office.
      2. Does Pelosi really think she or a Democratic politician could really take the guns and violate the 2A with an executive order? LOL
      I think they fully understand the meaning and purpose of the second amendment, and it scares the crap out of them, since it could stand in the way of their ultimate goal of being a socialist dictatorship, with them in charge of course.
      I think they believe they could outlaw firearms and the serfs would turn them in; but, have not thought through what the end consequences would be for the country at large, and for them in particular. They seem to forget that those in power like Romanian Nicolae & Elena Ceaușescu were eventually overthrown and met bitter ends.
      3. What is the worst case scenario that you are prepping for?
      It is easier to list what I am not prepping for, and that falls into three categories.
      1. A direct nuclear strike that destroys or irradiates my area, that would be immediately or very short term fatal.
      2. Any event that would incapacitate the entire country for more than 3 or 4 years that would preclude me from getting a new pacemaker at end of battery life.
      3. An event that directly kills me &/or mine, like an aircraft falling on my house in the middle of the night.
      While #3 is low probability, it happened just a few weeks ago in Yorba Linda, CA on February 4th.
      Pilot and four occupants of house in Yorba Linda, southeast of Los Angeles, found dead after incident
      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/feb/04/dead-after-light-plane-crashes-into-house-in-southern-california
      You simply cannot prep enough for the truly unexpected. and the bear eats you.

      1. TOP,

        For your preps,
        1) a direct nuclear strike in your area seem unreasonable since I believe you live in a more rural area.
        2) Loss of power for 3 or 4 years. Possible with an EMP, CME, cyber attack or terrorist attack.
        3) A plane crashing into your house ? What could you do to prepare for that except fire dills.

        I think all of us try to prep for everything but we really need to start with the closest and more probable threats.

        1. Thor1,
          For your preps,

          1) a direct nuclear strike in your area seem unreasonable since I believe you live in a more rural area.

          I agree; but, in the highly improbable event that this happened, we could well be toast. The capital city of Ohio, Columbus is about 50 miles; but, I suspect is not a great target compared with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base that’s around 65 miles.

          2) Loss of power for 3 or 4 years. Possible with an EMP, CME, cyber attack or terrorist attack.

          We would still have power in all of those conditions, since we have the generator and enough fuel and consumables to run for at least 6 months to a year on full power, and a lot longer running in austerity mode. Austerity mode would include using wood for heat and some cooking, and running the genset only a few hours per day to keep refrigeration in place and keep batteries charged, although we can also charge many of our batteries using various solar charging devices. In a real pinch, I have friends with old style boilers & steam engines that could be configured to produce some power using the abundant wood on the property and around the area. We have a lot of people in the area that keep the old steam powered equipment running as a hobby; but, these antiques would be usable if needed, and there are no doubt tricks I don’t yet know, that the local Amish could help with.

          3) A plane crashing into your house ? What could you do to prepare for that except fire dills.

          Fire drills and extinguishing equipment is about all, assuming you survive the initial crash. The closest public municipal airport is about 15 miles to our south and large commercial airports are 60 miles or more away, so this is unlikely; but, on my mind because of the recent crash into the house in California I mentioned. There are some things for which you just cannot prepare.

          I think all of us try to prep for everything but we really need to start with the closest and more probable threats.

          I agree and did my threat matrix decades ago and have any logically probable threat covered. Here would be a tornado or a winter event that dropped the power. We have shelter and ways to communicate and track storms and various ways to heat at least part of the house. No wildfires, flooding, or earthquakes can affect us here, with the possible highly unlikely exception of the New Madrid or the Yellowstone Super Volcano

    3. 1 probably not, but they don’t see america as past generations did, nor the way conservatives do, they don’t look at what is or value what made it strong, they think only about what they wish it was based on their limited experiences.

      2 again they don’t tend to see past their own personal perspectives, they might try but it will end badly, as is i hear the states with extremist views on guns that pushed through stronger laws are now faceing a lot of blow back, in ny there is renewed interest upstate and in western ny to secceed and divide ny into 2 states, the city people push their liberal ideas on everyone, and voting is rigged n favor of the city. at a federal level this could become a second civil war as there simply isn’t enough power in the us to enforce such a gun grab.

      nothing specific, just living on my homestead as self sufficent as possible, i suffered greatly in the past and live so i don’t see such times again.

    4. Glad your puppy checked out well. My hubby plans on taking Henry for “7 way” shots, whatever that is because he couldn’t name 7 things that were in them…unless I can talk him out of it. I am a natural med unless all else. My Fluffy lived to be 17 and all I ever put into him that was not all natural were annual rabies shots.

  14. Fact check:

    I was watching OAN and they stated :

    1)In 2016 more than 2000 companies left California. (Tax) 13,000 companies have left.
    2) 1/3 of all the people on welfare in the USA live in California.
    3) 1 out of 4 people are below the poverty line.
    4) 6 out of 7 most unaffordable cities in America are in California.
    5) In 2017 143,000 people left California.
    6) Border patrol arrested 400,000 people trying to cross the border.
    7) From Oct. 2018 to Jan. 2019 201,000 people were arrested trying to cross the border.
    8) 55,000 illegal aliens were arrested 459,000 times and were responsible for 700,000 crimes.
    Charges include robbery, violent assault, rape and child molestation and 4,000 murders of American citizens.

    9) Illegals are 7.5% of the American population and almost half of Federal convictions are from illegal aliens.
    75% of all drug crimes and 37% of all murders in the entire country.

    10) 63% of illegals are on welfare. 4.6 million households. Americans citizens on welfare better take notice and not vote Democrat and beg for a border wall or the welfare system will collapse.

    10 good reasons to “Build the Wall !!!”

    Does this sound like an emergency ???

    1. Oh yeah, it’s an emergency. Unfortunately, many Dims and the left-wingers see it as a plus ’cause somebody told them so. As Pelosi and Schumer appear to hate the guts of conservative citizens, they’ll fight tooth and nail.

  15. 1. Do you live where you want to prep?
    Ideally, no. But this is where I live, so lemons to lemonade. This is where I was born, raised, and my kids and grandkids are here. I have a pretty good homestead set up.

    2. What are the pros and cons of your county, city, town, or neighborhood, from a prepping perspective?
    Pros: Lots of farms and like-minded people in the southern part of my state. My family and friends are here. We’re quite a distance from large cities. I’m debt-free and have a homestead here.
    Cons: Some crime related to drugs. State as a whole is way too liberal. Second Amendment rights are awful, but the southern part of the state is Pro-Second and trying to change things. My county is a sanctuary county for Second Amendment rights.

    3. Do you have an ice house or want to build one? How would your do it? Why or why not is an ice house on your survival agenda?
    It’s not on my short list. Other things are more important to me.

    4. How did you prep this week?
    -Only added a little to stockpile.

    -Chickens are really laying super well. I’m going to borrow an incubator and hatch eggs soon.

    -Biggest prep this week: We got a Pyrenees mix LGD puppy. I’ve never had a LGD. I have been reading a lot about this breed, and the vet gave me some advice. Puppy has been around chickens, geese, sheep, goats, cats, other dogs, and horses at the breeders. When he’s allowed to wander here, he ends up in the goat pen and barn. He follows me into the chicken coops and just watches all of the animals. I think he’s going to do well.

    **** If you’ve had a LGD (Pyrenees, Anatolian, Komondor), what advice would you give me that I may not have read about in regards to training a nine week old puppy?

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

    1. PG,

      Best of luck with the new puppy! From all I have heard from friends who have true blooded LGD’s, they are a treasure to have and work with! And, they DO work.

    2. Awesome choice with the LGD. I have written about them and raised them. Will see if I can find a few links for you. First thing is, and it is the hardest, they are not pets they are working dogs. They need to live in your barnyard from day one – even at night. A pair is better than one, but they can be pricey so that might not be an immediate option. Would love to see pics of your new addition!

  16. So I have been wondering about welcoming native bees into the garden, without the committment to actual beekeeping, and I came across this:

    https://www.columbusgardenschool.com/classes/intro-to-native-bees-diy-bee-house

    which the central OH contingent might be interested in.

    But I will still pose my question to the Pack: Do you do anything to welcome native bees to your gardens? What if anything do you find works best for you? Does it impact local beekeeping? (I don’t know of anyone in my immediate vicinity that keeps bees, so I don’t know what impact it would have) I am not allergic to honeybees, but am deathly allergic to other species like yellow jackets. Should I be concerned about giving native bees a home?

    For the central OH peeps, here is a link to the home page for The Columbus Garden School. Several of the folks behind this are members of the FB group Ohio Homesteaders and Gardeners, and a true wealth of knowledge.
    https://www.columbusgardenschool.com/

    1. Grammyprepper,

      So I have been wondering about welcoming native bees into the garden, without the committment to actual beekeeping,
      But I will still pose my question to the Pack: Do you do anything to welcome native bees to your gardens? What if anything do you find works best for you? Does it impact local beekeeping? (I don’t know of anyone in my immediate vicinity that keeps bees, so I don’t know what impact it would have) I am not allergic to honeybees, but am deathly allergic to other species like yellow jackets. Should I be concerned about giving native bees a home?

      Honeybees will forage for pollen and nectar for at least a 2 mile radius from the hive, so the only thing you can do to impact them is poisoning them by overuse of chemicals, especially on the flowers of the plants you grow.
      They are in general attracted to bright colors; but, will lite on any flower in bloom. One thing that we do to help is to let the dandelions and the clover grow on the lawn, with the only mitigation being the occasional mowing.
      We already mow enough without the added expense of weed & feed.
      Planting any flowering plant either a plain flower or a vegetable, will feed the bees as they pollinate the plants. They will also make the rounds of your fruit trees when they are in bloom.

      1. I don’t use any chemicals in the garden, and neither does my next door neighbor who also gardens (love the guy, we are gardening buddies!) so that isn’t an issue. But I have noticed a decline in pollinators over the past couple of years, so I was thinking of encouraging Mason bees this year by posting a couple of ‘houses’ for them in or near the garden.

      2. Grammyprepper,
        After reading the article about the class, it appears that you may also want to have mason bees take up residence near you.
        A quick search for ”diy mason bee house” will show depictions of numerous similar versions of something you can build to attract and keep them around. These are all constructed from bamboo tubes, so you would have to find an inexpensive place for those, and the rest is rather simple.

        1. There were actually mason bee houses for sale at Dollar General, which I hate to shop at, but that’s what got me thinking along these lines!

          1. Grammyprepper,

            There were actually mason bee houses for sale at Dollar General, which I hate to shop at, but that’s what got me thinking along these lines!

            Actually, we shop Dollar General, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree locally; but, prefer DT. The DW shops Dollar General specifically for her Fingernails and greeting cards; but, I’ll have to go in with her next time and look for the Mason Bee houses.
            The lack of pollinators can be for a variety of reasons; but, the biggest I think is local development. You take acres of woods and ”unkempt” pasture and build housing where the woods are replaced with a few trees and the remaining pasture becomes well kept weed free lawns.

    2. Attracting wild bees sounds like a great idea to me. Now, if you have neighbors who keep bees, it might be problem for them, they could behave like “robber bees” and force the kept once out of their hives. I have never known anyone allergic to only yellow jackets and not all kinds of bees. But, I don’t think inviting native bees in would necessarily attract yellow jackets, I will pass this question onto my prepping mentor, Rick Austin, and try to find out more for you.

      1. Tara,

        if you have neighbors who keep bees, it might be problem for them, they could behave like “robber bees” and force the kept once out of their hives.

        As long as you are attracting only Mason bees that’s not generally a problem. Other wild honeybees can be robbers and carpenter bees can play hack on wooden structures. We sometimes have to deal with carpenter bees; but, I have material to build some traps to put up this summer that should take care of them.

        I have never known anyone allergic to only yellow jackets and not all kinds of bees. But, I don’t think inviting native bees in would necessarily attract yellow jackets

        This is actually rather common, since yellow jackets, wasps, and their evil kindred are not bees, but the progeny of flying ants. All bees on close inspection are fuzzy / furry and the others have a hard shiny shell. Bees have barbed stingers that stay in the skin killing the bee while flying ants have no barb and can sting multiple times with venom that is composed of different chemicals than bees. Bees are also vegetarians, with a diet of pollen and nectar / honey while the other evil progeny are carnivorous, and will often be seen cleaning up a dead critter. Like vultures and other carrion eaters, flying ants have their place; but, I try to make sure that place isn’t near me and mine, LOL.
        The flying ant venom contains compounds that cause more pain and potential allergic reactions. Here is some information on that subject:

        The precise composition of wasp and hornet venom isn’t as well known as that of bees, but we still have a decent idea of what the major components are. The peptides that are found in the venoms are termed ‘wasp kinin’ and ‘hornet kinin’ respectively; these aren’t as well characterized as the peptides in bee venom, however. Like bee venom, they also contain phospholipase A, the enzyme hyaluronidase, and histamine. There are, though, some differences in the chemical composition. As well as variations in percentages of the different components, they also contain the compound acetylcholine, not commonly found in bee venoms. Acetylcholine is actually a neurotransmitter that’s also produced in our bodies, but in wasp and hornet venom, it helps stimulate pain receptors, heightening the pain felt from the sting and venom. Hornet venoms contain Particularly high levels of acetylcholine.

        The excerpt comes from this article: The Chemical Compositions of Insect Venoms: http://www.compoundchem.com/2014/08/28/insectvenoms/

    3. native bees in my area are called mason bees, they are solitary bees that do a lot of pollinating but don’t make hives or honey. i encourage them by making bee hotels (blocks of softer hardwood like poplar that i drill holes into for them to mud nests in). they are not effected by colony collapse the way honey bees are, though from what i have been reading the honey bee is on the mend and their numbers are recovering. mason bees are even less aggressive than honey bees since they are solitary they are not even willing to sting to protect the group since there is no group. the honey bee is not native to north america, it was introduced by europeans, till that happened all north american crops were wind pollinated or had mason bees do it.

      i also encourage paper wasps to some extent, i leave their nests alone unless they are in a bad spot. like one group that decided to build a massive nest just above the little used side door in my barn, i sprayed them at night since i couldn’t use the door with them there. had another group try to make a nest in the chicken coop, they didn’t last long, chickens loved them. another nest was nearly 3 feet wide hanging in an apple tree, i left that one alone. paper wasps main diet are bugs, and they especially love caterpilars and deer flies (they will hawk a deer fly right out of the air), as long as i leave them alone i see very few biting flies around my buildings, and very few tent caterpillars in the orchard, other garden pests are also kept down in numbers (probably why the wasps can build a 3 foot wide nest in a year, lots of food for them means lots of wasps). hornets are killed on sight though, they build ground nests that i could step in (happens 2 times a year) go back and spray them or pour a little gas down the hole at night and drop a match in. they love fruit more than anything and can be real pests, though the chickens love them, in the late summer when apples are falling and rotting the chickens will gorge themselves on rotting alcohaulic apples and the hornets that were also eating the apples, not so much lately since the steers just eat the apples as they fall (i pick the good ones i need with a picker on a stick).

      thats my interaction with bees anyway

      1. Thanks Nemoseto! We used to rent a house that had several peach trees in the back yard, and oh my, how the yellowjackets loved them! That was way before I seriously got into prepping, and there were only so many peaches we could eat at the time! Thanks for the tip on using the softer hardwoods for the mason bee homes too!

      2. Nemoseto,

        they are not effected by colony collapse the way honey bees are, though from what i have been reading the honey bee is on the mend and their numbers are recovering.

        When I took my beekeeping class, some 10-15 years ago, one of the old timers who had been keeping hives for decades mentioned something that I have come to understand and believe is correct. He said that CCD (ColonyCollapseDisorder) was much more likely PPB (PissPoor Beekeeping) that like Global cooling, err. Warming.. Err, Climate change was hyped by a media that neither understood the problem nor bothered to research it. As it turns out, many of the hives that were suffering were out west where hundreds of supers (hive boxes) are loaded onto flatbed trucks and transported from place to place, like an orange grove and then an almond grove for pollination. Transporting these bees like cargo stresses the colony and unless very careful attention is paid to the hives, diseases can be introduced and flourish. In some areas like the Canadian provinces where the Canola is bred for insect resistance, a substance call Neonicotinoids is produced in the plant and may also be in the nectar that poisons the bees. Neonicotinoids are introduced by modifying the genome of the Rapeseed (Canola) plat to include the gene from tobacco that produces nicotine, a substance that has been used for centuries for insect control by spraying plants with tobacco tea. Being water soluble, the Neonicotinoids are not present in the seeds or the oils produced; but, are present in the rest of the plant, killing harmful insects who try to eat the plant; but, also appear to be present in the nectar collected by honeybees to produce their honey.

        mason bees are even less aggressive than honey bees since they are solitary they are not even willing to sting to protect the group since there is no group.

        True; but, too many people are afraid of any kind of bee, while they should only be at all fearful of wasps and the other progeny of flying ants.

        the honey bee is not native to north america, it was introduced by europeans, till that happened all north american crops were wind pollinated or had mason bees do it.

        Let’s not forget the bumblebee and other beneficial insects like butterflies who also help with pollination. It’s true that European colonists brought the honey bee (Apis mellifera) to the Jamestown colony (Virginia) in 1622. The native Americans called it the ”white man’s fly.”
        For beekeepers who are selecting queens, the most prevalent types are Italian and Russian, both of European ancestry.

  17. I have been down with a terrible head cold for the past week and a half. The cold went down into my lungs and gave me a dreadful time. I am on the upswing but dh is just coming down with it–head cold and high temperature. I haven’t made it to taekwondo in a week and a half. Graduation is this weekend. I have all my stripes for graduation. I just have to get back on the mat. I can put off graduation until next week if I am not fully up to speed. I am disappointed because I was scheduled to do a double nunchuck form as part of a team demo at graduation.

    My keto diet is going great. We have been keeping total carbs below 25 grams. This week I have made lime cilantro shrimp tacos, mushroom pork marsala (crock pot) and Mongolian beef (crock pot). Yum. I substituted cauliflower rice for white rice. I added spinach salads to every meal to up magnesium and potassium. I have lost 10 lbs. so far. And even though I have been sick, I have a lot more energy. We went out to Carrabba’s for Valentines Day. They had a special with an appetizer, two dinners and dessert. My dh had a few bites of the canola cake and regained five pounds two days later. (I passed on the cake.)

    I have made a decision about my inheritance. I have invested the bulk of the money in the same financial institution that my parents used and that I have used since I finished graduate school (20+ years ago). I transferred my account to the local office and I really like the financial advisor that I am working with. I think the mainstream media is just off. There is so much talk about an economic collapse and how Trump’s war with China is hurting us. Yet the facts show that unemployment and corporate profits are running strong. I think Trump has set the baseline for a strong economy for the next 10-15 years. If a Democrat wins the presidency the economic upturn will be credited to the new president and not to Trump’s policies. This is really the ideal time to buy stocks. There are so many good companies that are undervalued. We are putting together a diversified portfolio. I think I have done just about everything I can do for the short term–18 months of supplies set in, bills paid ahead for three months, silver (and lead) in the safe, cash reserve.

    Tara’s questions
    1. Do you live where you want to prep? Yes. I don’t think we would do well in the country. I love the convenience of small-town living. (I moved to north central Florida from the D.C. area, so this is a “small town” for me. LOL

    2. What are the pros and cons of your county, city, town, or neighborhood, from a prepping perspective? We are very comfortable in our home. One negative is that we are within a few miles of a major interstate. One advantage is that we are just blocks away from friends with land–gardens, livestock, etc. We have friends bring us more produce than we can eat. With my skills at preserving, I am sure we can make a deal. My neighbors have a citrus grove. They love my pepper relish and other home canned items. I like the fact that it takes 10 minutes to get anywhere. Our friend with the citrus grove is also a retired family doctor. We have half a dozen medical professionals on our street. Our neighbor is an emergency room nurse. The family across the street is former military–U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He works in solar now. I have made a point of developing friendships with good people who have skills.

    3. Do you have an ice house or want to build one? How would your do it? Why or why not is an ice house on your survival agenda? Ice house. Florida. No. It has been in the mid 80s all week. The peacan trees haven’t bloomed. So we have one more cold snap before Spring. We usually get a cold snap the first week in March. Then I plant the garden.

    1. Nice weather. My in-laws are snow bunnies and at their winter house in southwest Florida for a few more weeks. Just curious, why do you think you would not do well in the country? Awesome neighbors, very beneficial, but the nearness of 95 – or whatever major interstate you are talking about, would make me pack up and move. The one question every prepper should ask themselves, “Can I (or we with a tribe, extended family, neighbors) hold this ground?”

    2. Bam Bam,

      I am disappointed because I was scheduled to do a double nunchuck form as part of a team demo at graduation.

      Do you have more information on the NunChaKu form? Short BO staff and NunChaKu are my two weapons of choice and I’m always eager to see other techniques. I was given my first pair of NunChaKu by my sensei @ age 16 when I earned my green belt (Gokyu). At my height, they are one of the weapons I can wield without getting in the way or hitting the ground. Perhaps you can get of video of your performance once you’re well again and back in shape.

      I substituted cauliflower rice for white rice. I added spinach salads to every meal to up magnesium and potassium.

      I love cauliflower and it works well as a rice substitute with only about 5 grams of carbohydrate per 100 gram serving with a lot of Potassium and Manganese on its own. Another one I like that fits the bill is Spaghetti Squash. Preparation is rather easy. You cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, rub a little olive oil and salt on the inside, and roast in the oven cut-side down. When it’s soft, you use a fork to scrape out the long thread like spaghetti and then treat it like you would pasta, with sauce, or a bit more oil & seasoning. It has 10 grams of carbohydrate per 155 gram serving

      I have lost 10 lbs. so far. And even though I have been sick, I have a lot more energy.

      Eating less junk and more protein an nutritious food will make you feel better; but, keep in mind that you are now also carrying 10 fewer pounds around with you everywhere you go , and that can help more than you think.

      I think the mainstream media is just off. There is so much talk about an economic collapse and how Trump’s war with China is hurting us. Yet the facts show that unemployment and corporate profits are running strong. I think Trump has set the baseline for a strong economy for the next 10-15 years.

      The MSM is not ”just off”; but, IMHO, they are complicit with the Dems who cannot fathom that we little people can actually run our own lives without their help. My accounts are up and down as the market fluctuates; but, we are getting nearly $1000.00 per month income from our current investments without touching the principle. And a second separate account is producing cash at a similar rate we are only drawing on in lump sums to cover larger items. The Dems are of course trying to stop all of this, proposing wealth taxes, and forbidding corporations from stock reinvestment or even paying dividends until they have taken care of their employees the way the dems think they should.
      AOC is happy that Amazon is not coming to NYC with its measly 25,000 well paying jobs, so hopefully her time is limited, since she is obviously a bald faced liar or an economic ignoramus.

      If a Democrat wins the presidency the economic upturn will be credited to the new president and not to Trump’s policies.

      At which point the new economic downturn will then begin; but, don’t worry, since everything from health care to college will be free, just like in Argentina, only better thought out. LOL.

      This is really the ideal time to buy stocks. There are so many good companies that are undervalued. We are putting together a diversified portfolio.

      This has been working for me for years and you are right.

      I think I have done just about everything I can do for the short term–18 months of supplies set in, bills paid ahead for three months, silver (and lead) in the safe, cash reserve.

      Sounds like a good start and better than most of the country. You should try to have 6 months expenses in your cash reserve along with an emergency fun to fix that broken refrigerator, air conditioner, or flat tire or new set of brakes on the car. At your young age it appears you are still well ahead of most your age and more importantly, thinking about it and planning for it.

  18. Refilled the small propane tanks and put garlic in the dehydrator.
    This isn’t were I ultimately want to live. The pros are the climate and it is a small town. The cons include regulations imposed by the city (ex. no burn barrels), crime, drugs, and a rising homeless population.

  19. I had a big reminder today why it is so important for people to know simple first aid measures such as the Heimlich Maneuver and CPR, particularly those of us who are caring for young children.

    My granddaughter choked on a blueberry this morning. I mean an honest-to-God not getting air obstruction. I was able to recognize and clear it in less than 30-seconds using the child Heimlich maneuver. She was so grateful, that when she caught her breath, she complained that the maneuver was an “owie.” 🙂

    When I thought about it, she had bitten her tongue a short time before and was probably favoring that side and not swallowing properly.

    Now, I will admit that I am not the “average citizen” when it comes to medical emergencies due to my background as a paramedic and police officer, but these simple, basic skills are often so life-saving in those small, but everyday, SHTF situations. I used to be so irritated to arrive at a scene and find full grown adults sitting on their thumbs because they didn’t know what to do and expected us to pull a miracle out of our ass.

    Get trained if you’re not. SHTF doesn’t have to be a hurricane or an EMP.

  20. Holy heck I am once again late to the party!
    BUT…
    I have a way legit excuse this time!
    We lost power for a bit over a week after we got smacked with a massive snowstorm up here in North CA. 500ft elevation and a foot of snow wrecked the town, my county and others.
    Trees and limbs down all over, including the 75yr old Olive Trees in my front yard, which blocked me in for 2 days. Yikes!
    No power, means no water (on well) and no cell coverage and the landlines were out for a day or so (have an old time push button phone that doesnt need power as a just in case).
    Well….it definitely tested our Preps!
    While we made do, we found any and all holes in our preps….and seeing as we (I) have only been really doing this now for a couple years and thereby slowly building up, I think we did pretty good. LOL

    Luckily we had a couple small genies to run the freezers and fridges etc… (and yes I did vacuum w/a generator cause my floors were nasty! LOL)…
    We have a 15kW one that is attached to shop, but really needed to be plugged into home (hubby is a bit slow on that) so I put a call into Generac to get them out here and have us set up with a new whole home 20-22kW within the next couple weeks. I have decided I much rather prefer to have water and hot showers and to ride out issues like this like my neighbors do. LOL

    So that is my Prep this week. The new Genie…
    And to replace all the items we used for the week.

    Comms were the worst. Being cut off from news was kinda weird…if not irritating…. The little hand held radio I had sucked. I guess that’s what I get for going cheap on a portable radio.
    Any recommendations for a decent one? Mainly for news etc…

    As for regards to your questions on where I live, how things would be handled etc?
    I am rural to the medium? sized town and even though a good portion of our town was without power for a few days, not to mention hassled with the low elevation snow, everyone was good. No crazies, no looting like you see in other towns, no rampant crime. people helped each other out, people were polite in stores (that yes were running low on essentials like bottled water, candles, flashlights, batteries heck even GAS!).
    Of course I didnt need to go to a store….(and couldnt really get to one 1st couple days) but my son said they were pretty wiped out when he was helping friends. And he even made a comment about how smart I was to have been stocked up ahead of time! HA! Win for us!

    Cheers all!

      1. Zulu 3-6,

        As far as a radio is concerned, I have a couple of Midland ER-310 weather radios. It also gets AM and FM. It has a crank to charge it, and a couple of other charging methods including AC. These radios have done well by me here in hurricane country. The only drawback might be the price: $59.99 on Amazon.

        I mentioned the Kaito radio above; but, for NOAA weather alerts I have two of the Midland WR-120C NOAA Public Alert-Certified Weather Radio with SAME, Trilingual Display, and Alarm. which also has an external antenna connection for weak signals or in case of interference that can be rather common with some HDTV’s and LED light bulbs.

      2. Thanks Zulu!
        The little handcrank I bought was kind of a piece of junk LOL…though it has solar, USB, flashlight etc……it doesnt allow me to put my own batteries in it…so that was a bust.

        Funny I was already looking at the one Top mentioned….but I’ll check these out too!
        Thanks!!

        1. i have had a number of hand crank lights and they were all junk. the only ok ones were the junk ones i got at the dollar store, even if the battery dies it still makes light while i am squeezing the crank. walked out of the woods a number of times with one of them.

          far better i found was a cheap shed light from harbor freight, a little 6×6 solar panel and a florescant light wired off it. the light itself was junk and couldn’t even make a candle worth of light in the outhouse, but the solar panel held the batteries in it, which were 4 AA batteries, i just use that to charge batteries as needed and use little tactical led style flashlights that use a single aa battery each. small enough i got used to holding them in my mouth when i need both hands (never got used to head lamps)

    1. TechQn,

      No power, means no water (on well) and no cell coverage and the landlines were out for a day or so (have an old time push button phone that doesnt need power as a just in case).

      I find it odd that the land lines were also out, unless the lines are not buried. We have a landline as our primary which also provides us with our Internet via DSL @ 5 Mbps. While our power is rarely out, I do have a propane fueled whole house generator with lots of propane on hand, mostly to power the well and sump pumps and the refrigeration with a little use for lighting and communications.

      Well….it definitely tested our Preps!
      While we made do, we found any and all holes in our preps….and seeing as we (I) have only been really doing this now for a couple years and thereby slowly building up, I think we did pretty good. LOL

      I’ve been doing this for more than 40 years, with 35 at this location, and we are always testing our preps and adjusting them. Any time you have an event that tests them and you survive with only a few holes to fix, I think it means you are in pretty good shape.

      I put a call into Generac to get them out here and have us set up with a new whole home 20-22kW within the next couple weeks. I have decided I much rather prefer to have water and hot showers and to ride out issues like this like my neighbors do. LOL

      We have the 16 KW Generac and it works quite well, just passing the two year mark last November. Hopefully you have natural gas or can add propane to fuel the genny, since other fuels, even when stabilized can be problematic over time. You’ll also want to get a couple of the maintenance kits to keep on hand as well as some synthetic oil. The kits contain a spark plug, an oil filter and an air filter, and the unit needs to have the maintenance performed every 2 years or 200 running hours. 200 running hours if running full time is only 8 days & 8 hours, so in a long term outage, you may need to do maintenance rather often, or manually run the generator (it’s just a button push from manual to auto) less than full time to keep water, refrigeration and batteries going.

      So that is my Prep this week. The new Genie

      The week we got ours was one of the best preps we’ve done in quite a while, congratulations.

      Comms were the worst. Being cut off from news was kinda weird…if not irritating…. The little hand held radio I had sucked. I guess that’s what I get for going cheap on a portable radio.
      Any recommendations for a decent one? Mainly for news etc…

      As a ham operator I have more radios than anyone should have; but, I think the Kaito KA500 would do the job for anyone
      It features:
      • A 180 degree rotating solar panel for solar charging.
      • A dynamo crank for simple hand charging.
      • A USB input for charging the AM / FM radio from the computer.
      • Optional battery charging with 3 AA batteries.
      • Wall charging with AC Adapter (purchased separately)
      Since it has an external antenna input, I would also string a wire outside for best reception as long as you can, well above anything like a vehicle that could hit it.

      I am rural to the medium? sized town and even though a good portion of our town was without power for a few days, not to mention hassled with the low elevation snow, everyone was good. No crazies, no looting

      I think that’s pretty much common for most rural communities, with nothing too crazy going on, since we tend to be a bit more self reliant by nature.

      1. TOP

        “As a ham operator I have more radios than anyone should have;”

        I’ve been mulling this statement over some, and it occurs to me that should the feds decide to outlaw all guns for citizens, ham radios will probably end up on the list as well. They have a handy-dandy registry to use as well. Additionally, I think some kind of driving ban, or fuel rationing scheme, will also be implemented.

        What are three things a Marine/soldier needs to do on a battlefield? Shoot, move, and communicate.

        Maybe I’m turning into a conspiracy nut, but if I was the evil emperor of the US, that is a few of the things I would do.

        1. Zulu 3-6,

          “As a ham operator I have more radios than anyone should have;”
          I’ve been mulling this statement over some, and it occurs to me that should the feds decide to outlaw all guns for citizens, ham radios will probably end up on the list as well. They have a handy-dandy registry to use as well. Additionally, I think some kind of driving ban, or fuel rationing scheme, will also be implemented.

          That’s true to some extent; but, there are still many non hams out there using the unlicensed FRS/GMRS units that work quite well and are inexpensive. The last pair of these I purchased was $20.00 from the Lollygag Aisle (Bam Bam’s description) @ Aldi’s. These contain internal batteries that recharge from a USB connection like most cell phones & tablets.
          While this might not stop the government from doing something stupid, we hams are the backbone of the national traffic system and provide emergency communications that even the Feds can’t match. More than half of the members of our local county EMA are hams and are utilized for even small emergencies like the heavy snow and ice here today.
          We recently had an HF contest / training (Ohio QSO Party) session and the local Army National Guard attended to get some of their people familiarized with JF operations. As it turns out, everything has switched to Satellite and VHF / UHF and some in the communications area are concerned that no one knows how to build and deploy a simple field expedient antenna. You could well be correct; but, Amateur radio is at least for now, considered a valuable communications resource.

          Maybe I’m turning into a conspiracy nut, but if I was the evil emperor of the US, that is a few of the things I would do.

          You and I perhaps; but, if push came to shove and we were handed nearly any firearm, we could figure it out, while those seeking the socialist takeover at the current time would have to rely on others for that purpose, and the others may not always cooperate.

      2. Hi Top!
        Yeah the lines are above ground near some of the power (at least thats what I was told by the tech guy who has worked in our area for 25 years now)….it was only out for about a day or so, with intermittent issues the next two after that.

        Yes we have propane and we are going to upgrade the tank so we’ll have more. We are the typical rural for well, septic, propane etc…the only thing is the power…and we’ll address that this month.

        As for the radio? Thanks! I was actually looking at that exact one and wasnt sure about it. Perfect I’ll order it now!

        As for the town….yeah I agree, but North CA is still a pretty good sized town (85k or so)….so you’d think we’d might have issues. But the town has always handled adversity very well…one of the great things I love about here. Also they are very geared towards town celebrations like our Kool April Nights, Rodeo Days, Pancake Breakfast (during rodeo)….so I think it’s more the mindset and culture. They do great charity drives all the time when something happens.

        Thanks for replying back to me. I’m always late with replies so at times I feel like I’m on the outside looking in. ROFL!
        Cheers!

        1. TechQn,

          Yeah the lines are above ground near some of the power (at least thats what I was told by the tech guy who has worked in our area for 25 years now)….it was only out for about a day or so, with intermittent issues the next two after that.

          We used to have the above ground lines; but, back in 1998 they buried everything, and except for the occasional water in a line or a mouse taking up residence in a cross connect box we rarely have issues. We’re sitting in 20° weather right now with between 4 & 6 inches of new snow and everything is working fine.

          Yes we have propane and we are going to upgrade the tank so we’ll have more. We are the typical rural for well, septic, propane etc…the only thing is the power…and we’ll address that this month.

          IMHO the well and septic get rid of a lot of long term problems with sanitation, since worst case you can procure grey water for flushing and take sponge baths.
          We started out here heating with only wood & fuel oil; but, when we purchased the place in 1986 the bank wanted a furnace. We went with propane and had a local company set in a 250 gallon tank. We paid off the property in 1997 and by 1999 had save enough for our first 1000 gallon tank. Once you have your own tank you can have any propane supplier fill it, so you can get the best price in midsummer. In 2001 we had a second 1000 gallon tank installed and installed our first ventless heater. Around 2006 I replaced our electric water heater with a propane version. In 2015 we had a 500 gallon tank added, followed by the generator in 2016 and the final 1000 gallon tank added in 2017 along with a second ventless heater. As you can see, this transition to be pretty much grid independent in and emergency didn’t happen overnight; but, with patience and frugal living all of this can be accomplished.

          As for the radio? Thanks! I was actually looking at that exact one and wasnt sure about it. Perfect I’ll order it now!

          It comes with a good speaker; but, also a set of Earbuds to listen quietly or for weak signals when things are noisy.

          so I think it’s more the mindset and culture. They do great charity drives all the time when something happens.

          You hit the nail on the head I think, since the proper culture and mindset makes the difference no matter the size of the population, although generally the larger the population, the more diverse the mindset, and not always in a good way.

          Thanks for replying back to me. I’m always late with replies so at times I feel like I’m on the outside looking in. ROFL!

          No problem and we are all often playing catchup. Wile you don’t have to be first, if you get in early, you start getting all of the comments via email so you don’t miss anything; however, you may still be seeing posts and get to comment days later. I’ve done that many times and the important part is to just be part of the conversation if you have something to contribute.

  21. Hi Tara & all,
    No floods here; but, lots of surface mud covering that same frozen ground. Our creek is at a rather high stage; but, it is always well below the eastern bank near the house, and most flotsam and jetsam start upstream from us and end up downstream from here. If you are in the Scioto river drainage, then you could well be getting what we send down, LOL.
    We do have a small roof leak on the front of the house, so as soon as the weather dries and warms a bit, I’ll be on the roof with a can of Flex Seal to fix that problem.

    We filled buckets with water and let them turn to ice over the winter. . . . But, buckets were far easier to work with.
    We placed them on tall and deep wood shelving units inside of the butcher shop walk in cooler and covered them with saw dust.

    While I had not thought about this much before now, this could easily be another inexpensive resource to implement. I’m looking to add another small replacement building this summer for storage and a sugar shack; but, a slightly larger building with one end heavily insulated could easily do the trick. We’ll probably use the wire shelving, since it is easy to construct and would allow lots of air flow. We don’t even need food grade buckets for the task.

    Once the weather warms up enough to thaw out the ground, our foot, horse, and ATV bridge will be placed across the creek bank – but we still aren’t interested in putting a bridge over our creek.

    We have a similar situation here, with a small bridge crossing one of the feeders from a road culvert into the creek;; however, the bridge was seriously damaged a few years ago when a Semi truck ran off the road and took out some trees and a piece of the bridge. It’s north of the house and we didn’t even know it happened until ODOT was there replacing the guard rail; but, no one told us about the accident and the bridge is still in need of repair, we’ll maybe get to this summer.

    Our creek flips a lot of folks out, usually needlessly. It may look like you are driving through only water and the soggy dirt beneath it, but there is a natural rock culvert at the crossing

    We likewise have a shallow spot with a good rock foundation that is usable as a ford during all but the spring flooding; but, because of the flooding, the area to our west will never have anything on it but crops, unless someone wants to build an Ark or houseboat, LOL.

    We are never isolated by flooding; but, having the creek does give us a secondary water source and a few pan fish when we get time in the summer.
    Our situation is similar except for a single power line from across the road to the house; but, still enough clear area around with numerous small woods close by.
    While our county is a bit larger and has enough additional population than yours to require some zoning and permitting, that in general doesn’t include our rural section of the county, or our rural township, which is one of 14. The 2010 census found 1,334 people in our township which has an area of 37.49 miles² so the population density of 36 people per square mile is still very rural.

    When you state: I would never want to live anywhere else. I would concur with the thought, since we’ve put a lot of effort and improvements here in the past 35 years, and are debt free, with most projects nearly completed.

    You do know that a homestead is never quite finished, don’t you? LOL

    When you state:

    We have everything in our county, except:

    We are a bit different; but, all good things IMHO.

    1. A city within 60 miles
    We are not quite in that situation and have only villages and a census designated place within that range; but, two small ”Cities that are far enough away to be of no consequence to us.
    2. A shopping mall None near us either.
    3. Walmart The Wal-Mart is about 15 miles away, as is the Kroger, Meijer’s, Home Depot, and Lowes. All close enough to be somewhat convenient; but, far enough away to not be a problem.
    4. Rapes none here either.
    5. Gangs same here.
    6. Traffic jams. None that affect us unless we go into the inner city (LO) of the closest city 15 miles to our south.
    7. Second Amendment infringing laws
    8. Home Invasions Not here, and if there were any, the likely outcome would be bad for the bad guys.
    9. High taxes of any kind Our only taxes are ones we voted in for road repair, 911 & EMS services, and schools; but, since the schools are a 1% income tax and in retirement we have little taxable income, they no longer affect us, or most of the farmers.
    10. Small backyards Only in the villages and cities, far from here.
    11. The need to lock the door at night There is no need; but, situational awareness and prudence say you should. Locks are only for the honest people in any case; but, each little step makes you safer, no matter where you live. Remember that on April 22, 2016 there was an entire family of 8 people massacred in their sleep only 40 miles from you, so I wonder why you have this list if your area is so safe and idyllic. We all must be aware of the potential for crime and violence and take appropriate steps.
    12. The need to do background checks on babysitters or employees For local people with reputations that could well be true as it is here; but, once again one should be prudent.
    13. The need to lock your car doors; heck most folks don’t even bother to remove the keys! I wish you luck here also and hope that these do not become the proverbial “Famous Last Words”.
    14. More than two chain restaurants If you count fast food then we beat you there; but, those are mostly for the city people.
    15. Liberals – alright, we have a few of those, but dang few, not enough even for a small protest on a nice warm and sunny day. True; but, less than 30 miles from you is Ohio University, a liberal bastion and one of the few counties in Ohio that is always solidly blue, driving my friends who live there, crazy.
    The things on the list above along with a first rate hospital make for more convenient living without getting in our way, and as we grow older, get to be more appreciated.

    And now the questions that seem to be a repeat of last week, which is understandable considering the extra work all of the cold and mud is causing us.
    1. Do you live where you want to prep?
    Absolutely. Paid off and most of our main projects completed.
    2. What are the pros and cons of your county, city, town, or neighborhood, from a prepping perspective?
    We have relatively low taxes. The DW grew up in the area and we have her relatives and other neighbor / farmers for support. Major stores are close enough to be convenient; but, far enough away to not be bothersome.
    3. Do you have an ice house or want to build one? How would your do it? Why or why not is an ice house on your survival agenda?
    No; but, your mention of it has me thinking. We’ll be replacing a building this summer for use as storage and a sugar shack, so I think we’ll add some insulated closets at one end, with shelving to accommodate some buckets of ice. As I said, a homestead is never quite complete, LOL.
    4. How did you prep this week?
    This past week we did & acquired the following:
    1. The DW purchased some large semi clear plastic containers to continue the decluttering and organizing.
    2. Ordered a 2 Pack of 16 oz jars of Manuka Honey from woot.com
    3. Received a 3 Pack of Class 10 16GB Micro SD Cards with Adapter from woot.com to add to the off grid and SHTF low power computing systems.
    4. Signed up for The Sausage Maker” newsletter (sausagemaker.com)
    5. Signed up for “Loges newsletter (logees.com) who has “Fruiting, Rare & Tropical Plants”
    6. 20 additional rolls of toilet paper
    7. Two 24 oz containers of large curd cottage cheese
    8. The DW & I met Grammyprepper and her DH for lunch and she gifted me a Mason Bee house.

      1. Grammyprepper,

        LOL TOP, the reason the questions look the same s that you replied to last weeks post!

        I know that now; but, didn’t figure it out until I had composed and posted my response and started reviewing the other posts.
        Last week I did not get the email announcement for the WIDTPTW at all, and the one I got this morning and mentioned to you at lunch, was the one from last week, sent a week late. I didn’t check the week # and dates; but, just clicked the new post announcement and went on. When I started reviewing the other comments, I saw Almost There mention her staples, and only then checked the week & date, after which I went to the site home page and got to the correct article. I still haven’t gotten the new post email for today.

          1. Grammyprepper,

            http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/prep-week-32

            I am well aware of the new WIDTPTW and have posted my items and responded to a few of the comments. As of now I still do not have the email for the week 32 post, so something must be amiss. This kerfuffle will not happen again, since from now on I’ll start at the main site and go from there. It was correct with the week 32 post; but, once again, no email update for it.

  22. I’m putting together 3 72hr survival kits for my 2 sons and 6 grandchildren who live 60 miles away and 1 for my 80yr old mom who lives 341 miles away.
    In the event of a SHTF scenario,
    1) what is the best way to communicate if cell phones are not working.
    2) what is the best way for:
    A) my sons and grandchildren to safely travel to my home ?
    B) for me to travel to pick up my mo and bring her to my home ?

    1. Paige:

      All of the answers will depend upon what the SHTF event really is.
      It will depend on what part of the country you are in and the time of year.

      But, in reguards to your mother, you will need a way to refuel your vehicle (if that’s the way you choose to get her). NEVER count on there being supplies available for purchase in a SHTF event. Your vehicle will either have to have the internal round trip range or you will need to carry fuel. Also plan for delays and rerouting; I would carry double the normal amount of fuel for the trip.

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