What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 51: July 7th – July 13th 2019

poison hemlock

Hey Pack. It has been another busy week here on our survival homestead. Most of the preps this week have involved harvesting wild plants to preserve or make salve and infusions with, and gardening.

I made plantain salve this week. It is super easy to make and can be used on insect bites and stings, snake bites, poison ivy, as well as minor burns and scrapes.

plantain salve

Plantain salve is supposed to be good for joint pain, but I have not personally had much luck using it for that yet. But, that might be primarily after playing and coaching sports and spending a lot of time hiking in the woods for 25 years, there is not much cartilage left in my knees. They used to crack and pop and sound awful but not hurt… now they hurt.

While I love most weeds, we now have one type I really could have gone my entire life without stumbling across – poison hemlock. The news alerts I initially saw warning that hemlock and wild parsnips were popping up all over southern Ohio due to the excessive amount of rain for the past years were in the western part of the region. Well, now it’s here in my neck of the woods.

Poison Hemlock

poison hemlock

Folks in my heavenly part of Appalachia are not the only ones discovering poison hemlock and wild parsnips on their land. Essentially every state that has sustained extensive rain or flooding is faced with this deadly plant, as well.

I actually looked up and said a heartfelt prayer of gratitude when I found the first of at least 14 poison hemlock plants. Our middle granddaughter, Auddie LOVES plants. She can identify more plants than many adults that I know, and she is only three and a half years old.

Auddie on her first visit to a professional greenhouse. You would have thought that it was Christmas morning by the level of excitement she exhibited. Just this morning we did a forest school session after the kids helped with barn chores and she proudly taught her one and ¾ year old sister Ariyah to identify milkweed.

auddie sniffing flowers

As soon as she sees a flower, it goes straight up to her nose to sniff it. She and Colt both always ask if they can eat the flowers we find when foraging, but that good practice still might not have saved her if she had put the flower to her nose.

Poison hemlock ingested through the nose or eyes will kill you in less than three hours. A child of her age and weight would probably have only had an hour. She loves picking wild carrots – or Queen Anne’s lace – as city folks call them. They and wild yarrow, are two non-lethal lookalikes to poison hemlock.

Thankfully, they are trained to not pick anything until checking with me first, but all it takes is a split second of forgetting that rule or leaning over to sniff the really cool looking flowers on poison hemlock and that’s it. There is absolutely no treatment or cure for hemlock now, just as there as none when the Greek philosopher was ordered to consume it to commit suicide.

Please, fellow preppers, check your property for poison hemlock and make sure to tell those you care about to do the same. The close resemblance between the flowers of wild carrots, yarrow, and poison hemlock, as well as the leaves, are way novice foragers are urged to stay away from the non-lethal lookalikes, even though they have so many valuable uses.

Wild parsnips will not kill you, but they might make you feel like they are when the produce a rash and blisters until you get treatment and heal up.

This Week’s Questions:

  1. Have you spotted poison hemlock where you live? Getting rid of it is dangerous, how did you accomplish the task?
  2. What wild and wonderful weeds are you foraging in your neck of the woods right now?
  3. What is your favorite way to use foraged weeds? Please share your favorite salve, tincture, poultice, or herbal infusion recipe.
  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 →

65 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 51: July 7th – July 13th 2019

  1. Good morning from Georgia. No poison hemlock here as yet and no foraging. I do know where (what I believe) is elderberry growing. I also have access to property with wild plums and persimmons growing, although not quickly accessed.

    No big prepping purchases this week (or last, since I missed last week’s posting) beyond regular rotations. I did receive arthritis medications for my fur babies along with other items that I keep on hand. Subscribe & Save is helpful when storage space becomes limited and has helped reduce the price of a few items we use regularly.

    I’ve about given up on my garden. This year’s weather has not been ideal – too dry then too wet. So much has died that I’m only getting a few items, although cucumbers and eggplant seem to be OK.

    That’s about it. Prayers for all in need and our country.

    1. Elderberry also has a couple of poisonous imitators. However, elderberry is not hard to spot, IMO.

      It can grow to a very tall and thick bush, but it will grow in single stalks, all rising up from the root. It does not have “branches” growing from those single stalks.

      It has clusters of tiny white flowers on a single stem that do grow off a central stem in all directions. It’s unripe fruit is green that will become purplish-blue when ripe.

      The flowers and fruit are teeny-tiny.

      Leaves are lance-shaped and begin in a slight curve at base, and grow directly from shoots off that single center stem.

      We rescued elderberry last Fall that had been mowed down by the county. Moved roots to our land, as well as a few stalks that survived. You should see it now!

      Unfortunately, there is something that likes to eat the unripened berries (which are toxic to humans). Haven’t figured out what yet.

      But I can tell you Japanese Beetles love to gather on it!

      Ours will be ripe in late July to early August, here in North AL.

  2. Today we in the South are all thinking about and preparing for hurricane season which has officially started. So far I have two new gas cans and am starting to stock up on ethanol free gasoline. I have got more batteries and more flashlights, can’t have too many of those can we.

    Spent most of last week dealing with health problems, my blood pressure and my father in law’s heart. On Monday moring he had sever sinus congestion and a bought of coughing left him to weak to stand. He was unable to reach any of his cordless phones. After a while, he said almost an hour, he managed to get his walking cane and use it to tip over a small table holding one and call 9-1-1. My wife went straight from work to stay with him so I didn’t see her for two days. After four days in the hospital he is back home and can get around. He has taken advantage of Medicare’s home care and has a nurse come check on his several times a week and he can also get help with his housework.

    My wife wants to spend more time helping him but he still sees a cute 10 year old playing doctor instead of a 53 year old nurse and won’t listen to him. My doctor has me on three different blood pressure medications so I finally have that under control plus I am trying to maintain the diet he suggest I eat. I need to cut out acidic and fatty foods and use less sugar, basically everything I usually eat and drink. I have lost five pounds so I guess it is helping.

    I do not do any foraging but when mowing my yard yesterday I did notice I have plantain growing on the north side of my yard.

    1. Good to hear your father-in-law is feeling better. For one who has breathing problems at times myself, I can tell you, it’s no fun when you are so congested you can’t breathe well. It’s even worse in the summer in this oppressive heat.
      Glad you taking care of the blood pressure thing as well. I’m working on trying to be heart healthy myself by diet and exercise, so I know your struggle. I haven’t met a carb or fat I didn’t like. I’m truly a southern child!

      1. Jean,

        It’s even worse in the summer in this oppressive heat.

        Here it’s not oppressive all that often, so you don’t get used to it; but, when it does hit the 90+° & 90+% it’s just awful anywhere you encounter it. Today so far is looking pretty comfortable.

        I’m working on trying to be heart healthy myself by diet and exercise, so I know your struggle.

        Me too; but, it took a 4-way CABG (1998) and a pacemaker to get my attention; however, maintaining my weight (90 lbs less than my highest) is now not all that hard.

        I haven’t met a carb or fat I didn’t like. I’m truly a southern child!

        This is not a southern thing; but, a modern human thing, since often cultural and technological progress are double edged swords, this being a big one.

  3. no it doesn’t grow in this area

    not foraging right now, too busy with other stuff

    too late this year but i make candy from burdock stalks

    ordered some buffet table pans to use as maple pans, ordered 300 fishmox tablets in 500g, bought a whole bunch of books, made a $300 firewood sale, bought some wool blankets, a few other things, cut a bunch of firewood, a few cords at least, rode my bike about 150 miles with ankle weights and wrist waights on and a heavy pack in 95 degrees with high humidity. spent 2 days with my tech suport friend trying to fix a new computer but can’t be done so i am either going to throw it in a beaver pond or give it to my friend as a gift (the problem is that it runs win10 and we spent 2 days trying to put win7 on it, or 8.1, computer not made for those os and i will swear off computers before i tollerate win10)

    1. nemoseto, Just put Ubuntu on it. My wife’s friend had a Win 8 laptop that had not been used for several years and she had forgotten the password. They played computer tech and managed to password lock the hard-drive. They did get that unlocked but scrambled the boot sector or something. I tried my Win 10 recovery disc but it would only accept Win 8. I downloaded Ubuntu and created a boot-able flash drive. A few minutes of fiddling and I had it humming.

      The newest distro is very usable and they managed to install the video app needed to watch Netflix with just a little phone help from me.

      1. that won’t work for what i bought it for. i bought it to run games on, unfortunatly modern games are run through steam and i have to install that on it first then the games through the “cloud”. i have the disks but they don’t have the games on them anymore, just steam codes, been that way for years, there is no used market. only way around this bs is to use pirated copies so i deal with steam as needed. but all this means i can’t run it on linux, wine doesn’t work, tried it. can’t run the games i have for winter boredom (when the weather sucks and i can’t work outside for days at a time, i am not close to anything and have no vehicle, this past winter i didn’t leave for weeks at a time, no internet at home except dial up quality through a cell teather at $50 a month, those games are just something to keep my mind busy on, only have high speed access when i walk or bike 20 miles to a friends place, like i did this morning). i have a dual boot win7/linux laptop that i can play dvds on and use for internet, but its very low specs so can only run a couple really old games. i had a dell insperon 15 that i got for $300 at wally world in december 2012 (i was laid off from my forester job and it had the min specs to run skyrim and i sat through the worst parts of winter running that game) unfortunatly that win8.1 laptop died in september and the only replacement i could find that came close to meeting my needs/requirements was this win7 one. been lookng for one able to play games for nearly a year but all i find is crap that either takes far too much power (i can only power an energy star B rated laptop, i am off grid and in an area witth lots of clouds, a powerful laptop means i can’t power it or can’t power for very long), or is defective, or runs bs software like win10.

    2. Nemoseto,

      too late this year but i make candy from burdock stalks

      Sassafras, burdock and licorice or anise seeds are a great start for real homemade root beer.

      ordered some buffet table pans to use as maple pans

      With my new building and the wood stove I’ll be putting in it, I’ll finally be able to start maple syruping and was thinking about using those pans? Are your pans stainless and approximately what did they cost?

      ordered 300 fishmox tablets in 500g

      I assume you meant 500 mg, right?
      (the problem is that it runs win10 and we spent 2 days trying to put win7 on it, or

      8.1, computer not made for those os and i will swear off computers before i tollerate win10)

      I’m still using Vista & 7; but, it is inevitable that they will be gone for Win 10 and eventually Win 11.
      For email, surfing, and general editing of documents and spreadsheets, you might consider Linux.
      I currently run 4 Linux machines, an XP, a Vista, & a 7 and a 10, with each of them having their issues and benefits.

      1. i got them from a compan called tigerchef. they are stainless steel and fairly heavy duty, each measures 20×12 and 6 inches deep and i ordered a 3 pack for $58 plus shipping. initially tigerchef sent me the wrong ones (a 4 pack of 6x6x6 pans) but their customer service was of the highest quality and they shipped the right ones out overnight arriving 36 hours after i called about the wrong ones. my maple evaporator has a surface area for a pan 20×28 and these pans were much cheaper than a regular pan and i just need to put 2 on the evaporator, and have an extra if i need it.

        yes 500mg, the keys on this laptop are not very good and often don’t register leadng to typos.

        the laptop i am using right now is an older win7 based laptop that i set to dual boot linux. the point of the newer one was that my friend who sold it to me sold it for $150 (still $430 new), he is not good at saving and was desperate for money to fix his truck breaks so was selling anything he had in his house. i bought it with the idea to run video games over winter which cannot be done on linux (tried wine but it never worked). i had a decent win8.1 dell laptop i got $300 at wallyworld in 2012 december, and it ran the games i have (skyrim, fallout 3 and new vegas, medival 2 total war, rome total war, sins of a solar empire, galacic civilizations 2, etc), used it often in the winter as a way to kill time when the weather was no good to do work in and i couldn’t go anywhere since i had no vehicle. that computer was destroyed in september, dvd drive stopped working then sound card and video card were giving problems then it crashed with the blue screen of death so i junked it. this dual boot laptop was the only energy star laptop i could find used at the time but while it can play dvds and a few of the older games (rome total war and medival 2 work on it) most of the games i have are far too advanced to run on it (and that dell was a barebones energy star laptop when i got it so ran a long time on a marine battery). everything i see now is an energy hog or has shit software like win10. i got another one similar to the old del at a pawn shop but found it was defectiveand screen was faulty, then i got this new asus x505b for $150 to run those games on but i will not use win10, mostly because its so dependant on having access to high speed internet which i only have if i walk or bike 20 miles to use a friends internet, plus all the spying they do with it. used to be able to find used laptops in pawn shops or wherever but they are few and far between now and the only place to buy new is walmart or buy online which i won’t do since my needs are so demanding (must be able to run those games and be energy star B rated, and run win7 or at most 8.1)

        1. Nemoseto,

          i got them from a compan called tigerchef. they are stainless steel and fairly heavy duty, each measures 20×12 and 6 inches deep and i ordered a 3 pack for $58 plus shipping.

          Thanks. Those are standard full size steam table pans I had not thought of before, and your mention of Tigerchef reminded me of another online restaurant supply I’ve dealt with: Webstaurantstore (https://www.webstaurantstore.com). I ordered a nice 24”x48” stainless work table for the summer kitchen in December of 2017 and like the table and the company. They have these food grade pans in 6” for $13.49, $12.94 (6 pack) or $11.99 (12 pack) so I’ll be ordering a couple of them.

          my maple evaporator has a surface area for a pan 20×28 and these pans were much cheaper than a regular pan and i just need to put 2 on the evaporator, and have an extra if i need it.

          I don’t yet have a maple evaporator; but, with the purpose built ones running $500.00+ I’ll be looking to purchase a small cast iron box stove for this use, and doing small batches, mostly for personal use or gifts.

          run video games over winter which cannot be done on linux (tried wine but it never worked).

          If you have CDROM’s for other compatible windows versions, you could run them under Linux with a virtual machine, since wine (Wine Is Not an Emulator) often fails for anything at all complex.

          i got another one similar to the old del at a pawn shop but found it was defectiveand screen was faulty

          Perhaps try an external screen, since most laptops have a VGA or DVI port for that use.

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

    Didn’t do a whole lot of prep related stuff this week. I did buy some 3/8” Dacron-polyester rope for the general preps stash. I have lots of 550 and 750 cord, plus some bank line, but no “real” rope. Fixed that. I did also buy some regular cotton clothesline.

    I’m avoiding buying stuff I really don’t absolutely “need” this month so I can add to my savings. I think I’m as prepped for a hurricane as anyone can be who lives in an apartment, even a sturdy one like mine. That hazard is the most likely foreseeable problem right now, although some other form of nastiness is always rumbling on the horizon.

    I see TS Barry is predicted to run hi-diddle-diddle straight up the middle of the Mississippi River watershed. Just where they need the rain. NOT! If this thing dumps even half the rain levels the ubiquitous “they” are predicting, floods galore again. Or still.

    I like all the in-fighting going on with the communist side of the House. AOC and her Muslim pals seem to not only be on Pelosi’s bad side, but most of the caucus is not happy with the ignorant brats either. In the olden days, they would face censure, but I don’t think Pelosi has the guts to do that.

    That hemlock is a real problem. There is no antidote. It’s a neurotoxin and eventually kills by respiratory failure. There isn’t a whole lot an ER can do except secure your airway with an ET tube, put you on a ventilator, and try to clean out your gastric system as soon as possible. Give Benzos for seizures, and IV fluids, and pray. In the field, I might treat it with an IM shot of Atropine if I had it (unlikely), but that would only be a temporary and last chance measure. In a SHTF situation, involving inhaled or consumed hemlock poisoning, most likely prayer is the only possibility. If the consumed dose was small and in a larger person, they might pull through, but you can’t count on that as the levels of toxin concentration can vary from plant to plant.

    There are different species of hemlock found in the US. Here in Florida is a type called Water Hemlock. It tends to grow in swampy areas and along shorelines of rivers and lakes. It’s every bit as toxic as any type of hemlock.

    Tara’s questions:

    1. Have you spotted poison hemlock where you live? Getting rid of it is dangerous, how did you accomplish the task? No, I’ve never seen any. If I do, as I live in a city, I would call the Parks department and report it along with a call to the County Health Department. They should have it taken care of.

    2. What wild and wonderful weeds are you foraging in your neck of the woods right now? None at all.

    3. What is your favorite way to use foraged weeds? Please share your favorite salve, tincture, poultice, or herbal infusion recipe. None.

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

    1. Z36, know out live in an apartment, what floor do you live on? If more than one do you have an escape ladder/rope?

    2. Zulu 3-6,

      although some other form of nastiness is always rumbling on the horizon.

      This is of course why we prep. LOL

      Just where they need the rain. NOT! If this thing dumps even half the rain levels the ubiquitous “they” are predicting, floods galore again. Or still.

      One needs to remember that all of the rain that has set my garden back runs from my little creek into the Ohio watershed and eventually hits New Orleans as well.
      For those who care, my creek (Bokes Creek) flows into the Scioto river, on to the Ohio and then into old Miss, So New Orleans gets it from all directions.

      I like all the in-fighting going on with the communist side of the House. AOC and her Muslim pals seem to not only be on Pelosi’s bad side, but most of the caucus is not happy with the ignorant brats either. In the olden days, they would face censure, but I don’t think Pelosi has the guts to do that.

      I agree; but, did perhaps see a glimmer of hope when AOC was questioning Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell. She treated him with dignity and asked cogent questions about the failure of the Philips curve equation that describes an inverse relationship between rates of unemployment and corresponding rates of rises in wages and the effect on inflation. I was pleasantly surprised, until I saw her a day later testifying about women drinking out of toilets again as she nearly sobbed.
      Powell BTW agreed with her on the Philips curve failure; but, that may be a strength, since he is not the traditional dogma driven Ivy League economist.

      That hemlock is a real problem. There is no antidote. It’s a neurotoxin and eventually kills by respiratory failure.

      To me that means it’s worth watching; but, not panicking. At breakfast today it seems some recently publish articles had some of the crowd more than just informed and concerned.

      There are different species of hemlock found in the US. Here in Florida is a type called Water Hemlock. It tends to grow in swampy areas and along shorelines of rivers and lakes. It’s every bit as toxic as any type of hemlock.

      That “swampy areas” is now unfortunately a large part of Ohio.

  5. I haven’t seen any poison hemlock but I saw a blurb on the news about it. I do try to be careful.
    As far as foraging, I’m capable of it but I don’t do it. I still get out and identify plants and wildlife almost daily.
    As far as preps go, I got the CZ-52 to add to the collection along with 300 rounds of 7.62 x 25 mm FMJ at $5.00 a box, holster and spare mag. Cool little gun.
    I also bought a few cans each of crabmeat, tuna, and Dinty Moore stew.
    Bought extra batteries, two Atomic Beam type lanterns, and three preban Glock magazines for my Glock 23. ( I live in Massachusetts, unfortunately for now and they’re hard to get)
    We had a minor emergency when the power went out. Third time in eight years here so that’s awesome. The first thought was “Oh, shxx!! Did we forget to pay?” Then we noticed the neighbors were dark too. Relief!! We went outside and talked to the neighbors, my oldest son calmed my youngest (autistic, non verbal), and ascertained the situation through Mrs. Overwatch’s FB page. It seems that some ospreys started building a nest on a pole nearby. The police, fire and power company were on scene with a prediction of 11:00 pm for back to normal (it was eight).
    The important thing was that we coalesced as a family. I said, “Let’s get some ice and put it in the freezer and the fridge, and then let’s take a ride around and get fries for the youngest and let him have WiFi in the car.” Agreed.
    Plan executed, family didn’t panic, power back on at 9:15. All’s right with the world.
    Lesson: Get that damned propane generator!

      1. They’re sort of legal here too. I had the gun prior to 98. If the mags are first generation, square back, they may have been here then too. These are coming from a guy in the next town over. They were here too in 98.
        Oddly, if I moved out of state, I could buy anything, move back, and not have to register the guns. Mags ok too.

    1. Overwatch,

      Lesson: Get that damned propane generator!

      Ours is now 3 years and 9 months old and it’s really a good feeling, especially when the DW tells me so.
      I would also recommend a few inexpensive computer UPS units for the TV and a few LED light bulbs, since on a power outage it still takes 20-40 seconds until power is on from the genset and another few glitches when the power is restored. The UPS chirping will inform you of the outage and when they stop, things are back to normal. Also, HDTV, satellite or cable boxes just keep running and don’t have a reset while the lighting also stays on.

      1. Overwatch,
        Correction: Ours is now about 2 years and 9 months old with the 3 year mark this upcoming November 2, 2019. We have already done the required 2 year (or 200 running hours) maintenance on it. You turn it off, drain the oil, replace the oil & air filter and put in new oil (Mobile 1 synthetic is recommended). There is lots of room to work and it’s a piece of cake.
        We actually waited until late March since it had less than 30 running hours, so now the 2 year interval falls in warm weather the next time.
        I assume that generator purchase will wait until the move to TN?

  6. This Week’s Questions:

    1. Have you spotted poison hemlock where you live? Getting rid of it is dangerous, how did you accomplish the task? Not sure this grows here, but at least not local.

    2. What wild and wonderful weeds are you foraging in your neck of the woods right now? None.

    3. What is your favorite way to use foraged weeds? Please share your favorite salve, tincture, poultice, or herbal infusion recipe. None.

    4. What did you do to prep this week? Well, let’s see…

    Cleaning week. We have nothing special planned this month, so our focus is on our storage – sorting, repackaging/repacking, labeling, and inventory. Both the basement and the garage. Plus, then we will be able to take the excess out of the living room and maybe have guests over.

    Back to school supplies are being set up (at Wal-Mart). Time to work on my list!

    DW is off to the Montana Folks Festival for the weekend, with friends. Starts Friday evening and ends about 6:45 PM on Sunday. Finished getting her equipped for 80+ weather Thursday night; new insulated water bottle (18+ hour cold) w/carrier, camping chair, brimmed hat with neck drape, belt pouch, fly fishing shirt, and a golf umbrella. I’m just “batching it”. Might get some stuff done, might just read and watch a movie or 2.

    Received: G43X TFO sights; book (Blind Man’s Bluff); .410 ammo; tool box for Glock work; Kydex holster for G19; mags for G43X/48;

  7. Puppy got a bath from #2 son. Funny a dog that is not afraid of explosions or a dog twice his size is afraid of a bath. LOL We have to give him a tranquilizer to calm him down. This time we only gave him half a pill because last time he was drunk for a whole day. It was issued by a veterinarian.

    Garden
    Tomatoes galore !!! I’ve given some to people at work and neighbors.
    The Mrs is helping make more tomato sauce and packaging the cherry tomatoes.

    Cucumbers are about done but harvested more and making more pickles.

    Pickling more peppers.

    Vehicle

    Changed oil in 4×4 truck and filled tank. (All vehicles have full tanks)
    Filled extra 6.5 gallon gas can.

    I want one of these.. Talk about a bugout vehicle..

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WrjjV6nGh0g

    Security

    Ordered 2 parts kits for ARs

    Food
    Made 4 lbs of jerky. Puppy loves it. I make his share different.
    Made 6 quarts of pickles
    Made 4 pints of pickled peppers.

    Bought a nice ham. It is a great prepper food because you can have for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    Tara’s questions:

    1.Have you spotted poison hemlock where you live? Getting rid of it is dangerous, how did you accomplish the task?
    2.What wild and wonderful weeds are you foraging in your neck of the woods right now?
    3.What is your favorite way to use foraged weeds? Please share your favorite salve, tincture, poultice, or herbal infusion recipe.

    1. No thank God.
    2. None at this time.
    3. Smoke them… Just kidding..LOL

    Thor’s questions:

    1. Has anyone heard of/or used an EMP shield device for home or auto?

    2. Do you have a gut feeling something bad is going to happen? With the earthquakes, floods and weather?

    3. Has anyone else experienced problems with NOAA radio lately?

    4. Do you want a sherp?

    1. Thor1,

      Poor puppy. So traumatized by a bath. My old chihuahuas didn’t like baths, but they were good about going along with the program. Plus they knew treats were given afterward. My Ex’s miniature pinscher just had some fatty tumors and lymphomas removed this week. He has to wear the cone of shame for two weeks. Poor guy. He’s miserable and I’ll bet the chihuahua is laughing at him.

      Thor’s questions:

      1. Has anyone heard of/or used an EMP shield device for home or auto? I have heard of such a shield for an auto, but I’ll be darned if I remember where. I think it was something that an EE PhD wrote, a guy that TOP speaks with periodically. My mind is blank for a name.

      2. Do you have a gut feeling something bad is going to happen? With the earthquakes, floods and weather? Well, the way things have been going lately, statistically something bad will probably happen. What and where? Who knows.

      3. Has anyone else experienced problems with NOAA radio lately? No issues here, but then I don’t listen to it all of the time. I don’t listen to it in alert mode as it scares the skivvies off my granddaughter when it alerts.

      4. Do you want a sherp? Not especially. I have no use for one around here. I don’t think it’s street legal anyway. It does look like a pretty cool machine for running around in the wilderness.

    2. Thor’s questions:
      1. Has anyone heard of/or used an EMP shield device for home or auto?
      Yes. It’s called a Faraday enclosure or euphemistically a Faraday cage; but, we all know cages are bad!!! LOL
      2. Do you have a gut feeling something bad is going to happen? With the earthquakes, floods and weather?
      No. Since we have those all of the time; but, just now have better ways to inform about them and cause the unprepared to fret & worry.
      3. Has anyone else experienced problems with NOAA radio lately?
      Not here. My station is in Columbus and generally works fine; but, with the current sunspot cycle, the VHF bands are somewhat crazy and propagation is sometimes very looong. VHF ham radio is generally a local phenomenon; but, recently I’ve talked to stations hundreds of miles away when there is an opening. Likewise, I’ve heard NOAA weather out of Pittsburg (200+ miles east) and Indianapolis (175 miles west). It’s just normal VHF & UHF communications based on the sunspot cycle.
      4. Do you want a sherp?
      I have no idea? LO

        1. Thor1,

          Top, do you think this could actually work?

          The guy in the video says he isn’t an expert, and that becomes obvious as he explains things, like the unit being tested to 90,000 volts. That’s a nice fact; but, really irrelevant for this circumstance where rise time (speed) of the transient protection is the important thing. When he talks about civilian” surge protection he mentions a UL standard (14-49) when compared to the MIL Specification 188125-1 that means little to most people;but, is somehow</strong better or “way stronger” in his words. The company spent 4 years and created patents to invent the device, all just fluff IMHO. He does however show a generator that looks surprisingly like mine. LOL
          His portable version of the shield looks surprisingly like most transient protected outlet strips, because within a few minor limits, it is. He also mentions the the unit will have to be repaired with a lightning strike; but, will survive multiple EMPs. An interesting concept & warranty for a device that may only operate once at the end of civilization.
          I really hate nontechnical people trying to half fast explain technical things; but, that being said, I think the device has merit and I’ve actually been looking at it for my home. I don’t think an EMP can affect my generator based on how it’s installed and the additional protection I’ve been adding ;but, making sure the transfer switch and other things are protected from outside transients is the important thing.
          Using transient protection at the meter (Type 1) or the breaker box (Type 2) along with outlet strips throughout the house (Type 3) are about the best we can do; but, for the Type 2 for the incoming line from the meter base, this device looks pretty good. I haven’t looked at it from the point of vehicle protection; but, in theory, if the devices in the unit can react fast enough; it has a good chance of doing what they claim.
          Any kind of protection should be layered. Just as soft body armor is better than a T-shirt, adding a plate makes it better yet, and inside a concrete structure even better. The old ”Two is one and one is none” still applies.

          1. And Thor1,
            If you watched the entire video, Ron gives you a way to get $50.00 off your order of an EMP Shield device. I contacted him & he sent me the information, so this will help.
            Thanks.

  8. Hemlock and wild parsnips popping up all over Ohio was one of the discussion topics at our monthly ham radio club breakfast this morning; but, like the various poisonous snakes in Ohio, we should take note of it and not panic. From what little research I’ve done, topical contact is much like poison ivy and may make one more photosensitive; but, to this Hazel Eyed, phosphorescent white skin, used to have reddish hair guy, that is something I already take precautions about.

    Auddie LOVES plants. She can identify more plants than many adults that I know, and she is only three and a half years old.

    This kind of education is another great reason to be raised in a rural setting and reminds me of an open house a local farm had for Christmas years ago. The DW & DD were off around the farm doing something and I was hanging out at the petting zoo helping kids who had come to the farm by bus from the inner city. One little guy, perhaps 5-6 years old pointed at a goat and asked if it was a cow (it did have horns LOL). I told him it was a goat an coaxed him over to pet the critter, which he reluctantly did. A bit later his mother came for him and had to pry him loose from hugging that little goat.

    She loves picking wild carrots – or Queen Anne’s lace – as city folks call them. They and wild yarrow, are two non-lethal lookalikes to poison hemlock.

    As you probably know, the hairy stem is one of the keys telling the difference; but, it seems that now, one needs to take time when foraging for what once was easy pickings.

    Please, fellow preppers, check your property for poison hemlock

    We’ll be doing that and destroying it when we find it.

    Tara’s Questions
    1. Have you spotted poison hemlock where you live? Getting rid of it is dangerous, how did you accomplish the task?
    We haven’t yet looked; but, if we find it we’ll chop it up, lay the pieces in the sun to dry and put them in our dumpster. One should not burn these or other plants like poison ivy, since the smoke contains the irritant and may be inhaled.
    2. What wild and wonderful weeds are you foraging in your neck of the woods right now?
    Currently nothing except some berries.
    3. What is your favorite way to use foraged weeds? Please share your favorite salve, tincture, poultice, or herbal infusion recipe.
    We don’t do much of this; but, cayenne pepper in A&D ointment works for topical pain relief.
    4. What did you do to prep this week?
    See below.

    TOP’s question
    1. The British Oil Tanker Heritage was carrying petroleum for BP (British Petroleum) when it came under threat from Iranian (IRIG) gun boats at which point the British Frigate HMS Montrose leveled her guns on the IRIG who backed off. Would it be a good idea for the UAE to construct a canal (ala Panama) from the Gulf of Oman to the Persian Gulf and bypass the Strait of Hormuz, do you think it could be profitable for the UAE?
    2. Joe & Jill Biden made more than $12,000,000 in the past few years and ran the income through an S-Corp to save taxes. Is Joe a hypocrite and does he stand a chance in the Democrat primary against all of the bomb throwing socialists that are running.

    This week we acquired and did the following.
    1. Three 59 oz bottles Arizona sweet tea with lemon from Dollar Tree
    2. Six 6 oz bags of cheddar popcorn from Dollar Tree. When my kid sister was visiting a few weeks ago, she turned us on to this.
    3. Six pack of paper towels
    4. Paid off our ZT Mower. It was 0% interest; but, this helps the monthly cash flow by nearly $150.00 and eliminates one unnecessary payment, allowing us to hit another harder.
    5. Received a Aduro 20,000mAh Dual USB Powerbank from woot.com
    6. Received a high gain outdoor Antenna HDTV Amplified from wish.com
    7. Ordered an ong 9800M /300000 M night vision monocular from wish.com to try.
    8. I had a huge heavy (200 pounds?) 32 inch glass CRT computer monitor taking up space. BLACK came over, and simply picked it up, took it down the stairs, and out to one of the buildings. He’s a big guy @ 6’ 8” or so and stronger than I’ve ever been. He really saved me on getting rid of that old; but, once expensive piece of Junque. I may use it in the outbuilding or finally scrap it.
    9. Placed our summer fill propane order @ a total of $1.05 per gallon for around 1400 gallons. This is the best price we’ve seen in years.
    10. Installed the ”Atomic Beam Sun Blast” solar LED motion security light on the house. It works great and I will be getting another for the new building.
    11. Our new out building has been delivered. It’s been set in place and now all I need to do is install shelving, workbench, wiring and the wood stove. When it arrived, the spot where it was to be placed had some limbs from a tree that were too low. The delivery guy used my pole saw to trim them down. I tried that earlier; but, I’m just too short. You may see him trimming the tree, and setting the 14×24 foot building onto its foundation. Here: http://www.theohioprepper.org/NewBuilding , and now the real work begins.

    1. TOP’s questions

      1. The British Oil Tanker Heritage was carrying petroleum for BP (British Petroleum) when it came under threat from Iranian (IRIG) gun boats at which point the British Frigate HMS Montrose leveled her guns on the IRIG who backed off. Would it be a good idea for the UAE to construct a canal (ala Panama) from the Gulf of Oman to the Persian Gulf and bypass the Strait of Hormuz, do you think it could be profitable for the UAE?

      A canal is an interesting idea as the Straight of Hormuz is definitely a serious choke point. But I don’t think a canal would get used if Iran changed it’s ways and Hormuz wasn’t a danger area any more. A canal you have to pay a toll for doesn’t cut enough mileage off the trip if you can use Hormuz for free, unlike what the Panama or Suez canals can save.

      2. Joe & Jill Biden made more than $12,000,000 in the past few years and ran the income through an S-Corp to save taxes. Is Joe a hypocrite and does he stand a chance in the Democrat primary against all of the bomb throwing socialists that are running.

      Of course Biden is a hypocrite for playing money shuffling games to save taxes. He’s a liar and a do as I say, not as I do socialist as well. I don’t think he will make it through the primaries. I can’t say who will win as its too early to make a guess.

      1. Zulu 3-6,

        A canal is an interesting idea as the Straight of Hormuz is definitely a serious choke point. But I don’t think a canal would get used if Iran changed it’s ways and Hormuz wasn’t a danger area any more. A canal you have to pay a toll for doesn’t cut enough mileage off the trip if you can use Hormuz for free, unlike what the Panama or Suez canals can save.

        That’s kind of my thought; but, I was looking at the map of the area and trying to come up with a question, and it just looked like a very obvious thing to consider. As for Iran, they have been a belligerent state since they were called Persia, and their tiff with us goes back 40 years, so I have little hope of the straits being unmolested anytime soon.
        Considerations like this come to me on occasion and it’s good to have a place to occasionally discuss them.

        Of course Biden is a hypocrite for playing money shuffling games to save taxes. He’s a liar and a do as I say, not as I do socialist as well. I don’t think he will make it through the primaries. I can’t say who will win as its too early to make a guess.

        My money, my crossed fingers, and prayers are on Trump winning.

    2. Top,

      1.It might be cheaper to put security guards on board ships. AT4s and 50cals.

      2. Joe is definitely a hypocrite. ALL of the Democrats have lost their minds and care little about Americans and more about their ow pockets.

      1. Thor1,

        The Iranian Navy has gunboats armed with anti-ship missiles. AT-4s and .50 cals won’t help against those. The tankers need to be protected by frigates, destroyers, or missile cruisers and aviation assets. Only they have the firepower to defend against the Iranians.

        Personally, I think the Iranians should be told that if any of their naval or aviation assets come within a set number of miles of a US naval vessel, or a US flagged cargo vessel, it will be considered an act of aggression and immediate defensive measures will be taken. Then it has to be done when the Iranians inevitably test the ultimatum.

          1. Thor1,

            Once they sink a tanker, Iran will be destroyed.

            I’ll ask you what I’ve asked many students in my classes who want to try something not recommended.
            ””are you willing to be the test case” or in this case, the guy on the ship that get sunk.

          2. Thor1,

            Part of the problem with putting heavily armed security on ships is that many companies won’t do it for fear that their crews will be hurt or killed in the crossfire. Their insurance rates go up too.

            Another issue is many of the countries they go to will not allow them to have those kinds of weapons aboard in port. Some even fuss over limited numbers of small arms.

            Another is, how many guards does it take to secure one of those big tankers against a boarding attempt by relatively well-trained personnel in multiple boats? We’re not talking about Somali pirates with rusty AKs and RPGs that don’t always go off. What if they also bring troops in a helo to fast rope to the deck while boat crews assault from multiple points? Look at how easily the Royals took that Iranian tanker with a helo and some boats. Granted, they weren’t opposed, but do you think that would have mattered against those guys? The violence of their assault would go from zero to sixty in about two seconds. And those guys were regular Marine Commandos, not one of the really high speed-low drag outfits like the Special Boat Service or SAS.

          3. Zulu 3-6,
            Your analysis on insurance and firearms restrictions are quite on point.

            Look at how easily the Royals took that Iranian tanker with a helo and some boats. Granted, they weren’t opposed, but do you think that would have mattered against those guys?

            The only thing that might have changed the outcome is if all Iranians are suicidal, at which point they could scuttle the ship and set her ablaze. They definitely at least risked that with the ships of other countries when they set those limpet mines a while back.

            The violence of their assault would go from zero to sixty in about two seconds. And those guys were regular Marine Commandos, not one of the really high speed-low drag outfits like the Special Boat Service or SAS.

            The point is that Iranians should start to realize that they have not yet seen “Shock & Awe”

    3. TOP, love the building, and wishing I had room for something similar at my place! Do you already have a wood stove for the building?

      1. Jean,

        TOP, love the building, and wishing I had room for something similar at my place!

        We have lots of room; but, have just slowly been saving for items like these since we pay in cash. Our only debt is our current car payment, to be completed this year, some medical bills (thank you Obamacare) and some student loans the DD will soon be taking off our hands.

        Do you already have a wood stove for the building?

        No; but, we have numerous vendors (TSC, Rural King, Ace, Home Depot, Lowes) that all have the little cast iron box stoves I’m looking for in the $200-300 range and I already have the chimney material ready to install.
        We could just wait for the yearly 15% coupon from TSC though. LOL
        This stove will be used to take off the chill in the building; but., primarily as a heat source for making maple syrup next spring.
        The building will be for storage, workshop & sugar shack.

        1. And BTW Jean,
          My building is 14 x 24 feet; but, they make them 32 & 36 feet in length also and as small as 12 x 12, so you might be able to size the building for your space.
          We considered a longer building; but, with the two barns of about 40×40, plus lofts in one and a 2nd floor in the other, we think this one will better meet our needs and budget.
          The 14 foot maximum is to allow then to be hauled on the road as a trailer.
          They brought this one about 25 miles from the factory where they are constructed by hand. I suspect you have something similar in your area.

    4. TOP – I’ve wondered how to tell the difference between poison hemlock and Queen Anne’s Lace but had not had time to research it. Thanks for the info.

  9. I’m still learning about herbs, and wild weeds, my husband took a photo of mushrooms, that looked like they had a nipple in the middle of it they are dark and light grey I don’t know the size because of a picture and told him do not pick it or touch it, until I see it in person and find out what it is I use a mask and gloves or just leave it be. We have a book on weeds, for our area which is a great help check a local bookstore, to see if you have a book colored pictures are best to give you correct answers.

    I bought 2 cases of water, and nothing else this week. I have been picking raspberries, my neighbor, will be sharing extras with me as I want to make a liqueur with them. I have about 3 more weeks until my Chocolate Liqueur is done and can’t wait to try that. Apricots, are out so I’ll buy some to make Apricot jam, this upcoming week.

    Have a nice weekend everyone 🙂

  10. TOP, nice building! If i lived nearer, i would bring my tools and do some landscaping for you! Every fall, you will need to have someone rake the leaves off the new building, so they wont rust the roof. I love the color.

    On other prepping notes, just playing catch-up in the garden. Finally got it weeded and tilled. Harvested the first tomatoes and cukes. Found volunteer watermelons and cantaloupe. Its been hot so i nap in the afternoon. Made 60 apple pies for my friends’ deli, and am catching up on clients and radio stuff before my mission trip to Lawrence MA on the 23rd-Aug 1 (Overwatch, I’m gonna email you later today). Prayers for the pack, and for the US. (I think someone needs to give those Democrat puppies a good whipping and send them to bed without supper!)

    1. Oh, i did manage to gather and process enough blackberries to make 8 half pints of Blackberry jam. I also figured out why my jam doesnt gel, despite the use of pectin- – im not cooking it long enough! Ive always been afraid of overcooking, so lets see what i can do with a 20 min cook time. None of there ipes had a time suggestion, i finally looked it up on the interwebz.

    2. Babycatcher,

      TOP, nice building! If i lived nearer, i would bring my tools and do some landscaping for you! Every fall, you will need to have someone rake the leaves off the new building, so they wont rust the roof. I love the color.

      The roof will be fine, since the peak is only 11.5 feet and the roof will easily hold my weight to clean it off. I have a small solar system I plan to mount up there yet this summer. We have to go on top of the machinery shed to the left (our garage) to clean off things already. Next steps are a workbench and some minimal wiring of lights and a few outlets.

      As for the color the DW selected those, since I really don’t care and like they say: ”If mama ain’t happy” LOL

      I think someone needs to give those Democrat puppies a good whipping and send them to bed without supper!.

      You must be a typical mean conservative wanting people beaten and starved, which when put that way actually sounds rather bad, even if I do agree. LOL

    3. Email away girl! When in Lawrence, bring a gun. Learning Spanish wouldn’t hurt, either. Their “embattled” (indictment’s in the mail) former mayor had campaign signs that said he was running for “Alcalde”.

    1. Update

      It wasn’t an EMP, it was a cyber attack. Most of the infected computers have been replaced. Iranian terrorists may be on the loose in NYC….

      1. Thor1,
        Your video link no longer contains a video and according to Consolidated Edison it was a transformer fire taking out power for Manhattan. This affected the lighting, elevators and the subway system; but, power was restored in about 4 hours.
        Another reason to never live in a large city.

          1. Thor1,

            Top, a cyber attack on the control network couldn’t cause transformer fire

            We can never say Never!!; but, it is highly unlikely, since individual field elements such as transformers, capacitors, inductors, and switches generally have built in electrical or mechanical safeguards, that operate independent of PLC’s and other computer controls.
            Compare it to the breaker or fuse in the electrical box of your house. If you overload it, it trips or burns out, breaking the connection and the current flow with no computer involved and thus is not hackable.
            When you consider the age, the vintage, the location, and the duty cycle of the power system in a place like NYC, it is more likely a maintenance issue where an old component, in this case a transformer, has simply failed due to age & wear.
            If for instance, as your new Jeep gets older, it is operated so often out of necessity that there is no time to rotate the tires, change the oil, or keep the brakes in good order, it will eventually fail. For the Jeep you either don’t drive for a day or so while maintenance is performed or you drive a second vehicle; however, in the case of the NYC power grid, taking it down long enough to perform basic component maintenance places thousands of people in the dark, so it seems that the inevitable failures like this, often become their only way to perform maintenance.
            Con Edison is a regulated utility that can do nothing right. Turn things off for maintenance and they are wrong, wait until things break and force the issue, and they are wrong, ask for a rate increase for adding redundancy, newer vintage equipment, and layers of protection and they are not only wrong; but, people scream about being fleeced with the local politicians joining them.
            And do recall that the Consolidated Edison company is named after it’s founder, Thomas Alva, who has been dead since 1931, so that can give you an idea of the age of some of the equipment.
            Unlike most people on this forum, they expect to be taken care of at all times and get upset if something in the complex network doesn’t work perfectly for a small pittance in cost.
            Finally, if you look to California’s PG&E, they are being sued for supposedly causing wildfires and at the same time having rate increases for fixing equipment stalled.
            Some days the bear eats you, no cyber attack required.

  11. Here’s an easy way to identify wild carrot (Queen Anne’s Lace) —

    It will have a tiny flower in the center that will be purple in color and shaped like a butterfly.

    It’s toxic counterparts do not.

    1. Carolbama,

      Here’s an easy way to identify wild carrot (Queen Anne’s Lace) —
      It will have a tiny flower in the center that will be purple in color and shaped like a butterfly.
      It’s toxic counterparts do not.</blockquote
      While that might work if the flower head is intact, a more reliable way is to look at the stem. Poison hemlock has a stem that is hairless and has purple blotches. Even a very young poison hemlock will display the purple blotching. The stem of Queen Anne's lace OTOH does not have purple blotches and is hairy.

  12. Sent a small trailer load of junk to the dump (things I couldn’t/wouldn’t put in either my car or the regular trash can). It cost me $50 but that included $39 for the fee and the rest for gas or.coffee or whatever.
    Got the chicken canned 29 1/2 pints and 15 pints. Had a little bit of beef so canned 3 1/2 pints and a 4 oz jar.
    Still working to get the house ready to sell and that is one reason for canning.
    Picked up some more canning supplies and stocked up on the cat’s food which lost a pound and gained a $1 – inflation has struck.

    1. JP,

      Life straw filters are on sale for $9.89 for the 1st 2 – TODAY – July 15th! Prime Day deal.

      I currently have about6 of the Alexapure Survival Spring versions; but, I purchased two of these at that price. I heard this morning that this item was the hottest selling U.S. item for Prime Day this year. Perhaps that means more people are starting to pay attention.

  13. I made an unexpected discovery today. I store gasoline, with double STABIL, for two years at a stretch, then recycle it. In 1996, I missed two jugs and it has been three years since it was recycled. It smelled normal, so I put it in my truck and haven’t had any problems with it. I am not recommending this, but after SHTF, this may be useful info. I was really surprised and had expected to find varnish. Not so – just good gasoline.

    1. Hi BillyT,

      The guy that lived up in Canada, I think, that was sharing his adventures on the other site, mentioned something about storing gasoline, but I can’t remember what it was. Good information. Thanks for sharing.

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