What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 48: June 9th – June 15th 2019

flood water river on the homestead

Hey Pack. This week’s preps involved a massive learning lesson. We. Are. Not. Flood. Ready. Living on top of a huge hill – I mean a hill so tall you could hit a helicopter with a handgun if it was attacking kinda tall, you would not think flooding would be an issue. But it sure was today, fellow preppers.

We have dealt with being flooded many, many times in the past. We are prepped to be “stuck” on our hill for months – or years if need be. In that regard, we are prepared for flooding. A flash flood warning always just alerted us to the fact that we were not going to be getting out that day…or perhaps the next. Until now.

I will begin at the beginning. That is always a great place to start.

Our survival homestead is a 4-tiered property. The low area at the bottom is about 7 acres and includes a traditional garden and hayfield.. You have to cross a creek, and come up a winding dirt and gravel road to reach the second tier, which has pasture on either side.

Up the hill to the third tier are our house, pond, a ravine with a natural spring, and barn. The fourth tier is the upper hayfield. Each tier takes you up higher, but all of it is surrounded by tall hills on three sides. The driveway is half a mile long. You can see photos and a short video tour of our prepper retreat on Survival Sullivan.

On my way out to the barn to do turnout and pack down two bags of feed, I discovered a flat tire on the Polaris Ranger. Not wanting to pack the feed on my shoulders for nearly a quarter mile down to the barn, I loaded it up into the truck. I both smelled and felt like rain, but the sky did not look like a storm was brewing.

Well folks, I waited about 10 minutes too long to head down to do turn out. Before I made it the short distance to the new chicken coop, the skies opened up with a blowing downpour of epic proportions, followed just a few seconds later by thunder, lightening, and dime-sized hail.

My ducks refused to go back into their coop after spotting me, knowing that feed was on its way. How they withstood getting pinged hard by all that hail I have absolutely no idea. I sat in the truck until it stopped – about 15 minutes later.

When the storm slacked off to a medium rain, I opened the truck door to jump down, and the small puddle I had parked over suddenly came up to the top of my muck boots.

After getting the flock taken care of, I kicked my Dodge truck into 4-wheel drive, and went the rest of the way to the barn. Wow, it was like Niagra Falls coming off two adjacent parts of the hillside.

I was literally worried about my Jovie getting swept away down into the steep ravine beside the barn when she walked over to investigate the noise and water. The noise of rapidly pouring water was so very loud.

During a bad storm water runs off our hill in various places, but never with the power it exhibited today. By the time I got back to the house, I had been gone for about 25 minutes, a half an hour at the most.

I parked in front, and walked in through the garage because the ground by the back door where I usually park is still soft after the septic tank and leach bed repair project. At this point, the still hardening ground was a massive sinkhole.

As I got about halfway through the garage, I was met with water coming from the inside of the house. My first thought was “great, the septic backed up or the commode chain fix came undone again for the first time in a long time.” I didn’t get that lucky.

The water was flowing from the back door all through the living room, kitchen, and bathroom. I called my Bobby immediately. He sounded so chipper when he answered, I hated to deliver bad news. I asked him how far away he was from home. He was at least 30 minutes away, but he was rushing home as fast as he could to help.

He ran into flash flood water on the road in several spots, but got through. At least until he pulled onto our driveway. The creek was higher than it had ever been, and was running so hard that the large debris was swirling like a twig in a hurricane under the current. There was no way my Bobby was going to get across it to come home and help.

Hiking into our property through the woods can be done, but it’s nearly a two hour hike when you are not dealing with inclement weather. There was no sense in trying the hike when it was a mess we were dealing with and not a medical emergency. Bobby had trained me well, I knew a trench had to be dug to diver the water.

I did not get the chance to take any pics of the initial 2 inches of water throughout the kitchen, living room, and bathroom area. It was still pouring in through the back door. But here are a couple from the middle of the clean up. I think our daughter’s husband had to dump the large shop vac 26 times before all of the water was finally gone.

This is a photo of the kitchen area about half way through sucking up the water:

flooded kitchen

Here is what the living room looked like in the middle of clean up after moving furniture out of the bulk of the water:

flooded living room

While Justin was running the shop vac, I was out back digging a trench to divert the water from the back door. He offered several times to do the shoveling, but I already looked like I had gone swimming in the cute sundress I had on, basically resembled a drowned rate – and I hate doing shop vac work.

Run off from the hill behind our house has caused water to pool some around the back door, but only slightly and a couple times in the years we have lived here. This time, the runoff was coming from three different directions into the low lying area in the back of the house.

We have livestock feed bags saved to fill with dirt or sand, but didn’t have any ready to go – and at the moment, no dry dirt to put in them. Those bags were kept handy more to block out road before the narrow creek crossing and for other OPSEC uses than flood bags. But, they will soon be filled just in case the runoff starts to give us a big problem ever again.

Several logs had rolled into the ditch that runs behind the house and they were causing a problem with drainage from the trench I had dug, so Brea and I got those muscled out.

Now, all I am left with are muddy floors to mop – it sure would have been nice if the flooding had happened yesterday morning BEFORE the house was cleaned. But, the odd turn of the weather and the diversion from the normal pattern the hill runof took, alerted us to holes in our prepping plan.

Short-term disasters sure do turn into great survival plan test runs. While I never want more than the narrow rock culvert that runs across our creek to serve as a vehicle “bridge” the wooden foot bridge wide enough to get a horse or our Ranger through, it just went to the tip top of our to do list!

This week’s questions:

  1. What small or short-term disasters have caused you to re-evaluate your preps – and how?
  2. What flooding tips can you share with our fellow pack members?
  3. 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 →

63 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 48: June 9th – June 15th 2019

  1. Tara:
    I am glad all are safe! That sounded terrible. Natural disasters both large and small are key reasons to prep.

    Answers to your questions. 1) Family members have had to evacuate from fire in a fifteen minute time frame. As a result I have created and taped lists of things to grab given various time amounts. The lists are taped to the inside of the coat closet which is where the go backs are stored. Another family member was without electricity for over two weeks from a flood event, That prompted a savings and eventual purchase of a whole house generator.
    2.) Instill the turn around don’t drown mantra into kids. The youngest had to deal with Carolina hurricane flooding her sophomore year at college. She was caught out of town taking a friend to the airport in Charlotte and had problems getting back to her apartment in Columbia. Several times she had to turn around due to water.
    3.) Prepping this week included harvesting spring crops from the garden, picking the first of the sour cherries to bake into some Father’s Day muffins and planting some more warm weather crops.
    The DH and I also did some tree trimming and yard work. The rattlers love to hide in overgrown areas so we try to keep things neat. We are also keeping an eye on the many “outages.” I doubt we will ever discover what computer bugs are hurting not only our businesses but entire countries in other parts of the world.

    1. I forgot to ask the pack: Do mulberries grow on trees or bushes? I came across a tree nearby that has blackberry looking berries. The birds love the fruit and have marked the yard for years. It was neat to see where the fruit was coming from.

      1. Moe,

        I forgot to ask the pack: Do mulberries grow on trees or bushes? I came across a tree nearby that has blackberry looking berries.

        Actually it is both. It seems to be a regional thing whether it’s a large bush or a small tree. Those little unripe black berries will eventually turn purple and get soft, when ready for harvest. They can BTW get really soft, so collecting them can be messy.

        The birds love the fruit and have marked the yard for years. It was neat to see where the fruit was coming from.

        Your in great shape if it’s only the yard, since they can make a really hard to clean mess on a vehicle.
        We have overhead power lines running from the house to the outbuildings above part of our driveway, and we’re careful not to park under the lines for that very reason, although birds do not have to eat Mulberries to make a mess.

      1. Almost There,

        I switched to PCmatic last year. So far so good.

        Good to hear, since I’ve been considering the same thing here since we have numerous computers and operating systems running a mish mash of things.

        1. TOP,

          You can secure up to 5 computers with the one $50 purchase. They scan/clean up my computer once a week on Sunday, in the early morning and send me the results in e-mail.

    2. Moe,
      As I sit here with another thunderstorm in my area, I want to add to your ”Turn Around, Don’t Drown” another one that is as important and perhaps less followed. ”When thunder roars, Go indoors”
      As I watch the radar with more of the cells to my north & west, I hear thunder, and the lightning causing it can be very unpredictable in what and where it strikes. My youngest stepson and his DW live in a suburb of Cleveland, and had lightning take out a little 6-8 foot tree, 10 feet from the front of his house in their little yard. There are houses & power poles much taller than that little tree; but, the unpredictability of a lightning strike should make us all very cautious.

  2. Flooding has never been an issue where I live. But I live above the river and ocean and I expect the issue will arise when cascadia cuts loose. The property may drop 3 to 6 feet and if the wave is over 50 to 75 feet I may get wet (I’m actually 99 feet above sea level but with a drop in land mass who knows).
    Not much prepping this week but canning was on the list for today. The cat brought a squeaky toy in, played with it and lost it. So some time needs to be spent chasing down said squeaky toy and relocating it to a specie appropriate location.

  3. Wow. What a sucky adventure you had, Tara. Mother Nature is a sneaky old lady.

    I did my low-carb grocery shopping this week. Added a little to my stash. Did some weekly cooking.
    Bought a 15” prybar to add to my general preps. I wouldn’t mind a good Halligan tool if I could get one for free. A top-shelf Halligan costs well over $200 new. You can do a lot of quality breaking and entering with a Halligan and a 16lb sledgehammer. BTDT.

    Ordering and receiving things to go into my Faraday box. One of them is a new document scanner, although it won’t go in the Faraday box. My old one has always been rather uncooperative, and I’m fed up with it. I want to get all of my personal documents digitized. Some already are, but many are not. They’ll go on a couple of encrypted thumb drives. One will go into a mini-Faraday box and be kept off-site. Printed copies will also be made and stored. The new scanner seems to be OK. So far, less troublesome than the old one.

    We’ve been getting more rain here lately and slightly lower temps. We need the rain. The lower temps are nice too. My electric bill was sky high this month.

    It’s been an eventful 2019 around here so far. First, a rabid otter biting people in my complex, then a black bear tearing up trash nearby, now a small Cessna aircraft crashed into the lake about ¼-mile south of my complex on Wednesday. Fishermen in boats were on scene in minutes, but the plane sank so fast they couldn’t do anything. The dive team recovered two bodies later in the day. Water depth is 15-18 feet in that area and is typical Florida “blackwater.” Tough for diver’s visibility. The pilot had radioed he was having some sort of fuel issue and that was the last they heard from him. The lake is surrounded by residences and the plane barely made the lake. Witnesses say they have no doubt the pilot was trying hard not to hit houses.

    Funny thing, not long before I posted this, there was another black bear sighting not very far from my place. This one was at a Walgreen’s drug store near their trash dumpster area, then it started running through the parking lot. The people were too surprised to get a photo in time, but estimate it was a full-grown male bear. Someone else posted a photo of a bear on their back patio from yesterday, but this bear was smaller, estimated about three-years old or so. These bears were seen farther from my place than the one I reported last week, but not that much farther. The police and FWC were notified. These areas are all highly urbanized with heavy vehicle traffic nearby (especially the Walgreens location). The bears must be really hungry to be wandering around like that.

    Tara’s questions:

    1. What small or short-term disasters have caused you to re-evaluate your preps – and how? In 2004, Florida was hit by four hurricanes. My area at the time, got three of them. The first hurricane blew rain and water in from the north causing flooding into the house under the door wall in our back room. We had to go out in the full hurricane and dig a ditch to divert the water. After the storm, we had a plastic pipe installed that would (and did) divert water from the door wall. We got a wet/dry vac as a result too.

    2. What flooding tips can you share with our fellow pack members? Probably the biggest tip would be to get outta Dodge if flooding is headed your way. Also, do not drive through flood waters.

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

    1. Zulu 3-6,
      While not quite a ”Halligan tool”, that auto correct insists quite comically is actually a ”Hooligan tool”, the ”Off Grid Tools survival axe” does a similar job for less money. A friend who was also my CERT instructor was over, and when he saw mine, he noted it and will be ordering them for his CERT kit and team. It seems that there is a lot of Hooligan, err. survival tools available for the discerning prepper.

      The bears must be really hungry to be wandering around like that.

      While not quite as dangerous as a bear, many of our Raccoon population, that is instinctively nocturnal, have found that roaming around in the daylight is a good way to score cat food and other items. Wild critters are highly adaptable when if comes to an easy meal.

  4. none since i have already considered and addressed any potential problems

    live on a slope higher up than the lowest spot nearby

    fixed both my tractors, bought a 3rd tractor (my old ones were 25 and 30hp, the new one is 60hp with a loader). sold a bunch of chicks, sold some firewood, hauled split and stacked 12 cords of firewood, skidded out logs to take to the mill, burned slash piles. have not walked anywhere or biked anywhere been too busy. would be out there now but waiting on someone who said they were coming sometime today to buy the last group of chicks.

    What small or short-term disasters have caused you to re-evaluate your preps – and how?
    What flooding tips can you share with our fellow pack members?
    What did you do to prep this week?

  5. Tara, sounds like a horrible experience.

    Happy Father’s Day to all Dads

    Puppy loves walks so much, when I grab the leash, he starts crying tears of joy. So cute….

    I was sick this week with some food poisoning from a restaurant. But I recovered, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I started taking a pro biotic. It has good bacteria that helps prevent things like that. I’m surprised I got everything done that I did.

    Food preps

    Bought one bucket of mountain house classic freeze dried meals
    Bought Datrex emergency rations X3
    Bought a 4 pack of canned green beans, cream corn and sweetcorn buy one get one free. BOGO !!!
    Bought 20 lbs of sugar

    Books

    Bought, Backyard remedies (plant book)
    Bought, How to make and use vinegar

    Security

    Bought ammo cans X3
    Bought Spartan level 3 plates X 2

    Garden

    Rain has killed one of my squash plants
    A bird or wind knocked 2 green beef steak tomatoes off so( green fried tomatoes)….LOL

    Sliced the first red tomato from the garden……mmmmm

    Water

    I must be psychic, I built another 55 gallon water barrel and filled it with tap water. They were doing utility work and broke a water main. Boil water warning went out……. Its good being a prepper…..

    Tara’s questions:

    1.What small or short-term disasters have caused you to re-evaluate your preps – and how?
    2.What flooding tips can you share with our fellow pack members?

    1. Ice storms, floods, luckily my house is on a hill with a lot of low land around it. It was like a giant moat I made it home with the 4X4 Dodge, but thought I should have brought the kayak to work….LOL
    Ice storm knocked out power for 3 days , bought a generator.
    2. Seek high ground and have a kayak just in case…… LOL

    Thor’s questions:

    1. How long have you had to go without a utility? (Water, Gas,Electric)
    2. Do you think a civil war war may start in 2020?
    3. Do you have a medical professional in your survival group?

    1. Thor1,

      Hydrochloride acid kills bugs too. I took them when I went to Mexico one time every time I ate, advice from my brother that I followed when I was staying with him and his wife. Never got sick.

      1. Almost There,

        Hydrochloride acid kills bugs too. I took them when I went to Mexico one time every time I ate, advice from my brother that I followed when I was staying with him and his wife. Never got sick.

        I assume you meant Hydrochloric acid, since even Google can’t find the Hydrochloride reference.
        Hydrochloride is an acid salt created from the reaction of hydrochloric acid with an organic base (alkali).
        In any case, how do you use this chemical.

        1. Yep TOP, I meant Hydrochloric acid, HCl. It comes in tablets and you take one each time you eat. Swanson sells it. It helps break down proteins too.

          1. Almost There,

            I meant Hydrochloric acid, HCl. It comes in tablets and you take one each time you eat. Swanson sells it. It helps break down proteins too.

            Interesting and something to research since the stomach already contains a bit of HCl. Stomach acid is composed of hydrochloric acid (HCl), potassium chloride (KCl), and sodium chloride (NaCl). Basically HCl and both sodium and potassium salts.
            I don’t know how this works; but, I’ll be looking into it.
            Thanks.

      1. nemoseto, do you have gravity feed water? Solar pump for well? That is awesome that you don’t have to rely on utility companies.

        Have you bought the extra land yet?

        1. from spring 2011 till november of 2017 my only water was a rain barrel, sometimes iput out buckets and collection tarps when i was desperate, other times i walked half mile to a creek and filled buckets, carried them home and filtered with a hand opperated pump ceramic filter i had from my thru hiking days or used old bottles for sodis methods, or boiled. the creek ran off a couple pastures and corn fieldss so was probably not great. a few times i was driven to filling buckets with a tea cup out of puddles in the woods. 2012 i dug a “swamp well” a shallow 4′ pit lined with a plastic trash can with the bottom cut out to collect and save surface water in a low spot. in 2017 i set up much better rain catchment with gutters off the barn and a tiered set of 300 gallon ibc continers raised on pallets to work like towers with a gravety hose, and then i got a small berkey gravety filter. i started on a 4 acre lot then when i could i got a 26 acre lot (swamp well was on 4 acre lot but i had a vernal pool type ond on the new lot). in november 2017 i paid $3400 to have a 160 foot well drilled (only had $3000 and took a month till i rised and paid the rest to the well driller), its an artesian and a small hole in the pipe fountains it out to collect in a bucket, thats my water source now. the years before 2000 i was at my parents and had ther well water, then was without any reliable water till i moved to town and had tap from november 2009 to april 2011. even in the wet northeast i am accustom to having no water and am ruthless in saving and using every drop. lived in my car from 2000 to september 2001 when i got a house in a tax repo auction for next to nothing (and it was in terrible shape, only got the well at it hooked to a pump and usable a few months befoe i moved out and into town for work 50 miles away) the run down house also had no power or anything and i got by under terrible conditions (long story, my parents had me under ssi then ssdi just before i turned 18 for my aspurgers, then stayed representative payees, keeping the money themselves and i lived out of dumpsters and without power in a run down place i fixed up slowly, i was not able to work with that crap over me and was forced into a living hell till i got degree part time, got a good job as a tribal forester, escaped the cycle of abuse and exploitation by being booted from that system when i made too much money to qualify, my parents went bancrupt without the free money under my name, i changed my name and got a restraining order against them after repeated harrassment and them phisically being violent demanding i give them money from my employment, i learned to despise any form of “welfare”, i saw the budget at work being a problem before it was (just looking at the countries economy in the great recession), knowing i couldn’t afford to stay in the house wih a mortgage in town i a\bandoned it and bought the 4 acres and camped on it, already accustomed to hardship, then about a year later my employer was broke, but i had already taken steps to be ready and had a tiny cabin, some solar pannels, a lot of firewood, and a garden area when my income ended, and my hate for the system meant i do everything myself or without or save up to buy stuff and will rather die than consider any form of welfare. got into sola since nobody could shut it off on me (when i had the run down house if i resisted my parents demanding i do free work for them, and the verbal abuse or beatings couldn’t force me to do what they wanted they would call any utility company and as rep payees would have services shut off, then raid my house taking all the food, to starve me into sbmission, i got into the habit of hiding preserved food in the walls, and these days the habit continues as i have barrel cashes all over with food to last a few years and grow my own). long horible and abreviated story, so yeah abusive expoitated youth, exploited and abused like a slave till late 20s in horrible conditions, then was in town a little while for the only time i had utilities and hated it, so went off to the woods and lived on my own terms, also with ptsd and keep a loaded shotgun on hand in case my family ever show up. i lerned to be without utilities in the worst ways possible, prepper teotwawki scenarios don’t scare me, i can adapt to anything.

          and no i didn’t get that land, it was another tax repo auction, there was 36 acres of heavily wooded land on an un maintained dead end dirt road 5 miles away from my farm, with river access in the back with salmon in it. lots of resources i could have utilized to mill, firewood, fence posts, etc, set up food plots, build a couple cabins, subdivide and sell or rent out as 3 lots 12 acres each, all sharing the water access since the the back propety line was the river. went to the auction but they would not let me bid since they changed the down payment rules since the last time i got land in one, they wanted 20% down plus a manditory legal transfer fee of $1000 (in my state the buyer gets the land outright, not like some states that only sell leins and have to wait a year to get the land unless the delinquent owner pays the lein off with interest), anyway i have no bank accounts (don’t trust them, even after my parents were not rep payees i sold the old run down house for $38,000 after i renovated it, pad off some debts and had a good chucnk of money in the bank, my parents used the old into to get the bank manager to let them have accessto the new account that i opened since the manager assumed their rep status was still valid on their wod and expired paperwork alone, then they took $10,000 out saying i owed it to them for the food i ate growing up, cleaning out almost all i had after taxes and the debt i had from renovating and paying off a few other things, police and such refused to investigate, that was the last time i trusted a bank and feel any money i have is safer as cash buried in non metalic containers in the woods) anyway i only had enough cash on hand to make a maximum bid of $1000 for that lot with the new rules (enough for a $10,000 bid under the old rules), i left since there was no way to get more money before the lot was autioned off and i learned later it went for $6500. my neighbor who is a mechanic fixed both my little tractors and told me he was going to sell his old tractor when he could raise the money to have it and his other equipment moved up from his old farm 250 miles away (he is awaiting a disability claim on a spine injury and is unable to work officially at any place because of the pain killers he is on, he worked at a bus garage and as a bus driver when he first moved up last year, now can’t work and has no money coming in). i have a lot of logs i need to haul to the mill and my little tractors loader is a lost cause (was destoyed before that mechanic moved in next door, been using ramps and log roller to load logs on hay wagons to take to mill). when he told me about selling his old one with a loader i offered to buy it now, then he has the money to actually move all his equipment north and i get the tractor when it arrives (he bought a bigger newer tractor last year and thats what he has up here). the other stuff and my new tractor will be up here within 2 weeks. since i didn’t get that land i put half my savings (been saving for 2 years even with no real income) into this tractor as i trust the guy, and it helps that i have signed notorized paperwork of the sale agreement. will rapidly finish hauling and having all my logs milled getting my problems and his solved at the same time.

          also its not technically a utility but i do buy prepaid cell cards to teather to internet access, thts why i am here sometimes and sometmes not. thats the closest thing to a bill i have besides negligable land taxes.

          1. Gosh nemoseto, I’d say you are right, you can handle anything. I wish you had parents that treated you better than they did. No excuses for treating someone that way. I’m sorry you weren’t able to get that land. You are amazing. Thank you for sharing your story.

    2. Thor’s questions:
      1. How long have you had to go without a utility? (Water, Gas,Electric)
      Electric for 6 hours once before the generator and water for nearly 20 hours when our pump died and I couldn’t get help to install the new one until the next afternoon. We still had drinking water and buckets for flushing, so it was not a real inconvenience.
      2. Do you think a civil war war may start in 2020?
      No; but I suspect Trump will win and the left will once again hold their breath, stomp their feet and yell collusion and impeachment, since they are proven swollen headed, self important, poor losers.
      3. Do you have a medical professional in your survival group?
      Yes. We have several. Our neighbors’ are a fire chief paramedic and his DW a onetime paramedic and now Nurse Practitioner. We have additional first aid; CPR & AED trained people and an E.R. doc on call, who unfortunately lives down near Tara some 2 hours away; but, available via phone or radio.

    3. Thor1, It was a mess that hopefully we took steps to never repeat. Glad you recovered from the restaurant food – you sure got a lot done for being sick!

  6. Thor’s questions:

    1. How long have you had to go without a utility? (Water, Gas, Electric). Not counting being in the field with the military, I’ve gone without electricity for ten days once (in Florida). Lost water for a couple of days due to a main break in the dead of winter, but never gas when I had it.

    2. Do you think a civil war may start in 2020? The more I consider a civil war, the more I think there may only be scattered violent outbreaks. Depending on who and where may determine if citizens representing the opposite viewpoint get heavily involved. If things go that way, I can easily see the President invoking the Insurrection Act and the active duty military getting involved.

    3. Do you have a medical professional in your survival group? I’m not in a group and I’m the closest thing to medical professional (ex-paramedic). But I do have a nice supply of medical equipment and supplies.

    1. Z36, never GAS when you had it……LOL

      Your group would be your family then, so you are the medical professional.

      Yeah I think its going to get interesting in 2020.

  7. Gosh Tara.. Water is the name of the game up where you are. It comes so fast, I doubt a french drain around your house would even help.

    Hi Pack,

    Has been a great week weatherwise. Just no rain for the garden. Watered once, got eaten up by mosquitoes…. Rain later today, hopefully, and the rest of the coming week, possibly severe… ARGH!

    Picked my first tomato, rather small and on the smallest plant. Re-did the ties on the stakes as some have really taken off. Beans, black-eyed peas, cucumbers, corn, lettuce are doing well. Canning peaches today.
    Still organizing stuff. Killing ants with some stuff called Terro. It’s been out for a day now and there’s still some ants roaming around. I think I still need to make up some of my own remedy to get the wanderers… Lol.

    GW – Found a self-inflating sleeping bag pad, Ball freezer containers, SS cooking pan that uses sternos, old pottery cookie type jar, Hull pottery brown dipped bowl (I love the old bowls, good for chili and soup). I find it amazing at the size of those bowls compared to the serving size we are accustomed to these days.

    FB MP – Sold a piece of furniture, will be listing more items this week.

    Planted the plants from barter day – 2 yellow cherry tomatoes and a surprise tomato plant. Will plant the thornless blackberry bushes after it rains so it will be easier to dig holes. Still need to plant lemon balm and peppermint plants in containers.

    May be able to plant Comfrey in garden as it is doing really well and has acclimated to the heat. Testing it out still in their pots to see if can tolerate full sun with its shallow root system, or may need to wait until fall.

    Waiting on response from applications I have submitted for positions I can work from home.
    Prayers for the pack, unspoken requests, The President and for America.

    What small or short-term disasters have caused you to re-evaluate your preps – and how? Tornadoes are the issue around my house. I stay prepared by having a bucket of stuff in my safe room at all times. And since I have satellite for my TV, I have had to learn how to get the local TV channel’s weather app on my cell phone. Another thing I always do is always plug in my cell phone when I get in the car no matter if it is charged fully already or not.

    What flooding tips can you share with our fellow pack members? Turn around, don’t drown. We’ve had lots of flash flooding around here lately too. I live on a hill, and sometimes my driveway gets ruts in it, but I am still able to get out.

    Have a great week everyone.

    1. It feels like it has been raining nearly non-stop for the past two years. Our governor just applied for federal flood relief from USDA for farmers. The amount of hay to go around is surely not going to be enough in many regions across the country if this keeps up much longer – even if you could afford the price gauging.

      1. Farmers have to”gouge”, many years they sell at a loss. People get used being given food and then when the shoe is on the other foot people forget that. I have sold $2 a hundred weight potatoes and then $20 a cwt the next year. At the end of the day I had worked two years for nothing. I could have went fishing those two years and been no worse off. Don’t like gouging, grow your own.

  8. This week’s questions:

    1. What small or short-term disasters have caused you to re-evaluate your preps – and how? Our problems is Winter weather. Heavy snow fall, packed snow/ice on roads, snow removal from the roof. Our porch/pantry has little heat and a breezeway. Heavy snow will build up and create an ice/snow dam that backs the water up under the shingles and they it drips in. We are planning to rebuild that part of the house, but until then we will get an extension ladder to be up there and keep it off.

    2. What flooding tips can you share with our fellow pack members? Just what you ended up doing – trenching. Then line it with river rock or concrete to keep it permanent. “If it’s flat to your door, trench!”
    I feel that we are in for more severe weather not less. Hard rains, heavy snowfall, cold temps, etc. It’s easier to prep for that now than when it’s happening.

    What did you do to prep this week? Well, …

    New tie-rods in the van, LOF, and repaired the cruise control.

    My camper has a cargo compartment in the front; very nice storage for stuff you don’t want inside the trailer. The plastic/fiberglass door is cracking to the point it needs duct tape to keep it closed. I talked with a local metal shop and they can make me a new one out of aluminum. I’ll remove the old one for them to pattern after our next camping trip.

    Our “Prepper Communications” took another step forward with the addition of a mobile cellular booster. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07R642P61/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

    DW lost her EDC flashlight so I ordered in an Olite 13T AA flashlight as a replacement.

    House repairs started: Bedroom window AC replaced; missing roof tiles replaced.

    Weekend gun show was small and very slow; poor attendance I think due to it being a farming area and with the weather situation they are behind in their work and a bit reluctant to let go of money they may need later. But, we recovered costs and gained a little more ammo.

    Received: ammo; bulk blank business cards; AYL Starlight 600 Lumen (3 D-cell) lantern; Olite flashlight; Tupperware bowls.

  9. (1) I, too, am a survivor of the 2004 Florida Hurricane Season—FOUR storms affected our area, two of them were brutal–Frances and Jean. That year turned most of us into serious storm preppers and lead to our having a huge 15kW propane-powered generator.
    (2) We also live in a flood zone and hurricanes can dump tons of water in a short period. Shoot, even many of our summer thunder busters can dump several inches inside of an hour or two. Our farm has an extensive canal system. We have two weirs on the south end of our land, with the water flowing that way, then under the road into the main relief canal. When heavy rains threaten, we “pull boards” to lower the water table ahead of time. It helps a lot. Our buildings are positioned on high ground that is the result of having several ponds dug here prior to construction.
    (3) Prepping this week was minimal…just the normal harvesting and preserving of fruits and vegetables. House company kept me from doing much, but I’ll get back into gear this coming week.

    Thor’s questions: (1) We’ve gone 9 days without power after a hurricane. Thank goodness for generators. (2)
    I think civil unrest will continue to increase in our country regardless of who’s in the White House. War might not break out, but society may slowly rot from within. (3) My nephew and his wife are both medically trained. He’s an Operating Room technician, which could come in handy if blood and guts are involved. We’ve already discussed what things we might need and have been accumulating supplies for emergencies. They live just a few miles away and should be able to get here with little difficulty.

    1. GL, nothing like not having something to make you go buy something…. Sound like something Ben Franklin wold say….

      Generators or solar power is a necessary piece of equipment where ever you live.

    1. Almost There, Dan, & Tara,

      Did anyone notice that we won’t get any new comments or new posts notifications this go round?

      I did and was about to make a separate post for Dan &/or Tara to see if they can fix this and add the follow-up checkbox back into the site configuration.
      I did not get the new post email and really count on the comment follow-up emails, to follow comments and late comers. We otherwise have to start at the beginning and check every post & comment.
      I’m retired and can do that; but, it’s a real waste of time when the system is already inplace for follow-up.

  10. 1. What small or short-term disasters have caused you to re-evaluate your preps – and how?
    We have occasional weather-related power outages. I also live in an area with fault lines, making us prone to earthquakes. Most are very small, but the possibility for a big one is there.
    2. What flooding tips can you share with our fellow pack members?
    I live on a hill. I only have to worry about being flooded in. (I’m glad you were able to quickly get organized and deal with your water woes. I’m now reevaluating our possibility for water in the house.0
    3. What did you do to prep this week?

    This week:
    I feel like I didn’t accomplish much this week, but some weeks are like that.

    *Animals:
    -Cleaned all three coops. Two hens got out. LGD helped me get them back in. One went in easily, but the other had to be retrieved from a hollowed-out log. This meant walking through poison ivy and poison oak. I washed well after, then praised Puppy. Petting him was a bad idea. I rubbed my ear and eye while I was working in the garden. Yep. Rash in the ear and around the eye. I was able to use a cream on the ear, but nothing on the eye. I ended up having to get a steroid shot yesterday. That meant no sleep until after 4:30 this morning. I should have just gotten up and done some work.
    -A six-year-old (a friend’s daughter) had one of her two chickens killed last night. I ran into her and her family at the local farm store looking for a friend for her remaining lonely hen. They wanted a full-grown hen. Of course there weren’t any for sale, only chicks. I gave her pick-of-my-coops to take come. She’s a happy little girl, and my hen is now named Ruby.

    *Garden:
    -Strawed under the tomatoes, yellow squash, and zucchini, and added more straw under the cucumbers.

    *Added a little to the stockpile: mayo (HUGE sale), canned milks, canned colas (I never drink it, but a must for my family.), canned beans,

    *Miscellaneous:
    -Finished removing all of the old fencing.
    -Cleaning and reorganizing the house. I’m almost finished arranging books on the new, huge bookcase that I got this week. I’m also setting up one of the spare bedrooms for company, getting rid of the small antique bed and huge dresser and vanity that went with it. I now have a queen bed with a comfortable mattress.
    -I’m going to do a little more changing of room functions to give the grandkids a place to play that doesn’t trash the rest of the house.

    *Skills:
    -Made a couple of different sourdough recipes, rolls and a soft loaf. They’re keepers.

    Happy Fathers’ Day to all of the dads. (I’m fixing DH’s and Stepdad’s favorites for Sunday dinner. (Cowboy beans, potato salad, and pineapple upside down cake.)

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

    1. Prepared Grammy,

      I feel like I didn’t accomplish much this week, but some weeks are like that.

      I also have those weeks; but, as I thought about it, it’s actually a good thing. Assuming we each have our own idea or goal on what being ”fully prepped” means to us, as we get there, it should take less effort and fewer acquisitions as we approach the target.
      Prepping is a journey and like driving on a long vacation, we don’t complain when we get closer to or finally arrive at our destination, at which point we make plans and continue our lives from there.

    2. PG, use essential lavender oil on poison ivy. it works wonders. I had i for 2 weeks, got it back to back weeks. last round of it i teted my routine treatment against lavender oil. using each arm as a test. left arm was control of what i had been doing. Right arm i did the washes i always do…then applied 2 drops of lavender oil to entire arm..did not dilute. next morning i awoke with right arm , no visible rash and visible. left arm was itchy already and rash was apparent.. I had to apply every 12 hours for comfort for 4 or 5 days. Just my experience.

  11. Hi Tara & all,
    Once again I received no email announcement of the new WIDDTPTW post and along with some Father’s day activities I am definitely not in line as first.

    It rained all week with at least an overcast drizzle. Thunderstorms in the overnight dropped 3.3 more inches of rain in the last 16 hours. We may never get our garden in; but, at least we have money on hand and plenty of food, so we’re not counting on it likes those working in agriculture. Some local farmers are just getting their crops planted, way late. We still see some corn stubble sticking out of the middle of shallow ponds that should be planted fields.

    Up the hill to the third tier are our house, pond, a ravine with a natural spring, and barn. The fourth tier is the upper hayfield. Each tier takes you up higher, but all of it is surrounded by tall hills on three sides.

    So you basically live in a valley that can flood. Growing up in Johnstown PA, the ”Flood City” I understand your predicament, and often there is simply nothing you can do but build your buildings on stilts or the random piece of ”higher ground”.

    Well folks, I waited about 10 minutes too long to head down to do turn out. Before I made it the short distance to the new chicken coop, the skies opened up with a blowing downpour of epic proportions, followed just a few seconds later by thunder, lightening, and dime-sized hail.

    We’ve been having a series of thunderstorms coming from the west; but, so far all of them have either taken a northern or southern track. I’ve often thought of you and our friends down your way, while silently, smiling at our slightly better conditions, as I watch the radar loop. As I look at it now, I still see a line of storms to the west, most tracking in a southern trajectory, possibly drowning you while still keeping our garden plot too soggy to till.

    but got through. At least until he pulled onto our driveway. The creek was higher than it had ever been, and was running so hard that the large debris was swirling like a twig in a hurricane under the current. There was no way my Bobby was going to get across it to come home and help.

    It sounds like your next investments should be some additional field tile and perhaps a helicopter. LOL.

    I did not get the chance to take any pics of the initial 2 inches of water throughout the kitchen, living room, and bathroom area. It was still pouring in through the back door.

    While you may not have those photos to show us, they are no doubt permanently etched in your memories, as potential stars in future insomniac related nightmares.

    While Justin was running the shop vac, I was out back digging a trench to divert the water from the back door.

    Instead of a ShopVac ®, you may want to consider a sump pit and sump pump, with battery backup of course.

    Several logs had rolled into the ditch that runs behind the house and they were causing a problem with drainage from the trench I had dug, so Brea and I got those muscled out.

    We’ll often have large limbs deposited in and across our creek after the spring flooding and cutting this debris before it creates a dam is a normal early summer chore. Most is not suitable for firewood, so it is stacked to dry and makes great campfires all summer long.

    Tara’s Questions
    1. What small or short-term disasters have caused you to re-evaluate your preps – and how?
    I was living at the edge of a small town where I lived through the blizzard of 1978 along with a few of my neighbors. My large house on an odd corner lot, never lost power while many of those neighbors did; but, we had both natural gas and wood to keep us warm, along with numerous Aladdin and Coleman lanterns we ended up not needing much. The landline telephone was all we had at the time, along with other communications equipment. As far as lessons learned, along with a combination of several incidents and my engineering career, much spent in telephony, I would suggest that no one get rid of their landline, since that infrastructure while old, will still provide dial tone long after your cell phone gets no bars.
    2. What flooding tips can you share with our fellow pack members?
    Don’t build your house, buildings, or major paths, trails, lanes, or roads in a flood plain. Our location has a creek running through the west side; but, even at high water, such as we have now, it is still 8-10 feet below the east side bank. We lived here for 2 years as a rental and were very cognizant of how and where the waters laid and flowed before purchasing the place. Like many old farmsteads, those old timers knew the lay of the land an generally did not build in flood plains, unlike too many people now who will naively purchase farm land and build their house, lanes, and buildings without much thought to the lay of the land. There need not be a creek near you; but, fields even a tiny bit higher than yours can collect and drain a lot of water into your back yard and basement. For instance, three inches on an adjacent 40 acre field, especially one tiled appropriately for proper drainage, will drop 10 acre feet (3.26 million gallons) of water onto your property.
    3. What did you do to prep this week?
    We’ll mention that in a minute; but, first.
    TOP’s question (only one this week)
    In your opinion, why are Bernie Sanders & Elizabeth Warren so iconoclastic about capitalism; but, not about socialism?

    This week we acquired and did the following.
    1. 6 month trip to the dentist for cleaning (& bite wing X-rays)
    2. Received a Water Quality Tester: (TDS Meter) Magic Pro 2016
    3. Cold pickled half a dozen boiled eggs
    4. Picked some of our first strawberries
    5. I keep hearing about Trump’s “The Art of the Deal”, so I decided to look for an inexpensive audio book version. I found it free, from the guy who is working for $1.00 per year and donating the rest back to the government. For those interested, it’s here and runs about 10 hours:
    DONALD TRUMP – THE ART OF THE DEAL (Full Audiobook)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ_VjPCaoZk
    6. Donated a little Tikes Kitchen, Tables, and Chairs to a local church group, adding more storage space in our food & firearms store room. These have been here for 20 years or so, and we finally just decided to clean them and free up additional clutter. The preschoolers at the church will hopefully have as much fun as did our DD, those many years ago.
    7. We were out looking at prebuilt / customized buildings to replace our brooder house that was dilapidated and torn down a few years ago. We have some good candidates and should make our decision this week. The new building will provide me with a shop, a sugar shack, and some needed outside lockable storage. Some of the gravel mention in previous weeks was used to make a high and dry base for this new building. The basic buildings we are looking at can be seen @ https://miamivalleybarns.com/wp/ & https://oldhickorybuildings.com/

    1. Top’s question:

      That’s easy they want YOUR money for their own benefit….. Scumbags….we are the commoners/peasants.

  12. Oh my goodness, what a mess oh my I’m glad you had that shop vac, and your family to help you. We have had flooding in our neighborhood, not getting into the house but our roads were flooded, and no one will clean the drain out they wait until the city, does it but hubby and I do it anyway because we don’t need or want water damage our neighbors are lazy. Because, hubby is in construction we know at least one person in each trade so any emergency, are just a few hours, maybe 2 days but no longer than that and the guy’s only charge us parts and pieces thank goodness.
    We have just a couple of more days of school, and haven’t really done much shopping just the refrigerator foods for now. Watering all my blueberries and raspberries, they are almost ready to turn red. My grapes, are just little yet I have at least 5 more months till they are mature. We’ve been working on our other place still, I put new mulch down on the shared flower bed, it looks clean up and neat. Hubby, is working on the woods pile, stacking and cleaning, chopping up the old decking. We found the fencing we like at lowes, so we will still fix one side of the property, this year tho we may need to buy what we need and put the rest of the fencing behind our bunk house and just do one section at a time. Well, that’s it for me this week I hope all the dad’s had a great day and have a wonderful week.

  13. No prepping this week. Caught two babies, and manned the table for our local Hamfest. Tara, i do think French drains are in order for you, and i strongly suspect its one of the reasons the property was sold. If you dont have gutters on the house, they need to be installed asap, and direct the water by underground pipes to a buried cistern. As much water overhead as you are getting, this should be addressed quickly. The good news for you guys is you have help to install it, and you have an excavator, right?
    On our place, we discovered an underground spring— under the basement floor 3 feet in from the door! We are still trying to figure out how to fix that one. Hugs to all.

    1. Babycatcher,

      On our place, we discovered an underground spring— under the basement floor 3 feet in from the door! We are still trying to figure out how to fix that one.

      ”Fix?” Around here a spring is another opportunity, an asset to be exploited, assuming it emits potable water or something easily made potable. You might think about sinking a large pipe or building a covered sump and add a sump pump sized for the flow, to fill tanks or barrels sending the excess out to be drained away.
      I don’t know your normal source of potable water; but, whether well or municipal service, another source is a good thing.

      1. This is true, but given our geology here begs the question— what ELSE is underground? I almost dont want to know…

  14. We loose power quite often where I live. When we moved in last August my first call was to an electrician to install a generator converter. Last week we had a seven hour outage due to a car-pole accident 5 miles from my house, so my generator got a nice work out. Since last August we have been supplementing half of our meals from my stock piles from 2017/2018. While I am still building supplies I roughly have 6-8 months of 2017/2018 meals to go. Peace of mind goes along way.
    This week I fell 4 large dead ash trees. I have plenty of fire wood now and I still have six more trees to take down. My tractor died during this process, but as l have my wheel barrow work continues.
    In the northern lower peninsula of Michigan we have had one day in in the 80’s so far with most days in the high 60’s lower 70’s. I think the lower temperatures are slowing my garden growth.

    1. PatriotFarmer,

      Yep, you never know what Michigan is going to throw at you regardless of time of year.

      Back in the 1980s sometime, in mid-June, me and another NCO from my Guard unit went on advanced party to Grayling to sign out barracks, ranges, etc, for our unit. We were there three days ahead and the weather was gorgeous. Sunny, low 80s, just great.

      The unit came in Friday night and the weather was already changing On Saturday, the temps were in the low 30s, we got some light snow, and the hawk was out. Miserable for many as they didn’t bring cold-weather clothing. I was OK as I always brought cold-weather gear to Grayling or Alpena, even in August.

  15. Hi Tara & all,
    Once again I received no email announcement of the new WIDDTPTW post and along with some Father’s day activities I am definitely not in line as first.
    Additionally, I posted this last evening, it went into moderation, and disappeared, so I removed a few URL’s and I’m trying again.
    When this happens, it would sure be good to know why?

    It rained all week with at least an overcast drizzle. Thunderstorms in the overnight dropped 3.3 more inches of rain in the last 16 hours. We may never get our garden in; but, at least we have money on hand and plenty of food, so we’re not counting on it likes those working in agriculture. Some local farmers are just getting their crops planted, way late. We still see some corn stubble sticking out of the middle of shallow ponds that should be planted fields.

    Up the hill to the third tier are our house, pond, a ravine with a natural spring, and barn. The fourth tier is the upper hayfield. Each tier takes you up higher, but all of it is surrounded by tall hills on three sides.

    So you basically live in a valley that can flood. Growing up in Johnstown PA, the ”Flood City” I understand your predicament, and often there is simply nothing you can do but build your buildings on stilts or the random piece of ”higher ground”.

    Well folks, I waited about 10 minutes too long to head down to do turn out. Before I made it the short distance to the new chicken coop, the skies opened up with a blowing downpour of epic proportions, followed just a few seconds later by thunder, lightening, and dime-sized hail.

    We’ve been having a series of thunderstorms coming from the west; but, so far all of them have either taken a northern or southern track. I’ve often thought of you and our friends down your way, while silently, smiling at our slightly better conditions, as I watch the radar loop. As I look at it now, I still see a line of storms to the west, most tracking in a southern trajectory, possibly drowning you while still keeping our garden plot too soggy to till.

    but got through. At least until he pulled onto our driveway. The creek was higher than it had ever been, and was running so hard that the large debris was swirling like a twig in a hurricane under the current. There was no way my Bobby was going to get across it to come home and help.

    It sounds like your next investments should be some additional field tile and perhaps a helicopter. LOL.

    I did not get the chance to take any pics of the initial 2 inches of water throughout the kitchen, living room, and bathroom area. It was still pouring in through the back door.

    While you may not have those photos to show us, they are no doubt permanently etched in your memories, as potential stars in future insomniac related nightmares.

    While Justin was running the shop vac, I was out back digging a trench to divert the water from the back door.

    Instead of a ShopVac ®, you may want to consider a sump pit and sump pump, with battery backup of course.

    Several logs had rolled into the ditch that runs behind the house and they were causing a problem with drainage from the trench I had dug, so Brea and I got those muscled out.

    We’ll often have large limbs deposited in and across our creek after the spring flooding and cutting this debris before it creates a dam is a normal early summer chore. Most is not suitable for firewood, so it is stacked to dry and makes great campfires all summer long.

    Tara’s Questions
    1. What small or short-term disasters have caused you to re-evaluate your preps – and how?
    I was living at the edge of a small town where I lived through the blizzard of 1978 along with a few of my neighbors. My large house on an odd corner lot, never lost power while many of those neighbors did; but, we had both natural gas and wood to keep us warm, along with numerous Aladdin and Coleman lanterns we ended up not needing much. The landline telephone was all we had at the time, along with other communications equipment. As far as lessons learned, along with a combination of several incidents and my engineering career, much spent in telephony, I would suggest that no one get rid of their landline, since that infrastructure while old, will still provide dial tone long after your cell phone gets no bars.
    2. What flooding tips can you share with our fellow pack members?
    Don’t build your house, buildings, or major paths, trails, lanes, or roads in a flood plain. Our location has a creek running through the west side; but, even at high water, such as we have now, it is still 8-10 feet below the east side bank. We lived here for 2 years as a rental and were very cognizant of how and where the waters laid and flowed before purchasing the place. Like many old farmsteads, those old timers knew the lay of the land an generally did not build in flood plains, unlike too many people now who will naively purchase farm land and build their house, lanes, and buildings without much thought to the lay of the land. There need not be a creek near you; but, fields even a tiny bit higher than yours can collect and drain a lot of water into your back yard and basement. For instance, three inches on an adjacent 40 acre field, especially one tiled appropriately for proper drainage, will drop 10 acre feet (3.26 million gallons) of water onto your property.
    3. What did you do to prep this week?
    We’ll mention that in a minute; but, first.
    TOP’s question (only one this week)
    In your opinion, why are Bernie Sanders & Elizabeth Warren so iconoclastic about capitalism; but, not about socialism?

    This week we acquired and did the following.
    1. 6 month trip to the dentist for cleaning (& bite wing X-rays)
    2. Received a Water Quality Tester: (TDS Meter) Magic Pro 2016
    3. Cold pickled half a dozen boiled eggs
    4. Picked some of our first strawberries
    5. I keep hearing about Trump’s “The Art of the Deal”, so I decided to look for an inexpensive audio book version. I found it free, from the guy who is working for $1.00 per year and donating the rest back to the government. For those interested, it runs about 10 hours and may be found on YouTube with the dollowing name:
    DONALD TRUMP – THE ART OF THE DEAL (Full Audiobook)
    6. Donated a little Tikes Kitchen, Tables, and Chairs to a local church group, adding more storage space in our food & firearms store room. These have been here for 20 years or so, and we finally just decided to clean them and free up additional clutter. The preschoolers at the church will hopefully have as much fun as did our DD, those many years ago.
    7. We were out looking at prebuilt / customized buildings to replace our brooder house that was dilapidated and torn down a few years ago. We have some good candidates and should make our decision this week. The new building will provide me with a shop, a sugar shack, and some needed outside lockable storage. Some of the gravel mention in previous weeks was used to make a high and dry base for this new building.

  16. Wow Tara! big time bummer. It sounds like serious drainage problems to me. No way water should be invading your house.

    The most serious disaster we have had is heavy duty rain and hail storms. Two years ago, we lost most of our garden to a hail storm. So, we are concentrating on canning more of our produce, making more pickles, etc. Putting bird netting over the trees as much as possible. Can’t do much about the deer, due to laws.

    As far as reducing flooding, location (about which you can do little) and drainage ditches, drains, etc sound like all you can do. Neither of our properties have flooded.

    Returned from our family reunion in Guntersville, Alabama. It was a wonderful time, with all five of my siblings present (75-85 years old), numerous in-laws, neices, nephews, grand neices, nephews, etc. About 45 total. Drove (for the last time!) both ways. Encountered gasoline prices from 1.99 per gallon to 2.90. Go figure! Spent two days at the beach with my children, daughter in law, grand daughter and one grandson. More fun than an old man deserves! Brought back a lot of fireworks which are legal in Alabama but not Arizona, which the children bought. Also brought a case of Buffalo Rock ginger ale and a few pints of Golden Eagle syrup, both of which are locally produced in Alabama.

    As far as preps are concerned, got another 1911 right before we left. Got several pounds of potassium nitrate for making black powder. Other stuff, which I undoubtedly have forgotten!

    1. Billy T,
      The most serious disaster we have had is heavy duty rain and hail storms. Two years ago, we lost most of our garden to a hail storm.
      This reminds me of one of the first gardens the DW & I had when we were first married. We lived in a rural rental, not far from our current location and had a huge row garden. A hailstorm came through the area and afterward the garden looked like it had been bush hogged. We were able to save some of the tomatoes with sticks and ties; but, I swear that every little bit of zucchini sprouted another plant and we had a bumper crop that year, giving them to anyone who would take them.

      Brought back a lot of fireworks which are legal in Alabama but not Arizona, which the children bought.

      Here in Ohio they are ”technically illegal”. We have places that will sell them; but, you need to sign a paper promising to take them out of state to use them. No one actually uses them here of course, LOL.

      As far as preps are concerned, got another 1911 right before we left. Got several pounds of potassium nitrate for making black powder.

      That means you would also need sulfur and charcoal; but, should you run short of those, mixing it with finely powdered metals like zinc, aluminum, or copper can still get you a good bang.

      1. OP, I was making black powder at age 12! Also an amateur rocket builder. Some of the rocket attempts didn’t work out so well! At least I had enough sense to electrically fire them, otherwise, some of my body parts could very well be gone. We had a railroad track and spur a couple miles from the house, where Monsanto chemicals, principally ammonium nitrate and sodium nitrate were brought in, unloaded from boxcars and either placed in a warehouse or trucked to the destination. Anyway, bags were frequently torn and we took advantage to acquire the spillage for our rockets, cannons and bombs. Things we would have been arrested for today. We could tell which was which by placing a small mound on the tracks and striking it with the end of a railroad spike. If we got a little explosion, we knew it was ammonium nitrate. Otherwise, sodium nitrate. The only problem with using sodium nitrate as a reducer is that it is hygroscopic and will actually absorb enough water to liquefy itself.

        BTW, tannerite is 95% ammonium nitrate, 5% powdered aluminum (by weight), which explodes when stuck by a high speed bullet. I never like to mix it in advance, preferring to wait until it is actually to be used. Makes wonderful exploding targets.
        A good rocket fuel is a mixture of powdered zinc and Sulphur dust. I have used both. I always liked to play with that stuff.

        1. Billy T,

          I was making black powder at age 12! Also an amateur rocket builder. Some of the rocket attempts didn’t work out so well! At least I had enough sense to electrically fire them, otherwise, some of my body parts could very well be gone.

          I was doings similar things by about age 12-14, with a Gilbert Chemistry set my parents got me. Dad got me alcohol for the alcohol burner and watched me like a hawk for a while, after which he turned me loose. After running through all of the experiments in the book, there were still chemicals left, so what was a boy to do? We also had a local Hobby Shop where I could purchase more and additional chemicals for the set, as well as both Estes and Centuri rocket engines, in sizes B-D, so I didn’t make a lot of those myself; but, like you, did use electrical igniters.
          In high school I would purchase packs of cigarettes for something like 10 or 15 cents, and trade them to some of the guys in the machine shop, for bags of magnesium shavings, turned off the lathe. Like you it’s a wonder I still have all of my fingers.

          Things we would have been arrested for today.

          Yep and perhaps sent to Gitmo, LOL.
          The biggest thing some of us did was to purchase a 6 or 8 foot (don’t remember which) aluminized Mylar weather balloon from Edmund Scientific. It came with what I recall was a bottle of hydrochloric acid and some zinc strips, that when combined generated hydrogen to lift the balloon. After rilling it and playing around, one evening we inflated it, attached an M80 with an extended timed fuse, lit it, and let it go. It glistened in the moonlight; but, was small enough to not be noticed unless you knew to look for it.
          We watched it float away, and then, just like in the movies we saw a bright yellowish flash; but, didn’t hear anything until20 or 30 seconds later.
          My town (Johnstown, PA) was a big steel town at the time, so hearing muted explosions from off in the distance mostly went unnoticed as it did that night.

          BTW, tannerite is 95% ammonium nitrate, 5% powdered aluminum (by weight), which explodes when stuck by a high speed bullet. I never like to mix it in advance, preferring to wait until it is actually to be used. Makes wonderful exploding targets.

          I’ve used it many times and mix it the same way, when it’s about to be used. While it’s technically illegal here and called ”Sensitized ammonium nitrate” it’s used all of the time and pretty much ignored unless you do something stupid and call attention to yourself.
          Stupid BTW means doing something like this video: ” 164lbs of Tannerite Kills a Barn” (about 6 minutes) with barn gone in 2.5 with 4,003,049 views
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edRbcTXAijY

          A good rocket fuel is a mixture of powdered zinc and Sulphur dust. I have used both. I always liked to play with that stuff.

          Strike anywhere match heads can also make a good supply for that kind of experimentation.
          1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ….. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10… Yep still all attached, LOL.

          1. OP, the other thing we did was buy a box of cherry bombs. We would light them from a cigar held in our mouth and blast them aloft using a sling shot. Got very satisfying air burst explosions. Wrap a piece of solder around an M80 and bomb fish down in the creek! Alas, no more cherry bombs, m60s or m80s. In truth, they could take a finger off and did with those too careless or stupid. My brother and his associate stole a few sticks of dynamite from a construction shed and blasted three sticks off in a dogwood tree on top of a hill one new years night. Rattled windows for miles and essentially ruined the tree. It didn’t cause any problems, but then no one knew who did it! They weren’t into confessing things.

            Aah, reminiscing!

          2. Billy T,

            The other thing we did was buy a box of cherry bombs. We would light them from a cigar held in our mouth and blast them aloft using a sling shot. Got very satisfying air burst explosions.

            We lived at the edge of a small city and that kind of thing did not have a good place to land, so no aerial theatrics; but, an M80 can launch an old trash can, straight into the air quite a few feet, lit from a match, and no cigar.

            Wrap a piece of solder around an M80 and bomb fish down in the creek! Alas, no more cherry bombs, m60s or m80s.

            If I recall, a cherry bomb was not only waterproof but heavy enough to sink on its own for such shenanigans, and I have also not seen that kind of civilian ordinance in quite some time.

            In truth, they could take a finger off and did with those too careless or stupid.

            We may have all been young; but, none of us stupid, so I knew of no one who lost any body parts, although a few may have gotten singed.

            My brother and his associate stole a few sticks of dynamite from a construction shed and blasted three sticks off in a dogwood tree on top of a hill one new years night. Rattled windows for miles and essentially ruined the tree. It didn’t cause any problems, but then no one knew who did it! They weren’t into confessing things.

            I learned about dynamite from my uncle Blair who worked with explosives in the mines. I still recall when we went to a shed out back of his rural house, opened a wooden box, took out a stick and tossed it to me. He then took a knife and cut it in half, lighting it with his Zippo as I was sweating bullets. All it did was sputter and burn, at which point he told me that it was harmless; but, striking that burning end with a hammer would be unwise, after which he explained blasting caps.
            This reminds me of the story of a guy who invited the local game officer outon his boat to go fishing. They were not catching anything; but, then the guy opened his tackle box, pulls out a ¼ stick with a fuse, lit it, and tossed it into the water. Astonished, the game officer told him he could not fish with dynamite just as the guy handed the game officer another ¼ stick with a lit fuse and stated to him: :you gonna fish or talk?”. I suspect the fishing continued.

            Aah, reminiscing!

            Yep, days of an interesting youth, long gone; but, never forgotten.

  17. TOP’s question (only one this week)
    In your opinion, why are Bernie Sanders & Elizabeth Warren so iconoclastic about capitalism; but, not about socialism?

    I think they have made a decision that they will have more power under a socialist government than they could get under a government that espouses capitalism as it’s driving economic force. Ergo, capitalism must be demonized and reduced in effectiveness in the eyes of the proletariat.

    Karl Marx/Frederich Engels 101.

    1. Zulu 3-6,

      Karl Marx/Frederich Engels 101.

      Short, sweet, & correct.
      We peasants had the audacity to turn out the heir apparent to their takeover, from one of the smartest men ever to hold the office, so we can no longer be trusted with our own destiny. We all of course embraced and love Obamacare so we cannot wait for Medicare for all, with better healthcare for those who kiss the proper feet or rings and none for the rest of us.
      History 101.

  18. Hi Pack,
    Tara, sounds like you have had an awful wake up call. Glad you had help to clean up the mess and everyone is safe. For the past several weeks I have been out of socket, so no /few home preps have been done. I worked very hard prepping to be able to leave animals in care of others and have all they needed ready for use. We lost a total of 6 hens and our RIR roo to coon… the dogs were at other houses and no longer leaving scent as a deterrent..One coon was removed from the property and others were sighted late at night…but not caught.before we got back home. we still have 14 hens and a columbian roo. and will continue with the mixed flock..
    While we were gone our primary focus was on supporting DS who had some car issues and no toolbox to fix it , either with knowledge or physical tools. DH and DS got some good time together preparing their traditional recipes.Bonus was family time with other Sissy’s and their families..
    we also got the beginnings of a rabbitry..with two does and a buck that are heat tolerant.Our first kits are due the end of the month.Nest boxes have been built and more cages are in the works.
    ..Our garden…okra is up about a foot high, and after fertilizer and amendments added is growing well. The grape vines we put out this year are growing and trailing up their trellis. volunteer squash have small fruit. and more are planted in several varieties. The glads are up. The poblano pepper in wicking pot has survived./added 2 more to the to for a total of 3. variety of white, blue and gold potatoes are not doing well….have heeled, and fertilized, were attacked by beetles. sprayed several times with essential oil mixture… The sweetpotatoes have had soil added to their vines and the vines are trying to climb out of the raised bed that has a 16 inch rim…I gathered the spring onions and planted the gift of Egyptian Onions in their place and have watered and fertilized those in. we had a week of dry now a week of wet weather. we hauled more soil in to fill another 12×3′ garden bed….got it unloaded before the rain hit yesterday afternoon.. We have bought additional tomaotes from a local one who has a nursery., along with some bedding plants. Has been intermittent rain storms since bought.. so now to let things dry out just a little so we are not wading water to plant. We also cut the tall grass and put up a quantity of grass hay for the critters for the coming winter.
    We also got a short 48 hours with DD and SIL on visit there.Now we are in recovery mode.. resting and doing small jobs to keep things running smoothly. Plan is for wicking pots for the tomatoes…and a minimum of 4 to build.
    The thing that has put Pep in my prepping has been short term disasters..Tornado damage and One ice storm left us without power for 17 days when i was about 10 or 11.The family got together to do cooking for 3 families, and went into town for runs for colas to extend the water supply we did have..set ice chests outside the back door in a shady spot to use as a refrigerator/ mostly for kkeeping drinks cold and chiling down GP’s Tea.. Water was the concern then…we drew water from the hand dug well and took it in 5 gallon buckets to my grandparents place, where they had full city gas…and no blower was needed on the stove…we got water from a nearby drainage ditch for boiling and washing of dishes and cleaning chores..water came from a hill that had not been farmed and had a lot of grass..it always rose up pretty close to the back door when there was rain.. so they kept it dug out and a small footbridge always was across it.It was dry in the summer.
    One event a few years later gave cold temps that froze all the water lines in the area, our local hardware store ran out of fittings.No one had enough insulation to keep water lines from freezing, with a brief ice storm that left us without power and just below zero temps.Think it was3- 5 below for 28 hours. Much colder than normal for our area. The wood heater went in the new trailer that year.
    There have been some ice events that did not have that many days interference since..one in 94 stranded me at work for 6 days..with no relief incoming, and no way to get home if i had relief.I did have blankets and extra clothes and some food in the car. Work ppl provided fold away cots and limited meals..Someone was able to get in and out after a few days…..I got home the same day the lights at home came back on.

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