What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 79: January 12th – January 18th 2020

horse on the homestead

Hello Pack. I hope you all have been enjoying the same unseasonably warm weather as we have here on our survival homestead. But alas, more rain is in the forecast. I am sure we will be flooded in for the first time this year soon. I will definitely miss lamenting about Ohio’s crazy weather with TOP. It sure is still hard to believe that he is gone.

Typically, we spend this time of year working on indoor preps – including hands-on learning, reading, and training. But, we would have been lazy preppers not to take advantage of this brief respite from winter.

As you might be able to tell from the beautiful feature photo of my mean girl, Ruby, I spent an enormous amount of time at my barn this week. All of the horses got worms, I did some hoof work, and a general health check and lengthy brushing.

I am sure ten minutes after leaving the barn this morning at least one herd member went for a roll in the mud – they sure like to do that to me after a “beauty” appointment.

In case you were wondering, all of that mud bug around Ru’s hooves is the after picture. Bobby spend several hours on his tractor scraping around my barn and in-between the barn to get the ground to be THAT easy to walk in.

I have lost count at the number of times my muck boots were suctioned into the mud and my foot came out … with many more such instances to come, for sure.

I firmly consider my horses a prep. During a SHTF scenario, assuming the power grid will remain functional, no matter the inciting incident or that gas would even be available would be foolish – potentially deadly so.

Our horses have the ability not only to get us around our survival retreat, to town to fetch a stranded loved one, they are also trained to haul wagons and cart. Yep, my beloved horses are most definitely a survival tool.

In other preps this week, we got some more seeds growing in our indoor greenhouse, did some prep work for a new and larger greenhouse in the upper pasture where we get the best sun.

This will involve setting up some fencing to keep the horses and goats from becoming too curious, but warm weather work serves as an excuse to gather and have fun with our tribe members, so I am alright with that.

My new Nigerian Dwarf doe, Dolly, is not getting along well at all with my established nanny, Pearl. I told Pearl the new girl would lighten her workload with Not Negan, but apparently she simply is not into having a sister wife.

If I was not so busy yelling at my favorite goat when she plows into Dolly broadside and then head butts, her I would shoot a brief video so you too could be amazed at how a goat with only three good legs can run so fast, and behave like an all-star linebacker.

I was hoping after Dolly was here a week or two the jostling for position herd dynamics would calm down, but they have not. The only goat in the herd that is nice to her and doesn’t run her off is Hooper.

He is Pearl’s most recent kid that I kept as a backup Billy goat for when his daddy starts to tire of mating. I had to pick Dolly up and put her in the back of my pick-up truck today just so she could not only eat in peace, but get her full ration of grain.

goat on the survival homestead

I am 99 percent certain that Dolly is with kid, so it is even more important that she get to eat all of her food … and stop getting rammed by Pearl.

While I am on the topic of goats, I have written a lot about fiber goats lately and have become really intrigued by the prospect of raising them. Pygora goats are a miniature fiber goat that is a cross between Pygmy goats and Angora goats.

I like to work in fiber arts for fun and cost-saving beautiful and lovingly made homemade gifts. But, if I get a solid herd of mini fiber goats established I can sell either the raw mohair or dye it naturally and sell it for a higher price – generating more income from our survival homestead to further our self-reliance goals.

If I can find an Angora goat in my region at an affordable price y’all will be among the first to get a look at her. I would like to start with an actual Pygora, but they are even more difficult to find and boast a higher price tag.

This Weeks Questions:

  1. Do you have a SHTF transportation prep?
  2. Do you stockpile fuel and stabilizer?
  3. What is your funniest or most frustrating experience with survival livestock?
  4. What way do you or could you earn more money from a homesteading activity or hobby to filter back into your preps?
  5. 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 →

81 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 79: January 12th – January 18th 2020

          1. GA Red,

            TOP passed away about two weeks ago due to a heart issue. It was unexpected even though he has had heart issues for sometime that were mostly controlled by a pacemaker.

          2. Wow! I’m sorry to hear that. (Several other words going through my mind, but not fit to publish.) Thank you for responding so quickly.

            Any idea who will carry on the legacy of the list of those of us who shared our email with him to put us in touch with others?

  1. This Weeks Questions:

    1. Do you have a SHTF transportation prep? Not really
    2. Do you stockpile fuel and stabilizer? Stock and use!
    3. What is your funniest or most frustrating experience with survival livestock? That I don’t have any.
    4. What way do you or could you earn more money from a homesteading activity or hobby to filter back into your preps? Reloading and gun shows are the only “prep” things that turn money back into the house.
    5. What did you do to prep this week? Well, ….

    Sunday, we had internet & cable issues; a taste of things to come(?). Some people I was talking to had service interruptions through Wednesday. Of course, we will get no partial refund due to paying for a service that was not provided.

    I am more and more convinced that people should get their weapons, ammo, and associated parts squared away. I fear we are going to face more and more restrictions, until there is no choice but surrender or fight. I’m not personally looking forward to either. You are much more malleable to the “PTB” when you are unarmed, subject to food shortages, or in debt. The stronger you are in these areas, the less hold they have over you.

    I am also hearing that some farmers are having trouble getting loans due to the lack of Federal backing for their crop insurance due to that last 2 crops being so poor. Something to consider.

    Supply Run: Soup mix; rice; coffee; canned meats; bucket lids;

    Received: color printer toner set; ammo;

  2. Hi Everyone,

    Well, just wait a day and the weather will change… 60’s earlier in the week, and will be in the teens later this week. Wind a howling out there, cloudy, and rain… Good day to work inside, which is what I plan on doing.

    Received my seeds. Thinking I will make them my seed vault, and use up some ones I unearthed while organizing.

    Shoulder still not where it needs to be, but much improved.

    Been studying water storage for my water Totes.. Still not sure of the best way. Can’t move right now anyway with my shoulder issue.

    All this stuff going on in Virginia has me nervous. It’s a shame that one of the 13 colonies is treating it’s citizens this way. I used to live in Virginia and it’s such a beautiful state…

    Going to see the movie “Little Women” on Monday with a coworker. Haven’t been to the movies since American Sniper came out.

    Tara’s questions:

    Do you have a SHTF transportation prep? Not yet. Have an eye on a foldable bicycle

    Do you stockpile fuel and stabilizer? No, not yet.

    What is your funniest or most frustrating experience with survival livestock? Don’t have any.

    What way do you or could you earn more money from a homesteading activity or hobby to filter back into your preps? I can sew. I like making all kinds of things, mostly from discarded items, turning them into useful items. I like to dehydrate things.

    Prayers for the pack, for healing, for The President and for America. It’s a tough time, and is only going to get worse… MUCH worse and in many ways.

    Have a great week everyone.

  3. Not much happening this week. It’s rained a lot and today the temperature is dropping with more rain on the way.

    Prepping this week, nothing in particular, I picked up a few more gallons of water to store and we triple canned this week. For ever can of something we needed we picked up 2 extra for the larder. Will be rotating everything soon and bringing the stuff that is getting an little bit of age on it into the main rotation.

    No transportation plans when the SHTF. I really have no where we will need to go. My hotrod will run, even after an EMP since there is no computer stuff involved. It’s a repro 23 Ford T bucket with 350 engine, fiberglass body and big tires. No top, doors don’t open and the engine is sitting out there for everyone to see and hear and it is very loud. It’s scary fast and all the kids love it at the car shows, wanting to sit in it rather than the Corvettes and stuff. I don’t think it would make a very good SHTF transport with only room for 2 people, very loud and no protection from anything. So, we’ll just stay home for as long as we can and not venture out.

    No livestock, just us and the two dogs and they (and we) are getting long in the teeth.

    I work so there is no time for stuff to earn money. I may start selling on ebay again since I have so many hobbies and stuff from them that I don’t really need. I saw a cartoon that my DW put on facebook of a man chasing after money (dollar bills) then the next panel he has ah armload of cash and the next he is at the edge of the cliff and the take away is you can chase stuff all your life but in the end it just doesn’t matter how much stuff you die with. I remarked that DW would write me a check for all the money in the bank just before the cremate me. I also noted that in Heaven there are no banks, toyboxes or hobby shops.

    Continued prayers for Mrs. TOP, our President as he continues to deal with the idiots that want to stop him from doing his job and the world in general. We seem to be heading toward a brick wall really fast with no one interested in slowing down and thinking about what is happening.

    On the prep side, I’d forgotten but I picked up more junk silver. Over the last few weeks I pulled out what I want my DD and her family to have, and the cash I wanted them to have from our reserve and sat it aside with instructions for the DW to give it to them when I pass. I told her she can keep all the rest, sell it or do whatever and where (in a letter I put with my will) to find the other that she doesn’t know about.

    Keep smiling, keep praying and have a good week.

    73
    DE N5GWU SK SK

      1. Babycatcher,

        When a HAM dies (or Amateur Radio Operator) they no longer send Morse Code using a key/bug/keyer and they become known as a Silent Key. Everyone in the hobby recognizes what that means. You won’t see it often because the new of HAMs is dwindling and with the poor sunspot cycle most of the high frequency bands are pretty dead and not that much conversing/rag chewing goes on right now, other than on 2 meters or 70 CM.

        1. We are gearing up with our local group(hams) to start CW classes again. There are some nice apps out that can help you learn while you are driving around! One of our guys got sent to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria(?) and his takeaway was- – learn Morse Code! He was there for 3 weeks. Hes a retired Episcopal rector.

          1. In mid April of 1970 I arrived at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi. I was on A shift so we went to school at 6am – 12p Monday through Friday (did details after school). There I was taught Morse Code (or the international version of it, learned the various bad guys versions later on in my career). We started with E, S and I believe T. We were taught when we heard the sound pattern to hit the key on our typewrites (known as Mills or MC-88 and they were all CAPS and we were taught to sling the carriage back really fast because later on the code came quick). We started out at 4 GPM, the went to 6, 8, 12, 14, 16, 18.6, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and really fast. You had to pass 18.6 to graduate. During this time, we were also learning to type at, I think 35 WPM (when I retired I was at 150 WPM typing), and then equipment and radio theory, and classified parts of our job. I was coping 30 GPM at graduation, got to the field and got my lips beat a bunch by guys sending not so fast but really sloppy. You had to learn your targets and their peculiarities. During the Vietnam era we were targeted against some pajama wearing folks, can’t say where, but they tracked our air craft and tried to shoot them down. We were able to collect them and tell our guys where the bad guys thought they were (didn’t matter where they really were, the bad guys were shooting where they thought they were) and we would get direction finding on them from 3 or 4 places around the world. Our intel would be passed up the chain and then back down for fire missions and they bad guys would go off the air in the middle of a dit. It was important stuff and you sat copying really fast code for 8 hours a shift and someone was sitting the rack 24 hours a day. There wasn’t a target that could send faster than I could copy during my heyday. If no one else could keep up they’d call me over and I’d have them going.

            Anyway, just before I retired all the really bad guys gave up using Morse Code/CW and went to satellite and cell phone and stuff like that and all of a sudden I was a dinosaur. But, after I got out I realized there was still a lot of CW going on out there and that CW transcends languages. The Q and Z codes are universal and using CW you can pass a lot of traffic even if you can’t have a conversation with the guy you are talking to in real languages.

            When the SHTF CW, either through a key/keyer/bug will be the go to HF radio mode. If you can’t copy it and your computer is down you are out of luck. 2 meters is fine as long as the repeaters are up, but if you need to talk to someone a bit further down the road then you are going to have to go to HF.

            73

      1. The 187 mph sounds interesting. I have a “heavy foot” or so I’m told. I have a totally stock, not souped up, crown Vic with the interceptor engine. Half way up a very steep hill I decided to see what it might be capable of. I Didn’t come near flooring it but in a short distance I was at 125. Backed off before I crested the hill. Good thing. Cop was sitting there. I was at 85 in a 75 zone and slowing when I hit the top. I have yet to see what it can do but I can pass anything on the hills. It’s an old cab painted bright golden yellow. I paid $1450 total for two of them. Gave the other one to friends needing a vehicle. Good rubber all the way around. Immaculatly clean. Runing fine. New front seats and newer engines because of the mileage. Put a radio where they pulled out the meter. It fit the opening. I’m threatening to paint it with greenery, flowers, and butterflies. Husband laughs but I hate yellow vehicles with a passion and there are never enough canvases to keep the artist in me happy. Told my son if I really give in and paint it, the middle of the roof will have a big smile face. The rest will be sunflowers and other wildflowers, a couple dozen kinds of butterflies, little frogs, and courios mice and maybe snake or two. A mobile mural. At 73 I really feel like it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. And it could be fun. 🙂
        More fun would be finding a flat straight away to see what she’s capable of.

          1. I prefer a standard type shift but the car came with automatic. Husbands 4×4 pickup is also automatic. My other vehicles are all 5 on the floor.
            Yours sounds like fun. I once drove an Indy car on an oval track 4 times around. Hit 200. Loved it but that was 52 years ago this year. Probably not a good speed for me these days but it sure would be fun to try it once more.

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

    I’m still having trouble coming to terms with TOP’s death. I really miss his posts too.

    I found out today that one of my old Cub Scouts, from my son’s pack, died the other day. He was only 22. Evidently he died of some heart related problem. He was a Down’s Syndrome kid, although, he didn’t have a really serious case. He worked as a set dresser and part-time character player at Universal Studios-Orlando. He was actually adopted by his mom and dad and they were very active with the Cub Pack too. I feel sorry for them as they worked with him so hard that his Down’s Syndrome didn’t cause him to stand out too much. He was a handful as a little Cub Scout, but as he grew up he was about as normal behaving as anyone his age. He found his joy in life working at Universal.

    Anyway, on to more pleasant topics – prepping and politics.

    I did buy a Jackery Portable Power Station, the 500-watt version. A bit expensive, but it can run my CPAP for up to three days (not using the humidifier heating element, which I don’t anyway). I also bought a Jackery 100-watt solar panel to go with it. The power station can be charged by the solar panel, wall power, and/or 12V car power. #1 daughter has a lower capacity Jackery power station (a 140 watt) but doesn’t have a CPAP to run. She loves hers. The solar panel is due for delivery today, the power station sometime next week.

    I have a nasty cold that little Typhoid Mary brought home from pre-school. Bless her disease vector little heart 😊 I’m just hoping it doesn’t turn into something more serious.

    Nothing much to say about politics other than “send in the clowns.” We’ll see soon how this impeachment business goes net week.

    Thor1, I read something about the drones over Colorado and Nebraska. The author’s take is the drones are actually providing surveillance over missile silos. That makes more sense to me than they’re trying to hunt down missing nukes.

    The crap in Virginia is getting interesting. Monday will tell us a lot. It seems more and more towns and counties are setting themselves up as 2A sanctuaries, including at least one Michigan county so far (heard a rumor of a second).

    Weather here in central Florida hasn’t too bad recently. Temps in 70s and 80s and sunny. Not much rain.

    This Weeks Questions:

    1. Do you have a SHTF transportation prep?

    Other than my SUV, nothing but LPCs (leather personnel carriers).

    2. Do you stockpile fuel and stabilizer?

    Gasoline/diesel? No. 1-lb propane tanks, yes.

    3. What is your funniest or most frustrating experience with survival livestock?

    No livestock to have fun with.

    4. What way do you or could you earn more money from a homesteading activity or hobby to filter back into your preps?

    I don’t have a hobby or side job I can cash in on right now. I can keep up with my prep expenses with my current income streams. I do have equipment and skills to do things if SHTF to make “money.’ However, they require licensing to do them currently. If TEOTWAWKI comes along it will be “License? We don’t need no stinkin’ license.”

    5. What did you do to prep this week?

    See above.

    1. Z36, glad you’re getting into some solar power. Good move.

      My sources are still saying drones had “sniffers” for nukes and they are looking in 3 states. DHS had a meeting with law makers n 2 states.

      I miss TOP too.

      1. Thor1,

        I’ve been into solar power on a small scale for a while. I have a number of smaller panels to go with my smaller battery packs. This just happened to be my largest so far.

        It could be that the drones are not sniffing for stolen nukes, but instead smaller nuke packages brought in for use as dirty bombs.

      2. A nuke is know to have slipped past the border , a point . 5 kt will fit in a suit case. One such was recovered in Washington state on 1/16 / 2001

        1. Anom,

          I think you are mistaken about a nuke at the border point in Washington State in 2001. There was an event at Port Angeles, WA in December 1999 where a customs inspector had a hunch that the driver of car coming off a ferry from Canada was acting “hinky” to her.

          Secondary inspection revealed several different explosives and/or materials that could be combined to make explosives, and timed detonator devices. The Arab looking suspect also had phony Canadian driver’s licenses and other ID.

          He confessed he was planning to combine the materials and make a bomb he was going to detonate at LAX.

          But no nukes or radioactive materials. He is still in prison at the Super Max.

  5. Do you have a SHTF transportation prep? No

    Do you stockpile fuel and stabilizer? Only for huricane season. My wife thinks gasoline goes bad quickly and made me empty all my 5 gal cans into her car every time it got low.

    What is your funniest or most frustrating experience with survival livestock? No livestock.

    What way do you or could you earn more money from a homesteading activity or hobby to filter back into your preps? None.

    What did you do to prep this week? Just spent my time maintaining my homestead. Had to buy a new lawnmower, after 20 years my old John Deere L111 is too much trouble to keep running. I purchased an E130 with a 22 hp Briggs and Stratton, hopefully this motor will not have the same inherent defect the 20 hp Briggs and Stratton has. It has a huge oil filter on it so maybe they fixed all the problems the smaller motor had. The compression release mechanism inside the motor breaks after a few hundred hours. On my old one I just popped the hood and forced it through the compression strokes every time to crank it but of course my wife could not do that. With most of my trees down the lawn is much larger and gets more sun so the 22 hp engine will come in handy. My wife insists that I keep this one clean and parked under the garage. It will be deliver next week so I have make room for it and the Kubota that still needs an engine rebuild.

    I had planned on using the John Deere 3020 to till my garden again. It has been so warm the grass and weeds have grown back but it wouldn’t crank. I think the electric fuel shut off is stuck and after an hour of online searching I found how to fix that, maybe. Being 48 years old parts are no longer available so if the simple fix doesn’t work an expensive injection pump conversion will have to be made.

    We did take advantage of the unseasonable warm weather and take the boat out. The granddaughter was much more pleasant to take this time. She loves being in the boat and speeding over the water.

    1. 1. Bicycles
      2. No more than the usual over the years. 25 gal of diesel 15 gal of gas and buying a new 30 gallon drum for kerosene. I’ve been using the old 15 gal drum for 42 years.
      3. Funny no. Frustrating yes. Dogs killed 20 of my 23 rabbits. Monday I pick up a new buck and doe. All I had left was 3 does.
      4. Canned 4 qt and 6 pints of turkey veg soup. Eating for a week or more on the rest of that bird. Just two of us So canning the rest of it for future eating was a kindness.

  6. I took puppy for a walk and it took us past a tennis court. He sat down and just like everyone else at a tennis game, his head went back and forth watching the ball. I told the players don’t worry if it goes over the fence he will eat it…..LOL

    Food storage
    Bought a new refrigerator/ freezer as the 9 year old fridge died. Went in to salvage mode and cooked some stuff and used the second fridge/ freezer to store some. Made ice in the 3rd little fridge.
    1 is none and 2 is 3….LOL common core math…LOL
    The new fridge has a much larger freezer and 2 ice makers that puppy doesn’t like….

    Freeze dryer
    Freezer dried multi meals from dead fridge.

    Gym
    Heavy cardio and cross training

    Security
    Found 2 new glock 40 cal 15rnd mags I forgot I had and 3 9mm 17rnd mags.
    Checked plate carriers and tactical vests for readiness.

    Martial Arts
    Practiced and taught high block and finger/ thoat strikes.
    Practiced and taught side block and elbow strikes.

    Thor’s questions
    1. Do you think all of the Democratic Presidential candidates combined IQs equal half of Trump’s IQ ?
    2. Do you feel that the 2A rally in Virginia is a trap? To attack unarmed conservatives or pose as Trump supporters since Antifa is supposed to show up?
    3. What were Kansas law makers made aware of on à military base by DHS?
    4. Are you worried about the new Chinese pandemic? Do you think they were playing with new bioweapons ànd some got out?

    Interesting videos

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OmFpU8hAiVU

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=su9Iwjj21AU

    1. Tara’s questions

      1.Do you have a SHTF transportation prep?
      2. Do you stockpile fuel and stabilizer?
      3. What is your funniest or most frustrating experience with survival livestock?
      4.What way do you or could you earn more money from a homesteading activity or hobby to filter back into your preps?

      1. 2 4x4s, 3 bicycles.
      2 Yes
      3. None
      4. Canning, freeze drying , dehydrating food. Selling gardened food and seeds. Filtering water. #2 Daughter’s medical skills. Cutting firewood. Fixing electrical and mechanical problems. Blacksmith skills. Repairing and building of firearms. Teaching self-defense skills. Jack of all trades master of some. LOL

    2. Thor’s questions

      1. Do you think all of the Democratic Presidential candidates combined IQs equal half of Trump’s IQ ?

      I don’t think their combined IQ is above that of a paramecium.

      2. Do you feel that the 2A rally in Virginia is a trap? To attack unarmed conservatives or pose as Trump supporters since Antifa is supposed to show up?

      No, I don’t think it is a trap. Personally, I think A LOT of conservatives are going to show up fully armed and dare the VA government to do something. If Antifa and other communist groups cause trouble, I think they’ll find it.

      3. What were Kansas law makers made aware of on à military base by DHS?

      I don’t know what you are talking about here. I see on the media that Kansas House members got some kind of brief and Senators will get the brief next week.

      4. Are you worried about the new Chinese pandemic? Do you think they were playing with new bioweapons ànd some got out?

      I wouldn’t call it a pandemic yet. An epidemic, maybe.

      1. Z36, LOL on #1
        #2 Can’t trust Antics
        #3 I was told they were split up to avoid the FOIA
        #4 They are screening 5,000 Chinese who entered the USA at airports and e was flown in to Atlanta for tests at the CDC……

        Hope you feel better. Eat raw garlic and honey,……

        1. Thor1,

          Re #3: It probably wasn’t to avoid FOIA as much as it was to do an end-around whatever Open Meetings Act Kansas has. Thus, the reason the Repubs and Dimmies were briefed separately in their party caucus groups. Most OMA allow party caucuses to meet privately.

          And, if the briefing information was classified by the US Gov, it would be exempt from FOIA disclosure anyway.

          1. Z36, what did you think about the AR15 barrel cooler? I imagine the bolt is open and the dust cover is closed. How cool is this pun intended……😎

          2. Thor1,

            That barrel cooler is cute, but not a new idea. Maybe using a Li-ion battery and a blue light down the barrel is new. The light does nothing to cool the barrel, so is a piece of dross, just useful to attract attention to the product for marketing purposes.

            I suppose it has utility for people who shoot a lot when they go to the range and need to speed up cooling before they put the rifle away in a gun case. I wouldn’t spend my money on it through.

      2. Z36, do you think it might be a pandemic now?

        8 cities on lockdown, 112,000 dead, people dropping in the streets, transportation shutdown.

        22 States may have cases here with 64 patients. How many unknown?

        CLOSE THE BORDERS.

          1. Z36, I’ve never seen our government lockdown cities for the flu. This was a bioweapon that got out. There is a level 4 bioresearch lab 46km from ground zero in Wuhan. I’ve heard they are incinerating bodies by the thousands. They dusted the area’s with an antiviral compound with mandatory shelter in place. They are building a hospital that will house a thousand patients in a week. Definitely not just flu…..

  7. The military plans on jamming GPS on southeast coast of the U.S. for naval exercises, the epicenter of which is Jacksonville, Fl. (More likely it’s Kings Bay, Ga., the nuclear submarine base.) This is a first to my knowledge.

    https://www.news4jax.com/weather/2020/01/17/gps-jamming-may-shut-down-navigation-in-southeast/

    It would seem winter is arriving Monday evening. We’ve had temperatures in the 70s for most of December and January. But it is suppose to get down to 31 Monday evening. The kids are coming over for dinner tomorrow so I’ll have them bring in the plants. (I have way to many plants.) At least I get to wear my new Christmas clothes. The cold snap is only supposed to last two days.

    Dh’s doctor’s appointment is Tuesday. They are going to put a camera up his manhood to check out his prostate. It is my understanding that they will then schedule an appointment for surgery. He is having a terrible time with the catheter.

    We have been on the new whole foods plant based diet for a month now. I have lost 10 lbs. and he has lost 40 lbs. He has another 50 lbs. to lose. I have 7 lbs. to lose to reach my goal. I suspect we have lost our taste for steak. I fixed steaks for the first time in a month the other night. I could only stomach two bites–and that’s with drowning the steak in Heine’s 57. My dh ate his steak but he had stomach issues for the rest of the night. We gave the rest of the steak to the dog. We ate some shrimp tonight and that sat much better.

    1. Bam Bam,

      I heard they have already shut down the parking apps for the area around Richmond… This is a set up. I don’t think it will go well.

      1. AT,
        agree, Consider… IF GPS is shut down UN /others can not target individuals as easy..No fly zone prevents las vegas type event….. Some going to Va have been told” do not take your kids to this event. good chance you will be separated from them..”..
        Bam Bam
        for those on a rx’d 90 gram protein that diet would not work. Is effective for many people… You will need to add meats very slowly,. as you have found, after being off them for a prolonged time..I suggest begin w/ 1 ounce portions to reintroduce.. can affect your iron levels…very individualized-responses. Slowly getting legumes back in diet… started with black beans… so far so good. someone said to soak them overnight in lemon juice and water… discard all that water and do other de gassing techniques. I once cooked some pinto’s for my Gma. she said they” were so bad they did not even have a toot in them!” ..LOL sure wish i still had that problem…
        Had issues with blood sugar dropping so fast my finger stick did not catch it before I had corrected, symptoms were unmistakeable.. .. sugar checked @167, 8 oz LF Whole milk/ 20 min later sugar was 100..ss/sx abated..Had to tighten up diet as well dropped carbs to 30 grams a day..

    2. Bam, Top told me to tell you its “Heinz” 57 sauce….. But A1 is soooo much better.

      Good luck to your husband in his Dr appointment.

      I don’t think I could become a vegetarian, hamburgers, steak,pork chops, chicken,……eggs ???

  8. Hello Pack..
    . Another week come and gone.. Like others I have missed TOP’s comments.. It is a reminder for us all that life can suddenly change at any time for any of us…. one of my first thoughts after .. “Oh no!.” was “TOP no longer has any trouble seeing. He can see clearly now..”
    Medical … Ligament injury is still yelling. area tires easily and heating pad and pressure is only relief. Thankful to have both… No meds : preexisting condition contraindicate.
    Lessons learned/learning… Consider how you can immobilize a limb,..for extended immobility. Who will take over the duties preformed by someone unable to do the routine duties., should a long term injury hit your group?. ..Ever tried peeling/preparing potatoes, scraping carrots, snapping string beans with only non dominant hand.? Can you make modifications to your set up to accomplish what Has to be done w/o assist.? COunt… how many times you reach up and elbow comes up away from your hip… How many chores can you do without lifting dominant elbow from hip. Avoid twisting only STRAIGHT motions..? Consider what you will/ can use for pain, and get as much variation as possible for your first aide kits.remember caplets and capsules/pills last longer than gel caps and liquids.. Dollar stores have some heating pads activated by air.
    Corn silk caplets made this week from organic corn silk put up this summer… ( For ease of.. encapsulating cut in very short lengths/ dehydrate… store in jar with oxy absorber…May could grind them with a coffee grinder. ) Noted effectiveness after 2 doses… ” urine foams like a head of beer” was the comment. so clearing stones and back pain is less.
    Consider checking your bandaids, after a while they get so old they will not stick… no matter how stored. went thru 3 boxes this week- for a cut to find some that would remain in place. without tape.(not my injury).
    For first aide kit added some 30 mg allegra for allergic reactions./melt-a ways.. can chew and hold under tongue for quickest absorption and severe allergic reactions.. When medical assist is 35 min away is NECessary item.. Benadryl caps can be broken open and put in a little honey or jelly put in jaw and under tongue, IF you have nothing else… gives someone in allergic reaction a chance. Mosquitoes are back out .. to be 20 degrees tomoro night and next. and we have MOsquitoes!
    WE also have had swinging temps. 62 today in spite of drizzle, tonight down to around 29: tomoro night 20… I did some prep of animal areas for drying up the dog kennel chicken run/rabbitry. Moved some composting materials and replaced with dry pine sawdust.
    .. Baby rabbits are growing like little weeds. They are eating pellets, hay and dining water… They love the new hay.. and our neighbors Bull was observed trying to get to the big roll… he could smell it, but it was tarped. and behind a fence and cedar tree…LOL
    I have worked with securing more vegetables this week.. sweetpotatoes, russets. Dehydrator in use.. Pulled 40 more cans of assorted veggies from the deep pantry and some of these are being added to animal feed. Some are being added to soups , some will be reduced and recanned.

    Tara’s questions..
    #1Have no plans to bug out. If car will not go, we will be right where we are planted.Keep it as close to full as possible.
    #2, some.stabilizer… double amounts above instructions have been used effectively for more than 2 years…. Gas does not last that long here. we rotate thru it..refilling every 2 months w/o stabilizer….. few other backups.along fuel lines.nothing big nor elaborate
    ..#3No stories., frustrations…OLd Mouser/ratter Jack Russell Multi use dog. Bites ice, rats and hates bath ais and equal opportunity biting one for one who gives baths….YOung pup still thinks his name is” No.! Down!..”
    #4. Nothing active at present have eye on a couple of things MAY be able to do…time and $ needed for all of the essential projects first.

    Thor’s Q’s.
    Trump has 1000 Times more IQ in is Left little TOE, than all of the rest of the dimwits have combined, in their whole body.
    Watching info on Virginia…. anti fa is supposed to show up wearing maga hats..and cause trouble. Adverts for crisis actors in the area that day! possible set up for false flag with many casualities.
    d rats leaked there will be nothing open there on monday…. Yes i think it is a trap;. Senator released info saying such :see guns and gadgets , and Duglas Decote video’s…areas are described as chain link enclosures… basically holding pens.for all patriots showing up and there will be no weapons accepted in the area…searches will occur.

    The good things the gps is shut down will not be locked and loaded on unarmed citizens. area is a NO fly zone.
    .. I have been watching what little info is out on the Chinese virus… could have come from anywhere., for any reason. .intentional? accidental? attempt to subdue Hog Kong? all kinds of possibilities.

    1. Dad was having kidney pain again (and didn’t tell me!). Started him on home-made (apricot) vinegar and it cleared up in three days. Worth a try.

      1. 1. Bicycles
        2. No more than the usual over the years. 25 gal of diesel 15 gal of gas and buying a new 30 gallon drum for kerosene. I’ve been using the old 15 gal drum for 42 years.
        3. Funny no. Frustrating yes. Dogs killed 20 of my 23 rabbits. Monday I pick up a new buck and doe. All I had left was 3 does.
        4. Canned 4 qt and 6 pints of turkey veg soup. Eating for a week or more on the rest of that bird. Just two of us So canning the rest of it for future eating was a kindness.

  9. 1. Bicycles
    2. No more than the usual over the years. 25 gal of diesel 15 gal of gas and buying a new 30 gallon drum for kerosene. I’ve been using the old 15 gal drum for 42 years.
    3. Funny no. Frustrating yes. Dogs killed 20 of my 23 rabbits. Monday I pick up a new buck and doe. All I had left was 3 does.
    4. Canned 4 qt and 6 pints of turkey veg soup. Eating for a week or more on the rest of that bird. Just two of us So canning the rest of it for future eating was a kindness.

  10. Don’t know how the doubled up post happened. Sorry.
    I miss TOPs many comments and helpful encouraging emails.
    Praying for safety of all who do attend the Virginia rally. I trust most politicians as far as I can throw the lot of them….nuff said
    I hate to see government reach always expanding. Most things were to be up to the local state or the people directly. The short amendment addressing that has been strangled, suffocated, and perhaps shot down till its just useless words.
    We aren’t free or safe in our fundamental beliefs anymore. It is fine to swear in our officials on a Koran. We no longer swear to tell the truth in court with a hand on a Bible or mention God. Our kids are forbidden Bibles or prayer in most schools unless one prays silently without drawing attention. Public displays of Christian faith are removed. A nearby county was sued a few years ago and had to remove three crosses from the pasture scene of sheep. The nearby town of Belin is fought year after year over putting up manger scenes at Christmastime. The town name is Spanish for Bethleham. Private property we can still put up a cross or manger scene if we choose to.
    Some cities and areas have enough immigrants not wanting to assimilate, like our non native ancestors did, so they want new Muslin holidays and sharia law. If my religious holidays are removed or renamed why should they have religious holidays for public schools or the cities?

    It’s a whole different nation than the one I was born in. You would think I’d moved to a new country. Instead my country changes, and not for the better, around me.

  11. HI ALL ,,,,,,SO MUCH GOING ON ,,,,,,,before I forget ,found a source for potato seed (not seed potatos ) but true seed,TWILLLEY SEED CO, 800,622,7333. 25seeds in pellets 2.50 packed in sealed Mylar,,,also larger amounts, check out there catalog nonGMO

    Sorting things to move again this week ,,, had a new calf last weekend after I posted out of a young helfer ,needed to clean and dry the little one (fell in a mud pit ) house calf anyone ,,doing fine now.
    Tara’s question ?
    Being a real working ranch we store hundreds of gallons of fuel ,every month we buy a barrel or two for use in farming in the summer ,some we treat for long term just in case ,much the same for propane ,and saw gas 55gal ,
    As of late with a move in the future not stocking up as much ,
    As for back up transportation we have fuel for years if we’re not farming ,and then I know the how’s and why’s of oxen ,slow for sure but will get the job done ,and will go where a horse team would not survive ,and less likely to get you hurt in the process of going ,ride a cow? You bet!! A cow has a split hoof that can move in mud and slop that Will lame a horse ,and there is such a thing as cow shoes , speaking of shoes ,have you extras ?have nailes? Know how to do it without dammaging the hoof?and laming the horse ?
    Much going on in the corp.world of food that’s not good for you the consumer, ,from seeds to farm banking to the big boys manipulating prices payed for all the basics
    Do you know who really owns the stores you shop at ? How about the middle man? Or the land it’s self ?
    Learn to GROW your food ,do it now ,if you can’t grow because we’re you live ! MOVE to were you can ,
    Remember Lot’s wife ,
    I do know things I can’t talk about ,have you read Atlas shrugged yet ? Not perfect but some good ideas ,and I like the ending ,

    Tea and chocolate

    1. Hi 0ldhomsteader,

      Glad you are doing ok. Thanks for the mention on the potato seeds. I just got in my seeds this past week. They are going in Mylar, and I’m going thru the ones I have on hand to use in the spring.

      All,
      Supposedly, seeds last, at the most, 7 years, so it’s good to keep a rotation going. I need to learn how to save my own seeds.

      1. AT, I have been told to pack seeds in small plastic food grade bag with small amount of rice… Label them well year, and variety… drop that bag down in a bigger bag treated the same way with rice in it.. drop each variety prepared this way in a gallon or larger and keep in bottom of refrigerator. away from all else. Know someone who routinely rotates seed and in 2019- planted 8 year old seeds with mid 90% germination rate. so sounds like a good way to do it. she has a small refrig. dedicated to seed.

      2. Seeds last a lot longer than that. I’ve had squash and corn seeds germinate 100% after 20+ years. Germination will go down, yes, but not that much.

        Remember to USE the older seeds because the survivors are those that have that longevity thing going. Their descendants will have higher germination for longer periods.

        The problem is new seeds being planted every year and seeds taken from them–not selecting for longevity. If seeds were only good for one or two years as some claim they’d die out if they couldn’t seed one year.

    2. Potato seeds, really? I grew potatoes for 25 years using whole potatoes for seed. I know they can make true seed but did not know any that bred true, you get random plants. So these new seeds make the same potato plant every time?

      I am in north Florida and farmers are planting their spring crop now. I still live alongside one of my former fields. I get to watch the entire growing season. The owner is my neighbor and says I can help if I want. Unfortunately I can only work a few hours before my body gives out so I can only watch.

      1. Potatoes have a lot of genetic variability. Yes, each seed is a new variety, but you end up with varieties that are adapted to your location, and the seeds last 20+ years. Also less chance of disease. So if you can’t plant (seed) potatoes for a couple years you can still have potatoes.

  12. Well, God is good and very kind to me.
    This was a hard and good week. It is 15 degrees here, snowed today.
    Tara’s questions:
    1. Horses, tack and buggy, shoes, nails, five saddles.
    2. Yes, 55 gallon drums
    3. Yesterday, Bud, the bull decided to follow a heifer
    To the wrong side of 75′ barn. Heifer went back where she belonged. Not Bud. This drama went on till dark, I tried twisting his tail up over his backbone, which made him only turn in a circle. So I twisted his tail the other direction, which only made him turn a circle in the other direction. I could not find his forward gear! He finally looked around at me, as if he were saying, ” I wish you would quit twisting my tail.” So I had to leave him there for the nite, and shut gate, so little heifer could not get out during the nite. Daylite today, saga continued, finale figured what if he shoved thru gate, but he must be afraid of the small gate opening, because his food was where he should have been. So, I pitch forked manure away from far side of gate, and he walked thru the bigger opening. Like at dawn, it was cold and I had nothing better than pitching manure to swing a gate wide open. Coffee taste better when you are half frozen! This would have been funny, if it was not so cold, carharts with hood saved me. What goes thru a bull’s mind that was afraid of a small opening in a gate??? His tail now should have a kink in it.
    4. Wish I had better ideas on how to earn extra money. ( not bull training).
    5. 3 Truck loads of firewood to fill wood shed arrived, plan on keeping it full (8 cords), at all times. Truck load of hay was delivered, as I had room to store it, they bring more, to keep that full also. My plan, keep all stores full, at all times, from now on.

    1. Sage ,,,,,we teach all ,well almost all of our cattle to come to a shaken grain can or alfalfa cubes ,only thing is watch you don’t get run over ,also nice when a fence goes down ,

      Tea and blueberry cobbler

  13. ALERT !!!

    While the patriotic Virginia’s are protesting illegal gun laws, the Scumbag Democrats are signing and pushing these…….

    SB 399 – Virginia’s electoral college votes to be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote.

    SJ 29 – The governor to be elected by majority of votes in congressional districts, not by statewide majority.

    sj 14 – Restores voting rights to convicted felons

    SJ 8 – Allows Felons and those declared mentally incompetent to vote

    SB 65 – Eliminates photo ID requirements for voting

    SJ 6 – Increases the term limit of the governor from 4 to 8 years.

    Tyranny lives in Virginia

    This is what happens when Democrats get elected, even if it is voter fraud.

      1. I hope Virginia isn’t a precursor to a new way of doing business. Its sick and makes we wonder if we still have a constitution.

  14. Hello all

    I have been offline close to a year. Glad to see all of you from the last site. Who remembers me?

    When I saw the post that TOP died 2 weeks ago I started crying. I enjoyed reading him so much. My 2nd favorite is JP in Montana.

    I’ve not had a good year several surgeries and was not able to garden last summer. One more medical issue and I should be good to go.

    Susan

    1. City Susan,

      Hi, welcome back. Glad you’re shedding your medical issues.

      TOPs passing was a surprising shock to us all, but I’m sure he’d tell us to just drop back ten yards and punt, then carry on.

    2. Almost There or Babycatcher
      Could you text me (401-288-2192) about TOP? I want to send my condolences to his widow.

      Susan

  15. I haven’t been on for a long time, but life is good. Of course I have the usual followup appointments by the lung transplant team, as well as the medically induced diabetes and now mid-stage kidney disease. I’m supposed to drink 11/2 gallons of water daily- hard to do.
    Regarding preps, recycled the storage gasoline at the house and also the BOL. Stored for three years at a time, with double STABIL.
    Substantial additions to food storage.
    No livestock, although I am considering construction of a dovecote and establishing a flock of pigeons. I have to figure how to protect from varmints. Since we are absent from the BOL most of the winter, any thing we do to establish an ongoing protein source must continue without our intervention. I think pigeons could do that. We already have squirrel feeders, but there just aren’t that many of them. For sure, the deer which continue to visit our lot and orchard won’t last long! Although they aren’t very tasty, the javalenas also won’t last long.

    Welding, blacksmithing and electrical work are the most obvious ways for me to earn money post- SHTF. I am very conversed in alternate power production – solar, wind and water powered.

    1. By the way, I enjoyed our interaction with TOP. RIP to John and prayers for his widow.

      Also, DW gave me aother 1911 and I got two gong targets from MidwayUSA.

  16. Oldhomesteader,,,,
    Sounds good in theory, but I feed the bull first, to get him out of the way. So, he wolfed down his grain and a couple of flakes of hay, then this all broke loose and he was full. So he chewed his cud, and smiled at me, as if to say, ” I love being over here and I am not leaving!” He had to be hungry at day lite to cooperate and then he was afraid of narrow opening, as soon as gate opened wide, he joined cows eating.
    Life should be easier. He loved being where he did not belong.

  17. Reports I read this morning on China aren’t giving the numbers I saw above but they have 7 cities with 83,000,000 in quarantine. They are begging for delivery of medicines and food. Makes one appreciate some preps. You just never know what may suddenly happen around you.

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