What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 4

prep week 4 featured

It has been a very sad week on our survival homesteading retreat. We suddenly, and without warning, tragically lost a member of our tribe – a man everyone would probably agree was the most valuable member.

My husband’s childhood buddy Mark, although everyone called him Matty (and I never really grasped why) or Mad Dog, collapsed at the local pharmacy a few moments after dropping Bobby off at the tire shop.

He was doctoring for a few things, none of which were the cause of his death. Matty seemed indestructible, we are all still in complete shock. Even though his funeral was held yesterday, and we all saw him with a well manicured beard for the very first time, it still doesn’t seem real.

You simply cannot look around a spot on our 56-acre retreat an not see a spot that Matty had not tended to, something he built, dug, repaired, or butted heads with me over at one point or another.

Bobby usually got a kick out of watching two extremely hard-headed, outspoken, and blunt people saying their piece when Matty and I didn’t see things the same way – fortunately for my Bobby, we agreed on most things,

Matty taught us all a whole lot. Even though he could be a gruff mountain man sort, his heart was as large as the great outdoors that he loved so much. He could track, hunt, butcher, garden, can, drive heavy equipment, and identify anything he came across in the woods.

Matty

He has been training our son-in-law how to smoke meat and make jerky and a tribe member’s teenage son how to butcher. Both were inspired by their teacher and what they learned, and have stated they are going to step up and make sure they keep learning and increase their skill-sets.

We had tragedy strike in the barnyard as well. We lost one duck and another is seriously injured and still hanging on. Something, and I am thinking it was a coon (could sure use Matty’s help figuring it out) got into Pearl’s nursing stall, where the ducks decided they wanted to spend the night for the first time in more than a month, and killed my breeder drake.

The female Pekin duck had about half of her feathers pulled off of her back and has injured a foot or leg – or both. I am glad her leg and foot are not broken. There are no signs of distortion, but she can’t really put any weight on it right now – or won’t because it hurts.

If her leg is not broken and since she survived the first night and did not get shock, she has a chance. I believe I can prevent infection from setting in using medicinal remedies, but can’t fix a broken leg. She doesn’t seem to be in enough pain to have something broken, just hurting and still upset over her ordeal.

Bobby said if the predator had not gotten the ducks it would have likely killed Pearl’s kids, and I am sure that he was right. It had had to be a predator that could climb fairly high to get into the nursing stall.

Pearl and her kids are temporarily living in the chicken run, the dog box she lived in before she lived here is inside the run, so that made her feel comfortable after the sudden change of location. The Pekin is inside the brooder and is alone, but can see Pearl and the kids a few feet away and the other members of the barnyard, so at least she hasn’t been completely removed from her familiar surroundings. The duck does not seem to be eating much, but is drinking well – time will tell, I guess.

squash and cucumbers-in the back of a pick-up truck

The garden is starting to produce, but not as good as last year. Bobby and Matty both spent several weeks being down sick with some virus that was going around, and that was when the Japanese beetles I have been battling decided to hit.

children eating berries

The stinkweeds are surely enjoying all of the berries I do get picked. This is their “who me?” look after turning around and asking if they had been eating the berries…again.

Our wild blackberries are not producing as well this year either. So many of them just got fried in this heat, we are going to have to go deeper into our woods to find enough to make my delicious jelly this year.

The only other prepping we were able to get accomplished this week was making some more colloidal silver. We have been taking it when we get sick, and Bobby small doses daily, for several years now and make our own.

This recent bout with a virus aside, Bobby has not gotten sick in all that time and used to get a bad cold at least twice each winter and usually once in the summer.

I hope y’all had a better we than we did here on Serendipity Acres. How did you prep this week?

straberry bush

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 →

169 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 4

  1. The only reason I’m posting this message this way is to tell Thor1, can we please stop the “who’s first game”? It was fun, but it’s kind of lost it’s luster.

    Tara, my condolences. I’ll post more later. I actually have a sick puppy I need to deal with at 0438 in the morning.

      1. LTD, thanks, I think humor is a vital part of prepping. Especially when things get bad. Everyone needs a good laugh.

    1. Sirius, are you serious…. LOL

      You made an effort to be first and neglected a puppy.

      Did the American’s stop when Germany bombed Pearl harbor? Did HRC stop when she lost the election twice…..LOL (Animal House)

      https://youtu.be/DZN4r8p6KbU

      Besides LTD liked it…..

        1. Thor1,

          You big lovable JERK! I am wiping tears off of my face thanks to that video link.

          That, and “I’m a zit! Get it!” Hahahaahhahahaa

          Thanks buddy, I needed that today.

          1. Thor1,

            “He hates these cans!”

            Thank you again. This is a good laughter Sunday.

            Talk soon, Sirius

          1. Some funny stuff here, y’all! My fave scene from “The Jerk” is still where he’s carny worker, and he explains, “you can win anything from here to here”, gradually shrinking to an area 6 inches by six inches square!

      1. Hahahaha!!!

        The pup is fine. He just had a heat rash that some calimine took care of. But thanks to you, YOU JERK! This song is now in my head. Copyright and courtesty of “The Kingsmen”.

        Louie Louie, oh no, you take me where ya gotta go, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, baby
        Louie Louie, oh baby, take me where ya gotta go
        A fine little girl, she waits for me
        Me catch the ship across the sea
        Me sailed the ship all alone
        Me never think I’ll make it home
        Louie Louie, oh no no no, me gotta go, oh no
        Louie Louie, oh baby, me gotta go
        Three nights and days I sailed the sea
        Me think of girl constantly
        On the ship, I dream she there
        I smell the rose in her hair
        Louie Louie, oh no, me gotta go, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, baby
        Louie Louie, oh baby, me gotta go
        Okay, let’s give it to ’em right now
        Me see
        Me see Jamaica, the moon above
        It won’t be long me see me love
        Me take her in my arms and then
        I tell her I’ll never leave again
        Louie Louie, oh no, me gotta go, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, baby
        Louie Louie, oh baby, me gotta go
        I said me gotta go now
        Let’s hustle on out of here
        Let’s go

        1. “Louie Louie”, written & released by Richard Berry in 1955. Released as a big hit by “The Kingsmen” in 1963.

          Man, we’re gettin’ old! 🎵🎼

          1. LTD,
            I spoke with my mom yesterday. She’s 82. She said this and I quote “Getting old isn’t for pussies” I apologize for the language, but if anyone has an issue with it, they can take it up with mom. I dare you. I double dog dare you. Just make sure I’m not there when it happens. I’ve seen that explosion before.

          2. Livinthedream,

            Man, we’re gettin’ old!

            You did mean mature, right?
            While I’m not a kid anymore like Tara and Sirius, I don’t feel too bad for a person in my age and condition. Medical intervention has helped; but, I personally think clean country living, sleep, exercise, and attitude help a lot.

          3. Hey, OP!

            You’re right! We’re not getting old. We’re just aging – like fine wine! Or, is that cheese?!

          4. Livinthedream,

            You’re right! We’re not getting old. We’re just aging – like fine wine! Or, is that cheese?!

            I’m thinking more like a fine cut of beef or pork, aged to perfection, LOL.
            In any case, as long as I can still look down at the top side of the grass, I’m good with it.

          5. I’d swear the Kingsmen version includes the lines “Every night at ten I lay her again, my special girl across the way” to start the second verse. Not trying to be crude, just sayin’, they may have changed up the lyrics a bit?

          1. TOP,
            I swear, I used to wake the entire dog school barracks up with that song every day. They F’n hated me… BUT, we, as a group, were NEVER late to formation. Thank you “Kingsmen”. Being late would have been a whole lot more ugly.

        2. Hey, there, Mari! Yep. I sometimes havectrouble remembering ALK the lyrics or the artist. Thank goodness fir the internet at such times!

  2. Bought 90 lbs of bone-in chicken breast (@ 99 cents a pound @ Kroger and canned 36 quarts – half in roasted and half in “instant soup” – just add more broth and noodles.

    Found a “kill-date” supply of 90/10 ground beef at Sam’s. Canned 12 quarts of ground beef. We use this for people food, but also make dog food with it. We’ve made our furkids food for years. It used to be meat, veggies and rice. Now that they are older, it’s meat, veggies (sliced carrots and green beans or peas), and organic oat groats. Our furkids are 13 and 14, Black Lab mixes. We’ve had one since she was 2 months, and the other since she was 6 months. They are very sweet dogs – both of them among our rescues, and we have helped rescue many dogs, and a few cats, over the years.

    Picked up some packs of Kroger thick-sliced bacon for a good price. Hope to get those canned this week.

    Bought a 2-burner LP-powered outdoor cook stove. I have an LP stove in the house, but wanted to be able to cook outdoors on one of these. Things like bacon, that likes to splatter everywhere. I have cooked it in oven, but I don’t want it splattering all over my oven. I also plan to use it to render fat when canning beef, as the smell is not at all pleasant. DH put cooker together. DH is a very good “put ‘er togetherer”! Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. Apparently, a defective part. He will try to remedy the problem. Chinese craftsmanship (or, lack of it) strikes again.

    Went to an estate sale: picked up a few useful devices for the homestead – nothing to get too excited about. Did get another handicapped potty in frame for $5, which will go in the attic with the other one. Useful for when you can’t flush the potties, of course. We got a hole dug for an outhouse, but it’s just covered for now. Need to get that outhouse built!

    Also picked up two more walkers for the same $5 at the estate sale (sold in a lot). I’m hanging onto to those for future needs, as well. Got a few of those in the attic. May be a good barter item one day. Good thing we have a big attic.

    Went to favorite resale shop and bought several nice hardcover books at $1 each. DH is a big fan of the works of Michael Crichton; got several “new” books of his work. I got a book I treasure on the Life of John Wayne, and a book about Sgt. Alvin York (a true American hero and Brother-in-Christ). I have been to Jamestown, TN, where there is a museum for him. He built a Christian school in that area from the money he made.

    Went to bargain stores. Picked up a total of 15 lbs. of Himalayan Pink Salt at an average price of $1.53 per pound! Woo-hooo! I have paid as much as $6 per pound for HPS. Some of it is larger grain than we like; I’ll just whirl it about in the food processor to make it finer.

    Cleaned and moved large chicken tractor, with DH’s help, of course. This is where I moved the wasps, except for one that stung me twice. Thanks for info, OP. Stocking up on Benadryl-type med. Took four days for the swelling to go down on that sting site and it itched like crazy. Have decided I won’t bother with moving wasps, again. They kept trying to return. We have heavy-duty tarps over the tractors to keep brutal sun off birds; I had to spray the interior tarps with wasp spray to keep the buggers out.

    Moved Spring Isbar hatches into newly prepared tractor. They are loving all the extra space, as they are getting large. Too large for grow out pen. Now we just need to get a new house built and attached to this tractor. Meanwhile, they love their roosting bar.

    All the cockerels are beginning to learn to crow. Poor things – they sound like they are strangling! They were hatched in April and May.

    Did a hive inspection. Thought it would be time to add a super, but, it was not. That means we have only the brood box and one super for each hive, nothing in super but bees buzzing about. I hope they move into the super and start building soon. I’m a little concerned about that.

    DEAL OF THE WEEK? I believe I may have found a source for “Certified Naturally Grown” (organic) veggies and fruits! They will cost a lot more than “conventional”, of course, but will be worth it!

    Did pick up a small mess of organic okra and am in process of dehydrating it. Have to give that a try.

    Picked another good mess of blueberries from our bushes. One bush, in particular, is producing beautifully. There will be more blueberries to come. Will be making another batch of yummy blueberry jelam asap.

    Bought a $6 LED “lantern”; uses two “D” batteries. Only 150 lumens, so, not a lot of light, but, it works. Found at Bargain Hunt. They had lots of them.

    I’m regaining use of the injured finger. I’m actually typing with it today! There will likely be some permanent damage to nerves, but I can still use my favorite trigger finger, so, that’s okay!

    1. LivintheDream,

      Picked up some packs of Kroger thick-sliced bacon for a good price. Hope to get those canned this week.
      Bought a 2-burner LP-powered outdoor cook stove. I have an LP stove in the house, but wanted to be able to cook outdoors on one of these. Things like bacon, that likes to splatter everywhere. I have cooked it in oven, but I don’t want it splattering all over my oven.

      As you may know, L.P. or propane is my favorite fuel.
      We’ve bought one of those “As Seen On TV” items called the “Bacon Bonanza” for oven cooking bacon and it works very well. You do get a little splatter; but, since the bacon is held horizontally above the drip pan, there is not as much spatter and the bacon is less greasy.

      I also plan to use it to render fat when canning beef, as the smell is not at all pleasant. DH put cooker together. DH is a very good “put ‘er togetherer”! Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. Apparently, a defective part. He will try to remedy the problem. Chinese craftsmanship (or, lack of it) strikes again.

      I’ve had to engineer a few solutions of my own with that “Chinese craftsmanship”; but, the fact that you have someone who can also do that is a bonus, since I know some city people who I’m not sure can change a light bulb without first watching the YouTube example.

      Also picked up two more walkers for the same $5 at the estate sale (sold in a lot). I’m hanging onto to those for future needs, as well. Got a few of those in the attic. May be a good barter item one day.

      We have both a walker & a pot. I’m hoping some day to barter them; but, realistically, we may need them for our own use.

      Went to favorite resale shop and bought several nice hardcover books at $1 each. DH is a big fan of the works of Michael Crichton; got several “new” books of his work.

      I have read nearly everything written by Dr. Michael Crichton, starting with “The Andromeda Strain” written the year I graduated High School. I had always like science fiction; but, this book and his others had a different twist on the genre. My daughter is also a big fan, and lived in a college dorm that allowed cats. When she graduated from college, she couldn’t find an apartment that allowed pets, so we’ve now had that cat for several years. I only bring this up because his name is, yep: Crichton, although his nickname was “Derp cat” for the stupid things he would do.
      Heres’ one of my favorite quotes from the doctor: “Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.”
      A good thought to ponder for any of us.

      Went to bargain stores. Picked up a total of 15 lbs. of Himalayan Pink Salt at an average price of $1.53 per pound! Woo-hooo! I have paid as much as $6 per pound for HPS. Some of it is larger grain than we like; I’ll just whirl it about in the food processor to make it finer.

      Does this bargain store have a name?

      We have heavy-duty tarps over the tractors to keep brutal sun off birds; I had to spray the interior tarps with wasp spray to keep the buggers out.

      Wasps and raccoons are some of the most persistent critters around our place also.

      Did a hive inspection. Thought it would be time to add a super, but, it was not. That means we have only the brood box and one super for each hive, nothing in super but bees buzzing about. I hope they move into the super and start building soon. I’m a little concerned about that.

      Has the heat been an issue? I stopped beekeeping in 2015; but, hope to start again next spring and the few folks I know who do keep bees are having a great year, with the only problem being wax moths with one of them.

      Picked another good mess of blueberries from our bushes. One bush, in particular, is producing beautifully. There will be more blueberries to come. Will be making another batch of yummy blueberry jelam asap.

      We have two plants still in pots that need to be transplanted; but, even those are producing this year. Must be a good year for them.

      Bought a $6 LED “lantern”; uses two “D” batteries. Only 150 lumens, so, not a lot of light, but, it works. Found at Bargain Hunt. They had lots of them.

      I have some headlamps from Rural King that are only 60 lumens, and they are glaringly bright. Sometimes that lumen number is tossed around without much meaning. Also, if you place the lantern (or any lantern or candle) in front of a mirror, it will fill the room with more light for not much cost.

      1. Morning, OP!

        Mirrors – yep, they work! But cheap LED lantern ended up in chicken house, so, don’t think I’ll hang a mirror out there! However, I have bought every vintage oil lamp & candle holder I can find with a mirror to reflect the light & have them in every room & hallway. We are remote & do have power outages. No worries!

        Himalayan Pink Salt found at Tuesday Morning & Bargain Hunt. Both have food aisles.

        1. Livinthedream,

          Himalayan Pink Salt found at Tuesday Morning & Bargain Hunt. Both have food aisles.

          OK, yet two more stores we don’t have around here, LOL.
          We’re also rather rural / remote and have only had the whole house generator for less than two years; but, I still understand having backups to the backups for heating & lighting, although we don’t have many candles or plain oil lamps around anymore, using Coleman & Aladdin mantle lamps and of course the new LED lamps. It’s a great time for preppers when it comes to lighting.

          1. Livinthedream,
            Although I had never heard of it before your mention, Tuesday Morning has 5 locations within an hour drive from here; but, nearly everything except the local Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowes are at least an hour.
            Bargain Hunt has a location a bit less than an hour.
            Now the task is talking the DW into making a road trip. I don’t drive on the highways due to my vision issues and she is not a “shopper” ; but, perhaps we can come to a compromise, since these sound like great places to get lost and spend money, LOL.

        2. Livinthedream,

          Thanks for the names of the stores. I had never heard of them, but doing a google search I found out that we have both in our area. I’ve got to go and check them out.

          1. You are most welcome, Terra! Both stores sell close-outs, so if they have it today, buy it today. It may not be there tomorrow. Bargain Hunt puts a pricevon a “thing” when it hits the floor, but the price keeps going down over time. Check the pricing “color codes” posted around to know the CURRENT price.

            Tuesday Morning has a fixed price, but they always have a wall of clearance items further reduced.

      2. Bees: I’m sure heat has been an issue. We’ve been running 96°F with high humidity. It’s been bad. But, I fill a deep bird bath filled with ricks every morning with cool water I have hives set up so they don’t get full morning sun. They have a large, thick bush as a wind break from the west, so they get afternoon sun, but they are somewhat shielded. They do use the face (east-facing) front of hives to cool themselves, but I have not seen large masses, such as “bearding”. I need to figure out what’s going on – why they aren’t moving from brooder to first super. All help welcome.

          1. Livinthedream,

            filled with rocks

            That’s what I figured, LOL.
            Your setup with a watering hole for the girls is BTW a great idea, with the rocks as perches for drinking. We have an ever flowing creek just to the west of where we have (had) the hives, also with morning sun and afternoon shade and windbreak from the west. Sounds like a well thought out setup.

  3. Oh, Tara, I am so very sorry for the loss of your dear tribe member and friend, Matty. He sounds very much like a life well lived! May your heart heal with this knowledge.

  4. I regret the challenges you are experiencing with your livestock and gardens, as well. I feel your pain.

  5. Our Japanese Beetle battle is over for this year. They’ve moved to the next phase of their existence, no doubt. One way to reduce them next year is to heavily till the garden in late fall. They overwinter in the soil as grubs and this kills many of the grubs.

  6. I would like it very much if you would write a piece, perhaps a “tribute”, and share it on just this wonderful mountain man, “Matty”.

  7. Tara, sorry for your losses.

    Puppy almost did a back flip trying to catch a ball from the ball gun. I mix it up for him, in the air,on the ground and bounce it on the ground real close. Bouncing it makes him look like he is just floating in the air…… LOL

    Made sure everything was charged up with these storms coming in. I expect power to go off.

    Bought water
    Bought spam
    Bought extra chew bones for puppy. He loves those things and usually eats them in an hour or two…..LOL

    Bought lots of meat…bacon has gone up……..BC must be hoarding again….LOL

    Took the Glocks to the range and punched holes in paper…..LOL

    Picked more tomatoes and started more celery. Now if I can just fnd a vodka plant……

    Be safe in these storms

    Did a test with the inergy Kodiak solar generator and the living solutions single electric burner to boil 2 cups of water. It past the test with flying colors.

    Now I know I can cook Ramen noodles and boil water to drink if necessary………Woohoo

  8. Zeroed the M-1 carbine. It generally hits to point of aim. Very enjoyable little rifle. The 30 round mags worked. The 15 round mags were fine too. Just have to get used to the manual of arms.

    Brought the AR-15 out to recheck the zero and see if I still “had it”. I may not be able to knock out as many push-ups as I did 30 years ago but my marksmanship had endured.

    Bought some low-sodium Spam and some good tuna. We rotated the cans. I grabbed a few boxes of store brand pop tarts too.

    Still looking at properties in Eastern Tennessee. Philadelphia and Loudon look promising. We’re visiting the area in a few weeks. Can’t wait to be in a free state.

    1. Overwatch:

      As I have a pretty good setup with SPAM, low-sodium is all I’ll buy now. I figure I can always add salt.

      I can appreciate the push-ups comment. I’m not sure I can get past 5 amymore.

      1. JP & OW,

        Spam…..Synthetic Preppers Artificial Meat…….LOL

        Love that stuff…..I have low sodium, jalapeño, regular, turkey, lite…..

        I also love my push up station in my gym room.

        JP, who is Amy More ? LOL

          1. JP,gotta eat more carrots….Gotta keep those eyes ready for long range shooting.

            I had a buddy who taught Seal snipers long range shooting. Be nice to older guys wearing little round glasses….LOL

    1. Ummm… How do I put this? Friday and Saturday nights, my oldest boy works at my friend’s Italian restaurant in RI. Mrs. Overwatch wants me to stay there and keep an eye on things. Friday, I put down about ten beers, steamed clams, and a lobstah! All drenched with buttah. Last night, I had a sixteen ounce NY strip, penne with red sauce, and a baked potato. The owner says my son was his best hire. He pays him $50-60 and I spend $100. On top of that, my friends show up and do the same thing.

      In all seriousness, the rest of the week, I do try to do better. I’ve lost 14 lbs since May. I’ve been walking and fairly active. My eating is significantly lighter too,

  9. Tara, 1st I want to say you paid a good tribute to your lost friend. It would be good for all of us to be remembered like that some day.

    I’m just coming off another nightly bought of stomach ???? Swollen up, some pain, a lot of discomfort, with nausea. This time I think I figured out what it was caused by. I love dates, but it appears they no longer love me.

    Our house was grounded with 2 8’ copper rods in front of the house. I want to plant fruit bushes in that spot, so we finally got the rods and ground moved to the back of the house; now I can use the small power tiller in the bed.

    It pays to check your bills periodically. We have Verizon cellular service (because it works out here in the sticks). I was reviewing my bill as we just started a new month. I changed to a new plan with more data for less money (?). We don’t use much data (my DW is the only one with a “smart” phone, so our 4Gb plan with roll-over works. But they offered me 5 GB for $8 less per month. Okay, more money/more options for me!

    Got the DW’s ATV trailer back. $295 for new axle and hubs. We ordered one but got 2 so put the both new ones on. Replaced the broken lens and found a round on for my friend’s (he loans that trailer a lot and the lenses always get broken). DW’s ATV has a bad fuel pump; got it on order.

    Took a day trip with the DW and the kids (2 dogs). Found a Frog Togg camo jacket with hood on sale (for the ATV bag), made a Costco run for paper goods, found my next pair of boots, and generally had a good day ogling the DW.

      1. Overwatch:

        Pretty sure it’s not that; DW has it. It has something to do with what I’m eating, this time I’m sure it was the dates. Last time, we both got it at the same time, so not sure what that one was. Seems to last about 8 hours of misery then I get better and can sleep.

        So…..

          1. JP, I found this when i searched for side effects of eating dates… one possible answer..
            .. Body’s Sensitivity To Sulfite – Sulfite is a chemical added to dates to maintain their waxy coating and shine. It also increases the shelf life of the fruit by preventing harmful bacteria from growing. If your body is sensitive to sulfite, it is very likely that you may face certain complications like excessive bloating, painful stomach aches, and diarrhea.

          2. Anonamo Also,

            JP, I found this when i searched for side effects of eating dates… one possible answer..

            I recall reading years ago that sulfites were used for many dried fruits including dates, figs, apricots, and peaches, so a quick search found the following information, that may be useful in explaining the potential side effects and how to mitigate them.
            They are BTW naturally occurring in some foods, including some wines, and their use as a preservative goes back 500 or more years.
            How sulfur dioxide is used in food preservation
            https://www.realfoods.co.uk/article/how-sulphur-dioxide-is-used-in-food-preservation
            A guide to sulphite allergy
            https://www.realfoods.co.uk/article/a-guide-to-sulphite-allergy
            Hope this helps. I learned a bit about foods containing minerals and how and why certain vitamins help our metabolism.

  10. Did my usual shopping and added to my grocery stash.

    Sorry to hear about your friend, Tara. People with that kind of knowledge and willingness to share it are rare indeed.

    Ordered and received a PMAG 40-rounder for my M&P-15. Just one. It will be the first magazine in the rifle in the event of a need. The rest of my PMAGs are 30-rounders. When I was in Vietnam I did something similar by scrounging a 30-rounder from the Army and using it as the first magazine in my M-16. The Marines were still using 20-rounders.

    Also ordered 450-rounds of 5.56mm 55-gr ammo, mainly for range use.

    I’m glad I bought one of those battery banks that you can use to jump start your car, several months ago. My SUV was dead when I wanted to go to the bank and grocery store. That little package started up the engine (an 8-cyl) with no trouble and hardly used any juice from the battery. I have a GooLoo Jump Starter Power Bank (it’s a 15,000mAh battery bank). It can also charge or power multiple items. I think I got it from Amazon for about $70.00. Well worth having one just in case. Now I have to figure out why my SUV battery went dead.

    Overwatch: I was very pleased to see I also still had it when I first zeroed my M&P-15 after I bought it. I shot very tight three-round sighting groups and my iron sights were zeroed dead on in nine-rounds, plus three more to make certain. Took a few more to get the EO sights zeroed and co-witnessed. I want to re-zero my HK-91, but I can’t find the necessary sight adjustment tool. The EO sight I have on it is zeroed, but the iron sights are off a bit. I just ordered a new tool.

    Granddaughter is doing very well. She is learning how to talk at a spectacular rate. Baby can recognize and say the whole alphabet now, but she hasn’t got it so she can recite it all from memory yet. She isn’t using the “S” word anymore, so her mom is very happy about that. I offered to teach her the “F” word and got punched in the arm for my trouble. 😊 Baby girl has become a pain about taking naps for her parents. She refused to sleep for a whole day last Friday, fought going to sleep that night, then corked off for 12-hours. She gives me very little problem at nap time (knock on wood), but then I take a nap with her. Her parents rarely nap with her because they have things to do with the “free” time.

    1. Zulu 3-6:

      I bought one of those battery charge packs too. I have not needed it, but I have a friend who’s spare vehicle sits up here for 11 months of the year and the battery is always dead when she gets here.

      The one I bought also has a port to use with my laptop when I’m at shows and such with no AC outlet near. These are small and compact, come in a zippered hard case and quit handy. The next one will be able to start my diesel truck.

  11. JP in MT,

    I doubled checked my pack and it is capable of starting a diesel up to 5.5L or a gas engine up to 6.5L/V8.

    Mine is also capable of running laptops and various kinds of other USB powered devices.

    1. Zulu 3-6:

      I was looking for (and found) one with a 19 V/3.5A output; along with 2 USB (a 1A and a 2A), a 12 V/10A, and a round 15 V/1A. All the cables fit in the lid (although the jumpers are real short. It’s a Vetomile, I got it off Amazon. It still shows a full charge after sitting for 3+ months.

      My truck has a 5.9 diesel, that makes it more expensive of course.

      1. I found this one on ebay for $48, with free shipping after reading a review – Aickar 800A Peak 19800mAh Car Jump Starter

        Not knowing diddly about this stuff, it came highly rated, will jump start 6.5L Gasoline and 4.5L Diesel, different connection cords, has a flashlight, and 2 USB’s. It came in a nice case.

        Someone at work mentioned an Air Hawk that will air up a tire, and uses lithium batteries. Gonna have to check that out next.

  12. Tara, so sorry to hear about the sudden passing of your friend. He sounds like a great guy that surely will be missed.

    I was reaching into our mailbox to get the mail and saw an advertisement below the mailbox where you could receive the newspaper, which we don’t. I reached in the pull out the ad piece and was stung on the hand by a wasp. Ouch, it hurt so bad and hurt the rest of the day. I sent DH out there to spray the mailbox before the mail carrier arrived so they wouldn’t get stung too.

    We bought 2 more Lifestraws at 50% off with the Amazon Prime deal. That’s all we got from the sale. I read somewhere that Amazon sold $100 million during that sale. I had given my kids Lifestraws as one of their Christmas gifts so they could make it to my house if SHTF. So now we are all set with them, but that reminds me that I have to ask my kids if they are keeping the Lifestraw on them or in their vehicles for emergency use if necessary. They think I’m a worrier, but I say that I am just trying to think of Plan B and try to be prepared for worse case.

  13. Tera, I am sorry to hear about your friend. It sounds like he was a good man.

    This week I received $180 for free! I logged on to Amazon Prime Day and I signed up my husband for an Amazon credit card–and got $70. Then I signed up for a Amazon Prime card–and got $60. Then my boss sent me a $50 Amazon card. (This all happened within a 24 hour period.) I bought a pair of shoes for work and a pair of martial arts shoes. My feet get so cold during the winter. I bought some shirts for work. I got my husband a pair of walking shoes and a shirt. They had some great sales for Prime Day.

    I interviewed for another online position. I have the job–the dean just has to sign off on it. Woot! Woot! Life is good. I also got a call from a seminary down in Miami. They are developing an online degree program in my field. This should go live next year. So I will be picking up even more work. I will have five or six jobs starting in the fall. LOL And I get to do them in my pajamas.

    One of my favorite stores had a sale on top round steaks. They looked so good I bought 25 lbs. We got that put up in food saver bags and put in the freezer.

    Oh, for the guys on this site–Eddie Bauer has their t-shirts on sale for $12 with free shipping (use coupon code “LAMP.) I buy these for my husband for Christmas every year. They are very soft and last forever.

    1. Bam Bam,

      This week I received $180 for free! I logged on to Amazon Prime Day and I signed up my husband for an Amazon credit card–and got $70. Then I signed up for a Amazon Prime card–and got $60.

      I also purchased some things (mostly gadgets) on prime day and I’m always offered that $70.00 when I check out; but, haven’t taken them up on it yet, since the one credit card we do have since 1990 is fee free for life and gives us some nice points. Let us know how these work out for you. Also, if you purchased any gadgets (fire stick, Echo Dot, etc) you may have earned some Amazon bucks you can use for video, audio, or Kindle books. I didn’t know that at the time; but, an email informed me of the extra cash for those items that I will be using on my new tablet coming this week.

      pair of martial arts shoes. My feet get so cold during the winter.

      You have martial arts shoes? We always use bare (empty) hands and bare feet, and we don’t live in Florida. You would probably freeze to death up here during our summers; but, then again, my sister in Key West has that same thinned out blood, LOL.

      I will have five or six jobs starting in the fall. LOL And I get to do them in my pajamas.

      Good news on the jobs; but, from someone who has telecommuted a lot, I rarely worked in my pajamas. What worked for me was when I got up, showered, dressed and ate breakfast and then started my day, since it seemed a more serious endeavor and also made me quit on time. When still in my pajamas, I ended up working many extra hours. I know it’s a psychological thing; but, for me, it worked.

      Oh, for the guys on this site–Eddie Bauer has their t-shirts on sale for $12 with free shipping (use coupon code “LAMP.) I buy these for my husband for Christmas every year. They are very soft and last forever.

      I’ll check this out. Thanks for the mention, and for Tara, along with the prepping information and sense of community, this is part of the appeal of this group. We have often pointed out good deals that all of us could save on resources, that often would have otherwise been missed.

      1. O.P.,

        I purchased mostly work clothes and shoes. I also purchased Christmas gifts. (I shop for Christmas the whole year and buy stuff at half price.) The $180 in free amazon dollars was my greatest accomplishment in frugality.)

        I am okay with high temperatures and high humidity. I am good as long as the heat index doesn’t go over 110. But I can’t handle the cold. When temperatures drop into the 70s, I pull out my winter clothes. Our idea of winter here in Florida is 6-10 days of temperatures below 40 degrees.) My feet got so cold doing taekwondo last winter that they turned numb. (These shoes will be a Christmas gift from my husband.) We go barefoot most of the time.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ula4O_guaMg

        At my academy we can tell what kind of day it will be by what kind of footwear Senior Master has on. If he has on teakwondo shoes, we are in for a lot of hard exercise. If he wears foot gear, we will be sparring.

        I am good working in pajamas. Teaching is very different than engineering. With engineering (I imagine) you are given a project and a deadline. If you have to work overtime to get the job done, then so be it–but in person you would get paid the overtime. With teaching, there is no “mission creep.” I grade weekly essays for X number of students and answer student emails within 48 hours, Monday through Friday. I’ve been teaching for so long now that I probably only spend an hour and a half each week per class. If I have a video conference (very rare) then I will shower and dress appropriately. I just can’t believe my good fortune with all these job offers. I will use the extra money to set up a six month reserve (independent of my silver eagles). Then I will weigh increasing my contributions to my retirement accounts versus doing an extra principle payment each month on my mortgage. If I did an extra principle payment I could have my house paid off in six years–by the age of 55. My husband has a friend who owns his own financial advertising firm. He has offered to counsel us for free. I will be nearly doubling my income. This might be a good idea.

        Do check out the shirts. They are top quality, 100 percent heavy cotton and you can order them with pockets or long sleeves. Some of the colors are too bright and ugly. But each year they offer new colors and some are nice. This year I ordered my husband teal, plum and navy. Last year I ordered olive and burgundy. Men are so easy to shop for–two packages of underwear, two packages of socks, six to eight t-shirts, three pairs of shorts, two or three polo shirts, two or three casual shirts, a pair of Levis, two pairs of tennis shoes and a pair of dress shoes every three years (Sperry Top Siders). It’s almost like ordering a new collar for the dog. LOL

        Bam Bam

        1. So…Bam Bam, if you bought work clothes…and you’re good working in pajamas…does this mean you bought WORK PAJAMAS?! Do they come in ‘power red’? How do they look with pearls? (I see a business opportunity there!).

          1. LOL No Florida fan would ever wear red. I wore burgundy to church last Sunday and the woman sitting in the pew behind me said, “You can’t wear that color in Gainesville.” (FSU colors)

          2. Bam Bam,

            A number of years ago I had my gall bladder removed at the Gainesville VA Hospital. I had to walk around the hallways afterward and one of the janitors had his cart absolutely plastered with Florida State Seminoles stickers and logos. For those few that don’t know, Gainesville, FL is where the University of Florida Gators are located. UF and FSU are deadly enemies.

            I told the janitor that he had a lot of guts to have all that ‘Noles stuff on his cart in Gainesville. I did mention I was a UMich fan, not a Gator. He said, with a big smile, that he did it because he “enjoyed the challenge and really, really enjoyed annoying the Gators.”

          3. Zulu,

            UF and FSU fans love to harass each other. It’s all good natured through. Even when we had a 4-7 record and FSU kicked our butts, we still talk smack. I am sure this janitor loved getting razzed and dishing it out too.

          4. Bam Bam,

            It’s much like the rivalry between the University of Michigan and the University of Ohio. Except more civilized.

            TOP can confirm this. 🙂

            GoBlue!

          5. Zulu 3-6,

            It’s much like the rivalry between the University of Michigan and the University of Ohio. Except more civilized.

            I don’t know who is more civilized, since I don’t really follow any sports; but, the rivalry between Michigan State and The Ohio State University are well known. It’s said that Ohio actually has 3 professional teams, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, and the OSU Buckeyes.

            GoBlue!

            That would of course be Maize & Blue vs. the Scarlet and Gray. Somehow Michigan felt the need to use the color of corn in their scheme.

    2. Bam Bam,
      Congrats on the job, and the many other jobs this fall, LOL.

      Thanks for the tip on the Eddie Bauer shirts. DH wears them daily, so I’ll check that out. $12 is a bargain for these great shirts. You are right, they are so soft and they last.

      1. Terra,

        The code for half off and free shipping is “LAMP”. My dh wears these daily as well. The ones with the pocket are $12.99. The ones without the pocket are cheaper. And they have ones on clearance, if your dh likes unpopular colors.

        I wanted to thank you again for hosting us. I am glad I could help you save money on your husband’s daily clothing. Back during the Great Depression, many girls had to quit school because they didn’t have clothing. Mothers would turn flower sacks into clothes. The flower companies began decorating the flour sacks so the girl’s dresses looked nice. They even did research to figure out how to make the name brand disappear. I think having extra clothing is necessary–not having a bunch of “designer stuff” but having real stuff that lasts.

        1. My maternal grandparents lived very close to a now defunct grain mill. They were farm folk, the original thrifty homesteaders. Grandma was an extraordinary seamstress. By the time I became a young teen, she made clothes by measure – no ‘pattern’ needed. Grandma used a lot of flour sack fabrics ti make our clothes. I still have a prized apron she made – a pinafore with deep pockets in a nice floral pattern. One of my best treasures.

          1. Treasures is the best way to describe what was so lovingly made for you! I love making dresses for our granddaughters and vests for the boys. Last Christmas I made folding dollhouse or camping/hunting lodges for all the kids using cardboard cut into panels that were covered in fabric, had a handle on top for toting, and Velcro closures. They play with them more than the plastic made in China junk they also got. They love the wood peg people I have also made for them to go along with storybooks I read to them. Actually, last night I made a covered wagon, complete with attached horses, out of a small cardboard box, scrap fabric, and some other scraps from my craft tote for them to play with after we read a Little House On The Prairie picture book, they loved it and the generic Lincoln logs we used to build a cabin with for the peg people. Simple toys, especially homemade ones, are always the best, in my humble opinion 🙂

          2. These toys help develop the imagination. That leads to better critical thinking skills later in life.

          3. Livinthedream,

            My maternal grandparents lived very close to a now defunct grain mill. They were farm folk, the original thrifty homesteaders.

            My DW’s parents were the same. Her dad farmed grain, sheep, hogs, and an occasional milk cow for personal use. They had a large garden and her mom kept chickens and sold the eggs. Growing up “egg money” was a real “cash money” income source.

            Grandma was an extraordinary seamstress. By the time I became a young teen, she made clothes by measure – no ‘pattern’ needed.

            Her mom did the same thing and she still has a few of those items, although I think most no longer fit.

            Grandma used a lot of flour sack fabrics ti make our clothes.

            We still use flour sack cloth, available from Wal-Mart by the yard or you can just get flour sack towels. I use some of these instead of cheesecloth for filtration and the DW uses them to dry dishes. They are very absorbent, and while they saturate rather quickly, they also dry very fast.

          4. You guys make me smile, I never knew until I got married that their was any other fabric other then feed sacks. When Grandma sent someone to the feed store they went with a list of how many sacks of this color or print to get and if she was making something and ran short they went with a scrap of that color or pattern to look for. Life was so simple then wish it could return somehow.

            Got about an inch of rain yesterday so my garden is happy, did up 8 qt. of tomatoes Saturday with more green coming along. I want to make sweet pickle relish as soon as some more cukes get ready I may have to make 1/2 a batch with what is almost ready now and make another batch later. Suppose to get more rain this evening; if we do that will be great as no more predicted for over a week.

            Other then the usual daily chores not much going on, it’s cool outside so while DH is sleeping guess I’ll head to the porch and work on my weaving making Christmas gifts for the family trying to get an early start this year.

            Meant to say I’m staying on this list as it seems quiet and adult, which is what I really need; I got tired of talking to myself on the other list as very seldom did anyone ever come back to me.

            Everyone have a good day and blessings to all.

          5. Hey, tuckerhollow! YOU are a bloomin’ genius! Oh, yes, you are now – don’t deny it.

            I have several overgrown cukes I’ve been wondering what to do with. We use a good amount of pickle relish!

            Have a recipe you care to share?

          6. It sure took me long enough to be a genius, I’ve only been working on it for 80 years. I figured out about 10 years ago that gathering all the spices to make sweet relish was getting expensive so I got to looking around at the pickling stuff at Agway in upstate NY, when we lived there, and just said OK I’ll try this package of Mrs. Wages Sweet Pickle Relish mix everything as far as spices go is in the package for around 2.50. Surprise, surprise I whipped up a batch and compared it to a jar of my old recipe and we couldn’t tell the difference. You will need 6-8 lbs of cukes per batch, the bag of spices, white vinegar, sugar, canning salt and 5 pint jars, easy pesey.

            Don’t know where you live but try WM, almost any farm store and if you are near a Harp’s I know they have it look in the canning isle.

            Got more rain today Whoo hoo one less thing on my to do list. Tomorrow is big city Neurologist appointment day, hope they figure out someway to do something to lessen DH’s back and shoulder pain since they are on this take away the opoids kick he is just about out of his mind with pain day and night no relief. Right now they have cut him from 70mg of one pill and 30mg of another in less then 8 weeks, I think he is in the middle of withdrawal, he doesn’t sleep but 3 or 4 hours at night and could care less about food somebody has to get this straightened out and soon.

          7. Thank you, tuckerhollow! I can buy mrs Wages aroundv here. In fact, i may have some around.

            My brother, the one who tried to cut his head off with a chainsaw years ago, has suffered with much pain since. He had gotten so adducted to opiods, his personality had gone from sweet to ugly.

            He recently started using CBDb oil, abd it has made ALL the difference! I have my brother back. He is opioid free!

            BTW, don’t miss week 5 – good stuff in it. And Tara will likely post week 6 on Sun. a.m.

            Have a blessed day!

          8. Hi Dan,

            I know this is being posted on a week late…. Wondering if you can fix the issue of when I click on “Reply” from my e-mail, it should go to the post that I am replying to. It goes to the bottom of the all the posts as if I am starting a new post. Not sure if this is happening to everyone or not.

          9. tuckerhollow,

            Life was so simple then wish it could return somehow.

            Do you really?
            Prior to the REA (Rural Electrification Act) of 1936, most farms had no electric power. If they had a telephone, it was most often a party line and long distance calls were toll calls paid by the minute. Even in my case, I have seen Internet access go from dialup @ 1200 bps up to 52Kbps, then satellite and eventually DSL. TV went from 1 or 2 snowy B&W channels to full up HD with lots of off the air channels or tons more with inexpensive satellite or cable.
            In my case I have a pacemaker and another device that quite literally keep me alive.
            I think we often get nostalgic about the simpler times, forgetting that they were in some ways a lot harder and more dangerous than today.
            BTW, you’re posting this on Week 4 and most of us are already over on Week 5; but in any case, it’s good to see you found and joined us here.

          10. tuckerhollow,
            I looked up “Mrs. Wages Sweet Pickle Relish mix” and found several places online that have it, as well as True Value hardware FOR $2.99, Rural King @ $1.99, and even Home Depot @ $27.85 for a 12 pack ($2.32 each). We hit Rural King rather often and will definitely pick some up on our next trip.
            The advert says it’s ready to eat 24 hours after preparation, and that already has my mouth watering.
            Thanks for the mention.

          11. Almost There,

            Rural King has the best selection of Mrs Wages that I have ever seen.

            This must be serendipity. I just did a search and found that locally True Value and Rural King have it, so we’ll be getting some later this week at Rural King to try.

          12. AT, LTD, and Tara,

            Made to measure sewing takes a skilled seamstress. My Ex-wife is one of those that can do made to measure, although most of her stuff is from patterns. She enjoys making cute dresses for our granddaughter. Doesn’t use flour sack material, but I’ll bet she’s seen her mom and grandmothers use it and wore the product while growing up in Cuba.

  14. Tara,
    You’ve had two losses in such a short time? I’m so sorry for your losses and while you miss the person now, I suspect like me you will from time to time smile at the good times while you miss them even more over time. In 2015 I lost my best friend (who BTW lived in Athens) and in 2016 I lost my kid brother (3 years younger) and both are missed all of the time. Hopefully, those things that he taught will help you remember him fondly, and perhaps even laugh or smile on occasion on the remembering.
    We haven’t lost any critters in a few years, because when we lost two chickens to the raccoons, we went to war. A couple of the Dog Proof raccoon traps from Rural King, some marshmallows for bait, and a few .22 LR cartridges and we were rid of the problem.
    It’s good to see someone with a producing garden. For the first time in years, we had no garden this year, since the rainfall was horrible and nearly constant, with just a bit more than 2 feet year to date. We’re hoping to have some late tomatoes and maybe some herbs in the new greenhouse.
    Our wild blackberries are also not producing well; but, we’ll hopefully get some mulberries

    This past week or so, we did and acquired the following:
    1. Received 2 – YETI Rambler 64oz Stainless Steel Bottles from woot.com (Prime day deal with extra 10% discount & free shipping). These are basically 2 1-quart thermos bottles with lots of uses.
    2. Two 50 pound bags DuMOR Layer Pellets
    3. A watermelon. We’ve been going through at least one of these per week, cut up into small chunks and stored in the fridge for easy access, with some occasionally in the freezer for a real treat on hot steamy days. The hens get the rinds as a treat and love them
    4. Received a Saberlight Bolt – Personal Plasma Beam Lighter from woot.com. Yet one more way to make fire. This device charges from any USB socket and is easy to carry in the EDC yielding at least 100 lights per charge. Jeremiah Johnson would have loved something this simple and reliable.
    5. Ordered two – Saberlight Match – Rechargeable Long Neck Plasma Arc Lighters from woot.com, as an additional way to make fire.
    6. Had the first of my crowns fabricated & installed. We’ve been with this dentist for decades, and since he knows I’m an engineer, he invited me to go watch the crown being created. With camera images of my mouth a program performs 3D modeling and a small mill created the tooth from a block of porcelain. 1 ½ hours total time from initial numbing of my gums until the new crown was created, installed, and I left the office.
    7. A can of Raid Wasp & Hornet spray
    8. A second Amazon Echo Dot (on sale Amazon prime day)
    9. Amazon Fire TV stick with Alexa Remote Control (on sale Amazon prime day)
    10. Received an email ad from Florocopia for a David Crow Seminar. I’ll take a look at it; but, for now he has tons of good information on YouTube that I’ve been watching.
    11. Ordered ENCAP 11595-6 Mosquito Control Mix while looking for lemon Grass seed. I’ve also ordered some of that seed, since it not only is good for cooking; but, can be used as a mosquito repellent, which this year has gotten critical.

  15. Tara, sorry for your loose this week. Matty sounds like he was a great guy.

    I hit the same Kroger/Safeway/Shaw’s sale this morning and picked up 3 packs of bone-in Perdue chicken breasts for 99cents/lb. Would have picked up more but short on freezer space. Planning to make cornmeal-crusted oven fried chicken for dinner tomorrow night. Not much else for preps this week. Keep on keepin’ on, all.

  16. This week was a mixture of things for us. We picked up some tools and some cast iron frying pans at GoodWill early in the week. Middle of the week we were preparing to go to church and found out the Preacher that leads us in Bible Study was in a pretty bad wreck but he still made it in time for class even though he was hurting and not feeling well. He and his wife, both in their middle 80’s were stopped in turn lane to turn into a restaurant when they were rearended by a fast moving car. Luckily they were just shaken up but it goes to show how fast things can change your whole outlook.

    Got home and had a message from the hospice nurse that is working with my mom. Mom is 86 and deep in Alzheimer disease. She now has gari-boddi (I know I butchered the spelling) and for the last couple of weeks she has known no one and has quit eating and they discontinued all her medications this week and are just giving her sips of water from an eye dropper. Prognosis is that she has 2, maybe 3 weeks left. She lives with my sister about 60 miles away. She will be buried close to me where I have plots and my dad is already buried there. I met with my funeral director and went over the paperwork I have and all the stuff I have already paid for so we have a plan for the burial and I will go up next week and with my sister meet with the funeral director there and sort out what we are going to do. She has some insurance so we have to work within those dollar amounts. While I was meeting with my lady I went ahead and made plans for my cremation and disposition of ashes. So while this is all morbid and sad it is still preps as we have to know what is going to happen if we pre-decease SHTF. I feel more at ease knowing that everything is in its place.

    On Saturday we had a get together from a group of people that hang out on a site called the Outdoor Trader. It was set up as a place to buy, sell and swap guns and that kind of stuff but we talk about a lot of other stuff. Since it’s Georgia based a lot of us were able to meet at a local Bar-b-que and have a meet and greet and swap stories and show off guns and win door prizes. There were probably more guns carried in there per square foot than any place other than a gun show. I got picked on by a bunch of retired Army guys giving me grief about being retired Air Force. We all go back to the Vietnam era. They talked about being in the jungle eating C Rats while us Air Force guys were eating steaks. All I could tell them was that yes, we lived OK and did hump the jungle as much but I had my time at forward fire bases and did my share of hand to hand and when the SHTF there it was usually the Air Force that came rolling in and breaking the backs of the bad guys. They had all been saved, one time or other by Air Force air strikes so we ended up being even. The other good part of the visit was my DW was with me and one of the members DW makes all sorts of handmade soak so she stocked up on some good smelling stuff and then got a good price on a few boxes of .45 ACP ammo (always send a lady to buy gun stuff when she knows what she wants and knows what she wants to pay, it always ends good). Got a line on a couple of AK-47s that I’m going to pick up next week and add to the deep hoard just in case.

    Last night we went to a steak house and had some great steak and all the trimmings. Some times you just have to let go of some bucks and enjoy life.

    It has been a week of ups and downs. Glad a new week is starting soon with new opportunities.

    Oh, and as a PS to the wasp story, we had the house power washed mid week and when he hit an old grill cover on the corner of the deck he got hit by a bunch of yellow jackets. Luckily he wasn’t allergic and no harm done. I’m highly allergic and ended up hitting them with 6 cans of 24′ spray. Late last night I flipped the cover over and off the deck and the nest inside was about the size of a dinner place. DW got stung once. I hit them with a couple more cans of spray and got the cover into the trash sealed in a hefty bag. I realize they are pollinators and do good but they aren’t doing good when they get aggressive and try to come in the house. So much for them.

    1. CID, sorry about your Mom. I’ve lost mine a year ago and my DW’s Mom has Alzheimer’s so I know how you feel.

      Good deal on the 45s and AKs…….

    2. Good morning, Cliff! Good to hear from you.

      I am very sorry about your Mom.

      I don’t see death planning as morbid, at all. I see it as part of life planning. You can’t have life without preparing for death. Perhaps that’s one of the first lessons every farmer/homesteader must learn.

      Hope you have a blessed week!

      1. Livinthedream,

        You can’t have life without preparing for death

        You are of course correct and I often tell people that the primary cause of death, is birth. Part of our plan for this next few months is revisiting our will and setting up a family trust for a somewhat complicated family situation. We had our DD late in life and she just recently graduated from college, so now @ 27 it’s time to revisit our will that’s perhaps 20 years out of date. Perhaps it’s not a pleasant thing to do; but, I agree that it is the right thing to do, even though that will seems to have just been drafted and that little girl seems to have to been just starting school, remembering how she got on the bus @ age 5.
        My dad passed in 2002 and fought right to the end and my mom passed in 2011 after a long bout with health issues. At age 67 I’ve seem too many friends and family, often younger than me, pass on. While there is little we can do for those who are gone, my current project is to get back in contact with old friends, with whom we have lost contact, since it’s at least something we may be able to do before it’s too late.
        It’s hard to believe I’m as old as I am, and as the old maxim goes, “If I had known I would live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”

          1. Livinthedream,

            Was that a Rodney Dangerfield quote?

            I actually don’t know, just something I’ve always heard; but, a quick Google search attributes it to: An old sage, an old joke, an old cowboy, Mark Twain, Mickey Mantle, Eubie Blake, and Phineas Taylor (PT) Barnum

    3. Cliff,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom. I lost mine too, and it is very hard. At least she won’t be suffering anymore. You and your family are in my prayers.

    4. Cliff,

      It is good to hear from you. I am so sorry to hear about your mother. My mom had a series of massive strokes at the beginning of the new year. She told all of us kids (for years) that she did not want to be kept alive on machines and that she didn’t want dialysis. She said quality of life was more important than quantity of life. She gave my two older siblings power of attorney. They went against her wishes and put her on dialysis. Now she is trapped in a non responsive body. I cannot imagine a greater hell.

      1. Oh Cliff, That would be like being trapped in hell. I am sorry you are being forced to watch her suffer.

  17. Well crud more fires.
    A fire started the next town over and it got big fast. This morning it was 40 percent contained which is pretty good. This morning they had a big fire at the next county west of us. I bought a bit of ammo and some warmer weather clothes.I bought a scope on sale at the walmart. It is a Barska nothing real good but better than irons. Tara I am sorry for the death of your friend.

    1. Good morning, axelsteve! We worry about you, so, glad you’re okay. So sorry about more fires. Are these lightning strike fires? Or, is someone setting them?

        1. axelsteve & Livinthedream ,

          I think that they are arson.

          I heard on the news that at least one fire was started by some idiot burning off a marijuana patch. Not sure if it was part of cultivation or destroying the evidence; but, as I understand it, they caught the guy and I would not want to be in his shoes.

    2. AxelSteve,

      Thank you for the condolences. I hope you and yours stay safe in those fires. Summer is a great time to stock up on clothing of all types, shoes, boots, blankets etc. at yard sales. A couple of years ago I hit a church rummage sale about 20 minutes before it was closing and rain was rolling in. Everything was reduced to $.25 a bag – whatever you could stuff in a bag. I am an excellent bag stuffer! I spent around $20 and got 24 very gently used coats for men, women, and children, snow pants, jeans, sweatshirts, etc. and put them all back after I laundered them, for SHTF tribe clothing and barter.

  18. Tara & Cliff, so sorry for the hard spot each of you is in. A sudden death is a shock, but so is even an expected one. Somehow, we’re just never ready for that final goodbye.

    I went out to the garden this morning & cut a BIG mess of okra. Planning to try my hand at dehydrating it tomorrow. I also took a look at our green bean vines which, although blooming, haven’t produced any beans in about a month. I was about to ask DH to just go ahead & cut them down–but was surprised to find quite a lot of new beans on the vine today. I picked a couple of quarts. We had one quart for supper (fresh from garden to table in a matter of hours!) & I’ll probably blanch & freeze the other.

    Also, while following threads on survival websites, I stumbled across what appears to be a good source of canned meat. Products look good, contain no preservatives & have good customer reviews. Tara & OP–it’s located in Ohio, maybe you know of them? Thought I’d share the website:

    http://www.werlingandsons.com

    Other than this & adding to my stash as I do every week, I didn’t do a lot of prepping last week. I’m in awe of you guys. Cheers!

    1. Knowledge is Power,

      Also, while following threads on survival websites, I stumbled across what appears to be a good source of canned meat. Products look good, contain no preservatives & have good customer reviews. Tara & OP–it’s located in Ohio, maybe you know of them? Thought I’d share the website: http://www.werlingandsons.com

      I haven’t heard of them; but, perhaps its because they are located about 75 miles (an hour and a half) to my west. For beef we have a freezer full of local Angus; but, for poultry and other meats, there’s a local place that sells good canned varieties: https://brinkmanfarms.com/
      They are an hour north of us, and I’ve been there a few times. That trip would probably be 3 or more hours for Tara.

      1. Ohio Prepper,

        I have heard of Werling – all good things. I have never tried it though. It’s about three hours away from us in “up north” Ohio. Yep, they are close to 3 hours away from us, I wonder if I could get a tour and do a real review on it, sounds like an intriguing idea I might check out and turn it into a weekend away.

    2. Knowledge is Power,

      Thank you for your kind words. You are right, short and shocking or long term illness, no real way to prepare. I am really interested in checking out Werling, I have heard of them and folks say their products taste good and are good value, I really think I might check into getting a tour and interview. Our goal is to be 100 percent self-sufficient but we are still going to continue stocking up on long-term storage food. I don’t want to leave anything to chance, like people, you can lose both livestock and crops unexpectedly for a variety of reasons, or be forced to flee and not be able to take any or many of your crops and critters with you as when you go.

  19. Yeah, but they ship! Wonder how the two product lines compare?

    Mike Adams has a post on Natural News about some if these emergency food supplies. Some of them contain some pretty scary things! Guess that’s why they (Mike Adams) started packing & selling long-term storage foods.

    1. Livinthedream,

      Yeah, but they ship! Wonder how the two product lines compare?

      I never heard of the first one until now; but, have had Brinkman’s a few times and they are pretty good; but, like all of these meats, a bit expensive over what we could do ourselves.
      Here’s a list of some of Brinkman’s items: https://brinkmanfarms.com/
      And some history and explanation of their process, with no added ingredients: https://brinkmanfarms.com/history/

      Mike Adams has a post on Natural News about some if these emergency food supplies. Some of them contain some pretty scary things! Guess that’s why they (Mike Adams) started packing & selling long-term storage foods.

      I think it would depend on what you call emergency food. The canned meats, at least from Brinkman’s only have a shelf life of 3-5 years; but, if you mean the long term kits sold by some, the only nasty ting I’ve seen is TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein, AKA Soy) and I avoid that. They also generally contain a lot of sodium that may be a problem for some people. I have a few of those kits; but, find a better and less expensive substitute in the Bear Creek mixes and the Knorr Pasta meals & sides.
      We generally cook from scratch and are working on both dehydrated and freeze dried concoctions; but, until the weather gets cooler or we finish the summer kitchen and its venting, we’re not doing any of that for now, since both processes generate a lot of heat

  20. I like the idea that you can purchase Werling’s meats directly from the plant.

    We have 3 freezers, all full. They are not the long-term storage. I use glass jars for that.

    We attended an estate sale last weekend. The auctioneer, Johnny (a friend) tried to get me to buy all the canning jars (which had been improperly stored, btw). I told Johnny “I already have a houseful of ’em”, to which Johnny replied, “I was afraid of that!”.

    In a situation, we WOULD empty freezers, first, of course.

    1. Livinthedream,

      I like the idea that you can purchase Werling’s meats directly from the plant.

      Brinkman’s also comes from their plant; but, I think they also have some local retailers. You can purchase direct shipped via UPS or pickup from their plant if you live nearby. Direct purchase requires ½ case (6 cans) minimum. https://brinkmanfarms.com/products-page/

      We have 3 freezers, all full. They are not the long-term storage. I use glass jars for that.

      We would eventually use up the contents of the freezers by cooking, canning, dehydrating, or freeze drying; but, in all but the worst case events, we can power the freezers for several months before needing to hurry up and be that drastic.
      I need to see if Werling’s has any local outlets, so we could try a few for quality.

      1. Only 3-5 years on those meats? I suspect it’s actually much longer. I know my home-canned meats are “good” much longer. Personally, I can’t afford to buy much meat like that.

    2. Livin,

      You used the term “improperly stored” in reference to canning jars. Please explain. I keep my cases of jars out in the garage and I live in Florida. Is that a problem?

      1. Yep, Bam, that’s a problem. Glass has a shelf life. How long depends on glass. Golden Harvest canning jars are thinner than Ball, Kerr, or Anchor Hocking. They will degrade a little faster.

        Glass stored in heat or subjected to light for long periods will start to turn colors. Old glass will turn blue-ish or purple-ish. These are metallic components of sand used in manufacture breaking down.

        Newer glass will turn yellow-ish, or develop a permanent haze. Both indicate degradation.

        Any such glass will be weak and will not hold up to the intense pressure and heat of the canning process.

        Here in northern AL, basements in older homes are common. We store ours in a cool, dark basement room, in boxes and on shelves.

        Basements don’t happen in FL, unless u count sinkholes. OK, a little twisted humor there.

        I think I wud probably store them as I did in our previous house, which was half the size of this one (no full basement). I kept them in thick cardboard boxes (collected free) and just stacked them, lining walls of a bedroom. I’m far more concerned with how things work than how they look.

        We may see a day when canning jars, lids, and rings are a valuable commodity! And canners, of course.

        1. Bam and LTD,

          Your are 100 percent correct on all the glass tips, thanks for sharing. Bam, it would be so hard to find a proper place to stored canned food in Florida, maybe in buried caches? Fun fact, Anchor Hocking glass is made not far from where we live. I can recall my mother dragging me to their outlet store when I was a little girl.

        2. Bam Bam & Livinthedream,

          You used the term “improperly stored” in reference to canning jars. Please explain. I keep my cases of jars out in the garage and I live in Florida. Is that a problem?

          I would not be as concerned with the glass, depending on how high the heat gets and for how long; but, if you are storing cases of jars direct from the store, that often come with the lids and loose rings in place, I think the heat could degrade the gasket material on the lids. Best I think to store them cool and dry for long term storage.
          It would not hurt to have a recording thermometer in your storage area to see the high & low temperatures. At around $10.00 they can be very useful to actually know your conditions.

  21. Still no rain and temps this week were 106 to 109 in the shade so I had both dehydrators going outside. I did squash, purple & green cabbage, potatoes, cherries, blueberries, papaya and peaches.
    I drove by the livestock auction Saturday and there was a looong line of cattle trailers down the side of the road waiting to get weighed in. Possibility of rain in the forecast, but too late for some. I’m setting up my camping hot wire pen in the yard so the horses can graze a good portion. There is a front gate I can close, but they have way too much fun running around the whole yard.
    Did some dry canning too, white flour, whole wheat flour, corn meal, Quaker oatmeal squares, and Life cereal.
    The small cooler I always carry in the truck with cold water couldn’t handle the heat so I got a small Yeti and it’s working great. I also made up another small first aid kit so each truck has its own.
    I sorted out a bin of hotel soap, shampoo, etc. that’s been in the closet for about four years. All was in good shape. Am having to move some canned meat and veggies out of a closet for awhile (foundation repair) so cut up some old socks to put around the jars and that led to cleaning out two drawers of socks, leggings, etc. that I hadn’t worn in years. Could be an interesting question for the pack … alternative uses for socks.
    Resale shop finds were NIB ace bandages, also wrist, finger and ankle braces, and candles. I have a lot of candles, but at their prices I have plenty to share and make more fire starters.
    Was stung by a red wasp and comments here were helpful. I used a bentonite clay poultice and the swelling went down, but hard to know if it helped since it may have done that on its own.
    Tara I am sorry for your loss. How very fortunate you are to have known him, and I’m sure he felt the same way about you and yours.
    Best wishes all.

    1. Hummingbird,

      What part of the country do you live in to have such dry weather? Here in Florida we had the rainiest June in history (and that total is remarkable because we didn’t have a topical storm hit the state. July is much worse. My friends who work construction and yard care haven’t been able to get in even 20 hours a week because of the rain–and that’s working weekends. One of our local high ways is under water on the outside lanes. The latest joke has become “Why did the Gator cross the road?”

      1. NETexas. I see cows in the shallow ponds but don’t think I’ve ever seen sprayers. We have deprived cows!

  22. Hey, Hummingbird!

    Did you also take an antihistamine for that wasp sting? The black wasp sting I took itched for four days!

    What general area are you in that it was so hot? My brother just moved to Colorado, where it’s been 106°F actual temp. That has to be miserable for livestock, poor things. I suppose we’ll see some lower beef prices now, but, man…I didn’t want it like that!

    1. Cattle farmers here in Florida mist their herds and provide swimming pools–seriously. Cows love to go swimming on hot days. Even the small time ranchers get in on the business–they hire a backhoe to come in dig out a “pool”, then the fill the pool and keep it filled with an irrigation system. I have seen videos of “cow beach ball”–I am totally serious.

    2. LTD, First thing I did was apply Gold Bond cream with lidocaine, then applied benadryl. About an hour later it was still very swelled so I applied the clay and the next morning the swelling was gone and no itching.
      I am in NE Texas. Possibility of rain later this week, so we’ll see.

    3. Hummingbird and LTD,

      I make electrolytes for our livestock when it gets hot like this and it really seems to help. My go to for stings is distilled white vinegar followed by local honey after it dries. Yep, you will stink and be sticky, but it takes out the pain and swelling. I often stink of vinegar on long trail rides when the horse flies and mosquitoes are being particularly vicious. I douse both myself and my Ruby with the vinegar and we smell worse than everyone else at the end of the day but we are the only ones that haven’t been nearly eaten alive. Vinegar is so perfect for so many things. I use it to mop our floors now. The vinegar smells dissipates in about 30 minutes and I put in some nice smelling essential oil when mixing it about 1 to 2 parts with water before mopping so my Bobby doesn’t complain about the smell and my natural homemade cleaning solutions until the air clears. Vinegar of both types is great for your hair too. I haven’t used store bought shampoo in I could’t tell you how long and it is so incredibly soft. I rinse in vinegar once or twice a month and just use a coconut-based conditioner on it in between and almond or olive oil as a leave in conditioner and styling aid. My hair is waving and does what it wants to do, so I really don’t fix it or use any sprays etc. on it, just the coconut conditioner, vinegar every once in a while, turn my head upside down while it is damp and apply the carrier oil and toss it like a salad more or less with my hands and then I am good to go.

      1. Tara, I will try the vinegar on the horses and me. I’d also like your electrolyte recipe and how you feed it. Some have to be buffered and mixed with applesauce or carrot puree for taste.

  23. Tara
    Your tribe were blessed to have Mark(aka-Matty/Mad Dog) sharing his knowledge. Remember the good times you shared, an pass on those memories with others who knew him. Although he may be gone in body, his spirit lives on.

    We send our condolences to all who he touched which his special gifts.

  24. Like many who are in the areas where the HEAT IS ON, yes it is HOT!! Dh and I will not be going to many places, it effects him since he dehydrates quicker than most.
    Then to add to the mix a migrant foreign national growing pot outside a national park started a fire which has grown with little containment. Towns have been evacuated, and a main road is closed both ways. I am ready for summer to be over.

    Making curtains from our of Sun Shade Fabric to help cut down with the heat build up inside the car port. First curtain I installed dropped the temperature by at least 15 degrees with just one. WOW, so I purchased more material at Home depot for this project. If there is enough material left over will make them for the porch deck.

    Because of the heat wave I had several projects in the process, only those which can be done inside the house will be done. Everything else will either have to wait or figure out a way to get up for the sun to get those done, with my work book scheduled to the overflowing mark, sleep comes first😴😴😴😴😀.

    Try to have a cool work week ahead.

    1. Cattle farmers here in Florida mist their herds and provide swimming pools–seriously. Cows love to go swimming on hot days. Even the small time ranchers get in on the business–they hire a backhoe to come in dig out a “pool”, then the fill the pool and keep it filled with an irrigation system. I have seen videos of “cow beach ball”–I am totally serious.

      1. Well, there’s proof! Cows get bored, too!

        Ever heard of “Cow Pile Bingo”? It’s a popular fund-raiser out West.

        A bingo grid is painted in dirt. Each contestant leads his cow around the grid until it goes “plop” somewhere on the grid. The one to plop a bingo! wins a prize.

        So…who wants to play?!

        1. LTD,

          We call that a Cow Plot in Appalachia and yep, a favorite and fun fundraiser to be sure. We use the high school football field in our county after the season is over for the cow to plop.

    2. Antique Collector,

      The cow video was intended for Livin the Dream and not you–oops. (I hope you enjoy the video anyway.) I want to know more about your comment: “Making curtains from our of Sun Shade Fabric to help cut down with the heat build up inside the car port.” I would love for you to write an article on this–how folks save money on AC bills? I would love to see your research. (We have a south facing bay window in Florida.) I would love to know the “before” and “after” stats (and see photos). Your research here could really save folks a lot of money.

    3. Antique Collector,

      I am so jealous of your weather! Today is the first day we have hit over 85 in about two weeks. It is like summer is disappearing right before my eyes! My Bobby hates the heat and sun as much as I love it. I am doing a version of your sun shade nifty trick to put a topper on the Ranger ATV for him – removable of course because I can’t work on my tan riding from survival retreat chore to survival retreat chore with a sun shade, for goodness sake! He mounted this funky 1970s patio table umbrella to his beloved old Massey Ferguson tractor to keep the sun off of him, it looks a bit hilarious but it works for him!

  25. DH cooked steaks on the gas grill last night – first time we’ve used the grill in about 4 or 5 weeks, it’s been too hot to cook outside — and when he fired up the burner, out ran a mouse. He cranked up all 3 burners to cook off whatever nesting material there was (and germs). Moral of the story – use your gas grill often, I guess. Those little buggers will take up housing anywhere.

    1. MaineBrain,

      Your post made me both giggle out loud and cringe. I loathe mice! I am going to go inspect our grill the very second I go outside after writing. I never think it is too hot to be outside but we have been using the smoker almost exclusively this summer and the grill has been left to get dusty. I don’t mind livestock droppings, snakes, spiders, flying insects, or cleaning toilets, but the thought of mouse germs being anywhere, makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I no longer even open two drawers in my kitchen because I can’t keep mice from getting into them at some point during the year, no matter what I used to clean after a mouse gets in, I never think it is clean enough!

  26. Tara, I am so sorry for your loss. I agree with whomever posted above that we would love to see a tribute post, since many of us never got the chance to know him. Cliff, I am sorry to hear about your mother, prayers,

    The stupid beagle broke my one surviving sunflower stalk a few days ago (I think squirrels got the rest of the planted seed). THEN I go out to the garden today and a major stalk of my Rutgers was broken…I will definitely be putting the garden in another space and using better fencing next year.

    Not much prepping this week as I am transitioning to a new position at work, as well as assuming the helm of our local homesteading and prepping FB group, Planning an Aldi’s trip this pay day to restock the pantry.

    Zulu, I have been having trouble with my Honda van starting, it seems no rhyme or reason, so I have a HF battery jump pack that I carry with me and it gets used fairly regularly. It seems part of my issue is that I don’t drive but around town, never far enough to really charge the battery. The one I carry is more reliable than the one DH has that he keeps in the house for backup (also HF).Mine is the 3 in 1, his is the 5 in 1.

    I went looking for my seeds for fall planting, and I cannot find them! I’m gonna blame DH on this one, because I know where I had them last, and he moved things around…Luckily, I have some seeds that LTD shared with me, so that’s what I will be planting…until I find those darned seeds…

    Hugs seem neede all around, so hugs to y’all! And it goes without saying that you all are always in my prayers!

    1. Grammy Prepper,

      Thank you and the rest of the pack for the condolences. It is truly appreciated. The whole mood on our survival retreat is still subdued and reflective. I talked a bit about losing a tribe member in a survival retreat video tour I just finished for Dan to publish on his Survival Sullivan website. I was shooting around Matty’s campground area, which still looks just like it always had, it was surreal, to say the least. I wholly advocate spending a ton of time with your tribe members, even if you are prepping only with immediate or a little bit of extended family for two distinct reasons – and I don’t just mean a weekend a month of training and social time afterwards.

      Reason 1 – You get to work out all of the loss of privacy and personality conflict issues well before the SHTF. Will you solve them all? Nope, but you learn to live with each other and how to approach each other over potentially explosive or sensitive issues. Matty and I were alike in a lot of ways, but were polar opposites in some others. Spending multiple days, hours on end, working on our retreat together we were able to go from being brutally honest in an aggravated tone to being true to both of our brutally honest natures in a head shaking and laughing tone, “Yeah, I know you are going to hate this idea but…” If we had all been together during a SHTF scenario, getting a grip on how to handle the few but poignant things we butted heads on, would have made a world of difference to not just ourselves, but the whole group dynamic.

      Reason 2 – The cross training and cross generational skills sharing that occurs when the tribe is together quite often is a beautiful thing to behold and can likely one day save your life. Both our son-in-law and a friend’s teenage son have both separately stated Matty was teaching them how to do ABC and now that he is gone they are going to have to step up and become the primary for AB and C. I am sure Matty is smiling with pride about the positive impact he had on the lives of both young men, and many others.

      1. And THIS is Matty’s contribution to making our world a better place, his lasting tribute. Beautiful!

  27. I don’t comment very often as my DH is mostly housebound and just keeping up with his needs and the usual household chores, and garden in the summer, wood heat in the winter keeps me busy; but on the other site their was no “What did you prep this week” for several weeks then when it did come back it looked like almost all the regulars were gone, don’t want to start anything but I was just wondering. Feels like I must have missed something.

    1. Some of them are here on this site, the rest are on the other site. If you read the comments section of the past issues of the weekly preps you can find out more, but we all decided to move past it..

    2. Greetings, tuckerhollow! So good to “meet” you here!

      It sounds like you have your hands full. Wish there was some way we could help.

      MD took down this feature for a couple of weeks, at which time survivorDan very graciously agreed to continue hosting the Pack, for which we are most appreciative!

      Tara Dodrill does an awesome job of managing the postings, and the whole lot of us.

      Please keep in touch. Blessings to you, and all that is yours,

      1. LTD,

        Thank you for the kind words. It is great to virtually meet you TuckerHollow. It does sound like you have both hands full, but hope you stop by and chat each week when you get a spare couple of minutes.

  28. Oh, man! Another WASP story!

    Did you know paper wasps will build a nest on the underside of grape leaves? Yep.

    I was happily picking our first-of-season Concord Grapes. I went to pick a grape off and disturbed a nest. Wasps flew in every direction! I ripped the leaf off in my haste to run far from them, dropping the nest to the ground. Well, that’s enough grapes picked today….

    And I got away without being stung. Again. Yaaaay!!!

    1. Livinthedream,

      Oh, man! Another WASP story!

      Did you know paper wasps will build a nest on the underside of grape leaves? Yep.

      I was happily picking our first-of-season Concord Grapes. I went to pick a grape off and disturbed a nest. Wasps flew in every direction! I ripped the leaf off in my haste to run far from them, dropping the nest to the ground. Well, that’s enough grapes picked today….

      Paper wasps and yellow jackets will build nests nearly anywhere. I have however never seen mud daubers anywhere except the underside of wooden structures.
      While it may be counter intuitive, you should never run from bees or wasps, just walk away quickly perhaps into thickets of trees or other cover. When you run, you leave a wake of air behind you, and most of these critters can follow that moving air. As I recall, it’s an evolutionary trait that allows them to fend off attackers and hunt down prey, since many of the smaller wasp species will eat meat.

      And I got away without being stung. Again. Yaaaay!!!

      That’s great, since being stung, especially by those hard shelled evil little critters is especially painful.

  29. Still working on figuring the posting schedule so I am either either late or early. This is fair week so between that and work not a lot done. My county had a small 4 acre fire this week but they hit it aggressively and it did little damage but about 6 hours south east they are battling a big fire. People always hope for snow or rain in the winter but it can be a double edge sword. Lots of rain with the right weather results in lots of brush and grass growth. Then you have a dryer summer and look out. Stay safe – fire is definitely nothing to mess with.

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