What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 54: July 21st – July 27th 2019

three sisters stew

Hey Pack. It sure has been a hot one on our survival homestead this week. I just looked at the thermometer and it is 108 degrees. I doubt I will get Bobby to work in the garden with me until dang near dusk.

This week I made soup from scratch for the very first time. Did I ever mentioned that I used to be a feral wife? I am an excellent cook outdoors, but not so much in the actual kitchen. Besides, I don’t like soup. The last time I had soup was chicken and stars when I was about eight years old and came home from school with a cold.

But, I knocked it out of the park on my very first try – or so I was told… I didn’t eat any of my own soup. I made Three Sisters stew with chunks of bone in ham I had smoked several days ago. The one thing I know for sure is that my kitchen smelled absolutely delicious.

The stew is chock full of nutrients, good carbs, and is shelf-stable for up to five years (in my opinion) when water bath canned.

Two of the grandkiddos and I also did a lot of forest school fun learning sessions after they helped with morning livestock turnout and general barnyard chores. They now grab their plant, weed, and bug books off of my kitchen table each morning and run out to the Polaris Ranger ready to go have an adventure.

The flower we are learning more about this week during our wildcrafting lessons is chicory. Auddie’s absolutely favorite color is purple, so she was the one to spot the healing weed first after our indoor and sitting learning session.

Our garden is coming along nicely, considering how late it was put in after all the months of record rainfall, and now such intense heat and humidity. We are berry picking like crazy most evenings, and coming across a decent amount of wild grapes, as well.

The only other preps this week included yet more tractor and fence repair, and learning how to make DIY natural shower and tub cleaner. Keeping the home clean is something I definitely count as a prep.

Thwarting the spread of germs during a long-term disaster will help keep my tribe healthy. Even a small cut that becomes infected can be deadly during a SHTF scenario.

I tried three recipes, and they all worked great on shower stall grime, but the baking soda, water, and liquid dish soap paste was completely amazing, and just lifted the gunk up with barely any effort on my part what so problem.

bathroom cleaner ingredients

This Week’s Questions

  1. Do you harvest and use chicory?
  2. How is your garden growing?
  3. Do you make any natural cleaners for your home to avoid exposure to chemicals and as part of your long-term survival plan?
  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 →

74 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 54: July 21st – July 27th 2019

    1. Puppy is the funniest dog I have ever seen. He made up this game that when you turn the deadbolt, he runs around chasing his tail or bounces around. Last night he actually did the moon walk dancing… LOL

      #1 daughter, husband and grandson have finally moved out of their apartment and bought a house. I bought them a new refrigerator/freezer as a house warming gift. Yay

      Been watching a lot of canning video’s and decided to can more food.

      Canning
      Made 7 quarts of my famous 3 bean chilli (8 actually one didn’t make it to the canner) LOL
      Made 5 quarts beef stew.
      Made 2 quarts of chicken breast.

      Juicer
      Made a quart of cucumber juice. ( Good with gin or vodka)

      Garden
      Picked more tomatoes and peppers. Wow what a yield this year !!!

      Security
      Instàlled another plate in one of the plate carriers.
      Installed another molle tactical holster on that plate carrier

      Tara’s questions:

      1.Do you harvest and use chicory?
      2.How is your garden growing?
      3.Do you make any natural cleaners for your home to avoid exposure to chemicals and as part of your long-term survival plan?

      1.Not yet, but there is a lot of it around.
      2 Off the hook…..
      3. No

      Thor’s questions :

      1. Have gas prices gone up in your area yet?
      2. Have food prices gone up in your area yet? Less selection?
      3. Do you preserve any of your own food? How?
      4. Do you think the drill at the Pentagon will happen or go live?
      5. Will the straight of Hormuz be the spark that ignites WW3?

      1. Thor1:

        1. Gas prices have been pretty stable here, but being Summer my usage went up (and over) my budget for the month.
        2. Food prices have also been stable, but because of our pantry, we usually only get stuff when it’s on sale and those are fewer (at least for the things we buy).
        3. We do some preservation. SOme pressure canning, some dehydrating. I’d like to get a freeze drier, but that is not in the budget for a while.
        4. The Pentagon is ALWAYS drilling. They are always coming up with better plans to fight the last war.
        5. I think the Straights will continue to be a problem as long as Iran thinks they have influence in causing “issues”. They are going to have to make more than the US and Briton mad before we get a war.

      2. Thor’s questions :

        1. Have gas prices gone up in your area yet? Somewhat. Not out of this world yet. Seen higher in the past.

        2. Have food prices gone up in your area yet? Less selection? Prices have gone up a little on some products. Haven’t seen any reduction in selection on the stuff I get.

        3. Do you preserve any of your own food? How? No.

        4. Do you think the drill at the Pentagon will happen or go live? I don’t know what drill you are referring to. The military conducts drills of all sorts all of the time and has since I first enlisted in 1971, and before.

        5. Will the straight of Hormuz be the spark that ignites WW3? No, I don’t think so. It may cause a local kerfuffle that MIGHT involve Israel. But other than that, no WW3.

          1. Thor1,

            Those are really common drills on all military bases. At least once per year, if not more, depending on the mission of the base.

        1. Z36, you should get a dehydrator, the granddaughter would probably love apples or bananas and learn a new skill. You could even make fruit roll ups.

          I’ve been thinking of painting my kevlar helmet black to match my kneepads, elbow pads and tactical vest..

          1. Thor1,

            That dehydrator is a thought. Granddaughter loves fruit.

            You can buy cloth helmet covers in black. I have one on there now. Amazon has a selection. Make sure you get the kind for the model helmet you have. Mine is the original PASGT model.

          1. Thor1,

            LOL. That is good. People would either think you’re the baddest dude on the planet, or have you locked up and medicated.

      3. thor1,

        #1 daughter, husband and grandson have finally moved out of their apartment and bought a house. I bought them a new refrigerator/freezer as a house warming gift. Yay

        Thor’s questions :
        1. Have gas prices gone up in your area yet?
        A little; but, holding stable between $1.99 & $2.79. My propane was however the cheapest in years @ $0.959 (95.9 cents) per gallon.
        2. Have food prices gone up in your area yet? Less selection?
        Not a lot and the selections are about normal. Keep in mind that a lot of produce is grown here and we still have 300 pounds of beef plus some turkeys and hams on hand.
        3. Do you preserve any of your own food? How?
        Yes. Can (water bath & pressure), freeze, dehydrate, freeze dry and layered on as fat. LOL.
        4. Do you think the drill at the Pentagon will happen or go live?
        Hadn’t heard about a drill; but, will take a liik.
        5. Will the straight of Hormuz be the spark that ignites WW3?
        I don’t think so; but, the ”Strait of Hormuz” might give the Iranian some real trouble, since they are now picking a fight with more than just the US & Israel. Unmanned air assets along with SAS and other services could make them hurt hard & quickly.

  1. Good morning,

    I don’t use chicory but I know how. Garden is just flowers so they’re ok. I don’t worry about chemicals much but I have protective gear.

    I got my spare Glock 23 magazines in the mail. They’re standard capacity so they’re hard to come by in this Godforsaken state. I’m in the market for a pair of M-1 carbines for Mrs. Overwatch and oldest DS. Heading to LGS today to see if he’s got any. He can order them from Auto Ordnance if necessary. They’re light and easy on a beginner plus I have one with lots of 15 and thirty round mags with plenty of ammo. They pack enough of a wallop for what I want. They’ll be the go-to emergency rifle for the house should civil unrest come.

    Mrs. Overwatch is concerned about prepping more than ever. When the kids are back in school, she wants to hit the range twice a week with me. She’s been reading about current events on her websites and she sees that the country is polarizing more and more. She wants more storable FD foods so I’m getting an order together for Ready Made Resources. She can pick it up when she visits her dad in a couple of weeks with our oldest. I’ll stay here with the little guy and enjoy some R & R. In the meantime, stocking the pantry with canned goods, Parmalat, and getting ready for fall with rat poison and traps.

    Did some PM the other day on my work van and my buddy found the radiator hose was crapping out. I ran to the parts store and he replaced it for waaaay less than a roadside emergency would have cost. I felt so much better driving up to Vermont the next day for work.

    1. Overwatch:

      I have a friend from church who’s husband died a couple of years ago. She is having me sell his Glock 23. Nice gun. This one has night sights, too.

      I have had a few people traveling through MT that have stopped at our stores and gun shows and picked up a few “standard” capacity magazines and ammo. I’m not sure (and I tell them if they ask) what border inforcement is there. IMO, there shouldn’t be any as they appear to be against them.

      1. JP,

        It’s not like there are checkpoints at the state borders. Because I had and those kind of weapons prior to 1998, I’m grandfathered in. If I were to buy a new Smith & Wesson pistol that was made recently however, I would only be able to legally put 10 round magazines in it.
        There are some subtle differences on the top of the Glock magazines toward the rear end which do make the various generations distinguishable. Any of those older ones are fine. If they catch you with a new magazine however, there are legal penalties. That’s the trick. A person would have to get caught with such an accessory that the state could prove was not in the state prior to 1998. They would be charged with a crime and lose their firearms rights as a result. Not to mention fines and jail time. Prior to the ban , A lot of standard capacity magazines were brought into the state. In Massachusetts, we have a permit which is unrestricted. LTC-A, large capacity, which covers you if you have standard capacity magazines.

        I often carry a Remington 1911 in stainless steel. I practice rapid magazine changes so I don’t feel ill armed At all when I’m carrying it. Same goes for a revolver. I always carry a small frame 38J frame somewhere in addition to my main battery as a back up.

        I bought my sigsauer P226 in 1997. I paid $500 for the gun with five fifteen round magazines and A couple of holsters. I’m OK to carry that anywhere in state as well. Because of the geography of the area, I have to be cognizant of both The Massachusetts as well as neighboring states firearms laws. I do have licenses in the other states so I’m covered but I cannot carry larger capacity magazine in Connecticut. In Rhode Island, you should qualify with a 45 ACP so that you can carry anything below that. If I qualified on their range test with a 9 mm, I could only carry from 9 mm on down. In New Hampshire and Maine, anything goes. In Vermont, there is a 15 round limit.

        I have a constitutional objection to the idea of having to get a license to exercise a civil right. As I’ve said before on this forum, I don’t think some toady little bureaucrat should have the authority to tell me what I can or cannot do as a free man. I also have an objection to the states not recognizing other permits . Article 4 section 1 of the constitution mandates that they have to recognize the public acts, judicial proceedings, and public records of every other state. This is what allows your drivers license and marriage license to be recognized in the other 49 states.
        It should be the law of the land everywhere.

        1. I spent 9 of my 20 Army years in MA, although a PIA, I could deal with the restrictions. I was in Hawaii when they implemented their magazine ban, only there were no grandfather clauses. I could not take them to the range; I had to buy 10 rounders for my Beretta just to shoot.

          I got caught up in the Clinton ban; I had a Taurus 92 that would not eject the mag properly for a right handed person with any aftermarket mag I tried. I ended up spending $50 for a “standard capacity” factory magazine. Now, withing 6 months of owning a new firearm, I’ll have 6-10 spare magazines, even if they are 10 rounds or less. That’s how far I trust our “public servants” to look out for me.

          During the Sandy Hook craze, I sold off a lot of my $10-15 AR mags. I was getting $30 for aluminum, $35 for black Teflon-coated stainless steel, and $40 for Mag-pul Gen 2’s. Sold out between 1 and 4 on Friday. Wished I’d had more to sell.

          More people are killed and injured with cars than with guns, no matter what standard you use to measure it. Yet, your driver’s license is good in all 50 states, plus. Yet, I become a “menace to society” if I take my firearm out of state.

          Reminds me of Bernie Sanders giving his people $15/hour (because it’s a living wage they need), then cutting their hours, so they are now making less, and not recognizing how hypocritical it is.

          Think I’ll just stay here in “fly-over” country and watch.

          1. JP,

            spent 9 of my 20 Army years in MA, although a PIA, I could deal with the restrictions. I was in Hawaii when they implemented their magazine ban, only there were no grandfather clauses. I could not take them to the range; I had to buy 10 rounders for my Beretta just to shoot.

            Out of curiosity, when were you in Hawaii? My kid sister spent her last 9 years there @ Camp Smith on Oahu from 1999-2008. She’s now a retired O5 living in Key West. We both grew up in western PA where we did cold weather things like snow skiing; but, that girl’s blood is now so thin she starts to freeze when the temperatures hit 65°. LOL.

            More people are killed and injured with cars than with guns, no matter what standard you use to measure it. Yet, your driver’s license is good in all 50 states, plus. Yet, I become a “menace to society” if I take my firearm out of state.

            Our problem is one of simple demographics; many more people are affected by driving restrictions than firearm restrictions. The more people we can get involved, the more voices we’ll have on our side. Many people criticize the NRA for the money it spends on politics; but, the real power of the NRA is it’s 5 million plus members who can affect their friends, family, and coworkers. I once had a bumper sticker that nailed this one: ”I am the NRA and I vote” We simply need more shooters.

            Reminds me of Bernie Sanders giving his people $15/hour (because it’s a living wage they need), then cutting their hours, so they are now making less, and not recognizing how hypocritical it is.

            Hypocritical doesn’t even start to capture it.
            We need to make sure everyone knows that Bernie & his wife had their 10 day honeymoon in the Soviet Union in 1989, owns three large houses, and has earned more than $1M in some years; but, that ”technically” does not put him in the top 1%. Boo Hoo!!!

            Think I’ll just stay here in “fly-over” country and watch.

            Same here; but, it actually limits my potential travel, since we know certain countries are dangerous; but, also have to concede the same for some states.

          2. TOP:

            Hawaii was my final tour, 1992 to 1995. It’s funny, I started my career in a walled city (Berlin) and ended it in a water locked island. Although the weather was admittedly better at the last.

            In Hawaii (amd I can assume Key West to a lesser extent) you have to live your life on purpose, if you are used to seasons. I can recall have 4 months just slip away because nothing really changed.

            I’d like to go back to visit, but the politics has coupled with the cultural issues and made things a mess.

            PS. To date my “travel weapons” are a .357 trapper carbine and either my 7 or 8 shot .357 revolver. So far I have detected no problems with these weapons. There still is the carry issue.

        2. Overwatch,

          It’s not like there are checkpoints at the state borders. Because I had and those kind of weapons prior to 1998, I’m grandfathered in. If I were to buy a new Smith & Wesson pistol that was made recently however, I would only be able to legally put 10 round magazines in it.

          Perhaps you should move to a free state, like Ohio or Tennessee. LOL
          Ohio does however have a legal maximum of 31 rounds in the firearm for center fire cartridges limiting the magazine capacity to 30; however, .22 rimfire has no limit, making that 50 round drum for my Ruger 10/22’s still legally a fun thing to shoot.

          I often carry a Remington 1911 in stainless steel. I practice rapid magazine changes so I don’t feel ill armed At all when I’m carrying it. Same goes for a revolver. I always carry a small frame 38J frame somewhere in addition to my main battery as a back up.

          I also often carry a 38J frame (Stainless S&W 640) or a Charter Arms ”Off Duty that just happens to use the same speed loader.

          If I qualified on their range test with a 9 mm, I could only carry from 9 mm on down. In New Hampshire and Maine, anything goes. In Vermont, there is a 15 round limit.

          In Ohio you can qualify with any handgun and carry any and as many as you can stash on your body.
          The minimum 8 hours course actually stresses safety and understanding of the law more than shooting accuracy, and allows one to carry ”Any” handgun of your choosing including multiples.
          The only hitch in the law here is the ”Duty to inform” where you must inform a LEO you are carrying in an official encounter, such as a traffic stop. Standing in line behind a uniformed officer at the local grocery does not count for this rule.
          Building owners may put up the No Guns sign; but, ignoring that sign if you are caught only means you must vacate the premises if ordered to do so, with the exception of schools, courthouses, police / sheriff / highway patrol stations that can be a felony.

          I have a constitutional objection to the idea of having to get a license to exercise a civil right. As I’ve said before on this forum, I don’t think some toady little bureaucrat should have the authority to tell me what I can or cannot do as a free man.

          I agree; but, the reality for now is that we all must do so, unless you live in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming, with Ohio looking at this should we ever beat down the antigun media and their lies. It seems to be a trend that’s gaining favor.

          I also have an objection to the states not recognizing other permits . Article 4 section 1 of the constitution mandates that they have to recognize the public acts, judicial proceedings, and public records of every other state. This is what allows your drivers license and marriage license to be recognized in the other 49 states.

          Ohio currently has ”honored”</strong or reciprocity with 25 states that cover anywhere I want or need to be, with our A.G. working on others; however, reciprocity for states with no carry laws doesn’t mean much, until those citizens demand their rights back.

    2. Overwatch,
      While I don’t currently have an M1 carbine, they have always been a rifle I liked and are on the list along with perhaps my first Glock, later this year.
      I had a friend years ago that had a Ruger Blackhawk chambered in 30 carbine, and he claimed that handgun would turn groundhogs into big blue balls of vapor. Other than the color, I suspect he was right.

          1. TOP,

            I’ve got an M-1 carbine made by IBM. The wooden stock that came with it was a replacement stock issued by the old West German Border Police. A friend who was a firearms history expert could tell by the markings on the stock and he knew that the US provided a large supply of surplus M-1 carbines to the West Germans for police use. The IBM-made gun I have was manufactured March – May 1944 per serial number lookup.

            I haven’t shot it since shortly after I bought it in 1989 for $100.00. A bunch of 20 and 30 round mags came with it, as did several hundred rounds of ammo. It shot nice enough, but I’m a little biased against the gun as some WWII vets I knew (including my father) thought it was a ballistically poor rifle. Many who were issued it, scrounged up M-1 Garands to carry instead.

        1. My M1 carbine was made in 1939. I love it, but it does have to be thoroughly and regularly cleaned to avoid jams, probably due to wear. $300 in about 2002, would be closer to $800 today.

          1. Billy T,

            If your M-1 was made in 1939, it must have been a prototype as it was still in development then. The US military didn’t approve a standardized M-1 carbine for issue until October 1941.

            Try this site to lookup your manufacturer and serial number to get an approximate manufacture date.

            http://uscarbinecal30m1.com/ProductionGraph.aspx

    1. You didn’t miss me, IMO. The way up, now. I should be calling you when we stop for lunch, within the next hour or so.

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

    Bought a new chin strap for my Kevlar helmet. Actually, it’s new, but retro. My helmet was one of the first issue k-pots and it didn’t have a four-point suspension like the new ones do. I had an aftermarket four-point on it for about 20-years, but it just doesn’t feel right anymore, so I’m going back to the original type. Darned if I know what happened to the old one.

    Also bought six more Mountain House freeze dried food pouches. My monthly purchase.

    Bought a nice folding camping saw for my general preps. Can’t have a chain saw, but this is the next best thing for apartment living. I already have one in my BOB, but I don’t want to invade the BOB if I don’t have to. One is none, etc.

    Got two pair of Surefire Sonic Defenders EP-4 ear plugs. One set for my tac vest, the other for my range bag. They seem to work quite well. I don’t plan to wear them alone when shooting on the range, I’ll stick my electronic muffs over the top. However, I can fit the connector for my radio earpiece into either ear plug by removing one of the parts. Reduces the hearing protection a bit, however.

    We’re having a cold snap here in Florida. Temps only in the high 80s, occasionally 90-91. But quite humid though. I’m waiting for the native-born Floridians to start wearing jackets if it gets into the low 80s. Still no tropical activity that affects me. Quite alright with me if we get a pass all season long, but I am as prepped as one can be for a hurricane, I think. Been getting some rain most afternoons, sometimes at night too. Good rains for lawns and gardens, but no monsoon level downpours.

    Granddaughter has been doing well. Her potty training is also progressing very well. She is going to the can on her own more often than being reminded. She’ll run down the hall yelling “I’ve gotta go potty!” And she ain’t kidding. Still learning the early signs, I think. No accidents all week, here or at her house. 😊

    Tara’s questions:

    1. Do you harvest and use chicory? No. I have used chicory in my coffee in the past though. Does that count?

    2. How is your garden growing? No garden.

    3. Do you make any natural cleaners for your home to avoid exposure to chemicals and as part of your long-term survival plan? No, I don’t. I have a cleaning lady and she uses whatever she brings. I do have “normal” cleaning products in case I have to takeover cleaning chores. I do wash my own dishes daily and prefer to use Dawn dish soap.

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

      1. Thor 1,

        Gasoline powered things are a no-no in my complex. I could get an electric one, but that wouldn’t do much good in a grid down situation. I don’t plan on cutting a lot of timber anyway as my body won’t put up with it.

        1. Zulu 3-6,,

          Bought a nice folding camping saw for my general preps. Can’t have a chain saw, but this is the next best thing for apartment living. I already have one in my BOB, but I don’t want to invade the BOB if I don’t have to. One is none, etc.

          Doesn’t that Off Grid Tools survival axe have a fold out saw?
          Mine is a bit flimsy; but, works OK.
          I have numerous chainsaws; but, the little 10 inch Ryobi ONE+ battery version is perhaps my favorite (and my newest).
          With a small solar panel system you should be able to keep those batteries charged and have other tools that use the same batteries.

          1. TOP,

            Yeah, that tool does have a fold out saw blade, but its a little too flimsy to cut more than a small tree branch. The camping saws are much sturdier, especially the one I just got.

    1. Zulu 3-6:

      I too, will being in a few pouches of freeze dried meals. I works well for singles and couples. I want to have the ability to eat, for the 1st 30 days of an “event”, without having to “cook” anything. My thought is to keep down the unprepared that smell it.

      1. JP in MT,

        I do plan to cook some stuff and use the freeze-dried stuff as an occasional change of pace meal. A couple of times a week sort of thing. I have over 60 pouches now that I have been collecting willy-nilly. Not counting the few in my BOB.

    2. Zulu 3-6:

      The DW and I have Walker (rechargeable) ear plugs for the range and stuff. I’ve been thinking of getting 2 more for the house, in case we have a kurfuffle here (I like that word).

      1. JP in MT,

        I stopped just using my electronic muffs of the range. I use both plugs and the muffs now. My hearing is screwed up enough as it is from gunfire, explosions, and jet noise. However, realistically, if a kerfuffle 😉 happens around here, I will likely just wear the plugs if outdoors. I can still hear conversations with them on (or, at least as well as I can without my hearing aids). Additionally, I can’t wear my helmet with the muffs.

        1. Zulu 3-6:

          The Walker’s go around your neck, the plugs come out the end. They are a lot like the Bluetooth headphones I see people with. With these I can wear any hat, glasses, or even extra muffs.

      2. JP,

        The DW and I have Walker (rechargeable) ear plugs for the range and stuff. I’ve been thinking of getting 2 more for the house, in case we have a kurfuffle here (I like that word).

        Hadn’t heard of those earplugs but I’m looking at them.
        And I also like odd words like kerfuffle.

        1. TOP and JP in MT,

          I looked at those Walker ear plugs. They look really nice, but more than I want to pay for them. My electronics muffs are Walker’s.

          1. Zuku 3-6:

            Yes, at $90/pair they can get expensive. We are however going to start paying for professional firearms training, so spending extra on stuff we can use in MT and NV, regardless of weather, actually is cheaper, IMO.

          2. JP in MT,

            It’s a good plan to have top quality gear if you’re going to get top quality training. I’ve already had extensive firearms training, so I just brush up at the range.

          3. Zulu 3-6,

            My electronics muffs are Walker’s.

            My first electronic muffs were Peltor @ about $160.00 in the early 1990’s.
            My current ones are Guide Gear, from Sportsman’s Guide, were around $20.00 and work quite well.

    3. Your potty training stories made me giggle. At least once a day I have a grandchild rush in the back door from playing between their cabin and our house shouting the same thing. A younger tribe member cleans for us once or twice a week – leaves me time for the more fun outdoor chores. She is now great at mixing up my natural home cleaners if I’m running low. Still have to do reminders not to use a scouring pad on my cast iron. All of my natural home cleaners, including the ones for wood or leather are super cheap to make and work amazingly well, even the soap scum shower cleaner. All the base ingredients for everything are some combination of : white vinegar, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, olive oil, coconut oil, blue Dawn, essential oils, lemon juice, vodka, or borax.

      1. Tara,

        Kids learning the basics can be a lot of fun, except the cleaning up their accidents on occasion. My Ex and I got spoiled with #1 daughter taking to potty training like a pro and being 100% out of diapers at 15-months.

        The other kids were nowhere near that fast.

  3. The questions, no, it’s dead, no.

    Yesterday the well drillers finished my new well. Monday the company will come and install a 1 hp submersible pump and new tank. I went down to my brother’s place and got an old fiberglass aerator he had. The well is 150 ft deep and here that means smelly sulfur water. Also the sulfur combines with oxygen to form sulfuric acid that corrodes mirrors and the coils on air conditioners and refrigerators. My job today will be cleaning it out and replacing the screen that allows air to flow through the top of the tank and carry off the sulfur gas.

    Working on my boat motor’s tilt system has been training to sharpen my mechanicing skills and reading comprehension, I found out just because all the hydraulic cylinders you have fixed before used O rings to seal the rod cap doesn’t mean outboard tilt systems do. That brown square edged seal in the pack is what was supposed to go in there. I had looked at a photo of the seals posted in a boat forum and still didn’t believe it. Thinking the cap must be damaged I spent $80 on a new one. I hate to send things back so I will just use it. One man on the forum had complained he was positive he had those seals in right and his still leaked so I will use that as a good reason to keep it. I could put the right seal in the old one and see if it works but I really do not want to take that thing apart again if I don’t have to.

  4. This Week’s Questions

    1. Do you harvest and use chicory? No, that I know of we don’t have any.
    2. How is your garden growing? Even what we had planned to grow in pots and on the purch got put off (again).
    3. Do you make any natural cleaners for your home to avoid exposure to chemicals and as part of your long-term survival plan? Have not explored this option yet.
    4. What did you do to prep this week? Well …

    Our cash reserve sure took a beating this month. Truck repairs, house repairs, trailer repairs, increased fuel usage, weapon upgrades, new weapons (on me, but good deals), and other items that come along just because it is Summer and July (seems to happen every year), have really eaten into my reserves. But that’s why they are there. Debt still went down, so that’s good. We were talking about this and saying that’s why we have them, and they can be refilled – and usually are, between “issues” and we overall make progress year-to-year. We are also refilling/adding to our reserves of food, ammo, and tools.

    AC compressor went out on the truck. It ended up needing a compressor and condenser, now puts out 36 degree air!. I usually only use it during the summer and as I get older, the AC is a must.

    I think I finally found me a gunsmith. I took in an older S&W .22lr revolver. The side plate needed to be blued and the double action trigger pull was just ugly. He found a part missing and did all the work and bluing for under $100. I’m very happy.

    Lost my van, house, and church key ring on Wednesday. The real bummer is the key-included remote fob is about $165. Thursday, I replaced the house’s front door lock, had 2 spares made, and ordered a new fob-key for the van. Then the DW came home – she found where they came out of my pocket and ended up on the back seat! I am going to go ahead and get the fob-key next month – 1) I should have a spare and 2) the old one is starting to fail.

    Got my 3rd try to get a holster for my Glock 17/Glock 19 w/threaded barrel. Still keeps coming in too short (G19 slide size). Got a note out to the manufacturer. He replied and I got the special instructions to order what I want; so, trying again.

    This weekend we are doing inventory/reorganizing/date searching our prep room. Still have things that need to be gone through. Some things to be moved from variable temperature areas and others that need to be moved to temperature stable areas. It goes on.

    One of our dual directional window fans is dying. And this late in the season they are hard to find. One year I’ll have a spare in the garage for this (we use 5) as this is how we cool off the house in the summer (small AC in the bedroom only).

    Received: trap clamps for the trailer awning; a specialty wrench for gun work; Book: Prewrath Rapture of the Church (Pre-Wrath not Pre-Trib); ammo; small clip boards for inventory stacks;

    1. You have had a busy week! Next rainy day we are delving into updating our inventory list and rotating items. A tedious but essential chore.

  5. JP, who was the manufacturer of the threaded barrel? I have one on my G17 from lone wolf. Its a match grade and also have a compensated match grade barrel. It has a laser etched wolf or puppy on it. LOL

  6. Hi Everyone,

    Had a reprieve on the weather this week. For a couple of days, very low humidity. It was feeling like fall… almost. Now back to the heat and humidity, but not in the 100’s as it was the first part of the week.

    Was very sick on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week. Throat was swollen, white patches in the back of my throat, could hardly swallow and coughing almost non-stop. Gargled with salt water, sprayed CS, gargled with ACV. The ACV helped the best this go round. 1-3 tsps in 8oz of warm water. Thought it was Strep, and finally gave in, and went to the doctor on Wednesday. She said that is was all allergy related. Who would have thunk? I’ve not had allergy issues except when it’s really bad out there. Usually unphased by it. Well, the NP said it’s been the worse in 50 years. She’s been practicing for 25 years. And when she has to come to my town, she said she has to take twice the Zyrtec and Elderberry capsules. Go figure. What is going on in my part of the world???? Anyway, the steroid shot had worked well by the end of the day… And I have to take Zyrtec everyday for a while since the Golden Rod will be coming out soon.
    I have a runny nose today, even though I took the Zyrtec last nite… This is getting annoying. Just wondering what could be done if there were no docs around? Still pondering that one.

    Finished dehydrating the mangoes, took some stuff to the thrift store, delivered some Thatsa bowls that I had bought for a friend and gave her some old cereal for her chickens.

    Publix – bought some laundry soap, M&M’s BOGO, Coca-Cola in the bottle, pH balanced bottled water also BOGO.

    FBMP – bought 7 cases of pint jars, 3 gas cans, 5 dozen silver queen corn to can, 1 Sweet Gem watermelon.

    Took a broken chair to the person I bought the gas cans from, so he could fix the seat.

    Still working on organizing.

    Prayers for healing for those that need it, for The President and for America. Food prices are going up, and none to buy. Best stock up while we can.

    Tara’s questions:

    1. Do you harvest and use chicory? No.

    2. How is your garden growing? Picked some more cukes and tomatoes. Ate a delicious tomato sandwich last night.

    3. Do you make any natural cleaners for your home to avoid exposure to chemicals and as part of your long-term survival plan? Would like to make some with Meleluca oil, but haven’t do so yet.

        1. AT, it worked for the pirates. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum….LOL

          Think of all the things they were exposed to in different lands and bad sea’s.

    1. Almost There,

      Well, the NP said it’s been the worse in 50 years. She’s been practicing for 25 years. And when she has to come to my town, she said she has to take twice the Zyrtec and Elderberry capsules. Go figure.

      I’ve seen the same thing here. I have never had allergies; but, this year I get the occasional running nose for no particular reason, other than high pollen count from all of the rain. It’s been the perfect year for growing nasty weeds.

      What is going on in my part of the world????

      Nothing special about your area, since we’re seeing the same thing here as are friends and family back in western PA.

      Still working on organizing.

      So are we. I have come to consider it a never ending task.

    2. Meleluca oil is awesome stuff. Dehydrated mangoes sound delicious. I just harvested a bunch of goldenrod yesterday to make salve and tincture. Lots of the time folks think it’s goldenrod they are having an allergic reaction to but it’s actually the more plain looking ragweed that tends to grow with it and doesn’t stand out to the eye as much. But, some folks do have a really bad allergic reaction to goldenrod, including an intense skin rash. It’s great as a kidney stone and hour fighter but I don’t share it with tribe members with seasonal allergies just to be on the safe side.

    3. AT,
      What can be done indeed… takes time …and effort… Remove items one is sensitive to..or de-sensitivize body.. have to make a tincture with items are allergic to..if goldenrod is thought to be the problem, also should do ragweed tincture in same,,is safe t o do both goldenrod and ragweed, if you can positively identify.. use leaves and flowers…according to herbalist i asked. He said most people give goldenrod a bad rap, when really it is the ragweed that blooms the same time…. start with one drop 1x day for a week. grad increase..pause and titrate to your tolerance..slowly.. could take a while to get your tolerance to them built, but can keep from double doses of meds…that may not be avail long term…meinwhile stock all the ones that give you some relief… and if one stops working as well go to another one for a few days and return…. to first

  7. On the way to MA, just stopped for lunch. AT, I’m harvesting elderberries now, will b making tincture later and will bring some to you.

    1. BC, WOW… I’ll have some surprises for you too.

      Let me know the dates as soon as you know them… Was called for jury duty in Sept. Orientation at the end of August…

  8. Hi Tara, Dan, & all,

    It sure has been a hot one on our survival homestead this week. I just looked at the thermometer and it is 108 degrees. I doubt I will get Bobby to work in the garden with me until dang near dusk.

    You need to get that thermometer out of the sun, LOL.
    My sensors sit out in the open; but, receive no direct sunlight, and the hottest ambient temperature we’ve had here was 96° with overnight lows down to the mid 50’s; but, mostly in the mid 70’s.

    This week I made soup from scratch for the very first time. Did I ever mentioned that I used to be a feral wife? I am an excellent cook outdoors, but not so much in the actual kitchen. Besides, I don’t like soup. The last time I had soup was chicken and stars when I was about eight years old and came home from school with a cold.

    WOW, A feral wife? Hard to believe; but, shows that there is hope for all of us, LOL.
    I actually eat soup a few times per week; but, almost always as a side.
    One of my favorite homemade stick to your ribs soups is split pea soup, always with some ham cut up in it.
    Another good easy to make meal in the winter is hot tomatoes soup with grilled cheese sandwiches. I cut the sandwiches into triangles and dip in the soup.

    The stew is chock full of nutrients, good carbs, and is shelf-stable for up to five years (in my opinion) when water bath canned.

    What kind of soup is it that it may be water bath canned? If it doesn’t have an acid base (pH 4.6 or lower) it should never be water bath canned.

    Our garden is coming along nicely, considering how late it was put in after all the months of record rainfall, and now such intense heat and humidity. We are berry picking like crazy most evenings, and coming across a decent amount of wild grapes, as well.

    Same here on the garden; but, the berries don’t seem to be doing all that well this year either. Too much rain there also I suspect.
    We’re still contemplating planting a few seeds for things like squash and hoping for a late frost and since seeds are cheap, we have nothing to lose.

    Tara’s Questions
    1. Do you harvest and use chicory?
    We have tried it as the proverbial coffee substitute; but, no one liked it, so for now it grows unmolested.
    2. How is your garden growing?
    All in all rather well, and so far just enough rain to not have to water it; but, enough hose to do so if needed.
    3. Do you make any natural cleaners for your home to avoid exposure to chemicals and as part of your long-term survival plan?
    Keeping in mind that all cleaners, including water are ”chemicals” we use ACV, ammonia and some grit based cleansers along with <strong<”Dawn” dish soap or occasionally Orange GoJo hand cleaner.
    4. What did you do to prep this week?
    See below.

    TOP’s question
    1. Just for fun, have you seen this new Olympic training video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4mwoGoZq0g
    2. If you’ve been watching current events the integer numbers 1600 and 10 should have a meaning of international umplications. What do they represent?
    3. Did you watch the Mueller congressional hearing, and what did you think? Who were the winners? Who were the losers? Did Mueller appear confused to you?

    This week we acquired and did the following.
    1. Received a ZTS – Mini Multi-Battery Tester from Amazon. This was recommended by Almost There via her brother and Zulu has one and likes it
    2. Received two Aduro PowerUP Smart 6-Port USB Rapid Chargers from woot.com. This charger plus the battery tester in #1 above will be the final additions for the battery & device charging station.
    3. Received our yearly propane fill, for the smallest amount & cost in years, due to the new windows, doors, and insulation, along with a gentle overall winter and the best price in years. A total of 1423gallons @ $0.959 (95.9 cents) per gallon plus 7% tax or $ 1460. That’s an average cost of $122.00 per month for all of our heating, cooking, hot water, and generator usage, plus more than half the number of credit card points needed for our next free $25.00 Home Depot gift card.
    4. 10 more single serving pies from Wal-Mart. 5 pecan, 2 blueberry, and 3 cherry @ $0.50 each
    5. 24 bottle case of spring water from Aldi’s
    6. Four 38 oz bottles of AZ tea from Dollar Tree
    7. Installed and ran the first pass of PCMatic on my Windows Vista machine. It ran overnight and the machine is already running faster. Almost There recommended this and I can now join her. At $50.00 per year for 5 PC’s this is a good value; but, I paid an additional $13.00 (one time) and got the installation CDROM for convenience. I do however have one problem with it, in that one of my critical add on tool sets (Cygwin) has been disabled. I’ve contacted PCMatic about it; but, have not yet been given a solution.
    8. Received a 2-Pack of Solar LED Mosquito & Insect Traps from woot.com. This along with a string of Bug Zapper LED light bulbs and the yet to be installed bat houses should make the back yard a much more comfortable place
    9. Received a 24-Pack of Energizer Super Alkaline AAA Batteries from woot.com
    10. Received a 24-Pack of Energizer Super Alkaline AA Batteries from woot.com
    11. Joined a free online group: NAQCC (North American QRP CW Club) that will help me to get my CW (Continuous Wave or Morse code) skills back in shape.
    12. Worked with EMA at the county fair, helping to park hundreds of vehicles that came to see the tractor & truck pull. Our group has a non government, and non-profit Association that will earn some income to purchase the things the government can’t or won’t. As I stood there watching the competition coming in, I was amazed at the amount of money involved. Semi tractors or big 5th wheel trucks, hauling flatbed trailers with one or often two large tractors or a tractor and a John Deer gator or other UTV. ”Cha Ching!!!”
    13. Our neighbors brought us a box of extra pears they had in excess.

    1. TOP’s questions:

      1. Just for fun, have you seen this new Olympic training video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4mwoGoZq0g Cute. The walrus is in far better shape than me. 🙂

      2. If you’ve been watching current events the integer numbers 1600 and 10 should have a meaning of international umplications. What do they represent? No clue. Guess I haven’t been watching current events closely enough. The only thing 1600 means to me is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

      3. Did you watch the Mueller congressional hearing, and what did you think? Who were the winners? Who were the losers? Did Mueller appear confused to you? What a waste of time. Not only did Mueller seem confused, but the socialists were irritating as hell. I gave up watching after about 20-minutes. I’d rather discuss politics with my granddaughter. She makes more sense.

        1. Zulu 3-6,
          You nailed both numbers, and unfortunately, the walrus can probably do more sit ups than me, also.
          It will now be interesting to see what the new occupant of #10, Boris Johnson will do. At a young 55 and a firm hand for Brexit, things could get interesting.

    2. TOP,

      About water bathing non-acid base food. No need for a canner police. People can read up about it themselves. What did they do before we had pressure canners? It’s a rhetorical question that I don’t need an answer to. I’m a member of a canning group that someone had found an older publication, I’m sure it was before the USDA came up with their guidelines to save us from ourselves, that had the length of time for water bathing everything. I don’t know the date of the publication, but it has everything being boiled pretty much double the time if it was non-acid base. I imagine many of those people are still around today and some of the people on the site still do it that way. Again, don’t need a response and will not debate with you, but it is done and people live to tell about it. Just sayin’.

      1. Almost There & ALL,

        About water bathing non-acid base food. No need for a canner police. People can read up about it themselves.

        I’m not policing anything, just mentioning something that was stated, that I consider dangerous advice, especially to newbies. I’ve been canning for more than 50 years and everyone I knew followed the rules, since doing otherwise is dangerous, and potentially deadly.

        I don’t know the date of the publication, but it has everything being boiled pretty much double the time if it was non-acid base.

        And if there were clostridium botulinum spores in the mix, you cannot boil long enough to kill them.

        I imagine many of those people are still around today and some of the people on the site still do it that way. Again, don’t need a response and will not debate with you, but it is done and people live to tell about it. Just sayin’.

        Many are around; but, people also die from it and I mean recently.

        Ohio Botulism Outbreak: 1 Dead, 23 Hospitalized After Potluck

        https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/04/botulism-suspected-in-1-death-18-illnesses-following-ohio-church-potluck/
        AND
        Home-canned potatoes to blame for botulism outbreak
        https://www.cnn.com/2015/04/28/health/potatoes-to-blame-for-botulism/index.htm

        From the article:

        Foodborne outbreaks of botulism infecting two or more people happen almost every year, according to the CDC, and they are usually caused by home-canned foods.

        And

        According to the CDC, there are an average of 145 cases of botulism a year and 15% of them are foodborne.

        That’s 22 per year and there is only one reason for it.

        If you want to play Russian Roulette with all chambers loaded, you may do so; but, telling others it’s OK is irresponsible when the gun may easily be made safe.

    3. 1.LOL

      2. 1600 Pennsylvania ave. and Bo Derek the movie 10

      3. Mueller was evasive and the democrats were the losers. Thinking about it so are the American tax payers. 32 million dollars wasted.

      I did on the other hand figure out what’s wrong with California, its infested with Demo-rats and they are infected with the moronic plague. They have infected the whole party….LOL

    4. We are toting out garden hoses and putting a pump in the pond today to water our growing areas. From flooding to barely any rain. Ohio weather, lol

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