What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 47: June 2nd – June 8th 2019

chicken coop

Hello Pack. It has been a super productive and mostly sunny week here on our survival homestead. Our awesome new chicken, duck, and guinea coop is now finally complete. We turned two freebie rabbit hutches – after we removed the skeletal remains of the rabbits that had been it and thoroughly disinfected it.

The young flock members we hatched and the guinea keets Bobby got me have been living in the coop as each stage was built. Now the big flock has joined them. It has a 22 foot long by 12 foot wide run to enjoy when they are not out free ranging – which they will not be doing during a SHTF scenario.

We built a second hutch that was a mirror image of the freebie hutch – and put double decker doors on it for easy cleaning. You can read all about our upcycled and predator proof, cheap rabbit hutch to chicken coop project – and see detailed photos of the process here soon on The Survivalist Blog.

In other preps this week, we harvested and baled straw. Being able to provide all the straw and hay we need for our various herds and flocks is not only a money saver, but makes our livestock sustainable during a long-term disaster. When our stockpiled fuel runs dry, we have horse drawn old-fashioned equipment to get the necessary task completed.

baling hay

We are tending to our garden and apothecary patch, and everything is coming along nicely. We recently planted more papaw trees and elderberry bushes. Our survival homestead is filled to the brim with honeysuckle and black raspberries. I can’t hardly wait to be able to pick berries and preserve them and harvest honeysuckle to make home remedies and DIY natural perfume.

Auddie and I have been busy doing a lot of hiking and wildflower picking. Now, this may not sound like a prep, but using her love of flowers and bushes is part of her self-reliance education. She is learning to identify the wild things that grow here by name and slowly learning which are edible and which are poisonous – and their various uses.

daisies in mason jar

She is only three and a half now, but I am betting by the time she turns five she will be an excellent beginning forager. I let the children help preserve wild and cultivated edibles and mix up my ingredients for my home remedies, also as part of their survival education.

This week’s questions:

  1. What berries grow wild where you live, and how do you preserve and use your bountiful harvest?
  2. What wild edibles grow on your land or in your region, and how do you make use of them?
  3. Do you teach your children to forage and use what is growing in your own backyard or on your land for food and medicine? Please share details if you do.
  4. What did you do to prep this week?

Tara Dodrill

About Tara Dodrill

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

96 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 47: June 2nd – June 8th 2019

  1. No much prepping done this week. Towed a skid-steer up to the mountain-top kid’s camp for a work crew; did some cooking for them. Then off to a gun show.

    Came home on Wednesday to find roof tiles in the back yard. Looks like they came from the roof peak.

    Gun Show: pretty good attendance; product moving. Picked up ammo, a table-top 16 gun folding rifle rack, covered expenses, and brought home some cash.

    Received: CPAP DC Charger; MH #10 FD Beef and Chicken; Red Feather Butter; ammo; folding table-top rifle rack, spare tie-down straps for the pickup.

    1. I forgot to add that while camping last Monday the DW went left and her ankle went under. She has a history of sprained ankles so no problem. I go and dig out my M3 Field Medic’s kit. I can stop bleeding from a cut or bullet, stitch you shut, and numerous other things but nothing for a sprained ankle! (I did get to review where a lot of things are in our camp trailer looking for the med kit.) Finally got a 6″ x 5′ ace bandage and got it wrapped, but no splints (except something field expedient) so we put my boot on her as none of her footwear was lace-up (quite the sight). Got home and found her air-casts; this Sunday she is moving (abet slowly) without the air-cast. Time to review our medical supplies that we travel with!

      1. Good info JP. They also make those packs that make a cold pack when broken. “Ice” would have been good.

      2. JP, try this old coaching trick the next time you are dealing with a sprain or even muscle or tendon issue. Moisten a brown paper bag in apple cider vinegar – distilled white works, but not as well. Gently ring out the paper bag and then wrap it around the injury. It helps prevent swelling and soothes the pain. Eventually the bag dries out and you can replace it with another, but until then it wraps around the ankle, wrist, etc. and stays in place.

  2. Oh boy… First again… Thor1…?????

    Hi Everyone,

    Weather-wise… Rain and humidity are the words for the week. My garden needed it for sure as I had to water a few days before the rain set in.

    Jean came in for a visit for a few days and on Saturday, we went to our annual prep group Barter day with another prep friend. I taught a class on honey and what kind of honey to buy depending on what you want to use it for. The other part of the meetup class was Quentin and Nani Koromete, the owners of Food Security Technology, and foremost pioneers in the field of aquaculture (think aquaponics on a grander, more environmentally friendly scale) gave a presentation on their system, what makes it unique, and how it can provide food of an even higher quality than today’s organics for a family of four all year round. There is also lot of income potential with their system for a family or individual wanting to pursue that avenue. You can watch a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyFtEAr08ck . I plan on going down to visit their farm and learn about microgreens. Nani had brought some pea sprouts that she shared. They were delicious. I have the sprout lids for mason jars. Not ready to start with that yet, but hopefully soon. It was a lot of fun and got to catch up with people I don’t get to see but maybe once a year at this time. It’s fun learning from everyone.

    Traded some items for Quinoa, emergency whistle, tomato plants, peppermint, lemon balm, eggs, cowboy candy and 2 cardboard barrels. We stopped by one of my favorite thrift shops on the way home and I picked up another blanket and nice candy type jar.

    The Lord was watching out for us on our way home from the meetup and we are truly blessed for it. We were on a 4 lane rd, in the 2nd from left lane when a hatchback car, driven by a young girl, came whizzing by us on the left hand side. It had started raining a downpour few minutes prior and there was a lot of standing water on the road. I had slowed down a little bit. As the hatchback passed us, she lost control, hydroplaned, spinning went out of control, swerving in an out of my lane, going backwards toward the concrete wall, did 3 donuts before she came to a stop with her heading directly for me. One time I thought the car was going to flip, and then the next I thought she was going to hit the wall backwards. I was able to stop a little ways back, seeing what was occurring right in front of us, and the cars behind me and on either side behind were also able to stop. Once the car stopped, it took a little bit before she got her composure back. She sat there, blocking 2 lanes of traffic, with what seemed like 10 minutes, but finally started driving again and got to the far right to get out of our way… She was driving very slow now. I hope she learned a lesson. We could have been hit from the front and back and no telling what the outcome would have been… I thank the Lord for His protection for all of us.

    Before Jean left today, we went up to Lowe’s in her truck, and I got a couple of bales of straw and a tarp. It would have made a mess in my car. When I plant my asparagus and Comfrey this fall, I will use it to cover it. Thanks Jean. 

    Picked up my bushel of peaches on Wednesday that I bought from a TN co-op, and am able to start eating on them today… Delicious, sweet and juicy. Probably will can what I don’t eat. Not sure yet. Maybe make some peach roll ups so I don’t have to peel some of them.

    GW – a few long sleeve shirts, Omaha Steaks Styrofoam container, dish towel.

    FB MP – Sold a couple of things. Will be listing more this week as I continue to go through stuff. Bought 6 thornless blackberry bushes.

    Prayers for the pack, for unspoken requests, The President, and for America.

    Have a great week everyone.

    Tara’s questions:

    What berries grow wild where you live, and how do you preserve and use your bountiful harvest? There are wild blackberries, but don’t pick them.

    What wild edibles grow on your land or in your region, and how do you make use of them? Haven’t learned to forage for edibles yet. It’s on the list.

    Do you teach your children to forage and use what is growing in your own backyard or on your land for food and medicine? Please share details if you do. I don’t have any children. No wild anything in backyard…

    1. JP beat me while I was answering Tara’s questions… Maybe next week… Thor, another reprieve for you… Lol

      1. I forgot Tara’s questions

        1. BlackBerry, galore they are almost a obnoxious weed in the PNW, I always get a big bowl each year enough to make at least two big pies.

        2 Dandelions tons of those too, few weeds that are good for bee stings, and salmon berries, but haven’t found those in years

        Huckleberry, and purple clover, the kid’s loved to chew on it and again its been years, but good memories.

      1. Thor1,

        Bad AT, no worm…..LOL

        Worms are OK; but, perhaps there’s a better lesson here.
        The early bird may get the worm; but, the last mouse gets the cheese.
        Personally I prefer cheese to worms.

          1. Thor1,
            I have used Fava beans bit don’t drink a lot of wine and especially don’t like dry wines like Chianti.
            I am more of a rum and something sweet kind of palate and generally only use wines for cooking.
            Good beer like Bass and Mike’s hard lemonade will also wet the whistle.

    2. Almost There,

      German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche stated: “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” so hopefully that young driver is stronger for the incident, or at least a bit smarter. Those are the incidents that sometimes just happen through no fault of our own. Glad to hear that everyone is safe.

      GW – a few long sleeve shirts, Omaha Steaks Styrofoam container, dish towel.

      We have a few of those Omaha Steaks Styrofoam coolers and they work really well. The DW doesn’t like the way they shed in the new car; but, they doo keep food cold.

      1. TOP,

        I understand there are times things happen due to no fault of our own…. BUT, she was driving WAY TOO FAST for the conditions… Stupidity on her part that could have ended in a tragedy. Like I said, the Good Lord protected us. No other explanation as to why something tragic didn’t happen. It was that bad.

        1. Almost There,
          I wasn’t talking about the girl driving too fast over which you had no control; but, the fact that you could have been involved in an accident through no fault of your own. Sometimes divine providence may be the only saving grace, since even good situational awareness could at times mean only that you are VERY aware of what is about to occur with no real way out of the situation. Good to hear that everyone survived intact.

          1. Almost There & all,
            In yet another ”No fault of your own” department, there’s a great; but, horrible example just last night in Dallas.

            At least 1 dead, 6 injured after crane falls on Dallas apartment building
            https://fox8.com/2019/06/09/watch-live-2-hospitalized-after-crane-collapses-in-dallas-thunderstorms/

            It would seem that no matter how much we prepare, there are some things that can catch us when we least expect them
            Yet one more reason to live in a rural or spread out suburban area where an incident like this one is unlikely or at least have good situational awareness and lose you normalcy bias.
            Until we experience some things like this, we don’t know how we would react; but, a temporary move from an apartment with a big crane, lifting big heavy things above your head, might be another reason for a temporary Bug Out for the duration. I seem to recall more than a few of these crane incidents in the past year or so.

    3. AT,
      I’m glad you’re all ok. We had an unexpected stop for a few minutes on our trip. Just after that, we came upon a bad wreck between a small car and a semi. I wonder how many times these “annoying problems” have kept us from being involved in a wreck?

  3. First?

    The hubby and I did some serious cleaning this week. We got rid of his parents’ sofa bed from the 1960s or 70s, a pit group set, a broken dresser, a broken desk, mini van seats and several other items. Very good cleaning.

    I also had a chance to peruse the meats on sale and picked up three Boston butts plus two pork tenderloins for a decent price. Those have been stashed in the freezer.

    We continue to search for ways to get out of town permanently.

    More later – more cleaning to do.

    Prayers for all in need.

    1. GA Red,
      This sounds like a theme with which I can have empathy.
      Decluttering & getting out of town.
      We’ve been out of town for more than 35 years; but, we’re still working on the decluttering. LOL.

  4. It’s still morning here we our at our second property, keeping the lawn mowed, trimming back weeds, and spray painted my black metal futon, and futon chair. Bought some kiltz, to repaint the bunk house, and going to put plywood, over the cement so it of course makes it easier to put flooring down. Did a bit of food shopping most was daily food, we did go to Costco, got some more kitty litter, and 2 cases of water, butter, creamer, and some cookies. Today, we are getting extra shelf stable milk, and some paint rollers. I did get a couple of cans of ravioli, beans, just to keep our stock pile, up. Bought 6 bags of preen weed mulch, my backyard, is looking mighty spiffy, I need to get one more just to plug in some spots that are showing through at Lowes, they are $3.00 a bag. Bought two flats of Strawberries, usually I can my jam right away but I still have a lot of yard work I want to finish so the berries, went into the freezer for later on to make jam. Today, we are having a BBQ, and a homemade pasta salad, I may find some flower’s to add to a few pots I’ve cleaned out it’s looking better and nice not to be arguing over this place finally getting a direction to what to do out here, the crowd are talking and the one squirrel we see is still bouncing around the fence. Have a nice Sunday, everyone 🙂

  5. I forgot Tara’s questions

    1. BlackBerry, galore they are almost a obnoxious weed in the PNW, I always get a big bowl each year enough to make at least two big pies.

    2 Dandelions tons of those too, few weeds that are good for bee stings, and salmon berries, but haven’t got any in years.

    3. Yes, the kid’s would pick the huckleberries, and the purple clover to chew on.

  6. I did my low-carb grocery shopping this week. Added a little to my stash. Did some weekly meal cooking.

    Still hot and muggy in good old FLA. The normal afternoon rains are popping up finally. Not every area necessarily gets rain every day but should get some a few times a week. Some of those rainstorms can be pretty rough though. A few places in Central Florida have gotten a lot of rain over the past couple of days and are having flooding issues. Not in my area though. No nasty tropical cyclone activity yet for us to worry about. Give it time.

    Not a lot of prepping this week beyond reading and watching some videos. I did buy a 21″ prybar for my general preps. I also folded my topographical maps of the Orlando area and put them in a waterproof pouch with a map protractor.

    An article on another prepper site about train accidents resulting in HazMat incidents gave me some food for thought. As a police officer in Michigan, my town didn’t have a rail line within a mile or more of us, so we at the PD didn’t give train accidents much thought. Our FD did as they were members of the county HazMat team. We did have mandatory HazMat training in the event a vehicle containing a HazMat had an accident on our roadways, but it was mainly geared toward our not becoming “blue canaries,” as the FD liked to call us.

    I live about two long blocks from a rail line. It mostly carries commuter trains during the day but does carry freight trains at night. I don’t know if those trains carry HazMat, but it is likely. I will research this. Good thing I have a BOB, a respirator, gas mask, and a BOL a decent distance away, yet reasonably close (six miles, #1 daughter’s house, and I have a key). Bonus: it’s in the opposite direction from the tracks. Not so great: I live east of that rail line. Prevailing winds come right towards me from the tracks.

    Research conducted on HazMat routes. There is a national registry of restricted HazMat routes. The only area with restricted routes in Florida is Tampa. Thus, all types of HazMat can be transported on road or rail anywhere in Florida except on those few, rather short, restricted routes in Tampa. There are sometimes exceptions on those routes, such as gasoline tanker trucks delivering to gas stations. Otherwise, it’s up to the rail or trucking line as to whether they convey HazMat on particular routes, or not. Here is the link to the national registry if anyone is nosy: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2014/07/14/2014-15861/national-hazardous-materials-route-registry

    My conclusion is that those of us who plan to bug-in during a SHTF situation, have to be prepared to bug-out if we are in the evac zone for a HazMat incident. In my case, due to my proximity to a rail line with a street crossing, a HazMat incident could involve tanker cars carrying flammable products. If one of those were caught in a fire, and still intact, the potential of a BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) exists. You do not want to be close to a BLEVE. I live too close if a BLEVE went off on those tracks from a railroad-sized tank car. Hopefully, I would be long out of there by then (BLEVEs do take a little time to work themselves up), but it is a high chance my apartment would be done for. Large pieces of those tank cars have been blown ½-mile away from the explosion site. Look up BLEVEs on YouTube.

    My oldest brother had a mild stroke last weekend. He’s a couple of years younger than me, but he has some lifestyle issues and other medical problems. The neurologist told him he dodged a bullet as the bleed was small and in a relatively “non-heavily used” area of his brain. I wish I was there when the doctor said that. Boy, was that a setup line or what? Evidently there seems to be no lingering deficit caused by the stroke. Sadly, he won’t change his lifestyle or his non-compliance with medications (especially BP meds). It’s also a reminder to me that I’m getting old. Sometimes I have all the energy of a sloth on Xanax. 😊

    Granddaughter has been very good this week. She was quite fascinated listening to her own heartbeat and her mother’s through a stethoscope. She noticed right away that her heartbeat is faster than her mom’s. I let her use one of my Littman ‘scopes so the audio quality was very good.

    Shortly before I posted this, I received a post on a neighborhood info site. Evidently a black bear was sighted not very far from where I live digging through people’s trash. Most unusual for this area. Police have been notified. The reporting party said they tried to get a photo, but the bear moved, and that would mean going outside to get the snap. Wisely they did not.

    Tara’s questions:

    1. What berries grow wild where you live, and how do you preserve and use your bountiful harvest? I haven’t seen any wild berries in my neighborhood.

    2. What wild edibles grow on your land or in your region, and how do you make use of them? I’m sure there are some wild edibles out there, but except for dandelions, I’m not educated in telling one from another.

    3. Do you teach your children to forage and use what is growing in your own backyard or on your land for food and medicine? Please share details if you do. I don’t teach my granddaughter. However, her mom and abuela do. The little girl enjoys flowers and plants, and has a great time helping to plant and tend gardens. She has her own gardening gloves as well. Both ladies do use what they raise or forage for food and natural medicines.

    4. What did you do to prep this week? See above.

    1. Zulu 3-6
      Thank you for sharing the HazMat link. Unfortunately it confirmed what I thought. A hazard of living in a not heavily regulated part of the country. We live about a mile from the railroad so lots to think about.

    2. Zulu 3-6,

      Not every area necessarily gets rain every day but should get some a few times a week. Some of those rainstorms can be pretty rough though.

      Some years ago I worked on a job site in Ft Myers for nearly 2 months and stayed in an efficiency hotel on Ft. Myers beach. The commute was only about 15 miles; but, it rained somewhere on the route during one or both trips every day.

      I did buy a 21″ prybar for my general preps. I also folded my topographical maps of the Orlando area and put them in a waterproof pouch with a map protractor.

      Sounds like preparing for a bug out? Something you know that we don’t? LOL

      but it was mainly geared toward our not becoming “blue canaries,” as the FD liked to call us.

      Our FD recently presented a seminar and didn’t talk about Blue canaries; but, did mention ”Methyl Ethyl Death”</strong more than a few times.
      Colorful language those guys.

      Research conducted on HazMat routes. There is a national registry of restricted HazMat routes.

      Rail is 10 or more miles from me; but, I live along a relatively main North South truck route and have always been concerned / aware of this. Thanks for the HazMat route information that I’m still digesting..

      My conclusion is that those of us who plan to bug-in during a SHTF situation, have to be prepared to bug-out if we are in the evac zone for a HazMat incident.

      That is our ”Only” planned Bug Out scenario and short of a BLEVE that completely destroys the property, should be relatively short term.

      You do not want to be close to a BLEVE. I live too close if a BLEVE went off on those tracks from a railroad-sized tank car. Hopefully, I would be long out of there by then (BLEVEs do take a little time to work themselves up), but it is a high chance my apartment would be done for. Large pieces of those tank cars have been blown ½-mile away from the explosion site. Look up BLEVEs on YouTube.

      As a note, the military uses a BLEEVE or F.A.E. (Fuel Air Explosive) some of you may have heard of. The MOAB, Massive Ordinance Air Burst AKA Mother Of All Bombs, that is said to be the most powerful nonnuclear weapon in the inventory.

      The neurologist told him he dodged a bullet as the bleed was small and in a relatively “non-heavily used” area of his brain. I wish I was there when the doctor said that. Boy, was that a setup line or what?

      I like those setup lines too. They tell me that what saved me during my brain hemorrhage in 2015 was my age (evidently the brain shrinks as we get older) and my ”Big Head” and while they meant physically large, you can imagine the comments.

      Evidently there seems to be no lingering deficit caused by the stroke. Sadly, he won’t change his lifestyle or his non-compliance with medications (especially BP meds). It’s also a reminder to me that I’m getting old. Sometimes I have all the energy of a sloth on Xanax. 😊

      In a way a bit of deficit might have been a good thing. I lost most of my left side motor function and spent about 3 weeks of hard rigorous physical therapy getting everything working again. I’m now all ship shape; but, with a bit less strength in the arms, that I’m working to get back. That was from muscle atrophy during the 10 days in bed prior to PT.
      If he had to work for it a bit, it might have helped.
      As for being a sloth, if I lived with your constant heat & humidity I would akso spend a lot more time lounging inside with the AC running.

      Shortly before I posted this, I received a post on a neighborhood info site.

      We just had one of those pop up and I joined in. It’s kind of like a digital back yard fence for gossiping with neighbors in the area. Gossip in the 21st century when even the sloths can stay indoors and not actually walk to the fence. LOL.

    3. “Sometimes I have all the energy of a sloth on Xanax.”
      Totally stealing that one! I worked OT the other night, an 11 hour shift, slept about 6 hrs and turned around and did 8 1/2 tonight, and that is darn sure about how I feel right now! I can’t hang like I used to, LOL!

    4. Hello Zulu. Could you give me some ideas of low carb prep items I can put back in my pantry? I’m doing a special low carb like diet that is fat heavy to keep down being hungry all of the time. I’m on a Facebook
      Group for this diet, but don’t know if any are preppers.
      Thanks for any ideas you might have

      1. Repair Mama,

        The best I can advise is things like beans (red.black, pinto, which can be canned or dry), green veggies (green beans, etc, generally canned). I also eat broccoli, which unfortunately can’t be preserved for long unless frozen. Green peppers, cucumbers (I usually eat these sliced and raw as snacks), zucchini. I am not certain if these veggies can be canned. Others here are pros at canning and could answer that.

        I also eat low fat meats, mainly because I have to keep my cholesterol in check as I have bad side effects to statins.

        Sadly, a low-carb lifestyle steals a lot of the foods I like from my plate. However, everything in moderation and as a treat now and again.

      2. Repair Mama,

        Could you give me some ideas of low carb prep items I can put back in my pantry? I’m doing a special low carb like diet that is fat heavy to keep down being hungry all of the time.

        I was on the original low carbohydrate (Atkins) diet and like Zulu 3-6 have to watch my fat intake a bit; however, unlike him I can and do take statins. All of the beans he listed may be prepared for long term storage either canned or stored dry in sealed containers with O2 absorbers. Stored dry they obviously will take longer to prepare, either by soaking or pressure cooking or a combination thereof. Unfortunately most fats, whether from meats or pure like Olive oil are required to be frozen or at least refrigerated to keep from going rancid.
        Keep in mind that while foods like beans & broccoli are low in carbs; they however, are not zero carbs; but, do contain some fiber that is nearly zero. For instance:
        One cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli contains 6 grams of carbs, 2 of which are fiber,
        Black beans are high in carbohydrates, however also balanced with the fiber content. A 1/2 cup serving has 20 grams of carbohydrate and 8 grams of fiber, with 12 grams of net carbs.
        Broccoli and other Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts are usually frozen, dehydrated, or freeze dried. You may do the same with Green (Bell) peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, and other squash varieties.
        Any plant base food, even broccoli or garlic & onions, may be canned; but, many of these low acid foods must be either pickled or pressure canned to be safe, and their texture may end up a little mushy.
        We received a bumper crop of bell peppers and cleaned and froze a lot of them, since once thawed, they are nearly like fresh.

  7. (1) Elderberries grow wild on our road and I have already gathering and dehydrated enough to make several batches of syrup and tincture. (2) Other wild edibles on our property include purslane and plantain. Currently I and only using them to supplement food for the chickens, but knowing what they are for “just in case” is a good thing. (3) My grandsons are well aware of several foods on our land…they love to pick mulberries from my trees, gather eggs from the hens, and bananas from the almost-too-many plants I have! LOL
    Preps this week include making another batch of tomato sauce from the harvest; dehydrating a couple of dozen sliced bananas (they make great snacks), diced and froze fresh papaya from my tree; and purchased more 8-ounce mason jars to put my next batch of cowboy candy in. Grapes are only a week or so away from being ready and I’m picking a few figs each morning from my two trees. Barn cleaning is never ending, and it provides ample mulch for around my fruit trees and grape vines. Life is good on the farm, even if it’s hard work.

  8. Puppy wore me out on a walk today…. Puppy defended me. I was going to cook on the gas grill and went to turn the gas on. Puppy heard something I didn’t and turned his head sideways. Then he stuck his head in the grill and let out a growl that I never heard him do. A wasp nest was in there and one stung him in the nose. He smacked his nose with his paw and smashed the wasp on the ground. I made sure he was OK and put some mud on his sting. He is OK. I then killed the wasp nest. Nothing hurts my puppy without paying the price.

    Purchases

    Bought a Ryobi pole chainsaw attachment to trim tree branches. Now I have a tiller,weed Wacker and chainsaw that all use a rechargeable lithium ion battery. Cool

    Bought a backup Ryobi 40v 4 ah battery. I can recharge this from the Kodiak solar system.

    Food

    Bought 4 cases of canned corn.
    Bought 4 cases of green beans.

    Garden

    Picked some cucumbers.
    Picked some squash.
    Picked some Zucchini…. I’m going Forest Gump on this with different dishes. Sautéed in butter, fried, in tomato sauce with andewy sausage…. Ect
    Picked several cherry tomatoes but they got lost on the way back mmmmm.
    There is a beefsteak tomato starting to turn red…..yay
    Picked some bush beans

    Planted more cilantro and spinach.

    Put fertilizer spikes in the avocad trees and the lemon tree.

    Tara’s questions:

    1.What berries grow wild where you live, and how do you preserve and use your bountiful harvest?
    2.What wild edibles grow on your land or in your region, and how do you make use of them?
    3.Do you teach your children to forage and use what is growing in your own backyard or on your land for food and medicine? Please share details if you do.

    1. Blackberries and strawberries. Pies and other desserts.
    2. Blackberries,strawberries, dandelions, wild asparagus, wild lettuce, cattails, walnuts and pine trees……Euell Gibbons….LOL
    3. Kids are grown and know.

    Thor’s questions:

    1. Do you have enough supplements/ vitamins for an extended time stored?
    2. If you take medications, how long do you have before you run out?
    3. Do you know what type of plant can be ued to replace or supplement your medications?
    4. What backup systems do you have for a grid down scenario? ( electric, water, heat,gas & food)

    1. Thor’s questions:

      1. Do you have enough supplements/ vitamins for an extended time stored? Of those I take, yes.

      2. If you take medications, how long do you have before you run out? It depends on the meds. I get my stuff from the VA and they don’t give you scrips for extra. I may need to go to a civilian doctor and get scrips from him/her. I don’t need anything controlled, so the doc should be amenable to help me out. I do have medical insurance and medicare that will cover most of the scrips.

      3. Do you know what type of plant can be used to replace or supplement your medications? No, but I should learn.

      4. What backup systems do you have for a grid down scenario? ( electric, water, heat,gas & food). I have a bunch of rechargeable batteries and battery banks. To keep those going, I have several portable solar panels. I also have a number of flashlights and lanterns (rechargeable). I likewise have a goodly supply of alkaline batteries. Water: I have a bunch of cases of water bottles, plus a DIY gravity water filter system (like a Berkey) with spare filters. I also have a number of Sawyer filters. My complex has a swimming pool and a lake nearby. Heat: I don’t have any separate heating sources since I live in Florida. However, since it can get chilly in winter, I do have clothing, coats, and blankets suitable for keeping me warm indoors or out. Summer is another matter if the A/C is out. I have several rechargeable fans and I can always go naked since I live alone. Food: I have what I estimate is at least 7 or 8 month’s worth of food right now, plus over 50 pouches of freeze dried meals. As my kitchen range is electric, I have a Coleman 2-burner propane camp stove plus a bunch of 1-lb bottles for a primary cooking source. I also have a rocket stove and an Esbit stove w/extra heat tabs for cooking backup.

      1. Z36, cayenne pepper is great to help with blood pressure, garlic for an antibiotic, cinnamon for diabetes. Just a few……great answers. You could grow garlic and cayenne in containers….just a thought…..

        A streaking Marine walking with serious intent with a bayonet……. LOL

    2. Oh I found an illegal snail in my celery tray. I pulled him off and threw him over my wall……LOL

      I should have fed him to puppy but he is not a French dog……..LOL

    3. Thor:
      My garden is about a month behind your’s! I m excited about the first green tomato which showed up on an Amish paste.
      Questions: Yes on vitamins. I worry they will go bad as I don’t use them daily as I should. Extra vitamin c to protect from scurvy. I will be ok as far as medications, but DH is on quite a few and we only have about 6 months supply. Currently researching what herbs can supplement and have added several medicinal types to the garden with St. John’s wort being the latest. Back-up systems are numerous.

      1. Moe, vitamins don’t go bad unless they are a liquid, they just get weaker. I planted on the perfect day, just felt it in my bones.

        I’m surprised you didn’t do a green fried tomato….LOL

        1. Thor1,

          I’m surprised you didn’t do a green fried tomato….LOL

          Here we call them ”Fried Green Tomatoes” and they are one of my favorites. When we’re set up to deep fry we also generally do onion rings and hushpuppies.
          It’s late, I’m hungry, and here we are talking about food LOL.

          1. Top, proper English would be…..

            The tomato was already green so green would be first.

            The tomato didn’t turn green after being fried soooo…..LOL

          2. Thor1,
            You stated to Moe:

            I’m surprised you didn’t do a green fried tomato….LOL

            And to me:

            Top, proper English would be…..
            The tomato was already green so green would be first.

            This must be some odd dialect, since I would say fried bologna or ffried hamburger (vs. grilled) or Kentucky “Fried Chicken”, and not Kentucky Chicken Fried, ergo, Fried “Green Tomato” would be correct.
            Of course both the Colonel and I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. LOL

    4. Thor1,
      Your questions:
      1. Do you have enough supplements/ vitamins for an extended time stored?
      Yes, enough of my normal supplements for 6 months to a year minimum.
      2. If you take medications, how long do you have before you run out?
      I have 6-18 months of most medications; but, the only required one is now only ASA, so at least a few years since it’s inexpensive and OTC
      3. Do you know what type of plant can be ued to replace or supplement your medications?
      Yes. ASA can be replaced with willow bark tea; but, I would have to find some willow in the area.
      4. What backup systems do you have for a grid down scenario? ( electric, water, heat, gas & food)
      • Electric: Propane fueled whole property generator with plenty of fuel & consumables, Small solar chargers for devices, solar panel system for charging small battery banks, large UPS units for riding out short term outages.
      • Water: Good well with electric & hand pumps, 50 gallon water heater, rain catchment, creek. Various treatment and filtration methods for making water potable.
      • Heat: Propane furnace & ventless heaters (from tank farm) buddy heaters with many small canisters, fireplace insert with plenty of seasoned wood on hand, Aladdin and Coleman lanterns with fuel on hand.
      • Gas: 3000+ gallons of propane with on property tank farm, 25-50 gallons stabilized gasoline.
      • Food: Enough ”easy” food for 4 adults for at least one year. Significant amounts of harder to prepare foods, such as grains that will need to be milled. Also some amount of fish from the creek.

      1. TOP, sounds like you got it covered.

        Hey did you feel an earthquake up there lately?

        I heard there was a 4.0 in Cleveland…….

        1. Thor1,

          sounds like you got it covered.

          We do now. My last procedure for the aFib took me off of most of my medications except the 325 mg ASA. I actually take only 324, 81 x 4 since the low dose (baby aspirin) are easier to swallow, just as inexpensive, and more versatile to keep on hand for others who might need them.

          Hey did you feel an earthquake up there lately?
          I heard there was a 4.0 in Cleveland……

          No & didn’t even hear about it here.
          I’ve ”lived” through 4 earthquakes here in Ohio and didn’t notice any of them. I had friends who were sitting at dinner for one of them and noticed the hanging ceiling lamp above their table start to swing; but, other than that they also didn’t feel anything.
          Ohio gets some cold blizzard like weather and a lot of rain that can cause flooding for some places. Here our only real threats are tornadoes; but, with modern radio & online radar, we usually get plenty of warning.

  9. Good Afternoon everyone. We have had a banner week. The latest family member was born and the baby quilt was finished just before I saw her for the first time.
    To answer Tara’s questions, 1.) Berries are not bountiful around here. Perhaps the annual rainfall needs to be greater. 2.) Asparagus does grow wild in the ditch banks and alleys. Although the ones in the alleys may have been planted long, long ago. Sand Hill plums are a wild bush that is plentiful. 3.) Kids are grown and flown but one daughter is very into herbs as natural remedies. 4.) Preps included harvesting early carrots, radishes and lots of greens. I found a variety of lettuce called four star that is late to bolt. Temps are approaching 90 some days so that will come into play soon.
    Our nights are still dipping into the upper forties. Looks like we could have a cool summer. Prayers for those in need.

  10. Hello all,

    I’m trying to expand my business and get back into logistics to some degree. If you stay still in business you begin to decay. In the meantime, I’ll be looking to get my oldest hired by a local slaughterhouse. As a high functioning autistic young man, the repetition would appeal to him. I’m also considering one of the fish markets nearby. These are both great skills to bring into a SHTF situation. He wouldn’t mind the slaughter, it seems, so we’ll see. A friend has a supermarket with a butcher department. There’s a good trade.

    I’ve been organizing the stashes and rotating in new groceries. I’ve also picked up 9mm ammo along with .45ACP. Still mulling over the.357 Vaquero. Don’t tell Mrs. Overwatch.

    With regard to Tara’s questions, we are blessed here with a bounty from nature. The saltwater areas are a half mile away. Fish, clams, crabs of every description are there for the taking. In fresh water, 200 yards away, we have all the usual fish. Deer, turkey, and waterfowl are everywhere and plentiful. Berries from rose hips to blueberries and raspberries are ubiquitous. The soil, while a bit rocky is generally good. Great place to live except for all the damned Liberals

    1. Overwatch-
      Is there any part of the state that disagrees with the left wing attitude of the state legislature? Parts of California and Colorado come to mind, where the locals are 180 degrees from the city areas in beliefs and actions.

  11. Good afternoon folks,
    No prepping this weekend. All play. I started with a visit to Almost There. I find it very refreshing to meet up with fellow preppers and talk shop, and techniques. Fell in love with her kitty cat. Loved her garden.
    Went to my very first barder day and must say it was quite educational and enjoyable. Lots of nice folks attended.
    Dropped by my cousins house on the way home for a visit, and will stay the night. Hopefully the rain will have passed by tomorrow, so I don’t have to worry about those drivers around me.

    Tara’s questions:
    1. I have wild strawberries, and blackberries in serveral close-by locations.
    2. Not sure about wild edibles in my area. Will need to investigate.
    3. No young-uns to teach
    4. This was a play weekend, not much prepping. I enjoyed eating out, shopping, but I did
    obtain a great little red Coleman lantern, and bordered for 2 heirloom tomato plants and
    lemon balm, so that was good!

    Having only gotten back to growing vegetables the last couple of years, I have quickly discovered that gardening of any type is a full time job. Always something to do!

    Have a great week! Stay safe!

  12. Hi Tara & all,

    It’d also been a good week here, with little rain and the chance to maybe finally get the garden tilled.

    We kept rabbits years ago for 4H projects and our hutch was constructed off of the ground on legs, with hardware cloth on the hinged doors, and for most of the floor. This kept predators out and allowed easy cleaning with most of the littler dropping to the ground, making the cages an easy cleaning chore with a brush & shovel.
    Planting elderberries is on our list for later this year, since black raspberries and mulberries are already abundant.

    Tara’s Questions:
    1. What berries grow wild where you live, and how do you preserve and use your bountiful harvest?
    Blackberries & mulberries and quite honestly most get eaten. Our blueberries and strawberries are starting to produce, and will be frozen or made into compote or jam if we get enough.
    2. What wild edibles grow on your land or in your region, and how do you make use of them?
    Some mushrooms, leeks & ramps, usually harvested fresh and used for cooking.
    3. Do you teach your children to forage and use what is growing in your own backyard or on your land for food and medicine? Please share details if you do.
    We did; but, our youngest is 28, oldest 52 and no longer live here, so I really don’t know what they do on that subject right now.
    4. What did you do to prep this week?
    See below.

    Here’s a note on the times in which we live.
    In the ”How can you ever please these people” department, I suspect most of you have heard of the generous gift of 66 year old engineer & billionaire hedge fund investor Robert Frederick Smith. In case you have not, here’s the amazing story.
    Robert Smith Pledges To Pay Off Student Loans For Morehouse College’s Class Of 2019
    https://www.npr.org/2019/05/19/724836836/robert-smith-pledges-to-pay-off-student-loans-for-morehouse-colleges-class-of-20

    But no good deed goes unpunished, at least by the leftists.
    Why Liberals Don’t Like Robert Smith’s Commencement Gift
    https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2019/06/03/why-liberals-dont-like-robert-smiths-commencement-gift/

    Have these people finally really jumped the shark?
    Arrrgh!!!!!

    TOP’s questions
    1. This past week was the 75th anniversary of the WW II Normandy landings. What are the names of the 5 landing sites (beaches) and the name and relative position of the cliff that was scaled and captured by the US Army Ranger Assault Group?
    2. There has been recession talk due to the inverted yield curve. What is it? (Hint a little Econ 101 lesson)
    3. Has everyone heard that the US Department of Energy has renamed the massive natural gas reserves found in our country and to you know what they are now calling this resource?

    This week we acquired and did the following.
    1. 16 inch tool bag from Harbor Freight
    2. 144 lumen magnetic work light from Harbor Freight (FREE!!)
    3. 3 five-gallon buckets for container gardening from Harbor Freight
    4. From Ollie’s Outlet with a 15% off the order coupon:
    • 4 large Sharpie markers (Red, Green, Black, Blue)
    • 4 1 lb jars of pickled beets
    5. Dollar Tree
    • 2 bags, Brim’s White cheddar popcorn
    • Audio book CD’s
    o Michael J Fox: “Always Looking Up”
    o Robert Ludlum: “The Bourne Legacy”
    o “Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi” By Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz
    o “Fed Up!” By Rick Perry
    o “Our Sarah: Made in Alaska” By Chuck Heath, Jr.
    o Great Rainmakers by Jeffrey J Fox

    • DVD’s
    o Experimenter
    o A CRIME
    o Several others I will not list here; but, suffice to say they were all B-list action or martial arts movies, which @ $1.00 each will provide some brain dead watching that I occasionally need. OTOH, speaking of brain dead, TNT ran the Hunger games series and I recorded them all; but, was unable to get through #1 so I stopped early and deleted them all.
    • Key Lime & Turtle pie slices
    • First Aid supplies
    o Box of 10: 2×4 inch Band-Aids
    o Gauze roll 2 inch by 90 inches unstretched
    o Paper Tape: 1 inch x 5 yards
    6. Had an echocardiogram with stress. This was the second one and shows I do not need a TAVR (Transcatheter aortic valve replacement). Actually pretty good news.
    7. Received Peet’s Coffee Café Domingo Medium Roast K-Cup Pods (10ct) from woot.com. I don’t drink coffee; but, this is for the DW an guests, most of whom do drink the vile tasting stuff. LOL
    8. Received a TCL 4K UHD HDR Roku Smart LED TV from woot.com. This is the replacement for our 55 inch HDTV that suddenly died and is out of both the initial and purchased extended warranties.
    9. Received a Greater Goods Blood Pressure Monitor Kit from woot.com. This was a great price and completes the last of the electronic monitoring equipment for the FAK.
    10. We had a power outage on 06/07/2019 @ 17:57; restored @ 19:24 . The generator and UPS units once again did their required jobs as expected.
    11. The DW received a 2.8% increase in her pension; but, this means when she reports it to SS, they will deduct some from that amount. The gubment giveth and then the gubment takes away.
    12. Ordered a ”AE Mirror Dashcam and Rearview Camera” from woot.com. The new vehicle has a rear camera and we’ve wanted a Dash cam for the older vehicle to record the craziness we see on the roads. This was another good price & deal.
    13. Watched the Weather Channel ”Top 10 weather phobias.” some of which have potential for harm and others of which are IMHO, really stupid:
    1. Nephophobia: fear of clouds
    2. Ombrophobia: fear of rain
    3. Chinophobia: fear of snow
    4. Ancraophobia: fear of wind
    5. Homichlophobia: fear of fog
    6. Heliophobia: fear of the sun
    7. Thermophobia: fear of heat
    8. Frigophobia: fear of cold
    9. Astraphobia: fear of thunder and lightning
    10. Iridophobia: fear of rainbows Really???
    14. The oldest of my kid sisters came out for a visit. We talked, & shopped, and had some meals out together. She saw my 18 lbs of rhubarb in the fridge and made short work of the batch, getting it washed, cut and packaged for the freezer in record time. I would have cut off my fingertips doing it as fast as she did.
    15. Trip to Aldi’s:
    • Another dozen Blueberry muffins
    • A Feta Spinach Pizza @ the recommendation of my sister. It was not bad for a pizza with no meat. LOL
    • Our Aldi’s location still has the knockoff Atomic Beam Lanterns we reported last week in the ”Lollygag aisle.”
    16. 250 Adult multivitamins from Wal-Mart. My fingernails are peeling and my doc recommended these for me & the DW.
    17. Annual fire extinguisher training @ EMA (we used a propane pan water bubbler and Class ABC dry powder extinguishers as well as a Carbon Dioxide version. For some new members, this was their first use of a real extinguisher on a “real” fire.
    18. I helped with our radio club’s 3rd annual TrunkFest (radio & electronics flea market). Managed to sell a couple of speaker microphones and only bought a few small items.
    19.

    1. TOP:
      Your second question is the only one I have knowledge of. The inverted yield curve occurs when long term interest rates are lower than short term rates. It is often used as a predictor of recessions. Many are closely watching the markets for additional signs of a recession.

  13. This week’s questions:
    1. What berries grow wild where you live, and how do you preserve and use your bountiful harvest?
    The main thing that I harvest are blackberries. I plan on making a lot of jelly and a few cobblers.
    2. What wild edibles grow on your land or in your region, and how do you make use of them?
    DIL bought a book about wild edibles in our area. We’re going to start studying and harvesting.
    3. Do you teach your children to forage and use what is growing in your own backyard or on your land for food and medicine? Please share details if you do.
    See #2. That’s on the agenda for the near future.
    4. What did you do to prep this week?

    Since my last post:

    I retired, and we took a thirteen-day camping trip to Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Devils Tower, and the Badlands. We had never been that far west. It’s beautiful. Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota are all places that I could see myself living. The people were great. As we drove, we saw so many areas that were flooded. Prayers for all of you who are under water.
    I made sure we were as prepared as we could be on our hikes, even though we didn’t plan on being away from the truck for that long. It amazes me how many people were hiking with one small bottle of water for an entire family. Others were hiking in flip-flops or barefoot. I even saw a few ladies wearing high heels on a steep hike with loose gravel on the path. What’s wrong with people? I understand if they didn’t have an IFAK or Lifestraw, but high heels? That’s just stupid.
    Teens from the youth group at church took care of the animals while I was gone. I taught them to milk a goat, and DIL said they did very well. She also said they seemed to have a great time. She heard them laughing and saw them having so much fun. My security camera showed the same thing. I’m so glad they were able to do some of the work so that DIL didn’t have to do everything. She kept up with taking care of the garden while I was away and did a great job keeping the bugs at bay.
    We enjoyed our time away. We couldn’t help but talk about people we know who would have been miserable with no cell service, Internet access, or TV. We loved the time away from these distractions, even though I did miss reading my blogs, including this one. I may get caught up in the next few weeks.

    *Animals:
    -Cleaned the coops and barn.
    -Bought six RIR pullets.
    -A hen got out when I was gathering eggs. LGD puppy did his job and quietly followed her. He went up to her and “nosed her.” She played dead, and I was able to pick her up and put her back in the coop.
    -Gave LGD puppy a bath. Thor, I thought of you and your puppy while I was getting a bath along with puppy. It’s something I could see your puppy doing at one time.

    *Garden:
    -Everything appeared to be doing well before our trip. When I got back, I discovered that the corn was a bust due to too much rain. I replanted it when we got back. We’ll see what happens. I hope it’s not too late for success.
    -Strawberries are starting to produce. My kids got to pick quite a few while we were gone.
    -Strawed under the cucumber plants.

    *Added a little to the stockpile: Canned vegetables, soap, granola,

    *Miscellaneous:
    -Hay was baled. Our share is 44 large, round bales.
    -Getting rid of weeds in pasture.
    -Cleaned up old fencing at farm.
    -I finally got the report on a biopsy from a spot removed on my leg. It’s pre-melanoma. (The actual name is loooong.) I will have more removed this month. Since then, three more spots that look like it have come up. I’ll have the doctor check them.

    *Skills:
    -Did a lot of hiking and climbing. I’m afraid of heights. I challenged myself and did it anyway. I know it’s no big deal for most people, but I’m proud that I hiked the entire Notch Trail in the Badlands. The distance wasn’t a problem. The heights were.
    MY QUESTIONS (Please help me by replying below.):
    -I had huckleberry syrup and huckleberry ice cream for the first time, and I loved them. I’m wanting to grow some berries at home (zone 6). Do any of you grow huckleberries? What advice can you give me? What do you make with the berries?
    -I’m thinking about raising a few turkeys, and I’ve been reading a lot about it. For those of you who raise them, what advice would you give me about raising turkeys? What breeds are best? (There names will be Thanksgiving and Christmas…and maybe Smoked, Salad, and With-Dressing.)
    -I grew up with foods cooked with dried herbs and spices, but no cooking using fresh herbs. Therefore, I have only recently started growing my own herbs and cooking with them. I’ve never used mint in cooking, but thought I’d try growing it this year. I wasn’t expecting much. Boy, was I wrong! I’m glad I put it in pots or it would be overtaking the space. What can I do with my incredible overabundance of fresh mint? Recipes appreciated.

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

    1. Prepared Grammy,

      The main thing that I harvest are blackberries. I plan on making a lot of jelly and a few cobblers.

      Are you talking about Blackberries or Black Raspberries? I only ask because that is one of the fruits that seem to have an identity crisis in different parts of the country. Heck, here in Ohio there are old timers that call Bell Peppers Mangoes, and wonder why I don’t.

      I retired, and we took a thirteen-day camping trip to Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Devils Tower, and the Badlands. We had never been that far west. It’s beautiful. Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota are all places that I could see myself living. The people were great.

      I did most of that solo, some 40+ years ago before I was married. Like you, I went prepared, perhaps overly so; but, did run into a few people who seemed to be treating it as a simple stroll in the park day hike.

      I made sure we were as prepared as we could be on our hikes, even though we didn’t plan on being away from the truck for that long. It amazes me how many people were hiking with one small bottle of water for an entire family. Others were hiking in flip-flops or barefoot.

      You may note that in my weekly preps I often watch Weather Channel shows like ”Could you survive” where they document people who do those things and often end up hurt, cold, and rescued by helicopter; but, on occasion, the reality of not making it out has also been shown.

      I even saw a few ladies wearing high heels on a steep hike with loose gravel on the path. What’s wrong with people? I understand if they didn’t have an IFAK or Lifestraw, but high heels? That’s just stupid.

      Climbing a Scree field, even in good boots when I was in my 20’s was darn hard. It really makes you wonder if these people ever thought their trip through or even looked at the travel brochures, that I’m sure mention such things.

      MY QUESTIONS (Please help me by replying below.):
      -I had huckleberry syrup and huckleberry ice cream for the first time, and I loved them. I’m wanting to grow some berries at home (zone 6). Do any of you grow huckleberries? What advice can you give me? What do you make with the berries?

      All of the huckleberries I’ve seen were wild. The red variety is kind of tart; but, I personally find the blue variety similar enough to blueberries that they work for most things. The ones that don’t get eaten while picking get either frozen, made into compote or jam. The compote can then be processed into ham or pie filling it you have enough.

      -I’m thinking about raising a few turkeys, and I’ve been reading a lot about it. For those of you who raise them, what advice would you give me about raising turkeys? What breeds are best? (There names will be Thanksgiving and Christmas…and maybe Smoked, Salad, and With-Dressing.)

      We have had a few turkeys, as have a few friends, and at least around here, they seem to be more susceptible to predation than chickens. More than a few were carried off by fox, while the chickens in the same pen were left alone. Don’t know why?

      1. TOP.

        On the turkeys being toted off by a fox instead of the chickens… Foxes are smart… MORE meat! Lol…

    2. Prepared Grammy-
      I am glad you enjoyed your trip to the West. After 30 years as an Eastern transplant, I still love the vast open spaces and the MYOB attitude.
      I haven’t heard of anyone having success cultivating huckleberries. They are a treat from Mother Nature. Turkeys can be a good meat source. We no longer have a turkey farm nearby but plenty of wild turkeys. Mint is a great addition to salads, smoothies, hummus (along with lemon balm), jelly and salsas. I have a peach mint salsa recipe I will try to share later in the week. TOP has my email if you want it sooner.
      Keep on top of those “spots!”

    3. PG, the person in the high heels was AOC…..LOL

      Thanks for your thoughts on puppy baths….he hates baths but doesn’t care about rain unless its pouring. We are going to get him a baby pool..LOL

      1. Thor1,

        Thanks for your thoughts on puppy baths….he hates baths but doesn’t care about rain unless its pouring. We are going to get him a baby pool.

        Both of our pups, Lab mixes now long gone were that way. They hated baths; but, if let off leash they would run full steam for the creek, after which they always needed a bath, since they loved frolicking in the shallow water, churning up the mud.
        We did get one of those blue plastic baby pools and they would also play there on hot summer days.

    4. PG, you can always dry extra mint, you can also make mint infused oils or extracts, or freeze it! Good thing you kept it in pots. I don’t grow mint, but I have heard many complaints about how invasive it can be! Glad y’all had a great trip!

    1. AT – when I first got my food saver lid sealer, I did not have a way to suction the air out. The DH got his brake bleader out of the garage and fixed a hose so I could use it. It does work well if you don’t have electricity. I’ll have to look at more of her videos.

  14. Dealt with the unauthorized house guest. The squeaks in the evening were getting on my nerves. It took about 3 days but one morning I found him curled up on the floor and I was able to dispose of him but then I had to disinfect the broom and dustpan. I’m a country girl but really hated to do it.
    Happier things that I did was picking up butter at 1.99 a pound, 4 peanut butters (with a raincheck) for another 12. Apple juice at .99 a half gallon. Finally got the front lawn mowed and a small part of the back yard done. Cleaned off part of the big deck with more coming.
    I actually have blackberries growing in the back yard as well as 3 or 4 types of apples. Unfortunately no children to show the joys of picking your own fruit to. My niece and nephew live about 3 hours from me.
    I have about a year’s supply of the most important medications and working on improving the quantity of the rest. Water I have multiple cases of water and jugs filled with water so have drinking and cleaning water covered for at least a few weeks. Cooking is on a propane cookstove (enough propane for up to 9 months normal cooking), a butane stove, propane cookstove, a woodstove and various little camp stoves rounds things out.

    1. suzyq,

      I actually have blackberries growing in the back yard as well as 3 or 4 types of apples. Unfortunately no children to show the joys of picking your own fruit to.

      So you have to pick them yourself? We were also sad when the kids moved out, since chores like picking fruit were added to our list. It’s not like we treated kids as slaves or anything; but, the extra help sure did come in handy. LOL

      1. If I want them I pick them. When I was growing up my mother liked when I picked whatever needed picking because it all went in the bucket. I still do it now.

  15. I made some progress with my orchard land. Using my backhoe I swept off the last two piles of tree trunks and sawed up limbs into the surrounding woods. Now I have to chase up the remaining roots and wood chunks scattered about. I also finished the repairs on my brothers 3020. Now it has a new alternator, new batteries, new oil pressure sending sensor and four new injector boots. I got tired of the leaks and jumping the thing off. It is set up to hook to my category one implements so I use the two row harrow to disc up the orchard land and the unplanted half of my garden spot.

    Thor’s questions:

    1. Do you have enough supplements/ vitamins for an extended time stored? I do not take any.

    2. If you take medications, how long do you have before you run out? Two months but I am not dependent on these medications. If my simply medications are not available that will be the least of my problems.

    3. Do you know what type of plant can be used to replace or supplement your medications? None.

    4. What backup systems do you have for a grid down scenario? ( electric, water, heat,gas & food) I have a 3500 watt generator and six 5 gal containers I can fill with gas if needed. I only keep 10 gal on hand and the last outage used almost half of that. I have a well with a hand pump for water. If not used regularly it does get distasteful so I need a big filter for taste and iron. Florida so no heat needed and I have a month’s worth of basic foods. Another short coming I plan to correct soon.

    1. Daddio7,

      I made some progress with my orchard land. Using my backhoe I swept off the last two piles of tree trunks and sawed up limbs into the surrounding woods. Now I have to chase up the remaining roots and wood chunks scattered about.

      These are the kind of things for which I really need a real tractor with PTO & 3-point hitch. Right now I’m trying to come up with a good explanation for the DW when she asks: “What do you need it for?” I tell her that like many tools I will find many uses for it once we have one, and I may be getting one ordered yet this month. Keeping my fingers crossed.

      I also finished the repairs on my brothers 3020. Now it has a new alternator, new batteries, new oil pressure sending sensor and four new injector boots. I got tired of the leaks and jumping the thing off.

      I’m looking at new ones, that I could almost afford outright; but, they have several 0% interest plans that could also help.

      It is set up to hook to my category one implements so I use the two row harrow to disc up the orchard land and the unplanted half of my garden spot.

      I looked at some of those implements and it appears there are a plethora of them available from many vendors in many price ranges.
      Your posts have I think steeled my resolve. Thanks.

    2. D7, no vitamins needed due to your orchards…..

      But how many hours can your generator run on 30 gallons ? You could siphon gas from your vehicles if needed. Alternative energy, solar,wind?

      Since you live in Florida, do you have a small window a/c unit? Or small fan? Or do you hook your house up to the generator? Ceiling fans?

      Keep prepping…..

      With your food, you are still better off than 60% of the people but 6 months is a good minimum.

  16. Later is now – here’s more…

    Tara’s questions:
    1. What berries grow wild where you live, and how do you preserve and use your bountiful harvest? There are elderberries growing nearby but don’t gather them. There are blackberries that grow wild all over Georgia as well.
    2. What wild edibles grow on your land or in your region, and how do you make use of them? Honeysuckle is an invasive weed. Plantain. Pokeweed. Dandelions. Violets. I know they are around but don’t take advantage, as yet.
    3. Do you teach your children to forage and use what is growing in your own backyard or on your land for food and medicine? Please share details if you do. Not currently, but I believe at least one or two will as they get older.
    4. What did you do to prep this week? Watching the garden grow and thrilled to get some rain on it. Unlike most, it’s been dry here. The DH and I have done a good bit of cleaning and organizing, plus what was mentioned previously.

    Thor’s questions:
    1. Do you have enough supplements/ vitamins for an extended time stored? I usually have 2-3 months (often more) of the few vitamins I take on hand because I’m all about getting your vitamins naturally if possible.
    2. If you take medications, how long do you have before you run out? I average about 3 months but have a year’s supply or more for most OTC items.
    3. Do you know what type of plant can be used to replace or supplement your medications? Not really, but I don’t totally think I need the one prescription as much as the doctor thinks I need it. I do know a few things for the OTC items and have a lot of written materials to explore if needed.
    4. What backup systems do you have for a grid down scenario? (electric, water, heat, gas & food) We have a generator for the refrigerators/freezers and lights that we confirmed will run the AC in a pinch. We also currently have a small generator as back-up until the youngest gets her own place (currently living with oldest sister) and it becomes hers (all three daughters have generators) – not sure how much fuel we have on hand but generally keep our vehicles more than half full. We have a small AC unit like you’d find in a hotel room, but (according to the DH), it’s like running a hair dryer on high. We have two gas grills with multiple propane tanks, plus a Coleman camp stove for cooking. I can also cook over a fire, if needed. If the natural gas is still available, we will have that for heating and cooking. For water, we have several gallons of bottled water on hand, plus two 55-gallon rain barrels with a pump ready to be used in them if needed. We also have multiple small water sources within walking distance (ponds, lakes, streams, pools) with a way to make it drinkable if we get desperate. For summer with no power, our basement has an area that is completely underground and stays relatively cool year-round – it would be used a lot more than it is now. Solar is something I want but the DH isn’t convinced that the technology has advanced enough to make it worthwhile but does want to have solar panels available for a prolonged grid down situation. Unfortunately, there are other things higher on the priority list at the moment.

    TOP’s questions:
    1. This past week was the 75th anniversary of the WW II Normandy landings. What are the names of the 5 landing sites (beaches) and the name and relative position of the cliff that was scaled and captured by the US Army Ranger Assault Group? Sadly, I had to research this, but that is also a good thing. The code names of the beaches were Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. La Pointe du Hoc is the cliff that the US Army Rangers scaled – between Utah and Omaha beaches.
    2. There has been recession talk due to the inverted yield curve. What is it? (Hint a little Econ 101 lesson) More self-education here. It is when long-term debt has a lower yield than short-term debt of the same quality. I’m not convinced that anything can predict the economy because there is so much spin put on things by the media that society may just “think” itself into a recession or depression, even when the economy is doing well. Generally speaking, I want stuff that will give me a higher yield over a longer term because that means I don’t have to think about it as often. As more people retire or are able to retire (which I think happens when the economy is doing well), they will want the high yields on long-term items. According to what I’ve read, that will drive the yields down.
    3. Has everyone heard that the US Department of Energy has renamed the massive natural gas reserves found in our country and do you know what they are now calling this resource? And more research – Freedom Gas.

    1. GA Red,
      TOP’s questions:

      1. Sadly, I had to research this

      It’s not a sad thing at all; but, a chance to expand your knowledge, which you did. I have eidetic memory and my DW has called me a ”Cesspool of knowledge” on more than one occasion. These little things are not required for living; but, do I find make life at times a bit more understandable and can be good for playing “Trivial Pursuits”
      Your answers were correct and now you know.

      2. More self-education here. It is when long-term debt has a lower yield than short-term debt of the same quality. I’m not convinced that anything can predict the economy because there is so much spin put on things by the media that society may just “think” itself into a recession or depression

      Once again, you are correct; but, it generally only applies to T-Bills floated by the Federal Gubment. I also agree that while it is an indicator, there are many other factors like the feelings and sentiments of the populace that can be bolstered or tempered by media coverage.
      When you get right down to it, Economics are very personal, and often elimination of debt is your best first investment.

      3. Has everyone heard that the US Department of Energy has renamed the massive natural gas reserves found in our country and do you know what they are now calling this resource? And more research – Freedom Gas.

      That’s one of them and the other is: ”Molecules of freedom”. Who comes up with this stuff? LOL

      https://slate.com/business/2019/05/freedom-gas-molecules-of-freedom-department-of-energy.html

      1. From the article:
        There are also ”Compounds of liberty” and the new LNG terminal in Texas that will start shipping LNG all around the world, freeing some of the E.U. from a Russian stranglehold.

  17. I just have to vent here, as the tv shows another stupid commercial. The latest is ‘dealing’ with Tardive Diskenesia. All of a sudden, this is a ‘normal’ thing, a side effect of some psychoactive ‘medications’. Um, when I was in nursing school in the 90’s, this condition was ‘irreversible’ and a sign to change medications. Now it is being ‘normalized’. Why on earth do they still allow medication advertisements? (I know, I know…It just pisses me off and makes me shake my head…)

    Not a whole lot in the way of preps this week, been working a lot of OT the past couple weeks(our store is is the final phase of the latest remodel, and our dept is getting a complete upgrade, and hoo, is it messing us up!) .
    Garden is looking good, finally got some snap peas harvested; even tho I planted more plants this year, I don’t think I am going to get the harvest I expected. As much as we enjoy them, I am going to have to re-evaluate their place in the garden. But since they are just beginning to produce, I will hold back on judgement. Basil is exploding. Tomatoes are growing well, just can’t wait for them to start fruiting!
    We continue in our search for a new home, it’s crazy how rents have gone up around here as the city encroaches on our area. DH is semi seriously considering an apartment complex in town, it’s more than what we pay now but includes utilities so would somewhat balance out, but I am so NOT down with that! I have never lived in an apartment (I’ve lived in a house with 4 diff residences, but I still had a yard). Living in a double (or quadruple) is hard enough. As much as we love this area, I think we need to expand our horizons. I can find a job anywhere, as DH could too, but he needs to be within a certain ‘zone’ to keep working and not having to drive too far. (He already faces anywhere from 30-60 minute drive, so that needs to be our ‘zone’)
    To everyones questions:
    I know we have purslane and plantain all over the place. I don’t use them, but I have a basic knowledge of how they can be used. I didn’t have this knowledge when my children were young. I can identify multiple edible berries, but have none growing here, they are likely growing wild nearby, just haven’t paid much attention. Although, we did identify a mulberry tree at GS dad’s house. GS is very into fishing and hunting at the tender age of 9 thanks to SIL, but he isn’t much into gardening as much as I try.
    We have a ‘decent’ supply of supplements and OTC meds. Thankfully, neither of us take any Rx meds. I have dabbled in and continue to learn more about ‘natural’ alternatives.
    We’ve got a portable generator and solar panels and batteries as well. We are good short term, but long term, we would have to work with others.
    TOP, your questions were very interesting, and I thank GARed for doing the research for me!

    Hope everyone has a great week! Prayers for all!

    1. Grammyprepper,

      I just have to vent here, as the tv shows another stupid commercial. The latest is ‘dealing’ with Tardive Diskenesia. All of a sudden, this is a ‘normal’ thing, a side effect of some psychoactive ‘medications’. Um, when I was in nursing school in the 90’s, this condition was ‘irreversible’ and a sign to change medications.
      Now it is being ‘normalized’. Why on earth do they still allow medication advertisements? (I know, I know…It just pisses me off and makes me shake my head…)

      I’ve also seen that ad and it makes me consider the old cornball joke: “Hey doc, it hurts when I do ’this’” to which the doc replies, ‘then stop doing “that”; but now we have a pill so one doesn’t have to be inconvenienced. I also wonder why we see all of the ads for lawyers telling us what we all ”deserve” or to what we are “Entitled”
      In some cases I find the ads useful, since I now see ads for the Watchman device for aFib. That device has changed my life, getting me off of heavy anticoagulants and now taking only ASA.

      Not a whole lot in the way of preps this week, been working a lot of OT the past couple weeks(our store is is the final phase of the latest remodel, and our dept is getting a complete upgrade, and hoo, is it messing us up!) .

      With all of the investment in your store, I would hope it means it’s a good store and will keep you employed as long as you want to stay there.

      Garden is looking good, finally got some snap peas harvested; even tho I planted more plants this year, I don’t think I am going to get the harvest I expected. As much as we enjoy them, I am going to have to re-evaluate their place in the garden. But since they are just beginning to produce, I will hold back on judgement. Basil is exploding. Tomatoes are growing well, just can’t wait for them to start fruiting!

      I truly hate braggarts, LOL. Other than a few things in pots we still have no garden, since it’s just been too wet to till it up; but, it’s finally drying enough to hopefully get things going by the weekend.

      We continue in our search for a new home, it’s crazy how rents have gone up around here as the city encroaches on our area. DH is semi seriously considering an apartment complex in town, it’s more than what we pay now but includes utilities so would somewhat balance out, but I am so NOT down with that!

      We could put out feelers around here if you would like.

      I have never lived in an apartment (I’ve lived in a house with 4 diff residences, but I still had a yard). Living in a double (or quadruple) is hard enough.

      I lived in an apartment complex in college and for the first three years out of college mostly for convenience and it’s OK; but, definitely not suitable for my lifestyle nor I suspect yours.

      As much as we love this area, I think we need to expand our horizons. I can find a job anywhere, as DH could too, but he needs to be within a certain ‘zone’ to keep working and not having to drive too far. (He already faces anywhere from 30-60 minute drive, so that needs to be our ‘zone’)

      I repeat: We could put out feelers around here if you would like with of course no promises LOL

      We’ve got a portable generator and solar panels and batteries as well. We are good short term, but long term, we would have to work with others.

      Move closer & here we are!!!

      TOP, your questions were very interesting, and I thank GA Red for doing the research for me!

      I don’t always expect people to know the answers; but, do think it gives people a chance to expand their knowledge, hopefully for the good; but, then again, I’m a knowledge junky in nearly any subject except most organized sports.

  18. What berries grow wild where you live, and how do you preserve and use your bountiful harvest?
    What wild edibles grow on your land or in your region, and how do you make use of them?
    Fiddleheads – fresh and pickled
    Asparagus – fresh, frozen and pickled
    Ramps – mostly eat fresh or in soups
    Mushrooms – Morels, Chicken of the woods, Hen of the woods – when in season eat fresh
    Raspberries, Blackberries – fresh, frozen and of course WINE
    Wild apple trees – Scrumpy (rough cider).
    Dandelions – Salads and more Wine !

    Do you teach your children to forage and use what is growing in your own backyard or on your land for food and medicine? Please share details if you do.
    No kids, but we are always trying to advance
    Our knowledge.
    What did you do to prep this week.
    Had a great Rhubarb harvest. Fresh pies and cake. Plenty in the freezer and started two gallons of wine.
    All our Bee splits have produced Queens. Hopefully they all mate successfully and start laying.
    Pulling our tomato and pepper plants out of th greenhouse daily to harden off. Most of the other planting is finished.
    Bought 8 guinea keets and 4 ducklings from an enterprising young family ( almost ended up with a couple of goats and a pot belly piglet, but managed to drag my Dear Wife away).
    Now I have to plan a couple more out buildings.
    Have a great week all

    1. OggyMn,
      You have a great list here, and I don’t know why I couldn’t think of more of them in my post.

      Fiddleheads – fresh and pickled

      I had forgotten about these. They grew thick in the forests back in PA growing up as a kid; but, I don’t recall seeing many or any around here.

      Asparagus – fresh, frozen and pickled

      We love this stuff and have a neighbor who gifts us each year, as we struggle to get our patch growing; but, I don’t know of any here growing wild.

      Ramps – mostly eat fresh or in soups

      Same here, also leeks that are similar.

      Mushrooms – Morels, Chicken of the woods, Hen of the woods – when in season eat fresh

      I need to have another close look at the property, since I’m seeing more people posting photos or talking about their morels. For now we only get the occasional puffball if we catch it in time, before the worms or it’s dried out.

      Raspberries, Blackberries – fresh, frozen and of course WINE

      We don’t do the wine; but, pick and cook with or freeze the ones we don’t eat while picking. LOL.

      almost ended up with a couple of goats and a pot belly piglet, but managed to drag my Dear Wife away).

      We have neighbors with a bunch of these, so my DW is satisfied with just visiting.

      Now I have to plan a couple more out buildings.

      We’re looking for one right now; but, haven’t found exactly the one we want yet. When I was younger I built such things; but, now we’re just going to purchase one and have it set on the foundation we’ve prepared.

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