What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did to Prep This Week – Week 33 – Feb 24th – Mar 2nd 2019

prep week 33

Hello Pack. This week on the homestead we have been getting crop and herbal seeds growing indoors in the hope that spring will one day arrive. I am hoping the groundhog was right and we are going to have an early spring this year, I have had about all of the snow I can stand.

We are still battling mud and ruts on our farm road. One thing that won’t change when spring finally arrives is the mud. Maybe we won’t get a really wet spring this year. A prepper girl can dream, right?

I have also spent some time doing an inventory in my apothecary. I have used up a lot more of my healing herbs and essential oils taking care of the sick over the winter and for disinfecting that I would like. I am just about ready to make one massively long order to ensure my stockpile is up to snuff.

We grow a lot of my herbs, but relying on a harvest that is not yet in is preparing to fail. Some herbs that I use a lot of simply cannot be grown in my little patch of heaven in Appalachia – like turmeric. I buy it almost literally by the bucketful and still deplete my stockpiles every winter.

Recently I gave a lot of turmeric in gel capsules that I made with my handy dandy manual pill making machine, to a dear friend and cousin-in-law. She is battling one of the rarest forms of cancer – neuroendocrine. The chemo treatments she has been taking are showing some positive results, but she is having trouble keeping her platelet and white blood cell counts up. The turmeric should help with both.

Educational preps have kept us busy when the weather was too nasty to go outside expect for essential chores. I spent some time learning about kaolin clay. It is pretty awesome stuff. I had heard of it but have never used it.

The clay has often been used to treat diarrhea, dysentery, and even cholera. It can be used on the skin both dry and after being softened with water or another liquid substance in an herbal remedy recipe. People have eaten kaolin clay to combat morning sickness and nausea, but it is not recommended to do so by the FDA.

The clay, also commonly referred to as white clay, China clay, French green clay, and Kaolinite, is often used in cosmetic products now, but was used by our ancient ancestors to make pottery.

The color of the mined clay is supposed to directly reflect its quality, something I took into consideration when browsing listings for it online. Kaolin clay can be found with a pinkish coloration due to the iron oxide in it, or a green shade caused by decomposing plants. Clay that is white or nearly so is considered the purest and hence, the best and most potent version of the clay.

After discovering a DIY recipe to make my own QuikClot style bandage, I became intrigued. Upon learning more about kaolin clay, it is now at the top of my apothecary ordering list. I had no idea the clay mixed with cayenne peppers, and raw honey if you have any (what self-respecting prepper doesn’t?) will create the homemade version of QuikClot.

This Week’s Questions:

  1. What prepping projects are you looking forward to tackling this spring?
  2. Have you started seeds yet? What kind and why?
  3. Have you used kaolin clay or make your own quick clotting bandages?
  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 →

81 thoughts on “What I Did to Prep This Week – Week 33 – Feb 24th – Mar 2nd 2019

  1. too many to count, got a ditch to dig (just made a new handle for the spade), need to put the stones from it in the driveway and the dirt into a low spot in the garden, plow 2 acres and plant, skid lots of logs, stack lots of wood mill lumber, build sheds, fix fences, etc. just waiting for the snow to abate so i can start.

    nope, i direct sow everything, the only thing that needs to be transplanted are nighshades like tomato, pepper and eggplant, i don’t like eggplant and don’t use enough tomato or peppers to bother with them when i can buy the plants 6 for $1 at a local greenhouse. same reason i don’t bother growing potatos, 50lb for $15, and i only use 150 to 200 lb a year, really i can spend 2 hours cutting splitting and stacking a face cord of hardwood and sell it for $60 or trade it to the menonite store for 200 lbs of potatos. not cost effective to do it myself, but i can grow them if the economy tanks and i need to.

    nope, i just use whatever cloth is at hand or gauze. even when i raked a chansaw accross my stomach a few years ago i only used a couple gauze pads and duct tape to hold it on and went on working like it was nothing (not deep, just stripped the skin off a large surface area, tree rolled on me, the saw was knocked out of my hands and landed on me with the momentum turning the chain, not the clutch)

    repaired a pile of broken tools, cut down 20 white pine and 1 poplar for milling and a whole lot of cheap firewood (slab cut up sells $30 a face cord, same with branches cut up or culled rounds for boilers), sold a couple cords of wood now i am down to just 12 cords left (4 cords if measured as full cords, everyone here measures by face cords 4’x8’x16″ and think i am making it up measurements when i tried selling 4’x4’x8′) 3 face cords split dry poplar (1 full cord) and 9 face cords cut up slab and branches (3 full cord). cleaned up my barn and workshop too, also got a ride into town and got a few boxes of rifle ammo.

    1. in september i had over 120 face cords stacked along my driveway, sorted by type, all of it dry. i sold or traded other wood that was not stacked like that and i don’t know how many cords off hand. i just know i sold or traded 90% of what i had in september. i expect to have a similar volume this coming september. tht firewood makes about half my annual income

    2. Nemoseto,

      nope, i direct sow everything, the only thing that needs to be transplanted are nighshades like tomato, pepper and eggplant,

      We’ll plant some tomato seeds and perhaps some eggplant for later transplant; but, like you, we can often find them @ end of season on sale, and then add additional to the mix for only a few dollars.

      same reason i don’t bother growing potatos, 50lb for $15, and i only use 150 to 200 lb a year

      We can’t find them that cheap and will probably try them again for the practice; but, actually, I like the instant potato flakes almost as well as the real thing, so we keep a lot of those on hand.

      not cost effective to do it myself, but i can grow them if the economy tanks and i need to.

      This is IMHO the right attitude for living life. Knowing how is very useful; but, often, hiring it done or purchasing it is more cost and time effective..

  2. Hello folks…
    Not much prepping this week, but did help a good friend move some small pieces of furniture (table chairs, side tables, lamps etc.) in preparation for a crew to come in and pull up old carpet and install Pergo laminate floors in Living, dining and hall area. A day later, we had to move it all back, plus unload drawers from dressers, chest of drawers, lamps etc. from the 3 bedrooms to have new carpet installed. Hit a big bump in the road during the process. When carpet was removed from living room, subfloor had some issues (waves) that prevented installation of laminate. It’s always something with an old house isn’t It! I believe installers could have addressed the issue, but they had other jobs lined up and I personally think they simply didn’t want to take the time. We found a retired house contractor (tip from a neighbor). He came out and assessed issue and was able to fix floor next day ($300). Job done, but after a week of all that work, I was worn out!
    Regarding questions: 1) After a few days out of town, plans are to build 3 more raised beds. Been trying to do this all month,but rain hindered outside plans. 2) I haven’t started any seedlings yet. 3) Never used Kaolin, and no prepping this week due to above help provided to a good friend.
    Have a good week folks!

    1. Jean,

      did help a good friend move some small pieces of furniture (table chairs, side tables, lamps etc.) in preparation for a crew to come in and pull up old carpet and install Pergo laminate floors in Living, dining and hall area.

      I really understand this. We’re hoping to get new flooring in our living room and perhaps the kitchen and one of the bedrooms this summer, and even though it’s 3-4 months away, the planning on where to move and put everything is already starting, with a bit of head scratching along the way.

      It’s always something with an old house isn’t It!

      Yep. The main part of this old house was built in the 1920’s with additions in the mid 1960’s. We rented from 1984-1986 and purchased it, with our eyes wide open about the flaws that are still slowly being addressed. I would like laminate flooring in the living room and ceramic in the kitchen; but, the DW wants to keep carpet as the rooms are now, or perhaps vinyl in the kitchen.
      Timing and cost will end up being the deciding factor I suppose.

  3. What prepping projects are you looking forward to tackling this spring? Finish up my reloading. Once I’ve got the pistol cases loaded, I’m rpbably going to shut down the progressive press, just sticking with the turret press for smaller sets.

    Have you started seeds yet? What kind and why? Nope.

    Have you used kaolin clay or make your own quick clotting bandages? No.

    How did you prep this week?

    Received: Silicone-treated pistol storage socks, rifle ammo, new eye glasses, latch boxes.

    Snow started about 8 PM Sunday. My guess is by Wednesday COB we have had 12”. They say the snow pack is at 60”, 6” under than average, but I don’t remember this much in my yard since ‘96/97. We are running out of room to put it. We usually have a melt between storms, but not this month so far. My 2WD van is going nowhere until about Thursday when it’s supposed to get above freezing. Had to dig out a path in the back year for the Chiweenie, it’s deeper than she is tall. Went out to pick up the truck and leave the van; needed to move it Tuesday and there was 5-7” new snow around it. They cancelled the Bible Study Fellowship class for Tuesday night, so we cancelled out satellite course on Thursday (no video lecture). Wednesday night church services were cancelled. The snow fall web site updated and we are not at +15% above average, with more snow so far this year than all of last year. Just noted in the paper that one town got 25” and declared an emergency! Sunday AM was -21 and Monday AM is supposed to be -22!

    Got in my new glasses from Zenni Optical (.com). 20 days from order to delivery (including weather delay). $52.85 for bi-focal. The last pair of progressives I bought here in town was over $500. The prescription is good, now I just have to get used to going back to a bi-focal.

    DW got gifted a company-logo’d fleece throw blanket for teaching a class at work (free prep!). 

    1. JP,

      I like hearing about your week. You have a totally different life than we have here in Florida. Last week the temperatures got into the 90s and I was cooking, so we turned on the AC. It sounds like your major threats are winter storms. We have hurricanes here in Florida. I like hearing what you have to say even though our lives are totally different.

      1. Bam Bam:

        At 3 AM Monday, the weather report said it was -27 with the wind chill down to -38. That’s the coldest I’ve been in. DW is supposed to go to work this AM, we’ll see if her car will go. I put anti-gel additive in the truck yesterday and plugged it in. Hope it’s enough.

        1. JP,

          I don’t even think my home could handle -38 degrees. I spent extra to have R-30 insulation in the attack when I had this house built. I suspect they just have to build houses differently in your part of the world.

          1. Bam Bam,

            I suspect your house itself may do OK, but your heating system and plumbing may not. Up north, most folks have a basement and plumbing gets run down there. It may be chilly, but usually above 32F Here in Florida, it’s often run in the attic due to no basements. Plus, Florida heating systems aren’t designed for that kind of cold. Many Florida homes use heat pumps and those will freeze up and be useless in Northern winter temps.

      2. Bam Bam,

        Last week the temperatures got into the 90s and I was cooking, so we turned on the AC.

        All I hear from this statement is more money for the electric bill, LOL. We won’t see anything near the 90° range for 4 or more months in mid June through August; but, dealing with the cold can be as easy as another layer or piece of wood on the fire, neither of which increase our expenses.

        It sounds like your major threats are winter storms. We have hurricanes here in Florida.

        While this was intended for JP, Montana has even colder weather than we do with our coldest recent days dropping only to -12.5° (actual); but, normally a more balmy mid 20’s.
        We also have the addition of tornadoes. The one upside to Hurricanes is you generally get days of notice; but, the downside is they can cause widespread devastation, leaving your only defense as evacuation. My kid sister had to leave Key West during Irma, and made it to the panhandle in only 38 hours vs. the normal 10 or so.
        I spent several months off and on in Fort Myers and while it may only be the attitudes there, it seemed that no one was doing anything serious. While we are planning on projects like remodeling, painting, gardening, canning, etc. it seemed that since the weather was always nice, their plans always had to do with recreational things like boating, fishing, and laying out on the beach, with the later being one of the most boring things I’ve ever tried.
        Personally I find Florida and the beaches of for instance Hawaii to be a nice place for a short vacation; but, I prefer to live basically where I do, and find the challenges of each season help keep me on my toes.

      3. Bam Bam:

        On our conference call this morning, on of the guys said it was -41 in Belgrade @ 5:00 AM! Right now its up to -7 here.

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

    I decided to go ahead and acquire surgical and needle crico kit items. I’m also shopping for laryngoscope handles, MacIntosh (curved) and Miller (straight) blades. I generally preferred to use MacIntosh blades, but sometimes Miller blades fit certain people better (like infants), and some other odds and ends. I’ve already ordered and received Magill forceps in three sizes, infant, child, and adult, and some #11 and #12 scalpels. Plus, I got a surgical crico pack and some 14ga angiocaths. I also already have a couple of nice military medical pouches I can use as kits. I’ll ask #1 or #2 daughter to embroider some Velcro patches for them.

    I’ve also been reading up and watching YouTubes on laryngoscopy and cricothyrotomy techniques. It’s been a while since I’ve done laryngoscopy and never did a crico on a person, just once on an anesthetized goat when I was invited to a goat lab by some Air Force pararescuemen years ago when animal labs were still OK for training.

    Poor granddaughter spiked a fever the other day while here with me. Only got up to 100.5. Her mom suspected that she was cutting a molar as she is due for them, but baby girl wouldn’t let me look. That night, she let her mom look and, sure enough, a bit of a molar is popping out. She was 100% back to normal the next day. As I write this, she is out butterfly hunting (looking, not capturing) with her daddy. Chasing butterflies is one of her favorite outside activities. He sent some videos and the girl is having a blast. She struts around so confident in herself. 😊

    Tara’s questions:

    1. What prepping projects are you looking forward to tackling this spring? Nothing earthshaking other than getting my crico and laryngoscopic kits put together.

    2. Have you started seeds yet? What kind and why? Nope. No place to plant.

    3. Have you used kaolin clay or make your own quick clotting bandages? No. I know of the stuff, but never used it.

    1. I have no medical training other than first aide/AED/CPR. I also took an advanced class several years ago. It was a three hour college course that went into more advanced assistance. Husband also has training for his job. It’s about the same as mine. We do have an MD and a few nurses living within two miles from us. In a TEOTWAWKI situation, some of them would be a resource (Two nurses are close friends. One is an ICU/PCU nurse and the other is an ER and OB nurse. She works at two different hospitals. Ah, to be young and full of energy.), but I want to have supplies. What more advanced equipment would you recommend that I have on hand?

      1. I’m talking about supplies that I don’t have the skills to use, but might need for them to use in an emergency.

        1. Prepared Grammy,

          I’m talking about supplies that I don’t have the skills to use, but might need for them to use in an emergency.

          We’ve done the same thing. I have suturing kits that I can kind of use in a pinch; but, our friend and E.R. doc who showed me how to use them, says that even she would use single use super glue in a pinch at least for external sutures.
          Our neighbors are a married couple with him a Fire Chief / Paramedic and her a paramedic / nurse practitioner, so I try to keep extra things on hand that someone else could use, perhaps even on me, LOL.

      2. Prepared Granny,

        I’m not certain exactly what to recommend, but I’ll throw a few ideas in there.

        Suture kits – It’s not hard to learn to suture, but if that’s beyond your comfort zone, having a suture pack or two on hand for those who know how can be a good idea. The drawback is no local anesthesia as that is prescription only and most doctors won’t give one. You would need, at a minimum, a bottle of Lidocane with Epinephrine, and a bottle without Epinephrine. Plus some 5ml syringes with needles, and different kinds of sutures.

        Stapling kits – An adjunct for suturing.

        You can buy good quality kits from Doom and Bloom.com along with a how-to DVD.

        Tourniquets – If you don’t already have them. They’ve gone from the bottom of the last ditch list for severe limb bleeds to the top thanks to medical lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan. Personally I like the CAT and SWAT-T tourniquets. But, a genuine North American Rescue (NAR) CAT tourniquet will cost about $29. There are cheap Chinese knockoffs out there for $15, but their windlasses are flimsy as are the nylon strapping. A SWAT-T is a wide rubberized band that can be used for a tourniquet or a pressure bandage depending on how hard you stretch it. CAT-T are good for well-muscled adults (or fat ones). SWAT-T are good for skinny adults or children. CAT-T can be self-applied in some cases whereas a SWAT-T really needs another person to apply. I carry a CAT-T and a SWAT-T in my EDC.

        Israeli battle dressings – aka: Izzies. These are excellent pressure dressings and I wish they were available when I was in the military and a paramedic. They come in 4″, 6″, 8″, and I think now a larger double pad for abdominal wounds. They were invented by an Israeli Army combat medic and Israel was not the first military to adopt them. Several European militaries adopted them first, then the US, UK, and Canada, then Israel. The US military had to submit them for FDA approval first and they came back in record time with a “superior product” rating. Izzies can be self applied in some cases too. I have a bunch of these in various sizes and carry a 4″ model in my EDC.

        Hyfin Chest Seal – for application to sucking chest wounds. You can jury-rig a chest seal with some plastic and tape, but having one or two of these on hand makes the job easier.

        EMT shears – Lister bandage scissors on steroids. Designed to cut through heavy clothing as well as bandages. Some better models can cut pennies in half. Not really an advanced tool, but good to have several. I carry one in my EDC. I think I have about a dozen stashed though my kits. Keep a regular Lister model too for gentler cutting of bandages.

        Thoracic decompression needle – This one is pretty advanced, but for someone who knows how to use it, it can be lifesaving for someone with a tension hemo or pnuemothorax. We used to use plan old large bore IV needles in the bad old days of street medicine, but they’ve come up with some similar, but better tools in the years since. You can’t just go sticking this into someone without training. Very easy to puncture the heart if doing a left side procedure. If that happens the next step is to perform Last Rites.

        Bag-valve-mask (BVM) – Also known as an Ambu bag (which is actually a brand name). This makes doing respiratory resuscitation much easier, safer, and efficient than mouth-to-mouth. You can get smaller models for children and infants.

        Berman airways – These are curved plastic devices placed into a patients mouth to keep the tongue from occluding the airway while using a BVM. Anyone trained on a BVM also learns how to put these in. Very simple. They usually come in sets of six in different sizes.

        Nasopaharengeal tubes – These are a different kind of airway, stuck through the nose and into the back of the throat. Takes some training, but not a lot. They come in different sizes too.

        SAM splints – malleable splints. Excellent devices. Get different sizes.

        I could go on and on with this list. Some of these items actually take very little training to learn, others a little more.

        1. Zulu 3-6,
          First of all, thanks for this excellent list, that shows me additional items and some training I still need to get.

          Suture kits – It’s not hard to learn to suture, but if that’s beyond your comfort zone, having a suture pack or two on hand for those who know how can be a good idea. The drawback is no local anesthesia as that is prescription only and most doctors won’t give one. You would need, at a minimum, a bottle of Lidocane with Epinephrine, and a bottle without Epinephrine. Plus some 5ml syringes with needles, and different kinds of sutures.

          I have a good friend who is an E.R. physician and she has held some suture clinics a few times. We practiced on chicken thighs several times and after removing the sutures, barbequed the chicken for dinner. While I am not skilled enough to make something pretty, I think I could staunch bleeding in a real pinch. She also told us all to carry some single use Cyanoacrylate super glue that in a pinch will easily glue skin to skin for a temporary, non suture wound closure.

          Stapling kits – An adjunct for suturing.

          And no doubt as painful to administer without local anesthesia, LOL.

          Tourniquets – If you don’t already have them. They’ve gone from the bottom of the last ditch list for severe limb bleeds to the top thanks to medical lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan.

          Your list of the types was good information and lets me know I need a few others. One thing we’ve all been told to include with a Tourniquet is a large Sharpie marker to write the time & date on the victims / patients forehead noting when the Tourniquet was placed, so the medical personnel will know what actions to take when you turn the scene over to them.

          EMT shears – Lister bandage scissors on steroids. Designed to cut through heavy clothing as well as bandages.

          For heavy clothing my E.R. doc friend uses a rescue knife like the one I carry. Made to break windows and cut seat belts, it will easily slip through clothing, like a bloody pant leg like a hot knife through butter.

          Bag-valve-mask (BVM) – Also known as an Ambu bag (which is actually a brand name). This makes doing respiratory resuscitation much easier, safer, and efficient than mouth-to-mouth. You can get smaller models for children and infants.

          This sounds like something I need to look into. Right now I carry only a CPR shield, which as you probably know is a plastic mask with a “one way” valve to use for respiratory resuscitation using mouth to mouth, that provides at least a modicum of sanitation.

          1. TOP,

            Yeah, sutures and staples without a local is painful. A couple of shots of Ol’ Rotgut may be helpful (for both patient and medic). The super glue method is good for smaller wounds, but the big gaping kind require sutures, and probably more than one layer of tissue will have to be sutured, thus requiring disolvable type sutures for the inside work. Pigs feet work well for suturing practice and you can cook them up later too, if you’re into that.

            The BVM is kind of tricky to use without a little training and practice on a CPR dummy. The Red Cross provides a class on O2 and BVM use for first responders. It’s a one day class as I recall. If you are venting a patient with an endotracheal tube inserted, it’s less tricky as you don’t have to seal a mask on the patient’s face while squeezing the bag with the other hand.

          2. Zulu 3-6,

            sutures and staples without a local is painful. A couple of shots of Ol’ Rotgut may be helpful (for both patient and medic).

            No doubt on the pain, and while rot gut may help, I suspect it takes a lot and is not as instantaneous as a lidocaine injection. I don’t know if a topical would help here except for mucus tissues like the gums in the mouth. I only bring this up because my dentist uses topical Benzocaine to numb the gums prier to injecting lidocaine. I only know this because I asked if they were still using Novocaine, at which point he laughed and said they hadn’t used that for decades, and then the conversation started.

            The super glue method is good for smaller wounds, but the big gaping kind require sutures, and probably more than one layer of tissue will have to be sutured, thus requiring disolvable type sutures for the inside work.

            I know about the dissolvable sutures; but, have only practiced on that chicken, so trying to dig inside a wound and suture would definitely be a new experience, probably best left to professionals; but, what we’re talking about here would be the dire, “do or die” emergency and I would do the best I could. Hopefully it won’t be me suturing me, like John Rambo did in First Blood, cause that has to hurt even more.

            Pigs feet work well for suturing practice and you can cook them up later too, if you’re into that.

            I have and will eat most foods when properly prepared. Growing up I ate pig’s feet, corn meal mush, scrapple, liver and head cheese, and actually like them all, Pigs feet and head cheese were created to use the last little scrap of the pig, since times were often lean. In a post SHTF scenario, people might have to learn once again how to make and eat these foods.

            The BVM is kind of tricky to use without a little training and practice on a CPR dummy. The Red Cross provides a class on O2 and BVM use for first responders.

            Over this summer we’ll be taking additional training in our EMA group, including 1st aid, advanced 1st aid, CPR, and AED, and while we’re at it I think the BVM would be a good add. We just took Long Range SAR and will be adding field exercises once it gets warmer, Most will also be taking the hazardous materials Technician level courses. This will be a fun summer.

            If you are venting a patient with an endotracheal tube inserted, it’s less tricky as you don’t have to seal a mask on the patient’s face while squeezing the bag with the other hand.

            It still sounds easier than mouth to mouth with a CPR mask, especially when there’s an injury with fluids around the face.
            In any case, like most preps, we hope to never really need them; but, should know how to do them.

          3. TOP,

            Yeah, they stopped Novocaine quite some time ago when Lidocaine became available. Novocaine was a relatively short-acting drug, often requiring a re-do in the middle of a dental procedure. Also, Novocaine had a tendency to react differently on different people. Highly effective on one, not so great on another. Lidocaine does too, but not as often or as drastically.

            I really wouldn’t be comfortable sewing up additional layers of tissue either, without supervised practice, but needs must in an austere emergency. If the wound is that deep, you might have to consider the need to insert a drain as well to keep pus, etc, from building up.

            Using a BVM is much more sanitary for the provider, no doubt. The trick is getting a good seal with the mask. Excessive fluids, or facial injuries, may not allow that. When I was still a basic EMT, I responded to a traffic accident. a 17-year old girl was the front passenger in a car hit head on by a drunk driver. She was in full arrest and my partner and I did an emergency extraction and started CPR. I was bagging and she threw up in the mask. Whatever she ate ended up really slimy and stinky. It actually caused the mask seal to come off the mask and the smell almost made me loose my lunch (which would have been a first for me). Luckily the paramedic rig arrived right then, and the medic dropped an ET tube very quickly. Sadly the girl didn’t make it. She was very pretty too, just a babysitter being taken home by her employer (who was critically injured). The drunk had bumps and bruises. Of course. It’s one of those events you always remember on a couple of levels.

            Something else to note in respiratory resuscitation, whether BVM or mouth-to-mouth. The ubiquitous “They” always tell you that if a patient is going to vomit while you are doing your thing, to turn their head, let them vomit, and clean out their mouth before resuming your resuscitation efforts. “They” lie. I have never seen a patient give the slightest indication they are going to vomit until they do. They’re unconscious and have no gag reflex. If the stomach wants to barf, it does. Right. Now. This is usually caused by air getting down into the stomach via the esophagus. Not much you can do about it unless you can put in an endotracheal tube. Just know that it will probably happen and be prepared to immediately stop bagging until you can clear the mouth out (and suction the area, if you have suction devices). This is why BVM masks are clear, so you can see if the patient vomits.

            BTW: There are small, hand operated suction devices available. I have a couple and keep them with my BVMs. NAR has a nice one. Unfortunately, they ain’t real cheap.

    2. Zulu 3-6

      I’ve also been reading up and watching YouTubes on laryngoscopy and cricothyrotomy techniques. It’s been a while since I’ve done laryngoscopy and never did a crico on a person, just once on an anesthetized goat when I was invited to a goat lab by some Air Force pararescuemen years ago when animal labs were still OK for training.

      This reminded me of something a friend did years ago. Some of us were in a restaurant eating and there was a poster on one wall advertising some kind of makeup, with the explicit indication that no animals were used in testing it.
      My friend got up with a marker and where the poster stated testing used no animal, he write with a sharpie, “They are testing it on you”
      Nuff’ said I think.

    3. Zulu,

      If you know how to use it (and your training speaks heavily), you should have it on hand! That’s my take. (It is better to have it on hand and not need it than to need it and not have it on hand.) I am in a bit of a different situation. I have a host of medical professionals within a watermelon-spit of my home. That’s the good part of living in suberbia. There are downsides. But my neighbor on the east is an emergency room nurse. Skip one house to the west and we have another nurse. Go half a mile down the road and we have an old country doctor.

      Question: What do you purchase for your low carb diet? I have done 30 days of keto and have dropped 11 pounds. (That’s a lot considering the drop brings me to 165 and my goal is 160.)

      1. Bam Bam,

        It is handy knowing how to use all that medical stuff. Legally, I can’t use some of it in normal times, but in austere times, who cares as long as I do it right.

        I no longer buy or consume breads, rice (white or brown), potatoes, and other starchy, high carb foods. I will eat them in small quantity if I’m at my ex’s house or daughter’s homes for supper (I love Cuban food). I stay away from sugary desserts.

        I do buy lots of veggies, chicken breasts, and turkey (ground and sausage). Once in a while, some lean beef. I also get some raw peanuts for snacks.

        I lost over 20lbs in my first month of low carb dieting and portion control. I’m down about 28lbs total now and I think this is it as far as diet alone is concerned. Got to get my fat butt up on my stationary bike. The trick is finding time when granddaughter is around. My reason to go low carb was two-fold. Losing weight was one, but getting my blood sugar under control was the other (I am a Type II diabetic).

        1. Sounds like you have done a great job? A friend of mine dropped 40 lbs on Keto. He did carb it up some during Christmas and such, but lucked out and only gained back a few lbs.
          Congratulations!

        2. Zulu,

          I have cut the same foods–added sugars, wheat products (breads, pasta, etc.), rice, potatoes and high starch foods. I have eliminated most fruits; I can eat lemons, limes and berries. I have lost 11 lbs. and am now within my ideal weight range. I would like to drop another five pounds. After that I am going to slowly reintroduce certain fruits. I cannot live without watermelon in the summer.

          Today I made cloud bread which has less than half a gram of carbs per serving. This was really, really good. I made ham sandwiches.

          https://www.flavcity.com/cold-keto-lunch-meal-prep/

          I ordered a bagel pan and I am going to make these low carb bagels.

          https://www.flavcity.com/low-carb-keto-bagel-recipe/

          1. Bam Bamm
            Thanks for the recipe links. While I haven’t been dieting for years now and maintain my weight with portion control and exercise, having alternate means of preparing food with on hand supplies is always a good thing to know.

      2. Bam Bam & Zulu 3-6,

        I am in a bit of a different situation. I have a host of medical professionals within a watermelon-spit of my home.

        A watermelon-spit? LOL. That has to be a reginal thing, since we only have watermelon available for a short time in the fall.
        In our case we have a Fire Chief / Paramedic and his NP wife as neighbors only 100 yards from here, and our MAG has an E.R. physician who is a little farther; but, always only a phone call away for a consult.

        I have done 30 days of keto and have dropped 11 pounds. (That’s a lot considering the drop brings me to 165 and my goal is 160.)

        From my experience with low carbohydrates, the problem is what to do once you’ve reached your goal. I ended up keeping track of each and every calorie, rather than excluding so many good foods from my diet. For me, the mashed potatoes and the oranges were the big ones. Hopefully you’ll get in the proper habits of smaller (more correct) portion sizes, and your hunger / cravings will be satisfied with less bulk. It takes awhile; but, you will get there.

        1. O.P.,

          Once I hit 160 lbs. I plan on upping my net carbs. I have done between 25 and 30 net carbs for the past month. I have read that most people can tolerate up to 50 grams of net carbs per day and still be in ketosis. I really don’t see any need to reintroduce added sugars, potatoes, white rice or wheat. I plan on reintroducing fruit. I feel really good on the keto diet. My mind is clear and I have more energy.

          I purchased low carb pasta which has 17 grams of net carbs. I haven’t tried it yet but with Lent approaching I want to be able to make shrimp alfredo.

          https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FZRYPO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

        2. TOP,

          If you were a Southerner, you’d know what a watermelon-spit is. 🙂 Even this transplanted Yankee knows.

          1. Zulu 3-6,

            If you were a Southerner, you’d know what a watermelon-spit is. 🙂 Even this transplanted Yankee knows.

            I’ve spent some time in the south, a bit in North Carolina; but, mostly West Virginia and Kentucky, and know about some town in Texas that has a watermelon festival with a spitting contest, and have spit more than a few seeds at a target myself; but, I’ve just never heard the idiom used quite that way before.

    4. I am so intrigued, what are crico and laryngoscopic kits? Do you have a patio or balcony on your apartment, or good light indoors? Would be happy to help you sort out how to do some small scale vertical gardening.

      1. Tara,

        A crico kit is a package that contains the medical tools necessary for an emergency cricothyrotomy. A crico is normally performed only when all lesser methods to secure an open airway (Heimlich maneuver, or laryngoscopy and Magill forceps) have failed or cannot be done (lack of equipment, for instance). In the field, this is a last-ditch technique to save a choking person’s life.

        There are two kinds of crico. A needle crico is usually done on infants and small children. A large bore IV angiocath is inserted into the trachea through the cricothyroid membrane. Air exchange is poor due to the small bore of the needle, but better than nothing. There are a couple of tricks to improve air exchange, but they require a part removed from a #3 endotracheal tube. A surgical crico is done using a scalpel or sharp knife to slice through the cricothyroid membrane. One can then insert a purpose made tube, or a shortened endotracheal tube, or even a simple straw or similar tube. Successful surgical cricos have been done with a penknife and an ink pen tube. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cricothyrotomy

        A laryngoscope kit is a package that contains the various parts of a laryngoscope. These are the handle (in which batteries are kept to power the lights usually mounted on the blades), assorted attachable blades, curved and straight, of different sizes depending on patient size. Also, Magill forceps will normally be found in such a kit. These are specialty forceps used to remove foreign objects blocking an airway, or to help insert an endotracheal tube. They too come in several sizes depending on the patient’s size. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laryngoscopy and see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magill_forceps

        I do have a balcony, but I can’t use it to grow veggies. My indoor lighting is poor too.

    5. Zulu,

      I purchased this smart scale on Amazon. This scale gives way more information that just body weight–you can get muscle mass, water weight, body fat percentage (both visceral and subcutaneous fat), bone density, etc. I want to do some research to figure out how this machine works–how it can estimate body fat. This is like some Star Trek technology.

      https://www.amazon.com/Bluetooth-FITINDEX-Wireless-Bathroom-Composition/dp/B078HW8BPY/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=smart%2Bscale&qid=1551747272&s=gateway&sr=8-6&th=1

      1. Bam Bamm

        I want to do some research to figure out how this machine works–how it can estimate body fat. This is like some Star Trek technology.

        Actually it’s rather simple. When you stand on the scale you must be barefoot since the two foot pads are actually electrical connections that pass a small voltage / current through your body via the feet. By varying the current and frequency and measuring the “resistance” of your body at various points, all of the measurements can be estimated by those sampled values.
        I used to use one of these; but, since I now have a pacemaker, they are forbidden, since those small currents running from foot to foot can confuse the pacemaker and cause it to do unpredictable things, like firing the defibrillator. I’m on my 3rd pacemaker since 2007, with this one scheduled to last another 5-6 years on the current battery, and in all that time the defibrillator function has not activated, thank heavens, since they tell me it’s like being kicked in the chest by a horse, and that doesn’t sound at all like fun, having seen what a horse kicking a stall wall can do

  5. Hi Tara & all,
    Once again I got no announcement email for this column posting and just had to keep checking.
    This has been a rather good week with temperatures almost doing the right thing to finally tap my maple trees; but, not yet quite there. In the “they don’t make them like they used to” category, our now just 2 year old gas furnace has decided to act up. When the thermostat makes the heat request, the forced draft blower comes on as it should; but, the forced air blower comes on at the same time just blowing cold air with no other actions like lighting the pilot light & burner. With the better insulation and windows, the daytime temperatures in the 40’s and alternate ways of heating, we’re doing fine, even with nighttime temperatures in the 20’s.

    Like you we are getting seeds started and will be attempting to grow some sweet potatoes from a few with sprouts growing from them. These were purchased last summer from the local produce auction and haven’t been treated with anything to inhibit sprouting, so we’re hoping for the best.
    Mud an ruts here also; but, we’re having a buy from the local quarry come by this updoming week to estimate what kind and how much gravel we’ll need. The cost estimate will involve hauling and spreading the gravel, so that will mean a bit less work on our part. They have been know to make three trups with various gravel sizes to get things just like they are needed. That will take care of some of the mud; but, not all, since mud and country living are just synonymous.
    When you mention the Kaolin clay (also called Kaolinite) I have to think of Lava soap. Lava contains Pumice and I’ve seen Kaolinite used similarly as a non-toxic abrasive for cleaning and cleansing. I sort of knew about consuming it; since I think it is one of the contents of Kaopectate (kaolin & Pectin or Pepsin). For pottery, like pumice it is very fine grained.
    I’ve used Cayenne pepper and honey for quick clot; but, had never heard of mixing the clay with it, good to know. Cayenne mixed with A&D oitment (cheap from Dollar Tree) makes a good topical analgesic.

    Tara’s questions:
    1. What prepping projects are you looking forward to tackling this spring?
    Gravel for the driveway, looking into nature stone for the garage and the granary to make a classroom & workout space, have someone clean up and seal our crawlspace, and add another small building to replace our old brooder house. Something in the 12’x20-25’ range will add storage and make a permanent place for my sugar shack. We’re also looking into new flooring for the living room to replace the rag tag carpet, that was already there when we started renting this place 35 years ago.
    2. Have you started seeds yet? What kind and why?
    No, but we’ll be starting this week. Pretty much the standard fair of tomatoes, herbs, and planting the root crops and fast growing things like carrots & lettuce in the garden in late April / early May. One we’ll be trying again this year is Spaghetti squash, one of my favorites.
    3. Have you used kaolin clay or make your own quick clotting bandages?
    I have an old friend who used it for pottery; but, I’ve never used it. I have however used cayenne and honey for Quikclot, plus calcium Alginate, mostly for nosebleeds.
    4. How did you prep this week?
    5.
    This past week we did & acquired the following:
    1. Upgraded my NRA Life to NRA Endowment Life which will get me a new jacket as a spiff.
    2. Picked up a DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) Pi Star hotspot that will allow DMR handheld operation from nearly anywhere, extending my Amateur Radio access for emergency and hobby communications.
    3. Renewed my NRA Instructor and Training Counselor Certifications for another 2 years.
    4. Received a set of 10 stainless steel bowls with lids; but, the package was crushed and the bowls in the package were crushed. We contacted the seller and a new set has been sent. The items below were in the same package; but, were undamaged. We get to keep the damaged ones, and perhaps a few will be usable
    a. Received an ”Atomic Beam Sun Blast” Solar Powered outdoor motion sensing floodlight
    b. Received a package of freezer labels
    5. Watched the PBS NOVA Series Episode “Great Human Odyssey” that follows the survival and adaptability of the human species over the millennia of tough terrain and existence, flooding, and other massive changes in location and climate. Yes, Climate Change occurring naturally thousands of years ago.
    Watch it here: https://www.pbs.org/video/nova-great-human-odyssey/
    6. As part of our county EMA training, we have been reviewing this information from FEMA. ” Prep Talks: The Next Pandemic – Lessons from History” available here: https://www.fema.gov/preptalks/barry

    1. Do you have a WordPress account? For some reason when I follow a post here I have to go to my account there and confirm the follow.

      1. Daddio7,

        Do you have a WordPress account? For some reason when I follow a post here I have to go to my account there and confirm the follow.

        No I don’t. I do get the follow-up comments and still get other new post announcements from articles by Charles and Megan. Last week I got a new post follow-up from the previous week’s WIDTPTW; but, a week late.
        It’s easy enough to check once in a while to look for new posts, like I did earlier today; but, I wonder why this feature simply stopped working a few weeks ago.

    2. O.P.,

      I read Barry’s book “The Great Influenza” years ago, back when I first started prepping. That book scared the hell out of me. The 1918 pandemic was called the “Spanish Flu” because Spain was neutral during WWI. News of the outbreak was suppressed in the U.S. and the U.K. But the earliest reports of the outbreak were from Fort Riley, Kansas and not Spain. As I recall, Barry hypothesized that the government may have been experimenting with flu strains and vaccinations.

      1. Bam Bam,

        I read Barry’s book “The Great Influenza” years ago, back when I first started prepping. That book scared the hell out of me.

        I read it years ago also, perhaps 15 years or more; but, it didn’t really scare me all that much for a few reasons. Where we live the population is less dense than the cities and I understand the mitigation of such diseases. I also get my influenza vaccinations each year and have for a long time, with the overlap building up immunity of sorts. Things like simple ”thorough” hand washing with soap and water is a big one, plus sneezing into your elbow to stop any spray. Unfortunately I still too often see people in the restroom who use the toilet or urinal and simply head out the door without washing their hands. I think this is common enough that I see a lot of trash receptacles near the door, so you can use the paper towel to open the door and still discard it.
        We also have antibiotics that were unavailable in 1918, and since most deaths from influenza are due to secondary infections like pneumonia, these can help a lot.

        The 1918 pandemic was called the “Spanish Flu” because Spain was neutral during WWI. News of the outbreak was suppressed in the U.S. and the U.K. But the earliest reports of the outbreak were from Fort Riley, Kansas and not Spain.

        I understand that it came to be called the Spanish flu, primarily because the pandemic received greater press attention after it moved from France to Spain in November 1918 and the fact that Spain was not involved in the war so it did not impose wartime censorship.

        As I recall, Barry hypothesized that the government may have been experimenting with flu strains and vaccinations.

        That may be true; but, the sanitary conditions of trench warfare were just a petri dish for spreading disease, and the lack of antibiotics allowed other infections the flourish.
        Getting your vaccinations, washing your hands, and being able to hunker down and not mingle with large crowds should I think be a great help. I personally can’t remember the last time I had the flu and pandemic simply doesn’t scare me; but, perhaps should scare some in large cities or have no vaccinations.

  6. **What prepping projects are you looking forward to tackling this spring?

    I can’t wait to plant my garden. I’m also wanting to get rid of stuff I no longer use, organize my basement, and further organize a couple of spare rooms upstairs.

    I’m also looking forward to getting into my bee hives. I should be able to make some splits. I may buy a nuc or two.

    **Have you started seeds yet? What kind and why?
    I should have, but not yet. I will be starting my tomatoes this week, hopefully. If I don’t, I will get plants from a local supplier.

    **Have you used kaolin clay or make your own quick clotting bandages?
    No and no.

    **How did you prep this week?

    PRAISE GOD! THE TWO-YEAR-OLD DOESN’T HAVE CANCER! THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PRAYED FOR LITTLE A.
    -LGD puppy is doing well. He spends nearly every moment with the goats.
    -Beef is at the packing house and will be ready to pick up the middle of March.
    -I added a little to the stockpile. (Slow and steady wins the race.)
    -Had active shooter training at work. (I’m a teacher.) I’m glad they put a lot of time teaching about being prepared to give aide to injured. After talking to my boss, he promised to get kits. This never happened. Maybe hearing someone else say it will get the job done.
    -Did my twice yearly check of FAKs. I have made a list of needed supplies.
    -Continuing to make plans for our two week long camping trip. Putting a lot of thought and planning into packs for our hikes (some as long as 7-9 miles).

    **WHAT’S YOUR OPINION OF RAT TOURNIQUETS? THE LOCAL LEOs RECOMMEND THEM OVER THE CAT.

    **I’M WANTING TO MAKE SOAP AND LOTION FROM MY GOATS’ MILK. THERE ARE LOTS OF RECIPES ONLINE. DOES ANYONE HAVE TRIED-AND-TRUE RECIPES THAT YOU USE? I PREFER THOSE THAT HAVE INGREDIENTS THAT CAN BE BOUGHT AT THE GROCERY STORE, NOT THOSE THAT I WILL HAVE TO BUY SOAPMAKING SUPPLIES.

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

    1. PG,

      I am very happy the baby does not have cancer. The power of prayer.

      RAT tourniquet. I have never used one. I prefer the CAT and the SWAT-T. The CAT is good for adults, particularly well-muscled adults, but not so great for skinny people and kids. The SWAT-T works better for those folks.

    2. Prepared Grammy,

      Had active shooter training at work. (I’m a teacher.) I’m glad they put a lot of time teaching about being prepared to give aide to injured.

      Does this include training and arming any of the teachers or staff? Here in Ohio there are programs that have been doing this. First aid and trauma training is good for anyone to know; but, preventing or stopping the injuries is IMHO a much better use of time. The old maxim states ”An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” and I fully think this is a better solution.

      1. OP,
        I live in Illinois, so I’ll let you answer your own question as to whether we can legally have a firearm in a school, even with CC. However, the local LEOs don’t agree with the Cook County dictating politicians.

        1. Prepared Grammy,
          I live in Illinois, so I’ll let you answer your own question as to whether we can legally have a firearm in a school, even with CC. However, the local LEOs don’t agree with the Cook County dictating politicians.

          Ah!!! I understand; but, think your answer could have been shorter as:
          “I live in Illinois, so I’ll let you answer your own question as to whether we can legally have a firearm” Period!!!
          I marvel at people who have the courage or stupidity to visit certain countries like Venezuela or Iran; but, come to think of it, we have some states, like yours that IMHO fall into the same category.

          1. I live in the extreme southern part of the state, my family has lived here for generations, and my kids and grandkids are here. There are many of us working to change things here.

          2. Prepared Grammy,

            I live in the extreme southern part of the state, my family has lived here for generations, and my kids and grandkids are here.

            I understand and don’t mean any disrespect. It’s just that I try and avoid certain jurisdictions when I can. I have been to Chicago a few times and traversed Illinois when traveling cross country; but, since I normally carry a firearm and other things on my person, I feel nearly naked in some places, that includes visiting my DD who lives in the Boston area.

            There are many of us working to change things here.

            I don’t know if you r problem is in Springfield or the large liberal voting blocks in Chicago, where their attempts a gun control have been very effective, LOL. BUT I wish you luck.

  7. Puppy chased another cat out of his backyard. This was one of the biggest cats I have ever seen, but it went over a fence up up a tree about 40 feet up. Puppy just kept jumping at the 6 foot fence hitting the top and almost getting over it.

    Had had a productive week even with all of the rain. Prayers for all hit by the tornadoes.

    Bought 2 #10 cans one hamburger, one chicken Alfredo.
    Bought a 36 inch Sam splint.
    Bought 38 SPL ammunition defensive and practice.
    Bought 2 4 packs of AA rechargeable batteries
    Bought 3 more ammunition cans.
    Bought vodka X2, Scotch 15 year old, beer.
    Put a trauma kit and flashlight in the Jeep.worked

    Worked out in the gym.
    Played with puppy.
    Took puppy for a walk.
    Sharpened more knives.
    Found some 30-06 and 300WM that I didn’t know I had.
    Charged batteries.
    Filled all freezers full of meat. Packed !!!!

    1. What prepping projects are you looking forward to tackling this spring?

    2. Have you started seeds yet? What kind and why?
    3. Have you used kaolin clay or make your own quick clotting bandages?

    1. Getting a bugout trailer Jeep rated. Freeze drying more food. Bomb shelter or a tornado shelter.

    2. Just herbs and celery.

    3. No, but use Cayenne pepper…..

    Thor’s questions,

    1. Are you worried about what’s going on in the world and the USA?

    2. Are you worried about the Solar minimum?

    3. Are you ready?

    1. 1 same stuff all the time, i rarelly other to read the news anymore, in truth despite all the press very little of it has any impact on anything other than to distract and make people excited about nothing.

      2 never heard the term solar minimum

      3 i could bar the gates to my farm and ignore the outside world for years, i would just go nuts from boredom (not only can i lock the gate, i have mounting brackets on the inside that would allow me to lock a 2×6 into place reinforcing the gate, which itself is reinfvorced to make it a 4×6, i only did this so i can “bar the gates”)

    2. Thor’s questions,
      1. Are you worried about what’s going on in the world and the USA?
      Not at all.
      2. Are you worried about the Solar minimum?
      No. The minimum & maximum are an 11 year cycle that have repeated pretty much forever with the solar minimum as the period of least solar activity in the solar cycle. During this time, sunspot and solar flare activity diminishes, and often does not occur for days at a time. The only prediction I’m hearing is a comparison to the Maunder minimum and the Little Ice Age. The only direct effect on me could be lower than average HF propagation and perhaps using a bit more wood for the winter heating. I read (actually listened) to ”Dark Winter: How the Sun Is Causing a 30-Year Cold Spell” by John Casey. If his predictions come true, it will blow a huge whole in the Global Warming crowd, which is why I suspect they dropped global warming for global climate change
      3. Are you ready?
      I was born ready and have been running scared and preparing ever since. The question is not “are you paranoid”; but, “are you paranoid enough.” I think I am, LOL.

  8. My plan this year was to get my home in good repair before hot weather, to late. Almost everyday for the last two weeks has broke the heat record, Temperatures in the mid to high eighties. This was the hottest February on record for the area, breaking the record set…last year. Looks like we need to start prepping for two things, climate change, and what the Democrats are going to do to try and stop it.

    At least the cold will get get down here for a few days, I’m going to have to hit it hard. I did get some other things done or at least started. I need my brother’s tractor to disc and level the 1/2 acre I cleared off last year. Unfortunately being 48 years old it has a few problems, worse is one of the lift arms broke. It has telescoping arms that you can slide out 8 inches to help hook up rear mounted equipment. The telescoping part has a hole about 10 inches in that a spring loaded pin fits in so after getting hooked up you back up and the pin drops into the hole. The arm broke at that hole. This as a very popular make (John Deere 3020) so parts are easy to get but the lower two thirds of that arm are is wedged with dirt and rust inside the outside arm. Two hours of pounding yesterday got us nowhere. We poured rust buster and some transmission fluid into the outside arm. Maybe it will loosen up by tomorrow.

    I also got some seeds started, several different tomato varieties, bell and banana peppers, some eggplant for my wife, I don’t eat it, that stuff is nasty. Fifty strawberry plants I put into pots and some herbs.

    I don’t do anything with clay.

  9. I earned my red decided belt last week. That means in two months I can test for my black belt! I am down 11 pounds on the keto diet. Today I reached my goal–165. (I am 5’9″ with a good build, so 165-160 is a good weight for me.)

    My dh and I are preparing for Lent. We are Catholic. I am prepping non-meat meals for Ash Wednesday and each Friday during Lent. I have come to see that I need to cut some people out of my life. I live in a very liberal area and I have allowed myself to associate with (be friends with) people who denigrate prayer, religion and God. I am totally okay with letting people have their own views. I have just started to reject people who condemn my values. It’s like liberals unthinkingly support radical Islam in the name of freedom but condemn Americans who observe Lent.

    1. Good for you on several front! You inspire me on the weight loss! Good on not allowing other people to denigrate prayer, Bible reading or other aspects of spiritual life, because we have been too quiet, too tolerant for too long, now it’s coming home to bite us in the rear. Don’t back down. Younger believers will look to you as an example of how to love others, but love God more. You go, girl!

    2. Bam Bam,

      I was brought up Catholic, but now I just consider myself a Christian. Too many bad things going on in the Roman Catholic Church to make me happy. However, having been exposed to many different religions in my life, I have learned to let people believe what they want as long as they don’t force me to believe what they do or hurt other people as a tenet of their belief . As a result, Islam is an exception to my live and let live philosophy. .

      1. Zulu 3-6,

        However, having been exposed to many different religions in my life, I have learned to let people believe what they want as long as they don’t force me to believe what they do or hurt other people as a tenet of their belief . As a result, Islam is an exception to my live and let live philosophy.

        I think we would pretty much agree. While I have met a few Muslims who were decent enough people, when we see freshman legislators in congress saying hateful things, those “good” Muslims have a real P.R. problem, and like Bam Bam I don’t understand why the liberals always seem to defend their indefensible acts.
        I tend to live by the Taoist philosophy where you strive for the 3 treasures of “Compassion, Frugality, and Humility” with my basic moral compass set hard as a child in a Presbyterian upbringing and trying to live day to day using the rules of “Do as you will but harm none”.
        As I age it also helps to try and be happy each day that you get up and stand again on your own 2 feet without falling on your face or using a walker.
        A person on another group I haunt on occasion had an interesting perspective on things like going to a job. If you look at your situation compared to others and think that you “Get” to go to the job or do other things like chores, instead of you ”Have” to do those things, it can give you a different perspective on life. It’s rather appropriate for me today (3/4/19), since this is the 4th anniversary of the loss of my best friend, who would have turned 64 in June. He had the same condition as BillyT; but, didn’t survive long enough for a transplant, although he was on the list.
        He is still missed.

    3. Bam Bam,

      I earned my red decided belt last week. That means in two months I can test for my black belt!

      Congratulations. I know that my Japanese / Okinawan style martial arts vary in their ranks and testing from your Korean style; but, that is still impressive and a lot of hard work.

      I am down 11 pounds on the keto diet. Today I reached my goal–165. (I am 5’9″ with a good build, so 165-160 is a good weight for me.)

      I’m 5’ 6” and weigh in @ 150 pounds which gives us both about the same BMI, if you trust that number, LOL. I lost weight on the Atkins version of the low carb diet; but, really lost the weight and kept it off by counting calories and changing my lifestyle and eating habits. The only downside is that I now don’t really save any money eating at a buffet over just ordering off the menu.

      I have come to see that I need to cut some people out of my life. I live in a very liberal area and I have allowed myself to associate with (be friends with) people who denigrate prayer, religion and God.

      I would have thought that teaching at the college level you would have realized this long ago; but, then again I do have about 30 years on you, and probably had the same realizations at some point.
      Your problem in that community is that you worship the wrong thing. Climate change for instance is one of their religions, since they often talk about Belief and Denial, both terms of religion and not of science. Their sacraments often involve a woman’s right to choose; but, I did hear one pundit discuss how they determine viability. Once born, grown, and registered as a democrat, any fetus becomes viable; but, often not until that event occurs. Nuff’ said.

      I am totally okay with letting people have their own views. I have just started to reject people who condemn my values. It’s like liberals unthinkingly support radical Islam in the name of freedom but condemn Americans who observe Lent.

      I agree with you here and have friends of all religious persuasions and sometimes none at all, with the one common denominator being that they are good honest, ethical, moral people who are not judgmental except on bad actions.
      I don’t mind discussing religion openly as long as you are not trying to convert me so desperately that you’ll decapitate me for failure to convert.
      While in college I took a comparative religion class where we not only studied; but, visited other services and beyond the dogma, most religions of the world are attempting the same thing.

    4. Congrats on the red belt. I’m inspired by your progress and looked for training in my area. No luck yet within reasonable driving distanace.

    5. Bam, just remember Protein !!! Muscle weighs more then fat as it is more dense.

      Congratulations on the next level of belt and weight loss.

      I am 6’1″ and weigh in at 270. I need to get to 250 and just started working out again.

      I have an awesome gym with a heavy bag, speed bag made by tec- knockout ,ab-machine, weight bench, exercise bike, treadmill, stair stepper, dip station, push up station, sit-up station, pull up station and a pro-force leg stretcher. Cool huh ? !!! My Dojo……

      1. Thor,

        My dh is 5’11” and weighs 259 (down from 272). He is trying to get down to 220. He has a ways to go. But he is making steady progress and our version of keto is sustainable. He can’t work out right now because of injuries. The big thing is getting our health markers on track. He has metabolic syndrome. I am working on getting my LDL and triglycerides into the normal range.

        Congratulations on getting back into the gym. That’s a huge life decision.

    6. Congratulations Bam. While it is not always easy, for me to release people from my inner circle, I’ve had to do that a couple of times for some of the same reasons you stated. I respect you that you are able to discern and do what is best for you!

  10. Congrats on the red belt. I’m inspired by your progress and looked for training in my area. No luck yet within reasonable driving distanace.

  11. Question One: Major spring project here is dirt work to make and reestablish drainage in the pens and pasture area.
    Two: All I’ve planted so far is potatoes.
    Three: I have a small amount of kaolin clay, but not used it for anything yet. Forgot it was there until I reorganized that area couple of weeks ago.
    Made a Costco run and tried the precooked frozen hamburger patties, which were surprisingly good. My stash of unread books was dwindling. A friend purged his collection and surprised me with four boxes. Will be baking him a pie or cookies this week.
    I bought a Lodge small skillet and flat pan. The seller was a trail ride cook for many years and I had a good time hearing his stories. His wife may publish a collection of stories and recipes. I hope so.
    A locally owned grocery store went out of business, so was able to get a wide variety of goods for 40-60 percent off, including #10 cans of corn and pineapple which I will dehydrate. It was established over 50 years ago and I hated to see it go. Ductless HVAC is now installed in the workshop. When the window units were running, I couldn’t hear when someone drove in the driveway, or see out very well. I can now open the windows for cross breezes. In response to mention of comfort food last week, I upped my stock of chocolate chips and Coronado goat milk caramel sauce.
    I am excited that my son made an offer on a house about 20 minutes from here (vs. 2 hours). At present, negotiating a few details.
    Thor’s Questions:
    1. Worried? It wouldn’t do any good.
    2. Not worried unless global powers decide it needs “fixing”.
    3. Impossible to be 100% ready, but I am taking more time to enjoy life and maintain current level.

  12. picked up a few packs of seeds, last week. i am no where close to enough. i know i need to find a seed vault sometime on sale, but it ‘s been tight , we will pick up a few flats of peppers an d maters at the local amish auction.

    i did mange to sell a few calves today for a fair and possibly a few more in a few days.maybe spring is coming and people will start looking for feeder calves again.

    1 i sold last week is living in the downtown of our county seat, in the upper ends HOA. it has a heated 2 door garage , for a pen . then have 2 jersy calves for pen mates. i asked if the neighbors knew, they had fair calves, inside city limits. they said yes, my kids walk them around in the yard everyday, on a leash. their neighbors probably think they are ugly pugs , the kids are walking.
    just happy to subvert th elocal HOA, every chance i can.

  13. I was away at a conference for most of last week, so not much in the way of prepping. Still trying to eat down our food stash in preparation for listing the house for sale this spring. Frankly, I make a better beef stew than Dinty Moore does, but we could survive on it in a pinch (with the addition of a good glug of red wine and some extra carrots to up the veg intake).

    Did some decluttering in the kitchen over the weekend, still have a few things in the living room to attend to. Our washing machine has lost its mind, and it’s 15 years old so no replacement parts are available, so we bit the bullet and bought a new one this weekend, to be delivered and set up Wednesday. So I didn’t get any laundry done this weekend, but the Big Ice Storm of 1998 taught me to keep a 3-week supply of clean underwear on hand (8 days without power).

    Not planning any veggie plantings this spring, I’m not even going to renew my farm share this year. Prepping for the spring consists mostly of continuing to clean out and declutter so we can stage the house for sale, part of which involves sprucing up the front and back flower beds.

    I think we’ve come to a decision not to buy a travel trailer for our retirement years. I came across a series of articles by a guy who lives in a TT and was ranting about the poor quality of most of the TTs on the market these days, now that two companies, Thor and Forest River, own 80% of the brands. All they’re doing is churning out assembly-line junk and telling you to take it up with the dealer when things go wrong. If we were to pay $50K for a TT, that would translate to 500 hotel nights at $100 per – plus free nights with my Marriott loyalty points, plus not having to maintain a TT and put wear and tear on a tow vehicle. DH’s parents went around the country twice in a TT after his dad retired in the ’70s. So I think that’s why he’s been so enamored of the idea, but I think I’ve talked him off the ledge. We both like our creature comforts, and could look for cheaper lodging options, like renting a TT at a campground for a few nights, signing up for a dog-sitting service that gives free lodging, carrying some cooking supplies with us, etc. So we’ll see how it all works out.

    Keep on keepin’ on, all.

    1. MaineBrain,

      Will you share your recipe for beef stew? I made my first batch last month and it was excellent! I love hearing how others make stuff.

      1. Bam Bam,

        Will you share your recipe for beef stew? I made my first batch last month and it was excellent! I love hearing how others make stuff.

        While I’m not MaineBrain I can tell you how we do ours; but, this recipe never quite turns out the same, since it’s all mixed ”To Taste” and we don’t measure much of anything.
        When we purchased our half beef last year, we had some of the “scrap” that would have been ground up packaged as “stew beef”. We’ll often thaw that out and grind it ourselves to make fresh hamburger or to use with the new Jerky Gun, so we always have chunked up “stew beef” on hand, needing only to thaw it.
        Start with a bit of your favorite oil in a pot, heat it up and add the beef. Keep turning it until it’s all browned, and then remove to a bowl. Some people like to start with flour and spices to coat the beef first; but, we prefer the plain beef.
        To the remaining beef flavored oil, add a bit of vinegar and / or some red wine and keep stirring until everything is mixed well. Next add some beef broth, , either commercial or bone broth you’ve made previously along with the seared beef and any hard vegetables, like carrots and bring to a boil, then drop to a simmer. You may also add pepper, bay leaves, or other spices / flavorings as you see fit. Check the carrots until they start getting soft at which point you can add chopped onions, garlic, and peeled chummed potatoes, and allow to simmer.
        I occasionally cook stir fry with a wok, and the process is similar. Sear the meat, start with the hard vegetables, adding the softer vegetables as you continue, and finally adding the meat back in and making the sauce.
        As you cook the stew, taste it occasionally and add other items to suit your taste. We don’t generally use hot spicy or black pepper.
        Depending on your own ideas of beef stew, you may also add frozen or canned (drained) corn, peas, or other things, or flour or flour and butter rue to make the stew thicker.

      2. Happy to share, BamBam. A beef stew is a braise (low and slow cooing in liquid), so it doesn’t really matter what kind of beef you use- chuck is good and flavorful – I’ve used sirloin, round, whatever. Always best made a day ahead and left to marinate the flavors together. I sauté the beef in a little fat (usually a neutral oil like safflower), then put in a good glug of red wine and let it simmer down. Add diced potatoes, carrots, some chopped onions for flavor, a dash of Worcestershire, some beef stock, let it all simmer until the vegs are cooked. Mix up 1/4 cup of flour with 1/4 cup of water, add it in gradually to thicken. Must let it boil after to get rid of the flour taste. Stir while it’s boiling so it doesn’t stick. It’s good right after cooking, but it seems to get better after it sits for a day (in the fridge, of course). There’s just some kind of “bottom” flavor missing from Dinty Moore – the pan crunchies from sautéing? Sorry I can’t be exact with ingredients, it’s one of those “fly by your pants” recipes, though I’m sure you can find exact recipes on the web (pound of beef, 2 cups of chopped potatoes, etc.)

    2. MaineBrain,

      Still trying to eat down our food stash in preparation for listing the house for sale this spring.

      Once you sell the house and do some traveling, have you determined where you might be headed? I’ve been to Maine and the coastal areas are pretty to visit; but, even I don’t like that much cold weather.

      Frankly, I make a better beef stew than Dinty Moore does, but we could survive on it in a pinch (with the addition of a good glug of red wine and some extra carrots to up the veg intake).

      We don’t do much on the wine; but, if you can make anything from scratch, it’s always better than canned. Being retired we do a lot of “from scratch” cooking which is less expensive, healthier, tastes better, and quite honestly doesn’t take all that much extra time once you’re organized.

      Our washing machine has lost its mind, and it’s 15 years old so no replacement parts are available, so we bit the bullet and bought a new one this weekend, to be delivered and set up Wednesday.

      We’ve been living here for 35 years and are on our 3rd washing machine. The first one my wife brought into our marriage and each one seems to last less time. We have a good local company that can still do repairs, sometimes with parts salvaged from other machines; but, he told us that the new machines don’t generally last more than 10 years, where the ones from the 70’s & 80’s could often go 25-30 years, so new equipment seems to need to just be part of the long term budgeting

      the Big Ice Storm of 1998 taught me to keep a 3-week supply of clean underwear on hand (8 days without power).

      We’ve never gone more than about 40 hours without power; but, still keep a good supply of clean clothing on hand, generally only throwing things out when they are really ragged, since often the threadbare items are good for wearing one last time doing the really dirty jobs on the farm. Our power is managed by a cooperative that seems to have a much better record than the larger companies, and we get a patronage dividend once per year that often covers a months bill or more.

      I think we’ve come to a decision not to buy a travel trailer for our retirement years. I came across a series of articles by a guy who lives in a TT and was ranting about the poor quality of most of the TTs on the market these days

      The friends I know who travel either spend big bucks on a fifth wheel or just use an RV; but, I don’t know if they tow another vehicle or use bicycles or Uber.

      If we were to pay $50K for a TT, that would translate to 500 hotel nights at $100 per – plus free nights with my Marriott loyalty points, plus not having to maintain a TT and put wear and tear on a tow vehicle.

      You also don’t have to find a place to setup the TT plus the time to do it. Financially this makes sense to me, and also gives you a bit more freedom on where you go and how long you stay.
      I did all of my traveling in my 20’s by vehicle tent camping before I was married. Combined with places I was sent for work, I managed to see all of the lower 48, visiting Hawaii with the DW & DD when my kid sister was stationed there. She now lives & works in Key West, so we’ll be making a trip there sometime late summer or early fall,

      1. TOP, the plan is to sell out house in Maine and buy a house in tax-free New Hampshire. I’m pretty “librul” but Maine is getting too much even for me. Plus, our family is in that area, about two hours away from where we are now. We hope to take enough equity out of our house to buy another house outright and live mortgage-free in retirement. That will free up $1500/mo that we can put toward travel. Hope to spend winter months in warm places – Playa del Carmen, Mexico, the south of Spain, wherever the wanderlust takes us.

  14. Biggest prep this week was keeping leaves cleared out of the pasture swale so they wouldn’t clog the culvert again and cause major overflows. We have had a record-breaking 14+ inches of rain (I think it’s 14.89 ) inches of rain since January, and about 11 of that was in Feb alone! Nearly a years worth in the first two months. Hmmm. Something tells me that’s not natural. Just sayin’. Also got the pond outflow cleared of weeds and dead trees and muck, so it brought the pond level down a foot, thereby preventing another overflow like last week. The pond is 30 years old and this was a first. Keeping critters fed and not losing weight was a biggie too. The pasture is naked( it’s shale with a very thin topsoil layer, easily washed away and hard to replace) so we have to supplement. I will be glad when it is dry enough to get the garden ready. Made 2 loaves of bread again, so it is official, we no longer have to buy store bread. I’m getting better at gauging how much we use, so it doesn’t go bad. We don’t eat bread pudding.lol . Next is pie crust. If I get that down we are in high cotton, cuz I have all manner of homecanned fruit to make pies out of.
    What prepping projects are you looking forward to tackling this spring? The master bath. It’s original to the house, and the tub is beginning to crack(fiberglass). It will be replaced with a 48×36 shower, with new fixtures, and we will replace the rose colored(remember that, ladies?) sinks and countertop (8 ft long,btw) with a custom made white one and new fixtures, then remove the floor tiles and subfloor(it’s OSB and damaged) replacing it with plywood, hardiboard and new tiles. We will also use tile for the baseboard. Can’t wait to get started! Should take around three weeks, doing it ourselves.
    Have you started seeds yet? What kind and why? No, cuz my greenhouse isn’t up yet, and I haven’t heard back from the gal who wants to work in a local school greenhouse. I can start my seeds there.
    Have you used kaolin clay or make your own quick clotting bandages? No, I bought what I have now, and it’s in the FAK.
    How did you prep this week? See above.

  15. Baby catcher… there is a poured pie crust that is put in bottom of pan and as it cooks it rises to surface thru the pie filling. It is called a lazy mans pie…can be made with any fruit filling mix you prefer. I remember it had basic things flour, sugar, butter.. and leavening ingredients for the amount..of flour.. everything was one…one cup flour and sugar and one stick of butter. we always added vanilla.an amount of milk was added to make a pancake like batter. put in bottom of lightly greased pan, pour fruit mixture on top of poured crust evenly… bake at 350 degrees until crust rises to top .Think it was 20-30 min… can lightly butter top and sprinkle with sugar or sugar and cinnamon. if desired.

    Grammy Prepper. Great news on “Little A”
    Zulu good call on those preps. two thumbs up.!

    Preps….dehydrated ground beef, 2.5 gallons of w/c corn, 5lbs carrots. Loaded dehydrator today.. more in process…carrots, broccoli , basil,summer squash… purchased a” lot” of pork for sausage making this week… Picked up a large gift of assorted Veggies.Shared excess of things with others in need… continued to rotate canned goods and place things in long term storage from commercially canned. Cleaned out another lot of canning jars. in prep for meat refills. I also worked on pantry organization and rotation. developed plan for removing many commercially canned items .transferring to LTS.
    Continued to fight sinus/allergy issues.
    Took young Pup to his litter mate’s house to play and socialize…They both were pretty tired and did not have trouble sleeping that night. I Got run over by 2 -7 month old – 40 lb puppies, ran sideways into both legs from behind… result was 2 full days in walking boot..for ankle injury., and continuing to wrap daily with ace wrap.. Ankle is still weak.Has been injured several times. Neither of us have felt well for several days..so playing “catch up” with most things. Computer was modified and still has issues., but is useable.
    Weather has been frigid.. 17-21 for last two nights- depending on who one listens to., another night of it. sunshine return tomoro Huge rainfall totals here for Feb also..in one 7 day period we received more than 9 inches..last 2 days of the month received 3 inches. March has started out same way.Got 2.5 inches fri and sat.) we are not flooding but chickens are ready to have their flippers installed..Some county roads were closed but no known injuries or deaths here. some friends have a cabin on Tn river near Savannah… they are flooded out.. others only top of their roof is visible… other places 3 miles from lake are receiving propane tanks as gifts from flooding..
    Hens are laying well.Love the Americana and the Columbian Wyandot so far. Have another roo to cull.( Pecked at DH 2 days in a row- was not smart thing to do)
    Now for the other questions…. Projects for spring. More than we can do. finish fencing ,build storage building, build feed bin shelter, build at least 2 raised beds… add more in ground planting areas using hilling and amending of target spots for specific additions..
    . increase and change grow pots. to self watering ones…. Here are ones I am going to convert to. Instructions call for all water added to be fertilizer water and he gives full instructions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuqYmRmJrHo&t=398s . He uses salvage items… molasses tubs,w/ only one hole placed up on the side 5 inches…. drain line 6″ with slits, covered w/landscape fabric and one inch pvc.(fill tube) Info from his vids…is:. Leon is in Oklahoma and has been building greenhouses for 56 years… and these pots for 7 + years. I am also going to try one or two of hydroponics.( look at his cucumber video.)The set it and forget it… is right up my alley to set a system up and go talk to plants, pick the crops..
    .. I should have gotten tomato and pepper seed in but have not yet.Is not too late that is a project for what remains of this week.There are no cheap plants here and I want some specific ones. so I gotta get off my duff.My 2 deep grow beds are amended and ready. I have potatoes ready to go in but has rained so much could not even plant in them.I also have several kinds of squash to plant both summer and winter. varieties. may direct seed those and the cukes. We will have to install trellis ‘ for all the climbers. ….so another project.Also have to increase the chicken run to a new uncovered area/ will have wire lid. Got rid of the Polish hens and good Yard roo. Young couple said they desired and I made them an offer they could not refuse.
    I ordered and received seed , have several new things i will try this year. much of it is climbing. Christmas pole limas, and Chinese red noodle beans, Louisiana velvet okra are the things I m most excited about. will also plant some Of another variety Pole green bean… I have 2 or three…don’t know which one.and some contender string beans.we are between 5-8 weeks from last frost. Hoping for an early spring. but looks like it will be like last year so far. with sudden very cold temps.( plum tree was in full blossom before these 3 days of 16-20 degree nights. These very cold temps has put a damper on my spring fever. I have had basil growing all winter in pot in bedroom window. and have picked it several times.cut plants back for increasing branches on it today.
    have not used any of the common clays for health things except as Kaopectate. under winter conditions… There are several clays and their uses are varied. We have a red clay here and i have used it to pull edema out of a sting..after applications of plantain tincture- Q 30 seconds over 10 minutes: usually gives relief from intense pain of the red wasp sting. I am very sensitive to , but not anaphylactic, to them yet. . often clay pack ..ie allowing it to become dried… will help with removing stinger…is good to put on bruised and swollen ankles as well. I used ice pack this time.
    Thors questions… am i ready.?. not yet but better than last month…solar minimum./ pole shift issues. I can not change it. What it does./It does. I am searching for ways I can grow more of our food with less physical input..as we grow older and abilities change and our tolerances narrow. I am not WORRIED about the play….it is all smoke and mirrors. If it is on national news, it is probably a half truth at best, and a outright lie otherwise… I have hope for our Republic to be restored and the bums who wish to overthrow the laws of our land to be landed in a place of detention…for the crimes they have committed against the people of this land. Heard there was advertisement for crisis actors in Virginia, but was second hand and i did not get dates of event…
    Keep on Keeping on. what we do this week is one more thing off the “do now” list.

  16. we’re waiting ona bid at the away farm. it’s just to far away to much with my parents aging and the poor crop and livestock commodities. hopefully i can. i should be able toget enough, toget out of debt and get a cash infusion. to be able to weather the storm and pick up something closer after teh collapse/

    1. Black, and others with aging parents .. there is a news flash… we are all right behind them. By now most of us are too old to die Young. LOL
      We are trying to get things set up for easy…or easier..everything. from gardening, animals, personal care, whole house…including wider doors and handicapped shower, one lower w/c assessible sink. It takes time and effort in addition to $$ to set these things up. Debt? nada, but with low $$ , does not make it easier.
      Getting and maintaining extra income streams is preferable. Life/Knowledge/ skills you have, bees, honey are all possible avenues to get you there.
      Hang in there. You will find the right property when the time comes.

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