What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 37: Mar 24th – Mar 30rd 2019

prep week 37 featured

Hello, Pack. It has been a busy week here on our survival homesteading retreat. It is finally feeling like spring, at least early spring, on a regular basis. We made it through the winter with firewood to spare, but an empty shed got too close for comfort. Our livestock sure is glad to be able to get out and roam on solid ground – no mud or ice in days!

We heat basically entirely with wood. A furnace was installed in this hunting lodge we turned into a home shortly before we purchased it. The seller was told it had to have one when prepping to sell. It was turned on once to test it after Terry had it put in and once by us to do the same thing.

Our home has wall mount gas heaters in two rooms, and a large wood stove in the main living area. We worked about $17,000 of used farm equipment into the purchase price, including a second wood stove.

The second stove will go into the attached garage, so the space is far less miserable to work in during the winter months and so the space can be used as living quarters during a SHTF event.

We have propane delivered twice a year, and came through the winter with about 50% of the fuel still left in our large tank. Now, we are already working on filling the wood shed again for next winter.

We have a multitude of trees that were downed when loggers were doing some select cutting almost two years ago as they made their way through our woods to the marked trees.

Our two new tribe members, 20 somethings that are friends of our daughter, have been tasked with the chore. The young men grew up country and have copious amounts of useful skills for their age. One is a welder by trade, hobby mechanic, hunts, fishes, and can run a tractor and backhoe. The other young man is a mechanic by trade, can run a tractor, hunts, and fishes. Both are a good addition to our group and we are happy to have them.

I am getting ready to teach two homesteading workshops to a large group of homeschooled children from our region. I was thrilled to be welcomed into their group and am looking forward to facilitating the hands-on training. As a former educator from a long line of public school teachers, school administrators, and school board members, I could not have been more excited, proud, and relieved when our daughter decided to homeschool her brood of three…and getting to help with their learning journey.

I have been working on a complete homeschool curriculum for self-reliant families for about two years now. It is basically a blending of Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, and a bit of unschooling. The kiddos will never, ever be forced to sit down and be bored or let unfulfilled by being force-fed information via textbooks. This book is a total passion project, more so than any other book that I have thoroughly enjoyed writing.

Our indoor grocery growing operations is thriving. Every seed and dwarf tree are growing well. The dwarf Moringa seeds are being fussed over the most as I eagerly await their signs of life – while trying not to overwater everything.

I tend to have issues with overwatering. I now keep a squirt bottle on the plant tables so when I can no longer fight my urge to water something I don’t do any real damage to the crops.

My beloved woke up with gout this morning. It came on in the middle of the night without any warning. It has been at least four years since he was stricken with gout – too many hot dogs and bologna for lunch again, I guess.

Gout sure seems painful. When his cousin had it a couple of years ago, he wound up on crutches. As painful and annoying as gout can be now, it could be deadly during a long-term disaster. If you cannot walk or are forced onto crutches, you cannot adequately defend yourself, tend to the garden, hunt, bring in firewood or water.

So, I have Bobby downing cherry juice and then a mixture of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, turmeric, and ginger. Hopefully he will be feeling at least nearly back to himself in a few days.

This Week’s Questions

  1. How do you heat your home now, and are how are you preparing to do so during a long-term disaster? For you folks in Florida and other hot climates, how do you plan to weather intense heat during a SHTF event?
  2. Do you homeschool, wish you had, or hope your adult children do? Why or why not?
  3. Have you ever struggled with gout? How do you treat it or plan to treat it without the aid of modern medicine during an apocalypse?

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 →

166 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 37: Mar 24th – Mar 30rd 2019

  1. 1. How do you heat your home now, and are how are you preparing to do so during a long-term disaster? For you folks in Florida and other hot climates, how do you plan to weather intense heat during a SHTF event?
    We heat with a gas furnace, and will be installing a whole-home LP generator within the next few weeks.
    2. Do you homeschool, wish you had, or hope your adult children do? Why or why not?
    I teach in a public school and will retire in May. I fully support those who homeschool.
    3. Have you ever struggled with gout? How do you treat it or plan to treat it without the aid of modern medicine during an apocalypse?
    Never had it, thankfully.

    This week:

    *Animals:
    -Cleaned out two henhouses, cleaned and stored all heated waterers.
    -Kids are all doing well after disbudding and banding.

    *Garden:
    -My beets are up!
    -Bought cabbage plants. Will plant in a couple of days.
    .

    *Added a little to the stockpile: OTC meds, vitamins/supplements,

    *Miscellaneous:
    -Started a sourdough starter. I’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time. It’s doing well, and I made pretzels this week. They didn’t look store-bought, but they tasted great! DIL and I especially liked the cinnamon and sugar ones. I’m baking my first loaf of bread from it today. I offered starter to coworkers, but no one wants any. They said they want me to bring bread and pretzels and they will eat it, but it’s too much work for them to make. Can you say “little red hen?” I will do it by myself, and I will eat it by myself.

    Thor does it. I’m going to do it too. Grammy’s Questions:
    1. Do you have SIMPLE soap recipes that you’ve found to work that you’re willing to share with me? I’m looking for something using ingredients from the grocery store/homestead, not one that I need to order things to make. (I have goats milk and honey, and would love to use the milk in my soaps and/or lotions. Pinterest has a lot, but I want some that work.)

    2. For those of you who homestead, how do you manage your outdoor and indoor chores? I find it difficult to keep a clean house, garden, can/freeze, and care for the animals. Maybe I’m too hard on myself. Maybe I spend too much time doing unimportant things.

    3. Has anyone had experience with a Henry Milker? I have a Saanen goat with very small teats, and someone recommended I get one to help with milking her. Should I get one or sell her?

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

    1. Hi, Prepared Grammy! I own Nigerian Dwarf goats, so I’m well-acquainted with small teats. I grab up into the udder as far as possible, pinch off the top of the teat between my thumb and index finger, then use my middle finger to express the milk by pressing the teat into the palm of my hand. I can milk out a quart of milk from one of my girls in less than 5 minutes that way. Hope it helps.

      The easiest soap recipe is called the Walmart recipe because the stuff can be purchased at Walmart.
      14 ounces of lard
      8 ounces of coconut oil
      8 ounces of olive oil
      2 ounces of castor oil
      4.4 ounces of Lye
      10 ounces of frozen goat’s milk

      You can add oatmeal and honey to the mixture before pouring…makes a lovely exfoliation bar.
      Heat the lard and oils in a stainless steel pot. Pull from the stove and let cool. (I put the pot in an iceboater bath to speed things up)
      When the oils are under 100 degrees….
      In a large plastic bowl, put the frozen milk and slowly add the lye, pressing it into the frozen milk with a stainless steel spoon. The milk will start to melt. Keep adding the lye and stirring, melting the milk. When all milk is melted and lye is dissolved, slowly add the cooled oils, stirring constantly. Using a stick blender, stir the mixture for a minute or so. Then add maybe a 1/2 cup of oatmeal flakes and about 1/2 cup of honey. Blend and then pour into whatever mold(s) you are using. Let cure for a day, then put in the freezer for about 2 hours to make it easier to release from the mold. Cure for 4 to 6 weeks, then use and enjoy.

        1. My little herd is excellent! I’m still milking 2 girls that kidded February 2018 !! My new mama is taking good care of her twin doelings that are now 3 weeks old. I will be selling those babies as a pair after they are weaned. My 2 breeder bucks spend most of their time beating each other up, trying to gain the attention of the ladies. My 2 geriatric girls are fat and sassy, since they do nothing but eat and lounge in their “assisted living” pen. My Herd Queen will be bred in May or June for fall babies. All is well in my goat world!

    2. Prepared Grammy,
      I don’t know enough about goats to answer; but, I’ll try this one:

      2. For those of you who homestead, how do you manage your outdoor and indoor chores? I find it difficult to keep a clean house, garden, can/freeze, and care for the animals. Maybe I’m too hard on myself. Maybe I spend too much time doing unimportant things.

      First of all we are retired and that gives us some free time others may not have, since with the exception of the occasional doctor’s appointment and monthly and weekly meetings, our time is our own. We prioritize our chores, meaning the horse and chickens have to be taken care of first, then the daily inside chores and duties. The washing machine and/or dryer is going almost constantly and dishes get washed when the DW sees any to do, or the stack gets large enough for me to do them, since I don’t do just a few at a time. The bathroom gets cleaned at least weekly, and in winter, the floors get swept a few times per week. In summer, sometimes the carpet doesn’t get swept as often as it should, since outdoor activities and chores take precedence. To remind us of the really important or somewhat less important tasks, we have a 36”x48” white board on the kitchen wall where we make note of things that need to be done, either immediately or when we get around to it; but, don’t want to forget.
      While I don’t advocate this extreme, you will note that our pioneer ancestors who were real self reliant homesteaders often had dirt floors and only bathed every few weeks. So unless you think bathing and sleeping are unimportant things, I suspect you are doing about like the rest of us. I grew up in Western Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Dutch (German Amish) have a saying that would seemingly cover this predicament.
      “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get”
      So prioritize your tasks and include at least a little sleep and some time to eat a healthy meal while realizing that your life is probably not much different than many of us. I’ll often settle down at night and reflect on what occurred today and what I plan to do tomorrow, and I’m often amazed at both how much was accomplished some days, and how little on others.
      And BTW, if you can’t mix a little fun into the mix, then life isn’t really being fair.

  2. Well, next week hubby and I are picking up his mother, from the hospital, she can’t live on her own and we can’t afford any kind of retirement home, it’s all ready stressing us out. We’re going to put our son, upstairs and put my mother in law in his room, repaint and bring the futon down and use all her painting, and furniture she left here. I don’t know how people, can pay $4500 to $7000 month. I Know she won’t like it but we don’t have any options right now. I’ve talked to the Dementia people and got a lot of helpful information. I all ready got her a Dr. Appointment, and hopefully with the meds she’s on she’ll be more reasonable to deal with. So as far as prepping, I bought cilantro, parsley, lettuce starts everything is doing well. Brought out my black plastic shelf to put upstairs, to add extras that are overflowing. So cleaning the house and keeping the house in order is what I’ll be doing next week. Well, everyone enjoy your weekend..

    1. Mo3,

      I can relate. My dad lived at his own home, and the last 2 years were tough as he needed someone 24/7. Hoping she doesn’t turn mean. Sometimes those meds make them worse, and sometimes, it’s hard to get them to take their meds. Prays for you and your family.

    2. mom of three,
      hugs and prayers for this next chapter in your life. it isn”t going to be easy, please make sure to utilize all the resources available to you, including respite care (like a babysitting service so you and dh can do things like shopping, even a ‘date’), possibly adult daycare. Your doctor should be able to refer you to some of these services, or contact your local area agency on aging. i’m no expert, but do feel free to call on me if you have questions about finding resources. i would imagine that some of them should be covered by medicare/medicaid or private insurance, depending on your mil’s status.

    3. Thanks everyone for your input. I hope all will go well I will be trying one more lady, to see if they can find me a place that will take Medicade, and use her SS. We’ve all seen the mean part of her this is why she’s in this mess that she made. I will not go into debt or sell my house to take care of her. This women blew through almost 700 thousands, in 13 year’s now she’s down to $2000.00 which will have to pay back two hospital bills, and then she’s down to SS, which is nothing. When we and family tried to intervene, she told us all to leave her alone and leave her finance alone that’s the G rated version, her’s was rated R version it’s very sad…

      1. Mo3,

        My sister had to go to court to become my dad’s guardian. He didn’t like it one bit, but he was giving money to a lady and buying her family groceries when she “offered” to take him to the grocery store. If she is diagnosed with dementia, someone could take guardianship over her. Of course there are court costs involved. I thought that a nursing home had to take someone’s SS and not be able to charge for the remainder, but I could surely be wrong. America doesn’t take care of their old folks like other countries do. And I’m not talking about socialism. There are options for people when they get older. I won’t have anyone to take care of me when I become incapacitated. I pray I have nice people looking after me. We never know how we will end up.

        1. Almost There,

          I thought that a nursing home had to take someone’s SS and not be able to charge for the remainder, but I could surely be wrong.

          Actually it’s not SS; but, Medicaid that can cover indigent expenses; but, only after you have exhausted all of your resources with a few exceptions. There is also a 5 year take back, so gifting or transferring property or money when diagnosed to avoid the spend down also doesn’t work unless the transfer was at least 5 years ago.
          Personally, unless I’m unconscious, I plan to never be housed in a nursing home and would rather pass on.

          1. O.P., You are right. There are strict rules about passing down wealth when applying for Medicaide. We learned that with my mother. That pisses me off. My mom worked her entire life, as did my dad–20 years active duty and 20 years civil service. My mom was “kept alive” beyond what she wanted. The medical bills were more than the worth of her home. So, the state took her home.

          2. Bam Bam,

            My mom was “kept alive” beyond what she wanted. The medical bills were more than the worth of her home. So, the state took her home.

            This is why financial and family planning is so critical. Our current will is 24 years old, written when my DD was 4 or 5 years old, so we’ll be meeting with a lawyer next month to revisit it and are considering a family trust. These trusts as I understand them can help skirt some of the rules; but, IANAL so we’ll be seeing one. The DW & I could live another 20 years or be gone next week, so it’s finally time to get serious before the light at the end of the tunnel gets much closer.

      2. mom of three,

        This women blew through almost 700 thousands, in 13 year’s now she’s down to $2000.00 which will have to pay back two hospital bills, and then she’s down to SS, which is nothing. When we and family tried to intervene, she told us all to leave her alone and leave her finance alone that’s the G rated version, her’s was rated R version it’s very sad

        $700K untouched should easily bring in more than enough to live on. We have just a bit more than half that and it brings in north of $1K per mont without touching the principal which along with SS pays all the bills with room to spare. I expect youngsters to overspend until they learn to manage money; but, for an adult I agree that it is sad.
        That being the case, you are both being magnanimous to continue to work with her, and I hope she finally realizes that fact.

        1. TOP, I think you missed the point. It was, she blew THROUGH 700K dollars, so basically there’s nothing less, and if her children/ in-laws didn’t takeher in, she would be on the street, like other homeless people.

          1. Babycatcher,

            TOP, I think you missed the point. It was, she blew THROUGH 700K dollars, so basically there’s nothing less, and if her children/ in-laws didn’t take her in, she would be on the street, like other homeless people.

            No I did get the point, it’s just sad for me that some good people are put into positions like this. While there is a part of me that thinks those people should be forgotten and left to their own devices, since they sort of earned it, good people will not let that happen to even the meanest of relatives. I’m just fortunate that we’ve never been put in this position.

      3. I was told that if my name was on my mother’s bank account I could be made responsible for her debts. You may want to get legal advice in this regard beforehand. Maybe it’s just Arizona, but I would not want to find out the hard way.

        1. You could be responsible for any overdrafts on that account. That’s really the limit of your liability. 30 year banker here for what it’s worth

          1. GluteusMaximus,

            You could be responsible for any overdrafts on that account. That’s really the limit of your liability.

            That’s what I thought; but, some of the states have really odd and intrusive laws, so glad you responded.

            30 year banker here for what it’s worth

            It is actually worth a lot. I have a lot of knowledge in many areas; but, sometimes an expert makes all of the difference in subtle areas of finance, law, and medical. Glad to have you here.

    4. mom of three
      Hope you remember the poster by the call sign ‘sweet tator’, her father went through the same thing as your mother in law. What she found helpful with his dementia was the following minerals, hope this will help your mil(Citicoline CDP Choline and Vitamin K “TRIPLE Play”. The Citicoline assists the brain cells in functioning (from her research) and the Triple K vitamin helps move the necessary minerals to the areas of the body which require this lost resource.

      Know you have been through a lot with her special requirements over the past few years. Sending our best to your family and especially you. Better that she is with family, than in the area you are picking up from after all the major fire damage that occurred last year it is not a good area right now. Our hearts go out to you.

    5. Mom of Three,

      So sorry to hear about your situation. We had the same challenges after my mom had a stroke. She couldn’t live on her own. My sister took care of her until she was deemed “fully disabled”–she was non responsive at that point. Even then, the government took her home to pay for Medicaid.

  3. Hi gang,

    We’ve had beautiful weather all week this week… Got a few things done outside this week.

    Postponed moving out of storage until the end of April as I need to get some more things gone and/or organized before more stuff is piled in… I don’t think it ever ends.

    Find of the day – GW – Friend called me to tell me about a work bench since I had mentioned that I needed one for my dad’s tools, and to have a table to work on stuff. She was in GW last night and saw a sturdy counter top workbench, said it was in great shape about 6ft long. So, this morning I went up there, and couldn’t believe it was still there since she was in there around 4 yesterday, and they don’t close until 8. It ended up being 8ft long, 26″deep like a regular kitchen counter, is counter high, and is quite heavy, sitting on doubled 2×4 for the legs. Another friend that has a box truck, who helps me by picking up stuff I find and bringing it home for me, will pick it up this evening, and bring it either tonight or tomorrow. He goes right by my house on his way home. The bench was $50… I will be able to get my dehydrators set up out there too. WOW…

    The friend that told me about the bench mentioned another mutual friend that has some totes she is wanting to sell for $2 each. They are supposed to be the bigger tote. I will take a look at those on Friday.

    Not much else done this week in the way of preps except watching a few videos. I helped my brother purchase a 500ct box of True Lemon that you can add to flavor water. It’s all natural and is really good. I like the lime and raspberry ones too. I was able to create an account for him, have him pay for it and free shipping to the store. He will pick it up at the WM in CA. With him being in Mexico, all the websites like WM and ebay come up in Spanish… We were able to find out how to fix ebay to be English, but couldn’t find where to make WM English. Will have to do some more digging. I would like to order some as well.

    Prayers for the pack, healing, for The President, and for America. I hope he closes the border ASAP, but more importantly gets some relief out there to the CBP agents who are begging for reinforcement in the areas that don’t have any barrier. If they can’t step foot over, then they can’t claim asylum. Evidently, they aren’t even holding any families anymore because they don’t have room, and are just releasing them into the country. The El Paso area CBP’s have requested help. What an absolute mess.

    Tara’s Questions:
    How do you heat your home now, and are how are you preparing to do so during a long-term disaster? For you folks in Florida and other hot climates, how do you plan to weather intense heat during a SHTF event?
    Electric heat. Been working on the backup propane heater that will use a 20lb tank.

    Do you homeschool, wish you had, or hope your adult children do? Why or why not? No kids.

    Have you ever struggled with gout? How do you treat it or plan to treat it without the aid of modern medicine during an apocalypse? No, never had it. Thank the Lord.

    Have a great week everyone…

    1. Almost There,
      You should have your brother look into something like ”Norton Secure VPN” since he would connect securely to the VPN whose endpoint is in the US. Connecting to WM or other places would then be secure, anonymous, and probably in English.

  4. Being a Florida native and a farmer I spent my life dealing with heat. These days I deal with it by staying in the house with the air conditioner blasting. However work must be done so I try to stay hydrated and do what the Navy does. That is have tropical working hours, that is start work as soon as it is light, stop during the heat of the day and then work until dark.

    One thing that has changed as I got old is that being hot doesn’t make me miserable, I just sweat profusely. This means I do not know I am overheating. I have a permanent farmer’s tan on my arms and so when my arms start turning white I can tell I need to rest.

    My wife home schooled our daughter for three years after she went to the local elementary school for one year. While in kindergarten one of her little classmates once went around the room with a matchbox of pebbles pretending to be a crack dealer. Another classmate was her future sister in law and she did get involved in the drug culture. She now has two children and is doing better but life is still a struggle for her.

    Our church started a school so we sent her there for fourth grade and her little brother to kindergarten. She was having trouble with math and thought the local high school would help and she wanted the big school experience so we let her go there for her junior and senior years. It was an eye opening experience for her and she apologized to her mother for not believing what would go on there (my wife had attended the same school). She did learn enough math to pass the Florida skills test and get her diploma and swore to never take another math test. Fortunately you can get a cosmetologist license without taking one.

    Fortunately I have never had gout. The things that do make me hurt can be relieved or prevented by sitting in my swivel chair and watching TV.

    This week I made some progress on my home repairs, I should get done next week. I disced my garden spot and now just a few more passes will get it ready for planting. I sent my Kubota to the dealer to fix the injector pump. My big tractor has the sway blocks turned in so I can use my Cat 1 implements on it. I will not risk the little rototiller on it though.

    Spring is officially here, I have the first humming birds at my feeder. Actually I have several and they are already fighting over it. Well, a beautiful day is wasting so time to get more done.

  5. 1. How do you heat your home now, and are how are you preparing to do so during a long-term disaster? For you folks in Florida and other hot climates, how do you plan to weather intense heat during a SHTF event? – Our house is grid dependent; natural gas. I have propane backup, but that’s really for a short-term fix.

    2. Do you homeschool, wish you had, or hope your adult children do? Why or why not? Nobody here but us old folks, so we have to home-school ourselves.

    3. Have you ever struggled with gout? How do you treat it or plan to treat it without the aid of modern medicine during an apocalypse? No gout issues here.

    This last week:

    We started getting more snow on Wednesday night/Thursday, more light stuff on Friday. With the temps just above freezing, it’s sticking in the mountains and not on our roads and sidewalks!

    Get back from the trip, had a great time. Wednesday DW is having battery indicator issues in the Subaru. Ends up she needed a new alternator and battery. This is why you need an “Ah S…t” cash account; payday isn’t until next Monday. And we found that it needs new sway bars in the rear.

    Received: G96 gun oil, Ballistol MP oil, Wrap-around sunglasses for range/driving, aluminum foil (25’ – free), gamma lids (BOGO), pistol ammo

    Got in some cauliflower flour to try with my bread making. Report to follow.

    Was going to be headed to the Seattle area to help a friend pack up his mom’s stuff; she has dimentia and it has gotten worse real quick. Family squable issues have delayed things, so now I don’t know if or when we will go. The older brother, who has not seen her in the last 18 months, has better plans than the son who goes every quarter to help her out. Glad we don’t have those kind of family issues.

    1. JP,

      Lol on homeschooling the “old folks”. I do the same…. to and for myself…

      I need to come to Montana and check it out.

    2. JP in MT,

      When my mom was diagnosed with dementia, one of my sisters consulted with the rest of us siblings (seven total). She wanted to bring our mom to the Chicago area and put her into an assisted living facility. One other sister didn’t like the idea, but she got outvoted 6-1. The sister in Chicago, with help from a sister living in Milwaukee, did a brilliant job with mom, especially when she had to be placed in a nursing home. She rode the staff at that place like a horse. When mom finally passed away, we found out why that one sister didn’t want mom moved. She had managed to get herself named as the lone beneficiary on mom’s retirement and insurance from the State of California. That got fixed and the estate was divided seven ways. There always seems to have to be one jerk.

        1. Had fun with my son , he got 30 days leave after 9 months in bagdad. He should be a sargent in a month or so. I gave him my 06 for deer and elk hunting at the springs at fort Carson. He must have pissed off the tsa punks coming aboard with a long gun and a hand gun and other misc. F*%! those bastards anyway. the o6 is brand new with a 4×12 scope on it.

      1. See my above comment, my husband is the only child, not going to get anything but her stuff, which is fine I don’t really care about the money. I’m the executive on my parents, do to I’m the baby, and live the closest. I’m am so happy my parents, have done everything for us so no surprises, and sister, brother and I all get along and money, is not a huge issue to us three. Guess mom and dad, did a A+++ job of raising us…

        1. Myself and the other siblings, 6 total, trusted eldest sister to handle our parents estate. She did a wonderful, honest job and there were absolutely no complaints from anyone, but that sadly seems to be the exception.

          1. Billy T,

            Myself and the other siblings, 6 total, trusted eldest sister to handle our parents estate. She did a wonderful, honest job and there were absolutely no complaints from anyone, but that sadly seems to be the exception.

            We were likewise very fortunate for both my DW’s and my parents estates. Her brothers live within a few miles of us at the time, and everything was handled cordially with no real infighting. She and her brothers (one now in Texas) still own a 1/3 interest in the old family farm, that we cash rent, splitting the income three ways.
            My youngest sister now owns our old family home in PA; but, living in Key West, with us in Ohio, I’m just as glad that I have no responsibility. My parents were smart enough to start distributing items to the kids years ago. I got the only rifle, some of the trains, and old electronics test gear and radio.
            Since the DW & I are getting up in age, we’re planning on a meeting with an attorney in the next month or so to update our will, last touched in 1994.
            It’s hard to admit; but, it’s time.

          2. As dysfunctional as my family is, there was no squabbling when my grandparents died, and even the granchildren were included. And there will be no issues when my own parents pass (not looking forward to that) even tho by brother and I are not on best terms. I don’t want anything except more time with them. DH’s dad recently passed, and boy was there a lot of hullaballoo. Luckily, one of the more stable siblings was in charge of things. DH didn’t want anything but some memorabilia. We may or may not see anything financially, but we never expected anything (unlike one sibling). I feel sad for families who ‘go to war’ when someone passes. I don’t expect to profit from anyone’s death. And I sure hope my kids don’t either, cuz there isn’t anything there for them to get!

  6. Organized more stuff, took more out of the POD. Got rid of stuff that the boys had outgrown. Had neighbor build a custom bookshelf to act as a railing in front of the stairs leading from the kitchen up to the office and beyond. Came out nice. In prepping the house for eventual sale, I may never want to leave. But it’s Massachusetts and I hate it here.
    Setting up the garage as the nice weather comes.

    Tara’s questions:
    1- Oil with a coal stove we don’t use yet.
    2- No homeschooling. The oldest, mildly autistic, attends a vocational school and is learning the culinary trade. The little guy is autistic but nonverbal. Our small town schools are excellent and the boys have benefited greatly from them.
    3- No gout, just diverticulitis. If I don’t eat seeds, nuts, or corn, I’m ok. I crave a box of Cracker Jacks but I’m just smart enough to know they’ll put me in the hospital.

    1. My mom, just got over having diverticulitis, just two weeks ago it was the popcorn, it was awful for her. The hospital bill, was expensive, thank goodness they had insurance, a bill like that would put you in the poor house…

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

    Got my new tubs for medical stuff and the Mountain House food pouches arrived. Ordered and received a second 4-way silcock key (can be handy in an urban setting – one is in my BOB), a 100ct pack of surgical masks, a manual clothes washing thingy, another collapsible wash basin, some stainless-steel measuring cups, mixing spoons, and bowls for mixing up natural remedies.

    #1 daughter has not actually miscarried her baby that she is aware of yet. The OB/GYN wants to wait a week before another sonogram, then make a decision on a D&C or medication to expel the baby. She has pretty much come to terms with the event. #1 daughter has decided to just love and enjoy her little girl and let granddaughter’s loving heal her. A good attitude to have, I think. She is done with the active duty orders she was on, so I will be back to watching granddaughter only three days a week.

    As I write this, I am taking a break from adjusting the load-outs of my medical boxes and changing the written inventories accordingly.

    Tara’s Questions:

    #1 – How to heat or cool down? As everyone probably knows, I live in Central Florida, so winter heating is a fairly short-term necessity. I have an electric furnace for those few weeks I might need heat. If off-grid, I will just put on some extra clothes (I do have long johns, sweaters, sweatshirts, coats, gloves, watch caps, extra blankets, etc). As a native-Michigander, I know how to cope with cold weather even though I hate it. For summer, of course, I have air conditioning, but if the grid is down, I will essentially just have to suffer. I do have several battery powered fans that will help take the edge off. I prefer hot weather anyway and have done just fine in deserts, tropical paradises (OK, it was Vietnam), and here in Florida for 18-years now. I grew up in un-air-conditioned homes (the Detroit area can get very hot and humid in summer) and I lived in my house here in Florida without AC for several years until I could afford to replace my heat pump. Oh, yeah, and drink plenty of water from where ever I can get it (I do have several water filtering and purification systems and a lake near where I live. Got to watch out for gators though).

    #2 – Do you homeschool, etc? Not now. #1 daughter was homeschooled for three years when she was elementary school aged. My son was homeschooled all though high school at his request. We used the Abeka curriculum with #1 daughter, but my son was schooled using a computer-based program from Switched On Schoolhouse. Both are Christian-based curriculum.

    #3 – Gout? I’ve never had it (knock on wood and thank God). How would I treat it in austere conditions? Gout would be tough to effectively treat without medications. However, some diet changes might help. No alcohol. Don’t eat foods high in uric acid (liver, red meat, some oily fish species, beans, peas, mushrooms, cauliflower). Fatty foods in general. Treatment as mentioned by Tara might help, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, turmeric, etc.

    Prepared Grammy’s Questions:

    #1 – #3: Essentially no to all.

    1. Zulu 3-6,

      Ordered and received a second 4-way silcock key (can be handy in an urban setting

      I have both a 4-way silcock key and a natural gas meter valve wrench in my CERT kit; but, that urban setting you mention means we don’t often get to use them, since most places we haunt have propane and that’s generally just a normal valve with a handle to turn.

      1. TOP,

        I have the silcock keys primarily to use on water hose bibs, or other water faucets. You never know what you can scrounge from a commercial building as far as water is concerned.

          1. TOP,

            Well, mostly post-SHTF. I’d hate getting shot in the ass over some water pre-SHTF. 🙂

          1. Jean & Zulu 3-6,
            Many houses have hose bibs that are just a pipe with a faucet with a handle sticking out of the wall. Commercial versions often do not have the handles, so people cannot “steal” water. The problem with hose bibs in cold climates is that they can freeze and burst the pipes unless they are turned off and drained for the winter.
            Here we generally don’t use hose bibs; but, hydrants, that contain the valve a few feet underground below the frost line and may be used year round.

          2. Ah ha! Got it! As a kid, I recall many, many times that we had pipes burst in the winter due to not wrapping the outside facets. We lived in my grandparents house and it wasn’t exactly the most insulated house in Georgia. I remember dad wrapping theoutside pipes with old tee-shirts and such.
            When I bought my own house, the first repair done was to get rid of all the old galvanized plumbing (changed to copper), which was expensive,but good money spent in the long run. 2nd thing I did was insulate the pipes with close-cell foam pipe covers in crawl space and ALWAYS cover outside facets. I’ve never had any problems, nor have I ever had to remove the bibs. Thanks for letting me know.

          3. Jean – we use the “freeze proof” faucets for our outside faucets and while they aren’t 100% foolproof, they generally work in GA without anything extra. I do think if we had extended periods below freezing, we might get the little insulated covers for them, but that’s a rarity.

          4. Since we have the option, we just turn off the water to the outside faucets and open them up to drain the water.

          5. Jean,

            When I bought my own house, the first repair done was to get rid of all the old galvanized plumbing (changed to copper), which was expensive,but good money spent in the long run. 2nd thing I did was insulate the pipes with close-cell foam pipe covers in crawl space and ALWAYS cover outside facets.

            We did the same thing here; but, the expense was minimal since I did all of the plumbing, including a laundry area and a whole new bathroom. There was one hose bib that we tore out and replaced with a couple of hydrants. The way the house is laid out, most of the plumbing runs in the ceiling of the unheated basement except for a short run to the kitchen sink, so we keep the lighting in the basement as our one place for the old incandescent bulbs. Since both the bulbs and the pipes are in the ceiling, turning on the basement lights on really cold days keeps anything from freezing since those old bulbs generate a lot of heat.

          6. GA Red,

            Jean – we use the “freeze proof” faucets for our outside faucets and while they aren’t 100% foolproof, they generally work in GA without anything extra. I do think if we had extended periods below freezing, we might get the little insulated covers for them, but that’s a rarity.

            These are just like the hydrants we use, except they are horizontal instead of vertical, with the actual valve at the end of a push or twist rod. The vertical versions are a little more freeze resistant; since they are buried in the earth that naturally tends to stay warmer along with the source water that is always above freezing below the frost line. Extra insulation on the horizontal pipe into the building can help, as can covering the portion of the valve that’s outside and exposed to the cold temperatures. Even without extended periods below freezing if those temperatures are possible, covering them is still a good idea, since like any insurance, it protects from the abnormal but painful incident.
            We pay our auto and home owners insurance; but, haven’t had accidents, fires, or storm damage; but, “just in case” we keep paying those premiums. Prevention is always better and easier than mitigation, especially in an EOTW situation.

          7. JP,

            Since we have the option, we just turn off the water to the outside faucets and open them up to drain the water.

            We have that option also; but, since we still need water for the animals in winter, the freeze proof systems along with turning off the water is probably a good combination.

  8. Good progress in the garden this week…tomatoes and peppers and basil all planted and looking good so far. Green bean plants are kicking into grow gear and I should see blooms shortly. Buck house and buck yard got a good cleaning this morning, with all the spent hay and poop being put around the banana plants for fertilizer and mulch.

    Received an order of seeds from Rareseeds.com. Continued reading on medicinal uses of essential oils. We spent last weekend at our BOL/weekend getaway. Things are really coming together there. We cooked on a pellet grill and warmed our toes around a lovely fire pit. Looking forward to another visit shortly.

    I’m picking mulberries every other day now and I’m freezing them for a future mead project. Mulberry mead is the BEST! That’s it for me.

    (1) Being in Florida, keeping COOL is much more of a challenge. Most of us homesteaders in the south have taught our bodies how to sweat for cooling. Additional cool can be found by wearing WET clothes or taking a dip on our artesian well-fed pond.

    (2) Our kids are grown, but I have put back a nice collection of college textbooks in case we need to educate any of our grand kids. Shoot, doing chores on our little farm is a great way to teach biology and botany!

    (3) Gout? hmm….hadn’t considered it. My husband has had gout a few times, so I guess I should do some research!

    1. Goatlover,

      Buck house and buck yard got a good cleaning this morning, with all the spent hay and poop being put around the banana plants for fertilizer and mulch.

      You guys just love rubbing it in doncha, LOL. Banana plants and next week oranges or lemons, right?

      I’m picking mulberries every other day now and I’m freezing them for a future mead project. Mulberry mead is the BEST!

      We have mulberries on the property; but, no berries yet. I don’t really like the heat; but, I often envy your growing season.

      (2) Our kids are grown, but I have put back a nice collection of college textbooks in case we need to educate any of our grand kids. Shoot, doing chores on our little farm is a great way to teach biology and botany!

      No grandkids yet; but, living on the farm was always a great way to demonstrate nature to the kids, from raising critters to looking at leaves or turning up ant hills to see what’s inside. Our kid’s learned lessons you can’t easily teach elsewhere and thought of it as fun.

      1. OP, you are too funny! We don’t mean to rub it in. If it makes you feel any better, we spend 6 months of every year with one ear open for hurricane warnings. Hearing Jim Cantore’s voice can send me into a panic attack. Oh, and by the way, the citrus has already bloomed, and I am seeing tiny little oranges, limes, and avocados beginning to form on my trees…..!

        1. Goatlover,

          OP, you are too funny! We don’t mean to rub it in. If it makes you feel any better, we spend 6 months of every year with one ear open for hurricane warnings. Hearing Jim Cantore’s voice can send me into a panic attack.

          I know and find Florida a fun place to visit. During Hurricane Irma my kid sister who lives in Key West had to Bug Out to the Pan Handle. That nominal 10 hour trip took her more than 35, and then back down again. We plan to visit her this fall. I’ve spent time in various places in Florida working a few weeks at a time; but, I think I would miss the seasons. The one good thing about hurricanes is that unlike tornadoes, you get days of warning. The downside is that tornados do not have the widespread destruction of your storms.

          Oh, and by the way, the citrus has already bloomed, and I am seeing tiny little oranges, limes, and avocados beginning to form on my trees

          I know, and if it’s a good harvest with no frost or pests, I can order bulk packages of citrus, shipped here for reasonable prices.
          I grew up in western PA and really like the seasons, otherwise I could have been in Fl or AZ long ago.
          In the end there is no ”perfect” place to live and we all deal with something we would like to change.

          1. TOP,

            One of the side effects of hurricanes is tornadoes. A couple of years ago there were a few tornadoes in the county north of me (Seminole) that were spin offs from a hurricane. Ha! Spin offs. Y’get it? Need me to ‘splain it to you? 🙂

  9. Puppy got fur and slobber all over the Jeep. He also did some nose art on the windows. I saw one and just had to laugh……it was a perfect smiley face…….LOL

    Had a pretty productive week for prepping, as we all should…..

    Put a new fuel filter/regulator on the vet.
    Put a new crankshaft position sensor on the vet. Boy does it run good now….
    Changed oil in the vet.

    Bought 250 rounds of 44 magnum
    Bought 250 rounds of 38 special
    Bought 250 rounds of .380
    Bought 3 new mags for the Berretta 84, 1 Berretta mag and 2 pro-mags.
    Bought a voodoo tacticle molle holster for another plate carrier.
    Bought an electric tiller for the raised beds, a RYOBI, it has a 40V lithium battery. You can change attachments even a chain saw…..LOL
    Bought 24 cubic feet of dirt, it wasn’t dirt cheap…..LOL

    Tilled and added 24 square feet to the garden.
    Tilled the raised beds with new toy.
    Might plant next week weather permitting…….
    Steam cleaned the den….sooooo much puppy fur…….LOL

    Thor’s questions:

    1) Do you have a gas mask for all your family members?
    2) Do you have at least 500 rounds of ammunition for each gun you own?
    3) Have you fortified your home?
    4) Do you think CNN will now go bankrupt since the Muller investigation is over? …..LOL

    Tara’s questions:

    1) How do you heat your home now, and are how are you preparing to do so during a long-term disaster? For you folks in Florida and other hot climates, how do you plan to weather intense heat during a SHTF event?
    2) Do you homeschool, wish you had, or hope your adult children do? Why or why not?
    3) Have you ever struggled with gout? How do you treat it or plan to treat it without the aid of modern medicine during an apocalypse?

    1) Natural gas and a fireplace. Fireplace and a kerosene heater.Fans powered by solar electricity for cooling.
    I have also read on using a waterfall powered ba a small pump in front of a window.
    2) No kids are grown. The Mrs. did home school the kids for couple of years. They were more advanced then the other kids and No liberalism…….
    3) No, my Dad had it though……

    PG’s questions :

    1. Do you have SIMPLE soap recipes that you’ve found to work that you’re willing to share with me?
    2. For those of you who homestead, how do you manage your outdoor and indoor chores? I find it difficult to keep a clean house, garden, can/freeze, and care for the animals.
    3. Goats ?

    1.Nope, buy soap….
    2. Outside stuff when nice, inside stuff when raining…..
    3. No goats…. The Mrs. wants one, but then she also wants a baby elephant…. LOL

    1. Thor1’s Questions:

      #1 – Gas mask for everyone in family? No. I have one for myself, old GI M-17 mask. Need new filters though.

      #2 – Do I have at least 500rnds for every gun I own? Not every gun. I have no ammo for my old German Mauser 98k or my old British Martini-Henry MkIV. However, I do have a sergeant’s bayonet for the MH with an 18″ blade. Great for pig sticking. I’m also a little light on ammo for my M-1 carbine. I’m good for all my other bang sticks.

      #3 – Have I fortified my home? No. The property managers would frown on sandbags and such.

      #4 – CNN bankruptcy? Probably not. It would be fun to see, however.

    2. Thor1,

      Nose art. The joys of puppies… I surely miss mine.

      Thor’s questions:

      1) Do you have a gas mask for all your family members?
      It’s only me, and I have a half mask with a few filters for particles.

      2) Do you have at least 500 rounds of ammunition for each gun you own?
      Nope. 🙁

      3) Have you fortified your home?
      In what way?

      4) Do you think CNN will now go bankrupt since the Muller investigation is over? …..LOL
      One could only hope.

        1. Thor1,

          Seems there is always something on the list to buy…. I’m putting more stuff on FB and ebay, hoping to get rid of extra stuff I don’t need to replace it with stuff I do need. Maybe I can get some when my tax refund comes in. There’s a list and it it growing of things I need to get done. Another one is gravel in the driveway. All the rain we’ve had, and the fact that I haven’t had to put any down since I bought the place 11 years ago, it’s time to redo.

          Where is the best place to buy HP for a S&W 38? And what grain? I’m a novice with firearms.

          1. Almost There:

            For a .38 Special with a barrel of 3″ or less, I like the 110 gr WInchester SilverTip round. 125 gr HP’s seem to work okay, but tend to be expensive. 158 gr, except in a “Cowboy Load”, can be brutal.

          2. Thor1,

            Any particular place to buy?

            I have Federal premium low recoil 110 hydra shok, magtech 38 spl+p 95 gr schp, hornady 38 spcl 125 gr xtp

            For practice not HP – AE 130 gr FMJ, magtech 158 gr fmc-flat, and PMC 132gr FMJ

          3. Woops… Getting my responses confused… I meant JP… where to buy? I am sorry about that.

          4. JP,

            Since I mostly buy in case lots (when I have to order it) I get them from TargetSportsUSA.com due to free shipping on cases.

            I have had good success with https://www.ammoman.com/ who also ships free on $100+ orders, which is not hard in case lots. You first need to establish a relationship with them by faxing, scanning & emailing, or sending a photocopy of an ID like a driver’s license with an age or birthdate to them. This them verifies that a person who is at least 21 lives at your address and after that they simply ship to the address when you order.

        1. Thor1,

          How do you fortify windows? I was going to get some of the foam. I have tape. You mean for NBC? Need to get a micro (maybe it’s a macro…) filter for the A/C return. I think it’s the 1200 one, and of course turn the unit off.

          1. AT, there is a clear film that when applied to windows can stop 9MM and 00 buckshot. Although the company will not say that….

            Yes NBC filters for gasmasks may be needed soon as a precaution to terrorist attracts…

            There is many 38 special rounds out there. I even have some of the 2 shot 00 buck….

    3. Say “yes” to the goat, and “no” to the elephant. Although when it’s time to bugout, the elephant already has a trunk, and goats can be baaaaad.

    4. Thor1,

      Put a new fuel filter/regulator on the vet.

      Would that be a Veteran or your Veteranarian?

      Bought an electric tiller for the raised beds, a RYOBI, it has a 40V lithium battery. You can change attachments even a chain saw…..LOL

      I have the Ryobi ONE+ system with about a dozen tools including both the chain saw and the pole saw. I love these tools.

      Your questions:
      1) Do you have a gas mask for all your family members?
      No. Just N95 masks and ways to seal off a room.
      2) Do you have at least 500 rounds of ammunition for each gun you own?
      At least. Oh yea.
      3) Have you fortified your home?
      Nothing special; but, the house is 100 years old and was built with rather thick and sturdy construction with at least 150 feet of free space in any direction.
      4) Do you think CNN will now go bankrupt since the Muller investigation is over?
      I suspect not; but, we can hope. I don’t know how they are still in busyness anyway.

    5. Thor, you and my husband must be close in age I swear you talk the same as him, as he was a California Boy, born and raised in the San Jose, area in the 70 and 80’s.. He has some great stories growing up in that area.

    6. Ah ha! Got it! As a kid, I recall many, many times that we had pipes burst in the winter due to not wrapping the outside facets. We lived in my grandparents house and it wasn’t exactly the most insulated house in Georgia. I remember dad wrapping theoutside pipes with old tee-shirts and such.
      When I bought my own house, the first repair done was to get rid of all the old galvanized plumbing (changed to copper), which was expensive,but good money spent in the long run. 2nd thing I did was insulate the pipes with close-cell foam pipe covers in crawl space and ALWAYS cover outside facets. I’ve never had any problems, nor have I ever had to remove the bibs. Thanks for letting me know.

    7. Hey Thor,
      You make me smile talking about pup. My Jack Russell used to make up my windows something terrible, but it always made me smile. I would tell my friends it was her way of sending me little love notes to tell me she loved her mama.

    1. Thor1,

      These masks are primarily for Special Operations troops. They cost over $1,300 per mask, not counting filters. The link is a little inaccurate. The contract is for $250 million worth of masks, not 250 million masks.

      1. Z36, I have extra filters for each mask. NBC filters, get some more. Scorpion masks are $20 ea. Filters $5 ea….Lives of loved ones priceless…….

      2. Z36, I have an IDF mask….. For me, scorpion masks for everyone else in my family with at least 3 filters per person……

        1. Ok Thor1….

          I looked up Scorpion masks and only came up with a mask for Halloween, Mortal Kombat and mask avengers… 🙂 Do you have a link for those? I want to read up on them.

      1. Almost There,
        Your argument doesn’t support your assertion since the article title: Food Crisis: Hail storm smashes 4 million avocados in under 10 minutes in Australia is not really a global crisis, just an avocado crisis for one family. Around here, we set record corn harvests last fall.

        1. TOP,

          Expand your horizon. While your area may be doing well, Nebraska took a hit, and devastated the beef and corn industry for this year.

          When I read about this hail storm in Australia, they have had drought as well as floods there too. I’m sure you will find a food crisis on every continent if you look.

          1. Almost There,

            TOP,
            Expand your horizon. While your area may be doing well, Nebraska took a hit, and devastated the beef and corn industry for this year.

            I realize that; but, the crisis is generally only local, since that means places other than the Midwest (like here) will likely see higher prices for their goods, and even the people in Nebraska can still purchase beef, corn, and other commodities from the unaffected areas. I guess it depends on how you define “Crisis” and like the “AWKI” in “TEOTWAWKI” most crises are local.

            When I read about this hail storm in Australia, they have had drought as well as floods there too. I’m sure you will find a food crisis on every continent if you look.

            Once again it depends on how you define crisis. We have a continuous citrus crisis here in Ohio, since our citrus never matures and we have to import it from places like Florida.
            Flooding, drought and hail are just part of the farming lifestyle and farmers understand that.

  10. Hi Tara & all,
    It’s been warmer here this week; but, still rain and wind, so outside is a bit miserable. I think I hate 50° and rain more than 25° and snow.

    We heat basically entirely with wood. A furnace was installed in this hunting lodge we turned into a home shortly before we purchased it. The seller was told it had to have one when prepping to sell. It was turned on once to test it after Terry had it put in and once by us to do the same thing.

    We heated mostly with wood & some gravity fed fuel oil when we rented; but, in 1986 when we purchased the place, the bank insisted on a furnace and added the extra $3K into the loan. We heated with a combination of the three and had to finally replace the furnace last year after 32 years of keeping the original running.

    Our home has wall mount gas heaters in two rooms, and a large wood stove in the main living area.

    We also have two 30,000 BTU ventless heaters in two rooms and on really cold days they can be a real blessing. We still have the fireplace insert with blower in the main room and keep it ready to run if needed.
    If you cook with gas, you can invert a Terra Cotta pot on a burner and really take the chill off the kitchen.

    We have propane delivered twice a year, and came through the winter with about 50% of the fuel still left in our large tank.

    We have it delivered once per year by the cheapest supplier in midsummer. This past year we only used about 1200 gallons of the 2800 capacity and will call around un June or July for another fill.
    We also use propane for heating domestic water, cooking, and running the generator.

    I tend to have issues with overwatering. I now keep a squirt bottle on the plant tables so when I can no longer fight my urge to water something I don’t do any real damage to the crops.

    We now keep most things in the greenhouse so under watering has become a bigger issue.

    My beloved woke up with gout this morning. It came on in the middle of the night without any warning. It has been at least four years since he was stricken with gout – too many hot dogs and bologna for lunch again, I guess.
    Gout sure seems painful. When his cousin had it a couple of years ago, he wound up on crutches. As painful and annoying as gout can be now, it could be deadly during a long-term disaster. If you cannot walk or are forced onto crutches, you cannot adequately defend yourself, tend to the garden, hunt, bring in firewood or water.

    Gout is horrible. I have a friend who is an E.R. doctor who says that they diagnose gout patients as they come in the door of the E.R. when complaining that they feel like they are walking on broken glass, and I concur.

    So, I have Bobby downing cherry juice and then a mixture of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, turmeric, and ginger. Hopefully he will be feeling at least nearly back to himself in a few days.

    Black cherries or juice is the traditional time honored treatment and it does work.

    For This Week’s Questions
    1. How do you heat your home now, and are how are you preparing to do so during a long-term disaster? For you folks in Florida and other hot climates, how do you plan to weather intense heat during a SHTF event?
    We heat our home with a combination of a propane forced air furnace, two ventless propane heaters, Terra Cotta pots on the kitchen range, with wood and small propane Buddy heaters as backup.

    2. Do you homeschool, wish you had, or hope your adult children do? Why or why not?
    We did not and for the time being it’s not a problem without any grandchildren. We live in a small rural school district and I attended board meetings and met with teachers to make sure our DD got the services she needed, including skipping grades on math and science and doubling up on languages. She ended up as class valedictorian and a national merit scholar. We of course supplemented her education even before starting school, with field trips and tons of books and magazines.
    3. Have you ever struggled with gout? How do you treat it or plan to treat it without the aid of modern medicine during an apocalypse?
    I used to have horrible gout; but, in 2012 I got rid of it with Colchicine and keep it at bay with a daily 150 mg dose of Allopurinol. I keep almost a year supply of that on hand; but, if I could no longer get it, I would have to go back to Black Cherries and severely watching my diet.

    This past week we acquired and did the following.
    1. The last 7 twin packs of hot hands from Wal-Mart. Thanks to Almost There for the tip
    2. Ozark Trail 24 oz stainless Nalgene style thermos bottle on clearance from Wal-Mart while getting the hot hands.
    3. A bottle of blue cheese stuffed olives and another 4 pack of blueberry muffins from Aldi’s
    4. Spent 2 hours at the local BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) renewing my state ID. Ohio now offers the Federally Compliant ID with presentation of proper documentation; but that was not the cause of the long wait. I presented my birth certificate and the 1099 from Social Security and after answering a few questions, tapping the keyboard, and signing the touch screen we were done. A bit later they took my photo and I should have the ID in the mail within 10 days. This is preparedness since starting on October 1, 2020 a compliant ID like this one or a Passport, etc. will be required to fly commercially or to enter any Federal building. It seems that there are steps being taken to curb illegal immigration and I’m surprised some of the open border advocates haven’t tried to stop this program.
    5. Spent half a day as a safety officer for an Active Shooter drill at one of our county offices as part of our EMA support activities.
    6. Received 2 pairs (2 37” panels per pair) of Amrapur Overseas Black Out Curtains for our new living room (front of the house) picture window from woot.com. Now we just have to get the new hardware to hang them and we’re good to go.
    7. We spread 10 tons of gravel into the area we’ll be putting the new building, and have decided we need more. Hoping to have the building onsite by the end of April.

  11. Evening folks. Loving this weather and finely getting some much needed things done outside. As for my answers to this weeks questions:
    1) I heat primarily with natural gas. Even when the electricity goes out, I can cook on the stove. Backup is kerosene heater.
    2) No children but I would definitely be for homeschooling. I think the public schools have become too political these days, and the classes are way too large. I also do not think college is for everyone.
    3) No episodes of gout (thank goodness), but my aunt had several episodes, and it was extremely painful for her.

    I have been reorganizing some things this week. Going through my food preps and purchased some more food storage tubs and gamma lids. Cleaned all the firearms, cleaned up the yard and almost. Finished with another raised garden. Great to work outside in the mild temps. Tire, but it’s a good kind of tired.

    1. Jean,

      1) I heat primarily with natural gas. Even when the electricity goes out, I can cook on the stove. Backup is kerosene heater.

      In case you missed the many times I’ve said this, another good inexpensive backup are some Terra Cotta pots, inverted over a gas burner. The pots heat up, with the drain hole acting as a chimney. These pots can easily hit 500° and will radiate plenty of heat into the surrounding room, which I suspect is most likely the kitchen. We bought our pots years ago for about $1.00 each and keep them on hand for this purpose.

      1. Thanks for the input. I actually did try the Terra Cotta pots once just to test it out in case, but I used a tea candle in the center. While it did generate some heat, I am certain it would be nothing like using on the stove, so thanks for that suggestion. I. Like to test things like that before I actually need it.
        One time, I went camping with some friends, and there was this one person, I thought was pretty savvy in the outdoors. Then I realized their tent was brand new (in the package from the store), and never had been setup before. Of course he had got there late, sun was going down and yes, it had started to rain. We all pitched in to help the dude, but I thought he knew better than that!

  12. Hi Pack!
    My seedlings are doing great, about ready to get transplanted to bigger pots awaiting the weather to warm up and dry out a little bit. I’ve even started a second set of some things for succession planting and continual harvests. Some of my tomato seedlings already have ‘real’ leaves’ already!
    With concerns about the flooding in the midwest, and the upcoming rises in food prices, I have decided to get serious about making our own bread. I priced a couple of breadmakers at the thrift store, and after explaining my concerns to DH, he agreed that it was worth our while to buy one brand new, with a warranty. So I will be ordering one this week. I know, a bread maker, it’s not ‘really’ me making bread…but I look at is as a step in the right direction, and with some confidence in finally making decent bread, it will encourage me to take the step to making truly handmade bread (I have failed so dismally at this, I feel I need the confidence boost, LOL).
    With the same concerns in mind, I have also decided that it is time to get another ‘meat package’ from the local butcher before the prices rise. And that means cleaning out our refrigerator freezers, but also looking at getting a chest freezer, as I’ve mentioned before. This will take a little more time, bigger investment.
    Tara’s questions:
    1) We are grid tied, heat with natural gas, but supplement with kerosene. We also have Mr. Buddy propane backups. We would love to heat with wood, but since we rent, it’s not an option right now.
    2) I wish I had home schooled my kids, it just wasn’t in the cards at the time. I applaud all who do home school!
    3) No, thankfully, I’ve not had to deal with gout. But I am well aware of dietary changes that should be made, as well as healthful alternatives. (Feel better Bobby!)
    Prepared Grammy’s ?:
    1)I have not made homemade soap. I do buy locally, and have a bit I bought online. I won’t go back to commercial body soap. I have a shampoo bar I am waiting to try, til the weather evens out, because my hair gets so staticy in the winter.
    2)If you figure out a good balance on chores, be sure to let me know. Working full time sure makes it hard to keep a clean house and yard…My house isn’t filthy but it’s lived in. My yard isn’t perfect, but it suits us just fine and we haven’t been fined for it…
    3)no goats, no knowledge, sorry
    Thor’s ?:
    (and thanks for the puppy cuteness!)
    1)No. Best I have is N95
    2) No.
    3) Outside of reinforced deadbolts, no. We rent, so…
    4) Have to LOL this one, one could only hope…

    Have a great week everyone!

    1. Grammyprepper,

      With concerns about the flooding in the midwest, and the upcoming rises in food prices, I have decided to get serious about making our own bread. I priced a couple of breadmakers at the thrift store, and after explaining my concerns to DH, he agreed that it was worth our while to buy one brand new, with a warranty. So I will be ordering one this week. I know, a bread maker, it’s not ‘really’ me making bread

      Look for a bread maker that allows you to stop it at various points in the process. Sometimes we use ours to make a decent loaf of bread; but, you can add the ingredients, allow them to be mixed, kneaded and then to rise, at which point you punch down the dough, move it to pans and allow to rise again before baking. It can be operated as just a labor saving device, doing all of the grunt work. I know your DH does construction and I assume he uses power tools, and when you mow the grass I suspect you don’t use an old reel style push mower, so let the technology at least help with the bread.

      With the same concerns in mind, I have also decided that it is time to get another ‘meat package’ from the local butcher before the prices rise. And that means cleaning out our refrigerator freezers, but also looking at getting a chest freezer, as I’ve mentioned before. This will take a little more time, bigger investment.

      If you look at your local stores like Home Depot, Lowes, or an appliance outlet, they often have sales where you can use a Lay Away program, and I’ve seen advertisements for some of the local appliance stores offering 0% for a year or more. Once you have a chest freezer, you will find it saves a lot, since you can purchase bulk on sale and know you can keep it for later use.

    2. GP,
      I’m waiting on two loaves of sourdough bread to come out of the oven as I’m writing now. I have been fortunate to have had a grandma who taught me how to cook, including breads. I was also in 4-H, where I took as many as 7 foods projects in a year, among other projects. Stick with it. There’s a learning curve, but you will soon get a feel for it. (Sourdough is new for me.)

  13. Morning
    It is another sun filled day so I will post this quickly so I can get outside to start the spring chores.
    Tara’s questions:
    1) we heat with propane in the house, it has a propane fire place which we discovered was not in working order during the worst time. Power outage of 6 days it was C O L D in this home, so rented a hotel room because of dh’s requirements.
    2) All kids are grown, no homeschooling
    3)Dh use to suffer from gout, after discovering that chicken liver and gizzards set it off, that was the end of those items from his food list.

    Tara the foods you listed probably have a nitrate in the makeup of those foods is why his gout was so painful. My dh can eat kosher hotdogs and suffer no ill effects, if your dh wants that type of food see if kosher is a possibility for him.

    1. Antique Collector,

      3)Dh use to suffer from gout, after discovering that chicken liver and gizzards set it off, that was the end of those items from his food list.

      Foods and drinks that can trigger gout include organ meats like liver & gizzards, some kinds of fish, in my case shrimp, fruit juices and alcohol. We generally only eat kosher franks; but, since I take my daily dose of Allopurinol I eat nearly anything and have not had an attack in the past nearly 7 years.

      Gout is an old problem, such that Benjamin Franklin has written on it:
      Dialogue Between Franklin and the Gout
      https://www.bartleby.com/109/3.html

      1. Thanks Thor1…

        So are you saying you’re NOT an Avenger? LOL.

        Boy, there are a few to choose from. I already have a North half mask. I really like it because it fits well and is comfortable to wear. I got to try one on. Have you worn your IDF mask much to test it out? How does it feel? Does it come in different sizes? I think my North mask is a medium…Does the size of a person’s face make a difference in this particular mask? Noticed the one you listed had a watering tube… Ingenious… Do you know how that works?

        I saw this one, which is supposed to work with my current North filter. My half mask doesn’t have any eye protection because the person that recommended it to me (who was a NBC expert) thinks that the radiation is going to be our most likely nemesis and he said why have a full mask when a half mask will work for most scenarios. Does anyone really know what is going to happen? Not sure if he was a full-fledged prepper or not.

        https://www.magidglove.com/Honeywell-North-N54001-Full-Facepiece-Respirator-N54001S.aspx?gdffi=02c304232fe847829cd3301dac2c2ab3&gdfms=AFDB8E902143430FBC366CD087AB1E66&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Shopping%20-%20Honeywell%20-%20Respirator&utm_term=4580702886120681&utm_content=Respirator%20-%20Full%20%26%20Half%20Mask%20Respirators

        1. AT, our tests weren’t as extreme as Z36’s, we had a chemical that if you could smell it in what we called the cone of silence, it didn’t fit correctly….LOL

    1. Thor1,

      Your gas mask question prompted me to take a look at my old USGI M-17 mask. The need for new filters is nothing as the need for a new mask. The straps are in terrible condition as are some of the interior gaskets. I never really liked the M-17 anyway.

      So I bought a new IDF mask along with three new filters. It cost a bit, but if you’re going to have a gas mask, it might as well be a decent one.

        1. Almost There,

          No. I bought a more modern IDF mask. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073SN62RD/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

          If you are expecting to be in an CBRN environment, or one where riot control agents are used, you want a full face mask. Most riot control agents used these days, will affect your eyes every bit as much as your respiratory system. Same thing with many CBRN agents, such as mustard gas. You can get through mustard gas burns on your extremities, but not so much to your eyes or lungs.

          I am more concerned with riot control agents. Believe me, getting a face full of CS (tear gas) does not make for a pleasant day. I spent 21-years in the military and probably went through the tear gas chamber at least 15 times, not to mention the exposures to pepper spray and CS as a police officer.

          In the Marines, we went into the CS gas chamber with our masks on, then had to take them off and properly put them into the carriers. Then we had to recite (loudly) our name, rank, service number, and date of birth. When the instructor gave you the OK, which wasn’t until every idiot in the place finished their litany after break-dancing on the floor, you could put the mask back on, properly clear it, then wait until you were allowed to leave the building. I’ll tell you, it really cleared the sinuses out. Snot everywhere.

          1. Z36, guess I’m old school…….

            But these were tested in the real world during combat….

            The advantage of the newer ones are field of view with a weapon.

          2. Thor1,

            True, the full eyepiece makes weapons use much easier. Unfortunately, I retired from the military just before they stopped issuing the M-17. The screw on filters are so much easier to change than the ones that you had to pry out the old, and stuff in the new. Plus the newer masks are easier to breathe in.

            The M-17 mask had two different filters. A gold and a black. The gold was the real NBC combat filter, whereas the black was a training filter, but would work fine against riot control agents. So would the gold filters, but they were much more expensive than the black filters. The color came from the metal inlet rings.

            When we had to run around practicing in MOPP4 gear, we had a training set. We took the things to a commercial laundry and ran them through a few times to rinse out the charcoal filter in the suits. We would also cut out the mask filter inlets so we could breathe more easily. Cheating? Yep. If you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying. For those you who never wore MOPP suits, they were incredibly hot to wear, even in winter, if the charcoal was still in the suits. Lots of heat casualties. You had to wear your regular BDU uniform under the MOPP suit too, so it was hard to layer your clothing to adjust for the weather.

            Embrace the suck. 🙂

          3. Z36,

            It doesn’t appear the one you purchased has a water tube. Do you know if it does?

            Are the filters $30 each?

            Also, I always read the question and answer section, and if you wear glasses, there is an insert you have to buy because evidently you can’t wear regular glasses that go to the ear because it breaks the seal. I’m wondering if you would have to get a special pair of glasses to hook onto the insert.

          4. Almost There,

            Most gas masks require an eye glasses insert. I know the inserts for the old M-17 mask were a separate special set of glasses. Of course, if you were in the military, they were/are issued to you free of charge.

          5. Almost There,

            I am really enjoying our mask conversation.

            I’m enjoying watching and learning. I’m scheduled to take a Hazmat course in May and the EMA gang keeps telling me I’ll be no good without shaving my beard. I started growing it the day I graduated high school and could shave if required. My plan is to understand operations and stay back and run communications. Beards and now glasses, what a set of requirements. LOL.

          6. Thor1,

            But these were tested in the real world during combat….
            The advantage of the newer ones are field of view with a weapon.

            Unfortunately, for most of our civilian EOTW uses, we’ll most likely not be using a weapon; but, wearing the mask to defend against one.

          1. Thor1,

            Do they make reader contacts that also allow for distance?? I’m not there yet, but do where readers… I don’t know if I could wear contacts, I have dry eye…

          2. Almost There,

            With gas masks you want to avoid wearing contacts, particularly with riot control agents like CS. Unless you donned your mask in advance of agent use AND have a good seal, you could have problems.

            CS gas is actually a cloud of tiny particulate matter. If that stuff gets under your contacts, Katy bar the door. A new definition of pain. You will need to get out of the CS cloud ASAP, get your contacts off, and rinse your eyes very thoroughly with clean water. Your contacts may be contaminated to the point of being useless, and your mask will need to be decontaminated as well, inside and out (which is not that hard, remove filters, wash with soap and water, rinse well, dry well.

  14. 1. How do you heat your home now, and are how are you preparing to do so during a long-term disaster? For you folks in Florida and other hot climates, how do you plan to weather intense heat during a SHTF event?

    I live in Florida. There are still people who live in homes without AC. It would be quite an adjustment living without AC. My main concern in a long-term, grid-down situation would be keeping the vegetation cut. Snakes like overgrown vegetation.

    2. Do you homeschool, wish you had, or hope your adult children do? Why or why not?

    I don’t know that I would home school. Our public schools in Florida are subpar, to say the best. I would probably do montessori school.

    3. Have you ever struggled with gout? How do you treat it or plan to treat it without the aid of modern medicine during an apocalypse?

    I have gout and do the warm lemon juice to lower uric acid.

    Friday was dh’s birthday. I made him a keto banana cake. It tasted okay but I didn’t care for the texture. He loved it. I am off to the grocery store.

  15. Tara’s questions –
    1. How do you heat your home now, and are how are you preparing to do so during a long-term disaster? For you folks in Florida and other hot climates, how do you plan to weather intense heat during a SHTF event?

    Central HVAC with natural gas heat currently and some serious AC in the summer. For a short-term disaster, we have a generator that will run the heat. We also have a gas heater in the den that will keep that area warm, plus every window also has a storm window. We also have a fireplace for longer-term events. As for the summers, we have fans as the generator won’t run the AC. In a long-term summer event, we will work outside in the early mornings with windows open to cool the house as much as possible. As the heat starts to rise, we will close blinds and curtains to keep out as much heat as possible while keeping as much air flow as possible.

    2. Do you homeschool, wish you had, or hope your adult children do? Why or why not?

    My mother was a teacher and two of my daughters are teachers. I did not homeschool, wish I had or believe any of my children will. Homeschooling is a choice that is none of my business and as long as your child is able to read, write and understand life, it’s a great choice for you. My mother supplemented our formal education by teaching us at home in many of the same ways homeschooled children are educated – hands on learning, reading to us, always having a dictionary available and many other ways. I was not as intensive with it with my children, but I also worked full time and still do. I fully expect that I will have the opportunity to help supplement the educations of my grandchildren in many of the same ways my mother did mine. The only thing I wish I could have done for my children was send them to private school for more than a year or two, but that early foundation provided them enough head start that they did well in school.

    3. Have you ever struggled with gout? How do you treat it or plan to treat it without the aid of modern medicine during an apocalypse?

    Not that I’m aware of. Even if I get it prior to SHTF, I would do my best to treat it naturally. My brother that has had gout uses Nettle Leaf capsules and has not had a flare-up since.

    Grammy’s Questions:
    1. Do you have SIMPLE soap recipes that you’ve found to work that you’re willing to share with me? I’m looking for something using ingredients from the grocery store/homestead, not one that I need to order things to make. (I have goats milk and honey, and would love to use the milk in my soaps and/or lotions. Pinterest has a lot, but I want some that work.)

    Sorry, no, but I saw the one Goatlover posted and it sounds wonderful.

    2. For those of you who homestead, how do you manage your outdoor and indoor chores? I find it difficult to keep a clean house, garden, can/freeze, and care for the animals. Maybe I’m too hard on myself. Maybe I spend too much time doing unimportant things.

    I wouldn’t call myself a true homesteader, but working full time provides its own challenges. I also have four senior cats with one that now requires daily medication and our garden just got to be 40′ by 70′. Keeping up with everything is difficult and the things I have let slide over the years are now happening more regularly because my time is managed more by me than by the schedules of my children. The DH does a LOT of things that just wouldn’t happen if I were alone. I also have flexible work hours and am able to take time off during the peak of harvest season. I can also get at least one daughter to help with canning and preserving with another beginning to come around to help. The biggest thing I have learned is that some things need to be perfect (canning and preserving) but other things don’t (house cleaning). I hope this helps.

    3. Has anyone had experience with a Henry Milker? I have a Saanen goat with very small teats, and someone recommended I get one to help with milking her. Should I get one or sell her?

    No, but we had a miniature goat when I was about 10. Nanny was even house trained. LOL

    Thor’s questions:
    1) Do you have a gas mask for all your family members?

    No

    2) Do you have at least 500 rounds of ammunition for each gun you own?

    Maybe. I tend to order it when the DH tells me it’s on sale somewhere without asking if we need it. For some reason, he hasn’t told me about any sales lately.

    3) Have you fortified your home?

    Probably not as much as it could be, but I’m OK with it as is.

    4) Do you think CNN will now go bankrupt since the Muller investigation is over?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA – the Communist News Network – unfortunately, someone will continue to support it.

      1. Prepared Grammy,

        I’m learning to change my housekeeping standards. Clean, but lived in.

        Thos have pretty much always been our standards. I’ve been to a few places where things were so proper I felt I did not dare to sit anywhere, lest I mess up the doilies. I expect that, in a demonstration house at the “Parade of Homes”; but, while a house can be “perfect: most homes tend to be “lived in”. While it may shock some, I don’t even make my bed every morning, since no one but the DW & me ever see that room. We can be a bit cluttered and even have a bit of outside “dirt” near the doors; but, everything else is kept clean and sanitary.

      2. PG – housekeeping standards for us have been the “speed clean before company comes over” method for a long time. Generally speaking though, the areas that need to be clean for health and safety reasons have always been kept clean. Some things just aren’t as important as others.

    1. I think all of you would feel comfortable in my home. My home is my domain and I like it to be comfortable, which could mean some clutter, or having to move a book, or newspaper in the chair to sit down, but the things that need to be clean are clean. I’m also a pretty good cook.

      1. Jean,

        I think all of you would feel comfortable in my home. My home is my domain and I like it to be comfortable, which could mean some clutter, or having to move a book, or newspaper in the chair to sit down, but the things that need to be clean are clean.

        That sounds a lot like our place and I suspect most on this forum. The bathroom and eating areas are kept very clean and the rest of the place is kept relatively clean, except of course for the occasional tufts of cat fur that we seem to never get completely taken care of. To have a seat you might have to move a paper or blanket, or a cat; but, once sitting, at least in certain areas, you are likely to have a cat join you on your lap.

        I’m also a pretty good cook.

        So are we, with me actually being a bit better than the DW, or at least more venturesome. Her problem with my cooking is that I am very liberal on my use of pans, bowls, dishes, and utensils, making the cleanup a bit more of a challenge than when she cooks.
        I might also cook some things some people don’t care for, like Liver & Onions, Corn Meal Mush and Scrapple (from scratch) and often experiment with ingredients. Other than classic recipes like pancakes, cakes, breads, etc I rarely use recipes, mostly just cooking for texture and taste.

      2. Jean, I would always rather visit a ‘lived in’ home than a ‘showroom’! I remember my great aunts etc that had the ‘living room’ with the plastic covered furniture that never got sat on…As TOP mentioned, the important areas are cleaned regularly in our home, the rest of the house, well, there are dustbunnies and mud from the dog, which we clean as we can…You are welcome over any time!

  16. I learned a survival tip from an old military friend.

    If you get lost in the woods, start talking about politics. Someone will show up to argue with you.

    1. Zulu 3-6,

      I learned a survival tip from an old military friend.
      If you get lost in the woods, start talking about politics. Someone will show up to argue with you.

      There is a flaw in your algorithm. If you are on the ”Right” side, the person showing up to argue is probably already lost. and thus of no help, LOL,

          1. Thor1,

            does the NBC gas mask protect you from NBC news…..LOL

            Somehow I doubt it; but, the remote control can do that easily.
            While I don’t often watch CNN, I do watch all of the local network channels, each of which gives me a different perspective on local and national events, and how important they seem to be to each side.

          2. Thor1,

            No, I’m afraid you’ll have to use your TV remote control for that. Or, a load of 12ga, 00-buck into the TV itself.

  17. Was going to spend this weekend clearing stuff out of the garage, but the head cold DH has had for the past week descended on me yesterday, so no energy. Did get a work-related storage unit cleaned out today, which is great. It’s been a drain on our finances for 20 years. Glad to be out from under the stuff that was in there.

    Temps have warmed this week and we’ve had some rain, so the snow pack has really diminished. It was in the high 50s today so I turned off the heaters and opened some windows for a couple of hours, just to change the air. Made a big difference.

    Heat: We have three kerosene heaters (Toyostove), two upstairs, one in the cellar which we keep at about 50 degrees. We don’t use the cellar much in the winter, although it’s fully finished as living space. We took out all the baseboard electric heaters in this house as we were renovating, since electric is THE most expensive way to heat hereabouts and the baseboards were circa 1960 and looking pretty tired and ugly. We also have an indoor portable kerosene heater which we’ve never used, but could pull some fuel out of the K-1 tank and fire it up if needed. Several years ago, for some reason I got it into my noggin that we needed a wood stove. A few weeks later, Hurricane Sandy hit – we never lost power, but it was good to know we’d have heat and a way to cook if we had a long-term outage. We actually did use the wood stove during the Christmas power outage a few years back. We also have a heatolator fireplace in the cellar that puts out a surprising amount of heat, and a pass-through fireplace on the first floor that goes through from the kitchen to the living room. Two is one and one is none, right? Tractor Supply sells pressed-sawdust fire bricks so we have several of those stashed away. We also have an LP generator and several large bottles of LP to keep the house running if need be.

    I also have a solar oven that I could use to cook in a grid-down situation, along with a gas grill, two charcoal grills, and an outdoor fire bowl, along with sterno cans and a holder. Trickiest part of the Ice Storm of 1998 was getting a cup of coffee on day one with no power (in our old house). DH had built a fire in the fireplace, so I raked up some coals, boiled water in a saucepan over them, and poured it through a Melitta filter into a thermos coffee jug. Best cup of coffee I ever had. Things didn’t look nearly so dire after some caffeine. (But no power for 8 days does try one’s patience.). I must have some kind of prescience about these things, because a few weeks before the ice storm, a now-defunct warehouse store near us was going out of business, and we lost power fairly regularly at that house – albeit for short durations – so I bought a small generator. It needed to be refueled every 2 hours but it was enough to power our kerosene heater and keep us warm in January.

    CNN will survive. Heck, I was there when Ted Turner launched it 35 years ago. It’s good to have a lot of diverse points of view. If we plow the same ground over and over, we wind up in a rut.

    1. MaineBrain,

      We took out all the baseboard electric heaters in this house as we were renovating, since electric is THE most expensive way to heat hereabouts

      Some news from flyover country, electric is THE most expensive way to heat, anywhere.

      Tractor Supply sells pressed-sawdust fire bricks so we have several of those stashed away.

      While we have an ample supply of firewood, a supply of these stashed in and around the house might be a good idea. Thanks for the mention.

      CNN will survive. Heck, I was there when Ted Turner launched it 35 years ago. It’s good to have a lot of diverse points of view. If we plow the same ground over and over, we wind up in a rut.

      And we all should understand that a rut is just a grave with open ends.

    2. MB,

      I hope you get to feeling better real soon.

      Lots of organizing getting done by the pack.. 🙂

      On your kerosene heater in the cellar, is there a smell or any oily residue that gets on things? I’ve thought about getting one, but have heard that the smell is bad. I am allergic to a lot of smelly things.

      1. Almost There,

        All of our Toyo units are vented to the outside. No smell inside. You can smell the exhaust if you’re outside near the vent, but it dissipates pretty quickly. We also have a portable K-1 heater for extended grid-down, but it’s still sitting in the box so I can’t vouch for whether it would give off an odor. I have read that you should crack a window open when using the portables.

    3. Hey! Those Toyostoves are awesome! I purchased one many, many years ago, and took good care of it and it has in turn taken good care of me when I needed it to do so. It is an excellent heat source when there is no heat.

      1. For you AT – there can be some smell with the Kerosene stoves, but they now make the kerosene with an additive that pretty much takes care of that problem.

        1. Jean,

          there can be some smell with the Kerosene stoves, but they now make the kerosene with an additive that pretty much takes care of that problem.

          We used to use a couple of KeroSun heaters before switching to Propane (LPG) about 20 years ago. They actually don’t put an additive into the kerosene; but, essentially a subtractive. Straight kerosene has a lot of sulfur in it; but, the K-1 is the same thing with the sulfur filtered out. Another thing we noticed about kerosene heating was that the slightly more expensive fiberglass wick was better than the cotton wick, because if you run out of kerosene the flame goes out; but, with a cotton wick the wick starts to burn and creates a lot of soot. I saw this happen to a neighbor who had little specks of carbon soot on everything that took weeks to get all cleaned up.

        2. This is actually for Almost There, we use kerosene as supplement heat, and I can definitely smell it. We purchase additive which is supposed to cut down on the smell, as well as extend wick life. I mostly notice it on shut down, sometimes on start up i can instantly tell if the heater didn’t light correctly. I am sensitive to some smells, but not so much the kerosene. But that might be because we’ve used it for so long. I have actually found that I am more sensitive to the use of propane heaters like Mr. Buddy, which we also use. So with your sensitivies, I suggest you find a way to try them both and see which you might tolerate better, as well as which might be more economically sensible for you.

  18. I have a wood stove and a small heater in the bedroom
    With the propane cookstove in use I can keep the house warm enough by using all 3.
    I have some fans including a battery powered one.
    No kids but I think I would homeschool if I had any.
    No gout but definitely developing arthritis in both knees so will be talking with the doctor on Wednesday about options.
    Thor’s questions are no, no and no. More things to add to the list.
    Packaged up a couple bags of corn meal. Picking up sale items to put on the shelf and an extra pair of shoes (hate shoe shopping so when I find some that I like I try to get more).

    1. Suzyq,

      I have a wood stove and a small heater in the bedroom
      With the propane cookstove in use I can keep the house warm enough by using all 3.

      A Terra Cotta flower pot or two, inverted over the burner on the stove will really amplify the heat you get from it.

  19. Our house is electrically heated by a heat pump – basically an air conditioner with the Freon flow reversed in winter so it exhausts heat into the house. Our BOL is heated by wood, although there is also a propane furnace. We reserve the propane mostly for cooking and heating water. We have a very good airtight wood stove and a good supply of firewood. If we don’t make it to the BOL post -SHTF, we won’t last very long. Our house looks like a fort, with steel roll up shutters and brick on the house itself, also 6′ block fence around the back. The BOL is made of 8″ thick poured concrete – not too sure what else we should, or could do to harden that.
    We have no school age children and have never had gout.

    For preps, we fertilized the orange trees. They are in full bloom and smell wonderful, perfuming the air all round. Bees are working them continuously. Hoping for a bountiful harvest in November and December.
    Filled several tuna cans with paraffin, each with a small piece of paper for easier lighting. Bought a small grinder for easier grinding of small jobs.

    1. Billy T,

      If we don’t make it to the BOL post -SHTF, we won’t last very long. Our house looks like a fort, with steel roll up shutters and brick on the house itself, also 6′ block fence around the back. The BOL is made of 8″ thick poured concrete – not too sure what else we should, or could do to harden that.

      WOW. You have a much more serious view of EOTW security than we do and if you’re level of fortification ends up being required, then me and mine, including most of my rural neighborhood are toast. We are relying at least in part on being relatively remote and having a neighborhood of farm folk who are relatively self sufficient and armed.

      Filled several tuna cans with paraffin, each with a small piece of paper for easier lighting. Bought a small grinder for easier grinding of small jobs.

      Instead of a piece of paper, rolling up some corrugated cardboard topped with melted paraffin works well here. Having various methods of grinding is also a good idea and we have several.
      Your fortifications are still impressive.

      1. Hi OP. We didn’t actually plan our security that way. Bought both properties with those characteristics already in place. The house is in an older retirement community. One of the reasons we chose it is the block fence, which we needed for our Labrador. But the Roller shields were already installed. The BOL happened to be the best deal in the area we wanted to be. It was also a bargain, due to deplorable condition. I had to replace 7 windows, all the doors, the kitchen, the bathroom and build a laundry room from scratch since it had none, also a wood shed. Thankfully, those were all things I could do for myself. The lot was very grown up with brush and It had a broken down barbed wire fence all round. DW cleared all that brush and removed the fence. Tons of sweat went into making it very nice. We had countless passersby stop to thank us. Anyway, the security of the building is compromised by the lack of defensible space. It is possible to come as close as 20 yards or so without being seen from the house. We will need to have a sentry 24/7, post SHTF. I intend also to make use of alarms and if necessary, booby traps.

  20. Mom of Three,.
    to add to what AC said, i have been there did that. Medicare generally will not pick up medical care until everything expended, and must be admitted from hosp usually. Must pay ahead.
    Had situation w/ violence, if mean streak. prepare doors where she can not lock self in. put alarm on outside doors.so she can not leave without alarm. if possible place high lock..top of door-hard to reach.
    ..oatmeal if sh likes it, add coconut oil in her diet…cook eggs in it, add in place of butter to veggies and cooked cereals…citicoline helps more than anything…returned DD’s memory. easier to care for someone when they are not frightened. It is a substance normal in brain, replaces reduced ability to make.

    ALL concerned re:gout. cherry concentrate is available in gel cap and capsule form, for longer term storage/needs. Also research Baking soda and arthritis… some case studies say has helped gout, fibromyalgia, osteo and rheumtoid..forms of arthritis.. READ several articles, some give specific amounts.Start low to determine own need AND tolerance.

  21. Mom of three, when I was dealing with my parents and their estate last year, I was told that I could be responsible for thier debt if I was a signee on thier bank accounts while they were alive and afterwards. Be careful what you sign.

    1. ShirlGirl & Mom of three,

      I was told that I could be responsible for thier debt if I was a signee on thier bank accounts while they were alive and afterwards. Be careful what you sign.

      Another thing along this line is to get into and empty / close out any safe deposit boxes right now!!!
      My dad passed in 2002 & mom in 2011; but, settling the estate was held up for almost 9 months, since mom had a safe deposit box at a local bank. We had to get the executor (my late brother), our attorney, a bank representative, and an auditor from the state of PA to align their schedules and all be present for the opening of that box. This would allow the state of PA to claim their piece of the stash of gold bars hidden in that box; however, the only PM’s were half a roll of old silver dimes and quarters, and a few Morgan & Peace dollars, with a total face value of less than $20.00 and some paperwork like deeds and titles. That little stash held up closing the estate for months, so if there is a safe deposit box involved, get it closed out and cleared out before it gets locked up tight due to a death.

      1. TOP,

        That kind of legal mess is one reason I don’t have a safety deposit box. I have a safe and #1 daughter has instructions on what is in there and how to get into it. Essentially she is to clean it out if I die (actually take it out of my place to hers). There are a few things in there I am holding for my Ex and our daughter knows about them too.

        I learned how easy it is to freeze a safety deposit box when I worked narcotics. We did it all of the time to the dope man. When we raided dope houses, evidence of safety deposit box ownership was one of the things we searched for. Found a lot of dope in those things along with a lot of cash and PM.

        1. Yep.. I truly believe a home safe obscured by a bunch of junk is easier for the executer to access than anything in a bank that could close its doors at any moment.
          It seems many of my parents’ generation put their total trust in banks and medical doctors…. even after the big depression.
          I am grateful for advances in medicine and banking, but I am not putting all of my eggs in one basket.
          It did help for my parents to name me on one bank account as beneficiary. That transition was seamlessly wired to my bank same day.

          1. hirlGirl,

            Yep.. I truly believe a home safe obscured by a bunch of junk is easier for the executer to access than anything in a bank that could close its doors at any moment.
            Executor’s are for now, my last concern. I may need some of that cash, or as was the recent case, documentation like Birth Certificates to renew driver’s licenses and state identification cards, since we are opting for the new Federally compliant ID, without which boarding a commercial flight or entering a secure federal facility will be verboten after October 2020. While the later generally doesn’t involve my activities, we do sometimes fly on vacation.
            As I stated to Zulu 3-6 earlier, this is where a bit of clutter can come in handy.

            It seems many of my parents’ generation put their total trust in banks and medical doctors…. even after the big depression.
            I am grateful for advances in medicine and banking, but I am not putting all of my eggs in one basket.

            I agree especially on the medicine; but, don’t eschew modern medicine altogether, since medications, modern procedures and devices are what have been keeping me alive for a long time. One should however always ask about new medications &/or look them up, which is easy in our modern connected world. Never hesitate to ask any doctor enough questions until you fully understand medications and procedures, and don’t be afraid to dump any that won’t comply. I have only dumped one doctor in all of my years; but, that cardiologist tried to treat me like a mushroom and after 2 visits I found another with the help of my primary care doctor.

            It did help for my parents to name me on one bank account as beneficiary. That transition was seamlessly wired to my bank same day.

            This is an important thing for all of us, since in most cases it happens without a problem. We are shortly going to be updating our 25 year old will to a family trust, that can make probate even easier.

        2. Zulu 3-6,

          That kind of legal mess is one reason I don’t have a safety deposit box. I have a safe and #1 daughter has instructions on what is in there and how to get into it. Essentially she is to clean it out if I die (actually take it out of my place to hers). There are a few things in there I am holding for my Ex and our daughter knows about them too.

          I have not had one of those since my first years out of college in the early 1970’s when I didn’t yet know any better. Like you, we have a safe; but, also have some fireproof boxes (actually fire rated) with handles stashed around the place. We keep some cash in one, PM’s in another, and important documents in a third, with copies of those documents also scanned and stored on thumb drives in each of those other boxes. The one with the cash also contains a laser printed sheet of paper with access information for all of our online accounts, from PayPal & Amazon to our Bank and Brokerages. While the DW is getting better using online accessibility (like Amazon LOL) some of the brokerage accounts would involve transactions like selling stocks and requesting distributions, so that paperwork would allow one of the kids to help her on the event of my demise prior to her.
          The one advantage of a large house (12 rooms including 4 bedrooms not including the basement) with a bit of clutter is that hiding such boxes becomes an easy task, since they jus become the very weak signal in a pile of noise.

          I learned how easy it is to freeze a safety deposit box when I worked narcotics. We did it all of the time to the dope man. When we raided dope houses, evidence of safety deposit box ownership was one of the things we searched for. Found a lot of dope in those things along with a lot of cash and PM.

          Having a safety deposit box with documentation available for people making a raid, is perhaps why they call it dope and the practitioners dopers, LOL.
          I’ve known LEO’s and attorneys that told me that if some of their clientele used half the skills and thoughts they put into committing crimes, for legitimate business ventures, they would still be free and wealthy.

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