What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 7 – AUG 5th – 11th 2018

This was a Murphy’s Law kind of week on our survival homesteading retreat. If ever, just once, all the vehicles and equipment remain in full working order at the same time I am going to see if I can still pull off a cartwheel to celebrate!

On my way back from picking up my wedding ring from getting repaired I saw an old pickup truck stranded along the road. A biker looking woman was trying without success to stop a passerby, yet no one even slowed down. Such rude behavior is beyond odd for our neck of the woods. Perhaps it was because I was barely back across the county line and was along a state route that is traveled by far more than local traffic.

Anyway, I pulled over in our Dodge farm truck (oh, how I love that old beauty) and asked the woman if she needed some help – it was not a good cell area, to say the least. She told me that she and her “old man” ran out of gas and he was walking to the next village (In Ohio there are no “towns” you are either a city or a village and there are thankfully no cities at all in my county!) to get some gas.

The lady asked if she could get in the back of my truck and ride ahead until we came across her significant other and onto the gas station, which I said I was going to be going past anyway. I told her to climb inside the cab and we would go find her man and some fuel.

As we drove down the road she told me her boyfriend said no one would stop to pick him up unless they knew him because he was just an old country boy with long hair that people would assume was a hippie. I laughed really hard when her old man came into view and it was a cousin’s ex-husband. He is a good guy who is still considered family by our sweet cousin – and a prepper, even though he would never think to apply that label to himself, as most rural folks wouldn’t.

Anyway, when I did a semi-legal U-turn to pick him up he said the rear differential joint was going out in my truck. I had only an extremely vague idea of what that was but knew enough to grasp it sounded expensive. On the return trip back to their truck I did another semi-legal U-turn as he shouted to me a reminder to make sure and tell Bobby about the rear differential when I got home.

Well, when I pulled in Bobby and two tribe members were working on the 4-wheeler, something was wrong with it again – but it is now fixed. I asked him what a rear differential was and he did not smile while explaining. He said he didn’t know what made me think of that being wrong but it sounded fine to him. When I told him who had informed me of the issue, he immediately said to park the truck and they would climb under it – the cousin’s ex is a superb non-official mechanic.

After tinkering around a bit, it was decided the Dodge was indeed going out of service and parts needed to be ordered. I preferred to look at the situation as a positive. If I had not done a good a deed everyone passing by should have done, I wouldn’t have happened across an expert mechanic that could have saved me from a break down or an accident with grandkiddos in the truck.

The next piece of equipment to have issues was the Polaris Ranger – new starter ordered for it. Maybe for once the right part will actually arrive – law of averages… right?

Then, my dehydrator failed. It’s harvest time for goodness sakes, so not the time to be without a dehydrator – especially not one that I had just bragged about its durability during a video! I have used it hard for multiple years and it cost less than $100, so I really shouldn’t complain…yet I still uttered some words my mother would not be pleased with as we pulled useful parts from it before putting it in the trash.

Let’s see, I know more went wrong than that this week. Oh, yes, the hot tub. Yes, I know it is not a prep or essential piece of survival retreat equipment, but it was still infuriating. Actually, the water from the hot tub could be purified for use during a disaster, so I guess it really is a prep. Parts ordered for it too.

On the up side, and I refuse to ever fail to find an upside to mundane nuisances, we got a lot of trail work and wood cutting done this week. It never ceases to shock me how quickly we go from gardening and preserving right into putting up wood for the winter.

Yet, there was a mishap on that front as well. James bought a really nice new large saw to help with wood cutting. One could definitely cut down a large tree with it. The saw, which he thankfully took the full replacement plan on, stopped working after about three hours. Cleaning and changing the filter and checking a few other common problems that could cause a saw to stop working, failed as well. So, back to Home Depot it goes.

Our son-in-law’s new job allows him to bring home unreserved heavy equipment for his personal use on the weekends when it is not rented. That has been both an enormous time and money saver.

Stockpiling Logs for the Winter

Bobby did some leveling work into the barn and pole barn area to help with water drainage and leveled out the entrance to the “Oh S**t” trail – I named it that for a reason. That particular trail work was recreational in part, sure, but it also will allow us to reach the furthest right side of our properly quickly and get us up to a vantage point that shows the entire valley and roadway below. We will be making a second LP/OP in that area and buy some more caches up there now.

James (SIL) also worked on the trail out to Mad Dog Drop. I named that trail about Matty last year after he created and worked on it. Partly because he did the work and definitely because one had to be “mad” to go out on that steep trail – but what fun it was! Mad Dog Drop leads to the rock formation that will be used as a primary LP/OP and sniper roust during a long-term disaster. The person or people in the spot can remain entirely secluded while still getting a clear view all the way down to the creek crossing a few hundred feet into the beginning of our driveway from the road.

Bobby also worked on making a “road” back into Brea and James’ building site. It is still rough, but now James will be able to get the bulldozer back in there when he brings it home from work next month.

We are still battling ground hornets, I loathe them. Yellow jackets seem to want to take over our survival homesteading retreat as well. We have completely destroyed one nest on the overhang of our house, but the dang things keep coming back to the same spot and rebuilding. While I admire their tenacity, I really want them all to die.

In our area of the Buckeye State, the yellow jackets and hornets are building their nests close to the ground. An old wives tale maintains that means we will be in for a harsh winter. I hope it is wrong after the winter that would never end this year, but such old adages are most often correct.

Bringing Bobby’s old amphibious vehicle back to life has finally made its way near the front of the to do chapter book – it’s way too long to call it a to do list, at this point.

Amphibious Bug Out Vehicle on the Survival Homestead

The worst thing to happen on our survival homesteading this week was my Ruby developing a limp. We looked her hoof over thoroughly, and then her leg for signs of swelling or injury. I doctored her with natural anti inflammatories and massaged her whole front leg to withers area. The limp seemed to come and go, but refused to go away.

horse and goat

My Ruby and her sidekick Not Negan enjoying some hay. I did not force her into a stall, but entice her to remain in the barn with healthy snacks, hay, and fresh water to keep her off the bum leg. It was miserably hot, even by my sun-loving standards for most of the week, so the herd did not mind hanging out inside the cool barn with Ru and Not Negan during her recovery.

James’ dad is an experienced farrier, so he came over to take a look. Her hoof checked out fine, as did her leg, yet she was still walking incredibly stiffly. I thought she might have strained a muscle in her shoulder because that seemed to be the spot she favored the most. Jimmy thought so as well and decided the appearance of the limp coming and going depended upon what time of ground my Ru was walking one, i.e. soft pasture or our dirt road.

I just did not want to give her Bute, it can be so toxic to the liver of livestock and is full of chemicals I cannot even pronounce. Jimmy said he knows I always want to treat things naturally (I haven’t been to a doctor in over a decade, thanks in part to colloidal silver) but relieving the pain and swelling quickly was essential to Ru being able to recover without doing more harm to herself to compensate for the limp.

So, off to Tractor Supply I went for Bute. They no longer carry Bute, nor does Rural King or any similar store. In fact, they no longer even carry similar meds to relieve bumblefoot in chickens. I can buy penicillin, tetanus shots, and other strong meds over the counter at TSC or Rural King, but not Bute and related products. Why? “Thank all the druggies,” is what the guy at the local Tractor Supply Company said.

Apparently, hillbilly heroin addicts were buying Bute, bumblefoot medications, etc. to get high off of them! I broke down to buy manufactured medication, and then could not find it.

I decided to go with Naproxen, which is available over the counter in low doses for humans. It was originally developed at Equiproxen, a horse med, so I knew it was safe for Ruby to ingest. I used to take it for me knees – which cracked like an 80 year olds from the time I was 13 from playing and then coaching sports. The cracking and popping did not used to hurt, the sound just startled folks standing around, but it hurts now…hence my love of the hot tub!

After less than two full days taking Naproxen, getting rubbed down with liniment, and taking it easy, Ruby is walking like her old self again. Ru is coming 17, but can still beat nearly any young horse on either flat ground or a rugged trail. I don’t force her to be so fast, just try to keep her from hitting warped speed and hold on.

Invite To THE Prepper Event Of The Year

Just a short yet important FYI to y’all that I hope you will share with your prepper pals and on social media. There’s still a small amount of tickets available for Prepper Camp in western North Carolina next month. Attending the event and presenting there was the most fulfilling and inspiring prepping related thing I have ever done.

Although I am pretty good with words, I still find the feeling of immersing yourself into an albeit temporary prepper community for three days while engaging in hands-on presentations and experiences, difficult to do. Bill Forstchen will be the headline speaker. I doubt anyone if unfamiliar with him and his work, but just in case, he is known as the big daddy of prepping and wrote One Second After – among two follow ups and numerous other best sellers.

I had the privilege of introducing him during the first year of Prepper Camp – if the entire event would have been awful instead of filled with fabulous learning and kinship, it would have been worth the 10 hour drive just for those few moments. I am by far not the only one that feels that way, folks from literally all around the country attend year after year.

I honestly do not think there is a single integral aspect of homesteading and prepping that is not covered at each Prepper Camp. There are something like six classes an hour all day and then fun around the campfire in the evening. I never endorse or link to a product or event that I have not used or loved myself and would simply feel selfish not sharing this information with the Pack – my awesome new virtual prepping pals!

Prepper Camp Review Video

If you want to learn more about Prepper Camp and the incredible folks behind it – and are on Twitter, use the #PrepperTalk hashtag that Survivor Jane originated and has used to create the largest and most active online prepper community on social media – and of course, invite all new potential Pack members right back here to TSB!

My questions for the week, before y’all start sharing your own interesting weekly prepping stories.

1. Are you still harvesting your gardens and how much did you put up this year?
2. How much would do you put up for the winter and how long does it take?
3. If you do not heat with wood, what are your SHTF power grid down energy plans?
4. Do you use ATVs or UTVs as part of your preps? If so, how and why?

136 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 7 – AUG 5th – 11th 2018”

  1. Cleared out another section of the “basement”. It has a dirt floor and walls so it is getting covered in wood with raised wooden platforms and time and money become available.

    Food: Picked up 4 “gallon” carton of dehydrated potato shreds. Got in a Walmart order of AF #10’s and 5 lb. bags of grits.

    Bought a new bullet launcher. A S&W 686+ 7 shot .357 Magnum 3”. It pays to shop around. Locally I could find it for around $800, one place offered me 5% off for military discount. Finally found one on line, printed it out, and a local pawn shop matched the price of $693 then knocked another $4 off – so $689, delivered. Then I qualify for another $25 off from S&W as a military discount! I’m happy. New grips on order for it too, so I’ll be into it for $698 total.

    Gun Show finds: NIB Stevens 12 gauge insert (12” long) to use 3” 410 shells ($20), Cold Steel Master Hunter Carbon V (used – $20). .22 and .30 linear muzzle breaks for AR-style rifles. Stampede cord for my hat.

    • JP in MT,

      Cleared out another section of the “basement”. It has a dirt floor and walls so it is getting covered in wood with raised wooden platforms and time and money become available.

      Our basement has a concrete floor and block walls; but, it can still be rather damp, so 30 years ago I constructed raised platforms from treated lumber that are still in great shape. One is a table that normally holds 100 or more pounds of softener salt, anf the other holds the gas water heater tank. Using treated lumber and not skimping on the design, these will probably outlive me.

      • TOP:

        There is only one area that seems to get a little damp. We put in a raised floor over that of about 10″, with plenty of ventilation. Seems to be working well. The “new” area does not have that problem so it will only be 2″ high.

  2. Skimpy preps this week. Saw Death of a nation. Well organized documentary. I HATE to see these because I get so pissed off. I do not like to become angry – it makes me feel bad. Organized foods and other supplies. I did acquire a good high carbon steel knife. Can’t have too many knives (or too much ammo!) Oh yeah, also had my 78th birthday.

    • Billy T, Happy belated birthday! You are not the only one who does not like to become angry. When we began the awakening process, I told DH.I need to know what we can do to change anything…

    • Billy T,
      Happy birthday my friend. It’s great to see you still kicking with those new lungs that will hopefully see you through many more celebrations.
      I plan to see the movie, perhaps waiting for the DVD and having friends over to watch and discuss. I no longer get angry, since I’ve gotten use to the self important idiots, who will most likely be up a creek with no means of transport in a SHTF situation, so instead of anger, I just get more determined to come out the other side with my MAG and community intact, while those coast hugging liberals, freeze and starve in the dark. Attitude is everything, and looking at your situation, pre and post transplant, I think we can all plan and be hopeful. Your situation alone gives me hope.

      • anonamo and OP. Thanks for the birthday wishes. I am so blessed it is overwhelming. It seems as if life has prepared me for teotwawki. My childhood and teenage years living a homestead life taught me about that kind of living, at least to a great extent. I have construction experience in about every area. The physical exam clearing me for the lung transplant is quite comprehensive – almost like an astronaut exam. It’s amazing they found nothing significant other than the lungs. Even the psychiatrist liked me!
        I am a scrounge and had accumulated about a cord of free firewood from various sources, which needed to be split and stacked. So, a couple months or a little more after the transplant, I was able to start that job, little by little, using my little electric splitter. At first, I couldn’t get through a wheelbarrow load of wood, but gradually became stronger and had more endurance. So I was even blessed by having a ready – made therapy project. Now, I have the hills and altitude around the cabin. Initially, I could not climb the hills without stopping to catch my breath. Now, I can climb those hills without stopping, although I do have to go slower than I would like. So, even now I again have a ready built therapy! It is not fun, but is a blessing nonetheless. I plan to improve all summer until I can maintain a satisfactory pace. Inch by inch, everything is a cinch!

      • Livinthedream, Thanks for the BD wishes.
        As I recall, you live in the Mussel Shoals area. In my opinion, that is a great area for preppers. Moderate climate, good gun laws, plentiful water, good hunting and fishing, even wild muscadines!

        I grew up in a small village north of Birmingham. I miss all the streams and rivers. I believe Alabama has more miles of navigable rivers than any other state. But our children and grandchildren are here and very settled, so I am too! I have no complaints and do have a great life.

        • I wish I cud show u the photo a mewe friend sent me from Mobile yesterday. A group of his friends brought in a 12-ft, 537 lb. gator from the Mobile-Tensaw Delta. Talk about a monster!

          • Thanks LivinTheDream. I actually have quite a supply of jellies and jams. The anti-rejection drugs I have to take have driven me into diabetes. As a consequence, I can’t eat sweet stuff much. DW never has eaten jams and jellies, so I’m afraid it would be a waste to send jelam to me. I thank you for the offer.

            Mostly, I remember the wonderful muscadine preserves my mother made. We boys would scope out the best vines (carefully keep the locations secret), pick the muscadines and separate the hulls from the pulp. Mother would cook the pulp down, separate the juice from the pulp, add the hulls and make jam. We always used the whole hulls without cutting them up. Best preserves ever!

        • Livinthedream & Billy T,

          I wish I cud show u the photo a mewe friend sent me from Mobile yesterday.

          You can send it to me and I’ll forward it on to him or with Billy T’s permission, I can exchange your email addresses.

          • Hello my friend. you can forward my address to anyone you deem appropriate. I haven’t seen or heard anything which would make me doubt you in the least!

    • Billy T!
      Happy Birthday brother! Hey, give me a call when you’re up to it. Evenings my time are better for me this week, which I think would make it in the middle of the afternoon for you. Glad you’re still moving forward Chief. Keep up the good work. You are setting an example and leading by example. Keep going, and if you ever need help, don’t ever forget… you have friends.

      • Thanks Sirius. Actually, we are on the same time zone because your state is on daylight savings time. In AZ, we don’t do DST. Anyway, I’ll call later this week (if I can remember!).

        • Billy T,

          Thanks Tara. I suppose I need to be occasionally reminded how fragile is life!

          Indeed; but, we also need to remember how resilient the human species can be. As you know, my best friend who was more than 15 years your junior, as well as my MIL, perished from the disease you have and have survived. I was told several times that my cerebral hemorrhage would have killed a younger person with a physically smaller head; but, other than some vision issues, life goes on.
          Attitude as you know is everything, and each day I’m up on my own two feet is one to be cherished and lived to the fullest, passing on whatever knowledge and goodness we can muster. Many in your situation would have given up; but, I fully expect you to be running a furnace and forge in due time, and passing on the knowledge and your positive attitude and spirit to others.

          • Hi OP. It’s a nasty disease. It is hard to lose someone you love, regardless of the cause of death. Not knowing the underlying conditions which caused the disease makes it a little worse. I also lost an uncle to IPF, in early 2000s. Before lung transplants became feasible.
            Anyway, it’s my plan to be as productive as possible and continue to protect my family and nation as long and in whatever way I can.

  3. Not much I checked out the new big 5 store in my area, it opend yesterday. No firearms yet just bb guns so far. Last week I worked hard trying to get work done and it sucked with the hi heat and smoke.

  4. A canning meat week . 72 pints of chicken and Turkey this week. Have beef and pork to go. As for this week’s ? Bad year on garden but I get enough free stuff over the year that it doesn’t matter . We can year around and dehydrate fall ,winter and spring . No atv or utv .

    • Fixit, Are you having problems with canning failures?
      I processed 10 jars last week and had 3 fails, processed 10 today and 5 are fails. jars are not over filled sealers were new, and warmed with faucet hot water…not boiled.. Jars were not packed tightly.(cooked meat in broth) rims cleaned with vinegar cloth. No boilover.. Brought up to temp too quickly?? anything else??

      • We had zero failures this week . We beat lids to a simmer . If the lids are older put a little baking soda in the water. A bout 1TBSP.
        Some people do 1 TBSP of baking soda and 2 tsp of vinegar .

        • Fixit,

          If the lids are older put a little baking soda in the water. A bout 1TBSP.

          This makes sense since the alkali mixture can help clean the rubber and allow it to conform and stick better to the rims. Alkali mixtures using fat are how we make soap.

          Some people do 1 TBSP of baking soda and 2 tsp of vinegar .

          This one doesn’t make sense to me, since that mixture just creates CO2 and salt water, so perhaps just a bit of salt would do the trick.

      • Faucet hot water may not have sufficiently softened the rubber. A 2-minute soft boil might be a better choice.

        Who made your caps? Some are made in China. NEVER trust Chinese manufacturing.
        Were jars new or old? Did you check jar rims before using? GENTLY run fingertips around rims to check for any possible issues.

        Were jars Golden Harvest brand? High failure rate of glass.

        • Glass was fine, they were all checked. all jars I have used before not golden harvest, not chipped or irregular… problem with sealers, My failure rate has increased so will try soft boiling the lids even tho the directions said NOT to.. I had been doing a short boil… and that was only real change… was what I was thinking but thought those with more experience might know. I bought these lids last year and had had NO issues with them last year.Out of 36 possibly one fail from boilover.. etc.. never lost any meat.. still have not lost meat, but hate to have to try more than once…still managed to get 15 jars done . Have another canner to run tomorro.. Thanks for input.

      • Another thought or two, AA. U said u wiped rims with vinegar. That’s good. But when packing meats, I wipe each rim with boiling hot water paper towel. I just wear insulated kitchen gloves (Playtex, for example) and use the water from pot that will 2-min. boil both caps & rings (not to sterilize, but to have very clean caps/rings AND to remove any tiny pieces of rubber from caps that should not be there). And THEN I wipe again with vinegar, but only for meats.

        What are u wiping jar rims with? I don’t recommend cloth towels. They leave fibers behind (especially cotton) that will prevent a seal. I use strong paper towels (from Walmart or Aldi’s), the ones that come in half-sheets. I use a NEW half-sheet for EACH jar. Dip in hot water, wring a bit to remove excess – wipe jar. Throw in a pile and use for clean-up later.

        I recommend a fresh piece of wet paper towel for every jar to avoid transfer – u don’t want to remove a bit from one jar only to transfer it to the next jar.

        No matter how careful, u will still have an occasional jar that does not seal. I refrigerate & cook with those within a week. But I can honestly say I don’t have many that don’t seal.

        Hope this helps.

        • Yes affirms what I have been doing pretty much. I have very little spill, with fills, jars are HOT,fill is HOt,, rim are wiped down with hot water /paper towel and all rims wiped with vinegar on paper towel., lidded while sitting in boilng water..
          Have been canning veggies and meat for several years now.. this is first time I have had failure rate like this…. Has to be the rehydration of the sealers and putting them in boiling water…is needed.

      • I had the same problem and was told I was tightening the rings too much. I backed off a little and am not having any issues.

      • I have read that canning lids are now made bpa free… and that can stop them from sealing if you boil the lids. Kerr suggests you just dip the lids out of the box into boiling water briefly before putting them on the hot jars. These lids have dots in the floral design. The Ball lids say made in USA. There are a number of youtube videos addressing this. It is so frustrating and wasteful of electricity or gas.

  5. I put up several bushels each of lima beans, green beans & peas this summer & took advice from a couple of you guys & have been dehydrating the bumper crop of okra in my little bitty backyard garden. Yellow onions are still in the ground. Cucumbers turned yellow & fell off before they got big enough to pick. Went to Sam’s Club earlier today & bought some chicken chunks in foil pouches, as well as canned Atlantic salmon (I don’t eat anything that comes out of the Pacific anymore, not since Fukushima). Also stocked up on coffee, can’t have too much of that.

  6. Well I have had the week from hell. I have spent more time at the hospital this week than the past five years combined. First, a friend from taekwodo had a freak accident sparing with combat weapon. She broke her wrist. The following day she tore a muscle in her leg. Then another friend suffered an illegal kick to the back. He broke a rib and three vertebrae. Then another friend was forced off the road while riding his motorcycle. He has a broken neck and several broken vertebrae. He also severed the nerve to his left hand. He dropped the motorcycle in a ditch. The folks that ran him off the road didn’t bother to stop. The ditch was so deep that folks driving by couldn’t see him. He took his helmet off and threw it at a car passing by to get their attention. These folks stopped and called 911. Then my husband threw out his back. He has been to the chiropractor three times this week and is still in extreme pain. Then I tripped over the dog walking to the bathroom in the middle of the night and sprained my wrist. Then my mother had a seizure and had to be transferred to a more intensive nursing home. I am ready to wrap myself in bubblewrap and hibernate for the rest of the month.

    • Bam Bam ,
      Sounds like a horrriffic week! Your best option will only protect you.. sounds like all that you are acquainted with need to follow suite. Sounds like most are in early recovery, tho may be long healing process. Many people go off the road and are not found for a long time, your friend was lucky he had the ability to throw the helmet and someone saw it.
      So sorry your Mom is worse.
      Is your husbands injury by any chance a low back injury? There s a procedure to put it back in alignment and stop the pain if it is low.. e mail if that is the case and you/he does not know how. I can send detailed note to tell you him how to check for dislocation in lower back. That is one of places my back yells from.
      Dog in path to Bathroom… not good , been there,,said you injured your wrist..keep it immobile as long as you can until edema is down, then do wrist strengthening exrcises… is the pooch ok?…

      • AA, The Wolffeman is okay. My dh has an old back issue that flares up every now and again. If he did has back exercises daily . . . . My wrist is already starting to feel better. My friend with the motorcycle is really lucky. The doctors said that with injuries like he sustained folks are paraplegic. My dh and I are driving to Georgia today to visit my mom. My brother says she just isn’t right.

      • Anonamo, maybe you’d post that lower-back fix for all of us who suffer lower back pain? (I suspect it’s all of us – we really weren’t meant to walk upright!). Thanks.

          • Bam Bam,
            We’ve never used the gel ;but, have always kept Absorbine Jr. on hand for those occasional strains. My parents always had this on hand when I was growing up.
            As I understand it, it was originally used in a stronger version as horse liniment; but, it works well on humans also.

          • Bam Bam,

            I have cousins who raise horses–that’s how I learned bout the linament.

            We had quarter horses for a while; but, now only have the miniature; but, as a kid, we had nothing but dogs; however, my parents were clued into a lot of old time remedies. Absorbine Junior was one of them.
            My dad used to purchase Terpin hydrate with codeine over the counter (with adult signature) that worked well on severe coughs. It’s no longer available except with a prescription from a compounding pharmacy. Interesting information on it here: https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB13163
            The remedy that we kids loved was one my mom would get us from the pharmacies with a lunch counter or soda fountain. Pure coke syrup, that when mixed with carbonated water made coca cola; but, we happily took it by the spoonful. While it didn’t help coughs and colds, we never clued in my mom, who had used it when she was a kid and it still contained trace amounts of cocaine until she was a few years old.

        • MaineBrain,

          I suspect it’s all of us – we really weren’t meant to walk upright!

          I’m not sure I agree, and at 67 years old I have no back problems to speak of. The key I think is to walk upright and not slouch at the mid back or shoulders. Keeping the back and neck relatively straight and having good support when you sleep appears to work for me. One also needs to be careful how you lift heavy things, taking your time and using your legs.
          In my case being overweight used to cause problems. I am 5’ 6” and in 2006 I hit the scale @ 235 lbs and got serious about my weight. I lost 60 pounds over the next 6 months, with a combination of exercise and carefully watching my calorie intake. I now hit the scale around 155, give or take a few pounds and rarely have back issues. Of course YMMV.
          My DW OTOH has always had lower back issues; but, that may be a combination of instability in her lower back, and carrying and delivering 3 children

        • MaineBrain,
          Glad to post the straightening of lower spine and the maintainence. I had my lower vertebrae popping out for about a year before bone specialist showed me this to realign and maintain my own alignment. I would walk in a store to do necesary shopppng and would be in acue pain before could get home. This gives relief in minutes instead of waiting hours for an appointment.
          … to check alignment of lower back lay on bed( preferred) ,or floor, NO pillow, pull knees up and make sure heels are even amount of space from buttock, ..( parallell to each other..( I separate heels by an inch so ankles do not knock together.
          ..observe Height of knees. If they are even , your lower spine = proper alignment.
          … If either knee is shorter,= out of alignment.
          …… Now to fix he short one.! still in same position … Take the opposite arm to the short knee hook inner bend of elbow behind the short knee and rock back, pulling knee to opposite shoulder…ie right leg pulls to left shoulder… and left leg pulls to right shoulder. just rock once or twice.. return to position and check knee height ..EVEN? if not re-adjust which ever is short… if they are even,.. take both arms,place them across in front of knees and pull knees up to your chest, ( goal is to remove weigh from lower spine and it remain in alignment.)rocking hips up off the surface… and hold for count of five.. slowly release,relax ,.breathe deep
          Now to strengthen the core to prevent slippage. It takes abou 2 weeks for exercises to be fully effective if they are done regularly.
          …… turn to side.., leg to surface of bed should be flexed enough to help maintain balance.
          #1 Slowly raise top leg till knees separate by 4-6 inches, hold for count of 3-5 , then lower slowly, start with 3-5 reps. Turn to other side and repeat same way.
          IF this is an EASY exercise -add these as tolerated., to further strengthen the core..
          #2 same side laying position… add the bending of your knee while holding knee apart for count of 5, think like riding a one legged bicycle.
          . #3 to add difficulty while doing exercise #1 do toe circles in both directions , start with doing 3 full circles right and left with each foot.
          EVERY exercise done must be repeated on the other side, for even muscle development. The beginning exercise should be started with 3-5 reps and done 3-4 times a day.. when exercises are completed do check for final hip alignment and set alignment with hugging of knees.

          • Anonamo Also,
            This exercise was described very well, and is basically what my chiropractor does on the occasional visit. You also need to be careful when lifting anything by using the legs and not twisting the back during the lift. When sitting or laying be sure to provide support for your back; else, you can fall asleep and wake with something out of place. Being overweight can also be an issue. Back in2006 I topped out @ 235 lbs with a serious case of Dunlap syndrome; but, now @ a nominal 155 lbs I rarely have back issues. For those who don’t know, Dunlap syndrome is when your gut & belly, done laps over your belt.

          • OP, I have had alignment issues with mine popping out because of a wrong move or twist, .One of my most serious back injuries was to pick up a straw off the floor. muscles in lower back are weak.the exercises given when done regularly, will help keep muscle strengthup and prevent it from jumping out.of alignment… I have a strict weight limit I am allowed to lift because of vascular issues…20-25 lbs is max and only one time/day for 50 lbs, to tumble feed to a 2 wheeler

    • Bam Bam,
      It sounds like that bubble wrap option may be a good choice.
      In all my years of martial arts, the worst thing I did was break a few toes; but, perhaps I was lucky. Keep on keeping on, since you are young enough to tough it out and heal.
      As I’ve gotten older, motorcycles have become a mode of transport I now shun. In my 20’s I had one for a while and was lucky enough to survive. Hope your friend is OK.

      • TJ,

        Until this week the only injury I saw at the academy was a broken toe. I am thinking of ordering shin and forearm guards.

        • Bam Bam,

          Until this week the only injury I saw at the academy was a broken toe. I am thinking of ordering shin and forearm guards.

          That’s probably not a bad idea. When I started martial arts I was 14 and when a bad sweep bruised your shin, you limped for the rest of the class and the bruise was gone in a few days. By my late 20’s and early 30’s, I would be limping for a week and the bruise lasted several painful weeks. At my current age I hesitate to think how long those injuries would last, so I’m much more careful now.

    • Bam Bam,
      It sounds like that bubble wrap option may be a good choice.
      In all my years of martial arts, the worst thing I did was break a few toes; but, perhaps I was lucky. Keep on keeping on, since you are young enough to tough it out and heal.
      As I’ve gotten older, motorcycles have become a mode of transport I now shun. In my 20’s I had one for a while and was lucky enough to survive. Hope your friend is OK.

    • Bam Bam, I read your post to DH. He thinks you need to order the bubble wrap by the pallet..(smile)You are in our prayers.

      • JP,

        We just got back from Georgia. The new place my mom is at is nice. It is clean and the staff are caring. (There are no water fountains and koi ponds like the other place. The other place bothered me because they spent a lot of money to make things look nice but they didn’t have a lot of staff to look after the residents.) When we first got there she was very agitated. She was screaming for help. We were able to get her calmed down. Then her pastor showed up and prayed with her. By the time we all left she was relaxed and falling asleep. She did not seem significantly worse after the series of seizures. She still recognized my dh and I. She kept calling her pastor “Father Frank” who was the previous pastor. The new pastor is Father Al. My mother kept seeing her deceased relatives and she kept shouting “Holy Cow!” I asked her what color holy cows were and she looked at me like I was an idiot and said “red”–as in University of Georgia bulldogs.

        • Bam Bam:

          Glad your mom is in a nice place and being taken care of. My DW mother went through 7 years of dementia at a care facility. She flew out every quarter for 7-10 days. And she obviously still has her sense of humor!

    • Oh, man! I can see why you want bubble wrap, Bam Bam. I am sooo very sorry bad stuff has ganged up on you this week. I have just prayed a hedge of protection around you and all that is yours.

      • LTD,

        I will bring some holy water and holy salt with me on class Tuesday so I can bless the academy. Another friend at the academy has a grandmother in a nursing home. There were fire ants in the wall. The staff put a table in front of the hole in the wall so nobody would notice. Staff was supposed to check on her every hour. In the morning her roommate reported that she had been attacked by thousands of fire ants. She had bites all over–in her mouth, in her nose. It was really bad. She almost died from anaphylactic shock.

      • MaineBrain, I think everything will resolve itself. I tend to look on the bright side–both of my friends could have been paralyzed for life and my mom’s seizures could have been so bad that she didn’t recognizes us anymore. None of that happened. Both friends will recover and my mom was happy to see me.

    • I forgot to tell you the other half of the story. (I am totally overwhelmed.) My dh’s ex-wife (and the mother of his children) is dying of bone cancer. (The whole family gets along and I like his ex-wife–weird, I know. But forgiveness in families does much good.) So she paid off her home and retired. Within a month she found out her breast cancer spread to her bones. At the same time toxic mold was found in her home. The insurance company had to put them up in a hotel. The entire house had to be gutted. Fortunately, her son (my step-son) is qualified to do much of the labor. The insurance company projected three months. “Our” son will have the work done in the next three weeks. So for the past three weeks I have been cooking four six and delivering dinners to the hotel room.

      My friend who was in the motorcycle accident has taken a turn for the worse. His lunch collapsed today. They could not remove the breathing tubes. So we are bringing his family dinner tomorrow. It is a good think that salad and ziti is inexpensive. I tell you, though, these are good, hard-working people in need of real help. If I can cook and make things easier, so be it.

      • BamBam
        Sorry to hear that everything is happening all at once with your family & friends. Dh & I will ask for healing prayers for the friend with the lung damage. Your mom,and friends injured along with you and your dh.

        Keep up posted on how they are doing, you are a blessing to them, hold strong you are in our thoughts.

      • Bam Bam
        Lady with cancer needs to be aware sugar feeds cancer and mold. certain supplements/ foods are medicine, among those are B17, Borax, Baking Soda, also. FOOd Grade peroxide has been highly effective with prostate and bone cancer. dose would be built to a total of 16 drops, divided in 2 doses 12 hours apart…. a day..of 35%,in 2 oz filterd water swish to get sublingual absorbtion, swallow. probably the absolute safest of all deprives the cancer of corret enviroment by adding oxygen to body..(.It is thought.). There are protocols for using all of them already posted..green leafy veggies,+ foods in the family with brussel sprouts and broccoli..of course avoiding GMO’s of all kinds..
        Give your step son an extra hug and “atta boy!”

        Re: friend with lung collapsed. High possibility on multiple infection,s..
        My DB spent 6 weeks on vent because he had 2 infections at one time,( after CABG, one bacterial and one fungal..they had to clear both before they could keep both of his lungs inflated, they alternated for a couple of times. Very tough for injured and their family. He had to learn to suction keep lungs clear.

  7. Tara,
    When you say that most rural folks don’t use the word prepper, you are spot on, since what we all do is mostly considered just common sense frugal living.
    A differential can stop you cold and finding a problem to do preventive maintenance was indeed a lucky thing, that perhaps kept you from being stranded at a later date. My DW has gotten really good at listening and hearing any out of the ordinary sounds, so we can take care of it before it completely breaks, so leaving the radio off and keeping other distractions to a minimum on occasion while you listen for odd sounds, should be part of maintenance.
    BTW, looking for an upside and trying to smile in the face of disaster is how we will all get through things.
    For saws, I recently purchased a Ryobi ONE+ battery pole saw and 10 inch chain saw; but, my 30+ year old Stihl 028 still runs without much coaxing.
    Your SIL has a magnificent benefit, being able to bring home toys some of us only dream of, LOL.
    I concur with your attitude on wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets and kill them whenever we see them, with the most recent problem being them taking up residence in the lids of our propane tanks, with a summer fill coming in the next few weeks.
    Do you know what problem Ruby is having? Our Libby (Liberty) developed laminitis and the anti-inflammatory medications are helping; but, she is not happy with no grain, alfalfa hay or sweet grass in her diet. We do on occasion use bute, purchased as a powder from the local vet and that helps; but, keeping the carbohydrates from her diet seems to do the trick. I think the problem purchasing bute may be a southern Ohio problem, since I know SOMC hospital in Portsmouth sees a lot of drug issues in their E.D.
    North Carolina is a bit far for us; but, we have attended Dave Canterbury’s gathering that are also a great learning experience.
    Meeting Bill Forstchen would be interesting, primarily because as an engineer, I found many flaws in One Second After, although I do know that its shock value did awaken many to the prepping lifestyle.
    On yourr questions:
    1. We had no garden this year due to monsoon rains and some ongoing health issues; but, are in full planning mode for next year, and looking to use the new greenhouse this fall and next spring. Many relative and neighbors have however, been gifting us with excess vegetables.
    2. We still have tons of freeze dried and other stored foods and will be looking to add more to the freeze dried stores when the weather cools a bit to allow use of the freeze dryer, that produces a lot of heat on its own.
    3. We have wood backup with several cords stashed in the various outbuildings; but, our SHTF energy plans are to have lots of propane on hand. We have 3 1000 gallon and a single 500 gallon tank, all connected to supply the house, which includes gas forced air heat, gas hot water, two gas ventless heaters, and a propane fueled whole house generator, with enough additional consumables to run for most of a year, nonstop. We also have some small scale solar to charge batteries.
    4. No ATV’s at this point until we pay off the ZT mower, at which point we’ll be looking at getting one.

    This past week we did and acquired the following:
    1. Received a Saberlight Zip – Classic Design Plasma Beam Lighter from woot.com. I now have 4 devices using this technology that expands my ferrocerium rods and other flame starting devices with a 21st century twist. This latest one looks like the classic Zippo lighter.
    2. Received two additional Globe Electric 32″ Multi-Joint Desk Lamps. A lot of my lighting uses these versatile lamps, with LED bulbs that use very little power.
    3. Ordered a Parrot Mambo Fly Drone quadcopter from woot.com, this may not be the best prep; but, should be fun.
    4. Ordered an 18 Gauge Economy 24″ x 48″ 430 Stainless Steel Work Table w/Under shelf and 2″ Rear Upturn backsplash from WebstaurantStore for the summer kitchen. This will be a great table for working with meats and cheeses.
    5. Received an AstroAI TRMS 6000 Digital Clamp Multimeter from woot.com. This meter measures all of the standard multimeter values, plus temperature with a type K thermocouple.
    6. Durable Tactical One-handed Tourniquet for the FAK
    7. Received some rare earth magnets for my kit
    8. Received additional electronic modules for ongoing projects.
    9. Received additional replaceable antennas for some of my radios.
    10. Our neighbor dropped off a dozen ears of fresh sweet corn.

  8. We love our Hot tub, too it holds 150 gallons of water, so yes it can be a prep. I’m still getting Herb’s, and I’m slowly down on how much I can I did put up about 25 jar’s of beets, salsa, spaghetti sauce. We heat with Gas, but we do have a wood burning stove, the only time we use it is when our weather is in the high 20’s to low teen’s, any higher It’s a waste of wood. Today, we had a cool down with a bit of rain just enough to give the plants a break but then turn around and go up to the 80’s again. I don’t know how much more canning I will do will go and pick Blackberries, for pie and we’ll see about apples, maybe do some canning of pie filling. Take care pack, and stay safe.

    • You’ve just given me something to think about, mof3. We have this HUGE hot tub in our basement bathroom. We have had these tubs for years, but NEVER one this big. It’s footprint is bigger than my other 2 bathrooms, upstairs. I have wanted to rip it out & build a walk-in shower AND a new, walk-in closet in its place. Yes, it’s that big. But, it would hold a LOT of water for emergencies, of course.

      I don’t know if it wud hold the weight, but, I’m certain TWO water bobs wud fit in it!

      Perhaps we need not get in a hurry here!

  9. Gardening.. we had a location change last year and land has had to have modifications to enable any crops., Those modifications continue…. we have put in 2 raised beds, with limited success, and some large tubs. result: increased productivity from last year, still not enough to put up.. just a few fresh things..to eat. Have some home-dehydrated foods and plan to do some more, .. bought some things from farmers market as I find what we need.
    Have some goals for veggies, esp things we have not been able to produce. have plantted squash, string beans and more cucumbers for late season…. will plant some late beets, carrots as soon as temps are right. (heat index today was 103 at one point.) will be buying more veggies for dehydration/canning.as available. . Have mini green house in works for extending season on veggies bearing at frost, okra, tomatoes and cucumbers. Very little fruit in this area have a couple of places to check. for possible ungathered…sources. have replanted , spread seed for wild greens.
    No small vehicles,
    No wood heat, have some things to put wood heat in place, in emergency. Did that from time was small until grown. Have assisted with log splitting and all hauling/stacking. Do not WANT to have to haul wood, and start fires, but can if we MUST. still need some crucial items.. we heat with NG, have some propane for back up- cooking( have jets to change cookstove over and cpu for electric backup of oven is in works. have abiliy to cook breads etc on top of cookstove., and ventless propane heater..
    Preps for the week include…
    Tended the chickens, outside and chicks. RIR’we got in spring have begun laying…
    Tended the garden watering and fertlizing. slowly getting a few tomaoes, okra and cucumbers for the table.. Have tended to more sandwiches this past weeks due to the heat…BLT’s , turkey and ham deli slices w/ Peanut butter and honey dressing… and egg salad sandwiches
    Canned some meats, worked on inside of house moving things and de clutering. making places for some necessary items.. still trying to get dry goods rotated thru freezer. making room each week. goal is to replace the freezer by winter. with a chest style.Have several projects in line… all cost$$ , balance each purchase in the scheme of the whole…
    Added 10 gallons of filtered water into rotation, DD will be coming soon and bring her empty jugs, will help rotate thru in 2 month intervals.
    Ordered dehydrator and it finally came in. looks good. Trays of old one will work with it should i need more trays.
    Workd on a project for family..not completed, but well on way..It included piling brush and other misc.. stuff….still have several more days work to do.heat index was well over 100 today, so we did not go. to do more in that arena…..supposed to get a break with pop up’s but not got it yet. had 2 short showers in one day/3 weeks. less than 1/4 inch.
    .managed to pull my muscle under shoulder blade and am having to curtail most lifting,..limited to less than 12 lbs… any reaching over my head. The other shoulder is the one I pulled out at shoulder socket, and right back in. a while back, of course, it is not healed yet… The heating pad is STill my friend!
    We picked up some light hand tools, some sandpaper, pair of plyers,set of screwdrivers…a few more bandaids, few cans of 5 oz meats.
    Keep on, Keeping on, doing what you need to do for you and yours. Prayers for the Pack requested and unrequested..

  10. Wow! This is going to sound pretty maudlin considering the good news I’ve had over the last three weeks. I saw a movie the other night. It was called “Into the Wild” and it stared Emile Hirsch. I think it came out in 2006,

    Lady’s and Gentlemen, boys and girls… This movie is devastating and a tearjerker… No spoiler’s here, but THIS IS MY POINT!

    Be very careful before you go outside. Just watch the movie and you will understand.

      • Thor1,
        Yes that is the trailer for the movie. If you watch it, have a couple of beers and something to not only munch on but wipe your eyes with.

        This movie was reality as reality hits us. Does that make sense?

    • Sirius,
      I have only seen excerpts of the movie; but, both my DD & I read the book. For her it was done as a review for high school English when the book was new (2007 or 2008 IIRC); but, her knowledge of survival and her constant questions to me compelled me to also read the book. What it comes down to is that the protagonist decided that our modern lifestyle was corrupt and decided to go back to a more simple life (like Amish or Jeremiah Johnson?), walking and hitchhiking all over the west (CA & the Dakotas, IIRC), eventually heading to Alaska.
      He actually had gotten a good education; but after graduating, he tossed all of his money and wealth out the window and headed “Into the wild” with none of the required attributes of proper Knowledge or Skills; but, did have an attitude that allowed him to survive for a while; but, eventually failed him. As I recall he ended up camping out in an old bus in Alaska, where hunters eventually found his dead carcass.
      For anyone who has any amount of outdoors skills training, this book was almost cliché, and you could see the outcome of this naïve guy only shortly into the story.
      It could IMHO serve someone well as a lesson in why bugging out to the woods is generally only a romantic fantasy, and usually a very bad idea.
      I have the equipment and skills to do survival camping in an emergency and have done so many times; but, all were more for skill building and lasted only a few days and nights at a time. I suspect most people are not prepared for such long term encounters, and this book could be a good lesson for anyone that is considering that option for other than a very short term.

  11. Puppy has had cabin fever with all the rain. He would keep coming up and wanting to play more out side. I wish I had half his energy.

    Had an alarm system salesman come to the door trying to sell the new alarm system with the doorbell camera. I laughed showed him he was already on camera,had tripped a motion detector and then I told him plus I have him, meaning puppy…..LOL I also have another alarm system but you understand. Now get off my lawn…LOL

    Changed oil in the BOV
    Trying to charge some neutron batteries.

    Made some doctor pepper jerky, its still dehydrating can’t wait to taste it.

    Bought water, which has gone up in price like everything else and is getting to be less all over the globe.

    Bought more meat.
    Bought pop tarts.

    Watched videos on eotwawki and prepper stuff.

    I think the Clinton’s are about to go in meltdown mode….LOL


    More Antifa…..


    • I have to say, I changed the DR Pepper jerky recipe just a little but it was good.

      Used soy sauce and red pepper. Sweet from Dr pepper, salty and spicy. Mmmmmm

      • Tara,

        1. Are you still harvesting your gardens and how much did you put up this year?
        2. How much would do you put up for the winter and how long does it take?
        3. If you do not heat with wood, what are your SHTF power grid down energy plans?
        4. Do you use ATVs or UTVs as part of your preps? If so, how and why?

        The rain here has been extensive this year.

        1. Tomatoes were damaged but are starting to grow back. Peppers, cucumbers,squash,zucchini, but did harvest some already.

        2. I can what I can…..LOL

        3. Have fireplace and an outdoor fire pit. Both could be used for cooking and have several cords of wood and a forest behind me. So that would be grid down. Solar power with 400w of panels. I also have some propane stored up. Also a kerosene heater.

        I am lucky enough to live where it is warmer so I shouldn’t freeze in winter.

        4. I have an old 4X4 truck if that counts……used to be heavily into dune buggies though….LOL

        Also lived in NC for a couple of years

    • Thor1,

      Had an alarm system salesman come to the door trying to sell the new alarm system with the doorbell camera. I laughed showed him he was already on camera,had tripped a motion detector and then I told him plus I have him, meaning puppy…..LOL I also have another alarm system but you understand. Now get off my lawn…LOL

      I love this story and have had some similar encounters on the telephone. When told I already had an alarm system, a woman asked me from where, and when I told her it was my own design, she started laughing. When I told her I had helped design SCADA and security systems for places I could not discuss, she got a bit haughty, at which point I asked her about her engineering degrees which ended the conversation. The components available inexpensively today, allow almost anyone who can think it through, to piece together a good system, covering any and all aspects of security.

      Trying to charge some neutron batteries.

      What are neutron batteries? A Google search shows only neuton batteries that appear to be NiCad. I’ve been looking at the Lithium iron phosphate batteries and while expensive, they have the best weight to power density I’ve found.

      Made some doctor pepper jerky, its still dehydrating can’t wait to taste it.

      I hadn’t thought of Dr. Pepper as a jerky marinade, this sounds good.

      Bought water, which has gone up in price like everything else and is getting to be less all over the globe.

      What do you mean by this statement?

      Bought pop tarts.

      Some may not think of these as prepping food; but, we keep some on hand, and they were always part of my carried food on backpacking trips and day hikes. They work well cold or heated. I personally love the brown sugar cinnamon variety.

      I think the Clinton’s are about to go in meltdown mode….LOL

      The MSM gets upset when the deplorables at rallies chant “Lock her up” and this may eventually come to pass. There are still too many things about the last administration that still seem hinky to me.

        • Thor1,

          TOP, I knew you couldn’t resist the neutron battery…..LOL

          It wasn’t resist as much as wondering about a new technology I hadn’t heard about yet. I did see this one for the lawn mower and it’s basically just really old NiCad technology.
          Easy enough to recharge; but, old and easily worn out with charge / recharge cycling.
          I still have quite a few old AA celles in that technology that need to be recycled for the cadmium.

          • TOP, they are actually sealed lead acid batteries. If you watch the video you would see its 2 12v batteries in series making it 24v. I wish they were NiCads. But neutron sounds cool…..LOL

            Some liberal wants Trump impeached for bear hugging Putin…… LOL
            Where do these people come from ???

          • Livinthedream,

            Agenda 21 comes to mind.

            I think agenda 21 has pretty much been foiled. For those who haven’t heard of it, it was a non binding U.N. resolution cooked up at the Rio climate summit in 1992 that eventually led among other things to the Paris accords. Since the Trump administration has pulled us out of those accords, the globalist agenda has at least been stalled. For a detailed explanation you can read Glenn Beck’s excellent book on the subject written back in 2012. The book is written as a history of the new US called “The Republic” where there is no longer a president or a government, just the global cabal ruling everything.
            I think just looking at the E.U, with Brexit and other countries considering the same exit strategy, global rule and Agenda 21 are pretty much dead.

        • Thor1.

          they are actually sealed lead acid batteries. If you watch the video you would see its 2 12v batteries in series making it 24v. I wish they were NiCads. But neutron sounds cool…..LOL

          Neutron does sound cool; but other than Lithium iron phosphate batteries AKA LFP, SLA AGM batteries are still the best inexpensive choice for high current or long life portable applications, since NiCad have memory and wear over time and cycling.
          LFP are a type of rechargeable lithium-ion battery, that use LiFePO (Lithium Iron Phosphate) ₄ as a cathode material, and a graphitic carbon electrode with a metallic current collector grid as the anode. Compared to other battery technologies, they have the lightest weight and highest power density; but, at a much higher cost. Most of what I have are Lithium Ion or SLA AGM.

          Some liberal wants Trump impeached for bear hugging Putin…… LOL
          Where do these people come from ???

          They seem to be born and raised on our coasts, by people who are pro choice, except when raising these socialist wanna be’s.
          BTW, the drought article was interesting and at least for my region, appears to hit the mark for current conditions.

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

    Got the gun cleaning stuff I ordered. I also ordered a Real Avid Gun Tool Pro AR-15. It’s a gun cleaning and repair multi-tool specific for the AR-15. Some of the tools are pretty handy for scraping carbon out of portions of the bolt and bolt carrier that have always been a pain to properly clean. Not so much to the civilian user, but the military user would really like this tool seeing as weapons inspections are a pain in the butt to Marines and soldiers. “Hard to get” is not an acceptable excuse.

    Going to the VA next week to have my hearing aids replaced. The current set just isn’t doing the job. They are about six years old and my Ex (who has worse service connected hearing issues than I do) says I can get new hearing aids every couple of years. I wouldn’t really call this a prep as they would eventually either run out of batteries or malfunction without chance of repair if SHTF. I’ll just have to resort to the old standby of saying ‘Huh?”

    Damn, Bam Bam. What a week. Hope things improve. I think I heard something about your friend’s motorcycle accident on the news. BTW, I started taking that glucosamine sulfate you recommended this week. We’ll see how it goes.

    Had a minor bit of excitement around the complex the other day. It was nothing to me as an ex-cop, but rather amazing how sheltered some people are. Apparently, someone got evicted from their apartment and, as is normal, the court bailiff and crew piled all their stuff up on the curb (this is the first eviction I’ve seen since I started living here three years ago). We have a local discussion site and people were all up in arms about the stuff on the curb and why it was there in the first place. I had to explain what it was. I also told them to go ahead and help themselves to anything they wanted as legally it was considered abandoned property. Somebody did overnight. Took the nicer looking pieces of furniture.

    In answer to Tara’s questions:

    1. No garden in my apartment in the big city.

    2. See above

    3. Luckily, I live in Central Florida, so serious cold weather is rare. I have plenty of blankets, a sleeping bag, and warm clothing to see me through. It can get pretty cold here on occasion (I have been camping with Scouts in 15-degree nights), but the events are short and easily managed. I checked my journal and I didn’t turn the heat on for the first time last winter until mid-January. As an ex-Michigander, I am well experienced in cold weather living and Central Florida doesn’t put much of a strain on that knowledge.

    4. No ATVs of UTVs here. A golf cart maybe ?, but I don’t own one of those either.

    • Zulu 3-6:
      Is this the week without your grand daughter?

      I have never understood why they started putting fireplaces in Central Florida. Growing up, any warming done in the winter was strictly for the orange groves.

    • Zulu,

      It takes six weeks for the powder to build in your system. This stuff has made an enormous difference for me. Now I only wake up with a slight stiffness in my right hand. Before my knees were so bad that I couldn’t walk up steps. (And I haven’t even hit the big 50 yet.)

      If you are concerned about your hearing post collapse, I would suggest going to Ebay and look up hearing amplifiers. Apparently there is some sort of federal bullshit about selling hearing “aids” and all that nonsense makes the price increase significantly. You can pick up a set of amplifiers for $20. I got a set for my dh and they work well. The product reviews said they worked great but the batteries only last a few months. (That’s not a bad deal, I think.)

      • Bam Bam,

        I didn’t get the link you sent. I’ve looked at hearing amplifiers since you mentioned them and they seem like a reasonable alternative for SHTF. Thanks.

        • Zulu 3-6 &Bam Bam,

          I’ve looked at hearing amplifiers since you mentioned them and they seem like a reasonable alternative for SHTF. Thanks.

          Unlike my vision, my hearing is near perfect, at least in part because I’ve always taken care of my ears. In my teens and 20’s I was more into folk music (acoustic instruments) then rock & roll (loud amplified instruments) and all of my shooting since I was a young kid, involved hearing and vision protection. When I started teaching firearms back in the early 1990’s, I sprung for amplified muffs, that allow you to hear a whisper; but, shut down during firing to protect the ears. My first pair was from Peltor that cost $160.00. Like all things electronic, prices have dropped significantly and my last few pairs were Guide Gear (from sportsmansguide.com) and were $20.00 or less.
          While these are obvious and not hidden like expensive hearing aids, they do work well to allow you to hear low level sounds, while protecting you from loud sounds like gunfire.
          They are an inexpensive and reasonable dual use technology for the SHTF scenario.

  13. 1. Still harvesting from our gardens and how much did you put up this year?

    I have late tomatoes & late okra still growing. Most corn is in, but not all. Cucumbers still blooming. Melons still growing.

    2. How much would do you put up for the winter and how long does it take?
    Wood is DH’s thing. We burn a lot. We store a lot. One friend has a huge gas-powered splitter. The boys get together, take down unwanted trees for people, and split firewood. We also use tr3s from our land. No need to buy firewood around here.

    3. If you do not heat with wood, what are your SHTF power grid down energy plans? We use wood but have central LP.

    4. Do you use ATVs or UTVs as part of your preps? If so, how and why?

    An ATV is high on our buy list. We cud really use one.

  14. This week was slow. Hot & humid, typical for August – hard on asthma.

    Two weeks ago we bought a 2-burner gas stove with stand for “a heck of a deal”. Unfortunately, Chinese engineering struck again. DH replaced two parts, including regulator. Now it works just fine! Total cost $65, so, it’s still a bargain. Hooked it up to a portable LP tank. Works great.

    Ordered a supply of poison ivy “pills” – DH insisted. We have plenty growing around here.

    Concord Grapes have produced very well. Put up 16 pints low sugar jelam. More to come.

    I ordered Pomona’s Low Sugar Pectin and used it. Jury is still out. It’s kind of a pain to use. It comes with calcium powder, a tiny packet. You mix it in water and add to your juice or fruit with your sweetener. Then you bring to a boil. Add dry pectin and “stir vigorously” – and they mean it! I didn’t think it would EVER dissolve. It says 2 minutes – more like 8-10 minutes.

    I used to just use a LOT of regular pectin for low sugar recipes, but, it really adds up. However, I paid $56 for a pound of Pomona’s, so, did I really save any money? Hard to say. Pomona’s claims it is “good forever”. One pound came close to filling a quart jar. They want you to make small batches, 4 cups fruit/juice at a time. Each such batch uses 2 teaspoons each of pectin & calcium water.

    Placed a vitacost order for grooming supplies & supplements.

    Stocked up on some canned goods at Aldi’s.
    Met with Apiary group. I learn so much from them, “Tennessee Valley Beekeepers”.

    Started harvesting Ground Cherries, as they fall to ground. Does anyone know why they never turn yellow? It’s my understanding they are toxic when green, but will fall to the ground (where you gather) and should ripen to yellow. Last year they all stayed green, never turning yellow. Many this year are still green.

    Apples are about ready, but we didn’t spray soon enough or often enough, and they aren’t so attractive, thanks to Cedar Rust Blight.

    Brought in the last blueberries.

    mewe groups are doing great! Really bringing together some good people, very knowledgeable. Keeping me out of trouble!

  15. 2. I have a fireplace and enough wood to last about 3 years. Have a splitter and would have to find a source for wood.
    3. The Honda EU2000s will run the heat and air conditioning in the horse trailer.
    4. No ATVs. Do have a tractor though.
    Tara, I hope “Murphy” has moved on to bother someone else and glad Ruby is better. I did not know about the naproxen so will read up on it. My dually is 12 years old and a little more work to keep it in good shape, but well worth it.
    We’ve had no mail service for several days because of a chemical spill at a distribution center (rumored to be mercury). I mailed some bills at the post office just before the stoppage so hope they get where they need to be in time.
    I dry canned flour, corn meal and chow mein noodles. Was going to dehydrate strawberries, but it started to rain so they are frozen. It has rained for four days now off and on. Today pond levels may benefit.
    Yard sale finds: 1970’s books Dry It – You’ll Like It and 101 Things to do with Ramen Noodles.
    Purged more clothes and decorator items I’m done with. The t-shirts I cut up & put with the TP for wipes.
    I made bannock and it turned out really good, loaded with dried orange zest, raisins, dried cherries and walnuts.
    Also came across a recipe for honey hardtack and it’s very good. I cut it into 1”x4” sticks and perforated it with a fork about every inch so it could be broken easily, or easier anyway, or dunked in coffee.
    I am reading: The Acid-Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health. Two people I know have bought the alkaline water machines and swear by them. Couple of other people were told by their doctor to buy alkaline water to help them heal.
    Best wishes all.

  16. 1. Are you still harvesting your gardens and how much did you put up this year?
    Wasn’t planning to do any gardening this year (trying to clean out the house and prep it for sale), but I stumbled across a couple of heirloom tomato varieties at a farmers market in Vermont in early June, so we have two tomato plants in pots on the deck. Hubby picked six tomato hornworms off one of the plants a couple of nights ago. Ugh, I hate them. Reminds me of the closing scene from “Buckaroo Banzai” — “Nipples for men? Forty species of parrots? Slugs? Who needs them?” (paraphrasing)

    2. How much would do you put up for the winter and how long does it take?

    Wood — We inherited some when we bought the house, have added to the stash as we’ve had to take down crabapple trees etc around the property. A few years back, in the fall (it was cool enough to be concerned about keeping the house warm), I had a premonition and insisted we go to Tractor Supply, buy a wood stove and install it (we have a double fireplace upstairs that passes through from kitchen to living room, and a “heatolator” fireplace in the cellar that actually pumps out quite a lot of heat – there’s a stovepipe hole on the backside of that chimney). We also bought a fair quantity of sawdust blocks at TS which are stored in the cellar and in the connected garage. (Don’t let those suckers get near water, even if they’re still wrapped in plastic, they’ll dissolve in a heartbeat, but they burn long and slow). Anyway, we had a hurricane come through a couple of weeks later. Sounds odd, I know, but we do get hurricanes churning up through the Gulf of Maine every few years. Luckily, we didn’t lose power in that storm (it was the weird one where Vermont got hammered by the dirty side of the storm). But we have used the wood stove a couple of other times in grid-down. In the winter, when I want a little flame-and-crackle ambiance, I use “lazy logs” (those paper-wrapped logs you buy in the grocery) in the fireplace to conserve our wood-and-sawdust-log stash.

    3. If you do not heat with wood, what are your SHTF power grid down energy plans?

    DH finally replaced our old gas generator last year with a dual-fuel that runs off propane as well, We have a few 20-lb bottles of propane. Not enough for long term, not nearly the setup that Ohio Prepper has, but enough to get us through 3 or 4 days in the winter grid-downs.

    4. Do you use ATVs or UTVs as part of your preps? If so, how and why?
    We only have an acre so we use sneaker-net. (Put on your sneakers, run down to the corner to do what you need to do, run back.)

    Preps this week — DH cooked pancakes yesterday at a breakfast at his Masonic lodge and came home with a 2-lb package of precooked bacon, 6 1-lb cans of ham, and a couple of containers of blueberries. He had bought a bunch of supplies for the breakfast so it was a break-even. Still, win! I’m still working on learning about edible weeds and medicinals. Read the two Rosemary Gladstar books I had ordered, and signed up for a two-hour edible/medicinal walk through our local adult ed. Made a list of herbs and spices that I can get fairly cheaply in bulk at our local health food store. Put up some pickled beets from our farm share. Had lunch with a dear friend whom I hadn’t seen in a while – we had a break over politics (she’s pro-Trump, me not so much) and it was good to reconnect. Did a serious deep dive into our finances and realized we’re in pretty good shape. Discovered an adjustable thimble on Amazon and added to wish list — I plan to buy several for myself and as Christmas gifts — when I was stringing snap peas earlier this summer, using the paring knife with the blade pointing toward my thumb, when I was done the epidermis on my thumb was sliced to ribbons. No bleeding cuts but lots of nicks. I figured the adjustable thimbles would protect against that. On Friday the weather finally broke (I realize low 90s is normal for a lot of the country, but day upon day of it is unusual for Maine!). It was reasonable enough to sit out on the deck in the evening for the first time since early July. Temps in the 70s this weekend but back up to the 80s this coming week. Our electric bill has spiked but thank heaven for air con. Keep on keepin’ on, all.

    • We can’t hope for temperatures below 90 until the end of October or the beginning of November. It’s the 90 percent humidity that most folks have trouble with. I like the heat but not the humidity.

      • My sister and her family live in Coral Springs, just above Ft. Laud. I somewhat share your pain. Don’t know how they stand it. Go from air-con house, to air-con car, to air-con office or store, I guess. (Or in her case, air-con hospital – she recently had surgery for diverticulitis. That’s now three out of the four sisters who’ve had bypass surgery. I see my future unfolding in front of me, ugh.)

        • MaineBrain:
          I had a single diverticulum back in 2008. The doc treated it with meds. Then he gave me some good advice. Go easy on the nuts and tiny berry seeds. AND my leisurely 2 miles a day needed to turn into runs. Last colonoscopy was clear. Maybe this would work for you? I do think the condition runs in families.

  17. Another busy week of canning. My garden is still going like gangbusters with the paste tomatoes really coming on now and the melons as well. Harvested about 15 pounds of acorn squash and sent some back to the city with the kid who was down visiting for fair. Put up the last of the peaches and picked over 30 pounds of grapes from my MIL’s vines. Still processing the juice.

    The canning varies by the output of the garden. Usually get enough fruit for several years worth of jam and jelly. Pickles last about 15 months. Salsas about six months and marinara sauce about a year. We store squash in the basement and it is usually good as is through January or early February.
    Water is our big concern.

    We have back-ups for heating in a grid down situation.

    No atv type vehicles. Various 2 wheelers.

    I would like to learn how to use grape seed after juice has been extracted. Any ideas?

  18. 3 weeks ago we were hit by a freak hailstorm. (pea sized hail for 15 minutes in a half mile wide path). All the plants were shredded. just as they were about to start producing (Corn, beans, squash, tomatoes,peppers, berries, cabbages, brussels and others.We thought we had lost everything,especially with a short growing season here in North Central Mn. However,with some careful pruning and removal of damaged fruits (Happy Chickens !), new leaves and flowers have formed on practically all the crops. We can now expect a somewhat smaller harvest, which is better than none at all. Mother Nature constantly amazes me.

    • OggyMn,

      3 weeks ago we were hit by a freak hailstorm.

      I was talking on the phone to an old college friend who lives in Colorado Springs. They evidently got a hailstorm that caused tons of damage. About 6000 vehicles were dented and had windows broken. This was on Monday August 6, 2018 where chunks of hail the size of golf balls rained havoc on Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, knocking out windows, and killing two animals. He said there was also a lot of roof damage. When I think of the things that don’t affect me, like hurricanes and earthquakes, I never considered hail as a big factor, at least around here. Evidently hail out in the mountains can be rather common and rather large.
      This should make you appreciate whatever threats can impact your area.
      Viewer video of massive hailstorm shows extent of damage | KOAA.com

    • TOP,

      This was funny as hell when I saw it a few days ago. It took place not too far north of where I live. The woman is lucky that somewhat aggressive cow wasn’t more so. I’ll bet the cops had a good laugh looking at that vid.

  19. Not a lot again last week. Work took up too much time and has me with a case of not wanting to do anything this Monday. The problem has to work itself out as I must report to work tomorrow. But for today I’ll take a day of mostly rest since I worked all weekend. The refrigerator decided to cause problems – it freezes but doesn’t keep the refrigerator part cold. I did get some directions on a couple things to try. The interesting thing is that a new used refrigerator is about $225 and a new new refrigerator is only about $430. In the meantime I will go back to using the dorm size refrigerator until I have time to try the suggestions.

    • suzy q,

      The refrigerator decided to cause problems – it freezes but doesn’t keep the refrigerator part cold.

      I’ve had this problem several times over the last40+ years on more than 1 fridge.
      The bulk of the cooling in a fridge is used to cool the freezer compartment, and then some of the cold air is moved to the rest of the unit. On units with the freezer on the top, It’s often just a hole that allows the cold air to drop into the refrigerated portion, usually with a baffle, that can be adjusted to set the size of the hole, indicated by numbers on the control. On units with the freezer in the bottom, there is usually a fan of some sort to move the air up into the refrigerated portion. In both cases, the hole / channel where the air moves can be blocked, either by food packages, or ice damming. Make sure those channels are clear of obstructions and in the bottom freezer unit, make sure the fan runs. In either case, you should be able to feel cold air moving from the freezer to the other compartments.

      • Look in the back of the fresh food section and see if frost is built up there. If so, you have a defrost problem. Another problem could be if the freezer is working and fresh food section is too warm, check the condenser coil fan and see if it is running or full of lint. Clean the coils while you are under there. The lint will keep it from morning well
        Good luck

        • Repair Mama,

          Look in the back of the fresh food section and see if frost is built up there. If so, you have a defrost problem.

          We’ve also had this happen a few times. Once was the crimped terminal (electrical connection) to the defrost heater and another time was the defrost timer, usually on the back of the unit. In each case we corrected the problem by crimping on a new connector or replacing the defrost timer; but, in both cases we had to manually defrost the unit using hair dryers and towels to mop up the water.

    • Never, never, NEVER buy a Samsung refrigerator. They have a design flaw that allows ice to build up in the air vents going from the freezer to the fridge, and eventually resulting in a massive ice sheet in the bottom of the fridge as well as a lot of black mold on the shelf supports, etc., in places you can’t see. Stick with GE or Frigidaire. Speaking from experience here!

      • If you want an ice maker go with GE , my frigidare is almost new and does not produce over 4 lbs a day most days. I have to use extra ice trays. love the icemaker idea but actuality is not getting it on this new side by side.

  20. Dang it, I just deleted my entire comment…stupid puter and fat fingers…

    BillyT, happy belated birthday…Bam, sorry for your rough week…

    No real preps this week, as we made our annual trek to a local NASCAR race.

    BUT we learned a bit about preps too…we did not need to use our gennie, learned about what batteries were good for what. Took our new to us solar stuff, but never did get it set up.DH tells me I always pack too much, and I do resemble that remark…but he packed more stuff than me that never got used, LOL

    The garden is still producing well, and I was not overwhelmed with everything getting ripe while we were gone, like I expected. I do need to look at a drip irrigation system for next year. I’ve been wanting to dehydrate maters, but havent had enougj go ripe at once YET.

    The most fun I have with the garden this year is growing Brad’s Atomic Grape tomatoes. I can’t brag about them enough. SO sweet, prolific.

    I got all my seeds from Baker Creek this year, and had 100% germination. I focused on maters and also got sweet snap peas I only grew one snap pea in the spring, but planted a bunch for fall harvest,

    As to Tara’s questions, as noted above, the garden is still producing, and I am waiting for a large enough harvest to be able to put up beyond us eating the harvest!
    Heating, we are reliant on the ‘system’. but want to change that.(Have short term back ups, hey, we live in OH!)
    As for transportation, DH has recently gotten into building bicycles with motors. Luckily, I grabbed a guy good with small engines (as well as construcion, and other related skills).

    I like that Tara shares her week, but also asks questions to further spur discusson…

    • Grammy,. Glad you like the questions. I am intrigued by your stomach tomatoes! There just is no better prep than a skilled partner!

  21. Tara,

    So, off to Tractor Supply I went for Bute.

    I was talking with the DW this morning as she was mixing a syringe of Bute for Libby. She doesn’t get it often; but, still has some laminitis and white line disease, both of which are inflammations, so this works well for that. We purchase the powder from our vet and mix it. The DW says she’s tempted to taste it, since it smells like Tang (orange drink), which may be why Libby likes the stuff and will lick the syringe clean. Using the syringe (with no needle) allows us to squirt the mixed medication into her mouth with no problem.

    I just did not want to give her Bute, it can be so toxic to the liver of livestock and is full of chemicals I cannot even pronounce.

    Bute is only a single chemical compound called Phenylbutazone and is an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), similar to Naproxen, Ibuprofen, or Meloxicam; but, like all of those medications, they can damage the liver in large sustained doses, especially if taken with alcohol, that I suspect is not a problem in this case.
    Occasional use for inflammation is safe and I suspect better than a limping horse causing more damage due to the limp.

    • I agree in limited doses, like many things, Bute can be safe, especially in powder form because of the more even rste of absorption. I just prefer to go natural and/or smallest dose as possible to work with all meds. Ruby and Harley’s right leg issues healed, but last nite Harley had the same issue on her left leg. I just cannot figure out what is happening all of a sudden. None of the other horses are having any issues – yet. Off to the barn now with Naproxen for her.

  22. I never realized until this summer (lived in New England all my life except for one childhood spell in Tucson, August ’62 to June ’63, ugh, hated it, except for the wonderful apricot tree outside our front door!) what a difference it makes to be able to have the windows and doors open and let fresh air in. Because of the (comparatively) extreme heat in Maine this summer, we’ve been huddling in air con most of the last 6 weeks or so. Windows and doors open tonight, cool crisp dry air, what a relief!!!! I feel for those of you who live in the must-have-air-con zone. It’s stifling in its own way. I think this summer is a harbinger of things to come. Saw an article a couple of days ago quoting a newspaper article from 100 years ago – “coal plants contribute to atmospheric warming” – well, duhhh…. Not trying to ignite a global warming debate, just grateful for fresh air flowing through my house!!! It’s the little things!

    • MaineBrain,

      I never realized until this summer (lived in New England all my life except for one childhood spell in Tucson, August ’62 to June ’63, ugh, hated it, except for the wonderful apricot tree outside our front door!) what a difference it makes to be able to have the windows and doors open and let fresh air in.

      I agree that places like Fl & AZ are just too hot, even on their coolest days, and even on hot days here in our rural area, we can open windows, especially at night and cool the house down with fresh outside air that is much preferred to a room with only AC running.

      I think this summer is a harbinger of things to come. Saw an article a couple of days ago quoting a newspaper article from 100 years ago – “coal plants contribute to atmospheric warming” – well, duhhh…. Not trying to ignite a global warming debate, just grateful for fresh air flowing through my house!!! It’s the little things!

      Keep in mind that the global warming debate has failed, as did the global cooling debate ahead of it, both of which have been supplanted with global Change. I attended the first earth day in Washington DC back in 1970, and the concern then was the blanket of CO2 and other pollutants would shade the planet and cause global cooling.
      I think perhaps one of the most important weather and climate interactions are the cities and other developed areas with all of their black top parking lots and roofs that create a heat island effect. I’ve experienced very hot days this past summer with a breeze on our property that mitigates the heat, while the same temperature and breeze on one of the parking lots in town can be stifling, primarily due to the heat captured and radiated by the surface.
      I have watched thunderstorms on radar heading east along I70 that hit the Columbus area and break up, only to reform once they have passed the boundaries of the city on the east side. Our weather patterns are complex and many of the things human activity has modified can change these patterns of activity.
      The floods in the Midwest in the 1990’s created their own weather patterns over states like Iowa, where the large pools of water evaporated and caused yet more rain in the area.
      We can use technology to beat an area into submission; but, I think learning to live in the area using natural means ends up being the more sustainable approach like opening windows and using evening breezes for cooling, or the high ceilings and thick adobe walls used in construction in the southwest.

  23. Yep, I agree. Call me a climate denier if you want. Global warming/cooling, think back to when we were kids, didn’t we just call it weather and get on with our lives? Look at the mess California had become before illegals because of it, high taxes everywhere. When I got an email from this scientist Philippe, one of the original 77 on the ParisAccord that he was quitting, he couldn’t take the stress. It sounded weird to me stress from a $3Billion a year to study .00097 temperature rise? And China (the biggest polluter on the planet) doesn’t begin paying until 2035. So I asked him what the problem was. Next letter, “It’s a slush fund.” The Vegas shooting (Ohio Prepper we both agree and disagree). Here is where we agree, long ago I told a friend to expect a series of fear and confusion (including many false flags). Where we I wouldn’t say disagree, we just don’t have the same outlook. The night that shooting went down a few friends copied Paddock’s Facebook profile, he was deeply into the DNC or so it said. ALL of Vegas was hit that night, a woman Susan something called into Fox from the Bellagio same scenario as the tarmac. “They” were going to shoot anyone who looked out also the same as Obama after he made a speech in Tennessee. They-CIA or FBI? Take your pick, both were weaponized at the time and very rogue. We’ll NEVER get the truth.


Leave a Comment